Category Archives: Opinion

Dear Coach Wachtel: I am sorry.

I never had asthma.

I knew so many kids in school who had asthma attacks.  They would stop suddenly while running in gym class, eyes wide, mouth open.  They would suck and gasp for air.  An adult would run over and promptly give them a small inhaler and everything would be fine in moments.  It was rare that an asthma attack was severe enough to warrant a visit to the nurse’s office and I certainly never observed any “worst case scenario” situations while in school.

It looked awful.  The poor kids who wanted so badly to play badminton, kickball, or even just go for a jog outside had to be constantly monitored by an adult.  On particularly humid (or pollen-filled) afternoons, the Guilderland High School track saw its fair share of a child, doubled over, trying to regain his breath.

The same thing happened to me.  I would run, play a sport or even climb the bleachers.  Suddenly, I had to stop.  Doubled over, I gasped for air.  Adults would run to me, frantic, asking me about my inhaler.

But I never had asthma.  I was just an overweight kid.

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Shoppers call for boycott of Forever 21

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Forever 21 is coming under fire after a letter sent to employees was leaked online.  The

letter states that Forever 21 is demoting a number of full-time, non-management employees to part-time positions.  Those positions include stock associates, sales associates, cashiers and others.  The letter states that the demoted employees will no longer receive health benefits and that their regular schedule will not exceed 29.5 hours per week.  This has caused a social media uproar, with thousands calling for a boycott of the store.  Forever 21 released a statement via Facebook saying the realignment is in no way related to the Affordable Care Act.  Forever 21 operates 480 stores nationwide, including one location in Crossgates Mall.

This post originally appeared on the Capital Region Newsroom website.

Wake up call: More missing kids could be out there

via CNN

via CNN

While waiting in line to grab dinner at McDonald’s yesterday, it’s safe to say that Charles Ramsey would not know that he would become a recognized hero before he had a chance to eat the stray fries at the bottom of the bag.  After hearing a woman’s screams, Ramsey kicked in the door of a house in Cleveland, where three young women had been held against their will for over a decade.  Believed to be dead by many, the story serves to demonstrate that countless kidnapping victims could still be alive.

Sara Anne Wood has never been found

Sara Anne Wood has never been found

Please take a moment to remind people around you that there are several unsolved, missing persons cases right here– in the Capital Region.  Much like the young women in Ohio, Suzanne Lyall, Sara Anne Wood, Craig Frear and others have been missing for over a decade.  The case in Ohio gives us hope that there is a possibility– although ever-so-slight– that these people might be found alive.

Please click here for more information on missing persons in the Capital Region.

Note:  This entry was also posted to the Capital Region Newsroom blog.

A Word on Identity Theft

Consider this my PSA for the day, month, year… Whatever.

We hear people say “check your credit report often” but few of us ever listen.  Please let me tell you first-hand that this is good advice.  Some organizations say that you should check your credit report at least once a year to ensure that your identity has not been stolen or that credit cards have not been opened in your name.

Personally, I check my credit report at least once every six months, if not more.  Two weeks ago, I checked my fiance’s credit report as well as my own.  Had I not done this, I would not have found that someone had opened several accounts in my fiance’s name, totaling nearly $38,000.

Luckily, we caught it early enough, and we have been fortunate enough to have the full co-operation of the Colonie Police Department, the three major credit reporting agencies, and each of the credit card companies with whom accounts were opened.  We have quite a long road ahead of us, but we remain optimistic that we will get everything worked out.

For more information on credit card fraud and identity theft, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Why I Dislike Awards Shows, Late Night Television and Other Forms of “Entertainment”.

 

CouchPotato

It seems like, no matter what I do, my radio show is always competing with some form of televised entertainment. For several weeks, I was forced to come up with some new “shtick” to compete various events– every single one, of course, fell on a Sunday evening between 8:00 and 10:00. First, it was the Superbowl. The Grammys were in there a few weeks after, then came the Oscars. I had to come up with new giveaways, bigger & better entertainment, just to attempt to get some sort of audience. A bit annoyed, I decided that, instead of channeling my anger through the microphone (and thus, the airwaves), I would compile a list of reasons why I dislike programs like these.

  • Shows like Jay Leno are like one big advertisement. Sure, you get the opening monologue, some comedic skits and a funny headline once in a while, but seriously…
    • Stars only come on when they have a movie to plug, and that’s all they talk about while they’re on. If they had nothing to advertise, they wouldn’t bother coming on these shows.
      buy
    • Same thing with bands. All they are doing is trying to sell CDs. For example, I was closing the bar last night and was watching Last Call with Carson Daly. His special guest was a band called The Silversun Pickups. They played a song, providing a bit of entertainment for the audience– that part, I will not complain about. But it was immediately followed by plug for their CD and other ploys for (over) exposure. The business aspect is easy to understand, but what happened to the days were TV was solely for entertainment purposes, rather than marketing endeavors?
      • Can I go off on a Carson tangent for a moment, please? How does this guy even have his own television show? I mean, I think it’s great that some short, chubby dude with black nail polish and a bad haircut came from New-York-City-Radio-Disc-Jockey all the way to Internationally-Known-Television-Personality—hell, I’d love for a gig like that to fall into my lap. But this guy has no talent in this area.
        • My favorite Carson opinion comes from the Internet Movie Database message boards:
            • Carson Daly is THE worst TV show host ever. He’s not funny, his interview questions are boring… He seems like he’s not even listening but just waiting to ask the next rehearsed question. Why did he get his own show… He’s such a tool! Plus, now that he’s super skinny he just looks like a bug-eyed freak with a huge head.”
    • Awards shows like the Oscars are just about the same thing, in my opinion. It’s basically one huge advertisement– brought to you by film companies, ASCAP, and the like– to get the public to buy tickets to their movies.

      • In the case of Anna Nicole Smith, we complain that “celebrities” like she and Britney Spears should not have the magnitude of exposure that they do. However, what we do not realize is that it is our fault that they are in this limelight: We buy their products, watch their True Hollywood Stories and listen to their recordings. And they aren’t even that good!
  • All anyone wants you to do is buy their product. I won’t lie– I hope that reading this will get you thinking (and listen to my radio show 😉 ). if you take nothing else away from my little blog entry, just remember why Whatever Her Name Is won Best Supporting Actress this year. You’ll probably be able to guess– it isn’t for her talent.

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Why the Oscars Suck and What Can Be Done to Save Them by Howie Green