Don’t deny ST girl her Boy Scout status
The following is an open letter from State Senator Brad Hoylman to Randall L. Stephenson, National President of Boy Scouts of America, asking that Sydney Ireland, a Stuy Town teenager and Boy Scout for 11 years, have her status as a Scout formally recognized by the BSA. In December, Town & Village reported on Ireland’s fight, alongside her family, to have female members’ contributions recognized. The BSA has said it would start allowing girls to be members, but not until 2019.
Dear Mr. Stephenson:
I write to you as an Eagle Scout (Troop 70, Lewisburg, WV) and New York State Senator on behalf of my constituent, Sydney Ireland. A lifelong Boy Scouts participant, Sydney successfully advocated for the official inclusion of girls in Boy Scouts of America programs this year. However, because your organization does not plan to implement the new membership policy for two years, Sydney, who is now 16, will age out before she can officially join a troop.
Sydney has demonstrated the leadership and citizenship fundamental to the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. By delaying two years, you are excluding the very young women who led the charge for change and inclusion. Moreover, your policy’s implementation timeline means girls, including Sydney, will be excluded from participating in the International Jamboree in July 2019 because they will be denied the opportunity to earn the necessary rank to attend.
I commend you for your forward-looking change in membership policy. However, I must urge you to expedite the implementation of the policy so that Boy Scouts like Sydney can be recognized for their accomplishments before they age out of the program. Additionally, I hope your organization will recognize Sydney’s accomplishments to date as part of Troop 414, including her 15 Merit Badges and her Star Rank.
Your organization has the opportunity to stand up for gender equality and inspire young women and girls across the country. I urge you to immediately recognize Sydney Ireland as an official Boy Scout member and to count her completed work toward earning her Eagle Rank.
State Senator, District 27
When your pharmacy’s a pill
I write because I commended Kmart Pharmacy. But they wronged me.
They took $10 cash for their Rx club, one that discounted the price of medications for their customers.
It was uncool that they terminated the club with no notice, and doubled the price of medications to make them more “competitive.” I asked what happened to the money I paid for the club. I was told that it went on my Bonus Rewards toward a different store item.
So I switched to the closest pharmacy to my apartment, Walgreens. And they vexed me right away: they don’t post their store’s pharmacy hours; not at their front entrance, not at the pharmacy counter. When I got to Walgreens half an hour after their 6 p.m. closing on Saturday night, that I realized that I hadn’t consulted their website. They opened at 10 a.m. and closing at 6 p.m. seems sufficient for a weekend. Yet, I realized, Walgreens advertises themselves as available.
So I thought, if their pharmacy were instead open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, the current pharmacists could work their regular weekend shifts filling new prescriptions. Then, if Walgreens were open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends to pick up existing prescriptions, that would be six hours of weekend work, or, on average, 26 hours a month for someone without a job!
Billy Sternberg, ST