Letters to the Editor for May 16
Colonie shouldn’t sell its reservoir timber until it has a solid plan
The Gazette recently reported that the town of Colonie may sell timber on its Stony Creek Reservoir property (“Colonie again considering logging land at reservoir,” May 10). This story caught my eye since I am a retired forester and a member of the New York Forest Owners Association.
Timber is a renewable resource, and most forest land can grow high value timber if properly managed. Furthermore, timber management is usually compatible with other woodland values, including ecosystem services such as clean water.
However, sustainable forest management requires more than just selling the most valuable trees. The future health and value of the forest is determined by what is left to grow after a timber sale — not on the trees that are harvested. When the focus is only on maximizing immediate gain, future productivity and other values can be compromised. This is why long-term forest management is important. When trees are sold, they should be marked by a professional forester.
The New York Forest Owners Association (nyfoa.org) is a not-for-profit organization that encourages sustainable woodland management. A good place for woodland owners to start is to get the advice of a New York state service forester who can be contacted through the local office of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Beware anti-government rhetoric from politicians
The government of the United States is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. So I’m always perplexed when I read about those who say government influence is too big.
What they are really saying is people’s influence is too big. To better understand my point, substitute the word “people” whenever you see (or hear) the word “government.” For instance, “government-centered society” would be “people-centered society.”
What really has grown too big is under-regulated capitalism. Capitalism is not a democracy; it flourishes in, and helps, a democracy. But as there are laws governing people to ensure the success of a democracy, there also needs to be laws and regulations to keep capitalism from destroying democracy, as well as itself — as we saw from the too-big-to-fail disaster.
If those banks were not bailed out by government (people’s) money, chaos would have ensued, and democracy severely threatened.
So as campaign rhetoric heats up, keep in mind what the word government stands for, as you decide whom you stand for.
Jack Welch has a way of putting off women
Jack Welch, GE’s former CEO and founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute, an online for-profit program, writes frequently on business strategy and is influential on the speaking circuit.
A conference on Women in the Economy was held by The Wall Street Journal May 4 that was attended by women executives from a range of industries. Welch’s speech at the conference was met with shouts of derision and verbal clashes with the women.
Welch was out of touch with the issues of the conference. He used his usual platitudes to address the fact that only 3 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO. That angered the women. He even incredulously promoted use of Six Sigma to human character. His presentation was so mindless and irrational to the women executives that some walked out during his presentation.
During Welch’s 20 years as GE’s CEO, managers were intimidated by him because he did not tolerate another opinion. Welch had an insatiable need to be admired and praised. Many managers became obsequious to advance their careers.
If GE managers stood up to Welch (as the women executives at the conference did) when he trashed manufacturing businesses for short-term financial gains, GE would be a much stronger and valuable company today.
The writer is a former GE employee.
Kudos all around for top-notch ‘Student Gazette’
Congratulations to all those grade school, junior high school and high school students — also the Daily Gazette — for continuing to sponsor the outstanding insert publication, “The Student Gazette.”
I’ll resist the temptation to reference those stories and photos that I found to be particularly outstanding because the margins of excellence were so close (and awards have already been announced and presented). But suffice it to say that I was encouraged by the overall excellence of the publication and encourage those who may have missed it to quickly nab your May 11 Gazette and check it out while it’s still in your residence.
It’s a “great read,” and something everyone in our community should be very proud of, particularly those teachers, journalists and newspaper and academic administrators who continue to shepherd and support this ongoing forum for journalism excellence.
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