Letters to the Editor for May 17

Thursday, May 17, 2012
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Sch’dy shouldn’t give break to any deadbeat property owners

Re May 14 article, “Delinquent? Pay up or get out”: [They’re] just moving around the bad landlords. I hope Schenectady [officials] are thinking about what they are saying about treating delinquent owner-occupied properties differently than those not occupied by their owners.

I understand the practical thinking, but can the city be looking at a legal issue? And after all the expense of foreclosing, can’t those bad landlords just come back and buy more properties really cheaply and start the headache all over again?

And what about the person who says he is going to live in his residence and never pays a dime of taxes or improves the property? I think that has already happened.

I hope the law department is covering all its bases. The city should be able to set an example by selling properties to people who meet certain qualifications — or could that, too, be a legal issue?

Robert Burgess

Rotterdam

The writer is a Schenectady landlord.

Stratton VA staff like an extended family

Recently, my beloved father passed away at the age of 92. A veteran of World War II, who suffered for the rest of his life from injuries he sustained in combat, was a wonderful man who lived a quiet life of dignity and grace. I shall miss him more than I can say.

As I start to redefine my life without his presence, I have found, in the midst of my grief, a heart of gratitude. I am, of course, grateful for the gentle hero who was my father, Dennis Ryan. I am grateful for the extraordinary love and support from wonderful family and friends who were faithful to my dad and me during this last difficult journey.

My dad knows of my grateful heart. My family and friends do, too. But there is one more group to whom I am eternally grateful and I fear I haven’t yet let them know how much they blessed my dad and me during his last days. I’d like to do that now and in doing so, set the record straight about a group of dedicated professionals who rarely get the credit they deserve, the staff at Albany’s Stratton VA Medical Center.

Because of them, my dad left this world in peace and comfort, with his dignity intact. For that I will be forever grateful. They cared for me and for my family with kindness, respect and an elegance not often offered by strangers.

Jeanne Ryan

Schenectady

Did Obama forget he was at GE a year ago?

In his speech during his May 8 visit to the Capital Region, the president mentioned that in this area we have companies like IBM and GlobalFoundries that could have packed up and moved but chose to stay to build and hire here.

Noticeably absent was any reference to GE that he visited in the not-too-distant past and lauded its efforts to bring back jobs from overseas while touring the company’s turbine facility. Oh, how soon we forget.

I am also curious as to how the GlobalFoundries could pack up and move elsewhere since it has not yet fully completed its move here. I would suggest that the president’s speech writers do a better job researching any areas that he might contemplate visiting in the future.

Edward Panfil

Burnt Hills

Stores should cover up those cigarette displays

I would like to congratulate the village of Haverstraw in Rockland County for passing a tobacco product display ban, the first in the entire country.

This ban would make retailers cover up tobacco displays in non-adult-only establishments, such as convenience and grocery stores. It protects kids from being bombarded with advertisements that promote the only legal product sold in the United States that, when used as directed, will severely injure or kill the user.

Haverstraw is similar to communities in our area. With a population of around 16,000, the village has been attempting to rejuvenate its community spirit and make residents healthier.

Tobacco-related illnesses kill 1,200 Americans every day, making it the No. 1 most preventable cause of death.

Haverstraw is leading the way to protect children, and I hope to see more municipalities follow its ground-breaking lead.

Abby Schaffer

Johnstown

Productive post office food drive: 47,000 lbs.

On behalf of all Schenectady County food providers, we’d like to acknowledge the outstanding work done by the postal workers and Schenectady County residents. This year’s Mother’s Day weekend food drive was a huge success.

On May 14, postal workers at the Heritage Station branch in Schenectady rolled over 47,000 pounds of nonperishable food in huge bins, down ramps, to be loaded into waiting trucks and vans for various Schenectady County food providers.

The post office drive is the single largest resource for food providers in the area. This food allows local pantries to stock their shelves for the coming summer months, while school is in recess and children are unable to access meals at school.

We would like to thank everyone in the community for their caring generosity and for our wonderful postal workers who do it all with a smile.

Gail VanValkenburgh

Schenectady

The writer is the SICM Food Pantry director.

Obama used same-sex marriage as distraction

Re May 10 AP article, “Obama supports gay marriage”: There they go again! More dust in the air to distract voters from the major issues in the November election (jobs and the economy).

Don’t think for one moment that [Vice President Joe] Biden was throwing Obama under the bus when he spoke about the White House leadership’s position on same-sex marriage.

This was more of the same transparent tactic, “What can we do next to distract voters from the real issues?”

Voters, stay focused. This is an election about jobs and the economy.

Fred Acunto

Charlton

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