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Lock 7 dam cleary is related to frequent Stockade flooding

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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Lock 7 dam clearly is related to frequent Stockade flooding

I congratulate the Gazette for taking a stand in the Jan. 13 editorial [“FEMA flood scope should include Lock 7”] about the Lock 7 dam and its role in causing the flooding problems in the Stockade.

It is one matter to assume that the Stockade floods are an immutable act of nature. It is quite another to realize that it is largely a man-made occurrence. Thanks largely to the seemingly tireless work of Stockade neighbor Jim Duggan, it is becoming increasingly clear that his hypothesis is correct that the immovable Lock 7 is, in fact, causing the water to back up and flood much of the historic Stockade, about every three years on average.

It is indeed good news that FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] is developing a plan to modify Lock 8 and others upstream to prevent flooding. But, as the Gazette notes, they need also to look more closely at Lock 7 and find ways to manage the flow there as well.

As someone whose home was under three-and-a-half feet of water after Hurricane Irene, I can personally attest to the tremendous disruption these floods have had on our community. Sadly, well over a year later, a number of houses in the Stockade have gone from occupied, living homes before Irene, to dark empty and deteriorating structures, their owners being unable, and perhaps some unwilling, to undertake the necessary cleanup and remediation. The Hurricane Irene flood has had a long-lasting and damaging impact on our community.

As the Gazette notes, prevention is cheaper than the huge multifaceted costs of a major flood. Our public officials must now do all they can to address these man-made problems, and address the destructive design flaws of the Lock 7 dam.

Stephen Boese

Schenectady

Group specializes in fixing feral felines

I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the Feline Guardian Angels for their help with a situation that had developed in the area where I live.

A colony of 26 cats and kittens were living in a nearby residence that didn’t house anyone. It appeared that most of the cats were feral but some may have been abandoned and wandered there or were lost strays. Other than food and water, I was not able to do much for these animals that were increasing in number.

I called several groups, and the group that was able to help was Feline Guardian Angels, from the Montgomery County area. They are a “trap, spay or neuter and return” group. All 26 cats and kittens were spayed or neutered and given the required shots and tests before being returned ot their “home.”

Several of the cats were adopted and some were able to be placed in foster care. A situation where a population of feral cats kept increasing has been stopped.

Often the volunteers would have to patiently wait and watch to trap and then transport the cats to a veterinarian and then keep the cats until they could be returned to their “home.” Ideally, it would have been wonderful if all the cats could have been adopted, but at least the cycle has been stopped.

Again, thank you, Feline Guardian Angels. For any information about this great group, they can be reached at 466-3478.

Patricia Palkovic

Amsterdam

Big problem isn’t guns, but a lack of morality

Amorality, not gun control, should be the issue at hand in the wake of Columbine and Newtown. The perpetrators of these events were not moral or immoral — they suffered from a growing affliction in our society, amorality, the belief without introspection or question that anything they think must be right, absolute, and something to be done, or acted upon.

There are no Golden Rules or respect for others in the amoral mind, only personal needs and impulses. We are a society at a pivotal moment in our history; many of our time-honored social controls such as the Christian church are under attack.

Institutions that teach us that killing is wrong are going away in the path of what some people would call progressivism. The government of this nation has taken up the idea that no morality is the best morality. We have not survived as the world’s oldest ongoing republic because we had lacked moral fiber. It is time for us to take a good look at ourselves, not someone’s firearm collection.

Firearms are merely tools, they don’t kill. The amoral mind is the catalyst that murders. It is my belief that the monsters that we have created by allowing our social structure to lapse into apathy will find a way to commit violent acts — guns or not. The road back is not to put a Band Aid on an open wound, but to stitch it back together by finding and promoting a moral higher ground. Amorality can only be countered by morality.

This will not be easy and won’t be instant, but if we seek to have our children grow up in a safe and free society, we must find a way and pump the goodness many of us once knew back into this great land.

Doug Bennett

Milton

On guns, Tedisco is one with conspiracy theorists

Although Assemblyman James Tedisco does represent my Assembly district, I must express my astonishment at his recent statement opposing Gov. Cuomo’s gun bill [Jan. 16 Gazette].

I can understand those who object to the classic Albany passage of a piece of legislation cobbled together in the back room, or those who believe the scope of the legislation may be an overreach. I, for one, gladly accept all the restrictions on military-style weapons, their magazines and statewide screening. We live in a culture of guns which has gone off the deep end and sorely needs to be pulled back.

On the other hand, the Gazette quoted Mr. Tedisco as stating that possession of weapons is part of our freedoms and liberties and that possession of which “is there to protect us from our government.”

Does Mr. Tedisco know of what he speaks? Those with some constitutional knowledge would argue that his comments are seditious — seeming to give support to home-bound terrorist activities against our government.

While some in this country at the time of the Revolution believed the Second Amendment protection afforded some protection against an overarching federal government, the only people who espouse that position today are the paramilitary types and private militias who believe there is some kind of international conspiracy to disarm the citizenry.

I believe that Mr. Tedisco owes us an explanation for his comments — which taken at face value — are more than troubling.

Robert K. Corliss

Schenectady

Gun law an egregious violation of our rights

In view of New York’s new gun law, the following proposals should be considered: Since words can cause harm, the state should limit what words we can say and restrict us to only saying seven words at any one time.

Since criminal conspiracy has caused damage in the past, the state should determine how many people we can associate with and what types of people those might be, and require all people who maintain an unapproved relationship to register them every five years.

And it goes without saying that background checks should be required for voting. Otherwise we could have any person voting for any candidate.

Sarcasm aside, the governor and Legislature, in pushing through this disgraceful law, are putting a direct and burdensome infringement on the natural right of all New Yorkers to keep and bear arms. They have effectively criminalized thousands of people whose only crime was to freely choose a style of weapon the governor and his liberal allies don’t approve of. Such a blatant assault on our freedoms cannot be tolerated. Every aspect of this law should be challenged in court, again and again, until it is struck down. Civil disobedience would not be uncalled for.

Gov. Cuomo, and all who voted for this oppressive act, whether Democrat or Republican, have betrayed their oaths of office. Clearly unwilling to uphold the Constitution, they are no longer fit to govern. They have become an egregious threat to the freedoms of all New Yorkers and should be removed from office.

David Welch

Scotia

Voters are in driver’s when it comes to debt

There are two quotations from Thomas Jefferson that we should consider in our present circumstance: “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes,” and “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

If we are all in a car going over a cliff, it must be what the majority wants. It is the voters who are in control of who is driving the car.

C.J. Guare

Scotia

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