Republican senators will be proven correct
Concerning Glenn Witecki’s March 19 letter, “Iran letter just a step away from treason”: First of all, shame on you, Mr. Witecki, for calling 47 U.S. senators “monkeys on leashes.”
President Obama has stated on many occasions that he will eliminate the threat that Iran will get the bomb. Now he has reversed himself completely. From what I read in The Gazette, he is close to a deal with Iran that will allow Iran to get the bomb in 10 years. During that time, we will relax sanctions on Iran. This is a complete flip-flop. I say shame on the president.
According to the U.S. Constitution, the president will need a two-thirds vote to have the treaty with Iran ratified. The president knows he will never get a two-thirds vote. Therefore, he will use an executive order, which does not require a vote.
These 47 senators have informed the Iranian theocracy that an executive order is only good as long as Obama is in office. After he leaves office, it ends.
Mr. Witecki, now it appears that you are the monkey on the leash.
Negative experiences on CDTA Star system
Warning: If you are disabled and you need assistance with transportation through Capital District Transportation Authority with the Star system, beware that the system is extremely inefficient and not at all accessible to people with real disabilities.
They are always rude on the phone. They are always rude when they drive you somewhere and are either too early or too late. The people who work there complain. The people who drive complain, and the people who are riding in the Star system always complain.
There’s just nothing but negative feelings on the part of this disabled person, who expects a little better service. And even though you pay for it, it doesn’t mean you get your money’s worth at all. The price is less than a taxi, but it is extremely exasperating.
Grand jury system is in need of reform
Re March 18 article, “Grand jury clears police in Ballston Spa Taser death”: speaking out about the recent decision that the grand jury decided of the Ballston Spa man who died by being shocked numerous times by the police.
In my opinion, this is a process that needs to be amended or rewritten with new rules and boundaries, and I’ll tell you why. As anyone who has served on a grand jury knows, and remembered the process (I did serve), the district attorney is the one and only who gets to present the evidence and facts of the case for possible indictment of the charges to the jury members.
He calls any witnesses he wants to testify on any questions that he alone presents. So if anyone who really thinks about this for just a moment and realizes that the district attorney works hand-in-hand with the police departments — who by the way gather most of this evidence for the case in question and give it directly to him, with no review from anyone.
Now, I’m not saying there is a bias going on here, but it could be, since no one else gets to question whether there is another side of the story. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons we have protests going on across our country.
It just is not a fair system to the person who has died. The family and loved ones have no other choice but to hear the one-sided results from the only person who is allowed to participate in this grand jury process.
There is a reason why we need to have checks and balances, because many of the ones in charge seem to not be as honorable as they would have us believe. Cases in point: “Lawmakers in Albany”; “Hillary Clinton”; “I only deleted my personal emails, believe me.”
Brownfields program requires incentives
Re March 20 article, “State’s Brownfield Program draws fire”: Criticism of the Brownfields Cleanup Program by Environmental Advocates of New York is misdirected.
Environmentalists justifiably claim that the program spends too much taxpayer money on developing sites and not enough on cleaning them; hence, fewer sites are cleaned. They’re missing the point: What developer would have interest in cleaning a site they couldn’t redevelop, and why would they choose a contaminated site over a “clean” one?
Brownfield requirements are stringent and cleanup is expensive, with legal implications and compliance paperwork adding complexity and costs. The efforts of government, economic development agencies and environmental advocates to promote cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties must also reflect economic reality.
Actionable results are ultimately driven by business interests, not by legislation. Brownfield reforms intended to facilitate cleanup of more sites will fail without incentives for development.
The Brownfields Cleanup Program addresses environmental concerns by targeting restoration of less-desirable sites to acceptable standards, satisfying cleanup advocates. It also creates jobs (during and after cleanup) and generates property, sales, payroll and income tax revenue when redevelopment is completed, providing ongoing, tangible benefits for New York state taxpayers.
But it’s the development that fosters real economic growth, not the cleanup.
Eldon J. Smith, Jr.
Green energy is worthy investment
Re March 23 column, Obama’s lasting achievement: Bypassing Constitution”: David Harsanyi feels that reduction of greenhouse gases “will be expensive for developed nations and potentially disastrous for developing ones.”
This is not correct. The International Energy Agency issued a report (Energy Technology Perspectives 2014) last May. It found that the $44 trillion investment to create a worldwide renewable energy system by 2050 would result in a $114 trillion savings in fuel costs.
That is a net increase of disposable income around the world of $70 trillion (yes, trillion) in the next 35 years.
And that doesn’t include the jobs created by transitioning away from fossil fuel exploration and production, and toward truly clean energy systems.
Heidi Garrett-Peltier of the University of Massachusetts’ Political Economy Research Institute has found that the oil and gas industry is one of the worst to invest in if you want to create jobs. “In oil and gas, 12 percent” of value-added-investment goes to employees, she said. In renewable manufacturing industries, “it’s 60 percent.”
Five times as many jobs for every trillion dollars taken away from dirty energy, and $70 trillion in fuel savings. Going green makes sense for a lot of reasons.
Even climate change deniers like Harsanyi would promote renewable energy if they took off the blinders provided by the Koch brothers.
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