State shouldn’t allow mixed martial arts

*State shouldn't allow mixed martial arts *City needs to assure no Jay St. fire repeat *Let county r

State shouldn’t allow mixed martial arts

I can’t express these comments seriously enough. Martial arts is for defense, self-protection and confrontation. Great to know [March 3 Gazette].

Taking this to the level of fighting until one is down, practically all things are allowed, is barbaric. Wrestling is exhibition. Mixed marital arts fighting is nothing less than barbaric actions from centuries ago. Yes, some inhumane events still exist. Oh yes, they try to convince us by the mighty dollar. Don’t we have enough violence in society now at all phrases of life, including among the younger generation?

We must make it known to Albany. Keep it illegal in New York state — we don’t need to be the same as the other 49.

Les Hassan


City needs to assure no Jay St. fire repeat

An automatic sprinkler system would have saved lives in Jay Street fire.

The use of automatic fire sprinkler systems has been around since the late 1800s, with a proven track record of saving lives and minimizing fire damage in all types of occupancies. According to a report in “Fire Engineering Magazine” from 2007, the chances of dying in a sprinkler-protected building were reduced by 50 to 75 percent. Modern fire codes require the installation of fire sprinkler systems in new multiple dwellings, as well as other public assembly areas.

Unfortunately existing buildings are exempt from this requirement by most states and municipalities. The cost, as well as older building design, are some of the challenges that are faced in adding such systems.

The Jay Street fire could have been controlled in its early stages if a working fire sprinkler system were present. This would have allowed for occupants to safely reach the exits and for responding firefighters to better control the fire and aid in any rescue efforts. The city of Schenectady should develop a task force to review the Jay Street incident. Look at facts from this fire and make recommendations on how to reduce or prevent future fires of this magnitude. Working with building occupants, owners, and fire and building code officials should be at the forefront of this mission. The most critical step here is to save lives and protect our first responders.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the members of the Schenectady Fire Department for the heroic efforts that were made during the early morning of March 6 and the assistance provided by members of theAlcohol Tobacco Firearms (ATF) National Response Team.

Although we mourn the loss of the four victims, we are thankful that many others were saved and provided for by local and charities and disaster services during this event.

Michael J. Hilton


The writer is the campus fire marshal at Union College.

Let county resolve its administrator issues

I read with interest the March 14 Gazette editorial [Schoharie County] “Administrator must have budget authority.” You chastised certain legislators for “seeking to undermine the position by cutting away some of its essential powers before someone has taken the job.” If you had a better grasp of the situation at hand, you would realize that there are some significant issues at play that you failed to recognize.

Schoharie County has an elected county treasurer by the name of Bill Cherry. Bill, in my humble opinion, is a public official with tremendous integrity and credibility. He has held this position since 1996. Bill is also the one official that, until Hurricane Irene, kept Schoharie County in the black, debt-free — the only county of 62 in New York state to hold this distinction.

Since Hurricane Irene, he has overseen the reconstruction of the aftermath of this tragic act of nature. If left alone, he will eventually get Schoharie back on track to once again be debt free. Debt free means that all county property (i.e. buildings, vehicles, etc.) is paid in full. That’s quite an accomplishment in this day and age.

I first met Bill in 2004 while with the New York State Governor’s Office for Small Cities. I put him in the same category as the late Schenectady Police Commissioner Charlie Mills. Both were/are tremendous public servants.

There is a problem with the “county administrator” legislation that the Gazette editorial failed to recognize. Without a referendum, you cannot legislate the powers vested in an elected public official without the concurrence of said elected official. That, simply put, is the fly in the ointment.

I feel confident that if the elected county treasurer was approached, a compromise could be worked out to the benefit of all involved. I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I am confident that a resolution to this problem could be reached. It would probably be a good idea for someone from The Gazette to do their job and start to ask some pertinent questions before going off half-cocked with criticism that is essentially unfounded and ill-informed.

Give the leaders of Schoharie County the time to work things out before criticizing them from your Ivory Tower.

Albert P. Jurczynski


The writer is the former mayor of Schenectady.

American women not second-class citizens

Girls in today’s day and age are growing up in a society where feminism is prevalent in the media. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with embracing your inner woman and standing up for equality; however, the feminists in America that complain the most about oppression have no idea what the word means, let alone have experienced it.

In “Saving Face,” an award-winning documentary, the plot follows real women in Pakistan that have been brutally beaten and have had acid thrown in their faces by their own husbands. Girls need understand that this is oppression.

Schools enforcing dress codes is not. These dress codes are designed to create a semi-professional environment. They are enforced on, not only girls, but boys, faculty and staff, as well. We need to start explaining to our children, especially to girls, that women are incredibly lucky to be citizens here in America and have opportunities in this country that girls in Third World countries only dream of having.

Women have come a long way since the suffrage movement in the 1920s. As far as discrimination goes, things have improved significantly. Racism, sexism, bias — as much as you want it to end — it never will. We must embrace what we have and be thankful that women can choose to be stay-at-home moms or work a nine-to-five jobs. They can choose to become teachers or become deans. They can be secretaries or CEOs.

This is 2015; women are no longer considered second-class citizens.

Lana Harrison


Legalized marijuana making U.S. weaker

As time goes on, I think world problems can’t get any worse, but they do. I think we have to get ready for something and hope it never happens to us. We have to have the best armed forces in the world; this may help us keep the peace.

Now I see where more states are making marijuana legal for personal use. Are we going off our rocker or what? In some of those states, you can grow up to six plants of pot for personal use. This is almost a joke. Put this together with other drugs and booze, and we are weakening our entire nation from the inside out.

I wouldn’t be surprised that outside forces that don’t like the United States of America are a big part of what is taking place in our country. These people will do anything to weaken our nation, and you can do this by letting our young people get hooked on bad stuff. Smart people know this is a real problem.

We have to get those that vote for all the bad stuff — in the states and in Congress — out of office. Let’s get the good people in and hope they are smart enough to get our country back on track again.

We are a great country. Let’s try to keep it that way. We owe it to our children, ourselves and the United States of America. God bless America.

Sid Gordon

Saratoga Springs

Categories: Letters to the Editor

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