GOP actions about opposition, not race

*GOP actions about opposition, not race *NY education doesn’t need more tax money *Enjoyed Foss colu
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GOP actions about opposition, not race

Re March 24 letter, “Racist GOP owed Obama more respect”: According to Mr. Gary Guido, Republicans are racist because they didn’t stand and applaud Obama at the State of the Union address. Oh, yes, and they rolled their eyes when Obama talked about working together.

The word “racist” is definitely not appropriate in this instance. Get real. The actions of the Republicans don’t have anything to do with the color of Obama’s skin. I’m sure they would have had the same reaction toward any Democrat — whether he/she was white, black or green with pink spots. And I would just bet that if we had a Republican president, the Democrats would act the same way. Bottom line: This has nothing to do with race. Republicans just don’t like Obama’s policies.

Lorraine VanDerWerken

Rotterdam

NY education doesn’t need more tax money

Am I the only one that sees that New York state spends more per pupil than any state in the United States and perhaps in other countries around the world?

Now we have the state trying again to throw good money after bad. The system needs correction, folks. Take further spending on education out of the state budget.

Teachers must know that the good and bad follow the bell curve. Let them show us how to keep the good. That will mean they know those who should be gone and will have to do it with a plan to police themselves. Like a teacher’s Hippocratic Oath. Tenure, hmmmm.

Dave Spencer

Clifton Park

Enjoyed Foss column on stupidity of hikers

If Sara Foss’s March 26 print article [“Hikers should pay for their own stupidity”] on negligent hikers had had a “Like” button, I would have clicked on it.

Jerry Boehm

Albany

Urge Congress to put brakes on Fast Track

Those who found the puzzling remark, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it” made by a congressional leader amusing may be in store for a belly laugh.

A battle over Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), better known as Fast Track, is underway. Fast Track limits the time for debate of two mammoth trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The problem with Fast Track is that the TPP and TTIP have been negotiated in secrecy and consequently require the utmost analysis.

Though called “trade agreements,” the TPP and TTIP deal with a multitude of issues — from alternative energy, global warming, sustainable development and immigration to homeland security, global military intervention, copyright enforcement, Internet control/censorship — and much more. Given the scope of leaked copies of the agreements, one can only regard these agreements as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) on steroids.

Pushing the TPP and TTIP is a high-powered lineup of business and financial elites whose interests depend more on a globalist perspective than an American perspective. Fortunately, many members of Congress, including Rep. Paul Tonko, are opposed to Fast Track and are demanding a thorough review of the TPP and TTIP as required by the Constitution. They recognize that getting these agreements right is vital to the country’s future. I hope you agree and, more importantly, voice your opinion to your representatives in Washington.

Michael Kelly Sr.

Selkirk

Letters on politicians, climate worth a look

There were two letters in your March 25 Opinion section that are of interest to the general public.

One is by James Maxfield regarding politicians and their re-elections. Generally, it seems that the public thinks of all politicians as being the same, so electing a different individual to office is not going to change things very much. There is a reason politics is known as the second-oldest profession. The benefit of retaining the present office holder is that it keeps him or her off the dole for a while, and there is no guarantee the new person will do better.

Relative to the letter by Mr. Vito Spinelli, it seems this is again a confusion of weather, a short-term item, with climate, a long-term item. It is incorrect to conclude there is no global warming because of one very cold winter. Melting of glaciers and the resulting rise of sea levels have been established by satellites, so there is no doubt that warming is taking place.

On the other hand, annual average temperatures measured decades apart in the Albany area have ranged from 51 in 1921 and 1931 through the mid- to high-40s and 50 in 2011, showing warming is not a factor in this part of New York. It depends upon where you live.

C.J. Guare

Scotia

Photo of train victim shameful and hurtful

When I looked at my March 26 copy of The Daily Gazette, the very large front page photograph materialized into someone’s sick joke at the newspaper. It was a picture of the man killed by a train in Mechanicville and his bloody body could be clearly seen underneath the train in between the tracks.

I don’t know who proofs the content in this paper or who approves of the content, but he or she should be guided to the door along with the photographer and sent on their way. There must be plenty of jobs available at The Daily Mirror or The National Enquirer for their skill-sets, not to mention plenty of readers.

This is not what I would expect of “The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region.” It was shameful and hurtful, not only to readers such as myself but to this man’s family and friends. I was never more disgusted with and ashamed of this newspaper than I am today.

Patricia Zollinger

Schenectady

Mixed martial arts is too violent to allow

Ban the violent Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) business forever. I am no pansy, having served in the military, where I received hazardous duty pay during my career.

However the push to legalize this absolute violence under the “cover” of it being a sport is insane. It takes no rocket scientist to watch a 10-minute video of a MMA “contest” to see that this is nothing more than a dogfighting contest between humans.

Hands and foot blows to the head are considered the best way to beat an opponent. They fight in a circular metal “cage,” which tells you something. The Gazette perpetuates the insanity. In a Feb. 11 editorial, you advocate for lifting the ban on MMA and supporting it for “economic development” reasons. Then on March 22, you run an editorial pushing for major reforms in head injuries and concussions among athletes. How can you be for one solution and then advocating for the cause of these injuries?

I ask any wife, church leader or just regular family person to watch this violence and see the horrible human beatings. If proponents really see this as “economic development,” then let’s build a coliseum, get some lions and toss some politicians in for fun. Good people, please stand up and demand quality of life over violence. Bad things only happen when good people do nothing. Act now.

Fred Miller

Clifton Park

Proud to be part of fire recovery efforts

Catastrophic events such as the Jay Street fire are a test of community. In the face of tragedy, the response we have seen from the public, the business community, government and the nonprofit sector has been remarkable.

On March 6, even as city and emergency response teams dealt with immediate public safety concerns and the well-being of the survivors, community agencies came together to begin coordinating their collective efforts to support the transition to safe, permanent homes and address long-term recovery needs. Despite the lack of additional staff or funding, agencies including Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP), Bethesda House, Salvation Army, Red Cross and Catholic Charities, among others, stepped up to work hand in hand to ensure that there is no wrong door for those seeking assistance, and to maximize the use of every available public and private resource.

The resources for long-term disaster recovery don’t reside in any one place in the community. They have to be generated in the midst of crisis, and woven together through the combined and complementary efforts of collaborating organizations. The Schenectady Foundation’s Rebuilding Families Fund was created exactly for these situations.

To date, community residents and businesses have donated $40,000 to the fund in addition to $10,000 seeded by the foundation. Public and private agencies are all at the table sharing resources and information to do their best for the survivors. We know that their recovery will be over a period of weeks, if not months, and we will be there to assist for the long term.

We wish that such things didn’t happen. But when they do, it’s heartening to see the strength of Schenectady’s resilience, compassion and determination. On behalf of our coalition of helping organizations, thank you to everyone who has contributed in some way to the response and recovery effort. We urge anyone who is still in need of assistance to contact SCAP at 374-9181.

Robert Carreau

Schenectady

The writer is the executive director of the Schenectady Foundation.

Motorists should be courteous to cyclists

With the advent of warmer weather, bicyclists will be out on the roads once again. I would like to remind drivers that cyclists have a right to the road, too, and I’m sure I speak for the entire cycling community when I say this.

While the majority of drivers are courteous and respectful, it only takes a few to make your ride unpleasant. Please, never honk at cyclists, never yell anything out the window and above all, don’t dangerously try to slip by them while another car is coming the other way. (All three of these happened to me on a recent ride.)

If you happen to come upon one, wait until it is safe to pass and then move around them at a reasonable distance; I think you can afford the 10 seconds out of your day. Thank you.

Brian Vermilyea

Niskayuna

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