Categories: Letters to the Editor
Solar array no threat to our quality of life
Instead of whining about the array of solar panels on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville, which will become more commonplace in years to come, Glenville town officials and residents should be more concerned about the increased noise pollution that is a greater threat to the quality of life in our growing town.
We are bombarded daily by unwanted noise that is detrimental to our health and well-being. There are the extremely low-flying military aircraft that are so loud you cannot enjoy being outside your own home during the day and at times in the evening until 11 p.m. We have roaring motorcycles racing around our roads at excessive speeds. We have ATVs and trail bikes trespassing in open fields, gun clubs that refuse to use sound barriers and loud music coming from vehicles and neighbors’ backyards.
Solar panels serve an important purpose and should be praised, not scoffed at. The county of Schenectady is showing great leadership in this regard and should be commended. It’s a small, positive step toward mitigating climate change while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Combining this initiative and future solar efforts with an emphasis on reducing and controlling noise pollution will make our town an even greater place to live.
Government needs to listen to citizens
It’s interesting to hear all the confusion and dismay from officials about the number of students skipping the state tests, and I have a possible explanation. People are sick and tired of being told what to do by leaders who do not listen.
It is grating to be lectured by our so-called moral and intellectual superiors who then never follow the rules themselves. Politicians who send their kids to private schools, tell us to consume less to save the environment, then return to their mansions in private jets, fail to pay income tax and yet still have a job, obstruct justice with no legal penalty, and the list goes on.
These leaders — whom we the people elected — refuse to pay attention. The governor, the Board of Regents, the Legislature and the federal Department of Education all ignore parents’ concerns about Common Core and school testing.
This has been going on for years, and people in New York and across the country are fed up and fighting back. They are engaging in civil disobedience to make a change, and the only reaction is one of surprise that the population refuses to quietly submit to the whims of the government?
The Gazette joined in with a condescending [April 12] editorial mocking teachers and parents as having “had their fun” but now that “you made your point,” it’s time to “stand down” and get in line. The feared response isn’t compromise from the bureaucrats in government, but a bullying threat of withholding federal money. This is why education should be handled at the local level.
The Gazette editorial is right in one area. It’s time for government to fix the problem by working with the people, not jamming a solution down their throats.
Commends writer on viewpoint of Mideast
Re April 21 letter, “Obama’s approach to Mideast is reasonable”: I salute Mr. Gary Turnbull for his excellent letter in the Opinion section.
How refreshing to read an opinion based on historical fact instead of the usual regurgitated vitriol of Sean Hannity.
Unlike Messrs. Don Cazer [April 21 letter] and Vito Spinelli [March 25 letter], Mr. Turnbull is obviously capable of original thought.
ZIP codes affecting county’s sales tax
I am responding to the April 16 news article, “Sales tax dip drawing concern.” In this article, Schenectady County was one of the counties that had a decline of 1.7 percent in sales tax revenue. County officials stated they were not sure of the reason behind the decline. If I may, I would like to inform them of perhaps one reason Schenectady County is losing out on some of this revenue.
I live in the town of East Glenville, Schenectady County. However, my ZIP code is 12027, Burnt Hills, which is in Saratoga County. When I purchase an item of significant value, say an automobile, the dealership automatically refers to the ZIP code and charges the sales tax for Saratoga County instead of Schenectady County. This is a considerable loss of tax revenue in the thousands. I have to inform them that I live in Schenectady County, not Saratoga County. This holds true for other items like snowblowers, riding lawn mowers, etc., items that also result in the hundreds of dollars lost in sales tax revenue.
There are many, many homeowners in my neighborhood that have the same situation. If Schenectady County is not receiving these sales tax monies, and they are instead going to Saratoga County, this could be one reason why Schenectady County has a minus in sales taxes and Saratoga has the plus. Now some folks might think it’s great to pay 1 percent less, Saratoga County tax versus Schenectady County tax. But by doing this, the county where you reside is not getting the benefit of the revenue and in the long run will affect you.
I also have this problem with my home insurance. My policy states that I live in Saratoga County. I called my insurance agency and informed it that I pay my home taxes to Schenectady County — the county where I reside, and not Saratoga County — and would like that change to be made on my policy. I was informed that they have to go by the ZIP code. Therefore, I live in Saratoga County. Very confusing to me.
In a perfect world, it would be great if the county you reside in would also be the same for where you pay your taxes, where your school district would be, where your ZIP code would be and where the sales tax revenue would go. Just saying.
Police not qualified to judge animal abuse
Isn’t small farming hard enough? It began with an anonymous tip about animal neglect. I’m suspicious of anonymous tips, but Glenville police are required to investigate every tip, I’m sure. So they visited West Wind Acres farm operated by Joshua Rockwood in West Glenville (see Ned Campbell’s well-written articles in The Gazette, March 17 and March 20).
According to the first article, what Glenville police observed on the farm led them to charge Mr. Rockwood “with 13 counts of not providing proper sustenance” where “the charges are related to Rockwood’s alleged neglect of many animals.”
Police Lt. Steve Janik was quoted as saying, “There were some up there that were definitely in need of proper food and proper shelter.” After reading that article, I felt that the animals needed help.
But the Gazette reporter did a thorough follow-up, writing the second article reporting that Mr. Rockwood, the farm’s operator, “posted a blog … on March 5 saying his animals passed a veterinarian’s wellness check in late February. A letter from Mandak Veterinary Services he posted with the blog said the animals had food, water and either shelter or a wind break.”
The first article reported that an officer “trained in investigating animal abuse complaints” and a veterinarian visited the farm. It also reported that two horses and a pony were given veterinary care at Peaceful Acres Farm.
Yet, police Lt. Janik reported no observations or conclusions made by those three professionals. So, the officer who lodged the 13 counts against the farmer apparently drew his own conclusions about neglect.
Asked about the animals’ condition, town Supervisor Chris Koetzle was quoted in the second article as saying, “I am neither a farmer nor a veterinarian, so I can’t evaluate that.”
Should we expect Glenville police officers to make that judgement, or should we expect them to defer to those who are qualified?
Business that leave should have to pay
Giving new businesses a tax break for 10 years is a good idea, but what guarantee has the state got that they will stay here? If they don’t stay, will they have to pay the taxes back that they didn’t have to pay?
The state should have some kind of law stating that they must stay here or else pay what they would have paid if they don’t.
Also, why are the idiots (our government) going against Israel? They have every right to fight back. It seems like every time Israel gives up something for peace to Palestine, they get stabbed in the back. They will never be happy until they get all of Israel.
Energy transition is happening quickly
In his April 19 column, Russ Wege states, “The reality is that the world economy operates on fossil fuels. That fact of life will not change decades into the future — even as we continue developing alternative sources of energy.”
In their 2015 publication just released, “The Great Transition, Shifting From Fossil Fuels To Solar And Wind Energy,” Lester R. Brown and his associates at the Earth Policy Institute say: “As each new extreme weather event reminds us, avoiding a major disruption to life as we know it depends on dramatically reducing carbon emissions to keep global warming in check. This requires a total restructuring of the global energy economy. It must be done quickly.
“Previous energy transitions — like from wood to coal — took decades, but the bulk of this new energy transition must be condensed into the next 10 years. The shift from coal, oil and natural gas to solar and wind energy will be the defining event of our era.”
You, and others, might want to take a look at this little book, Mr. Wege.
The Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers, regardless of one’s political or personal point of view.
There is no specific word limit, but shorters letters will get preference for publication and timeliness. Letters of about 200-300 words are suggested. Longer letters will be published online only.
Please include your name, community, phone number and an email address for verification. Writers are limited to one letter every 30 days.
For information on where to send letters, see the bottom of this page.