Categories: Letters to the Editor
There are plenty of classic cars here, Guv
Wait a minute. Did I see New York’s fiscal conscious Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the front page sitting in a pink ‘56 Chevy?
Did the governor go all the way to Cuba to see a ‘56 Chevy? Really?
Ya might wanna drop him an email telling him just to attend any one of the dozens of car shows right here in the greater Capital District, where he can see all the tri-fifty Chevies he wants to.
All for free, without traveling. Such a deal.
Increase training and salaries for caregivers
Re April 15 article, “$2.25M settlement in O.D. Heck death,” and April 19 letter, “Justice not served in death at O.D. Heck”: Having worked for a direct-care agency for 20 years, I observed circumstance from both sides of the problems involved.
Unfortunately, we must sometimes put those we love the most into the hands of those that are paid the least in the workforce. Does that make sense? Those that give direct care are called upon to do the hardest work, to deal with all manner of situations, sometimes dangerous, sometimes extreme hours. Workday situations that are extremely challenging and exhausting.
Often their employees get very little recognition, not to mention appreciation, from professional staff. Scant if any attention is paid to their input, despite the fact that they give hands-on care and know the resident better than visiting staff.
A quality agency will give quality training. Not just once on hire, but over and over again, a requirement throughout the year. These training sessions should require a passing grade. They also need to be easily understood by employees with first and second languages.
In addition, there must be monitoring on a regular basis. Programs cannot just be devised and considered successful. There must be frequent unannounced observation by knowledgeable staff. This is especially crucial where there are nonverbal residents.
The tragedies at Heck exemplify the need for these measures. Praises for the ex-employee who had the courage to expose such cruelty, circumstances that haunt us after we read of them. These cruel behaviors by direct staff will be punished, and that is good to know.
However, the personnel behind the direct staff never face the public scrutiny they deserve. Those who trained or monitored these employees are not personally held responsible for this cruel condition that they allowed to go unobserved.
Unskilled workers are forced to seek employment where almost nothing is required. Unfortunately, this is one of those areas where the need for employees is great. However, most of these hires are fine workers, moral people that would not be capable of harm. This area draws a large number of ardent young people who give so much quality to the daily lives of those in their care. Some are working their way through college, Others are working nights as a second job to make ends meet, such as mothers of young children. All are hard workers with something to offer.
This work requires tremendous responsibility. Tragedy can happen sadly from neglect and cruelty, but sometimes it happens to an unfortunate, poorly trained and sometimes frightened worker. Hopefully, future investigations will go further up the ladder and indicate who put these workers in vulnerable circumstances.
The salaries and training/monitoring for caregivers must be upgraded as has been acknowledged for other workplaces. We demand and pay more for quality car care. We need to demand more for our loved ones.
My heartfelt sympathy for those who have lost family to this archaic system. My best to Lisa and Michael Carey and all those who work and sacrifice to change the lives of many.
Margaret M. Nixon
Follow New York City on panhandler issue
Re April 15 letter, “Worried about people at busy intersection”: Deborah Elliot wrote that the Schenectady Police Department told her nothing could be done regarding the panhandlers begging for money across from SCCC. When Ed Koch and David Dinkins were the mayors of New York City, a similar situation existed there.
Pre-1994, when I would drive across one of the bridges spanning the Harlem River to enter Manhattan from the Bronx, there would be squeegee men on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Without permission, they would wash your windshield as you waited for a green light, then ask for a donation. It was like you were paying them a toll to enter Manhattan.
If you visited Grand Central Station, bums were sleeping in the middle of main lobby floor. You would have to walk around them. Bums were cleaning themselves in the men’s room. I asked the police patrolling Grand Central why the bums were allowed to sleep there, or basically live there. The police would tell me it was legal and there was nothing they could do about it.
When Rudy Giuliani became mayor, he put a stop to it. The squeegee men are gone. The bums are gone from Grand Central Station. So Schenectady’s mayor and City Council can obviously put a stop to the begging near SCCC, if they have the will to do it. I encourage Ms. Elliot to explore that route.
See the good in solar panels, traffic circle
This is in response to Mr. Charlie French’s April 21 letter bemoaning the solar panels and traffic circle near the Indian Kill in Glenville. I’d like to point out the positives.
First of all, I agree that an array of solar panels on the ground is not a thing of beauty. Couldn’t they have put some on the roof of the office instead of on the ground? However, I have lived in the South and a coal mine is infinitely uglier, as are oil refineries, and the pollution (remember acid rain?) and human suffering they cause.
Solar panels also require mining, and some of those mines have not been good for the miners. But that situation is getting regulated, and it’s still better than burning coal. If the solar panels turn out to have been a bad idea down the road, they can come down without the blight caused by extracting more coal or fracked gas or oil in someone else’s backyard.
As for the traffic circle — yes, there are more signs and pavement. (Should they have used permeable paving in the middle?). But the positives outweigh that. At the old crossroads, there was a line of cars as far as the eye could see in the morning, belching carbon monoxide. The longer that cars wait at traffic lights, the more they pollute.
Also, part of that paving is sidewalk. Every day, I see people walking along Glenridge Road and Maple Avenue. We need more sidewalks and bike paths for them. Thank goodness Glenville is going to put more in. If there is one thing from that past that was sadly lost, but could be reclaimed, it’s the ability to walk safely on a sidewalk. All of us would be healthier with more safe places to walk and bike.
Not all new is better, but let’s give these things a chance.
People can’t safely text and drive at once
On Sunday afternoon at the corner of Route 146 and Clifton Country Road, we witnessed a near miss of a serious collision.
The traffic light for the westbound traffic on Route 146 had turned green and the cars waiting for the green moved forward into the intersection — including those in the two left-turn lanes — when a pick-up driven by a young man coming exiting from Shopper’s World came through his red light and turned east onto 146. He was holding his cell phone in front of his face and was oblivious to the light and the traffic already in the intersection. He didn’t slow down and he is probably still unaware of the situation.
For those who think they can divide their attention between their texting and their driving without impairing their driving, I have but one word: Idiots.
John D. Hanshaw
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