Categories: Letters to the Editor
Fewer casualties of war now than in past
In his April 30 letter, “Bible ignored as way to resolve society ills,” Barry Groat repeats the common assertion that society is currently in serious decline. He presents current wars as his first indicator of this decline.
World War I claimed about 17 million lives and World War II claimed between 60 million and 85 million lives. The current wars in the Mideast and Africa, terrible as they are, pale in comparison with the 20th century wars.
Going further back in history, the Mongol conquests claimed about 60 million lives when that was a huge percentage of the world population. Sadly, much of human history is nearly constant warfare. There has seldom, if ever, been a period in human history when so small a percentage of the world population has been engaged in war.
By the warfare criterion, society is the best it has ever been.
Extend the reporting time for sex crimes
Child sexual abuse has long been recognized as a statewide issue, but one that is not governed equally among our private institutions. As a result, state Assemblywoman Margaret Markey and state Sen. Brad Hoylman have introduced legislation to correct this shortcoming and change the statute of limitations for certain child sex offenses committed within the oversight of those private institutions, giving us an opportunity to support all the children of our state.
People of all religious denominations and those supportive of nondenominational private schools are no longer willing to see their leaders place the good name of their respective institutions above the protection and support of victims.
Both the April 24 article [“Catholic Church fights push to allow more abuse claims”] in The Gazette under the AP byline of David Klepper and the April 26 editorial [“Extend time for victims to come forward”] cited the objection of the State Conference of Catholic Bishops to this legislation because of a provision that would allow a one-year-only “window” for past accusations of child abuse to be brought forward.
This is the accountability section of the proposed legislation, and it indeed would result in civil claims being brought forward that are now barred from our courts due to the statute of limitations.
The bishops contend that a similar law passed a couple of years ago in California resulted in the church having to pay out $1.2 billion in claims for child sexual abuse. The bishops seem to take a position that such precedent would instill immense fear in the minds and hearts of practicing Catholics and that the church would be devastated.
When push comes to shove, the bishops appear prepared to overlook or ignore the abuse of these children, which has left so many as emotionally scarred adults. I have met many of these folks and their stories are tragic. At the very least, they are entitled to their day in court.
The fact is the church in California continues to exist much as it always has, but in a more healthy fashion, with victims being afforded their day in court and previously unknown predators identified and punished.
Call to Action of Upstate New York, an organization of lay Catholics and clergy, has joined with other Catholic organizations in the Catholic Coalition of Conscience to tell the state Legislature it is time to pass the Child Victims Act and to send it on to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to finally give victims their day in court.
Robert K. Corliss
The writer is a member of Capital District Call to Action.
Charter review not as editorial presented it
While I agree with your premise that the Montgomery County Legislature should make all proposed charter changes public, there are a number of problems that I have with your lead-up to that premise.
The Charter Commission charged with drafting the charter was composed of no less than three attorneys (one of which served on the Amsterdam City charter commission), the president of Fulton Montgomery County Community College, a sitting mayor, a former supervisor and others with government experience.
With that said, it was the opinion of the Board of Supervisors to present the Charter Commission’s finished product to the people of Montgomery County as is.
Your assertion that the supervisors did not read the draft charter or that the material was “over the heads of many of the supervisors” could not be further from the truth. I recall the many pages of changes that Supervisor Michael Chiara alone had, as well as those that were also seen by others among the ranks of the supervisors. There were many hours spent in discussion of the charter. Perhaps you were unaware of this, as I do not recall seeing one of your reporters at any of the meetings.
Your whistleblower from the New York State Association of Counties, Director Stephen Acquario, was invited by the supervisors to meet with us concerning the charter. There was a draft document of changes that were recommended by Mr. Acquario, numerous supervisors and the county attorney. This document was left for the new Legislature to review and act upon. Their actions or lack of them are not the intent of my letter.
It is obvious that your haste to formulate an editorial prevented you from doing the legwork to write a factual piece. You have done a disservice to the former Board of Supervisors, which, I remind you, allowed the proposed change from supervisors to Legislature to go before the people.
In closing, a bit of advice from someone who has grown up and lived in farm country my whole life: Prior to coming in the house, it is prudent to check your shoes, as you may have stepped in it. And you, sir, have indeed stepped in it.
The writer is the former supervisor for the town of Root and former chairman for the Board of Supervisors.
Many still awaiting justice in Baltimore
As I read the May 2 Daily Gazette article about the charging of police officers in Baltimore for alleged crimes, I pondered the situation.
First, I was glad to see that action was being taken. All too often, the matter waits too long before anything is done. It is good that the charges brought some sense of justice working to the people of Baltimore.
Second, I wondered about justice for others in Baltimore. Justice for those whose vehicles were destroyed. Justice for those whose homes were burned. Justice for those whose businesses were looted and destroyed.
Hopefully they will not have to wait too long to see charges brought against the perpetrators of these crimes.
Letter is refreshingly not politically correct
Re May 1 letter, “Give Boston bomber ‘special” treatment’ ”: How refreshing it is to read such a perfectly written opinion, especially one that is not “PC” (politically correct) and will no doubt make many people think you are too cruel and savage, and to have a newspaper actually print it.
Well done, Janice, and The Daily Gazette.
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.
School vote deadline
The deadline for submitting letters relating to the May 19 school budget vote and school board elections is Friday, May 8, at 5 p.m.
Because of the anticipated volume, election-related letters received after that time — either electronically or by regular mail — might not be published prior to the election.