State’s attorney in a rush to convict cops
Of all the upsetting images from the Baltimore riots, the most lasting for me has been the press conference held by the Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announcing the charges against the six police officers.
She angrily yelled “to the people of Baltimore and demonstrators across the country, I heard your call of ‘No Justice, No peace.’” A state’s attorney has no business echoing the signature catch-phrase of the Rev. Al Sharpton. Rushing six police officers into becoming sacrificial lambs to placate law-breaking rioters signaled from the get-go that she cannot be viewed as an impartial professional in this matter.
She has also set a dangerous precedent that rioting will be rewarded, despite knowing all the facts. Add the detail that her husband is the Baltimore city councilman from Freddie Gray’s neighborhood, and you have a complete conflict of interest here. She must be removed from the case.
It was merely weeks ago that the U.S. Justice Department released its report clearing Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson of any wrongdoing in the death of Michael Brown. Despite the catch phrase, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” the Obama Administration’s own investigation concluded that Michael Brown went for the officer’s gun and Officer Wilson had the right to defend himself. There was no evidence of Michael Brown holding his hands up.
Ms. Mosby should have remembered that fact before rushing to the podium and disgracing her office.
Stefanic proves to be a foe of middle class
I was pleased to see Bill McPherson’s May 9 letter [“Stefanic favors rich in vote killing estate tax”] in The Daily Gazette regarding Elise Stefanic.
Pleased, because it came on the heels of a local television news interview of her, where she sounded reasoned, even conflicted towards the Boehner-led House of Representatives. It’s important to remember, though Stefanic is the youngest member of the 114th Congress, she is no stranger to the behind-the-scenes activities of Washington insiders.
Stefanic was a minion of Bush 43 and an operative for his legislative agenda, so her support of the estate tax breaks for the top two-tenths of 1 percent of Americans is as predictable as her support for cutting Social Security and the attacks on Medicare.
So, thanks to Mr. McPherson for reminding local voters on what side of issues Ms. Stefanic comes down on and who she supports: The opposite of how she sold herself to those same voters last election.
Regarding Stefanic’s interview, at one point she mentions Republican accomplishments during this legislative session. Curious as to what those “accomplishments” were, I consulted votetocracy.com, a website that shows the voting record of all 535 congressional representatives.
Satefanic’s voting record includes support for the KL Pipeline (HRES 19), the aforementioned bax breaks for the very wealthy (HR1105), votes to gut Dodd-Frank (HRES27), restricting a woman’s right to choose (HG7), limiting access to health care (HR30, which raises the definition of full-time employee from 30 to 40 hours per week) and, of course, the obligatory Republican inanity, repealing the ACAPP (HR 596). Many of us do not see these as accomplishments, but rather for what they are, further attacks by Republicans on the middle class.
Stefanic, after a contentious primary where she wore her Tea Party credentials with honor, changed her tune during the general election, claiming she was interested in reaching across the aisle and serving her congressional district in an even-handed, bipartisan way. Clearly, she has done none of that, voting along party lines on every issue.
Thanks again, to Mr. McPherson’s letter, a letter that initiated further inquiries that showed Stefanic to be just another shill for the ultra right.
Put more investment into school libraries
It’s a familiar tale of two school districts, of haves and have-nots. Niskayuna Central School District is advertising for “a full-time permanent elementary Library Media Specialist who is interested in working in a collaborative environment that supports inquiry based student centered learning as well as a love of reading, research, and innovation.”
Last summer, three of my library colleagues answered ads like this one and left the district. Replacements could be found for only two of them. In Schenectady, my colleagues and I will again be serving as many as three elementary-level buildings next year.
We heard at the board meeting at which the budget was proposed that every effort would be made to fill the open position left over from last year. I pray we succeed in finding a suitable librarian so that our numbers can return to a two-building split. It’s a tragedy that learners who most need the expertise, support and mentorship of a good librarian are given the least. It’s a pity that children in Niskayuna enjoy what children in Schenectady are denied.
I can’t pretend to be a psychiatrist or a social worker, and I understand the district’s concerns about mental health and safety in all our buildings. I do know that for some learners, the library is a safe haven and part of their toe-hold on peace and sanity.
It’s a place where they have the power to choose what they want to read and share how it went with an adult who very much wants to know. It dares them to believe that becoming literate is worth the effort.
Then there are all the other hats a good librarian wears — teaching partner, technical troubleshooter, information processor, evaluator, and disseminator, manager of a small business. One school librarian simply cannot do it all in one or two days spread among three buildings. Learners and their teachers suffer.
I cannot fault my colleagues for answering the Niskayuna advertisement. I only wish we could find a way to grow an elementary school library program like Niskayuna’s here in Schenectady.
Where is rage against shooting of officers?
Hey, America — where is the outrage over cops being shot and killed?
What kind of people have you turned into? You young people better start respecting law and order or there will not be a cop to call when you get robbed, beaten, raped, etc.
Stop and think about that — talk on your machines about, ‘What if?’
Shame on president of the United States for not admitting the real wrong with society and for editors not speaking out about the killing of police, or even talking about it.
Are we really a nation of cowards?
Make sidewalks and potholes a priority
Re May 11 article, “Schenectady code sweep upsets homeowners”: Yes, the code enforcement should be enforced; yes, property owners should not put their interests above the common sense and good of the community, and yes, the city code enforcement should look at our sidewalks.
After a tough winter, the sidewalks are in rough shape. Code enforcement should not be so insistent about residents fixing concrete steps and installing new railings. Residents won’t be able to walk on the sidewalk to get to the house, to walk on the stairs and use the hand rail.
What about our streets? The potholes are another issue. The city should be taking care of them.
Dissatisfied with city answer to sewer break
On May 14, our basement filled up with several inches of foul smelling sewer water due to a sewer line break around New Street in Saratoga Springs. City workers told us they were sorry for the “inconvenience,” but they do not pump out basements and we should contact our insurance company. Our insurance company offered limited help that would not happen anytime soon.
A city worker told us that a check valve on the toilet would have prevented this unfortunate situation. Since the toilet had been installed before we bought the house, how were we to know this?
Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, I think an apology from you is in order. And please take back this smelly and unhealthy water that rightfully belongs to the city.
Grateful to library for entertaining program
On May 9 I had the pleasure of attending the first TED talk in this area in the McChesney Room at Schenectady County Public Library.
TED stands for Technology/Entertainment/Design, an internationally known group featuring speakers/performers in all these spheres.
There are nine presenters, most local, each one more fascinating than the other. We heard talks about the human genome ecology, our planet, and even one on the 19th century stone boundaries in New England and how they relate to the North Pole.
This was all topped off by a fabulous break dance featuring 10 amazing dancers.
What a nice lift for Schenectady.
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