Find way to save tree line near panels

*Find way to save tree line near panels *Gazette should not get rid of Lio cartoon *Contact legislat
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Find way to save tree line near panels

When I first saw the new solar panels at the County Farm on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville, I thought the project was much too close to the road.

It seems this is correct because the maple trees that line this road are now scheduled to be cut down because they shade some of the panels. Wouldn’t a friendlier, more environmental and cost-effective solution be just to move the shaded panels to the other end of the line? This has always been a beautiful, rural stretch of road, especially in fall.

The new Glendale Home adds to the area’s attractiveness. Please don’t spoil it. I urge the county to reconsider.

Mary Pawkett

Scotia

Gazette should not get rid of Lio cartoon

The invincible “Lio” should not be removed from your best of best newspapers. If you do, I shall report you to the “Over The Hedge” gang.

Carl DeMarco

Schenectady

Contact legislators, demand bail reform

We applaud The Gazette and reporter Kathleen Moore for the May 10 article “Low bail doesn’t mean you get out.”

A prime goal of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is to fix New York State’s broken indigent defense system, which spawns precisely the type of situation your article describes. Poor defendants linger in jail for weeks at huge taxpayer expense without ever having been convicted of a crime and without access to overburdened public defenders.

Last year, the NYCLU reached a historic settlement requiring New York state to reform the public defender system in five counties (Washington, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler and Suffolk). The agreement compels the state to adequately fund public defenders’ services, to reduce caseloads of public defenders and to create standards that ensure that anyone arrested has access to an attorney at arraignment.

Since that settlement, 16 more counties have demanded that the state follow the same pattern for them. Currently, public defender offices are funded at the county level, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 52 years ago that this is a state responsibility. The present inefficient, wasteful system puts heavy pressure on local property and sales taxes.

In Ms. Moore’s article, Sheriff Dominic Dagostino said it costs the county $100 a day to keep an inmate in the county jail. Using Ms. Moore’s figures — 46 people jailed for at least three weeks because they couldn’t make bail set as low as $100 — that works out to $96,600 that taxpayers spent unnecessarily. And in fact the total cost may be far higher than that when indirect costs, such as employee benefits, retirement payments and extra staffing for extra prisoners, are factored in.

A 2011 study from SUNY New Paltz found that county jail incarceration costs in the Hudson Valley averaged $188 per day per prisoner. In Orange County, that figure was $294 per day.

We urge Gazette readers to contact their state senators and Assembly members to demand reform of New York state’s deplorable — and expensive — criminal justice system.

Melanie Trimble

Albany

The writer is chapter director for the New York Civil Liberties Union Capital Region Chapter.

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 were 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.

Lillian Stern

Schenectady

Letters

The Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers.

There is no specific word limit, but shorters letters will get preference for publication and timeliness. Letters of about 200-300 words are suggested.

For information on where to send letters, see the bottom of this page.

Categories: Letters to the Editor

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