Iran deal is good for peace in Middle East
President Obama’s leadership in the Iran nuclear controversy is a triumph for diplomacy instead of war that is a defect for humanity. It is ironic that the United States and Israel have been ruthless in attacking or overthrowing other countries in the Middle East. Iran does support Palestine groups but does not war on its neighbors.
George Bush’s invasion in Iraq has left the country in ruin and civil war. Over 4,500 American soldiers were killed and a 100,000 Iraqi people have died in Bush’s immoral, needless war.
In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner, killing 290 people. The captain lied and testified that the plane was diving at his boat — it was really taking off.
In 1967, Israel mounted a pre-emptive attack on Egypt. In so doing, it attacked the U.S. Liberty, which could have learned that Egypt did not start the war. The Israeli air force shadowed the Liberty at low altitude and it was well flagged and identified in English.
Bombers returned later and dropped napalm on the ship that cremated some of the sailors. Torpedoes nearly sank the ship; 32 of her crew were killed and more than 100 wounded, some severely.
An Israeli general stated that in the Sinai, Egypt lost from 7,000 to 10,000 people in its successful raid.
History there does not have to repeat itself. Thanks to President Obama, it won’t.
Mary Jane Valachovic
District’s decision on Kenyon lacked class
Re Sept. 23 article, “Guilderland school board revokes ‘Kenyon Field’ ”: What is wrong with the Guilderland Board of Education, superintendent and athletic director? To rescind the naming of the school’s football field for Harold Kenyon less than two weeks before the scheduled dedication is a complete travesty.
I was in high school during the early ’70s and for what was involved in the two incidents described in the article, I believe my parents and most of the other parents at that time would have supported or at least understood Mr. Kenyon’s actions — particularly the one involving a male student looking into the girls’ locker room.
Of course, the second incident would not have been a concern now with our political correctness, because evidently in today’s schools you are allowed to use the restroom and locker room of whatever sex you feel engendered that day. Can’t we just give the two disrespected individuals a trophy and call it even?
I was never a student of Mr. Kenyon’s, nor did I ever play football for or coach with him. There is another term that we don’t hear much about in today’s correctness, and one that Guilderland school representatives showed a complete lack of: “class.”
Attacks on Saratoga animal shelter unfair
I am writing in response to allegations of abuse and neglect at the Saratoga County Animal Shelter. This is a place near and dear to my heart. I feel I must respond to the accusations in defense of the staff and volunteers that give of their time and heart.
My ex-husband, Dan Butler, worked passionately for many years to push for this state-of-the-art haven for all animals. I was there as he worked tirelessly to provide not only a safe, comfortable place for pets, but for pet lovers as well. The progression from that old garage shelter to this beautiful building was not easily done, but he did it. Saratoga County had a shelter it could be proud of.
But in one day, a few people tore the great reputation to shreds. Headlines appeared claiming the place was dirty and the staff rude. People believed them, and word spread that these things were happening. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing.
The fact is I can stand here all day and tell you these accusations are false, but at the end of the day, who suffers? The animals. People see the headlines, believe them and stop supporting the shelter. Dogs and cats so ready for a new home are left behind.
I’m not going to address all the accusations except for one: the wonderful staff. I have known many of them for years. I know they are a dedicated group of people who work long hours caring for sick, scared and sometimes dangerous animals. There is a lot to do to run this facility daily. They are not volunteers, but they have always appreciated the volunteers. The comments made about them make my heart sick. I cannot imagine how bad it must hurt to have your hard work degraded by people who should know better.
To the veterinarians, the vet techs and the staff, I want to say I am so very sorry for the unfair way you have been portrayed in the press and the petition. I pray you continue your outstanding work on behalf of the animals.
In closing, I want to invite anyone who has doubts to come visit the shelter and volunteer. It’s rewarding and you will see what a gift this place is to all of us and our furry friends.
We need to rebuild the reputation of the shelter so each and every animal gets a forever home. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?
Great places to dine out in Schenectady
Re Lislie Thiele’s letter of September 18, 2015 [Firestone 151 one of many outdoor options]: I am aware there are many great patios and outdoor eating venues in downtown Schenectady and I frequent most of them. I am proud to see and be a part of the exciting renaissance that is occurring in the city of Schenectady. I offer the following:
The title of the original article was: “New Schenectady restaurant brings ‘outdoors in’; Firestone 151 opening on Lafayette Street.”
The article was about a new exciting venue in downtown Schenectady that is within walking distance of other downtown attractions like the Proctors block, Jay Street and Union College. This was a project that had re-envisioned and revived the Lafayette and Franklin intersection, extending the radius of activity and walkability in a previously underutilized area of downtown. This was not an article that was intended to name every bar that has a patio. During the interview, what I said is that there are very few patios in Schenectady that have activated an underutilized corner. The only one I could think of is Johnny’s (which we also designed). The difference is that the 151 patio has a permeable façade that blurs the boundary between interior/exterior, thus the title of the article, “New Schenectady restaurant brings ‘outdoors in.’ ” The two-tiered patio that exists now was formally an asphalt parking lot.
During the interview, I also mentioned that there are many great outdoor eating spaces downtown, and I named five or six off the top of my head. But only Johnnys and the Van Dyck appeared in the article. I hope this clarifies what was written in the article vs. what I said and intended.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for the success in the transformation of 151 Lafayette: Mayor Gary McCarthy and the city of Schenectady; Ray Gillen (Metroplex); Michelle Pollard (Studio 4 Hot Yoga and Pilates); Andy and Doug Sayles (Crossfit 518); Time Trier (Firestone 151); Bill Faubion (NBT bank); and Kristin Diotte (project Architect, Re4orm Architecture).
JT Pollard, AIA
The Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers on the upcoming election.
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