GE knew the dangers of dumping PCBs

*GE knew the dangers of dumping PCBs *Preserve ghost signs in new city structures *Hull has no visio

GE knew the dangers of dumping PCBs

I am amazed that the Gazette would feature on the front page of its Oct. 19 opinion section an article by Russ Wege that exculpates General Electrics’ shameful handling of the massive PCB problem it created in the Hudson River that changed the river from being a rich site for commercial and sport fishing to one that has fish that no one should eat.

GE knew about the toxicity of PCBs since the 1930’s when its workers became seriously ill from working with them. Further studies in the late 1930’s revealed that PCB exposure caused liver cancer in laboratory test animals. These studies were hidden from the public but known by GE and Monsanto, the producer of PCBs for GE.

Shocking documents have been unearthed from the 1960’s that show GE knew PCBs were killing wildlife in the Hudson River and actually lied to government officials.

A group of environmental inspectors in 1968 toured GE capacitor plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward to analyze what GE was directly dumping into the river and were lied to about the level of toxins it was emitting.

In an internal memo written the day after the inspections, GE engineer Kenneth Harvey wrote: “We intentionally omitted some information … which would have greatly compounded the problem in the eyes of the regulatory people; namely, the state Department of Health authorities.” Remember this was 1968.

After reading the article exonerating General Electric for its actions regarding PCB dumping and the resulting years of litigation to avoid taking action, I wondered who is Russ Wege the author of this article and by what authority does he write this? Through doing a simple Google search I found out that he is an engineer who has written letters to the Gazette before that challenge climate change, global warming, renewable energy, and support hydrofracking.

I am amazed that such a person would be afforded the bona fides that a front page article implies.

Christine Bishop


Preserve ghost signs in new city structures

Sara Foss’s Oct. 16 column, “Ghost Story should spark discussion,” sure made me contemplate about the loss of the “ghost sign” at 412 Broadway. Her sentiments are shared by myself and I’m confident by many others. The building was in a very public spot and represented days of old. My gosh, when Coca-Cola was only five cents.

We appreciate the many treasures, both old and new in Schenectady. I’m very fond of the old, old homes in the Stockade and GE Realty Plot. But these areas are a bit more “cloistered” than places like 412 Broadway. Some consideration should be given to these places that are quite visible on the main thoroughfares. This mixture of old and new in some ways defines Schenectady’s character.

Yes, I, too, understand the need for new development in the city. I just hope developers take into account some of these gems in the future. Maybe they could be incorporated into the new projects next time?

Peter Butryn


Hull has no vision for city of Schenectady

The reason it’s called Roger Hull Place instead of Roger Hull Street is because a street leads somewhere.

Roger Hull’s monument to himself is symbolic of his campaign for mayor. Roger Hull, the candidate — like Roger Hull Place — really leads nowhere.

Hull responds to Schenectady’s crime problem with trite, simplistic and outdated slogans. He complains about taxes and spending, but can’t say how he’ll control either.

His “strategy” for rebuilding our neighborhoods is to tear down downtown. Hull’s scheme for a stronger police department includes firing Wayne Bennett, the one man most responsible for throwing corrupt cops off the police force.

In rejecting Hull’s latest attempt to win City Hall, The Daily Gazette wrote: “Hull seems to have no vision or plan for the future. He’s got the talking points down, but nothing to back them up.”

Roger Hull is a ghost from Schenectady’s past.

He talks about his heyday of 1993 as if it was yesterday. He dwells on Schenectady 2000, forgetting that this is 2015. Hull’s built his campaign on his Union College experience, even though he resigned from Union 10 years ago.

If you want to know what Roger Hull will do over the next four years, look at what he’s done over the last four. Nothing.

Louis Philips


Back incumbents for Glenville Town Board

I had the privilege of sitting in on the debate in the town of Glenville. It was nice to see candidates in person for the county Legislature and Town Board. The League of Women Voters did a fine job with moderating the debate.

The one part of the debate I enjoyed were the Town Board members. The incumbents, John Pytlovany and Gina Wierzbowski, sparred with newcomers Jared Hickey and Heather Gray. The incumbents were well-prepared for all the questions that were asked, while the Democratic candidates stumbled and never fully answered any question.

It became very comical when a question was asked concerning the full-time town supervisor’s position. John Pytlovany and Gina Wierzbowski let us know how there were three public forums conducted to let the residents know about the full-time town supervisor position and how money would be saved.

When the Democratic candidates had their turn to answer, they read from their bullet-points, saying how there was no transparency and how the public knew nothing about it and cost the town money. I couldn’t believe what I just heard, but it actually did happen.

I believe John Pytlovany and Gina Wierzbowski have the leadership and motivation to continue the growth and prosperity that’s been going on in this town. Alan Boulant did a great job by talking about the record of success the Town Board has had and the Democrats have always misconstrued.

It was unfortunate that the Democratic candidates had already left at that point, which demonstrates lack of leadership and character that this town needs. Vote Row B on Nov. 3.

Timothy J. Gaffney Jr.


Mr. Gaffney is a member of the Glenville Zoning Board.

Shame on Schalmont for withholding credit

Re Oct. 19 letter, “Vets should demand Schalmont tax credits”: Thank you, Nicholas August, for letting the Schalmont district taxpayers know that it would be a burden to give a veteran tax credit to our local vets in Schalmont.

Was it more of a burden for the Mohonasen veterans to serve than the Schalmont vets?

Shame on the Schalmont Board of Education for depriving Schalmont vets their fair share for the last two years. Shame on them.

I am sending a copy of his letter to the Board of Schalmont

Jean Anderson


Blanchfield has most experience for judge

If your family, job or business were on trial, wouldn’t you want an experienced judge in charge?

Judge Mark Blanchfield is the only candidate for Supreme Court with judicial experience, having presided over thousands of cases in five different counties. Judge Blanchfield has a proven reputation as a fair and hard-working judge; the Independent Judicial Qualification Commission has rated him “highly qualified.”

While a lawyer, Judge Blanchfield represented individuals and businesses in 43 counties, in all 11 counties of the 4th Judicial District, in every federal trial court in New York, and in the highest state and federal appeals courts in New York — the only candidate with those credentials.

Voters can pick two Supreme Court justices this year. Cast one of your votes for experience and select Mark Blanchfield as our Supreme Court justice.

Donald Liebers


Show political party on campaign signs

I want to know why candidates no longer have the courage or integrity to identify their party affiliations on either the ubiquitous lawn signs or the obnoxious mailings we are exposed to each autumn.

Political parties represent certain values, have track records and provide substantial resources to the candidates they endorse. Those benefits bring with them some obligations on the part of endorsed candidates.

How about letting the voting public know what party you represent? What are you afraid of?

John Kucij


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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