Categories: Letters to the Editor
Schools should try to live with the tax cap
Crying against the tax cap, again.
I read in the Dec. 1 Daily Gazette that Schenectady City School District Superintendent Laurence Spring is unhappy about the 2 percent tax cap. Well, live with it.
It seems to me that every time the outrageous city school tax goes up, the graduation rate goes down. Has anyone else noticed this? Stand pat for once on raising school taxes, Mr. Superintendent, and work with what you already have.
Let us overtaxed taxpayers in Schenectady see if the graduation rate will rise with the same or, (and just a ridiculous afterthought), a tax reduction.
Glenn P. Salamone
Thank liberals for all that’s wrong in U.S.
There are a number of factors involved in the San Bernardino tragedy which compel me to express thanks to liberals.
First, for instantly making this a political issue about gun control before any facts were known and providing an excuse for this letter, thank you. In furthering their causes, liberals will exploit any tragedy according to the rule most recently voiced by Democrat mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
A neighbor of the couple who committed this act of terror had noticed suspicious activity at the couple’s home but said nothing for fear of being accused of racial profiling. Thank you, liberals. For opposing reasonable domestic surveillance measures that could uncover radicalization before it explodes into violence, thank you, liberals.
For opposing national energy initiatives (nuclear, coal, fracking, transportation pipelines) that would free us from dependence upon unfriendly countries and allow us to more aggressively confront their sponsoring of terrorism through indoctrination of children, thank you, liberals.
For looking to blame America first rather than confronting radicalization at its source, thank you, liberals.
For making the cautious feel guilty about the intake of thousands of refugees, not easily screened, from countries rife with radical anti-West sentiment and unfairly accusing the concerned of fearing women and children, two thoughts.
One, the Boston bombing Tsarnaev brothers were not born in America, and two, one of the San Bernardino killers was a mother with a 6-month-old baby. Thank you, liberals.
For wanting to eliminate the Second Amendment (reference Salon.com), confiscate all guns, create more soft targets preferred by terrorists, and leave your fellow citizens without self-defense when needed most, thank you, liberals.
For the New York Daily News ridiculing expressions of prayer for San Bernardino victims’ families and preaching gun control instead, thus revealing the true depth of your heart and compassion, thank you, liberals.
Appeal to Congress to stop gun violence
Thank you, Daily Gazette, for your Dec. 6 editorial on sensible ways to reduce gun violence in the United States and your follow-up editorial on Dec. 8. Unfortunately, Americans collectively do not seem willing to speak loudly enough for Congress to take action.
Unlike Australia, which has significantly reduced mass killings because Australians demanded change, Americans cower and do the opposite — buy more guns as if they can stop the violence. How Congress can reject stronger background checks, eliminating sales to people on the federal no-fly list and those convicted of domestic violence, and restricting sales of assault weapons is beyond me.
Of course, Republicans and some weak-kneed Democrats are controlled by the NRA (National Rifle Association) who in my opinion, resemble ISIS in how it brainwashes its followers to believe the U.S. government is coming to confiscate their guns and that everyone should be armed to the hilt to protect themselves.
While the NRA does not directly promote violence, it helps to flood the market with guns easily obtained that are then used for killing. But both organizations use paranoia to convince others to act.
If you agree, contact your congressional representatives to act. Otherwise, nothing will change.
Turn Sheridan Plaza into a public market
The Dec. 2 Gazette reports that the CVS at Sheridan Plaza is now closing, leaving another empty store front at this once thriving 218,000-square foot neighborhood shopping center.
Ray Gillen, Metroplex chairman, is quoted as saying that the plaza has been difficult to market due to its locations and the fact that national retailers “are looking for a major thoroughfare with high visibility and a high car count.”
I am writing to suggest to Mr. Gillen and the rest of the economic development professionals in Schenectady that there is more to life than national retailers. Specifically, I am asking that, if possible, given the ownership and possible financial constraints at this site that it be repurposed into a public market.
Public markets are a year-round diverse medley of owner-operated shops, stalls, and/or daytables. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of these in communities around the country. Markets showcase a community’s unique character and culture while serving its everyday shopping needs and give affordable economic opportunity to individual entrepreneurs.
During my time in Schenectady, I have met many people who have things to sell and nowhere to sell them.
Developing a public market will result in genuine sustainable job creation. And since there is no public market in the Capital District, the draw of a Schenectady Market could be regional. Mr. Gillen and Metroplex should appoint a task force to work on developing such a market at the Sheridan Plaza.
The full power, technical capacity and economic clout of Metroplex should stand squarely behind this effort.
Happy Holidays is an appropriate greeting
‘Tis the season to begin bashing the phrase “Happy Holidays.” The nonsensical “war on Christmas” will probably be fired up soon, with Donald Trump and his language police. However, the etymology of the word “holiday” comes from old English: “holy day.” It’s rather obvious, isn’t it?
When we wish happy holidays to others, especially to people whose religion (or lack thereof) we are unaware, we are embracing and honoring a whole host of religious and non-religious cultures whose special days occur in December: those of Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, pagans, and many others I apologize for omitting. And let us not forget Festivus.
Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on Dec. 25, but that’s been co-opted from the pagan celebration of the winter solstice a few days before, just as the Catholic church erected many of their cathedrals on top of pagan sites in Europe centuries ago. That’s more political than religious.
Interestingly enough, there really was a war on Christmas, but it took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the late 17th century. It was forbidden to “celebrate” Christmas.
The Rev. Increase Mather (also associated with the Salem witch trials) denounced the celebration of Christmas because it was filled with “merriment, not piety,” and anyone found to be celebrating in such a joyful manner was fined five shillings. Anyone who skipped work on Christmas risked being shunned.
One reason for the Puritans’ ire was that it wasn’t celebrated in the Bible. Another was because it was celebrated by the Anglican Church (Church of England), and the Puritans fled England because they rejected the teachings of the established church. The history is fascinating, but nowadays it’s Fox noise that keeps ranting about this now phony war. It doesn’t exist, except in the fevered brains of small-minded extremists who apparently have nothing better to do.
Finally, we must recognize that our country is indeed a pluralistic society, and not a “Christian nation,” as some have advocated. Our Constitution is a secular document and religion is mentioned only twice: Article VI that states that no religious test is required for elected office (politicians, pay attention), and then in the First Amendment prohibiting religious establishment. There are so many serious problems facing our country, but a fictional war on Christmas is not one of them.
So, in the spirit of the season: Happy Holidays to all. And, by the way, for all of you who wish to say Merry Christmas, do it.