New York

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Sep. 14

Your Voice

Stores must help offline customers

It finally happened. My mildly disabled sister, age 72, had a slip-fall accident. An ambulance took her to the hospital. She went home the next day with instructions to rest for several days. She has no computer or computer skills.
Second scenario. My neighbors, retired professionals, who had worked with computers and owned their own, became disabled and unable to use computers.
In both cases, friends and family were willing to help, but those individuals wanted to retain as much independence and self-respect as possible.
I went to Price Chopper, Hannaford, and ShopRite to ask about calling in grocery orders to be delivered. All three said they offer only computer access for this service. No phone orders.
Isn’t this a form of discrimination? More companies these days are giving only their dot-com as a means of contact. The folks who cannot be in computer contact are being pushed aside. What to do?
Beth Dieck

Make plate condition part of inspection

Let’s face it, we all know the license plate replacement plan proposed by King Cuomo is nothing more than another taxpayer rip-off by our ego centric, Teflon governor. The solution is simple as I see it. Make license plate legibility part of the state annual vehicle inspection process.
Put a few guidelines in place for vehicle inspectors to go by, this should only take about one minute or less to take a cursory look at a vehicles license plate.
If a plate fails, issue a temporary 30-day inspection. When the plate owner obtains readable replacement plates, the DMV can issue a receipt for the inspection station to put a permanent inspection sticker on the offending vehicle. Yes, there are a few details to iron out, but this would be a very fair and equitable way to address the unreadable license plate issue.
I am not an advocate for more costs in this state but, while at it, increase the vehicle inspection fees to an appropriate amount: $21 average for a car or light truck doesn’t begin to cover the cost incurred by inspection stations. I used to be a state certified inspector in my younger mechanic days, so I do understand the inspection process.
Greg Bradtke
Ballston Spa


Know history before making promises

In Scott Davis’ letter of Aug. 3 (“Reparations should also go to others”), he claims he will support reparations for the “minority” community (a thinly veiled reference to African Americans) if Egypt will pay reparations to the Jews who suffered for 400 years of bondage under the Pharaohs. He should be aware of the well-accepted conclusion of archaeologists, including Israeli archaeologists, that the captivity and subsequent Exodus never happened. As excerpted from the Wikipedia paragraph: “The Book of Genesis and Book of Exodus,” the Biblical description of a period of Hebrew servitude in ancient Egypt, during decades of sojourn in Egypt, the escape of well over a million Israelites from the Delta, and the three-month journey through the wilderness to Sinai. “This episode is not corroborated by any historical evidence and is regarded by scholars to be fictitious, although important to various religions.”
The article is contained in the Wikipedia entry of History of the Jews in Egypt, in the paragraph entitled Genesis and Exodus.
Thus Mr. Davis’ caveat does not apply and he may think twice about his promise.
Bob Scher
Clifton Park

Support kids’ climate strike on Sept. 20

The student-led climate strike is scheduled to be held on Friday, Sept. 20 in several local areas, including Albany, Johnstown and Queensbury.  I do urge you to attend one of these rallies and support the students.
This all started last year, when 16-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden became frustrated with the inaction of adults to mitigate global warming. She was frightened, knowing that her future and the future of her contemporaries was in jeopardy. So she began striking from school. Why go to school when you have no future?
News of this spread, and students worldwide joined her. She has spoken before the European Union, the British Parliament and the UN, begging them to do something to mitigate global warming.
I urge you all to attend one of these events and support our students. They are frightened, and for good reason. We are in the midst of the sixth great extinction, and if we don’t do something now to mitigate global warming, we may be one of the species going extinct.
Jahnn Swanker-Gibson

Replace school taxes with charge on users

I offer a simple way to deal with school taxes: Abolish them and replace them with user charges. In today’s world, it’s a choice to give birth, and this choice is exclusively a woman’s. From this, it follows that the financial consequences of her decision to give birth are hers and hers alone. Like buying a car, there should be safeguards so that a private decision does not have community consequences. The simplest way to protect the public from irresponsible behavior is mandatory schooling in a world where schools are funded by user charges. This change would eliminate state aid and local school taxes. It would also be a public change towards respecting a woman’s decisions.
Fred Barney

Schenectady must do more to fight blight

Mr. Ruzzo in his Sept. 8 letter (“Teamwork leads to improvements in city“) gets it half right. 16 Jefferson St. was finally demolished because I, as a property owner, was fed up with the city of Schenectady’s ignoring this blight for 20 years. Gazette columnist and investigative journalist Sara Foss uncovered what the city didn’t know how to — an LLC that ‘owned’ 16 Jefferson. Her exceptional column appeared on Earth Day, April 22,  2018, with me standing on years’ worth of trash that the city ignored after several attempts to at least clean it up. So they ignored it further until I met last December with Metroplex’s David Hogenkamp, showing him the 2018 Gazette column. He was taken aback at the column and promised me he’d make this one of his projects come spring to get it demolished so our neighborhood could start to climb out of this blight syndrome. It’s true that our city officials have to OK these projects, but it took them way too long to do so. It’s the property owners who maintain their properties and decent renters that help in the fight against blight. Absentee landlords/owners, drug dealers, drug users, homeless and on and on get away with a lot for years. We bring these issues forward hoping, at least, to get somewhere. Finally, Metroplex stepped in and did as it promised. Thank you. Jefferson Street is a lot cleaner and quieter since this decades-long blighted property was demolished.  
Gerald Plante

Article on Koches left out some key details

There were a few facts left out of Koch brothers article in the Aug. 24 Daily Gazette: Koch industry oil family fortune came from despot Stalin. Koches love to use eminent domain to steal farmland for dirty oil wells and pipelines. Koches love dirty oil subsidies, but bought 140 Congress members pledged not to help clean energy. Koches pollute our land, air and water and paid a few fines, but don’t clean up their mess. Koches create dark money corporate front groups (like Heritage, Mercatus, Cato, American Prosperity, and ALEC) that pretend to be citizen groups that support freedoms, but really support greedy corporate freedom to pollute and kill. Koches hired PR firms, like one that told us smoking was good for us, 30 years ago, to deny climate chaos. Koches epitomize “love of money” that Jesus warned was the “root of all evil” (Timothy 6:10) Dark Money” a book by Jane Mayer, contains lots more of these facts, if you want more.
Justice demands that Koches pay restitution for their heinous crimes against creation and humanity with the $100 billion in ill-gotten gains they took from us, as well as jail time and rehabilitation. The funds could help us clean up our planet. Our attorneys general, lawyers and courts should step up here.
And meanwhile, we could join Greta Thunberg and other young people on Sept. 20 and beyond for Climate Strike. We need planet protectors, not planet destroyers. And we need to do it now.
Peter Looker

Disabled access is not always provided

I read with interest the Aug. 17 letter from Andria Berger of RCIL (“Make sure homes are visitable for disabled “) regarding community involvement in making businesses and restaurants accessible to all.
As a parent and advocate of a person who uses an electric wheelchair, we find these issues often, including post offices. Many times when I bring this to the attention of the management, I get a flat response, “We are grandfathered.”
This begs the question, “How long does grandfather live?” The ADA was signed in July 1990. I realize that in some buildings it may not be possible to make the needed modifications. However, I have been pleasantly surprised at some accommodations made at some businesses. Cost may be a factor, but I am sure there are community resources, Eagle Scouts and school groups that would love the opportunity to help out. In many instances, there appears to be ample room to put in a ramp, but apparently these businesses choose to ignore (dare I say discriminate) this segment of their community. You know who you are.
Pamela Menton

Offer new plates at much lower price

There is a free and simple solution to the high, proposed cost of new license plates, and it’s been in the law for years. From what I read in early reports, the price charged to car owners for new license plates “can be as low as $0 but cannot exceed $25.” Now I’m no lawyer, but why doesn’t Sen. Jim Tedisco just require that the governor propose to offer the new plates for a much lower cost? That’s a press conference I’d support.
Polly Windels
Ballston Spa

State should give up on new plate charges

If there is any way to put more monies into the coffers of the State, our government officials will come up with it. We should not be forced to pay any extra money for license plates. If the plates are inferior, it’s the state’s fault, not ours. Government officials, do the right thing and force Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deep six this fee in the garbage where it belongs.
Richard Moran

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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