New York

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Feb. 17

Your Voice

Too many trees cut down in Niskayuna

We have an alarming problem with clear-cutting trees in Schenectady County — excuse me, development with five more locations approved for deforestation.: one for the Jewish Holocaust Memorial and four for housing developments by the Lecce Group.
Niskayuna where this is happening, once green trees and farm fields, is now home to boiling black top and carbon monoxide.
The town board keeps rubber-stamping more massive clear-cutting. Oh excuse me, development.
There are religious forests, sacred sites, home to rare and protected species. The Holocaust memorial will not be one.
As to Lecce Groups’ removal of mature trees, hello excessive water run-off.
The Arbor Day Foundation states: “Surfaces shaded by trees may be 20-45 degrees cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded areas. And; “one large tree can produce a day’s supply of oxygen for up to 4 people each day.”
According to “Forests have multiple benefits for watersheds including the moderation of water discharges.” Are we all waiting for someone to drown in a car on a washed-out street? Since its widening, Route 7 already ponds terribly. Money cannot pay for what can be prevented by keeping some old trees around.
Beth R. Jacobs

We should benefit from tech advances

Like most articles reporting on a technical advance in robotics, the Feb. 2 article “No job too small” points out that jobs will be lost.
No surprise, since the ultimate goals of robotics research are devices capable of performing all forms of labor (and thought).
There’s no intent to weaken the human condition; we just want to understand how our brains work, so we push curiosity to the limit.
Loss of jobs would not be a problem in a socialist society: The economic value created by robot labor would be shared with the public because, for over 200 years, the public has invested heavily to create an environment conducive to technical and business development.
It would be realized that the society-at-large helped bring the advance into being by (a). Helping finance the research and development through grants, contracts and exclusive rights to intellectual property; (b). Providing a superior educational system (including tax-exempt research universities) that trains the workforce; and (c). In general, enforcing a corporate-friendly environment.
The public should receive a return on its investment, mostly in the form of taxes.
In our predatory-capitalistic, every-one-for-themselves economic system, the public gets little to no payback from their investment. Corporations and oligarchs keep all the profits and pay little or no taxes.
There will continue to be advances in AI/robotics. How we adapt to the loss of future jobs will determine whether we can maintain a stable society.
Edgar T. Lynk

Tax break is more about recognition

Two years ago, the Scotia-Glenville school board voted to give veterans a break on their school tax bills. As a veteran, I get a break. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to pay for some of my medications or go to lunch or dinner with a friend maybe once or twice a year.
More importantly, for me, it’s the recognition my community gives me for my service.
Hopefully, the Schenectady city school board will find a way to honor their veterans by giving them a tax break. They’ve earned it.
Harold E. Burnham
The writer served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56.

Who will speak out for regular citizens?

On the freezing evening of the day that all but one U.S. Senate Republican voted not to impeach Mr. Trump, at whose trial these same senators had voted to exclude witness testimony, a peaceful crowd which grew to over 200 protested in Albany.
Passing car passengers honked and waved, but most media (with the exception of WNYT, Channel 13) gave little coverage to the event.
A retired movie star’s death seized the headlines. Unsentimental and civil, constituents protesting a constitutional crisis seemed not as print-worthy. Since the Roberts Court ruled in favor of international corporations spending freely in the politics of this country, money virtually speaks.
John Bolton, a self-proclaimed witness to the president’s abuse of power, refused to present himself as a witness to the House of Representatives. Instead, Bolton advertised his coming tell-all book, which might make millions.
Bolton’s cowardice diminishes all else in his career and cries for justice.
Who will speak for the citizen, the uncommon, common person, whose peaceful protests are intended to say to the community and the world that the majority in this country still values the Constitution over cash? What journal will consistently investigate and disseminate the truth?
Anne McCabe

Bloomberg can put money to better use

Mike Bloomberg thinks with his $100 million he can buy the American presidency.
Sorry Mike, “This job is not for sale.” Try this instead Mike: Use your $100 million for feeding the poor or curing cancer and you might get elected.
Beverly Borgeest
Clifton Park

Act to save America before it’s too late

What cabbage plant did Rep. Elise Stefanik come out from under if she thinks firing witnesses wasn’t retaliation.
Wake up, America. If not, your grandchildren won’t have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink or animals to see that will be extinct under this administration.
National parks will be gone forever. Yes, the economy is booming, but at what cost to all.
Anne Fringo

Be consistent in enforcing all laws

Yes. Just say no. Also be consistent. It is not enough to pick and choose the laws you just say no to.
I will look forward with eager participation to the editorial that is certainly on its way regarding the paper changing its position on illegal immigration.
Let’s “Just say no” and begin actively supporting the immigration law. Let’s denounce the DACA program, an imperialistic presidential executive action that circumvents legally enacted statute.
After all, “Not only is it wrong to disobey the laws you disagree with, it’s also unconstitutional for communities to declare themselves exempt from laws.” Let’s be consistent when we say “Just say no.”
Carlton Tucker

Trump’s revenge is Old Testament style

Hooray for Mitt Romney, Yovanovitch, Sondland, Vindman and the others willing to participate in the impeachment inquiry.
They’re all brave souls with moral consciences. Now the revenge seeker has elevated them to heroes. They know him well enough to know this would be his route to take and spoke up anyway.
Vindman’s poignant message to his dad at the end of his testimony foretold his future. The sad thing is that they came to this country to be safe from exactly what’s happened.
It was particularly disheartening to those of us who consider ourselves Christian to hear Trump, of all things, at a prayer breakfast recklessly speaking about faith and prayer.
It’s abundantly clear that he doesn’t know much about either.
I submit three scriptures from the New Testament: Matthew 5:43, Luke 6:28 and James 5:16, as much of the theme of the New Testament alludes to love and forgiveness.
Could I ask someone with a line to Trump (Congresswoman Stefanik, are you listening?) to send him these references? I think maybe he and his conservative backers need to venture from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
I close with a disclaimer that I’m neither a Democrat nor Republican.
Ethel Robinson

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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