New York

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Feb. 18

Your Voice

History is repeating itself in a bad way

Do we recognize history when we see it?
1. Improve the economy by privatizing government industries/agencies. 2. Become economically self-sufficient and impose tariffs. 3. Undo democratic institutions. 4. Demonize homosexuals, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others. 5. Be hailed as a savior in giant rallies. 6. Stamp out the free press. 7. Demand complete loyalty.
Sound familiar? If you guessed Hitler, go to the head of the class.
Randi Chrysler

Tax break for vets is the least we can do

In reference to the article “We paid our dues” on the front page of the Sunday Feb. 9 Gazette regarding the adoption of the school tax exemption for veterans, what’s $10 or $12 a year?
It’s taking my children to McDonald’s once a year for Happy Meals. If I made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I could save more than a trip to McDonald’s. We could take our sandwiches to the park and have lunch, and I could tell my children what veterans have done and do every day for our country.
I hope the school board does the right thing and adopts this tax exception for our veterans, seeing how New York state has given it the authority to do so. It is the least we can do for our men and women that have kept our country safe.
Richard Mareno

Let us each choose to buckle up nor not

The Feb. 13 editorial applauding the expanded seatbelt laws was so wrong.
The statement that a reader of ‘Equating safety laws exclusively to liberty’ is not ignoring reality.
I agree with the use of seatbelts but education and not law is the solution. If laws are needed to be put in place as the editorial states ‘because we don’t take care of ourselves,’ why are we not enacting laws to prohibit or restrict us from eating fast food because it is contributing to health issues including obesity and heart disease.
The non-use of a seatbelt is not endangering or jeopardizing anyone other than the person making that decision. It is not the place of our government or the use of laws that only impacts an individual.
Let us have the right to choose for ourselves those issues that do not impact other people.
Bruce Newman

Beware of those who have all the power

Growing up, our parents always told us never bite the hand that feeds you. Even our dogs learned this important lesson if they wanted their treat.
So, one would think that doing a deed, whether it be good or bad, you can expect to be treated well by the one who the deed is done for, right? Wrong. That’s not how the it works with some people.
Therefore, I caution those who think that they are protected by those who think they have all power and authority. (Only the Most High God has all power and authority.) It would be in your best interest to check your hands to make sure you have all your fingers, because you will soon need them to work at another job when you are no longer profitable to them. “Undisputed Truth,” the old song, goes something like this (I’m paraphrasing.): “Smiling faces pretend to be your friend, that smile is just a frown turned upside down. Beware of the pat on the back, it just might hold you back. Your enemy won’t do you no harm, cause you know where he’s coming from. But the smiling face don’t always tell the truth.”
Bonita Cade

Workplace could be affected by pot law

In her Feb. 9 column, Sara Foss did a nice job of outlining some of the potential dangers of legalizing marijuana, like car accidents and vaping-related illnesses. However, she missed one significant risk: workplace injuries. This risk is especially high in New York state because of our outdated Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law.
Under this law, an employee’s intoxication cannot be used as a defense for a contractor or property owner for a personal injury claim. As the courts have said, “Could … intoxication as a contributing cause of the happening of the accident be a defense to the cause of the action? The short answer is no.” The jury instructions for these cases specifically note that marijuana use is not a defense.
We are the only state that applies liability in this way.
The Scaffold Law has led to the most expensive construction insurance costs in the nation, added millions to the costs of building schools and infrastructure, and made it difficult for small and minority-owned businesses to get insurance. Even Habitat for Humanity complained of the difficulties caused by the Scaffold Law in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Proponents of the law, notably the trial lawyers who profit from it, often claim that it improves safety. There is no evidence of this, of course.
Holding intoxicated workers harmless makes work sites less safe. As the state considers legalizing marijuana, we need to fix Labor Law 240 and ensure our work sites are as safe as possible.
Tom Stebbins
The writer is executive director for Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York.

Trump doesn’t only think he’s above law

Upon reading the Feb. 13 letter to the editor from Barbara Trypaluk (“Trump unchained to inflict more damage”), I was amazed that she thinks Trump believes he is above the law. After all he is above the law.
Jeffrey Murtagh

Medal is reflective of Trump’s behavior

On Feb. 4, during the State of the Union address, Rush Limbaugh was awarded the Medal of Freedom. Rush now shares this honor with Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Pope John Paul II, military heroes, philanthropists and former U.S. presidents.
He was given this despite spreading bigoted rhetoric, misinformation and conspiracy theories such as: Barack Obama is a “Halfrican American,” and then continuously played a song called “Barack the Magic Negro. Feminism was established to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society. Women live longer than because their lives are easier. The NFL often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without weapons. The NBA should be called the Thug Basketball Association. Michael J.  Fox has exaggerated his movements from Parkinson’s for attention. Gay marriage has led to the decline in Christianity. America isn’t ready for a gay president.
Umm, President Trump and Rush share commonalities. They make fun of people with physical afflictions, promote conspiracy theories and degrade women and minorities.
Was Trump visualizing himself receiving the medal? He can’t bestow it upon himself, so was giving it to Rush, his friend, as close as he could get to for himself?
Maria Mercedes Karr

Praise for Wilkin on memorial coverage

I would like to acknowledge the excellent reporting Jeff Wilkin did for The Daily Gazette during the three years he diligently covered our presentations before Niskayuna’s Planning Board and Town Board regarding the development of the Holocaust Memorial.
It was a pleasure working with him knowing that the facts would be presented clearly and accurately and that his readership would be well informed. His praise is well deserved.
Dr. Michael Lozman
The writer is president, Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial.

Community will feel loss of Aumiller’s

Aumiller’s — if only we could have done something to keep you going. (Feb. 14 City’s last independent drug store closes its doors.)
Closing the business is such a loss to the community. What a sign of the need for “regular folks” to be involved in governmental decisions.
Such fine pharmacists and workers, such care, such a community help. And where else are cards less expensive and kindness always present?
May people have all the help needed to adjust to this loss. May the pharmacists be well and find new ways to serve.
Susan Spring Meggs

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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