New York

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, March 21

Your Voice

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Diocese: Use grant to help retirees

Congratulations to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany on receiving the largest grant from the Mother Cabrini Foundation – more than $3.8 million.
Maybe now they can fund the pensions of the St. Clare’s retirees? Pay the people.
Pamela Menton

Medical reserves thwarted by system

As a medically trained former member of the U.S. Army Reserves, several years ago, I volunteered to be a member of the Schenectady County Medical Reserve Corps.
The Reserve Corps acts as an ancillary support organization which can be activated during times of medical crisis such as we are experiencing now.
In late 2018 the state Health Department implemented a new online system called ServNY2.0.
All members of county Medical Reserve Corps were required to register on this system during a certain time frame or they would be dropped from membership in this voluntary organization.
I am not a tech person, but I have what I consider pretty good knowledge on computers. Yet after several hours of trying to register on this system with new assigned passwords, etc. and with no information on the Health Department help desk support provided, I finally gave up and assume I was dropped as a Corps member.
Interestingly, the last email I received from the Schenectady County Coordinator of this Corps indicated that they had lost many active members because of their inability to register on the system. I’m sure right about now they wish they had the support of those members.
Thomas McGarry

Get us toilet paper or lose the election

Our president better get toilet paper soon in stores or there will not be any votes for any Republican on Election Day. No area grocery stores have any. If you want our votes, get some toilet paper.
Arthur O’Brien

Hope we learn from coronavirus crisis

I would like to share my opinion about the coronavirus outbreak. Currently, it is obviously difficult for several people and I suspect will become even more difficult as the days and weeks go on. However, with most tragic and difficult events, such as 100-year floods, SARS, forest fires, 9/11, high rise fires, etc., we as a society learn how to better deal with these events when they inevitably (hopefully not) happen again.
I think the silver lining is that once this virus is brought under control, we will be a cleaner, more sanitary and healthier society — reducing the stress on healthcare, lost workdays due to sickness, etc.
This is a terrible event, but hopefully better times are ahead.
Scott Enides

Times shows its bias against Trump

As I began reading the New York Times article in The Gazette on Saturday morning, I was wondering how they were going to spin the outstanding press conference the president held Friday afternoon regarding the coronavirus.
Of course, they didn’t disappoint me. In a page-and-a-half of print, they figured out how to not say one word about the president enlisting half a dozen CEOs from major retailers from across the country to help speed up testing process. In case you missed the conference, it took up almost half the presentation.
CEO after CEO thanked the president for his leadership in confronting the spread of the virus. After all the negative reporting about the president’s lack of response over the last couple of weeks, it was obvious that the president and his team were hard at work coming up with a plan that will undoubtedly work.
I think he successfully calmed a lot of nerves. It’s obvious the Times is biased against the president, and no wonder he refers to them as fake news. It was certainly on display in the March 14 paper.
Ron Belli


Locals will benefit from energy plan

The March 1 Gazette editorial, “Push for more control of energy projects troubling” notes that local resistance to wind and solar projects can cause delays and even derail these projects, reducing the amount of energy we can quickly build from green sources.
Complaints and signs reading “Save Our view” have appeared following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to accelerate the process of siting and building wind and solar farms. These protests are misguided.
The new proposal would still allow communities to have a say, particularly through zoning policy.
Local communities stand to benefit greatly from the new proposal, as it would allow them to more quickly realize the economic boost from renewable installations: higher tax revenues and lower local electric costs.
Because of the currently laborious process, it currently takes between eight and 10 years to bring a renewable energy project from proposal to reality. Time is of the essence to fight climate change, specifically to meet the target of acquiring 70% of New York’s energy from renewables by 2030 and fully decarbonize New York’s grid by 2040.
Assembly member Phil Steck and Sen. James Tedisco need to support Gov. Cuomo’s proposal in the current budget cycle so it can take effect immediately. We can’t afford to keep clean energy projects stuck in a bureaucratic logjam while climate change inexorably marches on, devastating our planet.
Charles Bishop

State must enact pharmacy reforms

Pharmacists provide accessible medication expertise. They are ready and willing to assist patients and the public in times of need.
Beyond filling prescriptions and providing information on prescription or over-the-counter medications, pharmacies provide other high-quality services.
These include vaccinations for the flu, shingles or myriad other illnesses without an appointment; formal medication therapy management counseling; and response to epidemics or natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Pharmacists also are educated to help patients prevent or manage chronic medical conditions, to oversee point-of-care testing that identifies treatment opportunities for various medical conditions, and more.
However, pharmacies face tremendous obstacles. Specifically, policies of large pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) limit where patients can choose to receive their care and come with the expectation that pharmacies fill prescriptions below cost. New York state must pursue long-overdue PBM reforms to overcome obstacles that would be unsustainable for any healthcare practitioner, and to leverage the high-quality care that pharmacists provide.
While it is important to identify remaining obstacles, it also is important to give credit where credit is due. For example, in 2019, New York state enacted changes to allow licensed pharmacists to supervise additional, well-trained staff who can perform appropriate functions and free up more of a pharmacist’s time to spend on patient-facing services.
As the vice president of pharmacy for an organization with deep roots in New York, headquartered in the Capital Region, we look forward to working with policymakers and stakeholders for the benefit of patient safety and access to care.
Kathy Bryant, RPh, MS
The writer is vice president of pharmacy, Price Chopper/Market 32 Supermarkets.

Listener missing Joe Gallagher on WGY

I just wrote a letter to WGY to tell them I’m missing Joe Gallagher on weekend mornings. Anyone else feel the same? I’ve listened to the WGY morning programming for all of the 70+ years I’ve lived in the Schoharie/Schenectady areas. When talk radio became the norm, I missed hearing the cheerful music that also used to be played. We need some cheering up, not just doom and gloom. I did enjoy Don Weeks because he was an ambassador of good feelings about marriage, family, faith and community. Joe was a fun combination of humor and information. I will also miss the garden program. Now on weekend mornings, I listen to music from Alexa. I miss you Joe Gallagher.
Ethel Robinson

Disappointed at loss of weekend hosts

I would like to express how disappointed I, and I think, others are that WGY radio has changed the weekend broadcast and no longer have Joe Gallagher, Zach and the ladies on the air. You could listen and laugh and enjoy not having politics and anti agendas to listen to like so many other shows. They had great guests such as Mr. Breglia from Landis Arboretum, Mr. Graves from Faddegon’s Nursery and the Fagans on finance and others that had interesting subjects. Now I believe they are using podcasts on the weekends that I don’t find interesting at all and I hope I’m not alone.
Joe, Zach and the rest of the crew, just wanted you to know that you are deeply missed.
Vicki Peek

Blame Pelosi, Schiff for hearing outcome

Based on the tone of Ms. McCabe’s Feb. 17 letter (“Who will speak out for regular citizens”), I bet she gets her news from either CNN or MSNBC.
Her complaint that the Republicans didn’t allow witnesses is a complaint from an uninformed reader. Are you aware why Nancy Pelosi had Adam Schiff handle the case? By giving it to Schiff and the Intelligence Committee, his massacre of the justice system would not be public. It could be done behind closed doors. Are you aware that only witnesses Schiff wanted were allowed? If Schiff didn’t want a witness the Republicans requested, they weren’t allowed. Are you aware that if a Republican asked a tough question to a Schiff-approved witness, Schiff stepped in and told them not to answer?
Schiff ran the kind of trial that is run in North Korea, Iran or China. Schiff could have subpoenaed Bolton if he wanted. He chose not to. Blame Schiff for no testimony by Bolton, not the Republicans.
If America had seen the way the Democrats ran the Intelligence Committee hearings, the Senate would have dismissed the case the same day it got it.
You ask who will disseminate the truth. It’s not CNN or MSNBC.
Dave Edwards

Trump untrustworthy in handling outbreak

Eleven minutes of nothing. The March 11 presidential address on corona virus was a free political ad.
Our dear demented leader, the disgraced and impeached Trump, once again parades his ignorance in a cheap attempt to shore up this nation’s confidence in his judgment.
The market reflects the nation’s confidence in Trump. It is failing in every way. Trump took credit for every up market event; he can now do the same for the economic failure costing this nation trillions.
Tariffs are putting farmers, fishermen and ranchers out of business. Taken a look at your pension investments? Get ready to be sick.
People are dying in America from a virus we were warned about and did nothing about.
Trump insists it’s no different from a common cold, so go to work and expose others.
We need a president who understands his job is to protect this nation as a whole, not just those who will vote for him or pad his pocket.
Nikolas Kaiser

Invest state funds in the ‘real’ downtown

Conflicts of interest are not the only important things that leaders of Schenectady’s DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) know about but ignore in the rush to bring more people from our core downtown to Mohawk Harbor.
DRI ignores that Mohawk Harbor is over a mile from Proctors and the main blocks of downtown Schenectady. Urban planners know successful downtowns are compact in size, with most people not wanting to walk more than one-quarter to one-third of a mile (except to get to transportation or as an exercise routine).  
No amount of LED lights, public art or new façades can create a desire to walk a mile north of Liberty Street down a shadeless and uninteresting parts of Jay Street or Erie Boulevard. DRI also ignores that sending downtown visitors to Mohawk Harbor jeopardizes the existence of existing businesses in our recently revived downtown.
DRI ignores that there is no great demand for retail at Mohawk Harbor, despite three years attracting tens of thousands of patrons and workers, plus residents.
Outside of the casino and hotels, there are only two restaurants and a medical office, with long stretches of empty windows and “Retail Space Available” signs.
DRI ignores that Rush Street Gaming donates $7.5 million annually (for 35 years) for the Pittsburgh PPG arena, but wants our taxpayers to subsidize its new harbor entertainment center and pay for a large-vessel dock.
Schenectady’s DRI funds should fine-tune and enhance our real downtown for everyone. Visit for photos, maps, links, and discussion.
David Giacalone

Horse industry needs tougher regulations

The indictments of 27 trainers, veterinarians and drug distributors (many associated with New York racetracks) shines a spotlight so bright it is impossible for the public or policy makers to continue ignoring racing industry abuses or the bills introduced over the last decade that have languished and died in committee (albeit more humanely than the equines such bills propose to help).
Horses serve New York through agriculture, breeding, farming, law enforcement, racing, sport and therapeutic riding. According to the New York State Horse Council, our equine industry produces goods and services valued at over $2 billion annually and creates over 35,000 full time jobs. However, we can no longer allow the financials of the industry to provide excuses for looking the other way.
HORSEPOWER, Inc., a new organization devoted to equine policy, calls upon policymakers to take these indictments seriously and work toward meaningful reforms. Among the legislative proposals awaiting attention are S.1976, which would prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing, and a new bill, S.7719/ A.9989, which seeks to prohibit slaughter of racehorses and their stock for consumption, mandates microchipping and provides for an aftercare fund.
We believe it is possible to honor and protect equine welfare while still participating in equine sports. But the latter must be preceded by stronger regulations, care and humane approaches. Serious consideration and stakeholder input on such proposals provides a step in the right direction. Taking bigger strides is long overdue.
Karin Carreau

Trump has failed on refugees and climate

Currently, we have what people are calling a “refugee crisis” at our southern border. People have been flooding up from Central America fleeing violence, drought and starvation, caused partly by global warming.
Conditions at these refugee camps are abominable, with standing-room-only at times, toilets are overflowing, privacy is lacking, there are no showers, no clean clothing, little medical care, not enough feminine hygiene products, inedible or not enough food, cold facilities and no beds.
This is just a trickle of refugees compared to what we will face as Earth grows hotter in the future and people abandon the Maldives and Marshall Islands as they sink, leave Bangladesh as saltwater flows in, and abandon coastal cities, even in the United States, to move inland.
People will also be fleeing uninhabitable heat and drought, as they have in Syria and Guatemala.
Water is life. Without it, as drought spreads, people will die. They will also be displaced by flooding and fires. Where will they go? Where will we accommodate them? This is more than a political problem; it’s a practical one. As our arable land dries up, we will need more to feed the population.
This administration has been particularly inhumane concerning refugees and has shown a negative effect on mitigating global warming.
Vote them out in November.
Jahnn Swanker-Gibson

Use old laundry site for new fire station

I have lived in Scotia 40 years.
Many years ago, we were asked to pay for a new firehouse. Land was purchased next to Village Paint and Hardware for this purpose.
At the time, it was a laundry. The property was purchased. There was a perfectly good building with a steel structure ready to be remodeled into a fire station. It was decided that the building wouldn’t work. They tore it down and everybody expected that a new firehouse would be built. Today it is a parking lot. Where is the firehouse?
Where is the money allocated for the firehouse? Before ruining our park, I suggest you use the property already designated for that purpose. The primary reason for choosing the park was that the village of Scotia already owned the land, thereby keeping costs down. You already own land, which is at present a parking lot. Use it for its original purpose.
Mark Alfano

Look to past for a lesson on America

During the Carter administration, the Desert One Iranian hostage raid failed. Shortly after, the survivors were loading up to go home at an airfield in Oman. There was a British contingent on the airfield, and cases of beer magically appeared.
On top was a piece of cardboard where someone wrote with a marker: “To you all, from us all, for having the guts to try.”
The colors on our flag include red and blue. Reflect on this.
R. Jeffrey Warrick

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