New York

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, April 22

Your Voice

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Bernie’s platform survives candidacy

The length to which the Democratic establishment went in defeating Bernie Sanders only shows to what degree his platform resonated with so many.
Was it Bloody Monday, when President Obama called in the troops and left the lone “faux progressive,” Elizabeth Warren, to diminish his support on Super Tuesday that did him in? Or the media’s focus on Amy Klobuchar’s fourth place in New Hampshire pretending Bernie’s non-existence? Russia-gating him after the landslide victory in Nevada? Was it election rigging? Why is it that in Europe they have replaced electronic voting machines with paper ballots, counted by real people, and we have not?
The tragedy is that in this time of covid pandemic when we see clearly the inhumanity of a profit driven healthcare system, it was Bernie’s moment to shine. Instead, he folded under pressure and left so many of us feeling betrayed.
The silver lining, though, is you can’t put this genie back in the bottle. Bernie’s platform has set a new standard by which every other candidate for office will be compared. I even hear some of those party hacks start their sentences with, “ How is it that in every other nation in the industrialized world … ?”
Deborah Krol

District has chance to make fresh start

The commentary of Sara Foss on April 12, (“School board needs to look inward”) was astonishingly excellent and right on the mark. I read it twice.
She is to be commended for her courage, intelligence, wisdom and insight. It is delightful to see an eloquent person who cares enough to attempt correction of a regretful, if not horrible, situation, involving what many citizens understand about the now-gone superintendent, who recently received a generous pay increase.
This made normal quality education and appropriate resolution of problems impossible during his tenure.
Foss suggests that the constituency of the board requires,virtually an entire replacement in the near future or next election, with dedicated, thoughtful, courageous individuals who are responsible to the job requirement.
A board must be able to acknowledge difficult problems and act accordingly with strength and determination, unaffected by political reverberation. Priorities of the board should be students, educators and educational quality, as well as appropriate discipline.
Perhaps Sara Foss may propose and lead, with assistance of the community, on how this may be accomplished with minimal or no dependence on so-called “outside, costly experts,” as this method has not always proved to be consistently effective.
Lyle W. Barlyn

Trump should do more than boast

So, Mr. Trump is crowing about the TV ratings for his news conference every day. In reality, I suspect those ratings are the same as they had been before his daily “campaign,” and as they will be when the daily “campaign” stops.
Here they come on during the nightly newscast, which probably most of us watch regularly. We have no choice about it unless we turn our set off, but I suspect we leave it on because we want to see the rest of our local newscast. Funny, the things he dwells on.
I have a suggestion for another way to add hospital beds to our health system. The Trump family could generously offer their hotels for that use — single rooms, private bathrooms, the ability to prepare meals – you name it.
Ethel Robinson

County seniors can get help on covid-19

I would like to respond to the reader who requested assistance for Schenectady County’s seniors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Especially now, but also in the future, any Schenectady County resident 60 years of age and older can call the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services/Schenectady County NY Connects at 518-382-8481 x-1. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cathryn Bern-Smith
The writer is manager of the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services.

Narcissistic Trump culpable in deaths

The term narcissist (as in Trump) implies a certain behavior and thought combo, not necessarily a value judgment.
Trump, however, is obsessed that he alone knows what is best for the United States, and only he is capable of handling all aspects of this, including global policy.
He cannot accept criticism or advice from others, and fires people who have the requisite expertise, qualifications, knowledge and dedication to the truth. Trump himself, is inept, incompetent, ignorant of science, rude, crude, racist, unethical and devoid of empathy. In short, his narcissism is pathological. He is an egomaniac.
Mr. Trump, you were warned in January 2020 0f the arrival of the pandemic and did nothing to plan and inventory a federal response, instead calling it a hoax. Your claim of “not responsible” is absurd; you own this thing 100%, and the blood of many is on your hands. Your obsession with restoring full U.S. economic function without extensive COVID-19 testing of the U.S. population, plus analysis of time/area trends, will only add to the deaths of more U.S. citizens.
For what? To feed your vanity, insatiable need of approval/control, and of course, lunacy.
George W. Putman

Prioritize students’ mental well-being

Depression, anxiety and other mental illness rates have skyrocketed since the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Although praise is being given to those still out working, attention to the mental health of students is being overlooked.
The switch to online learning has come with the cost of a lack of student access to services that were otherwise available in person, including mental health services and socializing with peers.
In response to your paper’s March 12 article (“SUNY Schools Move to Online Learning,”), beginning March 19 amid the coronavirus threat, the legislation The Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2019 (H.R.1109) would greatly help in providing mental health services to students during this time of crisis.
Online schooling has taken away socialization, one of the most essential activities for humans. A study at the University of Chicago found that the brain actually rewires itself when in isolation, resulting in depression, low self-esteem and the decreased ability to learn.
This is especially detrimental to students who rely on feedback and social support from teachers and peers. As students experience higher rates of mental health issues, the need for counseling or other mental health services is crucial.
H.R.1109, introduced back in February of last year, aims to support these mental health services, including screening, treatment and outreach programs. The passing of this bill would greatly benefit students across the nation, allowing them to have access to professionals who can help, even through this global pandemic.
Stephanie Poris
The writer is a social work major at Roberts Wesleyan College.

No taxes charged on stimulus checks

Just wondering, are we going to have to pay income tax on our ‘Stimulus Payments’?
Mary Siegel
Editor’s note: The stimulus money is an advance on a federal tax credit. Therefore, it is not subject to state or federal income tax and does not need to be reported as income.

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