New York

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, April 25

Your Voice

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Our Mother Earth needs us to listen

Can you hear her? Mother Earth has been speaking 4.5 billion years on this blue planet. Humans have been here for a mere 200,000 years perhaps.
For eons, we listened to our Mother; we lived within the harmony of the community of life.
But we have turned a deaf ear to her in the last 200 years. We grew arrogant and felt that we could “rape” her of her secrets and treasures. We have taken and taken and not given back.
We have poured toxins into her air, water and soil. Now we’re at the tipping point. Mother Earth can absorb no more poison. She cannot breathe. And now we have a disease that prevents our breathing. Is coronavirus her revenge? No, I think not. Our Mother doesn’t deal in vengeful actions; she deals in consequences. In many ways, we humans are reaping what we’ve sown. Unfortunately, the whole of creation, especially the most vulnerable, are being destructively impacted.
Can we see what harm our own personal actions are doing? Can we change one of our actions? Stop our waste of resources? Stop littering? Can we recycle? Can we join one of the many positive environmental groups that are making tremendous strides to work for the health and well-being of the web of life? Mother Earth waits – almost holding her breath- waiting for what the human will do in this time of peril and promise.
Linda Neil
Sisters of St. Joseph

Shocked at medical person not in mask

Am I alone in being shocked that the picture in the April 20 Gazette of Dr. Kulbida and an unnamed nurse/doctor in the background in the newborn nursery at Bellevue Hospital were not wearing masks or gloves?
Color me horrified.
Cynthia Swanson

Get more informed before commenting

I read Winnie Balz’s April 21 letter (“Take precautions to stop spread, not laws”) that she’s having a tough time finding a face mask. She has tried to buy one, make one and doesn’t believe covering your nose and mouth for any length of time is good for you. I certainly believe there are quite a few folks in Washington, D.C., who should be permanently masked and it would be great for me.
The reader also stated she deserves some credit for knowing what precautions to take to stay virus-free. Unfortunately, not all residents are as knowledgeable as she, but it is not a law.
It is an executive order and store owners should not allow folks in without proper PPE. There are still many people out there that think this virus is a hoax and this isn’t going to magically disappear. Please inform the reader I have plenty of duct tape I will gladly give her for a mask.
Mike Briggs

Cuomo did right in securing ventilators

With all due respect to Mr. Connolly’s criticism of Gov. Cuomo regarding the Ventilator Allocation Guidelines report in his April 13 letter (“What happened to ventilator report?”), in reading part of the report, I came to a different conclusion. Mr. Connolly takes issue with the governor’s extensive efforts to obtain additional ventilators. Mr. Connolly states, “Purchasing additional ventilators is dismissed. The solution is to triage.”
Three segments of ventilator availability exist: sufficient ventilators are available, therefore none need to be obtained; it’s impossible to obtain enough ventilators, therefore it’s imperative to establish a “worst-case” protocol, and a middle segment wherein there aren’t enough currently available, but it may be possible to obtain enough ventilators.
After watching several governor’s press conferences and reading numerous articles, I believe he’s doing what any clear thinking, competent and empathetic leader would do. That is to try as much as possible to avoid having to invoke the “impossible” segment protocol.
That does not invalidate the report at all.
I’m sure the patients treated by those “obtained ventilators” and their families and friends would agree.
That being said, the exclusions I mention could have been more clearly stated in the letter from the commissioner of health and the Preface, among other places in the report details.
Mr. Connolly, do you really believe that if we don’t have enough ventilators, nothing should be done to get more? That seems to be the essence of your criticism and/or you just want to criticize the governor.
Albert J. Pirigyi, Sr.
Burnt Hills

Thank postal carriers for delivering in crisis

I have seen quite a few sincere and well-deserved messages posted for first responders, military service professionals, and health care professionals, and they all have earned our respect and gratitude during these challenging times.
However, there is one group that I have not seen mentioned, and that is the postal carriers and clerks.
They handle mail and packages daily, as well as dealing with the public some of whom are still not observant of the social distancing and self-care; postal employees are putting themselves at serious risk every time they go to work.
How many times has your mail not been delivered since this crisis started? They have not even been late getting our mail delivered, nor have I heard anyone complain about the mail service because of the virus.
This is one of those professions that is typically taken for granted, but they are on the front lines every day and continue to do their jobs professionally and competently. If you have to visit the post office for some legitimate reason, or if you happen to see your mail carrier, thank them for the selfless and essential work that they do.
Rudy Nydegger
Ballston Spa

People not wearing their masks correctly

The April 16 front page headline read “Cuomo orders use of face covering,” with an accompanying picture of a man wearing a mask.
The front page of the local section featured a man serving up two orders of chicken wings, also wearing a mask. Kudos and criticism to The Gazette for these two stories and corresponding pictures.
Kudos for the stories; both are very important for everyone to read. One speaks directly to the need to use masks when out in public for our own and others’ protections when social distancing is not possible. The other speaks to the need to support our local small businesses while wearing masks to protect ourselves and others.
Criticism, though, for the pictures because they both demonstrate how not to wear a protective mask.
The man on the front page might just as well have not worn a mask at all, since the upper edge of the mask is underneath his nose. Every exhaled breath was being expelled into the air around him. The man on the front page of the local section had coverage of his nose and mouth, good for him. However, there appears to be a gap between the mask and his nose and upper cheeks.
If the mask is to work properly, it should be pinched to cover nose, mouth and upper cheeks or closed with a small piece of tape if cloth or a bandana.
As they say in the subways of London, “Mind the Gap.”
Julianne Gorsage

Stand up for heroes of St. Clare’s Hospital

In this time of national crisis, we have realized who the essential workers really are in this society. We applaud the nurses, EMTs, doctors and all the other personnel whose job it is to heal us when we are ill, who are, at this very moment, risking their health and perhaps lives to fight this fight for us. Those people were heroes last month, last year and for decades before that. We rightly honor them now.
There are, however, 1,100 of those heroes in our own community who, far from being honored, seem to have been forgotten. These folks worked, some for several decades, for us.
The workers at the former St. Clare’s Hospital have lost some or all of their pensions. This is, unfortunately, an old story. Some have died. Some, if they had other savings, have seen those diminished by this crisis. For others, that pension was their future. Gone.
If our concern for the heroes working for us now is real, not some passing, feel-good emotion, then we will contact our representatives, the Catholic Diocese of Albany and anyone else who can help these heroes who have sacrificed for us. If we let this injustice stand, we don’t deserve the service these people have given to our community.
Frederick Ziemann
Saratoga Springs

Congress must give doctors their due

I want to thank our local doctors for working on the front lines, bravely fighting the coronavirus epidemic. They are keeping us safe here, caring for local patients and also caring for patients sent to our hospitals from hard hit hot spots like New York City.
Other doctors are even voluntarily leaving their families and traveling to places where they are needed most to care for those that are sick and in dire need of help.
Not only are they risking their own health, they’re bearing the burden of potentially infecting their families. To say we all owe them a deep debt of gratitude is an understatement.
I hope Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, along with Congress, recognize doctors for their heroic actions throughout this crisis and after as well. Congress took care of first responders after 9/11, and the same recognition for doctors only seems appropriate today. They, too, have rushed “into the fire” to save others.
With support from our senators and Congress, and gratitude from us all, doctors will emerge from this crisis prepared to get back to their regular practices and procedures.
Let’s hope that day comes sooner rather than later.
Adrienne Englund

CARES Act must help nonprofits, too

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt every facet of society, New York’s nonprofit human services organizations continue to provide necessary services to our most vulnerable citizens.
Like many others, we have experienced significant challenges as a result of the virus, compounding the issues we face as a chronically-underfunded industry.
Many nonprofits employ more than 500 employees and have not been able to access the Paycheck Protection Program, which contains loan forgiveness provisions necessary to help ensure they can provide services during the crisis and assist with our nation’s recovery efforts.
As the Treasury Department implements CARES Act financing to banks and other lenders to make loans to nonprofits and other mid-size business of between 500-10,000 employees, we and a coalition of our peers request that the program: Include a 0.50% interest rate (50 basis points) for 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits at a 5 year amortization; provide priority to 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits responding to COVID-19 relief efforts; payments shall not be due until two years after a direct loan is made; employee retention provisions should begin on the date that loan funding is received by the borrower; and, in implementing any workforce restoration and retention provisions, “workforce” should be defined as full-time employees or full-time equivalents.
Nonprofit organizations are our country’s only institutions solely focused on making communities stronger. In the toughest times, we do the toughest work. When it’s time to restore and repair our well-being, we’ll be here to help.
William Gettman
The writer is CEO of Northern Rivers Family of Services.

Trump’s full of it? Listen to Biden talk

“Um, you know there’s a, uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, that uh, you know, was totally different, than a, than the, he called it the, you know, the World War II, he had the War Production Board.” — Joe Biden speaking from his bunker in Delaware, CNN Thursday, April 16, 2020.
I was convinced that the country had finally hit bottom when Donald Trump became president, but then the Democratic National Committee dug deeper and up came the King of Malarkey.
Walter Wouk

Paper should show proper mask usage

In the April 16 Gazette, your choice of the photo of a person on State Street wearing his mask incorrectly is not a real help for the community.
On the front of the local section is another photo – showing the mask worn correctly over the nose. Please help us learn how to adapt to the pandemic and keep ourselves safe.
Mary MacDonald
Clifton Park

Cuomo doesn’t live up to rhetoric, hype

His critics accuse him of being arrogant, unethical and loose with the truth. They say he is an autocrat who uses his coronavirus pressers to inflate his relevance and political appeal. They say he is the ultimate bully.
No, I’m not describing President Trump, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Much like his father, Mario Cuomo, who used a well-delivered speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention to vault himself into the presidential conversation back in the late 1980s, Andy has used this recent crisis to draw praise from his liberal friends in the media and Hollywood. They have even suggested he should be considered a presidential candidate.
Please forgive my skepticism, but I have been here during his time as governor of New York. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who personally likes him, let alone anyone outside his loyalists in the Democratic Party who feels he has served us well. The media is looking for any alternative to Trump who they despise. But Andy is not up to the challenge in much the same way his father was long on rhetoric yet lacking in important accomplishments. Please carefully review Andy’s record.
Donald Flynt
Ballston Lake

Covid no excuse for poor internet service

Although the coronavirus has disrupted all of the world, I was one of the lucky ones, able to work from home. Unfortunately, all of that came to a screeching halt over a week ago, when Verizon’s DSL internet stopped working.
I reported it immediately and was told, “24-48 hours,” and I understood that big companies were also working with a lack of resources.
When the service wasn’t working on Monday, they advised me that it would be working by the end of the day, and the next day they told me “by 2:45 p.m.,” then 3:45, then 11 p.m. Every single day, I was given the same commitment, citing “Coronavirus, sorry,” and every day nothing. Spectrum won’t give me service because they won’t come to my house. Now I’m about to lose my job, which I really like and want, because I’m unable to accomplish anything for my boss. Coronavirus isn’t the only reason for lack of good service. Sometimes it’s just an excuse.
Diana Klementowski
Greenfield Center

Experiment with opening up D.C. first

How about resolving the federal/state issue of when and how to re-open the economy by opening Washington, D.C. first?
Works for me!
Will Aubrey

Governor doesn’t just represent NYC

Gov. Cuomo, isn’t it time you acknowledged upstate New Yorkers? Every time you’re asked any question about upstate, your answer seems to be “I’ll have to look into that.” I know that you mentioned Buffalo once, and you have acknowledged that Albany is part of New York state. But do you know that places like Schenectady, Utica, Rochester, Elmira, etc. are just a few of the upstate cities that exist? You seem to find us when you want revenue, equipment or votes.
It would be nice if you would address our needs and our desires for information about what is happening outside of New York City. Your rant about everyone else’s lack of support is just that, a rant. So please understand that you were supposed to represent everyone in the state, not just New York City.
Mary Disabel

Examine real causes of unpreparedness

I have to reply to untold facts about the virus, and how unprepared hospitals, nursing homes have not been ready for crises like we are facing now.
For decades, nurses and some doctors have been begging for more rooms to be set aside for emergencies such as this war — along with supplies, bedding, masks and all the equipment necessary to fight crises. But no, CEOs, presidents, and shareholders ignored these pleas, thinking of the bottom line and getting fat salaries.
You wonder why you pay $6,800 for aspirin? They say we have to treat those who cannot pay. When a CEO makes $20 million, they can have the equipment they need.
In sanctuary cities, people refusing to get vaccinations, filthy streets, no garbage pickup, etc. that’s the problem, and politicians will not admit it. New York City, Albany, San Francisco  and others are reaping what they sow, and the media is not reporting it. Shame on them, and you.
The media just wants to blame President Trump when they should be blaming the real cause. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask nurses and doctors who have been around and get the facts.
Al Marvell

Biden should look at causes of problems

In the April 19 Sunday Gazette, Michael Gerson’s column (“Joe Biden challenged to fill large vacancy in leadership”) has lots of facts correct but misses how to deal with them by 180 degrees, ignoring the fact that most of our security problems weren’t cured by past policies, but created by them.
Al Qaeda attacked us because we used our power to prop up a totalitarian government in Saudi Arabia to protect American oil interests.
The ayatollahs hate us because we toppled an elected Iranian government and imposed the Shah on them. ISIS’s rise was enabled by the chaos we unleashed with military action in the Middle East.
Many refugees fleeing Central America are knocking at our Mexican border. We’ve consistently intervened in Central American countries over many decades to prevent the rise of genuine democracy and prop up ruling oligarchies there, creating conditions causing refugee flight.
The only times we have received universal approval and praise for our overseas efforts were when we sent help to deal with earthquakes, typhoons etc., by providing rescue, medical services and material help after such events, not when we used military power and economic attacks.
Joe Biden, build more hospital ships, not more carriers.
David C. Furman, Jr.

Heroes not stopped by sniping and ill will

Country singer Randy Travis made popular a song, “Heroes and Friends” that now applies perfectly to those who have responded to our national pandemic. I speak of the heroes who respond to every 911 call; care for us in the hospital and nursing homes and share our infected space for our welfare.
These heroes are indeed our friends. They have put aside their fears and personal safety for the good of humanity.
They are undeterred by a dishonest media or our local letter writing hate mongers who hide on the sidelines and snipe at our president; or their fellow heroes who have been so mistreated by our state government; (i.e. the former St. Clare’s employees). They must not go unappreciated.
As true “heroes and friends,” they have compassion for all and put their own person, second to that of their fellow man.
We stand in awe and total respect.  A heartfelt thank you to all.
Jack Osterlitz

To reopen America, we need more testing

There are a substantial percentage of people in this country that don’t realize the paramount importance of vast testing regarding the coronavirus.
Bringing it to a simple explanation might help them understand the necessity of testing.
Assume everyone in America was able to get tested for the virus. At least three things would be determined: Do you have the virus, have you had the virus, or you do not and never have had the virus.
For simplification, let’s suppose people never having had the virus are yellow; people who have had, and presumably are no longer contagious, are blue; and people that actively have the virus are red.
In all likelihood, it would be safe to say the yellow and blue people can get back to work and normal life. Have the red people go into quarantine until they are no longer contagious. Consequently, the country would be able to get back to normalcy much sooner with a greatly reduced fear of spreading the virus.
The purpose of this letter is to inform the people, as those in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia, who are defying social distancing orders and are protesting state governments to reopen, that it would be considerably more effective to achieve their purpose by protesting the federal government.
Perhaps these people, along with many others, in a bipartisan social media protest, should demand Washington vastly expand its testing capabilities. This would certainly help accomplish what all Americans want — expediting the reopening of the United States of America.
Louis Restifo Sr.
Burnt Hills

Athlete deserved recognition in draft

I really enjoyed the fantasy boys’ basketball draft article in the April 19 Sunday Gazette. I’m sure it will generate many comments. Mine:
What about Rosey Phillips? I’m sure the answer is he has no resume beyond his high school career, which was itself shortened. However, his talent (recognized as a Parade All-American as a sophomore) was beyond question. I’d take him in my starting five.
Peter E. Reilly
Estero, Fla., formerly of Clifton Park

We must invest in fighting depression

In the midst of this horrible COVID-19 virus, I could not help but make a comparison between it and depression. Both silently take a hold of their victims. There is no known cure for either one.
People can survive COVID-19 and depression if it is identified and treated. Thousands will die from both if untreated.
A face mask may mitigate the numbers who suffer from the virus, but there are no face masks for depression. It strikes slowly and silently and mitigation is complicated.
There are no vaccines that will prevent depression.
Scientists are working on a vaccine that will prevent COVID-19 and save thousands of lives. Billions and billions of federal dollars have been invested in preventing and treating COVID-19 which has claimed over 30,000 lives.
Scientists are studying mental illness and depression but only 35 million federal dollars have been invested. Last year alone, 47,000 people died by suicide, and every year that number increases.
With billions of dollars invested in research, we will prevent death by COVID-19. I can only hope that we can say the same about suicide one day.
Joann Perillo-Lasky

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