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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, May 31

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Columnist wrong on history of protests

Mr. John Figliozzi disparaged protesters in his May 24 column (“Does democracy make ignorance equal of intelligence?”) writing, “It seems to have never occurred to the founders of our nation that anyone would willingly want to wallow in their own ignorance.”
He is about 180 degrees wrong on the history.
The Founding Fathers had very little faith in “the people” and purposely designed a system including the Electoral College, election of senators by state legislatures, an onerous amendment system and the right to vote limited to free, white males over 21.
You can barely go two pages in the Federalist papers without some warning of the danger of “popular passions.” With a few exceptions the founders weren’t men of science and philosophy.
They were the landed gentry, lawyers and merchants with the money to buy books and the time to read them so they could dabble in science and history giving them the unshakable belief they were the elite and should make the rules, popular opinion be damned.
Today some protesters may be ill informed or ignorant but most have very legitimate concerns about today’s leaders and their contradictory restrictions.
They ask what data or science barred covid patients from Florida nursing homes while putting them in New York and New Jersey homes.
The “temporary” limitations, starting their eleventh week and it isn’t unreasonable to question if the trade-offs of March are what we need now.
The protesters and Mr. Figliozzi seek different trade-offs, but that doesn’t make the protesters wrong.
David Ochse
Porter Corners

Headlines should reflect article content

Misleading headlines are a significant contributor to the skepticism and low regard for mainstream news.
In the May 24 Gazette, the assertive headline: “Climate change making hurricanes stronger” is followed by an article studded with words that question the assertion: “theory,” “suggested,” the “likelihood.”
Then comes the counterbalancing from an interview with Kerry Emanuel, an MIT hurricane expert who said that “factors other than climate change may have played a role in the increase in intensity.”
The article continues “Physics suggests that as the world warms, hurricanes should get stronger, but that confirming that through observations has been problematic.”
Finally, Emanuel states, “We’ve all believed we should see more intense hurricanes. But it’s very tricky to find it in the data.”
Perhaps an accurate headline without a bias might have read: “Relation between climate change, hurricanes not clear.”
Bayla Wald
Clifton Park

Emeka, Putnam and Krackeler for Saratoga Springs school board

(An earlier headline had the incorrect school district listed.)

On June 9, our school district trustees will be elected by mail-in ballot. I am writing to express my trust in three candidates.
Anjeanette Emeka is the current board vice president and only incumbent running.
Dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 will take seasoned leadership and understanding of the educational budget process.
Her steady hand, knowledge, and experience will be essential for the tough decisions the board and administration will face.
Going into these times without her is unacceptable.
Casey Putnam is a teacher with 22 years of experience. She is a leader among her peers in the Shenendehowa schools. She advocates for programs that grow students as people, civically, emotionally, and academically. She knows districts are safest and most productive when kids feel ownership of their schools and learning.
Tony Krackeler is a former teacher and local business owner. He has deep roots in our community and the experience to understand and weigh the views of teachers, staff, and administrators.
He places a strong focus on the total wellness of our students, not just their academic achievements.
Join me in voting for Emeka, Putnam and Krackeler.
Andrew Beatty
Saratoga Springs

Rare praise for New York Times reporting

I almost find it disturbing that I would say anything nice about a New York Times reporter.
But the article that appeared in the May 17 Sunday Gazette by Jan Hoffman (“I can’t turn my brain off”) about how PTSD and burnout are threatening our heroic medical workers is the best I have read on this subject.
Keep up the good work young lady. You deserve a Pulitzer Prize for this fine story.
PS: I am 79. You are all young to me.
Ray Weidman

We have the greatest gift to defeat Trump

Donald sends his Twitters
A hundred times a day
His grumbling quotes result in
A world in disarray.
An ego-centric bully
His power comes from fear
And those who dare defy him
All shortly disappear.
The media’s ambivalent
Its ratings must stay high
So nightly news recants his deeds
As cherished values die.
The red hats cheer his every word
Jeannine and Rush drone on
And thinking people realize
That decency is gone.
The road’s dividing up ahead
A chance to change direction
An opportunity given us
To change the conversation.
I may be just one person
Not anyone of note
But I possess the greatest gift
I have the right to vote.
Jo Freedman



Don’t be blind to the benefits of masks

I have composed a little ditty to remind and educate people about the wearing of masks. It can be sung to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”:
Wear a mask, wear a mask.
That’s what we do, that’s what we do.
You wear for me and I’ll wear for you, ‘cause that’s what considerate people do
To stop the spread of a terrible flu- wear a mask.
Wear a mask, wear a mask.
That’s what we do, that’s what we do.
If you want to open up the state, if you want the economy to be great,
Then listen to experts and don’t take Trump’s bait. Wear a mask.
Katie Finnegan
Middle Grove

Support Rivera, Hitlall for Schenectady board

Back in February I had written asking, urging the school board to pass the Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption. Although disappointingly the exemption had not passed, two of the school board members that had voted in support of the exemption are now up for reelection.
This is just one example of many instances that these two have proven to do the right thing with the best interest of Schenectady and our schools at heart.
I am asking the residents of Schenectady, in particular other veterans, to please vote for and re-elect Bernice Rivera and Dharam (Junior) Hitlall. We need them and need to encourage them to continue doing the right thing for our schools.
Dennis Eagan

Rogerson is uniquely positioned for Nisky

I am voting for Sarah Rogerson for school board. Sarah’s professional experience combined with her commitment to our community make her the perfect choice for our schools.
Sarah is a public interest lawyer and my colleague at Albany Law School. As a clinical law professor, she leads teams of students and professionals to provide free legal assistance to communities in crisis. Sarah is adept at identifying problems, assessing resources, asking hard questions, and making timely decisions. Sarah is uniquely positioned to help our schools tackle challenges; I see her do it every day.
Sarah and I were forced out of the classroom by COVID-19. We both had to adapt our teaching quickly, exchanging ideas in the process. Her perspective as an educator will be invaluable as the school board continues to develop plans to educate our students during this unprecedented time.
Sarah and her husband Mark are devoted to our community and their two boys, with particularly deep roots in Niskayuna Baseball, Schenectady Youth Hockey, the JCC and Craig Elementary School. As a Niskayuna parent and alumna, and Sarah’s colleague and friend, I am thrilled to endorse her for school board. Please join me in voting for Sarah Rogerson.
Ainsley Gordon Moloney

With parks open, provide restrooms too

Regarding the reopening of Central Park, in the May 28 Gazette Mayor McCarthy stated the pools in Schenectady will stay closed (“Few options in city to beat the heat.”) Tennis courts are open. I was at Central Park Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. There were several people walking, some with dogs, biking, fishing, reading, visiting with friends at a picnic table and having lunch (practicing social distancing) and most of the people had masks and were considerate of other people. Parks are beginning to open up.
Warm weather draws people out. Mayor McCarthy, the restrooms were locked. The city of Schenectady had time to prepare for Memorial weekend. Going forward, if you do not want to open the restrooms, then the city should provide porta-potties.
Susan Ferrara

Supervisor has a role to serve in committees

In response to Michael Marinucci’s May 25 letter, (“Supervisor creates Trump-like diversion”), I ask the residents of Niskayuna if they want a supervisor who wants to be actively involved in all departments and activities for the betterment of Niskayuna?
I retired from the comptroller’s office at the town of Niskayuna and I want to remind Mr. Marinucci that the political rival he refers to is the same that was involved in holding secretive meetings and purposely excluding a committee head from meetings and updates. Who is “Trumpian,” Mr. Marinucci? Co-chairs can be an asset to business progress.
If board members are not working for the betterment of the town and its residents, the residents should vote them out.
The town should have a board focused on making good financial and sound decisions to make Niskayuna grow and be better.
Sandra Busino

Emeka brings moral compass, experience

In the upcoming Saratoga Springs City School District board election, Anjeanette Emeka is easily the best candidate, the one with the most experience and personal dignity.
As a former Saratoga board member, I served together with Anji, and I found her to be a unique individual, one who could get along with people with vastly different points of view.
She and I may have had disagreements, but, in each case, we were able to work together, thanks to her innate ability to deal with everyone as an individual.
Anji has served on the board for two incredibly divisive years, including this past year as vice-president; as a leader, she has managed to be a voice of reason and inclusion, no matter the disagreements and even anger in the room.
As a former board member, I cannot minimize the importance of board experience; without Anji on the board, Saratoga will have just two members with more than one year of experience, as the district heads into what could be the most difficult year in history.
I implore fellow Saratoga Springs school district residents to support Anjeanette Emeka, the person with most experience and the best moral compass.
Steve Grandin
Saratoga Springs


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