New York

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, June 14

Your Voice

Jewish community stands in solidarity

The Capital Region’s Jewish community is grief stricken.
We stand in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters in the Jewish community and beyond, as we all mourn the violent death of George Floyd. The Jewish community rejects racism and bigotry in all its forms in our society.
Along with civil rights leaders, local officials, and other religious leaders, we express our respect and empathy for every human being as we are taught that each person is created B’Tzelem Elohim (in the sacred image of God). We renew our commitment to pursue justice and to work together for meaningful and lasting systemic change.
Our tradition teaches: “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds” (Leviticus 19:16). Therefore, we will uphold our responsibility to work alongside our neighbors to build a more equitable, caring and just world.
Robert R. Kovach
The writer is president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York.
The letter was also signed on behalf of the following organizations.
• Capital District Board of Rabbis
• Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York
• Albany Jewish Community Center
• Schenectady Jewish Community Center
• Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York


Police must learn to exercise more control

I’m saddened that it takes the recent deaths of two unarmed blacks to bring sinful acts to the attention of our country. The number of individuals that have been killed by police when less severe measures would have sufficed is appalling.
Why do police use deadly physical force or shoot to kill when a disabling shot in the leg could have accomplished the goal?
Police academies need to refocus on control rather than kill. Officers with abuse records and anger management issues should be removed from the force.
The public is crying out for change; requiring police be trained to control rather than kill is a first priority.
Where does the blame fall when the public responds with rioting and violence when senseless killing of unarmed individuals has continued for years?
Police training and lawmakers alike have neglected to address this problem; as a result, we are faced with an America that is acting out on their frustration and anger.
Rioting and violence have now become part of the problem; along with police training and lawmakers that haven’t addressed the basic problem.
We must require police be properly trained to assess the seriousness of the situation and determine their goal before they needlessly shoot from the hip.
It’s a sad state of affairs when, reviewing the number of similar instances over the last decade, we find little has been done to rectify the situation.
My heart goes out to all families and friends that have been impacted by thoughtless deeds.
Susan Biggs

Democrats display politics at its worst

When I first heard COVID-19, lockdown, social distancing, and masks I listened. Gov. Cuomo gave his apocalyptic report on deaths and scared the people the best he could. He even had a doctor, paid for by New York state, validate everything he was saying.
I watched as the “crisis” played out waiting for Cuomo to allow dissenting opinions to be heard. When that didn’t happen, my opinion of this “crisis” was formed. I felt this “crisis” had little to do with a virus and felt it was about power, control, money and Cuomo covering his backside. In 2016, the Democrats lost power, behaving like spoiled children ever since. The Democrats have shown there’s no level too low they won’t stoop to regain power.
The Mueller witch hunt, impeachment circus and ruining a booming national economy using COVID-19 as a political weapon. The control Cuomo is forcing on residents and businesses is staggering.
This is socialism with a dash of communism, it’s the way America will look if the Democrats regain power. Cuomo has irresponsibly spent taxpayer money his entire tenure as governor. Cuomo now wants a bailout from the federal government, I hope they don’t.
In 2015, Cuomo requested a pandemic preparedness assessment. The report showed New York was unprepared, it outlined what was needed, and how much it would cost. Cuomo ignored the recommendations in the report, deciding to triage if a pandemic happened. That’s political butt covering 101. It’s not about a virus, it’s dirty politics at its absolute worst.
Greg McDermott

Remove crowd size limit on graduations

Can Gov. Cuomo please explain the “science, not emotion” behind his limit of 150 people at graduations when there is no limit on protest crowd size? We have seen gatherings of 10,000 and more happen over the past days, and they continue even now. They are even encouraged because of “the emotion” (not science) surrounding the issue. I have no problem with (peaceful) protests. I also have no problem with graduations. Be consistent. Remove the size restriction on graduations.
Edward Nieters
Burnt Hills


Congress has duty to vote in person

The Constitution’s 15th and 19th Amendments give us the right to vote. People have fought for hundreds of years for the right to vote. Now we have our U.S. House of Representatives allowing others to cast votes for them because they do not want to go to work and do the job  they were elected by the people to do. To use the excuse of the stay-at-home order because of the virus, but to agree with these mass gatherings to protest, makes absolutely no sense to me.
Mr. Tonko was elected to represent the people of the 20th Congressional District. Mr. Tonko is remiss of his constitutional duty for which he has sworn to do. Mr. Tonko should step down and apologize to the people of the 20th Congressional District for his remiss of his sworn duty.
William Humphrey

Question timing of barriers at school

I’m a long time resident of Niskayuna and retired teacher from the high school. I’ve always considered Niskayuna as a great place to live, work and raise a family. I question that after this weekend. On June 6, I went by Niskayuna High School and saw barriers blocking the entrances. This is the first time I’ve seen barriers there since the schools were closed due to COVID-19. Since the closing, I’ve seen people using the track, the fields and the tennis courts. I have done so myself.
The barriers were the usual wooden horses I’ve seen at the school previously on concert, voting or sports days. These were metal, had caution tape and traffic cones in front of them. The “stay out” message was clear.
This message was sent by the town and school district on the same weekend as the “Black Lives Matter” protest was taking place at town hall.
Is it a coincidence that this message was sent on this weekend? I worry that it’s not. Perhaps it may have been about security, but the barriers were not up from March to this weekend, and were removed by the following Monday morning. Actions send messages, intended or not. The actions by the leadership in Niskayuna sent a message that we might not be the open and supporting community we all want to be. Now is the time for all of us to take action and show that all lives matter, all are welcome and supported in our community.
John Sharkey

Racist cartoons reinforce prejudices

What, exactly, was your point in publishing Tom Stiglich’s vile June 9 cartoon depicting a black man robbing a white woman’s purse? Deliberately racist and inaccurate depictions do not deserve a platform like a newspaper, even on an editorial page.
Running his cartoon in your paper reinforces prejudices that have no place in Schenectady or our discourse.
Jeff Corbin

D-Day deserved more than comics

I was a little shocked and dismayed that there was no mention of the seventy-sixth anniversary of D-Day in the June 6 Gazette.
The only place I could find it was in the Peanuts cartoon.
Thank you Snoopy!
Donna Hart

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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