New York

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, June 20

Your Voice

How far have we come as a people?

A lesser known claim is that humans were close to extinct 70,000 years ago. Humans are very vulnerable.

Another lesser known claim is that birds are dinosaurs. Their great dynasty (more than 100 million years) ended around 66 million years ago, but that means they’re still here and successful.

We know some humans are in awe of dinosaurs. What about vice versa?

Seeing our political and corporate leaders worldwide fail so frequently for the last 106 years, would triceratops or modern dinosaurs (birds) be in awe of humanity?

Seeing our possible luck 70,000 years ago, would dinosaurs be in awe of humanity?

Seeing human indifference to other species suffering (including birds), would dinosaurs be in awe of humanity? I can’t say yes to any of those questions.

Colin Yunick


Rein in governors’ emergency powers

The legal challenges to the various governors’ lockdown orders are welcome and necessary, particularly those that argue the governors overstepped their authority. I do not advocate for irresponsible behavior in the face of the deadly coronavirus.

However, I find equally frightening the notion that the governors might actually have the near-absolute authority they claim. I understand the necessity of dispatch in a true emergency, but continual extensions of executive orders without the consent of the legislature is the stuff of tyranny. With obvious disregard for the Legislature the New York, governor refers to his executive orders as laws, even naming them for his mother.

If it is determined that the governors do have such sweeping extra-legislative authority, the legislatures need to remedy that promptly. If it takes an amendment to the state constitution, then the people must act, too. Imagine the abuses that could occur if that much authority were left in the hands of one who is a tyrant, and a buffoon.

Michael Reilly II


Don’t brag about killing woodchuck

I am writing in regard to Ed Noonan’s May 28 article (“No second turkey tag, but came away with woodchuck”), in which he was bragging about shooting a woodchuck with his Stoeger air gun.

This woodchuck was not doing any harm to anyone and did not deserve to die. Possibly there might have been babies inside the hole, also where the woodchuck lived.

Did killing this woodchuck and bragging about it make Mr. Noonan feel like a big man? Was this good sportsmanship? I think not.

Catherine Macek


Replace Schuyler with fallen officer

In response to Albany Mayor Sheehan’s order to remove the statue of Gen. Schuyler, I would like to nominate a replacement, Lt. John Finn of the Albany PD.

If you don’t remember, he was the police officer who died in the line of duty in 2004 after a shootout and bled to death days later.

Roger Malewicz

Ballston Spa

The writer is a retired Schenectady police officer.

Removal is too politically correct

“The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.” — (Mark Antony at Caesar’s funeral.)

I read in the June 12 Gazette that Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan had ordered the removal of the statue of Revolutionary War hero Gen. Philip Schuyler from in front of City Hall because she claimed he was the biggest slave owner in Albany during his time.

Be that as it may.

Schuyler Mansion is a New York state historic site. I remember visiting Schuyler Mansion on a high school field trip and was impressed by the hospitality that the guide said Schuyler showed to British prisoners. I have a grandson who attends Albany public schools. Mayor Sheehan, is this any kind of lesson to teach our kids? I don’t know who you’ve been listening to, but in the opinion of many, this is carrying political correctness too far. Who will be next? Jefferson? Washington?

Wally Truesdell


Stop setting off fireworks at night

I am a fan of the 4th of July. I love celebrating our day of independence with my family just as much as anyone. Fireworks on the 4th of July is the greatest.

The thing is it is not the 4th of July yet. To hear firecrackers and fireworks every single night, I’m not a fan of. They are loud and seem to go on late into the night. I believe in fun just as much as the next person, but they are loud and disruptive. That is not fun.

I have a toddler who wakes up because they are that loud and she sleeps with light music on. I work. My neighbors are elderly. I find it rude and disrespectful of others that live in these neighborhoods.

What if there are people living with PTSD around that have to endure this? What if there are newborn babies that have a hard time sleeping? What about people who work multiple jobs that depend on them getting a good night’s sleep? What if there are people who have health issues that truly need their rest.

Be fair, people. You share this space, this world with others. Show some respect for others. You want to let a couple off, have some fun fine but not every night and definitely not into the late hours of the night. Not fun. So again, I do love the 4th of the July. But it is not the 4th of July, so cut it out please.

C. M. Mancino


Don’t minimize the evilness of slavery

In the June 13 Gazette, Schuylerville’s Mayor Carpenter refers to slave-holding as a “tradition” of the 17th century. Going to grandma’s for Thanksgiving is a tradition. Owning people for one’s own economic gain is not a mere tradition. The cruel buying and selling of human beings for free labor should not be minimized by the language used in discussing it.

Jennifer Watson

Ballston Spa

We must embrace the world as one

Regarding the photo taken at Promontory Summit in the 1800s, where the two steam locomotives are nose to nose.: That photo was set up by the federal government. There are no Asian Americans in that photo. The Asian Americans did most of the labor on that rail line and they were purposely left out.

After Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941), Japanese Americans were put in jail for being Japanese by our federal government.

The African Americans, still to this day, are being murdered on the streets of America by white racist or uneducated police officers while the world watches.

The federal government, in our country, is no different than the Chinese Communist Party or the Russian’s with Putin. Our propaganda is just better, but we are losing.

People used to look up to the United States, now they look down, and I don’t blame them.

It’s time we Americans need to embrace the world as one earth. I don’t care if they are Chinese, Japanese, Africans or Martians.

Douglas Bianchi


Be more accepting of others’ views

I just had to respond to Polly Windels’ nasty June 12 letter (“Don’t be duped by Stefanik’s duplicity.”) I hardly think Elise Stefanik “knows the voters in her district are stupid.” They voted her in because they believe in her. I can tell by your letter that you are a liberal Democrat. You have very strong opinions about Republicans, and you’re entitled to them, but I think you could have made your point in a kinder way. Each party has good ideas. No elected official is going to make everyone happy. It’s a shame that neither party can meet each other halfway for the good of the country.

Lorraine VanDerWerken



Santabarbara fights for Amsterdam

My family has a long history here in Amsterdam and we thank Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara for being a true friend of the city we love so much.

No matter what’s going on, even during COVID-19, somehow he’s always here to help our community, supporting our sheriff, police and fire departments, helping with food drives, fundraisers and fighting for the resources we need. What I mean by that is that he himself is actually there in person. Angelo’s not sitting around in an office somewhere waiting for people to ask for hel. You’ll find him in our neighborhoods where people live, seeing things for himself, rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty to get things done.

It seems almost every day, wherever you look, he’s somewhere in our community finding the answers. He’s in the streets checking on things, finding ways to help and he’s doing it all the time.

I’ve been involved with mixed martial arts for most of my life and I know fighters when I see them. Angelo Santabarbara is not only a fighter for Amsterdam, he’s a champion.

Tommy Marcellino


Editorial and cartoon have outdated views

The June 9 editorial’ “Defunding the Police” was bad enough, but also included on that page a blatantly racist cartoon, depicting a white woman being robbed by a black man, a result of defunding.  

There is so much wrong with these two items, especially after the international protests we have just experienced following the latest murder of a black American by police. The editorial is obviously written from a 20th century white male middle-class mindset, when most white people looked at public safety, meaning police protection, as something to which they had a God-given right.

The funding for “public safety” (i.e. police) shouldn’t cover problems of poverty and social inequality? Why shouldn’t we fund solutions to those problems as much as, or more than public safety? Shouldn’t public safety include human needs, not just policing? Apparently, this kind of insulated white privilege thinking is still the norm for too many.  

We must stop denying the racism, violence and inequality in our systems, our governments, our thinking. Let’s leave stereotypes, hateful cartoons behind, and get down to reforming our society.

None of us can breathe freely in a world where greed and hatred dominate. I applaud good cops, new anti-racist work in government, and mostly, the amazing youth of all colors who are claiming their right and power to fashion a world where everyone has a right to live and breathe.

Terri Roben


Santabarbara helps vulnerable people

I’ve been helping those with disabilities all my life and I know great partners when I see them. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is certainly one of them.

As an assemblyman, he’s not only had significant legislative accomplishments, but has also brought significant resources to our communities that serve some of our most vulnerable population. I commend him of the recent opening of the first Certified Autism Center and Sensory Friendly Emergency Room at Ellis Medicine in Schenectady. To know that Ellis is now the first in the nation to have such a facility speaks to Angelo Santabarbara’s commitment to helping those with disabilities.

It will certainly lead to improved diagnosis, treatment and assistance for patients and their families that ensures their unique needs are met to the greatest extent possible.

With everything that’s happening in the world right now, his announcement shines bright in our community. It serves the needs of some of our most vulnerable and has the potential to change the way we think about special needs in emergency rooms everywhere. I thank Assemblyman Santabarbara and Ellis Medicine for making this possible.

John Robinson


Cuomo alters APA’s original mission

For many years Steve Williams’ accurate reporting has consistently broadened readers’ awareness of the Adirondack Park. But his June 11 article “Park agency board seats filled” misses a central point about the Adirondack Park Agency.

The APA was created in the early 1970s to, first, protect the Park, preserve its public wilderness through wise management, and to plan for and regulate the orderly development of its private lands consistent with adjacent, public forest preserve.

Economic and recreational development are to be considered in decision making, but not dominate.

During Gov. Cuomo’s years, the reverse has occurred. Under Gov. Cuomo, the APA has become an overly cooperative, parochial and compliant permitting agency, not the independent and proactive guardian of 6 million acres that the 1971 legislation calls for and that New Yorkers expect. His priority is reflected in the governor’s nomination of two active town supervisors, a former town supervisor, a hotel owner, an economic development advocate and a retired DEC executive. All these are fine, hard working people, but their backgrounds should not predominate on the 11-member board. Under Gov. Cuomo, independent voices and votes for the Park’s environmental protection and planning remain a minority on the APA, and The Gazette’s readers should be aware of that fact.

David Gibson

Ballston Lake

The writer is managing partner with Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.

Grateful for prize, support of business

I would like to thank The Daily Gazette and John Norris, the Multimedia Advertising Consultant, for the outdoor furniture I won from the Dutch Country Connections Sweepstakes. The furniture is so nicely made. They also have indoor wood furniture and sheds. I was thrilled to win and know my family will enjoy using it. I appreciate that The Gazette had a contest for area people and promoted a local business.

Susan Bogardus


McCalmon is best for 49th Senate seat

More than ever it’s the time to elect a candidate for the people, Thearse McCalmon, a Democratic and Working Families nominee for the 49th Senate District in the June 23 New York state primary.

Thearse has lived in the Capital Region for nearly 20 years. She’s a mother of four and a new grandmother. As a tireless advocate for social justice, especially among the poor and the marginalized, Thearse’s platform on better education, literacy, labor, LGBTQ rights, women’s reproductive rights, the economically disadvantaged and the environment are born out of the needs of her community and the greater good of the district.

She’s the only candidate who has experienced the unique challenges that face the black community, her neighbors and constituents, a group long maligned and ignored by career politician Sen. Tedisco.

For the people and about the people, Thearse has been endorsed by the Working Families Party, Citizen Action of New York, Eleanor’s Legacy, National Institute for Reproductive Health, and Capital Women of New York among others. Thearse’s campaign accepts no corporate or LLC contributions and has made no promise to big business. Thearse McCalmon believes in a New York for all. Vote. Make your voice count for change.

Robin Antalek

Saratoga Springs

Can’t alter history to fit our current values

I’d like to share this article that might help put an historic perspective on slavery.  See or What next?

Read how many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners. Should we start razing statues of Washington, Jefferson, Grant, et. al.? Should we rename the state of Washington, Washington, D.C., etc.? History, for good or ill, is part of our country’s make-up. We cannot retool history to fit our 21st century morals. The only thing we can do is learn from the past and work toward a better future for everyone.

Monica Finch


God is continually sending us teachers

With regard to Edmund Day’s June 6 letter (“Evil is working to destroy Christianity.” : Being raised Catholic led me to question how God could be so spiritually bankrupt that He could only send one spiritual master for all time? But He is not spiritually bankrupt. He continuously sends His true teachers in every generation. For the most part, we persecute the living and worship the dead. The Masters come to revive the unchangeable truth that existed from the beginning. Thus, he becomes a threat to traditionally bound religions. The Master’s truth is that the Lord is within you. A living God, and there’s more of Him in one living person than in all the temples ever built or Holy books ever written. These enlightened souls don’t seek public recognition, solicit donations, or proselytize to convert others. They have realized the Lord within themselves and teach others how to do the same.

The state/church alliance has existed since the pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor. It’s called the Divine Right of Kings. Look at the way contemporary evangelicals follow King Midas with the golden hair. They pull people’s attention outward with laser light show services and prosperity gospels. They are the false prophets of today. God isn’t dead; we couldn’t exist for a second without His presence. Christianity may be obsolete. The Divine Right of Kings was always a myth. What was that song? “What if God were one of us, just a stranger on a bus.” Would we know Him?

Frank DeSantis


Cover more news from Scotia-Glenville

Although I am no longer a regular subscriber to The Daily Gazette, I still read it occasionally. The Scotia-Glenville area appears to be a non-existent community to your paper. Niskayuna with a population of 22,000+ has a regular section devoted to them. Our news shows up under Clifton Park, population 36,000+ or Niskayuna. Best stats I can get on Scotia-Glenville is a combined population of 36,800+. I am bewildered by this and wonder if there is an explanation I am missing.

June Grinter


After statue is gone, what goes next?

As my friend and I walked around Albany Rural Cemetery last week, she pointed out Gen. Philip Schuyler’s gravestone. If his statue is removed from downtown Albany, will his gravestone be next? What about his daughters who are also buried there?  Peggy Schuyler, one of his daughters, was married to Stephen Van Rensselaer, the founder of RPI.  Should statues at RPI come down, too?

Karen Cusato


Presidential primary has unique features

The Democratic presidential primary is a “dual primary,” where voters can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and for the delegates of their choice, even if the delegates are not on the same line as their choice for president.

Here’s how it works: Presidential candidates run against each other in a statewide primary, with their delegates running in some congressional districts. Delegates are allocated based on the performance of the presidential candidates within the congressional district. There are 184 pledged delegates statewide elected from congressional districts in the primary (92 male and 92 female).

In the presidential candidate contest, a presidential candidate must receive at least 15% of all the votes cast for all the presidential candidates in a congressional district. If only one presidential candidate reaches the required 15%, that candidate is entitled to all district delegates. All candidates who receive at least 15% of the presidential vote divide the delegates proportionately.

In determining which delegates achieve the most votes to earn a place at the convention, votes cast for a delegate on a line (other than the line of the voter’s preferred presidential vote) will be counted as a vote for that delegate.

Lanny Walter


Pandemic exposes societal inequities

Many current studies have noted that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting the elderly, people of color, and the poor. This result is not a surprise. The same disproportionality is found for the seasonal flu and many other diseases, as reported by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for decades.

As we age, the probability for illness and death increases substantially, so the impacts on the elderly can be rationalized to some extent.

However, why should people of color have such poorer health outcomes than whites? The answer is multi-fold: People of color have limited access to adequate health care; tend to have low incomes and live in underserved and crowded communities. And even when they are affluent, they are often subjected to racism in the context of health care.

People of color are dying at about twice the rate as whites from COVID-19, in part because they are overrepresented among front line workers.

For example, in New York City, black people comprise 46% of the city’s transportation workers but only 24% of its overall population; white people make up 30% of the transportation workers but over 43% of the population.

We are not protecting all our citizens with equal vigor. This is a shameful reality which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Don Steiner


How far do we take this renaming craze?

I would like to add the following recommendations concerning the June 14 Opinion column (“Strip Confederate leaders’ names from military bases”) and the news about the removal of statues and recognition for racist people such as Philip Schuyler.

The state of Washington should be renamed the State of Aquarius.

Washington, D.C., should be renamed Politically Correct, D.C.

Any location named for Thomas Jefferson should be renamed Hypocrite.

Andy Beiniks


Cops should be more visible, responsive

Police have a hard job. They can be part of the reason that angry demonstrations by blacks, browns and whites have gone global. The latest trigger is a video with sounds of a brutal strangulation murder by police of a restrained victim lying on the ground.

There are familiar recommendations. They include better training and to no longer keep police discipline records a secret. The following observations and additional suggestions should be considered.

Police are too anonymous. The community has no reasonable way to know who they are. The solution should be uniforms with readable names and numbers. The police department should take pride in maintaining a web page, including all department members, along with their position and starting date of service.

Police should also spend time walking neighborhood streets without their intimidating weapons. It will allow for friendly and useful conversations with the people they are being paid to serve.

A damaging part of the police structure is they can avoid admitting when they have been wrong. Police can make honest mistakes with devastating consequences. Lasting anger is natural and justified. It may be a forced entry into the wrong home or arresting the wrong person for a crime. Once the mistake is recognized, the victim should have the right to have a face-to-face discussion with the police officer and to receive a written apology from the chief.

These suggestions are not a cure-all, but can be an important step in the right direction.

Frank Wicks


People speak and we go into a nightmare

Well, it finally happened. My college Psych professor’s prophecy from 1979 came true. It was about the Beatles song, “A Day in the Life.“ We analyzed the line, “And somebody spoke and I went into a dream.“ We are now living in a culture where words can be spoken and cause some people to go into a dream. It may be a dream, but for most I suspect it turns out to be an actual nightmare. Hey, wake up. God save the United States of America.

John Gentile


We must continue to honor Philip Schuyler

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is rewriting upstate New York history by removing the grand statue honoring Philip Schuyler at Albany’s city hall. Her stated reason is that Schuyler was the “largest New York slave owner of his era.” This is misleading, since he owned a total of 30 of the 21,000 slaves in bondage in New York at the time.

Owning another person was undeniably terrible. Slavery was widely accepted, however, early in American history. Twelve United States presidents were slave owners, beginning with George Washington (more than 300 slaves) and Thomas Jefferson (more than 600 slaves) and continuing to Ulysses S. Grant (one slave). These are highly regarded Americans who deserve our respect by the installation of statues and other monuments, not for their slaveholding but despite it.

The same respect and honor is due to Philip Schuyler. Born in Albany, he fought in the French and Indian War and served in the New York Assembly and the Continental Congress before being assigned Revolutionary War command of the northern department. He oversaw preparation of the defenses against the British invasion leading to the Battle of Saratoga. He then served two more terms in the Continental Congress and represented New York in the United States Senate.

One would hope that his shortcoming (the practice of slavery), however egregious, could be accepted and continue to honor Schuyler for his contributions to New York and our nation. The statue should continue to grace the entrance to Albany’s city hall.

Ronald Winters

Clifton Park

Woerner failed to protect newborns

Like all Democratic legislators in the Capital Region, Carrie Woerner chose infanticide over common sense when she co-sponsored the Reproductive Health Act.

The RHA repealed section 4164 of NY Public Health Law which required doctors to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion. During a late-term abortion, section 4164 required a second doctor to be present in the room in case the baby survived the abortion. This new doctor would act as the baby’s own doctor to protect the injured baby and administer medical care. The baby’s doctor would advocate for the baby and serve as a witness in the room avoiding any foul play. Section 4164 was a reasonable, common-sense law that Carrie Woerner recklessly threw in the trash.

What will happen to these babies now? Are voters supposed to trust Woerner when she assures us these babies will be “taken care of?” Babies who survive abortion are marked for death and left alone with the abortionist; of course their lives are at risk. These babies are human beings who deserve the greatest legal protection. Tragically, Carrie Woerner doesn’t think so, or maybe she just doesn’t think at all.

Jennifer Richards

Burnt Hills

Long for return of a competent leader

To read some recent letters, you’d think Trump is our savior. In my opinion, he is far from it.

He doesn’t respect women, as we have seen from the beginning. He doesn’t have compassion for the disabled. He ridicules and belittles any journalist who asks him a question he doesn’t want to answer. Even when there’s a recording to prove that he said something, he denies it.

He said the coronavirus was “under control” when it wasn’t. He said protective equipment for doctors and nurses was forthcoming when it wasn’t. The same with coronavirus testing. He has tarnished relations with foreign allies. He praises dictators and likely aspires to be one.

He doesn’t believe in climate change, when we live with the evidence. He doesn’t listen to scientists, and gives his own, usually baseless opinions. He believes conspiracy theories over facts.

Others have been called the “worst president ever,” but Trump beats them all. I pray daily for the United States and for a time we can truly “Make America Great Again” through competent leadership and a return to the principles that helped make us the admired leader of the free world.

(Mrs.) Jessie Malecki


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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