New York

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, June 27

Your Voice

Time to reopen the restaurants libraries, gyms

Living in the 21st century is becoming difficult. Watching the violence and mayhem on the nightly news is nauseating. Seeing rioters loot, burn and advocate that only one class of the human race matters is not only racist, it is inflammatory. Is there injustice in the administration of the law? Of course there is. Is there injustice in the destruction of private and public property? Of course there is. In all this turmoil, in all this supposed pent-up emotion, perhaps caused by a lethal, stealth-like virus that has penned up millions of Americans, one must ask, “What good comes from more violence?” If the gyms were open, if the libraries were again loaning books, if Americans could have a meal at a restaurant with a friend or a spouse, wouldn’t that be a welcomed change? For God’s sake, end the nonsense and get back to work. Some of us need a night out at a place where there is no broken glass.
Allen R. Remaley
Saratoga Springs

Defend the police; don’t defund them

I am heartsick. I am fearful for the future of my grandchildren and my nation. You, the general public, are the cause of my distress. You have allowed and are allowing a massive, grotesque lie to exist, and are even encouraging others to accept and believe it. It is why a polarizing culture of fear grips our nation. That lie is that we live in a racist country and that white police are shooting down young black and brown men in large numbers because of that racism. This blood libel is as utterly without evidence as that the moon is made of green cheese.
Name for me the other country with a majority white population that has elected a black man as leader twice. Multiple studies have proven that there is no war on people of color. You can look it up, people. But that’s too difficult. It is a lot easier to listen to those whose goal is to manipulate you into supporters of their hate and nonsense. Accepting the lies and deceptions of the violent radical anarchists, looters, and thugs is as bad as throwing a Molotov cocktail.
Do not accept the “Defund the Police” claptrap. The real result of your war on the police, people, is predictable: you will have fewer good people going into that fine profession. That is not a world you want. Defend the police; don’t defund them.
Rob Dickson
Clifton Park

Use Schuyler statue for education

As a retired teacher I would like to propose an alternative to the removal of General Schuyler’s statue from Albany’s City Hall. Perhaps it could be reinterpreted as an educational experience.
I have visited both Mount Vernon and Monticello and found that both have not only told the story of their owners, but the lives and hardships of their slaves. A visit to both the grand homes and the slaves’ quarters leaves one with a realistic view of the era.
Perhaps an educational plaque could be added to the Schuyler statue addressing his ownership and dependence on slavery. Another possibility is a nearby kiosk with brochures outlining the history of slavery in New York State.
History is rife with both despicable acts and brave steps forward. The biggest mistake is to forget either.
Katherine Allen

Kudos for exposing blackface incident

Thank you to the founders of Progressive Schenectady for bringing to light allegations that a high-level, appointed Niskayuna town employee had posted a picture of himself in blackface on Facebook. Thank you to the Daily Gazette for investigating this newsworthy and terribly disturbing occurrence. Anti-racism begins by calling out bad behaviors like this and publicly denouncing them as wrong. For too long, too many of us stayed silent and have been complicit in allowing racism to continue to traumatize people of color, especially our Black community members. The practice of blackface is an insidious vestige of stereotyping and racial derision. There can be absolutely no excuse or rationalization that any person, especially one whose job includes human resources, wouldn’t recognize this as highly offensive. I applaud the members of the Niskayuna Town Council who denounced the use of blackface, took swift action and support anti-racist policies.
Michelle Ostrelich
The writer is a County Legislator, District 3.


Yes to Niskayuna equality task force

The Niskayuna Town Board should vote yes on a resolution that will be offered on June 30 forming a task force charged with investigating how our town addresses equality and justice.
I attended my first Black Lives Matter protest on June 7. It was organized at town hall by our own Niskayuna middle and high school students. After listening to our children’s stories, I want to know how we can do better in our own town.
My conviction was reinforced when I read in the June19 Gazette that the Niskayuna Comptroller resigned on June 18 in the wake of an allegation that he wore blackface in a photo. Blackface was designed to humiliate African Americans and it reflects the bigotry and racism that our children protested only 12 days ago at town hall.
The Task force that Council Member Rosemarie Perez Jaquith is proposing on June 30 will be spearheaded by people of color, it will look into town policies, procedures and practices and will recommend changes.
Join me to support taking action to improve equity and justice. Please email or write Supervisor Syed, Council Member Della Ratta, Council Member McPartlon, Council Member McGraw and Council Member Perez-Jaquith and urge them to vote yes on the resolution to form a task force on race and equity.
Susan Polsinelli

Replace foreign flora with native species

Go native with your home plant environment. An attractive yard is not dependent on foreign plants, trees and bushes to be beautiful. Native gardens also are a pleasure to view and stand out in neighborhoods.
Many of us think about pollinators and some wildlife plant needs but natural gardens can offer pleasing ascetics. Designing and implementing a natural northeast environment around our homes requires rethinking what we want our surroundings to look like. Going native reduces grass area, many non-native plants and shrubs and replacing them with natural Northeast plants.
There is opportunity here. We have covered how to create a wildlife sanctuary, how to attract pollinators. Now we are addressing how to make all this pleasing to human eyes, yours and your neighbors, as well.
First things first. What design are the flower beds: square, rectangles, curvy? Do they look natural or formal? What types of plants native, non-native, annuals, perennials? You will want to identify what is basically harmful and invasive and what goes well with your locations.
Replacing them with native plants offers numerous opportunities. This is where you can determine exactly the colors, types, and height you want. Features can be added as well. This last step will keep you busy for months, years, or decades. Your choice. Allow your neighbors to kibitz. Remember they love to look too.
Renate Reeves-Ellington

Trump exposes himself on testing

Our president, in a meeting with the governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, said last month: “So the media likes to say we have the most cases, but we do, by far, the most testing. If we did very little testing, we wouldn’t have the most cases.”
That thought is stuck in his mind and apparently his advisers cannot dislodge it. This month: “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, actually,”
This incisive mind has about 4,000 nuclear weapons at his beck and call. Scary, isn’t it?
Jim Fogarty

End glorifying those who inflicted pain

Allow me to take issue with the letter that recently argued against removing
Confederate statues. Seriously? No one should want historical facts hidden away, no matter how painful. But I strongly believe we should never glorify those who caused or helped to inflict the pain.
Virginia Newton
Burnt Hills

Downtown bank was not an architectural ‘blunder’

In 1958, two young architects arrived in Schenectady to begin careers in architecture. From radically different backgrounds (one escaped Nazi Germany, the other fought in WWII), both earned degrees from the University of Cincinnati, and shared a passion for modern architecture and historic preservation. James Schmitt and Werner Feibes established the firm of Feibes & Schmitt.
Their signature style was influenced by the Bauhaus and American Modernism, both significant architectural expressions. They designed many Schenectady civic buildings, regional religious buildings and private homes. Perhaps their finest building is the Karen B. Johnson Library, honored by the American Institute of Architects as among the most notable architecture in New York State in the 20th century.
They also designed Carver Community Center. Its current renewal, led by the organization “Miracle on Craig Street,” includes advocacy that has resulted in Carver’s nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
Feibes and Schmitt were instrumental in establishing the Stockade as New York State’s first historic district. Additionally, they were honored as Schenectady “Patroons” for their significant contributions to the city.
Redburn Development is demolishing a building designed by Feibes & Schmitt. While arguably not their finest work, it’s part of the unique collection of buildings designed by this prestigious architectural firm. Schenectady is fortunate to have many examples of their work still standing.
Defaming the former bank building as a “blunder” reflects a lack of understanding and knowledge of American architecture. Perhaps we should aspire to understand and appreciate the wide variety of architectural treasures Schenectady possesses.
Gloria Kishton
The writer is chair of the Schenectady Heritage Foundation.


Despite bad eggs, most cops are good

Thank God for our police. What happened to that black man in Minneapolis was simply murder and the officer should be tried for murder. Ninety-nine percent of police are dedicated to protecting the public under incredible stress. I know if I pick up the phone and dial 911, a police officer will respond not knowing what to expect.
I don’t know many policemen, but I do know a trooper named Brandon. I have known him since he was in high school and he was a decent and respectful young man then, and he still is a decent and respectful state trooper. Those are the people that are putting their lives on the line for us. God Bless them and protect them.
Peter Grippo

Thanks Stefanik for support of businesses

Many businesses shut down due to COVID-19 are currently struggling to pay back their loans. Businesses shouldn’t have to be at risk financially for closing down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 since by closing they are prioritizing the safety of the public even if it means lost business. Thanks in part to Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, North Country businesses and businesses across the United States have been granted an extension to pay back Paycheck Protection Program loans.
We need leaders like Congresswoman Stefanik who protect businesses during hard times like we are encountering today. By granting extra time to pay back PPP loans, Stefanik and her fellow lawmakers are building a path for the economy to return to where it was before COVID-19 sent the country into a shutdown. Actions like these contribute to a successful reopening of the North Country and will help businesses get back on their feet.
Additionally, the ability of Stefanik to co-sponsor and pass the bill that provided for the extension time for paying back PPP loans with bipartisan support shows how willing she is to work with both sides of the aisle to ensure that the needs of constituents of the North Country are met.
Maddie Katz
Lake George

All 4 cops responsible for Floyd’s death

It’s too often I see in this paper that citizens are charged with felony charges even though they themselves did not commit said crime but had been complicit in the act. After watching the video on the internet and listening to many parrots on the news I couldn’t understand why no one commented on the fact that said police officer not only knelt on another man’s neck until the victim died. He did so with his hand in his pocket with a grin on his face.
Most people with common sense would be ashamed to see such a travesty of police actions go unpunished. I am 72 and remember horrors of the 1960s, forward to now. By law the three police officers are guilty of the same crime as the perpetrator.
I have sorrow in my heart for George Floyd and his family. After witnessing three different protests in my area and seeing many Caucasians such as myself, my hope is that these police officers are found guilty of murder and set a pathway to equality and justice for all.
Responsibility isn’t only for the citizenry it’s for the police, and those above them all the way to the Oval Office. The only way to that conclusion isn’t by rioting, but by peaceful demonstration.
On seeing me with my hands in my pockets, my grandfather would say “Confucius say man with hands in pockets feel cocky.” Well officers are you feeling cocky now? Responsibility is a heavy cross to bear.
Jeffrey Pelky

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Leave a Reply