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Letters to the Editor for Monday, July 20

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Hope for return of familiar connections

Love is at the center of all of us. The isolation that is required to “defeat” the virus restricts our natural instincts to express our love for others.
I miss the handshake and the pat on the back. I remember the handshakes of several now no longer with us: one special friend being one of the first to be killed by the virus.
Once a week, my wife and I go to the grocery store wearing gloves and masks carrying our reusable bags. Everyone in the store is wearing a mask. I see their eyes but nothing more. Are they smiling at me?
The cashier is not allowed to help me bag my groceries. I’m not a speedy bagger. People are waiting for me to finish. I feel that I am imposing.
I go out to the mailbox to get the mail. A neighbor walks over and wants to talk. Neither of us are wearing masks. I try to maintain social distancing, I step back, he advances. I turn and say that I must go into the house. Both isolated again.
We enjoy the miracle of the internet. I send and receive more and more emails. Love transmission via electronics. We have meetings using “zoom.” I miss the handshakes.
Hope is in the form of virus vaccines. If they are successful, then hopefully we will be able to interact and express our love for one another in the normal “old fashioned way.”
Dale Brown
Niskayuna

Miss Hochanadel’s “Jukebox” column

I was happy to see the return of the “Ticket” section in the July 9 Gazette. That said, I was surprised to not find Michael Hochanadel’s “Jukebox” column.
His knowledgeable and insightful commentary on our region’s music scene (and beyond) is something I’ve enjoyed reading in your paper for many, many years. Hopefully this was just an oversight that will be corrected in future issues.
Brian Patneaude
Glenville
Editor’s Note: Michael Hochanadel’s weekly Jukebox column has been on hiatus during the
COVID-19 pandemic. He will resume writing it when live concerts return.

Time to back police in Schenectady

I believe that most people support the Schenectady Police Department officers. I also believe that they want them there in time of need. We are the majority. However, we have been the silent majority for far too long.
We cannot let a small, very vocal group fueled by social media (who most of the time don’t have the facts straight and don’t seem to care that they don’t) that labels all officers racist and out of control, and television media that still report “facts” that have already been debunked by authorities, to force changes that not only further endanger the officers’ lives but also those of the public.
First it was bail reform. The criminals they work hard to apprehend are released to do more harm. Now, in addition to threats of laying off 25% of an already short force, let’s make them wait for a supervisor to arrest someone. Yes, publicly they say some arrests will have to be without supervision, but who would want to be the one doing that and face possible termination or being sued? Just for doing your job?
These officers put our lives first. It’s time we show them the support and respect they deserve for the incredibly difficult job they perform every day. It’s time for the city to show them that support also.
Let’s speak up. Write letters to Mayor McCarthy, Chief Clifford and Commissioner Eidens. Let them know how the majority of their citizens really feel. It’s time to Back the Blue.
Donna Palmer
Glenville

Get facts straight on arrest incident

I am writing in regard to the July 15 article “Residents: Race not a factor in arrest.”
In this article related to the recent brutal police arrest in Schenectady, the Gazette writer talks to neighbors who describe Yugeshwar as “a constant headache,” and “harassing neighbors.”
I am highly disappointed that The Gazette is spending its time searching for dirt to write a hit piece on a city resident instead of pushing harder for police reforms to prevent future violence in the community.
Fact 1: Officer Pommer “didn’t view the surveillance footage that captured the alleged tire slashing” and the man who got his tires slashed “didn’t want anyone arrested.”
Fact 2: After Officer Pommer decided with no proof to arrest Yugeshwar, Yugeshwar ran away to his house.
Fact 3: Officer Pommer used a knee-on-head hold and repeatedly punched Yugeshwar in the stomach while he was on the ground in the fetal position.
Fact 4: Chief Clifford has not released full bodycam footage of the encounter, choosing to release selective bits instead of being fully transparent to the public.
While I cannot speak for Yugeshwar’s character, it is insulting and sickening to somehow imply with this article that he deserved police brutality based on past neighborly disputes. The way he was treated by the police was unacceptable, and every citizen, regardless of race, should be concerned about both the force used by Officer Pommer and the unwillingness of the police force to punish their members for inappropriate actions.
Noah Daviero
Niskayuna

Article inspired sewer help outreach

Thank you to Stephen Williams for his July 9 Gazette article (“Two banks to support upgrades”) on how Adirondack Trust and Glens Falls National Bank are providing financial assistance for Lake George residents regarding mitigating septic system issues.
We in Ballston Lake identify with the problem the property owners of Lake George have in keeping our waters safe. We also are sensitive to those who find the prospect of paying for sewer hookup daunting.
In Ballston, similar to Lake George, many septic systems are failing. To address our environmental concerns, the towns of Ballston and Clifton Park are collaborating to install a sewer system. Property owners will go to the polls on Monday, August 17, to vote on accepting a $5 million state grant which will determine if the sewer project has the funding to proceed.
Relief for residents with financial hardships would give the project a needed boost.
We are trying. The towns have applied for and received several grants to ease the burden on taxpayers in the sewer district.
The sewer law has exemptions for homeowners with financial and installation hardship to allow deferments to connecting. Those who have recently installed expensive traditional septic systems will also get deferments.
Stephen Williams’ article prompted our committee to reach out to local financial institutions seeking special financing initiatives similar to what was done at Lake George. Thank you, Stephen Williams. Wish us luck!
Joanne M. DeVoe
Ballston Lake

Does timing really matter with Stone?

I have been amused at the questions: Why excuse Roger Stone now, Mr. President? Why not at the end of your term (Mr. Trump), as other presidents have done.
Robert Briber
Schenectady

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