New York

Letters to the Editor for Friday, July 24

Your Voice

Experienced good, bad of humanity

On my way back from the post office on July 15, after mailing my last-minute state tax return, a man in a red truck with a Texas license plate cut me off on Hoosick Street heading east. After he narrowly missed me, this “cowboy” gave me the finger. The first words out of my mouth are, or course, unprintable. I was angry, shocked and somewhat sad at what’s become of our humanity. I thought not only did he almost cause a major accident, but he probably also brought COVID-19 up from Texas with him.
Later that day, while waiting to order at Ted’s Fish Fry, there was a gentleman who was waiting to pick up his order. We spoke briefly about the weather, the virus, the usual polite small talk.
Then as I was preparing to pay for my order, he stepped in front of me and said: “I’ve got this.”
Needless to say, I was surprised at this man’s kindness and resisted, but he was insistent to cover our tab. I wish I had gotten his name so I could publicly thank him for restoring my faith in humanity.
To the “cowboy” from Texas I say: “Grow up and act like a real man … one with manners, common sense and a sense of decency.”
To the gentleman at Ted’s, “Thank you once again for your kindness. I promise I will pay it forward.”
Frances Staunton

Wear mask to show your intelligence

In Paul Donahue’s July 18 letter (“Take a lesson from subatomic particles”), he possibly mirthfully states, “A person who doesn’t wear a mask is called a moron.” That assertion may be assigning more intelligence than deserved.
The Merriam Webster dictionary at differentiates between the idiot, imbecile and moron as follows:
“Idiots.—Those so defective that the mental development never exceeds that or (sic) a normal child of about two years.
Imbeciles.—Those whose development is higher than that of an idiot, but whose intelligence does not exceed that of a normal child of about seven years.
Morons.—Those whose mental development is above that of an imbecile, but does not exceed that of a normal child of about twelve years.
— Edmund Burke Huey, Backward and Feeble-Minded Children, 1912”
I submit Mr. Donahue may be giving more intellectual credit than is deserved. Judge for yourself and wear a mask. As the president once said in another context, “What have you got to lose?”
For the record, these terms are now considered obsolete and pejorative by the psychological community.
Al Pirigyi
Burnt Hills

Antiracism article was irresponsible

I was very disappointed to see the article about antiracism training (“Coalition launching antiracism training”) on the front page of the July 22 Gazette.
I believe this only promotes protest and riots and will not stop racism on either side. A person making money off of tribulation is disgusting. We need not advertise for more diversion by training folks to do it. Putting this on the front page was irresponsible.
Marjorie Byrnes

Act now to ensure nursing home safety

The loss of life related to COVID-19 in our nursing homes and long-term care facilities is nothing short of a national disgrace. Here in New York, over 6,000 deaths, 20% of COVID-19 deaths, are among nursing home residents. While much progress has been made, the recent increase in positive cases in several Capitol Region nursing facilities should remind us that the threat from COVID-19 remains very real, very active.
For many months, elected officials have known that nursing homes are a hotbed for the virus, yet basic precautions to stem the loss of life and protect residents and staff remain inadequate. The staffing levels in most skilled nursing facilities were already at dangerous lows. The COVID-19 pandemics stressed them beyond their capabilities, and the residents and their families have paid the price.
Congress must act now to ensure adequate staffing levels, sufficient supplies of PPE for residents and staff, daily public reporting of facilities with COVID-19 cases and deaths, and options for families to visit virtually with their loved ones to help them stay connected and combat the damaging impacts of social isolation.
Our communities want their elected leaders to take action now to protect residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Patrick Cremmins

Officer ended tense situation peacefully

It seems that public opinion is that police are quick to overreact.
I witnessed the complete opposite years ago in Schenectady.
I worked as a service coordinator for a local mental health agency, and one of the consumers called, threatening to kill staff.
I was able to learn where he was, and the police were called.
I drove to Amtrak, where I had sent the police, and the consumer had a rifle that he was pointing at one of the officers, threatening to shoot him and himself.
Watching this unfold, I was fearful the cop was going to shoot. But instead, he remained calm and confidently spoke to a person who was clearly distraught. By doing this, he was able to disarm him and peacefully bring him to a local hospital for a psychological evaluation.
This certainly could have ended in a tragedy. But due to the officer’s being able to remain calm in a tense situation, it did not. Too bad the reporters weren’t there to televise that.
Linda Mackanesi

Try hard to dispel conspiracy theories

There’s a claim General Motors, Standard Oil and many others helped get rid of the trolley. To put it nicely, our underwhelming public transit system is consistent with this.
There’s a claim the Food and Drug Administration declared laetrile illegal many decades ago. If you want people to know something is ineffective, banning it doesn’t seem like the way to do it.
From what little I’ve been able to read about the Amish, they don’t use sunscreen and they don’t get skin cancer very often.
Clothing and hats apparently work.
Public transit competes against the automobile, laetrile competes against chemotherapy, and clothing and hats compete against sunscreen, some products of which have been claimed to cause cancer. The system once again seems rigged to me.
I’ll also say the numbers for Americans getting any kind of unemployment insurance has been over 30 million for weeks, much higher than the official jobs numbers given this past month. Conspiracy theorists should notice these things.
If they want Americans to be less prone to conspiracies, our leaders should try harder.
Colin Yunick

Tonko should help reduce plastics

Congressman Paul Tonko should co-sponsor the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
Plastic trash is everywhere, and microplastics are making their way into our water, our food and even our air. Scientists predict that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight). Is this the future we want?
The Act is the gold standard of federal legislation to make meaningful reductions in the amount of plastic pollution in the United States. I know Tonko trusts science and cares about scientific integrity.
The science shows we need to do something. This seems like a no-brainer.
Portia Zwicker

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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