New York

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Aug. 1

Your Voice

Business open? No unemployment perk

I understand and sympathize with all of the people who lost their jobs during the closing of businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

As businesses open up, the news is reporting that some people are refusing to go back to work because with the $600 perk they are receiving, plus their unemployment benefit, they are making more money than what they received in their paycheck.

The $600 perk is going away. There’s a lot of political controversy because of this. My suggestion is this: If a person’s place of employment is still closed, they should still receive their unemployment benefit plus the additional $600.

If a business opens, and an employee refuses to return to work, which is happening, there should be a simple way that the employer can report the person to the Department of Labor and the employee loses all benefits.

Joanne Hwaszcz


Feel safer in Texas than in New York

My wife and I are normally summer residents in Galway but live in Texas.

Because of the virus and associated restrictions we decided to spend the summer in Texas rather than travel into New York. Many of our friends in New York are concerned because of the news reports that indicate that the virus is running rampant in Texas.

To reassure our friends, I thought I would look at the statistics and compare New York to Texas.  There are about 19 million people in New York and over 28 million in Texas. According to NBC News as of July 27: In New York there have been 33,465 deaths compared with 5,092 in Texas. That makes the death rate 172 people per 100,000 in New York compared to 17 people per 100,000 in Texas.

While any death is one too many, we feel safer here in Texas this year. Hope to be back next year.

William F. Malec

Galway and Fredericksburg, Texas


Leadership lacking from GOP on covid

Our nation is currently in a national crisis. The economy is failing, unemployment is on the rise, violent protests are taking place and federal troops deployed to curb the violence.

Where would we be today if our current leadership in Washington had agreed that there was indeed a COVID-19 virus rather than a Democratic hoax?

Shame on the Republican Party and their constituents for not standing up to the lack of leadership needed at the federal level to manage this pandemic. Now that the polls are showing that Trump is falling behind politically and may fail to be re-elected, the turnaround by this administration is so fake that this pandemic has now become so political rather than managed with leadership and truth.

Joseph Rowny

Saratoga Springs

Appalled at the lack of respect today

What is happening to our country? The virus is horrid. We all know. What about the fighting and riots? We all know a lot of that is political, but there is so much more.

There is no respect for much of anything. Our statues are being torn down, Why? There’s no respect. It’s a lot of work to build and mount a statue.

I, personally,, can’t find any respect wherever I look. Riots and police being attacked; I can’t see that we are a civilized people anymore. What about you?

Eunice Kilmer


Suggested names for Washington’s team

I have some possible names for the now offensive “Redskins” NFL Washington team name:

The Washington Activists, The Washington Demonstrators, The Washington Riot, The Washington Looters, The Washington Burners, The Washington I Live in My Parents Basement (So I have the time and money to demonstrate), The Washington BLM.

These should not be offensive to any group considering these are acceptable behaviors in cities across the country. And on the subject of the BLM movement: Why are we not seeing any demonstrations or outcry from the movement concerning the Black on Black violence occurring in Chicago and other cities across the country? Is that not an important issue for the BLM? Just a thought.

John Eaton


Trump backers prove to be unpatriotic

If anyone reading how Republican legislators are starting to contradict Trump thinks the GOP polls are finding patriotism, think again. Now that his approval is dwindling, they are racing to get off the sinking ship.

Where were they when Trump ignored his own intelligence services regarding Russian meddling in 2016 because Putin said ‘very strongly’ that he did not? Where were they when he disappeared privately with Putin at Helsinki for several hours with no witnesses? Or when his impeachment went to the Senate?

Where are they now when he wants covid data cleared by his own HHS political appointees before going to our CDC? Where are they when he sends ‘his troops’ into cities without ID, over the objections of local governments?

What will it take to extract some courage from these politicians who are suddenly discovering ‘independence’? They’ve had their chance.

They’ve proven themselves unworthy of their elected offices.

Isn’t it time to throw these political hacks out and let some new ones attempt some patriotism? Many of us have family and friends in swing states that have Senate seats in play. We need to urge them to work to get out the vote.

Thomas P. Herrmann


It’s time to impeach King Andrew Cuomo

Where are the New York state senators and assemblymen, I ask?

They have stood idle watching  King Andrew Cuomo do whatever he wants. The King decides whether or not you can open your business, school or entertainment centers. The King has single handedly destroyed the economy of our great state.

Our duly elected senators and assemblymen have done nothing to stop this reign of terror and yet they continue to get paid. Unbelievable. They need to step up and take back control. This isn’t a dictatorship or personal kingdom for Andrew Cuomo.

He doesn’t decide whether or not I can have a beer with or without food or go to a gym and work out or go to a movie or bowling alley to roll a few.

Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky has it right: King Cuomo needs to be impeached. Do you New York state senators and assemblymen have the courage to step up and take back New York state? Last time I studied the laws and rules, you folks make the laws, not the King. If you don’t take charge now, he will proclaim himself emperor.

Lastly, he promoted letting felons out of jail, no bail needed. They will definitely help us in society. And he promotes abortion of the unborn right up to the minute of birth. I think that is called murder. This coming from our Catholic king governor. I gotta stop now or this will be too long. Impeach him now.

Stephen R. Heiser

Fort Plain

Stefanik stands up to our foreign foes

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has worked to strengthen our national security throughout her time in Congress. Elise is aware of the threats China, North Korea and Russia pose to the United States. In fact, Elise has cosponsored the resolution to condemn North Korea’s development of ICBMs. The bill also urges the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea in order to combat a potential missile threat.

Elise has also cosponsored the Fight Russia Corruption Act. This act would help uncover Russia’s illicit financial activity in Europe.

This piece of legislation would also allow the State Department to work with our European allies and uncover corruption and monitor Russia through NATO.

In addition, Congresswoman Stefanik has also cosponsored the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act. This is a big step in confronting the Chinese Communist Party. This bill gives the people of Hong Kong a streamlined refugee process when trying to enter the United States.

Elise has been a strong supporter combating our foreign adversaries.

I am proud to have a congresswoman that stands up for the national security interests of the United States. Congresswoman Stefanik has my vote in November.

Matt Zehl

Middle Grove


Preschoolers can get food help from WIC

The years leading up to kindergarten are the most crucial for brain development, yet many New York state preschoolers lack consistent access to the healthy foods needed to feed their growing minds.

Even though parents and caregivers know that hunger has a negative impact on children’s mental, physical and emotional development, providing kids with a consistent nutritious diet can often seem out of reach. It doesn’t need to be.

WIC can help.

WIC provides healthy foods to eligible pregnant women, new moms, and children up to age 5. WIC also offers parents and caregivers nutrition information and referrals to other helpful programs. WIC is committed to your health and the health of your child.

Preschoolers are full of energy and need a healthy diet to grow and thrive. WIC can help moms, dads and other caregivers give children the best nutrition possible. Learn more about WIC today. Contact your local WIC help specialist for free, confidential help at 518-842-9466 ext.225.

Carmen Cortes


The writer is a WIC help specialist at the Legal Aid Society of NENY Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties.

Cobb will be a true representative for us

New York 21 deserves mature, clear-headed, compassionate leadership that is not a hostage to vagaries of party loyalty or personal ambition. New York 21 deserves a representative familiar with the needs of the people and environment of this district. New York 21 deserves Tedra Cobb.

As a 30-year local resident, Cobb is intimately familiar with this district.

Cobb knows that her constituents need affordable, accessible healthcare; lower prescription drug costs; and social programs like Medicare and social security. Supporting social programs does not equate with socialism but shows a compassionate approach to policy making. A civilized society cares for its people – all of them.

All social programs are being threatened by Republicans to pay for their tax cuts for American oligarchs and corporations.

Cobb’s position on environmental protection is in direct opposition to Republicans, who are systematically rolling back environmental progress by weakening regulations that protect both the environment and citizenry from corporate irresponsibility. Yet again, Adirondack air, forests, streams and citizens suffer from pollution generated at Mid-West coal burning power plants.

Elect someone who will truly represent our district. Elect Tedra Cobb, who actually lives here and whose interests are our interests.

Bonnie DiDomizio


Thanks for free tree work at VFW Post

We would like to thank Tree Top Techs, LLC. Cody Rodger and his crew removed trees from our VFW Post 358 property in Ballston Spa and did not charge us.

 Thank you on behalf of myself and VFW Post 358 members.

George T. Farnum

Ballston Spa

Grateful for caring staff at Ellis Hospital

My stay at Ellis Hospital started on June 5 and I was discharged on June 13. I had open heart quadruple bypass surgery on June 8.

I had experienced several heart attacks before the surgery, unbelievable that two of them were major ones. Dr. Chaumarov performed the operation. He’s a great doctor and has a great team. I was lucky to have them. Thank God. I was in great hands and I knew it.

After the operation, my stay at Ellis Hospital was incredible. From the ground floor up, everyone was just great. The food service, cleaning department, all the technicians that were involved and all the doctors and nurses were top notch. They were very, very professional. We are very fortunate to have this hospital and thank God that we do.

May God Bless all the people involved in my stay and recovery at Ellis Hospital and may God keep them safe and healthy. You are in my prayers at all times. I am grateful and thankful and will always appreciate everything that was done for me. Love to all of you from the bottom of my heart.

Andrew A. Cozzolino


Wilkin, Nash stories brought reader joy

Ebullient super reporter Jeff Wilkin’s retirement will lessen the Gazette’s glow. Sometime ago, Jeff profiled my research/art lecture titled “Living to a hundred — centenarians, secrets to long life.” Wilkin’s creative brightness brought an enthusiastic response. Centenarians feast on a zest for life and simple joys.

I see many joyful adventures and a long life for Jeff Wilkin.

My passion is to share all joy with the world. I double delighted myself in reading Indiana Nash’s June 28 exquisite feature “An aquarium above.” Ed Koch’s hand-carved fish art both enchant and mesmerize. They touch the heart, in the young and old with the power of mirth, magic and more curiosity.

I always stop to peer in an aquarium. The fish always seem so serene. Where do they get their serenity?

Mr. Koch has it all the time in his heart and fingers.

Rob Curtiss


Sara Foss column helped with healing

In the June 14, Gazette I read a column by Sara Foss about a family “Life and death in a nursing home.” I saved the column. I’m so glad I did. Add to that hospitals, too.

On June 28, I received a phone call from the nursing home. My mom was being transferred to the ER at St. Mary’s in Amsterdam. That phone call has changed my life forever. Mom died at 11:10 p.m. on June 29 and yes, Mom died alone. She was just a number. She did not have COVID-19. She had other medical issues. The column from Sara Foss is helping me to heal. Please consider repeating Sara’s column to help others.

Carol A. Armitage, RN

Middle Grove

Plenty of reasons to put blame on Trump

I guess Mr. D.E. (I won’t use his name) in his July 4 letter (“Stop blaming Trump for nation’s problems”) doesn’t understand my point in my recent letter.

1. If we gave tax cuts to the poor and middle class and not the rich, the gap between the rich and poor would be less. This is basic math.

2. Many of the top 1% and corporations pay little or no taxes because of loopholes.

3. I said protests have to be peaceful, as no one wants violence or looting.

4. This president and the U.S. Senate will never ban choke holds or police kneeling on a person’s neck, so they must be voted out for change to happen.

5. This president is using his office to make hundreds of thousands of dollars for himself and his family. He won’t show his tax returns like every other president, Republican or Democrat, has done.

6. It may be of interest to you that 43 of George W. Bush’s officials have set up a PAC to support Joe Biden.

John H. Quinn


Parallels between covid, George Floyd

I recently passed an “I can’t breathe!” sign posted near the road, and it instantly reminded me of the COVID-19 pandemic. I quickly remembered that no, it applies to George Floyd’s tragic death.

It occurred to me how similar these issues are, so much that I wonder if there isn’t some supernatural help present here.

How many of us were so moved by the video of Mr. Floyd suffering under the weight of a knee on his neck for 8-plus minutes, not being able to breath and experiencing the dread of his life slipping away?

How is it that so many people don’t see the parallel? When we engage in irresponsible social activity, we are effective agents of this disease, putting our knee on the necks of some unknown number of people down the line who might contract it through common contacts.

If they do, some could struggle to breathe for much longer than 8 minutes, and may lose their lives, also without family present. The empathy isn’t nearly equal. What’s the difference?

One, we actually saw and heard. The other, we don’t see or hear. Think of these two issues together and muster the minimal effort necessary to ensure safety. After all, we are so much more fortunate than those in 1918. This time, we have TV and internet, and our libraries are now offering books and videos on a modified order and pick-up system to help keep us occupied at home.

We can do this. But will we?

Vic Bobnick


Cities can’t survive stupid leadership

It isn’t Republican or Democratic policies, it is that major cities are run by feckless and quite stupid people.

There were more than 90 murders in Chicago in July. And to temper this calamity, the woke mayor Ms. Lightfoot had a statue of Columbus removed during the night — using taxpayer monies for what is a frivolity rather than addressing the murders of citizens, some children.

Granted it is more difficult to deal with actual crime, but at least a token effort could be made. These crimes are all Black on Black, and how is it the fault of Columbus?

This groveling to the woke is terrible. Nothing difficult is attempted. Throw them a statue. It is frightening that our cities are run by people who have little sense and are slavish to what they consider their base.

New York City is now a backwater, ruined by a man of little intelligence and a lot of anger. Participating in graffiti, as he has, is unacceptable. We cannot survive when stupid rules.

Geraldine Krawitz

Saratoga Springs

Gazette should look into tax breaks

The Gazette’s July 23 editorial, (“This test should be easy to ace”) takes government at the municipal, county, and state level to task for not providing information to the public as fully as the public needs and deserves to be an informed citizenry.

Not addressed in this editorial but certainly no less critical is the role of newspapers in alerting readers to what different government agencies are doing.

Millions of dollars in tax breaks are given by an array of city and county “development agencies” for the stated purpose of creating jobs. Do they? There has yet to be the detailed look by our newspapers at how these agencies are doing.

How many tax breaks are given for how many jobs? What were the jobs created by an apartment house project?

The full annual report required of many of these agencies to the county, city, or municipality is simply not done in an open manner for public review. Yet this has not been noticed by our newspapers.

Too often local newspapers’ account of these “development agencies” activities is limited to the agency’s self-proclaimed achievements, often with praise by elected officials, many of whom serve on the boards of the agencies they are praising.

As The Gazette editorial noted, ”This test should be easy to ace.”

Elmer F. Bertsch


Washington Post suit article a conflict

OK you really did it. In the July 25 edition, the Gazette ran “Washington Post settles lawsuit.” Did anyone else notice that the article is from The Washington Post? No conflict there. If they were not guilty, why did they settle? An article from a fair source (not the New York Times) would be more appropriate.

Larry Krug


Schenectady Muni is great place to play

I played Schenectady Municipal Golf Course on July 25 for the first time this year. What a treat. I have been fortunate to be able to play Muni for some 65 years and while it has always been in good shape, it has never been better. Beautifully manicured tees, fairways and greens. A great layout enhanced by recent improvements. A picturesque clubhouse with a pro shop and restaurant. Neat and clean conditions throughout. Courteous and professional staff. A joy to experience.

Kudos to head professional Matt Daley and course superintendent Mike Scesney for providing us with a public golf facility rivaled by few. Schenectady Municipal Golf Course is a gem, not only of the city of Schenectady and New York state, but of the entire Northeast.

Don Blaha


For real change, vote Green for president

If you believe Black Lives Matter and that police brutality is a serious problem, then there is only one presidential campaign deserving of your vote come November.

Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker are running for president and vice president respectively on the Green Party line. They support ending the war on drugs, including the legalization or decriminalization of various drugs.

Drug abuse should be treated as a public health matter not a criminal matter. They support ending mass incarceration.

They support ending warrantless mass surveillance. And most importantly, they are pushing for the only long term solution to the problem of police brutality, which is to radically transform the operation of police departments.

The solution is to bring police departments under the control of the people themselves, known as community control of the police. Community control means elected neighborhood review boards with real investigative and policy-making powers in their communities and a city-wide elected police commission to set city-wide police department policies and determine disciplinary sanctions for police misconduct.

The only way police will ever ‘serve and protect’ us is if they are made to because ‘we the people’ directly control them.

Samuel Rose


Why not also identify liberal columnists?

I find it interesting that in the Sunday July 26 Gazette opinion section, two columnists are identified as “write(ing) … from a conservative perspective.” One of the identified columns contained a summary of historical happenings of events in 1942 and contained little “conservative” content.

In contrast, over the past week, several very well-written columns promoting obvious liberal political perspectives are not identified as being “written from a liberal perspective.” Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I have never seen an opinion column in this paper mentioning that the columnists “Write(s) from a liberal perspective.” I wonder why that is?

Should authors be identified by their race, age, trans- or cis- gender status, sexual orientation, or any other identifier? Obviously, no. Please get rid of this identifier out of fairness.

Chris Walcek


Beware of Trump’s actual motivations

I read the opinion of Diana Klementowski’s July 27 letter (“Stop Trump from violating our rights”) and I believe that she may in fact be more correct than she may realize.

I have also seen on the internet (some rumors and not always accurate) that the president with the aid of his favored appointees (U.S. Attorney General and DHS secretary) is strategically locating DHS troops throughout the nation on the guise of controlling rioting protesters.

In the event that he loses the 2020 election, he will override it by declaring an emergency, imposing martial law and activating the DHS troops to retain the presidency (similar to what Putin had done in Russia).

Where there is this much smoke, there must be a fire somewhere.

Lou Cook

Ballston Spa

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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