Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Aug. 15

Categories: Letters to the Editor

Start now to help the disenfranchised

There are a couple of factors that generate the racial/ethnic prejudice which continues to plague the world.

First, there are people who need to point to someone and designate them “inferior” in order to classify themselves as “superior.” Second, there is the fear of loss of power (economic, political, societal). Well people, get used to the new situation. The time is coming when the white population will be outnumbered by people of varying shades of brown. The general world policy is that the majority rules. So we will lose our current status.

What we should be doing now is helping, educating and preparing the disenfranchised so that they will be equipped to be informed and talented citizens. And just maybe, we can live in peace.

Marilyn B. Guidarelli




Enough of Cuomo’s self-promotion

In her July 28 column (“Is a second wave of COVID-19 on the way?”) Ms. Foss states that Gov. Cuomo bragged about New York’s success in getting the outbreak under control and offers a celebratory pandemic-themed poster “111 days of hell” all for $11.50.

Who in their right mind would/will buy this? Unbelievable. Where does this $11.50 go?

Or maybe the “111 days of hell” pertains to having to listen to his arrogance, as he’s full of himself; tooting his own horn.

Tina Bacon




Assistance available for victims of abuse

Domestic abuse is like no other crime. It can affect individuals of all genders, ages, races, social statuses and sexual orientations. It changes the way you function, how you think, and your actions.

Domestic abuse can come in a multitude of abuses ranging from sexual and emotional to psychological. They may show signs of physical abuse such as bruises, swelling and limited eating. Emotionally and physiologically, they might feel afraid of their partner, feel alone even with others, and not exhibit traditional behaviors that they typically would.

When confronting someone about domestic abuse, it’s important to understand that many of the victims may not recognize the signs of abuse. Abuse can start as small actions such as an excuse to keep you away from someone.

They may resort to physical or other types of abuse to prevent you from seeing others as times goes on. It’s important to know the signs of abuse so you can recognize one and be prepared to help others who are in an abusive relationship.

If you recognize that you are being abused, it is important to reach out to someone to ask for help such as an official, officer or trusted personal. If you are a victim of abuse, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or reach out to your family, a friend or group for help and support. The hardest part of domestic abuse is leaving the abusive relationship, but with help and support you can get through it.

Thomas Pris




What does a vote for Trump say about us?

If I had the chance to add one more lyric to Bob Dylan’s song of the 1960’s, may I suggest this one: “How many wrongs does a president have to make before he must be taken out of office, the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.”

He has violated most every principle that we try to teach our children — the principles of honesty, integrity, kindness, good sportspersonship, fair play, compassion, telling the truth and the golden rule.

The biggest and most important questions to me are: How could we, as Americans, have voted him into office in the first place, and what does that vote say about us as a people?

Bill Shapiro




Politicians should be acting for the people

The American people are being treated in an unkind manner with our political leaders trying to jockey for the political decisions to help their agendas.

Rather than doing what is best for the needs of our country, due to their selfishness of both political parties involved, they are making our country go backwards.

Not going in a complete agreement in such matters would leave the citizens of our great country to be misrepresented by both political parties. Without an agreement, it is leaving our country in a sorry state. This has been the trend we the people are seeing our country go in. To keep leaving decisions of great importance to the American people leaves our country in a weak position. This has got to stop for the betterment of our country. I should not be writing this. The people in Washington should know they are representing us, not themselves.

Walter “Neal” Brazell




Find a new site for restaurant/brewery

When Clifton Park adopted its “Town Center Plan” in 2015, part of the vision was to “create a more-vibrant center of activity throughout the day and night with a reasonable mix of commercial and residential uses supporting one another.”

The recently proposed 5-acre restaurant/brewery complex in the Town Center is not compatible with the goal of more-attractive mixed-use commercial center of activity.

The site is adjacent to the newest Shenendehowa elementary school and its athletic fields, the newly acquired 37-acre town park, the YMCA and the Bentley Condominiums, a 55+ community.

The proposed project includes a 10,000 sq. ft. restaurant, an outdoor “venue,” and parking for 250 vehicles. It is not a restaurant – it is an entertainment complex.

The noise disturbance alone from outdoor music and other events will have a negative impact on the condo community, many of which are elderly, and potentially the school/YMCA. The increased traffic will undermine the vibrancy and walkability of the area and subvert the plans for a quiet, serene town park where residents can go to enjoy nature. This is not my definition of reasonable.

If I had my druthers, I would prefer that this project find a less intrusive location. The town planning board should encourage the developers to find a more compatible site.

Joseph Nial

Clifton Park



Is virus spread worth giving up tax money?

Looking at sports, in general; No fans, no tax income, no… well, no anything. Wait, there is something: the coronavirus.

Why not change up sports? I’d like to look at the four [that I consider] major sports: baseball, basketball, football and golf.

Any other sport could probably follow the same line of thinking. Why not make having the coronavirus mandatory? With everyone getting the virus according to whichever different ‘specialist’ you speak with, make it mandatory that players and fans alike have or have had the virus. This makes it so much simpler — no temperature checks, no quick swabbing. Who cares if you cough from a dry throat? Hell, there will be more beer sales at the stadium or arena. The person next to you sneezes? Who cares; give them a sneeze right back. Concerned about maybe this is too risky? Then mandate that all those that participate are 55 years of age or younger.

Wait, don’t stop at just sports.

Mandate the same rules at bars and restaurants. Hell’s bells, mandate it for everything. Go a step further and allow people to receive the virus from their medical professional. Everyone eventually will have had it and in turn charged up their immune systems. For those of us that this course might be risky, no problem.

We can be handled at a hospital under close medical observation to minimize the chances of things going wrong. C’mon governments, let’s make some taxes.

Gerald V. Marmuscak




District must address racism in its schools

In response to the May 26 Gazette article (“Staffers: ‘Blatant racism’ exists in district”) about the letter written by Schenectady School District Employees of Color about the occurrence of widespread racism throughout the school district.

As a Schenectady resident, I’m extremely disappointed that students and employees of color had to endure being in a racist setting and exposed to microaggressions in a place that should be free of such.

It’s also concerning that the Office for Curriculum and Instruction, made up of six full-time employees that dealt with culturally responsive education, has now been reduced to three full-time employees within the Office of Educational Equity and Instructional Support. Perhaps this information isn’t accurate, but it was what I deduced from reading the school district’s website.

So, I ask this, to the Schenectady school district: How will you rectify this situation? How will you take accountability and responsibility for what has occurred? I understand this isn’t an issue that can be fixed overnight, but it’s one that needs more attention than a simple tweet about attending the Capital Region Anti-Racism Training.

Are all employees required to attend? How will you ensure students and employees are no longer harmed by racist actions?

As educators, it’s your responsibility to foster an environment that honors diversity, teaches about the oppressive systems within our society and is culturally competent and responsible. I understand this isn’t an easy conversation to have, but it is necessary. I truly hope that proper accountability and action will be taken.

Jacqueline Kelly




Grateful to STS for steel for fire station

The village of Scotia wants to thank STS Steel for its generous support of our public safety people.

As many people know, the village of Scotia has been working on a plan to upgrade its municipal facilities which are about 100 years old and woefully insufficient for current-day operations.

In the process of telling people how dangerous our current facilities are, we realized (we are not complete idiots) that if the fire trucks really did fall into the basement, the insurance company might be reluctant to pay, since we knew about the risk.

To ameliorate that problem, we hired a structural engineer to survey our floor. He recommended a small amount of shoring. We moved the reserve engine out of the fire station to ease the load and ordered the recommended shoring.

STS Steel in Schenectady (next to the casino) was kind enough to donate the required steel, and our crack team at Public Works installed the steel, and we are back in business. We still need a new fire station, but we are assured that the fire trucks will not end up in the cellar any time soon. Thanks to everybody who helped and especially STS for its support. Support is, after all, what they do.

Tom Gifford


The writer is the mayor of Scotia.



Matt Daly shows he’s a true professional

I received a call from Matt Daly, the golf pro at Schenectady Muni.

I haven’t been able to go to the golf course in a while and he was calling to see how I was. That’s the person Matt is — kind, caring, respectful  and the consummate golf professional. Thank you, Matt, for being you.

Dave Bethmann



Ward system would divide the Spa City

This November, Saratoga Springs residents will have the opportunity to vote on a remarkable change to the city charter.

The city’s charter is the most important legal document of our city, as it defines the structure, function and powers of our city government.

It should be every voter’s priority, as our local government has a direct impact on our daily life.

I have taken a significant amount of time reviewing the proposal and believe that it is not healthy for our city.

Of utmost concern to me personally is the wards system. The wards system pits neighborhoods against each other and does not foster peace. It also increases bureaucratic layers, making voters dependent on their ward representative, and suppresses the power of an individual’s vote.

Not only does this expensive version of charter change transfer power away from the people and give it to an appointed bureaucrat called a city manager that cannot be voted out, it politicizes our neighborhoods and sets up our city for division, not unity. We do not need that. Not now and not ever.

I hope that peace and love whisper in your heart as you consider these points on Election Day.

Make Love, not Wards.

Connie Woytowich

Saratoga Springs



Worth cost to link mile markers to exits

Regarding Mr. Andreadakis’ Aug. 8 letter (“State should tie exits to road mile markers,”), I have written to the governor’s office and state Department of Transportation twice over the past 10 years about this issue.

My husband and I have traveled the country several times in our RV, and it is frustrating that almost every state except New York and Massachusetts ties the interstate numbers to mile markers. The answers I got from the government were that it is too expensive to make new signs. But they seem to manage new signage for tourist stops, text stops, etc. We sure don’t look like the “Empire State” with this issue.

Sue Plasberg


Dems want mail-in voting to beat Trump

Current Democratic statements that President Trump is afraid of losing relate to their thinking they can win if mail-in voting is allowed.

It’s understandable why Democratic states want it.

Utah is to mail ballots to every active registered voter. 2020 will reveal the life of democracy in America.

Les Hassan




Remind cyclists to alert others on paths

I am writing regarding enhancing safety on bike/hike paths, particularly the Mohawk Hudson path.

This path is heavily used, and there has been a noticeable increase in bike riding related to COVID-19.

I both run and bike on this path and have noticed bikers often do not notify runners, walkers and other bikers when they are passing.

Bike paths are potentially dangerous because the combination of fast bikers and unpredictable pedestrians and slower bikers, especially children, means that accidents can and do occur.

Fatalities are not unheard of. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2015, bicycle injuries and deaths cost the nation as much as $10 billion a year. I have had friends injured or killed while biking and have had my own injuries and accidents.

There is one simple and easy way to reduce bike/hike trail accidents. Towns and cities with bike paths can post signs reminding bikers to always let others know when passing.

The signal can be a bell, or better yet, a shout, such as “bike left.”

Such signs are similar to signs encouraging pet-owners to clean up after their pets. Signs like these reinforce what people already know: Courtesy, whether it’s about cleaning up after your pet or signaling passing pedestrians, is a social good that we all benefit from.

In these days of fiscal stress, putting up signs is an inexpensive way to improve our wonderful bike/hike trail system.

Douglas Kabat




America must adjust its moral compass

I remember watching newsreels (yes, I am that old) and TV clips of Third World countries rioting in the streets, destroying buildings, burning vehicles and fist fighting in the floor of their legislatures.

I was thinking how sad; maybe someday they will be able to be more like us and act in a civil and just manner.

Unfortunately for us, it worked the other way around and we now reduce the police force as violence and murders reach record highs. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”

Looking at our newscasts makes me recall the lyrics “…the world has gone mad today, good’s bad today, bad’s right today, day’s night today…”

How did we learn to so casually accept a woman (or man), an elected member of Congress no less, proudly using the F* word on national television; accepting the Supreme Court’s decision that the ‘slaughter of the innocents,” even after birth, is OK?

With the beginning (hopefully) of the new school year, our children could now be filled with the 1619 nonsense. That is teaching that the founding of our country dates back to the year 1619, the year the first slaves were brought to our shores, and not 1776, when those dastardly white slave owners declared our independence from England.

It’s not too late; it is never too late. It’s time to readjust our moral compass and take the high road, not the easy one.

Dr. Arthur Salvatore




Tech pioneer’s death deserved better play

I would like to express my disappointment with the location of the article (“Frances Allen dies at 88 in Schenectady”) about Frances Allen in the Aug. 9 Gazette. I feel she should have been on the front page as a pioneer in the technology field. She should be given the recognition she deserves, especially as a woman in a male-dominated field.

Why put her on the obituaries page? She deserved better than that.

Lois Morrett




America: Stop letting your fear run your life

Malfeasance or government, the title says it plainly.

The politicians (Democrats) have totally disregarded the economy and American workers, businesses, taxpayers. They saw power given to them by weak legislatures.

The media chimed right in and backed them up with TV coverage and newspaper articles every day.

A brilliant writer, Heather MacDonald, who writes for a few newspapers and is at Manhattan College, has strongly written the same thing.

Politicians who haven’t a clue about the economy, but who mishandle their states’ budgets into debt, scream that Trump is the reason for it all. Andrew Cuomo is not the “nation’s governor,” as some would like. Wake up America and stop letting fear run your life.

We have 330 million people in the United States. Think of all the viruses and deaths over the last 100 years. They never shut down the economy; why now? This begs for questions to be asked and answered.

Albert Marvell




Be careful about covid liability issue

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s edict that institutions, such as nursing homes, can be liable for the spread of the covid virus could come back to haunt him.

In-school curriculums could bankrupt districts if there were outbreaks. Prisons and jails could be the target of massive lawsuits.

The virus is an invisible minefield. So, we must be careful where we walk. And it might be wiser to keep the courts out of this diabolical dilemma.

David Childs




Rachael Ray fire not worthy of front page

With all that’s going on around the world, the last headline I’m interested in reading about is Rachael Ray.

Just because you’re locally owned doesn’t mean your Aug. 11 front page headline (“Rachael Ray and family safe after fire”) should be so ridiculously local. A story like that should be buried someplace within the paper.  

Charles Brown




Support walk to end Alzheimer’s disease

On Oct. 3, I am joining residents of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties at Walk to End Alzheimer’s — the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for dementia care, support and research.

Dementia is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither can we.

I walk and volunteer for my own family and the clients and families at Home Instead Senior Care.

As my grandmother’s dementia progresses, I’m watching my parents hopelessly smile while trying to mask their tears and frustrations.

I don’t want to one day look into my parents’ eyes and realize they have forgotten our memories and stories shared. I don’t want my children to ever look into their grandparents’ eyes with uncertainty of “Does he know who I am?” or “Does she remember our ice cream trips in the summer?”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, more than 400,000 New Yorkers are living with Alzheimer’s dementia and more than one million family members are providing care. Many family caregivers report a noticeable decline in their loved ones’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected.

The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across their communities. You can register for the Schenectady Walk to End Alzheimer’s at 


Alzheimer’s disease is relentless, but so are we.

Briana Malone




Stakes are high for accurate census count

The U.S. Census has been taken every 10 years since 1790, including during the Civil War and the Spanish Flu pandemic.

This year the census was equally challenged by the arrival of COVID-19, and our community’s response has been considerably affected. As reported in The Daily Gazette on Aug. 7, only 48.5% of Schenectady households have completed the census. In addition, official census counting will end on Sept. 30, one month earlier than planned, further limiting the number of households included in the census.

The aim of the census is to count every person living in the United States.

The results of the count determine a region’s representation in the House of Representatives for the next TEN years. The census also serves to allocate federal funding for our state, county, and communities.

Some examples: a community’s census count can determine if additional schools are needed to accommodate an increasing population of children; whether the infrastructure adequately supports the population (more roads, aging public buildings, etc.); or if there is a need for more essential social, health, and educational services.

If Schenectady’s population is estimated to be around 65,000, and only 31,525 residents are counted (48.5%), we will only receive federal funding based on that much lower figure. The stakes are very high this year. Let’s make sure that each one of us is fairly counted.

Ann Hatke




The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County.

Tone down advance TV weather warnings

I find the storm warnings by the National Weather Service over the TV obnoxious. Some people may need to know in advance when there is going to be bad weather, but I don’t. There is nothing that you can do to change the weather so why is the advanced warning necessary?

I have lived 75 years without having someone tell me it is going to rain or be windy. I’ve hiked, ridden motorcycles, played sports and worked outside in the wind, rain and snow.

The red banner with the loud screeching sound is totally unnecessary. Something more subtle would be sufficient for those who need to be told. For those of you who haven’t figured it out, if there are dark clouds in the sky and the wind is picking up, there is probably going to be a storm. Stay inside if you don’t want to get wet.

Jim Severino



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