Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Aug. 16

Categories: Uncategorized

Sheriff Giardino has valuable perspective

Writing an observation after reading Richard C. Giardino’s guest column in the Aug. 9 Sunday Gazette (“It’s time for serious discussion on policing and race in America.”) Judge Giardino offers interesting viewpoints and insights given his “front row” participation in the criminal justice system as a defense attorney, an elected district attorney, county court judge and currently as the sheriff of Fulton County.

The sheriff sums up succinctly what some of the key concerns are and shares some powerful statistics on policing and race relations. He rightly points out the implicit racial bias which affects our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner.

But his most important point is the need for honest “open” dialogue on the current situation in America, focused on solutions and not just rhetoric.

Given Sheriff Giardino’s educational background, work experiences and skill sets, he would make an excellent facilitator to lead any community’s discussion on this critical topic. It took courage for him to take a stand and write this opinion. My advice to all of our local community and government leaders grappling with this subject – get the sheriff involved.

Richard S. Zazycki


Rapid covid testing needed for all of us

The Trump Administration’s failure to establish a national coronavirus testing program is responsible for unnecessary deaths and continued economic disruption, and soon will be responsible for the inability of schools to reopen this fall.

Every person who meets with Donald Trump is first given a rapid coronavirus test, where the results are known within minutes.

Trump has used thousands of rapid tests to keep him and his family safe.

However, he has simultaneously stated that testing is “overrated” and “isn’t necessary” for the rest of the citizens of this country. What hypocrisy.

Only a small fraction of normal citizens have been tested, and most of these tests are so slow that the results are meaningless when they are finally received.

If everyone had access to the rapid tests being used by Trump, we could safely open restaurants, barber shops, gyms, movie theaters, houses of worship and, most importantly, schools.

Why should Donald Trump, his staff, family and associates have access to thousands of taxpayer-funded rapid coronavirus tests, while most of the rest of us are denied the same?

Our senators and representatives must enact legislation that provides rapid testing for all, and override a Trump veto if necessary.

Victor Roberts

Burnt Hills

Trump lies are many and consequential

Regarding John Articolo’s Aug. 11 letter (“Column on Trump lies was a new low”) criticizing Michael Gerson’s Aug. 1 opinion piece (“Book on Trump’s lies is an exercise in civic awareness”) on Trump’s lies, Mr. Articolo: What planet do you live on?

Gerson is no Democratic liberal. He was a top aide and speechwriter to President George W. Bush.

Forbes (a Republican, pro-business publication) reported on May 5, “As of early April, Trump has told 23.3 lies per day in 2020, a 0.5-lie increase since 2019. What’s more, Trump has averaged 23.8 lies per day since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the US — another 0.5-lie increase.”

The only thing that verified sources (USA Today, CNN, Politifact, The Guardian, etc.) slightly disagree about is the exact count, somewhere in the 20,000 range.

USA Today reported in June, “1,226 days into his presidency, the count stood at 19,127 claims.”

And if you don’t think this matters, on Aug. 5 Trump said, “Children are “almost immune from this disease.” That’s a complete lie from the president of the United States. And there are consequences.

If people believe him and act accordingly, people will die. You may be a supporter, but don’t assume that the majority of us are taken in by this con man’s lies.

Michael Eisenberg


We need police; Just dump the bad ones

Shootings in Albany and Schenectady have been steadily on the rise so much so in Schenectady that they have to bring in the state troopers to patrol the streets.

Now, those of you who are in favor of defunding police, I ask you: Who do you suppose will take their place?

These good officers are being penalized for the bad ones.

How safe would you feel in those communities that the majority of these shootings occur in if there is only a scant amount of police. The shootings would be out of control.

Get rid of the bad police and let’s move on.

Linda Cortese




‘No’ vote on Ballston Lake sewer would be a disaster

Ballston Lake has been designated by NYS DEC as an “impaired water body” and is one of the most polluted lakes in the state. NYS has given Ballston $7.5 million to install sewers around the lake. The facts:

Opponents of the sewer project want to give the money back. Their solution; mandatory testing of the septic systems. What they aren’t telling you is that this would be for the whole Ballston Lake watershed not just the sewer district. If your septic system doesn’t pass you must immediately pony up $20,000 to $30,000 for a raised-bed system that meets today’s standards. If you don’t the town MUST evict you from your house until it’s fixed. This has happened already in the town.

The real crime is that this won’t fix the lake issues, as a major issue is that the town is built on shale, which transports septic fluids horizontally into streams and into the lake. Anyone who lives in Buell Heights knows this is true. The smell in the spring or after a heavy rain is quite rancid.

If sewers are not installed, it will only be a matter of time before the state sends a court order to fix the lake. And generally, those orders don’t come with $7.5 million gift cards attached. Some residents will completely replace their septic systems and then pay for public sewers anyway.

So, a ‘no’ vote in Monday’s referendum invites the town into your backyard and could end up being a vote for both.

William Goslin

Burnt Hills

Know what to do when faced with intensive care

Steve Lopez’s column in the Aug. 2 Gazette “Gasping, afraid, alone: Dying a COVID-19 death” paints a gruesome picture of dying in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from COVID-19. It is important for your readers to be aware of key facts.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 20% of all deaths in the United States occur in the ICU or shortly after an ICU stay.

ICU doctors and nurses address not only the disease-related derangements in body functions (respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock, etc.), but also the symptomatic distress caused by the illness.

Pain medications and sedation are administered not only to those at the end of life, but also to support those patients expected to survive the illness.

Palliative medicine clinicians, specially trained in addressing complex physical and psychospiritual distress, are available to work alongside the ICU staff at each of the Capital Region’s hospitals.

Confusion, and in more serious cases delirium, that result from temporary disruption of the brain’s function frequently occur with critical illness. It is therefore important that individuals appoint an individual as their medical decision maker (Health Care Agent) before an illness occurs and talk about “what matters most.”

Share this information with your healthcare providers. Free resources available to the public from nationally recognized organizations can be found at The Conversation Project (


) and Respecting Choices (



George J. Giokas, M.D.


The writer is a palliative medicine physician with Palliative Care Partners who practices at Ellis Hospital.

Why are adult bookstores open but not other places?

Why have the state leaders, Tonko, Gillibrand, Santabarbara, Cuomo et al. made libraries and gyms and places of worship remain closed or at reduced capacity (at places of worship), but let adult bookstores reopen? Are they really a necessity? Or do our leaders have no more moral values left?

John Lang


Why aren’t there any new books about Trump?

Why haven’t there been any new books written about your glorious leader? I guess it’s because there isn’t anything good to say about this idiot.

Jeffrey Murtagh



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