Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Oct. 13


Find appropriate place for statue

My late wife, Marilyn D. Davis, was a woman of many interests: homemaker for four children, community volunteer, GE employee, and active in statewide Libertarian politics. She had a lifelong dream of pursuing a college education. In 1986, at age 56, she achieved it.
She completed two degrees while attending Schenectady County Community College, first as a paralegal and second in English including a creative writing course. All her courses were completed with highest honors. Also while at SCCC, she was employed by the college as a tutor and mentor for fellow students.
Our family has recently been in the process of preserving family records, and it was during this work we rediscovered Marilyn’s essay, which she wrote in 1987.
It is my hope that a new location for the statue will be found to inspire future students, as it did my wife.
Donald H. Davis

The Golden Door
By Marilyn Dawn Davis

Facing Schenectady County Community College in Liberty Park is a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Much smaller than her majestic sister in the New York harbor, she is scarcely noticed by passers-by or students hurrying to and from classes.
She stands silently, holding her torch on high and gazing serenely at the college across the way.
She is a particularly apt symbol, I believe, not only of the freedoms usually associated with the Statue of Liberty, but of another freedom: the freedom of educational opportunity.
This one freedom leads to most of the others each of us holds so dear.
Education is the foundation we need in order to achieve our greatest dreams and to reach our potential.
It is a rock to build our castles on. It is the golden door to the future.
Each one of us holds the key to the golden door; from the first day of school, through elementary school, high school and college, we are preparing ourselves for the future by setting goals and visualizing the kind of person we want to become.
It is only through our own efforts that we will achieve our goals; by working for them and letting nothing sway us from the path to achieving them; by always searching for the right way.
Sometimes the way seems hilly and uneven, with twists and turns and dead ends, but we must keep on in spite of disappointment and set-backs.
Along the way we will find our greatest values. We will find ourselves. We will discover who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.
The only limits to our dreams and ambitions are self-imposed ones; the limits we place on desire, perseverance, and hard work.
We who have the privilege and opportunity must take advantage of it so that the bright future we could have had will not slip away into what “might have been”.
Since the year just past has been the occasion for a memorable and emotional 100th birthday celebration for the Statue of Liberty, this is a fitting time to consider the freedoms that education can bring to each of us.
These freedoms include freedom from ignorance, fear, and poverty; and freedom to grow into personal independence, confidence, self- esteem, accomplishment and self-fulfillment.
To me, the torch of the Statue of Liberty represents the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance and despair, and the last line of the poem written by Emma Lazarus for the Statue of Liberty seems to me an especially significant one for all students:
“I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Advice for raising chickens in the city

After reading the Oct. 9 editorial (“No chickens without strong regs”), I have some basic advice on keeping chickens.
Getting chickens is pretty straight forward. Buy some layer chicks, put them in a brooder feed and water them for six or so months; get some eggs (a coop and nest boxes are part of it).
Success is more likely to happen if you connect with a cooperative extension in your area. They will be able to answer questions and even have booklets to help teach children about the process.
4-H clubs can allow your kids to share experiences in a structured way. It always amuses me when governments, editors and TV reporters cover this like it is a big deal. Then again, there are kids out there that think chicken has no bones and all our food just comes to a supermarket. One final thing, compost your manure before using it in the garden. It is a better way to use it.
Eric Smassanow
Ballston Spa

Election bigger than just one candidate

Please don’t squander your vote because you despise a personality. Your vote is far weightier and should be earned by those who will preserve our Constitution and safeguard our liberties.
This country is not ours alone, but a legacy, hard-won by the blood of fellow patriots. We enjoy it only briefly. Let’s cherish and preserve this sacred inheritance for our children, so they may prosper in the God-given freedoms America provides.
Shut out the cacophony. Contemplate the unique joy of being American. Freedom, peace and prosperity remain intact only when our elected honor and adhere to our Constitution.
Clear evidence reveals the previous administration has, for four years, been diabolical in their scheming to wrest power from an elected president.
In doing so, they dishonor their sacred vow to uphold the Constitution, and disdain their fellow citizens by scorning their vote.
Let us not be selfish nor frivolous. Resist the lure of goodies, media manipulation and emotional ploys. Vote for our preservation, not a dismantling of our country. If we find ourselves in a land of despair, it will be useless to blame another.
God gives us wisdom, and may we once again come together for the cause of liberty.
Joanne Darling

Utility workers are heroes in a storm

We live in the town of Niskayuna and the Colonie school system. We lost power after that microburst ravaged trees and power lines. Our outage lasted from the afternoon of Oct. 7 until the afternoon of Oct. 11.
Hundreds of utility workers from all over the state and out -of-state utility workers, too, were working around the clock to restore power.
I know they have to repair the largest populated areas first, which makes sense. Unfortunately, we were on the bottom of the priority list, and rightfully so, based on the population of our affected area.
All that being said, these men and women are heroes. We don’t think about them until something like that happens. So I want to thank them publicly. Wonderful job.
Linda Cortese

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Terry Ryczek October 13, 2020
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The FBI declassified a spreadsheet that the bureau used in trying to review allegations put forth in the salacious and unverified anti-Trump dossier authored by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, which further revealed that the bureau had little corroboration of the claims.

Washington Post obtained the document, which spans over 94 pages, and was declassified by the FBI on Oct. 8, as part of the latest directive from President Trump to declassify all documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation.


The document, according to sources familiar, was used in an effort to figure out which Steele allegations the bureau could corroborate.

Set up like a spreadsheet, the document shows information put forth by Steele in the left-hand column, and “Corroboration/Analyst Notes” in the right-hand column.

For example, Steele put forth an allegation that Trump had stayed in the “Presidential Suite” of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton, but the spreadsheet notes that “there is no confirmation that Trump stayed here,” and that “there is no ‘Presidential Suite’ currently listed on the Ritz Carlton website.’”

Multiple allegation entries were submitted without any corroboration or analyst notes in the left-hand corner, however, some of the analyst notes revealed that the allegations were put forth by Steele’s “primary sub-source.”

Washington Post reported last month that Steele’s primary “source” was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 for suspected contact with Russian intelligence officers.

A source familiar with the document told The Post that “the FBI is the preeminent law enforcement agency in the world, and this is what they were doing? There is nothing there.”

The document reveals that the FBI relied heavily on news reports – which sources call an overreliance on public reporting, which they said then became “circular.”


Also, sources told Washington Post there is typically a formal process for the FBI to validate sources like Steele, which involves a separate group. The source told The Post that it did not appear Steele was vetted in that way.

Steele authored and compiled information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier on behalf of Fusion GPS – the firm that was hired to conduct opposition research funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie.

The dossier contains claims about alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia that served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported in July that the primary source of Steele’s election reporting was not a current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian based contract employee of Steele’s firm. The Post also reported in July that the information the source provided Steele that served as the basis of the dossier was “second- and third-hand information and rumors at best.”

Sen. Johnson on subpoenaing FBI Director Wray: I ran out of patience Video
The committee earlier this summer released a declassified summary of a three-day interview with the source.

The source, according to the committee, told the FBI in interviews in January and March of 2017 that the information contained in the anti-Trump dossier was unreliable.

The document revealed that the dossier was “unsubstantiated and unreliable,” according to sources who reviewed it, and showed that the FBI was on notice of the dossier’s credibility problems, yet continued to seek further FISA warrants renewals for Page.

The document also revealed that Steele’s primary sub-source “disagreed with and was surprised by” how information he gave Steele was then conveyed by Steele in the dossier.

The source also told the FBI, according to committee sources, that Steele “implied direct access to information where the access to information was indirect.”

Meanwhile, in August, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe transmitted a declassified footnote of the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian election interference to Capitol Hill, which noted that Steele had only “limited corroboration” and that he used “identified and unidentified sub-sources” that volunteered “highly politically sensitive information from the summer to the fall of 2016 on Russian influence efforts aimed at the presidential election.”


“We have only limited corroboration of the source’s reporting in this case and did not use it to reach the analytic conclusions of the CIA/FBI/NSA assessment,” the declassified annex stated.

But the annex noted that Steele’s reporting was “not developed by the layered sub-source network.”

“The FBI source caveated that, although similar to previously provided reporting in terms of content, the source was unable to vouch for the additional information’s sourcing and accuracy,” the annex stated. “Hence this information is not included in this product.”

Another footnote, which was previously redacted in its entirety, further raised doubt on the credibility of Steele’s main sources.

“When interviewed by the FBI, the primary sub-source stated that he/she did not view his/her contacts as a network of sources, [REDACTED] with whom he/she has conversations about current events and government relations,” one of the previously hidden footnotes reads.

The declassification of the document comes after the president, last week, again called for the “total declassification” of all records related to the Trump-Russia probe.

The president in May 2019, following the completion of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, told Attorney General William Barr to begin a declassification process of documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.

Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.

Thus far, the Trump administration has declassified a number of documents, which allies of the president have cast as significant, citing their content as proof that the investigation into the president and his first campaign was baseless.

DAVID GIACALONE October 13, 2020
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Thank you, Donald H. Davis, for your Letter “Find appropriate place for statue”. There is, of course, a most appropriate space: Right were our Liberty Statue replica started in 1950, at Liberty-Gateway Park. Not only is the Park many times larger than before the “improvements”, with lots of empty space, there is an empty sculpture base almost exactly where the Statue once stood.

The same Mayor, Gary McCarthy, who in 2013 approved the Final Gateway Plaza Plan that promised the Statue’s return, chose not to return it, at the illogical and fickle request of Mary Wallinger, the Plan’s designer, and Chair of our Planning Commission. The homely new Location in Exile at Erie Blvd. and Union Street, has no public support and is an insult to Lady Liberty and those who donated Her and honor Her.

Mr. Mayor, Bring Her Home.
City Council, Stand up for your 2013 approval of the Final Plan.

Please inspire children and adults in Schenectady to believe in the integrity of our government and to reject the arbitrary refusal to keep promises and follow public opinion. See

Terry Ryczek October 13, 2020
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Michael J Miller

Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries Tax his tears.
Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has Then let him know
That you won’t be done Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till He’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he’s laid…
Put these words Upon his tomb, Taxes drove me to my doom…’
When he’s gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax.

Terry Ryczek October 13, 2020
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Thank you Joanne Darling for pushing through the clutter to shine the light of truth. When the dust clears and the Clinton emails are finally produced plus the Durham report America will see the truth and the criminal corruption of the previous administration. The MSM will not be able to cover for them any longer.

William Marincic October 13, 2020
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Joanne Darling Thank you for a well thought out and written letter. Hopefully it makes people think. Democrats scream that President Trump will refuse to leave if he loses yet they have refused to accept him as president doing everything in their power to see that he fails, Don’t people realize and see that by making the president fail the Democrats are making America fail. Vote out all of the Democrats that you can, they only care about power.

Robert F. Jewell October 13, 2020
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Robert F. Jewell October 13, 2020
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Republicans caught in “fake drop box” fraud in California!!
As usual Trump and the crew flail about voter fraud PROJECTING on to democrats the fear of possible voting fraud meanwhile attempting every DIRTY TRICK in the book…Ugghh..
Dirty Facist…