Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, Nov. 23


Find an alternative to covid lockdowns

We are locking down again since it worked so well the last time.
Schools closed on March 16. New York began PAUSE on March 22. State and federal officials said two weeks to “flatten the curve.” How quaint it all sounds. That was 35 weeks ago.
After 245 days, we appear to have learned nothing and are locking down again. I don’t know anyone who really believes remote learning is better than full in-person. And if you do say that, then why were Regents exams cancelled — again?
A potential incoming Biden administration talks about a nationwide four- to six-week lockdown to stop the virus and bring back the economy. Who believes a six-week lockdown (which will stretch into how long?) will actually rejuvenate the economy?
And stop the “Don’t get political” and “You just want to kill people.“ Look at raw numbers, (the “science” and “data” as we keep hearing). Forget who is governor or what party they are from and look at two examples.
New York is very restrictive. Florida is the opposite. With almost the exact same populations, Florida has only half the covid deaths as New York. And Florida is wide open.
Now we hear from state and federal officials that the vaccine will not stop masks, social distancing, and reduced capacity restaurants and gatherings. How does this even make sense?
Lockdowns do not work. Even the World Health Organization says this. Find another way and stop this insanity.
Edward Nieters
Burnt Hills

Grateful for those who care for youths

I am a substance abuse prevention educator for Fulton Montgomery Catholic Charities. This year we took on a challenge to find community support in Montgomery County for a very important initiative called “YOUth Decide!”
It is a program that works to educate both youth (ages 12-19) and adults on the risks of falling victim to problem gambling, and what you can do to avoid it as well as ways to get help if someone you know or love is struggling through it.
We had been challenged to get upwards of 50 community leaders to sign a pledge of support, resolutions of support, and policies discouraging underage gambling. And you, our community leaders, stepped up and answered our call.
We want to publicly thank those people who committed to talking about, sharing information on, and discouraging underage gambling.
“Thank you’s” go out to all the people who signed, pledged and talked to youth, or youth who talked to adults. But we especially want to thank those who committed through resolutions of support.
They include: the Montgomery County Cares Coalition, Fort Plain Central School, Montgomery County Domestic Violence and Crime Victims Support Program, and the Montgomery County Youth Bureau, Diane Madej from St. Mary’s Institute, Brent Watterson from Canajoharie Central School, Rural Grove Volunteer Fire Department and the Canajoharie Chief of Police, Bryan MacFadden.
You(th) Decide is a New York state initiative to create awareness and reduce the problems of underage gambling. Thank you again, for your support.
Becky Schroeder

Writer wrong to chastise teacher

Wow! How erudite Donald Jenner appeared to be in his Nov. 3 Letter to the Editor (“Teacher sets bad example with mask.”) His vocabulary and a tad of scientific knowledge were impressive, but big words do not necessarily a good man make. His choice to name, twice, a teacher whom he chastised for not wearing her mask properly was unforgivable.
Hopefully, this teacher has the fortitude and support to withstand such a needless public shaming.
Virginia L. Mee

We need to protect children from covid

In the “Ask a Doctor” section of the Schenectady Gazette on Nov. 15, I was absolutely appalled by the response by Susan Woods to a question about covid.
Woods stated that children are very unlikely to get covid.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over one million children have already had covid. One million is not a number that suggests they are a group “unlikely to get the virus.”
Even if children are “unlikely to get seriously ill from this virus,” as she states despite the one million that have already had it, perhaps she forgot that children are not in school alone. Teachers, assistants, nurses, bus drivers, custodial and other support staff are also in constant contact with the students.
Children go home at the end of the day and can still infect family members despite not showing any symptoms themselves. It is an abomination that someone in her position would not think beyond the children in these schools.
Children need to be protected from this virus just as the adults who work in the schools. We cannot keep schools open and help children cope with the consequences of the pandemic if we cannot control the pandemic.
The original question, about the anxiety many are feeling about the scary times we are living in, was not even answered. Really? Not one suggestion to help. I think this attitude and answer are repugnant and the response very dark.
P. Anne MacNeill
Saratoga Springs

Foolish to defy our Creator on abortion

In Torah (known to Christians as the Pentateuch), the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gave us a moral non-negotiable – do not kill.
In regard to our bodies, it belongs to God the Father, of which we are the stewards. In the scriptures we are told that God formed us in our mother’s womb. Are you that foolish to fly in the face of the Creator, destroy what he has willed into being and tell him you have the right to do so?
Are you really that foolish?
Joan M. Bellmer
Burnt Hills

Thanks for moving to Associated Press

I was just about to cancel my subscription until I saw your article in the Nov. 2 Gazette (“Note to readers: Today marks the Gazette’s return to The Associated Press.”).
I too was not happy reading the New York Times and Washington Post. They are far too left and liberal for me and I’m sure most of your readers.
The young liberals get their news online. Us elders are the old school readers.
Thank you for switching to the Associated Press. I will see how it goes and give you another chance.
Diane Doerr

Why wait to clear Trump out of office

Is there some law that says the lame duck president gets 10 weeks to clear out? President Trump is a clear and present danger to the health and security of everyone right now.
Only just recently was the CDC able to recommend the use of masks, a policy previously squelched by the president.
In his last 10 weeks, Trump will usher in perhaps 10 million new infections. Surely the lives of 10 million people take precedence over a custom that Trump is ignoring anyway.
The president is also refusing to provide security briefings and GSA funding to the incoming administration. This handicaps the Biden presidency and puts the entire nation at risk.
They will have to pry Trump’s fat fingers off the White House door anyway. So why wait?
Matthew Lofchie
Saratoga Springs

State workers must get back to offices

I would like to know how much longer we have to pay state employees to work at home.
This issue is seldom covered in the news. As a taxpayer I feel I have a right to ask this question.
Dictator Cuomo never mentions this in all of his press appearances. I don’t know of many jobs that pay employees to work at home.
There is absolutely no accountability in this job situation. The worst part, there is no deadline.
For state employees, this is a lifetime lottery now.
Tim Bolaski


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Robert F. Jewell

Nieters the only one confused is YOU.
Why is it always some hateful poorly educated republican spouting and spewing about rules to help keep us safe.

In case you haven’t noticed ED…Florida was raging out of control because of DeSantos open policy. He and their legislators are guilty of malfeasance incompetence and death.

That’s what happens when a state elects an ignorant pork chop to run things. DeSantos has flipped and flopped PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY in step with his messiahs wishes.
As a result thousand died unnecessarily.

Oh by the way you republicans who are so concerned with right and wrong:

Republican Senator Loeffler who claimed that Democrats were overhyping the severity of Trumpona19 SOLD 18,7000,000$ In stock and bought shares in a company that makes personal medical protective gear upon learning (before everyone else) about the wave of disease coming.

A typical Republican representative.
A whore for money whose big boss is her shining example of hatefulness and malfeasance towards half the populous.

Republican thought is nothing but greed!!

Joseph Vendetti


There is an Ed Nieters that is a super genius electric engineer(EE) – has BS & MS in EE and that holds 37 EE US patents & has over 80 published articles in EE trade magazines. Just making a leap that this is the person you are referring to as uneducated as that person lives in the Burnt Hills area and is well renowned scientist.

Don’t kid yourself that Republicans and Democrats aren’t or didn’t profit off of short sales when hearing about Covid.

A Cuomo & C Cuomo were in videos and pictures with no masks in public – so you need to get off this high horse thinking that any party is any better or worse then the other. You, Robert are exactly what you are constantly preaching against. You are out there “goose stepping” for one party and believing nothing on the opposite side.

A Cuomo before the pandemic spent $18.6 million of NYS taxpayers money thru executive orders in Puerto Rico. Sending water, supplies, NYS Troopers, flights, etc – for Hurricane victims. If he was such a humanitarian with “our” tax dollars why didn’t he spend them in MS, LA, FL or TX all ravaged by the same Hurricanes? You know why? Because he is a political opportunist that flip flops on issues and is only concerned about votes, not lives.

Robert F. Jewell

To Joan…yes we are that stupid by YOUR feelings only.

It’s simple Joan…if YOU do not want an abortion…don’t have one.
Otherwise a woman’s body is hers to manage individually. Not Christ nor the church.
Self determination is promised by the LAW not by feelings!!

Zealous Christian Mullahs will TELL you what THEY think God wants you to do.

Religious thought and behavior is for SELF improvement only.

Republican woman have been brainwashed from before birth to be owned and operated by male domination using the church’s dogma and the threat of abandonment and violence.

Wake up!

Robert tells us that ” Otherwise a woman’s body is hers to manage individually. ”

In this world her drug consumption and sexual activity is circumscribed by the government. It would be more accurate to say that she is free to do with what ever the state permits.

If you wish to make a case for abortion you ought to try extoling the merits of disposing of the inconvenient. You also try to make the case that population reduction puts us in the for front of fighting climate change.

Robert F. Jewell

My argument goes to the law Freddy.
The moral argument for self determination has been codified already.
Your feelings about “life” are riddled with inconsistencies, hypocrisy and religious intolerance.

You promote class warfare by controlling a women’s access to education, prosperity, self determination and yes even their very lives!!

Like other repressive religions women in this culture are the thrust and target of unequal expectations and inadequate support due to male malfeasance. Violence and
excoriation and exclusion is their reward for asking for any regular mans human right to self determination.

William Marincic

Edward Nieters Please stop with the common sense, by you telling the truth this might make people think this is something other thanks Covid restrictions, something like taking our rights or stepping on the constitution.

Robert F. Jewell

You always talk about…rights!!!…what about YOUR responsibility to your neighbors, the community, country…

R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y….


LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS..not republican


I am a generally healthy 66 year old man. However, due to a congenital heart valve condition that until now has not hindered my life in any way, I need to undergo heart surgery in the near future, just as covid cases are rising. The misinformation spewed by Mr. Nieters and Marancic and people like them have slowed down our ability to manage a major and deadly health crisis. You are putting my life in danger as I enter a hospital that is also dealing with Covid. I’m doing what I can to avoid the disease. I wear masks in public and my adult children are helping to protect me by NOT visiting for Thanksgiving. No I’m not elderly and about to die anyway. I hike. I bicycle. I live an active and productive life. YOU have no right to behave in ways that undermine MY right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

William Marincic

I too wear a mask in public Nechanem I have purel in my car and my office. I’m somewhat of a germaphobe, I open doors with my sleeve and never hold on to railing that other people touch. Guess what? I caught a head cold wearing my mask so tell me again how any of this is helping? What happened to 15 days to stop the spread? What about the increase in child abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, spousal abuse, suicide, murders, and mental health issues for seniors and children? Tell me again why after all of the precautions and mask mandates that people are still getting sick with Covid, colds and the flue? Come on William you must have that answer….

Robert F. Jewell

Yeah your a pure sexual intellect!
So by your logic …

Since you drove home with a self belt on and nothing bad happened on the way home you shouldn’t have to wear one again the next time…

Ubiquitous republican logical thinking…..NOT…


Masks do not prevent illness. But they DO significantly reduce the risk. Similarly, wearing a seatbelt won’t eliminate the possibility of being killed in a car crash, but it reduces the probability by a lot. The idea is to get the spread below 1, as we did in NY for a while thanks to our shut downs and social distancing. And thank you for wearing yours in public.

William Marincic

Thanks to our shutdowns says the guy on a padded government pension.

Joseph Vendetti


So far the US has 250,000+ unfortunate deaths. Reports of roughly 12,000,000 tested positive with data extrapolation techniques from antibody tests they have surmised that so far roughly 10.69% have had COVID. If those numbers are accurate we can assume the denominator in the equation to be roughly 35,277,000 across the US have had COVID or currently do have the COVID virus. This would make the mortality rate .007. On any given year the regular flu kills between 21,000-53,000 with around 35,000,000 people contracting the flu. So Covid is at least 6-7x more deadly then the flu strains we have seen since 2011. The medical research shows that because this is a relatively new virus on the SARs chain and many haven’t had a chance to catch it and recover and build antibodies is why it represents such a threat.

I live with two RNs. We go to the market, we go get take out food to support our local business, we go to the gas station, only essential places. We haven’t been out to eat Since January 26th I believe. We are using good practices in our house and outside the house.

I think the Masks are extremely effective, social distancing (I’m not sold on so much as I read aerosol droplets can travel 30 meters), hand washing, and knowing when you need to quarantine). Up to 50% of people are shown to have zero symptoms and be COVID positive and shedding the virus (thus why masks are important).

Florida numbers thru yesterday are 938,414 positive cases with 18,214 deaths -1.9% mortality rate. Florida has had significantly less deaths then NYers (634,035 cases and 34,233 deaths -5.4% mortality rate), their overall state Death rates from all causes is running slightly lower then 2018 & 2019 numbers. Maybe the people with multiple co-morbidities or the aged are staying at home and isolating better in Florida?

Texas has had 20,556 deaths from 1,094,275 cases -1.8% mortality rate. CA has had 1,102,033 positive cases with 18,643 deaths – 1.7% mortality rate.

The only State in the union that has a higher mortality rate is NJ. Even if you take the 12,000 or so seniors that were in nursing homes that were basically in a Covid captive environment from our equation NY’s mortality rate is 3.5% (double that of states of similar size, population diversity, density, etc).

Yes you are correct that our virus hit first & our great doctors/nurses have learned a lot about treatments and how not to treat that have been shared – so could this have caused this high mortality rate? Some data I have seen shows that uncontrolled co-morbidities played a huge roll in our poor rates in NY. African Americans in NYC and Erie County have 5x the rate of uncontrolled (or even unknown diabetes) then other parts of the State. African Americans in NYC and Erie County have 7.24x the rate of uncontrolled (or even unknown hypertension). African Americans in NYC and Erie County have 3x the rate of obesity. So in the areas that were hardest hit by this pandemic in NYS we had almost a perfect storm for this virus to percolate, spread and kill. Two of the largest Airports & ports of entry into the US, 5-6 million ppl taking public transportation on a daily basis (that wasn’t being cleaned), and a extremely vulnerable population that doesn’t do any preventative health care (even though it is readily available to all in NYS.

The Governor with the nursing home policy of 3/11 certainly wasn’t out there protecting our most vulnerable (but like I have said before – that was his policy makers – not him – I would like to see the guy admit that was flawed).

I also have hypertension (controlled) and had open heart surgery last year to repair a pulmonary aneurysm. So I feel vulnerable and I take every precaution that is at my disposal. I am even wearing a mask around my grandson, my children, etc inside my own home. But I am not telling people it is their responsibility to keep me safe or from not getting sick.


Also talking about mortality rates does not tell the whole story. Unlike the flu where if you recover, in most cases you’re good as new, with Covid there is a huge range between OK and dead. Lots of people who have survived Covid have long term health problems. It’s truly a nasty disease.

Robert F. Jewell

Bill N. You tell him.
This virus is uncharted waters… the laymen,ex businessman here have NO MEDICAL TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE!
I took care of AIDS patients back in the 90s!!
These know it alls don’t realize just what viruses are and can do!
Being immune compromised makes you susceptible to everything and it’s mutation.
But this virus is Extremely virulent. It’s etiology is not completely elucidated and is still being discovered.
All healthy groups have been attacked seriously. Their survival is not a rational to forget the sicker.

Robert F. Jewell

Bill you have the right to endanger yours and your families life but not anyone else you…you…you…you ubiquitous republican!

William Marincic

Bill you have the right to endanger yours and your families life but not anyone else Robert F Jewell…
That is exactly my point when it comes to abortion, you have no right to takes someone elses (baby) life. Thanks for making my point.

William Marincic

Matthew Lofchie Trump has yet to lose the election, the election has not been certified. There’s lots of questions about the dominion voting machines changing votes and before you say this is foolish ask yourself why the heads of dominion canceled a meeting with the Pennsylvania legislature Thursday night and got lawyers instead. All verifiable you might wanna check it out.

William Marincic

Joan M. Bellmer you are correct and all of these liberals scream my body my choice, but it’s not your body it’s someone else’s body that are killing. You made the decision to have sex if you don’t want a baby there are dozens of precautions, use them.

Robert F. Jewell

Bill don’t get yourself pregnant and you won’t need to think about abortion buddy.

Your power over life and death applies to your body only.

So quit trying to be the law or god and decide another persons medical options or what they MUST do with their body according to the dictates of women haters.


Mr. Nieters: Your letter makes numerous errors, including errors of omission. You are correct that Florida’s official Covid-19 deaths are half of New York’s. However Florida at least early on cooked the books by attributing Covid deaths to other causes. While I haven’t updated the information lately, in part because the CDC no long maintains useful data, it was clear that in the early month’s of the virus, Florida had deaths attributed to flu and pneumonia that were at least double the normal rates for previous years. So Florida’s Covid death count is actually higher, but probably still lower than NY.

NY’s peak was very early. The disease was circulating in densely populated New York City before there was a real understanding of the disease and its spread. Since then, doctors have learned a lot about ways to treat the disease, and as important, ways not to treat it. So even though nation wide hospitalizations are high, and at the point of breaking in many places (thankfully not in New York due to our shutdowns), death rates have dropped, though total deaths remain high (not in New York due to the shutdowns and more people observing mask wearing and social distancing).

New York City hospitals in April were in the verge of collapse. I don’t think anybody promised a 2-week shut down when the state’s shut down occurred. But the shut down worked! New York’s case load rapidly went down. I had a theory back in the spring that southern state case loads were not escalating as much as the Northeast because more people were outdoors and this might shift in the summer, which is an indoor season in the hot south while us northerners enjoy our nice summer weather. That happened. Caseloads in the south exploded, exacerbated by the lack of political leadership. Now that it’s getting cold in the north, nearly all states are seeing increases in cases. However those in the Northeast with more responsible leadership are not seeing spikes as high as in those states that have refused lock downs or mask requirements.

I do agree with you about the harm this is doing to our kids. However if everybody treated this virus like the plague that it is, we would have been much further along towards handling it with lower caseloads and fewer deaths.


Mr. Bolaski: I am a retired state employee who still works as a consultant as well as a volunteer in professional organizations. As such, I still interact with numerous state employees, including some of my former co-workers. 20 years ago, I would have agreed with you that working from home was nearly impossible. Ten years ago it would have been difficult. When I began working for the state, I need daily access to paper files only available in the office. To have an effective meeting, I needed to see people in person.

Now, most of the files that I would have retrieved from file drawers are available online or on office networks. Meetings are held via zoom. Most work can be done online, on a home computer, and on the telephone. My former colleagues and other state employees who I interact with as part of my consulting or volunteer work are busy and responsive.

Much of the private sector has also gone to remote work. If somebody’s job can be done mostly on a computer and on a phone, there is usually no reason to be in an office. In fact, after the pandemic is over, many private sector businesses will maintain at least partial remote work and for many areas it has been very effective and productive.

There have always been people who assume that all state workers just sit around and collect a pay check. From my experience at the Department of Environmental Conservation, most state workers that I’ve known through the years are dedicated and productive, and remain so under trying circumstances.

Robert F. Jewell

Bill , I’m a retired civil servant also. Spent 22 years running water and wastewater treatment plants. I spent 80 percent of the time outside or in labs.
I to would have never believed how much work that could be done at home.
When I worked as a Registered Nurse our nursing notes were hand written on hanging charts…now it’s all computers…

People like Mr.Bolaski have always looked over their shoulders to make sure no one is getting an extra grape more than themselves.
There has always been resent to civil servants. None justifiable.

William Marincic

None justifiable yet when the governor shut down 20% of the state the state still continued to operate just as it did without the work reduction. To me we have at least 20% more people than we need in these jobs. I have a state worker friend that was told to slow down in her work because it made everyone look bad and then they would all have to do more work, There is a reason state workers are referred by 1-800-loafers


The state can function ok over the short term. NYS DEC is 25% smaller than it was 20 years ago. It is doing MUCH less than it was. And that actually slows economic development because it takes more time to get permits approved, and staff doesn’t have time for outreach to permittees to help the process go smoother.

William Marincic

You are like most liberals you can’t have a conversation so you would be gone. Not to fear, I was like you once and like me you have to realize how terrible liberalism is on your own and come into the party of love and inclusion. Until then you are just annoying

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