Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Thursday, Dec. 17


City chicken idea fell to cultural biases

I have questioned my timing related to pushing for backyard hens in the city of Schenectady.
When you consider everything that’s occurring right now, it’s not a priority, but ironically has shown itself to be a cultural litmus test which I believe we failed.
Our community discussion on backyard chickens has led to phrases like “cultural slaughter” in my email box and fear mongering like the tale of goat’s blood running down the street.
A Schenectady fable that has taken on a life of its own in the last 15 years since the city council banned residents from keeping poultry and other livestock at their homes after “a man complained his children witnessed their Guyanese neighbors kill a goat,” Paul Nelson wrote in the July 2, 2010, Times Union.
The article was about a live poultry market opening in Schenectady, but clearly touched upon a cultural divide nearly five years old at the time.
More recently, this tale was referenced in Council member John Polimeni’s backyard chicken survey when he asked, “knowing this … the killing of chickens in the backyards similar to the goats problem Schenectady had years ago… are you in favor of Schenectady allowing backyard chickens or against.”
Sadly, his results found the third-rated “primary concern” regarding backyard chickens were, “people killing them on their property.”
So, at the buzzer, our defeat was not centered on a discussion focused on fresh eggs, organic fertilizer or reduction of food waste, but rather a cultural divide and fear mongering.
Chad Putman

Time to step up and work toward good

We are living in a mixed-up, complex world today.
Everyone is under pressure to do the right thing. It’s past time to take a real look at where we are going and put a stop to all the bad stuff we are faced with.
I say it again: We need smart, good people that love our country that are willing to step in and help us get out of the mess we are in.
The time is now. Let’s be kind, considerate, understanding and have the wantsmenship to help us get back to a peace-loving, calm and sound economy.
Last but not least, follow what the doctors say to help get rid of COVID-19. There is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Sid Gordon
Saratoga Springs

Store must enforce its covid protocols

There is a sign on the door at Price Chopper on Altamont Avenue that states NO MASK – NO ENTRY.
Apparently, that’s about as far as Price Chopper goes in its effort to curb the coronavirus. While I was there recently, two people had no masks on and were able to shop and check out. I was told by an employee that this goes on all day. Wiping the conveyor belt is not enough, Price Chopper.
The disinfecting wipes dispenser is usually empty, and I have not seen hand sanitizer in a long time.
Why can’t Price Chopper hire a security person to monitor people coming into the store or encourage elderly people who don’t wear masks to stay home and let relatives shop for them? Let’s be part of the solution, Chopper. NO MASK, NO SERVICE.
Patricia Cerone

Enforce governor’s limit on gatherings

On Nov. 20, Glenville Police Chief Stephen V. Janik issued a statement indicating that he would not be enforcing the governor’s executive order limiting the number of house guests, “based on the discretion we have as an agency.”
I understand that the executive order is difficult to enforce. But what if the police become aware of a party of 20, or 100, or 500? Wouldn’t this be a public health concern?
Mr. Janik’s message is that he would turn a blind eye and that the governor’s order is not to be taken seriously. That is the wrong message at this critical time, as we try our best to protect our family, friends and neighbors.
Gov. Cuomo’s executive order may not be popular with everyone, but it is based on information gathered from testing and contact tracing, which has revealed that covid is currently being spread in large part due to home gatherings.
Chief Janik may not like these facts. Or he may not like that he has to enforce the governor’s order. But that is his job.
Part of the responsibility of government during these times is to send a strong message regarding the seriousness of this virus and convince citizens that we must work together to limit infections.
I hope that Chief Janik and the Glenville town government will do the right thing, while we are still in the midst of the holiday season, and publicly support the executive order to limit home gatherings to no more than 10.
Gwen Williams

Trump shows why he needed to go

Donald Trump, a former reality star refuses to accept the reality that he lost the election.
His inability to accept defeat is very upsetting. After over 45 lawsuits filed and lost and millions of dollars wasted, he continues to act like a spoiled brat. This is not normal behavior for the president of the United States of America.
To my knowledge, this is a first. His arrogance and his egotism are beyond comprehension. Perhaps, it is time for a psychiatric evaluation.
Trump’s anti-immigrant racist phobia is also puzzling. He recoils at the prospect of people from Central America entering at the southern border seeking asylum. The very idea of separating parents and children is abhorrent and evil. Then not to keep records identifying families is shameful.
Those young people are being treated like animals, although the animals have the ASPCA; the children have nothing.
Since Trump’s first and third wives are immigrants, I reckon the “Trump” name makes the difference. Let us all hope and pray that these 500 plus young people at least get improved living conditions as they wait to be reunited.
Looking forward to his departure from the White House.
Jane Reisenger

The odds at OTB are not a sure bet

This is a warning to all who wish to make a future bet on the Kentucky Derby with OTB.
Many months before the original date of the Kentucky Derby, I went online to place a bet.
The odds on Authentic were 12-1. I placed a bet.
When Authentic won, I thought I had won at 12-1 odds. My account was only paid at 6-1 odds, which was even lower than the track odds of 8-1. I phoned OTB and questioned the payoff.
They told me that all future bets are in a specific cycle, and at the end of that cycle my odds were 6-1. They do not pay the odds at the time you make your bet. This means if you were to be the only bettor to bet a horse, you may even be odds-on when you get paid. This is totally unfair to all bettors. Bettors beware!
Larry Rector

Repeating same lie doesn’t make it true

It’s been said that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
“I won this election by a lot.” — Donald Trump
“I won this election by a lot.” — Donald Trump
“I won this election by a lot.” — Donald Trump
“I won this election by a lot.” — Donald Trump
“I won this election by a lot.” — Donald Trump
Nope! It didn’t work this time.
Walter Wouk


Online letters

Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.

To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


May sound cruel, but people need to learn that the meat they consume is the result of an animal having to die and it doesn’t magically show up on a foam tray from the grocery store or in a box from a fast food joint. Should obviously not have slaughterhouses in city limits, however, harvesting a chicken or two for personal consumption (not selling commercially) should be allowed if you are allowed to raise a few of them. How is it that a hunter can process a deer in their backyard they shot elsewhere, but not a chicken they raised?

Michael Burns

Editor, Gazette:

Peter Barber’s photo of a snow plow on Union Street in Schenectady is a fine example of good photography. Color, contrast, composition, and the story told by the photo are all spot on. I have known Mr. Barber’s work to be excellent for some time but never commented. Today, it struck me that it might be nice to let the Gazette know that we readers see the effort and craftsmanship it takes from the photographers, reporters, editors, and staff at The Gazette to put out a good paper in these incredibly difficult times.

Yay you!

–Michael Burns
The Mopco Improv Theatre

A City of Schenectady snow plow clears a path on Union Street early Thursday, December 17, 2020.

Leave a Reply