Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Jan. 5


Mobilize resources to distribute vaccine

In the United States, there are well over 200,000 volunteer police officers whose main goal is to “assist and augment” the work of full-time law enforcement officers.
They are committed to the safety and well-being of the citizens in the communities where the volunteers themselves reside. In most jurisdictions, they are uncompensated except for uniform allowances and the ability to claim benefits under state workmen’s compensation plans.
Many reserve or auxiliary officers after spending a few years in that role, working alongside full-time police officers, decide to become full-time officers.
These volunteer first responders mainly serve at the local levels of government: town, city, and county.
The time is now to mobilize this internal protection resource for the sake of a smooth delivery of covid vaccines to the nation’s population. They can work in conjunction with local units of the American Red Cross and other first responder organizations to get this job done.
Moreover, for more than 300 years, local county sheriffs in America have been authorized by common law and specific statutes to invoke the authority to call out the “power of the county” (also known as posse comitatus) in times of emergency.
They can summon as much assistance as is necessary for the particular emergency — the loss of more than 3,000 lives a day to the pandemic is certainly sufficient cause.
The time to act is now.
Martin Alan Greenberg
The writer is director of Education and Research, the New York State Association of Auxiliary Police, Inc. and a retired State University of New York (SUNY) criminal justice professor.

GOP bears blame for covid casualties

On Sept. 11, 2001, about 3,000 people died as a result of terrorist attacks. As a country we were devastated, and we mourned the loss of life.
Our leaders were enraged and asked how could something like this happen, and they wondered what they could have done to prevent this tragedy.
During the past several weeks, on average, approximately 3,000 Americans have died every day from COVID-19. As a country, we did not pause to mourn this loss of life. Our leaders were not enraged; they did not ask how could this have happened; nor did they consider what they could have done to prevent this tragedy.
It is abundantly clear that had the Republican leadership taken the pandemic seriously and actively insisted that all citizens follow masking and social distancing protocols, many of these lives could have been saved.
Those Americans who followed the Republican lead and chose to ignore the protocols are also guilty of escalating the number of COVID-19 deaths.
The Republican Party failed the American people and bears a major responsibility for allowing the pandemic to destroy the lives of so many Americans. In contrast to 9/11, there are no “terrorists” to blame for the mounting deaths — the blame falls directly on ignorant and selfish Americans. As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Don Steiner

Kennedy, cremation articles unnecessary

Regarding the postscript in Bob Belive’s Dec. 12 letter (“Trump supporters need to get the facts,”) I think Andy Rooney said it best on the 25th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death.
“Do we need to see John F. Kennedy shot again?”
In the same Your Voice section, I agree with Janet Mattis’ opinion (“Cremation article, photo went too far”) on cremation. I can’t get that picture out of my head either.
My husband and I both choose cremation, but did I need to see a picture of the new and updated furnaces? No!
Margaret Lapo

Look to God to help fight the good fight

A sign before you enter Shenendehowa’s Arongen Elementary School displays the words: “to understand,” “work hard,” “be nice.” Simple words and on reflection, a base for character.
In the prayer of St. Francis: “Seek to understand than to be understood.” In these trying times, what a humane gesture to understand what someone may be going through where the end result is sadness.
My daily thoughts and prayers channel to God for whatever people here and around the world are dealing with. God is real and if any one of us, regardless of religion, ignores God, how can we try to come to grips of understanding any of today’s societal upheavals?
Hopefully you direct your problem to someone who understands and cares, who is honestly knowledgeable, balanced and looks through the lens of problem-solving in an intelligent, compassionate, comprehensive and hard-working manner.
In our 200-plus years of democracy, going forward hasn’t been easy. We’re diverse, but what binds us is a shared sense of unity of purpose to seek the greater good.
Going forward I hope we remember who came before us and who tried to fight the good fight for the right purpose.
We can only hope and pray to God that our leaders, no matter what field of expertise they have, will always work for each of us equally.
Abraham Lincoln said it with the strength of character in his inaugural address “with malice towards none…with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.”
Carmel Marie Loffredo

Gazette promoted improper mask use

I was astounded that you would post a large picture of Christmas Mass depicting a family and the woman with her mask below her nose on the Dec. 25 front page of The Gazette.
With all the articles about the rise of covid, to show this picture is irresponsible and dangerous.
There are enough people that don’t follow the guidelines and now they have more reason not to. Very disappointing.
Linda Cortese

Landlordism not evil as writer claims

I write in response to Samuel Rose’s Dec. 19 letter (“Time to change our landlordism system”) which appeared in The Gazette.
Consider the following scenario: I need a dwelling in which to house my family and so I purchase a two-family home.
I take out a $200,000 mortgage, which has monthly payments of $1,055.67. Additionally, I owe with my mortgage payments 1/12th of the annual taxes, which comes to $396 per month. Additionally, I owe 1/12th of the annual insurance premium, which is $66. for a total monthly payment for $1,517.67.
(Note we are not talking about upkeep, repairs etc.)
I rent the upstairs to Samuel Rose and I inform him I will be charging him $1,150 in rent. Mr. Rose responded that I am treating him as a serf — I being the lord — and that such a relationship is a “capitalistic transformation of feudal relationships” and “this relationship is inherently authoritarian, exploitative and antithetical to the free society this country was imagined to be.”
Mr. Rose objects to this inherently wrong relationship and is going to exercise his rights in this free society and accordingly will not be paying rent.
Nice try, Sam.
P.S. Mr. Rose would abolish the property rights of landlords.
Hannah Arendt stated that property rights constitute a bulwark against totalitarianism — the first thing those wishing to establish tyranny do is to abolish property rights.
Peter V. Coffey

Not happy with poor mail delivery

Our neighborhood has the worst postal service. I understand why FedEx and UPS are so big.
Two years ago, we had “Mat,” not ideal, but reasonably consistent with his delivery times, predictable, but too late in the afternoon. Since Mat, no one regularly has been assigned to our mail route. They can’t get anyone.
I have an ongoing subscription to a well-known out-of-town newspaper delivered by mail. Some days it doesn’t come. Some days it comes. It’s “reading roulette.”
I got one copy, six days late, in October. I haven’t seen my newspaper for the past three days. Some days we get the mail at 2:30 p.m., other days 7:30 p.m. We get delivery from guys wearing miner’s lights on their foreheads because it’s so late.
Sometimes it’s delivered to our back door, in our front door mailbox, other times pushed through the mail slot. We’ve counted many different mail carriers this year.
I’ve complained twice by email to a national email address. The local manager has called me each time within a couple of days. He’s trying. I don’t blame him. I’ve become the old guy who complains.
The last time I was in the main post office, I saw that they were looking to hire. Nobody wants to work for the post office. Nobody, my wife says, wants to work.
Now I’m in favor of unlimited immigration. I have a solution. This will solve the problem definitively.
My Lord, it’s so simple. Here’s a hint: Can you spell A-m-a-z-o-n?
Dennis Wentraub


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



I never thought I would see the day when the president would grovel, beg, lie, threaten and whine after losing an election so convincingly. Trump’s phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State (considered a rarity in political circles) last Saturday showed he was delusional with conspiratorial “facts” that don’t exist and have been tried 50+ times in court that were not believed. Trump has poisoned his supporters to the point that he is making seditionists out of GOP leaders and boot-lickers like Stefanik. Trying to subvert an honest election because he cannot accept defeat is undemocratic and dangerous.


Thanks, Ray. May I add that Trump may have broken election laws in Georgia , and his strong-arming Raffensperger suggesting that he ‘find’ 11,000 votes borders on suborning perjury. Trump is acting exactly like a mob boss. His favorite movie is “The Godfather.” Why am I not surprised?!


It was 11 months ago that Adam Schiff spoke at Trump’s impeachment trial and said, I “urge the Senate to take a stand against a man without character. We must say enough — enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine decided not to vote for impeachment saying that Trump “has learned his lesson.” Schiff was right, Collins was dead wrong and hopefully she and other senators who didn’t convict Trump, a modern day political mob boss, feel remorse. Just think of all the misery and lives would have been spared without him in office.

Why no confident defenses of him here?
Where are all the Trump/MAGA fans?
I’m hoping they can help us understand why they think this is the person who won in a “Landslide” and has been robbed.

With all the rallies of brave souls sure the virus won’t effect them, the flags on pick-up trucks and boats, the front yards festooned with more Trump-alia than holiday decorations, you would think they’d be front and center defending him and all his accomplishments. ‘There’s overwhelming evidence!’ they’d confidently say. ‘The whole society is in on it!’ they’d knowingly pronounce.

Maybe finally the elusive Red Line of Crazy has finally been crossed, for them.
What say you, MAGAs? He’s your savior.
Who will defend him (and not just enable him)?

Leave a Reply