Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, Jan. 10


Trump has educated American citizens

Despite his self-serving performance as president, Trump has inspired some people to learn.
For example, many U.S. citizens are now versed regarding the impeachment process, the 25th amendment, the Electoral College, the emolument clause, the Hatch Act, how voting works, how not to manage a pandemic, what exactly is abuse of power and obstruction of justice and how that fits the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors and other heretofore not well understood concepts.
Additionally, he’s responsible for expanding the vocabulary in general use. Words used infrequently four years ago are common in today’s lexicon, e.g., sycophant, narcissist, demagogue, obsequious, mendacity, collusion, sedition, kraken.
Thank Trump for some limited societal cognitive improvement.
Larry Jordan

Look who else got in line for covid vaccine

This is in response to Ron Neu’s letter (“Politicians should wait turn on vaccine”) in the Dec. 31 Gazette.
I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Neu only mentioned lawmakers, who are Democrats when he lamented about them skipping ahead in line to get the vaccine.
What he failed to mention was that Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Joni Ernst, all Republicans, also took the opportunity to be among the first vaccinated.
And I’m sure by now that the list has expanded. What truly upsets me is seeing individuals, who so clearly flouted the fact that they were not following protocols set in place to help protect us all from COVID-19, now being among the first to get the vaccine.
I happen to believe that if you are intent on casting aspersions at individuals for behavior that you see as self-serving, maybe you should consider getting all the facts.
Jill Miglin
Burnt Hills

Grateful for efforts to maintain trails

While hiking the Schenectady County Indian Kill Nature Preserve, I came upon a very recent blowdown of a huge pine tree, with the widely and densely branched top half totally blocking the one trail up a steep hill alongside the beautiful Second Falls.
There was evidence that some had scaled the hill directly up in the leafy duff and mud, which would eventually lead to erosion and damage. My report to SCEAC (the Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council) resulted in an immediate forward to the county Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Thinking that the issue would have a timely resolution for safety of access and trail integrity, I was pleased to know that the trail crew of Nick and Dave took in equipment and cleared up the obstruction the next morning. Many thanks!
I also recently hiked in the county’s Almy D. Coggeshall Plotterkill Preserve and enjoyed the now rugged, well-designed staircase and bridge (with bench) allowing safe creek crossing as well as cabling along some of the steeper overlooks. Public access to local natural areas has been a more important asset than ever this past year and going forward.
Margie Litwin

More must be done to stop drunk driving

On Dec. 4, 1977 in Scotia, a drunken driver plowed into teenage siblings, Karen and Timothy Morris, a crime that ended their young lives.
Not only was the drunken driver released without any bail restrictions; his driver’s license wasn’t suspended.
Doris Aiken knew these teenagers. She called the district attorney for answers and was told to mind her own business. She was livid.
The tragedy inspired her to form RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers), the nation’s first anti-DWI organization. Aiken became a catalyst for societal change. No longer is DWI considered an accident. The public views it as a serious crime.
The Gazette reported on Jan. 1 (“Driver in crash faces charge of murder”) that Oscar Lopez, an alleged drunk driver, took the life of a young mother, Amanda Slaven.
Lopez had an aggravated BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) over 0.18, was driving on a revoked license from a previous DWI and showed moral depravity when he slammed into Slaven head-on.
I commend District Attorney Robert Carney for charging Lopez with second-degree murder. After Carney carefully examined all the mitigating factors, the murder charge is warranted. It’s saddening after decades of fighting drunken driving that this scourge continues to cause so much heartache.
Yet, when you compare how our criminal justice system handled the Morris case with the way drunken driving cases are treated today; the difference is night and day. While there’s been great progress, it’s still a long road to hoe.
It starts by holding people accountable for making perilous decisions. District Attorney Carney made the right call.
William Aiken
The writer is president of Remove Intoxicated Drivers.

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Robert F. Jewell

Thank you Mr.Aiken!
I applaud and am grateful for your letter and those who work on behalf of all of our safety.
Alcohol is truly one of the biggest killers of life through history.
In this country the abject suffering and poverty caused by alcoholism became so
oppressive to women and children that our
WOMEN led the way to save society at that time.
The Temperance movement like almost ALL significant social movements was a grass roots uprising against the atrocities of rape, murder, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, child abuse, poverty, death!
All the dangers of their times were rioted and demonstrated against and primarily led by magnificent ladies of good conscience….men fell in line…

Fast forward.
Doris Aikens outrage didn’t stay in her head…her clarity of purpose and conviction by ACTIONS is what being concerned for your neighbor is about.

Your “rights” to smoke…drink….take drugs…is fine in a jungle….we live together or we die alone…


Ps…Mrs.Aikens…I lost a family member to two teenage boys chasing each other… one crashed into a gift from the lord….they sent her back…30 years ago….Ill never forget😔

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