Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Feb. 13

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Convict Trump and prevent future runs

I am a retired truck driver. Donald Trump must be convicted and disqualified from running for office ever again.
The House impeached Trump for his incitement of an armed insurrection against the U.S. government to throw out the results of the presidential election.
Now, it’s time for the Senate to act.
The House drew a clear red line that Trump’s behavior warranted impeachment. If he’s convicted in the Senate, Trump can be forever barred from holding public office again.
The Senate must hold Donald Trump accountable for his attack on our democracy and the rule of law. Our democracy must emerge stronger from this crisis. I demand that ALL senators vote for conviction and disqualification of former president Donald Trump.
William Gilmour
Malta

District’s secrecy is the wrong message

The Gazette’s Editorial Board reminds us Schenectady citizens to get involved, speak out, even get mad when referring to our cowardly school district leaders: the school board and its superintendent.
I spoke with interim Superintendent Bonacic last April after he contacted me after a concern I wrote on the school website regarding lack of apology by school board members and their dirty secret of former Superintendent Spring’s sexual harassment charges.
He said the board will be getting a ‘public statement’ out ‘soon.’ Almost a year later, no apology. How do you expect children you teach to follow your example, Superintendent Bonacic and Schenectady school board members, when you lie and cover up?
How do you expect the rest of us: parents, property owners who pay for schools and all others to react to such illicit secrecy and, worse, a golden parachute for another city school superintendent? Didn’t we hire Spring to fill the awful void after Superintendent Ely was let go? As a charter member of S.C.O.P.E., we helped rid our school district of four board members and Ely, along with overpaid administrators, only to have then-President Lewis approve Ely’s golden parachute.
She wasn’t legally bound to do so, but did anyway with four board members’ support.
Ms. Lewis used to fall over Superintendent Spring and gave him two pay raises during his short tenure. If that doesn’t sound weird, I don’t know what is. What happens when a student comes forward with similar complaints? Will you ignore them, too?
Gerald F. Plante
Schenectady

 

Grateful for all those helping with crisis

I’d like to add my voice to the chorus singing the praises of our great healthcare workers everywhere: in pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and, of course, at the vaccination sites.
My wife and I got our first dose at the Plattsburgh airport and things could not have been better organized.
But, of course, it’s the people that make the difference, and all — the people directing traffic, the volunteers handling paperwork, and the professionals administering the shots — were so patient and understanding.
At the pharmacy we go to, they work so hard, and although at times they are understaffed during this very busy season, they greet you with a smile and their patience and helpfulness is really encouraging.
And the doctor appointments I have had to keep during these past several months would have been more concerning if not for the people who work in those offices, the people who sanitize them, and the staff that guides you along and checks you in and, of course, the doctors who check you out.
No doubt these times are tough, and all these people who are helping us with our health issues are also dealing with their own day-to-day issues like the rest of us. Thank God for them all. But you know, it doesn’t stop there. Everyone helping someone get through the day these days deserves praise.
Art Pagano
Galway

80 million will learn they voted wrong

There were about 80 million people (+/-) that voted for Joe Biden.
And just like Joe Biden on his foreign and [most] domestic policy choices over his political career, they may come to discover, but history will prove, that they made the wrong decision, too.
Gerald V. Marmuscak
Schenectady

Unpaid-wage bill will hurt subcontractors

The state Legislature has introduced a bill that proposes making general contractors working on private projects liable for any and all unpaid wages owed to a worker by a subcontractor “at any tier.”
The bill has unfortunately passed the Assembly. I have been on calls with the Senate sponsor’s office (Senator Ramos) and the Senate majority leader’s counsel. The majority leader’s counsel has stated that he believes the proposal is necessary to combat wage theft.
He also cited similar laws that have been passed in California, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Other states have similar proposals pending, as the idea that general contractors should bear the responsibility for “bad” subcontractors appears to be gaining ground all over the country.
This bill proposes making general contractors working on private projects liable for any and all unpaid wages owed to a worker by a subcontractor “at any tier.” There is a widely held misconception that general contractors are nameless and faceless big businesses that can absorb this unmanageable risk.
I wish supporters of this bill know how much damage this law could do to people, not just businesses.
My business predominantly operates in a subcontractor capacity. In the event this becomes law, general contractors will impose additional mandates to ensure they are protected from any potential liability. They will also try and reduce risk by only doing business with well-established “big-name” subcontractors that they have previously worked with.
New subcontractors trying to break into the market will be at a serious disadvantage.
Jonathan Mullen
Richmondville

Let family be there to give end-of-life care

I would like to commend state Sen. Rachel May for pushing legislation for nursing homes to allow family members to be part of End of Life Care.
To be able to designate a personal care person who can look after your every need during your stay at nursing homes is not only humane, but would finally come up to par with what animals at shelters have. This sounds sad, but it is true.
My mother recently passed away at my home. I promised her she would never go to one, as I was a nurse’s aide and I know how hard it is to give the necessary care, especially in today’s world. She spent her last days here and all her needs were met 24/7.
How sad is it that family members are not allowed to be part of their loved one’s final days or the ones before and are kept at arm’s length. That is inhumane by any stretch of the imagination. I cannot even fathom that my mom would have been alone, drowning in her own lungs because of lack of care, knowing she would die alone because each aide has 20 patients to deal with if they are lucky. It has nothing to do with the aides, but with the government mandates and the cutbacks in every nursing home in the United States. It is truly pathetic.
I would rather be pushed off a ledge than go into a nursing home today. Please, let the madness stop.
Denise Crisci
Scotia

Cancel culture has become suppressive

In John Figliozzi’s Feb. 7 column (“’Cancel culture’: Old wine in new, mislabeled bottle”) his meandering attack on critics of cancel culture waits until paragraph 15 to inform us that cancel culture is really kind of OK because it is just relabeling of ostracism, shaming and boycotting.
Even if you somehow accept those are reasonable reactions to political speech, he ignores the fact that cancel culture has metastasized into something far worse.
Small groups of people don’t just reject a point of view; they actively seek to block everyone else from hearing that view. If he doesn’t like the term “cancel culture,” how about this instead: suppression of free speech. He is right about one thing though, cancel culture isn’t new. The leaders of Athens canceled Socrates; Pope Urban VIII canceled Galileo; and Sir Thomas Moore canceled a lot of heretics before Henry VIII canceled him.
In all cases, elites or small powerful minorities targeted individuals to silence them, and now the worst of cancel culture is found in our “elite” universities, newspapers and media outlets.
Mr. Figliozzi’s timing couldn’t be worse coming on the heels of two New York Times veteran reporters being sacked for old violations of political correctness. He should be forewarned he can never be woke enough for the cancel mob.
David Ochse
Porter Corners

Veto of broadband bill makes no sense

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent pocket veto of the Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act referenced in the Feb. 5 article (“Pocket veto delays study: Probe of broadband access eyed for next state budget”) makes no sense at a time when New Yorkers are struggling through a crisis without access to affordable high-speed internet service.
The bill, passed last year with near-unanimous support in the Legislature, would have provided data on the barriers and disparities that exist in service availability and affordability, helping the state connect more New Yorkers to jobs, education, health care and loved ones.
Accurate data and mapping are critical to identifying gaps in rural and urban areas where service is unavailable, unreliable, or unaffordable.
The governor has offered new plans in his budget proposal to make existing high-speed internet service more affordable for low-income New Yorkers, and his senior adviser says the new state budget will include mapping. The governor must be held to that promise; identifying the current gaps in service is critical to his goal of offering statewide access to affordable high-speed internet.
Beth Finkel
New York City
The writer is state director for AARP New York.

Robo calls, vaccines show state ineptitude

After speaking to numerous friends over the past few days, we are all in agreement that after signing up to not receive those annoying calls on our home and cell phones, it was a major fail. Whoever was in charge of the operation is inept and should be fired. Must be the same outfit who organized the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Joanne Hwaszcz
Schenectady

Letter writers should change their tune

I greatly appreciate The Daily Gazette, and particularly enjoy reading Letters to the Editor and online comments.
However, the comments section is increasingly dominated by a few individuals. They’re articulate, but vehemently partisan with opposing viewpoints on seemingly every issue.
I’m not suggesting that they be formally limited in any way (although I do note that in the Letters to the Editor section, The Daily Gazette limits submissions to once every 30 days and 250 words). But it’s clear where these frequent posters stand on the issues.
We get it — one side is correct and moral, the other side is wrong and evil. Support “us” and good things will occur; if you support “them” bad things will happen.
I’d like to make two suggestions:
1. Try not responding to every comment, particularly to new or infrequent commenters. Give others a chance to weigh in, without fear of being immediately attacked. Encourage the newcomer.
2. Try something different. Are there things we can agree on? Maybe start small and not political at first? Do we all like the smell of fresh baked bread? The beauty of our region on a sunny (even cold or snowy) day? Do we all wish health and wellness for our families, our friends, our neighbors?
Tell you what, in a couple of days, I’ll start a thread of “things we can agree on.” Let’s see if we can begin to come together as a community, first locally, and then regionally, nationally.
Mike Eisenberg
Hadley

Hold celebration for Schenectady’s 360th

Schenectady celebrates its 360th birthday this year. Schenectady was founded in 1661.
Now that things seem to be going in the right direction, we can think of more celebratory occasions.
There was a great article in The Gazette’s Feb. 4 Ticket (“Stockade church’s history serves as reminder of ‘Resilient Schenectady’”) on the Schenectady Massacre of Feb. 8, 1690. Over the years, we have remembered that occasion with plays, reenactments and one of our mayors rode on horseback to Albany as per Symon Schermerhorn did that night. This was a terrible time for those living in the Stockade. Sixty people were killed, and another large group was taken hostage.
What about a birthday celebration? There should have been some sort of acknowledgment when Schenectady turned 350 years old in 2011, but nothing was done. So, let’s do something positive for Schenectady. Let’s have a birthday gathering some time during this year.
Perhaps with a reenactment of Arendt Van Curler and his group of Dutchmen negotiating with the Native Americans. This should take place in the Stockade area down near Riverside Park. We have all gone through a tough year of isolation and great worries. Now it’s time to start getting back to normal.
Winnie Balz
Schenectady

A society needs to have many voices

“A healthy society should not have just one type of voice” a quote from Dr. Li Wenliang.
Chinese authorities concluded that he was not a so-called ‘person who was against the system.’ Those who labeled him that way were “enemy forces.” Others were ‘hunted down-labeled-imprisoned and tortured.’
My late husband escaped Germany just before the Wall was built. His brother and thousands of others weren’t so lucky. They were hunted down, labeled, reported to authorities, and imprisoned. (Some lost their jobs and others — their lives.)
The same fate faced my Hungarian friends who escaped during the 1956 take-over of Budapest. Others were hunted down, persecuted, imprisoned and tortured. The same happened to my Lithuanian and Russian friends.
When my husband was a child, his father was put in a Russian jail.
Consequently, my husband was expected to be the father to his two younger brothers. Why did this happen? It has been ascertained that there was the elimination of the German multi-party political system which brought about the demise of newspapers produced by other political parties; and freedom of speech was stifled, allowing the spreading of negative views.
Also, Christian leaders supported, collaborated and accommodated the new Hitler’s party.
Without their support, it has been reported that Hitler would probably not have been able to come to power.
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” — Ancient Rabbi Hillel the Elder.
Flora L. Ramonowski
Schenectady

Thanks to all for helping pensioners

I saw the Feb. 6 letter (“St. Clare’s retirees need pensions now’’) from our best cheerleader, Walter “ Neal “ Brazell in the Daily Gazette, yet again. We both had the same thought.
I want to say “Thank you” to Neal and to the wonderful legal team that we have representing us in this fight. Attorneys and staff from Legal Aid, AARP and many members of legal offices have stepped up and agreed to work for us pro bono.
It needed to be said because our world is harshly divided and unstable in many ways that you simply don’t hear of kindness like this very often. To see that these dedicated people are still forging forward means more to us than we can say.
We have lost our pension at a time when there is a pandemic that has had severe rippling effects on us all. We almost thought that no one cared, but they obviously do.
I’m so impressed with the legal team and wish to thank Attorney General Latisha James for her perseverance to our issues as well. She has many irons in the fire, but she has made us a priority and we are grateful. But most of all, I’m proud of all of the pensioners for their patience and faith during these past 2-plus years without their well-deserved and rightful monies. Thank you to the St. Clare’s pensioners and keep the faith. We’ll never give up this fight. Remember that prayers are the best weapon.
Mary Hartshorne
Ballston Lake
The writer is chairman of the St. Clare’s Pension Recovery Alliance (SCPRA).

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

7 Comments

geri krawitz

a hearty shout out to the wonderful letters posted by
flora ramonowski, mike eisenberg, jaonne hwaszcz, gerald plante, art pagano, denise crisci, gerald marmiscak, david ochsc
forgive the spellin g but your letters are all excellent

With respect to Mr. Eisenberg’s comment (and I do mean respectfully), let’s not lose sight of the times we’re in; these are historic times. My short time on Earth includes witness to the tumult of the 1960’s, and the scandal of Watergate, and the Iran-Contra affair. But this situation that the current iteration of the Republican Party has brought on our country as it fades from popularity and attempts to exert a form of authoritarianism as a last hope, is a whole new level of social turbulence.

Welcome to the new public square, brought to you ably and capably by the Daily Gazette (and I mean that). This ain’t a campfire at Camp Chingachgook, and you’d be hardpressed to enjoy such freedom of speech at any area mall. It’s a place of much chewing of carpets and argy-bargy, and maybe enlightenment (and a damn sight better since the DG tossed the Facebook plug-in).

Just a coupla pence from the peanut gallery…

geri krawitz

i know that it is terrible that our govermant has become so incompetant. biden jr getting 80,000 from a foreign country proof of same and yet allowed to keep money have an illegitimate child he denied marry hid brothers wife leaving his own wife and children getting 150 billion from china the new power embraced by the democrats. the new turbulance is all by the democrats so called peaceful demonstations with fires in background 2 expensive impeachments with nothing but their hatred for trump the second best to winston churchill the kavanaugh hearings. the only thi ng different is that people have become more stupid and radicalized. much of this can be attributed to our disgaraceful schools who put nonsensical ideas ahead of fact and actual knowledge of history, math science. the cancel culture and the proponents that their are different types of huimans not just women and men is simply stupid. we would all live better lives if we returned to simplicity not far fetched nothing ideas.
nothing the democrats are doing is of any help to americans.these people accomplish nothing so they think they can be famous by being outrageous and of course stupid

geri krawitz

the only reason we had watergate is that mark felt thought he was in line to replace hoover, when he was not given the position he told all even though he was willing participant. he only told woodward because he did not get the job

Michael Eisenberg

Thank you. I’m not naive or a Pollyanna. But we share a country and government, whether we want to or not. So maybe, we here in the region can start small, find some common ground, and try to move from there.

Can we all agree that –

– snow falling gently on a Sunday morning is pleasing?
– we hope that this pandemic ends as soon as possible?
– we appreciate the efforts of health care workers during these difficult times?

…please respond with things you think we might all agree with or at least accept without rancor.

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