Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, Feb. 17


Initiate reform with For the People Act

When the New York State Bar Association‘s Miranda Warnings podcast interviewed Rep. Mondaire Jones, the freshman congressman from New York’s 17th district, one of the things he discussed was the importance of the For the People Act.
The first 100 days of Biden’s presidency are under way and I’m hoping that he and Congress will make reforming our democracy a top priority. The best way to do that is by passing the For the People Act.
The For the People Act is a bold piece of legislation that would strengthen our democracy for generations to come. The law would dismantle numerous barriers to voting and representation, like gerrymandering, racist voter ID laws, unnecessary hurdles to registration, and felony disenfranchisement, adding millions of new voters to the rolls.
It would also reduce the influence of big money in our politics by enacting limits on donations from lobbyists and increasing the power of campaign contributions from Americans by enacting a small-donor matching program.
Without this much-needed reform, our political system will never be truly democratic or fully representative, meaning our government will continue to work only for the privileged few.
With a new president in the White House, I want to build a better system for all Americans which is why I’m urging Congress to pass the For the People Act.
Brendan Kennedy
The writer is executive producer for NYSBA Podcasts.

Hydro-Quebec plan will be a disaster

Thank you, Chris Corbett, for your trenchant analysis of the real economic, cultural and human damage that will take place if the Hydro-Quebec plan for the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is approved, and construction begun.
The transmission of electrical energy from the mega-dams of James Bay to New York City is a bad deal for New York, and an even worse deal already in action for the indigenous peoples of the north, the Cree Indians, the Innu of Labrador.
Their tribal lands have been flooded, whole villages destroyed or relocated, and a very poisonous chemical, methylmercury, as well as methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have poisoned the northern reaches of Labrador as a result of the dam building.
The electricity that would flow through Lake Champlain and the Hudson River is not green energy, because its production on the shores of James Bay is not green.
Furthermore, the building of the lines on the bottom of Champlain and the Hudson River is not green, nor environmentally friendly. The sturgeon habitat in the Hudson will be destroyed.
The New York section of the CHPE will cost $2.2 billion to construct. This money should be spent on local renewable and sustainable energy projects, and local, long term sustainable jobs.
Locking in this infrastructure for Canadian hydropower, which is environmentally destructive and culturally a disaster, creates a disincentive for innovative, local energy solutions.
CHPE is a greenwash. It is a climate disaster.
Patricia Rush

Punishment is not prevention

I don’t think fines for striking bridges will get people’s attention, but I do understand the town’s desire to seek compensation for the costs incurred by these events.
Perhaps Mr. Tedisco could look into DOT compensating the town. That may motivate the DOT to take the problem seriously. The town’s hands are tied. Trucking companies have insurance and/or deep pockets.
For them, these incidents are just the cost of doing business.
The railroad installs audio/visual warning systems at rail crossings but can do nothing to stop people from hitting their bridge. A DOT representative has magnanimously agreed that they will review the fine proposal. There are 90 or so incident reports that should be reviewed by them with the objective of coming up with a more meaningful solution than signage.
Clearly, that hasn’t worked.
Marc Duquette

Mask requirement is lust for control

Let me start off by saying that I am not an epidemiologist however I do have a few simple questions. When it comes to wearing masks and social distancing, we’ve also grown accustomed to Dr. Fauci saying: “It’s just common sense that’s all it is, just common sense.” So let’s apply some.
According to Dr. Fauci on the Feb. 8 Special Report with Brett Baier, flu deaths (and all strains) have dropped from 30,000 plus deaths per year to virtually ZERO in America (and in Australia) because of the mask wearing and social distancing mandates for covid. Huh? Wait a minute.
If masks really worked with that kind of performance related to the dilemma of the flu, then why the heck are they not working with that kind of performance with covid? Newsflash: Viruses don’t die. They have been around forever. Are you always then going to wear a mask? Are you ever going to apply this vaunted “common sense” to this latest pandemic?
In what millennium do you think bureaucrats truly have your self interest in mind over their lust for power and control? Is this your brave new world or are you a useful idiot or worse? I know it’s been some time since you’ve read my sarcastic tome but I’m back now. Did you miss me?
John Gentile

Why is information lacking on vaccine?

The federal and state governments and healthcare departments have a huge miss rolling out the covid vaccine.
An article in the latest AARP magazine stated that some studies indicate that fever-reducing medicines like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines by interfering with the immune response, meaning you may be left with fewer than optimal antibodies.
Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s COVID-19 advisory panel, said he “definitely recommends” that individuals avoid anti-fever drugs around the time of the vaccination. Mahyar Etminan, a drug safety expert at the University of British Columbia, agrees and recommends waiting until six hours after a shot to take a painkiller, if truly necessary.
I spoke to the nurse who administered my shot at one of the state locations. He said that we should avoid painkillers 12 hours before and minimum 6 hours after getting the shot to allow our immune system to react to the drug.
I’ve seen no information on this at the federal or state level and no information mentioning this was given to me afterwards.
The current population receiving the shots is probably the highest users of painkillers because of their age. This means anyone getting the shot at this time isn’t being protected to the 95% level if they are currently taking a painkiller.
Where are our health experts with regards to getting this type of information out to the public?
I’m disgusted with their preparedness and leadership during this pandemic.
Gale McGowan

Protect broadband from illegal hacking

In the Feb. 7 Gazette article (“Cobleskill-Richmondville residents approve $14M capital project”) indicates priority support for continual community investments for students’ career and technical education.
Our growing dependency on broadband networks for in-school and remote learning of science and technical education requires county sheriff’s protection from predatory hackers.
The accessibility to networks and systems by predatory hackers can adversely affect the “social and emotional learning” of students.
On another topic, I hope Black Lives Matter will outreach to others in our communities advocating protection of our children’s rights and obtain state and federal monies to arrest and abolish 21st century slavery called human trafficking.
Michael McGlynn


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


geri krawitz

a late response to fred and william monday responses. you both say it so well facts constantly overlooked by dems and the good job trump did facing many crisis first 3 months of presidency mired in 1st impeachment now on to 3 and never any objection to the many inapproprite actions of obama leaving netanahue sitting alone whle he went to have dinner upstairs closing a beach in spain for michelle and guests and all the trips etc.
never even acknowledge how wrong it was of biden family to make so much money while he was vp. their is no fairness only abject stupidity by the press and internet

William Marincic

Patricia Rush You mean millions more Democrats to sway the vote to a one party system like they have in China, Russia and Venezuela. We’ve lasted 245 years by voting in person with a reasonable absentee ballot system. Why is it the Democrats always want to change an election system to make it more ripe for fraud, is it because they don’t think that they can win an election without it? During a national election we should have national election rules just like Florida, you register and you vote in person if you cannot vote in person you request an absentee ballot and you sign the request the signature is verified and mailed back to you when the ballot is sent back and the signature is again verified along with the address. What’s funny is in California the recall of Gavin Newsom his office is saying that that 1.5 million signatures need to be verified for his recall yet they don’t need to be verified for a national presidential election. We also have Amazon workers trying to join a union and Jeff Bezos said that they cannot trust mail in ballots that the voting must be in person. I guess the shoe must be on the other foot.

There’s already millions more Democrats Bill. 7 million by last count in 2020, and 3 million more the election before that. 5 million more in 2012, and over 9 million more in 2008. 500,000 more in 2000, over 8 million more in 1996, and 6 million more in 1992. Almost 30 years of presidential elections, and only once did the Republican secure more votes. So maybe the Republicans should ask themselves why Americans, time and time again, vote for the Democrat. Because it’s not hard to figure out that as the country gets more diverse and the reliable old white Republican voters die, the Republican party will soon follow them to the grave.

William Marincic

Which is exactly why we have an electoral college so that new York State, California and Illinois don’t pick the president. All of these millions of new Democrats are all in urban areas. So why do those Democrats keep voting the way they do, I don’t know, ask yourself that question, is it because the Democrats are not the party of law and order is it because the Democrats are the party of something for nothing? John Kennedy in today’s America would be a conservative Republican.

And Ronald Reagan would be unelectable by Republicans just for his views on immigration. What’s your point? Please don’t bring up law and order. The President of the United States incited an insurrection against our democracy and said he loved the seditionists for it, and then refused to lower the flag for the fallen officer. Trump folks lost any claim to that phrase from now until forever.


What about Florida and Texas, Bill? You always come up with such lame excuses. Matt is right. The Dems represent a broader coalition of voters than diehard white republicans. Law and order? Is that what was on display by Trump and his supporters on Jan. 6? The GOP likes labeling things to make themselves look patriotic and honorable, but they are the most hypocritical group and the majority can see right through them. Keep supporting Trump so he runs in 2024 (unless he’s in prison) and loses by 10 million.

Completely agree Brendan. You have to ask yourself why Republicans are so afraid of giving every legal voter the right to cast a ballot and making it easier to do so. They beat the same old drum about potential “voter fraud” when there is no evidence of it whatsoever. With only about 60% of voters actually turning out in presidential elections, we should be trying to make it EASIER for people to participate in the democratic process. Do Republicans really expect us to believe that in a country where it is difficult to get people to cast THEIR OWN ballot, that there are individuals knowingly casting multiple ballots and risking prison time, just to cast a few extra votes for someone? Or that an undocumented immigrant who lives in the shadows and won’t even answer the door for census workers, are going to risk deportation by trying to vote? And that these supposed frauds are occurring at a rate that would make a difference out of 150 million votes cast? Not a chance, but that goes to show the power of right-wing media and Republican lies.

” Hydro-Quebec plan will be a disaster”

New York city would be quite different if had to rely on renewable energy. Just think of the business closures that would happen as a result of cloudy skies or windless days.

For the city to function it needs electric energy that is dispatchable not energy that depends on the randomness of the weather.

geri krawitz

lots of millions there matt, and yet republicans do win elections. how can that be?
are those false results? unfortunately many elections have few voters, diblasio 26% voted, maybe. as mr. marincic sited we have electoral college to assure that all states receive a fair handling. as an older person i see the wisdom of the flyover states, having lived in ny city years ago it was even then a mess unclean and somewhat lawless.
i have also lived in sydney australia, fair to all very very clean and people most polite
low crime they are respectful and believe in law and order. those who do well work hard and school very important to all. they still teach matts science and languages and actually have religious classes you pick the religion you want to study. a throwback to simplicity work ethics and law and order. we had this once in the united states
but when you vote for a man whose family hs been involved in nefarious deals and support him you lknow all is lost

Joseph Vendetti

Matt, William, Fred, Ray , Geri:

There are equally as many dishonest, disingenuous, pathetic, out for themselves Politicians on both sides of the aisle. Until we fix term limits a politician gets elected to stay in Congress and the Senate forever. Guys like Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell have enriched themselves and flip flopped on the same issues its sickening.

The founders erred in not putting terms in for those elected positions. Because they assumed men (back then) only wanted to make the US better and all had other livelihoods they didn’t put it in.

In NY the only term limit is on the NYC mayor, why not Governor? Assembly? Senate? They vote on their own pay raises, their own stipends, their district boundaries, if we the people can’t see how corruption, how power mongers are seeded and allowed to spread I don’t know what needs to happen.

The other thing we need is a National ID card that has a photo and fingerprint (similar to a Transportation Worker Identification Card – TWIC). National ID cards could be used at Airports, Motor Vehicles, Borders, and Voting Booths and fingerprint (should be used by mail in ballots) along with signature matching. We have all this technology and we want everyone to have faith in the elections,

William Marincic

Joe I absolutely agree with you. Finally we have an honest reasonable Democrat here. We had the chance to fix term limits with FDR I don’t know why they didn’t add them to the Senate and Congress. I’m going to have to do some research.

geri krawitz

mr. vendetti i agree with you about lifers and you are correct that past presidents came in as very wealthy. this does not excuse the bidens in particular for getting so rich while in office. on thing to have your own monies from other sources another to accrue so much while in office. certainly corruption deals should be investigasted. instead we bring back one of the offenders to the presidency. the press will talk about incidents from many many years ago but nothing about the bidens and the monies they made while joe was in office. how could we elect such an imperfect man again

Leave a Reply