Install device to warn drivers of span
In a Feb. 9th Gazette article (“Town looks at fines for striking bridge”), Adam Shinder reported that Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle will introduce a law to assess penalties for hitting the low railroad bridge on Glenridge Road.
This strikes me as a failure of the government to address this continued problem caused by the bridge being too low on a newly paved and much improved road.
An attempt was made to address this problem with increased signage, but that was obviously not completely successful.
Fines will certainly not correct or even reduce this problem any more than all the publicity from the numerous letters to the editor and articles in the paper have.
If it really is too expensive to raise the bridge or lower the road to correct this problem, then why not install an active-warning device before the bridge to allow truckers time to stop before their trucks are damaged and local authorities have to get involved to remove the damaged truck.
For a fairly small cost, this would be a win-win for everyone since taxpayers wouldn’t have continuous costs involved with these accidents and delivery companies wouldn’t have delayed deliveries and severely damaged trucks to repair.
This active warning device could be as low-tech as hanging something the same height as the bridge, well before it, which when impacted would cause a loud noise. Or it could be a little more high-tech by using a laser to set off numerous bright lights and/or loud sounds.
Stockade residents need a civics lesson
Imagine my amusement when I opened my Gazette on the morning of Feb. 9 and read about the residents of the Stockade complaining about receiving parking tickets.
These are the same people who screamed from the rooftops that their streets weren’t cleaned properly (and instantaneously) after the blizzard in December.
Plows can’t get through if there are cars parked all over the place. Anyone with any common sense who chooses to live in the Stockade should be aware of the difficulties the narrow streets pose in a typical upstate New York winter.
For some reason, the residents of the Stockade seem to think they are entitled to both better city services and less law following than the rest of us “commoners” who reside in other neighborhoods.
And a small lesson in civics: The police department doesn’t make the rules; they just enforce them. If Stockade residents don’t want parking restrictions, then they should go through the proper channels to have them changed.
Require voters to have identification
If requiring an ID to vote is discriminatory and unconstitutional, then why is it legal to require an ID for all of these other things in life?
DMV, airports, hospitals, pharmacies, for blood donation, banks, gun shops, Social Security office, pawn shops, jails, courts, unemployment, public schools, adoption agencies (for children and animals), parole and probation, auto insurance, traffic stops, passport, and at the post office (to pick up packages).
By the way, liberals say that requiring an ID for voting is unconstitutional and discriminating.
The ironic part of this is that most unions are Democratic supporters, and they require an ID for all union voting, but they are against requiring an ID to vote. Am I pazzo (crazy)?
Both discouraged and encouraged by verdict
In his self-serving, cynical and manipulative speech after the impeachment vote, Mitch McConnell made it clear that this was not a great exoneration of Trump. He admitted, “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”
Yet, McConnell’s unashamed hypocrisy is appalling. He kept the trial from occurring while Trump was in office and then used a technicality to acquit him. History will not look kindly on the current Republicans, who with their votes declared that they are a far-right party that supports the philosophy of fascism and military coups.
I continue to believe that the United States is a constitutional republic and not a cult of personality. However, the vote by the 43 Republican senators is evidence that there is an existential crisis in our country and evidence of two different Americas. This was not about the facts or the truth, but a way to preserve and defend a certain way of life.
The facts were undeniable, and the substance of the charge is indisputable. Trump once declared that he could shoot someone and not lose a single vote. I am heartened that he lost seven Republican votes for inciting and contributing to the death of five citizens at the Capitol. I am also encouraged that the majority of Americans supported a conviction.
President Biden said, “each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”
Trump continues to damage the country
W-W-Way back in 2016, I turned to my wife after recovering from the shock of that November election night and said, “We’re screwed!”
Fast forward to 2021. Even though empathy and civility has arrived on Pennsylvania Avenue with “Joe Cool,” the man-child before him still has the floor. The damage to democracy continues.
America, you’ve been duped repeatedly. We’re still screwed!
Party not looking out for local residents
For those of us who have lived here long enough, the residents who make this place diverse and colorful, the residents who look out for each other because that is who we count on, know that local government and officials do not see us.
If anyone questions if our opinions are considered or our interests are thought of, look no further than the endorsed candidate a major party is supporting to “represent” us.
It is almost comical if it wasn’t going to directly impact the lives of my friends and family. I thought that the time had finally come, with two diverse candidates in the primary field.
There are candidates who grew up and live in our neighborhood, with experience and who have overcome challenges my neighbors face day in and out.
Despite this, a politically active student who has never lived in the district, jumping from race-to-race, is who the Democratic Party believes is best to be our legislator.
I do not underestimate the power of the next generation, especially after the way we saw them come out this year. However, this is not the next generation to represent our community. Again, our voices are being bulldozed over by the agenda of the political machine and they have now found their candidate who will fall in line.
Reviewer missed the point of miniseries
Regarding the “Your Move” article by Patti Nickell in the Feb. 14 Sunday Gazette Travel section:
I’m no chess player, but I greatly enjoyed “The Queen’s Gambit” miniseries.
Nickell may have enjoyed it too. But if she thought the lead character was experiencing “hallucinations,” as she alluded to twice in her light and fluffy travel feature, then she clearly didn’t get the core premise of the novel and the series.
Was Elizabeth Harmon addicted? Yes! Was she seeing chess boards on the ceiling in her mind’s eye? Yes! But was the drug hallucinogenic or was she hallucinating? Absolutely not. She was taking and, sure, addicted to tranquilizers, long known for their infamous and nefarious abuses in institutional care.
But the primary effect of the drug, clearly expressed in the screenplay, was that her mind could be calmed and focused, and she could shut out distractions so that she could, solely through her own inimitable brilliance, mentally project and play in her imagination one of the most cerebrally and strategically complex games in existence.
If Nickell didn’t grasp this point, then she missed the whole shebang, and clearly has no understanding or appreciation for the novel, the author, the entire miniseries or the game of chess. Checkmate.
Time to hold Trump responsible for acts
Donald Trump’s impeachment trial led to an acquittal by the Senate. However, in the words of (Republican) Senator Mitch McConnell, “Impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice…. it is not the criminal justice system, where individual accountability is the paramount goal. He didn’t get away with anything – yet.
“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.”
Bruce Castor, one of the attorneys representing Trump at the impeachment trial, stated “A high crime is a felony, and a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor. After he’s out of office, you go and arrest him.”
Clearly, Donald Trump instigated and encouraged the insurrection that occurred on Jan. 6, all in the name of overturning an election he inarguably, demonstrably lost. That’s called treason. He lied and several people died; scores of others were seriously injured. Those are crimes that cannot be ignored.
“The Donald” has always managed to avoid being held responsible for anything in his life; he has mastered the technique of deflecting blame onto others. When that hasn’t worked, he has always managed to pay, lie, or weasel his way out of things.
This time, finally, he must be held responsible. This country needs to heed the advice of McConnell and Castor. What are we waiting for?
Deception will be difficult to explain
I imagine my grandchild or great grandchild, bothered and curious well past her bedtime, will come to me, with innocent eyes, and ask, “How did you elect a midway huckster to be president?” I will look at her and say, “I am writing my appeal to my death panel, now still your mouth and go to bed; you’re 5, and stop listening to history shows on your Apple brain implant.” I am sure she will look up sweetly and say, “It’s called an iThink, you fossil, and I hope you lose your appeal!”
I will have that response because I will not be able to explain that we ignored the very first president when he said of political parties, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust domination.”
I will not be able to explain how a mass media, whose advertisers needed to sell electronics, pillows, hotel stays and cars, disseminated disinformation, or debated that disinformation, or reported the disinformation with outrage, all elevating the presence of this huckster, because it was exciting, so more people watched those advertisements.
I will not be able to explain how we allowed ourselves to be so led and deceived.
Capitalism to blame for vaccine issues
People are currently frustrated and angry about how difficult it is to access the coronavirus vaccines, and they are absolutely correct to feel that way. The roll-out of the vaccines has, like the rest of the handling of the coronavirus by the Democrats and Republicans, been a disaster.
But the root of this problem is the same as the root of all of our other societal problems: capitalism.
The coronavirus vaccines were developed, like everything else in our society, through the massive investment of public funds. The Moderna vaccine alone received $2.5 billion in public funding: orders of magnitude higher than anything that company put toward R&D. “We the people” should own these vaccines because we paid for them.
The Trump and Biden administrations not only granted intellectual property rights to these companies over vaccines that we paid for, they have also adamantly refused to allow for the manufacture of generic versions of these vaccines to increase supply. Democrats and Republicans have repeatedly put private profits over people.
They have enshrined the profit margins of these companies to a product we paid for to the detriment of broader public health, contributing to increased delays in the reopening of schools and the economy, and of course to increased deaths from the coronavirus itself.
Intellectual property has always functioned to inhibit production through granting monopoly rights.
But maintaining such property rights during the supposed emergency of this pandemic highlights how truly sick capitalism and the two ruling parties are to the core.
McConnell failed to convince either side
Mitch McConnell’s speech on Feb. 13 was an attempt to placate both the anti-Trump faction of his party and the pro-Trump base.
The Lincoln Project supporters would be happy with his condemnation of Trump’s role in creating the atmosphere necessary to stir up an insurrectionist mood with the Big Lie: the election was rigged against him and he actually won in a landslide, repeated ad nauseum, then lighting the fuse with his fiery speech to the angry crowd, many bearing weapons, that he summoned to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Trumpistas would be content with his vote to acquit. I think he failed to hold on to the support of either faction. Before the actual trial began, the Senate affirmed, with a bipartisan vote, their right to try an impeached former president; the Senate has the constitutional authority to set trial rules and procedures. Thus, McConnell’s vote, justified by his personal belief that the Senate has no power to try a former president, will ring hollow with anti-Trump Republicans. His obvious disdain for Trump and his assertion that Trump bears much responsibility for the events of Jan. 6 will cancel the value of his vote to maintain support among the Trumpistas.
Those without strong views may ask themselves why he didn’t take the opportunity to bar a man he obviously sees as a grave danger to our democracy from holding any future federal office. This can be done only after a guilty verdict followed by a simple majority vote.
Anthony J. Santo
Trump’s supporters will ultimately prevail
On Feb. 11 The Gazette featured a front page Associated Press article (“Video shows chilling scenes of riot”) describing “chilling” videos of a “riot” on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C.
However, the paper never characterized the assaults, arson and looting in Washington last summer as other than “mostly peaceful.”
Sam Adams, Benjamin Edes and John Hancock, leaders of the Sons of Liberty, would find it thrilling that the patriots on Jan. 6 replicated their actions. The Sons of Liberty tore down the homes of British agents, tarred and feathered Tory Bostonians and famously threw the tea in the harbor. Thomas Hutchinson, governor of Massachusetts, barely escaped to a fort on an Island and called for thousands of British troops. Sound familiar?
The Redcoats shot down unarmed citizens on the street. The Capitol police shot an unarmed woman and caused the death of three others trying to enter the people’s house. Now the Biden/Schumer/Pelosi revolution, like the generals in Myanmar, hold power at the point of tens of thousands of National Guard rifles. Their icon, Chairman Mao, said power comes from the muzzle of a gun. Fealty to a stolen election is implemented by what is essentially martial law in the nation’s capital.
Unlike the timorous Proud Boys, those who voted to re-elect President Trump will not stand down or stand by. We will peacefully assemble, we will not comply, and like Martin Luther King, we will prevail.
Cancel culture is the same as censorship
Donald Trump lost the election, and he should go to jail because he incited a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the election. But John Figliozzi in his Feb. 7 column in The Gazette (“’Cancel culture’: Old wine in new, mislabeled bottle”) suggested those facts justify the cancel culture approach to political debate. Really?
It’s just an old wine that needs a new name on the bottle. George Orwell might call it GroupThink Kool-Aid.
John cites a poll that says 53% expect “social consequences” for expressing “unpopular” opinions. He does not say how many of the 53% think the expected social consequences are a good thing or a bad thing. And what about the other 47%? Should they just shut up? Maybe the 47% can call themselves the Resistance. And isn’t 3% the margin of error? So maybe it’s really 50-50? The last election also proved that polling data is not very reliable.
Cancel culture or GroupThink is censorship, plain and simple, and I find censorship deeply offensive.
And now even Republicans are copying the censorship model by censuring party members who did not buy Trump’s lies. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But for true inspiration, GroupThink supporters should visit the Chinese re-education camps where the minority Uighurs are facing very harsh social consequences for their unpopular opinions.
Look for the signs of problem gambling
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to everyone across the nation.
With that there has been an increase in the number of people that have found themselves struggling with problem gambling. Major triggers for problem gambling are being exacerbated during this time of isolation such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom and stress.
Financial uncertainty can drive a person to gamble in hopes of income. Unfortunately, the end result may be further debt and greater feelings of despair.
Although most adults who gamble can do so for a fun recreational activity for some it may become a problem with negative consequences.
Some warning signs that gambling might be a problem include: thinking about gambling often; lying or covering up gambling behaviors; missing time with friends and loved ones to gamble; gambling to escape negative feelings or problems; gambling more money than a person can afford or planned; unsuccessfully trying to cut back or stop gambling
If you, or a loved one is struggling reach out. Call the free, confidential NYS HOPELINE – 1-877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) for help, and referrals to treatment.
The writer is a Substance Abuse Prevention Educator with Fulton Montgomery Catholic Charities.
State-run elections saved democracy
Michael J. Goff wrote a piece in the Jan. 23 edition of The Gazette entitled “The Electoral College saved democracy.”
I believe, more precisely, it was the system of state-run presidential elections that carried the day.
He conflates the Electoral College with state-by-state voting. Whereas the two are currently intertwined, state-controlled voting for presidential elections could exist without the Electoral College.
What’s important is that authority over the election process remains distributed among the states and kept away from federal government control and, therefore, immune to possible influence from the current president.
Why not have each state’s votes counted and totaled by their individual election boards using methods and procedures of their own choosing, same as today, and then the totals from all states combined to determine the winner?
Mr. Goff asserts that mixing of votes from all states prevents the states from defending their individual totals. But that’s no different than states defending their Electoral College vote today, which, by the way, is a function of the individual totals.
Another approach, that still retains the Electoral College, is to apportion the electoral votes of each state according to the individual vote totals within that state.
For example, in New York, Biden received 5,230,985 votes to Trump’s 3,244,798. This would result in the state’s 29 electoral votes being split 18 for Biden, 11 for Trump. In Texas the split would be 18 for Biden, 20 for Trump. Today, it’s all or nothing.
Paper’s editorials unfair to Niskayuna
On Dec 8, 2020 this paper ran an editorial (“Spa timing is bad; project is good”) in support of the Saratoga school’s referendum for a $129.7M capital project. The editorial says to support the referendum in part because: “The project has been in the works for several years. The needs are real, and it appears the district has the funding in place to pay for them without overburdening local taxpayers. Don’t let the distractions of the season keep you away from this important proposition.”
Yet on Feb. 9 this paper ran an editorial (“District should push vote to May”) in opposition to the Niskayuna school’s referendum by saying in part “Today’s forecast calls for 2-4 inches of snow” and urged voters to “call on the district to come up with a more detailed, more realistic and more financially reasonable project.”
While on July 10, 2019, another editorial (“Help plan district’s future”) on the Niskayuna school’s project urged readers to become involved in the planning process: “you can help the school district, yourself and your fellow taxpayers develop a plan for the future.”
In my opinion, the hypocrisy of the editorials mentioned above are as obvious as the years of an anti-Niskayuna school slant for this newspaper which hurts its credibility and makes the value of its editorial opinions meaningless as evidenced by the overwhelming voter support for the Niskayuna project. If you think mine is an isolated opinion, I urge you to read the Facebook comments on Your Niskayuna. Many of your readers and I are fed up with the irreconcilable editorials and baseless negativity.
Consequences of unelecting a president
We did not ‘elect’ Mr. Biden. We ‘unelected’ Mr. Trump.
We did the same thing in 1976. We ‘unelected’ Gerald Ford due to his guilt by association with Mr. Nixon and having pardoned Mr. Nixon. That’s how we got Jimmy Carter, who gave away the Panama Canal, pardoned the draft-dodging cowards who ran away to Canada, totally blew the Iran Hostage Crisis and boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, even after what we did to USSR at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Hopefully history won’t repeat itself.
Cuomo responsible for covid deaths
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being characterized as an Angel of Death.
Local Democrats Angelo Santabarbara and Patricia Fahy are now speaking up, now that it is convenient. Better late than never. Their language is measured; they fear Cuomo; they are Democrats. That has not changed. They do not want to come under the ‘woke blade.’
How many of our beloved elderly would be alive in nursing homes if Santabarbara and Fahy spoke up sooner? This is known only to God.
The state Legislature is on ‘graveyard’ shift, that is all they are good for. Pallbearers! No one is safe from self-serving politicians.
The governor’s ‘casual’ references to death are reminiscent of “what difference does it make.” Democrats think that way. The cat being let out of the bag speaks more to arrogance than stupidity. They believe they can do anything. We allow it. Ignorance is a form of stupidity; it borders on evil.
There is a commercial on TV showing a polar bear in a cage banging his head against the sides of the cage. The bear has been confined too long. That is Andrew Cuomo in the governor’s office. He has been affected. Like the bear, Cuomo will not get out of the cage on his own. Cuomo needs help.
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