Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, March 31


Refugees not living in great conditions

In her March 28 letter (“Want same benefits that refugees receive”), Beverly Borgeest asserts that undocumented immigrants get a room in a hotel with meals paid for by the government.
By coincidence, the front page of that Opinion section in which her letter appears shows a photograph of actual undocumented immigrants and their living conditions. They were confined to a fenced area in a large number.
I counted roughly 50 people and that was only part of the enclosure. People were sitting and reclining on a bare pavement.
Roger Grasier

New superintendent is vital to success

As a Schenectady taxpayer, homeowner and most importantly, the grandparent of a student in the high school, another in a middle school and another in an elementary school, I am strongly invested in the outcome of the search for the superintendent of the Schenectady City School District.
After reading The Gazette’s coverage of the search, I find myself wondering how it is that Capital Region BOCES Superintendent Anita Murphy, came to be the lead in the search. Why wasn’t a professional recruiter hired to conduct a search according to Schenectady’s unique needs? A cursory look on Google showed several companies with vast experience in finding candidates best suited to Schenectady’s diverse population and specific challenges.
Those problems facing Schenectady students are many and all have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Most students have not been inside a classroom in over a year. All districts have issues. But with the right leader meeting each test with enthusiasm, Schenectady can be positioned to make enormous progress.
He or she will embrace every obstacle as an opportunity to encourage every staff member to find a path for each student to excel.
With millions of dollars in new federal aid and many positions to be filled with staff members excited about meeting the challenges, Schenectady’s students can flourish.
I sincerely hope the Schenectady Board of Education will make every effort, after various recent missteps, to finally engage, as the next superintendent one who will joyously lead his/her teachers to encourage excellence in Schenectady’s students.
Mary Lou Russo

To fight cancer, raise state tobacco tax

As an oncologist in our region, I want to do everything in my power to protect others from cancer. That’s why I joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for their virtual Cancer Action Week.
While we couldn’t travel to Albany, we still made some noise virtually. Volunteers from throughout the state met with lawmakers to let them know we need to stand up to Big Tobacco and raise our cigarette tax. We also let lawmakers know that we can’t afford cuts to public health during a pandemic.
A $1 cigarette tax increase would prevent over 22,000 kids from becoming adult smokers. That’s a true investment in the health of our kids and will help reduce their chance of receiving a cancer diagnosis later in life.
I hope our state lawmakers take a stand against Big Tobacco and stand up for our kids. It’s time to increase the tax on cigarettes and protect our kids.
Arsyl D. De Jesus, M.D.


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Marincic

Arsyl D. De Jesus, M.D. You know as well as I do that cancer is big business for everyone including you. First there are more than 480,000 people that die each year in the United States from smoking yet the government won’t ban cigarettes because of the tax money that they make on it, the government is selling death. Let’s not forget also the more than 1500 cancer centers in the United States, and thousands of doctors like yourself that are making millions off this disease. As far as I’m concerned it’s all a scam, my wife died of cancer the same type that jimmy Carter had at the same time that he had it, we were told that there is no experimental treatment and no cure yet Jimmy Carter had an experimental treatment and is still alive today while my wife died in seven months with a medical bill of over $1 million plus I paid $40,000 in co-pays. Like I said it’s a scam and there will never be a cure for cancer, we have to support too many doctors like you.

Sorry for your loss Bill. I disagree that it’s a scam, but there is inequity in healthcare treatments and outcomes. President Trump got experimental Regeneron antibody treatments when he was infected with COVID, that not one else had access to. Jimmy Carter got experimental cancer treatment for his cancer, and your wife wasn’t privileged enough to benefit from. You shouldn’t be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in copays and millions in medical bills over something that was out of your control. Universal healthcare could alleviate that burden for yours and millions of other families in the same financial position. I don’t agree that smoking isn’t banned because it makes government money. It’s banned because of high priced lobbyists that pay politicians to vote in their favor, and because libertarians and conservatives will say “it’s a free country and my body, and I’ll smoke if I want to”, or “if I’m old enough to die for this country, I’m old enough to decide to smoke or not.”


Libertarians and conservatives\ say “it’s a free country and my body, and I’ll smoke if I want to”, or “if I’m old enough to die for this country, I’m old enough to decide to smoke or not.”

This argument would be valid if we were responsible for the cost of our medical care; but in todays world we are not. There is no right to stick the cost of our gambling with our health on to others.

William Marincic

Thank you for your condolences Matt. Universal healthcare puts the government in control of life or death decisions, just like universal healthcare in England, the hospital took control of the lives of two children and would not allow them to come to America for treatment and both of those children died. The parents had no say in the matter that’s what happens with universal healthcare. I’ll gladly pay my co-pays before I have the Government make decisions on my medical

Ban cigarettes. Right. Good luck with that.
“Cancel culture” anyone?

From my heart, I feel for your loss. We each have our own, and we recall that feeling when we hear of someone else’s.
But your absolutist sentiments about “banning cigarettes” and all medicine is a “scam”, and all doctors are benefiting from peoples’ ailments are overboard.

I have heart disease, and I have 8 cardiac stents. And I’m a retired competitive endurance athlete who still works out. I had to go through 4 cardiologists to find one that wouldn’t treat me like an 84 year old man who should just sit back in my Barcalounger and await the end (while supporting Big Pharma, of course). I did find one who gets it and he’s super.
Point being: you shouldn’t throw the entire system under the bus because of one bad (albeit traumatic) experience. From your history of comments here you seem to have a tendency to do that.


Not on point with any of today’s letters, but it certainly has relevance to topics we’ve recently discussed:

“This month, ABC is airing “Soul of a Nation,” a six-part newsmagazine series focused on the Black experience in America…..for all people, about the Black experience in America.”

The 1st episode of the six part series aired yesterday on ABC at 10:00 PM. The remaining five episodes will be broadcast on ABC each Tuesday in the same time slot.

The 1st episode partially focused on athletes discussing the role of sports in the fight for racial justice.

I highly recommend watching the series. Especially so for people who need to be enlightened as to what being black in American is actually about.

More info:
“The network said the historic series will “present viewers with a unique window into authentic realities of Black life and dive deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning” with episodes focused on spirituality, Black joy, activism in sports and the racial reckoning that erupted after the death of George Floyd last year.”

“The series will also feature figures in entertainment, sports and media like Carmelo Anthony, Nick Cannon, Deon Cole, Kim Coles, Tommy Davidson, Mo’Ne Davis, Danny Glover and others. Each episode will close with a musical or spoken-word performance, including one by Cynthia Erivo.”


In the “Soul of a Nation“ series I just recommend watching, beyond activism in sports, yesterday’s episode also touched on voter suppression.

Georgia’s newly elected Senator Raphael Warnock briefly spoke on the topic. He hit the nail squarely on the head with the following sentence:
“What we are witnessing in Georgia and all across the country, is politicians who are trying to turn our democracy on its head, so that rather than the voters picking the politicians, the politicians get to pick their voters.”


Georgia’s Senator Raphael Warnock:
“What we are witnessing in Georgia and all across the country, is politicians who are trying to turn our democracy on its head, so that rather than the voters picking the politicians, the politicians get to pick their voters.”

Politicians have always determined who is eligible to cast a vote. What is being objected to is an attempt to tie an absentee ballot to an eligible voter.


You’re not going suck me in with your ridiculous repetitive arguments.
Pay attention, read yesterday‘s post and you’ll get all your answers. Or continue to watch Fox and get the propaganda.

Martha Bencic

I strongly recommend watching every minute of Derek Chauvin’s trial. It’s being streamed live on various youtube channels. I seriously doubt that Chauvin will receive a meaningful conviction, though I pray I’m wrong. White people in this country need to see for themselves how unjust our “justice” system is. Also, the least we can do for Floyd and his family is to bear witness alongside them.


Martha, I too have been following the few days of the Derek Cauvin trial, reading and listening to witness testimony. It’s gut wrenching.

I most certainly believe in due process for all people when accused of a crime.
We’ve been bouncing that around regarding the sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo.

But…. anyone with eyes and ears watching the video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while Mr. Floyd’s body went limp three or four minutes into the pathetic ordeal, after pleading for his life, crying out for his dead mother, losing urinary continence and wetting himself while numerous witnesses, including a 9 year old who said paramedics ”nicely” asked Chauvin to get off, as others are pleading, begging, and shouting at Chauvin to stop….see anything but murder, they are truly lost in their own minds.


Did George Floyd resist arrest?
Did his friends say he was on drugs?:
Did his family do anyt5hing to help him with his drug problem? For example did they turn in his dealer?


Fred, you missed one of your favorite questions: did he surrender? Answer: he started to but they killed him first. So which murder level will Chauvin get in 3 or 4 weeks?


He gamble with his life and lost. Why fault the police for not following his example and gamble with their lives?


Schenectady NAACP joins Council member Porterfield in calling for ban on police knee holds

It would be help if they said something about the strain families from the consequences of resisting arrest


Refugees not living in great conditions: where these people are living would not be an issue if Biden required asylum status to be sought from country of origin.

The law requires the person be present when requesting asylum. But I’m sure you knew that as an extremely intelligent, well-read person who believes in law and order. I’m sure you’re also aware, being the extremely cogent, insightful, and thoughtful commenter that you are, that the President can not just change the law without congressional approval. Therefore, call your congressperson and request the asylum laws be changed if you would like asylum hearings be requested from the country of origin.


Matt, be careful what you say as you may have just boosted Fred’s ego. It’s a fair assumption that he interpreted your sarcasm to be a complement.

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