Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, April 5


Residents want reasons for decision

“You can’t fight city hall,” so the saying goes, and it’s true. My neighbors and I have been battling the town of Ballston for over a year concerning a wide discrepancy in the fees the town charged residents to connect to the same public water supply.
When the water line was extended in 2004 to serve the new town hall on Charlton Road, homeowners along the route (known as Extension 14) were invited to hook up for a fee of $9,100, with an explicit promise that the fee would never go up or down.
In 2016, the town consolidated all the water districts and simultaneously reduced the water connection fee to $2,000, a clear breach of the assurances made in 2004.
Those of us who paid the higher fee sought reimbursement. The board hired an outside attorney, who concluded the town wasn’t legally required to reimburse us.
We don’t know the attorney’s rationale because the board rejected our Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for his memorandum on the grounds that it was privileged lawyer-client communication.
We appealed to the state Attorney General’s Office, the state Comptroller’s Office and The Committee for Open Government. No agency was able to help us. Our only hope is to hire an attorney.
But this case is not one that attorneys typically take on a contingency fee basis. If we have to pay a flat fee, any damages recovered would be offset by the legal expenses. So much for fighting city hall.
Fred Como
Burnt Hills

EBB program can bridge digital divide

Despite progress in recent years, more than 112,000 New Yorkers have no wired internet services available at home.
This issue disproportionately impacts people in rural areas. Affordable and reliable access to broadband internet is more important than ever before.
This year, Gov. Cuomo has attempted to tackle the problem by proposing a mandate for a $15 per month broadband plan for low-income New Yorkers.
This short-sighted approach will do little to help New Yorkers in need.
Rather than coordinating with the public and private sectors to make broadband more accessible and affordable, this proposal would violate federal laws and attempt to use a mandate that fails to solve the true challenges.
Without access to telemedicine, remote schooling or remote, residents and families have been severely impacted throughout the pandemic.
What these citizens need is improved broadband infrastructure, not empty promises.
The Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program provides a path to bridging the digital divide for disconnected communities.
The EBB Program funds broadband services through a federal direct benefit program.
The recently-enacted federal Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month ($75 in tribal areas) towards broadband service for eligible households, including a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a connected device.
Solutions for rural residents must be made with them in mind.
That does not mean price-setting mandates or exclusionary policies that violate already instituted laws.
Leveraging the EBB program to bridge the digital divide and empower Upstate residents is a better solution.
Justin Wilcox
The writer is executive director of Upstate United, which serves all of upstate New York.

No transgenders in women’s sports

I have watched in amazement that no women’s organization seems to have the courage to stand up for women against the transgender movement.
Where are the firebrands of yesteryear who fought for women?
What is the matter with the current leaders? Even Gov. Noem of South Dakota backed down on signing a law protecting girls in her state — and she’s a former athlete.
Biology has not changed. Courage to do what’s right is lacking.
Someone or group needs to carry the girls’ torch.
I see men writing on the subject with the warning that there will be few girls’ and women’s sports eventually if we follow the trend.
We all know the reasons why biological boys and men do not belong in girls and women’s sports.
Besides being bigger, stronger and faster, there is also the danger of girls being hurt in such sports as ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, softball and basketball with boys playing.
I have heard parents express amazement at boys being allowed to play some of the girl sports and the boys’ ability to knock the girls around.
If women’s organizations do not stand up, then girls and women are going to lose out. Carry this trend forward and see how many ‘women’s’ Olympic events will be left.
Gerard F. Havasy
Clifton Park

Honors at local fields long overdue

Kudos to Vince Riggi for his March 26 letter (“Scoreboard should honor Buck Ewing”) enlightening our mayor and city council as to the proper name of the so-called “A” diamond at Central Park.
It took Mr. Riggi, a former council member and fellow member of the Schenectady Ole Timers Baseball Club, to alert them that the city had officially renamed the field, Ewing Field, in 1979 to honor the Schenectady baseball great.
Buck Ewing had starred for the Mohawk Colored Giants and other Negro League teams when Black players were barred from playing in the major leagues.
The impressive, new scoreboard will now denote the field as the Ewing Field, not the “A” Diamond.
The city has also agreed to finally erect the plaque honoring Ewing to a rightful location near the diamond.
Somehow the plaque had been stored away for some 40 years. Have not heard any explanation for this faux pas.
While we’re at it, the city should refer to the “B” diamond as the Joe Spruill Memorial Field.
In 1994 the mayor and council officially renamed the diamond to honor a Schenectadian who pitched for the Mohawk Colored Giants, but who is best remembered as a baseball mentor and coach to hundreds if not thousands of Schenectady youths of all races in the years prior to Little League and Babe Ruth baseball.
To the city’s credit, a plaque honoring Spruill was placed at the field’s entrance.
Bob Corliss


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Conservatives and the so-called party of family values and the Christian faith sure do like investigating and inspecting everyone’s genitals to determine what sports they should be playing and what bathroom they get to take a leak in. Buncha depraved creepers if you ask me.


“Courage to do what’s right is lacking.” Gerard Havasy, I certainly don’t believe you to be in the position of being the individual to determine what is “right” regarding transgender people.

“Someone or group needs to carry the girls’ torch.” Guess what? This is 2021 the “girls” are completely capable of carrying their own torch.

Thank you Mr. Corliss and Mr. Riggi for correcting this omission.

Let these be good examples to hold up when someone questions whether “systemic racism” exists.


Interesting read, just a few paragraphs from a Washing Post article:

“Cancel” and “woke” are the latest terms to originate in Black culture only to be appropriated into the White mainstream and subsequently thrashed to death. Young Black people have used these words for years as sincere calls to consciousness and action, and sometimes as a way to get some jokes off. That White people would lift those terms for their own purposes was predictable, if not inevitable. The commodification of Black slang is practically an American tradition. “One of the biggest exports of American culture,” said Renée Blake, a linguistics professor at New York University, “is African American language.”

“With “canceled” and “woke,” there’s a twist: Not only have these words been appropriated from Black culture, but they have also been weaponized to sneer at the values of many young Black liberals.”

“Terms such as “lit” and “bae” and “on fleek” — or, if you’re a little older, “fly” and “funky” and “uptight” — have been mined by White people for their proximity to Black cool. The word “cool” itself emerged from Black culture. “I do not know what white Americans would sound like if there had never been any black people in the United States,” James Baldwin wrote in 1979, “but they would not sound the way they sound.”

Groovy, Lou.
I didn’t know the origins, but my daughter was the first one I heard use it and I know she brought it home from one of the gun control rallies last year.
I cringed then as I do now.

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