Tolerate opposing views, but not lies
I have zero tolerance for those who accept lies over truth.
Like people who still believe Trump won the election and Biden cheated. It’s not just the Big-Lie pundits on MAGA television and radio, it includes 70% of Republicans. They also claim that the Jan. 6 insurrection was just a protest, or it didn’t happen.
Regarding the pandemic, about 50% of Republicans won’t take the COVID-19 vaccine, believing the virus is not real, it hasn’t been proven to work (Tucker Carlson) or simply because the Democrats want them to.
As a result, we may not reach herd immunity to stop the mutation and spread of the virus, particularly with new variants popping up around the world. As someone recently said, “No one has the right to sicken anyone else or start a new spike in cases through carelessness or their own sense of ‘personal choice’.”
I support vaccine passports for that reason.
My zero tolerance also includes police brutality towards people of color. The use of video has exposed police who shoot to kill instead of defusing non-violent encounters.
Lastly, I have zero tolerance for the GOP’s efforts to suppress the vote throughout the country.
I have no trouble fixing real problems, but when none were found in the last election, why manufacture “fixes” that will just disenfranchise certain voters to limit their participation?
In conclusion, while we can debate policy differences, we should not tolerate lies over truth, poor and racist policing, anti-vaxxers or voter suppression.
New York gun laws violate Constitution
Reporter Joe Mahoney’s May 1 article (“N.Y. concealed carry case sets stage for major gun rights review”) discusses the review by the Supreme Court of one of New York’s onerous restrictions on firearm owners.
New York allows a judge to require a citizen to show a sufficient need to carry a handgun. Mr. Mahoney’s work appears to focus primarily on the Second Amendment of the Constitution which recognizes a citizens’ right to bear arms.
My thesaurus lists “carry” as the first synonym for bear. If I am denied the right to carry arms, I am denied the right to bear arms.
He notes, however, that citizens of 42 other states are not subject to the same arbitrary review. The disparate treatment where New York denies a right guaranteed in the Constitution and in 42 other states is inconsistent with the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
That amendment reads in part ”No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Again, my thesaurus shows that words privilege and right are synonyms.
Mr. Mahoney quotes Andrew Cuomo, “The streets of New York are not the O.K. corral.”
Recent statistics may show that with respect to gun violence, citizens of Tombstone, Ariz., are safer than those in New York City, Chicago, Baltimore or Newark.
Police have a duty to enforce all laws
I read the May 1 column in your paper (“First step to justice: End traffic stops for minor violations”) by Robin Abcarian of the LA Times. Generally, I may not agree with every opinion in your paper, but I can generally discern the rationale behind the reasoning behind most opinions. Not in this case.
If I understand her rationale, then police should overlook “minor” violations of the law in order to avoid any confrontation with the perpetrator.
If this writer feels these laws shouldn’t be enforced, wouldn’t it be a better idea to legislate them off the books?
Oftentimes those who are stopped for relatively minor violations are found to have committed a more serious crime such as drug running, or there is an active warrant out for their arrest. Also who or what would decide what is a minor crime that need not be enforced? Is driving without insurance a minor crime?
I guess it is unless you’re the one who gets in an accident with the uninsured and are on your own to get your vehicle repaired.
I will agree that there are certainly probably some police officers who may be racist and perhaps some training is needed.
But to expect the police to not enforce the law when they are confronted with an obvious violation is crazy.
We all can take action to protect the planet
When author Rachel Carson published her book, “Silent Spring” in 1962, the American public responded with a singular voice that sparked a national environmental movement.
ln 1970, Sen. Gaylord Nelson recognized that the energy of the Vietnam War protesters was a force that could be harnessed for other purposes. He achieved a rare and important political alignment among Democrats and Republicans with legislation that gave recognition to what became Earth Day.
In 1990 Earth Day went global. Now it is celebrated on April 22 and observed in over 190 countries all over the world. Earth Day reminds us of the importance of protecting our natural resources and precious wildlife.
Here are five simple ways we can work together to help everyone’s most beloved mother:
• Reduce purchases of throw-away items. Reuse and recycle.
• Volunteer to help with clean-up of your community’s parks, sidewalks, roadways, vacant lots and areas where trash collects. Do not litter.
• Buy less plastic and scrupulously avoid Styrofoam. Reuse your shopping bags. Use paper.
• Plant a tree. They provide food, shelter and oxygen. They help to protect our ozone layer.
• Enjoy the beautiful outdoors and when you do, leave no clue. Practice “carry in” and “carry out”. Do not disturb plant life or wildlife.
We are the voice that protects the Earth. We have the power to save it. Practice responsible behavior. Make responsible choices. Grow in kindness and let it begin with an effort to do better for our Earth.
Newest Lunch article left off some history
Congratulations to the Newest Lunch and George Plakas on their amazing Schenectady history and contribution to their community.
The accolades and the awarding of the key to the city of Schenectady by Mayor Gary McCarthy are well-deserved.
However, I was disappointed that The Daily Gazette did not practice due diligence in historical research for this story (“It’s all about family at Newest Lunch”) that was published on April 17. The original owners of the Newest Lunch were my grandfather, George W. Manikas and his brother, John Manikas in 1921. Please see the article published in the Daily Gazette in Larry Hart’s column (“Greek eateries long popular with shoppers, night owls”) from Feb. 15, 1983.
As your story centered around the 100-year history of this establishment, it left the reader wondering how the restaurant had its beginnings. It would have been an example of professional and exemplary reporting if The Daily Gazette checked their archives before publication. Best wishes to the Newest Lunch.
Debra Manikas Male
Montagino will be a voice for families
Mohonasen School District residents on May 18 have the chance to add an individual to the school board. I had the pleasure to speak with Ericka Montagino while she was reaching out to Mohonasen families in my neighborhood. If you read Erika’s biography, you will see she has the background and experience to work for our students on the Mohonasen School Board.
As a former school board member and board president, I ask you to vote for Erika Montagino on May 18. She will speak for Mohonasen families.
Be judicious with your choice of words
What are they teaching in schools these days? Peter Johnson claimed in his April 29 letter (“Democracy relies on free speech for all”) that free speech allows calling a White conservative a White supremacist and racist. If he does so, he better be able to back up the claim in court when sued for slander.
Flip accusations along those lines can cause a person to lose their job, lose their family and even lose their life. How do you not understand the difference between free speech and slander?
In the same paper, Natalia Granger’s letter (“Sheehan reveals where allegiances lie”) takes Mayor Sheehan to task for being insulting by comparing the breaking of a window of a “para-military fort” with endangering the lives of our civilian representatives at the U.S. Capitol.
Does she believe that the lives of the police and civilian employees at the police station were not being threatened by the attempt to break into the station? While not a defender of Mayor Sheehan, in this case, she was dead on and never should have apologized.
Lastly, I always thought the term “hero” was applied to someone to be held up as an example to be honored and emulated. George Floyd is being held up as a “hero” with even legislation being named for him.
No matter how unjust his death may have been, how can someone who in an armed home invasion that stuck a gun into the stomach of a pregnant woman – under any circumstances – ever be termed a “hero?”
Where was Marco’s concern for widow?
My husband passed away after a tragic work-related accident.
To enable me to receive monetary benefits to support our children, I had to produce a copy of our marriage certificate. In my obvious emotional state, I could not find it.
Because we were married in Rotterdam, I went to the Rotterdam Town Clerk’s office.
A worker at the desk told me there was a $10 fee for the copy. I paid her the money. She came back saying my marriage certificate was not there and my money was nonrefundable. I saw no notice of a non-refundable search fee.
Diane Marco then appeared saying that the money for the search was, in fact, nonrefundable. There was obviously no concern on Diane’s part for my dilemma. I then went to two nearby towns and found both of these town clerks to be caring and compassionate.
The first one did not find the certificate, did not charge me, and went out of her way to call a second nearby town clerk who did find it. Both town clerks extended sympathy for my loss — something Diane Marco never did. Sometime later a family friend talked to Diane about this situation. Diane’s last words were, “What’s the big deal — it’s only $10.”
Diane is now defending herself as being a caring and compassionate person. My experience showed neither of these traits.
Take meaningful steps against racism
While watching the NFL draft, once a selection was made, they switched to the War Room to see the reaction of their office personnel.
With the exception of the Lions, who had two, no team had more than one Black man in the room.
The commissioner says the players can kneel during the National Anthem to show their displeasure. What I really see is that it’s OK to play and sell peanuts for the NFL, but we don’t need you thinking for us.
Major League Baseball moved its All-Star game to show its displeasure with new voting rules that would harm minorities. The game will still be televised and earn the league millions. If they really cared, they would say that any team that doesn’t have either a manager or general manager who’s a person of color would be banned from postseason play. That’s meaningful.
Watching the protesters on the news, I saw where they often said people of color. I’m really not sure who this affects. A California politician has proposed a bill requesting for reparations to be paid to descendants of slaves. I’m not sure, but were there many Latino slaves in America? Maybe we should consider LLM in the future.
All I hear is everything is racist. Maybe we should just disband all the police departments and let nature take its course. Civil disorder is on the horizon.
Saeed will be tireless worker for Niskayuna
If you intend to vote by mail in Niskayuna’s school board election, please email [email protected] to request your absentee ballot before Tuesday, May 11. I wholeheartedly endorse Aliya Saeed as you consider the important question of which candidate deserves your vote.
Aliya is a physician and a psychiatrist who looks at every decision through the prism of wellness and mental health which is particularly valuable post-COVID as we help our students, faculty and staff more fully return to the school buildings.
I know she will work tirelessly to help because we served together on the board of APAPA, an organization dedicated to engaging with Asian American community members. There, I had the opportunity to witness Aliya’s work, so I can also comment on her careful financial stewardship. She will be conscientious with our tax dollars and will use her prior experience with a multi-million dollar capital project to make sure that we get the benefits promised from the capital project that was approved in February.
Please remember to request your absentee ballot now if you need one, and I encourage you to join me and vote for Aliya Saeed for Niskayuna school board.
Hsinpang (HP) Wang
Return all carbon tax fees to the citizens
The April 25 Sunday Gazette editorial (“Fuel taxes target state’s struggling middle class”) was about a carbon price of $55/ton of CO2 emitted from burning fossil fuel.
As a retired DEC air pollution engineer, I want to thank you for keeping this issue in our public conversation. This is because we have taken too long. Our government first had this information in 1965.
My work involved measuring carbon monoxide. NASA measured CO2 and used the same instrument retuned for that pollutant. The machine worked by the same principle that causes global warming.
I do believe the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Do I support a carbon fee of $55/ton? Yes, but I’d rather have us reach it in four years by increments.
And then return all the collected fees from fossil fuel sellers to the public at large in order for them to handle the added expenses of living.
Our House of Representatives has a bill, H.R. 2307, before it now to do just this. It has 40 cosponsors in this new Congress. So far, no Republicans. It needs to become bipartisan to be lasting. The Republican Party is needed to negotiate an acceptable law to price carbon.
I have no idea whether this state version, S.4264A, justifies not returning the collected tax, but rather expands the state budget. I do understand that returning all the collected money per capita equally will greatly ease the expense of the changes we all need to make. Please give us good governance.
Garrow didn’t get off easy for his crimes
In response to Josephine Davis’ May 2 letter (“Garrow took joy and innocence from many”) regarding Robert Garrow. I feel I must correct the record.
I, too, remember the Garrow killing spree very well. However, he in no way “only did seven (years), because of ‘good behavior.’” He faked paralysis, after being shot by an environmental officer during his capture. After a few years in prison, because he was believed to be paralyzed requiring a wheelchair, he was moved from a maximum security prison to a less secure one. He then made an attempt to escape, jumping a fence — he was obviously not paralyzed — initiating yet another search.
He did not get far and was found in woods very near the prison only a few days later by prison guards.
He shot at them with a gun his son had brought him; they shot back, and he was killed.
Ms. Davis’ letter makes it sound as if he were released from prison in a relatively short period of time and allowed to rejoin society with the blessings of the authorities and the criminal justice system. That was definitely not the case.
Marco allegations seem to be political
This letter is being written by several members of the Rotterdam Seniors Association in response to the article (“Investigation: Clerk violated town policy multiple times”) appearing in the April 12 Gazette.
After reading this article, we wanted to write in support of one of our members who is also an officer of our group.
We have known Diane Marco for many years as members of the association. We have worked alongside her and have always felt her caring and concern for members of the community. Diane is well known throughout the town. She is always willing to help others and will pitch in whatever the task is — and always with a friendly smile.
The statements made in the article paint a picture of Diane that is truly not in her character at all!
It is impossible to believe the allegations stated in the newspaper report. I am sure that those who know Diane or have interacted with her in her role as town clerk or in any other capacity realize that this is a political maneuver and an attempt to create uncertainty as we approach the upcoming elections.
Eileen Durrer, Sarah Perez, Denise Tucker, Nancy Mack, Beatrice DeVito,
Find ways to help St. Clare’s pensioners
I would be remiss if I did not address the issue of our St. Clare’s pensioners at this time in our country.
President Biden has promised many wonderful things so that ALL Americans can get back on their feet after this horrible and unprecedented pandemic. His “Pension Rescue Plan” had millions of dollars in it to help ailing pension plans across the United States. I called some of our government officials and got very little response. In fact, Sen. Gillibrand’s assistant told me, “St. Clare’s pensioners were not included in that plan because they were not enrolled in ERISA. (We were at one time but that doesn’t count.)
Recently I read an article about “earmarks” that are being submitted by New York state senators for various causes. There are over 1,100 people and their families who have lost their livelihood, their lifelines and their health, and a few have lost their lives, all while enduring the unbelievable strain of a pandemic. Doesn’t anyone in government think that these “essential workers” deserve some type of consideration? If it were their family, wouldn’t they find a way?
The writer is chairman of the St. Clare’s Pension Recovery Alliance (SCPRA).
Lots of evidence to support higher power
I was surprised to learn the Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees off center.
This exact tilt makes summers not too hot and winters not too cold while Earth is orbiting around the sun. Amazingly, these temperatures support life. The cause of this tilt was believed to come from a large explosion (the Big Bang Theory).
We all know how unpredictable explosions are, but somehow, large debris collided with the Earth, tilting it exactly 23.5 degrees.
Does it not make more sense that a higher power guided the debris from the explosion to collide with the Earth while other debris went into orbit, making the universe as we know it?
Another belief is, “It took humans, millions of years, to evolve.”
I accept the process of evolution. However, did evolution make the amazing knee? Or the eye that can see color? Or a nervous system that can detect pain over our entire body? Or the impossible brain that runs everything in our body?
Does it not make more sense that, in the beginning, there had to be something, made by a higher power, of which to evolve from?
Reminder to women to get mammogram
This year Mother’s Day is celebrated Sunday, May 9.
The Cancer Services Program of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties would like this Mother’s Day to serve as a reminder to all women — moms, daughters, aunts, sisters, nieces — to schedule their mammogram.
The World Health Organization recently reported that breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer as the world’s mostly commonly diagnosed cancer. The good news is that deaths from breast cancer are decreasing and women are living longer after diagnosis due to early detection and better treatments. Finding cancer early means it may be easier to treat.
Breast cancer screening may begin at age 40. All women age 50 and older should get screened at least every other year. Men can get breast cancer, too, and should be mindful of family history and symptoms.
Healthcare providers are taking many steps so that important health visits can happen safely.
Patients and staff must wear masks and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
Other safety steps include socially distanced waiting rooms, time added between appointments, and thoroughly cleaning exam rooms and equipment.
If you do not have health insurance, the Cancer Services Program offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to women ages 40-64 and colorectal cancer screening to men and women ages 50-64. Please call 518-841-3726 for more information.
Please schedule your mammogram and encourage the women in your life to do the same. Your lives are worth it.
The writer is a St. Mary’s Healthcare Women’s Imaging Supervisor.
Brockmyer will be an asset to school board
We have a local school board election coming up on May 18.
On the ballot, you will see Erica Brockmyer. Erica is a committed community member who has worked with youth and families in Schenectady for many years.
Having a variety of school related experiences, she brings a unique perspective. She has worked as a district substitute while working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady.
She is currently a school counselor working with high school students. With these firsthand experiences I believe that she would be an invaluable asset as a member of the school board.
We need people on the school board who will bring a new way of thinking to the district. She will bring broad and holistic thinking in regard to decisions that impact both the youth of Schenectady and also the adults who play pivotal roles in their lives. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with Erica in the past and can say that she brings authenticity, problem solving and ingenuity to all situations.
I will vote for Erica because I strongly believe that she will be an asset to the school board; I hope you will, too.
Why doesn’t writer like strong women?
“In a recent Letter to the Editor, “Joy and Stefanik are lap dogs; Wait on Cuomo” the author, Bill Shaw, took an opportunity to malign two strong conservative women while defending the governor, who has been accused by no less than 10 women of sexual misconduct, amongst other things.
Ms. Joy, along with hundreds of thousands of other peaceful Americans, attended a rally for the sitting President of the United States, and was not even aware of the violence that ensued at the Capitol until later that afternoon.
Her “treacherous behavior”? Ms. Joy was in D.C. standing up for America. I challenge you to get off your Ballston Spa cozy couch and be more patriotic than she is.
Moreover, Rep. Stefanik’s vote not to certify the election is hardly outside the norms of our Republic.
Since 2000, every time a Republican has won the White House, Democrats have voted not to certify the election results, yet those times were not seen as an attack on democracy?
Mr. Shaw’s rant, comparing two honorable women to dogs, is beyond appalling! Dear Mr. Shaw, do/did you have a mother, are you married, do you have daughters? If so, let them go work for the sexual predator, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And to your mother, wife and daughters, Dad thinks you are a liar if you’ve been sexually assaulted. Let the investigation tell him so.
Ladies and gentlemen, it sounds like Bill Shaw has something against strong, intelligent women in the workforce. Who’s the DOG?
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