Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, May 26


Don’t see point of voting in elections

Well, 1,400 people had their say the other day voting in the SCSD elections, giving the top vote getter about 700 (+/-) votes.
In liberal speak, that is winning with a mandate. Woo-hoo!
I read an article in the paper where one person mentioned that for the first time ever, they were not going to vote in favor of the budget.
My wife and I went a step further and chose not to vote at all.
We figured that no matter who you voted for to sit on the board, it was just going to be policy after policy of whatever drives mainstream media that month — critical race ‘therapy,’ no-gender children, stop teaching math, the new English or something unimaginable except in possibly a bizarro world.
We are thinking of passing on the state and federal elections, too, as they won’t be too far away from the same thought (if you can really call it thinking) process.
Gerald V. Marmuscak

Cuomo takes credit where it’s not due

This is the title of my new book: “How I Managed the Demise of the Pandemic.”
Writing books is one of my passions. Nobody reads them, and the money made from my royalties would not cover the cost of a postage stamp.
But this one has possibilities.
Readers might enjoy having insight into how I single-handedly put out the fires of this deadly disease. Oops! Someone already scooped me. My state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has already taken this topic, and his book is already out on the market.
This modern-day hero tells us that his timely policies won the day and that his unique approach to managing and stemming the pandemic saved the state of New York.
The money to be gained by the governor’s enlightened efforts will earn him close to $5 million.
How will I ever be able to show my appreciation for the long hours he put on his manuscript by writing, editing and promoting work done while in office?
I wonder how the misuse of nursing homes; the under-use of the USS Mercy and the mismanagement of hundreds of ventilators will be broached.
Oh well, more time for pickleball. It’s wonderful being a writer.
Allen R. Remaley
Saratoga Springs

Americans abroad need vaccines, too

I have had several letters published in The Gazette over the years, most focused on public policy and its underlying philosophies.
However, I was messaging with a friend living in Thailand; she and her husband are Americans working and raising a family there. I asked if she and her family have been vaccinated, particularly important because Thailand has gone into another lockdown.
She reported that none of the Americans there have had access to any of the vaccines.
In the United States, vaccines are available in every sized city, swamp “holler” and tundra town.
I realize that there are some Americans who are refusing the protection, believing Bill Gates and George Soros are trying to implant communist clone babies.
And they have that right, as long as they are not in a position to harm others.
We are even starting to export vaccines to other nations that have not had the resources to vaccinate their people, something I wholeheartedly support.
Yet, Americans living abroad are unable to go to the embassy and be given a vaccination, risking their lives and that of their families.
The doses are obviously available. This is something in need of immediate correction.
James Cimino

State must protect small pharmacists

Recently I learned that state Sens. Mike Martucci and James Skoufis are taking on Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), whose predatory practices force many local independent pharmacists to close shop – harming the communities they serve.
My late husband, Ralph, served the Rotterdam community for 34 years as a pharmacist.
He worked hard and sacrificed to improve the lives of his patients. I can’t imagine him trying to do so in today’s market where big-box pharmacies are more concerned about the bottom line than their patients’ needs.
One of the biggest obstacles for local pharmacists these days are the expensive and burdensome administrative requirements forced on them by insurers and PBMs.
Local pharmacists must spend more time filling out paperwork than treating patients. Oftentimes, they lose money doing so because reimbursement rates are less than the cost of filling the prescription.
Fortunately, pharmacists now have a resource that my husband did not. Pharmacy Services Administration Organizations allow local pharmacists to pool their resources to negotiate better terms from insurers and PBMs and outsource burdensome administrative responsibilities so that they can spend more time behind the counter treating patients and less time in the back office.
I want to thank Sens. Martucci and Skoufis for fighting for local independent pharmacists. I know from decades of watching my husband that many of our neighbors rely upon neighborhood pharmacists to stay healthy and manage their chronic conditions.
We cannot afford to lose these invaluable resources.
Angie Bassi

Congress has a duty to investigate

Remember Benghazi. Investigate Jan. 6!
Charles Rielly


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion



The people that most need to read this probably won’t, but I ask please do in an attempt to walk in someone else’s shoes for a few moments.

Darnella Frazier’s reflection on George Floyds death one year later:

“A year ago, today I witnessed a murder. The victim’s name was George Floyd. Although this wasn’t the first time, I’ve seen a Black man get killed at the hands of the police, this is the first time I witnessed it happen in front of me.
Right in front of my eyes, a few feet away. I didn’t know this man from a can of paint, but I knew his life mattered. I knew that he was in pain. I knew that he was another Black man in danger with no power.
I was only 17 at the time, just a normal day for me walking my 9-year-old cousin to the corner store, not even prepared for what I was about to see, not even knowing my life was going to change on this exact day in those exact moments…it did. It changed me.
It changed how I viewed life. It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America. We shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around police officers, the same people that are supposed to protect and serve. We are looked at as thugs, animals, and criminals, all because of the color of our skin. Why are Black people the only ones viewed this way when every race has some type of wrongdoing? None of us are to judge. We are all human. I am 18 now and I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a year ago. It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be.
A part of my childhood was taken from me. My 9-year-old cousin who witnessed the same thing I did got apart of her childhood taken from her. Having to up and leave because my home was no longer safe, waking up to reporters at my door, closing my eyes at night only to see a man who is brown like me, lifeless on the ground.
I couldn’t sleep properly for weeks. I used to shake so bad at night my mom had to rock me to sleep. Hopping from hotel to hotel because we didn’t have a home and looking over our back every day in the process. Having panic and anxiety attacks every time I seen a police car, not knowing who to trust because a lot of people are evil with bad intentions. I hold that weight.
A lot of people call me a hero even though I don’t see myself as one. I was just in the right place at the right time. Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day.
Everyone talks about the girl who recorded George Floyd’s death, but to actually be her is a different story. Not only did this affect me, my family too. We all experienced change. My mom the most. I strive every day to be strong for her because she was strong for me when I couldn’t be strong for myself.
Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself. If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth. I own that. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.
You can view George Floyd anyway you choose to view him, despite his past, because don’t we all have one? He was a loved one, someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s brother, and someone’s friend. We the people won’t take the blame, you won’t keep pointing fingers at us as if it’s our fault, as if we are criminals. I don’t think people understand how serious death …..that person is never coming back.
These officers shouldn’t get to decide if someone gets to live or not. It’s time these officers start getting held accountable. Murdering people and abusing your power while doing it is not doing your job. It shouldn’t have to take people to actually go through something to understand it’s not ok. It’s called having a heart and understanding right from wrong.
George Floyd, I can’t express enough how I wish things could have went different, but I want you to know you will always be in my heart. I’ll always remember this day because of you. May your soul rest in peace. May you rest in the most beautiful roses.”- Darnella Frazier


Very touching but delusional. Floyd made some bad choices. He chose to to take illegal drugs. He chose to try to pass funny money. He chose to say I can not breath rather than I surrender. Or course his family deserves some credit for not trying to help him with his drug problem. Then of course there is the person who chose to photograph his death rather than speaking up about what was going on.

The blaming the white cop for the social failures of others is a fine example of systematic racism!


Fred, once again you are DELUSIONAL. Everyone makes bad choices, so that’s an excuse to be lynched? Floyd started with back pain and got addicted to opioids prescribed by a doctor like millions of Americans…so he deserves to be lynched? Maybe Floyd knew it was a fake bill, so deserves to be lynched over $20?! There is NO law that he had to say “I surrender” so STOP defending the murderer who had no reason to put his knee on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes. The person who recorded and others around were speaking up about what was happening, and Chauvin’s lawyers said that they were “distracted” by it, blaming them…can’t have it both ways!


“There is NO law that he had to say “I surrender” ”

You have ignored the possibility that those few words might have saved his life.

In any case resisting arrest is both illegal and can result in fatal consequences. The point that I was making is that bad choices by a number of people resulted in consequences most of us find undesirable. As for what Floyd desired he gambled with his life and he lost. I find no one of significant social stature advising Black males against choosing to gamble with their life


You are shifting blame from the oppressor to the victim. You support 45, who is a user, loser, abuser…so I see why you make that parallel. Maybe if a woman “said the right thing” she wouldn’t be punched or killed by her husband, according to your logic…classic abuser tactics! Btw, it didn’t take long for the jury to convict Chauvin of 3 serious charges. Floyd was not gambling with his life, or resisting arrest for 9 1/2 minutes…he was trying to BREATHE.


Louis Thanks for sharing that story. Yesterday, Biden met with the Floyd family one year to the day that he was murdered by police. While the right-wingers may mock Biden that it was a political photo op, he showed the great empathy that he has displayed throughout his political career. It was a meeting that Trump would never even consider since it would hurt his standing with his racist followers. Right Fred?

William Marincic

James Cimino I understand your frustration I feel that way myself sometimes but I will continue to vote making my voice heard regardless of the outcome. I know that in New York State we have a very very slim chance of electing anyone with common sense, in other words a non-Democrat but I hold out hope that more people will smarten up and start voting Republican. People didn’t like President Trump because of the way he spoke the way he talked, he was a braggart, yada, yada, yada. I will happily take that braggart back because he loved America. Biden is destroying this country and it’s unbelievable how quickly he is doing it. The state continues to lose its population running to states with better taxes and less regulations. Florida and Texas are the biggest winners for the citizens of New York and California and Oregon and Washington state. Pretty soon there won’t be any tax paying citizens in the state to cover the taxes they have because those that could have left the state are leaving the state. I know two complete families that have made the move. One to Texas one to Florida.


William, it’s true dems didn’t like the way 45 talked about getting away with sexually assaulting women, purposely walking in on young pageant girls as they were changing, saying he’d be dating Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter, attacks, name calling, etc. But the real reason is because we KNEW he was a lying, corrupt businessman willing to do anything to line his pockets, had no regard for the rule of law or the Constitution, and had no interest in governing. We hated how he bowed down to DICtators and wanted to become an American Putin. He actually said he had “absolute immunity!” Excuse me…but that’s a King, not a president. From the beginning, I was terribly frightened of a president for the first time in my life–and I survived Nixon (choir boy next to 45, and the gop had the balls to hold him accountable). He does NOT love America–he loved what he could get out of America (the opposite of JFK’s “what you can do for your country). I could feel the Insurrection coming, and was not surprised. It was a manifestation of this authoritative leader. All of his evil deeds are being exposed and he is going DOWN…since this country was built on “no person is above the law.” Fun to watch!


jclark, along with Ray, Chuck, Florida and Matt as well as others, I do appreciate your, realistic, common sense, logical, factual approach when refuting what I believe to be off the wall comments posted by Fred, Bill, Zachary and a few others. You all do a great job!…..But we may as well be talking to a burnt bagel when attempting to enlighten them as to how and why “liberals” feel and believe what is right regarding human equality, justice, fairness and truth for all, regardless for race, religion or country of origin. ~ ~ Remember? In their eyes we’re just a bunch of “stooges.”


What’s funny guys (and gals, too), is that Bill and Fred and that whole group will continue to send Trump their money believing he will use it to win back the presidency when we all know he will use it for the dozens or more lawyers defended him in several courts. Trump doesn’t “love this country”, he loves their devotion to his dwindling finances. He lies and they eat it up. Like Trump, they are angry that they live in a state where their vote means nothing because the REALLY inept republicans live here. A state that grew at a modest 4.2% of the past decade which is fine with me. We don’t need a population explosion like some red, backwards state like Texas who cannot keep the heat and lights on when it gets cold.


You assert that Floyd was not gambling with his life – he was trying to breath. If he could say I can not breath he could have said I surrender. He gambled and lost. Alternatively he considered that his drug use and passing funny money would result in him going back to prison and he committed suicide by cop!

Always interesting to me how people weigh someone’s “Love of America” and “Patriotism”. People say Trump loves this country and is a true patriot, but he dodged the draft, broke a bunch of laws, and doesn’t pay his taxes. Somehow that makes him more patriotic than a Democrat that served this country that may question whether giving tax cuts to the richest Americans while children starve is a just allocation of our resources? Wanting this country to “establish justice” and be a “more perfect Union” doesn’t make you less patriotic, it makes you a stalwart for the Constitution and its founding principles.


William, 45 bragged about not paying taxes when Hillary called him out correctly for refusing to release his…”That makes me smart.” He’s going to jail and I can’t wait! Only $750 in 2016 and 2017 …thanks to the “billionaire” for paying his fair share…geez! I had to pay even more for the first time after his tax cut to himself, his family, and his big donors (and I work in a school–but I made too much money).


And I guarantee he has evaded more in taxes than everyone combined on this blog has paid in their lifetimes. I also guarantee time will prove me right. trump is a scumbag!


Hey Bill, perhaps Texas is the place for you. If you decide to move there you should practice dodging bullets. Today’s Washington Post:

“Texas is a step closer to allowing residents to carry handguns openly in public without a permit or training, becoming the most populous state in the United States to do so.
Despite criticism from gun-control groups and law enforcement leaders, the state’s Republican-led legislature approved a bill late Monday night that drops one of the state’s last major gun restrictions, sending the measure to Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who has said he intends to sign it.
“The strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history,” Abbott tweeted days before the bill was passed. “Let’s get it to my desk for signing.”


Bill, Fred, and other right-wingers, get your checkbooks out when Trump sends out his newest “campaign” mailer because:

Manhattan’s top prosecutor has convened a grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict former President Trump, should prosecutors present criminal charges in their probe of the Trump Organization, The Washington Post reports. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s team has been investigating for more than two years whether the company misled lenders and insurance companies about the value of properties and paid appropriate taxes. This news could mean the team is nearing the end of its probe.

Meanwhile, Trump responded to a lawsuit aimed at holding him accountable for his role in the January 6 insurrection by claiming he had absolute immunity as president. The suit was brought by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell and focuses on Trump’s incendiary speech on the day of the riot.


Here’s a news report for Trumpers to chew on who believe Trump did such a great job on the border:

“A government watchdog says the Trump administration, under its practice of separating families at the border, forced migrant parents to leave the U.S. without their children, contradicting claims by officials that parents were willingly leaving them behind.

The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General said in a report released Monday that it found at least 348 cases in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement had no records showing migrants wanted to leave their children in the U.S. It also found “some” cases in which agency officials deported parents even while knowing they wanted to take their children with them.

That contradicted assertions by senior DHS officials that parents were choosing to leave their children in the U.S. to stay with family or for other reasons while they were deported in 2017 and 2018 as the administration sought to enforce a hardline approach to immigration enforcement.

The findings, issued by Trump-appointed Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, provide new insight into a policy that became a significant political crisis for the previous administration and a continuing challenge for the current one, which is working to reunite children who remain separated even now.

“Those who conceived of this travesty will have to live with the memory of their cruelty for the rest of their lives,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who is chair of the Judiciary Committee and requested the report.

The Trump administration separated thousands of migrant parents from their children since the summer of 2017 as it moved to criminally prosecute people for illegally crossing the southwest border. Minors could not be held in criminal custody with their parents and were transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The mass separation of families sparked public outrage and a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, which also collected reports of parents being deported without the opportunity to take their children with them.”

(From yesterday’s T-U, which has become almost unreadable with the ads they push on the reader, even a subscriber. Thank you DG for your saner publication)

TROY – A former U.S. Army drone operator and alleged militia member received a sentence Tuesday in Rensselaer County Court of six days served in custody and five years of post release supervision for possessing a “ghost gun” loaded with live ammunition during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration in June.

Noah Latham, 23, of Leominister, Mass., had admitted to attempted possession of a 9 mm Glock-style pistol that had no serial number and was loaded with live 9 mm ammunition. Latham carried the weapon when he and four other men walked armed through Troy at a Black Lives Matter demonstration last June 7 in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

“I really want to move on. I apologize for the mistakes on my part,” Latham said.

Judge Jennifer Sober coincidentally sentenced Latham on the anniversary of Floyd’s murder. Latham had entered his guilty plea in the case the day opening arguments were made at Chauvin’s murder trial.

Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, triggered months of civil rights protests nationally and around the Capital Region. The Troy demonstration drew thousands of people to one of the largest racial justice and anti-police brutality demonstrations in the area.

District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly said Latham and his four co-defendants needed to be prosecuted for being armed at the rally. Latham carried his ghost pistol and the other four had batons. All have pleaded guilty.

“This was not a lawful gun owner attending the rally prepared to defend himself or someone else. This was individuals attending in a group attracting attention to themselves, behaving in a paramilitary manner that really didn’t provide any enhanced security for anybody but could have been very provocative,” said Donnelly, who attended the sentencing.

“The crime they committed on that June day could have regrettably gone differently,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Hauf, who prosecuted the five cases.

As part of his guilty plea, Latham surrendered all weapons confiscated by Troy police. The weapons are to be destroyed.

Latham could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if he violates the terms of his plea deal.

Latham was a specialist assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum when he came to Troy for the rally. He was discharged from the division in August. Latham was “other than honorably discharged” for the Troy incident and events at the military base, Hauf told the court. The Army has declined to disclose what type of discharge Latham received.

Latham was the only one of the five defendants in the case who was not a Rensselaer County resident. Joel Abelove, the county’s former district attorney, represented all five men.

In February, the other four defendants entered guilty pleas in February in City Court.

Shane Fleming of Averill Park and Shelbi Vanderbogart of Poestenkill pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation, according to the court files. Each was fined $250, given a conditional discharge in which they must avoid legal trouble for a year and surrendered seized weapons.

Shawn Fleming and Nathaniel Shepard, both of Averill Park, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor, according to court records. They were also given a conditional discharge, surrendered seized weapons and were fined $750.

Latham and his four co-defendants were identified as potentially having ties to a regional militia group, the New England Minutemen, based on a tactical manual recovered by Troy police, authorities said.

On the day they were arrested, Troy police recovered rifles, ammunition magazines that hold up to 30 rounds and illegal police batons from vehicles connected to the men.

Latham’s handgun was identified by authorities as a “ghost gun,” which is assembled from parts sold by companies that exploit a loophole in federal and state gun control laws by providing “unfinished” hardware with the drill bits and instructions — including video tutorials — needed to make a fully functioning firearm. Such weapons are assembled from parts and do not have serial numbers.

Joseph Vendetti

Was zach put in timeout? Or penalty box.

I am surely not soft on immigration- but what Zach stated about breeding, etc. That is stuff from Mein Kampf. We all know the history on that lunatic and what pain, destruction, and death that caused. Goose stepping around the block.

Pay taxes, SS card and you don’t need to run thru the rivers and cross illegally and create amnesty for those already here. Just get vaccinated, be a legal citizen.

Cynthia I told Lou the other day we need more stringent background tests, mental evaluation, etc but we also need to get the illegal guns off the street. Hell we just lost two young beautiful young girls in senseless shootings in Albany. A young man 21 was killed the week before on the border of Colonie and Rotterdam. Over 1,000 shootings in Chicago, 500 in NYC,

Would like to know the comparisons between mass shootings and drug/gang/bad guy guns?


Republicans who love the police have now placed the sole responsibility on the responding officers in Texas in every interaction with a citizen who could be good or bad. They will have no way of knowing when they arrive on scene if any or all are armed. What could go wrong with this.
Cops shoot first, face blame, wait and hey could be dead. Yea move to Texas and return to the frontier of old.
Would not rule out Florida moving in same direction. Thankfully legislative session finished before this became news about Texas.


For heaven sake Cynthia, get with the program. These yahoo rednecks need their AR-15’s. How else can one deter an attack deer or rabbit? Also consider if Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin or another one of trump’s buddies decide to launch a nuclear missile at the U.S.A. Johnny “Tex” Bigpistol can shoot it right out of the sky.
Besides this San Jose (a stupid town because it has a Mexican name) shooting only killed 8, nowhere near the record.

If offensive to anyone, I apologize for the sarcasm relating to such a horrific crime but thoughts and prayers certainly aren’t working.


I won’t even post the name of who posted the late rant on yesterdays forum. But WOW.
Pick a far-far Right rant about immigrants and this will match any of them. Steven Miller couldn’t have done as good and would be proud.
A little note about immigrants in most southern states, they are welcomed by employers day in day out. They do the work “patriots” won’t. You would not have fresh produce, any and all construction jobs on and on. They are not living on the dole. Come down here in July, August and see if there is any jobs you would like to take from any of them for say 12-15 dollars an hour.

Florida just so you know there’s no one that has a problem with temporary workers on temporary visas coming into the United States to help pick crops. To suggest that the millions of Illegal Aliens running across our borders are picking crops is a bunch of bull.. most of those people are getting services schools, social services because you can’t leave children starving on the streets with no place to live food stamps and other taxpayer services. Picking crabs is the liberals excuse for 20+ million illegal aliens in this country.

jclark the number is 42% and that’s before Biden opened the gate.
That report estimated visa overstays in 2014 accounted for 42 percent of the total undocumented population, or about 4.5 million people. It also projected that overstays made up about two-thirds of the total number of people who became unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. that year.

Mr. Restifo, yes Illegal Aliens, just because you change the name it doesn’t change what they are, they are not Americans they are not here legally so that would make them illegal aliens. Like changing the name from global warming to climate change makes a difference. By using the Biden administrations liberal wokeness the name change is suppose to make illegals overrunning our country more palpable even though it’s costing taxpayers more than 116 Billion dollars annually (that is 2018 numbers).


“Listen boy,” Certain names and terms change because many of them initially had derogatory connotations or the recipient of the word, name or term was made to feel bad or uncomfortable. It’s kind like respecting a man named Richard that prefers not to be called “Dick.” It’s A situation of common courtesy and respect for other people.

Native American, Latino, African American/Black, Asian American, People of Color and Multiethnic are a few examples of changes.

The former Washington Redskins are a perfect example of how certain names can be and are insulting to, ironically the only people that are truly not “aliens” in America. Yes, I played cowboys and Indians as a kid, but I grew up and learned to respect all people.

Would you feel comfortable if you were referred to as a “legal alien? I’m sure your ancestors immigrated from another nation, not Mars as “alien” may imply.

It’s all about common courtesy and respect for everyone. Especially those you haven’t the faintest idea as to who they are and what their life is about.

Mr. Restifo, again that is just words being used to make illegal immigration not look so bad so it’s more excepting to people. But it’s not acceptable, it’s not acceptable to $120 billion a year of taxpayer money. Just so you know most and I mean most legal immigrants look down on illegal immigrant, it’s unacceptable to them. There is no pride in illegal immigration, have you ever seen the swearing in of a legal American citizen that was a former immigrant, the pride that they have for the accomplishments that they made and the love that they have for this country is a whole lot different than these people sneaking illegally across our borders.


I certainly don’t agree, but regardless thank you for not using the word alien when referring to people and their illegal entry or existence in the US. If nothing else people may give more credence when you voice your opinion.

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