Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, May 30


Littering, poor roads need to be addressed

Trash at Central Park, in our city streets, and physical deterioration of our neighborhood has been a constant problem.
The Schenectady City Council and the county have abandoned many neighborhoods, especially the older ones and others like mine.
I live between McClellan Street and Rosa Road, on Kingston Avenue, across from Zoller Elementary School.
In this area, Lancaster and Gerling streets are still in deplorable condition.
The streets are full of potholes and the water drainage is non-existent.
In fact, during the winter, Lancaster Street becomes an ice rink.
When it rains, potholes become a serious threat to drivers, and the area between Lancaster and the Sheridan Plaza Apartments and shopping center gets flooded.
Rosa Road and this shopping area is also a dumping ground.
You see trash in the parking area and along Gerling Street.
The city and county must do more to fix these two scourges: the trash and roads.
They should do the following: Deploy more trash and recycling bins throughout the city where needed most.
Mandate all business and public places (schools, libraries, hospitals, prisons) recycle and keep their area clean.
Those who do not should be fined and those who do recycle and produce little and/or no waste should be rewarded with recognition, tax breaks, etc.
Post no-littering/pollution signs and give fines for those who break the law by polluting and/or littering our city, highways and public places.
Put screens/netting on curbside sewer rainwater discharge holes to catch/trap all plastic trash.
Ottavio Lo Piccolo

Congress: Target insurance industry

In 2003, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
It’s been a long journey since, but I’ve got a good treatment regimen going and I’m happy to report that my neurologist is pleased with my progress. But I’m worried about my husband, Henry.
Two years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I know the disease well, as my father suffered from it. It’s difficult to be a full-time caregiver when I have my own health issues. We’ve been looking for aides to help, but they are scarce in Schenectady.
I love my husband and do everything possible to keep him healthy and comfortable. But our insurance is constantly creating problems for both of us.
I can’t afford everything that my doctor prescribes. I feel like I’m constantly filling out paperwork and trying to find work-arounds for my out-of-pocket costs.
This is why I was confused when I read about H.R.3. It seems that politicians are looking to regulate the very industry that is helping to end the pandemic.
How does that make any sense? H.R.3 would place price-setting measures on medication, making it harder for patients to access treatments.
I’ll be the first person to say that we don’t need to make it harder to get treatment.
Instead, Congress should look at the insurance industry.
These are the companies that need to step up and stop forcing patients like my husband and me to foot the bill.
Pamela Leffingwell LaBrake


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion



Sprinkled throughout the president’s enormous spending plan are scores of programs amounting to tens of billions of dollars intended to specifically bolster the fortunes of Black people, Asian people, tribal communities and other historically underserved groups in the United States.

If you are a Democrat it is not racism if it helps the people you like!

Sounds like you didn’t look that word up, did you?
You still don’t know what it means.
But you go ahead with your version of “racism”.


You appear to have a different idea about the definition of racism that you refuse to share with the community. Why not enlighten us with your view? After all a race based policy would seem to be racist. Surely we would all benefit if this is not the case.

Why won’t you look it up yourself?
Why make things up and have others prove you right or wrong.
Why don’t you know how to debate a subject reasonably?

Guy Varoma

Fred just look the word racist or racism …You’ll find a Picture of Donald Trump next to it …You know who he is right? The guy that there were very good White nationalists

Guy Varoma

Fred just look the word racist or racism …You’ll find a Picture of Donald Trump next to it …You know who he is right? The guy that said there were very good White nationalists


Mr. Lo Piccolo, I feel your anger and frustration. I lived in Schenectady for 69 of my 72 years. As a kid I lived in a two family house on Glenwood Blvd. Back then it seems people had more pride for their homes, yards and neighborhoods. After a windy “garbage day” home owners, without hesitation would pick up the trash that was strewn about in the alley.

You mentioned Zoller School. I would (safely) walk there when I was in the 2nd grade, the year it opened until I graduated from the 6th grade. Your neighborhood was part of my old childhood stomping grounds. I remember playing in the woods where the now deteriorated Sheridan Plaza is. Back then your neighborhood was clean and well maintained.

As an adult I was fortunate enough to eventually buy a beautiful old house in the GE Realty Plot. People in that neighborhood still took pride in their homes and neighborhood. For the most part homes and yards were well maintained.

After my kids grew up and I no longer wanted a large home, that along with the fact I was paying a ridiculous amount of money for taxes,(13K) I sold the big house. Regretfully l bought a house back on Glenwood Blvd. The seemingly disregard many people had for maintaining and keeping clean and neat homes and yards was quite upsetting to me.

Three years ago I became so frustrated, living in the once great city of my life, I moved out. I now have a home in Burnt Hills with barns, ponds and fields. My taxes here are 10K. I was paying the ridiculous amount of $8,500 for my house on a 50 foot lot in Schenectady.

Something certainly doesn’t make sense to me with how the tax money of Schenectady is spent. “Schenectady homeowners paid the highest effective property tax rate in the Capital Region last year at $51.50 per $1,000.” I don’t understand why pothole and trash issues are not addressed more effectively.

Additionally as a foot note, realize if it gets cloudy out here in Burnt Hills during the winter the snow plows are out. Good luck with snow removal in Schenectady….So Mr. Lo Piccolo I certainly believe you justification to complain about the issue you raised.


Some have asked what can be learned by a congressional bi-partisan commission to study what went wrong related to the Jan. 6 insurrection that hasn’t been learned already. Here is the NY Times brief take on that:

“Key questions about the Jan. 6 riot may never be answered now that congressional Republicans have blocked an independent inquiry.
The public may never know precisely what President Donald Trump and members of his administration did or said as a throng of his supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress met to formalize President Biden’s victory; why security officials were so unprepared for the breach; or the extent of the role of Republican lawmakers in planning the “Stop the Steal” rally that turned into a deadly attack.
Instead, Republican senators moved to shift an unwelcome spotlight away from Trump and the complicity of many G.O.P. lawmakers in amplifying his false claims of widespread voter fraud. Republicans have argued that the existing investigations will address what happened. But they have strict limits.”

If necessary, Speaker Pelosi should appoint a commission to do the investigation. The GOP cannot protect Trump forever.


Ray, reasons for further investigating the 1/6/21 insurrection are as obvious as the orange on trump’s face…..But the reasons Republicans are blocking it are just as obvious; any information including fact and the necessity of justice for additional criminal activity as a result of a commission study would put them in a bad light, so now they are attempting to squash it like bug on a picnic table.

I have confidence she will, and she will go to great lengths to see that it’s members are outside government and of unmistakable, non-partisan constitution.
And the Republicans will howl like monkeys and their idiot base will spend all their time finding reasons to hate the members.


Just read Sara Foss is moving on from the Gazette. I wish her the very best, many people enjoyed her column.

I remember and loved reading the Carl Strock column for 25 years. I hope if the Gazette continues with an in house columnist the new writer has the wit, humor, sarcasm, knowledge and intelligence of Mr. Strock.


Two people were killed and more than 20 injured after gunmen with assault rifles and handguns began “shooting indiscriminately into a crowd” at a concert in the Miami area early Sunday, police said.

Imagine that.


This may explain it from the Times: Gun purchases surged during the pandemic — a fifth of them by first-time owners — and the pace hasn’t slowed.
While gun sales have been climbing for decades, Americans have been on an unusual, prolonged buying spree fueled by the pandemic, the protests last summer and the fears they both stoked. A record 1.2 million background checks were conducted in a single week this spring.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a wide-ranging bill that would allow virtually anyone over the age of 21 to carry a handgun — no permit required. It’s part of a string of Republican-led initiatives that the State Legislature has pushed through during its most conservative session in modern history. Next up: a voting bill that critics say will make Texas “the most difficult place to vote in the country.”

More guns, lax laws, more deaths and mass murders. I think the so called “good guys” are just as bad as the bad guys. The Second Amendment needs to be revised.

So it would seem respect for The Blue does have it’s limits amongst the Right.
Cops get called to a Texas mall responding to a shooting, they rush in to find 10+ people all with guns drawn and possibly shooting…at something. Putting aside the distinct possibility of innocents being shot by amateurs, how are law enforcement (remember them?) supposed to do their job?

I suppose they can first filter out the Good ‘Ol Boy White men since of course they are the responsible gun owners (well except for the last couple mass shooter/murderers).

But everyone gets a gun! That’s the important thing.

Mr Restifo it was a birthday party for a local rapper. Not a word from BLM to stop the violence. They probably need another 20 million in donations in order to put out a statement, or Black Lives only matter when it’s a White police officer. Hundreds are shot in Chicago, LA, and NY every week. Black on Black crime yet nothing from BLM or the MSM. When are people like you going to acknowledge the crime, you continue to throw it in everyone’s face daily about how woke and anti racist you are.


As usual Zachary you again completely miss the point. This was a GUN issue and you, not unlike Fred twist it into a Black racist issue.- Blacks shoot Blacks, Blacks shoot Whites, Whites Shoot Whites and Whites shoot Blacks. Again the POINT I was making was about GUNS and had nothing to do with Black or White People.

But since you Brought it up, yes there is a huge discriminatory issue with with White cops racially profiling Black people and not treating them the same as they do White people. And that discriminatory behavior continues through the courts and the entire judicial system.
If you don’t believe it you’re only kidding yourself.

Your tributes to all the victims of the various White mass shooters have been moving.
Oh wait…you haven’t said a word about those.


Hey Zachary neither did BLM “put out a statement” when Stephen Paddock killed 61 people in last Vegas, why should they now, other that to denounce gun violence. Again I say most mass gun killings are not usually a racist issue, although there are some exceptions such as when Dylan Roof murdered nine African-Americans during the Bible study at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

And by the way it’s really “cool” how you keep using the word “woke. I’ll also bet a lot of Black people would think you’re really cool when you incorporate the word into Black racism from your point of view.

“Woke: It is sometimes used in the African-American Vernacular English expression stay woke.”


The Republicans can now dismiss any findings by all the commissions they say are adequate looking into 1/6 as Democrat “fake news’ partisanship.


So many aspects of fighting for democracy against the new Republicans are a tough deal, kind of a catch 22 situation. Winning is tough when you’re playing against lying cheaters, but if you play by their rules you become them. What the hell do you do when exposing them doesn’t t seem to make a difference? Just listen to Fred, a voting American.


A warning several years ago, (don’t remember from who) said Democrats were concentrating to much on national level politics and not enough on state levels.We are seeing the results of that strategy now, especially red and swing states with gun laws, voting law changes, subjects to be taught or not taught in schools on and on.

Florida (I should admit to having lived in Orlando for four years, I feel your pain),
You’ve hit on what is probably my biggest gripe with the Dems. As a reminder, I was an unaffiliated voter for about 40 years before registering D only so I could vote for Sanders in our closed Primary. They are very much East Coast -centric, with the West Coast clamoring for their attention. Anything else, fuggetaboutit. The elitist attitudes in the DNC and DCCC are just a foolish as the R’s bending way over for their tRump.
They had a chance to remedy that when Howard Dean led the DNC and started his 50 state strategy. Rahm Emanuel put an end to that.
The Democrat’s 2020 National Convention was probably the jump-the-shark moment in my mind. If you weren’t an urban, multiracial, hip kid under 30 years of age, you weren’t being spoken to. If you grew up on a family farm in Indiana, or Oklahoma, or Montana, it was clear you probably weren’t Dem material.

I think every one of the fat cats high in the DNC should be forced to watch a couple hours of the Rural TV network, or the Cowboy Network on TV each day (I often do) to see there are other Americans that could be included, who’s votes could be counted on, if only they felt part of the game.

There are millions of Americans who’ve been ceded to the Rs, and until the Ds recognize this we’ll continue to have painfully close elections that are just red meat for the Republican monkey-wrenchers.

All that aside, it does appear they’ve started to remedy that with the pick of Jaime Harrison who’s made noises adressing this issue. We’ll see.

Biden pentagon rescinds a permit for A&M vets to assemble for rolling thunder and event that’s 30 years old in remembrance of those who died in war is protecting America. Kamala Harris tells everyone to have a happy long weekend, never mentioning Memorial Day. I remember President Trump on memorial day hugging children of veterans who had died in the war in the Middle East. I hope all of you veterans who voted for this clown remember this.

And thank you, for your daily unusual view of reality.

(Frankly a lot of those vets may have people like John McCain on their minds)

That’s odd. I’m right now watching a n NBC news report on an AmVet event today at RFK stadium involving about 20,000 motorcyclists riding in memory of vets who died by suicide. Used to be called “Rolling Thunder” but they changed the name. They usually start it the Pentagon but were asked to change for COVID concerns.

So I guess you are once again full of it. Doesn’t help with your credibility does it. But maybe that’s not important for you?

ChuckD COVID concerns? Outside? The permit was yanked with less than 30 days before the run. That’s alright, Bikers and Patriots will always prevail. It doesn’t help your credibility by lying. Yes it still happened but only because they found somewhere else large enough to stage. I bet that lying stooge Lester Holt didn’t tell you Biden’s Pentagon pulled their permit did he. People who were there said John McCain was a snitch so you keep your form of alternative reality. I equate McCain with Mitt Romney. I would vote for Joe Manchin before I would ever vote for either of those two.

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