Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Friday, July 2


OK to teach your kid critical race theory?

I note that the governor of the state of Washington signed into law a bill that mandates teaching of critical race theory in public schools in that state, while the governor of Florida has banned the teaching of critical race theory in public schools in Florida.
In which state would you rather bring up your children or grandchildren?
William Malec

Grateful, surprised by employee’s action

This is a public thank you. Being “of an age” I recently gave up driving. This placed many challenges before me. Then I discovered grocery delivery.
My first one was like magic, everything I ordered. My second, a few weeks later was a total nightmare. Many items were missing, many substitutions were not acceptable.
I phoned Hannaford, was connected to a young lady, “Lauren,” who was an angel. She patiently went through my list saying she would “call me back.”
I doubted that this would happen. She did, went through my list again – she was so patient and helpful. Two hours later, two bags arrived on my porch, with all of the missing items – plus a gift certificate.
I commend you, Lauren, and want you to know how much I appreciate your help.
Instead of canceling my future orders, I will remain with Hannaford. You did the right thing!
Florence Townsend

Trump looked out for the ‘forgotten man’

When Obama was president, he forced me to buy Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), which was not affordable for me in 2015, 2016.
I could not afford to pay the $1,200 monthly premium for health insurance. I lost my freedom of choice. My annual retirement income is $12,000. It was cheaper to pay the $200 fine that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy said was a new federal tax.
When Donald Trump became president, he made an executive order that eliminated the fine.
In 2018, President Trump made a new federal tax law for the first time in 50 years, increasing the standard deduction. For the first time in my life I didn’t have to pay any federal income tax.
President Trump said he would watch my back — “the forgotten man will never be forgotten again.”
I have no computer, no cell phone, no prestige, no power, no connections, no money.
I can barely pay my medical bills, taxes or utility bills. I’m the forgotten man President Trump spoke about in his Inauguration Day speech.
President Trump worked for me for four years for free, taking no salary. Trump leads by example. Why can’t the New York Legislature, Cuomo and Niskayuna school Superintendent Tangorra go without a salary for four years to help cut the $100 billion they overspent?
Thank you, President Trump, for caring about me. I’m so thankful and full of gratitude for what you did for me. Please remember Thanksgiving is every day, not one day in November.
Fred McGillicuddy

If men had babies, rules would change

Here are three things we can count on for sure: death, taxes, and the fact that, if it was men that had the babies, no one would dare tell us what we could or could not do with our own bodies.
Frank Palmeri

Thugs, don’t mess with Saratoga County

Let this serve as a public notice.
A few years ago I passed a guy looking at his truck that had just been hit on Northline Road.
At first, I thought of a deer until I came up to the stop sign on Middleline Road and saw a car on its side and a sheriff holding her gun on a guy on the ground.
There were unmarked police, state police etc. more than you could ever imagine speeding to back her up. He was the bank robber of Trustco on Route 50.
Also a few years ago, a friend who had a repair shop on Route 9 in Malta said he had quite a show in front of his shop.
Two Albany thugs took a lady’s handbag at gunpoint in the Price Chopper parking lot.
The escape from the scene was met by state and county police in a circle around the stopped car.
I assume these hoods are in some state pen wondering what ever were they thinking coming to Saratoga County.
To the thugs (wherever they are from), you will be held responsible for your actions.
We support our police, they are good people always with a smile and a willingness to help.
Just remember the definition of a tough guy is a nice guy who says, “I don’t think so.”
We are a nice place to live, don’t test us.
Eric Smassanow
Ballston Spa


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Nan Mossey

Matt – You’re right, but the laws do mandate critical race theory training for all public school teachers. How and if that translates to changes in the classroom is yet to be seen.

Bill Nechamen

It does not do that either. The bill does not even mention Critical Race Theory. The law requires a professional training day for school district staff that focuses on topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion. Local school board then have a choice on how to meet this requirement. A google search will reveal a local newspaper column that explains this, surrounded by dozens of screaming right wing sites that parrot each other.

I also challenge the writer to explain what critical race theory is, where it is mandated (response: no where), and why he finds it so dangerous. The concept of CRT was developed in the 1970s to attempt to explain how embedded racism affects America’s legal and social structures. Frankly, that should be taught. It is not at all meant to tell white people that they’re all racists. It is instead meant to include teaching of how historic structures in America continue to provide unequal opportunities and outcomes.

An article in the Gazette the other day pointed out how car some car dealerships in the area working with local banks were charging higher interest rates for minority customers. This is just one example of unequal opportunities.

As for which state I’d rather live in, Washington or Florida, (I intend to remain in New York, thank you!), aside from the fact that Washington is much prettier than Florida and has a mostly better climate (I hate heat and humidity), I’d rather live in a political environment that recognizes that race in America is indeed part of our history and that history should be taught not as enforced propagandist patriotism, but as real analysis of our nation’s history, warts and all. There is much to be proud of in America. But ignoring the dark sides of our history and society only blocks progress towards a more perfect union.

William Aiken

America is a story of progress, which the progressives ignore while they focus only on the negative aspects of our history. Where could a black kid( Barrack Obama) raised by a single mother go on to be elected twice to the most powerful office in the world? Where could a black kid (Ben Carson) raised by a single mom, who could barely read go on to be the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins? The answer; America.

Since 1980, two million non-whites have migrated here from South African and Caribbean. Are they stupid to chose to come to a systemically racist country? Or is that they can compare the US to their own oppressive countries and realize its a land of opportunity where they can flourish. The US is the most diverse, least racist country on the planet. The examples I cited prove it.

The progressives compare the US to a socialist utopia that doesn’t exist. Immigrants value the freedom and liberty the US offers them. Progressives seek to destroy these virtues that built this country in favor of a socialist system that has never lived up to its promises and has murdered 100 million of its citizens.

Bill Nechamen

You make the mistake (and people on the left make the same mistake) of assuming what people think and lumping those who’s politics you disagree with into a monolithic whole. Yes I agree that America has much to be proud of. We’ve come a long way. And we still have a long way to go. Racism is multi-generational. Our society loves to point out the exceptions. And it takes exceptional people to walk the path of an Obama, a Carson, or a Jackie Robinson. But most people are not quite so exceptional. Most people need a little help to advance in life. Help from family members. Help from teachers and mentors. And we still live in a society in which race as a whole results in unequal opportunities and in which many of society’s institutions simply don’t work well for people without means.

In my field of water resource management, we can see how neighborhoods that are at risk from flooding, for example, are often populated by low income people who lack the means to move or mitigate and how government mitigation programs, while well meaning, target funding towards wealthier and more powerful communities… not intentional but as a result of required benefit-cost calculations. That is simply one small example of systemic racism. Systemic racism doesn’t mean that all of us white people are racists. It does mean that there are systems that due to history and habit disadvantage people of color who are often low income.

As for self described progressives, I challenge you to find more than a handful who look kindly at the USSR. However there are many examples within democratic nations of more equitable distribution of society’s benefits, such as heath care and education.

William Aiken

Bill would you agree our education
that doesn’t support school choice is an example of systematic racism?

William Aiken

A system is inherently racist as progressive claim would not afford Obama or Carson the opportunity to succeed no matter how exceptional. There’s a vaccine to immunize most minorities from the effects of racism. Its finish High School, don’t have kids before your 29 and don’t have kids before marriage.

The only point you’ve made is how little you understand about the issue. Yet you’re brimming with confidence that you know it all and you’ve got the solution!

None of you people care what I or anyone else says, but I’ll put it out there: the best thing you could do for yourselves, to help your cause, is to learn to question your own beliefs once in a while. Do you really think minorities are at a disadvantage due their own inadequacies? Do you really think racism is over because of a few exceptional successes?

William Aiken

Racism will never be over. But there can be steps taken to minimize its impact such as supporting school choice and promoting the three guidelines I mentioned. If a poor minority does those three things, their chances of succeeding in life improve dramatically. That should be stressed in their early education

Chuck your very good at tearing down and mocking conservative solutions to combat racism. Do you have any solutions of your own that might lessen the impact of racism?

I do not have solutions. I’m not smart enough to. All I can do is try to be aware and sensitive to what others are saying. I’m White, and it’s like describing the forest while standing in the middle of it. I cannot easily see where our society oppresses others because obviously I’ve benefited from my race (much less than other Whites, I think. I’ve put in a lifetime of hard work and my own challenges coming from a lower middle-class family. But doors were open for me that were unfairly not for others).

Conservativism has always attracted White racists. Ever wonder why? That’s why I and many like me have little patience for Conservativism, especially since it’s now taken a decidedly unAmerican, autocratic turn. We’ve seen this movie before. There’s nothing new here and we who believe in the US Constitution and this country will not sit back.
You’re right that there will always be racism, and bullying, and those who think you only need a bigger hammer. They will always be in the minority which is going to make their political future pretty dim.

Clearly the only people who would fear this are the ones who’s privileges in American society are threatened. We are the chosen ones, isn’t that right, Zach?
There are still three other bills that want to tackle racism in the educational system stuck in committee.
They are senate bills, 5044, 5194, 5227.

Bill 5044 aims to stop institutional racism in the public school system.
If signed by Inslee it would add equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism to existing standards and training for public school workers.

Next up, is bill 5194, which would require community colleges in the state of Washington to have a DEI work plan and resources, which stands for diversity equity and inclusion.

In bill 5227 each public IHE campus, which mean institute of higher education, must have a development program for faculty and staff with the purpose of eliminating structural racism against all races and promoting DEI.

William Aiken

“Clearly the only people who would fear this are the ones who’s privileges in American society are threatened.”

There you go Chuck mind reading again.

I guess you missed the ubiquitous viral videos of furious parents of all races and income levels, vehemently complain at school board meetings that they oppose CRT being taught in their child’s education. CRT is Marxism camouflaged under the disguise of racial equity. Its shares the goal of destroying Western values. You can’t believe in both CRT and MLK’s I have a Dream speech. These visions are the opposite of each other. CRT places a emphasis on the color of one’s skin as the most determinate factor. MLK said it’s content of character that matters most.

And there you go thinking you’re an academic scholar, which clearly you’re not.
You simply parroting what you’ve heard.

William Aiken

What I heard and witnessed(videos of irate parents at school board meetings) with my own eyes. Just because I didn’t come up these ideas myself doesn’t diminish their validity. And BTW you never offered a solution as to how you would address racism. What needs to be done Chuck? Virtue signaling might makes you feel better about yourself. But it doesn’t to help solve racism.

William Aiken

“Just because I didn’t come up these ideas myself doesn’t diminish their validity.”

Read my posts more carefully, Chuck. Your reply makes no sense. I suppose there’s no point in asking you how you would combat racism. You simply won’t offer a potential solution. So I’ll leave my question as unanswered.

William Aiken

So let’s be clear about what you’re saying. You believe that finishing HS, not having kids before your 20 and married doesn’t impact the trajectory of an african-american’s life? Because that thesis was my point which you deem as not valid. These three simple life choices can be taught to anyone. Leave politics out of it. Are these three suggestions something you support?


I was very proud of President Biden for spending a yesterday afternoon with the rescue and recovery team and the grieving families at the condo collapse area in Florida. He shows genuine empathy and can relate to people better than most. He was also gracious to the republican governor and two U.S. senators. It’s a giant change from the snarky Trump who all he could do when Puerto Rico was devastated by a hurricane was throw paper towels and then criticize them for poor financial management.

Joseph Vendetti


I maybe wrong but I believe the statue of limitations for financial crimes is 15-17 years (so I think that is why they only requested returns and applications as far back is 2004).


Joseph, this is what I found: “Unlike other IRS Statutes of Limitations which typically expire after three years (example: failure to file an informational return) or possibly six years (example: willful failure to pay tax), there is no statute of limitations for Civil Tax Fraud.”


Well, part one of the Trump fraud case was revealed yesterday. I was a little surprised that the fraud scheme only goes back 15 years, unless the prosecutors didn’t have the records before then since Donnie learned to be a crook from his farther Fred. I suspect round two will focus on Trump’s banking and insurance fraud that should exceed the $1.7 million in round one. I hope the Trump children are charged, too. All Donnie could muster in response is that the investigation is a “witch hunt”. He needs a new response repertoire.


We can only hope that trump, his family and his businesses will be held accountable for the vast array of crimes they’re guilty of. – I’m optimistic but remember that OJ got away with murder and Bill Cosby got away with raping or sexually abusing more than 50 women.

Big money and high-powered lawyers make such a difference in the legal system.


Politically speaking, two types of people absolutely amaze me: The ones like like Fred McGillicuddy that don’t realize donald trump is a total scumbag and the others that realize it but don’t care.

Bill Nechamen

Mr. Smassanow: I find it amusing that here in Schenectady and also in Albany many people say that crime comes from those bad people in New York City who come north to infest our communities. Now in Saratoga County, crime is committed by those bad people from Albany (perhaps with dark skin?) who come north to infest our communities. The truth is that there are criminals in all communities.

Joseph Vendetti


I have no knowledge of the poverty or lack of poverty around areas that flood. I find that quite interesting. Does the Stockade in Schenectady fall into the poverty category?


Fred M. I think you aren’t telling us all the facts here. If your income truly was 12,000 a year, you would probably qualify for some form of Medicaid and if not ObamaCare is based on income so I really have to question that your premium would have been 1,200 a month. I happen to know many low income citizens that are not age eligible for Medicare and depend greatly on their ObamaCare coverage.
Furthermore,besides your very slanted view on Healthcare coverage , Trump’s actions on January 6th are completely inexcusable and repulsive as the man belongs in prison!


Not speaking to flooding, but what about in Texas, Alabama, Louisiana when many refineries and chemical plants are located. Did they come first or were the residents there first. Mostly black and poor whites who should be included in this group.
What about in Albany when the Empire complex was built. It didn’t displace anyone from upper Madison Avenue. Many interstate highways were built thru minority neighborhoods for a reason. In my opinion this was and is part of the systematic racism that we all speak about along with all the other examples that is now being addressed by some, not all.

So you believe systemic racism is dead?
“CRT” is just there to make Whites feel bad?
I’m sure Police Chief Campo would be described as an upstanding member of the community:
SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio — Police Chief Anthony Campo resigned Tuesday following an incident in which he left a “Ku Klux Klan” sign on a Black officer’s desk, Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said.

The incident in question, which happened Friday, was captured on surveillance video inside the department’s booking area.

Campo, who has been with the department for 33 years and served as chief for eight, is seen in the video walking into a room with a piece of paper in his hand that says, “Ku Klux Klan.” He walks to a desk and places the note on a yellow jacket laid out to resemble the infamous hood and robe synonymous with the American hate group.
But I’m sure it’s fake news.

Joseph Vendetti


I know racism exists!! When I travel with my family I see it. I’ve seen and heard it unfortunately from my own relatives, from business colleagues.

Definitely real story. Pointing out some ignorant law enforcement officers, or mechanics or teachers or doctors – how is that systemic racism?

You’re correct that this one sad story does not establish “systemic racism”, but it does serve as an example, one of many, many examples from law enforcement, that there is a problem within the law enforcement community, the law enforcement system.
Let’s start with who law enforcement is comprised of…

Joseph Vendetti


I heard pretty much all law enforcement skill & testing is focusing on & rewards (higher scores, extra points) for – “warrior” – this is why in NYS you get 5+ points for military service, etc

– so I believe this should be changed to someone that has a problem solving & helping personality trait instead of attacking.


My idea of the big picture, perhaps I’m all wet:

It is my firm belief that we humans (Homo sapiens), are close to being doomed as a species. The saddest part is that it will be a situation of self destruction, unless our demise is the result of some sort of an unstoppable cataclysmic event.

I believe we’re not evolving fast enough to understand that our survival is a situation of leveling the playing field for ALL and working in unison for the common good of, again I will say, ALL. That includes addressing and stopping racism, bigotry and stopping all forms of supremacy, extreme financial included. The entire planet must get on board.

It is no longer a situation of survival of the fittest. Unlike animals in the wild, strength and cunning should not be the determining factor as to who survives or becomes privileged. Especially so when being on the top of the totem pole is at the expense of those below you as well as the planet itself. It is my belief that that’s what is playing out on our fragile planet right now.

Greed and indifference to others starts and is obvious to me at the lowest levels; elementary school playgrounds as well posts on this forum. It works it way to top corporations and politicians that are ok with, and certainly not addressing fast enough, the burning fossil fuels and other climate change issues. That’s just one example. Anything is ok as long as it’s lining someone’s pocket. World War III may about who gets clean air and water.

I don’t believe our world can survive if it’s about people as individuals or people as a country. It must be all inclusive. That’s why people like the other guy scare the hell out of me.

Mr. Restifo I agree that we are doomed as a people. Liberalism and laziness have taken hold of the greatest country on earth.

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