Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, July 10


Academic scholars also deserve praise

I have now seen three photographs of Niskayuna athletes “signing” and announcing college choices. Having daughters and grandchildren who played sports while at the high school, I fully support the success of the student athletes.
I was, however, disappointed that more acknowledgment was not given to the academic scholars, especially those awarded the Medal of Academic Excellence.
Their photo did appear in the graduation supplement, but no explanation was given about their terrific accomplishment.
Ann Wyles

Keep pursuing the 1/6 insurrectionists

Recently I viewed a 40-minute documentary produced by the New York Times of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
What we were shown on the news that day does not reflect the depth of this movement.
We must make every effort not to downsize the magnitude of this act of treason.
This cannot be swept away by politics. This was not a ‘normal group of tourists.’
Some politicians that very day felt it was a treasonous act.
Now they say it was not and are playing the political game.
Why were the police not shooting these enemies of the government?
Why is the person that holds the highest position in our government and country not accused of inciting a riot against the very thing that that position stands for, the protecting of our Constitution?
We do know why the rioters were after the vice president. If these rioters were standing by the blue, why did they beat and maim many of the police?
This piece of history should be kept alive, and convictions of more of these insurrectionists should be pursued.
Sadly, this is another day that will go down in infamy.
Vincent F. Carelli

Beware of driveway scamming business

My husband and I recently were cheated out of $1,500 by a con man that came to our door while I was out of town.
He professed to be a graduate from our local high school which is often the ploy that they use.
The police use the term “gypsy scammers” to describe them since they relocate daily to find their victims.
The police indicated that they could do nothing to help us, as we willingly bought the product from them, which is why I’m trying to get the message to others.
They promised my husband a good price on stone, which turned out to be a product called “millings” which the pavers put down before they lay down black top.
My husband thought he was getting stone like we already had just purchased two years ago for our driveway. As a result, we now have our lovely stone covered in part (only enough for half of the driveway) with a powdery substance that will destroy our lawn when we have the driveway plowed.
The millet, according to our local stone companies, costs $25 a ton. Since he used a small pickup, it couldn’t have been much more than that, if that.
They spread it beautifully in two hours total time, which means that we got a product that destroyed our driveway for $1,500 that cost them about $50 max.
This guy lives in Schenectady, so if you’re reading this, please warn others. I’d really like to put him out of business.
Wanda Colyer



Do your diligence on plans for solar arrays

Renewable energy is a magic show. Developers draw unsophisticated town boards’ attention away from controversy.
Solar arrays are advertised as pollinator habitats, but the site plan calls for grass and permits pesticides. Developer’s promise the array won’t be visible, but the planting plan fails to hide tens of thousands of solar panels. Applications omit nearby homes, even when residences are clearly in sight.
Developers are responsible to their investors, not the neighbors. Not the environment. Not the town.
They mislead, misrepresent and omit critical information in order to increase their profits. Strong defensible solar laws protect the taxpayers from greedy developers.
NYSERDA’s model solar law is inadequate. Towns should hire attorneys and real estate specialists to provide expert advice.
During application review, taxpayers must ask how will solar panels and lithium ion batteries be disposed of throughout the project’s anticipated 35-year lifetime?
Town boards should be aware that projects are often sold rapidly between investors, who have nothing at stake in the community and are only required to comply with the approved site plan.
I urge taxpayers to contact their town clerk for project documents. Submit written questions about the site plans, resolutions and laws. Attend town meetings and hold the board members accountable before they blindly follow the developers’ tricks.
Lynne Bruning
Quaker Street

Trump travel costs far exceed forfeited pay

In his July 2 letter (“Trump looked out for the ‘forgotten man’,”) Fred McGillicuddy extolled the “virtues” of Donald Trump. Seems to me, though, that he has overlooked some very serious issues.
One example is the uncalled-for taxpayer cost for play time.
Per Huffington Post in December, Trump had already played golf on his own properties 289 times since taking office in January 2017, although he claimed during his 2016 campaign that he would not have time for a vacation at all.
Trump had vacationed at his Palm Beach club 31 times as president, costing taxpayers about $3.4 million each trip. And of course, Trump also made 23 trips to his course in Bedminster, N.J., at a cost of $1.1 million each, as well as trips to his courses in Palos Verdes, Calif.; Doral, Fla.; Turnberry, Scotland; and Doonbeg, Ireland.
You are right, Mr. McGillicuddy, Trump didn’t take a salary.
But his getaways consumed 379 years of presidential paychecks.
So of what significance is it when he forgoes a paycheck that he didn’t need in the first place? How is this looking out for the “forgotten man”?
Jerry Boehm

Writer perpetuates stereotypes of bigots

In response to the piece in the Sunday June 20 Gazette (“UAlbany’s Mullen a voice for LGBTG+ rights, acceptance.”) I am offended that Mike MacAdam negatively stereotypes people who don’t agree with him and with the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell decision in which the court, in a 5-4 decision, recognized same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states. MacAdam clearly implies he thinks people who believe marriage is exclusively the union of a man and a woman are bigoted and hateful. Mr. MacAdam uses coercive, dismissive language to marginalize those who hold traditional beliefs about marriage and family.
This tactic has long been used to sway public opinion, and in more recent years has led to a kind of “social canceling,” meant to silence another’s point of view. This form of punishment leads to restriction of free speech by coercion.
Esther Denham

We all benefit from public transportation

July 2021 marks the 57th Anniversary of federal support for public transportation.
The success of public transportation can be traced back to one of President Lyndon Johnson’s greatest accomplishments which continues benefiting Americans today.
On July 9, 1964, he signed the “Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964” into law. This has resulted in the investment of several hundred billion dollars into public transportation.
The Capital District Transportation Authority has benefited by over $650 million in grants from the Federal Transit Administration (previously known as the Urban Mass Transportation Administration), going back to 1973.
A majority of the CDTA bus capital program, including buses, paratransit vehicles, bus garages, fueling stations, fare collection equipment, automatic vehicle locator equipment, real time communications, shelters, bus stop signs and other support equipment were all paid for primarily with federal funding.
Try riding a CDTA local or express bus.
The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical, library etc. is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood.
Economically successful communities are not 100% dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low and middle income people need these transportation alternatives.
Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment and a stronger economy. It is one of the best investments we can make.
Larry Penner
Great Neck
The writer retired from the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.

Beware of the woke’s efforts to undermine

Recently the new woke cognoscenti have made quite a stir about America, its founding, the stain of racism and even its Constitution. I write you to say: “That’s MORE than enough” of their childish, ill-informed, ignorant, 2 a.m.-pizza-and-beer-fueled, faculty-lounge blather.
I challenge these mental midgets, who have decided to tear down the finest country now or ever extant to name another founded upon the principle that every individual, regardless of station, has God-given rights and that the function of government is to guarantee those rights. Go ahead, name one.
The principal weapon used by these nihilists in their campaign to obtain power over others is the much-feared epithet: “Racist!”
As one of the best Democratic presidents of the 20th century was fond of commenting: “Horse Manure!”
Those who express all things in terms of color, who make utterly unimportant immutable characteristics such as skin tone or sex all important, disregarding the individual’s character, are the true racists.
To those people I say: “That’s more than enough!” History shows us time and again that your identity politics leads to division, violence and war.
To the rest of us, the overwhelming majority of Americans, I say, “THEIR racism is that of which WE must be intolerant.”
Rob Dickson
Punta Gorda, Florida
The writer is a former Clifton Park resident.

Teach our kids about all forms of slavery

Do I believe that the history of slavery in the United States should be taught in schools? Absolutely, as part of the history of world slavery.
Slavery has been recorded as far back as thousands of years before Christ. Most of that slavery was of the same race.
We should also teach about present day slavery: for example in certain African nations, the Middle East and especially in China, it’s flourishing. The Mexican cartels have and are presently bringing slavery into the United States with their human trafficking.
If we’re going to include slavery into our curriculum, it should be complete and truthful. We should teach about the war where thousands of young, White and Black men fought and died to end slavery in our country.
If CRT is to be believed, slavery was first introduced to the Americas in 1619 and still strongly exists. The Civil War, the march in Selma, the Black poet laureates, Supreme Court justices, a president of the United States, etc. not withstanding, are all tributes to the ending of slavery by a loving country. All are ignored by CRT enthusiasts.
“According to a recent YouGov survey, 58% of Americans oppose critical race theory, including 72% of independents who believe teaching it in schools is ‘bad for America.’”
Regardless, the NEA will provide “an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism anthropocentrism and other forms of power and oppression…).” As Don Imus so succinctly would say, “what are you NUTS?!?”
Dr. Arthur Salvatore

Legal gun owners  are not the problem

Regarding Mr. Harris’ July 4 letter, (“Treat gun violence as a national emergency”), I would encourage Mr. Harris to download the ATF Form 4473 (, and read it thoroughly.
Much can be learned.
Persons convicted of a “felony” are prohibited from owning, possessing or purchasing a firearm.
He writes, “The FBI recently announced that their background checks blocked more than 300,000 gun sales in 2020.” Isn’t this an indicator of the positive effect of the current background check system?
Does he realize it is not the individuals, who legally purchase their firearms, who commit criminal acts?
He says, “The fact is there are too many guns on the streets.” How does he know? In the event of a criminal attack, who do you think Mr. Harris is going to call? I’ll wager it is someone with a gun.
Mr. Harris, I totally respect and support your right to express yourself. In doing so, please equip yourself with facts to support your position, and not proffer supposition.
The solution you seek is not to limit nor restrict the rights afforded through the Second Amendment of our Constitution.
I found it hard to believe he was alive during the “colonial times,”,and yet he writes “it meant if the people needed a citizen army, they could possess guns.”
If he was remotely aware of our history, he would know better. Legal firearm ownership is not the culprit here. Those, who would harm others are where we should address our focus.
Joseph Viva
Ballston Lake

Let’s work together for the good of us all

In W.E.B. DuBois’ book, “Black Reconstruction,” I sadly read where people were so frightened of the freed Black people and their ability to vote that after 10 years of reconstruction, the Black codes or “Jim Crow laws” were developed.
A simplification to be sure. Why did reading this dense, factual book become such a sad thing?
It set the stage for today. Civil war with brother against brother, worker against worker set this stage. Our future. Unfortunately, the stage was poorly set as resentment and hatred flourished then as now. What does this have to do with anything?
Thomas Jefferson quoted in, “In the Hands of the People” compiled by Jon Meachem, says “He who lights his taper from mine, receives light without darkening me.” “Without darkening me.” In other words, we can care for others, we can share what we have, we can work together and not diminish ourselves. Those who know your Bible know the story of the loaves and fishes. There was enough.
Personally, I’d like to see what fixing our roads and bridges looks like. I’d like to see what supporting those who have been left behind looks like.
In the late 1800s South, the poor White workers could never bring themselves to work with their fellow laborers, newly freed Blacks, to push for better schools and working conditions. Can’t we join together in lighting everyone’s taper and see the light shine again in our country?
Janice Walz

Dems are coming for your guns, America

The Democrats are after our firearms when military firearms are being stolen from military bases and are found on the streets in shootings.
They can’t even control government weapons. How are these guns getting to the streets to criminals, and where is any investigation being done to prevent these stolen weapons?
Fort Bragg is one of the bases where a 9mm Beretta was stolen and found at a shooting. These firearms are assigned to someone with serial numbers logged, but we don’t hear about how many weapons were stolen or sold on the black market.
Criminals are let out of jail and being armed by the government, then want our military to protect them. Washington knows what’s going on and won’t take action to stop it. Laws are being broken, does anyone care? No.
Don’t blame the manufacturer or law-abiding citizens or the gun itself, which is bogus. This is a set-up against us to make more gun controls to tie our hands.
But it’s not going to work, we’re not stupid. Bottom line, we’re aware of what’s going on so beware because to defend our family and property is our right and we will do that. New York state is the worst.
Remember their shutting down free enterprise in firearms and alcohol. But the drugs keep flowing and criminals have access to guns. All you dealers better wake up, and you gun owners, too.
Claude Rizzicone, Jr.



Online letters

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Aiken

Vincent Carrelli. you ask, Why were the police not shooting these enemies of the government? The fact is they did. Ashley Babbitt, an unarmed veteran was shot dead on Jan, 6th by a capital police officer, who’s identity has been shielded from the public to this day. The NYT must have omitted that key part from their documentary.

You also ask, why is the person that holds the highest position in our government and country not accused of inciting a riot against the very thing that that position stands for, the protecting of our Constitution? Have you noticed in all the ubiquitous reporting on the Jan. 6th riots never include video quotes of President Trump? That’s because what Trump actually said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically to make your voices heard,” doesn’t fit the media’s narrative. Since 2016, the media have devolved into activists.

One party Democrats is benefiting from this fixation on Jan. 6th, which allows them avoid addressing the crime surge, increased energy costs, the crisis at the border, etc. I would ask Mr Carrelli to consider why these “insurrectionists” have only been charged with crimes akin to trespassing and not treason? And for these minor crimes why are many of the alleged rioters been denied bail while they are held in solitary confinement? Those facts must have been ignored by the NYT’s documentary as well.

$350,000,000,000 Marincic. Offered up to law enforcement across the country, to do as they wish. Voted down by Republicans.
Answer for that too, please.

Ashlii Babbit, your new “martyr”, was part of an illegal action joined by hundreds in violently threatening not only the Constitutional duty of our government, but the very lives of those we send there to perform that. She was also a trained member of the military (as so many others were). That crowd of seditionists that day should count their damn blessings that more weren’t shot. Sad that you somehow make them into “patriots” or “heroes”.

For the benefit of Mr. Vincent F. Carelli of Amsterdam, and others who don’t hear about this kind of thing outside their Bubbles of Good Feelings, 533 have so far been charged for actions on January 6th, with 245 indicted, Mr. Carelli. Read all about it and follow along (and maybe find someone you know!) at:

I saw “William” and thought the other one.
In either case, you seem like clones anyway. The names are interchangeable.

Mr. Viva unfortunately your great letter will fall on deaf ears. The woke left knows it all, just ask them. The woke left will tell you that you don’t know anything, they will quote the New York Times and CNN and NPR who are all the media arm of the liberal Democrat party. Common sense letters like yours will soon be torn apart, just wait. Just like Mr. Akin’s letter above.

Shootings have spiked in almost every US city in the past 2 years, and all you have to offer is, ‘not my problem. Don’t touch my guns!’.

William Marincic

The reason shootings have spiked is democrat defund the police and democrat bail reform, period. Even the liberal NY Times gave democrats 3 Pinocchios for the lie that Republicans voted to defund the police.

I will continue to smack down yours and any other of your minions’ foolishly false lamentations with the truth. Count on it. I hold you and anyone else who support the violent actions of January 6th and the man who incited it, in the lowest regard. Having walked this Earth more than 6 decades, I firmly believe that history will show the previous President’s actions as the greatest crimes ever committed against the USA.
Democrats are not perfect, but at least we know that they, for the most part, are working for the American people.

It was the Washington Post, and it’s a semantic argument:
“Although Republicans all opposed Biden’s coronavirus relief package, no one voted to cut, or defund, anything. Rather, Democrats proposed $350 billion in emergency funds for state and local governments, and Republicans voted against those extra funds. That’s not a reduction,” the Post’s Salvador Rizzo wrote.
So you grasped another straw and tried to make it what it’s not.
In fact that very article starts out with:
“Republicans often claim Biden would cut funding for police departments, a falsehood that has kept us busy churning out Pinocchios since the 2020 campaign.”
You also clearly think you understand this thing called “bail reform” but all you really know is what your butt-hurt law enforcement “friends” say about it, the ones who can do no wrong, the ones who would never accept they have a white supremacy cancer among them, as well as possessing a deep-seated sense of entitlement. Yeah, they’re really experts on “bail reform”.


Mr. Viva, thank you for bringing up my previous letter regarding reducing the number of guns on the streets to help reduce crime. As you know, such letters are limited to 250 words so to offer a full throated argument regarding too many guns on the street would take 250,000 words. I don’t plan to do that here.

So let’s discuss how the GOP has stopped every effort by the Dems to reduce the number of guns. Backed by donations from the NRA and other gun groups to republicans in Congress, there has been no congressional action. Universal background checks, eliminating the gun show loophole, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, expanding law enforcements’ ability to stop gun trafficking, fighting the gun lobby efforts allowing guns in bars, parks, college campuses, churches, and collecting data on gun usage have all been stopped by the GOP. Instead, republicans are trying to create a wild west atmosphere where arguments between neighbors, car drivers, etc. are settled by shooting. These likely legal gun owners are not “criminals” until they get caught.

Mr. Viva, you can research all the statistics you want on deaths by guns and correlate it with the hundreds of million guns on the streets in the U.S. You cannot tell me that we are safer because there are more guns. Just the opposite which was my point in my letter. Have you lobbied your congressional representatives to help fix the problems I identified or do you just sit there as a happy “good guy with a gun” waiting to shoot someone who you perceive wlil do you harm?


The disastrous and numerous life taking consequences are irrelevant to Republicans if they feel that there “right” to own guns or not wear masks/get vaccinated is infringed upon. Me, me, me, I, I, I. That’s all that matters.

That is, until one of their children is murdered by gun violence or if a family member dies from complications of COVID-19.

Mr. Restifo, you have no problem pushing your abortion stance on us when we believe it is murdering babies. You have no problem pushing your climate change on us when it is costing each person hundreds or thousands of dollars per year. I could go on but you get the idea.


The Democrats have no trouble with having state employees volunteering to work on Como’s book and giving them nothing from the profits they helped generate. Nor are they interested in finding out if this volunteering was done on state property or at home. Now they want your guns and to defund the police.


Fred, What Como did is being investigated, and was wrong if proven. Discussion was about guns, stay on point.
Just a few of Raymond’s points about guns in this county.

And don’t forget the good guy with the gun in Colorado a few weeks ago ended up dead The police officer has to live with this rest of his life, the good guy with the gun he killed, as he is trained to do I might add. So all you “good” guys standing ready to shoot the bad guy, make sure the responding police know what you are doing holding the gun.
You would think they could come up with new arguments or better yet policies to help with the problem.


The “woke left” cracks me up every time. And just when I was getting comfortable being a “snowflake.” I guess I’ll have to keep practicing “cancel culture” if I can find the time between “hugging trees,” being “politically correct,” and plotting with fellow “socialists.”


The fact that you said you were “getting comfortable being a “snowflake,” not being called one says it all.

“Snowflake“ is a 2010s derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.”

I guess you’re the special ornament on the tree.

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