Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, July 17


Time to take back our school board

Regarding  Ms. Russo’s July 11 letter (“School board again betrayed the citizens.”) On an almost weekly basis citizens of Schenectady decry the city of Schenectady school board of Education for various reasons.
Even The Gazette had another editorial, on July 9 (“No excuses for secret search”), on how the board is secretive and cowardly.
Those were my thoughts exactly when I attended the reorganization meeting of the board on July 7.
I let the board, and particularly board president Catherine Lewis, know that she’s the problem with the district.
She’s now been on the board the last 10 years and we’re going on our third superintendent.
What’s that say about her leadership? Not much.
When you have a school district designated as among the poorest in the state, and Ms. Lewis falling all over the former embattled superintendent giving out needless pay raises while our students graduate at an abysmal low rate, I say it’s time for voters to vote out Ms. Lewis and Ms. Riley.
They have sat on the board all the while it’s been imploding. No secrets, no cowardly actions any longer. And, congrats to our new superintendent of schools Mr. Soler and the two new board members. Let’s take OUR board back to normalcy and have the kids flourish like never before.
Gerald Plante

Voter suppression affects all Americans

As a 75-year-old White guy, I want to add my demographic to those concerned about Republican efforts in other states to restrict voting and nullify the will of the people.
Much of the commentary has been how the new Jim Crow states are suppressing voting by Black and Brown people with new laws limiting access to the ballot and providing for state legislatures to overturn elections.
That is true.
But those same actions dilute or nullify my vote, too. How are we New Yorkers going to react when the Texas legislature in 2024 overturns the presidential vote, takes away a Biden-Harris win and hands their Electoral College votes to the Republican?
These are perilous times. Congress must use all its power to level the playing field in all 50 states, provide standard voter qualifications, polling procedures and a guarantee that the count is complete, accurate and free of partisan meddling.
Gordon Boyd
Saratoga Springs


Sch’dy needs to put a stop to panhandling

Living in Schenectady is nice because they have a nice downtown but a problem that I keep seeing is people walking around downtown Schenectady begging people for money and many people have had enough of this.
You can’t walk around downtown and go from restaurant to restaurant or even go to the bank without getting hassled for money.
Also another problem that I’m noticing now is that the panhandlers are getting more aggressive. What they do now is if you’re going to your vehicle, and you get in and you lock your door, they will come up to your window and tell you to roll down the window and then if you don’t, they will ask you again and sometimes the third time. So they don’t take no for an answer.
The city of Schenectady under Mayor Gary McCarthy has done a lot to improve the economy in Schenectady and I’m grateful for that.
But I think what he needs to do and the city police need to work with him together is go and pass an anti-panhandling ordinance with a civil penalty if you’re caught panhandling. It could be a situation where you pay a fine or you get assistance finding a job, because there’s plenty of jobs out there.
I see signs all the time in the city that they’re hiring. These people that are panhandling are not disabled, so they should be working.
Joseph Farina

Few stories inspire like Avant-garde’s

There are wonderful and inspiring stories deserving of more attention such as watching Zalia Avant-garde. Holding multiple Guinness World records for stunts with basketballs and winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee requires a lot of practice and much different skill sets. They are not to be expected to exist in the same person.
A 14-year-old African-American school girl named Zalia Avant-garde has shown one person can do both.
It is our good fortune to live in the age of the internet and YouTube. We can better appreciate what words can’t describe.
One search finds Zalia performing amazing dribbling and juggling acts with basketballs while riding a skateboard and a unicycle.
Separately, we can listen to Zalia correctly spell the name of a rare plant. We then see her jump and twist with joy and hear the cheers from the audience that included the first lady of the United States.
Frank Wicks

Take advantage of local farmers markets

Missed the chance for a really early salad garden at home? Procrastinated getting a larger veggie patch? Think you are stuck eating nutrition-less veggies and meat? Not really.
Think farmers markets. There are many to choose from in the Capital District.
They are really misnamed, though. They’re more an adventure waiting for you, with a slightly different twist at each market. Where else can you find such variety in one place (other than Amazon): wood crafts, jewelry, ceramics, maple syrup, honey, or even a bonafide knife sharpener. Also, prepared ethnic food abounds, as well as locally canned cultural products. Don’t forget the coffee and pizza.
And don’t bring a veggie shopping list. See what you don’t recognize, ask the vendor its name and how to prepare it, and take it home.
Shake up your routine with surprising experiences like pea shoots, salad turnips, rutabaga, kale and collard greens. The same goes for meat and fish vendors. Did you know rabbit, lamb’s tongue, and other delicacies are available at some markets? Just ask.
Finally, make it a social occasion by meeting old friends and making new ones. By boosting the local economy and engaging directly in your food choices, you’ll enjoy every healthy, planet-friendly bite that much more.
Renate Reeves-Ellington

Democratic Party should be democratic

Back on June 16, Tom Williams wrote a letter (“Get ‘Democratic Party’ name correct”)  to correct us on his party’s name.
To him, “Democrat Party’’ is an epithet used by conservatives to besmirch his affiliation.
When his party becomes filled with Democratics, I will abide by his wish. If you must be a Democrat to join the party, then it’s a party of Democrats. It’s the Democrat Party. He simply wants to imply through a name change that his party is littered with open-minded people sharing “democratic” values.
Much like when they became progressives rather than liberals; the left toys with words to influence the ignorant. If they aspired to democratic principles, they would not use courts to change votes. They would not use the media to silence opposing views, and they would not attack our Constitution.
Accordingly, they would not claim our democracy is under attack every time they don’t get their way. Democracy is comprised by the people for the people. That’s what a democratic society is and that’s not where Tom’s party is at today. The Democrat Party is uncompromising, intolerant and clearly not entitled to be called the Democratic Party.
Dave Dankanich

How is Gov. Cuomo not in jail for actions

Daughter: Dad, I have a problem at work that I need your help with.
Father: Go ahead, tell me your problem.
Daughter: There is this older man, around your age, that will not leave me alone. He asks me questions about my sex life, if I like to have sex with older men, have I ever had sex with older men. He undresses me with his eyes and tries to hug and kiss me all day long. He places his hands on my shoulders while I’m sitting at my desk, so I have to get up to get his hands off of me. What do I do, Dad? I’m being sexually harassed by my co-worker.
Father: Honey, there is nothing wrong with what this man is doing. Have you watched the news?
Gov. Cuomo says that is the definition of making people feel uncomfortable, not sexual harassment in the workplace.
Daughter: Dad, really?
Father: Yes darling. Plus you are a registered Republican, which means that you can’t be a victim of sexual harassment, especially if the suspect is a Democrat. Sorry.
He has been accused of sexual harassment by half-a-dozen women and made millions while in office writing a book about how he managed a pandemic in which his policies may have resulted in thousands of deaths. Why is he not in jail?
Matt Spring
Saratoga Springs

Put citizens, police above city’s criminals

I will always choose to defend the police.
A disturbing incident occurred at my home last weekend. Not only did we have a drugged-out, violent man trying to kick down our door, but the police were also hesitant to arrest him. Certainly understandable.
The offender would be out before we could file the charges. Would the fight to arrest him be worth the video that might end their lives or careers?
The terror that was felt from an unknown criminal at 3:45 a.m. should never be the norm for residents of Schenectady.
For all of you elite liberals that live in your safe subdivisions, garnishing lawn sign slogans, thinking this will protect you, the danger is everywhere. There are simply no repercussions for crime anymore.
We were one or two kicks away from this criminal either harming or killing us, or us doing the same to him. Either way, our lives would be changed forever. With no hotline for social workers, we were unable to discover what was bothering this young man.
Mayor Gary McCarthy, it’s time to stop listening to the handful of Marxists who defend violence and protect criminals. It is time to address crime in our city, support law-abiding citizens, and let your police do their jobs.
The moment I can, I will have to leave the city I love, where I grew up, paid my taxes, maintained my property, raised my children and attended church. And sadly, I will never look back.
Nancy Spencer

Paper needs to have better proofreading

The Gazette needs to replace its proofreaders. There are way too many typos and misidentified titles for articles continued on subsequent pages. There are several articles continued on pages in the July 13 Gazette and the header is for another article, not the one expected. This is completely unacceptable. Let’s get it together and identify things correctly.
Richard Flanders

Trump destroyed for fighting for Americans

I have seen a number of editorials and articles on what happened on Jan. 6 and speculation on why it happened.
However, I haven’t seen the following plausible explanation expressed: Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, the Democratic Party, and most of the press lied and smeared a duly elected president constantly over his four  years in office. The Russian hoax they created and pushed never happened.
The obsessive vitriol and meanness exhibited by these professional politicians and media was heaved mercilessly daily on the president.
Remember, half the country believed he was genuinely trying to drain the swamp of its self-serving corruption and implement policies that would help the average American get back good paying jobs.
The average American has been struggling to make ends meet for the last two decades. Imagine how they felt as they watched the elites, the establishment, corporate CEO’s and professional politicians become multi-millionaires as a result of the policies and trade deals the lobbyists and politicians put in place.
Clearly, the policies and deals were exclusive and self-serving for these high powered groups. Finally, someone seemed to be fighting to make America work again for the average person.
Many Americans were upset because they saw the above-mentioned groups succeed in destroying a president that was fighting for and doing positive things for them.
Now they could see it was back to the swamp with no one fighting for them or their American dream.
Bernard Burns

Dems have been taken over by racists

The Democratic Party has a long and checkered history when it comes to racism. Over the last few years, all the statues that have been pulled down have been the Confederate Democrats of the past.
The Democrats of the past are also responsible for things like the KKK and Eugenics that sought to eradicate people of color.
Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party is being taken over by a new generation of racists that seek to divide Americans for political gain.
This new form of racism called Critical Race Theory, and its proponents in the Democrat Party, like our own Congressman Paul Tonko, have completely rejected the message of Martin Luther King Jr. and are judging people based on the color of their skin and not the content of their character.
Every American, White or Black, Republican or Democrat, deserves to be treated like the individual that they are. If Mr. Tonko cannot do that, then he should be prepared to lose his seat to someone who can.
As a person of color, come Nov. 2022, I know I will be voting for Liz Joy because she treats me like a man, not a Black man.
Jacob Dobbs


Be careful what we teach about racism

In their July 10 letters, Rob Dickson (“Beware of the woke’s efforts to undermine”) and Dr. Arthur Salvatore (“Teach our kids about all forms of slavery”) made excellent points about the racist, anti-American virus of Critical Race Theory.
So much progress has been made in erasing the evils of prejudice and slavery. The unfortunate loss of 620,000 men in the Civil War and the years of civil rights battles and legislation have made the United States a better nation for everyone. Otherwise millions of people would be fleeing and not pouring into our country.
I believe CRT is an insidious effort to imbue youths with hatred of one another because of skin color, dividing Americans. Whites are inherently oppressors and Blacks oppressed; we are told. How obviously false this is, except for the socialist ruling elite in government, media, corporations and academia, who hope to benefit from division.
The Schenectady School District appears to be all in on CRT, budgeting $540,000 for equity, diversity and inclusion staff.
Its website is littered with CRT-type resources, including the fictional 1619 Project, books by Ibram Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, and, most perniciously, programs I believe are designed to teach children to find racism everywhere.
Parents should investigate what their children are being taught in their school districts. Around the country, parents are raising a ruckus about CRT.
Gone are the good old days when teachers weren’t social engineers but simply educated students. Many so-called “public” schools have quietly become taxpayer-funded government indoctrination camps.
This isn’t communist Cuba or China — yet.
Eric Retzlaff

The joke will be on all of your woke friends

If you want to have some fun with your “woke” friends, tell them that it’s an outrage that rural New England and New York are covered with rock walls named in honor of confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson.
My guess is that at least some of them will fall for it.
John Robitzek



Online letters

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion



Asian Americans are an “inconvenient minority” to the critical race theory narrative because their community succeeds based on merit alone, the author of a new book argued Wednesday on Fox News.

The credits Asian success to a culture that values hard work, and two person families.

Guy Varoma

Bernard Burns ..Trump only fought for himself………..The 2 things he fought for was Big tax cuts for Corps and the rich ….The other thing he fought for was to take 20 millions Americans off Obamacare …He lost that one because the bravery of a true American hero John McCain …God bless his soul

William Aiken

President Trump’s candidacy offered two main themes: 1) The protection and safety of American citizens. 2) Creating an economy where everyone could prosper. You can hate 45 for his tweets and bluster. But that fixation misses the mark of his presidency.
His policies helped out segments of the population that didn’t support him. He wanted to see safety and prosperity for all, whether you voted for him or not.

The fact is 45 worked extremely hard to honor those two commitments. His policies at the southern border drastically reduced the flow of illegal immigration. His policies of cutting taxes and burdensome regulations fueled record low unemployment for all minority groups and women. In 2020, Trump increased his support among all minorities and women from 2016. 45’s only decline in votes came from white men.
A president’s policies determine quality of life issues. That’s what matters most.

“My people came to me, (Director of National Intelligence) Dan Coats came to me and some others saying they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said. “I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

-Donald Trump, President of the United States, July 16, 2018

Take a seat, Aiken.

William Aiken

Chuck what’s with calling people you disagree with by their last name? What are you in Middle school?

Again you fall into the trap of fixating on gossip. Other than the leftist echo chamber at MSNBC, nobody cares about Russia! President Trump stands tall with his policies that brokered peace in the Middle East, kept the US of out of new wars for the first time since 1980, made the US energy independent, lowered carbon emissions and created the best economy ever in which everyone benefited.

You hate him because he’s effective. It must scare you to death that after four years of a Harris Biden administration the public will yearn for a return to a Trump Presidency and put him back in office.

He’s a traitor, Mr. Aiken. Everything else is seen through that filter.

FYI, exact quotes are most definitely not gossip. What the courts decide is mostly definitely not gossip. What official investigation uncovers is also most definitely not gossip.
You may fervently want us to think that, but that’s NOT gossip.

William Aiken

Like that BS story in the Atlantic? In a typically sensationalized yarn, four unnamed sources claimed that President Trump said death soldiers from World War II were losers. 30 staffers came on the record to refute that BS? These four Trump-Hating books that just came out amount to gossip. Trump is longer in office. Nobody cares! Why can’t you let go of him? Why don’t you read a book of substance? American Marxism by Mark Levin. You will learn how Marxism has successfully took over Academia, Hollywood, the Corp. world & Democrat Party to weaved its way into every corner of US culture.

The transformation America has under gone since Biden’s administration, took charge will be written about for decades to come.


We have spent more than $800,000 defending the governor from the government. Given his making millions with the aid of his voluntary state employed book helpers and giving nothing for his efforts I think the governor should pay for his own legal bills!


So children who came to this country illegally can be deported. So what? Why would any reasonable government want to punish children for crimes that their parents committed?

William Aiken

Nancy Spencer: I commend you for having the courage to share your harrowing story. What you described should be a wake up call for all of us. Cultural critic, Heather McDonald has written about the “Ferguson Effect” which occurs when law enforcement is overly scrutinized and second guessed that they than pull back from policing. The death of George Floyd followed by six months of rioting have accelerated this phenomenon to the point where violent crime is exploding across the country.

Those who suffer the most are the law abiding minority citizens that are trapped in poor communities. I hope Mayor McCarthy reads your letter. People are being killed and injured as a result of cash bail and prosecutors who have refused to enforce the laws they swore to uphold. Thank you for shining a light on this unreported issue.

Jacob Dobbs, you are a Black man. Have I got that right?
Because your letter has all the buzz words and historical contortions and insinuations that insult the history of Black people in America and the efforts of the Democratic Party, and liberal/Progressives in general, to bring equity to the people of this country.

And because of the verbiage of your letter, and the now well-known reputation for dishonesty from the alt-right, I seriously question whether you really are a “person of color”. I’m more inclined to believe you’re outright lying.

William Aiken

Chuck, your comment makes Jacob’s point that Democrats put a higher premium on the color of one’s skin than content of their character. The last line of his letter beautifully summarizes that point. “As a person of color, come Nov. 2022, I know I will be voting for Liz Joy because she treats me like a man, not a Black man.

So your presumption is that Jacob couldn’t possibly be a black man since he’s critical of the Democrat party and their obsession with race? What specifically are the buzz words and insinuations Jacob used that caused you to question his blackness?

I’ll address one point and that’s it. I know you’re itchin’ for a game of Whack-a-Mole.
The dredging up of the 150 year old “news” that Democrats were racist and started the KKK is countered with two words: “Southern Strategy”.
It’s awfully hard for me to accept that a person of color would reach for the much-used and pathetically outdated KKK/Dem thing as an argument that 20th and 21st century Democrats/Liberals/Progressives are racist. Not buyin’ it.

ChuckD that is the most racist thing I have heard in a long time, who are you to question this gentleman’s race? You sound just like Biden when he told that radio personality Charlemagne the God that he wasn’t black if he didn’t vote Democrat. How dare you? You Democrats have a problem with African-Americans that want to leave the plantation, you have a problem with the walk away movement which is gaining speed in America.

Guy Varoma

It amazes me hoe Racists try to justify slavery we had here ….That standard line “Africans sold there people into slavery”……..So does that make it ok? The only think you people do when you say that is show your racism

“I believe CRT is…” – Eric Retzlaff of Schenectady

Enough said, Mr. Retslaff. You don’t know what it is, and are apparently too lazy to find out. Instead you offer the not-very-persuasive, “I believe CRT is…(yadda, yadda, yadda, same thing all your mindless influencers are saying)”.

Critical Race Theory is an academic theory intended for Law students. It’s really that simple. Look it up, for Pete’s sake! Everything else you whine and scream terror about happening to your precious children is exactly the same damn thing we learned 50 years ago in middle school about racism in our culture. If you oppose that subject then, voila! We know who the real racists are.

Please, get educated (and vaccinated).

The failing Party of Law and Order probably doesn’t want you to read this:

–Police killings of Black Americans amount to crimes against humanity, international inquiry finds–
The Guardian, Tue 27 Apr 2021 02.00 EDT

In devastating report, human rights experts call on international criminal court prosecutor to open an immediate investigation

The systematic killing and maiming of unarmed African Americans by police amount to crimes against humanity that should be investigated and prosecuted under international law, an inquiry into US police brutality by leading human rights lawyers from around the globe has found.
A week after the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death, the unabated epidemic of police killings of Black men and women in the US has now attracted scorching international attention.
In a devastating report running to 188 pages, human rights experts from 11 countries hold the US accountable for what they say is a long history of violations of international law that rise in some cases to the level of crimes against humanity.

Gordon Boyd So what you are saying is change the voting rules so the Democrats will always win an election and don’t allow the states to set up their own voting regulations which is in the constitution. Nice try. By the way a lot of great letters in today’s paper, it gives me hope that the editorial staff at the Gazette is finely seeing the light.

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