Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Aug. 21


Liberty requires we take responsibility

In the present discussion about vaccination against the covid virus, the argument most frequently made in defense of vaccine hesitancy is the liberty of individuals to make their free choices and decisions without government coercion.
I fully support the right of free choice, no question. However, I also recognize that freedom and liberty are intimately linked with responsibility to bear the consequences of one’s choices.
There is virtually no single decision we make as individuals that is without consequences, and our growth requires us to learn from the outcomes of our choices.
It is also called “growing up.”
The same applies to vaccine hesitancy: those individuals who use their liberty to choose (yes, it is a choice) not to get vaccinated ought to bear the consequences of that decision.
By paying for the significant medical costs of the treatment of potential infections, especially for hospital stays and treatments in intensive care units, instead of deferring these costs to their vaccinated fellow citizens through common health insurance premiums.
Liberty comes with the responsibility to bear the consequences. If we as a society eliminate responsibility, we invariably lose our liberty.
Konrad Weeber
Saratoga Springs

Social Security must raise death benefit

All working Americans have all their lives paid into the Social Security system and most of them will not live long enough to collect anything near the amount paid in.
So why does the Social Security system pay only $255 for the lump-sum death benefit? This amount was passed into law in 1938-39. The politicians don’t talk about it and AARP does not fight for the members. I think it’s about time it should be raised. Don’t you? It’s an insult to the survivors at a time when they need help.
Marcia Carlson

Time to get rid of the pesky penny

If elected, I promise to end the use of pennies. It has been long since a penny’s worth of anything existed. The elimination of this extinct coin, as handsome as it is with Abraham Lincoln’s portrait on it, will end stuffed coin purses, baggy trousers, as well as the aggravation suffered by both clerks and customers waiting in line until change is made.
Can we not move to the old bookie’s policy?: If your horse paid $7.40, you get $7. If $7.60, you get $8. Rounding off may save us all years in a lifetime. The U.S. Treasury could save billions in the cost of copper alone.
So send your votes to your state and federal legislators to end this nostalgic inefficiency.
David Childs

Partnership will help disabled and climate

I was so honored to join New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc (NYSID) and Hill & Markes in my Assembly district to announce their new partnership that will provide meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities while reducing the carbon footprint of both companies.
This is a commonsense collaboration between an essential organization that advocates for those with disabilities and a local family-owned business committed to providing jobs to people that are far too often overlooked.
This partnership takes advantage of Hills & Markes’ environmentally sensitive LEED-certified facility in the town of Florida and reduces the number of trucks they use, also reducing the environmental footprints for both organizations.
This partnership represents an important step towards creating a more inclusive community and promoting corporate social responsibility. This effort to make New York a better place to live and work for everyone is an excellent example for other businesses and our state to follow.
Angelo Santabarbara
The writer is a state Assemblyman for the 111th district representing areas of Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties.

‘Highlights’ CEO has local connections

I enjoyed the article (“Beloved, relevant Highlights celebrates 75 years”) on “Highlights” magazine in the Aug. 16 Sunday Gazette.
During this time of the pandemic, “Highlights” is more relevant than ever and with Kent Johnson as CEO is stepping up to provide fun, educational and emotionally necessary content.
I wish you had included a sidebar about “Highlights’” local ties.
CEO Kent Johnson is not only a descendant of the founders of the magazine, but he is also the son of former Schenectady Mayor Karen Johnson, who served on its board of directors. Kent grew up here and was a student at the innovative Open School, a part of the Schenectady Public School System. Karen Johnson was one of the founding parents of this experiential educational program. The Open School had a profound impact on its students by fostering learning through doing. Like “Highlights” it engaged their interest and appealed to their curiosity. Former students remember it fondly. They are, in my experience, interesting adults like Kent who have made interesting contributions to their community in unlikely ways.
Melinda Perrin

Paper shows bias in selection of quotes

In your Aug. 11 article (“Cuomo quits”) about Gov. Cuomo’s resignation, you selected seven quotes from elected Democrats and five elected Republicans from the greater Capital District.
You also added quotes from three other Republicans: the chair of the state Republican Committee, an elected member of Congress from Long Island and announced candidate for the governor’s position, and a defeated candidate for Congress in the last election.
If your motto of “Where Credibility Matters” is applied to these quoted politicians, you failed to live up to this noble motto. Where is the chair of the state Democratic Committee? Where are the defeated or announced Democratic candidates? To this last question, why even bother to quote a defeated candidate — especially a politician who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection and who continues to support the Big Lie?
The lack of balance or fairness in the biased cherry-picking of politicians for quotes is painfully obvious.
Vincent Aceto
Clifton Park

Who will step up for St. Clare’s retirees?

In response to the letter from Mary Hartshorn on Aug. 14 (“Don’t forget the St. Clare’s pensioners”) regarding the St. Clare’s pension and the plight of those who continue to suffer with its loss, I have to continue to ask why?
Why has the Catholic Church allowed this to be one more shame they are responsible for? Why in spite of their huge resources has this been allowed to happen to people who, like myself and my many co- workers, worked hard for benefits they earned and deserved?
Why has the state of New York not stepped in when it was its lack of good judgment and financial miscalculations that left these pensioners without resources to lead decent lives secure in their jobs well done? Where is the Catholic community, who in my opinion has failed us by not rising up as a group in outrage to protest this treatment of their community care givers?
Yes, we continue to fight! We fight in our hearts, by our fervent prayers and now in the court. We remain faithful that the God we served as medical care workers will see us through. We continue to ask for the prayers and support of our former patients and of this community.
Karen Sacchetti
The writer is a St. Clare’s pensioner.

Stefanik is holding Cuomo accountable

Rep. Elise Stefanik is continuing her efforts in taking down Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the recent independent investigation found him clearly violating his own sexual harassment policy.
Elise has been a leading voice not only for the recent actions of the governor, but also throughout the past year, with Gov. Cuomo’s failed nursing home policies that have only brought hardship to many North Country families.
Recently, Gov. Cuomo had been accused of sexual harassment towards female members of his own staff, members of the public and other state employees, including a state trooper, according to a report from state Attorney General Letitia James.
As Elise’s statement said, “No one is above the law and today justice must be served. Gov. Cuomo must resign and be arrested immediately.”
She was also the first lawmaker to call for an independent investigation into the governor’s sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
Elise is now calling for every voter to hold their elected official accountable moving forward in the investigation, as well as calling for the Democratic-led state Assembly to stop “slow walking” the impeachment process. Our congresswoman has been the only representative that continues to fight the disturbing actions of our governor and seek truth for the people of the North Country.
We applaud Elise in her efforts to hold Gov. Cuomo accountable for his actions and bring justice to the victims of his abuse and to New York state.
Claire Pelletier-Hoblock

Sanghvi will lead in Spa City finance role

Saratoga Springs has the opportunity this year to elect a proven community leader as finance commissioner, Minita Sanghvi.
Minita has served on the board of the Saratoga Springs Public Library and also on the city’s Human Rights Task Force, and the 2016-17 Charter Review Commission.
Her involvement gives her a first-hand view of both our community and the city government that serves it.
Her background in finance and business gives her a keen perspective on the engine of our local economy — the hundreds of mom-and-pop businesses that generate the jobs and sales tax revenue to keep our neighborhoods safe and clean and our taxes low.
Minita Sanghvi is an assistant professor in the business and marketing department at Skidmore College and will bring professional expertise to her service as Saratoga’s next finance commissioner.
Coming out of the disruption of the pandemic, we couldn’t ask for a more qualified and dedicated individual to take the lead on the city’s financial future.
Barbara Thomas
Saratoga Springs

Confident in Biden’s running of country

In response to Art Pagano’s July 29 letter, (“Are you better off under Biden so far?), I am perfectly safe and secure with the Biden administration so far.
The vaccinating has gone well for the people who want it. I am not getting anxious about the possible need for a booster shot, if it turns out that one becomes necessary.
I am confident that I will be able to receive one in a timely manner if I wait my turn and don’t try to jump the queue, just as was the case for the Pfizer shots in the spring.
The government’s guidelines for masks and schools reopening are reassuring; they need to be flexible according to variants and infection rates.
I would be glad to travel to cities where there are cries for defunding the police. I feel safe in nearby cities.
I welcome the people who come across the border, with or without papers. We colonists from Europe are the illegals!
I do not worry about the economy. My savings will last as long as I need them. Rising inflection does not concern me; it’s likely cyclical.
This government is spending our tax dollars much more wisely than the previous one.
Putting Americans first is totally immoral! We are no more worthy than anyone anywhere, Americans will be as healthy and happy as we choose to be.
The most important reason to be secure in the Biden administration is his work to halt climate change, which is far more important than everything Mr. Pagano cares about.
Joyce M. Cockerham

Democrats to blame for nation’s problems

Washington, D.C., shamed this country to the world with the burning, looting and murder, and nothing was done to stop it.
The rally in D.C. was more destruction and murder, and again nothing was done to stop it.
President Trump was badgered for four years by media Democrats and Republicans, who all stated how bad President Trump was and were critical of his actions. But he proved to be the best president in history.
This election was a farce and a set-up with COVID-19. But the corruption is deep in D.C., including all the court cases they threw out.
Both parties are dirty as sin and President Trump proved that. With all this lawlessness, no one went to jail. You all bought into the lies; this tells me you can’t think for yourself. Thank God I was born when there were men that would fight.
I’m so ashamed and disappointed in you Americans to let China take over our country by the Democrats and the Republicans, who are getting rich while we have nothing.
Biden is spending our tax dollars like a drunken sailor on undocumented and Palestinians, while we get crumbs where we can’t pay for rent, groceries, etc., and landlords can’t pay taxes.
I didn’t get any stimulus money at all, and I’m disabled. We’re paying the Democrats to take us down. That’s fraud, taking money under false pretenses, and putting our national security at risk.
Claude Rizzicone, Jr.

Not much to change in Schoharie County

Fourteen of the 16 Schoharie County supervisor seats are on the ballot come this November.
Only two will be contested races, as the other 12 have no opposition.
We will get a new Finance Committee chair at the reorganizational meeting in January, as the current Cobleskill supervisor/finance chair will not be running for re-election.
Once again, not much will change in Schoharie County, just a few new faces on the board, as the floundering will continue in 2022 and beyond. Stay safe, Schoharie County!
Jerry Fiore

Anti-vaxxer cartoon was in poor taste

The “As Others See It” cartoon in the Opinion section of the Aug. 15 Sunday Gazette was in incredibly poor taste (I guess like most of them in this section—ridiculous. I try not to look at them, but this piece of garbage was unavoidable).
How sad that we have come to this — mean, judgmental, uncaring. I actually know some anti-vaxxers and although I don’t agree with their opinions, they are highly educated people who are entitled to their opinions.
This depiction, showing people with these beliefs are ‘caveman-like,’ was blatant and downright nasty. What a shame.
Kim Britton
Ballston Spa



Online letters

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Marincic

Vincent Aceto I guess it’s time to change you’re thinking, like always you lefties are wrong. Just like the Planned kidnapping of Governor Whitmer.

WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

William Marincic

Joyce M. Cockerham All I can say is wow, just wow. I guess we will see what happens in 2022 that will be the mandate of your president Biden and I’m pretty sure the Republicans are going to sweep the Senate and Congress and put a stop to this debacle that is Joe Biden.


Claire Pelletier-Hoblock: Your Letter praising Elise Stefanik for “continuing her efforts in taking down Gov. Andrew Cuomo” and boasting of her statement that “no one is above the law and today’s justice must be served. Gov. Cuomo must resign and be arrested immediately” says one thing about Elise Stefanik for sure, and that is that she is a hypocrite of the highest level. Why is she not holding trump to the same standards of accountability for his reprehensible sexual misconduct behavior? Instead she praises him.

Again I say: Only what they want to hear, only what they want to see, only the way they want to be, nothing else matters, nothing.


Lou you might want to consider how your botched the retreat from Afghanistan. In particular his putting the country in the position of providing military bases, and military equipment to the Taliban.


My righting my topic! It is nice to see that you have so little faith in your ideas that you do not put them out for public evaluation.


Konrad Weber: Thank you for your letter.

Mr. Weber, you used the word “consequences” in your letter four times in reference to individuals making their “free choice” to not get vaccinated. Guess what? These individuals, not unlike the fools who deny man’s activity related to climate change, don’t have the word “consequences” in their vocabulary.


You might try making your point with a solid argument. Alternatively, I suggest you study Shakespeare with an eye at developing your ability to make artful insults.

I respect Claude for putting his comments forward. You on the other hand put forward your your failure to master social norms.


Why? Just to repeat things that Ray, Chuck, Matt, Florida, Joe, jclark and others have been saying for the past year so you can again ignore their constant and constant delivery of facts to this forum.

How about this one:
“I was seeking for a fool when I found you.” ~ Shakespeare

Lou I happen to enjoy Shakespear,
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
I couldn’t say it better myself


Claude Rizzicone Jr, After you wake up from Louis suggested nap, I would also suggest you seek at the very least a competing news sources for the ones you apparently subscribe to.

Claire Pelletier-Hoblock, Glad you think Ms Stefanik is helping NY become a better place. Make sure you attend this event if it comes to NY. It will help all of us get along better and work together. And don’t forget to donate to there cause.
Coming soon to NY ?

Claire Pelletier-Hoblock, why don’t you disclose that you interned with Stephanik?
This isn’t the first time you’ve done this.
And why are you portraying her as some kind of warrior for women by “taking down Cuomo”? Elise Stephanik hasn’t “taken down Cuomo” at all. The women coming forward have taken him down.

Why doesn’t Elise Stephanik follow the example of Kirsten Gillibrand who, when faced with allegations against one of her own Senators, Al Franken, truly stood up for women and held him accountable? (A decision I strongly disagree with, but whatever).
How many allegations have been lodged against Trump? Howe much money has Trump paid to silence women? Yet, there’s Elise, standing by her man!

The answer to this one I’ll provide: because you who exist for Donald Trump are scared to death (some, literally) of running afoul of your Party and the terrible fate that await you. Scant few of you dare speak poorly of him or the party, and we’ve all seen what happens if they do. Stephanik has proven that.

Ms. Pelletier-Hoblock, your letter is as dishonest as your party. Everyone can see that. Amazing that you seem to think you can get away with it, or maybe you just don’t care how badly you look. Sounds like a solid winning strategy in any case!


Claire Pelletier-Hoblock, why don’t you disclose that you interned with Stephanik?

At one time ideas were judged by their merits not the merits of those that advanced them.

Your man Biden is promising to evacuate Americans and those that helped us in Afghanistan. What he really means is that he will try to evacuate all those that the Taliban let through their airport check points. Your man failed the country!

Just shout-out from here in the swampy swamps of the comment section of the Letters Page for Assemblyman Santabarbara. Thank you for all you’ve done for the disabled and challenged community. Know that the work you’ve done is recognized and you can count on our support in the years to come.

We who have family members who benefited, or who have benefited directly thank you, and the community of workers in this highly undersupported field.

William Aiken

Konrad Weeber: Americans have voluntarily surrendered their liberties and freedoms all under the guise of safety. As if safety Trumps all other considerations in life. Also, Covid restrictions have destroyed the HIPPA laws. That our citizenry has bent over to this tyrannical governance has been a disgrace.


If you want to protect your self from Covid:1> get two shots;2> wear a mask in crowds; and 3>achieve social distance by waring your Trump shirt. If you have not bought one have one made.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”


“The plea from Mississippi’s top doctor to a state grappling with the nation’s second-lowest vaccination rate seemed simple: Do not take ivermectin — a drug intended for treating worms in livestock — to prevent or treat the coronavirus.”

“Cases of people consuming ivermectin to treat the coronavirus in Mississippi are drawing alarm, with the state’s health department issuing an alert Friday warning people not to take the drug, saying the state’s poison control center has “received an increasing number of calls from individuals with potential ivermectin exposure taken to treat or prevent covid-19 infection.” Mississippi State Epidemiologist Paul Byers wrote in a letter to the MS Health Alert Network that “at least 70 percent of the recent calls” have been related to the ingestion of ivermectin “purchased at livestock supply centers.”

Who needs to wear a mask or get vaccinated when all you need to do for prevention and treatment of COVID is take a pill intended to rid a pig of worms.

Red state, imagine that.

They’re stickin’ it to The Man!
Ownin’ the Libs, they are!
Vaccines are a radical socialist agenda!
Like CRT!
No one’s gonna mind-control them!
tRump 2024!
You’ll see!
Praise Jesus!

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