Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Thursday, Sep. 16


Tonko on wrong path with climate emergency

As the House Chair of the Environment and Climate Change sub-committee, Congressman Paul Tonko is in a position to fight for legislation that would help us move away from runaway climate change. Instead he took a fossil-fuel-funded trip to West Virginia to visit several coal and natural gas operations. His committee has written a bill called the Clean Future Act. This bill includes subsidies for garbage incineration and continued use of fossil fuels including the build-out of fossil fuel infrastructure that will last decades. He also favors a cap and trade policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This approach allows polluters to sell the excess of their emissions so they can continue to pollute.
To make matters worse, he still hasn’t signed the End Polluters Welfare Act which would end subsidies and tax loopholes for the oil and gas industries. This is probably the most glaring betrayal of his constituents because he has given lip service to the importance of fighting for environmental justice. Communities of color are already burdened by the location of fossil fuel plants such as the steam plant located in Albany’s Sheridan Hollow district.
It’s not too late for Congressman Tonko to clean up his dirty bill that will increase carbon emissions, not reduce them. Will he listen to his constituents and take concrete action to deal with the unprecedented climate emergency? Or will he cave to the fossil fuel industry?
Saratoga Springs


Stop tearing down the great USA

Trump haters happy yet? You elected an incompetent, lying, senile career politician who has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue his whole life, who now has blood on his hands with his Afghanistan debacle. We left billions of our dollars in military equipment for use by terrorists to kill people. Who has torn down every good thing that President Trump did for our country and will ultimately degrade our freedoms and quality of life. For example, you must inject what I tell you to into your body.
He is told what to say and what to do by those who desire to destroy this democracy for their own gain.
But Trump lied thirty thousand and a half times, the bad orange man. And the sheep follow MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, etc. Patriots not.
This joke is on you. Learn a lesson from the Olympics — rewatch the hundreds of young patriots that dedicated their young lives for a chance to represent what we all hold dear.
The America I chose to love was and is still the greatest giving, non-racist, caring, compassionate, richest, free society the world has ever known.
Stop tearing it down with your hate mongering.


Constitutional protections dwindle

In July a number of protesters were arrested in Saratoga, and many believe the First Amendment will protect them.
Americans live under the delusion that constitutional rights are absolute and there exists a team like the Avengers to protect us when they get violated.
Local law enforcement unlawfully stop and search our person(s)? We should be able to sue. A village puts unreasonable limits on speech; government takes our property without reasonable cause and using eminent domain; we should get compensation. We should be able to redress grievances.
Not so fast. In real life it is nearly impossible to enforce rights. It has become less likely since 1980.
In 1868 after passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, the SCOTUS began a process called “selective incorporation.” Selective incorporation practically means the SCOTUS would incorporate certain clauses of certain amendments, rather than incorporating an entire amendment at once. Making states responsible for enforcement, theoretically. From 1868-1970 rights were protected and expanded.
In 1975, the SCOTUS began to reverse course. The court expanded the scope of government officers’ immunity from suits for constitutional violations, narrowed circumstances in which federal officers could be sued, began to limit federal courts’ power to enjoin unconstitutional state policies; and made it far more difficult for state/federal prisoners to show their criminal convictions were invalid due to constitutional errors.
It would take action by Congress to stop the pendulum from swinging away from the Bill of Rights. Sadly, that seems less likely than an act of God today.


Niskayuna has credibility problem

Thank you for publishing the article (“Residents want more transparency with budgets”) as well as Mr. Struzzi’s letter (“Return integrity to Ni-sky government”) highlighting a recent NYS Comptroller report which called the town’s budget process “inappropriate” in the Sept. 4 Gazette. Why did this damning NYS Comptroller report only become public knowledge when Mr. Struzzi wrote a letter? How do we get a copy of this report? And what is the town’s response to these disturbing findings?

Furthermore, the town has never released the Nixon Peabody report resulting from their independent investigation of the Town Comptroller “Black face” incident. Why was this report never made public? What were the Nixon Peabody findings and recommendations? What is the board hiding?
It has been said that in a free society, transparency is government’s obligation to share information with its constituents. Transparency is at the heart of how citizens hold their public officials accountable. We clearly have a major credibility issue at the Niskayuna Town Hall.
Niskayuna residents deserve better. We demand integrity and transparency in all town board activities. Continuing to withhold information from town residents seriously damages the board’s credibility. The Town Board should publish each of these reports on the town website, including a response if appropriate. This simple action will demonstrate a real commitment to transparency.


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Jon – good letter, it never ends, the entire Niskayuna board needs to go. I was pointed to Nisky Leaks on Twitter recently; there appears to be an ongoing release regarding the controllers investigation…quite troubling. In fact if true, the entire board should resign immediately.


Jack Osterlits: Obviously no changing your political views, but hopefully your letter help some people realize how ridiculous hard line alt-right thinking is.

“For example, you must inject what I tell you to into your body.” ~ Are you talking about the vaccine or bleach?

“Stop tearing it (America) down with your hate mongering.” ~ Nice to read all the love you bestowed upon our current President.

“Trump lied thirty thousand and a half times” ~ White washing that fact really shows how unbiased and balanced your political views are.

JACK OSTERLITZ– 45 will go down in history as the most incompetent, lying, Insurrectionist in Chief criminal who abused his power repeatedly for his own gain. You really believe in someone that has 12 FELONS orbiting him so far?

It’s easy to blame Biden for our withdrawal from Afghanistan when 45s view was to “hit that country years ago, hit it them really hard, and then let it rot.” ISIS is responsible for losing 13 of our service members (thought 45 wiped out ISIS), yet you’ll defend 45 who is responsible for the covid debacle killing hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Biden’s success was evacuating over 130,000 in a short time, under tremendous pressure with no clean way out…set up by 45.

No one is forced to take the vaccine, can get weekly tests…and we wouldn’t be in this precarious situation if 45 and others would stop lying and politicizing the vaccine.

Trump was secretly running his own foreign policy team to strong-arm Ukraine into helping the president’s reelection campaign. Nice…using foreign influence against a fellow American using our tax dollars.

Hate crimes, white supremacy, anti-immigrant attacks all UP, with 45 admired by the KKK.

How about the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria, leaving our former Kurdish allies to be murdered by Turkish troops? ISIS freed compatriots from jails and launched new attacks, and Russian troops moved into the positions we had held in the region.

45 attempted to rig the 2020 election, and incited an attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of thugs. For the first time in our history, the peaceful transfer of power was broken because 45 is so WEAK, not man enough to admit he lost the election fair and square. (He and his wing-nut in CA started claiming “fraud” even before that election, which is UNDEMOCRATIC).

in gop states across the country, legislatures are gerrymandering and have passed laws to suppress voting and to put the counting into partisan hands, yet you claim Dems are trying to destroy Democracy?

Generals and others were so concerned about 45s unhinged behavior, especially after his loss…he’s an unstable narcissist capable of even more damage to our Republic than he’s already done, all of those things Biden is NOT…so yes…I am a happy 45 hater.

Doug Hampton

Both you and Lou Restifo said a lot that I agree with. Jack Osterlitz isn’t changing his mind any time soon as was mentioned so I am not even going to try. I just thought that the line about Dems destroying Democracy was interesting especially after the events of Jan 6th! You know all this back and forth about CNN and MSNBC vs FOX is a waste of time. As I have said a thousand times, people are going to believe what they want to believe and then go get it reinforced from their favorite channel. It works both ways too. What I try to look at is what the people that are in the know are saying….. in this case Trump’s former cabinet members . So forget the media…how about General Mad Dog Mattis or Gen John Kelley or John Bolton or Anthony Scaramucci or Gary Cohn or Rex Tillerson and the list goes on. These are Trumps own hand picked guys! All my Trump friends called them an All Star team! When all was said and done none of them respected and/or admired Trump,in fact in some cases they thought he was plain nuts! So you can call us CNN/MSNBC puppets all you like….see what Trump’s own guys have said and continue to believe. Whose career is actually any better now than when they started with Trump! So you can continue to listen to FOX and company but take a look at what your own team is saying about the guy that you think is so great. It’s a disgrace what he has gotten away with.

Doug, great points made…logical and fair, but 45 cult members are not…it’s win at any and all costs…and they are not done. This threat continues with 45 as the leader of an anti government movement that is extremely dangerous to our Republic. I’m sickened by all he’s gotten away with. He incited an Insurrection and is again egging those thugs on. We’ll see what happens across this country on Saturday.

Ms. Trypaluk:
“Instead he took a fossil-fuel-funded trip to West Virginia to visit several coal and natural gas operations.”

Sadly it looks like you’re not being honest, which points to another hidden agenda. The Green Party deserve better.

West Virginia News characterizes it differently and fills in vital details you seem to have omitted:
“Tonko made the trip with Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., as part of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Congressional Exchange program. The two serve together on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.The Bipartisan Policy Center’s website states that it is “a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that actively fosters bipartisanship by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.”

“Through the center’s American Congressional Exchange, members of Congress who participate agree to visit, for one weekend, a member of the opposite party in their district. That member reciprocates when schedules permit. McKinley represents West Virginia’s 1st District (although the state will lose one congressional seat due to population loss by the 2022 midterm election), and Tonko represents New York’s 20th District, which includes Albany.”
WVNews May 21, 2021

I started a quick fact check of your other claims and they came up similarly distorted.
The World Resources Institute thinks rather highly of the US CLEAN Future Act and their analysis is useful as more neutral. See it here:

Lastly, but not leastly:
“To make matters worse, he still hasn’t signed the End Polluters Welfare Act which would end subsidies and tax loopholes for the oil and gas industries. This is probably the most glaring betrayal of his constituents because he has given lip service to the importance of fighting for environmental justice…”

NOBODY has voted on S. 1167: End Polluter Welfare Act of 2021, Ms. Trypaluk!
It’s not out of draft yet!

I have supported the Greens in the past, but this kind of cheap hit-piece really turns me off from considering future support. We’ve already got one political party trying to win dishonestly and failing repeatedly. Is this how the Green Party also want to play?

jclark124, ChuckD,Louis, Thank you for doing this almost every day. Posting truths and facts from just doing simple quick google searches.
You will probably never change the minds of the likes of
BARBARA TRYPALUK, and JACK OSTERLITZ but please don’t stop posting the truth and facts as any informed citizen should know and be able to find if they WANTED to. To easy to just repeat RW, s version they heard on TV last night.
Why I keep pushing back on posts that say Afghanistan was a disaster. It was, but we did much, much worse leaving VN if they would bother to research it.


Amen, Florida 2015! These individuals are a treasure, and make sure the lies die by being blasted with factual information. Thanks, guys!


I feel that we the we the sane, rational, reasonable, who give credence to science and fact, are the non-racist individuals who believe in and want democracy and equality to prevail. We’re in this together. Glad you, Florida, and so many others posting on this forum are part of the group. Thank you, and Cynthia as well.

45 is showing sympathy for the Jan 6th rioters and is LEADING another insurrection on Sept 18th. He’s egging these thugs on…again…Our former president!

Speaking just for myself, I first connected with the internet around 1989 and have watched it evolve to amazing things. One of the hopes then was of personal empowerment and boy howdy, hasn’t that come true! But watching that start, I was reminded of another time some technology took hold like this: the CB radio. Anyone remember what a swamp that became? Suddenly everyone’s a Smokey or a Bandit. Then came the rabid preachers…

This is the public square now. You can commiserate with your clan in private virtual rooms somewhere too. But here, expect (as I do myself) your honesty will be checked!

Excellent letter from Mr. Ognibene documenting just a few disturbing government maneuvers over the years that strip our rights as citizens. We see proof in local news and ignore it at our peril, not to mention the vast number of incidents never reported in the media.

“Local law enforcement unlawfully stop and search our person(s)? We should be able to sue. A village puts unreasonable limits on speech; government takes our property without reasonable cause and using eminent domain; we should get compensation. We should be able to redress grievances.” –Christopher J. Ognibene, Schenectady

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