Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, Oct. 4


Medical group backs vaccine mandate

With the current COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, the Schenectady County Medical Society supports the requirement that healthcare workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Because of highly contagious variants, including the Delta variant, and significant numbers of unvaccinated people, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the rise throughout the United States and in Schenectady County.
The Hippocratic Oath is “Do No Harm.” Getting vaccinated is a simple and obvious way to practice this oath.
Vaccination is also the only way to try and put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures that we all hope to avoid in the future. This is especially necessary to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated yet, including our elementary age school children.
As the local and national health care community leads the way in requiring vaccines for our employees, we hope other employers in Schenectady County and throughout the United States will follow our example and encourage their employees to get vaccinated. The health of our workers, families, and community depends on it.
Glenn W. Thompson, M.D.
Clifton Park
The writer is president of the Schenectady County Medical Society.

Sebesta treatment a case of hypocrisy

In reference to the Sept. 25 Gazette article, “Deputy police chief must take sensitivity training,” former Town Board member Rosemarie Perez Jaquith was quoted as saying “it’s disheartening that the town’s leadership chose a smear campaign against Deputy Chief Stevens instead of due process designed to get to the truth.“
How is it that this same board member was right in the mix of the smear campaign conducted against former Town Comptroller Paul Sebesta? How can Jaquith now claim she is so disheartened by smear campaigns? Sebesta was forced out of his 30-plus-year career as town comptroller because he made an unfortunate choice of a costume to wear at a private Halloween party several years ago, with no intended racial motive. There was no due process allowed to Sebesta before the Town Board was pushing for his removal, even though there were no other incidents of racial actions, disciplinary letters or complaints against Sebesta. I guess it was a one strike and you are out for Sebesta.
Fast forward to Deputy Chief Stevens, who has allegedly made numerous abusive remarks to town employees on town property and while he was on duty. He is being  disciplined for these allegations.
Now all of a sudden Perez feels there is a smear campaign. I guess zero-tolerance only applies to people that don’t agree with views of the Town Board.
Sandra Busino
The writer is a retired Town of Niskayuna employee.

Volunteer safety officers can help

I was both happy and sad with respect to the news that after five years of effort, the Scotia-Glenville and Burnt Hill-Ballston Lake school districts have made an agreement with their town and area police officials to support for the sum of over $200,000 for the assignment of a total of two school resource officers for their two respective districts beginning next year.
I am happy because there is nothing more important than the safety of school children, and school resource officers (SROs) are an important component for the provision of a comprehensive school protective program. But I am also sad because the announced plans do not include provision for additional volunteer SROs.
School children deserve the maximum degree of protection any district can provide. The U.S. Department of Justice has recognized for years that “Community volunteers play important roles in implementing and maintaining school-based public safety programs.” Well qualified and certified volunteer SROs can be recruited from parents and retired school neighbors. They can be trained to respond to calls for services regarding threats, and truancy, and they can assist with educational programs.
Volunteering in law enforcement benefits the agency, the volunteer, and the community.
Significantly, the International Association of Police Chiefs VIPS program offers assistance about establishing police volunteer units on school campuses (
Martin Greenberg
The writer is a retired peace officer and SUNY criminal justice professor.

Americans must protect themselves

This a follow-up to my Aug. 7 letter (“Government trying to control the people”) concerning SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education).
To ratify the Constitution Madison wrote The Bill of Rights. Both the Second and Fourth Amendments start with these words: “The right of the people.” Which came first, individual or the militia? Massachusetts conscripted men 15-50 years old to bring their own firearm for militia duty.
Both Dylann Roof (church shooter) and the Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz were FBI failures.
“Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence” by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly and “Columbine” by Dave Cullen are two books that showcase the shortcoming of the state’s closures of mental institutions.
Albany’s Times Union, about five years ago, stated that as state mental institutions closed, prison populations went up. I would quote from “Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ‘80s” by Hunter S. Thompson but the woke mob can’t handle the truth about his words on the mentally ill on the streets.
Yet we hardly ever hear of the CDC’s defensive gun use study. Why? Because sane, law-abiding citizens are protecting themselves as police are being defunded.
A recent article in American Rifleman quoted “According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), more than 8 million people purchased their first firearm in 2020.”
Self-preservation? I guess we are human after all.
Walter K. Janczak

Clean up trash from Schenectady Exit 5

I am writing this letter because of the conditions when getting off of Exit 5 in Schenectady.
There are a number of people begging for money almost daily. And that’s a whole situation in itself. As we know, there are many, many jobs available,  as well as places to get food and shelter most of the time.
Here is my question: Why does no one do anything about the mess that they leave there?
Perhaps a police car should be stopping and telling them that if there’s any more mess, they’ll be prohibited from begging in that location. I don’t see a lot of trash at other places like Mohawk Commons. And it’s really terrible to look at all that garbage while all they do is walk around. Somebody brings the garbage there and that person needs to get rid of the garbage when they leave.
Jann Gregg

Political cartoon on Petito crossed line

The repulsive cartoon in the Sept. 29 Daily Gazette is repugnant beyond comprehension.
How dare he minimize the heartbreak of the Petito tragedy because the young woman was White?! I am almost speechless at the insensitivity of this crass person.
Roslyn Weiss


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Help me understand Walter. You said that Dylann Roof and Nikolas Cruz were FBI failures. What do you mean by that? Do you mean that the FBI failed in performing a proper background check that would’ve prevented Dylann Roof from purchasing his murder weapon? If so, it sounds like you’re conceding and agreeing with the majority of Americans that better more extensive background checks are needed. How do you propose the FBI failed in the case of Nikolas Cruz? Do you mean that they received multiple calls about his desire to carry out a school shooting but didn’t act? If so, it sounds like you are advocating, as many in the sensible gun law community are, for red flag laws to remove firearms temporarily from the homes of those deemed a threat to others. You can’t blame the FBI for failing if they’re not given the proper federal laws to enforce or the legal tools at their disposal to intercede.


Excellent comments Matt. The right-wing always look to blame the FBI or mentally ill on mass shootings when we know it’s an issue of too many guns on the street. In Texas now, you don’t even need a permit and no training is required to obtain a gun. Other red states have other insane laws that promote owning and using guns freely.


President Joe Biden on Monday said he couldn’t guarantee the debt ceiling would be raised in two weeks as he slammed Republicans for opposing efforts to keep the nation from being unable to pay its debts for the first time in its history.

In a speech from the White House, Biden put the blame on Republicans for refusing to join with Democrats in raising the debt limit to pay for debts incurred in the past. Congressional Republicans are steadfastly refusing to supply any votes to raise the debt limit, Biden said they should vote on bipartisan basis to pay for bills for which both parties are responsible.

“Not only are Republicans refusing to do their job, but they’re threatening to use their power to prevent us from doing our job — saving the economy from a catastrophic event. I think quite frankly it’s hypocritical, dangerous and disgraceful,” Biden said.
Biden said: “Republicans say they will not do their part to avoid this needless calamity. So be it. But they need to stop playing Russian roulette with the US economy.”

During Trump’s failed four years, the GOP increased the national debt by $8 trillion! Congress (Republicans and Democrats) agreed to raise the debt ceiling three times without question. Most of the current debt was incurred by Trump’s spending, not Biden’s. The GOP needs to step up and finally do something positive for the nation and stop whining like Trump.

William Marincic

Harris, your democrats don’t need the GOP, they can raise the debt ceiling on their own. Ahead of the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans “will support a clean continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown,” without raising the debt limit. McConnell said Democrats can raise the debt limit on their own.

The debt limit needs to be raised due to BIPARTISAN spending from last fiscal year. So the Republicans voted to spend and now they’re refusing to raise the limit that will allow the government to pay for all that spending. They are essentially terrorists that want to destroy the American financial system.

Raising the debt ceiling is just as much about dealing with the severe revenue shortfalls the Trump tax plan caused, as it is about putting this country on the same level as most of the developed world. And if Trump hadn’t given away the farm during his residency (like he gave away all those Taliban fighters), we’d be that much further ahead now.


+1 to Dr Thompson also, We sure could use some of that common sense here in the south.
Matt, Walter probably doesn’t even realize or know how he stepped in it with that letter. Great response.

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