Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Oct. 9

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Gov. Hochul doesn’t know God’s will

Gov. Kathy Hochul said it is God’s will that people get the COVID-19 vaccine, but someone who supports murdering little babies has no idea of what God’s will is. People need to read the Bible to find out God’s will.
Susan Benoit
Ballston Lake

Sanghvi has the qualities Spa needs

The voters of Saratoga Springs have the fortunate opportunity this year to elect a highly qualified person to be our city’s commissioner of Finance. Her name is Minita Sanghvi, and her level of expertise is rarely seen in candidates for public office.
Minita is a tenured professor who teaches in the Management and Business Department at Skidmore College.
She earned a PhD from the University of North Carolina, an MS from the University of Arizona, an MMS from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, and a Graduate Certificate from Duke University. Minita will bring her business background and perspectives to a city that has just undergone severe economic and fiscal disruption. She knows that reversing our depressed business climate depends on bolstering small businesses.
Equally important, Minita is one of the most personable people I know, and one who has urged her supporters not to write negative letters about other candidates. Given the City Council’s history of discord and interpersonal conflict, this isn’t a trivial quality.
Humility and civil discourse have always been essential features of a successful Council.
Minita promises to bring such qualities to the council if she were elected. I urge you to give her your vote.
Lisa Aronson
Saratoga Springs

Niskayuna needs competent leaders

I have, once again, read about the follies of the Niskayuna Town Board. Does it ever stop? Can there be that much confusion and incompetence in the operation of a singular Town Board?
I’m thinking that the townspeople need to be more concerned with whom they vote into office.
Now, is it at all credible for an elected town supervisor to assert, in an issued press release, that Niskayuna police officers were not willing to testify against Deputy Chief Michael Stevens at a scheduled disciplinary hearing?
And is it then credible for the same town supervisor to subsequently assert that the same police officers were, in fact, prepared to testify against Deputy Chief Stevens?
In fairness, Deputy Chief Stevens rightfully deserves his “day in court” whatever the circumstances may be. This smacks of trial by public opinion.
After reading the many newspaper articles, it would appear to me that the town supervisor might be ill informed, might not be invested in the value of the disciplinary process, might be manipulating the process for political purposes and/or might be inordinately confused and just not up for the job.
Elected officials need to be well versed in the proper operation of confidentiality in human resources issues under the law.
Shouldn’t Town Board members be guided by competent legal counsel when handling such human resources issues? Lastly, you must question what is the purposeful involvement of all other Town Board members in this ongoing debacle?
Joel Fuoco
Northville

 

 

Consider a career in the skilled trades

There is a lot being said today about the lack of skilled employees to fill jobs in technical fields.
There are many who say that the best path to a successful career is to attend college and obtain a degree. This path may be highly effective for some individuals, but not such a good fit for others.
The fact that college is not always a possibility for some people due to a variety of considerations does not mean they cannot progress into a great career.
I, for one, passed up an opportunity to go to college (and a partial scholarship) and instead chose to enter the apprentice training program at the General Electric Co. I studied manufacturing and developed a diverse skill set as a machinist-toolmaker. I attended classes that included technical courses that would be included in a standard engineering degree.
I skipped the college opportunity and ended up in a technical career that provided me with continuous, lucrative employment. I worked with some of the greatest engineers in the world and enabled them to turn their dreams into reality. I was able to apply my diverse skill set to achieve incredible results on many challenging projects.
Skilled trade jobs are an incredible way for many to have a highly successful career without attending college. Working with your hands is becoming a lost art and needs to be known as a respectable career option for people to consider.
Eddie Brush
Schenectady

Belmont Pop Warner not what it once was

It’s sad to see Schenectady Belmont Pop Warner be so disappointing to the children.
I remember years ago, when Mr. Rose ran this program, and it was an amazing program for the children. I put my grandkid on the cheer team in 2019. What a joke. Kids didn’t have proper uniforms. The program had nobody but parents who had to pay a lot of money to get our kids to play.
So here in 2021, I’ll give it yet another try now with two grandkids. One coach didn’t want my younger grandchild on the team and called me at home to tell me my grandchild was missing. The child was at the field with her mother.
Stacy Monforte
Schenectady

Eliminate subsidies that push fossil fuels

I was only 10 years old when the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
However, that was when I first learned how harmful fossil fuels were to our environment. As a young adult, I’ve become even more concerned with the state of our future.
This summer, here in New York, we’ve already seen some of the devastating effects climate change has on our environment, health and livelihoods.
Although New York committed to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, we should be doing everything we can, as quickly as we can, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the U.S. government wastes $20 billion on the fossil fuel industry every year in the form of tax breaks, incentives and subsidies. Our tax dollars are supporting oil and gas companies that already make millions in profits every year. Even worse, this money will help these companies build infrastructure, adding nearly 200 billion tons of pollution to the air we breathe.
Hard-working New York taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for these huge corporations to threaten our future and make money off it.
We need to tell Congress and Sen. Chuck Schumer to protect our planet, secure our future and use taxpayer dollars responsibly by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.
Alex Smalto
Albany

Congress must save Medicare Advantage

Working as a clinical researcher and medical writer for over 30 years, I spent much of my life looking into medical conditions and illnesses. Becoming familiar with what can happen as you age, I became dedicated to regularly attending preventative screenings.
After I retired, however, I was worried that these preventative screenings would be too expensive to continue.
Thanks to my Medicare Advantage plan, I am able to continue visiting my doctor because of the limited copays for these services.
I am so thankful for Medicare Advantage because it allows seniors, like me, to cover all of our needs at an extremely affordable price.
With a diverse array of benefits, from telehealth or grocery delivery, every person can access the care that works for them.
Should Congress decide to make cuts to Medicare Advantage, the health care seniors have access to will diminish. If copays become too high, I will no longer be able to afford my preventative testing and exams. I hope Sen. Chuck Schumer understands the additional stress and anxiety cuts would cause the senior community and fights to protect the 1.6 million New Yorkers who choose Medicare Advantage.
Laura Fantauzzi
Albany

State should help out St. Clare’s pensioners

Here we are facing another winter which is creeping up upon us that the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees are going to have to try to survive through.
It would be nice if Gov. Kathy Hochul would be kind enough along with the state Legislature to aid the retirees in trying to find the money which they need to restore all of their pensions.
I would like to join the others who are asking the governor and the Legislature to please try to find a solution to the St. Clare’s pension collapse. It has been three long hard years that 1,100 loyal healthcare workers have been trying to cope with this without having a nervous breakdown.
As we can all see, the retirees are not young people anymore. So with age, life has gotten so much harder without their pensions.
Each year, it seems the prices for everything keep going up, with the retirees needing more money they don’t have. If the governor and the Legislature would consider helping the retirees, it would be an answer to the retirees’ prayers and a chance to have their lives back again. Remember the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees served New York with honor, so it would be fitting for the state to return the same act of kindness.
Walter “Neal” Brazell
Rotterdam

Medicaid bill will help epilepsy patients

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological problem affecting one in 26 people at some point in their lives.
In the United States, 150,000 diagnoses are made each year. Quick and easy access to treatments that help control their symptoms (seizures) is critical to support safety and promote better long-term health outcomes for these Americans.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York has been a steadfast advocate for Medicaid and other measures that expand healthcare for patients.
Epilepsy patients on Medicaid can be more vulnerable to long-term health consequences as they often face significant barriers to getting needed healthcare. Without necessary access to health professionals and consistent medication, Americans with epilepsy can develop worsening symptoms and side effects, potentially leading to brain damage or death.
Fortunately, legislative bill S6603/A7598 helps address these concerns. This bill will expand access for the 5 million New York Medicaid beneficiaries, to support earlier diagnosis of epilepsy in patients and provide more consistent future care while allowing patients to choose which pharmacies they can visit.
Bill S6603/A7598 will be pivotal for epilepsy patients, helping to improve medication compliance and long-term health outcomes.
The changes will help those on Medicaid struggling to receive care from a local or community medical center. New Yorkers will be healthier and safer because of it.
The foundation and I encourage Gov. Kathy Hochul to enact S6603/A7598 to give patients access to the care and support they need. The bill has passed the Assembly and Senate unanimously and awaits the governor’s signature.
Jeannine Garab
Albany
The writer is executive director of Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern NY.

A history lesson on freedom for us all

In 1905 the czar of Imperial Russia conducted a pogrom. My grandfather lived near Bialystok, not far from Belarus —White Russia. In 1905 Polish Catholics were a 30% minority in that region. After World War II, 100% majority, but fewer in number.
Cossacks came in 1905 to kill Jews. Poles were not exempt from the sword. Young Polish boys (men) would give the Cossacks the finger, so to speak, or sing patriotic Polish songs. For this, they got their right hand chopped off. This was a message to Poles; they could not raise their voice against the master. Censorship of the sword. Grandfather made a quick exit from Poland via Hamburg.
A woman told me a story of two great uncles in Poland during Nazi occupation. One was a mason and the other a master carpenter working on a church. Germans wanted Poles for forced labor in the Reich.
The Poles explained that their services were required to repair the church. The Germans asked the mason which hand he worked with. He said his right hand, and they shot his right hand off. The carpenter lied and said he was left-handed, so the left hand came off. The carpenter made a device with a hook so he could use what was left of his left arm.
In America, woke like a Stalinist purge is a blade that cuts both ways. No one is secure; fear is the intention. Americans are losing their freedoms, then comes the sword.
Edmond Day
Rotterdam

Enjoyed the hunt for comics, crosswords

The Gazette gave me a chuckle on Oct. 1. I always like to read the comics first so I can then take on the news with a happy point of view. That morning I picked up the local section, where the comics usually are, opening it to the next to last page, their usual spot, and there were no comics. That happens from time to time. “Ah!” I said, “they’ve moved them again. I should go to the front page index and see where they are.”
So I went there, and it said the comics were in section F2-3. Following directions I went to F2-3. Nope. Hoping they weren’t gone altogether, I cruised through F and there they were on F8-9. Thanks for still having the comics and the crossword. I enjoyed the hunt.
Dorie McArthur
Glenville

Believing propaganda will be costly to many

“Nothing is so much to be feared as fear,” — Henry David Thoreau.
“…(T)he only thing we have to fear is fear itself… In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt (March 4, 1933)
What to make of the words of Thoreau or Roosevelt? Not to listen to the propaganda, as it only excites fear within you? Listen to the leadership?
What does one do when the propaganda is coming from the leadership and the media groups that are supporting them?
Fact: Anyone that votes for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill in Washington, be they from the House or the Senate, is voting to raise everyone’s taxes.
There has been no bill that has ever been passed that targeted one group of people (high income) with a higher tax rate that didn’t also raise the tax rate on the middle class. Remember the Affordable Health Care Act? The ‘penalty’ imposed on you if you didn’t apply and get health insurance? The Supreme Court said you cannot penalize someone for not getting health insurance; you have to call it a tax.
That “no one earning under $400,000 will see their taxes increase” propaganda? Drop a zero and change it to “no one earning under $40,000 will see their taxes increase.”
Gerald V. Marmuscak
Schenectady

Mayor should return Liberty to her home

On Oct. 28,1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York City. President Cleveland gave a speech but didn’t give any funds to the project.
We, the thousands of Schenectady area residents, and our neighbors, are asking Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy to do the same; replace the empty space in Gateway (Liberty) Park with Schenectady’s own statue. Oct. 28 would be the perfect date.
According to a Gazette survey on July 13, 2019, there were 148 votes or 49% for the statue to return to Gateway Park, Steinmetz Park had 8 votes with 3%, Veterans Park had 40 votes with 13%, Central Park had 63 votes with 21%, somewhere else had 24 votes with 8%. Lady Liberty’s current location had zero votes.
That tells the true story of what the citizens want. Where Lady Liberty is now located is the worst spot in the whole area.
I’ve known Mayor McCarthy for 50 years and we’ve had a good relationship both personally and professionally.
I’m asking the mayor for the citizens of Schenectady to return the Statue of Liberty to Gateway (Liberty) Park where the Boy Scouts of America rattled their jars and cans to collect the needed funds to bring her here in 1950.
Mayor McCarthy has accomplished a lot to bring the city back to a place that people are proud of.
His Smart City initiative is a pet project, and a great one. Mayor McCarthy, before your term ends, please return the Statue of Liberty to her rightful home.
James A. Wilson
Schenectady

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

17 Comments

St. Clare’s pensioners, the Church should bail you out not our tax dollars. There’s other people lost there pension
are we bailing them to? I wonder if there watching this to see if the state does bail them out? if they do than they can bail us to.

RAYMOND HARRIS

RAYMOND HARRIS
October 8th, 2021
So more guns make us safer? I don’t think so. As guns flood the market, so do murders and mass shootings. This part of American history and current events should be taught in schools so we can begin to rid ourselves with this obsession that the only way to protect yourself is to shoot first in self-defense. Now that is an oxymoron.

Reply
Joseph Vendetti
October 9th, 2021
Ray:

Any home pressure cooker can be used for mass killing & maming! So can 2 lbs of nails and other supplies (i won’t name) from pharmacy & hardware store. More mass killers – alcohol, tobacco, automobiles- when will it end with things we will ban for safety? The hell with technology, personal enjoyment, building materials, cooking devices and really personal responsibilities.

I can agree with you on many things – but not this one.

Joe (10/9), I didn’t know we needed more gun deaths to compete with other unintentional deaths. Do you really think gun murderers will now go to the extreme effort of making bombs to satisfy their lust for killing? Also, what do have against safety measures?

Joseph Vendetti

Ray:

I think from mans existence on this planet we have used everything available to us to kill one another.

So if there were no guns people would use another weapon – knife, bat, etc. But a school shooter that wanted to inflict carnage and didn’t have a gun at their disposal – absolutely think they would look to blowing a school up.

I’m all for safety measures – my weapons are locked away. Thumbprint open safe that is 1,440 lbs and bolted to floor. Ammo is locked also. When I go to the range I use firing pin locks.

I don’t own any long guns that can hold more then 2 rounds. So not a fan and see no reason that the AR should be in anyones hands besides LEO’s or Military. The ARs on the market can be so easily modified to create an automatic weapon from a semi automatic weapon. Plus there is no sport in shooting at a deer or bear or bird with something that holds 30 rounds – so I am against that weaponry

I for one am tiring quickly of your boasting about your weaponry, and how careful you are with it. It’s the same old tired defense I’ve seen so many places and it looks so much like you and your gun-friends bragging you have a lifeboat while the rest of the ship’s passengers are drowning.
I’ve shot enough guns to know how it feels to fire a round off and obliterate a target, instantaneously. That’s the problem: it’s a very efficient way to inflict a lot of damage. It could be in the hands of a skeet shooter, or a cop, or a nervous homeowner, or a child. All it takes is one instantaneous twinge of fear, or anger, or play.
Bang, lives are ruined in an instant.
And there you all are, waving from your lifeboat yelling “sucks to be you all! Get a gun!”.
A little acceptance that this civilized, first-world country has the worst record for gun deaths and injury in the world, and maybe some cooperation for solving that problem would go a long way. But we don’t hear much from you all about that part.

Joseph Vendetti

Chuck – I don’t boast! I own handguns for protection and a sidearm while hunting.

I pick up cash from scrap yards around the US for cash bonuses occasionally. I can’t tell if or when some person would try and get that or my vehicle. I also have weapons at home because the police can’t be everywhere all the time. While we have an alarm system, I can’t be certain that someone desperate won’t do something very stupid. I would much rather be prepared and never have to unholster my weapon then not have one and need it.

I did say I am against weapons (Mainly AR’s) that can place large volumes of ammo at the hands of mentally ill, deranged, bad people – those weapons should only be used for LEO’s and Military.

Whenever one of you tosses out the “pressure cookers can kill (or whatever…), all killers will do so by any means, don’t pick on our guns.” thing it’s clearly a deflection from what makes guns so inherently, uniquely lethal.

Gun lovers don’t want to talk about the beautiful efficiency with which guns can destroy people. Gun lovers, “responsible” gun lovers, don’t want to acknowledge how this particular tool as become so readily available in our culture and so destructive, whether in defense or in anger or inadvertently.

Gun lovers only want to talk about their bastardization of their perceived 1st Amendment rights. And if you don’t agree? The gun’s pointed at you, babe. “Cold dead hands”, and all that drama.

People like Pastor Charlie Muller in Albany should be up for sainthood for the work he’s done getting guns off the streets of Albany (can’t say I’ve ever heard of gun buy-backs in Schenectady). Groups like the NRA should be championing people like him. But probably not in our lifetime.

Doug Hampton

Good letter by Laura Fantauzzi regarding Medicare Advantage. The younger Medicare beneficiaries often don’t realize how much Medicare has improved it’s benefits and insurance offerings now. I have been working with Medicare for roughly 25 years and it’s never been better mainly because of it’s affordability, the preventative screenings, and the Part D coverage. There are numerous great plans available but much of it’s value relies on government support. People don’t realize that their Medicare premium along with their Advantage plan do not cover the entire program Roughly 33 % is subsidized by the federal gov’t so we do need the support of Schumer and all the rest.

Florida2015

Medicare Advantage Plans. My daughter who is admission director at local nursing home suggests you review most plans for there advantages or dis-advantages in re-guard to long term rehab or nursing home stays, and length of time you are allowed for these items. She deals many days with explaining that time for these stays is usually very short with most MA plans compared to regular Medicare stays. Do your research and decide if you want silver sneakers or maybe more time in rehab if needed.
Cynical review of Medicare Advantage by T Hartmann plans.https://hartmannreport.com/p/time-to-end-the-medicare-advantage

Doug Hampton

Medicare Supplements are still available and typically clients that have poor health and reasonable income will opt for them. The only negative to a Supplement is the higher costs and perhaps a few of the extras (dental,glasses etc.). There is no long term care benefit through Medicare and the rehab benefit is 100 days maximum with the first 20 days usually no cost to the client. The 21 through 100 days is what your daughter is likely referring to as that is where the differences are both with Advantage or Supplement. Medicare Advantage plans are not perfect for sure but they do cover most folks in a pretty efficient manner.

Doug Hampton

I read the Hartmann report. Cynical for sure. Health care delivery will be debated forever. There are pros and cons no matter what direction one chooses. It always comes down to money sadly. I look at Advantage plans as a good compromise or even better a hybrid of both private and gov’t coming together. Again not perfect but as I tell all my clients….a perfect plan does not exist. They are very popular and here to stay. I do agree with 1 thing he said….yes they have made Medicare way more complicated than it needs to be.

Martha Bencic

“Another Oath Keeper, Jeremy Brown, ran for Congress as a Republican in Florida last year but withdrew prior to the primary. Last week, he was arrested for his role in the Jan. 6 assault. Joining a list of more than 20 Oath Keepers or associates who have been charged to date, he is accused of, among other things, organizing transport to the Capitol building.”

Liz Joy also organized transport to the insurrection. We need to know if anyone in her group was involved.

William Marincic
January 1st, 2021

…he has no clue what’s coming out of his mouth and trust me he will be remove as president and liberal Kamala Harris will take his place within the year. That’s if he even makes it to the presidency we still have January 6.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Law and order! Isn’t that right, Republicans and Oath Keepers and Promise Keepers?
But whose? On January 6th, we saw whose.
Not ours.

Thank you, James Wilson, for keeping the city’s Statue of Liberty’s abuse alive.
Where it sits can only be described as an insult.

Cynthia, I feel if you’re a paying subscriber you shouldn’t be subject to advertising being forced on you. That’s why I feel no hesitation to use blockers so I never see them.
They got my money, there’s no reason to keep trying to make more money off me. I didn’t agree to that.

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