Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Oct. 16


Military needs audit of waste, spending

The Pentagon has never passed an audit.
Despite receiving hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars annually, the Pentagon has never provided adequate records to complete an audit. The expected Pentagon budget for 2021 is $740 billion, yet it can’t account where the money goes.
Even the huge Department of Health and Human Services has managed clean audits for 22 years in a row.
Blind support of the military ignores this wanton waste and denies funding of programs for the basic needs of Americans.
Military consultants, including retired generals and politicians, obtain vast sums of taxpayer money for overpriced and often useless military projects.
This is the very definition of the “Military Industrial Complex” as coined by President Eisenhower. Do we really need 750 military bases in 80 countries or three Air National Guard units in New York?
The ANG fly C-130s in a go-cart flight pattern for hours polluting our air and further contributing to global warming. However, I was told by ANG’s Public Affairs officer that “the commanders don’t want to change anything.” In the Adirondacks, Air Force jets have disturbed visitors, businesses, wildlife and residents yet likewise complaints to commanders went largely unaddressed.
Independent audits of the military are long overdue.
Budgets should be withheld except for essential functions and payment of personnel until audits are completed. We need to end taxpayer funded military welfare, and instead fully fund education and social programs. If the military desires more money, perhaps they should have a bake sale.
Doreen Harris

Trump haters have gotten it all wrong

In response to Anthony Santo’s Oct. 12 letter (“Trump should face justice for actions”) about President Trump.
Donald Trump is not getting prosecuted for anything because he has done nothing wrong period. If he had with all the Trump haters in this country, it would have already happened.
To all Trump haters, I can only say this: Learn how to look at the facts. You don’t get the facts by listening to the media. You don’t get the facts by listening to your neighbor who gets their opinion the same way you do.
If you make statements emotionally, you’re wasting everybody’s time. Also how do all you Trump haters enjoy the high gas prices? How do you like the unsafe border? How do you like the fact that Biden caused the death of our military soldiers in Afghanistan? How do you like the fact that there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan?
If you want to complain about something, complain about what’s important. Oh by the way the midterms are getting closer and also stop with the B.S about the Republicans fixing how to vote. The Republicans want it the way it should be. No ID, no vote.
Do I like everything about Donald Trump? No I don’t but the country was way better off when he was in the White House.
To all ungrateful Democrats that hate Trump, in case you forgot, he is the one who gave you the vaccine like it or not, and Biden is forcing Trump’s vaccine on everyone. How’s that?
Anthony Wassil



Are school districts really under assault?

There are 14,000 public school districts in the United States. Among these, the National School Boards Association (NSBA), in a letter to President Biden, found enough evidence to declare that “education leaders are under an immediate threat,” and that all federal law enforcement agencies should be used to counter the threat.
What evidence does the NSBA include in its letter? It refers to 18 (0.12% of the total) school districts to support its allegation that “threats of violence and acts of intimidation” are occurring across the United States.
The parents being labeled as domestic terrorists in the NSBA letter are refusing to wear masks, talking past their time allotment, holding “education not indoctrination” signs, and making statements like “we are coming after you.”
In one case an individual was accused of trespassing for refusing to leave a meeting, and in another an individual struck a school official and was appropriately arrested for aggravated battery.
Are we to believe that these are acts of “violence, malice, or terror?” Do these acts justify U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in mobilizing the FBI and all U.S. attorneys to “identify, investigate, and prosecute” parents involved in the exercise of their First Amendment rights? Should “open dedicated lines of communication” be set aside by law enforcement agencies to allow anyone to report the alleged threats?
With crime, drugs and human trafficking skyrocketing, why would the Justice Department make parents speaking out at school board meetings a priority?
Richard A. Evans
Burnt Hills


Squatters can’t claim adverse possession

I write regarding the Oct. 3 Sunday Gazette editorial (“Time to reform laws on squatters’ rights.”)
The article states, “If the squatter who lives on the property openly and without permission can manage to get away with living on the property for ten straight years, that person can claim ‘adverse possession’ and actually take over legal ownership of the property.”
That statement is incorrect. Even prior to the revision of the adverse possession statute squatters could not achieve adverse possession.
The new statute most particularly prohibits such an adverse possession claim in that it requires anyone attempting to achieve adverse possession must establish that  he/she had a “claim of right.” Squatters cannot do that.
It also might be noted that the new statute negates the achievement of adverse possession across boundary lines by the erection of a fence or rows of shrubs or lawn mowing.
Peter V. Coffey

Employers should back cancer testing

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer Prevention in Action Program encourages employers to help employees stay up to date with cancer screening, like mammograms, by adding a benefit for paid time off for cancer screenings.
More than ever, it is crucial to get routine cancer screenings done.
Data shows 41% of U.S. adults delayed medical care due to the pandemic. Employers can help staff get appointments back on track and back on their calendars.
In addition to potentially saving lives, being an employer who supports cancer prevention has other benefits.
Studies find employers who offer paid time off for cancer screening have healthier workforce because staff are encouraged to get routine cancer screenings.
Paid time off is cost effective. Medical costs for cancer are high, cancer is the second leading cause of long-term disability. It’s estimated to cost a business more than $1,600 annually in lost productivity for each employee diagnosed with cancer. Savings related to early detection of cancers pay for the costs of providing this benefit.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. A mammogram can find breast cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat. An estimated 87% drop in mammography screening was seen from February to April of 2020.
Cancer screenings remain a public health priority.
If you are an employer interested in creating a healthier workforce, saving lives and reducing business costs, contact CPiA program 518-770-6815.
Kelsey Carpe
The writer is health education promotions coordinator, Cancer Prevention in Action Program of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties.

McGraw should represent all voters

The political division that is being sown by Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw is bad for Niskayuna and has to end.
On Oct. 8, Councilwoman McGraw posted on Facebook a picture of herself (with a big smile on her face) standing outside a Niskayuna residence which was displaying support for former President Trump. Above her smiling photo, Councilwoman McGraw proudly announced that she didn’t have the vote of these particular residents and I find the shaming of my neighbors terribly offensive.
And Councilwoman McGraw is clearly signaling that she is only interested in advancing the interests of people who share her political party affiliation (to the extent she is interested in advancing any interests besides her own).
Such prioritizing of politics over people has led some municipalities to change to non-partisan elections and choose candidates committed to making the community better rather than scoring social media points.
I am sick of reading about the chaos in Niskayuna, all of it pointing directly to Councilwoman McGraw. Instead of focusing on herself and her political games, she should focus on what she was elected to do. All residents should be respected, and we all deserve better.
Niskayuna needs a big change.
Michael Colvin

Jeram well suited to serve as town judge

I am so excited and proud to be supporting my wonderful neighbor, Jennifer Jeram, in her bid for Clifton Park town judge.
If you have not met her already, to meet Jen is to trust Jen. She is kind, intelligent and hard working. She and her husband, Dan, are already so active in our community — volunteering at school, other local organizations, coaching, etc., and they have cutest three kiddos.
Jen has been working full-time as an attorney in the state Supreme Court for the past 15 years, and as her neighbor I have seen firsthand her ability to balance her career and her family. She gives 110% to everything she does, showing up in heels at the bus stop in the morning and still wearing them to the baseball game that night. She cares deeply about the public she serves, about her family and about making her community a better place – her drive and motivation will be such an asset to Town Court. I have no doubt that our community will benefit greatly with Jen as one of our town judges.
Please join me in voting Jennifer Jeram for Clifton Park town judge on Nov. 2.
Andrea Mitola
Clifton Park

Sanghvi best for Spa City Finance seat

I’m Minita Sanghvi’s neighbor and I’m voting for her as the next Commissioner of Finance for Saratoga Springs. We met Minita and her wife, Megan, when they moved onto our street in 2014. Like most immigrant citizens, Minita is proud of her U.S. citizenship. And as she has noted, it’s not where you’re from that’s important, but it’s where you settle and choose to live.
Her commitment to give back to her Saratoga Springs community is evidenced in her high level of engagement in local organizations and politics, including as finance director of our public library board.
Saratoga Springs needs to do more and better in the drive to become a carbon neutral city, we need more year-around tourism, we need smart and sustainable investment to rebuild the city’s post-pandemic finances, we need to not only build, but also fund the staffing of the East Side fire station/public safety facility. And maybe most importantly, we need city leaders who are committed to open dialogue with all constituents.
While Minita’s education, experience and skill set make her qualified to execute the duties of the position, it’s her enthusiasm, energy, heart and commitment that motivated me to write this endorsement.
Bruce Klion
Saratoga Springs

Amy Flood vital to Clifton Park board

As a member of Clifton Park Town’s Historic/Cultural Center, I have had the pleasure of working with Amy Flood as she was our liaison to the Town Board.
During that time, she worked tirelessly with us to secure the necessary funds to complete the center’s renovation and equip it with communication technology.
I also observed that she isn’t afraid of physical work either. Rain or shine, she is out volunteering on the town’s community projects such as Paper Shredding Day, Hazardous Waste Collection Day, Farm Fest, Clifton Park’s July 4th celebration, Veterans and Scholarship Breakfast, Clifton Park’s 17th Annual National Night Out, Back to School Collection Drive, Senior Center Summer BBQ, Summer Bike Helmet Program, and helping our group Spring-Clean the Cultural Center’s gardens.
Needless to say, Amy Flood is a tribute to our Clifton Park community and a necessary member of our Clifton Park Town Board. Let’s make sure we keep her there.
Dorothy Bourdeau
Clifton Park
The writer is membership chairman of the Friends of Historic Grooms Tavern.

Marines are welcome to join Detachment

On Nov. 10, the U.S. Marine Corps will celebrate 246 years of service to our country.
All Marines, active and retired —you are cordially invited to become an important part in one of the most active and premiere veterans’ groups in the Capital District “The Electric City Detachment Marine Corps League.” This well-known organization’s main purpose is to provide “Esprit de Corps” amongst its brother and sister veterans and to assist them or their families, if necessary, in any way. The League is very visible during communitywide celebrations, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day services.
For further information on the Electric City Detachment concerning meetings, events, etc., mail your request to the Marine Corps League, P.O. Box 3456, Schenectady, NY 12303 or call 518-428-7793.
Your questions will be answered in a concise and orderly fashion as soon as possible… and remember “there is no such thing as an ex-Marine. Once a Marine Always a Marine.”
Dominic Famularo



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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

ChuckD October 16, 2021
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The FBI interview transcript of their interrogation of a Trump supporter accused of tasing Officer Michael Fanone on January 6th shows the various excuses the suspect made for his conduct.

Federal prosecutors have charged Daniel Rodriguez with eight counts, including assault on an officer.

“So how did the Danny that stood on the line in between law enforcement and Antifa/BLM, how did you get to that point? What happened in your life? Like, how did you start going to these rallies?” Rodriguez was asked.

“Infowars,” Rodriguez replied.

He also addressed why he tasered Officer Fanone.

“So you think that Officer Fanone’s being carried out, held by his arms and legs. Why did you taser him?” the FBI asked. “You said he was struggling.”

“And you chose to assault him while he’s struggling?” the agent asked.

“Well, I just felt that, like — I didn’t know what they were going to do to him,” Rodriguez replied.

“And so, you tasered him to protect him?” the FBI asked.

“I mean, that sounds stupid. I don’t know if I tasered him to protect him, but maybe just to, like — so he wouldn’t struggle and get hurt, maybe. If they’re going to beat him up or injury him or, like — I don’t know if they’re going to — I don’t know what was going to happen to him,” he replied.

An agent pleaded with the suspect to be honest.

“Then, tell us what happened. Don’t leave the story be this crappy story that you’re telling us right now, that you were just there to help him and taser him,” the agent said.

“I’m not smart,” Rodriguez said.

“Think about your mom,” the agent said.

“No. I’m just not smart,” he said. “I’m not lying to you guys.”

The suspect’s views on his own intelligence were repeated later in the interview.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know that we were doing the wrong thing. I thought we were doing the f*cking right thing. I thought we were going to be — I’m so stupid. I thought I was going to be awesome. I thought I was a good guy,” Rodriguez said.

“Am I mental? Am I? Am I just that stupid?” Rodriguez asked. “Did we all really just — are we all that stupid that we thought we were going to go do this and save the country and it was all going to be fine after? We really thought that. That’s so stupid, huh?”

The transcript was reportedly released by Rodriguez’ lawyer.

ChuckD October 16, 2021
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To the Moderator:
I am again having a time posting a reply here. There is nothing about it that would violate standards of appropriateness, nor multiple URLs, nor anything spam-worthy. Yet I’ve tried several times to post it and am getting a message that I’ve already posted it. No amount of refreshing, or logging off and back on reveals it though.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this here.
Please advise so we all know what the rules are, if I’m in violation of any (which I doubt),

LOUIS RESTIFO October 16, 2021
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I believe the main force driving the current American divide is the same as it was during the Civil War era; White supremacy vs. racial equality.
There’s no other explanation.

At least there’s one blogger willing to confirm my theory.

April 6th, 2021
And it was God’s will that the superior White man rule the world!
Right Bill?

April 6th, 2021
Yes. Yes it certainly was.

ChuckD October 16, 2021
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William Aiken this week:
Well, what about this (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about that (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about this (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about that (Biden atrocity)?

William Aiken last week:
Well, what about this (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about that (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about this (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about that (Biden atrocity)?

William Aiken (and every other right wing Republican/Trump sycophant) for the past couple years:
Well, what about this (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about that (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about this (Biden atrocity)?
Well, what about that (Biden atrocity)?

fredsmith October 16, 2021
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Louis: You deemed Mr. Wassil’s letter to be unworthy of your response. But in fact you did respond by implying Mr. Wassil had “an orange alien microchip” implanted in his “skull” and he was “not capable of independent thinking.” Further you accused him of being a “deaf eared, closed minded” individual who has “non-flexible preconceived ideas” that will never change regardless of all and any circumstances”. What kind of argument is that?

Doug: Why would you expect Mr. Wassil to criticize Mr. Trump. He has you, Louis and others who frequent this column to do that. The objective of his letter was to criticize the many serious failings of Biden.

Louis, Doug, Ray, Florida: All of you are focused on Trump. But Biden has been president for the last 9 months. Trump has not been in charge since January 20. Biden is in charge. It’s his border crisis, his withdrawal from Afghanistan, his inability to convince Americans to get vaccinated, his 5+% inflation rate. It is Biden’s job to solve the problems. So far, in my opinion, he has failed dramatically. Focusing on Trump merely obfuscates the problems that need to be dealt with today.

Florida2015 October 16, 2021
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William, As far of the rest of your statements please read Lois’s response. I’ll re-post it here for you in case you missed it, and add your name to it along with Mr Wassil.

Anthony Wassil, not worth refuting, for the 10,000th time, any aspects of your letter.

Perhaps a trip to an imaging center would be in order for you. Schedule an x-ray to determine if, unbeknownst to you, an orange alien microchip has been implanted into your skull, causing the robotic, standard pre-programmed responses that are constantly regurgitated by Fox watching individuals that are not capable of independent thinking.
It’s that other CRT (Can’ Really Think) that infects some people they can be looking for.

Florida2015 October 16, 2021
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Louis, You forgot to mention they build a gallows in your front yard and chant Hang (insert your name) , they meant no harm, just funnin with you.
Sorry William your definition of clarity and armed or not are once again based on facts.

William Aiken October 16, 2021
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President Biden didn’t create any of the currant problems?
Cancelled XL pipeline diminishing the US as energy independent and increasing gas prices. Rescinded Trump’s stay in Mexico policy that had disincentivized immigrants from crossing border illegally. And all this Biden did on his first day! He chose to abandon the Bagram air base along with 85 billion in weapons that will be used against the US. Biden ignored the advice of his military experts and then he lied about it on national TV to ABC news. There’s still Americans left behind in Afghanistan!

On your other point, we aren’t going to agree. So let’s try for clarity. You believe Jan 6th was an attempt to overthrow the government. I don’t see how that was possible when NONE of the rioters were armed and President Trump instructed them, “make your voices heard patriotically and peacefully.” Your take can be forgiven as you might have missed this telling quote if you’re relying on CNN/ MSNBC to inform your views.

Florida2015 October 16, 2021
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Mr Aiken,
President Biden didn’t create any of the currant problems. WE (you know all Americans) are dealing with. When he beat your guy by 7 million votes he inherited these problems from the boarder,Afghanistan, the pandemic to name few. No need to explain where all these came problems came from, you wouldn’t admit or believe it anyway.
On the boarder you do owe Biden some credit as they have kept title 42 in place and rumor is “remain in Mexico” will be re-instituted. Even though your “news” sources could give FG credit for these but since Biden is keeping them how are they going to keep bashing Biden with out FG policy looking bad?
Look up our exit from Viet Nam if think Afghanistan was bad.
As far as 1/6 and not caring as a American I care very much. Being a veteran and granddaughter is currently serving. Judges who are starting to met out sentences to the insurrections also seem to care as the Republicans serving on the select committee seem to care. You don’t? Shame on you as any freedom loving American should. They tried to OVERTHROW the duly elected goverment. Do you not understand that?
We should all be concerned with what is going on in this country and work TOGETHER to find solutions. Do you remember the late 60’s and early 70’s and what we were going thru?

Doug Hampton October 16, 2021
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Funny thing is that if it really was antifa out there (like your side initially claimed),you would have a whole different outlook! Then when that didn’t fly,your side said that it was over blown. Now Joe Biden’s poor performance over rides violence! Very sad point of view. I actually feel sad for you that you can rationalize this away. For what it’s worth,I am not crazy about Biden so far either but I will never look away from Jan 6th. Period.

FRED BARNEY October 16, 2021
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I offer a simple way to cut down the use of fossil fuels – limit car ownership to one per household.

LOUIS RESTIFO October 16, 2021
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Anthony Wassil, not worth refuting, for the 10,000th time, any aspects of your letter.

Perhaps a trip to an imaging center would be in order for you. Schedule an x-ray to determine if, unbeknownst to you, an orange alien microchip has been implanted into your skull, causing the robotic, standard preprogrammed responses that are constantly regurgitated by Fox watching individuals that are not capable of independent thinking.