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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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