Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Nov. 13


Consider cannabis stores in Niskayuna

I have to assume there are others out there like me, right?
And we like minded people are not ‘radicals’ or ‘disloyal.’
We can simply see that our town needs some unity, which is why I split my ticket on Election Day.
Like many people, my family made a choice to set down roots and raise our children here, so we want a town government that doesn’t fall into group-think or one that falls prey to a dominant personality.
My message to those like-minded Niskayuners that also split their vote is that we have a lot of say in what happens to our town over the next few years.
Our town leaders need to be forward thinking, embrace technology and embrace the realities of our current moment.
Does it make sense to devote funds to solve mythical traffic issues, when we could be taking a serious look at the benefits to allowing retail cannabis stores and on-site consumption lounges in our town?
I’m a firm believer that these small businesses are the future leaders of our community and it’s time to start having that collective conversation.
Colonie has already voted not to allow these small businesses to operate, and now is our chance to get in on the ground floor of this emerging industry.
Now that the election is over, it’s time for our elected leaders to get to work and put the discussion up to constituents about these important issues so we the people can have a say.
Brendan Kennedy


Why does governor ignore St. Clare’s?

I see where Gov. Kathy Hochul is requesting $450 million for the tourism industry. What about the St. Claire’s pensioners, who have yet to hear from the governor?
Why is it that New York state can come up with money for needed improvements, of which there are many, but when there are issues with regard to the pensioners. nothing is said?
And then they wonder why people have a lack of trust in government accountability.
James Lechowicz

Immigrants benefit while seniors suffer

On Nov. 8, the borders between Canada and the United States were open with mandatory certification of being fully vaccinated. The border has been closed for two years for travel.
Undocumented immigrants from across Mexican borders have been crossing for years without the same restrictions. So, if these people are among the lucky ones, the U.S. government may award thousands of tax free dollars to these families.
They probably have never paid any taxes to our country, but will get money from hard-working citizens that contribute to our country’s economy. People from Haiti were flown back home and kicked out of the country. A bit confusing to say the least.
Seniors this January are being thrown a bone in a cost-of-living increase to their Social Security monthly payments. One trip to the grocery store and gas station will eat up that quickly. Some seniors will have to choose between lifesaving drugs and/or heat this winter.
Most of these people have worked hard to enjoy life after retirement and struggle to keep in today’s economy while undocumented immigrants may get a handout. Our government at its finest.
Paul St. Onge

Get the facts on getting vaccinated

Now, the FDNY and three other unions can claim a “religious or medical exemption” in order to stay on the payroll.
How is it that the rest of us have to abide by the rules on vaccination mandates, while others of us are above the rules (Aaron Rodgers)?
Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of having to wear a mask at my place of work to protect others from my possible spread of COVID-19 or the Delta variant, while the reverse is not true for patrons entering.
Of all places the mandated workers vaccine should be welcome is in New York City.
As I stated before, remembering all those refrigerated trailers with COVID-19 victims should be enough reason to vaccinate without needing a mandate.
The discourse about vaccine hesitancy is beyond my comprehension. An RN was fired for non-compliance with a hospital mandate and ended up at my place of work.
I assure you, it’s a major downgrade in salary and prestige from that of a healthcare professional.
When I asked her, “Why would you refuse to vaccinate?” She replied, “People that got vaccinated were suffering from strokes and blood clots and the vaccine is not safe.”
I said that if that was a major side effect, it would be all over the news. Then I thought to myself, “Fake News.” I am in the minority.
I read a newspaper every day, watch the evening news and read non-fiction to get perspective.
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.
Bob Belive

Ballston Spa meeting a political bloodbath

Mayor Woolbright’s resignation at the village meeting in Ballston Spa, broadcast on Zoom, was more like the “Red Wedding” episode in Game of Thrones than a board meeting.
The 50 or so invited guests and a reporter, many with prepared statements of praise for the mayor and condemnation for the trustees, all seemed to know what was coming.
The only ones apparently unaware of the banquet were his partners on the board. They were, instead, on the menu being served as the main course. It was a crass display of partisan politics with a drama=filled monologue meant to publicly shame and castrate fellow public servants before gleefully passing them over to his equally partisan supporters to do the same.
Extremely well-orchestrated and timely. Election timely. A cautionary tale of what befalls a municipality when Democrats get in. Ewww, scary!
The kicker of course — almost before the meeting ended, lengthy firsthand accounts and scathing statements appeared online in neighboring Milton. The goal was to scare the voters, and it worked.
Like a game of war, they sacrificed the stockade (Ballston Spa) to protect the fort (Milton), or a classic chess game of sacrificing a bishop to take the queen. Sadly, that will be the only legacy we will remember about the once-revered ex-mayor who claimed to want to rid politics of nastiness and ended up creating the most graphic example our village has ever seen.
Keith Lewis
Ballston Spa

Worry about street conditions, not statue

I wish the mayor and council of Schenectady could make their time more useful instead of worrying about statues. The Broadway Road that goes by the Bond Funeral Home is worse than a cow path. It is so bumpy that I am leaving pieces of my truck behind no matter how slow I go. Let’s get it fixed please.
Al Zanger

Where was concern for voters in Milton

As a new resident to the town of Milton, we voted for the first time at the Milton Fire Station on Geyser Road. Since just about the whole town votes at this one location by district, it is a very busy polling place.
Upon arriving, the lot around the fire station was full, leaving the lot across the street on the south side of Geyser Road for parking, which was also just about filled up.
It was dark by about 7 p.m. All the streetlights on the south side of Geyser Road were not working and there were no lights in the big parking lot. There were groups of people trying to cross a busy Geyser Road in complete darkness. I’m very surprised no one was hit by a car, because traffic was not slowing down.
It’s ironic that while we were inside casting our votes for town officials and the sheriff, there was absolutely no concern for public safety for the residents voting for them.
Shame on all of you.
Joseph Kelly

A local paper should cover the local news

I think I am over The Gazette. Time to move on. I have been a reader since the late 1950’s, even had it mailed to Germany when I was in the service.
Lately there have been glaring errors in almost every edition of The Gazette, too numerous to comment on. The Nov. 3 edition was no different, with an added problem.
First, there was an article on page A3, about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. The article ended in the middle of a sentence; there is no way to know how much of this article didn’t get printed.
The thing that really bugged me though, was the lack of election results from the town of Glenville. There was a front page article about Saratoga results; inside, a lengthy report on the Canajoharie results and a third of a page on the Niskayuna results.
It would appear that The Gazette reporter stopped in Glenville to do a few interviews on her way to Niskayuna. I know, you are shorthanded, but where am I supposed to go for local news, if not the local newspaper?
Frank B. Strauss

Showing off muscle car power is stupid

This is not the 1960s or 1970s when special engine Corvettes came roaring down the street, convertible tops down, rock and roll music blaring with the volume turned almost to the top and the kids playing in the street, hearing them a block away, scrambled toward the sidewalks. Ho hum, just another Corvette or Ford or Chrysler muscle car.
There was only radar to watch out for. But now we live in a different innocent-lost world. We have cameras, people have cell phones to capture license plates, car identification and, in the future, listening devices (sounds exceeding certain decibels emitting from autos exceeding 130 mph) on major highways like the Thruway and Northway.
Some specially built Corvettes, depending on rear axle gear ratios, can exceed 165 mph, but you do not have to prove it. Racing a powerful modern automobile, no matter what make, in traffic is not “showing off;” it’s showing your stupidity.
Real race course drivers, away from the race course, exercise restraint and humility.
Zora and his team of engineers have had this problem since 1955. It’s the same unsolvable problem, then and now. The problem is…how do we fix…the nut behind the wheel?
Don DeFilippo

Opponents staging a political war in village

Zlata and Forman Phillips’ Nov. 5 letter to the editor (“Woolbright will be missed in village”) is a continuing diatribe because Ms. Kormos (and I) would not reimburse the Phillipses for their sewer hook-up cost when they bought their home years before we even moved to the village, and the fact that they want the village to overlook their shed placement and other alleged property infringements.
The sumac was not of a ‘poison’ genus – which is fairly uncommon in New York (per NYSDEC). We did cut it down (notice the stump). And having lived here now for almost 10 years, the previous owners had not cut it down; they don’t even live in New York. This is part of the staged theatrics and planned enmity of the mayor’s recent resignation to upset the village government in the hope that the current village board will collapse in the absence of his leadership and allow continuation of practices of the previous administration.
Sander Bonvell
Ballston Spa

Put blame where it belongs – on Trump

To all out there in Trump world, remember when our country went into, let’s call it, a black hole? It was when Trump was in charge and denied what was happening.
We, the United States, lead the world in covid deaths. The United States of America — over 750,000 dead. The economy went off the rails at record speed, people lost their jobs and homes and had no money for food, and it’s still happening.
Does the former president admit to any mistakes, apologize for all his lying, show any empathy? Nah.
What we all have been living since 2019/2020 to date is because of him and only him. It’s almost 2022 for God’s sake. Joe Biden inherited all that Trump refused to address. Sure, Trump went to pharmaceutical companies and got them to make and test vaccines, but his reasons were purely political. That was Trump’s “Hail Mary.”
The election was coming, and he didn’t want to leave. Of course let’s not forget, there was no plan at all for distribution of vaccines by Trump’s man in charge. Information was not shared with Biden’s team to start planning distribution.
So, stop blaming Biden. Put the blame where it belongs — at the feet of Donald Trump.
Mary Baker

Hope ethics panel looks at Della Ratta

Recently there has been some press on the DUI arrest of Niskayuna Town Board member John Della Ratta. At face value, I did not see that as an overly egregious issue, as these happen every day to often good people, who simply have a lapse in judgment.
However, what I do find egregious is what I saw in The Gazette’s most recent coverage when it was revealed that Mr. Della Ratta clearly appeared to try to use his official position as an attorney to influence the officers at the time he was stopped. He presented his county ID illustrating he was a public defender, as opposed to his license, which was an obvious attempt to get out of the predicament.
Further, Mr. Della Ratta additionally appeared to make material false statements at the time by stating he had only been drinking nonalcoholic beer, which obviously was a lie seeing that he later failed the breathalyzer examination that culminated in his arrest.
Politics aside, these issues are unethical and could very well be criminal. I’d also be surprised if these are not removable offenses from his current position at the county.
I would hope this matter is at least getting reviewed by the ethics division overseeing the public defender’s office and if needed up the chain to the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics. I don’t see how Mr. Della Ratta could possibly be seen as an objective employee of any court proceeding based on these circumstances.
Peter Bastien
Fort Plain

Statue’s placement has a human side

On its day of dedication, the Statue of Liberty was labeled “The Symbol of Democracy.” Another symbol of democracy and liberty in this country is the American Gold Star Mothers. These women gave up their sons, and now daughters, for the freedoms that we all enjoy.
They sent their children to fight America’s wars in foreign lands. Mrs. Anna Lockwenz, a local Gold Star Mother, lost her son in World War II. Mother Lockwenz spent her life paying respect to all veterans and was a president of the American Gold Star Mothers for the State of New York.
When the Statue of Liberty was going to be placed by the Boys Scout of America, Mother Lockwenz had a say. Reportedly, then-Schenectady Mayor Owen Begley contacted her about the positioning of the statue.
She suggested Western Gateway Park so it would be properly viewed by the most people coming into Schenectady. Mayor Begley took her advice and that’s where the statue was placed for over 59 years.
This is one of the human sides of the history and respect that we should have for the statue that we all love and wish to see returned to her rightful place in Schenectady’s Liberty, Gateway Park.
I don’t know why Mayor Gary McCarthy remarked that the statue was often urinated on; what was he doing? Sitting in a beach chair in the park watching?
Let’s stop this standoff and return Lady Liberty to her proper home in memory of the person that suggested Gateway Park.
James Wilson

Parents: Teach your children life lessons

Might I make some care suggestions to all parents from my ancient viewpoint?
Your primary job is teaching. The schools are your assistants.
It is your responsibility to teach your children everything they need to know in order to go “out there” on their own. If you don’t know enough, find out and educate yourself.
To the fathers who do not participate enough in the parenting endeavor: Marry a smart woman.
Teach your children everything you know and expose them to as many experiences as possible. Teach them how to think and reason. Teach them to help others whenever they can. Show them that you love them; that is what they will remember.
What you do while you have your children with you (yes, it does end) determines the future of our country and the world. You have your work cut out for you. Good luck.
Marilyn B. Guidarelli

Biden has been lying to American people

Biden said he wouldn’t leave any Americans behind in Afghanistan. He lied! He said the withdrawal was a huge success. He lied! He said we killed suicide bombers with a drone. He lied! They killed an aide worker with seven children. He said his trillion-dollar bills wouldn’t cost most people a dime. He lied! He said your taxes wouldn’t be raised if you didn’t make $400,000. He lied! Gas, taxes, food and household supplies are up. Heating costs are expected to rise 50% more.
He said walls or fences won’t work, Why did he just have one built around his beach house? The fence cost taxpayers over $450,000. He rarely takes questions because he said he will get in trouble. Who is running the White House that tells him he can’t take questions?
He accused border patrol officers of whipping undocumented immigrants. He lied! He says the border is closed. He lied! Over 1.5 million illegal immigrants have come into the United States with an unknown number who snuck in.
These people aren’t tested for covid or vaccinated. They aren’t vetted either. They are sent out to different cities only to spread the virus. They mandate that all Americans have to be vaccinated or lose their jobs, yet they can go anywhere without a vaccine.
Who is supporting these immigrants, since they receive welfare benefits? They overcrowd our schools and many don’t speak English.
Why doesn’t ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or MSNBC show the thousands of undocumented  immigrants coming now?
Bonnie Decker

Time for NY to lower threshold for DWI

My colleague, Tom Louizou, a retired NHTSA official, and I have been working on lowering the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) threshold for driving in New York state since a 0.05% bill was introduced in 2013. It hasn’t been an easy sell. Lawmakers want to hear from law enforcement before they consider co-sponsoring the bill.
Law enforcement agencies in New York state have issued no public position on 0.05 BAC. Fortunately, Utah has had a 0.05 law since 2019. So I reached out to the bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Norm Thurston, and a conference call was arranged with Col. Michael Rapich of the Utah Highway Patrol.
Here are a few important takeaways from the call:
Utah delayed the implementation of the law for a year. This allowed people time to get familiar with the change in the law.
• The burden on the police for probable cause for a stop was unchanged by the new law. The routine Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were valid at 0.05 and remained in effect. All police officers were re-trained in DWI enforcement skills to emphasize that the lower limit did not change their responsibility concerning probable cause.
• The theatrical warnings from the hospitality industry that sales would be reduced and tourism would suffer were never realized.
• Utah’s lesson: Reducing BAC limits does not discourage alcohol consumption. It does deter deadly drinking and driving.
It’s time for New York to join Utah’s lower BAC limit. Let’s make the Empire State’s streets and highways safer for all road users.
William Aiken
The writer is president of Remove Intoxicated Drivers.

How has St. Clare’s matter lasted so long

I am tired of thinking about what it must be to be a St. Clare’s Hospital employee ever since the St. Clare’s Hospital became a bully by taking all their employee’s pensions away.
It makes my blood boil to see them all suffer for no good reason at all, since these caring healthcare workers have done nothing wrong.
You have 1,100 employees who are being questioned daily if there is any good news about their pensions. The answer to the question is no, there has not been any good news since this pension collapse began.
I know everyone is very concerned, but those questions are really a continuation of every single day for the past three years that must be enough to make a person cry.
Have you all noticed that when they ask someone for help, no matter who it is, they give no reply or stay away from them? It makes me sad that the people they ask for help are too busy helping other people who are not as deserving as the retirees or not deserving at all.
I do have one more very important thing to say. If it was not for their amazing legal team all the people on radio and TV, newspapers, our wonderful politicians and all the retirees’ families, they would have never gotten this far.
l have had signs in front of my house for three years supporting the retirees because the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees’ lives matter to me.
Walter “Neal” Brazell

Stop rewards for political donations

Mr. Figliozzi’s Nov. 7 column (“Money is strangling Biden’s plan and U.S. democracy”) reflects another of his recent conversions: he now thinks there is too much money in politics.
Perhaps I missed his searing columns condemning the Obama and Clinton campaigns for their billion dollar war chests, but I suspect they were not written. What he doesn’t tell us is how much is “too much,” nor what the “right” amount might be. The 2020 election cycle saw expenditures of $14.4 billion. That is a lot of money, exceeding the $8 billion Americans paid that year for potato chips. But it pales beside the $102 billion we spent on dog food.
Personally I like a 7:1 dog food to politics ratio.
Unfortunately for Mr. Figliozzi’s thesis, Mrs. Clinton outspent Trump and lost, and this past week a New Jersey truck driver spent $153 to unseat the president of the state Senate. Still worse for the thesis is in recent cycles, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, teachers’ unions and college educators sent overwhelming portions of their money to Biden’s party. The reason there is so much money in our politics is that there is so much at stake for money being dispensed by the government.
If Mr. Figliozzi truly wants money out of politics, he can root for a reduction in government spending.
David Ochse
Porter Corners

Biden, Dems have mishandled economy

All Joe Biden had to do was nothing. When he took office, the economy was poised for record levels of growth. But now we are staring yet another economic crisis in the face. All of this can be blamed on Joe Biden. When he entered office, the economy was moving again, and people were going back to work thanks to the availability of vaccines.
Had Joe Biden and Democrats like Paul Tonko simply allowed the economy to experience the natural recovery that everyone was predicting, they would have been able to ride a wave of support into the midterm elections.
Now they are staring at historic losses as people realize just how bad Democrats are at running the economy. Come 2022, I will be casting my ballot for Liz Joy because she is promising policies that will help the average American, not the wealthy Washington insiders that bankroll Paul Tonko’s campaign.
Jeff Caulfield

Restore programs to Duanesburg YMCA

In response to Thomas Mayer’s Nov. 3 letter (“YMCA not offering its best to the area”), I too am saddened by this.
My husband suffers from Parkinson’s disease and our local YMCA offered a program three days a week called “Pedaling for Parkinson’s.” What a wonderful program this was, and it was so helpful to him and others. We have checked other Ys, but only a select few offer this and only one day a week.
Please bring the YMCA and its programs back to our Duanesburg/Delanson community.
Cynthia Thomas

Stop wasting efforts going after Cuomo

I’m sorry to see New York State devote time and money to go after a governor who’s already left and who provided strong leadership at a time when it was needed and no one else was providing it.
Wallace Paprocki
Saratoga Springs


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Florida2015 November 14, 2021
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Joseph Hehir, All about the money. Retail operation in Pittsfield pays city over $1000.00 a day from taxes it collects. It will happen.

William, The comment about FG being a billionaire according to Forbes is still true BUT waning. Maybe if he ever has to pay just his fair share of real estate taxes to NY it will change. Here is a link for the take from Forbes(you know the experts on who is wealthy and who isn’t) Had to hurt he was left off the list first time in 25 years. The woos of being rich on paper I guess.

JOSEPH J HEHIR November 14, 2021
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Cannabis in Niskayuna? Brendan, what are you smoking?

William Marincic November 13, 2021
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Let me speak for Zachary, show me a Billionaire that doesn’t have lawsuits. People look for deep pockets.

Henry Jeannie November 13, 2021
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God bless Doctor Arthur moon for helping me to cure my father Parkinson disease. Brethren,  my father have suffered Parkinson disease for a long period of time, i have tried so many remedy, but known seems to work. But i had contact with a herbal doctor who i saw so many people testifying on how they were all cured of their various disease and viruses by this doctor. So i explained my entire problem to him, and he promised to cure my father. So i gave him all benefit of doubt, and behold he prepared the herbal mixture, and send it to me in my country. Today, i am proud to say my father is now Parkinson disease free, and his life has been restored to normal. So in case you are out there suffering from Parkinson disease and other diseases or virus, i want to tell you to quickly contact: Arthur moon for your cure. His Email: arthurmoon01 @ g mail . co m  

Florida2015 November 13, 2021
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Florida2015 November 13, 2021
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One William posts this. And he was right. Most that died were elderly or had underlying medical conditions. That is who should have been quarantined and their lives saved.
And the other william says great letter.
For the record about 78 % were in the category the William’s figures to bad for you. . Guess neither one had any relatives, friends, neighbors in William’s and William’s to bad category.
Good grief guys hope you are all in good health and never have underlining conditions or get old. As to the other 22 % or 165,000 fellow citizens The Williams say to bad for you FG did a great job. Wrong place and time I guess for you.

Zachary November 13, 2021
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Trump gets 2 court wins: ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s lawsuit dropped, Cohen case dismissed. I just thought our lefties might want to know.

William Marincic November 13, 2021
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William Aiken great letter that can save lives.

William Marincic November 13, 2021
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Mary Baker, sorry but Trump gave us three vaccines and a plan to distribute them. Like everything Biden touches it turns to crap. Put the blame where it belongs, the Biden administration.

RAYMOND HARRIS November 13, 2021
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Two good columns today in the Opinion section of the Gazette. The first is Mark Weisbrot’s commentary on the minimal financial impact of Biden’s Build Back Better Act on the nation’s economy. As usual, there is so much misinformation swirling around aimed at scaring people that we will fall off a financial cliff if the Act is passed. We know where the misinformation is coming from: the GOP primarily and a few conservative Democrats.

The second column comes from the Miami Herald that reports the threats and disgusting comments that were lodged at a Florida State Senator. This lack of decency reaches up to the U.S. Congress where republican House members make anti-Semitic, racist and threatening comments about Democratic AND republican law makers. These people should be more than censured, they should be expelled from Congress.
This is what you get when Trump’s own behavior has lit the candle of indecency and GOP leaders don’t do anything about it in fear of Trump’s wrath.

LOUIS RESTIFO November 13, 2021
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I am compelled to say the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Judge Bruce Schroeder is a pitiful, obviously prejudice, apparent racist who is far overstepping his boundaries of showing no bias while presiding over the trial. ~ The fool was insensitive enough to “make a joke at the expense of Asians and Asian Americans” before an adjournment for lunch. ~ Absolutely pathetic that people of that mindset are put in such influential positions of “judgment”.

Joseph Vendetti November 13, 2021
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Instead of griping offer a solution!! President Biden is our leader until 2024 – just like President Trump – we didn’t like things and he was given one term.

The same with Congressional seats, town boards, school boards etc – if you have solutions, run on your platform and try and make improvements and make our world a better place – not just in the short term but for our children, grandchildren and beyond.