Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Nov. 20


Political parties are preventing progress

George Washington warned of strong party affiliation by saying that it, “… serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.” Every word of warning by Washington has come to pass.
When Mitch McConnell uses the filibuster to require 60 votes to pass legislation, this weakens the Constitution, and when he refused to follow through with his constitutional obligation to vote on a Supreme Court nomination, then reversed himself when his party held the presidency, this was an outright constitutional violation.
It was great for his party, especially the very right wing of it, if there is any other wing left. However, it is undermining the nation itself.
Our two-party system has become an abomination.
The 13 Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill are being treated by other Republicans as if they were caught stealing missile codes, when they were actually doing their job.
Perhaps, they remembered that Trump promised infrastructure legislation and never delivered because it was more important that he build a pointless wall that was never going to be effective. Meanwhile, Rep. Elise Stefanik was promoted to the third most powerful Republican position in the House for reversing her positions to become a Trump sycophant instead an independently minded, critical thinking leader.
We elect people to Congress to strengthen our nation and represent our interests, not to be disinforming, partisan ideologues.
James Cimino

Learn the dangers of indoor tanning

The state Department of Health recently released an ‘Information For Action’ report entitled ‘New Yorkers Favor Raising the Minimum Age for Indoor Tanning Use to Protect Young Adults from Cancer-Causing UV Radiation.’
In 2012, a law was passed to prohibit children 16 and under from indoor tanning. The age limit was then increased to 18 in 2018.
According to the report, 73% of New Yorkers are in favor of raising this age to 21.
The Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) program of the Health Promotion Center at Glens Falls Hospital (GFH) for Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties and at St. Mary’s Healthcare (SMH) in Amsterdam for Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties works to educate the community about the dangers of indoor tanning and to prevent skin cancer.
Tanning can lead to skin cancer. Indoor tanning increases risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Parents should begin the prevention conversation when their children are young. Parents play an important role in influencing their teens’ choices about indoor tanning.
Studies show teenagers are less likely to tan indoors if their parents don’t allow it, don’t tan themselves, and show they are worried about indoor tanning.
Together we can create a healthier future for our community.
To learn more about CPiA, visit or call Rachel Yattaw (GFH) 518-926-5905 or Kelsey Carpe (SMH) 518-770-7573.
Rachel Yattaw
Glens Falls

Show how much $1.75 trillion really is

Please stop writing $1.75 trillion. How about “one thousand and seven hundred and fifty billion.” I don’t know that most people grasp how much $1T really is.
Don Johnston
Ballston Spa


Sidewalk upkeep law is unfair to residents

At the invitation of various mayors of Schenectady, many immigrant families came to this beautiful small city, bought 100-year-old properties, upgraded them and enhanced their surroundings.
They continue to do so today.
This wise endeavor by the authorities paid off. Schenectady is now unrecognizable compared to 10 years ago, thanks to these fairly new homeowners.
That being said, there is a particular issue about which homeowners are unhappy. Our property deeds show exactly what we own. Sidewalks are not included. Yet, when the sidewalks (which are owned by the city and used by all residents and visitors) deteriorate, the homeowners are given fines for not repairing them. If some homeowners decide to do the repairs at their own will, they have to pay the city for permits to do the work. One way or the other, we have to pay the city. Furthermore, homeowners are responsible for cleaning the sidewalks, which are littered by others.
In addition to various taxes and fees, homeowners are saddled with mortgages, home insurances, auto loans and so on. It is unfair and unjust to add sidewalk upkeep/repairs to these.
We would like our council members to please consider this matter earliest, with a view to removing these codes from city by-laws. A meeting with homeowners would be useful to try and reach a mutually satisfactory solution. We need to work together to keep our beloved city safe, healthy, happy and beautiful not only for ourselves, but for generations to come.
Merlin Udho

Questions, a solution to Lady Liberty issue

With the hope to render the Lady Liberty discussion less repetitious, I pose a few questions:
1) Do drivers at busy intersections (State/Washington; Erie/Union) look at wayside statues?
Should they?
2) Does gazing at statues boost your own patriotism, or do you merely think it would be good for other people? (Contemplating the Bill of Rights works better for me).
3) As a former Boy Scout, I’d like to think it was the American Legion (which was behind the Scout effort), and not the Boy Scouts themselves, that decided to jettison the Emma Lazarus poem on the base (“Give me your tired, your poor”). But either way, shouldn’t Schenectady set a good example by putting it back? That’s a fund drive I’d contribute to.
Wayne Somers

Americans must stop worshipping idols

I think it is time for Christians in America to take seriously a very real possibility: God sent COVID-19 to punish them for idolatry and following false gods.
A golden calf-like statue in the form of Trump was displayed at the last CPAC conference and it was treated with respect bordering on, if not actual, worship.
The conspiracy theories spewed from Qanon(sense) are revered as religious dogma. How ridiculous is it to believe that Satan-worshipping child-trafficking Democrats are running this country and the messiah, in the bloated, narcissistic person of Donald Trump, was sent to save us?
How unChristian-like is it to deny climate change and disobey God’s order to be good stewards of the Earth?
To refuse to get a vaccination, if not to protect yourself, then to protect the nation?
To refuse to acknowledge the reality that past discrimination has resulted in untold suffering for many African-Americans?
To think that protecting the fortunes of people making over $400,000 a year is more important than tax credits and publicly provided child-care for low-income families and expansion of Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing problems for the elderly?
Ad infinitum.
Anthony J. Santo

Koosman exceeded no-hit milestone

Like every other rabid baseball fan from around these parts, I am very proud of — and impressed with — Shenendehowa High grad Ian Anderson’s pitching success in the major leagues with the newly crowned World Series champion Atlanta Braves. Great job, Ian!
However, the sports historian in me feels compelled to correct the Nov. 13 Gazette article (“World Series champ ‘hasn’t changed one bit’”), in which sports editor Michael Kelly stated that Ian is “… the first starting pitcher to throw at least five no-hit innings in a World Series game since Don Larsen’s (Yankees) perfect game (against Dodgers) in 1956.”
Actually, that is not so.
In the second game of the 1969 World Series, the Mets’ Jerry Koosman pitched no-hit ball through six full innings. The Orioles’ Paul Blair broke up the “no-no” with a single to left to lead off the seventh inning. The Mets —and Koosman — eventually won the game 2-1 with last-out relief help from Ron Taylor. The Mets eventually won the Series, four games to one. By the way, that was way back when the Fall Classic was played exclusively in the daytime.
As the late Casey Stengel used to say, “You can look it up!”
Alan Hart

Dems are hypocritical over filibuster stance

An editorial by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (“Voting rights latest to die by filibuster”) published in the Nov. 1 Daily Gazette epitomizes the lengths to which the left will speak out of both sides of their mouth when it serves their purposes. Keep that in mind.
Consider these quotes:
“Yet the minority party was able to thwart the will of the Senate majority…” Remember the Senate has a single Democratic vote majority.
Not exactly a mandate of will being thwarted.
“…the filibuster is damaging democracy…”
“…the filibuster, an archaic and nonsensical process found nowhere in the Constitution…”
and finally,
“GOP filibuster abuse has become so brazen…” The Republicans have used it three times concerning the subject.
Now, the facts: In 2020, the Democrats used the filibuster 327times while the Republicans used it once. 327 – 1.
This editorial and its intended purpose to eliminate the filibuster is merely one to expedite their agenda. Clearly, not so long ago, it was a valuable tool to block legislation they didn’t want. The hypocrisy cannot be more evident.
John Myers

Is Baldwin getting special treatment?

Hey gang, does anyone know what day and time the Alec Baldwin “woe is me” interview with Oprah Winfrey is coming on?
If the definition of involuntary  manslaughter is the crime of killing another human being unlawfully but unintentionally done, why is this person allowed to leave the state of New Mexico? This type of crime is called a felony, and most jurisdictions wouldn’t allow people involved to leave the area until an investigation is completed.
Since Alec Baldwin is a popular performer, is he getting special treatment being allowed to go home to Vermont? Consider this. If it were interstate commercial truck driver “Alec Baldwin,” would law enforcement let him leave the state, let alone not be in jail until bail could be arranged?
Being a wealthy professional actor, how do we know for sure he isn’t performing a script written by handlers and lawyers for the media cameras? He did a bang-up job pretending to be our former president on late night TV,  so why should we believe he couldn’t be pretending to be a victim of circumstance?
Also, why is social media so hard on Donald Trump’s surrogate voice “Don Jr.” coming out with a shirt stating, “Guns don’t people, Alec Baldwin kills people.” Social media had a good laugh at humiliating a sitting president. Why not turn it on the instigator? Sorry a person is dead, but my dad taught me not to point a gun at a person, anytime!
Scott Davis

Be grateful for our helpful police officers

This Thanksgiving, let’s all focus on the thing we should be grateful for and might not have in our gratitude journey.
We should be thankful for the policemen and women who protect us. One day, my husband dialed the police department by mistake.
The police came over to make sure everything was fine. They were professional and realized my husband was blind. Once on the news, a policeman saved a man from a burning car. They go to schools and hand out bicycle helmets to our students. The police have rescued animals and people from different situations that occur. Police have been killed in the line of duty by criminals.
In past years, the police department has gotten a bad rap. Yes, there have to be changes to improve this department. Most men and women who have chosen this career are good people and giving their best. It’s common sense that some people choose careers they should not be in. Some police have made bad choices and committed crimes that were despicable.
But I have also seen people become very angry at the police and make poor choices. There is nothing wrong with being angry, but it is not acceptable when stores and shops are destroyed, robbed and fires started. How does that solve a problem?
I respect the police because most are good. We have more good people in our world than not. Thank the police for what they do. I heard some people want to defund them. Really!
Virginia DelGallo

Need common sense to end bridge strikes

The Glenridge Road railroad bridge is a disaster in waiting.
Your Nov. 11 editorial (“Declare emergency on bridge hits”) regarding the subject of this pending fatal crash site makes me ask questions:
1. Who built the bridge involved? Who owns this bridge?
2. Were plans submitted to Glenville for approval?
3. Were the plans prepared by a state-licensed engineer?
4. Did that engineer use a computer to determine the height of a big semi rig or did it occur to him/her to actually use an old-fashioned tape measure?
Sometimes common sense needs to step in.
Catherine Ritchey

Urge CVS to drop disability rights case

I am gravely concerned about the endangerment of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. I ask you to join me in demanding CVS remove the case CVS v. Doe from the United States Supreme Court docket.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects people with disabilities from policies and practices that perpetuate discrimination against people with disabilities, regardless of whether the discrimination was intended or not. The disability community knows all too well that even unintended discrimination can cause harm.
If the Supreme Court agrees with CVS, Section 504 will be gutted, and disability civil rights will not be the same. But CVS doesn’t need the court to make this ruling in order to protect its business interests.
If CVS drops its appeal to the Supreme Court, it can return to the trial court and defend its business interests. CVS already has all the protections it needs under existing law to fight for its business interests in this case. CVS does not need to ask the Supreme Court to gut decades of disability law.
Please do your part to put pressure on CVS to withdraw CVS v. Doe from the Supreme Court docket and return to the trial court.
Please do not allow a corporation to take away civil rights protections that the disability community fought so hard for.
Join me in signing this letter to CVS and share with others who might care:
K. Natalia Granger

More signs, heavier fines needed at bridge

For Glenville to avoid being the laughingstock of traffic management, add more and better signage and hefty fines for violations.
Erect large signs in all directions that approach Glenville Road: VEHICLES OVER 9 FEET HIGH PROHIBITED…violations subject fines and arrest. Also consider “strike bars” positioned over the roadway, as warning that low clearances are ahead. Such bars are in use in a couple of locations along I-95 in Virginia and North Carolina to warn truckers to exit the highway to avoid low clearances ahead.
Three bridge encounters in one day? Ridiculous. Many truckers use these navigation systems that need to be updated and advise of the dangers of the low clearance areas.
The new rail/truck terminal in Mechanicville may actually have a role in some of these bridge encounters.
Glenville authorities might want to seek assistance from the state Department of Transportation and Saratoga County to have significant/bold signage erected on Route 146 east of the intersection of Route 146 with Balltown and Glenridge roads advising westbound vehicles higher than 9 feet of the extremely low clearances ahead, significant fines and penalties for proceeding westbound on Glenridge Road with the demand that such vehicles turn left on Balltown Road and proceed toward Schenectady.
I really bust a gut every time I hear of a bridge strike. There is signage at present. How can some drivers be so negligent — or stupid as to ignore the warnings.
I hope Glenville authorities are receiving significant compensations for having to constantly deal with these errors in judgment.
Albert Alexander
Clifton Park

The faithful must stand up against left

Bruce Martindale’s Nov. 15 letter (“Hochul is governor for all New Yorkers”) concerning the governor and all that needs to be done in New York state for all the people was well written and timely.
In the same edition, Gerald Marmuscak wrote a good letter (“Voters could return Biden if he was a car”) regarding returning Biden as a “lemon.”
The Nov. 15 political cartoon (“America is back…on our knees”) of Biden begging OPEC for oil because he shut down drilling and pipelines was so true.
I believe it’s also time for the Catholics and Christians who voted for Biden to pony up that they made a serious mistake against their own religious convictions.
Biden’s call for more abortions, more conflict with religious groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, and his call for medical workers to have no rights to conscience objections to certain medical procedures should tell everyone who he is.
Unfortunately, the muteness from our leaders — bishops, priests, and ministers — is very disheartening. It’s time people stood up for what their faith teaches because the left is using Biden as a puppet to say and do anything that the left wants.
These people do not care at all for what the polls say or for the good of our country, but only their ideology. Wake up folks, Rome is burning!
Gerard F. Havasy
Clifton Park

Vet grateful for gifts of time and money

VFW Post 420 would like to thank all who donated time and money to benefit our local veterans.
Sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by to make a donation and talk with us at the Ballston Avenue Price Chopper in Saratoga Springs last Friday and Saturday. Many thanks to the staff at Price Chopper, who made sure we had a good visual spot and were so tolerant and generous. I especially want to thank the person who put a $100 bill in our collection bucket. We were quite surprised when we were counting the donations.
Thank you to Dizzy Chicken who has allowed us to keep a collection jar and poppies in their restaurant.
Thank you to our Auxiliary members and Post members who gave their time to collect donations and tell the story of the poppy. Our veterans thank you and appreciate all you do.
Susan Senecal
Saratoga Springs
The writer is the VFW Auxiliary Poppy Chair for 2021-2022.

Put blame for rising fuel prices on Biden

When Donald Trump was president, he put measures into place to make the United States oil independent and to lower the prices of fuel oil and gas. At one point, the oil company I do business with sent a truck to fill the tanks of all their customers because the price of oil was so low! They cared about the people. Whatever I paid then is surely a fraction of what I will pay this year.
The price of gas was so low with President Trump that at one point it hovered around $2 per gallon; lower in Southern states where the taxes are much less than New York’s. This year, gas prices are already inching toward $4 per gallon.
Why would President Biden undo the sanctions and other measures that President Trump had in place to make our country oil independent? Most citizens utilize cars, trucks and other equipment for daily life. Businesses utilizing buses, tractor trailers and smaller vehicles are hit extremely hard by these increases. The costs are passed on to the little guy.
It appears that the current administration doesn’t care.
Theresa Nowicki

Do what you can to help out caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, offering a reminder to support local caregivers.
National surveys have found that approximately one quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — caring not only for an aging loved one, but also for children under age 18.
I am one of those caregivers. I live with my husband, three children and my father-in-law, Robert, who was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago.
There are times when I see advantages to our combined living situation – Robert is more engaged — he even helps out and “watches” our youngest child, sitting with her while Peppa Pig entertains.
Still, there are challenges, some of which have been amplified by the pandemic, such as when adult day centers closed. Not only did Robert lose activities that provided consistency, but I lost respite and time for myself. I also worry about him wandering, so I don’t leave him alone for long periods of time.
I know I’m not alone and am one of many sandwich generation caregivers trying to juggle competing priorities.
This November, I urge you to reach out and lend a hand. Run errands, help with a household chore, give caregivers a break by spending time with the person with dementia, and educate yourself about the disease by reaching out to the Alzheimer’s Association.
These small gestures will go a long way in supporting caregivers during a year that has been challenging for all.
Amber Bradbury

Area is fortunate to have Judge Slezak

I am writing this letter to than the Hon. Supreme Court Judge Rebecca Slezak for the Fourth Judicial District for recently performing the marriage of William and Nilanee in Congress Park in Saratoga.
She took time on a Saturday from what must be a very busy schedule (11 counties) to perform a beautiful ceremony that emphasized the importance of commitment to each other and the marriage.
I had personally never met the Judge Slezak before, but cannot help but be impressed with her guidance, human qualities and of course, intelligence.
We are indeed fortunate to have her in our judicial districts.
Patricia Palkovic

Remember what the Confederates did

The other day I saw a car with a “Stars & Bars” flag going down my street.
My first thought was, ‘Does this individual know what that flag represents?’ Then I thought that of course the person does. It represents a successful attempt by rich Southern landowners to convince poor Southerners to take up arms and kill their fellow citizens.
The purpose of this was to continue an economic system that would benefit rich Southern landowners while keeping millions enslaved because of their skin color.
Having had a great-grandfather that fought against that flag as told to me by my grandmother, I take a special dislike for a person who exhibits such a flag. I feel the same way if I see a person flying a Nazi flag, as my father was a World War II combat veteran.
We live in a great country that allows a few to offend others. However, the others have an obligation not to forget what the people before us had to do to stop the people and ideas that either tear us down or stopped us from going forward.
Next time you see someone displaying the “Stars & Bars,” please keep this in mind.
Jim Novotny



Online letters

Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.

To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

ANTHONY J SANTO November 20, 2021
| |

Louis, I am getting so tired of trying to reason with people like William and Annie. They don’t address the arguments people with our views put forth, but just say the same nonsensical things over and over again. I never felt this way before, but it now seems to me they will prevail in their obstinate ignorance and suffer the same consequences they bring on us no matter how we struggle against them. Obviously honesty, decent values, the constitution etc. mean nothing to them. They know they are right because it has been revealed to them by the likes of Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Lindell, Mike Flynn (now calling for one religion in the United States {has he ever read the first amendment?}) It is so profoundly discouraging.

ANTHONY J SANTO November 20, 2021
| |

You accepted Christ and lost yourself in the process. I accept responsibility for any wrong I have done. I do not accept or want nor do I consider it moral for another, not even God’s own Son, to suffer to erase my guilt. Do good, care about others and the home we call Earth. Give up blind faith and take action to realize and define yourself as a good man.

William Marincic November 20, 2021
| |

Yes, he did know and that’s why he sent his Son to die for the sin of man so that we can enter into Heaven. Those that refuse to accept Jesus will never enter into Heaven so as long as you are breathing Anthony you can accept the gift. You can believe it or not but my life drastically changed for the better once I accepted Christ.

ANTHONY J SANTO November 20, 2021
| |

The God you refer to is all knowing and all powerful. Didn’t he know that “the zenith of creation and paradise” he had caused to exist would be destroyed by Adam’s uncontrollable desire for apples? Doesn’t it seem God could have done something, maybe created an Adam that didn’t like apples? No wonder you can’t discern fact from fiction, religious faith seems to have robbed you of reason. You can be a person of faith and still rational by interpreting “the word of God” and not assuming its literal truth.

ANTHONY J SANTO November 20, 2021
| |

kjv Genesis 2:15: ” And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.” I think that means God meant man to take good care of the earth and not pollute the air and water and exterminate entire species. Being a biblical scholar, how do you interpret this statement from God?

William Marincic November 20, 2021
| |

No, ho everything about his letter was cuckoo, I don’t remember anywhere in the Bible that says be good stewards of Earth. Also, there are a few fringe Christians like there are fringe everything. As far as a secular humanist, good luck with that.

LOUIS RESTIFO November 20, 2021
| |

I certainly didn’t agree with the outcome of the Rittenhouse trial, but the rule of American law has spoken. I respect, and am willing to accept the outcome. The importance of realizing, although it may be flawed, our democracy is the best political system in the world is imperative. It must be maintained and respected.

We must all, republicans and democrats, follow the rule of law, the constitution. It’s not about what you or I want and then becoming noncompliant if what we want doesn’t immediately come to fruition. Its about what the law dictates. It’s imperative that respecting and abiding by this document we as a nation will survive as a democracy.

Hiring high powered attorneys to manipulate, misrepresent, deflect, divert and disregard the constitution as well as others laws will be the demise of America as we ALL have known it to be. No one is above the law (unless now, seemingly, you are able to buy your way out of or through it). The severity of this situation is far greater than so many believe it to be. I believe we’re approaching a tipping point.

We won’t have to worry about immigrants and refugees from oppressed authoritarian rule nations breaching our borders, because our nation will be no better than the dictatorship led countries they are attempting to flee.

Joseph Vendetti November 20, 2021
| |

The BBB bill barely passed the house & it removes the SALT ($10k) cap which will result in $285 billion in tax cuts for individuals over $400k.

That $285 Billion is more then the family/medical leave & child tax credits – so in a tight Senate I can’t see Senator Sanders voting for that – but they may get some republicans to vote for it.

A suggested compromise would be to raise the medical/family leave to 14 weeks – $300 billion, make the child tax credit permanent.

Happy Birthday Mr President & many many more!

William Marincic November 20, 2021
| |

Anthony J. Santo Cuckoo. Cuckoo. You come on here with your liberal diatribe and attack conservatives and then write a letter to the paper saying that God sent Covid, gotcha.