Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, Nov. 28


Niskayuna needs to be more transparent

The Gazette’s Nov. 19 editorial (“Ethics cases should be transparent”) on Niskayuna Ethics Committee and the Nov. 20 article on the permanent police chief’s position (“Kochan permanent police chief”) demonstrate that transparency and accountability are lacking in the town government.
When an ethics complaint is made public by an employee or resident, the community has the right to know if the complaint has merit.
The Ethics Committee is not window dressing for town government. It should be autonomous from the town board. Its spokesperson shouldn’t be the town attorney.
Some town officials didn’t hesitate to make public their investigations of employees and to publicly discuss their findings.
Why the change in rules for the Ethics Committee?
After two months, the police chief’s position was made permanent.
The decision to do so wasn’t discussed at the Public Safety Committee, nor was the board member chair involved in the decision.
Kudos to Bill McPartlon for voting no because it demonstrated that he has the best interest of the police chief, the department and the community at heart.
The rationale for doing this was disingenuous. Supervisor Yasmine Syed referred to former Chief Daniel McManus, stating his probationary period was four months.
She left out that he served as deputy police chief for six months before becoming chief and in addition, he had a four month probation period.
The current chief has no administrative experience. Also, McManus served in the department for 21 years. There’s no comparison.
Why the rush to make this position permanent? Only the two outgoing board members and supervisor can answer that question.
Linda Rizzo


Not all share views on politics, religion

Thank you for publishing letters from Anthony J. Santo (“Americans must stop worshipping idols”) and Gerard F. Havasy (“The faithful must stand up against left”) in the Nov. 20 Gazette.
Both letters inspired me to submit my views on the subjects, a Minority Report if you will.
In my humble (and tiny minority among Christians) opinion, God did NOT (sorry, Mr. Santo) send COVID-19 to Americans to punish them for idolatry and following false gods.
For one, the golden calf-like statue of Trump did not appear until Feb. 2021, about a year after COVID-19 did.
No one puts sugar into the gas tank of a car they have built and loved as a child, no matter how much it misbehaves.
Also, in my humble opinion, the Catholics and Christians who voted for Biden did NOT (sorry, Mr. Havasy) make a serious mistake against their own religious convictions.
Both religions are equally divided between those who voted for Trump and those who voted for Biden.
Just as the religious people who in the past opposed faith people such as Peter, Paul, John and Jesus were divided into Pharisees and Sadducees, so are today’s religious people who oppose faith people divided into Republicans and Democrats.
As a faith person living by New Testament faith in Jesus, I get opposition from both religious groups.
Well, those are my thoughts.
I do hope that I have shown respect for Mr. Santo and Mr. Havasy, for both are worthy of it, having gotten published by The Gazette for one.
Joel Nelson



System is too easy on repeat offenders

It’s beyond belief what’s going on.
These elected officials should be arrested for negligence. They are responsible for caring more about the criminals than they care about the civilians, than they care about you, me and everyone else.
People are being arrested again and again and allowed back into the streets. What does that do to law enforcement? What does that do to the rest of us? They are pathetic. It is shameful. It is disgusting what is going on.
The suspect in the holiday parade massacre in Wisconsin had a lengthy criminal record and was out on $1,000 bail. Think of all those people who were murdered by that individual.
Do you know who’s responsible? The DA should be arrested. People wake up. We need law and order.
Sherrill Smith


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



Joel Nelson, Two things in your letter I would like to point out or clarify:
Anthony J. Santo was being sarcastic when he said God sent COVID-19 to punish Americans. You totally missed his point.
Secondly, part of the first amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” which is all about the separation of church and state. Religion should play no part in politics, without exception. Period, end of story.


Louis, of course you are correct. I didn’t think anyone could miss the sarcasm. Don’t they remember the Christians blaming aids on gay people and claiming God was punishing them? Don’t they remember the same people blaming catastrophic storms on pro-choice people as punishment from God? I’ve always wondered why God didn’t jump in sooner to punish the Nazis so as to prevent millions of his chosen people from an unimaginably horrifying fate. Also I wish God had thought ahead and prevented the deaths of innocent hemophiliacs from aids. But, I guess as in war, collateral damage occurs in the divine scheme (more sarcasm). Looked at in this way, Joel Nelson’s points evaporate due to their lack of weight.

The Constitution is a document based upon the great thinkers of the age of reason. It eschewed Religion as a governing principle and relied on scientific principles and rationality to arrive at solutions to national problems. Unfortunately the great hucksters of our age have made great inroads into the destruction of our secular democracy.

William Marincic

Lou, wrong as usual, what that means is the government will not support one religion over another. They did that because of England and their politics were tied to the church of England and the monarchy. It says nothing about separating church and state from politics it just says that the government will not support any one religion. End of story.

Lou is correct and you are trying to make allowances for yours and the evangelical community trying to have their way with American public, because you believe your faith should be the final word. That’s the essence of your White Christian supremacy belief. You and them are not fooling anyone, and it starts down the road of other infamous religious zealots who have had their ways, in other countries.
Separation of church and state

Separation of Church and State is a phrase that refers to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The phrase dates back to the early days of U.S. history, and Thomas Jefferson referred to the First Amendment as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state as the third president of the U.S. The term is also often employed in court cases. For example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black famously stated in Everson v. Board of Education that “[t]he First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state,” and that “[t]hat wall must be kept high and impregnable.”


William, I think when government does not support one religion over another and leaves religion up to individual Americans, that is called separation of church and state. In order to remain separate from the state, religious organizations must refrain from partisan politics. To support a political point of view or candidate when speaking as an official of a religious organization is not allowed. Certainly those of the cloth can express views on controversial topics such as abortion rights, climate change, and vaccinations but can not endorse party platforms or candidates as part of their official religious duties. The founding fathers rightly feared the control a powerful alliance between church and state would exercise over citizens of a democracy. Religions enjoy enormous privilege including tax-exemption. Therefore, they have no right to tell citizens for whom they should vote. My personal point of view is that we should eliminate tax-exemption for religion, allowing them the same charity write-offs the rest of us enjoy. Doesn’t the clergy use the roads, sewage and water systems provided at public expense. Why should non-religious people help shoulder the clergy’s share of those expenses?

William Marincic

Anthony, really? Then why did Kamala Harris speak to hundreds of churches in Virginia for the recent governor elections? What she did was the exact reason that there is a separation of church and state it wasn’t that the church would corrupt the government but that the government would corrupt the church and that’s what we saw in Virginia.

‘Separation of church and state’ metaphor rooted in early American fears of government involvement
Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, was the first public official to use this metaphor. He opined that an authentic Christian church would be possible only if there was “a wall or hedge of separation” between the “wilderness of the world” and “the garden of the church.” Williams believed that any government involvement in the church would corrupt the church.

The most famous use of the metaphor was by Thomas Jefferson in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association. In it, Jefferson declared that when the American people adopted the establishment clause they built a “wall of separation between the church and state.”

Jefferson had earlier witnessed the turmoil of the American colonists as they struggled to combine governance with religious expression. Some colonies experimented with religious freedom while others strongly supported an established church.

Just to be clear, you lifted these words from here:

If you had paid better attention in grade school you might understand what plagiarism is and what it means. One could argue that this is just the comment section and nothing scholarly should be expected, which is true but doesn’t address the failed ethics of copying another’s words without attribution, and pretending their your own.
Your lack of attentiveness in grade school comes through so many ways.

William Marincic

Yes ChuckD That’s where I got the article from and I accidentally closed it and then couldn’t find the article again to give it credit, whatever. liberalism is a mental disorder

William Marincic

You sure do have a way about you of jumping into other peoples conversations and then insulting people. I wasn’t speaking to you. But it does make sense to chuck and you if you must know.

No. It doesn’t make sense to me.
It looks like you twisting history to get favor for your religion.


“jumping into other peoples conversation”. In the event, as usual, you are uninformed, this is an open forum.

Regarding insults, there have been eight people posting today, seven of which are liberals and then there’s you William. “liberal ism is a mental disorder”. Do you detect a bit of hypocrisy when you so freely insult seven liberals on this forum but then complain when an insult is thrown back at you?


It isn’t easy to follow your reasoning William, but I think you are missing the goal of separation of church and state. That goal is to prevent the potential for control of the people if political and religious authority were combined or worked hand in hand. If the president were head of an American Christian Church or worked as an ally of such an institution it would enable control of people through coordinated efforts from the pulpit and the seat of government. Such power would be autocratic by nature or certainly evolve into an autocracy. The ensuing corruption would be a result of the combination of the power of political and religious institutions. The first amendment was not designed to prevent either institution from corrupting the other. By the way, it is the Trump sycophant and short-lived head of national security, I’m guessing one of your heroes, Mike Flynn who is calling for one national religion. I wonder why? Oh, I just explained why!

William Marincic

I never heard of Michael Flynn or anybody from the Trump organization calling for one religion. Can you link that to this response please?

Michael Flynn, former national security adviser in the Trump administration, on Saturday said the United States should have a single religion.

“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” he said while speaking on the “ReAwaken America” tour Saturday night. “One nation under God and one religion under God.”

Another great interpretation of the Constitution by William…And wrong again ….Try reading about the “establishment clause” and what it’s intent means …The constitution doesn’t say you can drop your pants in the middle of Broadway and take a dump …But I’m pretty sure you can’t …and stop reporting me and being a snowflake

William Marincic

Jefferson did not offer the group any explicit help in overturning the Connecticut law, except to say that he expects to see “the progress of those sentiments” of religious freedom. (The state did away with its official religion in 1818.)

However, he sympathized with the Connecticut Baptists, writing:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

On Feb. 10, 1947, the U.S. Supreme Court, citing Jefferson’s views, defined the reach of “separation of church and state” under the First Amendment. Justice Hugo Black, writing for a 5-4 majority in Everson v. Board of Education, held that “neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church,” adding:

“Neither [entity] can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.

“No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendances. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.Yep

William Marincic


I don’t want ChuckD to accuse me of plagiarism.

If you demonstrated an honest conscience it wouldn’t be necessary. It seems like you missed the lesson on the 8th Commandment too.

That aside, what’s your point? Right now it looks like you’re trying to justify a religion, yours, influencing legislation. Have I got that right?

William Marincic

It wasn’t my party that put a message into 100 African-American churches in Virginia, it was your party, it was Kamala Harris. So what are you trying to say? I’ve always heard if a Democrat blames you for something that’s because that’s what they are doing. Your party trying to influence and election

Right, the “Hey, look over there” debate tactic…again.
And once again we hear one of you co-opting criticism of you people, and trying to it turn it back. You haven’t “always heard” that except if it was directed toward you people. Get your own ideas. Don’t be a sheeple.

William Marincic

Varoma you mean like you Lou and ChuckD report me almost daily. Stop with the racist crap, next time you post racist crap about me you will be banned.

For the record: I have never “reported”, whined, or made any effort to have yours, or anyone else’s words removed.
I have certainly called for liars here to be removed, and that was done in the open for all to see.
This commenting section is a bonus offered by the Gazette which they would be free to remove. And if they did there would be no whining from me, just as I have never complained when my posts were removed.

I have never reported you or any other person …I have thick skin …anything you say about me I take it with a grain of salt as the saying goes…..You are the one that brings up race claiming you are 12 1/2 % black ….So you say you can’t be racist…It was the funniest thing you ever said on here ….Suck it up buttercup….you are responsible for the words you speak and the ridicule that will come with statements like that…Happy Holidays by the way

William Marincic

Bring up the racist garbage again so that you are gone for good. Or maybe use the R or T word. It’s not like you don’t use them in teal life I’m sure.

So william you think you have the power to ban me from a public forum? Tell me what magical power you have to do this?

How about making a case with the NAACP? Tell them you’re being oppressed because you’re Black (well, a little bit anyway …but still!). I’m pretty sure they’ll be…entertained.

William Marincic

No Guy I don’t have the power but Mark Mahoney does. When he gets tired of the BS he will ban you and there is no faster way than personal attacks. Keep it up.

William Marincic

The problem you lefties have is you have no truth to stand on. Your Democrat mission is a dumpster fire, 71% of America said they don’t agree with it and here you guys are on this page pushing it and pushing it and telling everybody else how stupid they are. You can’t come on here and debate and be reasonable you always have to go back through the personal attacks and calling names like were in junior high.

ChuckD and Guy, Reporting you guys, isn’t that kinda like the Republican strategy now? Red States passing laws and re redistricting so voters who won’t agree with there versions of what they believe to be fact and truth will go away. Never mind what it really is.

/. Red States passing laws and redistricting to eleimate voters who speak and vote aginst them.


Re the Establishment Clause: our educated founding fathers were well aware of the horrors of the Inquisition. Yet one more reason for church-state to remain separate. Try telling that to the Council of Bishops, who do not recognize it.

Leave a Reply