Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, Nov. 29


Cannabis stores will add to traffic woes

The letter to the editor in the Nov. 19-25 Your Niskayuna (“Consider cannabis stores in Niskayuna”) appeared to praise the changes the town is desperately in need of.
Ironically, in the same paper, the adjacent article (“Niskayuna man killed in head-on Colonie crash”) describes a head-on crash that killed another Niskayuna resident.
Marijuana, whether legally obtained or not, negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving.
To minimize unnecessary deaths to promote retail cannabis stores that allow on-site consumption lounges seems rather distasteful. Money and profits are not always the ultimate goal regarding human life and conscientiousness.
Our “mythical traffic problems” are quite annoying to me as a taxpayer. Cars hit my road off of Consaul and drive past my house with the pedal to the floor. They constantly ride my bumper when I am doing the speed limit and cannot seem to get around me quick enough when I am trying to turn into my own driveway. They drive across our lawns because they cannot always maneuver the winding road. So we are left with paying to have that damage repaired to our lawns and mailboxes.
I do not agree with inviting more people to our town, who by the agenda, will add to the already overwhelming recklessness on our roads.
Maybe our incumbent Councilman John Della Ratta can turn his attention to issues that affect the town as a whole. Issues such as why Spectrum’s contract prevents us from having more competitive cable pricing, or why our lawn and leaf service has become such a nightmare.
Gloria Dickinson

No need to revisit solitary confinement

The evidence is clear: Solitary confinement causes sickness and death and worsens safety for incarcerated people and staff.
New York state has been locking people, disproportionately Black and Brown people, in solitary for up to 24 hours a day, without meaningful human contact or programming, for months, years and decades.
Solitary confinement causes psychosis, anxiety, depression, heart disease, self-mutilation and death. It took the lives of Kalief Browder, Layleen Polanco, and countless others, including our son, Benjamin Van Zandt.
Ben’s mental health deteriorated in solitary and he died by suicide at age 21.
We are offended by any dismissal of solitary confinement as movie fiction; our son’s passing was anything but a Hollywood ending.
Meanwhile, alternative forms of separation involving meaningful out-of-cell programming and engagement are proven to enhance well-being and safety for everyone, such as the Merle Cooper program, CAPS, and the RSVP program.
For eight legislative sessions, the state Legislature considered all evidence and perspectives on solitary, including from correction officers’ unions.
There was massive public support for HALT’s passage, including from Albany Bishop Scharfenberger, the Mental Health Association of New York State, the Labor-Religion Coalition, and Citizen Action.
Earlier this year, the Daily Gazette itself, for a second time, enthusiastically urged HALT’s enactment.
Ultimately, HALT was enacted by a super-majority of both the state Senate and Assembly and the governor. Now is not the time to rehash this settled decision; instead, let’s work towards effective implementation of HALT, to stop the torture, improve safety, and save lives.
Alicia Barraza
Kingsville, Texas
(formerly of Albany)

Biden’s optimism not based on reality

Joe Biden has done more damage to our country than our enemies could even imagine. Yet he stands before us and tells us things are fine? This is like someone peeing on your foot then trying to convince you that it’s just raining out.
Robert Mangino

Too easy to blame Biden for gas prices

In response to Theresa Nowicki’s Nov. 20 letter (“Put blame for rising fuel prices on Biden,”), Ms. Nowicki should keep in mind that we were and still are dealing with a pandemic.
People now are traveling more, and the supply has been lowered because of lower U.S. production and OPEC decisions.
Hurricane Ida shut down U.S. oil drilling and oil refining in the Gulf of Mexico in August. Crude oil inventories are low.
The lower oil supply and stockpiles, along with everyone being able to travel, leads to the higher gas prices.
It is unfair to say that the president, any president, is the cause of something he or she had no control over. The Energy Department, not the president, has the authority to send oil from the reserve to the stockpiles. This may lower gas prices.
Also, gas prices are coming down, slowly I realize, but coming down. It seems to be way too easy to put blame on someone without having all the facts.
Deborah Bender

Help available to provide good food

As our community works to recover from the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remember that many families — even those who are working — still struggle to put food on the table.
For low-wage workers, part-time workers, and those looking for a job, having enough to feed a family can be hard.
If you know a working family struggling to make ends meet, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may be able to help.
SNAP helps many families in New York stretch their food budget by providing monthly benefits on an EBT card that can be used at most grocery stores, many farmers markets, and approved online retailers.
For millions of New Yorkers, SNAP can be the difference between having food and going hungry. The Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) can tell if you may be eligible for SNAP and can help you complete and submit an application. These services are free and confidential.
For more information, contact your local NOEP Coordinator at 518-842-9466 Ext.227.
Ray Catchen
The writer is the Nutritional Education Outreach Program coordinator for Fulton County in the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Joseph Vendetti

Ms Bender

Fuel highest since 2012, Inflation highest in 30+ years.

We can’t blame inflation on port of CA issues on domestic (beef, chicken, eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables grown in CA & FL, etc)

These are being pushed higher because costs (implied or real) are increasing.

I am …chagrined to read so much commentary and carpet-chewing over the economy and inflation. It’s as if there never was a pandemic that nearly shut the entire world economy down. As if we’re all supposed to resume what we were doing before it happened and the economy would be unaffected.

Ms. Bender is exactly right.
The world is very much still in the midst of a global pandemic and no one alive knows exactly how to handle it (although some leaders have demonstrated how to make it worse). Yet here we are hyper-fixated on individual components of of our economy, and society, I guess hoping to score political points over it. “Turbulent” is about the only word I can think of to describe our current state of affairs and we simply don’t have the computing power (yet) to plot a course through it.

Joseph Vendetti


During the pandemic US/Domestic supply & demand for milk, bread, eggs, pigs, beef, vegetables & fruit – never changed! Never. We have 334 million ppl that always needed & still need to eat, drink, etc – so demand has never wavered. Supply at one point was limited in early 2020.

These products are inflated by as much as 34% from Nov/Oct of 2020 – why?

Our dollar is deflated drastically because so much printed new money has flooded the economy. Our raw material costs are increased which has led to increase costs in materials above.

I want the president and this administration to succeed but there needs to be changes to lower inflation because this is essentially a “tax” on the people in poverty & the ppl in the middle class.

Ok, “there needs to be changes”. Assuming someone can pin down what those changes are that need to be made. Stop printing money! Well, millions of Americans suddenly needed relief because thousand of businesses suddenly shut down, and they needed relief too. The alternative was…tough love, learn how to hunt and fish?

I have no idea what “changes” need to be made, that’s miles above my pay grade. But I don’t think you need to be a Nobel economist to understand the scope of the global economic upheaval we’re still experiencing right now.
You might as well run outside and scream “someone needs to do something!”

I’ll assume our government has the health of our economy as a priority and will let the bigger brains figure it out. But trying to pin the blame on this administration is like kicking the dog for bringing in a dead rodent. The dog is doing what it thinks needs to be done and since neither of us thinks like a dog who are we to get pissed at it.

William Marincic

Deborah Bender Please tell us how President Trump got us energy independent in just a couple years? Let me tell you, he did it by opening up drilling on federal land and whether you know it or not most of the land in the southwest is federally owned land. You may own the property but everything under the ground belongs to the government it’s run by the Bureau of land management look it up. As soon as Biden became president he stop that drilling so now we have an oil shortage and we are now begging OPEC.


“Deborah Bender Please tell us how President Trump got us energy independent in just a couple years?”

Saying something like that is an example of why you have absolutely no credibility at all regarding what you post! Coming up with erroneous assumptions and implying them to be fact is ridiculous.

What you did is comparable to me saying…“Tell me William, how did President Biden become the greatest president of all time in less than a year?” Coming out of the shoot with a lie that is posed as a question to be regarded as fact is complete BS.

Stephen Colbert deadpans to guest:
“Now that Donald Trump has proven Barack Hussein Obama was born to Australian Aboriginals, greatest President ever? Or greatest President in the known universe?”

William Marincic

In 2019, U.S. energy production exceeded U.S. energy consumption on an annual basis for the first time since 1957, according to the Energy Information Administration.

That includes petroleum and natural gas, which together accounted for 66% of total production in 2019, as well as coal, renewable energy and nuclear electric power. Production of crude oil and natural gas reached record highs in 2019, the federal agency said.

Go back and reread the very Politifact article you just cited more closely and you’ll find you failed in reading comprehension where this article actually debunked everything you just posted. Read a little deeper – you might learn something and I am not going to do your homework for you. If you apparently trust this Politifact source then everything Biden did just recently through his executive orders has had ZERO effect on the price of gas too.


As usual, William is busted again. Thanks Bill. Also, he doesn’t recognize that we are a big exporter of energy, too. He implies we produce energy just for the U.S.

William Marincic

What am I looking for, no numbers have been released for 2021 or even 2020?

Pro tip: Some of us will continue to fact check you.

The problem with this whole false concern is we’re talking about a nation, not some prepper’s solar powered basement bunker. We are inextricably intertwined with all the world’s economies and to think we’ll just pull up anchor and sail off to sea by ourselves (to find God, I presume) and declare our “freedom” is as simple-minded as the Republican hand-wringing in previous Democratic administrations about budget deficits and how we ‘need to balance the budget’, as if we were talking about our personal checkbook. It just doesn’t work that way.

But, when ya got nothing positive to offer, go negative, Big Time!

From the very same article dated Feb. 12, 2021 (fact-checking a Faceplant post spread in part by world-renowned economist, Ted Nugent):

“The United States was energy independent in 2019 for the first time since 1957. In just 10 days we are sent back 50 years.”
Nugent shared the post with an insult directed at Biden.
(Always a good debate tactic)

We looked at both parts of the claim: whether the U.S. was energy independent in 2019, and whether Biden’s early executive orders changed that status. The claim relies on one common measure of energy independence: whether a country produces more energy than it consumes. By that measure, the U.S. achieved independence in 2019 for the full year, and stayed that way through last year. If consumption were ultimately to top production for the year again, that would take the U.S. back to where it was in 2018, not 1957, and not back 50 years.

But the government hasn’t published full-year data yet for 2020, or any results for 2021. So there’s no evidence yet that the U.S. situation changed since Biden took office.
(Maybe this has changed in the 10 months since this was published, I’m not interested in checking)

As for two executive orders issued by Biden on energy, they don’t affect current U.S. production levels, and it’s unclear whether they’ll have a long-term effect on U.S. energy independence.

Yet we still import about half of our daily consumption Bill, so what say you about that? Do you honestly believe that oil extracted by a global multinational corporation off our shores is therefore “American” oil earmarked for ‘Muricans?

If you were honest, you would see that our production sharply increased starting in 2008 (hmmm, wonder who was president then?) as well as our exports, while our imports started declining. And like most things, Trump takes credit for the success (if you want to call more US oil production that) that his predecessor started and he simply continued. Look at the graph below and tell me where I’m wrong.

Martha Bencic

“Experts and activists say that attacks on their online infrastructure is likely to continue to disrupt and hamper far-right groups and individuals and makes unmasking their activities far more likely – often resulting in law enforcement attention or loss of employment.” You and your insurrectionist friends should take note, cousin. Some of these folks are facing really serious consequences.


I’d prefer we not continue to rape our National Parks and Monuments drilling for energy like city-boy Trump allowed for four years. Biden is reversing those executive orders regularly which is great.

“New York state has been locking people, disproportionately Black and Brown people, in solitary…”

I thought behavior was the issue, not parentage.


How many times must it be pointed out that the disproportionate number of African Americans imprisoned and killed by law enforcement is due to systemic racism? The issue is one of discrimination against Black and Brown people, not “parentage”. The death of Carrie Meek, a former Black member of Congress, brings to light just how close we are, historically, to the worse form of discrimination, slavery, and its lasting legacy. She fought all her life for Black equality. Her grandparents were slaves in America. Please think hard about that while also considering Jim Crow, lynchings, the burning of Black Wall Street in Tulsa in 1921 et. etc.

Joseph Vendetti


We can’t use proportions in regards to this topic – if you have ever been apart of a large research study – you need to be able to hold variables constant to prove a theory.

What would be the hypothesis to why latinos are jailed at higher proportions? Or why whites from poverty are 14x their white counterparts commit and are incarcerated more then other whites?


Poverty is a large part of the problem. The larger than expected proportion of poverty among people of color is due to discrimination. In sociological analysis it is not possible to adhere to the standards of laboratory experiments.

Exactly why Whites are so opposed to the theories of critical race theory. It exposes how people of color have had their opportunities kneecapped by a system designed to favor another race.
As a famous doctor recently said, ‘you’d have to be asleep to not see that’.

Joseph Vendetti


Ok – so we can agree that poverty plays a huge part in crime and incarceration.

Lets keep going with that – there are more whites and latinos in poverty in the US then African Americans according to the HUD website.

So lets agree that poverty is a contributing factor. When we have an accident on a demolition site we do a Root Cause Analysis (RCA). We try and find out many contributing factors – but as we keep spiraling down we normally come to one maybe two main causes.

Where we get sideways on the theory of “systemic racism” is – how can some African Americans rise above it and make it thru the gauntlet of this wet blanket of racism and be successful? How did President Obama do it? VP harris do it? Supreme Court Justice Thomas? US Senator Tim Scott? Colin Powell? Maxine Waters? Etc etc?

For any of them – they had to get Caucasian individuals to advance them – Ronald Reagan nominated US Justice Thomas, many many whites voted for President Obama etc etc – if this problem of systemic racism was so prevalent and so powerful how could these individuals do it? While others get trapped in the racism web?

My belief is because Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc who are impoverished & some not impoverished end up on the wrong side of the law. I wish I could prove its single parenting – but guys like President Obama who were raised in a single parent household blow that theory out of the water. So I think its a combination of things – poverty, single parenting (if that single parent has drive and determination), genetics,

But I’m not sold on the fact that because your skin tone is darker you can’t succeed. I have two sons that are super successful, never been arrested or in trouble, and are both minority.

“if this problem of systemic racism was so prevalent and so powerful how could these individuals do it? While others get trapped in the racism web?”

I think the question should be: how many more people of color could be succeeding if they didn’t have to go through the bs racism they apparently need to contend with?

Why are you trying so hard to deny the existence of systemic racism? The alleged success of your two sons is nice, but means absolutely nothing to any inner city kid who goes to school every day without breakfast. It’s certainly not an inspiration (to what? hopefully being adopted by some upper class White family?)

William Marincic

ChuckD he is a parent in a mixed race family and you are telling him what to think about racism. Why do you keep pushing racism, that’s what leftist liberal’s do, they try to divide us by race and color. We are not playing it anymore, we don’t care what color a person is.

The behavior of Blacks might have something to do with their disproportionate representation in prison populations. As for Tulsa 1921 the fact that a group of armed Blacks showing up of the cop station played a major role in that event.


“The behavior of” the police and the judicial system “might have something to do with their (Blacks) “disproportionate representation in prison populations.”

You are running from the obvious – more criminal behavior leads to more prison sentences. More resting arrests leads to more deaths.


Don’t you think it is racist to believe some armed Blacks showing up at a police station warrants the bombing and destruction of an entire Black neighborhood? Thirty six Blacks died in this attack on Black Wall Street. Please answer the question.

The contention that you own the property that you live on is in error. What you own is the right to rent it from the government. Should you not pay your rent, taxes, you will be evicted and it will be rented out to a more dependable tenant.


Does this mean you want an end to property taxes? How then, would we fund local government and public schools? If this were to be done by instituting a truly progressive income tax at the state level it could be done. But I am surprised that you might be willing to cede local control to the state government since this would inevitably follow such a change in funding.


Robert Mango
It’s telling that the last two Democratic Presidents began their presidencies with a “Recovery Act” and a “Rescue Plan” because their inheritance from their republican predecessors was so catastrophic.


Actually, it was the last three Democratic presidents. Bill Clinton was handed a meager, deficit ridden economy and after eight years, left office with the last federal surplus only to have George W. Bush waste it all on two wars and overspending (which the GOP was okay with).

Anthony stop posting facts it confuses him ….Like the claim that Biden stopped natural gas an oil drilling on Federal lands ….It never happened a judge blocked it …nothing has changed there. And the pipeline was years away from being finished and has no bearing on what is happening now …That oil would have gone to Asia anyway …He lives in the Trump bubble and the only thing he knows is “Biden Bad” Trump Good” I wonder if he will ban me for this he says he has the power

Doug Hampton

I totally concur Guy. That’s exactly it. Trump was right about 1 thing…..When he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue on video that he would still have support , he was right ,because I really thought that after what we all saw on January 6th that would surely be the end of Trump….but here we are looking at a very likely run in 2024….So naive of me 🙂

William Marincic

MARC THIESSEN: Higher gas prices are a result of deliberate choices. The Biden administration declared war on fossil fuels. They have made clear that they intend to put the fossil fuel industry out of business. So we’ve got now only about 528 oil rigs pumping oil—which is half of what it was in 2019 under Trump. That is a result of—when you tell a business you’re going to put them out of business, they’re not gonna drill new wells, and Wall Street’s not gonna invest in the fossil fuels industry, so they’re exacerbating that.

William Marincic

Anthony I wasn’t going to pay to read it but I did find it in multiple places and you are correct. With that being said this is America and the idea of one religion is 100% counter to our Constitution. Everyone has their own opinion and that’s his, but he is wrong.

William you left out this time that Biden ended drilling on Federal lands ..And the Pipeline ? Why?….Oh yeah right because you were wrong it raised prices on gas….You have to ask why it was half of production from 2019 …I’ll tell you ….Because no one was buying gas because of the pandemic …no one was going anywhere Oil was trading for $0 a barrel …Did you expect them to keep pumping oil when no one was buying it ?…I’ll end by telling you this fact …No president controls the price of gasoline …it goes by supply and demand ….and gas prices are up in all countries ..So if you are saying Biden controls all the gas prices all over the world you should take a class in economics …Happy Holidays by the way

William Marincic

I posted before that nobody is drilling because of Biden’s war on oil. Would you invest your billions? Exactly. Biden is a dumpster fire and 71% of Americans say we are going in the wrong direction. You all are the 29%.

William Marincic

Anthony, You are welcome, I’m always willing to give credit where credit is due. Flynn kept us out of wars so he should stick to National Security and leave religion to the experts.


He should be in jail, and would be if not for Trump’s pardon. Try William to accept that what Trump and his acolytes want is expressed best in the Third Reich’s slogan: Ein Gott, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer. In English this means: One God (American National Evangelical Christian White Church), One Empire (led by America and its White Supremacist Western European Allies), One leader (D. Trump and whatever right wing fanatics from family members to Alex Jones and Margaret Taylor Greene would rise triumph from the power struggle following the Orange one’s death).


So, Gloria Dickinson, apparently the businesses you patronize, or if not an inconvenience to you are the only ones worthy of being located on Niskayuna soil.

Excerpt from a L T E published here. Way’s to go for Biden on some things as letter says so, not bad start for being in charge little over 10 months. Lots to do yet for sure.

In 2015, then-President Donald Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure package that never materialized. President Joe Biden has done it – with little help from Republicans.

In Afghanistan, Trump set the stage, promising full withdrawal, securing freedom for 5,000 imprisoned Taliban soldiers and convincing Pakistan to release Abdul Ghani Baradar, now a leader in the new Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Biden ended our 20-year war in Afghanistan, something Republicans voted for, before they voted against it. Messy as it was, Biden evacuated 123,000 people in a two-week period.

Biden makes it clear that we will not tolerate Russian efforts to undermine democracy; he has no ‘love letters’ from Xi, Kim or Vlad.

Biden has put the U.S. back on the path to lead the fight against global warming, rejoining the Paris Accord.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark. Inflation is one, a natural bounce back as pent-up demand exceeds the ability to supply it. Problems at the border persist, the product of tyrannical governments abroad.

None of this is the president’s creation.

A good summation, FL. I would just add the reminder of how we got mixed up in Afghanistan in the first place: A Republican President and administration who circumvented the conventional means of funding such a fiasco and simply dumped billions of $US into it.

Assuming everyone who does a letter to the editor reads the DG. Can you please do a BIG headline story about the Keystone Pipeline? It was for tar sands oil, (not suitable for gasoline) and was for export and was the second pipeline no the only one for that purpose.

And brought to us by this happy crew:

In 2016, about 400 barrels (64 m3) were released from the original Keystone pipe network via leaks, which federal investigators said resulted from a “weld anomaly”.

On November 17, 2017, the pipeline leaked around 9,600 barrels (1,530 m3) onto farmland near Amherst, South Dakota. The oil leak is the largest seen from the Keystone pipeline in the state. In April 2018, a federal investigation found that 408,000 US gallons (1,540 m3) of crude had spilled at the site, almost twice what TransCanada had reported. That number made it the seventh-largest onshore oil spill since 2002.

In April 2018, Reuters reviewed documents that showed that Keystone had “leaked substantially more oil, and more often, in the United States than the company indicated to regulators in risk assessments before operations began in 2010.”

On October 31, 2019, a rupture occurred near Edinburg, North Dakota, spilling an estimated 9,120 barrels (1,450 m3) where the 45,000 US gallons (170 m3) that were not recovered from the 0.5 acre containment have spread contaminating 5 acres. This occurred while the South Dakota Water Management Board was in the middle of hearings on whether or not to allow TC Energy to use millions of gallons of water to build camps to house temporary construction workers for Keystone XL construction.


Thank you, Chuck and Florida for the truth regarding the disastrous Keystone Pipeline. Good thing it’s been shut down, I hope forever.

Off topic, but here goes: DG wasted 3/4 of a page in this morning’s edition headlined “Who is the real Ghislaine Maxwell?” Who the hell cares?! That trash belongs in the NY Post, hardly in our ‘hometown paper. How about actual news?!

ChuckD, I believe you had posted that before about the K P L . I will copy and save it , because pretty much same as there it gets posted as a reason for gas prices being high on Next Door Political Discourse several times a month. I suggested to those posters please do this. Goggle: “How much influence does President have on gas prices”. Just copy and paste this in your search bar before blaming stopping the Keystone for high prices.

CYNTHIA SWANSON, Right on your where this story belongs.
Lets once again see what money for the best attorneys can do.
Make it sound like the 13-16 years old’s “asked for it” and loved the travel opportunities.

Indeed I did. Could have attributed it, I think to Reuters, but it’s just a list of facts. Not someone’s opinion or theory.
And fuel prices are high worldwide (although they started falling here in the US). Should make you question how much role the US President has in that.

And we are spoiled Americans. Look at Canada , UK and Europe for high gas prices. For the benefit of William and Fred you can go Russia though it’s only about $2.50 a gallon.
Probably not as many good roads built by our socialist taxes like we have though to go places.
Soon to built even better with the Infrastructure Bill just signed by President Biden during his INFRASTRUCTURE week.

William Marincic

You keep saying socialist, our taxes pay for the roads, that’s not socialism. We pay those extremely high taxes for schools, roads, fire, and police protection along with protection by our military. BTW, yes, look at Canada and the UK which have gone mostly socialist, and see the crappy medical care and high costs for everything, that is the socialism you want so much.

Forbes’ World’s 20 Happiest Countries of 2021.
Looks like those “socialist” countries do pretty well.
(They’re not really Socialist, but they may be Democratic Socialist which most definitely IS NOT the Socialist you wish it to be)

New Zealand
United States
Czech Republic
United Kingdom

William Marincic

And I’ve told you before those countries have an average of 1 1/2 to 3,000,000 people, quite different than 340 million people. Their tax rate is around 50%, most don’t have automobiles they ride bicycles. There isn’t much immigration because of their great welfare state so low skilled labor is not excepted in these countries. Shall I go on?

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