Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, May 4


Use map software to design districts

Gerrymandering is back in the news owing to the recently rejected redistricting attempt of the New York State Legislature.
Of all the egregiously gerrymandered districts that I’ve seen, they all have the characteristic of grotesquely convoluted shapes with very long perimeters.
I have a suggestion, based on geometrical principles, which could reduce gerrymandering mischief.
Modern map processing software likely has the ability to compute the area and perimeter of any defined district shape.
The shortest perimeter corresponding to a given area is that of a circle, and that value is 3.54 times the square-root of the area.
I suggest, then, that a proposed district should have a perimeter no greater than, say, twice that of the circular area perimeter. This would force more compactly shaped districts.
Charlie Stephens

Nation needs less liberal cancel culture

How interesting that now that Mr. Musk is taking over Twitter, the left has said it is the end of free speech.
Have they forgotten about cancel culture designed to eliminate any statements and thoughts they did not agree with?
They said it was to protect community standards, but in reality, they could just oust someone who did not agree with them. Thank you, Mr. Musk, and I cannot wait to get on Twitter. Are we also seeing the Democrats in total disarray?
I find our government has no sympathy or concern for hard-working Americans by not acknowledging the National Guardsman who lost his life trying to save migrants and by not acknowledging the children killed, mostly Black, in Chicago and other cities.
A man whose family called the police on him, although he really died of a fentanyl overdose, is killed in a skirmish by police and is treated as a hero.
Nancy and company knelt in his honor in the Rotunda. Could anything be more biased and stupid?
Geraldine Krawitz
Saratoga Springs

Save gas; switch to electric tools, cars

We all have it: gas. Not the bean kind, but the gas guzzlers lurking in your shed. Four common culprits are leaf blowers, lawn mowers, chain saws and snow blowers.
Running these noisy two-stroke and four-stroke engines for one hour is like driving a car for 100 miles! (Mowing 25 hours a year is like driving your car for 2,500 miles — oof!) The solution? Electric.
Try quiet, powerful, lightweight, low maintenance, gas-free, rechargeable batteries.
Why not go halves with your favorite neighbor and purchase these tools together?
Additionally, today’s electric cars skip the gas station, and hybrids can get over 100 miles per gallon. These peppy, affordable cars require fewer dealer visits and quiet rides. Electric bill anxiety? Simple: go to NYSERDA to join community solar, saving a guaranteed 5% to 10% on your electric bill, forever breaking the shackles of petroleum.
Caroline Brooks

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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