Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, June 4


We lack intelligence to solve violence

If there is one glaring conclusion to be drawn from our country’s pattern of school massacres, it’s that Americans are flat out dumb.
We lack basic problem-solving skills, and history repeats itself with ease. As usual, psychiatric patients were trotted out, namely by both sides – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke — when there is not a shred of evidence in its defense.
How hard is it to see that there are two common denominators to these atrocities? One: teenage boys. Two: bullying.
We scream about the guns, but that is just the medium to deliver their message, which is rage.
Take them away, and they will devise other means, like poisoning the school lunches or plain old bombs. And where in God’s name are the adults? Too burned out on modern American life to notice their kid is a blossoming mass murderer.
Republicans are about as pro-life as a tornado, and liberals are so bubble-headed that they may as well exit stage right. Gun owners cannot connect the dots between their gun safes and kids in coffins. The canard that if we outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns is only true when the gun lobby derails all efforts to police the trafficking of illegal guns.
We scream at each other in town halls when, in reality, every American should just hang their head in shame. We have seen the enemy, and he is us.
Lora Como
Ballston Lake

Can’t be selective on 2nd Amendment

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution says, “well regulated.” We regulate machine guns, cannons, rockets and mortars. We have had more and less regulation over the years. We cannot read the amendment selectively.
Please check if your representative is for or against common sense regulation as prescribed by the Second Amendment and vote.
Vincent Pelliccia
Saratoga Springs

Void Declaration and rejoin England

Here’s a problem solving idea: Declare the Declaration of Independence null and void, apologize to the Crown for such revolutionary impudence and redeclare ourselves a Crown Colony, subject to Parliamentary Law. Why? Free university education as well as universal health coverage.
We speak the same language already, except for some Scottish holdouts; I don’t know what they speak. About all we’d have in the loss column is the right to bear arms.
Ken Bress

Consider old style ideas for solutions

My friend (age 90) and I (age 88) were discussing the baby formula shortage.
How times have changed!
We had to make our own. We had to mix 19 ounces of boiled water to 13 ounces of evaporated milk and two tablespoons of Karo syrup to pour into sterilized bottles with nipples. Boil water for mix and sterilizing.
Prior to doing that, we had cloth diapers in the washer. We could hang them on a line or put them in a dryer. When dry, we had to fold them for the next time. No disposables! We worked at home, too.
Jean Anderson



Use your vote for reasonable gun laws

To the readers who have fought for decades to eliminate Roe vs. Wade: You won. There’s now a majority on the Supreme Court that will do just that.
With the tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde, I implore you to use your energies, political clout and money to address the Right to Life issue currently facing us.
Many who believe that abortion should be allowed at least in certain situations feel that Right to Life advocates only care about life before birth. Prove us wrong!
Show us that a Black person shopping for their neighbor at the local Tops has at least as much Right to Life as a fetus. Show the parents of children mowed down by weapons of war in Texas that their children had a Right to Life that exceeded that of a person’s right to own whatever gun they want, no questions asked.
How? Put those Republicans you plan to vote for in 2022 and 2024 on notice that you will not vote for or donate money to them unless they take reasonable steps to vote for measures like raising the age of purchase, background checks and banning assault weapons and large magazines.
Anything less is hypocrisy.
Susan Hawkes-Teeter

Pensioners just want what belongs to them

This month marks my 40th year as a registered nurse. I turned 65 a few months ago. I’ve been reflecting on those 40 years, lots of great memories of friends, co-workers and patients. Happy times, sad times, scary times, triumphs and failures.
For 29 of those 40 years, I was proud to be a part of the St Clare’s Hospital family. We worked side by side taking care of our community. We were loyal to St Clare’s because we didn’t want to be anywhere else.
However in recent years, our loyalty has been betrayed by the Catholic Diocese and the Catholic community. Many of my St. Clare’s co-workers and I have been literally robbed of the financial security we earned and deserve.
Sadly, I feel let down by the Catholic community as well. We supported and cared for you in your times of sickness and injury, but now where is your outrage? Where are your phone calls, your letters and your anger?
Thankfully we have finally received support where we need it most with the lawsuit being filed on our behalf by the state Attorney General’s Office, who together with our attorneys from AARP will continue to work to set this right.
In the meantime I must continue to work as a nurse despite the physical and mental fatigue. Had I chosen to be a policeman or firefighter, I could have retired twice by now with two full pensions.
I believe St Clare‘s Health team deserves what’s theirs.
Karen Sacchetti

No one needs to own an assault weapon

Another mass shooting and several days of round-the-clock TV and internet coverage, all with just a little different angle on who is to blame. There are many at the age of being able to buy firearms. Who in the general public needs an assault weapon used for war? Our society wants to think they can just stop evil.
A gun didn’t kill innocence; a poor sick individual did and the signs were just missed. We don’t need more laws. Sick folks don’t care about the laws. They hurt and want to hurt others. I think owning a gun legally for hunting or personal protection is OK, and those people are registered and trained to safely use them. I hope that we get these assault weapons off the streets in the future.
Louise Wasson

EpiPen legislation will be a life-saver

As many are getting ready to start visiting our state parks with their family and friends, I want to thank Assemblyman Santabarbara for making sure that we’re doing all we can to keep people safe on the trails by passing needed legislation to provide park rangers the ability to carry and use EpiPens in case of an emergency.
It’s great that more people are enjoying the outdoors these past few years, but that also means we should be prepared for allergic reactions that come from insect bites, stings, allergies to vegetation, plants or even certain foods.
While these reactions can vary from person to person, when it comes to an allergic reaction, every second counts.
That’s why Santabarbara’s bill was so important. Some of our most popular trails are located out of reach from immediate medical care. So when the unexpected happens, we rely on park rangers to respond.
This medication has saved the lives of many people and it should be available in our parks when someone needs it.
Dr. Govind Rao
The writer is a pediatrician in the city of Amsterdam.

Disgusted at lies by Catholic leaders

I did not work for St. Clare’s Hospital, but I worked in the hospital, for another entity, daily for over five years.
St. Clare’s was all about being Catholic. They followed the Catholic directives, there were mounted crucifixes and there were masses said in the chapel. The people who worked there were like a family.
They worked hard, were loving and caring, and they went out of their way to help each other and anyone else who crossed their path.
This is not a diatribe against the Catholic faith, which I respect. It is unconscionable that men of the church would lie to cheat those who worked for them out of the pension that they worked for and deserved.
I am disgusted!
Lois Mills

Fight back against impacts of tobacco

Tobacco is not just a health issue but an environmental crisis. Our climate is deteriorating rapidly, and we have begun to witness the effects that this deterioration has on our lives.
We must think critically about who has caused and continues to cause the most damage. The vast majority of climate destruction is caused by large corporations and the industry practices they subscribe to.
The tobacco industry is no exception. In addition to selling a product that is designed to hurt and kill its consumers, it contributes on a massive scale to the climate crisis.
With an annual greenhouse gas contribution of 84 megatons of carbon dioxide and an average of 3.5 million hectares of land destroyed each year (WHO 2022), it is ravaging our planet.
It also uses millions of gallons of pesticides and water annually in the cultivation process, two highly destructive practices that take place mostly in developing countries where there is less regulation.
What can be done?
Simply put, we have to hold these companies accountable for their actions and stop using their products, not just because of their health effects, but because they are bringing us closer to the brink of climate disaster.
May 31 was World No Tobacco Day. Think about what you can do to fight back against these companies and save our planet before it’s too late.
Grace Dawson
The writer is Community Engagement Coordinator for Advancing Tobacco Free Communities at Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties.

Many lack the facts about gun violence

After reading Ms. Tomasino’s diatribe (“Guns no longer used as Founders intended”) in the May 30 Gazette a few times, all I can say is, “wow.’
A couple of points:
She said, “ownership of guns required membership in a militia.” That’s news to me and anyone that knows history.
She also said, “anyone can buy just about any type of gun, revolver, pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, sub-machine gun or machine gun.”
I for one would like to know where she shops to have those items available for sale to the regular citizen. I have only been a gun owner since about 1957 and never had those items available to me.
Changing subjects, I now see our disgraced super-narcissistic, former governor, Killer Cuomo, is now shooting off his mouth big time on the gun issue.
He, through his edicts, killed many more people in nursing homes than died by criminal gunfire.
His Safe Act (Feel Good legislation) passed in the middle of the night basically only affected/harassed honest legal gun owners, and did nothing to stem violence.
Our new governor, Kathy Hochul, is following the normal democrat lack of knowledge of gun things and not punishing criminals that misuse firearms. I saw her on TV advocating the stamp of the projectile/brass for identification.
I do not have enough space here to explain how that does not work and wastes a lot of money!
David G. DeMarco


We must do much more to protect kids

I’m shocked and saddened at the level of gun violence in our country and in our schools.
Therefore, I urge U.S. governors to deploy the National Guard in American schools. We’ve had a war in our own backyard for too long, that has already taken too many lives — too many children and teachers — slain brutally and senselessly. The president and all governors must take this life-protective measure, with or without congressional approval.
It is common worldwide knowledge that the United States is the most armed and most violent nation in the world. It is also a shameful, immoral and pathetic fact that many American political leaders do not have the courage to take effective/meaningful action to reduce mass shootings.
According to a recent article online by Vox “The U.S. is the leader in the developed world in gun deaths, with about 12 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, according to data collected from The country also has a lot of guns; 120 guns for every 100 Americans.”
Many countries have responded aggressively to their own gun problems with success. Why can’t we do this in America?
Schools must have police patrols, and if this won’t be done, then hire private security companies. Then physically improve armed intruder protection systems in schools. Another possibility would be arming capable and qualified scholastic personnel in the firearms.
Lastly, the government must immediately establish funds to bring about these changes and educate the public that guns aren’t the answer to maintain safety.
Ottavio LoPiccolo

To develop solutions, find common ground

When I read a letter to the editor, I soon know if the author leans my way or the opposite.
When I step back, however, I realize that if we flipped the names and causes 180 degrees, the sentiments would mirror each other.
If you can’t see that the other side can say the same thing about your side, then you aren’t looking hard enough. I know contrast and conflict sells newspapers, but does this approach help anyone?
So, what can we agree on?
People shouldn’t kill, steal, cheat or lie. We should treat other people the way we want to be treated. People have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You should be free to do what you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. We shouldn’t judge.
We all have a basic right to food, clothing, shelter and safety. We need to help the less fortunate where we can. Children are not adults, they need to be nurtured and protected, by family first and the community second. We all have the freedom to worship our faith, or not, as we see fit. You can probably think of more.
If we start with what we have in common, problems are simpler, solutions are fairer, and our differences will be less threatening. Try it. Write a letter that doesn’t pick a side but proposes a solution that starts with the common ground above. Maybe we can do some good. Together.
S. John Lynch

Grateful to all who joined Scotia parade

I want to thank everyone who marched in the Scotia Memorial Parade this year.
It was a wonderful community event on a beautiful spring evening. My family watched the parade from the lawn in front of the Scotia Library. Many of the bands ended their performance before they reached us. The obvious exception was the Scotia-Glenville Band, dressed in a selection of tropical shirts, which played through to the very end of the route then finished with another rousing number.
A contingent of public officials dressed in dark suits and dress shoes were led by Sen. Jim Tedisco.
We were also impressed that Jim marched energetically all the way to the very end, while the rest of the local officials broke off prior to reaching us as they headed over to a memorial service near the library.  Overall a very positive experience.
Robert Smith

Liz Joy shares conservative values

Liz Joy who is the candidate running against Paul Tonko for the NY20 Congressional seat generates passion and excitement for conservatives in the area because of her ambition and the fact that she would work for the people and fight for us in Congress.
She will not be a R.I.N.O. She has good strong conservative values and understands the importance of family, low crime and a good economy. She also loves this area.
Joseph Farina

Repair climate with behavioral changes

In his May 7 letter (“Need new thinking on clean energy,”), Charles A. Bishop criticized the Montgomery county executive for opposing state government stripping local governments of their prior ability to block large solar developments.
Forests and vegetation remove carbon from the atmosphere and provide habitat for wildlife. Solar can be constructed atop parking lots, schools, retail stores and malls.  Who will own and profit from the solar farms?
Montgomery County has beautiful lands worth preserving. Why does the state block or limit development in parts of the Adirondack Park but impose it elsewhere?
Even if a super-abundance of solar is constructed, fossil fuel stations may not be retired because electricity demand may soar if most of the economy is electrified.
Is the state serious about meeting its lofty greenhouse gas reduction goals? If so, why has the state not rejected crypto mining that uses vast amounts of fossil fuel electricity?
Mr. Bishop appears to believe or hope that we can prevent runaway climate change by constructing lots of solar and wind electricity generating stations. Wind and solar are part of the solution but humans cannot build our way out of climate disaster. Considerable corporate and individual behavioral changes will be required.
Humanity is consuming nature while exhausting the planet. Those who use the most should reduce overconsumption so the world’s poor can use more, while together we reduce overall consumption, waste, and energy use, and hopefully stabilize the climate and protect rapidly disappearing species.
Tom Ellis

Republicans praying to a warped deity

Once again, mass shootings in the United States involving assault weapons have occurred.
And once again Republican legislators have responded with their “thoughts and prayers.”
Who are they praying to that allows them to feel that those three words are enough of a response to yet more killings? Who are their prayers going to when their unwavering support of unlimited access to assault weapons supersedes their duty to respond to repeated killings with legislative action to limit that access?
What deity are they worshiping when their allegiance to the NRA guides their responses to continued mass murders?
How can they absolve themselves of any responsibility for the living yet claim to be pro-life? Who is their Savior when they gleefully hand assault rifles to their children and pose for their family Christmas card?
The Republican U.S. senators blocked a domestic terrorism bill because they can’t even discuss gun reform to save lives yet are very comfortable regulating our personal lives and our family decisions.
The NRA scheduled a conference in Texas, where they prohibited guns for safety reasons. But they want to arm teachers they don’t even trust to teach history or to select library books.
Who is this being that Republican legislators pray to for solace in their warped, twisted belief system? I am truly puzzled. And disgusted.
Christina Loukides

Biden’s record is not anything to brag on

Usually I will start the paper in the morning reading the comics first, it kind of eases into the more serious news of the day. Then I turn to the Opinion page.
But on May 11, the comedy continued with Fred Como’s letter (“Difficult to change minds about Trump.”)
It was not so much the beginning of the letter, which was the normal Democrat rhetoric, “Big Orange Man Bad.” But at the very end of his letter, he said a Democrat has every right to brag about Biden’s impressive record.
Let’s list some of those impressive records: inflation, highest in 40 years; highest gasoline, diesel prices. My own heating oil prices have doubled under Biden, who blames Putin, Big Oil, Ukraine and maybe the Pope next.
Praising the teachers’ unions while saying parents were domestic terrorists because they wanted a say in what their children were taught in school.
The southern border, where, by the way undocumented immigrant mothers can get all the baby formula they want while in the rest of America’s markets’ shelves look like the Soviet Union of the 1950s. I guess they would call that “America Last” policy.
Let’s not forget the “Ministry of Truth” with Biden’s pick, “Scary Poppins,” to run it. And crime on the rise as Biden backs these moronic no bail, no jail laws and liberal judges and DAs. It’s not safe to leave one’s home anymore.
I could go on about “President Biden’s impressive record” and it would be hilarious if it weren’t so serious.
Ray Weidman

Schenectady needs new emergency room

Unfortunately, someone with influence kept Belleview Hospital open and closed St. Clare’s Hospital.
Our city needs two emergency rooms, let alone two large hospitals. If anyone has been to Ellis ER, you will agree with me. It is a fiasco to go there. A 10-plus hour wait to be called into the examining room is normal and then another long wait to be seen by a medical person is another wait. And then another long wait for test results.
It is not the staff’s fault. This also was happening before covid hit us. I would like to suggest that an emergency room be reopened at the St. Clare’s site. We need another ER in Schenectady.
Elaine C. Pyszkowski

Get screened early for colorectal cancer

June is Men’s Health Month.
Men, did you know that you can prevent colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer screening can find growths (polyps) that can be removed before they turn into cancer.
Screening can also find cancer early when treatment may work best.
Men are less likely to get screened for colorectal cancer. New York State data show that about 69% of men ages 50 to 75 are up to date with screening, while 74% of women ages 50-75 are up to date.
Men get colorectal cancer more often than women. They are also more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of the disease and more likely to die from colorectal cancer.
The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties hopes men will use this information to take a positive step towards preventing colorectal cancer.
The CSP encourages men to call their health care provider and ask about colorectal cancer screening. Last year the national recommendation for screening for people at average risk for colorectal cancer was changed to start at age 45 instead of age 50.
People younger than age 45 should talk to their health care provider about their risk for colorectal cancer and when to start screening.
For men ages 45+ without insurance, the CSP may be able to help. The CSP provides free colorectal cancer screening to people ages 45-plus living in Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties who qualify. Contact Carmen Rodriguez at 518-770-6817.
Kimberly Rodecker
The writer is a health education and promotion coordinator at Cancer Prevention in Action Program of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties.

More: All Opinion

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Joseph Vendetti June 4, 2022
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My post from this morning is gone? Did it violate some rule?

Zachary Parker June 4, 2022
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Christina Loukides, you want to lecture us on guns and religion when YOUR President Biden left 300,000 guns to the Zealot Taliban terrorists. Dismissed.

Joseph Vendetti June 4, 2022
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Gun Critics:
My father age 15 used to take his rifle on the bus to highschool in 1951 to shoot at the school gun range as one of the many elective classes (along with Archery and others). Zero mass shootings.
Many of the city’s public high schools had shooting clubs and a few even had gun ranges on their premises, according to accounts from the Department of Education and others.
Shooting clubs were popular in many schools, even if they didn’t have gun ranges.
Many future olympic gold medalists got their start in their high school shooting clubs.
It was common for high school students to take their guns with them to school on the subways or bus in the morning and turn them over to their home-room teacher or the gym coach so the heavy guns would simply be out of the way.
After school, students would pick up their guns when it was time for practice.
Even in New York City, virtually every public high school had a shooting club up until 1969.
“To accommodate the kids, they even made them these little pull-out benches they can kneel on to shoot from that position or even lie down to shoot,” said Darren Leung, owner of Westside Rifle & Pistol Range in Chelsea, describing the equipment.
The United States had no mass school shootings in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
But it began to increase with a school shooting in 1979 orchestrated by a 16-year old female with mental health issues who began shooting at an elementary school, killing two adults and injuring eight students and one adult (Daly 2014).
Since 1979, the number of shootings increased and then decreased, with the 1990’s being a peak period.
However, deaths from shootings went from 12 in the 1980’s, to 36 in the 1990’s, 14 in the 2000’s, and a high of 51 in the 2010’s.
Mental health services are frequently scrutinized following mass school shootings.
Yet America has seen a 100,000% increase in consumption of strong prescription anti-depressants — more than 2x and even 3x higher per person than majority of other peer nations.
Most scholars and researchers who study mass violence agree that school shootings, as they are ubiquitously understood today, became a salient phenomenon in the United States around the late 1990s (Ash & Saunders, 2018; Rocque, 2012; Rocque & Duwe, 2018).
The fact is America has a severe mental health crisis that nobody is addressing, and has increased precipitously under administrations of both political parties.
Meanwhile upwards of 2.8 million illegal guns are smuggled from Mexico into USA each year per Dept of Justice.
100% of those guns are illegal and are arming criminals who obviously don’t care about gun laws, and probably have severe mental illness themselves.
I am for raising the age, 30-60 day purchase holds, mental health checks – but folks a semi-automatic hand gun can kill just as many or more then an AR-15.  The general public only has semi-auto capabilities and many farmers and ranchers I know use their AR’s for wild hog elimination or varment control on their property.

Karol Newton June 4, 2022
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Liz Joy is  nothing  but another Stefanik.  Cares nothing  about the people she wants to represent.   She’s  nothing but a conservative  that doesn’t  care about  anything  but herself.  Just like tRUMP she’s all about whatever you can do for ME.  Vote BLUE !