Hope St. Clare’s retirees get their due
It is so hard for me to believe what is happening to our beloved St. Clare’s Hospital retirees — from the St. Clare’s Hospital pension plan collapse to the New York State Attorney General Letitia James announcing she is going to sue the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
My head is still spinning from all the evidence of numerous instances of negligence and wrongdoing that led to more than 1,100 former employees of the St. Clare’s Hospital losing their pensions.
I would like to ask the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany a question, where is your human dignity toward your loyal St. Clare’s Hospital workers and all their families?
What was done to these people is disgraceful and not what our Roman Catholic leaders are supposed to do to human beings.
Human dignity is the cornerstone of the Catholic teaching treating the retirees with dignity means treating them the way we’d like to be treated ourselves.
Due to the actions of a couple of bishops and the board members who were in charge of the pension plan, now the Catholic religion is being questioned about its loyalty to all Catholics.
I sincerely hope the attorney general has the good fortune to recover the lost pension plan money owed to the retirees.
But I would advise her to be very careful because I do not trust them.
Walter “Neal” Brazell
Bill gets benefits for police, responders
Recently, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted to advance a bipartisan bill aimed at supporting our law enforcement officers (LEOs) and first responders.
The Public Safety Officers Support Act will help LEOs and their families receive benefits for work-related PTSD and acute stress disorders.
This is a necessary step to make sure those who protect and serve our communities get the help and support they need.
This act would also allow those officers who are disabled due to a suicide attempt or the families of officers who have died from PTSD-related suicide to apply for certain benefits.
Our LEOs protect and serve our communities.
They shield us from some of the most vile and evil things this world has to offer.
In return, we should ensure that they and their families have access to resources and benefits.
I’m glad Elise voted to advance this crucial legislation.
Throughout her tenure in office Elise has continued to show her steadfast commitment to our LEOs and first responders.
The writer is a retired chief inspector from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Still misconceptions over Ukraine, Russia
Despite the nonstop coverage Ukraine has received since Russia launched its brutal war of aggression on Feb. 24, misconceptions regarding Europe’s second largest country still abound.
First, the war that began in the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2014 has never been a Ukrainian civil war. Rather it was and remains a Moscow-fueled separatist movement.
Second, Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity of February 2014 was not an American inspired coup, but rather a popular uprising against the corrupt, pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych, whose policies threatened Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Third, despite some history of anti-Semitism, Ukraine is not a hotbed of Nazism. In the 2019 parliamentary election, far right political parties garnered less than the 3% threshold needed for representation. Moreover, Ukraine’s current president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is himself Jewish.
Fourth, there has never been any oppression of or genocide against ethnic Russians or Russian speakers in Ukraine. Russians are still the largest minority, comprising 17% of the population according to the 2001 census. Due to the Czarist and Soviet Russification policies, Russian language use is still very prevalent.
Lastly, Ukraine is indeed a democracy, despite Tucker Carlson’s assertion that it is not.
Since 1991, six free presidential elections as well as nine parliamentary elections have been held.
Ukraine espouses the concepts of democracy, the rule of law, political pluralism and respect for human and minority rights.
By contrast, Putin’s Russia is characterized by political assassination, suppression of dissent, censorship and harassment of minority groups.
Jordan is honest, transparent, involved
Never in my years would I ever expect to get a weekly letter from my state senator asking me for my opinion and telling me about the business that’s going on in Albany.
But that is exactly what Sen. Daphne Jordan has done. Sen. Jordan is an honest politician who has been devoted to transparency throughout her tenure in office and is truly someone who is for the people she represents.
Her weekly newsletters are always asking for our opinions and questions, proving that she is a representative who actually listens to her constituents.
We need someone like that to continue representing our interests in Albany. I urge all of my fellow voters in this new district to vote to return Daphne Jordan to the Senate so that she can continue her efforts for transparency and affordability in New York state.
America must care for Americans first
There was a story on the news the other day concerning veterans who are suffering from aftereffects of being near toxic burning pits while serving.
President Biden said his son Beau died because of the effects. A bill was introduced that asks for $325 million to take care of these vets.
It passed the House but not the Senate. One senator said that since the cost wasn’t anticipated in the budget, they can’t find a place to recoup this cost.
Congress has agreed to send $40 billion to Ukraine. If only $39 billion is sent, would that hamper their defense effort? More than money Ukraine needs fighters now; the money will be necessary to rebuild the country. Our vets need this support now.
Funny how they can’t find the money, but have no problem providing healthcare for new immigrants. There are also efforts to find them housing.
My grandfather couldn’t enter this country unless he was healthy, had no criminal record and had a sponsor to take him in. Once he proved that he’d found a job and a place to live, my grandmother and mother could be sent for.
Also if an immigrant joined the military, he would be granted citizenship once he’s processed out. Is our goal to make these immigrants citizens or dependents? If we don’t take care of our own, who else will?
How do we justify making new gun laws
An 18-year-old may sign up for the military and be given a AR-15 to defend or die for his/her country, but at 18 may not buy alcoholic drinks or purchase a semi-automatic .22 rifle to hunt when home on leave.
We defend our president, congressman, governors, courts, celebrities, sporting events, banks, jewelry stores, office buildings and factories with guns. We defend our children with a sign that reads: “This is a gun-free zone,” and then call someone with a gun if there’s an emergency.
What do we do with the 18-year-old soldier with his AR-15 at Fort Drum or a Reserve meeting, or do we just call him/her “cannon fodder.”
But our legislators have managed to solve the problem with more legislation in just a few short days.
Reread Declaration and Constitution
Paul Donahue’s May 17 letter (“Minority rule is eroding democracy”) is so misleading in its presentation, it’s a wonder it was published at all.
America is a constitutional republic. America is not now nor was it ever a democracy. Especially not in the sense Donahue portrayed as a “majority rules” form of government.
Additionally, Donahue incidentally or willfully ignored the fact that America has always had a bicameral legislature.
The Senate, which he referenced in his letter, has an equal number of delegates for each state. And it’s the House of Representatives whose delegation is determined by a state’s population.
What better example to demonstrate how our Founding Fathers never intended our country to be a simple “majority rules” form of government?
But don’t worry, the framework of our government is not about “who rules” or “who is ruled,” as Donahue stated in the closing of his letter.
Our founders shed blood against the crown of England to preserve our unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
As Independence Day approaches, what better time to reread the Constitution for the People of the United States of America and the Declaration of Independence?
Can’t trust Tedisco to stand up for people
I write to express my disappointment with Jim Tedisco and his recent decision to run in the primary against Sen. Jordan.
Sen. Tedisco doesn’t have the guts or pride to stand up for the people in his own district, where he lives. How can you trust someone like that to represent us?
I back Sen. Daphne Jordan to represent us in good faith which she has done for the past four years. Vote for Sen. Daphne Jordan, as she will continue to fight for us.
Agree on relief from federal gas taxes, too
I was happy to see Assemblyman Santabarbara stepping up to the plate again to do something about the out-of-control gas prices.
From the start he pushed to remove the New York state gas tax and got everyone in Albany to agree with him.
It was the right thing to do, and he got it done.
I also heard about his letter to Congress and to Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand in the news, wanting them to also remove the federal gas taxes. I agree with him. If it saves us money, why not? All our elected representatives need to do their part.
If Santabarbara can get a tax cut like this passed here in New York, why can’t they do it in Washington, D.C.?
Help available for LGBTQIA+ addicts
June is established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have had on the world.
LGBTQIA+ groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings.
It’s also important to recognize that the LGBTQIA+ community has been impacted by various mental health issues, including problem gambling.
Problem gambling is anytime someone’s life is negatively impacted by their gambling behaviors.
This could include financial struggles, relationship or partner issues, conflicts with work or school, and even translating to criminal behavior.
It’s important to ensure we have a comprehensive screening system in place for all individuals receiving treatment for problem gambling, especially screening specifically for LGBTQIA+ folks who are already in care or seeking treatment for mental health or chemical dependency needs.
Establishing a safe environment for clients should be a normalized step within all counseling and therapy-related practices. Help is available for problem gambling no matter how you identify.
The Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center is excited to promote our clinicians who are experienced in treating LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as have training in cultural humility.
Northeast PGRC offers all members of our community: in-person or teletherapy counseling; connection to Gambler’s Anonymous or Gam-Anon; online family education group; online tools and resources, including self-assessments; connection to statewide inpatient and outpatient treatment services; connection to recovery community.
Call (518) 801-1491 or email [email protected]
For information, visit https://nyproblemgamblinghelp.org/.
The writer is a team leader at the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center.
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