Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, June 25


Support committed Dems in Niskayuna

By now you are aware of the Democratic primary for governor taking place on June 28.
Did you know there’s also a primary for membership on the Niskayuna Democratic Committee the same day?
Hard-working Democrats are being primaried by a small group of people who helped elect Republicans during the last two town elections. This wasteful and disheartening chaos involves almost half the committee.
For years, Democratic committee members have made financial contributions, raised funds, carried petitions to get candidates on the ballot and campaigned — including for Michelle Ostrelich and Jaime Puccioni.
Remember those Upstate for Biden-Harris signs that blanketed our town in 2020? They were created and sold all over the state by our ingenious and industrious committee leadership as a committee fundraiser.
If you are a Democrat in Districts 1, 2, 4, 9, 14, 15 and 16, you are eligible to vote.
I hope you will vote for your committed team. In almost all districts, those who have worked hard for years to elect Democrats are the first names on the ballot, except for District 4 where they are the last three.
Kaleigh Reid

Propane bill will help during winter

I was pleased to read that Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara recently passed a bill to allow residents who use propane to heat their homes to receive emergency deliveries from more than one supplier during an emergency.
Those of us who rely on propane to heat their homes, unfortunately, have been met with delayed or missed deliveries during some of the coldest winter months — sometimes waiting weeks for a scheduled delivery to arrive.
Here in the Northeast, when temperatures drop dangerously low, these propane deliveries are crucial for our families. Propane customers shouldn’t find themselves at the mercy of a single supplier when they cannot meet a request for a tank refill.
I know Mr. Santabarbara has been pushing for this needed legislation and I’m thankful his bill was passed this year.
Kevin Crosier
East Berne

Santabarbara brings home the bacon

During my time as Amsterdam mayor, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has been a constant source of guidance and support for me personally and his advocacy on behalf of our city has resulted in millions of dollars of critical game-changing aid for our community.
This year, Angelo was the guy who got CDTA funding approved by the Assembly. CDTA would not be coming to Amsterdam without that funding. He also shepherded the Assembly’s approval of more than $2 million worth of State Reconstruction projects for our city, including $1.1 million to replace our streetlights with super-efficient LED lighting. He also delivered funding for a badly needed pool house for our pool and to support expansion of the Creative Connections Clubhouse on East Main Street.
What I admire most about Angelo is that he’s a hands-on representative who listens to his constituents and finds ways to help us solve problems. He’s all about doing whatever he can to improve the quality of life in our community and his record proves it.
While the chaotic redistricting process has forced our city into new congressional and Senate districts, fortunately Amsterdam residents can still vote for Assemblyman Santabarbara on June 28 to keep him as our representative.
Michael Cinquanti
The writer is mayor of Amsterdam.

Talbot is the leader Scotia needs in mayor

Early voting for the Democratic primary began last week. I am without question supporting Joe Talbot for mayor of Scotia. We deserve decisive leadership and a public servant with a vision.
Talbot, a lifelong village resident, community volunteer and parent, has the leadership qualities and professional skills needed to lead the village of Scotia into the future.
His vision to create a long-term strategic plan is critical to our community’s pathway to success. I am also impressed by his knowledge and background in finance. The village will benefit greatly from a leader who understands the budget process and how the village can best control spending while delivering essential services to the community.
More importantly, Joe Talbot and his family are genuine, friendly and honest, qualities we need in public leadership. Their love for this village is evident in how they give back to their community, especially to those in need. Team Talbot is frequently seen volunteering at village events or raising money for charitable organizations. They lead the way in spreading kindness.
On Primary Day 2022, I will join other village Democrats in supporting Joe Talbot for mayor of Scotia. Your vote and your voice matter.
Justin Cook

Keep Santabarbara working in Assembly

Anyone who lives in Rotterdam knows that Angelo Santabarbara has always been here to support our community.
It was Angelo’s leadership that helped us save our Rotterdam EMS a few years back, and since then he’s delivered important funding to support them. He’s also been working to help Rotterdam families keep more of their hard-earned money. He got the state gasoline tax removed this year and delivered property tax rebate checks for homeowners. He also helped working families by expanding the childcare tax credit and utility bill assistance to help seniors on a fixed income.
As the father of a child with autism, Angelo understands how important it is to support our friends with disabilities.
A few years ago, he opened a sensory friendly emergency room at Ellis Hospital and this year he launched a college experience program at SUNY Schenectady for people with disabilities. When it comes to helping those with disabilities no one works harder.
Though we are in a redistricting this year, it’s important we remember to get out and vote for Angelo Santabarbara for state Assembly in this year’s primary election on June 28 so we can keep him working for us.
Stephen M. Signore

Use of ‘advertorials’ a deceptive practice

Regarding “Two sides to every story: Capital Region realtor can relate to Johnny Depp’s victory” on page C10 of the Sunday June 19 Gazette. This piece is labeled “advertorial.” What’s an advertorial? It’s “an advertisement written in the form of an objective editorial, presented in a printed publication, and usually designed to look like a legitimate and independent news article.” ( In other words, it’s a PR piece specifically designed to fool the reader into thinking it is an unbiased journalistic endeavor.
Times are tough for newspapers. But does The Gazette really have to resort to this type of deception to curry favor from a big advertiser?
It shows not only a lack of integrity, but also the low opinion the paper has of its readers.
While they might pay off in the short run, advertorials may ultimately work to the paper’s detriment when subscriptions are canceled.
Dana Riell

Don’t let downstate extremists win here

With all the confusion over redistricting this year, most people I’ve talked to are unaware there’s a primary election for state Assembly on June 28 or simply don’t care enough to go vote. However, Rotterdam voters thinking about not voting this year should think again before sitting this one out.
New York City politicians, in fact self-described socialists, are pushing like-minded soft-on-crime candidates to target our upstate representatives like Angelo Santabarbara in the Assembly. These candidates are endorsed by “AOC” and support all of her extreme “policies” such as defunding and debilitating our police and letting criminals out on our streets with no bail or consequences. Make no mistake, they’re targeting Santabarbara to eliminate upstate opposition to these bad policies.
On June 28, they’ll be pushing their voters to the polls and they’re hoping you’ll stay home so they can get their radical, extremist candidates into state offices. Don’t think it’s not possible. This is a proven strategy they’ve used before and won seats in other Assembly districts. Don’t let it happen here — if you don’t support these extreme policies, mark your calendar and go vote!
Gerard Parisi

Life was better when Trump was president

So I sat down after going grocery shopping and filling my gas tank and reflected on today’s state of the country.
I then realized that my pay has not gone up, all of my expenses have risen to the point where I have to decide on even taking a day trip.
It appears because of the current administration my household and daily living expenses are the results of this current administration’s policies.
We were once energy independent, and the cost of living was enabling me to save money. But we now have crippling inflation with the future getting worse and no relief in sight. We are opening borders to bring in people we cannot afford to support with our tax dollars and importing oil from countries that do not refine the oil as the United States does.
But hey, look at the bright side: We do not have to hear about those pesky tweets from Trump. Enjoy the bed you have made.
Robert Sponable

Men should act now to prevent cancer

June is Men’s Health Month. The Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) program encourages men to take steps to prevent cancer.
Men are at higher risk for skin cancer, only six in 10 men protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV rays cause up to 90% of skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Men 50 and older are up to three times more likely to get melanoma than women. One reason, men work outside more often than women. Lower your risk by seeking shade, wear long shirts/pants, hat, sunglasses and use broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Reapply sunscreen often.
Men are also less likely to get screened for colorectal cancer. NYS data shows 74% of women ages 50-75 are up to date with colorectal cancer screening, and 69% of men ages 50-75 are up to date.
Colorectal cancer screening can find growths (polyps) that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can find cancer early when treatment may be most effective.
Screening should start at age 45 for men, men at higher risk may need to start screening earlier. All men, talk to your health care provider about personal risk and when to start screening.
CPiA educates about skin cancer and helps organizations adopt policies to promote sun safety. CPiA also works with employers to develop a paid time off benefit so employees can get life-saving cancer screenings.
Contact CPiA at or call 518-770-6815.
Kelsey Carpe
The writer is health education promotions coordinator, Cancer Prevention in Action Program of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties.

Support incumbent Niskayuna Democrats

For almost 50 years I have supported Niskayuna Democrats as deputy supervisor under Bob Ausfeld and Ed Reilly, as a committee woman at the county and state level, and as a town resident and concerned citizen.
I am concerned about the current primary challenge to our duly elected committee persons who I support and strongly believe have served our community well. Our current team of Democrat committee members is a diverse group of long-standing town residents and homeowners with a proven record of representing the best interests of all our community and I urge you to support them in the upcoming primary election on June 28.
As you may be aware, Ms. Jaquith, a former board member who resigned her position for personal reasons prior to the end of her term, is now, I believe, undermining those she served with by promoting a takeover of the committee by primary challengers who, in my opinion,have not established any meaningful record of supporting our town or democratic party.
Again, I urge you to vote for our current committee members in the June 28 primary. Thank you.
Lorene H. Zabin

Out-of-state dialysis patients need help

New York Leads in Dialysis Coverage, But Patients in Other States Still Struggle
Finding out my kidneys were failing was shocking. During a surgery to remove a portion of one kidney affected by cancer, things took an unexpected turn. Rather than losing a small portion of function in one kidney, I was left with one kidney only functioning at 20 percent.
Thanks to an excellent nephrologist, though, I was able to put off starting dialysis for a decade.
Since then, two things that have helped a great deal are the flexibility of my home treatments and the access I’ve had to coverage for dialysis. While I received coverage for the portion of treatment Medicare didn’t pay for through work for two years, living in New York means I’ve been able to get Medigap coverage even after I had to stop working.
Meeting patients from other states has shown me it’s very different across the country.
For patients under 65, getting Medigap plans to cover what Medicare won’t is extremely difficult, and paying those costs out-of-pocket is just too much. Dialysis patients don’t have a choice, though – they need treatment to stay alive. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act would change that and make those plans more easily available for patients nationwide.
New York is a leader in ensuring dialysis patients can access Medigap coverage. Now lawmakers have a chance now to get this done nationally, and I hope Rep. Elise Stefanik joins other New York legislators in helping to pass this bill.
Keith Plummer
Saratoga Springs

Range for child tax credit very generous

This is in response to the article by Julia Raifman and Allison Bovell-Ammon (“Restore child tax credits to fight hunger”) in your June 16 Opinion section.
They talk about expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which hands out monthly payments of $300 cash per child under the age of 17. To qualify for this handout, you must make less than $200,000 per year for a single adult and $400,000 per year for a married couple. This is insane! If you can’t feed your children making that kind of money, then you need to take a good look at your budget.
No one wants kids to go hungry, no one. These two young ladies also feel that there should be no work requirements to receive this handout.
There was a time when people had to work to provide for their family. I almost forgot to mention that there are no exclusions due to immigration status.
Again, I repeat, no one wants any child to go hungry, but come on, $200,000 and $400,000, yikes!
Bill Farstad
Ballston Lake


Teach reproductive responsibility first

Recently there has been much outcry for the ‘upholding’ of reproductive rights. Groups across the country are lobbying at maximum capacity to make sure that legal abortion rights remain viable in every state across the country.
What I do not hear is the cry for reproductive responsibility. For every right’ there is also a ‘responsibility.’ Legal abortion has now existed nationwide since Jan. 22, 1973.
As a registered nurse for more than 45 years, I can tell you that society, media and Hollywood need to stand up and take responsibility for their part in what is going on.
Anyone in the entertainment industry will quickly admit that sex sells. An explosion of promiscuity — yes, relationships without boundaries or commitments — has become so commonplace as to be the norm.
Fifty years ago, there were a great many restrictions to obtaining effective birth control. Not so today. There are many options, easily obtained, safe and affordable — for both partners. Yet reproductive responsibility just gets swept by the wayside.
Whether the reproductive rights people would like to admit it or not, abortion is used as contraception.
I can’t tell you how many pregnant women have admitted to me that they weren’t worried about getting pregnant. Or they knew that they weren’t protected or that their partner refused to wear a condom. They’d just deal with it if it happened. This is what I mean by reproductive responsibility. Abortion is not the ‘right’ contraception.
Sally Kwak

Policy makers, media misrepresent Putin

If Americans would shed the fantasy that U.S. policymakers are benevolent, wise protectors, Americans would see that U.S. policymakers are playing them like a harp.
Read Putin’s Feb. 21 and 24 speeches, 2021 essay and 2007 Munich speech, all falsely represented by U.S. policy and media makers as demonstrating Putin’s alleged desires to destroy democracy, conquer Ukraine and seek empire.
Putin speaks of disarmament, the prevention of space militarization, his condemnation of U.S. policymakers’ “nearly uncontainable use of hyper-force,” and U.S. disdain for international law.
You’ll see Putin’s despair over repeated U.S. dismissals of Russian proposals for European security, over NATO’s aggressive expansion, Ukraine’s civil war atrocities, the West’s selfish use of Ukraine since the 2014 U.S.-funded coup, and his warning that a U.S.-led unipolar world – U.S. policymakers’ ambition — endangers the world, democracy, and the United States itself.
Biden’s administration interweaves the weapon industry, liberal hawks, and neoconservatives, infamous for the Project for the New American Century, which obsesses on American Empire, enthusiastically advocating the development of space weapons and biological weapons to target specific genotypes.
U.S. policymakers project their own imperial ambitions and undemocratic, authoritarian desires onto Putin. They hide their obsessively competitive desires for economic control over Georgia, Ukraine, and Europe’s energy market and for NATO control over Crimea and the Black, Baltic, and Caspian Seas.
As authoritarians, they furiously label all who don’t cave into their bribes and intimidation – Putin — as dangerous, undemocratic aggressors.
For the jeerers online, your accusations of ignorance fall flat.
Kristin Christman
Clifton Park

Look at facts, logic when forming views

This is not the Age of Re-enlightenment, as it could be with modern information technology, or the Age of Aquarius, as some hoped it would become some time ago.
No, we are in the Age of Alternate Facts, of dogma disguised as thoughtful opinion, of charlatans posing as saviors, of conspiracies supplanting reality,
Here’s mine: Suppose there was a commodity so vital to our current standard of living that literally no one was immune to its fluctuations in availability and price. And suppose the supply was controlled by just a few corporations. Now look around your area.
Pretty much every service station prices their fuel identically or close enough to make no matter.
This would lead one to think that every one of these corporations had exactly the same costs: production, administration, transportation, etc.
Now, I ask, does that sound logical? Of course not.
So why are fuel prices so high? Ask yourself what an oil company wants. To continue to make money.
Now with those pesky liberals in office, they are looking at a bleak future with all this solar and windmill nonsense and their precious drilling prohibitions.
What to do? Get lots of people upset about the current artificially inflated price of fuel and blame it on the Democrats.
Get the Republicans back in and drill, baby, drill. Build the pipeline, open up all our wilderness. Back to the days of Trumpism and anything goes. Conspiracy? Maybe.
George Elston
Fort Hunter

No such thing as a free ride with Biden

I hope all of us learned that there is no such thing as “free” from the government.
When the Biden Administration handed out that $1,200-plus a year ago, you have paid that back with interest.
All workers are now working for the same money they got five years ago, and some even back farther than that.
Folks, just in gasoline and food, it has cost triple and even more. This has reached the danger zone people. It’s time to change the leadership of our government and stop all this pie-in-the sky silliness about fossil fuels. Eighty percent of working people cannot afford electric cars at $75,000 to 80,000 to start.
By the way, it takes coal to produce the electricity that runs the cars. And what about the landfills that the leftist environmentalists scream about? Don’t you hurt the air, water, land,  but they can.
Look at all the money printed and borrowed by Biden, thus inflation. Stores are jacking up prices and using inflation as an excuse. Rise up, wake up, act now! War will not bail us out this time. Read history.
Albert P. Marvell

Guns serve as a real deterrent to crime

Thank you, Second Amendment.
Studies indicate that firearms are used more than 2 million times a year for personal protection.
One such incident mentioned in the March issue of Shooting Illustrated, “A Spotsylvania, Va., man was at an ATM with cash in his hand around 9 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2021, when another man approached him and then began striking him.
The victim, a concealed-carry permit holder, drew his gun and fired several shots at the attacker, who was not hit and immediately fled and called 911 to report having been shot at. Local law enforcement officers were already responding to a second reported robbery attempt; they determined that the 911 caller matched the description of the earlier robbery suspect and took him into custody.
The suspect, who also had a prior criminal record, was charged with attempted robbery. (, Fredericksburg, Va., 10/18/21)” Just the presence of a gun stops many crimes without a shot being fired.
William D. Wilday

Solar project good for climate, future

I strongly support the ConnectGen’s Mill Point Solar 2 project that is planned for Glen (“ConnectGen part 2 solar project in Glen nets award from NYSERDA,” June 12).
It misses the point to object to this project on the basis that the installation will produce more power than there are homes in the area to consume it.
While true, Montgomery County can become an energy exporter. Sufficient land is available, and landowners will benefit from the revenue from leasing it. This project will also generate new local jobs. There is the greater good by fighting climate change.
Some don’t like these, but solar and wind farms can be seen as beacons of hope for future generations.
We must act aggressively to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar power that will enable us to meet New York’s climate goals.
There can be no argument against that.
Thanks to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting, we can hope for some speed to streamline the evaluation and siting process. Above all, our legislative leaders in Albany must buck the fossil fuel lobbyists and political donations and pass the All-Electric Building Act so that clean solar energy, instead of gas and oil, will heat our future homes. This and other legislation to decarbonize our buildings were left hanging at the end of the 2022 session. Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins must put these issues front and center when the legislature convenes in 2023. We have no time left to waste.
Charles A. Bishop



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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Ignatious P. Reilly

The only thing wrong with Mr. Sponable’s letter, is the title. It should have said ‘Life was, much, much, MUCH better’ during Trump’s presidency. ‘Life was better’ is a fact, but doesn’t really emphasize enough the amazingly rapid plummeting into the abyss of the working American’s quality of life. Mr. Biden (in my opinion) is the most frightening plague, including Covid and Obama, ever to have been inflicted upon this formerly great country. I am struck almost as unconscious (in my opinion) as Biden is by the fact that Americans actually physically went out and voted for this (in my opinion) criminal, brain dead idiot (in my opinion) and are letting this happen to them with nary a squeak. Sadly, I am not surprised. 

bob gareat

As the Jan 6th committee has shown Trump was a treasonous monster. Better under Trump? I Think not and look forward to seeing him charged for his crimes.

Zachary Parker

George Elston yes you are living a conspiracy theory, why not place the blame where it belongs, far left democrats and whoever is making policy (it’s not Biden), more than likely it’s Obama’s girl Susan Rice.

Karol Newton

Robert Sponable   it has NOTHING to do with BIDEN…it’s global  every country is suffering with the same problem.  It’s really unfortunate the GOP (GREED OVER PEOPLE)  live in an alternate reality and believe the BIG LIE


Do I understand you to say that our economic problems have nothing to do with the governments acting on its promise to phase out fossila fuels?

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