Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Aug. 13


Writer prophetic in his observations

Mr. Anthony J. Santo’s July 26 letter (“Basic human flaws will lead to our doom”) is the most profound piece I have ever read in The Gazette.
It is also tragically prophetic. In the United States, sadly, “primitive tribal emotions” coupled with terminal stupidity have given rise to Christian nationalism, Trumpism and a wave of racism and antisemitism.
As Mr. Santo so brilliantly observed, man will be the cause of his own demise.
Paul Sator

Pass legislation for Native Americans

As our congressional members return home for August recess, I think about my time recently spent in Washington, D.C. learning about the Truth and Healing Commission for Indian Boarding Schools Policies Act (H.R. 5444/S. 2907).
I would deeply encourage readers to learn more about the terrible history of Indian Boarding Schools and our federal government’s responsibility to start repairing the damage that was done.
While I was unable to meet with Sen. Chuck Schumer or his staff this time, I look forward to meeting with them soon.
I did have the opportunity to meet with staff from both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and District Rep. Paul Tonko.
I urge our representatives to cosponsor this legislation in support of Native communities in New York state and around the country.
Ky’Asia Washington Blanchard

Are mask, vaccine mandates returning

This is a question that our governor should be able to answer with a yes or no response: Do you plan on announcing new vaccine/mask mandates for public schools after the election, possibly during the Thanksgiving recess?
Reliable sources refer to a meeting in New York City held last week where Gov. Kathy Hochul stated to education officials that she was planning on doing this but didn’t want it to leak out as it might cost her the election.
A vaccine mandate at this point in time makes no sense and has no scientific basis. The “vaccines” do not always protect you from getting covid, transmitting covid, or keeping you out of the hospital.
Data is now showing that the most vaccinated countries in the world are having the most cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Norway’s new stance for the 2022-23 school year is “If you are sick, stay home.”
In the spirit of complete transparency, investigative reporters should be posing this question to our governor.
We all would like to know. Also, ask her why she is appealing her “containment camp” rule, which was shot down by a judge’s decision a few weeks ago as illegal, because the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to make laws.
James Shear

No satisfaction on complaint about dog

On June 4, I was bitten by a dog while walking on SR 159, Mariaville, which had attacked a woman and her dog before.
An updated report was made to the Schenectady Health Department. They said they would investigate and suggested I contact the animal control officer for the town of Duanesburg.
I never received the requested dog’s rabies vaccination report. I received a letter from the Health Department informing me that their investigation indicated the dog was free of rabies.
The Health Department provided a phone number to call. I was informed I would be contacted by either a State Police or Schenectady sheriff’s officer. I was contacted by a sheriff’s deputy; gave him all the information I had and was told they would investigate my complaint.
I called the phone number for the animal control officer, but got no answer and the voice mail box was full.
I went to the Duanesburg Town Hall and was told they could get a hold of the animal control officer for me. I tried to call the animal control officer again, to no avail. But I received another call from the Sheriff’s Department. Giving him the incident number for reference, I was told the complaint was investigated and was now considered closed.
It’s been found that this dog runs loose frequently and should be considered dangerous as there are young children in the vicinity of the dog’s home.
As of this date, I never heard from the animal control officer.
Harry J. Bartik

Stefanik has devolved and must be replaced

I am outraged by Ashleigh King’s disingenuous letter (“Stefanik working to empower women”) in the Aug. 6 Gazette.
Yes, perhaps she is a cosponsor of HR 8428, a bill introduced on July 18 by a Republican congresswoman. But that bill is going nowhere.
The truth is that she voted nay on July 21 on HR 8373 “The Right to Contraception Act.” There is absolutely no doubt about that. Look it up. Her stance on women’s rights is abysmal.
Since fully embracing Trumpism, Ms. Stefanik has completely lost her bearings. A once reasonable moderate with intelligent input and decisions has changed into a radical who would deny a fair election, support an insurrection of our government at the Capitol and vote against the interests of her constituents.
How sad for her, for the 21st Congressional District and for our country. She needs to be replaced.
Lyn I. Kucij

Continue investing in Alzheimer’s research

Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2022 (AAIC 2022) provided new insight into dementia risk, prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, the long-term cognitive impact of COVID-19 and more.
On behalf of the more than 410,000 New Yorkers living with Alzheimer’s, I was encouraged to attend the conference and hear from over 5,000 researchers representing 98 nations, including those from Albany Med and RPI.
Thankfully, over the last decade, since the passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) and the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, Congress has made addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia a priority.
With these two laws set to expire in 2025, updated legislation is critically needed by people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
As we’ve seen from the research presented at AAIC 2022, when we invest in Alzheimer’s and dementia research, we gain valuable insights.
The investment must continue.
Rep. Paul Tonko has been a fierce advocate for Alzheimer’s research and support, even receiving this year’s Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Humanitarian Award.
Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association and thank him for his continued support of the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act.
To learn more and take action, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at
Beth Smith-Boivin
The writer is the executive director of Alzheimer’s Association Northeastern New York chapter.

Stefanik dedicated to serving all Americans

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has proven she takes the initiative and stands up for her constituents.
She is strong-willed, articulate, and dedicated to the Republican Party. I’m happy to see the congresswoman support our law enforcement, military, and seniors.
Elise introduced the Ernst Peltz Accrued Veterans Benefits Act which aims to help veteran families in seeking accrued pension benefits for an unwell or deceased veteran.
Elise has additionally recovered over $5.4 million for veterans since 2015. She is committed to supporting and honoring those who have sacrificed for the freedom and safety of our great nation. For our seniors, Elise is devoted to preserving Medicare and Social Security. She has successfully recovered $1.3 million from Medicare, and over $23.6 million in health care grants during her time in Congress.
Elise led the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, legislation that advances facilities for aging Americans, allowing them the option to remain in their communities with the support of their loved ones.
Elise has proven to be a productive, driven and ambitious representative who delivers real results for her constituents. She is ranked in the top 25% most bipartisan members of Congress and is dedicated to furthering the well-being of all Americans.
Marnie Messitt

Tedisco is a strong voice for the people

It looks like it’s the silly season again. That is another election year where some candidates and their minions think the best way to get elected is to name call, attack, mudsling, distort the truth and have no real agenda to get things done that creates a better quality of life.
If you can judge candidates by who and how they are supported, then I know I’ll once again be supporting someone who has been and is always standing up with a strong voice for us. That’s Sen. Jim Tedisco.
I’ve seen many letters positive in support of Jim, but can’t remember any trying to support him but maligning his opponent.
In comparison, letters for his opponent do just the opposite.
No one gets my vote that way and they shouldn’t get yours. I’ll be voting for Tedisco for Senate and you should too.
Hannie Santana


Child/Elder Care act will assist caregivers

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik co-introduced a bipartisan act, the Empowering Employer Child and Elder Care Solutions Act.
Currently, employers who offer child or dependent care assistance to their workers are exposed to expenses.
These expenses are a roadblock, reducing the likelihood of employers being able to provide these pro-family benefits to their employees.
This act updates the Fair Labor Standards Act to treat many forms of dependent care similarly to other employer-provided benefits.
By treating dependent care the same as other benefits, both the costs for employers are lowered, making it more likely they can offer such care.
Therefore, this act expands access to child and elder care for working families — without the need for more government spending but simply by aligning these pro-family benefits with other benefits offered by employers.
Penny VanDusen

Ponder the cosmos and make a difference

The stunning photos from the James Webb telescope were incredibly inspiring and beautiful, as seen in the July 12 Gazette (“Telescope offers a far out view.”)
When thinking about the distances (millions of light years), galaxies and suns, I was moved spiritually to think of creation and the enormity of the cosmos and how it was conceived, built and by whom. And where did all the material come from?
There are more heavenly bodies than grains of sand on Earth, according to Carl Sagen’s book ‘Cosmos,’ so when you’re at the beach or digging in your garden, imagine how many that would be if you were to include the entire planet.
I also asked the question, was this the first Big Bang or were there many more before it? Like forever!
This is all far beyond our human comprehension in size, distance, time and who, as we are still infants in our human development. So all we really have in the year 2022 is hope and faith that our short time here on Earth has made a contribution to mankind and had purpose and meaning for those we love.
Curtis Alheim
Ballston Lake

Ostrelich has strong record on health care

Michelle Ostrelich is a Schenectady County legislator running for State Senate in the 44th District.
I support her candidacy for multiple reasons, but as a retired physician I would like to highlight her accomplishments and policy positions regarding health care.
She co-founded the Schenectady Coalition for Health Care Access in order to advocate for transparency and community involvement in the acquisition of Ellis Medicine by St. Peter’s Health Partners and Trinity Health.
Without her leadership much of this process would have occurred “behind closed doors” with virtually no opportunity for community input.
She supported the Health Equity Assessment Act (S1451a) which requires an independent evaluation of the impact on medically underserved populations when a hospital seeks approval for any merger or significant reduction of services.
This seems like such an obviously beneficial process that it should have been approved unanimously, but Sen. Jim Tedisco voted against it.
She has also advocated for limits on aggressive medical bill collection practices. Michelle was instrumental in creating a mental health triage system in Schenectady County. She supports the NY Health Act which would guarantee universal health care for all New York residents and recent legislation protecting full access to reproductive health care.
Paul Dworkin

Heggen needs to get her priorities straight

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen and Albert Einstein agree that time is relative.
She found the time to pursue – and lose – court appeals in BLM activist Jamaica Miles’ violation-level charges for temporarily blocking traffic during a downtown Saratoga Springs protest. Taxpayer cost: litigation time, but priceless.
As a county taxpayer, I request Heggen now take the time and expense to pursue charges against everyone involved in traffic accidents that snarl traffic.
Unfortunately, Heggen earlier this year couldn’t take the time to pursue justifiably more serious charges against an allegedly drunken 20-year-old boater who police said ran over and killed another drunk 20-year-old on Saratoga Lake. The driver got three years’ probation.
She also hasn’t taken the time to pursue charges against the unidentified adults who allegedly hosted the party where the alcohol was served.
According to an April report in the Times Union, Heggen also didn’t take the time to reveal the boat driver’s sisters are employed by the county sheriff’s department and his mother is married to a county correction officer.
Cost to taxpayers for the complex investigatory time spent by sheriff’s personnel: priceless.
But Heggen found time to donate $100 to the 2021 reelection campaign of Moreau Supervisor Theodore Kusnierz, who double-dips as chairman of the antiquated county Board of Supervisors and as Moreau town supervisor. He’s a defendant in four state and federal lawsuits. By the way, Kusnierz ran unopposed.
Other county personnel and politicians’ donations helped push Kusnierz’ fundraising tally to nearly $23,000. Priceless!
Imagine Einstein and Heggen named in the same sentence: timeless and priceless.
Dominic Tom

Stefanik stands up to Hochul, liberals

Recently Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) called out the left’s disastrous soft crime policies responsible for the surge in crime across the nation, the ‘Defund the Police’ movement and slammed Kathy Hochul’s unconstitutional legislation that violates New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.
In recent months, crime has skyrocketed across the country.
Democrat-run cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are experiencing incredibly high crime rates and are doing nothing to combat the problem.
We are seeing Democrats and far-leftists prioritizing the criminal rather than standing up for the rights of the victim.
We need safety and security. This is amidst a crime wave in New York state and across the country resulting from the ‘Defund the Police’ rhetoric and policies that Democrats have been pushing from coast to coast.”
Congresswoman Stefanik also highlighted Gov. Hochul’s unconstitutional legislation and the Supreme Court’s historic Second Amendment decision.
We’ve seen Kathy Hochul try to double down on her unconstitutional anti-Second Amendment legislation.
We are going to have to challenge that in the courts as well.
The Supreme Court ruling when it comes to the concealed carry permit process in New York, which was a win for the Constitution, a win for every New Yorker.”
Bill Coffin
The writer is a Herkimer County Republican Executive Committee and New York State Republican Committee member.

Keep Tedisco fighting for local communities

Sen. Jim Tedisco is a steadfast friend to the residents of Ballston Spa, Milton and all his constituents.
Whether it’s supporting our local community events in the village, advocating for our small businesses or launching his Safe Summer Bike Helmet program right here in Ballston Spa and Milton, Jim Tedisco is a highly visible presence in our “Village of Friends.”
Beyond his accessibility, Sen. Tedisco is a very strong voice for the people and is effective in fighting for our needs as our representative in the state Senate in Albany.
He fights to reduce inflation, boost our economy and fight crime, because these are things that impact families and communities every day.
Jim authored the first property tax cap. He was the first to call for corrupt governors Cuomo and Spitzer to resign or face impeachment. Tedisco stopped Cuomo’s cash grab to charge New Yorkers for new license plates they didn’t need, and he passed Buster’s Law to protect pets and people.
Jim Tedisco is a fantastic state senator, and we need to keep him fighting for us.
Bernadette Vandeinse
Ballston Spa
The writer is a Ballston Spa village trustee.

Support Ostrelich for a healthier New York

Michelle Ostrelich supports the New York Health Act (NYHA). Jim Tedisco, her 44th Senate District opponent, opposes it.
Mr. Tedisco resists making quality health care available to all New Yorkers, despite the many advantages of a healthy population for society and the economy.
But universal health care means much more than a healthier New York. It means individuals will not have to make important life decisions based on the availability of adequate health care coverage, or take major risks by going without it.
Universal health care liberates individuals and families to choose to keep or change their work, school, or marital status based on personal preferences or thoughtful planning, rather than being forced to make demoralizing decisions to ensure having health insurance.
NYHA would make it easier to leave a job for better prospects or morale, to care for children or elders, or fulfill educational, entrepreneurial, or artistic hopes and dreams.
It means avoiding the damage of bankruptcy (to your credit and your creditors) due to medical bills. And, it means starting a small business or adding employees based on market forces and not health insurance expenses.
Michelle knows NYHA means better health and choices. Please support her.
David Giacalone



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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


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