Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Sept. 24


10 ideas for making Schenectady a cleaner place

Trash is still a persistent and old problem in many areas in Schenectady.
However, city administrators have failed to clean it up; and although Schenectady was awarded $53 million in covid funds, city officials haven’t agreed on how to spend it, and haven’t even bothered addressing this problem.
I’ve written and spoken to the top city officials with no avail.
Here are 10 projects that city officials should seriously consider to improve the physical and environmental quality of the city of Schenectady and the whole county too.
1. Deploy trash, recycle bins and No-Littering signs in the filthiest places in downtown.
2. Hire environmental inspectors whose main objective will be to keep the city clean and to educate and engage the public on how to keep the city clean and sustainable.
3. Build a new recycling plant and/or update the existing one.
4. Install electric charge stations throughout the city.
5. Power all city buildings with renewable energy sources.
6. Change the county and city auto vehicle fleet to electric ones.
7. Divest any county and city investments from fossil fuel to renewable and/or sustainable investments.
8. Install new rainwater drain covers on city curbs to prevent plastic waste and other harmful materials from reaching natural bodies of water.
As you know, plastic waste is filling our oceans and contaminating fish, the soil, water sources and killing millions of marine animals.
9. Plant trees throughout the county and city.
10. Find ways to protect and save our water sources.
Ottavio Lo Piccolo

Take advantage of the gifts of autumn

Many people may be lamenting the end of summer. Kids are back on a school schedule. For adults, vacation time has been used and it’s back to full on work.
It’s easy to dismiss our new fall season as our schedules get busy.
But we are fortunate to live in an environment that is great to be out in this time of year. Being in nature can restore you both physically and mentally. Have your doubts? As they say, you can Google it.
It’s not necessary to take a full day hike to a mountain view either. Take advantage of all the parks and preserves in our area and embrace what they offer. To find one, all you have to do is an easy Google search: Preserves near me.
Simply being in the woods or along a small stream is enough. Be intentional. Listen to the sounds. Inhale the fresh air around you.
Escape for a bit and give silent thanks to those who have come before us and set these spaces aside and away from development.
Bill Brooks


Phone disruptions in Nisky are unsafe

The recurring Verizon cell phone disruptions in Niskayuna create safety issues for schools.
As a teacher at Niskayuna High School, my fellow colleagues, PTO and community members have expressed our safety concerns to Verizon numerous times over the last year.
We have been told, “A tower was deactivated,” “Not enough people have complained,” or that we should purchase a new phone.
In the case of a sudden lockdown, a cell phone may be the only communication device available. If there is an immediate threat in the building, a landline or laptop may call attention to our location or may be unavailable.
In a dangerous situation, a cell phone is the most discreet and safest form of communication.
As a school district we engage in practice drills, discuss a plan of action when certain unsafe scenarios arise, and meet with law enforcement agencies to help support the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.
We ask that Verizon step up and do their part to help us protect our school community.
Amber DeSimony

New York deserves better than Hochul

New Yorkers cannot afford the failed governance of Kathy Hochul where crime runs rampant on our streets, high taxes prevail, and unethical behavior rules the day.
Hochul‘s flawed judgment is evident in her support for a taxpayer-funded Buffalo Bills stadium that could benefit her husband, who is general counsel and senior vice president of Delaware North, which operates concessions at the current Bills stadium, her accepting campaign donations from big donors that are benefiting from state contracts (also called “pay to play”), using state aircraft for not just state business but for campaign purposes, and selecting Brian Benjamin as her lieutenant governor, who was indicted on bribery conspiracy charges.
Lee Zeldin respects the rule of law, supports law enforcement and veterans, will end “cashless bail” and is committed to removing DAs who empower criminals.
Lee Zeldin will prioritize public safety, access to education for all children, including those attending charter schools, a parent’s right to be involved in their children’s education and reducing taxes that will provide needed relief to New York taxpayers and small business.
Regardless of party affiliation, we deserve better leadership. It’s time to fire Kathy Hochul! Vote for Lee Zeldin for a better New York!
Lori Herasimtschuk
Round Lake

Santabarbara backs our first responders

I write to thank Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara for always supporting our first responders.
He’s helped Fire District 2 in Rotterdam with funding they needed for work on their fire house.
These volunteer firefighters respond to hundreds of emergencies every year. I’m happy to see someone stepping up to make a real difference for local organizations like this that keep us safe every day but never seem to receive the support they deserve. They deserve a representative like Angelo who is actually working for our first responders.
A few years ago, Angelo led the fight to save our Rotterdam EMS.
He was one of the only representatives for our town to do so and he’s always been there to help them.
Then, I read about state funding through his office that helped them buy the new ambulance they needed. I recently read that he secured for them more than $1 million this year to rebuild their stations here in town. Rotterdam EMS is an important part of our community. They deserve support like this.
I’m pleased to see these worthy investments being made here to help our first responders keep us safe. Rotterdam is fortunate to have a representative like Angelo.
Suzanne Nye

Look forward to another green year

You just can’t have too many gardens. In the face of an abnormally dry season, chaos in the national and world news, it was a joy to see yards begin to change from winter blah to spring green.
No Mow May gave people a reason to put off mowing and experiment with a new look. The pollinators welcomed the early violets, forget-me-nots and dandelions.
In summer, yards blossomed with daylilies, iris, bee balm and much more. Now with fall just about here, there are Rose of Sharon and Autumn Joy sedum. It’s not just the insects looking for pollen, but the bright yellow goldfinches are pulling seeds from the echinacea flowers.
Hummingbirds are taking nectar from morning glories and nasturtiums preparing for their long migration. Butterflies are stopping at the zinnias. The squirrels will soon enjoy the seeds from the tall sunflowers. The plants will last a while yet. And we and Mother Nature and her critters will enjoy it all.
Thanks to all the neighbors who already had gardens and to those who expanded their gardens and those who planted for the first time this year. We have enjoyed your ideas and hard work as we walk or drive by.
We hope you repeat this next year. It will be something to look forward to after the gray winter.
Florence Carnahan

Spend taxes more wisely in Gloversville

Tell me what’s wrong here. Several days ago, I was walking down the sidewalk in Gloversville and had to detour into the street because a car was up in jack stands directly on the sidewalk.
This individual has done this same exact thing for years. He does mechanical work directly on the sidewalk with absolute impunity to any law, regulation or ordinance as he pleases and without so much as a second thought to it.
So I email the NQL (Neighborhood Quality Administrator) about it, as I have in the past. He calls me back several days later and says, “Yup, it’s parked on the sidewalk on jack stands. You need to call the police. I can’t do anything about it.”
I called the Gloversville non-emergency number and the receptionist told me “Nothing will be done until next week because the animal control officer is on vacation. He’s the person who handles parking tickets and the police are too busy.”
What?! Does anybody but me see something wrong here? Is this how a city government operates? Who gives out speeding tickets now because the police are “too busy?” Oh yeah, I forgot, it must be the water department.
My taxes pay every single individual in every level of government from the city clerk in Gloversville to the president of the United States, but no one who should do their job is doing it. Not to mention other individuals are covering for them.
What a racket!
Jason Bare

Dems pushing chaos, hatred and control

It is a sign of the absolute contempt the Biden administration has for the people of this country that it continues to send out Vice President Harris and Secretary Mayorkas to lie blatantly and insist the southern border is “secure” and “closed.”
Evidently people high in the administration think that Americans do not watch TV news and have not seen the hordes crossing illegally — some of whom are dying in the process, some of whom are bringing in literally tons of dangerous drugs.
And the fact that Joe Biden has never visited that border during his entire time as president represents a negligence of duty unprecedented in the country’s history.
Of course, we also have the incompetent Mayor Pete in his very best Marie Antoinette voice telling people who can’t afford to buy gasoline to purchase a $70,000 electric vehicle.
And then there is Sen. Schumer, who in a screaming fit called for violence against two Supreme Court justices. Would anyone like to predict what would have happened if any Republican senator had issued such a call?
Joe Biden’s hateful diatribe delivered against that blood-red backdrop complete with armed military made it clear that the agenda of today’s Democratic party consists of three maxims: Chaos is security. Hatred is love. Control is freedom.
And if these conjure up memories of “1984” and “Animal Farm” — we were warned, weren’t we?
Michael Nardacci

St. Clare’s retirees are praying for help

The summer is winding down. The weather is still warm. We are trying to savor these last warm days and the abundance of gardens.
Foremost on our minds is the dilemma of the cost of winterizing and heating our homes, the rising cost of food and of course Christmas.
We continue to search for and pray for answers to the loss of our pensions, as we continue to make more compromises. There are government programs in place to assist retirees in adjusting to the golden years and retirement.
The Catholic Church and Charities Mission profess to “support and advocate for spiritual values and recognize human need at all stages of life. They claim to respond to all persons regardless of race, creed, or lifestyle, with special emphasis on the economically poor and the vulnerable.”
Eleven hundred St. Clare’s pensioners and retirees are praying for the help we justly deserve through the support of our government and the Church.
Cynthia O’Bryan

GOP adopts policies harmful to America

The Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, recently met in Dallas, Texas, with former President Donald Trump as the headliner.
Speaking alongside Trump on the program was Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary. The far right wing of the Republican Party admires Orbán because he has demonstrated that the leader of a minority-base party can win elections by employing extremist rhetoric and by controlling election rules.
During the 12 years of his reign, Orbán has repeatedly adopted Nazi terminology in referring to those who are neither Christian nor European. More significantly, Orbán has been able to win elections by gerrymandering districts and by implementing election rules to favor his party. Orbán has shown that elections can be won by rigging the rules. This strategy is very appealing to Trump’s base.
In this context, Republicans are now advocating an interpretation of the Constitution that gives to “state legislatures” the power to design federal election rules. According to this so-called “independent state legislature theory” neither governors nor state courts can intervene in the process.
Orbán has demonstrated a pathway for the success of a minority-base party which includes: (1) employing culture wars to fire up the base; (2) discrediting opponents through party-controlled media; and (3) designing election rules to favor one party.
The members of CPAC are hoping to replicate the Orbán strategy in our country. We must not allow this to happen. If they are successful, it will mark the end of our democracy.
Don Steiner

Don’t take away our rights to protect Israel

More than half the 50 states have enacted laws designed to discourage criticism of Israeli government policies. New York state has a 2016 executive order. Many states make it illegal for people and businesses who boycott Israel, or who refuse to pledge not to, to obtain state contracts.
These efforts violate First Amendment freedom of speech rights. Boycotts are as American as apple pie. Before and during the Revolution, many Americans boycotted British goods. Blacks organized and won the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In yesteryear, many boycotted grapes, Nestle, South Africa. Many boycott products and businesses.
A federal appeals court recently ruled that while advocating for boycotts is First Amendment protected, the act of boycotting is not. Nonsense. Both are protected, and the latter without the former makes no sense. This is clearly a reversal of decades of federal jurisprudence and needs to be quickly remedied.
Why should Americans have to sacrifice our constitutional rights to the evil goals of a foreign government?
We should not carve out exceptions to First Amendment rights and protections.
Tom Ellis

Get tested to catch breast cancer early

Have you had your mammogram?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us. Many organizations, including ours, raise awareness in October each year about the need to get a mammogram. But why?
One in eight women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives, so we want to spread the word that mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early when treatment may work best.
Imagine that your body is a car. Sometimes the car’s sensors let you know when something needs attention, like when you’re low on gas.
Other times you won’t know there is a problem unless you take the car in for service at the recommended mileage. This is when the mechanic can catch the problem before you have to call a roadside service. A mammogram can help you find cancer before you even know it’s there.
Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too.
Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer.
The Cancer Services Program strongly encourages anyone who is due or overdue for a mammogram to schedule one today. If you don’t have health insurance, the program can help.
We serve Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties. Call us at 518-841-3726 to find out if you qualify for a free breast cancer screening or for more information.
Carmen Rodriguez
The writer is a case manager for the Cancer Services Program.

College loan political ploy may backfire

While space disallows a thorough critique of the Democrats’ shameless display of taxpayer-financed vote-grubbing as we head into the fall elections, it would be pointless, as right-thinking Americans recognize it for what it is. The rest are hopeless.
With something so blatantly wrong in so many ways, it’s a real challenge to find a silver lining, but I’ll offer my thoughts.
1. It could backfire for the Democrats; those that feel ripped off far exceed those standing to benefit.
2. Despite the symbiotic relationship between the education industry and the Democrat Party, what the Democrats are messaging it that a college degree doesn’t provide adequate additional cash flow to service the cost of it, even with tuition assistance, scholarships and grants, etc.
Addressing the costs of education would benefit students as well as taxpayers – not this deficit-expanding political ploy.
Gordon F. Schaufelberg

Vote out Hochul for anti-gun legislation

With Gov. Kathy Hochul’s emergency legislative temper tantrum against the Supreme Court’s ruling on New York’s unconstitutional gun laws, the Legislature gets the opposite of intended effects.
They violated legislative procedures, ignored input from the sheriffs, upstate legislators and constituents.
Regarding crime stats on legal gun owners, she said she didn’t need data. Permit holders are the most secure citizens in the state. With even a DWI, they lose their license.
Hochul ignores the needs of millions of permit holders who didn’t carry a firearm due to their hunting and target restrictions. They’ll now be trained, and thanks to the crime wave liberal governments have fostered, citizens will now carry that firearm.
Gun dealers thank her for selling out all their semi-automatic rifles.
Hochul assumes gun owners are low functioning rednecks, deplorables and Trumpers who need to be punished, even if it violates the Constitution itself. Put up a wall and stall.
Reality is, they’re the real New Yorkers — lawyers, professionals, tradesmen, truckers, and farmers —the ones who build, feed and power the state and nation.
Her gun-free zones assure soft targets for her criminal friends. Churches, schools, stores etc. are exactly where the fear of another being armed is proven to prevent atrocities.
Agree or leave? They let slip what they really think. Cuomo did the same. What is it I’m agreeing with? More crime, higher taxes, inflation, class hatred?
Legislators don’t unite us, but use their pencils to create criminals from honest citizens. Vote them out.
Bruce Martindale

Tedisco always ready to seek out solutions

As a fellow Union College grad, I had the pleasure of watching Jim Tedisco excel on the basketball court. A great shooter, an even better leader. Since moving to this region, I’ve had the opportunity to see Jim in action as a senator. And I’ve been impressed.
While we don’t always see eye to eye, it’s clear to me that he works tirelessly, putting the interests of his constituents first. That’s the kind of leader we need.
When problems arise, he offers real solutions. During covid, he encouraged us to get outdoors. He sponsored and passed legislation permitting law enforcement officers and forest rangers to carry life saving EpiPens. The eviction mortarium helped tenants. It also put “mom and pop” rental property owners in jeopardy.
Lack of rental income meant they wouldn’t be able to meet mortgage obligations. The threat of bankruptcy loomed.  To help, Sen. Tedisco proposed a loan-to-grant program, because the loss of affordable housing stock hurts renters, too.
These are just a couple examples of Sen. Tedisco’s solution-based approach to being a legislator. Good reasons why he should be re-elected as senator for the 44th Senate District.
Jonathan Davis
Saratoga Springs

More to worry about with cars than guns

With all the talk of gun control, it only seems fitting to talk about the bigger and deadlier elephant in the room — motor vehicles.
There are about 284 million vehicles on the road in the United States, and in 2020 there were 38,824 vehicle-related deaths. Comparatively, there are 393 million guns in private ownership, with 19,384 murders. So statistically, cars are even deadlier than guns.
In 2019, the Chevy Silverado was responsible for 8,777 deaths, whereas rifle-type guns (including AR-15s) only account for 2.6% of murders in 2019.
By this logic, we should be focused on banning Chevy Silverado’s. But the even bigger question is, where is the outrage? Why does the AR-15 get more attention when the Chevy Silverado has killed more people? Shouldn’t Congress be concerned with these four-wheeled killing machines?
Representatives like Congresswoman Elise Stefanik are smart enough to realize that there is a common denominator, people, not guns. Our Second Amendment rights shall not be infringed upon.
Thank you, Elise, for standing up for what is right and standing up for our Constitution.
Bill Coffin
The writer is a Herkimer County Republican Executive Committee and New York State Republican Committee member.

Vision got us talking about spiritual things

In Fátima, Portugal, on Oct. 13, 1917, an apparition of Mary appeared in the sky. No doubt ‘Mary in the sky’ occurred. Debate exists as to the ‘nature’ of the apparition.
Like UFOs, we know they exist, but their nature is unclear. Some postulate that Mary in the sky was a UFO. Fatima (Fatimah) was a daughter of Muhammad. Islam views the Fatima manifestation as an event of interest. Fatima is a sign.
In the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the creator Arthur C. Clarke coined the expression “Chrislam.” Chrislam is the coming together of two belief systems.
The Vatican is considering such a merger. Christianity and Islam share the Old Testament (the Hebrew Text) up to a point.
Mary in the sky got us talking about spiritual matters. That is good. Mary lit a fire in many hearts.
Mary is overdue to ‘reset’ humanity by making another appearance.
We need her.
Edmond Day

Ostrelich will put family and kids first

I am looking forward to casting my ballot for Michelle Ostrelich in the upcoming state Senate race for District 44.
As a mom of two young kids, I am especially excited to cast my ballot for Michelle because of her commitment to putting children and families at the top of her agenda.
Michelle has already delivered tangible results as a county legislator. To take just one example, Michelle was on the planning team for the Nott Street safety project, which has transformed Nott Street a full month ahead of schedule — a rarity in the public works world.
By contrast, Jim Tedisco has consistently voted against measures that would protect or help New York children and families: He voted against New York’s paid family leave law, against banning pesticides at kids’ summer camps, against measures to fight climate change, and against every single common-sense gun safety measure that has come before the Senate since he took office, including banning firearms on school property.
While Mr. Tedisco claims that he supports children and families, his 40-year voting record says otherwise. I am excited to cast my vote for Michelle on Nov. 8.
Sarah Tishler

Santabarbara actively supports disabled

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has been a true advocate for the many families in our area that have children with disabilities.
He seems to be the only elected representative that understands these families face unique challenges.
A great example of this is his knowledge of the guardianship issue, an important life decision when it comes to the well-being of people with disabilities. Many families that have kids turning 18 will face the guardianship question.
While people with disabilities may depend on guardians for certain decisions, in many cases some individuals are limited by guardianship.
read about legislation that Santabarbara passed this year that gives people an alternative called supported decision-making ,which allows the decisions made by individuals who need assistance to be recognized, providing them more control over their own lives.
It’s legislation like this that makes Assemblyman Santabarbara a champion for people with disabilities. I know Santabarbara’s son, Michael, is a big part of his passion for these issues. It gives him the knowledge and experience to pass meaningful legislation like this that is helping individuals with disabilities live their lives more independently.
David Kruk


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Rotterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Scotia Glenville, Your Niskayuna


William Marincic

There are lots of good common sense letters today and a couple not so great. Edmond Day, Bill Coffin, Bruce Martindale, Gordon F. Schaufelberg, Michael Nardacci, and Lori Herasimtschuk, are all fantastic reads, thank you. The Greenies that believe that in eight years we can switch to renewables are so wrong. In 2030 the advances will be that the world can run on electricity for 17 minutes rather than 11 seconds as we have the ability to now.

Bill    you never cease to amaze  with you lack of anything truthful.  Please provide actual proof of  17 minutes rather than 11 seconds and please don’t use a YOUTUBE video..everyone knows that’s like reading The Enqurier

William Marincic forgot where I saw the scientific paper that says we can only last 11 seconds today with only renewables and 17 minutes by 2030. Prove me wrong. Few people own electric cars and even California says it doesn’t have the grids as of today. Add a billion cars alone in the US along with everything else, I’m surprised it was 11 seconds. We are talking about the world.

Thank you, Mr. Marincic for yet another fine example of a “Strawman”. You’ve brought your own narrative and produced drama based on it.
To believe you we’d have to assume someone’s going to shut off the petro switch and leave us dependent on renewables tomorrow, or on 2030, or whatever. Of course that’s only your own invention (or some other’s you’ve parroted). There is now an evolution going on away from fossil fuels and the corrupt industries grifting us. Better get used to it, or prepare to be miserable for the foreseeable future.
Anyone in the auto industry should be able to see that. Pretty sure I won’t be buying my next car from a company that doesn’t.

William Marincic

The developed world became wealthy through the pervasive use of fossil fuels, which still overwhelmingly power most of its economies. Solar and wind power aren’t reliable, simply because there are nights, clouds and still days. Improving battery storage won’t help much: There are enough batteries in the world today only to power global average electricity consumption for 75 seconds. Even though the supply is being scaled up rapidly, by 2030 the world’s batteries would still cover less than 11 minutes. Every German winter, when solar output is at its minimum, there is near-zero wind energy available for at least five days—or more than 7,000 minutes.

Welcome to the Saturday Morning Rightwing Whine-a-Palooza. Bring your own baskets full of invented and imagined scary monsters (don’t forget to look under your beds!) and air them here in Schenectady’s public square for all to tremor and fret with you.
Here’s reality: if you still harbor doubts about the loss of Donald Trump, or the crimes he’s blatantly comitted, and you fail to call the Republican Party to task to disavow the lawless MAGA movement, you have no business pointing fingers anywhere else.
Democrats have their warts and Gov. Hochul has much to answer to before I could support her. But none of the alleged sins of the Democrats compare to what the world has witnessed from the Republicans.

Michael Narducci  you actually describled the   GOP (greed over poeple)    GOP = consists of three maxims: Chaos is security. Hatred is love. Control is freedom. 

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