Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Thursday, Oct. 6 – Two from Scotia residents


Trash effort must address plastics

I was pleased to read of Schenectady’s new anti-litter action plan (“City lawmakers seek to address littering” ) in the Sept. 27 Gazette.
As a frequent pedestrian in Schenectady, I’ve long been disheartened by the amount of litter that blights the city.
Along with the obvious aesthetic and property value impacts, this litter has less visible but serious health and environmental consequences.
Much of the litter I see on our streets is single-use plastics that will never biodegrade, but break down into microplastics, leach toxins like PFAS, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions long after they are discarded, even responsibly. Moreover, litter in Schenectady may actually find its way to the ocean via the Mohawk and Hudson rivers.
While the action plan’s cleanup strategies are crucial to combating the problem, it’s important to remember the original source of much litter: the plastics industry. “It Starts With Me” is a laudable sentiment, but holding producers accountable as the source of waste is necessary.
Reduction in the use of items that ultimately become litter would provide the greatest heath, environmental, and cost benefits. Other local governments across the country have successfully implemented strategies to reduce single-use plastics and needless packaging.
I hope that Schenectady’s anti-litter action plan will work with local businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions to reduce potential litter at the source by encouraging the elimination of single-use plastics.
Donna Esposito, Ph.D.

Constitution is clear on right to weapons

Why is the plain language in the Constitution so difficult to understand?
Marcus Hayes in the Sept. 30 Gazette Opinion section (“Latest school shooting should provoke change, but it won’t”) infers the Supreme Court misinterpreted a “badly written” Second Amendment of our Constitution.
He asserts that the court, the Congress and four-fifths of our states could not understand the intention of ”right to bear arms” and “shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment assured that states could resist a federal effort to limit the rights of their citizens. After state militias in the South supported succession, the post-Civil War court was reluctant to use the Fourteenth Amendment to protect gun rights abuses by state governments. This court has corrected that error.
He further asserts that small arms are useless against ”tanks and helicopters.” The Viet Cong and the Taliban have demonstrated that a determined armed populace with an AK-47 or an M-16 can successfully resist the best-equipped military force on Earth.
More recently the initial Russian thrust toward Kiev was blunted by Ukrainian infantry and untrained volunteers with rifles.
It is the progressive acceptance and assistance to the drug culture in cities like Philadelphia that fuels proliferation of illegal firearms. These firearms, purchased with drug money, are the tools used in the violence at Roxborough High School.
Philly’s (and New York’s) answer however is to again punish lawful firearm owners.
Art Henningson

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Scotia Glenville


You live in a fantasy world Art. We’ve spent $15 billion on weapons assistance to Ukraine. Howitzers, HIMARS, surface to air missile systems, drones, etc. Ukrainians success to date would be impossible without this equipment. The Viet Cong and Taliban were successful because the US was an invading force on foreign soil in difficult terrain, whether it’s the jungles of Vietnam or the mountains of Afghanistan. Interesting how you all cry “law and order” while simultaneously advocating the violent overthrow of the country. I’ll put my faith behind the trained men and women of the US Armed Forces and their $2 trillion budget over a bunch of cosplay 2A rights folks any day.

William Marincic

Sorry Whoville but our trained military will never go to war with its citizens. Yes, we provided large weapons to Ukraine but it was the people with small arms that did the most damage to the Russians. BTW, how is your Democrat party doing running the country? Not very well I guess, there is a big red wave coming.

The gun-lover lobby’s brazen and bald attempts to twist the Second Amendment to their favor to protect their dangerous hobby is tragic and destined for failure. Most people can see and understand the Second Amendment does not give every person the right to own a gun. It simply does not and any child could read it and understand it that way.

But thanks to a once-wealthy lobby called the NRA here we are with many believing 1.) we’re all under siege…from something, and 2.) we all need the access to military-grade weaponry to protect ourselves…from something.
The current interpretation of the Second Amendment is not sustainable and desperately overdue for a better interpretation. Like cars, people have the right to own and operate guns and other weaponry, but like cars, these are acknowledged as dangerous and in need of tight control for the safety of the public. And IT IS NOT about a tyrannical government trying to disarm Americans. IT IS NOT about criminalizing “law-abiding gun owners”. IT IS about everyone pulling together to get better control of weaponry.


The extreme emotions engendered among those on the far right by their favorite media disinformation machines has overwhelmed common sense in the thinking of far too many.


Is there anyone left out there who thinks Putin was a “genius” and “savvy” in planning and carrying out his brazen attack on Ukraine? I seem to remember that being said by some hero of the radical right.

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