Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, Oct. 23 – Nine, including from readers in Rotterdam, Schenectady and Clifton Park

Text reading The Daily Gazette Letters to the Editor

Change law to permit honorary observances

I read through the Sunday Oct. 9 editorial (“Historic reenactments victimized by bad law”) and want to comment from my perspective as a veteran and a member of several veteran service organizations.
The new legislation definitions of prohibited firearms also clearly cover the types of weapons used in military color guards and honor guard firing details.
The editors point out that the “law doesn’t make a distinction between people using those weapons to take people’s lives and those using those weapons to bring history to life.”
But the law also does not explicitly permit these blank-firing rifles at government sponsored and supported ceremonies, especially upcoming Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, and future Memorial Day observances where it is traditional to fire three volleys to be immediately followed by the haunting bugle playing Taps.
Unless specifically permitted through consistent planning by Schenectady County, city, and Rotterdam leaders, the Veterans Council may not be able to support these traditional honor guard responsibilities.
We have an obligation to insist our legislators make the necessary corrections to the law in order to allow these honorary observances of historic military events and traditions to honor our service members.
Brian Anderson
Major, USMC Ret.

Party in charge must be voted out of office

Here are some comments on the upcoming election: From energy independence to asking Saudi Arabia for increased oil production but after the election.
Election interference anyone?
From an Afghanistan withdrawal agreement to an abrupt abandonment with U.S. casualties; from a relatively stable southern border to border chaos and a humanitarian and illegal drug disaster; from a strong and growing economy helping all to record inflation in my lifetime; an almost deliberate refusal to deal with rising crime; the destruction of our retiree savings through changes in monetary policy and continued government spending.
All these are the result of the conscious policies of the one party controlling the federal and state governments. The policies are wrong. We all know it. The team in charge must go. All of them.
Tom Minnick
Ballston Lake

Vote to put out fires of discrimination

The House is on fire. There have always been racists and people who look for someone to blame.
There has never been a shortage of haters or men who treat women as objects or worse.
There have always been people who would abandon democracy to get their way.
They are dry tinder waiting for a match and the right person to strike it.
But who will build the house back when they burn it down?
Not the tinder and certainly not the striker of the match.
Be part of the sprinkler system.
Peter Watrous



Tedisco is a strong voice for the people

There’s no stronger voice or fiercer advocate for the people than Sen. Jim Tedisco. Jim’s the one legislator who always stands up and goes to bat for his constituents by speaking truth to power. Whether it was calling for an independent investigation into Cuomo’s coverup of 15,000 nursing home deaths, fighting to repeal catch and release bail reform, or seeking justice for the 20 victims of the Schoharie limo crash and their families, Jim Tedisco never shirks from a fight.
It’s clear Jim has done his job the way it’s supposed to be done and it’s a badge of honor that the Democratic majority did all it could to gerrymander him out because he is, has been, and always will be a thorn in their side when it comes to protecting our quality of life from their regressive actions.
No one else I’ve ever seen has taken the time and effort to be the strong voice his has been against the powerful elements of our state government who have forced 319,000 New Yorkers to leave our state last year. Let’s all stand up and fight with Jim Tedisco and vote for him on Election Day.
Michael Messinger
Saratoga Springs

Support women by voting for Ostrelich

If you’re happy that women no longer have access to healthcare in many states, Jim Tedisco is your guy. If you believe that women deserve equal rights in making healthcare decisions, then vote for change. Vote for Michelle Ostrelich.
I’ve known Michelle for 15 years. She is a friend, she was president of my local SJCC board, and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature.
Michelle has proven she is an unwavering champion for our community. As co-founder of the Schenectady Coalition for Healthcare Access, Michelle has advocated for the protection of reproductive choices.
She is kind, reasonable and a fierce advocate for her constituents. She doesn’t flip flop, like Tedisco did on reproductive rights. In 2018, the Times Union rescinded its endorsement of Jim Tedisco for state Senate because he misrepresented his views on reproductive rights.
His 40-year voting record makes it clear that he’s content with women being second class citizens and his voting record shows it. He voted against the Reproductive Health Act in 2019 along with 23 of his colleagues.
If you believe women are important and deserve the same rights and healthcare as men, vote for change. Vote for Michelle Ostrelich.
Christopher J Ognibene

Many factors get us to where we are now

We are on the precipice of another election cycle. The pundits believe this election is for the “soul” of America.
What is the “soul” of America?
Depending on your chosen source of news, it will be any of a number of politically charged topics. I am not going to get into those debates as this left leaning news source does that for you.
All sides are willing to point fingers; the left versus right, the progressives versus the MAGA extremists.
How did we get here? Unfortunately, the answer to this will be very complex and multifactorial.
However, I feel confident in saying that once elected officials are in the “system,” they almost always forget to serve “the people” and focus on their own self-interests or the interests of their party.
I have often stated that elected officials have only one line in their job description and that is to keep their job. If we are going to break this cycle, we need to limit the time politicians remain in office.
If term limits are constitutionally applied to the president of the United States, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t apply to all, from top officials down to municipal levels.
If you can’t show meaningful accomplishments in an 8 -12-year term, you are useless at your job and need to go.
Educate yourself on a candidate’s positions on issues and vote.
Most importantly ask yourself how did we get here and how is it all working out for you?
Michael Pasquarella

Keep Tedisco fighting for Clifton Park

As our state senator, Jim Tedisco, has been an outstanding leader and powerful voice for all his constituents, including the 38,000 residents of Clifton Park.
Sen. Tedisco has worked hard to partner with our town to protect our quality of life in Clifton Park and everything that makes our town a special place to live.
After voters overwhelmingly supported the town’s purchase of the beautiful new 37-acre Town Center Park, Sen. Tedisco secured a $250,000 state grant for it to help return tax dollars back to residents.
Sen. Tedisco got a $100,000 grant for the construction of the Christopher F. Stewart Media Box at the Shenendehowa Stadium, $85,000 for renovations to the Clifton Park Senior Center, $50,000 for a Rescue Boat Launch for the Vischer Ferry Fire Department, and $25,000 for the Southern Saratoga YMCA Youth in Government Program. Sen. Tedisco passed state legislation to protect Kinns Road Park and he sponsors an annual Safe Summer Bike Helmet program for Clifton Park children.
Sen. Tedisco is always accessible to residents with his district office in Clifton Park. Jim Tedisco is a great friend to Clifton Park, and we need to keep him fighting for us in the state Senate.
Anthony Morelli
Clifton Park
The  writer is the Clifton Park deputy town supervisor.

Follow Harvard’s lead and dump Stefanik

It’s not easy to get into Harvard, but it is easy to drop out.
Some famous people have walked away, including Bill Gates, Matt Damon, Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger.
What is actually hard to do is to get kicked out of Harvard. The most famous person that has happened to is our congresswoman, Elise Stefanik.
In removing her from its Institute of Politics, Harvard stated: “Elise has made public assertions about voter fraud in November’s presidential election that have no basis in evidence, and she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect.”
Harvard was right. On Nov. 8, voters in New York District 21 can show the country that we’re as principled as (and as smart as) Harvard by removing Stefanik from Congress and replacing her with Matt Castelli.
Bill Kitchen

Check the facts on Trump’s myriad lies

In response to Mr. Dankanich’s letter (“Set aside Trump hate and seek truth”) in the Sept. 9 Gazette, I say, “You can’t handle the truth!” (Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.”)
If you could, you would know that covid was a hazard even when Mr. Trump claimed it wasn’t; masks and vaccines were necessary, not a civil rights issue; Trump’s politicizing covid is responsible for at least half of the American deaths.
Guess what? ABC, CBS and NBC all tell the truth and have confirmed sources.
Trump called it fake news because the major networks would not kowtow to him and fact-checked his statements. Fox is entertainment.
Trump is a bully, a liar, a self-centered charlatan, made money as president, cozied up to North Korea and Putin at the expense of our real allies, and encouraged racism in America.
Read “They Want to Kill Americans” by Malcolm Nance.
Guess what? Trump lied; he lost the election. He lied over 30,000 documented times during his presidency.
Go ahead, fact check all of this.
Bruce S. Trachtenberg

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Rules for commenting:

The Gazette will not tolerate name-calling; profanity, threats; accusations of racism, mental illness or intoxication; spreading of false or misleading information; libel or other inappropriate language in any form, and readers may not make any such comments about or directly to specific individuals.
Readers who violate the policy will be warned and then banned.

Election Letters:

The deadline for letters related to the November 8, 2022, general election is 5 p.m. Friday, October 28, 2022.
Election-related letters are limited to 200 words.
Letters from candidates are not accepted, nor are letters that are part of a coordinated writing campaign.

Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Rotterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Your Niskayuna


christophe Stalka

Mr Trachtenberg unfortunately the “truth” you describe is the easy path feed the minions a catchy phrase that’s easy to remember maybe set it to a nursery rhyme, bellow loudly, claim victory it’s easier than believing your ‘god’ is the lying seditious cretin the facts prove he is. As the Republicans turn to abandoning our Ukraian and European allies, limiting Social security and Medicare these ‘gods’will turn on their loyal minions.I think they’ll learn to confront the truth then-it’ll be one heck of a teachable moment for the loud mouth minions.

Tom Minnick….If anyone can tell me how Biden was responsible for worldwide Inflation and worldwide gas prices I would appreciate it. The Afghanistan pull out would have happened no matter who was president. Let’s not forget that Trump wanted an immediate pull out after he lost the election., which would have been disastrous according to the Generals. Obama handed Trump a steady and growing economy. Trump giving tax cuts to the rich and corps did nothing but let them buy back stock …None ot very little went to the workers ….I ask people what legislation did Trump pass that helped the average worker ….I get no answers . Oh they talk about the wall (which wasn’t built and Mexico didn’t pay for it). And I never got that cheaper and better health insurance he promised either. Most of Trump’s executive orders were damaging to the environment and they did nothing to help the people. No one has mentioned that Biden in his first 2 years took 2 trillion off are debt already I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon they are going to blame the Lindberg kidnapping on Biden.

Steven Flynn

“Trump Derangement Syndrome is a mental condition in which a person has been driven effectively insane due to their irrational hatred of Donald Trump. It’s a social mental illness that manifests itself in the refusal to accept results of the 2016 election. TDS is not based on adoration or admiration but on fear and loathing. Common examples of TDS may include screaming at walls, crying hysterically, bizarre behavior, and an inability to rationalize or explain themselves while they have limited knowledge and little regard for Trump’s actual performance or policy positions. Some can only find comfort and solace with ‘therapy dogs’ and ‘safe spaces’ due to a real paranoia they cannot cope with. Lastly, virtually all persons afflicted with TDS are Liberals and Democrats. ” Which is it Bruce, therapy dog or safe space?

Steven you forgot about going to the Capitol on January 6th on Trump’s insistence and breaking in the Capitol defecating on the Capitol walls and floors …Threatening to hang his Vice President Pence. Threatening to kill Nancy Pelosi and a few others. Beating police officers and last but not least…… Having White Supremist Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who tried to keep Congress from certifying the electoral college votes a constitutional process and now are being tried for Seditious Conspiracy…..Wouldn’t that qualify as TDS? Or is it as one Trump Senator called just a bunch of tourists and civil discourse ? Nothing to see here right?

christophe Stalka

Guy you are correct but the minions live in their alternate reality and can dodge
a fact by talking about therapy dogs and other nonsense to try to spread the fog they lived in. Trump orchestrated the Afghan debacle before he left office even Bruce the therapy dog knows that. AS TO THEIR HABIT OF DEFACTING IN THE CAPITOL ya got me on that one


Trump Derangement Syndrome is characterized by slavish devotion to the worst former president in American history, the self proclaimed “chosen one”. Devotees are blind to this man’s flaws which include misogyny (if you’re a star you can grab them by the p—-y and get away with it), immoral and criminal behavior (Trump University, Trump foundation, extorting Zelenskyy to help him in his re-election bid, illegal and violent attempts to stay in power after a clear loss to Biden, insurance and tax fraud etc.), acting in general like a fool (“falling in love” with and exchanging love letters with Kim Jung Un, proclaiming Putin a “genius” for planning the attack on Ukraine, wearing outlandish make-up and “hair”, doing ridiculous little jigs during his performances for those suffering from TDS, wearing a Qanon pin etc.), and finally bearing responsibility for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths due to the mishandling of COVID (downplaying its seriousness for political reasons, making the wearing of masks, social distancing, school and business closures, and vaccinations a political issue rather than a medical issue, recommending quack cures, at times potentially lethal ones, etc.).

Some sufferers went so far as to dress like cavemen and make-believe militia storming the Capitol and calling for the hanging of Mike Pence because he wouldn’t co-operate in his boss’ illegal attempt to reject electoral slates so he could stay in power. They fail to see how incompetent and clownish his inner circle is: STEVE BANNON, SIDNEY POWELL, ROGER STONE, ALEX JONES, MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE, MATT GAETZ, JIM JORDAN, PAUL GOSAR, MIKE LINDELL, Rudy Giuliani et. al.

Many are such thoroughly brain-washed members of a cult that they want this man to be president again and fail to understand why this frightens so many on the other side of the political divide.


I forgot to mention another of his major flaws, racism. After the Neo-Nazi white supremacist march in Charlottesville, replete with Nazi symbolism, the extended arm salute, lit torches, and shouts of “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” as well as the Confederate Flag and with the goal of preventing taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general who fought for the continuation of slavery, Trump stated that there were “fine” people in that group of protesters as well as among the counter protesters. And this is after one of the bigots drove into a crowd of counter protesters injuring dozens, and killing one.

Have we forgotten that this former president stated that he could not get a fair trial in the Trump University lawsuit because the Judge (Curiel) presiding was of Mexican descent, born in the United States? Have we forgotten the extended and ludicrous “birtherism” nonsense promulgated by this fountain of ignorance, division, and hatred?

There is so much more. I am frightened that too many TSD sufferers will simply block all this from their minds and tune into FOX and OAN and other sources of far right nonsense from Hannity to Alex Jones to Bannon in order to shut down the small voices of reason trying to penetrate a shield of willful ignorance.

Here is the leader of the Republican Party, the best they have to offer. Trump Derangement Syndrome is believing this is what will “save” this country, believing this is the face we want to face the world, believing this is a gift from a god:

“They sent me a subpoena the other day, think of it,” Trump said as he complained about the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“I ran twice, I won twice,” Trump lied yet again. “These crooked people, these crooked people.”

Donald Trump, Robstown, TX 10/22/2022

there are some excellent informative letters today- no numbered lists but excellent none the lessI enjoyed reading the majority of them with my coffee. please be sure to get out and vote !Mc Carthy may be planning Social Security and Medicare cuts even minions cant skirt that fact though they may try!

Diane Hombach I never really expected an answer from Steven. Ignoring the facts is what they do. Tt’s always Trump didn’t say or do it ..Followed by if he did it. it wasn’t against the law. Followed by if it was against the law he can do it because he is president ……I watched a video of his rally in Texas and it was just like a cult gathering. They used Jesus to explain Trump ….Imagine that


The far right in its current incarnation can’t deal with the facts since they prove them wrong. So, they follow their leader in accusing their critics of the bad conduct and criminality they are guilty of.

The emperor wears no clothes. What else sums up the situation in the Republican Party? In Hans Christian Anderson’s version, “the weavers play on the emperor’s vanity by saying the suit is only visible to people who are clever and competent.”

To any rational person, which fortunately is the growing majority of Americans and the world, this is what’s happening before our eyes. And the mindless and now comical repetition of “TDS!” and “Let’s go Brandon”, and the refusal to understand the basic global nature of inflation and oil markets are what those “who are clever and competent” will say. Shout, actually. All in unison. The Republican sheeple.

America, from the day the indigenous tribes crossed the Bering Strait and established humanity as we know it here, has always been great. No one person has the right to stand up on a soapbox and proclaim “I did it!”, or “I’ll fix it!” And certainly no credible political party has the right to wrest it away and try to make it it’s own, as we see the Republicans attempting. This is the TDS and is with those who won’t accept the truth, those that provide cover for him, those who are willingly subverting and traitorous to this country. Those who point their fingers and vitriol, and guns at anyone who disagrees with them.
They will also read (maybe) Mr. Waite’s excellent piece today to “Elise” (because “Stefanik” doesn’t poll that well?) and feel reaffirmed that this is another left-leaning newpaper. Shame on you otherwise intelligent adults to not see through this massive scam, and extra shame on those like “Elise” who would foment it. You’re doing this great country a grave disservice and the cause of great harm.

If the thought of a McCarthy majority with him elevating the likes of Boebert, MTGreen, Gaetz, and Stefanik into top committees doesn’t scare you, nothing will!


Read my comment below for more evidence about how frightening a government controlled by Trump and his evil, incompetent, ill-informed associates would be.


From Newsweek 9/29/22:

“Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn said during a recent event that state governors can declare war and that ‘we’re going to probably see that.'”

Have you all heard about this? Governors have no legal authority to declare war. Imagine Abbot deciding to declare war against Mexico, or Honduras, or New York. This man was Trump’s National Security Adviser for 29 days. Need I say more?

Way to drain that swamp, Republicans…

Previous offices: National Security Advisor of the United States (2017–2017), Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (2012–2014)
Education: University of Rhode Island (1981), Command and General Staff College (CGSC), Golden Gate University, US Naval War College

Yes Anthony…all 45 supporters still at work unraveling our Constitutional Republic or stoking a civil war. Can you imagine Hershel Walker winning or Arizona’s Kari Lake (who will only accept result if she wins)? Sound familiar? She’s only one of 300 election deniers running.


I am as worried as Cynthia Swanson; I am frightened and bewildered by the fact that so many Americans were waiting for a fascist movement as a means to achieve their darkest dreams. They are so angry, so violent, so willing to break any law, any norm, to behave as badly as necessary to create their version of a perfect America, a nation of White privilege in which all Blacks, Browns, immigrants, gays, trans individuals, any they deem “others” will know their place and behave as expected or face dire consequences. I fear an America much like the Gilead in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”, a nation dominated by irrational right wing Christian fanatics like Robertson, Falwell, Franklin and the rest of the televangelists and money-grubbing charlatans who side with the likes of Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and the miscreants in Congress.

My only hope is that Americans wake up to the threat facing our nation, leading to a Democratic sweep in the upcoming elections. Of course, the right could, very well might, react with widespread lying, cheating, and violence. If this happens, I believe the military will be on the side of democracy. But we could be in for unimaginably difficult times.

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