Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Friday, March 31 – Five, from readers in Schenectady, Niskayuna, elsewhere

Text reading The Daily Gazette Letters to the Editor

Mean-spiritedness no longer surprises

Jim Staulters’ letter (“Sick and tired of foreign ‘invaders’”) on the March 16 Opinion page stated he was “sick and tired of my America being overrun by invaders.”

It would hopefully be unnecessary to remind him that unless one is descended from Indigenous Americans, from whom this land was stolen, or are descended from native Africans who were brought here against their will, every citizen of “his” America is descended from a foreign invader.

Indeed, my own father, born in Italy, when he was not “sucking up our resources,” educated himself (including medical school) with scholarships, served four years in the U.S. Medical Corps overseas in World War II, cared for Allied wounded in North Africa and Italy, became the first cardiologist in the Capital District and practiced medicine for 50 years.

The ignorance, mean-spiritedness, greed, bigotry and simple lack of decency and kindness in some Americans is and always has been so ubiquitous that it no longer surprises me. But the hypocrisy of people such as Mr. Staulters, in failing to recognize and appreciate who his ancestors were and what their plight may have been in being forced from their own lands and families to a strange and frequently unwelcoming America in hopes of a better life for their descendants, never fails to baffle and disappoint me.
Fort Johnson


Columns belong in Opinion section

Mr. Waite’s articles should appear in the Opinion section of The Gazette, not on the front page like his March 22 column (“School board member’s words cloak discriminatory views”), whether I agree or disagree with his opinions.

Obviously on the sexuality and gender club article, I believe he is being one-sided. If you disagree with his opinion, you are biased. He does not seem to be very tolerant of any opinions that don’t fit his agenda.

He also does not give all the facts on this matter. He does not belong on the front page.


Flavored tobacco ban a good step

As a public health professional focused on increasing access to treatment for nicotine addiction, I’ve taken a strong interest in the current dialogue about Gov. Hochul’s proposed ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products. The work I do is life-enhancing and frequently life-saving, but it’s also downstream work, facilitating interventions after nicotine addiction has already taken hold.

If not for the upstream supply of smokers, cessation-treatment specialists would be out of business. And it’s this upstream supply that is the target of the governor’s proposal: Stop the tobacco industry from using menthol and other flavors to increase the appeal of tobacco products to young people, and stop the industry’s aggressive marketing to Black individuals of menthol products designed to be easier to start and harder to quit.

Daily I witness firsthand the toll that tobacco takes on the lives of smokers and those they love. Almost without exception, current smokers say that if they could turn back time, they’d never have picked up that first cigarette.

It’s long past time that we say “enough!” Tobacco products, when used as directed, kill half of the people who use them. Preventing the creation of a new generation of smokers by taking away the tobacco industry’s peddling of menthol and other flavored tobacco products is a step in the right direction.
The writer is the community relations liaison at St. Peter’s Health Partners.


Conservatives off on Gazette balance

I just read another letter (“Gazette needs to be more balanced,” by Ken Truman on March 23) accusing The Gazette of being biased due to the lack of representation of conservative views. The problem is not the lack of conservative opinions, it is the lack of integrity and common sense within the conservative movement. There are plenty of conservative viewpoints published; it’s just that the average conservative reader does not understand them.

To be a conservative today means Trump is not guilty of anything and that drag queens are corrupting our children.

Unless The Gazette publishes opinion pieces in support of Trump getting off the hook yet again or that it is OK to limit people’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech, conservatives will continue to feel that their views are not being represented. No respectable news organization would publish such drivel.


‘Lessons from the Edge’ worth a look

I wish to recommend a very inspiring book, “Lessons from the Edge” by Marie Yovanovitch. Marie relates how the prior president, America’s mayor and a spineless secretary of state lied to have her removed as ambassador of Ukraine.

Her strength, integrity and faith in the American dream prevail over deceitfulness.
Saratoga Springs


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.

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



Jennifer’s letter is typical of the Democratic Socialist running rampant in our country. FYI nobody cares if TONY wants to be TONI. Just do not push the mental illness on the children. The Trans shooter in Tennessee is now the victim. It is the churches fault according to the MSM propaganda. Then there is advertisement for day of rage for transgender holding weapons. And nothing from MSM.
Reverse it and have a christian white conservative holding a gun saying they are going to have a day of rage? The Democratic Socialist would be calling for mass arrests.
Trumps indictment is setting a precedence just like the tax return and all the other charges that ended up no where.
If Trump is guilty then he should be held accountable. So let us see what happens from here. And this should be a red flag for all the other corrupt political figures. So you go ahead and do your pagan dance with your transgender partner holding a gun.

Steve Spittler

Over the years I’ve seen at least 5 cases that resulted in arrest where female teachers were having sex with underage male students. One prominent one at a local private school. I remember my mom who graduated in the 1950’s said there was a male music teacher that ran off with a 16 yr old female student (the scandal was more this mans wife was also an elementary school teacher at the same school).

What do you think the true percentage is of teachers (male & female) having heterosexual and homosexual relationships with students? Question for the teachers and retired teachers – if a teacher had tenure and had enough years to collect a pension – would they lose that pension if they were caught doing such a thing?

50 million school-aged children in America and 4 million teachers, but you know of 5 cases of illegal sexual behavior, so I guess we should shut down the entire public education system. Thanks for your well-reasoned and thoughtful contribution to the discussion. /s

Also, I find it funny that the same folks that constantly denigrate and rail against teachers, also think we should arm them to keep our children safe. Your brains are broken, time to hit the reset button.

Steve Spittler

Bizarre where did I rail against teachers? Read my response to chuck who also reads into things and creates some narrative that doesn’t exist.

What was the point of your post then? What was your purpose in bringing it up? Sure there are bad/evil people in every profession. But you specifically called out teachers, so what exactly did you want to get across to those reading your comment? Be explicit then so there is no confusion or misinterpretation.

Steve Spittler

My point – knowing we had teachers in here – I wanted to know if they had any thoughts on %’s and also if they lost pension if something like this went down.

Do you remember the head of maintenance for the Schenectady school district that was planting bombs against his rivals – there was talk about forfeiting entire pension. He was a school district employee convicted of a felony & wondering if teachers had same pension restrictions.

You’re triggered by the letter above and Andrew Waite’s column about Mohonasen High School accommodating teens with gender concerns; showing tolerance. And you’re looking for ammunition to further abuse and berate teachers and public schooling.


For the record, Steve Raucci was sentenced in 2010 to 23 years at the Clinton Correctional Hotel. The State determined he was still eligible for his $5000/mo pension which was awarded to his wife.

Highly recommended is the “This American Life” episode titled “Petty Tyrant” where they do a remarkable deep dive into this maniac and trauma he caused.
www thisamericanlife org/419/petty-tyrant

christophe Stalka

Let’s go brandies the criminal in chief being held accountable is making your postings nastier than usual, it’s just the beginning for Damsel Donnie and you know it.

Jennifer Barnes wrote a great letter reflective of our great Democracy this is America not Russia.

A jury will decide on trumps guilt but his legacy reflects the criminal he is.

Reminder Brandies the trump perp walk is monday.

christophe Stalka

DR. Fillipone excellent letter that reflects the reality of the backgrounds of the majority of Americans. anyone that denies is lying to themselves and everyone else.

AMERICA is a great Democracy but we have our share of nasty loud mouth bigots. The solution is education by people like you who tell the fact based truth.


I could say the same thing about the Democratic Socialist. The die has been cast and Pandora’s box is open.
Time will tell whether there is any merit to the indictment. But the precedent is now set . Just like the SCOTUS ruling on tax returns.
The deposits made into the Biden criminal enterprise will not be over looked. So the Democratic Socialist have backed themselves into a position that’s going to expose them for what they truly are. God Bless America and our Constitutional Republic.

Well, Mr. Brandon, at least you used the adjective Democratic properly, not like the other Banana Republicans who would say “Democrat socialist.” Now, if you’ll just tell us what you mean by socialist, we’ll be getting somewhere.

But you’re still talking about the “Biden crime machine.” Name one crime this machine has committed. As I’ve said before, allegations are not facts.

christophe Stalka

Yes Brandies like I said perp walk Monday at 9 Am mark your calendar. I’m not really into pulling Biden into this trump mess but if it calms you so be it in America we
Are a democracy
we have innocent until proven guilty

Trump may still be able to lie his way out of this.its up to the jury

but if it helps you so be it. Rage on with your Pandoras boxes.

INDICTED! INDICTED! INDICTED! With GA, Jan 6th, and Obstruction of Classified Documents on the horizon!

Cult members can scream all they want about Alvin Bragg, but it was a GRAND JURY–ordinary Americans–that decided to indict, LMAO!

Guy Varoma

Steve 🤡 I would say it is statistically low that Teachers have inappropriate relationships with students. But that is just a guess. I would say it’s as low as an ex-president being indicted….but it can happen

It’s odd to hear the same group of psople who clearly, and viscerally hate teachers and education wail and howl about teachers’ sins against children, while most of the victims coming forward, in overwhelming numbers, are not mentioning teachers as the abusers.
Where are the victims of teacher child abuse?

Steve Spittler

Chuck – you are bizarre. When did I ever say one bad thing about teachers or accuse them of abuse? You should take a wonder-lick test and see the score because your mind makes up stories.

There are bad/evil people in every profession- dr’s, lawyers, ditch diggers, priests, teachers, baseball players, etc – I don’t think any profession is worse then the other. I do think that certain bad people take advantage and move into positions (boy scout leaders, coaches, priests, drs, teachers) where ppl are vulnerable and weak & can take advantage.

Read my comments above about the obvious backhanded strategy you used to denigrate teachers. Steve, you are not fooling anybody. Do you think anyone believes it is coincidental that your unwarranted sneaky attack on teachers for sex crimes was posted the day after Trump’s indictment on charges of inappropriate sexual activity?

Sure. And it’s all about you. Where did I mention your name? What makes you think I was referring to you?
Who’s paranoid?

Steve Spittler

Because I asked the question -i’m hardly paranoid

You need sleep (at least) if you think my comment was about you. I don’t see your name anywhere in my words. Do you? It’s not even as “Reply” to you, is it?
Get some fresh air for a while.

And Steve (yes, addressing you now)? I’m betting you totally miss the irony of this little exchange.

There are two reasons teachers can lose tenure: 1) incompetence, and 2) moral turpitude. If they are caught violating the second by means of sexual harassment, they would face a jail sentence. Can anyone on this forum cite nationwide data showing sexual misbehavior between students and teachers is widespread? I haven’t Googled it myself, by my guess is that it is rare. If I’m right, then we ought to drop this topic and talk about something more worthwhile, like the first time in history an ex-president has been indicted for paying off a porn star to keep her mouth shut about their alleged affair.

JENNIFER BARNES, in today’s editorial letter, certainly nailed it when she said:

“To be a conservative today means Trump is not guilty of anything and that drag queens are corrupting our children.”

This forum is obvious proof of that.

christophe Stalka

Anyone under the impression that there’s a secret planning and consoling meeting called for the lemmings to prepare for next week?or did the reality of their criminal in chiefs predicament hit em hard real hard?

Only what they want to hear, only what they want to see, only the way they want it to be, nothing else matters. Nothing.

No big deal this week, only a few more dead school kids.

Genesis 1:3-25 NLT
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

Then God said “Let there be light from the flash bangs of the AR-15.” And God saw that the light was bad. Then he could not separate the light from the darkness.

We humans are fools.

“In 2021, around 41.7 million adults in the United States received treatment or counseling for their mental health within the past year. Such treatment included inpatient or outpatient treatment or counseling, or the use of prescription medication.”

Mental illness is so prevalent in the world today, that presuming addressing these issues is the key to curbing mass shootings, and will be the resolve for these massacres is ridiculous. The people that believe this are part of the 41.7 millions that need mental health help.

Bubble gum gun laws are undoubtedly the main issue as to why these heinous crimes have become so prevalent. – Where can I buy my AR-15 lapel pin?

On page A6 in today’s DG, another federal judge in Texas has gone off the rails in ruling against preventive care under the ACA. What is wrong with these men? Another one is prepared to deny women control of their bodies. How do individual federal judges have this kind of power affecting millions of people?

Cynthia, These judges are as bigoted and uninformed as the people who elect them or the government officials who appoint them. Under his ruling the drug used to protect sexually active people from aids will no longer be part of mandated coverage. This is based on the right of people offended by gay sex or heterosexual acts with multiple partners on religious grounds, to not help finance what they view as sinful. In the long run, more cases of aids, will of course, cost health insurance companies more than paying for prevention. What we call conservatism today is not traditional George Will conservatism, it is a radical far right religio-political movement that is short-sighted, uninformed, and hell-bent on forcing everyone to live according to their dictates.

christophe Stalka

Cynthia you want to control people create a rift and deny certain members of the group equal basic rights. These people are pros at it. But if you want an AR 15 to blow a kids head off they’ll deliver it to your doorstep locked and loaded with a map to the nearest elementary or school play ground

The images of Republicans in Congress with AR-15 lapel pins is disgusting. They flaunt the American worship of the weapon used to kill children in schools over and over again, every year. They are pandering to their constituents or in some cases have no more understanding of the 2nd amendment than their most ignorant constituents. To add to my bewilderment, most of them profess belief in the message of Jesus Christ. He told them to turn the other cheek. Of course, they also portray him as a light skinned man with northwestern European looks. Point of information: Middle Eastern people looked nothing like that when Jesus was spreading his message of peace, love, and tolerance.

Guy Varoma

If you Trumpers are tired of hearing about Trump’s indictment.

Fox News has decided to show a movie instead of covering Trump

“Transylvania Transvestite Vampires take over the world”

Bill Marincic

Steve, I am a mandated reporter, prior to 2013 I believe was the year that the law did not have criminal penalties for not reporting, prior to then there were teachers and others that quietly resigned. Now there is a fine of up to $20,000 for not reporting. Teachers will not lose benefits if they are already vested, there could be a hearing though but trials are so drawn out that by the time they are convicted, the teacher will have been forgotten about.

BM, you are not a mandated reporter in NYS no matter how many times you insist you are. Car loan officers, aka those who attempt to dupe people into buying unnecessary undercoating, are not mandated reporters. Yesterday you claimed you were a “certified” mandated reporter; there is no such thing.

I am so sick of your BS I am printing the list of mandated reporters to expose your dishonest:

“New York State recognizes that certain professionals are specially equipped to fulfill the important role of mandated reporter of child abuse or maltreatment. Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment when, in their professional capacity, they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment.

Those designated professionals include:

Registered Physician Assistant
Medical Examiner
Dental Hygienist
Registered Nurse
Social Worker
Emergency Medical Technician
Licensed Creative Arts Therapist
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Licensed Psychoanalyst
Licensed Behavior Analysts
Certified Behavior Analyst Assistants
Hospital Personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons
A Christian Science practitioner
School Official, which includes but is not limited to:
School Teacher
School Guidance Counselor
School Psychologist
School Social Worker
School Nurse
School Administrator
or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate
Social Services Worker
Director of a children’s overnight camp, summer day camp, or traveling summer day camp
Day Care Center Worker
School-age Child Care Worker; provider of family or group family day care
Employee or volunteer in a residential care facility
Child Care or Foster Care Worker
Mental Health Professional
Substance Abuse Counselor
Alcoholism Counselor
All persons credentialed by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
Peace Officer
Police Officer
District Attorney
Assistant District Attorney
Investigator employed in the Office of a District Attorney
Any other law enforcement official
For the entire current list go to the New York State Senate, Laws of New York- External link opens new window.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services
sponsored by the
New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Mandated ReportersTrainingCertificatesNYS LawsFAQs- External link opens new windowResourcesTip Sheet
© 2023New York State Office of Children and Family Services
OCFS Disclaimer

The rest of your post is meaningless.

Let’s be careful, Mr. Santo. Fragile sensibilities at stake here. Thin skin bruises easily!

Don’t want people to feel bullied, especially the bullies!

Bill Marincic

Isn’t it funny, ones Comer’s video came out of the ShamanJacob Chansley being escorted around the Capital he is suddenly released from prison 14 months early?

Guy Varoma

Mr. Bill 🤡 I know you are down in the dumps because your King Trump got indicted. Does the stupidity you spew about this help you cope. You must get a hold of yourself. There will be many more bad days for Trump in court. Stay calm and don’t listen for Trump’s call for violence. Try taking a dip in your “sister’s” Olympic size swimming pool.

-Time com

Jacob Chansley, the convicted Jan. 6 rioter who was dubbed the “QAnon Shaman” thanks to viral photographs of his outlandish getup, has been released from prison and transferred to a halfway house more than a year before he was initially set to be released.

His former attorney and legal experts say it has nothing to do with Tucker Carlson, or the Fox News host’s broadcast of footage of Chansley seemingly being led through the hallways of the U.S. Capitol by police.

time com/6267335/jan-6-qanon-shaman-jacob-chansley-released-early-prison/

I am so sick of hearing over and over how top MAGA politicians and tRump’s attorneys keep calling claims against him as “baseless” and “politically motivated.”

If the fat orange ass actually did shoot someone on 5th Avenue and there were eyewitnesses as well as video surveillance, rest assured it would be proclaimed that the charges against him were political motivated, and baseless.

I don’t know how these scumbags sleep at night.

BTW, I had a vivid dream the other night that I had been mandated by Christ to report sins against humanity.

Gosh darn it! Another right winger caught trying to cheat and deceive voters! It’s supposed to be the libs who cheat! The Mules thing said so!

A social media influencer was convicted Friday in connection with a plot to undermine Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Department of Justice said.

Douglass Mackey, also known as “Ricky Vaughn,” was convicted of conspiracy against rights for a “scheme to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote,” the agency said.

Mackey faces up to 10 years in prison.

“Mackey has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of attempting to deprive individuals from exercising their sacred right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the 2016 Presidential Election,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a news release.

“Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote.”

Mackey amassed some 58,000 Twitter followers and was ranked as the 107th most important influencer ahead of the presidential election in February, 2016, by the MIT Media Lab.

Prosecutors alleged that Mackey in the months leading up to the 2016 election conspired with other influential Twitter users, among others, to spread disinformation encouraging Clinton supporters to cast invalid votes via text message or social media, the DOJ said.

In the days leading up to the election, Mackey sent tweets suggesting the importance of limiting “black turnout,” tweeting an image depicting an African American woman standing in front of an “African Americans for Hillary” sign.

The ad stated: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home,” “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925,” and “Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.”

The fine print at the bottom of the deceptive image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by Hillary For President 2016.”

The tweet included the “#ImWithHer” hashtag.

At least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted “Hillary” or some variant of the 59925 text number, which had been used in multiple deceptive campaign images tweeted by Mackey and his co-conspirators.

– Gideon Rubin
March 31, 2023

“Hay George Soros a** hole puppet If you want President Trump come and get me to,” read one email. “Remember we are everywhere and we have guns.”

People apparently unhappy about Bragg’s still-sealed indictment against Trump targeted multiple email addresses associated with Bragg’s website. The correspondence was shared exclusively with the Daily News by a senior adviser to Bragg, who asked to remain anonymous.

“How do we a a (n—-r) like you removed feom office?” read another email.

On a section of Bragg’s campaign website, where people can sign up to receive updates about Bragg’s work, scores of people entered fake names using racial epithets targeting the DA. The majority included despicable language like “bl*** trash [f—-r]” and “Aids Infested…”

www nydailynews com/news/crime/ny-dany-bragg-trump-indictment-racist-emails-violent-threats-20230401-vimpdgvbrnfe5bq5d6wdw4g7ty-story.html

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