Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, May 24 – Five, from readers in Rotterdam, Halfmoon, elsewhere

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Bills address NY’s plastics problem

There is so much plastic waste being produced, we don’t know what to do with it.
Not only are we talking about the plastic bottles and packaging we see on the streets and thrown away, but we are exposed to plastics’ toxins via leaching into our food, breathing it, maybe drinking them, and swimming in it.
However, two bills working their way through the state Legislature are designed to address this problem. Here is what you need to know and do.
The Packaging Reduction & Recycling Infrastructure Act (A.6353A/S.4246) would reduce the amount of packaging in New York state by 50% over 12 years. It would mandate standards for post-consumer recycled content in the remaining packaging.
It would eliminate 12 toxic chemicals to start — including PFAS, lead, cadmium, formaldehyde and halogenated flame retardants — that are currently permitted in packaging, despite being known to harm human health.
Then there is the Bigger Better Bottle Bill (A.6353/S.237), which would build on New York’s 40-year-old beverage container deposit law. Although very effective, the current law is old and needs to be updated.
This bill covers more types of containers, such as for lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks, wine and liquor. It would also increase the deposit amount from 5 cents to 10.
The legislative session ends for the year on June 8, so there is not much time to act on this. Please call your Assembly member and senators and urge them to support both bills.
Lester Rosenzweig

Bishop shows no respect for retirees

I would like to ask Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, diocesan chief of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, where is the respect these loyal St. Clare’s Hospital workers should receive?
Where is the fairness that should be exercised? And lastly, where are the thanks for making St. Clare’s a great hospital?
These healthcare workers spent decades serving their patients in the hospital, only to find out that they were not even appreciated for all they did.
The retirees are being put in an awkward position by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, for me to watch the bishop control the lives of 1,100 healthcare workers is enough to make me sick.
The retirees who had nothing to do with anything and are now being used as the scapegoat in this well planned and executed maneuver by the hospital and the diocese.
The suffering will continue for all our beloved retirees at the hands of the hospital and the diocese because we all found out that they can’t be trusted to treat the retirees’ fair.
Bishop Scharfenberger if you managed the pension plan properly and kept the insurance plan, the retirees’ pension plan could have been saved. I hope you are happy now that you ruined 1,100 people’s lives and they lost all their pensions because of you.
Walter “Neal” Brazell

Cut kids’ access to all tobacco items

The May 18 editorial, “Step up efforts to stop kids from vaping,” highlights a pervasive obstacle to reducing youth use of nicotine-based flavored vapes — inadequate enforcement of the state’s ban on the sale of these products.
The ban on the sale of nicotine-based flavored vapes went into effect in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when health-related resources were diverted to stem its spread and lethality.
Health department functions, including regular inspections of licensed tobacco retailers, were curtailed.
As a result, the sale of these products in youth-appealing flavors such as Crazi Berry and Watermelon Ice remains widespread. Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities recently visited 53 local licensed tobacco retailers and observed nicotine-based vapes on sale in 17 of them.
Providing local health departments with the necessary resources to conduct tobacco retailer compliance checks is an important step toward reducing youth e-cigarette use. But that alone won’t solve the entire problem.
Tobacco retailer density contributes to youth and adult tobacco use rates and tobacco retailers are disproportionately present in neighborhoods with the highest levels of poverty and people of color.
Flavored cigars and cigarillos, used by 13.1% of high school students, were on sale in all the stores we recently visited and selling for $1 or less in 62% of those stores. And even though most youth don’t smoke cigarettes, 54% of those that do smoke menthol.
Successfully reducing youth tobacco use requires creating an environment in which tobacco products are no longer cheap, sweet and easy to get.
Judy Rightmyer
The writer is the director of the Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities.

Budgets reveal our flawed state gov’t

Now that the state budgets are adopted, it is time to once again conduct the annual comparison between good old New York state and the state of Florida.
As a backdrop, the 2023 population for New York state is estimated at 19.51 million persons; the 2023 population for Florida is estimated at 22.6 million persons. The 2023-24 New York state budget is $229 billion; the 2023-24 Florida state budget is $117 billion.
So, in Florida, state governmental services are delivered to 3.09 million more people for $112 billion less, or nearly half the New York state budget.
On a per capita basis, New York state is spending $11,738 per year to deliver state government services for every man, woman, and child in the state regardless of age or tax paying status.
In Florida, state governmental services are costing $5,177 for every man, woman, and child. A difference of $6,561 – more than double the cost for Floridians.
In addition to being late, what special policy did we get this year? Buried in the budget bill is a ban on fossil fuel heat and appliances, which will further drive up the cost of living in New York and increase the exodus of wage-earning, productive young adults and families. This is astounding.
Once again, I ask, how much longer are we, the residents of New York, going to put up with such a badly flawed and highly inefficient state government?
James Martin

Democrats are destroying country

Regarding his May 16 letter, (“Trump, GOP have normalized hatred,”) wow! Let me guess, Mr. Sator watches CNN? Maybe MSNBC? Doesn’t matter; you are wrong. Trump is a racist.
That’s usually a winner, except under President Trump the Black community flourished, unlike it did under Obama. Trump an antisemite? Sorry, wrong again.
President Trump moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the real capital of Israel. Obama made Prime Minister Netanyahu leave through the back door so as not to anger the Muslims. Trump wasn’t a homophobe either. Rick Grennell, one of his closest advisers, is a homosexual.
Mr. Sator is so filled with hatred and wrong information, he cannot think straight. Our country is being destroyed by the Democrat Party.
Hope you are happy, Paul.
Dave Edwards

Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Rotterdam, Scotia Glenville


Guy Varoma

Dave Edwards let me guess, you watch Fox News roght?The same Fox News that lost a law suit that cost them 77 million dollars because the spread Trump lies. The same Fox News that had to issue an apology for reporting migrants were displacing veterans from a shelter. Before knocking MSNBS and CNN look at your own source of information.

Mr. Dave Edwards do you see those vultures flying over you while watching Fox News? They can sense brain death. I suggest you change the channel before it’s too late. Have a good day

christophe Stalka

Mr Edward’s forgot to mention Trumps Jan 6th achievement his failed coup. and Damsel Donnies failure in GA
oh let me stop the ex traitor in chiefs failures an illegal activities are well documented. And Mr Edward’s knows it.


Guy, maybe a typo, but faux entertainment has to pay almost $800 million. Smartmatic is suing for 2.7 BILLION! Faux was knowingly lying to their sheep that Smartmatic rigged the election against 45 in many states when it was only one city–Los Angeles.
Faux will lose this case also–BIGLY!

Am I mistaken, or does the AP article “GOP: White House shows ‘lack of urgency’ over debt ceiling” (today’s DG p. A3) contain a serious error that falsely boosts the MAGA Freedom Caucus’ case in bargaining over raising the debt ceiling?

“But the newly elected speaker urged the president at an Oval Office meeting in February to come to the negotiating table on a budget package that would reduce spending to reduce ballooning deficits in the post-COVID era in EXCHANGE FOR THE VOTE TO ALLOW FUTURE DEBT (emphasis mine).”

Are they saying raising the debt ceiling allows the U.S. to incur future debt? My understanding has been that it is raised to pay debts already incurred. Am I missing something?


NO, Anthony, you are not missing something! This extortion from 45s puppet, McCarthy, is infuriating. We have MAGAtts in charge now and will stop at nothing to destroy the USś AND the world´s economy, yet Dave Edwards, claims the democrats are destroying our country.
This is about keeping 45s tax cut that make the rich richer! According to Heather Cox Richardson, cutting taxes since Reagan DO NOT WORK for average Americans:
¨The Economic Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit think tank, noted in 2018 that 1% of all families in the U.S. take home 21% of all the income in the U.S., making 26.3 times more than the bottom 99%, whose average income is slightly more than $50,000 a year. On average in the U.S., someone would need an annual income of slightly more than $420,000 to be a member of that top 1%. In 2020, annual wages for the top 1% grew by 7.3% while those in the bottom 90% grew just 1.7%.¨

McCarthy has a set of bulls complaining about spending after 45s administration added 8 TRILLION in only 4 years (more than two terms of spending with Obama).

Trump’s not anti-Semitic, Mr. Edwards? Bwahahahaha! I remember back in the early Seventies when they said the same about Richard Nixon because some of his advisors were Jewish. But the tapes revealed his true colors when we heard him say to H.R. Haldeman, “most Jews are disloyal.” Nixon made allowances for some of his useful advisers, including Henry Kissinger and William Safire, but, he said, “generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards.”

Don’t confuse Trump’s superficial pandering with his true feelings toward American Jews, Mr. Edwards. The fact is if an appeal to bigotry wins him support, Trump will make those appeals without hesitation or shame. Sure, he moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, but he was really appealing to Christian Evangelicals by doing so. In addition, when he says things like Jewish Americans “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel,” while also suggesting that evangelical Christians “love Israel more than the Jews in this country,” he’s insulting Jews to their faces. He said that out of anger because American Jews traditionally favor Democrats at the polls.

If you know the Christian faith Mr. Edwards – or, at least, the evangelicals’ interpretation – you would know that they instinctively support Israel because they believe Judgment Day will not occur until all the Jewish people return to Israel. But here’s the catch. Unless they agree to be baptized, they will be doomed to hell.

You know Trump hasn’t spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he congratulated Biden on his 2020 victory. “F**k him,” Trump said of Netanyahu. “The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with . . . Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”

Does that sound like Trump is a friend of the Jews or a man simply interested in promoting his personal power and fortunes?


And now unemployment is at 3.4%, the lowest since 1969, and falling for African Americans to an all-time low.
Yes, there is inflation (but also all around the world), so why does Biden get such low marks for the economy? Overall, it´s actually very good considering the world is coming out of a pandemic.

One of the positive sides to the rightwing MAGA movement is that they’re not very good at thinking for themselves, and therefore the points they try to make are simply regurgitation of someone else’s (often their adversaries, LOL!), and thus easy to look up.

This trope about the previous president’s largess for the Black population is a good example, and this is yet another time I’ve seen it tossed out as some kind of failed “gotcha” against the nefarious and racist libs.

With that, here’s what that raging Progressive organization, The Brookings Institution, has to say:

(This took 3.78 seconds to find)

It is true that Black unemployment was at an all-time low in February 2020, before COVID-19. Yet, the Black unemployment rate under the Obama-Biden administration had one of the largest declines in American history following The Great Recession. Trump largely inherited a growing economy. However, when we look at the jobs picture, in addition to the unemployment rate, we are concerned about the quality of those jobs.

Quality jobs pay living wages and benefits. Blacks still continue to be concentrated in lower sector jobs, which do not have adequate healthcare or paid sick leave and have disproportionately exposed them to COVID-19. For Black men, job prospects are even more limited. In addition to facing more barriers to work entry, the available jobs often do not provide enough money for them to provide financially for their families. For these men, the labor market has failed them. Thus, their unemployment is not factored into the rate. In fact, research notes that 1.5 million Black men are missing from social and economic life.

Trump’s … Platinum Plan claims to increase investments in Black communities by creating Black-small businesses and jobs. Despite the rapper Ice Cube’s contributions, for some it is too little, too late.

The Pay Protection Plan (PPP) from the Small Business Administration left Black businesses out in the cold. Over 90% of Black-owned small businesses that applied for PPP funding were denied. This has led to over 40% of Black-owned small businesses being shuttered during COVID-19. These realities document a callousness towards Black business owners who already have difficulties securing loans for development, and if provided a loan, are more likely to be offered one at higher interest rates than similar white-owned businesses would obtain, thereby increasing their operating costs. If achieving racial equity were actually part of Trump’s agenda, the distribution of resources from the PPP would have explicitly included Black-and-other-minority-owned small businesses and would have allowed them to receive an equitable share.

www brookings edu/blog/how-we-rise/2020/10/15/has-trump-failed-black-americans/

I think we’re preaching to the choir here because I doubt that Dave Edwards is tuned in (despite the instructions on the editorial page inviting letter writers to visit this page to see what others think about their opinion). Nevertheless, after my experience yesterday at Yahoo News, I’m heartened to read refutations written by serious people who think for themselves.

Fox News, conspiracy theorists, and extreme right leaders remind me of Chicken Little.

“The sky is falling” in the form of “illegal aliens,” LGBQT people, race/slavery history, and “special” Whites losing status. All the “good Christian,” God fearing naïve MAGA loyalists are the Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey and Turkey Lurkeys, and donald trump is Tricky Foxy Woxy attempt to mislead these MAGA Dave Edwardses of the world into his den of self serving satisfaction. They are too blind with hatred and fear to see trumps’ total disregard for anything or anyone including themselves. Sadly it’s been working.

I defy any rightie to provide Liberal or Progressive loons like the right harbors:
An there’s no shortage of examples I could post here. And If I run out there’s all the domestic terrorists as identified by our own law enforcement.
All right wing.

“Libralism is a mental illness”, is it?


A former Republican candidate for Georgia governor recently elected as a district-level GOP chair is now pushing conspiracy theories that the Earth is flat, reported Rolling Stone on Wednesday.

Kandiss Taylor is best known for her campaign touring Georgia in a bus that said “Jesus, Guns, Babies.”

“In an interview with David Weiss (AKA ‘Flat Earth Dave’) and Matt Long on her ‘Jesus, Guns, and Babies’ podcast, Taylor and her guests discussed biblical ‘evidence’ that the Earth is actually flat as a pancake. ‘The people that defend the globe don’t know anything about the globe,’ said Weiss. ‘If they knew a tenth of what Matt and I know about the globe they would be Flat Earthers,'” reported Nikki McCann Ramirez. “‘All the globes, everywhere’ Taylor said later in the discussion. ‘I turn on the TV, there’s globes in the background … Everywhere there’s globes. You see them all the time, it’s constant. My children will be like ‘Mama, globe, globe, globe, globe’ — they’re everywhere.'”

There are several variants of the Flat Earth conspiracy theory, but the most common idea is that Earth is a disk, with the North Pole in the center, and Antarctica as a giant wall of ice along the “edge,” and the Sun and Moon as small objects rotating in circles above the plane.

It is trivially simple to prove the Earth is spherical in a variety of ways, from observing ocean-faring ships disappear below the horizon with any decent pair of binoculars, to observing the way the Sun, Moon, and stars move across the sky, which would not be possible if they were simply above a flat plane. Gravity, likewise, wouldn’t make any sense without a spherical Earth, because then there would be no center of mass that affects everyone at all points of the Earth’s surface.

For Taylor, however, the mere fact that the globe is a popular image is proof that there’s some unspecified “conspiracy” of people forcing globes onto others.

“That’s what they do, to brainwash,” Taylor told Weiss and Long. “For me if it’s not a conspiracy. If it is real, why are you pushing so hard everywhere I go? Every store, you buy a globe, there’s globes everywhere. Every movie, every TV show, news media — why? More and more I’m like, it doesn’t make sense.”

Bill Marincic

And that folks is the Daily Gazette echo chamber doing what they do best, attack letter writers they don’t agree with.

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