Sen. Bruno keeps blocking wetlands protection measures
Experts have estimated that flooding in New York state has cost more than $500 million since 2004. A number of deaths have also resulted from these floods.
Your March 5 editorial, “Smart actions now can prevent floods later,” and other news items have pointed out that long-term thinking and smart actions can moderate the impacts of stormwater runoff and cost of flood events. It has also been noted that wetlands, sometimes called swamps and marshes, reduce flooding by soaking up stormwater, keeping it out of the streams and our basements. One acre of wetlands can hold over 1 million gallons of water in its spongy soil.
What has not been pointed out in the articles I have read is how Sen. Joe Bruno has blocked good wetland protection laws in the Legislature. Every state bordering New York has passed laws protecting small, isolated wetlands from development; however, in our state these wetlands are being filled in and paved over, adding to the stormwater runoff. Good wetland laws have been proposed in recent years to remedy this situation, but in every case “our Joe” has blocked the legislation by holding it in the Rules Committee. He subverts democracy by not allowing a vote and he costs us all by adding to the flood waters.
William F. Koebbeman
Keep all of Spitzer’s misdeeds in perspective
I felt overwhelming sadness as I watched Gov. Spitzer deliver his resignation speech.
Sure, it would be easy to pile on with heaps of scorn and criticism, but as far as I’m concerned the guy tried to make a difference.
He may have made a terrible personal mistake, but at least he’s not a war criminal with the blood of nearly 4,000 Americans on his hands.
I find it telling that on March 10, the day that news of Mr. Spitzer’s troubles broke, also a day that five American GIs were killed in Iraq, the only thing people on the floor of Wall Street could do was cheer.
Strock missed point of grief-stricken cop story
Regarding Carl Strock’s Feb. 28 column, “Sch’dy cops pitch in for colleague”: This column’s subject matter was about how Schenectady police officers donated their comp time to a fellow police officer, Joseph McCabe, during a tragic time in his life.
Joe’s wife, Diane, died from complications following childbirth. This beautiful, vivacious woman died at age 32 without ever seeing her daughter, Jenna. This family lost a wife, mother, daughter and daughter-in-law. They were, and still are, inconsolable in their grief. Their lives have been turned upside down.
The real story here, Mr. Strock, isn’t the police donating their comp time. That was the easy part. The real story is what Joe McCabe’s fellow officers did for this grief-stricken family.
As soon as the Schenectady police knew of Joe’s loss, they were immediately at his side. Through those first horrible days and weeks, Joe was never left alone. The police were with him at his home 24 hours a day. Not only were they there on their own time, they made pancakes for 6-year-old Louie, changed Jenna’s diapers, fed her and even set up her crib while their wives sent dinners to the family.
So, Mr. Strock, as you said in your column, let’s not quibble. Let’s tell the real story. A story of friends, relatives and total strangers reaching out to help a family in their time of need.
Wives shouldn’t stand by disgraced husbands
I sincerely hope to have seen the last spectacle of women standing beside their high-profile political husbands as they acknowledge sordid culpability in some newly discovered folly.
If wives decide to “stand by their man” (or not), let it be in the privacy of their own space. If husbands decide to engage in bizarre, stupid or humiliating behaviors, let them not invite or expect their wives (whose trust they have so soundly trashed) to share the spotlight as they face up to the disaster they have brought upon themselves.
May we, the public, support the privacy and dignity of wives in such tragic personal circumstances, excusing them and encouraging them to excuse themselves from a public display they do not deserve.
No golden parachute for Spitzer
OK, so Spitzer is gone. Now the big question is, what will it cost us?
Will he be given the obscene “golden parachute” of other CEO-types? We’ve seen it time and time again. The companies fail, the stockholders or, even worse, employees are left holding empty envelopes while the party at fault leaves with all the goodies.
I read in the March 12 Gazette that Spitzer is a millionaire, but that usually doesn’t make a difference. After all the shock and accusations are over, will the taxpayers be shelling out once again for government gone bad?
Was government singling out Spitzer?
When I read the reports about the federal investigation of Eliot Spitzer and his use of escort services, I understood that he was “Client-9;” but I wondered who clients 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 were. Is any one of them also a “politically exposed person” (PEP)? In other words, (based on my reading of the Bank Secrecy Act Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual), is any one of them a senior official in a foreign government (elected or not), senior official of a major foreign political party, an immediate family member or a close personal or professional associate of such individual?
Federal law requires banks to identify and track PEPs, because they present potential risk, not only to the institution, but possibly to our country! These banking laws take aim at, and focus, on corrupt politicians who might be laundering money in order to finance terrorism.
Furthermore, I wonder why the banks and Bush administration chose to identify our governor as a PEP. The administration must have seen him as a potential threat to our country, as they did the convicted leader of an Albany mosque and owner of an Albany pizza parlor. Otherwise, why bother pursuing the financial activities of those people?
I want to know if the other numbered clients were also considered dangerous. Are any of them Republicans, or potentates? Perhaps movie stars? Perhaps Texas oilmen? I think we really ought to know the identities of the other clients. And, were there more than just nine? How did the other clients finance their activities?
K. W. Davis
Country needs national health insurance plan
Our area needs to get more involved in speaking up for health care issues. We need to get Congress to pass H.R. 676 [the National Health Insurance Bill].
I have come across so many people in our area, including myself, with no health insurance, and it isn’t right. People like me would have had their health issues taken care of years ago if we lived in other countries. We need daily medication; and do we get it? No, I can’t afford it.
The insurance and drug companies don’t care about us — all they care about is money. There is no need for a CEO of an insurance company to be making $22 million. His salary alone could pay for a lot of health care. We need to all pull together and sign the petitions — there’s one on the Michaelmoore.com site.
Our government should care about all of us, not just the rich. We come together only when a major event happens, than years pass by and everyone has forgotten who was involved. Why can’t the government take care of everyone? Universal health care works in other countries.
The people live longer and healthier lives, also. It doesn’t matter what political party you are in, we all need health care, and we all deserve to live.
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