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Letters to the Editor for March 16

Letters to the Editor for March 16

  • Rotterdam IDA meeting on deal with SI was held illegally
  • Scalia couldn’t change gov’t if h
  • Rotterdam IDA meeting on deal with SI was held illegally

    On Feb. 26, the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency (RIDA) had a purported public hearing on a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for the SI [Schenectady International] Group Inc. Unfortunately, the PILOT, which was mailed out to interested agencies, did not include the public.

    The PILOT agreement was not available at town hall, as listed in the legal notice for the meeting, and wasn’t provided when a trip was made to RIDA legal counsel. It was also not available at the public hearing for review or comment.

    When questions were asked by the public, they were told it wasn’t a question-and-answer hearing, just a comment period. How can the public comment on something it did not have access to?

    After the public hearing portion of the meeting, the RIDA board went into executive session without giving a reason. The Gazette and [Rotterdam] Spotlight reporters were in attendance when this occurred.

    While the public waited, the RIDA board had negotiations with executives of the SI Group Inc. behind closed doors. When the board came out of executive session 45 minutes later, the public was informed the executive session was for litigation purposes. The RIDA has no outstanding certiorari agreements with the SI Group, the town of Rotterdam does. This executive session was not legal and clearly violated the open meetings law.

    The public was then informed that the SI Group had made several new concessions regarding the PILOT agreement.

    Since the original PILOT will be altered based on these new concessions, this public hearing should be null and void and a new public hearing called. This will give all interested agencies, including the public, time to make informed comments on the revised documents.

    Let’s keep open government open!

    Robert Godlewski


    Scalia couldn’t change gov’t if he wanted to

    In response to Edwin Reilly Jr’s. March 9 article, “Will the Constitution hold up?”: I have never seen any evidence that Justice Antonin Scalia would love our government turned into a constitutional dictatorship.

    Our forefathers made sure that would never happen, by wisely adding the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights, assuring the people’s ability, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

    John Natale


    Don’t believe global warming isn’t real

    Misinformation seems to be a regular part of the emotional controversy over global warming. A case in point is the March 2 letter from Don Cazer. Mr. Cazer maintains that global warming is merely overheated rhetoric, but arguments he presents are based on false assertions.

    One incorrect claim is that four of Earth’s warmest years on record occurred in the 1930s. The confusion arises because weather was unusually warm in the United States during the 1930s (the Dust Bowl years), but hot weather in the United States was offset by cold weather elsewhere. It’s the global average that matters, not local weather in one part of the globe. As a whole, Earth is warmer now than in the 1930s.

    Mr. Cazer dismisses the well-established fact that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas. One only needs to look at our sister planet, Venus, with its dense CO2 atmosphere and a surface hot enough to melt lead to understand the fallacy of this statement.

    It’s true that in the past, warming occurred first and was followed by an increase in atmospheric CO2 level. The current trend is different, in that CO2 increased first, and was followed by warmer temperatures. That is exactly the pattern that is expected if human CO2 emissions are affecting climate. Even so, it is far from the only evidence that humans are affecting global temperature.

    Since 2001, greatly improved computer models and an abundance of data of many kinds have strengthened the conclusion that human emissions may soon cause serious climate change. Careful temperature measurements on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere over many years have revealed trends that are best understood in terms of greenhouse gas accumulation. Detailed isotopic analyses of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and in the oceans point to fossil fuels as a major source of increased carbon dioxide.

    How warm will it get in our lifetime? Our children’s lifetime? No one knows for sure, but uncertainty cuts both ways. The Arctic has been warming faster than expected. The Arctic polar ice cap is much more sensitive to climate change than Antarctica.

    Year-to-year weather is variable, and next year will not necessarily see another record melting. The long-term trend, however, is clear. A year-round, ice-free Arctic ocean before 2030 now seems plausible. This means Earth will lose an extensive reflective surface. An open Arctic ocean will absorb heat, whereas the polar ice cap now reflects 90 percent of incident solar energy. In addition, warming of permafrost in Alaska is releasing a substantial quantity of methane, another potent greenhouse gas.

    As NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally recently noted, “The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming. Now ... the canary has died.”

    Bob Mulford


    Good Samaritans still exist in this world

    I was helped out on March 6 by four complete strangers as I was struggling to get out of my house to get up the street to Cumberland Farms. I’m a bilateral, below-the-knee amputee, and I don’t do so well in the snow and ice.

    The first two people were coming down the street in a van; I believe [they] must have seen me struggling and backed up to get out and help me! They got me past the ice on the sidewalk in front of my house and safely on the non-icy part. I thanked them profusely, and they went on their way.

    I got up to the store and was wondering how I was going to tackle the ice to get back into my house. By then, some of the ice had melted, but I didn’t see how to go about it. Some very nice ladies from across the street asked if I needed help, and when I said yes, they came right over and assisted me through the ice and up my steps. The one lady even asked her husband to bring over some salt for the ice — which he did. Again I thanked them profusely.

    I’m taking this way of thanking these wonderful people and to also say that I am overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers to help another stranger. It’s so much appreciated.

    Teddie Ann Reilly


    Gender no qualification for U.S. presidency

    In response to the March 7 Letter, “Don’t write Clinton off because of her gender” by Greg Zoltowski: I don’t who (if anyone) said Americans are afraid of electing a women as president, but what I find astonishing is how many people think like Greg and would like to elect someone as president simply because of the person’s gender or race.

    Neither of these aspects should play a part when people decide whether a particular candidate is fit for the presidency.

    The question, “when will a woman be allowed to be herself when she runs for public office?” is absurd. Are we saying Hillary was not allowed to be herself when she ran for and won her seat as senator? As far I can tell, Hillary has always been herself.

    Greg’s closing comment, “Take a stand on the Constitution, let us see what a woman can do as president,” strikes me as both ignorant and confusing. Every women/person is different, but saying, “let us see what a women can do ... for a change” makes it sound like Greg wants us to put just any female in office, then see what happens — implying all women are alike. Is that what we think in this enlightened age? To elect a leader based on either sex or race would be a degradation to the Constitution.

    By the way, I think my mother would make a great president

    Michael Dalton


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