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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor March 24

Letters to the Editor March 24

  • Hillary, it’s almost as if you work here
  • Metric system would solve problems for U.S.
  • Hillary, it’s almost as if you work here

    Wasn’t it just peachy seeing our junior senator, in name only, back in her so-called home state, at Gov. David Paterson’s inaugural [March 18 Gazette]?

    Just wondering how long it could be before Hillary Clinton returns again to the Empire State?

    Rich Kiffney

    Amsterdam

    Metric system would solve problems for U.S.

    Among the many reasons for the United States to convert entirely to the metric system as soon as possible, my favorite is this: Our children and grandchildren need it!

    We have two grandchildren in Denmark and two in the United States. The Danish ones learned high school science without difficulty, because the metric system (used by scientists) is used in everyday life in Denmark, as it is in almost all other countries.

    To get into science, American students must first learn — or re-learn — the metric system to start lab work. For many students, this is a stumbling block and often leads to a dislike of science in general, or at least to poor grades in science classes. It’s the important reason U.S. students lag far behind most foreign students in test scores.

    In the business world, anyone who works with a foreign firm will need to be familiar with liters and centimeters. American manufacturers, who now use the metric system, do so because it’s easier to use and adapts easily to exports.

    We are half metric already, We buy 2-liter bottles of cola, 35mm film and medicines in milligrams. Cars are mostly metric, and the Olympics are all metric. Compact discs are exactly 12 cm in diameter (I’ll bet you didn’t know that). Bayer aspirin is 1 cm in diameter and dental floss is now sold in meters — not yards.

    If we want to complete in the global marketplace (and begin to improve the trade balance), we need to become smarter and more efficient, and for that we need to embrace the metric system like the rest of the world.

    So now we need to aggressively finish the job. Everybody is waiting for everyone else to “go metric” first. Because Congress has not set a deadline for the United States to become completely metric, I’d like to see a grass-roots demand for it now.

    Arne Loft

    Scotia

    Malta slipping fast, and AMD hasn’t even gotten built yet

    Re your March 19 editorial, “‘Downtown Malta’ may not be laughable after all”: The concept of the density we are inviting into our town has never been laughable for many longtime Malta residents like me. Far from it!

    It’s enough to bring me to tears. I see the way of life that first attracted our family to Malta quickly being destroyed by the mere possibility of AMD coming. We are spending huge sums of money, much of it from state funds (from state taxes — it’s not “free money”) to “improve” our services, electrical, water, sewer, etc. The purpose is not to improve the residents’ quality of life, that’s a by-product if it happens, but to accommodate and supply the needs of industries that may not even come here. There are no guarantees.

    It may not be the blessing that some people think it will be if they do come here. Go online and look at the Silicon Valley story. Yes, perhaps Malta could become another Silicon Valley — home to 29 toxic EPA Superfund sites, the highest concentration in the country! The pollution originally came from high-tech manufacturing facilities. These facilities have since moved to places around the globe with weaker environmental and worker protections. They have a history of grabbing the “incentives” offered by low-income communities and then moving away to where the grass is greener.

    By the way, millions are still being paid to clean up these Silicon Valley sites. Peruse the maps of Santa Clara County’s groundwater contamination sites — it’s not a pretty picture.

    The concept that people want to walk any distance outside to shop and “hang out” in downtown Malta is ludicrous. Look at our climate. How many days in the year would you want to be outside walking? You’d certainly want to subtract the very hot or very cold, rainy, windy or the icy days. But, wait a minute! Isn’t that a high percentage of Malta’s days? If you want to walk, our town has parks and trails, right? It occurred to me that it’d be very difficult to cross Route 9 close to the roundabout without an elevated walkway. Wouldn’t a traffic light to stop traffic for a crosswalk on Route 9 bottleneck the roundabout? Certainly with the increased traffic! This would defeat the original purpose of the roundabouts — to keep traffic moving.

    Look at the economy right now. Do you know people in Malta who want to sell their house for a decent price and can’t? We do. I fail to see the wisdom of overbuilding condos and houses. Do you know people who want to live in Saratoga but can’t afford to? We do. I fail to see the wisdom in making our community another Saratoga, and raising our taxes for increased services. Did you get your new assessment and suffer sticker shock? We did. Is the plan to make life in Malta unaffordable for the average person?

    Here’s hoping Malta’s powers that be will not continue to be caught up in the rosy picture that’s been painted for us. Much of this picture doesn’t make sense. Let’s be practical.

    Patricia Carlton

    Malta

    Letters Policy

    The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.

    There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.

    All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.

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