Father of detained teen should be much relieved over outcome
Re July 23 article, “Teen tackled, charges lodged”: It seems strange that a man trying to protect his family in the middle of the night from multiple invaders/trespassers ringing the doorbell, beating on the house and causing general chaos, should be arrested for reacting in an instinctive manner and bringing the matter to a reasonable solution, without serious injury.
I am speaking of Mr. Daniel Van Plew and his experience with four teenagers from an apparently unsupervised sleepover in Bethlehem.
One of the questions I have is, if Rob Madeo [the detained boy’s father] had the power to have Van Plew arrested on behalf of his underaged, irresponsible son, why doesn’t Mr. Van Plew have the same power to have the father of the detained teenager arrested for harassment, menacing and substantial fear of deadly force (if the alleged knife incident was true)? Mr. Madeo should have to accept responsibility for his son’s actions.
Mr. Madeo should hope that his son has seen the error of his ways, and that this does not become a stepping stone to a scenario that ends in a real tragedy.
Strock tried, but can’t disguise liberal leanings
Re July 25 column, “Call it peace or call it something else”: Carl Strock finally decided, for the first time in my recollection, to write about the left wing — I assume to show his readers his fair and balanced coverage.
Before doing so, he prefaced his remarks by bashing the right-wing element, saying Barbra Streisand cannot be put on the same scale as Rush Limbaugh (maybe because he is on the radio three hours per day, five days a week). It’s interesting that he did not choose other Hollywood left-wingers to compare to Rush, such as, Michael Moore, Bill Maher or Sean Penn (a Hugo Chavez supporter). One of those would have been more realistic.
He went on to say that the Tea Party is an anti-government, anti-tax, pro-gun movement, which is part right-wing and part libertarian. He failed to mention that it is against larger government and more taxes, and is comprised of people in both the Democrat and Republican parties.
He was very careful to label Noam Chomsky as an extreme left-winger, which should not be confused with those left-leaning Democrats in office. On the other hand, he calls Fox News propaganda, and in the past has referred to Glenn Beck as a lunatic (or words to that effect). He did not, however, try to distinguish between the extreme far right, such as the Neo-Nazi party, and the right-leaning Republicans.
Carl should understand how much his left-wing bias affects his columns, and distorts his God-given talent for writing.
Duanesburg should appoint highway supt.
On July 9, the Gazette carried an article stating Duanesburg would have a public meeting on the proposal to change the highway superintendent’s job from elected to appointed.
As a resident since 1975, it seems that over the years [the] Town Board and the highway superintendent are frequently at odds. The highway superintendent always says there is not enough money in the budget, even though they always have a surplus at year’s end. The Town Board always states they have no control over the actions of the highway superintendent. Both sides are correct in their statements.
Making the highway superintendent position an appointed position puts the responsibility and authority squarely on the Town Board. If it appoints and retains an unqualified highway superintendent, then its members will have to answer to the voters. Any problems in the Highway Department are owned by the Town Board. I applaud this initiative to accept ownership for the operation of the Highway Department through an appointed position.
Residents should take the time to read some of the town board meeting minutes (www.duanesburg.net/govt/BoardMeetings.shtml), starting from February 2009. The record shows an 18-month period in which the highway superintendent has repeatedly violated Department of Environmental Conservation laws (possible fine $25,000), incurred legal fees by violating the Taylor Law and numerous other infractions that make the town liable. Note how many times the highway superintendent has refused to meet with the Highway Committee or even answer Town Board questions at public meetings.
With an $800,000 budget and 45 miles of roads ($17,777 per mile!), this is surely an area that directly impacts voters. Making this an appointed position allows the board to appoint someone with appropriate credentials.
Paul H. Finnegan
Nuclear power record justifies more plants
Bob Herbert’s July 20 New York Times column is another indication of the transition taking place in the United States. At one time [we] could rightly claim leadership, not only in science and engineering but a willingness to strike off into new territory and develop technologies that were major advances — advances that were not only profitable but made significant contributions to quality of life for vast numbers of citizens.
We have now reached the point where the philosophy seems to be, “don’t change anything, don’t do anything new! I am perfectly happy with the life and community I live in.”
Mr. Herbert is concerned with the safety of nuclear reactors, and rightly so. But he also needs to look at the worldwide production and use of power from nuclear reactors. See www.euronuclear.org/info/npp-ww.htm.
First, the United States has almost twice as many reactors in operation as any other country. Most of these reactors have more than 40 years of operational history. Second, the safety history of these reactors is outstanding. One [Russian] reactor (Chernobyl) did indeed cause widespread contamination, but even that was not a design flaw.
In the United States there is a tendency to quote Three Mile Island as an example of the problem with nuclear reactors, whereas the safety system did exactly what it was designed to do. The second reactor at Three Mile Island is operating to this day.
Certainly there is much to be learned about the safety, design and construction methods of nuclear power plants. At the present time it appears that others, not the United States, will be leaders in this area. China has 24 reactors under construction with an unknown level of improvement involved. Ditto Russia with 11 [and] South Korea with six.
Almost certainly at least some are breeder reactors, a technology that has the promise of producing almost unlimited power, perhaps even at a cost far below present projections. Cost and reliability of electric power may already be the largest economic factor in the prosperity of any region or country. The United States seems to be far behind.
A few bad houses can ruin the neighborhood
Re the July 22 letter, “City needs to motivate residents to fix homes”: This sounds fair — to reward people to fix homes they should have fixed [since] becoming a homeowner. Also, it’s fair to the [other] people who keep up their homes because they want their neighborhood to keep looking good.
You cannot buy a house and just live in it without maintenance. When children break windows, you replace them; when children break doors, you replace them — just as when they throw their toys and paper around the house, you teach them to pick things up.
In my opinion, if you plan on living in your home, it makes sense to make it look as nice as possible. What has happened to pride and satisfaction in owning your own home?
It only takes two to three houses to bring down a whole neighborhood. The city has to get after these homeowners, along with getting rid of these boarded up houses and businesses. I am not giving up on Mont Pleasant, because it is a beautiful area of the city, but city officials have to start caring about the people who invest time, money and pride in their community.
Removing barking dog’s voice box goes too far
A news story July 21 on MSN reported that Massachusetts has passed a law that bans pet owners from removing their [animals’] voice boxes. Bravo. Every state should ban it.
Your pet may save your life in a fire or [from] an intruder. If your pet is a constant barker, just use a muzzle. It’s more humane.
Dianne Chagnon Burns
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