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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 10/20/2017

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 30

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 30

  • Strock altogether too negative about animal rescue efforts
  • It’s about time someone stood u
  • Strock altogether too negative about animal rescue efforts

    I am bothered by the negativity of Carl Strock’s Oct. 25 column, “SPCA looking out for cats, also humans.”

    I do not think a colonel in the National Guard, a man who serves our country, who I assume has had at least one tour of duty/deployment if not more, is a “wannabe cop.” This alone deserves Strock’s respect and appreciation. It has mine.

    Why the sarcasm about rescuing 44 cats and one dog? The conditions were unacceptable for these animals and the volunteers who assisted in the rescue. Whether intentional or not by the homeowner, this seems like abuse. Does Strock think there might have been a complaint that authorities were following? Does he think Rotterdam police were aware of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ intentions and worked with the SPCA? The television interviews showed the SPCA wanted to help the homeowner, not punish. Seems like a positive approach. What is Strock’s point?

    The Rotterdam case is not the example, but what is wrong with protecting peace officers in the line of duty? What happens to these peace officers [volunteers] when investigating an animal abuse case? I would think a person who beats an animal could clearly beat a human or have a weapon. Why would you not protect your peace officers? What would you do if you were Mathew Tully?

    What about Mr. Strock using his forum in a positive manner to educate and ask for the public’s help to support the Animal Protective Foundation and SPCA? Maybe this support could expand the services and space for the APF to assist SPCA. Maybe the SPCA would not have to use a donated 15-year-old police car from the city police department with hundreds of thousands of miles on its odometer.

    Drew Fiumano

    Niskayuna

    It’s about time someone stood up for the poor

    This heart of this 75-year old sister of St. Joseph’s [of Carondelet] is hopeful. Seeing my sisters and brothers of all ages and ilk take to the streets and call for change energizes me. They are challenging the direction this nation is going and I support them.

    “Occupiers” all over say we should pay close attention to the fact that 1 percent of our population holds so much of the wealth and power while the other 99 percent suffers. These protesters are speaking for me and millions of Americans who are tired of a failed economic system that does not reflect our values.

    So what if they cannot yet clearly articulate a common, coherent message? So what if well-versed leaders have not yet emerged? They are encouraging a much-needed, nonviolent, national conversation about jobs, budgets, wars and corporate greed. I will join them when I can.

    I protested in the 1960s and the ’70s, and I will now. My faith compels me. However, if you ask me what Jesus would do now, I would say I don’t honestly know. What I do know is that Jesus told us of a God who loves us all, rich and poor, but has a special concern for the poor and vulnerable. We must do the same. It is our moral obligation to be on their side and to raise our voices for them.

    As individuals and as a nation, we will be judged by how well we cared for the “least of these” and spoke out against injustice.

    Yes, the occupiers give me renewed hope. We should all learn from them and speak up to Congress and the president.

    Sr. Doreen Glynn

    Albany

    Keep plant in hands of private operator

    Some decisions are pure garbage.

    For many years, Schenectady’s sewage treatment plant was operated by the city. It failed to do its job and, as a result of that failure and the determined efforts of residents, the city formed a public-private partnership in 1991. Residents benefited and, for the first time in years, they were able to use their yards without being overwhelmed by the plant’s stench. In fact, the partnership received the 2011 Excellence Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors because the city met its environmental standards, stayed within its budget and actually saved money.

    Now the acting mayor and his council colleagues want to reverse a successful 20-year-old decision and, in the process, put more than 20 workers on the city payroll. It makes no sense. While the city would save the fee paid to the private operator, it is making — without any public input — a foolish financial and neighborhood decision that will cost far more than it saves. Why? Because 1) the city failed in the past to operate the facility well, 2) the city has little expertise or resources to deal with problems that might arise, and 3) the city should not be adding to its payroll and future pension and health care benefit costs for decades to come.

    The decision stinks.

    Roger Hull

    Schenectady

    The writer is the Alliance Party candidate for mayor.

    Unions too cozy with Cuomo to object to cuts

    Isn’t it ironic that a Democratic governor is the largest “union buster” in state history, and CSEA and PEF refuse to call him out on it?

    Yet the CSEA is out in front of Nassau County Republican County Executive Ed Mangano’s office, screaming “union buster” for copying exactly what Cuomo is doing to state workers.

    Remember the outrage on the left when President Reagan forced the air traffic controllers back to work? Where’s the outrage in Albany against the Democratic governor? No, CSEA President Danny Donohue surrendered his members’ benefits and raises to Cuomo faster than the French surrendered to Germany in WWII.

    His actions weakened PEF’s eventual ability to protect the same contractual rights of their members. Emboldened by the CSEA’s surrender, what did the bully Democratic governor do? Threaten to lay off 3,500 PEF members if they didn’t surrender their guaranteed contractual benefits, just like the CSEA.

    If I was a member of either of these unions, I would refuse to pay my dues. These union leaders heavily donated to Gov. Cuomo’s campaign and now refuse to fight him on behalf of their members for their own political reasons. After surrendering their members’ contractual rights this time, it will happen again and again in the future, making the CSEA and PEF irrelevant paper tigers.

    Graham Higgins

    Schenectady

    Anyone voting to reject PEF contract is selfish

    This is regarding Nancy Fisher’s Oct. 25 letter [“PEF is being unfairly criticized for voting down new contract”], which advocated for Public Employees Federation members to vote against the new contract.

    Does she not care that her contract rejection will cause serious problems to a thousand local families? What happened to her basic union principles of brotherhood and solidarity? What happened to her Christian principles of “do unto others?”

    She and those who vote “no” to the PEF contract show their true colors — greedy, self-centered, entitled sorry excuses for human beings.

    Don’t let the senior PEF members throw the junior members under the bus, vote yes for the new PEF contact! And, yes, I am one of 3,500 who may be on the street next week.

    Jim Kennedy

    Schenectady

    Taser study easy to find on NYCLU website

    In his Oct. 26 letter [“NYCLU study on Tasers, and Gazette’s editorial about it, were off base”], Dan Darling wrote that he “was unable to locate the actual study the New York Civil Liberties Union recently did on Taser use.” In fact, the complete 35-page, footnoted NYCLU study, which found widespread problems with Taser use in some local police departments, is both easy to find and free to download.

    The www.nyclu.org home page has a link to a detailed summary of the report, and that page, in turn, links directly to the page where the full report may be downloaded. Also, Googling “NYCLU Taser report” will bring up a direct link to the NYCLU’s Taser report page in the first page of search results.

    Melanie Trimble

    Albany

    The writer is director of the Capital Region chapter of NYCLU.

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