Gazette story on state police pot bust lacked critical context
The news editor for The Daily Gazette played ball with law enforcement with this misleading Aug. 31 headline, “Massive Pot Sweep ‘Home Run’ for police.” The amount of pot seized represents a minuscule percentage of the marijuana available on the black market.
But the headline would lead readers to believe that this eradication actually will have a deterrent effect on anyone’s ability to obtain the drug in the Capital Region.
The Daily Gazette provided a platform for law enforcement to show off another symbolic victory in the war on pot. [State police] Maj. Charles Geuss, who supervised the operation, claims in the story that pot cultivation is like any other crime in that there’s no room to tolerate it. Where’s the victim in this crime scene? The state police didn’t even make a single arrest.
Geuss goes on to say, “From my perspective, anytime we can get these plants and keep the drug off the streets — that’s a home run.” His comment make him appear to be clueless to the reality that marijuana is a major black market commodity.
The Gazette and other print media have written this same story over and over without providing any context of the public’s changing views on this issue. For instance, the most recent polling, a national Rasmussen Reports poll, found that 56 percent of Americans favor regulation and legalization of pot.
There are three states (Colrado, Washington and Oregon) that have legalization initiatives on the November ballot. Not to mention the 17 states that have legalized pot for medicinal use. This trend of tolerance toward pot is moving against this use of scarce police resources.
I do give the reporter for this story, Justin Mason, credit for meticulously researching the cost to taxpayers for these expensive and futile helicopter flights. However, I would like to see the Gazette pose tougher questions to law enforcement that reflect the growing sentiment that these eradication efforts are a waste of resources, time and money for the taxpayers of New York.
Amsterdam pedestrian bridge a waste of money
The proposed $16.5 million pedestrian bridge crossing the Mohawk River in downtown Amsterdam, an earmark sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko from money from the 2005 omnibus spending bill, is another symbol of wasteful pork-barrel spending of tax dollars by an entrenched politician [Aug. 14 Gazette].
This bridge is nothing compared to the $398 million that the late Sen. Ted Stevens had earmarked for his home state of Alaska, a proposed bridge that connected a small town to a island town with 50 residents. Then-Gov. Sarah Palin stated that the bridge was essential, even though the island was served by a ferry. Opponents of the bridge labeled it the “bridge to nowhere.” After much opposition from politicians and taxpayers, the bridge project was cancelld.
However, Palin did spend more than $25 million from another earmark from the omnibus bill to build a road that was connected to the non-existing bridge, thus the “road to nowhere” was built.
Nothing has been mentioned about who will maintain the Amsterdam bridge if it is built. It all comes down to a large expenditure for someone. The only talk is what the bridge should look like. No matter what the design, you can bet that it will have a fence to keep people from jumping.
Amsterdam was a great city in its heyday, but it’s past and no matter how much money you spend on it, it will not revive the downtown. If the money has to be spent, then $16.5 million will easily repave 100 miles of roads in Montgomery County — a far better option.
Shame on the protesters, praise for the Golub Corp.
The men standing with signs stating, “Shame on Price Chopper” should be ashamed of themselves.
I wouldn’t like to think of how much worse the economy would be in the Capital Region if we didn’t have the Golub Corp. There would be countless families without jobs and a decent life.
All the many charities provided by, or sponsored by, the Golub Corp. would either not exist or would lack the support they are now receiving. Also, many hundreds of retirees, like myself, would not be enjoying a comfortable retirement without the Golub Corp.
The “Shame on Price Chopper” signs should read, “Thank you to the Golub Corp.”
The writer worked at Price Chopper for 24 years and is now retired.
Democrats’ reaction to Eastwood was revealing
So the left wing media, otherwise known as the Obama re-election campaign, are bashing Clint [Eastwood] for his appearance at the RNC [Republican National Convention].
Some are saying the old guy has dementia. It is always nice to see how liberals really feel about people when they let their false civility and humanity fall away to expose who they really are.
Of course, Clint doesn’t need me or any one else to defend him. Even at his age, he is still more of a man than any one who is attacking him now. Of note, in his speech Mr. Eastwood talked to an empty chair that was supposed to be Obama, and even without the teleprompters, Obama was never more eloquent. Made my day.
David P. DeVries
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.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our website: www.dailygazette.com.