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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

GOP’s antiquated policies would deny women their due

GOP’s antiquated policies would deny women their due

*GOP’s antiquated policies would deny women their due *Local Kateri canonization ritual rivaled Vat

GOP’s antiquated policies would deny women their due

A cautionary tale of two parties and their agendas for women:

One party supports the Equal Pay Act, which makes it illegal to pay women less than men for the same work. One party has appointed two women to the Supreme Court, not two more men. One party has been an advocate for the reproductive rights of women and has fought for full insurance coverage of birth control products without co-pays, along with free mammograms for all women.

One party has fiercely defended funding for Planned Parenthood to provide the educational and preventive health care so many women depend on (no, there is no federal funding used for abortions). One party, through the Affordable Health Care Act has expanded health care access for millions of American women and children. One party has protected the right of all women to make decisions about their own bodies.

The other? No mention of equal rights for women in the 2012 platform. A promise to appoint judges to the Supreme Court not on the basis of intelligence and integrity, but purely on the basis of whether or not the appointee would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

No funding for family planning, no insurance coverage for birth control so women can plan responsibly when to have a family. Full support for a constitutional amendment that would criminalize abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, even when a child is the victim, even when the mother’s life is in danger.

When a fetus is considered a full person from the moment of conception, what is the relative value of the mother’s life? How ironic that the party that constantly preaches that government should stay out of our lives is the party that wants government to dictate every intimate aspect of women’s reproductive lives.

The GOP is indeed “Government of the Past.” I will vote for a government of the future, one which recognizes and supports the right of all women to make safe and informed choices about our own bodies.

Marjorie Karowe


Local Kateri canonization ritual rivaled Vatican’s

Re Oct. 21 article, “What does a saint look like?”: I rejoice in the new saint, Kateri Tekakwitha.

In Rotterdam Junction, I attended St. Margaret of Cortona’s joyfully ritualized ceremonial canonization celebration. Mohawk Indians in ceremonial wardrobes with drums and offerings dazzled the congregation’s prayers. Symbolic offerings of cedar (purification); sage (“Earth’s gift”), sweet grass (blessing of the mother) and tobacco (offering of the creator) were placed near the altar. Exotic Casa Blanca lilies were carried in procession. A native American courting flute sweetened the atmosphere.

The saint died 300 years ago. Kateri’s miracle, curing the flesh-eating-diseased boy, melts the heart.

St. Margaret of Cortona’s celebration rivaled the Vatican’s festivities.

The church’s specially commissioned Tekakwitha statue looks life-like and most comforting.

Rob Curtiss


No cause for cops to invade home, shoot dog

The Oct. 9 breaking into of Israel Torres’s house in Schenectady [Oct. 10 Gazette] and the murder of his dog is a major crime by the Schenectady Police Department and its drug task force.

Imagine if you had your door bashed down and over a dozen black-clad, armed shock troopers barged into your house and pointed weapons at you and your family. What do you think any dog’s, or human’s, reaction would be?

And just what is the claimed justification by the Schenectady police who carried out this vile criminal action? They claimed that Israel Torres was selling processed plants, perhaps in the form of coca, marijuana or poppy. And for this the police, district attorney, judges and state say he must be caged for years and his dog murdered.

Since this is the kind of thing that the city, police and New York state do on a regular basis, then you can count me out as being a supporter of anything they do.

Christian Rivera


Skip sales pitch, stick with commissioners

An Oct. 19 letter [“Time to part with Spa City’s rusty antique”] compares the current commission form of city government in our flourishing, award-winning city to a rusty old Studebaker, and urges voters to trade it in for a new car.

The metaphor helps us understand what is going on with many of the proponents of charter change. These are car salesmen trying to sell us something. Trouble is, it’s many of the same folks who were trying to sell us a completely different vehicle for completely different reasons six years ago and telling us it was by far the best buy on the market. We said “no thanks” then and should say “no thanks” now.

The commission and city manager forms of government both date back to the early 20th century. I’m not persuaded that Saratoga Springs needs to change to copy the many struggling cities around the country that employ unelected city managers.

I’m more impressed that another progressive, flourishing city (Portland, Ore.) retains its commission form of government. And that entrepreneurs in our “smart city,” like Elliott Masie of the Masie Center, are publicly urging a “no” vote.

I concur with Elliott’s message: Don’t mess with success! Click on Vote “no” on the charter change referendum.

Kenneth Klotz

Saratoga Springs

The writer is the former mayor.

Princetown warned of Van Woeart years ago

Re Oct. 16 article, “Judge fired as court clerk; lawyer eyes lawsuit”: I served as Princetown’s youngest town supervisor ever elected [1990-92]. Town minutes show that besides opposing self-serving members whose only concern was to stick everyone else in town for the private roads they bought houses on, I also created controversy by not reappointing Michelle Van Woeart as court clerk.

Wake up, Princetown. She boo-hooed then, also thinking she was entitled to the [appointment] for life. Some members of the Town Board at the time caved, and now you have a town justice who has been censured by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct and thinks she’s entitled to compensation for two jobs.

She should reimburse the town for one job and all the legal costs she has made the town accrue.

She needs to be out of the judge’s chambers and out of Town Hall ASAP; and any members of the board who are trying to make it easy for her should be shown the door also.

Only those who are not there to selfishly serve themselves really represent the town. Clean house.

Jeb S. Fuller

Falls Church, Va.

Election letters

The deadline for election letters is 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. We will continue to run selected letters on local races through Saturday, Nov. 3 in the print edition. More election-related letters will appear in the online edition.

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