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People need to show proper respect for funeral processions

People need to show proper respect for funeral processions

*People need to show proper respect for funeral processions *Movie will bring sense of place, pride

People need to show proper respect for funeral processions

I had the privilege on Oct. 24 of attending the memorial service for my cousin at the Bond Funeral Home.

More than 40 cars attempted to process to Vale Cemetery. A large portion of the cars in the procession were from out of town. As the daughter of a local minister, and resident of Schenectady County for more than 30 years, I certainly knew the protocols of the vehicle procession, as well as my way to the cemetery — although I was not sure whether we would be entering through the first or second entrance.

Many non-participating motorists were respectful as we passed down Broadway and eastbound on I-890. However, once the procession left I-890 the atmosphere changed to a free-for-all. A pedestrian crossed Brandywine [Avenue] against traffic in the middle of the block between Wylie Street and Altamont Avenue causing a gap in the procession. Thereafter, it only got worse.

Since the procession was now severed from the lead car, it may not have been crystal-clear to other motorists at the subsequent traffic lights that we were all together. In fact, the car in front of me was spared a T-bone accident from both sides by mere inches at the Albany Street intersection. The car in front of her bore a standard “funeral” flag, as did her car, as did my car, as did the car behind me. All cars in the procession were running their hazard lights.

This may sound insignificant as traffic encounters go, but I need for those who honked, cut us off and crossed in front of us to know the effect of their actions. My aunt, cousins and several close family friends at the front of the procession were left standing graveside on a cold, damp and gray day, literally and figuratively, for more than 10 minutes until the rest of the procession arrived and the service could continue.

New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law contains no less than three provisions relating to funeral processions that allow the clear, unequivocal inference that right of way belongs to the funeral procession.

A new bill is currently winding its way through the Legislature. It ties the former inferences together articulating right of way for funeral processions, and provides a civil penalty of $100 for violators. I urge everyone to support this bill.

Perhaps we don’t need a penalty to enforce civility, but so long as common sense isn’t so common, perhaps we do.

Ann Farrell

Rotterdam

Movie will bring sense of place, pride to region

With “The Place Beyond the Pines” premiere slowly approaching, it is sure to bring positive publicity to the Schenectady area [Oct. 18 Gazette].

Since the film highlights many parts of the region, favorable talk will surely be generated, as well as a sense of pride throughout the area. Learning that the director of the film’s wife as well as the writer of the screenplay are from the area, brings hope that more and more established and successful former residents will want to come back and share their time and talents with their hometown.

This film is bound to be a hit in the Capital Region, and will hopefully inspire local natives to remember where they come from.

Jillian Callanan

Albany

Politics and Halloween have a lot in common

The upcoming federal elections are likely to result in a dead-heat recount election to be decided by the corrupting vote of convicts and shadowy undocumented voters, including the “living dead.”

Necropolis inhabitants enlisted by Chicago-style party hacks have voted in past elections. That’s a spooky thing. Campaign super-funds are predominantly financed by phantom donors.

Politicians dread their skeleton-filled closets. White House closets are bulging. Political parties employ “ghost busters” to expose each other’s skeletons. As a result, elections are lost and political careers sometimes vaporize.

Politicians often suggest their opponents don’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Spirits subliminally influence politicians into making campaign promises they cannot possibly keep. The patriotic spirits of our forefathers are most likely the motivators of novice candidates. Incumbents, however, are easily possessed by the Washington Beltway demons in their first term in office.

Citizens go to the polls only when the spirit moves them. I hope my satire and the prodding of good spirits motivate the normally complacent and self-disenfranchised voters to participate in out upcoming elections.

Wallace J. Hughes

Charlton

Avoid need for cat rescue through animal control

Re Oct. 19 article, “Cat rewards rescuers with bites”: The Humane Society of the United States commends the three Schenectady sewer department workers for the compassionate act of rescuing a stray cat from a storm drain, even if the cat repaid their lifesaving efforts by biting them out of fear.

We hope that residents and city officials will see this as an opportunity to prevent future incidents that are hazardous to both humans and animals by keeping cats indoors, promoting affordable spay/neuter and vaccination clinics, and implementing other humane programs in the community.

Effective animal control is an investment that pays off in both human and animal lives. Schenectady is very fortunate to have many dedicated animal advocates and also a number of public officials who understand that these issues can be successfully addressed by working together. These collaborations can help keep both cats and people safe.

We strongly encourage the growth of such partnerships and we wish those three heroes a speedy recovery.

Brian Shapiro

Woodstock

The writer is the New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

Schoolkids learn from Halloween celebrations

I have been saddened by recent decisions of some area elementary schools to end or limit their Halloween celebrations, citing loss of instructional time and security concerns [Oct. 25 Gazette].

Many valuable educational activities are integrated around the cultural events for which these parties serve to culminate. They endeavor to enrich and deepen our shared experience. Some of your happiest childhood memories probably recall just these moments.

By removing this tradition, we seem to discount the role fun plays in motivating young students. In order to gain instructional time we may be better off eliminating some standardized testing, which has garnered more than its fair share of preparation time.

Also, during my neighborhood school Halloween parade, a police officer happily stands guard over our besmudged hoboes, bejeweled princesses, ghouls and goblins so that they may acquire their own indelible remembrances.

David Orcutt

Niskayuna

The writer is a retired elementary school teacher for the Niskayuna Central School District.

Delay of co-op will make it more likely to succeed

Re Oct. 23 article, “Renovations stall opening of food co-op”: I would like to respond to the article concerning the co-op business near downtown Schenectady. Personally, I value this idea tremendously.

As a college student, getting out to a local shop or market is always refreshing. Local goods and products, to me, are always superior to those shipped in by big businesses.

Though the delay of the building process is looked upon as a setback, I view it as a positive. The co-op idea needs time to develop; local people must hear about it for it to prosper. When the co-op does ultimately open, it will be that much more of a success.

I am excited about the idea and look forward to its opening. It is a superb concept and will undoubtedly thrive.

Jared Chin

Schenectady

Unions’ cash also has too much influence in politics

In her Oct. 17 letter regarding political influence of corporations, Livia Carroll omitted one of the largest, if not the largest, offenders: The unions and their super donations.

Otherwise, a decent letter.

Don Vanderwarker

Malta

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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