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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 04/27/2017

DSIC is indeed doing good job to promote downtown Schenectady

DSIC is indeed doing good job to promote downtown Schenectady

*DSIC is indeed doing good job to promote downtown Sch’dy *Use technology to let people ‘work local’

DSIC is indeed doing good job to promote downtown Sch’dy

As the public relations person for Friends of Schenectady Public Library and its small used bookstore, the Whitney Book Corner, I would like to put in a plug in for the beleaguered DSIC (Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation).

Our partnership with them has been one of the most beneficial moves our little store has made. Through participation in DSIC-sponsored events, to listings in their weekly emails, to their overall positive effect on downtown Schenectady, our business has benefited greatly.

A little skeptical, we agreed to join in the summer Merchant MashUp. Paired with Café Nola, we decided to keep our store open late, and at the same time set up a table at the restaurant to showcase what we have to offer.

There is no question that most people coming to the event are just interested in the free food, but there were some customers who learned about our store, as well as the Friends of the Library, for the first time. And on their way to the free food at the restaurants on Union Street, they stopped into the Whitney and were delighted at what they found.

[DSIC Executive Director] Jim Salengo said it best in the Nov. 28 Gazette article when he stated that business owners need to use the promotions to sell themselves: “Put whatever merchandise you want to showcase up front. Ask people what they’re looking for. Ask them to sign up for your Facebook page. Offer them a coupon if they come back within the month.”

A good case in point is last week’s Small Business Saturday event. My daughter and son-in-law were visiting and we decided to promote local businesses by shopping Jay Street. A number of shops were closed, one store was locked with a “be right back” sign on the door, and when my son-in-law went back to another shop to buy an article he had seen in the window, he found that it closed at 3 p.m. Now just how much can the DSIC do in a situation like this?

People may think that because the Whitney Book Corner is a non-profit organization run by volunteers that it doesn’t matter how much money we make. On the contrary. With the drastic budget cuts being imposed on the Schenectady Public Library by the county, it is even more vital that our store be successful so that we can continue to benefit the library system. And we count the DSIC as one of our “friends.”

Christine Witkowski

Scotia

Use technology to let people ‘work local’

Over 112,000 vehicles travel the Northway each day. The highway is just jammed with commuters who frequently must come to a dead standstill during their travel to work. The expressway is no longer an express: It has reached its capacity.

Engineering solutions such as light rail or additional lanes and bridge expansions are expensive and unlikely in the foreseeable future. So what are we to do?

It is time for us to look to our cyberworld for a solution. In this electronic age of webcams, computers, smart phones and Skype, where wall-sized screens with visual face-to-face collaborations are possible, it is time to ask: “Is it necessary for workers to be physically present in a central office in Albany? If we can’t get workers to the office in a responsible way, then why not bring the office to the worker?”

With today’s electronics it is possible to change the concept of a central office from a physical place to a virtual place. Workers at companies like GlobalFoundries already have cameras and screens in their office to collaborate and innovate in real time with teammates around the world.

Can you imagine the savings if just 30 percent of commuters could “work local,” say within five miles from home? Families could have just one car instead of two. Gasoline consumption would be reduced. Productive time could replace commuter time. Vehicle emissions would be reduced, with significant health and environmental benefits.

The state recently announced that it is searching for ideas that would lead us to a sustainable future. Let me suggest that we begin with a “work local” program — a state/private sector partnership to design and build local offices fully equipped with a suite of electronic and administrative tools necessary for the 21st century office model.

It would seem to me that the state could permit workers from a variety of departments to carry out their responsibilities in a local office setting just a few miles from the worker’s home rather than be part of the herd migration of 112,000 who travel the Northway each day.

Over time, the “work local” offices would reduce the size of the mega central offices that are a tired idea of the past, thus helping to solve the sustainability problem with a cost-neutral solution.

Paul J. Sausville

Malta

The writer is the town supervisor.

Why learn and work hard when you’ll still receive?

Let’s see, test scores at even the lowest grade levels have gone down in the Schenectady school district in most recent grading. What could possibly be the reason? Bad teachers? No. Not enough funding? No. Bad administration? No.

How about: bad parents or non-existent parenting? How about: learned behavior in formative years within a household? How about: no longer is there incentive to better oneself through education?

Haven’t we just gone through an election with an overwhelming theme that says monetary success is bad (i.e. if you become successful and make over $250,000, you’re somehow evil). We have an administration that is basically saying, “don’t worry, if you don’t make it on your own, we’ll take care of you — the government that is. We will redistribute other people’s hard-earned money so we will all be the same.

No winners, no losers. Hard work? Education? Why, when all a child sees and hears is a gimmee, gimmee culture at home, and from their powers that be? With no need to work hard, there is no incentive to become educated. The ethic of making oneself a success is over, and this was once such a great nation.

Alan Buzanowski

Saratoga Springs

Remembrance at Linton reunion was special

The Nov. 25 article “Linton grads remember those who passed on” by Bethany Bump, on the Linton grads of 1987, was heartwarming. [I] was glad to see coverage of such a great class.

To Courtney Erickson and the reunion committee go the kudos. How wonderful to see a group of students take the time to remember classmates who have passed and in such an appropriate way. That class was a special group of students, and they just showed how special they still are.

A fine tribute to fallen class members, and also a fine tribute to Courtney and his classmates by remembering others.

Lillian A. Wendel

Niskayuna

The writer is a former teacher at Linton and Schenectady High School.

Contraceptives fail when it comes to STDs

Fast and loose with the facts is the favorite method for supporting unlimited access to contraceptives. Totally ignored in Marjorie Schwab’s Dec. 1 letter is the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the United States.

When one in four high school and college students has an STD, something is seriously wrong. Today, we have over 30 such diseases compared to three [of them] two generations ago, and many of these 30 are incurable.

Easy access to contraceptives has made sexual relations little more than a contact sport. Pills, injections, patches, IUDs or condoms (which have a 12 percent failure rate) offer little or no protection against STD transmission. Only real abstinence until true marriage, and fidelity thereafter, offer credible protection.

The best method of birth control remains self-control. All who fail to use the latter are in for a life of misery. Let’s deal with facts that put human well-being at the forefront of this issue. Ad hominem attacks merely cloud the issue.

Wendell Neugebauer

Ballston Spa

Respect religions by using proper sacred terms

Our nation was created with Christian/Jewish heritage. It is disrespectful to Christians to call the parade a “Holiday” parade. Our New York state Christmas tree is a Christmas tree.

Similarly, it would be disrespectful to Jews to call a menorah a “holiday” light. Teaching others to be respectful of sacred traditions may not be politically correct, but it is morally correct.

The Christmas tree and Santa Claus originated from Christian traditions. These symbols can be honored along with other faiths and pre-Christian traditions.

I encourage all who feel this way to call Gov. Cuomo. I honor my friends who are Jewish and Islamic on their sacred days; let’s honor Christians during the sacred season of Christmas.

Be vigilant of your constitutional rights or they will disappear.

Arlene Shako

Schoharie

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