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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/22/2018

Once again, Schenectady’s ‘finest’ seem to be anything but

Once again, Schenectady’s ‘finest’ seem to be anything but

*Once again, Sch’dy’s ‘finest’ seem to be anything but *If Farley doesn’t get it, maybe Cuomo will *

Once again, Sch’dy’s ‘finest’ seem to be anything but

Re Dec. 22 article, “Cops chastised for hiring strippers”: My husband attended Christmas parties at GE for over 30 years. He also attended numerous retirement parties throughout his career at GE. None of them involved strippers. Nor did any of the parties I attended where I worked.

The fact that the Schenectady Police Department can’t seem to enjoy themselves without drinking or ogling semi-naked women is just sad. Even if nothing illegal took place, just this fact alone shows a level of stupidity and lack of judgment that should not be present in people who are hired to protect the community and uphold the law. Not to mention carry guns.

I truly feel sorry for the good cops in Schenectady, who not only have to face danger in their jobs every day but have to deal with the poor perception of the entire department that these sorts of incidents produce.

Tricia Margas


If Farley doesn’t get it, maybe Cuomo will

Thanks to [Schenectady School] Superintendent Laurence Spring and The Daily Gazette, we are becoming better informed about serious inequities in the state allocation of funding for school districts [Dec. 14 Gazette].

More equitable funding would mean more state funding for Schenectady schools, improving the quality of education for our children and providing tax relief to city property owners. These are goals all Schenectady residents should support, which makes it baffling why Sen. Hugh Farley is opposed to fighting for change in the allocation of state education aid.

Perhaps city residents could turn to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the hope he will provide leadership on this issue. Schenectady is not the only school district that is currently underfunded, after all. Most districts across the state are.

The best solution, of course, would be to fully fund all districts. Short of that, if school districts must be underfunded, they should all be underfunded by the same magnitude. Why shortchange some districts significantly and others only slightly, while fully funding yet other districts?

Changing state school funding to address the current inequities is a simple matter of fairness — fairness especially for districts such as Schenectady’s, that have been underfunded relative to other districts for years.

Zoe Oxley


Rickert does fine job at Nisky HS, so let him be

In rebuttal to Jim Vincent’s Dec. 26 letter [“Niskayuna principal wears (too) many hats”] on John Rickert: I had two children go through Niskayuna High School with Mr. Rickert as their principal. Mr. Rickert has carried on a standard that Ed Carangelo set during his tenure, of students being first.

What he does on his personal time is none of my, or Vincent’s, business. He is the type of a administrator all school districts should have.

Sal Capitummuno


2nd Amendment vital, now more than ever

In the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau wrote: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root...” In his day, there were no willful tragedies like the recent school shootings in Connecticut.

Human nature hasn’t changed, but human behavior has. Instead of reacting blindly and emotionally to such horrors, let’s look for the roots. In my opinion, they include the new national policy of constant warfare, routine prescription of anti-depressant drugs to teenagers and young adults, violent and depersonalizing movies and video games, and the general degradation of our culture.

Many well-meaning but thoughtless people are crying for restricting guns, or even outlawing them, effectively canceling the Second Amendment, the only one still standing between the individual citizen and unbridled government power. Some are sincere, some are politicians like [Chicago Mayor] Rahm Emanuel, who said not long ago: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Gun prohibition is a tactic used by despots throughout history. It has no effect on crime; in fact, crime increases significantly where guns are outlawed — look at England. Connecticut has very restrictive gun laws, but they offer no protection against the deranged.

If ordinary citizens are prevented from having the means of self-defense, the only beneficiaries are criminals and statists.

David Vincelette


Where would the arming of Americans stop?

In light of the NRA’s recommendation to put an armed guard in every school, we should seriously reconsider how we defend our defenseless schoolchildren [Dec. 24 Gazette].

Unfortunately, given the distribution of students throughout a school building, it is clear that a single officer could not be sufficiently present to save the children.

Clearly each classroom must have some form of protection. Therefore, arming each teacher should be standard practice. Additionally, since the children need to be protected as they are transported to school, each bus must have protection. The arming of all school bus drivers would be appropriate.

Schoolchildren must escort themselves during the day to the restroom or other parts of the school building. As a result, a child could at times find themselves alone within a school. Thus the only way to provide protection for all our students all the time is to arm every individual student.

An in-school gun training program would be required for all children. To protect dangerous student behavior, the distribution of bullets should be consistent with the student’s likely gun-toting ability level. Therefore, the number of bullets provided should be equal to the student’s grade level — (i.e., first grade equals one bullet; second grade equals two bullets, etc).

The above actions are absolutely necessary if we are to fully protect our children.

The only real question, given the violence level found in many homes, is whether home-schoolers should be armed as well?

Ken Siegal


Too many mentally ill to allow military weapons

Mass killings would still occur if we banned the use and possession [of military-style weapons].

Medical research has not yet determined why people develop conditions such as bipolar disorder [manic or depressive] conditions. Millions of people are stricken with these conditions; however, only a tiny fraction ever reach the point where they might harm others. But even a tiny fraction of 300-plus million people is a lot, and we must treat them with care — not make it simple for them to obtain “war weapons.”

Our present laws would eventually [make] flamethrowers and rifle grenades available to them, or anybody else. These type of weapons have no practical use for our civilian population. After a set date, their possession, sale or use should be a criminal act. It would not be a difficult law to follow. Owners would be paid “market price” for items surrendered. Those retaining them would be facing the danger of “possession of illegal property.”

If the 5 percent of our population makes it impossible to pass such a law, why can’t the individual states proceed on their own?

Al Harris

Ballston Spa

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