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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 08/19/2017

Gun violence must be seen in context of a larger problem

Gun violence must be seen in context of a larger problem

*Gun violence must be seen in context of a larger problem *Sch’dy should enforce sidewalk shoveling

Gun violence must be seen in context of a larger problem

Removing guns is a separate goal from eliminating violence.

We [allow] the killing of the unborn. We corrupt the born with depictions of violence in music, movies and video games. Rappers romanticize the urban ghetto and “street cred.” We watch filth on prime-time network TV like “Two and Half Men.”

We wear T-shirts with the picture of mass murderer Che Guevara, and put up ads in Times Square at Christmas time representing Jesus Christ as a myth. We embrace single motherhood. We celebrate the weakening of marriage and watch as more and more men become isolated and estranged from their children and those children act out their abandonment.

What happened in Newtown, Conn., shocked us because 20 children and six adults died in one horrifying act of violence. What about the 3,000 children that were slaughtered just yesterday? But they were not children, they were useless lumps of tissue destined for flushing. What about the 260 public school students in Chicago alone who died from shootings, stabbings and beatings from 2009-2011?

I don’t believe all types of guns should be available to everyone. A sane approach needs to be taken limiting access to guns. But let’s also take up the issue of violence, and the reasons why people choose to pick up a gun, a knife, punch a child, or wrap their hands around another person’s neck.

Let’s value life at the beginning, the end, and at all the times in between.

Deborah Humphreys

Amsterdam

Sch’dy should enforce sidewalk shoveling law

I agree that our city’s attempt at snow removal was not as thorough as we would like and should expect. I would also like to add the homes of people who do not attempt to clear their sidewalks.

Attention, Code Enforcement: Looking for extra cash for the city? How about enforcing the laws requiring sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice? How about going after the landlords who leave it to their tenants to remove snow?

I see more people walking in snow-covered streets, which seem to be clearer than sidewalks. Why is it that the citizens see this and have to point it out to the oblivious people in charge?

An ambulance showed up to the home next to mine and had to use my driveway and sidewalk to get to the patient inside — because my sidewalk was clear.

Next election, the potential candidates should have to complete an aptitude test on basic common sense. [For] the amount of taxes we pay, we can do better. And it starts at the election booth.

Robert Sponable

Schenectady

Rotterdam builder failed to respect private land

I am writing re the Dec. 25 article, “Couple says town survey shows developer encroaching on land”: I have been a resident of Ghents Road for over 60 years. I am the last house at the dead end of Ghents Road. I live at the end of the private driveway owned by the Hodges. I have an easement in my deed allowing me to use the private driveway.

Town Attorney Kate McGuirl states that Rotterdam has ownership of all town roads. What Ms. McGuirl does not understand, and this is clearly shown on the survey maps, is Ghents Road ends and a single-lane, private driveway (my easement) starts.

The town has never touched that driveway; it has never plowed or maintained the driveway in any way. The town gave this developer the right to build his “McMansion” on the Hodges’ property and public highway. The town fails to mention the fact that we had a beautiful functional circular turnaround maintained by the town for over 20 years, and they allowed the builder to rip it up and put a house on it.

The builders’ workers park their cars on the Hodges’ private driveway regularly, so I cannot get out of my property. God forbid if my house caught fire or I needed an ambulance to get to my house. There is no way these vehicles could get there because the private driveway is blocked every day.

The one-lane driveway is not Ghents Road! Why can’t Ms. McGuirl and the Planning Board understand this?

The town needs to admit that mistakes were made in planning and development, and resolve them. No one objects to the Helderberg Meadows development. We object to the town allowing this builder to build a house less than 15 feet off an existing private driveway and ripping up public highway to [allow] a “McMansion.”

The scary part of this is it could happen to anyone who lives and owns a private road in Rotterdam.

Marianne Gerstenberger

Rotterdam

Saratoga gun show should be canceled, period

While I applaud the resolution passed by the Saratoga City Council urging exhibitors to refrain from selling high-powered weapons at the NEACA [New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates] gun show scheduled next weekend for the Saratoga City Center, it did not go far enough.

Since the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., at least five gun shows in Connecticut and New York have been canceled. Should this gun show be held next weekend, it would give our city the dubious distinction of being among the very first in the region to host a gun show since Newtown.

This should not be. While there is no question that canceling a gun show in sleepy Saratoga Springs will not solve the problem of gun violence, it will signal that our city cares enough about the lost lives in Newtown to refrain from business as usual. It may also create a small space in which to study the issue, to engage in reasonable and respectful debate as we consider what steps we can take to protect the lives and rights of all members of our community, especially our children.

At the City Council meeting Jan. 3, Mayor Scott Johnson repeatedly pointed to the limitations of the city’s authority to address gun violence, calling it a state and federal issue. And while it is true that the city cannot tackle this huge issue alone, that is no reason for inaction or half measures.

The City Council should pass a resolution urging that the gun show scheduled for next weekend be cancelled.

In addition, Mayor Johnson should use his authority as a member of the Saratoga City Center board of directors to urge the cancelation. Finally, the City Center board should do the right thing and cancel the show.

Dede Hill

Saratoga Springs

Turn Curry Road Plaza into a park

If any of you has ever been to Bryant Park in New York City, you know it’s a wonderful common space for all to enjoy. I think this is something that should seriously be considered for the space that was once the Kmart Plaza on Curry Road in Rotterdam.

As in New York City, it would be a park-like place with grass, trees, tables and seating surrounding an open grassy meadow. In the summer, you can enjoy some quiet time just to sit and read, enjoy an ice cream, watch those playing ping-pong or view a movie on the big screen.

In winter, the grassy common area is transformed into an ice rink with skate rentals, and for a few weeks at Christmas time, there are also craft vendors selling homemade goods.

We do not need any more condos, but a place to go to enjoy the outdoors, instead.

Tina Corniello

Rotterdam

Raising retirement age won’t help unemployed

I am puzzled by the lack of logical, common-sense solutions to the problem of Social Security funding and other necessary programs.

If there are tens of thousands of underemployed young people in need of good-paying, full-time jobs, and there are tens of thousands of aging Americans who would like to retire, why does Congress raise the age for qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare?

A modest monthly check that allows a decent quality of life for lower- and middle-income seniors and [provides] basic medical coverage is needed, and a work force of fully employed younger Americans could fund these through their payroll contributions.

I don’t think it takes geniuses to realize this at the legislative level.

Patsey Manning

Schenectady

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