Don’t take volunteer fire services for granted, as you may need us
Let’s set the record straight re the Jan. 6 article and Jan. 9 editorial highlighting eight fire districts in Rotterdam.
It is apparent that [Rotterdam resident] Dave Monroe and others are unfamiliar with the purpose of volunteer fire departments.
First, regarding the editorial that stated the firehouse is a “clubhouse,” can you please remind me why I joined a club that makes me get up at 2 a.m. to respond to a defective smoke detector? Or how about the homeowner who doesn’t clean his chimney and has a chimney fire? Can you remind me why I come check your home when the temperature outside is 10 below? I can’t remember in my 30 years of service why I do this, and now you show us your thanks by saying we are not needed.
I am a volunteer. I really don’t have to do this. Just think if all volunteers said that.
As for Dave Monroe, he does have one point right: We can’t drive the firehouse to his home. He cares nothing for the safety of firefighters.
Our firehouse serves a bigger purpose, and it’s time people heard the real facts, not pretend theories.
The writer is a firefighter and commissioner for Rotterdam Fire District No. 7 [Schonowe].
No one turned away for flu shot at Hometown
The Jan. 16 article, “Poor adults finding limited availability of flu vaccine,” covered the lack of available flu shots for patients at the Schenectady Free Clinic.
It is worth pointing out that Hometown Health, the community’s federally qualified health center, has a stock of flu vaccine available. Further, Hometown offers a sliding-scale discount for those unable to pay, thus providing the service for little or sometimes no cost.
Hometown works closely with the Free Clinic, as well as Ellis Medicine and the county Health Department, to provide high- quality, primary health care services to all in need, with particular concern for low-income residents.
Be assured that [the] flu vaccine, while supplies may be limited, is available to anyone in Schenectady County who needs one and cannot afford it.
The writer is chairman of Hometown Health’s board.
‘Toughest gun law’ will only help politicians
Thank goodness we now have the toughest gun laws in the nation. Don’t you all feel so much safer? Isn’t it reassuring that we no longer need to fear anymore gun violence?
Please, this was purely political theatrics, so politicians can turn to voters to ensure their jobs or, in the case of the governor, build for higher office. This is how we govern now?
Thirty minutes to view the bill? If you really believe this law somehow lessens the chance of a Newtown or Aurora repeating itself, you are sadly mistaken.
How about addressing the laws on the books already? In the Jan. 15 Gazette, six were arrested for weapons possession; let’s see what becomes of those and like cases. Why aren’t we addressing much stiffer penalties for illegal possession of weapons, which are so much more responsible for carnage in our state?
As a matter of fact, five gun homicides were committed by long guns in the state last year, and hundreds by handguns — overwhelmingly illegal ones. Let’s have mandatory five-year sentences for illegal weapons possession.
How come there is no hue and cry to legislate the entertainment industry — movies, TV and video games that desensitize life? Why don’t we begin a registry of mentally ill individuals to prevent them from obtaining weapons? Yes, that is preposterous, but what is really the issue here?
Gun owners are predominantly politically conservative. The entertainment industry and where illegal guns are possessed contain demographics predominantly progressive. I think there is a correlation to this issue.
Common sense calls for Obama’s gun control plan
Those of you who would not vote for President Obama’s common sense gun control maybe needed to see the bodies of those precious babies.
If you have to cremate your child because there is nothing left to bury, common sense is the least you can do.