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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/17/2018

Teacher’s lesson on Nazi propaganda may have been useful

Teacher’s lesson on Nazi propaganda may have been useful

*Teacher’s lesson on Nazi propaganda may have been useful *Sch’dy cops did follow up on drug house

Teacher’s lesson on Nazi propaganda may have been useful

Re April 13 article, “Anti-Semitic essay assignment draws fury”: It seems to me the “think like a Nazi” teacher is being wrongly castigated. What did the teacher do? He/she asked their students to think.

Debate teams argue both sides of an issue. Being a devil’s advocate does not mean that you support the devil. The teacher asked the students to use the government propaganda to support their argument. Propaganda, by definition, is biased toward the issuer. The teacher asked the students to lie to him/her by using those lies.

Now, I don’t know where the teacher planned to go with this. But if the teacher took those papers with their “little Nazis” telling the “big Nazi” how right they were, not only did the teacher have some creative writing, but the chance to rip apart those propaganda lies and centuries of anti-Semitism.

We need to let our teachers teach and our students learn, not just facts, but how to use their minds and think. The real “little Nazis” consumed those lies and, not having looked at other ideas, just regurgitated it with a “yeah, OK.”

If they had the chance to look at all sides, maybe those lies would have been spewed back out of them with a responding “no!”

History might have been different.

John Conde


Sch’dy cops did follow up on drug house report

Re my April 16 letter about the Schenectady police [not] calling us back about a house being used as a drug house:

I did get a call from Sgt. [Luciano] Savoia about this problem, and he did apologize for not getting back to me. He also stated that they were aware of this house, that one of the people who lived there was arrested, and they were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the property.

Since my letter was [published], the people have moved out and most likely have set up another location for their drug operation.

I want to thank Sgt. Savoie for getting back to me. I would also like to say that if you live in an area and see this kind of operation going on, don’t be afraid to contact the Police Department. If they know about it, they will tell you so, but if they don’t it’s a start to getting rid of some of the drug houses in our great city.

David Hayes


Thane was still out of bounds firing golf clerk

Re the April 12 letter from Amsterdam Mayor Ann M. Thane, in which she attempts to justify her decision not to rehire cashier Chris Ceterski at the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course:

First, I think it appropriate to say, “The lady doth protest too much.” Mayor Thane will damn anyone who dares question her decisions. It reminds me of many interactions I had with her when I was a building official for the city.

I am [also] a longtime friend of the Ceterski family, and I cherish them as I would my own. Chris’ family was very instrumental in my younger years; in my learning and education, they helped me become the person I am today.

Because I know Chris so well, I can say she will stand up to anyone when she feels it is necessary and right. This is probably why Mayor Thane fired her.

I wish her [Chris] the best; I can tell you from personal experience that leaving the employ of the city was the best thing I ever did. This arbitrary decision was not based on the best interest of the taxpayers, but the best interest of Mayor Thane and her empire. If she has to write letters to justify her actions, she is not properly conducting the business of the city.

Luis Aguero


Same old great food at Sch’dy’s Newest Lunch

Re the April 15 Gazette article on Newest Lunch on Albany Street: The restaurant was a favorite place for Schenectady police personnel during my time on the job, whether a lunch or dinner break.

The famous hot dogs with everything on them were, and I guess still are, a unique treat for all to enjoy. I can remember taking my brief “seven” there on the 4-to-midnight tour during a severe ice storm in the ’60s, and eating by candlelight as commercial power was out in downtown Schenectady.

I believe the owners were Dennis Spyros and his brother Nick at the time. We used to ask them to reveal the ingredients in their secret hot dog sauce, without success. To my knowledge, it has never been revealed, even though at one time I suggested to the owner that a lab might be able to break it down.

Even so, it is the amounts and how it is assembled that really make it unique and great on one of America’s favorite fast foods, the common hot dog.

All best wishes to the present owners and staff for continued success at Newest Lunch.

Ray Wemple


The writer is a retired Schenectady police sergeant.

Many Realtors are high on selling Schenectady

Re April 16 article, “Area real estate agents not sold on city’s pitch”: I wish the Gazette’s reporter, Kathleen Moore, had interviewed me at the Schenectady Realtor event April 16. You would have seen a positive headline on the first page of the local section, rather than the negative headline that appeared.

We are all aware of the school and tax issues in the city. As Realtors, we know the challenges in many of the urban areas of the Capital Region.

What we got from the presenters at the event was a huge shot [of] good news regarding increases in employment, the arts, industry, restaurants and much more. There has been an abundance of growth downtown. This is a time to celebrate the good things happening in the city, because there are many of them.

The event was organized for that purpose; I walked away loving my hometown more than ever, and I have a wealth of new, exciting information to share with buyers who would like a home in the city.

Thank you to the organizers, the presenters, Angelo Mazzone, Mallozzi’s and all the sponsors for creating a wonderful and informative event for Realtors!

Laurene Curtin


The writer is an associate broker for Realty USA.

Limits, yes; but no to public election financing

Re April 4 editorial, “Fair elections mean publicly financed”: I respectfully, but strongly, disagree!

Twenty million dollars to $40 million a year publicly financed? How is that “fair” to taxpayers, many of whom want nothing to do with politics or assisting in elections?

This idea also does not address the issue of incumbent advantage. If we are truly serious about fair elections, I propose the following:

1) no donations from corporations, unions, PACs [Political Action Committees] or businesses of any kind;

2) set a reasonable maximum donation amount, say $200 per person, per election;

3) allow donations only from individuals residing within the district of the office sought;

3) term limits for elected office at all levels of government. (After a required term of vacancy, one could run again.)

These steps are necessary to bring a more even playing field to our elections. Both incumbents and newcomers would be beholden only to the people of their district. It would require more face-to-face voter contact and less mailings and media blitzes. It would bring about more candidate debates — the most crucial component in knowing your candidate.

I challenge any elected official to carry this plan forward, to finally bring about accountability, transparency and fairness in elections!

Laura Dieterich


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