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What you need to know for 01/23/2018

Compensation for vets not there are promised, and needed

Compensation for vets not there are promised, and needed

*Compensation for vets not there are promised, and needed *Don’t let teenagers get hooked on gamblin

Compensation for vets not there are promised, and needed

This letter is in response to Mrs. Beth Lacy, who wrote regarding the VA’s [Veteran Administration] processing of her husband’s claims [Aug. 6 letter].

First, let me say I am truly sorry for her loss. I am in full agreement that the VA, if anything, was a very large contributor to his death. I have been waiting for my husband’s Agent Orange benefit for almost 10 years. We have done everything to establish his claim, including having a hearing in New York City at [the] VA Center with a federal judge! That was in 2011.

She [the judge] told us we would hear in six months — two years ago. So we wait and wait.

The Veterans Administration will do everything in its power to deny anyone any kind of compensation. I have heard and seen it all!

Unfortunately, it always comes down to the almighty buck. A huge trust was set up in 1973 by Dow Chemical. Hundreds of millions of dollars just for this purpose; for compensation to our soldiers from the overseas conflict. Where did all that money go? I have yet to see a Vietnam veteran millionaire. From the president on down, no one cares about these veterans. They will tell you they do, but they don’t.

Walk through the veterans cemetery in Saratoga. Do you think it’s a coincidence that they are all the same age — 64, 65, 66, 67? Or would have been. How many didn’t even know they ere exposed?

My husband was exposed in Korea! How many widows were compensated? How many didn’t know? How many children were born with birth defects? What about the female veteran population? There are women in that cemetery also. The questions go on and on — the answers don’t.

Mrs. Lacy, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you and your husband for your devotion to each other and for the care that you gave him, for staying with him and helping him with his addictions and his demons, for living an uncertain life, for being productive members of society, and for both of you living a life of respect and dignity.

This American truly appreciated what your husband did, and I thank both of you — even if this country didn’t!

Evelyn Shields-Kennedy


Did you know that it is illegal in New York State to sell lottery products to young people under age 18? Do you know why? Youth Gambling International found that young adults are three times more likely to have problems associated with gambling than adults.

According to the New York Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 140,000 adolescents in New York state report having problems due to their gambling. An additional 10 percent of youth in New York state are at risk for problem gambling. Forty-eight percent of seventh- through 12th-graders report having gambled in the past year.

Youth today are exposed to gambling now more than ever before. They see gambling ads every day that depict gambling as exciting, glamorous, and a way to get rich quick. Most adults who gamble do so responsibly and as a social activity. Unfortunately, for some people, gambling can become a destructive addiction. None of us wish this disease on our children, grandchildren or loved ones. The earlier a young person begins gambling, the more likely they are to develop a gambling problem as an adult.

Did you know that less than half of parents ever discuss gambling issues with their teens? Teens whose parents are open about the risks involved with gambling and about their disapproval of young people gambling are much less likely to gamble than teens whose parents do not talk to them about gambling. Parents play a crucial role in educating their children about gambling, the real odds of winning, and the risks and realities of gambling addiction. Please talk with your children about the facts, so they have more information about the realities of gambling than just the ads they see on TV.

For more information about problem gambling, please call the HFM Prevention Council at 736-8188 or check out the NY Problem Gambling website at If you know someone who needs help with a gambling problem or other addiction, call 1-877-8-HOPE-NY.

Ann Rhodes


The writer is the director of the HFM Prevention Council.

History of ‘dago’ shows clearly that it’s a slur

To set the record straight, “dago” has an origin as an offensive word. It was first used by British sailors in the 18th and 19th century to describe Spaniards (a corruption of the Spanish word “Diego,” meaning James in Spanish.)

Later, it was used to describe any Latin immigrants from Italy, Portugal or Spain. Since the late 1800s and early 1900s saw mostly Italian immigrants (such as my grandparents) coming to America, they were referred to as “dagos,” the entrenched population not making any distinction between any of these people. They were all “dagos” to them.

The idea that the origin is from the day laborers who were paid “as the day goes” is a myth that was made up by the present generation who are assimilated into the American society and never subjected to the racial slurs our grandparents and parents had to endure.

I urge the owners of the business to stop being obstinate about it and change their business name. If for no other reason, to get the Italian-American community on their side. It would be good for business. How about something like the “Roaming Roman?”

Lewis Elia


More urgency needed with closed CSX bridge

In the Aug. 10 Gazette, Kathleen Moore reported Mayor Gary McCarthy’s estimate that it would take about two years for the closed CSX bridge in Mont Pleasant to be open again to cars and pedestrians.

McCarthy suggested this timetable shows his City Engineer, Chris Wallin, is doing a heck of a job, and, by inference, that he too is doing a heck of a job.

No representatives of the print media attended Rep. Paul Tonko’s Schenectady town hall meeting at the main library earlier in the same week and, therefore, there were no newspaper reports of what happened there.

At that meeting, City Councilman Vincent Riggi raised the issue of the closed CSX bridge with Rep. Tonko, who responded immediately by asking his staff to arrange a meeting for city representatives, CSX, and himself to see if the matter might be more quickly moved along.

Tonko then asked Mayor McCarthy, who was in the audience, to respond to his suggestion. McCarthy was unenthusiastic, saying only that it would take two years to address the CSX bridge closure in Mont Pleasant. In essence, the Aug. 10 Gazette story just repeated what he said at the Wednesday [Aug. 7] meeting.

Did Tonko, McCarthy, Riggi and others meet with CSX or has the proposed meeting been quashed? Assurances that everyone involved is doing “a heck of a job” notwithstanding, more information would be good.

Elmer F. Bertsch


Air is free, so why must gas stations charge for it?

While traveling around the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga area, I notice lots of new gas stations going up. That is good, as the old gas tanks in the ground are taken out and new tanks are installed. This will keep our water and ground safer for us, since the old tanks eventually leak.

Along with this, I recently had to get some air for my tires. I now see lots of gas stations are charging up to a dollar for air, and sometimes you can’t get air in all the tires before the time runs out. In my opinion, this is a ripoff!

After checking around, I find that Stewart’s Shops all over the area have signs by the air pumps that say “free air.” I say hats off to Stewart’s. Keep it up, it’s good for everyone.

Sid Gordon

Saratoga Springs

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