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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/23/2017

Free police, go after parents, to stop Sch’dy school violence

Free police, go after parents, to stop Sch’dy school violence

*Free police, go after parents, to stop Sch’dy school violence *Keep students in Sch’dy through free

Free police, go after parents, to stop Sch’dy school violence

It was with great disgust that I read the Oct. 11 Gazette account of the recent behavior by some students, and their parents, at Mont Pleasant Middle School.

The fact that 12- to 14-year-olds feel brazen enough to disregard commands from both teachers and supervisory personnel is bad enough. But the fact that the principal was assaulted and the on-site police were surrounded and threatened by a student mob, which included their parents, blows my mind.

Where is the outrage of both the mayor and the City Council here? Does offending a Democratic voting block supersede their support for both our teachers and police?

I think it’s time for a few things before this city implodes:

1) State education officials need to investigate the district’s attempts to keep the violence in our schools from the media. Maybe the state needs to take it over like it has in some downstate areas.

2) The mayor and the City Council need to cut wasteful social programs and hire more police so there can be a permanent police presence in the middle schools and high school. Use K9 units at night to sweep lockers for drugs and weapons.

This mayor and City Council also need to get behind the police and take the restraints off them. They are being overwhelmed and overworked by all the drugs and crime that keeps moving into this city. They have nightsticks and pepper spray. The next time a crowd surrounds police officers, it’s time to instruct the police to use them.

3) Take the students who cannot behave and permanently ban them from the school district. They’re not “bold,” as this superintendent lovingly refers to them. They’re criminals. Assaulting a principal is breaking the law. They should be locked away in a reform school so that the remaining students can learn without daily fear and stress.

4) Let’s pass a law that holds parents responsible for the crimes committed by those under 18. That includes absentee fathers. When the parents face jail time and fines, maybe they’ll finally care where they kids are at night!

Graham Higgins

Schenectady

Keep students in Sch’dy through free houses

Everyone can see the progress that Schenectady’s downtown has made the past decade. Now is the time to grow Schenectady from the inside. Schenectadians, offer your old, abandoned houses to all those who agree to live in them and fix them up.

The bridge between Schenectady’s future college graduates and their future home ownership would be a group of Schenectady’s leaders and volunteers. This group could host presentations at Union and Schenectady County Community College [SCCC] twice a year, autumn and spring. The presentations would highlight the benefits of living and working in the Schenectady area.

The bonus to all students would be a free house and the ability to start their careers mortgage-free (in some cases, a small loan for home repairs) . This offer, similar to past efforts, would stipulate that the new owner agrees to pay the taxes on the property and live in the home for five years.

This is a win-win situation! Schenectady gets infused with new intellectual and creative lifeblood from all over the world. As a result, the city’s wheels of progress move faster to create new opportunities combined with new optimism. The renovated houses would continue to beautify the city and create a surge in the tax base.

New minds and creativity, coupled with beautifully constructed houses looking beautiful again, is a pathway to progress for Schenectady.

Thomas J. Fragasso

Seattle, Wash.

The writer is a former Schenectady resident and SCCC student.

Closing problem bars may create more problems

I noted with interest the Oct. 20 Daily Gazette article about a campaign by authorities to close “problem” bars in Schenectady. One bar had more than 100 calls to police.

More than 100 police calls is a lot of calls, without question, but does the mayor [Gary McCarthy] think closing these bars will solve the problem? At least with these bars open for business, the police will know where trouble is likely to occur and can allocate resources appropriately.

The individuals whose behavior gives rise to all these police calls will not suddenly disappear from the scene, they will just move on to cause trouble at some other bar.

I ask the mayor to think carefully about the possible unintended consequences of such an aggressive city action.

Richard Alvarez

Schenectady

Come see film to learn more about fracking

The Daily Gazette editors are to be commended for continuing to keep before readers world, national, regional and local news, and views regarding the environmental and economic impacts of hydraulic fracturing. For example, on Oct. 10 a letter and two articles were published on this timely topic.

One article, titled “Some Pa. anti-fracking activists switch tactics, work with industry,” drew attention to the film by Academy Award-nominated director Josh Fox, “Gasland Part II,” which aired this summer on HBO. This film, the article noted, was the sequel to “Gasland,’’ a documentary that galvanized opposition to fracking.

For those who haven’t yet viewed this most recent film and those who wish to talk about it with others, a free public screening followed by dialogue among attendees of various faith perspectives — and those who do not identify with any religious tradition — will be held on Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady, 8 N. Church St.

It should be noted that First Reformed has not yet taken a position on fracking. The church’s Creation Care Commission is sponsoring this film in the hope of increasing awareness, conversation, understanding, and action regarding this important issue for all life.

Rev. Daniel Carlson

Schenectady

For America’s sake, long live the tea party

Re Oct. 17 column, “Tea party down, Obama must keep it out”: [Columnist] E.J. Dionne is so enamored with Obama, he has him glowing in triumph. With that triumph comes the opportunity to crush the tea party, an opportunity Dionne believes should not be missed. Like most liberals he can’t pinpoint what makes these America-loving, patriotic citizens a threat to be crushed. He just figures they don’t agree with him so they need to be eliminated.

Infirmity? Belief in the Constitution, belief in limited government, belief in conservative principles, belief in God and country — this is what Dionne defines as infirmity. It doesn’t dawn on him that these used to be the strengths of this country. No one can possibly view unfettered spending, obfuscation of our economic situation, disregard for the law, lying to the American people on Benghazi, the IRS and the NSA as actual problems.

No, it’s the tea party that’s the real problem. A problem that needs to be eliminated. If Obama would just eliminate the last hope for all Americans, he could push forward all of his liberal agenda. Obama and Reid shut this government down by refusing to pass the funding bills the House gave them. If not for the media, they would be accountable. Instead the tea party is the villain.

They [tea party members] may have been stabbed in the back by Republicans and trashed by the liberal media, but the fat lady isn’t singing yet.

Dave Dankanich

Rexford

Cruz has reality deficit regarding health law

Even as the ink was drying on the bipartisan compromise to raise the debt limit and reopen the federal government, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was out renewing his attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA).

As in the past, he was claiming that: 1) the American people do not want the AHCA; and 2) the AHCA is an economic disaster for the nation. Apparently Mr. Cruz has difficulty distinguishing between his opinions and reality.

First, regarding American opinion on the AHCA, all major polls indicate that the country is evenly divided between opponents and advocates of the Act. There is certainly no evidence that the majority of Americans oppose the Act, as Mr. Cruz suggests.

Second, regarding the economic impact of the Act, there is no meaningful information at this point. There will certainly be significant costs associated with the Act but there will also be significant savings associated with the Act. It will take several years to develop sufficient data to evaluate the economic impact. I doubt that Mr. Cruz has unique insight into the economic future of health care.

Finally, Mr. Cruz’s “concern” about health care in America seems somewhat disingenuous given conditions in his home state. Not only did Texas have the highest rate of uninsured people in 2012, but the state also had among the highest portion of uninsured children, elderly and unemployed people. Additionally, over 30 percent of adults under 65 were uninsured in the state.

Perhaps Mr. Cruz should pay more attention to health care for his fellow Texans.

Don Steiner

Niskayuna

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