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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 08/17/2017

We all must stop impaired drivers from getting behind wheel

We all must stop impaired drivers from getting behind wheel

*We all must stop impaired drivers from getting behind wheel *State surplus should be used for busin

We all must stop impaired drivers from getting behind wheel

As stated in the Dec. 8 Daily Gazette [article, “Driving trouble routine to Drue”] : Another diner asked him (Drue) if he was OK to drive. He asserted he was fine. After all, Drue was overheard saying, he’d driven drunk before. Then he was off to inflict death and lifelong pain upon four families and an entire community.

The other diner was in a position to persuade Drue not to drive, to somehow assert himself to stop him: taking his keys; informing the manager of Koto’s that it would be in his/her best interest not to knowingly allow an impaired driver to leave their establishment; calling Drue’s family; even calling the police — yes, the police.

As a substance abuse counselor, I have been in the position of doing just that if a client would not give me their keys. I have followed individuals to their vehicles and written down their license plate numbers and reported them to the police if they insisted upon driving despite my exhortations not to.

Everyday, impaired drivers are witnessed getting into their vehicles without anyone getting involved; [with the observers] arguing, out of ignorance, indifference and selfishness, that it is none of their business. If you are in a position to stop an impaired driver and do nothing, you have contributed to a potential tragedy.

The unfortunate reality is that there will always be impaired drivers, but let us all look out for one another and prevent those we can from driving. I’ll do it for you. Will you do it for me?

Mark DiMartino


State surplus should be used for business relief

Re the Nov. 28 AP article, “Cuomo planning property tax cut in next budget”: The article states that Cuomo will use the “rare budget surplus” to cut property taxes. Every homeowner would like a tax break and they get to vote.

What about businesses? New York state borrowed billions (that’s right, billions) of dollars from the federal government to cover unemployment claims in the state. New York has yet to repay this debt. My company was lucky enough to survive the economic downturn of the past four years. We did that by belt tightening and not spending what we did not have.

Now every employer in the state is paying an “Interest Assessment Surcharge” to pay only the interest on that debt. This adds another burden to the companies that were able to survive the last four years. New York is losing companies faster than any other state in the country because of the burdensome taxes it puts on businesses. Wealthy people are leaving the state because of its overbearing tax structure, as well.

Wake up, Andrew! Be responsible, like a homeowner or a business, and pay off your debt instead of giving away those surplus dollars for votes.

Alec Mackay


All government money comes from taxpayers

Just read the Dec. 7 letter from Joseph Hehir speaking of the need to have the state of New York pay for the employee pensions of the Niskayuna school district.

What amuses me is the fact that a lot of people don’t realize, or ignore, that government has no money of its own. Taxes are paid by the citizens, and politicians spend that money. So, Mr. Hehir should be asking why they spend so much of the taxpayers’ money.

If it is property tax, income tax, fees or surcharges, it is all the money of the citizens, forcibly collected. What doesn’t come out of Mr. Hehir’s right pocket will come out of his left.

We really should be more accurate when we speak of government spending and preface everything with “paid for by the taxpayer.”

Christine DeMaria

Clifton Park

Letter writer was misleading on oral contraceptives

The Dec. 5 letter from Joanne Clough obviously opposes the availability of contraceptives, in this case through mandated insurance coverage of women’s reproductive health needs. It contains many statements tending to support her view, but most of them are simply stated without any substantiation.

One in particular is “... the United States has the highest incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in the Western World.” It is just dropped out of the blue, with no supporting comment. It appears that the reader is supposed to conclude that this is the result of freely available contraceptives, but it is difficult to find any objective Internet articles on the subject one way or the other. Indeed, the thoughtful reader may more reasonably conclude that this is the result of poor sex education in U.S. public schools, and the consequent underutilization of contraceptives.

There is, however, one statement that is quite explicit, for which the scholarly source is easily found. The statement is that “the World Health Organization officially classified oral contraceptives as Group 1 carcinogens .... and [they have] been proven to cause breast cancer and ovarian cancer.” This is a true statement, but not an intellectually honest one. The same article goes on to say that the oral contraceptives also reduce the incidence of endometrial and ovarian cancer. In addition, there is the consideration that pregnancy itself is not without health risk, or concurrent negative outcomes.

The summary statement from the WHO article (which can be found at says that the use of combined oral contraceptives modifies slightly the risk of cancer, increasing it in some sites (cervix, breast, liver), decreasing it in others (endometrium, ovary). Some of these data refer to older higher-dose COC preparations. Assessments based on risk-benefit calculations are carried out by different teams within WHO.

Several WHO committees work on creating evidence-based family planning guidelines and on keeping them up-to-date on a continuous basis. They regularly review the safety of combined oral contraceptives and assess the balance of risks ad benefits of their use, and they have determined that for most healthy women, the health benefits clearly exceed the health risks.

This is just the opposite of what Ms. Clough would have you believe. Long ago I learned that often what is omitted is more important than what is included.

Bob Scher

Clifton Park

Businesses can thank vets with a discount

As a World War II Navy combat veteran and a local attorney, I heartily commend the businesses registered in the “Return the Favor” discount program available in Schenectady County.

It is truly of assistance to veterans of all ages, but particularly newly discharged ones, as their income is often not substantial. It also makes veterans feel that they are being thanked and acknowledged for their devoted and noble service to our great country.

I thank the participating businesses, as well as Schenectady County, the Schenectady County Clerk’s Office and Schenectady County Veterans Service Agency for creation and administration of this program. I encourage more businesses to participate. Veterans and active military personnel can register for the program at the Schenectady County Clerk’s Office.

Albie S. Ferrucci


Road to hell paved with libs’ noble intentions

For once, a liberal experiment, Obamacare, is being exposed for its unintended consequences.

Obamacare’s intent is noble, but it turns out to be just another wealth-transfer program. Usually it takes decades for liberal programs to affect their destructive consequences; Obamacare’s unintended consequences are already happening. Now, everyday folks will realize the importance of politics. Get the politics wrong and your country ends up in the dustbin of history.

Runaway welfare schemes are robbing people of their dignity while doing little to alleviate poverty.

At some point, Obama and his fellow progressives need to be judged by the effects of their policies, not the grandiosity of their self-congratulatory rhetoric.

It’s often said that there is nothing compassionate about being charitable with other people’s money. It’s not said often enough that arrogant liberal experiments in forced “fairness” are actually cruel because they completely destroy wealth and prosperity and greatly harm the people they promise to benefit.

Liberals are all for helping the poor and they paint conservatives as being indifferent to the poor. The difference is that conservatives know there is no free lunch, whereas liberals believe in free lunches and never look at the unintended consequences of their feel-good programs. Free lunches sound great to the uninformed, hence liberals win many elections where the uninformed are concentrated.

Bob Lindinger


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