Telemarketers ignoring do-not-call registry are breaking the law
Some elderly friends of mine have complained to me about receiving telemarketing calls on their home phones and asked for help, as I used to work in Silicon Valley. (I also get these annoying calls.)
I’ve done some research, and here’s what I’ve learned: If you’re registered on the national do-not-call list (easy to do on the Internet), telemarketers are not supposed to call. If you still get these calls, they’re illegal and not sent by legitimate companies, but by criminals often based outside the United States.
The Internet makes it cheap to route a call from Europe or Asia to a machine in California or North Dakota that calls you in upstate New York.
Politicians, charities and businesses with whom you have an existing relationship are allowed to send robocalls.
According to the Federal Trade Commission and Wikipedia, billions of these illegal robocalls are now sent out annually. They may well constitute the largest single source of criminal activity in the world — a sign that technology really can get out of hand.
The FTC advises you to hang up or, if you have caller ID, not to answer any unidentified long distance calls. This can be tricky, as the bogus caller’s ID may say “service provider” or “retirement information.” Usually the ID just says “unknown,” or gives the state of origin. Don’t try to talk with someone or complain or threaten them. That just means you’re home. If it’s a genuine marketing company calling, ask them to stop calling. That works.
In the old days, the local phone company or police could handle crank calls like this. Not now.
Blanchard inspired many a young social worker
I was so pleased to read your wonderful Dec. 22 article on Barbara Blanchard’s amazing contributions to the city of Schenectady.
I would like to share some insight into the Barbara I knew 20 years prior to those feats. As a young social work professional, Barbara was my first supervisor at Schenectady County Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services unit in 1979.
All of the drive and persuasion you so eloquently outline was there as she guided me and others to serve the families and children of Schenectady in an intelligent and compassionate manner. She strongly encouraged young social workers to earn their master’s degrees and was vital in my ability to obtain my MSW [master of Social Work].
Barbara’s strengths and determination in the areas of justice and advocacy are unparalleled. I can honestly say that her kindness and caring approach to serving others continues to be my guide to social work practice.
Many people’s lives have been enriched because of Barbara.
Jennifer S. Willwerth
The writer is a social worker for the Schenectady school district.
Reviewer missed major point of nostalgic show
Speaking as a person who was alive to experience the real “Rat Pack,” and one who attended the Dec. 22 performance of the tribute “Christmas with the Rat Pack,” I take exception to Amy Durant’s review.
Her closing remarks showed that she failed to grasp the concept that tribute performances such as “Christmas with the Rat Pack” are designed and intended to be a time machine, and that the people who purchase tickets to such performances desire to transport themselves to a particular era such as the Sands Hotel in the 1960s, when [Frank] Sinatra was “king,” Dean Martin’s shtick was that he was an alcoholic, and racist remarks and “sexist” behaviors were prevalent.
When viewed with a 21st century “politically correct” eye, these actions might be considered distasteful, but in the 1960s, these actions were reality and they reflected the attitudes and beliefs of that time. No amount of wishful revisionism will change that.
Ms. Durant’s final remarks, “being glad that she wasn’t alive to see the peek into the past that the show provided,” were unnecessarily gratuitous and reeked of “political correctness.”
In [the] future, Ms. Durant should confine herself to writing theater reviews and abstain from proselytizing her personal beliefs in her reviews.
Michael G. Decker
Snow emergencies got the job done in Sch’dy
I do not know why Schenectady does not have emergency snow removal — like Albany — with alternate-side parking. They had it for years.
There are a lot of streets that don’t obey the signs put up for snow removal. The cars should be ticketed and towed.
Marie De Novio