Why is left afraid of opposing viewpoints
I have seen a few letters about The Gazette's radical turn to the right. I find it odd. For years and years, the paper has kept to the strict industry standards of four parts left and one part right. You inch over just a wee bit closer to the center and the lefties howl hysterically.
Is letting the readers know both sides of an issue really that scary? Allowing people to make up their own minds without controlling all the information they get must be somewhat frightening.
Glut of casinos won’t help area financially
Let's look at this scenario.
Las Vegas seem to have "always" existed, drawing from the world. Turning Stone, Atlantic City, two in Connecticut, Saratoga racino, drawing more from the region than the world.
The Aug. 13 article ["Another Atlantic City casino to shut down"] in The Gazette was about Atlantic City's grasping hope for revival probably closing, taking 3,100 jobs with it. I won't bring up what else Atlantic City is coping with.
Now, in the midst of the failure of these large operations, New York is planning for four more, which will be drawing mainly from the expanded region we live in. (A side thought: the city of Albany being bribed with a million-dollar check per year for its support.)
Our government views this as tax-dollar revenue. How the dollar talks. Saturation. Think about the leftover of saturation.
Financial operational support will be based on the loss of money by thousands so one can gain from it.
I'm going to the park.
Dog legislation would help protect citizens
Sara Foss in her Aug. 10 column, "Registry won't end dog issue," writes in regard to my proposed statewide "Dangerous Dog Owners Alerts." "I'm generally of the belief that information is a good thing to have, and it's possible a registry would help dog walkers, joggers, bikers and pedestrians protect themselves." I couldn't agree more.
The column noted that Rebecca Cigal, whose beloved terrier mix Templeton was savagely killed by two dogs with a record of attacks and was the inspiration for the "Dangerous Dog Owners Alert," has said she wouldn't have walked past that house had she known dangerous dogs lived there.
Foss goes on to say, "But I don't see a dangerous dog registry doing much to solve the underlying problem which is the existence of dangerous dogs in our communities."
My legislation is a "Dangerous Dog Owner Statewide Alert" bill. Secondly, the underlying problem is not the existence of dangerous dogs, but the existence of dangerous dog owners who are irresponsible in allowing their dogs to be in contact and aggressive to other pets and their families.
Aggressive dogs rarely, if ever, remove themselves from leashes, open windows, gates or doors or by their own means attack or are aggressive to others. For the most part, irresponsible dog owners are to blame.
The fact that a statewide "Dangerous Dog Owners Alert" bill I'm sponsoring won't completely solve the problem of preventing bad owners from raising badly behaved, aggressive dogs which are allowed to terrorize our streets, is absolutely no excuse to not implement the proposal and give the public greater transparency about potential dangers in their neighborhood.
Can Foss or anyone else name a law that has totally eliminated some of the dangers we all face?
As an elected official, it's my responsibility and should be the No. 1 priority for all public officials to do everything in our power to help protect the public.
I firmly believe the "Dangerous Dog Owners Alert," along with my "Dangerous Dog Owners Deterrent Act," which raises penalties for irresponsible dog owners whose actions cause serious injury or death, will make us all safer.
Knowledge is power. Let's give New Yorkers the tools they need to make informed decisions about their personal safety.
The writer is an assemblyman for the 112th Assembly District.
Politics gets in way of ensuring safety
It's amazing to me how politics has divided our nation to the point of endangering lives. Congress refuses to discuss degasification of Bakken crude. The "drill, baby, drill" party is silent when derailments and pipeline ruptures result in explosions and spills.
Their logic reflects two major flaws in human nature -- greed and ignoring the truth to save face. Vanity. Since the first outcry against Bakken oil trains locally, this party has remained silent. Albany is not in their district, even though the same trains pass through their communities going to the port. Why won't they protect their own constituency?
Does their response reflect the party line, thanks to large campaign contributions from the oil industry? Would they endanger fellow Americans intentionally? They already have with each day they ignore the threat.
Like the Neanderthal, failure to change for the common good could result in extinction. Ideology differences are one thing; ignoring death threats is another.
Benedict Arnold was a true patriot before succumbing to greed and vanity. It can happen to anyone lacking morals. Recognizing and correcting it makes a true leader. What would Lincoln do?
Computers can’t take place of real doctors
I am in my late 80s, so I am not into computers. Well, I had to have a physical. Guess what? My doctor now has a computer. Gone are the days of lying on his table while he gave me a thorough exam, even listening to the noises in my stomach.
He did take my blood pressure and check my heart -- that was my physical. From then on, I sat for the rest of my appointment time, watching the doctor enter my condition into a slow computer.
Now, if my doctor or whatever he is, reads this, all I can say is: Please, doctor, go back to being my doctor, and not a robot, before I croak.
Applauds Albany for anti-smoking effort
I commend the Albany County Legislature for passing a law that will end the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. Tobacco products do not belong in a place of health.
Increasingly, pharmacies and stores that contain a pharmacy are the place where primary health care and wellness services are provided. CVS, Walgreens and RiteAid have all expanded their services to include immunization and health care consultations by pharmacists. Many have even opened health clinics in their stores.
Locally, Price Chopper has expanded two of its stores to provide primary health care, with a licensed nurse practitioner on staff. Both these stores still sell the No. 1 cause of preventable disease. Last year, the Hannaford on Central Avenue in Albany opened the Healthy Living Center, and yet it, too, continues to sell tobacco products.
We know that the 90 percent of people who smoke started before they were 18 years old and virtually all smokers start before they are 25. If we care about our youth, we need to put policies in place that will decrease the chances that our teenagers and young adults will pick up this deadly habit.
Removing tobacco products from pharmacies and places that promote health and wellness is a step toward changing the social norm of this deadly product.
We can't educate our youth in the classroom that tobacco and smoking is harmful for their health and then place a 50-square-foot display of tobacco products at the checkout counter of a pharmacy or in our grocery stores as you walk toward the health clinic. This mixed message is just what the tobacco industry wants.
Thank you, Albany County, for protecting our youth.
The writer is the director of the Tobacco-Free Coalition.
Support REMS effort to get new contract
As a longtime advocate of Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services (REMS), I encourage local residents to join me in voicing support for our first responders.
Like most people in the community, I was encouraged this summer when the town's appointed Emergency Medical Review Board produced a contract for REMS to keep serving our community. I am hopeful that REMS will soon have a chance to sign the contract that the board created, as it represents a compromise with the Town Board.
REMS is an integral part of our community that we have come to count on over the years. My own family has had firsthand experience with its exceptional work, including attentive care when treating my autistic son and multiple trips to the hospital for my late grandmother.
They have served us for decades, and now it's time for us to stand up for them.
If you feel as I do, show your support for REMS by signing the petition on my government website at www.assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Angelo-Santabarbara/.
The writer is a state assemblyman.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our Web site: www.dailygazette.com.