GE has responsibility to clean up Hudson
I am writing in response to Sept. 27 Gazette’s editorial, “Force GE to complete cleanup”: I have always appreciated and been proud of GE having such a strong presence in Schenectady; however, the first thought that came to mind years ago when the issue of GE’s PCBs came up is Hooker Chemical.
I can think of no justification to discount the health and commerce consequences that result from incomplete cleanups of toxic waste. Can there be any debate about the proper, ethically responsible role that any company or individual must take when dealing with the disposal of materials we use?
And is there any question that our legislators would have any other option than to hold institutions and people accountable for behavior that impacts the health and vitality of communities?
In my mind, there is no debate about what is incumbent on GE to do. To be likened to a Hooker Chemical is not something that I think GE would appreciate. As for GE to continue the cleanup, I hope we won’t be disappointed. If we are, then GE should pay for the consequences because of their lack of community consideration and welfare.
It’s not always about jobs and corporate profits. A community’s physical health and its commerce are also important initiatives for us all to promote.
End drug war, put focus on real crimes
Your Sept. 27 editorial [“Reforms will help ex-cons and society”] concerned itself with creating yet more expensive programs for rehabilitating returning felons.
If you got rid of the drug war, you’d get rid of the nation’s majority of present and future inmates, jails and retirement benefits for people we didn’t need in the first place. Cops and the courts could then concentrate on other things, like real crimes. Drug enforcement is a bigger bogeyman than drugs.
Horse owners should clean up their messes
Regarding Sept. 26 letter [“Tired of ‘horse toilet’ spoiling streets, trails”] about the horse droppings, we are also tired of seeing it all over the roads, parking lots and in front of driveways.
Isn’t there a bucket of some kind that the horses can wear to avoid this? We have an attached garage. If we drive through their mess and into our garage, it draws it into the house, especially in the warm months.
This creates a health hazard and is unsanitary.
Blame parents, not teachers, for failures
I was the disciplinary paraprofessional at Lincoln Elementary School for nine years. I worked with three different principals and an array of new and seasoned teachers. The staff and teaching techniques are not the problem at the school.
We, as paras, along with the teachers, have bent over backward helping, nurturing, disciplining and teaching these children. Some are from backgrounds with no moral code at home or food or clothing or heat, and the parents are struggling themselves to survive. You haven’t “slept in their bed” (none) or “walked in their shoes” (none).
I have washed them at school, brought in a year’s worth of clothing, fed them with my own food from home and even took them for haircuts, with lice.
Disciplining wasn’t my forte. I tried nurturing first, but to no avail. Reading the Schenectady Gazette blotter for the last 20 years and seeing so many of “my kids” getting arrested — kids for whom I worked so hard — breaks my heart.
Now the parents walk them to school and we try to educate them. It is very hard for them to focus on learning while their stomachs are growling and then wonder will they even get picked up to get home — if there still is a home to go to.
The teachers are not the problem in Schenectady schools. Not one parent showed up at the Lincoln meeting/hearing on Sept. 23.
Coverage favoring McCarthy over Hull
Let me preface this letter by stating how much I love The Gazette. I get six newspapers delivered daily and read another four to five online. “Hello, my name is Graham, and I’m a news junkie.”
And which newspaper do I crave the most? The good ol’ Daily Gazette. Unbiased, no agenda, straight news, satisfyingly dependable as a loaf of Perreca’s bread. But lately, something feels askew. As we approach a critical mayoral election for our city, The Gazette sometimes reads like a Mayor Gary McCarthy Wikipedia page. Soon, challenger Roger Hull’s daily activities and platform talking points will be on milk cartons with a “reward if found” listed.
Hull actually gets more coverage from papers based outside the city. This is a disservice to city residents who need to understand the distinct differences between these two candidates in order to make an informed decision come November. In my opinion, Mayor McCarthy has been Schenectady’s Nero, fiddling while our city burns.
FBI statistics rate Schenectady as having the sixth worst crime rate in New York state. Our schools are so poorly performing that they negatively affect property values. Our once-beautiful parks are strewn with broken equipment, litter and weeds. Our property taxes, when adjusted by actual property values, are upward of 50 percent more than Long Island or Westchester. Elderly homeowners cannot afford to stay here. Young homeowners look elsewhere due to the crime and poor schools.
What does Mayor McCarthy have to hang his hat on?
A casino that will draw more revenue away from State Street than it will bring. My family is filled with gamblers. The last thing on any of their agendas is a $100 downtown dinner or a visit to a museum. Every last shekel in their pocket will be spent on a table game or a slot machine. The casino will be a boon to Rush Street Gaming, not Schenectady nor its property values — not when only 65 percent of our students graduate high school, 21 percent less than the New York state average of 86 percent.
Here’s hoping that my beloved Gazette has a much better October, accurately reporting the multiple failures of the McCarthy years while giving Roger Hull ample and equal print to describe his vision to save our city.
The deadline for letters related to the Nov. 3 general election is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.