Entire team should be in Hall of Fame
I have read the Sept. 20 article “It’s a busy season for Hall of Fame inductions” in The Gazette on Thomas Mossey being entered into the Schenectady Athletic Hall of Fame.
I have a question for the committee that decides who is to be named to the Hall of Fame: If the 1956 Nott Terrace High School basketball team is the best team in Schenectady’s high school history, then why hasn’t the entire team been chosen for the Hall of Fame?
It took a team, keyword “team,” to accomplish all that they did. I feel they should all be recognized.
Vietnam Vet grateful for flight, reception
I am a veteran. I served aboard two attack carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. I did three tours of duty — two with the USS Ranger and one with the USS Enterprise. I was in for four years (1968-1972). I was discharged honorably when the Enterprise pulled into port in Alameda, California, in January 1972.
I walked off the ship with two full seabags and a hand-held getaway bag. There was no one on the dock to greet me. There was no one there to help me with my stuff. There was no one there to say: “Thank you for your service.” There was no one there to say: “Welcome home.” I was alone.
On Sept. 16, I was taken on a Patriot Flight for Vietnam Vets to Washington, D.C. There were 31 veterans and 25 others. I was with my friend, Calvin Moore, and my son, Richard Demallie, who came as our guardian. It was an experience I will never forget and will cherish for the rest of my life.
I would like to thank all those who participated and made the trip possible. The Marriott Hotel on Wolf Road sent us off with a breakfast buffet. There were state troopers present. The Patriot Guard escorted us with a motorcycle brigade to and from the Albany airport. We walked through crowds of people who cheered for us and clapped for us. We flew on a Southwest Airlines jet, and the pilot thanked us, and the other passengers clapped their hands before we took off.
When we arrived in Maryland, there were people there who greeted us as we disembarked. We were bused to D.C. and were given a tour of all the monuments and war memorials. And lastly, upon our arrival back in Albany, we were greeted again. Our hands were shook by all kinds of folks, and we were thanked and welcomed home.
If you are a Vietnam vet or any veteran and you have the opportunity to take this flight, please do. It was a healing journey for me. Years of pain and bewilderment were transformed into tears of joy and gratitude.
Words cannot adequately describe how grateful I am. If I have missed anyone, or any aspect of the trip, I am sorry. However, I would like to give special thanks to Frank Disorbo, Melody Burns and the staff of the Veterans Miracle Center.
My heart is full. I feel truly appreciated for my service and at long last, welcomed home.
Take steps to stop theft of wages in NY
My husband and I volunteer at the local SICM food pantry weekly and pass out emergency food. We have been doing this for almost five years and I often think, “How can this situation exist in our wealthy country?”
Why is it we feed almost 100 people four days a week? The answers are numerous, both generalized and personal, but almost all difficult to solve.
On Monday [Sept. 26], I attended a meeting of the Hunger Action Network, my second meeting of this group of varied people who work on food issues statewide. At the meeting, a lawyer spoke of a problem that I hadn’t heard of. The problem of wage theft.
In a new report, the amount of stolen wages is estimated at $125 million. Wow. The U.S. Department of Labor calculates that “New Yorkers are losing $20 million in stolen wages each week.” In an interesting twist of fate, I spoke to a friend and mentioned the meeting. She immediately told me the story of her friend who was a victim of wage theft. Who knew? What does this have to do with the rest of us?
The people behind bill A.5501, which addresses issues of wage theft, need to have legislators pass the bill this fall before new people are elected. They have been working as the SWEAT (Securing Wages Earned Against Theft) coalition for months to create a proper document and speak to the people in position to pass the bill. They can use your help. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Just imagine, you have worked your job properly and you get less money than you were promised. Or to do your job, you must get to work a half hour or quarter hour before you can begin getting paid for working. We are not speaking of those of us who like to get to work early — we are talking about people who get to work earlier than they can be put on the payroll or they will lose their jobs. Does that sound fair?
We all know that there is a growing divide between the people who “have well over their fair share” and the people who “have much less than they need to live decently."
Often, we don’t know what to do to change this situation. Perhaps learning more about wage theft and writing your legislators is one small thing we all can do.
Kentucky clerk is acting in good faith
Re Oct. 1 letter, “Clerk has no right to force religion on us”: There are two critical points about Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis that need to be pointed out:
First, when Davis took her oath of office, same-sex marriage was not legal in Kentucky. Therefore, she took her oath in good faith. Had same-sex marriage been legal at the time she sought election, she might not have run. Same-sex marriage became law after she took the oath of her office. At that point, Davis found herself in an impossible situation: violate her own conscience and give up her freedom, or honor her own conscience and remain an autonomous and free individual.
Secondly, she is an elected official. Only those who voted her in can call for her resignation. If Davis resigns to avoid jail, she would not be acting in good faith toward the majority who elected her. This is an important point to understand in a democracy. Davis understands it better than most.
George Bryjak says that Davis seeks to force her religion on others. This is not true. This country has a long and honored history of accommodating conscientious objectors. The left is making this a case about same-sex marriage when, actually, the American Civil Liberties Union and liberals should be fighting for Davis’ right to act according to her beliefs in this situation. The moment she is forced to sign any document under the threat of jail or loss of livelihood, she becomes a slave in a country that is no longer free.
Davis does not believe that her religious rights are more important than yours. She simply believes that her religious rights are important to her.
Owners say they had verbal OK for parking
In response to his July 29 rebuttal [“Owner had no permit to repair parking area”] regarding paving a parking area at 143 Oregon Ave.: City Engineer Christopher Wallin claims we filed for a permit but it was not granted and we went ahead anyway. That is true. What we had was an in-person meeting with the other engineer employed at City Hall, who specifically told us: “We have been by there several times, we know what you are doing. I don’t see a problem. Go ahead and pour.”
Mr. Wallin’s contention that we simply did what we wanted with no site visits is inaccurate. We were told the city had been by “several” times. We offered pictures of the before and after, and we were told we did not need them. Mr. Wallin’s contention that the “site inspection process” was the problem is simply not true. Or maybe it is. I can’t help it if the “site inspection process” is flawed.
Mr. Wallin is accurate in one way: We did go ahead without an officially issued permit. That is our fault for believing what we were told in person, at City Hall, versus obtaining the actual piece of paper. We do understand the city code. But apparently we made the mistake of trusting City Hall without documentation of approval.
If Mr. Wallin needs a formal, signed and notarized statement from the contractor as to what we were told, we will be happy to supply that. I sincerely hope that Mr. Wallin never has to have an added problem such as this on top of the myriad technical, financial and emotional problems that come with the loss of a parent.
Again, thank you, city of Schenectady.
The deadline for letters related to the Nov. 3 general election is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.