Appalled by outbursts at city mayoral debate
I attended the Oct. 7 mayoral debate at the GE Theater. Granted, you would expect to hear some response from the audience to responses. But I was appalled at some of the outbursts.
How can we improve the city or its neighborhoods without some respect for our neighbors and those who are trying to lead, despite whether we agree with them or not?
I believe the format should not have allowed applause or anything else until the end of the session. Signs and placards are non-verbal and should be acceptable.
It should not have presented itself as a popularity contest, but an informative learning session for the voting public.
Julia T. Lewis
Rybak has record of community service
I am supporting Judge Robert A. Rybak for re-election because his community involvement has made Clifton Park a better place to live.
I have known Bob for some 36 years and have worked with him on many community groups over the years. Bob has lived in Clifton Park for 38 years and during that time, he has been a strong supporter of CAPTAIN and Clifton Park baseball, having served on their boards for many years.
He is also a volunteer at Corpus Christi church, a member of the Clifton Park Elks and has served on the Clifton Park Youth Court Advisory Board. Because of his record of community involvement, Judge Rybak was selected by the all-Republican Clifton Park Town Board as a member of the town’s 175th Anniversary Who’s Who Honor Roll. I am urging voters of all parties to follow the lead of the Town Board and select Judge Rybak on Nov. 3.
Kentucky clerk didn’t uphold oath of office
Re Oct. 9 letter, “Kentucky clerk is acting in good faith”: Despite what Kathleen Mancuso wrote about Kim Davis acting in good faith, the opposite is true.
When Ms. Davis took her oath of office, she swore on a Bible to faithfully perform all of the duties required of her office. This would include both old and new legal requirements. Accepting that her conscience won’t allow her to issue the recently legal gay marriage licenses, she still took an oath requiring her to issue them. She violated her oath. It’s a duty of the clerk’s office. She instead opted to make the matter worse by not issuing any marriage licenses, further violating her oath of office. The people elected her to do the job, and she is not doing it.
If her conscience is so violated, she should voluntarily resign. Ah, but the job pays $80,000 in a county with a per capita income of $17,000 and a median home value of $96,000. That’s a lot to give up. So it seems the depth of her convictions only goes so far.
Vero Beach, Fla.
The writer is a former area resident.
Maintain the trees we already have first
I cannot let two recent items in The Gazette go by without comment. The first concerned a brainstorm to build a tree museum [Sept. 26, “Museum of Trees”]. The second was a Sept. 28 letter to the editor [“McCarthy has done a lot to upgrade parks”] praising Mayor McCarthy for his maintenance of our park system.
My experience is that while many good ideas become a reality, little, if anything, is spent on maintaining these things once they are built. Throughout the month of August, 15 volunteers spent many hours weeding and mulching the esplanade in Riverside Park. This feature was built several years ago, but nothing has been done to maintain it. There were weeds everywhere. The trees had been ineptly trimmed once. It looks much better now thanks to volunteer labor. The city has yet to trim the trees as promised.
Throughout our neighborhood, including the gateway to the Stockade at Union Street and Erie Boulevard, there are dead, dying and poorly maintained trees. Repeated requests to the city to prune trees, replace dead ones and generally maintain the city’s open spaces have fallen on deaf ears.
So before planting more trees or coming up with any more brainstorms, please consider what it is going to cost to maintain them. When these things are not well kept, it looks like Schenectady doesn’t care. I’d like to think that it does.
Auffredou has been good servant to town
Please vote for Martin Auffredou on Election Day for Supreme Court justice of the 4th Judicial District.
I can personally vouch for Martin’s honesty and integrity, as he expertly represented our board and the village of Corinth, guiding us through very challenging times. Martin has the unique ability to diffuse difficult situations in a manner that is fair and just, and he commands respect from all that know him.
His knowledge of the law is unsurpassed and is always demonstrated with grace and humility. He was loved by our board and he has my greatest respect. We only wish we could have kept him longer, but he is truly destined for greater things.
Good luck, Martin. You will make a great Supreme Court justice.
The writer is the former mayor of the village of Corinth.
Many reasons to fund Planned Parenthood
Yes, Planned Parenthood performs legal abortions. However, by law, no federal funds are used to subsidize these abortions.
The federal funds Planned Parenthood receives are used to subsidize services such as birth control, cancer screening and HIV testing. In fact, only about 3 percent of the organization’s activities are associated with abortions, while 97 percent are associated with health care services such as those noted above.
Congressional Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood for performing legal abortions — which are not paid for with federal funds. Even the Republicans realize that the facts do not provide a rationale for defunding Planned Parenthood.
So they must fabricate a rationale. In this context, their fabricated rationale is that “Planned Parenthood sells aborted fetus organs for profit.”
The Republican claims are based on a series of misleading videos, as noted below.
One video, which is based on a conversation with a Planned Parenthood executive, was highly edited to imply that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal tissue for profit.
The truth is that women seeking abortions sometimes choose to donate fetal tissue for scientific and medical research, and that Planned Parenthood follows all laws and ethical guidelines in doing so and makes no profit from the donations.
Planned Parenthood is reimbursed for shipping and other charges to help patients donate fetal tissue, which is a legal practice.
A second video, which was referred to by Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina in a September debate, contains some disturbing fetal images and audio segments. However, none of these images and audio segments can be attributed to Planned Parenthood activities, as implied by Ms. Fiorina.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence refuting Ms. Fiorina’s claims, she has, thus, far refused to retract her accusation.
Federal funds allow Planned Parenthood to provide needed non-abortion health services to about 2.7 million low-income Americans and should not be withheld simply to satisfy the agenda of the radical right.