Grateful to Golubs for local contributions
I don’t think it’s ever too late to give thanks, even though we have just celebrated Thanksgiving and the Christmas season.
However, I do believe it is long overdue in thanking the Golub family for all the contributions they have made and continue to make to our community.
I will mention some of the different organizations that have benefited by the financial contributions: Proctors and Ellis Hospital and the fireworks displays are among them. In addition, the Golubs continue to give their time and talent to Music Haven and Metroplex. We who live in the Capital District are truly blessed. Thank you, Golub family.
Role of minority is to raise issues, criticize
Re Dec. letter, “Don’t criticize unless you have solutions”: A few days ago, Joe Kaczynski (a former failed Democratic candidate for City Council) chastised Councilman Vince Riggi for pointing out what he felt is wrong with the Neighborhood Commercial Business Districts around the city of Schenectady.
Joe felt that if you can criticize, then you must offer a solution. On the surface, that may seem plausible. In the world of partisan local politics, it doesn’t hold water.
Councilman Riggi is not a member of the council majority. He is the only non-Democratic member of the current City Council. In my opinion, it seems logical that Councilman Riggi should constantly shine a light and apply pressure to the council majority and the mayor that will highlight areas that need improvement, thus making things better for the entire city of Schenectady. That is the greatest role he can play as a non-Democratic member of the City Council.
It is naïve to think that the mayor and the council majority will take the advice of a non-Democratic member of the council. The recent logjam with the selection of the future council president is a current case in point.
I spent 12 years as a member of the Schenectady City Council minority [1984-1995]. My modus operandi the entire time was to expose what was not right in Schenectady. Seldom, if ever, were suggestions I made heeded. However, I used my council platform to attempt to coerce action on the part of my council colleagues and the mayor. I would use the council floor to educate the public about what needed to be done. That is the most effective use of your political influence as a voting member of the council when not part of the council majority.
In my case, after 12 years of being a council minority member, the good people of Schenectady decided to elevate me to the position of mayor.
When have you ever heard any member of the City Council majority talk about shortcomings that exist in the city of Schenectady? To them, it’s all just beautiful all the time. Are they afraid to criticize the current or previous administrations?
I know when I was the mayor, they would encourage Citizen Riggi to come to the rail to offer his critical advice, while they sat and eagerly listened. Then later, during the privilege of the floor, they would offer their own brand of harsh judgment, seldom offering solutions to complex problems. That’s the world of local partisan politics. C’est la vie.
Maybe in four years, Councilman Vince Riggi will be elevated to be the 57th mayor of the city of Schenectady. Only time will tell.
Albert P. Jurczynski
Don’t blame Fox for Obama’s mistakes
This is in response to Sandra J. Natale’s Dec. 19 letter of blaming Fox News for the reason many people are angry, fearful, and I will add, fed up in our country.
She echoes President Obama, who has lamented on many occasions how Fox News (by accurately reporting what the other networks won’t) is really the villain — not his sad misguided policies, not his endless lies, broken promises or his unconstitutional power grabs. Obama changes laws on his own whim when it suits him, even when he himself says he can’t legally do just that, as “We are a nation of laws” and “I’m not a king.”
No, it’s Fox News's fault for disparaging Obama’s genius so we can’t understand his vision, as he is so much smarter than us mere mortals and that we are all childlike compared to him in intelligence. Sandra sadly and seriously suggests we get our news from Comedy Central or the other networks that regularly ignore stories that make Democrats or Obama look bad.
For example, all the networks praised Hillary’s 11-hour Benghazi testimony and what a heroine she was in standing up to those evil Republicans. What they ignored and left out was it was finally revealed she knew it wasn’t an anti-Muslim YouTube video that caused the attack there, as she told her daughter and Egypt’s president the truth that it was indeed a terrorist attack as it was still happening.
The other networks also left out how as the four bodies of our people were coming off the plane at Andrews Air Force Base, she lied right to their relatives' faces. She told them it was the video that was responsible for their deaths. She lied to the entire country, too, just to help Obama’s re-election campaign.
How contemptible is that? She should never ever be president for that alone. But it is Fox News that’s the problem, right Sandra? The truth hurts.
On another note, she ends her letter saying if we don’t let refugees in from Syria, we will be “showing fear and weakness, which is what ISIS wants.” Obama has already shown such weakness everywhere on the world stage — from the horrible Iran nuclear deal to red lines in the sand — that no one takes the United States seriously now. Ed Bradt in his Dec. 21 letter is correct that Obama is the worst president this country has ever had.
Like it or not liberals, George W. Bush is/was great compared to this narcissistic, thin-skinned, naive so-called leader we have now. Or it could be Fox News’ fault?
Marc A Smalkin
Don’t include arts in school budget cuts
The lack of funding sent to countless school districts all throughout history has often resulted in budget cuts. What’s usually the first to go? Music and art classes. Why is that? They aren’t important enough?
Math, science, and other core classes have always surpassed the need for instruction in the arts. What sometimes we don’t realize is our desperate need for exposure to this whole world of creativity and imagination.
In my experience, as a high school student, during art class everyone is accepted for what they have to offer, even if they lack the artistic ability that others possess. These students are always met with a, “That’s fine, not everyone is skilled in art.” What about the kids who aren’t skilled in, say, reading or arithmetic? They are the ones labelled unintelligent. This should not be the case.
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. But a person may never learn of their abilities if they aren’t exposed to different skill sets. Both the arts and academics are equally important in the education of a child. Music isn’t just some random notes or lyrics scribbled down to kill some time.
All of the arts have always been created to make the observer feel something — anything at all. It’s a form of self expression that has led people since the beginning of time to learn more about themselves and be able to share it with others.
So, by carving music and artistry out of regular schooling, we haven’t just been limiting the money we spend. We are limiting the futures of the coming generations.
Conservative news should get space, too
I read with interest your column of Jan. 2 where you noted the break with the Associated Press and the reliance on the New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), and the Tribune News (TN) for national and international coverage.
While I have no particular opinion on the Associated Press, I do know that all three of your new sources are all very leftist-agenda-oriented newspapers.
I hope that you will find a way to blend some conservative writings into this mix of very liberal news.
Gerard F. Havasy
In evaluating history, get your facts correct
This is in response to a Dec. 29 letter [“Prefer the 1950s over today’s political mess”] about how great the 1950s were and how bad it is now.
A lot of older people are complaining that kids nowadays are totally ignorant. Well, this letter from somebody who admits living at the time said there were some bad things like “...Eugene McCarthy was overly concerned with communists.”
It was actually Joseph McCarthy that promoted the “red scare” and Eugene McCarthy was a really good progressive Democrat. At least some kids are knowing more about the past now as to try not to make the same mistakes again.
Turmoil has ravaged civilizations since the beginning of time, but we have to make sure we are correct when we present facts so we can try to make the world a better and safer and more just world for everybody.