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Thankful to state for family leave passage

Thankful to state for family leave passage

*Thankful to state for family leave passage *Consider alternatives to train station plan *Don't giv

Thankful to state for family leave passage

Each year, the 20 YWCAs located throughout New York, from Manhattan to Jamestown, serve tens of thousands of women who are at or below the poverty line. In New York state, 38.7 percent of families with female heads of household and children present, live in poverty.

On behalf of the YWCA NorthEastern NY, I want to thank our elected officials who supported the nation’s most robust paid family leave program. Thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature for putting working families first.

The YWCAs have daily experience with women who are struggling to gain a toehold in the American economy. These women are often employed in minimum-wage jobs, earning only slightly above the Federal Poverty level, with little to no job security.

Taking the time to care for a sick child or deal with a family emergency could mean losing the job that pays the rent and puts food on the table.

That changes with this year’s historic budget agreement approved last week. With the adoption of the nation’s most robust paid family leave program, New York will show this nation the true meaning of economic justice.

Thanks to Gov. Cuomo and the state Legislature for putting working families first.

Rosemary (Rowie) Taylor


The writer is the executive director of the YWCA.

Consider alternatives to train station plan

Connie Hayner’s April 4 letter regarding the new Schenectady train station is right on target. When the current design was revealed, I was very disappointed.

All that money for a station that will basically function the same as the current one — but with less parking?

I did some sketches, ran some numbers and I estimated that an inexpensive but functional “train shed” to keep the weather off the waiting passengers could be built for far less than the budget of the current design.

Coupled with businessman Peter Guidarelli’s brilliant proposal to use the upper level of the Wall Street building as the station proper, a much better facility can be built within the current $14 million budget — even allowing for the doubling or tripling of costs due to state and federal rules.

One major cost saving will be the ability to use the current station until the new one opens, and then remove the old station to add parking.

I’ll be glad to share my work with any interested parties.

Mark Stockman


Don’t give up fight on Schoharie quarry

Re April 10 editorial, “Schoharie Board: Listen to the stories”: Thank you for that Sunday editorial.

We use to live in the village of Schoharie before Irene hit; we now live in Fultonville. But I remember when I grew up there, before the expansion of what I called the "stone quarry" when it was a lot smaller than it is now, it has expanded so much that it has become unrecognizable.

I would hate to see this beautiful village and surrounding area become known only for what it could produce from that facility.

This expansion would destroy what is left of this beautiful area. The Town Board has come so far, so why settle now? Anything that is worth saving is worth fighting for. Save our Schoharie is still fighting the good fight, but it seems the Town Board has raised its hands and given up.

Mary Jane ZeH Weidman


Demand Metroplex be more transparent

There is no public accountability in the use of “economic development” funds in Schenectady County. The public has no idea how projects and developers are selected or how money is given out by the city or county industrial development agencies (IDAs).

In the case of the Metroplex Development Authority, this lack of public accountability is in violation of the Metroplex Law itself. It requires that those Metroplex Board members, who are recommended for membership by the city and the towns, make an annual report to the City Council or to their particular Town Board. This has never happened.

The Metroplex Law also requires that Metroplex conduct an annual public hearing for public comment on its plans for the next five years, the projects completed, projects underway, the money spent and money expected to be spent on each project. Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen and the Metroplex Board have ignored this requirement for an annual public hearings year after year and again in 2016. The county Legislature has not taken effective action to make Metroplex meet this requirement for public accountability.

I have given copies of the sections of the Metroplex Law requiring public accountability to the county Legislature, to Metroplex Chairman Gillen and the board, the town of Niskayuna board and to Gazette reporters, with no effect.

I hope Gazette readers will take the time to send an e-mail or letter to the clerk of the county Legislature, Geoffrey Hall, [email protected], asking that the county Legislature have Metroplex hold a public hearing as required.

Elmer Bertsch


Sanders is not your traditional politician

Political dinosaurs like Trump and Clinton and Cruz have been sheltering from the approaching bright light of truth under the decaying overhangs of mainstream media.

A mass extinction is coming again. This time, the release from the selfish claws of brute force will be achieved not by the impact of big meteors and hard rock, but of big ideas and hard facts.

The great majority of young people, with their fresh eyes, have not looked away from brilliantly illuminated realities of the dinosaurs’ political landscape. Honest news sources like the Young Turks and Democracy Now are sending the messenger and his messages flashing across tens of millions of handheld screens.

Bernie Sanders is the beacon of a humane and rational society. Put away your prejudice, do your research with an open mind, and feel the “bern.”

Glenn Sanders


Ted Cruz stands up for the Constitution

Because of presidential candidate Ted Cruz, the Fort Hood victims received the purple hearts they deserved. As president, Cruz will always honor our military.

Moreover, Sen. Cruz kept his campaign promises when he ran for U.S. senator and fought for our liberties, to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, build a fence on the border, and so forth.

When Cruz was solicitor general, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and some of the cases were landmark victories, such as the constitutionality of keeping “under God” in the pledge; allowing the Texas 10 Commandments monument to remain; keeping our Second Amendment rights; allowing states to refute world court decisions, thereby keeping our sovereignty; and more.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a strong pro-constitutional president in the White House again?

Beverly Moran


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