Scotia-Glenville HS unsecure during vote
Where is the security at our school? I voted today [May 17] at the Scotia-Glenville High School. On arrival, the door to the school was wide open. No staff, no one checking, no one protecting the students. Anyone free to enter.
This is a dangerous situation. Hopefully by the next time we vote, things will be more secure.
Big business should pay fair share of taxes
Small businesses are the backbone of this country’s economy. We provide goods and services, and invest in our communities with our tax dollars.
But giant corporations aren’t doing their part. Many of them go out of their way to dodge tax rules. They move jobs out of the country and use tax loopholes to keep from paying $700 billion in taxes on more than $2.4 trillion in profits that they have hidden overseas.
This problem affects everyone. When CEOs chose greed over paying taxes, they are turning their backs on our schools, infrastructure and social services. These are the first places to suffer cuts when there is a budget gap.
As part of Main Street Alliance NY, I’m standing with other small business owners to ask that our representatives in Congress force giant corporations to pay their taxes just like the rest of us already do.
The writer is a member or the Main Street Alliance of New York and proprietor of Bluelion Jewels and Antiques.
City justified in not releasing bus video
I’m writing this in response to the May 18 editorial, “Bus company has right to its own video.” That editorial has significant inaccuracies which need to be addressed in order for the public to understand the reasons for the city’s decision to deny the FOIL [Freedom of Information Law] request.
Despite the author’s claim, the ultimate reasons the city gave for denying the FOIL request were not because it would “constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” or because the records were “compiled for law enforcement purposes.” The reasons, as published by the May 16 Daily Gazette article by Zachary Matson, were that it would interfere with judicial proceedings and violate the Family Court Act Section 784. That Section reads:
“All police records relating to the arrest and disposition of any person under this article shall be kept in files separate and apart from the arrests of adults and shall be withheld from public inspection, but such records shall be open to inspection upon good cause shown by the parent, guardian, next friend or attorney of that person upon the written order of a judge of the family court in the county in which the order was made or, if the person is subsequently convicted of a crime, of a judge of the court in which he was convicted.”
My interpretation of that language is that the Family Court Act clearly prohibits the release of the video without the written order of a judge. Before coming to that conclusion, I reached out to Robert Freeman from the New York State Committee on Open Government, who is frequently quoted by The Daily Gazette on issues related to FOIL. Mr. Freeman agreed that the Family Court Act prohibited release of the video.
Despite the somewhat frequent editorials on the subject of FOIL and the city of Schenectady, I have never been contacted by the author to get the city’s side of the story or to see if the author has their facts right. I hope that in the future the city will be afforded that opportunity, so situations like this can be avoided and the public can have the correct information.
The writer is Corporation Counsel for the city of Schenectady.
Seek input at hearing on airport terrorism
As an Albany County legislator, I strongly support individual rights, especially for those who are physically or emotionally disabled. I also know that I have a responsibility to protect the public from those intending to do us harm.
It is unfortunate, but there are times when our rights and the need to address our security may cross paths, and the resulting outcome may prove to be an inconvenience for some. Regrettably this is the price we have to pay for living in a dangerous world in which America and our way of life is being threatened.
Understanding the current terrorism threat we face, Majority Leader Frank Commisso and I are co-sponsoring a bi-partisan endeavor, Local Law E, to increase protection for those who use the Albany International Airport.
Our efforts are designed to improve security at our airport and enhance the power of authorities who oversee this facility. The concern is that currently without this law, a potential terrorist could continually probe to find a weakness in our airport security.
Our proposal will address an aspect of this threat by making it a crime for a passenger to refuse airport security screening once he or she has entered a checkpoint. Local Law E would allow authorities, such as those from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, to arrest anyone refusing screening.
We understand that there may be some who take offense to our efforts; but it is our goal and obligation to safeguard individuals and families who use the Albany International Airport. I believe that Albany County government is taking an important and necessary step by adopting this law.
For all those using our airport, and for those with emotional or psychological issues an explanation will be posted in the airport so that they, and those assisting them, will be aware of the new procedure in effect.
There will be a public hearing on Local Law E at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday (May 24) in the Legislative Chamber of the Albany County Court House. I urge anyone wishing to comment on this initiative to come to the public hearing and voice his or her opinion.
The writer is the Minority Leader from the 27th Legislative District.
Clinton will continue to lead nation awry
I have stayed away from commenting on the presidential primaries so far, but feel it is time to make a few observations.
Establishment Republicans were not listening to the people and thought Donald Trump would go away. It’s time to wake up. There are more than just a couple of Trump supporters, and they want to see change. They are fed up with what has been going on for years in this country. Hillary Clinton is catering to the poor and minorities and will promise anything for a vote.
She will continue with Obama’s policies. Guess what? They are not working. Foreign policy is a farce, from the shady deal with Iran to this ISIS debacle.
The Middle East is totally unstable, and we continue to think we can repair everything with diplomacy. The middle class is paying for the majority of these policies that are not working, and we are tired of footing the bill. Social Security is running out due to the fact that the government uses that money to fund things that have nothing to do with the program.
We paid two sitting senators to campaign for president instead of doing their jobs on Capitol Hill. We see no clear plan of action for our country, after the election is over. Most of our allies, NATO countries included, have lost trust and confidence that we will be there if needed.
Putin will continue to do whatever he feels necessary without repercussions until someone stands up to him. So far, no one has done that. If we are foolish enough to elect Hillary Clinton, let’s see where we are in four years. It probably won’t be a good place.
One more comment: Let’s take a long, hard look at reality instead of worrying about someone’s legacy.