Men: Don’t put off getting a colonoscopy
Last fall I was traveling with a colleague. He told me he had a colonoscopy scheduled for Monday morning. But he thought he would cancel it, as he had canceled three times previously.
Having had the procedure myself, I told him it wasn’t bad — it would be the best night sleep he ever had in 25 minutes. He continued to push back, and I finally told him to just do it — no excuses.
According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women combined. While it can be prevented with proper screening, more than one in four eligible adults in the Capital Region aren’t getting screened.
My friend called me on Tuesday to say he had the procedure, and they discovered he had colon cancer. Fortunately, it was found early, and with surgery scheduled for later that week, he would be good to go.
This otherwise healthy man had no way of knowing his life was in danger, and the fact that he had this test done likely saved his life.
The moral is — Just do it. Get your colonoscopy. No excuses.
F.J. Colacino Jr.
The writer is a member of the Board of Advisors of the American Cancer Society.
Don’t let the Clintons do any more damage
I get a kick out of the recent letters indicating Trump would be dangerous if elected. Clinton or Sanders would be a disaster.
Recent polls have Trump beating Clinton. I believe it’s due to Trump exposing the Clintons’ past behavior. I’m just hoping the millennial education of the nonsense we went through in President Clinton’s term is finally sinking in.
Hillary Clinton was an active participant in trashing women mistreated by Bill Clinton. Fortunately,Trump is willing to get down in the mud with the Clintons, unlike McCain and Romney. Please let us be relieved of any more Clintons and Bushes in the White House.
My generation has made a mess of the debt and will not live to see the damage it will do to younger generations. I hope Trump will do his best to reduce the overspending that has occurred by both parties and will continue under Clinton.
Let students begin Votec as freshmen
I’ve been a Votec student for the past two years. I am a senior now in high school. The Votec programs are a great way for teens to learn skills and trades. There are many Votec programs that are offered to the students all over the Capital Region, such as culinary, cosmetology, nursing and auto.
I feel that Votec is a great idea for all students, but I think it should be offered in your freshman year of high school. By the time you get into your ninth-grade year, many students know whether they want to have a career right out of high school or if they plan on attending a college. I know I had my eyes set on joining the service and fulfilling my dream as a chef in the Navy.
At this point, a teen's mindset is set on starting a life to create a future. The Votec program is offered to students that are in 10th grade and up. That’s good and all. But if there was a way for the programs to be offered at an earlier age, it might help set up kids’ lives for the future to come.
It will get more kids to better their knowledge with different trades in the world, and it might even help them try harder in school so they can take their skills and proceed with them in college or start their lives with a great job.
Give public a say on veterans’ exemptions
As reported by Gazette reporter Zach Matson, at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (BH-BL) candidates’ forum on May 11, incumbent LeeAnn Mertzlufft offered an excuse for the board’s actions against recognizing veterans through the Veterans Tax Exemption. She said board members “were continuing to follow a process to gather public input” that she inferred was still ongoing, and that “it is huge asking others to pay someone else’s taxes.” Both statements misrepresent the facts.
The legislation authorizing exemptions for wartime veterans to be extended to include local school taxes was enacted in December 2013, and calls for a public hearing to be held and/or placing it on the ballot prior to a board agreeing to extend the exemption.
It gives the board latitude on the degree of exemption to extend. It has different levels, based on the impacts on veterans (with wartime-disabled vets receiving a greater benefit). At the suggested level, it grants most qualifying vets a 15 percent exemption at an average (and, I offer, minuscule) annual tax impact in the range of $10 to $15 per year for those that have adopted it.
But the BH-BL board did not poll or involve the community in any way in its action. Instead, it voted on the matter unannounced in a Finance Meeting on Feb. 2, 2016, (which the public does not attend), and then posted its decision in an obscure part of the district website. There were no minutes recorded of that vote, contrary to law.
The BH-BL community has always meaningfully honored the men and women who defend this country with their lives, and I believe wouldn’t shirk its responsibility to continue to do so if asked. This is exactly what I have found deficient in the actions and attitudes of our current board and advocated against — a refusal to solicit and respect the community’s input on important matters.
Communities across this state should ensure their boards are giving them that opportunity and not translating “representation” to an exercise of personal whim.
Find alternative to bigger Colonie dump
Re May 8 Viewpoint, “Colonie should not balance its budget with garbage”: The Citizens Concerned About Landfill Expansion (CCALE), a group of local residents from the towns of Halfmoon, Waterford and North Colonie, agree with Mr. John Figliozzi’s analysis and commentary about Colonie’s landfill budget balancing act.
CCALE has also determined that the Colonie landfill, which was once expected to close in 2017 with funds set aside for closure, has emerged into a never ending expansion project with financial incentives to keep the present site open. Despite its limited location between the Mohawk River and Route 9 in the north end of Colonie, plans have been submitted to double the size of the present landfill.
Colonie’s landfill is no longer a local landfill but threatens to become a voracious regional landfill, continually seeking to grow ever larger. Allowing Waste Connections, the current operator, to continue to operate the landfill over the next 25 years and expanding it to unprecedented heights, equivalent to adding a 10-story building above its present status, will forever change the character of the adjacent Mohawk River valley and surrounding communities.
After reading the recent draft permit application now before the state Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the landfill, one comes away with many unanswered questions about the impact to the environment and to our historic Mohawk River communities.
Turning a blind eye to the negative impacts of an expanded landfill and choosing to double its size is shortsighted at best.
There is a history of many operational violations, penalties and fines assessed against the Colonie landfill that should not be overlooked. The operation of this landfill is an old story that should be closed and its operation ended on the current schedule.
Colonie’s town leaders refuse to accept the fact that its landfill is full and will soon reach capacity. Instead, they continue to look to increasing future landfill revenues to fill their economic shortfalls. There has to be a better solution.
The writers are members of CCALE