Do we really want the real Mexico portrayed
Jo Anne Assini's May 29 letter trashing the Girl Scouts for the use of stereotypical images of Mexico on their float in the Niska-Day parade reflects a less-than-balanced view of Mexico's current culture.
During the first four months of this year, better than 1,500 homicides were reported. Since disappearances are most likely homicides, this number is an undercount of unknown magnitude. Perhaps the Girl Scouts should have accurately depicted this segment of Mercian culture by building a symbolic graveyard float.
Another possibility would have for them to have built a float that contained a map of Mexico with the regions covered by State Department travel advisories carefully defined. Or maybe a wall representing the one Mexico built along its Guatemalan border.
In my view, instead of being part of the problem, Jo should be part of the solution. Help the Girl Scouts with their efforts to help develop girls to be the best that they can be.
Trump-Indians article balanced, informative
Bill Buell did a superb job in his June 2 article ["Trump criticized for 'the Indian' comment"] on Trump and Native Americans.
The article was insightful and a joy to read. Bill got a good sample of opinions and structured the article so all his interviewees told the story, as opposed to a narrator telling the story.
It was also insightful to learn how local Republicans and Native Americans view the conduct of presidential candidates.
Clinton best prepared to serve as president
Re June 2 letter, "Trump not ideal, but better than Clinton," by Don Cazer: Every word you wrote on disparaging the smartest, most experienced person to ever run for president tells the rest of us how you really think.
Secretary Clinton, Senator Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and her documented record tells us who she really is -- from her start right out of law school being an advocate for children and families to sitting in front of the congressional Benghazi committee for 11 hours that confirmed she had no direct role in consulate security or the death of her friend.
(Republican House cut the security budgets at all our embassies and outposts -- you know, small government.)
Emails killed no one, but Dick Cheney's lie on the other hand left 12,000 plus American soldiers dead/maimed. I kept my doctor and my health care plan through my employer, as did many Americans. You know who else kept their plan and their doctors? Every single Republican governor and member of Congress. Ask them.
Trump is dangerous, a racist, ran a scam fake university, and won't show us, the voters, his tax returns. He is not just not ideal, he is a disaster.
We have never had a better person prepared to step into the Oval Office than Hillary Clinton.
Ballston needs to control development
Stephen Williams' May 28 column spoke for many in opining that the town of Ballston is having an identity crisis.
For a decade, town residents have said that maintaining a rural quality of life is a priority. The town comprehensive plan asserts this. The problem is that town leaders fragment Ballston in both their minds and their actions.
Attempts are made to protect agricultural land with mixed results; former farmland on Goode Street and Round Lake Road are subdivided. Land along Route 50 and on the eastern boundary near the Northway is a "sacrifice zone" of development. These are human constructs of zoning, which the environment is not bound to respect.
Understanding and mapping natural resources is a basic step yet to be taken. Warning signs of overdevelopment have resulted from Ballston Lake itself in the form of dangerous nutrient-loading from streams and ancient septic tanks. Town leaders have failed to use their authority to align land-use decisions with resident aspirations and the health of the local environment. Developers have had free rein. Anything goes.
The Planning Board meets two days a month just to keep up. The results are seen in increased traffic, clear-cut land, loss of scenery, polluted storm water, vanishing wildlife, asphalt plants (Dolomite), glaring lighting, and in the faces of disgruntled residents. "We won't recognize the town in 10 years if we keep this up," said William Goslin, town councilman, the sole negative vote in a 4-1 decision to rezone a forest full of wildlife, streams and wetlands (so-called Abele Woods).
Previously, the Planning Board had allowed Abele Woods to sail through without as much as an environmental impact statement -- just as it does with most subdivisions. Many hundreds of other units are under review nearby, with downstream impacts that will haunt the future town and the region.
Ballston and other Saratoga towns must reform themselves. The Ballston Town Board had the courage to take the first step this winter and rescind the "density bonus" its predecessors approved, which has allowed so much additional development near the Northway.
Now, that board and the Planning Board must go much further by issuing a development moratorium while it conducts natural resource surveys, revises maps of where development should not occur, rezones in accord with new plans, and requires developers to submit conservation subdivision designs which avoid or minimize major impacts. Often, these planning tools minimize development costs and enforcement issues while safeguarding rural quality of life; a true win, win.
If new leadership with an environmental ethic is needed to take these actions, begin with the Planning Board. Then, in the next election, we have only ourselves to blame if the town persists in the same damaging direction.
Trump, Hitler share many similarities
After recently reviewing a documentary on events leading up to the Second World War, I could not help but notice the similarities between Hitler's mannerisms and redundant rants, and those of the leading Republican nominee for president of the United States this coming November.
Looking at these comparisons, I can only conclude that that the GOP's leading nominee is adhering to Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf," that states in part, "Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively" ... "slogans should be persistently repeated..." "The broad masses of people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgement..."
One can only hope that the old adage, "History has a habit of repeating itself" does not hold true.