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Article on race was accurate, informative
I carefully read Zachary Matson’s article, “The Realities of Race” which is superb, extraordinarily informative and true.  
I am 80 years old and luckily a product of private school and a great college and graduate school education. Non-white students accounted for 1 percent at secondary school, 0.2 percent at college and 0.8 percent at medical school. I was unaware of discrimination, as I grew up in an almost “pure white” environment, including a Massachusetts city of 100,000 with only two black families as of 1946.
Only in the last part of my life has this problem of discrimination, inequality, lack of opportunity and a desperate need for confrontation become a real concern for me. The remedy now must occur with determination and dispatch. Congratulations to Zachary Matson, The Gazette and the courageousness of Naji Simmons to confront and address these longstanding, serious and awful problems.
Lyle W. Barlyn
Niskayuna

 

Columnist failed to target real culprits
In response to Jennifer Ruben’s Oct. 25 commentary, it was interesting that she wrote only of the president and his behavior, which she and the media (95 percent negative) blame for any negative activity.
Nowhere does she mention any of the following coming from public figures as a cause of negative reactions:
Attempted killing of a congressional member; Exhibiting a beheaded replica of President Trump; Get in their face and tell them they are not wanted here; Kick them when they’re down; Can’t be civil to someone who doesn’t agree with you; F--- Trump on national television; Would like to blow up the White House; Would you send someone to assassinate the president; New York Times article about assassinating President Trump; Verbally attacking government officials in public places and blocking their movement; Take him out behind the gym; Nazi, white supremacist, traitor, idiot, stupid, etc.; Images of illegal immigrants fenced in (from 2012).
I do agree with her that President Trump is “unlike any of his predecessors.” I’m so thankful that he’s unlike his predecessors and not like the usual politician. We’ve had enough of them.
I also agree with her statement “some portion of evil or mentally unstable people will be inspired by what public figures say.”
Then why not write more about the successes that our country has experienced since President Trump came into office?
Maybe improving the horrible 95 percent versus 5 percent negative reporting might just help.
Donald Hall
Saratoga Springs

 

Sch’dy is unfair in its hiring practices
Recently, The Gazette reported that there is low job creation in Schenectady County. The news should not surprise anyone, given all the double dipping that goes on. Collectively, Schenectady’s city officials represent 16 jobs. The last appointment the council made went to an individual who already had three jobs.
She was also a fairly new comer to the city, having moved here in 2011. Other long-time city residents, with no jobs, were passed over. Note: A Schenectady City Council seat comes with a salary, paid medical coverage and a retirement pension.
It’s unfortunate that when election time rolls around and the local candidates meet for debates, they all are asked the same questions.
In such a format, the incumbents are never forced to explain their records. If the voters really knew what the records were, many of those officials who now hold office would not be there. Nor would some people get the extra jobs that are needed for everyone.
Mary B. McClaine
Schenectady

 

Thanks to writers who support USA
With regard to recent satirical letters published by Jack Osterlitz, they seem to have stifled authors of the political-left hate letters that were too often published here.
A case in point: All the letters by those who have disagreed with him so far have been respectful, save one Burnt Hills writer, who thinks that his letters/opinions should not be published .
One has to wonder what other freedoms he would squander, our veterans be damned.
This nation is as divided now as it has ever been since the Civil War. Civil discourse, yes. Hate mongering, no. Sadly, many TV networks and a local radio station, one in-particular on the low end of the FM dial, still gleefully perpetuate this hateful civil discourse by calling our president a fool and tearing him down.
However, they strongly support Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his thrice-convicted cronies, criminals all. All of this hate and irrationality must end for the good of our nation. Maybe I’m being too naïve.
Is it money? Perhaps it’s the same dirty money funding the Guatemalan march and other assaults on our  “earned-in-blood freedoms.” I dare say that these non-patriots will change the TV channel when they don’t like what they’re watching . Suggestion: If you don’t like our country please, please change nations.
Thanks for the good folks who write letters in support of our “good-ole-USA.”
Sylvia Gore
Schenectady

 

Anti-Delgado TV ads illustrate the problem
Here are some lyrics from a song recorded over 10 years ago during the war in Iraq by a local fellow.
“Evil lives in us all so we must fight with love and goodness in our hearts and peace in our minds if democracy, equality and freedom are truly to prevail. God bless America, God bless Iraq, God bless us all.” The name of the song was Draped in Flags.
Here’s how it’s depicted in a political ad running today: “God bless Iraq” is clipped in between a worried woman’s voice telling us he’s an LA rapper at the same time labeling him a NYC liberal, and “not our values” in all caps.
Born in Schenectady, Antonio Delgado graduated from Colgate with high honors, earned an education at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and then graduated from Harvard Law.
All these political ads wouldn’t be so bad if they would just stick to the issues. The ads that don’t even mention the candidate they support, but rather simply denigrate his opponent. The ad attacking Mr. Delgado was a particularly good example. I know you saw it and others just like it. I can’t wait for the elections to be over.
Paul Donahue
Niskayuna

 

Vote against Spa City charter questions
Regarding the Saratoga Springs charter referendums: Question 1 asks if we should approve a few reassignments of who reports to whom. But the basic dysfunctional structure remains untouched. No one in charge, five uncoordinated departments, no qualifications required for leadership roles. Politics interferes with city services. There’s too much bureaucracy, no accountability and zero cost savings.
Question 2 asks if we should tack on two new council members with only legislative responsibilities. It won’t work in the commission system.The mayor and four commissioners would continue to have exclusive authority over their departments. The new legislators would try to get the scoop about what’s going on, depending on how their politics fit in with the old gang. If they brought up issues about some department ought to do, they’d be met with the usual response: “Go pound salt.” It’s likely they wouldn’t have much to do, even though they’d be paid as much as everyone else.
Let’s hold out for our chance next year to vote on a real charter with a sensible organization that fixes the important problems and brings us substantial cost savings. Please turn the ballot over and vote no on questions 1 and 2.
Richard Fenton
Saratoga Springs

 

Spa council members support the changes
Every member of the Saratoga Springs City Council is praising the charter update on the back of the Nov. 6 ballot.
Read their own words: Mayor Meg Kelly recommends a yes vote: “This year’s proposal provides crucial updates and amendments to our city charter and I encourage you to vote Yes,” her Oct. 22 letter sent to editors.
Commissioner of Public Works Peter Martin: “I think that every one of the changes that’s proposed in this revised charter is a good change and will if adopted improve our form of government; improve the workings of our government within the Commission form of government,” his comments during the Oct. 2 City Council meeting.
Finance Commissioner Michelle Madigan: “This is long overdue and always missed by (previous) charter groups with zeal to change our form of government…. Much needed efficiency changes.” She posted this on Sept. 23 on Facebook.
Plus, Department of Public Works Commissioner Skip Scirocco and Accounts Commissioner John Franck also spoke out enthusiastically for this first update of the commission form of government in 17 years.
I will vote yes on Question 1 on the back of the ballot.
Bonnie Sellers
Saratoga Springs

 

Violence-inciting Dems belong in jail
I’m a law-abiding citizen and believe in the rule of law. I think Washington, D.C. has forgotten that, due to the fact that the Democratic Party has promoted violence and character assassination against the president and the people of the United States. I blame Sessions and the Republican Party for not putting a stop to the street violence at the president’s rallies. George Soros, Obama, Clintons, Waters, Shultzand the media should be charged along with Cuomo with obstruction of justice, inciting riots and treason. Someone who was violated had to be a vigilante, which wasn’t an act of terror, but retaliation in regards to the lack of the rule of law in Washington, D.C. Because of these people getting away with promoting violence, a civil war is in the making.
The American law-abiding citizens aren’t going to stand for being violated in any sense. We aren’t going to submit to become a Third World nation and we will support our god, president, flag and our Constitution. All these people mentioned should be in jail.
Claude Rizzicone, Jr.
Schenectady

 

Ackerley will make a great county clerk
I don’t write letters to the editor often, but this year we can elect a remarkable person to the position of Schenectady county clerk. Cara Jasenski Ackerley has worked in my office for seven years. She is dedicated to great public service and is experienced and smart. Her current job makes her extremely qualified to serve the 155,000 people of Schenectady County.
Cara is tech savvy (which is where the future of the office is going) and speaks Spanish. Her work at DMV and as my Chief Financial Deputy has given her a special understanding of the issues and challenges facing the office. I ask all the people who have supported me over the last 24 years to please cast your ballot for Cara Jasenski Ackerley on Nov. 6.
John Woodward
Schenectady
The writer is Schenectady County clerk.

 

Vote for Dems to counter Trump’s lies
Can you hear the sound of desperation in Trump’s and GOP candidates’ voices and political ads? The Trump lie machine is in full throttle these days with a promise of a last-minute middle class 10 percent tax cut that Congress won’t entertain because they are in recess and because the last tax cut benefited only the wealthy and made the country’s deficit exceed a trillion dollars.
Trump also wants us to believe that the caravan of central American refugees consists of ISIS terrorists and gang members, so he wants to close the southern border. When pressed for proof, he has none. So much for us being a welcoming nation of immigrants.
Fear-mongering and empty promises have always been a staple GOP strategy, especially around election time. Outright voter suppression is also their strategy in Georgia and other states. GOP candidates are now lying about supporting pre-existing conditions, though they voted to repeal Obamacare.
I know I won’t change the minds of the less-educated appearing at Trump’s schoolyard rallies, but to all of you educated fence-sitters with a brain, don’t buy their lies and desperation. Vote Democratic so we can establish some check and balance on this GOP failed control game.
Raymond Harris
Glenville

 

Barber has long list of experiences for clerk
These are examples of experience, education and training desirable for the position of Schenectady County clerk and they belong to Nick Barber: Decades of experience in public record keeping as director of Real Property Tax Services for Schenectady County; a state-of-the-art management degree; a BS in Business, Management and Economics from the Harry Van Ardsdale School of Management at Empire State College; and the professional New York State designation of “Certified County Director;” past majority leader, Schenectady County Legislature; co-chair, Schenectady County Drug Conference; chairman, Board of Trustees, Schenectady County Community College; president, SACC TV Public Access Television, president, Goose Hill Neighborhood Association; board member, Schenectady Boys Club; board member, Empire State Aerosciences Museum; board member, Electric City Arts and Entertainment; board member, Schenectady County Arson Task Force; and captain, Schenectady Neighborhood Watch, North Side.
Ms. Ackerley, who holds the non-competitive appointed position deputy county clerk, inaccurately claimed in The Daily Gazette and on Facebook to hold the positions of “Chief Deputy” and “Deputy Clerk for Finances” in the County Clerk’s office. Her credentials do not compare in scope or breadth with Nick Barber’s. She didn’t take a competitive Civil Service Exam for deputy county clerk.  
Paul Della Villa
Schenectady

 

Spa charter will be improved by yes vote
I recommend a yes vote to update the Saratoga Springs’ Commission form of government on Question 1 on the back of the Nov. 6 ballot.
This year’s commission selected by Mayor Meg Kelly consisted ofthe four commissioners,  five deputies  and City Attorney Vince DeLeonardis. Their practical knowledge on how our city government actually works was evident during their detailed deliberations in two dozen public meetings.
By having the commission composed of experienced members and tightly directed to improve our current commission form of government, Mayor Kelly designed a uniquely productive process. I applaud a number of updates in this year’s referendum:
1. Having appointments to the critical land use boards voted on by the full City Council to increase transparency and accountability. It is the same process used with the City Center for 30 years;
2. Recognizing the importance of Human Resources and Information Technology departments by having them report to the entire City Council; and
3. Gaining greater efficiency by moving the Recreation Department to the Department of Public Works, which already is responsible for their facilities and fields.
Overall, I think the proposed charter is an excellent update and will Vote yes for Question 1.
Richard Sellers
Saratoga Springs

 

Tedisco endorsement was hasty, provincial
Your endorsement of Senator Jim Tedisco for re-election was sadly provincial and hasty, coming before his scheduled debate against Michelle Ostrelich, and backing the 35-year incumbent for being “scrappy” and a longtime resident.
You credit him with being “on the right side of legislation” including the Child Victims Act, which passed the Democrat-controlled Assembly this year but failed in the Republican-controlled Senate, and for wanting to make the legislation “even stronger.” The original bill would allow criminal charges and lawsuits against child molesters years after the abuse.
Yet Tedisco was a member of that Senate’s de facto majority that didn’t bring any version of the bill to the floor to pass it. He was on committees with jurisdiction — Children and Families and Codes — and still the legislation died in his chamber. He co-sponsored a GOP Senate alternative that would leave the door closed on suing molesters and instead establish a public fund to pay victims, keeping them as adults and alleged abusers from their day in open court.
You also called Ostrelich “a transplanted lawyer from Philadelphia,” ignoring she has lived in Niskayuna for years and is raising her family here in the Senate district.
Michael Virtanen
Glenville

 

Stop complaining; Vote out incumbents
Stop complaining about the mess in Albany and Washington. We are at fault.
We keep sending the same fools there. We need to stop voting for a party and vote for the person. Let’s all do the work and get informed instead of just opinionated. If you don’t like guns, fine. But don’t tell someone else they can’t have one.
Learn about the issue, don’t hate the NRA. Learn about all their safety and training they do all year long.
If you don’t like what you hear on TV about a candidate, don’t believe it’s all true. Get informed instead of just opinionated. Find out what was left out of that ad. Just because it’s on TV does not make it true.
Get your news from more than one source. Get informed. Do the work. You can’t tell me that Democrats and Republicans in Albany and Washington like each other, but can’t see eye to eye on anything. They are no longer working for us; they are working for power over the other party. Nothing else. We need to stop sending people to office that will only do what the “party” says. Go vote. Take someone to vote. Get informed.
Ted Helveston
Schenectady

 

Vote Tague to people from leaving state
I’m sick and tired of having my friends and family moving out of New York. Every week, you hear about someone else moving to Florida or North Carolina. People who I’ve known my whole life are just packing up and moving. They all tell me the same thing: that it’s the taxes. We’re suffering from the worst tax burden in the country and I’m sick of it. We need people who will vote to lower our property- and state taxes and keep them low. I don’t want to wake up one day and have my whole family be living somewhere else. This is my hometown. It’s disheartening to see so many leave a place I love so much. That’s why I’m voting for Assemblyman Chris Tague. He’s the man for the job.
Robin M Dufek
Middleburgh

 

Need a president who represents all of us
In the past I’ve always felt that the president of the United States of America should, and did, represent everyone in the United States. Maybe everyone was not represented equally, but I don’t ever recall a president who openly demeaned, humiliated, degraded, mocked and incited violence against those who disagreed with his point of view.
When the current president was elected, I admit I was disappointed because I voted for his opponent. Nevertheless, I hoped he would succeed. I felt if the president and his administration succeeded, then our country and most countries around the world would be all the better for it. Sadly, that has not happened. Some things the president says and does can be chalked up to inexperience and plain ignorance. But I’m really sick and tired of being called the vilest, filthy, offensive nasty names and any other foul things that pop in his head. And it happens daily or even hourly.
What terrible thing have I done to deserve this despicable rhetoric that portrays me as something less than human by the president of the United States of America? It’s simple. I’m a Democrat. Where is the president who represents me, not resents me?
Richard L. “Rick” Bedell
Gloversville

 

Look for alternatives to armed school staff
The news about community concern for a safe environment for students in the Saratoga school district is important. I don’t know if the school grounds monitors are educated and trained in the peaceful mediation of crisis situations advocated by the National Council of Negotiation Associations (NCNS) or the New York Association of Hostage Negotiators (NYASN).
I know the state Board of Regents and the state Department of Education have issued a policy and a Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) Guideline that does not advocate guns in schools.
The cooperation of students, parents, community learning centers, law enforcement agencies and local education boards, faculty and staff to learn the guidelines can create a safe learning environment. The development of law enforcement mediation and negotiation education are needed. Also needed are training methods for students, community residents and school grounds monitors to establish communication techniques toward mediation of differences. The education and training of “peacemakers” will improve a livelier future. We need more mediators, negotiators and peacemakers in our schools and society than gun carriers.
Michael McGlynn
Watervliet

 

Glorioso brings great experience as sheriff
I’m writing about my experience with Montgomery County sheriff candidate Jim Glorioso Jr. I met Jim in 2013 when he was assigned to Tulsa, OK, with Dollar General. I was the regional director and Jim was tasked to create a plan to help reduce the crime in our stores.
Jim would work nonstop analyzing trends and fighting the crime, even when I told him he needed to take a break.
He also created relationships along the way with many people in our community and police departments. Jim’s actions reduced the crime and shrink in that one year better than the previous five years.
Jim was also highly involved in the community, working closely with Tulsa police and was asked to speak at community events regarding scams. Jim created long-lasting friendships and relationships. Jim not only worked with us, but he mentored many along the way. We all miss Jim’s excitement, his passion and his personality.
Montgomery County is truly lucky to have someone so passionate, and I’m confident he will exceed your expectations as he did ours.
Mark Guild
Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Tahawus railroad line is valuable to state
Well, I read now that the good ole New York state politicians want to shut down the railroad infrastructure from Saratoga Springs up to Tahawus and turn it into a bicycle trail or something back to nature. I wonder who will pay for that?
Titanium is a strategic mineral located in Tahawus. Our steel industry needs the stuff for everything from cars to aircraft to spacecraft — anything that requires strong, steel alloys. There are only a few places on this good old planet where it’s available. Tahawus is one of them. What happens if this current, less-expensive titanium is cut off ? What do we do then?
The rail line is the easiest way to bring this ore down for processing. Should our shortsighted government rip up this valuable rail transport? Let the railroad use it for something. Keep the line assessable for future use. This governor of ours kowtows to well-off environmentalists who have little business sense. They want to use this railroad bed as their personal playground at taxpayer’s expense. Storage of purged and safe oil tanker cars out in the wilderness and, out of sight (Our governor vetoed it.) would have kept the North Creek Railroad in business, for a while anyway. What a shame. Let the railroad companies run it as it was meant to be — a railroad. Governments are meant to promote business, not to shut them down.
Leonard Muller
Greenfield Center

 

Retain social services; older citizens vote
So the Republicans pass a massive tax cut that benefits large corporations and the rich; the rest of us are tossed a few crumbs. Now they see that what they’ve done is dramatically adding to the national debt. The solution, as they see it, is to cut Social Security and Medicare.
One mistake that they are making is talking about this prior to the midterms. The second is failing to realize that we old people vote.
Don’t make cuts to unemployment because you’ll be in that line soon.
Tom Mayer
Schenectady

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