Fix rough crossing on Putnam Road
The Putnam Road railroad tracks have been terrible going over. Your car rocks back and forth. They fixed it two years ago, shutting down the road for a week. It was just as bad when it was done. I broke car springs on it at a cost of $450. Now it’s worse. I wrote about it to two of our local politicians, but apparently it wasn’t something they were interested in. The only reply I got was mail to vote for them. Why can’t they make it like the tracks on Burdeck Street? What about emergency vehicles going over it on a call? If it’s an ambulance, the patient will probably get whiplash. How about fixing this right for a change?
Expand technology for border security
As of late there has been considerable debate between the Democratic leadership in Congress and President Trump about the use of a “wall” vs. the use of technical measures to provide border security. For once, I tend to agree with the Democrats.
For centuries, castle walls and walled cities were used with great success to protect insiders against invaders. With the advent of gunpowder and cannons, however, the effectiveness of walls was significantly reduced.
And over time, the effectiveness of technical measures has greatly increased. Over a century ago, during World War I, it was proven beyond a doubt that well-placed barbed wire, backed up by well-placed machine guns, could be extremely effective in repelling even the most massive of attacks of unarmored infantry.
But then the invaders at our southern border don’t seem to have access to cannons, at least not yet. And machine guns can be somewhat indiscriminate about whom they repel. So maybe a wall would be best after all.
Let doctors help terminally ill to die
While you focused on key issues in Jan. 9’s Daily Gazette editorial, there’s another issue that deserves attention in the state Legislature at this time. That is the right to determine the terms of one’s own death.
Confronting mortality is uncomfortable, but it’s inevitable. At this time, seven states and the District of Columbia have laws which permit PAD (Physician Aid in Dying) under certain conditions. People facing terminal illness and pain/suffering find comfort in knowing they can control their final days. As a volunteer for Final Exit Network, I have heard horror stories of prolonged and needless suffering.
A bill to bring PAD to the citizens of New York has been in committee for several years. It’s time for that bill to come out of committee and before the Assembly and Senate. It has many protections, including requiring a diagnosis by two physicians of someone having less than six months life expectancy. For those who support this final right, contact your state Assembly person and state senator in support of Medical Aid in Dying — Right to Die Bills. The right to control your own body at the end of life is the last civil right.
Clinton Foundation is owed its due respect
Bill Denison’s Dec. 31 letter took Gazette editors to task for reporting that the Trump Foundation was a sham. Mr. Denison stated that they should also declare the Clinton Foundation a sham. Like so many Clinton deriders, a little unbiased research might separate facts from innuendo.
Although the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has been extensively investigated for claims of improprieties during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state and run for president, no major fault could be found.
In 2015, CharityNavigator suspended rating the BHCCF for a 10-month investigation due to reported concerns, but followed up with a 4-star, (highest) rating with a “low concern” declaration. Other prominent websites have given the BHCCF excellent ratings, e.g. CharityWatch: A, (A+ highest), GuideStar: “platinum.”
You can search the BHCCF in websites such as Wikipedia, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org to learn more. Unlike Trump’s now-legally defunct foundation, the Clintons have raised billions of dollars over the past 20 years that have been used for humanitarian projects throughout the world, too many to list here. Recent news has exposed the questionable, at best, accomplishments of Trump’s “charity.” Fact-finders have found no indications that, as Mr. Denison claims, the Clintons have enriched themselves financially from donations. It’s about time the Clinton Foundation is recognized for what it accomplishes to enrich humankind.
Include population in climate change fight
It appears that climate change is finally accepted by the majority of Americans, except for Republicans who persist in being climate deniers. However, the GOP and its party’s supporters are not the only people who resist taking decisive action on climate change.
The recent reports generated by both the Fourth National Climate Assessment, compiled by 13 U.S. government agencies, as well as the publication from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, failed to mention overpopulation as a major contributor to climate change.
Despite the growing momentum supporting remedial action regarding climate change, overpopulation remains the unaddressed 800-pound gorilla in the room.
The silence of climate experts and most environmental groups about overpopulation is baffling, given their apparent commitment to preventing the destruction of our planet, including the demise of humans along with other species.
Fear of offending others appears to be the most likely reason to avoid discussions about procreation. This avoidance will only hamstring efforts to address our climate crisis.
Every individual should assess the “need” to reproduce and choose to remain child-free or to adopt children. For the sake of our children and the dwindling number of species which share our planet, we should place population stabilization as a primary means to mitigate climate change, along with other synergistic efforts to reduce carbon emissions. We all need to have the courage to begin discussions about this issue or ignore it at our own peril.
No reason not to test for cervical cancer
You may have heard that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. You may have also heard the news that cervical cancer screening guidelines have changed. And while this is true, the underlying message remains the same: Women ages 21 to 65 should get screened to prevent cervical cancer or catch it in the early stages when treatment is most effective.
Women without health insurance are much less likely to be screened (71 percent) when compared to women with health insurance (88 percent). The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties can help.
The CSP offers free cervical cancer screening to eligible, uninsured women, ages 40 and older. The program also provides free breast cancer screening to women 40 and older and colon cancer screening to uninsured men and women age 50 and older.
Cervical cancer screening is covered for women with health insurance, including Medicaid and plans available through the New York State of Health.
If you have insurance, talk to your doctor about cervical cancer screening. If you’re uninsured, call the Cancer Services Program today at 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) to find out if you qualify for free cancer screenings. In Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties, you can call (518) 841-3726 for more information.
The writer is the Program Coordinator, CSP of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties.
Sell hiking passes for Adirondack peaks
The Adirondacks High Peaks are justifiably popular. Overuse has caused trail erosion and parking problems. Rescues are increasing. There aren’t enough rangers. A paid trail-pass system can help.
Last fall, my wife and I visited the Gaspe region of Quebec and hiked in Gaspesie National Park.
The park, like the Adirondacks, is a vast and beautiful mountainous area popular with hikers. Two visitor’s centers sell park passes and sell and rent hiking supplies. Staff assist visitors with trail- and weather information.
The park charges $8.60 Canadian (about $6.60 U.S.) for an adult day pass. Seasonal passes are available. It’s an honor system, but a ranger may ask to see your receipt. Being caught without a trail pass could result in a fine.
The state should establish a visitor’s center in Keene Valley to supplement the Adirondack Mountain Club visitor center at Adirondack Loj. Both places can provide trail information, offer maps, sell clothing and equipment, provide weather information and sell passes. Like a fishing or hunting license, being caught without a pass would result in a fine.
In addition, trail heads should have informative signs that explain how long it takes an average hiker to reach various destinations and provide warnings about appropriate equipment and hazardous weather.
Such a system could reduce rescues by dissuading unprepared or inexperienced hikers from going beyond their ability, equipment or supplies. The fees could raise funds for trail maintenance and more rangers. It would improve the Adirondack High Peaks visitor experience.
No need for a border wall; impeach Trump
I’ve been quiet for some time now in regard to the border wall.
I had depended on it being built and have invested heavily in two companies, namely the Gill Co. and the Robbins Co.
Gill is the maker of pole vault poles and the Robbins Co. handles tunnel-boring equipment.
It just seems unfair that because of many sane people, they have put the kibosh on erecting the wall. It’s also so disturbing that four of our past presidents all told Mr. Trump it was a good idea. How do I know this? Because Pinocchio Trump said so. Is there no hope? Oh yes, impeachment.
Please let me wake up from this two-year nightmare!
Richard Moran Sr.
Cuomo belongs in jail, not governor’s office
I have listened a lot to what is basically the governor of New York City pontificating on many things.
No doubt in my mind that Andy does not give a tinker’s damn about the rest of the state except to tax it to death to pay for a lot of his progressive nonsense. He most certainly has a way of maneuvering tax money around to satisfy his whims.
The reasons why New York state is declining are many, and he has the audacity to say it’s our weather. Well, yes, the weather does contribute somewhat to the exodus, but there are many other factors in play.
We get severely worked over and subject to the whims and laws of what are the problems and lifestyle of New York City. It’s a shame that a few square miles at the mouth of the Hudson River rules (aka ruins) this whole large state.
I know for a fact the SAFE Act he pushed through in the middle of the night has contributed to a lot of people leaving. Another is having to put up with his arrogance and extreme narcissism. The taxes imposed, and in my humble opinion wasted, on a lot of things is another biggie.
Seeing so many of his friends and associates brought up on charges also tells a tale. Seeing him in cuffs, doing a perp walk into a courtroom, will bring a big smile to me and many other upstate subjects. They caught Rod Blagojevic of Illinois and there are still some open prison cells.
Bill will curb abuse of money in elections
Money talks. We want to hear what it says before we vote. Disclosing their tax returns will tell us volumes about a candidate.
Stopping corruption and other criminal acts in government is my objective. This is a crime bill that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik should support.
HR-1, a bill now before Congress, will create elections that are more fair and honest. Those who have nothing to hide will not worry about hiding. They will relish and allow the light of this bill to shine on the campaign finance, ethics and voting rights. Money talks, so knowing the source of it for political organizations (the Disclosure Act) and political ads (the Honest Ads Act) is important to voters.
Our electoral system is disregarded by a majority of our populous and disrespected by many more because of the private money involved. HR-1 will help even the money playing fields by allowing for modified publicly financed elections.
To further enhance confidence in our elections, voting rights need to be restored. New national automatic voter registration and early voting are a must. As well, restoring the Voting Rights Act and ensuring election security will go a long way in building faith in our election systems.
HR-1, Rep. Stefanik, will help curtail the criminal acts of corruption in our elections. Why won’t you vote for it?
Legalizing pot will have consequences
I’m writing to you with grave concerns about the legalization of recreational use of marijuana.
As a healthcare professional I feel that it’s my obligation to share the knowledge in professional, scientific literature about the use and abuse of marijuana. In my opinion, marijuana isn’t only a frequent gateway drug, but a dangerous and harmful substance to the human brain.
Recent research indicates that marijuana has major deleterious effects on neurophysiology (brain functioning). Neuroimaging studies show abnormally low blood flow in multiple brain regions in marijuana users. Reduced global cerebral blood flow was observed in the brains of 982 marijuana users, while cerebral blood flow was normal in healthy controls. This reduced blood flow was noticed particularly in the hippocampus, a brain area vital for memory and learning.
Other studies have had similar observations suggesting that the hippocampus actually shrinks with marijuana use.
The day-to-day, practical meaning of these results is that marijuana users, regardless of age, are more likely to have difficulty with memory and learning, which would also result in poor judgment and decision-making and lack of motivation. Not to be minimized are the effects of coordination, reaction time and a host of other motor-coordination functions. Marijuana use over time may actually be a significant harbinger of brain damage.
The last thing we need in New York, or America as a whole, is a majority of the population being continuously high and persistently inert and unmotivated to do anything but continue to get high.
Dr. Frank W. Isele, Ph.D.
The writer is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Climate change bigger threat than refugees
President Trump would have us believe that migrant families seeking refuge from violence in Central America constitutes a crisis that threatens the existence of our country, warranting emergency funding of billions of dollars to build a wall along our southern border. If only he and other elected officials would recognize that climate change is a much bigger threat to the future of our country and spend as much time and money to end the burning of fossil fuels in America.
The impacts of climate change on our infrastructure, economy and public health warrant immediate action by elected officials and all of us. Bipartisan legislation to place a fee on production of fossil fuels and distribute the money collected as a “dividend” to the American people (“Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act”, H.R. 7173) is a good start. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the Trump administration to address climate change (even though that might reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere).
Instead, individuals can take action now by voluntarily reducing their own consumption of oil and gas through energy conservation, carpooling, choosing renewable energy sources, driving high-MPG vehicles and divesting personal investments from fossil-fuel companies. All of these actions will help stimulate innovation, efficiency and create jobs in the renewable energy industry.