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Letters to the Editor for Monday, Feb. 4

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Feb. 4

Your Voice

Money for wall could do good elsewhere

$5.7 billion.

Just imagine how many mouths could be fed; how many children could be educated; how many roads and bridges could be fixed. Just imagine!
Mary Siegel
Schenectady 

 

Investigate impact of PILOT agreements

The Gazette often prints as “local news” press releases provided by some local government or quasi-government entity with no independent assessment for accuracy and completeness. 

When this is the only source for a local news story, the reader is short-changed.

Many of the problems with this are found in the 1/11/19 story, “Metroplex generated $15.4 M locally in 2018”.

This Metroplex release claims to be reporting the reduced taxes paid in 2018 by the businesses to which it awarded PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes). PILOTs allow selected business to pay reduced property and other taxes for up to 10 years. 

We aren’t told how much each business’s 2018 taxes would have been without the PILOT,  nor if businesses are expected to create additional jobs or do anything beyond being selected for their PILOT by the Metroplex Board, chaired by Ray Gillen.

And readers can’t easily tell if certain businesses are favored to receive PILOTs. Are local developers who contribute more generously to the dominant political party favored with generous PILOTs? 

In addition to Metroplex, both the city and county Industrial Development Agency (IDA) awards PILOTS.  When I asked IDA staff about PILOTs they awarded in 2018, I was told they were included in the Metroplex press release claiming to be reporting on “Metroplex  PILOTs” in 2018. 

The Schenectady League of Women Voters 2019 plan of activities includes a more detailed look at Metroplex. We should encourage this work by the League and encourage it to also look at the two IDAs.
Elmer Bertsch
Niskayuna

 

No education aid for illegal residents

In 2015 Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to give college educations to criminals. Now it’s the “Dream Act.”

What don’t politicians understand about illegal? Not only are they allowing illegal immigrants to stay in this country when they know that they are here illegally, they give them a license to drive and they reduce maximum jail sentences for misdemeanors that could otherwise lead to them being deported.

Why wouldn’t we want to deport someone who ignores the laws of this country by coming here illegally then goes on to commit another crime? It’s obvious that that person has no respect for the law.

Now Cuomo is about to allow illegal immigrants to have access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

The assumption is that being better educated, the illegal immigrants will be able to get better-paying jobs and pay more in taxes. Well, how about the students who are here legally who will lose out on the aid and scholarships because it went to an illegal immigrant? Wouldn’t they also benefit from a better education and also pay more taxes?

Nobody asked me if I wanted to aid criminals. My answer would obviously be no. Where is Cuomo’s sense of justice?
James Severino
Scotia

 

Wrestlers need less input from sideline 

On the evening of Jan. 25, I attended my 10-year-old son’s youth wrestling match. Now in fifth grade, he has been wrestling with the same coaches and teammates since second grade. That night’s match was against a powerhouse rival team and my alma mater. My son’s team had prepared for the challenge, and I was both excited and nervous to observe.

What I witnessed, unfortunately, was a deafening bout with the opposing team’s three coaches and wrestlers’ families shouting repeated instructions to the elementary school-aged wrestlers, while our two coaches and team family members observed with relatively quiet reservation.

The yelling and screaming from the opposing team’s sideline forced me to leave the gym during the match.

I liken wrestling to a more physical version of chess. Two worthy opponents meet head to head in a duel and only one will emerge the victor. Both sports require concentration, intensity, strategy and execution. Chess is a game played in silence, an environment conducive to the above requirements to succeed. 

I feel wrestling should be performed in a similar environment, with the two challengers facing off without explicit sideline instruction or coercion.

Coaches and parents should trust these young athletes to develop their own strategies and formulate their own sequences of moves. Otherwise these wrestlers are mere puppets, with the coaches and parents pulling the strings. The sidelines should keep quiet and observe with reverence, as is customary at a chess match, and allow the youth wrestlers to compete on their own.
Carolyn Eaton
Rexford

 

Blame Republicans, Trump for shutdown

It’s evident by the opinion letters in The Gazette that Republicans have short memories. Several opinion writers have blamed Nancy Pelosi and the newly elected Democratic majority in the House for the “shutdown that started Dec. 22.” The facts differ, as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats were not in the majority party on the date the “shutdown” started. It was Senate Republicans that wouldn’t compromise, not Democrats. Our president enjoyed a House and Senate majority, as Republicans ruled all three branches of our government for two years. 

It was his Republican House and Senate that denied him the $5.7 billion he demanded for the wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for. Republicans should be upset with those of their own party and stop blaming others for their shortfalls.

Mitch O’Connell couldn’t get those in his own party to give in to Trump’s hissy fit and threat to close the government, which ultimately cost more than double the $5.7 billion he wanted. This president is a disgrace to the office, and Mitch O’Connell isn’t far behind. 

I would suggest those writing opinions be truthful and put the blame for this fiasco where it belongs. God bless America and long live our Republic.
Gary Philip Guido
Rotterdam

 

Cuomo can’t be both pro-choice, Catholic

It never is a wise thing to say we are something we are not. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a practicing Catholic and he should know that. A practicing Catholic can never be pro-choice or believe in abortion. He could choose to be, but hasn’t.

He is a public figure and should not be claiming faithfulness to the Catholic Church. We hope his heart will be changed and he may reap the benefits of the faith.

After the living is done, it is all about the ending, when Jesus will say “Come Faithful Servant, enter into the Kingdom I have created for you.” Nothing else will matter.
Lorraine Connelly
Saratoga Springs

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