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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, March 17

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, March 17

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Ease development in Niskayuna

If the town needs new money for sewage treatment then stop expanding with new developments that overburden the treatment plant.
"Our neighbors" living on the sewage treatment plant road cannot escape becoming literally uncomfortable from stink, noise and vibration of the heavy truck traffic and increased pollution of the plant.
In Amsterdam such traffic caused: excess pollution, traffic and home foundation damage.
The town OK'd Albany Medical Center on Union Street making one family so uncomfortable they fled. Remaining "neighbors" are dealing with a “green space“ that brims with filthy road water run off once absorbed by ground now taken by the medical site.
Our "neighbors" on the road being turned into a de facto highway should seek legal help as they may become too uncomfortable from pollution, noise and truck vibration  
going down their once quaint street to live there anymore.
Beth R. Jacobs
Niskayuna



Wrong stance on Saratoga school grounds monitors

Why does everyone seem to distrust the media?
The editorial board, in its March 9 editorial about security personnel in the Saratoga Springs School District, seems to be hanging its hat on the emotional phrase, “something could go wrong.”
This opinion piece is completely devoid of facts, evidence, and expert recommendations.
Here is what we know: the Marjory Stoneman Douglas after action report recommends that each school has at least one armed security guard, and it goes even further to suggest that each school also has at least one backup.
Additionally, the Saratoga Springs Police department recommends armed grounds monitors at our schools, as does the Saratoga County Sheriff's department. The National Association of School Resource Officers recommends one armed guard per 1,000 students, faculty, and staff.
The experts who wrote the after-action report have a much better understanding about the security needs for schools than the editors at The Daily Gazette.
Yes, something could go wrong. A madman could walk into our school with the intention of doing harm to our children, faculty, and staff.
The editorial board seems to be OK with response times between 7-10 minutes in an active assailant situation, despite the knowledge that the Parkland shooting was completed in fewer than 7 minutes.
Something could definitely go wrong, which is why responsible parents will stand up and take any and every precaution to prevent a tragedy, and in the worst-case scenario, seek to limit the carnage.
Rob Arrigo
Saratoga Springs



Man, students came to my aid

On the morning of February 13, I was running errands in Scotia. I happened to get stuck in a driveway. A kind gentleman stopped to assist. Soon, two students who were walking to school also stopped to help. The two students caught the attention of two more students who were walking to school and they joined in the effort. Soon my car was unstuck.
Thank you to this gentleman and these four students for taking time to assist. I appreciate the service these five unknown persons rendered to me.
Marilyn J. Smith
Johnstown



Make Saratoga schools safe
On October 9, 2018, the Saratoga Springs Board of Education failed to make our school community’s safety a No. 1 priority. Unfortunately, the Board voted to disarm our dedicated and highly trained security monitors thus removing a vital level of security. As a parent with three students in the school district, I stand not only against this decision but more importantly, I support those candidates (Ed Cubanski, Connie Woytowich, and Dean Kolligian) who will rearm our security monitors. Please join me on May 21 and vote to make our schools the safest they can be.
Julie A. Tellstone
Saratoga Springs
 

Support Fitzpatrick, Kormos in Ballston Spa

I urge Village of Ballston Spa residents to vote for Liz Kormos and Christine Fitzpatrick for the two open Village Trustee seats on March 19. Liz Kormos and Christine Fitzpatrick are both highly accomplished, extremely competent people with impeccable integrity. Liz Kormos has extensive experience in grant writing, business and development. Christine Fitzpatrick is an expert in human services. Both are committed to local development that promotes locally-owned business, minimizes traffic, and preserves the neighborhood-friendly quality of life that makes the Village a special place.

Furthermore, Liz Kormos and Christine Fitzpatrick are the only truly independent candidates who will most strongly advocate for the government accounting and transparency policies that are essential to digging the Village out of its financial hole. Their opponents, on the other hand, are part of the closed political network that eschews transparency and got the Village into its financial mess.

If you value government transparency, community engagement, and just basic competence, then Liz Kormos and Christine Fitzpatrick are the best choices for Village Trustees. Over the years, I have witnessed them boldly confronting the entrenched political and financial interests that have taken over local government to give voice to those who have been locked out of power. Their focus on accountability, inclusion, and results will usher in a better way of doing business that will unlock the full potential of this vibrant community.
Benjamin Baskin
Ballston Spa

 

Stand by our president

In response to Thomas Benson's Feb. 14 letter, "Don't fault liberals for ID requirement" and Albert Pirigyi's Feb. 15 letter, "Letter wrong about necessary IDs," why are you trying to ridicule me?

The law was passed in 2005, all the states didn't approve it. But in 2009 Obama and New York Democratic Governor David Paterson approved it and said it will start in October 2020. So Mr. Prirgyi, who at the Stratton Hospital did you talk to? The law doesn't exempt veterans from it, show me where? As I said, how stupid can they be when they don't except my discharge papers that are from the federal government of the United States, that I fought for. What have you done for this country? Just find time to ridicule people like me? When I left school to fight Japanese for my country, I never got the education that you may have. How stupid are you? When you could not understand that I was showing the stupidity of it all. I'm glad I didn't have you guys covering my back when I was over there, I may not be here today. We had some good Democrats. Franklin Roosevelt passed the Social Security Act, and now the liberal Democrats are giving it away. President Johnson put it to the general fund and then we pay taxes on our social security. Look this up. Even Jimmy Carter, another liberal Democrat, gave immigrants, when they reach the age of 65, social security, even though they never paid a dime into it. Go check it out. The Democrats are not for people and the country anymore, they are for the stupid party. Wake up good Americans and stand by a president that is trying to protect us.
Vincent Belardo
Albany

 

America is capable of evil

Thank you, Mary Jane Valachovic, for your excellent lesson on modern United States history in your March 9 letter. Iran is developing nuclear weapons to prevent 1953 from ever happening again. Rios Montt? Let's not forget Duarte, D'Aubuisson, Somoza and Noriega. You will never hear this historical reality from Limbaugh, Sean (still waiting for you to be waterboarded) Hannity or FOX network. America has perpetrated evil and is still quite capable of perpetrating evil. Iraq, anyone?

Remember folks, March 16 is the anniversary of the great United States military victory at My Lai in 1968.
Paul Sator
Gloversville

 

Niskayuna needs ‘traffic calming’

As a mother of a young boy and a resident of the Old Niskayuna neighborhood, I was thrilled to learn of a recent meeting to address vehicle and pedestrian safety in my section of town. The meeting was convened by chairwoman of the Niskayuna Town Board Highways & Public Facilities Committee Denise Murphy McGraw along with her Town Board colleagues Lisa Weber, John Della Ratta and Bill McPartlon. Most of the town's department heads, including the highway superintendent, town engineer, town planner and police chief as well as a representative from Schenectady County all met with concerned neighbors and the leadership of the Dean Street Park Association to discuss concerns and possible solutions.

From speaking with my neighbors and reading information on social media, I understand the meeting was a success. It seems as though Councilwoman McGraw and the town have committed to working with the county and the neighbors on a series of possible “traffic calming” remedies for our busy neighborhood.

I’m grateful to my neighbors who raised our concerns with Councilwoman McGraw and the town board. This collaborative approach to problem solving is exactly the kind of leadership that makes Niskayuna so special in the first place.
Allison Marinucci
Niskayuna

 

Eliminate gun loophole

Start planning ahead. Each day write a few letters full of thoughts and prayers for the victims of future gun violence. Keep these letters neatly wrapped, waiting for the next horrific act of gun violence. Then, simply select a letter, address, and send. Call this your “Thoughts and Prayers Loophole Letter Collection.”

Recently the U.S. House of Representative passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, also known as the Gun Show Loophole Closure Bill.

For about 25 years, anyone purchasing a gun from a licensed gun dealer has been subjected to a background check. However, our shopping habits have changed. Now many people shop online, at merchandise shows or on shopping websites. This is where the loophole enters the picture. If you purchase a gun this way, no background check is run, thus the “Gun Show Loophole.”

Representative Stefanik voted to keep this loophole. She lights the way down the “yellow brick loophole road” to the land where felons, those convicted of domestic abuse, people with certain mental illnesses and fugitives from justice can illegally purchase guns: the land of no background checks.

Why do we have laws prohibiting certain people from owning guns and then give them a “yellow brick loophole road” to follow so they can purchase them?

Please send thoughts and prayers to Representative Stefanik. But send pressure to the U.S. Senate; pressure to turn off the lights that illuminate the “yellow brick loophole road.” The Senate must close this loophole.
Martha Harausz
Guilderland

 

Better to invest for retirement

Common Investment Mistakes: (I am not an investment advisor, but I do understand the process.)

1. Not investing early. Start in your teens if possible.

2. Not investing enough.Shoot for at least 10 percent of your income per year.

3. Thinking you can outsmart the market. You can’t. Just buy index funds. They are simple and have very low expenses.

4. Buying stocks and thinking they are your friends. They can turn on you like a rabid dog, leaving you with deep financial wounds.

5. Thinking you can time the market. You can’t.

6. Thinking you will never lose money. You will.

7. If you invest in equities, from time to time your pile of money will go down. No big deal. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and losing money is part of the game. If you can’t take it, hide your money in a coffee can. $7.15 a day for 45 years in a coffee can will be $117,438.75 after 45 years. The same amount invested at 8 percent is over $1 million, $1,008.686.90. That’s a difference of over $891,000. If you are lucky enough to get 11 percent, you would have $2,574,889.85. Coffee cans don’t work well for retirement.
James Pavoldi
Duanesburg

 

How about reduced taxes?

Governor Cuomo wants the property tax increased permanently. So typical. Liberals always rely on taxes and always a positively upward number. The proposed rate would be fixed forever.

I hear bags being packed.

I suggest a more palatable approach that everyone might support. Let's call it the Current Resident's Permanent Property Tax Reduction Act, fixed at a negative one tenth of one percent per year (- 0.1 percent per year). We would all pay a little bit less. Forever. I wild thought.

Elected officials would need to work on balancing their budgets with a known fixed rate, albeit a lower multiple than in nearly every previous year.  

Many of us might consider staying.
James M Schaefer, Ph.D.
Schenectady

 

Too much clout for corporations

I enjoyed reading Christopher Daly's timely discussion on the First Amendment and warnings about limits imposed on the free expression of citizens, especially in this era when a leader calls the press the enemy of the people. It's ironic that the present court has given corporations, using the First Amendment argument, unbridled power to disseminate information in campaigns with the flow of millions of dollars dark money. Has the court ignored the deleterious impact that dark money has on corruption in Congress or the fact that giving large corporate donors free speech rights has diminished the power of ordinary citizens in influencing federal and state governments. The Citizens United case and similar cases have had a chilling effect on the expression of ignored ordinary people. More than ever big corporations are getting what they want, so they're obviously getting a return on their investment into campaign. Despite rising seas our government is more responsive to corporate profits than science. Despite abject inequality our government is more concerned with giving tax breaks to the donor class. It's time for campaign finance reform and for the Supreme Court to seriously consider the disastrous impact the Citizens United case has had on our political system.
Al Singer
Glenville

 

Socialistic policies embraced

According to a recent Harris Poll young Americans are more likely to embrace socialistic policies and principles than past generations. Young Americans, brainwashed by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, support programs like Medicare, Social Security, public schools, military defense, highways and roads, public library, the VA, GI Bill, bridges, public street lighting, disability insurance, town and state run beaches, farm subsidies, fire department, sewer systems, garbage collection, business subsidies, the postal system, unemployment insurance and more.

The horror, the horror.
Walter Wouk
Summit

 

Do the math on Charlton firehouse

Voters need to do the math on the proposed $4.2 million firehouse in Charlton. Take out your Saratoga County tax bill and see what your current assessment is and see what you are currently paying for the fire company. Borrowing $3.7 million at 4 percent for 30 years will cost $6,359.040. Yes, that’s $2,659.040 in interest. Plus $500,000 already collected toward the project and $165,000 for 5 acres of land.

Figure out what the tax burden will be placed on your property by taking the cost of the loan, $83 per $100,000 of assessment and multiply that by 30 years and you get what this bond will cost your property. Add that to what you are currently paying and add on additional expenses related to the new firehouse.

For me, my property is assessed at $291,000. $83 times 2.91 equals $241.53 per year. $241.53 for 30 years equals an additional $7,245.90 obligation on my property.

I believe we need a new firehouse but I think this is too expensive.

I also object strongly to not allowing for absentee voting as many property owners/registered voters are south for the winter. Holding the vote after April 15 would certainly give a more objective outcome.
David Wayman
Charlton

 

Surprised by college scandal?

People act surprised that influential people get their kids into colleges using money. Money and power influence college admissions? Seriously, is anyone surprised by this? Wealthy families have had advantages over middle and lower income families since the beginning of time. Donating money to colleges has always been the easiest way to secure admission for an underachieving son or daughter. How can a student be denied admission when there are buildings with family names on them?

Names on building are a little flashy. More subtly, wealthy families can afford the SAT prep course and private tutors that frequently guarantee students admission, or at least a better chance. Many colleges weigh legacy admissions as heavily as SAT scores. Carnegie Mellon, UNC Chapel Hill and Notre Dame are some famous colleges that give preference to applicants whose family include successful alumni. First generation college students have zero chance to benefit from this practice.

So we know who gets a leg up, but we have incomplete information about who doesn’t. The United States could be missing out on the next Bill Gates, Charles Hamilton Houston, Grace Murray Hopper, or Albert Einstein. Classism is ubiquitous in America today. Neighborhoods, schools and businesses are all a function of what socio-economic geographic area they exist in. There will always be graft and corruption opportunities as long as there is demand for preferential treatment. Transparency, oversight and enforcement are the only remedies.
Christopher J. Ognibene
Niskayuna

 

We should have pride in country

Why are we so fixated on denigrating America? Pride of country is desirable. Nationalism is to a country what self respect is to an individual.
Geraldine Krawitz
Saratoga Springs

 

 

What love is really about

So the general public and certain members of a community would like the rest of us to believe that love is love.

Now don't get me wrong here but I totality disagree.

Now let me explain why I disagree with the statement love is love.

As far as I know there are different kinds of love:

1) Husband and wife kind of love

2) Father and son kind of love

3) Mother and daughter kind of love

4) Brother and sister kind of love

5) Agape love (Jesus Christ)

But I think a quote from a book by Jim Stovall best sums up what love is really about. "Anything bad or evil is simply life without love involved. Love is a misused and overused term in our society.

It is applied to any number of frivolous things and pursuits. But the love I'm talking about in the gift of love is the goodness that comes only from God.

Not everyone believes or acknowledges that. And that's okay. I still know that real love comes from Him, whether or not we know it.

And that is what I believe what real love is about.
Anthony Peter Carota 3rd
Schenectady

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