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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, June 8

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, June 8

Your Voice

Criticism of Nisky deal was right on

It’s gratifying to see the editorial staff taking a brave and outspoken stand in its editorial on the Niskayuna school board action regarding the incredibly inappropriate behavior on the reappointment issue of the school superintendent.
This is especially true in regard to timing, (prior to seating of new members) and the 5-year extension, during a period of significant employee dissatisfaction, when the superintendent is rewarded for questionable service and, perhaps, inappropriate attitude toward employee concerns. 
The paper also printed several letters, right on point, from readers.
The Niskayuna school district has traditionally been viewed with high regard.
The board, in recent activity, now deserves significant oversight, as seen in The Gazette and now, hopefully, from responsive and vocal citizens.
Thank heaven for an astute American press.
Lyle W. Barlyn

Know how to detect phone scammers

This past week I received a phone call from someone pretending to be my grandson desperately needing money for bail. 
I knew immediately it was not my grandson and should have just hung up the phone, but he made me angry.
I decided to play his game in hopes of possibly helping law enforcement catch and stop him. 
This scam placed my “grandson” in Ohio, his “lawyer” in New York and a “bonding” agency in Paterson, N.J., with specific instructions for a drop-off of $7,400 (which I did not send).
I contacted law enforcement in each of these states only to be told they could do nothing to catch them.
Only when their game is no longer profitable will they stop. 
This is a plea to all grandparents and grandchildren: Call or go see one another. Create a signal only the two of you know that will positively identify your grandchild if an emergency should ever occur. Know your grandchild’s voice. These people will not stop until their business is no longer profitable and the only people who can stop them is us. So never, ever send money. Hang up, then report the incident to the attorney general (1-800-771-7755).
As I am writing this, I received a call from the attorney general’s office in response to my report last week. Their advice: just hang up.
Bonnie L. Jorgensen


Giardino has earned re-election as sheriff

On June 25, Fulton County residents have a very important decision to make. That is the new election primary date in New York and there is a primary for the office of sheriff. Sheriff Rich Giardino is running for a second term, and anyone who knows him should know that he certainly deserves a second term. He has done an excellent job over the past four years.  
Sheriff Giardino wants first and foremost to keep all the residents of Fulton County safe. He was able to get an investigator hired to work on drug investigations with other agencies. Cooperation, coordination and communication are the three C’s needed to make drug investigations work. The department under Giardino was also the first Fulton County agency to have someone assigned to the DEA Task Force. That, in itself, is a large benefit to Fulton County taxpayers.  
I think you get my point. Rich Giardino is the best candidate for sheriff. He needs your support on June 25. My family members who live in Fulton County will do their part. I need you to do your part. Vote Rich Giardino for sheriff.  
Tom DiMezza
The writer is a retired detective lieutenant of the Amsterdam Police Department.

It’s crucial to re-elect Madigan for finance

On June 25, the Democratic voters of Saratoga Springs will make a crucial decision as to who will be their nominee for the office of commissioner of finance. 
I use the word “crucial” intentionally. When Michele Madigan first took office, the city’s books were in such disarray that all departments were underfunded. Most notably, both our police and fire departments had been forced to lay off seven officers, bringing the staffing levels to their lowest point since 1970.
By the end of her first term, the books were straightened out and monies were provided to begin reinstating those officers, along with monies to help DPW address its shortfall. During her next terms, she and her team continued to strengthen the management of our city’s finances, which earned an AA+ bond rating from S&P. This allowed a refinancing of our city debt, saving $3.6 million, and restructuring the city’s health care, saving $300,000+, yearly.
These accomplishments came about through efficient management and without raising city taxes for seven straight years.
Additionally, she and her team helped to create a 2.5-megawatt solar field on the city’s largest brownfield, which now saves more than $60,000 a year; provided funding for fencing our dog park; secured lots for affordable housing; revamped the city’s award-winning website; and continues to pursue the Smart City Program, which will bring greater internet access, public Wi-Fi, green street lighting, etc.
To keep this progress on track, your vote for Michele Madigan on June 25 is critical. 
Charles Brown
Saratoga Springs

Vaccines have proven to be safe, effective

In Karen Cookson’s June 2 column entitled, “Legal punishment for anti-vaxxers goes too far,” she asks some important questions.
Deaths worldwide from measles in 2017, (according to WHO) were 110,000, mostly among children under 5 years old. Measles deaths in the United States are few, due to high vaccination rates. A decline in vaccination rates could give a rise in death rates. People with HIV, cancer and organ transplants are currently at risk from unvaccinated persons with measles.
There is no data (only hearsay internet websites) to support autism cased by thimerosal in vaccines. 
Studies disproving this were not funded by any pharmaceutical companies and published in reputable medical journals. Except for some formulations of influenza vaccine, there is no childhood vaccine with thimerosal in it (CDC).
Vaccines have reduced or eliminated many diseases. In the United States, H. influenza, which caused hearing loss and learning disorders, is virtually eliminated. Hepatitis B vaccine (which all babies receive at birth) has reduced new cases of that disease (which can cause liver failure and cancer) to almost zero. HPV vaccinations of women have reduced cervical cancer rates by 90 percent and the vaccine is now recommended in boys to reduce oral, anal and genital cancer.
As a clinical pharmacologist, I remind readers that any drug/vaccine/biologic has good effects and bad effects. However, vaccines have been proven to be safe (in terms of autism) and effective in preventing diseases with high morbidity and mortality. These are the facts, not my opinion.
Joseph Bertino

Safe bet for finance is on Michele Madigan

I’m definitely not going to make a risky bet on a brand new commissioner of finance in the June 25 Saratoga Springs Democratic primary.
An inexperienced commissioner of finance could cost me several hundred dollars each year if they turn out to be unable to manage the city finances.
I’m betting on the proven winner. 
In Saratoga Springs, that’s Commissioner Michele Madigan. She’s delivered eight years of flat taxes and helped the entire council work together to deliver services superior to any city in upstate New York. 
She also successfully implemented, with Sustainable Saratoga, 8,000 solar panels on our Weibel Avenue landfill. She saves us money on utility bills, and this is something all city residents can be proud of.
Join me in the winner’s circle on June 25 after you vote in the Democratic primary for Commissioner Michele Madigan. 
Hank Kuczynski
Saratoga Springs

Let immigrants have driver’s licenses

So, our political leaders want undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses. Hmmm? I think they have ulterior motives myself. 
What’s the big deal? Might as well have them drive legal, insured, maintained transportation. Further sales of cars wouldn’t hurt our auto business at all. Many of them drive illegally anyway. Besides, undocumented immigrants having identification on them would help law enforcement. If the license had “Non-Citizen” embossed across the face of the license, maybe this would implore folks to become full citizens and enjoy all our constitutional rights. My dad, way back in 1924, did things legally and became a citizen. Mom’s parents also. All of us originally came from foreign lands. Oops, except for our original Indians, of course. So, that’s my two cents. 
Leonard Muller 
Greenfield Center

Beware increase in heating costs for poor

Heat assistance is a federal program. But for anyone one in Section 8 or public housing who gets heat assistance, it is considered income now. Their rent will go up a little over $20 a month. Senior citizens will have to lower their heat now. Some who live in public housing will also have to lower their heat. 
This is because of the new Republican administration. I keep telling people the Republicans are for the rich and greed, and the Democrats are for the poor.
Concetta Cannizzaro

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