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Letters to the Editor for Friday, Aug. 23

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Aug. 23

Your Voice

Central Park needs to add pickleball courts

Why are there no pickleball courts in Central Park?
I’ve been traveling around the country quite a bit lately and one of the commonalities I see is the game of pickleball.
Everywhere I go, people are playing pickleball and not just seniors but people of all ages.
It’s an easy-to-learn, easy-to-play, very enjoyable alternative to tennis. It can be played on any tennis court. Just paint the boundary lines in a contrasting color and the courts become dual-purpose courts. 
Technically, the pickleball net is two inches lower than the tennis net, but I doubt the recreational players would mind.
The tennis courts at Collins Park have pickleball lines on them and a recent visit found that pickleball was being played on all of them, with players waiting to rotate in. 
A visit to Schenectady’s Central Park 15 minutes later found 17 tennis courts. None had boundary lines for pickleball and only three courts were in use. An email to the Schenectady Parks Department requesting information on pickleball courts in Schenectady has not been answered.
Schenectady’s Central Park is a beautiful park with lots of recreational and cultural options. In my opinion, the addition of a few pickleball courts would enhance the quality of the park.
I also couldn’t help but notice the neglected condition of the stadium tennis facility. What an eyesore. Can’t it be cleaned up or if beyond repair, demolished?
George Ferro

Put blame on guns, not mental illness

This is a rebuttal to Lyle W. Barlyn, MD’s Aug. 14 letter, “Media coverage spurs more violence.”  
Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but when trying to sway public opinion, it’s wise to support your beliefs with facts.
Dr. Barlyn believes that the majority of violence is connected to mental illness. He states that the schizophrenic group is “more easily apt to be violent.” This is a myth; saying it perpetuates the stigma associated with mental health and may cause people not to seek help. 
Researchers say there’s no traceable link between mental illness and mass shootings. (Source: MentalHealth.gov.)
Fact: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent, and only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. 
The United States doesn’t have significantly higher rates of mental illness than other countries, but Americans are 10 times more likely to die by guns than people in other countries. “Impulsive and angry is not a mental health condition,” one psychologist told Business Insider. 
Hate is not a mental illness.
This country has 38,000 gun deaths annually. This isn’t about mental illness, video games or media coverage. It’s about too many guns, especially easy access to weapons of war. Ban assault weapons now. 
Carole Donahue

Segregation not right for unvaccinated kids

Ever since reading your Aug. 17 editorial regarding vaccination, where you essentially suggest segregation, my heart has been heavy with the callous disregard towards people who think and act differently than the status quo when it comes to the healthcare of their children.  
It seems as if you are suggesting an acceptable mentality that eventually created a civil war in this country.
Remember when blacks could not attend the same schools or eat in the same restaurants as whites due to fear of differences, politics, power, and dogma?
That’s what’s trending around the vaccine issue, if you have your way.  Forced seclusion and isolation is not American. Where does it end if we continue down this slippery slope?
Many parents simply don’t want to take, or continue to take, the risk that vaccination brings. Many believe that injecting immunity is not the way God designed it to work. 
Others have issues with the adjuvents used in the vaccines. Still others have seen vaccines harm their own children.
Whatever the reason for vaccine hesitancy, we must remember that vaccination is a medical procedure. All medical procedures have risks and should remain a choice without quarantining, isolating, discriminating against, and essentially dismissing from society, the healthy families who chose not to have that procedure to the extent that the state wants to mandate it.
By the way, if this is really all about the measles outbreak, why isn’t that the only vaccine that is being mandated? 
Anya Garcia

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