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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Oct. 12

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Oct. 12

Your Voice

Limousine driver was a victim, too

There was a ceremony for the limo crash victims this past weekend in Schoharie. It’s a very thoughtful thing to do.
I’m writing because one name was left off: Scott Lisinicchia. His apparent sin was to be the limo driver. I’ve known both Scott and his twin brother Keith since they played Little League baseball for me as 10-year-olds. They also played freshman baseball and bowled four years for me at Ballston Spa High School. They were also in my math class. They were great kids.
Scott’s mistake was driving a limo that didn’t belong on the road. This opinion was also expressed by Congressman Paul Tonko.
I can’t fault a guy for trying to make some extra money to pay his bills. The limo went through stop sign and went towards the SUV. With a pending accident, you’re going to do one of two things: either hit the brakes or try to turn to avoid the other car. There were no skid marks made, which makes me think he didn’t or couldn’t brake.
If he then turned the limo, it would have rolled over at that speed but that didn’t happen.
My thought is both the brakes and power steering failed, which could have cause such an accident. When I asked someone who examines accidents for an insurance company, he said my thoughts were reasonable. Please don’t ever forget the loved ones lost. But try to remember one more victim. He didn’t put that limo on the road.
Pete Pidgeon

Toughen penalties for welfare fraud

The recent article about a New Jersey woman pleading guilty to stealing more than $35,000 in welfare benefits really hit a nerve with me. The Inspector General stated that this egregious abuse of social services for personal gain is now bringing real consequences. What consequences? She was ordered to pay restitution, a fine and perform community service.
A slap on the hand like this would encourage welfare fraud instead of deterring it.
Ed Peticolas
Saratoga Springs

Max Spritzer will be good for Johnstown

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Max Spritzer, candidate for 4th Ward councilperson in the city of Johnstown, speak on why he is running for that office. After listening to him, I have come to the conclusion that Max is just what our city needs to lead us forward into the future.
He has energy, enthusiasm, is well qualified and has a vision of what the future should be for our city. Although I do not live in the 4th Ward, I fully support Max and urge all residents of that ward to get informed on what Max has to offer them and our city before making their choice on Nov. 5.
I’m sure after doing that, they will find that the clear choice is to cast their vote for a man with a vision for the future.
Gary S. Locatelli

Trump followers can follow him to Russia

I hope that all of President Trump’s followers follow him to Russia when he is deported.
He can sit by the right hand side of his Putin and rule with an iron fist, as he would prefer to do here in our country. And his followers will be right where they belong. Lefty Liberal.
Ed Carey


Natural resources are still affected by PCBs

Russ Wege’s Oct. 6 guest column (“Further dredging of PCBs won’t solve the problem”) acknowledges that GE tragically contaminated the Hudson River with PCBs. Wege concludes correctly that further dredging is probably inappropriate, as it cannot collect dredge-dispersed PCBs. Yet, he fails to suggest action to address the massive natural resource damage that has occurred.
Contrary to Wege, GE never used the best dredging technology. GE conducted a year-long advertising campaign pledging to use the best technology: hydraulic (suction) dredging. However, GE instead used clamshells, which are great for navigational dredging, but not for environmental dredging.
As we predicted in peer-reviewed articles, clamshells were bound to fail for PCB removal. Unsurprisingly, PCBs in targeted upstream hotspots have been carried downstream and spread widely. If any hotspots remain to be dredged, hydraulic technology is needed.
Wege is right that you can’t remove PCBs from fish flesh. The (valid) idea, however, was to remove it from sediments that contaminate air, water and biota. That would have protected the air that people breathe and the fish and birds that they may eat.
Now just one potentially effective PCB removal option remains.
As Wege states: “In time, natural processes will prevail.”  Don’t hold your breath: natural attenuation will require generations for satisfactory completion.
Dr. Robert A. Michaels, PhD, CEP
Dr. Uriel M. Oko, PhD, PE

Trump backers should question loyalties

Trump supporters are, undoubtedly, patriots. But many of the president’s most loyal followers unthinkingly buy into the mantra that the “Dems have been trying to get rid of President Trump for three years.” That talking point explains everything to them. Their man is innocent no matter what.
Forget the findings of that old-fashioned conservative Republican Robert Mueller, who uncovered eight cases of possible obstruction of justice on the part of our president. Even today, after the president publicly admitted to trading weapons for political dirt with the Ukraine, the mantra continues.
Blindly loyal backers of President Trump need to ask the obvious questions: Do innocent people hide the facts? Would an innocent person ignore subpoenas, bury official documents and refuse to allow public servants to testify under oath? In short, does an innocent person obstruct and stonewall legal investigations? Of course not. If you agree, then the next question is also obvious. Are you loyal to the president or are you a real patriot whose loyalty is to the U.S. Constitution?
Bill Scheuerman

Buy locally produced milk, dairy products

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food and farms. As a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Pattersonville, I’m proud to provide my community with wholesome, nourishing milk.
In fact, milk products from our farm serve students in schools that use any Cabot or McCadam products.
Milk, one of the few foods produced locally and available every single day of the year, makes its journey from farm to school (and store) within 48 hours. Packed with nutrients, including calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D, high-quality milk starts on the farm with the care we give our animals including a balanced diet and clean, comfortable living conditions.
Dairy farmers have a long-standing commitment to student health and academic success from nutrition education in schools to supporting the expansion of school breakfast programs and access to free summer meals. We want kids to be nourished so they can grow, play, learn and succeed.
You can support the dairy farmers in your community by choosing real, local dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt when you go to the grocery store. Remember, your milk comes from a good place, responsibly produced by farmers who care about their cows, their land, and their communities.
Visit AmericanDairy.com to learn more about milk’s nutrition as well as life on a dairy farm. Thank you for your support.
Terri Phillips

Listen to experts on climate change fight

Solar and wind technology have become popular and can be a significant part of an overall solution to decreasing carbon emissions.
The problem is that both are uncontrollable and intermittent. At night, no solar power is generated. Clouds will dramatically decrease the power generated. The wind comes and goes. Fossil-fueled plants must compensate for these variations in power output.
One source of dependable and non-polluting electrical power is nuclear power. Many people are afraid of nuclear power. The Russian catastrophe was a result gross incompetence and was the result of an “experiment” they were conducting at the time. The Japanese catastrophe was a result of a 20-foot sea wall not stopping a 30-foot tsunami. Also, the backup generators and pumps were on the ground and unprotected from the ocean water.
The fossil fuel industry wields a great deal of political power. It promotes fossil fuel plants as well as minimizes the science of global warming and leads the attack on the nuclear power industry. As a result of this influence, some politicians not only have turned their backs on nuclear power, but the science of global warming as well. This is no way to run a country. The increasing frequency of extreme weather events is only the beginning. If we let emotions and politics drive what we do, we will condemn our children to a dark future.
Effective solutions to mitigate global warming will require unbiased knowledgeable experts.
John Dworak

The Electoral College protects rural voters

Democrats have no respect for the U.S. Constitution, as evidenced by their push to scrap the Electoral College because, in 2016, Trump beat Hillary even though losing the popular vote. Is this unfair? Consider the following.
Clinton won by approximately 2.9 million votes. In the five counties of New York City, she received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. They comprise 319 square miles out of the 3,797,000 square miles in the United States. Of 3,141 counties in the United States, Trump won 3,084. Of 62 counties in New York, he won 46.
It’s insanely ludicrous to suppose that the population of 319 square miles should dictate a national election. The same for 57 out of 3,141 counties. Large, densely populated urban areas do not speak for the rest of the country. The founders knew this and carefully worded the Constitution to safeguard against such disparity.
The Electoral College prevents areas with massive populations from exclusively deciding who leads the rest of the country. It gives voice to the sparsely populated areas in Middle America and helps them be heard as well as the elitist densely populated areas.
New York is a perfect example of this. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, much to the detriment of upstate, wins the election every cycle because he captures large population centers, while the majority of the state overwhelmingly rejects him. The Electoral College is the only means to prevent this sort of one-sided control by a small regional area over the rest of this vast nation.
James Homan


Kelly has achieved a lot during her tenure

Saratoga Springs elections are fast approaching. Mayor Meg Kelly has many achievements to her credit. She’s brought civil discussion to the council table and to external relations as well. She’s led the council toward the conclusion of several projects that have been in the planning stages for far too long, including the soon-to-be-constructed parking garage, which will enhance the ability of our City Center to attract larger conferences, thereby benefiting the downtown business district. A fire station for the East Side is nearing a decision. She implemented the city’s disaster plan after the fire that damaged City Hall. The renovations taking place will make City Hall more modern and efficient, but also complete some long-deferred maintenance.
She’s shown the leadership ability to move City Hall operations to alternate sites that ensured necessary functions never missed a beat.
Now that’s close to a miracle.
All of these successes are a result of Meg Kelly’s ability to work with others, find compromises when necessary, and then do the hard work of tying up the loose ends so projects can move forward. Meg has done that, and made it look easy.
Please vote to return Meg Kelly to office.
A.C. Riley
Saratoga Springs
The writer is the former mayor of Saratoga Springs.

Village residents serve the town well

 Responding to W. Thomas Bird’s divisive, ill-informed letter from Oct. 6, it’s important to know that all Town Council candidates are Glenville residents.
It is entirely appropriate for village residents to run for Town Council and should be encouraged. Village residents pay town taxes, which have been increasing every year as village residents are saddled with expenses like town parks and the supervisor’s ever-increasing salary, for which they have little use.
Town residents outside the village do not pay village taxes or receive village services, and therefore, appropriately, are ineligible to vote in village elections. Retiring Town Councilman John Pytlovany, distinguished former village police chief, lived in the village for most of his tenure on the Town Council, and his residency was never questioned.
Meanwhile, his knowledge of policing has been an asset to the town for years. Likewise, Andrew Kohout’s knowledge and experience of public works operations will be an asset for the town.
On the ballot are two candidates, Eric Buskirk and Andrew Kohout, Glenville residents who have served their community for many years.
They are both young, talented, family-oriented people with an interest and abilities that the residents of Glenville (and Scotia) deserve on the Town Council.
Cathryn Bern-Smith
The writer is chair of the Glenville Democratic Committee.

More school districts should support vets

It’s been almost six years since state Real Property Tax Law was amended to allow school districts to grant veterans and more importantly, Gold Star parents, a school tax property exemption.
Mohonasen, Niskayuna and Scotia-Glenville, along with many other local school districts, have already adopted the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption. This has given veterans a modest reduction in their school taxes, but more importantly, recognized and honored veterans for their sacrifices and contributions to both our community and the nation.
Over the years, many of our sons and daughters have proudly served our nation in uniform.  Our returning veterans and their families have played a vital part and contribute so much to our community.
We are clearly a veteran-friendly community, and it’s time for the Schenectady city school board, the Duanesburg school board and the Schalmont school board to recognize veterans for their contributions and sacrifices.
With Veterans Day approaching, what better way could these school boards honor our veterans than to provide a school tax break?
The 900 members of Lt. Vibert O. Fryer Chapter 88 of the Disabled American Veterans and our Auxiliary stand with these veterans and ask that you join us by letting your school board know that you support veterans.
Robert J. Serotta
The writer is commander of DAV Chapter 88.
Walter J. Schlegel
The writer is adjutant of DAV Chapter 88.

Trump isn’t in Irish politician’s league

To compare President Trump with the great Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell is sinful and ridiculous. It shows a lack of understanding of Irish history. Not only was Parnell a master politician, but an Irish patriot. He was an officer in the Wiclow Militia, something Mr. Trump is sorely lacking (military service), Parnell also was imprisoned in the infamous Kilmainham Goal (jail) in 1819 for his support of Irish tenant farmers (something that Trump never experienced).
Working from Kilmainham, he accomplished the so called Kilmainham Treaty, supporting 100,000 Irish tenant farmers’ fight for fair rent. There may be some remote similarities between Trump and Parnell in terms of their political styles, but the argument made here is preposterous.
Stephen M. Downs

Amedore shows true colors with project

The Oct. 9 article regarding Sen, George Amedore’s record on green legislation makes me smile.
A year or so ago, the Amedore organization purchased a heavily wooded parcel on Consaul Road in Colonie. The first thing they did was clear-cut the entire parcel of mature trees. Currently 18 homes, starting at $400,000 each, are being erected so close to one other that from Consaul Road, they appear almost touching. In a triumph of marketing, the name of this development is Sable Woods.
Ted Thompson


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