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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Oct. 26

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Oct. 26

Your Voice

Use of robocall service hypocritical

I read with interest the Oct. 22 letter from David Duncan “Problems with Nisky Democrats’ robocalls.” I find it interesting that one of the major complaints Niskayuna Democrats have made against their Republican counterparts involves the Republicans’ use of resources from outside of the town in order to canvass potential voters. In the letter, it’s stated that robocalls originated possibly from Lake Placid and that this writer has sent several requests to be removed from the call list because he is not a town resident but still seems to be receiving calls. It appears that the Niskayuna Democrats are also utilizing outside resources for voter canvassing, so if this is not the height of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.
Thomas McGarry

Lessen your impact on the environment

Where are the bullfrogs and spring peepers whose voices once filled our nights? Where is the riot of birdsong at dawn and at dusk? Where are the lightning bugs that used to light up the evenings, so numerous that you could almost read by them? Where are the June bugs that used to crash into our windshields on a June evening? How about the tent caterpillars in early summer and the fall webworm, whose nests denuded the trees in September (but didn’t harm the trees). Have you heard any cicadas droning all through August in the last couple of years? Where have all the bats gone that used to fly out at dusk in the summer? And now, the pine trees, and blue spruce especially, are dying.
These are just some of our local species that I have missed lately.
Worldwide, frogs are dying, bats are dying of white-nose fungus, and 25 percent of our songbirds are gone. Why is this happening? Climate change, pesticides and the takeover of habitat by suburban sprawl, shopping malls and roadways are leading to a huge decrease in biodiversity.
So please, do your part to conserve fossil fuels, give up methane-causing beef, cut down on dairy and don’t use drive-throughs. One gallon of gas sends 5.5 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. Methane from cattle is 30-80 times worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
Jahnn Swanker-Gibson

Save the country; Vote Republican

The Democrats are complaining about abuse of power and obstruction of justice and saying no one is above the law. How many heads of state got caught with dirty laundry from Obama, Clinton, Comey, Lynch, Rosenstein, Mueller and more. Trust me, if Democrats had anything big about President Trump, it would be broadcast through the world for 2020. But it’s a bluff trying to sway the American people. If you’re a Democrat, Republican or Independent, you have a family. If you want the betterment for your family and country, you will vote Republican across the board. Vote for the president and let’s take Congress back from these insubordinates who don’t care about you or this country. They want power and control so more of them can get rich like Obama and the Clintons. They think money is power, but they have it wrong.
We, the people, are the power and have a responsibility to our country to keep us safe, secure and prosperous. We owe that to our kids and grandkids.
Because of our pride and the love for our country, we survived several wars. The Democratic Party thinks we’re stupid and deplorable. Or did you forget that? If they come to power, we will take cuts while immigrants here illegally get supported, and our rights will be gone. I hope you realize how crucial this election is.
Claude Rizzicone, Jr.

Vote for candidates who put people first

Well, it is that time of year again when the politicians, in order to get our vote, tell us how much they have done for us.
This year, you have a chance to vote for three people who don’t put politics first.
Mollie Collins for Rotterdam town supervisor, Charles Dodson for Rotterdam Town Board and Brian McGarry for Schenectady County Legislature will put people first. As a former Rotterdam Town Board member, I encourage you to vote for them on Nov. 5.
Remember: People before politics.
Robert J. Godlewski

Patrick has variety of experience for council

I urge voters to vote in the upcoming election and to vote for Carmel Patrick for member of the Schenectady City Council.
Carmel is new to the political scene but not new to Schenectady. Her community experience is extensive. She’s president of the Schenectady County Public Library Board and a past president of Schenectady Rotary Club, secretary of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation Board and VP of the Vale Park Task Force.
Professionally, Carmel is the vice president of development at miSci and is responsible for raising revenue for this important community asset. Among her previous positions, Carmel has worked for SCCC, Senior Services of Albany and the AIDS Council of NENY.
I’m familiar with Schenectady city government, having served 10 years as city clerk and an additional ten as director of development. I feel Carmel is well suited for City Council. Her knowledge of the community, background volunteering for community organizations and working for nonprofit agencies will serve the city well.
With her curiosity, enthusiasm and willingness to listen and hear people’s suggestions and concerns, she’ll bring fresh insight, knowledge and ideas to the City Council. I ask all to support Carmel Patrick for the Schenectady City Council.
Kay Ackerman

Kohout, Buskirk will best serve Glenville

I have lived in Glenville for almost 20 years and call it home. I am, however, concerned about recent antics by some members of our town board.
I am troubled by the attempts to deny Andrew Kohout his legitimate right to run for a position on the board. Kohout is doing nothing other than bringing his first-hand knowledge of the village to the board. If anything, we should be commending Kohout for his willingness to take on this additional role.
The current board claims that Kohout’s candidacy is “deemed incompatible” vis a vis his employment. In an attorney general’s advisory opinion involving a situation exactly like this one, it was deemed that there is “no incompatibility.” The hubris of the board to think it knows better than an attorney general is stunning.
Republicans are afraid of losing their majority on the town board, so they have dreamed up this scheme. If there is any ethical problem, it may be with the town supervisor. He is the county Republican chairman, and he’s trying to deny a fair vote in order to keep his town board in Republican hands. I’ll vote for Andrew Kohout and Eric Buskirk.
Martha Meskutovecz

Nisky board should work together more

On Oct. 15, The Daily Gazette ran a letter to the editor from Lorene H. Zabin of Niskayuna in which she advocated a second term for Niskayuna Supervisor Yasmine Syed. To reinforce her advocacy, the writer pointed out “…the town council…routinely stymied her (Syed’s) ideas and efforts for change by their 4-1 votes against her proposals…”
My goodness, doesn’t that sound familiar? To me, it sounds like what’s going on in our nation’s capital. Vote the party line. Vote for what’s best for the party, not for what’s best for your constituents.
Come on town council. That river over there is the Mohawk, not the Potomac. The political swamp in D.C. is enough. We don’t need an additional political morass here in Niskayuna. Please work together for the betterment of the community we all call home.  
And, thank you for your voluntary service on the town council.
Andy Foster  

Jaquith wants what’s best for Niskayuna

The right to vote is a liberty forsaken by too many. Though voter turnout inches up when we choose a president, the daily impact on those of us living in the neighborhoods off of Balltown Road and Route 7 is arguably greater from the actions of locally elected officials.
I was honored to serve as one of Niskayuna’s elected officials on the Board of Education from 2016 through 2019. During that time, I had the privilege to work with Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, current candidate for Niskayuna Town Board. In my experience, nobody is more committed to our families and the qualities of life that make Niskayuna the community that we love. A tireless advocate and passionate about making the right decision, Rosemarie is unfailingly well-informed, engaged and accessible. She is not afraid to tackle complex issues, work with difficult people and to put in the extra effort that is sometimes needed to identify the right solutions. Though I do not always agree with Rosemarie’s positions on issues, I never question her motivation to achieve the best for Niskayuna. I implore voters to set aside apathy this election season and cast their vote for Rosemarie Perez Jaquith for Town Board.
Jack Calareso

Take second look at Northway rail service

I was our state director of my federal agency, USDOL/VETS from 1987 until my retirement in 2004.
My office was on the Harriman Office Campus. to which I traveled each morning from Saratoga Springs. Traffic was not good those days and now is even worse. Back then, there was a look at putting up a rail system over the Northway, much like there is in other cities.
To this day, I have not heard what happened to that plan. I ask you to send this to Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara in hopes he can take a look into this again. Please tell him I am also a veteran.
Jim Hartman

Jaquith brings much experience to board

Imagine being raised in a household where your parents spoke only Spanish and having to learn English upon entering elementary school.
And then imagine excelling through innate intelligence and hard work and graduating from high school, college and law school in order to become the Director of the state Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. This is the path that led Rosemarie Perez-Jaquith to Niskayuna. Rosemarie is dedicated to her family and community. As a current school board member and past president and vice president of that body, Rosemarie has proven herself as a dedicated and passionate advocate for our students. We have no doubt she will work just as hard for the residents of Niskayuna as a town board member. Rosemarie has a great ability to build consensus and make decisions in a levelheaded and thoughtful manner.
She is respectful of diverging opinions and able to analyze complex problems thoroughly in order to make appropriate decisions.
Rosemarie has been an excellent steward of taxpayer dollars and will certainly act in the best interest of our community. We encourage you to join us in voting for Rosemarie Perez-Jaquith for Niskayuna Town Board.
Brian and Debbie Gordon

Let Kelly continue her work in Spa City

For many years, the City Center’s need for a parking facility went unresolved. While the need was recognized, it was delayed by pointless RFPs, misguided development proposals for the city-owned lot and mired in litigation. That is, until Meg Kelly came into office. Indeed, during her first term as mayor, Meg Kelly was able to bring parties together, end litigation, achieve consensus and obtain unanimous City Council support for a lease agreement which enabled the City Center to finally break ground on the long-awaited parking facility.
Likewise, the Geyser Road trail seemed destined for a similar fate, until Meg Kelly became mayor. She was again able to bring people together, resolve litigation and move forward on this long-awaited project in a cooperative and respectful manner.
Meg Kelly has proved herself to be someone who can get things done. Through her leadership, and with her fellow City Council members, other important city needs can be realized, including a permanent Code Blue facility and a third EMS/fire station to better serve all city residents, especially those who live on the eastern ridge.
I urge all city residents to vote for Meg Kelly so she can continue to get things done.
Courtney DeLeonardis
Saratoga Springs

Soden will persevere for Milton residents  

Meg Soden grew up in Glenville, graduating from Niskayuna schools and Hartwick College. As chairperson of Milton’s Zoning Board, she tackles tough topics, with ardently opposing sides. Meg has displayed the character, intelligence and sound judgment to make necessary decisions, while respecting opposing views. She is a skillful networker who readily collaborates with others to make things happen.
Meg is intentional in all she does. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Her integrity and unwavering values will serve Milton’s growing community well.
Meg is committed to Milton’s prominence as a community of individuals connected to what matters. Together, with her husband Mitch, they are dedicated to raising their children, Adam and Bethany, to love and serve their community.
Meg realizes the beauty of teamwork. During a college race, she hit the final hurdle, fell and crawled across the finish line rather than disappointing her team. Meg will simply not let you down. This reveals the magic that is Meg. She keeps the broken hurdle as a reminder not to give up. You can count on Meg. I hope she can count on your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Andrea and Jack McConnelee

Trump took the right step regarding Kurds

A dose of reality regarding the Kurdish situation: The Kurds were not doing the United States’ bidding in northern Syria. It was a partnership. The Kurds were keeping ISIS away from their people while establishing a semi-autonomous region for themselves, with our assistance, in the context of a civil war. That war is over, and Al-Saad has won.
Syria’s next move would have been to reestablish control over its borders. So the situation last week had two main parts: Syria’s need to reassert control over northern Syria and Turkey’s assertion that its border needed to be cleared of Kurdish incursion. The Kurds were faced with war on two fronts with the United States in the middle in a no win position.
Pulling our troops out accomplished four things. First, rather than being adversaries, the Kurds and Syria quickly came to an agreement to work together. Second, by joining forces, there is sufficient strength to repulse Turkey on a single front. Third, the United States’ presence provided a reason for Russia to continue to stir up trouble in Syria.
Given Russia’s support of Al-Saad and its sales of weapons to Turkey, it is in their own interest to influence both Turkey and Syria to stop the fighting. Lastly, the United States is finally out of a no-win situation and out of one conflict in the Middle East. For all the hand wringing, this situation is likely to result in fewer Kurd deaths than the other eventualities.
Diane Barney

Do more to promote tennis in Central Park

As a daily tennis player who has enjoyed the game at Schenectady’s Central Park for over 50 years I am amazed at the low profile of this facility.
A recent newscast reporting on deterioration at the old stadium, which hosted many top stars including Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl, failed to mention the recently renovated 17-court complex which now hosts all the USTA sectional and regional contests in the Northeast.
This year, there were seven such contests drawing hundreds from as far as New Jersey  and Buffalo. These visitors arrive on a Thursday night and play through Sunday staying at local hotels and eating at local establishments. The USTA has brought in over 2,000 people this season.
The park also hosts the Schenectady Co. Tennis Association, the Tricia Tennis Tournament, the Schenectady Tennis Association and the Schenectady County Tennis Tournament.
In addition, 215 local kids play in a junior tennis tournament over an 8-week period and all high schools in Section II play at these courts.
Siena College tennis clubs use the courts as well.
In spite of this influx, no significant news coverage of these events occurs and the economic benefit to our hospitality business goes unrecognized.
I wish our City Council would take an active interest to exploit the potential benefits to the city, which further investment in this facility could provide, such as restrooms, and bleachers.
Ted Haller

Glenville GOP trying to manipulate voters

The decision by the Glenville Town Board to hold a hearing on the town’s ethics laws one day after the election is an obvious ploy to manipulate voters and potentially steal back an elected seat.
Why is the Scotia-Glenville GOP so threatened by Andrew Kohout’s candidacy that it is resorting to this undemocratic measure? Perhaps it’s because the Kohout/Buskirk ticket appeals to many residents in both the town of Glenville and the village of Scotia because of their honesty, integrity and dedication to serving our community. Perhaps it is because the residents are concerned that the current town board, led by Supervisor Chris Koetzle, raised taxes for town residents by over 41 percent and village residents by 55 percent since 2010. I think this plan to thwart the democratic process is backfiring, because many who have neglected to pay close attention to local politics in an ‘off’ election year are certainly watching now and do not like what we see.
On Election Day on Nov. 5 and again at this bogus hearing on Nov. 6, I hope the residents of Glenville and Scotia send a clear message to the GOP-led town board that this is an unacceptable abuse of power.
Sarah Bradley

Scirocco is a leader in Saratoga Springs

Skip Scirocco has done so much to help make Saratoga Springs such a great place to live.
Running the Public Works Department for 12 years, Skip has led: investing $10 million in our water infrastructure and increasing our water supply; rebuilding City Hall after last years’ lightning strike, the wonderful carousel horses in the park and miles of streets yearly on a planned and tax efficient schedule; increasing our trail system and teaming with Sustainable Saratoga replanting trees for eight years.
Skip has worked wonderfully with other City Council members, all Democrats, for the good of Saratoga Springs residents. And he’s accomplished all of this with no tax increase for the past eight years.
To help Saratoga Springs continue to be a great place to live, join me voting to re-elect Skip Scirocco as Commissioner of Public Works.
Rose Zacek
Saratoga Springs

Use red flag laws to protect from Trump

A number of states, including New York, have enacted red flag laws. These laws permit citizens to petition courts to remove weapons from individuals whose mental state may present a danger to the public.
Donald Trump has access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and his behavior suggests that his mental state may be compromised. Therefore, it appears reasonable that we should invoke the red flag law to prevent Trump from endangering the world.
Consider his recent behavior:
Trump insisted that Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, was intentionally acting against him. He further said that other countries, including allies, were working to hurt U.S. economic interests. His views reflect paranoia.
He asked Denmark to sell Greenland to the United States. The Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, called the suggestion absurd.
Trump’s desire to buy Greenland is beyond “absurd.” It reflects a dissociation from reality.
Trump explained why he has taken a tough trade policy against China by saying: “I am the chosen one.” Clear evidence of delusions of grandeur.
Trump has suggested to national security officials that they explore the use of nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes. As a retired professor of nuclear engineering, I find Trump’s suggestion to be deranged.
As president, Trump has made several irresponsible and dangerous unilateral decisions, most recently, abandoning the Kurds in northeastern Syria. Trump is unstable and should be denied access to WMD.
Ask the state courts to invoke the red flag law to protect the world from Trump.
Don Steiner

Sherman’s transfer will benefit Caroga

I’m writing to express my appreciation and support for the Caroga Music Festival and for the proposed transfer of the Sherman’ Amusement Park property to the Caroga Arts Collective.
The music festival is a positive addition to the region, and the transfer of Sherman’s will benefit Caroga Lake.
My wife and I attend festival concerts and are impressed by its talented musicians and the enthusiasm and vision shared by its many local supporters.
Their support has grown each year, evidence that their organization is here for the long haul. We joined in providing meals and hosting musicians, and it has been rewarding for us to contribute to something that adds so much to our community.
Those who recall the heyday of Sherman’s also remember how vital it was to Caroga Lake and the surrounding area.
While none of us can return to the past, we can shape the future.
The vision for Sherman’s advanced by the Caroga Arts Collective would restore it for multiple uses, again making it a center of activity for the community and a reason to come to Caroga Lake. I believe that’s a vision well worth supporting, and it is my hope that others will share it, too.
Richard Carlson

Madigan will serve all Spa City residents

My choice for Saratoga Springs Finance Commissioner is incumbent Michele Madigan, whose name will be on the ballot on the Independence and Working Family lines.
In local elections, the candidates’ track record, vision and ability to get things done on behalf of city residents are more important than their political affiliation. Madigan deserves to win another term on the City Council despite losing the Democratic line in a very close primary. She serves all city voters, regardless of party.
Madigan has earned re-election with careful oversight of the budget and projects such as the solar energy farm atop the former landfill, the setting aside of two city-owned properties for affordable housing built by Habitat for Humanity, and striving to make Saratoga Springs the first municipality in the state to set up a high-speed fiber-optic network for residents and businesses.
Barbara Lombardo
Saratoga Springs

Open Wolf Hollow road during winter

As winter approaches, I remember a Gazette article about the county being in a quandary about what to do with the road through Wolf Hollow. I have a suggestion: Make it a “Seasonal Use Only” road and make that season winter.
Going up or down the alternative, Hoffman Hill Road can be treacherous in the winter. I slid off last winter and hit a mailbox.
Luckily, the mailbox was mounted so that it pivots out of the way when struck and there was no damage. While I was stuck, the county snowplow driver told me there were two more vehicles off the road further down the hill and he sees more cars off this road than anywhere else in the town.
The road through Wolf Hollow has been closed since tropical storms Irene and Lee passed through the area in 2011. I walked the length of the hollow shortly after the storms, and there really was very little damage. As I recall, the reason given for closing the road was a danger of further erosion causing mud, rocks and/or trees to fall in the roadway.
In recognition of potential problems with Hoffman Hill Road, the county has plowed the road through the hollow every winter since it was closed, presumably for the use of emergency vehicles. I would like to see the road opened to all vehicles in the winter. After all, there’s little chance significant erosion when the ground is frozen.
Steve Lippincott
West Glenville

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