Assisted suicide laws do more harm
On Nov. 9, The Daily Gazette carried an article on suicide prevention that stated “America’s suicide problem has now reached crisis levels. Every year since 1999, the country’s suicide rate has increased, climbing 33 percent in the past two decades.”
Despite such alarming increases, our governor promotes the physician-assisted suicide bill A.2694/S.394, to make things even worse. Using an argument of false compassion, he would allow sane persons with a short time to live the opportunity to voluntarily end their own lives.
Assisted suicide laws are extremely dangerous and an affront to doctors who are in the business of healing, not killing. Insurance companies like assisted suicide because a death pill is much cheaper than nursing home care.
Greedy relatives don’t want to see their inheritance frittered away on huge medical bills.
While euthanasia laws always start being very restrictive, they soon expand to include comatose and disabled persons. Already in Canada, Judge Christine Baudouin has ruled that their euthanasia law is too restrictive and must not deny a “right to die.” New York state should learn from the Netherlands, where minors are allowed to choose suicide. These laws always follow a known progression: first voluntary, then involuntary, finally court mandated.
Remember Terri Schiavo, Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, among many others. We don’t want to see that happen here.
Gov. Cuomo and legislators, please do not support any euthanasia bills. Don’t throw gasoline on the suicide fire we are trying to extinguish. Keep this camel’s nose out of the tent.
Grateful for help with in key in storm
On Dec. 1 the day of the big snowstorm, I went to the Balltown Road, Niskayuna Hannaford. It was not snowing when I (an elderly woman who has trouble walking) went in to shop.
When I went out to go home, it was snowing so hard and the snow was accumulating fast. In the parking lot, I tried to get into my car, but my automatic key fob would not work. Snow was accumulating fast on me and my many packages.
A wonderful young woman, Sara, and her teenage daughter, Sofia, took charge to help me.
They did not leave me alone until they knew I was safe and could get home.
These angels took me back into Hannaford where Raymon J. and his associates were very helpful in finding the correct battery and fixing my key fob to work.
With the key fob fixed, Sara and Sofia got me back to my car, cleaned off the snow that accumulated and got me on my way. My thanks to Sara, Sofia, Raymon J. and associates.
Urge modifications to McDonald’s plan
We are writing to express our concerns regarding the plan to construct a new McDonald’s on Union Street and Keyes Avenue.
We moved to the Upper Union Street area precisely because it is a walkable community. The new McDonald’s design will make it harder to walk on Union Street, reduce shopping choices (eliminating two storefronts) of the Simon’s building, and take a viable commercial building off the tax rolls.
This may make it harder for the businesses and taxpayers to fund services needed to keep the business district successful.
We are concerned about the plan to add a second drive-through window, and a second vehicle “exit” (which people will use as an entrance, too). This would remove a number of existing on-street public parking spaces and, more importantly, present dangers to walkers. Increased traffic is of concern.
When asked, the developer was unable to estimate a traffic count.
This district is already congested. We have seen the impact of a poorly planned project in the same area with Dunkin’ Donuts.
There are already backups on Dean Street.
Other concerns have been voiced by local residents at recent 12309 meetings. We believe that this project needs to be significantly rethought and ask that 12309 residents reach out to the city Planning Commission on or before Dec. 18, when the plan comes before the commissioners, as well as contact our elected city council members to ask that the current McDonald’s plan not proceed as presented.
The writer is an officer for the 12309 Neighborhood Association and vice president of SUN (Schenectady United Neighborhoods).
Demand fuels need for pipeline approvals
Last month, the gas utility National Grid announced that since it is facing potential peak-hour supply shortfalls in New York and New England due to regulatory holdups of pipeline projects, the utility would truck in compressed natural gas to serve as a backup during peak periods.
Last month, PSE&G and New Jersey Natural Gas warned New Jersey’s state Board of Public Utilities that they might not have sufficient pipeline capacity to meet customer demand on the coldest winter days by as soon as the winter of 2020-21.
This is absurd. Our existing infrastructure is already insufficient to meet New York’s needs.
One in four households uses fuel oil for heat in the winter, and 40 percent of the state’s electricity is powered by natural gas.
Utility companies are warning us that without new pipelines to alleviate the limited gas supply, the problem will only get worse.
We need to stop playing politics, cut out the stall tactics and allow pipelines like the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project to move forward.
The writer is the New York Director, Consumer Energy Alliance.
Seek out ways to improve gift giving
How can we create a kinder, more sustainable holiday experience? Let’s start with gift giving.
Giving an experience means so much more than a tangible gift. Concert tickets, a trip to a museum or time spent together are all great options. Give a gift that brings joy to others. Lend a small sum through a micro-financing organization, such as Kiva.org to give people in underdeveloped communities a chance to break the poverty cycle.
Or donate a farm animal through Heifer International to a rural family in need. Homemade gifts pack meaning.
Make homemade cookies, a hand-knit hat, or a scrapbook from a shared vacation to show your love. The thought really does count.
When purchasing an item, positively impact a life with a sustainable purchase. Think about the person who made that item by seeking out fair trade options.
Wrap gifts thoughtfully with vintage newspapers, a reusable storage box or a pretty basket. Or use beautiful scarves or vintage shirts as wrapping. When food is the focus, trim the trappings by choosing organic, locally sourced, veggie-focused ingredients. Also, making conscious choices about quantity ensures less food waste.
To travel to your loved ones, opt for the train or car-sharing whenever possible. If you must fly, help lighten that plane by packing less, choosing fewer stop-overs and purchasing the carbon-offset for that plane ticket. As we move through the New Year, these changes can help us to rethink our consumptive ways and focus on stepping greenly in all we do.
Take action to save the fish population
It’s estimated 1 trillion to 3 trillion fish are killed by humans per year. A world without fish? Some think it’ll happen.
You’ll deplete the world’s resources at some point. They’ll have to decide what to do with the massive super trawlers that sweep the ocean floor clean. This is worrisome. The problems are too many people eating too much fish, and technology. Since people with power have shown no urgency with this crisis, expect it to continue, regardless of what happens with 2020’s elections.