Move Liberty, leave other statues alone
I agree wholeheartedly with Dick Curtis’ point in his Jan. 8 letter (“Create a statue park in Schenectady”) that our Statue of Liberty replica is badly located.
But I disagree with his proposal to move the new Tubman and Seward statue from the Main Library’s plaza and the Steinmetz and Edison statue from Erie Boulevard.
The Tubman and Seward work was placed by the joint effort of a community-based committee and the library itself. The plaza sees a great deal of foot traffic, and it also offers benches for pausing to reflect.
The county furnished fine landscaping for the statue, which is now seen frequently and truly graces the site that is an important urban focal point of books and learning.
As for the Steinmetz and Edison, that statue was placed in a most suitable spot along Erie Boulevard, the main visual approach axis to GE, as well as the site of the Erie Canal and thus where Schenectady’s unique place in the history of American technology is better symbolized than elsewhere in the city.
Planning is even under way for a George Westinghouse statue across Erie near the family machine shop’s site.
A statue park such as Mr. Curtis suggests would unfortunately isolate these memorials and detract from the advantages of their present sites.
Only the Statue of Liberty needs to be moved, hopefully to a place of honor where we can pause and think about the rights of all and the incalculable debt this country owes to its immigrants.
Trump helped U.S. with tariffs on China
God bless President Trump for standing up against China with his tariffs. He is doing more good for our country than any other president. The Democrats can’t take any credit for that. China is agreeing to buy more exports from us.
God bless Elise Stefanik for standing up for the president in Congress. She did a great job. She let them know that she supports our president. I suppose that Hillary didn’t pose any threats to our national security. President Trump has done more for our country without your help. Has anyone noticed how the tariffs are working? China is importing more goods thanks to the president. Are the Democrats crazy because the president got rid of one of the most notorious killers in the world?
We need to persevere in fight against hate
On a music CD dedicated to Pete Seeger, singer/songwriter John McCutheon performs “God Bless the Grass” by Melvina Reynolds.
It’s a nice song about how persistent grass grows even when covered by cement.
We know about grass growing, how it fights to be seen, pushing against large obstacles.
The song is not about grass, of course, but about truth.
We all know some truths; love is stronger than hate, people should be accepted for who they are, and have opportunities to live a good life free from hate.
No more hate.
That was one theme of the vigil at Temple Gates — the holy place packed to overflowing by people who say “No” to hate visited on our Jewish friends, whether we know them or not.
People from various groups and faiths together saying, “No” to hate.
But that means saying, “Yes” to others who are different from you. It means saying, “Yes” to one or two ideas that can be strongly supported, not all the ideas or past hurts.
We must be the blessed grass pushing against the cement of hate.
Grass has one goal: to live. Our goal should be to overpower hate, that goodness will follow.
Thoroughly enjoyed GPL’s Cabaret Night
I just attended Guilderland Public Library’s second Cabaret Night extravaganza (Teresa Broadwell with her quintet of musicians) and wanted to sing praise for such novel community programs being regularly offered in our midst.
Intimate jazz, table-clothed seating with fresh flowers, wine, cheese, fresh fruit and ambrosia-like pastries were all provided with no cover charge.
An exceptionally wonderful evening was had by all.
To the creative and congenial folks at GPL, way to go. Thank you.
John E. Hargraves
Grateful for support for St. Clare’s retirees
This is a new year, 2020. Hopefully it will be a year to remember, that we will see some closure on the St. Clare’s retirees pension collapse.
I would like to reflect on the year 2019 when all you were at your best. That is when the pension collapse was in full swing. This is when our political leaders fought the hardest for our helpless caregivers.
Sen. Jim Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara fought earnestly to recover lost money for the pensions. Mark Mahoney, editorial page editor at The Daily Gazette, wrote some of the greatest editorials; this is a man with great compassion. The Schenectady County Legislature, which has pledged its overwhelming support for the helpless retirees, also gave its support again in the year 2020.
Then there is my “hero” Patrick Garrett, assignment editor at CBS6, who out of the kindness of his heart put one of the best Christmas interviews on CBS6 TV on Christmas Day. I mention these people who did these things in 2019 because if the St. Clare’s retirees did not have this great support, where would they be?
“We the people” are spreading the word for all to hear and that we will not let them down because they have won our hearts. I want to thank all of you for going the extra mile or saying a kind word about the St. Clare’s retirees. Anything you do to help is greatly appreciated.
Walter “Neal” Brazell
Poll question on Iran action was inaccurate
The Jan. 8 poll (“Do you support the U.S. attack on Iran?”) was very misleading and poorly worded.
The United States did not attack Iran. It killed/assassinated a top world terrorist that was responsible for killing and maiming Americans. Qasem Solimani was evil and hated the free world. Please be more accurate when wording a poll question.
Get screened early to help prevent cancer
The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of the Greater Capital Region has great news to share with your readers. Feb. 4 is Cancer Prevention Day and the CSP wants you to know that regular cancer screening can prevent certain cancers or find cancer early when it’s easiest to treat.
The CSP provides breast, cervical and colon cancer screening to eligible, uninsured New Yorkers.
This program is supported by the state of New York because cancer screening works; it saves lives.
These cancer screenings are covered by most insurance plans, so nearly every person has access to these preventive services.
Cervical and colon cancer screening can find abnormal cells that can be removed before they turn into cancer. While breast cancer can’t be prevented, a mammogram can find breast cancer early.
Early detection of cancer means treatment may be easier and more likely to be cured.
Here are some basics about cancer screening:
• All men and women ages 50 and older should be screened regularly for colon cancer. There are several ways to be screened, including a stool test that can be done in the privacy of your own home.
• Women age 50 and older should get screened for breast cancer. A mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early.
• Women ages 21-65-years-old should get screened for cervical cancer.
Uninsured residents of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties can call the CSP at 518-525-8680 to learn if they qualify for free cancer screening. Schenectady County residents may call 1-866-442-2262.
The writer is program coordinator at Cancer Services Program of the Greater Capital Region.
Join together against wars and for peace
Another year, another possible endless war.
Absolutely no good can come from war with Iran. It’ll be an economic blow to working class citizens as money for medical, educational, infrastructural and environmental needs will be diverted to the military. And of course, countless soldiers and civilians will needlessly die in a war against a nation that doesn’t pose a threat towards us — or at least any more than we provoke them to be through sanctions, pulling out of the nuclear deal or assassinating one of their top military leaders (frequently labeled a terrorist for things that pretty much every modern U.S. president is guilty of).
In fact, as our government tries to convince you that this is all about freedom and democracy, it’s worth noting that Iran once had a democracy that was overthrown in a CIA coup (backed by the United States and United Kingdom) in 1953 to keep Iran from nationalizing its oil. A monarchical rule took its place until it was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Other than to satisfy the Military Industrial Complex’s lust for war profits, there’s no good justification for this potential war with Iran or any of our endless wars. For the sake of those who will suffer if the drums of war beat, I call on our leaders to listen to the warnings of history and wage war no more, and to work for peace through non-violent and non-oppressive means.
I invite you to join me in that call.
Move Liberty, leave other statues alone