NAACP needs to update its name
Regarding the Jan. 15 Gazette article “NAACP calls for city to employ diversity training.” We notice that nowhere in this article is the full name of the NAACP spelled out. Is that because “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” contains the very phrase at the heart of the current controversy embroiling the City Council?
It is ironic, if not downright hypocritical, that Councilman John Polimeni is being lambasted for almost-but-not-quite saying “colored people” while actually lauding the council’s diversity as a positive development. He quickly corrected his verbiage, to no avail.
In the meantime, perhaps that venerable organization should consider changing its name to “National Association for the Advancement of People of Color.” At the very least, this would avert misunderstanding among the ill-informed, and tidily bring the nomenclature in line with the tenor and temper of the times.
Restore Crosstown blood donation site
I was a long-time blood donor, giving 20-1/2 gallons. I quit giving because they closed the donor office in the Crosstown Plaza. I have to stop one medication for 30 days before I give. I need a stable time and place. That is why I don’t give, as I now have to go to different places and I never know when or where. My wife and I would preregister when we gave blood that way. We gave five or six times a year. A lack of giving may be your own doing.
Arena football can still thrive in Albany
On Aug 21, 1999, my friends and I were among some 13,000 Albany Firebirds fans cheering them to victory in Arena Bowl XIII. Little did we know that would be their next-to-last season in Albany.
The Arena Football League of the early 2000s could never leave well enough alone and had to move any remaining mid-level market teams to major markets, in the quest for the almighty dollar.
The Firebirds’ ill-advised move to Indiana came to their inevitable folding in 2004. Meanwhile, we waited 18 years for the return of top-level arena football.
And after two years ... poof. It was a sad, but predictable end for the AFL. But to those current and prospective sports franchise owners in the Capital Region, I ask, why let Albany’s arena football history die with the AFL?
The National Arena League is an East Coast league with seven teams, including former AFL teams in Jacksonville and Orlando. There is even a team in Worcester. Just a thought.
Grateful for donors adopting soldiers
On behalf of the non-profit Operation Adopt A Soldier (OAAS), my sincere thanks to all who donated during the run-up to the holiday season. Your concern and love for our troops represent the best in America, and everyone should be proud they brought them some Christmas cheer.
We sent more than 1,000 comfort kits to soldiers so they’d arrive before Christmas, and each included a greeting card from area residents — from young students to senior citizens.
We informally adopted sailors on a U.S. battleship, whose commanders via social media said the ship couldn’t find even basic necessities at their ports of call. We sent everything from cases of toilet tissue to toothpaste and toothbrushes to snacks, food, games and sports gear.
It would be impossible to list all the caring citizens, businesses, organized groups, schools and others that donated.
For example, Walmart on Route 9 in Queensbury, in cooperation with OAAS sponsor Nemer Ford, graciously allowed our volunteers to twice collect money and material donations from shoppers. Every donation was accompanied with a smile, holiday wishes and a thank you from the donors. It was especially touching to see parents provide their children with a teachable moment.
A special thank you to the Gansevoort post office branch for collecting packages and sending them on a timely basis.
Please continue helping OAAS in its year-round effort on behalf of our soldiers, because we’ll be here “until they all come home.”
The writer is founder and chairman of OAAS.
Get yourself tested for cervical cancer
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Cancer Prevention in Action Program (CPiA) wants you to take action against cancer.
Cervical cancer screening begins at age 21 and is covered under most health plans. But one key reason women don’t get screened is that it’s too difficult to take time off from work.
HPV causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer and several other cancers. HPV vaccine prevents about 90% of HPV-related cancers, including cervical. The vaccine is recommended for boys and girls beginning at nine through age 26.
CPiA works to increase cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination rates in our community. We help employers develop a paid time off benefit allowing employees time off for screenings such as cervical, breast, and colon cancers without having to use accrued time. Studies show this type of benefit is cost-effective; helps employers with a healthier, more productive workforce; lowers direct medical, workers’ compensation and disability costs; and has fewer costs with recruitment and training of new workers.
CPiA provides education about the importance of the HPV vaccine to health care providers, dental professionals, parents, and young adults. Since the HPV vaccine has been in use, HPV-related cancers have dropped 71% among young adult women.
Learn more about the CPiA program, which is supported with funds from the state of New York and how you can take action against cancer, contact 518-770-6815.
The writer is health education promotions coordinator, Community Cancer Prevention in Action of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties.
Everyone should reread Trump letter
On Jan. 17, the Gazette printed a letter by Mr. Don Demarco entitled “Trump rescued us from sleazy politics.” It is truly a letter worth rereading.
I, for one, was impressed by Mr. Demarco’s sophisticated mastery of the gray area between good and evil in politics, his appreciation of nuance and, of course, his firm grasp upon, and analysis of, the whole host of relevant facts which bear upon the current political situation.
I urge The Gazette to reprint the letter in full so that we, the unenlightened, can learn from Mr. Demarco’s stunningly lucid statement.
Forgiving student debt raises issues
Based on a Jan. 6 column on Betsy DeVos (“Why is it so hard for DeVos to offer relief to students?”) I would ask, is the forgiveness of a debt an act of kindness, relief from the pressure of predatory lenders, a way to make life easier on the borrower that got in over their head, or simply another way for the IRS to declare the debt relief as income to the borrower and tax it as such?
Just because it’s student debt doesn’t really differentiate it from any other debt at all. You can argue they were trying to build their future, but isn’t that the same as defaulting on a loan to start a business and having the lender forgive your debt? They are both for building a future.
Here’s an example: Let’s say I own a business, buy a building and rent out my business to myself under another corporate name. I charge rent to myself, but in the course of a year things didn’t go as expected and I decided not to pay the rent. I then decide to forgive myself of the debt and move on. No money has ever changed hands, yet it becomes income to me on my tax return.
Why should it be any different for student debt? In my opinion it shouldn’t. However, could this be part of the ramifications of forgiving student loans and what is making the whole issue so complicated? There’s more to this issue than meets the eye.
NAACP needs to update its name