Big Welch decision helped Schenectady
There are famous people now held in disregard by many.
Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and Thomas Jefferson come to mind. Nixon apparently was a crook, Johnson dragged us further into Vietnam and Jefferson owned slaves. Flawed though they were, Nixon took us to China, Johnson advanced civil rights and Jefferson convinced the framers of the Constitution it needed a Bill of Rights.
What about Jack Welch? He had his flaws, but was he good at anything?
Could the GE he inherited in 1981 have survived unchanged to 2020? The world changed, and GE had to change to survive.
But one decision by Welch has been very good for Schenectady.
In 1985, GE manufactured power generators in three locations. Business being poor, GE decided to consolidate. But where? Welch chose Schenectady over the non-union shop in Durham, N.C., not because he liked unions, but because the Schenectady factories could build the largest generators that the others could not.
But it turns out those large generators are now about as popular as Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel. That market is largely gone in favor of the smaller generators the Durham plant could have built. With hindsight, we see Jack was wrong.
The electric power industry has changed tremendously in 35 years, but the fact that Schenectady continues to play a significant role in that business rests on that choice Welch made long ago.
Local role needed in state energy effort
Thank you for your March 1 editorial (“Push for more control of energy projects is troubling”), which supported state action to stem climate change and increase the amount of renewable energy in New York state.
But you mistakenly weigh it against a perceived threat to local government control under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new proposal to reform renewable energy permitting.
In fact, the governor’s proposal does not cut local governments out of the process; rather, local governments would be invited to comment on draft permits and, if they or other stakeholders raise “substantive and significant” issues, it provides for a public hearing to ensure those issues are addressed.
It includes funding for local governments to hire the experts they may need to meaningfully participate in the process. But the proposal streamlines the process and provides for standard operating conditions for projects. Such reforms are needed to accelerate a decision-making process, known as Article 10, that is universally considered broken and badly in need of repair.
The bottom line is that the Legislature, in recognition of the seriousness of climate change, enacted a law in 2019 that requires 70% of our electricity to be provided by renewable energy by 2030. Now, it takes 5 to 10 years for a solar or wind project to make it through the overly bureaucratic permitting process. Without permitting reforms, there is simply no hope of getting to the state’s ambitious goals. With permitting reforms, New Yorkers can have more renewable energy and green jobs.
The writer is executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy NY and an appointed member to New York’s Climate Action Council.
Cobb will fight for social programs
The Republican goals are to gut/eliminate current social safety net programs.
Gut/eliminate Social Security (planned after 2020 election).
Gut/eliminate Medicare (included in 2021 budget).
Gut/eliminate Medicaid (new regulations planned).
Gut/eliminate food stamp program (already being done).
Gut/eliminate Obamacare (being fought in courts).
Do you depend upon these programs? The Republicans are coming after them. Pay attention to their actions, not their words.
Rep. Elise Stefanik is a loyal Republican. She has shown by her actions in the House of Representatives to be aligned with Republican goals.
Tedra Cobb knows how much these social safety net programs mean to those who depend upon them. Tedra Cobb will not desert her constituents, because she is sympathetic toward them and their needs. Tedra Cobb is on the side of the people of District 21. She has fought for them in the past, and she will fight for them in the future.
Grateful for care at the Glendale Home
I would like to openly thank the team at Schenectady County Glendale Home.
In the past nine months, the staff there have provided exemplary care for my wife of 64 years in her final days. Recently, I have personally benefited from their care, as they assisted me through rehabilitation to return to my life as an independent senior.
I am a lifetime resident of Schenectady County. The residents of Schenectady County are very fortunate to have this facility and its staff ready and waiting to care for our families.
Bishop revictimizing sex abuse victims
In a televised Buffalo press conference as reported by Carolyn Thompson, Bishop Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator for the Buffalo Diocese, referred to federal bankruptcy filing as “a pathway to healing.”
I call it the revictimization of the men and women who were sexually abused in their youth by priests and all those who covered up the abuse.
Now that a federal judge will be presiding, the victims’ full disclosure of their abuse will be untold, the full extent of the perpetrators’ involvement will be negligible and any monetary compensation will be diminished.
Bishop Scharfenberger calls this a “very fair resolution.” I ask, “to whom?”
As a side note, Bishop Scharfenberger is the Diocesan Bishop of Albany. As one of the St. Clare’s employees negatively impacted by the mismanagement of our pension fund, I ask the question, “How long will it be before the Albany Diocese declares bankruptcy and we will be revictimized.”
Frances Underhill, BSN
Didn’t get to see ER doctor at Ellis
I recently had a problem with the Ellis Hospital ER. My granddaughter was having a reaction to an antibiotic she was given. We were admitted to the ER, and after five hours we left, as she was not vomiting any longer. First thing the next morning, we saw her doctor.
We never saw the ER doctor, who was alone on duty that evening. The nurse who saw her was helpful and checked on her.
Threats no way to show disagreement
Hey Chuck (Schumer), threatening two Supreme Court Justices? Really? And then to say that is how we from Brooklyn deal with it. No, Chuck. I’m from upstate New York and we are now more concerned with coronavirus and that the people of Nashville, Tenn., are taken care of in light of the devastation there. We don’t threaten. We express our concern, our passionate care for others, not our apparent Brooklyn mentality to harm someone who doesn’t agree with us.
I apologize to the people of Brooklyn for being seen as insensitive and brutal. You are not, but apparently Chuck is.
William D. Wills
Big Welch decision helped Schenectady