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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, March 14

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, March 14

Your Voice

Nisky needs school board that cares

This is in response to articles published in The Gazette regarding Niskayuna District’s capital project and Superintendent Tangorra’s proposed budget to exceed the 2% tax cap.
I served on the districtwide committee in 2013-14. The current committee recommendations are the same as the one presented in 2013-14. The buildings were in need of repair, especially VA middle school.
Six years later, these buildings are still in need of repair.
The district proposes to have a 5-6 building and a 7-8 building.
The American Psychological Association studied the stress effects of students transitioning from elementary to middle and middle to high school. Children will transition three times before high school.
The district is holding the bond vote on Dec. 15 before the holidays. This does not seem like they desire a large turnout.
Now, Tangorra wants to exceed the 2% tax cap while he lives in Herkimer. The district tried this six years ago with a budget defeat.
I am pro-education, working in the field on all levels. I work with parents who have special needs children. I am not pro no-fiscal-constraint, letting buildings deteriorate, giving the superintendent a five-year contract with a salary over $200,000, board members using their position to run for political office.
School taxes are extremely high, and opposing these things will not ruin the educational process. It will stop the district from ripping off the taxpayers.
We need a school board that cares about both students and taxpayers.
Linda Rizzo

Remember Trump’s words in November

When voting this November remember these words over the past three years from the president of the United States:
If you’re Latino, Muslim, or worse a Democrat you’re un-American.
If you’re a decorated Republican Vietnam POW, you’re a loser (McCain). If you’re a Democrat veteran, you’re un-American.
If you’re a praying Catholic, remember the pope’s words about Trump in Feb. 2019. If you’re a praying non-Catholic, see the National Prayer breakfast from February.
If you’re a grief-stricken Gold Star Mother, see POTUS with Stephanopolis. If you’re a non-Trumper or never Trumper, you’re un-American.
If you own property in Arizona, Texas or New Mexico, remember his imminent domain wall. If you live in New Orleans, remember his response to Katrina.
If you’re from either California or New York, you’ve too many injuries from the president to list.
If you’re a farmer, recall that the trade wars nearly broke you.
If you are a Jew who doesn’t vote for him, you’re anti-Israeli and un-American. If you’re African American, remember his words, ”Only these people can live like this.”
If you’re struggling financially remember his big tax cut to corporations. If you ever loved our great experiment in democracy, reread what happened to Rome.
Robert Jewell

Trump must put public above self

The World Health Organization is now calling the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
Large sport events, concerts and debates are being cancelled or proceeding without audiences.
But our great president, Donald Trump, says that he will continue on with publicly attended rallies. Apparently, he is more concerned with his attendant numbers and not the well-being of the American public.
I hope the president comes around and puts public health above himself.
Roger Hordines
Clifton Park

Schenectady no place for untraditional art

 Congratulations to the visionary businessman who opened an art gallery on Jay Street. Art is subjective. It belongs indoors, not outside where someone’s personal taste is forced on the general public.
Schenectady’s decision makers should not let the art community color the city with public art. The city already has its own colorful history. Just tell its story with costumes, narration and the way the Dutch celebrate. They wear something orange for public events. An independent visitor’s center would also help.
My vision for Schenectady was to convert the Broadway weigh station into one and run it like a mini-Colonial Williamsburg. Unfortunately, the building was sold. A Moroccan spa is planned for the site. What a lost opportunity for the city.
Dutch is Schenectady’s heritage, but no one talks about it. The city has the oldest Dutch settlement in New York state. Under no circumstances should public art be introduced into the Stockade area.
Nothing modern belongs in it. Leave the architecture in its original state, promote its history and the tourists will come. Schenectady is much more than a slap of gunk on a wall.
Mary B. McClaine

Gardening is good for people, environment

Private residential property makes up approximately one-third of the urban landscape. The impact of wildlife gardening is substantial.
Yards can connect corridors of habitat necessary for migratory species between natural and larger protected areas of habitat on state, municipal and federal lands.
They provide a continuum of resources if planted with a rich diversity of native plants and trees to supply the food chain for insects and the animals who depend on them.
Habitat owners who spend more time outside and the overall increased oxygen-producing vegetation, the visual interest and color of their active wildlife garden, and tree coverage have beneficial effects on people and the ecosystem.
Creating a wildlife habitat garden to attract birds, butterflies and other neighborhood wildlife is fun, rewarding and makes a big difference.
It’s easier than you might think. Here is what your wildlife garden should include: food, water, cover and places to raise young. Take a look at the wildlife fund and see how much fun it is.
Renate Reeves-Ellington

Give workers time off for cancer testing

Your employees are valuable. If they’re out for a while due to illness or injury, everyone feels it. Aside from the workload becoming heavier, you’re also missing and worrying about a coworker.
While not all illness or injury can be prevented, there is something an employer can do to help prevent cancer: Put a paid time off for cancer screening policy in place.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and the Community Cancer Prevention in Action Program (CPiA) wants you to know that colorectal cancer is one of two cancers that can be prevented through screening. (The other is cervical cancer.) Colorectal cancer screening can find growths that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screenings can also find cancer early, which improves chances for successful treatment.
All men and women ages 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer.
CPiA works with employers to help them develop a benefit of paid time off for cancer screening, allowing employees time off for screenings such as cervical, breast and colorectal cancer without having to use accrued leave or sick time.
Studies have shown this policy is cost-effective and has benefits to the employer, such as a healthier and more productive workforce; lower direct medical, workers’ compensation and disability costs; and less cost associated with recruitment and training of new workers.
To learn more about the CPiA Program, which is supported with funds from the state of New York, please contact us at 518-770-6815.
Kelsey Carpe
The writer is health education promotions coordinator, Community Cancer Prevention in Action of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties.

Brutal dictators are part of Trump’s base

Vladimir Putin, Russian president and ex-KGB chief who murders his opponents, is working to keep Trump as our president. Trump said, “I’ve always felt fine about Putin.”    
Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator who has executed hundreds and threatened the United States with atomic weapons, wants Trump, too. Trump famously said of him, “We fell in love.”
Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was probably responsible for Washington Post correspondent Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination and dismemberment, also wants Trump. Trump praised him for doing “a spectacular job.”
Turkey’s president Erdogan, sued by Swedish lawmakers for genocide, would vote for Trump.
Trump said to him, “You’re doing a fantastic job.”
President Assad of Syria also likes Trump, calling him “the best American president.” He used chemical weapons against the Kurds causing mass civilian casualties.
Egyptian President Abdel el-Sisi, accused by Human Rights Watch of the mass murder of protesters, would also vote for Trump. Trump called him, “My favorite dictator”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loves Trump for helping him destroy what’s left of Palestine. He has been indicted on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust, which he calls “a witch hunt.”
This is Trump’s “base.” Are you joining them?
Richard W. Lewis, Jr.

Nurses are advocates for public’s health

I encourage our community to take a moment and give thanks to the dedicated RNs and staff of the Ellis Hospital C-6 unit. Had it not been for their selflessness and bravery, many more might have been injured, including convalescing patients.
We should also pause to think of how such a great threat to everyone’s safety could occur.
The answer is what our nurses fight for every time they have to negotiate their union contract with Ellis Hospital administration.
Our community deserves well-trained and adequately staffed units. Events that may occur when people are ill or in pain are unpredictable. A properly trained and staffed unit, carefully evaluated each day, will only improve patient satisfaction, and may also prevent someone from becoming a danger to themselves or, in this case, others.
Please thank and support your RNs and their assistants for being your advocates to better health and safety.
Robert Moore
Ballston Spa

Support candidates who oppose abortion

The present leadership of New York crossed lines of gross immorality. The governor and Democratic Legislature legalized abortion up until the moment of birth. It is a moral and political issue in politics and with changing hearts we must take our stand and fight.
Abortion is not a women’s health care issue. Over 60% of abortions are forced on women by boyfriends, husbands or fathers. But there is hope. Hope for women and men involved in abortions. Jesus will forgive those who turn to Him and repent, and He will heal your pain and shame. We need to fight this battle in the voting booth, since the courts allowed it to be legal. There is a clear choice this year — one who will fight against the Democratic machine. There is a godly woman running for Congress. She gives a clear voice to help fight this immorality.
God grant repentance to our leaders, judges, teachers and people. Lord have mercy on America.
Thomas Whelly

Support effort to relocate Lady Liberty

There have been many letters and several news stories expressing dissatisfaction about Schenectady’s Lady Liberty, its removal and relocation. I, for one have written several previous letters myself.
There are a number of us commenters supporting refurbishing and relocating this historic community asset back in Liberty/Gateway Park for all the reasons we writers have previously stated.
What is missing, in my opinion, is what we are willing to do about it. I propose that The Daily Gazette, as a neutral party, initiate, with city and county leadership support, a fund-raising effort to return our Lady Liberty to her original home with appropriate signage.
I, for one, will donate $1,000 toward this effort and encourage my fellow citizens to donate what they can toward this worthwhile historic preservation. What do you say Daily Gazette, city/county leaders and my fellow citizens?
Lance R. Jackson

Support workers at Nathan Littauer

I have been attending the contract negotiations between the Nathan Littauer Hospital and the 1199 union. This union represents several areas of the hospital: LPNs, CNAs, kitchen, housekeeping, engineering, respiratory, laboratory, radiology, ward clerks and central sterilization.
Ours is a small community hospital and our patients want to see the same staff that they have relied on for years. But there are 40 job openings that can’t be filled. No one is interested due to low wages, no weekend differential and extra shift mandations due to the short staffing issues, especially in Respiratory, Lab and the nursing home.
We have asked to raise the wages of the minimum-wage positions. We have asked for a weekend differential because all other hospitals pay this. We have asked for an increase in contribution to our health insurance and pension, so that the staff can afford to stay at the hospital and keep their families insured. One of the reasons to work at NLH has always been the excellent pension and insurance from the union. And we have asked for a raise to compensate for cost of living increases. All denied.
It has been reported that the hospital has a $90 million profit. Why are the out-of-town, six-figure VPs and CEO not willing to share this money? It can’t all go to equipment. Greed? The hospital is falling apart. Please contact board members or the CEO if you agree with me.
Donna Boswell

Name one thing we can all agree upon

I wonder. Every letter in this column receives a split agreement.
Perhaps a 55/45 pro/con. Occasionally 60/40. I’m curious what ONE word would receive a 100% agreement?
Les Hassan

Schumer a disgrace, needs to be ousted

How many times over the years have you heard that statement, “Sen. Schumer says,” either on TV or the radio. My favorite, an oldie but goodie, is more federal money should be spent on playgrounds.
Sen. Schumer now has the audacity to threaten two Supreme Court justices: Justice Neil Gorsuch and Bret Kavanaugh. You will pay stated his holiness.
God-like you are not, Chucky. You’re a disgrace to your office that you have held too long. The residents of New York state deserve better.
God bless the United States of America, our veterans and President Trump and his family.
Edward Hedlund
Clifton Park

Help is available for problem gambling

Did you know that gambling addiction is diagnosable and treatable, and that help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Problem gambling is defined as repeated engagement in gambling activities that leads to significant negative impacts in a person’s life.
A person with a gambling problem may often neglect their families, friends, run up large amounts of debt, and may involve themselves in illegal activity in order to feed their addiction.
Some facts: Nearly 668,000 adults in New York are struggling with a gambling problem.
Two-thirds of gamblers surveyed reported their mental health suffered as a result of their gambling.
The majority of those experiencing disordered gambling have a lifetime history of psychiatric disorder including personality disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Over 17% of these individuals experiencing problem gambling have attempted suicide.
Problem gambling does not just affect the individual who is gambling, but also his or her loved ones. In one study, over 90% of those affected by someone else’s gambling behavior reported emotional distress.
For more information for yourself or a loved one, contact 1-877-8HOPE-NY for 24-hour free and confidential help or contact Cara O’Brien at Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties (518) 842-4202 ext. 3116 or email at [email protected].
Cara O’Brien
The writer is a substance abuse prevention educator with Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties.

Live your life to the fullest extent you can

Longevity is good as long as you can move around and are in fairly good health and have enough money to support yourself and your health.
It’s also nice to have a loving family and friends to depend on and who cares for you.
It’s great if you can do something good to the community and to the country. Life depends mostly on God. Don’t waste it or abuse it, especially youngsters. Achieve something wonderful during your lifetime. Use it to the full extent.
Mercy Premsagar, M.D.

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