Letters to the Editor Saturday, Sep. 26

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Install tip jars to aid grocery store clerks

One of the few places that I’ve visited in the last six months is the grocery store. When I’m there, the essential workers are all going about their chores wearing their face masks.
They are exposed to many people every day making their tedious work even worse than normal. These loyal employees deserve a bonus.
If the management is too frugal to pay them directly, I have a solution to this inequity. The stores should install tip jars at each check out. I think most customers understand this situation and would gladly leave a tip.
Thomas Singer

Not paying for your irresponsible acts

Let us speak of helmets and seat belts. And masks. Some people claim they have the right to self-destruct.
Where exactly in the Constitution is that right defined? In any case, if your extreme freedom and entitlement to risk causes you to become severely sick or injured, who will pay the bill?
If you have health insurance, it may not be enough. If you cannot work, who will support you? Other people – the rest of us — will be required to pay to help you.
Personally, I resent having to subsidize someone else’s lack of responsibility.
Marilyn B. Guidarelli

Show records of conservative judges

The Gazette would provide an important public service by publishing a guide to how conservative justices vote on key issues.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not just a pioneer on civil rights issues, but an advocate for positions that have majority support in this country.
Too bad many voters just cheer for their team to get the next appointment without really knowing what these justices really stand for. Perhaps on the abortion issue the lines are clearly marked, yet amid the clamor few realize that a majority of the nation supports reasonable abortion policies.
Do the voters know that no conservative justices are pro-corporation when balancing environmental interests, workers’ rights, etc. Do they know conservative justices defer to racist legislators on issues of gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics? Do they know the conservative justices defer to a president’s authority no matter how capricious or arbitrary (or xenophobic or racist)? Do they know conservative justices are likely to overturn the Affordable Care Act?
Let’s honor the death of a great justice by making informed choices, not just treat politics like cheering for a football team.
Al Singer

Why commercials during 9/11 tribute?

“9/11 Remembered: The Day We Came Together” was a very moving and inspirational program. It brought me to tears. But why the commercials? It was upsetting and frustrating.
Certainly we should have had one hour to remember, reminisce and take it all in again without interruptions of commercials. Some were even repeated.
You can be sure that there won’t be any commercials when President Trump and Joe Biden are on the platform debating and playing politics. Thank goodness for the mute button.
Alice Knizek

Cobb won’t represent true North Country

Well it’s the time of the year for an election post. I’m now retired after over 40 years as a construction worker. I have to comment about a descriptive word commonly used.
The word is “COB,” it is normally used as “a Cob Job.” That statement describes a shoddy job, many times using inferior materials backed up by less than decent workmanship.
Electing Tedra Cobb will produce a COB job. We have more than enough New York City type thinkers supposedly representing us. We need someone that has real North Country ideals and knowledge, not a Cuomo acolyte.
She claims she is good for the North Country but many of her ideals and ideas say much different.
We have more than enough onerous rules, taxes and gun control just to name a few. We need a real North Country person, not a New York City wannabe. Do not do a cob job at this election time. Vote for Elise Stefanik if you want your real North Country representation.
David G. DeMarco

Santabarbara against protecting babies

Assemblyman Santabarbara advocates for the humane treatment of dogs, while he votes for the inhumane murder of human babies. The Reproductive Health Act repealed NY Public Health Law section 4164, which required doctors to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion.
Santabarbara removed this law that protected babies in order to legalize their murder.
Santabarbara remains silent on his vote for infanticide, while he talks tough against gun violence on dogs. “I will not tolerate crimes of attacks against animals,” he cries.
Santabarbara fights to make shooting dogs a felony, but killing a full-term baby with lethal injection; that’s a legal abortion.
While Americans should love animals and advocate for their humane treatment, we should never give animals greater legal protection than human babies. We should value babies more than we value dogs. Santabarbara disagrees. He devalues babies by removing laws meant to protect them, in order to kill them in a way that we wouldn’t do to a dog or a cat. Santabarbara followed his party and voted for infanticide. His lack of leadership proves how Democrats follow their party at all costs, even if the cost is innocent babies.
Jennifer Richards
Burnt Hills

Candidates would focus on downstate

I usually agree with John Figliozzi’s superb columns, but I take exception to his Sept. 20 op-ed (“Fix the Electoral College, don’t replace it”) in which he abruptly dismissed the National Interstate Popular Vote Compact proposal to fix the Electoral College in favor of “awarding electoral votes proportionally by in-state popular vote.”
On the face of it, that method would reflect every voter’s wishes. But here’s the problem. If, as an example, we distributed New York’s 29 electoral votes proportionally, the total would be skewed toward the New York metropolitan area because its population heavily outnumbers the rest of the state. Presidential candidates would concentrate their efforts downstate because that’s where most New Yorkers live.
The other option is to require electors to be chosen by congressional district, as Hamilton and Madison proposed. That would ensure a more democratic allocation of votes, but the core of the problem would remain because, by my count, 19 of our 27 districts are carved out between Rhinebeck and the eastern tip of Long Island.
The other eight districts represent the whole area north and west of Paul Tonko’s district (Amsterdam). Presidential candidates would take scant interest in the affairs of the whole North Country and the rural areas of the Southern Tier.
But, by far, the most serious shortcoming of this option is the problem of gerrymandering. If you think there’s too much mischief now, watch how much worse things will get with a presidential election at stake.
Fred Como
Burnt Hills

Retain commission gov’t in Spa City

As someone who has enjoyed living in Saratoga Springs for 40 years, I totally support the commission form of government.
It is unbelievable that some people want to radically change what continues to be one of the most successful cities in New York state; in fact, one of the more accomplished cities in the whole country.
Even though the citizens of our fair city have voted three times in the past eight years against changing our government, they continue to ignore us.
They can write all the gobbledygook they want, but no way will their proposed charter improve our wonderful city. The risk they want us to take is way too high.
Their 2020 version continues to make absolutely no freaking sense. In fact, it’s significantly worse because they added ward politicians who will divide our city. Saratoga Springs is not Albany.
And as Commissioner Madigan rightly pointed out in 2017 (and it’s also true today), their financial analysis is way off the rails and will cost us more for an inferior government.
Finally, it would be a tragic and costly mistake to change our successful form of government. Vote no on Saratoga Springs charter change.
Michael O’Brien
Saratoga Springs

Do the right thing by voting in person

Go vote! If you shop at (Price Chopper, Shop Rite, Hannaford, Aldi’s, Walmart, Target, BJs, Boscov’s, Bed Bath &Beyond, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Michael’s, mall shopping, CVS, Walgreens, Tractor Supply, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Bellview Builders, then you can go out and vote in person on Nov. 3.
If you’re using the excuse of COVID-19 not to vote, then you shouldn’t be shopping at any of the stores I just listed. As an American citizen, it’s your right and privilege to vote in person. Of course, wear your mask on Nov. 3. Do the right thing, simply put.
Paul Dolhy

Serving shouldn’t be about most money

My question to everyone out there is: When did money become the reason someone was elected?
I thought it was about what they have done for we, the people, or will do. And for those haters of the current president, why not do your research into what has been done? You will not get it on local ABC, NBC, CBS. I watch all three, PBS, FOX and some CNN. You have to at least listen to all voices to make a choice.
It should not be about who has spent the most money on ads or TV time.
Louise Wasson

Nation must admit, address state of grief

The loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left me sad, and unfortunately it is placed on top of so many other losses due to COVID-19, social unrest, climate change, unhealed historical trauma and its impact on the mental and physical health of people of color and a political system growing void of integrity.
I have been promoting the need for sanctioning grief within our communities and nation since the onset of this pandemic to ensure grief is not thought of as a disease or character deficit.
Our nation is in a state of grief and grief is a change agent. Elizabeth Kubler Ross identified five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. When I witness the behaviors across our nation, I witness the stages of grief.
Consider the denial that accompanies this pandemic and the empty bargaining from our political leaders. Or the anger and violence related to systemic racism. Let’s not forget the parents and teachers outraged and overwhelmed by the task of normalizing the abnormal.
It’s clear to me that our nation is in a state of grief.
Loss changes us, and unless we officially validate grief, our nation will cycle through the stages of grief and get trapped in anger resisting the necessary changes we all need to make.
I want to recognize my sadness in the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I want my grief to have meaning and not just another loss on top of another loss.
Deborah Faust

Trump’s curriculum would ignore reality

Donald Trump wants to use what children learn in school to his political advantage. In an effort to promote ‘patriotic education,’ he would sign an executive order through the 1776 Commission, which would denounce the impacts of racial injustice for Black Americans. He claims that schools are teaching students to hate this country and is calling for a curriculum that teaches American exceptionalism.
There is no truth to his claim that history teachers are indoctrinating students to hate the United States.
If Trump turned off Fox News and read a book, he will realize that our children (citizens) love this country. He would learn that we can teach how slavery formulated so many inequities that still exist today, while still teaching the greatness of America.
Students should learn about the Emancipation Proclamation, as well Jim Crow laws and achievements of people like Thurgood Marshall. It is good for students to understand the ‘oppressive’ history of the United States, while appreciating the country’s success, progress and achievements. Instead, Trump’s narrative suggests that America is a place of opportunity for everyone, while ignoring the struggles that many marginalized groups have long faced. Another example, of the dip into fascism.
Maxine Brisport

Trump disregards our safety and security

Donald Trump often boasts about his intellectual capabilities, yet he has not been able to grasp the simple fact that unless COVID-19 is contained, there cannot be a sustained economic recovery nor can there be a safe return to classrooms.
In April, following a flattening of the curve, Trump encouraged states to reopen their economies “as soon as possible” without providing data-based guidelines for a phased process. Many states followed Trump’s lead and then witnessed the consequences of rushing to open without enforcing mitigation protocols.
These states clearly demonstrated that economic recovery cannot be sustained without controlling COVID-19.
In spite of these outbreaks, Trump then urged schools to reopen classrooms at the start of the academic year. He did not provide any data-based guidelines for safely reopening schools. Trump clearly did not learn from the disastrous experience of states reopening their economies too rapidly. Classrooms cannot reopen safely in the midst of major COVID-19 outbreaks.
Trump’s obsession with reopening the economy and schools is driven by purely political motivations. His callous disregard for the health and well-being of Americans is astonishing.
His only concern is about winning reelection at any cost.
Don Steiner

America is fast on the path of hatred

In his book “Killing Crazy Horse”, Bill O’Reilly wrote “I know what it is to hate,” Cloud states. “I hate those white soldiers who took us from our home. I hate the soldiers who made us keep walking through the snow and ice toward this new home that none of us ever wanted. I hate the people who killed my mother and father. I hate the white people who lined the roads in their woolen clothes that kept them warm, watching us pass. None of these white people are here to say they are sorry that I am alone. None of them care about my people. All they ever saw was the color of our skin. All I see is the color of theirs. And I hate them.”
Samuel Cloud, great-great-grandson of Native American Chief Samuel Cloud, wrote the above. Samuel survived The Trail Of Tears when Cherokee Indians were forced to march. Nearly 25% died.
There is hate to go around in America today. A Trail Of Tears of the soul is taking place. It is not based on skin color; that will be a justification. Past injustices like hate are forever.
History’s lesson: hate. The Bible’s lesson, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”
America is entering a cycle of hate based on false premises. Revenge, false justice is the action of the abused who becomes an abuser.
History wins, the Bible loses. The struggle continues between good and evil.
Edmond Day

Credit socialists with attempt at fact check

Regarding Mr. Sator’s Sept. 20 letter (“Looking for rational conservatives,”) it is refreshing to see that some Democrat Socialists attempt to use facts to bolster their opinions. Unfortunately, it is a new experience for most of them and they tend to misstate.
For instance, the senior Bush was first elected to Congress in 1967, so was unable to vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
But, I do agree that southern Democrats were the party of the KKK, Black codes, Jim Crow, and segregation and that they maintained that position into the 1960’s (Dixiecrats in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina and Virginia totally voted against the 1964 Act).
Today, they have morphed into Antifa and BLM (the Communist Organization, not the motto), and the socialist thirst for power is evident in all of their un-American activities.
From cancel culture and silencing opposing thoughts, to denying due process, the Dixiecrats of old would be proud of the new generation’s drive to destroy the America that has given freedom and hope to the entire world. If the United States was so terrible, why would hundreds of thousands risk life and limb to come here?
Oh, back to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Black Americans are way smarter than what the Democrat Socialists give them credit for.
Jeffrey Falace

Use more of lottery money for school aid

I am very glad to see Assemblyman Santabarbara is going after Albany politicians again, this time for the lottery money that was supposed to be used for education.
I read in The Gazette about his proposal that would get more of that money to our schools where it was supposed to go in the first place. I can’t believe how little of it is actually used for education. I, along with many others I’m sure, always thought all of that money was being used to pay for education all along.
I agree with Assemblyman Santabarbara. Schools trying to reopen during this time of covid are in desperate need. I hope that others support his legislation that would right a great wrong that has been going on for more than 50 years here in New York state.
Maria DiMeo

Thanks to Leonard for localizing history

Much thanks to Chris Leonard, Schenectady city historian, for his very informative articles on World War II.
It is always nice to read about the home front and what was going on. Plenty of books and movies have been written and made about soldiers in the war effort, but there have been minimal done on what was happening at home.
Though far less glamorous, it was this backbone of the United States that provided the difference between the Allies and the Axis during the war.
Gerard F. Havasy
Clifton Park

Gazette shouldn’t make endorsements

This year, I would like to ask The Schenectady Gazette to refrain from exercising its right to endorse a candidate or a political position during the upcoming election. In this hyper-polarized campaign season, a newspaper that endorses one candidate or position over the other is seen as a spokesperson for that individual and significantly weakens its objective of fair and balanced reporting.
Instead, I would like to see The Gazette take several pages to identify the principle candidates and referendums and list their positions on the major issues without judgment. Then let the voters decide for themselves come Election Day.
It will go far to restore a degree of journalistic integrity to an industry that is being rightfully challenged for its lack of objective reporting of multiple viewpoints.
Ken Moore

Invest more in reliable sources of energy

When you pull up your electric car to a highway charging station, can you select the origin of the power source you want? Can you only accept electric current from wind turbines or solar panels? Does electricity come in different colors?
When the wind blows too fast or too slow, wind turbines don’t spin or automatically shut down. There are upper and lower thresholds for power generation. In hurricanes, forget it. Will blades and towers in offshore installations survive tropical winds? Ask Puerto Rico.
When overhead clouds from the Southwest prevail, perhaps caused by an ensuing tropical storm, how much power will solar panels produce? What about flooding and surface disruption like St. Croix experienced in recent storms? Ask Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA) management.
As ideal as renewable energy sounds to unknowing citizens, there are always limitations and unexpected consequences in power generation, as well as in transmission and distribution.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss energy sources like natural gas and turbines that generate reliable, peaking and emergency power.
They can all be modified to mitigate any harmful exhaust emissions, as many already have. Why not create thousands of jobs by making these improvements to installed and exiting power plants?
David Lucier

Biden will restore intelligent decency

This letter is in regard to your recent article with some Democrats suggesting Joe Biden might need a higher gear.
The strong and decent man that Trump insultingly calls Sleepy Joe must indeed be tired of it, and aren’t we all? We’re sick and tired of the name calling and a man who has made fun of the disabled, a POW, a Gold Star family, military leaders and anyone else who disagrees with him.
We’re sick and tired of all the lies, the incompetent political appointees, the crooks and chaos of his administration. We’re sick and tired of the animosity he’s generated throughout our country where folks are afraid to post opinions online or even a sign on their front lawns.
We’re sick of his gun-toting militias claiming to be patriots when it’s really the worst form of oppression. And finally, we’re sick of his mocking and denying the science that could have saved thousands of lives and continues to cause terrible climate change.
The choice in 2020 is very clear: More madness and degradation with Trump/Pence or a return to intelligent decency with Biden/Harris.
Virginia Newton
Burnt Hills

Will USPS be able to deliver the ballots?

I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican, but I was just reminded of the incompetency too often exhibited by some of our government agencies and current politicians, and voters need to know about it.
I recently sent of envelope to the Ballston Spa Country Club after affixing a Forever stamp and providing a legible, numbered street address with precise Zip code. After more than a week, the envelope was returned to me with a large, felt-marked notation along with a stamped label stating, “Return to Sender; No Mail Receptacle; Unable to Forward.”
Apparently, the Ballston Spa Post Office, serving a metropolis of just over 5,000, was unable to ascertain where the envelope was intended to be sent.
Remember, there are politicians (and others) currently advocating that the USPS be given the responsibility to deliver millions of ballots in the upcoming November election. Are they (the politicians) insane or is it just their continued effort to undermine anything they can?
I considered sending an account of this incident to my congressman, Paul Tonko, but he apparently doesn’t give a hoot about it and my correspondence would probably be returned to me anyway – undelivered.
Ken Stevens
Clifton Park

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