Letters To The Editor Saturday, Sept. 17 – The Daily Gazette

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When credibility matters

Capital Region


Accept truth about Trump’s misdeeds

OMG, in response to Dave Dankanich’s Sep. 9 letter (“Set aside Trump hate and seek truth.”) Did President Trump’s administration do some good things, sure.
But the average American (Red, Blue, whatever) cannot dismiss that Trump is a liar and did some criminal things that a regular citizen would already be in jail for.
Truth 1: Trump pressured a foreign leader to turn on a political rival and should have been impeached and convicted for that.
Truth  2: Trump starts building the “Big Lie” well before the election. Then, even when all the courts, his attorney general and close advisers tell him he lost fair and square, he stirs up a mob to storm the Capitol.
He should have been impeached and convicted for that too — the first president in history to not hand over the office peacefully.
Truth 3: Trump takes top secret documents that should only be handled in a specialized secure location. He tells the Justice Department that all documents have been returned, but then has over 25 Top Secret documents seized. Again, no other president in history has ever done this.
This is the best part from Mr. Dankanich’s letter, “They use their media partners to ensure their radical followers are told what to think.”
Really? You don’t need the media, not mentioning Fox News, as Trump and his allies feed you lies every day, and you blindly accept them. Trump is a liar and only cares about himself. Damn the Republic; follow me!
Fred Haefeli

Kids need chance to learn from playing

I often tell others that I had the best job in the whole wide world as an early childhood educator and administrator for 41 years.
I felt humbled and honored to have cared for while teaching other parents’ young children each and every day.
At the heart of my philosophy was providing daily opportunities for play both inside the classroom and outside on the playground.
Mister Rogers said it best: “For children, play is serious learning. Play is a way to cope with life and to prepare for adulthood. Playing is a way to solve problems and express feelings. Play is the real work of childhood.”
Will your child have had the opportunity to play today? I sincerely hope so.
Norm Griffin

EMT Pathway sets course for careers

This past week, six volunteer high school students completed a first-of-its-kind EMT Career Pathway program, funded by Saratoga County.
It helped the students come one step closer to becoming certified emergency medical technicians.
They earned seven college credits from Hudson Valley Community College. The program involved a number of partners — the town of Clifton Park, Career Jam, the Shenendehowa Central School District, and the Clifton Park & Halfmoon Emergency Corps.
The experiences provided by the Emergency Corps under the leadership of Alan Bell, executive director, are deserving of widest community support.
The success of this program and its continuation in future years will mean that high school students interested in front-line emergency work will have an entry-level career option in the field of health service that otherwise would not have been available.
The devotion of the volunteer students deserves special commendation, as they sacrificed their entire summer to do the necessary coursework and engage in the required fieldwork experiences.
On the other hand, I am sure that it will be a summer that will always be remembered and may even result in some lasting friendships.
Career education is a necessity, especially, with respect to first responder occupations.
I hope that Schenectady County and its community resources will follow suit with similar programs. This can readily be done with respect to the fields of humane law enforcement work as well as emergency disaster response.
Martin Alan Greenberg

Honor true heroes: firefighters, police

As we commemorated the 21st anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers, I find it ironic that as a former transplanted New Yorker to the not-so-great state of Texas with one of the most liberal (no pun) gun-owning laws in the country, 19 students and two teachers were killed in Uvalde while 25 police officers, numerous border patrol agents, and a SWAT team languished in the hallway and did nothing to stop the shooting before those poor souls were executed.
Conversely, the bravery of the first responders at the Twin Towers who rushed into a burning inferno without regard for their lives is in sharp contrast to the incompetence and utter cowardice of the officers in Uvalde.
We New Yorkers should thank our firefighters and police since they actually do “Protect and Serve.”
James Brodie

CTDA in Amsterdam making a difference

I’m so excited to see the long-awaited CDTA bus service up and running in Amsterdam. I want to publicly thank Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara for all the work he did to make this a reality for city residents, including securing the funding in the state budget.
Now that we have it, it truly feels like a whole new world has opened up in Amsterdam. I can already see how CDTA has affected every part of our community. Especially as people are getting back to work or looking for a new job, having dependable transportation like CDTA will make all the difference. Beyond that, students can get to their after school programs reliably and safely.
And for seniors and the disabled, having reliable public transportation that you can count on every day of the week, with all the accommodations of a CDTA bus, opens up a whole new world for many that were simply stuck at home.
Public transportation is so important in many ways and something that had been missing for far too long in our community. I’ve been following The Daily Gazette coverage leading up to the start of service, and I know it wasn’t easy to get this project done.
Mario Vazquez

Tedisco is a strong advocate for people

The town of Charlton has a great advocate in Sen. Jim Tedisco. When Charlton needed to replace an aging highway maintenance vehicle, Sen. Tedisco worked hard to secure a $100,000 state grant to purchase a truck to help maintain our local roads.
Sen. Tedisco is always thinking of innovative ways to help taxpayers and local governments. He’s been a strong proponent of investments in our infrastructure with his Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program. Tedisco’s SWAP program helps to repair and maintain local drinking water supplies and other infrastructure to save tax dollars by avoiding costly repairs as systems age.
Beyond his strong leadership in Albany, Sen. Tedisco has been a strong advocate for Charlton and our way of life; supporting small government, fiscal conservatism and our rural character. He is helping communities control traffic speeds by supporting recent legislation giving more power to towns to set speed limits that are right for their community.
Whether it’s a fire department banquet, Charlton’s Founder’s Day, or celebrating a special birthday, Sen. Tedisco shows up and is there for the people. I support Sen. Tedisco for the 44th Senate District and encourage others to support him just as he always does for us.
Joe Grasso
The writer is the Charlton town supervisor.

Fonda fair needs more disabled accessibility

The Fonda Fair is lacking handicapped accessibility in a very big way.
They don’t have wheelchairs and scooters to rent like almost every other area fair. When I went there with my mom on a recent weekend, she couldn’t walk around and there were no wheelchairs, so she had to sit on a bench, which is unacceptable.
Another problem is not enough handicapped parking spaces. Many people come to that fair, and the handicapped parking in the front is not good enough. Last but certainly not least, the grandstands are not accessible. They created a very small area that isn’t part of the grandstands with a ramp, but there are only two benches for maybe six people to sit there. They need to be more accommodating because the fair gets really crowded.
Joseph Farina

Alzheimer’s group helps Hispanics cope

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m proud to have joined the Alzheimer’s Association Northeastern New York chapter as community outreach manager focusing on DEI initiatives.
Of note, Hispanics are the fastest-growing population in the United States. By 2050, the number of Hispanic elders with Alzheimer’s and other dementias could increase more than six-fold, from nearly 200,000 today to as many as 1.3 million.
We know that Hispanic Americans are about 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other dementias as older Whites. And while we need more research to understand why that is, our local chapter is committed to ensuring all local families have access to Alzheimer’s care and support services, even if English isn’t their first language.
As a Spanish-speaking member of the team, I’m looking forward to forming relationships with community organizations to learn what our community needs and how we can meet those needs.
In addition to celebrating and honoring the many contributions of Hispanic Americans, let’s also raise awareness and start important dialogue about Alzheimer’s during Hispanic Heritage Month.
For information on our free programs and services, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at alz.org or alz.org/espanol.
Debbie Abréu

Unions, workers not always on same page

John Figliozzi’s Sept. 4 column in The Gazette (“Workers today need more than just a holiday”) was timed for this Labor Day but seems to have been written for 1932 or even 1972.
He doesn’t seem to have any useful suggestions as to what workers need in addition to Labor Day as he works his way through the usual random factoids, unsupported assertions and wrongheaded conclusions.
At best he seems to think bigger and stronger unions are what workers need. He notes union workers earn more and have better benefits without noting that the bulk of union workers today are in public employee unions, not private industry. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that this could be a problem.
He laments the shrinking union membership without considering why this occurred, other than corporate opposition. I can suggest why: union dues, widespread union corruption going back decades, huge salaries for union bosses and the fact many unions support political or social causes the members don’t like.
Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman/philosopher said, “Every great cause starts as a movement, becomes a business and degenerates into a racket.” Many workers may be as suspicious of unions as they are of corporations.
The labor movement has done great things in this country and can continue to do so, but there seems to be a growing disconnect between workers and the unions.
Cheer up, John. You say the $15 is catch-up and was only half that a few years ago. But another way to look at it is that the minimum wage has doubled in “just a few years.”
David Ochse
Porter Corners

Restaurant had big presence at festival

In response to the Sept. 11 Sunday Gazette article (“A tale of two Italian festivals”) covering the Schenectady Italian Fest, allow me to take this opportunity to expand upon Doreen Ditoro’s comments by highlighting one special place; with mountains of refreshing lemon ice and infinite amounts of cookies, calzones, zeppole, and eggplant parm…vats of cavatelli and “meat” balls in homemade sauce, all complemented with the best pastries in town.
This can only signify one thing: Civitello’s “enormous” presence at the Italian Festival. The seamless fusion of Old World charm, family traditions and an exciting new vision provided this year’s fest with a multitude of offerings and was the home of endless smiles.
Truly a sight to see: trays of tremendous cannoli and éclairs, scoops of gelato and thousands of happy faces in a constant line out the door.
More than anything else though, Civitello’s is that beacon of joy in Schenectady’s Little Italy that evokes emotion in the hearts of those who’ve gone there since childhood, while providing a warm welcome to new “friends” searching for the best in Italian American fun and fare. If it has yet to be said, a heartfelt “Thank You” needs to go out to Mark, Angela and Roie for both the tremendous contribution your establishment provides the annual Italian Fest this and every year, and your daily efforts that make you the best and biggest offering in Schenectady’s Little Italy.
Buona fortuna e che Dio ti benedica!
Michael A DiFulvio

Do the right thing; Restore Lady Liberty

It is now time for Schenectady, its mayor and council, to make good on their past promises to return the Statue of Liberty to Liberty Park across from the Community College.
This statue was bought by the Boy Scouts in 1950 and erected in Liberty Park with the understanding that it would remain there.
It needs to be there representing the hundreds of immigrants who came to Schenectady during the heyday of GE and who made the city what it was. Please do the right thing and return Lady Liberty to greet visitors to our city once again.
Donald H. Davis

Stefanik supports keeping people safe

Keeping first responders properly funded is vital in keeping the American people safe and sound throughout their daily lives.
Firefighters answer the call to serve every single day without question and forgo their own safety to keep members of their community out of harm’s way.
This act of heroism and selflessness cannot go unspoken, and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik knows this.
Therefore, she supported and helped put in place a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarding over half a million dollars in funding to eight fire departments throughout New York’s 21st congressional district.
While Democrats continually use taxpayer dollars for frivolous causes that aren’t in the best interest of the American people, the citizens of New York’s 21st can rest easy knowing that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik will consistently allocate their hard-earned taxpayer dollars properly and into avenues that’ll best serve the American people.
Jeral Gillis

Ostrelich will be a true representative

Communities in the New York State new 44th Senate District (all of Saratoga County, the city of Schenectady and the town of Niskayuna) will decide whether they want James Tedisco to represent them in the New York State Senate this coming November.
As you consider this decision, please take a look at his voting record at https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/4401/jim-tedisco.
You will learn that he has consistently voted against women’s right to choose, limiting gun ownership, expansion of red-flag laws, and even limiting pesticide use at children’s camps. Who is he protecting?
On top of all of this, he supports and campaigns with Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor who believes Trump won the last presidential election.
You will conclude, as I do, that Michelle Ostrelich should be the one to represent us in the State Senate. She is pro-choice and pro-democracy. She supports universal healthcare, LBGTQ rights including marriage equality, and common-sense gun safety.
Her support of our children, our communities and our environment speak for themselves. Please vote thoughtfully.
Bahram Keramati
Saratoga Springs

Resolve St. Clare’s before it’s too late

Both of my parents are due pensions from St. Clare’s Hospital. I am not sure how many dual pension-dependent families have been represented in this column, but I will tell you that my personal nightmare is that my parents will not live to see the day that this travesty gets resolved.
Two souls who worked their whole careers at St. Clare’s have been told they will receive nothing for the 60-plus years they put in, collectively.
There is no doubt that this tragedy has put a strain on my family who relied so heavily on the fact that they would be taken care of in their retirement years because of the pension they were promised.
Let me tell you that retirement has not been a blessing for my parents. While litigation goes on endlessly, our loved ones grow older, unable to do the things they once loved.
I fear this will go on until all our robbed hard-working family members of St. Clare’s Hospital pass on and there is nobody left that the Catholic Church needs to be held accountable for.
Maybe this is their aim all along in this process.
Jared Mark

Zeldin will support our personal rights

I’ve been a nurse for 30 years.
Last year, when former Gov. Cuomo mandated the covid vaccine for health care workers, I obtained a religious exemption for my sincerely held belief and was able to continue to work in my profession.
When Gov. Hochul took over, she did away with the religious exemption while keeping an exemption based on health needs.
Despite failed attempts, I was forced out of my career field because I refused to take a vaccine against my will. I feel this was a power play on her part.
She thought she would be “tougher” than Gov. Cuomo. She could simply have kept the religious exemption in place.
The same infection control precautions used for employees with a health exemption could have been implemented with the ones possessing an approved religious exemption.
Lee Zeldin has pledged to do away with all mandates and to respect individual choices. Let’s vote for Lee Zeldin in November to re-establish freedom of choice in New York, the freedom to say no to being injected with a drug against one’s choice.
Luigi Ferraro

Ready to vote out the bad politicians

I am a MAGA citizen, hardworking and law abiding. I do not condone violence, however. I am all for peace and love.
Yet Joe Biden, while standing in front of a bizarre, blood-red backdrop looking like some count from Transylvania, said in a prime time speech that I and others like me are “dangerous to our democracy.” So now I wonder, how did I get to this point?
I have not always been a flag-waving American or someone who thanks God to have been born in this country.
My anti-establishment roots can be traced back to the 60s (Heck no, we won’t go!). Then in 1976, I voted for that peanut farmer from Georgia, the naval commander/speed reader and D.C. outsider.
I realize now that my motivation behind voting for Carter was basically the same one behind voting for Trump.
It’s disappointment not with the founding ideals of this country like equality and unalienable rights, but disappointment with those people who pervert those ideals for their own self-aggrandizement.
I guess in a way I’m grateful to Biden for branding little ole MAGA me as dangerous. The Swamp’s political creatures should never feel too comfortable in their elitist niches.
They need to be reminded that there are many millions upon millions of us ready to vote them out.
And that for them would be dangerous. God bless America!
Art Pagano

McAdoo clear choice for 112th Assembly

This November, the 112th Assembly District of New York pits challenger Andy McAdoo against Mary Beth Walsh.
Andy McAdoo, who grew upon a dairy farm in upstate New York, had a 42-year career in telecommunications. Andy developed his company, Broadband Solutions, which assisted delivering universal service. Andy gained government experience in Potsdam where during the 1990s and 2000s he was president of the North Country Housing Council for eight years.
Andy is focused on expanding broadband for New York state supporting our local farmers while working and supporting greater mental health treatment and addiction services. Andy McAdoo plans to create more local jobs by incentivizing business and investing in research and innovation. Walsh was an attorney before she succeeded Jim Tedisco in 2016. Walsh voted against two bills that support small businesses during the covid pandemic.
She voted against laws that would protect workers. She carries an A+ rating from the NRA and has voted against banning ghost guns and guns made which cannot be traced.
McAdoo supports a minimum age for AR-15-type weapons, increasing background checks and expanding Red Flag laws.
Two different candidates, but a clear choice for a new direction for state Assembly District 112.
Stephen Valenti
Clifton Park

Blame Biden for our many national woes

I was going to write a letter of my own, but I have to correct the letter that was in the paper recently.
Who was responsible for the 13 soldiers who died in Afghanistan? Biden. Who is responsible for leaving over $85 billion worth of military equipment in Afghanistan? Biden. Who is responsible for the highest gas prices ever? Biden. Who’s the major cause of the high inflation in the country? Biden.
Who uses cue cards when he speaks to the American people because he’s not really running the country somebody else is? Biden.  Who lied to the American people and said that if I get elected, I will unite the country? Biden.
Who lied to the American people when he said he knew nothing about his son’s business with communist Russia and China? Biden.  Who is compromised by China because he’s been taking kickbacks? Biden. The list goes on and on.
Oh I forgot who stays home all the time instead of being where he’s supposed to be? Biden. Our country is in trouble. Who’s responsible for the border policies and giving all our resources to illegal immigrants for free? Biden. Who’s responsible for no baby formula for our children? Biden.
Who doesn’t care if their next door neighbor is being destroyed over this high inflation and not being able to take care of their families properly? Democrats.
Anthony Wassil

Trump and MAGA slogan are offensive

In my opinion, Trump’s MAGA slogan is very offensive.
America has always been a great country and will continue to be as such, except for the 4-year lapse during his term as president.
MAGA should be “Make Antagonists Go Away.” I have another  “A” word in mind other than antagonist, it begins with “As.”
John McCain, a former Navy pilot, spent roughly five-and-a-half years in a notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was repeatedly tortured. He spent two years in solitary confinement.
Upon his return to the United States, he continued to serve his country honorably and respectfully as a Republican senator from the state of Arizona.
“Cadet Bone Spurs” frequently made derogatory remarks and childish comments about whether or not he was a war hero or not. At one point, he mentioned McCain did not do enough for veterans, as if Donald Trump really cared about our veterans.
Since Trump’s father was a racist (arrested for attending a KKK parade and being sued in 1973 for not renting to people of different races) and a bigot, it proves that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.
Jane Reisenger

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