We must stand up against hate, division

first_imgAnyone who was not sickened by the flying of the Nazi flag should be reminded over 50 million people died in World War II. Around 6 million Jews died in concentration camps and another 6 million to 8 million people died because of their race or color. If you aren’t appalled at this symbol of hate, seek help.More concerning is that our current president uses the same strategies that gave rise to Hitler: hate, division and criticism of the press. His constant lies and the apathy of the current Republican Party to remove this man from power who was elected on the politics of fear hate and change brings me great concern.So let us remember “The road to Auschwitz was built by hate, but paved with indifference.” Don’t believe it couldn’t happen here. Let us not idly stand by and watch the politics of hate destroy us.You may have voted for change, but instead you have been given hate and division. I implore all those to rethink your position and to stand against the politics of hate and party-before- country before a quote of indifference is written about us.Scott BrysonScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Recently I went and watched the “Diary of Anne Frank” presented by the Scotia Glenville Drama Club. It was an amazing performance and I can say I was moved and saddened by this play.For me it also sparked a quote I remember from years past: “The road to Auschwitz was built by hate, but paved with indifference,” by Ian Kershaw.last_img read more

Want to really honor military sacrifices? Don’t just stand. Vote!

first_imgIt has been for people who long yearned in vain for that right.Recall that first election in Iraq where so many more than 27 percent willingly risked being killed or maimed by standing in line in a war zone for hours in scorching heat just to cast their vote. Even here in 1953, when the carnage and sacrifices of the Second World War were still fresh in everyone’s mind, nationwide turnout was 93 percent.It seems we’ve forgotten something in the intervening years.Is not the act of voting the core representation of our values and principles — the central responsibility of citizenship and linchpin in our democratic system?  For those who perceive an affront by anyone failing to stand for the national anthem, isn’t failing to vote an even greater demonstration of dishonor and disrespect? Doesn’t that failure tangibly threaten to render the sacrifices of our military, past and present, meaningless?  Put bluntly, our collective shrug over the right to vote makes standing for the anthem pretty much an empty gesture.In overstressing a reflexive, subjective and somewhat self-righteous “test” of patriotism, we are effectively deflecting from more consequential citizen inattentions and inactions that more forcefully suggest dishonor and disrespect.In spite of all the self-serving excuses, no ballot really lacks import. Categories: Editorial, OpinionOn Tuesday, Nov. 7, we are having what is called an “off year election.”This is intended merely to describe the fact that none of the major federal or state offices are the subjects of this year’s vote.  However, it also seems to imply that such elections are of lesser importance.This is a dangerous notion in a country where “turnout” — the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast a ballot — already is notoriously low in every election.It has become commonplace to rationalize this failure. “We call these local years ‘off years’ for a reason,” said a Schenectady County election commissioner four years ago explaining a paltry 27 percent turnout figure. “People have to have a reason to vote.”  How about because so many brave people have served and died and still are — volunteering in distant lands, far from the comforts of home — to preserve and defend our right to do so in ours? Shouldn’t that be a good enough reason?   First of all, these “off years” are when elections for local officials take place — as they are throughout the Capital Region — determining who will influence most directly our communities and day-to-day welfare.  This year in Saratoga Springs, for example, in addition to electing a mayor and City Council, the key ballot concerns the actual system by which the city will be governed going forward.Important statewide ballot questions also regularly turn up in off-year elections. What is being asked statewiden this year is whether we should spend tens of millions of dollars to examine and redesign the state constitution. We’re also deciding on two amendments to that constitution separate from the convention question.So, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, put aside the weak complaints, self-righteous justifications, minor sacrifices and inconveniences — and vote!Use the gift protected and preserved at noble cost for you.  Don’t just stand, salute and sing about it.John Figliozzi is a regular contributor to the Sunday Opinion section.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Taking pensions is flawed public policy

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The 2017 general election is over. There’s lots to talk about. I heard a collective gasp from Facebook friends when I said I was voting no on Proposition 2. “Why wouldn‘t you, a long time researcher of police violence, want public officials, police, to forfeit their pensions for being convicted of a serious crime?” My response: Proposition 1 for a Constitutional Convention should be recognized as an attempted “administrative coup.”Proposition 3 was a way to facilitate future land grabs to turn peoples’ land and potentially their homes over to politicos. I vehemently refused to vote “yes” on Proposition 2 — an assault on civil service workers’ pensions and civil service protections. Be aware that Proposition 2 will: Dilute civil servants’ benefits through judicial decisions and weaken legislation that protects government workers from officials’ political aspirations and vendettas. As an end run around civil service legal protections and benefits, it will hurt government workers and their families. Pensions are family-earned, not the sole possession of one worker. Ask those who have gone through a divorce.It is not a resource for closing a government’s annual budget gap. As an extra-legal pension grab, Proposition 2 will let governments control your savings for their benefit.States and municipalities already routinely use pension funds to cover holes in their budgets. State and local governments let pension funds go into arrears, or they borrow against your pension, and pension managers’ bad investments erode workers’ pensions.A government’s confiscating an alleged “criminal’s” pensions threatens all government workers. Eyes and ears Schenectady. You wanted Proposition 2; now our leaders need watching.Martha K. HugginsSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musiclast_img read more

World is safer with shared economy

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion As ever freer trade has caused the global economy to become more and more interdependent, the risk of actual full-out armed conflict has been held at bay. One does not engage in mass murder of one’s customers or one’s suppliers.Some may think it’s the huge military maintained by the United States that has caused the current hiatus of major war. Far more likely, it’s the huge increase in wealth that ever freer trade has created in poorer countries all over the world, which, by the way, has made the rich countries even richer. Wealth isn’t a zero-sum thing. I can get wealthier without you getting poorer.The quixotic longing of the so-called “nationalists” for the supposedly simpler, safer times of the past is just basic denial of uncomfortable truths. Like it or not, we live on and in a global world of 6 billion to 7 billion people, where archaic notions of complete national sovereignty are impossible and likely headed for the dustbin of history.History is a long-term project. Quick, feel-good fixes are rarely, if ever, successful.Richard AntokolSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Tariffs. Good for the economy or bad for the economy? Economists’ consensus is probably bad. But that misses the most important point.It has been 73 years since any major power in the world has nationally mobilized for and actually engaged in a total war effort directly against another major power. Yes, there have been many regional and proxy wars — Vietnam, Korea, Bosnia/Kosovo, etc. But there’s been no World War III or nuclear holocaust, not even close. That has not been just blind luck. last_img read more

Do we really need these big new stores?

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Well, it appears that the new CVS in Burnt Hills is nearing completion. It’s an awe-inspiring spectacle on the downtown Burnt Hills skyline. Why so enormous? It looks as if they have built a 12-stall stable for a one-horse town. Don`t get me wrong, some change is good. But this is like the Taj Mahal. Aside from needing to be careful in the parking lot, what is wrong with the old CVS? Progress, they say. I say “ridiculous.”This town hasn’t changed much in the 40-plus years I’ve known it and lived in it. I think it`s fair to say that the vast majority of people who live here find that we like it that way. It’s far enough out to not have big city hassles, but close enough to Glenville to have everything within reach.I remember the building next to the current CVS (soon to be the old CVS)  as Veeder & Yelverton. It was a small store and pharmacy, which if I remember correctly back to my youth had a large painted sign on the side stating, “We Deliver Rx.” Now this old complex of small retail units is slowly being vacated. No doubt, it’s most likely for one of those new state-of-the-art Stewarts Shops. We need that like a hole in the head. Anyone trying to get back on to Route 50 at rush hour or when the schools let out know it`s like Russian roulette.So, we stand poised on the doorstep of progress with a new, gargantuan CVS and, please no, but I fear another Stewarts on the opposite corner. Who thought this was a great idea I`ll never know. Will they deliver progress?Brian BaldwinBurnt HillsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Oct. 28

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMany responsible for global warmingJames Hansen testified about global warming to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources back in 1988.We should have tried addressing this a long time ago.Similar to many problems (including healthcare), many people are responsible for our problems rather than a few.We should focus on the many who are responsible rather than the few.Colin YunickCharltonConflict issues are  a legitimate concernScotia Mayor Tom Gifford’s Oct. 21 (“Ethical concerns were way overblown”) letter — regarding Kurt Semon’s letter questioning of Glenville Town Board candidate Andrew Kohout’s possible conflict of interest with being the Village DPW superintendent — missed the point on ethics. He then added an unnecessary low blow about Kurt’s profession as a teacher.  The closing remark was irrelevant and unprofessional.As a fellow veteran, I can attest to Mr. Semon’s integrity both as a civic-minded citizen who freely volunteers his time as a town Planning and Zoning Commission member, and with other community organizations and projects.Kurt’s bearing is always professional, thoughtful, fair and even-handed. He’s also a good Social Studies teacher who brings a unique perspective to the subject from his experiences. I cannot attest either way to the qualifications of the candidate, but in the end, the voters will decide.Qualifications never outweigh ethics. Many highly qualified and good people can’t hold public offices because of ethical concerns. We have more than enough unchecked conflicts of interest on the federal and state levels and certainly don’t need it on the local level. If recusals need to be pre-planned for a candidate, he may not be the right fit to serve the town.Kurt BedoreBurnt Hills Sad to see family store closeMy sisters and I were sad to learn that Plaine and Son is closing its brick-and-mortar store after so many years in business.Our father, Hy Plaine, along with his brothers Lou and Joe, opened the original Plane Boys in 1945. The three brothers were all veterans of World War II. That first store was on lower State Street, adjacent to the historic Stockade area. Over the years, Plane Boys expanded to three locations, two in Schenectady and one in Colonie, and sold bicycles and automotive supplies to generations of families in the Tri-City area. We wish our cousin Les lots of success in his new venture.Martha Plaine, Ottawa, CanadaPhyllis Plaine, ElmiraLynn Plaine, Avon, Conn. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Lisa Weber visits the Niskayuna Senior Center frequently and makes it a point to ask us for our interests and concerns. She is highly qualified to be the Niskayuna supervisor, having been active on the town board since 2016. Lisa Weber is committed to expanding and improving the senior programs.Supervisor Yasmine Syed does not visit the Niskayuna Senior Center and has made no attempt to get to know our seniors. We feel neglected by Supervisor Syed. Therefore, I encourage all seniors to vote for Lisa Weber and the qualified candidates running with her.Mary WhiteNiskayunaPeggy King best for county LegislatureI have been involved with the political careers of Karen Johnson and Peggy King since their inception. From being the first and second women to serve on the Schenectady City Council to both representing District 1 on the Schenectady County Legislature, they have been an inspiration.I knew Karen and her many qualities well and am confident that in this time in our county’s history that Margaret “Peggy” King is the ideal individual to carry on Karen’s legacy. Having been a member of the Schenectady County Legislature for 16 years, I have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be an effective legislator.Please vote for Peggy King in the upcoming election for Schenectady County Legislature in District 1.  B. Donald AckermanSchenectadycenter_img Motorcyclists were delivering presentsIn response to Clifford Meacham’s Oct. 23 letter (“Why shut down road for motorcycles”) sir, those noisy, smelly motorcycles were indeed on a noble cause.Each of those riders was carrying at least one new, unwrapped Christmas toy for a child. Many of those riders were also carrying cash to be donated. I’m sorry you saw nothing in the newspaper about the event. It was, however, talked about in radio and news stations prior to the event.I was not able to ride in it this year, sir, but I am proud to be part of the noisy, smelly riders.Tammy LawyerCentral BridgeReconsider library magazine policyPublic libraries have always been a friend to the community and provided services that enrich our lives. They have always reached out to the public to encourage children and adults to read and open up a world of knowledge that awaits them through books and magazines.Over the years, our local libraries have made reading material accessible to all. One way they have done this is to set aside outdated magazines that can be picked up by volunteers and provided to patients in local hospitals and nursing homes.I was saddened to hear that the Schenectady County Public Library is no longer willing or able to continue this valuable service.Their new policy is to have organizations obtain a library card to check out magazines and then return these magazines to the library. This solution is not practical. When patients are discharged, they often have help packing up their rooms, including magazines on their nightstands. Some of these patients are in isolation and borrow magazines that cannot be returned. Many patients do not have access to iPads for downloading magazines and other materials. It is disheartening that our most vulnerable population does not have access to reading material  that will help make their day just a little bit better. It is my hope that SCPL will reconsider this policy.Constance ClarkeNiskayunaJaquith will serve town with honorI have had the privilege of serving with Rosemarie Perez-Jaquith on the Niskayuna Board of Education for many years, including under her leadership as president.She has a proven track record and I have seen how well she manages complicated issues, forges consensus and works hard to understand all sides. She cares deeply and has dedicated herself to serving our community, from her legal training to her work with the Legislature and her volunteer service, including leading the Board of Education. Our board is a diverse group in many ways, and she always manages to appreciate and understand everybody’s perspectives. She is willing to listen, but does not hesitate to act when it is time to make a decision. She is a great example of the American Dream, will serve us with honor, and is exactly the kind of person I hope my children will emulate. I strongly support her candidacy and will be vigorously filling in the circle next to her name when I go to vote.Howard R. SchlossbergNiskayuna Weber cares about Niskayuna seniorslast_img read more

Gateshead go-ahead

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Fenchurch seeks trusting partners

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Offices: Mid-life crisis

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Last space let at Broadgate West

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