Letters to the Editor Friday, Oct. 28 – 23 letters from around the region


Hochul doing best to control guns

Governor candidate Lee Zeldin, I guess, will use the recent shooting near his home to foster his campaign theme about the increasing crime rate – to him, apparently caused by his opponent for governor.
I wonder if the crime rate has any connection between this and the ready availability of guns. I believe Gov. Hochul is doing her best to control them. I don’t find that to be the case with the Republicans in power.
Mary Grassfield
Saratoga Springs

Support an open, informative gov’t

One of the most important tasks of local government is to keep the voters informed.
As taxpayers, we have a right to know what is going on. The village of Scotia Democratic team of Joe Talbot, Heather Gray, and Keith Brown has released its 2022 campaign priorities titled, “The Next Steps for Scotia,” that addresses this issue.
I like their proposal of set office hours for the mayor and trustees. We should know when our village officials are going to be available. We should be able to access public information online at any time.
Clearly visible links to information will go a long way to keep village residents in the loop. Finally, regular email communication from the mayor and the trustees will be an important part of this effort to improve transparency and communication.
Please join me in voting for the Next Steps for Scotia team of Talbot, Gray and Brown.
Take the time to become an informed voter. Early voting begins Oct. 29. Exercise your right to vote.
Karen Bradley

Condemn decline of political discourse

We often associate John F. Kennedy with the phrase “Profiles in Courage.”
The “life-long Democrats” behind The Kennedy Project have, however, each earned the powerful put-down, “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Their anonymous smearing of Michele Ostrelich with half-truths and bad faith conclusions smacks of cowardice, not courage.
Their claims about Michelle’s positions on various issues are readily belied by her strong support for safe-gun laws, labor-friendly legislation, and reproductive rights.
But, their constant accusation of racism is far more irresponsible and destructive.
The claim is apparently based on one poorly worded attempt at humor by Michelle.
Asked whether she feared canvassing in certain neighborhoods, Michelle pointed out there were probably more firearms at a Republican picnic than a Hamilton Hill banquet.
To me, only knaves or fools could turn that barb at Republicans into the treacherous charge of racism. For 20 years as a website editor, I’ve seen how poisonous and misinformed anonymous commenters can be.
We should not take their assertions seriously, but we should decry the viral poison they spread in our political discourse.
Perhaps Sen. Jim Tedisco will show some courage and condemn the reckless antics of The Kennedy Project against his opponent Michelle Ostrelich.
David Giacalone

Self-checkout will be end of cashiers

When I go to spend my money at a merchant, there are very few cashiers anymore.
When I ask where the cashiers are, I’m told we can’t get the help. So use self-checkout. I refuse to use it because we are already paying for the cashier.
So, someone will come and help me. Problem solved. If you don’t make the merchant check you out, they will eliminate the cashier. You will have to use self-checkout. The merchant doesn’t want to pay cashiers.
They are charging us for them. They can get help, but why bother? That entry-level position will disappear.
Bill Mullins

Santabarbara lost trust over meters

Water meter hero or villain?
I recently had the opportunity to meet a town board member and ask about the water meter issue. What became clear to me is that the Republican Town Board was never, ever going to support the Democrats’ plan for water meters.
I have researched it myself, and the timeline was very clear.
The supervisor said she would not support any plan to do it, from the very beginning.
Then our current assemblyman said he knew of a secret plan, but that only he knew the plan and only he could stop it.
He wanted us to believe the only thing missing was a superhero’s cape. Seniors and struggling families were terrified about the secret plan and the media went into a frenzy.
We believed his lies because he was supposed to be in a position of trust. There was no secret plan; it was all made up.
How did we all forget it is an election year? You might have tricked us then, but now we are angry for being misled.
Yes, I’m talking about you Angelo Santabarbara.
You used us, now we will never trust you again!
Christina Armstrong

Reject colonialism and evil of Marxism

The ignorance of the woke is legion. At a graduation of medical students, a portion of the ‘oath’ was to renounce colonialism.
This demonstrates how ill-informed the people running colleges and universities are or blinded by Marxist ideology. Most immigrants came to America to escape colonialism. Americans renounced colonialism a long time ago.
The ‘colonialism’ of Marxism is far harsher than the colonialism of capitalism. Marxism enslaves your soul and body.
I was watching a ‘pictorial’ documentary, sentimental journey on the Romanov Dynasty.
I found it interesting because my Polish people were under Romanov domination. The presenter, a distant cousin of the czar, said how pictures have power. They draw you in and can be a portal. Who has not felt viewing their people from the past as a connection? If you don’t know where or who you came from, you probably don’t understand who you are now. Knowledge is power.
Erasing a culture, one’s history is being exterminated beyond the present. It is a sin of the spirit.
Marxism is the polar opposite of good. Evil follows in its wake. Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, it is a long list. Ignore the past, risk the future.
Edmond Day

Dump Stefanik and focus on rural health

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik needs to go.
All her ads say absolutely nothing other than she’s pro-guns, an election denial advocate. She talks about non-existent voter fraud touted by Donald Trump.
Her constituents in upstate New York have more important needs than her rhetoric about election denial and pro-gun advocacy.
What about the lack of x-ray machines available at rural healthcare centers? One should not have to drive for an hour or longer to get a simple x-ray for a broken limb.
For example, if you break a limb in Speculator, the closest x-ray machine is in Warrensburg, over an hour away, or go to Glens Falls hospital two hours away for an x-ray, This is ridiculous!
Upstate New Yorkers need politicians that actually care about their constituents rather than those who put their political party above the needs of the people and the country.
Rural residents  deserve access to proper medical care, which begins with access to a simple x-ray machine. After all, even most veterinary offices have them.
Robin Zucker

Region is blessed to have Senator Tedisco

The Capital Region is blessed to have such a dedicated, hard-working, and outspoken fighter for us like Sen. Jim Tedisco.
I’ve seen first-hand how hard Sen. Tedisco works for his constituents. Whether it’s securing state grants for economic development efforts and our local fire departments, standing up for crime victims and law enforcement, or helping our beleaguered small business cut through bureaucratic red tape, Sen. Tedisco is a strong voice for residents.
As a Gloversville county supervisor, I was proud that Fulton County was the first county legislature in the state to follow Sen. Tedisco’s lead, as we passed local resolutions in support of his successful efforts to stop former Gov. Andrew Cuomo from charging up to $45 for license plates that motorists didn’t need, and to get the state Health Department to reveal the real number of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
Just as he has done for the people I serve, I know Jim Tedisco will continue to be a super representative for all his constituents, including those that he has long served in Saratoga and Schenectady counties. I’m proud to endorse Jim and call him my friend.
Charles Potter
The writer is city of Gloversville, Ward 4 supervisor.

Republicans must call out Trump’s lies

I watched the interview of Liz Cheney conducted by Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” on Oct. 23.
I was impressed by her courage in calling out ex-president Donald Trump for his leadership in organizing and then encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
She has paid a high price in her Republican Party by being ousted from her leadership position in it as well as losing her seat in Congress come Jan. 4, 2023.
It is ironic indeed that she lost her leadership position to Elise Stefanik, who is a devotee of Donald Trump. With the exception of Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, another Republican who is also leaving Congress, no one in the Republican House of Representatives has called out the lies regarding the “stolen election” told by Donald Trump and his devotees.
This lack of courage to stand up and call out these lies will endanger the Republican Party as well as our country. We could lose our democracy as we know it and that is not an exaggeration.
Doug McFadden

Don’t wait to raise supervisor’s salary

I’m writing in response to the letters regarding the Niskayuna supervisor’s salary. An annual salary of $53,800 is well below what is industry standard for a position of this level. The Clifton Park supervisor, with a similar sized budget to manage, earns over $106,000.
How can Niskayuna expect that it is feasible to continue to demand that over the past 20 years the salary of our town’s CFO and COO stayed exactly the same, with an increase in responsibility and expertise?
There have been some criticizing the proposed change of increasing the supervisor’s salary by $4,700. I disagree with the criticism. This artificially low salary impacts who can afford to take the job.
Our current supervisor is working two jobs to afford to serve us. She, and anyone who holds this position for that matter, should be paid equitably for the work they do.
At a budget meeting, Supervisor Puccioni said that we hired her to fix things and make hard decisions. I agree. While she said that she is fine if the Town Board changes her salary after she leaves office, I don’t agree that it should be the case.
I think we should start the process to pay her, and the people who come after, an appropriate salary commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the job — especially since the comptroller indicated that our taxes are projected to stay the same as last year and this change will not fiscally impact members of the town.
Jennifer Samaniuk

St. Clare’s retirees are being punished

What is happening to our beautiful country? Why are the American people letting laws be broken and not holding someone accountable?
America is getting soft on crime and by doing so all the people committing crimes are taking advantage of our country. When I was young you do the crime, you do the time.
Right now there are 1,100 St. Clare’s Hospital retirees who are being punished and they haven’t done anything wrong. When the people who did do something wrong are not being punished, they are taking advantage of the system.
The St. Clare’s Hospital received an exemption, and their troubles were over, that’s four years ago when the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees’ troubles just began.
I feel very strongly that no one has the right to bully 1,100 people and their families by taking money that belongs to the people who earned it. With what the New York state attorney general is claiming, just maybe a crime has been committed and justice will prevail so the money can be paid back to the retirees.
Walter “Neal” Brazell

Ostrelich is smart, ethical and will listen

I read the Oct. 20 Gazette front page lead article (“Schenectady County Dems file ethics complaint”) about the race for the 49th state Senate district. You can tell when the GOP fears an upset. The polls are tightening with Michelle Ostrelich’s strong campaign against an entrenched incumbent.
Once again, the Democrats are running the better candidate and the GOP answers with dark money and dirty tricks. They are also putting out stories where they attribute dirty tricks to Ostrelich’s campaign. Anyone who knows or follows Michelle knows that this is not her style. She is smart. She is ethical. She works hard and is well-respected in her community.
She will listen to constituents and represent their wishes and their needs without political games.
Melinda Perrin

Muller serves with dignity, knowledge

As a retired 4th Judicial District Supreme Court justice, I am honored and privileged to endorse the re-election of my long-time and highly regarded colleague, the Honorable Robert J. Muller.
I have known Judge Muller for many years, both as an attorney in private practice and later when I appeared before him in Supreme Court. After being elected to the bench, I had the pleasure of again interacting with Judge Muller.
At all levels Judge Muller comported himself with dignity and decorum. He was and is knowledgeable, prepared and diligent.
Judge Muller’s involvement in several thousand cases in the eleven county 4th Judicial District, including all of Saratoga County, has covered the full range of New York law.
His over 500 published opinions written during his many years on the bench have demonstrated his thorough command of the law. He is known in his court for his fair, reasonable and even-handed approach. Judge Muller has the innate ability to express himself with competent force and great clarity.
I urge all who voted for Judge Muller previously and will go to the polls this election year to re-elect a truly competent and caring judge — Judge Robert J. Muller.
Robert Chauvin
Clifton Park

Heggen trustworthy and hardworking DA

As a schoolteacher for many years, I’ve had the opportunity to see people grow and mature into committed adult professionals,
I’ve seen Karen Heggen grow and mature into a committed part of our community and as a dedicated professional for more than 40 years. She has been active on many community boards and volunteered with several not for profit agencies, including Saratoga Bridges, the Charlton School and the GlobalFoundries/Town of Malta Foundation.
Karen Heggen has risen through the ranks of the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office, from part time assistant to first assistant and now as our twice-elected district attorney. She has prosecuted all kinds of cases, including kidnapping, homicide, animal abuse, and assault. Karen has been recognized by her peers serving as a past president of the Saratoga County Bar Association.
Please join with me in voting for Karen Heggen on Nov. 8. I am confident that she will continue to be our trustworthy district attorney with proven experience, working hard to keep our county safe.
Diane Lange

Remember all the bad Dems have done

Is everybody ready for the media explosion of anti-Republican articles and “cartoons”?
With elections getting close, the Dems will be in full swing to avoid discussing actual problems our country has and try to focus us on trivial things that have no bearing on our daily lives.
Try to bring up immigration (where have the 2 million illegal immigrants gone and who is paying for them); the border itself (may as well not be one); inflation (temporary and insignificant); oil and gas supply (buy it from OPEC instead of producing our own); schools that ignore math and science because it’s too hard; taxes going up, up, up; voting procedures that let anyone (dead or alive) vote; a president who can’t speak on his own and relies on reading the words on his teleprompter (and has difficulty with that); a vice president who hasn’t done anything at all in two years but thinks the border is secure; a Democrat-led Congress cheerfully spending trillions and trillions of dollars with no tangible benefits; debt we will never be able to repay.
Space limits the list of ridiculous things the Democrats have done and plan on doing. Please help us all — vote Republican!
Bill Denison
Burnt Hills

Ostrelich and Phillips will work for us all

All women should be concerned with Sen. Jim Tedisco’s ignorance about women’s reproductive needs.
He would take away these rights from half the population which is why I’ve voted for Michelle Ostrelich. She’s demonstrated her commitment to her community whereas Tedisco just blathers. Other than protecting puppies, Tedisco has accomplished nothing while enjoying the perks of office.
If you have any respect for the law, watching the blatant abuse of her office as Saratoga County district attorney should be enough to replace Karen Heggen. Without calling witnesses, she let off a drunk boat operator who contributed to the death of a teenager and buried this decision on Christmas Eve, knowing that it would escape coverage. She has used the power of her office to go after Black Lives Matter, only to have her flaccid attempts thrown out of court. This DA does not administer justice fairly, and she clearly is influenced by friends and family. Voters in Saratoga County should elect Michael Phillips for DA.
It’s about Justice for all, not just your friends in the GOP. We deserve fair and honest law enforcement, free of political baggage.
Vote for Michelle for state senator and Michael for district attorney. It’s about time our elected officials worked for everyone.
Polly Windels

Tedisco has delivered for Schenectady

Since Jim Tedisco was a standout athlete at Union College, he’s been there for Schenectady.
Jim Tedisco has fought to reduce sky-rocketing inflation. He has made protecting our communities from rising crime his highest priority.
Jim has also delivered for Schenectady taxpayers in a big way. Jim secured a $1 million state grant to purchase two fire trucks for our city fire department. He kept his pledge to fully fund education and foundation aid with a nearly $40 million total increase in state school aid for Schenectady city schools. Jim also got $150,000 for Schenectady school’s summer enrichment program and counseling services, $50,000 for the Weekend Backpack Program and $50,000 for the Central Park Greenhouse.
Jim passed legislation to build the new Boys & Girls Club to serve children in Mont Pleasant and Hamilton Hill, fought for justice for St. Clare’s Hospital retirees, and strongly supports Schenectady small businesses.
As a teacher, city councilman, assemblyman and senator, Jim Tedisco has worked tirelessly to ensure our voices are heard. Jim has dedicated his life to helping our children, families and communities. Jim has earned our trust and vote on Nov. 8.
Tom Kennedy

Muller has strong support for judge

As lifelong residents of Schenectady, we are pleased to support Supreme Court Judge Robert Muller’s re-election.
When first elected Judge Muller broke the barriers that kept any Democrat from serving in that office for over four decades. His re-election will be another first.
Judge Muller is supported by Schenectady officials that we hold in the highest regard, including Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, retired Supreme Court Judge Barry Kramer and retired City Court Judge Guido Loyola — among numerous other retired supreme, acting supreme, county, and city court judges throughout the entire region.
Such strong and important support from these public officials leaves little doubt in our minds that Judge Muller has earned the privilege to continue to be entrusted with this very important position.
We hope you will agree and re-elect Judge Robert Muller.
James and Sandra Purcell

Grateful for attention to fight against polio

Thank you to Mayor Gary McCarthy and our City Council.
Oct. 24 was proclaimed World Polio Day in the city of Schenectady by Mayor McCarthy and the City Council.
The Rotary Clubs of Schenectady and Schenectady County are deeply appreciative of this recognition.
Rotary International, and over 46,000 Rotary clubs around the world, have been working tirelessly to eradicate polio and we are very close to doing so. It is very important to continue to keep the fight against polio on the forefront since the polio virus has appeared recently in downstate New York.
The state Department of Health has declared the polio virus “An imminent Threat to Public Health.”
Special thanks to Councilwoman Carmel Patrick for spearheading this proclamation.
Judy Nocera
The writer is Polio Plus Chair for the Rotary Club of Schenectady.

Education wins with Santabarbara’s help

As a recently retired Schalmont High School teacher, I’m proud to say that now Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara was one of my students.
His endorsement from the New York State Teachers Union for the upcoming election is reflective of his unwavering commitment to public education, especially his attention to special education needs in our community. As a teacher, that’s important to me. It’s an endorsement that’s not given but earned.
During my time at Schalmont, Angelo was a frequent visitor and was always in touch with what our needs were. With Angelo’s support and advocacy, I’m happy to see our schools getting back to the full funding of state aid that they deserve. This accomplishment was important to ensure students have the tools and support they need in school like Schalmont.
Our students, staff and teachers need more representatives like Angelo Santabarbara in office.
Mrs. Michele Freeman
The writer is a retired Schalmont High School science teacher.

Can’t support Jim Tedisco any longer

I used to really like Jim Tedisco. We didn’t belong to the same party, but he seemed like a responsive and concerned legislator.
My school district was grateful that he’d attend events and express support for student programs. But he’s no longer that Jim Tedisco.
I know this because I heard him speak a couple years ago at a community event sponsored by a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization.
It wasn’t a political rally – but he tried to make it one. He bashed Democrats with a vengeance I’d never before heard from him. He made derogatory comments about certain populations, and his misogyny was evident.
I walked out, letting the organizer know Tedisco’s partisan rhetoric and tone were offensive. I was so troubled that I called Tedisco’s office the next day, as his constituent, to talk about it. I told his aide why I was calling, but Tedisco never called me back. That for me was the final blow in my ability to think approvingly of him. And now his campaign is spreading lies about his opponent, in true MAGA fashion.
Our elected officials should be open to diverse points of view, especially during this divisive time. I’m supporting Michelle Ostrelich.
Patricia Nugent

Walsh backs small businesses, families

It’s no secret, New York has been heading in the wrong direction for years.
Democratic leadership in Albany is continually failing at a time when we need strong men and women at work for us.
As a small business owner, I’ve felt the negative effects of inflation, over-regulation, and onerous fees, among other bad policies.
In Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh I’ve found a representative who is as concerned for my business as I am; she knows what’s at stake for me, for my family, and my community. In Albany, I know she advocates for change that makes sense; she sees the areas that can bring relief and pushes back against the downstate machine that is out of touch with my needs and those of other small business owners upstate.
Would any other candidate have the courage to stand up and push back?
A vote for Mary Beth is a vote for the fight we need to protect our security, small businesses and families; I don’t see any other viable option.
Rory O’Connor

Ballston Spa

Santabarbara proves love for Amsterdam

I’ve lived in Amsterdam my entire life, and I can tell you that our assemblyman, Angelo Santabarbara, is not only a fighter for our community, but he’s also a true champion.
I’ve never been interested in any politician, let alone be friends with one. That is, until I met Angelo Santabarbara. He’s a military guy, serving our country right out of high school. As a politician, I’ve never seen anybody like him. He truly works for us, the people. What I mean by that is that he’s not sitting around in an office, he’s in our city with the people, in our neighborhoods where people live, and on the streets where he can see things for himself.
Angelo listens to what our city needs and does whatever it takes to get things done. I see him supporting our sheriff, police and fire departments, helping at the Amen Soup Kitchen, supporting fundraisers for youth sports and visiting our schools. For our community, he brought funding for new basketball courts at Veterans Park, the city pool house and the indoor gym project at the Creative Connections Clubhouse. I love our city and I know Angelo does too.
Tommy Marcellino



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Election Letters:

The deadline for letters related to the November 8, 2022, general election is 5 p.m. Friday, October 28, 2022.
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Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Rotterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Scotia Glenville, Your Niskayuna


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