Letters to the Editor for April 27
Shorter or longer, dock has no place in the Stockade
Re April 23 article, “Stockade voters oppose dock proposal”: Just who is City Council President Gary McCarthy compromising with when he offers to put a shorter dock in Riverside Park?
It certainly isn’t the opponents of the original 300-foot dock, who see the park as losing its unique essence as a quiet and beautiful spot for relaxation and low-key recreation, no matter how short a public dock might be. That concern would not evaporate because the dock is smaller than 300 feet. There is, for example, no reason at all to believe that a shorter dock would attract fewer boats and less traffic than the small numbers predicted by the planning office; or that the numbers of boisterous boaters, curious children, trysting lovers, or feared drug deals will be fewer because the dock is shorter.
Nor is McCarthy compromising with the three decades of Stockade Association members and leaders who have opposed every sort of dock, slip or boat launch proposed for Riverfront Park. Or the planners and officials who have written study after study finding other sites more appropriate than Riverside Park for a dock, and often specifically rejecting the park as a location.
The latest example is the new Mohawk River Waterfront Revitalization Plan for Schenectady County, which states that further development of the park is “constrained by the narrow streets that lead to them and the character of the residential community that surrounds them,” so that “redevelopment efforts should focus on improving the aesthetics, pedestrian access, and links to other waterfront developments.”
Neither would McCarthy’s short-dock ploy be seen as a compromise by the editor of Architectual Forum, who wrote in 1961 that “The romantic lawn along the Mohawk that has been created out of the Stockade park strip is probably the finest thing of its kind in America.”
When your 16-year-old wants you to get him a keg of beer for a party, you don’t compromise by buying him a six-pack — even if junior is paying. Mr. McCarthy appears to want a dock no matter what the Stockade wants and no matter how much he puts Riverside Park at risk. He should not insult our intelligence by calling his decision a compromise.
Ely lacks the depth to be a tragic figure
Several years ago when Superintendent Eric Ely first addressed the staff of the Schenectady City School District, he advanced his educational agenda. He made a point of questioning the value of teaching Shakespeare to Schenectady’s students, using the play “Macbeth” as an example.
It’s too bad Mr. Ely saw nothing more than a difficult and irrelevant text in the tragedy. The tragic form is important because it teaches us about ourselves and our limitations. Mr. Ely’s arrogant assertions that he is innocent of malfeasance and that his accusers are liars show that, though his actions (or inactions) have contributed to the school district’s descent into tragic circumstances, he does not have the capacity for reflection required of a tragic protagonist.
According to Aristotle, the tragic figure must take responsibility for his failure. Because Mr. Ely refuses to look inward and accept blame, his voice lacks true tragic resonance; his claims of victimization come off as mere whining. His personal situation hasn’t the depth of tragedy; it is only a sad cautionary tale.
As the Scottish lord Angus says of the disgraced Macbeth, “Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief.”
Read your Shakespeare, Mr. Ely, and gain some perspective.
Gregory J. Wolos
The writer is a retired English teacher for the Schenectady school district.
Give up our pets to fight global warming?
Re April 22 letter, “Giving up meat would reduce global warming”: If you believe, as Shemirah Brachah apparently does, that the globe is warming and further that man is the cause, or that giving up meat would have any effect at all on climate, then I suggest that getting rid of pets should come first. After all, is there any difference between a pig’s byproduct and a dog’s?
Pets could be replaced with stuffed animals. Maybe we should go a step further and get rid of all animals that pollute (including man). Whatever happened to common sense?
As for me, I am not giving up meat or milk (which we all need) any more than you are giving up your pets.
More reasons for legalizing pot than not
In the past 20 years, state and local police have arrested nearly 10 million people for marijuana offenses, 85 percent for possession. I believe that decriminalizing marijuana will help out in many ways.
To look at it from an economic standpoint, a large amount of money is being made under the table. To legalize it, even just for medical use, would bring in many millions in licensing fees. You could place a tax on it and bring in even more.
Marijuana is everywhere and, even though it’s illegal, people still find ways to get around it.
Legalizing it will solve problems, like for jails that don’t have enough room for people who deserve to be there. Once legalized, you can advertise how to use it correctly and safely. Like drinking and driving, it can be a law to not drive under the influence, except now marijuana will be legal.
I believe legalization is possible, but it will take a lot of support from federal and local officials.
Franck’s earlier bar closing time a case of overkill
Re April 20 article, “City official proposes closing bars at 2 a.m.”: Finally, an accounts commissioner [John Franck] who has enough sense to begin a campaign to legislate a new law for Saratoga Springs.
Even though the state already has laws about when privately owned establishments can open and close for business, those bar owners don’t really know how to do it. They need your help. They stay open way too late. After all, nobody ever gets arrested, into a fight, a DWI, before 2 a.m. — right?
Heck, why not close all the bars and prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol altogether? Oh, wait, some nitwits already tried that.
Chuck De Vito
Middle-class taxes pay for wasteful spending
Stop the overtaxing of the middle class! Wealthy Americans do not pay their fair share of taxes. A 30 percent tax rate for a middle-class American has a much greater impact on the quality of their lives than 30 percent when you make millions of dollars.
Stop the wasteful government spending, corruption, use of taxpayer dollars for personal gain. “Good Morning America” reported that a congressional staffer spent more than $76,000 on plane fare to locations all over Europe, expensive hotels, fine restaurants, etc., and he didn’t even have to submit receipts — there is no accountability.
The Treasury has a $15 million fund for these unnecessary and high-priced expenses and no one is held accountable for how the money is spent. The money of hard-working middle-class Americans who can’t afford expensive trips because they have to pay for overpaid, unethical government employees.
Stop trying to make up for wasteful spending by continuously raising taxes, which affects the middle class the hardest but results in the most money because of the size of this social class.
I encourage everyone to speak with their vote and get rid of current representatives!
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