Letters to the Editor for Aug. 21
Our beautiful planet has become our polluted planet
I was recently given a pamphlet, “Hudson River — Health Advice on Eating Fish You Catch.” The reality is you can’t safely eat any of them because they’re all poisoned to some degree with PCBs. Catch them if you like, but it is safer for you to release them than take them home to cook.
The mercury level in the Adirondack fish from the unfiltered emissions of the coal-fired electric plants is now so high that the loons, who feed on them, are becoming ill. Ocean fish, especially large fish at the top of the food chain, like swordfish, contain toxic amounts of mercury, and other pollutants.
Besides becoming uneatable, there are fewer fish overall. Of the 13 kinds of fish most often caught locally, the quantities of 10 species are now in serious decline. The same is true of ocean fish.
This isn’t a joke! When the colonists came here, the waters were clean and teeming with fish. Now, as our world’s population is reaching record levels, is our response to just write off this major food source?
Worldwide, fresh water is at a premium. Yet, hydrofracking threatens the pure water in our Hudson Valley, and all the way down to Chesapeake Bay. Are we supposed to write off water, too?
What about air and soil quality? Are they dispensable as well? This is a wake-up call! Our planet, our food, our water are in danger, hence so are we!
We spend billions each day on endless war and destruction. Enough! The only battles worth fighting are those to save our beautiful water planet, and turn it back into the land of plenty it once was. This is the war on which our gigantic military budget should be applied.
Editorial on Safe Routes to School was welcome
I was pleased to see your Aug. 19 editorial in support of the Safe Routes to School grant application submitted jointly by the city of Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Springs School District.
This indeed is a welcome step forward in making the city, particularly the southwestern section where 20 percent of the population lives, more walkable and bikable. This is especially true considering that 60 percent of Geyser Elementary School students live within two miles of the school, yet currently cannot walk or bike there.
If the application is successful, results will include more active and healthier children who also are more aware of safe biking practices; cleaner air; and increased community engagement.
The next important step is for the city to commit funds to advance the planned Geyser Road Trail that, combined with the Safe Routes to School project, will enable more people of all ages to travel safely by bike and foot not only to the school but to destinations all along busy Geyser Road and beyond.
Earlier bar closings needed in Capital Region
Although it didn’t specifically call for it, the Aug. 16 Gazette editorial highlighted the need to move bar closings to 1 a.m. in the Capital Region.
Twelve other New York counties with colleges and technical institutions have rolled back their bar closings, like Tompkins County (Cornell University, Ithaca College), to 1 a.m.
Schenectady contains Schenectady County Community College, Union College (recently rated as a No. 5 party school, down from a No. 1 rating last year.)
Surrounding counties have Skidmore, Albany State University, Empire State College, College of Saint Rose and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, among others.
Locally, we have lost five underage victims in alleged alcohol-related crashes this summer.
The writer is president of Remove Intoxicated Drivers [RID].
Sch’dy taking on trouble with 600 tax foreclosures
In regard to the city of Schenectady foreclosing on nearly 600 properties Sept. 1, I must take the position of doom and gloom!
Yes, we all will be paying dearly for this mess no matter how it’s handled. My gut feeling is this will put us deeper in a hole. Can you imagine the city collecting rent from tenants?
The reality is 99 percent of all the properties the city will take over are worthless. Who in their right mind would walk away from anything that is valuable? Many properties after they are fixed up will be worth less than what was spent on them.
The blight needs to be seriously addressed. The city needs help from the state and federal level. This is a mess the city cannot handle alone. We need to prevent people from getting years behind in property and school taxes, or this problem will continue to grow.
The writer is a Schenectady landlord.
Don’t adopt pet unless willing to stick with it
I am very saddened to write this letter, but I feel I have to express my opinion regarding cats and dogs.
Whenever articles with pictures of cats and dogs appear in the Gazette, advertising for people to adopt them, it makes me wonder why do people get pets? When they no longer want the pets, off to the animal shelter they go or people just abandon them. The pets range in age from 1 year to 14 years old — why have a pet for that long and then discard them like a piece of paper?
I do understand that there may be situations where people can no longer care for a pet, but why are there so many for adoption?
Cats and dogs are very lovable animals and great companions for the young and elderly. These pets ask for nothing in return except to be loved, cared for and fed.
I implore people to stop and think before adopting a pet and to remember that a cat or dog is for a lifetime.
Town has let down Ghents Road residents
In reference to The Daily Gazette Aug. 13 article, “Work at new development angers neighbors,” I have to take exception to town of Rotterdam Supervisor Harry Buffardi’s distillation of the Ghents Road problems as a “neighbor-to-neighbor dispute.” The arrogant action of a land takeover by a contractor hardly fits the definition of a neighbor.
The Helderberg Meadows plans clearly show the developer’s proposed homes encroaching on an existing taxpayer’s property, and also blocking access to two homes at the west end of Ghents Road.
Rotterdam’s Town Planning Board recommended approval of the plans and subsequently the Town Board signed off on these same plans.
Before the commencement of any building by the contractor, multiple attempts by the existing landowners to get the town officials to stop this encroachment fell on deaf ears. In this instance, it has become apparent that town officials have abdicated their duties and responsibilities to taxpayers.
It’s now an expensive dispute that has upset the lives of multiple long-term residents, and could have been prevented by Mr. Buffardi and town officials.
The writer lives on Ghents Road near the new development.
Unlike Obama, Ryan willing to tell it like it is
Re Aug. 17 letter, “With Ryan pick, Romney just re-elected Obama,” by Arnold Seiken: Rep. Paul Ryan, “who incidentally displays wonderful teeth and a marvelous head of hair,” brings more to the presidential debate than that.
He brings a clear vision and a well-defined approach to realize that vision. Sen. Tom Coburn and he are members of a very small congressional group who love this country enough to tell the country the necessary truth at the risk of their jobs in Congress.
Now, if President Obama were similarly inclined, the country would be able to chose between clearly defined choices. Do we as a people wish to live as dependents of the federal government or as free people who take care of ourselves?.
Joseph J. Hehir
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