Once again, Schenectady’s ‘finest’ seem to be anything but

Sunday, December 30, 2012
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Once again, Sch’dy’s ‘finest’ seem to be anything but

Re Dec. 22 article, “Cops chastised for hiring strippers”: My husband attended Christmas parties at GE for over 30 years. He also attended numerous retirement parties throughout his career at GE. None of them involved strippers. Nor did any of the parties I attended where I worked.

The fact that the Schenectady Police Department can’t seem to enjoy themselves without drinking or ogling semi-naked women is just sad. Even if nothing illegal took place, just this fact alone shows a level of stupidity and lack of judgment that should not be present in people who are hired to protect the community and uphold the law. Not to mention carry guns.

I truly feel sorry for the good cops in Schenectady, who not only have to face danger in their jobs every day but have to deal with the poor perception of the entire department that these sorts of incidents produce.

Tricia Margas


If Farley doesn’t get it, maybe Cuomo will

Thanks to [Schenectady School] Superintendent Laurence Spring and The Daily Gazette, we are becoming better informed about serious inequities in the state allocation of funding for school districts [Dec. 14 Gazette].

More equitable funding would mean more state funding for Schenectady schools, improving the quality of education for our children and providing tax relief to city property owners. These are goals all Schenectady residents should support, which makes it baffling why Sen. Hugh Farley is opposed to fighting for change in the allocation of state education aid.

Perhaps city residents could turn to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the hope he will provide leadership on this issue. Schenectady is not the only school district that is currently underfunded, after all. Most districts across the state are.

The best solution, of course, would be to fully fund all districts. Short of that, if school districts must be underfunded, they should all be underfunded by the same magnitude. Why shortchange some districts significantly and others only slightly, while fully funding yet other districts?

Changing state school funding to address the current inequities is a simple matter of fairness — fairness especially for districts such as Schenectady’s, that have been underfunded relative to other districts for years.

Zoe Oxley


Rickert does fine job at Nisky HS, so let him be

In rebuttal to Jim Vincent’s Dec. 26 letter [“Niskayuna principal wears (too) many hats”] on John Rickert: I had two children go through Niskayuna High School with Mr. Rickert as their principal. Mr. Rickert has carried on a standard that Ed Carangelo set during his tenure, of students being first.

What he does on his personal time is none of my, or Vincent’s, business. He is the type of a administrator all school districts should have.

Sal Capitummuno


2nd Amendment vital, now more than ever

In the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau wrote: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root...” In his day, there were no willful tragedies like the recent school shootings in Connecticut.

Human nature hasn’t changed, but human behavior has. Instead of reacting blindly and emotionally to such horrors, let’s look for the roots. In my opinion, they include the new national policy of constant warfare, routine prescription of anti-depressant drugs to teenagers and young adults, violent and depersonalizing movies and video games, and the general degradation of our culture.

Many well-meaning but thoughtless people are crying for restricting guns, or even outlawing them, effectively canceling the Second Amendment, the only one still standing between the individual citizen and unbridled government power. Some are sincere, some are politicians like [Chicago Mayor] Rahm Emanuel, who said not long ago: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Gun prohibition is a tactic used by despots throughout history. It has no effect on crime; in fact, crime increases significantly where guns are outlawed — look at England. Connecticut has very restrictive gun laws, but they offer no protection against the deranged.

If ordinary citizens are prevented from having the means of self-defense, the only beneficiaries are criminals and statists.

David Vincelette


Where would the arming of Americans stop?

In light of the NRA’s recommendation to put an armed guard in every school, we should seriously reconsider how we defend our defenseless schoolchildren [Dec. 24 Gazette].

Unfortunately, given the distribution of students throughout a school building, it is clear that a single officer could not be sufficiently present to save the children.

Clearly each classroom must have some form of protection. Therefore, arming each teacher should be standard practice. Additionally, since the children need to be protected as they are transported to school, each bus must have protection. The arming of all school bus drivers would be appropriate.

Schoolchildren must escort themselves during the day to the restroom or other parts of the school building. As a result, a child could at times find themselves alone within a school. Thus the only way to provide protection for all our students all the time is to arm every individual student.

An in-school gun training program would be required for all children. To protect dangerous student behavior, the distribution of bullets should be consistent with the student’s likely gun-toting ability level. Therefore, the number of bullets provided should be equal to the student’s grade level — (i.e., first grade equals one bullet; second grade equals two bullets, etc).

The above actions are absolutely necessary if we are to fully protect our children.

The only real question, given the violence level found in many homes, is whether home-schoolers should be armed as well?

Ken Siegal


Too many mentally ill to allow military weapons

Mass killings would still occur if we banned the use and possession [of military-style weapons].

Medical research has not yet determined why people develop conditions such as bipolar disorder [manic or depressive] conditions. Millions of people are stricken with these conditions; however, only a tiny fraction ever reach the point where they might harm others. But even a tiny fraction of 300-plus million people is a lot, and we must treat them with care — not make it simple for them to obtain “war weapons.”

Our present laws would eventually [make] flamethrowers and rifle grenades available to them, or anybody else. These type of weapons have no practical use for our civilian population. After a set date, their possession, sale or use should be a criminal act. It would not be a difficult law to follow. Owners would be paid “market price” for items surrendered. Those retaining them would be facing the danger of “possession of illegal property.”

If the 5 percent of our population makes it impossible to pass such a law, why can’t the individual states proceed on their own?

Al Harris

Ballston Spa

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December 30, 2012
1:23 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Tricia Margas I don't think anyone believes that your husband has never been to a bachelor party that had strippers. Since when is the private lives of the police or anyone else for that matter your business? Who elected you to tell a private citizen what he can or can not do in his free time? What about these girls? Many are single mothers providing for their children. They make a great "legal" income, they are working and not taking from the system and deserve to make a living any way they choose as long as it is legal. Way too many people are jumping to conclusions about a story in this paper that is a non story. Ask yourself, what reason would this paper have to print that story?????

December 30, 2012
8:50 a.m.
gina99 says...

This did not happen in a vacuum. Our City police have a horrible job and a troubled history. Nobody cares about private employees but new recruits to our force must use better judgement. It's time to start enforcing the residency laws and fire officers that refuse to pay their fair share of the oppressive taxes.

December 30, 2012
9:20 a.m.
mezz3131 says...

Tricia, your husbands not cop. He doesn't have to wear a bulletproof vest to work. Think about this; a bad day for most is being stressed out because they had too much paperwork. A bad day for the police is when they don't make it home. Think for a min. these men and women that people are chastising for having a party off duty are the SAME ones who rescued a baby out of a burning building on McClellan st. before the FD arrived. The same ones who helped protect the president of the United States when he visited GE. The same ones who help the community off duty, find raising for sick children, donating blood etc. the list goes on and on. Police work is stressful. 75% divorce rate, 2x as likely to be an alcoholic, 2x as likely to committ suicide. And all you can do is spit at them. Shame on you people for not understanding. You people are the lowest of the low. And you know what the police will do when you need help? Help you without judgement, bias or prejudice. Give the police a break.

December 30, 2012
9:47 a.m.
wmarincic says...

gina99, please tell me why it was bad judgement. You continue to blame the police for the residency laws and the taxes. The last I knew that was done by the democrat city council and the mayor. If you want the law changed then petition those fools that got elected to the council and mayors position and change the laws for new hires. BTW they have to live in the city for the first five years and they are penalized under their "union contract" for not moving within six months of hiring. Please stop blaming the police for something that is not theiir fault.

December 30, 2012
4:53 p.m.
FrankLowe says...

Ms Margas, I didn't know Schenectady had a puritan faction. Those must have been some hopping parties....shuffleboard anyone?
I very rarely defend police, or any authority figure for that matter, but in cities like Schenectady being a cop can be a very stressful and downright lousy job. Unlike the suburbs, those who the city cops deal with day in and day out are definately not the cream of the crop. I wouldn't want that job.
All you perfect people should cut these guys some slack.

January 1, 2013
2:01 p.m.
irene58 says...

I guess it's too bad Monica Lewinsky wasn't a stripper.....

January 7, 2013
1:23 a.m.
bluelinecop says...

Gina, crack a beer and find a man, your too bored! Ms Margas, sit down with your husband one day and tell him to start being honest with you.

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