Letters to the Editor for July 24

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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Keep New York City Ballet, as originally intended, at SPAC

In the last month, there has been much discussion about the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s announcement of the decision, arrived at through negotiations with New York City Ballet, to cut the ballet’s residency to one week in 2013.

New York City Ballet was co-founded by George Balanchine, one of a handful of choreographers whose permanent popular and canonical status is a fact. Perhaps fewer people know that George Balanchine also served on the development board of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. His direct participation in its planning “helped to define both the physical form and artistic agenda of SPAC. The New York City Ballet and [the] Philadelphia Orchestra were included in the charter for the organization whose aim was to bring cultural richness and quality to the area.”

I am shocked by the lackluster community reaction to this decision. Even when one removes emotion and argues for purely practical considerations (or, perhaps, especially when our region looks at how this situation affects it), there should be an outcry and vast support offered both financially and through volunteerism.

SPAC argues that budgetary concerns prevent the continued ballet residency, once at four weeks and now diminished to one, from appearing here as initially intended. New York City Ballet is losing money, as well, from having taken cuts in fees to appear here while, at the same time, their costs have continued to increase. If there is one simple answer in all of this, it is money.

And, that’s why Saratoga should be alarmed, as well. The ballet and orchestra have become part of the rich fabric of our region. Hundreds of people live here during the month of July as a result of SPAC’s summer programs. They spend money and they attract people who spend money.

There is also a subculture dependent on them. The New York State Summer School of the Arts and numerous dance schools make use of the exceptional skill, unparalleled in such concentration in few places in the United States, available to them through classes taught by ballet and orchestra members who represent the best of what our country has to offer.

SPAC and its leadership have made many positive moves to build an audience and increase attendance and it is still not enough. I suggest that we have to help or we will lose this treasure that was given to us. There must be a spirit of cooperation among all of us that will bolster efforts made by SPAC.

I am committed to this and, as my next act, will contact the president and board of directors to ask to be included at their next meeting to discuss possible ways in which we, individually and as a group, could help.

Lisa S. Mehigan

Saratoga Springs

Obama giving Romney some of own medicine

Re July 19 Michael Gerson column, “President exploiting, while bemoaning, the politics of polarization”: Michael Gerson characterized the Obama campaign’s allegation that [GOP candidate Mitt] Romney may have committed a felony by filing false government documents as “partisan polarization on an industrial scale.”

Aw, poor Mitt. Obama “is attempting to destroy Romney before Romney can define himself.” I’d like to remind readers that Romney has defined himself already, repeatedly declaring himself to be a solid businessman with the credentials to create jobs. That makes his record at Bain Capital fair game for political attacks. Also, didn’t Mitt Romney use that same political strategy to destroy one opponent after another during the Republican primaries?

Why does Gerson whine about Democrats’ negative advertising when Republicans are just as guilty of using the same tactics, maybe even more so? To be fair, he should have noted this from FactCheck: “ found numerous instances in which Romney has also strayed from the facts in accusations against Obama. He [Romney] also claimed that he created 100,000 jobs at Bain Capital — a claim we found lacked support because it took credit for jobs added by companies long after Romney had left the Bain.”

Fred Como

Burnt Hills

Tonko’s kind of capitalism is not the common man's

I went to Rep. Paul Tonko’s town hall meeting in Colonie on July 16.

He agrees with Obama on his decision to reject the construction of Canada’s Keystone Pipeline, ominously telling the crowd that it’s a pipe system that will go right through the heartland of our country, intimating danger to our farmlands. He told us they weren’t the types of jobs we wanted anyway.

Furthermore, he told us that the oil will simply go to Texas and then on to the world oil market. So what’s the sense? He failed to mention that according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, we have over 2 million miles of pipeline in our country, safely transporting hydrocarbons for use. As for jobs, China is very pleased to get those jobs and oil from our Canadian friends.

Tonko defended the new health care act (Obamacare). He talked about the many supposed benefits of government management of one-seventh of the nation’s economy without highlighting the 22 tax increases in the law. He didn’t talk about the additional 16,000 IRS thugs agents hired in order to harass us. Nor did he highlight the 111 new federal agencies created by the act.

Paul Tonko can be spotted at community events. He’s everywhere. How do I reconcile the Paul Tonko from Amsterdam and the one who goes back to Washington and votes against the wishes of his constituents?

I’m coming to the conclusion that Rep. Tonko, like our president, is a mastermind. Someone who thinks he knows the intricacies of our capitalistic system. You see, he knows how to manage a whole array of complex systems: health care, energy production and distribution, student lunches, etc. But he doesn’t seem to respect our God-given rights as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In public forums, he speaks glowingly about the entrepreneur, then wants the entrepreneur to check-in with him/government first before opening a business to see if it’s a job we want.

Elections are popularity contests. But this election year, more than any other, we must dig deeper. Paul Tonko’s voting record is abysmal for entrepreneurs and small business. The National Federation of Independent Business Owners Annual Report says that Paul Tonko consistently voted against the interests of small businesses, receiving an overall score of 29 percent.

Is he a citizen legislator or an unaccountable and entrenched government bureaucrat who places the interests of his political party and his long-term government career before those of the common man who pays his salary?

This year, don’t be apathetic towards your vote. As Thomas Jefferson said: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Brian McGarry


The writer is a Republican town committeeman.

Circus is coming to Cobleskill, unfortunately

The Zerbini Family Circus is being featured at the Sunshine Fair in Cobleskill from July 27 to Aug. 4. This circus was cited for numerous instances for cruelty to animals, e.g., whipping of camels, a tortoise being hoisted over the ringmaster’s head, and a bison being forced to perform on a small block of wood where he fell off (

I realize that this type of entertainment appeals to some people, but in my opinion this isn’t “entertainment,” especially for children. This circus was banned from the city of New Paltz by the mayor, who obviously cares about the treatment of animals.

Camels belong in the desert, tortoises do not belong in a circus, and bison should be free to roam. And none of these animals should be forced to spend their lives in small areas, confined to pens too small for them, or be forced to perform activities unnatural to their nature.

Sandy Harrity


Contraceptives available outside of employment

In a July 20 letter (“Catholics can’t dictate to others on contraception”), Bob Scher seems to ignore his own argument.

Without judging the merits of the argument regarding contraception, I would point out that Mr. Scher says, in part, “[Catholics] are free to not use contraceptives as they wish. What they are not free to do is force their beliefs on their employees, which is what happens when they deny the coverage.”

Mr. Scher, you should also consider that employees are free to use contraceptives available from outside of their employment, so contrary to your letter, Catholic institutions are not forcing their beliefs on employees.

Jerry Boehm


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July 24, 2012
6:06 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Romney and Bain Capital started dozens of business's that employed tens of thousands of people, IE; Staples and Family Dollar just to name two.

He gave his millions of dollars of inheritance to charity.

He save the 2000 winter olympics without being paid.

He never took a paycheck as governor.

Obama is responsible for an economy that is the worse it has been in more than 50 years. He has devided this country and race relations are worse than they have been in 50 years. Obama says he is being outspent by Romney but Obama has spent 58 million to Romneys 27.5 million. Obama is a liar plain and simple and America can not take four more years of him.

If you think we are better now than four years ago and that it is all Bush's fault, you really should put the Kool Aid down and have a nice glass of tee to restore your brain cells.

July 24, 2012
7:55 a.m.
FrankLowe says...

Excellent letter Mr McGarry,
As I sit in my office this morning struggling through the issues that come with being a business owner, it angers me to think that our president, and my congressman think that they know better than us. Obama or Tonko don't have a clue how business works, or what it really takes to be in business, that's why both are beaureaucrats rather than being gainfully employed. They both are very happy to treat us as an ATM machine for their wasteful spending though.

Unfortunately, looking at the redistricting, we're stuck with Tonko. The lines are drawn to include all the takers(Tonko's constituency), rather than the makers.

July 24, 2012
10:13 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

"Romney and Bain Capital started dozens of business's that employed tens of thousands of people, IE; Staples and Family Dollar just to name two."

They did not found those companies.

"He gave his millions of dollars of inheritance to charity."

Giving the Mormon church millions to finance clones going door to door bothering people, isn't quite the same as donating to cancer research, or hunger relief.
It did however, enable him to avoid paying a hefty tax bill.
He didn't save the Olympics, they would have just gone on someplace else, other than Utah, his "spiritual home".

"Obama is responsible for an economy that is the worse it has been in more than 50 years."

Cheney admitted that they left Obama with an economy that was like a ticking time bomb.

"He has devided this country and race relations are worse than they have been in 50 years."

Chiefly because many many people like you still can't deal with the fact that he is black, whether you admit it, or not.

"Obama says he is being outspent by Romney but Obama has spent 58 million to Romneys 27.5 million"

There is one Nevada investor alone, who pledged Romney $100million. The Koch brothers alone, have pledged $60million, with the end goal being $400million.
That's an awful lot of favors to pay back.

"Obama is a liar plain and simple and America can not take four more years of him."

Romney gets caught in a lie on a daily basis, there should be an asterisk next to every sentence that comes from his mouth.
America can not take 4 years of Bush's less stupid evil twin.

"If you think we are better now than four years ago and that it is all Bush's fault, you really should put the Kool Aid down and have a nice glass of tee to restore your brain cells."

Were you home schooled by an AM radio?

Oh yeah, "As for jobs, China is very pleased to get those jobs and oil from our Canadian friends."

Are you on bath salts?
I thought the idea was to give jobs to AMERICANS, not give the Chinese even more.

July 25, 2012
8:57 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Fritzdawg, Please give me 10 honest bullet points of Obama 3.5 years in office. He WONT run on his record so you give it to us and PLEASE stop blaming Bush, Obama said he would fix the economy in 2 years or he would be a one term president.

Stop with the KOCH broters, Obama went "on record" the other day stating he was being outspent but the factcheck shows Obama spent over two times as much as Romney.

Not to forget that liberal Diane Fienstein armed serv committee chair blames the Obama white house for the treasonous security lesks.

OK lets see that list of jobs, accomplishments and the debt reduction. Remember you have to do this with out blaming Bush, FYI Bush is no nonger in office, unfortunately. Please explain also how Obama thinks that it is alright for 47% of American not pay taxes and get money back by the EIC law.

July 25, 2012
1:03 p.m.
gazettereader says...

Here's 80 bullet points -

July 25, 2012
3:43 p.m.
wmarincic says...

gazettter reader, I said for America not against America. Removing those ABM will allow Venenzuela with the help of their friend Iran attack this country with ballistic missles. I really can't believe the brainwashed liberal minds in this country.

It was once said that liberals could not live without Conservatives defending their freedom and paing the taxes to support this country but Conservatives could live quite well without liberals.

July 25, 2012
7:48 p.m.
wmarincic says...

•Acted to remove registered lobbyists from federal advisory commitees.( Not true)
•Abandoned Bush administration plan to build antiballistic missile shield in Eastern Europe (left us vulnerable to attack)
•Imposed tariffs on tires imported from China (not too many most are made here)
•Expanded retirement savings options through IRS changes (added 16000 more IRS agents)
•Annonunced that it will release White House visitor logs with some exceptions
•Renominated Ben Bernanke to second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve ( why is he waiting till after election?)
•Announced $12 billion initiative to reform community colleges (to what end?)
•Nominated Regina Benjamin as surgeon general (abortion advocate)
•Extended executive order to freeze assets of Liberian ruler Charles Taylor
•Announced two-year pause on new mining claims near Grand Canyon (Interior Secretary Salazar) (should have done something 50,000 rapes ago)
•Signed bill appropriating $7.65 billion to respond to H1N1 flu epidemic
(waste of money)
•Reached agreement with American Hospital Association to cut Medicare reimbursements and payments by $155 billion over 10 years (lowering our healthcare standard)
•Joined international declaration on energy and climate change (more green BS)

July 25, 2012
7:50 p.m.
wmarincic says...

•Announced regulatory changes underway to improve food safety standards resulting from Cabinet-level working group (absolutely no change)
•Issued Department of Energy rule for increased energy efficiency standards ( more green BS, hurting jobs)
•Signed supplemental appropriations bill and signing statement including funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as for preparation for a HINI flu pandemic (I thought he was against the wars)
•Hosted White House reception honoring contributions of gay and lesbian Americans (almost 70% os Americans disagree)
•Signed act granting FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products and mandating addition tobacco regulation( while taxing them)
•Announced plan for regulatory reform of financial system and creation of new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (more beurocracy and wasted tax money)

July 25, 2012
7:50 p.m.
wmarincic says...

•Extended Federal benefits for same-sex partners and urged Congress to overturn Defense of Marriage Act to enable additional extensions of benefits ( should be a states issue)
•Created White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport (Romney did that years ago)
•Recommended Medicare and Medicare changes intended to save $300 billion over 10 years ( will cost a trillion dollars or more)
•Proposed to Congress that future non-emergency tax cuts or entitlement expansions be offset by revenue increases or spending reductions ("PAYGO") (LMAO)
•Negotiated new agreement with Russia to reduce and limit offensive weapons (leaving us vulnerable, open michrophone)
•Signed bill to create commission to honor Ronald Reagan upon 100th anniversary of his birth (congress does that)
•Nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice to succeed Justice David Souter (Racist liberal without experience)
•Signed mortgage reform legislation intended to prevent fraud and enable homeowners unable to pay their mortgages to refinance (closing the barn door the libs left opem)
•Signed bill to permit Pentagon to abandon projects when costs significantly exceed projections (Leaving the US vulnerable)
•Signed credit card bill of rights to benefit consumers ( I agree with this one)
•Announced national policy on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission for cars and trucks for 2012-2016 model years (already done by Bush)
•Issued one-year extension of sanctions against Burma for repression (waste of resourses)

July 28, 2012
7:49 p.m.
robbump says...

"It was once said that liberals could not live without Conservatives defending their freedom and paing the taxes to support this country but Conservatives could live quite well without liberals."

Gee, I tend to be liberal, I put in 6 years of military service, and never ever "lost" my quals in my specialty. Did Cheney, Limbaugh, GWB, "Doctor" Savage, Glenn Beck, or WM? So who defends what?

I pay a lot of taxes, and NEVER fudge any personal items as a business expense - so I guess I pay too.

And in a time of draft, many conservatives (see list above) find creative ways to avoid it, so more liberals end up serving, and dying.

So would conservatives really live better without liberals?

Or is life more a symbiotic one?

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