Letters to the Editor for March 18
Niskayuna taxpayers deserve a break, not a new rec center
Re March 8 article, “Blatnick practice building finance proposed”: The Niskayuna Town Board seems to believe that town taxes and debt are not high enough. At least some of the members of the board want to spend over $600,000 on an enclosed recreational building for the soccer and lacrosse clubs.
Initially the two clubs were going to fund the building alone, but the generous Town Board decided it would ask taxpayers to fund it, and they even expanded the plan. They are very generous with taxpayer money.
This reminds me of the last capital expenditure of over $100,000 on a skateboard park. After just a few years of abuse and disuse, the town had to give it to a charity to get rid of it.
Supervisor Joe Landry indicated that the bond for the construction of Town Hall is almost paid off, so it would be a good time to take on more debt and fund the rec center.
Councilwoman Julie McDonnell wants to take $100,000 from the parklands fund, plus borrow $350,000 by selling bonds, to fund this extravagance. The sports clubs will fund the rest. [Officials] want to proceed when they are not sure what rents they will charge for the use of the center, or if the rent will cover the operating costs.
At the board meeting April 19, the board is planning to vote on a bond issuance to raise the funds. Taxpayers who think we are taxed enough should plan to attend and help prevent this lavish spending.
Councilman Jonathan McKinney seems to be the only sensible one by speaking out against the town expenditure on this unnecessary rec center. If the sports clubs want it, let them pay for it — as they originally proposed.
Shed light on STDs, a nasty national epidemic
According to an Institute of Medicine report, “the scope and impact of the STD [sexually transmitted diseases] epidemic are under-appreciated, and the STD epidemic is largely hidden from public discourse.”
This report came out in 1997, when 12 million Americans acquired an STD every year. We are now up to 19 million STDs a year, with teens and young adults making up almost half of these new cases, and the public still remains unaware of its severity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of four sexually active teens has an STD. Most STDs are asymptomatic. Undiagnosed and untreated STDs cause an estimated 24,000 American women to discover that they are infertile every year. HPV [human papillomavirus] is easily spread, and the vaccine protects against most, but not all, cancer-causing strains.
Young women are at a higher risk for contracting STDs due to an immature cervix. Youth with STDs have a higher risk of suicide, which is the third-leading cause of death among teens and young adults.
I suggest that parents and educators take some time to research this topic. Considering our current STD epidemic, and the latest research showing that the condom does not fully protect against these diseases, it may be time to question if promoting condom use to adolescents is responsible. Teens should also be informed of the condom’s serious limitations in protecting against various STDs.
GOP will have to do better to beat Tonko
Re March 6 article, “Banker plans bid against Tonko”: I was amused to read that Bob Dieterich is running for the 21st Congressional District. The Republicans always try to line up someone to run against Tonko and, may I say, to no avail (21 and 0). You would think the Repubs would know better by now; Mr. Tonko does an excellent job for his constituents.
What is even more amusing is that they are running a banker. I don’t think the people of the 21st need another banker, Wall Streeter or 1 percenter in office. I don’t think people are happy that Mr. Dieterich’s banker friends are paying 16 percent tax (if any) and the rest of us (99 percenters) are paying 28 percent.
When asked by the Gazette on March 6 if he was running for office, Mr. Dieterich would not give the newspaper a straight answer. And that was the first question of the campaign. I don’t think the 21st district or country needs those types of answers to solve our problems.
I would like to thank Mr. Dieterich for his service in the National Guard, which I feel will be the only way Mr. Dieterich will serve our country.
Jersey Boys tainted by profanity and sex
A lot of hype for the Jersey Boys [March 11 Gazette]. As a native of South Jersey in the era of the Four Seasons, I was looking forward with anticipation to the March 10 matinee performance with my wife and friends.
The music was fantastic — kudos to the talent displayed. But we were appalled at the language and sexual innuendos blatantly displayed. There were children present — shame on parents who allow such language to be heard in the name of “entertainment.”
The media hype should have included a disclaimer or a rating about the story content and language (which, by the way, truly isn’t necessary). Sadly their fame came with a heavy price. The audience didn’t need to hear the profanity — just the musical talent.
Good schools bolster real estate values
Re March 1 article, “School district facing deep cuts to balance budget”: As parents and now grandparents of Niskayuna school students, we were dismayed to read of proposed cuts in the Niskayuna educational curriculum.
The Capital Region is growing, and the first thing responsible parents do when moving into a community is look for a vibrant, forward-looking school district. It is what brought us, many of our friends and subsequently our children to Niskayuna.
Real estate values correlate directly with the quality of the educational system. If we wish to maintain home values and sell them easily when necessary, a top-level school system is a must.
Surely some method can be found to ensure the continued excellence of the Niskayuna schools. One way certainly will be to vote yes when the school budget is proposed.
Cynthia and Clifford Tepper
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