Letters to the Editor for March 27
Preserve history by leaving ‘Haunted Hospital’ standing
I read, with some interest, your March 20 article and March 22 editorial about the “Haunted Hospital,” and again am saddened by our unwillingness to preserve history.
Why do we let such a beautiful building fall into disrepair? Why do we abandon these beautiful buildings (part of our heritage) and then, when time and neglect enter, tear them down and leave vacant, uncared-for lots? To use this building as the reason for a tragic accident is ludicrous!
People travel to Europe to see historical sites. Many buildings there are hundreds of years old.
I am sure if we took proper care of buildings such as the “Haunted Hospital,” there would be no need to tear it down.
While I have never seen this facility in person, the picture in the March 21 Gazette shows a stately and proud building. Why can’t it be turned into a functioning building again — a homeless shelter or senior housing? [The county] originally purchased [it] 30 years ago to rehab it, but that plan never came to fruition. Why do we wait 30 years to do something about an empty piece of history?
Cities and towns must stay on top of such purchases and preserve our heritage. We do not have to travel to Washington, D.C., or other historical sites to see our history alive and well. We have history in our own back yards that can be displayed proudly for generations to come.
Vincent F. Carelli
Where are we two years after health care act?
Two years ago this week, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Some dubbed this an historic act. Others claimed it was a socialist takeover of our health care system. But many expressed to me their uncertainty as to what the law actually did and how it would impact them or their family. Two years later, let’s take a look at some of the facts.
Some 5,900 young adults (26 and under) in the Capital Region have health insurance today who did not have it two years ago. Nationwide, over 2.5 million young people have obtained insurance coverage.
Over 10,000 seniors in our area have received prescription drug discounts, saving over $580 each. Across the country, more than 3.6 million seniors have already saved more than $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs since enactment.
Seniors have also been able to capitalize on access to preventative care and services without any co-pay, coinsurance or deductible. That has meant nearly 80,000 seniors have received free services in our area alone — improving wellness, flu shots, detecting high cholesterol levels, heart screenings, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, colorectal and prostrate screenings, and much more — at no out-of-pocket cost to them.
In addition, the law ended the most egregious insurance company abuses, including denying children health insurance because of pre-existing conditions like asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Some estimates suggest as many as 33,000 children with pre-existing conditions are now protected against insurer denials in the Capital Region alone.
There are also 500,000 residents with private health insurance coverage who are protected against being dropped if they become ill and 250,000 people in health care plans that previously had lifetime limits but no longer do.
All these changes deserve scrutiny and review, and certainly nobody would claim that the Affordable Care Act is perfect. We demanded perfection from the bill, but settled for progress.
However, before we call the law a “death knell for freedom” or make pledges to “get rid of job-killing Obamacare,” let’s be honest with ourselves and one another. Let’s examine the facts, review the intentions and then make any necessary adjustments. A thoughtful democracy requires nothing less.
Paul D. Tonko
The writer is a member of Congress.
Special ed bake sale story warmed the heart
I just wanted to say kudos first to the Gazette for the March 19 article [“Special ed students lend a helping hand”] on Nicole Gamache’s special education class at Yates Magnet School.
And second, and most importantly, to Ms. Gamache and the staff at the school for taking the time and energy with the students for the bake sale. What a positive message and learning tool they experienced not only for themselves, but for those who purchased the baked goods.
Thank you for the heartwarming story.
Lynn E. Barnes
Banning smoking in open spaces is going too far
Re March 7 article, “Malls to ban outside smoking”: Let me start by stating that I am a non-smoker. But, most laws put forth the past several years against smokers are way beyond reason.
Not allowing smoking in closed places such as movie theaters, small restaurants churches and buses, etc., because of the alleged problems caused by secondhand smoke, is one thing. But to not allow smoking in open spaces — such as parks, sports fields and parking lots, around any buildings, streets and, in some cases, even entire cities — is way beyond any sense of reason.
I do not care for the odor of secondhand smoke, but I think smoking should be allowed any place that allows people to wear perfume. Nothing is more repulsive to me than to be in a closed area and have to smell or even gag sometimes because of the odor of someone’s putrid-smelling perfume. Men’s cologne is usually as bad.
The recent ruling by Pyramid Corp. to not allow smoking anyplace on their property is the last straw. I will continue to walk at Crossgates in the winter when I can’t walk outside, but I will never patronize any of their stores again. I don’t particularly care to shop at Walmart, Kmart, Target, etc., but I’m sure I’ll find whatever I need there or at other malls and plazas. I urge everyone to do the same until they eliminate this absolutely stupid rule.
Young families really have it tough nowadays
I would like to praise the young people, especially the mothers and the fathers, for coping with the economy besides raising their families in these hard times.
When I was young, I didn’t have to put up with the likes of the things our young people do.
I didn’t have to think of having cable with the Internet, costly day care, high taxes, high gas [prices], cellphones, iPhone, iPad, computers, computer games, interest in the bank, high food prices, Social Security and retirement issues, health-care coverage, etc.
Our young people have their work cut out for them, because they both have to work to achieve their goals.
Everyone is trying to take your money, no one is trying to help you. This is one old guy who can feel your pain.
Walter “Neal” Brazell
Gambling creates plenty of misery, but not wealth
Will someone please explain to me how “gaming” creates wealth? I understand how if a company takes $10 in materials and makes a gadget that sells for $100, they increase the wealth of the country by $90. Or if someone provides a service that nets them $10 an hour, that increases their disposable income and stimulates economic activity.
But gambling simply siphons off the disposable income of one class of people to line the pockets of wealthy casino owners. And of course the state skims the take of all the casinos, so the politicians increase their influence.
Economic development should mean New York residents getting help starting up businesses. That will generate more wealth and economic activity to tax — that’s supposed to be the point.
Instead, Gov. Cuomo, [Assembly Speaker] Silver and [Senate Majority Leader] Skelos pander to rich casino developers so they can get richer off the misery of compulsive gamblers.
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