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Schoharie County is real world, and Gazette doesn’t live in it

Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Schoharie County is real world, and Gazette doesn’t live in it

In response to the March 20 editorial on the Schoharie County Second Amendment rally March 16, we attended the rally, actually the anti-SAFE Act of 2013 in New York state.

Obviously the editor of the Gazette was not in attendance, since the message of the rally was not understood. The site of the protest was located in the heart of this region’s most significant piece of history: the Revolutionary War. The individuals who support such an effort have a long history of individual salvation, not today’s secular progressive collectivism.

How dare you to call into question the integrity and judgments of Schoharie County officials. To their constituents they are bold and speak from the tenets of our Constitution. Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond, town of Carlisle Supervisor Larry Bradt, and the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors are sworn patriots.

The main issue, in our opinion, is the chasm between the city statists and rest of us here in the real world. You’re a newspaper in a city with an entitlement environment and public-sector corruption, and a proponent of America’s decline. For the “greater good of society” is a simplistic overview of overreaching legislation passed in the dark of the night.

The editors needs to do their homework away from their liberal inner circles. You will find the majority of counties and their law enforcement agencies will not enforce this reckless legislation.

Just one example is the $500 reward for turning in your neighbor based on suspicion of firearm ownership. Every incident will need to be investigated, leading to unnecessary potential for bloodshed. Our resources must be spent targeting the real criminals and not making law-abiding and responsible people felons.

Let me give you the short version of the March 16 rally — “Live Free or Die.” Many brave Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. On March 16 there were many veterans in attendance. Next time seek out and report their valuable opinions.

Steven Paige

Delanson

Robert Paige

Sharon Springs

Steck explains his school aid actions

I am writing in response to the March 28 article, “Partisan aid bump helps some school districts.”

Frankly, I am not a supporter of so-called bullet aid and agree with Assemblyman James Tedisco that school aid should not be dispensed in such a political manner. However, Mr. Tedisco’s remarks did not accurately portray how the aid is distributed, giving the false impression that I steered the aid to certain school districts. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On Feb. 13, I requested that, if such aid were available, it be distributed as follows: 40 percent to Schenectady, 18.3 percent to each of Niskayuna, North Colonie and South Colonie, and .05 percent to Menands (which is a very small school district). This proposal was based on student population, not on school aid.

When the school aid figures were announced, I was upset at how Niskayuna was treated. While Schenectady, South Colonie and North Colonie received state aid increases of 5.22, 5.39, and 1.79 percent respectively, Niskayuna was increased only 0.75 percent. North Colonie, incidentally, is the school district with the strongest property tax base and, therefore, is less dependent on state aid.

Thereafter, on March 27, I requested that all of the $100,000 bullet aid being distributed in the 110th Assembly District go to the Niskayuna school district. Unfortunately, the Ways and Means Committee did not implement my request.

This is probably for historical reasons. The Senate and the Assembly have historically distributed their discretionary funds according to where their members come from. Thus, the Ways and Means Committee distributed the funding to the town of Colonie, where I live, probably expecting that the Senate would distribute its discretionary funds to Niskayuna, where Sen. Hugh Farley lives, and/or neighboring Schenectady.

As your readers know, old habits die hard in the state of New York. But I am confident that Ways and Means has heard my voice clearly on these issues, and I expect that we will be able to accomplish more next year.

Phil Steck

Albany

Greed, politics are why America’s going broke

Why is the United States going broke?

Is there a common thread that precludes rational solutions to American’s problems? Yes. Presently in the United States it’s politics first, country last.

Our government is well aware spending is out of control, but is unable to effect changes to balance our budget. In fact, the legislators actively participate in perpetuating inefficiencies.

Case in point, The postmaster general is trying his best to reduce costs and preserve mail service. Congress opposes him at every turn, recently turning down ending Saturday’s mail delivery.

I have suggested that mail be delivered to alternate neighborhoods every other day on a six-day schedule. That requires half as many postmen and delivery vehicles, cutting delivery costs in half. Another proposal presumed dead on arrival.

Why? For the same reason they oppose cost savings by the elimination of identified duplicated bureaucracies. Re-election and voter support.

Both the postmaster’s proposal, and especially mine, would reduce postal jobs and irritate a large voting block — the postal union. Obsolete bureaucrats are voters as well.

Political decisions, not just in Washington, D.C., are made only to garner more votes or attract campaign funds. No hard choices. The merits of the issues are of little consequence.

The result. We’re broke, borrowing to survive, with a future that bodes of bankruptcy. It’s long past time to get serious about term limits, the obvious remedy that can only be initiated by an incentivized electorate superseding Congress by placing it [term limits] on state ballots.

Wallace J. Hughes

Charlton

Too much anger, and too many bullets

Re March 27 article, “Shooting, assault to draw 10 years”: The story relates that a man admitted he walked up to another man and a woman and pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and shot the man. He agreed to a jail term.

I certainly hope he also was required to surrender his pistol permit. Allowing possession of handguns by persons with anger management issues is exactly the kind of violence that I hope Gov. Cuomo’s recently enacted SAFE Act will curtail.

I do see, however, that Armando F. Henry shot the man three times. With our legislators already contemplating revisions to the SAFE Act, I hope that they will consider further limiting magazine capacity to two cartridges to avoid a repeat of incidents such as this.

George Nigriny

Scotia

An on-time budget, but at expense of disabled

Re March 29 AP article, “Plea for the disabled falls short”: I am extremely disappointed in Albany!

I had high hopes that Gov. Cuomo would be a champion of transparency in New York state government. What happened in the latest budget process was that instead of three men behind closed doors, there were four men behind the very same closed doors: Gov. Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate leaders Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein.

I take it back, I am not disappointed, I am mad as hell! How could they cut the funds to non-profit organizations that serve our very vulnerable developmentally disabled citizens while they allocate $420 million for TV and movie production and $54 million to renovate a privately owned football stadium?

Perhaps doing the things right (passing an on-time budget) was more important to the four gentleman than doing the right things (restoring the funds to non-profits).

I shall remember you and all the assembly people and senators who were against the restitution of funds to the non-profits at election time; and remind everyone I know and meet.

Altan Yazici

Niskayuna

Re April 1 editorial, “Motorists move too fast, politicians too slow”: Red light cameras are great revenue generators for cities, especially if the lights are mistimed, giving a false infraction.

Often the camera systems are owned and operated by companies (not local government) who have an incentive to generate as much revenue as possible. Some studies have shown that the cameras result in more rear-end traffic accidents because motorists are likely to stop suddenly rather than chance a ticket. The camera captures the vehicle plate number, not necessarily the driver, resulting in a ticket for the vehicle owner, so remember who’s driving your car at all times.

More government surveillance, freedoms so easily ceded to the state. The strangest part of your editorial was the claim that red-light cameras “might have encouraged Anthony Gallo to stop his truck at the corner of Erie Boulevard and State Street.” Anthony Gallo [accused of striking and killing a pedestrian, then fleeing the scene] had no business being behind the wheel of that truck. He had a record of 10 suspensions.

After the accident he was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, driving with ability impaired and passing a red light signal. Does this sound like a person who could be “encouraged” to stop at a red light because of a camera? Seriously?

Steven E. Brown

Pattersonville

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comments

April 4, 2013
8:11 a.m.
muggy says...

Hey Wallace. Who wrote your headline? I read your letter. I do not see the word "greed." Is the Gazette inserting their own bias? Greed? Really? Why did the Gazette place that word in the title of your editorial? I didn't get the sense that greed played a role in the problems with our federal budget. Or maybe it does. Does the Gazette mean the type of greed that they won't speak of? (Shhhhhh!) Like Joe Biden spending $1 million dollars for two nights in London and Paris? That greed? Or his $400,000 limo tab? That greed? Or the trips the Obamas have taken to Atlantis (Bahamas), Aspen, Hawaii, Florida and this summer to Martha's Vineyard? That greed? Or the rock concerts at the White House? That greed? Or the $1 million dollar Tiger Woods golf outing? That greed? Or the President's Colorado fundraiser last night? That greed? When it comes to greed, I like Milton Friedman's quote: "The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. There is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system." (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV...)

April 4, 2013
9:21 a.m.
schdyres1 says...

Mr. Steck: I thought you would be a breath of fresh air, and a fair supporter of the Schenectady School District. The District is in dire straits, and has closed many schools already. It now has asked the community to supplement its meager number of Reading Specialists because so many were pink slipped two years ago. This is a HIGH NEEDS district! And your second plea is to give it no money from the "bullet" aid, and to give 100% to Niskayuna????
You will not get my vote next time around.

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