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Something smells rotten with centralized dispatch center siting

Saturday, April 6, 2013
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Something smells rotten with centralized dispatch center siting

I read with great interest your March 29 story on the Rotterdam Towm Board meeting where a new police department building was discussed.

In that article was the fact that the Unified Communications Center (Schenectady County’s new central dispatch) was incorporated in both locations they proposed. They also stated that Rotterdam would save $260,000 a year for its residents by having this arrangement.

I am presently a dispatcher in the town of Glenville, and when we saw and reviewed the request for proposals for the new center, we noted there was a waiting area and a walk-up window. We all questioned this, as the center was supposed to be stand-alone, with no police or fire influences, and a non-descript building. With this article now published, we see that from the beginning it was going to be incorporated into Rotterdam’s building plan.

I really find it outrageous, especially from a taxpayer’s point of view, that all towns were not afforded this same opportunity to “bid” on a new building with combined services. Glenville and Scotia both need new buildings and may have been able to also offer this same setup to save our residents money. Possibly Niskayuna, the city of Schenectady or even Princetown may have wanted to put together a package for this as well.

I really find it odd that the legislator who spearheaded central dispatch, Tony Jasenski, a retired police administrator from Rotterdam and chairman of the Rotterdam Democratic Party, never mentioned that this project encompassed a new public safety building for Rotterdam, even when dispatchers questioned why there was a waiting room and walk-up window. Both of these services will need to be replaced at present locations with added personnel when dispatchers leave.

I feel other town administrations, the city of Schenectady, and all county taxpayers should be outraged that they were hoodwinked with this whole project,

David Gallup

Scotia

Deaths from smoking, obesity are no accident

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 122,800 Americans died in 2011 from unintentional causes. The three leading causes were: motor vehicle accidents — about 34,700 deaths; accidental poisoning and exposure to noxious substances —about 33,500; and falls — about 26,700.

At the same time, CDC data shows that about 443,000 Americans die yearly from tobacco-related illness. Moreover, various studies suggest that as many as 300,000 Americans die annually from obesity-related disease.

It is difficult to reduce significantly the number of unintentional deaths because there is a large random component to these incidents. However, illness and death from tobacco use and obesity can be significantly reduced and should be, if for no other than economic reasons.

Estimates of the direct and indirect costs of smoking and obesity-related illnesses have approached $400 billion annually, about equally split between smoking and obesity. These costs result in higher health insurance premiums and reduced productivity.

The government needs to adopt a “carrot and stick” approach to mitigate this economic crisis. There should be rewards for healthy lifestyles and penalties for unhealthy lifestyles. This approach should be applied to individuals and public- and private-sector businesses and institutions. We simply cannot afford to ignore the economic consequences of smoking and obesity.

Don Steiner

Niskayuna

GOP don’t have a clue, and Dems shouldn’t help it

I wish Democrats and independents would stop writing and commenting on the problems that the GOP has with connecting with the elderly, Hispanics, blacks, poor, middle class, women, union workers, environmentalists, etc. You know, the majority of the country.

Why try to help them when they think their only problem is with their messaging? Let them continue to think they are right about everything and maybe the Democrats can retake the House next year. Then we can put to rest all the insanity that is going on in Congress with protecting the rich at the expense of the rest of us.

Please, Dems and indies, let them self-destruct since their intentions are not in the best interest of the nation.

Raymond Harris

Glenville

Who does Sen. Charles Schumer answer to regarding the chemical mess in New York state made by Alcoa, Inc. [March 28 Gazette]?

If Alcoa is responsible for a chemical mess, they are also responsible for its cleanup. It appears Sen. Schumer wants to ease the cost of the cleanup for Alcoa.

There are also New York state residents to consider [who have been] exposed to the Alcoa misdeed.

It might be that Sen. Schumer may want to do some reading in the Talmud about obligations to individuals and corporations.

Al Nossek

Schenectady

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