Public safety facility belongs in old Grand Union, not warehouse

Friday, April 19, 2013
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Public safety facility belongs in old Grand Union, not warehouse

I don’t live in the town of Rotterdam, I live in Niskayuna, but I do spend time shopping, eating and enjoying recreational activities in Rotterdam. I recently attended a meeting at the senior center on the upcoming location of the Schenectady County central dispatch, [Rotterdam] police department and justice center.

First, let me say, I understand it is between two sites — one on Hamburg Street and the other in an industrial park.

Functionally, I don’t imagine there would be a large impact for one or the other; however, for several reasons I am dumbfounded why the Hamburg Street location has not been selected. The site has been vacant for years, Hamburg Street merchants are closing, and the corridor is beginning to resemble Detroit.

The Grand Union location would give the area a needed transfusion of life and benefit the residents of the town. The design for the building is beautiful and functional. Putting a new facility hidden in an industrial park furthers only the interest of the landlord. There will be no influx of people into the area, creating sales tax revenue from shopping and eating, as with the Grand Union being revitalized. Few would even know the facility exists, buried behind the park’s fences, among the warehouses.

If the industrial park site were to be selected, at the end of the lease period, town taxpayers would be at the mercy of the landlord to not raise the monthly rent. Contrary, if the Grand Union were bought, at the end of the mortgage period, only maintenance fees would be required.

I have seen on Broadway the industrial park landlord’s work falling down for the past year. I’m sure the town would take greater pride in their own building.

I am sure I, as well as the 300 in attendance at the meeting, are totally in agreement that revitalizing the Grand Union building, as opposed to that of a warehouse, is in the best interests of the residents of not only Rotterdam, but Schenectady County.

Bill Zilberman


Ban on guns would invite other bans

Comparing guns and cars, neither one is a threat to anyone, until someone picks up one or drives the other irresponsibly. Let’s look at gun owners first. Why take away assault weapons from law-abiding people because of the actions of a few? Some people say no one needs these types of guns. They are the cause of innocent people being killed, so take them away from everyone.

Now let’s look at car owners. Why not take away sport cars when no state has speed limits up to 200 mph, when speeding causes thousands of deaths per year? No one needs sports cars, so take them away from everyone.

More on cars. Thousands of people are killed every year by law-abiding citizens who drink and drive. No one needs to drink alcohol, so let’s ban all alcohol sales to everyone, because of the actions of a few.

It sure was quick and easy to get more laws passed to crack down on assault-type guns, why not sports cars and alcohol, too? Sounds discriminatory to me.

John Manning


Too much emphasis on basketball at Siena

Re April 15 article, “Siena hoops star charged in theft”: News reports indicate Siena College is in a quandary regarding what to do with their basketball player who admits he pilfered another student’s wallet and used a card to purchase gas for his car — this while trying to score illegal drugs.

For starters, he should be expelled, with no chance for readmission. Then they should take a look at their over-emphasis on the basketball program.

They exist to educate people, not to create NBA players. Get back to that!

They will never reach the “Sweet 16.”

Not that many years ago, they were referred to as “Loudonville High!” Perhaps they still should be.

Don Vanderwarker


Knives may kill, but guns kill more, faster

I chuckle at the erroneous posters and bumper stickers distributed by the National Rifle Association that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

Since the passage of the SAFE Act, there have been numerous sarcastic commentaries and letters stating that knives and forks and even spoons can kill people — and maybe the government should take those away from the population.

I wonder if NRA officers would ask those 14 people stabbed [April 9 in Cyprus, Texas] if guns and knives have similar killing power.

How many people would be dead if the assailant had an AR-15 as opposed to a knife? We can only guess, but certainly more than zero. Yes, people kill people, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to do it with a gun.

And as far as the NRA’s quote about Founding Fathers, these were the same men who did not give women the vote and thought African-Americans were property. Did they know what they were doing then?

Tom Reiter


Sportscasters shouldn’t knock opposing teams

My wife and I moved from Minnesota to New York to be closer to our grandchildren. Needless to say, we are diehard Twins fans.

On April 12, we watched the Twins take a beating from the Mets. One of the commentators kept referring to the Twins as “The Twinkies” and a “tier-two team.” Professional sports is like war. You win some battles and lose others. The objective is to win the war.

The last World Series won by the Mets was in 1986. If winning the World Series in 1987 and 1991 makes the Twins a tier-two team, [then] the Mets must be at least a tier-four team.

The only conclusion one can come to is that some New York commentators are governed by diarrhea of the mouth rather than sportsmanship.

Joseph Gibson

Ballston Lake

Corporate taxes a sham; individuals pay them

The following letter is extremely boring — it is about the economics of taxation. In order to save the reader from excessive exposure to economics, I will state my conclusion now: Since corporations are legal fictions, corporate taxes are paid by individuals. Thus, the questions of interest are who pays the corporate profits tax and why these taxes are not directly levied on individuals?

To get a handle on the implications of taxing corporations, suppose that government were to increase taxes on oil refiners. Since businesses treat taxes as costs, we can see that these increased costs flow through the distribution chain and are, in part, paid by the gasoline customer, who thought taxing big oil was a desirable social policy.

Since corporate taxes lower profits, we can expect an increase in these taxes to lower stock prices and we can expect pension funds that hold oil stocks to take a hit.

As to why corporate taxes are not levied directly on individuals, one need only consider the implications of what the government would look like if voters had a solid idea of the full cost of the government they receive.

Fred Barney


Lifting license won’t keep scofflaws off road

So, we seem to be celebrating the news that “New rules take away licenses for repeat DWIs [April 7 Gazette].”

On the surface, it may sound good, and at least a couple recent letters to the Gazette laud the action. I’m afraid, however, that it won’t do much good, and I back my position with the results of scanning a recent police blotter page in the Gazette.

Twenty different arrests identified on that one page were for people driving without a valid license. Obviously, then, losing a license does not necessarily keep a person off the road.

I wish I could be more optimistic.

Jerry Boehm



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April 19, 2013
7:31 a.m.
muggy says...

Hey Bill. I was at that meeting too (senior citizens' center in Rotterdam). Maybe one of the reasons the old Grand Union wasn't selected was because of the price tag? $7.8 million dollars? Wow. That's pretty steep. The other plan is to lease space from Galesi at $500k/year. And then there's the third plan you didn't mention, but Harry Buffardi DID mention: do nothing (horror). When the economy is on life support, do we really launch big government spending plans, taking much needed money out of the local economy for government? I think not.

April 19, 2013
8:18 a.m.
ronzo says...

Continuing John Manning's analogy of guns and cars and the irresponsible use of each. Why are there laws that require the registration of every motor vehicle and a license to drive a vehicle? Isn’t it to enable the tracing of a vehicle to its owners and its origin in the event of an illegal use of that motor vehicle.? Isn’t the purpose of driver licensing to help ensure that the person is capable of operating a motor vehicle? Why is there a requirement for the owner and operator of a motor vehicle to prove financial responsibility before registration and licensing? Isn’t it in the event that the person or vehicle causes harm to someone? None of these laws ban vehicles or the use of vehicles, and most people readily accept these laws and don’t consider them an invasion of privacy. Why is there such resistance to applying that logic to firearms? Motor vehicle registration, insurance and licensing laws do not ban vehicles, their use or drivers. Nor would equivalent laws ban any firearm or firearm use.

April 19, 2013
8:10 p.m.
wmarincic says...

ronzo, because to register a gun is to give a government that is not trustworthy a list of where to go to take said guns. What keeps America free from invasion by both foreign armies and our own government when democracy fails and sooner or later it will fail, is the right to bear arms. All democratic nations throughout history have lasted between 200 and 250 years, America is in year 237. Look at the divide in America now.

April 19, 2013
8:23 p.m.
gazettereader says...

wmarincic, do you really have that much distrust of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces that you think they will turn against the people? Sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory to me. I, for one, trust American soldiers, and would give them the benefit of the doubt.

April 19, 2013
10:15 p.m.
ronzo says...

wmarincic: not sure what your comment has to do with motor vehicles, sport cars, drunk driving, speeding etc. compared to firearms, as the original letter writer wrote. If you have a motor vehicle, do you register it? And if you do – why do you register it? If you do have and register a motor vehicle, do you not trust your government to support and protect you in the event that your motor vehicle is used in an illegal manner that through no fault of your own, causes harm to someone, for which you had no control?

As to your comments about invasion from a foreign army or our own government, our government and our nation is protected by our military staffed by our own people (mostly our own children), who admirably protect and serve our nation at the command of their Commander-In-Chief. Are you suggesting a military takeover of our government, if democracy fails? Is that the divide you’re referring to? If that’s the case – we all better get six-shooters, machine guns, bazookas, and any other military style protection from our own military in case their commander, our President orders them to come after us.

So when do you predict our democracy will fail? Will it be sooner or later? How can you be so sure about this? When should we all get our bazookas?

April 19, 2013
10:19 p.m.
wmarincic says...

I have two children in the military gazette, I don't believe it will be our soldiers that we have to worry about, I think it is each other. This country has never been so divided since 1860. Don't think it can't happen again. we are heading down a slippery slope.

April 19, 2013
10:32 p.m.
wmarincic says...

BTW obviously you did not hear Cuomo say possible confiscation of firearms.

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