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Reasons for people’s fear and growing lack of faith run deep

Sunday, July 14, 2013
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Reasons for people’s fear and growing lack of faith run deep

The June 30 Viewpoint by Daniel T. Weaver [“The god shopping plaza”] was timely. However, I believe more layers of our anti-religion/pro-materialist attitudes exist.

While the lack of parishioners in church has become painfully obvious, it’s not all about material wealth becoming our “god,” or knocking down a church in favor of a supermarket.

First, I don’t buy into the whole survey-think ranking our areas the hotspot of anti-religion. The stories in this newspaper and on the local TV news prove how well this area comes together to lend a hand. This is religion in action!

After the financial and real estate meltdown just five years removed, people lack trust in their church, government, co-workers, even families. Call it selfishness, but some of the fear is real. Where is that charity money really going? Why is my employer letting me go after being told I was valued? Why would the politicians I voted for promise one thing and then completely lie and do another? Why have we allowed drugs and alcohol to be our crutch and ruin our families? It’s all connected to the disconnect.

Looking back at all the excitement “The Place Beyond the Pines” movie received here was all for naught. All the local scenery became meaningless when the story line clearly made Schenectady County look seedy and corrupt. Community-building at its finest!

Yes, Mr. Weaver, It’s no secret that too many of us cave to “most toys wins” mentality, and we’ve lost our way in the 10 Commandments way of life.

Problem is it just gets more and more messy despite touting ourselves as a civilized society. Are we really?

Dave Barnes Sr.

Rotterdam

Why didn’t driver give bicyclist more room?

As a cyclist, I am outraged at the death of Ed Lakata: It was a senseless accident and could have been avoided. In Article 25 of the state Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 1122-a, Overtaking a bicycle, it states: “The operator of a vehicle overtaking from behind a bicycle proceeding on the same side of a roadway shall pass to the left of such bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear thereof.” According to the Gazette, Sheriff Lorey says they investigated the crash and claimed “the accident happened very near the white line,” which begs me to ask — did the driver give Ed a safe distance and move over?

Did anyone check the driver’s cellphone to see if he was using it, or was he tested for any drug use? I can’t begin to count the cars, trucks and even police vehicles that don’t move over at all when I’m out riding, even when there is no traffic coming from the opposite direction.

As cyclists, we do our best to stay to the right of the white line, but many shoulders are dangerous to ride and we are forced to ride on or inside the line. In a traffic safety guide produced by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, it says, “The motorist must always remember that bicyclists and in-line skaters have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles, and motorists are required to exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with bicyclists and in-line skaters. As a safety measure, motorists should make scanning for bicyclists and in-line skaters second nature, and give them plenty of clearance when passing them and the right-of-way when appropriate.”

There are too many unanswered questions regarding this accident and I hope they will reopen the investigation. In the meantime, please, people, pay better attention to the “other” users of our roadways.

Jeri Lynn Bursese

Amsterdam

City invested in Proctors and its historic marquee

After reading Dan Grygas’ July 4 letter in which he justifiably objected to spending $193,000 ,including $97,000 of Metroplex funds, to turn Proctors’ historic marquee into a Las Vegas glitter sign, I decided to lend the following support to Mr. Grygas.

To begin, when I was mayor working hand in hand with the City Council and ACT [Schenectady Arts Center Theatre], we initiated the renovation of Proctors. At that time, we advertised for volunteers to help. As such, an elderly gentleman came into my office to volunteer his services. The gentleman turned out to the be one who put together much of Proctors’ beautiful decorations. That gentleman and other volunteers did a great job in renovating the theater.

At one point after the renovation, Mardy Moore, chairperson of ACT, said, “Mayor, could we have the dollar bill we gave you and the City Council when you turned Proctors over to ACT?” Shortly thereafter, I gave Mardy Moore the $1 for their preservation of that historic monument.

In February 1988, when I was a city councilman, I attended a meeting the mayor had called for an Urban Renewal Agency session. At that session, the mayor and City Council majority were talking about Proctors having a cash-flow problem. As such, they were considering obtaining a mortgage on the theater, which would be handled by the bank.

After hearing the above remarks, I said, “When we turned Proctors over to ACT and gave them the key, we wanted the place used only as a theater, but giving the bank first crack at the mortgage opens the door for it to be used for something else if there is a default.” After these remarks, the mayor and City Council agreed to withdraw the mortgage proposal, to be absolutely sure that no mortgage could ever be put on Proctors.

Because I sincerely believe that we as citizens of Schenectady want to preserve every aspect of Proctors, I am herein publicly asking the mayor and City Council, as well as those who administratively handle Proctors’ day-to-day activities, to do whatever is necessary to forever preserve every aspect of Proctors historic theater, which must include the marquee. Please do not use the people’s money to destroy their historic marquee.

Frank J. Duci

Schenectady

Why should voters forgive Eliot Spitzer?

On July 11 the Gazette expressed the opinion that [former Gov.] Eliot Spitzer’s sexual misdemeanors ought to be forgiven by the voters. I disagree.

I used to go along with this line of reasoning and several times held my nose and voted for a candidate who had been caught with his pants down. Since the scandal about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, was made public, I have changed my mind.

What became clear in that investigation (although Strauss-Kahn was eventually cleared) was that the widespread toleration for rampant male sexuality in French politics had created an extremely hostile environment for the women who worked with these men, particularly if they happened to have the misfortune to be young and attractive.

Now I follow my instincts. I may still vote for a candidate like this if the alternative seems worse. But I am giving myself permission to decide against him just because of his extracurricular behavior.

Also, keep in mind that patronizing a prostitute is a crime, and it seems to me that that in itself is a strong mark against an elected official.

Patrice Kindl

Middleburgh

Old Nott Street school should not be torn down

The leaders of Schenectady are showing once more their ignorance by not funding the rehabilitation of the old Nott School [July 5 Gazette]. Like the decision years ago to tear down the train station instead of making it into a museum, they are being shortsighted by removing another landmark in our history.

Nott School graduated many notables including my mother, who told me many stories about her years there. I was born in a house just around the corner from the school and as a child played games around its hallowed walls. The soundness of the building is a testament to the workers who built it and its architecture brings one to embrace the past.

Like the train station, each brick was laid with pride to withstand the rigors of time. Those in a position to save our history have an obligation to those who come after we are gone. Once buildings are torn down, pictures don’t tell the story. I always marvel at the beauty of old buildings and structures as I travel. There are cities, town and villages in close proximity to Schenectady that have kept their history alive by renovating instead of demolishing.

Our architecture is unique to our country, and as such is very young. Traveling in Europe, I saw buildings hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years old still being utilized by people who are proud of their heritage. I am a proud Schenectadian, as our history is rich with folklore and industrial might!

Schenectady has lost enough because of the folly of its leaders and they still continue to “fiddle!” They were elected to lead, and by relenting they are choosing to follow those who care only for their own interest.

I am asking, as I did when our beautiful train station was demolished, for our leaders to lead!

Gary P. Guido

Rotterdam

Aid for our enemies, but not for our citizens

Re July 9 article, “Cuomo: Federal flood help is unlikely”: What is the matter with our government?

Whenever there is a disaster outside our country, the government sends money and aid right away (our taxpayers’ money), even though they despise us. And yet, when disaster strikes here, the people have to beg for help. Is there something wrong with this picture?

I don’t consider it charity when these people worked hard for their money and paid taxes. Our government, If you want to call it that, should be replaced with new people who will fight for the people, not themselves.

James Maxfield

Scotia

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comments

July 14, 2013
9:39 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Dave, it's more then that. Democrats have done all they can to ensure religion, particularly Christianity, is eliminated from our social fabric. They can not survive with a base that abides by the Ten Commandments. They have been fomenting a lawless society. Obama, Holder, and the Supreme Court have ignored laws, and overstepped their authority aided by the always compliant media. That is the root of the fear today. George Zimmerman is a clear example of the liberals and the media going all in to hang a man regardless of the obvious facts. We get closer every day to tyranny by an anti-American left wing party that wants Dictatorial powers over all of us. That's the true cause of the growing fear in America.

July 15, 2013
3:06 p.m.
robbump says...

Jeri Lynn Bursese ("Why didn’t driver give bicyclist more room?") points out, correctly, that most cyclists don't want to be thought of as obnoxious, and although entitled to a full lane of the roadway will usually drive their bicycles to the right, sometimes even to the right of the "fog line".
_
Maybe it is time for cyclists to stop worrying about being polite, and cease all the pavement they are entitled. Let cars pass in the next lane, just as they must with one another, or when passing motorcycles, farm animals or tractors. When everyone drives in a uniform manner, traffic maneuvering becomes easier to accomplish.
_
It is obvious that being considerate gets you killed. Be alive or be considerate: an easy choice.

July 15, 2013
3:08 p.m.
robbump says...

(seize, not cease!)

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