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It’s not just about voting, but voting with intelligence

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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It’s not just about voting, but voting with intelligence

It’s time every one of us acknowledged our responsibility — not just our right — to vote; and to vote with knowledge of issues and people for whom we vote.

We have witnessed many times the immense impact we have when we come together for a common cause, as one strong voice. It’s time to stop feeling insignificant and powerless. It’s time to speak up and be heard.

We need our elected officials to know: It’s not about them! It’s about us, this is our community!

We need officials who can’t be bought or influenced for personal gain or power. That do not surrender to the dogma of party lines — that old, entrenched system just isn’t working anymore.

We shouldn’t have to police our own government, and yet that is exactly what we need to be doing. Wilton is living proof. Washington is living proof.

I challenge you to “get in the know.” Know what’s going on in your town, know who your board members really are and who your candidates are. Know and vote.

Nancy Dwyer

Wilton

This Halloween, make it ‘book or treat’

Thursday is Halloween — a great night to give out brain candy.

Several years ago, I read about “Books for Treats” — a program to encourage people to give out books for Halloween. We had shelves of books from kids who had mostly grown up. Plus, when I worked as a reading teacher, I had built up quite a personal collection of books for my students.

Frankly, I was dubious about kids wanting books, rather than sugar in its various forms for Halloween. Doesn’t chocolate trump all? I decided make it in addition to candy. I bought basic candy, sorted out a range of books, and put them in a couple of boxes, vaguely grouped by age level.

I expected the candy to disappear and a couple of books to find new homes. I was astonished: Kids took some candy, but their eyes really lit up when I told them they could pick out a book.

Giving away books changed the whole dynamic of the night. I had candy left over, but the boxes of books were just about empty. Plus, I had a terrific time helping our trick-or-treaters find books they liked.

Regardless of age, almost every one of them lit up as they looked for the perfect book. I had a good time, and a lot of kids went home with a special book. Halloween has been a good night ever since.

So give brain candy this year. Talk to the kids who ring your bell. And give them something valuable to take home that will outlast any sugar rush. For more information or ideas, go to http://booksfortreats.org/.

Catherine Winter

Schenectady

Median project will just add to mess on Washington Ave.

Re Oct. 25 article, “Work to start on new median outside SCCC”:

Let me get this straight: Erie Boulevard is torn apart, which makes getting to Freemans Bridge Road difficult. Lower State Street is torn apart, which makes getting to Erie Boulevard and the Western Gateway Bridge difficult. The Western Gateway Bridge is still under construction, and now it has been decided that this would be a good time to tear up Washington Avenue from Exit 4C of I-890!

Just how are people expected to try to get to and from Scotia-Glenville, especially during rush hour?

This median is not a priority to “protect” the students of Schenectady County Community College. If it were a priority, it would have been done at the same time as the student housing. Just how high will this new median have to be to prevent jaywalkers? I have personally seen at least one person climb the chain-link fence to avoid walking around it to get to the student housing, and plenty of others walking through traffic to get to and from the college in spite of the fence.

It would have made much more sense to build another walkway above the road and make it mandatory for students to use it, by issuing tickets and fining them for jaywalking! I’m sure they have higher priorities for their money than paying a fine, either to the college or the city of Schenectady.

The timing of this project makes absolutely no sense to me and it would seem that whoever made this decision does not have to drive in any of these directions!

Sharon Trumpler

Scotia

Don’t forget eating area in new MiSci design

Kudos to MiSci and [Price Chopper’s executive board chairman] Neil Golub for jump-starting much needed renovations with input from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students [Oct. 24 Gazette]. Unfortunately, on the list of current limitations, I was sorry I didn’t see cafeteria space among the priorities.

I worked several years, both on staff and as a volunteer docent, in the 1990s, where day after day we had to tell school groups to eat lunch on the bus because there was no adequate room for them indoors. I had always hoped that someday, the outdoor patio facing downtown could be enclosed, offer tables and chairs, perhaps a vending machine or two and a truly great view of the city for visitors to enjoy.

Virtually all quality museums we’ve visited, both in this country and abroad, offer some type of eating area, and I sincerely hope this possibility hasn’t been overlooked.

Virginia Newton

Burnt Hills

Election letters

The deadline for election letters is Tuesday, Oct. 29. We will continue to run selected letters on local races through Thursday, Oct. 31 in the online edition.

 
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comments

October 31, 2013
8:06 p.m.
robbump says...

Sharon Trumpler ("Median project will just add to mess on Washington Ave.") thinks it would be a good idea to waste lots of money on an elevated pedestrian crossing over Washington Ave.
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She should take a count of how many people use the OTHER pedestrian bridge over Rt 5 compared to those who walk across at street level. NO ONE, or very few, are going to take the time and effort to walk up a stairway, to cross and walk back down.
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As far as requiring students to use it ... well this is still a free country and we have this thing called "freedom of movement". If anyone (car driver, pedestrian, bicyclist) disobeys a traffic device, then by all means, ticket them. But don't try limiting my freedom "for my own protection", unless you're ready to be confined within your own home "for your protection" - because that becomes the eventual outcome of such nanny-state measures.
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BTW, I own a business downtown, walk, drive, take a bus, and at age 60+ attend SCCC as well.

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