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Attitude toward fans by police not welcome

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Attitude toward fans by police not welcome

I could not believe what I saw on April 13 on Channel 6 News about the Union College hockey win.

A Schenectady police officer was being interviewed about the crowds near the campus, celebrating a very precious and notable win for Union. His attitude about the crowd control was disappointing. “Babysitting” was his exact word, and he didn’t mind displaying a negative attitude about his comment.

I’m surprised that with all the bad behavior in his department, he doesn’t understand the little bit of celebrating that Union students wanted to do in support of their team.

I hope the president of the college doesn’t bow down to this!

Dianne Burns

Scotia

STDs on the rise; get tested just to be safe

Saratoga County is experiencing an increase in chlamydia and gonorrhea, two common sexually transmitted diseases, according to a recent community needs assessment conducted by Saratoga Hospital.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a concern for everyone, from young people to senior citizens. Testing is vital because the most common symptom of an STD is no symptom at all. Fortunately, all STDs can be treated and most can be cured. However, left untreated, STDs can have serious health consequences.

If you’re sexually active, you might be at risk for an STD. Whether you’re LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] or straight, STD testing is important for women and men to stay safe and healthy. Get tested. It’s confidential, quick and easy. STD testing can be as simple as peeing in a cup. HIV oral tests provide results in just 20 minutes.

April is STD awareness month. It’s a great time to visit your health care provider and get tested.

Eileen Lawson

Saratoga Springs

The writer is the Health Center director of Clifton Park and Saratoga Springs for Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson.

Bad time to get rid of Nisky superintendent

When [Niskayuna] Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio was hired in 2011, the school district’s scholastic ranking was No. 3, according to a report by the Albany Business Review on June 28, 2013. In the second year, it was No. 2, and in the third year it was No. 1.

So, for maintaining a high level of scholastic excellence under difficult fiscal constraints, the board is requesting that she leave. Leave for what?

It is hard for me to understand the reasoning behind the board’s decision. If she were to continue as superintendent until the end of her contract on July 1, 2015, the cost to taxpayers would have been an additional $230,324, or $90,324 more than what she is getting now. We are now out the $139,000 and we are out a superintendent.

It's not as if the board has money to burn just because it received a $500,000 windfall from our legislators; there still is the $1.9 million in building=fund rebates to the state to consider.

Joseph J. Hehir

Niskayuna

Public employees not destroying local gov't

In response to [Scotia] Mayor Kris Kastberg’s April 6 viewpoint (“Cuomo’s tax caps seek to destroy local governments”), I agreed with his opinion until about halfway down the page.

It’s true that Gov. Cuomo’s tax freeze plan is a bad idea that will further squeeze local governments, which deliver critical services to taxpayers. But Kastberg’s argument goes astray when he tries to explain the cause of high property taxes. He notes that private industry has done away with pensions, then wonders why, “in this economy, does the state still offer ... pensions to new employees.”

So, because the private sector has abandoned its responsibility to provide retirement security to employees, the public sector should follow? Instead of leading a rush to the bottom, perhaps the titans of private industry should share some of their record profits. Income inequality is at an all-time high in this nation, while prospective retirees are facing a crisis. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 60 percent of those saving for retirement have less than $25,000 put away for the future.

Pension costs in New York rose for local governments after the market crash of 2008-2009. Wall Street insiders used the stock market as their own private casino, and taxpayers got stuck holding the bag. The state pension fund suffered billions in losses due to Wall Street’s misdeeds. The snowplow driver, social services worker and building inspector who spend 30 years working in local government are not getting rich on the job and not retiring rich afterwards.

The real cause of rising property taxes in New York is the state government’s failure to live up to its financial obligation to local governments over the last 30 years. Since 1980, State Aid to Municipalities (AIM) has fallen by 75 percent. Over that time period, there is a direct correlation between the state cutting local aid and property taxes rising. The state shifted the tax burden down to local governments and continues to do so.

But it’s wrong to point the finger at the workers who keep our communities moving every day.

Brian McDonnell

Niskayuna

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comments

April 16, 2014
7:26 a.m.
+0 votes
ronzo says...

Public Employees- Brian: To use your example that just because many corporations stopped providing pensions to long term workers, so why should governments. I agree with that premise provided that governments stop allowing “pension padding” during an employee’s final years of work.

Further using your corporate vs. gov’t example, when corporations experience a decline in revenue, what is one of the things they do? They look for ways to reduce cost. So the State has reduced revenue to these municipalities. State funds come from many revenue sources that include taxes paid by the residents. Why should the taxpayers in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, etc. pay to support these little village, town and school local governments when these governments do little to reduce their costs? If people really must have their Scotia or Sodus or Hamburg or Rhinebeck or Manlius or Minerva, or their little Niskayuna, Schalmont, Ballston Spa, Guilderland, Shenendehowa, Galway school district, they should pay for it out their own pockets, and not expect people who don’t live there to support their inefficient local government. If they do not want to pay for their little town or village or school district, they should take the governor’s offer of millions of dollars to eliminate it.

State funds should be used to support the common good, like infrastructure and education, that benefits the state as a whole. Local government should provide that what the people within a geographic area want, and pay for it with locally generated funding.

Maybe if the State continues to reduce revenue to the inefficient local towns villages and school districts the people will finally wake up and realize that this is 2014, not 1814, and organize their local government to serve today's population.

April 16, 2014
10:10 a.m.
+0 votes
wmarincic says...

Dianne Burns
I guess it is alright that multiple fans were throwing unopened bottles and cans of beer at police officers which injured at least one. As usual the Mayor and City Council did not plan ahead and block off an area for the Union Students to party. Win or lose everyone knew that this would get out of hand. Well everyone except that moron Mayor, who egged the crowd on. What an idiot.

April 16, 2014
11:12 a.m.
+1 votes
JIMOCONNOR says...

Diane,

BABYSITTING is exactly what the police were, and should have been doing. The old saw about college being a place to learn, applies directly to this situation. The revelers could have learned much about RIGHTS OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLIES. They learned for one thing, they have boundaries. This is exactly what BABYSITTING does in safe humane ways. If your mindset is GUARDING rather than BABYSITTING you get KENT STATE.

April 17, 2014
4:16 p.m.
+0 votes
jjhehir says...

When two top administrators are retiring, is this the best time for the Board to accept the resignation of the superintendent also? That's like throwing the rudder overboard just to see what happens.

 

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