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Carpooling better, but unlikely, way to ease bridge traffic

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Carpooling better, but unlikely, way to ease bridge traffic

There’s no argument about the need for repair or replacement of the Rexford Bridge or for dealing with the traffic problem [Jan. 30 Gazette]. But there seems to be little or no consideration of other approaches that would help to alleviate the latter problem: some public transportation and carpooling.

Neither of these will ever happen, of course, because the car is our last bastion of demonstrable freedom, privacy, home manufacturing, convenience, and of an individual’s daily need for psychological[y] enhanced personal power (as from a gas pedal).

Carpooling works. as was demonstrated in the oil crises of the ’70s; it does require some sacrifice of convenience but no extra taxes or fees. Perhaps carpooling would be more popular with some incentives, but it is a primarily a volunteering practice that anyone can do and simply requires that neighborhood groups decide to do it.

I used to believe that if gas prices got high enough, perhaps these approaches would become attractive. But now I think the approximation of one person per car will still be the practice no matter what the price of fuel, so dominating is the role of the car in our lives.

It was encouraging that some friendliness to bicyclists and pedestrians was expressed in the plans for the bridge.

Robert C. DeVries

Burnt Hills

Bow Tie coulda’ been a contender

Re the Jan. 30 Gazette editorial of “Where’s Oscar? Not in Schenectady’s Bow Tie”: I am very disappointed in [the] Bow Tie Cinema in Schenectady.

Hopefully, Bow Tie will start showing one quality movie per week — such as, “Philomena,” “Nebraska,” and “Dallas Buyer’s Club.”

Then we would not have to go elsewhere to see movies adults enjoy.

Elizabeth Volpicelli

Schenectady

GOP all wrong about Obamacare and jobs

On Feb. 4, the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] announced that in the next 10 years, the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers who are forced to continue working in order to provide health care for themselves and their family, will now have health care they can afford and will finally be able to stop working [Feb. 7 Gazette].

This is great news! It will reduce the ranks of the unemployed because people will voluntarily stop working in jobs they don’t want. It also will reduce the number of Americans who are effectively indentured servants working just to meet the basic needs of live.

However, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and other Republicans claimed that the CBO statement meant the loss of 2.5 million jobs due to Obamacare. This is either a deliberate distortion of the information or a mistake in understanding the report. In either case, it is not the truth. Some Republicans also point to the CBO report as evidence that Obamacare reduces the incentive for people to work. In other words, you must keep working so you can have health insurance. What country are these people living in?

In America it is not OK to force people to work in menial and demeaning jobs so they can have medical care. Nor is it OK to threaten removal of health care if you don’t work. Our country is about freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Being an indentured servant does not meet either of these goals.

Terry Amrhein

Burnt Hills

Casinos may have killed golden goose

There are certain signs starting to show up in the world of gambling [Feb. 8 Gazette]. One of them is that business for many casinos has been going downhill for a long time.

Could it be that there are too many casinos being built, or is it possible that casino customers are running out of money? I think the latter may be the reason.

Casinos are a big business and big business does not go into business to lose; they go into business to make big money when they can.

If the customers have lots of money to gamble, casinos do well. Most gamblers lose, some win — but not too many. This gives you something to think about. The bottom line is Saratoga has all the gambling it needs. It’s a great city as is. Leave well enough alone.

Sid Gordon

Saratoga Springs

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