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Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, May 20

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Rely on facts and conscience in vote

In response to Virginia Mee’s May 9 letter (“Do Trump supporters have a conscience?”) I would like to inquire where her conscience is. Does she know over 862,000 babies were aborted in 2017 in the United States? Planned Parenthood alone performed over 345,000 from October 2017 to September 2018. That doesn’t bother her conscience? Especially since the procedure can be done right up to the due date of the baby, thanks to our socialist-leaning governor.
I’m sure her choices for president certainly had as many faults, if not more, than our duly elected leader. Like it or not, we have to pick the lesser of two evils. So, make sure you know what you are approving when you vote and can live with your conscience.
Helen Martin
Glenville

City must be more honest on its plans

On Earth Day 2020, contractors building Schenectady’s new pump station removed the grandest tree in Riverside Park. We were shocked. The healthy tree, a century old with a 60-inch diameter, was prominently depicted in architect renderings submitted to the public in October 2017.
The renderings also showed the new station alongside the old one, rather than on the Park’s West Lawn, set back so the picturesque Old Pump House could be viewed from west of the pump station.
The Gazette praised the compromise and the clarifying resolution emphasizing City Council wanted any new design to overflow no more than 30 feet past the original lot’s fence. The June 16, 2017, editorial (“Good deal on pump station”) cautioned citizens to be vigilant monitoring any new designs.
We had no chance to review new designs. What the city now calls the “final plan,” dated May 14, 2019, was never revealed to the public, despite dozens of communications with the Stockade Association Board over almost a year. The “plan” (merely a plat) eliminated the best features of the October 2017 plan: Spilling past the 30-foot mark; pushing the new station north, blocking the view of the old station; and destroying the Grand Tree.
Those secret changes mocked transparency, the City Council, and Stockade residents. Like exiled Lady Liberty and the plan to replicate Fire Station No. 2 next to Clinton’s Ditch, the public had no chance to prevent significant secret changes in approved plans.
The City Council must end these “rendering ruses.” To learn more, visit tinyurl.com/renderingruse.
David Giacalone
Schenectady

Forget sidewalk, just repave Decamp

Regarding the Gazette’s May 7 article on Schenectady’s sidewalk program (“Sidewalk program hits some bumps – again,”) I have a few thoughts.
First, try to do better with matching photographs to articles. The sidewalks in the two photos you included are clearly not on Decamp Avenue. Decamp Avenue has islands and there is no grass between the sidewalk and the street.
That being said, as a Decamp Avenue resident, the pictures did make me happy to know our sidewalks aren’t the worst in the city.
Second, as the article makes clear, nobody in city government is even close to having a viable plan to address our city’s sidewalk woes, nor does there seem to be anyone in city government capable of negotiating contracts that aren’t inherently disadvantageous to the city or the residents. We could pay someone $40,000 a year to simply go over contracts with a fine-tooth comb eight hours a day and come out well ahead financially in just this instance alone.
Finally, please Mayor McCarthy, City Engineer Chris Wallen, and City Council members, just pave Decamp Avenue and be done with it. We can wait on the sidewalks. It is very frustrating to see numerous other streets around us being paved, while we are penalized for being one of the very few groups of neighbors who worked hard to meet the requirements of your failed sidewalk initiative.
Jonathan Simms
Schenectady

Politicians should lead by example

I wish our elected officials would lead by example. We are told that it is a law to wear a mask when out and within six feet of others. Our president and vice president are seen in public without a mask, but we are required to wear a mask.
Don’t get me wrong; I do support wearing a mask. Our governor has closed businesses to include barbershops and beauty parlors. When we watch daily news briefings, Mr. Cuomo does not look like he has not had a haircut in months. Has he hired a barber with six foot arms to cut his hair? I know I need a haircut but have no idea when this service will be available.
There are many more pressing matters than mask and hair issues, but please lead by example to show the public everyone is to follow the rules.
Paul St. Onge
Charlton

Thank respiratory therapists as well

There is another group of people who work in hospitals that are not being thanked for the work they do. That is the respiratory therapists who are very up close, personal and hands-on with the patients.
Please include them on your list of thanks along with doctors and nurses.
Jean Luft
Canajoharie

We need more reliable covid tests

Many say the virus tests are not 100% reliable. One is only 50% accurate. Let’s look at an example, even though limited to a single individual.
I know someone who lives with his family downstate. He became very sick and had many of the symptoms. He went to the hospital and was admitted.
While there, he was tested three times for the virus. All three tests were negative, so they decided he had double pneumonia and kept him there until sufficiently well to go home.
Recently, he had the antibody test and it was positive. So, in this case, the virus tests were 0% accurate.
Let’s say the tests are 85% accurate. Then if 100 people who are infected are tested, 85 will be quarantined and the other 15 released to go home with the virus. Those 15 can then spread the virus at home or elsewhere, since they have been told they don’t have it.
The plan is to rapidly increase the rate of testing. This will winnow out those that test positive, which is good. However, if the test remains unreliable, the number of people that have the virus, but test negative, will increase rapidly. These people may not be as likely to follow the guidelines like wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.  
This could increase the rate of infection, especially if people are allowed to become more and more mobile.
Dr. Dale M. Brown
Niskayuna

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