Letters to the Editor for July 5
Ethanol isn’t all government wants us to think it is
Re June 25 AP article, “Boost or bust for cars? Ethanol debate heats up”: It looks like E15 gasoline will become mandatory in a few years. First a choice between E10 and E15, then a mandatory E15 blend.
Here are some questions: If ethanol is so great, why is there not foreign demand for this product? Why did motorists at a now-defunct gas station in Schoharie prefer higher-priced non-ethanol to ethanol-blended fuel by almost a 3-1 ratio prior to Tropical Storm Irene? Incidentally, that preferred gasoline was imported from Canada.
Why would I, as a motorist with a Kia Rondo, have gotten more than 20 percent better mileage with non-ethanol than ethanol blend?
Why were efficiency tests not preformed by non-government entities with fuel blend and non-fuel blends? Why do we not have a mandated choice between ethanol and non-ethanol fuel at the pump? Isn’t that what America is supposed to be about — choice?
Without a doubt, ethanol legislation would be voted down in a national referendum by the people, but that is why we don’t have national referendums. Former President Ronald Reagan expressed that “government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” You don’t have to look far to see that.
Charles R. Kubly
Saratoga dump’s story didn’t go quite like that
Re Saratoga County board Chairman Alan R. Grattidge’s June 26 letter praising the sale of the county’s dump.
He rewrote history by misrepresenting the cost of the dump and stating it never opened because of changes caused by a “Supreme Court case on flow-control and lower prices at existing landfills.”
Built on a well-recorded foundation of deceit and deception, the dump cost more than $10 million — paid to engineers, lawyers, PR [public relations] and construction firms, and county personnel to plan, build and maintain it.
Flow-control and lower prices at existing landfills were two issues raised in opposition to building it. In 1992, the county refused to conduct an economic study which would have addressed both issues and many more. Violating taxpayer trust and economic security, the county bullheadedly built the $10-plus million dump it would never open.
Grattidge’s misrepresentations show he is grossly misinformed, disingenuous, or both. I hope he has a better grasp of the details of the sale, including the fine print. Time will reveal if this really is a good deal or merely deceptive political spin for short-term gain that will come back to haunt us with long-term economic and environmental liability.
Abortion a personal call, so must be kept legal
We live in a pluralistic and secular nation. Our wonderful Constitution protects diversity. The imposition of religiously biased laws is clearly unconstitutional.
Those who believe that abortion — and specifically late-term abortion — is never acceptable are not being forced to undergo the procedure. However, they should not attempt to deny a safe termination of pregnancy to those who — for a variety of reasons — may require this intervention.
No woman makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy without serious thought.
Weaver’s anti-consumer rant right on the money
My faith in our local free press was renewed (bravo!) by Daniel Weaver’s June 30 opinion piece. “The god of the shopping plaza,” is a brave expose on our troubled little corner of this monstrous American social issue.
He fairly frames the Barna survey for what it is — skewed by its Christian-only viewpoint. Then he offers our shifting cultural and religious demographic as also-ran players, producing the survey’s hard-to-deny results. But he really sums the whole argument up with the in-your-back-pocket example of St. Patrick’s in Watervliet being torn down and replaced by a shopping center. What more proof do we need that our priorities are upside down?
The Gazette’s choice to put it boldly headlining Sunday’s opinion section, potentially stirring the retribution of their consumer-fed advertising benefactors, encouraged me to write in and thank you for carrying this much-needed conversation on our moral and ethical dilemma called consumerism.
Dump Silver, and anyone who’s supporting him
In 2003, after J. Michael Boxley was hauled away in handcuffs, Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver promised reform.
Flash forward to 2013, after the whole [Vito] Lopez debacle comes to light, Speaker Sheldon Silver again promises reform. Does this sound like an epidemic? Well, yes, it is. Yet, as recently as mid-May, Capital Region Assembly representatives expressed their continued support for Silver.
As a voter and father of three young daughters, seeing this support is frustrating and disappointing. Bottom line, Sheldon Silver needs to go away; and although we can’t directly vote him out, we do have the power to vote his supporters out of office. Remember, a general is only as strong as the Army that fights for him.
In the meantime, I would encourage citizens to contact their Assembly person and ask that they not support Silver. And come election time, before you cast your vote, I encourage you to find out if the person running supports Silver or voted for him since the Lopez story came to light.
Any Assembly person who supports Silver throughout this latest debacle should not have the privilege to represent us. We need to show the world that we have leaders who don’t just pass laws like the women equality acts, but truly live it.
Nisky school board could have held off on contract
On June 25, the current Niskayuna school board, as its last act, extended our superintendent’s [Susan Kay Salvaggio] contract. I am disappointed, but not surprised.
I wonder, why the rush? This may very well be the right thing to do, but by doing so at this time they once again showed that they are out of touch with the people they represent.
Look at the state of our school district:
1) The original budget failed resoundingly — over two-thirds against.
2) We are being sued by our school bus drivers.
3) Our reserve is nonexistent.
4) People are questioning the district’s ability to educate our children to the high standards we expect.
This does not seem like a job well done, or at least not one worthy of a new contract right now. I could be wrong, though, so I would appreciate [hearing] what factors led to the board’s decision.
I hope the reason is not that the new board, which [was convened] July 1, would not have acted so hastily, and considered the implications of its actions.