Letters to the Editor for March 25
Walk a mile in farmers’ shoes, and you’ll get their position on guns
I have lived in Schoharie County since shortly after my mom died in 2011. The town I selected to call home is Gilboa.
My small chalet sits on seven acres of fields and woodlands, roughly 800 feet above the Gilboa Dam’s spillway. My hike to the mailbox, which is also the path my dog and I take for exercise, is 1,783 feet of unpaved, private road.
Unlike the Schenectady area, where for 43 years I never saw packs of coyotes, bobcats, black bears or other predatory animals, I see these creatures fairly often. I am both in awe of their capabilities as well as aware of their potential lethality with respect to my dog and myself.
I read your March 20 editorial [“Schoharie County’s ‘insurrection’”] on Schoharie’s stance with respect to the state’s new gun law. As a fairly new resident of Schoharie who sees the area up close, as opposed to through the windows of a vehicle traveling 65 mph along I-88, I have provided you with my insights in the following few paragraphs.
Having a graduate degree in pure mathematics as opposed to agriculture, I was initially surprised that the farmers in my area see the gun, rifle or pistol as a farmer’s tool that protects their crops and livestock. After all, as a former city boy, I had thought such implements were merely used for recreational shooting or when nations went to war. From firsthand experience I can’t answer, “How many cartridges in a rifle does one need to hunt deer?” However, after saving my dog’s life from two coyotes in December 2012, I feel that the single shot weapon I had at the time was sufficient only due to luck.
While I agree with your editorial’s view that Schoharie has taken a defiant stance, I don’t agree to indirectly linking their stance to slavery by tying it to the South’s attempt at succession from the Union during the 1800s. If one were to select a metaphor from history as an iconic representation, I believe the American patriots from the era of the American Revolution would be a better choice.
Regarding the editorial’s lament over Schoharie having rebuffed the generosity offered them after the devastation of Irene, I have but one comment. In my rides north along Route 30, I have first-hand witnessed the backbreaking work of Schoharie County residents rebuilding their communities. Never once can I say I saw a muck-booted editor from Schenectady hauling out the refuse so as to rebuild from the ashes.
I am proud of my community and support the stance it has taken, because the myopic view of outsiders, in the words of my grandfather, will only muck up the requirements of surviving as an agricultural community.
R. Michael Boyer
Spa County animal shelter editorial went too far
From the March 18 headline (“Dog of a pick for Spa County shelter”) to the first word (Woof!), and then on to the implications (some condescending) of impropriety throughout, your editorial was out of line.
Since when must experience supersede a well-earned degree? Experience doesn’t always imply expertise. Excellent experienced workers are out there looking for jobs, as well as candidates with less experience, although not any less qualified.
Why shouldn’t an individual who comes to the job interview full of confidence and a viable “action plan” be seen as a promising candidate for a job? Is it because she is young? Why not show our young people that good, solid opportunities are waiting for them out in the job market instead of having them be disappointed time and time again when applying simply because they “don’t have the experience?”
You admitted you don’t know the candidates and didn’t sit in on the interviews. If you had, perhaps you would not have been so quick to jump on the bandwagon, suggesting that this candidate’s merits were not worthy and that she may have been hired for other reasons.
From what I heard, the decision to appoint Christina Abele animal shelter director was very well founded and made for all the right reasons indeed. (Although, I do have to agree that Supervisor Mindy Wormuth should have “had the good sense not to sit on the committee to appoint or at least to recluse herself when it came to voting.”)
The hiring process can be a daunting task, and those made in the public eye are more prone to scrutiny, maybe rightfully so in some cases. In this case, though, perhaps we should look at the merits that Ms. Abele obviously exhibited to the voting committee and rely on the judgment of those who were voted to represent us on the county Board of Supervisors.
Christina Sgambati Pickett
‘Camp Fiasco’ has also outlived its usefulness
The headline for your March 20 editorial, “St. Patrick’s parade has outlived its usefulness,” intrigued me.
I, and many Duanesburg residents I’m sure, would love it if you would do a similar editorial with the heading, “Camp Bisco (Fiasco) has outlived its usefulness.”
The parallels regarding those problems that prompted your stand could also apply to “Camp Fiasco,” except perhaps that no one died or was maimed for life at the parade in Albany, as happened last July at “Camp Fiasco.”
Would it not be safer for everyone to just cancel “Camp Fiasco?”