Kelly supports better Spa City government

first_imgCharter change is prominent in Saratoga’s mayoral election. Each candidate is asked where they stand.Mark Baker has come out against the proposed change to a council-manager government. He cites responsibility and accountability being “sorely absent” in the November ballot proposal.Meg Kelly, deputy mayor, says there is significant dysfunction in City Hall. Processes are broken, egos reign and morale is poor. She feels so strongly about charter change she’s even putting a charter link on her website so voters can become informed.The proposed charter brings us into the 21st Century, like the 500 American cities that have abandoned our “commission” form of government, run by five independent politicians whose qualifications are left to voters to decide.Mr. Baker cringes at the concept of a professional city manager solely answerable to an elected City Council who holds the manager responsible and accountable for his or her actions? What did he do as CEO of the City Center? Didn’t he report to a board? Our commissioner of finance is accountable to no one. He prefers this?Ms. Kelly is not hindered by contradictions. She just wants what’s best for Saratoga.Jeff AltamariSaratoga SpringsThe writer is a member of the Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission.More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Control population to save the planet

first_imgGlobal warming most likely will not be controllable until we, as a race, curtail our reproductive rates. Sure, many other things such as heating oil, car fuel, cutting down trees and generally polluting our planet should be controlled as much as possible. But the simple overpopulation of the planet is by far the most detrimental factor.China had the right idea (30 years ago?) when it implemented the number of children to be limited to one per family. This caused problems there, too, as the balance of male/female genders went out of whack. They did at least recognize the problem. The rest of the world apparently doesn’t get it.With the extending lifespans and the rate of childbirth today, our planet can’t sustain life without a major event occurring that would wipe out a large portion of the population. Simple facts: The more people we have, the more food that’s needed, more fuel for heat, transportation, etc. and more pollution from waste. The answer is quite simply population control. Good luck, Earth.Guy HildrethRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Rotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burn Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Extend broadband line in Duanesburg

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOn Jan. 31 Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 99.9 percent of New Yorkers now have access to broadband. I live in Schenectady County. My 23 neighbors on Creek Road and I still don’t have access to broadband. In fact, almost half the residents of the town of Duanesburg don’t have access to broadband.A public hearing was held Jan. 16 to discuss the proposed new franchise agreement between Charter/Spectrum, the town of Duanesburg and other municipalities. The meeting was well attended by residents, most of whom were interested in line extension. When asked directly about extending line in the town, Charter representatives flatly refused to provide the universal service promised by the governor, the state Broadband Program Office and the state  Public Service Commission (PSC). Charter clearly stated it is a for-profit company and will not extend service beyond the minimum requirements of the PSC. Further, they said they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximize profit. That statement effectively shut down further conversation about line extension.So, Gov. Cuomo, when will I and the rest of the town of Duanesburg have access to broadband?Annabel V. FeltonEsperanceMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Show respect by seeking the truth

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionHow fortunate is it that we live in a country where we can voice opinions of our president with no fear of repercussion. The people of North Korea, among many others, certainly don’t share that luxury. We have our military to thank for this great freedom, and today anyone can broadcast their thoughts with little effort.  Internet forums, social media, YouTube and the local opinion section are all convenient platforms to reach others. We gather our facts from various sources and media outlets and then we digest it all to develop our own picture of the truth. We create our own “perception of reality” in a sense. Trouble happens when we allow this perception to be dictated by the “facts” we digest. It’s important to remember the mainstream media doesn’t exist only to inform us, but also to entertain us. Providing entertainment is how the media sells itself to advertisers, which are ultimately only interested in eyeballs. What stories get the most viewers? The most entertaining ones, naturally. Truth is not a prerequisite to news because it’s not always interesting. “Fake news” has always existed, but it’s now more prevalent and recognizable than ever before. It has become the byproduct of a presidential election, with an unexpected, and for some, undesirable outcome. For this reason, it’s extremely important to filter all news sources, especially when the coverage concerns the presidency. Truth is always worth seeking, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office. I think any president, regardless of approval, deserves this basic form of respect.Rob SassoRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Rotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

What on earth was Nunberg doing? A few theories

first_imgBy the end, he had suggested that President Donald Trump may have worked with the Russians, dared Mueller to throw him in jail, repeatedly inquired as to what journalists thought his fate might be, and said he thoughtTrump knew about that Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.Nunberg did no fewer than three separate interviews with CNN, two with MSNBC and several others.So what on earth was all that about?Below are some ideas. (And it bears noting that not all of these are mutually exclusive.)It was an elaborate, Roger Stone-ian showIf there’s one key piece of the puzzle when it comes to explaining the mess that was Monday, it might well have been this: Sam Nunberg is not just some random political operative; he’s a close ally of Roger Stone.Stone is known for bizarre antics that are just as often self-serving as self-destructive. We all react to stress differently.Perhaps Nunberg, who was known for being very freewheeling and open with the media, simply started talking and couldn’t stop himself.Maybe he found himself in a tough spot and his first reaction was to try to talk his way out of it.His comments were targeted at TrumpNunberg’s relationship with Trump is nothing if not complicated.As CNN recaps, Trump has fired him, rehired him, fired him again and sued him for $10 million before the two of them settled a lawsuit over Nunberg’s alleged breach of their nondisclosure agreement. The White House has also been dismissive of Nunberg whenever he has occasionally offered comments it didn’t like.During Monday’s interviews, Nunberg oscillated between saying Trump hadn’t colluded and suggesting he might have had some arrangement with Russia.He at one point said Trump was too smart to fall victim to Russian blackmail, only to later say that Trump “caused this, because he’s an idiot.”He also said that “there is nobody who hates [Trump] more than me.”“I’m not a Donald Trump fan, as I told you before, okay?” Nunberg told CNN. “He treated me like crap.”If Nunberg really does harbor such resentment toward Trump, maybe publicly speculating about Trump having had an arrangement with Russia and having known about the Trump Tower meeting is one final piece of revenge. Coming from someone who has been interviewed by Mueller’s team, that certainly carries some weight.Maybe he wanted to suggest Trump had done something wrong while sounding like he was defending him. Indeed, Nunberg did little to suggest Monday that this wasn’t some Stone-orchestrated scene.He repeatedly talked about how he felt Mueller was targeting Stone for alleged collusion with WikiLeaks, and he repeatedly argued that Stone was innocent.Despite plenty of inconsistencies in his appearances, this was one point he kept coming back to.“I’m not going to cooperate when they want me to come into a grand jury for them to insinuate that Roger Stone was colluding with Julian Assange,” Nunberg told MSNBC. “Roger is my mentor. Roger is like family.” (If you are unfamiliar, I highly recommend Netflix’s “Get Me Roger Stone.”)“Politics with me isn’t theater,” Stone once told the Weekly Standard. “It’s performance art — sometimes, for its own sake.”Rick Wilson tweeted: Or maybe, like former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, Nunberg is truly frustrated by what Trump has done — including to him — and couldn’t help himself.And maybe he even felt that Trump needed some kind of bat-signal delivered through cable news about how much trouble he’s in.He was trying to impeach himself as a witnessThis one comes via Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who says Nunberg has now “successfully destroyed his credibility and therefore his utility as a trial witness for Mueller. Mission accomplished?”Indeed, if Nunberg was trying to look erratic and unreliable on Monday, mission accomplished.But would Mueller suddenly lose interest just because of this performance?Aaron Blake is senior political reporter for The Washington Post political blog, The Fix.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? When New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi reached Nunberg’s mother by accident, she said his mother told her Nunberg was unavailable because “he’s not doing well.”Olivia Nuzzi tweeted:  Categories: Editorial, OpinionFormer Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg had a surreal day Monday.After deciding he wouldn’t cooperate with a grand jury subpoena from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, he went on a media blitz to, well, air some things.Each interview seemed intent upon out-shocking the last. He added in another interview with MSNBC: “I’m not going to go in there for them to set up a case against Roger. Roger did not do anything. Roger and I were treated like crap by Donald Trump, okay?”But even if you grant that this was all some contrived spectacle to assist Stone in some way, that still doesn’t answer how.Refusing to assist Mueller would seem to be help enough; why go on a media blitz saying all kinds of bizarre things? Perhaps this was just performance art for performance art’s sake.He broke under pressureIn one of Nunberg’s later interviews, with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Burnett asked him a question that might have otherwise seemed off-base: Are you drunk? In fact, Burnett didn’t just ask; she said she smelled alcohol on his breath.Nunberg denied he had been drinking and said he wasn’t on anything “besides my meds — antidepressants.”Even separate from that question, though, it was clear Nunberg was under plenty of pressure.That tends to be the case when you’ve got jail time hanging over your head for ignoring a subpoena.last_img read more

Trump doesn’t reflect our American values

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion American values are reflected by the fact that, with the exception of Native Americans, we are a country of immigrants and descendants of immigrants. As the son of immigrants, I support the DACA program. Mr. Trump is also the son of immigrants. Nevertheless, he is cynically using the DACA program as a political bargaining chip.American values are reflected by “freedom of the press.” Surely the media at times makes mistakes. However, overall, our democracy has been strengthened by having open and unrestricted reporting and commentary. Mr. Trump has tried to control the media with unverified claims of “fake news” — which is usually news he considers unfavorable toward him personally.American values are reflected by the dedicated men and women in our intelligence agencies who work tirelessly to protect our country from external attack. Mr. Trump has chosen to vilify our intelligence workers rather than accept their conclusion that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections.American values are reflected by the many sacrifices our military has made to defend freedom. In World War II, hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting the Nazis. In spite of this fact, Mr. Trump defended the Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, saying they included “some very fine people.” I often wonder if Mr. Trump understands and appreciates American values.DON STEINERNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Critics of the president are often called “Trump haters.” I don’t criticize the president because I hate him, but rather, I criticize him because I love America and our values.American values are reflected in our Pledge of Allegiance, which states, “with liberty and justice for all.” Mr Trump’s rhetoric often suggests that liberty and justice are only intended for those who are white, male and Christian. He has disparaged people of color, women and Muslims.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, March 20

first_imgGet facts on 2006’s Secure Fence ActPaul Moran’s March 14 letter urges readers to recall who voted for the “Secure Fence Act of 2006.” If other readers are as unfamiliar with this act as was I, I’d urge them to look it up on Wikipedia. It’s hard to conclude it was worth the cost then or would be now. Elmer BertschNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionLetter on supervisor comments inaccurateNiskayuna Town Councilman John DellaRatta’s March 10 letter misquoted statements of mine relating to the possible rezone of the O.D. Heck parcel.He stated that I characterized the parcel as a “large swatch of land” in an interview with The Gazette. In fact, I referred to the parcel as the “swath of land adjacent to Mohawk Commons.” He further asserted that I favored the property “to be rezoned as ‘light industrial’.” In fact, I said, “Finding the most appropriate re-zone for that — whether it’s going to be light industrial, commercial, residential —and making sure we are adhering to our comprehensive plan, as well.”Councilman DellaRatta then made mention of a subsequent interview on my brother’s television show. While I’m glad he tuned in, I am forced to correct the record. Councilman DellaRatta insinuated that my comments indicated that I favored a “light industrial” rezone for the O.D. Heck parcel. My interview answer regarding the possible rezone was as follows: “We’ve been talking about possibly re-zoning that and that’s actually come up for discussion recently. And right now it’s zoned R-2 Residential. We may or may not rezone that to Neighborhood Mixed Use, which would allow for both commercial and residential properties.”I suggest that Councilman DellaRatta spend less time inventing or twisting quotes of mine and more time working together helping to solve problems facing the town.That, after all, is what the people of Niskayuna elected us both to do.Yasmine SyedNiskayunaThe writer is the town supervisor of Niskayuna.last_img read more

Looking back for a sustainable future

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Development: speculation continues, but is the trend set to change?

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Tall buildings encouraged in City despite US attacks

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