Blumenberg has the experience to be judge

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes I had the privilege of representing the people of Saratoga County for 20 years as Saratoga County Court judge.During my years on the bench, Andrew Blumenberg served as assistant public defender and then as first assistant public defender. During that time, he appeared before me on a regular basis representing indigent defendants, several of those cases resulting in jury trials.I was pleased to learn that Mr. Blumenberg is a candidate for Saratoga Springs City Court judge. I believe that his many years of courtroom experience, coupled with his knowledge of the law and high ethical standards, make him the most qualified candidate for this important position. Drew’s work with defendants, prosecutors and jurors in the courtroom setting have prepared him well to be a fair and honest jurist.It’s my honor to endorse Drew Blumenberg for Saratoga Springs City Court judge.Jerry J. Scarano Jr.Saratoga Springs Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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Kudos to kids who protested violence

first_imgI am heartened and impressed by the many young adults who spoke out so powerfully in the March 24 “March for our Lives.” May they take down Goliath.Anthony ScaliseRotterdam More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Monday, Dec. 2

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Entitled teachers should stick to jobsHaving worked as a school business administrator over my career, I have seen so much of an entitlement mentality by teachers and their union.You have a contract and the administration is following it. Let the administrators do their jobs and teachers teach. Physical education classes are important, but prep time is minimal compared to most other subjects. Contractually, the administration has every right to require what they are presently.Not all teachers stay great at their jobs, and many develop a poor attitude later, especially after receiving tenure. The cost of getting rid of a bad teacher, even if they do something incredibly wrong, is well over $300,000.And that is taxpayer money we are talking about. That is why some feel they are entitled and untouchable. I don’t believe in tenure. No other career offers this type of protection. Niskayuna is fortunate to have so many excellent teachers. The district performs extremely well, and my children benefited greatly from graduating from here.My experience has taught me that some teachers in school districts often have the mentality and goal to do as little as possible while receiving the most money and benefits possible.So here we have just another example of just that. The president of the teacher’s union talks about what should have happened during negotiations, but she was totally part of these negotiations.Would have-could have-should have syndrome. Just teach already and stop appearing to be big whiny babies.Brian KreisSchenectadyUpstate not getting the help it needsJohn Cropley’s  Nov. 26 article on the per capita income was interesting. This letter offers additional commentary on the data he reported. I annualized the population and income change over the 20-year period. That provides numbers that are more relatable to things like school tax increases, consumer price index, etc. On an annual basis, incomes have increased from 4.1 percent for Schoharie County to 6.5 percent for Saratoga County. Saratoga County is an outlier in many respects. I do not believe it’s much higher-than-average income growth can be attributed to 3,000 well-paid employees. That is fewer than 2 percent of the total population of the county. Saratoga is the only county that increased both population and income at a rate greater than New York state as a whole.In fact population growth rivaled the overall U.S. number. Without Saratoga County the data yields a population growth of 2.8 percent and an income growth of 4.6 percent.So what is it about Saratoga County? The county has been known to have a lower tax burden. Communities in Fulton and Montgomery counties have made the news recently with their difficulties in funding schools. Given that these counties have lost population and have seen the lowest increase in income, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.Many state and federal representatives have pledged to improve the economic situation of upstate New York. Except for Saratoga County, the statistics say they failed. Perhaps our representatives will offer their assessment of the statistics.Dennis UleryBallston SpaTrump tax cut most help to corporationsWhen  you do your taxes next year, I think it might be a good idea to consider what corporations did with their tax cut.Trump said it was a “middle class cut,” but the truth is that FedEx paid $1.5 billion in taxes in 2017. In 2018, under the effective tax rate in the next year, it paid nothing. The effective tax rate for FedEx has gone from 34 percent to less than 0 percent. Read the business section of the Nov. 29 issue of The Week to verify my numbers. How will you explain this to your grandchildren? (1,000 million billion dollars in deficit spending this year alone.) What did FedEx do with the money? It bought $2 million in FedEx stock, proving one more time that supply side economics doesn’t work.FDR said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”Nick CoupasSaratoga Springs Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGet informed about what’s happeningI talked with friends recently about politics, unusual since we don’t agree. One issue discussed by a former vice-president of an international company was the stock market. He was happy with the level of the stock market and, therefore, happy with the president.Another friend mentioned that not everyone had money in the market. My first friend said they might not know they do, but their pension is probably invested in the market. The second friend said many people no longer have pensions.A corporation files for bankruptcy and there go peoples’ pensions. First friend spoke about the nearly full employment numbers. Second friend mentioned that many of the new jobs were service jobs that do not pay a living wage, which is why people have more than one job and have no pensions.Just as people have different views about the financial health of the country, people have differing opinions about impeachment.If you don’t believe America should exemplify the rule of law, support our allies and shine a light into the world, then maybe you don’t care about the sessions. However, if you believe that wealthy and powerful America must be a force for good, you probably found the suggestion that our president has bypassed trained, loyal staffers to be represented by Rudy Giuliani in working with a critical ally, both astonishing and terrifying.Asking for personal favors, not national favors. Pay attention. The impeachment outcomes will affect our country’s future and influence our dealings with the world. Be informed.Janice WalzScotiaSet weight limits to limit truck trafficThe recent Gazette article regarding the Glenridge Road bridge hits notes that commercial GPS systems tell drivers where there are roads that have weight limits. But the municipality has to set a weight limit on the street for it to be flagged.The residents of Dean and McClellan streets in Niskayuna have been pleading to officials for years to place limits, but officials at both the town and county have refused. So tractor-trailers, tour buses and cement trucks continue to rumble through our neighborhood, putting pedestrians at risk and degrading the road at a much faster rate.This speed, high volume and truck traffic is a chronic townwide problem, and more needs to be done to address it.Speed signs were installed last summer. And yes, they help, but only in the area where they are seen. The village of Colonie had its speed problem solved overnight with speed bumps. Why can’t we?Balltown Road is a congested mess and is one of the main reasons why traffic is spilling into our neighborhood. Town and county officials need to follow Sen. Jim Tedesco’s and Supervisor Chris Koetzle’s lead and advocate to the state to address this.This problem is not going to go away on its own, and any traffic engineer will tell you when you mix speed, high volume and truck traffic with pedestrian traffic, you have a recipe for a disaster. But if officials wait until after someone dies to address these problems, they are too late.Aaron HullSchenectadyAttempting a crime is against the lawI got my best laugh of the day, when I heard a Fox News person say that Trump did not commit a crime. “The Constitution does not mention attempted bribery” Dur. It doesn’t mention attempted murder or attempted robbery, either. Tell that to all the prisoners serving 10 years or more for attempt.Lou BachScotialast_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Dec. 7

first_imgBrian Kriese’s teacher-bashing letter on Dec. 2 (“Entitled teachers should stick to jobs”) contains a multitude of falsehoods, using exactly the kind of rhetoric that helps to demoralize hard-working teachers, contributing to our current teacher shortage.His attacks on tenure create a toxic work environment; this is exactly the reason why tenure exists. Tenure, simply put, is job protection. Can an incompetent teacher be fired? Of course, but not without due process. This means the administrators need to do their jobs, documenting and proving the teacher’s transgressions.As a business administrator, he should know the claim that it costs a district $300,000 to fire a teacher has been quoted incorrectly for years.Additionally, the teacher’s union helped craft the new streamlined tenure law (dating back to 2008), providing for a fairer, faster, and less-expensive process while still protecting due-process rights.While the term “tenure” is unique to the teaching profession, this type of due process right is afforded to state, county and municipal workers (including police officers and firefighters). This, however, rarely comes up in teacher union discussions.I would expect more from a school administrator than what Mr. Kriese presented in his diatribe full of the same old false arguments in what appears to be an attempt to settle a score. I wonder what job protections are afforded to school business administrators who stoke the flames of distrust with needless attacks on a profession filled with smart, dedicated teachers who rise above the fray so they can provide the best possible education to their students.Natalie McKayBallston SpaThe writer is president of the Schoharie Teachers Association.Thanks to dedicated snowplow driversI would like to say thank you to all the snowplow drivers who worked in very severe situations to get the roads clear in Schenectady. We are also grateful for all those who fought the elements to deliver needed goods and services. It is easy to criticize, but much more difficult to drive a snowplow.James LechowiczSchenectadyDems hypocrites on campaign fundingWhen Michael Bloomberg threw his name into the ring, he was loudly criticized by both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They were upset that someone would try to buy the election by using his own money.After the first Democratic debate, it was determined that any candidate could enter the next debate, provided they raised a predetermined amount of money. Kamala Harris dropped out on Dec. 3 because she didn’t have enough money. Apparently, they consider that money means votes.It’s not important your platform; it’s the money. So since Bloomberg isn’t using someone else’s money, they don’t know how viable he’d be. Apparently, the Democratic platform is  “Using my money is bad but using your money is good.” They’re still using millions to campaign, it’s just not theirs. Let’s remember that come election time.  Pete PidgeonScotia Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWriter used false rhetoric on teachers Paper should remove spammer commentsEver since The Gazette has been linked to Facebook, we see multiple people post spam about income-producing jobs.Why doesn’t The Gazette block these spammers? They are the same people over and over again and it is almost as annoying as robocalls and liberals.William MarincicSchenectadyEditor’s note: We have taken steps on a few levels to remove these, including blocking them manually when we spot them.We are also looking into software to ensure they’re being posted by real people.center_img Editorial offensive to strong public servantThe Gazette’s Nov. 19 editorial eagerly attacking a long time public servant and dedicated volunteer was unnecessary and offensive.Rosemarie Perez Jaquith has been giving of her time and talents for the 20 years that she has been a Niskayuna resident.She has served as an attorney for the state Legislature and in her spare time has been inextricably involved in some fashion or another in our schools. Is this the kind of person we want to attack, especially without any basis?Recently, The Gazette wrote an editorial titled “Say thanks to all the candidates.” The editorial noted that citizens and journalists spend a lot of time criticizing local officials.It went on to note that most people who serve do the job “because serving in elected office is their way of serving their community, of using their skills and expertise and ideas and passion to give something back.”The piece also correctly noted that local elected officials give up time with their families and friends, spend nights and weekends attending meetings and events, and take calls from constituents at all hours. That describes Rosemarie to a tee.Candidates like Rosemarie are hard to come by. We are lucky that not only is she able to serve us at both the school board and the town board, but that she is willing to do so.Nicki FoleyNiskayunaHeed the experts on climate change fightClimate Change Science is very complicated, and people who deny it seem to favor simple explanations that they can understand.A good example is the Nov. 28 letter by James Homan (“Don’t believe all you read about climate”).He references the “European Climate Declaration” as a “simple and understandable statement.”Unfortunately, the European Climate Declaration is extremely poor science. In fact, it is nothing, but cherry-picked data and non-science based claims. It is offered by people who have little climate science expertise, but rather a firm bias against solid science.Perhaps Mr. Homan might check some excellent and reliable sources such as: https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/letter-signed-by-500-scientists-relies-on-inaccurate-claims-about-climate-science/Our climate crisis is very real, and education is one of the few avenues to encourage our fellow citizens to actively work to mitigate it. With our current administration doing all it can to deny climate change and promote fossil fuel consumption, we need bottom-up initiatives by our citizens to tackle a looming world crisis. Check a National Geographic documentary “Paris to Pittsburgh” to see and be encouraged by positive steps being taken at a local and state level.Don CooperAmsterdamIgnore conspiracies over climate changeMr. Homan, in his Nov. 28 letter to the Daily Gazette (“Don’t believe all you read about climate”), described a document, signed by “500 scientists and professionals,” that claimed global warming is not a problem.I looked it up, and it turns out almost all of the signatories work in fields such as engineering and medicine, not climate science.Five hundred mostly non-climate scientists are supposed to refute the work and conclusions of a global network of thousands of actual climate scientists? I think that is unlikely.One of Mr. Homan’s conclusions was that the globe is now warming at “less than half the originally predicted rate.” Well, considering that the original calculations were done by hand, well over 100 years ago, I think that’s pretty good.Modern computer climate models are much more sophisticated, and their results happen to match recent global temperature records quite well.Mr. Homan suggested that global warming concern is actually a national domination plot by the U.S. Democratic Party. However, governments of almost every other country in the world agree that global warming is a problem, yet none of those governments include any branch of the U.S. Democratic Party.Global warming and its causes are not conspiracies. It’s just the way things are.Kurt HollocherSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

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YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW: State gets new government transparency leader

first_img“Open and transparent government is a priority of Governor Cuomo and I look forward to working with the Committee to continue to highlight the importance of the Freedom of Information, Open Meetings and Personal Privacy Protection Laws,” Bewlay said in a statement announcing her appointment Monday.Bewlay has a challenging task ahead of her.She’s works in a state with a long history of political corruption and secrecy. The era of electronic communication makes it more challenging to access records and easier for public officials to hide communications and records. The decline of local media and its ability to serve as effectively as government watchdogs as it did in the past has resulted in less direct oversight of government malfeasance when it comes to open government laws. And we’re living in a political atmosphere in which personal privacy is arm-wrestling against public disclosure.She’ll also face the challenge of trying to maintain independence from the executive branch of state government run by a powerful governor. Freeman often clashed with leaders in his own government, yet had managed to maintain a healthy independence under both Republican and Democratic governors over several decades, in large part because of his popularity with the press and public due to his vigorous grassroots-level opposition to government secrecy.As citizens, we must hope that Ms. Bewlay continues the strong tradition of the Committee on Open Government’s independence, advocacy for legislation that supports public disclosure and support for the public’s right to know.Click here to read an article in LoHud for more on Bewlay’s appointment.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.Foss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people togetherFoss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in needEDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspections Categories: OpinionNew York residents have a new advocate for open government.Shoshanah Bewlay — a Vassar-educated lawyer, former general counsel for the state’s Office of Information and Technology Services, former agency records access officer, and longtime manager of the state Attorney General’s eDiscovery program — has been appointed as executive director of the state Committee on Open Government.She replaces Robert Freeman, the legendary open government guru who was fired in disgrace in June over allegations of sexually inappropriate conduct.last_img read more

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Political unrest

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NHP top job to win back Colvin

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Agency picks Atlantic Quay

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Western influences

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Trillium reaps the benefit

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