Trump tax plan is a wake-up call to NY

first_imgNo worries, Gov. Cuomo and Sen. Schumer are coming to our rescue and launching a campaign against the GOP Tax plan. Sen. Schumer believes the refund from the SALT deduction “belongs in the pockets of New Yorkers, period.”May I suggest a different tactic to all New York state politicians? How about launching a campaign addressing why New York is one of the highest, if not the worst, of all 50 states in taxes year after year. I would prefer to keep the money I earned in my pocket to begin with and not worry about large SALT deductions to get a fraction of it back in a refund.What are other states doing better than us that we can’t copy to move up the list? Am I to believe you get what you pay for and our New York quality of life and services are better than all the other states?As a political leader, I would be embarrassed to be in the middle of the pack, let alone at the very bottom. It’s unacceptable. Regardless of political party, New Yorkers need to challenge all our elected officials to come up with policies to us move out of the bottom of the highest tax list.Jeffrey PalmerRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census As an employed homeowner in New York, I rely on state and local tax (SALT) deductions each year to help pay for my ridiculous state property and school taxes. The proposed Trump tax bill plans on eliminating SALT deductions, which Gov. Cuomo says will be a “death blow the New Yorkers and our economy,” I agree. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, April 13

first_imgUpset that letter to Congress returnedAs the son of a former postal worker, and just as a citizen, I’m appalled by what I received in my mail on April 8.There was a letter I had mailed two weeks ago, returned to sender stamped ‘undeliverable as addressed.’ The letter was addressed by someone with better handwriting than mine, clearly indicating a named member of Congress “US House of Representatives, Washington, DC”.No, there was no ZIP code, but I am amazed no one in the Postal Service was capable of getting this delivered. Back in the days when humans sortied mail, rather than stupid machines, this would have been deliverable.I don’t know if this is a scam to sell more stamps, or a further indication of the incompetence of the ‘privatized’ service, but it is totally unacceptable.And when I called what they laughably call the “customer service” number, I was told, after the usual voicemail delay, that the waiting time to talk to a human being was 36 to 54 minutes. That’s pretty unacceptable, too.Steve NovakGlenville Lawmakers need to look into abortion law I saw the large essay Assemblyman Phil Steck wrote to The Daily Gazette on Feb. 17 regarding abortion.I felt sorry for his display of defensiveness and your ignorance regarding this serious matter. What does the word, “abortion” mean? To stop, to end. To end the pregnancy by killing the unborn baby.Surely you and/or your family members have seen ultrasounds of the unborn baby during pregnancy. There’s no denying that what’s inside the woman kicks, has a heartbeat and every other feature of a baby human.Sadly, many people don’t express their opinions about abortion, and it makes it seem like all women are for it, which we are not.Legislators — targeted by Planned Parenthood’s pressure and PACs, wanting votes and fearing to stand up for justice — vote for the unconscionable act of late term abortion, and even the neglect of a full-term child who is born in spite of abortion efforts. Plus, the tissue can be sold. Imagine, making money off killing babies, and then again by selling their “pound of flesh.”What have we become? Is this, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo likes to believe, progressive policy? Or is it a return to barbarism and child sacrifice as in ancient days? Is it a disrespect for children that child labor laws sought to remedy? Please look into these issues and get back to me, a voter.Theresa PettograssoPattersonville State, church must help out pensionersCould someone please explain to me why the burden for the care of New York’s poor has fallen on pensioners of St. Clare’s Hospital? At the direction of the Catholic Church, the hospital’s mission was to care for those who could not afford to pay for their healthcare services. The cost of this mission was great, and the hospital experienced great financial difficulties.Because of this, the pension belonging to those who cared for these people was not funded.Isn’t it the role of the government to care for its citizens, to make sure that they have the basics when they are in financial stress? Now those healthcare workers who cared for some of New York state’s poorest, at the direction of the Catholic Church, are faced with their own financial difficulties.They have lost a portion of or all of their pension benefit that they worked so hard for. They have pleaded with both the state and the church to help. But they have been ignored, tossed aside to fend for themselves in their retirement.Those who can help, but choose not to, should be ashamed of themselves.Ironically, the church will have its hand out looking for donations from the very people it refuses to help, and the state will be digging into those same pockets for tax dollars to spend on someone else.Bob BradleyClifton Park Clearing up errors in Repair Cafe articleI was glad to see Repair Cafe featured so prominently in the April 7 Gazette.But please let me correct some misinformation from the article. The Clifton Park cafe will indeed be the third to open in the capital region. But there is only one Repair Cafe in Schenectady, not two as the article stated.Repair Cafe Schenectady was the first cafe in the capital district. We opened in April 2018 and have now completed a very successful first year.Saratoga Springs also has a cafe which opened later in 2018.Also, Ms. Standaert was incorrect in stating that there is no place to donate a broken bicycle in this area. How about Schenectady’s own Electric City Bike Rescue www.electriccitybikerescue.org?The article was correct in stating that a main goal of Repair Cafe is to reduce the number of items going into landfills, but we also take pride in our teaching component.If you bring a broken item to a cafe, you will learn something about how it works and how to take care of it, and even how to repair it yourself. Visit Repair Cafe Schenectady on Facebook and plan to come to our next event July 27 at the Schenectady County Public Library downtown.Repair Cafe Schenectady was founded by Dave West and is supported by Schenectady County Public Library and the Friends of SCPL. Repair Cafe is an international movement, begun in the Netherlands in 2009.Faith DonovanNiskayuna Harris owes apology for speech commentFreedom of speech, the right to express opinions without government restraint, is a democratic ideal held sacredly as the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights. To read Union College President Harris proclamation otherwise is discouraging. As an alum, it’s embarrassing to see this published in both The Daily Gazette on March 30 and a national periodical (Inside Higher Ed – March 25, 2019). No matter the intent, an apology should be considered. And perhaps a lesson (or two) in public communications. R.J. ProssnerAnnapolis, Md.The writer is a graduate of Union College, Class of 2002 Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionBeaver deceivers a better control optionI’m pleading to officials not to trap beavers at the Woodlawn Preserve.A beaver deceiver isn’t a cost-prohibitive measure; it’s just the opposite.Creating a void by using cruel conibear traps will cause an endless need, as more beavers move into the territory.A beaver deceiver will be done once and allow a more live-and-let-live approach. Please use this and share the space in which we are all meant to be in.Laura BrownScotiacenter_img Need accurate map for Alplaus borderAs a business owner, I supported Alplaus residents’ opposition to a high-density housing development in the southwest of the hamlet 2016-2017. I share their desire to preserve land conservation and to maintain the character of Alplaus in the areas of development, traffic and law enforcement. As the owner of 801-901 Maritime Drive (MINOR Improvements PT, Burnt Hills Rowing, and Shen Crew), I’m concerned that the property I purchased in 2016 is no longer considered to be in Alplaus, according to the town of Glenville. Closing Mohawk Avenue last year effectively created a physical barrier, reflecting the amended map. I have been unable to discover by which authority the map was changed.In response to Alplaus residents’ objection to the map change at the public hearing on October 4, 2017, the Comprehensive Plan (page 235) states “The Town Board consented to this request and modified the Hamlet of Alplaus map accordingly.”  If this is simply a clerical oversight or a “snafu in the software” at Glenville town offices, it should be amended to reflect accurate information.However, I’m concerned by the article’s statement that the Comprehensive Plan “…doesn’t consider the riverfront lands to be a part of the hamlet.”An accurate map of Alplaus is the first step to a productive working relationship between Alplaus and the town of Glenville. Please support our efforts to set the record straight.Karen Dake, PT, PCSAlplaus YWCA needs help to enhance its programsYWCA NorthEastern NY has been serving our community since 1888. While our services haven’t looked the same throughout those 131 years, they have always focused on helping women and children evolving to meet changing needs in our community.Today we offer comprehensive domestic violence support services, accredited early learning and safe, affordable housing for low-income/homeless women, serving nearly 7,000 people each year. We now look to enhance our programs and services to meet the ever-expanding need. We don’t know if it’s possible, hence the feasibility study and meetings with neighbors to hear concerns. We strive to be good neighbors while also allowing all who utilize YWCA NENY to do so in a safe, convenient, quality setting.Located in the Stockade since 1930, much of our history is linked to our beautiful but aging building and those who have walked its halls.  The Stockade is a special place, conveniently located for all we serve. We’re a non-profit that relies on grants, government funding and private donations, which are not increasing at the same rate as the need, some actually decreasing while expenses rise.The $20-million-plus project investment won’t come from YWCA’s small coffers, but from funding secured through partnerships with companies, developers and grant sources.Doing so will move us forward on steady footing, helping us serve our community even better. We are cautiously optimistic about what the future will bring, and knowing we can rely on you, our community, to move forward with us. Kim SicilianoSchenectadyThe writer is the executive director of YWCA NorthEastern NY. Buy organic to help out Mother NatureDon’t forget Mother Nature. When I moved here in 2010, there were beautiful peonies in the backyard.They weren’t appreciated, so they were all mowed down. Someone had planted two azalea bushes; it’s too cold here for them. They won’t bloom. I had to dig up all the peonies. The bud has to be really close to the surface. What a job. Now they bloom beautifully.Don’t forget the bees. Pesticides kill the bees. Think.You see, we must be careful. We are slowly killing ourselves. Do you get it?Monsanto and DuPont make a lot of poisons. Roundup is made by Monsanto. Drug companies are no better. What are we doing to ourselves?Buy organic if you can. Grow your own vegetables. Have a victory garden. We all need one. Don’t mow your lawn too short. Don’t rake it. Grass needs some shade.Corn is probably one of the worst vegetables you can eat. Atrizine was used way back in the 70s to kill all the weeds and grubs. Think. Buy organic and learn what you’re eating.Eunice KilmerJohnstown Strengthen laws for assaults on policeThe time has come to change the laws on when someone makes an attempt to injure a law enforcement officer in any manner. These brave people put their lives on the line to protect us.These people are our homeland military. They try to keep us safe at all times.No more slap on the wrist if someone goes after a law enforcement officer for anything. A trial yes. If found guilty, the minimum of one year in jail and upward. If death takes place, the penalty is death for the person, of course, after a trial.We all should be happy to have these people on our side to keep us safe. Thank you to all law enforcement for keeping us and our homeland as safe as you can. It’s not easy.Sid GordonSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, May 5

first_imgJansson is best for Nisky school boardAs a grandfather of six children who attend Niskayuna schools, I maintain a robust interest in seeing them receive the best education possible.And, as a former school board member in Schenectady, I have a good sense of the kind of experience and skill set which makes for an effective school board member.In the last several years, I have come to know Greta Jansson as the kind of person who displays the requisite background needed to be a successful board member.Greta brings a strong character as an involved, caring parent who has worked diligently to understand the district’s programs, its needs and challenges. She has a vision of how our schools need to support and prepare young people to participate in today’s rapidly changing world. She possesses valuable financial experience borne of having operated her own business.Most importantly, she has impressed me as someone who works well with others, an essential quality for a contributing board member. Society evolves in the people it honorsMr. Pidgeon in his April 29 letter thinks it’s “inconsistent” to honor the slave-holders Washington and Jefferson while removing statues of Confederate generals. But the two cases are fundamentally different. We honor the early presidents not for slave-owning, but for their presidential achievements, which would be the same if they had chosen not to own slaves.Those Confederate leaders, on the other hand, are remembered solely because they chose to lead a horrendous crusade to preserve slavery. If they hadn’t, no one would remember them and the segregationists of the 1950s would not have installed the statues of them that are now, belatedly, being removed.Statues alone teach us virtually nothing about history, which is preserved in books and archives. Public statues are about who and what we choose to honor, and a society may properly change its collective mind about that.Wayne SomersDelanson Frederick Douglass later referred to it as “a most cunningly devised and wicked compact.” Both were referring to the three-fifths compromise and the Electoral College, in part.The intent of the Electoral College can be debated, but in practice, every president from 1801-1837 except two were slave owners. Most early presidents were from populous slave states. The Electoral College and the three-fifths clause helped Thomas Jefferson win in 1800. Without it John Adams would have secured a second term. Christopher OgnibeneNiskayuna Tax money is wasted on incompetenceDo any of our municipal governments or legislative bodies (which we hired) do their jobs? Was it a secret for decades that our infrastructures were aging, outdated and deteriorating? Did any of our officials start planning or saving for the ultimate unavoidable cost? So now, for example, the town of Lake George (which has a very profitable tourist business, by the way) is asking for state and federal (i.e. taxpayer) money to replace its predictably harmful and obsolete water treatment facility.Lake George is not an exception. Year by year, most municipalities will be begging for money from state and national taxpayers. Another cost to us all for incompetence.Think about this: We are replacing most bridges after 50 years or less, whereas the Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883. So, when our officials do fix or build something, they do it poorly.Wouldn’t we all like to know where all that tax money we pay in goes?M.B. GuidarelliSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: 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?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists For these reasons, I enthusiastically support Greta Jansson for election to the Niskayuna Board of Education.Robert K. CorlissSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionConstitution gets a pass on racism. Why?Why is Dr. Seuss bad, but the U.S. Constitution is good? In the last few years, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) has been labeled a racist for illustrations that depict Asian and African characters with exaggerated physical (and not perfectly anatomically correct) features and stereotypical clothing. It’s interesting to note Geisel was drawing “evil” Asians in the World War II era, when the U.S. government actually physically interred hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans and depicted them as absolutely evil in response to Pearl Harbor.Somehow, the Constitution has been given a pass and suffers no such critical examination by mainstream academics or social media.There’s no social movement to ban the Constitution, despite its role in proliferating the practice of slavery. In 1832, William Lloyd Garrison pronounced it “the most bloody and heaven-daring arrangement ever made by men for the continuance and protection of a system of the most atrocious villainy.” Turn the tables on political dominanceHere’s a thought experiment from a Twitter thread that I found second hand and have taken the liberty to lightly edit. Here we go.Try to imagine men’s reactions if it was known for a fact the next 45 presidents would be women, and after those 240 years, a man running was considered “identity politics.”Try to imagine men’s reactions, were it known that of the next 113 Supreme Court justices, only four would be men, and none of those would be appointed before 2205, and even then women’s complaints about male appointees would be “Why don’t they just appoint the person best qualified?”What if we men knew there wouldn’t be a male candidate for the presidency for 240 years, and even then, he’d lose to the 2260 version of Roseanne Barr — who’d been taped bragging about assaulting men during the campaign — but the media talked about what a scary time it was for women?What if men needed a wife to own property for the next century or so? Or to simply open a bank account?But have no fear, 100 years after that there will be a constitutional amendment declaring men have fully equal rights as women.Paul DonahueNiskayunalast_img read more

Staines

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Retail slump for GPE

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Chorion toasts High Court win

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Pillar has the capability in Luton for high-flyer BAE

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Planning: a way through the urban jungle

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How to … Soak up extra auctions business in 2003

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Flying Scotsmen

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