Letters to the Editor Saturday, Oct. 22 – Twenty-one letters from around the region

Gun Rights

Nellis best suited for Fulton Co. DA

I write to urge you to vote for Amanda Nellis, an independent candidate for Fulton County district attorney.
As a retired Fulton County judge and former district attorney, I am in a unique position to know the qualifications of the lawyers in our area. Amanda has what it takes to be an honest, hard-working and successful DA. Amanda is currently the Acting DA and has worked in the DA’s office since 2012.
Over the years, she has shouldered much of the responsibility for prosecuting our county’s most serious crimes and helping run the DA’s office. Amanda is active in the community and knows the people of Fulton County.
The two most important qualities in a district attorney are personal integrity and experience.
The person who serves as DA has tremendous independent power and must perform the job with fairness and honesty. Having observed Amanda over many years, I know she will faithfully perform the office’s very difficult work.
Amanda is the only candidate with significant jury trial experience. She has tried numerous felony cases before me as judge and enjoys a good working relationship with police agencies in our community. Please vote for Amanda Nellis on Row G.
Polly A. Hoye

Help the homeless we already have

I remember the former Columbus Day. It was our first school vacation and a day we remembered Christopher Columbus discovering our country. Now our government has said he shouldn’t be revered.
He came here and ignored the natives while claiming this land.
Perhaps our government would rather he kept sailing until he found an empty land so as not to disrupt the natives.
Yet nowadays our government is welcoming immigrants by offering to build them homes, provide medical care and promising jobs in some cases.
It seems to me that they’re ignoring the thousands of homeless Americans trying to exist on the streets. These homeless can be considered indigenous to our streets and are being ignored like the original residents.
Maybe a better name for this day would be “Take My Country Please” Day.
Pete Pidgeon

Support jobs for Native Americans

It is not a secret that the land we are currently standing on once belonged to over 600 Native American tribes that colonizers forcefully took hundreds of years ago.
Over time, the United States government has stolen around 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous tribes leaving them with only 56 million acres today.
Outside of our parks, other federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have often been leased to corporations for the extraction of resources such as timber, coal, and oil, causing damage to the ecosystems with little regard for the protection of the precious ecosystems and wildlife residing there.
In her USA Today op-ed, Susan Montoya Bryan details how the national park director is pushing to increase tribal nations’ roles in managing national parks.
These tribes hold centuries’ worth of ecological knowledge on pressing issues such as wildfires and endangered species.
Creating government programs to support jobs in maintaining and managing national parks for Native Americans would be a service to all.
As citizens of New York, a very blue state, I ask you to reach out to our representatives and senators through social media or letters and ask them to bring up this concept at legislative meetings.
Lucie Lang
Saratoga Springs

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End one-party rule by dumping Hochul

Government is supposed to work for the people. Unfortunately, the Biden administration and Gov. Hochul’s administration have failed badly on this basic responsibility.
On the first day in office, President Biden attacked the energy suppliers by stopping construction of the Keystone pipeline connector and additional development on extensive federal lands. This bad policy immediately began to reduce the domestic energy supply, resulting in higher prices quickly seen at the gas pump, food stores and in all consumer goods. The energy policies and trillions in government spending have produced an inflated cost of living tax that has hurt the people.
The Cuomo administration endangered the public by passing cashless bail legislation. The results of this bad legislation did not become apparent until Kathy Hochul became governor. The many examples of harm from released criminals should never have happened. Gov. Hochul has not addressed this serious problem.
On Nov. 8, we cannot change bad federal policy, but we can reject representatives at the voting booth like Paul Tonko that support such bad policy.
One-party rule for many years is never a good idea. We have an opportunity on Nov. 8 to correct this situation by replacing Kathy Hochul as governor.
Russ Wege

Muller has integrity, is highly qualified

State Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Muller deserves to be reelected. He is the only candidate who has served in the capacity of a Supreme Court Justice, and he has done so with high integrity, prompt and just decision-making, and in a fair and timely manner since 2009.
As a former judge delegate of the Republican Nominating Convention, I have seen many judicial candidates. Judge Muller is more qualified than most.
In order to support Judge Muller, I have resigned from the Warren County Republican Committee because it is more important to have a quality judge making important rulings than a candidate guided by his or her political affiliation. Judge Muller is endorsed by the Democratic and Conservative parties.
Personally, I have known, worked with and against Robert Muller for over 40 years. He was my colleague and fellow trial lawyer before being elected to his current position in 2008.
Since that time, he has gained a reputation for excellence and has had numerous significant published decisions and regularly participates in lectures and presentations to the practicing bar. Please join with me in voting for Judge Robert Muller on Election Day.
Malcolm O’Hara, Esq.

Stefanik vote makes you an accomplice

Maintaining democracy demands we adjust our attitudes as we gain new information. Our opinions should change as we learn.
We know Jan. 6 was a result of sedition. People have admitted it and been convicted. No fair-minded person can doubt it was in support of and condoned by Trump.
Trump is a traitor.
Rep. Elise Stefanik supported Trump on Jan. 6. Her support for him hasn’t diminished. Rather, she’s increased her aid and comfort to an enemy of the state, enemy of America. She is in league with seditionists and in violation of her oath of office. She is by definition a traitor. She should resign but won’t.
Nobody should vote for her in November. I know people will. If you do, I want you to remember that your vote will make you an accomplice to sedition.
Mike Parwana

Big Tobacco is still going after our kids

Oct. 13 was Seen Enough Tobacco Day, a day that youth in the state and our local community have chosen to highlight the impact Big Tobacco has on their lives and to say they’ve Seen Enough.
Tobacco companies know that their customer base is shrinking, and that the only way to continue making money is to recruit new smokers.
Marketing directly to youth is illegal, but tactics like placing three times the amount of tobacco advertising in stores near schools or pairing tobacco with candy and sweets isn’t, so that’s exactly what they’re doing. Youth take notice of these things, and studies have shown that tactics like this are even more effective than peer pressure at getting youth to start using tobacco.
While youth might know about the dangers of cigarettes and other tobacco products, they likely don’t see vaping or e-cigarettes in the same light. Big Tobacco takes advantage of this misinformation and continues to push the narrative that vape products are ‘harmless’ or ‘just water vapor,’ when in fact they are highly addictive and contain at least 26 chemicals that are considered harmful or potentially harmful.
It is no surprise that youth across the state have taken notice of these tactics and want to tell the tobacco industry to leave them alone. They are not Big Tobacco’s next customer. Join with them and tell the tobacco industry that we have all seen Enough Tobacco.
Grace Dawson
The writer is community engagement coordinator for Advancing Tobacco Free Communities at Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties.

McAdoo is the clear choice for Assembly

This November, the 112 Assembly District of New York pits challenger Andy McAdoo against Mary Beth Walsh.
Andy McAdoo grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York and had a 42-year career in telecommunications. Andy developed his company, Broadband Solutions, which assisted delivering universal service. Andy gained government experience in Potsdam during the 1990s and 2000s.
He was president of the North Country Housing Council for eight years. Andy is focused on expanding broadband for New York state, supporting our local farmers, supporting greater mental health treatment and addiction services.
Andy McAdoo plans to create more local jobs by incentivizing businesses and investing in research and innovation. Walsh was an attorney before she succeeded Jim Tedisco in 2016.
Walsh voted against two bills that support small businesses during the Covid pandemic. She voted against laws that would protect workers. She carries an A+ rating from the NRA and has voted against banning ghost guns and guns made which cannot be traced.
Andy McAdoo supports a minimum age for AR-15 type weapons, increasing background checks and expanding Red Flag laws. Two different candidates, but there is a clear choice for a new direction for state Assembly District 112.
Stephen Valenti
Clifton Park

Don’t let Dems keep coddling criminals

Vote the Democrats out. The reason is they support and care more about the criminal element than they do law-abiding people of this state and the police.
The bail reform act needs to be repealed. Call your local representative and tell them you work for me, not the governor, and repeal the damn bill.
I don’t care what color you are rich or poor. If you break the law, you go to jail. And if you can’t make bail, that’s tough. What’s the old saying: You don’t want to do the time then don’t do the crime. You want your family to be safe wherever they are, and your children to be able to play outside your house and in the park without fear of something happening to them, then vote out the Democrats that are screwing us and this state day after day.
Remember, put the criminals in jail where they belong. Stop slapping them on the wrist and telling them not to do that again please. Stop letting them run free to commit more crimes again and again. This has to stop. Vote for politicians that enforce the laws of this state and back our police.
Paul Dolhy

Judge Muller is fair and just with rulings

Supreme Court Judge Bob Muller is someone I have known for many years, and I strongly support his re-election.
Although electing judges is something we do in New York, I find that an awful lot of people have no clue and don’t really get what’s going on with judicial elections.
I believe elections should be held to allow the people to get their say and be the ones in charge.
Judge Muller is best for the job and has proven this with many thousands of decisions and orders under his belt. He is seldom reversed by the appellate courts and rarely gets appealed to begin with.
Judge Muller is someone you can trust with having the final say in the courtroom. If you are in Judge Muller’s court, you can be certain he will be fair and that his decisions will be respectful to you and the law — without consideration of who you are, who your friends are, and whatever your politics may be. Re-electing Judge Muller has nothing to do with politics and it shouldn’t.
Let’s re-elect Judge Muller on Nov. 8 and keep a hardworking judge working for all of us.
John Lant
The writer is town of Wilton supervisor.

Stefanik, Joy, Zeldin all lie and ignore truth

I see again that The Gazette and Channel Six TV have complained that Stefanik, Zeldin, Joy demand to be heard in the debate arena by The Gazette. Yet the TV and newspaper don’t hold, especially, Stefanik and Joy, accountable for their actions against democracy and the laws we live by.
Still backing criminal Trump and the (seditious attack) and disregard of the Constitution. Stefanik hides in Mar-a-Largo, holding GOP meetings in foreign communist countries like the one with Hungarian leader Victor Orban in Budapest.
They voted against every single thing that was for the military, police, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, even fixing roads and bridges, everything that helps the average American.
They are pressuring with full force, to take away women’s rights, they wish to control who you vote for and the right to change or cancel your vote. These are facts.
That’s the reason Mr. Tonko and anyone shouldn’t bother to debate the Republicans. All Stefanik, Joy, Zeldin will do is lie and ignore the truth and provide false claims that have been tried and rejected in courts already. To debate them is a waste. They scare people with lies. The sky is falling. Let Democrats work for us.
David Keenan

Voters in Scotia are in search of change

The Feb. 10 Gazette article (“Mayor will not seek reelection,”) mentions the Democratic Party’s decision not to endorse either Scotia Mayor Gifford or Trustee Joe Rizzo. As we approach Election Day and attacks on current village leadership by opponents intensify, it is important to note that the decision made by the Democratic Party reflects a need for change.
While we thank Mayor Gifford and Trustee Rizzo for their years of dedicated service, feedback from village residents has been clear in their desire for better communication, increased transparency, responsible growth, and support for small businesses.
This desired change was reflected by voters in the clear victory delivered by our endorsed mayoral candidate Joe Talbot in the primary and support for our Next Steps for Scotia candidates for village trustee.
We encourage village of Scotia residents to visit www.sgdems.com/the-next-steps-for-scotia to learn more about our vision and feel free to reach out to connect with our candidates. Through our endorsement of these candidates, we have demonstrated our belief that they have the experience, motivation, drive for change, collaborative spirit and responsible stewardship necessary to lead.
Michael Aragosa
The writer is chair of Scotia-Glenville Democrats.

Tedisco is a fighter for the little guys

I’m a Schenectady Democrat and I’m supporting Jim Tedisco for Senate.
Jim is a genuine person who cares about people and always stands up for “the little guy.” He’s not afraid to go toe to toe with the powerful elites when the quality of life of his constituents is threatened.
Sen. Tedisco has fought with all his might to seek justice for the St. Clare’s retirees, the Schoharie limo crash victims and the 15,000 seniors who died in nursing homes under Cuomo’s watch. He’s working hard to keep our streets safe from violent criminals.
There’s no one else I’d want in my corner fighting for me than Sen. Jim Tedisco. Let’s keep Jim Tedisco fighting for us in the New York State Senate.
Bob Suski

Mastroianni pushes lies about Sept. 11

On Sept. 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Believe it or not, outlandish 9/11 conspiracy theories are being spread by Joe Mastroianni, a candidate for the New York State Assembly.
Mr. Mastroianni is among a group of people that believe and actively spread these offensive claims.
“9/11 IS A LIE,” he posted his Facebook page. Another post read, “OKAY, IT’S BEEN 16 YEARS … if you still believe the government story you are part of the problem,” another says “9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB.” These and dozens of his similar posts are an affront, to the more than 3,000 people who lost their lives that day and the families and friends that still grieve today.
As a retired professional firefighter and paramedic, I find 9/11 deniers un-American.
More than 400 first responders lost their lives that day and many others have died since and are facing lingering health problems. Any firefighter, first responder, family member or true patriot reading this knows exactly how I feel and why such a person should not be a candidate and does not belong anywhere on a ballot.
Kevin Crosier
East Berne

Ostrelich will protect our right to vote

As the recent Jan. 6 hearing makes clear, our democracy is under threat. The right to have our voices heard at the ballot box is being imperiled by an authoritarian political movement that refuses to accept the outcome of legitimate elections unless that outcome places them in power.
In the face of this movement, it is worth paying attention to how our elected representatives are voting on democracy bills. Are our state representatives voting to strengthen our democracy or choosing to disenfranchise us?
Jim Tedisco voted against a bill that would require state electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates who received the highest number of votes. Tedisco likes to distract us with loud, misinformed fear mongering while he quietly votes against protecting us from threats to our democracy.
The former president and the election deniers in his party have made it clear that they do not respect the will of the voters.
When they tell us what they think of our democracy, we must believe them. We have the power to shape the future of our democracy in November by voting for Michelle Ostrelich, a leader committed to protecting the integrity of our vote.
Katie Chao

Think about the bad done by Republicans

It is quite telling that Republicans in New York’s 44th senate district are now, just before the Nov. 8 elections, making hay out of an off-the-cuff comment made by Michelle Ostrelich back in April as reported (“GOP slams Ostrelich for April comment”) in the Oct. 13 Gazette. They probably feel that they are being very clever in campaign tactics. They know that they have very little to say about their candidate’s accomplishments, and certainly, they do not want to point out his voting record. If this is all they’ve got to say, with such fanfare, then probably there isn’t much to say.
I urge voters to think about what the Republicans have done to this country and decide for themselves how they should vote this November. Just think about it, please.
Bahram Keramati
Saratoga Springs

Ostrelich, McAdoo support healthcare

We’re losing access to comprehensive healthcare. Michelle Ostrelich, running against Jim Tedisco in the state Senate, and Andy McAdoo, running against Mary Beth Walsh in the Assembly, will combat this trend.
Access to necessary and life-saving care for women will become more limited with Catholic Trinity Health acquiring Ellis Hospital. The Emergency Department at Ellis is now run by Envision Healthcare, owned by a private equity firm being sued by one of the largest medical associations in the United States over its unethical practices.
All hospitals in our area are suffering from staffing shortages and budget deficits resulting from the covid pandemic. As a result, wait times are skyrocketing, patient care is suffering, and access to care is dwindling.
Tedisco and Walsh are incumbents. They addressed these issues by voting to strip women of reproductive rights and providers of legal protections, against mask wearing and vaccinations during the pandemic, and against measures to limit aggressive bill collection.
Ostrelich and McAdoo believe healthcare providers should be able to provide all reasonable evidence-based healthcare, not what a corporation or religious group thinks should be provided.
Both candidates will continue to demand transparency and accountability from our healthcare systems and improve resources.
Brian Frederick
Clifton Park

Santabarbara worked to lower DMV fees

I watched on the news about Assemblyman Santabarbara’s bill to eliminate DMV fees for people trying to get a commercial driver’s license. Knowing how few drivers we have right now, this is a small cost compared to what happens when we can get food delivered to Price Chopper, get kids to school in the morning or get the snow off our streets this winter.
These are all good jobs that need to be filled, but with all the fees and classes needed, it costs hundreds of dollars to get a commercial driver’s license these days. Making it easier for people to get qualified and hired is a good investment.
I like that Assemblyman Santabarbara is finding common-sense solutions to some of the state’s problems. It may not seem like a big thing to eliminate these fees, but it makes a lot of sense to me because it can save people money whether they drive a truck or not.
The driver shortage is one of the things that contributes to higher prices at the grocery store and at the gas pump. Anything that helps get more drivers to make these deliveries can help lower costs for everyone.
Stacy Greene

Remember REMS supporters at polls

I’d like to thank the many people who have supported Rotterdam EMS (REMS). Many of our town residents support us with donations but there are also specific groups I would like to thank directly for their incredible support.
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has always supported REMS and our work serving the residents of our great town. He has come through for us time and time again.
Recently Angelo was able to secure another $1.1 million to fund our capital project to repair and expand our station and replace some of our aging fleet of ambulances. This has been the largest single investment we have ever received.
Anthony Jasenski, chair of the Schenectady County Legislature, and the county legislators have been longtime friends of REMS.
Recently they were able to secure REMS a grant from Schenectady County for $150,000 for operational expenses.
Now the town of Rotterdam has the opportunity to fix this reoccurring issue of EMS funding once and for all. Please contact the town officials and ask them what their stand is on funding this essential service, EMS. Ask them to fund REMS.
When you vote this year, remember those people who support REMS and the local EMS systems.
Dean Romano
The writer is executive director of Rotterdam EMS.

Tonko should be answerable to people

So, Paul Tonko refused the debate that you invited him to, which if I remember correctly, The Daily Gazette endorsed him.
I guess he doesn’t need to answer to you or your subscribers. He also declined a debate request of over 100 business owners, saying they didn’t properly represent the 20th.
Hey 100 owners, you don’t matter, your families don’t matter, the employees of the 100 don’t matter, the families of employees don’t matter, the customers of the 100 don’t matter and the economic contribution of the 100 doesn’t matter.
Hey Paul Tonko, who does matter? A 40-year career elitist politician that doesn’t feel the need to answer to anyone.
The Daily Gazette might want to rethink their endorsement.
Keely Weise

Learn more about plight of Indigenous

Every year on Sept. 30, the United States and Canada remember the impact of residential boarding schools as well as honor the survivors and their descendants while bringing attention to the impact that Indigenous communities still face.
Hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were removed from their families and communities to be placed in federally sponsored boarding schools and were subjected to abuse and violence.
On Aug. 26, Rep. Paul Tonko cosponsored the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act (H.R 5444).
I urge the communities impacted by this publication to learn more about the history of boarding schools, their policies, and the impact they had and continue to have on survivors and their families.
Ky’Asia Washington Blanchard

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Election Letters:

The deadline for letters related to the November 8, 2022, general election is 5 p.m. Friday, October 28, 2022.
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Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Rotterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Scotia Glenville, Your Niskayuna

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