Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 08.18.22

In Rensselaer County, it’s Time to Vote Again!

Attention voters! 

Did you know that in Rensselaer County there are congressional Democratic primary elections (NY20 & NY21) and a special election (NY19) happening right now? Early voting runs Saturday, August 13 through Sunday, August 21. For times & locations: https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/.

If you lived in Antonio Delgado’s NY19, there is a special election to fill Delgado’s vacated seat between Pat Ryan (D) and Marc Molinaro (R). Residents are still in NY19 until Dec 31, 2022. Any registered voter can vote. 

There are two Democratic primaries going on as well. In NY20, Paul Tonko (endorsed by the Democratic Party) is in a primary to see who will face Liz Joy (R) in November. Any registered Democrat in Rensselaer, Troy and parts of North Greenbush (districts 2, 3, 5, 8) is eligible to vote. 

In the new NY21, Matt Castelli (endorsed by all 15 county Democratic Committee chairs; has also secured the Moderate Party line in Nov.) has a primary to see who will run against Elise Stefanik (R) in November. Every registered Democrat in RensCo who does NOT live in Rensselaer, Troy and parts of North Greenbush is eligible to vote.

If you are eligible to vote in both the NY19 special election and NY21 Democratic primary, you will receive two ballots, one for the special election and one for the primary. 

During early voting, you can vote at any of the 3 RensCo sites: Brunswick Town Office, 336 Town Office Road; Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Road; 500 Federal St., Troy. On August 23rd, election day, vote at your regular polling location, which you can find on the voterlookup site above. 

Jennifer Mann, Brunswick

Rep. Stefanik Bad on National Security and Safety

Rep. Stefanik has tweeted and made many inflammatory statements about the search on Former-President Trump’s residence. Rep. Stefanik was outraged and stated if the FBI can do it to a former president, they can do it to you. Yes, we live in a country of laws that should apply equally to all of us. 

Mr. Trump is a private citizen. The Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoenaed documents this past spring (Fox News). Not all of the documents were turned over. Those documents were classified & this required the DOJ to legally obtain a search warrant to acquire the documents. A search warrant involves an independent member of the judiciary to review probable cause and determine it is necessary to search for the documents. Law enforcement & judiciary members do not carelessly issue warrants, it requires data that the materials are in the location, there is no other way to obtain the materials, & possible risk of destruction of the materials.

Since the initial search was conducted, we are learning more information. On 8/12 Breitbart News stated that Mr. Trump is under investigation per the search warrant 18 USC 793, 1519, and 2071. 18 USC 793 is the Espionage Act. These are serious accusations that an independent judiciary member found sufficient evidence to authorize the warrant.

Rep. Stefanik chose not to wait for additional information following the initial search. Since the search she has criticized and made inflammatory statements about the DOJ, FBI, & others. Rep. Stefanik rushed to judgment without additional information. As information has seeped out, she continues to cast aspersions. Rep. Stefani’s claims were baseless & suggested politics at play. Fox News had to remind Rep. Stefanik that Mr. Trump appointed the current director of the FBI.

Government is for serious people. NY-21 needs a rep who takes governing & more importantly national security seriously.

State Leaders for Rensselaer: Stop Smiling Politely, and Get Tough on the Dunn Landfill

There have been a number of articles and commentary here and in the Times Union, in which Tom Ellis and others provide excellent, comprehensive reasons to close the Dunn Landfill. Reference has also been made to the state legislators and the Governor. I can say their attitude, at best, has been one of benign neglect. Senator Breslin apparently does not realize this massive, noxious pit lies within his district. Instead of confronting the issue, he apparently prefers staying uptown, getting photo-ops in front of the Cohoes Library. 

Representative McDonald enjoys getting a lot of press coverage. He does attend some meetings regarding the landfill, but has yet to forcefully advocate for its closure. His most impassioned remark at the last public meeting was directed at the Zoom system for breaking down. Moreover, he seems to think conditions around the landfill have greatly improved. Not true. It’s still a noxious pit inexcusably wedged between a school and residential neighborhoods in East Greenbush and Rensselaer. Mr. McDonald also alluded to alternatives to improve the situation, e.g., re-routing the trucks dumping at the site. Perhaps sincere, but ridiculously impractical. What new route lessens the impact of 50-100 heavy-duty tractor trailers moving each day to that dump, through surrounding neighborhoods?

Time for our Governor and State political leaders to stop depending on cheap photo-ops for all types of trivial publicity. Instead, develop a backbone, and focus on getting rid of this dump. 

Frank Coppa, East Greenbush.

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