Careful about ‘noble’ plans to end sufferingGeorge Santyana was a famous philosopher, poet and novelist who was most noted for his quote “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”It seems that we now have a group of good-doers who want to end sufferings of individuals before their natural time is up.It’s supposedly a very noble idea, as we already have those on the other end of the spectrum who are disposing of pre-term individuals to satisfy someone else’s suffering.If you are aware of any history except your own, you will be aware that between the years 1937and 1939 was the starting point of a great experiment called national socialism. This was headed by a man called Adolph Hitler.Their idea was also to help individuals who were suffering and really of no use to society, and to make their sufferings go away.Again, a very noble idea? Later this was expanded to getting rid of anyone they felt needed to be eliminated. Be careful what you ask for.It’s a slippery slope from helping those through a noble idea and the government using that idea to eliminate you. Think it can’t happen here? Think again.Bob NicolellaGlenvilleMove Lady Liberty back to original homeJames Wilson’s Jan. 1 letter (“Put Lady Liberty back where she belongs”) regarding moving Lady Liberty back to her rightful, former spot in Freedom Park could not have been written better.Come on, Schenectady, let’s get her back where she belongs, where she can stand proudly and be admired by all. She looks so sad and forlorn in her new location. Let’s start our “Roaring 20s” off right and move her back to her original, proper home.Sally CoteNiskayunaUse stock tax to pay for infrastructureWhen the Erie Canal was proposed, critics scoffed at the immensity of the project. Ditto with the possibility of high-speed rail in New York state.The Daily Gazette is absolutely correct that New York does not have the money for such a project and that raising this issue is a distraction, especially when the issue has been studied before.Lack of funding is also an obstacle to the recent proposal to study replacing/eliminating I-787 along the Hudson River in downtown Albany. The Europeans and Japanese seem fully capable of realizing their high-speed rail projects.Why can’t we? The answer is simple: They have the political will, and we don’t.Once upon a time, New York state had the will. From 1905 to 1981, we imposed a tiny one-quarter-of-1% tax on the sales of stocks and bonds (originally introduced by the Republican Party), which caused no harm to anyone.The Stock Transfer Tax, if reinstated, would raise an average of $13 billion annually.Under the bill I have introduced in the Assembly, in coordination with Sen. James Sanders in the Senate, all that money would be dedicated to infrastructure, including 10% to rail.The governor has decried this as a tax increase. Let’s put this in perspective. I pay a fee of $250 per year for my retirement stock account. My share of the STT would be $50.If we do not reinstate the STT, all of these infrastructure proposals will be purely political and aspirational.Phil SteckLoudonvilleThe writer represents the 110th Assembly District in the state Legislature.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.Foss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in needEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right way Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionNeed major effort to stop school violenceSchenectady and I have a relationship much like siblings do.There are things I love about the city, such as Proctors, Central Park and our farmers markets, and things I don’t. There are things I love about the Schenectady schools and things that scare me.However if an outsider dare to speak an ill word about the city, the gloves go on.With a child at Mont Pleasant and a child at Schenectady High, I’ve much of the same concerns about each school.The behavior at each school is terrifying and unacceptable. My son was violently attacked because of a missed goal in gym class which was so bad the school called me to get medical attention for him. His classmate was charged with assault.Some teachers hand out earbuds to block out the noise from the hallways during class so they can test. While I applaud the teachers’ creative efforts, what are administrators doing to clear the hallways?What are parents doing?The problems in our schools are society’s problems, not just schools’. Therefore, we need an all-hands-on deck approach so results can happen. We need kids, parents, teachers, administrators and community members, including police, to be at the schools and available.I’m encouraged that the district has publicly admitted that we have issues. I’m encouraged by the gang prevention group starting up again. But it can’t stop here. Every kid has the right to learn in a place where they feel safe.Theresa DotySchenectady
Junelle Bromfield claimed her second gold medal and Jauavney James won a silver, both in the respective girl’s and boys’ 400 metres hurdles, yesterday, as Jamaica’s Commonwealth Youth Games team claimed a record haul of six medals at this year’s staging inside the Apia Sports Complex, Samoa.Bromfield took the gold in 1:00.78, while Jamaica claimed silver in a time of 51.43, as his teammate, Leonardo Ledgister, placed sixth.As the athletics section of the Youth Commonwealth Games ended, Jamaica finished in style, with four gold, one silver and one bronze. High jumper Lushane Wilson had won a bronze medal.The team also finished the Games among the top 10 of some 60 competing countries.St Elizabeth Technical High School’s Bromfield was the standout with a double gold in a 24-hour period, while Kevin Nedrick pulled off a stunning win in the shot put.Jamaica’s ‘A’ quartet of Leonardo Legister, Michael Bentley, Leon Clarke and Jauavney James won the boys’ 4x400m gold in three minutes, 13.45 seconds.Chef de Mission Alan Beckford congratulated the team’s performance.”It has been a fantastic experience,” he said.The Jamaica team presented Puma gear to a male and female athlete from Samoa as gifts.Jamaicans will return to action tomorrow, with swimmers Annabella Lyn competing in 800m freestyle and Joseph Black the 50m freestyle.The team returns on Sunday.