Letters: Readers keep Hochul, the Legislature and the pending budget in mind (2023)

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From our readers

Letters: Readers keep Hochul, the Legislature and the pending budget in mind (11)

Letters to the editor can be emailed to tuletters@timesunion.com orfilling this form. see oursLetter Guidelines.


Safe, affordable and age-friendly housing must be part of Hochul's plan

Beth Finkel, Nueva York

While we applaud Governor Kathy Hochul's plan to make affordable housing high on her agenda this year, as mentioned aboveat your address in the State of the State, AARP New York is concerned that it has not provided details on how the state's growing 50-plus population is in line with a stated goal of building 800,000 new units over the next decade in an attempt to solve New York's housing crisis. York.

Residents age 50 and older make up more than one-third of the New York State population. They represent an economic stimulus that New York cannot afford to lose, pumping $600 billion a year into the state's economy.

Still, many older New Yorkers are moving, taking their Social Security and pension checks with them. The State Comptroller's Office reports that 21 percent of retired state and local officials receive their retirement benefits in other states. You can be sure that many of them are among the nearly 500,000 New York residents who have moved out of state in the past two years, a first in the nation recorded by Times Union reporter Joshua Solomon in his story on the Governor's plans to improve housing.

Leading the nation in terms of emigration should be more than enough incentive for the governor and legislators to find solutions to the continuous outflow of population. Here's one more thing: New Yorkers age 50 and older are a driving force behind our state's vitality. Ensuring safe, affordable, and age-appropriate housing must be a priority for all of our Albany leaders.

The author is a state director of AARP New York.

Posted on January 30, 2023


The budget of the moral state must combat child poverty

Timothy Perry-Coon, Latham

Governor Kathy Hochul has begun to outline a moral budget, making affordable housing and adequate mental health care key areas that need to be addressed. Still, I dread the "what else" that often entails a tax-friendly annual proposal to "open up" New York for business.
Businesses may need help from the government, but those needs are not nearly as urgent as addressing New York's current child poverty crisis. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 19 percent of our children lived in poverty between 2016 and 2020, a staggering number. I guess the inflationary cost of groceries in 2022 has only compounded this dire statistic. New York has the money and resources to end child poverty. I hope the Governor's budget reflects this.

Posted on January 30, 2023


The Euthanasia Law must be approved by the legislature

Nancy Willie-Schiff, Loudonville

Thank you for your latest article onNew Yorker's Medical Aid in Dying Act, which would expand options for terminally ill New Yorkers by allowing them to request medication for a peaceful death, much like laws in 10 states and Washington, D.C. allow. Experience has shown that there is no evidence to support the claims of opponents of the law.

There is no evidence that a patient's application for MAID was involuntary. Patients should be fully informed of all of their options, including treatment, hospice, hospice, and cleaning. Two doctors and two witnesses must confirm that a patient is acting voluntarily and without coercion.

There is no evidence that patient care is compromised by adding MAID to other end-of-life options. In fact, more than 80 percent of patients in the United States who applied for MAID were enrolled in hospice. There is no evidence that the act results in a "slippery slope" of doctors willing to help anyone die. No US state where MAID is legal has expanded eligibility beyond the terminally ill, despite more permissive models in other countries.

Unsubstantiated claims about the risks of MAID should not mislead the public or discourage legislators from enacting the Medical Aid in Dying Act.

Posted on January 30, 2023


The way to be as green as we need to be

Ella Ryan, New York

The most recent editorial argues that New York should force companies to meet their sustainability commitments"As green as possible"January 20, he also expressed doubts about the availability of renewable sources necessary for this. The switch to renewable energy actually seems as impossible as it is necessary.

Yet humanity can achieve the impossible when there is no alternative. When the Hubble telescope needed adjustment, a team of astronauts flew in to fix it while it was floating in space. The first COVID-19 vaccines were developed, tested, and approved for emergency use in less than a year.

Nature tries very hard to show us that we have no alternative. Unless we stop burning fossil fuels, we will face a rising tide of weather-related disasters. However, most of us can be so numb from the daily routine that we assume that normality will somehow prevail and that all these fires, floods and droughts are just aberrations.

The Herculean task ahead begins with funding the development of solar, wind, and other energy-saving technologies. This stimulus, in turn, will produce good jobs that do not require a college degree. Our legislators and Governor Kathy Hochul must find a way to fund this effort, either through the budget or by creating a superfund that will examine fossil fuel industries for the damage they are causing.

Once we fully understand the urgency of the task, we will be on our way to being “as green as we need to be”.

Posted on January 30, 2023


National Grid natural gas infrastructure projects not in line with climate goals

Roberto Dorkin, Albany

Reply to editor"As Green As We Can Be"On January 20, National Grid crews installed new natural gas facilities in Albany through 2022. According to the Public Utilities Commission, 1,100 gas supply lines have been installed in the Albany Service Territory by 2022. National Grid clearly has a financial incentive to increase the number of natural gas customers. Each new customer pays a fixed monthly service connection fee, regardless of usage. More customers means more sales, which directly impacts the bottom line. Instead of new gas installations, PSC and National Grid should adopt and implement our climate goals. Given our climate crisis and recent focus on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, we are not "as green as can be."

Posted on January 30, 2023


Welcome the expanded regulation on clean cars

Ronald Chiu, Whitestone

By 2035, no new car or truck sold in New York will emit greenhouse gases ("DEC Says All New Vehicles Should Be Zero Emissions By '35."December 31). A few decades ago, that would have sounded as unlikely as the claim that chocolate bars no longer contained calories.

The state's adoption of the Advanced Clean Car II regulations means that our transportation system can continue to operate without generating one-third of the state's emissions, as it does now.

The approval of these regulations is a blessing for all parties. Drivers are supported and encouraged to purchase electric vehicles, which have lower fuel and maintenance costs than gasoline-powered ones. The population as a whole will benefit from reductions in ozone and particulate pollution, which can contribute to a variety of serious health effects, including asthma attacks, lung cancer, and even premature death.

There are other aspects of transportation that are not covered by these regulations. We need better train services, electric buses, bike lanes, safe sidewalks, etc. There is too much to do. But the passage of the Advanced Clean Car regulations shows that when technology is combined with enlightened legislation, it is possible to reap the benefits of modern life without harming the planet or others.

Posted on January 30, 2023


Why multistate telehealth compacts make sense

Name Homma, MD, New York City

Rep. Deborah J. Glick is an advocate for education and health, but on whether New York should join the Nursing Licensing Compact and the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact, as discussed in her opinion piece."The Interstate Compact Will Not Solve New York's Nursing Shortage,"January 13, I respectfully disagree.

Last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul included language in her budget that would allow New York to join those compacts. I applaud her for that and I hope she does it again. One of the lessons we have learned from COVID-19 is that telemedicine works. It is reliable, affordable, and welcomed by patients and providers in appropriate situations.

Compacts like this can improve the use of telemedicine. State licensing laws for healthcare professionals can be a barrier to telemedicine because jurisdiction is based on where the patient is at the time of the visit, rather than where the provider or even the patient's home is located. . This means that a patient from abroad often cannot see a New York provider and a New Yorker cannot access a foreign provider through telemedicine. This also makes it difficult for out-of-state New Yorkers to see their regular New York provider via telemedicine.

These pacts would break these barriers and facilitate the use of telemedicine. Telemedicine may not always be appropriate, but when it is, patients should have access to it and national borders should not prevent patients from seeing the provider of their choice. Let's not make it harder for patients to take advantage of telemedicine.

The author is the Margaret Milliken Hatch Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

Posted on January 30, 2023


The world must continue to support Ukraine

Marcos Tremont, Clifton Park

In western Ukraine, small towns have intermittent electricity supply, leading to a lack of heating, medical care and permanent work. Local residents are disturbed by hours of sirens and fear. They were all caused by rocket fire and a horrible plan to disrupt civilian life. The residents themselves have a poor lifestyle and lack the resources to support themselves.

To the east, part of this sovereign nation is being overwhelmed by military insurrection, destruction and death.

Meanwhile, friends and family are dying and devastation abounds. People are starving, freezing, and living in fear.

That is not right: a tyrant wants it and uses violence to get it. I don't listen to the bully's reasons. I see his actions and they are bad and terrible. There is no justification for this tactic with its terrible results.

The world must continue to support these innocent people. Anyone in his place would want the help too. I will support Ukraine and do what I can to help. please join me

Posted on January 30, 2023


Republican 'clown show' will hurt America

Raymond Harris, Glenville

The Republican "clown show" in the House of Representatives finally chose a speaker. I hope the voters have seen the chaos in the Republican Party because that is what will happen in the next two years. The whining, hypocritical conservatives who have persuaded enough voters to back them with promises to fix everything that is wrong with America have yet to come up with anything to direct immigration or cut bloated defense spending, where fraud, waste and abuses are rampant, instead of protecting Social Security. , Medicare and Medicaid.

They will spend their time investigating Hunter Biden, who reports to the Justice Department, the January 6, 2021 Committee, and Homeland Security for attempting to treat migrants from Central and South American countries and Cuba in crisis humanely. Republicans have refused for 40 years to develop a bipartisan border policy, regardless of the presidential party. The Republican Party will also propose a national ban on abortion, which most Americans do not support. The party now belongs to the right.

Pay attention to what happens in the house every day. Look for the Republican Party to shut down the government and send the stock market (401k) and world economy into a great recession.

Posted on January 30, 2023


Members of Congress fail to abide by the oath

Bill Bronk, It's by Greenbush

When I enlisted in the US Air Force, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, a serious commitment on my part that I did not take lightly. And all elected members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate take a similar oath.

An oath is a promise that is not to be broken or dishonored. And yet, on January 6, 2021, Representative Elise Stefanik and 146 other congressmen and senators participated in an act that demonstrates their unfitness for the positions they hold in our government. In an act of defiance and without regard to the truth or our American values, they voted to block confirmation of Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election victory over Donald Trump.

Upon my discharge from the military, and with the pride and satisfaction that I have derived from fulfilling my oath and serving my country with honor, like others who serve with honor, I received the Good Conduct Medal.

But the behavior of 147 deputies on that terrible day of January 6, 2021 was neither good nor honorable. And they have still not been held accountable for their undemocratic actions. But many involved, including Stefanik and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was recently elected House speaker, swore they had already proven they meant nothing to them. Maybe the Department of Justice hasn't picked it up yet?

Posted on January 30, 2023


Full streets are not "one size fits all"

Barbara Collura, Delmar

Writing"Truly 'Complete' Streets",January 10, reiterates the Times Union editorial board's support for packed streets. Not surprising, given that the editorial board has endorsed entire streets in the past and supported redeveloping Delaware Avenue in Bethlehem as an entire street. What I am missing is a critical review of local projects and the need, design, and community support. What I found in the editorials is that any opposition is seen as narrow-minded or ignorant.

Complete highways are not a one-size-fits-all concept. A study of the entire highway policy shows that the needs of urban, suburban, and rural communities are different. While many complete paths will accommodate bicycles, pedestrians, and public transit users, some complete paths will be pedestrian-only. There are complete road projects that have installed benches on the main rural roads for pedestrians to rest, or better signage to facilitate navigation by bicycle or on foot.

Many in Bethlehem advocated for a comprehensive street project that would support pedestrians, especially our elderly, disabled, and children. Bike lanes were not supported as the bike lane was going nowhere meaning the lanes would end once the Normanskill Bridge crossed into Albany and there is an existing bike lane just off Delaware Avenue with access to all businesses.

State law provides that entire streets should not be searched if the cost is disproportionate to the need, the design features would compromise public safety, or there is a demonstrated lack of community need or support. Going forward, we need to customize full paths for the community and provide them with the full paths they need and not assume that every design is right for every community.

Posted on January 30, 2023


Billboard's message is more important than the image

Charles Greiner, Malta

I was disappointed to see Casey Seiler's column."Painful, Powerful and Wrong"December 25th. I decided to look further until the next day, a major editorial again pressed readers on the moral stance we must take."Stronger Than Fiction"Dec 26 The poster in question represents a real problem - drunk driving - and I'm having a hard time digging into the 100 percent verifiability of the poster.

Would it have been less of a problem for Seiler and the Times Union editorial team if the billboard had not named a specific child and predetermined a specific incident, instead stating "he (or she) will never know... "? Because I'm sure the students at Shaker High School who created the billboard could easily have found an actual boy to name. Questions might then arise about how crude it is to pry into the pain of a particular family.

I sympathize with journalists who have been vilified in recent years as enemies of the state when the truth is not consistent with a particular politician's narrative, but rather to take down Alex Jones and his attacks on the veracity of Sandy Hook's parents and the resulting impact on their lives in the plot appears to be exaggerated. These things are happening, like in December 2012, right here in the capital region. This plot could be: "They will never see Christmas again."

I guess my point is: I would appreciate any effort to stigmatize a very real issue and not take two days (and counting?) to shadow it.

Posted on January 30, 2023

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