September 17, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 17, 2013


---- — Dead fish

TO THE EDITOR: Eighteen dead bass were found floating at the Dock Street boat launch? So what?

I wish the Press-Republican would research articles before they scare the public, store owners and restaurants within the scope of any of the bass tournaments. Those washed-up 18 fish are like 18 grains of sand on a 10-mile beach.

As a young man about 50 years ago, I was the chairman of the junior committee for the Bellmore, L.I., Rod and Gun Club. Myself and a few other fathers would take the junior members on saltwater and freshwater fishing trips all over the state. As the director, I was in constant contact with the Department of Environmental Conservation to find out where the best stocking was. I wanted the kids to catch fish.

At that time, DEC gave me my education about the bass family. I confirmed it again on my computer. A female bass will deposit between 2,000 and 14,000 eggs, depending on her size. When those eggs hatch, the male and female will consume (eat) two-thirds of the babies.

Let’s use 9,000 eggs as a hatch. If they eat 6,000, that means that 3,000 got away and will mature in two years to begin their cycle . Back then, DEC explained to me that after stocking a couple of bass in any body of water, men, women and children fishing shoulder to shoulder could never outfish any pond or lake.

I would feel free to estimate that there are millions of bass from one end of Lake Champlain to the other. So I wouldn’t consider 18 bass “a catastrophe.”




Marking wars

TO THE EDITOR: J.S. Waterhouse’s letter has me shaking my head in disbelief.

Saying the Civil War should not have been fought indicates a failure of Mr. Waterhouse to comprehend why that war was fought. Had it not been, the South would have been allowed to secede from the union.

While slavery was the excuse, the South had long wanted independence from the North. Lincoln’s election gave them that opportunity.

This war was fought by the North to preserve the Union. Ending slavery was a secondary reason. Most soldiers of the North and South weren’t willing to die to end or preserve slavery. But they were willing to give the full measure to either preserve the Union or gain independence.

Slavery would have been abolished, as the South was under pressure not just from the North but from much of Europe. However, that may have taken 15 or more years.

What would have been the plight of blacks in the South? The North wasn’t going to allow tens of thousands of freed slaves to immigrate. They would have remained in the South under southern white rule.

There North and the South would have contested the land all the way to California.

In the 20th Century, would we have been able to muster the resources to stop Hitler? Would the South and North have joined as allies, or could have either remained neutral or worse? Historians generally believe that if the war was not fought when it was, it would have been fought later with even greater suffering and loss.

Mr. Waterhouse, we do not consecrate a war. We celebrate those who fought and sacrificed for that war. This includes celebrating those veterans and their families from both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.





Diverting attention

TO THE EDITOR: Was it President Obama who said, ‘Don’t let a crisis go to waste?”

He seems to be trying to divert attention and public scrutiny away from Benghazi, the IRS scandals, Holder’s many missteps, guns to Mexican drug cartels and walking over the U.S. Constitution at will.

Furthermore, there are glaring problems with “Obamacare” that would trample on religious freedoms and even impose the use of toxic chemicals (abortifacients), which can kill thousands of unborn babies each year here at home.

Abortion is indeed (most often) chemical warfare against our next generation.

Shouldn’t we clean up our act here before bombing Syria?




Path of condemnation

TO THE EDITOR: On Thursday, Aug. 29, Gov. Andrew Cuomo commented about failing schools in New York state.

Speaking at a press conference in the Buffalo area, he stated that there has to be “a death sentence for failing schools.”

He singled out Buffalo City Schools, Rochester City Schools and three schools on Long Island and recommended solutions to include mayoral control of school districts, coupled with takeover by corporate charter schools.

Shame on you, Gov. Cuomo, for making such an analogous comment, especially referring to schools that are struggling with the new testing rigors and Common Core curriculum standards, while faced with the magnitude of problems associated with extremely low socio-economic conditions.

It was less than a year ago when Gov. Cuomo proclaimed himself the “education advocate” for the children of New York state. Today he wants to sentence the schools of failing children to the “death penalty.”

I remind you, Mr. Cuomo, that those same schools serve the children of our inner cities with perhaps their only interlude of security and an opportunity to express themselves in speech, writing, art, music and athletics.

These same schools provide caring teachers, principals and staff who face each day with the overwhelming culture of failure, violence and fear.

And you, sitting on your exalted throne of arrogance simply wish to condemn their schools to the “death penalty.”

True leaders lead by example. Perhaps you should lead the charge for support of inner-city public education and send your children to the public schools of downtown Albany instead of the elite private education they are provided.

You, however, choose the path of condemnation.


New York State Retired Teachers president


Will be missed

TO THE EDITOR: I’m writing to express my gratitude to Josh and Gladys Archer, chef and inn manager at the Essex Inn in Essex.

To my immense sadness, they will not be returning. This means our small community is losing two amazing, hard-working people who brought a year-round, top-notch menu to an area where many eateries close down by Columbus Day.

We have been blessed the past few years to be able to eat local, organic food and to have a chef that offered not only traditional and creative fare but also a gluten-free menu.

Josh and Gladys kept the Essex Inn open year-round, a feat that no one has sustained in more than a decade. They partnered with local farms to get the freshest produce, meats and cheeses. They employed happy people.

And most of all, they made you feel as though you were coming home when you walked through the doors.

Thank you, Josh and Gladys, for being part of our little community and feeding us through the seasons. You are truly loved and appreciated and will be missed more than words can say.