Letters to the editor — 9/16/2021

Broadalbin library proposal deserves support

It is upsetting and disappointing to learn that local officials show such little support for the expansion of the Broadalbin Library Station into a public library.

As I read recent articles about the issue, I thought about the influence that libraries have had in my life. As a child, I remember looking forward to being gifted with books that my dad borrowed from the visiting Bookmobile. In my days as a Broadalbin High School, Fulton-Montgomery Community College and St. Bonaventure University student, I relied upon libraries for quiet study spaces, rooms for discussions, and access to research materials not found anywhere else. As an educator, the local libraries provided a wealth of materials, a quiet place for individual tutoring, and the services of a professional librarian. I used these resources to enhance my instruction and broaden the horizons of my students. Recently retired, I look forward to utilizing the local library for access to books and materials for personal growth and entertainment. I hope to have opportunities to attend lectures, presentations, and workshops that local public libraries provide. I plan to bring my grandchildren to programs sponsored by the library and share with them the value of this wonderful resource.

The expansion of the Broadalbin Library Station would enrich the lives of our residents by providing them with a world of valuable informational and entertaining resources and programs. It would make our community a more attractive place to live. The proposal deserves strong support from local leaders and residents alike.

Joan Malec Smith


Please get COVID shot and encourage loved ones too

Donald Trump got something right when it comes to COVID-19. He pushed for an aggressive public-private partnership to bring multiple vaccines to the market in record time. Operation Warp Speed exceeded almost everyone’s expectations, producing vaccines that are safe and highly effective, including against the dangerous delta variant now running rampant in much of the United States. Trump could have done more to promote the vaccines that he helped make happen. Getting his own vaccine publicly, rather than secretively, surely would have encouraged more of his followers to do the same.

Instead, getting vaccinated has become part of the culture wars. People like Fox News host Tucker Carlson are happy to exploit our cultural divide for their personal gain. Tucker has the number one cable news show in the nation and makes a tidy sum of $6 million a year. Tucker has promoted irrational fears of the COVID vaccine and railed against government efforts to encourage more people to get vaccinated calling it ”the greatest scandal in my lifetime, by far.”

But here’s a question that Tucker does not want to answer: whether he himself has been vaccinated. My advice is bet every dollar you’ve got that Tucker has gotten the shot. Carlson can’t admit that because it would expose him as the hypocrite that he is. The best that you can say about Tucker is that he is an entertainer and that you shouldn’t take him seriously. The worst you could say is that he doesn’t care if his viewers get sick or die as long as he is making money along the way.

Fulton County has among the lowest vaccination rates in New York state. The delta variant is coming our way and is the most dangerous form of COVID yet. We are at risk. Getting vaccinated will protect you and your loved ones. Please get your shot and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

There are things to be afraid of here but the vaccine and government efforts to encourage people to accept the shot are not among them. Be afraid of getting COVID-19. And be afraid of the consequences of taking people like Tucker Carlson seriously.

Bill Doran


Article misidentified Johnstown church

I am writing to inform you of a letter in an article (“Stanton status to be unveiled Aug. 26”) in the Aug. 4 issue of The Leader-Herald.

The item should read “The Rev. G.W. “Blake” Blakesley of the First Presbyterian Church,” not the 2nd.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Thomas C. Ruehle


(The writer is Clerk of Session, First Presbyterian Church.)

Preserve the planet for the next generation

As the fires in the west continue to burn, people in Germany mop up after catastrophic floods, the ice caps and glaciers melt, coral reefs bleach and die, and the Gulf Stream slows, with who knows what catastrophic consequences to our climate, our news media should be pounding us with the cause of it all-global warming caused by the greenhouse gasses CO2 and methane, resulting from our use of fossil fuels and cattle ranching.

We should be hearing about this in the news daily. Why? Because this is the most important issue ever, as it is an existential issue. Ignoring it is leading to the sixth mass extinction of species and may lead to our own extinction.

Be kind to your children and grandchildren, conserve fossil fuels and eat less beef. And vote for folk who recognize that the earth as we know it is dying.

Jahnn Swanker-Gibson


By Paul Wager