Honor Flight treated vets like heroes

first_imgI was a hero, if just for one day, all because of the Leatherstocking Honor Flight.Buses full of Vietnam-era veterans pulled up to the Albany airport escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders. Inside the airport were a band, speeches and more greeters. What a send-off. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion We flew to Baltimore and boarded buses to tour the monuments in D.C. Traffic was no problem because a motorcycle policeman ahead of us used his lights and siren to move the cars to the shoulders and let us pass. At the intersections, a police cruiser stopped traffic. We never had a red light all day.First stop was the Vietnam Memorial, where we laid a wreath and “Taps’ was played; then we looked for the names of soldiers we knew who had fallen. From there we were taken to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Don’t make a sound if you go there. We stayed the longest and took the most pictures at the World War II Memorial. Each monument evokes a different emotion. The grand tribute of the World War II Memorial celebrates a victory. Long perfect rows of markers at Arlington turn your thoughts inward. The black granite of the Vietnam wall reflects the futility of everything that went wrong in Vietnam.To visit all of them in one day would be impossible unless you were on the Leatherstocking Honor Flight. The planning and execution was unbelievable. For 90 of us, the first group of Vietnam-era veterans, the Honor Flight gave us a day we will always remember. The Patriot Guard Riders were there to see us off in the morning and greet us when we returned.Thank you to the Leatherstocking Honor Flight organization for giving us this gift and to all the donors who make it possible. “Thank you for your service” was the phrase of the day, the day we were heroes.Paul DonahueNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Town, school need new tax attitude

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion This just in — “Niskayuna homeowners have the highest tax bills in the Capital Region.” Not exactly news if you live in this town. The town and school boards never miss a chance to increase the tax bills for our residents, even when they easily could. The school board approved a program expenditure increase of over $3.2 million, increased staffing of 17.2 personnel, and will have you believe that it did us a favor by only increasing our tax levy by 2.64 percent. The board also is sort of bragging that it could have been worse because the increase is below the tax levy limit.The two boards in this town have a long history of tax and spend. The 2015-16 school revenues were increased dramatically due to the state owing back aid. Yet instead of lowering our taxes, they proudly managed to keep the it at zero percent. The last time a school vote failed, that board put out the same budget for a second vote and went on record saying the residents just didn’t understand the budget. The residents sent it down to a resounding defeat. We understand perfectly.It’s time for a change in the make-up of our two boards in this town. The entire politics of these boards are tax-and-spend liberal Democrats, with the exception of our newly elected town supervisor. She could use some help from a more conservative team. It’s not surprising that one of the town board members quickly went on record stating that nothing was going to change. And by all indications, they aren’t supporting our supervisor. I will be hopeful that people that know fiscal management will run for open seats in the future. This long trend is putting a huge strain on our senior citizens and residents at large. I support the school. The education my children received was phenomenal. But what I see in way too many budgets are niceties, not necessities.BRIAN KREISNiskayunaThe writer is a retired school business administrator.last_img read more

Taking cities to task

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M&S in £400m property sell-off drama

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Life after debt?

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The law made simple

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After the wave

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The market in minutes

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Turning the mill

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Cheltenham chips in

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