Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dumb Belles-Lettres To The Editor Of The Daily Gazette.

The Daily Gazette has published a number of letters to the editor lately that I can only characterize as dumb.

The other day, Barry Groat was complaining about how WMHT is always asking for money. It seems that about every other month, the Gazette publishes a letter like this. But no one ever writes in and complains about WAMC always asking for money. WMHT provides the only classical music in the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley. It also provides some of the best television. Furthermore, while WAMC’s staff pleads, begs, chastises, and guilt trips the listener in the manner of an Elmer Gantry or a Tetzel (as soon as the coin in the coffer rings, your soul from purgatory springs) in order to get listeners to drop money in their tin cup, WMHT’s auction lets you get something for your money.

On a side note, a little research on Barry Groat turned up a story I had forgotten--Groat’s brother’s conviction for trying to extort money from the CIA. Groat’s brother used to be a cop in Glenville, until he got kicked off of the force. I don’t mean that to be any reflection on Barry Groat. It’s just an interesting side note.

On 8/17/06, Norrine Thompson wrote to The Gazette making fun of another woman who had written about the properties of scented bleach. Norrine seems to have missed the point of the first letter. The first letter writer was letting people know that scented bleach does not disinfect. If you live in areas of New York State that were flooded in June, that is a useful piece of news. The fact that you can’t disinfect your flooded house with scented bleach is at least as important as which movie star is pregnant, getting married, getting a divorce, etc.

On 8/22/06, Anne M. Fitzgerald wrote to say that Child Protective Services only takes children away from parents who are neglecting or abusing them. She must believe that cops only arrest guilty people. I have written a response to The Gazette. Look for it soon.

Going back a ways to June 7, Elaine Pastore of Scotia wrote a letter making fun of Carl Strock who had written about how much Mary Carroll has to spend each month keeping in touch with her husband, who is incarcerated, by phone. Pastore, like Thompson, learned her ABCs, but is still functionally illiterate. She’s missed the point of Strock’s column. The State has a contract with MCI to provide phone service to the prisons that borders on being criminal. Prisoners can only call collect and the price of the calls are exorbitant. The Department of Correctional Services is essentially punishing prisoners’ families along with prisoners. Why haven’t Alan Hevesi and Eliot Spitzer criticized this deal. Teddy Roosevelt would have trust busted this arrangement. Rumor has it, that Elaine Pastore may have written this letter at the instigation of Patricia DeAngelis, but I haven‘t been able to confirm it.

3 Comments:

  • Good for you getting on that bleach thing. I couldn't believe that when I read it and agree that it went beyond stupid. Farms are required to use only plain Clorox brand bleach as a disinfectant in the milk house as it is the only one that has been tested and found effective.

    By Blogger threecollie, at 11:41 AM  

  • Dan,
    A quick clarification on the bleach disinfecting point. The Chlorox web site does not say that scented bleaches do not disinfect, rather they state that regular bleach is the only bleach registered with the EPA as a disinfectant. I would think that the EPA would require a series of expensive test to be a registered disinfectant and Chlorox has chosen not to pay for the scented bleaches or is in process of that testing. It seems inconceivable to me that putting scent in a bleach would change it's disinfectant properties, however if I was buying bleach solely for that purpose I would probably buy the regular (registered) bleach.

    By Blogger fxrsjoe, at 1:54 PM  

  • Joe, I wondered about that myself. Here is the answer from Mississippi's Agricultural Extension Service: "Liquid household bleach that contains sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) will purify water. It's important to know, however, that not all bleaches are the same for purifying water. To be safe and most effective, use "regular" full-strength bleach containing 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite (read the label). Do not use scented bleach; it isn't 5.25 percent strength, plus it's more likely to have an off taste. Use the following table as a guide for adding bleach. Stir to mix completely."

    See the comment by threecollie above as well.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 3:27 PM  

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