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Dog Days

To the Editor:

Regarding your article on Tom McTygue, Saratoga Springs’s incumbent Public Works Commissioner [“The Heat is On,” Sept. 20], I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon around town in the form of lawn signs grouped together as Keehn, Kim, and Scirocco (that’s two Democrats and McTygue’s Republican opponent, respectively). Not a good omen for the McTygue camp.

However, your writer seems to have missed the point of voter unrest. While gadflys like David Bronner make interesting copy, previous McTygue supporters, who are now fed up with him, are mainly upset with his insulting behavior toward Mayor Valerie Keehn. In Saratoga Springs, Bronner is barely a blip on the political spectrum. What voters have yet to be apprised of are the details of ongoing investigations of McTygue’s alleged use of city personnel and equipment for personal gain. For example, a reliable source told me that a DPW truck (allegedly) goes to the Saratoga Raceway every morning to feed and water McTygue’s horses at public expense. Don’t be surprised if this hits the local papers after the election.

Actually, voting for DPW Commissioner is going to be a tough choice. While McTygue has done a good job with his department cleaning the streets and all that, his tantrums on the City Council are a disgrace. A search for “McTygue” on YouTube will bring up several examples. On the other hand, opponent Skip Scirocco is just a puppet of his Republican Party masters, Bill Dake and Jasper Nolan. His main professional achievement (which your article did not mention) was his longtime stint as the Saratoga city dog catcher—oops, I mean “animal control officer.” As a member of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, he did nothing but rubber-stamp every proposal a developer could shove in front of him, like the county’s needless Hudson River water project and the mega-buck county landfill in the town of Northumberland that’s been sitting empty for a dozen years.

Where are the Green Party candidates, now that we need them?

Joseph Levy, Saratoga Springs

Hard to Ignore

To the Editor:

I always knew there was a reason I never looked at Metroland.

I have just been handed a copy of your article titled “Investigation Overload” [Newsfront, Aug. 30]. It is, in my opinion, an odious example of yellow journalism. Without one shred of concrete evidence or attributed sources [beyond ‘four sources” or “those who wish to remain anonymous”] you pass on rumor and gossip. It is surely the most scurrilous piece of writing on the circuit now. Worse, it’s being bruted all over Saratoga as the truth.

While there is nothing I can do and while I am sure you don’t care what I think, I could not let such nasty, mean-spiritedness go unremarked. What you have done is contribute to smearing a man’s reputation without citing any proof whatsoever. To my mind, that’s rotten!

I shall continue ignoring Metroland.

Terry Lowenthal, Saratoga Springs

Corn Stalkers

To the Editor:

Margaret Black’s description of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as an ingredient that “helps account for the explosion in worldwide obesity” in her article “You Are What You Read” [Books, Aug. 9] is misleading.

Many parts of the world, including Australia, Mexico and Europe, have rising rates of obesity and diabetes despite having limited or no HFCS in their foods and beverages. According to the World Health Organization, throughout the world there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese.

There is no credible scientific evidence to suggest that HFCS is a unique contributor to obesity. Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Department Chairman, told The New York Times, “There’s no substantial evidence to support the idea that high-fructose corn syrup is somehow responsible for obesity.”

No single food or ingredient is the sole cause of obesity, but rather too many calories and too little exercise is a primary cause. HFCS is not higher in calories than any other nutritive sweetener. Both sugar and HFCS contain four calories per gram.

HFCS is a safe, natural, nutritive sweetener that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. Since 1983, the Food and Drug Administration has listed HFCS as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (known as GRAS status) for use in food. According to the American Dietetic Association, “Consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners when consumed in a diet that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations . . . as well as individual health goals.”

Audrae Erickson, President, Corn Refiners Association, Washington, D.C.

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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