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After Summer Smith died last Jan. 9, her mother and her young son went through her box of special keepsakes. In the box was an edition of The Altamont Enterprise devoted to the aftermath of a 2000 crash on Hurst Road that killed two teens and wounded a third.  The kids had been hotboxing — driving while stoned.

Summer, then a 17-year-old Guilderland High School senior, was friends with a classmate who died in the crash. She raised money for a bronze angel statue to stand in Altamont’s village green. “The angel represents people who have lost people,” Summer told us then.

Her mother, Kristin Smith-Hoin, finds both irony and comfort in the keepsake. Summer died of a drug overdose. She was 31.

Wicked X. Red Dawn X.  Green Giant. Red Giant. Summit. Blaze. Blonde. Spice. AK-47. K2. Moon Rocks. Mr. Nice Guy.

What do these names mean to you?

Sara Dimmitt, New York

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The stances taken by local law enforcement toward Taser use place the Taser on the same level as pepper spray within the “use-of-force continuum.”

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A petition has been started, on a closed Facebook page, to fire Albany County Sheriff’s Deputy Philip Milano.

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How do you motivate people? What is it that causes a person to take action, to take that first step?

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A recent traffic stop gone awry, resulting in the driver being subdued with a Taser gun, led us to ask Melanie Trimble, director of the Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, about a motorist’s rights when stopped by police.

A Facebook video of a New Scotland traffic stop, shown by local television news shows and picked up by the liberal activist news service Alternet.org with the headline, “Cop can’t wait for his backup to arrive so he could needlessly tase a nonviolent man,” has raised questions about the danger of traffic stops for officers and about th

Police departments should reform their rules on Taser use so that a young man goading a cop at a traffic stop, as happened this month in New Scotland, isn't shot with a stun gun; the results can be deadly.

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