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Grateful to companies that back smart growth

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Clifton Park is fortunate to have a corporation like Price Chopper redevelop its shopping area at the intersection of Route 146 and Vischer Ferry Road instead of abandoning it and constructing a new Market 32 store on undeveloped land. This is very rare, because most businesses simply move out and leave an empty building to be demolished or repurposed by someone else.Further, Price Chopper is sharing the area with other businesses, i.e. a pharmacy, a barbershop, a restaurant and a bank. It’s noteworthy that some of these businesses are locally owned and are invested in the community. Many big, corporate stores headquartered elsewhere do not allow other businesses to share their space and rarely use smart-growth principles to rejuvenate old and tired retail areas.Another locally owned business, DCG builders, has dramatically transformed the Clifton Park Centre shopping center at Exit 9, making it a more pleasant area to shop. The company has also recently revamped its office buildings along Route 146. It is encouraging to see these companies employ smart-growth principles in our community, and I thank them.Frank BerlinClifton ParkThe writer is president of the Friends of Clifton Park Open Space.More from The Daily Gazette:High-risk COVID exposure reported in Clifton ParkGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more


October 20, 2020 0

Don’t forget all of Hillary Clinton’s flaws

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The name calling: “I hate Trump/I love Hillary” letters, [Diane Homboch of Feb. 22 and Cynthia Swanson’s irrational name calling rant of Feb. 28] need to be challenged. Your champion didn’t get elected partly because of her collusion with the Russians — selling them rights to mining our uranium; involvement with lying Podesta; a sexual predator as a husband; associated with another pervert, Anthony Wiener; her testimony lies; subpoena violations; corrupt foundation, “pay to play” that ripped off Haiti; laughing off the deaths of four American heroes due to her failure to protect them in Bengazi; travel gate; Whitewater; cattle gate; Rose law firm, Slick Willy’s collusion with Loretta Lynch; stolen debate questions; deleting 30,000-plus e-mails; destroying relevant cell phones with hammers; a secret computer serve; her secret dealings with foreign countries who knew that she was for sale; $10 million hush payment received for pardoning Marc Rich, etc. — and we’re deplorable? It’s fair to say that she is, hands down, the champ of scandals.We deplorables remember the $800,000 sex abuse settlement paid to Paula Jones and the Jennifer Flowers sex assaults. We, and the left wingers, remember the underhanded, crooked treatment of Bernie Sanders and the contempt for the Secret Service agents assigned to protect her family.Agreed, Donald Trump can be rude, crude, pompous and far from perfect. He is rightfully held in low regard by some. So what? He’s our president. He loves our country and has asked us to come together as a nation for our common welfare.Your choice. Will it be all about you and your petty hatreds, or can you rise above that and be patriots? Please, enough. Stop with the lies and hate already.JOHN OSTERLITZGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: 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 intimidationlast_img read more


October 20, 2020 0

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday Jan. 22

first_imgMr. Hodgkins is concerned about a “game of chance,” but our raffle supports those who sadly play the “game of chance” every day as they bravely battle with cystic fibrosis. Elizabeth HeldMichael HeldAdam EvansNiskayuna The writers are former Niskayuna town pool Lifeguards. Why did top Dems let Gillibrand run?In regard to Sara Foss’s Jan. 13 column: “Don’t count out Gillibrand just yet,”  I find it very hard to believe that Nancy Pelosi’s pal Chuck Schumer would ever give permission to his foul-mouthed flunky Gillibrand to run for president. Doesn’t she know her place?Ray WeidmanLathamMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionNisky pool raffle has done a lot of goodWe read with interest Thomas Hodgkins’ Jan. 14 letter, “Teach children about evils of gambling,” which criticizes the Niskayuna Town Pool’s annual raffle for introducing children to gambling. Thirteen years ago, we helped to launch that raffle as part of the pool’s annual Swim-a-Thon fund-raiser for the Donna M. Crandall Foundation, a local charity that supports cystic fibrosis patients.While Mr. Hodgkins implies we should feel shame for introducing children to gambling, we feel nothing but pride for getting them excited about volunteering. Today, the raffle and Swim-a-Thon are run by kids we taught to swim over a decade ago. It’s become a fun annual tradition, supported by businesses in the community, children, teens, their parents and even grandparents, during the summer swim season. At the event, in addition to the raffle, kids swim laps, play games, and enjoy pizza and ice cream. We’re proud to have helped build something that makes young people excited about giving back to their community and to have kick-started a program that’s donated thousands to the Donna M. Crandall foundation over the years.  Laws should apply equally to everyoneTo all liberal minded people out there, I have a question to you. When is breaking the law OK?If I help someone who broke the law by giving them food, housing, money, etc., I can be arrested and put in jail for helping a criminal.All these sanctuary cities and people who think it is OK to break the law by helping illegal immigrants should also face criminal charges.If you think it is OK to break that law, then any law that a group of people do not like can be broken because they disagree with it. If you don’t agree with that sentence, then you cannot think it’s OK to be in this country illegally. If you all don’t think the law is right, then there are ways to change the law.My parents had to wait to come to this country legally. So should everyone else. Yes, it takes a long time and costs money, but you cannot break the law because you feel like it.Robert ZurloBroadalbin State must move to renewable energyI applaud Gov. Andrew Cuomo for saying we will fight climate change and move New York off fossil fuels in his State of the State address.To turn those goals into reality, he must pass the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), a piece of legislation that already has support in the Assembly, the state Senate and a large coalition of community organizations across New York called NY Renews. The CCPA will move us to a 100 percent renewable economy, make sure green jobs are good jobs, and invest in our communities most at-risk to climate destruction.I gave up my career to confront the climate crisis because we all need to respond with the highest urgency. CCPA is a step toward responding with that urgency. Malcolm D. BlissAlbanylast_img read more


October 20, 2020 0

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Jan. 11

first_imgTo patients, families: Rally for St. Clare’sThe New Year is here. Time for the supporters of the St Clare’s pensioners to stand up, shout out, get angry and be heard.As former caregivers at your now-lost community hospital, we deserve what we were promised and what we are owed.We call on those whose families we cared for from birth through death to stand beside us. Please make your voices heard in our support. Please call or write your local lawmakers and the Catholic Diocese and demand to be heard on our behalf.We cared for you and yours now please care for us. Every voice counts. Thank you.Karen SacchettiSchenectadyQuestion U.S. rank on healthcare listsDon Steiner wrote in the Jan. 3 Gazette an interesting letter on the sustainability of our healthcare system. He pointed out rightly that administrative costs, cost of drugs, defensive medicine, and wages and staffing are driving up healthcare costs everywhere.Few people would take issue with any of those points.However, in his next to last paragraph, he indicated that the World Health Organization ranked the United States 37th in healthcare and the Commonwealth Fund placed the United States last among the top 11 industrial countries in overall healthcare.I believe most Americans would be hard-pressed to name 36 countries, never mind 36 with better healthcare than the United States.Even the ranking of 11th in industrialized countries by The Commonwealth Fund seems questionable. There are a few, but what country would you pick to provide your healthcare?Gerard F. HavasyClifton ParkReturn Lady Liberty to her historic homeFirst, I want to say that I agree with James A. Wilson’s Jan. 1 letter (“Put Lady Liberty back where she belongs.”) It’s called Liberty Park for several reasons.The statue was there first for 50 years. Hmm, no respect for the original monument dedication. How do you explain to your grandchildren that what once was a historical site has no more meaning or room there for her anymore in the new colorful park?I do love the new, improved park. But I’m still looking for the Lady that intrigued my interest in exploring the history. Now that history and interest is gone.The new place where she lies is disgraceful, sad, no color, no meaning, and not real safe to explore with children. It was just put there to save face. Mayor McCarthy, you have done wrong by your constituents who have asked for it to be put back in its original place.Colleen K. LodgeSchenectadyWe must stand up to hate in all its forms Everyone is shaking their heads over the new criminal justice standards for New York. Certainly, with the people we have now in the state Legislature with our feckless governor and mayor of New York, citizens are now in fear. No bail, no jail, no crime. Feel free to strike anyone who annoys you. Feel free to steal anything you want. Feel free to rob banks. Feel free to not spend any time in jail, pay any penalty and go about your wrongful life.Am I the only one who sees a similarity to Nazi Germany in the early 30s? — crimes against people and in those cases encouraged by the government. I am sure from their misguided actions, de Blasio and Cuomo would love their own brown shirts.Geraldine KrawitzSaratoga SpringsJaquith shouldn’t be on multiple boardsIn Niskayuna, we will have a town board member serving on three boards: the town, school and the IDA. In 2019, The Gazette had an editorial questioning the wisdom of being on both the town and school boards. I also question this, and I believe that Ms. Jaquith is exercising very poor judgment.While on the school board, she supported a five-year contract for the superintendent, giving him a salary over $200,000. He has no residency requirement, commuting from Herkimer. This was another poor decision.Also, she never informed the voters that it was her intent to remain on the school board.Transparency does not appear to be her main priority. She cites that it is legal despite the fact that being legal doesn’t mean ethical.There are enough examples of this throughout history. In my opinion, this is simply political greed. The town and taxpayers will not be served well by this decision.Linda RizzoNiskayunaObserve disrespect violence in schoolsKudos to Theresa Doty.Her Jan. 5 letter (“Need major effort to stop school violence”) thankfully addressed the unruliness that has existed in the hallways of Schenectady High School.Definitely address all gang-related issues. However, I think the violent and disrespectful behaviors that have occurred are the real culprits in the high school.I implore every school board member to conduct unannounced visits to the school and just walk the halls. I’m sure you will see what Theresa Doty’s children and others see who attend these schools. I would hope the school board members will listen carefully to parents like Theresa Doty and observe for themselves the behaviors that exist in the halls of Schenectady High School.Josepha AbbaSchenectady Schenectady must fix broken sidewalksAll this talk about sidewalks not being cleared after a snowfall, as I understand, is the responsibility of the homeowner. But whose responsibility is it for those ghost houses and rental units?The biggest problem we have in our neighborhood is the sidewalks themselves. They are uneven, broken and a hazard to walk on to begin with. When is Schenectady going to fix them so people can actually use them?Right now, it is almost impossible to push a stroller on the sidewalk. If it doesn’t wake the baby, the stroller wheels get caught on the uneven edges. It is time for Schenectady to do something about the sidewalks so they are usable.Sue WardSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionBail reforms make New Yorkers unsafecenter_img In light of the recent anti-Semitic attacks across the county, we stand against hate. And we remind each other that “never again” is now.Sometimes, hate is clear. Hate is burning a cross or attacking a synagogue. Hate is separating families or locking children in cages. Hate is mass incarceration or voter suppression. In fact, it’s easy to be against these kinds of hate.But hate is bigger than all that, because it’s so much smaller.Hate is the small bits of bigotry and intolerance that we all see every day. There is hate in the names that we call each other when we are mad. There is hate in telling an inappropriate joke. Or not saying anything when you hear one.There is hate in spreading gossip about a neighbor, an enemy or a political candidate. There is hate in inflammatory postcards and divisive lawn signs that come out two days before an election.Hate isn’t just the big stuff. It’s also the small stuff.Hate is destroying our community. We must all take stock of our thoughts and actions. We must call out hate in all its forms. And take responsibility to stop it.Jon LemelinNiskayunaKnow what goes into the products you buyWe can all fight climate change one step at a time. First, we can commit to buy less, reduce, reuse and recycle. And when we do buy items, we can do the research and buy products that are environmentally safe for our homes and the planet.Recently I needed to replace a rug in my home. Having had an allergic reaction to synthetic carpet in the past, I was determined to avoid purchasing anything that would adversely affect the air quality where I live, and I wanted a Fair Trade item. I began by exploring natural fibers such as wool, sisal, jute, seagrass and organic cotton. I learned that while selecting a natural fiber was a good start, it was also imperative to know if the dye was plant-based and what chemicals (if any) were used in the production process. Chemicals that are stain-resistant, fireproof, etc., can be toxic for years to come. Some of this information can be found in the product description.Another concern was the carpet backing. I wanted to avoid petroleum-based backing. I found that backings of hemp, cotton or natural latex were all options. If you need a rug pad, avoid the synthetic products and choose natural pads.Websites such as Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS), OEKO-TEX, and GREENGUARD Gold Certification and ecologycenter.org are invaluable. The GOTS site addresses Fair Trade issues too.Natural products are sometimes more expensive, but there are deals to be found if you look for them.Cynde SchwartzNiskayunaTonko doesn’t care about military vetsRegarding Bill Shapiro’s Jan. 3 letter (“Tonko works hard to protect environment”) praising Paul Tonko: How much did he pay you for writing this letter? Tonko is a liberal Democrat who will sit down with undocumented immigrants and says he will help them, but he will not sit with me and help me personally with my problem with the VA hospital. I am a 100% disabled World War II veteran.You said he went to college at Clarkson University. Well, he had better go back, because he has not learned the difference between American veterans and undocumented immigrants. Anyone who praises and supports him is not a good American. Remember that on Election Day.Vincent BelardoAlbanyDo all we can to build up teacher diversityThe state Education Department’s recent report on teacher diversity (“State education report draws sharp focus on lagging teacher diversity in state”, Jan. 6) was hardly shocking.New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has been engaging with educators around the state to not just identify root causes of this issue, but also to find solutions.Education policymakers must first consider how current education policies affect students’ school experiences. For example, when a state test mislabels an 8-year-old child as failing, that sends the wrong message about why working in a school as an adult will be positive.Next, to create a pipeline of teachers of color, expanding the state programs focused on diversifying college teacher prep programs and addressing student debt is key.For those pursuing teaching, mentorship is crucial, particularly for teachers of color. We see higher rates of attrition and burnout among teachers of color than for white teachers, with 22% leaving the profession. Expanding the state’s Mentor Teacher Internship Program is one step toward addressing that issue.Mentoring that helps all early-career educators identify systemic injustice, an issue that strikes to the heart of the school experience issue, also is important. NYSUT, through a National Education Association grant, has established a mentoring program in Schenectady and Amsterdam to help these teachers be more mindful of bias and start addressing it.As New York faces a teacher shortage across the board, any way we can improve rates of diversity is a boon to tackling the shortage as a whole.Jolene T. DiBrangoLathamThe writer is executive vice president of New York State United Teachers. Priesthood demands personal sacrificesThe priesthood exists as proof that Christ is the Word incarnate.Though every vocation is a calling to emanate Jesus’ teachings, the ordained are tasked with answering the spiritual needs of His flock.This duty is incompatible with commercial, professional or personal pursuits and instead requires a life of prayer, poverty and abstinence.Recognizing this, Jesus told Peter to first set aside his net (Mt 4:19), then to lay down his sword (Mt 26:52), and finally to tend his flock (Jn 21:16). Peter’s yes to his closest friend was a sacrifice of his personal wants and an embrace of his God-given potential.Oftentimes, the secularization of the church hinders its ability to minister to the faithful. We see this in the competition among parishes, clergy posturing to be bishop, and a preoccupation with institutional approaches. Past evidence dating back 1,000 years included married priests whose children would inherit church property, a practice that ended acceptance of married priests.Today, Pope Francis’ desire to renege on that reversal rests on the current shortage of priests, especially in the Amazon and Pacific islands. The term “shortage” arbitrarily refers to the distribution of parishes and availability of sacraments. This inevitably leads to the fallacy of recruiting priests or loosening the requirements instead of working towards a culture of discernment. People could then live authentic lives according to their respective callings.Stephen DansereauAlbanyFind money to fix Stryker Rd. in GilboaGov. Cuomo, I see in recent weeks you are able to come up with millions of dollars for miscellaneous projects in New York. How about looking at rebuilding Stryker Road in the town of Gilboa that was washed away back in 2011 by Hurricane Irene?FEMA denied rebuilding it for approximately $8 million but approved the building of a covered bridge nearby in the town of Blenheim for approximately $7 million.There are many local people and campers that are must follow detours because FEMA dropped the ball on this project. Please look into this project and maybe New York can be the hero for fixing the road.Scott AndersonScotiaLiberty statue serves as civic inspirationTo say I’m displeased with the long-in-coming relegation of our Lady Liberty to the corner of Erie Boulevard and Union Street is an understatement.It’s an attempt to appease that was not obviously, in my opinion, given much thought. The location is downright obnoxious for the reasons stated in the Aug. 30 Daily Gazette editorial and by several other writers to the editor.We should honor our heritage not relegate it to the trash bin of history. Our local, state and national symbols, supporting what it means to be an aspirational and active American citizen, need to be honored as well as displayed respectfully.As our National Lady Liberty, in New York Harbor, stands at the Gateway to America, so should our communities Lady stand restored to our Gateway Park, aka Liberty Park, the Gateway to our county seat.The city and county of Schenectady have a long and storied history starting in the 1600s. Schenectady was built and is still populated by generations of immigrants who are “Americans.”Lady Liberty is a silent sentinel with a big message: “Liberty must be continually nurtured in every generation so as to keep it front and center – we ignore it at our peril.”I was there as a young Boy Scout at our Lady’s dedication. I was learning about what it means to be a citizen, a significant step in my citizenship education. On many occasions, over many years, I have spoken about it with pride to my fellow citizens, young and old alike.Lance R. JacksonGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right wayEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformslast_img read more


October 20, 2020 0

Foss: Downtown parking in Schenectady merits study

first_imgWhich is why it’s encouraging to hear city Planning Commission Chair Mary Moore Wallinger, who recently expressed support for eliminating the regulation, say that the city must conduct a strategic parking study before making a decision.A strategic parking study of downtown is sorely needed.Frankly, it’s astonishing that the city doesn’t already have one, given all the development that’s occurred over the past decade. Over 1,000 apartment units have been built downtown since 2013. How many of the people who live in these units have cars? Where do they park? I’ve heard a lot of different complaints about downtown parking, and while that’s hardly surprising, it does suggest that the subject might benefit from deeper analysis.  A parking study would provide data on who parks downtown, where they park, peak parking times and lots/spaces that are underused. It would examine the needs of business owners, but also of residents and visitors. It would tell us whether the city has too much parking, just enough or too little.And it would help shape future parking policies and practices, providing insight into whether the city’s parking minimum is an outdated and unnecessary requirement.Parking minimums force developers to provide a certain number of off-street parking spaces – a mandate that seems sensible, because it ensures that people can find a spot to park when they need one, but is actually quite costly. In recent years, urban planners have come to view parking minimums as a hindrance that drives up the cost of development, making housing less affordable. They maintain that cities actually have an abundance of parking, and that requiring developers to create new spaces fills cities up with underused parking lots.“There is nothing wrong with a business opting to provide parking for its customers, or a residential building providing it for its residents,” the non-profit organization Strong Towns, which advocates for the abolition of parking minimums, states on its website.“But those businesses are perfectly capable of assessing their own need for parking, and weighing it against the other, potentially more valuable things they might do with the same land. Only when parking is not mandated can we do that weighing, decide what it’s actually worth to us, and price it accordingly.”All of which sounds perfectly reasonable.But I still have a lot of questions.And until a parking study provides answers, I won’t be able to offer a more enthusiastic endorsement of eliminating Schenectady’s parking minimum.More from The Daily Gazette:Feds: Albany man sentenced for role in romance scamFeds: Saratoga County woman used two social security numbers for benefits under bothStockade-athon 15k goes virtualMarking 100 years of radio at Union College’s WRUCApparent Monday afternoon shooting investigated in Schenectady Categories: News, Opinion, Schenectady CountyCall me a tentative supporter of eliminating Schenectady’s parking requirements for downtown apartments.If I say tentative, it’s because I agree with the idea in principle, but have concerns about how it might work in practice.From an environmental and planning perspective, eliminating parking minimums makes sense, which is why more cities are doing it.What I’m concerned with is whether the city of Schenectady is capable of enacting such a sweeping change without creating more headaches for businesses and residents.Just last week, one local business owner spoke to me at length about the lack of on-street parking for customers due to downtown workers occupying metered spots all day long.How would eliminating parking minimums impact him and other business owners? How would it impact people who live downtown? How would it impact people visiting downtown for a show at Proctors or fun event, such as the Soup Stroll?These are the kinds of questions the city needs to ask if it’s serious about scrapping its longstanding mandate of 1.5 parking spots per apartment.last_img read more


October 20, 2020 0

A Wales of a time

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October 20, 2020 0

M&S turns to BAA McArthurGlen for failing lines

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October 20, 2020 0

Cardiff retail: Thinking big in Cardiff

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October 20, 2020 0

People

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October 20, 2020 0

Blackfriars’ £100m Southpoint scheme prepares to go into orbit

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October 20, 2020 0