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Agree to Disagree?

To the Editor:

Chet Hardin’s Cover Story “Dear Lord, You Rock” [April 13] is a fantastic example of excellence in journalism. Not an easy subject to write about, Christianity, Chet presented Terra Nova’s unconventional movement in conservative Christianity in an objective and informative manner. He actually made me think that he might become a regular visitor at TN. Convincing a constructive journalist that not all Christians are prejudiced and flaky is not an easy task. Pastor Ed was just himself, and Chet saw that and wrote about it. I was totally impressed. I’ve heard him speak and have always thought he was the “real deal.”

As a Ph.D. student who is currently studying bias in writing, I read this article looking to find fault with Chet’s bias, but I found none. Chet never said he believed, but what he did say is that he felt the Terra Nova movement was real and that it has the potential to reach the Gen X group that want, and need, to have Christianity as a part of their life. The timing was great, Easter Week, and Pastor Ed may just have to borrow a few more chairs from the pub down the street in order to seat the crowd that will show up as a result of this story. As a conservative Christian, I’m glad to finally read a positive, yet objective article about someone who is trying to make a difference in our community. Thanks, Metroland!

Linda Rozell-Shannon


To the Editor:

It doesn’t matter what Christian fundamentalists dress is or what their venue is, the message is the same: There is only one GOD, this god is a HE and if you do not follow HIM, you are condemned to eternal damnation. There can not be any wiggle room for tolerance, common sense or practical application of this type of philosophy in the temporal world, when the whole aim of Christianity, be it traditional or otherwise, is to live for a life beyond this one, a future life that pits the present existence we live in as a mere springboard for something better.

This is what our current president espouses as well, and we are all likely to be involved in his rather twisted version of everlasting life, whether we like it or not, should he see his vision of a world full of Christians to its ultimate conclusion.

John Simonds

West Sand Lake

To the Editor:

I would like to thank you for the article written about Terra Nova Church in this week’s issue of Metroland. This was a fair and accurate representation of who we are. Certainly, there are things within this article that will cause some to dislike what we do, and others to love what we do and that’s just fine with me. Best of all, the article was truthful, and let’s be honest, that can be hard to find in today’s media nightmare that so often resorts to the kind of polarizing, demonizing, and flat-out scandalizing rhetoric that makes Fox News look almost legitimate.

Thank you for publishing a great piece.

Phil Taylor

Executive Pastor, Terra Nova Church


Ride On

To the Editor:

Here is my story in response to Chuck Quackenbush of Bethlehem, who feels that “the Albany region is a glorious place to ride” [Letters, April 13].

Back in 1971, I received as my high school graduation gift, my very first road bike. Less than one month later that bike was stolen from my family’s garage along with four other bikes belonging to my sisters and brothers. As a family, we have been bicycling in Albany for over 35 years. When we were in high school and college, my sisters and I always took in stride the young male motorists hitting us on the backside as we road along Western Avenue in the Pine Hills section of Albany. Some may imagine this as amusing, but it was scary having someone suddenly hit you while riding a bike. Now, 35 years later, I am still riding these same roads in Albany. My recent encounters have included someone spitting at my husband and I on Lark Street and having a young student throw a bottle at my head from a passing CDTA bus on South Main Avenue. I also endure the drivers who now shout from their cars something that they think sounds clever. The shouting replaces being hit on the backside, but the result is still the same, feeling momentarily at risk.

So, why do I keep riding? Because the positives of riding my bicycle still outweigh these negative experiences, which fortunately do not occur every day. At the end of the day, I feel the positive affects of exercise and the reward of using my own physical energy for transportation.

By the way, I was one of the bicyclists ticketed at the recent Critical Mass ride in Albany. I ride in the Albany Critical Mass because I think it can be a positive message about bicycling as a form of transportation not just recreation. As a group, we represented cyclists of all ages and abilities. It was a friendly group ride on a beautiful spring day. We had not left the inner road of Washington Park when we were pulled over. What did we represent to the police? I wonder if we would have been escorted instead of stopped if we were all on high-end road bikes in cycling jerseys.

Mary Lou Nolan


To the Editor:

Regarding Mr. Quackenbush’s Critical Mass letter, I have been a bike rider for over 35 years. I learned to ride at 5, and by 8 years old I was riding 35 miles a day to my grandmom’s and back. I spent three years as a bike messenger in New York City and over 20 as a bike racer both in the United States and a pro in Europe. I figure conservatively I have ridden over 250,000 miles. In all those years I have never seen the coexistence of the cars and bikes and police Mr. Quackenbush speaks of. In fact, the opposite is true. The only way to get attention and be safe as a bike rider is to grab every one’s attention and say “I’m here and this place on the road is mine.” Not asking nicely but grabbing it loudly. I have seen cars stuck behind tractors for miles never beeping when going 10 miles an hour. But these same drivers threaten the life of a bike rider they get behind for 20 seconds going twice as fast. In a time when we need people who can commute by bike, to do so we also need them to be safe. And at this time it is not so. Critical Mass raises the profile of bike riders. And in this country nothing comes from slow change, only very loud and sometimes messy statements.

Brian Polhemus


Just in Case

To the Editor:

Your feature “Bad Luck Is a Temporary Thing” [Small Business Issue, March 30] was a great public service to all Capital Region businesses, large and small. While the article detailed the tragic circumstances (and fortunate outcomes) of a locally owned storefront business after a fire, one thing we have come to know over the last several years is that a lack of private-sector preparedness is not a size thing. Businesses of all types, local or national, public or private or not-for- profit, need to adequately plan, prepare and practice preparedness. No one is too large or too small, as your subject, Mark Garzia, showed, to spend time on this critical issue, and luck goes just so far.

AT&T and the International Emergency Managers Association recently did a study that showed many businesses are unprepared for business interruptions regardless of the cause. In fact, in a new world order that focuses so much attention on terrorism and hurricanes, many of us here feel insulated from disaster until the more common types—fire, water leaks, damage to streets, electrical outages,etc.—rear their ugly heads. Only then do most businesses find out that they do not have the right types of insurance coverages, only then do most businesses find out that they can’t just move in to space across the street, and only then do they realize that they are just as vulnerable to disasters that their customers, suppliers and vendors incur as to any calamity that may hit their own business.

The AT&T/IEMA study had these troubling findings:

• 66 percent of companies experiencing disasters lost business;

• 26 percent of companies facing disasters didn’t know how much they lost per day;

• 40 percent of businesses did not have data backups (hard to imagine);

• 75 percent of companies that had disasters took actions to prevent future losses.

The last observation may be the most important: Three-quarters of all companies that had problems took action to prevent another problem. As an old boss of mine used to say, “There is no education in the second kick of a mule,” but here it is clear that by learning from other people’s mistakes, most businesses can avoid the first kick entirely by planning better for those things that threaten them.

Gregory V. Serio

Managing Director, Park Strategies, LLC




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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