Hardin’s Troy cover story [“Can It Happen Here?” June 22]
belongs in a real-estate trade magazine, not a progressive
independent weekly. While full of illuminating information,
there’s a giant sucking black hole where the other side of
the story should be. Quoting a few naysayers, skeptical of
profiting from overpriced apartments, doesn’t count.
Real-estate baron Sandy Horowitz is held up as the person
who has done harm to Troy. The problem isn’t Horowitz, it
is the compliance of people in positions to influence property
sales, zoning, commerce, law, and public opinion. Those people
are still here. Some are quoted in the story. Horowitz, like
other equally unaccountable tycoons, was given carte blanche
as he bought up buildings all over town despite obvious warning
signs. We have limited recourse once these guys own a downtown.
Try voting them out. You can’t! Yet readers are expected to
trust all these large multi-property investors because they
“have good reputations.” According to whom? Other developers.
We run the risk of history repeating itself only with new
names and properties.
We’re all trying to help Troy in our own ways. While there’s
disagreement on priorities, I’m not alone in believing Troy’s
assets include a diversity of people living and working here.
Some plans laid out in Hardin’s article, if they are successful,
will not support this.
Rent increases, for example, affect who can live where. We
all know rents increase over time. The issue is price and
rate: A $3,000 apartment appearing 12 months from now will
not coexist with a current $500 apartment nearby. If these
aggressively higher prices stick, they will rapidly drive
up properties and services, creating homogenization of income
Suffice it to say there is debate going on in Troy. Metroland
did not come through in reporting this.
I believe An Inconvenient Truth is a very important
movie, I want to assure readers of the review in last week’s
Metroland [Cinema, June 22], which implies the movie
was boring and a political gambit to win votes for Gore in
his next (assumed) bid for the presidency, that there is another
point of view. I thought I held the prize for Most Cynical
but the reviewer (Laura Leon) takes the prize from me. I attended
the movie with someone who doesn’t read much and avoids “bad
news” like the plague. Thus she was unaware of most of what
was presented in the movie. Afterward she scolded me for never
having told her about it! As I explained to her, and now to
you, I lack the ability to explain global warming convincingly.
I have read countless articles about it and found little new
in this movie. But Al Gore, who is as alarmed as anyone could
be about this species-threatening phenomena, is now devoting
his life to educating us. Why? I think because he cannot stand
by and do nothing, like so many of us are doing. He has produced
an incredible presentation of the subject and is currently
training volunteers to join him in presenting it to as many
human beings as possible. I urge you to see the movie and
decide for yourself.
it Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Fix It
article titled “Bach’s Still in the House” [Listen Here, June
15] makes it seem like classical music is on the decline because
radio programming of it is. But from what I can predict, listening
to the radio at home is going to die with older generations
for reasons that are too obvious to mention here. And forget
about hearing orchestral music in the car with all that road
noise. Instead of getting frenetic about the state of classical
music, look to the diminutive world of the organ. Since the
1990s, countless concert halls all over the world have built
multimillion-dollar pipe organs for their classical programming.
Organizations like that are not wasteful with money; they
all agree that classical music is here to stay.
duck . . .
you for presenting the two sides of the Scotia Geese Situation.
[“Bye Bye Birdies,” June 1].
As an outsider and having attended several village meetings,
I’d like to ask a couple questions. First, what has the village
of Scotia done wrong in their implementation of “non-lethal”
control methods that has made it unsuccessful for them while
it produces positive results in other areas 95 percent of
the time? Many, many communities are dealing with the very
same problem across the country in a humane manner with great
results. Organizations like Geese Peace help them implement
steps in an educated proven manner for a win-win situation
for both taxpayers and birds.
Second, why has the village of Scotia not involved the geese
sympathizers in their management attempts? Instead the geese’s
fate was learned after a contract had been put in place for
their destruction. Many communities and businesses enlist
the help of animal lovers to get through the nesting and messy
molting seasons. Mayor McLaughlin had almost a patronizing
air about him as he took the long list of people willing to
give their time and efforts to do whatever it takes to spare
the geese—scoop poop, chase with dogs, put up fencing, make
Do Not Feed signs, relocate to their private property complete
with ponds and indicated that they might be contacted next
What is to happen next year when a new batch of geese fly
in? With mowed lawns, no Do Not Feed signs, no dogs, no Mylar
balloons, no shrubbery barriers or fencing and the islands,
this Mohawk River outlet is geese paradise. Perhaps Collins
Lake with its depository makeup was never meant to be a swimming
area. How can the village expect to control what comes downstream
in the river? It would seem that a pool might be better use
of taxpayer dollars.
Ah, yes, and lastly, the use of taxpayer dollars. Why would
the village government turn down free help offered in favor
of spending thousands of dollars that may not result in the
beach being opened anyway?
I think there is much more to the Collins Park problem than
the geese. I think that the geese are being used as a scapegoat
and killing them this year will not make one bit of difference
next year. I hope that those who wish to be elected next year
in Scotia realize this.
Director, Network Partners for Animals
was glad to note that you addressed the issue of alternative
education [“Alternative Ed Grows Up,” Newsfront, April 20]
and was interested to learn that the Open School in Albany
now has a high school. However, quotations from a parent and
an administrator for the Independent Learning Center at the
Open School contained some inaccurate statements, I believe.
It was stated that there are no alternative forms of education
in this region for those who aren’t rich other than homeschooling.
I have found several and I am definitely not rich. Also, some
students, such as my own 16-year-old son, do not respond well
to the open environment and independent student study featured
at the Open School, but require more structure.
My own son attends the Adirondack School of Northeastern New
York. The school was founded on the principles of the Waldorf
education, and it retains the hands-on projects, as well as
facilitation of free individual thinking, for which Waldorf
is famous. Curriculum is tailored to individual student need,
and the student-faculty ratio is between 5-1 and 9-1. The
Adirondack School is a small 7th- through 12th-grade college-preparatory
school with an emphasis on the arts. Its facilities offer
students their choice of ceramics, stained glass, sculpture,
weaving, photography, metalsmithing, drawing and painting.
For those looking for a “back to basics” education, the Adirondack
School requires students of every grade to take the following
subjects each year: math, English, science and history. Students
also study the foundations of art, languages, music, and physical
education. The friendly atmosphere, respect, and honest communication
between student and teacher, and student and student, is something
I have never seen to this extent at any school.
The Adirondack School fits the term “alternative education,”
as do at least two other schools, the Waldorf School in Saratoga,
and Hawthorne Valley School near Ghent. Private bus service
and parent carpooling, as well as transportation provided
by the local school systems, make all three schools good options
for Capital Region middle- and high-school students. The Adirondack
School includes students from 18 school districts, including
Guilderland and Colonie. In addition, I find the Adirondack
School quite competitively priced.
I would recommend that parents whose children need something
different from the traditional school setting consider the
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