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Lowering the Boom

To the Editor:

Chet 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 and lifestyle.

Suffice it to say there is debate going on in Troy. Metroland did not come through in reporting this.

Jason Martin


A Convenient Plug?

To the Editor:

Since 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.

Judith Brink


If it Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Fix It

To the Editor:

The 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.

Vaughn Mauren

Hartford, Ct.

Duck, duck . . .

To the Editor:

Thank 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 year.

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.

Robin J. Yager

Director, Network Partners for Animals


Different Class

To the Editor:

I 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 multiple options.

Barbara Sinacore


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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