Real Code Violators
City of Troy does seem to selectively target those owners
of businesses it wishes to punish, harass or eliminate [“Code
of Unethics?,” Newsfront, March 20]. Just ask the owner of
the American (Cinema Arts) Theater. Two months prior to the
city removing a historic marquee from the American Theater
in the heart of downtown, the owner had passed his annual
code inspection. All of a sudden, his building had a number
of code violations and an unsafe marquee which had to be immediately
removed (although it took a team of welders all day to do
so). The owner was not allowed to inspect his property, or
to bring in an engineer, or to perform any emergency repair
work. All in the name of safety.
Just ask Vic DeBonis, who was subject to a code inspection
after getting hired by the Democratic City Council. Just ask
the family of the late Miles Blakeborough, who were subject
to code inspections because Miles disagreed with the city.
Just ask Jim DeSeve, who received a ticket for a non-ticketable
offense because he frequently speaks out against the Tutunjian
The call to the Sanctuary from the Troy code officer on Tuesday
more or less sums it up: “I was told to call you.” (You can
hear it on YouTube). By whom? The code officer did not say
that he was following up on an existing open case, but that
he was directed to go there.
Pierce’s comment that there had been no response from the
city to multiple letters from the Sanctuary is also telling.
That certainly seems to be the experience for many people
seeking assistance, information and FOILs from an unresponsive
The mayor justifies the closure of the Sanctuary by claiming
“that building wasn’t safe for a large gathering of people.
That is my only concern as mayor of the city. The liability
issues that it would have posed, to have people gather in
that building when the city knew it wasn’t up to code would
have been staggering had something happened.” The Sanctuary
has been open to large crowds since it opened several years
ago. The city has certainly been aware of that, yet took no
action over the course of those years. Unsafe when the administration
deems an offering objectionable? Safe when they agree with
the offering or, more likely, are unaware of what plays there?
To those law-abiding property owners and residents who have
complaints about real safety concerns and code violations,
I say good luck.
and Carry On
I read Chet Hardin’s article on the possibility that the federal
government may have orchestrated the downfall of Gov. Spitzer
[“Whodunit,” March 20]. I think he’s right. This was a guy
that pissed off more people per square mile in New York state
than Isaiah Thomas. I have no doubt that, at some point, some
Republican honcho went upstairs to somebody in Washington
and said, “See what we have on this guy.” The problem is,
I knew it, Chet Hardin knew it, but Mr. Spitzer didn’t seem
to take it into account. I can’t believe he was so naïve as
to think that the eyes of the other side were not burning
into his back the day he took the oath of office. Well, apparently
just naive in one big way. As any schlub in any strip bar
in Albany could have told him, “Use cash.” Hey, when the Web
site says “All credit cards accepted” (or in this case, wire
transfers), that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Yeah, the
banks and the feds would have laid the same scrutiny on him
if he were withdrawing $5,000 a pop with his ATM card, but
with no paper trail, all he has to say is, “Guys, I love the
ponies.” Or something equally banal. Now, he’s a footnote.
Great Barrington, Mass.
was amused when I read Patrick Kindlon’s letter to the editor
in Metroland [March 20]. Patrick felt we didn’t deserve
to be voted “Best Local Alternative Band” of 2008. Having
won the Readers’ Poll for the last six years in a row, we’re
used to being the target of jealousy from other bands, usually
from bands I’ve never heard of.
I felt the need to respond to this letter since Patrick accused
us of “ballot stuffing.” The truth of the matter is that we’re
fortunate to have a lot of fans in the Capital District. Perhaps
that is because we don’t refer to Albany like Patrick does
as “a trash city with a poop butt.” I have nothing but love
for the people of the Capital District. Shame on you, Patrick.
Shame on you.
Libutti (of Sirsy)
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