have been hectic for the Troy Booster Club. Since September,
its members have hit up fast-food franchises, planned benefit
cruises, and applied for grants, all in an attempt to reinstate
student activities cut by the school budget crunch [“Trouble,
Right Here in River City,” Sept. 18].
The booster club has been all over the city. The group sold
snacks at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s annual Communiversity
event, collecting almost $800. At a recent Troy High cross-country
meet, one booster mom sold $400 worth of refreshments. An
impromptu group of Troy School District music faculty, called
the Diminished Faculties, will even perform at an RPI tailgate
party in November and donate their pay to the booster club.
At last count, the boosters had raised $22,000 toward their
$100,000 goal. And thanks to all this work, high-school activities
have been steadily returning.
The high-school jazz ensemble was salvaged in early September.
Next in line was the musical. After an anonymous $3,000 donation
in September was earmarked for the musical, the Edward C.
Picken Athletic Hall of Fame gave $500 and on Oct. 18 another
$3,000 was raised at the second of three benefit concerts
by high-school students. The total was enough for the show
to go on.
this month, the varsity lacrosse team was restored because
of $8,000 earned from a benefit golf tournament. The high
school’s German club was also reinstated after Troy Germania
Hall donated $575 from its bingo money to pay for the club’s
faculty advisor’s stipend. Albany’s booster club even sent
their Troy comrades $100.
But many clubs and teams, like hockey, remain unfunded. The
boosters plan to turn their attention to some of the cut middle-school
activities and will appeal to individuals and businesses for
Booster club secretary Sue Steele remains positive, pointing
out that the boosters have helped build unity among parents
and faculty who otherwise may not have gotten to know each
the school district will get all of its financial ducks in
order, and we’ll be able to go back to being just a regular
booster club,” said Steele. “I’m confident that, if nothing
else, the board realizes that there needs to be other ways
to cut a budget, and you can’t just eliminate entire programs.”
A student classical recital to raise money for the boosters
is slated for Nov. 2 at 3 PM in Russell Sage College’s Bush
Memorial Auditorium at Congress and First streets.
for Clean Air: Take 2
of the Clean Air Act are not all Democratic tree- huggers.
President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act in 1970. President
Reagan and President Bush Sr., though not exactly known as
champions of the environment, both strengthened the act.
But George W. Bush has not been following suit. New rules
from the Bush Environmental Protection Agency, which went
into effect on Monday (Oct. 27), expand the concept of “routine
maintenance” for industrial pollution source to include any
upgrades that cost less than 20 percent of the replacement
cost of the plant. This allows plants to avoid installing
new pollution-control technology even when doing major upgrades
that increase the amount of pollution released.
And so, on Monday, a coalition of attorneys general from 12
states, the District of Columbia and several local governments
filed the second lawsuit in a year charging the EPA with violating
Congressional intent. The first suit is challenging a weakening
of how emissions are measured.
was never envisioned by Congress that the EPA, of all people,
would become an agent of allowing higher levels of pollution
in the nation’s skies,” said Marc Violette, a spokesman for
the New York attorney general’s office, which is participating
in the lawsuit. “You have this ironic situation where you
have to get a posse of attorneys general to go to Washington
to defend the Clean Air Act.”
Violette said the last lawsuit, which was filed by a coalition
of eight Northeastern states on Dec. 31, 2002, is still in
the “unsexy” stage of “mailing papers back and forth,” and
despite a promise from the court to fast track the case, he
said it is unsure when hearings and litigation will begin.
Nonprofit organizations including the Sierra Club, the American
Lung Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental
Defense Fund filed a similar but independent lawsuit on Tuesday
(Oct. 28). Illinois is also filing its own suit.
Last year’s lawsuit has picked up an additional six state
plaintiffs since it was filed, and Violette expects that this
one too will end up with further supporters within a month
or so. He said it’s important that the states filing the lawsuit
have expanded beyond the Northeast (which typically suffers
from pollution blowing from the Midwest) to include states
like Wisconsin and New Mexico.
The lawsuit coalition is bipartisan, said Violette, because
governors are thinking about it in terms of “what’s best for
the people in my state who breathe air—which is pretty much
On Friday (Oct. 24), the band Rockets and Blue Lights greeted
protestors opposing the United States occupation of
Iraq as they arrived in Townsend Park after marching from
the Capitol building in downtown Albany. Many marchers also
boarded buses early Saturday morning for a bring the
troops home rally and march in Washington, D.C., which
drew between 10,000 and 20,000 people.