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Fire-ravaged building in Rotterdam needs to be taken down

Sunday, December 15, 2013
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Fire-ravaged building in Rotterdam needs to be taken down

Almost a year ago, there was a catastrophic fire in the building on the corner of Rice Road and Schermerhorn Road in Rotterdam. Formerly known as “The Glue Pot Bar,” it was transformed decades ago into a residential building. Fire has made it useless.

The bar was locally considered a den of iniquity; a place we kids growing up on Schermerhorn [Road] were told to never go near. Ironically it remains that way today in its dilapidated condition, a danger and an eyesore that everyone can see.

Many personal efforts to get it demolished have gone nowhere. County, city and town regulatory agencies have been informed that the building may pose a threat to the quality of water, as it sits directly on top of the Great Flats Aquifer, under 100 yards from Schenectady and Rotterdam wellheads. Bureaucrats, as usual, have dropped the ball.

Currently, precipitation of all forms enters the building through a gaping hole in the roof and disappears into the ground — bypassing the catch basin designed as a latter-year septic system to be pumped periodically. In years gone by, effluent from the bar was sent through a pipe directly to the Mohawk River. But now nothing is being piped, filtered or stored.

If your tap water tastes of charred wood or asphalt, or some unidentified chemical, we have a likely suspect.

Whether the pollution threat to the aquifer is real or not, this blight on our historic area of the county needs to be leveled — replaced with something more pleasing to the passerby, like an aromatic wild rose, a fragrant evergreen or perhaps an eye-popping bittersweet vine.

James M. Schaefer


The writer is a member of the Rotterdam Conservation Advisory Council and lifelong resident of Schermerhorn Road.

Paul Walker wasn’t all bad, nor are movies

Re Charlie Stephens’ Dec. 11 letter complaining about the “Fast and Furious” movies, also the tragic loss of actor Paul Walker, who despite his ‘need for speed’ had a charity to help others : He paid for a ring so a veteran could propose to his fiancee, so despite the recklessness, he did do good things.

Anyone with common sense knows movies are escapism. So does this mean we need to censor sports — especially hockey, football and NASCAR? They are not movies, but have fights and bad behavior.

Television is porn — with real bad things (the TLC Channel’s exploitation of children and those reality shows like the Kardashians).

Not everyone who attends movies are rude, crude people.

Sue Devito


Obamacare encourages irresponsible behavior

Hugh Nevin’s Dec. 6 letter, titled “Don’t be too quick to condemn Obamacare,” reflects an acceptance of the ethics, which I do not share, that underlies the program.

I think that using recent graduates entering the job market with high college debt and poor prospects for a full-time job to underwrite the cost of birth control pills and AIDS treatments is exploitative.

In today’s world we are expected to respect cultural differences, but that does not mean we are obliged to pay for them!

While it is possible to be impressed with the athletic prowess that is demonstrated by moving from bed to bed, it does not follow that poor judgment should be underwritten by taxing those with what used to be conventional judgment.

The purported cost savings associated with Obamacare reflect the willingness to put aside the truth for the “greater good.” For an indication of the future, it is helpful to look at the past: As for the estimated cost savings asserted to be the result of Obamacare, I suggest you review the promised cost savings associated with the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid. Or, if research does not interest you, consider the assertion that more people will now see the doctor because visits are free — and the cost of medical care will decline!

I find it more reasonable to believe that the wait for medical services will increase and that the use of physician assistants will act as a filter to access to doctors.

But on a happier note, the funding of birth control pills and AIDS treatment facilitates casual sex and thus, the spread of AIDS. Thus, the possibility that one of the many mutations of the AIDS virus will result in an aerobic form. This will result in the thinning out of the human population, and environmentalists knowing that human damage to the environment has ended.

Fred Barney


Driver who caused fatal crash also a victim

Re Dec. 7 article, “Driving trouble routine to Drue”: May there be peace now.

One year has passed since the tragic loss of two community students and serious injury to two others. Sentencing is over. Let our children be taught strength now in the face of tragedy. Give respect to our lost children with the silence of personal grief.

Please [show] some compassion for the lost boy who is forever cursed by his deeds. He is suffering now in a new and terrifying environment. Suffering for the invincibility imagined by his youth. He will never be free of the torment of his past.

Who knows or cares what elements in his boyhood led up to this fateful day? What kept him from growing wholesomely among us? May he gain insight in his incarceration; another lost and crucified child.

I extend endless sympathy to these parents and their families. I, too, lost my boy, his young sons lost their father; his sisters, their brother. It seems I will always suffer the unique pain loss brings, the frustration and the anger. I cannot forgive those who carelessly let him die, but I leave them to their fate and do not add it to my own pain by striking out at them.

They suffer from the same history as I do, albeit very different in nature, and not them or I will ever step away from this.

Margaret M. Nixon

Clifton Park

New meaning to ‘losing one’s shirt at the track’

Re Dec. 3 article, “Track entry cost set to rise”: Let me see, when I go to Saratoga Race Course next summer, I must come up with $2 more for the privilege of entering the track.

We are told the increase is for track improvements.

The last time I went to Mohegan Sun, Akwesasne [Mohawk Casino], et al., I walked into the casino and was greeted with a smile.

They just don’t get it.

Jerry Bubniak


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December 15, 2013
8:43 a.m.
+0 votes
Phils2008 says...

Fred, I can't wait to read the lefties attack you and demand you pay for their every want and need. They want to have sex so you need to pay for it. They want to drink and smoke so you need to pay for their cancer treatments. They want to be couch potatoes and collect checks so you need to pay for their heart attacks. If they want to reproduce and not support the kid then you need to pay for it. If you listen to Bob Beckel a devoted lefty, he fully supports Obamacare to get these evil insurance companies. See Beckel was a drugy, and a smoker and oh yea overweight. He had a heart attack and now whines that if pre-existing conditions weren't in Obamacare he'd have a hard time getting insurance from these B$%^#d insurance companies. It's not his fault he has these ailments. Thats the best part of being a lefty. You ride the coat tails of the people who need help through no fault of their own. People who deserve some help. If I want Beckel to pay for his choices then I must not want to help anyone. That's just how these children play the game.

December 15, 2013
7:58 p.m.
+0 votes
smith says...

Good column Fred. It's interesting that Obama has made insurance more expensive for smokers even though statistics show their average lifetime medical costs are less than non-smokers. But those who engage in stupid, unproductive behavior that carries more risk of aids than smoking does cancer will pay nothing more for their unhealthy high risk behavior. Nor will gluttons and all those reproductive righters catching and spreading STDs. Who would have thought in America we all would have to pay for others recreational sex.


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