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Lessons on planning and zoning from Ellis parking garage saga

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
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Lessons on planning and zoning from Ellis parking garage saga

I want to thank the editorial staff at the Gazette for their support of the neighborhood adjacent to the Rosa Road location of the proposed parking garage. The columns and editorial cartoons were appreciated by the neighbors.

We are zoned residential, whereas the hospital sits on land zoned institutional. The proposed garage still required approval by the Zoning Board, as it exceeded the allowances for even institutional zoning. I attended all but one meeting of both the Zoning Board and the Planning Commission.

In the beginning of the review of this project, both committees seemed to listen to the neighbors concerns and appeared to lean in favor of the concerns of the neighbors and in support of limiting the size and thus the impact on the neighborhood of this garage. What happened? I would propose the answer lies in strong lobbying by the administration of Ellis Hospital.

This should be a lesson for citizens, that the zoning is just a recommendation and the environment you live in may change drastically and suddenly. For example, at the October planning meeting, Ellis presented a traffic study that stated that the increase in traffic would not cause a negative impact on the neighborhood. We now learn that they have decided to change the configuration of the Rosa Road/Nott Street Intersection, as it currently has a “F” safety rating and through improvements they want to raise that to a “D” rating. The “F” rating is before the parking garage is open and operational.

I would like to know if Ellis has made a commitment to this community to remain, or will the neighbors be staring at this behemoth that has been abandoned for the suburbs in the future?

Nancy Mills

Schenectady

Stop with the racial references, already

Dr. Martin Luther King would be so proud. Associated Press [Nov. 19] headline, “DeBlasio breaks ground in politics of race: NYC mayor-elect believed to be first white man to win major office in U.S. while married to a black woman.” Seriously!

There just is not enough space here to address all that is so wrong with this irresponsible journalism! The first black this. The first female that. The first Hispanic . . . stop it!

We will never achieve any sense of diversity, commonality or lack of prejudice in this country until we stop thinking and writing like this.

James Myers

Ballston Spa

Education, testing keys to combatting AIDS

The theme for World AIDS Day 2013 is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” Health care providers like Planned Parenthood play a critical role in providing youth, women, and men with increased access to HIV education and testing. Planned Parenthood also supports positive patients with connection to trusted, quality providers and follows up to ensure they are cared for with the attention they deserve.

Now more than ever, it’s important to get tested for HIV and get necessary treatment. With newer testing methods and the latest medications, patients with HIV can get healthier sooner and stay healthier longer — also reducing their risk for passing on HIV to others.

On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, we can help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in our communities by highlighting the need for more testing and better education. Call Planned Parenthood today to find out more.

Bowman Kim Atkins

Schenectady

The writer is CEO of Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson Inc.

With tax incentives, where are the benefits?

In reference to the controversy of adding tax incentives for companies to come to Luther Forest in Malta, I’d like to add my thoughts.

The idea of adding companies to a township is offered as a benefit to the town for the added tax income, increased businesses and reduction in local taxes for the residents. I would agree, except when it includes tax incentives (no payment of taxes by these companies for a period of years).

Adding these businesses adds expenses for the town such as highway upkeep, snow plowing, the added children to our school systems, etc. This would all be moot, maybe even advantageous to the town, if the companies paid their fair share of taxes.

Case in point: I live in Malta and in the last four years my property, and especially school, taxes have skyrocketed. (So much for the GlobalFoundries benefits.) I am for the GlobalFoundries addition to our township, but I feel duped by the promises.

Arthur C. Salvatore

Saratoga Springs

Thanksgiving should be for sharing, not shopping

What has happened to our traditional Thanksgiving? Has it turned into a non-stop black Thursday shopping spree? I can’t believe that the stores are so desperate to make a dollar, they are attempting to ruin our Thanksgiving traditions.

How many flat screen TVs and iPods does a person need? We are giving up quality time with family, preparing and serving a wonderful meal. Sharing family recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next.

Political correctness has made traditional Christmas into a sham, now Thanksgiving is the next to go. Time spent with family and friends is more important than any sale. Those bargains will be in the stores after Thanksgiving, they can be enjoyed on the traditional black Friday.

It’s time to get back to basic family values. We need to take time to slow down and appreciate everything we have. Life is too short to waste it shopping for the next so-called bargain.

Marty Shanty

Charlton

When giving thanks, don’t forget teachers

There are many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. I would like to bring to your attention a group of individuals who every day during the week do their very best in getting our children ready for life.

I have personally experienced firsthand in five not so different local school districts how well our children are being taught/educated by their teachers and support staff/aides. Every day of every school week these dedicated individuals make a difference with our children and often become second parents to them, nourishing and teaching as best as they can within the limitations and sometimes awkward regulations that they have to deal with.

It seems impossible to teach what has to be taught now to 25 to 30 students of varying learning abilities and succeed, but they do. They are able to reach out to students in ways that no state test or evaluation will ever be able to measure.

I always believed that a good education is more than just what is taught from a book, and I wasn’t surprised to see this happening in our schools, which makes me feel very good about the future of our children. They are learning what is right and what is wrong and how to get along with others. Our society as a whole should take refresher courses from our teachers and their support staff and maybe all of the violence and rudeness that exists will be a little less.

So this Thanksgiving, along with many other things we are grateful for, please remember to be thankful for our teachers and their support staff/aides. They are making a difference but they need our support.

William D. Wills

Amsterdam

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comments

November 26, 2013
7:38 a.m.
MMRMIKE68 says...

Marty, If only that were true. Those days are gone forever. For shame on us.....M

November 26, 2013
8:33 a.m.
biwemple says...

Would love to see some huge retailer reverse this trend and emphatically say they will not be open on Thanksgiving Day and use whatever social media they can to get this message out along with some incentives for customers to wait until Friday to shop in their stores. Time for corporations to stop saying they are opening on Thanksgiving just because everyone else is doing it. This is just mindless greed and stupidity being compounded.

November 26, 2013
4:15 p.m.
ronzo says...

Tax incentives: a scam to get for some people what they want at the expense of others. Just look around Malta and the “build it and they will come” brand new buildings along Rte. 9 that are empty, waiting for the hundreds of businesses that will locate here because the State “gave away” the people’s money to entice a business to come here. Drive through Luther Forest and witness the vast expanse of “roads to nowhere” built for all the Global Foundries suppliers to bring their business and thousands of jobs. The entire scam is a bad deal for everyone. Especially us taxpayers who foot the bill for the multinational companies that are here on a free ride. Some of the jobs are here, and at what cost to New York taxpayers?

November 27, 2013
10:50 a.m.
Ahmjrcpa1 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
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