What was designer of new Western Gateway thinking?

Sunday, September 1, 2013
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What was designer of new Western Gateway thinking?

Who is the unenlightened person who approved the new design for the historical Western Gateway Bridge? I would venture to guess they do not use the bridge.

I was devastated when I first encountered the high, solid wall of concrete on the west side of the bridge, and assumed the east side will soon have the same wall. It is like driving through a tunnel.

I have been walking and/or riding over this bridge since I was a child, and have been driving across it at least twice daily for the past 40-plus years. I have always enjoyed the beautiful vistas, whether looking westward at a gorgeous sunset reflected on the water or eastward, toward the Stockade with a mist swirling above the water in the morning.

Seeing the beautiful river on my way to work in the morning was so peaceful before starting a busy, stressful day. Many a time over the years, I would see a large sailboat or yacht headed upriver, or the rowing teams out on the water during practice, or some brave soul ice-fishing during winter.

You could see if the water had risen from heavy rains or ice flows during a January thaw.

The bridge was always wide open to view Freedom Park, Collins Park and Jumpin’ Jacks on your way west to Scotia, and open to view of the islands or the bicycle path behind SCCC, and parts of I-890 and the back of the college as you headed east to Schenectady.

Also, where are the guardrails to keep traffic from sideswiping a pedestrian? Or from young children accidentally stepping off the curb into traffic? The curbs are so low. What is to stop kids from climbing up onto the wall and trying to walk along it, without falling into the river or onto an island?

I am shocked and dismayed at this great loss and know that we will all be stuck with this horrible, unsightly creation for many decades to come. Why would anyone think this was an improvement to the incredible bridge we had before?

Doreen Oathout


No justifying offensive name for food truck

As an Italian-American, I found [statements in] the Aug. 28 article about “Wandering Dago” suing NYRA [New York Racing Association] and NYRA officials for banning the food truck at the Saratoga racetrack insulting!

George Carpinello, the Italian-American lawyer representing the food truck’s owners, claims the term “dago” was not intended to be offensive. He stated, “Our clients are Italian-American ... They use [the term] in a playful and irreverent manner.”

My dictionary defines “irreverent” as disrespectful, and I find the word “dago” as disrespecting my heritage. Perhaps Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks are too young to remember or understand the connotations of the word, but surely they are now aware that many Italian-Americans do understand what it means.

Mr. Carpinello’s defense of his clients — “they do not find this offensive” — is a poor example. If he had a pedophile client who didn’t find molesting children offensive, would he use it as an example?

I may try to find an attorney to sue Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks for using a demeaning and disrespectful term with regard to my Italian-American heritage!

Gary P. Guido


A time to focus on suicide prevention

Did you know that over 38,000 Americans die by suicide each year? That’s one person every 13 minutes.

These are more than just numbers; they represent our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

For the second year in a row, the state Legislature has declared September Suicide Prevention Month in New York state. What better time for our communities to learn more about suicide and how to prevent it? Learning some of the key suicide warning signs, such as feeling hopeless, withdrawing from friends and family and making suicidal statements, can help save lives.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, or just needs to talk, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Help is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Another way the community can help is by participating in the Capital Region Out of the Darkness Walk on Sept. 15 at the Saratoga Race Course. Whether you have been personally touched by suicide, I encourage you to participate. The money raised at this event will support the mission of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( by funding national and local suicide prevention programs and research.

To register for the walk, please visit or call 791-1544. Together, we can save lives.

Nancy Marcone


Feeding the hungry a proper focus of farm bill

Tens of millions of Americans are hungry, forced to turn to emergency food programs and food stamps [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP] to feed their families

The House Republican response is to attack SNAP. The Hunger Action Network of New York State believes the solution to hunger is to repair the economy and create living-wage jobs.

The House Republicans’ first effort to cut SNAP was to make it harder for the working poor, such as those with child care costs, to get help. The Washington political establishment was stunned when the uproar was so great that the House rejected the farm bill. The Republican leadership’s response was to strip SNAP out of the farm bill. It now wants to further cut SNAP by penalizing those unable to find a job.

Instead, why doesn’t the House provide a job with a paycheck to all those who want one? Similar to the public works program that FDR put in place during the Great Depression.

The Great Recession of 2007 allegedly ended three years ago — but unemployment remains at very high levels. Most new jobs pay poverty-level wages.

In the last 30 years, the rich have gotten richer while everyone else’s income either stagnated or declined. The richest 1 percent of New York state residents now get 35 percent of the income. The last time we saw such great economic disparity was right before the Great Depression. When working people don’t make enough money, consumer demand is too low and the economy collapses.

It is also a mistake to try to separate the feeding of hungry Americans from the farm bill. The farm bill should be about creating a sound food policy for the country, one that supports family farmers, promotes healthy food, ends hunger, and protects the environment.

Instead, the farm bill enriches agribusiness and wealthy speculators. It promotes an unhealthy food diet for all Americans by subsidizing overly processed foods high in sugar (corn syrup) and fats (soy). It costs tens of billions of dollars to deal with resulting health problems like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. It supports massive factory farms that grow only one crop, which is bad for the soil and leads to high levels of water pollution from fertilizers, pesticides and concentrated animal waste. It contributes to world hunger.

The fight over the farm bill highlights all that is wrong with Congress. It is time for Americans to demand real change that ends hunger and lifts up all Americans, from family farmers and food workers to senior citizens and children.

Mark A. Dunlea


The writer is executive director of Hunger Action Network of New York State.

Gov’t role in protecting unborn is the right one

Re Cynthia Swanson’s Aug. 25 letter [“War on women is about control over their wombs”]: As a “far right-wing wacko” in the United States, I believe government should be in our lives in the role of protecting our rights, and the rights of innocent human life at all levels.

The U.S. General Accounting Office is currently investigating pro-abortion agencies that use taxpayer funds; some of them have millions of dollars in reserve, including Planned Parenthood, which evidently thinks pregnancy is a sickness.

I agree that the state Women’s Equality Agenda did have some other important points; but I do not agree that it is “nobody’s business” when one decides to take another human life. (Today’s citizen is quick to call in a government agency when child abuse is suspected.)

Some women’s rights advocates would rather save a turtle’s eggs than a female fetus.

Patricia Flint

Ballston Spa

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September 1, 2013
12:18 a.m.
dan says...

I doubt the new Western Gateway bridge designer grew up in Scotia or Schenectady, or they would have known it was an awful idea to block the view. I'm guessing he was thinking "walkers and bikers can see the view"... which is nice for them. Well, adult walkers and bikers. Kids are SOL either way. Parents will now have to lift their kids up on the walkway to see the view and that worries me to no end, or as Doreen pointed out, a kid on their own wouldn't have much problem climbing the wall if they wanted to see the view. It's just dangerous and un-thoughtout.

September 1, 2013
5:28 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Gary P. Guido, My parents and Grandparents WERE German, I'm an AMERICAN. If somebody wants to call a food truck "The Sour Kraut" I could care less. Maybe you should remember that sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you. Too much ado about nothing. If you don't like it then don't buy their food, protest them with your wallet, this is America or at least it was before we started the whining and crying about everything in the 60s.

September 1, 2013
7:45 a.m.
gina99 says...

Doreen-Where is County Planner Gillen in the bridge debacle? If Schenectady County had an actual County Planner, not a Metroplex Czar, this could have been altered in the public comments stage. Of course, you also need public comments something avoided in this backwater County.

September 1, 2013
8:59 p.m.
wmarincic says...

They have public comments Gina, they pay these companies tens of thousands of dollars and have meetings, then they ignore everything the public says and do what they want anyhow.

September 5, 2013
6:03 p.m.
tonijean613 says...

Patricia Flint needs to be educated on reality of the various situations resulting in the NEED for an Abortion- and an education in biology- FETUSES do not equal breathing babies therefor cannot be physically abused. Forcing a young girl who is raped and impregnated by incest to bring a pregnancy to term is PURE SADISTIC TORTURE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY. This is why Abortion MUST remain accessable and legal to ALL women young and old ! If you don't personally believe in abortion then DONT HAVE ONE. But there will come a day when YOU or a daughter, sister, wife, is put into a pregnancy situation no one could ever have imagined (child rape, no brain in the fetus, likely death for mother etc,) MAKE NO MISTAKE -YOU would want to have ALL OPTIONS available to you and your loved ones.

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