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Politicians should butt out, let market decide over offensive name

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
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Politicians should butt out, let market decide over offensive name

That truly American icon, the rodeo, has certainly been under assault this summer by the “champions of correctness.” Whether at a Midwestern state fair, where a clown [mocking President Obama] was fired and fair promoters admonished , or in upstate New York, where a food rodeo festival was sacrificed, all was in the name of [political] “correctness.”

The “champions of correctness” come from all walks of life: bureaucrats, editors, politicians and pundits. These champions use any means at their disposal to accomplish their educational mission: nullifying valid contracts and recalling issued permits, through soul-searching essays and by simply lying about issuance policies and bonds held by legitimate businesses.

Dishonesty in the battle over correctness has no bounds and is considered a virtue and duty when seen by those on a mission for these self-appointed champions. A local entrepreneur and food vendor of Italian heritage is the latest target of these “champions of correctness.” How does one compete in the business world when every venue has been eliminated by dishonest maneuvers, bullying and harassment? The community at large and the marketplace in general will reward, or not, those which they believe are fair, decent and hard-working businesses worthy of support.

Being blessed to live in the Capital Region, with such a proud Italian-American community as ours, will be the ultimate test in any business strategy. An honest, thoughtful and fair-minded people can prevail without the “correctness” authorities.

Now I read where there are those who want to sue the traveling restaurateur for having named himself something! This is an idea only a lawyer could embrace. Changing the food vendor’s “chuck wagon” to the “Persecuted Paesano” may, in the end, be his only salvation.

As fairs and clowns across America see the summer come to a close, the one rodeo event the “champions of correctness” are always best at is bull-throwing.

John Harpur

Rotterdam

Ballston park planners’ approach inherently flawed

If you listen to Ballston Councilman Tim Szczepaniak these days, you hear him boast of the “due diligence” done by those involved with the recent Anchor Diamond Park fiasco.

To Tim, due diligence merely means “hard work.” The rest of the world, and any competent attorney, knows what it really means: reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement, especially in buying or selling something.

In my opinion, reading the letters from the [Frank W.] Schidzick trustees and the Surrogate Court judge would lead one to realize that not only did the town attorney, Councilman Szczepaniak and the Park and Recreation Committee not exercise due diligence, they avoided any semblance of due diligence.

Although many residents cautioned over the years that due diligence was necessary, this group of individuals worked very hard to achieve their goal of a recreational park. In my opinion, their attempts to violate the intention of the Schidzick bequest to the town has resulted in thousands of town dollars spent illegally and may even jeopardize any gift from the Schidzick Estate.

The will stipulates that the park be “forever wild.” The Park and Recreation coalition selected three vacant farms for possible sites, talked the Town Board into agreeing with the selection, even as the current landowner negotiated acreage and price behind closed doors.

True due diligence would have shown that a farm is, by definition, cultivated land, thus not forever wild and not consistent with the terms of the bequest. Oops. There go the dreams of soccer fields. In this case, due diligence would have saved the town thousands and identified a parcel meeting the definitions stipulated in the will.

Mr. Schidzick may be dead, but his legal representatives are still very much alive, and doing their due diligence.

Polly Windels

Ballston

From the schoolyard to the battlefield

Re Sept. 1 George Will column about Rick Atkinson’s tribute to the soldiers of WWII: The first two lines were by English poet Alfred E. Housman, from his poem, “1887,” fourth stanza.

“To skies that knit their heartstrings right,

To fields that bred them brave,

The saviours come not home tonight:

Themselves they could not save.”

Had the first two [lines] been included, it would have made the quote more noteworthy.

This stanza was inscribed on a wall in the front hall of Mont Pleasant High School, and it was a daily reminder of the war.

Close by was the Service Memorial Board, listing 2,364 names of former students in the military service and 63 that made the supreme sacrifice.

This was the number [63] at the time of our graduation in June 1945.

To the class of 1963 and my class of 1945, which both had reunions this past weekend [Sept. 7-8], let us remember all the former students who came after us and served in various wars that had no memorial (at school) to honor them.

Louise Pileggi Monarch

Schenectady

The writer is the class historian.

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