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Comments by dagiacalone


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Posted on July 21 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Haley, The coffee shop will be open 24/7, unless it is more profitable for the operator to close a few hours a day. For planning commission purposes, they stated in their application that it "will be open 24 hours a day. 7 days a week," [ http://tinyurl.com/coffee24-7 ] and they are granted the right to be open 24/7.
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In your comment above, you point me to two traffic impact studies about the casino development PRIOR to any plans to have the coffee shop and bank located on the rotary. The question is how much added traffic there will be and how it will interact with rotary traffic. Your 60 a day number must be an error. Perhaps you mean 60 extra during one of the peak hours. When I asked a Commission staffer yesterday to explain the calculation that reduced the trips generated by 50%, she could not explain the terminology used in the projections. Perhaps the Gazette could link to the actual projections submitted for the new project.
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As you know, this is not the first article of yours about the Casino that I have had major questions about. See http://tinyurl.com/GazetteTilt


From: Commission OKs retail building at Mohawk Harbor site


Posted on July 21 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here they go again! Neither Commission nor Gazette looks behind the misleading statements made by Galesi's glib representatives. For example:
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The Site Plan application itself states the coffee shop will be open 24/7. And, while the bank branches may have traditional banking hours, its ATM drive-up lane will be available 24/7.
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"The new building will not have an impact on traffic compared to the original study for the site". Interesting strategy -- first go to the Commission with high numbers (never released to the public) and then say lower numbers means no impact compared to those numbers. The original study was solely for a much larger Dunkin' Donuts store, and some general rule-of-thumb says a smaller shop will generate less traffic. Why does having a smaller coffee shop mean fewer people pulling in from the rotary to use the drive-thru lane? Buicko told the Gazette last week what great demand there would be for this service, saying that in addition to those living there and coming to the casino, “you have the people coming into work on that side who can just swing in and come back into the traffic circle.”
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"Majority of" has become a magic phrase, it seems. Mr. Hershberg says a majority of people would already be coming to the site for the casino or would live on the site. How about follow-up questions Commissioners? How much extra traffic are we talking about? How well are commuters going to deal with the not-yet-completed rotary? What does it mean to have a coffee shop and bank driveway empty directly into a rotary? How will that traffic blend into rotary traffic? Did Commission staff check to see if any other coffee shops have a similar location right ON a rotary?
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What about traffic coming from Front Street? Casino cheerleader Ruscitto "said she doesn’t believe the building would have an impact on nearby Front Street." Based on what? Will people be using Front St. to get to the bank ATM and the coffee drive-thru? "Hershberg said he believes a majority of people would take the roundabout to enter and exit the site." Why not use signage to prevent entry coming directly from Front St.? How many people living at Mohawk Harbor, who would otherwise exit from the new Harbor Drive instead be adding to traffic entering from the "corner" of the rotary rather than smoothly entering from Erie Blvd.?
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Rather than showing their independence after the Mayor dumped members who dared to ask questions, we get sleeping watchdogs overseeing the important issue of traffic movement and safety, even with no pressing deadline.
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One more thing: The agenda for this meeting was not online until after 10 AM yesterday, the day of the Meeting. But, staff rushed up the wrong agenda, and a day later, if you click to see the "July 20" agenda, you still get the "January 20" agenda. Telling staff of the problem yesterday got no reaction to a problem that would take a few seconds to correct. Clearly City Hall belongs to the Casino Gang.


From: Commission OKs retail building at Mohawk Harbor site


Posted on July 17 at 9:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good advice. If readers are of an age that wants to say "humbug!" and shake a judgmental head, or complain about inconveniences, I hope they will try a little tolerance and enjoy seeing young people out and about, almost all of whom are polite and happy to engage in conversation, if maybe a bit oblivious of anything around them that is not Pokemon related.
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If your neighborhood is not saturated with Pokemon Go Spots, Lures, and Gyms, take a look at this week's invasion of the Stockade: http://tinyurl.com/StockadePokemon


From: Pokemon: Go have fun, but be cautious


Posted on July 14 at 12:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is this newspaper now the Grinchette? The author of this editorial seems to have forgotten that those of us who have internet access -- anywhere in the world -- can use the extensive online resources of our County Library 24/7/365, from a broad array of research tools, to catalog searches, to downloading thousands of books, etc. E.g., see
http://www.scpl.org/resources_services/r...
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Unless providing overnight WiFi creates an excessive expense that is not offset by benefits directly related to the Mission (see below) of the Library, I think fair-minded observers would wonder "what the fuss is" that requires depriving City residents seeking after-hours WiFi that service. I hope the Friends of the Library, the WiFi-crazy folks at Metroplex and City Hall, and maybe the the management of the soon to be Always Open Casino, weigh in for keeping after-hours WiFi.
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Also, having a police officer stationed outside the Library at night could also be a boon to community relations, allowing conversation not otherwise likely to happen.
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NOTE: "The MISSION of the Schenectady County Public Library is to satisfy our community's educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs by providing free and open access to a comprehensive range of materials, services and programs."


From: Why the fuss over limiting Wi-Fi hours?


Posted on July 13 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's see: No incidents of trouble; right next to the Police Headquarters; located in a downtown that brags about more foot-traffic and crowds lasting into the night, and the availability of wi-fi hotspots; plus, a City Hall that preaches and promises universal access to wi-fi; with no claim of money being saved. What possible demographic explanation could there be for wanting to prevent the use of Central Library wi-fi services to the population likely to need and want it most?
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And, why didn't the Gazette news editor insist on knowing whether there are any dollar savings for the taxpayer, so we might better weigh pros and cons?


From: Schenectady’s Central Library limits Wi-Fi access after hours


Posted on July 12 at 12:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is the Council considering taking action on a fireworks topic that it actually can affect? How about setting strict curfews for using any form of fireworks? How about budgeting special overtime for extra officers to enforce the fireworks laws and curfew on specific days? I bet if Mr. Galesi (or his mouthpiece Dave Buiko) asked for fireworks limitations near any of his developments, he'd get them right away, no questions asked.


From: Schenectady City Council passes fireworks-related resolutions


Posted on July 10 at 1:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Relevant Links for the Stockade Garden Tour
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for Garden Tour Tickets:
http://historicstockade.com/?page_id=241...
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for a few dozen Preview Photos:
http://tinyurl.com/2016StockadeGardens


From: Nineteen places to visit and admire on Stockade Garden Tour


Posted on July 7 at 12:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Columbo always came back with one more question (he always intended to ask).
Buicko always comes back with one more request (he always intended to ask for).
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Does Mr. Galesi ever do business without a government subsidy?
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This giant dock seems like one more item most casino owners and developers would pay for on their own, and probably would promise to do so in an agreement with the hosting city, if its mayor asks for one.
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Um, one more question: Has anybody in Planning or the Corporation Counsel's Office mentioned that Riverside Park does not fit into any category under which bicyclists over 10 years old are allowed to ride in a City Park?


From: Galesi eyes dock to attract larger boats at Mohawk Harbor


Posted on July 4 at 2:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gazette readers count on your balanced journalism, Sara, so I want to make sure your account does not perpetuate the notion that a bunch of boorish, selfish, or elitist people in the Stockade spoiled a great plan to have the Onrust locate its home at Riverside Park in Schenectady. Over the past year, two members of the Schenectady Planning Commission suggested at public meetings that the people of the Stockade had no right to call for public access to the riverbank at Mohawk Harbor, because we did not want outsiders using a dock to come to Riverside Park. How silly.
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It is more accurate to conclude that Stockadians did their homework and stopped the Dock Steamroller, by demonstrating that it would be bad for the Park, the neighborhood, and the City, because it would ruin a quiet gem of a park merely because the State offered $225,000 to put a dock somewhere. As explained in my Gazette Op/Ed column in April 2010 [ http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2010/ap... ], the people of the Stockade were not and are not anti-progress nor opposed to people from outside the neighborhood coming to the Park, and dock proponents had not demonstrated there would be economic benefits from a dock.
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Please recall that the Onrust would only have taken up 60 feet of a 300-foot dock, that was going to have no supervision, and be located merely yards from a children's playlot and homes, at a "passive park" with no amenities such a restrooms or even water fountains, and blocks away from the kinds of services the projected wealthy boaters would be seeking if they stopped at the proposed dock. More important, perhaps, the Park is reached on land by one-lane, dead-end streets, with inadequate parking.
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The Mayor and City Council ignored the Schenectady County Waterfront Revitalization Plan, which was finalized the same month that the Council announced it would vote on the dock. The proposal to place a dock at Riverside Park was clearly inconsistent with the Waterfront Plan, which states (at p. 61) that "further development is constrained by the narrow streets that lead to [Riverside Park and Little Front Street Park] and the character of the residential community that surrounds them." Therefore, the Plan concludes (at p. 71) that Riverside Park's "limited access and parking . . . inhibits any significant expansion of use other than to improve it as a scenic overlook and to improve pedestrian and bicyclist access and connection to adjoining areas."
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For full information and links to relevant documents, see
http://tinyurl.com/StopTheDock


From: The Onrust sails on -- despite setbacks, volunteers have been busy


Posted on June 23 at 2:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a Big Surprise: Everything I wrote about ten months ago is apparently still relevant concerning the proposed distillery. Has anyone in Planning looked into the lawfulness of a distillery in the C-4 Downtown Zone? Is Ms. Viccaro being allowed to use her award-winning investigative skills, or is this another public relations assignment to please Metroplex and our Mayor?
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Here's my comment from August 2015:

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Why is everything presented to us by Metroplex as a Done Deal? There is nothing in the Schenectady Zoning Code that suggests a distillery is permitted in the C-4 Downtown Mixed Use District. A well-thought-out amendment to the zoning code, after full consideration of the impact of such a (light?) manufacturing enterprise and significant public input, is needed or, in the alternative, there must be a fully-documented request for a zoning variance, including making the highly unlikely showing that no allowable use could bring a reasonable return.
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I wish the Gazette would start including the question of proper zoning in its coverage of proposed development in our City. This was originally billed as a Wine Bar. The agenda for the Feb. 18, 2015, Planning Commission meeting said
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. . . MICHAEL ROMAN requests site plan approval pursuant to Section 264-
90M of a proposal to renovate the building at 10 and 12 Yates Street into a
Wine Bar and retail space, tax parcel #’s 39.64-3-19 and 20 located in a “C-
4” Downtown Commercial District..
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This deception is worse than the usual forms of arrogance we see from Metroplex and dereliction of duty we see at the Planning Commission. Bait-and-Swich is becoming Business As Usual at City Hall, with the Metroplex puppeteer pulling the strings.


From: Schenectady retail project gets $60K from Metroplex


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