Comments by dagiacalone
Posted on August 3 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)
For its own business reasons, Rush Street Gaming chose to take out a mortgage on these properties rather than pay outright for the building. Why does the Gazette make a big deal out of Rivers Casino paying a tax or fee required by law to be paid to the County, City, or State?
Is it an attempt to cover up or otherwise counter the fact that Rush Street has not done in Schenectady what it has done in its other casino locations and applications: Voluntarily pay millions of dollars over and above legal requirements to help mitigate the added expenses and negative effects of operating a casino in our City? Is it an attempt to whitewash the irresponsible failure of Mayor McCarthy and his cowed City Council members to demand some sort of host community agreement to achieve the voluntary payments traditionally made by Rush Street elsewhere and by casinos all over the State and nation?
For examples of the Money On The Table our mayor forfeiting by failing to negotiate a better deal for the City, County, and surrounding towns, see http://tinyurl.com/casinoMOTT2
For other examples of the Gazette acting as the public relations arm of Rush Street Gaming rather than the public's source of full and unbiased reporting on the most significant development and policy issues of this generation in Schenectady, see http://tinyurl.com/GazetteTilt
Posted on August 1 at 11:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The other new casinos in NYS are paying millions of dollars for traffic infrastructure improvement. Rush Street offered to pay Illinois up to $3 million to complete a nearby interchange. But, we build the Casino Rotary without the wealthy developer or billionaire casino owner chipping in any money. The Gazette should be telling that story and the Mayor should be embarrassed over all the money he left on the table by not negotiating on behalf of the City and taxpayers.
For details and examples of the money Gary McCarthy left on the table, see http://tinyurl.com/casinoMOTT2
Posted on July 29 at 12:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The biggest problem with "letting the engineers decide" is, of course, deciding which engineers. Mayor McCarthy, Ray Gillen, Dave Buicko, and others of our Power Elite who want our City government to do or not do a particular thing, always seem to find engineers who echo their desires -- and, often, others shortly thereafter with new opinions, as desires change or new puppeteers take charge, or the initial publicity has served its purpose and business profits take over as the real goal. And, public bodies like our Planning Commission merely nod and accept studies, no matter how thin the rational may be for the conclusions.
Where will neutral engineers, who put the longterm public interest at the core of their decision-making be found? How will they be paid in a manner that does not skew the results?
Posted on July 23 at 12:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)
For views of the JJ Fireworks seen from the end of Cucumber Alley in the Stockade, see
Posted on July 22 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Why not set a curfew for the setting off of fireworks?
Posted on July 21 at 2:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Here's a link to the Traffic Assessment memo submitted by the Applicant to the Planning Commission:
As I mentioned in my first comment, the comparison concluding "no impact" is made to the never-official Dunkin'-Donuts-only projection, not to prior overall Rotary or Mohawk Harbor trips without the Coffee Shop and Bank.
Also, as I suggested in my second comment, the projection mentioned by Ms. Vicarro of "approximately 60 extra daily" is actually 66 at the AM Peak Hour Entering, with a total Entering and Exiting at that AM Peak Hour of 125.
Posted on July 21 at 1:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)
P.S. By the way, the Dunkin' Donuts shops on Broadway and State Street in Schenectady are both open 24 hours a day.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
"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.”
"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?
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.?
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.
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.
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.
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