Comments by dagiacalone
Posted on March 4 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)
p.s. By the way, Marilyn Sassi also "had the nerve" to pass on and consider my concerns that Stockade super-landlord Robin White made, and is making, major changes to his property on the River at 1 Cucumber Alley (grading, appearance, vegetation) without seeking prior approval from the Historic Commission or giving them details. He has also been been treating the river-end last third of the Alley like his personal property for over a year. After three hundred years of access from Cucumber Alley to the Riverbank, it is now virtually impossible to get there from the Alley. Incidentally, Mr. White hosted a fundraiser for the Mayor just before the election.
Posted on March 4 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The Mayor is culling the herd, making sure none of the sheep stray. It's a clear message to those remaining that they need to obey his commands, and those of his Law Department sheep dogs.
Self-respecting members of Schenectady's volunteer boards should resign en masse, so there will be no doubt that new appointees and hold-overs serve only the Mayor and are meant to be rubber-stamps and fig-leafs.
Posted on March 3 at 1:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)
For a discussion of the limitations of self-exclusion for dealing with the problem gambling issue, and of the need for a more comprehensive program in Schenectady, with suggested elements for problem gambling prevention and education, see http://tinyurl.com/ProbGambSchdy
That webpost also gives several examples from just one of Rush Street's other casino properties, where it has been fined for failing to police its Self-exclusion list and underage-gambling policy.
Posted on March 2 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Thank you for raising the issue of Problem Gambling. A better self-exclusion program is a good idea, but covers only a tiny part of the problem and possible solution to problem gambling. Please continue this theme by championing the establishment of programs in our community specifically focused on problem gambling prevention, education, and treatment. With Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor now scheduled to open in a year, such programs are needed ASAP and must especially target vulnerable groups, such as aging adults, low-income residents, and youth.
For discussion of the Problem Gambling problem and possible solutions in Schenectady see
Posted on February 29 at 3:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Thank you, ChuckD. I research facts and law and strive for accuracy. Of course, "gplante227" is correct that any prediction I have made about the operation or effects of the casino in Schenectady has not happened yet.
Posted on February 29 at 9:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)
In Philadelphia, Rush Street's expansion of its poker capacity was part of efforts to attract younger gamblers. Rush Street told the NYS Racing Commission it would have 12 poker table in Schenectady. I guess they've decided that having hundreds of Union College students in the huge dormitory one block away, a couple thousand more in College Park and on campus, and a horde of kids at SCCC, makes expanding to 15 tables in Schenectady a good bet.
I bet someone will also make nice profits selling fake IDs to college students who are under 21.
And, when the bars close in Schenectady, we'll be seeing a procession of cars heading to Mohawk Harbor. I wonder if Mayor McCarthy will give his Partners at Rivers Casino veto power over the location of sobriety checkpoints.
Posted on February 22 at 11:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)
It is time for Schenectady to let Rush Street Gaming know we will no longer accept their preposterous explanations with bobbing heads and rubber stamps. Rush Street in Chicago, according to Wikipedia, "continues to be part of one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country and has businesses that correspond to the demands of its residents. The neighborhood hosts highly rated restaurants, five-star hotels, four-star spas, an elite senior citizen residence and prominent bars."
Do we really want visitors to arrive and compare Rush Street Schenectady to the one in Chicago? Under the most optimistic of outcomes, and especially given its geographic limitations, Schenectady's Rush Street will be to Chicago's Rush Street as our Wall Street is to Manhattan's Wall Street.
If Rush Street Gaming truly wanted to make Rivers Casino in Schenectady a world-class entertainment destination, it would not have given us a casino designed to look like an outdated shopping mall, and it would not be requesting a pylon sign so huge and homely that it would never be permitted within several miles of Chicago's Rush Street.
Rush Street Gaming's happy-talking "partners", Mayor McCarthy and Leesa Perazzo, told us last year that their visit to Baltimore's Harbor Place made them more optimistic than ever about the success of Mohawk Harbor. They forgot to mention the half Century of planning and many billions of dollars put into Baltimore's Harbor, in a City with major league baseball, football, basketball and hockey to lure tourists, plus the National Aquarium, and the Nation's Capital and millions of people living within a 40-mile radius. We do not need more "Rush Street"-style pipe dreams.
Naming the major street in Mohawk Harbor is pretentious both if Rush Street Gaming is naming it after itself, and if they are suggesting their investment here will produce results comparable to even a tiny part of Chicago's Rush Street.
Honoring our past with a name like American Locomotive Drive would be an important reminder to our residents and visitors of our proud and productive past, and a future beyond the narrow scope of the gaming industry.
Posted on February 12 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)
I believe the Gazette editorialized in favor of such a law a few years ago, with an accompanying cartoon showing a vehicle heaped with snow and a tiny circle cleared in front of the irresponsible driver. I think banning operation of a vehicle when it has more than three inches of accumulated snow makes a lot of sense, in order to improve traffic safety by deterring obvious risks, and that your legal interpretation of current law is shaky.
"Throwing or depositing" something from a vehicle and letting something slide or fly off your vehicle inadvertently are rather different actions, and any defense attorney will surely point that out. And, a vehicle loaded so as to obstruct the driver's vision does not cover snow on the roof until the moment it is sliding onto your windshield or windows.
The law can be enforced like most other motor vehicle laws: an officer sees the vehicle being operated with unlawful condition existing. If causing an accident because of the snow on your vehicle slides onto the road or blinds another driver is also a violation, it too can be proved with normal forms of evidence based on witnesses.
You do not quote any of the proposals. A quick google search showed a proposal that says a person "shall not operate a motor vehicle on a public street or highway while there is an accumulation of snow, sleet, or hail on the roof or cargo bed surfaces thereof . . . in excess of three inches", with the exception that it "shall not apply during the falling of snow, sleet, or hail or within three hours after the cessation of the fall". That seems to cover the issue and your worries about over-application.
The idea that this bill would take up too much of a legislature's time seems frivolous, as several bills can surely be moving through the process simultaneously on many topics. Given the time and space restrictions on your editorials, we have to wonder what more important issues you are ignoring to vent on this topic. Do you by any chance own an SUV with a tall roof that is difficult to clean off? Perhaps you could use your step stool for cleaning off that roof rather than giving a sermon.
I see far too many able-bodied drivers getting into or driving vehicles overloaded with snow and creating unnecessary dangers for themselves and others. Your idea of public service announcements makes sense, but having it backed up with a law directly covering this form of winter negligence would be more effective.
Posted on February 9 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Why fire Matt Cuevas? Emperor McCarthy could not stand to have a Planning Commission chair who would occasionally ask questions at public sessions about the done deals sent to the Commission by his Zoning and Development staff and Metroplex. For example, Matt Cuevas noted during the Meeting on the amended waterfront district zoning that taking away the right of public access to the riverfront at Mohawk Harbor was inconsistent with the Commission's Comprehensive Plan and 2008 Waterfront zoning goals.
Cuevas was also the only Commissioner to say that 20,000 square feet of casino signage seemed like too much, and that he was more comfortable with 15,000 sq. ft. That statement caused Corporation Counsel Falotico to stand up and reprimand Cuevas, with a lie about applicable zoning law, shutting down all conversation about limiting the signage. See http://tinyurl.com/CasinoTown
No matter what his qualifications might be, it is a conflict of interest for Brad Lewis to serve as both vice chair of Metroplex, which sends many of the most important proposals made to the Commission, and as a Commissioner. Lewis has never voted against a Metroplex-backed application. Instead, "Commissioner Quip" Lewis mocks any request from the public for additional information prior to voting and rejects out of hand suggestions that a proposal might have negative effects that need to be mitigated. For example, he once barked at me at a public hearing that "we should be so lucky as to have traffic or parking problems in Downtown Schenectady." [The impact of a proposal on traffic and pedestrian flow and safety is, in fact, the first criterion listed in the section of our zoning law for review of Site Plans by the Commission.]
Schenectady needs a Planning Commission chair who takes seriously the role of protecting the interests of the people of this City and preventing unnecessary negative impact on our neighborhoods. We need a Chair who will ask the staff for full explanations of the pros and cons of proposals, and require that all information needed to make a responsible decision is obtained before decisions are made by the Commission.
Posted on February 8 at 9:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Great spirit!! On Saturday, a Stockade Celebration of the Snowman -- Commemorating the 1690 Massacre -- also went on without snow. There was no White Stuff, but the sun and the people provided a golden glow. See http://tinyurl.com/CelebrateSnowmen