Block parties aren’t burdening taxpayers, so don’t raise permit fees

Monday, August 26, 2013
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Block parties aren’t burdening taxpayers, so don’t raise permit fees

After reading Kathleen Moore’s Aug. 22 article referring to the City Council considering raising block party fees, I must disagree.

Ms. Moore quotes Councilwomen Denise Brucker’s and Leesa Perazzo’s concerns about weekend overtime for city workers and the cost to the city with reference to blocking streets for Pinhead Susan’s block parties.

It is my understanding that after the proper permits are acquired from the city and Metroplex, city workers drop off, then pick up, wooden barricades during normal working hours — and they are erected and removed after the function by the restaurant’s own employees.

The streets and parking areas utilized for the party are cleaned to perfection by the same personnel, with no cost to taxpayers.

All security is paid by for by the owners, again at no cost to taxpayers.

In my opinion, before raising fees the council should consider the increase in sales tax revenue generated by the thousands of patrons that attend these various events, and also the tens of thousands of dollars that all the hard-working owners already pay in property taxes, along with the mandated fees that are derived by investing in a business in the city.

While I have always supported and respected a majority of our elected officials for their dedication to the city, I feel that they need to become more innovative when generating new revenue.

Raising fees and taxes for hard-working people who invested their capital in downtown businesses is not the solution.

Bob Mantello


Take note of changing views on climate change

Re Karen Cookson’s Aug. 11 Viewpoint, “Clean energy sources to replace fuels, just waiting to be utilized”: At the root of Cookson’s exaggerations is an unshakable belief in man-made global warming. However, this theory is not without controversy.

In the 1970s, climatologists were warning of a serious cooling of the earth leading to another ice age unless we addressed fossil fuel emissions. By the early ‘90s, it all changed to global warming.

Three years ago a report out of the University of Cambridge claiming the Himalayan Mountain glaciers were melting proved to be fraudulent. The report was based on computer modeling which was manipulated. Without missing a beat, global warming morphed to climate change.

The United States, Russia and Norway are investing millions [in] building larger and more powerful ice breakers. What for? All they need do is wait for the Arctic ice cap to melt, which accordingly to Al Gore is just around the corner.

Cookson believes that one day all our energy needs will be provided by clean energy; wind, solar, tidal movements, switch grass, pond scum, etc. An example of wind power alone will dispel this notion.

Wind farms require large land areas. A 1,000 megawatt fossil fuel or nuclear power plant supplies the needs of 100,000 homes. A wind farm supplying these homes would require 2,000 square miles, roughly the size of Delaware. They do not operate when there is no wind or in excessively high winds, either.

They are also responsible for high levels of migratory bird kills. A report appearing in the Gazette earlier this year put the total at a staggering 570,000. Not a peep out of any environmental group, which would not have been the case if a crude oil spill would have a duck with oil.

The earth’s 4.5 billion-year history is replete with radical changes in weather. The notion that we can control weather patterns by converting to green energy is sheer hubris.

America’s preeminent humorist P.J. O’Rourke writes in his book, “All the Troubles in the World:” “A careful reading of 50 Simple Things” you can do to save the earth “leaves you wondering whether you’re going to die from environmental disaster or intellectual annoyance.”

Vito Spinelli


Don’t equate abortion with women’s health care

Re Aug. 15 letter, “Writer misses point on political ‘war on women’”: Don Steiner of Niskayuna also misses the point.

Abortions to end a pregnancy simply because the ready and willing participant does not want the child is not legitimate health care. These unfeeling females who so easily discard a fetus are the same ones that do not believe in the death penalty.

Perhaps if this choice had been available to their mothers, they would not be here.

No decent society should have more than 50 million abortions on its record.

Donald A. Vanderwarker


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August 26, 2013
7:13 a.m.
gina99 says...

Bob Mantello- Now Denise Brucker and Leesa Perazzo are finally concerned about worker overtime? It's all about the Democratic machine squeezing you for as much as they can. Then fleeing like Denise Brucker from the tax hell they themselves created. Niskayuna resident Denise Brucker should resign from City Council today not after Election Day.

August 26, 2013
9:17 a.m.
mezz3131 says...

The city should have increased the police presence downtown and cared more about cleaning garbage as soon as (or before) all the business owners invested their lives in the city. It should be safe and clean ALL the time. It's just another case of, "we got them where we want them, now let's stick it to them!". All these businesses pay for their own security and police already, as well as trash pick up. Wooden barricades take five minutes to drop off and pick up, especially since they drop them off sometimes the day before and pick them up long after any event, when they have staff on duty. The city should be ashamed but historically, the City of Schenectady government has no shame.

August 26, 2013
5:16 p.m.
wmarincic says...

When will people in Schenectady stop voting for these tax and spend liberal democrat idiots running this city.

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