Healthcare Decisions Day to be marked with activities
April 16 marks the annual celebration of National Healthcare Decisions Day. The goal of this nationwide initiative is to ensure that all adults with decision-making capacity in America have both the information and the opportunity to communicate and document their future healthcare decisions.
While making healthcare decisions is often difficult in the best of circumstances, making decisions for others is even more complicated. Each of us has the ability to guide our healthcare providers and our loved ones about what we want. Advance directives give you the ability to document the types of healthcare you do and do not want, and to name an “agent” to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. As Terri Schiavo’s situation vividly revealed, having an advance directive can be valuable for all adults, regardless of current age or health status.
National Healthcare Decisions Day strives to provide much-needed information to the public, reduce the number of tragedies that occur when a person’s wishes are unknown, and improve the ability of healthcare facilities and providers to offer informed and thoughtful guidance about advance healthcare planning to their patients.
Please visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org for free information.
Specifically, on April 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mountain Valley Hospice is welcoming the public throughout the day at their offices 108 Steele Ave. in Gloversville, with free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms. They will also have representatives during the senior meals program at Forest Hill Towers in Gloversville, Petoff Garden Apartments in Broadalbin and the Shirley J. Luck Senior Center in Johnstown.
You will also be able to pick up a copy of the advance directive forms at the Fulton County Office for the Aging in Johnstown and the Montgomery County Office for the Aging in Amsterdam. Finally, please share this information with your loved ones and colleagues.
With healthcare, “your decisions matter,” however, others need to know your wishes to honor them. There are no wrong answers when thinking about healthcare choices and completing an advance directive. Please use April 16 to decide, discuss, and document your wishes, whatever they may be.
Nathan A. Kottkamp
The writers are, respectively, chair of the National Healthcare Decisions Day and president and CEO of Mountain Valley Hospice.
Don’t believe Saratoga National’s spin on development proposal
Re March 22 editorial, “Project would enhance open space on city’s border”: One would have expected the Schenectady Gazette to take a more critical look at a developer’s word on protecting open space.
The project is Saratoga National Golf Course’s proposal for a 100-room hotel, 96 condos, four golf cottages and retail, all not allowed in the rural residential zone in which their property is located. Their proposal includes other things like outdoor winter activities, a golf academy and expansion of some of their existing uses, all of which is allowed; but what they legally can do seems to get little attention.
It’s difficult to imagine how a hotel and condos in a rural residential area can “enhance” open space. Apparently the developer’s representation that they will “voluntarily set aside 378 acres of the property to permanent green space” didn’t require any further questions, such as: Why would a developer “voluntarily set aside 378 acres?” They wouldn’t, of course.
Here’s the truth: Of that 378 acres, approximately 134 acres are already developed into a golf course, clubhouse and maintenance facility; another 130 acres of their land was already placed in a permanent conservation easement in 2001 when the golf course was built. They were required to do this in exchange for all the wetlands they filled in.
Another 116 acres are “permit restricted wetlands” according to Saratoga National Golf Course’s own tax grievance filed in 2002. And are we taking their word on the “permanent” part of this? Has the “permanent” easement language even been drafted, nevermind reviewed for legal sufficiency?
Saratoga National Golf Course’s sales pitch must be impressive. They also persuaded The Gazette to opine that a change in zoning for the golf course would mean “a connection to the Greenbelt Trail would be enhanced by kayaking and winter sports.” Another black eye. The hiking trail was also already granted in 2001 when the golf course was built, as was the trail to Lake Lonely for kayaking.
All the above is public record. Saratoga National Golf Course is playing the city for a fool if they can convince the City Council they are getting something the city doesn’t already have. We will have to see how much of the farm the council is going to give away in exchange for nothing. Saratoga National Golf Course is powerful and influential and has the full weight of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce behind them. The people just have themselves and whatever spare time they can afford between work, kids, and all of life’s demands.
There was a time that the people also had the “fourth estate;” an independent and conscientious press to help offset the power of money and prestige on government.
Theresa A. Capozzola
The writer is an attorney and member of 2013 Comprehensive Plan Committee.
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Categories: Letters to the Editor