New casino design not an improvement

*New casino design not an improvement *What was the rush for casino approvals? *Living in rural area

New casino design not an improvement

Go back to the drawing board, Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming.

This vastly modified site plan for Rivers Casino (revealed June 4) is not an improvement. In fact, it is appalling on many levels. While the original proposal looked like something designed for Miami Beach, this new one looks like a ’70s mall. If this is what you want, Rotterdam Mall a few miles south is virtually empty and underutilized. Use it instead.

If Schenectady has to have a casino, why not something innovative and inviting, forward-thinking, environmentally sound and LEEDS rated? If you are designing vast expanses of flat roofs, why not ones that utilize green-roof technology? Open parking lots in Schenectady? In winter? At least add bioswales that capture and clean the polluted water runoff, with trees that block wind and provide shade in summer.

Approval date is June 17. If you can’t do better, do nothing at all.

Melinda Morris Perrin


What was the rush for casino approvals?

I hope everyone in the city of Schenectady had the opportunity to read Mohamed Hafez’s June 5 guest column, “Schenectady in need of host deal for casino.” That surely is an eye opener showing us what our city administration has neglected to do in dealing with Rush Street Gaming and the Galesi Group.

It is one thing that a casino will be coming to our city, but it is another that this administration did not even give the slightest thought that we should have a Host Community Agreement (HCA). This was completely left out of any dealings with Rush Street Gaming or the Galesi Group.

In other words, the administration of our fair city not only gave whatever was necessary for these two groups, but just about gave them the keys to our fair city — do what you want. No business is run like that — if it was, it wouldn’t last two days.

Even back in January, The Gazette had a great editorial (Jan. 29), “Public needs to see impact of zoning,” which is an important issue and should not have been taken lightly. Here again, most of the City Council members (except Vince Riggi), including the president, always had the inevitable “excuse” that there is a time deadline and a vote must be made as soon as possible.

There was and is always time to make sure things are done correctly and this was definitely one of them. This project will be here for a long time. By hurriedly voting on this important issue, they gave unlimited heights to buildings, signs, etc. to Rush Gaming and the Galesi Group.

What was all the hurry because we have a deadline all about? Rush Street Gaming has yet to receive a casino license from the state Gaming Commission, but it is said it will by the end of the year. Ms. King, among many other items needing immediate attention, what was the so-called deadline that you referred to back in January when you had to vote for the Alco site zoning change, which was something that should really have been thought about long and seriously?

The public needed to see the impact of the zoning change, which it did not because the “excuse” of a deadline in everything that was done.

Jessie Malecki


Living in rural area no excuse for killing pets

I wish to make others aware of a horrifying incident that occurred a few weeks ago involving our family pet.

My dog wandered onto my next-door neighbors’ property, and as I was calling her back, I was horrified to see my neighbor chasing her with a pitchfork and throwing the pitchfork at her in a javelin-like manner.

She was frightened and running away from him, heading home, and he tried to hit her several times with the pitchfork. Now, we do live out in the country, but this neighbor does not own any livestock, so no living creatures were in jeopardy. (Let me add that I raise goats and chickens and own two horses, and my dog has never harmed any livestock.)

I was home, and all my neighbor had to do was to call me, or come over, and I would have immediately called her back and apologized for her going on his property. Instead, I witnessed my neighbor, for all intents and purposes, trying to kill my dog. Thank God he was a bad shot.

I am sending this letter as a reminder to all those who enjoy rural living — living out in the country does not automatically give one a license to kill. After all, this is not the Old West, and the animal you are trying to maim or kill could be a beloved family pet.

Gary Markert


Reinstate the draft to ensure our freedoms

As we near the 4th of July, we have many things to be thankful for. To name a few: living in a free land; going to any church or other place of worship and praying any way you want to; being free to go anyplace in this country anytime you want to — the list of goodness goes on and on. How lucky we are to be living in the United States of America.

As everyone knows, freedom is not free. It takes funding and lots of planning to keep it going. We are lucky to have a strong economy that keeps the wheels turning in the right direction. With all of this, we also need a strong military to keep outside forces from doing us harm. That leads to the United States starting a draft, which will benefit everyone.

If we have a two-year draft, those that want to enlist should be able to have a few perks, like maybe going in for one-and-a-half years. Our young people should be trained just in case we need a quick full-time military for whatever the reason.

As time goes on, it seems like more and more countries are doing the wrong thing for the entire world to take notice. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared,” and hope you never have to use any military except to prepare our young people to help themselves and our great country if need be.

God bless America.

Sid Gordon

Saratoga Springs

Schenectady needs more forceful leader

I fully agree with Mary McClaine’s June 6 letter to the editor. In addition to the defects and mistakes pointed out in Ms. McClaine’s letter, I believe that Mayor Gary McCarthy is not the forceful mayor the city of Schenectady deserves. He does not have adequate control over the departments and staff under him.

I ask, has Mayor McCarthy done or said anything concrete about the deplorable condition of our city streets? It is now June, and one can still lose a car in the potholes.

The potholes are just one example of his ineffectiveness.

The mayor is quick to criticize taxpayers about property code violations, yet, does nothing to change inefficient departments and staff under him, over which he supposedly has direct responsibility.

I think it is about time we consider a new mayor for Schenectady.

Walter J. Morlock


Climate change fact, not theory or law

Re June 8 letter, “Who is ignorant in debate over climate?”: There have been several recent letters questioning climate science, most recently by John Gaetani.

The fact is, we humans are putting tens of billions of tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the air every year, in addition to smaller amounts of other greenhouse gases. These extra gases absorb more infrared radiation emitted by Earth to space. This makes Earth warmer, the basic physics for which has been known for over 100 years. Air CO2 concentration is now passing 400 parts per million, up from about 280 before the industrial age.

Climate scientists devote much effort to understand the effects of rising CO2, which include higher surface temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and possible changes to weather patterns. Climate science progresses despite Mr. Gaetani’s mention of 30,000 undefined opposing “scientists,” and a couple of real climate researchers whose contrary ideas have been repeatedly shown to be false or irrelevant.

In an educational note, Mr. Gaetani suggests that “laws” best “theories” in science. In reality, the term “law” has no special relevance in science. It is a colloquial term usually referring to a simple equation that contributes to some broader theory. Newton’s “law of gravity,” which Mr. Gaetani mentions, is one example.

A theory is a well-tested, explanatory framework for some concept, like gravity, that involves all relevant data, models and tests. A theory is the highest form of broad understanding in science, even if the theory is known to be incomplete or limited in some of its parts.

A “fact” is generally a mere piece of data, like the fact that Earth’s temperature has risen at a rate of about 0.25 degrees F per decade over the past 30 years. Climate theory is about the why and how.

Kurt Hollocher



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