Police actions setting drivers up for tickets

*Police actions setting drivers up for tickets *No need for shredder to destroy documents *Niskayuna

Police actions setting drivers up for tickets

The municipality of Schenectady is hurting so badly for finances to pay for the incomplete road work that they are ticketing you for violations of Vehicle & Traffic Law, Section 1175 — obstructing an intersection.

In order for you to be guilty of blocking an intersection, traffic on the other side of the intersection must have been completely stopped prior to you entering the intersection, not moving slowly, as is the case for many of you.

There are exemptions, also outlined in People of the State of New York v. Robert Horowitz. (Sept. 3, 2004, City of Watertown). Google it.

The police officer was blocking traffic on the morning of May 12 so that another could ticket. Yeah, that’s an exemption.

I have video footage of an officer directing traffic in front of a tractor-trailer moving under the light at Liberty Street, causing the tractor-trailer to become stuck in the middle of the intersection. The driver was ticketed.

My point is that the police in Schenectady cause the problem, then ticket you. My suggestion is complain to the chief, fight your ticket, then find an alternative route.

Joseph Oathout


No need for shredder to destroy documents

Your April 27 editorial [“Look to trash to prevent identity theft”] recommended everyone buy a shredder to prevent identity theft. I solved the destruction of records problem years ago as effectively as I can imagine anyone needs without using new tools. More importantly to me, I do not have to store that new appliance when not in use.

For any readers who would rather not buy or trip over a shredder, my method is as follows. You need a collected stack of shred-worthy documents (half inch or more is good), some dirty dishes, kitchen sink, dish soap, water and a long-handled utensil to stir with.

Step 1: Do your dishes. When finished, do not drain the still-warm, somewhat soapy and dirty water from the sink.

Step 2: With as many sheets at a time as you can easily tear, rip the documents into strips and throw them into the dish water. (Cutting the strips too narrow takes too much time. Cutting them too wide is not effective in destroying your documents.)

Step 3: When the tearing is complete, stir the mush-mash every 30 minutes or so as is convenient. You cannot stir too much. Leave in the sink overnight or longer.

Step 4: After soaking, you should have a relatively soft pulpy mass. Grab up handfuls at a time and form into balls of paper. Squeeze them out and rub them until they are smeared out and unreadable at the surface.

Step 5: Set the paper balls aside so they can dry out. Sitting them on the patio in the sun is good. The corner of your countertop also works. Larger balls take longer to dry out, which will take a few days. When they feel mostly dry and light, they are ready to put into your recycling. Done.

No one is ever going to be able to get anything useful out of those balls of papier-mache.

The soap helps wet the paper and glue it together a bit in the end. The dirt may also help. And you made use of a sink full of waste water. You will learn what works best for you; what size strips, how much to do at a time and how large to make the balls. Tom Sawyer tells me your kids may love the job.

Kenneth L. Fisher


Niskayuna fans show poor sportsmanship

The Niskayuna student cheering section put on a shameful display of unsportsmanlike conduct tonight [May 5], as the Niskayuna boys varsity lacrosse team hosted Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

During warm-ups, play and even halftime, the students brazenly yelled insults and taunts at Burnt Hills players, coaches and fans. After the game, I informed the Niskayuna athletic director, who did not apologize, although he stated that identified students would be “handled.”

However, given his dismissive response, I’m not holding my breath.

Sarah Trombadore


City needs to take care of traffic islands

My husband and I have been homeowners in the city of Schenectady for the past 30-plus years. We live on a street with an island near the Central Park Rose Garden.

When we first moved here, the greenhouse in Central Park provided a flatbed of flowers for the residents to plant on their piece of the island. Homeowners took pride in their island. Some even mowed, weeded and fertilized the grass without waiting for the city.

Over the years, the free flower give-away was stopped. Now it seems as if the city has given up on the islands completely. It has failed to provide even basic upkeep for a number of years. Grass only gets mowed when it’s ankle high, if then. Neighbors have had to call City Hall repeatedly to ask to have the grass mowed.

In addition, there are a number of trees and shrubs on the islands in serious need of attention. Many trees have dead limbs that pose a serious risk to people and cars along the streets. Shrubs are so overgrown in places that it makes it impossible to see cars traveling on the other side of the road.

Several years ago, some of the surrounding streets received new sidewalks and had their roads repaved. We didn’t. Two years ago, a new gas line was installed that tore up our road. Only the section where the gas line went in has been repaved. So, our road is a mess, our sidewalks are crumbling and the islands are becoming an eyesore.

Makes you wonder why any homeowner would want to stay in the city, doesn’t it?

Barbara Leonard


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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