Foster Bldg. in danger of deteriorating past point of no return
Without a doubt, the most beautiful facade in downtown Schenectady belongs to the Foster Building. Located on State Street near the Bank of America building, the Foster’s public face is an explosion of glorious, gorgeous classically inspired ornamentation. No building in Albany or Troy can match our Foster Building for sheer beauty. Even in Manhattan, it is difficult to find a comparable facade. I doubt whether the Foster facade could be duplicated today at any price.
How sad, then, that the Foster sits empty as it has for too many years. We can only hope that its owners, or future owners, will successfully redevelop it.
Sadder still, and a threat to the Foster Building’s continued existence, are the numerous broken and open windows one can see from the street. Broken windows allow snow and rain to enter the building. Water damage inside a building hastens structural decay. If the building is allowed to deteriorate to the point it can’t be saved, Schenectady will have lost an irreplaceable architectural gem.
The owners should see to it that the building is weather-tight. But if they fail to take action, I urge the civil authorities, whether the city or Metroplex or another governmental organization, to take whatever steps are necessary to properly close up the building. Such action could be considered a pre-emptive move to halt deterioration before the building becomes so structurally unstable that it is an imminent threat to public safety. Alternatively, such a large building left unsecured presents a target to vandals, squatters, and other trespassers, and is a public nuisance.
It would be a shame to see the Foster Building become yet another victim of “demolition by neglect.”
Amsterdam is also a new hip place
You ran a Nov. 4 article reporting a new type of hip replacement performed in Schenectady by Dr. Rory Wood. The article states, “This surgery is also being done in Albany. About 400 surgeons nationwide have been trained to do hip resurfacing. ...”
Apparently, your reporter was not aware that I have been providing this operation to my patients in Amsterdam, since the spring of 2007.
Russell N. A. Cecil
The writer is an orthopedic surgeon
Killing a helpless deer nothing to brag about
A distasteful photo of a slaughtered, contorted deer tied to the back of a Jeep, shown on the Nov. 16 front page, was captioned “Bragging rights?”
What, exactly, are they bragging about? Is it because these so-called brave “hunters” idiotically sit in the woods for hours on end in a little tree fort, waiting for a big, ferocious deer to appear so they could make the “big kill?”
You have got to be kidding! The stalking and inhumane killing of one of the most gentle four-legged animals on this earth hardly [justifies] “bragging rights.”
Turning $7 trillion debt into surplus a snap!
I watch TV occasionally, but seldom see an entire program. I’ve seen recently that we have a financial crisis, a slumping economy and burgeoning debt. To solve these issues our leaders will be lending or giving away $7 trillion to yet-to-be-determined organizations. I’m not sure where the money is coming from, other than a printing press.
I also saw an infomercial on “Transforming Debt into Wealth.” This program is only $39.95. Don’t our leaders watch TV? It seems so simple. We can buy 537 copies of the program, one each for each member of Congress, the president and the vice president, for a mere $21,453 — and that’s assuming we can’t cut a deal on a site license. That purchase would arm our leaders with the skills to transform our enormous debt into unimaginable wealth, and we would have $699,999,978,547 left over.
The remaining money should be promptly given away as well, to increase our debt and thus create an even larger base to transform into wealth. It’s simple economics. Why haven’t our leaders thought of it?
Use Metroplex to offset local property taxes
At a time when our country is facing a serious economic problem and the effect that it has on hard-pressed taxpayers, I sincerely believe local legislators must provide the leadership in changing the Metroplex spending format to help local taxpayers.
For instance, if the Metroplex dollars were annually earmarked to offset the cost of sewer, water, garbage taxes, as well as some street work and neighborhood safety needs, the benefactors would be local, hard-pressed taxpayers and each of the neighborhoods.
The legislative action I have herein respectfully asked our city and county legislators to take must be done as quickly as possible. Why? Because since Metroplex has been given the authority to borrow up to $75 million, local taxpayers will be facing serious financial payback burdens in the coming years.
Local taxpayers, via their state/federal taxes, help subsidize many private-sector businesses. However, the same local taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize local business. The annual sales tax money must be used to help offset the cost of important annual infrastructure work.
Local taxpayers are in favor of attracting new business. The same local taxpayers also patronize local business, but they cannot afford to subsidize private-sector business. The annual sales tax money of some $8 million or $9 million belongs to the people. As such, it should be used to help offset their property taxes.
Please, local legislators, your bosses are local taxpayers; voters must not be put into a serious financial debt payback. Legislative action must be taken to prevent Metroplex from borrowing up to $75 million at the expense of local, hard-pressed taxpayers.
Think about what you are strapping our next generation with. This is a time when we must all tighten our belts.
Frank J. Duci
The writer is a former Schenectady mayor, city councilman and county legislator.
Schuylerville should explore dissolution plan
I encourage the Schuylerville Village Board to apply for the state grant to study municipal dissolution.
I have been a village resident for over 65 years, and would welcome any information enabling residents to take advantage of cost-saving measures and still maintain our “village” in the standard it deserves.
This grant will provide the information we need to make decisions about the most economic and practical way of governing our village.
No ‘vowel play’ in post-election letter
Concerning Bea and Gerry Hahn’s Nov. 17 letter, “Obama: Vowels beat consonants, 3-2”: If they had published the letter before the election, they could have been accused of “vowel play.” However, their timing was perfect!
It illustrated that Obama is not “consonant” with Bush or McPain (sic).
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