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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

  • Pedestrians, drivers both responsible regarding safety
  • Attack on Hamilton Hill arts direct
  • Pedestrians, drivers both responsible regarding safety

    In response to the Jan. 13 letter, “Drivers shouldn’t walk when they hit pedestrian,” I believe it is important to understand that pedestrian safety has to be the responsibility of both the pedestrian and the motorist.

    The Schenectady County Traffic Safety program has an educational campaign that centers around three major messages to the public:

    1) Cross like your life depends on it. Use crosswalks, obey signals, look left, right left.

    2) Take the time to cross safely. Use crosswalks or other appropriate crossings. Be sure drivers can see you.

    3) Stop for pedestrians. Drive safely, stop for pedestrians at intersections and crosswalks.

    Common sense is what is needed to accomplish all of the above. Both pedestrians and drivers must be alert and predictable. The all-too-common practices of crossing wherever it is convenient, not waiting for pedestrian signals, and vehicles turning into pedestrians as they cross have to be curtailed.

    In the vicinity of schools, drivers need to slow down, and parents who often drive their children to school must stop the practice of teaching their children to dart across the road when it is “clear.”

    No matter who is at fault, when a pedestrian and car collide, the pedestrian will suffer. Proper practices will allow us all to share the road safely.

    Denise Cashmere


    The writer is traffic safety coordinator for Schenectady County STOP-DWI.

    Attack on Hamilton Hill arts director unjustified

    In reference to the Jan. 13 article “Arts center conflict boils over,” I am extremely disappointed in the accusations of former Hamilton Hill Arts Center board member and current Schenectady County NAACP president, Paul Webster, condemning the executive director of the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, Miki Conn.

    I have read the article several times and fail to see how Mrs. Conn has not upheld the responsibilities of her executive directorship with integrity. I further do not see any alternative ideas that were presented and ignored that were used as a basis to bring Mrs. Conn’s integrity into question.

    It seems that in these times of economic hardship, Mrs. Conn has led the Hamilton Hill Arts Center not only with integrity, but with compassion. The Hamilton Hill Arts Center has faithfully served and benefited the community since its founding by Margaret Cunningham 40 years ago, and this tradition has continued under Mrs. Conn’s direction.

    I personally am quite shocked that the president of another long-standing Schenectady institution like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would make such senseless accusations from what seemed to be just personal idiosyncrasies.

    When an organization whose primary function is keeping the children of our community safe, while educating them about ancient culture, is condemned by a sister organization, something is terribly skewed.

    I wonder if Mr. Webster plans on leading the community of the Schenectady County Chapter of the NAACP as uncompassionately as he feels Mrs. Conn should lead the Hamilton Hill Arts Center community. I, for one say, if that is his plan, may God help us all.

    Christopher M. Dixon Sr.


    Malta supervisor is hypocritical on growth

    I must say that I read my Jan. 12 copy of The Daily Gazette with some surprise after reading Supervisor Paul Sausville’s letter to the editor regarding growth in Malta.

    In his letter, Supervisor Sausville states the oft-heard Malta GOP tenet that Malta should retain its “small town feel” by encouraging developments akin to Ellsworth Commons and other higher density commercial/mixed use development to locate in the “dying cities” of Albany, Schenectady and Troy.

    While reinvestment in our cities is an admirable goal, one would think that this should hold true for all large types of business in Malta, not just the ones the supervisor does not like. If Supervisor Sausville truly cared for our cities, he would have insisted that GlobalFoundries locate in Albany, Schenectady or Troy on a brownfield or any other wise reuse of former industrial property. Could these “dying” cities not benefit from a large chip fab and its ancillary development and all they have to offer fiscally?

    I personally have no objection to GlobalFoundries or Ellsworth Commons and am very glad they are coming to town. After all, a walkable community is a very positive thing. The hypocrisy of the supervisor’s letter to the Gazette, however, is confusing and concerning to me. How can he welcome GlobalfFoundries on one hand and attempt to stifle projects like Ellsworth Commons with the other, and then suggest that those projects go locate in a city?

    David J. Plante


    The writer is a member of the group “No More Sprawlta” and is a professional land use planner.

    Count shows Canalway growing in popularity

    We were pleased to see the story about the Canalway trail count results for the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Hike Trail in the Jan. 13 Gazette. The Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail volunteers did a superb job in helping us gather the data needed to make estimates of the number of annual users.

    The story indicates that we estimated 174,000 total users for the Capital Region section of the Canalway trail. In fact, that is the annual trail traffic volume that we estimated for just one location, Lions Park in Niskayuna. We calculated annual trail traffic volume estimates for four separate locations between Colonie and Rotterdam based on our counts. The report presents our estimates for each location but does not attempt to use this information to predict an overall total for the trail within the entire Capital Region — a distance much greater than just between Colonie and Rotterdam.

    With the information we do have, however, there is no doubt that the Erie Canalway Trail is growing in popularity and fast becoming an important resource that brings significant economic, public health, tourism, and quality-of-life benefits to the region.

    Frances Gotcsik


    The writer is director of program and policy for Parks and Trails New York.

    Skating at park one of city’s ‘excellent’ things

    Re Jan. 9 article, “Budget has no room for winter carnival this year”: “I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent” is a funny saying, but it could easily be applied to Schenectady. We all know about the imperfections, but can we try to focus on the excellence?

    We claim Central Park as one “excellence,” in any season. It’s really beautiful in winter, great for walking and for skating. If we get much snow, I hope we can keep the ice clear enough for kids to skate on. Our grandchildren skate there all winter, even in some unusual weather (I remember the freezing-rain pellets bouncing off my coat . . .) With all the recent talk about increasing the amount of exercise kids get, does it make sense to get rid of one of the opportunities?

    Of course money is tight, everywhere. But I hope something can be worked out so that this wonderful park can always be used to its fullest, in every season of the year.

    Shirley HedGEman


    City Hall smoking ban in Gloversville a good idea

    Re Jan. 12 article, “Mayor bans smoking near City Hall”: Mayor [Dayton] King of Gloversville deserves a gold star for implementing smoking bans near City Hall.

    Children imitate what they see, and this new ban will show youth that exposure to and use of tobacco do not go hand in hand with being involved in American politics and receiving government assistance. This ban creates an environment where visitors and employees are not exposed to the more than 50 carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) sent into the air from cigarette smoke.

    Additionally, the ban will help employees inside the building to not be exposed to the secondhand smoke that seeps into the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

    Great work, Mayor King!

    Amanda Hooker


    ‘After the Fire’ charity one of a kind in N.Y.

    Recently the home of a co-worker was destroyed by fire in Montgomery County. As a firefighter in Saratoga County, I was aware of a group called “After the Fire,” which assists families whose lives were devastated by fire with clothing, shelter and whatever other assistance they can bring to help ease the loss of a home due to fire.

    I contacted the group, asking if there was any other similar organization in Montgomery County that could assist the family. They told me that they were the only organization of their kind in the state. Although they only serve Saratoga, “After the Fire” was a wealth of information on resources that the family could use to get them back on their feet. I was amazed by their compassion and willingness to go out of their way to provide assistance opportunities for my co-worker.

    As someone who lost a home to fire some 25 years ago, it is nice to know that family, friends and community organizations like “After the Fire” are there to lift you up out of the ashes during an extremely hard time.

    Thank you to all the members of “After the Fire” for all you do in support of families in Saratoga County and beyond.

    Brian R. Bishop

    Middle Grove

    Letters Policy

    The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.

    There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.

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