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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/22/2018

Nature Conservancy’s land sale won’t benefit Adirondacks

Nature Conservancy’s land sale won’t benefit Adirondacks

*Nature Conservancy’s land sale won’t benefit Adirondacks *Schoharie Valley was ready to take on San

Nature Conservancy’s land sale won’t benefit Adirondacks

If you read any North Country newspapers these days, you’ve probably noticed growing opposition to The Nature Conservancy’s 69,000-acre Adirondack deal with New York state. There are numerous good reasons why this is happening.

Adirondack environmentalists — now including The Nature Conservancy — have a 40-year track record of advocating against senior citizens. Many old-timers like to drive into camp and just play cards, sit on the porch, tell yarns and connect with nature. Under this plan, camps like the famous Gooley Club out of Indian Lake will be closed and no longer provide that opportunity.

If The Nature Conservancy was acting in good faith, they would have left the Gooley Club alone. They didn’t do that.

Gov. Cuomo claims that this plan will create jobs. That’s not likely. Hundreds of jobs in logging, forestry and the manufacture of furniture, lumber, paper and other forest products will be lost when this land becomes part of the Forest Preserve.

We know the beauty of furniture made from Adirondack maple, cherry and birch. Logging on the Forest Preserve is prohibited.

If the past is any indication, much of the 69,000 acres will no doubt be classified as wilderness. Environmentalists like to claim that wilderness is necessary for the protection of wildlife; but we know from the moose, coyotes, fishers and bears roaming the Capital Region that this is just so much baloney. In fact, many species, such as moose, woodcock and various songbirds, prefer logged areas because the increase in sunlight results in new vegetation used as food and habitat.

In its most recent issue, Forbes 400 magazine reported that in 2010 The Nature Conservancy received $527 million in private donations. With a bankroll like that, an organization can make acquisitions they shouldn’t be making. That is exactly what has happened in the Adirondacks and that is why people are not happy with this Conservancy/state deal.

Donald Wharton

S. Glens Falls

Schoharie Valley was ready to take on Sandy

Hurricane Sandy reminded us of the nightmare that our region went through last year. Knowing what could happen spurred many people into action and they should be recognized for their efforts.

Here in Middleburgh, we had a disaster response prepared days in advance, using our experience from Irene. The village government, department of public works and the Middleburgh Fire Department prepared and were always one step ahead of the storm.

Beyond this comes thanks that our representatives were proactive and helped avoid a catastrophe. The largest thanks must go to the work Assemblyman Peter Lopez and his office did in reaching out to the governor’s office and having [the] Gilboa Reservoir lowered ahead of the storm. Rep. Chris Gibson’s office was on top of the information, making sure that people were notified and received help.

Our county government and emergency management were nimble, showing that they had learned where it counts. Most of all, the people of our area were responsible and ready for the worst, even while hoping for the best.

Matthew Avitabile


The writer is the mayor.

Blatnick worked his way up wrestling ladder

Having been fortunate enough to have been a high school teammate of Jeff Blatnick, and to also attend the same Pennsylvania summer camp that high school wrestling coach Joseph Bena refers to [in the Oct. 30 Gazette] as having “vastly improved” Jeff and turned him into “a different hombre,” I’d like to elaborate.

Kids can be kids. At the camp, many of the smaller wrestlers would tease Jeff about his size and weight. Instead of being discouraged by this, Jeff did something that no other camper was doing. He befriended the older, more mature adult instructors who were not there to tease him but to help him.

He actually scrimmaged with NCAA heavyweight champions Geoff Baum (Oklahoma State) and Mark Lieberman (Lehigh University) during free time, while his peers were goofing around and not putting forth that same extra effort to improve.

Jeff sought out the best competition instead of avoiding it as others did. It was a privilege to personally know Jeff and to witness how he transformed from a struggling high school athlete to a man, to a champion.

“A different hombre,” indeed!

Hal D. Zendle


Records fee died proper death — despite editorial

This is regarding your Oct. 17 editorial, “Death and taxes inevitable, so why complain?” in which you told the complainers of the proposed vital records priority fee in Schenectady to get a life.

First, when I addressed the City Council in a polite and respectful manner, I made it clear that I was speaking on behalf of the families that are going to be affected by the additional fee. So what the Gazette is really saying is, “To all the families that have had a death in the family and don’t like the fee — get a life, but please continue to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on obituaries in the Gazette.”

After thinking about this further, I realized that I was one of those families that spent money on your obituary page 10 months ago upon the death of my mother, and I take offense at your ignorant statement.

Second, for you to state that issuing certified documents is an “extraordinary service” is a desperate attempt to prove a point. Our fire department going into a burning building or our police apprehending a gunman while the rest of us sleep — that is an extraordinary service.

Third, your advice “not to make a fuss because everyone else is doing it” is exactly what is wrong in this country. Standing up in a respectful way and letting our voice be heard is exactly what we should be doing.

I’ll be looking for your apology to the families that need to get a life. And by the way, the priority fee was voted down!

Tom Verret


The writer is a licensed funeral director at DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home.

Niskayuna offers co-op shopping experience

Re Oct. 23 article, “Renovations stall opening of food co-op” [on Erie Boulevard in Schenectady]: Calling all Union College students and Schenectady residents. For those who still may not be aware, there is [already] a cooperative supermarket [in the community]. It’s called the Niskayuna Co-Op Supermarket, and is located at 2227 Nott St. at Balltown Road.

It specializes in locally grown and produced products, organic, natural and gluten-free items, as well as a wide variety of national and regional brands. The co-op is not-for-profit, and is community-owned. A one-time membership fee of $5 entitles members to lower prices, but all are welcome to enjoy the co-op shopping experience.

John Templer


The writer is a member of the Niskayuna Co-Op.

Too bad Lynch was let go by Auriesville Shrine

I was shocked that Beth Lynch, the event planner at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, had been laid off [Oct. 30 Gazette].

I realized how knowledgeable Miss Lynch was, as I enjoyed her fine presentation on Kateri Tekakwitha shortly before the Thanksgiving Mass on Oct. 21.

My sister, Kathy, from Long island, and I attended the Mass, and also took in the museum. Miss Lynch welcomed us and the other visitors. She answered many questions and pointed out other things to enjoy on the grounds.

Every item at the museum was well labeled, and impeccably organized. As a museum director, Miss Lynch had definitely put her whole heart and soul into her work.

What an asset Miss Lynch has been over the past four years. Her expertise and joyful spirit will be sorely missed.

Barbara A. Mormando


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