Stockade-athon’s contribution to Sch’dy worth slight disruption
Re Rev. William Levering’s Nov. 11 letter “gently” suggesting a change in the start time to the Gazette Stockade-athon: The race’s current start time, 9 a.m., was requested by the Schenectady police, to replace the original 10 a.m. start. This change was recommended and implemented precisely to avoid unnecessary inconvenience for persons attending local church services, which typically start at 10 a.m. or later.
Moreover, current race director, Vince Juliano, has made it a point to attempt to accommodate the concerns of any and all organizations: churches, Ellis Hospital and city officials in scheduling and revising the course route.
Major changes were made again, just this year, to minimize any impediments to emergency traffic accessing Ellis Hospital. Still, we all recognize that there will inevitably be some congestion and delay to traffic in moving 1,800 runners, joggers and walkers through 9.3 miles of parks, cemetery and city streets.
It might be of interest to your readers to know just how much this event contributes to the city and its businesses:
* $6,000 for police, including the costs of their health and pension benefits;
* $3,500 to local food suppliers for refreshments for 1,700 runners and 200 volunteers;
* $2,000 to local businesses and craftsmen for awards;
* $1,200 to local hotels for invited athletes;
* $1,000 to local business for printing and signage;
* $4,000 for screen printing of shirts.
The Gazette Stockade-athon is in its 37th year, with the generous support of The Gazette Newspapers for 31 of those years and Fleet Feet Sports for the past six years. In addition, it should be noted that the organization that puts on the event, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club, is a not-for-profit, entirely run by volunteers. In the past three years, the club has made two donations of $10,000 each to the city and county of Schenectady, to provide improvements to Central Park and Vale Cemetery.
Perhaps Rev. Levering could encourage his fellow pastors and their congregations to be a bit more tolerant of 15-20 minute delays, and more welcoming to this crowd of runners, 75 percent of whom are visitors to our fair city,
C. Christopher Rush
The writer is a former director of the Stockade-athon.
Voters shouldn’t go back to being inattentive
As we voters breathe a sign of relief that the election madness is over, we may want to think about our role for the next four years.
The popular vote suggests that our country is deeply divided. No news there, but now what? If we “got what we wanted,” we might want to stay in the game by writing, calling, e-mailing our president to give him our support on the issues that are going to be in play for the next four years. We want to be clear about what we will or won’t support, as there will be so much pressure from the other side to resist changes that were promised in the election.
As we have seen in the past, promises made in an election can be forgotten. Therefore, as mentioned previously, write, call, e-mail the president to suggest that we have more than a five-minute attention span, and we want the things promised in election speeches.
If “the other guy” won, this is a time to look clearly at the issues that were not supported by the majority of voters to see if there is another way to do things. Go back to the basics: We all need food, housing and clean air and water. Does everyone have these things? If not, work together to make it happen.
Next, we all cherish our granted freedoms, although we define them differently. These freedoms belong to all; get rid of the legislation that limits these freedoms to any group. Looking back in history, we see that the “big bad thing” that was supposed to happen if things changed, often didn’t.
We need that same courage and gumption to try new things, to give up old traditions and move our wonderful country forward together. After the election madness, we still need to be active participants in our messy democratic system.
Chinese dragons wrong theme for holiday parade
How inappropriate for “Enter the Dragon” to be the theme for a holiday parade — or do I dare say former Christmas parade?
The atrocities that occurred in China under Mao’s rule, starving millions, and we are celebrating it for our holiday theme? Or is it that China owns most of our debt, and we pay homage to the great lender to the United States of America?
Make sure, comrades, to wear your shirts with Mao’s photo and to wave red flags to celebrate a vicious dictator.
In my opinion, it is a boneheaded idea. What happened to it being about U.S. holiday traditions? Price Chopper should have thought twice before going along with this one.
Bring back our own traditions and stop trying to take holiday traditions away from the spirit of the holiday. Merry Christmas, “Chimerica.”
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