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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Point of presentation, and job of Realtor: to sell Schenectady

Point of presentation, and job of Realtor: to sell Schenectady

*Point of presentation, and job of Realtor: to sell Schenectady *N.Y. could benefit from horse slaug

Point of presentation, and job of Realtor: to sell Schenectady

Re April 17 article, “Area real estate agents not sold on city’s pitch”: Realtors, sell the positives of Schenectady!

I am a Realtor who lives in the city of Schenectady. I have lived here just about all my life and choose to stay here. My children attend Schenectady schools and are excelling. I am involved in Northside Little League, school PTOs and a frequent visitor to Schenectady shops, restaurants, theaters and parks.

I live a very happy, full life here in Schenectady and that was the point of the April 16 presentation. To show Realtors, who work with potential buyers in Schenectady, that the city has a lot to offer.

As Realtors, our job isn’t just to sell a house, but to sell everything that comes with it. When we sell houses in Schenectady, your buyers may be concerned about the taxes, however, it is possible to help alleviate that concern by helping them calculate monthly payments rather than looking at yearly figures. Most buyers consider how buying a home will impact them on a monthly basis and this will have more meaning than saying the taxes are $6,000 per year. Keep in mind everything is relative and help the buyers do the same. Do a cost comparison of buying a house in Schenectady and one in another area. Show the value.

Another way to show the value is to focus on the strengths of Schenectady. Schenectady has seen its share of difficult times, but that is changing. Downtown Schenectady is going through a significant revitalization and bringing in visitors from the entire Capital Region as well as nationally and internationally. As stated [April 16] by Ray Gillen of Schenectady’s Metroplex Authority, our entertainment venue is unparalleled. More than 600,000 visitors enter the city of Schenectady annually.

Schenectady schools are staffed with highly qualified teachers and brimming with programs for every kind of student. Superintendent Laurence Spring and his staff are making changes based on data related to student need and performance. Schenectady Community College [SCCC] is the fastest growing college and meeting the needs of more students every year. SCCC has added a new music building, culinary program, aviation, air traffic and air traffic control. Also, new programs in logistics, gaming, battery and nanotechnology as well as new campus housing.

GE has invested in the city yet again. Since 2004 Schenectady has seen more than 1,300 new jobs created and is the home to main energy campus as well as world renewable energy headquarters and GE battery plant. Business growth in Schenectady continues to increase. Use that information to sell a home in Schenectady, not a misguided, longstanding negative reputation about the city. Schenectady is moving along in a positive way and so should we as Realtors when selling a home here.

The April 16 presentation was an effort to sell homes in a city that has value. If the delivery of the program was not what you needed or expected, don’t let that be a reflection on the city itself. The crime rate, the graduation rate and the tax rate don’t need to be highlighted in a presentation like this because we are obviously already aware of these.

The point was to highlight what is positive and strong about Schenectady, which is what we would use to sell a home here. Our license prohibits us from talking about school performance and comparing districts; the buyer can get all of that online. Tell them what they don’t know. Tell them what’s good about Schenectady. The only shame here is that the city’s own paper failed to do that in reporting on the April 16 success.

Christine Serafini


The writer is a Realtor.

N.Y. could benefit from horse slaughter facility

Just read both “Spanish horses facing slaughter” and “Bill to outlaw horse slaughter draws GOP, Democrat sponsors” articles in the April 19 Gazette.

While Assemblyman James Tedisco and Sen. Kathy Marchione are playing to the emotions of horse ownership, the fate of the Andalusian horses about to be shipped to slaughter due to the changing economics of Spain is telling.

There is a growing number of horses in this country that are either being abandoned or receiving poor care due to the inability of owners to support them as jobs are lost and costs of living rise.

In California, they are cast adrift in the desert to fend for themselves, often starving to death. Local rescue farms are doing all they can, but are underfunded and unable to accept every animal that comes their way.

It would seem to me that the legislative efforts to prevent passage of horses through New York on their way to slaughter facilities in Canada could be better directed to establishing and supporting a humane slaughter facility in New York state.

With proper governmental supervision, this would meet a need, provide jobs and create tax income. Under governmental supervision we already slaughter just about every other domestic farm animal for consumption, so the precedent is set.

And, yes, I am a horse owner. We have had pleasure horses in Saratoga County for almost 20 years. I have had to put one of my own down due to severe illness. It’s not pleasant, but it is a fact of life we face when caring for horses.

Phil Arony


The world can be safely navigated without guns

I am 72. I taught school in rural Ethiopia. I traveled alone through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. I traveled alone through Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I drove alone from Syracuse through Mexico to Guatemala and back.

I drove a taxi in suburban New Jersey, making pickups at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports. I delivered expensive drugs for export to JFK airport. I made freight deliveries in Pittsburgh, New York City, Boston and Montreal. I delivered merchandise for cash throughout the Capital Region.

For all these activities, I never carried a weapon. For the NRA [National Rifle Association] to insist that every citizen has the constitutional right to be equipped for mass murder, simply indicates how sick our society has become.

Ted Thompson


Attacks shouldn’t cause us to sacrifice freedoms

What makes America great is that we are a free people.

Women can attend political events and become president. African-Americans can vote and own businesses. People of Hispanic descent can run corporations and be governors. Muslims can be senators and worship freely. Citizens can protest government actions without fear of reprisal.

These truths not only make America great, but make us an exemplar to many in the world who lack such freedom. The goal of any terrorist is, by definition, to coerce action by creating fear.

The events in Boston were tragic, but they cannot induce a knee-jerk reaction toward security, at the cost of freedom. Benjamin Franklin said: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

His words ring truer today than ever. Be strong, America, stay free!

Christopher J. Ognibene


While Bill Rice left a huge set of boots to fill when he retired from writing “Ski Trails,” Phil Johnson filled them beautifully.

From beginner to expert, youth to senior, or recreational to professional, each week he provided something for everybody.

He had a wholesome way of presenting his own ski adventures, an informative presentation of those skiing competitively, and I really appreciated the tips on deals for skiers like me.

Hats off to Phil! I’m already looking forward to next year!

Jan Godfrey


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