Pool safety should be responsibility of parents, not gov’t
Rotterdam town Supervisor Harry Buffardi is quoted as saying he’d “be hard pressed to answer” a question regarding non-enforcement of state regulations of inflatable swimming pools [Aug. 15 Gazette]. Let me suggest a few points. The purchase of a $249 swimming pool should not be saddled with $850 worth of home improvements.
The advantage of affordable backyard swimming pools is that it provides children with an activity that is in their own backyards, and an opportunity to become acquainted with the enjoyments of water and knowledgeable about its dangers, a knowledge best learned close to home rather than at some pond or the river.
Of course, there are some benefits to addressing safety concerns, but politicians, whether at the state or local level fail to give consideration to the benefits of freedom from government playing the role of “nanny.” That is a parents’ responsibility, a responsibility to teach children to understand the many dangers they face and the responsibility to teach respect for the property rights of others.
Make it difficult, costly, and unlikely that people will provide such opportunities and you marginalize those families with limited means to do so and that is discriminatory to the individual and the community.
William P. McMillen
The writer is vice chairman of the Capital District Chapter of the Libertarian Party of New York.
Another gem of a building lost to development
On Aug. 2, the oldest structure on Lark Street, Albany, was demolished by the owner, Dr. [Yusef] Dincer.
This was Tandoor Palace Restaurant at Lark and Madison. Originally it was part of Paul Clark’s Tavern, and store, built around 1797.
Shortly prior to the city planning board and the Historic Resources Commission [HRC] hearings on this, Dincer’s architect, Scott Townsend, denied me access to the inside of the building by claiming a danger of collapse due to a fire. But the arson trial indicated no structural damage to the building.
When the HRC meeting convened, some person who claimed having a Ph.D. in planning and [who] wrote [the book,] “Built to Last,” assured them that Paul Clark’s Tavern wasn’t worth any bother. “Built to Last” isn’t about architecture, though, but on constructing corporations.
Nevertheless, the commission voted for demolition over the objections of Historic Albany and Commissioner Lee Pinckney, who urged “above-ground archaeology” before deciding. Lee is a broadly knowledgeable architect and the only really qualified member of this mayor-appointed body.
I started discovering unique Federal-style brick structures bearing Dutch construction details in Albany in 1965. I’ve since periodically found more, no two alike, and reported them. All, however, have been demolished, including, recently, 67 Sheridan Ave. for “The Monroe” [apartments] parking.
Now Tandoor Palace. It’s a waste to entrust gems, or the like, to unappreciative recipients. These extremely rare buildings, if preserved, could be bringing in millions of dollars to a variety of local businesses. This from tourists who like to see something different, original, and special to a locality.
New ballet companies stepped up to save SPAC season
There is an old saying: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Marcia White and the SPAC board did more than make lemonade with the 2013 dance season. They made it sizzle.
When cost constraints limited the New York City Ballet (NYCB) to one week, SPAC brought in the National Ballet of Canada, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Momix. Despite having fewer performances, these companies easily made up for the absence of the NYCB.
The Canadian ballet company, in particular, was outstanding and deserving of additional praise since the dancers and musicians performed despite extreme heat and humidity, conditions under which many other companies would have refused to perform.
These four companies provided us with a dance season that was excellent and refreshingly varied. Saratoga has, for years, been lucky to have the NYCB come to SPAC each summer.
SPAC audiences would be even luckier if the National Ballet of Canada also returned in 2014.
Obama too selective in his condemnation re Egypt
Obama has angrily condemned the crackdown by Egypt’s interim leaders on [Egyptian President Mohammed] Morsi’s mostly Islamist supporters, but, as expected, he failed to denounce the bloody violence by the Islamists on scores of Christian churches in Egypt and other Islamic countries.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.