Airport expansion will have negative impact on area
My husband Tony and I have lived on Ichabod Lane in the town of Milton for 27 years. We are very disturbed by the Saratoga County airport's plan to expand its runways.
It should be clearly stated that regardless of which alternative will be chosen, options 1, 2 and 3 include land and easement acquisitions. At the very least, two homes will be lost. Two families will lose their homes and the value of the remaining homes will undoubtedly be diminished.
They have stated the reason for the expansion is safety. The conclusion of the Federal Aviation Administration, reported in the McFarland Johnson's Airport Master Plan Update, page 6-6, is that the airport is safe as it is, if the planes abide by the fuel standards for our current runways. It fulfills all FAA criteria. The real reason for the expansion is so jet fuel may be sold at the airport. We have been told the sale of 100,000 gallons of jet fuel will yield $100 in sales tax revenue for the town of Milton.
There are three runway expansion options:
Option 1 -- No Build, takes two homes and 14 easements and cost $560,000;
Option 2 -- Add 801 feet, takes 23 homes at $5.98 million. Got to sell a lot of gas to get a return on this investment;
Option 3 -- Add 301 feet, still takes the two homes minimum and will cost the taxpayers $1.98 million.
We don't mind the airport. We chose to live here. What we are opposed to is people losing their homes and the destruction of landscape and our neighborhood.
Please go to www.stopairport.com for more information.
Sharon A. Licata
Tony V. Licata
Politicians to blame for VA’s problems
The current scandal involving the Veterans Administration and its care (or lack of care) for our veterans has made me as angry as I have ever been with our politicians.
As horrible as the scandal is, the blatant attempts by members of both parties to turn it into a political opportunity is disgusting. I've always wondered just how low politicians would sink to score political points and garner free air time. I finally have my answer.
The Republicans and conservatives called for the head of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki for his lack of action and did their best to act shocked in front of the TV cameras. The Democrats and liberals are pointing fingers at the Bush administration, who were there at the start of the scandal over 10 years ago when it was revealed that many of the veterans treatment centers were unsanitary and lacking in proper staffing and supplies.
Congress has had over a decade since then to change things and do the right thing by the brave men and women who gave all for their country, and it has done absolutely nothing. All of the people currently ranting and raving on Facebook and in the newspapers about which party is to blame need to wake up, get a dose of reality and look at what is really happening.
With very few exceptions, these so-called representatives don't care one bit about the veterans. All they care about is getting their faces plastered on the TV screen as they show their phony indignation over the treatment of our veterans. If they were truly concerned, they would have worked together to correct this shameful issue years ago.
This is not a political issue. This is about our families and friends and the very real physical and mental wounds that they came home with from war. Our senators, congressmen and presidents insult our veterans every time they make this a political issue instead of a human one.
My dad used to say that there was a special place in hell for these kind of opportunistic creeps that we call our Congress, and that is exactly where I would like to tell them to go.
Remember "other" D-Day, in the Pacific
Many thanks to Jerry Fiore for his May 31 letter to the editor reminding us of the approaching 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day invasion.
The soldiers who participated and sacrificed in that invasion deserve all the credit they receive. But let us not forget also to remember that other D-Day that occurred in June 1944: the invasion of Saipan, known as the "D-Day in the Pacific." The Saipan invasion that began on June 15, 1944, has special significance for our area because New York's own 27th Infantry Division took part in that bloody battle alongside two Marine divisions.
Many of the men from the 27th were from Albany, Troy, Schenectady and surrounding areas, particularly the 105th Regiment, two battalions of which survived a massive banzai charge near the end of the Saipan campaign, suffering heavy casualties while repulsing that attack. Three men of the 105th received Medals of Honor, all posthumously, for their actions that day. Two of those Medal of Honor recipients are buried in the Capital Region: Lt. Col. O'Brien in Troy and Sgt. Thomas Baker in Saratoga National Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the experiences of New York soldiers on Saipan should read the excellent book, "Battling for Saipan," written by Francis O'Brien (nephew of the late Lt. Col. O'Brien). The 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment continued to exist as a New York Army National Guard unit headquartered in the now-vacant Washington Avenue Armory in Schenectady well into the 2000s (with companies located in Troy, Amsterdam, Gloversville and Leeds).
Let us not forget the courageous soldiers and Marines of this "other D-Day," the battle of Saipan, which should be especially honored and remembered in the Capital Region and throughout New York.
John R. (Bob) Dial
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