Amsterdam YMCA closure is shameful
Re Sept. 30 article, “Amsterdam YMCA to close its doors”: Shame on the city of Amsterdam for letting a 158-year institution close. Shame on our legislators for not finding funds to support a not-for-profit. The Y located in Hagaman wanted to construct a new building across from the Lynch middle school, but the neighbors didn’t want it. The only suitable place was a former school in Hagaman.
While in Hagaman, the Y provided preschool day care for children 6 months old and up. During the holidays and summer months, the Y provided a safe and fun place parents could bring their children to with activities for all. Besides exercise equipment, a sauna and showers, the Y conducted exercise classes for all adults during the day and the evening.
All the personal trainers were outstanding. I have enjoyed the “Silver Sneakers” classes for over three years. I made new friendships that will last way beyond the closing of the Y.
On Saturday, we will be celebrating our last Halloween together. All will bring food to share after our class and dress for the occasion. We will say “goodbye” to our instructor and the staff at the Y. We will never forget the years we enjoyed and benefitted from at the Y. Tears will be shed, but our memories will live on forever.
Mayor Yepsen has served Spa City well
Joanne Yepsen deserves another term as mayor of Saratoga Springs. In just one term, Joanne has brought new transparency and accountability to the mayor’s office, representing all of Saratoga Springs, not just the wealthy and powerful.
Her help in implementing Code Blue Saratoga and seeking housing solutions for working Saratogians and homeless veterans demonstrates her just concern and social responsibility. In establishing an Arts Commission, she has promoted the arts as a major source of economic as well as cultural enrichment, to the benefit of the entire city.
Joanne has always strongly endorsed Saratoga’s identity as a “city in the country.” As a co-founder of both Sustainable Saratoga and Saratoga PLAN, she has earned strong credentials as not only a protector of our environment, but an innovator in forward-thinking ways of making the city more environmentally friendly, including advocating for Saratoga as a Climate-Smart Community.
Joanne’s embrace of sensible development helped lead to the current request for proposals that, it is hoped, will result in a multipurpose downtown facility to expand business and residential opportunities, as well as parking. And while she has not taken a public stand on the expansion of Saratoga National Golf Club, her strong environmental record suggests she will not betray the planning principles she has supported for her entire political career.
Joanne Yepsen has helped make Saratoga Springs a more democratic, more green and more livable city. She deserves re-election on Nov. 3.
Schopf will be a local presence as judge
On Nov. 3, residents of Clifton Park have the opportunity to change the judicial system by electing Jonathan Schopf as town justice.
As a newcomer to the political scene, Jon employed a variety of ways to reach out to residents, explaining his qualifications and what sets him apart. Jon spent many nights and weekends this campaign season in neighborhoods introducing himself to residents, many of whom warmly received him and gained a better appreciation for the current makeup of Clifton Park.
As a family, we’ve continued to go to the numerous community events that we’ve always enjoyed, like farm fest, library programs, school functions and meals at the local firehouses or VFW. These opportunities provided Jon another avenue to meet residents and hear their concerns firsthand.
Several Clifton Park businesses have also been extremely supportive of Jon’s campaign efforts, understanding the local connection with Jon’s law practice. Clifton Park needs a judge who is in town day and night, and who can provide for the evolving Justice Court needs of Clifton Park. I hope you will vote for Jon Schopf on Nov. 3.
Auffredou has record of professionalism
Every few years, we have an opportunity to elect Supreme Court judges. We hear little about judicial contests because they are primarily based on qualifications and character of the candidate, and not political issues that get debated like traditional political races.
These are the only races whereby screening committees are established to interview and make a determination on whether a candidate is qualified or not. It’s quite refreshing, actually, because you have the opportunity to focus on who is most qualified for the position of judge. Keep in mind, too, that these judges help shape our community and our country’s very foundation.
For the past eight months I have had the privilege and honor to work with Martin Auffredou, who is running for Supreme Court judge. He was never a politician. He is a respected attorney who has represented multiple school districts and local municipalities, guiding them legally for the good of the community.
Martin has an impeccable professional record and has also been involved with his community in various volunteer efforts. He is a true gentleman. For over 25 years, I have interacted with many political and judicial candidates, and I can say that Martin Auffredou is one of the finest people one would ever meet, and I am proud to be supporting him for Supreme Court judge.
Promote responsible gun use, not bans
I just finished reading the Oct. 18 article, “Arms show draws fans, foes,” regarding the long-running and seemingly very popular gun show held regularly in Saratoga Springs. The article featured commentary from Oxsana Naumkin, the mother of Nicholas Naumkin, who was senselessly killed after he and a friend were found playing with a loaded pistol belonging to his friend’s father.
I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mrs. Naumkin, and quite frankly find it deplorable that the owner of a firearm would leave it loaded and in the reach of anyone lacking the maturity or experience to properly handle it. While her son’s death was an accident, it was one that could have easily been prevented by actual responsible gun ownership.
All gun safety courses, including courses endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), promote that safe firearm storage means they are locked up when not in use.
I do take exception to a comment made by Mrs. Naumkin and cannot let it go unchecked. Referring to the commonly heard NRA position that guns don’t kill people, people do, as “rhetoric” and “BS,” she states: “These things are made for killing.”
No, Mrs. Naumkin. With all due respect, that is an emotional statement and simply untrue. When correctly employed, these “things” are made for shooting. The target — human, animal, paper or clay — is a decision made by the shooter.