Grateful for team at Ellis for cardiac care
I recently spent a week in the cardiac unit at Ellis Hospital and as a former teacher, I proudly give it an A-plus rating.
Thank you to each and every doctor, nurse and PA for the excellent care I received while there.
Keep up the wonderful work you do to keep us well.
Hull was instrumental in restoring Union
Regarding George Shaw’s letter concerning Roger Hull: George is a man for whom I have great respect, a man whom in my capacity as Union’s dean of faculty I hired to chair the Geology Department and a man who did an outstanding job as chair, and a man who agrees with me on almost every matter except an assessment of Roger Hull’s presidency of Union College.
When Roger left Union’s presidency in 2005 (not 2006), Union was very much stronger than when he arrived regardless of what the much maligned U.S. News rankings might suggest. In fact I can say with confidence that when Roger arrived Union was at the lowest point in my long career with Union — I came in 1963.
Roger brought to Union exactly what we needed — imagination, energy, an unwillingness to be discouraged by difficult problems, an openness to new ideas, a willingness to take risks, and an aggressiveness in fund-raising that allowed him to truly transform the face of the campus, most notably perhaps by restoring the college’s decaying symbol, the Nott Memorial, a National Historic Landmark, and by updating and expanding Schaffer Library, the heart of the academic life of the college. Among several other important projects were the Yulman Theatre and the Taylor Music Center; both greatly enhanced the college’s cultural life and enriched students’ educational experience.
Roger Hull understood that the college could not prosper if the surrounding city was dying, and so he literally saved a neighborhood that bordered the college, the area west of Seward Place. Gone are the drug houses and the dilapidated housing that spawned crime and produced little in the way of tax revenue. Nearby, the college also bought the bankrupt Ramada Inn and thus transformed a blighted corner.
One cannot accurately assess the relative success of a college president without the perspective of time. It has been a good 10 years since Roger Hull left the job; enough time has passed for at least a preliminary assessment.
As someone who served Union for over 40 years in various capacities as faculty member, administrator (four years under Roger Hull), as interim president, and as someone who has read more Union history than all but two or three people, I feel comfortable saying that the quality of Roger Hull’s performance as president is exceeded by very, very few of his predecessors.
James E. Underwood
The writer is a Chauncey Winters Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Emeritus.
McCarthy will be in debt to his donors
In recent years, we’ve witnessed a Rockettes-like chorus line of New York state politicians be indicted, and in some cases jailed, for political corruption. Most of these were the result of elected officials doing the bidding of campaign donors rather than the voters.
Political influence purchased through campaign donations ruins the public’s trust in government, wastes millions of budget dollars by averting the lowest bid process, and fails to insure competent performance of city contracts.
The emerging casino/Mohawk Harbor project, along with other Metroplex projects, has construction companies, engineering firms, law firms, and labor unions descending on Schenectady like sharks at feeding time for contracts, permits, and Planning Board approvals.
Add this being an election year, and you have the makings of a new Martin Scorsese script.
Mayor Gary McCarthy’s 2015 Financial Disclosure Reports thus far to the New York State Board of Elections include: Reform Architecture — $2,100; Highbridge/Prime Associates — $4,350; Development at City Center — $2,100 and another $1,500 from “BN Partners” at the same address; LAZ Parking — $2,500; Gramercy Communications — $1,000; MJ Engineering — $1,600; Mohawk Ambulance — $3,650; Rifenburg Companies — $1,000 and another $1,750 from John Rifenburg, owner; Transfinder — $1,600, Clough Harbor Associates (Albany engineers) — $1,000; Greenman-Pedersen (Long Island-based civil engineering) — $850; and drum roll please — $11,500 from various construction labor unions.
Throw in $500 from Jerry Weiss, the Albany lobbyist who then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo fined $78,000 in 2010 for his involvement in the Hevesi Pension fraud scandal and the gang’s all here.
While I’m sure Mayor McCarthy spins a good yarn, this group expects returns on their investments, not to be his pal.
Any returns or “sweetheart deals” they receive will come right out of the wallets of every taxpayer in our city.