Former mayor hopes home can be saved
On June 14 my daughter, Nancy Denofio, called to tell me that the house where I was born, 310 Green St., was boarded up.
As one who was not only born in the Stockade area but lived in Schenectady as an elected official for 42 years — 16 of those years as mayor — I am publicly asking the Schenectady Historic Society to use their influence to get the house restored for active, ongoing use.
Having been born in that house on June 25, 1921, and having been a longtime servant of the public, I pray that the historic sSociety, working with the current owner, do everything possible to preserve the historic value of the house.
With the up-and-coming casino being constructed not too far from Green Street, the Green Street house, once rehabilitated, will attract renters.
For health reasons, we moved to Florida a few years ago. But Schenectady, its people and government are on my mind on a daily basis.
Many friends of mine and family members keep mailing me news articles related to Schenectady’s day-to-day happenings, and I am so happy to read them.
As mayor, one of the things I always promoted was Schenectady’s historic values and the ongoing preservation of these important values for the city of Schenectady.
Growing up on the Green Street property, I can recall us children waiting for the train to go by every day. A gentleman would throw us newspapers and magazines. And our walk to Riverside School was a lot of fun.
Please, owners of the Green Street house, along with the historic society, do everything possible to preserve the house. Preserving the house will not only enhance the historic value, but those who will live there will enjoy the casino.
Frank J. Duci
Ali once gave up first-class seat for soldier
During the time Muhammad Ali was banned from boxing after his title was taken from him and while his prison sentence was under appeal, the only public work he had was with ABC sports as a boxing commentator.
In September 1969, if memory serves, he was in Las Vegas with Howard Cosell for the USA Russian amateur boxing team boxing competition. I was there also and was on the same flight out as Ali.
While in the gate area, I overheard a soldier in uniform ask whether his military standby might get him a seat to go home to his dying mother. "No" was the answer with regret. At this point, Ali walked over and said very quietly that ABC had provided him with two first class seats and he would like to give one to the soldier. (Celebrities commonly were given two first-class seats so that no one could bother them.)
The soldier got the seat and Ali spent the entire flight going up and down the aisle shaking hands and chatting quietly with all who wanted to. Except for takeoff and landing, he hardly used the one seat he kept.
The writer is a former city judge.
Don’t miss chance to reconnect with nature
The June 16 Daily Gazette included several extra and useful sections related to enjoying summer. I want to highlight the article on nature preserves by Stephen Williams, as time and again, people discover new things to see, literally, in their own back yards.
His mention of the Plotter Kill Preserve in Rotterdam and the Indian Kill Preserve in Glenville are two examples where many residents of those towns and the county in general have yet to experience these natural wonders.
I’m writing to mention that Environmental Clearinghouse of New York (ECOS), the local organization dedicated to environmental education since practically the first Earth Day in 1970, has published natural area guides for several local counties that help the user learn of the site, know where to park, and how best to enjoy the particular location. These useful guides for Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties are available from the ECOS website or the Open Door Book Store.
I encourage your readers to look at a local guide (perhaps purchase one) and learn of these great local places to explore. In the four local counties, you will find a great variety of hiking trails. As you explore, you will discover streams to fish in and sites to pique the interest of geologists, botanists, photographers and bird watchers.
These are local places that make leaving home worthwhile. And without parking or admission fees, you should really reconnect with “getting back to nature.”
The writer is the president of the ECOS.
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