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Editorial: Give Don Birch his Way

Editorial: Give Don Birch his Way

Tavern owner deserving of having portion of street named after him
Editorial: Give Don Birch his Way
The Saw Mill Tavern at South Avenue and North Jay Street in Schenectady.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

Throughout his colorful life, Don Birch looked out for his street. It’s only fitting that it should now bear his name.

Birch was the feisty owner of the Saw Mill Tavern  on North Jay Street. There, he not only tended bar and dispensed advice, he took care of the people in his community through his great generosity and compassion.

Among his many charitable activities over 40 years was hosting free buffet meals on Sundays at the Saw Mill for those less fortunate.

He also could be counted on to raise money and distribute Christmas presents for the city’s less fortunate children through his annual Toy Run, and he regularly hosted events such as annual motorcycle runs to raise money for homeless veterans and for families served by the City Mission.

His death at age 79 in January left a giant hole in the heart of Schenectady.

On Monday, the Schenectady City Council is scheduled to host a public hearing, after which they are expected vote on whether to rename a section of North Jay Street where the tavern is located “Don Birch Way.” 

Many council decisions are difficult. This one is easy. Don Birch deserves his Way.

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