Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 01.06.22

Sand Lake Planning Board Going Rogue

Many of you have noticed residents of the Barnes Road neighborhood expressing heartfelt concerns against a proposal to have the board consider a request to allow the operation of a facility that would host celebration parties, weddings etc. on Barnes Road. As a resident of other areas of the town you may wonder why you should be concerned.

The area around Barnes Road is zoned residential/agricultural. This proposal is commercial, no less than an auto repair shop, a retail store selling products for agricultural use or a bowling alley. If any of these activities including the current proposal were approved, they have no compatibility with the current zoning, they are stricly commercial. This proposal looks to take advantage of our rural area. What type of commercial activities might be compatible with the current zoning? A vegetable stand, a riding stable, even a corn maze are commercial activities which are in the nature of the zoning. How about a bar? Webster defines a bar as “a room or establisment where alcoholic drinks and sometimes food are served”. Does a bar change the nature of Barnes Road? I think the answer is obvious! This board would rather develop it’s own master plan without going through the required regulatory and public input processes.

This proposal is nothing more than a request to operate a bar in a residential/ agricultural zone.

Not to downplay the issues of increased traffic on a twisty, unlit, unlined secondary road and increased noise pollution as the result of outdoor activities including bands playing, the planning board wishes to approve a bar on Barnes Road, forever. Yes an approval by the board is forever, it stays with the property and not the owner!

The board needs to rethink it’s decision to appeal the court’s decision and recognize it’s role is to protect the master plan , not re-write it. Remember the court stated that the board did not give adequate attention to the neighbors’ concerns in it’s original decision

James Lister, West Sand Lake

PFOA Saga No. 5 – A bush-league Whitewash

To DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, 24 December 2021

RE: Your slipshod farcical clown show of a PFOA investigation in Poestenkill

Dear Commissioner Seggos:

I began my career in public health in 1966 as a technician for the state Health Department doing field studies and investigations of sources of pollution, and in all my years of doing investigations, never did I encounter a situation of where a suspect in an investigation of pollution or contamination was allowed by the responsible state agency to do their own investigation of themselves to exonerate themselves as a source of pollution, until this cock-a-mamie, slipshod farce of an investigation of PFOA in Poestenkill being conducted by your department, where we are being told by your department, supposedly the department doing the investigation, that in the special case of Waste Management at the Poestenkill transfer station, a prime suspect for whom your department buried $312,500 worth of penalties for environmental crimes at the Poestenkill transfer station in 1999, that a sample from the water supply well located at the transfer station was collected and analyzed for PFAS compounds in September BY THE OPERATOR of the transfer station, and based on their investigation of themselves, your department, which has already whitewashed and covered over environmental crimes committed by them at the Poestenkill transfer station, burying evidence in a criminal investigation, which is obstruction of justice as well as denial of honest services, does not now consider them to be a source, which has me asking you just what kind of bizarre horsecrap are you trying to feed us, and why.

In your arrogance, do you think we are stupid?

This as the DEC is alleged to be looking for the source of the PFOA, which at this point might well be in Outer Mongolia or Outer Space or maybe the Twilight Zone, which is where your department seems to be located these days, out there somewhere in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Broadband Coverage Survey

Recently, while reading over the ever challenging and difficult task of seeing what is going on in New York State Politics I stumbled across a story that left me dumbfounded. “Broadband Coverage Survey To Include Paper Option”… Did it not before? The answer to that question is no, it did not exist before State Senator Michelle Hinchey broached the topic this month by essentially saying; how could people with NO broadband access ever be able to complete this survey? The idea that lawmakers in Albany had was that residents could simply go to their local library and hop on a computer and fill out the survey.. Really? In 2021, almost 2022, the idea of universal broadband access should be an open and shut policy. But Albany lawmakers really thought that those out in the country side would simply go to the library and complete a survey on their own time with all the existential crisis going on in the state right now with the virus? When people talk about a lack of awareness from Albany I’m sure this would be on the top of the list. Stop playing games with those in vulnerable populations who have little to no internet access. Provide them a way to complete the survey’s because after all, you serve them; not the other way around. I do not live in Senator Hinchey’s district, but I am glad somebody from the legislature brought this obvious issue up. Do better!

Michael Martin, Rensselaer

North Greenbush votes to opt out

In late December, the Town of North Greenbush hosted a special meeting related to opting out of allowing establishments to offer on-site cannabis consumption. All New York municipalities were required to chose to opt in or out by the end of the calendar year. I was unable to attend because of conflict and I sent questions and received feedback to my questions. The responses that I received to my questions used the term “uncertain” multiple times. In short, some in the North Greenbush were uncertain about possible situations and chose to not allow on-site consumption. Other municipalities in other states have addressed many of these issues. North Greenbush could have allowed possible establishments and then addressed each of the circumstances on a case-by-case basis. In my opinion, the North Greenbush Town Council vote was an over reaction and the town board should have addressed any issues as they arose (if at all).

Michael Myer, Wynantskill

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