Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 05.25.23

Youth Sports Teach Life Lessons

Spring sports season is in full swing and there is nothing I love more than our local fields filled with players, coaches, and parents enjoying the love of the game. What I love much less is when the joy is interrupted by cursing, yelling, belligerence, and spite. Players yelling racial slurs and cursing at their peers. Coaches screaming at officials, throwing toddler-like tantrums. Parents belittling players on the opposite team. Opposing players booing coaches. And yes, all of this has happened in the last two weeks. Look, sports can bring out our extremes. I have been known to cheer loudly at a beautiful play and grumble when I don’t agree with a call. I am human. However, I believe that youth sports should mostly be a chance for our best selves to shine through. It is an opportunity for our kids to learn how to be a part of team, celebrate their own and their teammates’ skills and abilities. Have you seen the way a U10 boy’s soccer team jumps all over each other when someone scores a goal??? It’s magic! It’s also a chance for kids to learn how to deal with disappointment, to stick together through the ups and downs. They learn respect for those in charge. Not that they can’t question things (officials are human, they make mistakes. And, let’s face it, some are better than others), but that they do so in a respectful manner. Young players learn to hone their skills on the field, yes, but the greater lessons they learn are what follow them for life. We, adults, parents, coaches, grandparents, model that behavior for our kids. We set the tone. Is it ok to yell and curse and throw a tantrum when things don’t go our way? Do we berate our kids when they don’t play their best? Do we belittle players on the opposing team when they make a mistake? Do we argue with officials? The lessons our kids learn playing youth sports are life lessons. The skills they learn are life skills. Let’s be careful what we teach them.

Erin Berical, Averill Park

Keeping the Warrior Name

To the Honorable Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State, 

My name is Alessia Valente. I go to Algonquin Middle School in the Averill Park School district. I am in 6th grade, age eleven. I am extremely disappointed and upset with my state’s decision to force my district to remove the name “Warriors” from our schools. 

I disagree with this because even if this name can be used as an offensive term for indigenous people, it can only be heard this way if put into a disrespectful situation. However, the way the name Warrior is used in our schools, it has only ever been put into respectful situations. 

We students at AMS have always treated the Warrior name with respect, and even have a “Warrior Way,” and a “Warrior Wednesday.” The Warrior Way encourages us to be good friends, students and people by teaching us to follow three basic principles. They are to respect ourselves and others, to try our best, and to make the world a better place. We have always treated these principles with an incredible amount of respect, and do not disrespect these terms. 

Actually, the word “Warrior” means someone who is trained to fight. Warriors fits nicely with sports, not indigenous people or cultures. After all, we train hard to fight for a win in all of the games we play. It just fits! Also, it would cost a TREMENDOUS amount of money to remove “Warriors” from all of our schools. The state will not even give us the money to basically demolish everything from our fields to the uniforms and equipment we use. It is incredibly unfair to do this to us, you aren’t even giving us a choice! Either way, we lose money from OUR learning because of YOUR unfair decisions! And, shouldn’t the town with the name in question be able to have all of their citizens vote and make a choice without being threatened by the state? We are the ones who live here, in this town, not the people working to unfairly remove this name up at the government level. Alessia Valente-An upset Student

Alessia Valente, Averill Park

SLHS Calls on Community to Save the WSL Firehouse

At its meeting May 9th, the Board of Trustees of the Sand Lake Historical Society adopted the following: “Resolved that the Sand Lake Historical Society formally opposes the planned demolition of the historic West Sand Lake Firehouse and strongly encourages Fire Department membership and leadership, public officials, and community leaders to seek alternative solutions.” A copy of this resolution has been sent to Fire District leadership and public officials.

As Sand Lake Town Historian Bob Moore stated in the May 11th issue of The Advertiser, the 1873 structure is a significant historic asset in our community and its steeple is a prominent visual feature of the West Sand Lake hamlet. For many years, our Town Planning and Zoning Boards, along with the Town Planning Oversight Committee, and Building Department, as well as the Town Historian, have worked diligently to maintain the historic integrity of Sand Lake and to create a “village” rather than “suburban strip” feel to our hamlet areas. The current firehouse plan does just the opposite.

According to the plan, the current historic firehouse will be replaced with lawn and landscaping. Retaining the building would have no impact on the proposed new firehouse structure nor would its preservation impact public safety. It is both ironic and tragic that only last year the West Sand Like Fire Company celebrated its 150th Anniversary by hanging a large banner from the 1873 firehouse –- that they now want to demolish. 

Peter Finn, President, Sand Lake Historic Society

North Greenbush Town Board squanders town money in purchase of Electric Vehicle Chargers

In 2021, the North Greenbush Climate Smart Committee, which I chaired, pursued state and utility funding to finance the installation of two level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at town hall. At the August 2021 board meeting, we unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the supervisor to sign an agreement with Potentia Management Group for this project. At the time, the installation of this charging station was estimated to cost $20,685 and was eligible for $19,145 in rebates from the utility and NYSERDA, a state authority. The total project cost to the town at the time -$1,500. Although it passed the resolution, the GOP leadership did not proceed with this project in 2021 as it was an election year and they did not want to advance any of the Climate Smart committee’s initiatives, including the charging stations. Instead, they turned their attention to churning out sensational and baseless political mailers. While the GOP town board members wasted time on partisan political wrangling, the state program rebate program expired. The price for the charging stations also increased by $1,000 each. Realizing it would look bad to backtrack on its pledge to install the stations, the town board passed yet another resolution at its June 2022 meeting which would allow it to proceed with the original purchase. The new cost to the town-$10,000 instead of $1,500. Town residents won’t hear about these extra costs to taxpayers now that the stations are finally installed. Instead, the GOP will put out a press release patting themselves on the back for their “environmentalism”. The town board majority continues to put politics and their own survival ahead of the taxpayers and residents of North Greenbush.

Mary Frances Sabo, North Greenbush

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