Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 06.11.20

Takin’ Care Of Small Business

You open up a business because it is your passion

The American dream never goes out of fashion

You know all of your customers by name

Life from here on in will never be the same

The hours are long and the pay is sometimes low

But your pride will still overflow

There are no checks coming in the mail

But you’re bound and determined not to fail

You pray for your prosperity each day

And all of a sudden things start going your way

We don’t need to be bailed out with government money

Because the public’s support is as sweet as honey

This country was built brick by brick

Not by politicians whose minds are ever so thick

Every dollar you spend here says, In God We Trust

We’ll use it judiciously so we don’t go bust

The wise folks know the price you pay

When you let big business get in the way

The pulse of the community is still beating

In the hearts of these local places

When you shop at them you can

Appreciate their familiar faces

So now is the time to get into your car and take a ride

You’re picking up your goods curbside!

Donna Masters, Troy

The Scope Of Hope

You may not be able to grasp it

And hold it in your hand

But if you look you will see glimpses

Of it throughout this great land

There’s the scent of hope when a flower starts to bloom

And its sweetness fills the air with nature’s perfume

I touch hope when a newborn child grasps my finger

It’s a warmth that fills my soul

And then tends to linger

I see hope in the smiles of the young children

Who greet me each day

They have the determination of a new generation

And they won’t let anything get in their way

I hear hope when the rhythmic sounds of birds

Singing, greet the morning light

A new day begins with the chance

Of taking your life to a new height

I taste hope when I savor a tomato picked from its vine

Knowing a new season has begun

And everything gets better with time

I feel hope when I lift up my faith and start to pray

Knowing that God’s blessings are coming our way

Let hope live deep within your heart

Cherish it daily and never let it depart

Embrace hope as you would the one you love

And remember that there is an everlasting

Supply of it from the Lord above

Donna Masters, Troy

Memoirs of an Amnesiac: Clark Terry’s Gig

Looking back at high school, some of my happiest times were in the concert band directed by Richard Nipes. Band practice was the last period of my school day; so after struggling through other classes, I ended with something therapeutic. Blowing air through a horn was like yoga breathing. And there was always at least one special piece of music which gave me a lift.

Mr. Nipes could play every musical instrument. It was rare to see him ruffled, everyone just worked together. We played marches and classical music, of course, but also Broadway and movie themes, pop tunes, and jazz. We marched in town parades and even went on tour. We played at Expo 67, the World’s Fair in Montreal. Two years later we toured Puerto Rico.

Those are sweet memories, but above all was a concert which took place in my freshman year (6/11/66). It featured a guest soloist: a jazz trumpeter named Clark Terry. In those days Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” was broadcast from NYC, and Clark Terry was a prominent member of his band. How Mr. Nipes enticed him to Averill Park, I wonder still.

Clark Terry didn’t actually rehearse with us, he just showed up for the concert and played. He was that good. There was a piece which we had practiced in advance, so I knew how it was supposed to go–but I wasn’t prepared for all the sound he produced. How could just one person fill up the auditorium? It was SRO with people against the far wall; and I’m pretty sure I saw their hair blow straight back.

Then he played some by himself. At one point he held a trumpet in one hand and a flugelhorn in the other, and bounced between them. After the curtain came down, he stayed back-stage, and we gathered around like kids at Santa’s knee. He was so friendly and mellow, he didn’t mind us looking through his trumpet case. Somebody found a dried-up gourd, which served as a mute.

If you want a feel for the experience, look him up on YouTube. Search “Clark Terry Mumbles”.

Ron McKee, Averill Park


First and foremost, to share it’s a pleasure to be human with no regrets. Never would I have thought that I would in some way, somehow be a part of history that I can look back and say, “remember that time”. Be thankful, grateful to be in the physical to say “here”. Vulnerable times connected to fear of the unknown is a price one pays with their conscience and lowering their vibrations.

Stay abreast of humanity being thoughtful not thoughtless, careful not careless, mindful not mindless. Still being in control of the way one thinks is never something to just give away due to fear of the unknown, may not can control what’s going on around you but how you respond is definitely in one’s control.

Be careful of overstimulation, get in tune with thyself more than ever because of increased anxiety and triggers ( no one can just sneeze these days without being looked at funny) stay grounded with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.

Living in fear will dismantle the very being you enjoy most, YOU. Stay in awareness not panic. Stay grounded. The control is really within not on the external. And breathe. One day at a time is all one can do, in the meantime raise your vibrations higher.

Datwanna Banks, Rensselear

Barnes Road Area Neighborhood Association Update

SAND LAKE – We belong to the Barnes Rd Area Neighborhood Association. We live on Beverly Drive overlooking a hill and pasture where our neighbors cows graze. Just beyond that view would be the commercial party barn. We moved away from Schodack where commercial activity was intruding into the neighborhood. We are absolutely opposed to an intrusive commercial activity in an area zoned Agricultural Residential. We moved into this area relying on the zoning to be sheltered from such ill considered enterprises. We are shocked at the thought of the noise, parties, excess light and alcohol in and around our neighborhood. that would result from the proposed party barn.

Karen and John Baumeister

A Country Girl Comes Home

As soon as I reached the age of consent

It was time to go…and of course I went

To the great bustling city that beckoned to me

With the promise of all I hoped I could be.

The  majestic skyscrapers seemed to pierce the sky

Dwarfing the old oak trees In my mind’s eye.

The crowded city streets full of motion and chatter

Made even the noise not seem to matter.

Soon I became just a part of the crowd

Personal choices was what freedom allowed

Small town rules did not here apply

Anonymity in the city allows one to try

To choose the life style  with very few rules

To live with the freedom  that ‘s not taught in  our schools.

Seven years later my home town called me back.

That’s when I knew what most cities lack

The peace and quiet of small town pleasures

And the beauty of nature  among the world’s best treasures.

Sylvia Honig, Wynantskill

Barnes Road Non-Conforming Party Barn Proposal

I have lived at 72 Barnes Road since 1973 when I purchased my home from Mr Timothy Barnes of the same Barnes Family that Barnes Road is named after. My reasons for locating at this location were the peace and quiet that it afforded, the agricultural nature of the properties along the road and the beauty of the area.

If one were to analyze what Mr Bailey’s proposal would do to the Barnes Road neighborhood we find the following:

-An increase of traffic volume of 100-200 vehicles per day of an event. This volume would actually be concentrated into only several hours on the days of the events;

-The introduction of the consumption of alcohol at celebratory events by individuals who would have to drive away before the end of the evening;

-Substantial increase of noise on the event days. These events will be held from spring to fall which represents the same time frame that existing residents have to enjoy the peace and quiet of outside rural life.

From a regulatory standpoint the proposal is not an accepted activity within an agricultural/residential zone. The area has been established as a special agricultural zone for the purpose of maintaining the agricultural nature of the area. Futhermore if the Board were to issue a variance it would continue in perpetuity and would serve as an example to others who would like to propose similar non-conforming uses. This slippery slope is already starting to show itself by the fact that there is already a “destination event” operation (June Farms) within 1.5 miles of Mr Bailey’s location and the owner of that operation has already asked the town to increase the number of events he is allowed, to match the number that would be allowed if Mr Bailey’s proposal is approved.

The planning board needs to recognize the that the neighborhood desires to keep Barnes Road as is are within the stated objectives of the Town masterplan and Mr Bailey’s proposal is not.

James Lister, West Sand Lake

Amazon Warehouse Update

I have lived in the Birchwood Development in the town of Schodack for 17yrs.

Summer is here and I was naïve to think that maybe this year I could enjoy my deck and back yard but noise coming from the Amazon warehouse site is worse than last year. Recently a neighbor recorded intolerable noise that could be heard inside her home and like last year our houses are vibrating from drilling at the site. The head of the town planning board advised me to close windows and wait until November when it will “just be the trucks”, that’s not helpful advice. Not surprising considering the dismissive attitude town officials have shown toward Birchwood and Hillcrest residents all along. Schodack Town Supervisor Harris told Birchwood residents to “hire professionals” if we were concerned about our wells and County Executive McLaughlin claims he met with residents to hear our concerns. I can assure you, that meeting never happened. As candidates, current town officials made shallow promises to preserve the rural character of Schodack. Now we have what has been described as something that looks like a “prison” built between two rural neighborhoods. When the warehouse is completed residents will be subjected to 24/7 truck noise, significant air and light pollution. Dirt from the site continues to be an ongoing problem. I’ve power washed my deck three times in the last two weeks but dirt from the site keeps coming.

Traffic issues raised by the Birchwood Association have not been addressed by the town. Recently a serious accident occurred at Richwood Dr and Rt 9. The turn at Rt 9 at Richwood Dr has always been a challenge due the 55mph traffic heading south from the 9/20 intersection. When the warehouse is completed there will also be a significant increase in 55mph traffic from the site heading to the 9/20 intersection, creating a more dangerous situation than exists now.

Is the town paying attention, or are we literally collateral damage?

Bob Jansing, Schodack

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