Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 07.07.22

Everyone has Value , Including the Homeless

I have visited downtown a few times this past month and to my dismay I saw a homeless person with all of her belongings sitting on the sidewalk on Broadway next to the Atrium. Today, July 2nd 2022 , I decided to stop by downtown Troy again and noticed she is still sitting there on the sidewalk with her strewn all over the sidewalk . From afar I thought it was a man but walked up to give a bit of money so I could get a closer look. The homeless person is a woman. Yes there are many homeless people that walk the streets of Troy, however, I have not seen someone with so many things strewn all over the sidewalk, situated right out in the open, on a busy street. 

My question is, Why is this woman still camped out on Broadway! It is a despicable site and I am embarrassed to be seen in downtown Troy by people who are visiting the area. We are a small city and we need to help the homeless. While I am sure there are people who do care there are a plethora of people who do not care. Why has no one tried to help her? Like, the police , an organization, a community group? There is no excuse. Maybe its not as simple as I make it sound but there are solutions. 

While everyone is arguing about their rights, spending their money on superfluous things, eating, drinking and being merry on a Saturday, this woman is sitting in the center of it all, being ignored by the majority. She matters and has as much value as anyone else. Is her life not as important as yours? Where is the compassion? 

Over my lifetime I have dealt with all kinds of folks from different cultures, religions, status , gender and so on. I am more than happy to help facilitate an intervention with her or any other human being that needs help.

Melissa Ann Argay-Wenner, Troy

Dunn Dump June 14 Environmental Justice Meeting Report

Texas-based Waste Connections (WC) Corp. held a mandated Environmental Justice meeting at the Rensselaer public school campus on June 14 concerning its application to renew its permit for the Dunn construction and demolition debris and who-knows-what-else dump, located right next to the school campus. About fifty attended in person and at least a few on-line.

Three local WC representatives and one from Texas conducted the two-hour meeting. They each made a presentation that were poorly presented on the large screen behind them. People attempting to hear the meeting online apparently could not and two said so when they were allowed to speak about halfway through the meeting.

The first in-person speaker supported continued dump operations but no one else did. An East Greenbush resident said, “You are a terrible neighbor.” He said he has called the dump odor complaint hotline staffed by WC at least fifty times and never received a return call. A Rensselaer woman said, “I smell the odors and see the debris land in my yard. Please leave our area.” A woman described “stomach turning odors” on the prior day.

A Rensselaer city councilman said truck vibrations are damaging houses in the city and that it is disturbing and unacceptable to hear truck noise during funeral services at the cemetery adjacent to the dump. A man from East Greenbush said the “smell varies from none to very powerful” and the “overall impact is enormous.” A Rensselaer County legislator asked if WC had conducted any local cancer studies; he was nearly in tears mentioning cancers in his cat and dog he believes are dump related.

A Rensselaer man said tractor trailers –sometimes in convoys–pass his house to and from the dump every weekday, beginning at 6:30 a.m. He has a noise meter and said some trucks are louder than a fire truck responding to an emergency call. 

The dump’s permit expires on July19. Governor Kathy Hochul should order the dump closed.

Tom Ellis, Albany

We Need To Do Better

On October 23rd, 2021, my daughter was seeking a haircut for her 6-year-old son. Originally, she had an appointment at another barber shop where he had his hair cut several times before, however on her way, she received a message that the barber had a mishap and would have to seek medical attention so the shop was closing.

Since she was passing another barber shop on Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush, she called the number on the sign, and asked if they took “walk-ins”. They responded with “yes”.

When she arrived, she was the only car in the parking lot in front of The Barber Shop. She brought her son in, and asked for a haircut for her son. Immediately she was told they were too busy. The shop was empty. The barbers were “white”. My grandson is “black”. 

They stared at her until she left.

I was stunned that this sort of prejudice even exists, and that they didn’t even try to cover their prejudice. They could have said, “oh geez, we’re sorry, none of us are familiar with cutting your son’s type of hair”. But instead, they just lied. Shame on them. 

After this incident we were all getting together to celebrate a birthday. This should’ve been a joyous occasion, but instead, it was clouded with disappointment and heartache, that people could be so small minded.

People miss out on so much in life, so many great opportunities because of preconceived notions and unwarranted judgements. We need to do better.

Penny L Ungewitter, Schodack

You May Also Like