The Beast Among Us
There is a monster that lives among us that has been there for years. He was supposed to shelter and heal us; welcome us into his arms. He was supposed to be the best part of us, the kindest part of us, and the most forgiving.
Instead he has divided us. He has torn apart our community, our families, and our church. We all know of whom I speak: Father Forgiveness. Father Compassion. He has taken everything good in our lives and replaced it with hatred, and vitriol. Where we should have peace, patience, and forgiveness, an evil has grown. An evil has festered that we have allowed to grow unchecked in our midst. We have only to look in the mirror to find the guilty culprit who allowed such a monstrous creature to flourish.
It is now time for each of us to dig down deep to find the courage necessary to expunge this negativity from our lives; to carve out the cancer that we have let take hold of us.
Steve Valente, Averill Park
Time for a Schodack Dog Park
Having taken our dog to several dog parks in surrounding communities, my wife and I were struck with what a good idea these are. A simple fence. A picnic table or two. Poop bag dispenser. But what a joy for dogs who must otherwise be on a leash, even in the nice surroundings of the Schodack Town Park. I am given to understand that the town already owns land donated by Dr. Drumm. There will be costs, of course. Some of these can be borne by user fees, like East Greenbush and Valatie charges. Volunteer committees could be set up to help with maintenance. This is all very doable. I would urge all dog owners who would like to have a dog park in Schodack write to the Supervisor or the board to make the park a reality. It is time.
Thomas Thornton, Schodack
And then came the FBI!
It should come as no surprise then that “developer friendly” is what drew the FBI to Rensselaer County in 1988 the way a family picnic draws flies, and in the time they were here, they compiled a file detailing corruption in the Rensselaer County Department of Health, and by extension, the various planning boards in Rensselaer County, to include Sand Lake and Poestenkill of over 200 pages,
According to an FBI record from 9 December 1988 entitled “Hobbs Act -Corruption of State and Local Public Officials,” the original investigation was “predicated” on a letter dated October 28, 1988 received by the Albany Office of the FBI alleging corruption in East Greenbush, and it concluded thusly:
AUSA DAVID HOMER, Northern District of New York, was consulted regarding this matter on Nov. 23, 1988, and suggested that the FBI interview the people specifically mentioned in the (redacted) letter in an effort to verify (redacted) allegations.
Thereafter, on 2/22/89, the title of the investigation was changed to “Allegations of Corruption in Rensselaer County Government Relating to Land Development,” and the Director of Environmental Health for the RCHD was named as a “subject,” and was brought into the investigation at that time as someone the FBI files say county officials were “afraid of,” and who “might have information regarding land fraud in Rensselaer County.”
The FBI records then state that on the afternoon of 2 February 1989, an FBI special agent went to the home of the Environmental Director in the Town of Poestenkill as a “valuable source of information,” and that “numerous Rensselaer County politicians were ‘afraid’” of the information the Environmental Health Director had.
A 28 February 1989 FBI record then states that the Environmental Health Director, in “two very extensive interviews” related specific information concerning corruption in the RCHD to include “kick backs” for “rubber stamping,” and that is how the FBI came to Sand Lake.
Paul Plante, Poestenkill
I regard the devolved state of “forgiveness” as it now implies a duty to lie down and accept the transgressions committed by those who did and will infringe again. Whereas real “forgiveness” invokes the spine and vision required to notify your transgressor that their actions whether benign or deliberate have been noticed and pardoned along with the understanding that should continuation occur, due consequence can be expected. Hence the transgressor would be fore-given a fair account and opportunity to recourse.
Sunch has become the Barns Rd party barn debacle whereas numerous transgressions have been committed by the Town Planning Board against the very people whose best interest they are charged with the responsibility to protect. Successive pleas and warnings along with a well articulated legal decision issued by Judge Henry Zwack have been met with open defiance.
Enter real forgiveness. In his July 1st letter to the editor, Pual Plante with utmost clarity has fore-given the planning board the legal foundation and consequence they must now realize as a result of their continued and blatant defiance. Well done sir.
Lee King, Poestenkill
Town of Brunswick Takes a Great Leap Forward
The Town of Brunswick has recently taken the first steps toward becoming a NYSERDA-designated Clean Energy Community in response to a presentation by residents. At the June Town Council meeting, a number of residents spoke in support of this program, letting the Town Council know that a large group of volunteers stands ready to help implement these changes alongside the town government.
The Town Board and Town Supervisor received the group graciously and listened patiently as a steady stream of enthusiasts stepped up to the microphone to make the case for the Town’s adoption of this program. The speakers were led off by high-schooler Isabelle Relyea, who is working toward her Gold Award. Some speakers were motivated by a concern over climate change; some were there to speak in favor of match-free grant money and taxpayer savings; most, I think, like both. This is a positive step for everyone in Brunswick, regardless of their political affiliation—it’s a win-win for the community and the environment.
This energized group of residents has been so pleased with the Town’s swift steps to get this process started by contacting our regional representative & expert, Tara, who will provide us with guidance throughout the process. She came and spoke at the recent July Town Council meeting very informatively. Thank you, Supervisor Herrington, Councilmembers, and to town employees Chuck Golden, Bill Bradley, and Pat Poleto for their support and partnership! The Town of Brunswick had already been making so many positive steps toward energy-efficient taxpayer savings, so we’re eligible for retroactive grant money to continue this great work!
Jennifer Mann, Brunswick