Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 09.09.21

Thank You, Dee Erickson 

I am taking a few minutes to thank Town Board member, Dee Erickson, as well as the Town of Sand Lake, for their efforts to preserve historic places in town. One of those places is the old O’Donnell residence on Burden Lake Road, which was just sold with high hopes that it will be restored completely by its new owner.  I’ve known Dee Erickson my whole life.  We grew up and went to the same schools together and participated in the same activities and clubs, especially at Averill Park High School, our beloved Alma Mater.  Dee has worked hard over the years to make and keep the Town of Sand Lake a very special place, nestled in among all the lakes and snuggled into the rolling hills and foothills of the Berkshire mountains. I hope you’ll pardon me for saying I think it’s a slice of paradise. Dee Erickson is one of the people keeping it that way. 

I’ve connected quite a bit most recently with Dee in regard to our grand old Victorian home on Burden Lake Road.  My parents, Harry and Mary O’Donnell sold the old Kane residence on Burden Lake Road in 1993 to Bill Meyer.  We were all thrilled when we learned that Bill Meyer made modifications to the house that were historically compatible with this magnificent home.  It’s a French Second Empire style early Victoria house, built in the 1850s with graceful Mansard roofs and a great deal of elaborate ‘gingerbread’- carved wooden touches all about.  

We, the Kanes, hadn’t built the house, but rather we purchased the house from the original owner and later doctor who first lived there about 1870-1880. I got a chance to tour the house with the new owner Bill Meyer in the late 90s and he did a wonderful job. It was lovely. Unfortunately, due to unknown circumstances, Bill moved out and the house was left with all the furnishings and drapes etc. still in place.  It was mysteriously abandoned and has fallen into disrepair over the past 10-15 years.  It was recently purchased at auction by a New York gentleman who has offered to fix the place up and make it into a Bed and Breakfast, which would be wonderful, and restore the dignity to this grand old lady of a house. 

Dee, along with Building Inspector Tim Lawrence, have been instrumental in encouraging the new owner to restoring this magnificent Victorian home on Burden Lake Road. Dee has been a firecracker getting stuff done..

I can’t say enough about Dee and what a great lady she is.  I’m proud to know her and I and my family thank her and bless her. With love and affection to my hometown, I say thank you. 

Mary Eileen O’Donnell 

PFOA in Poestenkill, Part III

In a Times Union article entitled “Poestenkill wells test above state level for PFOA” by Kenneth Crowe II on Sep. 1, 2021, we concerned Poestenkill residents in the Algonquin School area were informed by Poestenkill Supervisor Keith Hammond, “We have known this has been an issue since news of the levels at the middle school was announced earlier this year,” and how absolutely disingenuous that is, given that Keith Hammond has been well aware of groundwater issues in that area since the 1990’s if not earlier, and he has chosen to exhibit what is known as a callous disregard for human life and health in that very same area, where the Town of Poestenkill is taking “turn your back” money from national waste hauler Waste Management just up gradient from the Algonquin school. Similarly the NYS DEC has also chosen to go the blind eye route in what is considered by the DEC (doesn’t even care) to be a “black air” zone, an zone in which Waste Management sets the environmental standards, as can readily be seen in a February 23, 2018 e-mail from myself to then-Supervisor Dominic Jacangelo, Subject: RE: Transfer station complaint, where I stated “Those are not ‘suggestions,’ Dominic, and Waste Management, who does not give a damn about any of the residents of Poestenkill, has no authority, jurisdiction or discretion to tell you what conditions they will allow the residents of the town residing in residential zones to have to endure as a result of their industrial scale operations in the PDD,” which e-mail was in response to a February 22, 2018 e-mail from the Supervisor which stated “Thank you for your letter. I will discuss your suggestions with DEC and the company,” to which I also responded “This is not some corrupt ‘company town’ where Waste Management determines the living conditions of people in residential zones in the town,” except it really is, and now, big surprise, we are finding that in addition to whatever other chemicals may be in our water, so too is PFOA.

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Better Storm Water Management in North Greenbush

In the August 26 issue of the Advertiser, the storm water management committee of North Greenbush was mentioned and is seeking members. I applaud efforts for better storm management. Too much to date has been reactionary and we need to take a more proactive effort related to storm water. As seen from the local flooding in July and now the NYC flooding, storm water is a serious issue. There many small first steps that North Greenbush can take related to storm water. One easy one is revising the zoning requirements that require a wasteful amount of parking spaces. The zone is out of date and based on data 30 years old. By requiring businesses to have more parking spaces than necessary, more impervious surface is installed that causes storm water issues. A second step would be to look at requiring tree planting as part of the zoning. Trees help with not only storm water management, but provide secondary benefits as well. Another, but more complex step, is reviewing our current bodies of water in town. After the July rain a significant amount of material was removed from the Wynantskill. Is the town taking the necessary steps to prevent future issues with the bodies of water that flow through our town? A 2018 study found that for every $1 a government spends on disaster preparation, it prevents $6 in future damage. As the North Greenbush storm water committee takes shape and starts to work, I encourage the committee to look forward at problems and work to prevent them rather than only addressing problems that just occurred.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

Shaky Defense of Andy Cuomo, But Food for Thought As Well

An apparently ardent supporter wrote here recently, defending Andrew Cuomo and denouncing his “political lynching”. Was there a lynching? Certainly. But the lynching was supported by clear acts of sexual harassment, far surpassing the current standard for removal from office. The author implies the presence of a conspiracy, with 11 alleged victims telling the same story. Read the Attorney General’s exhaustive report, look at the individual circumstances and incidents, and listen to the interviews and narratives. There is no “same story”. The only common feature of the stories was a definitive form and degree of harassment at some level.

The author laments Cuomo not facing the women in court – perhaps a reference to a criminal trial. Such a standard has nothing to do with fitness-for-office, but regardless, the former governor was in fact wise to avoid a court fight. The possibility of some conviction was probably strong – even if only for a low-level misdemeanor.

A political lynching? Sure, but I can’t feel that sorry for Mr. Cuomo. The fact that his own Democrats were his chief executioners speaks volumes as to his ruthlessness, arrogance, and megalomania.

Clearly, he’s not my favorite guy, but I find the entire episode a bit troubling. Andrew Cuomo has been absolutely correct in claiming that the standard for behavior has shifted dramatically in recent times. The current standard applied to eject him would have decimated the careers of legions of our business and government leaders, sports heroes, and respected community figures, only a few years-past. There is a narrow-minded, brutal attitude present in some aspects of the Me Too Movement that should trouble us all.

Frank Coppa, East Greenbush

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