Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 10.14.21

The Advertiser

Back in the Spring of 1983, The Advertiser ran an article on how my father, Ron, and I had moved up from New Jersey to the Town of Nassau and purchased the Burden Lake Country Club.    The Golf Course was maintained but in need of a long-term commitment.  The Clubhouse was structurally falling apart and the nine- hole golf course needed an overhaul.  We had very little capital but we put everything we had back into the business.  By the year 2000, we decided to expand to 18 holes and build a new clubhouse.  We went into debt, but we believed we would grow our business to the next level.  Thanks to our Members, we survived the debt and doubled our annual sales.  We expanded to over 50 Employees and over time we have become a community supporter and raised thousands of dollars for local charities.

As we finish our 39th Summer at Burden Lake Country Club, I want to reflect on how many young people learned how to play the game.  We have employed over a thousand local residents and we have paid millions in property tax, school tax, federal tax, state tax, unemployment tax, sales tax and more!!!!  Unlike most people, my Dad and I followed a dream and I can say we finally completed that dream in 2021.  I plan to work at Burden Lake CC through 2032 so that I can say I put 50 years into our business.

In 2021, I purchased the Evergreen Country Club in the Town of Schodack with my friend, Scott Bendett.  I am starting a new dream with Scott and we plan to bring back the Golf Course and Clubhouse in 2022.  With the support of other local Professionals, we will make a quick turnaround to the Golf Course.   Schodack and East Greenbush residents have fond memories of Cordial Greens/ Evergreen and we plan to return the property to a Community destination.  The new name will be the Old Post Road Golf Club with a future name for the Clubhouse later.  We will need employees for full time and part-time positions and we will generate sales tax revenue to help the local tax base.

I have read articles recently, in the Advertiser, on how we can tax others, raise property taxes, raise school taxes, push other businesses out of our area if they don’t want to pay extra!  Please don’t listen to these people that sit at home and never take a chance to follow a dream and really help the community they live in.  Hard work and a desire to succeed will make Nassau, Schodack and Sand Lake a better place to live.  I look forward to My next dream at Old Post Road Golf Club and I hope you all will enjoy what is created for the Community.

Tom Choquette

A Definition of Patriotism

I would venture to say that most of us would struggle to define what patriotism means, but we know it when we see it. Perhaps, for some, it’s demonstrated by flying the flag in your front yard, singing the national anthem, or serving in the armed forces. I would say that patriotism, a love of country, has to include of love of, and concern for, your fellow citizens. That could mean helping an elderly neighbor, mentoring a child, volunteering at a food pantry. There are countless ways to show that concern and for putting their needs above your own. So, to me, getting a Covid vaccine and wearing a mask, demonstrates your commitment to insuring a healthy community, a concern for the person seated next to you in the pew at church, standing in front of you in line at the store, for the 4 year old who isn’t yet eligible for the vaccine, for the cancer survivor whose immune system is compromised. We have the chance to put this pandemic behind us, but only if all of us do what is necessary to end it, only if all of us show our patriotism by showing we care about our fellow man.

Philomena Valente, Averill Park

Confusion reigns in Poestenkill over PFOA

Talk about confusion reigning, misinformation flowing, and ignorance on display, that is how the “media circus” and political dog-and-pony show staged by Poestenkill Councilman Eric Wohlleber starring former Obama-era EPA administrator Judy Enck on 27 September 2021 in Poestenkill would have to be described.

First off, we had Poestenkill water manager Bob Brunet telling us, in reference to the PFOA contamination in the groundwater in Poestenkill, “These problems are caused by wells,” which has to be one of the most ridiculous statements ever to come out of what passes for “government” in Poestenkill.

Then we had Judy Enck, who was invited to speak by Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber, telling us “I think the state agencies have to be in the lead because they’re far more experienced and have more resources than the county, I think they need to drive this process.”

And that was followed by Poestenkill councilman Eric Wohlleber himself undermining his own witness Judy Enck by stating “I have zero confidence in DOH and DEC, I feel like they have not learned their lesson from Hoosick Falls.”

So who are we to believe?

Both of them?

And we had Bob Brunet telling us, after blaming the problems on our wells, “connect to our water from Troy, I’ve done all sorts of elevation calculation of mileage calculators, fully feasible, can be done,” this at the same time we are reading on the town propaganda site as follows: We now have full pressure through MOST of the water district.

Keeping in mind that the present water district only covers a portion of the town and would have to be extended, that is an admission by the Town that the present existing water district already has an inadequate public water supply, and I am hearing complaints from residents in the existing water district about pressure problems in the morning when everyone is up and getting ready for work.

So how does Bob Brunet think it is feasible to extend it?

To date, no answers!

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Town of Schodack Board- Time for Change

So, since the current town board has not changed the ancient inefficient town noise ordinance (starts at Mid-Night and is 27 years old–meaning anyone can make as much noise as long as they want to until Mid-Night), will new people running for Town Supervisor and Town Board make a commitment to actual residents in this town instead of catering to just business? Will the residents of Schodack get what all other towns in NYS have–proper noise ordinaces? Why are residents in this town not afforded this right?

Mr. Kenney said in his reelection 2 years ago, “Change is coming.” Maybe this election is what he means…..

Let’s see if a new Supervisor (Tracey Rex) and new board members- Michael Charsky and Michael Hiser can actually work for the people of Schodack. Mr. Harris, Mr. Bult, and Mr. Swartz have been silent on this issue for years! Time for change!

Scott Burdick, Castleton on Hudson

Important PFOA Facts

The following language is taken directly from a New York State Health Department “DO NOT DRINK” Notice that is normally sent out to schools with PFOA-related problems in the drinking water:

State and County Health Departments Issue “DO NOT DRINK” Water Advisories for Two Westchester County Schools

New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation Launch Investigation to Identify Potential Sources of Contamination

Potential Health Effects of PFOA and PFOS

PFOA and PFOS are part of a group of man-made, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances found in a wide range of consumer products such as cookware, cleaning products, food packaging, stain repellants, and firefighting foam, among others.

(Note: also fracking fluids)

The available information on the health effects associated with PFOA and PFOS, like many chemicals, comes mostly from studies of high-level exposure in animals.

Less is known about the chances of health effects occurring from lower levels of exposure, such as from drinking the schools’ water.

As a result, finding lower levels of chemicals in drinking water prompts water suppliers and regulators to take precautions that include notifying consumers and taking steps to reduce exposure.

High dose studies in animals indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause a wide range of health effects with the most consistent findings being effects on the liver and immune system and impaired fetal growth and development.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers PFOA and PFOS as having suggestive evidence for causing cancer based on studies of animals exposed to high levels of this chemical over their lifetimes.

The NYS MCLs for these chemicals are highly protective against these health effects, but at levels well above the MCLs it is prudent to take interim “Do Not Drink” measures to reduce exposure at these schools.

Do not be misled or deceived by those who tell you it is safe to drink.

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Protecting the Unborn Should First Come from the Heart

The recent Texas law sharply restricting abortions represents a good step in the right direction. Its enforcement structure is novel and has not been taken up by the Supreme Court. I’m not especially confident the law will survive future judicial review or legislative bypass, unless Roe v. Wade itself is reversed.

Moreover, though, I hope to see abortion end in a way that is not initially prompted by a legislative measure or judicial fiat. I’d first like to see an overwhelming majority of Americans deeply thinking about the actual meaning of abortion, and then condemning such an abomination.

Frank Coppa, East Greenbush

Free Well Tests in Poestenkill – Now

At the October 21st Town Board meeting, I will ask my fellow town board members to join me in supporting a motion to provide free testing of private wells for Poestenkill residents in the vicinity of the Algonquin Middle School. This is in response to the fact that the middle school and private wells nearby have tested positive for PFOA’s.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Health have paid for testing of wells in the past in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh when PFOA’s were discovered there, and Poestenkill should be no different. Testing these wells should have already occurred. To-date these agencies have stated that the levels are not high enough, that there is no obvious source, they may never be able to find the source, that they are following the science, this is not Hoosick Falls, and there is different bedrock in the area, among many other excuses. But they are clear and consistent when it comes to digging test wells and paying for our residents to test their wells. That answer is no.

The right thing to do is to provide tests, for free, for residents who want them, in the vicinity of the middle school and the contamination plume. The state has set a precedent in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh in providing free tests, yet they are currently unwilling to do the same in Poestenkill.

The Poestenkill Town Board should not follow the state and other officials in these ongoing delays and excuses. We should help our residents and provide these tests at no cost. Some level of government needs to step up and do the right thing.

Our residents need testing now. Our elected officials and leaders should test more wells now and not at the current slow pace of ten tests every few weeks or months. Our residents need to know if their drinking water is safe. In the absence of leadership at the state level, the town should step up to the plate.

Eric Wohlleber, Poestenkill Town Council


Defreetsville needs North Greenbush Govt. Attention

In September, I many fellow North Greenbushians in the Defreetsville area. One item my fellow towns people raised was a sewage lift pump at the end of California Avenue. This pump sits on a concrete pad adjacent to a ravine. The land near the pad is eroding away. Snow from the streets during the winter is pushed to this area increasing the potential for even more erosion. There is only probably 6 feet of land left near the pump pad. It is very possible that further erosion could cause the pump to fail and ultimately fall into the ravine. If this happens, the Town of North Greenbush could be fined. There are already problems with this system where storm water is infiltrating the system. Standing near the pump, you can see exposed PVC pipe that is already possibly broken. This is a serious issue that needs to be proactively addressed to avoid major costs if the area further erodes and the pump system further fails. Per the residents of this area, they have reached out to the town multiple times. I am seeking via a FOIA request the number of times that the residents have contacted the town and the responses from the town. I have reached directly out to the Town Supervisor and Town Council Members about this issue. I am requesting that it be discussed at a town meeting. Problems in one section of North Greenbush can result in greater costs for all of us. Working together, we can make North Greenbush even better.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

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