Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 12.30.21

Hoosick Road in Brunswick: Over-development is the Disease, Traffic Jams are Just the Symptom

Recently, a drive up Hoosick Street from Lake Avenue eastward required almost twenty minutes to navigate one mile. This was early afternoon, NOT rush hour. The stop and start bumper-to-bumper snarl has become a common daily mess.

That arduous passage promises to get much, much worse.

Introducing three additional giant box stores along the already congested Hoosick Street corridor is, to say the least, overkill. It’s akin to the old college prank of seeing how many kids could be jammed into a Volkswagen Beetle. Then trying to close the doors. 

There will now be four pharmacies (Walgreen’s, Price Chopper, Wal-Mart and a Hannaford) in a mile or two stretch, plus a fifth, (Rite Aid) a short drive toward Troy. That’s almost enough drug stores to service the whole county.

Has anyone ever complained about the lack of a KFC franchise?

Why not build a multiplex movie theater as well? It can run continuous screenings of the enlightening 2011 documentary film Brunswick. The DVD is likely available at your local library, although revisiting it might make some politicians blush. Or not.

The surrounding former bucolic rolling hills and farmlands are being erased by the relentless construction of individual houses and numerous, ubiquitous, mostly beige, misnamed “townhouses.”

At this rate there won’t be any green left, except for the expansive lawns surrounding the huge apartment complexes, not to mention developers’ and others’ bulging bank accounts.

Think of the enormous tax revenues which have poured into Brunswick’s treasury for over 15 years.

Expecting “smart light” traffic monitoring devices to address the ever increasing traffic flow is foolish, wishful thinking at best. 

The real problem requires no engineering degree or costly “studies” to diagnose: 

The Problem Is Over-Development!

Genuine progress and reasonable development are inevitable, but now Route 7 is a nightmare of corporate retail clutter, expanding geometrically. It is a state highway, but Albany has no control over what borders it.

Maybe the “planning” board can also apply for a grant, i.e. other peoples’ tax dollars, to build a trolley car route along the shoulders for more efficient public transportation. And why not an airport? – ‘The Brunswick International!’ That would be really kool.

It’s predictable that lots of people will be avoiding the frustrating slog along Hoosick Road, thus withholding much of their financial patronage from the businesses there, old and new. 

Life is just too short.

By Paul Bouchey

PFOA Saga No. 4 – The Big Bamboozle

“Bamboozle” means “fool or cheat someone,” as in fool the people in Poestenkill who have PFOA or PFOS in their drinking water by telling them that it won’t cause a “significant” health risk as we were told in a WNYT-TV story titled “Rensselaer County leaders discuss chemical found during water tests” on September 22, 2021, as follows:

POESTENKILL – According to both DEC and the State Department of Health, contaminant levels of PFOA discovered in private wells of two properties adjacent to the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill do not pose a significant health risk.

However, as I said at the 27 September 2021 PFOA meeting, that is not a public health standard, especially given that Algonquin school is a registered and regulated public water supply pursuant to the New York State Sanitary Code, Title 10, Chapter I, Part 5. Drinking Water Supplies, Subpart 5-1, Public Water Systems, under “Sources of Water Supply – 5-1.10 Statement” which states in clear and unambiguous regulatory language that the rules contained in this Subpart, together with the watershed rules and regulations set forth in Parts 100 through 158 of this Title, have been promulgated to protect present or future sources of water supply, and “5-1.11 Applicability,” which states the provisions of sections 5-1.10 through 5-1.15 of this Subpart shall apply, throughout the State of New York, to all existing and proposed sources of water supply, and “5-1.71 Protection and supervision of public water systems” which states (a) The supplier of water and the person or persons operating a public water shall exercise due care and diligence in the maintenance and supervision of all sources of the public water systems to prevent, so far as possible, their pollution and depletion.

Why then didn’t that happen?

If this is a public water supply regulated by DOH and the RCHD, which it most certainly is, then how could that contamination have happened right under everyone’s nose?

Any ideas?

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

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