WHITE DEATH envelopes the City and countryside. Excess road salt is evident everywhere on streets and highways. Road surfaces, street trees, groundwater, our
vehicles, homes and health are deteriorating because of excess dumping of road salt.
Air pollution and related respiratory problems result when the airborne road salt
mixes with vehicle and chimney emissions. Why is there no public outcry? Why are no
politicians stepping forward to do something about excess road salt dumping? Why are
health care providers and hospitals silent?
BUCKINGHAM POND PARK is in dismal shape. Excess road salt from surrounding roadways
is draining into the pond and park causing a decline in water quality and park trees
as well as altering the ecology of the pond and surrounding shore areas. Litter, dog
droppings and graffiti are conspicuous. There is so much dog doo along pathways that
it presents a health hazard to pets,children and adults who use the park.
THE DOG PARK adjacent to the Hartman Rd Community Gardens is littered with dog do everywhere. The fences and gates are damaged. No waste barrel for depositing doggie
doo bags. Muddy entranceway. Spruce tree killed by dog urine. Two Red Oak trees
planted by yours truly a decade ago, are struggling to survive unrelenting dog urine.
The log barriers which I constructed around the conifer and two oaks have been broken
down and scattered about. The dog poo all about is a health hazard to pets, children
and adults who use the dog park. It is a muddy, disease, parasite breeding pest hole.
THE OLD WHITE OAK (about 300 years old) is deteriorating. Lower branches have been
damaged by city and contractor vehicles/machinery, and are rotting away. This tree
was likely standing when Albany was chartered in colonial days. There is no excuse for city officials to allow this magnificant tree to rot away and die. Some, timely
pruning by the City Forester would reverse the decline of this tree.
48 CONDO'S allegedly for "empty nesters" have been proposed for the 71/2 acres of
woodland adjoining the abandoned derelict gas station at the corner of Whitehall and
New Scotland. The 3/4 acre parcel and the other parcels fronting on New Scotland Ave
to the NYS Thruway bridge are not included. No doubt, someone has commercial rezoning
plans for the New Scotland Ave frontage.
The Condos would sell for about $260,000 each. Owners would pay city and school property taxes, as well as city water/sewer taxes. Owners would be assessed a monthly
fee of about 100-150 dollars to help pay for maintenance of the condos, grounds and
roadways/driveways (which will not be maintained by the City of Albany. There is no
noise, sound barrier planned to buffer the development from the adverse effects of the NYS Thruway. A third lane is being added, which will have the adjoining condo units a few short feet from the Northbound Thruway lane.
This "empty nester" proposal is for the birds! What neighborhood senior will sell
their single family residence, take the proceeds and buy one of these condos for
$260,000, plus pay the city, school property taxes and monthly condo association fees? Very few! Who would pay these costs to live practically on the New York State
Thruway exposed to the noise of 18 wheelers, the bright lights, the air pollution
resulting from vehicle emissions and the excess road salt dumped on the Thruway? Who
would pay these costs to live adjacent to a commercial strip fronting on New Scotland
Ave? Very few!
How about the quality of condo construction. Would it resemble the substandard unit
built as an extension of Buckingham Mews (Krum Kill Rd at Friebel)? Would the structures fall apart from the constant virbration caused by the passage of the 18
These condos would not sell and would soon turn out to be rental housing.
A meeting was sponsored by the developer, Dan Herschberg and 8th Ward Alderman John
Rosensweig. It was held at St Sophia's Hall, Whitehall Rd, 7 pm Tuesday, March 7. Very few neighborhood residents received due notice, including your Neighborhood Association. Some fast footwork on our part resulted in about 80 residents turning out.
WE MADE IT CLEAR to the developers and Alderman that the Buckingham Pond Crestwood
NA is standing by it's call for the Dan O Connell Senior Housing and Memorial Pocket
Park to be constructed on the 8-10 acres, including the abandoned gas station parcel.
OUR PLAN IS BEST because :(1) it will allow aging single family homeowners to sell their homes, move into affordable housing that will not erode their nesteggs, and
afford them the option of remaining in the neighborhood where they have lived for
many years, (2) it is the best option for maintaining the residential integrity and
quality of life in this neighborhood, as well as the property values of all neighborhood residents.
Alderman Rosensweig was asked to put his legislation for a zoning change on hold. He
said he would.
We also suggested that the developer's condo proposal could be made more attractive
by including the abandoned gas station, and other parcels fronting on New Scotland Ave, and donating the corner parcel as a Memorial Pocket Park to Dan. Also, by putting of a berm, with mature evergreens to buffer noises, lights, air pollution
from the adjacent Thruway. So, it is back to the drawing boards for the developers.
We urged that the City pay proper respect to Dan O Connell, and do what Dan would do-
build the senior housing for the loyal Democrats of this neighborhood who have voted
for the partyline all these years, and who provided the winning margins for Jerry
Jennings and John Rosensweig in last year' s city elections.
Just say NO the condo plan and YES to our plan for the Dan O'Connell Senior Housing
and Memorial Pocket Park.
Call the Mayor at City Hall 434 5100 or call 476 5959 to tell him so on his WROW
590 AM Radio Show Fridays, 9-10 AM. Thousands of people will hear you and the Mayor's response.
Joe Sullivan 438 5230
Check out my blog: http:journals.aol.com/lonerangeralbany/lonerangeralbany/ for more.