BuckinghamPondCrestwood NANEWS

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Location: Albany, New York, United States

CONSERVATIVE ROW C FOR MAYOR CITY OF ALBANY NY November 5, 2013 Election U S Navy Veteran BS Geography, U Wisconsin (Korean GI Bill) MA Geography, U Minnesota (National Fellowship) 30 years as founder and president, Buckingham Pond/ Crestwood Neighborhood Assoc. maintaining/improving neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life. Leadership resulted in creation of Buckingham Pond Park in 1993-94, as well as many other open spaces. See bpcnanews.blogspot.com for list of leadership results. Neighborhood website: bpcnanews.blogspot.com/ see also: albanycityconservative.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

For entry Hearing Record Re: Application for drive up bank window at Crestwood Plaza
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 5:30 PM City Hall Albany Common Council Chambers 2d floor

Hon Chair and Members
Albany City BZA

This statement is in OPPOSITION to the application for a drive up bank window for the Trustco Bank now under construction at Crestwood Plaza, Whitehall Rd at Picotte Dr Albany.

On behalf of the homeowners and residents of this R-1B Single Family Residential neighborhood, I ask that
you DENY this application.

The Crestwood Plaza parking lot is small. A drive up window and lanes would take away more parking spaces and present a hazard to pedestrians on the sidewalk, as well as those parking in the lot. Seniors residing in St Sophia's and Holy Wisdom Apartments walk across the street to the plaza to reach the Crestwood Pharmacy, Spinners and other shops. Overflow parking from the smaller plaza parking lot would generate more on street parking on Picotte Dr and John David Lane.

A drive up window would serve as a magnet for increased speeding traffic , in and around, the plaza, and on
tributary neighborhood residential streets leading to the plaza, including: S. Manning Blvd, John David and Gingerbread Lanes, Picotte Dr, Hackett Blvd, Whitehall Rd, Hurst Ave, Collins Pl, Ferndale St, Hopewell St
Whitehall Rd, New Scotland Ave, Krum Kill Rd, Buckingham Dr, Westford St

Many of the above streets are already over run by speeding traffic, trying to find ways around morning and evening rush hour congestion on New Scotland Ave, Buckingham Dr, Krum Kill Rd, Whitehall Rd and South Manning Blvd, as well as Hackett Blvd.

A drive up window would draw bank patrons from St Peter's, The CP Center and medical facilities nearby, as well as from the wider surrounding neighborhoods. Many of these drivers would be on short breaks and in a hurry to conduct their bank business at a drive in window. Thus, resulting in more speeding traffic and more accidents as impatient drivers drive alternative neighborhood streets in an effort to avoid congestion from more traffic.

More speeding traffic and associated congestion, noise, litter and vehicle emissions, will only erode the residential integrity, quality of life ,and city property tax base in this R IB Single Family neighborhood.

A drive up bank window would pose particular problems after dark. Car headlights would shine in the windows
of the single family homes on Westford St bordering the plaza parking lot.

A drive up window and ATM would serve as an attraction to muggers and robbers. Check police records and you will find that the New Scotland Ave Key ,and former Trustco Bank branches and ATM at Key were robbed many times, in recent years. Included among the robbers were transient residents from nearby apartments.

In sum, in the interest of maintaining and improving the neighborhood residential integrity, quality of life, and city property tax base the drive up bank window application for Crestwood Plaza should be DENIED.

Thank you.
Joseph P Sullivan, President
Buckingham Pond/Crestwood NA

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A STROLL AROUND BUCKINGHAM POND PARK 4/9/07 The underbrush has not been cleared to promote growth of remaining trees. Vines are strangling many trees. The vines need to be cut away. Now is the time for the City Parks Dept to do these things, before the vegetation leafs out obscuring these problems for another season. The Southern and Western margins of the park are most in need of these corrective actions.

Litter and trash is very visible, particularly along the South Shore path from Euclid to Milner Ave. Graffiti is visible around the Park and should be immediately removed. This park belongs to the people not wannabe gang bangers. The planters at both ends of the Milner Ave foot bridge need to be cleaned with new soil added, and freshly painted to obscure graffiti. Graffiti needs to be removed from the guard rail, South side at foot of Euclid and
Berkshire. The split rail fencing at the Milner Ave foot path needs restoration, with missing or damaged rails replaced.

There was considerable small litter along the North shore of the Pond from the MIlner Ave foot path to the East end of the pond. Signs nailed to trees proclaimed that it safe to skate on the pond....don't think so...no ice. Why are these signs nailed to the trees? Why are they still there? Who would be responsible if some mentally challenged youngsters, or adults, attempted to skate on the water, and drowned?

People were observed stuffing household trash into the trash barrels at the semi-circle/parking area at the foot of Colonial, North side of pond.

The pond is in need of shoreline stablization. Water tolerant bushed , like Red Osier Dogwoods need to be planted. They also add visual beauty in winter by displaying brillant red forms which contrast nicely with new fallen snow.

Footpaths are in need of restoration. The additional path lighting, and blue light emergency call boxes were never installed, particularly around the Milner Ave foot path and the wooded foot path between Lenox and Holmes Dale, South side of pond. Maybe this year?

The pond park needs a comprehensive park plan that provides for a systematic tree , flowering bushes and wildflower planting program. The brush choking the conifers planted on the dredged fill, along Raft's Way, needs to be cleared, so the Hemlocks and other evergreens can grow healthy and strong. The deteriorating water quality of the pond will be improved, if road salt dumping and excessive lawn chemical/fertilizer run off from streets and lawns in the pond watershed, are greatly reduced or eliminated. People have to pick up their dog droppings. The wooded Western and Southern parts of the pond park
have to be improved, with dumping of yard wastes and youth drinking-drug gatherings eliminated.

The City Parks Department should have a couple of workers, working at the pond park, all year round. Retired gentlemen would do nicely. When kids are assigned to work in the pond park they should work - not sit and play cards or hoops. They need assigned responsibilities and proper supervision. Preference should be given to employment of local, neighborhood kids, because they will pressure their peers not to vandalize the good work that the youthful employees do.

Residents living around the pond park perimeter need to be active in the neighborhood watch, reporting suspicious activities/individuals to the APD.

We need an active Buckingham Pond Park Committee. Volunters? Call me: 438 5230 Joe Sullivan


Albany City Board of Zoning Appeals meets WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 5:30 PM



Fred Le Brun blames the cost of charter schools. See his article in Sunday TU, April 8, 2007, pB1, Cost of charter schools puts Albany in spiraling tax trap.

To the contrary, it is incompetence and ineptitude on the part of the Albany School Superintendent and School Board that is at the root of the spiraling property tax trap in Albany. The Albany School District is dysfunctional, spiraling out of control and accountable to no one.

Charter school growth is a response to, not a cause of , dysfunction and incompetence of the school superintendent, school board and school district.

Two options exist to correct this problem. One: make the Albany School District a Charter School District, or two: dissolve the Albany School District, merge it with city government making the Mayor responsible and accountable for the operation and performance of city schools, based on one, not two, property tax rolls. The latter is the preferrable course of action.

Both options will require introduction and passage of state legislation. Public pressure must be brought to bear on the Legislature and Governor, to make this happen, this session.

In the meantime, the State Education Department has the authority to take control of dysfunctional and poor performing school districts. The Mayor of Albany should request that Governor Spitzer make this happen, now.

In May, the responsibility will fall to the voters of the City of Albany to vote down any proposed increases in the city school budget and school property taxes. These increases have occurred every year for a decade or more. More money is not the solution to the growing dysfunction, poor performance and violence in Albany City schools

Routinely, school budget and school property tax increase are approved with less than 10 percent of the eligible voters voting. Of that 10 percent about 55 percent vote yes, with 45 percent voting no.

With property tax revaluation ( a tax increase) occurring and significant state aid earmarked for Albany in the new state budget, there can be absolutely no justification for a school budget and property tax increase to be put before city voters, by the school district, in May.

The solution lies in returning to a K-8 neighborhood school system which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods. Eliminate the top heavy, highly paid school administation. Reallocate those salaries, and benefits, to hiring more teachers for the class rooms. Establish a residency requirement for all teachers, administrators and school staff. Establish, and enforce, a strict code of student conduct , in schools, in neighborhoods around schools, and on buses. Require all students to wear school uniforms. Remove unruly, disruptive pupils from class rooms, so that those who are motivated to learn, can do so in a sane, safe learning environment. Place the unruly, disruptive, unmotivated malcontents in alternative learning settings, including a boot camp environment, staffed by ex-military, for the worst offenders.

J P Sullivan

438 5230

Friday, April 06, 2007


For Entry In Record
Albany Common Council Meeting 4/4/07

Hon Jerry Jennings, Mayor
and Members of Albany Common Council

This statement is in OPPOSITION to the proposed Local Law to be considered at tonight's Common Council meeting. This proposed local law should be immediately voted down or withdrawn.

This proposed local law would violate the U S Constitution, Second Amendment right of law abiding American Citizens to bear arms.

The U S Supreme Court has ruled that police are not under any obligation to protect citizens in their homes. This means that citizens have the responsibility to defend and protect their homes, property and the the lives of themselves and their loved ones. This local law would severely hamper the ability of law abiding citizens to protect themselves, their homes and property from those who would do them harm.

In an age of terrorism, this proposed local law is absurd. We are told by the U S Office of Homeland Security, that in the next wave of terror attacks we can expect to be on our own for days and possibly weeks or more. We are told to stock pile food, water, and other emergency supplies.

Take away the guns from private, law abiding citizens, and they will be unable to defend themselves, their loved ones and their property from the pillaging and plundering marauders , civil disorder and anarchy that can be expected to follow the next wave of terror attacks.

Recall the civil disorder and anarchy that followed the Katrina natural disaster. Citizens with guns were able to repel looters and attackers. Those without guns fell victim to the lawless marauders. Many cops fled or did not report to duty. The law abiding citizens were on their own.

Is this what you want to happen to law abiding residents of the City of Albany?

Criminals do not obey laws. The Albany Police Department has the computer technology in place to plot gun violence incidents and profile the geographic neighborhoods , the offenders,
the victims, and the reasons for gun violence incidents.

Any astute citizen can tell you where the gun violence is occurring and who is perpetrating it.

The better solution to Albany's gun violence problem, is the greatly increase the penalties, and to step up Operation Impact. Go into those neighborhoods where the gun violence is occurring and disarm the offenders and potential offenders.

The criminals, anti-social malcontents, and gang bangers are the allies of the foreign terrorists who seek to destroy us and our way of life.

The Mayor of Albany and Common Council would be guilty of aiding and abetting our sworn enemies by passage of a local law that would severely limit the Second Amendment right of law abiding citizens to bear arms, taking away the self-defense ability of law abiding citizens when terrorists attacks or natural disasters occur.

Vote down this ill conceived local law. Step up Operation Impact in those neighborhoods where the gun violence is occurring and disarm the criminals, malcontents and gang bangers
NOW before it is too late for you and for us.
J P Sullivan, President
Buckingham Pond/Crestwood NA
518 438 5230