BuckinghamPondCrestwood NANEWS

My Photo
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

Monday, August 20, 2007

THE BUCKINGHAM MEWS EXTENSION is exhibit A for the condo-big box houses that are being approved by Mayor Jennings' appointees on the City Board of Zoning Appeals and City Planning Board.

SUBSTANDARD is the word that sums up these big box houses. The developer, without a
proper permit, began this extension by clearing away the woodlands - not sparing any
mature trees, particularly along the back lot property lines of residences on the South side of Buckingham Drive.

Next ,the woodland top soil was stripped away and sold.

The development lanquished for a couple of years, partly because of financial problems and drainage problems encountered when developing a woodland with numerous
springs, streams and a high water table.

Construction has finally begun in earnest. What we see are big box housing containing
4 units each. The materials and construction are not of the best quality. Certainly
substandard when compared to the original units in Buckingham Mews, built by Bast-Hatfield, ca 1987.

We insisted, as a precondition for signing off on the original Buckingham Mews project, that the acre of green space be set aside and deeded to the city as open space in perpetuity, and that mature confiers be planted to buffer the lights, noise
and air pollution from the corner gas station and growing traffic flows.

Close inspection of this original buffer of conifers, reveals die back due to the
concentration of vehicle fumes at the intersection of New Scotland and Krum Kill. A
second line of conifers have been planted as back up, but these are largely White Pines, which are not tolerant of vehicle emissions. Austrian Pines are, and should have been ,the tree of choice necause they tolerate emissions and road salt.

A substandard, sandy, sparsely planted berm was placed along Friebel Rd, as part of the Mews expansion. Some of the trees have taken and begun to grow. Also, some of the bushes.

THERE IS A NEED FOR THE CITY TO REQUIRE that a berm, of good soil, and substantial size be constructed along the back lot boundary lines of the residences that abut the
the Mews expansion. The berm must be planted with mature evergreens, lilac bushes and Red Osier Dogwoods (the latter are tolerant of wet conditions, and will help stabilize the berm and retard erosion from periodic high water and flooding).

By not riding herd on the developer of the Mews expansion, the City is eroding the residential and environmemtal quality of life for existing residents in the original Buckingham Mews, and the single family residences that border the Mews expansion on
Friebel Rd and Buckingham Dr as well as on Milner Ave.

Furthermore, by allowing substandard construction, materials and design, the City has
set the stage for eroding the city property tax base in this neighborhood.

These big box houses are not built to last. Owners can expect that they will, in time, face significant repair costs, as well as problems like wet basements, mold, etc.

Observe the flimsy, prefabicated roof trusses that are used in these big box houses.
Firemen, fighting a fire in these structures would be at risk when on the roofs.

Observe the, infertile, fill being used to establish lawns, for the big boxes.

The Buckingham Mews project can not be reversed, at this point. For the sake of the neighbors, and the people who buy into these big box units, the City must insist that
construction and materials be of the highest quality; and that quality landscaping
include mature trees and a substantial berm, planted with mature trees/bushes along
the property line abutting the residences on Buckingham Dr.

The Mews Expansion, and other big box housing, like Quantum, at Whitehall and New Scotland Ave, can ,and must, succeeed, if the City and developers put their best efforts forward.

Otherwise, the spectre of section 8 housing bailouts and erosion of neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life; and ersosion of the City property tax base
will result.

Mayor Jennings has to personally step in an do what is necessary to assure the success of these big box projects.

J P Sullivan

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Mayor and Common Council have another chance to
show that they are truly Democrats in the image of Dan O'Connell.

They opted to build the Quantum big box housing where we had
proposed the Dan O'Connell Senior Housing, Neighborhood
Community Center and Memorial Pocket Park be created.

Now, we go to plan B - Take the 23 acre neighborhood green
belt we proposed, bordered by Krum Kill Rd, Crescent Drive
and the NYS Thruway-Rte 85 and modify it to include much
needed senior housing, in addition to the pedestrian green

The City already owns 10 acres behind Stewarts and the West
arc of Crescent Dr. Acquire the landlocked, 5 acre wooded
ravine parcel from owner, John McDermott, by means of a
matching grant from the City and NYS open space fund.

Acquire, and compensate the owners of the 7 acre parcel fronting
on Krum Kill Rd, by means of a Tranfer of Development Rights
arrangement whereby the owners deed the parcel to the City as
open space; and are compensated by receiving land/buildings
of equivalent value from the vast City inventory of vacant land
and buildings, downtown.

The Common Council must create a new zoning category
"Senior Housing", apply it to that part of the 23 acres to be
set aside for that purpose, and rezone the rest of the land as
Land Conservation or park land.

This would result in creation of The Daniel P. O'Connell
Neighborhood Green Belt and Senior Housing, which
would honor the memory of Dan in a fitting way that
would benefit the long time elderly homeowners of the
8th and 14th Wards, who have been staunch Democratic
voters for many years.

There is a need for this senior housing so that elderly
homeowners, who are reaching the time, to sell their
single family homes, can do so, and remain in the familiar
neighborhood surroundings.

Dan O'Connell was for the people. He would do this if
he were alive today.

Will the Mayor and Common Council, elected as Democrats
behave in the tradition of Dan O'Connell, and make the
Dan O'Connell Neighborhood Green Belt and Senior Housing
a reality?

This is their chance.

J P Sullivan

QUANTUM BIG BOX HOUSING , Whitehall at New Scotland, is a big
gamble by the Mayor. To reduce the risk that this project turns out to be
a disaster for this neighborhood and the city property base, it is vital that
the Mayor insist that:

1. the construction materials and workmanship be of the highest quality

2. a substantial berm be constructed to buffer the housing units from
noise, glare of vehicle lights and air pollution. This is particularly
vital because a third Thruway lane is soon to be added, adjacent to
the housing site. The berm must be substantial, planted with mature
Austrian Pines and Red Oaks which are tolerant of road salt and air
pollution from the adjacent Thruway. A little ridge of sand, planted
with designer trees will not do.

3. the traffic/accident potential of vehicles entering and leaving busy
New Scotland Ave and Whitehall Rd must be fully evaluated and
properly mitigated. Both of these routes experience heavy rush
hour traffic flows, morig and evening.

4. the 3/4 acre pocket park, at the derelict gas station corner, must be
done right. Simply razing the drelict building and seeding the site
is not enough. The parcel must be deeded to the City as park land,
the derelict building razed, contaminated surface soil removed,
clean fill brought in to create a rolling berm, planted with a mix of
conifers, hardwoods and flowering bushes, such as lilacs,
burning bushes, etc. The trees planted must be tolerant of poor
air quality and road salt.

5. a performance bond should be required of the developer, with
the stipulation that the developer will not seek relief by looking
to Section 8 housing alternatives, should the developer's big
box housing not sell as hoped for.

One only has to look at the Buckingham Mews expansion bordering
Friebel Rd, as exhibit A, why the City of Albany needs to greatly
increase it's requirements, standards and oversight of proposed
housing developments.

J P Sullivan




Trees, particulary younger ones, are being strangled by vines and underbrush.
The vines and underbrush must be cut and cleared. This problem is most acute
along the Southern and Western parts of the park.

The larger, older trees, are mostly cottonwoods that are nearing the end of
their lifespans. Young replacement trees, of different varieties, like oaks
maples, honey locusts, birches and others need to be planted now, so they have
time to take roots and grow, before the older trees come down.

The City Forester should conduct a survey of the pond park trees and come up
with a plan that includes, cutting and clearing vines and underbrush; and
planting replacement trees.

Who will do the work? City OGS/Parks Department supplemented by seasonal labor
hires and prisoners from the Corrections Facility on New Scotland Rd.


The Northern and Eastern shores of the pond are slumping into the pond. Trees
and bushes, that are water tolerant, need to be planted. Red Osier Dogwoods
are particularly suited for shoreline stabilization, and will provide striking
red color stems, in winter, which contrast nicely with snow and ice.

The soil creep and mass movement on the East end of the park is evidenced by
the guard rails and posts which are leaning downslope toard the water. If this
condition is allowed to continue, the road surface will collapse.

The South shore pathway at water level, and at times, is flooded or wet. Old
concrete should be used to construct a seawall, along that part of the shore
from Euclid to Lenox. Clean fill should be added alongside the path and Red
Osier Dogwoods planted to stabilize the shoreline.


is putrid. It needs to be treated with copper sulfate, because the algae flows
from the holding pond into the larger pond making it more difficult to keep
pond water clear.

The holding pond should be fenced and no tresspassing signs posted to reduce
chances that children or adults may fall into the holding pond and drown in
the murkey water. Rails are missing from the Milner Ave bridge, allowing
easy access to the holding pond.


Some fine, powdery gravel has been added to parts of the path ways. This will
become very slippery when wet or icy. The path ways need to be improved with
coarser blue stone which will provide better traction for walkers in wet
weather and winter.


Yard wastes are still being dumped along Rafts Way and Davis Ave margins
of the park. Household ad other wastes are being dumped in the trash barrels
by the childrens play area. Move the barrels further from the road and semi
circle and this will stop the drive by dumping. Watch for the residents who
live on Davis, Colonial and Holmes Dale (along Rafts Way) and are dumping
grass clippings, leaves and other yard wastes into the park. Ticket them if
the do not heed warnings to stop.


along the Milner Ave pathway is a welcome addition. However, blue light
Emergency call boxes still need to be installed at key locations around
the park, as described in earlier posts on this site.


from excessive numbers of ducks/geese, around the children's play area
and pathways leading to the picnic area oppsite the semi-circle parking
area, present a health hazard to children, adults and pets who use these
areas. Recall that a bird flu pandemic can still occur.

Prohibitions against feeding ducks/geese must be obeyed and strictly enforced.


The City has neglected flower planting in the park. A greater variety of
perennials, and wildflowers should be planted.

J P Sullivan


Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007
11:13:17 PM EDT

ARE YOU READY FOR THE WORST? It is winter, a heavy snow has fallen, the temperatures have plunged to below zero.

There is no heat, no power, no natural gas, no fuel, no water , no sewage disposal, no garbage pick up, because the power lines, natural gas lines, water system and sewer plant have been blown up.

A dirty bomb, hidden in a container at the Port of Albany goes off. The fuel oil terminal and gas tanks are destroyed.

You can't get out of town because the roads are not plowed. The city begins to burn, because arson fires are set. There is no water to fight fires. The firehouses have been attacked and destroyed.

Most city police and firefighters who live outside the city can't report for duty. Besides, their first obligation is the survival of their own families, in such a situation.

The food stores are empty. Civil disorder breaks out with criminals, gangs and mobs running through neighborhoods pillaging and plundering. Most homeowner can't defend themselves or protect their loved ones and property because the Common Council implemented the recommendations of the City Gun Task Force. which opted to disarm law abiding citizens of their Second Amendment right to bear arms and protect themselves.

People, who have not prepared to survive, flee their homes. They run to their neighborhood churches, synagogues, schools seeking shelter, warmth, light, water and food, but these neighborhood institutions and facilities can offer nothing because they have failed to prepare.

No need to go on, you get the picture. Utter chaos, civil disorder, devestation, destruction, hardship and death. You can anticipate and propose many other scenarios. Just use your imagination.

You can be sure that the foreign terrorists and their allies, anti-social,native born malcontents, and illegal aliens, gangbangers, criminals, etc., are planning to strike, simultaneously, in ways that we are not anticipating. They are getting ready, but we are not!

Time is short, plan for your own survival and that of your family and loved ones. Encourage your neighborhood churches, synagogues, schools, pharmacies, health care providers, senior housing, etc. to do the same...without delay.

How and where to begin? Scroll through archives in this blog and http://journals.aol.com/lonerangeralbany/lonerangeralbany/. Go to the websites and sources contained therein.

Immediately contact James Greene, Disaster Preparation Coordinator for the American Red Cross: Greene@redcrossneny.org , tel 458 8111 ext 3011, for information, literature.

Have Jim come to your church, synagogue, school to put on a program and share information/literature on what to do to prepare.

Delay not a day longer. Pass this information onto family and friends.

We are nearing the anniversary of the first 9-11 attack. We know our foe acts on symbolism. Our troops have the foe on the run in Iraq and Afghanistan. Osama, and crew, will not be safe much longer in their NW Pakistan mountain frontier hideouts. The end is near and they know it. They are getting desperate.

Who will strike first? We have the advantage, unless we suffer devestating, simultaneous strikes on the homeland, which will leave our troops, overseas at the mercy of the foe. because our homeland will be in chaos and ruin.

As General Tommy Franks (US Army ret) often says, his worst nightmare is that the U S will be plunged into martial law after such an attack on the homeland.

It goes without saying, the 2008 election, troopergate and all the rest of politics as usual, won't matter. Hillary or Obama, or Nancy Pelosi,or Harry Reid, or Chuckie, Eliot, Senator Joe, or Jerry won't be able to save you. Government at all levels is not prepared either.

Bottom line is that you and your loved ones have to save yourselves. No one else is prepared to.

So, as the rugged Navy Bosun's used to say: "Turn to! Let's see A........, and elbows!"

This is the last you will hear me urge you to get ready. I will be busy following my own advice.

Charles Darwin once postulated the theory "survival of the fittest".

That is precisely what will rule in the scenario outlined above.

No calls please, You are own your own!

J P Sullivan

Friday, August 10, 2007
5:09:41 PM EDT

WE CAN RUN, BUT CANNOT HIDE. AIR POLLUTION IS A MAJOR HEALTH ISSUE IN THE CAPITAL DISTRICT AND MANY PLACES IN THE NATION. READ: http://news.aol.com/story/_a/farm-town-has-nations-dirtiest-air/20070810070509990002?ncid=NWS00010000000001

TAKE STEPS TO END THE WHITE DEATH. LOCALLY, NOW. (see blog archives on White Death, or excessive use of Road Salt)

J P Sullivan

Written by lonerangeralbany http://journals.aol.com/lonerangeralbany/lonerangeralbany/

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Very well attended. Thanks to all who participated and attended.

Mary Silver deserves special thanks for being the driving force
behind this event.

County Legislators Dan McCoy and Gary Domalewicz and Ward 8 Alderman
John Rosenzweig co-sponsored the event and did a fine job.

Mayor Jennings and APD Chief Tuffey stopped by.

The Albany Police Pipe Band put on a great performance.

Members of Operation Impact, the mounted and motor cycle patrols
were present also.

The County Health Department and Red Cross had excellent information

We expanded the traditional night out focus to include
emergency/disaster preparedness.

Watch for a follow up event with Red Cross Preparedness Coordinator
Jim Greene who will work with us to help idividuals, homeowners and neighborhood churches, synagogues, schools, health care providers, and businesses prepare
to survive natural and man made disasters and terror attacks: with institutions
organizing to serve as refuges, providing shelter, water, food, alternate power
heat and other assistance.

J P Sullivan
438 5230


Sunday, August 05, 2007


Tuesday, August 7 6-8 pm

Sidney Albert Jewish community Center
340 Whitehall Rd, Albany, NY
(Rain Location: back pavilion)

Cosponsored by:
Whitehall Road & Buckingham Pond Crestwood
Neighborhood Associations

Ward 8 Alderman John Rosenzweig

Albany County Legislators Dan McCoy and
Gary Domalewicz

***** Free refreshments ****

Obtain timely information on burglary and
drug prevention, fire safety, public health
City DGS and City Parks/Recreation.

Representatives of the Albany Police and Fire
Departmnts. Albany County Health Department and
others will be present.

We have expanded the traditional National Night
Out Crime and Drug Prevention focus to include:


JIM GREENE Preparedness Coordinator for
The American Red Cross NENY

will be present to provide literature and
answer your questions.

For further Info Contact: Mary 495 3535

J P Sullivan
438 5230