Save the Pine Bush, You can fight City Hall and win!

War On Crossgates

The Community Fights Back

By Daniel Van Riper

The evil and rapacious Pyramid Corporation, through a combination of trickery and deception, has geared up for an unprecedented Crossgates Maul expansion plan designed to suck the life and livelihood out of the citizens of the Capital District. Corrupt and spineless Town of Guilderland officials, no doubt anticipating hefty "campaign contributions," patronage jobs for relatives and other pay-offs from Pyramid, have refused to listen to the angry and frustrated community.

Proving once again that they are acting in bad faith, Pyramid launched an all-out assault on the surrounding homeowners, forcing them to sell their homes. The proposed expansion plan supposedly does not extend beyond existing Maul property. Yet according to the Altamont Enterprise, the Pyramid Corporation, hiding like cowards behind a pair of front companies called Warp Enterprises and Westville Associates, has spent $3.2 million since March to purchase property along Route 20, Lawton Terrace and Westmere Terrace.

This expansion of Crossgates, the latest in a series that will certainly continue into the future, will have a vast negative impact on the region. There will be an exponential increase in traffic, noise, air pollution, crime, jobs lost as retail dollars are sucked out of the area, entire neighborhoods devastated or destroyed, and of course the incalculable pressure on the surrounding Pine Bush ecosystem. The only conceivable benefit from the Maul expansion is increased property tax revenue to the town, yet Pyramid has refused to pay their taxes since 1993, and probably will keep the town tied up in court at taxpayer expense indefinitely.

There is absolutely no reason for any Guilderland public official to even consider the expansion, at least not until deadbeat Pyramid pays their taxes. Therefore, the only possible reason Guilderland officials have not rejected Pyramid's demands out of hand is that they each expect personal gain from their association with Pyramid. Back in the early 1980's when Crossgates was being built, elected officials were given legal bribes in the form of "campaign contributions." Also, Pyramid handed out some 500 - 600 patronage jobs to friends and relatives of politicians, the corporate privatization of patronage. Pyramid is under indictment for bribery in several municipalities, and is being held in legal responsible for the wrongful death of a young mother in Buffalo, NY.

Many hundreds of angry citizens continue to attend a series of public forums sponsored by the Town of Guilderland. The latest, at Christ The King Catholic Church on Sumpter Ave., drew more than 400 people, almost unanimously opposed to Pyramid's schemes and clearly fed up with the posturings of their elected officials. The purpose of these meetings, according to Guilderland Supervisor Jerry Yerbury, is to allow residents "to let off steam." At the Christ the King meeting Yerbury inadvertently revealed his true intentions by saying to the assembly, "Crossgates is not a done deal. I'm not supporting Crossgates until we've heard all comments."

Residents Organize! - How to get involved to Stop Crossgates

Crossgates Information - How the Media Covers the Maul

published Aug/September, 98 Newsletter

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