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

 

Crossgates Warning:

Stay Away For The Holidays

By Daniel Van Riper

State Police and State Dept. of Transportation officials are warning motorists to stay away from the Crossgates Maul exit ramp until well after Cristmas. Cars on the ramp will back up more than half a mile every day, and traffic on the Northway near the Maul will be congested. Numerous accidents will regularly occur. According to State Police Captain Ronald Tritto, the area has the worst traffic problems in the region, and the problems are growing worse. He said that motorists should allow extra travel time and look for alternate routes. Clearly, Crossgates is much too big, and instead of expanding the Maul, we should be looking for ways to reduce it in size. (Kudoes to the independent Daily Gazette for this report.)

Riots in the Parking Lot! A stolen hat touched off a series of running fights among some 100 people "milling around" the Maul parking outside the movie theaters around 11 PM on November 17. Earlier, Maul security cameras recorded about 15 teenagers fighting inside the theater lobby, causing damage. According to the Altamont Enterprise, Guilderland Police made three arrests, and additional charges are possible. Police insist that the violence is not gang related.

Maul Water One year ago we heard that a water line interconnect was being constructed on a bit of Pine Bush land slated for preserve so that Albany could sell water to Guilderland. We noted the approvals, which included a directive to restore and improve the natural condition of the parcel, and let it pass. Well, not only are the developers of the project clear-cutting trees and other vegetation on the site, but it has become painfully clear that the purpose of this thing is to provide water for the Crossgates expansion. Apparently, environmental impact statements are incomplete or not existant, and Save the Pine Bush is taking a hard look at the whole thing.

Fails to Impress Guilderland Supervisor Jerry Yerbury likes his job and wants to continue his political career. Perhaps that's why he walked into the lion's den and spoke to the Nov.11 Save the Pine Bush lasagna dinner at 1st Presbyterian Church in Albany. He certainly was personable, and did not show annoyance at even the most pointed questions. Gone was the tyrant who yelled "You're out of order" to SPB members who tried to speak at a public meeting. Mr. Yerbury has decided to recast himself as the defender of the public interest against the Pyramid Corporation, a performance which failed to convince most of the 70 people in attendance. "We are maintaining a stand of caution on Crossgates", he said. "I'm not inclined to give them anything." He seemed to struggle with the idea of Pine Bush preservation, apparently a new concept for him. Most of his presentation was like a campaign speech, we heard a lot about how deep his roots are in the community. Several interesting points came out:

*The Crossgates tax assessment cases could end up costing the town well over a million dollars.

*Pyramid has been talking about having Crossgates annexed to Albany if they can't have their way immediately. (Hardly likely.)

*The parking lot that Pyramid built illegally is gated and closed, and Yerbury claims that he is working toward getting it restored to it's former condition.

*Yerbury feels Guilderland should update its master plan every year.

*Yerbury made one major gaffe, claiming that a moratorium on building in the Pine Bush would be illegal. He appeared stunned when we pointed out that Albany has done it three times and Colonie once without legal consequences.

published Dec98/Jan99 Newsletter


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