Letters to the Editor of the Times Union

Compiled by Tim Truscott

Letter: Pine Bush Preserve remains a folly

To the editor, Sunday, September 2, 2018

The extension of the lifespan of the Rapp Road landfill is welcome news for Albany taxpayers. It’s unimaginable what the cost of getting rid of our waste will be when we have to close that landfill. I am surprised that a waste-to-energy facility has not been proposed or an end brought to this folly with the Pine Bush Preserve.

Enough is enough with this reserving of land that has no purpose. The city of Albany could use the land for housing and commercial use and continue to have a waste disposal site instead of vacant land that has become an eyesore. If needed, a butterfly sanctuary could be built on a small section of land. The money set aside for the supervision of the Pine Bush Preserve could go to help keep the city solvent. This proposal is not so farfetched as it may seem. It would only take our state Assembly members and Senators to take the first step to relieve the taxpayers of Albany from the much higher taxation that would occur if Albany goes into bankruptcy.

Albert Paolucci, Albany

Letter: Pine Bush not the folly; landfill expansion is

To the editor, Saturday, September 8, 2018

I read with amazement the letter from Albert Paolucci that suggests dismantling the Pine Bush Preserve and expanding the landfill (“Pine Bush Preserve remains a folly,” Sept. 2). It seems he is not joking but entirely serious.

Does he know how hard some dedicated people worked to save the small scrap of pine bush that we still have? Now he says their farsighted vision of preserving a piece of this unique ecosystem is just a “folly.” He would have us continue our wasteful lifestyle, whatever the cost, to avoid the inconvenience of making any changes. In a weird contradiction, he would set aside an even smaller area to save the Karner Blue butterfly, but not the ecosystem itself.

There are many things we can do. How about taking reusable shopping bags into every store not just the grocery store? Or never, ever buying another bottle of water, when we have the nation’s best water here in the Northeast, ready to fill our reusable water bottles from the tap? Or backyard composting, which can accept not just food waste but also our shredded office paper and grass clippings and turn them into productive garden soil? To really think outside the box and start something new, how about taking our own reusable takeout containers when we go out to dinner?

The old maxim of “reduce, re-use, recycle” still holds, and there are always new and imaginative ways to apply it. But expanding the landfill is a shortsighted answer. When that expansion is full, where do we find the next one?

Worth Gretter, Menands

Letter: Preserve balances nature, economy

To the editor, September 24, 2018 I disagree with Albert Paolucci’s letter, “Pine Bush Preserve remains a folly,” Sept. 2.

Paolucci suggests solving Albany’s landfill problems by expanding into the Pine Bush Preserve. He believes the Pine Bush Preserve is a drain on taxpayers and looks to more home and commercial building. The most troublesome quote from Paolucci was “Enough is enough with this reserving land that has no purpose.” The author implies that green space has no purpose, but I would disagree.

Green spaces preserve the natural hydrology and water balance of the area, promote filtration of rainwater and the Pine Bush preserves Albany’s natural character and habitat. It also provides numerous recreational opportunities that keep the area desirable and maintain home prices. Currently, we have a landfill welcome mat on Exit 24. Personally, I believe we don’t need a Garbage Shrine in the center of our city.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan proposes a transfer station at Rapp Road to facilitate the movement of garbage to a new landfill or incinerator. The lack of a plan can potentially bankrupt the city and solutions come at a cost, a cost to move garbage and the lost tipping fees as revenue. Albany residents need to be responsible for what they put out on the curb and remember that waste generated equals dollars spent.

The city has options; one option is incineration. Hudson Falls and Peekskill have operating municipal waste incinerators with energy recovery. We must continue to reduce trash and reduce the amount of plastics that would go to an incinerator.

Expanding into the Pine Bush is not a realistic solution for those planning on spending a lifetime in the Capital Region.

Steven De Santis,Guilderland


Published in December 2018-January 2019
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