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FORCE Fights Pyramid – Guilderland Citizens Organize

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

 

FORCE Fights Pyramid

Guilderland Citizens Organize

By Daniel Van Riper

Citizens and taxpayers of Guilderland, courageously opposed to the
rape and ruination of their town by the vicious and sleazy Pyramid
Corporation, have chosen a name for themselves and gotten down to the
task of organizing. Friends Organized to Reject Crossgates Expansion
(FORCE) has chosen officers and appointed committees, and is ready
for a long war. “We have the force of will to achieve our goal”, said
Donald Csaposs, a principal organizer, to the Altamont Enterprise.

In a stunning display of democracy over corporate stalinism, more
than 200 Guilderland citizens stopped an attempt on August 31st by
the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals to protect Pyramid from any
legislation designed to curtail the expansion of the Maul. The Zoning
Board of Appeals, which clearly bows to Pyramid, allowed Pyramid
employees to make the only record of minutes of their last meeting,
at which the Maul expansion plan was heavily presented. Carl Letson,
chairman of FORCE, has called for Zoning Board of Appeals chairman
William Coons to resign. “We need a ZBA the community can feel
comfortable is not showing favoritism,” Mr. Letson told the
Enterprise. “They haven’t warranted the trust we put into them.”

The evil Pyramid Corporation wants to double the size of
Crossgates Maul, making it the second largest Maul in the U.S.
Although Pyramid has presented a plan that supposedly does not build
outside the Crossgates parking lot, they have already begun to
illegally expand their parking lot, paving over two and one half
acres of land inside the City of Albany without approval. Like the
pseudopod of an ameoba, the parking lot now surrounds and appears
ready to devour the Butterfly Hill, which is the isolated piece of
Pine Bush that contains the largest population of Karner Blue
Butterflies in the endangered ecosystem.

As reported in the last newsletter, the Pyramid Corporation,
hiding like filthy wretches behind a pair of dummy holding companies,
has signed contracts to purchase at least $3.2 million of surrounding
community, clearly indicating that they plan to continue expanding
indefinately. We have since learned that Pyramid has not closed on
any of the contracts, leaving homeowners dangling until if and when
Pyramid sees fit to actually buy the land for the agreed upon prices.

Moratorium Proposed

Guilderland town board members, facing an unrelentingly angry
citizenry, have dropped their thinly veiled attitude of the
Crossgates expansion as a done deal, and agreed to consider a
moratorium on all new commercial developments. Also, Altamont Mayor
Kenneth Runion, a former town official, has proposed a measure which
prohibits multi-level parking garages and limits the height of new
structures. “I support any proposal that will, once and for all, stop
the further expansion of Crossgates Maul,” Mr. Runion told the town
board. In reaction to Runion’s proposal, Town Supervisor Jerry
Yerbury hurriedly proposed a milder measure that would merely limit
the size of mauls to 1 million square feet.

Crossgates Crime

Guilderland Police Chief James Murley told the Enterprise that the
Crossgates expansion will bring a substantial increase in crime. He
said that the police department “would have to do something totally
different in its coverage,” and that officers would have to be
assigned solely to the Maul. As part of their 1994 expansion Pyramid
was supposed to pay a paltry $25,000 a year for police expenses, but
didn’t bother to pay up any of it until they submitted this year’s
expansion plan.

Here’s some fascinating statistics on crime:

92.6% of shoplifting calls in Guilderland were at Crossgates.

42% of Guilderland arrests overall for the first eight months of
this year were at the Maul, up from 38% from last year. This includes
lesser matters such as missing property, and more serious calls such
as bomb threats and robberies.

21% of automobile accidents reported in the town are at
Crossgates.

10% of emergency medical service calls are at Crossgates.

On The Media Front

Fred LeBrun, collumnist for the Hearst Corporation-owned Times
Union, has been sent by his bosses on a long leave of absence from
his job immediately after his highly visible criticisms of the
Crossgates expansion. He’s travelling up and down the Hudson sending
back feel-good reports on what a fine river it is, and not a word
about PCBs. We’ll still be watching to see if he keeps his job, and
we’ll also be watching to see if he’s allowed to criticise Pyramid
anymore.

Join FORCE and fight Crossgates! Call
Carl Letson at 869-6817 or
e-mail him at livingint@juno.com and find out meeting times and
places.

A Proposal for Guilderland Officials

published Oct/Nov 98 Newsletter


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