Search Results for: john wolcott

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Save the Pine Bush Victorious! – Developer Removes Water Lines! Media Frenzy The media came out in full force for our Press Conference announcing the removal of the water lines. In the background, note the backhoe digging up the water lines. From left to right: Lynne Jackson of Save the Pine Bush, Don Levy, Channel 10 News, Ken Screvin, Channel 6 news, reporter from WRGB, and John Wolcott. Usually, TV stations do not cover Pine Bush issues very often. One…

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Save the Pine Bush Victorious! – Developer Removes Water Lines! John Wolcott It was John Wolcott’s tireless enthusiasm and research that ensured Save the Pine Bush’s victory. Wolcott had spent years writing to government officials explaining the problem with Willow Street, but no one listened until Save the Pine Bush sued. Wolcott is Save the Pine Bush’s expert witness, having researched deeds back to the 1600’s, and determinining the owner of Willow Street. John Wolcott, on August 10, 1998. Photo…

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Developer Eyes N.Y. “Mount Vernon”

Developer Eyes N.Y. "Mount Vernon" Stanford Home Hearing Information Hearing Notes January 23 Hearing Canadians are Coming! Archeological Information Photos – Outdoor Photos – Indoor Bonding Editorial Preservation   Donate Contact Developer Eyes N.Y. "Mount Vernon" Story by Catherine Finn / Nov. 9, 2006 From Preservation Online Neighbors of a 19th-century house in Niskayuna, N.Y., are trying to fight a commercial development on its 12-acre estate that will turn the nursing home into a restaurant. Schenectady-based Highbridge Development, which will…

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The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act

The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act The 1996 Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act What It Is, What It Isn’t, And What Some Of It Might Be An Exposé by John Wolcott First of all, New York State’s "Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act" is, on the surface, just about what it’s title says it is. Unlike the Environmental Bond Act promoted by Governor Cuomo in 1990 (which was defeated by the voters- ed.) , Pataki’s Act is…

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Taking Lyme Fight to the Field

by William Engleman CLIFTON PARK: Representatives of three area environmental organizations and Town residents called on the Clifton Park Town Board to save the Karner Blue butterfly populations in the Town’s northeast corner, during the Town Board’s first regular meeting of the year, held on Monday evening January 3, 2005. Eight speakers, including representatives from Save the Pine Bush, Audubon Society of the Capital Region and the Hudson-Mohawk Group of the Sierra Club called on the Board to reverse the…

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A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake)

A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake) A Brief Historical Note on the Six Mile Waterworks (Rensselaer Lake) by John Wolcott The section of the Pine Bush where the proposed aquatic park would be located is a remaining portion of an early conservation area. This was one of the first tracts, if not the very first, in the state, specifically set aside for forest and water conservation. For this reason there is some additional historical significance…

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Land Crunch in the Pine Bush

Land Crunch in the Pine Bush Land Crunch in the Pine Bush by John Wolcott We’d Rather Have Been Wrong Save the Pine Bush knew that unresolved difference between development desires and acquisition wish lists were heading toward a major clash in the Pine Bush. Even so the present situation of 85 "hot spots" has taken us by surprise in its extent and immediacy. It proves us more right than we thought we were, whereas we’d rather have been wrong…

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Historic Action 02-01-07 Historic Action, February 1, 2007 Historic Action Network sponsored a walk from the Riverside Club and Freihofer Building in Lansingburg, across the 112th Street bridge to Waterford to show the connection between these beautiful historic buildings and the Hudson River. More than 30 people participated. Historic Action Network believes these buildings should be preserved. Home Rally Taling to the TV John Wolcott and Steve Downs Russell Ziemba Speaks Russell Ziemba Speaks Russell Ziemba Speaks Russell Ziemba advocates…

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Save the Pine Bush

The walk in the Pine Bush on May 26 hosted by John Wolcott and Mark Plaat found no butterflies, and blue lupine just beginning to flower. The walk led by Lynne Jackson and Daniel Van Riper on June 2, however, saw the lupine in full bloom and the first butterflies scattered here and there. Some two dozen enthusiasts, many armed with high powered cameras, marched up and down the dunes demanding that the little beggars come out of the brush…

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A Journey to Nabokov’s Karner, New York – a Conservation Dilemma

  A recent date to speak about Nabokov’s blues in Albany, New York — the state’s capital — afforded me a chance to visit what is left of old “Karner”, New York. Karner is the little hamlet that, in common parlance, has attached its name to Nabokov’s famous endangered species Lycaeides melissa samuelis, the “Karner Blue”. Karner got the nod for samuelis’s common name because Nabokov chose specimens of samuelis from Karner for his type series (the specimens he used…

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The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve – What became of it?

The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve – What became of it?  The 1914 Pine Bush Preserve What became of it? by John Wolcott In 1914, Albany almost benefitted immensely from the City Beautiful movement. This was part of the Progressive movement, then afoot around the country with its strong public spirit, open, honest better government and conservation bent. This, temporarily, influenced even traditionally conservative Albany. Albany in 1912, commissioned an architect, Arnold W. Brunner, and a landscape architect, Charles Downing Lay,…

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Save the Pine Bush

Summarized by Grace Nichols ALBANY: At the May Save the Pine Bush lasgana dinner at the First Presbyterian Church, NY State Wildlife Pathologist Ward Stone gave a talk summarizing our recent discoveries of pesticide use in the Pine Bush by both the City of Albany at the Rapp Road Landfill and Pine Bush Police and Fire Station and placing it in the context of his 39 years of work with Rezsin Adams, Lew Oliver and other leaders of the Save…

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Save the Pine Bush

by John Wolcott The next piece in the puzzle of “Where is Trader’s Hill?” is an amazing very old parchment map in the Albany City Engineer’s collection. It is the only map known to show Margriets Bergh, and was drawn in January 1773 by Jeremiah Van Rensselaer from a survey done by himself in 1772. This survey and map were ordered by the City in an effort to correct a series of mistakes in a former survey of it’s bounds….

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Mayor Kathy Sheehan Speaks to Save the Pine Bush

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Albany Mayor-Elect Kathy Sheehan spoke at the November 20 SPB dinner.  Kathy said she is from a big Irish Catholic family, Albany residents “are desperate for change,” and residents told her “Albany is like an incredible stallion that someone keeps pulling on the reins.”  She said she plans considerable community involvement in the decision-making processes of Albany.  When others make decisions for us, we get the Empire State Plaza that cuts Center Square off from downtown…

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Massive Empire Zone in Clifton Park’s Wood Road Corridor Set for Review

by William Engleman In 2005,  Save the Pine Bush spoke out on land use affecting populations and habitats of the endangered Karner blue butterfly in the Town of Clifton Park.   In early January ‘05, less than a month after a building moratorium was enacted in the Town’s light industrial zone, speakers from Save the Pine Bush joined local advocates in objecting to the effects of the harmful “soil disturbance permit” granted the year before along Wood Road in the Town’s…

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Blues Connection

by John Wolcott Click on map to see larger image Now: you can see it at a glance. The top topo map displayed here, is of the Karner Dune Field, the Type Locality of the Karner Blue Butterfy, in the Pine Bush, as it was way before Rte. 155 appeared. A unified field, fully connected west to east. This dune field is a grouping of sand dunes within the much larger Schenectady-Albany “Dune Belt.” All. of the cultural information has,…

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Shawn Morris Speaks to Save the Pine Bush

ALBANY: Shawn Morris, candidate for Common Council President spoke at the July Save the Pine Bush dinner at the First Presbyterian Church. Four candidates are running in the Democratic Primary for Common Council President; all were invited to speak, but only Shawn Morris attended the dinner. Shawn began by describing the Common Council President’s roll in city government. The President has three functions: 1) to preside at the Common Council meetings, 2) sit on various City Boards and 3) to…

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Buy High Point

by John Wolcott . Looking southwest from Guilderland, Colonie, Albany, and Mt. Rafinesque, overlooking Lansingburgh, a long dark and clearly outlined, straight line of mountains are seen on the intermediate horizon. Beyond this on the further horizon, are seen, if at all, a hazy, greyish blue, outline of distinct separate humps of mountains. It is said that the nearer mountains are called the “Helderbergs” because they can be seen, relatively more clearly, from the above named places, and the word…

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Moratoriums

by John Wolcott Guilderland just enacted six-month moratorium on development in the western part of town. The Town of Colonie is considering a moratorium in certain segments of town. As both Guilderland and Colonie contain Pine Bush, one would have expected the Pine Bush to have been included in the moratoriums as both town supervisors are on the Pine Bush Commission, but the Pine Bush was left out. Colonie, at least, has some conscientious citizens and an environmentally responsible board…

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Charette a Charade

by Lynne Jackson SCHENECTADY: Volunteers for Save the Pine Bush (SPB) were invited by the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to participate in a charette regarding eliminating the at-grade crossings at Morris and Cordell Roads in Colonie. The stated goal of the charette was to come up with ideas to allow safe passage of high-speed trains through the Pine Bush by eliminating the dangerous at-grade crossings. Volunteers for SPB were told over and over that DOT had no…

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Avila Keeps Advertising

by John Wolcott Have you seen the ads in the newspaper for Avila House? They say, “The reasons for moving to Avila House keep piling up!” Well! The only thing piling up is their hypocrisy. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is acting disgracefully. It is devastating what had been one of the most beautiful spots in the entire Pine Bush – a place where thousands of butterflies once lived. And to top it off, the logo for the Avila…

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The Honorable Jack McEneny Reports on the Legislature

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: The Honorable Jack McEneny noted that the last time he had vegetarian lasagna was when he had the pleasure of giving John Wolcott, long-time Pine Bush advocate, an award from the NYS Legislature. He was glad to be back at the May veggie lasagna dinner at the First Presbyterian Church to speak about the happenings in the NYS Legislature. “ Legislation,” he began, “justifies my salary.” First, Mr. McEneny described what happened to the Environmental Protection…

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Early Reference to the Pine Bush Discovered in the Dutch Records of Beverwyck

by John Wolcott This year is the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the chartering of the community of Albany as the village of Beverwyck. With this in mind, let us quote a reference to the Pine Bush from the records of Beverwyck, January 7, 1753: “The Honorable Abraham Staets having requested that the description of the lot here-to-fore granted to him might be entered here, this is granted and it is situated as follows . . . on the…

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Save the Pine Bush

  All that sand was left by a glacial lake. The Pine Bush ecosystem sitting on that sand, however, may have been created by Native Americans practicing fire management techniques. At least, that’s what some people believe. One of those people is Dr. Harvey Alexander, professor at the College of St. Rose, who spoke at the Dec. 10 SPB dinner at the Unitarian Church in Albany. Doing some fast talking, he laid out the story of the formation of the…

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Save the Pine Bush

The Pine Bush is located in the Capital District, between Albany and Schenectady. The boundaries are Fuller Road on the east, Route 5 (Central Avenue) on the North, Route 146 on the west, and Route 20 (Western Avenue) on the South. The Pine Bush is located in three municipalities-Albany, Guilderland and Colonie. The Pine Bush originally encompassed 58,000 acres extending from downtown Albany to Rotterdam. Now, there are only 5,800 acres remaining. Key Black Line: The Pine Bush Commission’s study…

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Save the Pine Bush

The Pine Bush has played an important historical role in the development of Albany and Schenectady and is enshrined in the literary heritage of the United States. The Song of Hiawatha by William Wadsworth Longfellow is sung by the Indian brave from the Vale of Tawasentha located in the Pine Bush. George Washington wrote of the Pine Bush in his diaries while traveling in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War. In Moby Dick, Herman Melville describes the dark beauty…

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Before “Development”

Before "Development" Before Photo by John Wolcott Previous Next Back to Exhibit Index Vegetarian Lasagna Dinner Pine Bush Hike Current Newsletter About Save the Pine Bush Virtual Photo Exhibit  Action Alerts Volunteer Nights Articles in Date Order Links Articles by Subject  Save the Pine Bush Home Email Save the Pine Bush Page written and maintained by Save the Pine Bush Volunteers õõ

Save the Pine Bush

In the bitter cold, about a dozen people came out to protest the bulldozing of the Avila House site. Though Save the Pine Bush had lost all of its appeals in the courts, we know that we are legally, morally and ethically right. No more construction should be made in the Pine Bush.   Avila House site looking west from Columbia Circle Drive Avila House site with bulldozer and bulldozed trees piled in front Protesters walk down Columbia Circle Drive…

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Save the Pine Bush

Save the Pine Bush has a traveling exhibit. We bring it to fairs, schools, and especially every year to the Albany Tulipfest, held on Saturaday and Sunday of Mother’s Day weekend in May. If you don’t have a chance to visit our exhibit in person, we have put the pictures and captions in our exhibit on the web for your enjoyment. The photographs linked to this page are spectacular, and, are quite large (between 60K and 140K). Click on the…

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by Lynne Jackson ALBANY, NY: The July SPB veggie lasagna dinner at the First Presbyterian Church was a forum for a bevy of politicians. Everyone came out to support Pine Bush preservation, a welcome change from previous elections. Candidates from Albany, most facing primaries in September attended as well as Ken Runion, candidate for Guilderland Town Supervisor who faces his challengers in the general election. First to speak was Marggie Skinner, Democrat, running for Common Council in the 9th ward…

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Exploring Bus Service to the Pine Bush

Exploring Bus Service to the Pine Bush Exploring Bus Service to the Pine Bush by John Wolcott One can reach the Pine Bush from Albany by bus. However, it is, at one point, difficult and unsafe. At another point, it is awkward, and, as yet, uncertain. A couple of weeks ago, I tested part of the bus system in person. I took the Number 12 Crossgates bus to Wall-Mart on the Washington Avenue Extension. This is the nearest stop to…

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Earth Day Lasagna-Wasserman Headlines Gathering Of Activists

Earth Day Lasagna-Wasserman Headlines Gathering Of Activists Earth Day Lasagna Wasserman Headlines Gathering Of Activists By Daniel Van Riper Five prominent and hard-working environmental activists addressed the Earth Day special lasagna dinner on April 24th at 1st Presbyterian Church in Albany. Some 80 attendees packed the room and listened intently to each speaker in turn. Here’s the lineup, in order of appearance: Lee Wasserman Everyone was curious to see and hear the very serious challenger for the job of congressional…

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Steve Downs Tells the Legal History of Save the Pine Bush at SPB’s 40th Birthday Party —Part 1

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY, NY: Lynne Jackson, a volunteer for Save the Pine Bush, gave a brief introduction and described how SPB started. On the night of February 6, 1978, as the “Blizzard of 78” was pounding the Capital District, a couple dozen brave souls nevertheless ventured to the Albany Public Library to speak out at a public hearing on four proposed developments in the Pine Bush. Prior the the hearing, a few people met first at an old fashioned…

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Former Albany County Legislator Tim Nichols: Politics & Tobacco

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY, NY: Carol Waterman introduced former county legislator Timothy Nichols at the January 20 SPB dinner saying Tim sponsored a bill vetoed by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy that would have blocked pharmacies in Albany County from selling tobacco products.  Tim, who was also Chairman of the legislature’s health committee, and lost a bid for a fifth term in November, said he might have won had he “been a little more savvy” but the defeat opens new possibilities for…

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Why is the Green Party challenging the Governor? Theresa Portelli Speaks to SPB

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Theresa Portelli, Green Party candidate for NYS Comptroller, spoke at the August 13 SPB dinner about Why is the Green Party challenging the Governor?  Theresa said she was born in Brooklyn and her parents came from Ireland.  She worked as a counselor at a teen jail in NYC for ten years, was elected to the Albany city school board for a term, retired three years ago, was a PEF member, and now works as a Hospice volunteer. …

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History Uncovered

Reprinted from Metroland —by Ann Morrow on September 18, 2014 · “The most important thing now is to excavate it,” said John Wolcott, pointing to a map projected on the wall behind him. The longtime historical researcher, archeologist, and cartographer was referring to Fort Nassau, the 1614 fur trading post built by Dutch mariners near today’s Port of Albany. The fort was one of the earliest European outposts in North America. The success of the fort, which was used by…

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Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy Speaks about the Environment and Legislation

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Democrat Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy spoke at the September 17 SPB dinner about Environmental Issues in this Election.  Carol Waterman introduced her saying Ms. Fahy opposes casinos anywhere within her district – the 109th.  Fahy said there was much success during 2014 including an oil train safety bonding bill that passed in the Assembly but failed in the Senate despite having a Republican sponsor.  She will introduce it again in 2015.  She said the state government is very restrained in its legal…

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Michael McLaughlin, Director of Research for Albany County Executive Dan McCoy Speaks to SPB

By Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Michael McLaughlin, the Director of Research for Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, was the SPB dinner speaker on May 21, filling in for McCoy who was attending the convention of the NYS Democratic Party.  He said he is involved in many of McCoy’s policies. Mr. McLaughlin said the Polystyrene ban signed by McCoy in December is a flawed law, the county executive is taking steps to strengthen it, McCoy wishes to extend it to all restaurants, the…

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Earth Day Update from NYPIRG and EA

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Laura Haight of NYPIRG and Katherine Nadeau of Environmental Advocates shared the podium at the April 16 SPB dinner.  They discussed the 2014 agenda they are lobbying at the state Capitol and the state energy plan. Laura said the annual statewide Earth Day Lobby Day will be on May 5 because the Legislature decided to take most of April off.  She said five issues have been identified as most compelling.  The first is fracking.  Ms. Nadeau…

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The Importance of the Tivoli Preserve

by Tom Ellis ALBANY: George Robinson, a restoration ecologist with the University at Albany’s Department of Biological Sciences, spoke at the June 19 SPB dinner at Westminster Presbyterian Church about the history of restoration planning for the Tivoli preserve. For those unfamiliar with it, the Tivoli preserve is located north of Livingston Avenue and behind the former Philip Livingston school. The Tivoli lake (or pond) is a few hundred yards west of the former school. Also located in the Tivoli…

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Lyme Disease: A Growing Epidemic

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY, NY: Holly Ahern, an Associate Professor of Microbiology at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury, was the guest speaker at the August 29 SPB dinner. She discussed Lyme Disease: A Growing Epidemic. Ms. Ahern began saying the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the NYS Health Department (DOH) have a definition of Lyme disease – you see a tick and get a rash – that differs from the “other’ more common form of the disease. With…

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Equinox – Earth Day – Every Day

by John Wolcott   Join us in celebrating the approximate original time for Earth Day. Earth Day was proposed in San Francisco in 1969, at a UNESCO Conference by John McConnell, who felt this natural event was appropriate for the occasion. It was also appropriate that Earth Day was first celebrated the next year, 1970 by the City of San Francisco named after the Saint whom many consider the Patron of the environment. The U.N. followed the example of San…

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Archaeology in the Pine Bush

by Tom Ellis   ALBANY: Derrick Marcucci of Landmark Archeology was the featured speaker at the November 16 SPB dinner at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. He said most of his firm’s Pine Bush work involves development proposals, the number of which have dropped off quite a bit in the past three years. The Pine Bush he said, has been a natural corridor between the Hudson and Mohawk River valleys, was once 40 square miles, and is a unique ecosystem. Developers,…

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Pine Bush Parcels Project

by Andy Arthur About a month ago, I started working on a project for Save the Pine Bush, working to compile a updated list of parcels in the Albany Pine Bush that would be highly desirable for future conservation by the Pine Bush Commission. I met with long-time Save the Pine Bush volunteer, John Wolcott, to find out which parcels where worth saving. He came up with about 500 acres of land he felt highly desirable, about half of which…

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What’s afoot at the Preserve?!

By Grace Nichols November 2010 was notable in that folks in the community kept contacting us about the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. First it was the neighbors over on Lincoln Ave, wondering why the “forever wild” patch next door was being clearcut, as a new road was being put in connecting Lincoln Ave and Fox Run. Now that the people who had asked for that road for a decade were evicted, the City has put in a good one. Fox…

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Metroland Local Hero – Lynne Jackson

Lynne Jackson remembers when Save the Pine Bush was founded. It was February 1978, and the Albany City Planning Board had gone forward with a public hearing on four development proposals in the Pine Bush, despite a snowstorm so bad the state workers had been sent home early. Then the city planner closed the hearing because of the weather before all the opponents who had showed up anyway got to speak. Enraged, a group got together and eventually decided to…

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History Mauled Again – City Did Dirty Deal Selling Historic Site History Mauled Again City Did Dirty Deal Selling Historic Site Feb./Mar. 95 by Lynne Jackson I have been reading this book, The Fifth Discipline in which the author, Peter M. Senge, says that it is often the structure of the situation that makes people behave in certain ways. In a given situation, according to his theory, widely different people will do the same thing. This is obviously what happened…

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Developer to Remove $50,000 Water Lines from the Preserve Developer to Remove $50,000 Water Lines Press Releases Press Conference on Monday, August 10 at 10:00 AM Save the Pine Bush Forces Developer to Remove Water Lines from Pine Bush Preserve Land For Immediate Release: August 7, 1998 For Further Information: Please Contact: Lewis Oliver at 463-7962 or Lynne Jackson at 434-1954   PRESS CONFERENCE & PHOTO OPPORTUNITY Developer to Remove $50,000 Water Lines from Pine Bush Preserve on Monday, August…

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