Wednesday, December 29, 2010
If you're going to be out an about in Troy this Friday evening/ night take full advantage of the Netters Fund "Safe Ride Program." Through this program the folks at the Netters Fund have teamed up with numerous establishments in the Capital District to offer you a safe and sober ride home. These places will proudly display the safe ride decal in their window indicating their participation (as seen on the right). All you need to do is ask the bartender about the program, they will assist you in getting a safe ride home. This is a free service, funded through sponsorships and donations from community members. So, go out have a blast, but do it smartly and locally at a "Safe Ride Program" participant.
To learn more about the Netter Fund and the "Safe Ride Program" visit www.netters.us for more information.
Also, please take a moment to listen to Troy City Councilman Dean Bodnar's comments on the importance of practicing what I'll call "Safe and Smart Celebrating."
Happy New Year to everyone, I hope 2011 is a prosperous one for you and yours.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s to you. Enjoy your family and partake in the holiday spirit. In closing I’d like to quote one of my favorite Christmas stories, “Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.”
Monday, December 20, 2010
Numerous issues concerning code enforcement, trash/litter, speeding, drug activity, vandalism, rowdy neighbors, and prostitution where reported, addressed, and resolved due to the diligence of our members and the exemplary work of our community police officer Chuck McDonald and our city partners.
- Location 1 – our main focus was on the 112th St. Kiddie Park on 4th Ave. We will be cleaning, mulching, painting, and some planting.
- Location 2 – Lansingburgh Historical Society’s Melville Park
- Location 3 – Powers Park
- Location 4 - Uncle Sam Bike Path
Additionally, this meeting marked our Third Anniversary.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Much has been made recently in the press regarding the financial troubles that the Troy Pioneer Food Co-Op is experiencing. But what is not being reported is the fact that businesses city-wide are feeling the same pain. This is a tough market to operate a small business in. Business owners are being tasked with making tough decisions and operating lean. The worse case scenario is they are closing a locking their doors. This has become the norm. We have lost and are on the verge of losing several businesses in the city, but why is this? Well, obviously the economy is a large part of the issue, but the second part is we as Troy residents are not diversified. There are many types of shops and restaurants from Lansingburgh to South Troy that offer something unique, but many residents are not “trying something new.” Spreading the wealth around would go a long way in helping these businesses out. It’s understandable that maybe there just isn’t enough money to go around at the moment, but if everyone tried a different local restaurant or bought some of their gifts locally this holiday season rather than venturing across the river it would make a tremendous impact.
Buying local is not a new concept. The biggest contributor to local economic success is by practicing this it. As a community we need to support our businesses, we need them. Their success directly impacts each one of us. One of the largest revenue sources for the county and city is sales tax. We, the residents, have some control in the matter. The more we purchase within our own communities, the more we contribute locally, the more we save. In effect we are re-investing in ourselves. The more we contribute locally the stronger our communities become. Our city has an outstanding selection of restaurants and shops. Take advantage of them. And if you’re looking for something that is not readily available within the city, I’m sure you can find it in Brunswick, East Greenbush, or elsewhere in the county. Again, it’s simple in concept.
When it comes time to make your next purchase or enjoy an evening out strongly consider keeping it “within the neighborhood.” The benefits are far reaching.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
These are the times we live in. National and international finances are very depressed… unemployment is raging… and in NYS we are worried whether or not NYRA, OTB, and our Race Courses will be operational in 2011. Does this make sense? These are gambling institutions, they pry on the weak and needy offing them a glimmer of hope to “hit it big.” I’m not trying to profile or generalize, but the proof is in the pudding. It’s unfortunate, but venture to any race course (other than splendid and glitzy Saratoga) on a weekday in January and tell me what type of clientele is sitting barking orders at his jockey/horse as it rounds the turn heading for home at Aqueduct. This state has made a very large portion of our residents addicted to gambling, and many are gambling away there last dime. Doesn’t this seem backwards?
Why should NYS taxpayers continue to foot the bill in bailing out NYRA and OTB? We all know that these organizations are staffed via patronage to the Governor, Shelly Silver, and every other NYC special interest. It would appear that these individuals couldn’t run a blow dryer let alone a state authority in charge of gambling revenues. Realistically, NYRA and OTB are bookies and I’ve never heard of a bookie (in areas where gambling and betting is legal) who regularly lose money.
Let me offer my opinion on what to do as a solution. Simply rid these authorities of corruption, disband NYRA and strictly regulate OTB and make it a free market entity. Take all NYRA’s race courses and sell them to the counties in which they operate. Honestly, it’s only those counties and their local municipalities that benefit from them. Saratoga County residents realize a tremendous tax benefit due in-part of the Race Course. Those that live in other counties wouldn’t lose out on the deal because the minimal amount of revenue received through tourism will still be there. Rather, they would benefit from the fact that the taxpayers in their counties won’t be funding the continued mismanagement of the race courses. But, before doing so, do an honest study; can these race courses be profitable? We’re told of all the NYRA tracks Saratoga is the only profitable meet. If this is true, close those that are failures. Taxpayers keep hearing that the downstate race courses need Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s) similar to those at the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway to make money. How can this be? Stop asking “me” for money to fund a failing operation all while doing nothing about it. My wallet is not your tourniquet.
I know what I have said is not be a popular stance to take publicly. Would closure hurt the racing and horsing industry in NYS, obviously yes, but it would open people’s eyes. If these industries are necessary, then fix the problem. I firmly believe the race courses should be owned and operated by the local municipalities, not cronies out of NYC. But if better management can not be realized and closure is the only solution then adopt legislation legalizing gambling and have VLT’s throughout the state making us some money. I like the races just as much as the next guy, but at what expense? Maybe no racing will make the light bulb go “bing” in people’s minds and snap them out of their Saratoga Summer Time Romance.