Thursday, September 11, 2008

Living in Masullo Estates

I have been a happy resident of Masullo Estates for 16 years. Despite the delays of procuring infrastructure improvements that I have experienced as NAG Chairman over the last 4 years, I am still happy. Really, no joke.

I’ve said it all along but it bears repeating since Masullo Estates has become the poster child for certain infrastructure deficiencies that in fact, are prevalent throughout most of the Town of Rotterdam. I was actually interviewed a few years back for the Times Union Neighborhood series when they profiled our neighborhood. I’d like to make it crystal clear to anyone who may believe otherwise – Masullo Estates is a fantastic neighborhood to live!

Masullo Estates is comprised of 90 homes built in what amounts to one giant cul de sac. It is an extremely quiet and peaceful neighborhood inhabited by many friendly people. The roads, though needing repaving, are much wider than most you find throughout town. This makes it especially nice to take a walk or ride your bike without interference or feeling unsafe even though car traffic is typically light.

Mounting negative perceptions of our neighborhood have unfortunately arisen out of our vocal efforts to make a great neighborhood even better. Whether or not we ever achieve what we seek, I will continue to enjoy living here – and will defend it as still one of the premier neighborhoods in which to live in the Town of Rotterdam.

11th Dimension

They turned the Big Bang Machine on yesterday and just as predicted, the universe was altered. After nearly 4 years of NAG’s submittal of comments to the ACOE Public Notice regarding proposed construction of Helderberg Meadows, I received a letter, which accounts for hell freezing over. I almost had given up hope.

The short version of the ACOE reply is that they denied our request for a public hearing, though they indicated taking our concerns seriously and addressing them with the applicant. They went on to assure us that the special conditions of the permit when it is issued will be monitored and enforced.

As I concluded reading the letter, a small black hole opened, no doubt coinciding with the atom smasher’s debut, and I was hurled into the 11th dimension.

Failure Is Not An Option

The taxpayer strapped on more massive debt when the government announced it’s takeover of the troubled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac institutions the other day. As a taxpayer, I hate it when I’m forced to shoulder someone else’s blunder. Where’s my bailout?

But the simple fact, like it or not, is that allowing these mortgage giants to fail was not an option. I’m pretty certain it isn’t going to be the last “bailout” we see in the short term either. It’s a fact the credit markets are in dire straits for myriad reasons. The real prospect of a catastrophic banking system collapse would be unimaginably worse. Why and how we got to this point is somewhat beside the point until we regain the integrity and stability the system needs.

This move wasn’t desirable to anyone but it was necessary. A benefit will be a reduction in mortgage rates which will help return some much needed liquidity to home lending. My favorite description of the takeover by a pundit was, “The fat tail risk of an Armageddon has been reduced.” Basically, that means immediate matters just got a little better.

3 Months

Today marks 3 months without my Dad. It seems like every day, I’m reminded of something else that had been long forgotten. It’s interesting and it sucks at the same time, because first I smile and then I’m disappointed I didn’t appreciate certain things when they were happening.

7 Years

After seven years, the sadness of 9-11-01 hasn’t paled. I often reflect on memories of the people I knew that perished in the towers that day, but the anniversary always seems to stir emotions I’d rather leave unstirred. Having worked previously at the WTC myself, I had a special fondness for hanging out there on my periodic visits back to the exchanges. I still can’t believe it’s gone. It took me several years to revisit the site, by then just a huge hole in the ground. The expanse of the void was overwhelming. I haven’t returned.

Many fine people were lost in the attack. Like Michael, at his usual breakfast meeting at Windows on the World. Like Val, at her Cantor trading post on the uppermost floors. Too many good people gone in an eye blink. I hope you will please take a moment to reflect on all the lives lost and offer a simple prayer on their behalf. Then too, remind yourself how precious and fragile this life is (because it’s easy to forget), and remember to cherish every single minute of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Higher Standard

I readily admit to being idealistic. For me, consistency is singularly paramount. I strive to ensure my comments are consistent with my actions.

For good reason, I don’t traffic in rumor in life, business, or anywhere else. The local forum lately seems laden with misrepresentation. The same people who routinely cry foul when it comes to inaccurate reporting from our local newspaper, seem quite content to offer up as fact whatever half-truths come their way. The same people that are indignant about the negativity and mud-slinging in politics, seem quite content to engage in it if it suits their purposes. I don’t get it.

If you want to hold people to a higher standard, then you’ve got to hold yourself to that standard first.

Real Change

Everyone is talking about bringing change to government. After subjecting myself to the propaganda coming out of both conventions and the incessant media follow up, I’ve reinforced my belief that “change” has lost its meaning. Like every good catch phrase, I suppose it was inevitable. On the local level, the phrase Smart Growth met a similar fate.

Every campaign seems to be a show of some kind. The conventions certainly lost their political relevance years ago and today are no more than very expensive political theater. Theater that we pay for by the way, and could do without, in my opinion. Of course, the media keeps the drama ratcheted up through a constant offering of provocative sound bites by second tier party operatives. I yearn for a more concise election process focused on the issues. I realize I won’t get it though and maybe it never existed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

#13...With A Bullet

Thanks to the continuing generosity of our friends, The Pink Floyds has received $875 in donations toward our intended $1000 goal so far, placing us # 13 on the list of online participant teams!

Come walk with us Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 12:00 in Albany’s Washington Park.

You can join our team or make a donation to fight breast cancer at either of the links below: