One of the largest school districts in the Capital Region, Shenendehowa housing over 9,000 students, has failed them all along with their families. The district's fumbled response began in March, when the district called for closure on March 13. Teachers had a wide variety of opinions on the situation, some of which were voiced openly showing an already large divide growing between teachers, students, and the administration. Shenendehowa asked all teachers to be prepared to teach online, using platforms such as Google Classroom, which many had been barely using throughout the school year. The sudden and abrupt closure was most likely spurred by suspected cases within the district, a concern that was not shared until after the closure. Teachers and students were shocked when on a sunny and tranquil afternoon in March, the life-changing decision was made sending many lasting shockwaves. Shenendehowa would shutter its doors for two weeks, leaving unprepared students and teachers in the abyss of confusion, only muddled more by the lack of guidance. Fast forward to this summer from improperly submitted reopening plans, to lack of information, and low amounts of PPE’s and preparation it is clear. Shenendehowa is all show and no action. The values and beliefs of the school district on Shen’s website are clear examples of what the school district has not been. We can always hope for the better, and that Shendehowa will once again become the great school it was and can be.

Summer Savannah                                                                                     Clifton Park

I’d like to offer my congratulations to the leadership of the Town of Clifton Park and also the Parks & Recreation Department. They hosted a successful 8 week summer camp at Clifton Commons for about 80 kids, and I'm told it went smoothly with no COVID complications. Considering that most other towns cancelled their summer recreation camps, it took a lot of hard work, smart planning, effective precautions, and trust for the staff, kids, and parents to make it all work during these difficult times. Good job by all.

Steve Bulger

Clifton Park

The proposed Clifton Park siting of Druthers is diametrically opposed to the Town Center Plan of a mix of commercial and residential that support and benefit one another.  Siting Druthers adjacent to the successful senior condominium, The Bentley, would be perverse.  No city planner would deliberately design a downtown that placed a large residence of retired seniors right next to a brew/pub with an outdoor venue for musical entertainment and 250 parking spaces on macadam and gravel parking lots for special events.

The noise from an outdoor amplified music platform and the coming and going of all the increased traffic, the odors from the brewery and cooking, the dust from a gravel overflow parking lot, and the immediacy and nearness of all these and other disturbances clearly demonstrate that this would be one of the worst examples of a thoughtful mix of residential and commercial.

The Bentley was and continues to be marketed by DCG as a four-story structure “located in a quiet setting.”   Will it now be marketed as a lovely senior condominium “right next to a brewery/pub with outdoor amplified music and parking for 250 cars”?  You laugh, and you should.  It’s a joke to think that would sell well with seniors.  The entire 168 unit Bentley condominium would decline in value.  Town planners are charged with making all parts of a town center support one another.  This siting of Druthers directly abutting the Bentley would be a flagrant contradiction to that goal.

We strongly urge the town to advise Druthers to find another site that does not cause harm to our seniors who wish to continue enjoying their lives here in Clifton Park.  The majority of the Bentley residents are in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  Noise, particularly at night, dust, lights, traffic can affect their health.  We are a vulnerable demographic.

Finally, these same factors will negatively impact the surrounding built and natural landscape, i.e. the bordering elementary schools , the schools’ playing fields, the YMCA, and the Town Center passive, natural woodland park.

There are many other sites in Clifton Park in which a Druthers could contribute to making Clifton Park a pleasant place to live, work, shop, and dine.  The proposed site is not one of them.

Joseph Nial

Clifton Park, NY

 

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