Letters to the editor

Protect what we have

To the editor:

"Protect what we already have" is a project designed to present to the general public an additional close-up view of why it's so important to protect, preserve and respect the overall value trees actually possess.

Trees are a source of shade. They cool our homes, attract songbirds and mark the changing seasons.

Additionally, trees conserve energy, reduce soil erosion, clean the air we breathe, as well as protect rivers and streams.

In order for them to benefit us, we must care for those already standing and regularly plant even more. By doing so, we can improve our community and environment.

Bringing such reminders as this to the attention of the general public is the mission/goal of "Protect what we already have." Hopefully, these efforts will underscore the necessity of every one to recognize the tremendous worth of what has been initially gifted to us all.

Anthony Biscotti,

Amsterdam

More of the tour from another pretty face

To the editor:

As promised, the rest of the East End.

Leaving Schuyler Street, the bus depot was run by Mr. and Mrs. Gabe Izzo. Later it was run by Mr. and Mrs. Mancini. Gabe also had a fruit and vegetable market next to the Alpha Lunch on Church Street and next to the Regent Theater on Market Street. Across the street was the Weissman family home and next to them were two morticians, Louie Perillo and Peter Sargalis. Across the street was Sulem's Market. It was a "ma and pa" operation that flourished for two basic reasons: They would deliver your groceries and they extended credit. The only competition they had was the A&P. Next to them was Johnny's Seafood where you had to go if you wanted to know what rice pudding should taste like.

Next was Kemp Lunch, the Strand Theater and Spediacci's drug store. Across the street was another mortician, John McNamara. Further down the street was Kansas Restaurant. Jimmy Halvey Sr. and I used to have half a grapefruit and a cup of coffee in there at 6 a.m. Tommy Kansas was Greek and he used to put out what he called "blue plate specials." Jimmy Halvey called them Greek tragedies.

In those days, there were three people who put out hand-dipped chocolates. Next to Luries was Svolo's, a Greek-run drug store, the Piccolos on Market Street also ran a chocolate shop and Tom and Bill Green on East Main Street, next to McClumpha's, also ran one. They are all gone. The hallmark of chocolate in that time frame was Lady Godiva imported from Italy. If you bought a pound of these you would have needed a co-signer. That's the bad news. The good news today is that if you go up to Lincoln Avenue to Fariello's, there is a lady there who will give you exactly the same taste and the same consistency for one quarter of the price. Sammy Fariello was known as the Christmas Tree King. Bobby was loved by everyone who knew him and he left us far too soon. The lady who runs the shop now is not only as good as it gets but has the best ice cream sodas in town.

On East Main Street there were a bunch of shoe stores: Miles, Things, Endicott Johnson, Bostonian and Pingitores.

There were also several markets, all of which had sawdust on the floor: Mohigan, Castlers and Tom Gregg's. Tom went on to become mayor.

The 5 and 10s all had lunch counters: WT Grant, Woolworth's, Newberry's and Kresges. When you walked into Kresges you found to your left a large barrel of Richardson's root beer and steamed hot dogs with steamed buns. One of each set you back only 35 cents. To your right was a lunch counter where you could get a turkey dinner and an iced tea for $1.10. There was a candy counter behind in which two girls wearing gloves worked. Depending on your bank roll they would weigh out what you required. A few years later they got smart and started packaging candy, thereby eliminating, the labor factor.

In my Mother's Day piece I forgot to mention how she always had my back. One time, on Armistice Day, I was marching with the Boy Scouts. She was standing with a group of women outside Holzheimers and Shauls when we passed. As I passed, I heard her say loud enough to be heard in Fort Johnson, "Look: They're all out of step -- not my Jimmy." The man my sister Pat married, Frank Luba, my mother liked. He used to upset me. When I was working at Harvey's Diner, he and my sister would come in and there he was with a full head of hair, his own teeth, built like a Greek god -- a very handsome man. But, he was no Jim Sheridan -- but who is? One of the reasons I learned to cook was that I had to have more to offer the world than just another pretty face.

Next week, let's try Reid Hill.

James Sheridan,

Amsterdam

For the health of us all

To the editor:

Project ACTION Tobacco-Free Coalition in Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties educates community leaders and the community about tobacco-free recreational areas.

Currently over 350 municipalities in New York state have passed regulation restricting tobacco use in outdoor recreational areas. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 30 percent of U.S. cancer deaths annually and contributes substantially to deaths from heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science in a conference statement for tobacco use, prevention, cessation and control.

In Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties, some municipalities and businesses have taken the initiative to make their parks, entryways or their grounds tobacco-free for the health of their employees and visitors. Project ACTION partners with the Four Rivers Alliance of Hamilton County to educate about the environmental impact of tobacco litter and the dangers of second-hand smoke.

If you are interested or would like more information please visit www.projectactionhfm.org or www.4riveralliance.org.

Joseph Carey,

Amsterdam