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Letters to the Editor

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Updated: 4:01 PM

Long live the summer concerts

To the editor:

With summer long past and Saturday evenings at Riverlink Park a pleasant memory, I'd like to take this opportunity to offer a few words of sincere gratitude.

Every year the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation provides our city free public entertainment through the Riverlink Park summer concert series. Flooding from last year's storms devastated the park requiring rebuilding of the docks and major repairs to restaurant and the park itself. Thanks to the city administration and Amsterdam Common Council, these repairs were expedited resulting in an improved facility second to none, among many, along the entire Erie Canalway. The city's installation of a large event tent allows concerts to go on in case of inclement weather and provides a venue for all manner of special events. The iconic band shell, made possible by a generous donation from the Beechnut Corp., greatly enhances the sound quality of performances.

The AWF would like to give a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors whose generosity make the Riverlink summer concert series possible: Beechnut Corp., NYS Council on the Arts/Saratoga Arts who administer the Fulton-Montgomery Arts Grant, Dr. Sean Ryan-Women's Health of Amsterdam, National Grid, Stewart's Shops, Key Bank, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors (I Love NY tourism grant), Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Foundation, Dr. Joseph Bialabok, Tailwind Associates, Ruby Tuesday, Alpin Haus, Murphy Travel, Staples, WCSS 1490 AM, WVTL 104.7 FM and the listening audience that gave so generously when we passed the hat.

Each year the concert series draws more people and boaters who come to realize what a beautiful jewel we have in Amsterdam's Riverlink Park.

We're always interested in your feedback and suggestions on how we can improve our efforts. Please visit our website and use the contact link to let us know your thoughts. Please also consider making a tax-deductible donation to help support great music at Riverlink Park. Checks should be made payable to: Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation, P.O. Box 636, Amsterdam, NY 12010. You can also donate online with a debit or credit card at:

Paul Gavry,


The writer is president of the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation.

You get what you vote for

To the editor:

This election has taught me a couple important things. These are broad generalizations coming from national and local elections.

Negativity works -- Negative campaigning, whether it is ads or actions, works. The negativity has turned Americans against politics, yet the same people that complain about the negativity do not vote for a respectable candidate when they are presented with one.

You cannot fight the machine -- Grassroots campaigning does not work. No matter how many people you have on the ground, it is nearly impossible to win an election when you are fighting the political machine. The fight comes down to money and backing from a committee of old-school politicians that make decisions that affect us all.

People vote party line -- Instead of educating ourselves and making a decision based on facts, people blindly follow the two-party system and vote accordingly. Many local races are directly proportional to party registration. It is easier to let those committee people make the decisions for you.

America is changing -- We are looking for something different. No longer is it what can we do for our country, but what can our country do for us. Instead of planning and creating personal safety nets, we rely on government to be that safety net in all cases. If we continue on this path, major aspects of our society must change or we will be confronted with a very challenging future.

A broken system -- The two-party political system is worthless. Now more than ever I can see that Republicans are the party of bad ideas and Democrats are the party of no ideas. People that show an independent mindset are swept aside for very partisan candidates and third party candidates are not even considered.

The citizens of this country are consistently voting for the things that they say they hate most. We are placing the negativity, the machines, and the partisanship in our capitols. You get what you vote for, and we seem to keep voting for what we loathe most.

Ryan Weitz,


How could this happen?

To the editor:

The Republicans blew it. They lost the day they picked Ryan as the running mate. The way you beat the ethnic vote is to join them. They knew they needed help getting the women's vote, they knew they needed help getting the Catholic vote, and they knew they needed help getting the Hispanic vote. So they picked Ryan, who actually polarized the women's vote. They passed up female Gov. Martinez of New Mexico who would have given them all three things they needed and they even passed up Sen. Rubio of Florida, who would have given them two of the three things they needed. Besides, Ryan is so far right of Romney that he didn't bring one vote that Romney didn't already have. Surely Karl Rove knew this. How did he let this happen?

Hugh Carville,



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