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Archive for November 6th, 2010

A friend of mine sent this excerpt from the Recorder blog today:

“Amsterdam certainly isn’t the crap-hole that the persistent naysayers would have you believe it is, but it certainly isn’t this shining star in the Mohawk Valley with only pockets of problems that the yay-sayers would have you believe it is. Taking a long, hard REALISTIC look at the city. Refusing to do so is no longer a case of having one’s head in the sand, but a head up one’s rear.”

He (my friend) had taken some offense. I guess I could too if I wished to, but would rather respond with measure.

This is an opportunity for journalistic investigation. The opinions posted on FB and blogs are only that, subjective declarations. If the local paper is going to present a REALISTIC view of the city, please supply empirical and comparative statistics. What’s REALLY happening on Henrietta Hill, Upper Church Street, Mt. Carmel Hill, Upper Market Street, Reid Hill, Rockton, the East and West Ends, and the South Side? It would be interesting to see crime literally mapped out, type and frequency, city-wide. I think that, factually, most of our neighborhoods ARE attractive and safe. It’d be interesting to know how we fare compared to Gloversville, Schenectady and other urban communities of similar size. It may be surprising to know how well (or not) we are doing and help us identify what we must do to improve.

Hopefully, some answers will be forthcoming in the work done by the Crime Prevention Committee, but the report should ultimately be a springboard for some young journalist to dive deeper into the realities of our condition. I would ask that they augment their findings with information on current attempts to tackle trouble by city government; actively, legislatively, budgetarily and idealistically.

I don’t know who the “yay-sayers” are with their heads up their butts, but I still see the light of day. And it can’t be anyone that gives time and effort to physically make this a healthier and better place to live. Unlike the naysayers that helplessly blog on and on about the shortcomings of everyone and everything, we have scores of volunteers that man important city committees and not-for-profit boards. They take part in city-wide clean-ups, graffiti removal, beautification efforts and neighborhood watch. They see what’s lacking and try to supply the muscle to overcome obstacles that government can’t solve alone.


Touting one’s attributes does not negate problems. We should all acknowledge that we must look at both sides of this story to be realistic about our fortunes. But at the same time, touting our advantages is justifiable in presenting a REALISTIC depiction of our community.

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