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LETTERS TO THE NYACK VILLAGE

Noise from Nyack Hospital

To The Nyack Villager—

The residents of Front Street in Nyack are trying to get Nyack Hospital to do something about the noise emitting by the air handling units on the North side of their roof. Over the past couple of months several residents have contacted them, including Mayor White; to date they seem not to have done anything about it.

I sent the enclosed petition signed by 31 residents to Jen White earlier this month.
I am now mailing a hard copy to the Hospital hoping it might encourage them to take action.

Would you be able to include something about it in the in the Villager? Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you.

—Laurie Donald
Front Street Resident, Nyack

Toward better spelling
To The Nyack Villager—
Many people believe that children no longer need to learn how to spell because every computer has a spell-check and they may not fully understand the limitations of a computer’s spell-check.

Even some educators believe that to teach spelling is a waste of time. Let’s see what a spell-check can do for someone who is a poor speller.

Usually a computer will display a wavy line under a word which is incorrectly spelled. To try to help you fix it, the computer gives you choices; usually only one is correct—but which one? There are many homophones (words which sound alike, but are spelled differently. These are common ones: there, their, and they’re.) They sound alike, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Even some journalists misspell some words. Take the word linchpin: it is frequently misspelled because many people are familiar with the family name—lynch.

We all need to spell words correctly because bad spelling can be embarrassing, and often reflects poorly on the writer.
If you have a child in grades one through eight, you might wonder how good a speller your child is. Here is a way to find out; contact North East Spelling association for an application or information for your child to compete at nesb2015 @ g-mail or send a self-addressed long stamped envelope to P.O. Box 32, Auburn NY 13021. Be sure to include the child’s name and grade. There is a small entrance fee to help defray costs of the service.

Sincerely,
—Michael Ricci, Ex. Dir.

Saving village trees

To The Nyack Villager—
Our village has an Architectural Review Board. If someone wants to change the outside appearance of their home they must take their plan to the Board. The Board looks it over and decides, essentially, if the new appearance of the house would upset people’s sensibilities. I assume their discussions boil down to one question: would the alterations make the town less beautiful?
Okay, I get that. In fact, I even like it.

So, if a committee like this exists, then why is there no committee to ask the same sort of questions and make the same kind of decisions about Nyack’s trees?

Our trees have a much greater impact on our aesthetic sensibilities than someone’s front porch. They give a more immediate and positive gut reaction. You look down a street lined with majestic, stately trees and you say, “Wow, what a gorgeous town!”
When I see someone’s porch overhang suddenly extended 5 feet over their driveway, my throat doesn’t clench up. I don’t stand there with tears welling up while saying, “Why? Why?” But that’s exactly what happens when I come upon an empty spot where just two days prior a giant tree once stood.

I was recently out of town for a five-week period and came back to find a crime scene where the wholesale slaughter of trees took place—the 300 block of North Broadway. On the sidewalk crack was the telltale orange painted stripe (which to me shouts, “We took the easy way out! We cut down the trees!”) I spoke with some irate Upper Nyack residents who informed me that the Upper Nyack Trustees decided to remove the trees without any community input other than the threat of a law suit by an injured neighbor.

This has to stop. No one wants people tripping and hurting themselves, but there has to be a better method of dealing with a tripping public than by hauling out the tree cutting equipment every time someone cries, “Lawsuit!”

We need a Tree Review Board that will examine each complaint about a broken sidewalk. And I strongly suggest that, from this day forward, we use our brains and imagination to adopt a solution other than cutting down the tree. A tree takes years and years to grow back. A sidewalk can be fixed in two days.

A possible solution: Where a tree has lifted and broken a sidewalk, the sidewalk could be removed and then a new one re-shaped to gradually arc over the tree roots. Walkers, bikers, and baby strollers could gently glide over it. Okay, it’s different, but I’d much rather look at a hilly sidewalk than a flat one with no trees, or with the offending crack still there because the tree was removed and the sidewalk never fixed. Even if the arc sidewalk is not a great solution, the point is that with some effort, a workable plan is possible; I’m sure of it.

Nyackers love their beautiful homes and they love their beautiful trees. They deserve equal consideration.

—Tom Dudzick, Nyack

[Editor’s note—
Longtime Villager readers with good memories may remember Tom Dudzick’s cartoon, which we printed some years ago and reprint here—because the problem remains as vexing as ever.

Doesn’t Nyack have a Tree Commission? We could swear we heard of one formed some years ago, headed up by knowledgeable arborists. We think it’s time to revive it.]