conceive, even dream, that Valerie Keehn is a “hero,” and
somehow can stand with others in your Dec. 20 [“Local Heroes
2007”] feature is an abomination. Her incompetence at administering
public business is positively unmatched. She led and lost
the vote to establish a strong mayoral government in Saratoga
Springs. Time after time, voters have expressed their intention
to maintain the current commissioner form, but ol’ Valerie
says she’s going to change that. I guess she knows
what’s best, huh? She did not spend one dollar on preserving
open space. She supported a former dog catcher to run Saratoga
Springs’ very important public works department. Did anyone
from Metroland actually attend a City Council meeting
to witness first-hand her bickering and spite? Keehn does
not “fight for people.” She is an opportunistic populist figure
who will soon be, and thankfully so, nothing more than a trivia
Tim Christensen, Saratoga Springs
staff writer David King has attended Saratoga City Council
meetings and also has watched them on videotape.
just finished reading Miriam Axel-Lute’s column “Closed for
Winter” [Looking Up, Jan.10] , and it reminded me of a similar
experience I had at the Empire State Plaza during a visit
to Albany right before Christmas.
friend and I, both former art history students at the University
at Albany, thought it would be an interesting day trip to
head down to the concourse beneath the plaza to view the public
art collection while I was in town. We walked through the
cavernous hallways and looked at the sculptures and paintings
adorning the walls. It was an enjoyable trip, until we reached
the end of the plaza underneath the Corning Tower. A security
guard guarded the entrance to the elevators and escalator
that brought workers to the upstairs floors of the Corning
Since we had no interest in going up into the offices above
us, we walked on into the lobby only to have the grumpy guard
yell across the room to us: “Ladies, ladies, excuse me, what
are you doing here?” I turned and told him we’d come to view
the public art collection, and he scowled but waved us on.
We then walked over to his checkpoint to get admission to
see the final few installments, which hung on the walls just
past the elevators and escalator stairs. Despite the fact
that we were allowed to view the art on the other side of
the lobby, he told us we would need to sign in and show ID
to see the last bits of the collection.
Not a problem—we went to the desk to sign in, but the woman
working the desk told us that we didn’t have permission to
view the paintings, so she couldn’t let us in. For a moment,
we argued with her that this was a public art display and
we shouldn’t need permission to view it. The woman offered
to make a phone call to someone she knew, who might have the
power to give us the appropriate permission to get a glimpse
of the art, but we walked away while she indignantly insisted
that she was trying to do us a favor that she didn’t have
to do. One more time I just reminded her that this was supposed
to be a public art display, as in open to the public, and
then we left.
Just like with the stairwells at the ESP upstairs, opening
that teeny section of the display up to the public would seem
a small thing to ask—but when it comes to rules and regulations
in New York state government, the rules and regulations don’t
always make sense and aren’t always in the best interests
of the people they apply to.
I’m glad that even after spending all the time she has living
in Albany, Miriam’s eyes are still open to the way it should
be instead of how it is.
Sullivan, Managing editor, Baltimore City Paper,
Former managing editor, Metroland
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