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The Altamont enterprise. (Altamont, N.Y.) 1983-2006, August 25, 2005, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn86011850/2005-08-25/ed-1/seq-1/

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K I \,y.. m wfi'A If*- IS\. I II It DO NOT CUP ANYTHING from newspapers. This is defacing library property, and anyone found doing this will be held responsible for the cost of the items defaced. ********************************************** Albany County's Independent Newspaper For 121 Years •754 Number 5 • Thursday, August 25, 2005 Bally Hoo! How solid is Thomas redone? By Nicole Fay Barr GUILDERLANE) — Tuesday night, the town board looked as if it woulctreconsider the now-con- troversial re-zone it granted Jeff Thomas a year ago to build se- nior housing on Brandle Road. The parcel to be developed lies just outside the village of Alta- mont and has sparked suits and countersuits. Thomas has sued nearby property owners for $17 million for \tortuous interfer- ence\ with his plans to build the housing project. At Tuesday's meeting, Coun- cilman Bruce Sherwin — who cast the sole dissenting vote for the re-zone last July — suggested the board revisit its re-zone deci- sion. Supervisor Kenneth Runion was open to a discussion, while sp^uncilman David Bos worth rwas apprehensive about looking vat an issue, in the middle of litiga- gSion, Councilman Michael Ricard y'sgid.he was against revisiting the ^board's original decision and ^GbUncily/oman Patricia Slavick IjriSiiiained silent. ?••' Still, the board agreed to ask ; the. village of Altamont for an opinion before its Sept. 6 meeting. Aske'd Tuesday night if he were worried about Thomas su- ing the town, if the board changed his re-zone and stopped his senior-housing project, Runion, a lawyer, said, \No. He wouldn't have any grounds to sue.\ This was one of the few times that Runion during a board meeting had disagreed with Bosworth, the Democratic party chair, sitting on an'all-Democrat board. Wednesday evening, Runion called The Enterprise to say he had thought it over and recon- sidered. As part of the normal zoning process Thomas's plan will go through, the village will now give an opinion on the se- nior housing, Runion said. Since that will be discussed, he said late Wednesday, there is no need to ask the village to com- ment on the re-zone and there is no need for the town board to consider its past re-zone decision. Asked if the senior housing and the re-zone of land on Brandle Road weren't two different is- sues, since the village was just going to look at whether a Multi- Family Residehtial.zoneifit„in this area, Runion said they were re- lated. The re-zone is conditional on the senior-housing project and, if the project doesn't happen within a few years, the re-zone would be lifted, he said. Thomas told The Enterprise earlier on Wednesday that he's not worried. He's confident, he said, that-his project will go for- ward without problems. But, he said, it is disconcerting when hurdles like this appear. (Continued on Page 24) Lawsuit leads to barring playground fun The Enterprise — Saranac Hale Spencer This one: A girl on the midway at the Altamont Fair chooses which sword Tommy Breen will swallow. The wandering World of Wonders ^ By Melissa Hale-Spencer ALT^QNT — Two perform- ers &jjm .different eras, different worlds staixd on the sideshow s^ge. Salurday night — a fire- eatMg ii^ai^ and. a lank young man who swallows swords. The ffre-eater is balding, and wrinkled; He wears a hearing aid, His bright eyes dominate his face and he looks pleased to be performing. Tjbie sword-s.wallpwer is a s^ob^rs^ipEtied mafi who walks ^ilh^Clau^terV^ift'^' F e $$ ; ^,&\ d%^cpc|&clM a|a|a^\'aii|l^ He fa&l^air, of detached cool. ;;!p3;^i$|' l^^t^i^ wliich \'bias;' \C'tinie' \t : ':'^|a'mtbpt 'for decades, is attracting a crowd of about thirty as Ward Hall begins his practiced patter, reeling in the midway strollers with promises of what «es behind the garish posters. \It's something you'll talk about for the rest ofyour life,\ he says. The midway is dominated by rides and carnival games and vendors; this is the only sideshow in Sight, Posted oh Hall's podium is a *H^p/WMnted iS 3%, fHp printed W'6'ij'l^ \itfe- 'con)pl$el' with\ a \h^'S'^rntteh infesaagfe: ''to travel v^ : l^,sHit^, .. \ 3l ti# lawhite—from his hair to his socks, and shoes — with a red vest, red bow tie, and red se- quined jacket. He introduces \Poobah the Pygmy\ — the stage name for Norbert Terhurne. Terhurne — called \Pete\ by his friendis, — has worked for Hall for-52 years. They are both 75. The two old friends are on the road together for half the year, sharing a small trailer along with Hall's business partner, Chris Chris!t,. fornurhe smarted in show busjiiess as ; >. child; he Was the youngest munchkin. in, the film MT^i#^j^i^i^'Hall. (CJo^&Mon Page'22) By Matt Cook BERNE — The Berne-Knox- Westerlo School District is not monkeying around with the possibility of another lawsuit. Monday, at its monthly meet- ing, the school board voted unan- imously to remove monkey bars from the district's playgrounds at the Berne and Westerlo elemen- tary schools. The vote came after a recom- mendation from the district's health and safety committee. Business Administrator Gregory Diefenbach, who is on the committee, told the board the committee voted 18 to 5 to rec- ommend the removal. The dis- trict is facing two lawsuits be- cause children who have broken their arms falling from the equipment, Diefenbach said. One lawsuit, he said, \could be poten- tially in the six figures.\ Superintendent Steven Schrade told The Enterprise the lawsuits are still in litigation and are based on accidents that hap- pened in the past year. Diefenbach explained the rea- son for thej)|ve votes against the recommendation. \The last thing we want to do is have kids and ourselves live in a bubble,\ he said. \I've fallen off my share of things. That's the way it is. when you're a kid.\ However, he said, the commit- tee felt the possibility of more lawsuits was too great. A set of free-standing monkey bars will be removed from each playground. The ubiquitous playground apparatus consists of two parallel bars with cross- bars, like the rungs of a ladder, suspended from poles that are taller than most children. Monkey bars attached to other equipment will remain. The board speculated that the length of the free-standing sets may be why they are responsible for more falls than the other, shorter ones. Diefenbach said he doesn't think he could make it from one side to another of the free- standing bars, even though, he pointed out, \I Work out.\ According to the Consumer Product Safety. Commission, 45 percent bf injuries on public playgrounds occur at schools. (Continued on Page 25) ! J '!% I :. a t -

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