. . . Letters and Opinion Pieces on Returning Lady Liberty (as promised) to Her home of 67 years, Liberty-Gateway Plaza . . Click on an image for a larger version; updated regularly
. . for background facts and issues, see tinyurl.com/TimelessLady
. . share this post with this URL: https://tinyurl.com/Letters4Lady
. . this campaign started in March 2018 . . and continues in October 2022 . .
. . It started with Jessie Malecki (Gazette, March 14, 2018):
. . . . still speaking out at 95!
. . Shirley Moorehouse (Gazette, March 15, 2018); and see the letter from her husband Dick Curtis below);
. . R. Dicristofaro (Gazette, March 17, 2018). .
(March 23, 2018): Click the thumbnail to the left to see a Letter published in the Albany Times Union by David Giacalone (click for online version).
. . Lance R. Jackson (online; Gazette, March 27, 2018). .
. . Jim Wilson begins a series of strong letters.
. . James A. Wilson (Gazette, April 8, 2018, online)
. . Tom Hodgkins, Sunday Gazette Guest Column (April 28, 2018)
Gazette Letter (June 27) by much-honored Veteran Jim Wilson, calling for Liberty’s return on July 4th.
And, James Wilson’s September 10th Letter in the Gazette: “Restore Lady Liberty Statue by October 28“, the anniversary of the dedication of the original Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor,
. . . . Councilman Vincent Riggi, Sept. 20, 2018 .
- The Daily Gazette Editorial Board’s editorial “Don’t Move Lady Liberty“ (April 5, 2018), saying “City officials deciding the fate of the city’s 8-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty should end the tug of war over the statue and return it to where it was always intended to be, in its place of honor at the gateway to the city of Schenectady in Liberty Park.” (Click on thumbnail to the left to see the entire editorial from Friday’s Gazette.)
Who knew we’d still need letters 15 months after the first ones?
. . May 20, 2019: James A. Wilson continued his series of Letters asking for the return of Lady Liberty, including this one, appearing in the Gazette on May 20, 2019. Mr. Wilson expresses “hope”, a virtue that only makes sense to me when dealing with those acting in good faith.
. . above: Gerald Plante’s first LTE about the Lady, May 29, 2019, in the Gazette., and his appearance at a Rally for Lady Liberty’s return in May . .
. . CONTACT THE MAYOR & COUNCIL MEMBERS [email addresses below] . .
AFTER Installation at the NEW LOCATION on August 28, 2019 [story and images here]
GAZETTE EDITORIAL Lady Liberty’s new home: Try again: Historic statue needs a more appropriate location than busy street corner. (Gazette Editorial Board (August 30, 2019) [pdf version] Image to right by Gerald Plante. Excerpts:
“Oh God, you can hardly see it.”
That was the reaction of one Schenectady native upon leaving the downtown train station Wednesday afternoon after someone pointed out the historic Statue of Liberty replica situated in its new home at the corner of Erie Boulevard and Union Street.
She wasn’t alone in her disappointment.
. . . Mayor Gary McCarthy — without input from the public or the collective City Council — appears to have unilaterally decided to dump it on one of the city’s most cluttered street corners — uncleaned and unimproved — where it’s difficult to see clearly from either side of the five-lane road, against a thick, ugly metal power pole and utility boxes, and in the shadow of an unsightly train bridge at the end of a parking lot.
. . . Anything’s got to be better than the manner in which this location was selected and where the statue ended up.
Lady Liberty deserves better.
Dick Curtis of Scotia wrote to the Gazette (published Sept. 3, 2019):
. . Patricia Pytlovania (Gazette, Sept. 12, 2019)
AND, the LETTERS HAVE CONTINUED INTO 2020:
James A. Wilson continued his vigilant advocacy, Daily Gazette (Jan.1, 2020) . .
. . Sally Cote of Niskayuna, Sunday Gazette (Jan. 5, 2020)
Dick Curtis, Gazette (Jan. 8, 2020, C6):
. . Gazette Letter by Colleen K. Lodge, Jan. 11, 2020
. . Gazette letter by Lance R. Jackson, Jan. 11, 2020 . .
Joyce M. Cockerham, Gazette, Jan. 28, 2020 . .
. . . Letter by George Thiessen (Daily Gazette, Feb. 15, 2020, E2) . .
. . Lance R. Jackson (Daily Gazette, March 14, 2020)
Find appropriate place for statue (October 13, 2020)
My late wife, Marilyn D. Davis, was a woman of many interests: homemaker for four children, community volunteer, GE employee, and active in statewide Libertarian politics. She had a lifelong dream of pursuing a college education. In 1986, at age 56, she achieved it.
She completed two degrees while attending Schenectady County Community College, first as a paralegal and second in English including a creative writing course. All her courses were completed with highest honors. Also while at SCCC, she was employed by the college as a tutor and mentor for fellow students.
Our family has recently been in the process of preserving family records, and it was during this work we rediscovered Marilyn’s essay, which she wrote in 1987.
It is my hope that a new location for the statue will be found to inspire future students, as it did my wife.
Donald H. Davis
The Golden Door
By Marilyn Dawn Davis
Facing Schenectady County Community College in Liberty Park is a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Much smaller than her majestic sister in the New York harbor, she is scarcely noticed by passers-by or students hurrying to and from classes.
She stands silently, holding her torch on high and gazing serenely at the college across the way.
She is a particularly apt symbol, I believe, not only of the freedoms usually associated with the Statue of Liberty, but of another freedom: the freedom of educational opportunity.
This one freedom leads to most of the others each of us holds so dear.
Education is the foundation we need in order to achieve our greatest dreams and to reach our potential.
It is a rock to build our castles on. It is the golden door to the future.
Each one of us holds the key to the golden door; from the first day of school, through elementary school, high school and college, we are preparing ourselves for the future by setting goals and visualizing the kind of person we want to become.
It is only through our own efforts that we will achieve our goals; by working for them and letting nothing sway us from the path to achieving them; by always searching for the right way.
Sometimes the way seems hilly and uneven, with twists and turns and dead ends, but we must keep on in spite of disappointment and set-backs.
Along the way we will find our greatest values. We will find ourselves. We will discover who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.
The only limits to our dreams and ambitions are self-imposed ones; the limits we place on desire, perseverance, and hard work.
We who have the privilege and opportunity must take advantage of it so that the bright future we could have had will not slip away into what “might have been”.
Since the year just past has been the occasion for a memorable and emotional 100th birthday celebration for the Statue of Liberty, this is a fitting time to consider the freedoms that education can bring to each of us.
These freedoms include freedom from ignorance, fear, and poverty; and freedom to grow into personal independence, confidence, self- esteem, accomplishment and self-fulfillment.
To me, the torch of the Statue of Liberty represents the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance and despair, and the last line of the poem written by Emma Lazarus for the Statue of Liberty seems to me an especially significant one for all students:
“I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
. . The above photo was taken August 24, 2020. This is the Central Sculpture base at Liberty-Gateway Park, across from SCCC, and near the Rainbow arches, another symbol of liberty. It is approximately the spot where our Lady Liberty replica stood from 1950 to 2017. It clearly is the most appropriate place for our Lady Liberty replica.
Lady Liberty should move back to park (October 20, 2020)
In the Oct. 13 Gazette, I read Mr. Davis’ letter and his wife Marilyn’s essay “The Golden Door” with great interest. I was moved by Marilyn’s very thoughtful musings regarding our Statue of Liberty that once stood in Schenectady’s Liberty Park (Gateway Park) across from the community college.
In his letter Mr. Davis stated that he hoped “a new location for the statute will be found to inspire future students, as it did my wife.”
You may be aware, Mr. Davis, that this is not the case. After a protracted absence, our Lady Liberty has been relegated to the corner of Erie Boulevard and Union Street, masked by telephone and power wires, the railroad bridge and a tangle of brush and trees.
It’s difficult to notice, let alone inspire.
Over time, a number of us have noticed and have written articles and letters to The Gazette requesting that the City Council and mayor relocate our Lady to an appropriate inspirational location. Your letter supports many who believe Lady Liberty needs to be restored to “Liberty Park.”
I am unaware of any public reasons by the city’s political leaders to our request or even an explanation as to why our Lady has been moved into relative obscurity. I invite these leaders to publicly address our concerns. Inspirational patriotic symbols matter.
Our communities continue to be populated by immigrants and students aspiring to enter “The Golden Door” for the opportunity “to achieve our greatest dreams and to reach our potential.”
Lance R. Jackson
LETTERS ARE STILL NEEDED in 2021
. . . much gratitude again goes to the persevering letter-writer Lance R. Jackson of Glenville. Here’s his letter of June 11, 2021 to the Gazette (scroll down to second Letter):
- BTW: Mr. Jackson is being too kind to the Mayor and Mary Wallinger, and the pusillanimous City Council. At the time the replica statue was removed, we believed the Final the 2013 Gateway Plaza Implementation Plan, approved by the Mayor and Council, would be honored. The Plan specifically called for the return of the Statue to Liberty/Gateway plaza, and included a $20,000 line item to pay for the return to the new location closer to State Street. The week it was removed, the City’s Commissioner of General Services, Paul. Lafond, assured then-Council Member Vince Riggi in a text message that the statue would be returned to Liberty Park “when the park is complete.”
Sunday Gazette, June 26, 2021, brought another strong letter by Schenectady’s “Mr. Veteran”, James Wilson
July 13, 2021: Dick Curtis in Scotia was mostly concerned with the pesky, often-struck RR overpass in Glenville. But he ended his Gazette Letter to the Editor with a fervent plea (at C6); here an excerpt:
JAMES A. WILSON, Daily Gazette (Oct. 9, 2021, C7)
JOYCE COCKERHAM, Daily Gazette, October 26, 2021, C6:
. . RITA SMITH (Daily Gazette, October 29, 2021) . .
GERALD PLANTE (Daily Gazette, October 30, 2020):
. . from the Daily Gazette (October 2021); photo by Peter Barber:
. . the persistent Lance Jackson had another Letter in the Gazette on November 4, 2021:
NOTE: On Novembe 8, 2021, the Schenectady City Council passed a Resolution recommending that the Mayor return Lady Liberty to her Home at Liberty/Gateway Plaza. [see posting] Nonetheless, Mayor McCarthy has made no response (in public) and the Statue still stands in exile, and without repairs, or signage. Therefore, letters are still being written:
LANCE JACKSON wrote another letter that was published on April 23, 2022:
And, the Gazette published more good advice from JAMES WILSON on May 14, 2022 (please click on it for a larger version):
DONALD H. DAVIS of Glenville had another Letter to the Editor published in the Gazette on Sept. 17, 2022:
On October 21, 2022, RALPH PIDGEON of Glenville demanded respect for Lady Liberty:
PLEASE SEND YOUR OPINION to MAYOR GARY McCARTHY & CITY COUNCIL
- Mayor Gary McCarthy – firstname.lastname@example.org – has not offered any colorable justification for changing (ignoring) an important element of a very important and approved Plan, that he supported and signed in 2013; and had silenty ignored the Council Resolution in Nov. 2021 recommending that the Lady be returned to Liberty Park.
- Marion Porterfield – email@example.com, [City Council Predisent since Jan. 2022] had suggested in March 2018 we might poll the affected neighborhoods, now supports return to Liberty Park.
- John Mootooveren –firstname.lastname@example.org, As City Council President in 2020 &. 2021, he sat silently whenever the issue was raised.
Ed Kosiur[resigned] – email@example.com, who signed the Goose Hill Petition to move Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park, despite its gross factual errors, and has declared without explanation that “only the Mayor has the delegation” to make this decision.
- John Polimeni – firstname.lastname@example.org, who signed the Goose Hill Petition to move Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park, but supported the Nov, 2021 Resolution recommending the Lady be returned to her Home.
Leesa Perazzo (now Oliver) [resigned ] – email@example.com, who sponsored the 2013 Resolution adopting the Implementation Plan, but has been most silent on the topic
- [lost reelection try in Nov. 2021]
Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas – kZalewskiWildzunas@schenectadyny.gov, who signed the Goose Hill Petition to move Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park. (Update [Sept. 3, 2019]: According to the Aug. 28 Gazette, Ms. Z-W “liked the location, citing its proximity to the Schenectady Train Station and the Stockade, and thinks most residents will find it to be an acceptable location.”)
- Carmel Patrick – firstname.lastname@example.org. Supported the Nov. 2021 Council resolution recommending return of the Lady to Liberty Park.
- Three new Council Members took their seats on January 1, 2022; let them know your opinion:
- Doreen Ditoro [email@example.com]; Damonni Farley [firstname.lastname@example.org]; and Carl Williams [email@example.com]
- And, Mary Moore Wallinger, firstname.lastname@example.org, who changed her mind after designing Gateway Plaza and writing the approved Implementation Plan in 2013, and now says Lady Liberty “does not fit in” with Wallinger Plaza’s contemporary theme. [See “Wallinger’s excuses for exiling Lady Liberty” (May 20, 2019)]
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