Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Amsterdam Should Change Its Name To Amsterdump

Amsterdam’s carpet mills closed a long time ago. It’s retail base was destroyed by a former Common Council when they voted to put a mall in the middle of Main Street. It’s housing stock is deteriorating so it is hard for Amsterdam to be a bedroom community for the Capital District. Now the Common Council has gotten rid of three Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency’s board members, so they can build a landfill in the fourth ward. The three members--Norberta Krupczak, Barbara Johnson and Joseph Isabel--all were opposed to the landfill.

Amsterdam used to be called Veddersburgh. It has had several nicknames over the years, including The Carpet City and AmsterRico, which is a pejorative term aimed at Amsterdam’s large Hispanic population. Now that Amsterdam will not only have the distinction of being one of the few cities in New York State with a downtown mall and a landfill within its city limits, I propose that Amsterdam change its name to Amsterdump.

There will be several advantages to this name change. People will no longer confuse the City of Amsterdam with The Town of Amsterdam, which is a completely separate entity, one which is flourishing by the way. Furthermore, when people do internet searches for Amsterdump, New York instead of Amsterdam, New York, they will no longer have to wade through thousands of results for Amsterdam, Holland; Amsterdam, Ohio; or Amsterdam Avenue in New York City.


  • Very nice. I have actually noticed the problem of searching for Amsterdam because of the other places with the same name. Even searching for Amsterdam New York leads you to things in NYC with the name Amsterdam.

    Warren Redlich
    Lawyer in Albany NY

    By Blogger Albany Lawyer, at 1:44 AM  

  • The Mall in the middle of Main St killed Amsterdam now they want to put a Dump on top of the city to make sure it is dead...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 PM  


    Landfills, transfer stations, material recovery operations, and other solid waste facilities are vitally important to society. However, when improperly sited, designed, or managed solid waste facilities can cause severe harm to area residents and businesses.

    Truck Traffic
    The increased truck traffic associated with the landfill will cause a sense of diminished safety among those traveling the affected roads. At some facilities trucks queue near the entrance in the early morning hours while waiting for the landfill to open. If adequate off-road parking is not available, then traffic flow is impeded. High-speed truck operation, tail-gating, and crossing of centerlines all impart a sense of a threatening situation among other motorists sharing a road with a high volume of truck traffic.

    An increase in truck traffic can lower the value of homes located near the affected roads. The loss of value results from increased noise. A study of the impact of traffic noise documented an average of a 0.4% decrease in property value for each decibel increase above 55dBA. At 50 feet a heavy truck produces 90 dBA which would yield a 14% decline in property value. Heavy trucks may have an effect on property value which is 150 times greater than that caused by an equivalent increase in passenger car traffic.

    Quality of Well Water & Other Aquatic Resources
    There is a great deal of concern about the potential impact of a landfill upon water quality. And there is good cause for this concern. Metals and other contaminants in rubblefill leachate exceed water quality criteria by up to 500 fold. Concern is particularly high among those who rely upon wells located in the vicinity of landfills. Though this concern has declined somewhat where liners and leachate collection systems are required, it has not been completely dispelled. Nearby residents worry about the long term effectiveness of a liner-leachate collection system in preventing the release of contaminants into ground and surface water.

    Odors, Smoke & Dust
    The odor of hydrogen sulfide is a problem at rubble landfills. This gas has the aroma of rotten-eggs. The gas forms when gypsum wallboard decomposes in a wet, organically-rich environment. Hydrogen sulfide releases from rubble fill have been detectable up to three miles away and have caused nearby residents to suffer nausea and severe headaches. According to the U.S. Public Health Service the clinical effects of hydrogen sulfide are:
    • At 0.1 part per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is detectable as an unpleasant, rotten-egg odor.
    • At 250 ppm H2S causes irritation of mucous membranes, bronchitis and pulmonary edema.
    • At 500 ppm symptoms include headache, nausea, weakness, disorientation and coma.
    • Exposure to concentrations greater than 500 ppm results in severe toxicity and death. Respiratory paralysis and death may be noted within 30 to 60 minutes.
    • Other health effects include respiratory depression, tremors, blurred vision, cyanosis, convulsions, and tachycardia.

    Loss of Property Value
    Several researchers have examined the direct effects of solid waste facilities upon property value. BLR Real Estate Appraisal studied the effect of two Maryland landfills upon property value. In a study of the value of a property located near the Scarsboro municipal landfill, in Harford County, the appraisal study documented that contamination of the well serving the property lowered the value by 90%. A study of the effect of a Prince George’s County rubble landfill showed that the value of homes within one mile was lowered by 10%.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:39 AM  

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