Amsterdam NY resident Mike Raffone announced today that he is organizing a special benefit concert titled “Leave Aid” tentatively scheduled for September 31, 2013 at Shuttleworth Park. According to Raffone, the goal of the event is to raise money to help area residents trapped in Amsterdam to relocate to more desirable locations.
“I know so many people who are suffering as a result of living in Amsterdam,” explained Raffone, “but for a variety of reasons, they can’t leave. So I wanted to do something about it. Amsterdam always pulls together to help those in need, so I think we can really make a difference here.”
Raffone and several volunteers met with some of the victims they hope to help in order to discuss some of the problems that area residents face in leaving Amsterdam.
“I’d love to move to Guilderland or Glenville, or someplace nice like that,” explained Abby Seenia, “that way I could pay double for my mortgage, and I’d save a little in taxes. That would mean less money going to the man!”
According to Seenia, the taxes in Amsterdam are just so prohibitive, that she can’t afford the higher price of housing in the areas she wishes she could live in.
“I hope Leave Aid will be able to help her with that,” said Raffone
The impending Carmageddon, due to strike at the end of August, is another issue Raffone cited as a motivation for organizing Leave Aid.
“I wish I could have started earlier, to help get people out before it hits, but it just wasn’t possible,” explained Raffone, “but I think if people just stay in their homes for a while and let the worst blow over, they should get through it OK. If everything goes well, we’ll get them out before the first snowfall.”
Experts predict the upcoming change in traffic patterns will cause massive pileups in front of the post office as well as a glut of confused commuters ending up in Amsterdam’s downtown area. Additionally, state officials expect further mayhem as known problems with snow removal of the perpendicular highways still have not been worked out. Local efforts to press citizens into manual snow removal service remain confused and disorganized.
Other residents like 25-year-old Bill Melater claim to suffer from Amsterdam’s “lack of coolness.” Melater explains, “I got a pretty cheap flat up on the hill, but like…I can’t even have my friends over, they say it looks like their grandma’s place or something.”
Melater can’t afford a hip, trendy loft apartment closer to his job at the mall in Albany. But the real kicker, says Melater, was when he learned that Amsterdam officials had turned away an Apple Store from opening up on Main St.
“I was just like…I can’t even….Amsterdam is just so not cool…” stammered Melater.
Other victims were more succinct. “When I bought my house here, I was banking on a real estate bubble that never happened,” explains Earl E. Byrd, “now my house isn’t worth much more than what I paid for it.”
These and other issues, such as a recent influx of pet food stamp recipients, the Mayor’s screen name, and civil unrest preceding last year’s Spring Fling, have local residents saying that Leave Aid can’t come soon enough.
Raffone plans on contacting local favorites such as Alex Torres, The Joey Thomas Big Band, Skeeter Creek, and Black Tooth Grin about performing.
Raffone adds “It will be a real nice family event, just like the Spring Fling or the Riverlink Concerts, or Park Fest, or an Amsterdam Mohawks game, or the Winter Mixer, or National Night Out, or Movies in the Park, or Creative Connections events, Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance meetings, or the Citywide Cleanup, Homecoming Day or …well you get the idea. And I think we’ll have good numbers, because…ya’know … there’s really nothing to do in Amsterdam.”
Anyone interested in donating or volunteering to help, can contact Raffone at 518 555 1212.