CHEERS to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Office of Children and Family Services, and North Face for a joint effort to help foster families get out and enjoy New York’s parks this summer. The two state agencies, with support from the North Face and its national Explore Your Parks Program, offered overnight camping experiences to 135 foster families. They registered — on a first-come, first-served basis — to stay sometime during July through September at campgrounds across the state. The program provides a free two-night stay, “Camping 101” tips, a knapsack, keepsake and customized information about outdoor programs, trail maps, events and family-friendly activities. People who welcome foster children into loving homes are providing a much-needed community service, and we are pleased to see New York introduce some of these families to camping and the wholesome fun provided by state parks.
JEERS to an overzealous gate keeper at Plattsburgh City Beach. A young woman told us she went to the City Beach on Saturday, June 15, which was the first official open day. She was asked to provide her license to verify her city residency for free entry into the beach. “Then I was asked for my registration and was further questioned as to why it was not my name listed on the registration (which has nothing to do with whether or not I live in the city). My Plattsburgh city address listed on my registration matches my license, and I was still asked why the car was not registered to me. I explained my car is registered to my mother for insurance purposes — not sure why city employees need to know this information. I also had last year’s beach sticker next to my registration, in clear view on my windshield. The person did explain to me, though, that people move out of the city, but I think that asking for my registration was both unnecessary and an invasion of privacy. A license should be more than enough, in my opinion. As a person who has lived almost my entire life in the City of Plattsburgh, I felt as though I was being treated unfairly.” We hope that most people who are able to produce a city license don’t get the third degree as they enter the beach. Maybe this was just a matter of it being opening day and possibly a new worker at the gate. City and Town of Plattsburgh residents have enjoyed free admission to the beach for decades, and it is a valued perk of being a citizen of the community. It shouldn’t be an intimidating experience to gain admission.
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