Press-Republican

May 23, 2013

Letters to the Editor: May 23, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Alert Facility

TO THE EDITOR: I journeyed over to the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base recently to attend a meeting of the ad hoc group (mostly Air Force veterans like myself) hoping to launch a Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum.

By chance, I learned that the base’s Alert Facility has been removed from both the physical and historical landscapes.

This structure, with unique tunnel-like appendages leading out to tarmac where aircraft stood armed, fueled and ready for takeoff, was home, for weeks at a time, to hundreds and hundreds of Strategic Air Command aircrews for three-plus decades.

I had the honor, as the base public affairs officer for three years in the late 1980s, of escorting local news-media representatives into the Alert Facility in 1988 after word came down from the secretary of defense in the waning days of the Cold War.

The Alert Facility, which was a short walk away from the airport passenger terminal now in use, would have made a perfect site for the planned museum, with the structure itself serving as part of the Cold War story.

Removing the alert facility was a wrong move. Generations of Americans to come will need historical artifacts like the Plattsburgh AFB Alert Facility to learn about the sacrifices paid by Americans before them. Too bad the building itself didn’t have a voice.

ALAN C. GREGORY

Retired lieutenant colonel

Williston, Vt.

+++++

Treehouse fundraiser

TO THE EDITOR: On Saturday, May 11, the City of Plattsburgh and the Saranac River Trail Committee hosted the inaugural Treehouse 10K/5K race along the Saranac River Trail in Plattsburgh.

This was the first race of its kind in Plattsburgh, along the River Trail. More than 150 runners came out and raised $2,300 for the Max Moore Memorial Treehouse, a universally accessible treehouse slated to be built along the trail.

Thank you to the City of Plattsburgh and Saranac River Trail Committee for their support of the race and their continued support of the Max Moore Memorial Treehouse project.

Thank you to our event sponsors: Northern Orchards, Price Chopper, Baxter’s Bagels, Pepsi, Lowe’s, Starbucks, United Way and extra special thanks to Fleet Feet of Essex Junction for some great prizes for the runners and Sunrise Rotary for volunteering, helping us promote and selling Mayor’s Cup T-shirts, proceeds from which directly benefit the treehouse project.

Thank you to the CMM 314 class at Plattsburgh State for helping us promote and get volunteers. Special thanks to Kathy Duley and Patti Rauch for getting all the after-party sponsors.

And finally, a huge thank you to race-expert extraordinaire, and my favorite planning partner and co-host, Steve Peters, and all of his wonderful staff at the City Recreation Department, without whom this city would not have nearly as much fun as it does.

Sincere thanks to all involved for a very successful race. We’re already looking forward to next year.

ASHLEY COUSENS

Max Moore Memorial Treehouse project coordinator