Press-Republican

Columns

June 2, 2013

Programs bring vitality to downtown

We are experiencing a slow but pronounced revitalization of downtown Plattsburgh. A number of events this summer stand witness to our resiliency and the excitement many still have for rural America.

Before I describe what this summer in downtown Plattsburgh has become, and what it could be, let me describe how we are fortunate and what we have to do to keep it that way.

Our nation has been changing for the last 150 years. Once a nation of farmers, the industrial revolution attracted their sons and daughters to big cities. A century ago, our nation became more urban than rural.

Also a century ago, agriculture represented a quarter of our nation’s output, and the largest share of its workforce. Now, only about 3 percent of our output and workforce are employed in farms that are much larger and more mechanized. Enormous scale, highly mechanized farming has put inexpensive food on our table. It has also stripped opportunity for our young people in rural areas.

Rural America has been bleeding population for generations. It has decimated many communities, but has not taken them all. There are some that are able to develop a mix of agriculture, manufacturing and services. Ours is one of those communities.

We have been fortunate because of the confluence of a rich history, a proud tradition, family roots and a proximity to a ready market in Canada.

Even so, I calculate our county must retain or attract 3,000 families or households by the year 2040. Those we retain are households that would otherwise leave if we do not create a livelihood and a quality of life.

Those who come and those who return are looking with a fresh set of eyes at what could be possible here. Many want to enjoy our natural beauty. However, most also want to experience urban amenities.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time