Lookback: Week of Aug. 4 to Aug. 10 - Press-Republican: Local News

Lookback: Week of Aug. 4 to Aug. 10

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Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 3:28 am

25 YEARS — 1989

• While engineers struggle to keep the Compost Plant running, many Plattsburgh residents suffer almost daily with the deep odor of rot. Odors from the plant waft through the city and even into surrounding communities. Not only does the plant smell, but weather patterns unique to Plattsburgh help capture and intensify the smell. The plant has had a history of malfunctions and breakdowns with one of the plant’s two digesters failing recently, leaving the plant to run on one while repairs were made.

• Mohawk casino owner Tony Laughing returned federally forbidden slot machines to his casino as the New York State Police removed their roadblocks. Laughing claims the results of the controversial referendum held on the reservation are all the permission he needs to reopen his casino, although anti-gambling Mohawks claim the vote actually means nothing. Federal authorities pointed out that Laughing remains a federal fugitive and plans to bring him to justice have not been abandoned. 

•  The need to put up signs to inform the motoring public versus the desire to keep roadways free of unsightly clutter was debated by the commission studying the future of the Adirondacks. Some commissioners argued that the signs served a marketing purpose to inform visitors of local business attractions. Other members disagreed, saying the signs are aesthetically unattractive and don’t fit in with the rustic surroundings of the park. 

50 YEARS — 1964

• Myron J. Gordon Sr. has found that a number of Plattsburgh area residents agree with his suggestions for better postal service. In a letter to the editor published in the Press-Republican, Gordon suggested that there be an 8 p.m. collection from street mailboxes rather than the current 6 p.m. time and that coin-operated stamp-vending machines should be installed in the old post office at Brinkerhoff and Margaret street. His ultimate aim is to build up a file of complains and suggestions for improvement and send it to the Post Office Department in Washington in hopes for action. 

• Speaking at the Plattsburgh State University College Leadership Workshop, college president Dr. George W. Angell declared that education must be revolutionized to fit a world defined by revolution and discovery. He called for more goal-oriented and cooperative teaching methods and charged that past education efforts have “pitifully failed to produce the enlightened citizenry capable of understanding and accepting the changes that have already taken place — to say nothing of the vision required to plan and affect the new changes that are now being required for continued existence.”

• Sgt. Martha V. Vitse, as the only enlisted woman stationed at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base, has been selected as the outstanding non-commissioned officer of the half year. The evaluation judged candidates on the basis of individual effort, performance of duty, acceptance of responsibility, adherence to customs of the service, appearance and off-duty conduct. In addition to her normal duties, Sgt. Vitse is engaged in an extensive off-duty educational program leading to a college degree. In the past six months, she has earned eight credit hours and maintained an A average in her grades. 

75 YEARS — 1939

• The Plattsburgh Dairy company announced that it will furnish the soldiers of the First Army of the United States with 13,000 quarts of milk daily. Emmett J. Roach, proprietor of the dairy, said that the milk would be delivered to the army in 52,000 half-pint paper containers instead of bottles. Seven large trucks have been hired by the company to carry the milk each afternoon to five railroads and two other stations, including Plattsburgh Barracks.

• The desire for the establishment of a seaplane base in Cumberland Bay and that the City of Plattsburgh be included in a series of military bases now being established throughout New York was again outlined at an advisory committee meeting at which is was definitely decided that such a base will be established here. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt has planned a tour to inspect New York naval bases and it is hoped that she will accept an invitation to include Plattsburgh in her travels.

• Plattsburgh’s already augmented police department will receive invaluable aid during the local war games from a battalion of military police who will patrol the whole area including Plattsburgh. Their jurisdiction covers only army men and they go off duty each night at 2 a.m. On U.S. avenue, however, traffic direction will be maintained by the military police while the task of keeping streets open in all other sections of the city will fall to the local police department. 

100 YEARS — 1914 

• The new feature of golfing at Paul Smith’s this year is the introduction of girl caddies on the St. Regis River links. The club is making a thorough search for girls who can qualify. Girls are believed to be more conscientious than boys. The fact that they have no pockets in which to hide the stray balls helps the players expense account and their presence on the links is believed to have a refining influence on the players when the game is going wrong.

• The effects of the great European war are already being felt by persons wishing to send money abroad and who have packages for the parcel post to Germany and France. Orders have been issued by the post office department to postmasters all over the country to refuse parcel post packages for these countries and any packages already in transit are to be returned and the postage paid on such packages is to be refunded.

• The European war has already made itself felt in Plattsburgh in that the Board of Public Works was compelled from lack of funds to direct the discontinuance for the present of practically all of the city improvements contracted for or contemplated. The Common Council and Board of Public Works had anticipated no difficulty in disposing of the water bonds and improvement bonds authorized by the taxpayers and there probably would have been none but for the outbreak of the war. 

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Ben Rowe