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Author Marian Calabro signs a copy of Flying High Again: PARC's Redevelopment of Plattsburgh Air Force Base for Hope Coryer of ETS after the book was unveiled at a ceremony Thursday afternoon. Each member of the audience was given a complementary copy of the book.

PLATTSBURGH -- A new book about Plattsburgh Air Force Base and its successful redevelopment was unveiled Thursday in an introduction ceremony.

Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corp. Board of Directors Chairman Gilbert Duken said "Flying High Again: PARC's Redevelopment of Plattsburgh Air Force Base," is being released at a time when the community is indeed flying high again.

"It's difficult to say exactly when our board felt comfortable declaring the PARC story would be a success story. But we all believed that it is a story that mirrors the indomitable spirit of this community," he said.

"We concurred that before PARC fades away, it should be recorded for posterity. Additionally, we agreed that other communities facing similar circumstances might benefit from a written account of PARC's experiences."

PARC President and CEO Bruce Steadman said the book was commissioned for two reasons: to acknowledge the many people who made redevelopment efforts a success and to outline the key issues that were faced and how they were resolved.

FROM BRAC TO PARC

It starts with a chapter about the history of the base, then continues through the controversial Base Realignment and Closure process that led to the 1993 decision to close the base, which shut down in 1995.

It goes on to detail the efforts of the various organizations that helped lead redevelopment, initially the Plattsburgh Intermunicipal Development Council and later PARC, and the members of those groups.

The book was written by Marian Calabro of CorporateHistory.net LLC, based in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. She conducted about 60 interviews, researched newspapers and other archives and assembled hundreds of pictures to create the book.

She said it was appropriate the book was unveiled on May 15, as that was the day Joe Dimaggio began his 56-game hitting streak in 1941. She said DiMaggio and PARC would both go down as league leaders, with a wealth of class, and that if there was a Hall of Fame for air-base redevelopment, PARC would be in it.

"I'm deeply honored to have played a part in it (PARC's legacy), and I thank you all," Calabro said.

Steadman presented her an inscribed, framed blow-up of the book's cover.

"We've spent a lot of time with Marian these past several months, so much so that Dennis (Doyle, PARC public relations) has said she's become part of our family," he said. "You've just done PARC and the North Country proud."

Herb Carpenter, former owner of the Northeast Group, came to PAFB as a 18-year-old, when the base was a little more than a year old. He went on to a career in the Plattsburgh City Police Department, including time as chief of police, and later founded Northeast Printing, which grew into the Northeast Group.

Carpenter called the decision to close the base a criminal political cabal conspiracy but acknowledged that things have worked out for the best, with close to $400 million now on the city and town of Plattsburgh tax rolls.

He praised Calabro's effort, which he said has the quality of a Madison Avenue production and could be used as a textbook at Plattsburgh State.

"I have never seen a book of the technical quality of this book. Once you open the cover, you will be compelled to go through it page by page."

Members of the audience, who attended by invitation, received a free copy of the book.

Additional copies will be available through the PARC office and eventually online at amazon.com.

Steadman said the book is stamped at $30, but may be offered at a discounted price of $20. He declined to disclose how much it cost to produce the book but said it was paid for with money from PARC's business interests, not public funds.

dheath@pressrepublican.com

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