Market was pressured
TO THE EDITOR: The complexity of issues and objectives for city revitalization is hard to follow.
But first among the mayor’s goals for the Durkee Street lot seems to be to create an increased tax base for the city by constructing a large apartment block covering the north end of the Durkee lot.
If not maintained, in 10 years, neglect of the proposed apartment block can potentially sap the vitality of the city core, an ongoing problem with absentee landlords, which Prime will be. The proposed new apartment block units will be offered as rentals, not for ownership by the occupants. Owners are more likely to stay and maintain the property.
The mayor has proposed a variety of locations to replace the parking spaces lost at Durkee Street. But realistically, constructing new parking will take years and there is no guarantee that the proposed spaces will ever be fully constructed. In the meantime shops and restaurants will suffer and may close.
Moving the farmers market out of the city core will have devastating consequences. I have seen many businesses try our their products and marketing strategies there. It is a key event identified with the city, creating activity that fills the parking lot and spills over into the restaurants and businesses downtown. It should not be moved out to the marina.
The mayor’s statement that the farmers market has accepted the move out of the city core does not tell the whole story. The market has merely caved to the pressure from the city to move. The apartment building, not the farmers market, should be developed by the marina.
This is a singular moment in our future as a city. The high hopes of a revitalization of and aesthetic improvement of downtown Plattsburgh can still be realized by reconsidering existing planning.
Petition was right
TO THE EDITOR: It is with great interest that Mayor Colin Read appeared on WIRY on Monday, June 24, claiming to not have any knowledge of any petition against the Prime Properties development at the Durkee Street parking lot and then having a point by point rebuttal to said petition published, front page, in the Press-Republican the very next day on Tuesday, June 25.
Someone isn’t telling the truth or did an all-night cramming session at the last minute. Mr. Read, you have also stated this week that Democracy is not about petitions. Since you originate from Canada, perhaps you are not aware that the right to petition is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
If you and the Common Council seriously think that the starting prices for Prime’s apartments, $1,000/month for a one bedroom apartment are going to make it in downtown Plattsburgh, and higher for larger apartments, than you are seriously wrong. If you’re willing to risk existing downtown businesses to test this theory, than you’re wrong.
If you think we support giving away public real estate, in which business have paid for its maintenance, for decades for $1, giving the developer $4 million and throwing in decades of bare minimum tax payments to said developer, than you’re wrong. And if you think Plattsburgh residents will re-elect you and the council members associated with this scam, than you’re just plain wrong.
Oh, lastly, having the wife of a council member address the council in support of this scheme is priceless. We’re watching.
Public parking possible
TO THE EDITOR: As many people know, the key elements of Saranac River Trail Phase 2 are two new pedestrian bridges across the Saranac River now scheduled for construction in Spring 2020.
At Saranac Street, the bridge that had to be demolished for safety reasons a few years ago will be replaced providing a quick and safe way to walk from Pine Street to Caroline Street, Route 9 and the Oval. At Durkee Street, another pedestrian bridge will let people walk from Caroline Street to downtown. Each of these walks should be about 10 minutes.
Less noticed is the work planned in Phase 2 for the existing Caroline Street cul-de-sac. The project envisions the installation of eight car charging stations at Caroline Street. This will let people drive up, plug in, and walk across the bridge to downtown where they can shop, dine, or take advantage of other Plattsburgh amenities. The final design report is available from http://www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1215. Search for “charging” to find the relevant page.
A new possibility presents itself now. With access to Caroline Street so convenient over the new bridges, it’s not too soon to start thinking about reuse of the property now occupied by the NYSEG remediation project. Yes, eventually it will come to an end, and that property will be accessible (via the bridges) and usable (after remediation).
The uses to which the property will be able to be put are constrained by its past: even after remediation, not all uses are permitted. However, one use that jumps out is to work towards using the remediated site for public parking. As the remediation proceeds, it is possible that such reuse of the site could be staged so that as other downtown parking is removed the new lot could gradually come online.
Reunion is set
TO THE EDITOR: The Saranac Central Class of 1969 will be holding a 50 year reunion during the weekend of Sept. 13-14, 2019.
Activities for the weekend include a 3:30 p.m. tour of Saranac High School on Friday, Sept. 13 (meet in lobby), followed at 5 p.m. by a meet-and-greet cash bar at High Falls Lounge in Saranac.
On Saturday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. there will be golf at Harmony in Port Kent, and beginning at 5:30 p.m., cocktails, dinner and dancing at American Legion Post 1619 in Morrisonville. Members and faculty of the Saranac and Dannemora High School graduating classes of 1968-1970 are invited to attend.
Reservation and prepayment in the amount of $22 is required for participation in Saturday morning golf at Harmony Golf Course. Reservation and prepayment in the amount of $35 per person is required for attendance at the Saturday evening dinner which also includes the cost of the D.J.
Reservation forms have been sent to members of the class of 1969 for whom we have contact information. All others interested in attending may contact Richard Rabideau at firstname.lastname@example.org. No reservation or prepayment is required for attending Friday’s activities. Questions regarding golfing at Harmony can be directed to Karen (Kanaly) Lopez at email@example.com.
If anyone has contact information for our classmates Mike Edwards, Debbie (Gordon) Maynard or Kathleen Ryan, please contact Richard Rabideau.
Stop the abuse
TO THE EDITOR: Our congresswoman, Rep. Elise Stefanik, who positions herself as a friend of farmers and a protector of U.S. national security, has a big opportunity this month to step up and help stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture from abusing 547 of its employees and abdicating its research responsibilities.
The 547 people are economists and scientists in the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. They produce unbiased reports on issues affecting food production and agricultural economics. Some of this research naturally addresses issues that are arising from warmer temperatures.
For some reason the White House fears rational discussion of warmer temperatures and is scheming to silence the government scientific workers.
So on June 13, the USDA announced that its two research divisions would be arbitrarily moved from D.C. to the Kansas City area, and the 547 scientific employees had just 32 days, or until July 15, to decide to accept the long move or be fired. Pretty unusual and abrupt.
It’s very evident that the USDA doesn’t want its workforce to make the move, but rather wants to encourage mass resignations, and is perfectly willing to fire most of the rest. It’s a blatant and cynical purge.
In effect, the USDA is willing to forfeit our long-term research capability, to avoid short-term politically inconvenient scientific findings.
This is morally reprehensible, and is shockingly bad governance.
Will Elise Stefanik show leadership and speak out to stop this crazy USDA scheme to blow up our research capability? Is Elise on top of this?
Scholarship money raised
TO THE EDITOR: The Community Scholarship Fund would like to thank the 60 golfers who participated in the 23rd Annual Elizabeth “Mikey” Leavine Scholarship Golf Tournament at the Barracks Golf Course in Plattsburgh on July 2.
Through their efforts, and the generosity of our sponsors, we were able to raise over $2,500 for scholarships to be given in Mrs. Leavine’s memory.
We would like to thank the following merchants, organizations, and individuals who supported this event through their generous donations and efforts:
The Beekmantown Teachers Association, Jump Camp, Saratoga Eagle, Last Key Realty, BCS Booster Club, Beekmantown Support Staff Association, Northern Insuring Agency, BCS Student Council, Cumberland Head Teachers, Beekmantown Fire Dept., CHES Retired Teachers, Warren Tire Service Center, Rowell Insuring, Lake Breeze Cleaning, Plattsburgh Police Local 812, and Community Bank on Route 3.
I would also like to extend a special thanks to the Leavine and Bushey families, Delores Vivian and the staff at the Barracks, Mike Waite, Scott Cutaiar, Julie Jock, Carol Lunn and Connie Brogowski.
Community Scholarship Fund
Making it worse
TO THE EDITOR: Recently on WIRY it was said that the petition to save Durkee Street parking was an old petition and people outside Plattsburgh signed it.
I signed it recently and I live in Ward 4 and I have contacted Councilor Ensel and expressed my opposition to the elimination of the Durkee Street parking lot.
I am concerned as someone who has become a bit physically challenged that I will not be able to frequent the restaurants and businesses downtown because of the parking issue.
Secondly as a union activist, I am disappointed in some of the councilors who are and were union activists for eliminating the parking for employees downtown and for individuals who would use the social services department services. Unions usually support workers and people in need, not make their situation worse.
ELIZABETH (BETTY) LENNON
Stefanik likes sneakers
TO THE EDITOR: Rep. Elise Stefanik first and foremost cares about sneakers.
Let me explain. Representative Stefanik voted no on H.R.3401, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act. This bill would have provided funding to greatly improve the quality of life at immigration detention camps along the U.S. Mexico border.
She voted no because it was not a bi-partisan bill and did not aid the U.S.-Canada Border.
Stefanik wants to wait for these bi-partisan requirements to be met. In the meantime, more children will contract communicable diseases and possibly die in deplorable conditions.
Rep. Stefanik has also not visited any of these detention camps. She voted no on legislation to improve them without ever witnessing one. If there is no problem with these detention camps, why will she not visit them?
So what is important to Rep. Stefanik? Apparently, Nike sneakers.
For those confused, Nike has pulled a line of sneakers featuring the Betsy Ross flag at the behest of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. The sneakers themselves are irrelevant to my case, but what’s important is that Rep. Stefanik called this “an unbelievable disappointment” on her Facebook page.
As a proponent of human rights, this is a slap in the face. This is what is an “unbelievable disappointment” is for Stefanik? Not government sanctioned child abuse?
Ignoring the existence of modern-day concentration camps will not make them go away. When human lives are at stake, we are obligated to save them, even if the plan to do so does not complement our political agendas. Therefore, I implore Representative Stefanik to step up as a leader and human being. I formally ask her to visit these overcrowded and underfunded camps along the southern border.
Perhaps then she will understand why human lives are more important than sneakers.
Elect good candidate
TO THE EDITOR: Voters have a rare opportunity to elect a county legislator of Jerry Markings qualifications and personality.
I know Jerry in social and often stressful situations an d he demonstrates that he is clearly concise, very well organized and systematically developed. He has a great deal of passion for the responsibilities he seeks and doesn’t own an on/off switch.
You would think with so much at stake there would be more conversation about leadership qualities instead of a concentration on the “good old boy” system. Jerry is a proven leader and from my observations you will always find Jerry to be an extremely honest, hard worker who holds himself to the highest of professional accomplishments.
The biggest mistake voters can make is not supporting Jerry, as you will quickly see that Jerry will support each and every one with all his honor, energy and abilities.
Wedding was great
TO THE EDITOR: The evening of July 5 , Kim Nystrom and Mark Pidgeon celebrated their marriage with friends and family with a beautiful outdoors venue at Au Bord du Lac, Bed and Breakfast in Rouses Point.
We would like to thank everyone for the love and happiness we shared together on that special day. Big thank you to the Carey’s of Au Bord du Lac, Shirley Hawsby, Vesco Ridge Vineyards and staff, Catering by Country Corner and staff, the band,”The Duo +1,” Fosters Tent and Canopy Rentals and Hairstyles Unlimited.
Stefanick doesn’t care
TO THE EDITOR: The National Institute of Mental Health defines childhood trauma: “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.” Some of the leading causes of trauma include: violence at home, school, in the community, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, stress by poverty and seperation from a parent or caregiver.
The federal government is traumatizing hundreds of children on a daily basis. DHS inspector general reports reveal “squalid conditions at migrant detention centers” (CBS News).
Included in this reporting is: separation from a parent or caregiver, overcrowded conditions with insufficient sleeping space, lack of adequate food, water, hygiene ability and lack of supervision. In New York state, the Office of Children and Family Services has a 24 hour hotline to report suspected incidences of child abuse. Reports are investigated; actions are taken to protect children.
I called Elise Stefanick’s office to inquire about her actions on behalf of immigrant children. I asked, has Stefanick visited the border, answer, no. Does Stefanick view the treatment as abuse, staff member didn’t know. What legislation has she proposed to stop this abuse, answer, none.
She did sign onto the Senate version of a funding bill. The staffer stated that bill has been on Trump’s desk, awaiting signature since July 1 (this is written July 10).
I asked Stefanick’s staffer about Department of Labor Secretary Acosta and his release of Jeffrey Epstein in 2007. As a prosecutor, Acosta advocated a reduced sentence for Epstein who was accused of dozens of cases of child sexual abuse. Stefanick had no statement condemning Acosta.
Congresswoman Stefanick obviously does not legislate with care and concern for children. Call Stefanick and demand that these children are adequately cared for with their parents/caregivers.
Health is threatened
TO THE EDITOR: In our food, in the workplace, and in everyday household products, there is an immediate threat to our health hiding in plain sight.
Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are man-made chemicals that are detrimental to our health and the environment. In order to mitigate the harm of PFAS, a bill has been introduced in Pennsylvania that will require limiting the levels of these harmful chemicals.
This bill, known as Senate Bill 582, looks to lower the MCL (maximum contaminant level) to 10 per trillion, declare emergency on PFAS for areas above the MCL, and list PFAS as hazardous substances. Funds could also be used for clean up of the chemicals if above the MCL, and have a large state impact in cleaning up our environment.
It is time to address PFAS in order to improve the health of our communities and hold corporations accountable for their use. In order to get the bill passed, we need Senator Joseph Scarnati III to be a leader and support this legislation, preserving the health of our citizens today and in the future.
Sponsors were great
TO THE EDITOR: The Rouses Point Fourth of July Committee and Montgomery Post 912 American Legion in Rouses Point would like to thank everyone who sponsored our 59th-annual Fourth of July Celebration.
Please support our local businesses; without them our celebration would not be possible.
Event and parade sponsors were: American Legion Post 912, Village of Rouses Point, Sons of the American Legion Post 912, Best Friends Restaurant, CDC Real Estate, American Legion Post 912 Auxiliary, Gotta Go Electric, Kavanaugh Realty, Woodmen Life, John and Mary Zurlo, Riley Ford, Champlain Peterbilt, Community Investment Services, Toby LaPierre, Chazy Hardware, Gaines Marina, Bechard’s Farm Equipment, Giroux’s Poultry, Blue Line Insurance, The Border Press, Lakeside Coffee, Dr. Richard Foreman DMD, Rouses Point Fire Department, Maskell’s Hair Hut, Sandy’s Deli, and Casella Waste Systems.
Kids and family evening sponsors: Stewart’s Shops, PrimeLink and Champlain Telephone.
Fireworks display sponsors: Price Chopper, Market 32 and American Legion Post 912.
Rouses Point Fourth of July Committee
Efforts are thanked
TO THE EDITOR: As a follow up to my letter of recognition in the Press-Republican published on July 12, I would like to highlight the efforts of organizations and individuals in making the City of Plattsburgh’s “Schools Out/Kids Count” on June 22 a huge success.
I would like to extend sincere gratitude to the support from Plattsburgh YMCA Director Justin Ihne, and the director of School Age Child Care, Tina Santor.
In addition, a special thanks goes out to Plattsburgh Public Library Director Anne de la Chapelle and Librarian Sarah Spanburgh, both in helping to make a wonderful afternoon. Finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers from the Plattsburgh First Presbyterian Church, especially Pastor Tim Luoma. “We are all in this together.”
Youth Activities and Special Events Coordinator
Plattsburgh First Presbyterian Church
Read for free
TO THE EDITOR: I am appalled by the Press-Republican’s on-line policy regarding obituaries. Obituaries are paid for by families (at great cost these days), and now I have to pay to even look at the digital copy too.
I can remember when newspapers provided a community service by writing and printing obituaries free of charge. They are an invaluable tool for those of us tracing our roots, I can access old newspapers on-line in most areas for those communities that care enough to take the time to do it. The Plattsburgh Press-Republican is an embarrassment to the local area.
Stop trying to nickel and dime decent everyday folks by charging them to look at obituaries on-line when they were already paid for by the families that wrote them.
No more e-cigarettes
TO THE EDITOR: We often overlook the important role that businesses and companies play in influencing change in our communities.
The North Country Healthy Heart Network wishes to recognize two companies, Kinney Drugs and CVS, for taking the bold step to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products in their stores across the region, a step we hope will influence other businesses to do the same.
In late 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory on e-cigarette use among youth, labeling it an epidemic due to the skyrocketing use of these products and the harm caused by aerosol exposure, nicotine addiction, and exposure to heavy metals, organic compounds and ultrafine particles. The advisory also cited the role of flavors, specifically noting that Juul is a particular problem because of its design, high level of nicotine delivery, and popularity among youth.
As reported by regional news outlets earlier this month, Kinney Drugs will end the sale of these products on Aug. 1; similar measures have already been enacted at CVS pharmacies. Additionally, we’re glad to see that Kinney Drugs will continue selling proven smoking cessation products that aren’t marketed to our youth.
To Kinney and CVS, we say bravo for changing your practices; we hope it inspires others. To those affected by changes to the sale of tobacco products, we encourage you to contact the Heart Network to find services in our region to help you quit for good. Visit our website to learn more: www.heartnetwork.org.
Project Coordinator, Health Systems for a Tobacco Free New York
North Country Health Heart Network
Dislikes President Obama
TO THE EDITOR: Well, Mr. Silver sorry it took so long to reply to your last rant, but it took me that long to stop laughing.
And I am glad that at least you admit it is a rant. Again, I see all you got is name calling again. I would think that you would at least put some facts out there to support what you say.
Now you said in your last letter you never called President Trump a communist, well, let me quote what you said: “Mr Trump is a communist, therefore any body responding to this letter is a communist.” You also stated that President Trump gives the Hitler salute. I watch his rallies and he has not given the salute.
You really need to go check out Walkaway.com. and learn something from someone who used to be a Democrat. Now you also said that Obama had better ideas. Do you mean the one where he sent billions in cash to Iran in the middle of the night? If that was such a great idea then why didn’t he tell the American people what he was doing? No, he waited till he was caught then he had to say something.
Or maybe you’re talking about the idea where he traded five terrorists for a traitor. Or the one where he was caught on a hot mike telling the Russians that he will have more leeway after the election; now what did he mean by that? No one knows cause he won’t say.
Or what about the one where he was caught meddling in the Israel election? Did you know that Obama is the only president to never see a 3 percent GDP for a year, the only one.
Oh, he also spent more money than every president before him. And remember when he let GM buy back all their stocks at a rate price so they didn’t have to pay all the money back that he gave them, and again, the American people pay for it?
Well, I could go on and on, but I would run out of space.
Flagpole is dedicated
TO THE EDITOR: On Friday, June 14, in honor of Flag Day, we at the North Country Mission of Hope were honored to participate in an official dedication of a new flag and flagpole combination donated by Woodmen Life.
We at the Mission would at this time like to thank Rick Siddon and his co-workers from NYSEG for donating their time and equipment in the process of erecting the flagpole itself. Thank you and the Town of Peru for the donation of a partial culvert.
Thank you to Kris Cross from Upstone Material for offering to donate concrete which was ultimately not needed but was appreciated none the less.
Thank you to Russell Blaise and Yvonne Bezio from Woodmen as well as their family for attending the dedication.
Lastly, thank to Rocky, Robin, and my fellow volunteers for your assistance in this project. I apologize if I have forgotten anyone.
We here in the USA have been blessed with abundance and wealth. We here at the Mission of Hope have been blessed to be able to spread our excess blessings all around the world.
All are invited to check out our new flagpole any Wednesday morning at our facility at 3452 State Route 22, Peru.
Mission of Hope Volunteers
Racists are defined
TO THE EDITOR: What a joy to see the Democrats accusing each other of being racist. According to the way they think, very soon some of them might even qualify to be Republicans, ha-ha.
But this happens when you trade in identity politics. With political correctness there’s always someone more politically correct. Socialism has the same problem. The goal of equality sounds great, but some always end up more “equal” than others.
That’s what’s going on in the Democrat camp. They’ve dug into Biden’s past and discovered he was a little too friendly with segregationists. Former Democratic senator Robert Byrd was once Exalted Cyclops of the KKK, but he was apparently forgiven because even Hillary Clinton allegedly said that he was one of her mentors. This shows how desperate things are getting among the Democrats.
But the Democrat party always has to contend with a rather unillustrious past. Theirs is a collective guilt that began when they welcomed slave holders, slavery, and resisted abolition for decades. Following emancipation they championed “black codes” down South that stifled African-Americans for at least 100 years.
By contrast, the Republican party emerged from various factions existing in the early 1800s, eventually rallying around the cause of abolition. It was their party that opposed slavery during the debate over the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854.
All this excessive racializing and definitionalizing is starting to come back and haunt Democrats. The best definition I’ve heard of a racist: anyone who’s winning an argument against a liberal.