To the editor:
Gov. Paterson’s proposed park closures in New York state is one of the most ridiculous things I have heard of in a very long time. In these times of economic strife, people losing their jobs and losing their homes, travel for most will be limited. Vacations, day trips, family outings are becoming fewer, mainly because of the lack of funds to do these family-oriented rituals. But these are very important to the nucleus, growth and bonding for the family units, and now our governor wants to close many of the parks.
I see many other options to make up the lack of state funds. Review and reduce or eliminate excessive spending, trips, salaries. Close agencies: for example, the Adirondack Park Agency. This is one agency that has grown out of control by not only regulating state land but also private property, telling property owners what they can and can’t build and even how to enjoy their property. Just think how much money can be saved by eliminating this agency. There can be leases to the public for the operations of parts of these parks (i.e. food services, events, tours, skiing, boating, fishing). All of these would help generate funds to the state and provide a valuable service to the general public, leading to higher visitation of the areas.
Let’s look at one of the announced closures. John Brown’s Farm in the Adirondacks. Here is a place that is beyond belief and has a lot of meaning to all, except the governor. For anyone that does not know John Brown, John Brown (May 9, 1800 to Dec. 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist and folk hero who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to end all slavery. I find that this proposed closure being announced during Black History Month is a slap in the face for freedom. Where is this man’s thinking? How can he want to close the parks and take away the public’s ability to visit and enjoy all of these wonderful places?