Monday, April 2, 2012

Reports of Hamilton County’s Death Are An Exaggeration

If you live in Hamilton County you better pack your bags. At least that’s the message from the Glens Falls Post-Star. “Hamilton County might not survive the next century,” reporter Jon Alexander opined recently is a story labeled “analysis” that seriously argued that by 2040, only 28 men and 24 women between the ages of 25 and 29 will live in Hamilton County – an 85 percent decline for that age group between 1990 and 2040.

According to Alexander’s unnamed “local officials,” “If things don’t change in Hamilton County, in about 25 years, there won’t be anyone left to respond to fires, drive ambulances or plow the roads.” “It’s scary,” Fred Monroe, executive director of the Adirondack Local Government Review Board, told Alexander.

It is of course, nonsense, cooked-up by the Post-Star to bolster their 40-year-old arguments that the Forest Preserve, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the Adirondack Park system as a whole, are bad for our economy.

There is so much wrong with the disappearing Hamilton County argument, I wonder where to begin. It’s tiring to keep combating the same arguments that Adirondackers are “endangered species,” but here’s another recap of the some of the facts.

1 – Communities inside the Adirondack Park are growing faster than the state average. In the 40 years since 1970 (the last census before the creation of the APA) the population of towns solely inside the Park has increased by almost 15%, whereas the population of New York State as a whole has increased by just over 5% over the same period. Like other rural areas our population is aging, but the population is growing, and development of the Adirondack Park remains unabated.

2 – The number of summer residents is increasing constantly and substantially. From 1990 to 2004, an average of 1,000 new homes were built annually in the Park (the rate has accelerated and then slowed with the economy since then). The Town of Caroga (entirely within the Park) had a 69.2 percent vacancy rate in 2010 (up two percent from 2000), meaning about 525 homes are occupied year-round, but more than twice that number are seasonal residences. Every other northern Fulton County town entirely within the Adirondack Park (also bordering Hamilton County) also saw increases in the number of seasonal homes far exceeding the numbers for southern Fulton County towns outside the Park. These Fulton County towns are barely recognized as Adirondack destinations, and the numbers for Essex, Northern Warren, Southern Franklin, Northern Saratoga, and Hamilton counties are likely much higher. History shows, seasonal residents become permanent residents. They also pay taxes, contribute to the economy, and serve their communities in other ways.

3 – The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has almost no impact on economics in the Adirondacks (except perhaps to provide a number of good paying jobs). The APA has an impact on just 20 percent of all development activities in the Adirondack Park. The rest, 80 percent, fall under the purview of the towns. Of the 20 percent, the APA has declined just .8% of the projects that have been brought before it since 1973. That is just .16 percent of all legal development activities since 1973.

It’s clearly not enough to provide some reasonable counters to the disappearing Hamilton County distortions and scare tactics. None of the basic counter-arguments of this manufactured crisis, as outlined above, are ever included in the reporting of the Post-Star.

What we get instead is calculated and repeated misrepresentations that originate in long-held views of the editors of the Post-Star. They are using every opportunity their bully pulpit allows to push their political agenda in the guise of journalism.

Jon Alexander’s piece does not include a single quote disputing his conclusions. In a piece about demographics, none of the countering numbers (part of the public debate on this topic) are included, and instead Alexander offers his own specious arguments under the guise they represent some monolithic “environmentalist” view.

That’s some analysis (wink-wink).

I thought long and hard about how to address this latest misinformation from the Post-Star. After all, linking to this story here at the Almanack simply provides space for the increasingly outlandish views the Post-Star publishes. It’s no surprise that no other media outlet in the region thought this “story” worth reporting, or repeating.

But I think it’s important to understand how one local newspaper (located outside the Blue Line and with its own increasingly untenable economic situation) uses its position as a paper of record for Warren County to launch attack after attack on its regional political enemies.

That, in my view, is a story worth reporting.

Related Stories


John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for more than 45 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John's Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on North Country Public Radio and on WSLP Lake Placid.

He is also on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute and edits The New York History Blog. He is the author of two books of regional history.




52 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    This is what’s most nefarious about what the Post-Star is doing. It’s not their editorials or individual columns calling for the abolition of the APA, which I disagree with but consider legitimate discourse (even if they’re pretty weak). What’s most nefarious their advocacy couched in journalism. Yes, I know this was tagged as analysis, which is really a weasel word for ‘opinion’ without having to call it such.

    You remember Will Doolittle’s “award winning” pieces on the APA? In it, Doolittle quoted a town councilman and the town supervisor in Black Brook (Clinton County) as accusing the APA of colluding with the Nature Conservancy.

    This is a very serious accusation of criminal wrongdoing by a prominent state agency, something that would surely be have to be prosecuted if true. Did Doolittle ask the men to give evidence of their serious accusation? No. Did he allow the Nature Conservancy to respond in the article to these serious accusations? No. Did any overseeing editor of the Post-Star require Doolittle to fix this serious breach of journalistic ethics? No. Did it ever occur to them that Doolittle’s highly outspoken opinions against the APA made him the least appropriate person to conduct this supposedly objective investigation? No.

    Mindlessly (or I suspect, mindfully) parroting serious allegations of wrong doing against the APA without further questioning or seeking a rebuttal was the most blatant clue of the Post-Star’s ethical blind spot. But perhaps in their own minds, there is no “other side” of the story… maybe from the comfort of their echo chamber, they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that all Park residents feel the same way about this issue. Still doesn’t make for responsible journalism.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    John, looking back over time, back to 1900, it becomes very clear Hamilton County has had its ups and downs, often as the result of the local and national economic ups and downs.
    5,279 – 1990, 5,034 – 1980, 4,714 – 1970, 4,267 – 1960, 4,105 – 1950, 4,188 – 1940, 3,929 – 1930, 3,970 – 1920, 4,373 1910, 4,947 – 1900.
    Yes, I agree. This story is a story designed to scare people, not enlighten.
    I’ll make a fearless prediction. the next census will show an increase as telecommuters move in and second homes are converted to full time homes.

  3. Mauigirl says:

    Thank you for setting the record straight.

  4. Editorial Staff says:

    Mitch Lee of Inlet asked us to post the following comment:

    John

    Although I do not prescribe to the notion of the sky is falling. I have lived in Inlet in Hamilton County for 46 years. I have seen a decline in the numbers of Men and Women ages 20-35. In our area. I have seen an influx in the second home owners who now make Inlet their primary residence. Even though they are really snow birds.

    These inflate our numbers to sustain a slight growth. But it is of very little benefit to a community who needs Children to populate the school, Adults to serve on boards and committees and to serve in the Ambulance and Fire co.

    In Inlet we have shifted our way of thinking about how to accomplish services by embracing the 55-70 year old second home owners to be an active part in the way we conduct our daily routine. They buy a First home recondition it and it helps our tax base. Thats all great but now there are no Apt.s or starter homes for our young start up couple.

    90 percent of the land in Inlet is owned by the people of the State of New York (Forest Preserve). We love and live on the Eco-nourishment we get from this land. But for now a good deal of our employees drive from out side the Blue line to help us run our Eco-tourism based economy.

    While I do not prescribe to the sky is falling mentality there is no doubt that communities inside the park will have to transform to the changes in demographics or perish because they can’t change.

    The numbers in the article may be dead on, the manner of the message is what makes you upset.

    Mitch Lee Inlet NY Hamilton Co.

  5. Will Doolittle says:

    Brian,
    Really. I know you disliked the article. Did you go back and look at it before writing this post?
    Here is the part of the article where The Nature Conservancy responds to Howard Aubin’s charge of collusion:

    The local chapter of The Nature Conservancy, in Keene Valley, did put out a feeler at one point about buying the Mayes’ land, according to Connie Prickett, a spokeswoman for the organization. But once the Mayes said no, the conservancy lost interest, she said.

    The Nature Conservancy has had a good relationship with many Adirondack landowners and municipalities, Prickett said, and no one who works there would want to endanger that.

    The conservancy deals only with landowners who want to sell, said Mike Carr, head of the Keene Valley chapter.

    “That’s completely inaccurate, absolutely false,” said Carr, of the suggestions of collusion. “We work with landowners all over the world, all over the park. We would never even consider that.”

    Here is a link to the entire article: http://bit.ly/Hay5av

    As I have explained ad nauseum, the letter from the Black Brook Town Board to the APA, suggesting there might have been collusion with The Nature Conservancy, was a public document important to the story about the Mayes.
    Although the story was not primarily about the collusion charge, of course I gave The Nature Conservancy the opportunity to address it, in the story.

  6. Brian says:

    Then again, this is a newspaper that treats drinking, binge drinking and drunk driving (by teens, not adults) as the same issue. So their intellectual rigor (honesty?) is hardly stellar.

  7. Brian says:

    Will, I stand corrected on your seeking comment from TNC. I maintain the criticism that you published their accusations of collusion without them backing it up and that whoever edited the piece should’ve noticed this significant omission, especially given your vocal history of anti-APA criticism. This goes to the heart of John’s criticism that the PS has a serious blind spot on APA issues. The collusion accusation may not have been the focus of your story, but if you felt there was a remote chance it might true (which I assume you did since you published it), then it most certainly should have been the focus.

  8. Paul says:

    John, on your three points:

    1. This is not the case for Hamilton County right?

    2. What about Hamilton County? Why are you talking about Fulton County? That county seems to be quite different than Hamilton County. The best way to make your point would be to cite the data for Hamilton County right?

    3. Does the article mention anything about the APA? I couldn’t find that.

  9. Paul says:

    Brain, Wasn’t that Post Star article about how the landowner and some town officials “accused” the agency of collusion? What is inaccurate about that? It isn’t Will’s job to prove their accusations. Just the fact that some people feel that way is part of what the story is about, no?

  10. Paul says:

    We keep hearing about how the ACR is the largest development ever proposed for the Adirondacks. If the place such a tourist mecca why so little interest from developers? I don’t think it has much of anything to do with regulations on development. I think it has more to do with lack of interest. Maybe it is because a lot of the “prime” real estate (High Peaks etc.) are spoken for. Or maybe it is like John suggests and brighter days are ahead and not behind?

  11. Brian says:

    Paul: It isn’t Will’s job to prove their accusations. But if he considers the accusations plausible enough to publish, he ought to at least ask them to substantiate those accusations. The difference between journalism and transcription is that when people say stuff, journalism ask them to explain themselves; transcription doesn’t.

    Otherwise, the newspaper simply becomes a megaphone for any nut job to say whatever he wants, however reckless, without having to back it up. When that happens, the newspaper ceases to produce journalism and is merely trafficking in the same stuff as talk radio and some blogs. That’s why the Post-Star and most newspapers reject certain letters that don’t meet their standards of responsibility. People can claim whatever they want but the newspaper doesn’t have to amplify them. When it chooses to, it shouldn’t do so in an irresponsible fashion.

    If the collusion were in fact true, then it’s a far more important story than the one actually written.

    Hypothetically, if I were to claim that the Post-Star is in collusion with big developers, I’m sure the Almanack wouldn’t publish my accusation without making provide some sort of evidence.

  12. brsacjab says:

    Unfortunately John Warren does a better hatch job on the Post Star then they allegedly did. All three of John’s points use information for the “Park” as a whole, not Hamilton county alone, which was the focus of the story. Anyone that’s spent real time in Hamilton County knows what Mitch Lee posted. It’s too obvious to the residents. It appears that the Post Star reporter got the real story from Hamilton County residents rather than high level census or state statistics.

  13. Paul says:

    The same goes for this story that John is criticizing. They are just reporting the facts based on what the Cornell demographers have found. It isn’t “nonsense” or “cooked-up”. It just looks like the facts. Go to the Cornell site and look for yourself. You can download the whole report and many others. You can also just ignore the facts like others.

    http://pad.human.cornell.edu/index.cfm

  14. Brian says:

    Did Paul really just whip out the “it won an award so it’s immune to criticism” argument? If so, then John Warren won an award from ADK for this blog so he must be immune too.

  15. Paul says:

    Criticize away. The award wouldn’t stop me.

    Like I said both stories appear to be reporting on the facts.

    John has facts here also. The fact is that the population of the Adirondacks is growing slowly. Not sure how that counters the fact that Hamilton County is shrinking but it is a fact.

  16. Paul says:

    OMG: The Post Star is in collusion with big developers!!!

    Brain, I hear where you are coming from but it was my read of that story that the main points were the odd facts surrounding that case and why it took so long and how easily it could have been resolved without all the fuss. That is probably what made some people involved feel like there was something else in play. Will asked and as you would expect he did not get an admission of collusion. At that point it seems fair to then report these facts. Seems to me like that is what he did. It was an interesting story.

    Better?

  17. Will Doolittle says:

    Although this was hashed and rehashed two years ago, I guess I have to point out again that the accusation Brian keeps alluding to was made not by a “nut job,” but by the Black Brook Town Board, in a letter to the APA that was part of the public record. Also, the letter stops short of a direct accusation of collusion between the agency and The Nature Conservancy. This is from the story:
    “The Town Board letter also mentions The Nature Conservancy, which had earlier offered to buy the Mayes’ property, an offer the Mayes rebuffed.

    The letter suggests the Park Agency was battering the Mayes with a bogus enforcement case to force them to sell.

    ‘We sincerely hope that the agency is not being used as a tool to force an individual to sell their property to the Nature Conservancy, so that the Nature Conservancy can then sell the property to the state,’ the letter says.”

    After the denial by The Nature Conservancy’s Mike Carr that it ever engaged in collusion, there wasn’t much more to say about that. The reason the letter was important was that, shortly after it was sent to the APA, the agency dropped the case against the Mayes. It’s possible the agency dropped the case because it did not want the bad publicity that might result from the appearance of collusion raised by the letter. But agency officials told me the case was dropped because there was no case, that it was dropped on its merits. I believe them. Nonetheless, the letter was an important part of the story, and as such, it was fully reported. Brian is wrong, however, that it was THE story. It was one part of a larger story about the Mayes’ case.

  18. Brian says:

    Hamilton County’s population increased in every census from 1950 to 2000)… a total increase of almost 24% in that time period. And it still has a larger population today that when the much scapegoated APA was created. If you put ideology aside and look at, you know, actual facts, it’s way too early to declare the county on the road to extinction. Maybe the decline from 2000-2010 is a blip, maybe it’s not. But it’s simply too early for fair-minded people to draw any long-term conclusions.

  19. Paul says:

    “It is of course, nonsense, cooked-up by the Post-Star to bolster their 40-year-old arguments that the Forest Preserve, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the Adirondack Park system as a whole, are bad for our economy.”

    Man, now we have the ADE cooking up the same such “nonsense”:

    http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/530150/Study–Hamilton-County-population-is-aging-and-shrinking.html?nav=5008

    Those idiots down at Cornell what do they know? They are like all the rest and have an anti-APA bias.

  20. Brian says:

    Will: now who’s misrepresenting whom? I never said the people making the accusations were nut jobs.

  21. Paul says:

    Brain, I am with you let’s sit tight and see what happens in 2020. Is any of the TNC land that is slated for addition to the Forest Preserve in Hamilton County? That should give tourism a boost.

  22. Kinda the man says:

    Check out any of the Hamilton County realestate offices. Why are most of the businesses up for sale? They must want to expand horizons and build bigger better business next door, right? Why are the number of kids at school dropping at a steady rate? (I have no solid numbers) People must have stopped reproducing.

  23. Gromit says:

    What’s missing in this discussion is context. Hamilton Co. is the most rural county in NY, one of the most rural east of the Mississippi (with “rural’ defined in terms of population density, distance from services and amenities, etc.). Its problems–which are real; just take a look at school enrollments–are a function of a rapidly changing global economy.

    Rural America is in trouble, from California to Maine. Employment opportunities, when they exist at all, are found in or near the cities. Young families with children have a very hard time in Hamilton County. Their grandparents could make a decent living with an independent motel or a grocery store. In today’s economy, that’s virtually impossible

    But there is NO evidence that links these problems to the Park Agency or the Forest Preserve.

    Local government officials and business people like to claim otherwise, never with any hard evidence. For example, in today’s article on this subject in the ADE, we find this:

    “Something must be done to bring jobs in,” [County Emergency Management Coordinator G.L.] Purdy said, adding the Adirondack Park Agency’s regulations “make it hard to start any industry in the county. There is just too much regulation.”

    That’s nonsense. What industry wanted to start up in Long Lake or Indian Lake but was thwarted by APA regulations? The idea that environmental considerations limit growth is a convenient fantasy. It provides an easily identifiable scapegoat.

    The real problems are bigger and much more intractable: distance from markets, critical population density, an educated workforce, infrastructure. Some of these can be addressed, but Hamilton County’s population will probably both shrink and age. That is the way the global economy is moving. It’s regrettable, but it’s not the fault of the APA or the Forest Preserve.

  24. Dave says:

    Fantastic comment Gromit.

  25. Paul says:

    Gromit, I agree the land use regulations are not much of an issue. What do you think is the difference between Hamilton County and it’s slowly growing neighbors that are just as “rural”?

  26. Paul says:

    John, these things we have to type in here to leave a comment are crazy. Are there any other options?

  27. Pete Klein says:

    Lot of responses here but Mitch Lee makes a point I have been arguing for years.
    Forget about affordable houses. What we need are affordable and decent apartments.
    I am not talking about houses for rent. I am talking about apartments, one and two bedroom apartments.
    Apartments work for both the young starting out and those who are getting older and are sick of taking care of a house.
    When you are starting off in life, you just don’t have the money to buy a house.
    My problem with the Post Star article is how it could help create what it warns against. Who in their right mind would want to continue to live here or move here with its predictions?
    Talk such as it provides borders on yelling “Fire” in a movie house.

  28. Paul says:

    Pete, they are just reporting on what the demographers are saying and asking people what their reaction is? It isn’t their prediction. And of course it does not have to come to pass. I don’t see any reason to censure them, they have not printed anything that is inaccurate have they?

  29. Paul says:

    “It is of course, nonsense, cooked-up by the Post-Star to bolster their 40-year-old arguments that the Forest Preserve, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the Adirondack Park system as a whole, are bad for our economy.”

    My local public radio station has also “cooked-up” the same story. I heard it here last night (pretty far from the Adirondacks).

  30. John Warren says:

    The AP has now picked up this story – a month after it ran at the Post Star. and a day after it ran here.

    The also reported: “Like many rural upstate communities, they’re already grappling with shrinking tax bases and having trouble finding enough people to staff volunteer emergency services.”

    And, although some papers cut this part from their reports: “Researchers said the number of residents 65 and older will rise from 1,242 in 2010 to 1,551 by 2035.”

    What? A population increase for Hamilton County? Say it ain’t so.

    If the Post-Star wants to continue to try and manage the affairs of their neighbors to the north, they ought to get their own economic affairs in order first. They are on the brink of bankruptcy, and cut more than a third of their staff last week, while awarding a bonus to their corporate boss.

  31. Paul says:

    “And, although some papers cut this part from their reports: “Researchers said the number of residents 65 and older will rise from 1,242 in 2010 to 1,551 by 2035.””

    John that is consistent with the Post Star story isn’t it?

    They did not say that the county’s population would not rise at all as you seem to suggest?

    They cite the demographic data that seem to indicate that the county will continue to lose it’s younger demographic. That is why the may be unable to have some services, because the folks will be too OLD to do the work, not necessarily all gone.

    It seems to me like your critique is trying to twist this story into something that it was never intended to be, even by the Post.

    Like your point number three. How is this an APA thing?

  32. Will Doolittle says:

    A prestigious university released an interesting demographic study of our area and we did a story about it and got reaction to it. How that twists journalistic standards I leave to John W. to explain. That we did the story long before anyone else I also do not see as a negative thing.

  33. Will Doolittle says:

    The cheerleading that John W. has engaged in for the financial struggles of newspapers, while hard-working journalists are getting laid off, speaks for itself, I think.

  34. John Warren says:

    Will,

    You’re right, your paper did a “story” – it wasn’t journalism by any objective standard. It violated a number of basic and widely held ethical principles so you slapped the word analysis on it. Shouldn’t you report a story before you launch into the analysis?

    It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t see how that story twisted journalistic standards. You seem to not have ever read them.

    For example – “Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.” So that means when you write editorials about abolishing the APA and you become the region’s most critical APA columnist, you ought to recuse yourself from reporting on the APA as a serious journalist.

    Another example – “Identify sources whenever feasible.” Essentially, the only source for those who disagree in this story was Jon Alexander.

    “Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”

    That one’s pretty clear isn’t it? You know, context, such as I provided above, such as the AP provided in their report (which some papers left out), and alternative views not written by Jon Alexander would provide.

    You can try to defend ‘your’ story by constantly calling into question (in your column and here) my character, but you’re not kidding anyone but yourself.

  35. Will Doolittle says:

    Jon’s story was labeled analysis, and it quoted Brian Houseal, head of the Adirondack Council. Perhaps you read only the story’s first few paragraphs? Regardless, your heated reaction to an interesting but innocuous story about a population trend everyone was already aware of seems to show a bunker mentality and defensiveness in the face of any information contradicting a predetermined narrative about the Adirondacks. Also, I cannot recall ever mentioning you in my column, John. I did mention the Almanack recently in a blog post, I think. But I have never, for example, published anything like a “cast of characters opposing Adirondack jobs,” because people are not cardboard cutouts.

  36. Pete Klein says:

    Prestigious universities are always coming out with “papers” to bolster their prestige so they can continue to charge and arm and a leg to bankrupt their students.
    The trouble with this study is that any 3rd grader could have come out with the same study. All you do is take a trend of a few years and extend it into never-never land.
    Cornell doesn’t give a damn about Hamilton County or the people who live there.

  37. Pete Klein says:

    Just for fun in the area of job promotion, may I suggest what we really need in the Adirondacks are topless bars in every town.
    If we had them, the snowmobilers would come snow or no snow and they might chase out some of the old foggies who are happy to see the young people move out.

  38. Jon Alexander says:

    I honestly viewed it as a pretty standard little “quick hitter.” I certainly didn’t think it would turn into this.
    My goal was to get a new, and moderately interesting, data set out there.
    I’m sorry if it’s believed that it exposes some kind of bias. I just don’t agree.
    I was simply trying to do my job, under deadline and with stories piling up.

  39. Paul says:

    Jon, there appears to be no bias if you look specifically at what is in the piece. John is bring up things like ant-APA bias and other such things. I don’t see how any of that relates to this or is in the least bit relevant.

  40. Dave says:

    “a bunker mentality and defensiveness in the face of any information contradicting a predetermined narrative about the Adirondacks”

    Couldn’t help but giggle about this.

    Pot.

    Kettle.

    Black.

  41. Pete Klein says:

    Jon, Don’t worry about it. I continue to regard you as a friend. My issue is with the Ivory Tower people at Cornell.
    Pete

  42. Pete Klein says:

    Jon,
    Don’t worry about it.
    I continue to regard you as a friend, as long as you continue to smoke.
    But seriously, my only argument is with the Ivory Tower people at Cornell.
    Pete

  43. Jon Alexander says:

    Thanks Pete and Paul. How biblical.. LOL
    I actually enjoyed this post, as I do much of John’s work. It starts interesting, lively conversations and keeps people like me honest.
    I appreciate it, Johnny!
    My work’s always fair game. I just didn’t expect it in this specific case…

  44. Will Doolittle says:

    Dave,
    I think extrapolating the population figures out, the way the Cornell study did, is bogus, and I said so in a blog post a couple of weeks ago: http://bit.ly/w9xSc4
    I do not live in a bunker, nor do I reject any information that runs counter to a previously held narrative about the Adirondacks. In fact, I think a lot of the preservation activity that has taken place in the Adirondacks in recent decades, particularly in the backcountry, has been very positive and I support it. I’m a High Peaks hiker and love the Adirondack wilderness. I’ve also written columns in favor of preservation of the wilderness, and reported stories on, for instance, backcountry roads, that were praised by environmentalists for their even-handedness. My opinions on things in the Adirondacks depend on the context and it’s simply wrong to paint me as an extremist.

  45. Paul says:

    The reaction here was very interesting. The piece didn’t even mention the APA (not even the Forest Preserve like some other articles) yet it was jumped all over as being bias? Weird. It think that some advocates are on a hair trigger these days. Maybe it is the ACR decision has them so angry that they cannot see the forest for the trees?

    Two opponents of that project were so desperate in the end to actually suggest that the ACR project might violate Article 14 in a Times Oped piece? Bizarre. One even said here at the Almanack that this is the “end” of the Adirondack Park.

  46. John Warren says:

    Paul,

    The story is all about the APA and the Forest preserve and the population inside the park and you know it.

    “Local officials see restrictions placed on the Adirondacks, especially the state’s forest preserve, as the prime reason for the population decline detailed in the 2010 federal census.”

    The “restrictions” Jon Alexander is talking about, originate in the Forest Preserve law (which IS directly mentioned) and the APA, which is implied.

    Why don’t you tell us who you are? To have all this time to muddy the waters of debate with misinformation you surely must be paid by someone whose job it is to oppose the Forest Preserve and the APA.

  47. Paul says:

    John, now you are starting to sound a little crazy. What difference does it make who I am. Look I have not “muddied” anything here.

    “All about the APA” – I better look at this article again.

    You mean I can get paid to do this? Cool.

  48. Paul says:

    “The story is all about the APA and the Forest preserve and the population inside the park and you know it. ”

    Maybe but.

    Many “local officials” do have the views that Jon describes. That is indisputable. You may differ with those views but they are a well known fact. Personally I don’t share many of those views.

  49. Pete Nelson says:

    Gromit’s comment is the most intelligent thing I have read in this debate. The APA is a straw man for all manner of political fantasies. They have nothing to do with it. The factors Gromit lists have everything to do with it.

    Unlike some who reflexively sneer at academia I’m content to take the Cornell study at face value, which means it is a legitimate investigation of trends but shouldn’t be taken as a prediction for gosh sakes – The researchers at Cornell wouldn’t say that by any means! 2040 is a long way off.

    If Hamilton County wants to arrest the decline in youth it needs to more effectively play to its numerous strengths. I’m all for robust high-speed internet throughout the park. In my time working in IT I’ve only met a few hundred people who would be thrilled for a rural, green life if they could work in the cloud.
    Hamilton County is dreamy by that standard.

  50. Dave says:

    “My opinions on things in the Adirondacks depend on the context and it’s simply wrong to paint me as an extremist.”

    Will,

    I don’t know you personally. All I have to go on is what you’ve written professionally and how you comment on websites.

    From those, I feel absolutely comfortable identifying you as an individual with an anti-APA bunker mentality. If you have ever written or expressed an opinion other than that… I have yet to read it.

  51. Pete Klein says:

    I can tell you this much, Hamilton County will survive and grow.
    I mean, given the choice, who in their right mind would want to live in Ithaca?
    Come to Hamilton County, the real Adirondacks.

  52. Pete Klein says:

    Hamilton County will survive and grow.
    Given the choice between Hamilton County and the la, la land at Cornell, what idiot would want to live in the sprawled mess Ithaca has become?
    Hamilton County is the real Adirondacks.