Nov. 26, 2008: CHA's suggestion is self-serving

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To The Editor:
 The suggestion that we refuse the money Albany has earmarked for the development of Belleayre Ski Center and the Belleayre Resort is totally wacky. Many anti-development voices do so with very selfish personal agendas. 
It sounds like the Catskill Heritage Alliance (CHA) is trying to use the present economic climate to support their position that no progress takes place here. To suggest that Albany not give money to this area and instead help hospitals and schools, etc., is naïve, not altruistic. Does the CHA think they can direct where the money will go if it is refused here?
Churches are closing! Classrooms are getting smaller and smaller which will lead to schools closing and families moving away, searching for closer schools. Stores and other businesses are closing, just look at our Main Streets. The real estate market is disappearing. Our friends and neighbors are moving away in search of jobs. The hospital is struggling.
How many more clues do we need to understand we need an economic stimulus here? I can’t think of anything we can do without the help of Albany, that comes near the $60 million that the state is prepared to infuse into this area to help us. If the money is refused, does the CHA really think that the money will be returned to us, the taxpayers?
While the CHA does not think the state should be involved in recreational facilities, the City of New York is negotiating to buy land at a cost of $250 million in Coney Island for development of recreational facilities in cooperation with private companies. A similar partnership has occurred in the Adirondacks.  So why should we give up this chance?
If we turn down this economic package, what guarantee do we have that the money isn’t going to more development in the Adirondack ski area? Or even into Coney Island recreation.  
It is irresponsible and self-serving to even suggest refusing the money. Can those pointing their fingers come up with a better, realistic approach to help our community survive? 

Judy Shiner,
Big Indian