Doozy of Various Ironies
You've got to chalk one up for this week's late news about
Westchester County's brouhaha about opening a road over the
Kensico Dam. It's a doozy of various ironies.
First off, there are all those similarities about roads on
dams. And the side news of a water filtration plant bring
built under a golf course- just as the City DEP takes on Dean
Gitter's Belleayre Resort proposal for having golf courses!
Not to forget the City spokesperson using Underdog language
to elicit sympathy for the big entity's uncomfortable position
in so many Upstate configurations.
Why are so many obsessed with New York, he asks? Easy, one
could answer. We're always obsessed when something big lands
in our living room like a Mack truck. Even if that big thing
sits quietly in the corner. It's still a gorilla.
But the story, for all its levels of irony, is still a serious
one. As is Bruce LaMonda's take on all the rumors that he
and others in the town will be taking down the barriers to
the "Lemon Squeeze" and allowing traffic through,
based on the Westchester example.
"It's a different situation," LaMonda said, referring
to the question of road ownership.
He could have said the same thing in another way, referring
to DEP Commissioner Chris Ward's comments about the safety
issues tied to a dam overlooking more than 200,000 people,
and holding back the source for 90 percent of the city's drinking
water. But by focusing on the legal question, LaMonda ended
up treating the situation with the seriousness it deserves.
As does Ward's statement about these being changed times.
When the federal government suggests something like a dam
closure, it does so with a heavier hand than someone suggesting
a restaurant they've heard is good, or a movie they've seen.
Such governmental suggestions come tied to funding possibilities,
larger approvals, bigger picture items such as the very existence
of the finicky Memorandum of Agreement that has brought our
region new development moneys, and a significant change in
fortunes, over the last eight years.
That we look at ironies in the ways that New York City is
seeking to protect that MOA is short-sighted, in our view.
To simply bash the City for its bigness is the same as if
the City were to swat away all our municipal and regional
needs and wants because we're too small.
We've got to play on the street with these issues. Because
at this point, whether we think we need the city or not, we
are in a long-term, very probably eternal relationship with
the city. Just as we DO live in a Catskill Park.
How do we get the Lemon Squeeze open again? Negotiation. Keeping
abreast of changes with security matters elsewhere.
Hoover Dam was closed for a long time. So was the Grand Coolee,
out in eastern Washington. But they're open again.
As the City spokesperson proved in his comments this week,
the City IS paying attention to us up here, and they ARE acutely
sensitive to what we're feeling. Or at least what they think
we might be feeling.
Why, they even expressed hurt at our story, last issue, about
speed limit changes.
Better, for now, to simply keep doing what we do without resorting
to grandstanding. We should all act as though every thing
we say is being listened to in the right places. Use the letters
columns in our newspapers to state what we feel. Show our
care and concern and, best of all, our continuing love for
the area we share with them, like it or not.
By doing so, we show seriousness, never a bad tact.
Moreover, it allows us all the time to start focusing on other,
bigger problems facing us at the moment.
Such as the protection of our right to vote in the coming
elections. And the insurance that those elections continue,
on that first Tuesday in November, as planned.
Now that's important-