To the News Enterprise:
I was a bit taken aback after reading a letter from Peter Heid in your paper today (Jan. 28). I am hoping that some of his statements can be cleared up.
It was my impression that the rail company is talking about transporting freight from Tahawus not people. Passenger service may be in the future, but I don’t think that is the plan at this time. Freight is heavy and the trucks that carry it now damage the roads. As someone who has been behind trucks carrying rock on these roads, I can tell you, that I think it a better idea for it to go by rail and not through my car window. Where has he gotten the info concerning how much it cost to refurbish the rail bed? As far as defoliating along the tracks, we have come a long way since Agent Orange. I couldn’t help laughing when he talked about how the train doesn’t stop at gas stations and grocery stores. The last time I checked, there really aren’t any gas stations from Tarawus down through Minerva and those few stations didn’t seem to have trucks stopping at them either. The train doesn’t stop people driving. It may make it safer, but why would a person with this type of mentality think of the locals’ safety.
Speaking of locals, I happen to be one of the people that work in the service industry at my “menial labor” job, however, I’ve also managed to obtain a mortgage. I guess it would be better in Mr. Heid’s mind to have no jobs in the area at all than to have people working at these “menial labor” jobs that have no future. Many people have lived here their entire life, held these menial jobs and still managed to get a good education, raise a family and contribute to society. If it were not for all of us, the “professionals” wouldn’t have a place to vacation or shop. I contribute a great deal to the economy as I live in Newcomb and drive to Lake George for work. I would like to find a job closer, but any type of development or job creation in this area is thwarted by those who apparently don’t need the income. If they can come up with a way for all of us to have jobs that allow us to “get ahead in life” and still live where we want to live, I wish they would let us all know. I would also venture to say that the local people are just as concerned, if not more so, about the Adirondacks as all of those who think that they have to protect it because we won’t or can’t be trusted to handle it on our own.
I applaud the APA for saying yes to Tupper Lake. It is about time that we are allowed to work and live near our homes. My only concern is that the Tupper Lake project will also be creating more of those service related, “menial labor” jobs that Mr. Heid seems to be so against. I have lived in the Adirondacks all my life so far and hope to continue if allowed by others. Let’s try to work on the environment and contribute to the local economy at the same time.