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North Country News

Downtown businessman Jonathan Schneiderman comments on proposed Durkee Street development
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council chambers were filled Thursday evening with residents curious to see the developer of the Durkee Street parking lot provide updated redevelopment plans.

United States Census 2020 logo
census.gov

The New York State Complete Count Commission was created earlier this year to assure that all residents of the state are counted in the 2020 census. Representatives of the group were in the Adirondacks Wednesday to discuss how the state is gearing up for the effort.

John Sheehan
Adirondack Council

The Adirondack Council is applauding the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation’s recent announcement that it will implement a regulation in early June that sets strict carbon dioxide emissions limits on coal-fired power plants operating in the state.  In this second part of our interview, Council Spokesman John Sheehan tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley they expect the state’s move will eliminate all coal-fired power generation in the state by the end of 2020.

John Sheehan
Adirondack Council

The Adirondack Council is among the largest advocacy organizations lobbying for the environmental stability of the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park in northern New York. With its goal to “ensure the ecological integrity and wild character” of the region, its representatives track legislation at the state capitol in Albany. Council Spokesman John Sheehan tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley there are a number of issues the group is working on. In the first part of our conversation with Sheehan, he notes it’s a long list for the legislature to address before the session ends next month.

High Lake Champlain water levels at Ausable Point State Park, May 2019
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Meteorologists say Lake Champlain has been above flood stage for more than three weeks and the lake isn't expected to drop below flood stage for another week or so.

Streetscape and riverfront renderings
Saratoga Associates

In 2016, the city of Plattsburgh was among the first communities in New York to receive a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. While there has been considerable debate over plans for the Durkee Street Parking lot, a 3.4-acre site at the center of the redevelopment area, other areas will be refurbished.  On Monday evening, developers presented an overview of streetscape and riverfront access plans.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Ever since the New York legislature adopted the new state budget without including a marijuana legalization provision, the prospects for legal pot in the Empire State have been uncertain.  There is word that legalization legislation is still being discussed in conference, but with the session ending in little more than a month, it’s unclear if lawmakers will act this year. On Thursday, 115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh. The Democrat tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley while there’s talk about marijuana, the rank-and-file haven’t really delved into the issue since the budget deliberations.

90 meter ramp at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex
ORDA/Whiteface Lake Placid

The Olympic Regional Development Authority is beginning renovation of several of its Olympic sites after a $70 million appropriation for capital improvements was approved in the new New York state budget.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones announces funding for North Country Veterans Association
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was at the North Country Veterans Association in the Town of Plattsburgh Thursday afternoon to announce that state funding had been secured in the new budget for its expansion project.

Becky Kasper in a December 2016 photo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A former Plattsburgh City Councilor has died unexpectedly. Democrat Becky Kasper is perhaps best known for her blunt criticism of the city’s current mayor when she resigned her seat last year.

Invasive steward sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A New York law that prohibits watercraft from launching into waters without taking precautions to prevent the spread of invasive species is set to expire at the end of the month. Adirondack advocates are urging the state legislature to renew and expand the provision.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read outlines an Energy and Resiliency plan
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh leaders recently announced an Energy and Resiliency plan aimed at reducing the city’s carbon footprint and power costs. The announcement came on the same day councilors adopted the New York state Climate Smart Communities pledge.

City residents protest Durkee Street redevelopment plans
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In July 2016, the city of Plattsburgh was one of the first cities in New York state to receive a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative – or DRI – grant.  Much of the development funds target the Durkee Street Parking lot. But controversy surrounds the city’s decision to award a contract to a private developer that will result in the loss of the city’s primary parking lot.  Opponents of the plan protested in front of City Hall Thursday evening.

Jim Levulis, WAMC News

An important access point for hikers in New York’s Adirondack Mountains will be closed after this weekend.

The Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Yankees have stopped playing Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” following renewed attention on other songs the 20th century titan recorded that contain racist lyrics.  Smith is buried in Lake Placid and that community is stunned to hear the allegations.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The U.S. International Trade Commission has released its analysis of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement now known as the USMCA or the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The North Country Chamber of Commerce is calling it a critical move toward Congressional approval and restoring certainty and predictability in cross border trade.

Village of Tupper Lake municipal offices
Village of Tupper Lake

Researchers from Clarkson University will conduct a study to determine whether two Adirondack villages can lower electricity costs by using a form of battery energy storage.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Plattsburgh Common Council is considering join hundreds of New York communities that have signed the state’s Climate Smart Communities pledge. The Plattsburgh Sustainability Committee plans to hold an Earth Day program at city hall on Monday evening to urge councilors to sign the climate smart pledge.

Mirror Lake in Lake Placid
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The latest report assessing the health of Mirror Lake in the Adirondacks finds it continues to be negatively affected by road salt.

Tedra Cobb
Tedra Cobb for NY21

In 2018, Democrats in New York’s 21st Congressional District fielded up to 10 candidates. Former St. Lawrence County legislator and Canton resident Tedra Cobb won the primary and challenged incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik. But Stefanik easily survived the “blue wave” election as Cobb lost by 14 points. In her concession speech, Cobb promised she would run again.  On Monday, Cobb made it official. Cobb, whose rhetoric echoes the last campaign, tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the issues haven’t changed.

Tedra Cobb
Tedra Cobb for NY21

The Democrat who lost the 2018 election to Republican Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st Congressional district is looking for a rematch.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Plattsburgh Common Council was scheduled to vote Thursday evening on a proposal to reestablish a compensation policy for certain managers in the city.  But the measure was tabled.

The Webb Island Footbridge was closed in 2017
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh City School District has decided to move forward on its own to repair a footbridge over the Saranac River without collaborating with the city.  The move follows months of escalating tensions between the entities.

Generic file photo of ATV riders
Pixabay/Public Domain

The Adirondack Council issued a report this week outlining the damage occurring from inappropriate ATV use on public lands.  It calls for new legislation, including a statutory ban, on recreational ATV use in the Adirondack Park.

A Plattsburgh, New York attorney has been found dead after failing to appear at his own arraignment.

An outer wall at Clinton Correctional, one of the largest prisons in New York state
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The New York state budget passed first thing Monday includes a proposal to close two or three prison facilities. The idea is not sitting well in the North Country, which has seen facilities shuttered in the past.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

North Country New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was appointed to the General Government and Local Assistance Joint Budget Subcommittee during this year’s budget negotiations. His goal was to not allow local communities to get “lost in the shuffle” as money issues were hashed out.  After final passage of the budget bill, Speaker Carl Heastie noted that he had to “hold his nose” about some of the provisions.  Fellow Democrat Billy Jones tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he agrees with the Assembly leader about the $175.5 billion plan.

Delegate General of Quebec in New York Catherine Loubier speaks at an event in Plattsburgh NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Delegate General of Quebec in New York represents the provincial government in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. Last October, a new provincial government was elected and in February the Quebec Premier appointed Catherine Loubier to the position.  She has a business and political background including working as an advisor to former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Most recently she led the transition team for the new Quebec premier. During a visit to Plattsburgh, she told WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley she accepted the position because Quebec has always been at the heart of her career.

Delegate General of Quebec in New York the Honorable Catherine Loubier speaks to members of the North Country Chamber of Commerce
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During Quebec’s elections in October, the center-right CAQ party won a majority and François Legault became the province’s new premier.  In February, he appointed a new provincial representative to our region.  The Delegate General of Quebec in New York was at the North Country Chamber of Commerce Quebec-New York Leadership Rendezvous breakfast today.

Kenza Bennis (left) and Karl Moore
Pat Bradley/WAMC

This is the eleventh year McGill University students have traveled to global economic centers and emerging markets.  Earlier this year, the students, alumni and professors traveled to Japan and Thailand to study business trends in the Far East.

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