May 20, 2009: Strong words from project foes

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To The Editor:
I am writing in response to Julie McQuain’s letter last week. I know my letter is likely to generate the usual letters of protest from those who oppose the expansion of Belleayre Mountain and are so blinded by their own anger at any threat to their exclusive use of our wonderful outdoor resource that they are willing to sacrifice the well-being of the entire region to prove their point. They will stop at nothing and the constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, deceits and recycled and debunked “facts” keep pouring forth.
I just can’t stand this self centered, self righteous, not in my backyard, nonsense anymore.
Julie McQuain’s letter personifies the position of the Catskill Heritage Alliance and its organization. Acting in an unholy alliance with the truly mega-developed ski centers in Greene County, they want to destroy Belleayre and sacrifice the surrounding communities. The Daily Freeman, in an excellent editorial, called them “Political Vultures.” They cloak themselves with a mantle of being an “environmental organization,” however the well respected national and local environmental organizations that they invited into our community have abandoned them and support the expansion of Belleayre Mountain. They claim to want to “Save the Mountain” but their actions show they are happy to have it fail and revert to the level of skier visits of a decade or more ago and the concurrent effect on the economic climate of our community.
Are their vistas and their precious solitude more important than the economic chances of the entire region? Are they so blinded by self-centered anger they can’t see the declining school enrollments, the closure of churches, the failure of local businesses, the struggles of local trades people, the increases in local taxes? Our economy is dying and our young people reluctantly forced to move away. Make no mistake about it. The Catskills Heritage Alliance is working against the economic interest of our area. They cavalierly spurn the federal stimulus money being sought after and used elsewhere across the country to jump start local communities. Jobs don’t mean anything; they are totally unimportant, if you don’t need one. It is easy to scoff at a so-called “menial job” until you need one to help support a family.
The expansion of Belleayre Mountain is not a cure-all but it is a start, and a good one, toward revitalizing the tourism industry we started to lose a generation or two ago. The Save the Mountain gang is completely bankrupt when it comes to positive new ideas to give our community a chance at economic stability and prosperity.
Save the Mountain is an outrageous oxymoron and people like Ms. McQuain, John Kearney, her husband, and Richard Schaedle are destroying our community and using the false mantle of community action to mask a thoroughly selfish Nimbyism, run amok.
These are strong works but true and it’s time we all spoke up and reclaimed our communities and our chance for the future.

Rosina M. Montana,
Roxbury