The turnout for the Adirondack Park Agency hearings on the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake was astounding. It confirmed my feelings about Tupper Lake people, whom I have always respected. They have a great determination, perseverance and spirit, and have shown themselves to be real survivors.
My first impression of Tupper was almost 40 years ago when I was in advertising sales for the Enterprise. It looked like a town on the verge of extinction; however, compared to today, it was bustling. I visited Muriel at Ginsberg's department store, Mary at Mary's Boutique, Fred at Futterman's Furniture and Jim at McCartney's - just some of the honest, hard-working business people I would see. Then the economy downturned to what we have today, with the balance of the economy and environment being out of proportion.
I always believed that if you have a gut feeling about something being wrong, your feelings are usually right. Well, my gut feeling is that stopping this project would be just plain and simply wrong.
Tupper Lake community members deserve to have their livelihoods protected. They are a close-knit, hard-working, honest, salt-of-the-earth people. They are not asking for much. This is not like a Levittown development of thousands of houses appearing overnight or a nuclear power plant or something of epic proportions. It's a tourism project, a clean industry. (The worst impact on the environment might be the boxes of paperwork printed over the past seven years just on this project.)
The Adirondack Club and Resort will barely replace what Tupper has lost in businesses and in population. It might not boost Tupper Lake's economy, either, but I believe it will at least sustain it.
I ask the environmental groups against approval of the ACR to realize that it would be wrong to fight this battle knowing the negative effect it will have on the people. By fighting to kill the ACR project, you will be killing their community, killing their economy, but mainly killing their hope for the future. If you feel, in all good conscience, that you can do this and it feels good in your gut, then there is a bigger problem.