Niagara Gazette

Opinion

October 22, 2013

CONFER: A look at state propositions 4, 5

Niagara Gazette — Of the six statewide propositions on November ballots, items 4 and 5 will likely see the least amount of attention and care from voters on this side of the state since they are focused on issues in the Adirondacks. Some Western New York voters won’t make a selection at all on those items, while others might randomly choose yea or nay.

That’s a poor, even selfish, approach to fulfilling our obligations as citizens, especially since we are empowered to make decisions that, while not affecting us personally, can affect people, economies and environments elsewhere.

So, to help you to make informed choices, here’s a quick analysis of those propositions.

Proposition 4 settles a longstanding land dispute between the state and residents, businesses and local governments in Long Lake and Raquette Lake. The disagreement over ownership of 216 parcels dates back to the 1800s when the state took – or attempted to take – ownership of lands from property owners who were allegedly delinquent in taxes but likely weren’t due to shoddy recordkeeping on behalf of the government.

Despite numerous lengthy and costly court cases through the years — some won by the state, others won by individuals — definitive answers regarding ownership haven’t yet been determined.

This proposal would finally bring closure by giving the property owners, most along the shoreline of Raquette Lake, clear title to their lands. In exchange for the benefits of full ownership, they would pay the state a fee equal to a portion of their assessed value. The state would then use the funds to buy more than 200 acres of wild, forested land between Raquette Lake and the Eckford chain of lakes, add that land to the Adirondack Forest Preserve and protect it from development and forestry, ensuring public and environmental benefit.

Proposition 4 is a win-win for all involved. The landholders can finally rest assured that their property is truly theirs (something that their predecessors didn’t have the ability to) while we (the state) gain a critical piece of forest that serves us greater benefit than ownership of those homes and cabins ever would have.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page