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Dutchess County Barn A Call to Turtles

Letters to Governor Pataki are needed as soon as possible to urge him to VETO legislation that would strip parkland status from 11.37 acres on the waterfront in Poughkeepsie known as the Delaval site.

Senate Bill S7657 was passed late at night, in the closing minutes of the Session in June, which would alienate the parkland in order for a commercial development similar to a strip mall to go forward.

The request for the legislation by the Poughkeepsie City Council was made in a resolution just three hours earlier with no one present from the press or the public. The resolution was then taken at high speed in a City police car in order to get to the Senate before it adjourned. The Assembly passed the bill the following day. The deal was made behind closed doors, and the Chair of the Assembly Cities Committee told me that the decision to pass the bill was made at a level way above him.

Waterfront parkland is special and should be preserved for future generations, but the Poughkeepsie City Council has little interest in preserving a true gem on the river. During its environmental review, the Draft EIS took less than 3 weeks to prepare and throughout the process, the Council denied that DeLaval is park and, therefore, there was no need to include a park alternative to the commercial development.
But now, the city turns around and asks the Legislature to take away park status for DeLaval. So, the Council now admits that the site is parkland.
In addition to its failure to provide an appropriate analysis in the original EIS, the city has failed to carry out its SEQRA responsibilities under the law to do an environmental review of its action to request alienation legislation.
Help save this parkland by urging the Governor to VETO S7657. Please write as soon as you can. Join Pete and Toshi Seeger, Environmental Advocates, Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter, Riverkeeper and many individuals by urging the Governor to veto the legislation.
Here's the address
Hon. George E. Pataki
Governor, State of New York
Executive Chambers
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

If you have any questions, send them to

Toshi and Peter Seeger
P.O Box 431
Beacon, New York 12508

July 15, 2004

Governor George Pataki
The Capitol
Albany, New York

Dear Governor:

Public parkland on the Hudson is very precious. We need to save as much as we have, and work to find more!

Every little village or town or big city along the river should have waterfront parks for all the people. Not just slivers of land for walkways, but real parks, and lots of them, where kids can run around, folks can fly kites, festivals can serve strawberry shortcake or shad, and people can simply enjoy the river.

That's why were very concerned about a plan in Poughkeepsie to use most of the DeLaval parkland site on the waterfront for acres of parking and the kind of stores and offices you can find in malls on Route 9.

We know that you, too, support a cleaner river and seize opportunities to increase public parkland.

But legislation will soon come before you that would take away the parkland designation for the Delaval property so that there can be commercial development.

We urge you to veto that legislation.

Commercial development can be put almost anywhere, but there is such a limited amount of waterfront parkland on the river that giving up any of it would be a tragedy.


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