March 3, 2006

Dryden Town Hall preview

This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at the plans for Dryden's new Town Hall, noting that construction could start this summer and costs will be around $2.4 million. The print edition includes a drawing and a map that shows just how strangely the property is laid out. One thing bothers me about the article, the box that claims:

As the Town of Dryden readies to put plans for a new town hall out to bid, it has determined there is more than enough money in town coffers to cover the approximately $2.4 million cost.

This means the project will have no direct impact on town taxpayers.

That last line sounds good, but it's misleading for a lot of reasons. First, the money collected has already had a direct impact on town taxpayers. It didn't fall from heaven. Second, from what I understand, most of that money reflects general savings by the town, not a dedicated fund for the Town Hall. Spending that money means spending money that wasn't allocated explicitly for the Town Hall, and removes other possibilities. I'm very glad we're not looking at an immediate tax increase to pay for the building, but "no direct impact" isn't a very direct statement.

There's an article on a TC3 student preparing for "a five-week trip to West Africa to fulfill internship requirements for a TC3 degree in human services."

On the opinion page, a readers question section includes letters by Captain Lawrence Jackmin of the State Police in Freeville and Donna Ten Kate of Dryden questioning the Journal's decision to publish a photo including the body of a State Trooper killed in Horseheads by bank robbers. Dryden resident and Journal Managing Editor Bruce Estes defends his decision to publish it:

Showing Journal readers that their police and firefighters can pay with their lives for protecting our community played a big role in my decision.

As public budgets have eroded fire and police protection in all of our communities, it is important for citizens to see the potential consequences of those budgetary decisions.... Citizens are asking their protectors to do much more with less.

In the picture of Andrew Sperr killed in the line of duty, I saw the sacrifice others make for our safety. The sacrifice that Sperr, 33, made for us deserves to be remembered vividly and completely even if it makes us uncomfortable. The stakes of not having a community remember that sacrifice would dishonor a man who paid a huge price for our safety.

Finally, yesterday's snow still leaves the area with only 34.3 inches of snow, 19 inches below the average.

Posted by simon at March 3, 2006 8:34 AM in , ,
Note on photos


drydenite said:

Someone at the Ithaca Journal should be fired for using that picture! The one question they failed to ask themselves in deciding to use it - How will the family feel when they see his last moments of life? The Ithaca Journal continues to operate its small town newspaper like a major metro paper, more than likely at the direction of Gannett Corp. This weeks biggest dart goes to the morons who decided this photo was news. Better decisions were made at the Press and Sun Bulletin, Cortland Standard, and Syracuse Post-Standard who told the same story with much more compassion with another photograph.

Kristin DelNagro said:

Bruce Estes makes me sick! Our news media here in Rochester, NY, would have never run photos of Andy in their papers or on the news. I can't believe the papers published in the area in which Andy patrolled actually published them! This man was protecting many of your sorry asses on the day he was murdered! You should all be ashamed of yourselves and the NYSP should never even grant any of you an interview!