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Newspaper runs second, different account of Philmont public hearing

Mar 29, 2023 12:11 pm

Raymond Pignone in Columbia-Greene Media rewrites the newspaper's story about the March 20 public hearing on The Woods, the Clover Reach Partners’ housing project. The first story the paper ran about the public hearing had the headline "Bald eagles to be protected under proposal," even though the story purported to be about a public hearing, where a majority of residents opposed the projects, and evidence was introduced about the project's danger to bald eagles. The new story begins quite differently: "A majority of residents at a March 20 hearing on The Woods, the Clover Reach Partners’ housing project, want the planning board to tell the developer to go back to the drawing board, obtain an independent environmental review, answer residents’ questions, show evidence supporting the proposal and do more to protect wildlife habitats." The project would build 16 expensive single-family homes on 22 acres along Summit Lake in Philmont. Many speakers at the meeting questioned why the planning board failed to do a full environmental review for such a large project. Local poet Karen Schoemer said, “This is out of Henry David Thoreau. When we clear land, deforestation will change the habitat and the ecology. I’ve had 10 sightings of juvenile bald eagles, so I know they are there. These birds are entrenched and it’s against the law to disturb them. It’s hard to understand why the planning board did not go for a full review. We have to hold the planning board up to the standards of law and subject this project to a full environmental review.” The new story did not refer to the first story, or explain why the newspaper now ran a different account. Read more about this story in HudsonValley360.com.