CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION VOTE?
Hello all -
As our Director Al Martel has been reporting, ADK is seeking our opinion on whether New York State should have a Constitutional convention vote in 2017.
To see how that could play out, here's the first thing I came across while researching the topic:
Q: I recently read that a state constitutional convention vote will occur in 2017. What does this mean, and how could it impact me?
A: A constitutional convention vote could impact you, and every other New York state resident, a great deal. The New York State Constitution mandates that every 20 years voters decide whether to hold a statewide constitutional convention — basically a forum to tweak, change or radically makeover the state constitution.
Since the state constitution safeguards the fundamental rights you enjoy as a New York state citizen, including guaranteed pension benefits, the right to unionize and free public education, fiddling around with it is akin to opening Pandora's box. NYSUT is encouraging members to mobilize in 2017 to help voters understand what's on the line if a constitutional convention takes place. Voters rejected a constitutional convention in 1997 after concerned activists worked together to educate voters about the risks of opening the state constitution.
Neil Woodworth has noted "some political desire to change Article XIV, the Forever Wild clause". Indeed, the opportunity would arise to weaken that clause.
Al will be heading up to the next BoD meeting in March. He can carry our opinions up to ADK. So if you have an opinion on this matter,, please contact Al or myself before the end of February. Al's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Seifried email@example.com
CHAPTER MEETINGS are held the third Wednesday of the month, September through May, at the Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut Street, Oneonta (except where noted). Members and the public are invited to our early evening potluck supper at 6 p.m. (please bring a dish to pass, your own table service and mug or cup); programs begin at 7 p.m., followed by a short business meeting.
ADIRONDACK MOUNTAIN CLUB ANNUAL MEMBEERSHIP DUES are $50 for individuals and $60 for families (other membership levels are available, including seniors and students). Benefits of membership include:
• discounts on ADK merchandise
• discounts on ADK workshops and programs
• invitations to member only outings and extended trips
• reduced rates at ADK facilities: lodges, lean-tos, cabins, and 20% discount on ADK trail guides, canoe guides, maps, campgrounds
• books and calendars
• membership in one of ADK's 27 chapters throughout the Northeast
For more ADK information please go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 800 395 8080
A BETTER WAY TO RECEIVE “FOOT-LOOSE” If you’re reading a printed, black & white, version of Foot-Loose and have e-mail service, please contact the editor and request to be added to the e-mail recipient list. You’ll get “Foot-Loose” more quickly, see pictures in color, save the club postage, and save trees.
DIRECTOR'S REPORT – Al Martel
I represented our Chapter at the Dec. 3 ADK BOD Meeting. The following highlights summarize the meeting. As always, I keep the handouts and detailed reports should anyone wish more information.
2017 Budget highlights: Total Operating expenses are $4.3 million dollars, of which $2.6 million are payroll. Three proposals were made to fund a new yurt for educational use; a 'branding proposal' which will better get our message to the public, particularly youths; and improvements to the High Peaks Information Center. All were approved.
Treasurer’s Report: All is well with our investments and financial status, even in light of the bankruptcy of a company owing ADK significant money. APA approved of permits for the work on the Heart Lake property.
Membership and Development: The related survey to Chapters indicated that some Chapters were having difficulty recruiting new members, especially young members (!). More successful Chapters have a training session for younger members to lead hikes more attractive to their abilities. This was termed an Outings Co-chair. Most organizations typically have about 10% of their membership attending meetings. One of 400 members usually has a dozen people at meetings. It was suggested that someone from each Chapter attend more successful Chapter meetings. The Schenectady Chapter has so many young people joining that they are having difficulty finding activities for them! At the other extreme, one Chapter has so few meeting attendees that they have cancelled all but an annual meeting. Lastly, a common problem is what I call 'Musical Volunteers': the same members are the ones doing all the functions for the Chapter and just keep rotating positions, since it is difficult to get new people to agree to fulfill elected positions (President, Secretary, etc.).
Constitutional Convention: This is likely the most important info to relay to the Chapters. There is provision for amendments/challenges to the NYS Constitution on a very infrequent interval. There have been 3 challenges in the last century. Two of them would have been contrary to our (ADK's) views on conservation, and were defeated. One that passed in 1962 gave us the 'Forever Wild' protection for sensitive parts of NYS. It was proposed that ADK take the position of being opposed to a Constitutional Convention as an option, thus short stopping any potential threats to our interests. There was some spirited debate about denying the Democratic process and it was out that we benefitted from the
1962 ruling. The vote was tabled until the March 2017 BOD Meeting. It is IMPERATIVE that we discuss this as a Chapter so that I may accurately reflect your views at that meeting. PLEASE, let's not leave this undiscussed!
Old Business: I brought up my displeasure regarding the lack of incorporating a safety measure (I'd proposed a cable anchored across the stream bed at the top of Kaaterskill Falls) as part of the $750,000 improvements to the access trail leading to that feature. There had been a death due to hikers trying to cross the slick bedrock stream bed about every year or two. With the improved access, there were THREE this year, two fatal and one severely injured. Neil Woodworth said that he and I could arrange a meeting with the Regional Director for DEC's Region 4 to try for that measure. Al Martel, Director
REMINDER TO TRIP LEADERS AND HIKERS - Just a reminder to refer to the website, susqadk.org, for hike updates, changes, and cancellations. Currie Marr keeps our website up-to-date. Don't always rely on receiving an email message. Moira is not always on the computer early Tuesday morning to send you information on trip changes. Trip leaders, always remember to send all hike information to Currie at email@example.com AND to Moira at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will disseminate the information to the membership. Remember to view the website, susqadk.org. The color photos are incredibly beautiful. Happy hiking, Moira, Publications Chair
A FEW GUIDELINES/REMINDERS FOR SUSQUEHANNA CHAPTER TRIP LEADERS:
1. No more than six days prior to the outing, send information to both Moira Beach at email@example.com who will forward it to those on the e-mail list, and to Currie Marr at firstname.lastname@example.org who will put the info on the website calendar. Information should include location, approximate distance and difficulty, meeting time and/or carpooling info, as well as your name and phone number.
2. If a trip has to be cancelled, notify Moira and Currie by e-mail as soon as possible. Also, you can call Currie (432-5434), Julie (432-8642) or Linda (432-8969).
3. When the Liability Release Form has been signed by all participants, turn it in to Julie Smith or Linda Pearce. The Form can be downloaded from the Website www.susqadk.org.
4. If you should be asked about bringing a dog on the outing, our chapter’s policy is not to allow dogs. An exception would be if a leader in on their own property, and chooses to have their own dog along, and the dog does not pose a problem for the hikers in any way.
5. Following the outing, you may send a trip report to Currie (email@example.com) who will post it on the website and it will later appear in Footloose.
If you have any further questions, contact Julie Smith, 607 432-8642, firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Pearce, 607 432-8969, email@example.com .