Adk Enterprise offers blow-by-blow coverage of Big Tupper hearings

If you’re wanting to follow the twists and turns of this final round of adjudicatory hearings on the Adirondack Club and Resort project, you can’t do better than bookmarking Jessica Collier’s Big Deal @ Big Tupper Blog.

Collier is a reporter for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and she’s been chronicling the hearings in Proustian detail.  It’s detailed, accurate, and conversational.

This is, by the way, the kind of public service that only newspapers can do this well, devoting this kind of reporting time and energy to a big story.

(Collier also gets a major hat tip for putting in crazy amounts of work.  In addition to the blog, she had two articles about the resort in yesterday’s paper, along with a detailed story about Tupper Lake’s school budget.)

Here’s a schedule of the Big Tupper hearings sessions, for those who have time to attend in person.  And the APA plans to webcast today’s session on-line, which you can check out here beginning at 10am.

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18 Responses to “Adk Enterprise offers blow-by-blow coverage of Big Tupper hearings”

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  1. John Warren says:

    Brian,

    “This is, by the way, the kind of public service that only newspapers can do this well, devoting this kind of reporting time and energy to a big story.”

    That is not true. Anyone with a laptop can do what she is doing. the APA Reporter is an old-school example, the Peru Gazette is a new blogging example, and there are plenty of others.

    Today, they will be streaming the hearings live – a much better approach than their being filtered and condensed by a reporter.

    Or how about the fact that blogs like Adirondack Almanack and The Inbox are likely what pushed the ADE to take this approach?

    I don’t understand why you feel the need to make these kinds of claims.

    It’s a new media environment, we’re seeing one of the impacts here. Rather than claiming some old-media journalism mantle why not give credit where credit is due – with new media.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  2. rockydog says:

    What’s wrong John? Jealous? Jess does a fantastic job and is to be commended.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  3. Paul says:

    I give her credit for doing this. I wonder if anyone is really following that. It takes too much time to click open each comment and you have no idea what is there from the short title. I guess if you are following it ad nauseam it is a good way to do it. Also, John you don’t even need a lap top, all you need is a phone.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Jim says:

    Brian, I think the bigger story in todays ADE is the one on Foxman not paying his taxes and blaming it on adjacent landowners and Environmental groups. He is now behind on his payment plan for his previously deleinquent taxes by almost $60,000. and he is behind on his current taxes by almost $39,000. Why anyone is trusting this so called developer with his checkered past involving his failed S & L is puzzling.

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  5. mary says:

    Well, at least he is getting taxed. Next up — Foxman asks for tax exemption because he is providing economic development.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. John Warren says:

    Rockydog,

    I agree she is doing a great job. It’s a great effort on the part of the ADE, which I have been following, but that wasn’t the point.

    The point I was trying to make was made even more clear by Paul – “all you need is a phone”.

    This is not, as Brian asserted, “the kind of public service that only newspapers can do this well.”

    I made the comment in the context of the years-long conversation on local media, newspapers, and new media that Brian and I have been having.

    You’re welcome to join that conversation if you like (thanks to the new media environment), it might be more productive than the playground taunt “Jealous”.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. Brian says:

    Hi folks –

    Obviously, I just think John is wrong. There are a half-dozen news organizations (new and old media) that really want to tell this story well, including NCPR.

    But the Enterprise is the only one with the staff, the editorial support, and the “paper of record” attitude to make it happen.

    The Enterprise also enters the fray with a legitimately neutral voice on this. Collier’s reporting has been scrupulously fair. That’s not just the product of one reporter or “a person with a phone.”

    That takes professionalism; it takes support; and it takes someone getting paid a regular salary to be a reporter, rather than an activist.

    When organizations like the Adirondack Almanack find business models that allow them to do what the Enterprise is doing, then I will gladly (happily, joyously) acknowledge the fact.

    Two other longwinded points:

    I think new media and citizen journalism is great, brilliant, wonderful. It does some things very very well. But not this. At least not yet.

    Finally, I want to note that NCPR will be talking in depth tomorrow with Michael Foxman about the fact that his company has fallen behind again on property tax payments and his views about the future of the ACR project.

    –Brian, NCPR

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  8. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    Has there been any specifics provided yet regarding the PILOT being proposed for this project? I ask because this issue was raised a few weeks back in another thread and it directly relates to the issue of Mr. Foxman and his current difficulties with paying his taxes.

    As I said in that previous thread, read the fine print in the PILOT very carefully folks. I say that as an individual directly affected by the PILOT for the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County that was quickly approved with very little input and review from the general public. The taxing jurisdictions in the Tupper Lake area don’t want to be left holding the bag if Mr. Foxman fails to uphold his end of the PILOT.

    Perhaps your report could include some details, Brian? If they aren’t “top secret” that is…..

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Jim says:

    Clapton/Warren Specifics for the ACR proposed PILOT are detailed in several documents submitted to the APA and FCIDA. Depending upon which one you look at there are lots of different figures. The original submission to the APA indicated they needed $ 54 Million, the June 2010 resubmission indicated they needed $36 Million and the latest proposal in Oct 2010 was for $42 Million. Of course we shouldn’t be concerned as Mr Foxman has a stellar fiscal history going back well into the 1980′s, just google him and see. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtin.

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  10. Thank you, Brian. As managing editor of the Enterprise, I know I can speak for our whole newsroom in saying that what you said is what drives us as professionals. It’s exactly why we’re passionate about doing this job well.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  11. tourpro says:

    It’s nice to have the coverage, but have to agree – the format has made it impossible to use.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. tourpro says:

    Oh, I forgot to say, it’s impossible to use on the website.

    It’s marginally better if you get it via the RSS feed because you get a short excerpt. Why not a full-text feed? You can put ads there too.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Jack says:

    “The Enterprise also enters the fray with a legitimately neutral voice on this. Collier’s reporting has been scrupulously fair. ” Sorry Brian, not correct!
    An ADE recent Editorial by the Publisher puts the paper squarely behind the developer, advocating approval of this real estate speculation scheme funded by our taxpayer dollars. I found the paper’s first day reporting to be factually inaccurate, having been there for the testimony. Fortunately, and with a complaint to the Editor, it was corrected in later articles. Thanks to Peter for that. I know everyone is trying to get this correct.
    But with the spectre of the Publisher supporting APA approval without first having all of the facts and considering the developer’s dirth of facts (only claims of economic vitality promised)so far porvided, journalistic accuracy is imperative to a complete public hearing on this project, but not assured.
    Realtime feed is the only substitute for being there. I wish I had the time and tech skills to either be there or know how to retrieve the web material APA is putting up. When the hearings are in Tupper Lake, no web connection means no web feed. The public loses.
    I hope Ms. Collier becomes a better listener and reporter of the facts in the future and doesn’t allow her employer’s bias to affect her duties as a journalist. It can be a daunting task to not allow our own personal bias to enter the equation. It must be even harder when your employer is right there watching every story bilined.

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  14. Cathy Moore says:

    As publisher of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, I wrote a personal perspective as a column, not an editorial. Since I and our editors are not covering the news, we allow ourselves to write a column that reflects our own personal opinion (identified with the columnist’s headshot) or collectively in an editorial as the voice of the newspaper.
    I assure you Ms. Collier is a professional journalist and my opinion does not enter the equation when she is covering a story.

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  15. Jim says:

    Cathy Moore, I must disagree, Ms Collier is a rookie journalist at best. I’ll back up Jacks comment that the reporting was innacurate in her first articles and continues to be so. In order to accurately report on these hearings you need a journalist who is or was a lawyer so you can understand what is being said. It’s a different language to your average person.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. Paul says:

    “But with the spectre of the Publisher supporting APA approval without first having all of the facts and considering the developer’s dirth of facts (only claims of economic vitality promised)so far porvided, journalistic accuracy is imperative to a complete public hearing on this project, but not assured.”

    Jack, this hearing has absolutely nothing to do with the economic aspects of this project. Stop pretending that it does. The APA is tasked with analyzing the environmental impacts of this project and nothing else. Even if the developer didn’t have two sticks to rub together as far as money for the project a permit can and should be granted IF the project meets APA guidelines. There is no one at the APA that could or should have the expertise to weigh in on the financial aspects of this or any development. Isn’t their job, never was.

    Jack and Jim, if you need a play by play with perfect accuracy go to the hearing that is why it is open to the public. To sit here and try and accuse the ADE of some kind of spin is just ridiculous.

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  17. Mike says:

    Paul, sorry to burst your bubble but hearing issues 5 & 6 deal specifically with the financial issues of the project.

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  18. Paul says:

    Mike,

    Thanks. How can we expect the APA to weigh in on something that they have no expertise in?

    So someone hoping to develop something in the Adirondacks has to have their business plan analyzed by folks that have no expertise or training in business or finance?

    They should focus on what they know – zoning and environmental impact issues.

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