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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
I keep sending letters to my Senator, Pat Toomey, (member, subcommittee on transportation) to take an interest in this. I am getting some interest from one of his staff members. Sounds corny and sometimes feels like your pi**ing in the ocean, but hey, you never know. If enough folks take 5 minutes to fill out the online email link, perhaps this BS will get some attention:

http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact

It seems the government owned lines/ROW's are the most vulnerable, although NS is being hammered by two groups that I know of in NJ and NC for lines it wants to hang on to.

Those economic development authorities that snapped up the lines spun off by Conrail in the 80's and 90's had vision. Here in Westmoreland County, PA, they saved four branch lines from Greensburg to south of Uniontown. Shortline Southwest Pennsylvania drummed up business and hung in there and now Marcellus Shale business is booming on these lines, creating real jobs and measurable economic expansion. Along the old PRR line from Greensburg to Youngwood we also have rail-with-trail; The 5-Star Trail.

The Turtle Creek Industrial from Trafford to Export did not fare so well. Storm damage in 2009 shut it down, and A.C.E. would not let them rebuild. A greenway group now has an agreement to purchase it, and they seem just as militant.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
The two latest items from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

I don't object too much to this fellow; he's just saying he wants a trail to walk on.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... l?nav=5256

This one, well, my mother taught me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything. I'll just let you have your own opinion.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... l?nav=5256


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:57 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
It might be time for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise to start censoring these articles based on their source. Even if it's for both sides. This second article is a good example of something that probably shouldn't have been printed based on the source. Everybody knows Dick Bemish wants the railroad gone (even though he signed the moveon.org petition to restore it). We don't need to keep hearing about it. Just because he says it's a winning idea doesn't make it true.

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Matt Giardino
ALCO Historical & Technical Society


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:27 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
The latest commentary by an ARTA director, Hope Frenette, in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... urism.html

In order to read more than the first paragraph you now need to be a subscriber to the ADE; $49.50 will buy you 3 months worth.

To summarize, Ms. Frenette, of the ARTA Snow faction, is advocating removal of the railroad plant to stimulate snowmobiling to give the regional economy a boost. She states the average snowmobiler rides 22 times per season and spends big bucks on each outing in each town.

Using her numbers, since 32% of state sled registrations are located in the counties of the AP, that is roughly 48,000 riders, times 22 days, or 1,056,000 trips; creating 1.056 billion times the pollution of an average car driven 100,000 miles. Actually double that if they turn around and come home.

So much for global warming prevention from this group; I would expect more from Adirondack residents.

Jim Falcsik


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:42 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
J3a-614 wrote:
This one, well, my mother taught me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything. I'll just let you have your own opinion.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... l?nav=5256


Mr. Beamish has some explaining to do; he writes:

"More than 100,000 overnight visitors are drawn to the Virginia Creeper Trail each year. Most are bicycle riders."

Consider the following information found in the VCT study of 2004, Page 9:

http://www.vacreepertrail.org/sites/def ... 202004.pdf

Primary Purpose Day User = 95,145 Person Trips

Primary Purpose Overnight User = 5,725 Person Trips

"Day users make up around 85 percent of all visits, with primary purpose day users accounting for 77 percent of total annual visitation."

"Overnight visitors to the area comprise about 27 percent of the nonlocal visits and about 15 percent of all visits."

"Non-local overnight users make up about 9 percent of all trips, while primary purpose overnight visitors account for only about 4 percent of person trips. The latter being a pivotal group in determining the economic impact that the VCT has on the areas economy."

Only 4 percent of visitors to the VCT were overnight stays, and yet Dick Beamish spins this in the ADE that ALL visitors to the trail were overnight stays. Beamish is a professional writer and communications expert; I can hardly believe he forgot to do his homework on this.

I have inquired about this grossly false statement with Peter Crowley, Managing Editor of the ADE.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:32 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Can you let us know what Mr. Crowley will say about this?

Alternately, maybe you could make a letter out of this inquiry and have it published?

Me, I'm steamed at Beamish for continuing to spout the nonsense about how the rail salvage value will pay for the trail, especially after what I had on the subject a while back, complete with cited sources and all.

Then there's the snow faction talking up their economic contribution. What they don't mention is that snowmobile registrations have declined by a third since 2002 or so, that there has been a decline of 16% from the 2010-2011 season that's been cited as the source of the snowmobile community's economic impact of $864 million per year in New York. Heck, registrations still declined by 0.6% in the 2013-2014 season; that's small enough to be considered no change, but it's notable in that it occurred in a season with decent snow levels, something that hasn't been seen in a while.

I don't think I would want to peg my economic future on something declining that much over that long a period of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:21 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Keeping an eye on the opposition:

On "The ARTA" Facebook page, Hope Frenette has this comment about a post she has shared from the ISC (International Snowmobile Conference). Her comment was, "Check out the number of snowmobiles sold this winter. Up significantly from the last couple of years."

She is undoubtedly referring to this shot in an album of photos:

https://www.facebook.com/Isc2015/photos ... =3&theater

My first thought was, "Sales did go up, but where? New York's registrations declined by 0.6% (small enough to essentially be no change). Did sales go up in New York? The registration figure would not seem to suggest that."

Then, even more astounding, was to look at the levels of sales in 1996--over 168,000 units, vs. a "significantly" higher 54,000 in 2014! We're looking at a sales level only 32% of what it was 18 years ago! Current sales are just about 50% of what they were 10 years ago!

This still does not look like an industry in an expansionary phase. Frankly, looking at those sales and at the registration information, I think the snowmobile business is saturated, and has been for some time, indeed long before the current recession.

Here's something more:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 706&type=1

The ARTA likes to denigrate us as a bunch of old guys with blue hair, or at least they have in the past. Take a look at the people at this convention. Most don't look like spring chickens to me! Bunch of older guys, bunch of white hair, bunch of guts, too. Give'em more hair and beards, they would look like the biker crowd. (Some seem to like beer pretty good, too.)

Hmm, an older crowd, declining sales--what is going on in the snowmobile biz? I wouldn't have thought the generational issue that's been turning up in the cars vs. trains/transit situation would be a factor in the snowmobile business--but maybe, maybe, there is something?

Any statisticians or marketing people here to make a comment that might make sense?


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:49 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:26 am
Posts: 32
The Virginia Creeper Trail has a very special grade profile. From an outfitters website:

" How far is the ride from Whitetop to Damascus?
17 miles, almost all downhill. You'll have to pedal the last 3 miles as it flattens out a bit."

This profile attracts lots of people who would never ride a bike path with a different profile. I have ridden it several times. Riders include families with small children and seniors all riding down hill. One only a very few people are seen riding uphill.

So unless the Adirondack RR has a similar grade profile someone using the Virginia Creeper numbers to promote a trail on the Adirondack RR ROW has either failed to do the most basic of research or is being purposely deceptive.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:24 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Hate to admit it, but from the photos on-line, the snowmobile crowd looks a lot like the turnout at a railroad club meeting in recent years, and that is not a good thing either.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:47 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
Paul-NC wrote:
So unless the Adirondack RR has a similar grade profile someone using the Virginia Creeper numbers to promote a trail on the Adirondack RR ROW has either failed to do the most basic of research or is being purposely deceptive.


The overall number of users is not the critical number for promoting the trail. It is the number of overnight stays from non-local users that is the most important statistic for any trail. This metric is what results in economic impact for the trail region; the measure of NEW money a rail-trail will bring to an area. Local users spend money locally; no impact to the region, only redistribution of discretionary money.

Purposely deceptive? Being very specific, this is the third Beamish article as a spokesman for ARTA in this context using the VA Creeper Trail and the Pine Creek Trail in PA where he claims 100,000 overnights and 150,000 overnights respectively. Published data by each trail group reports approximately 5,700 overnights and 32,000 overnights respectively. By the way, the sampling of the Pine Creek Trail was very small in order to create these estimates.

I have found (so far) Beamish wrote these numbers in three articles and two different newspapers. And ARTA also stated in the text of the economic impact study (they paid for) that they do not count local users, yet if you actually do the math on the chart they provide as an illustration they absolutely add in local dollars, up to 61%, for trail revenues.

There will always be supporters on both sides of this topic that will follow their cause regardless of any truth. The region support is split right down the middle and I suspect this is why the political folks who need to pull the trigger on this have not. But the folks in the middle, who own a struggling B&B and need economic development to survive, are being terribly misled by this group, and the RTC is assisting in this. This middle group in the key in this debate. They need to hear the truth, not what Dick Beamish is saying.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
I found two more editorial letters by Dick Beamish where he claims 150,000 "overnight visitors" to the Pine Creek Trail and 100,000 "overnight visitors" to the Virginia Creeper Trail:

January 22, 2013; Time Union:
http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/artic ... 215543.php

January 29, 2013; Adirondack Daily Enterprise:
http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/pa ... unity.html

Now these are really both the same article as published recently (June 13) in the ADE. Beamish likes to repeat the same theme over and over. The 150K value for the Pine Creek Trail is exaggerated from 32K yearly ovenight stays, estimated by the RTC in 2006 from 1049 actual user surveys.

Interestingly, Mr. Beamish was published again yesterday (Saturday, June 21) in the Times Union:
http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/artic ... 569802.php

This is most of the same text as the ADE guest commentary of June 13 with one glaring exception: he omitted the word "overnight" from the 100,000 visitor claim. I suppose he has received the message this is being looked at.

Even this modified statement by Beamish is misleading because all the 100,870 visitors to the VCT were not "non-local, primary purpose users. Again, local users do not contribute to the regions economy and should not be counted in an economic impact study.

The most important metric in determining the economic impact to a region, to sell the rail-trail idea to the NYDOT , NYDEC, and all the local stakeholders, is being grossly misrepresented by Dick Beamish and the ARTA.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I've had this up before, but it bears repeating. . .take a look at where the snowmobile sales have been going for the last 18 years.

https://scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hph ... e=541C368A

Jeez, how do the snowmobile people get away with saying they have this huge economic impact? Heck, it's likely dropped at least 16% just since the 2010-2011 season cited by McCulley as "proof" of the worthiness catering to the snowmobile crowd.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
A significant development:

Dick Beamish has admitted to the ADE Managing Editor the 100,000 overnight visitor reference to the Virginia Creeper Trial was "erroneous". The following correction has appeared in the online version:

"(Editor's note: This sentence has been corrected. It previously said "100,000 overnight visitors," but the large majority are day users, according to a 2004 study.)

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... l?nav=5041

Peter Crowley reports he will run a correction in the print edition tomorrow.

I detected a change in the attitude of the ARTA operatives earlier this morning as they have called for increased letter writing to elected officials. They are a day late and a dollar short. DEC, DOT and all the way to the Governors Office was briefed with documentation of this horrible deception played on the citizens of the Adirondacks over the weekend. This is systemic. More scrutiny will follow.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
jefalcsik wrote:
I detected a change in the attitude of the ARTA operatives earlier this morning as they have called for increased letter writing to elected officials. They are a day late and a dollar short. DEC, DOT and all the way to the Governors Office was briefed with documentation of this horrible deception played on the citizens of the Adirondacks over the weekend. This is systemic. More scrutiny will follow.

Jim


All interesting if it really is significant, though I doubt the fight is going to get any easier (if anything it's going to get harder and dirtier).

And where is the change in attitude? It's not on either of the Facebook pages. Not saying your being overoptimistic, just wondering where this new call is visible.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
Dick Beamish and ARTA just lost their integrity. Dick was acting as a spokesman for ARTA when exaggerating the economic metric in his example more than 1700 percent! He did not tell the whole story about the Pine Creek Trail sample of only 1047 completed self-surveys that were "extrapolated" to provide the 26.1% estimated overnight value of 32,625; after he wrote they had 150,000 yearly overnight visitors; on a trail that only has an estimated yearly TOTAL of 125,000 visits! Really? He admitted the values were erroneous. Yeah, that is significant. Would you accept any of their economic projections now?

If it were not so sad this guy betrayed all the petition signers, the businesses that supported the trail, and all the other souls looking for an economic break in the Adirondacks, it would be laughable. They made fools of the DOT and DEC; we'll see where that goes. Nevertheless, it is better they know the truth; economic prosperity will not come from this trail plan.

No, it is not optimistic, although my personal determination to be a friend to the ASR is equal to ARTA's antagonistic position. Hooray for the truth for a change. The attitude I am referring to is subtle; one post. Their side did not have a good day today. You are correct in assuming it is not over-by a long shot- and it may get tougher; the loss of integrity is a tough pill to swallow. They are not going to roll over, but neither is the ASR.

You probably also know ARTA creeps on this forum for information; to gauge our discussion. I have seen information here repeated word-for-word or referenced on their FB that could have only come from here. They react to what is said here as much as is posted on their pages. In much the same manner as you "keep an eye on the opposition". So Smile. Not that anything said here matters.

I noticed the "view count" of this topic has gone up significantly the past few days. Hopefully a few folks will take a moment and send ASR-supportive letters to the NYDOT, NY Sen. Betty Little, etc. It's all going to come down to counting votes.

Jim


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