Lookback: Week of Feb. 11 to Feb. 18

Press Republic-11 months before

• The only bidder for the WRGR radio station in Tupper Lake plans to provide “a voice for the people of the community” and bring back government “to a more rational set of values.” Calvin Carr, executive director of the Adirondack Solidarity Alliance, a property-rights group, could take over ownership in two months if his offer is approved by the Federal Communications Commission. He said he wants to have a community-oriented station and will “challenge every media in the Adirondacks to start reporting factually and not filtering it through a bias.”

• The planes a...e gone. Military personnel are leaving Plattsburgh Air Force Base monthly. Community leaders who once worked feverishly to keep the base open, now concentrate on its redevelopment plans. Yet, despite the painful signs of reality, rumors continue to fly in some local quarters that the Air Force will recommend later this month that the 1993 decision to close the base be reversed. Could it happen? Technically, yes. The likelihood, however, is remote, officials say. “There’s nothing that says a reversal can’t happen, but it almost never does,” Glenn Flood, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

• The City School Board has agreed to a tax break for Bombardier to set up shop in Plattsburgh, but not without some strong disapproval. Bombardier, a Montreal-based manufacturer of rail cars, is looking at a 15-acre site in Northgate Industrial Park. To woo the company, the city has offered a tax break that would free Bombardier from paying any taxes over the first seven years. There would be a 25-percent annual increase over the next four years. School Board member Fred Wachtmeister said he was concerned because of the lost revenue and because there is no proof that the company will remain in Plattsburgh, even if it develops here.

• The State Bank of Albany revealed it has purchased the Witherhill Hotel at 25-27 Margaret St. The four-story hotel will be razed. The bank will build a new bank building on the site. No purchase price or building cost estimate was given Wednesday. The 102-year-old hotel building has stood vacant for two years. Until recently, the building had been under consideration by the Plattsburgh Housing Authority as the site of a future housing colony for elderly persons. But this week, the Authority announced it had rejected consideration of the building itself because of the high cost of remodeling it.

• Fifty years ago, a young man named Carlos Recuenco, fresh from the Philippines, asked for a room at the Plattsburgh Y.M.C.A. Though the building has been torn down and put up again, “Charlie” Recuenco remains. At the Y’s annual dinner Saturday night, he was given a heart-shaped anniversary cake. Bob Anthony, general secretary, flashed a 1925 picture of Charlie and a curly-headed five-year-old sitting on the front steps of the Y. The child, Robert Arnold, grew up to be Y.M.C.A board president, and was also honored at Saturday’s banquet as retiring board president.

• The North Country Community College Board of Trustees has approved the renovation of the former Elizabethtown Community Hospital for a course extension center. Classes are expected to be offered this fall at the building named Hubbard Hall. The hospital and its grounds were donated to NCCC when the new hospital in Elizabethtown was constructed.

• Brig. Gen. George A. Decker, former 26th U.S. Infantry officer, shares the spotlight in the current Paramount News film being shown on the screen at the Strand Theatre, with Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger and Gen. MacArthur. Gen. Decker, who was stationed at Plattsburgh Barracks as an officer with the 26th Infantry for many years, is filmed with Gen. Krueger as they watch the progress of bombardments and landings of the Sixth U.S. Army on Lingayen Gulf. Mrs. Decker, wife of the general, resides at 120 Court St.

• Norman Thomas, socialist leader and four-time candidate for president, in his speech before the assembly at Plattsburgh State Teachers College, condemned the imperialism he finds implicit in Big Three declarations utterly inimical to their goal of a lasting peace. Mr. Thomas finds it ironic that a world “we had always thought” went to war to defend the integrity of Poland should now so far disregard her integrity as to permit “Russian imperialism” to dictate her face. In closing, Mr. Thomas warned that “all we care for” is involved in the establishment of peace, which must triumph if the existence of all of us is not to be threatened in a third and far more terrible world war.

• Two machine guns, one brought back from Germany by a returned soldier, have been seized in northern New York by State Police, it has been disclosed by Capt. Harold C. Mueller, commanding officer of Troop B, Malone Barracks. The second weapon, together with 750 rounds of ammunition, was seized after it was brought north by a member of the Merchant Marine who was absent without leave from his station. It is seems to be the first time on record that machine guns have been seized by police in Northern New York.

• Joseph Ouimette of Bailey Avenue appeared before the City Board of Public Works as the representative of residents of Bailey Avenue, asking that the avenue be macadamized from Oak Street to Montcalm Avenue. The matter was taken under consideration.

• The Plattsburgh Chapter of the American Red Cross in its annual roll call and funds drive was most successful, not only reaching its quota but exceeding it by one hundred dollars. Maj. Gen. John F. O’Ryan, who was chairman of the third roll call, in acknowledging the report of the Plattsburgh chapter, notes that the Atlantic Division, of which the Plattsburgh chapter is a branch, has gone from eighth place to near the first, in point of membership.

• To commemorate Lincoln’s birthday, Saranac Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, held a reception and tea yesterday at the historic Kent-Delord Hall on Cumberland Avenue. The regent, Mrs. Vert, received in the blue drawing room, assisted by the officers of the chapter. Tea was served on blue dishes in the quaint old dining room, lighted by Colonial yellow candles and graced by yellow tulips. 

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