Schumer, Gillibrand Visit Long Lake Heart of the Adirondacks

Schumer, Gillibrand visit here together
August 11, 2011
By NATHAN BROWN – Staff Writer (nbrown@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE – Both of New York’s U.S. senators will be in town Friday and will hold three events together, focused on economic issues.

The first event will be at 9 a.m. at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer are hosting a “Rural Care for Veterans Round Table” with representatives of Saranac Lake’s Veterans Administration clinic, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers, Homeward Bound Adirondacks and the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

Then they’ll shoot down to Long Lake, where, according to their schedules, they plan to hold a roundtable with local business and community leaders at 10:45 a.m. at Long Lake Central School. A press release from Gillibrand said this roundtable will “highlight sustainable economy initiatives including the Common Ground Alliance and the Adirondack Partnership and economic development efforts for the North Country and how they can assist and promote local growth.”

Then their schedule calls for them to be at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear for another economic development roundtable at 12:15 p.m. This one will focus on the airport and on the growing biotech industry in Saranac Lake.

Gillibrand also plans to visit Bombardier Transportation in Plattsburgh at 2:15 p.m. to announce her new agenda to create more advanced and high-tech manufacturing jobs, the cornerstone of which is her “Made in America” competitive grant program. She says advanced and high-tech manufacturing is growing despite heavy job losses in other manufacturing sectors in New York.

Gillibrand’s last official visit to the area was in July 2010, when she held a forum with local officials and community leaders in Lake Placid. Schumer’s was in August 2010, when he visited Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to promote legislation designed to boost tourism. They also both vacationed in Lake Placid last August.

Schumer has visited the area numerous times since his election in 1998. Gillibrand represented part of the Tri-Lakes area when she was a congresswoman for New York’s 20th District.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau, who has about 20 years of political experience here and in Plattsburgh, said he has never seen two U.S. senators in the same place at the same time. The closest he came, he said, was when Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed in the 1990s, when he was mayor of Plattsburgh. Sen. Alphonse D’Amato showed up, and Sen. Patrick Moynihan meant to but missed his flight.

Expanding the biotech industry has been a major goal for Rabideau. He recently inked a deal bringing two biotech firms from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake and would like to see the area become a hub for the biotech industry.

“I think they’re feeling the mojo,” Rabideau said of the senators. “They’re feeling the Saranac Lake mojo.”