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Reporter's Notebook

April 27, 2013

Bike-track foes gird for battle

Neighbors opposed to the New York Safety Track — a motorcycle training facility set to open next month in Delaware County — say they aren’t giving up without a fight.

Kitty Ballard of Harpersfield said she and others who think the facility will be much busier than what has been advertised have formed a group called Friends of Rural Life. The neighbors, she said, have been in discussions with local environmental lawyer Douglas Zamelis but have not yet formally retained him. Ballard said neighbors fear the track will be a noisy operation and create traffic headaches on local roads.

Meanwhile, the Harpersfield Town Planning Board has directed track manager Greg Lubinitsky to explain the scope of the project at a meeting to be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Harpersfield Town Hall.

Lubinitsky said he sees the meeting as an opportunity to clear the air.

“We’ll be seeing what we can and can’t do, and making everything clear,” he said. “It’s a meeting to touch base.”

The track is on a 147-acre parcel off Zimmerman Road that includes Mountain Top Airport.

•••

After we revealed this week that the pathway for the proposed Constitution Pipeline would take the project through Clapper Hollow State Forest in the Schoharie County town of Jefferson, I got a call from a man who traces his ancestry to the Clappers for whom the preserve is named.

Michael Howard, facilities manager at O’Connor Hospital in Delhi, said he is the sixth-generation grandson of Jacob Clapper, who, with his son, William Clapper, farmed the land that is now the state forest in the early 19th century.

Howard said there are both marked and unmarked cemeteries inside the forest tract. He e believes it would be inappropriate for federal and state officials to allow the pipeline to run across the state forest.

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