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SUBMITTED by Jean Mackay (18-Apr-2012)

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission welcomed five new commissioners at a swearing ceremony at its meeting on April 25, 2012 at 10 am at the Crystal Ristorante in Amsterdam. The Commission meets quarterly to plan and direct activities to assist in the preservation and interpretation of the nationally-significant historical, natural, scenic, and recreational resources of the Corridor and help to foster community revitalization.

Joining the Commission is:
  • Jonathan T. Daniels, Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority, Oswego; Nominated by Congressman Bill Owens (NY-23)
  • James R. Farr, Assistant Director of Recreation, City of Rochester, Department of Recreation and Youth Services; Nominated by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28)
  • Marilyn R. Higgins, Vice President of Community Engagement & Economic Development at Syracuse University, Syracuse; Nominated by Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25)
  • Brian U. Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation; Nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo
  • Ann M. Thane, Mayor of Amsterdam; Member At Large
“Our new commissioners are critical to helping us preserve and promote the extraordinary resources and stories of the Erie Cananlway,” said Judy Schmidt-Dean, Commission Chair. “They each bring unique experiences, knowledge, and capabilities that will complement our 27- member federally appointed commission.”
The National Heritage Corridor stretches 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, following the present NYS Canal System and its historic alignments. Its federally-appointed commission and staff collaborate with communities and organizations to preserve and interpret New York’s nationally significant canal heritage, enhance heritage development and tourism, and ensure a vibrant future for the 2.7 million New Yorkers who live within the Erie Canalway.
Jonathan T. Daniels, Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority, said: “I am proud to receive the appointment to serve as a member of the Commission. As the first "superhighway" for New York and the young nation, the Erie Canal has served generations in providing unsurpassed access for industry and recreation. As a user of the system, I look forward working with my fellow Commissioners in meshing the multiple uses of this transporation wonder.”
James R. Farr, Assistant Director of Recreation, City of Rochester, Department of Recreation and Youth Services said: “The Erie Canal has always been a pleasurable part of my life, serving as a hockey rink and a swimming spot as a youth and later as a venue to walk and cycle along, enjoying its myriad of vistas and historical treasures. I’ve also been fortunate to have been involved in some small measure, in the revitalization of the waterway over the past 20 years. However, even with all the progress, the potential of the corridor as a recreational, educational and as an economic engine for our State is still largely untapped. I am greatly honored and pleased to have a chance as a Commissioner to be able help further the Canal’s transformation and development."
Marilyn Higgins, Vice President of Community Engagement & Economic Development, Syracuse University said: “I have long been fascinated with how this bold, highly criticized infrastructure project shaped upstate New York and changed the world. I am honored to try to help keep the Erie Canal's legacy vital through the Commission.”
Brian U. Stratton, NYS Canal Corporation Director said: “The story of the Erie Canal is one of the most compelling tales in American history, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor plays a pivotal role in not only telling that tale, but also promoting tourism and economic development throughout the region. On behalf of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and those entrusted today with the care, operation, and maintenance of this iconic waterway - I am both honored and pleased to officially join my colleagues on the Commission and continue the work so well begun.”
Ann Thane, Mayor of Amsterdam said: “I am very honored to be chosen for this appointment. The Erie Canal is one of this country’s most significant, technological advancements, fostering industry, travel and an exchange of ideas that had been unrivaled until the launch of the Internet. I look forward to promoting this valuable asset as the opportunities it still possesses are limitless.”
For more information: www.eriecanalway.org

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