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Sell naming rights to our ailing State Parks

As New York State scurries further down the fiscal rabbit hole, Gov. David Paterson has few options from which to choose as he’s decided to close up to as many as 55 New York State Parks in his ongoing effort to slay the budget dragon.

“Off with their Parks,” the Governor declared as the accounts of the state got leaner and leaner. “This man has got scandal,” yelled the Times of New York. These titillating tidbits are distractions as community after community has to face to fiscal Armageddon with school budget deficits and massive teacher and support staff layoffs. The real scandal is closing a park for the summer.

There are options that should be explored to keep these parks open and state officials should make every effort to exhaust all options before closing a swimming area, park or historic site.

Our parks could be branded like buildings at the New York State Fair with hopes that rich sponsors would soon appear. Imagine, great consumer brands gracing the entrances of our soon to be orphaned New York State parks.

Can’t you see it? The Helava Good Cheese – Chittenago Falls State Park, Wegman’s Beach, Verizon State Park, Dr. Scholls’ Foot Trail around Onondaga Lake Park. Viagara Falls anyone?

Specific recommended new names and sponsors are detailed below for facilities targeted for closure in the Central and Finger Lakes Regions:

The Helava-Good Cheese Chittenango Falls State Park aka -Chittenango Falls State Park Madison

Clark Bar Park aka Clark Reservation State Park Onondaga

Cricket State Historic Site – aka Fort Ontario State Historic Site Oswego Historic Site

T-Madison State Park (T-Moble)aka Helen McNitt State Park Madison

Preparation H – Historic Site (& Hemorrhoid Museum) – aka Herkimer Home Historic Site Herkimer

Top’s Friendly Pond aka Hunts Pond State Park Chenango

Oquaga SoBe Life WaterCreek State Park aka Oquaga Creek State Park.

“Crest – Root Canal State Park” aka Old Erie Canal State Park Onondaga

Oil of Ole’ Historic site & Spa aka- Oriskany Battlefield/Steuben SHS Oneida Historic Site

Price Chopper Falls aka Pixley Falls State Park Oneida

AXXA Shores aka Selkirk Shores State Park Oswego Public Swimming Beach

Beechwood Gum aka Beechwood State Park Wayne

Byrne Dairy Buttermilk Falls State Park aka Buttermilk Falls (Tompkins Public Swimming Area)

Seneca Savings Bank Lake State Park aka Seneca Swimming Beach

SONYMA Brook State Park aka Stony Brook State Park Steuben

In addition to the above let McDonalds, Burger King and Jreck Subs and Star Bucks, take spots in a summer food court in these facilities. The fees and taxes these enterprises generate should save these local state parks.

And at the end of the season we’ll just remove the sponsor signs and revert back to normal. If there are winter events in parks then sponsorship(s) would extend throughout the seasons.

These are bad economic times, we’re in the “Great Recession” therefore extreme measures must be taken to replenish New York State’s coffers. We could get former Syracusan Tom Cruise to have us temporarily re-name the city for his daughter’s birthday, “Happy Birthday Suri Cruise,” that’ll be $100,000″ please.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”- Lewis Carroll

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