To the editor,

I am a native Oswegonian, born and raised in the 2nd Ward and when I die I will be buried in the 2nd Ward. I love this city and all it stands for. The rebirth of downtown and everything going on is amazing to watch every day and I thank those responsible.

But along with good has to come some bad, or sad, or just plain wrong. It was very upsetting to see what has been done to the tunnel on East Seventh Street near Fort Ontario. That tunnel was historic and the gateway to historic Fort Ontario. Alderman Branshaw and Alderwoman Donahue would never had stood for this.

The loss of this tunnel is the final demise of easily navigating the fort complex. Sixty years ago, the old fort itself had a drivable  path around it and you could practically touch the stone walls from your car.  The view of Oswego harbor and Lake Ontario were second to none. That was taken away. Then the entrance on East Ninth Street was changed where you could not make a right hand turn at the Rec Center (AKA Alice Mackin School) and circle the entire sports complex. What was simple access has been chopped up.

Let me ask those responsible for its demise: if that tunnel was in the 1st Ward and at the entrance to Breitbeck Park or Wright’s Landing Marina, would you have found the funds to fix it?  Yet you found money for a bike trail and for marina improvements.

We all know that every city has a catch-all and sadly in Oswego, it’s the 2nd Ward, starting with the former Fitzsimmons boiler works finally demolished after standing vacant for several years. All that sits there now is an empty slab on beautiful lake front property, owned by the Port of Oswego Authority, which, by the way, blocked off access to Flat Rock (all of us oldies remember that).

The 2nd Ward is also the home to the east side sewage plant where, for many years when a north wind blew, the plant spewed an awful odor on the lakeshore residents.

A tad farther east are the Old Papertronics/Hammermill sites.  One stands empty and one was leveled, both on beautiful lake front property. These two sites are on Mitchell Street, home of the Department of Public Works garage. A year or two ago, Mitchell Street was repaved. Can somebody explain why the railroad tracks by the Hammermill Site and by St. Paul’s Cemetary were not fixed at this time? They have been awful for 60 years!

Does anybody know what the cities of Oswego and Niagara Falls have in common? Niagara Falls is home to the Love Canal disaster site and Oswego is home to the Superfund site across from CENTRO.  It borders on Wine Creek that runs directly into Lake Ontario. Records say the site is capped off and not leaking into Wine Creek. Believe what you want.

To those responsible for filling in this  piece of history:  SHAME ON YOU!

Thomas Fox


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