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Fireworks, music and a boycott

It has been almost a week of a geese-free Collins Park, which is in turn delaying the plan to gas the geese this summer. Freedom Park-goers enjoyed a perfect evening last Wednesday, kicking off the summer season. If it sounds like all is well in Scotia, well, not exactly.

Geese Peace spokespeople, Dave and Kat Goldschmidt and Matt and Laura Brown, released a statement saying they are launching "Skip Scotia," a plan to boycott Freedom Park's activities on Independence Day.

The statement said they had a hard time coming to the decision, but felt they had no choice because the village has failed to listen or compromise. In the statement, the group urged residents to attend the fireworks in Clifton Park as a show of support for their non-lethal methods of dealing with their goose population.

"The first I heard of the boycott was in the papers," said village trustee Armon Benny. "It's unfortunate that this group would choose to launch a boycott on the park on this day. The opening night of Freedom Park brought in thousands of people. There were people playing baseball, volleyball, enjoying the music. It was a beautiful night. It has always been our goal to make sure our residents and children have a healthy, clean park to enjoy. I am sure the Independence Day activities will bring many together to celebrate the holiday."

Benny went on to say the fireworks are not only a village event, but a regional event as well. He said people from all over the county and beyond look forward to this summer event.

According to village Parks and Recreation Director James Marks, the geese have most likely temporarily relocated somewhere along the Mohawk River.

"Wherever they are, it is molting season and they are flightless for probably about another three weeks," said Marks.

Scotia Mayor Michael McLaughlin said there have been no changes with the plan to rid of the geese, whether it is this summer or next.

Geese Peace is still patrolling the area with about 30 volunteers.

"We did an initial three-day intensive chase, spending two hours three times a day on the lake, per our professional advice. After that, all that is needed to maintain the park is two hours a day. The proof is in the grounds," said Brown

Freedom Park's Independence Day celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 30 with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.""

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