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Thacher Park fans sound off

"As a group, the Friends of Thacher Park are dismayed by the governor's decision there. He is only hurting the people of New York state, and we can't see how this is going to be good for New York state to close these parks," said Kilroy. "Parks are money makers in the end. He has made a bad decision by doing this."

McEneny said that although a permanent closure is unlikely, the current budget battle and temporary closure of the park could leave its scars on the future of the park.

"Sometimes temporary closures become permanent," he said.

McEneny alluded to former Gov. Hugh Carey's decision to temporarily cut back on the operations of the New York State Library in 1975, closing it on nights and weekends.

"It was a Mecca for downtown Albany," said McEneny.

He said although originally supposed to be temporary, the library still operates on a nine to five schedule and closes on the weekends.

"The difference is, unlike a library, where you can close the doors, you can't close the doors on the park," said McEneny, adding that cutting back on park operations will leave open the possibility of graffiti, vandalism and safety hazards.

"I'm hopeful the park will be open after the budget crisis, but I'm worried the resource will be diminished," he said.

Although Kilroy said a protest of the closing is not currently being planned by Friends of Thacher Park, Anni Murray, one of the grassroots organizers of the effort to keep the park open, said that certain groups are in the process of organizing a protest.

Murray, who spoke at the April protest outside the state Capitol, also expressed frustration with the legislators in Albany.

"It's hard to understand how locking us out makes sense. ... Now it's just sitting there, falling to ruin as the legislators twiddle their thumbs."

Murray said that a protest is being planned; however the details are still in the works. "We're definitely not done fighting for Thacher," she said.

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