From the Editor, April 2022

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 17, Issue 4, April 2022

April is always a welcomed month and this year with the ice gone, and some mild temperatures some of us are heading back to the River - we are, so you have one happy editor!

Late February, 2023 photograph of Clayton's waterfront by David Patterson. We suggest if you want to see this again, then next December 2023 will be soon enough!

Sad News

The Canadian sector of the River lost some special champions recently.  

John Taylor died in this month in Gananoque, ON. John helped preserve history in the region, volunteering for many organizations. John was a TI Life author, writing "Imagine the Thousand Islands without Shoal markers,"in April 2013. Thanks to John's article, we have the history of the Thousand Islands Association on paper! His wife Jane was our first "real editor" for several years and his granddaughter, Kate Modler, also provided interesting articles. Most of all, John was a good friend. We will certainly miss him.

Dave Beatty, known as "Island Dave", sadly died in Mexico this month. News reports say, "after fighting for his life after being found unconscious on the side of the road in Mexico." He may have been a hit-and-run victim. He was well known in the Islands as he worked for the City of Brockville as the fee collector for the Brockville Islands. According to the news articles, he traveled around the world in winter months "teaching English to young children in Ecuador and helping set up an orphanage in India." His friends created a Go Fund Me campaign to cover his medical and burial expenses. Certainly many mariners who docked on the Brockville Islands will remember this gentleman well.

Yes, John Taylor and the Taylor family, as well as many who work on the River, such as Island Dave, make up our River community and they are each special River champions.

Nap time! A male Hooded Merganser rests after migrating to our bay next to a Canada Goose. Hundreds of these little merganser ducks have flocked here in time for spring. So nice to see the River coming to life again by Kim Lunman Grout.

Addition to the March Issue of TI Life and Good News

On March 31, we sent out a new email notification with another article for the March issue.  Save the River brought us up-to-date on the US Customs and Border Protection proposed expansion in Fishers Landing at Blind Bay.  (See:

On Wednesday, April 13th, we received the press release from the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) stating they have reached an agreement with Blind Bay Associates LLC to acquire the 295 feet of undeveloped waterfront and adjacent 20 plus acres of upland in Blind Bay. (See Press Release (link) to learn more.

After we published Save the River's update, several friends of the River wrote to thank us for the news. Here are just two:

Sue Proskey March wrote: Thank you for bringing this to our attention, I have written and will continue to fight.

Richard & Margaret Monks from Lyndhurst Ontario wrote:  We are writing to state our opposition to the application to build the US Customs and Border Protection Facility in the Blind Bay area at Fishers Landing, Town of Orleans, NY. We understand you have received information from various sources enumerating the many reasons why this project would have serious environmental consequences for the native fish species , thus diminishing what little biodiversity we have left. This is not the direction we should be going. It is not the kind of legacy we should be leaving. In addition, we understand there are alternatives for citing the Facility which would have less environmental impact. As Canadians we appreciate that it is your country’s decision to make. Please accept our voiced opinion as desire to protect shared assets which will soon disappear if we continue ignore the consequences of our actions.

See the long list of other individuals and organizations who voiced their opinion against this project:

Save The River Letter of Opposition 3-7-2022, ● Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) Letter of Opposition 2-28-2022, ● Watertown Daily Times Editorial - Letter of Opposition 3-1-2022, ● Town of Orleans Resolution 3-2-2022, ● Jefferson County Legislator Philip Reed Letter of Opposition 3-2-2022, ● Thousand Islands Park Letter of Opposition 3-3-2022, ● NYSDEC Letter of Concern 3-8-2022, ● Senator Ritchie Letter of Opposition 3-9-2022, ● Assemblyman Walczyk Letter of Opposition 3-9-2022, ● Thousand Islands Association Letter of Opposition 3-22-2022, ● Senator Schumer Letter of Opposition 3-22-2022, ● Watertown Daily Times Editorial - Letter of Opposition 3-27-2022.

Press Coverage

Customs and Border Protection considering new station in Blind Bay; locals united against plans - Watertown Daily Times 2-25-2022, ● Opposition rises to new Border Patrol - WWNYTV Channel 7 2-25-2022Public invited to submit comments on proposed Border Patrol station at Fishers Landing - Watertown Daily Times 2-25-2022. ● Fishers Landing residents voice opposition to proposed Border Patrol station - Watertown Daily Times 2-27-2022. ● St. Lawrence River community rejects proposed Customs and Border Protection facility - ABC 50 - 3-1-2022, ● Opposition grows for Blind Bay Customs and Border Protection facility - ABC 50 - 3-7-2022, ● Letter to the Editor by Lauren Eggleston - Thousand Islands Sun - 3-9-2022, ● Letter to the Editor by Janet Burrows - Thousand Islands Sun - 3-9-2022, ● Letter to the Editor by Jeff Garnsey - Thousand Islands Sun - 3-9-2022, ● Opposition to Blind Bay CBP Facility reaches Governor Hochul’s desk 3-16-2022, ● Proposed new border station near Wellesley Island faces opposition - NCPR - 3-18-2022, ● Opposition mounts against CBP station on Blind Bay - WWNYTV Channel 7 3-18-2022.

Four new authors in April 2022. Alan Goldstein, retired Navy man who created the first websites for the US Navy; Julie Garnsey, Executive Director, Clayton Opera House; Shannon Walter from Thousand Islands Land Trust; and Glenn Sandiford, author and educator who spent winter 2022 of an island. We have 15 articles this issue. Please leave comments on articles or send them to me to post (there is a little glitch using some web browsers.)

By Susan W. Smith, Editor,

And the TI Life Team:

Elspeth Naismith, "Real Editor"; Georgia Barker, Dane Zabriski, and Rick Taylor are our proofreaders. Jennifer Caddick has taken over our Social media; Beth Lavos is posting books; John Swift is posting Events; Marie-Anne Erki is our illustrator; and last but not least is Mike Cox, our IT Magician. Once again, thanks  to all!
And just after the ice when out, on March 28th Ted Mowers captured this lovely view saying, "11⁰F at 7:30am Making ice, again." (Now tell us it is over, eh!)

Posted in: Volume 17, Issue 4, April 2022, From the editor

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