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What makes Utica So Special?

Dear Editor:
I believe I have a unique perspective on the quality of life in Utica. Three years ago, I escaped from 40 years of living in Boulder, Colorado. Arriving in Utica, and experiencing Utica, I have found it to be such a major relief from life in Boulder. It has recently occurred to me that long-time Uticans probably just take for granted all the aspects that make life in Utica so pleasant, unique and wonderful. These aspects are so fragile and can be so easily destroyed – PLEASE be careful with this major issue of the location of the new hospital.
•driving is so low-key and pleasant
•generosity, concern for quality of life
•warm and welcoming interactions amongst people
•businesses, even the locally big ones, project a friendly image and are APPROACHABLE
•Business-association recognition of and awards for business people community donations — monetary but especially of time and effort
•the five-second VALUES.COM tv ads, Foundation for a Better Life. I have never seen such ads / sentiments anywhere else in this country (or Europe)
•The Heart Run-Walk
•Ride for Missing Children
•A haven for so many refugees
•Community Gardens
• Hundreds of years of history

Forty years ago Boulder was a pleasant, reasonable sized mountaineering Mecca. Then California computer companies started moving in many transient non-caring non-mountain people. Boulder is now NASTY and cut-throat, driving plus many other civic attitudes and behaviors. The three-story building-height limitation passed by voter approval in 1970 for preservation of mountain views for everyone was recently (2-3 years) overturned by a vote within a 9-person group, the City Council. Five-story chain hotels and office buildings are now being built in front of all of the decades of construction by law-abiding reasonable people.

Things like that are starting to happen here with the abuse of power. Utica is so wonderful and pleasant and is such a relief from so many other cities full of disruptive giant buildings and digital billboard eyesores.
Why would we want to lose our specialness by turning into a carbon copy of other Mohawk Valley towns? Why would we want to be recognized for a skyline landmark of a gambling casino instead of that handsome gold dome?

Please think about how much you take for granted and all of these qualities that I find so charming and wonderful, coming from elsewhere. Please appreciate these, and don’t lose them.
Ellie-Reed Lewis
Alder Creek, NY


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