Fighting words at Belleayre

Rally to Save Belleayre Mountain from Fred Margulies on Vimeo.

Chanting "We are Belleayre, We are Belleayre," 150 people gathered before a podium at Belleayre Mountain on Friday to protest layoffs at the state-run ski resort ordered by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Forty-eight full-time employees of the ski resort are losing their jobs, only to be hired back as low-paid seasonal workers. The layoffs are a heavy blow to the economically-depressed communities that surround the ski resort.

The rally, which was originally scheduled for Monday but was then postponed because of snow, managed to make quite a splash. The Daily Freeman, the Times Herald-Record, and YNN covered it, and the speaker line-up featured heavy hitters such as U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey and the town supervisors of Middletown in Delaware County and Shandaken in Ulster County, both of which border the ski resort.

The rhetoric was heated, and much of it was directed at brand-new New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Videographer Fred Margulies captured the essence of the protest with a short film of the event which is posted above.

An online petition calling for Cuomo to undo the layoffs had 3,672 signatures today.