The Way Things Were
By Anne Weaver

ABOUT THE WEEK OF APRIL 24, 1964, boating deaths in New York state during 1963 dropped 11 percent below the previous year, with 66 fatalities reported compared with 74 in 1962, the Conservation Department said recently. James J. O'Brien, director of the department's Division of Motor Boats, said 423 boating mishaps, accounting for 282 personal injuries, were reported in 1963. This compares with 469 accidents and 291 injuries in 1962.

More than half of the accidents could have been avoided, O'Brien said, if boatmen had followed the three Cs of safe boating: care, courtesy and common sense. He based his statement on figures compiled by the division's enforcement unit, which showed 56 percent of the mishaps attributed to human errors rather than mechanical failure.

A total of 105 accident cases were classified under the general heading "carelessness." "Recklessness" and "negligence" ran a close second with 50 each while "speed" and "drinking" accounted for 15 addition accidents. Other miscellaneous and unidentified causes totaled 73 mishaps.

Of the 66 fatalities reported, 21 accidents (31 percent) came about as a result of mishaps involving a rowboat or canoe.

John D. Austin of Queensbury had been appointed to the editorial staff of "Tree Talks," quarterly publication of the Central New York Genealogical Society. As a result of the appointment, pre-1850 records of Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties would be published in the magazine.

A group of Adirondack Mountain hunters, incensed over the Conservation Department deer slaughter in February, were planning a protest meeting April 25, 1964 which was expected to see 400 to 500 at Poland Central School. The group had banded together under the name of White Tail Deer Association. It was formed at a meeting in the Bear Path Inn, in the Town of Ohio, attended by 200.

During the April 25 meeting Norton Bird, supervisor of the Town of Inlet, Hamilton County, and a veteran Adirondack Mountain bush pilot, would show color movies of the deer kill.

Bird said petitions bearing the names of more than 700 people in Franklin, Clinton and St. Lawrence counties had endorsed the resolution of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors condemning the killing of 53 deer on the Moose River Plains of the county by state biologists.

State Conservation Commissioner Harold G. Wilm met behind closed doors with the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors. The conference was called by Senator Walter Van Wiggeren, representative of this section.

At HAMILTON COUNTY, John E. Heffernan, supervisor of the Town of Wells and chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, had announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Hamilton County treasurer in the Primary Election. Republican committeemen in all towns of Hamilton County were now circulating petitions on behalf of Heffernan.

Heffernan thus became the first candidate of either party to announce his candidacy for the treasurer position. As far as was known, incumbent Treasurer Robert T. Osborne, Speculator, had not announced his intentions.

Heffernan, a Wells businessman, had been supervisor of the Town of Wells for the last 13 years, and was currently serving his fourth year as chairman of the Board of Supervisors. The veteran Republican politician served as chairman of the board in 1957, 1958 and 1959. He was elected as chairman for his current term in February 1964.

At the time of his election as chairman of the board Heffernan was serving as chairman of the Finance, Equalization and Assessment, Public Welfare, Highway and Publicity committees, and was a member on several other committees. During his 13 years on the board he had served as chairman and member of all important committees.

Heffernan was Hamilton County's delegate to the Adirondack Park Association. In March 1963 he was appointed by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to a full seven-year term as a member of the Board of Visitors of Marcy State Hospital.

In 1960 Gov. Rockefeller appointed Heffernan as a member of a committee to organize a suitable commemorative celebration for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Adirondack State Park. Heffernan, who attended Northwestern Oklahoma College, was a World War II veteran, serving in the Air Force from 1943 to 1946.

Heffernan was a project representative for the Wells Central School Board of Education and W. Parker Dodge Associates, overseeing the construction of the new Wells Central School, scheduled to open in September. He was elected to two terms as a member of the Wells Board of Education.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Chapter of the American Red Cross and treasurer of the Hamilton County Republican Committee. His Masonic affiliations included memberships in Fish House Lodge 298, Northville; the Ziyara Shrine Temple, Utica; and the Mohawk Valley Consistory.

He was member of the Wells American Legion Post 15654, Wells Volunteer Fire Department, Wells Improvement Group and several other service and political organizations. Married to the former Shirley Doaks of Wells, the couple had one daughter, Janet, a sophomore in Wells Central School. (Heffernan died Aug. 21, 2012 at age 92.)

State Comptroller Arthur Levitt announced the distribution of state aid for education. The aid was distributed to the school districts of the state as the state's share in support of public schools. Hamilton County Supervisory District schools received $179,131.

At LONG LAKE, Larry W. Hart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hart of Long Lake, had completed basic training March 20 at Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill. The nine-week training included naval organization, history, seamanship, ordnance and gunnery, military drill, first aid and survival.