I mentioned last week that my sentimentally favorite landmark in Binghamton was the Sidewalk of Stars. It's a unique tip of the hat to those that have given, significantly, to the fame and culture of the Southern Tier.

My first week here, I found the Walk by accident and there they were: the stars of Rod Serling and Johnny Hart. No way! They both lived here? How cool! Naturally I took pictures.

I visit from time to time these days. Well, my last visit last month was a shocker. First of all, the area is completely neglected. Not only are the garden boxes barren and desert like, but the sidewalk itself is in horrible shape. Then I noticed it.

A star was missing!  What the hell??

I was immediately angry. I ran back to the office, picked up the phone and called the Chamber of Commerce. Since they prominently mention the Sidewalk of Stars on the Tourism website, they must know something. To my shock, they didn't even know WHO was in charge of maintaining the landmark.

Ok. Well, Mayor Matthew Ryan must know, right? As it happened, he was right in our hallway. So I asked who was in charge of maintaining the walk. He didn't know! And his face went an amazing shade of pale when I told him a star was missing and who's star it was!

Now I was angry and disgusted. No one in power knows who is in charge of this much revered landmark? No wonder it looks like crap. No one is taking care of it at all.

My next call was to the Binghamton City Council President, Teri Rennia. Surely, she could get some answers? After playing phone tag, I told her of my concern of the sidewalk being neglected and that, by the way, an iconic star was missing. Silence. She too had no clue who was in charge or that a star was missing.

Further investigation uncovered a news story by WBNG from 2010 in which the City Council was contemplating moving the sidewalk to the Riverwalk. A study would have to be done. I did some digging and discovered the idea had been shelved. I could not find any information as to who is responsible for the attraction.

And I have yet to hear back from the Mayor or Council President.

Ms. Councilwoman and Mayor Ryan: Where the hell is JOHNNY HART's star?????? That's right, the star of the man who created the comic BC, donated artwork and money to this town and County and loved this area is gone. And I checked. The family does not have it.

Lee Ann Taylor
Lee Ann Taylor

I demand an investigation not only into finding Johnny Hart's star, but the neglect of the Sidewalk of Stars. Now! Why is it that the Mayor of Binghamton and the City Council President don't know anything that they should about this? Someone has to know something. Maybe you do?

My investigation has uncovered that the area is so neglected that big trucks involved in renovating a building in the Metro Center Courtyard have driven over the stars! It is a disgrace.

As I continue this journey and get answers I will share them here.



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