New York State sits on enormous gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale. The oil and gas industry claims there is enough gas to create independence from foreign oil and yet we know there are efforts to market this gas internationally. This creates a new controversy that is not specific to Ulster County. We will feel the effects of it as will many towns and villages in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a technique to extract natural gas from shale deposits deep under the surface. Tons of gallons of water, sand and some 596 undisclosed chemicals are injected at great pressure to crack open the shale to release the gas.
Who makes up the pro-fracking faction? Who wants to start drilling now and not wait for more research to determine the effects of this form of drilling?
the oil and gas industry and their many associations such as American Petroleum Institute, Energy in Depth and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP);
the lobbyists who have flooded Albany and lost the fight to convince the members of the New York State Senate to vote against a nine-month moratorium;
politicians who often do whatever is best for their campaign contributors and not their constituencies;
state and local municipalities who see a possible increase in revenues;
landowners (who are financially challenged) who have signed contracts with companies to lease their mineral rights for a large initial amount and future residuals.
Who makes up the anti-fracking faction? Who wants to wait for more research to review and analyze, in-depth, the effects of deep drilling technology as used in the Gulf of Mexico?
environmentalists who understand that nature’s balance relies on bio-diversity and that nature does not fit computer models;
people who are tired of corporations and governmental agencies rushing head-on potential environmental disasters;
politicians who act in the best interest of their constituencies rather than their campaign contributors;
state and local municipalities who realize one disaster could deplete any realizations of revenue from drilling;
landowners who could be further financially challenged should their rights to clean water and a peaceful and safe environment be violated by gas exploration in their community;
federal and state agencies that have the responsibility to make sure all water resources are safe and in no way compromised. Go to www.dec.ny.gov/about/511.html to read about the Department of Environmental Conservation’s mission and issue priorities.
To finish the job we must all contact 1) Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at 212-312-1420, 2) Assemblyman and Chair of Environmental Conservation Robert Sweeney at 631-957-2087, and 3) your assemblyman, Pete Lopez, 518-943-1371. Tell them they must get Bill A.11443B on the Assembly floor for a YES vote for a moratorium. Some of the many web sites out there to inform you include: www.frackaction.com, www.earthworksaction.org and www.GaslandtheMovie.com.
In closing, it’s up to all of us impress the importance of environmental impact studies and the nine-month drilling moratorium on our state assembly meeting in Albany early this month. It will take each of us, our family, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers and everyone else to bring the “common good” back to “community.”
Ruth Molloy and Rosalyn Cherry
RUDE BEHAVIOR BY LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER
I was surprised at the behavior of the owner of a local furniture store. When I called to see if they sold mattresses he asked if I noticed the signs in the window and they had the prices in the PennySaver. His tone was very rude and demeaning to me. He offered no assistance with giving me prices and basically told me to look it up in the PennySaver. When we hung up the phone I recalled him to ask if he was the manager and he told me he was the owner. I asked him why he was so rude and he told me he was just trying to see if his advertising worked for him. I told him what makes you think that I would want to come in for any service, but before I could get the sentence out he hung up the phone. Is this what our friendly Saugerties business owners are like? My father had a business for 65 years in Syracuse, he taught me that you treat the customer like you would want to be treated. It makes people want to come back, those are good lessons to live by if you have a business.
CONSERVATIVES SHOULD CONSIDER SUPPORTING LORIGO FOR GOVERNOR
We have a Conservative primary on September 14. Absentee ballots have already been sent. There is only one contest – the governor’s race pitting Rick Lazio against Ralph Lorigo.
For those of you who support Carl Paladino, who is not on the Conservative primary ballot, let me share a conversation I had with him at the Republican reception on Thursday, August 26 at the Hillside. When I said “I might write in your name on my absentee ballot,” Paladino said. “No, vote for Ralph Lorigo.” Paladino said Lorigo is an ally.
Most of you know Lazio as a “liberal” Republican. For those of you who don’t know Ralph Lorigo – he is a lifelong Conservative and has served as the Erie County Conservative chairman since 1994. You can go to lorigoforgovernor.com where he states he is “not a stand in or straw man for anyone.” However, he also says that he likes and admires Paladino.
I think a primary vote for Lorigo gives us the best chance of getting the required 50,000 votes in the general election if Lazio loses the GOP primary. If you are in doubt – my best advice, as always, is vote for the Conservative.
Chairman, New Paltz Conservative Party
On September 14, from noon until 9 p.m., the Independence Party will hold a primary for Saugerties town justice. I am supporting the re-election of town justice Wendy Ricks because experience matters. Wendy’s experience includes work in the District Attorney’s office and the County Attorney’s office. As the largest town in Ulster County, our Town Justice Court is extremely busy with far more complex cases. In the old days of court, our judges dealt with mainly vehicular infractions and traffic tickets. Today, the court deals with these vehicular issues but also drugs, sexual assault, domestic violence, and many other serious crimes that come across the docket. Wendy’s 20-plus years of private practice, her background as a trained mediator along with her knowledge and sensitivity of how mental issues, addiction and family dysfunction can be factors that contribute to many criminal offenses which come before the court make her a knowledgeable judge. We need to have an experienced judge like Wendy Ricks. I urge my fellow Independence Party voters to join me in voting for Wendy on September 14.
RICKS INSPIRES PRIDE
I am a very proud mother, and those who know my daughter, Saugerties town justice Wendy Ricks, can understand why. She’s serving her hometown so honorably, and the support she continues to receive from people of all political parties in our community is something our family will always remember. Please vote to re-elect Wendy on Election Day. I know she’ll continue to you make you proud, too.
REJECT, DON’T RE-ELECT
As the fall season approaches, cooler winds will begin to blow and new colors will paint our landscapes. Maybe the American Spirit will hopefully be able to breathe a Fresh Breath.
For nearly 20 months our citizens have been bombarded with oratory fumes emanating from the White House and the halls of Congress. Elected representatives surrounding our president are touted as “experts.” Here is my take on those “experts” — an “X” is an unknown quantity! A “spert” (or should I say “spurt”) is a drip under pressure. We have too many drips under pressure in Washington, DC. Overbearing Obama, Pandering Pelosi and Regurgitating Reid have engulfed the American minds and bodies with political gases that are slowly diluting the will of the American Spirit.
Government financial assistance helps, but with no jobs the incentive to succeed dies. Extended layoffs (now a nine-month high) result in the loss of skills. Only with employment income can mortgages, taxes and life expenses be paid. Government handouts make us dance to their fiddles. We need to be the instruments of our own destiny…Proud working citizens, not wards of government.
This all started with the sickening health care prescription written but unread by Congress. Congressional puppets danced to presidential strings stretching the ties to the will of Americans. We are being euthanized by this administration’s intravenous drips as they feed their one-party prescription to our citizens. Pull that tube from your arm. Stand up for citizen strength.
November opens a door to breathe some fresh air into the stagnate halls of Congress. Remember in November! Reject, don’t re-elect! Vote November 2, 2010! Make them “Ex-Spurts.”
Nelson G. Burhans
I HAVE A NIGHTMARE
As I watched Glenn Beck stand in the place where Martin Luther King stood years ago, and declare our nation a Christian Nation, I thought, “here we go again” – having to defend the First Amendment.
Now, to be clear, I accept Christianity as a religion, just as I accept Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Native American, (the one that should get first priority if we were to be a “Religious Nation”), and all other religions.
If Beck, Limbaugh and Gingrich want to tear our country apart with religious wars, I’m willing to give up my political stance to keep our nation from another civil war. So here’s my offer. I am going to suggest that we break the “party” barrier, and come together against a possible takeover of our fundamental rights as a Democratic Republic nation – built on the foundation of the Constitution.
I will consider voting for either and any party candidate that does not stand for dividing our country by race, religion and corporate loyalty. Any candidate that does NOT accept money from corporations that say that the Obama tax cuts are going to hurt people that are struggling. Repealing the tax cuts for the wealthy are not going to affect anyone other than the wealthy. So if anyone running sticks to their policy, provided that they have a policy, I will consider voting for them, no matter which party. Right now most of the Republican candidates do not look acceptable, but if they break from the propaganda, and show me some facts, I’m open.
Let’s remember: United we stand - divided we fall. Let’s come together and give some thought to the bought and paid for propaganda. It may mean resorting to some reading, and sharing facts with friends and family, but what the heck - the price of losing is just too deep. It’s getting serious folks. Time to remember that Democracy is not a spectator sport.
WATCH FOR ROADSIDE ANIMALS
We are close to autumn, so squirrels and others are out and about searching for sufficient storable food to get them through the winter. As their habitat shrinks — because of us over-populous and land-greedy humans, our fellow mammals have to range farther and wider to find enough food. This means that they have to cross more of our horribly dangerous roads.
Even a kind-hearted and cautious driver cannot always avoid killing one of the road-crossing animals. Sometimes, the animal misjudges the speed of a car or just panics. If an animal blunders out in front of you at the last moment, you can be forgiven for the ensuing death. There are, however, many tragedies that need not occur, if only we would be more vigilant and caring.
Try to notice more when you are driving, particularly at the edges of winding roads that have vegetation on the sides. Simply glance periodically at the shoulder of the roads as you drive, and if you notice movement, slow down a bit, the better to be able to stop if someone steps out imprudently.
I am not asking you to kill your own family or another driver in a screeching halt. Simply pay more attention to the roadsides around you.
Have some empathy. Put yourself in the animals’ place, as they search desperately to find food and avoid death at the same time. Imagine yourself in that position, in that constant danger of being run over.
On a stretch of Wittenberg Road recently, where the posted limit is 35, I passed six sad corpses. Considering that even though I was driving at the limit, several reckless lawbreakers passed me over the double-yellow line — no wonder so many died.
Every animal has a family, just as you do. Some of the tragedies we see by the side of the road have left children behind, perhaps to starve because they did not make it home. We should consider the lives of every living being to be as precious as our own, and learn to drive cautiously for everyone’s sake.
And could we please see less tail-gating out there? That is such an avoidable menace! If we all kept sufficient space between our cars, particularly when traveling faster than 25 mph, there would be less deaths of people and other animals.