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Still looking for solutions

December 1, 2011

A recent letter to the editor stated that I have consistently opposed gas drilling in Damascus Township. But no one has ever heard or read statements by me against gas drilling. I have consistently said, “When the gas industry is held responsible to the clean water and air acts, and when it is ready to post $1 or $2 million bonds to cover damage created by its operations, then let it drill.” I emphasized not what I am against, but what I am for: a quest for workable economic solutions that are consistent with good stewardship of our resources.

When was the last time the comprehensive plan was considered? Could it be looked at to see how to achieve this? My intention was to create a committee of citizens from all parts of the community to sit down and work on a plan for the good of all. I suggest that such a plan is still viable.

Many of our residents expressed concern about “taxation without representation.” Many of them may not be permanent now, but are looking to the future as their retirement nears. They have invested their lives, time and savings to be in this beautiful town, and are fearful of losing all. Private property rights are important to them, too.

Those of us living on the water’s edge pay more per acre than some large tracts of land that have access to relief such as clean and green, subsidies or other benefits. These high-taxpaying properties are the tax base of the town. Most of our taxpayers have not leased their land. Is it because they are leaning toward caution, or is it because they don’t “need the money,” the rationale often cited for leasing. Don’t we all need money? Are our leaders representing them, or only those with the larger, lower-taxed tracts?

Town leaders are charged with protecting the health, welfare and safety of the citizens. That can’t be done by just treating gas drilling as our savior. We have to take everything into account—including preserving our current resources.

Dolores Keesler
Damascus, PA

Voices of reason

When I attended the hearing held by the NY DEC in Loch Sheldrake this week, I saw quite a good number of town and county officials voicing their concerns that the regulations should not be adopted or considered without much more in depth impact studies. They spoke of how their townships and the county would suffer irreparable damages due to the impacts of drilling and all of its related activities. They spoke of how many of these consequences could never be mitigated by their already strained budgets and the severe changes in weather patterns among other things. They spoke of the loss of eco and agri-tourism revenue and loss of income from decreasing real estate values and transfer revenues. They spoke of preserving forever, the natural water resources. Why is it that Damascus officials, to the person, have never so eloquently expressed concerns, the same concerns expressed by those who pay their salaries through the majority of taxes? Thank-you Dolores for being the voice of reason. Those who oppose drilling here sought neither revenue nor intrusion from colossal corporattions. Nor did we receive revenue. Now, all we are asking for is equal representation under the law. Lease money has already been paid out whether drilling takes place or not...isn't that enough?

Voices of Reason.

Thank you to Jennifer Canfield for being one. Are there any more out there willing to speak, to write, under their own name?

"Get up. Stand up"! Support The River Reporter's comment section that attempts to have people stand by their names, and reputations.

Show the anonymous, cowardly, blogs what true democratic discourse looks like.

We are hopeless without this effort.

Thank you.

Maybe "voices of reason"

Maybe "voices of reason" don't like being called names and shouted down.

Avoiding the questions?

I see that Marj H Bates avoided my questions which were just that...simple questions. I have relied on asking these questions rather than shouting or calling anyone names. So why bring that up? Perhaps responding to the discourse in a column where everyone agrees with you or where other aspects of drilling are more warmly received would be more fullfilling. I happen to live, own property and pay taxes in Damascus Township and in the river basin. Marj H. Bates claims not to be "exactly" in Damascus township and I'm not "exactly" sure what that's supposed to mean. Other publications do not seem to cover the seemingly unique concerns of those whose economy and lives are affected by living at the base of so many watersheds. So for me, the River Reporter is always more relevant to issues and subjects I, along with many others, care about. There will always be people who let their emotions rule regardless of how ill informed or ill advised they are. There is no reason to discredit them because those emotions are coming from a place where they feel most vulnerable. Yet the truth goes a long way toward keeping people from getting to that point. Personally, I feel that fear of the unknown, which affects people on both sides of this issue causes much of the controversy. And the "unknown" truths will remain so until gas and energy corporations are held accountable to the same standards we are and until we have just as much money and power to cover our bases as they do.

Marj doesn't exist

When will TRR accept that fact?

Dear "TheNatural", Dear "TheHick"

You don't fool anyone with your lying voice. There is no Ms. Bates, just the anonymous you, portraying the fake Bates.

How very sad that you persist. Are you capable of adult discourse?

Your words reflect badly upon Mr. Uretsky, Mr. Wynne, and Ms. Sweighofer (and believe me, they do a fine job degrading themselves, without your help).

TheNatural/TheHick, and now, Ms. Bates, have become the spokespersons for NWPOA. It is very appropriate.

We, who oppose shale gas extraction in the Delaware River Basin, and across the world, thank you.

You poor man

Mr. Barth, I submit that you are both paranoid and obsessed with these natural/hick characters. I have learned that "the natural" and "the hick" are posters on the Wayne Independent's site. Although I don't post there, I am strongly considering it. That site has actual discourse instead of the parochial approach to controlled discourse that Mr. Barth seems to prefer. The website there is and anyone may comment. It would seem that Mr. Barth is determined to have The River Reporter to himself. I have not decided whether or not I will continue to post here.

How many times can an anonymous, fake, man lie in 7 sentences?

#1. "I have learned that Nat/Hick are posters in the W.I."

#2. "Although I don't post there".

The anonymous and fake are able to construct their own reality, no matter how it conflicts with...reality. The anonymous and fake are able to lie with impunity. There are many more reasons why the anonymous and fake should not be allowed to write in the same thread as real, named citizens, but those two suffice. The bar gets lowered to the point, whenever they want, where serious discourse stops on a dime, and, personal fabrication, a game to, now, TheMarj, begins.

How terribly empty their souls must be. And, these are the spokespeople for NWPOA?