Letters to the Editor 10/18/18
Light it up!
As a former member of the Honesdale Borough Council, I am greatly disturbed by the attempt to remove the star and cross from historic Irving Cliff, which is part of Gibbon’s Park.
Since its inception, the operation and maintenance of aforementioned has been a great partnership between government and the many houses of worship that together have maintained such a symbol of the celebration of religions here in Honesdale.
The star and cross represent the great cornerstone of religious freedom, which is the foundation of our republic and the commonwealth.
During my tenure, the council dealt with numerous religious organizations with requests involving public lands and never, under the leadership of President H. Richard Osborne and Mayor Michael O’Day Jr., was an application by a religious group rejected when it sought to highlight its holidays or festivals here in Honesdale.
There is no infringement of free speech here. I suspect those claiming such come from outside our region and, rather than acclimate to our rich and diverse history, wish simply to disrupt.
The star on Irving Cliff must remain bright for decades to come. The cross must be allowed to shine in celebration of the numerous Christian citizens who have been one of the cornerstones of this vibrate community. Let no one take such away from them or those who will follow their faith in the future.
I think William Penn would be very proud of our community as represented by the numerous houses of worship found in Honesdale, how our faiths have guided us through the prosperous times and the darkest hours, how we as a community have worked hard never to allow animosities to gain a foothold here.
Embracing our diversity is what makes this nation great. When the Honesdale Borough Council decides this issue, I think it will be amazed at the overwhelming support across all faiths in preserving the star and cross indefinitely.
Oh, and I’m Jewish.
We are in trouble. The nation has been intentionally divided. The planet’s climate is barreling toward catastrophe. The economy seems healthy but is propped up by tax cuts, creating debt that borrows from our future to benefit the very rich. This is no time to whistle past the graveyard. This is a time to stand up and act. And the most important act right now is to vote.
Antonio Delgado is our Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in the 19th Congressional District. Jen Metzger is the Democratic candidate for New York State Senate in the 42nd. They are impressive, educated, dedicated public servants who will steer the government back toward sanity. They will fight for affordable healthcare for all, well-paying local jobs, fair tax reform that actually benefits middle class households, and for a realistic plan to deal with climate change before it’s too late.
This is absolutely the most important midterm election of our lifetimes because one-party control of all three branches of government is always considered a bad idea by Americans and is proving disastrous right now. Democrats believe in everyone having the right and ability to vote. Republicans strive to disenfranchise and gerrymander our voting rights away so they can maintain power. We need every vote now to counter their undemocratic, un-American plan to concentrate power in the hands of a wealthy few.
Our democratic form of government only works if everyone participates. Our power is our votes. Please be sure to vote on November 6 for Antonio Delgado and Jen Metzger. Staying home must not be an option. Right now we are heading in a dangerous direction. It is up to citizens like us to turn this thing around and make America good again.
Remember this on Election Day
When you go to vote Tuesday, November 6, remember this grim truth: the Republican party is willing to trade our hard-won democracy for right-wing judges and tax breaks for the wealthy.
GOP leaders are complicit in weakening long-standing democratic institutions and principles that tell us that a single individual’s gain, be it financial or legal, matters less than the well-being of the majority. If you think the current administration has made your investments gain value, good for you. Keep in mind, however, if it is politically expedient and helps them hold onto power, Republicans have displayed their willingness to trade away your constitutional rights, reduce your Social Security, dilute regulations meant to protect you, ignore the ballooning federal deficit and keep an unfit President in office with his finger on the nuclear button.
Green Party NY Comptroller candidate on climate change
The United Nations climate organization (IPCC) recently released a report saying humanity needs to take dramatic action immediately—unprecedented in scope in human history—if we are to avoid a civilization-threatening climate disaster. The New York Times Magazine devoted an entire edition in August to a story on how we are too late to save humanity because our politicians will never agree to do so.
Climate change is humanity’s greatest threat, and it is happening much faster than the worst-case scenarios previously outlined. I am running for State Comptroller on the Green Party line in support of the simple step of getting the state to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels so that we no longer seek to profit from the destruction of the planet. It is morally wrong and an increasingly bad financial investment.
Since 350.org started the divestment campaign five years ago to help create the political will to act on climate, more than 1,000 institutions with $7.2 trillion in investments have agreed to divest. New York City and the Republic of Ireland have agreed to do so as well. The hardest task we face is to commit to a society-wide emergency mobilization to save humanity.
The good news is that we already know how to do a lot of things that will help, like renewable energy from wind, solar and geothermal. Moving to those energy sources means millions of new living-wage jobs, thousands of fewer deaths annually in NYS from air pollution, and much lower electric rates in the future. Scientists with the Drawdown Project recently put out a list of the 100 most effective (including on cost) steps we can take to reduce climate change—many of them surprising (increasing education of women, agriculture practices.) We need to vote this election for candidates who are wholeheartedly committed to climate justice and taking immediate action. Ask them how they stand on the issue. Vote knowing that the lives of your children and grandchildren depend on it.
Mark A Dunlea
Health study fails to get the job done
With little fanfare and on extremely short notice, the Sullivan County legislature announced the results of the “health study” pertaining to the Millennium Pipeline compressor currently under construction adjacent to the Eldred Preserve. It’s no wonder legislators maintained a low profile. Not only does it fail to answer key questions, but its narrow scope renders it toothless in any future legal action against Millennium should health or environmental problems arise. No baseline was established for known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, such as formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and other compressor stations toxins. No monitoring of Millennium’s existing operations was done. And it raises serious questions pertaining to the secrecy and legality of the bidding process.
On April 21, 2016, in a public meeting, Legislator Scott Samuelson announced that he had privately arranged with Millennium to pay for a health study. Negotiating with Millennium is not within Samuelson’s purview, as he is not the health committee chairman nor is he chairman of the legislature.
In an attempt to allay residents’ fears over toxic compressor emissions, Samuelson stated at that meeting, “I think public health is first and foremost on everybody’s mind. We want to know exactly what we’re dealing with. We have two compressors in the area that are operating. We have the perfect opportunity to be able to study them and to understand exactly what we are talking about.” He announced that Millennium “would be very happy to have a full impact health impact study done.” He continued, “I visited the Hancock compressor and I was also there yesterday for a blowdown, at the Minisink compressor. It’s, unfortunately, not very telling. I think we need to have experts to come in and tell us exactly what we are dealing with in those situations.”
Two-and-a-half years later, the study has landed with a whimper.
County documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Law expose some troubling and possibly illegal behavior. An email exchange between Samuelson and Millennium suggest the legislator was eager to help the pipeline company bring its project to fruition, well before any study was finished. They also show that one of the bidders, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health (SPEHP), was required to answer numerous questions that were not even posed to the other, ultimately successful bidder, KC Engineering. The former had previous experience monitoring Millennium’s operation in Minisink, and and clearly had the requisite experience. Yet its bid was rejected. The county has yet to explain how it came to pass that SPEHP bid was rejected, except to say that it was done in an executive session. This may be a violation of open meeting laws.
SWPEHP’s previous Minisink study showed elevated levels of known carcinogens along with health problems tied to spikes in emissions, which Millennium, laughably, attributed to wood stoves. Data, however, does not lie.
We now know that Samuelson has been working for the Eldred Preserve, where he serves as Chief Operating Officer. Any troublesome information about Millennium’s compressor could have a negative impact on the perception and viability of the motel/restaurant, and compromise any future development on Preserve land.
In that April 2016 meeting, Samuelson said, “I support finding out real answers, real truth before we continue to put out negative information that is going to affect our land values, our tourism industry and our second home community. I would rather have real information going out.”
The facts speak for themselves. This study does nothing of the kind. Construction on both projects, however, proceeds apace.
Jen Metzger is clearly the best choice for New York Senate
By now, many of us have had an opportunity to meet Jen Metzger, an energetic, caring community leader. Metzger has shown her respect for voters by her frequent presence visiting towns across towns in the 42nd Senate District. Launching her campaign to represent us in Albany, she handily won the Democratic primary. As we head into November’s election, take a look at Jen’s record on women’s health compared to the Republican candidate.
Jen believes a critical component of health care is our right to make our own reproductive decisions. Republican Rabbitt does not.
Jen believes age-appropriate sex health education for teenagers supports healthy life choices. Her opponent does not; she opposed funding for sexual health education programs. Moreover, Rabbitt voted in the NYS Assembly to keep incarcerated women shackled while giving birth.
Metzger’s concern for women’s health is part of her commitment to pass the New York Health Act to assure all New Yorkers universal medical insurance.
We need young families to live and work in our communities. To remain and thrive here, they need to be assured of strong health services.
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Is Faso really against women?
If you believe the media all Republicans are against women. I have read multiple letters to the editor in various newspapers that use the same statistics to prove Faso's voting is anti-women. Let me explain how this is misused by politicians.
Let’s say a politician or entire party wants you to believe the other party is against apples. The "pro-apple" politicians write up a bill that is called "The Advancement of Apples Protection Bill.” Then they proceed to add to it one or two lines that have nothing to do with apples, but rather funding for a bridge in Kansas and new legislation for taxpayer funded late-term abortion.
So any good candidate, senator or assemblyperson will know that those two lines are in that bill and vote against it. So the party that is so called "pro apples" has a win-win and can say, “Look, that candidate/senator/assemblyperson is anti-apples!”
Then the media broadcasts this to you and me. Please do not be manipulated into voting poorly by these shallow tactics. Use the mind your loving heavenly father has given you.
God bless America, One nation under God, In God we trust.
John "JP" Pasquale
Livingston Manor, NY