Letters to the editor March 4 to 10
I’ve seen a great many communities regret allowing fracking. We all have. It is an old story already. Water and soil are our most precious, essential resources, without which our communities would rapidly cease to exist. The water table is shared throughout the community. Water is funny; it does not abide by the random property lines drawn by surveyors. No private landowner can engage in fracking without destroying the water and soil of their neighbors and community. It threatens everyone so that a small few may profit. Allowing this in any form will be another case of privateers running off with profits while the community is left with the incalculable cost for replacing a service nature was providing for free, just as the tax base crumbles because those able enough will leave this area, and the rest won’t have property worth the cost of the ad to sell it.
Looking at housing prices the past few years, the places with the lowest housing prices, where houses sit on the market for years and years, are all places that are suffering from the fallout of fracking. No one wants to raise their children or start a farm in those places. They can hardly be called communities anymore. Humans need development and to use our natural resources. Caring for them along the way so that they remain a resource perpetually is just good wisdom, or you, in essence, kill your children in order to feed yourself.
We have lived for thousands and thousands of years without fracking, but we have never lived a day without good, clean water and soil.
As New York’s state legislators meet to decide the state’s spending priorities for the coming year, they grapple with much uncertainty about what lies ahead, but one thing is clear: getting pandemic relief and funding to our public schools must be a priority. We simply cannot afford to continue sidelining and ignoring New York’s students any longer.
There are glimmers of hope for a better future for students: Momentum is building in the ranks of the New York State Legislature in support of raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy. But some state legislators still are fighting to put the profits of the ultra-wealthy over the needs of the rest of us.
Two such influential legislators are Assemblyman Harry Bronson and Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who are leaders of their regional delegations from Rochester and Long Island, respectively.
For the past year, students in every corner of New York State have struggled to engage in learning due to a lack of resources. Black, Brown, immigrant and low-income students, whose schools were underfunded prior to COVID-19 and whose communities were devastated by the virus, are the hardest hit—students who live in Rochester, low-income districts in Long Island, and so many other cities and communities across New York.
For students in all of our communities to get what they need, it is going to take all of our elected representatives acting together to raise revenues on the ultra-rich. Assemblyman Bronson and Sen. Kaminsky’s actions against raising revenue will impact children from Buffalo to the Hudson Valley, Utica to New York City, the North Country to the Southern Tier.
Stand in solidarity with students of Rochester and Long Island. Email Assemblyman Bronson and Sen. Kaminsky to tell them they must support taxing the ultra-wealthy to close the budget gap and fund our public schools.
Alliance for Quality Education, New York
I must say that I find it difficult to be compassionate to a man who has subjected our town to the ugly political sign of our former president. The sign is still there by the way—defaced, yes, but nevertheless a reminder of our pain. Have a heart, Ned, and free us from this disgrace.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians—representing thousands of primary care physicians across the Commonwealth—were shocked by the February 12 PA Department of Health and Human Services (DOH) action to cut out independent primary care providers from the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
Our organizations have expressed more than a willingness to help with the vaccine rollout, as well as outreach to minority communities, with no response.
Many of our member physicians are rightfully upset by the DOH’s actions. We stand with them. An announcement of such magnitude should have been handled more transparently, not only out of respect for the physicians who have followed the DOH’s guidance and remain on the front lines in helping prevent a surge of the virus, but for the high-risk patients they serve. Additionally, the ongoing refusal to include the state’s physician organizations as stakeholders in developing the commonwealth’s response to the pandemic is baffling.
Many people turn to their primary care physician for guidance as to whether they should get the vaccine. Physicians, nurses and physician assistants who provide care in private practice settings are trusted by their patients. This is especially noteworthy when considering those patients who may otherwise be reluctant to get the vaccine. A pharmacist or other provider who is unknown to the patient will not be able to provide that same level of confidence. Additionally, many older Pennsylvanians may believe that they will receive the vaccine in their primary care physician’s office. The new order, without any forewarning or outreach to our organizations—organizations that are partners with the DOH on many levels—creates yet another hurdle for a demographic that is already struggling to navigate the vaccine distribution landscape.
We urge you and Gov. Wolf to immediately rescind this provision of the order, engage with our member organizations and recognize the critical value our members have already provided over the past year in preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. Doing so will help avoid further problems in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians
The Town of Thompson Democratic Committee has unanimously endorsed a slate of candidates for the November election.
For town supervisor, the committee endorses incumbent Bill Rieber, supervisor for the last eight years. Rieber has 41 years of experience serving on the town board. He is seeking a fifth two-year term as supervisor. Tax rates in Thompson have gone down for the sixth year in a row. Rieber previously served as deputy supervisor under former supervisors Tony Cellini and David Kaufman.
Incumbent town clerk Marilee Calhoun is endorsed for re-election to a fourth four-year term. Calhoun has been the clerk for 12 years and served as deputy town clerk for 10 years. Calhoun is also endorsed by the Town of Thompson Republican Committee.
For town justice, the committee endorses incumbent town justice and attorney Martin Miller. Judge Miller is a hardworking and dedicated town justice. With 24 years of experience on the bench, the committee urges the re-election of Judge Martin Miller, our justice since 1996.
For town council, the committee has endorsed incumbents John Pavese and Melinda Ketcham-Meddaugh. Pavese has served on the town board for eight years and is a former member of the Monticello School Board. Ketcham-Meddaugh has served on the town board for four years and is a former member of the town planning board.
For town highway superintendent, the committee endorses incumbent Rich Benjamin, who is also endorsed by the Town of Thompson Republican Committee. Benjamin is seeking a sixth four-year term. He is currently the first vice president of the New York State Superintendents Association. If re-elected, Benjamin will serve as president of the association.
The candidates will be gathering signatures on their political petitions from March 2 to March 22. Due to the pandemic, the number of required signatures across the state has been reduced to 30 percent of the usual number.
The Thompson Democratic Committee has 20 members, two from each of the 10 election districts located in the Town of Thompson and Village of Monticello.
Thompson Democratic Chair