Flood control needs multiple approaches
Kudos to the New York State Canal Corporation for recognizing that managing the Erie Canal System, including the Mohawk River, must consider all uses of and threats from the river as noted in the March 21 guest column (“Preserve canal’s legacy by letting it work for communities.”)
The use of ice-breakers and growing attention to dam operations can reduce flood risk.
There’s no one silver bullet that can eliminate flood damages. No matter what the Canal Corporation or the state does to reduce flood risk on the Mohawk or any river, a risk of flooding remains. That risk will continue to adversely affect low-lying neighborhoods, such as the areas of Schenectady’s Stockade that are close to the river.
The responsibility to reduce flooding and maintain property values in nearby communities lies not only with the state, but with local municipalities and property owners. We shouldn’t be building in flood-prone areas. We should be working to elevate, demolish or move at-risk structures so that the remaining structures are safe from flooding.
As much as we try, we cannot completely control our rivers.
Mark Twain wrote about the Mississippi but it’s true for all rivers: “… ten thousand River Commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or confine it, cannot say to it, Go here, or go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at.”
Georgia engaging in voter suppression
I have been following the voting situation in Georgia closely.
Their election procedures and security are ostensibly in question. I cannot readily understand what the problem is.
I would argue that Georgia actually has a pretty good handle on how to run an election. They were forced to recount ballots, and each time they did so the end results were the same. That says to me that they’ve got a good system.
The only conclusion I can draw, therefore, is that Georgia is indeed trying to keep people from voting. The highly inappropriate measures under consideration are clearly intended to decrease the number of people who will be able to vote.
I should think that Georgia’s get-out-the-vote efforts prior to the 2020 election would be an example to each state. A combination of footwork, mailings and other methods led to an election where the turnout was extraordinary. Well done, I say.
It is against all this country believes in to try to impede anyone’s right to vote. We cannot change the rules just because we don’t like the outcome of an election. I think we would all be better served by trying to emulate Georgia’s efforts prior to the 2020 election. I think Georgia got it right.
Without test, legal pot is irresponsible
In the 20s and 30s, the government attempted to shield the people from gambling and alcohol. Now they are in a stampede to legalize marijuana for the revenues it will generate.
In the true sense of a bureaucracy, they now advance their agenda over what is best for the people.
Without a test of whether a driver is impaired under the influence of marijuana, this is sheer irresponsibility on the part of the law makers who vote for this.
Florida’s openness attitude backfires
As the old saying goes, “you can’t have it both ways.”
The state of Florida is now finding out that it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle after you’ve let him out.
For the past few months, the Florida Tourism Bureau and the governor have waged a multi-million-dollar advertising barrage to get anyone and everyone to come to Florida and party.
They touted Florida as a wide-open state with no uncomfortable masking or social distancing rules to spoil the tourists’ good times. To hell with regulations, Florida is the anti-pandemic capital of the country.
What they have now is tens of thousands of tourists literally going wild in the Sunshine State.
They are drinking, fighting with each other and attacking both law enforcement and the businesses that so desperately wanted them to “come on down and party.”
Miami Beach looks like one large Old West saloon after cowboys are in town after a cattle drive.
Now the politicians and businesses are begging the cops to send the tourists back to where they came from. Apparently serving massive amounts of alcohol to people and trusting them to behave wasn’t such a great idea.
I’m sorry but it’s tough to generate much sympathy for the businesses or politicians. The only ones that I do feel sorry for are the police and full-time residents who live in a state governed by idiots.
Glenville overpass issues never ending
The Glenridge Road overpass conversation is a merry-go-round ride that never stops and has been going on for at least three decades, if not longer.
You can’t raise the bridge; the railroad company won’t pay for it. You can’t lower the road; the creek will wash it out every year. You can’t divert the creek, that would be a headache for the homeowners there and all who commute by.
Even though people hated the single lane with traffic light and alternating traffic pattern, all commercial vehicles knew to stay away from it — they knew they couldn’t thread that needle. The only thing we had to put up with was the occasional stuck travel trailer or knocked-off air-conditioning unit in the road. Fast forward to today and we have a whole new conversation: how to stop trucks from hitting the overpass.
Signs clearly don’t work; these drivers don’t read. Flashing signs at the hilltop didn’t work either (you know…that whole reading thing).
Can we lower the weight limit while still allowing school buses and UPS/FedEx trucks? Can we install solar flashing lights on the eastern side of the bridge?
There’s also the matter of who pays for cleanup. Why is Glenville not getting reimbursed by the trucking companies or their insurance companies?
This expense should NEVER be the responsibility of the local taxpayers, not one cent.
Change culture by enacting term limits
On an almost daily basis my state representative in the Assembly calls for Gov. Cuomo to resign, and just about every other one of his Facebook posts mentions impeaching the man in Albany. The tough talking assemblyman has also demanded that the book writing governor have his Emmy taken from him. None of this seems to be working, and at this point in time I think the governor will probably finish his term. There are many in the State Legislature on both sides of the aisle calling for an end to Cuomo’s run. This all sounds good, but it’s really nothing more than politicians playing their political games. Has anyone of these self-serving politicians ever called for term limits in New York State? A governor should be given two terms and then shown the door, just like it is for a president. There also should be term limits on all of the leadership positions in our State Legislature. If these were in place right now in New York, it’s quite possible that we might be in a little better shape around here. The state lawmakers could work together and try and get term limits passed for the betterment of the people of New York, that is if they truly cared about the people they represent, but they don’t. What they truly care about is their political party and keeping their well-paying part-time gig. Every so often the names may change in Albany, but never the culture.
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