Faulty sewers aren’t the half of New York’s water quality issues
Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams did a good job combining the issues of hydrofracking and aged sewers in his Oct. 20 article, “DEC chief: Sewers huge concern.”
He quoted state DEC Commissioner Joe Martens as saying that aging and crumbling sewers pose the major environmental challenge facing New York in coming decades.
Mr. Martens commented on a recent sewer break in Newburgh that leaked 3 million gallons of sewage per day into the Hudson and said sewer infrastructure improvements and upgrades in New York state will need $36.8 billion in investments during the next 20 years. This number is similar to what I read in the state Climate Action Plan — Interim Report, published by Gov. David Paterson, but tells only half the story. That report declared that “$36 billion of water treatment improvements and $40 billion of wastewater treatment improvements are necessary in New York state. The anticipated added challenges associated with changing climate will only exacerbate the situation.” This same report also predicted that temperatures in New York are likely to increase by six to seven degrees by 2080.
Mr. Martens said the state is seeking federal funds to pay for the sewer upgrades. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offered New York state a $157 million loan on Oct. 17 for wastewater improvements. A state facing “dire” $76 billion water and wastewater challenges, and also supposedly trying to pro-actively meet the challenges of a rapidly warming climate, should ban hydrofracking. Fully cleaning polluted groundwater is very difficult, costly and takes years, if it can be done at all.
How much will it cost future generations of New Yorkers to attempt to restore the high-quality water we now have? Who will pay for it and how? We need to fix existing problems instead of creating new ones.
Signs, or debates, don’t sway the thinking voter
We hear a lot about undecided voters these days. It is my opinion that most “thinking people” have already made up their minds about who they would choose for president and are really not influenced one way or the other by two candidates arguing for 90 minutes.
Instead, as in my own case, I think it may very well strengthen the opinions that have already been made concerning who would make the better president.
The same goes for the hundreds of political signs that litter the roadways every year at election time. I can’t make myself believe that anyone is stupid enough to vote for a particular candidate based on how many times that candidate’s name appears along the roadway.
Like I said before, “thinking people” will have made their minds up already.
McGovern didn’t win, but he was worth supporting
I was saddened by the news that George McGovern, former presidential candidate and longtime senator from South Dakota, had died [Oct. 22 Gazette]. He was a good and decent individual who, although enduring many personal hardships, always kept a positive outlook on where this country should be headed.
In 1972, he appeared to be the candidate to restore a sense of sanity to our country and bring to a close the seemingly never-ending Vietnam War. At the time, I and a few other faithful McGovern backers were in the race to be McGovern delegates from our congressional district. Traveling far and wide to all parts of the district, we speared on our candidate, hoping to win a seat at the Democratic convention.
It was not always easy to explain McGovern’s projected domestic policies, but many folks responded favorably to his outright opposition to the Vietnam War. The contrast between McGovern and Nixon was great — McGovern wanting out of Vietnam and Nixon for escalating the war. But our local McGovern ticket was pitted against the all-powerful Albany Mayor Erastus Corning’s slate of non-committed delegates. Need I say more?
I never did get to that convention, and although the Sixth District of Niskayuna, where I was a committeewoman at the time, was a definite win for McGovern, it wasn’t quite enough to garner a win for him in the rest of the country.
Although a projected move to Massachusetts (the only smart state that went for McGovern) sounded good at the time, I remained a faithful New Yorker and am still proud to have been a George McGovern backer.
Patricia M. Gioia
Plan to spend war money at home makes sense
Re the second presidential debate: President Obama was correct that the money the United States spent on the two wars can now be spent on infrastructure (schools, roads, etc.) even if that’s only 60 percent of the money.
Over the course of the last 30 months, the job situation has improved due to President Obama’s stimulus and policies, despite Republican opposition to nearly all of the president’s proposals.