Two very different points of view on hydrofracking
Imagine you are sitting beside a babbling brook, the sun sparkling on the water. In a shallow pool a few small fish dart. A little way upstream you catch a glimpse of a mother deer with her fawn as they come to drink. Cardinal flowers, Queen Anne's lace, and ferns grow along the banks. A hummingbird darts in and sips some nectar from a flower. You take off our shoes and dip your feet into the cool clean water, then reach into your pack for a pad to sketch the scene.
How do you think you might be feeling?
Imagine it is a few years later. You are at the same spot, but the stream no longer sparkles. Radioactive hydrofacking sludge is running over the rocks. The little pools in the stream contain no fish, and no flowers grow along the slimy banks. There are no birds and no deer.
How do you think you would be feeling now?
Do you really want to take off our shoes and stay awhile? Does it make you feel any better to know that the big corporations, who are destroying this place, plan to profit by selling the gas abroad? How do you feel knowing that none of this water can be drunk, used by wildlife or to water the plants that give us food?
Does it make you feel any better to know that the huge donations the fracking industry gives to political campaigns, both sides, ensure that your tax dollars are being spent to subsidize this industry instead of encouraging the development of renewable energy? Also, as a political favor to good contributors to their campaigns, regulations are relaxed so the hydrofracking industry can continue to pollute with abandon.
Is this what you really want? If not, it's time to say no! -- and loudly -- to the destruction of this earth, our only home.
Also, it is important to support public funding of elections, so corporate money can't continue to buy our government.
States' rights are bad if you live in North Carolina (voter ID) and Arizona (border security). States' rights in New York state are good -- denial of "our" hydrofracking rights.
A national consensus, both political and technical, is developing about the benefits of hydrofracking natural gas. Even our friends in the Persian Gulf are worried about the United States developing domestic energy -- that means it is good for the U.S.
Gov. Cuomo is enamored with the environmentalists. Everyone should be concerned with the environment, but not be irrational in one's conclusions.
Assuming states' rights are as bad as we are constantly told, then why is Gov. Cuomo allowed to use state laws to obstruct the development of cheap energy? To do so is to deny New Yorkers the pursuit of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Another double standard from the folks who champion the social progressive agenda.
Gov. Cuomo is more than a hypocrite, he is taking food out of the mouth of New Yorkers who desire opportunity, while championing programs such as food stamps.
Ending the silence on subject of stillbirth
On Aug. 15 I had the opportunity to sit among strong, brave women in Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery (Niskayuna). They waited so many years for someone to speak their stillborn child's name, a name that they were not allowed to give to their babies on their day of birth. I sat in the back, grateful that I had had the opportunity to give my stillborn son a name, as well as end-of-life rituals.
A lot has changed over the years. What was once considered unspeakable is now becoming a topic that people need to discuss openly. On Aug. 15, I wanted to say to those women, "You don't have to keep quiet about it anymore. Your pain is real and valid."
Around the country, several organizations have been started in order to support families that have experienced a loss due to stillbirth. I am a board member of Angel Names Association (www.angelnames.org), based out of Saratoga. Though each organization is different, we all have common goals. We want to help families, raise awareness about stillbirth, and find ways to lower the amount of stillbirths that occur in the United States (about 26,000 each year).
One way to achieve these goals is to ask for the public's help. A movie was created in Hollywood starring wonderful actors, including Minnie Driver. "Return to Zero," written by award-winning Sean Hanish, provides a window into the lives of a couple that must endure challenges that surround having a stillborn baby.
This movie has been created to further expose the topic of stillbirth. In order to bring this movie into local theaters, we need everyone to pledge to see this movie (no obligation) by going to the Angel Names website or www.ReturnToZeroTheMovie.com. Please help break the silence!
Mets’ Triple-A team here would be home run
In the great state of New York, we have two major-league baseball teams: the Mets and Yankees. We also have several minor-league teams: one A-team in Troy (Tri-City ValleyCats), and three Triple-A teams in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo. None of these teams are affiliated with the Mets or Yankees. The Mets do have a Double-A team in Binghamton, but we would like to propose bringing the Mets' Triple-A team to our immediate area.
Triple-A teams are at the top in minor-league baseball, and only a few cities can support them. There is one local region that has so much to offer, yet lacks a Triple-A team. This is the area north of Albany and into Saratoga.
The Mets Triple-A affiliate is currently located in Las Vegas, which is over 2,000 miles from their major-league team. Everything about this location is wrong. It's too far, it's too hot, it's crime-ridden, and the ballpark is too old. The players have referred to it as the worst possible place to be.
The Mets need a prime location in the same state as their major team. We are less than 200 miles from New York City, and can enhance the fan base for both the major and minor teams. The shuffle of players between the two teams would be so much easier.
The area near Saratoga has shown tremendous growth. GlobalFoundries is a new industry. There are plans for a casino. We have the racetrack, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and so much more. The addition of a Triple-A team would only make this region better.
We are a father and daughter who have been Mets fans since their inception in 1962. We don't have the clout to make something like this happen; however, we hope to spark interest in the professional people who can bring this to reality. Can you help us, sports editors and writers, planning boards and government officials? Other Mets fans, will you speak up in support?
Let's go out to the ball game -- right here!
Merry Lee Kraft
Parents should insist that kids wear a bike helmet
This summer I have noticed many kids riding their bicycle without a helmet. This is extremely dangerous and can result in severe brain injuries if they fall and hit their head.
State law requires anyone under age 14 to wear a bike helmet. Parents, you have a responsibility and an obligation to make sure your kids wear a bike helmet. You need to emphasize to your kids the importance and necessity of wearing a helmet and the dangers of not wearing one.
If your kids do not wear a helmet after you have discussed this with them and insisted they do, take their bike away for a week. This should get their attention.
Adults should also wear a helmet, particularly when riding with their kids. This sets a good example for your kids regarding the importance of wearing one.