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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 08/20/2017

Without SEQR, Albany County’s ban on fracking waste illegal

Without SEQR, Albany County’s ban on fracking waste illegal

* Without SEQR, Albany County’s ban on fracking waste illegal *Bombing of Hiroshima was indeed act

Without SEQR, Albany County’s ban on fracking waste illegal

As minority leader of the Albany County Legislature, I am appalled that legislative leadership failed to follow proper procedure when it passed a bill this month banning the sale, purchase or acquisition of natural gas waste within the Albany County.

I am not saying the law is a bad law, but I am saying the Legislature failed to address the state-mandated State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) that must be considered and voted upon before any such law is passed. I believe the entire directive would be struck down by the courts if a lawsuit ensued, as a proper SEQR review was not completed, reviewed and voted on by the Legislature.

New York state mandates that all local governments must consider the environmental impact of proposals before a discretionary decision is made, including local laws. It stipulates that no governmental agency can make a final decision on environmental issues until a SEQR action is completed.

This matter was brought to the attention of legislative leadership the night this law was adopted and it was pointed out that legislators did not receive any environmental reviews. My concerns were overlooked and leadership allowed the proposal to be voted on. It is a shame, since those in the public who worked so diligently to get this passed now have an unenforceable law on the books.

There are several other issues that need to be addressed in this legislation, including its ban on shallow fracturing waste, which is a procedure that is currently allowed in New York. The law fails to differentiate between this process and the deep well fracturing which is the controversial process this law was intended to address.

I am hopeful that the county executive [Daniel P. McCoy] will veto this legislation and that a SEQR review can be completed so an enforceable law can be voted on by the Albany County Legislature.

Christine Benedict


Bombing of Hiroshima was indeed act of terrorism

The Aug. 16 letter of George Summersell claims that “Truman’s choice to drop the bomb (was) wholly defensible” and that columnist Robert Scheer was in error when he wrote that “... The United States committed what is arguably the gravest act of terrorism that the world has ever know,” when we, on Aug. 6, 1945, dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. In my opinion, Scheer had it right.

During World War II, I worked on the Manhattan Project at Columbia University, SAM Labs, at a bachelor’s of science in physics level. On Aug. 6, I was home in Michigan on vacation. A friend I was visiting reported that some big event has just occurred in Japan. I said nothing, of course, but quickly returned home and turned on the radio.

On hearing the news, I shouted to my sister and some of her friends in the living room that the war would be over in a few days. Great news! That means that there would be no need for an invasion of Japan, with perhaps hundreds of thousands of casualties. The news also described Hiroshima as a naval base, thus a valid military target.

But what I, and the public, did not know was what Truman, his Cabinet and advisers knew and had discussed well before Aug. 6. They all knew that Japan was desperately seeking to surrender on honorable terms that would keep Emperor Hirohito as the sovereign ruler.

Many of Truman’s advisers opposed dropping the bob. An excellent, well-documented history of the decision-making in the White House is given in Chapter 4: “The Bomb: The Tragedy of a Small Man, in the recent book, “The Untold History of the United States,” by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.

In an interview after the war, Truman was asked: “Any regrets?” His reply: “Not in the slightest — not the slightest in the world.”

Ralph W. De Blois


GOP’s ‘war on women’ just a tactic of Dems

Re Aug. 15 letter, Writer misses point on political ‘war on women’”:

Don Steiner believes we all miss the point on this Democrat-contrived Republican “war on women,” simply because a litany of Democrats have been accused of rape (President Clinton), caught groping (San Diego Mayor Bob Filner), making payoffs (House Speaker Sheldon Silver), and sending lewd photos (former Rep. Anthony Weiner). The real point is, he says nothing else.

The so-called war comes down to two things, the Democrats want no constraints on abortion, and, as Sandra Fluke pointed out, free contraceptives so they can have a good time anytime. Fluke, a Georgetown law student, let me repeat that “law student,” wants others to pay for her birth control. Republicans are not advocating denying birth control for health reasons, and most medical plans cover it, it’s this “I want to play, so you pay” attitude, as well as forced imposition on religious organizations that has conservatives steaming.

Since Ted [Kennedy] let Mary [Jo Kopechne] drown, liberals have never accepted responsibility for their actions — and they always, always want others to pay. This “war” is nothing more then a political tactic to obscure the obvious and get votes. Unfortunately for conservatives, this nonsense is aided by a compliant media intent on brainwashing the masses.

Dave Dankanich


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