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letters to the editor

Allowing long guns for 12-, 13-year-old hunters is a bad idea

Posted 22 February 2018 at 8:40 am

Editor:

Our State Senate last month approved a measure to permit 12- and 13-year-old children to hunt with long guns.

What could motivate the Senate to approve such legislation? 12-year-old lobbyists? No.

To hear Sen. Patrick Gallivan tell it, the real reason behind the vote was the failing culture of guns and hunting, particularly among our youth. “We’re seeing the numbers, the interest declining. This is something that might attract younger people…it would allow them to start earlier and hopefully preserve the tradition.”

Of course, he’s right. The numbers are falling. But why is it necessary for the state to prop up a declining activity with 12- and 13-year-olds who are too much at risk of gun violence in their homes, schools, places of worship and at play. Maybe they should also permit teen access to cigarettes to prop up the tobacco industry!

The fact that they are to be supervised is of little comfort when considering that in Chautauqua County a hunter recently shot and killed a woman as she walked her dogs; another shot a truck he had mistaken for a deer. A Wayne County hunter fired several shots, missing his target and hitting a home. A hunter in the town of Holland fired several shots that penetrated an occupied home.

These are the supervisors? Who’s supervising them?

Rick Fuller

West Seneca

Our Letters Policy

Posted 22 February 2018 at 7:45 am

We appreciate input from our readers, and we publish letters to the editor without charge. While open speech and responsibility are encouraged, comments may be rejected if they are purely a personal attack, offensive or repetitive. Comments are the opinions of the authors and not necessarily reflect the opinions of Orleans Hub. Although care is taken to moderate comments, we have no control over how they are interpreted and we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of comments and the rationality of the opinions expressed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content and brevity. Please limit letters to no more than 500 words and provide your name, telephone number, mailing address and a verifiable email address for verification purposes. Letters should be emailed to info@orleanshub.com.

Yates, Somerset officials pass restrictive wind energy laws when they should be embracing Lighthouse Wind

Posted 21 February 2018 at 9:51 am

Editor:

After researching science-based sources, I have come to the conclusion that wind power is safe for humans and all living things and it is a necessary step in curtailing the devastating damage that fossil fuels are doing to the earth.

Future generations depend on us to make responsible decisions to ensure a livable earth for them, and anyone who is truly concerned with the “health, safety and welfare of our citizens for current and future generations” would be working to do everything they can to stop the devastation that fossil fuels are causing our planet.

There are many supporters for the Lighthouse Wind project. The benefits to both Yates and Somerset, two counties and two school districts will be a welcome boost that cannot be ignored just because there is a small, very vocal group against this project.

News stories have reported that “Apex Clean Energy has proposed building up to 70 turbines, each up to 620 feet tall…the tallest turbines in the nation.” Rumors have the heights as high as 700 feet. According to whom? Lighthouse Wind has not filed an application yet. No number of turbines nor height has been confirmed.

Yates and Somerset now have the most restrictive wind laws in the state of New York. Somerset’s coal plant is closing, taxes are rising there 113%, and just wait until both the Yates and Somerset schools need money. There is none. There are no plans for the future in either town other than stopping the wind farm. Then what? Our taxes will continue to rise, there will be no jobs, no reason for people to stay here.

A wind farm could change our future and give our area financial security for some time, not to mention it could make our area more attractive for other development.

We have no plan for the future, and we know the old saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Lighthouse Wind is due a careful consideration rather than an outright ban.

Susan Campbell

Lyndonville

Turbine construction and maintenance have negative impacts on environment

Posted 20 February 2018 at 9:01 am

Editor:

On February 15, 2018, Orleans Hub posted this comment from a Lighthouse wind supporter: “Wind Energy emits no air or water pollution, requires no mining or drilling, uses virtually no water, and creates no hazardous or radioactive waste.”

This individual has taken no effort to research such a statement. If she had, this is what she would have learned. These 600-plus feet industrial wind turbines do not materialize out of thin air. The Mineral Information Institute slogan states that if it can’t be grown it has to be mined.  All of the raw materials have to be mined or drilled.

The cement, gravel, and rebar to form the concrete base are mined. Steel and cast iron to build the tower is mined. Copper for the electrical wire to transmit electricity both inside and transmission is mined and its plastic coatings are made from oil (drilled).

A wind turbine contains more than 8,000 components – many from rare earth minerals that are mined. An MIT study cited that one 2MW turbine contained 800 pounds of neodymium and 130 pounds of dysprosium (both rare earth minerals) to form the magnets needed to transform the mechanical energy of the turning blades into electrical energy for transmission. Mining and drilling produces air and water pollution. Water is used in the manufacturing processes to transform ores into components and in concrete production.

In addition, mining one ton of rare earth minerals produces one ton of radioactive waste.  Mining, processing, and producing wind turbine components produces more radioactive waste than using nuclear energy to generate electricity – and the nuclear reactors produce more electricity as well as a reliable consistent supply.

Inside the nacelle, components are kept lubricated by hydraulic fluids – oil products that are drilled. Hydraulic oil that has to replaced as part of the maintenance on a regular basis. This has resulted in oil spills at turbine sites which pollute local waters. Also one of the new California wind facilities has had oil leak problems as soon as it began operating. One of the jobs is to clean the hydraulic oil off the turbine tower.

And what happens when a turbine catches fire and the only option is to let it burn itself out?  Black smoke and hazardous wastes pollute the air. If a blade fails and flies off the turbine, what happens to that waste?

All of this information is readily available and more if one chooses to open one’s eyes and mind.  We have more to lose than money.

Betty Wolanyk

Somerset

Benefits of turbines for community outweigh negatives, offer opportunity for better future

Posted 15 February 2018 at 8:22 am

Editor:

I was shocked to hear wind turbines compared to smoking last week at the Yates town board meeting.  If anything, our dependence on coal, oil and gas is like a smoking addiction. And wind energy is the cleaner, fresher lifestyle we should be seeking.

Just like coming off cigarettes, many people will kick and scream in the process. It’s an addiction. It’s hard. It’s new. It’s different. But the benefits far outweigh any negatives. While all energy sources have an impact, studies have shown that wind energy’s impacts are some of the lowest. Wind energy emits no air or water pollution, requires no mining or drilling, uses virtually no water, and creates no hazardous or radioactive waste.

I am a former smoker, and I quit because I want to lead a healthier lifestyle. It was hard, but I realized it was better for my health. I pray the towns of Yates and Somerset will realize that we can be a part of moving our area toward a cleaner energy future. In the meantime, it will make us more financially healthy as well with funding for our towns, counties and schools. And, we can be more competitive as we seek further investment in our towns and our future. Otherwise, our towns will continue to decline and our taxes will continue to go up.

I vote for a healthy future for my family and friends in Yates and Somerset. That means supporting the windmills.

Linda Fisk

Lyndonville

Solar power offers better hope for planet than wind energy

Posted 14 February 2018 at 8:43 am

Editor:

In all sincerity, to me, my friend Paul Lauricella’s recent letter was the best I have seen from him.

Provided I understood him, he is undoubtedly correct that fossil fuels brought us to where we are today – for better and for worse. It may be that Paul’s cynical interpretation of Governor Cuomo’s support for wind energy has merit.

I would prefer to think the Governor has some appreciation for climate science and has opted to lead, even if a one-size-fits-all formula demands greater scrutiny. When my son and I spoke with Dr. Richard Perez from S.U.N.Y. Albany, he appeared to have doubts about the merits of wind turbines. Their utility is particularly suspect in an area such as ours. Paul and I may agree on that score.

Anyone who knows me knows I believe dozens of 600’ high wind turbines are an awful fit for the habitat-rich, environmentally-diverse area that is Orleans County.

Paul is likely correct, as well, that only a handful of residents will truly “harvest” the wind, so to speak.

But no amount of denial changes scientific evidence. You know the numbers, facts, statistics and observations of objective researchers. The current occupant of The White House can dismiss global warming as a “Chinese hoax”, but the Chinese are investing “the farm” in a solar future.

The idea that we can turn back the clock is dangerously delusional in this case.

From what I gather, solar energy has a tremendously positive economic and environmental upside. We have subsidized technologies that are in the public interest for a very long time.  Furthermore, if we can give tens of millions in tax breaks to entitled billionaires such as the current occupant of The White House, we can subsidize solar energy.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent

Albion

Turbines in Yates and Somerset would be environmental injustice

Posted 12 February 2018 at 10:49 pm

Editor:

One issue we should also consider when looking at the possible emplacement of up to 70 industrial wind turbines on the rural communities of Yates and Somerset is that of environmental justice.

“The concept behind the term ‘environmental justice’ is that all people – regardless of their race, color, nation or origin or income – are able to enjoy equally high levels of environmental protection. Environmental justice communities are commonly identified as those where residents are predominantly minorities or low-income; where residents have been excluded from the environmental policy setting or decision-making process; where they are subject to a disproportionate impact from one or more environmental hazards; and where residents experience disparate implementation of environmental regulations, requirements, practices and activities in their communities. Environmental justice efforts attempt to address the inequities of environmental protection in these communities.” – (http://www.energy.ca.gov/public_adviser/environmental_justice_faq.html )

Other definitions include the equitable distribution of environmental risks and benefits; fair and meaningful participation in environmental decision-making; recognition of community ways of life, local knowledge, and cultural difference; and the capability of communities and individuals to function and flourish in society. – (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_justice)

This project would certainly not meet the goals of environmental justice! Certainly, we as residents have already been far too excluded from the decision-making process. If this project were to be realized, we would be subject to a disproportionate impact from the well-documented environmental hazards and it certainly would not create a fair and equitable distribution of environmental risks. In addition, our beautiful rural community and way of life need to be recognized.

It is especially galling as the power is not even needed; Niagara Falls is not operating anywhere near capacity and we actually have an excess of renewable energy in our area. Sacrificing our communities despite this fact is the absolute definition of environmental INJUSTICE.

The overwhelming majority of local residents have clearly demonstrated that we do not want our communities industrialized via two election cycles, five surveys and countless letters of opposition. This ill-conceived and poorly sited project should not proceed.

Donn  Riggi

Yates

Community is at crossroads with wind turbines, which represent hope against changing climate

Posted 12 February 2018 at 11:55 am

Editor:

These are difficult times that we live in and we all search for a sense of security. That is a natural response to feeling threatened. The idea of wind turbines looming over us can easily become a daunting image. Now, we are years into the debate over the wisdom of wind turbines in the area that many of us call home.

One hundred fifty years ago, the countryside was being striped by railroad tracks. Those tracks divided many farms and villages. One hundred years ago, our landscape was transformed by telephone poles that carried voice messages and electricity that was transforming life as it was known. Sixty years ago, interstates cut through our lands forcing many to leave their homesteads and others to have their farms cut in half. Each of these changes was met with resistance. Each of these changes changed the fabric of our lives.

Now, we are faced with climate change. Our weather systems are more volatile and extreme. Locally, we saw drought two years ago like I’ve never seen in my 65 years. Last year we saw floods that were worse than I’ve ever seen. The winds in March tore off part of the Lyndonville school roof. This is climate change and as long as we don’t severely reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, climate change will worsen.

Climate change brings with it, economic stress. Droughts, floods and high winds cause destruction that cost a lot of money to repair.

I’ve lived in areas that have built wind farms. Some people thought that the turbines were horrible. I would look at the wind turbines and see something graceful. More importantly, they also represent hope, hope that we, as tenants of this planet might succeed in leaving this world a better place for the next generations.

Yes, we are at a crossroad. Are we willing to make the sacrifice of embracing a somewhat uncomfortable change in our reality that will make a contribution toward a much better and safer tomorrow? I would hope so.

Thank you for reading.

Mark Crosby

Medina

Wind and solar are propped-up technologies pushed by a governor with presidential aspirations

Posted 8 February 2018 at 4:27 pm

Editor:

I have read letters on the wind turbine project now for over 3 years. There are those I agree with and those I don’t.

I have never been embarrassed for anyone expressing what they truly believe and having the courage to publicly state it. What’s left of the 1st amendment guarantees that right. Whether or not it’s an ordinary citizen or an elected official making a fool of themselves, the reader decides.

As far as Apex donating to fireworks, food pantries, toy drives, the hungry, thirsty and downtrodden, these things have been handled by an extremely generous social services agency, Foundations, local organizations, churches, local and state taxpayers and an army of just plain good citizens – long before Apex came around. Some might say Apex is like a politician that comes around only at election time pandering for support. You decide.

Then there are the billions and billions of tax dollars that have been spent on both these poor-producing technologies – wind and solar – under the unrealistic premise that it will save the earth. The vanity of mankind is breathtaking.

On this path the only thing that will be left for future children and grandchildren will be a sad brainwashing and Third World living conditions. Without oil and coal there would be no wind or solar.

I am very thankful for fossil fuels and the great life they have given me. Even the poorest Americans are the envy of the world. Oil and coal are the engines that drive the world economy. A cleaner earth there will not be without fossil fuel use.

I have spent most of my adult life studying green energy and the forces behind it. It is a scam of monumental proportions – with a small army of dupes that believe in it like a religion. The doomsday predictions are always 30 to 100 years out. The predictions come and go with no calamity, yet the same shysters keep being held up as legitimate and they double down on the lie. He who controls the environment controls the population. Controls.

Let’s be honest. How many believe in this wind energy so passionately that they would put them on their property for no pay? How many have even a small wind turbine that they bought without a subsidy because they want to save the earth? That goes for solar, too. How many bought without the taxpayer backing?

The wind project push is about money for the land owners and to satisfy a deranged governor’s presidential pipe dreams. Will wind bring in businesses? I doubt it.

There are few businesses here in the village because there are few willing to take the risk and start one. How come Amish and Mennonites start businesses here? Because they have a work ethic. I believe that is what is lacking among us along with high taxes and regulation.

Please Look up Agenda 21. It is a progressive manifesto comprehensive plan detailing the Globalist’s vision for this century. Our cars are next on the environmental justice warriors’ hit list. Academia and Government are deeply infected. Our children are being brainwashed. You are, too.

Paul Lauricella

Lyndonville

Plan 2014 shifts damage to south shore of Lake Ontario

Posted 7 February 2018 at 2:51 pm

Editor:

As a former member of the Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Study, I would like to take this opportunity to address a letter to the editor written by Andrew Remley (January 29, 2018) who took to task the new chairperson of the Orleans County Legislature, Lynne Johnson. Lynne along with NORA (Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance) has been fighting Plan 2014 since 2012

Plan 2014 was not one of the plans produced by the six-year St. Lawrence River Study but by a closed-door panel that included hydropower, commercial and environmental entities.

There was no representation by riparians or recreational boating. Ms. Johnson understands that Plan 2014 will have a devastating effect on the south shore of the lake. Plan 2014 moves damages that would have occurred in the lower St. Lawrence River to the south shore.

Plan 2014, if it is to be considered a product of the Study does not meet three of the Study’s criteria. First, “there shall not be any disproportionate loss to any interest.”  Plan 2014 shifts most of the damages to the south shore.

Second, “If there is going to be damages, then mitigation of these damages must be in plan before implementation of any plan” and lastly, “the plan development shall be transparent.”

Plan 2014 took away the Control Board’s ability to deviate from plan until a “trigger” was reached. These triggers are set at extreme levels that cause increased damages. Additionally, the old plan 58DD had a criterion (Criterion K) which was an emergency criterion that allowed the board to over discharge to protect properties. Plan 2014 does not have a similar provision except the “triggers” which are set too high.

Plan 2014 will not allow for lower lake levels over time. The IJC even admits that there will be an increase in levels. If Dr. Wilcox said otherwise, he is mistaken. There is over a 300 percent increase in probability of levels in the spring months of March-May above 247 feet.

What he may have been referring to is during times of low supply, the midsummer high peak will be lower for a couple years. This midsummer level would be close to levels seen at the end of November, which will only lead to economic distress for recreational boating and the local fishing industry that Orleans and Niagara counties enjoy. The harbors in Niagara and Orleans counties, particularly at Wilson, will be adversely affects.

This last spring, we acknowledge that there was a tremendous amount of precipitation, however, Plan 2014 has limits built into it that minimizes damage to the lower river which allowed water to build on the lake last spring and which may occur again this year when the Ottawa river has its two freshets in April.

Dr. Daniel Barletta

Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance

Formerly Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Study Board member

Greece resident

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