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Beyond property rights

October 27, 2011

Tough times make for tough choices. The world has become a very troubled place. Thankfully, our inalienable right to choose who represents our concerns for basic needs remains a constant. We the people still have time to correct some past wrongs. One of those was to sign away our sovereignty to oil and gas behemoths with foreign interests and whose stocks are traded commodities. What we are left with, whether we’ve signed leases or not, no pointing fingers, is our right to protect our safety. We do still have a voice. We do still have a say in how the situation in Damascus plays out.

We can elect a candidate for supervisor who has courage to ask questions, the intellect to see the whole picture, the sense of purpose to represent all with no agenda but to lead and the heart to stay in the game from way back when our property rights were threatened in the late ‘70s. Men, women, people who care that we keep our rights close to home, please vote for Dolores Keesler for Damascus Township Supervisor on November 8. It’s about getting it right—this time.

Jennifer Canfield
Damascus, PA

I would add

What is the proper definition of "property rights"? I do not believe that we exist as an island, as no man is an island...

Zoning is not an enemy. All things can be misused, but as a principle, zoning is a protection for the greater whole of the community. We can all personalize this to the impact that we would consider negative. Shale gas extraction is a heavy industry that should not be allowed within rural, residential areas, let alone special protection waters, core forest habitat, national parks, scenic byways, and the river corridor.

It seems that Joe Canfield defines property rights as the ability to do whatever profits the individual property owner, as long as it is not strictly defined as illegal. He seems to think that property rights trump societal rights, and even moral rights. Slavery was not defined as illegal in the southern states, and yet we all can agree that this was...incorrect?

The minority of property owners, who own the majority of the acreage, and yet who pay the minority of the taxes, should not be allowed to force this heavy industry upon the majority of the tax base.

The regulations are a joke, as is the enforcement capacity of PA DEP. There has been no cumulative impact assessment, and the rate of development is left up to the speculative market place.

The health and environmental impacts of the industry are overwhelmingly negative in the extraction areas. Joe Canfield seems to have been ready to extract since he was offered a leasing agreement, even while the industry was claiming that the frac'ing fluid was only "water and sand".

Please vote for the cautious approach, and rational investigation. Please vote for Delores Keesler.