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A letter to Senator Bonacic

June 14, 2012

Last week, a group of local residents who are concerned about gas drilling in the Delaware River Valley and in Sullivan County met at your office on Dolson Avenue in Middletown, NY. We had been told that we would be permitted to visit your office and to make a statement. Instead, we were asked to leave, and when we attempted to talk to your staff and to explain why we had come, police arrived and we were instructed to leave immediately.

We wanted to demonstrate our concerns with signs and some street theatre in the parking area across from your office, believing we had a right to hold a peaceful demonstration. Police informed us that we were trespassing and that we mistakenly assumed that your office was New York State property, but, they said, we were on private property.

Your staff confirmed that we had notified your office of our plans to come. I had learned of these plans at the May meeting of the Senior Legislative Action Committee, of which I am a member. I also belong to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy. Both these organizations have large memberships and are working for the betterment of our country: legal rights for senior citizens; and pure drinking water, clean air and a safe environment for all our citizens. It saddens me to think that we were rudely turned away from your door, even though all we wanted to do was to impress on you how important our views and feelings are, and hoping that you would pay attention to them. Please, Senator Bonacic, give us another chance. We would like to talk to you. Albany is far away and we would like to meet with you in Middletown at your convenience or in Sullivan County where most of us live.

Heidi Schneider
Narrowsburg, NY