Regarding an endangered water supply and more

Letters to the editor September 3 to 9

Posted 9/2/20

Letters to the editor September 3 to 9

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Regarding an endangered water supply and more

Letters to the editor September 3 to 9


‘Why the LDC?’

When our County Legislature recently created a Local Development Corporation (LDC) to explore leasing or selling our Adult Care Center (ACC), it did so mindful of recommendations provided recently by an auditor for improving the ACC’s balance sheet. By my estimation, the auditor made good sense.

So, why the LDC?

Though some legislators evidently believe it’s required to set higher reimbursement rates at the ACC, others do not. Admittedly late then, a fulsome discussion among the Sullivan County Legislature on the benefit and drawback of this LDC therefore remains in order. There are legitimate concerns.

County residents need to understand, clearly, whether, and why, efforts outside of the LDC will, or will not, be pursued in furtherance of the auditor’s suggestions. So far, it appears all bets have been placed on the LDC; unless there’s a compelling reason why, that should not be the case.

Dave Colavito
Rock Hill, NY

Regarding ad hominem argumentation

Your mea culpa [in the July 9 edition] about a snafu-or-two with several letters is an example of refreshing transparency, but your concern over ad hominem argumentation may be misplaced. We are no longer in the Intro to Logic classroom, pointing out the fallacy of arguing ad hominem rather than ad rem. We are stuck in Trump World where nearly everything is a lie; so, if the Don makes a statement, it is only fair to consider the source. Even more generally, debating any value-based proposition is a circumstantial process, which includes the motives, biases, etc. of whoever is advancing the statement. Sadly, this has become true even in fact-based debates, since we no longer heed Sen. Moynihan’s admonition: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

John A MacKinnon
Lackawaxen, PA

In support of Marian Keegan

Here in NE Pennsylvania, we are blessed with a near-pristine environment but are challenged with keeping it that way. Our creeks are some of the cleanest in Pennsylvania, all designated “high quality” and some, like the Sawkill Creek, are designated “exceptional quality.” They run their waterfall-laden course to the beautiful Delaware River, which is the cleanest it’s been for many decades. Named the 2020 “River of the Year” by American Rivers, it called the Delaware “a national success story.” Vast areas of publicly-owned forest lands provide residents and visitors with a natural experience that is vital to our spiritual and physical well-being and tourist economy.

As the current federal administration cuts the EPA budget, slackens regulations that protect our life-sustaining resources and treats the environment like just another pesky obstacle for industry, the PA State government can and should step up to protect where the federal government will not. Now it is more important than ever to support Marian Keegan in her bid to become the State Representative for District 139 (most of Pike and part of Wayne counties).

Pennsylvania, a resource-rich state, needs a balanced and thoughtful approach to legislation that respects the environment, keeps industry in check and protects our rights as citizens to clean air, water and soil. As a scientist and professional forester, she knows that it is not environment versus industry, but that both can coexist if done properly. Indeed, we can and should be a model for such.

As an artist whose paintings reflect the natural treasures in this region and our proud heritage as home to Gifford Pinchot, our nations’ first Chief Forester and father of the American Conservation Movement, I know how special this place is and how important it is to support Marian. I hope you are as excited as I am about her campaign and would like to urge you to support her in the November election. Marian will be an informed voice, our voice, in the State House, protecting our clean and healthy environment in our little piece of heaven.

Marie Liu
Milford, PA

Regarding an endangered water supply

The Columbia Hill Neighborhood Alliance (CHNA) wants to alert the general public in Sullivan County to the Town of Fallsburg’s two-week water emergency announcement issued on August 20, 2020 for the Consolidated Water Districts of Hurleyville, Loch Sheldrake, Woodbourne, South Fallsburg and Old Falls allegedly due to undetected leaks. However, this alarming low water supply situation may also be caused by the excessive seasonal demand on the Town’s water supply system, a harbinger of things to come in other towns as well.

CHNA has been raising alarms about the endangered water supply for many years. In the August 25 edition of the Sullivan County Democrat, Molly Messenger, Code Enforcement Officer Administrator, announced that there is not enough water for all the developments that want to be built. In addition, it was pointed out that there is a fear of insufficient amount of water for the community’s fire-protection needs. The Fallsburg Town Board also expressed concern that the current water tanks “are struggling to keep up.”

This all ties directly into the proposed Gan Eden Estates development in the Town of Thompson since its main water source is two wells in the Town of Fallsburg. Fallsburg does not have enough water for Fallsburg much less for a 534-unit development in the neighboring Town of Thompson.

The Towns of Fallsburg and Liberty combined probably have triple or more that many units pending review and approval. It is time for Fallsburg, Thompson and Liberty to realize that this onslaught of primarily second-home housing development demand is unsustainable and cannot remain unchecked. CHNA agrees with Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Vegliante that if these water problems exist now, adding developments will add to the problem. Therefore, “We need to resolve the issue before going forward.”

Roger Betters, CHNA
Fallsburg, NY

Meeting in the middle over climate change: a sustainable solution

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, July 2020 was the hottest July ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, surpassing the previous record set last year.

Americans are often presented as being on one side of the political divide or the other, but there is a broad river in the middle in which we all swim where we share interests, concerns and core values. The climate crisis is one of the areas in which we swim together, or sweat together, as it seems this summer. 

According to a USA Today survey reported in January, 72 percent of Americans say they want to reduce the effects of global climate change, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Voters are looking for climate policies that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

A simulator developed by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan’s Sustainability Initiative indicates that to make the greatest impact on the climate crisis in the shortest amount of time, we need an economy-wide producer fee on carbon-based fuels. British Columbia’s successful Carbon Tax Credit program is a model, in which the money collected from a carbon fee is allocated in equal shares back to the people. In five years, fossil fuel consumption dropped 20 percent with significant job gains in health care, retail and education. 

The U.S. can lead by establishing a similar program on a grand scale, shifting away from carbon-based fuels, toward innovation, job creation and a livable planet. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) lays out a workable policy for a carbon fee and dividend program that is supported by diverse groups such as Alliance for Market Solutions, Climate Leadership Council, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, Presbyterian Church (USA) and Trout Unlimited.  

Climate change presents an opportunity for Congress to work together to address the needs of the US as a whole. As we get closer to November 3, we need to make sure candidates acknowledge our common climate concerns and address sustainable solutions, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Peggy Johansen
Livingston Manor, NY

Sullivan County, adult care center, ad hominem, Marian Keegan, water supply, climate change,


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