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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

Re: “The legacy of New York's fracking decision

Maybe the greatest victory for the anti-fracking activists in New York State is to switch the burden of proof from the victims to the producers. A hallmark of European environmentalism is to place the burden of proof on the industries producing products—making them prove their products will do no harm to the public or to the environment before they are allowed on the markets. The reverse has been true on this side of the Atlantic.

Decades of environmental and public health abuses by polluting industries have been allowed to continue business as usual until enough time and energy and research brought the polluters to court.

This statement by acting New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker could have profound implications on how we address environmental concerns in our hemisphere: "Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in NYS," Zucker wrote in a letter to Martens that accompanies the public health report.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Frank J. Regan on 12/25/2014 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

How about compensation for losing the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of your property, worries about health, water contamination, air pollution, truck convoys blocking, let me count the ways #fracking will destroy the way of life for those of us who live in the southern tier. (Who lied to these landowners, telling them they will get rich from shale?) How are those losses calculated?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by against@fracking on 12/24/2014 at 8:35 PM

Re: “The ACA's poison pill?

Before the ACA the poor and uninsured could easily get health insurance for free in Arizona. It is called ahcccs or Mercy Care for the poor. GOP don't need a new healtcare plan to replace the ACA since the old system was very effective.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Arizona Jim on 12/24/2014 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Ho, ho, ho! Merry mayoral control!

Mayoral Control?
We know that our elected school board has failed miserably to improve Rochester's public schools. Our public schools are the worst in the state, and our school district one of the worst in the nation.
We also know that those school commissioners keep getting re-elected, which suggests the voters aren't much smarter than the students in our public schools.
While Mayor Warren did state that she would not seek mayoral control of the schools during her campaign, she promptly resurrected the Office of Special Projects after her election, and made Allen Williams commissioner of that office.
Allen Williams is known among "education circles" as favoring and promoting mayoral control of the schools, and this was long before Lovely Warren was elected mayor.
That might have seemed a bit, well, suspicious.
Now Mayor Warren states that mayoral control is up to the governor and the state assembly.
It IS different from her campaign statements.
The only problem is that Mayor Warren's administration, so far, has been nothing but a series of gaffes, half-truths and untruths. The mayor ( and her staff ) spends way too much time pulling her foot out of her mouth to be entrusted with controlling Rochester's schools.
We see that the school board has been failing unashamedly for decades. Getting rid of them, either as individuals to be voted out of office or by eliminating the board altogether is only part of the solution to the problem.
Mayoral control of the schools might be a viable option if a more intelligent, less power-mad mayor were in office.
We haven't got one.

Steve Bathory

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Istvan Bathory on 12/24/2014 at 2:10 PM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

This is the voice of sheer desperation. Mr. Reed has argued loudly for state's rights in this matter--until the state banned fracking. This to me rhymes with the logic of trade agreements like TPP that are now being negotiated in secret and would give corporations rights equal to sovereign nations, including the right to sue for potential lost profits caused by democratic laws, especially environmental laws. Corporations are very close to insisting that we owe them a living--and juicy profit margins. Mr. Reed's posturing reduces that argument to absurdity. But just because they're absurd doesn't mean that these ideas aren't powerful and in motion as we speak.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pat Goldsmith on 12/24/2014 at 1:27 PM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

Nothing has been "taken"; the methane is still there in the shale. Mineral rights owners can still drill into other formations, such as the Trenton Black River, or even into the Marcellus or Utica using vertical low volume fracking. With methane prices so low, it is probably not economical to do so, but , as Commissioner Martens pointed out, it's highly questionable if high volume fracking is economical in NY state either. There just isn't that much recoverable methane in the thinner, shallower shale layers of NY.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joanne Corey on 12/24/2014 at 10:53 AM

Re: “New York officials reject fracking

Besides being dangerous and unhealthy, fracking was just another instrument of income inequality. The gas companies become ultra rich and there was potential for landowners to become rich. Others would have benefitted from jobs. But as we learned from Pennsylvania, the boom turned to bust quite rapidly.

Now that NY has banned fracking, activists must push for solar and wind and as yet unknown alternatives. Imagine spreading the wealth by helping everyone with a roof to install solar panels. If activists play their cards right, no one will even think about revisiting fracking in the future...because NY will be far ahead of other states on development of future energy sources.

By banning fracking, NY is finally allowing the future to start now.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 12/24/2014 at 8:29 AM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

Should non-property owners be compensated for the inability to lease any land for fracking?

Instead of Reed's money wasting idea, let's spread the wealth by helping everyone put solar panels on every roof.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 12/24/2014 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

Property ownership is a myth. When someone can't pay the taxes anymore, then they have to leave. The property is immovable, so no one can "take" it. The gas underneath, by law, must not be removed.

Compensation? For what?

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 12/22/2014 at 10:24 PM

Re: “Warren's Facebook flap

Just when you think this train wreck of an administration cannot possibly get any worse, Lovely creates more madness and confusion out of thin air. Back when she was first elected, the fear was that she would be David Gantt's puppet. Actually, that would be an improvement over what we have now. It just seems to be one unforced error after another with her. She's not up to the job.

25 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Animule on 12/22/2014 at 9:08 PM

Re: “Warren's Facebook flap

This Facebook page has Lovely's name on it. She is responsible for what is posted there, in her name, no matter how many people she allows to access the page. The claim, "I was hacked," if made, is implausible and particularly unbelievable from a person who has done nothing but give us reasons to question her judgment - and ours in electing her in the first place.

27 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank Thomas Jr. on 12/22/2014 at 7:48 PM

Re: “Warren's Facebook flap

It is hard to know whether to believe Warren's claim that she knew nothing about the posting, as she has so often made dubious claims this past year, going back to her uncle's reckless driving episodes. But assuming it is true, it brings up another question. How can anyone with basic intelligence provide their business passwords to several people (same question applies to personal ones). Most companies train their employees to keep the codes confidential and to change them at regular intervals. Does Rochester not have basic IT security standards, or does Warren simply ignore them as only applying to the little people? Perhaps she can explain that to everyone tomorrow.

29 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Luxembourg on 12/22/2014 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

"You should compensate individuals for taking their property," Reed said. Who is you, one wonders? What property was taken? Would NYS take ownership of the gas in exchange for compensation? How would the amount of compensation be determined? I doubt that Tom Reed has thought this through.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by William Hungerford on 12/22/2014 at 5:38 PM

Re: “Warren's Facebook flap

Wow. That's some hasty and ungraceful backpedaling. Sorry Mayor Warren, if it's possible that someone else used your account, then you suck at security, which begs the question how seriously you take the security of ROCity. The more likely scenario is that Mayor Warren did post that, but really, really, really wishes she hadn't and believes that the citizenry of ROCity is stupid enough to believe that mysteriously someone else posted that. This is why our "leaders" are so afraid of transperancy; they're afraid that if we actually see them for who they are and see what they actually do, we'll hold them accountable.

28 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bart Robello on 12/22/2014 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Warren's Facebook flap

I doubt that the mayor wrote that comment, as she rarely uses Facebook. She has her paid staff to do that. While that is the way many of her staffers might feel about the city's reaction to the tent city underneath the 490 overpass, it's doubtful that any of them would be stupid enough to post it as being from the mayor and still hope to keep their cushy jobs.
On the other hand, many of my friends and acquaintances on Facebook have had their accounts hacked. This might be one such instance.
Steve Bathory
Rochester, New York

3 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Istvan Bathory on 12/22/2014 at 5:16 PM

Re: “Reed: state should compensate landowners because of fracking decision

So should the state compensate me for disallowing a swine farm in my residential neighborhood?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tom on 12/22/2014 at 4:01 PM

Re: “School board approves UR plan for East

"the usual $37" is a flat rate hourly pay for required hourly work beyond the 7hr day such as meetings and training. Some schools are using this flat hourly wage to pay for tutoring and extended day programs which it was not intended for initially. School leaders score big on budget when they can charm teachers into accepting this rate instead of a salary differnetial. Hourly wages do not account for planning, preparation, grading, parent contact, management and assessment that every group of students requires. My plumber makes about $50 and hour, and that is because he likes my family. My brother's hourly HVAC/punchlist rate is about $95. I have no idea what my uncle's hourly carpentry rate is, but think it's over $150/ hr. $37/hr is NOT a good ad for recruiting teachers. Not a good precedent to set for teachers nationally. "Why teachers don't have second homes and boats." "Why teachers dress 'like teachers'"

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kristine Fredrick on 12/21/2014 at 12:57 PM

Re: “School board approves UR plan for East

For clarification. The per pupil amount for East will not come close to covering the amount required for the proposal. This was shared by the superintendent as a 10.5 million dollar deficit. In fact Commissioner Powell made the point that without tremendous financial help from the state, the cost would no doubt have implications for the rest of the district. She went so far as to mention Joe Morelle by name. There is no disputing the cost per per pupil for East students after this is done will far exceed PP costs in other schools.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gotta Say It on 12/19/2014 at 10:04 PM

Re: “School board approves UR plan for East

Gotta Say It:

One clarification. Nothing was taken from us. The Board of Education took the initiative and sought out this partnership. In fact, our District had other options which would have included "phasing out" the old East and "phasing in" a new school. But as you say we were "humble" enough to know that our best chance of improving East was looking for assistance from others. In doing so, we have supported a process of "putting the power back where it belongs in the schools". Accordingly, in creating this plan, the U of R sought out the advice of school leaders, teachers, students, parents, and community leaders. We think the EPO proposal (viewable at is "bold"; innovative; and likely to generate the kind of results that will make this District proud.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Van Henri White on 12/19/2014 at 6:32 PM

Re: “School board approves UR plan for East

Gotta Say It: I've read your post several times and still don't know what you're talking about. The school district receives a per pupil amount of money for education. East won't get any more money than the per pupil amount that all the schools receive.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kathryn Quinn Thomas on 12/19/2014 at 5:49 PM

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