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On page 3 (Urban Journal, May 13), Mary Anna Towler states that fixing poverty in Rochester will take "a lot of money." On page 4, I read that "the Rochester school board passed an $802-million budget for the 2015-2016 school year in a 5-2 vote."
Just how much do we need to spend to see progress? What is that magic number? Is it truly about money or should we start dealing with the stifling politics of this city?
Recently, New York State moved to ban fracking because of negative consequences for public health, and based that decision on scientific conclusions. Yet NYS still has an open-door policy for the infrastructure required to move dirty fracked gas from other Marcellus Shale states to the Northeast and more lucrative markets.
New Yorkers assume all of the risk and get none of the reward. Gas infrastructure, like fracking itself, is exempt from Clean Water and Air regulations, and will have little regulatory oversight.
Along the shores of Seneca Lake — drinking water for 100,000 people — there are plans to store billions of gallons of fracked gas in unlined salt caverns with faulty geology. The group We Are Seneca Lake has been engaged in a civil disobedience campaign protesting the storage project since October 2014 and to date, there have been over 200 arrests.
There are 24 local municipal resolutions opposed to the gas storage, and 327 local businesses and wineries are members of Gas Free Seneca's wine and business coalition.
Dr. David Carpenter, director of the NYS Institute of Health and the Environment at SUNY Albany, recently called on Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation to support a consistent policy for evaluating heath impacts of shale gas development regarding gas infrastructure build-out.
City writer Jeremy Moule in a recent post said that the DEC filed a brief as part of an issues conference to determine if permits should be granted to Crestwood Midstream to expand gas storage on Seneca Lake. The DEC, in saying that opponents have not produced enough evidence to support their claims, even though ample evidence was presented, seems to support the Houston-based gas giant instead of its constituents.
I would like NYS and the DEC to use the same health and science standards used to ban fracking to examine the impact of the massive gas infrastructure build-out happening across the state.
New York could be a leader in the development of renewable energy instead of a gas industry accomplice. If you love the Finger Lakes region and want to see it preserved from fossil industry greed, call Governor Cuomo and your elected officials. Go to www.wearesenecalake.com
Keep in mind that large parts of this city are virtual "food deserts" with only corner stores for food. So, we have (low income) dense neighborhoods LACKING stores, and we will now have an area (higher income) that will be served by four grocery stores?
I'm not saying that they shouldn't have a store there, but we also need them in other areas of the city!