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Feedback 6/26 

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Fracking is 'lunacy'

I read Victor Poleshuck's stunning suggestion that fracking would be good for US foreign policy ("Fracking and Foreign Affairs," Feedback). What is so difficult to understand about the fact that poisoned water and exposure to radium and radon kill people? It beats me that someone would gloss over this in favor of improved foreign policy.

Perhaps it's the difficulty of getting your mind around the magnitude of water involved. If all 200,000 wells proposed for New York are fracked just once at 5 million gallons per well, that comes to 1 trillion gallons of poisoned water. That is more water than is contained in nine of the 11 Finger Lakes combined.

Two hundred billion to 400 billion gallons of that water returns to the surface radioactive. This lethal liquid must be shipped or stored somewhere and kept away from people, animals, wildlife, and whatever clean drinking water remains, with no accidents or spills.

It is ludicrous to pretend that this can be done. People will be hurt and killed. Large areas of land will be unlivable, and our drinking water, the bedrock of life, will be ruined.

What I struggle to get my mind around is why we are even considering such lunacy except for the enrichment of a few powerful investors. Fracking is insane. It's work that would make a terrorist proud.

JOHN KASTNER

Maher's 'lazy refuge'

It is a sad statement of our civilization's state that we uphold a comedian such as Bill Maher as offering some sort of wisdom ("Bill Maher's Funny Fury"). He claims to simply "inform," but his slander of those who hold opposing points of view as "really ... racially motivated" reveals his ignorance.

Name-calling is a retreat from reason, a lazy refuge from having to argue, an abandonment of the respect for others that binds the social contact.

FRANK HOWARD

Crosswalk dangers

Recently a new crosswalk was painted on East Main Street between the YMCA and a city parking garage. I parked in that garage and was in the crosswalk as cars coming from the west approached me. They didn't look like they were going to stop; however, I stood my ground rather than run back to the sidewalk, since a state law says they are supposed to stop.

The lady driving in my lane almost came to a full stop but then went around me by going into the parking lane. As she passed me, I yelled to her that she was supposed to stop. She looked at me as if I was from Mars. After she passed me I started to continue across the street, and at that moment a car in the inside lane heading east ran into me and then continued down the street.

Some employees of the YMCA witnessed the accident and called both an ambulance and the police. When the policeman arrived I mentioned that I would like to see one of those signs placed on the crosswalk, saying it's a state law that you're supposed to stop. He suggested I make a big stink in regards to the sign and commented that no one stops for people in crosswalks.

What's the use of having a crosswalk if people still have to wait for all the cars to pass before crossing a street? It was probably safer to let people cross the street without the crosswalk than to give a false sense of security with the crosswalk. I realize that in Rochester, much of our Police Department's efforts are spent preventing crime and solving crimes. We seem to rely heavily on red-light cameras to enforce traffic violations. But it's about time to put forth some effort enforcing the state law regarding crosswalks.

CHARLIE PETERSON

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