It was great to read the letters regarding the Kerry loss and to see the strong feeling of "let's not give up" (The Mail, November 24). This is a period of low ebb for many of us who voted for Kerry and wanted change, and it's important not to give up on our ideas and programs.
A new issue came across my desk, from BushGreenwatch, a newsletter put together by Environmental Media services, an excellent group of journalists who write about environmental issues and news. (The website is www.bushgreenwatch.org. Readers can also go to the American Lands Alliance's website, www.american.lands.org, or saveourenvironment.org for more information on saving forests.)
Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon has proposed spending $40 million of taxpayer funds to build roads into previously unlogged, old-growth areas of the SiskiyouNational Forest. The project would let logging companies clear-cut another great swath of the national forests, extracting 74,000 truck-loads of logs. This while our forests are dying due to forest fires and, often, to bad logging practices.
The logging project would also damage salmon spawning areas nearby, plus several other fish species. While we cut funds to our welfare and environmental programs, we help large companies overlog areas that should not be logged in the first place, in federal forest lands that are specifically protected under federal forest-conservation laws. Smith also wants to deny any judicial review of the project.
This is no time to use up more old-growth forest and sacrifice the ecosystem. We should be spending these funds on the needs of the poor. We ought to utilize our federal environmental protection laws in a more consistent, coordinated fashion, emphasize recycling and conservation, and fund clean-up of the toxic sites that often plague the poorer neighborhoods of America.
People should be aware of the threat to the SiskiyouForest and write or email their members of Congress.
Elizabeth A. Katz, East Avenue, Rochester
It's just like you to come out unabashedly in favor of Mayor Johnson's proposal to save the fast ferry.
In a Democrat and Chronicle letter in September, I, too, called for saving the fast ferry, but I also asked that we be honest about what a venture like that entails. This mayor belongs to a party --- the Democrats --- that claims to be for the common man and against big business. But he saw fit to sink millions of dollars of taxpayers' money into the purchasing of an oversized mode of public transport, and the infrastructure (terminal, etc.) needed to operate it, to then be given to a private corporation, CATS. He did so without asking any hard questions of the operators of this ferry or getting satisfactory answers.
This mayor has also seen fit to sink several more millions of dollars of taxpayers' money into the building of a soccer stadium, of questionable usefulness, also to be given to a private corporation, the Rochester Rhinos, no questions asked.
However, he nixed the proposal by Wegmans to build a super store on Elmwood Avenue in the city. This proposal was not going to cost the taxpayers money, would have created a nice chunk of jobs in addition to providing tax revenue for the city, and would have revitalized a section of a city that is dying in front of our eyes.
I call for the impeachment of this mayor.
Regarding the fast ferry: I propose that 1) we let the current one be repossessed; 2) buy, with the issuing of bonds, a smaller one; 3) put it under public ownership and not run by anybody connected with the mayor; and 4) expect, at least at the beginning, that the venture will have to supported by taxpayers' money.
Let's be honest about it, and a fast ferry just may become the focus for a renewal of Charlotte and the city at large.
Italo G. Savella, FernwoodPark, Rochester
Between your article about the fast ferry ("Ferry, Ferry, Quite Contrary," November 24) and the Democrat and Chronicle's November 25th article, it's clear that the fast ferry problem is far from being easily settled.
The D&C articlepresents the more serious challenge to CATS: ABN AMRO and EFIC have started foreclosure proceedings against the ship, and I bet that these will take precedence over anything else. As this article pointed out, the ship needs to be protected from physical deterioration during the coming winter months, and as there is no money available for mothballing operations, the powers that be will have to make a decision within the next week or two about the fate of the ferry.
It's a shame that the CATS operation has come to this point in its short life. I guess what has become obvious is that in order for any business operation to succeed, it must have its financials, including contingency funding, in impeccable order, or it will fail in time.
David Troup, Wintergreen Way, Brighton
If some of our legislators are concerned about the dollar burden to local residents, why not allow some sort of annual discount ticket to everyone -- say, $10? That could on top of any other discount or savings offered. It would go to only city and MonroeCounty residents, only once each year. It would provide large savings to those who are paying, with a stimulus for those who haven't had the pleasure of an excursion.
Bob Miglioratti, Highland Avenue, Rochester
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