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Letters to the Editor for July 27

Friday, July 27, 2012
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Thruway toll hike will hurt truckers, trickle down to consumers

The proposed 45 percent Thruway toll hike on commercial vehicles is an attack on all New Yorkers that will not only negatively impact truckers and businesses, but will trickle down to families and individuals.

Already facing a challenging economy along with crushing taxes and fees, the Thruway Authority now proposes a “toll adjustment” on three-axle commercial vehicles. The authority believes it is necessary for fiscal stability until a long-term plan is developed to finance its needs.

When will it be enough? These increases are exacting tolls on the fragile economy of our state and will have a ripple effect on all of us. The proposed hikes will result in higher prices in our supermarkets, in our home improvement stores, in our shopping centers and have a profound effect on our wallets.

According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, New York ranks second to last, finishing only ahead of New Jersey. In a state known for being less than business-friendly, we simply can ill afford any further “adjustments” on businesses and New Yorkers.

Rather, we should be looking to eliminate the costs. We have bailed out the Thruway Authority time and time again. With the recent takeover of the New York Racing Association, the time may be near to take similar action against the Thruway.

With no accountability or leadership, the authority has had free rein and cost the taxpayers significant amounts of wasted resources. It has failed to restructure and streamline operations.

Furthermore, the authority should be accountable to the state Legislature, where approval would be necessary for such increases.

We should commission a comprehensive review to determine cost-cutting measures and consider whether the authority should be dissolved and consolidated into the Department of Transportation.

We cannot continue on this path of ineptitude and arrogance that is draining the taxpayers of this great state.

I urge you to participate in one of three public hearings around the state in August:

u Aug. 16, from 6-8 p.m. at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square;

u Aug. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 6301 State Route 298, East Syracuse;

u Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Hilton Garden Inn, 15 Crossroads, Newburgh.

Public comments are being accepted through Aug. 24 and can be submitted by e-mail at tollcomments@thruway.ny.gov or mailed to the Thruway Authority, 200 Southern Boulevard, PO Box 189, Albany, 12201.

George Amedore

Albany

The writer is a state assemblyman.

Global warming no problem, green energy is

The July 22 Sunday Gazette gave front billing to a Viewpoint by a modern-day “Chicken Little” [claiming that] the extreme weather is due to “global warming” and that we must implement green energy to avert this pending disaster. The author cites hundreds of broken records and extreme weather events as proof.

While I must admit the weather has been warmer than normal recently, let’s put it in perspective. The “records” that have been set are base-lined by the weather of the last 110 years or so. This represents a statistically insignificant sample when you take into account that Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

Furthermore, it is well documented that in the last 1,000 years, we have had a warming period that made Greenland green and allowed the colonization and farming by the Vikings. A bit later, the Little Ice Age occurred, lasting for several hundred years and impacting world history. Both of these weather events predated any industrialization and carbon emissions. Furthermore, approximately 10,000 years ago, there were glaciers a mile thick where the author of last Sunday’s article stands today.

I would offer that the weather then was “extreme.” Again, no carbon emissions by humans caused it.

One thing is certain: The world is going to get colder and the world is going to get warmer. We will have hurricanes and droughts. Darwin’s theory of natural selection would not have been possible without extreme weather events. All of these events will occur, no matter how many billions we invest in green energy technology.

Furthermore, if we let these “Chicken Lttles” stop New Yorkers from the economic opportunity that hydraulic fracturing represents, we will be very sorry. You can drive for miles and miles upstate and see empty and decrepit factories that were shuttered decades ago. We are the “Empire State” in name only, partly because of the cost of energy.

If we continue to give credibility to Chicken Littles who want to invest in this green energy boondoggle, we will face financial ruin. We must protect the environment and our resources, but we must take advantage of this incredible opportunity now.

Peter Diana

Rotterdam

Mitt Romney a mystery wrapped in an enigma

Who is Mitt Romney and why should he be president?

First of all, he is quite a man of mystery. His real name is apparently Willard but he chooses to go by Mitt. That’s fine, I guess, we’re all entitled to a nickname, especially if our parents have given us a real clunker for a proper name.

Next, he claims success at running Massachusetts as governor for four years, but his record there resulted in very low job growth — 47th out of 50 in the nation. His one success in Massachusetts was a health program on which Obamacare is based, but we’re not supposed to ask any questions about that as he now denounces the program.

His other achievements include saving the Olympics, which he did with a huge infusion of U.S. government money. Wow, very clever, but don’t mention that fact.

He started and ran Bain Capital, an investment capital or “vulture capital” enterprise (as his GOP primary opponents called it) that eliminated many functioning businesses by loading them with debt and selling them off, putting thousands out of work, then walking off with the profits. He also managed to outsource jobs — sending them overseas — all for the sake of personal profit.

Mitt apparently has offshore tax shelters in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and at least one Swiss bank account. All this is shrouded in mystery because he won’t release his tax returns for the past several years. His lovely wife, Anne, doesn’t think the American electorate is entitled to know any more about their finances, referring to the voting public as “you people.” Shall we eat cake, too, Anne?

Anne says Mitt’s a good man who tithes 10 percent of their income to their church. This, of course, is tax-deductible. And that particular church is the Mormon Church, which, again, we the people are not supposed to ask too many questions about. More mystery.

I’d hope we demand a much higher standard for transparency from our presidential candidates.

Edward Cunniff

Clifton Park

Three quacks for Albany’s Aqua Ducks

I am writing in reference to the demise of the Aqua Ducks [July 15 Gazette]. I rue the day we lose them!

I’m 86 years old. I have lived in Schenectady my whole life. I never really had an occasion to visit Albany except for business. So a few years ago, when the Carman senior citizens got together, we took a trip on the Aqua Ducks. What a fun day! It was also amazing.

I knew nothing about those stately old buildings and their relation to New York history. I believe the Better Business Bureau could not have done a better job of advertising Aqua Ducks tours for tourists. Also, elementary school children could have learned and enjoyed the trip.

The conductors on the Aqua Duck trips were fantastic! They really knew their history and seemed to enjoy their jobs.

Albany, I think you have suffered a great loss!

Frances Payette

Rotterdam

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comments

July 27, 2012
7:33 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Edward Cunniff

I agree, Obama should release his college records and his college thesis and his applications for student aid and also the records of why he and Michelle had their law licenses revoked. He might want to tell us about that land deal with Tony Renko the felon and his relationship with the admitted terrorist that blew up the pentagon William Ayers.

I believe those are much more important than how much money Romney legally made in the U.S. Since when is success and hard work against the law. I really don't care that Romney may have offshore accounts, I care that he will fix America. Anyone that wants four more years of Obama is to stupid too argue with.

July 27, 2012
4:04 p.m.
JLibertarian says...

Peter Diana

Exactly right. I sent a letter into the paper with similar sentiments but it hasn't been published yet.

July 27, 2012
6:49 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

Peter Diana:
You are yet another victim of the misinformation spread by the know-nothing party.

Fracking, does not hurt the atmosphere. Period.
If anything, it's better for the atmosphere than coal burning, so as far as climate change abatement goes, fracking is actually a good thing.
OK, for every fracking job gained, 2 mining jobs will be lost, but hey, they're creating JOBS.

However, the real danger in fracking, is what it does to the land, and the groundwater, which I think is a more imminent danger that atmospheric change.

100 years from now, we may well find a better source of energy, but we will never find another source of water.
Fracking lays to waste, vast areas of land, that becomes undesirable for future development, and the companies involved don't exactly have a sterling track record either.
No water, no development.

Even a remote chance of ruining our water supply is not worth it.
If you damaged the watershed supplying NYC, it would have global implications.
Fracking is a very short sighted money grab, and not for you and I, because the companies involved, have already stated that it would do nothing to reduce our energy costs, and most of the gas produced, would be sold overseas.

Also, it is not going to revitalize the American steel industry as they have lied about in their commercials
There is more steel in one city block of Manhattan, than there is in the entire Alaskan pipeline.

For you and me, there is no upside to fracking, or anything else that does permanent damage for short term gain.

July 27, 2012
6:54 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Friitzdawg you are absolutely wrong about the green movement con but you are right about fracking, I guess even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

July 27, 2012
7:30 p.m.
carolynclayton says...

WmMarinac - you should check and double check your foot stamping facts before you voice your childish accusation of people being "stupid" if they don't agree with you. you're giving republicans a bad name.

July 27, 2012
8:42 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

Romney hasn't offered a single solution yet.
His entire platform is OBAMA BAD!
That, and denouncing the health plan HE designed.

July 27, 2012
9:08 p.m.
wmarincic says...

carolynclayton

I never said people were stupid that did not agree with me, I said that people that wanted four more years of a failed President (Obama) were too stupid to argue with. BTW I'm not a Republican.

July 27, 2012
9:27 p.m.
wanda1948 says...

Will Romney also release his college transcripts? Did George W. Bush ever release his? Obama was the first president in my 63-plus years of following politics that has ever been asked to produce a birth certificate.

From FactCheck.org:

Q: Did Barack and Michelle Obama “surrender” their law licenses to avoid ethics charges?

A: No. A court official confirms that no public disciplinary proceeding has ever been brought against either of them, contrary to a false Internet rumor. By voluntarily inactivating their licenses, they avoid a requirement to take continuing education classes and pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees. Both could practice law again if they chose to do so.

And I don't call people names because of the political candidates they choose. If you want to call people stupid, that's your choice. I don't engage in name calling.

July 27, 2012
9:29 p.m.
wanda1948 says...

And when did Bill Ayers "blow up the Pentagon?" You are entitled to your owon opinion, but certainly not your own facts.

July 28, 2012
7:13 a.m.
wmarincic says...

William Charles "Bill" Ayers (born December 26, 1944)[1] is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group[2] that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ayers

July 28, 2012
6:23 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Our POTUS is hanging around with admitted terrorists (Bill Ayers) who stated that he wish more people died during his bombings and the liberals have no problem with that yet they are concerned that Romney may have outsourced some jobs.

July 28, 2012
7:07 p.m.
robbump says...

As a child, when I received or earned some money, and was anxious to go to the store and spend some, my mom used to ask, "What's the problem? That money burning a hole in your pocket?"

It seems that the knowledge there is some gas in the earth is similarly "burning a hole in the pockets" of those who feel that it must be capitalized on, NOW.

No matter the value of that gas, it will only gain in value as time goes on ... so developers should think of attempts to stop fracking as actions that are increasing the value of their investments.

As Fritzdawg wrote: "100 years from now, we may well find a better source of energy, but we will never find another source of water." -- nothing could be more truthful.

Who knows, maybe better and safer methods to exploit the gas will be found. Don't let money burn holes in your pockets.

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