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Some sold out in Richmondville, others said no

Friday, March 14, 2014
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Some sold out in Richmondville, others said no

The people behind the Constitution Pipeline have been very busy applying enormous pressure to landowners along the proposed route, continuing to insist that the pipeline is inevitable and that giving up and giving in is better than fighting.

They have been aggressive, telling residents that if they don’t give Constitution what they want, Constitution will simply take them to court and take their land.

At the same time, they are engaging in a public relations campaign to convince regulators and naive members of the public that they are just nice folks.

They recently doled out a new set of “grants” that included money to the Richmondville Emergency Squad, which took the money despite having many residents in its town who will face seizure of their land and who will live near a pipeline built by a company with a terrible safety record.

[The squad] took the money despite being in a town that has passed a formal resolution opposing the pipeline. It took the money despite being in a community that has overwhelmingly spoken out against the pipeline.

So why is taking the money a bad thing?

By taking the money, [the squad is] helping the pipeline get built and helping to ensure that its neighbors will lose their land, their property values and their safety. By taking the money, it helps Constitution pretend that they are just out to help the community while they exploit it. By taking the money, it helps Constitution get approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Iroquois Museum also took the money. Despite insisting it is dedicated to highlighting the culture and history of native peoples, it conveniently forgot that having land taken away is a terrible part of native history. The museum doesn’t seem to care that its patrons and neighbors will lose their land to Constitution.

The museum also conveniently ignores the fact that not far from here, the Onondaga Nation is waging a bitter battle against their own pipeline threat and helping activists in Schoharie County fight the very pipeline from whom the museum has taken the money. It has blindly cashed a check from Constitution to fund a museum dedicated to indigenous peoples while indigenous peoples around the world are actively fighting exploitation by the same gas and oil companies that are behind the Constitution Pipeline.

It is often said that everyone has a price, and so it seems that some in our community indeed have a price. I am deeply proud of those who do not have a price and who have said no to the bullying tactics of the pipeline company and no to the sleazy efforts of that company to buy community support with payments that represent a ridiculously tiny fraction of their enormous profits.

I am deeply proud of those landowners who have stood up to protect the land of their parents and the land of their children. I am proud of every nonprofit, fire company, emergency squad and struggling museum that has refused to sell out their neighbors.

I am also committed to fighting an arrogant pipeline company that thinks all it takes for a community to surrender is a few dollars in one hand and the threat of eminent domain in the other.

Bob Nied

Richmondville

The writer is a member of the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities board.

Buffardi: ‘I’ve never spoken to Lamora’

I was shocked and dismayed by the March 11 letter, “Blame Buffardi for Rotterdam brush fee,” authored by Larry Lamora, town highway superintendent.

In his letter, Mr. Lamora said he was directed by me to “advise residents of the new fee that was created without my involvement.” Categorically, this is a falsehood, as I have never had a conversation with Mr. Lamora about anything.

I have said hello to him in the hallway, and that has been the extent of my contact with him. I have never directed anyone to speak to him on my behalf and I received the referenced letter, signed by him, in the mail — like other Rotterdam residents.

HARRY BUFFARDI

Rotterdam

The writer is town supervisor.

Train was going too fast through Sch’dy

Am I wrong to feel that rail service in New York state is pretty fast?

If the March 6 article about the man who jumped off the train in Schenectady that was going 100 mph and slowed when the conductor realized the man was in distress, then zipping through Schenectady at 100 mph seems pretty darn fast.

Peg Lapo

Delanson

All students deserve a break on college loans

A+B=C. Regardless of best intentions or projected outcomes, if we can provide (a) $5,000 for a prisoner’s college education; and (b) $5,000 annually for an illegal immigrants’ college education, then it’s only fair that (c) every student loan holder (including my three children) should receive a $5,000 credit to help pay for their college education.

I support all three ideas — but not A or B without C.

Ed Carey

Malta

Oddles of comic relief to be found in religion

Last night my wife and I saw the production of “Book of Mormon” at Proctors. It’s entertaining to see people making fun of other people’s religion.

We’ve seen “Nunsense,” and I can’t wait for “The Book of David.”

JOHN MISHANEC

Schenectady

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