Serving the Towns of Wawarsing, Crawford, Mamakating, Rochester and Shawangunk, and everything in between
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Gutter Gutter
I'm Pro Gnome
I'm writing in reference to our "Land of Giants". What's wrong with putting up giants on our road sides? Everyone has their own opinions. I feel if you don't like them, don't look at them. Many of us do enjoy them. Our gnome is not ugly. He's not horrifying. I think he's beautiful. These giants don't hurt our area. I think the gnome has brought in many folks. These folks that ride our highway to take pictures and to admire our gnome, do stop in our stores. More would come if we had more giants and more places to shop. The gnome does not take away any of our beauty. I think that Kelder's Farm should give Mr. Gnome a Mrs. Gnome and baby gnome. I'd love to see more giants going up. They would not have any negative impact on property values or reduce value. Anitra Brown, your way of thinking is very negative. Heavy traffic won't hurt our area; our businesses would thrive if we had more business here. When Walmart comes in others will follow. There are more important things in our area that need change. Don't ride around looking for giants to put down. Years ago population here was a great deal higher than it is now. When our mall was full with business the traffic was never congested.

Why can't we have both historical and agricultural giants? Those of you who don't like change, try it. Most of the time change is good. More people will come to our area once Walmart and Napanoch's giants come in. Just think — more giants to see, more people to come, more money in our area. Some towns want something kids can look at that's real.

So what's wrong with fiction? We can have both. Friends of Historic Rochester wants to represent the people who lived here, not our gnome. Stop being stuffed shirts. Everyone knows our gnome was recently recognized by the Library of Congress in its symposium "Marvels of Main Street and the Roadside". We need more giants. More of this kind of attention to draw more people here. Giant = great size, strength, and intellect, etc...

Nancy VanLeuven

The Costs of Fracking
The Business Council of New York State, Inc. claims that counties and municipalities could collect significant taxes from hydraulic fracturing (HF) wells. And they dangle the possibility of new jobs as an additional lure. However, the costs to our communities from this heavy industry operation aren't mentioned.

Direct costs will include damage to our roads, both highways and two lane country roads, from heavy truck traffic 24 hours a day/7 days a week; decreased property values of houses with HF leases and those near to those properties (already observed); a decrease in tourist visits from people not wanting to visit our once-beautiful natural areas; increased health costs to individuals and counties due to smog produced by emissions from diesel trucks and diesel equipment on well site as well as volatile chemicals released from spilled or stored frack fluids (already observed). Hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting millions of gallons of water mixed with a variety of toxic chemicals into fractured rock formations will be contaminating drinking water sources near the wells with the chemicals in the drilling fluids or by methane from the deep drilling (confirmed by scientists in Pennsylvania). Municipal water systems will have to be extended or constructed to supply potable water to those who unfortunately live near those HF wells, with contamination of municipal wells also a possibility, leading to closure of wells and drilling of new ones.

The indirect costs that money can't soothe will be the damage to our ecosystems and our peace of mind from road construction, runoff from well pads and new roads, noise pollution and light pollution from truck traffic and structures at well pads.

Do any New Yorkers really want to live in the middle of multiple heavy industry sites? If not, find out if your town/village/city has any zoning for heavy industry. If so, have them ban hydraulic fracking in that zoning.

What we all need to do to produce new jobs, more revenue for New York businesses and increase municipal and state tax revenues, is to help our major industries — tourism, agriculture and small businesses.

Andi Weiss Bartczak, Ph.D.

Thieves In Our Midst
I felt compelled to write to you and say that I feel it's a sad, sad day when I cannot leave my car parked in the middle of town while I watch the Fourth of July parade and know that it is safe. While I was enjoying said parade, someone stole all the magnetic Irish stickers off the back of my car. This is so frustrating. It's not the first time this has happened. I am disgusted. I have lived here all my life and it is a shame to see the type of people who roam our streets now. They certainly are not the same kind of people who were here when I was young. I hope whoever took my magnets enjoys them. I'm planning on having the designs painted on next time.

Elizabeth Benson,

Gutter Gutter