2006-10-25 / Editorials

Dist. Belongs To The People To The Editor:

I was reading in the paper remarks against Senator Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) by Democratic state Senate contender Nora Marino. She called him a Republican and, noting that Padavan's signs and literature omit his Republican Party affiliation, Marino called herself a "proud Democrat" and said the 11th Senate District belongs to the Democratic Party.

Well I beg to differ with her, for I believe the 11th District belongs to the people and Senator Padavan has served [those] people for over three decades.

You cannot put a label on Senator Padavan for he has always tried to do what was right and did fight for the rights of all New Yorkers and has a list of accomplishments a mile long. I've known him since 1979 and when I had a problem he always responded and did try to help and if he couldn't, he led me to those who could. He has been responsible for getting bills passed that have helped the needs of the old, needy, veterans, and the education of our children. He has also been responsible for a number of bills that have helped those who suffer from mental disorders. And most recently has helped a bill get passed known as Timothy's Law. The legislation would require insurance companies to cover most mental illnesses and conditions specifically related to children. Now I, for one, can appreciate such legislation because my stepdaughter suffered for years with mental depression.

I know very few who work so hard for the people of New York and deserve another term.

So when you vote, remember [Senator] Frank Padavan, for he's our man who takes a stand and who fights for our rights and is trying to do what is right. Sincerely yours, Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Bellerose Democratic Spirit To The Editor:

Mr. Bedell 10/10/06 who is obviously sad about the fact that New York is returning to the democratic spirit of our state, the middle class, is rooting for Republican Westchester prosecuting D. A., Jeanine Pirro as attorney general This against Andrew Cuomo, a name that resounds with the memory of intelligence we once had in Albany.

Pirro was like a caged animal when preparing to campaign against our Junior Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, spitting out expletives as the prosecutor she was practiced in doing. She just doesn't have the stuff and so she was downgraded by the Republican Party to running instead for attorney general Now she has to try and do her number against Andrew W. Cuomo. Should be interesting to see what might be the next downgrading.

The "Alan Hevesi scandal" Mr. Bedell refers to was a joke. That allegation was more than rectified as pointed out by the editor of the Queens Gazette. I wonder if Mr. Bedell was as outraged when Geraldine A. Ferraro, the first woman vice presidential nominee while campaigning with [Walter] Mondale for president was crucified by the Republicans using her husband John A. Zaccaro as the ploy who was accused of theft and false representation re: a hotel project near Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Mrs. Ferraro was not complicit in any crime whatsoever, but Pirro just as our administration, was found illegally spying and phone tapping; she of her husband and our administration, of Americans, all of us.

Two p's, Pirro and president, in a pod. Sincerely, David Fogel Floral Park

Eminent Domain To The Editor:

Your article regarding Governor [George] Pataki signing the law prohibiting the use of eminent domain by a transmission company is well written and seems to speak to both sides of the story.

Let me expand on this from the point of view of residents along the 190-mile route proposed for this development.

First, we believe that there is no reason to site this line in the center of the population concentration. Should the route along the railroad be approved, this enormous and potentially dangerous line will be in the center of towns and villages as well as running through Nine-Mile Swamp, a vast wetland area. The rail lines also follow the course of area rivers, that feed into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Why is this of interest? Mainly because NYRI, the transmission company, has not proposed any alternative routes in their application to the PSC [Public Service Commission] except following the railroad right-of-way, which would make acquiring rights a bit easier for them. Indeed, there appears to be a deal already in place between NYRI and the railroad. Both corporations stand to make a great deal of money from this agreement. Walter Rich, the owner of the railroad, has already applied to abandon a majority of the one-track rail line so that trains will no longer serve the needs of the small businesses along the rail route. Instead of operating a railroad, he will become a landlord for these power lines. Who will oversee the rents he will collect from NYRI? Or is that to be considered an unregulated 'private enterprise'?

Aside from that, the building of these power lines cannot be accomplished in the narrow right-of-way the railroad currently owns. In fact, the train tracks run extremely close to many homes along the route with the river on the other side of the lines. This railroad is not a multi-track, urban system. It is a rural, single-track line, which accommodated one to two trains a week before a portion of the line was washed out in June's massive floods here in Chenango County. (Mr. Rich and his company have not made any attempt to repair the rail beds in that area to date.) That's where the eminent domain issue rises. If NYRI, a Canadian based company which has a storefront (read as vacant except for a telephone) office in Albany was allowed to exercise the power of eminent domain to gain the extra land needed to erect these towers, some area residents would find that they have a base for an extremely high power line immediately outside their back doors. So it's important to remember that when thinking about power sources in Queens. To get your extra power, you will be completely devaluing properties, which in many cases are the only assets many people in this region can claim.

And do you need this extra power? NYRI wants you to believe you do, and so do a lot of other people who claim that the power outages you suffered this summer were related to a lack of power. They stand to make a lot of money while you save mere pennies on your electric bills.

Yet, were the outages a result of a lack of power? Or do your power failures stem from outdated power lines and substations [that] were built in the post-World War II era? Maintenance has been ignored because it's more profitable for companies to build transmission lines since there are tax advantages in that kind of infrastructure and no tax breaks for keeping delivery systems modern. In fact, the reason that the power outages lasted so long in your neighborhoods might just be related to the fact that the systems that bring power to your houses are older than many of the people in Queens.

Please, before jumping to any conclusions about the need for a foreign company to come into the heart of New York and scar yet another valley while polluting the waters, demand that your electric suppliers modernize the lines that bring power to you. We all suffered through the August 2003 blackouts that were caused by a failure in the delivery system, not by a lack of generation. Incidentally, wouldn't it make sense to have more local generation of power that will be easier to control than depending on a system currently owned by Canadians, but without [guaranteeing] who may own it in the future?

No one in New York should be without power. At the same time, no one in New York State should be powerless in the discussion of making sure the electrical supply system is reliable and efficient. Let's work together to find modern answers to this question instead of falling back to the same cry of "Build More Transmission Lines!" We have seen the Marcy South power line built just 20 miles from us. Instead of building a new line and ruining one of the last unspoiled areas of New York, can't we upgrade existing lines and modernize existing power plants and the supply system itself?

Thank you for your attention. If all New Yorkers work together, a reasonable solution to this issue can be reached without disenfranchising an entire group of New Yorkers. Sincerely, Rosemarie L. Tenney Sherburne

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