No New Nukes
My heart goes out to the people of Japan as they face the many challenges of mourning the many dead, searching for missing people and dealing with the variety of destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami. I fervently hope that the spiraling nuclear problems don’t expand beyond what has already occurred.
Following the contradictory and incomplete information in the news about the nuclear disaster brings me back to this same time of year 32 years ago. As a high school senior, already concerned about our reliance on dwindling fossil fuels and their environmental consequences, I was frightened to learn about the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. Like now, we were told it wasn’t really dangerous, but we had to read between the lines to learn what was really going on. I was fortunate to attend a seminar at a nearby college where I heard speakers offer scientific information about what was under way, and more importantly, a political analysis of why our nation was pursuing the so-called “peaceful atom.” The combined power of greedy corporations and corrupted politicians put us at risk. I joined the grass-roots effort to stop the construction of the Shoreham Nuclear plant near my hometown.
That anti-nuclear activism, combined with the economic realities of the nuclear industry, led to the halt to the construction of nuclear power plants in the United States. Despite repeated efforts by the nuclear industry to build new plants, it has been decades since any have come online. In recent years, partially in response to climate change, there has been a renewed effort to revive nuclear power. Concerned citizens must once again raise our voices and take action to stop this dangerous trend. In the wake of the Japanese nuclear disaster (which may get much worse), President Obama has restated his support for nuclear power.
In addition to the dangers of accidents, there are so many reasons why this is mistaken policy. Investments in nuclear power will take decades to produce electricity, while similar development of renewables such as solar and wind can come online much more quickly and provide long-term sustainable power. There is no safe way to deal with the massive quantities of nuclear waste generated by these plants.
Once again, it is up to the people of this country to stand up and defend our environment, our health and our economy. If we were able to successfully stop the Shoreham and Seabrook nukes, as well as many others, there’s no reason we can’t be successful again today. In doing so, we can lay the foundation for energy policies based on conservation, renewables and green jobs, exactly what we need for a better future.
—Andy Mager Syracuse
In recent years increasing numbers of crows have spent the winter and spring months in the most densely populated areas of Central New York. As the days get longer and the snow banks slowly melt, roadside trash that accumulated over the winter and was once buried makes its ugly appearance.
One critical characteristic of crows is their tendency to be garbage scavengers. While this crow trait is useful out in the countryside it greatly compounds and impedes the orderly collection of trash in many communities. Crows quickly learn that in crowded neighborhoods there are a number of places available to find food from roadside fast-food bags, Styrofoam containers, uncovered garbage cans and open restaurant Dumpsters to plastic trash bags.
When neighborhood residents put trash out to the curb on days other than regular collection days, crows help themselves to extra meals. This sometimes results in streets that look a lot like garbage dumps that some people blame on dogs, cats or wild animals.
The best way to keep neighborhoods clean and attractive is to keep outside garbage covered in cans, place garbage bags to the curb close to the time of their scheduled pickup and to put fast food bags where they belong. If people do the right thing with their trash local crows will move on and get their next meal elsewhere.
—Robert L. Oberst
Republicans are saying they need to cut entitlements, which means Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Medicaid and Medicare may be entitlements but Social Security is another question.
Working people pay into Social Security all through their working life. When they turn 62 or 65 they can collect on the money. So where’s the entitlement that comes into this part of Social Security if people are paying into the system?
People collecting Social Security Disability (SSD) also paid into the system and through no fault of their own got hurt on the job and can no longer work and are eligible to collect.
The only entitlement Social Security actually has is the SSI program. People collecting SSI have never worked and are usually younger people who are on this program.
Which brings up this question: How can someone collect a monthly check from Social Security if they never put into the Social Security system? Now the kicker to all this is that people who worked and are collecting SSD cannot get Medicaid. However, people who never worked and are collecting SSI are entitled to Medicaid.
Which brings up another question: Why can people who never worked and put nothing into the system get Medicaid and the working person who worked and put into the system can’t?
In short, how many people are getting entitlements that never contributed? What actually needs to be done is remove people from the entitlements who have nothing invested into the system.—Frank Trivison Syracuse
Follow the Money
What chutzpa from this Republican governor! Yes, he is a Republican. Mendacity oozes from his being when he rails about special interests and lobbyists while he is so beholden to Wall Street and the bankers of New York City. Who is he kidding?
Who funded his campaign for governor but the real estate tycoons, lobbyists, and securities and investment firms to the tune of millions of dollars? And, of course, he wants the money elite to be in his corner when he runs for president.
Who is he portraying as the cause of the huge deficit we face in New York? Unions, teachers and public employees. Who is he going to give tax breaks? Yes, he will call for a cap on property taxes and at the same time let his cronies off the hook with some more monumental tax relief.
Did you hear one word from him in his State of the State address about closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and making Wall Street pay their fair share? Of course not, but he denigrates the working men and women who have proportionately paid more taxes in the great state of New York than the robber barons on Wall Street.
New York’s problems and our country’s problems would be solved in a nanosecond if we reverted to what was once a progressive income tax.
—Gerald R. Lotierzo Baldwinsville
We have a shoppers’ bus that comes into Village Green, Conifer Village and St. Mary’s Apartments every Tuesday. The bus will drop off and pick up a few senior citizens at Tops Market in Baldwinsville, Wal-Mart, Wegmans and Great Northern Mall. The bus driver is a wonderful driver.
However, news has arrived out of the blue about our bus.
Centro wants to discontinue the shoppers’ bus. That will anger most of us. Some of us don’t drive and some of us have disabilities and find it hard to drive.
I hope that the service of the shoppers’ bus will continue.
Please spread the word that we need the shoppers’ bus to continue to do its service. I end here.
—Skip Collins Baldwinsville