Nice story on the Caribbean-style restaurants (“Island Treasure,” July 27). Do you think it’s time they get their own category in your upcoming Best of Syracuse balloting?
—Tom Bryan Boom Boom Mex Mex Camillus
Shale Fellow, Well Met
My heart goes out to Bill and Debbie Fischer and the hundreds of thousands of other Pennsylvania residents whose lives have been torn apart by hydrofracking. Ed Griffin-Nolan’s “Shale Force” article (July 20) provides powerful testimony to the devastating human and environmental consequences of this foolhardy method of drilling for natural gas.
While I agree wholeheartedly with Fischer’s opinion that “the gas sucks capital out of the market for all renewable energy sources,” I take issue with his assessment that we cannot stop this practice in New York state. His characterization that the oil and gas industries are extremely powerful forces that are accustomed to getting their way by any means necessary is right on target. But Mr. Fischer is a police officer, not a community organizer. Moreover, his experience is in Pennsylvania where opposition to hydrofracking began very late in the game.
Here in New York state we have the opportunity to learn from the horrors of Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio; opposition to hydrofracking is wide and deep here. Defeating the petrochemical industry with all their cash and lobbyists is an uphill battle for sure. But it’s one we can win, and as Mr. Fischer has experienced personally, it’s a struggle for the future of our region. Learn more about how you can be part of protecting our communities and the earth on which we all depend at www.shaleshockcny.org.
—Andy Mager Syracuse Peace Council
Push Back on the Flowback
Gov. Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will only protect the New York City and Syracuse watersheds banning them from hydrofracking, while upstate aquifers will soon be open season for gas copanies. Cuomo suffers from amnesia since while campaigning for office he said, “All watersheds are sacrosanct.” I think what he meant was, “Only New York City and Syracuse watersheds are sacred.”
James Northrup, former gas industry insider, said that fracking is the equivalent of a dirty bomb going off underground and that the chemicals used in fracking would not be allowed to poison enemies in warfare, according to the Geneva Convention. Yet gas companies can pump them into the ground, risking groundwater contamination, while our own government refuses to stop them.
For the first time, Americans are asked to have industrial waste sites in our own front or back yards or at least in someone’s yard we know. Gas companies want to drill 60,000 wells in just seven counties. The problem is that many of the toxic chemicals they pump down each well pick up heavy metals and radioactive minerals from deep in the earth, regurgitating back to the surface millions of gallons of toxic brew, called flowback. Why should we sit back and let gas corporations sabotage the Finger Lakes’ economic engine: tourism, wineries and farming? We’ll never forget the two distinguished men who bravely said they’d throw themselves in front of a toxic flow- back truck before they would allow a gas company to ruin our town of Pulteney (EDITOR’S NOTE: along the western shore of Keuka Lake) by pumping nearly a billion gallons of Pennsylvania flowback under our town. Well, our town won! We deserve truly clean green sustain- able energy like biocrops (not corn ethanol), which would help rebuild our rural areas and strengthen the family farm along with solar, wind and hydro energy. Pull the plug on gas/oil subsidies.
—Jeff and Jodi Andrysick Pulteney, N.Y.
I wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your article “Mantle Piece” (Sanity Fair, Aug. 3). I am also a fan of The Mick and actually have what I call my ‘Mickey Shrine,’ a collection of photos, cards, books and mis- cellaneous memorabilia in my basement. recently read Jane Leavy’s book too.
Your piece spoke to me in a number of ways. I was particularly touched by how you point out that Mickey was so eas- ily enabled. Growing up in those years I was like most kids: I wanted to be Mickey Mantle. I had to wear No. 7, play center- field, I tried to run like him, swing like him, talk like him, hold the bat with my pinky finger below the knob like him, and even limp like him. After Mickey retired and I read Ball Four, which I enjoyed immensely, the revelations didn’t detract from my hero worship of The Mick in any way.
Jim Bouton wrote about the cool of the evening, that calmness in the air that Johnny Sain spoke about while playing baseball just before sunset. I felt the same, beginning with my days in Little League as I stood out there in center noticing how peaceful and still it was, smelling the fresh-cut grass, listening to the infield chatter, loving the game and trying to emulate Micky Mantle.
So when he said: “Don’t be like me” at that fateful press conference I got this huge lump in my throat and thought: “Man, despite his human failings, doesn’t he realize what he means to me and to so many others?” I mean, we all heard when we were kids that Babe Ruth liked to eat way too many hotdogs and drink and smoke, and he was still The Babe. Jim Bouton sort of points out that same sentiment about the Mick in Ball Four, but sadly, Mickey never really truly realized it about himself. So when I read your last line that the media should have said the same thing that Mickey said at his last press conference it struck a loud chord in my heart and soul.
P.S. I’ll always know the answer to the trivia question: “When did Derek Jeter get his 3000th hit” because he did it on my 60th birthday, July 9, 2011.
—Anthony Joseph Oswego