Letters, 4/19 – 4/25

The Fight For Our Future

Fracking for natural gas, mountaintop removal coal mining, nuclear power plants, deep sea drilling, tar sands- all examples of “extreme energies” which are not only destroying communities across the country, polluting the air and water, pushing us increasingly toward global climate change but delaying the needed and possible transition to sustainable and renewable energy policy. Across the country, people are struggling to protect their communities.

On Monday April 23, at SUNY New Paltz there will be a fantastic program, Extreme Energy And The Fight For Our Future, sponsored by Frack Free Catksills, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Hudson River Clearwater, NYPIRG, and Working Films, which will be the first of many discussions of the connections between these movements and the need to work together.

The program will begin with the screening of an important documentary Dirty Business- the Battle for our Energy Future with film maker Peter Bull. It will be followed by an exciting panel of speakers deeply involved in these struggles. We are honored to have Donna Branham, of Keeper of the Mountains in West Virginia who has been fighting to save her mountains from strip mining for years; Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper at the forefront of the fight against hydrofracking in New York, Paul Gallay, executive director of Riverkeeper who will talk about the dangers of nuclear power; Duncan Meisel of 350.org will discuss its ongoing work, and Manna Jo Greene of Clearwater, environmental advocate who will talk about transitioning to a sustainable and green energy future.


Don’t miss this important event! Please join us at 6 p.m. in Lecture Center 100 on Monday April 23. Tell your friends and neighbors.

Sue Rosenberg, Frack Free Catskills



Plastic Needles

Like many trees, our cell tower pine, which Michael Perkins and I identified in Walking Woodstock as Pinus cellula controversia, has suffered some hard seasons. Several branches have crashed to the ground. Tufts of plastic needles lie by the dozens on the forest floor. I must say that the care that has gone into this artifical tree is impressive. Woven among the thick bunches of green plastic needles are a few brown plastic needles representing dead ones. The makers of Pinus cellula controversia know their nature. But I fear that this plastic won’t biodegrade any time soon. Shall we organize a Friends of the Cell Tower to do a litter clean up?

Will Nixon



Helping Hand

I wonder how many people in this Town have the intelligence, common sense and sensitivity to demonstrate “Good Offices.”

Howard Harris



Earthquakes Or Road Brine

I have just heard of a study by the U.S.Geological Survey. Earthquakes, in the past, in the Mid-West, had been virtually unknown…In 2007, there had been 11. In 2011 there were 131. The U.S.G S (not the Sierra club) attributed the increase to inserting fracking

waste water into the earth.

Which leaves us with an interesting choice. Since this waste must go somewhere, shall we tolerate more earthquakes, or should we invest in chemical proof shoes for ourselves and our dogs?

President Obama just authorized a federal commission to study regulations for safe implementation of fracking. (Is this an oxymoron?)

Let’s not forget: All the King’s horses, and all the King’s men, could not put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Mel Sadownick

West Hurley


Dancing To Support Israeli Boycott

Last weekend shoppers in some stores were treated to music, singing, and dancing to the song “Don’t Buy Israeli” (played to the melody of  Hava Nagila and danced to the steps of the Hora). The performers were singing and dancing to support a boycott of Israel. The boycott of Israel is part of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign called for by Palestinian civil society. It is an international, nonviolent effort to pressure Israel to meet these three demands: 1. End Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land. 2. Secure equal rights for all (Palestinians & Israelis). 3. Respect the right of Palestinians to return to land and homes illegally taken from them.

The performers also indicated that they would like to see Israel stop the occupation and theft of Palestinian land and water for illegal Israeli settlements. Stop the ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes. Stop the blockade of shipments of food, medical supplies, and fuel to Gaza. Stop the collective punishment of Palestinians via separation walls and military checkpoints. Stop the abuse of Palestinian women and men in Israeli jails without charges. Stop the more than $3 Billion in annual U.S. aid to the State of Israel.

It’s nice to know that people are still concerned about the desperate and dire conditions imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people. During “tax week” it is indeed both distressing and disturbing to know that our tax dollars are being used to support Israel’s inhuman and immoral treatment of Palestinian men, women, and children. Thank you to the singers, dancers, and musicians for shedding some light on a very dark situation.

Eli Kassirer

New Paltz


There are 2 comments

  1. Bernardo Stevens

    Israeli Boycott? Yes, and let’s send them more rockets to shoot into Israeli civilian towns. How many so far? Ten thousand? Each individual rocket is a war crime, you know.

    As to “Palestinian” land…? There’s no such thing. Gaza, for example, was run by Egypt. Israel was attacked, for the third time, by three rabid, racist Arab armies in 1967. Israel won. And advanced and took control of some land. That what happens when you attack your peaceful neighbors and lose.

    Ever since then, Muslim and Progressives have pretended they didn’t know attacking your neighbor and killing thousands of their citizens was playing for keeps.

    Waaa! Waaa! We want that land back! Waaa! Waaa! We didn’t know it was keepsies.

  2. Bernardo Stevens

    RE: Fracking documentary

    The problem is, there’s been so much dishonesty in these environmental “documentaries.”

    Al Gore’s used footage from a science fiction movie and presented it as fact. GASLAND showed water from a faucet burning. And pretended they didn’t know that water had been burning for decades. Way before any fracking in the area.

    So we’ve learned that we can’t trust these “documentaries.”

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