Kingston Times letters (12/8-14)

Parking fees not the answer

I have lived and worked in Kingston for just about a decade now. After college I started my career in non-profits here and decided that this city would be my home. In the last three years I’ve changed jobs, I’m still in non-profit, married my husband who at the time worked for a custom design company, bought our first home in Downtown Kingston and had our son. We have one car that with some juggling are able to get each other to and from work when needed and get regular tasks like food shopping done. I am giving you this background for a reason, so bare with me here. After our son was born my husbands job let him go, he now works part time at Barnes & Noble and we have a bit of side income as he is able to continue writing and illustrating on various side projects. It is by no means two full time incomes anymore, but we make ends meet. And there in lies our trouble, we make ends meet. It is not worth it for us to have my husband work full time, as if he did we would have to add childcare into the mix and that is a part-time salary in itself! We are in that odd place where we make too much to receive services but we do not make enough to thrive. So we chug along. As a homeowner, I can appreciate the mayors desire to not want to raise property taxes. I don’t want them raised either. However using paid parking to get more revenue for the city is not a viable option for many, I’ll go ahead and say most, residents of this city. For families like mine any extra expenditure we have to pay is a hardship. To force our family to pay so I can go to work will give us no option but to take money from somewhere else in our very tight budget. Problem is, there is no where to pull it from as our budget is already 100 percent necessity. It has been suggested to me to make use of the pubic transportation. Well, as much as it has improved, I can tell you it doesn’t fit our needs with the schedule, and being able to get those extra errands done and getting home to relieve my mother in law who is watching our son, etc. Are you seeing the problem here? I am. I suppose if this goes through I will simply have to accept that while my city is improving, it is doing so for the people it wants to come here and not for the people who are here now.

Laura Nordstrom
Kingston

 

Stop petroleum-based bullying

In response to the Army Corps of Engineers denying the final permit for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Dec. 4, Energy Transfer Partners issued a statement saying they were, “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe.” President-elect Donald Trump received $100,000 in campaign donations from ETP’s CEO Kelcy Warren. With a new administration just weeks away, it is clear that the fight is far from over.

The Hudson Valley has its own struggles with the gas and oil industry: at CPV in Minisink, Pilgrim Pipeline along the state Thruway, Spectra AIM pipeline (105 feet from the Indian Point Nuclear Generator) on its way to New England; and oil barges anchored in the Hudson.

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We are asking for your help to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota for good. If ETP proceeds as planned, this pipeline will be built across Native American land guaranteed by treaty in 1851. The pipe will run under the Missouri River, threatening the source of water for the reservation and millions of other people downstream.

The State of North Dakota and Morton County, N.D. have joined with the pipeline company, attacking unarmed  peaceful “water protectors” with dogs, rubber bullets, sound cannons, tear gas, mace, and by spraying them with water in freezing temperatures.

Stopping DAPL will send a message to elected representatives and the world: Americans will not tolerate further bullying by gas and oil companies. This will help in our local battles. This peaceful gathering is a call to action on UN Human Rights Day, with our intention to hold the media and our government accountable for what has happened at Standing Rock, and to send a message that we are watching to see if the Army Corps directive will be upheld and enforced.

An envoy of two large vehicles will be going from Kingston to Washington, D.C. on Dec. 10 to join in a nonviolent demonstration of solidarity with the No DAPL effort. E-mail M.Eppard@gmail.com for more information.

Melissa Eppard
Town of Esopus

 

Land of the oil

Suppose you inherited about 100 acres of land from your great-grandfather years ago.  Then imagine that you sold five acres at a time to friends and relatives, and you had ten acres left. Then suppose one of those friends called and told you that some people had broken in to the undeveloped land, set up a little tent and a wood stove, and wouldn’t leave.

Now let’s equate that to what really happened over 500 years ago in land that would eventually become the United States. The Native Americans were living in places like Arizona and North Dakota for about 40,000 years, and then Columbus and other White people came and settled into their backyards.

Then, more folks came and took over most of the land but allowed the Native Americans to stay in some of their territories. We also brought in with us our culture of greed. Since most of our power comes from what Native Americans call the “Mother Earth,” Native Americans believe that the land doesn’t belong to anyone and that it is their job to protect her.

All that is what the Standing Rock issue was about. When the land was being taken over by the oil industry, the Native Americans were simply doing what their “religion” told them to do — to protect their sacred land by peacefully blockading a $4 billion pipeline.  Many years ago, I learned from the Natives that our planet is a living being, and since then I’ve watched the addiction to money already killing off many species.

What the BOGI men (Big Oil and Gas Industry) don’t seem to understand is that they are also killing off themselves, so there was no choice but to try to stop them. Let’s see if our temporary shutdown will continue after the government changes hands.

And if it does remain shut down, where will they go to complete the pipeline that was interrupted? I hope that the heroes that joined the Standing Rock movement will continue to protect the Mother Earth.

Jill Paperno
Glenford