Website helped keep many informed
I would like to express my gratitude to you, Mr. Pollak, and The Daily Star for your coverage of the 2006 flood. I am currently living in Philadelphia, Pa., having moved here recently from Oneonta. My family lives in Morris, and a great number of my close friends live in the town and villages around the Susquehanna.
I regularly read The Daily Star’s online edition. At this difficult time for the region, it was a great benefit to have the breadth of information and photos that were available through your website, www.thedailystar.com. Your coverage, with the addition of midday updates, helped to keep a great number of people now living away from the region in touch and informed on the condition and spirit of the region.
You should be very proud of your staff there for their work during the chain of events leading to and after this flood. Once again, at a difficult time your newspaper has come through as a source of information and connection for people there and away from home.
Michael Sullivan , Philadelphia, Pa.
Choose clergy, not president, on faith
Again, June 6, we could enjoy the zany antics of the Rev. Mitch Wright, whom, when last we heard, advocated death for all sexual criminals and the imposition of "biblical law" for America (see Taliban). Now the good reverend is offended that liberals might read, teach or quote from the Scriptures. Maybe we should ban all but English majors from reading "War and Peace"? It would appear that, like the conservative right, Mitch has hijacked the religion of millions of Americans to further his own agenda. Religion has no place in politics. Of course, we expect our leaders to adhere to a high moral and ethical code, but the origin of those beliefs, whether it be religious or philosophical, based on faith or not, is irrelevant. Was Jesus a conservative Republican? Did Jesus take from the poor to give to the rich? Would Jesus invade Iraq, slaughtering thousands of innocents along with the guilty? Would Jesus have left millions of poor New Orleans residents suffering?
In these troubled times for our nation, the president’s solution is a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, the first addition to our Constitution that would have denied rights to a specific group. Again, he attempted to divert attention from the real issues. However, by now, there are many who voted for him, against their own economic best interests because he shared their faith and opposed the rights of women and gay rights, who are realizing that these issues are not the basis for choosing our chief executive, but for choosing one’s clergyman. To that end, the Rev. Mitch Wright is available.
By the way, Rev, Jimmy Carter is a bad guy? You’re a tough customer Rev. Mitch, but, please, keep those letters coming. Even Bill Maher doesn’t get material like this to work with.
Dr. Mark Lavine , Cooperstown
Jobs not worth damage to area
I spend a portion of each year in Oneonta, enjoying the ambiance of a "small town" a pleasant relief from the hustle and bustle of my home in California. My technical background in civil engineering and planning (licensed in several states) makes me suspicious of the merits of the woodburning power generator that is being proposed for Oneonta.
While I understand the potential for generating a few more jobs in the area, I question if the environmental issues are being fully addressed, and possibly overlooked for the sake of those few jobs.
The condition of many streets and roads in the area are not at top level, what do you think they will be like when you introduce considerably more truck traffic? What extra burden will be placed upon the local citizens in order to supply the plant with sufficient clean water (drawn from the drinking supply)? How much impact will the effluent have upon your water-treatment processes and the river? The change in air quality will no doubt be considerable.
Citizens of Oneonta: Do not let profit-seeking outsiders come to your beautiful area, make their profit, upset your lifestyles and then leave. We Californians know what that is like (Enron).
Larry Seiders , Palo Alto, Calif.
Nuanced thinking needed on issues
As a person who considers himself to be on the conservative side of American politics, I have to say I am somewhat embarrassed by the childish tone of Tom Sears, who writes the "On the Right Side" column. This is a serious time for our country, and we need serious dialogues.
This writer’s lazy and childish name-calling and finger-pointing is not helpful to that dialogue. Is it not possible to find someone who isn’t mired in this ridiculous "the far right says this" and "the far left says that" rhetoric? This tired rhetoric is lazy and mind-numbing and paints a broad brush of a complicated picture.
I have to say, it is insulting and condescending to this reader to see your paper stoop to the, "we say/they say" and "we are pro-American/they are anti-American" black-and-white rhetoric that is too often found on the "news" TV stations CNN and Fox News.
Please, we crave nuanced thinking. No more childish name-calling. No more black-and-white views on this complicated time.
Kevin Adams , Richfield Springs
History repeating itself in Iraq
Recently, Democrats suggested we cut and run in Iraq; let the Iraqis take over their own country. Republicans called the idea "cowardly defeatism" and "treason."
Then, Gen. George Casey announced essentially the same plan. Republicans called it a bold, new military strategy.
What it ought to be called is what we called it last time: "Vietnamization."
When the U.S. finally grasped there was nothing to be gained by staying in Vietnam, we pretended the Vietnamese were ready to assume their own defense and we ran.
"Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose," as those rascally French (who financed the American Revolution and lost almost as many in World War I as the U.S. has in all its wars put together) would say, huh?
James E. Devlin, Oneonta
Morris, other towns need a lot of help
We need help! The flood hit Morris really hard.
My sisters and I went around town looking at the damage that the flooding has caused. Riding my bike around town I saw rivers damaging everything in the way. I saw houses sitting in four feet of water, roads destroyed and people who had many things to worry about, such as how they’re going to fix the damages.
In Morris, we always have fundraisers to help others in need. I think it’s our turn to receive help.
If anyone can help, it would be appreciated by many people. We’re not just going to help our town, but other towns that need the help.
Casandra Remillard, New Lisbon