To all local individuals, agencies and organizations lending a hand to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Though our area felt some of Sandy’s wrath, with high winds and rain, the worst of the storm was felt farther south, particularly in the New York City/New Jersey area. Efforts are already under way locally to support the victims of the storm, including a benefit concert on Saturday at the Autumn Cafe.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is encouraging those who wish to assist storm victims to make donations to the American Red Cross. Donations can be made online at redcross.org/hurricane-sandy. Information is available from the Red Cross locally by calling 432-5353.
To those who attended the recent scoping hearing regarding the proposed Constitution Pipeline.
The Oct. 24 event saw a packed house, with people speaking out for and against the pipeline project, which is slated to transmit natural gas from Pennsylvania up through the four-county area to a compressor station in Schoharie.
The hearing, which was scheduled at the urging of local activists, gave us an opportunity to demonstrate to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission just how important the issue of this project is to the area.
We urged FERC to add a hearing in Oneonta after it announced a schedule of hearings that included sites in Afton and Schoharie, but none in Otsego or Delaware counties. Many others made the same request, and we were gratified when the agency complied.
It is vitally important that area residents, regardless of where they stand on the pipeline, express their views on this project, which has the potential to have a significant impact on the region. We’re pleased to see that so many took the opportunity to do so on Oct. 24.
To those who heckled Mayor Dick Miller and other speakers at the FERC hearing.
Not all the discourse at the scoping hearing was positive. Miller drew jeers and shouts from the large crowd when he stated that there was no link between the pipeline and fracking. The first speaker of the evening to come out in favor of the project, Miller was interrupted as he attempted to speak his piece.
We know that emotions run high whenever the subject of natural gas comes up, but such juvenile behavior in such a serious setting is inexcusable. The purpose of the event was to allow everyone to have an equal chance to present their views to FERC. It’s embarrassing that someone with differing views from the majority of the crowd was shouted at.
We’re confident that the hecklers were a vocal minority, and that the overwhelming majority of those who attended the hearing were well-mannered and respectful.