Bounty appreciates help from First Niagara
To the Editor:
We’d like to extend our thanks publicly to First Niagara Bank for its donation to Columbia County Bounty of a computer.
As a new and growing organization, we have very limited resources for such equipment and so such in-kind support is important to us.
We are dedicated to creating links between local farmers with product to sell and local culinary businesses who want to serve locally grown and raised foods. We invite residents and visitors to join us by going to
Before Linda Fix of First Niagara came forward with the offer of a computer, we had to rely on the equipment of our volunteers.
Thanks, Linda. Much appreciated.
Columbia County Bounty
Socialism and fascism differ, reader responds
He ends his comments with, “Welcome to the United Socialist States of America! If we continue on President Obama’s road to CHANGE (socialism), the American people will no longer be free.The question is: Will we learn to accept our captivity at the hands of our new masters or will we be willing to do something about it?”
He points to what happened in Italy under Mussolini and Germany under Hitler and implies this is what may be developing in the US. For the record, both of these dictators never permitted a national election once they gained power. Does Mr. Wallace seriously think there is any possibility that we won’t have a presidential election in 2012 and if we do, that there will only be a single party on the ballot?
In truth, the strongest democratic society is a balance between the best aspects of capitalism and socialism. Our society is now beginning a serious debate as to whether we’d be better off with a single payer medical system (socialism), or continue on our current method of providing medical care (capitalism). Neither is perfect. The question is which will provide the greater good for the greater number.
Reader asks: Is America on the Road to Fascism?
Eminent domain should prevail, Copake resident says
Columbia news reaches grateful Broome County reader
To the Editor:
I’d just like to say “thanks!” for continuing the news from Columbia Co. Especially that calendar of events, which I didn’t see at first, but read today. We’re from Broome County – about 3 hrs away – but we camp at Taconic Park 4 weeks each year and like to know what’s going on. We’ve subscribed to the Independent for many years and really miss it. So online news is very welcome.
Reader misses The Independent
To the Editor:
Thank you so much for your “Columbia Paper” on line. I really miss reading the Independent and am glad to see some of the news continue with your columns.
To the Editor:
On February 11 the Columbia County Board of Supervisors decided to pull my name (subject to further review) from a list of property owners against whom the county is initiating eminent domain proceedings for the proposed county bridge/highway rehabilitation project in Copake. The issue, which deals with intersection sight distance and the purchase of a portion of my land to remove mature trees, was referred back to the county Public Works committee, and may come up again before the full board this Wednesday. The removal of these trees will drastically reduce the value and enjoyment of my personal property, and substantially alter the quality and character of my neighborhood for years to come. I want to be certain–for me, my neighbors and Columbia County taxpayers–that every possible alternative to the land purchase has been considered, fully explored, and excluded for sound reasons.
I am not debating whether a “potential hazard” has been identified at the intersection of County Route 7A and Mt. View Road, but even in the county’s own assessment, it is negligible. When I first met with county engineer Dean Knox last August, he told me the county “would not be doing anything at all if 7A did not intersect with a busy town road.” He also stated the conditions at this intersection were not the impetus to seek federal funding for highway rehabilitation. Buying my property and cutting down trees was not considered until after the monies had been awarded.
There are significant procedural issues in the manner in which the county is handling this matter as well. A comprehensive sight distance study includes: speed studies, crash analysis, citizen input, consultation with other agencies (i.e., town government), review with neighborhood associations and property owners, and a determination of alternatives.
I have confirmed this week no such study exists. The fact Columbia County is trying to compel me to enter a negotiated agreement to sell my property or threaten me with eminent domain without a sight distance study raises serious ethical and legal concerns.
Again, I am urging the Public Works committee to reevaluate this particular segment of the proposed highway rehabilitation project and recommend a speed limit reduction and/or installing stop signs. Either of these solutions is safe, reasonable and appropriate. And, unlike the county at this point, I can provide supporting documentation that this is so. Of the three options to mitigate the perceived line-of-sight problem, purchasing my property and cutting down trees is also the most costly–has the committee determined how much money this would require? With the current economic climate, no government agency should be spending needlessly. Proceeding with eminent domain and continuing with the plan of removing the trees is exorbitantly expensive when compared with the alternatives. It is not a suitable use of public funds.
Using eminent domain and cutting down trees are not popular choices, either. Choosing the alternatives would also avoid the potential repercussions of removing full and mature trees in a county known for its natural beauty and bucolic scenery, and in which there is an ever-increasing environmental ethic among its citizens.