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Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 8-2-18

Thanks for explaining church’s plight

Thank you to Whitney Joseph and The Millerton News for last week’s article on the Methodist Church, its situation and the urging for community involvement to insure its continuance as an historic building in the village.

“It takes a village to raise a child” is a maxim that we all know. Those of us who are parents truly understand how the larger community, our friends down the street, and our schools, sports and community activities have helped guide the making of our next generation of citizens. It was never our doings alone.

It took the “village” and it matters not how long you’ve been in this town, you have been somewhere where the same life experience applies.

The village of Millerton has changed faces in many ways over the years but there have also been ongoing efforts whereby much of the village has been revitalized.

Terni’s is the one business that has been the hub in the center of the village, for generations. From Terni’s the spokes go out to old businesses renewed and repurposed. To sit down on the stone wall in Veterans’ Park and watch the going’s on is still, in some ways, like the 1960s — not so much in the sheer numbers of people or where they’re from, but certainly in the feeling of vitality that’s apparent.

Change happens, but character can remain and Millerton is a village to be proud of.

If you turn around on that stone wall, there stands the church that’s seen better days, but is in the midst of regaining its historical standing, both literally and figuratively. The building’s stabilization was a critical chapter in this story and with that it continues working for further improvements that can make it a welcoming and functioning community resource once again. It was never just a church.

No church is just one thing; and that the doors are open to all is of most importance.

As a church, and it may never have the large congregation it once had, but in today’s “village,” if it can be a place where activities are held and a community can rally for its success, the village’s “sense of place” can have another important and functioning spoke returned to the village’s wheel.

Today, there is a way to do this, and certainly it involves money. Of equal importance though, it involves the kind of community spirit that has helped the library, Historical Society, the Irondale Schoolhouse project, Townscape and many other community endeavors.

In the end, these larger efforts to keep Millerton’s “sense of place” are of the same ilk that our parents and grandparents undertook, be it coaching the team, being a den mother, fighting a fire, watching your friends’ children when someone was ill or helping get someone’s hay into the barn before the storm hit — you name it — we’ve all been, and will be, there sometime.

The need to help is built into us. We both receive it and we lend a hand.

Will Brown

Lincolnville, Maine

 

CVEC to burn fossil fuel 

People in New York and Connecticut are working together to understand the pollution consequences posed by Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC), an 1100-Megawatt power plant located in nearby Dover Plains. When completed in 2020, it will be one of the largest power plants in the Northeast, fueled by imported fracked natural gas.

April 2018 marked the planet’s 400th consecutive month with above-average temperatures. “The cause for the streak is unquestionably climate change from humanity’s burning of fossil fuels.” (USA Today/Poughkeepsie Journal, 5/18/18, p. 1B).  CVEC burns fossil fuel!

Since CVEC’s approval in 2012, research has confirmed that natural gas, touted as a “clean” fuel, is the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet. Its continued use has dire consequences. Even 100 years after entering the atmosphere, the byproducts of methane, the main ingredient of natural gas, keep contributing to global warming. CVEC will tie us to gas for the next 40 years and more; The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that two-thirds of sulfur dioxide and one-fourth of nitrogen oxides — the components of pollution that cause acid rain — come from electric power generators. The winds that blow SO2 and NOX over long distances make acid rain a problem for everyone. 

Physicians for Social Responsibility warn that to protect human health from climate warming’s ravages, we must stop spewing heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. CVEC will legally generate from six to 16 million+ metric tons per year of carbon-dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) from combustion and methane leakage from every point throughout the infrastructure. Climate warming’s “social cost” includes money spent from flood damage, droughts, altered growing seasons, sickness, lost jobs and death. CVEC will legally generate hundreds of tons per year of nitrous oxide — which causes ground level ozone — and volatile organic compounds linked to cancers and respiratory illnesses. CVEC will legally emit each year up to 191.9 metric tons of particulate matter generated by combustion that can enter directly into human tissue. 

Laws cannot fully protect us. EPA regulations do not reduce risks to a zero level, but rather to an “adequate margin of safety” for the general population. This margin of safety is a highly judgmental guess. The EPA admits that the “margin of safety” for the general population does not apply to the young, the old, fetuses of pregnant women and those whose immune systems are already compromised from chronic lung and cardiac illnesses. They are at heightened risk. The EPA has not and cannot state what effects the combination of multiple chemicals, simultaneously emitted during emissions, may have on a person’s health.

Air pollution is treated as a regional issue. Air quality measurements represent averages over time and distance. That doesn’t mean that the people closest to the pollution source aren’t being hammered more than others. Some measurements are taken quarterly, others once per year, and the data are reported well after the fact.

We have 21st-century alternatives to fossil fuel that do not harm people or the environment. Shouldn’t we demand that our government support and utilize them? 

Johanna Fallert

Poughkeepsie