Letters

Hydrofracking article prompts various opinions
It’s interesting that our renewal card arrived in the mail the same day I read your Fall 2010 edition. We would have renewed our subscription, but after reading your article on gas drilling, we won’t.

I’ve been involved in the gas business for many years, and it is clear that you didn’t talk to anyone other than the ill-informed locals before writing this. And that’s irresponsible. You must know that the alternate to gas right now is coal – strip-mined coal. Every gas well we’re too special to allow to be drilled in New York means more strip-mining elsewhere in the U.S. And more global warming, since coal is much dirtier than gas.

And on top of that, the Marcellus shale in the Finger Lakes is too shallow for anyone to be interested in. There is no industry interest in any part of the Finger Lakes Region. If you’d spoken to anyone with industry knowledge, you would have known that.

So we’re done. We didn’t buy your magazine to get inaccurate news on gas drilling, so you can write off our subscription.
John Young, Ithaca
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Dear Mark,
I want to thank the author, Susan Gateley, and you and your editorial staff for the excellent article on hydrofracking which appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine. Your magazine is outstanding, and always has interesting articles and beautiful pictures. This particular article was extremely timely and, as always, well done. It was a valuable contribution to the education of the residents and business owners in the Finger Lakes, as well as to tourists, as to what is planned for our beautiful area and our pristine lakes, and the probable consequences.
Barbara Schiesser, Dundee

I commend Life in the Finger Lakes magazine and the author (Fall 2010: “No ‘fracking’ way . . . ”) for reporting on the impending industrialization of the Finger Lakes landscape by horizontal hydrofracturing (HH) gas drilling. The article states, “With appropriate environmental safeguards, natural gas . . . . could be a ‘bridge’ to a more sustainable energy policy.”

While it is doubtful that HH can ever be made safe, this nation should have created a comprehensive national clean energy policy/plan, with specific resource commitments and goals, decades ago when the warning signs (peak oil, fossil fuel driven climate change) were being acknowledged and discussed. We still do not have a comprehensive plan because the federal government has no definitive vision of a clean energy future and too often gets pulled in whatever direction serves corporate interests. In the case of the fossil fuel industry, that means leveling mountaintops for coal, offshore drilling at great environmental risk, and liberally sprinkling the countryside with 5 acre gas drill pads, pipelines and access roads. Without a plan, it is ludicrous to suggest (as the gas extraction industry constantly does) that we are transitioning to clean energy in a meaningful way. Touting natural gas as a ‘bridge’ fuel is code for mining and burning every last dollop of this fossil fuel, padding energy company wallets along the way.

It will take a great and sustained hue and cry from the population at large to prevent this dangerous industrialization of the Finger Lakes.
Fred Gros, Ithaca
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Good News
You may remember our correspondence going back to my Hawaii days.

I remain a subscriber and fan from my relocation since 2008 here on the high ground between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes just southeast of the Finger Lakes National Forest.

I thought you’d appreciate the news that just yesterday at the big Friends of the Library used book sale in Ithaca, in the “local interest” section, I turned up the one issue I’ve been missing: your Summer 2001 Premier Issue.

So, very pleased to be able to report that my Life in the Finger Lakes holdings are complete to date.
Tim Wright, Trumansburg

Editor’s note – the Summer 2001 premier issue is no longer available. If readers can find one at a sale, they should consider themselves lucky!
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A friend of mine just sent me the current issue of Life in the Finger Lakes, and I was blown away by the wealth of information and the beauty of the layout. After spending the first 59 years of my life in the Mohawk Valley and Rochester area, I moved to southeastern Louisiana nine years ago, and the glorious photos of the Finger Lakes in autumn brought back many cherished memories of those years in upstate New York. Now that I have submitted my own subscription, my wife and I will have a welcomed guide for what we hope will become an annual fall pilgrimage to the Finger Lakes. Thank you for this marvelous publication.
–John F. Denison, Franklinton, Louisiana
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There are so many interesting and wonderful people that call the Finger Lakes their home. I think it is great that we can all read and learn about the people and places. Thank you.
Mary St George, Penn Yan (from the magazine’s facebook page)
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Corrections
In the Fall 2010 issue, the name of Frederick Douglass was misspelled in the article “Secrets of a Successful Cemetery Sleuth.” We apologize for the mistake.

Also, we note that the caption for the photos on page 84 of the same issue should state that the attic’s “secret room” is not being renovated, but is kept in that condition. Again, we apologize for this oversight.