Water is too precious to allow fracking
We are blessed to live in an area that is not only physically beautiful, but which has quality land for growing crops, hard and soft wood forests for harvesting wood, and abundant water to nourish the land and the life that depends on it. It would be tempting to believe that this will always be so.
I think we could all agree that this has been an unusual year, weather-wise. A mild winter with little snow, followed by dry, hot weather have left our streams dry, our lakes low, and our wells struggling to keep up with our daily demands for water.
We read of devastating droughts in the West and Midwest _ so much so that we can expect prices of just about everything to go up and stay up until the next growing season when hopefully (but is it just wishful thinking?), things will improve.
But it couldn't happen here, could it? Then I read in today's Daily Star: "Officials urge residents to limit water usage." Why? Because we are experiencing a "moderate drought," according to weather officials.
Turns out, it could happen here. Our greatest resource, water, is more limited than we think. (It doesn't help that so much of it travels downstate, but that's another story.)
In light of this, it might be wise to ask ourselves these questions: How much water does it take to frack a gas well? How many gas wells are we potentially looking at? Even if fracking is "safe," how much water will be contaminated by the process, and therefore unavailable for other uses? Water is a fundamental necessity of life. Gas is not.
Susan R. Burdsall
Teen abortions should require parental consent
Recently, The Daily Star reported that in the state of New York anyone under 18 seeking body piercing must have "a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian signed in the presence of the owner or body piercing specialist."
All of those interviewed and the editorial board, in its editorial that same day, applauded the new law. Some of the comments were, "It's better for everyone if they know about it." "It keeps everyone safer." "Kids need a little guidance." "Parents need to know what is going on." "As body piercings can often result in infection and a permanent scar, it seems logical that parents should be involved in the decision." (Daily Star, Aug. 1)
The editorial even goes so far as to note that it is congruent with other laws because if you're under a certain age, you can't vote, serve in the Armed Forces, or have sex legally. You can't even buy cigarettes.
Ah, but did you know that your daughter, when she is feeling scared, alone and under the weight of a poor decision, can obtain a major surgical procedure without your consent in New York state?
That's right. The state of New York does not require any parental consent for abortion. The parents are excluded from providing that "little bit of guidance" at such a sensitive time in her life.
We have failed to protect our teenage daughters when they are distraught and most vulnerable.
Mary Kay Kennedy, RN, BSN, Mount Vision