The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

April 30, 2014

In Your Opinion: Criticism of Zagata is nothing new

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The Daily Star

---- — Thank you, Mr. Waldman, for your April 9 letter reminding all of the record of Mr. Zagata’s abbreviated service to the Pataki administration, but next time check things out with his local cronies and Citizen Voices before submitting any such letter to the newspaper.

I only know Mr. Zagata from what I read in the newspapers (The Daily Star, the Albany Times Union, The New York Times), but it was long ago, almost 18 years, before newspapers had any standards for truth-telling and fact-checking.

One newspaper even went so far as to print “(a)lmost always, when Mr. Zagata was in the news, it was bad news for a governor seeking to position himself as an environmental leader.”

No doubt Zagata’s contributions have been many, but news outlets report that when it came to the oil/gas companies vs. the environment, it was the petroleum industry that came out on top. Why do journalists keep repeating such untruths? 

I read that, during his tenure, Zagata argued that oil exploration should be allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Now really, who would believe such a libelous allegation? Again, way back when Mr. Zagata was the state’s chief environmental policymaker, the New York Times dared print that he claimed part authorship of a concept called “rigs to reefs,” under which oil companies could sink unused drilling platforms, saving on disposal costs while creating marine habitats. What a concept! How could the Times expect New Yorkers to believe such claptrap?

Citizen Voices, a group that seeks to promote the local economy, a worthy goal with which no one will bicker, may want to reconsider its defense of Zagata, but only if it intends to give equal weight to the potential environmental consequences in their deliberations. 

Richard Denicore

Oneonta