One of the most impassioned comments I have seen sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in connection with the proposed Constitution Pipeline was written this week by Barbara Wenzel, a nurse from New York City with plans to retire to the Schoharie County town of Summit. Here are a couple of excerpts:
"What I want to say is very personal. On September 11, 2001, I was working as a visiting nurse in downtown Manhattan. I saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center less than a quarter-mile away. My first thought was "this is a Bruce Willis movie and I want it to end." As I was providing first aid to the terrified people fleeing up West Street, covered in soot, with tattered clothes, I realized life as we have known it was over. My main focus since that terrible day in 2001 has been to provide care, comfort and reassurance to the homebound, elderly and sick living in very close proximity to the site of that tragedy in lower Manhattan. But I was also profoundly shaken by the experience and what I had seen on 9/11. I began hunting for a safe haven and I found it in Schoharie County.
"I never imagined I could own such an incredibly beautiful piece of land. For almost 11 years now, I have worked seven days a week to pay for this land and to save the money needed to build my little dream house. Not a day goes by in which I do not dream about the beautiful gardens I am going to create. In all seasons and all kinds of weather I camp out up there in my little tent. In stormy weather, neighbors have come by and urged me to accept shelter with them but I always decline, preferring to be on my land. I feel rooted there...."
She urged FERC to place the pipeline along the Interstate 88 corridor. She said she was planning to start construction of her retirement home next spring. "Don't take away my dream," she concluded.
Joe Mahoney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 547-9493.