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David Felcheck of the Times-Shamrock group, New Age Examiner, wrote on December 6, 2006 an article titled “Set in Stone.”
He realized that Bluestone is part of the culture. How it has helped farmers to stay on their lands. He also states, "The greatest threat to the industry may be the development in Susquehanna county. New housing tracts are going up on top of potential quarries. Residents move in and complain about blasting noise and truck traffic. Some public officials are trying to change zoning to prohibit landowners from building in the mountains at the end of two-mile driveways. Such unseen homes make it more difficult for future quarries to open."
Imagine that. I would love to meet these politicians, who will come right out and state that although the complaints are worthy, we recognize those who do the living and paying in this county, and check the voting register to know who votes in this county. It cannot be considered political suicide when you know who sponsors the county Republican and Democratic picnics.
The Simple Truth
Cynthia Allen of Summersville, your letter, “Dispel The Myths” deserves a reply.
“Justice for All” (United States of America Pledge of Allegiance).
Ms. Allen, the first part of your letter explained most of your confusion. You went to the meeting and heard. You should have listened instead. There is a big difference.
1. The no pit signs: I would have had “No B&S” and “No Non-traceable Illegals,” “Hold B&S to the law,” things like that. However, no pit signs are also good.
2. The pictures: You are correct they are of two stone quarries. It is impossible to take pictures of the individual pit mines when they are illegally operating as two large quarries. One is in Lanesboro the other in New Milford.
3. Compliance issues: The corrupt people refusing to uphold the laws, rules, regulations and rights of the people. Like you, they heard, not listened. Comparing an uninitiated fire extinguisher tag to a contaminated well, flooding, damage and destruction of homes, illness and so on. I am thankful that I do not scare as easy as you.
4. Permits: Why should everyone believe B&S’s employed engineer? The engineer for B&S does not see a connection between hundreds of woodland acres stripped, drainage systems removed and altered, turning residents below into victims. The people have proven laws, rules and regulations are ignored for B&S.
5. Authority: The people have not only turned to borough and township government. I was taught chain of command, starting with your community. I cannot agree to leaving them out, they are also affected.
6. Lyncott Landfill: As you said, “We should not even be aware when a shot goes off.” Many people experience house shaking, windows cracking, vibrations and movement of personal items. So far you are lucky they don’t blast in your neighborhood. I was informed by DEP that they control the regulations of B&S blasting. Again failure within DEP personnel.
7. Quality of life: B&S can be seen from many roads, from miles away. Take a drive through Oakland, Susquehanna, Lanesboro and Stevens Point and you will see B&S’ enormous, small permit operation on Taylor Hill. I agree B&S does pay their way, to a point. Remember, B&S receives many grants, some totaling in the millions.
What about the money government, towns and services are cheated out of? Of course the legal people and companies pick up the tabs.
You mentioned only one road, 848. So I will mention one, Jefferson Street, six years plus before bonded. Again, through another grant September, 2004, B&S promised to repair by the end of 2004. The end of 2007 is approaching and Jefferson St. is not yet repaired. Jefferson St. is and has been posted a five-ton weight limit and no trucks. You also did not touch bases on the traffic laws. I will mention one, although there are many; overloaded trucks traveling 45 mph and above, on average, within a 25 mph school and hospital zone. They also usually drive with one hand on the wheel and one on the cell phone.
I appreciate all veterans. I am thankful for the gift of monuments. After the initial thanking of the monuments, shouldn’t it then be only about the veterans? My family has a long history of military people, my grandfather being a retired Lieutenant Colonel for the United States Army. I have not found one veteran that says they fought or would have fought for discrimination, violation of rights, nontaxable illegal immigrants working and housed near explosives. What about homeland security and the possibilities of terrorism?
You mentioned the building of houses, churches and sidewalks. Most were here before B&S, but many will not be after, that has already begun.
8. Your agenda: Should be everyone’s agenda. B&S should abide by the laws. All of them. Harm should not come to the people or the environment. The environment is a must for all life.
9. Water issues: You mentioned the wells going dry as a new issue. Water problems have been a major issue for years. You didn’t mention contaminated wells, flooding, or erosion. You never mentioned what happened to the ponds, creeks and streams.
10. Truck traffic: You did not mention all the traffic laws being ignored or the danger to everyone. What about the heavy equipment and UKE trucks on the streets. You may think everyone should move aside, bowing to B&S; I defiantly will not.
11. Tourism: Maybe right now there is not much loss with tourism, but there is some. What about the future? I ask myself why you neglected to mention Old Mill Village or the Starrucca Viaduct with scenic B&S ugliness. B&S' long-term, seventy-five year plan is to mine from Taylor Hill, Lanesboro to Thompson (said at the October 18, 2006 DEP– B&S quarries large permit meeting). I haven’t heard New Milford’s long-term plan yet. I wonder why that information was not shared, and how that will affect the future?
I have been to many meetings concerning B&S. You are the only person I listened to so far that says mining, mining, mining. Seems everyone else says B&S or Tim Smith and Tom Bolles.
B&S is not only harming the environment, but people as well. What about the mining companies upheld to the law? Should they be scared concerning the tag? While B&S runs rampant, without control or responsibility.
All in all, you have your values and I have a right to mine. B&S can not take that right away from me.
Autism Support Is Available
I would like to bring attention to a new support group for families of children with Autism that has been started in Susquehanna County. The meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month from 7-8 p.m. at the Parish Center of the Holy Name of Mary Church in Montrose. Child care is provided. Those wanting more information about the support group can call 278-3055.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 13, and will feature a Physical Therapy Assistant from Stable Movements in Binghamton, New York, who will discuss the many benefits of therapeutic horseback riding for children with Autism. Anyone interested in this topic, Autism in general, or who would like to join this new Autism support group is welcome to attend.
Kevin D. McGee
Melodie R. Huston
DEP Finally Acts
In light of the fact that the application for a large, non-coal, surface mining permit has been withdrawn by operators of BS Quarries Inc., in a directive dated October 29, 2007, DEP has now ordered the following of the operators:
"As a consequence of withdrawing the application, you are hereby notified that all unauthorized operations must cease at the New Milford Quarry Operation. Unauthorized operations include all noncoal surface mining activities that fall outside of the three existing small, non-coal permits... totaling 15 acres. Please ensure that the 15 acres associated with the three small, non-coal mining permits are clearly field marked. Reclamation must begin immediately for all areas beyond the three five-acre permits referenced above."
Let me paraphrase for those who might still be either unwilling, or unable to comprehend and accept the gravity of this directive:
“Unauthorized operations” – operations which have been going on outside of the areas permitted by DEP. Operations which are not in accordance with the rules of the governmental agency whose responsibility it is to supervise and enforce permits which they have issued.
“Cease” – stop doing this immediately!
“Ensure” – make sure that you mark off the permitted work area, so that there is no uncertainty as to exactly where the permitted area boundaries lie.
“Reclamation” – clean up the site to a level acceptable to DEP.
New Milford Rescue is indeed pleased with the actions which DEP has taken thus far, but is still concerned with several, as-yet-unresolved major issues, including ongoing blasting operations which may very well be impacting the Lyncott Hazardous Waste Site, which lies but a short distance – as shock waves travel – from this site. This is an issue, among others, which because of the potential hazards which it poses, cannot, and will not, be allowed to lie dormant.
New Milford Twp.
I feel the need to express my extreme gratitude to the Susquehanna paramedics, the ER staff, and Dr. Hacker for taking such amazing care of my daughter, Grace on Friday, October 26.
She had a seizure, and of course I called 911. The paramedics responded very quickly. They wee very caring and understanding at what was the scariest moment of my life. They took very good care of her and assured me she was fine. The ER staff was very attentive. Dr. Hacker was quick to give an accurate diagnosis, and was very good about making sure I understood it all.
I feel very lucky to live in a town where we can count on such amazing care.
You all were our heroes that day, thank you again.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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