Sunday Opinion: Thumbs up to healthcare reform, thumbs down to wind farms

Morning folks.  Gorgeous weekend down in the Champlain Valley.  Hope you’ve had some spring wherever you are.

Here’s a survey of weekend opinions across the North Country.  A lot of interesting stuff out there.

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican gives a tentative thumbs-up to President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan passed past year.

The AARP survey shows how important health-care reform is to a strong national economy. Obama’s controversial health law may not be the final answer, but it is a step in the right direction.

The American people could not carry on securely without some kind of change to the health-insurance system. It was destroying too many American dreams.

The Glens Falls Post Star continues its criticism of the Adirondack Park Agency and urges Governor Andrew Cuomo to choose wisely the five new commissioners he’ll name over the next few months.

In a nutshell, the APA has a well-earned reputation for being overreaching, inflexible, unresponsive to citizens, and in some cases abusive.

We’ve done articles on some of the more egregious cases. Environmentalists have been allowed to dominate the APA board, contributing to the park’s hostile economic environment for residents trying to make a living.

What’s needed isn’t really a balance of pro-environment and pro-development members, but a willingness by all members of the APA board to see how conservation and economic growth have to go hand in hand in order for people to be able to live and thrive in the park.

The Watertown Daily Times, which serves Fort Drum, urges a continued engagement in the Middle East as the “Arab Spring” continues.

These events — occurring on one day in a few countries — reflect the larger struggle for political and social reform playing out throughout the region. As the so-called Arab Spring continues, the United States must monitor the developments and do what it can to help the cause of freedom.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise wrestles this week with a hyper-local issue, but one that will resonate for many communities:  government support for the local chamber of commerce, and the problem of “double taxation” in areas that have multiple layers of government.

The village board members are not only wondering whether taxpayers are getting their money’s worth; they’re also deciding whether this should be one of many things that has to go in these tight times – especially since two of the three towns that divide the village already pay the chamber, meaning most villagers are paying twice.

The Burlington Free Press has a fierce essay by Deborah Caldbeck, who opposes large scale wind far development.

Caldbeck describes looking across Lake Champlain toward New York and seeing…

…a number of eerie, intermittently blinking, red lights from the wind towers from the Ellensburg wind “farm” in Clinton County, N.Y. A communion with the wonders of nature violently broken by another reminder of man’s inhumanity to nature…

Finally, last week there were some complaints about my picks for the Sunday Opinion discussion.

So this week, I want to urge you not only to leave comments, but also to leave suggestions (with links, if possible) about other opinion writing out there that you found interesting.

This will share those ideas and sources with readers, and give me some fresh ideas of places to look for smart, thought-provoking essays about the North Country.

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9 Comments on “Sunday Opinion: Thumbs up to healthcare reform, thumbs down to wind farms”

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  1. Pete Klein says:

    The Glens Falls Post Star is bought and paid for by Fred Monroe and his Adirondack Park Tea Party Review Board.
    More sense coming out of Plattsburgh and Watertown.

  2. Jim Bullard says:

    I wonder how many of Burlington’s lights are ‘violently breaking the communion with nature’ of New Yorkers looking in the other direction. I’m not crazy about giant windmills but I’m less crazy about nuclear plants and acid rain from coal both of which have the advantage of being invisible to NIMBYs. I’ve linked to Solar Roadways before, an idea that I think really could work for our energy needs. The problems covered above all stem from the polarization that exists in our societal dialog, too many people are wedded to a particular view/agenda and unwilling to listen to alternatives that might serve them as well while accommodating others.

  3. JDM says:

    Wind farms are a monument to the [leave out adjective that has to do with stupidity] environmental extremist movement.

    They think that drilling for oil in the frozen wasteland of our north, where no animal nor human will ever venture, is out-of-bounds, but they allow destroying our towns and villages with the sight of rust bucket turbines that whirl and whine and cause other problems to our daily lives.

    Oh boy. Historians will look back at us and scratch their heads.

  4. tootightmike says:

    Historians will look at our use of the global oil reserve and say, “THEY BURNED IT!???”
    The people and animals that live in the frozen wastelands of this world would wish you’d keep out of their business. If you’ve got an energy problem, why not fix it on your own turf.

  5. Mervel says:

    Isn’t Vermont the highest user of Nuclear energy in the nation? I think like 70% of of the states power comes form their nuclear plant.

    I like the way wind farms look. Its better than a nuclear plant belching steam and cancer.

  6. JDM says:

    ttm “If you’ve got an energy problem, why not fix it on your own turf.”

    Exactly! We own ANWR, North and South Dakota, and 0-12miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s go get OUR oil.

  7. Walker says:

    I’d be a lot more sympathetic with the Drill Baby Drill crowd if we _started_ by ditching our giant gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups.

    Since the only way to get people to drive sensible cars is to have high priced gas, I say let’s slow down the rate at which we extract what’s left and let the price climb.

    You folks with children and grand-children, do you ever really give much thought to what they’re going to be dealing with, and how your behavior now will contribute to their problems down the road?

  8. oa says:

    Q: You folks with children and grand-children, do you ever really give much thought to what they’re going to be dealing with, and how your behavior now will contribute to their problems down the road?

    A: No.

  9. Walker says:

    Interesting, though, that the grandchildren are trotted out as the reason we have to get deficits under control (but only by cutting spending on social programs, never by cutting military spending or government subsidies to business, and _certainly_ not by raising taxes).

    And yet the grandchildren were nowhere to be seen when SUVs and pickups were exempted from the CAFE standards: “Automakers have said that small, fuel-efficient vehicles cost the auto industry billions of dollars. They cost almost as much to design and market but cannot be sold for as much as larger vehicles such as SUVs, because consumers expect small cars to be inexpensive.” (Wikipedia)

    When in comes to a choice between the grandchildren and profits, profits win every time.

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