Opponents of fracking need more passion, zeal to save communities

Opponents of fracking need more passion, zeal to save communities

On July 1, I attended the Pulaski Township trustees’ monthly meeting and on July 2, the public hearing at which the trustees voted to grant permits to HilCorp Energy Co. to drill five more horizontal wells on the existing Kinkela well pad.

The July 1 meeting was standing room only. The discussion of the circumstances surrounding the lawsuit that the Lions Club has brought against the township trustees was quite impassioned.

Most of the residents who spoke were up in arms about the trustees “denying” the Lions access to their meeting place at the park that the Lions donated to the township and about the trustees’ refusing to allow them to put up a plaque recognizing the Lions.

The July 2 meeting was sparsely attended. No discussion was permitted even though the meeting was billed as a “public hearing.” The residents attending, some of whom favor continuing to grant HilCorp more permits to drill more wells in our beautiful countryside, lacked the passion of those who debated the Lions-Club plaque.

One of the main points brought up at the meeting was that in 50 years no one will know how much the Lions have done for the blind or who donated the park to the township.

At the second meeting, no one questioned what will happen in our township if we keep allowing HilCorp to tear up our farmland, take the water from our river, pollute our water wells and spew toxins into our air.

If only fracking opponents could muster the same zeal displayed by residents at the July 1 township meeting, we could prevent further desecration of our community.

If we don’t, those who will live here 50 years from now will have much more serious issues with which to deal than the lack of a plaque in a building in a township park.

Pauline Beck, West Middlesex, Pa.

Demise of DOMA was overdue

Kudos to the United States Supreme Court for finding the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

The basis of any solid relationship is love. Love doesn’t care about race, religion, nationality or gender. Love just is. All humans have the same dreams, emotions and experiences; yet many have to live in fear because of the hatred and bigotry that surround them.

My grandparents had to elope because my grandfather was Baptist and my grandmother was Catholic. Interracial marriage was illegal until fairly recently in our nation’s history. It seems antiquated now to think that religion or race should have ever prevented people from a legal marriage.

And now, finally, the tide has turned for homosexuals. It’s about time. Homosexuality, after all, is not a choice.

But homophobia, like every other type of bigotry, is a choice. And for those who insist on a biblical reference, please remember to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Life is pretty simple if we all do that.

Janet Misel, Youngstown

Connect the dots: more women in military, more sexual assaults

Although the rising rate of military sexual assault coincides with the opening up of more and more “opportunities” for women in the military, it is evidently considered out of bounds to wonder if there is some connection. Except for a few such as the irrepressible Thomas Sowell, commentators have generally shied away from this.

The problem of sexual assault in the military is only the most visible symptom of the increasing dysfunction that our current presidential administration is imposing upon the military in its use of that institution as a laboratory for social experiments. Our rulers are more concerned about ideology, in this case their radical form of gender equality and blending, than about national defense or the well-being of the men and women serving. If things are bad now, wait until these people realize their dream of full integration of males and females in frontline units. Experienced small-unit leaders back to the dawn of history could tell you why this is a bad idea.

Though supposedly the services will be able to make the case for some exclusionary rules, it is not encouraging to read about how that process of deciding will be carried out. It is also likely that the administration has found its political generals who are willing to carry out the transformation.

This may explain the bizarre statement of Gen. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the rise in sexual assaults may be linked to the barring of women in combat because the disparity creates a separate class of personnel. If this were so, wouldn’t assaults be falling instead of rising, as more and more positions have opened up for women over the last few years?

Patrick J. Lally, Youngstown

Don’t be so quick to judge

I resent the letter last Sunday about those who abuse handicapped parking spaces.

I am one of those people who does have a sticker for my car, but I really don’t think anyone would want to trade places with me.

I have had multiple sclerosis since April 1984 and had open-heart surgery in March 2012.

When seeing someone walking from their car to the store, you have no idea what health issues they might have that would not be visible to someone sitting in their car.

Mary Schoch, Austintown

We’re losing the abilty to speak

Is America too sensitive? I do not think it is something we often stop to consider, but it is something that is routinely at the forefront in the national media.

When a national figure makes an off-color remark, they go on an “apology tour.” These individuals go out there proclaiming how they have realized some genuine moment of great truth and that they are truly sorry, but the more likely scenario is they are trying to save face and doing it only because it is conventional in America to do so.

To the other end, are we really that offended by someone making a stupid comment, or is it also conventional in America to blow things out of proportion?

Communication in America is like walking on egg shells because when you say anything, you better be sure to pick your words in a way that offends no one. It is truly an unhealthy environment—a first time infraction for saying something that could be construed as offensive is an immediate grounds for firing. Even one slip of the tongue or a moment of bad judgment can result in a pink slip in America today, and this is representative of a very hypersensitive society.

The danger in this situation is we cannot have an honest conversation about anything for fear of offending someone, even if it is completely objective. If you say this, you are a racist. If you say that, you will offend that group of people. You are a bigot if you make that comment.

Race, religion, sex and gender issues have become such taboo subjects that it is impossible to have an honest conversation without offending someone, and America is not necessarily better for it.

A society that is hypersensitive about communication is bound to have problems, and we have become so obsessed with preaching tolerance that we are becoming more intolerant than we ever have been.

Alex Mangie, Canfield