Letters to Editor – December 20, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Locals Just Don't Matter
We repeatedly hear how our country is so deeply divided between right and left. But here, rolling slowly down our streets and peering in the ground beneath our houses, is the perfect unifying force. No matter your political leanings, your enemy is in your midst.
For the right, the enemy is the 'nanny state' in Columbus, which removed local decision-making from the shale drilling process with the passage of H.B 278 in 2004.
Laws since adopted by state officials to regulate drilling will have to suffice for you and me.
Bureaucrats in Columbus say that 50 feet is far enough away from your favorite fishing or swimming hole to extract oil and gas. Columbus has decided that 150 feet is enough of a buffer between your house or your child's school and the drill rigs, gas pipe, diesel engines, and retention ponds.
And they've also decided that you don't need to know each and every chemical used in the extraction process.
Beyond your decision to lease your mineral rights, you need not worry about taking personal responsibility for yourself, your land, your neighbor, your community. Just sit back; Big Government will take care of everything from here.
For the left, we have the perfect nemesis: An arm of the fossil fuel industry that subverts democracy at every turn by paying off politicians to gain favorable legislation, by funding junk science that concludes their processes are safe (as recently reported), by spreading misinformation about their safety record and subjecting victims and witnesses of their calamities to gag orders and legal threats.
Of course, the politicians and the industry are united by money and favor. And so, we Geauga residents, no matter our political persuasion, are united by what we stand to lose: The freedom to live in a cherished place of our own making.
So far I've seen mostly complacency from my neighbors. We should be following the lead of Cincinnati and Mansfield, Longmont, CO and Pittsburgh, PA and the growing number of other places where locals are coming together to retake control of their rights, resources, and destinies by passing legislation under threat of lawsuits from both their state and the industry - to regulate drilling in their communities as local residents see fit.
Can we come together as a community and decide what's best for ourselves? I've reserved the Log Cabin on Chardon Square - 7 PM on Tuesday, December 18. Anyone motivated to come with constructive ideas, proposed solutions, and New Year resolutions, please meet me there, at our county seat of public representation.
It can't be said often enough and strongly enough that fracking has unknown consequences, mostly bad for us and the ecology.
Aside from the ruination of the countryside with derricks, cleared land, pools of toxic water, the drillers will be injecting unknown chemicals into the water table which will ultimately gravitate upward into our aquifers from which get our drinking and cooking water.
I doubt very much that we can determine that any of the chemical products are truly safe, partially or entirely. If we wait until the EPA comes to certain conclusions, it may be too late.
As a user of well water, I recommend that a hold be placed on the practice of fracking until the scientific community determines it to be entirely safe for humans and animals.
School Attacks, Social Issues & Chardon's Opportunity
March 2010: Eight elementary school children killed in attack in China. By Knife.
April 2010: 16 elementary school children killed, one teacher in China. By Knife.
May 2010: Seven children, two adults, kindergarten in China. By Cleaver.
August 2010: Three children, one teacher killed. Kindergarten class in China. By Knife.
August : Eight children in a day care in China. Killed by a Box Cutter.
Sept. 11, 2001: Terror strike on U.S.A., approximately 3000 dead. Initial weapon Plastic Knives and Box Cutters.
Please, let us not use the horrific events here in the U.S. to become a political platform for gun control. Controlling weapons is a small portion of the problem at hand in today's society. And this problem is not a U.S. problem. It's a world wide problem. It's a current societal problem.
This has been on my mind since our own local tragedy and I just cannot keep it in any longer. We have a much larger problem at hand than who owns a gun. After all, law abiding citizens obtain their guns through the proper channels and manage them properly. Can this method be improved, certainly; all methodology require upgrading and improvement as time changes.
The bad guys are not going to conform to new gun control laws. They don't abide by current gun control laws or any other laws for that matter.
They're the bad guys, remember? How do new gun laws regulate the weapons in the field? Anybody considering new gun legislation is going to have to think of the number of guns that are already owned, registered, unregistered, given away, sold, stolen, inherited, built, etc. Guns are probably almost as prolific as plastic knives.
The Chardon tragedy should not be used as a political platform for an issue that is not the cause of what happened here.
Do we really believe that T.J. Lane is the only child in the Chardon school district with this propensity? Wake up community.
The drug problem in the Chardon Schools is prolific and existed when I was there in the 70s. T.J. Lane cannot be blamed for every problem in this school district when the drug issue is decades old and heroin usage is at epidemic proportions.
Mentor Schools suffered a series of suicides in the last couple years. Bullying and drugs. So many, that the parents of the children that took their lives filed a law suit against the school over bullying issues.
Chardon has the opportunity right now to take what happened here and assist in the prevention of future assaults. Many of us with a few years under our belts can attest that reaching out with help is often times a great healer for personal wounds.
Did anyone learn from Robbie Parker speaking of the loss of his 6-year-old daughter in Connecticut? He said he forgives.
Chardon, let us show who is inside that One Heart; let us show the world how to heal with love; the only real healer. Every life has meaning, every life has a purpose, even T.J. Lane; though now his purpose may have changed.
We can throw T.J. Lane behind bars and forget him. Or, we can try to obtain his cooperation and learn who he is and what exactly happened in him and to him and let him know that he can contribute to ending this horror. That could be part of his reform. Isn't that what prisons' initial purpose was, reform?
The administration in the school is aware of the identity of many high risk kids. It's not their job to resolve these kids' problems, and I don't want to imply this is their responsibility. They can point out the high risk kids.
And let us use what T.J. Lane has to say, what we learn from him to prevent this from happening again. Then take the Chardon Healing Funds and work with all the other at risk children in our school district to prevent another attack.
After all, this newspaper headlined that T.J. Lane wants to talk. So let him. Let us not be a community of vengeance, but a community of compassion and productive results.