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Letters to the Editor February 11

February 10, 2016

While we are sleeping

The recent presentation by PennDOT in Shohola, PA on the proposed Pond Eddy Bridge replacement is an example of how much community involvement has impacted the latest bridge design project, which is now less expensive, mimics the look of the historic bridge, and is a one-lane structure.

To attendees with no engineering background, it would seem that previous concerns have been satisfactorily addressed. But major questions still remain. Where are the engineering calculations on the mean rise of the water level when a 15-foot-high rock construction platform dams up more than half the width of the river for over two years? Why weren’t the causeways into the river from Route 97 shown on the schematic plans, and why was a construction-equipment staging plan unaccounted for by the engineers and left to the residents to deal with?

The public needs to know the details, including which permitting processes are still incomplete. Otherwise it is hard to determine if this proposal is sound, and exactly where it stands if there are agencies that still have not given their permit. As is often said, the devil may be lurking in the details.

Daria Dorosh
Barryville, NY

This fight can be won

I am disappointed at your defeatist editorial about the Highland compressor station. You might as well have written: “River Reporter to local activists: DROP DEAD!”

Yes, Millenium is an 800-pound gorilla. Yes, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the rogue agency of industry insiders—hated equally by tea partyers and tree huggers—lets them get away with it. But that’s exactly the pessimism we heard five years ago about “fracking:” “It’s inevitable. There’s nothing you can do.” “Must stay neutral.” “Can’t fight it, might as well make the be$t deal you can.”

But, thankfully, a handful of Bravehearts decided to hold an informational forum at Eldred High School to explore options. And attorneys Helen and David Slottje appeared, with a crazy hunch about home rule. Even fellow activists said it would never work. But soon one town enacted a ban. Then another. And another—until a critical mass around the state drove gas companies to places of lesser resistance. Soon, miracle of miracles, the state also had a ban.