Adopting a new name doesn't change a thing
A recent News editorial proudly pronounced that the Mineral Management Service is no more. The agency in charge of overseeing offshore oil exploration, including the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, changed its name to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Big deal. As Shakespeare once said: "A rose by any other name is still a rose." The service is still filled with the same sleaze layer installed there by President George W. Bush and now contains President Obama's anointed czar Ken Salazar who, if nothing else, is an oilman plain and simple. Don't hold your breath waiting for copious amounts of regulated oversight from a fox in the chicken coop. Blackwater, the mercenary "contractor" supplier for U.S. international interests pulled the same slick trick. It's now called Xe.
Need to change the national discourse from hiding employee rapes or bad international reputation due to civilian murder and pillage? How about ruined pristine coastlines, oil-rig deaths due to greed-induced malfeasance or oil-induced drowning to dolphins and assorted other wildlife due largely to non-existent federal regulation? Simply change your name. Pull the switch-a-roo and the "small people" will forget why the name change was so necessary.
Stephen F. Saracino
Regular part-time staff stood to lose the most
I would like to comment on Donn Esmonde's editorial pertaining to the proposed contract for county workers. Perhaps if Esmonde had seen the actual offer and was familiar with the regular part-time situation, he wouldn't be so quick to judge county workers' decision.
Within one year, all workers would be losing approximately one week of pay. One percent raises wouldn't cover cost-of-living increases and by year two, health care will have increased, costing workers even more. Regular part-time workers stood to lose the most. After two years of losing half benefits, working an hour and half longer a week than full time workers, I was not willing to accept loss of vacation time as compensation.
The regular part-time case has won two rounds in court and as a regular part-time worker, I prefer to take my chances for full compensation with the courts. County workers understand there are give-backs in negotiations, but this proposal was very detrimental to most workers. I thank my fellow brothers and sisters for standing by us newer employees.
Canal system thriving for tourism, recreation
Thanks to The News for its very supportive June 18 editorial, "Capitalizing on the canal," regarding the New York State Canal Corp.'s recent announcement of the Canalway Water Trail.
The Canal Corp., a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority, continuously strives to preserve, protect and promote the iconic Erie Canal and the other three waterways that comprise the state's 524-mile canal system. In recent years the system has taken great strides forward with increased recreational amenities including seven new Canal Harbor projects, the Canalway Trail for joggers, hikers and bikers, and now the addition of the Canalway Water Trail, targeted at small and human-powered watercraft. Many of these improvements would not be possible were it not for the large number of our partners throughout the corridor, and the total financial support of the Thruway Authority.
As a result of nearly $900 million in investments over the last 18 years, the canal system is thriving today as a major tourism, recreation and economic development asset including boat harbors, visitors' centers, 270 miles of land trails and 100 public access points along the Canalway Water Trail. More than 300 community events take place annually along the canals during the navigation season. The Thruway Authority and the Canal Corp. will continue their diligent efforts to protect this important asset of our state's history, ensuring its continuation for future generations to use and enjoy.
Michael R. Fleischer
Carmella R. Mantello
Obama had no choice; McChrystal had to go
I regard President Obama's decision to fire Gen. Stanley McChrystal with a profound sense of relief. Given the volatile state of American politics, it had to be a difficult decision. It was also the only rational decision.
I suppose we can expect the customary howls of "righteous" anger from all the usual quarters. Fox News will be awash in crocodile tears, while the loudest protests are sure to come from the usual warrior-patriots who, themselves of course, never served in uniform -- let alone in combat.
McChrystal is held in universally high regard throughout the armed services. His bravery and intelligence have earned him our admiration and gratitude. His need for media attention along with his gift for provocative sound-bites betray a sad lack of judgment.
It can only be a matter of time before he, too, joins Fox News as, perhaps, its official military consultant.
Give Paladino a chance to fight for New Yorkers
Instead of resigning ourselves to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, let's get out and fight for choice. We can do better. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie showed it can be done by defeating an entrenched liberal machine that was destroying his state.
Carl Paladino is seeking signatures to place his name on the primary ballot as candidate for governor. Sign a petition. Give him a chance to do for New York State what Christie is doing in New Jersey. We have to start somewhere. Let this be the first step in our journey to return New York to the people. Paladino for the people. Yes we can.
Mary A. Kless
Cheney might be able to help with oil spill
Every once in a while, life just hands you one of those "duh" moments, when you wonder why no one else has thought of this. It appears that no one in the Obama administration has the slightest clue what to do about the gulf oil spill. Has everyone forgotten that Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, one of the largest petroleum services corporations on the planet? It seems to me that if the Obama administration were going to reach out to anyone for help in dealing with this national crisis, Cheney should be number one on that list.