To The Editor:
Many years ago, Joseph Conrad in Lord Jim wrote, Its extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. The word that summarizes it is greed.
This is going to be a busy summer for the crown jewel of the north country, Waddington, and most likely profitable, at the time, for restaurants and inns, not only here but also in the surrounding communities. However, I wonder if the same will be true for the residents and taxpayers of our lovely village with a little over 1,000 people.
First, Aug. 2 to 4 is the 38th annual Waddington Homecoming; a wonderful event! Then, Aug. 8 to 11, the Bassmaster Elite Series St. Lawrence River Showdown Fishing Tournament that could bring people who fish from all over maybe 10,000 anglers. No one knows how many.
Our sewage treatment plant has built-in capacity for 350 new homes. So if you figure four people to a home, the sewage plant could handle the waste for 1,400 more people. So what happens to the rest of it?
Did the head of the St. Lawrence county Chamber of Commerce or our village mayor check with the state Health Department or Department of Environmental Conservation to find out if they would put their stamp of approval on this event?
No way! Can that extra waste be dumped into the St. Lawrence River, creating an E. coli problem that could close our beach and river for swimming not only in Waddington but also in any communities downstream, i.e. Louisville, Massena, the reservation and Canadian communities across the river, or should I say Lake St. Lawrence, where the New York Power Authority closes the gates at Iroquois and Eisenhower Locks to produce electricity?
Does anyone actually have any idea of how much fishing stock is in Lake St. Lawrence? Has anyone questioned if having this major fishing event could deplete the fish, so there would be nothing left for the local anglers to enjoy pursuing even though no one should be eating the fish because they are all polluted with endocrine disrupters, etc.? The fish for the tournament will be released after they are caught.
A part of the Waddington township is already in serious environmental trouble because of all the trees that have been cut this spring to grow corn for fuel. Ottawa lost 1,000 trees last year from various weather events, and the rate of asthma spiked dramatically.
Not only do the trees clean the air and help to keep us healthy, but their canopies help to keep us cool. Its also true that you cant find a tree in the St. Lawrence County part of the Adirondacks that is bigger around than a telephone pole, but you can in the Essex and Franklin County parts. All the downed trees just adds to the prospect of damaging winds having free reign on any building standing in the county.
Things like these events prove that former Gov. David Patersons study is true. We must eliminate all these extra layers of government like the county Legislature and village government (and the county Chamber of Commerce) so we can have a better handle on what is going on and stop it before it costs the taxpayers even more money and, more importantly, the measure of peace they have presently.
I leave you with two thoughts: With all the extra sewage because of visitors to our community, could extra stench come from the sewage treatment plant during hot weather when we all like to be outdoors? This will not be because of negligence of those working at the sewage plant, because I do think they are doing a good job. It will be because of the extra waste.
Think long and hard about the fact that the world, planet Earth, is running out of drinking water.
Have a wonderful summer!
Barbara Seguin Doe