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People’s column

We are all benefiting from renewables

Editor, OBSERVER:

In regard to the commentary, “Renewable energy is not all green,” (Aug. 7), the writer’s concerns are not new.

In the fallout of the 1973 oil crisis, the American Association for the Advancement of Science published a yearlong series of weekly articles on energy, renewable and not, in its weekly journal, Science. These articles, still in my file, cover solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear, fuel cell, and fossil fuel energy along with energy conservation.

In a memorable meeting of the Fredonia-Pomfret Democratic Association in 2004, I discussed these issues with Mark Poloncarz, now Erie County executive and then a Congressional aspirant. I emphasized to him lifestyles that reduce energy consumption as an alternative to construction of new energy plant.

I recall many discussions of wind energy in many meetings of the Pomfret Town Board which I attended a decade ago. In one meeting, these discussions included Arkwright Town Supervisor Frederic Norton who went on to oversee construction of windmills in his town which are now very visible.

Finally, I dispute the assertion that “investors and campaign contributors not you or me or the public in general” are responsible for government expenses on renewable energy. Virtually everyone who participates in a retirement plan is, in effect, an investor even though that person may not have a personal stock broker.

Furthermore, as a quondam treasurer of the Fredonia-Pomfret Democratic Association who has closely followed the finances of par organizations of all political persuasions for decades, I can knowledgeably assert that campaign contributors come from a broad segment of the electorate. That is, “the public in general … profits from this”.

MICHAEL C. BARRIS, Ph.D.,

Fredonia

Keep food assistance in COVID-19 relief

Editor, OBSERVER:

As the coronavirus rages on across our state, it has caused yet another crisis – child hunger. Thousands of families with kids right here in New York are now dealing with unemployment, rising food prices, eviction and hunger. And yet Congress continues to fail these children by leaving nutrition assistance out of the coronavirus relief package.

Hunger is a problem we can actually fix. Increasing SNAP benefits by 15% would mean an additional $25 per month per person. Just $25 per month for a child would allow families to buy the nutritional foods they need to grow and thrive.

And extending Pandemic EBT would further ensure kids get the food they need. This program helps families who rely on school meals get the resources they need even if there are disruptions to the upcoming school year, which some districts are already experiencing despite plans to reopen.

Children need this food, and our state needs healthy, nourished, strong children. I am strongly urging Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to support SNAP and P-EBT in the final package.

RACHEL SABELLA,

director, No Kid Hungry New York

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