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People’s column

Gun laws take away from ceremony

Editor, OBSERVER:

My husband and I attended the 9/11 ceremony that the American Legion puts on every year at the County Courthouse. It was the 21st year for this Rememberance Ceremony.

How sad to find out that the new gun laws that were passed in New York would alter this great ceremony to honor everyone that was lost or suffered in some way that day. The Court House is a public place so now guns are not allowed for the 21-gun salute. This is so wrong. The guns used by the Honor Guard are blanks. Can’t have guns on public property.

Keep in mind, any of us who have a veteran in their family, your rights are gone to honor them with full military honors. Also if your services are at a church or if the church has it’s own cemetery, not allowed in churches either.

The member in charge of the ceremony had to go across the street to the Crosby mart and ask permission to do the gun salute in their driveway!

So every time you have a service to honor someone, you have to find another area to do the gun salute so you can fire a gun that uses blanks?

Our veterans gave all to serve for this country. They are entitled to the regular ceremony in their honor. We need to take time and be aware of what is happening. So many things are being taken little by little.

Politics is a nasty game. No one really wins with all the extras added on to all the laws. These laws that effect ceremonies and memorials are not going to stop the killings. Blanks in guns for honoring individuals are harmless. Please take time to write the elected officials The veterans of our great nation deserve a proper ceremony.

God Bless America!

JANIS BOUQUIN,

Fredonia

Clouded judgment on solar projects

Editor, OBSERVER:

The commentary “Ripley hearing shines light on solar questions” (Sept. 24) relies on outdated and inaccurate information. The writer claims that solar panels contain polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS. However, according to engineering professor Dr. Annick Anctil of Michigan State University, the current generation of solar panels do not contain these chemicals.

Safer and more effective alternatives have been in use since 2020. In addition, regarding the fire potential of battery energy storage systems, the developer of the project, Connect Gen, is sensitive to these concerns, including several mitigation steps to deal with them. These include training volunteer firefighters in dealing with electric fires, modifying the access road plan to facilitate turnarounds for fire engines, and implementing the latest recommendations for protected wiring.

The writer also implies that the project removes forested land that has served as a carbon sink.

This, too, is inaccurate. In fact, the wooded area she refers to is already logged by landowners, and landowners will be compensated for any trees that must be cleared from the edges of the project. Furthermore, post-project the developer will provide mitigation by planting native trees, shrubs, and pollinator-attracting plants to beautify the area and reduce the visual impact of the project.

What is most striking about the commentary is her lack of engagement with the realities that undergird the necessity of the project in the first place: the existential crisis that is climate change.

No area of the state is safe from the harm that burning fossil fuels causes. We have already experienced coastal flooding, beach erosion, high incidences of asthma and other respiratory disease, and crop damage. These effects will grow exponentially if we fail to support solar projects like this one and to build a zero-emissions economy for future generations.

JUDI LUTZ WOODS,

Fredonia

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