Local Thoughts
3/04/2007 04:34:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Well, there's been a lot of things going on in the Syracuse area in the run up to the spring. Here are some of my random thoughts.
  • DestinyUSA's green bonds: hmm. I guess I wasn't keeping up with this story as closely as I thought that I was. I thought that the idea was that the green bonds would go towards stage III of the expansion, and the current mall expansion (stage II) would be built by conventional methods. The use of "green building" techniques on the mall expansion is a good thing, but I'll believe it when I see it. The definition of DestinyUSA changes about as often as I change the oil in my car. Speaking of oil, I have to mention that this mall expansion is a tremendous waste of money, resources, and effort. The only part of Destiny that I have supported from the time it was announced was the R&D Park. Even that was flawed from the start with the eminent domain fiasco.
  • Synfuel factory in Jamesville: I wrote a piece wondering if Peak Oil would reverse NIMBYism a short while ago. This was based on a proposed coal to gas factory to be built off of Rock Cut Road. Some were not pleased with the fact that I didn't immediately oppose the project on a "environmental" basis. Groups are, as I predicted, lining up to block it. I am not even sure that I support the plant itself, but have to ask the question, "how are we going to heat our homes in Central New York if the gas stops flowing from Canada? (or even stops flowing predictably?)" Do you think that there are enough trees to burn? (There aren't.) Don't you think that coal furnaces will return as a primary method of heating homes? (They will.) Do you think that we could grow enough corn or switch grass to turn into pellets to burn in an efficient burning stove? (I don't know, but it seems like we'd need to get planting.) My point is that there are no easy answers to these issues. We need to stay warm, and there are far too many of us to all live comfortably while burning biomass to heat our homes. Which would you rather see in the future? A technologically advanced syngas factory. Dirty? Yes, but able to sequester carbon. Or, a resurgence of coal based individual heating systems in homes. Tons of coal delivered all throughout the city each day, producing tons of CO2 in the air, and tons of coal ash in the basement.
  • Shoveling sidewalks: Enforcement is easy. And fines could help balance school budgets. Pay someone to drive around and give tickets to homeowners who do not comply with maintaining their own sidewalk. Neglect of sidewalks in front of city or state owned land is just as criminal. Tenants should not be responsible for their sidewalks, deadbeat slumlords should be. What, are we going to have to wait until a school-aged kid gets mowed down to solve this problem?
  • Armory Square site for the sewage treatment plant. Uggh. What is there to say? The powers that be see fit to put a treatment plant in the most successful and developed area of downtown. Treehouse all the way baby. The cacophony of voices rallying to oppose the plant is deafening [sarcasm]. Man, I know that it's cold out, but where are the business owners and people living downtown? I only partake in a few cold beverages, and go out to dinner once a month in Armory and I am pissed. Sean Kirst and 5 people on his forum are the only ones that care about this? I'm curious to see who turns out for the council meeting on the subject on March 14th, public comments March 21st.
Well, that's enough rambling for now.
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