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mailmanDear Editor,

I was disturbed by Casey Stevens' opinion column in the March 1st edition of the Lansing Star. Unlike his comments, the people that I know in this community are not minions, anti-growth, nay-sayers, or elements who "sound off at public hearings". They are reasonable thinkers that look past the immediate and do not want a future that continues to be damaged by the effects of the production, delivery, and burning of gas and coal. They are people that appear at public hearings to let our elected officials know what they think about issues affecting their community. Isn't that they way our society is supposed to work?

Some have expressed how the Lansing School District had a 'catastrophic' loss of the revenue from the power plant's PILOT. However, since 2010 the school administrators and board members have planned for the loss of the plant's tax revenue. In fact, despite the reduced revenue, they have sensibly managed to continue to offer a superb education, earning a National Blue Ribbon School designation in 2017; being awarded a US News Silver Medal with a 1,531st National ranking; for three years receiving a Community for Best Music Education designation; was ranked 5th among top 50 SAT scores in upstate NY in 2017; and each year our students are recipients of Scholastic Art gold key, silver key, and honorable mentions as well some receiving National Scholastic Art awards. These awards and rankings show that the level of educational quality has not been diminished. I am confident that the successes of Lansing students will continue to be so even if the power plant chooses to close instead of converting to solar power and storage in place of burning gas.

What is worrisome is the quality of life these students, their children and their grandchildren will have if we do not transfer to non-carbon energy. Imagine if the devastation such as the recent Nebraska flooding were to occur here. What would it be like if we were to lose our dairy farms, apple crops, grape vineyards, and other agriculture?

It is not just a noble and lofty cause to use our right to petition our community leaders, policymakers and lawmakers to encourage conversion to non-carbon sources for energy production. It is a necessity. And in the same way that the Lansing School District has not fallen due to a 'catastrophic' loss, development can be achieved and thrive with proper planning.

Diane Nangeroni
Lansing, NY
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