I am writing to clarify some misconceptions that were brought up about Halo Tattoo by the article dealing with the closure of our location on Erie Boulevard East (“Tattoo Blues,” What’s Shakin’, Oct. 12).
First, the building was not ours. We were leasing the front space for the last six years, faithfully paying our rent when we were informed by the bank that holds the mortgage that they would be foreclosing on the owners, who had not been paying the mortgage. This came as a shock to us, and our lawyer informed us to vacate the premises, which we did.
Secondly, we absorbed all tattoo artists into the other two locations, Marshall Street and Oswego Road, Liverpool, without skipping a beat or losing any appointments.
Lastly, Halo Tattoo, despite the last year’s tragedies, is doing strong financially. Being a pillar in the artistic community for 14 years, we have the fortitude and resolve to emerge intact from any trials that may come our way. Our strength is our artists’ reputations, not our locations.
—D.J. Rose, co-owner Halo Tattoo
Editor’s note: Regarding the second point in this letter, business manager Patrick Kitzel, who spoke with The New Times’ reporter, stated three times that Halo Tattoo had, indeed, let go of two employees. We stand by our reporting.
New York state has a decision to make. The Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision regarding hydrofracking will affect New Yorkers for years to come. Fracking is a process of natural gas drilling that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to fracture the shale rock to release natural gas.
Proponents of fracking believe it is a safe drilling method and can bring jobs and money into the region. However, many environmental and good government groups, such as New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), worry about the environmental impacts, public health detriment, and the actual social and economic effects.
On Oct. 6 the New York State Assembly held a hearing in Albany about this controversial process and had the opportunity to inquire into the DEC’s recently released revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (rdSGEIS).
Assembly members asked questions about what many New York residents consider to be glaring and unacceptable flaws in the document. Despite the DEC’s contention that the rdSGEIS will protect New Yorkers from threats, the Assembly was well prepared and identified numerous omissions and weaknesses in the document.
As an intern working with NYPIRG, I was keenly aware of the deficiencies in the state’s plan, yet I was shocked and disappointed at the hearing to learn that rather than standing up for the environment as is their mission, the DEC choose to be evasive and defensive.
The state’s plan anticipates there will be thousands of wells fracked in New York, but the DEC did not address the cumulative impacts of fracking. In the more than 1,000 pages of regulations, there is a glaring lack of adequate analysis; most notably no public health impact study. There is also no real plan to safely dispose of the millions of gallons of toxic wastewater. No facility in New York can currently treat the fracking wastewater, yet DEC is confident that they will be able to oversee the entire process.
Likewise, DEC failed to really address community impacts by looking at the potential contamination of all drinking water supplies, air pollution concerns and the real impact from all of the heavy truck traffic that would be part of any fracking operation.
My concerns only deepened as the hearing went on and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens repeatedly dodged questions with the insufficient mantra of “we have the strictest regulations.” His rationale for his agency not looking at the potential harm that fracking can wreak was that the rdSGEIS was created as a preventive measure to ensure that negative impacts will not occur in the first place and, therefore, there are few risks that need to be discussed.
As the state’s top environmental watchdog, instead of assuring us that his agency did everything it could to evaluate this intense industrial activity, the best Martens could come up with was he thinks that New York residents’ public health and environment will not be put at risk.
I left the hearing feeling disillusioned by the DEC’s promise to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment. I believe the only responsible thing for the DEC to do is return to the drawing board and conduct a proper and thorough environmental and public health analysis. The natural gas trapped in the shale formations has been there for thousands of years and will continue to be there for thousands of years. There is no need for the DEC to be on the fast track; instead, science must guide the process to ensure that all the possible risks are taken into account and mitigated.
—Julia White NYPIRG Hydrofracking Intern Syracuse
Death Be Not Proud
It’s over now: No amount of celebrities or protesters can bring back dead Troy Davis. He was innocent. I hereby declare the Supreme Court of the United States guilty for murdering Troy Davis.
The case of Troy Davis shines light on our flawed death penalty system. There was reasonable doubt that he was guilty; the incoherencies of the testimonies and evidence drew many Davis supporters fighting for his freedom.
This year, my fascination with capital punishment started with the infamous Casey Anthony trial. I followed her trial religiously, listening to the witnesses on TV. Is she guilty? Is she innocent? My feelings wavered. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if the tot mom killed her daughter or not.
When she was cleared of manslaughter and other death penalty charges, I nodded my head in agreement. I agreed with the jurors when they said there was no firm evidence of Anthony’s murder. But when someone as innocent as Davis is killed by our justice system, then something’s gotta be wrong.
To kill or not to kill is the biggest decision the jury has to make. Hey, I am for capital punishment, but when an innocent man is killed by our justice system, then something’s gotta be wrong.
—Eunji Kim Syracuse
Jobs is Job 1
This is crazy. You must pass the jobs act. As a member of the most under- and unemployed population—the disabled— we must do something to get this country going forward. This bill isn’t asking to put new actions in place, these actions have been proposed in the past now they are a package. Let’s get going, Washington. Do for your citizens.
—Tina Fitzgerald Mattydale
Sound Off, Write On
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