January 5, 2012

Lots of questions over different kinds of "development"

One underlying theme I keep finding in the Ithaca Journal this new year is questions about how we want to build in this county. Many of the questions are about energy, but others aren't.

There's a roundup of news about home rule and hydrofracking, noting the Dryden and Middlefield lawsuits and Senator Seward's proposed home rule bill. My guess is that home rule will end up the compromise in the long run, through lawsuits or legislation.

The company that owns AES Cayuga, formerly NYSEG's Milliken Station, has filed for bankruptcy. AES Eastern Energy had already shut down four of its six plants, leaving only this one and one on Lake Ontario active. The last few years' major electric line upgrades should ease interruptions if the plant closes.

(I also have an odd suspicion that those improved powerlines added something to Dryden's property assessment, while closing AES Cayuga could cause Lansing major heartburn.)

Apparently Governor Cuomo couldn't bring himself to talk about hydrofracking in his State of the State speech. I'm not sure what (if anything) that means. There's more local reaction here.

In other kinds of development news, I was happy to see this column on the value of historic preservation. I was mystified by the column it rebuts, which is now behind the archive paywall. It called for more housing construction in downtown Ithaca (it's the right place) but seemed to think the way to get there was to blast anyone with different ideas as a NIMBY ("not in my back yard").

To put it mildly, I've lost patience with people who think that we should write off all the investments we've already made in places in favor of whoever thinks they might have a way to make a bigger score. There's no better way to make investment pointless. (There's a longer essay coming on this someday.)

Finally, our local Habitat for Humanity is looking for more volunteers.

Posted by simon at January 5, 2012 12:10 PM in , ,
Note on photos