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Opinion

June 7, 2012

Your Opinion: June 7, 2012

Harris was not vilified

At the board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 29, Mr. Potriuks of Greener World made an intense defense of pesticide use on Doubleday Field. In doing so, he asserted that we who are questioning the frequent use of pesticides in this village have vilified Mr. Joe Harris for his use of chemicals to keep Doubleday Field a model field for the many who come each summer to see it and to play on it. Mr. Potrikus’ defense of pesticides extended to the point of his making the NYS Child Safe Playing Field Act, effective in 20011, seem no more than legislative folly.

I feel it important out of respect for Mr. Harris, who does an outstanding job in caring or Doubleday Field, that he know publicly that neither I nor anyone I know locally has ever vilified him. He is doing his utmost to carry out his assignment in the finest way and uses pesticides simply because he believes they are safe and do the job that is needed.

I believe Mr. Potrikus made the accusation of vilification to discredit those of us who are alarmed about the wide-scale infusion of our environment with chemicals, the long-term consequences of which are not entirely known.

Sam Wilcox

Cooperstown

Share your seeds

I love butternut squash so it’s always grown in my garden. However, I only use six to eight seeds from the packet and have many left over to share with families who come to the food pantry. The pantry encourages its clients to grown nutritious veggies if they have a small plot of ground or planters.

Perhaps those of us with leftover seeds could share them with families coming to the food pantry. If anyone would like to share extra seeds, they would be most welcome.

The food pantry, at 25 Church St., is open 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. each weekday.

Ellen St. John

Co-Director

Cooperstown Food Bank IPM challenges board’s decision

In reference to last week’s story: “Village sets policy against use of chemicals,” I wonder what the Sandlot Kid would think of the $8,000 Integrated Pest Management grant announced last week for Doubleday Field.

He would wonder where the money came from, how it appeared so quickly and why it is necessary.

The IPM program was initiated by the pesticide industry 20 years ago in response to rising public alarm over the praying of chemical weed killer.

I attended one of their seminars in Syracuse in 1993, and the presentation was all about “targeting” the use of pesticides, not eliminating their use.

I asked about the problem of a golf course using large amounts of chemical weed killer on the shore of drinking water lake, referring specifically to the Leatherstocking Golf Course at the Otesaga Hotel. When I suggested that there should be a total ban on that particular pesticide use, the moderator said a ban “Would be out of the question” and the IPM program was the best we could hope for because “they have a huge investment in that golf course.”

This is contradicted by the public health concerns associated with the application of pesticides on the shore of a drinking water lake, as evidenced by the Otsego Lake Watershed Committee’s recent decision against the NYS Department of Transportation’s spraying weed killer along the west shore of Otsego Lake.

A decision to stop using pesticides on Doubleday Field has already been made. This $8,000 grant should be seen for what it is: a challenge to that decision and transparent attempt to continue the use of chemicals.

Michael Whaling

Town of Sharon

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