Comments on President Obama's
in Cairo June 17, 2009
to Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Orange lawmakers want full environmental review of new college campus
News Monday, December 17, 2007
Statement by Jeffrey Berkman before the New York State Assembly
Hearing of September 27,2007
September 27, 2007
Program letter from GORDON L. DEAN
, Principal of
TWIN TOWERS MIDDLE SCHOOL
Rosa Boyd's Letter to the Editor in the Times Herald-Record of April
18, 2006 "need to reconsider"
JEFFREY BERKMAN TESTIMONY
TO THE NEW YORK
STATE ASSEMBLY HEARING
COMMUNITY IMPACTS OF CASINO LEGISLATION
Thank you for the opportunity to
participate in these Joint Public Hearings. I am pleased to represent
the 20 th Legislative District of the Orange County Legislature.
My district is comprised of most of the City of Middletown
and a portion of the Town of Wallkill
in my testimony I submit copies of our request for a state sponsored
public hearing for Orange County
. Although a site was not designated for Orange
, our Legislature unanimously passed a resolution
for a local hearing.
we did a unique thing; we provided an open public forum, invited
anyone to speak their mind on the casino issue and documented it
for your review and consideration. Copies of these testimonies are
delivered to this hearing.. Twenty individuals participated in this
truly open public hearing of March 28, 2005
in Goshen .
my perspective, there are weaknesses in the casino plan that need
improvement, and are highlighted below.
lack of regional perspective and planning.
Route 17/86 – Dedicated Impact Fund
Air pollution and monitoring
need for regional improvement for emergency responders
Native American Tribes offered lands that for the
most part are not part of, and were not part of their ancestral
homelands, with one or possibly two exceptions
Educational opportunities; F.E.A.S.T.
are many other important impacts involved with approval of 5 casinos
which others have identified and commented on, such as gambling
addiction, crime, housing pressures and many social impacts. Assemblyman
Jacob Gunther appointed a committee, chaired by Paula Kay to analyze
many of these issues.
is important for me to state there are also positive economic impacts
accompanying casino construction. Leaders of organized labor and
local business, as well as Chamber of Commerce representatives have
suggest that thousands of cars daily traveling through Orange
to casino destinations will have NO environmental impact is not
credible, and not true. Both counties are impacted. It is a simple
fact that 5 casinos, or even one casino, in Sullivan
will have large impacts on Orange County
. Recent statements made by a Sullivan
elected official stating that he doesn't care about traffic problems
on Route 17 in Orange County
are shortsighted and unhelpful to regional
planning. Our County Executive
, County Planner
, the Legislature- and just about all of us
share legitimate concerns about traffic congestion and air pollution
resulting from cars and stalled traffic. Casino patrons will want
to remember an enjoyable experience, not waiting between Middletown
in a traffic jam; or worse, waiting for an emergency response vehicle
which is responding to a crisis.. The issues are legitimate and
must be squarely addressed, not denied or ignored.
17/86 – Dedicated Impact fund
Orange County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution I wrote
back in August of last year requesting that Albany
establish a Dedicated Impact Fund financed
out of New York State
's share of casino profits. The purpose of
this fund would be to provide revenue to upgrade Route 17 and ancillary
roads, provide for improved emergency
response and address air quality issues .
A copy of this resolution has been provided. A third lane for Route
17 and development mass transit alternatives is an imperative.
from this Dedicated Impact Fund must be accessible to Orange
and other counties that endure casino impacts. Fairness requires
that New York State
invest future casino generated profits in
all counties that are negatively impacted.
state legislature should consider needed changes in Section # 12.
of current bill draft.. Specifically, the special revenue account
to be known as the “Catskill-Shawangunk Environmental and Community
Protection fFund” should include Orange County
. To deny such protection to localities in
Orange County that are in close proximity to the casinos, while
providing such protection and benefits to other communities further
away in Sullivan County is not good policy, nor is it fair. Please
include Orange County
in this fund.
urge the creation of a regional commission to study the Native American
and European contact period. Local professors from Orange
and Sullivan County
should join together with citizens devoted to academic inquiry and
the Native American community to meet periodically. I can envision
an annual public gathering of interested citizens to learn about
the Native Americans that lived on the banks of the Neversink
Additionally, a journal of academic studies of early regional history
would benefit scholars and students alike. We can establish a Forum
for Early American Studies. (F.E.A.S.T) . It provides a
forum for respect, education and cultural appreciation.
well planned casino development may provide jobs, educational opportunities,
economic growth, and much needed state revenues. Planning is key.
Balanced casino development requires a fair distribution of resources
to offset and mitigate negative impacts.
do not ignore these principles. Please do not ignore Orange
In Support of Aileen Gunther
By Jeff Berkman
A Plea for Closed-Cycle Cooling:
End the last unaddressed industrial impact on the Hudson River
By Susan Cleaver
is full of history, charity and diversity
By Rosa Boyd
this Web site, and why you can read it no matter what machine
By Elizabeth Bushey
The Plight of the Election Commissioner
Sue Bahren, Orange County Election Commissioner
from Orange County Minority Leader Anthony Marino
Anthony Marino, Orange County Legislature, Democratic Minority
Josephine Bayne, Town of Wallkill
Source of Pride, Built by Many
By Jeff Berkman
The Times Herald-Record