February 23, 2012

Hochul Sacrificed Niagara for LeRoy

Certain things really get under my skin. People who don't bother to put their turn signals on. Belly button lint. Breaking a shoe lace. Cellino & Barnes driving up insurance rates while portraying themselves as some kind of modern day Robin Hoods. Dirty silverware in a restaurant. Anything out of Obama's mouth. Same for Charlie Sheen. Losing a sock in the dryer. Nose whistling. Bicycles with baskets. Duane Paddock's hair. French people. Sunken sofa cushions. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

At the top of the list is people who take credit for something they didn't do or misrepresenting what they did do as something it's not. Like the segment last night on the news about people who lie about military service (see Stolen Valor), people in this day and age have taken the little white lie or offering partial truths to a new extreme. I'm not talking about a little embellishment on a resume, going a few miles over the speed limit, or calling in sick to work after a night on the town. I'm talking about flat out lying or misrepresenting the truth in order to make yourself out to be a hero.

Take for example Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. Since the LeRoy School District students started experiencing uncontrollable tics, Hochul has taken every opportunity available to get herself in front of the camera to portray herself as the savior for the people of LeRoy. As reports surfaced over the past couple of days of the EPA removing barrels of contamination from the Lehigh Railroad Derailment Superfund site in LeRoy, Hochul made sure the media hung on her every word as she took credit for the removal of the barrels, which are headed for a landfill in Michigan.

But before the barrels of contamination were rerouted to Michigan, they were slated to come to a landfill right here in Niagara County, and Kathy Hochul was leading that charge. Because she was so caught up in trying to take credit for getting the EPA to remove the waste, she didn't take the time to know where they were going - or did know and simply chose not to disclose it - she just knew that she'd look like a hero to the LeRoy community by having the contamination taken away.

The problem is, the waste was in fact slated to go to a site in Niagara County that is even closer to a school than it was when it was raising concerns in LeRoy. Now, we've subsequently learned that the material is not hazardous, but when Hochul was recklessly grandstanding about the materials being removed, she did not know this. You can blame it on inexperience or you can blame it on arrogance. Either way, her actions are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

If Hochul is going to gain the trust of the people of Niagara County, which is a big if, she'd better learn to do her homework, and she'd better learn that one segment of the district is no more important than another. We're not going to be treated as second-class citizens by anyone. Otherwise, she's no better to us than belly button lint.