I was a bit underwhelmed to read that our current county executive, Dan Onorato, is planning to "promote sustainable agriculture" on two acres of Round Hill Park, a minuscule sliver of the county's major share of remaining open space ("County May Grow Produce in Park," April 6).
So what about the other almost 40,000 acres of privately owned farmland in Allegheny County? Who's going to assure its continued existence, for instance, getting it permanently zoned for nondevelopment, or possibly taxed low enough to encourage its future use as cropland? But most important, since most of the county's open space is probably underlain with Marcellus Shale, what or who is going to protect these valuable lands and life-sustaining water resources from natural gas drilling, exploitation and toxic poisoning? Who?
We already know what our current governor, Ed Rendell, has done to protect these natural resources from the greedy clutches of Consol and CNX Gas - absolutely nothing! So what will Governor Dan Onorato do that's any different from his political mentor? We've heard not a public word from him about Marcellus Shale or any proposed management plans. The silence is deafening - almost like the problem doesn't exist. But all for naught! Why is that?
Does Dan Onorato's Marcellus Shale silence bother anyone else? Anyone?
RICHARD M. VOELKER