Tonawanda News

Columns

April 23, 2014

CONFER:

Tonawanda News — The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

During the era in which the Declaration of Independence was framed, the pursuit of happiness applied to property rights. Our founding fathers knew that man has the right to attain property, keep it, and engage in its use to make his life better in manners that he saw fit as long as the rights of others were not infringed.

Despite the obviousness of these rights, the framers of our nation found it necessary to clearly define them in the Declaration and once again in the Fifth Amendment because history showed them that the inalienability of property rights had been cast aside by numerous despots and societies, which in turn led to one of two things: oppression of their people or the ruination of those societies.

Over time, our government has purposely strayed from these basal tenets. Property has become something that our federal government has gained illegally and expanded its power over, controlling its use at whim.

Matters look to only get worse with subjugation of water rights by the federal government through amendment of the scope of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

In its current form the act gives jurisdiction over navigable waters to the federal government. This is not a perfect law, but it does have some merit because regulation of navigable waters is necessary for the maintenance of interstate trade (one of the defined powers of the federal government), and those upstream can very easily affect the life, liberty and happiness of others downstream if they are not regulated in their industrial and waste outputs or kept from damming the waterway.

The modified version of the Clean Water Act, the draft of which was introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency less than a month ago, would expand its regulatory powers beyond navigable waters and would throw into the mix any waterway that contributes to the watershed of the navigable water. Therefore, federal jurisdiction would be extended to all bodies of water – permanent or intermittent – everywhere in the United States, be they in your backyard or on your farm. The federal definition would be extended to include, among other things, streams, wetlands, sloughs, wet meadows, ponds and ditches.

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Columns
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  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

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  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

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