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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Fish kill shows bigger picture in our government

  • A story on our front page today is about a massive fish kill which took place in Lake Ariel
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  • A story on our front page today is about a massive fish kill which took place in Lake Ariel.
    It looks like the recent heat wave is probably the reason so many fish have died in the lake.
    It's an unusual situation for this part of the country.
    In other areas, like south Texas and the south in general, this is more common. Intensive heat waves take oxygen out of the water and it means the fish die.
    There have been a significant amount of fish lost in Lake Ariel and that should be of concern to everyone. However, one thing which also must be kept in mind is that fish are a hearty species. The fish will eventually come back and probably be as strong as ever.
    Another factor is that many top-quality experts are working on the situation. This part of Pennsylvania is lucky to have some great experts when it comes to outdoors issues.
    The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has strong leadership in our region and that should never get lost. They are understaffed and have dwindling funds, but they continue to work hard and address issues when they arise.
    But they also get a lot of assistance from many other agencies, all of which have very capable people.
    And this entire situation brings up another matter — how do you want your tax dollars spent?
    It's a long-running argument about how much government is too much. Some say we have way too much government, unless, of course, there is a massive fish kill on an area lake and then everyone looks to the government for answers.
    That's the conundrum many people find themselves when it comes to government services. Just getting to Lake Ariel takes the government, from the roads and bridges to the stop signs to the lake itself. The government plays a role in all of it and when something goes wrong, people want it to be fixed.
    Page 2 of 2 - It cannot be fixed without the government.
    It's almost a case of NIMBY (not in my backyard), where people say they don't want certain things until they are then needed. Then, they want those services.
    Sure, this issue might be about fish in a lake, but it goes all the way to major issues like the military and infrastructure.
    That's where it is so hard to strike a balance, even, and maybe especially for, the elected officials. Representatives in Harrisburg hear about slashing spending but they also get phone calls about funding more programs.
    It's a real Catch 22 and will probably never get resolved.
    Yet when issues like the fish dying come up, they have to be resolved. No matter the budget situation, this has to be fixed.
    Hopefully, those who are looking into the problem will get is resolved. You can't beat the heat, but at least maybe they will be able to deal with it properly.
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