Fixing what isn't broken
To the editor:
The average city of Amsterdam and Montgomery County property owners and tenants find it difficult to understand why there is obvious strong opposition to the eventual recognition of Saratoga becoming a recognized, popular, global tourism center among certain local individuals. The answer is rather simple.
The expected influx of steady foreign tourist visitations into the area greatly increases the various possibilities that a significant number of them will decide to become either seasonal or permanent residents. In terms of additional increased tax revenues, this concept is most welcomed. But the character make-up of the new residents, taxpayers and possibly future voters can become a definite threat to the status quo currently in control of how municipalities are allowed to operate.
New ideas, new blood, fresh new faces representing 21st century approaches to the areas of endeavors such as economic development, education, retail business and politics for example, have never been encouraged before and that barrier still remains intact.
The Recorder's Jan. 25 editorial focused upon the critical need for governmental consolidation in order to eliminate numerous layers of local government, excessive costs, duplicated services, etc., and now that Gov. Cuomo is supposedly championing the cause, the expectations are things will commence to materialize.
Don't bet on it. The mere mention of consolidation, or merger, unification, partnership creates a backlash from opponents of such ideas. "Why attempt to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed" is their frequent approach.
The response to that observation is, invite a knowledgeable team of experts sent by the governor to thoroughly evaluate all of Montgomery County municipalities' problems and explain exactly how they can be resolved.
If that ever happens, you can well imagine where the individuals who are in absolute control today, will be tomorrow.
Trappers need better permits
To the editor:
I like to camp and trap in remote areas of the park, mostly to monitor wildlife especially coyote. EnCon and rangers gave me a ticket for doing this. I need extra extended permits boats and equipment to do this year round. I'm only allowed one permit during hunting season -- Sept.17-Dec. 15; then must remove tent and gear but trapping season continues to April 15. Then I'm allowed only three days camping; then must remove all gear. This makes it impossible to camp in remote areas. I feel I did nothing wrong only doing what my ancestors did for 100 years. Trappers don't harm the environment in any way with their tents. I'm asking governor EnCon and rangers -- why can't I get extended permits?
Did you know coyotes have almost wiped out the beaver population in remote areas? Coyotes are coming into towns for food and pets; mostly due to less deer in wilderness.
EnCon and APA are promoting new trails, more lean-tos, more tourists and snowmachines, better roads to access wilderness but I can't get extended permit to camp. This doesn't make sense. It's almost over for me. I'm asking for other people so they won't be treated like criminals to camp.
In the service they taught me -- first shelter, fire and food. I need these to camp in remote areas. I feel trappers care the most for the park and animals yet we are most restricted from it. I would welcome rangers to check my campsite anytime.
Lewis N. Page Sr.,
Leaving behind a good place to live
To the editor:
How many people believe that, as the population grows, the use of the Earth's resources, and the space needed to mitigate pollution increases, the Earth expands to meet these needs? No one with any common sense does, I'm sure. So why do we treat the Earth as if that were the case?
Having just read the book "Limits to Growth," about the stresses we are putting on our home planet by overpopulation, pollution and dependence on non-renewable resources, among other issues facing today's world, I heartily recommend that you do the same. This book puts forth very graphically what will happen in the world by the middle of this century if we don't get busy working on these issues.
Basically, life as we know it will change drastically. Do we want our grandchildren to live in a world stripped of its resources, rife with pollution, with depleted soil causing shortages of food, or do we want them to live on a planet that can sustain its population without detriment to the environment and to themselves?
Together, we can work toward sustainability. Read this book, contact your state and federal lawmakers, cut down on waste, and use resources wisely. Set an example for your children and grandchildren, away from materialism and consumerism, and towards good stewardship of the environment.
Buy local, grow your own food, turn down your thermostat, cut out unnecessary auto trips, encourage others to do the same, and read this book "Limits to Growth." Every little bit helps, and with all of us working together, we may still be able to leave our grandchildren a good place to live.
It's time to end the epidemic
To the editor:
The United States Surgeon General says tobacco marketing is a cause of tobacco use. On Jan. 17, the 32nd Report on Smoking and Health was released in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first Smoking and Health report released in January 1964.
This report was the first report to the American public that identified smoking as a cause of lung cancer in men. This year's report documents that smoking causes even more disease, kills even more people and costs the nation even more in medical bills and other economic losses than has previously been reported.
In New York, tobacco use remains the leading cause of premature death and disease. Each year, smoking kills 480,000 Americans -- causing about one out of every five deaths in the U.S. It costs the nation at least $289 billion in medical bills and lost productivity. If we don't make more progress, 5.6 million children under the age 18 alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease.
All of the deaths, diseases and costs caused by tobacco use are entirely preventable by implementing proven strategies. New York state is a leader in tobacco control with strong clean indoor air laws, the highest tobacco taxes in the nation, smoke-free outdoor laws, youth prevention initiatives and cessation programs that together have led to substantial reductions in smoking rates among adults and youth. However, residents still want and need our help.
It's time to end the tobacco epidemic. New York must continue to work to protect its residents from the deadly marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. Visit www.realitycheckofny.com to find out how you can help make tobacco history. Enough is enough.