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Letters to the editor

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - Updated: 9:19 AM

Get involved; it's your money

To the editor:

We are amidst a runaway train wreck and our elected officials are the conductors. New York state is the most taxed state in the nation. When Gov. Cuomo passed a law capping the budgets at 2 percent, the taxpayer finally thought they were going to get some relief from the ever-rising school and town budgets that are killing us. This was the most useless law Cuomo ever proposed. I just happened to see a notice for a public hearing to override the 2 percent tax cap in the paper on a holiday weekend when everyone was on vacation and not paying attention. This prompted me to attend the public hearing meeting for the town of Perth on Thursday, Sept. 6. I was the only person at the meeting to voice my concern that the hard-working taxpayers are not getting these kinds of increases in their salaries and cannot afford to go over the 2 percent cap. I soon realized that the town board already had their minds made up before I even walked in the room. What good is a state law when it can be easily overridden by the town boards with no say from the taxpayers?

The bill to override the 2 percent state cap was introduced by Councilman Walter Kowalczyk, seconded by Gay Lewandowski, and all in favor, Councilman Peter Betz, Timothy Korona and Supervisor Gregory Fagan.

I asked the town board what kind of increase they were looking at and Supervisor Fagan said that the budget was still in the works. I take that as "brace yourselves, town of Perth, for what is inevitably coming."

It's time for our hard-working taxpayers in this town to get involved and attend town board meetings the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Perth town hall. After all, it's your money.

Rose M. Dumblewski,

town of Perth

Tobacco is targeting our teens

To the editor:

Is tobacco marketing part of your kid's back to school routine?

More than 50 percent of tobacco retailers are located within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school in New York state, which means most kids can't avoid passing tobacco marketing as they walk to and from school every day.

Tobacco companies today spend more than 90 percent of their total marketing budget -- nearly $10 billion a year -- to advertise their products in convenience stores, gas stations and other retail outlets. Tobacco companies pay stores billions to ensure that cigarettes and other tobacco products are advertised heavily, displayed prominently, and priced cheaply to appeal to kids and current tobacco users. This marketing is very effective at reaching kids because two-thirds of teenagers visit a convenience store at least once a week. Studies have shown that exposure to tobacco marketing in stores and price discounts increase youth smoking.

Despite what our kids are learning about the dangers of tobacco use in school, all the tobacco marketing they see teaches them that smoking is normal, accessible and cool.

More than 3.6 million middle school and high school students smoke cigarettes; one out of three teen smokers will ultimately die from a tobacco-related disease. That is not a future parents want for their children. The key is prevention, because nearly 90 percent of smokers start smoking before they're 18 and almost no one starts after age 25.

Our kids deserve to walk to and from school without being subjected to messages from the tobacco industry. To learn how to get involved, visit: www.SeenEnough-Tobacco.com or www.realitycheckofny.org.

Carrie G. Benton,

Johnstown

Educating the non-believer

To the editor:

Sept. 28 will mark yet another observance of National Hunting and Fishing Day, with all of the usual celebrations scheduled to take place and rightly so.

Another event is also commencing in September which involves the full activation of an all-out maximum effort to, hopefully, encourage enough grassroots outdoor sports persons to fully acknowledge the very real threat the anti-hunting, anti-gun ownership advocates' dedicated goal represents to ultimately eliminate the sport, and proceed to do something about it.

There are still far too many non-believing and uninformed hunters, archers and fishermen who mistakenly assume the anti's movement that's actually nationwide and expanding into the Canadian provinces, will never become powerful enough to inflict any significant devastating negative effect upon their sport.

But again, hopefully, such ingrained apathy that now prevails will vanish once sound, credible, useful and comprehensive information that can establish the security of knowing, becomes the norm.

Anthony Biscotti,

Amsterdam

     

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