Every February marks National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This year, the domestic violence program in Hamilton County provided outreach in the form of a short presentation to Indian Lake Central School high school students and plans to continue outreach efforts at the countywide dance at Oak Mountain Ski Center in Speculator Feb. 15.
Dating violence isn’t just physical, as people sometimes believe when they hear the words “violence” or “abuse.” Dating violence ranges from constant put-downs and extreme jealousy to physical violence. The main purpose of this month is to raise awareness about teen dating violence.
According to loveisrespect.org, approximately 81 percent of parents do not believe dating violence is an issue. This number is astonishing when you realize one in three teens will experience some form of dating abuse.
The non-residential domestic violence program in Hamilton County is housed in the Department of Social Services in Indian Lake. We provide victims, including teen victims, assistance with crisis intervention, safety planning, legal advocacy, obtaining counseling and many other services.
Our hotline is answered 24/7, providing around-the-clock assistance for victims of domestic violence. The Hamilton County hotline number is 1-800-721-8534. The statewide hotline number is 1-800-942-6906. All services are confidential.
Please, talk to your children about healthy relationships as they enter the dating world. It’s important for them to have role models who show them what a healthy relationship looks like.
Check out loveisrespect.org or breakthecycle.org for more information on teen dating violence and how to work to end domestic violence.
for Hamilton County DSS
Flood insurance going up
Last summer, Congress enacted changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that will result in dramatically higher flood insurance costs for many policyholders.
To account for the true costs of flood insurance, the bill phases in premiums that reflect the full flood risk of each insured building. Congress clearly wants to restore the fiscal soundness of the NFIP (which owed the U.S. Treasury $17 billion prior to Hurricane Sandy) and expects people who occupy floodplains to shoulder more of the costs.
The legislation phases out insurance subsidies for several categories of buildings, including second homes, business properties, new policies and newly purchased property. Without these subsidies, insurance costs will be based on the elevation (or flood protection level) of the structure. The resulting rates can be quite high, particularly for buildings with basements.
Other changes will affect rates for all flood insurance policies, which can rise by up to 20 percent per year. The bottom line is premiums are going to rise significantly in future years. Unfortunately, Congress did not address the affordability of flood insurance, other than to authorize a study.
The New York State Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association recognizes the need for NFIP reform, but is concerned about the impact this legislation will have on business districts and real estate markets in older floodplain communities. The association will continue to advocate for additional reforms to the flood insurance program in order to achieve the multiple objectives of affordability, fairness and fiscal soundness.
David A. Hatin, director
NYSFSMA Region 5
Cougar sightings wanted
I notice in your Feb. 6 edition that you have an online poll asking people to tell you if they have ever seen a mountain lion (cougar) up here.
You may recall that I have been conducting a survey on cougars for several years. I have accumulated lots of replies from reputable folks who have seen cougars up close. I have more to catch up on soon. I send out a survey form for the person to fill out and send back to me.
I would appreciate readers contacting me so I can follow up on their sightings. They can contact me at Don Leadley, POB 106, Lake Pleasant NY 12108 (518) 548-7611.
I am creating a file for eventual release for publication. If anyone is interested I could use some help with this due to hip surgery and age.
Chapel Cafe is open
If you are looking for a place to eat brunch or lunch on a Wednesday, there is a new place in Wells that’s just for you, The Chapel Cafe at the Wells Methodist Church.
The menu consists of breakfast casseroles, soup of the day and other light dining options with assorted beverages. All offerings are homemade and delicious.
Our maiden offering was Jan. 9. We wish to thank you first customers, Roy and Sharon Grisenthwaite and the folks from St. Ann’s who helped inaugurate our cafe.
We are open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday, and we look forward to serving you. For more information call Alice Megargle at 924-2269.
for Wells Methodist Church