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Letters to the Editor - 12/19/2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - Updated: 8:39 AM

Raising awareness

Dear Cris,

Once again the Community Action Agency weathered many different experiences this summer. As per usual Mother Nature was front row center in determining how well the Indian Lake Community Garden grew.

Rev. Hartwig tilled and plowed, while the Indian Lake Recreation Department installed a water source and our high tunnel.

A variety of individuals and families manned the many plots, a perennial garden has taken structure, new equipment was purchased thanks to Nancy Welch securing a garden grant for Hamilton County, and much produce was harvested despite the dry, hot summer.

Funding our programs and meeting the nutritional needs of area residents took priority. Thanks to the Pearsall grant ($4,000), Church of the Transfiguration ($3,500), local churches ($987.23), The Hedges Morning Swim Club ($500), ILCS teachers’ jeans days ($126), organizations ($930), individuals ($2,017) and anonymous ($3,594) donations that appear out of nowhere we have been able to meet the needs of residents throughout Hamilton County, both nutritionally as well as in emergency situations.

However, with the significant number of families using the food pantry and the decreasing availability of food within the county we are in great need of assistance.

Just three years ago we served 3 percent of the population in Hamilton County, whereas today we are serving nearly 10 percent. These are our neighbors, co-workers and returning college graduates.

Unless things begin to improve this agency will ultimately need to limit the amount of support we give or decrease its quality.

This is not something we want to do, so I ask anyone who can help in any way to do so. On average $25 can feed a family of four for seven to 10 days. I encourage everyone to think twice before purchasing a useless Christmas gift and consider a monetary donation to the CAA instead.

As always every donation is tax-deductible, used only for those in need, and can be designated for whatever program or area of the county one wishes.

Deborah Ameden,

Indian Lake


Dear Cris,

I have memories of family fishing expeditions experienced during my childhood in the Adirondacks, times when several families camped together. In earlier years, we used horses and wagons to carry supplies and the elderly. Later, we drove four-wheeled vehicles.

Times were good! The Adirondacks are, and always were, beautiful. Deer grazing, the return of the moose, are signs of life. Sometimes I think how exciting it would be to hike to a remote Adirondack location and live off the land. Then reality strikes.

Sure, I enjoy reading about French Louie and Noah Rondeau, but life is contact, conversing with others. Life is beauty, as described as the quality of a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses of another.

Life in the Adirondacks has changed. Fishermen can no longer drive to remote locations. And, if you follow the Forest Preserve rules and walk, no boat will be waiting at your destination. Times are not good!

I believe there are people who wish to see the Adirondack Park a ‘plant and animal kingdom,’ void of humans, reverting to a time before Native Americans existed, or an uninhabited national park. As the state purchases more land, more access roads are closing.

With these purchases, is it a coincidence that there are fewer local residents, fewer businesses and lower school enrollments? Locate a copy of a pamphlet titled: “ A Report On A Proposed Adirondack Mountains National Park, to Laurance Rockefeller, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, 10020, 1967, by Wirth and Thompson. Interesting.

Compare this proposal to the status of today’s Adirondack Park. Draw your conclusions. Remember, entering a park to ‘hug trees’ does not thrill everyone.

Without inhabitants, only plants and animals will exist. Will beauty exist? I camped in the Adirondacks, felt wind and heard the crashing of falling trees.

What’s the saying? “If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it...” Or, if lightning strikes, exploding trees into flames, and there are no inhabitants left in the Adirondacks to fight the forest fire... Nothingness? Keep buying?

Arnold W. DeMarsh,

Newark, NY

Doesn’t compute

Dear Editor,

I read the article about the 2013 taxes in the Dec. 5 issue, “County tax levy up 13.5 percent in 2013 budget.”

My 2012 assessment was $86,400. My tax bill was $602.08 ($363.53 town tax). The article says that for a house with a $100,000 assessment the tax was $196. How come I paid double?

A million dollars for health insurance for county employees. Now you know why manufacturers move overseas.

Americans expect to be supported from the day they are born to the day they die.

Virginia Hopkins,

Oxbow Lake and E. Syracuse

Editor’s Note: Reporter Pete Klein averaged the county tax increases across the nine towns to come up with the $196 figure. People with questions about their specific tax bills should talk to their town assessors.

About 2 cents per dollar

Dear Editor:

In 2007, the Institute of Medicine and the President’s Cancer Panel reported there was overwhelming evidence that comprehensive state tobacco control programs substantially reduce tobacco use. They recommended that every state fund such programs at Center for Disease Control-recommended levels.

In New York state the overall smoking rate has dropped much faster than the national average. However, there are still areas of the state that have much higher than average smoking rates.

In 2009, 25,400 New York deaths were attributed to tobacco use and health care costs associated with tobacco use were over $8 billion, including $2.7 billion in Medicaid costs.

Since 2009, the funding for comprehensive tobacco control has been cut in half. This year our state took in $2 billion in tobacco taxes and payments from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. This year our state spent only $41.4 million on tobacco prevention and cessation. This is about two cents per dollar.

When adequately funded, tobacco control programs can achieve success in curbing tobacco use, which benefits us all by lowering the costs of health care and especially Medicaid.

Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Dorean Page, prevention educator Project Action Tobacco-Free Coalition of Hamilton Fulton and Montgomery Counties.

To our readers

The Hamilton County Express welcomes contributions to its Viewpoints pages. Letters should be no longer than 350 words, legible, address matters of current interest and be signed by the writer. Anonymous letters are not printed.

Letters must include a telephone number where the author may be reached for verification. Letters that cannot be verified will not be published.

Letters are subject to editing for brevity, clarity and legally actionable content and are limited to one per month per author.

The Viewpoints page is intended as a forum for ideas and opinions. Letters of thanks from representatives of local volunteer or non-profit groups that serve the community run at no charge. Under other circumstances, paid letters of thanks are accepted.

Letters that have not appeared in other publications receive preference. Poetry is not considered a letter to the editor. Email letters to


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