Vets should demand Schalmont tax credits
I am a taxpayer in the Schalmont School District and a Vietnam veteran.
I am told today [Oct. 14] when I talked to a person at Schalmont that the state allowed Schalmont to give veterans tax credits two years ago, but the Board of Education decided it would be a burden on the rest of the community to give it to them. So no veterans are getting any tax credits in the Schalmont School District.
I was told that the Mohonasen School District does, per the town office clerk when I paid my taxes for this year. I don’t believe it is fair for one district to give it and not the rest.
There is a meeting on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Schalmont. I plan on being there and hope every veteran in this school district comes to voice their opinion also.
Nicholas P. August, Jr.
Look deeper into the cause of gun violence
Whether they represent a point of view with which I agree or not, I enjoy political cartoons that bring humor or insight into the facts surrounding a specific issue.
But the Oct. 5 cartoon showing lawmakers hugging the National Rifle Association (NRA) money while a mom hugs her child brought no true insight into the gun control debate and clearly perpetuated several myths and lies.
First, the NRA isn’t the only source of campaign dollars related to the gun debate. There are many wealthy donors that would love to see the country disarmed. In fact, the gun rights movement is as “grass roots” as any political movement in the country.
Second, the cartoon implies that people have a choice between gun rights and protection of children. Gun rights people are every bit as committed to their families as the rest of society. But they look at the increase in threats within our society and they refuse to surrender and disarm. If the press covered crimes that are prevented by armed citizens with the zeal that they advertise gun crimes, more people would think this way.
The cartoon implies that guns are a leading threat to children. If you look at the leading behaviors that put babies in our neo-natal intensive care units, children in our pediatrics units or clients into our child protective services, gun ownership is not on the list of top causes.
Switch theory says that it takes a series of causes to bring about any event. We inevitably focus on the last switch to close — in this case the gun. But in fact guns alone are clearly not the cause: homicide rates are increasing as the percentage of households with guns is declining; and murder rates are highest where gun laws are the most strict.
What we need is an in-depth examination of all of the actual or intended mass killers. What are the common threads in their background? What are the warning signs? What illegal drugs did they use? We have heard that many of them have been treated for mental illness — what psychoactive drugs had they been given?
The alternative to a real examination is more simple minded “SAFE” acts that have no impact on violent crimes.
Yepsen is a champion for Spa’s homeless
Saratoga Springs is not only a beautiful place to live, but more importantly, it is a community of people who care about one and other. Every member of our community has value.
As the seasons are changing and the weather is getting colder, I have been thinking about the people in our community who are homeless. I think about what we can do to help them. Thankfully, there are programs and wonderful people within our community who advocate for our homeless.
One person who I think deserves recognition is Mayor Joanne Yepsen. She created “Code Blue,” which houses homeless residents on dangerously cold nights. Mayor Yepsen also identified every homeless veteran in the city and she found them permanent housing. Mayor Yepsen also co-founded Guardian House, the first-ever women veterans’ homeless shelter.
These are wonderful programs created and supported by our mayor, and I would encourage everyone to support them as well.
Government needs to help us, not hurt us
What other excuses will we take from our government to take what little money we have away from us? Is this so the IRS can spend even more money on parties and lavish vacations in the guise of seminars?
We finally get a chance to help pay our debts off due to lower gas prices, and now our government wants to take that chance away from us. We finally get a chance to feed our families better, and that is being taken away. We can finally be able to pay for our medications needed so as not to suffer from the lack of. How are we going to be able to pay higher premiums for health care than we already pay?
Some of us have to make a decision whether to eat or get our medications. Some of us will never get off welfare, as our government keeps taking our chances away. What about the men and women who have fought for our country and either lost their lives doing it or came back with missing limbs and brain injuries? How are they supposed to feel about our unfeeling, egotistic men and women in office who would rather fight for more bonuses than for disabled veterans or poor people, middle class people and the elderly.
The poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Every time we turn around, our government is there to find a way to take more money away from us. How dare you. I feel like our government is no better then Putin and his underlings. There are some in our government who are honest and loyal. Unfortunately, they get eating up by the liars and thieves in our government. How many in just the past year have been either prosecuted or on the verge of it for stealing from us? Let them pay what you think you will lose on lower gas prices.
I also wonder if the employees of our government are going to have their gas mileage benefits lowered. Will our government guarantee that the gas prices will stay lower for a whole year? I don’t know about you, but I am sick of being nickeled and dimed to death by our government, which is supposed to be working with and for us — not against us.
Speak out Tuesday to support fire districts
The November election date is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the usual flood of negative campaign material.
Among other criticisms, Princetown Supervisor Michael Joyce has chosen to question the budgets of the local fire protection districts, and more specifically, the Plotterkill Fire Department’s budget from the past year. Mr. Joyce also has concerns about the lack of contracts with the protection districts. It is the town’s responsibility to provide contracts, and it has not done so in several years.
Most taxpayers have no idea what goes into the operation of a volunteer fire department. I cannot speak for Plotterkill, but as secretary to the Board of Fire Commissioners of Princetown Fire Protection District One, (Pattersonville Fire Department), I have first-hand knowledge of what goes into the preparation of a yearly budget.
These budgets are not prepared frivolously. Expenditures from the previous year are examined carefully before calculating how much is needed for the coming year. The cost of insurance, equipment and maintenance of apparatus can be astronomical. A firefighter who risks his or her life to protect neighbors’ lives and property deserves to be adequately protected and equipped to do the job.
There are four fire protection districts in the town of Princetown, most of which are connected to an incorporated volunteer fire district. All fire districts are required to hold a public hearing on their budgets on the third Tuesday of October every year. Anyone who has questions or concerns regarding a fire department’s budget may express those concerns at the public hearing.
This year, the hearings will be held at all fire districts on this coming Tuesday, Oct. 20. Most hearings will begin at 7 p.m. Copies of the budget are available from the district secretary.
Our volunteer firefighters deserve our respect and support. Their budgets should never become fodder for any political campaign.
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