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Everybody's Column

Approve transfer of land to ensure drinking water

We write to urge a "yes" vote on ballot proposal number one, a constitutional amendment that authorizes the transfer of one acre of forest preserve to the Town of Long Lake for drinking water wells. In exchange the state will receive 12 acres of land of at least equal value.

The water wells will be used to supply Raquette Lake, an Adirondack hamlet of 160 people. Without this authorization, a prohibitively expensive water filtration plant would have to be built to supply the residents.

Raquette Lake is within the borders of the Adirondack State Park, which was created in 1894. To authorize the land swap requires an amendment to the New York State Constitution, which we will all have the opportunity to vote on Tuesday.

The State Legislature has, in a bipartisan fashion, unanimously passed authorizing legislation in both the Assembly and the Senate for two consecutive years to place the issue before the voters.

This exchange of land benefits both the state and the people of Raquette Lake. We urge support of the constitutional amendment.

Robert K. Sweeney

Theresa R. Sayward

Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee


Reject proposition on Amherst green space

It is disturbing that the Amherst Town Board would put forth a referendum that completely contradicts its position when the board unanimously adopted the Town of Amherst Comprehensive Master Plan in January. In that plan, there are various recommendations for the town to create and implement an open space acquisition program to enhance our parks and recreation system. The referendum would simply give our elected officials a $12 million check to purchase open space without consideration to these recommendations.

What is even more disturbing is the fact that the $12 million would actually cost taxpayers almost $30 million over the life of the bond to pay for this borrowing. Our taxes are already high enough and approval of this referendum will only increase our taxes.

I am not opposed to the creation of an open space acquisition program as outlined in the Master Plan, but I am opposed to a referendum where our elected officials are taking our pocketbooks for granted. I would encourage my fellow town residents to reject the proposition.

Gina Passantino



Four-year degree isn't needed for many jobs

Ken Ilgunas' My View column on Oct. 25 points out a much larger issue. It is absurd that a four-year college degree has become a "rite of passage." It is equally absurd that it has become a screening tool for so many jobs that do not otherwise require any particular degree to accomplish well. Because of this, so many young people feel compelled to attend a four-year college or university who otherwise would not or should not.

The law of supply and demand has thus driven the costs of higher education exponentially, and yet a baccalaureate is still no guarantee that a person is smart or capable. While I am not rejecting the idea of a higher education -- I believe in and practice lifelong learning -- and certain professions will always require four years of college or more, a large number of professions and people would be much better served by community college degrees and programs, or other vocational and certificate training programs.

Without the burden of debt, young people could much more readily embark upon a successful career, and have the freedom to take alternative routes to their goals. They will then have a lifetime to study history, philosophy and other worthwhile pursuits.

Daniel G. Stayner



Buffalo police losing many great candidates

As the parents of a candidate who passed the Buffalo police exam, we are appalled that he has no chance of being hired because he does not reside in Buffalo. We were excited to learn he had a possible chance to have a career as a police officer when he received his results. The city and federal governments should have made the rules clear before the exam. More bureaucracy from the federal government and the city. Buffalo's loss will be another department's gain.

Jim and Joyce Cwiklinski



California wildfires nothing to joke about

Does syndicated editorial cartoonist Lisa Benson really think that making a cartoon about the Southern California wildfires was in good taste? I fail to see the humor in so many people losing their homes and everything they've spent their life working for, not to mention those people and animals who lost their lives. I seriously think society's sense of humor has gone down the toilet, along with quite a few other values that used to be respected and important. And why would The News even print such a disrespectful cartoon in a supposedly respectful paper?

Joseph M. Tomasulo



Church should rescind 'sign of peace' practice

With the extensive blitz of the media regarding the seriousness of the MRSA bacterial infection being spread hand to hand throughout Western New York, citing the need for frequent hand washing, does it stand to reason that the "sign of peace" symbolism during Mass in the Catholic Church be rescinded as a way of protecting against this very lethal bacterial disease that has become known as a superbug?

Priscilla Wright



Management handled store robbery poorly

I am writing in regard to a recent robbery at a local grocery store. My 17-year-old daughter was the clerk working. I feel as though she was treated as the criminal instead of the victim by certain members of the management team.

It was clearly seen on the video that she was robbed and taken advantage of "at a vulnerable point," as stated by the FBI. The comments made by certain members of management were very insensitive: "If it were up to me, I would have made you pay the money back."

It's bad enough she was suspended from working with cash and given minimal hours. It seems as though it is a form of punishment. Certain members of the management team are very insensitive when it involves working with teenagers.

I feel that this manager should not only be reprimanded for the way he handled the situation, he should not be a manager at all. People with this type of authority should be re-evaluated on a regular basis to make sure they are handling situations properly.

Michele Shul Kmitch

Orchard Park

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