Guest Commentary

A threat to Geer Village Senior Community’s not-for-profit tax exemption status

For over 80 years, Geer has played in integral role in caring for the elderly in and around North Canaan. Geer provides a community within the town for  our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.

600,000 newspaper jobs at risk: Help stop new paper tariffs

The threat of paper tariffs has been a deep concern for our company and the entire newspaper industry since last fall, when one lone paper supplier, North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), sought protection from Canadian paper imports by filing a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

A tariff is a tax or duty placed on foreign companies by the importing country as a way to essentially price fix and put economic and political pressure on the exporting country.

The new tax bill and the in-home office

The new tax bill has eliminated “miscellaneous deductions” as a class of itemized deductions for 2018. Because miscellaneous deductions are gone, a very large class of deductions is gone too. One member of this class is the office-in-home. And even if you don’t maintain an office, you may be interested in this commentary for illustrating how a tax lawyer thinks.  

Government algorithms and the public’s right to know

In many respects, computers have made life easier. But they have also made life quite a bit more complicated. For example, before the computer age most government documents were on paper. Today, people not only need access to government information on computer media and in computer-readable formats, they need access to the computer programs and systems government uses to make policy and other important decisions. Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin calls this “algorithmic transparency.”

Flushing truth and freedom down an Oval hole

“Captain Jack” Crawford was one of the original Black Hills Rangers. He survived many Old West adventures and was called “The Poet Scout.” This is the final stanza of his 1889 poem, “Truth”:


Truth may sparkle like diamonds,

But some men will cast it aside.

Instead they will treasure the mica,

And say to the truth, “Let her slide.”

The long, bloody road that leads to gun control

I share the frustration shown by Philip Truax  in his article,  “Revisiting the Use of the Second Amendment,” appearing in the Feb. 22 Lakeville Journal.  It is appropriate to do just that because it seems so absurd that this single sentence can be such a bar to much-needed gun control.

Oh no! Not my meals and entertainment

That’s right. The new tax bill eliminates the meals and entertainment deduction, so no more golf games, theater tickets or supping on the IRS. The new 2018 tax act has thrown out these categories of deductions. 

45’s 45: What Twitter can tell us about our president

In past presidential Kremlinology, we used to look at what a president was reading: carrying under his arm onto Air Force One, say, or keeping top-of-desk in the Oval Office ­— what, for example, President Obama would purchase on his visits to Martha’s Vineyard bookstores. We could learn something, say something, about the man in charge. 

A current student’s view of HVRHS grading

My name is Mia Tittmann and I am a ninth-grader at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Of course there have been changes to the school over time, but the response to them has never reached this point.

A Housy graduate’s view of the grading controversy

I hear things from current students about how things at Housy (Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village) are going these days, and I have to say that I’m so glad to have graduated before the ongoing controversy there arose. Between student protests, NYPs and an administration that has reportedly banned students from saying “Housy,” it seems like a real mess these days.