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The Millerton News Opinion/Viewpoint

Collapsed: The fate of Human Services may mirror that of the infirmary’s wing

The County Account

The recent demolition of the east wing of the county infirmary in Millbrook has renewed interest in its history, wherein it once served as the county’s poor house and later an infirmary. A snow-collapsed roof and asbestos infestation caused the east wing to be torn down in late February. That building is now gone, but the societal needs it once served remain.

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State budget shortfalls — not the worker’s problem

A View From The Edge

There is an old saying: If you borrow a couple of hundred thousand, it is your problem; if you borrow a couple of million, it is the loaner’s problem.
I called the New York State Dormitory Authority (NYDA) and the Office of Mental Health (NYOMH) and asked them a simple question: How much of their budget goes to paying the bonds raised to build the various NYOMH buildings across the state? The responses I got ranged from “we don’t have that information” to “why are you asking” all the way to “that is confidential information available through the governor’s office only.”

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Why do we buy water when it’s free out of the tap?

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: Isn’t it a waste that we buy water in plastic bottles when it is basically free out of our taps? Even health food stores, which should know better, sell it like crazy. When did Earth’s most abundant and free natural resource become a commercial beverage?
A. Jacobs
via e-mail
Bottled water has been a big-selling commercial beverage around the world since the late 1980s. According to the Worldwatch Institute, global bottled water consumption has more than quadrupled since 1990.

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The highs (and lows)

The Millerton News Editorial

It’s good to know that our schools are doing their best to stay on the cutting edge, even if it means that sometimes we, as parents, relatives, employers — the community at large — may feel left out of the loop. Let’s hope that only serves as an impetus for us to take the time and energy to learn more about the ever-growing field of technology that surrounds us.

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Hi-yo, Silver! Away!

The Country Curmudgeon

I have been enjoying my new Lone Ranger DVDs and am pleased to see that the Internet has recognized that the number-one sidekick of all time is Tonto, coming in ahead of Garth of “Wayne’s World.” In spite of being constantly beat up, defamed, forced to wear bad clothes and treated as a stereotype, Tonto performs his duties faithfully. Many of us have had similar work experiences.

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My changing world

Guest Commentary

For Christmas my daughters gave me a jigsaw puzzle of the front page of The New York Times on the date of the famous “I Have a Dream” March on Washington (Aug. 28, 1963). I was proud of having gone on the march as a white person and proud of the subsequent Civil Rights Act of 1965, which I feel transformed our nation in great ways.

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Signs of national decay

A View From The Edge

Empires, vast powerhouses of wealth, prosperity and privilege, rise and fall in history. In hindsight, historians often point to major battles, changes in rulers or other socioeconomic causes as being clear evidence that the empire in question as about to fall, change forever.
However, sometimes there are reasons that only come to light with new evidence, new science. And sometimes there were other signs that, when seen in context of events played out in the political and war arena, become obvious predictors as well.

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Are we on track to get high-speed rail service soon?

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: Vice president Joe Biden just announced a commitment by the Obama administration of $53 billion to high speed rail. Isn’t it about time? Why is the United States so far behind other nations in developing environmentally friendly public transportation?
Diane A.
Boston, Mass.

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Kids have no clue — and it’s not their fault

A View From The Edge

School and youth are times for learning, for building a basic knowledge, for getting your hands dirty, your mind blown, for setting you up for a lifetime of learning. Learning doesn’t stop at school, it is a lifelong pursuit.
But kids today are being pushed past basic understanding, pushed to become proficient instead of knowledgeable, encouraged to become adept instead of capable, left bereft of the capability to build on their own, forced to follow the path laid down by educational aids and enforced machinery.

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Trust at center of redistricting debate

The County Account

The seemingly mundane task of drawing legislative election district lines is generating unrest and concern in some quarters. Traditionally a task assigned to legislators, the trend in recent times has been to delegate this to a private citizen commission.

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