Press-Republican

February 16, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Feb. 16, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Aviation offerings

TO THE EDITOR: We are getting work done on upgrading our local airport terminal. But, who is actually going to benefit from this improvement?

Mostly, I hate to say, non-local transients. People, granted, friends of our community, mostly from Canada, come here to get the flights down to the southern states on the charter flights. The only money spent here is whatever the county gets for the flights and the parking fees.

Most airports around the country have both commercial and general aviation that help with funding for the airports. Our local officials seem to think this airport is strictly a commercial operation, whereas, in reality, it is a combination “public use” airport.

How come these officials are trying to get rid of the “general aviation” aspect of this airport? They are limiting access for the general, and flying, public. They are limiting aircraft maintenance on the airport.

Many of these other airports have “community days,” where they actually create attractions for the general public to come out and see their local facilities, such as airshows, tours of the entire facility and even have plane rides for the local kids.

The general public is not even considered by our local officials in their rush to be the “big fish in the little pond.” Even their “airport committee” is strictly local politicians, instead of local fliers and public citizens of the community. Mention of airport issues is a small note in the Press-Republican, instead of a serious discussion of the issues regarding the airport.

When is the county going to get serious and address all the issues an airport in this category has? Too many local pilots have sold their planes or moved them away from here or given up flying all together, just because of this committee and the county officials.

DOYLE FROST

Plattsburgh

 

 Support from many

TO THE EDITOR: The last 3 1/2 months have been a most challenging time in my adult life. I would like to take a moment to publicly thank some very special people.

I would like to thank Amanda Bulris and her office staff and volunteers at NAMI. With their help and support, she was able to take on the task of fulfilling my children’s Christmas wishes. An extra special thanks to the sole responsible party in that group who made my oldest son’s wish come true.

A huge thank you to Peru School. Bebette Tenbuuren, along with many others, arranged to help with Christmas gifts that my kids both needed and could use. I was brought to tears at the generosity of such kind strangers to provide us with things to keep warm this winter, along with drawing and art supplies and Legos.

I would also like to thank Mrs. LaFranca and Mrs. Berry for being such great teachers and friends to my kids and myself and for going above and beyond.

A special thank you to the bus drivers who picked my kids up and continued to bring them to school while we were homeless.

A huge thank you to all my friends and family, especially my Aunt Sherry, who made it possible for us to get in the North Pole, who played a part whether big or small in helping us through the last 3 1/2 months.

And a special thank you to the kind people at Evergreen Townhouse Community, where we stayed for three months before finding our place to call home.

Our experience of being homeless will not soon be forgotten and all those who were able to assist us in such a time of need will always have a special place in our hearts.

TAMMIE UIHLEIN

and children

Plattsburgh

 

Assessments questioned

TO THE EDITOR: Having just recently paid my town and county property tax, I am again reminded of our lack of leadership in Ticonderoga.

Knowing that Ticonderoga had rising property values during the ongoing recession while the national outcry was over decreasing property values, I have to question the competency of our assessor.

Knowing that the reason given for substantial increases in assessments was a townwide reval to get us back at 100 percent of value in 2010, why did many assessments jump again in 2011 when property values in the rest of the county were falling? Were the original 2010 assessments wrong or were the 2011 wrong?

Not a concern for the unfortunate ones that also received yet another increase in 2012. Is this incompetence?

Knowing that there are locations in Ticonderoga where one can stand and view several vacant residential lots in the same immediate neighborhood, that are, for some unknown reason, assessed at different valuations per acre, I have to question the competency of our assessor.

Knowing that one can review the Essex County list of comparable properties for Ticonderoga and find significant valuation differences (shouldn’t “comparables” be somewhat close), I have to question our assessor’s competency.

Since our assessor is appointed, where is our elected leader in, at the least, investigating this problem? I have heard the tales of assessors being protected by state regulations, but are they protected for incompetency? Not according to the state.

Sometimes leaders have to stand up and do what is right for the people that elected them. If that means making hard choices, so be it. Our town deserves a better assessment process and better leadership to see that we get it.

BILL GRINNELL

Ticonderoga

 

Second Amendment

TO THE EDITOR: I was born and raised in rural Michigan 60 years ago and have lived all my live in rural America.

I grew up with guns in the house — hunting rifles and shotguns — and learned to shoot them before I was a teenager. Though I keep no guns now, I continue to value as friends many who do.

But for the first 50 years of my life I never heard any gun owner claim the things I hear the NRA claiming now. That is distressing, for the NRA is not just wrong about gun ownership and the Second Amendment, it is dangerously wrong.

The Second Amendment was not intended to arm Americans against their own government. It plainly declares the right to keep and bear arms in the context of a “well-regulated militia.” Who, if not the government, does the NRA think the founders thought would regulate such a militia? And if it was to be regulated by the government — there can be no other serious interpretation — how was it supposed to oppose the government?

No, the founders’ actual intention was a well-regulated citizen militia instead of a standing army. But that idea went out the window in the War of 1812, never to return.

Does the NRA want a well-regulated citizen militia? Far from it. Regulation is the last thing they want. They fantasize citizen resistance to tanks in the streets emblazoned with lightning-bolt insignia. But this is just that: fantasy.

Rather, if the NRA gets its way, disgruntled individuals who have had enough of their elected government will take up their assault weapons against law-enforcement officers, judges and other duly elected or appointed government officials.

The NRA is now irresponsibly sowing the wind; if they are not told no, America will reap the whirlwind.

PAUL JOHNSTON

Peru