TO THE EDITOR: Six months is a long time for a weekly community film series to be on hiatus from public visibility, holed up, as we’ve been, in a private residence with the occasional outdoor backyard show breaking up the cramped-space feel.
But now we’re back, just in time for a seasonally spooky presentation and observance of the 90th anniversary of 1931's “Dracula” to boot. It jump-started the sound era’s horror-movie industry and to mark the occasion, we’ll be watching its 1932 follow-up “The Death Kiss,” an obscure but crackling good murder-mystery reuniting “Dracula’s” three male stars, Bela Lugosi, David Manners and Edward Van Sloan.
Again playing the heroic romantic lead, Manners shines beyond his “Dracula” performance with all the best lines this time, while the other two are intriguingly cast against type. A hugely enjoyable little film, exemplifying the adage that big things can indeed come in small packages.
Showing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Best Western Plus, located at 446 Route 3, next to 99 Restaurant, in uptown Plattsburgh. Free, with donations welcome and free food as well. Please register your interest in attending either by emailing email@example.com or calling/texting 518-802-1220.
TO THE EDITOR: During the pandemic, New York state human services workers stayed on the job, provided great service, and cared for the most vulnerable.
Due to both a robust and highly competitive economy that has increased private sector wages and insufficient reimbursement rates set by our elected officials, nonprofits are now unable to attract and retain the quality staff that our vulnerable citizens deserve.
Now, we see a steady stream of workers leaving or not even applying for community-based human services jobs. The result is many jobs are going unfilled, leading to a staffing shortage that has reached emergency levels. Some programs are facing vacancy rates as high as 60 percent. At the same time, the need has increased, particularly in behavioral health, and the wait for services, ranging from addiction treatment to day programs for people with developmental disabilities, to youth and elderly support, is growing.
The low pay in the human services field is a major factor in the workforce crunch. Human services workers, most of whom are paid through contracts or rates established by and with the state government, represent 20 percent of our state's workforce and deliver services to more than 2.5 million New Yorkers.
So what is the answer? Though promised an annual statutory Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) more than a decade ago by state lawmakers, the adjustment has been manually removed from the state spending package 9 out of the past 11 years. The state budget is the vehicle to meet the intent and requirements of the legislation.
We urge Governor Hochul to fund in her first budget as governor the legally required increases under the statue to ensure a viable human services system for all New Yorkers.
CEO, Northern Rivers Family of Services