Letters to the Editor for the week of July 5, 2012
Editor, The Sun
Kevin Gaughan’s recent revisit to his sustained justification for downsizing political units again downgrades the representative role of legislative units. His energy is directed toward hoped for financial benefits anticipated with fewer active government jurisdictions and officials. His documentation draws its rationale from the concentration and layers of taxing jurisdictions which inflate local property taxes.
Downsizing of officials tends to facilitate a management model, where a limited number of elected officials inflate a responsibility for implementing established goals, coordinating personnel, and evaluating results. The role representation plays in linking results to continuous input and evaluation of the voters at large is minimized. Mr. Gaughan’s response to the latter, given in his early presentations, has been that voter attendance at legislative sessions would address this need, mandating the agendas and positions endorsed by the elected officials following open town meetings. He anticipates sustained commitment and participation of citizens at large.
The experience we have had with the current Town Council highlights the vacuum resulting from limited, inconsistent input from the wider community, with lessened accountability evident in the processes at play. Legislative decision-making demands the enrichment of multiple views, the increased insight generated through consistent interaction, the accountability surfacing from the transparency facilitated by the process. What we have since downsizing the Town Council has been a concentration and dominance of views in the voices of a majority of two. Open, expanded, in depth, insightful discussions are limited, often void and dysfunctional. We lose the dynamics of an evolving synergy. Town Meetings do not ensure a range of views, focused interaction, continuity.
When I presented this rationale during one of Mr. Gaughan’s town meetings prior to the 2009 vote, he stated that my experience, compared with his own study conducted in 2008, was irrelevant. This, after I had noted my twenty-two years as a university professor of political science, my retirement as a quality management consultant with ten years experience facilitating group process and training fellow facilitators.
Were Mr. Gaughan elected to the State Assembly his views on legislative representation will evolve. He will experience processes in consensus building, enhanced when voices other than his are at play, welcoming the enriched discussions possible with expanded input. This is, after all, the priority function of any elected representative group. I not only endorse returning the Town Council to its earlier size, but could favor an expansion, perhaps establishing individual districts.
Lyme Disease is a growing concern in the U.S.
Editor, The Sun
Lyme Disease is one of the fastest growing concerns and illness in the United States. With the past winter being mild the tick population is at a higher level than ever before seen and we need to educate ourselves as what to look for. Ticks can be as small as the tip of a pencil or as big as a sesame seed. You will not feel them bite either. Fewer than 50 percent of people remember a bite and less than 30 percent have a rash.
Be aware of sudden onset flu like symptoms, general malaise, Mono symptoms that come back negative for testing, severe migraine type headaches, joint pain, severe fatigue that doesn’t go away, heart palpitations, sudden onset of dyslexia, memory issues, Bell’s Palsy, MS symptoms, Chronic Fatigue symptoms ( There is a more complete list at ilads.org on the web.)
Ticks do not fly or jump, they attach as you walk by in the yard, garden or woods. When going outside be sure to spray yourself with a repellant that contains DEET in it such as Deep Woods Off. Check yourself and children daily from head to toe. If you find a tick attached, gently pull it out with tweezers to make sure you remove the whole tick. Put it in a bag and take it with you to the doctor. Don’t wait to see if you get sick...being put on doxycycline for six weeks is the best treatment.
You may get bitten and your symptoms may not immediately show up. I know this because my daughter was diagnosed two years ago after not feeling well for three years, I have had Lyme Disease for approximately seven to nine years before being diagnosed. In the Town of Boston in which we live Tonya Lewis, my daughter Allison and myself did a presentation on Lyme Disease in May as it is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. There are at least five confirmed cases of Lyme in the Town of Boston that I know of. Also, in Blasdell and Hamburg I know of cases and the numbers keep going up. Educate yourself and family about ticks.
Thank you to Officer Karen Ruh
Editor, The Sun
I would like to personally thank Officer Karen Ruh from the Village of Hamburg Police Department for hosting a child car seat inspection in our parking lot on June 9th. The program was wonderfully received despite it being an unseasonably cold and rainy day. Karen took the time to individually check each child’s car seat and helped educate parents on potential hazards in their car. One family in particular had to fit a middle-aged child, a toddler, and a baby in the backseat of a car. With a little strategic thinking, Karen was able to maneuver the car seat and boosters seats in the backseat to ensure proper safety of the children. We would love to hold the car seat check annually in our parking lot but if we cannot, we will always show our strong support for this remarkable program offered by the Village of Hamburg Police Department.
Dr. Joan Calkins and the Village Pediatrics and Rheumatology Staff
‘Buzz’ in Hamburg
Editor, The Sun
You are invited…
…to see Hamburg in full bloom. The Buzz Around Hamburg Garden Walk is right around the corner! Our Committee hopes you’ll take time out of your fun-filled summer schedules to catch a glimpse of the hidden treasures the Village of Hamburg has to offer. Over 30 gardeners have applied their green thumbs to the earth to create their own pieces of paradise. They will share their efforts, talents, advice, and secrets with you.
We encourage you and your friends to come to Memorial Park Bandstand, corner of Lake Street and Union Street on Saturday, July 14 and/or Sunday, July 15 anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Pick up a free map filled with ads and coupons, visit our garden vendors, and then start your self-guided tour. All participating gardens will be clearly marked with “garden participant” signs and buzzing bee windsocks.
This is a non-profit event and has been made possible thanks to the generosity of many local businesses. We encourage you to visit our sponsors before, during, and after the walk. So put on your walking shoes and spread the news…the Eighth Annual Garden Walk is about to begin!
Hamburg Garden Walk Committee