Thank you to everyone who participated in Operation Christmas Child this year. There were many youth groups as well as individuals who gave of their time to volunteer at the Sinclairville Collection Center.
Also thank you to the Sinclairville Superette and the Falconer Tops for their donations for the volunteers. We had a record number of shoe boxes collected this year.
When the truck left for Boone, N.C., there were 7,569 shoeboxes aboard. That is 891 more shoeboxes than last year.
Thank you for helping to spread Christmas to needy children around the world!
Sinclairville Collection Center coordinator,
Program offers a warning
For most important decisions, it's tough to make informed choices without good background information. When it comes to protecting our cities and towns from things like flooding, data on stream flow provides much of the context to make these informed choices.
Historically, the U.S. Geological Survey had provided much of this data through its network of stream gauges. However, in this tough economy, budget shortfalls have caused the agency to close hundreds of its stream gauges this past year. Without these gauges, it is more difficult to monitor and manage for flooding due to extreme weather events. Just this past year, Hurricanes Sandy and Irene have shown the immense damage and loss of life these extreme events can cause.
Although the cost of the whole stream gauge program is substantial, (approximately $136.6 million as of 2008) individual gauges cost only approximately $16,000 annually to maintain. Unfortunately there are still 31 gauges in our state slated to close in 2013.
Given these low costs, we need to ask ourselves, whether paying the marginal amount to maintain these stream gauges outweighs the potential losses in life and property we may face from a smaller gauge network. Fundamentally, we need to ask ourselves whether we are willing to put lifesaving tasks such as issuing advance warnings for hurricanes and floods on the budgetary chopping block.
Columnist is appreciated
I love reading Paul Christopher's views on subjects that are so important in our lives. He is intelligent and current on facts involved in the articles he writes. I appreciate the statistics he includes which validate the points he makes.
My husband and my son are each self employed in Chautauqua County and have struggled for years to remain solvent. It is as though the state hobbles small and large business here and then asks you to hire more people. It is impossible to pay the cost of doing business and make a profit that will sustain it.
Thank you for printing his commentaries on a regular basis. I keep learning that I am not in any means alone in my views of how we are continuing the very practices here in New York and Chautauqua County which contribute to our demise.
I get so discouraged because there doesn't seem to be any way to bring about change short of revolution. I pray to God that with an increase of shouts from the people down in "Whoville" as per Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hears a Who" we can continue the movement toward creating a separate state west of the Hudson River.
Please keep printing Christopher's commentaries.