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August 23, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 23, 2012


— Thanks for the help with the garden

This past week saw a flurry of ‘speed gardening’ activity as Growing Community members took on their first garden raisings ever. A garden raising, like an old-fashioned barn raising, brings many hands and much camaraderie to what can otherwise be a daunting task.

On Friday, Growing Community members Rebecca Weil, Kristen Griger, and Sarah White joined homeowner Susan White in reclaiming a former garden by weeding, amending the soil, planting fall vegetables and building natural trellises.

On Sunday, in a true community-wide effort, Growing Community and several volunteers from the Cooperstown Food Bank and the Methodist Church brought Reverend Sander Samuel’s vision of a food bank kitchen garden to life. In just three short hours, a sunny field on Beaver Meadow Road, generously donated by Tim and Tamar Iverson, was transformed into a 16-foot x 20-foot four-square garden, complete with stone paths, raised beds, seedlings, and seeds ready to sprout – all surrounded by rabbit/deer fencing to protect from the many critters in our midst.

The Food Bank Kitchen Garden would not have been possible without the tremendous support of volunteers who pitched in time, energy, sweat, and materials.

A huge thanks to all those who came out on such a gorgeous Sunday to help us shift rocks, weed, shape beds, shift rocks, turn soil, plant, water and fence (after shifting more rocks): thank you, Ellen St. John, Rev. Sander and Deb Samuel, Rena Lull, Pat Grillo, Brent and Mary Leonard of Carefree Gardens, Holly Fanion, Samantha Fanion, Sarah White, Olivia White, Kristen Griger, Rebecca Weil, Ellen Pope, and Dick DeRosa. Thanks to these hard workers, food pantry clients will soon be able to enjoy fall crops of carrots, turnips, kale, lettuces, beets, leeks, scallions, and possibly even tomatoes!

Volunteers will be in charge of tending the garden (watering and weeding). If you have time and would like to help, please contact the food bank or Rev. Samuel to sign up!

So, what’s the catch? All Growing Community asks in return is that individual Garden Raising recipients help to ‘pay it forward’ by volunteering with Growing Community on a future Garden Raising to continue the positive momentum and community building. '

Want to join our efforts? Come to our monthly Growing Community gatherings at Origins Café, at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month — the next one is Tuesday, Aug. 28.

The Growing Community Steering Committee

Stop using taxpayer dollars

Jim Seward needs to stop using taxpayer dollars to pay for his political campaign. He is using Senate funds to send mailings targeted to Republican voters that look, sound and feel just like political mailings.

My opponent used state money to send out an obviously political mailing with the phrases “Protecting Your Tax Dollars” and “Stamping Out Taxpayer Abuse.”

Ironically, the mailer discusses ways to prevent welfare recipients from misspending the money given to them by the State. Perhaps the senator should look closer to home for examples of taxpayer monies that are being misspent.

I support Gov. Cuomo’s recent call for public funding of New York state legislative races for all candidates. It seems we already have public funding of elections for incumbents.

My opponent’s use of public monies to get his election message out is even more egregious in view of the fact that his campaign has more than $300,000 in the bank to spend, hundreds of thousands more than either Jim Blake or myself. While the incumbent’s use of taxpayer dollars may not be illegal, it is certainly not right.

The use of public money for private purposes is a slap in the face to every person in this district struggling to make ends meet. This may be the way career politicians act, but it is wrong.

Howard Leib 'of Dryden

(Leib is running in New York State Senate’s 51st Senate District)