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Rural communities take care of their own

Guest Viewpoint

It's encouraging to see that New York state is decentralizing into regions. That's because as our founding forefathers knew, people who experience the result of their own decisions are better qualified to make sensible choices.

By contrast, we as a nation and as a state have been suffering much like a person going into shock; the fingers and toes turn blue because the little oxygenated blood is reserved for the heart and lungs. Even the brain may be deprived of what it needs to function coherently, causing a blackout.

We, the “fingers” and “toes” can and must adapt to the situation in a way that works, which is not by sacrificing our identity.

Having recently come from a more heavily populated area, I've noticed more than a few positive things about the people here. You tend to be more connected to family and relatives. When Old River Road in North Creek was evacuated due to flooding, nobody needed public emergency shelters; all the evacuees stayed with family and friends. People who rely on public services are so few and far between that the agency for which I work, providing home care for elderly clients, is hard-pressed to find enough work for me close to Minerva where my son and I live.

Back where we used to live, people are much quicker to expect public help, and the officials tended to practice less sense. That's part of why we moved up here. Those of us who had to work low-paying jobs to be there for our families suffered needlessly at the hands of authorities who didn't know the harm their ignorance caused. Trailers could only be placed in trailer parks. Officials wouldn't let us have porches big enough to comfortably hold a picnic table. Deer carcasses by the road were much more common than they are here due to hunting restrictions. And although we couldn't pay decent wages to the experienced cops who kept drifting to other towns willing to pay them what they were worth, we could somehow “afford” the huge, fancy high school my youngest graduated from before we moved north to freedom.

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