April 23, 2005

Iraq; lacrosse; school races

This week's Dryden Courier is packed with news about the town, on levels from local lacrosse to the county legislature to a protest at Congressman Boehlert's office to a Dryden dentist returning from Iraq. Once again, if you don't read the Courier, now's a good time to start.

George Birman, a dentist practicing in Dryden and Groton, turns out to have volunteered for a tour of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army Reserves, though he originally told his family he was called up "for fear [his wife and daughter] might talk him out of going." Birman, who immigrated here from Russia in 1991, served four months as a dentist in Mosul before coming down with a severe case of pneumonia.

A picture of Town Board member Marty Christofferson coaching lacrosse shares the front page, leading a story telling of the creation of the Dryden Youth Lacrosse League from its genesis as an idea through a year of unsponsored volunteerism and then to its current position as an ongoing sport supported by the Town Recreation Department, barbecues, garage sales, and volunteers.

Inside the paper, there's a report on a protest at Congressman Boehlert's Cortland office, objecting to his refusal to call a town hall meeting to discuss Social Security with his constituents. Joyce Kantor of Dryden is quoted in the article, noting her concerns "that the object of the privativation plan 'is to destroy Social Security, nibble at it until it is gone," as well as her questioning the Congressman's communications with his constituents:

If they aren't going to be in contact with us, then what are we doing?

Boehlert's spokesman, Sam Marchio, claims that "the congressman and his staff have taken time to answer as many questions and speak to as many people as possible through letters, emails, and phone calls." Perhaps he's replied to everyone else's letters, but I still don't have an answer to my February 2nd letter on Social Security. (I did get a quick answer on a later letter about another topic, however.)

The Courier's editorial looks at the protest and the issues, and concludes:

His office claims to be listening to and reading every phone call and email that comes in. So, why not gather everyone together for a meeting and have it all at once? To us, that seems like the easiest way to gauge his constituency and do the right thing for his district.

In Dryden School Board news, all four incumbents - Rachel Dickinson, Chris Gibbons, Karen LaMotte, and Amanda Kittelberger - will be running for re-election, with two newcomers, Linnette Short and Brad Raush. Three of the seats are for three-year terms, while the fourth, currently held by appointee Kittelberger, is a one-year term, filling the remaining time of former board member Patricia Edgecomb. The article also takes a closer look at changes in the budget and a new initiative to start each day with twenty minutes of silent reading.

There's a quick note on County Legislator Martha Robertson's announcement that she will run for re-election, and a longer article on a project she's been encouraging, the development of a park and ride near Varna to reduce commuter traffic on Route 366. Cornell is doing a survey now to ask users of its cheapest parking lots whether they would consider using a variety of park and ride locations.

Finally, in sports, the Dryden Athletic Department is seeking volunteers to help supervise their Fitness Center. They need to cover the 6:00am to 7:15am shift Monday through Saturday, the 6:00pm to 8:00pm shift Monday through Friday and "any time on Sundays." If you're certified in first aid, CPR, and AED and are interested in a free yearly membership for regular supervising, call the athletic department at 844-8694, extension 9243.

Posted by simon at April 23, 2005 8:43 AM in , , , , , ,
Note on photos