October 26, 2005

Raining dogs and cats

The Tompkins County SPCA's Hanshaw Road facility is bulging with dogs and cats in need of homes. Built for 38 dogs, they now have 54, as well as 291 cats. The usual fall drop-off in occupancy hasn't happened this year, and it's a great time to consider getting a new pet, and the Journal has pictures of four to consider.

Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk covers lots of ground this week:

  • The Etna Community Church will be having a Fall Festival this Saturday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

  • The Dryden Town Historical Society Pie and Bread Sale will be next Saturday, November 5th, from 9:00am to sold out at the First National Bank of Dryden. The article says "usually by 11 a.m.", but I'd recommend getting there sooner.

  • Illusionist Toby Travis will be having a show at the Reach Out for Christ Church on November 9th at 7:00pm.

  • Local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will be collecting funds for hurricane relief through the Salvation Army at Clark's Food Mart.

The opinion page - actually opinion pages - has lots of county and Dryden opinion. Nicholas Nicastro of Dryden leads a list of writers asking the Journal to review local books. Herb Engman of Ithaca writes in support of County Legislator Martha Robertson, while Raymond and Rita Harris write of Mike Lane that:

Mr. Lane has been an effective legislator who is always eager to hear the concern of his constituents and to carefully consider their views. His record is one of fiscal integrity and a common sense approach to issues. His goal to change the current annual property assessment plan to provide for re-assessment every three years should provide a level of property tax relief for the citizens of Tompkins County.

There's also a letter from Kenneth Taylor challenging Lane and calling for Mike Hattery's re-election, but I'm afraid I can't resist pointing out how he's carefully chosen dates - despite claiming to "compare apples to apples" - to make Lane look bad and Hattery look good:

Over the last four years, under this vice chair's stewardship, the Tompkins County actual tax rate has risen 26 percent while the actual tax levy has risen approximately 31 percent. Note: During two of these four years, a double-digit increase in both the tax rate and tax levy occurred.

Meanwhile back in the Town of Dryden, over this same four-year period, the Town's tax rate went down 12.94 percent while the tax levy rose approximately 2 percent. Note: District 14 legislative candidate opponent Mike Hattery was involved during the last two years as a Dryden town councilman.

Taylor carefully omits noting that the last two budgets, the two in which Mike Hattery has been directly involved, as I just wrote earlier, had town property tax levy increases of 4.8% and 7.9%, both greater than the county's 0% and 6.5% increases in the same period.

It may be fun to attempt to give Mike Hattery credit for tax decreases that took place under a Democratic Supervisor before he was on the board, and to be sure to count the two years when the county was under the heaviest pressure from state increases in pension and Medicare mandates against his opponent, but it doesn't stand up to careful examination, and it very definitely isn't "apples to apples."

There's also another round of columns from incumbent District Attorney George Dentes and challenger Gwen Wilkinson, this time discussing their qualifications. Unfortunately, Dentes manages to claim once again that the Rockefeller Drug Laws have been repealed, when they very clearly have only been reformed, lightly.

Posted by simon at October 26, 2005 12:42 PM in , , ,
Note on photos