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Editorial Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 29, 2011

2011 Byrd’s-Eye Review

In 2011, as The Enterprise looked at large issues through a local lens, these were some of our favorite editorial illustrations by Forest Byrd, clockwise from right:

— On May 26, we said it was time to stop shredding our nation’s postal service as it grew closer to insolvency. The system, with roots going back to 1775, has bound our nation together, and the local offices being closed are emblematic of communities across the nation that will be sundered. Congress has denied the postal service’s request to start electronic initiatives, saying it should refrain from direct competition from private firms while still requiring it to pay for itself, unlike other federal agencies.

— On Oct. 13, we wrote that environmental review in New York State — which includes time for public response — is meant to inform regulations. Yet, as the state faced one of the most important environmental issues since it created a department to protect the environment, hydraulic fracturing, the department released its draft regulations for high-volume fracking shortly before the comment period on environmental impact of hydrofracking was to close.

— On Jan. 27, after the Guilderland School District launched its latest campaign against harassment, we wrote that bullying is learned — it’s not inborn or natural — and it’s up to all of us to curb it. That requires a concerted and consistent effort and the recognition that the bullies have often been bullied themselves.

— On June 23, after covering the story of Adam Croote — a boy who watched his father murder his mother and then grew up to be accused of sexual abuse and attempted murder himself — we wrote that violence begets violence, and urged breaking the cycle.  We cited a study on macaque monkeys that concluded the pattern of abuse across generations is learned, and does not have a genetic base. We realize humans are not monkeys, but, still, it gave us some hope the cycle can be broken.

— On Nov. 10, we wrote that budgets should not be a mystery to citizens. Westerlo’s spending plan for next year was then in its earliest stages more than a month after the preliminary budget, by law, was supposed to have been filed. The estimated tax-levy increase, at roughly 12 percent, was six times more than the state-set cap, and citizens who must foot the bill had no chance for input.

— On Nov. 3, we wrote about the difficulty of helping those who suffer from domestic violence. It’s not as simple as the purple fliers with their slogan — “Domestic violence is a crime, not a shame” — would have it.

— On Feb. 17, we wrote that good deeds can take wing as schools teach kindness and caring, values that may not be measurable with test scores but are the mortar that builds a society. We were inspired by two Pine Bush Elementary students

— Olivia Bonjolo was collecting money for UNICEF, and Emily Lynch was raising funds for a 7-year-old with leukemia. We were reminded of the story often told by Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, about the animals who felt powerless to fight a forest fire until the hummingbird began carrying one drop of water at a time.

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