The new world Charles Gehring is discovering and charting for us to follow isn’t like the continent unknown to Europeans that explorers like Henry Hudson claimed for the Dutch. Rather, Gehring’s work is giving us the tools to better understand our history.

An important need — health care in the rural Helderberg Hilltowns — was filled because it was clearly defined. A brave woman, backed by her family, stepped forward to take a risk because she cared about the people she had treated. A community, led by a modest man with great energy and dedication, rallied others to the cause in an organized and positive way. So now the old doctor’s office in Berne has opened as a new medical practice.

Sharon Astyk has this to say to people who are considering becoming foster parents: “If you ever want to run a marathon or climb Mount Everest, this is the home-life version of that.” She stressed, “You can do it as an ordinary person.”

The requirement for a child’s placement should be a loving home. To deny children in need access to such homes because of prejudice codified into government rules is against the founding principles of our nation.

After the outbreaks in the building at 1228 Western Ave. in 2012, when it was a hotel, and in February 2019, after it became an assisted-living facility, was there another outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in September? … The public — particularly the people living in that building — deserves answers.

It takes a rare person, like Damion Coppedge, to come out of an SHU sanction with his humanity in tact. It looks to us like the things that sustained Coppedge in prison — a session where he was first introduced to Buddhism, mail that allowed him to play chess, a radio through which he heard poetry — are what will make him a productive member of society now that he is out of prison.

If the state can ban plastic bags, why can’t it ban plastic bottles? People for generations carried canteens or used public water fountains when they were thirsty. There is no human need to have water in plastic bottles.

In the last half century, North America has lost 29 percent of its birds, according to a recent, stunning report that estimates a net loss approaching 3 billion birds.

If our elected boards develop meaningful codes of ethics and set up ethics boards to guide them, the character of our communities will be sterling.