In the absence of the town attorney answering our questions, we urge Berne Town Board members themselves to read New York State’s Civil Service Law, then to do the right thing: Reinstate Cheryl Baitsholts as dog control officer. The new board members took an oath of office on New Year’s Day to uphold the law. Failing that, we urge Baitsholts to do as the Knox workers before her did: File for a ruling that will force the town board to restore her job.

We can’t let half of depressed young adults fall through the safety nets our society has put in place.

The Berne Town Board ousted Emily Vincent, a Berne farmer, before she completed her term on the town’s planning board, breaking the law, to appoint Thomas Spargo as chairman. Vincent should be reinstated.

If each of us commits to giving just a bit of our time and talents, the community as a whole will benefit.

We urge our legislators at the state, county, and town levels to take a close look at what can and should be done to protect cats and to help the people who care for cats that have been abandoned.

The connections hum in the present as people reach each other through our words. Sometimes, too, connections echo from the past.

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.”