In times like these, we need more than ever to listen to views that may be different from our own with the intent to understand them.

How do we proceed from here if we recognize both the necessity of solar in saving our planet and also of respecting rural rights without further fueling the rural-urban divide? We believe the answer lies in responsible local governance.

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

— Kurt Vonnegut, “Timequake,” 1997

We urge that committee meetings remain open. The process is meant to involve the public. How would closed meetings further that end?

Solar beekeeping is a win-win-win-win: Project developers benefit from the solar energy produced by the photovoltaic panels, beekeepers gain resiliency from a diverse source of pollen for honey production, nearby farms profit from pollination services, and the landowner sees improved soil health.

As a civilized society, we have an obligation, through our government, through the taxes each one of us pays, to care for our most vulnerable.

We had hoped, with the passage of the Child Victims Act, that testimony in abuse cases — not just against the Catholic Church, but against schools, and Scouts, and many others — would educate our society at large, making us all more vigilant in protecting children, as well as finally giving survivors the recognition they deserve. There are no “reasonable settlements” as the bishop has promised. Silence is not golden. This moral as well as financial bankruptcy makes that clear. 

According to the latest census data, of the roughly 73,500 current Guilderland residents, only 14 percent are in their twenties and another 12 percent are in their thirties. And, while the median home price in Guilderland is about $275,000 — 20 percent higher than Albany County overall — less than 3 percent of owner-occupied housing units are valued at under $100,000. A town is richer if it is home to people in a wide variety of occupations and a wide range of ages. Our elected representatives should instruct the committee drafting a plan for our future that this is essential.

The state’s report concludes, “Undoubtedly, the child care crisis is the singular issue that dominates current discussions and it is one that demands urgent and decisive action.” Money alone won’t solve the problem; it will take a cultural shift. We, as a society, need to value what has been traditionally called “women’s work” as much as we have “men’s work.”