Opinion roundup: Bugged by cutbacks
Happy Friday! Today, the Editorial Board is bugged by the idea of cutting mosquito prevention programs. Today’s editorial, “Mosquito control’s the wrong budget bite,” says:
Whether it’s a wholesale cut to West Nile programs or nibbling around the edges of prevention, counties need to proceed with caution. Skipping preventive methods could quickly land counties right back to 1999, when West Nile sent fear around the region as the little-understood disease showed up in mosquitoes, birds and people. New York City, Rockland, Westchester and other counties sprayed aerial pesticides in 1999, and again in 2000. After that, aggressive prevention efforts, such as using larvicide and even mosquito-eating fish, helped tamp down the risk. … Counties shouldn’t be so quick to scrap or scale back simple and relatively cheap storm-drain treatments. Skipping such a basic preventive measure could quickly lead to more dramatic and costly intervention.
In other opinion news, a new blog, Public Authorites, looks at those quasi-governmental entities that operate so much infrastructure and so many services in New York. The blog is a project of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. Recent posts address the toll hikes proposed for the Port Authority’s bridges, tunnels and roadways, and the proliferation of Local Development Corporations around the state (Rockland’s considering one that would buy the nursing home complex from the county and operate it.) It’s a great public service that explains the ins and outs of little understood government operations.