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"We're not going to take it!" protests starting against public service cuts

Dec 03, 2010 10:35 am
ALBANY - There's blowback starting against all the proposed cuts already happening, or being proposed, to public services... both around the country and right here in New York State. The new Alliance for New York State Parks, which lists recently-resigned NYS Parks Commissioner Carol Ash as a key adviser, joined Parks & Trails New York on Thursday, Dec. 2 to release a report calling for a halt to staff and funding cuts that, they argue, have once again placed certain state parks at risk of closure... possibly including some in our immediate area. They are saying they want enhanced capital spending for facilities, to the tune of $1 billion over the next decade, and a dedicated funding stream to protect that support from the shifting winds of politics, as has happened in a number of other states. The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, according to a story in today's Times Union, has lost as many as 1,500 employees over the past two years, or 21 percent of the agency’s permanent staff. The full story can be found here.

Meanwhile, Laura Northrup is also reporting in her column on state workers in today's Times Union that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO) has launched a campaign called “Stop the Lies” that aims to defend the good name of civil servants, and stop the past year's screaming diatribes against state and federal workers, who as they say, "work hard for their money." The AFSCME has issued an open letter to “state worker haters,” and a video explaining their new campaign that comes in both an easily digestible 1-minute version and a nearly six-minute-long extended remix. See both HERE. This is on top of ongoing outcry against state cuts to Belleayre Mountain Ski Center workers in the Shandaken/Margaretville area of the central Catskills, in Ulster and Delaware counties, caught HERE by the Watershed Post, pulling from stories in The Daily Freeman out of Kingston and Daily Star out of Oneonta.. Expect much more of these sorts of battles over the coming year as the axe falls, or gets waved in the direction, of other key public programs... and then our basic public benefits. Some are already starting to say that what we're seeing now is the start of the same wave of protests now rocking Europe... whether we like to think ourselves in the same world as them or not.

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