Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To trying to save the shrine. The Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville has launched a campaign to raise $1 million. The shrine needs the money to pay for many critical renovations, including the replacement of roofing and windows in the main coliseum. According to the organizer of the campaign, Joey Caruso, the shrine is in danger of closing if it can’t raise the money. The closure of the shrine would be a sad, unfortunate situation. The shrine has a rich history. The coliseum is an impressive structure and the grounds are beautiful. Pilgrims and other people from all walks of life visit the shrine every year. It’s also a big part of Montgomery County’s tourism. What a shame if the shrine were to shut down. We mustn’t let that happen. We encourage people to consider making a donation. For more information, people can call the shrine at 853-3033.

JEERS – To oppressive taxation. This probably will come as no surprise to many New Yorkers, but the Washington-based Tax Foundation says New York residents had the highest state and local tax burden in the country in 2011. The foundation used the latest data available to show New York residents paid 12.6 percent of their collective incomes in state and local taxes in 2011, according to a report from The Associated Press. New Jersey was No. 2 at 12.3 percent. The national average was 9.8 percent. The new state budget adopted earlier this week does include some tax relief, but, obviously, state and local governments have a long way to go. Taxpayers must continue to send a strong message to school, municipal and state officials.

CHEERS – To crossbow season. The state’s new budget includes an agreement giving crossbow hunters their own season. Hunters can use a crossbow for small game, including turkeys, and any big-game season in which firearms are allowed. The budget also allows crossbow use in the last 14 days of the Southern Zone archery deer and bear season, and the final 10 days of the Northern Zone archery deer and bear season. The measure may result in more female, disabled and older people getting out into the wilderness and hunting.