In 2012, as The Enterprise looked at large issues through a local lens, these were some of our favorite illustrations. The first is by Carol Coogan; the others, by Forest Byrd:
— August 9: We wrote about the burden of the ailing elderly on the younger generation and the temptation to inappropriately drug nursing-home residents to save on care and costs. We advocated, instead, other therapies and also cited a study showing through statistical analysis that patients lived longer and felt better in states that had expanded Medicaid coverage.
— March 29: After learning that, every school day in New York, nearly 50,000 drivers illegally pass buses, with 35 students hit by motorists in the past four years, we urged drivers to heed the message from Danielle Poirier, the transportation director at Guilderland, where 15 or 20 times a day, drivers don’t heed the flashing lights: “Please follow the law every day to help us keep our children safe.”
— November 1: Following the death of a man whose truck hit a deer in Westerlo, we talked with road engineering and biology experts to learn the best thing to do when confronted with a deer in the road is not to swerve, which can cause worse injury, but to aim for the deer’s flank — perhaps averting at least one of the 10,000 injuries or 200 deaths annually on American roads when drivers collide with deer.
— September 13: After an election sign was painted with a swastika, we condemned the vandalism and explored the history of the universal symbol that predated the Nazis’ use of it, concluding it was fine to appreciate a swastika woven in a Navajo blanket, for example, or painted on the shaved head of a Hindu child, celebrating his coming of age — rich traditions that predate Adolf Hitler’s misappropriation of the symbol.
— October 25: As Voorheesville students, while complaining about small portions, threw out the fruits and vegetables that came with the new federal lunch program, we cited data from the American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine, indicating the new meals were appropriate. We also pointed out that childhood obesity cost New York State alone $11.8 billion in health-care expenses last year, and we urged, with one in eight state residents not having access to enough nutritional food, that the school set up bins so the students could donate their unwanted and expensive fruits and vegetables.
— February 23: Eight months earlier, we had written about the other end of the age spectrum suffering from hunger, as nearly 6 percent of Americans over age 60 are “food insecure,” according to the Meals on Wheels Association of America. We urged volunteer support of the Albany County program, which serves 300,000 meals a year, allowing the elderly to stay in their homes. We advocated government support as well, since, as Donna Vancavage, director of development for Meals on Wheels, said, “It’s much cheaper than a nursing home.”
— January 5: “There will be no one to hear the last laugh,” we wrote in our editorial on American complacence over climate change. With the lack of federal leadership, we were at least heartened with some state initiatives to expand solar energy production in New York and to develop a master plan for saving energy — and millions of dollars — in state facilities. Reducing carbon emissions while furthering wind and solar power are much-needed solutions.
— Melissa Hale-Spencer, editor