Friday, October 12, 2007

Highlands Anxieties

The Dyson Foundation just sponsored a Marist College survey of Hudson Valley residents to determine, essentially, what's keeping us awake at night.

Here's the list: Many Voices, One Valley

Our top priority, I am advised on the day the second bill for the lad's asthma hospitalization arrives, is making health care more affordable. I'll give 'em that.

I've got plenty to say about this study and its implications, and little brainpower to compose it. The connection I want to make most, though, is the one between air quality (not a concern that made the list, although Orange County has some of the region's crappiest, thanks) and health care costs (specifically, for us, asthma--and Orange County's asthma death rate ranks among the highest in the state). Preserving open space, minimizing sprawl, and improving public transportation all ranked well down the list, but improving those areas would filter upward to affect health care--it might remain expensive, but we might need less of it. And now that I think of it, wouldn't people prefer fewer auto accidents and their attendant health care costs? Better public transportation would probably help there, too.

Some good news related to the above and not much touted in the regional press was this major air pollution settlement. It's a start.

Goose poop didn't rate high enough to make the top ten, but you wouldn't know it. People talk about it around here ALL THE TIME.


wcs said...

I can't remember the last good conversation I had about goose poop. Maybe there is no such thing as a good conversation about goose poop. But then again, if they're not good conversations, why converse about goose poop more than once?

I just like typing "goose poop."

Amy Plum said...

Bill, when are you going to run for local office? I'm just waiting, because I know it's going to happen. Your platform can be goose poop. I'll vote for you.

Bill Braine said...

Who doesn't like typing goose poop. Or standing on it, as Amy suggests.