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April 29, 2014

In Our Opinion: Cheers and Jeers

To a local hotelier who was inspired to “help Boston heal” after last year’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, and whose efforts to recognize emergency workers have gone beyond that city.

Garth Roberts said what struck him as he watched a news video of the immediate aftermath of the bombing was the uncommon valor of the first responders.

“It inspired me to start thinking of what I might be able to do to help Boston heal,” Roberts said.

Roberts operates the American Hotel in Sharon Springs with his husband, Doug Plummer. The couple and others in Provincetown on Cape Cod, where they own a vacation home, raised donations and collected gift certificates that could be redeemed by Boston EMS workers for stays at their home and other lodging locations.

To expand the effort, Roberts said, he began a nonprofit group, HERO (Honoring Emergency Responders Organization) Fund America.

He said he hopes the work of the charity will have “a ripple effect,” and other groups will be formed to show appreciation for the bravery of those who battle fires, rescue people from perilous situations and maintain public safety.

“Out of crisis, good things can come,” he said, and we couldn’t agree more.


To Dawn Rivers of Unadilla, who used her curiosity about an economic issue as inspiration to return to college after 35 years and write an award-winning essay on the subject.

Rivers, a Hartwick College student, presented her paper, “Behavioral Responses to Tax Incentives Among Small Business Taxpayers: An Analysis of the Sole Proprietor Capital Spending, 2000-2010” during the Issues In Political Economy Undergraduate Research Competition at the Eastern Economic Association Conference in Boston in March. More than 50 papers were presented at the conference, and Rivers’ was selected as the best.

The 55-year-old stay-at-home mother said she often thought about the scenario: whenever the economy is in a lull, the government increases the tax cap to encourage small-business owners to spend more money on capital products, she said. She always speculated that this strategy might not be working, she said, but didn’t have the research to back it up.

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