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Opinion

September 27, 2011

Cheers

To the honorees and the Otsego County Volunteer Firemen's Association for honoring two of its own at a recent awards program.

Duane "Jake" Jacobs from the Gilbertsville Fire Department received the Fireman of the Year Award for more than 40 years of service to the community. A well-chosen recipient, Jacobs humbly accepted his honor on behalf of all firefighters who put their lives on the line whenever they suit up for duty in the area.

Daughn Darlin from the Wells Bridge department was named Auxiliary Member of the Year for more than 30 years of service to the department.

In addition to the awards program, the group rightfully celebrated the work of county volunteer firefighters with a parade and antique car "cruise-in" as part of its annual Fireman's Convention.

We're proud of our local volunteer firefighters and the auxiliaries that support them.

To organizers and participants in Otsego County's 14th annual Hazardous Waste Collection Day, held recently in the town of Middlefield. According to a media release from the county, 470 cars dropped off hazardous materials from an estimated 500 households this year.

This free event allows residents to safely dispose of liquid and solid wastes, such as pesticides, lubricants, cleaning chemicals and solid pesticide material, which will be incinerated or destroyed by other means. For the third year, pharmaceuticals and medications also were collected free of charge, as well as automotive batteries, propane tank cylinders and old paint.

Golden Artist Colors of Chenango County should be praised for its recycling of paint collected, which will be redistributed to local not-for-profit groups rather than potentially harming the environment by being poured or spilled into lakes, streams or other precious natural bodies.

To the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions and Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties Inc. for organizing events related to National Recovery Month. These activities included a recovery dinner at United Ministry Church in Delhi, a recovery walk in downtown Oneonta and a variety of family-friendly activities in Muller Plaza.

The groups _ which advocate recovery from addictions such as gambling, drinking, smoking and overeating through education and support --_ offered accessibility to important information in relaxed, non-pressure situations.

The events helped emphasize the need for a strong support system for those attempting to quit bad habits that can weigh heavily on their wallets and their lives. For those who may not have family or friends to stand behind them while dealing with addictions, these groups openly provide outlets of support and look to help conquer fears.

LEAF offers aid from its offices on Water Street in Oneonta, while FOR-DO has recovery centers at 22 Elm St. in Oneonta and 167 Main St. in Delhi.

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