We're thrilled with the Oneonta Community Health Center's announcement that it could open its doors as early as July.

While we are disappointed it will be open for only a few hours one night each week, we are proud of the effort on this initial phase. It represents the result of a massive organizational effort on the part of some in the community.

The clinic has been years in the making. It has evolved from a loosely organized, grass-roots collection of disparate individuals to a cohesive body with a board of directors, a roster of prospective volunteers and an attractive, well-appointed facility.

However, the clinic still needs more support from the community. Organizers said the center has raised about $20,000 of its goal of $30,000, and a major fundraising appeal is planned for the coming months.

Donations of money, of course, will help the clinic greatly, but office and medical supplies are also being sought. A complete list is available online at the clinic's website, www.oneontaclinic.org. Rather than putting an old file cabinet out in a yard sale or recycling some unused printer paper, those items could be put to use in the clinic office.

With help from the community, the clinic can prosper, and, we hope, soon add desperately needed hours and services _ something the area's uninsured and underinsured populations would surely appreciate.

{"Headline24"/}Vacation in our heartland

this summer

{"Body Text Edit"/}Summer is nearly here. While it may be a month away by the calendar, Memorial Day is generally considered to be the start of the summer tourism season.

With that, summer-only businesses begin opening in vacation hotspots, anticipating a drove of visitors, and families and individuals begin plotting their getaways.

The hitch this year? The potentially prohibitive rise in costs for fuel, food and lodging, not to mention entertainment.

We are less concerned, for the moment, about the impact on visitors coming to our area. The baseball camps, for instance, are likely popular enough to fill up regardless of the economic climate. No, we are talking about folks around here who are hoping to take a big trip and are worried they won't be able to swing it.

The upstate economic climate is often cause for concern, and for most trips, families have only two choices: fly or drive. Neither is getting cheaper.

For those looking for a alternative, we point to our own backyard. The four-county area is a tourist's dream for so many out-of-staters. Can most residents truly say they've seen all there is to see in our area? Or that they've revisited such sights since they were children?

There's a wealth of adventure right here in the heartland of New York that won't sap your wealth.

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