Utter is a boon to town of Davenport

The town of Davenport residents are fortunate to have Fred Utter as the highway superintendant. He works relentlessly, as do his men. He alone has saved the taxpayers big money by taking advantage of certain programs, such as storm-cleanup funds, which bought the new excavator. He got a great deal on a boom truck, used for tree-clearing and limb-cutting.

At an accident scene or a fire, you will find Fred right there helping out. You will also notice him doing the work in front of the school, preparing the new lot. Late at night, when someone is stuck on one of the town's upper-elevation, iced-over roads, who usually shows up with a load of sand and salt and helps out? Most of the time, you can bet it is Fred.

Now the town has a problem. We are down to one good plow truck. The rest are junk, and worn out. We need two new trucks. Fred says we could get along with one new one and one good used truck. What is the sense in voting for new school buses if the roads can not be plowed due to lack of equipment? Some in the town say use the chip money _ the money allocated to fix the roads _ to purchase them, hence the roads do not get fixed. Fred and I believe some of the money should come out of the general fund and bond the rest of it.

Fred is the best thing that has happened for the town, and I hope at re-election time, voters will acknowledge it.

Ray Canner

Oneonta

'R' word no longer in agency's name

In The Daily Star's article dated April 29, 2011, "Riders: Service a budget-conscious option," The Arc Otsego was referred to as The Association for Retarded Citizens and the ARC. While we are very pleased to partner with the county to provide transportation options for all people, and we appreciate The Daily Star recognizing our agency's contribution, I must point out that the author used an incorrect and outdated name for the agency.

When The Arc Otsego was first founded in 1965, we were called The Otsego County Chapter of The New York State Association for Retarded Children (now known as NYSARC, Inc.) or The ARC Otsego. As services expanded to include adults, ARC came to stand for Association for Retarded Citizens.

However, as time has gone on, the word "retarded" has moved beyond a clinical diagnosis. In everyday speech, the word "retarded" has highly derogatory and hurtful connotations for many people with intellectual disabilities. In recognition of this change, and in the spirit of acceptance and respect, Arcs throughout New York state and the country have discontinued use of the acronym ARC. For over 10 years now, we have been known as The Arc Otsego, one of 55 county-based Arc chapters throughout New York State providing comprehensive, community-based services to over 500 individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families throughout Otsego County.

Thank you again for informing your readership about how The Arc Otsego's transportation services are helping the community at large and for this opportunity to clarify a very important topic. Words do matter and words can hurt. If you would like to learn more, visit Spread the Word to End the Word: www.r-word.org.

Lynne A. Sessions

Oneonta

Sessions is director of community relations for The Arc Otsego.

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