A note from Donna Sharrett, who helps run the Ossining Organic Community Garden (http://www.oocg.blogspot.com):
I know that your blog is a gardening blog and not political but your readers are exactly who CCE needs to survive and I am not just referring to Westchester CCE but the entire program.
Mr. Astorino’s “symbolic” 1% tax cut will save me $11. My county tax bill is $1100. One percent of $1100 is $11.
Is the loss of Westchester’s Cornell Cooperative Extension worth an $11 savings? Not to me!
For your readers residing outside of Westchester, know that the elimination of Westchester’s CCE will be keenly noted by your elected officials and those throughout this country. Budgets will need to be cut for many years. Elected officials who need to make cuts will look for the easiest targets – those without support.
If you support Westchester’s CCE make your support known – email, call & write to the legislators. Write letters of support to the editors of every paper. Speak up!
In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln established, by law, the USDA and the Land Grant Institutions. In 1865 Cornell University was established to serve as New York State’s Land Grant Institute. In 1914 the Cooperative Extension System was established by law to bring science based information from the USDA and the Land Grant Institutions to citizens.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) is not a part of Cornell University but rather a partner with the USDA and Cornell University. Today the CCE partners with the USDA through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – a post 9/11 agency who mission includes issues concerning food safety & food security.
By law, CCE must receive county funding to qualify for state and federal funds. Without county funding CCE will cease to exist, severing our direct ties with the USDA, NIFA & Cornell University.
Please support this valuable, venerable program. Support our Cornell Cooperative Extension!
Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
And an update this am:
I just learned that the Westchester County Legislators will meet this Saturday to decide what will be put back in the budget – on Monday. This will not be the final budget – but if something is not put back in on Monday then it is permanently off the table.