Bee News Guest Editorial - County reflects on busy spring, looks to what lies ahead

June 13, 2012

With June here, it’s time to look back at a busy spring in Erie County and ahead to what promises to be an eventful summer. The month of May saw record participation in county-sponsored rabies vaccination clinics in Springville and Buffalo, and at the hazardous household waste collection day held in Amherst. The upcoming summer months will feature Erie County’s beautiful beaches and positive, educational programming for local children.

Hundreds of residents took advantage of an important free service the county offers at two recent rabies clinics. The Erie County Department of Health, joined by the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Serving Erie County, was able to administer rabies vaccines to nearly 2,000 animals over the course of the clinics, with 698 “patients” in Springville and 1,300 in Buffalo.

Participation like this shows just how important services like this are. I want to thank the agencies involved, the personnel who efficiently kept the process moving, and the many responsible pet owners who attended. Another good example of a free service is the recent household hazardous waste collection event held at Erie Community College North. Providing safe disposal for numerous household items such as oil-based paints, batteries, pesticides, and other hazardous wastes means that these toxins won’t be improperly thrown away to pollute the environment, or pose a danger to children and pets.

In the second-largest event of its kind ever held in Erie County, more than 1,200 cars came during a five-hour span to safely dispose of their waste. Great work by the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and their partners led to success in the effort. For those who may have missed it, another household hazardous waste collection is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the ECC South campus. We also hope that residents will take summertime advantage of Erie County’s parks. Our beautiful beaches, Bennett and Wendt, are open and ready for your visit. You’ll notice that county parks crews have been hard at work improving signage, facilities and picnic areas at the sites. Please remember that our beaches, as well as our parks, are for everyone’s enjoyment, and all posted rules and policies should be followed. Summer fun is just ahead for many local children who enjoy safe, structured activities at any of the 52 agencies recently awarded grants to expand their summer offerings. “Operation Primetime” will help to provide more than 15,000 youths around Erie County with educational programs that include arts, recreation, culture and community service, and is another way to promote positive youth development over the summer months.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy summer.