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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Bad habits

Oh, come on. Haven't people who have made it to their mid-70s and landed in a nursing home earned the right to be free of the health police?

It was just another morning at the senior center: Women were sewing, men were playing pool — and seven demonstrators, average age 76, were picketing outside, demanding doughnuts.

They wore sandwich boards proclaiming, "Give Us Our Just Desserts" and "They're Carbs, Not Contraband."

At issue is a decision to refuse free doughnuts, pies and breads that were being donated to senior centers around Putnam County, north of New York City. Officials were concerned that the county was setting a bad nutritional precedent by providing mounds of doughnuts and other sweets to seniors.

The picketers said they were objecting not to a lack of sweets but that they weren't consulted about the ban.

"Lack of respect is what it's all about," said Joe Hajkowski, 75, a former labor union official who organized the demonstration. He said officials had implied that seniors were gorging themselves on jelly doughnuts and were too senile to make the choice for themselves.

C. Michael Sibilia said, "I'm 86, not 8."

Yeah, yeah, I know. Seniors' nutritional needs have to be taken seriously. But cutting out their doughnuts because of concerns about "setting a precednet" is like withholding pain medication from terminal patients because it might be habit forming.


tim zank
Mon, 09/24/2007 - 7:51am

Makes about as much sense as not allowing death row inmates smoke too. I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and suggest the same people that comprise this city council are appalled and strongly opposed to the NSA electronic surveillance programs also. Wanna bet?

Don't sweat the Feds my friends, the locals are the ones that are comin' to get ya!

Bob G.
Mon, 09/24/2007 - 12:56pm

Having worked for the Feds, and been up to my armpits in too much red tape way too often back THEN...I can truthfully say that Tim is right...

FEAR THE LOCALS even more!