The havoc drugs and poverty can wreak on a child’s life are well documented.

It’s refreshing to see, then, the effectiveness of the Nurse Family Partnership, a Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services program that works with expectant mothers.

The Nurse Family Partnership program began in 2015 and consists of five nurses who work specifically with first-time mothers from pregnancy until the child is 2 years old. The Maternal, Infant and Child Health Program began in 2012 and is a peer education program where community health workers are trained by the state Health Department. Then, they go into homes and work with high-risk pregnant women to provide education, make referrals and give support. Mothers can be referred to the program by schools, CPS, WIC, obstetricians and other means. Both programs require either Medicaid or WIC eligibility to participate.

There are some who don’t like that the program actively pushes expectant mothers into social services programs or that people who likely shouldn’t be having children are being pushed toward public programs. Consider that many of these children are being born into families stuck in a cycle of poverty. Doing nothing means the cycle continues, and children born today will comprise the county’s social services caseload for the next several decades. Taking action now gives both today’s parents and the children they bear a chance at a better life.

Cathy Burgess, county Department of Health and Human Services director of maternal and infant health, told Board of Health members recently that one mother who became pregnant at 17 while hooked on methamphetamine was now, two years later, attending college, working full time and raising a healthy, happy child. Without assistance, the lives of the mother and child wouldn’t be as good as they are now.

The money the county spends on the program is well spent both in terms of saving money in the long run and helping mothers and children live better, healthier lives. There are many ways for the county to spend your money — the Maternal, Infant and Child Health Program is a good use of money.

— The Post Journal

It has been said that the art of politics is compromise.

Former President Barack Obama had something to say about that the other day. Wisely, he directed his comments at those more likely to support liberal candidates and causes than conservative ones — but what he said has value no matter where you stand, left or right.

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly,” Obama said during his Obama Foundation Summit, held in Chicago.

Then, warming to his topic, Obama launched into social media. “I do get a sense sometimes (that) now, among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media, that the way of making me change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people — and that’s enough,” he commented. “Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right, or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because, ‘Man, did you see how woke I was? I called you out.’ That’s not activism. That is not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far.”

We in the United States have been fortunate that, more often than not, our former presidents have served as “elder statesmen.” They have done the most difficult job on the planet. They have made decisions of war and peace. They have changed our country, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

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Good for Obama for injecting an important note of realism into public discourse. Those farthest out on both sides, conservative as well as liberal, would do well to heed his advice.

There is a “silent majority” in the United States. At some point, its members are going to reflect that the extremists in both political parties are doing an enormous disservice to all Americans.

— Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Gov. Andrew Cuomo upped his histrionics on the Long Island natural gas crisis Tuesday, formally threatening to revoke the license of National Grid, the utility that has stopped taking new gas customers.

The company says it can’t take on new commitments because Cuomo (followed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy) blocked construction of a new pipeline.

That new-hookups moratorium, the gov insists, “is either a falsified device or a lack of competence.” That is, National Grid either doesn’t need the pipeline — or is still at fault because it didn’t find some other way to assure supply.

Yet it never should have needed a Plan B: The proposed pipeline is obviously safe; it’s to run right next to an existing pipeline that’s done zero harm. The supposed environmental fears blocking it are nothing but a pretext, allowing Cuomo to pander to green extremists who oppose all carbon-based fuels.

The pipeline is the safest, cheapest and even greenest way to get new energy supplies to the area.

Cuomo says gas can be “trucked, shipped, or barged” instead. But that, says Manhattan Institute energy specialist Jonathan Lesser, would require fleets of trucks supplying a huge processing facility that doesn’t exist. And the trucks (or ships) would themselves burn more carbon fuel.

The gov won’t get out of this by following through on his threat — because whoever took over for National Grid would face the exact same problems.

Maybe the company should just call his bluff.

— New York Post

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