To the Editor:

The Fresh Air Fund looks forward to celebrating National Volunteer Week every year. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our inspiring volunteers, hosts and supporters in the Southwest Coast. Their continued dedication to our New York City children is exemplary, and truly embodies the spirit of National Volunteer Week, which is from April 23 to April 29 this year.

Fresh Air volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year along the East Coast and Southern Canada to help make The Fresh Air Fund’s programs possible. Fresh Air host families open their hearts and homes, and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air friends. Our local volunteer leaders — many of whom are also hosts — serve on our local committees, interview prospective host families, publicize the program, and plan summer activities. Additionally, individuals and local businesses give generously of their time and resources to make The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program throughout the Southwest Coast a great success each summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this tradition of volunteering, please call The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.

Fatima Shama

Executive Director

The Fresh Air Fund

Let’s see a tax plan

To the Editor:

Jim Cameron pleads for legislators and drivers to support bringing tolls back to Connecticut. Unfortunately the governor and legislature have fooled taxpayers one too many times. Gov. Malloy has run twice on a “no tax increase” platform, and then delivered the two largest tax increases in state history. He has handed out $3 billion in corporate welfare monies to hedge funds, health insurance companies and other various fat cats, yet he can’t resist continuing to stick his hand in the little guys’ pockets. Revenue is not the issue, reckless spending is! And a “lockbox” idea for tolls is putting the mouse in charge of the cheese.

One way to convince residents to pay more in taxes is show them a plan. How about improving train speeds so that the Metro North schedule catches up to the 1954 New Haven Railroad schedule! Or providing a train stop at LaGuardia Airport, which is one mile from the Amtrak line? Or provide train service from Connecticut to Penn Station like they did in the 1970s? Or put Internet access on the trains? Endlessly soaking residents for more money while services deteriorate may be the Governor’s current plan, but taxpayers are fatigued.

And finally the taxpayer has no confidence that government will be good stewards of their hard earned money. Take Metro North for example. Over the last few years they have receivd $1.5 billion for new rail cars, The cars are nice, but the morning express train from Bridgeport to Grand Central averages just 43 miles per hour and is seven minutes longer than the same trip on the New Haven Railroad in 1954. Handing billions of dollars to unaccountable government bureaucrats is a fools errand.

Bill Stapleton

Fairfield