Letters to the Editor – 9/22 to 9/28

Ars Choralis Thanks

On Sunday, 9/11, Ars Choralis presented “Rising from Sorrow: A Concert of Remembrance & Hope.” We are very grateful to Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, Karen Tashman, and the Woodstock Jewish Congregation for hosting this concert. Thanks also to Rev. Avinash Jeffrey Barnes, Rev. Joshua Bode, Cantor Micha’el Esformes, Rev. George W. Hommel, Rev. Rachel C. Ye Kim, Rev. Thomas Gye Ho Kim, Ph.D., Elizabeth Lesser, Rev. Sonja Maclary, Imam Dr. Salahuddin M. Muhammad, translator Jigme Nyima, Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, and Dennis Yerry for sharing the traditions of their faiths. Due to the generous contributions of participants and audience members, over $750 will be sent to Ulster County’s Flood Relief Fund via the United Way.

Sarah Kessenich, Barbara Pickhardt and the singers of Ars Choralis



Sennett’s Got My Vote

We’re now hearing there will soon be a second indictment of a Kingston Police department (KPD) officer, this time a retired one. It looks like getting to the bottom of KPD corruption will require a full investigation, and it ought to be done by an independent group, not local officials. Despite the close connections between the Police and the District Attorney’s office, the Ulster County DA has yet to recuse himself in the Tim Matthews case, even though he’ll be a witness in that case.


There is something that doesn’t add up about the Ulster County DA. We’re supposed to forget costly economic crimes like the huge cost overruns for the Ulster County Jail, where no one was indicted. And then there was the abuse of employees and procedures at the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, which hasn’t been investigated. Too much of the same-old, same-old is going on here for me.

I’d like to see a new face in the District Attorney’s office. The Democratic candidate, Jon Sennett, has the experience and the tough-on-crime attitude that we really need now in Ulster County. Jon’s 17-year career as an attorney and his administrative experience overseeing a 20-person staff in the Bronx DA’s office gives him the experience we need. He’s active in the community and has a thriving criminal law practice here, giving him the background he needs to move into the DA’s office. Jon’s got my vote on November 8.

Beth Murphy


Editor’s note: There was one indictment handed up in the Ulster County Jail investigation.


Obama Abuse

Even for a politician who has made his career out of serving the rich and well connected, these must seem like dismal times. Back in Chicago, all Obama had to do was to obey the corrupt Democratic machine. And he did it well, running against progressive black candidates for the city council. Once elected, he simply followed what the monied interests told him to do, despite his rhetorical flourishes about peace and social justice.

That must seem like long ago. Now as president, Obama has come to be the whipping boy of just about every powerful interest in the country. Look at the beating he took from the Israeli lobby, despite the fact that he has consistently promoted the interests of right wing Zionists over America’s need to bring peace to the Middle East.

The same has been true of the huge corporate behemoths. Obama has sold his soul for big oil’s right to drill without worrying about the environment. He has given away his health “reform” to the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies. He has devastated the rights of working people, even cut Social Security and Medicare, all to give more tax cuts to the corporations and the very rich who own them. Yet, all these elites can do is badmouth him, and make him grovel even more.

Cowardly sellouts have never gotten much respect, no matter which side they secretly worked for. Can all this abuse and disdain be worth the millions he will make after he is president?

Fred Nagel