Kodi Kids Benefit A Success
The Kodi Kids Benefit, an evening of music to raise school funds for a Kenyan sibling orphans group, has become a yearly fixture in our community. It always takes place right before Thanksgiving, when so many of us take the time to acknowledge our good fortune. Once again, our generous community has come through for the Kodi children. When our music extravaganza began, we had five children in school. As of today, two have graduated and one awaits her national exam results to learn if she too is a graduate, leaving us with two remaining students.
Many people and businesses are part of the children’s school success. Thank you to the performers George DeLeon, K.J. Denhert, Emily Einhorn, Peter Einhorn and Peter Tomlinson, the merchants Adams Fairacre Farms in Kingston, Hannaford in Kingston and Ulster, Hudson Valley Dessert Company, Shop & Stop in New Paltz and Sunflower Natural Foods Market and thanks to the wonderful donors.
We have watched with mixed elation and hope as the Occupy movement has swept this country and the world, and with outrage as the authorities — servants of the rich and powerful elite — have brutally and illegally tried to crush the First Amendment freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly. Apparently OWS has touched many a raw nerve! Guilt serves a useful purpose, and the authorities of this country have much to feel guilty about. What part of “promote the general welfare” and “secure the blessings of liberty” don’t they understand? Are police nightsticks, tasers, pepperspray, and teargas canisters (made in Pennsylvania) part of the proud legacy of American democracy or have we become the police state we have struggled against for our entire lives?
On the other side of the world, our “allies” the Israelis, falsely speaking in the name of the Jewish people, have descended to new depths of cruelty and oppression, incarcerating, robbing, beating, and killing Palestinians who dare to assert their rights to live and work in their land. The housing demolitions, the checkpoints, the unleashing of armed settlers, the use of teargas, the crushing of peaceful demonstrations, and the destructive of olive groves have outraged the whole civilized world. The extremes of violence, torture, and oppression, while far exceeding anything so far in the USA’s current defense of its 1%, are sinister prophesies of what is to come here if resistance escalates.
And the worst part is the connection between the two streams of violence. The weapons and expertise used to oppress Palestinians, Egyptians, and others fighting to be free come from the USA, the same USA turning its weapons on its own people. When will we ever learn?
We feel shame as Americans, as Jews, as citizens of the world! And like our colleagues and comrades, we say No! Not in our name! We are the 99%!
The struggle of all oppressed people is our struggle! And the struggle goes on!
Amber Rose and Barry Fruchter
Do My Best
Since the election, I have received an outpouring of congratulations and support that I find incredibly humbling. In addition to support, many have expressed their hopes and expectations for the new Town Board and a realization that the town faces some difficult problems. I promise I will do my best to live up to your expectations and to earn the confidence you have expressed.
Ken Panza, Councilman-elect
No Fracking In New York
The use of hydrofracking should not be allowed in New York State. It is too harmful to our environment. It endangers our basic resources. There are many cases already of harmful effects from these practices. Thinking about money instead of the long term health of the land, animals and people is extremely short sighted and foolish.
Instead, a plan for alternative energy would improve the health and prosperity of our residents. We need to look at the long term benefits of working with nature instead of poisoning our soil and water. Solar, wind and water energy are available and non-polluting. We need to support these clean alternatives.
For more letters, see print edition.