Letters (9/19-9/26)

Candidates thank supporters

Thank you to the members of the Independence Party who voted for me on Sept. 10 during the Independence Primary. I know how busy life can get so I appreciate all that came out and voted. Sept. 10 was an extra special day as my oldest son turned 26 and then to be honored to be your candidate was very humbling. I am grateful and thankful to be your Independence candidate for the position of town of saugerties highway superintendent.

Also, thank you to all who helped to make my meet and greet such a special day. In addition, thank you to my family and friends who worked so hard to make this day so successful. Also, thank you to the Glasco Fire Department and all their hard work and excellence. I couldn’t have done it without you! The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious and it was shared with a lot of wonderful people. Thank you.

Ray Mayone


Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in the Independence Party Primary on Tuesday, Sept.10. I am grateful to have your endorsement and to be the Independence Party candidate for Ulster County Legislative District 1. It is a privilege to have your confidence and support.


Mary Wawro
Ulster County Legislator, District 1


I just wanted to say thank you to Len Bernardo, and all of the Independence Party members who supported me at the Independence Party Primary that was held on Sept. 10. I truly appreciate and value your show of support and vow to continue serving all of the people of Saugerties to the best of my ability.

Again, thank you and I’ll look forward to your support on Tuesday, Nov. 5!

James Bruno


Thank you to the Independence Party members whom I met in recent weeks going door to door and who came out to vote for me in their primary. The IP primary is the first inning in a contest that will last the next two months. The lawn signs will, or should, disappear until local law permits their return 30 days before the Nov. 5 General Election, but I and my fellow Democrat candidates will continue reaching out to the voters to impress upon them the importance of voting in odd year elections (2013) for the government officials who actually touch their lives most directly.

Lanny Walter


Cahill and Hein must work together

Several letters to the editor have been published surrounding the issues of safety net and sales tax related to the county budget. Having worked with both Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and County Executive Michael Hein, I know that they are hardworking men with their constituents always at the forefront of their decision-making. Two people with such dedication to the people they serve should work together to resolve the budget issues facing Ulster County.

The finger-pointing for revenue shortfalls does nothing to fix the problem and only serves to lay blame. The people of Ulster County want solutions, not more problems. I know Assemblyman Cahill is always looking out for the best interests of the people he represents. He is a tireless advocate for the working men and women of this area. In addition, having experience with the legislative arena, I know nothing is a sure thing in Albany, and most legislative successes come from negotiations with all involved parties.

Michael Hein, like most county government leaders, faces unique and difficult challenges. Revenue needed to meet the demands of a budget that serves the people is no easy task. However, this is a time for leadership and making the hard decisions necessary to run government in times of economic distress. I urge our state, county, and local leaders to work together to find answers to these very difficult questions.

 John P. Kaiser
President, business manager
LU320 IBEW (Electrical Workers union Poughkeepsie


Media favors Hein

The tempest in the teapot raised over the dispute between County Executive Hein and Assemblyman Cahill is largely the result of the narrative created by the executive and supported in the press.

If one were to believe the account that has circulated, Mr. Cahill chose to deliberately harm Ulster County out of malice. What could his motivation have been? I have read columns and letters that say he is “out of touch” with the needs of Ulster County. Does anyone really believe that Kevin Cahill wants to harm Ulster County or is it more reasonable, more likely, given his history of service, that, at the request of our towns, he championed their relief from crushing safety net costs? Many towns have suffered as a result of the economic crisis, and the safety net costs that they are forced to finance as more and more residents lost their jobs and health benefits. The towns motivated Assemblyman Cahill to hold the County Legislature and the executive to their promise to codify county takeover of safety net costs. The Legislature has acted but the executive has not. The State Assembly session ended before the issue was resolved. Mysteriously, the media has joined ranks with Hein and painted his willingness to have the towns fend for themselves as justified by Cahill’s refusal to crush the neediest towns and the neediest within them. The meeting between Cahill and Hein will conclude this fabricated crisis. It is my belief that the executive will recognize the county’s duty to help the towns and Assemblyman Cahill will have succeeded despite the media’s willingness to defame his motives.

Joseph Huben


Cuomo’s manipulation of the voters

The Cuomo administration, in its all-out drive to build new casinos, keeps loading the dice in its favor.

Rather than a simple, factual description of the proposed amendment , the Nov. 5 referendum ballot will use rosy wording: “The proposed amendment to Section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?” The claimed benefits are controversial and not in the language of the amendment passed by the Legislature.

An early version stated simply: “The purpose of the proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the constitution is to allow the Legislature to authorize and regulate up to seven casinos. If approved, the amendment would permit commercial casino gambling in New York state.” None of the other four referenda items used loaded language.

Add it to the list of deceptions and evasions Cuomo uses in support of his goal.

– Saving second passage of the casino amendment and enabling legislation until the last day of the legislative session.

– Not holding public hearings.

– Saving substantive changes to the last minute so that they will be hidden not only from your fellow lawmakers and the public.

– Issuing a “message of necessity” which suspends the required three days of public review.

– Promising Indian casinos exclusive zones only if they refrain from fighting the amendment.

– Dropping a vital anti-corruption provision of the law –which prohibits campaign contributions from casino interests.

– Including a “poison pill” (Section 32a-3) which allows for a huge expansion of lottery VLT’s if the amendment loses. Then Cuomo wins whatever the voters say.

– Keeping potential locations open thereby paving the way for corruption in the process of selecting sites.

– Not guaranteeing local referendums on possible sites.

– Promising not to put casinos in NYC for 5 years to lull NYC voters

– Putting the amendment at the top of the ballot, not in the usual chronological order

Voters should reject the Cuomo casino steamroller; vote No on Nov. 5.

Arnie Lieber


Equality in the fields

The legislative session ended in Albany back on June 22 and once again our State Senate exercised its colonial-era mentality. By “colonial-era mentality” I mean imposing a business model that richly benefits those at the top while disregarding the lives of those who do the actual work. During colonial times, human workers were thought of as one dimensional “laborers” with millions bought and sold as property, in the same way a farmer today would buy or sell a tractor or a combine. For over 15 years the State Senate has blocked passage of a law that would grant labor rights to agricultural workers enjoyed by almost every other worker in New York. Most New Yorkers do not know that state law specifically names agricultural workers, denying them basic rights such as the right to bargain collectively, the right to overtime pay, and the right to a day off for every seven days of work, to name three of the eleven exclusions. Many benevolent farmers readily grant their workers time off to care for their children, and provide other assistance to their employees, but some don’t and without the legal backing, farm laborers are left to their boss’ whim.

These exclusions exist because most farm laborers are persons of color, many are foreigners who don’t vote, and probably none of them have the financial means to contribute to political campaigns or candidates. On the other hand, “corporate” agriculture is led by people who are mostly white, educated, and contribute heavily to candidates’ election campaigns.

At the heart of the resistance is our senator from District 46, Cecilia Tkaczyk, who not only promised to vote against removing the exclusions if the bill came to the floor, but actively worked to persuade other Senators to join her. Senator Tkaczyk is a dairy farmer herself and believes that if the exclusions are removed farmers would not be able to bear the additional expense and consequently go out of business. No one wants farms to go bankrupt, but why must the worker in the field bear the burden of a broken and unjust agricultural system? There is an opportunity here for Senator Tkaczyk to step up and demonstrate real leadership, weaving a path between farmers’ interests and greater equality in the fields.

Michael Phillips


Support when it’s needed most

What an amazing community we live in! It is a privilege to live in a small town where the outpouring of love and support from friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers can only be described as overwhelming. Heartfelt thanks to the volunteers, donors and dear friends, especially Tammy Havlin, for their remarkable support and hard work. The Love Conquers All for Emily Fundraiser on Sept. 8 was a truly amazing event for myself and my family, a day of healing and also provided much appreciated financial support.

Many thanks to everyone who attended the fundraiser, and all the merchants and practitioners for their generous raffle donations, Kara Suzanne and Bryan Pugh for providing extraordinary live music and sound for the afternoon, and the dream team of gifted healing art practitioners who volunteered over 100 services. I look forward to writing many thank you notes!

The outpouring of love and support generated from the fundraiser and this community continues to provide me with hope, optimism, gratitude and resiliency to face my medical challenges. Thank you!

Emily Bobson family

There is one comment

  1. Derek


    Your property rights remain intact. But don’t expect the water service to continue to be provided to you if you don’t want to use the equipment the water provider uses.

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