Saugerties Times letters (4/27-5/3)

Faso, meet us face to face

Representative Faso must meet his constituents face to face in town halls. It is no substitute to have a television interview before a small audience or have a telephone town hall.
There have been too many abuses in these limited venues where politicians have screened questioners to eliminate uncomfortable questions, or have planted supporters with questions which they have rehearsed the answers.

Demetri Kolokotronis
Saugerties

 

Woman power needed

Our current president voiced his strong support for serial sex abuser Bill O’Reilly. Meanwhile, O’Reilly’s former boss, Roger Ailes also said he continued to support O’Reilly. Ailes has since been ousted amid his own sexual harassment claims. Meanwhile, O’Reilly tries to denigrate his numerous accusers claiming a witch hunt.

What’s interesting about this story is that it highlights what many white men among the powerful elite think about women. The disgusting conversation the president had as a candidate is unforgettable.

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Then we can look at the GOP who are trying their best to get women back into the bedroom and kitchen where they apparently believe we all belong.

Let us as women and the men who stand with us continue to show our muscles and power in fighting against this continuing assault as we wrest power from these old and boring white power elitists.

Please be sure your voice is heard by protesting, resisting and contacting your elected officials to voice strong displeasure.

Jo Galante Cicale
Saugerties

 

Gigantic swindle

As of April 23, we at home do not know what the next version of the GOP health care bill will look like, assuming one emerges this week for a vote. Congressman Faso probably does not know either. We don’t even know if the title of a revised bill will be the same. The GOP draft that surfaced in late March but never went to a vote was called the American Health Care Act. Dropping the adjective “affordable” that belongs to the still-in-force Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) says much about  the intentions of the Ryan-led bill-framers.
Whatever comes to the floor, the members of the Indivisible Saugerties Health Care Team have e-mailed to Rep. Faso to say that most of his constituents, regardless of party, want him to vote against any version of a health care act  that does not stipulate  affordable and comprehensive coverage for  pre-existing conditions in all fifty states and D.C.
If Congressman Faso votes for a bill that settles for less, like for a façade that spells out at the federal level coverage of pre-existing conditions yet allows individual states to waive it at their discretion, he is party to a gigantic swindle. The principal beneficiaries of it would be high-bracket taxpayers and some insurance companies.

Stephen Q. Shafer, MD MPH
Saugerties

 

Earth Day clean up

This past weekend lots of neighbors all over the town celebrated Earth Day by walking along their roads collecting trash and leaving it in marked bags to be picked up by the Highway Department under the direction of Doug Myer and delivered to The Transfer Station. A big shout out of appreciation to all those people as well as to the Town Clerk who helps coordinate the teams around town signing up for the project! In my neighborhood of High Woods, neighbor Joan Authenrieth has been sending out bright flyers with the Earth Day logo to her area residents for years. She directs groups to different routes, provides bags and within a couple of hours the roads are beautifully clean. If your streets are still covered with trash, consider organizing your neighbors next year for Earth Day. It’s always a satisfying, healthy activity and a chance to catch up with friends.

Harriet Tomasko
Saugerties

 

Spirit and intention of our laws matter

Last week our Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, indicated the United States would be reviewing the Iran Nuclear Deal, even though Iran is in full compliance, because the White House felt that, as a “state sponsor of terror,” Iran was not operating in “the spirit of the agreement.” It must be noted that the Iran nuclear deal is solely concerned with nuclear capability and has nothing to do with terrorism. If our government wants to negotiate with Iran regarding its terrorism policy and practices, a separate agreement must be negotiated. Otherwise, it will be the United States that is in violation of the Iran Nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPA.

There is no right minded person who thinks state sponsored terrorism, or indeed, any terrorism, should be given a pass. Iran’s continued sponsorship of terror is unconscionable; it must be condemned and thwarted at every opportunity.

However, for this White House to complain that another nation is not operating in the spirit of an agreement is a pretty rich irony. This President and his administration use every opportunity and every loophole to maximum advantage. Citing the letter of the law, this president has refused to release his tax returns, refused to fully and properly divest business interests, and stretched anti-nepotism laws to suit his whims.

This president and his administration have played the letter of the law game at every opportunity, while willfully and blatantly ignoring the spirit of the law, past practice, tradition and historic presidential norms. Our president brags that not paying a penny more in taxes than he is legally required makes him smart, yet he won’t reveal his tax returns, as every president since Richard Nixon has done, because, in his words, “the law doesn’t require it.”

Perhaps now in dealing with Iran, President Trump and his administration will realize that the intention and spirit of our laws and international agreements really do matter.

Deidre J. Byrne
Saugerties

 

Little League congratulations

Hats off and congratulations to the Saugerties Little League for the outstanding job they did, this past Saturday, for their annual Opening Day.

It was very apparent Little League President Chad McPeak, along with Ginger and Greg Vail and the rest of the Little League Board/Group put much thought and planning into the Opening Day festivities.

Photos of all players and teams, the parade led by our local American Legion Post 72 Color Guard, sponsor recognition and then all the games that followed throughout the course of the day.

The best of all, their special and thoughtful gesture naming Liam Maxwell as Grand Marshall, that courage little boy had the thrill of his life.

The Saturday, prior, the League held its annual cleanup day, all the volunteers did an awesome job and the grounds looked immaculate.

It is great to see Little League baseball in our community is thriving and it is equally great to see the level of volunteerism, along with many new volunteers that have come onboard.

Again, congratulations on a job exceptionally well done…Thank You!!

Greg Chorvas, Superintendent
Cantine Veterans Sports Complex
Department of Parks & Buildings 

 

Banning memorializing resolutions, a bad idea

On April 18 the Ulster County Legislature voted to ban memorializing resolutions. In lockstep, all Republicans voted “yes.” All Democrats, except for John Parete, voted “no.”

A memorializing resolution by the Legislature expresses that body’s point-of-view on an issue over which the Legislature has no actual control, but which matters a great deal to many Ulster Co. residents.

Through the years the Legislature has passed numerous memorializing resolutions. For example, in October 2016 on resolution 455 they voted in favor of urging the Governor, Senate and Assembly to promote health and safety standards in sober homes and addiction recovery residences; in June 2016 the legislature voted unanimously on Resolution 321 to urge school districts to test their water supplies for lead poisoning; in February 2015 the legislature voted on Resolution 38 to oppose the Pilgrim Pipeline with only one Legislator, Richard Gerentine, voting “no”; in 2014 the legislature opposed the Safe Act in a memorializing Resolution # 52, and even 10 years ago the Legislature voted 31-0 in 2007 Resolution 197 to urge the hospitals to include the community in deliberations about the hospital realignment. Memorializing resolutions give our Legislature a voice to advocate for Ulster County residents on many issues, and it has used that voice to  promote policies the Legislature wants others  to follow to best serve the interest of our residents.

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Saugerties Legislators Mary Wawro (District 1) and Dean Fabiano (District 3) voted with the entire Republican caucus to ban henceforth all memorializing resolutions. Their votes abdicated the Legislature’s voice to advocate on behalf of county residents. Rather than being willing to stand-up for the many serious issues that confront our society, these two Legislators voted to silence the Legislature. When they run this year for election, their cowardice to keep alive the voice of the County Legislature on issues that matter to us all should not be forgotten.

Lanny Walter
Saugerties

 

Time for single payer, Mr. Faso 

The U.S. is the only wealthy industrialized country that does not have a universal health care system while costs are almost twice any other nation. Sadly our infant mortality and life expectancy rates are worse than most; millions of people die needlessly.
It’s time to look at a single payer health care system like Medicare. This program is a huge benefit to voters, statistically more so for those who voted Trump in the last election. How ironic that these New York voters are often the most hurt.
There are many fallacies surrounding single payer. One is that in Canada’s single payer system “you wait 6 month for a hip replacement.” In fact there is no delay for time-critical procedures. Canada has decided to allow some delay for elective procedures to reduce costs. We could do the same or increase costs to speed up the schedule. Another is that people “migrate to the US” for health care. Statically fewer than 1/2 of one percent of Canadians come to the US electively. Still, in 2016 Americans were 58% in favor of a single payer system.
Congressman Faso during a recent interview stated that it is “not on the table” when asked about single payer.  He then quoted one of the fallacies I mentioned above. With the failure of TrumpCare it is time to seize the moment. Mr. Faso claims to be a moderate so surely he could support legislation that has the support of 58% of Americans. We could do away with the debate about who to take health care from and what is an acceptable number of deaths.

Dave Minch
Saugerties