Kingston Times letters (8/9-15)

VanBlarcum deserves your support

In response to Ms. Kathy Gordon’s letter in last week’s edition I submit a rebuttal. Law enforcement cooperation is at an all-time high. The evidence is so overwhelming apparent. Paul VanBlarcum has received the endorsements of The Ulster County Police Chiefs’ Association, The New York State Union of Police Associations and 90 percent of all the Ulster County PBAs. Their main reason for endorsing him recognizes him as to having all agencies working together as a team in the best interest of the residents and visitors to Ulster County.

Paul has taken the lead in the fight against the opioid problem. He has led efforts for Ulster County to be designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. This gets the federal government to supply training and funding for investigations. Paul formed URGENT to get all federal, state and local police agencies working as a task force and not individually. Paul started a Vivitrol program for the inmates in custody who have drug addictions. Paul mandated every deputy be trained in the application of the lifesaving medication Narcan. Paul is training civilians at no additional cost to the taxpayers. Paul has drop boxes in all of the sheriff’s office stations for people to dispose of unused medication before they end up being unsafely consumed, sold on the street or flushed into our water system and harming the environment.

A reference of previous lawsuits is made on hot-button topics. It is the nature of the business. I have seen Paul personally work to defend the frivolous lawsuits and examine each complaint on its factual merit. If policies needed to be changed, he did exactly that.  Don’t read the headlines, follow it through the court and see the end result. Political accusations do not keep communities safe, good police administration and working with all the citizens does.

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Paul is responsible to all the citizens. His opponent has not been involved in one law enforcement-bettering issue ever in Ulster County. Paul led the fight as a minority Democrat when the new jail was being considered. He was right in that fight. Paul’s foresight and predictions are ringing true today.

Paul’s budget management is not to be taken lightly. Paul is responsible for approximately 10 percent of the entire county budget. Paul has consistently come in under budget every year, managing his budget. Paul is able to do this because of his 42 years of in-house experience.

In closing, the sheriff doesn’t make his own laws. The sheriff enforces laws made by all lawmakers and upholds the Constitution. I encourage all citizens to vote for proven good management and support Paul at the primary and general elections.

Frank P. Faluotico Jr.
Ulster County undersheriff (retired)

For the children

None of us exit childhood without scars, but with work, love and luck many of us someday enter into healing processes that allow us to lead relatively healthy, helpful and happy lives and to do no harm, or as little as possible, to our equally scarred companions on Earth.

The separation of a child from her parent, however, leaves scars that may never heal, and so we worry about immigrant children, and about how their forcible, sudden, and prolonged isolation from their parents will mold them into the adults they become, and how these traumatized adults will in turn treat the partners, offspring, friends, acquaintances and societies with whom they engage.

A second group of children deserve our worry as well: the children of Trump believers, and in particular those devout enough to drag their kids to his revivals.

YouTube offers a far less vulnerable viewing spot than these parents afford their children, yet even at my safe distance the images shake me; and I shudder at the denunciations and threats fired off by the Divider and echoed by his devotees — if not nearly as deafeningly, or persuasively, in my ears as in the ears of the children, who, just like their immigrant counterparts, cling to and rely on, listen to and learn from their parents.

The child at the rally is luckier than the child at the border: He has a parent’s hand to cling to. But he feels that hand gnarling into a fist, and imprints the itch to swing that fist and his dad’s expectation that when the time comes he, the dutiful son, will swing a fist, too, against the same enemies, and probably against a few other enemies of the day as well.

Then, of course, there’s a third group of children to worry about — our own.

Those who put the world and its children in harm’s way for this president are guilty of sins of commission. Maybe these people had it harder than most, and their scars never healed, or haven’t yet, and we should forgive them. And maybe not. 

But one thing seems clear: If any of the rest of us fail to vote this year — with the House within reach and hope hurtling beyond reach; with every child facing a dire future rapidly spinning into a dystopian present — it will be hard not to see that failure as an unforgivable act of omission.

Tom Cherwin
Saugerties

The waves of wrath

Saving Private Francis. He is not a head of state. This is not the pope. He is not king of any land. And although I do, of course, abhor many of the behaviors Eric is accused of I am even more appalled at what has been smeared about him across the pages of the newspaper. This man has already been duly and severely punished by losing his jobs with the esteemed Chronogram magazine and his gig on the radio and several other positions. The editor of Chronogram explained the situation about Eric in concise and appropriate terms. He had the good sense to omit the sleazy descriptions of what went on behind Eric’s closed doors and in his private emails. I consider it criminal to publish in gory detail every one of those women’s accusations, some of which reek of mere disgruntlement.

I cringe at the woman who consented to Eric’s request of masturbating in front of her because she felt afraid to say No. There was no reason given why she should be scared other than Eric just sitting there and asking. Why not simply grab her purse and walk out?! And for good measure whack Eric across the head with said purse on her way out the door. If the woman does not possess the guts or wherewithal for this kind of resolute decision then why would she even agree to come to this man’s home, a virtual stranger, and knowing she’ll be alone with him? That goes beyond all common sense.

Why does the paper deem it okay to smear across its pages the sexual fantasies going on in Eric’s head? Because you know who else harbors fantasies like that, even verbalizes them or even acts them out? To watch a couple make love, to watch a woman masturbate … these are the sexual fantasies of just about every man and half the women across the universe! Yes, numerous of Eric’s behaviors are predatory and appalling if proven to be the truth. But every sin is forgivable; and certainly not every sin of an imperfect man needs to be printed in detail in a public newspaper!

Policies to deal with sexual harassment have become a requirement in the corporate and educational world only in the last five or 10 years. Before that it was the way of the land all over the world that women are fair game for being groped, whistled at, or otherwise harassed. It was always degrading and inexcusable behavior, but thank goddess it has finally become a punishable offense. However, it is still not right to publicly accuse a man who once groped a woman’s rear end 20 years ago while she posed for a photo with him. Or who had the gall to sniff her hair. Here – I admit it out loud and in public: I am a woman, a mother, a registered nurse, and I have, more than once in my past life, squeezed a good-looking man’s butt without his prior approval. And oh, the sexual fantasies I harbor in my head or even discuss sometimes within solid walls with my friends … Those of you who are without such thoughts, be my guest to cast the first stone.

One last time — Eric’s predatory behaviors and acts of sexual harassment, if indeed true, are sleazy, perverse and punishable to a degree. And he has paid a high price already by having lost some prestigious jobs. And it is enough. He’s an imperfect man in an imperfect world and enough is enough. I often met this man when Eric was a frequent and much appreciated customer of mine back in the olden days of the Wildflower Café. He was courteous, generous, respectable and therefore most welcome every single time he visited the restaurant. I have not been in touch with him for 20 years except to read his horoscopes on very rare occasions. I do not even know why I feel compelled to speak up for him except for my understanding that I am myself a respectable yet imperfect woman in an imperfect universe. No sinner deserves to be smashed by boulders as has been done to Eric Francis of Planet Waves.

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Gabriela Mayr
New Paltz

Letter for Congressman Faso 

Congressman Faso, you are one slick operator!

If the November 6th ballot contained only Delgado and the Green Party candidate, you would not be calling for a debate but rather employing what you do best, “run for cover.”

But enter three “spoilers” (whom it wouldn’t surprise me to find out down the road, were actually “republican operatives”) and you, Mr. Faso see it as your chance to “divide the liberal vote and conquer.” 

Real slick especially since you still have oil on you from your rap music/he’s not one of us campaign against Delgado.  

It grieves me to have to say that you might have learned these tactics growing up in New York City … but for your information, we don’t act that way in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Susan Puretz
Saugerties

There is one comment

  1. Ronnie Marks

    To our beloved war veterans, with true and deepest respect, concerning the upcoming election.

    Please give honest thought in considering the choices you will make – at this crucial time we all need those who can place value in honor and integrity to make well-informed choices, not being swayed by those who have little or none of those qualities.

    We are now living in a country where people who disagree with those in power are denigrated and attacked, sometimes physically- sound familiar?

    Those other countries that we’ve always been able to hold ourselves above, that America was always so deeply opposed to, that my father’s generation sacrificed so much to defeat in World War II and my generation did again in Vietnam- we’re now like them, in this fundamental way: agree with the ‘leadership’ or be disrespected for believing differently.

    So, if that’s the way it’s going to be, then God help us, but it’s certainly not what the founders of our country had in mind, and in no way does our flag represent any of this.

    We have (long before 2016) a documented cheat and liar in office who, in a very real way, is stomping on our flag, and the most important and fundamental freedoms it has always stood for.

    This is not a ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ issue – and it is unprecedented in this country’s history. Presidents of every stripe (including those far more conservative than the current one pretends to be), never veered so far away from protecting those most basic freedoms that our system was designed to give us- freedom in our own beliefs.

    For the leader of a country to actually encourage the weakening of this freedom – verbally and in a vulgar manner- up till now that’s mostly been 20th century history, as in Germany, Russia, China, etc. And now we’re here.

    Whatever your politics may be, supporting any leader who lacks the inner humanity and courage to lead while demonstrating and inspiring respect for our core beliefs should be unthinkable.

    There are so many examples of truly courageous leaders in our history (both ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’), from Teddy Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan to John McCain, and if any of them were around today, they would tell you that you’re being conned (one of them did).

    So, I’m asking that all of us who’ve been led to associate those persons who are exploiting the image of our flag, while they are tearing down what the flag actually stands for, to take a good honest look at what it is these people are actually selling.

    There are many reasons for making this appeal, but for me there are two things that stand out, and compelled me to write.

    First, history shows us that when any one group has achieved the kind of unchecked power that this current group has, democracy and freedom have always suffered (or disappeared), and they will then do anything and everything they can get away with – starting with lying like hell – to hold on to that power.

    Second, and the reason I address to veterans, is the courting of your support by our current president, after the disgusting and cowardly remarks he made about John McCain’s heroism, clearly demonstrating the true nature of his character, as well as his real ambitions. America – especially our veterans – deserves so much better.

    So it’s my hope that when the choices are to be made, many of us can see our way clear to not supporting those candidates who are enabling these forces, or are doing little or nothing to stand up to their cowardly attacks on democracy; and if there is no other acceptable choice to be found among the candidates for a particular office, to simply refrain from making it.

    With Hope,

    R. Marks

    Balmville, NY

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