Rings run around
This is a reply to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan’s 1,000 jobs in a 1,000 days. My understanding is that Ulster County’s economic development people will be trying to match county openings with local job-seekers, much like an employment agency. This is good but the other area counties such as Orange and Dutchess are running rings around Ulster in attracting new high-paying companies with jobs. Recent developers representing companies with high paying jobs have encountered less than open arms from Ulster officials. This has to change. Let’s challenge our county, city and town officials with these facts when they talk about 1,000 jobs in 1,000 days.
Delgado needs to act on climate change
Rep. Delgado may be coming to understand we are already in a global climate emergency. At a meeting on Feb. 20, he promised a group of constituents to soon reveal his positions in three key facets of policy for changing our currently disastrous trajectory.
He was asked to support a bill declaring a national climate emergency. (H.Con. Res. 52). He was asked to support a national ban on fracking. (S3247). He was asked to support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, which would ban use of certain single use plastic, and update other aspects of plastic’s industry policy.
On the local level we asked him to publicly come out in support of shutting down the fracked gas Cricket Valley Energy plant in Dover and come out against the expansion of the fracked gas Danskammer power plant in Newburgh.
Congressman Delgado was polite and welcoming. He listened to us and even stayed late to complete our meeting. However, in response to these requests, he was evasive and said he would get back to us with a definitive stance in two weeks. All of these issues are about protecting our future.
Declaring a national climate emergency sets the stage for managing our situation. We know that plastic is everywhere; adult Americans consume a credit card size amount of plastic each week. Plastic also is a fossil fuel product, adding to our climate crisis. Fracking produces methane leaks, toxic waste, contaminated water, and is a greenhouse gas 86 times more destructive than carbon dioxide.
We know that our global temperature is rising, worldwide wildfires have been raging, floodwaters are rising, wildlife is disappearing. We have no time to lose. Our fossil fuel infrastructure must be switched to sustainable energy now. We hope that Rep. Delgado will see that we are all striving for the same thing, to have a sustainable future, and state clearly that he is for all of us and our children. Please call him and urge him to do so! His Kingston office — (845) 443-2930.
Janet Apuzzo, Wallkill
Michele Riddell, New Paltz
William Barr, Saugerties
Liz Elkin, New Paltz
Jill Obrig, Stone Ridge
Two bad actors are blocking the economic resurgence at TechCity. Alan Ginsberg is the malefactor that all of Ulster County loves to hate for botching the campus. Less obvious is the once-beloved IBM, which is still protecting the purity of its brand from the harmful industrial solvents it dumped, contaminating 66 acres of groundwater on the east campus. Both NYS DEC and Region 2 EPA label IBM’s chemicals as hazardous materials.
IBM and Ginsberg have compounded their ill effects by handcuffing the deed to legally-filed self-protecting restrictions. In 1996, one year after closing shop, IBM filed an attachment to their deed that obligates future owners and users of these 258 acres to seek certain permissions and abide by lists of restrictions.
After 65 years, IBM has been unwilling to complete the cleanup of its hidden mess. Their protective covenants will remain in place until 2025, after which they will be renewed automatically every 10 years. Like Dupont in West Virginia or GE in New York, IBM practices pollution with impunity. Legally, this goliath has us by the short hairs. Their sin of omission continues to wound this community and our efforts to develop the economic value of this property. Our competent Town and County officials have been coloring between the lines drawn by IBM itself to no avail. It is time to shame IBM’s legally despicable behavior and prevail upon them to clean up their mess completely and immediately, nullify their deed restrictions, and leave town.
Town of Ulster
Pass the police reforms
It is time to safeguard justice for all Kingston’s citizens. I call on the Common council to move meaningfully and without undue further hesitation toward passing Rise Up Kingston’s Police Accountability legislation. This proposed and robust legislation:
• Creates transparent appointment guidelines and procedures for members of the commission,
• Ensures appropriate training requirements and procedural guidelines for commissioners’ conduct of duties, and
• Revitalizes and revolutionizes the complaint process for citizens wishing to file complaints without undue hardship or fear of retribution.
As an elected councilman on New Paltz’s town board, I am charged with the additional responsibility as one of five members of New Paltz’s police commission. In this role, I feel the gravity of ensuring that our police are accountable to serving all of our citizens and visitors equally, with respect, fairness and justice under our laws. It is certainly one of the most difficult responsibilities I face.
I believe that real accountability to department policy and best practices supports police officer safety as well as public safety. And, most importantly, it promotes mutual trust between the police and the community they serve. I believe that this agency-community partnership ultimately leads to reaching the goals of community policing. Clear accountability and representative oversight and support makes the whole community safer, including our police officers.
Let’s pass Rise Up Kingston’s police accountability legislation, and take this courageous step toward more transparent practice and more representative community engagement in policing. It’s time!