Back in the 60’s, I had short hair, worked out and went to boot camp two summers during college. I also fell in love and we had our first son. Life changed a lot for me. My plans changed.
Odd then that a sign in one of our boot camp classrooms — that ran from wall to wall near the ceiling — is still a tenet of my core beliefs: Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.
My sixth-grade granddaughter is out of school today because something has run amuck with the village water. Preventive maintenance is the plan for fixing things so they don’t break.
Pretty, pretty New Paltz. Sadly, increasingly disfunctional. Pretty sad.
Saving Tillson Lake
Janet Kern’s “Point of View” article in the February 6 New Paltz Times should be called a campaign piece by one person determined to remove Tillson Lake. Save the Lake did not steal thunder from Save the Ridge. It is a title used by other organizations and is simply common usage. I was the source of the name in the first meeting of Save the Ridge and claim no ownership rights. There is no cabal of lakefront property owners protecting property values. The executive committee of Save Tillson Lake has but one couple with property close to the Lake. They and the others are environmentalists wanting to save a wonderful natural resource. Many of the houses near the Lake are from Sears and Roebuck, surely not McMansions. The owners participate in Save Tillson Lake to varying degrees. Many hundreds from far and wide have given time and money to save the Lake because they love it. Check out the website to see many statements of love.
The wild part of the Palmaghatt is far uphill and in little danger of being affected by anything done to the dam. There is no evidence that the dam has affected creatures or botanicals much above the lake. Lakes have a different ecology than streams, interesting in themselves. Riverkeeper was against all local dams but that was years ago and they are now completely silent on the Tillson Lake dam, essentially a neutral position. Save Tillson Lake worked hard raising money to employ some of the best scientific studies. PIPC was satisfied that the findings and vast popular support merited spending large amounts of money to obtain a better cost analysis and now they are proceeding to obtain a study of the actual work to be done on the dam. They want to be “shovel ready” when funds are appropriated. Every local elected official has provided active support for upgrading the dam. Their support is bipartisan.
Saving Tillson Lake is not a boondoggle to profit a small group. It is a well researched effort to save a valuable resource from destruction. Many of us have worked long and hard, and it looks like there is a good chance of success. Sometimes citizen efforts succeed, and we hope that ours will be one of them. I have failed to convince Janet that our intentions are good and the results will be worthwhile. I suggest she visit the grassy knoll on the lake shore one warm spring day, watch the insects, listen to the frogs and watch the clouds drift past. Perhaps a quiet time at the Lake will do more than my arguments.
Collectively-owned water system
The Town of New Paltz water meters were neglected for years. For example, their system had +60 year old meters from the 1950s. Many Town customers were merely being billed for minimum usage and not what they consumed.
Studies suggest that water meters should be replaced once they have been in service for 16 years. Accuracy encourages water conservation and fairness among municipal ratepayers.
New Town meters are nearly all installed. Final readings were done using the old meters. Old meters only under report. It is how meters are designed. Come to my office and I will show you the inside of an old meter that’s in my collection of old water relics.
Customers with high bills have every right to feel frustrated about the Town’s process where they received high final bills using the old meters not carefully explained before bills went out. The Town electeds and staff have apologized, taken responsibility and are very willing to discuss matters. Town electeds have offered interest-free payment plans that can be paid back over years.
Unfortunately, these Town properties clearly used the water and in many cases used even more than what they have been billed.
The Village of New Paltz water department has been run differently and does not have decades old meters that underreport. The NYC DEP paid for the Town’s new meters so now the water departments and users can monitor consumption.
If a Town customer thinks they’re getting “the shaft,” I will personally review their old or new bills AND show them how they can now see how many gallons they use. Town customers can now see what they use — even on an hourly basis. They can better manage their own consumption and not be surprised by high bills in the future.
New Paltz’s municipal water is a ratepayer-funded system. All revenue and expenses are siloed to pay for water and system repairs. When one customer is being underbilled, they are being subsidized by their neighbors. There are no profits paying for anything but the collectively-owned water system.
Village Mayor Tim Rogers
Thanks for helping
As of now, we’ve raised more than $105,000 for the tenth anniversary of Subzero Heroes and we’re not done yet! Donations are still coming in. All funds raised will help provide free care and support to families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
I’d like to thank everyone who made our tenth annual Subzero Heroes possible — all the Heroes who jumped and the Sidekicks who helped them, the staff and volunteers — including Culinary Institute of America professor Scott Swartz and his students, who served delicious hot food during the event — and the media who covered it live.
Special thanks to the Ulster County Dive Team for their assistance in the water and the Town of Lloyd Police.
Extra special thanks to our top three heroes — Jimmy Anzalone (Ulster County fireman), Bob Miller (Team Sal) and Meg and Brendan Boyce (Boyce Blazers) whose combined individual fundraising efforts totaled almost $50,000.
Many thanks also to our top sponsors: 92.9 WBPM; TEG Federal Credit Union; Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union; Sadies Place, LLC, Crystal Run Healthcare; Hudson Valley Marshmallow Company; Kranecleo Sports; Mobile Life Support Services, Inc.; Sadie’s Place, LLC; Mobile Mini Solutions; United Rentals, Texas Roadhouse and Harney & Sons Fine Tea.
Congratulations to everyone on a job very well done — and mark your calendars. Subzero Heroes returns on February 6, 2021!
Subzero Heroes Event Manager
Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter
Eat away at climate change
The food we eat accounts for approximately one-quarter of the carbon dioxide we emit — second only to the burning of fossil fuels! A recent book popular with climate activists, called Drawdown, states that cutting our emissions is not enough — and we must “drawdown” carbon already in the atmosphere. One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing that is to eat properly
If you’re not quite ready to cut out meat, then eat only grass-fed meat. Not only is this far healthier and more humane than feedlot meat, it’s a wonderful example of drawing down carbon. Cows eat carbon-rich grass (thanks to photosynthesis), and then excrete carbon-rich poop onto the ground. The long-term effect is to bring organic matter (carbon) down from the atmosphere.
Local, small-scale, diverse, organic vegetable farms use practices that achieve the same result. Some refer to it as “carbon farming.” The additional advantage of local is that little or no carbon is lost in transportation.
So as our local farming season is about to begin, we can have a significant effect by signing up for a CSA, eating only local vegetables and grass-fed meats and cooking meals “from scratch.” Let’s eat our way to a healthier planet.
Dan and Ann Guenther
Wallkill Valley Land Trust’s growing education and role
With the recent opening of the Millbrook Preserve and the River to Ridge Trail, there has never been a better time to enjoy the great outdoors here in New Paltz. And let’s not forget the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT), which operates the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and also helps many landowners with conservation easements that protect our view shed and vital habitats.
This year, WVLT is really ramping up environment education efforts through a growing roster of fun and family-friendly activities. For example, on March 7, you can attend a guided walk on the Millbrook Preserve that helps us understand the tell-tale signs of early spring: animal activity in our midst.
In early April, an environmental educator will lead a guided walk as we explore the amphibians in our area. The next month brings the annual turtle walk in Gardiner, and later that month, the WVLT will once again conduct a tour of historic homes in our region. (This year’s focus is on homes right here in New Paltz).
If you want to know more about these events, along with many other activities scheduled throughout the year ahead, please visit the events page of wallkillvalleylt.org.
David Sterman, Board Treasurer
Wallkill Valley Land Trust
Join a CSA
Most mammals carry some extra weight in the cold winter months and humans are no different, especially coming out of some overindulgent holidays. But spring is just around the corner and that means access to fresh locally grown produce, nutritious food that is key to good health. By joining a community supported agriculture program (CSA) you can access a weekly share of fresh healthy vegetables straight from the farm.
The Phillies Bridge farm project is the area’s oldest nonprofit CSA, now celebrating our 25th year. You can purchase shares now at philliesbridge.org and set yourself up for a spring health surge! Small shares (and they are not really small) are $475 and large shares, enough to feed a whole family, are $750. That gives you 24 weeks of freshly harvested, sustainably grown produce, plus access to the you-pick area that includes unlimited extras such as cherry tomatoes, a wide variety of peppers, herbs and flowers.
By joining Phillies Bridge or one of the other great CSAs in the area, you are not only supporting local sustainable agriculture, it is also a ticket to good health. See you at the farm!
Ariana Basco and Brian Obach
Phillies Bridge Farm Project
Declare a national climate emergency
U.S. Rep. Delgado may be coming to understand we are already in a global climate emergency. At a meeting on February 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 is (845) 443-2930.
New Wizards of Oz
Donald Trump was swept into the White House by the singular promise that he would bring coal, steel and manufacturing jobs back to working class America.
That was a shameless lie. Mr. Trump knows, as well as any billionaire does, that those jobs are never coming back. In fact, he knows that there will be even more jobs lost in the coming digital age.
The marriage between technology and capitalism over the past two decades has spawned massive digital offspring’s that already consume millions more jobs than those shipped overseas or those lost to inefficiency at home. Agriculture, food service, transportation, medical treatment has a growing dependence on technology, and there is no going back for any of them. The majority of jobs that are left are in the service industry, plumbers, electricians, bathroom cleaners, etc. And those jobs will soon be at risk as well.
Is this driven by politicians? No. Politicians are the valets and the gofers for the wealthy. Their responsibility is to keep the public’s eye on half-truth or no-truth rhetoric. The scripts the wealthy hand their politician puppets are filled with drama to distract the media. Add to that the cynically designed “fake news,” which has been effective at contaminating any media truth.
So many of us still believe that political change will eventually balance the boat. But capitalism has thrown all the life rafts out of the boat. Today, political parties are funded by the wealthy and any elected politicians who change polices that do not support the wealthy are not reelected. The real bottom line is that if you have no cash, you’re left to swim alone.
Then we have the highly educated liberal class that germinated during the Vietnam War era. They found moral high ground to stand on, waving their burning draft cards and diplomas that kept them out of the war. Where did they go after Vietnam? The many wars of the last 40 years have been sacrificing their children and grandchildren, yet I see them come back to the streets only when their 401Ks are rattled. Those same liberals, which I am one, have invested in corporate America as much as Republicans and conservatives.
Even our rhetorical raps about the environment, about the poor, about loss of jobs, may sound morally sound, but the larger truth is that liberals have tolerated a status-quo government. The moral wounds I suffered as a Marine in the unjust Vietnam War were not all that I came home with. My trust in a benevolent capitalism was wounded there as well. Still I invested in the capital market knowing Social Security was in jeopardy.
Now with Donald Trump leading the country, our social programs are about to lose their frail backbones. The digital curtain is lowering every day to hide the wealth from those who desperately need jobs. And the body politic, the ones who elected the current administration, is destined to be the most ignored in the new world order.
Today, the wealthy focus solely on emerging world markets, where technology is affordable. And they stand behind an iron digital curtain like the New Millenniums “The New Wizards of Oz.”
After his recent debate performance, Mike Bloomberg realized that, although his money could certainly gain him a place on the debate stage, it could not buy him the love of the other, hostile, Democratic candidates. Feeling a bit discouraged from the beating he suffered, Mr. Bloomberg met with his campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, to determine the direction his campaign should, now, take. Despite the fact that Bloomberg’s great wealth would enable them to continue in the race until the convention, Mr. Sheekey advised that it would be impossible for his boss to gain the nomination of a fragmented Democratic Party whose constituency was infatuated with the extreme positions of the Left. With this in view, after appraising all the Democratic candidates, they agreed that Bernie Sanders’ loyal base gave him the best chance to win the nomination. However, they concurred that Sanders’ declared socialism would prove too much of a liability to win the general election against the hated, but formidable, Donald Trump. Since the defeat of Trump was Bloomberg’s goal, the duo decided that if Bernie could be persuaded to modify his policy positions, they would supply him with the necessary funds to increase his chances to win in a general election. With this in view, knowing it would be difficult to convince Sanders to agree to their proposal, Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign manager arranged a meeting with Senator Sanders (and his campaign chairman) to present their plan. After a very long and tumultuous discussion, Sanders was persuaded to accept the practical wisdom of Bloomberg’s proposal and agreed to embrace more moderate policies in return for Bloomberg’s invaluable financial backing. The following is the song Senator Sanders wrote and sang to AOC and his campaign staff — under the approving gaze of his campaign chairman — in the hope of convincing them that they should support his new strategy. Bernie titled the song “I Could Really use Mike’s Dough.” And, after revealing its title and purpose, sang it to his alarmed and incredulous audience to the tune of “If I Only Had a Heart” from the Wizard of Oz.
When a candidate is wealthy
it’s never really healthy
you know I’ve told you so
Mike Bloomberg’s very wealthy
and though it is not healthy
I sure wish I…had Mike’s dough
I know that you’re all feeling
So-cial-ism is appealing
and helps our movement grow
but though it’s appealing
I really…have the feeling
I could surely use Mike’s dough
Would you offer…a rebuttal
if my pol-ic-ies…I scuttle
I’d really like to know
though you offer a rebuttal
my pol-ic-ies…I’ll scuttle
‘cos I really need Mike’s dough
If I registered emotion
I’d gain some more devotion
from people in the know
I would be much less grumpy
and I wouldn’t be so frumpy
If…I only had Mike’s dough
I’d be happy, I’d be funny
if I only had more money
t’would help my base to grow
the far left would ignore me
Independents would adore me
So I wanna take Mike’s dough
Well there really…is no hide’n
I’m ahead…of centrist Biden
the Party’s choice you know
But the Press now is tootin’
that Trump’s gettin’ help from Putin
so I’m gonna take Mike’s dough