Organs are organic
Beauty’s not only skin-deep. Some people have gorgeous pancreases.
Cuomo’s very good at his job
The coverage, discussions, articles, information, and incredible concern about Covid 19 has been intense and often overwhelming. Governor Andrew Cuomo has become a significant and reassuring presence for many of us during this experience.
In addition to appreciating the substance of his daily updates and how he thoughtfully explains many aspects of the crisis we are all experiencing, I’m also finding solace hearing the governor talk about having “meatball” dinners with his family, as he encourages us all to stay strong and united throughout this global crisis.
These are unbelievably stressful and upsetting times, and the public at large is seeking guidance and leadership. Many have looked to governor Cuomo to help them make sense of all this information and feel any sense of reassurance.
I am supportive of many initiatives the governor has pursued during his tenure. But we should not overlook concerns some have expressed about other decisions from his administration. Those undoubtedly remain important, and I trust the governor would agree that they are important conversations we should continue and try to resolve.
Right now, the governor and his team have been doing exemplary work managing the Covid 19 pandemic and keeping us informed. I have been to many events during the last five years where he has presented. He is exceptional at engaging audiences and explaining complicated challenges. It is no surprise to me that many people are grateful for his guidance and his unique and personable approach during this crisis.
Leadership is necessary and welcome in this experience. Much praise for governor Cuomo and his team in the midst of the Covid 19 crisis.
Mayor, Village of New Paltz
Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness in writing me, Lynn [Woods]. I thought your article would knock some sense into [Kingston] city management. I am in seclusion in Boston and will have my eyes aggrieved upon return. The tree commission must feel terrible and impotent as so many of us are.
Keep the faith the tree situation in Kingston can be turned around, please!
Gratitude and prayers
As the virus continues its march through our United States, and its devastation to lives, families and our national economy, more and more people are becoming aware of somebody who has died, somebody who has tested positive, or somebody who is self-quarantined. The virus has proven to be deadly, but in more than one way. More than three million people just signed up for unemployment with millions more soon to be out of work as well. And the psychological toll is deep and getting deeper as more and more people are terrified, very depressed and overwhelmed with worrying about the unknown and scary future.
It’s a very tough time for America. In fact, most of the whole world is going through similar panic and confusion, but I’ll just focus on our country today.
If we are part of the solution, we will honor what the leaders in the medicine world are encouraging. They want us to stay at home, wash our hands often, and practice social distancing if you must go out. We must get serious with honoring their requests. In China the government forced the people to comply with these directives, and now China is almost out of the terror from the virus.
We have the ability to come through, without being forced. But this only will happen when we all remember that our lives are really at stake.
It’s time to feel deep gratitude about how special it is to be alive. And it’s time to deeply appreciate our amazing bodies that keep on doing their best, year after year, in spite of our transgressions.
Please take a few slow, deep breaths to appreciate your lungs, and join us in prayer for all those with the coronavirus who are having such difficulty breathing.
I could count on you
I read with sadness that you will be suspending your paper. I understand the economic realities, but will deeply miss your format, your writing and news reporting. Your paper was always informed, accurate and with reporting on a level not to be compared. I could always count on you for the truth.
It is hard to believe I have been reading your paper for over 40 years, first as Woodstock Times and then as Kingston Times. I’ve counted on you to keep me up to speed on everything. I remember and was educated by articles by Andrea Barbour, Brian Hollander and Bob Berman. These folks planted seeds in me to start a lifelong interest in the natural world and politics. The Almanac section always let me know what shows were on: galleries, music, festivals and more. Your classifieds brought me to my house! You are in a sense part of the family.
In these difficult times I understand, but will miss you. I am appreciative of your years and years of efforts. I have grown up with you and have understood the world better because of you. You have held a very important place in my evolution as a human being.
We’ll be back, Jeremy
I heard Saugerties Times is closing, and possibly permanently. Is it just Saugerties, or all of Ulster Publishing? I know I’m the last guy you want to talk to now, but I have about $50 I can send, if it helps.
Arthur Sulzberger and Jim Ottaway were singing your praises at The New York Times call-to-arms/paid advertisement. I believe or imagine you would never ask, but as wealthy former journalists, I have to imagine they would help out. Peter Buffett, also. You know the list goes on and on.
I will do the asking if you don’t, because I’m not watching this disappear. Would you tell me what’s going on? I only want to help.
We are fortunate
There is no doubt that there is a lot of stress in the unknown. We always see cataclysmic events reported such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes etc. that kill large numbers of people and in many cases leave the survivors with a major task to try to recover their homes and neighborhoods. In 1952, a fog that lingered over London killed about 12,000 people and the dying was stopped when the fog moved, and the sunshine returned.
In Woodstock, our sunshine will return soon. In the meantime, families and neighbors working together will make the difference. There are so many alternatives that we can choose to do that will help us occupy our time and that will make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.
If you know a neighbor who lives alone, call then and let them know you are there to help them if they need anything. If you make the connection, it maybe great if you can follow up with additional calls and perhaps recommend to other neighbors to make a call as well.
Jerry Reed said, “Times like this, even though tragic and devastating, bond us together as neighbors.”
Support our local businesses by utilizing their take-out services. Consider buying a gift card from local restaurants and shops to help them with needed income to survive this economic crisis. I miss the print edition of Woodstock Times. However, their on-line addition is available (https://hudsonvalleyone.com) and doesn’t cost much for an annual subscription. Woodstock Times provides so much information weekly to help us navigate in these rough waters.
Donate to our local providers of food who take care of our needy neighbors. Most of them have on-line websites that you can obtain information about them and how you can donate. There are four that I can recommend, they are The Table at Woodstock, The Good Neighbor Food Pantry, The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and The Family of Woodstock.
Finally, there are on-line tools like Skype (www.Skype.com) and Zoom (www.Zoom.us ) where you can establish an account for free and contact family or friends and have a face-to-face conversation. I think Skype allows one-to-one video calls, and I know Zoom will allow as many as 40 people to join in a meeting and communicate face-to-face.
The Shady Methodist Church is holding services on Zoom with people joining in and sharing a special time together. Our next on-line service is 10 a.m. this Sunday, and you’re welcome to join in and see how it works. For information, e-mail email@example.com.
“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to preserve in the road to a happier life.” – Pythagoras
Stay safe, join together, and know that this to will pass.
Answering the call
In Albany, a State Senate bill is in the works that will support the personnel who are the unpaid backbone of many of our communities, our volunteer firefighters and EMS workers. Co-sponsored by New York senator Jen Metzger (SD 42), the bill helps to protect the health and well-being of these essential emergency responders during this Covid 19 pandemic.
The bill would allow a fire or EMS department’s chief to authorize immediate testing and treatment for the disease and would allow any condition, treatment or impairment resulting from contracting the disease to be covered by the state volunteer firefighters law. This means that a volunteer would not need to pay for any expenses related to Covid 19 exposure and infection.
Currently, in communities with paid fire and EMS services, coverage is in place to protect their workers. Without debate, our volunteer emergency workers deserve the same coverage and protections.
Time is of the essence. I urge you to contact your legislators to act quickly and vote on this measure. I also ask that you thank the many volunteer men and women who are bravely continuing to answer the call to aid those in need, 24/7, at great risk to themselves and their families.
Trustee, Village of New Paltz
We keep doing our work
This message is for Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick and other Trump cheerleaders who have called on those over 70 to be willing “to take a chance on your survival” to enable the country “to get back to work.” At 68, I’ve spent most of my retirement years committed to challenging the policy decisions of Trump and his GOP followers and to elect state and local leaders who promise to take our country in a far different direction. I’ve joined and organized activist groups — largely made up of seniors in the Covid19 high-risk categories — to knock on doors, text, call, demonstrate, write, drive, sing and gather in community, all with the purpose of defeating radical right-wing Republicans like Patrick and our twittering, slashing, corrupt and profoundly ignorant head of state.
I have — we have — been busy. Now we’re learning the technologies — powerful, but frustrating as they lack actual human contact — that allow us to carry on our campaigns as November looms.
We have committed ourselves gladly, knowing that our political and ideological kin who are younger can’t do this work with the same intensity. They have jobs, families and little time for much else. We are able to fill in to do this work that, I believe, is as important as any being done.
Patrick would no doubt rather have us contributing in ways that directly improve the GDP and stock market and would likely especially welcome our demise as the survival of the fittest grinds to its final outcomes. No, thanks, guv. We’re going to keep doing our work, with the long view in mind. And we’ll do it as we honor the health and lives of others, young and old, by respecting guidelines for social isolation in this global crisis.
Time to ponder
A popular biblical wedding quote from Ecclesiastes: “to everything there is a season…” includes “a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” This clearly is a time to refrain from embracing.
We believe that this is also a time to consider carefully, and maybe set the scene by shutting down our screens and finding a peaceful place in nature.
Some of the things we might want to ponder include:
• things we are thankful for, like family and friends;
• things we consider ourselves lucky about, such as abundant food, water and the fact that no one is shooting at us;
• all the marginalized people who have been highlighted during this pandemic;
• how spending time in nature helps us find peace;
• things that we would prefer not to return to when this is over, such as economic pressures on our lives;
• how our government can better serve us in the future with things like universal health care and more inclusive safety nets;
• time to begin advanced preparation for global climate change; and
• provide more time in our lives — to ponder.
Dan and Ann Guenther
Stop the Danskammer project
In this time of reevaluation of how we live, work, learn, play and interact, it seems strange to be talking about a local environmental issue. But maybe it’s exactly the right time. Many people believe that the ongoing damage we’ve done to our earth created the petri dish for this pandemic. And we’ve seen the quick healing the earth has done in many places in the relatively short time that the impact on our planet has decreased.
So, in the midst of the surreal nature of our lives right now, I’d like to talk to you about something we can do to help ease the stress on our environment.
There is a multi-million-dollar Wall Street corporation ( Danskammer) that wants to build a $400-plus-million facility that will use fracked gas to make electricity. This proposed plant would be located on the Hudson River, in or very near a flood plain, just north of the City of Newburgh.
This facility has been deemed unnecessary for our electrical needs (NYSO), so to build such a facility at a time when we can see the results of reducing pollution in real time is something we need to stop now. (For more information on the project, visit Scenic Hudson-Facebook or website.)
So I urge you to call governor [Andrew] Cuomo, state senator [James] Skoufis, congressmen [Antonio] Delgado and [Sean Patrick] Maloney to let them know we need to stop this project now. We need to focus our money and expertise to expand sustainable ways to produce energy which will create new jobs as well as easing the burden on the planet.
Our lives depend on it.
Keeping us afloat
It’s about time to recognize and praise the people in New Paltz who work for the common good.
• The police, fire department, rescue squad — all the time, any time.
• The postal workers, particularly the crew who delivers our mail, no matter what the weather!
• Teachers from kindergarten all the way up
• Staff in supermarkets, drugstores and other stores who receive provisions, stack the shelves, stand behind the register, give us a smile, answer our questions, get yelled at (never more, please!!!).
It probably isn’t much what they earn, but they deserve every penny, and much much more! |Especially during this national health crisis, we ought to be thankful, and express our admiration for them and appreciation of their continued performance under very trying conditions.
New Paltz strong
After Superstorm Sandy down here in southern New Jersey, the community rose up as one and started to rebuild. Yep, a different type of superstorm has hit New Paltz and it’s time for all of us who love this little town to do whatever it is we can do to rebuild and make it even better.
One idea is to get gift certificates from Garvan and Brian [“BK”] and Doug and Mike and Erik/Alex and the rest of your favorite restaurants in this town, to give them some much-needed cash and hope and support. Marianne and I are looking forward to traveling up to New Paltz this summer to do some biking and hiking and then having dinners at Garvan’s, McGillicuddy’s, P&G’s, those blueberry/walnut pancakes at Main Street Bistro and those yummy waffles at Mohonk Mountain House Sunday brunch.
These most certainly are tough, challenging, worrisome and heart-breaking times, but we will get through this and with lots of diligent work, we will come out even stronger.
Even I didn’t suspect Trumpf would prove to be as huge a disaster as he is proving to be! As time progressed, I came to the conclusion that only those in NY/NJ were aware of what an unmitigated threat he would be to our nation nor how gullible so many people in the rest of our country would be, most especially those who were of the outdated mindset that only a man should be elected.
As his ineptitudes piled higher and higher, even I didn’t realize that he would continue to close the door on all the medical experts and persist in his ludicrous path of downplaying the enormous threat Covid 19 holds for each and every one of us. He will never admit that potentially hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths lie on his shoulders.
One has to have a conscience to feel guilt, and Trumpf is devoid of even a hint of any conscience. He has no heart, no humility, no known ability to recognize the value of every human life. He is a totally hollow person, posing as a human being.
I was born and raised in Ohio, one of the states that suffered from polio endemics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I had four siblings who contracted it, one of whom died in 24 hours. Never did I suspect I’d ever have to relive such an extended period of fear, loss, upheaval and anxiety.
Consider these facts: Polio ebbed and flowed in our country from 1900 until the Salk vaccine was introduced in 1953. Polio was not considered totally conquered in the USA until 1994. That is almost half a century! That proves that it could take decades to conquer Covid 19 even after a vaccine has been proven and the populace immunized. Furthermore, statistically speaking, far, far fewer polio victims died.
That is not the case with Covid 19. Downplaying the potential danger of this virus, as Trumpf is still doing, is absolutely, grossly wrong! Quite frankly, I don’t give a hoot in hell when he will be able to reopen Mar-A-Lago! What I want to see is every possible step be taken to protect my family members and your family members and every citizen in this country, and that is going to require that each and every one of us follow all the steps being advised by the CDC, by Dr. Fauci, by the epidemiologists, biologists, scientists and physicians who know what they are talking about.
Trumpf hasn’t a clue what he is talking about. He is a threat to every single soul on this planet! If he had paid as much attention to this virus as he has to his stupid “beautiful wall,” if he cared one iota, he wouldn’t have pulled the USA out of the global pandemic program. If he used those withdrawn funds for his damned wall, he should be removed from office immediately! One must ask if his wall is protecting us in any meaningful way from this very real threat to every single soul in this country?!
And now, when he is finally responding to the pressures Congress is forcing him to address, what does he do but demand “appreciation!” His narcissistic need to constantly be stroked is utterly beyond pathetic, more particularly because he is not a three-or-four-year-old, spoiled child! He is an obese, nearly 74-year-old, seriously warped man who is supposed to be being ‘presidential’ and a ‘leader’! He is neither.
Virus lives on pens, too
B.Y.O.P. Bring your own pen. The transfer station is not accepting corrugated cardboard at this time. The Covid 19 virus apparently lives on the cardboard for 24 hours. For the protection of transfer station employees, corrugated cardboard will be allowed after the threat of this current pandemic.
B.Y.O.P. Bring your own pen. One must not overlook the fact that several hundred residents touch and handle the same pen used to sign their credit-card authorization slips for their garbage bags, six dollars for a large bag of garbage and three dollars for a small.
Why does one protect transfer station employees from touching corrugated cardboard and overlook the direct transmission from a commonly shared pen? The transfer station attendant passes the pen to each resident, waiting on line to dump their garbage. In return, the resident signs the credit-card authorization and returns the pen to the attendant. This pen is not only shared between the two parties but with the few hundred residents who roll into the transfer station.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Protect the lives of the transfer station atttendants and of your neighbors. Request the transfer station to forego signing credit-card authorizations, as is done in grocery stores.
The life you save may be your own. Bring your own pen when requested to sign anything.
Town of Ulster
Fact versus opinion
Fact: Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, was elected in November of 2016. My first letter to the New Paltz Times in August of 2016, lamented the fact that of the 44 presidents who preceded him into this office, Donald Trump is the only one with no prior experience in either the judicial, legislative or executive branches of not only the federal government but also state government. My conclusion at that time is that he is woefully inadequate for this all important office.
Opinion: My opinion of him has not changed one whit since. I have been hammering at this fact for 55 previous letters to the New Paltz Times. His statement in his campaign for the presidency, of the ‘deconstruction of the administrative system’ sums up his modus operandi in just five words. And at the top of the list to be ‘deconstructed’ is the ‘benefit state’, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
I have trod over this ground numerous times, and today I will not harp again about it but divert your attention to a very pressing concern for the people of the United States. Notwithstanding the effect on other countries, this concern of mine centers on our country. And this concern is the new virus sweeping this country and the world: coronavirus. At present, there is no vaccine to halt the spread of this killer.
Our illustrious man in the White House comes out with all these glib, magic cures on the way, in spite of the fact that all scientists are saying that a vaccine is at least a year away, if not more than that. And one of his most recent infamous statements is that ‘the governors have to do more’ and that the federal government is not in the business of shipping supplies to their states. “Wow and Double Wow!” I wonder how this country would have fared with his ilk at the helm during the Great Depression when FDR moved with speed to get the country up and running with his New Deal (which by the way the Republicans hated then and hate now).
Or how would Donald have acted when Winston Churchill, prime minister of England, literally begged for assistance from this country preparatory to the war to forestall Hitler. I could see a statement issued, ‘we’re not in the business of shipping equipment and supplies to England’ (Lend Lease). FDR was an experienced politician on the state and national levels prior to assuming the office of the presidency. And that is the crux of the situation today. Trump is not an experienced politician. He is all bluster, flim-flam man, slip-and-slide man, tap-dancing man, etc.
And nowhere does this show up more dramatically and drastically than this virus sweeping our country and the world today. For instance, he has at his disposal four experienced ex-presidents that he could enlist with their vast knowledge of the workings of the government and put them to work, chairing committees, seeing supplies being developed and shipped, enlisting support from major corporations, but essentially utilizing their vast knowledge gained in a combined total of 28 years as presidents of the United States: Carter, four years in office; William Clinton, eight years; G.W. Bush, eight years; Barack Obama, eight years. But he does not use them. Why? He is an inexperienced man and it shows up quite succinctly. He is incompetent. Wake up, people.