An unprecedented challenge
I’m so tired of the word “unprecedented” because it usually is code for unfortunate. The hardworking and committed members of the Saugerties Democratic Committee are facing an unprecedented challenge in the June 23 primary. How unfortunate! During a most critical election in our lifetime, an organized slate of opponents wants to undermine the terrific work that our committee representatives have done.
During the elections of 2018 and 2019, I participated in their canvassing and phoning for candidates. Initially being a novice to knocking on doors or placing a call for candidates, I was impressed how organized and welcoming they were. Their expertise helped me get the knack of political advocacy for Democrats. And having a campaign office in the village was brilliant, increasing visibility and enthusiasm among local voters.
If you are in an election district with a Saugerties Democratic Committee primary, please vote for the people with the track record of working for Democrats. The list of their candidates is on the Saugerties Democratic Committee Facebook page and its website (saugertiesdemocrats.org).
The cold facts
The best era for contemplation was the Ice Age.
I am a resident of Ulster County and a frequent visitor to the City of Kingston. It is the place I go when I want to see friends, eat out, and, in different times, to shop and experience the wonderful arts and culture the city has to offer.
However, with the restrictions required to protect the safety of my family, my community and myself in the times of a global pandemic, I have had to make many changes to the way I live my life. I cannot go to Kingston to have a coffee or get a haircut like I might have before. If I need to go out for groceries, I always wear a mask and keep at least six feet away from others as much as possible. I see the vast majority of my fellow citizens taking the same precautions each and every time I go out. This is not something any of us wants to do, but we know we must do it for the safety of our communities and ourselves.
As you could expect, many of us have been horrified and enraged to see that as we diligently follow the advice and safety directives from our government, members of the police force are not doing the same. These are paid city employees whose stated purpose is supposed to be to ‘protect and serve’, and yet they are callously disregarding guidance from public-health experts and even directives from the governor. This behavior would result in a fine for a member of the general public.
There have been several videos circulating on social media depicting Kingston police (KPD) officers disregarding the directive to wear face masks while being in close proximity to citizens. To add insult to injury, the local barber, who tested positive for Covid 19 and made national media for disregarding the shutdown order, has stated that many of his customers have been either police officers or first responders. In what possible way are these actions upholding the motto of KPD being ‘committed to excellence?’ To my knowledge, there have been no actions on behalf of the police administration or the city government to hold these officers accountable.
I have witnessed over the past several years that the process to address unlawful acts and/or abuses of power by police officers, the police commission, is woefully inadequate in holding individual officers or the police department accountable. This body, which includes the police chief, has shown it is either unable or unwilling to take the necessary steps. The process for citizens to file complaints is riddled with problems, the process for how the board operates and how members are appointed is not clear at all, and the recommendations from community members and groups have largely been ignored or lost in the legislative process.
For these reasons, we have no faith the KPD will address these violations and hold its officers accountable, and I call on our elected officials to take action to protect your citizens.
Beware the New York king
As we recently celebrated Memorial Day, we remembered the countless lives lost for those brave members of the armed forces who gave their lives so that our government was preserved. Their ultimate sacrifice allowed us to sustain the benefits detailed in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The benefits we received were the removal of the king’s authority over us and a government so well-structured with checks and balances to the executive, legislative and judicial powers.
Months ago, as constitutionally provided, our president took emergency action to protect us due to the onset of a pandemic virus. Shortly thereafter, as constitutionally provided, our president moved to transfer the powers to each governor to handle the crisis with the executive and legislative bodies changed to support the needs of the states. As the powers transferred to the states, each governor needed to address the specific and distinct challenges of their state in accordance with the unique and varied issues.
In New York State, we are over two months into this pandemic, and it appears as if our governor has been anointed a King. One man, our King, has issued a 51-page proclamation that we must follow. We are still dealing with a lot of unknown information about the Covid 19 virus. How can one man dictate to us and abrogate our civil rights? Why is the New York State Senate and the Assembly dormant and not considering and protecting our rights and our interests?
Pursuant to the New York State Constitution, no law may be enacted in New York State unless it has been adopted by the legislature in bill form. And to be adopted, it must first be introduced. With a single exception, bills can be introduced only by legislators or by standing committees of the Senate and Assembly. That exception is the eecutive budget, which is submitted directly by the hovernor.
As of May 24, we have 3146 deaths due to the Covid 19 virus in nursing homes in New York State, with most being caused by the governor’s decision to order nursing homes to accept Covid 19 virus-infected patients.
Our New York State economy needs immediate action, and there is no urgency evident in New York State.
In the absence of more kingly dictates, we need to allow common sense to take control. Rules like allowing liquor stores to be allowed to remain open while houses of worship must remain closed make no sense. In Westchester County, outdoor restaurants must remain closed, but two minutes away in Fairfield County, Connecticut, outdoor dining is permitted. Staten Island has cleared all the regulatory parameters to open and get back to business as usual, but since it is part of New York City, it must wait for the city to clear its parameters.
President Thomas Jefferson, in his first Inaugural address on March 3, 1801, said this: “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government …”
Jefferson captures it all. We should keep our guard up.
A good track record
I have been a member of the Saugerties Democratic Committee since 1990 and chair since December 2014.
The hardworking and committed members of the Saugerties Democratic Committee are facing a disruptive challenge in the June 23 primary. In the most critical election in our lifetime, an organized slate of 14 opponents may undermine the terrific work that our present committee representatives have done. Almost to a person, the opponents have never engaged in the kind of political campaign that the Saugerties Democratic Committee waged to elect Fred Costello, Leeanne Thornton and John Schoonmaker to the town board, congressman Delgado, sheriff Figueroa, district attorney Dave Clegg, and comptroller March Gallagher.
This year, when we have an opportunity to re-elect Antonio Delgado, and to elect Michelle Hinchey and Betsy Kraat to give us a Democratic representative in the State Senate and Assembly, why would we want to disrupt our tried and true (and blue) Democratic organization? It is our leadership and their inspiration that we need to help contribute to the end of the tyranny of Donald Trump.
During the elections of 2018 and 2019, we established a campaign office in the village on Main Street and then Partition Street plastered with signs, and open to all volunteers. Rarely, if ever, did any of our opponents show their faces while scores of other Saugerties residents helped us get out our message door-to-door with great enthusiasm.
If you are in an election district with a Saugerties Democratic Committee primary, please vote for the people with the track record of working mighty hard to elect candidates on the Democrat line. The list of the candidates for committee membership in Election Districts 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 16 is on the Saugerties Democratic Committee Facebook page and its website (saugertiesdemocrats.org).
Support the Saugerties Democratic Committee’s candidates
I write to support the Saugerties Democratic Committee’s candidates for committee membership in the June 23 primary election. As its newest associate member (also a candidate in Election District 7), I hope my experience will encourage others to support the committee and its work. Its complete candidate list is on its Facebook page and at http://ulstercountydemocrats.com/saugerties/.
I’d never done campaign work before mid-2018, when I was referred to the Saugerties committee by Antonio Delgado’s Kingston campaign office. I canvassed for all the Democratic candidates that year, went to a fundraiser and helped out where I could. I didn’t know anyone involved, but found everyone I worked with helpful, organized, flexible and welcoming.
Committee meetings are open, so I attended the one right after the midterm election. Again, the atmosphere was open and receptive.
As time went on, I recognized the committee’s deep involvement in issues of concern to everyone in the community — the Karolys dump, for example — as well as its work for candidates, policies and campaigns. I canvassed, attended several of their programs, helped staff the temporary 2019 campaign office and made phone calls encouraging people to vote. It all reinforced my sense that the committee is knowledgeable, capable, informative and effective, and that it welcomes and includes anyone who wants to work to support Democratic candidates and values.
Disinformation is growing
The Saugerties Democratic Committee invites the public to a disinformation primer: Differentiating Fact from Fiction, an online forum with Kim Snyder of Indivisible New Rochelle, on June 11 at 7 p.m. Registration information can be found on the SDC Facebook page or by emailing us at email@example.com.
This interactive workshop will help us become more mindful consumers on social media by identifying ways we can detect bots, spot false news, check reliability and accuracy and counter misinformation and lies. We learned in 2016 how Russia’s disinformation campaign successfully upended our elections. With COVID-19 and the 2020 election, disinformation is growing. Please join us to be better prepared in this post-truth world.
Support Stan O’Dell for the office of Saugerties Town Justice
I’m writing to ask you to join me in support of Stan O’Dell for the office of Saugerties Town Justice.
I received a call from Stan about four months ago asking me to meet over a cup coffee. He had come to me highly recommended by members of the Ulster County Democratic Party leadership and high level officials within Ulster County government.
During our conversation he told me that he had retired from the New York State police as a trooper and investigator and had spent the last years repairing his waterfront home that was damaged by the tropical storms that hit Saugerties. While “getting his house in order” he continued to serve the community as a fireman, head of the Waterfront Advisory Board, a supporter of the Shriners Children’s Hospitals, veteran’s organizations and other community groups.
Stan told me that he wanted to expand his efforts to serve Saugerties by using his extensive experience within the court system as our next town justice. He added that he has no experience within the political world. I replied, “Great, that is just what we need in a town justice.” Politicalizing of the courts had always been a burning issue for me.
I could sense Stan’s empathy, compassion and ethical compass when he shared with me his years of experience with the most horrific criminal cases. I felt confident that his broad range of experience would fairly serve all who entered the court, from frightened newcomers and youthful offenders, to those facing criminal arraignments.
Over the months, Stan and I have developed a true friendship based on trust and respect. I have total confidence that Stan will bring fairness and dignity to the court as our next town justice. I respectfully ask for your vote in support of Stan O’Dell in the upcoming Democratic Primary.
Protect our democracy
I’m surprised and disappointed that the New York Legislature isn’t in session and working in the middle of a global pandemic. We have less than a month left in the Legislative session and they haven’t passed any bills to protect democracy and public health during this crisis. I support passing S8015A (Biaggi) and S8130 (Myrie), which would ensure people can apply for an absentee ballot electronically and vote from the safety of their homes so as not to risk spreading or catching the coronavirus. Our elected officials need to tell us when they will get back to work by voting remotely.
November 3, 2020 is the biggest election of our lives, and our state legislators must be part of the solution of protecting democracy and public health. I encourage readers and neighbors to email them, saying to do the right thing and get back to working to protect our democracy.
Open Moriello Pool
I am writing about what I feel is a very important issue for our community this summer season, the opening of the Moriello Pool. As we are all more than well aware, camps are closing, recreation closed, baseball, other sports, all closing, which means that there is very very little in the form of recreation open to the young people of our community, which is never good.
I have been a member of the Moriello Pool for 50 years this year, so I have a good sense for what could work there. I honestly feel that many people will not be using the pool because they are not really venturing out to anything anywhere.
So the numbers would be down to begin with. I think what could be done is to limit the people coming in to the pool, only for this 2020 summer season, to New Paltz residents only, just for this year, with proof of New Paltz residency.
We are not a county pool. We are a village and town pool. Many people are single parents, working parents, and rely on the pool as a safe place to take their children. For many New Paltz people, it is affordable and serves as their summer vacation.
I know, because we were one of those families for years. The locals rely on this facility in more ways than one, as they use the park as well. The bathroom situation could be easily thought out, as could the concession stand (or don’t have one). They could shave the number of people admitted. It could all be strategized just as they have done in New Jersey with boardwalks, bathhouses and beaches. I follow governor Cuomo’s update every day. Haven’t missed one yet. The numbers are down to where we were when we first started, and there is next to no risk of infection from surfaces (New York Times, today).
All this said, the local politicians are working out ways to cut and paste and figure out how to safely use already existing resources like our pool. It just takes some thought and configuring and now that things are opening up, I feel that this is a real consideration.
The director of the pool, Bill Russell, is the very best and runs a very, very tight ship and will do exactly what is asked of him. Anyone not following guidelines can be asked to leave. I trust Bill implicitly to make this a safe summer experience as he has done every summer before this. Thank you.
Stan O’Dell is the right choice for Town Justice of Saugerties
I write this letter of endorsement for Stan O’Dell. I have known Stan for many years, having been introduced to him by then Ulster County Treasurer Lew Kirschner. Stan has always demonstrated his willingness to answer the call when asked. I know this because, as chief of staff, first for the Ulster County Executive and later as acting County Executive myself, when Stan was called to duty he answered without hesitation.
Professionally and personally Stan is loyal, honest and sincere. A person with great compassion, high intelligence and an unwavering dedication to justice. He is a man who willingly and selflessly helps others in their time of need. He is a man committed to fairness. A man who thinks deeply and acts wisely.
Stan will serve the community and the individual with equality and humanity. I ask that you take the time to get to know Stan. You will find that he is tireless, trustworthy, dedicated to public service, highly respected and quite simply outstanding. I am proud to recommend Stan O’Dell as the right choice for Town Justice of Saugerties.
Adele B. Reiter
Andreassen for justice
I am writing this letter in support of the re-election of the honorable Claudia Andreassen for Saugerties town justice. I’ve known Claudia for 20 years. She is experienced, compassionate, fair and ethical. She has served our town as justice for eight years and has been a registered, active Democrat for decades (unlike her challenger). Claudia is also an advanced degree scholar and continues to increase her knowledge from original sources — she is a voracious reader of books. Her background is in helping people re-enter society with a path forward. Her motivations are clear — to serve our town and its community fairly.
On an even more personal note, Claudia was the judge that married us at the Saugerties Lighthouse. She marched out in her waders at high tide to be there for us, and I’ll never forget it. She has my vote.
Jen Metzger, the person
I am writing to express my continuing support of Jen Metzger, who represents the 42nd district in our New York State Senate.
Jen is a champion of public education. She works to protect the environment and meet the needs of local agriculture, as well as uphold government that represents the people and not corporate donors. You could find out more about this at her website: jenmetzger.com. But I would like to talk more about Jen Metzger, the person.
When Jen started her campaign, I drove her around Middletown neighborhoods as she went door to door to connect with people. It was a blistering 90-plus-degree day in July. As she ran door to door, I was feeling exhausted watching the effort that went in to that.
That experience made me realize how hard it is to be a candidate and that Jen was clearly a person who was willing to put in the effort needed to represent the people in this area. She is well educated and highly capable of meeting the needs of the 42nd District, but she is also, like many of us, a devoted wife and mother to three sons who lives a modest life in Rosendale.
I support Jen because it is clear that she is a senator who works for the common good.
Vote for Stan O’Dell for Town Justice on June 23
Americans, New Yorkers and Saugertisians, these last few months have been a challenge to say the least. They have also served as a stark reminder of what we take for granted and what we need to prioritize. Hopefully, one of the lasting takeaways from this crisis is that even in 2020, in an increasingly distant world, community means more and matters more than ever.
As the court closest to the community, the Saugerties Town Court interacts with more of our friends and neighbors than any other legal entity in the State. As such, it should be helmed by an individual who understands the needs, concerns and priorities of our community. Stan O’Dell is such an individual. For 24 years, we watched and listened as our father, the late Daniel Lamb Jr., served with pride and distinction as Town Justice. He was dedicated, understanding, fair minded and firm. These are all qualities that we have seen Stan display over the years and traits we are sure he will bring with him to the bench. Stan’s record as a public servant, both during and after his retirement from the New York State Police, are exemplary and demonstrate his integrity and his commitment to this town and his fellow citizens. However, Stan’s resume while impressive, only scratches the surface of what makes him an ideal candidate for this position. Without compassion, good judgment, common sense and an open mind, a judge is nothing more than a book of laws in a black robe.
As a town and a community, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to elect an individual who possesses these important characteristics. This is why we urge all Saugerties Democrats to vote for Stan O’Dell for Town Justice on June 23.
Alex and Max Lamb
Should the threat of an Article 78 procedure (a lawsuit) against Woodstock be a sufficient reason for McKenna and his minions to make a determination that would set a precedent that could have a negative impact on Woodstock and its zoning law? It appears that the town board may decide to issue a Memorandum of Understanding allowing Selina (formally The Lodge) to rent rooms without first going through normally required protocols.
Memorial Day. I am working in the basement, carving. I am pounding away with my chisel and mallet, and through the open window I hear Taps playing. It must be a car or truck going up the street with its windows open playing Taps. I run up the stairs, out the back door, down the driveway — and it is gone. I think what a great way for someone during this pandemic to at least acknowledge our dead soldiers. There’s been no parade, no groups going to the graveyard to place flags on their tombstones.
On this day, every year, I ask myself how am I doing. My first reply is always, “I’m okay, alive, married, retired, I’m good.” Then sometime later history crawls out of me, when a sound, smell, certain words, trigger me to remember this is a day to remember the dead.
I am still alive for this Memorial Day, but I know others who never reached this point, whose souls rose from their bodies in Vietnam along with hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. Then there are those who came home and the war followed them so they decided to leave life on their own.
When society makes decisions about the lives of their young by deciding to send them to war like they are sending athletes to a sports game to win, they never fully consider that wars are never won by those who are sent. Politicians are the ones who decide who wins and it’s never their soldiers.
As the numbers of dead from Covid 19 reach beyond 100,000, it may be a chance to consider that millions of our soldier ancestors were told that their lives would be given to keep us civilians alive. When I drive our highways and see how few accidents occur, I realize that death has kept millions of cars in their lanes and stopping them at stop signs.
No one wants to die, no ideal fully allows one to offer their life. Soldiers are human beings who are loved and who love, not drones with switches that can be turned on and off. Wars are as much of a killer as global warming and pandemics. We have this moment now having been forced by death to reflect on the race to the end and to reconsider our love of life and for those who we love.
Thank you to the person who played Taps when passing my house.
Small business costs
A 355% federal state fee increase on Internet and telephone. How in this era of mandated social distancing is this increase helping small businesses? The tax, fee and surcharge portion of our monthly Spectrum Internet and telephone bill for regulatory cost recovery fee, state excise tax and federal universal service fund increased from $34.87 to $158.50 per month or $123.63 or 355% — that is $1,483.56 more per year. No complaints per county executive office, no response from Delgado, Cahill, Metzger, Schumer or Trump.
William F Berardi
Vote again for Edgar!
Dear New Paltz School District Voters,
I am Edgar Rodriguez, once again asking for your vote to be a trustee of the New Paltz Board of Education. I ask for your trust because of my knowledge, experience and perspective. Once again this can serve the district well in the board’s role as the primary fiduciary and policy-making body.
In 1973, I moved to New Paltz to teach at SUNY New Paltz and met and married Maggie Veve. Our three kids attended district schools. Born and raised in NYC, I have a BA from NYU, and an M.S. in Linguistics in Education and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from SUNY Albany. At 72, I am now retired after decades of administrative experience and teaching at the college level. No less important is my personal experience as a father, a school volunteer, family advocate, and a two-term School Board member (2007 to 2013). Consequently, I have broad knowledge of our district’s history and operations, gained from serving on multiple New Paltz School Board and district committees. Although one could say I am educationally progressive, I’m am also fiscally conservative, both complementary perspectives necessary in this unprecedented moment.
As a budget hawk and a hands-on educator, I support school budgets but only after careful scrutiny. On just one occasion, my leadership in the Facilities Committee saved the district about $550K, spending only about $250K on a simple repair instead of $800K “ripping out and replacing” a septic system at Duzine School. This experience sparked development of a preventive maintenance-oriented facilities plan that is still trimming waste. In 2010 as the sole dissenting board member, I led the district voters to turn down a $100 million projected cost for a “renovated” middle school. I successfully argued because it did not address the needs of all five buildings and most importantly because the Wall Street meltdown had predictable financial hardship for everyone. However because the time was appropriate and the project addressed all five buildings, I supported the subsequent renovation projects currently being completed.
On the board and as a community member, I am known for advocating progressive educational policy and important equity concerns. Historically, I have pushed to fight for school change that addresses the needs of all children. I’ve volunteered as a parent and educator in dozens of school groups, ranging from standard fundraisers, pushing transparent and shared-decision-making, opposing high stakes testing, working as a classroom parent volunteer and PTA’s. I am now an official school parent representative for many Spanish-speaking Salvadorian immigrant students. I pushed training for racial equity, long before it was politically in vogue. In 2018, I conceptualized, drafted and promoted the proposal for the district’s current Racial Equity Initiative Advisory Committee (REIAC), the first in any NY State district to address institutional racism. Through my leadership as a community member, our community coalition offered my proposal to the board, and together convinced them to create this committee. For almost two years, this thoughtful, intentional approach has worked to meet the needs of our diverse community, exactly the proactive approach needed in today’s polarized racial climate. One can already see the benefits of REIAC with the recent hiring of people of color including top district administrator positions and other staff members with a new Superintendent of Schools.
With 47 years of training and experiences, I can continue to help create a safe and appropriate school experience for our children and staff. During this uncertain COVID-19 period that will continue to require policy makers and educators to re-think schooling. Distance-learning is not new to education. However, the magnitude of our immediate crisis will require a level of re-tooling and re-framing education for the foreseeable future. When the children and teachers return to the school buildings, there will be a need to re-consider our educational model to meet these challenges.
There’s no scheduled end to this adaptation and there’s looming uncertainty for future funding. It is evident that we must re-imagine and transform public school funding. I will work with our community, board and the Legislative Action Committee to eliminate school property tax as it exists. We can model the funding system of other states like California, Florida, etc. We can pursue policies to assure fair-share taxing of state’s super-rich and question why we keep corporate tax rates at the lowest level since 1968?! We can explore the 14 existing proposals to make billionaires pay a fair share of taxes (i.e. a penny tax on every stock transaction in NY State to fund public education).
We face one of the greatest educational and funding crises in our history. With your vote, we can do this together with transparency and collaboration. To that end, I welcome any communication with me directly at my home number (845) 255-9652 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calming your kids
Parenting always has its challenges. This is even more true in a time of high anxiety.
Children may miss predictable routines, seeing friends and grandparents and other aspects of life before the current pandemic. They may worry about people they love getting sick. Their anxiety may show in unexpected ways. For example, they may cling to you, have nightmares, throw tantrums, or wet the bed. If you’re unsure how best to help your child, you are not alone.
Here are some possibilities. All are available without you or your child leaving the safety of your home.
1) Reach out to someone you know and trust. This could be a religious leader, a pediatrician, a teacher or a psychotherapist. You may be surprised by their willingness to listen and by how much they can offer remotely, either online or by phone.
2) Buy How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, a trusted guide to parenting for many years. How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk is newer. Both books are by Adele Faber/Elaine Mazlish (www.fabermazlish.com). Libraries may be closed, but booksellers are open.
3) Contact Astor Services for Children and Families (www.astorservices.org). Astor works with children ages 2–21 years old and the children’s families. If you leave a message on their 24-hour hotline (866-278-6701), expect a call back within one business day. Once the pandemic began, Astor quickly switched from using their eight clinics to telehealth services.
4) Call the Mental Health Association of Ulster County (339-9090) and ask for a wellness resource coordinator. Expect a call back within three business days. The wellness resource coordinator will listen to your concerns and, if needed, connect you with other services.
5) Call or text 679-2485 to reach Family of Woodstock’s 24-hour crisis hotline. If you call, a well-trained non-professional will answer the phone. If you text, you’ll get a text back. I was told that the hotline deals with “every problem under the sun.”
I hope that the foregoing information enables you to help your child during this difficult time. If you know someone else looking for answers, please pass this information on.
As of today, the Plaza Diner in the movie plaza in New Paltz is open! Life is creeping back to normal. Hurrah!
Who is protecting whom?
In early 2018 James Cohen and I contacted Woodstock’s building department about The Lodge project and were ignored. Following up with a second contact to the supervisor, [we were] again ignored, forced to retain an attorney just to get a response. Finally a stop-work order was issued in summer 2018.
In March 2019, Selina purchased the site, and the town issued building permits under the guise Selina would fulfill the planning-board process before the project was complete. We knew site-plan approval was required prior to issuance of permits and filed for an interpretation by the ZBA in June 2019, they rescinded the permits and construction ceased. With over one year to fulfill proper site-plan approval, Selina has not.
The town-board meeting of May 19, 2020 brought extensive discussion of health-related guidelines to be included in a memorandum of understanding [MOU] for Selina to reopen part of the site. When did the town board become qualified for such action? If someone becomes ill with Covid 19 or other illness, will the town be liable? Aren’t health guidelines handed down by Ulster County Health Department and New York State?
The supervisor stated Selina could reopen several buildings without asking permission. My opinion is two of four buildings they’re “asking” to reopen can’t have building permits issued to complete construction until after site-plan approval. Therefore a certificate of occupancy [CO] can’t be issued.
Why is a high-caliber NYC attorney asking small-town officials for permission they don’t need? Why is the town board conversing with rather than directing Selina to fulfill site-plan approval? Are we expected illegal permits or C.O.s will be issued? Have I again eliminated plausible deniability in this regard?
I’ve FOILed for the MOU, and was told no formal MOU exists. The town board should explain to taxpayers the complete details of the MOU prior to adopting it. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s a devil in the details, and something stinks.
Opening up our pools
We are the Hawks Swimming Association, a not-for-profit competitive swim team, with approximately 80 swimmers, ages six to 18, based in New Paltz. We train indoors at the SUNY New Paltz pool during the school year and outdoors at the Ulster County pool, a beautiful, 50-meter pool set among the farmlands by the Wallkill River. Many of us are also members and swim at the Moriello Pool in New Paltz. We are asking that you open these pools for the summer.
Swimming is the only life-saving sport. We understand that there is a serious public health threat due to Covid 19 which is why we adhered to all of the state and CDC guidelines. But there are other health threats that are just as real. Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children from two to 18. It is the number-one cause of accidental death in children five and younger. Ten children die of drowning each day. Rates of drowning increase by five times for children of color.
Opening up our pools is critical for physical and mental health. The CDC published its recommendations on how to open pools and mitigate risks. We will adhere to these guidelines, which are very similar to our state parks guidelines. Our coaches are aware of these guidelines and will ensure that proper protocols are in place for as long as this virus poses a threat. We will work with you and the professional pool administrators in designing a plan to help mitigate risks and we already have one based off of USA Swimming’s recommendations to do so for organized swimming.
All our swimmers who had trained two hours a day for almost a year were not able to compete in their championships, as pools were closed days before their competitions. They’ve lost their ability to compete, their ability to train, the mental and physical benefits of swimming on top of all their other losses.
Swimming is one of the few, lifelong sports that can be enjoyed by all ages, all abilities and reduce so many of the underlying co-morbidities that this virus preys on. Municipal and state pools are also one of the few opportunities for the middle and lower classes to access swimming. Please, open our pools up. We need them now more than ever. Kevin Saunders, Jane Farrell, David Murphy, Paul Benkert, Brian Santos, Michele Napoli, Nancy Lewis, Michael Otis, Karen Psilopoulos, Nancy Lischinksy, Allison Lucchesi
Hawks Swimming Association board of trustees