Making a big splash
How many of you driving west on Mill Hill Road through what, at times, seems like a mini tsunami, or those of you walking on the north sidewalk getting splashed by passing cars, believe something is not right? Well, you are apparently wrong. According to [Woodstock town supervisor Bill] McKenna, the repaving of the road and the installation of the new drainage system “works just the way it was designed to work.”
This was a response that even his minions disagreed with. Yet McKenna continued with, “As soon as it stops raining, the water runs down the hill and disappears and there [are] no puddles. Talk to the engineers; they are very happy with it.” That garnered the response. “Well, they don’t live here” from councilman [Richard] Heppner.
One hopes that this is a new beginning by the town-board members, that they will no longer take as gospel what McKenna says and will research in depth those items that he puts on the town-board meeting agenda before voting.
Trump shifts blame from himself
President [Donald ] Trump made successive bad decisions about the pandemic, making it much worse. Other countries have managed to reduce the threat sufficiently to return to near normal. Ignoring the threat in January did not make it go away. In February and early March he said it was a minor matter and would go away soon, wasting precious weeks for action against the spread.
When action came, it was ineffective. He excluded foreigners when the outbreak was already rampant here, and derided China and the World Health Organization in an effort to shift blame.
To portray wearing masks as fit only for wimps and Democrats, politicized people and helped give rise to the idea that the pandemic was a hoax to make the president look bad. Urging the country to go back to normal while the pandemic still rages created a disaster in the South and West. Instead of permitting individual states to decide, he is pressuring and threatening states to reopen schools with no regard for local conditions.
Many people believe Trump is ready to sacrifice us for the sake of his election. It is hard to understand why anyone would listen to him. Fortunately, New York State has competent leaders who will consult with experts and make studied and careful decisions. Pity those whose leaders follow Trump like lemmings over the cliff.
The better library route
All the angst over the Woodstock Library bond vote! At the hyper-velocity of the Culture Cancellation movement, we will not need a library since, with the rebirth of Fahrenheit 451, almost all our books will be burned.
With reference to the “Woodstock Library bond vote” appearing in feedback on July 8, I wonder what makes the delay of the bond vote a greater risk. A risk of what? It is nice to feel the amount of tax increase will not be too significant. However, borrowing millions of dollars for 30 years is significant.
When a salesperson is selling you an overpriced piece of merchandise for $400, he offers it will only cost you $10 a month as part of a bait-and-switch argument to justify the overpricing and the total cost to you.
A renovated library can offer all the same things that a new library will offer, and it will cost us, the taxpayers, a lot less. Taking care of the installation of an elevator, a bathroom and an air-filtration system are all usual renovation projects. Many of these should have been addressed by the library board as part of a library building preservation undertaking that was part of their fiduciary responsibility as directors. In addition, the delay of installing an elevator was a breach of not making the public facility handicap accessible for no reason except the library board’s certainty about building a new library despite the lack of taxpayer approval.
Dorothea Marcus offers: “When the bond passes,” as if the taxpayers have approved the bond. Nowhere in her letter is the amount of the bond mentioned, yet have faith, we can afford it! Dorothea, it is not the longer we wait, the more it will cost us, it is the more we borrow and the time to pay off the debt is what will cost us more.
Did not know that governor [Andrew] Cuomo was asking Woodstock taxpayers to re-imagine a new library! Despite illusions of re-imagining, the politics of promising lower costs if we have a depression and a guaranty of an economic stimulus to the town is not what it is all about. It all still comes down to restore and renovate as compared to replacing the library at a much higher cost.
Along with cultural cancellation, I reject the “new normal.” There is normal and abnormal. Dorothea’s offering that the new library will be a source of inspiration. If we need inspiration, we can look to God, but if we need to decide how to proceed with the improvement of our existing library, the answer is simple. Preserve, restore and renovate.
One of the many lessons learned from the pandemic, is that our personal activities have a profound effect on our carbon emissions. Over the last couple of months during the lockdown, our nation lessened its carbon emissions by 28 % in transportation, and 18 % overall.
For those who felt we could never cut back on flying and driving, look what happened. And when everyone drives an electric car, and all our electricity is generated by renewables, (both achievable and inevitable goals), we can fix 28% forever.
If, in addition, we were to eat more sensibly and closer to home, buy fewer unneeded products, and heat and cool our homes with renewable electricity, could we not cut our fossil fuel emissions by 50%?!
Finally, doesn’t our personal responsibility require us to elect officials who believe in science and are able to develop a plan?
After the pandemic, maybe the greatest lesson learned is that we can do better.
Dan and Ann Guenther
Black lives matter
In Saugerties, every day at 5:30 p.m., people gather on the corner of Main and Market streets to proclaim that black lives matter. We are encouraged by the many people who walk and drive by and express their support either by honking or making some gesture like a thumbs up.
But occasionally someone will yell, “All lives matter!” in anger. If only American society upheld that principle.
Of course all lives matter, but no one has ever doubted that white lives matter; indeed for much of this country’s history they were the only lives that mattered.
The ancestors of black Americans were brought here against their will. They were bought and sold as if they were cattle. Our constitution counted slaves as 3/5th of a person. They were denied the vote. Law enforcement allowed lynchings and enforced Jim Crow laws. School and housing segregation created achievement and wealth disparities. Our nation caused the problems and disparities faced by our African -American citizens. In many ways, including access to the vote, these injustices persist. And as the videos have so clearly shown, law enforcement does not provide justice and protection equally to our black citizens.
The great American democratic experiment is threatened by this injustice. It is time to end it. Because until black lives matter, all lives in American do not matter.
Com’on, America. This is a step along the path to “a more perfect union.”
New Paltz needs your help
The Village of New Paltz is currently seeking volunteers for the following boards, committees and commissions:
• Vacancies: Two seats
• Purpose: A joint village-town committee that promotes safe and accessible bicycle and pedestrian routes in the village and town
• Meetings: Monthly
Board of Ethics
• Vacancies: One seat
• Purpose: To render advisory opinions to the officers and employees of the village with respect to Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and this Code of Ethics
• Meetings: As needed
Environmental Policy Board
• Vacancies: Researcher seats
• Purpose: Works on conservation and sustainability initiatives and has the ability to influence policy and local laws
• Meetings: Second Tuesday of every month
Landlord-Tenant Relations Council
• Vacancies: One neutral party seat, one tenant seat, one landlord seat and alternates for both a landlord and a tenant
• Purpose: To advise, counsel, mediate problems and disputes and to improve relations between landlords and tenants
• Meetings: Fourth Thursday of every month
• Vacancies: One full member seat and one alternate
• Purpose: Reviews land-use issues that pertain to the Village of New Paltz code including proposed site plan reviews, special use permits and subdivisions, as well as general planning and zoning throughout the village.
• Meetings: First and third Tuesday of each month
Zoning Board of Appeals
• Vacancies: One alternate seat
• Purpose: Reviews land-use issues that pertain to Village of New Paltz code including proposed variations from zoning and appeals of decisions made by the Building Inspector.
• Meetings: Second Tuesday of each month as needed
The Village of New Paltz operates under a model in which its residents are empowered to manage many important functions of the government and advise the mayor and village board. No special background or training is required to join these citizen-led commissions and boards!
Assistant to the Mayor/Village Board
Deputy Clerk, Village of New Paltz
Better days, happier chapters
The Friends of the Woodstock Library know many of you are eager to refill your bookshelves with great items at rock-bottom prices. As usual, the Woodstock Library’s book barn is full of terrific, gently used books, CDs, DVDs and LPs that have been donated over the winter. We want to get them into your hands.
To that end, The Friends invite you to come shop the book barn in a new — and safer — manner. We will not hold any of our usual public book-barn sales this year. Instead, we are allowing individuals and families to ‘Shop the Barn’ privately, by appointment.
Call the library and mention you’d like to ‘Shop the Barn’, and leave your name and number. A Friends volunteer will contact you and arrange a mutually convenient time for you to meet at the book barn. A Friend will be on hand in the barn to answer any questions and calculate and collect payment.
Priority for this program will be given to Woodstock residents. and taxpayer names will be drawn at random and appointments will be scheduled at mutually convenient times. Please be patient. We will do our best to accommodate everyone in the coming weeks. Masks must be worn at all times by any and all shoppers and volunteers in the barn.
Please stay safe and keep reading! Better days, and happier chapters are ahead.
President, Friends of the Woodstock Library
If a teacher tests positive for Covid 19, are they required to quarantine for two to three weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?
If that teacher has five classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days?
Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids’ families need to get tested? Who pays for that?
What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?
Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?
Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with Covid 19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?
What if a student in your kid’s class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when? Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long?
What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out?
How will it affect students and faculty when the first teacher in their school dies from this? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first kid?
How many more people are going to die that otherwise would not have if we had stayed home longer?
Thirty percent of the teachers in the US are over 50. About 16 percent of the total deaths in the US are people between the ages of 45-65.
We are choosing to put our teachers in danger.
We’re not paying them more.
We aren’t spending anywhere near the right amount to protect them. And in turn, we are putting ourselves and our kids in danger.
Robots are hard workers but lousy dancers.
Complain, complain, complain
Fact: According to the National Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare, there is a clause in the 2021 budget whereby Social Security will be cut in some ways, one is a 15-20 percent reduction in senior monthly Social Security benefits. This particular cut was mentioned previously in a letter from the AARP to yours truly, which was in the newspaper dated June 4, 2020.
Opinion: All you Conservatives, Republicans and Independents out there, between the ages of 65 and 95 drawing Social Security benefits, what the hell difference does it make as to what party affiliation you belong to or what the hell you believe in? Do you oldies honestly think just because you belong to one of these parties, you are, therefore, exempt from these cuts? If you feel you will be given consideration, you are breathing through the wrong end of your body!
Wake up. When the grim reaper comes through the benefits for senior ranks, all will be going down with the sweep of the scythe. Donald Trump has about as much compassion for us oldies as he does for a fly on the wall. I am going to say once again: the Republican Party hates this remnant of Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s; to the Republicans, this is big government, socialism, liberalism creeping into the United States and it cramps the capitalistic spirit of making money, money and more money.
Well, whoop de do and how do you do! All these millionaires and billionaires made their fortunes in this country, basically, but they are a small percentage of the population whereas the majority of Americans just want a decent job, benefits, retirement and to enjoy their families, not capitalistic driven. But the capitalistic Republicans want no rules governing their behavior.
Fact: A Times Herald-Record newspaper article dated April 25, 2020, states: “…Billionaires have used their considerable political clout over the decades to reduce their tax obligations, shifting the expenses onto the rest of us.” “…Four decades of these tax cuts have increased the fragility of the public response infrastructure.” “…Not paying their fair share of taxes for vital expenses like a responsible public health system and emergency preparedness.”
And herein likes a sticking point with this writer: the wage cutoff for Social Security is $132,900 a year. This means everyone pays Social Security taxes on wages up to this level and including $132,900. Those making beyond this are exempt from any further taxes.
Opinion: Well ring a ding ding, let’s all hold hands and sing, sing, sing. Don’t you think that a millionaire, multi-millionaire, billionaire or multi-billionaire should pay more than this pocket change for their payroll taxes? Sure, they should. How about they pay payroll taxes, for instance, on a million dollars! Let’s not be greedy and instead say, how about $800 or $700, they should pay on? But no, with their money-laden political influence, they manage to pay off the ladies who work the streets at nights and then attend full-time jobs representing us in the Congress!
If the anointed paid a higher payroll tax, our benefits, that’s right, our benefits would not be under the blade when the grim reaper starts to swing his scythe. And also, these shysters with their influence on the ladies of Congress, have money shipped offshore to hide from the tax collector; also, how about Amazon not paying taxes at all? (I’m not sure about this but if it is true, they damn well should pay.)
Donald Trump is the first president of the last 14 presidents who is a distinct threat to our benefits and to the republic of the United States. One of the two main reasons the Republicans don’t oppose him is his attack on these New-Deal innovations, mainly Social Security and Medicare; the other one is his appointing conservative federal judges across the country into position, some 400, I believe, thus far.
Donald Trump is the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time, not to mention his behavior, rhetoric, immigration policies, his lack of leadership with the virus, his embellishments, abortion, racial overtures and so forth. Wake up, seniors. Complain, complain, complain.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has stated that she prays “very hard” for Donald Trump’s health. Recently, in response to a question by Anderson Cooper regarding Trump’s use of hydroxychloroquine, the speaker said that it “wasn’t a good idea” because of the drug’s lack of scientific approval and the president’s weight class which she referred to as “morbidly obese.” (I wonder if Joe Biden picks Stacy Abrams, another POS (Person Of Size) as his VP, if Nancy will be concerned enough for Stacy’s health and morbidly obese weight that she’ll bring it up in public?)
Despite this fat-shaming and Nancy’s successful impeachment efforts, Potus Trump is glad that Nancy and the House have returned from their coronavirus hiatus and are back to work.
Oath takers and breakers
Our politicians take oaths. Our doctors and nurses take oaths. Our soldiers take oaths.
It is now apparent many politicians have broken the oaths they have taken. A blatant example is that high officials of our government have known that Russia set a bounty on American soldiers’ lives and have kept it hidden. Killing our soldiers was successfully accomplished by the Russians and the Taliban and our political leadership has done nothing, even after the public knows about it. The moral injury this event is causing is undermines our military and all Americans.
An example of the dedicated oath-takers are the 200 doctors and nurses who have died of the coronavirus to date. We should be making plans for building a memorial right now for these healthcare workers who are saving millions of lives.
Soldiers take oaths but they must be placed in a different category, because breaking their oath can be followed by execution, prison and public shaming when they receive a dishonorable discharge and court martial. So compare our soldiers with the politicians who have broken their oaths and not even lost their jobs for making the decisions to allow our soldiers to die and not letting parents know who may have killed their child.
Why do we have oaths? Some say they provide a moral guidepost for how to behave in times of life and death. When politics entered the arena of our current wars and the pandemic, our leading party is distorting our nation’s understanding of the sacrifices individual oath takers make. Again politics prioritizes capital over human life. The American public is told by politicians our constitutional compass is set to true north, in reality their setting is magnetic north, which leads directly to the banks of our wealthy. The consequences are being carried upon the backs of all our oath-taker and healthcare professionals.
An oath is sacred because it often involves life and death. Politicians that have taken a sacred oath engage intellectual jousting to hide they are using American lives as a commodity, “So help me God.”
From Watergate, to Whitewater to the Ukraine, our officials have been breaking their sacred oaths. Any possible consequences for breaking their oaths are swallowed into the bowels of our judicial system. Politicians are protected by judicial appointees, they appointed.
Today we watch on TV our oathbreakers harvest their notebooks for their next career of writing books to collect financial remunerations. While those holding true to their oath die from the elected leadership manipulating their destinies. “So help me God.”
As a combat marine in Vietnam, I trusted that oathtakers would not leave me behind on the battlefields. Truth be told, I have broken vows and oaths I’ve taken. The guilt and shame I feel has guided me to ask for forgiveness, to work at changing and to attempt to re-establishing my vows. So Help me God.
West Hurley school project
Many residents of the West Hurley neighborhood are urging the Town of Hurley planning board to issue a positive declaration with regard to the Cedar East Project to establish 46 condominiums on Cedar Street in West Hurley.
The more we learn about this project, the more concerned we have become about water availability, pollution, runoff and discharge. For those of us living in this neighborhood, sharing a common aquifer and watershed, we are aware of the potential impacts to our wells in regard to both to water supply and potential contamination.
We are also concerned about housing density, traffic, loss of recreational opportunities and interference with established wildlife. Traffic on Route 28 makes leaving our neighborhood already a difficult and sometimes treacherous endeavor, and 46 units of additional housing with the potential for up to twice that many vehicles leaves us fearful of many more accidents.
We strongly feel this project will have “potentially significant adverse environmental impacts” and requires a complete Environmental Impact Statement and that the applicant must submit a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The Cedar Street application seems to have many deficiencies which were outlined in the recent public hearing. Therefore, a detailed look at the SEQR requirements and a positive declaration appointing an appropriate lead agency will be in the best interests of the Town of Hurley.
The NY State DEC website states, “If an agency makes an improper decision or allows a project that is subject to SEQR to start, and fails to undertake a proper review, citizens or groups who can demonstrate that they may be harmed by this failure may take legal action against the agency under Article 78 of the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules. Project approvals may be rescinded by a court and a new review required under SEQR. New York State’s court system has consistently ruled in favor of strong compliance with the provisions of SEQR.”
We therefore urge a complete and appropriate SEQR review be implemented for this proposed project. We are concerned that Hurley taxpayers will be on the hook for potentially expensive litigation and additional town expenses that might arise from an improper decision by the planning board.
Don’t complain, organize!
The fear of getting the coronavirus is challenging us all in new ways. I’ve recently heard people complaining about some businesses that have their staff defiantly refuse to wear masks. C’mon folks. Don’t complain about this. Complaining is the outward indication of somebody who feels victimized. Get in touch with your personal power.
Organize. Get a number of friends to agree to put a blog on Facebook that says something like, “We, the undersigned, refuse to shop at (store’s name) until all the staff respect the customers by wearing masks. We care about our lives, and we want the stores we shop at to also care about our lives as well as their own lives too.”
At the bottom of your blurb, ask people to like and share your blog. And then just sit back and watch how fast those store owners change their policy about wearing masks. Your power is waiting for you and it’s called consumer power. It’s time you claim it!
I can understand the outrage at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by rogue police. I, along with 99.9 percent of Americans, am outraged. It was a heinous crime. I see justice being served with these officers’ arrest and criminal charges.
What started as peaceful protests was soon hijacked by anarchists and other anti-American groups. The looting, burning, statue toppling and personal injury is appalling. I will never come close to knowing what it is to be of another race, especially one that suffered under slavery and Jim Crow. I had a tiny glimpse of victimization as my natural and constitutional rights were infringed when the New York legislature was passing the Safe Act in the middle of the night. I would get these feelings of almost panic. Again, I cannot say I know how black Americans feel.
The narrative of the Left, the mainstream media, woke corporations and our public schools and universities is that there is widespread and frequent police brutality. As Joseph Goebbels said, tell the big lie and repeat it often enough and the people will believe it.
Are there bad cops? Sure. There are bad teachers, doctors, politicians and others whose occupations require public trust. The narrative is overblown by the media, Hollywood, politicians and sports personalities. They are pouring gasoline on the fire. This recently has been the case in New Paltz and has involved Hudson Valley One. Huh?
“During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted.” —Thomas Jefferson (1805).
Reporting on a recent rally, June 17 issue, a member of the disbanded police review committee, named Gowre, was quoted saying America was the “most violent country.” This is factually not even close. Our neighbors to the south blow us away. Hyperbole on the part of activists is to be expected. For the journalists to abdicate their responsibility to offer a contradictory statement or fact check is irresponsible. But supporting the grievance industry does bring in the dollars.
The recent articles featuring the case of the handcuffed butt-grabber being punched by the cop leaves out some important facts that were earlier reported. The man in handcuffs managed to tangle up the cop and drag him into the back seat of the patrol car. A handcuffed man is not harmless. He can kick, knee, stomp, bite and headbutt while handcuffed. In this case, he spit a mouthful of blood in the cop’s face. After reviewing videos of the incident, one of our most liberal members of the town board was quoted in this paper saying that there was clearly no case of overuse of force by the cop.
Take a deep breath, get the facts. More to come. Hit my 500-word limit.
Trump’s no hero
Sarcasm is derived from the French word sarcasmor and also from the Greek word sarkazein, which means “tear flesh,” or “grind the teeth.” Somehow, in simple words, it means to speak bitterly.
The White-House administration continues to invalidate top medical experts. We have a surging pandemic and a president who is MIA. Trump is a monumental failure, and Americans are paying severely for his failures. Trump is no coronavirus hero.
Oppose Danskammer plant
I am a resident of Gardiner and have concerns about a proposed fracked gas power plant slated to be built in Newburgh approximately 15 miles from where I live. This Danskammer power plant would add over 25 times more health-damaging particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOC) to our region which would significantly impact those citizens already suffering with respiratory issues like myself.
Exposure to hazardous air pollution will exacerbate the lung and respiratory illnesses of those in communities surrounding the proposed plant like Gardiner. This is especially a frightening prospect given that people with lung and respiratory issues fare much more poorly when exposed to Covid.
In addition to health concerns there are many reasons why this plant should not be built. It would increase the region’s fossil-fuel dependency and burn 40 times more greenhouse gases at a time when the state is supposed to be reducing greenhouse gases by 85 percent by the year 2050. The proposed site is poorly located in a flood plain where Hurricane Sandy flooded less than a decade ago. It is highly likely taxpayers will foot the bill for repairs anytime flood damages the new plant. Danskammer would increase industrialization along the Hudson River when the region is working so diligently to reclaim and revitalize its waterfront. It is not even needed by our region as a power source even with the shutdown of Indian Point as New York State continues to increase its renewable energy portfolio.
Over 20 local municipalities have passed the resolution against the proposed Danskammer power plant including the town and village of New Paltz, Kingston, Marbletown, Rosendale, Saugerties, Newburgh, Beacon and the City of Poughkeepsie. They recognized that a gas-fired power plant emitting toxic pollution and harmful greenhouse gases built along the beautiful, scenic Hudson River in a known flood plain would be foolhardy, dangerous to human-health and an eye-sore.
If you are as concerned as I am, please join me in contacting Gardiner town supervisor Marybeth Majestic and town-board members David Dukler, Warren Wiegand and Franco Carucci (contact info at www.townofgardiner.org/town-contacts). Share with them your concerns and why you feel it would be in the Town of Gardiner’s best interests to pass a resolution against the proposed Danskammer plant. There is a wealth of information about the Stop Danskammer Coalition at https://stoptheplant.org