The views and opinions expressed in our letters section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Hudson Valley One. You can submit a letter to the editor here.
A controlled future
George Orwell must be laughing in his grave. While his book is titled 1984, its premise of an all-powerful and controlling government led by Big Brother seems to be more and more likely today.
In particular, now lies are seen as truths, and truths as lies. Latest example: people burning police cars (NYC and elsewhere), burning and looting stores and businesses, (several cities), taking over police stations, setting up “autonomous zones” in at least two places, and rioting and confronting police forces. These are called “peaceful demonstrators.”
Then, recently, people assembling at the Capitol, breaking a few windows, entering and walking around, throwing papers on the floor, sitting in the speaker’s chair and milling about outside with flags and signs. These are called “insurrectionists.”
Be prepared for more of the same, as Big Bother gets bigger and more controlling. All we need now are Orwell’s Minister of Truth, or the more likely American version, “Truth Department,” led by a “Secretary of Truth.” Maybe a news organization will appear, too, and be called “Pravda.”
Are you ready for it? No? Me neither, but we all should realize that as lies continue to be called truths, and truths lies, we’re all in for an increasingly controlled future.
Filled with light
The sky has a hole only the moon can fill.
Give me a break
From Hudson Valley One: “The Town of Woodstock unanimously passed a 2021 budget with a zero tax-levy increase. The total levy, including special districts, is down from $6,393,562 to $6,392,517,” which led supervisor Bill McKenna to say, “I think we all felt strongly, given the uncertainty of the economy, that we wanted to give the taxpayers as big a break as possible.”
This all sounds good, right? Well, the budget decreased by $1045 (a savings of about 26 cents per taxpayer), while our supervisor’s salary increased by $1303. Who was it who was given the biggest break possible?
Truth ain’t goin’ away
Endlessly — and baselessly — asserting that the election was stolen does not make it so. And the fact that millions and millions of misled Americans believe the lie does not make it so. They believe it because their leaders have dinned into their willing ears what they want to believe. Last week’s insurrection came about because the feathers of falsehood came home to roost, and the spreaders of that falsehood cowered in fear of the monster they had awakened.
There is a profound chasm in our society. Almost half of it believes a lie. And the spreaders of that lie now piously pronounce that we cannot reunite unless this chasm is papered over with platitudes — “peace” chief among them.
It won’t work. There can be no reconciliation, no peace, without the truth. Unless these lying leaders say publicly that Biden and Harris won the election fair and square, their minions will continue to nourish resentment, and last week’s insurrection, I fear, may be only the beginning.
You don’t need a college education to know the truth. And though I myself have a few advanced academic degrees, I salute Elvis Presley, who said, “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”
Paul R. Cooper
Breakdown or breakthrough!
As an experienced counselor, I have developed the skill of being present and relaxed when a client is going through some major transition in their life. Often the client is terrified, confused, deeply insecure, and unsure of what is happening to them. Sometimes they feel like part of their identity and their understanding of the world is slipping away. This feels to them like they are basically having a nervous breakdown. They are not, though.
In my own healing, I have gone through very similar confusing and terrifying episodes, but, having had skilled guidance in the past, I consistently came out on the other side, exhilarated, with a new and more expansive picture of the world and my place in it. It’s very similar to a snake molting its old skin.
It’s been deeply rewarding for me to be able to be present and supportive to folks at these special times. My role is similar to the role of a midwife or a doula assisting the birthing of a newborn. It is usually a very intense period that eventually leads to a beautiful breakthrough. However, that is only when the client has trust in the counselor, and the counselor has faith in the process.
Since the November 3 presidential election, our country has been going through very similar periods of terror, confusion and insecurity, leading up to the horrific mob attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6. Although the day can be called another “Day in Infamy,” relatively speaking it could have been a lot worse than it actually was. On some level we got very lucky.
But now our country is on major alert for the possibility of more insurgent mob attacks. Between the deadly effects of the out-of-control pandemic and the growing threat from the emboldened white-supremacist groups to attempt an overthrow of our government, most of us are experiencing confusion and overwhelming fear like we have never experienced in our lives. And now we find ourselves sitting on pins and needles, not knowing what will happen next.
To me, it appears that our country and our way of life is going through a major transition similar to what clients go through at crucial times in their lives. But I can’t tell if our beloved country is having a major breakdown or a major breakthrough. Does the body of the United States of America have stage-four cancer that has metastasized throughout the 50 states? Or are we finally breaking through the decades of unabashed systematic racism, along with the mass denial and pretense of our white population that has choked us down as a society for so long?
I don’t know the answer to those questions. I do believe that we have the determination and fortitude to do whatever we must to reclaim our stability as a democracy. And I’d like to believe that this tumultuous transition time will bear the seeds of a new renaissance for our future.
But I’ve always been an optimist, and I have not always been right with my optimistic predictions. So I don’t have much faith right now. I want to believe that the deep love we have for our country and our democracy will be the motivating force to get all of us active and focused.
What can each one of us do? That’s for each one of you to ask yourselves. How much are we willing to stand up and fight for our cherished way of life? President-Elect Joe Biden said it correctly when he stated that: “We are fighting for the soul of our country.”
What’s it going to be? A complete breakdown or a well-needed breakthrough! Only time will tell.
Remembering Bill Schnitzer
Bill Schnitzer, who passed away January 6, 2021, was a leading force in the cause of historic preservation in New Paltz. He was devoted to architectural protection from the very beginning, first as a member of the Village Planning Board, later as one of the authors of the first village and town code governing historic preservation, and then as the first chair of the Village Historic Preservation Commission, on which he served for many years.
We all owe Bill Schnitzer a deep debt of gratitude for his work in establishing a system of legal protections for New Paltz’s architectural past, for his forward-looking advocacy. and for leading the way in what we hope will always be a community that moves forward with an awareness of its historical and cultural legacy.
Our heartfelt condolences go to his family and close friends as we remember Bill and his work for the cause of historic preservation.
Valerie McAllister, Secretary
Thomas G. Olsen, Chair
Village of New Paltz
Historic Preservation Commission
John Orfitelli, Chair
Town of New Paltz Historic Preservation Commission
Kudos to Cuomo
In the past, our visits to the state capitol for the “State of the State” address were often with hundreds of other demonstrators. We were opposing virtually every form of fossil fuel infrastructure — power plants, pipelines, and of course, fracking.
Last week Cuomo called a special “State of the State” session to highlight his massive climate mitigation plan. Luckily, there was no mention of fossil fuels!
Instead, his list included:
• Two huge wind turbine fields off Long Island which could power as many as two-million homes;
• A score of solar farms in the north and west of the state;
• A major trunk line between Albany and NYC connecting the two;
• A huge manufacturing facility at an Albany brownfield where the 450-foot turbine towers would be constructed (what a thrill to see them floating down the Hudson!); and
• A training facility on Long Island to prepare workers for the burgeoning sustainability economy.
In summary, the plan projects 50,000 green jobs; plus six-million homes powered by the resulting 12,000 megawatts of green energy. Let it be clear that this is not just a Cuomo wish list. Many of these projects have already commenced.
Cuomo’s ambitious projections, combined with the Biden-Harris commitment to a Green New Deal approach for the entire county, should give us cause for hope!
But as individuals, we should not become complacent. The pandemic has lessened our carbon emissions by around ten percent. So let’s continue to live more lightly on the earth. Kudos for us!
Dan and Ann Guenther
Thanks for making it easy
Congratulations to the Institute for Family Health in New Paltz for its efforts and dedication to make Covid-19 vaccinations available. I recently turned 90, and my wife is a few years younger. We had minimal discomfort after receiving the shots and were impressed by the attention to details and smoothness of the process.
Amend Revolving Loan Fund?
The Village of New Paltz Board is seeking feedback from our community on whether to amend our Revolving Loan Fund’s (RLF) guidelines. The village’s RLF was funded via an economic development grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments (HUD).
For an interim period, we would like to offer loans geared toward pandemic relief to Village of New Paltz businesses impacted by the Covid pandemic who may benefit from borrowing money.
An RLF is expected to recycle repayments to finance the same type of activities for an ongoing basis. Ordinarily, our RLF program is not for working capital or emergencies. However, we would like to expand the types of applications that will be considered during this unique and challenging time.
If an applicant is seeking assistance with working capital or responding to Covid-related emergencies and has demonstrated compliance with state executive orders, they would be expected to include details in narrative form and provide other supporting exhibits in their application found on the village’s website. This would be in addition to existing application and documentation requirements.
We are proposing that the rate to borrow will be the Wall Street Journal prime rate minus 0.25 percent.
Please share thoughts on our plan to amend to firstname.lastname@example.org. The existing application, loan terms and guidelines are available on the village’s website.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Read it again
Susan Roth, in my letter to the editor, you will not find the words that say: “I think people should stay in jail for life.” That is because I do not at all believe that.
Nowhere in my letter did I say that people cannot be reformed. Of course they can. They can be reformed, forgiven, released and become valuable contributors to society.
I merely took issue with Susan [Slotnick’s] comment that the perpetrator was “a good- looking kid “at the time of the rape/murder. I found that comment not only enormously irrelevant but mercilessly insensitive to the victim and the victim’s family.
I searched Susan’s article for equal compassion for the victim and found none. Not even a mention. A friend of mine knew a man who served more than 25 years for killing someone. The released man repeats often how his victim did not deserve what he did to her and he says not a day goes by that he doesn’t think of her.
I would have liked to hear something like that from the man in Susan’s article.
Parkinson’s Disease support
I would like to thank this community for their overwhelming support. My husband, Greg Greer Jr., has Parkinson’s Disease. Twice a week for the past few years we have been driving to and from Kingston for a program designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s Disease.
Prior to the beginning of Greg’s participation in “Knock out Parkinson’s at Signature Fitness,” he had a very difficult time getting into and out of the car, and getting into and out of bed. He was considered a fall risk by his regular dpctor and his movement specialist. Getting dressed was a chore that we had to start way in advance. Don’t even get me started about putting on his shoes.
After spending two hours a week working out in Kingston with Michelle De Dominicis and the rest of the Parkinson’s people at “Knock out Parkinson’s at Signature Fitness,” Greg is able to do the simple things that were once so difficult. I am extremely grateful to them for the help that they have provided to my family.
Because the program has made itself inclusive to all by making the fee very low, they do not have the funds to purchase badly needed new equipment. To that end they are holding a raffle.
Last week I posted on Facebook that Greg and I were selling tickets. Within ten minutes we had sold out and had to ask for more. Before we got to Kingston to pick up the tickets, people had signed up for so many tickets that they had to print another hundred.
I am writing to express our deep gratitude to everyone who bought tickets, to everyone who made a donation, and to everyone who shared the post. Your generosity brought us both to tears. We would also like to thank all of you who have taken the time out of your busy schedules to drive Greg to Kingston when I had to work. We are grateful to you and to the program that has helped so many families like ours.
If you have Parkinson’s Disease, or you know anyone with Parkinson’s Disease and you think this program might help them, please call Michelle at 532-5920. For us, the program has been lifesaving. I swear it is worth the ride.
Kelli Palinkas Greer
Treason Trump is finally finished! Yeah, that world between two ends is no more — we’ll no longer have that fool on the hill. Geez, what a failure of leadership. The people have spoken!
Trump is a scab of a nation driven insane by ego navigated behavior, a tyrannical wannabe who was never a unifying figure.
This is truly the presidency that shouldn’t have been! I think that’s the most unprecedented thing of all. He did nothing but destroy our country by playing golf and tweeting outright extremist right-wing bullcrap and misinformation incessantly.
The past four years was more like a very slow and painful death for many of us. Every day he occupied the Oval Office was like adding ten more days to a God-awful week where his White-House presence was a never-ending horror story. I am so anxious to get past this destructive idiot.
And what a mess he is leaving behind for others to clean up. Now the real work begins, fixing a fractured nation and healing the sick. I hope all goes well.
Hopefully, the GOP post-mortem will include an observation that following a terrible president like Trump down Willy Wonka’s bad-egg chute is not a good strategy. Yes, the Apricot Hell beast has the distinction of being impeached twice, the second impeachment for inciting an insurrection by his reactionary fascist-like cult followers, plus he lost reelection to Joe Biden in an Electoral College landslide, he helped lose Republican control in both the House of Reps and the Senate, and he was blocked from all social platforms including porn hub. Finally — let’s not forget all the folks and corporations running away from him and his Republican Party as if he/they have leprosy. You reap what you sow, right. GOP?
My question is now for my medical insurance company. “Will I now be covered for suffering through four long years of political PTSD and continuous loops of a horrible White-House reality shit show which I could never cut off? Damn, I’m exhausted!”
Anyway, everyone have a happy and safe New Year and new decade!
Hey, you press people
When I read Geddy’s editorial about the shooting in Maryland, I just had to say this loud and clear: “The press is not my enemy!!” Even Fox News and the other outlets that spew stuff that makes me gag, I want to hear what you are into.
As one who grew up one county over from Anne Arundel in Maryland and went to high school basketball games there etc., I know the territory and the great and grim people who live there. I still am FB ‘friends’ with Trumpites from that area because I want to be in touch with my world, near and far geographically, as well as emotionally and mentally.
But Geddy and his minions and the people of that news rag and all are only enemies of falsehoods. Hang in there, and thanks for staying open and operating in these testing times. So glad that I have the chance to subscribe.
Trump’s cannon fodder
Using the poor and ignorant as cannon fodder is a tradition the upper classes have indulged in throughout history. It’s exactly what Mr. Trump did with his base on January 6, goading them to fight for him and prove they’re not “weak.”
But the riot at the Capitol didn’t look like a rebellion of poor peasants preceding the birth of democratic modernity. Press photographs of this community in other settings show some of them carrying guns which cost more than $2000. Tactical gear, as worn by some rioters, and plane tickets to DC aren’t cheap. This looked like a revolt by members of the middle class who think they still benefit from the current cultural and economic status quo and don’t want it to change.
Therein lies the rub. Mr. Trump did not create this phenomenon. It, and he, are a predictable outcome of 40 years of reactionary economics and politics, instigated by the upper classes under the fig leaf of conservatism. Their goal has been to continue channeling the proceeds of the public’s labor toward themselves. They have worked diligently to undo our nation’s halting progress towards universal equality and government that guarantees it. Instead of the social value of aspiring to advance the human condition, they have promoted aspiring to affluence, which some of their preachers claim is evidence of righteousness and God’s favor.
This does not serve the interests of the people, including Mr. Trump’s base, but rather those of his own class. What have you got to lose? Whatever we all have left.
As the child of a World War Two refugee whose family was lucky enough to lose only their home and possessions rather than their lives, I have some personal understanding of the outcomes of delusional ideologies centered on leader figures — supported by economic elites — who sell a victim mentality and promise a return to greatness via a brutalist culture. We have produced better results in our own 240 years of nationhood when we’ve focused on humanist values of fundamental rights and progress for all, and have worked hard, together, to implement them.
Time grows short to reconnect with that aspect of American history.