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.
The importance of local government
The complete failure of the past administration at the federal level has again highlighted the importance of local government. This year, residents will have the opportunity to vote for officials at the town level. We ask that you vote to reelect Neil Bettez for town supervisor, reelect Dan Torres for Town Council and elect Stana Weisburd for Town Council.
We collectively bring decades of experience in town government and volunteerism for our community and beyond. With a proven track record of leadership, we will look to protect our environment, raise the voices of those most in need and keep New Paltz affordable.
Now more than ever, we must plan for what New Paltz will look like not just in 2021, but in 2031 and beyond. We believe in protecting our environment, preserving open space and growing our community in a smart, sustainable and equitable way.
We believe in raising the voices of those most in need; we commit to working to protect renters, fighting for affordable housing and expanding upon the ongoing work of the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative.
In the next few weeks and months, we look forward to talking with you more about our plans and hearing your thoughts and feedback.
Supervisor Neil Bettez
Deputy supervisor Dan Torres
Goodbye my dear friend
February 1, 2021, Dan Guenther passed, shoveling his driveway of snow from a great Nor’easter storm. Knowing Dan as long as I did, I believe this is how he would have asked to go.
Dan was a man of action, work his prayer for living. If he could do it, it would get done. Dan raised his own food, fixed his own home, spoke his own truth and did it with honest determination.
For a number of years, Dan and I built homes together. Working next to him was a challenge for me – physically and spiritually. Dan’s standards were exhausting to follow. He pushed himself hard, which set the pace for anyone working with or near him. In the end, if you could not keep up, he’d stop and come to help you finish the job.
After I stopped working with Dan, I’d call him and he’d call me if we needed extra help. Last year I hired someone to take down a large tree too close to our garage. Dan hauled the wood and brush away: not an easy job for a man in his mid-seventies. My dear friend Jake Cohen and I hauled the remaining wood to Dan’s house, which he used to heat with last winter. In the spring, many times I found raspberries sitting next to my back door. Just last a week a jar of granola was at the door that Dan had made. For Dan, work was medicine and he willingly took his medicine.
Dan’s global warming campaign was not just the words he wrote every week in the local paper; it was more importantly the rule for how he lived his life. If he could fix it, save it, plant it, recycle it, he did it. Dan Guenther walked the walk and talked while he worked.
The number of community projects Dan was involved in ranged from the railroad bridge on the rail trail near Springtown Road getting planked to the renovation of the New Paltz Youth Center on Main Street. Dan started several Community Supported Agriculture’s (CSAs) in New Paltz and other nearby towns. Dan’s jobs ranged from pulling weeds to fixing the barn roof, writing motivational materials and teaching classes in the university on how we should live on our planet. More than anything else, he showed us how it could be done.
I will miss my dear friend’s calls to come see what he had fixed, made or had grown. Our community has lost an important voice and more profoundly, a man who shaped his character to help the world.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, there is…as there is almost always. With the vaccination, there is light at the end of the tunnel of terror, the terrible tunnel of the pandemic. But what wasn’t said: There is a tunnel, or a series of tunnels, at the end of the light, which is what we are now seeing – more tunnels!
Career over constituents
So, what’s our brand-new, multi-millionaire senator Mike Martucci doing now that he’s been in the State Senate almost a month? He’s holding an in-person fundraiser at a fancy club in Albany, pandemic or no, where he will be courted by lobbyists and in turn, court corporate donors.
Spending his time using taxpayers’ money to churn up money for his next campaign when he hasn’t even accomplished anything yet for his district doesn’t strike me as a good use of his time or our money. Clearly, Senator Martucci is devoted to career over country and constituents.
We’re here to help
As the newly elected state senator of the 46th Senate District, my job, first and foremost, is to be a resource for you, the people who sent me to Albany!
Here on Team Hinchey, we have an open-door policy, which means that we spend a lot of time meeting with constituents to learn about the issues that matter most to our communities and finding ways we can work together to address local needs.
Constituent services are at the core of everything we do, and it’s important to us that you know exactly how to reach us in case we can ever be helpful.
In our first few weeks in office, we’ve done everything from help people recover their Unemployment benefits, worked to fix our local roads and fought for clean water infrastructure in our communities. We’re here to be a resource for you. You can contact us if you need assistance locating food or health services, applying for small business assistance, solving an issue with your utility company or any other number of matters where the state can be helpful.
If you think we can help with a problem you’re facing or just want to share your thoughts on an issue that’s important to you, feel free to give us a call or send me an e-mail. We can be reached at (845) 331-3810, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Assistance is available in both English and Spanish. To contact me directly, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you around the district!
Liberate your fire hydrants
Our beautiful snow’s already deep and we’re getting more soon. Enjoy it, but take a few minutes and shovel a path to your street’s fire hydrants. Full access to hydrants means a faster fire response; a few seconds can save lives and property. This protects our precious volunteers, too. The sooner they’re pumping water, the safer they’ll be.
I lost my camera, so now I just stare at a tree until I’ve memorized it.
Kudos to Rep. Delgado
Thank you for your support of the For the People Act, Representative Delgado. I appreciate your support, a fast and strong passage including provisions around voting rights, gerrymandering, citizen-funded elections and strong ethics reforms. I urge you to convince your colleagues to join you.
Letter to my Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Congressman Delgado
Americans need help now. Americans must see that government can be good and will once again make people’s lives better.
People need money for food, heating bills, mortgages and rent. Consumer buying is 70 percent of GDP. Biden’s fully funded COVID Relief bill must pass. The government prints money; we can do this. Isn’t it hypocritical that the GOP ballooned the deficit (see Reagan, Bush and Trump), and when a Democratic president is elected, the GOP is suddenly fiscally conservative when it comes to helping the average American?
How, in what used to be the most esteemed country in the world, do over 42 million Americans live in poverty? If wages kept pace with inflation, the minimum wage would be $22/hour. Currently, nowhere in the US can you make minimum wage, pay for food and housing working full-time at minimum wage. Help raise millions of Americans out of poverty by raising the minimum wage.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.” – MLK. COVID has shown us that universal healthcare’s time has come.
COVID has also taught us that national voting right standards are needed to make voting more secure, easier and more accessible. Models are available in Utah and Oregon, who have had secure mail-in voting for years. Make motor voter national. And end gerrymandering. Universities have been working on mathematical models to do this in a fair way.
It’s time for one person, one vote; end the Electoral College. It just makes sense. Over the last 200 years, there have been over 700 proposals to either eradicate or seriously modify the Electoral College. Let’s get it done.
It’s time Washington, DC became a state. 700,000 Americans deserve a voice in Congress.
End the filibuster. The filibuster isn’t in the Constitution. It’s anti-democratic, giving a minority of senators the power to block the majority.
Now is the time to be bold.
Thanks, senators and congressman. Stay well; you’ve got a lot to do and I’m rooting for you making America a more just and better place to live for me, my family and my community.
A note of clarification
In the article, “Cabin Fever: Developer looks to expand luxury cabin development on Kingston waterfront” by Cloey Callahan, which ran in the January 27 issue of Hudson Valley One, my comments at the City of Kingston Planning Board meeting on January 19 were misconstrued by the writer as “in opposition” to Salt Hotels’ application for a special permit for additional accommodations and parking and a new entrance off of Lindsley Avenue for their Brickyard Ventures property. I don’t know the details of the permit request and hence my comments had nothing to do with it.
What I was critical of in my remarks by phone was Brickyard Ventures’ control of the access to the newly opened walkway along the Hudson River, which is part of Scenic Hudson’s Quarry Waters park and constitutes a segment of the state-funded and designed Empire Trail. The access is via North Street, which has been blocked off to the public by Brickyard Ventures’ two metal gates, one closing off the road and the other closing a side path for pedestrians and bicyclists. The gate for the side path is left open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., which means that before and after those hours, there is no public access. Since North Street is owned by the City, there should be 24/7 public access. Passing the gates, along with the adjoining new brick entrance and signage for Brickyard Ventures, one feels one is walking through a private compound, when in fact the street is publicly owned.
Why did the City of Kingston allow this? I assume neither Scenic Hudson nor the state will find this private control of access acceptable and would like to know when the gates are coming down.
An important caveat, which the article in which I am quoted did not make clear: I am not necessarily against Salt Hotels’ plans related to the permit, not knowing the details. If the company is planning an alternative access point by extending Lindsley Avenue, thus reducing the traffic congestion that occurs on North Street when it holds events – a problem I suspect will worsen with the opening of its three dozen cabins and removal of the gates – I might support that.
In fact, I am glad Salt Hotels bought the former Hutton Brickyard and has preserved the spectacular brick-drying structures, the only such survivors, as far as I know, on the river, as well as the crane, brick buildings and other historic structures. Without their purchase, this historic industrial site would likely have been destroyed. The company has done a splendid job of repurposing the site as a tourist destination, bringing tax dollars to the City. It understands the value of these unusual buildings, in combination with their spectacular Hudson River location, as a spectacle appealing to people seeking a unique destination that combines history, culture and nature.
I wish the City itself would do more to preserve Kingston’s historic infrastructure, much of which has been compromised. (In my neighborhood of the Rondout, for example, developers buying up properties in the historic district have blatantly thumbed their noses at the requirements, by removing the original doors on a historic row-house complex and stealing a massive piece of bluestone off the sidewalk on Wurts Street, to name two examples. And why shouldn’t they, since the City has failed abysmally at enforcement of the rules?) Kudos to Salt Hotels for taking a different tactic.
However, depending on the taste, largesse and budget of private entities to preserve historic Kingston is obviously a risky business. Kingston’s Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission should be tasked with real authority (currently it only has an advisory role, and its findings are frequently ignored by the City). There should be more incentives for building-owners, monitoring of the law and enforcement. Perhaps these initiatives should be combined with training and employing local youth in preservation techniques so that both preservation and building community could be brought together.
It may not be too late
In 2019, I pointed out that [Bill] McKenna had the right to hire Walker Architecture to design the addition to the Comeau building without being required to put out a Request for Proposal (RFP). However, I also pointed out that the Town Board had the right to direct McKenna to solicit RFPs. If the Town Board had done so, there probably would not be any issues now.
It appears to me that there could be two ways the Town can proceed: one is to bite the bullet, cut its losses and put out an RFP, which in addition to saving thousands and thousands of dollars may allow Woodstock residents to have some input regarding the final design. The other way is to continue with Walker, whose proposed design, it appears, is one of the reasons McKenna said, “It has come to my attention there are questions about the process and the design.” And that “he’s stepping back from the Comeau renovation project and leaving it largely up to the Town Board. Councilmen Richard Heppner and Lorin Rose will continue to work with Walker Architecture to fine-tune the design for the main offices at 45 Comeau Drive.”
My questions are: What will the Town Board members do? What will you do? Will you say something, or write something to show you are aware and care?
Danskammer power plant expansion
There are no ifs ands or buts regarding our objection to the proposed expansion of the Danskammer power plant in Newburgh. Increasing this part-time fracked-gas plant operating a few days per year into a 24/7 full-time facility will have many more serious negative impacts than positive ones on our region. Public health, ecological and financial ramifications would make implementation of this plan a potential boondoggle:
• 25 times more risk of lung exposure to particulate matter and volatile carcinogenic chemicals.
• 40 times more methane gas emissions, which has 30 time more impact than carbon in accelerating climate change.
• An increase of industrial noise emanating from the plant’s jet turbines and exhaust mechanisms.
New York State’s Independent System Operator, which oversees the power grid, determined this expansion is not needed, even taking into account Indian Point power plant’s closing. An irrelevant plant would quickly become obsolete and a financial burden.
The state’s Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act has set goals of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040. New York has banned fracking. Danskammer’s plan takes us in the opposite direction of our environmental laws and objectives.
It’s true a full-time plant would help to subsidize the school taxes of Marlboro and create some temporary construction jobs (however, not all with local labor), but does pitting the fiscal well-being of a single community against the physical health of an entire region create a sound civic policy? Why is the health of schoolchildren being pitted against their education’s solvency?
Studies have demonstrated that converting Danskammer into a bulk battery-storage facility would be a viable clean energy alternative. It would create less dependence on other fracked-gas burning plants by serving as backup during peak periods. It would also create jobs as well as contribute to the local tax base.
The members of the offshore Singapore-based investment firm who are among Danskammer’s backers would be spared breathing the dirty air this expansion will cause. This proposal would benefit the few at the expense of the many, instead of advancing projects that benefit both investors and residents. We urge all New Yorkers to voice opposition to this exclusionary and environmentally backward plan by writing the Public Service Commission’s New York Siting board and Governor Cuomo, both of whom have the power to reject it. Insist they greenlight clean energy projects and hold the governor to his own words spoken in his 2021 State of the State address: “We must replace fossil fuel plants with clean power; there are no ifs ands or buts about it and now is the time to do it.” For more information, go to www.stoptheplant.org.
Harvey Weiss, Emily Ellison, Marc Happel, Alana Jacoby, Sam Kusnetz, Cristina Roy, Ed Roy, Karoliina Paukku, Edwin Chavez, Rondi Davies, Andrew Moore, Suzanne Schiaffo, Dana Schiaffo
Andrew Bell, Francis Charles, Sarah Boyd, Stowe Boyd
Marcy Rosewater, Marc Lallanilla
Robin Schanzenbach, Sven Furberg
Charles Burleigh, Lithgow Osborne, Bidu Tashjian, Jon Kiphart
United we impeach
Funny. The basis for the reimpeachment of private citizen Donald Trump is that he is the sole source of incitement for a coup. That’s a stretch in several ways. There have been charges against some Proud Boys for organizing the invasion of the Capitol. That’s a conspiracy. One of the conspirators was from Beacon. I don’t see how this impeachment and the record number of executive orders are uniting us.
Perhaps the House is impeaching because of the summary of Trump’s statements about a stolen election. According to polls, about 40 percent of all Americans believe there was fraud. Hillary Clinton and the Left have been claiming that Russia helped Trump steal the election in 2016. This resulted in three years of investigations and cost millions and turned up nothing. No impeachments for the perpetrators of this Russia hoax.
Obama started the war on the police with statements like if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin. Police were assassinated. He said when the opposition brings a knife, bring a gun (Philadelphia, 2008). Maxine Waters said she wanted to take Trump out. On several occasions, Biden stated he would like to take Trump outside and beat him up. No impeachments for statements like these.
Kamala Harris tweeted support for a legal fund to bail out rioters last June 1. She supports the rioters. On February 3, the New York Post reported that one rioter that was bailed out twice was just arrested again. This fund has bailed out murderers. She should be impeached for her support.
Another interesting idea about this attempt to impeach a private citizen is: Why not impeach past presidents dead or alive? Since the Democrats are on a roll, they could impeach all the Republican presidents, starting with Lincoln.
I heard that Trump’s one regret is not being impeached a third time. He has two punches on his impeachment card and a third impeachment would get him a free sandwich at the Capitol Café. You can read up on a lot of this at the Babylon Bee website. Snopes did fact-check a number of articles on the satirical website and found them false (duh!).
Seriously now, I read that Biden saw his shadow on Election Day and said he’d only be in office for six more weeks, unless Kamala gets to him first. Taking this into consideration, what Congress should do is reinstate Trump as president so they can legally impeach him.
New Paltz should not regulate gas-powered leaf-blowers
I’ve recently read that New Paltz is considering such a autocratic regulation. Ask any landscaper if they can perform their job properly with a leaf-blower that is plugged into an outlet with an extension cord. Ask a landscaper if a battery-powered leaf-blower is inferior to the power of a gas-powered one. I don’t think one landscaper would willingly hand over their gas-powered backpack leaf-blower.
Electric lawn care equipment is not practical. When certain cities and towns in California banned gas-powered leaf-blowers, they found that small business owners started accepting less jobs in those areas. What is it about some of these politicians ? Are they hell-bent on destroying small business? It sure seems that way in these times.
A manicured lawn maintained by gas-guzzling weedeaters, movers, chainsaws and leaf-blowers are symbols of freedom, prosperity and the American Dream. Don’t trade all that away for fewer emissions and a slightly quieter neighborhood.
Local governments have no business handcuffing small business and landscaping companies.
A Republican senator’s nightmare
Starting February 9, the Senate will begin the trial for the impeached former president Trump. The world will be watching. Millions will get to see all the horrors from the January 6 insurrection of our Capitol in Washington, DC. Everybody in our country will learn all the ways Donald Trump created, supported and participated firsthand in inciting the thousands of his loyal followers to attack the Capitol. It’s totally possible that more people will watch the trial than those who watch the Super Bowl, which will take place just two days before, on February 7. I wonder what new information will be revealed and I wonder how the Republican senators will respond to what will be an excruciatingly difficult situation.
Either logical option for those Republican senators could very well be deadly for their political lives. But which one will they choose? Here’s how I see things unfolding.
Most people expect the Republican senators to vote to acquit the former president, in spite of all his obvious behavior to incite the insurrection. It appears that they are too terrified of Trump’s ability to support opponents against them in their upcoming Republican primaries, if they happen to find him guilty. Their desire to hold onto power at any expense has often pushed them to sell out what is best for our country in the hopes of remaining in power. But that idea does not take into account the outrage of their local constituencies. How will good people back home respond to watching their senator vote to acquit? The optics could be the poison that does them in. And we all know that loyalty to Trump only works one way. Trump has always insisted that people be loyal to him. But over and over again he has thrown loyal supporters under the bus when it makes sense for his personal desires and goals. So much for loyalty. If you are still loyal to Trump, I ask you, why?
On the other hand, if at least 17 Republican senators show the intestinal fortitude and vote to convict Trump, then the former president will never again be eligible to hold any public office in our country. How refreshing would that be? But, in reality, how many politicians actually step up and act with courage and vote on a basis of what’s best for our democracy? It would be great to see Republican senators do the right thing. But I will not hold my breath for that to happen. Yet, it still remains a real possibility.
There is a quiet but consistent grassroots movement, by caring and responsible Republicans, to work toward reclaiming their party. They are deeply disappointed in events over the last four years and would love to see the likes of Donald Trump gone from their party forever. The spirit of John McCain must be watching in horror. But do those older and more dignified Republicans have the kind of influence that can get 17 senators to vote to convict? That is the big question. I have heard that many Republicans are leaving the party, but leaving does not help to fix the corruption in their party. However, I do understand such a choice. It’s one thing to be disgusted with the present situation. But it’s another thing to abandon ship just when Republicans with integrity are needed more than ever.
I have been a Democrat my whole life. But I have been friends with some wonderful and compassionate Republicans. We often do not see eye-to-eye, but we can respect each other’s point of view. And we have no doubt that our different points of view were always coming from what we thought would be best for our country. I wish those Republicans the best in their quest to rid their party of all the internal rot. And I look forward to someday in the future having a two-party system again that functions with integrity and with a deep caring about the American people. Is that too much to ask? That’s my bottom line! But at this moment I am increasingly curious to see how it will all unfold next week. So bring on the trial!
Dogs on the trail
Victor Capelli’s opinion piece rankled me with his anti-dog stance. Dogs are the only sane company we can keep in this pandemic! However, he has a point about the abundance of forgotten plastic poop bags left trailside. In an era where we are striving to reduce plastic waste, wouldn’t it make sense to adopt the standards we set for human back-country hikers to merely bring a trowel and bury it? We would not have to endure the indignity of hiking five miles holding a poop bag.
Meanwhile, carry on, fellow dog-lovers! Walking our trails with our canine companions is great for everyone’s mental and physical health.
Medicare for all
Medicare for all is being denied to US citizens by representatives of both parties and ignored by the corporate-owned media. This while people die every day for lack of healthcare, especially in the face of COVID. We the people can use the enormous power of sheer numbers to hold-to-task those withholding this basic human right. We can show that the majority of Americans support Medicare for all by calling and e-mailing our representatives, circulating petitions, writing letters, placing ads, renting billboards, creating lawn signs, bumpers stickers and M4A masks. Minds greater than mine will know better what to do. Let’s get energized by doing what’s morally right, kind and necessary. Let’s begin by recognizing our basic human need to take care of one another.
Medicare for all as proposed by senator Bernie Sanders in 2019 provides the following:
• Americans younger than 19 and older than 55 would be enrolled first in the new program.
• Everyone else could buy into the plan on the Obamacare marketplaces one year after the law is enacted.
• Employers could buy a public plan for their employees during that one-year transition.
• After then, everyone would be automatically enrolled in the system.
• While not specifically expressed, the bill is intended to be inclusive of undocumented immigrants.
• Private insurers would not be able to compete with the same coverage provided by Medicare for all. They could only offer coverage on elective procedures, such as cosmetic surgery: something that to date has not been covered by most commercial insurers.
• Coverage would be expansive and would cost nothing to the consumer.
• Community and home-based long-term care would be covered. Medicaid would continue to cover institutional care, and states would determine the standard of eligibility.
• The bill would be paid for through a progressive tax on workers and employers, an increase in taxes on the wealthy and a large fee on financial institutions.
Carol Ann Giangreco
A new record
I heard the president announce that January’s Covid deaths were the highest yet. So after a year of masks, shutdowns, school closings, social distancing and economic devastation we have the most deaths. If any of these things worked, why are we worse off now than last March?
Yesterday I read that Dr. Fauci and the CDC are going to study if wearing two masks will improve their effectiveness. I doubt it. I seem to remember in fifth-grade math they taught us two times zero is still zero. Why not get a clear plastic bag, put it over your head and tie it at the neck? It’s guaranteed to prevent Covid. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never have so few caused so much pain to so many.”
Observing so many of our so-called leaders ignoring the mandates they expect us to obey lets you know they don’t believe their own rules. Dr. Fauci at the ballpark, governor Gavin Newsome dining out, President Biden and family at the Lincoln Memorial and of course Speaker Pelosi at the beauty parlor. I cringe to think of how much damage we’ve done to a generation of schoolchildren, especially those from low-income families, most who will catch back up.
Then there’s our arrogant governor Andy Cuomo, who decided to send COVID-positive people back to nursing homes, even though he was told they had no way to isolate them. How could he not be aware that people are in nursing homes due to failing health and the last thing they needed was to be exposed to others with a highly contagious virus? He then proceeded to lie about the results and refused to release the number of fatalities. He just lost another court case, which might force him to release the actual numbers. He and his Democratic colleagues in the State Legislature then passed a law so the families of the victims cannot sue. He does, however, deserve his Emmy for the daily TV show of a complete incompetent acting like he’s the best governor in the country.
A library industrial complex
Most people in Woodstock want to see a dramatically improved library building. I do. We love our library, its programs and staff. Many years ago, we could have easily voted to renovate the old library and add on to it. And we can still do that now! So what’s the problem?
There is a lack of real dialogue. A well-run survey would help. The trustees dismiss reasonable advice. Why? We have all heard President Eisenhower’s warning to beware the “military industrial complex.” Well, in an ironic way, there is a “library industrial complex” which influences our trustees.
Let’s draw a distinction between two aspects of this discussion: 1) the wonderful programs and services that libraries provide and 2) the business of constructing new libraries. When I refer to the library industrial complex, I am focusing on the pressure to build a big, mega library project which is out of proportion to the needs or sentiments of our community.
They say the only way to improve the library building is to destroy the old building rather than renew it. Only recently have the trustees ordered environmental and structural assessments to be set in motion. How interesting! So, over all these years they have been making judgments based on the advice of the “library industrial complex,” along with some local irrational exuberance, rather than real facts. We do need more space, but not a mega library.
When the debate moves away from facts, then the argument turns and our sympathies are manipulated. Oh, they say, don’t you love the wonderful programs that are provided for our children? (yes, we do!) Don’t you love all the services and programs? (yes, we do!) Then surely you will spend whatever is necessary to build a new library according to industry standards? (Not so fast.) Oh, but there are architectural studies and recommendations, all with grand projections which promote a large building that will “last for 50 years!”
Rather than patriotism and fear, the salient arguments of the military industrial complex, here our natural inclination to have a wonderful library is manipulated into — think expansive. Don’t you want a bigger library? Woodstock is expanding and needs a huge library to accommodate all the new residents.
The fact that our library can be renovated and expanded for our children and last for decades is not good enough for those who have succumbed to the rationales of the library industrial complex.
Now is an important time while the trustees are searching for another way to propose the same project after the loss of their excessive bond proposal. This library building issue requires effort to overcome the vast resources being spent to tear down and construct a mega library.
Please help us. It takes considerable effort to get the word out. Support our work to renew and save the library. Contact www.libraryalliance.com. Thank you so much for promoting a real dialogue.
With her gun-porn image
Recently, Republican congresswoman MTG attempted to defend herself: “I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true.” Could there possibly be a more stupid defense than this?
This psychotic, warped and pathetic excuse for a human being, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a political Typhoid Mary, has got to go. There needs to be a tipping point of sanity and decency. With Trump, it should have ended when he mocked a disabled reporter and bragged about sexual assault. It didn’t.
Now, this newly elected dangerous nincompoop who in the past stalked teenage gun massacre survivors, tells parents who lost children to mass shootings that it was a hoax and threatens death to political opponents. Oh, then there’s the anti-Semitic Jewish space laser baloney about who’s responsible for California wild fires. She represents the unhinged, batshit crazy folks that looked to a game show host for national leadership. When it comes to impaired thinking, well, she’s mainlined it, she has tweeted it, she’s embraced it. There is only one word for her — OUT!!
I’m baffled that her behavior is considered “OK” by fellow GOPer’s, especially after the treasonous attempt of insurrection recently on the Capitol building and Congress. I was baffled that the previous administration’s hate mongering was “OK” by the Republicans (even supported with rally cries). I’m baffled that logic, common sense and good judgment have gone by the wayside with the GOP. Unacceptable behavior shouldn’t be rewarded, but, rather, identified and condemned. How impaired does a government have to be until it sees nothing so that “it doesn’t hear the truth, it doesn’t react to the truth and most importantly, it doesn’t uphold the truth?”
She is a cancer in congress and it’s sad that she was ever elected. I’m sure another person can accomplish a lot more for the American people than she will. It must suck to be a reasonable GOP politician these days. All of a sudden your base has gone off the deep end and supports all sorts of crazies and right-wing militia groups. Here’s a thought: Leave the GOP and come over to the reasonable party that quenches its thirst on truth/facts and not right-wing extremism.
Turbidity is problematic
Last week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) held a public hearing on the New York State Environmental Protection Agency’s (DEP) Environmental Impact Statement that the DEP uses to secure a state permit to manage turbidity in the Ashokan Reservoir. During this hearing, I made a statement as a former county legislator who represented the village and town of Saugerties, and I conferred with village of Saugerties resident Sal Cigliano who was instrumental in lobbying the village and town governments in Saugerties to purchase the $90,000 harvester Machine that clears out the Water Chestnut and Milfoil at the Saugerties Beach and along the Esopus Riparian area in Saugerties.
My statements at the public hearing reflected the observations of Mr. Cigliano from his recent survey of the Esopus Riparian areas over the last six weeks. Mr. Cigliano has been instrumental in performing the clean-up efforts through his operation of the harvester machine along the Esopus Creek Drive Riparian area and at the Saugerties Beach and I made statements on his behalf.
Strategically, the DEP releases turbid waters from the Gilboa Reservoir/Dam when water levels become high. The water flows down the Shandaken Tunnel prior to depositing into the western and eastern catch basins of the Ashokan Reservoir. Turbid water releases are conducted from both areas in order to ensure the cleanliness of New York City drinking water. What is lacking in this reservoir system is filtration plants. Ideally, three filtration plants south of the Gilboa Reservoir/Dam, south of the Ashokan and north of the Kensico Reservoir in the Croton Watershed should be constructed. The detractor is that this would cost between $1.5 billion to $3 billion. Back in the 1960s-1970s, two filtration plants at Gilboa and Ashokan should have been constructed when construction costs were substantially lower and federal grant funding was more abundant.
During my four years representing the village and town of Saugerties in the Ulster County Legislature, turbidity was problematic within Saugerties and it continues to be problematic. A proliferation of Water Chestnut, Milfoil and muddy muck has followed turbid discharges from the DEP that were abundant after record rainfalls in 2009 and 2011. Between 2013-2014, I attended numerous public hearings and press conferences about this issue and wrote several letters to the newspaper outlining the problem and suggesting solutions. The layers of government that have home-rule standing and associative lawmaking powers are at the town and state levels of government.
Innovative ways to produce funding for filtration plants is the end-solution. Perhaps the Catskill Watershed Corporation could mass produce and sell Catskill Mountain spring water as one source of revenues along with tourism-driven revenues and advertising revenues. Unfortunately, in the current budget crises under the Covid-19 pandemic, municipal bond funding for a costly capital project would be fiscally prohibitive. Until filtration plants are constructed, turbid waters will plague the stretch of Esopus Riparian communities from Phoenicia to Esopus. In the meantime, structural and engineering deficiencies in the Gilboa Reservoir/Dam and along the Phoenicia Riparian frontage can be repaired and more studies can identify how specific areas are affected by timed turbid releases.