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.
It just keeps getting better & better
Rule # 1 of understanding Trump: “Always accuse others of that which you are guilty of.” Remember? “They spied on me,” cried Trump; meanwhile, he had his Justice Department spying on congressmen (and their families).
A scandal of epic proportions. Straight out of the Dictator’s Playbook. We knew from the beginning that the Trump administration would be one of the most corrupt and insensitive administrations in the history of American politics, but it is even worse than we had imagined with these disturbing new revelations trickling out. It’s going to become clearer as we go just how awful his tenure was and what went on inside Donald Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ).
When it comes to depraved, unethical, immoral behavior, nothing is “unheard of” under the previously crime-ridden Trump “administration” and what he considered his personal DOJ. His White House was very Putinesque, very proto-dictator-type behavior – hmm – similar even to Gestapo techniques in Hitler’s Germany. When you think they can’t go any lower, down they go!
It feels like a broken record posting constantly about how this is what authoritarians, dictators, tyrants and despots do. It is not what people experience in democratic and free societies. Trump’s hit squad makes Watergate look like child’s play, as he used the leaks as an excuse to spy on his political opponents and for them to investigate their families; it is mind-boggling and a big effin’ problem. However, every time I see this kinda shit, excuse me, it’s shocking, but not surprising!
How his MAGA followers, the “Don’t tread on me” folks, don’t see this as astounding and scary is beyond comprehension. My logical brain still doesn’t understand those who voted for him the first time or the second time and still want to vote for him again. That’s like convincing the hens to vote to let the fox in the henhouse. He never cared for the American public before taking office, during his squatting session in the Oval Office nor now, after he has left it.
Imagine if he had been reelected and we had four more years of this abuse of power. Trump plus his corrupt administration would have gotten America a secret police and people disappearing in the middle of the night. This lifelong criminal is still very dangerous and not to be ignored. And for his AGs, Barr and Sessions, to deny any involvement is pure BS! “Birds of a feather flock together.” These losers need to be held accountable, as should any of the other enablers and sycophants involved in upending democracy and the rule of law!
Just saying. The current inspector general of the DOJ better have some teeth! I’m sick of no consequences. What about Trump’s obstruction of justice from the Mueller investigation? What about January 6? What about all of the other umpteen terrible things he has done? When are the criminals of the Trump Syndicate and its lawlessness going to finally be prosecuted? Will something be done with the results, or will we just do circular investigations? We need investigations and prosecutions and serious consequences to make sure no future administration even considers such abuse of power like his.
We need to vote in 2022 with a sense of urgency. Our lives depend on it. We voters are in control. The problem is the “willful stupidity” of the Trumpublican voter, and that’s gonna be hard to counter; but we must win these upcoming elections and stay out of the dark and evil shadows of authoritarianism.
Thank you Anita Cunniff and Rich Steffens for your recent help as we work towards transferring the Oliver House on Broadhead from Stewart’s so it may be restored.
As part of the plan for its new location on North Chestnut Street, Stewart’s Shops donated the property at 5 Broadhead Ave to the Village of New Paltz. The village will be inviting proposals to purchase the house so it may be restored.
The house was once owned by Ann Oliver, the widow of Richard Oliver, a Black soldier who died of malaria returning home to New Paltz after serving in the Civil War. It was built in 1885, in part by Jacob Wynkoop (born 1829), also a Civil War veteran and one of New Paltz’s first black landowners. Wynkoop was a local builder who constructed a series of homes that define a New Paltz neighborhood in the area of what is now Broadhead, Church and Mulberry streets.
All proposals and bids will be considered, but the village will give special consideration to plans that honor the Oliver Family, Jacob Wynkoop and black history. Bidders may also choose to include other public benefits such as an affordable housing deed restriction, sustainable building practices or cutting-edge energy-efficiency features. Proposals must assume that the house will be transferred in as-is condition.
Stay tuned for more details about how to respond to the village’s RFP to restore the Oliver House.
Anita and Rich, thanks again for your assistance.
Mayor Tim Rogers
There are two things that are certain in life: 1) The sun will rise in the morning and 2) Hudson Valley One’s Feedback section will include an anti-Trump or anti-Republican diatribe from one or two Trump haters. (Hi Neil.) The following is a commentary on the second certain thing. This parody should be sung to the tune of Cole Porter’s fabulous “I’ve Got You under My Skin” in the best Sinatra imitation one can muster up. (Note to reader: It really isn’t fair to ask the “Trump is not POTUS but he’s still bad” writers to comment on the crisis at our southern border – as I’ve done below – since press reports, for some reason, are sorely lacking on this story. Come to think of it, this “lacking” of stories on matters that might cause people to question POTUS Joe’s policy decisions should be considered another of…life’s certainties.)
Trump’s gotten…under your skin
You write every week about him
And it…never goes so well
You sound so tormented in soul
Like someone who’s stuck in Hell
Seems Trump…is under your skin
Your letters…are…always the same
You write as if Trump…is still president
It seems that you haven’t heard yet
DC has…a…new resident
Old Donald’s…under your skin
You’ve sacrificed everything in your fight
Writing words full of bile and fear
But I’m warning you like a light in the night
That sounds like a voice, yelling loud in your ear
You should know… angry man
That Trump didn’t win
That’s just the reality
Adjust your mentality
Don’t say “no can do” ‘cos this thought of you
Makes me smile and say through a grin
Trump’s got-ten…under your skin
Trump’s living…at ease in your head
He’s paying no rent; that…is quite obvious
That would be…simply sad, if it wasn’t so serious
Trump’s crawling…all over your skin
Write boldly of…Joe Biden’s deeds
Tell us…of his goals and…what’s getting done
Let us know if his fight at the border
Is now really being won
Till then, Trump’s…under your skin
You’ve sacrificed everything when you write
For the sake of spouting your fears
But I’m warning you like a light in the night
That sounds like a ringing bell in your ears
Don’t you know…strident one
Joe Biden’s in charge:
His plans are reality
Wake up! Adjust your mentality
Don’t say “no can do,” write of something new:
Or else, you’ll be…filled with chagrin
And you’ll keep Trump under your skin
‘Cos Trump’s living under your skin
There are still hippies, but are there still “squares”?
Community pharmacies deserve protection from predatory Wall Street interests
In a world where partisan affiliations often create lines in the sand on important public policy issues, it was a pleasant and welcome surprise this legislative session when Democrat and Republican state legislators came together to defend community pharmacists from billion-dollar Wall Street corporations and their hired-gun Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs).
PBMs exercise tremendous control on the market, picking and choosing the drugs doctors and patients have access to through formularies and the reimbursements paid to pharmacies for their services. All too often these rates are below the cost of filling prescriptions, and the drugs PBMs do authorize frequently prove ineffective in caring for patients with chronic medical conditions.
Community pharmacists have little recourse. When they attempt to join together to negotiate better contracts through pharmacy services administration organizations (PSAOs), the PBMs push back and deflect attention from their own practices by claiming it is the PSAOs that need to be regulated. PSAOs don’t pick formularies and they don’t set reimbursement rates. The purpose of PSAOs is to level the playing field with PBMs and to help navigate the administrative maze that PBMs create to push local pharmacists out of business.
I applaud our elected representatives who bravely put Main Street ahead of Wall Street to ensure that community pharmacists are given fair treatment. For many, the community pharmacy is the primary point of access for medical care, and we must do all we can to ensure that community pharmacies survive and thrive.
In praise of skate parks
I am reaching out with open arms to thank you for bringing a skate park to our community. I am both a mom and a middle school teacher. I have seen firsthand how skateboarding can change lives. A skate park is such an important place in a community. It may not be the place for everyone, but it is everything to those who find their place there.
My 15-year-old daughter first picked up a board at the age of seven. She has long since outgrown our local playground, but will soon be driving herself to the skate park. On her skateboard, she has learned so many of life’s lessons. She has learned resiliency as she falls and gets back up again and falls and repeats. It takes time and dedication to hone your skills as a skateboarder. Bravery and confidence are also side effects of skateboarding. The skate park is full of math, physics and engineering – angles and equations, and skateboarding has its own complicated language. It’s fascinating! Skateboarding also teaches awareness, not only of yourself and your own skill set, but of those around you. The unspoken rules of a skate park are learned and passed from skateboarder to skateboarder and are very mannerly. You must read others and be alert, even just to know when it’s your turn.
Building a skate park creates a community. We have met our favorite people from around the world at skate parks. Where else do you see such diversity, from preschoolers to young adults, enjoying a shared activity? At Majestic Park in Gardiner, my daughter’s excitement over skateboarding gave us a new family. She started the Majestic SK8 Crew, where the kids all helped each other learn and grow, with weekly sessions over the past five years. The skateboard community takes care of each other, and I’ve witnessed so much sharing, as older skateboarders pass down their skills to the next generation. We even have found the best babysitters at the skate park over the years!
I’ve seen, as a teacher, how skateboarding saves lives. Handing a kid a skateboard gives them something productive to do and learn. You don’t get in trouble when you’re out working on your ollie or your tre flip. Skateboarding is accessible to everyone and full of inclusivity and diversity. Your gender, race and socioeconomic background do not matter at the skate park. All are welcome!
Skateboarders take care of each other, but they also need to be taken care of. The years of stigmatizing skateboarders needs to end as we celebrate the creativity, brilliance and magic of what they can do with a piece of wood on wheels. Our community needs to take care of its youth, and not just the kids who play soccer, lacrosse and baseball.
This July, we will all watch skateboarders from around the world compete in Park and Street events for the first time at the Olympics in Tokyo. Skateboarding is making history! When our community’s children watch wide-eyed at the 12 US competitors, several still kids themselves, and dream of being like them someday, a skate park will show them their value and help them reach for those dreams. Following a dream often requires picking yourself up off the floor a few times, and who knows how to do that better than a bruised-kneed skateboarder?
Please invest in all of our children! Come watch them skate! See you at the skate park!
We would like to thank Hudson Valley One for its lovely coverage of the event at Phillies Bridge Farm honoring volunteers Sally and Bill Vasse. There is one minor correction to note. Phillies Bridge Farm is the oldest non-profit community supported agriculture (CSA) program in the region, but there was one private CSA that preceded us; Four Winds Farm run by Jay Armour. In fact, when Phillies Bridge was getting started, Jay provided valuable advice and support for which we are eternally grateful. We are fortunate to have so many people in the region who recognize the value of healthy, sustainably grown, local produce and we are even more fortunate to have farmers committed to these practices.
Ariana Basco & Alexi Bolton,
co-presidents, Phillies Bridge Farm
Handicapped access at Kohl’s
I went into the Kingston Kohl’s store with my cane, needing to make an Amazon return. The store does not have curbside service for returns. I was expecting to find mobility scooters for my use, or to be able to make my return at the cash register. I was directed to the far end of the store, where there is a service desk. There were no mobility scooters, only two beat-up wheelchairs. I was alone; no one was available to push me in a wheelchair, and I cannot get to my feet from a low seat such as a wheelchair anyway. I tried to walk the considerable distance, but back pain prevented me from completing my errand. I had to beg a store associate to violate their procedures by completing my errand for me while I sat on a display table to rest my back.
Every supermarket and superstore I have ever gone into, as well as some smaller stores, has disability scooters. The store manager told me when I phoned that Kohl’s “doesn’t do that.” I was unable to reach any human being at corporate to discuss this. All their phone numbers are voicemail “jails” that go nowhere. There appears to be no accessibility compliance department, and customer service is only for matters concerning purchases. The manager could only say she would forward my concern to the district manager, evidently by e-mail. She could not provide me with a telephone number.
I have complained to Amazon that their free returns service, at least at Kohl’s, is not handicapped-accessible. One person who responded on Facebook has won arguments that Amazon should let her do free returns by mail because their drop-off locations (Kohl’s, here) are not accessible. I also filed an ADA complaint with the DOJ. May not win the suit, but maybe I’ll get their attention.
Establish a pollinator pathway
Once there were 7,000 types of apples in our country! Now 86 percent are gone. Once we had many bugs during the summer months on our windshields. Now they remain clear. Once birds and bugs were surrounded by native plants on which to feed and lay eggs. They don’t recognize non-native plants as part of their life cycle.
Native plants have more value than was formerly understood. Their pollination has a lot to do with our food supply. Without the birds and bees, our food supply is in danger.
Concerned people are creating pollinator pathways to address this issue. They turn some of their land – even lawns – into fields for native flora and grasses to help reverse the precipitous loss of birds and bees. Letting a field develop also involves some work: One must remove non-native plants, which would choke out native ones.
This is an important effort and calls on many of us to do something to establish a pollinator pathway. To learn more about pollinator pathways, go to www.pollinator-pathway.org and https://wallkillvalleylt.org/pp.
When I was a kid, we had no bike paths, bike lanes or bike signage. No helmets, either. I rode all over Westchester County for years, until something snapped on my 16th birthday. Come on, reader: What snapped?
Bikes came back into my life when mountain biking was taking off. I rode Mohonk and Minnewaska and the then-still-“short” rail trail and, foolishly, a lot of local roads. While I always wore a helmet, of course I was invincible, until a series of bad falls caused me to (thinking here of Calvin & Hobbes) hang my bike up in the garage and say to it, “I love you, but I cannot be trusted riding you anymore.”
I even arranged for one of my sons to ride from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean when he was only 15! Thirty days, every Southern state, in July!
Mr. Rogers did my letter great service. He quoted all the laws that protect bicyclists from being maimed and killed by drivers. If only. Ain’t many folks goin’ to change their crappy driving habits to observe these laws, Matt, and protect you and your son. Please, do not ride on Route 208 or Route 32 on a bicycle. But go nuts on the many great bike trails!
New Paltz supports For the People Act
Last week, the For the People Act, congressional legislation that would secure Americans’ voting rights, end gerrymandering of districts and expose the corruption of dark money in politics, was defeated in the Senate – not on an aye-or-nay vote, but by the filibuster: Radical Republicans refused to even bring the bills to the floor for debate. As those radicals voted to block Senate debate, the state legislatures in their control moved to suppress the freedom to vote with transparent restrictions.
But as Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said, “In the fight for voting rights, this vote was the starting gun, not the finish line.”
Americans who are unwilling to watch idly as democracy is slowly eroded will fight back. The next weeks will be busy with amended bills put forward, and action will be demanded of Democratic senators, who must now see that bipartisan voting reform is a dead issue with the radical Republican party. Reforming the filibuster will, in the end, protect our elections.
New Paltz can be proud that its elected leaders of both the Village and Town voted unanimously to support the pro-democracy planks of the For the People Act. Residents can do their part by contacting their congressional representatives and demanding that this is a battle that must be won.
The false assertion that the Second Amendment is useless for defense against a tyrannical government has been made recently by some of our leftist leaders in Washington. They said the citizens would need bazookas, fighter jets and possibly nuclear weapons to resist the government. Therefore, if there is no practical defense against our government, restricting Second Amendment rights will be for the greater good.
These same leftists keep repeating that our democracy was almost overthrown by a mob of white supremacists. First, I checked our founding documents and couldn’t find the word “democracy.” Our country is not a democracy; it is a republic. The Capitol mob was armed with posters, the sticks the posters were mounted on and a few other objects. Only one person was killed there. She was one of the trespassers: Ashli Babbit, shot by a still-anonymous Capitol cop. She was not armed.
Here’s the question: If we need weapons of war to fight the government, how was our government almost overthrown by trespassers with no firearms in the Capitol on January 6? Maybe it was something to do with the guy with the bison hat.
The other related point is the falsehood of white supremacy being our country’s greatest threat. There’s racial supremacists of all colors out there. They disgust me. A poll by ABC and the Washington Post found that about 10 percent of people think white supremacy is acceptable. I bet, no, guarantee, a poll by these two leftist “journalism” companies is skewed and the numbers are much smaller. These people were protesting the election, which was between two old white guys. Race wasn’t the reason for the controversy over the election.
Don’t you miss the $1.89 gas and mean tweets?
Bring back Woodstock
Congratulations to Marie and Bennett on their primary win. Hopefully they will make a difference as members of the Woodstock Town Board and to the Woodstock Democratic Committee, who once again endorsed a winner.
Apology to our mayor
I realize now that my letter last week was in a very bad taste. I overreacted to some of the situation here. I am embarrassed for my bad judgment, and I am deeply and genuinely sorry.
I have not heard any reaction from Tim, but a few people told me that I crossed the line by “demonizing” him. That was NOT my intent.
So, my sincere apology is due to Tim and anyone else who may have been offended by the text.
Note of clarification
Would like to confirm and take responsibility for an error of fact in a letter of mine published in the June 16 edition of this paper. I wrongly believed that I had successfully retracted that letter, which contained an error re: the inclusion of affordable housing at the proposed New Paltz Apartments project. I take full accountability for that error and apologize.
The Ulster County Charter mandates that every ten years a Revision Commission is to be appointed in order to review the Charter to see what may be done in order to improve county government.
One matter in need of review is the policy regarding what happens should an elected official leave office before their term is up. When Michael Hein vacated his office to work for the governor, the Charter mandated that a new County Executive be elected within 90 days. That didn’t leave enough time to hold a primary, so the political committees were forced to choose the candidates. This left out the vast majority of each party’s membership from the choosing.
And it could happen again. Pat Ryan is a West Point graduate, Iraqi war veteran, a successful businessman and a progressive Democrat. That’s a pretty impressive resume in today’s political environment. He might be offered a Federal post or decide to run for higher office. If so, then what happened when Hein left may very well happen again.
Which introduces another aspect. Should Ryan decide to leave, his chosen successor would take over until a new County Executive is elected. Which begs the question: should the same power be granted to a non-elected official as an elected one, or should the legislature have more oversight until a new Executive is elected?
Hopefully, the Commission will be appointed soon, as these are only two of the many complex issues that they will be called on to consider.
Assumptions vs. facts
Last week’s letter writer, Jay Brick, makes a lot of assumptions and supplies no contradictory facts to my letter last week defending RFK Jr. and those of us who refuse to take an experimental pseudo vaccine. First of all, I have been wearing a mask just in case, even though the latest science proves them absolutely ineffective. Mr. Brick alleges that we “deny the science,” but curiously provides no science in his letter to back up his assertions and only provides his usual demeaning rhetoric.
So let’s look at the documented facts. The mRNA pseudo-vaccine has never been used on humans before. Currently in the US, according to the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System, aka “VAERS,” data released last week by the CDC showed a total of 387,087 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 6,113 deaths and 31,240 serious injuries between December 14, 2020 and June 18, 2021.
Take into account that these US figures are only 1% of actual injuries and deaths, according to the CDC’s own website, meaning the 6,113 figure could be 60,000+ deaths and almost four million injuries. I personally know of two or three Covid-19 mRNA vaccine injured people in my circle of friends who required medical treatment or hospitalization after getting vaccinated.
Then we have the long-term effects of these mRNA vaccines that haven’t even showed up yet, like the altering of our immune system that could possibly produce anti-body enhanced development, aka “ADE.” ADE affects individuals exposed to a wild-type pathogen after having received a prior vaccination for the same pathogen and the inability to fight off such pathogen without experiencing severe symptoms or even death. The medical world is still evaluating and only time will tell what the potential for developing ADE after vaccination will be (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901381/).
So with all that in mind why should I or anyone else take an experimental vaccine when other effective therapies are available like, Ivermectin, which is 97% effective against the SARS-2 COVID virus (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370%2820%2930464-8/fulltext) .
Keep in mind that in the last four months there are nine new billionaires and they are all the heads of vaccine companies. They don’t want you taking Ivermectin, which has been time tested safe for over 40 years. Instead, they suppressed its use and push experimental vaccines so they can make their billions. No conspiracy there, right Mr. Brick?
In the June 23, 2021 feedback section of Hudson Valley One, Jay Brick suggests that “we can’t dissuade unreasonable people in their attempts to coerce those who rightly believe in science and medicine” regarding Covid.
With respect to Covid science and medicine, Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that, “Attacks on me are really attacks on science.” Which Dr. Fauci should a reasonable person believe: the Dr. Fauci who said wearing masks was unnecessary, or the Dr. Fauci who said wearing masks was necessary?
Should a reasonable person believe the Dr. Fauci who said herd immunity would be reached between 60% to 70%, the one who said it would be reached between 70% to 75%, the one who said 80% to 85% or the Dr. Fauci who said, “Herd immunity is no longer the goal?”
Should a reasonable person believe the Dr. Fauci who denied funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or the Dr. Fauci who, in a grant proposal that is a matter of public record, funded Dr. Shi Zengli’s coronavirus gain-of-function research in Wuhan with U.S. taxpayer money?
Covid vaccine manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer paid criminal fraud fines of $2.2 and $2.3 billion, respectively. Moderna had never had a vaccine approved before their experimental, emergency-use mRNA vaccine was authorized. Should a reasonable person trust these vaccine manufacturers?
Should a reasonable person believe those who claim the vaccines remain in the muscle at the injection site, or the Japanese study that found the mRNA vaccine’s spike protein entered the bloodstream — where it is toxic — and is lodging in body organs, with unknown long-term consequences?
With these and so many more reasonable questions, it is unconscionable that Mr. Brick believes the unvaccinated should be denied medical care if one contracts Covid.