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.
Join us to support women’s reproductive rights
New Paltz Women in Black stands in solidarity with the nation-wide mobilization to support women’s reproductive freedom. Please join us at our usual vigil place and time in front of Elting Library (93 Main Street) on Saturday, October 2nd from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m.
Along with a massive march in Washington, D.C., and actions in all 50 states, let us stand as a community to demand that lawmakers and courts respect women’s reproductive rights. This includes access to safe and legal abortions and control over our own lives.
Signs will be available or make your own. Wear masks and there will be social distancing. For more information and to sign up go to https://act.womensmarch.com/event/oct-2-2021-march/2433?source=website&akid= and go to womensmarch.com. Please join us!
New Paltz Women in Black
Making a mistake about the Little Bear
I have been watching with awe the way the new owner of the Bearsville Complex has been behaving — totally disregarding the local population of Woodstock and with an arrogance that made me kind of annoyed. So I decided to write this letter.
It is sad that her behavior is disparaging in a way and she is getting rid of all the icons of that complex. At this point, there is a kind of disregard towards the iconic Little Bear that has been in place over 40 years. It is amazing how someone can make such a mistake.
Also, I would like to clear up a couple of texts she and other people have been saying regarding the restaurant. One of them is the fact that the kitchen is dirty. Well, I wish I could be shown when the venue closed for unsanitary conditions over its lifetime in that complex.
Ms. Lizzi has agreed to have a meeting with community people to talk about the issue of her decision of this closure, but her meeting is mentioned for October 1, the day after the closure of the restaurant. Sounds to me to be idiotic. There is no timing or location of the meeting. I guess she must think we have some kind of intuition that will take us to her mind and read it.
Also, I heard from somebody that complained that he had found roaches in his space of eating, or dish, something like that. And that surprised me even more. I have been in this area more than 35 years and have never, ever, seen a roach anyplace in the surroundings of Woodstock or Bearsville. I’m guessing that gentleman probably brought that cockroach from where he came, probably Brooklyn, in the suit he was wearing and the roach escaped as soon as he arrived in the premises of the Little Bear. There is no other explanation, unless he brought it himself and put it there purposely. Surprisingly, he did not complain on that day or tell the Health Department or anybody about it.
I wish this newcomer would get a better feeling about us — the residents of this town — and listen more carefully to what everybody here is commenting about.
Creative by nature
Rokosz Most is a very fine writer. His (or her?) essay on Kingston potholes (“Pothole paradise”) is as good as the minor works of W. H. Auden.
Extremely impressed with your paper
Earlier this month, I spent a weekend at a cabin in Big Indian. It was meant to be a quick break from work, from the city. I had never visited the Catskills, and I was transfixed by the area’s natural beauty. But I was even more warmed by a copy of Hudson Valley One, which I found at a grocery store in Boiceville. I was not expecting such a loving and careful look at a far-flung area.
I understand that Hudson Valley One is the result of a consolidation of local weeklies – a move that was undertaken with no small amount of heartache by the owners of Ulster Publishing and greeted with consternation from some readers. I can appreciate those sentiments, but I have to applaud everyone involved in keeping local journalism alive in this region. I’m just a tourist; who cares what I think? But where else was I going to learn about the education of electric linemen (and women!), various zoning debates, the “Gunks lifestyle” and the spirited quarrels playing out in the Letters to the Editor section?
You are immensely lucky to have an independently owned newspaper here. I hope you know how special this paper is, and I hope you support it in every way you can.
M. B. Wilson
P.S. Would it be wise to have a few papers for sale at the Catskills Visitor Center? Seems like a typical copy of Hudson Valley One is more useful than half the brochures on their shelves. Not to throw shade or anything.
Support RYAN House
I would like to address a current project in the Village of Saugerties that will be nothing but a benefit to all in need and the community as a whole. As some of you may know, the previously known location of the Knights of Columbus has recently changed hands. The new owners are renaming and creating a place that the community will soon know as the RYAN House. “RYAN” stands for Raising Awareness About Narcotics. This will be a place that people in our community with addiction problems can be guided and supported in hopes of curing their battles with addiction.
Addiction is a disease that is devastating families across our great country – a disease that does not discriminate on any level. I’ve personally experienced the effects that addiction has on a family. I have also witnessed many addiction-related tragedies in my firefighting career as a volunteer with Centerville Cedar Grove Fire Department. I have had family go away for months at a time in programs that just do not work. I have been to houses more than once in the same day for overdoses. Unfortunately, my fellow first responders and I have had to leave a scene knowing the system is broken and this could be the last life save we make for a struggling addict. We often leave knowing that the next time we get the call for help, it may be too late.
Saugerties has been struck with a high rate of drug addiction cases. We all know someone who’s battling addiction or has been lost to addiction. Saugerties can only benefit from a place in our backyard where those who are battling their addictions can go to get help. I am, and will continue to be, a wholehearted supporter and advocate for the RYAN House. I urge anyone with skepticism to reach out and ask the principal who are behind this great project any questions you may have.
Saugerties has always banded together in times of need, and this is a time of need. Losing mental health and drug addiction services in Kingston and moving them to Poughkeepsie only hurt Saugerties and Ulster County. We can do better as a community, and this is our opportunity to do so. Please join me in supporting the RYAN House for a better future for those facing some of their darkest times.
Town of Saugerties
Kids, both boys and girls, eighth grade and up, from all over the Hudson Valley ran the trails through the forests and fields of Mohonk for the first meet of this year’s oft-overlooked cross-country season. For much of these races, only squirrels and deer cheered them on, as fans watched the start and finish, sending them off with great enthusiasm and then again burst into cheering as the fittest and fastest dug deep for strong finishes, with everyone feeling the burn!
For some of us, the memories these tough kids kindled were distant, and much missed. As in life, running both uphill and downhill to the finish took what is called “true grit,” real toughness. To all of you who ran, congratulations! Please support the Mohonk Preserve.
School tax surcharge
When paying my school taxes, I took advantage of the possibility to pay online, which was easy and efficient – except that when I got my e-mail receipt, I noticed to my shock that I was charged $102 extra for this service.
The School District says it is plainly marked on the form that there will be an extra charge. I never saw it. And anyway, $102? This is an exorbitant amount. The District should protect its residents from such charges. I would have paid by check had I known what it would cost me.
Editor’s note: At the request of Beverly Traum, the following letter is being reprinted from the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) president’s blog:
Remembering past president Stephen B. Young, MD
A cherished colleague and friend to many of us passed away this past weekend (September 4, 2021): Stephen B. Young, MD. Dr. Young was AUGS’ 26th president, serving in 2004-2005. He was an advocate of excellence in gynecologic surgery and was pivotal in the establishment of the AUGS-SGS Fellows Pelvic Research Network (FPRN). He was beloved by his patients, medical students, residents and fellows and significantly contributed to training accomplished surgeons/providers within the urogynecology community.
With the help of his past fellows, the following summary of his professional career is presented: Young graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1968, followed by a surgical internship at Mount Sinai. He was an on-call doctor for the iconic Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. He relocated to Woodstock in the early 1970s, where he was a general practitioner, opening an office in a small house in Silver Hollow as well as driving around Woodstock in a refurbished Suburban – outfitted with a bed and cabinets – delivering babies. In the late ‘70s, he moved to northern Maine, where he practiced low-risk obstetrics until the early 1980s. Young then was accepted into the Brown University Ob/Gyn Residency program. He was passionate about vaginal surgery under the tutelage of Dr. David Nichols at Brown and was always very proud of his surgical pedigree.
In 1990, Dr. Young founded the Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery (Urogynecology) at the University of Massachusetts, where he was director until retiring in 2010. While at UMass he taught four FPMRS fellows (Lisa Labin, Scott Kambiss, Emily Weber LeBrun, Diego Illanes). He was known throughout UMass as a wonderful educator and dynamic mentor who used vibrant language and imagery. He took patient care very seriously, but was also known among his fellows as a fun-loving jokester and connoisseur of a diverse variety of music. He mentored Allison Howard into becoming a skilled urodynamics technician and an incredibly skilled research assistant. Allison assisted Steve with everything from study design, subject recruitment, poster creation and anatomic drawings. In his last years, Steve took up painting and gifted a collage to Allison filled with images and words, including, “Laughter to be of a kind that inspires joy; for, after all, that is why we are here. SBY”
After his retirement, Steve returned to Woodstock, New York, where he reunited with a wonderful woman, Beverly Traum, whom he had first met back in the 1970s. They were married for several years before he passed away. Steve and Bev lived on a farm with a lovely lily-covered pond and a barn converted into a guest house. He enjoyed walking through the woods and meadows with his Irish wolfhound, Moira, for many years before she passed – most recently with their golden, DeeDee. Steve was a proud father to three children and four grandchildren.
Holly E. Richter, PhD, MD
American Urogynecologic Society
As good a yardstick as any…
Jewish mothers: the architects of humanity. According to my mother, the fetus is not considered human until it graduates medical school.
Rosh Hashanah wishes to all my Jewish brethren and sistren, “L’ Shana Tova.”
Thanks for protecting trees
Brian Hubert, in his story in Hudson Valley One August 25, wrote of tree roots lifting sidewalk slabs as if the trees were the criminals and the sidewalks the victims. The tree in question took 40 years to reach this height, while the sidewalk and its repair can be laid in less than 40 hours. Both are on public property. Cutting down the tree would certainly not eliminate the sidewalk damage; only repairing the sidewalk will.
There are at least three ways of doing this. One is to trim the raised root and relay the sidewalk as it was. The second is to gently rise and bridge the sidewalk over the root. The third would be to curve the sidewalk around the tree base. Where the tree lawn is too narrow, this might require the adjacent property owner’s permission if the curve invaded his or her private lawn.
The Tree Commission, under its chair Rosemary Brackett and mayor Bill Murphy, has done a marvelous responsible job of protecting both our Village trees and the walkability of the Village. I commend them on their accomplishments. The property owners maintain their homes and surrounding landscape with loving care. Thanks to them, Saugerties is a lovely Village to ramble in and eat and shop and socialize.
Why you’re alive today
You’re alive today because your ancestors and parents got vaccinated and they vaccinated you.
The non-vaccinated and non-masked have the same emotions and needs as I do; we are of the same species. They shop the same stores, go to the same doctors and swim in the same pools. Inside, we care about the same things. Politics bends the truth and distorts fact to benefit one party while the losing party attempts to lie back into the majority. All the while common folk pay with their lives, their health, their peace. If we all were in a sinking boat, we’d most likely unite our needs and priorities to save the women and children first. We’d have no problem sending the self-worshipers off in their own small rowboat with a hole in it. The reality is we are in a sinking boat called the USA.
Our leadership sees health care as a commodity. I watch folks who don’t have health insurance and know their deaths will come sooner than those with health insurance. There are places now in the United States the insured can no longer open hospital doors, no matter how much cash they have in hand. Those hospitals are filled with the unvaccinated.
The elite wealthy are not insulated from the new variants coming, even though the majority of them are vaccinated. Each new variant strengthens the pandemic germ. The protective cash bubble leadership surrounds itself with is no obstacle for the next variant. COVID will come from the garbageman, the housekeeper, the postal woman delivering their mail. No matter how much money you wrap yourself in, the next renditions of the pandemic will find you. I imagine the next variant will be called something like IGNOR: an acronym meaning In God’s Name it’s Our Right.
America’s leadership’s loss of morality is expedited by the commoditizing of every aspect of human life. This fact is evidenced by voting Trump to the presidency. Trump is the most outrageous out-of-line human form who has overtly revealed that money is worth more than human life. Our traditional political demagogues have never been so bold to reveal openly this truth.
We’ve reached a place in our politics where trust is a commodity that you must buy. If you run out of money, you’ll lose all trust. The American public in general trusts no one they vote in. We’ve been conditioned to vote for the lesser liars. The Republicans’ rhetoric demands more money to buy trust. The Democrats make believe we’ll return to telling the truth and humanity will awaken. They leave out the only pathway for the slightest chance of that happening lies in a catastrophe, returning all humans to the common denominator of working together to survive.
So, thank your parents for looking into your future and deciding to tolerate your tears when you got the shot in your arm.
A grateful town, a resilient spirit
The Volunteers’ Day: A Day of Gratitude event in Woodstock is a testimony to the resilience of the people here as they endure this pandemic and its economic stress.
So many good neighbors went out of their way to provide a unique event for the volunteers. No other town in America has an event like this. This letter is a heartfelt thank-you to all those who helped to make Volunteers’ Day a success.
The Woodstock Volunteers’ Day Board of Directors: Tamara Cooper, president; Sue Carroll, vice president; Kathy Anderson, secretary; Helene Aptekar, Fran Braun, Peter Cammarata, Alan Gottesman, Claire Keith, Britt St. John and Ron Vanwarmer.
Volunteer outreach: Helene Aptekar. Restaurant outreach: Fran Braun, Joyce and Ron Balsamo, Fred Nicolai, Diane Pennay, Britt St. John, Lynn Brusky, Ron Vanwarmer, Leigh Kofke, Cathy Magarelli, Ron and Joyce Balsamo, Tamara Cooper. The restaurants who donated food: Cub Market, Sylvia, Pearl Moon, Garden Café, Pub, Red Onion, Sunfrost, Bistro-to-Go, Woodstock Meats, Shindig, Oriole 9, Nancy’s, Maria, Sunflower, Hannaford’s, Cucina, Overlook Bakery and the Little Bear.
The music was arranged, organized and managed by Alan Gottesman, with help from Rennie Cantine.
The children’s hat and mask activities: Peggy Fusco, Diane Colello, Cayenne Fusco and Beth Einhorn.
Supervised the decorations: Peter and Lorraine Cammarata. The teenagers who helped with setting up the tables, decorating the park with balloons: Ellie Kothe, Owen Martinez, Jameer Maize, thanks to Pat Acker at the Woodstock Youth Center.
The army of helpers who worked hard to make the event happen: Richard Fusco, Steve Charney, Morgan Edwards, Erika Prindle, Yvonn Sewell, Diane Colello, Michael Hantman, Paul Waddington, Jack Conaway, Felicia Kacsik, Nikki Swarthout, Andrew Mundi, Randi Mundi, Linda Lover, Terry Lover, Chris Bailey, George Clapper, Richard Simms, Lorraine Cammarata, Lily Stoudt, Brett Munson, Georgia Maddocks, Jim Hansen, Iris Fodor, Harriet Klein, Lex Grey, Vickor Deggio.
Those who helped to make sense out of the parking lot: Steve Granadir and Jim Robinson.
A very big thank-you to Britt St. John for doing an outstanding job, being there from morning to night and into the next day. He helped to return Andy Lee Field to a pre-event condition.
The EMTs: Danielle Fontaine, Lorraine Brink and medic George McCann.
A big thank-you to Bill McKenna, our Woodstock Town supervisor, who supported Volunteers’ Day in so many ways.
The musicians who donated their performances: Bennett Harris, Katie Eklund and Gabbi Eklund, Peter Einhorn Trio – Sam Einhorn, Matt Garrity and Beth Einhorn, Dave Heinlein, David Laks, Harvey Boyer, Ruperto Ifil, Jackson Speller, JV Squad – Joe Veillette, Jasmine Veillette, Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers – Vic Mix, Ed Was, Ted Boburka, Brian Dewan, Edward James Band – Karl Steem, Dave Tobias, Ray Scarth, Rennie Cantine and Friends – Sabrina Miller, Mike Minervini, Sean Tarleton and Sara Sa.
Our community found the time to honor the kind and generous people among us who make our world a better place. Volunteers are the royalty among us. They deserve to have a day celebrated in their honor.
Tamara Cooper and Sam Magarelli
Support for local not-for-profits
The Ride for Mental Health is pleased to announce that it has made two donations to support local community non-profits doing great work in the mental health area. Donations of $5,000 each were made yesterday to the New Paltz Youth Program and to the Maya Gold Foundation. CEO and founder of the Ride Mac Dorris noted, “We are so pleased to be able to make these donations to a couple of local organizations that are helping our youth. They are doing such great work for our teens.”
The Ride for Mental Health is an annual bicycle charity ride that takes place in New Paltz each June with two goals: to end the stigma associated with mental illness and to raise money for education, research and treatment of mental illness. To date, the Ride has raised over $800,000. To learn more, go to www.rideformentalhealth.org.
on behalf of the Ride for Mental Health 2021
Drivers & pedestrians: Safety concerns
Long ago, there were only a few cars on our local roads. Today, cars or trucks and pedestrians are everywhere. To be safe, can we please follow some common-sense rules of the road?
Drivers: When passing pedestrians on local roads, slow down and stay in your lane. Do not pull into the oncoming traffic lane: a dangerous move for you and everyone. Roads are wide enough for drivers to pull toward the center line, and if the driver has slowed enough, you can safely pass pedestrians.
Pedestrians: “Walk facing the oncoming traffic.” That old rule still holds. You can see the drivers. You won’t get hit from behind.
If you’re in a group, split up and walk single file until the car passes. If you have a dog or stroller, stay as close to edge of road as possible until the car passes. Watch the driver.
I’m on our roads a lot, as a driver and a pedestrian (solo, walking a dog or walking with friends). As a ped, I’m terrified when drivers pull into the oncoming traffic lane to pass. (Crash, crunch.) On curving roads, there are limited sightlines and fast-moving cars may appear suddenly from the other direction. If I’m walking on the edge of the road, why risk your life and other lives driving on the wrong side?
As a driver, I’m disheartened when pedestrian groups take over the road, forcing drivers into the wrong lane to get by. We don’t have sidewalks, so peds, we need to be aware of drivers – and vice versa.
Bottom line: Share the space, safely.
Movie star Biden
Watching President Biden in action, I realized he reminds me of movie characters. His mumbling, fumbling, stumbling when reading a speech someone else wrote and his inability to give coherent answers to question: He’s the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. Both lack a functioning brain. Knowing the Rules of Engagement, he had to approve the drone strike that killed ten innocents including seven children, and taking no responsibility or offering sympathy: He’s like the Tin Man no heart. His refusal to take questions from the press or rebuke China for COVID at the UN: the Cowardly Lion. And watching his attack and threats to those who choose not to get vaccinated, he’s the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, yelling, “Off with their heads!” It’s no wonder he’s so popular with the Hollywood elite.
Thank you, Erin, for opening doors
A recent issue of this paper featured an article by Erin Quinn about rock climbers in the Shawangunk Ridge who benefited from the assistance of rangers who helped those with physical challenges scale our famous cliffs.
This prompted me, an older New Paltz resident who is physically limited to achieve long hikes as I once did, with a desire to go to Lake Awosting. I wondered whether some support might be available so I could swim in that lovely lake once again. Realizing that swim season was over, I decided to explore my options now with the hope that next season might open the possibility for me and others.
I learned that Jorge Gomes, a park manager, might be able to help me make arrangements. Jorge kindly put me in touch with Mike Carlson, a park forest ranger, who said he could take me to Lake Awosting that afternoon as he made his rounds to check on the trails and lake.
Indeed, both park officials could not have been more helpful. I rode out to Lake Awosting in the ranger’s truck and was educated and informed by Mike as we took the ride. Mike helped several visitors along the way and generously stopped so that I could take some photos. I was respected and supported. I felt happy and understood by these kind local state employees.
Thank you, Erin, for opening these doors for me.
I want to send a sincere thank-you to the members of Woodstock’s Fire Department for their tribute to those whose lives were lost on that tragic day.
September is Suicide Prevention Month. Reach out to a veteran. It can make a difference. And if you are a veteran, make the life-affirming decision to reach out to somebody when you are feeling down or overwhelmed. Alone is a stone. Your life is precious. Reaching out for help is a good decision.
The documentary Why Can’t We Serve? is all about finding ways to reduce veteran suicides. Take an hour to watch the movie. It’s bound to help. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/XetkuSEW4P8.
Three reasons not to get the booster shot
Some people worry that the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, were developed much too quickly to be trusted. Once public health scientists realized that SARS-CoV-2 led to a disease with a fatality rate ten times that of the average influenza epidemic, government scientists, academic scientists and drug company scientists worked together to design vaccines against it. Scientists dropped other research to help in the search for an effective vaccine. And research over past decades was used to help produce and test the new ways to develop immunity, the mRNA vaccines. There was some luck involved, as the search for vaccines against some other infectious diseases took a lot longer or have yet to be developed.
Now that one vaccine has been accepted as a non-emergency vaccine by the FDA, there is no reason not to be vaccinated. Since my childhood, when we all were infected with the “childhood diseases,” parents have been spared the injuries and deaths caused by those universal diseases to their children. Except for children who for medical reasons can’t be vaccinated, all other children are vaccinated at various stages of their development, which protects them and those who can’t get vaccinated.
I now have three reasons not to get the booster shot against COVID-19. There is the ethical reason of not consuming a vaccine shot when perhaps 3% of those in the developing countries are vaccinated, not because of vaccine hesitancy but because there are no vaccine shots to be had. Secondly, I refuse the booster shot because vaccinating people who are not vaccinated will help protect me against variants which will otherwise be incubating in those vulnerable people. Thirdly, the FDA overruled the committee charged with determining whether booster shots should be given; it said booster shots aren’t necessary yet.
Andi Weiss Bartczak
September is passing and with it the anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11. Most certainly the deaths of 3000+ office workers and additional brave first responders was the initial terrible loss to our country and state. But there is another tragic loss and that is the escalating lack of faith in the government and the reasonable suspicion that it may have been involved in that horrible deed in some way.
First of all, planes have to submit a flight plan before take-off. If a plane deviates from its submitted flight plan, it will be intercepted by military jets sent by the FAA/NORAD defense system (https://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2015/media/Intercept-Procedures.pdf). From the 1990’s till September 11th, 2001 there were on average two planes per week deviating from their flight plan requiring FAA/NORAD intercepts, which happened without fail, each and every time. Yet on September 11th, 2001 we are supposed to accept that four hijacked planes deviated from their flight plan without any intercept, three hit their targets, and the third one, which we had an hour’s advance notice of, allegedly hit the most protected building on Earth, the Pentagon, without any interference.
Anyone in the military knows full well this would be impossible without some level of inside cooperation. The alternative to cooperation is the hijackers with no commercial flight training on 757’s and 767’s had a very lucky day with our multi-billion dollar defense system; VP Dick Cheney changing the decades-long command protocol of generals ordering shoot down of hijacked planes to only Rumsfeld and Cheney (directive J-3 CJCSI 3610.01A) and who both were conveniently “out of the loop” when 9/11 occurred and allegedly not able to order shoot downs; most of our defense jets sent away from the 9/11 region doing practice exercises of hijackings that allegedly confused the FAA; high rise steel-framed buildings that never before in the history of the world collapsed due to fires, three collapsing into their own footprint in 6 to 12 seconds including the 47-story WTC building #7 not even hit by a plane; and the discovery of classified military grade incendiary/explosive nanothermite residues in the dust at ground zero. The odds of all that happening randomly is beyond astronomical. Currently, there is a Federal Grand Jury in the Southern District of NY reviewing the evidence for controlled demolition, but has so far not revealed its determination. For more info, visit: https://www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org.
Support Mike Boms in Hurley
Hurley is fortunate to have an outstanding candidate running for Town Board this fall: Mike Boms.
A few years back, Mike Boms approached the solidly Republican Town Board under the old regime of Gary Bellows, to suggest they work on extending cable and broadband throughout Town. He was summarily dismissed and essentially told that “Hurley is not going to take on a $2 billion company.”
So, the Hurley’s cable franchise agreement was ignored for 40 years and important sections of Hurley remained with no internet service. But Mike wouldn’t take no for an answer. He diligently gathered neighborhood and resident support. With his fortitude and perseverance, he got elected to the Town Board. Then he got to work on bringing cable to the whole Town, just like he said he would. He pushed back against Spectrum for a better franchise agreement that enabled the spread of broadband to all Hurley — at no cost to the taxpayers.
That’s real leadership. We need to re-elect Mike Boms to continue moving Hurley forward. He knows this town and has the strength and wisdom to help it grow.
Learn more about Mike’s ideas at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL68-0_qmRW93Eb8CHehKxMcKaHMzVk6vH.
Early voting begins October 23. Vote Row A all the way.