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.
Your vote is important
Town candidates in Gardiner are unopposed this year. Town supervisor Marybeth Majestic and Town Board member Warren Wiegand are incumbents with many years of experience as effective stewards of town government. Local attorney Carol Richman is running to replace retiring Town Board member David Dukler. Carol brings not just her skills as an attorney, but many years of direct experience with Gardiner on the Planning Board and the Environmental Conservation Commission. She is an unrelenting advocate for the environment and is dedicated to revitalizing Gardiner small businesses.
The other town candidates, Brian Stiscia and Michelle Mosher, are highly effective longtime town servants as highway superintendent and town clerk, respectively. Finally, accomplished trial attorney and former New Paltz School Board president Robert Rich is running for a third term as town justice and is recognized as an even-handed arbiter of justice in Gardiner.
So, with no competition for these critical posts, why even show up to the polls? There are several reasons why, but two stand out above the others.
First, there is one critically important contested race in Gardiner and Shawangunk that by itself is reason to vote this year. Our incumbent county legislator, Tracey Bartels, is facing a serious challenge by Republican Kimberly Calderone. Bartels, a tireless advocate for the environment and low taxes, is now one of the most senior of all county legislators, a past chair of the County Legislature and proven legislative leader. Reelecting Tracey to work with her fellow Gardiner resident, county executive Pat Ryan, will ensure that our town is treated fairly in Kingston. Presently, Democrats hold a one-vote majority in the legislature. Now is not the time to possibly flip control of the Legislature to Republicans by electing Calderone, a newcomer to politics, a Trump supporter and a recent Gardiner transplant, in place of Bartels’ proven and effective leadership. We must reelect Tracey Bartels to the County Legislature.
Second is voting rights and redistricting reform. We are living in troubled times where the right to vote is being undermined across the country by “the Big Lie” and a cynical reaction by Republicans to limit access to the polls and, unbelievably, to allow certain state legislatures to invalidate the results of lawful elections they disagree with. Here in New York, we can expand access to the franchise and demonstrate our dedication to “small-d democracy” by voting Yes on Ballot Propositions 3 and 4, which would amend the New York Constitution to allow same-day voter registration and no-excuse voting. New York voters should make it easier to vote in our state and send a message to the nation that voting is a critical right that must not be abridged. In addition, Proposition 1 enacts redistricting reform in New York, so voters choose politicians rather than the other way around. That should receive a Yes vote as well. I recommend a great website with details on all six (6) ballot measures and all candidates at VoteUlster.com.
Election Day is November 2. Early voting starts on October 23 (details at elections.ulstercountyny.gov/early-voting). There is still time to get an absentee ballot. Gardiner residents need to make a plan to vote and carry it out in 2021. As always, the stakes are high.
Open letter to Anthony Delgado
Sir, I would like to start this letter by asking you to read what I am writing to you. Why am I saying this? Because I feel like I am trying to communicate in a thunderstorm. There are thunderclaps from new strains of COVID, raining words from opposing politicians, skies darkening from the aftereffects of the insurrection.
Who am I? I am a Marine combat vet of the Vietnam War. I was the head of veterans’ treatment at Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital in Katonah, New York. I am a patient of the Stratton VA in Albany.
I am sure you know the issue with Phillips, the supplier of CPAP and other respiratory devices for VA hospitals. I have slept with a CPAP for ten years. Without it, my life is at risk. The VA let me know a few months ago that the CPAP is outgassing a cancer-causing chemical from its soundproofing foam. Then they tell me that I should call my doc to see if I should keep using it. It turns out that my Phillips CPAP serial number shows that it is one that is dangerous. I keep using this machine because I can’t sleep without it.
Next, I get a letter from Phillips with large red print on it telling me how dangerous using the machine is, and I should call my doc to see if I should still use it. I go online to investigate and find out there are two letters that Phillips sends out; one to doctors and one to CPAP users. A man on YouTube read the doc’s copy of the letter, and now I understand that from the first breath that I used the machine, it was outgassing. I learned that the consequences of continuing to use it can lead to several kinds of cancer, and that I should consult with my doc if I should use it. This is a ridiculous statement after telling me how many cancers I can get from using it.
I am sorry to have to take you into this personal journey, but I feel that I am not alone in this dilemma between the Veterans’ Administration and the Phillips company. I am aware that this is occurring during a pandemic and that this is only one more issue for frontline health care workers to have to navigate the fallout that politicians and VA administrators are avoiding. I have not heard one politician address this issue in the media, nor one Veterans’ Administration leader offer what next steps and problem-solving strategies that they will be taking. I was told by a VA supervisor that over two thousand veterans at Stratton alone use a CPAP.
Having this issue put on the back burner is typical for many of us vets. Our voices were and are still not heard when we are sent into battle. Politicians have their fingers in their ears when we return from war. Now with the pandemic, we get to breathe poison for what is estimated to be a full year while the VA negotiates with Phillips. There are other CPAP manufacturers that the VA could begin dealing with. As my representative, I feel your voice needs to carry my voice and the thousands of men and women confronted with this problem. We are the reason you and all other civilians are alive and thriving today.
I heard Jeff Daniels talking about why he’s returning to the role he originated on Broadway: Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird. After George Floyd’s murder he personally found it important to return as this character. Broadway had been shut because of COVID, but now he could reintroduce a role in which he felt had exceptional relevancy in these times. He had positive uplifting words. He spoke on eliminating systemic racism. He spoke his mind for the sake of the thoughts, not the acknowledgments. This was a wonderful interview.
I agreed with everything the passionate and eloquent Mr. Daniels said and I commend him for speaking out about this…but, we need a deeper dive: what to do about the existential crisis in which white male hegemony finds itself? How do white people learn how to better understand “minorities”? How do white people release and let go of Manifest Destiny, the idea that God created this country for them?
I opine: “Get educated.” That would lead to a New America. History provides all the lessons we need in order to make a sociopolitical judgment, to take personal accountability – and to achieve empathy, which is the hardest thing for any human being to learn. The community cannot survive without the individual, and the individual can’t survive without the community.
Hypocrisy has always been the order of the day in the land of the free and home of the slave. Truth be told! And what makes it worse is our own equally pathetic reflection, which reveals warts-and-all kinds of judgment, too. If people attacked the acrimony of white supremacy here in the USA like they are attacking critical race theory, just maybe there would be no need for critical race theory.
We prove again that our own stupidity (and it perpetuates white supremacy) leaves us covered in a sickening glaze of forlorn as we free-fall into a dark suspended netherworld between freedom and total thralldom. We need a renewal of American values, and some of our democratic rules could be looked at to add more safety checks so both political parties cannot keep pushing us backwards.
Truth hurts, obviously. It amazes me the battles people pick in this country. Systemic racism is interwoven through and through our history. It’s not anti-white teaching to truly know our real past. But isn’t it interesting that’s how some see it? We all want to believe that we’ve earned what we have, but true equality begins when we’re willing to see how the circumstances of our birth have helped us along.
Can we find a different term for racial ignorance? I agree that just saying everyone should be respected regardless of color is not enough when we live in a time when racial prejudice is still a huge issue that many will not acknowledge.
The Constitution was created by “British rebels” who consumed such absurd amounts of alcohol we can’t comprehend it. It codified slavery, George Washington had slaves (treated them poorly) and Lincoln, the “Great Emancipator,” viewed whites as superior…but in spite of that, still believed slavery was wrong, regardless of racial superiority.
Systematic racism was established from the ground up, and a new Constitution in these modern times should be created – don’t you think?
America must face who and what it truly is: a country built on the backs of slaves, stolen from its indigenous population, the only country in the world to actually use an atomic bomb on another country, et cetera et cetera and et cetera. And our history also proves that we are not the moral compass of the world, which we have self-appointed ourselves to believe. If we understand this, it will help us come closer to being that shining nation which we envision and possibly could become someday.
The worst of life attaches an awful belief system to our so-called “America the Beautiful,” thus shackling us to our own demons. Denial and excuses are not a good defense.
Sometimes it’s okay just to acknowledge the obvious. Creating an open forum addressing this issue is a good way to learn from our mistakes. Rewrite the history books. Omitting the study of the past prevents movement forward, doesn’t it?
My heart yearns for an all-inclusive America. We need to keep steady and keep hope for our democracy to truly flower. These are dark times, but we need to feel there is a light at the end of this tunnel to bask in, and yes, we all need to feel the glory.
It pays to be hip
Instagram is a hipper version of Facebook, the way Iowa is a hipper version of Kansas.
HealthAlliance removal of inpatient psych services
I share Legislature chair Dave Donaldson’s outrage over the removal of beds for inpatient psychiatric services to Poughkeepsie (approved with strong reservations, September 22). This has and will seriously impact our community.
A young friend who is a trauma survivor found her panic triggered by an event in her workplace. As she felt herself ebbing away, she did the safe thing and had herself admitted to what she thought was the psychiatric emergency department in Kingston Hospital, close to her home. She assumed they’d put her under observation for three days, keep her safe, perhaps suggest changes in medication. But she was whisked away, without her permission, to the Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie. To make matters worse, she was stalked there by a male resident. Men and women were on the same floor, and there wasn’t enough staff to protect her.
The maneuvering of HealthAlliance to remove psychiatric support from the Kingston area is harmful to the community and is typical of our crazy healthcare system that puts profits ahead of people’s needs. It harms us when we’re at our most vulnerable, due to the pandemic. It should not be allowed to continue, and our Legislature should stand up for our safety and health, instead of bowing down to HealthAlliance. We elected you. Fight for us!
Special fair, unusual year
In a most unusual year, during which so many of us have faced extraordinary challenges, we were able to bring back the Elting Library’s annual Library Fair. What we heard during the days leading up to the Fair and on the day-of was gratitude.
That feeling of gratitude is more than reciprocated. We are grateful to many without whom the Fair could not have happened: over 140 dedicated community volunteers; more than 100 students from SUNY New Paltz, including the many athletes who helped with setup and breakdown; the musicians who performed during the Fair; the staff of Elting; the hundreds who came out on a beautiful early autumn day to support us and enjoy the Fair.
We are thankful to the more than 100 businesses who supported the Fair, many by generously donating prizes to our successful annual Fair raffle and to the many, many individuals and families who donated books, toys, plants and jewelry.
Also deserving of thanks are the Village of New Paltz Department of Public Works, the Town of New Paltz Highway Department, the New Paltz Police Department, the New Paltz Garden Club and, for the first time this year, the Repair Café – each of whom played a role in making the Fair a reality.
Special laurels go to our own Susan Scher and Jackie Swartzberg for their extraordinary labor of love over the last several years sorting and categorizing thousands of books for the Fair’s book sale.
Finally, it cannot go without saying that we appreciate our neighbors on Church Street and their cooperation with the brief inconvenience created by the Library Fair.
What the Library Fair showed us is that while the pandemic has tested all of us, the community spirit of New Paltz is still very much intact. Thank you.
Elyse Cimino, Anne Conger, Charlene Dye, Paul Edlund, Fair co-chair, Irene Edmond-Rosenberg, Elaine Frankle, John Giralico, Renee Hack, Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Fair co-chair, Sarah Holsted, Bob Miller, Alison Nash, Bonnie Pfeffer, Jeff Pfeffer, Tom Rocco, Jackie Swartzberg, Gene Vidal, Linda Welles, June Wheeler
The 64th annual
Elting Library Fair Committee
What’s happening with Hurley?
The current Town of Hurley supervisor recently removed councilperson Peter Humphries as liaison to every Town department he had been assigned to. This is very interesting, because Councilperson Humphries has been a real watchdog to these areas, and one wonders if this is a way of keeping hidden any irregularities that might otherwise be noticed.
Councilperson Humphries has been especially successful in making the Transfer Station operate in a highly cost-effective, honest and efficient manner, and is well-respected by the current employees of that department, so this move appears to be motivated by partisan politics or worse.
Mr. Humphries also uncovered years of mismanagement of the leachate system at the old landfill, which, once this came to light, the supervisor ridiculously attempted to blame on transfer station employees; but when he realized that wouldn’t stick, and how serious the situation was, he decided Councilperson Humphries should no longer be involved. I hope DEP takes notice.
To be sure our Town is run with honesty and transparency, we need Melinda McKnight as our next town supervisor, and we need Jana Martin and the entire Democratic ticket there to back her up. So, vote Row A on November 2 or in early voting!
Facing a crisis
As those of us who have read our local papers are already aware, a new project is being proposed for our Town of Saugerties at the site of Winston Farm. That is: an amusement park, and all that comes along with it.
Take a moment to think about this: Our Town of Saugerties is considering bringing destruction of our environment, the wildlife who live there, unending traffic, pollution to our air and water, unending noise and more.
Is this the sort of development that will benefit our town? Is this what is best for the citizens of Saugerties? Will anyone other than those who propose this appreciate or benefit? Surely not local businesses, restaurants, homeowners whose quality of life will be disrupted and destroyed by such an idea.
This is a self-contained destination, and that means few, if any, visitors will venture off the property to, say, enjoy our wonderful town/village, eat in our restaurants, shop in our local stores and oh-so-much-more or enhance our quality of life.
It has been claimed that “Saugerties is going green.” Not so if this is a successful endeavor.
The aquifer that supplies our drinking water to both the town and village is below the earth on Winston Farm. That means everyone will be impacted by potential water pollution, supply, quality.
Has anyone experienced the great increase of traffic on our roads? Has anyone tried to get up or down Route 32 – which is only two lanes – or attempted to get on or off the Thruway? And this is before huge amounts of traffic, idling as they wait, fill our air with exhaust fumes that cause so many health issues. Carbon dioxide is destroying our Earth.
I could go on (and on). But if you, fellow citizens of Saugerties, hesitate to become involved in preventing such an atrocity, what will happen here will be the end of the quality of our lives.
Just think about that.
I am disappointed by the careless and dangerous manner in which the Kingston office of the New York State Department of Transportation executed a road closure of Route 32 at the intersection of DuBois Road in Gardiner. The barriers are set up blocking the northbound lane with “Road Closed” signs on them. This is immediately following an extreme “S” curve just south of the closure. Cars are coming around the “S” curve at 45 miles per hour and come directly into this barrier. There is no signage prior to the “S” curve indicating that the “Road is closed ahead.”
I phoned the Department of Transportation office on the morning of 10/6/21 to inform them of this very dangerous setup, and nothing was done. They should be held to account to establish safe road closure procedures.
Refinancing will save more than expected
Bids came in lower than expected this AM. The low bid to lend us $785,000 over the next five years came in from Roosevelt and Cross at a rate of 0.905 percent. This refi will save the Village’s water fund +$45,000 over five years, not $30,000 as originally estimated.
Published by Mayor Tim Rogers on September 8:
Village considering refinancing while rates are low to save $30K in Water Fund.
Two 20-year serial bonds were used to fund two different capital projects.
One: In September 2006, we borrowed $2.2 million for new customer water meters throughout the system and a 1.5-million-gallon water tank up near Cherry Hill. The lender was Wachovia Securities and the rate was 4.14 percent. We anticipate refinancing the remaining $755,000 balance at today’s lower rates.
Including all fees and expenses, we anticipate borrowing ($785,000) at about 1.15 percent and paying it all back within five years. This refi would save the Village’s water fund approximately $30,000 over five years.
Two: More recently, in April 2019, we borrowed: $3.85 million to replace the water filtration unit in the plant at Mountain Rest Road. Month-to-date through September 12 we have averaged using 753,000 gallons of water per day for our homes, businesses and schools. Robert W. Baird & Co. lent us the funds for 20 years at 2.74 percent.
This bond cannot be called or redeemed until after the ninth year from its issuance. We have to wait until 90 days before its call date in April 2028. Then we can see if market conditions are favorable and whether it would make sense to refinance.
Mayor Tim Rogers
A call for action
This is a call for much-needed action. A bill (S699B) passed in the New York State Senate partially bans toxic neonic pesticides. We need to press the Assembly to do the same now that they are back in session. The Birds and Bees Protection Act, A7429, would save not only birds and bees, but us as well.
It used to be that washing fruits and vegetables rid them of pesticides, but neonics work systemically and cannot be washed off. Neonics are in our water, soil, food and bodies. They are killing pollinators. (Studies show that even low amounts of chlorpyrifos can cause neurological damage and developmental delays in young children.) France outlawed all neonics; the EU banned the most widely used ones and Canada is about to follow suit.
New York State lawmakers reconvene this month and one of their first public hearings concerns toxic neonic pesticides.
Depending on where you live, please call or e-mail assemblyman Kevin Cahill at (845) 338-9610 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise call or e-mail assemblyman Brian Miller at (845) 895-1080 or email@example.com. Please tell them to pass A7429 and tell them why.
Messes, rants & responsibility
While polls can be less than completely reliable and are subject to change, the recent Quinnipiac poll shows that POTUS Biden’s approval rate has dropped from a high of 50 percent in February to 38 percent as of October 4. Moreover, Biden also hit low points in this poll on two key questions: his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy. About half of those polled said they disapprove of the way he has handled the coronavirus, and 55 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy. (Since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more deaths in 2021 so far than in all of 2020 – despite having vaccines to combat the virus – I wonder why all those “COVID-19 death counts” so popular on MSNBC and CNN during 2020 when Trump was POTUS suddenly disappeared after Joe Biden was elected.) With this in view, Neil Jarmel’s statement in an April letter which opined “[that although POTUS Biden may have fallen on the stairs of Air Force One] where Biden has not fallen down is the great job he is doing as President” has not aged well. Neither has his “compared to Trump and his administration, Biden looks extraordinary and noteworthy as he continues to ‘fly high’ in the eyes of the citizenry.”
It should be noted: Neil’s most recent Feedback rant (which asserts that Trump and his poorly educated – just the way Trump likes them – supporters are responsible for all the failures and messes of the previously “high-flying” Biden and his administration) makes it obvious that “The Donald” is still under Neil’s super-sensitive skin and living rent-free in his intelligent but biased, misguided mind. Because of this, perhaps Mr. Neil should take a chill pill lest he make further predictions and statements that will return to haunt him.
In closing, because I’m anticipating yet another enthusiastic, insult-laden and name-calling-filled but “charitable” rejoinder from Neil, I will yield to my “juvenile angels” and offer this preemptive response to Mr. Jarmel: “I know you are, Neil, but what am I?” (From his most recent letter it is obvious that Mr. Jarmel’s irrational, Trump Derangement Syndrome-inspired outbursts seem inexhaustible and incurable. Thank you, Hudson Valley One, for putting Neil’s rants on full display in the Feedback section. They prove that a picture is not always worth a thousand words when it comes to exposing what is in a person’s heart. His rants also serve to show the loss of the ability to reason logically that Trump Derangement Syndrome brings to those who suffer this affliction.)
Keep IDA independent from political machinations
Writer’s note: The views of this writer, a member of the Ulster Industrial Development Agency, are his personal views and are not represented to be those of the IDA.
The recent kerfuffle between the county executive, IDA and Romeo KIA Motors is good reason to keep the IDA independent from political machinations emanating from the sixth floor of the County Building.
The county executive, Pat Ryan, was prepared to approve the KIA Motors inducement, except for…in a meeting with IDA officials he told them he would only sign if the IDA signed an agreement giving control of the IDA back to the County Executive’s Office, specifically the Office of Economic Development. His publicly stated reasons for not signing the KIA tax inducement were pure malarkey and only developed after the IDA rebuffed his bullying approach a few weeks ago. In spite of the IDA chair going to great lengths to be fair and just, the county executive decided it was bully time. The chairman and the IDA Board would not play ball, as it was a blatant attempt at a shakedown, quid pro quo and coercion.
Both the county exec and the chairman of the Legislature have stated that the inducement should not be granted because KIA Motors was moving from a highly distressed census tract to a lesser-distressed census tract. The statute does not say that. It doesn’t matter that the politicians think it is not in the spirit of the statute. The statute is clear and not a tool to advance their agendas of control and reelection.
An argument has also been advanced that KIA could have stayed where it was. False: The landlord wants them out and the company realized they could move and increase the number of jobs.
The county executive has also said that the program used to evaluate the cost/benefit of the KIA Motors inducement is flawed. Really? This is the same cost/benefit tool that gave the Kingstonian (which Pat supported) high economic impact numbers. The county executive even hired a second entity to do an analysis of the Kingstonian that said the same thing. Pat supported the Kingstonian – or did I miss something?
KIA Motors is the victim here – “collateral damage” – the victims of an attempted shakedown. The seven members of the IDA will collaborate with the sixth floor and work for the people of Ulster and not be malleable to the brute control impulses of the occupant of the County Executive’s Office. He is the county executive, not Caesar. Collaboration, not dictates. Discussion, not shakedowns.
And by the way, where is the Chamber of Commerce on this? They screamed bloody murder two years ago (at the bidding of the sixth floor?), objecting to the IDA not being pro-business enough. Where are you now? And why aren’t you supporting a local business that meets the IDA criteria and is being shaken down by the sixth floor?
Rick Jones (as a private citizen)
Saugerties deserves better
This week, the Facebook whistleblower confirmed what most of us suspected: Hate speech sells, nets huge profits for the social media giant and ultimately divides families, communities and our country. As a voter, I follow candidates and elected officials on social media. To my dismay, I discovered two Saugerties Republican candidates posting not only divisive information, but also using their platform for some pretty vile and offensive terms.
One Republican Town Board candidate wrote about his disdain for Governor Hochul and one of his followers referred to Hochul as a “c..t” (a word too offensive for me to print). The candidate did not remove the post nor chastise the person for using such a sexist and disgusting term. Additionally, one of the Republican candidates for Ulster County legislator called President Biden a “retard.” And, while I don’t want to paint the entire Republican slate with the same brush, I can’t help but notice that not one of the Republican candidates, nor the Saugerties Republican Party itself, condemned what borders on hate speech.
Where do we draw the line? If the Saugerties Republican Party and their candidates can accept sexist language and offensive terms about intellectual disabilities, does that mean anything goes? Will people of color, immigrants or the LGBTQ community be fair game too? I wasn’t going to vote for the candidates because of their affiliation with the Republican Party, which is not the mainstream party of the past; but I want to alert my fellow voters that at least two of the local Republican candidates have stepped over the line of decency.
Saugerties deserves better.
Stop ignoring the Charter
The Ulster County Charter requires that a Charter Revision Commission of 11 citizens is to be appointed every ten years to review how the Charter is working. The ten years are up.
The mission of the Commission is to investigate how county government is running and, if need be, make recommendations to improve it. Recommendations that are subject to voter approval in the following election.
Citizen participation is essential to good governance in Ulster. Without it we would probably return to the pre-Charter type of government – the one that resulted in a 29 percent property tax increase due to mismanagement of the jail project that ran $20 million over its budget.
So, who or what is holding up appointing the Commission?
Town’s “Meet and Greet” meeting
The way our supervisor ended that meeting at Fire Company 3 reminded me of growing up in Brooklyn. We used to play a game called stickball. All that was required was an old broomstick handle and a rubber ball. The Spaulding was the ball of choice. The problem was that only one kid’s family would spend money to buy one; when he did not like the way things were going, he would take his ball and go home, ending the game.
When the meeting turned from the meet-and-greet of a few elected officials to a discussion about the proposed Comeau addition, the audience got involved. They asked our supervisor numerous questions, including why there was no RFP (request for proposal) from other architects; whether he looked into the potential of getting the building designated as historical, which would have all renovation costs picked up by the State; whether the design of the addition should complement the Comeau building; and why his office wasn’t included in the design of the new addition. Maybe he did not like the way things were going, because he picked up the model of the new addition and closed the meeting.
Passing on the cost
I read with interest Jonathan Fox’s letter in regard to the fee he was charged for using his credit card to pay school taxes.
Within the last several months, I’ve noticed many vendors charging more for credit card users and offering cash payers a ‘discount’. Restaurants, delis, gas stations and golf courses, just to name a few, are passing on their fee they pay to the bank and some more for accepting credit cards. Vendor fees vary depending upon what card the customer uses (it can be anywhere from 2 to 3%). It comes out of their bottom line, so I guess we should not be surprised or upset. We have had the benefit all this time our ‘cash back rewards’ by paying for our products by credit card.
Susan M. Gilmore
Research on mask wearing
I am so tired of telling people to wear a mask. Today, waiting for a COVID test at an urgent care in Kingston, a man grudgingly put on a mask and told me that “you can’t get COVID from someone who doesn’t have it.” Well duh …but here he was entering a waiting room where half the people were waiting for a COVID test! And then in the paper there are two letters authoritatively debunking the effectiveness of masks in reducing the spread of COVID. One link offered led to a medical journal page that was “page not found.” The other letter noted a study at the University of Louisville making serious claims of no effectiveness. When I went directly to that source, the University wrote that due to the controversy and confusion, they had done a peer review from a public health perspective and found the article “poorly structured with a sketchy and biased description of the background and a seriously flawed methodology, and improper analysis hence a wrong conclusion with vital consequences.” But there’s the guy at urgent care self-righteous in his “knowledge” about what masks are for and for whom.
Yes, we all suffer from confirmation bias, but people should begin to fact check their sources and even find other studies that confirm what they have found in one.
The Bakery cancels its Night of 100 Pumpkins
The Bakery will not host our annual Night of 100 Pumpkins contest this Halloween.
We were feeling very hopeful as we reserved our tents and began preparation for what would have been our 31st year of pumpkin art at The Bakery. We are sorry to disappoint our friends and neighbors who look forward to this event every year. If you have ever been to Night of 100 Pumpkins at The Bakery, you know that it gets crowded. As many as 2,000 people pass through the tents, and even though the event is held outdoors, we do not think we can do it safely.
Since the start of the pandemic, The Bakery has made the safety of our customers and staff our priority. After closing for three months, we were one of the last restaurants to reopen and we still keep half of our tables roped off to maintain social distance. Our staff are required to be vaccinated and our customers must wear masks. Some of us have unvaccinated children at home, so we feel very lucky to have not had a single positive case among our staff.
We wish everyone a wonderful, a frightful and a creative Halloween and look forward to resurrecting Night of 100 Pumpkins at The Bakery next year.
The Bakery, New Paltz
Don’t take democracy for granted
As we’ve sadly learned over the course of nearly 250 years of broken dreams and electoral machinations, democracy is an everyday, be involved, be extra vigilant team sport that most teams take for granted.
The baby boomers took it for granted and what is our legacy? Donald Trump. Rampant racism. A dying planet. One sex less important than the other. Have babies because the machine needs cheap labor… It goes on and on..
Vote, dammit, vote. Get out in the street. If not, kiss your golden years goodbye and your grandchildren’s future one of terrestrial distress and economic slavery.
Lack of environmental sensitivity
Nick Henderson’s article, “Too many feet” about the overuse and abuse of Comeau Park fields and woods by the public and the need for trail maintenance, while stressing the need for trail upkeep and professional advice, belies the sad fact that Comeau Park has become an extirpated natural landscape modified by the outdoor recreation lobby and in particular the Land Conservancy’s aim to fit the needs of hikers, dog walkers and the outdoor recreation obsessed public in order to generate tourist revenue.
As a field naturalist who has surveyed Comeau Park and all its degraded ecology, I can attest to the irreparably ruined plant micro-niches, edaphic plant communities, disturbed bird and wildlife habitats (home to migratory neo-tropical bird species) and vernal pool enclaves that have fallen victim to the 100-plus people a day (40,000 a year) visiting Comeau Park.
Contrary to CSAC’s Chairman Jeff Viglielmo’s assertion that “the town’s job is to keep the property as close to what it was when the conservation easement was signed” — there is no feasible way to mitigate or repair what thousands of feet of people and dogs have already done to Comeau Park in the decades of abuse that the Town of Woodstock has done to this 150-year-old growth forest fragment with 150-200 year old oaks, maples, cottonwoods, hemlocks and white pines. Invasive plant ecology has overtaken all of Comeau Park to such an extent that the original wildflower and rare plant communities have for the most part disappeared under the feet of rampaging dogs and intrusive humans. Japanese stilt grass, Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Barberry, Oriental Bittersweet, Virginia Creeper and Wineberry are all plant invasive species that have with the aid of human disturbance and dogs snuffed out the original plant flora. Matt Longyear’s lament about his inability to mow hay in the large field at Comeau because of old field succession encroachment is relevant only to the extent that human exploitation of a natural green space is now including the recreation lands being created by the billion dollar outdoor recreation lobby. A Land Conservancy’s intent to obtain private land easements in order to safeguard Catskill Mountain green spaces are co-opted by their obvious self-serving propagandistic need for outdoor recreation revenue which pays for dog, mountain bike and hiker trail abuse inflicted on Catskill Mountain ecology. Comeau Park is only one visible “atrocity in the woods” exemplified by a profound lack of environmental sensitivity and “ecological land ethics.”
Comeau Park is a dog park, pure and simple and no amount of semantic word jigging or hand wringing bemoaning the lack of funds for maintenance and professional advice is going to change that fact.
Victor C. Capelli
Town of Ulster
You have the right to be born. Last week’s HV1 front page included a story about a Pro-Reproductive Rights demonstration in New Paltz. “Reproductive Rights” is sounding more and more like “military intelligence” or “Washington Compromise.”
When a military mission leader hears “Abort, Abort, Abort”! she does not blow up her plane; she returns to base. Killing a human may (rarely) be justified, but abortion on the scale of the Holocaust annually is absurd. Black kids are now being killed in the womb at a greater number than are being born!
I think we need pregnancy control. Millions of vasectomies would be a good start. Safe sex education and the greater use of free pregnancy prevention pills would help.
Why so many unwanted babies?
Vote for Kevin and Kayleigh
I’m voting for Kevin Freeman and Kayleigh Zaloga for Saugerties Town Board. Perhaps one or both have knocked on your door this campaign season and you saw firsthand that they listen attentively rather than talk at you. For them, it’s about Saugerties, its people, the environment, community, caring and living up to the values of inclusion, opportunity and equity. You won’t get divisiveness or negativity from them. Instead, Saugerties will get smart, thoughtful, humane problem-solvers, who will move us forward while bringing back civility and neighborliness. I urge my fellow Saugertisians — regardless of political party — to vote for Kevin and Kayleigh so our town can be a place where no one is left behind and everyone is treated fairly.
Does the Big Lie infect Hurley Republican candidates?
Does the dangerous Big Lie conspiracy have a stronghold in the Town of Hurley? Hurley Republicans are not immune to this malignant Trump virus. Recent national reporting shows 78% of Republican voters believe the Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election. It’s the Big Lie that animated the January 6 coup attempt.
The truth matters and all politics is local. If the 78% holds true for local GOP voters, nearly 900 registered Hurley Republicans support the Big Lie. Has the local party been infected by the Big Lie? How would we know?
Perhaps a reporter from Hudson Valley One will ask each Hurley Republican candidate whether or not they support the new Republican party orthodoxy and deeply held belief in the Big Lie, and publish their responses before early voting begins on October 23.
Tobe and Meg Carey
COVID hysteria equals big pharma profits
Last week’s letter by Ken McCartney was right on point about the “COVID hysteria” being used to coerce people to become vaccinated with an experimental drug that has no science to support any claims of long-term safety. Alternatively, the inventor of mRNA technology, Dr. Robert Malone, has warned about the vaccine antigen-spike proteins as being “cytotoxic” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQZWcwDPy08). Dr. Byram Bridle a pro-vaccine doctor of viral immunology in Ontario, funded by the Canadian government to do research on COVID vaccines, has stated that “we made a big mistake,” assuming the vaccine would stay localized in the muscle tissue at the injection site. It is well known spike proteins are pathogenic and toxic and once they get into your circulation, they can cause all kinds of damage. Previously confidential animal studies using radioactive tracing show it to go just about everywhere, including the adrenal glands, heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, ovaries, pancreas, pituitary gland, prostate, salivary glands, intestines, spinal cord, spleen, stomach, testes, thymus and uterus (https://omny.fm/shows/on-point-with-alex-pierson/new-peer-reviewed-study-on-covid-19-vaccines-sugge). So this idea the vaccines have been proven completely safe is just not true and the enormous amount of VAERS reports affirms Bridle and Malone’s warnings.
Meanwhile, 3.7 billion doses of Ivermectin have been administered since 1987 and without adverse effects even at higher doses. Twenty-two randomized clinical trials have shown it is effective against COVID-19. Recently, Dr. Satoshi Omura, the Nobel co-laureate for the discovery of Ivermectin, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive review of Ivermectin clinical activity against COVID-19, concluding that the preponderance of the evidence demonstrated major reductions in mortality and morbidity (“Ivermectin: a multifaceted drug of Nobel prize-honored distinction with indicated efficacy against a new global scourge, COVID-19” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8383101/) & https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Ivermectin-in-the-prophylaxis-and-treatment-of-COVID-19.pdf)
Yet Ivermectin has been getting bad press by the media only referring to it as “horse paste.” Ivermectin was designed for human consumption first and “repurposed” for horses later. So, why the bad press?
Merck’s new antiviral drug for COVID-19, Molnupiravir, is the reason. Evidently, the patent has run out on Ivermectin, allowing anyone to produce and manufacture it keeping the prices low at $24 dollars for the whole treatment. Molnupiravir, when released will cost $700 per treatment , which translates into billions of dollars of profit for patent holder Merck. It’s always been all about the money first and not the health and well being of the people.
Winston Farm Development letter correction
Please note that my letter from last week incorrectly stated the developer’s estimated cost of this project at $800 million. Their estimate is actually $600 million — still an enormous undertaking.