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.
Thanks for making the annual Reverence Day a success
Thank you so much for all of the community support for our annual Reverence Day/Day of the Dead at the New Paltz Rural Cemetery last week. We appreciate the gracious contributions that have been made over the past 12 years from the following businesses that help to make this day a success. Thank you to: The Colonial Flower Shop and Tops Friendly Market for their beautiful flowers which were on display for families and friends to place on their loved ones’ graves. We also give thanks to Minard’s Family Farm, Apple Hill Farm, Hurd’s Family Farm, Wallkill View Farm and Dressel Farms for the lovely apples, pumpkins, Indian corn and decorations to adorn the sites. A special thank you to John Steffens for providing the music for all of the families and friends to be able to listen to and make special requests and dedications. Thank you again to all in attendance who make this annual Reverence Day a success and a special day to remember.
Other election night takeaways
This shouldn’t be necessary, but after the November 2 results, Republicans have new reasons to acknowledge the integrity of their own country’s electoral system. The GOP cannot count on this type of election for each and every time; therefore, they need to continue with voter suppression as a backup. To quote “Rethuglican” lawmakers: Must be “voter fraud” for the GOP to have won. An audit must be performed! Obviously, if the outcome was not what we hoped for, then the election must have been rigged; isn’t that right, Republican letter-readers of Hudson Valley One?
I wonder, hmm…What if the Democrats start lying like the Republicans do, or fight with the same vengeance to get ahead? It seems that honesty and truthfulness aren’t working for the majority of the American people! I think Dems should start screaming that “We want a recount/new election in Virginia – that the “Repuglicans” cheated and counted dead people. That election was rigged – we want a recall!” And drag it out for a year. Stamp our feet and scream – just like repugs do, as their right-wing crazies do, which is to define the narrative.
One more observation: Was there anything appealing about ex-governor of Virginia McAuliffe? I’m a bluesman and he grated on me. I’m also a college-educated, big bad, born-and-raised-liberal New York City boy. To me, it seemed that all he did was yell and scream, and he didn’t really talk about issues. Perhaps he was a bad candidate? Take note, Dems, and fix this! We absolutely needed much better candidates. So, who’s in the pipeline for 2024?
How many book groups meet in laundromats?
Booby Prize winners
When I read the attacks on President Joe Biden by John Habersberger and George UnCivile and his cronies from the HVPB Club (Hudson Valley Proud Boys Club), I recall a joke from the Bronx: A flea with an erection is floating down a river on a toothpick, shouting, “Open the drawbridge!”
These shrimp, criticizing President Joe Biden, who defeated their idol, pussy-grabbing Donald J. Trump, by millions of votes, seem to me much the same as that flea. President Biden, a senior former senator and vice president, has achieved remarkable legislative victories against a lunatic Republican opposition, which even Mitch McConnell has admitted will benefit his pathetic Kentucky. He is able to proudly represent our nation in the international community and is awarded the respect that our nation deserves, as opposed to the embarrassing image that their idol, Trump, created.
Perhaps George UnCivile can get the prize for silly poems set to familiar songs, but he and Habersberger and their ilk are eligible only for the Booby Prize for their letters with regard to content. Let it go, guys; you sound like idiots to anyone who is thoughtful and informed.
Meyer A. Rothberg
Scotty, beam me up, now!
We recall that famous order by Captain Kirk from the TV series he is famous for. I find myself uttering the phrase quite a bit these days.
What happened to upbringing? We have Republican members reacting to fellow Republicans as to their vote, giving all manner of verbal death threats. Outrageous. I couldn’t believe what I read or heard.
We have a nation returning to the days of the Wild Wild West. Everyone has guns, knives and an attitude of willy-nilly kill at your heart’s delight. Older women being attacked, raped, robbed; immigrants getting more perks money then our own. When growing up, I heard always, “Take care of your own first, then care for others.” I notice whenever there is an injustice to the blacks, riots occur, stores looted, mayhem. I am not against the black community, but when our white women are raped and other atrocities by blacks occur, you don’t have whites starting riots, burning shops et cetera. Sex at any age now. Multiple partners. Thousands of children born in negative environments. Mothers with multiple partners. Where is there a Moses to come down a mountain and reinstate the rules? How far this nation has fallen since I was young.
Watching TV at night becomes a challenge to avoid violence, car chasing, murders, hatred, screaming, abuse to women, plus loud, brainwashing commercials every four minutes. Is it any wonder we are unraveling?
Is there not a correlation between all the violence and the fact children are raised on this garbage daily? I grew up before TV. It was a sane world, walks at night to a friend’s home, biking on obscure trails, movies at night, walking home, no fear. No one got hurt, raped, abducted. Sadly, today’s youth sees all this as “normal” activity, in addition to learning how to hide or dodge bullets in their classrooms. In high school they suffer the ills one gets after age 60. Noise at every turn. How can anyone hear the inner voice of reason and what their spirit is trying to say?
When I grew up, your mouth was washed with soap if you swore. You were home when it became dark. You were allowed no parties in your own home or to go to one unless there were two sets of parents chaperoning. My fiancé came in from California to visit me Christmastime at college break. He slept at a neighbor’s house and had to be out of mine by midnight. You never went to school sick. Girls wore skirts. No makeup or smoking until a certain age. Swearing not allowed at anytime. I loved those years. No one was rebelling.
In grammar school the Ten Commandants were visible along with the Golden Rule. Let’s bring them back. A thousand times I have given thanks I was born when I was and had a Dad who enforced the rules. It was called “upbringing.”
Fair Pay for Home Care = a lifeline for thousands of New Yorkers
I’m writing about critically important legislation being considered by New York State. It’s called Fair Pay for Home Care. This proposed law would help solve New York’s home care crisis, in which one out of four people cannot find adequate care in order to stay in their own homes and avoid being forced into a nursing home or other institution.
This crisis is only set to grow worse, as our population ages and as the inadequate compensation for home care work forces many to leave the profession. Right now, home care workers – primarily women of color – are paid a poverty wage through the state’s Medicaid program of about $12 per hour for the crucial, difficult work they do. As of this summer, by state law, fast food workers must now be paid $15 an hour. Fair Pay for Home Care would raise home care workers’ pay to 150 percent of the prevailing minimum wage, or $22.50 an hour. If the federal minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it would currently be over $22 an hour.
As a current CUNY study shows, the legislation’s cost would be more than offset by economic gains, given the higher spending power of those workers, along with less need for public assistance, as well as the fact that helping people stay in their own homes is far less expensive than institutional care.
Fair Pay was introduced last year and made it as far as the State Senate budget. Momentum has been building this year, with scores of state senators and Assembly members on board as co-sponsors. In fact, in this partisan era, there is remarkable bipartisan support for Fair Pay.
This issue tends to be under the radar, but profoundly affects hundreds of thousands of New York’s workers, the elderly, people with disabilities and their families. It’s only when people suddenly need such help do they realize what a severe crisis we’re in.
To learn more and sign a petition to the governor, please visit www.nycaringmajority.org.
New Paltz municipal water notice
Hudson Valley One reported on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2021 Tapwater Database that was issued November 3. EWG is not a regulatory agency nor is it a government-funded medical or scientific organization.
The New Paltz Public Water System (PWS) is regulated via Part 5-1 “Public Water Systems” of the NYS Sanitary Code (10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1). New Paltz’s PWS is regulated by the Ulster County Health Department (UCDOH) as an agent for the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH).
EWG cited New Paltz for having 234 times EWG’s guideline for Haloacetic Acids 5 (HAA5). HAA5s can form as disinfection by-products when chlorine reacts with dissolved natural organic matter found in surface water supplies. Disinfection of water supplies, a federal and state requirement, is necessary to prevent illness by killing bacteria and viruses.
HAA5s are considered to be possibly carcinogenic to humans because of evidence in experimental laboratory animals and limited evidence in people. The EPA limit for HAA5 in drinking water is 60 ppb (parts per billion). EWG’s guideline is “0.1 ppb or less” (sic).
In early October, the Village shared with the public that our water system had violated the EPA drinking water standard for HAA5 after averaging the results of four samples through 9/30/21 during the past four quarters. The average for HAA5 at one of the Village’s testing locations through 9/30/21 was 61.2 ppb. Fortunately, there was nothing the public needed to do in response. Boiling water or taking other corrective actions were not necessary. It was explained that if water became no longer safe to drink, there would be additional notification.
The violation identified in October appeared to be related to fine tuning and balancing disinfectant levels at the new filtration system at the Water Treatment Plant on Mountain Rest Road. Immediately, our plant operator began working with the manufacturer of the new filtration system to make adjustments so the system will run with less chlorine.
On October 26, additional samples were collected and found below the maximum contaminant level of 60 ppb in the report dated 11/9/21 from Environmental Labworks, Inc. in Marlboro, NY. At the sampling site to the north in the Village the level was 39.0 ppb and at Village Hall the HAA5 level was 27.5 ppb.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Response to Allison Moore
It is always discouraging and disappointing, to say the least, to see Christian pastors showing a disdain for the original and authentic tenets of their claimed religion. The roots of religions are faithfully adhered to and maintained by their leaders and congregants through the centuries to identify and preserve the clear intent of their teachings. It’s appalling to see certain religious “leaders” who think they have the right to arbitrarily alter the most basis and sacred tenets of their faith simply to pander to an extremely small minority of their congregants while, at the same time, violating the critical beliefs of their faith.
I suppose Pastor Moore’s thinking is that the founding fathers (and mothers) of her church are “out of touch with the ever-fluid times.” Sadly, Pastor Moore, you are the one who is totally out of touch with your church’s core beliefs.
John N. Butz
Considering a run for local office?
Do your values accord with social and environmental justice, nonviolence and grassroots democracy? These are the core values of the Green Party. Fortunately, a chapter is active in our grand Hudson Valley. The chapter meets once a month via conference call. I encourage those who share these values to reach out with interest and/or questions by e-mailing our Facebook site, “Hudson Valley Green Party,” which includes additional contact information.
If you agree that money has negatively impacted the political arena, you will be pleased to learn that keeping money out of politics is a key component of the Greens’ commitment to grassroots democracy.
Fall local elections are over, but perhaps this and other election seasons have prompted you to consider your own candidacy in a future election. If you uphold positions and values consistent with those of the Green Party, you can receive supportive guidance, be endorsed and receive campaign assistance. More information and the platforms of the Greens at the national and state levels can be found online at www.gp.org and www.gpny.org.
Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos
Secretary, Hudson Valley Green Party
Our housing crisis affects all of us
The housing crisis in New Paltz and in Ulster County is acute, but sometimes hard to see. We might avert our eyes from the individuals who stand at the head of shopping mall intersections, holding signs that say “Homeless,” or quickly dismiss them as addicts or drifters. We might be secure long-term homeowners who just don’t know people who spend half of their income on housing costs, whether on rentals or mortgaged homes. We might see headlines about the lack of affordable housing in our community and shrug them off because the problem feels too big to solve.
We can avert, dismiss and ignore, but the problem won’t go away. You might become part of it.
You might be the widowed senior who must downsize, but can’t begin to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment. Where will you go?
You might be the parent who dreams of a close-knit family, but watches as your adult children must live far away, much farther than you’d like, in order to find a job that makes housing affordable.
You might be that young adult who would like to live and work in – or at least near – the community of your family and friends, but cannot. You might be working in New Paltz, but have to commute from 25 miles away to a job that barely pays the rent.
The housing crisis isn’t abstract, isn’t selective in whom it affects. All of us are feeling its impacts. Did you hear about the house down the block and the price it fetched? Outrageous! Lucky homeowners…but where will they go now, what can they afford with their nest egg? And who bought their house? City residents who paid cash for their second home in lovely New Paltz? A great weekend getaway. Investors who scheme to set up an AirBnB?
What are the consequences for a town or village that becomes largely populated with well-to-do, part-time residents and absent landlords? What changes will follow in lifestyle, the economy, government, schools, civic life?
The Ulster County Housing Action Plan offers many statistics that highlight and confirm the extent of the crisis across the county. We need to understand the human costs behind the numbers.
What are the answers to the problem? The first, most obvious, is that we must have additional affordable housing to address our residents’ needs and to stabilize communities.
The path to getting more affordable housing will raise uncomfortable questions for the comfortable. What are our values? What are we willing to change? To give up? What are the tradeoffs? What is the common good and how can individual dreams mesh with it?
Our community needs to take a hard, hard look at these questions, now. Press our leaders to act and support them when they do.
The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission is currently drawing new district lines for representation in Congress, New York State Senate and New York State Assembly. If they come up with one plan and the New York legislature agrees to it, that will determine our election districts for the next ten years.
Two plans have been proposed for each level of representation, and they should alarm residents of the mid-Hudson Valley. In my town, most of Saugerties will be swamped by being a tiny part of a district dominated by the Albany metropolitan region. But Saugerties is also divided. One congressional plan has neighbors in Mount Marion in a district that stretches past Binghamton. The other plan has neighbors in Blue Mountain in a district that runs up to Lake Ontario, four hours to our north.
I attended a public hearing of the Redistricting Commission this week in White Plains. While this supposedly included the mid-Hudson area, nearly all the comments pertained to Westchester. Two Saugerties neighbors joined me in deploring the division of our town and the lack of cohesive mid-Hudson districts. My neighbors pointed out that in both plans, a divided Ulster County would be a minor part of three different congressional districts.
Many mayors, supervisors and county legislators attended the hearing, but none spoke from our region. But there is still time to raise our voices. The remainder of the public hearings are in New York City or Long Island, but anyone can participate, either by attending in person or virtually. Written comments can also be submitted on the Commission’s website. I urge public officials and private citizens to do some research and voice their concerns.
Perhaps the Commission will come up with a terrific plan. Or perhaps the Legislature will reject their plan and draw another. But we should not leave it to others to determine our electoral districts for the next ten years. Now is the time to demand fair and representative districts.
I asked the Commission to draw districts that ensure that the entire Town of Saugerties is represented by one member of Congress, one New York State Senator and one member of the Assembly, and that Saugerties be included in districts with our Ulster County and mid-Hudson neighbors.
You can view the proposed maps on the Commission website, https://nyirc.gov. You can even put your address in on the top right corner of each map and it will show you where your house is on the map. The issues are complicated and the Commission task is difficult. And our input is needed.
Reply to letter by Rich Giuliani
Mr. Giuliani predicts a red wave in upcoming elections, and that may be true, although I won’t vote for it. But the anger and vitriol! Mr. Giuliani, you should be happy in your prediction, not vent your hostility against President Biden and the Democrats. What has Biden ever done to you? Maybe his efforts to quell the COVID pandemic go against your beliefs on vaccination or masks? Or his infrastructure bill, which previous presidents including Donald Trump were unable to get done, is bad news? Or is it his desire to pass another bill which will help many lower-income and disadvantaged people? So, lighten up and enjoy the upcoming red wave.
Israel’s right to combat terrorism is not apartheid
In a letter for Jewish Voice for Peace – Hudson Valley, Lisa Mullenneaux decries the Israeli government’s crackdown on six Palestinian groups (Israel attacks human rights groups as “terrorist,” 11/03/2021). On behalf of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County, we’re compelled to respond.
The designated groups are Al-Haq, a human rights agency, Addameer (prisoner support), Defense for Children International – Palestine, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and Union of Agricultural Work Committees. All innocent, even laudable initiatives, or so it would appear.
But, based on an in-depth but still largely classified investigation by Shin Bet, the Israeli security service, the government outlawed these groups as terrorist-supported organizations. All have secret links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a notorious resistance movement with a long history of deadly attacks on Israelis. Israel, the US and numerous other Western countries designate the PFLP as a terrorist organization.
In 2002, PFLP assassinated the Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi. Between 2002 and 2004, it carried out five suicide bombings. In 2011, two PFLP terrorists were convicted of brutally slaying five members of the Fogel family in the West Bank. Most recently, PFLP took credit for numerous rocket attacks against civilian populations in southern Israel. That’s the very definition of terrorism.
No rational American citizen would want to allow organizations with criminal financial backing to do “business as usual” as tax-free charitable institutions, nor would they question the FBI and Justice Department’s determination they were “bad actors.” But for some reason, if it’s Israel trying to protect its citizens, it’s apartheid.
Putting aside the writer likely has no idea what “apartheid” really means, her argument is specious, at best. If these organizations are innocent of wrongdoing, let them litigate. Israel is a democracy and a nation of laws; all citizens have full access to the courts and full protection of law. And we mean literally all citizens: Muslim, Jew and Christian alike. Like alleged criminals here or anywhere, they’re entitled to their day in court.
Though Israel won’t accept blatantly criminal activity, it tolerates dissent as much or more than any Western-style democracy and far more than any neighboring Arab nation. The sad irony here is that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has dramatically stepped up the brutal suppression of political speech in recent months. Even Human Rights Watch – no great friend of Israel – admits that Palestinian activists are regularly arrested and beaten by the PA in the West Bank.
That’s not the story Jewish Voice for Peace wants to tell. But it is the fact.
Supervisor McKenna posted the following on the Town of Woodstock Facebook site: “There is talk going around that the Commission for Civic Design [CCD] was not consulted [another issue] regarding the Comeau project. Below are quotes from several e-mails about the project from the CCD chair.” It appears that McKenna cherry-picked the quotes.
A June 11, 2019 e-mail from the CCD chair to Jess Walker: “Re: the design concept for Comeau improvements/additions: The CCD generally accepted your architectural concept last evening.” Omitted was the end of the CCD’s sentence, which read “and is looking forward to future mtgs.”
A September 24, 2019 e-mail from CCD chair to Jess Walker and the supervisor: “The major item reviewed and approved was the shed roof forms.” Omitted was: “The first design review raised concerns about the proposed shed roof form and specific planning issues regarding the link from existing to new.”
January 20, 2020 e-mail from the CCD chair to Jess Walker: “I saw the Comeau addition rendering in the January 16, 2020 Times and got a few comments from CCD and locals. The rendering looks pretty good.” Yes, the statement: “The rendering looks pretty good” was in the e-mail, but the e-mail, among other items, also contained this: “The narrative defines the program and purpose but not the design concept too well – which the rendering should.”
You be the judge. McKenna ended his post with: “The Town would be happy to provide copies of the full e-mails; please contact the supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (845) 679-2113, ext. 17.” Take some time out of your lives and request the e-mails.
Please, no more Ivermectin propaganda
Steve Romine continues to hype Ivermectin as either a cure, treatment or preventative for COVID-19. It is none of those. A recent Forbes article pretty much sums up the misinformation that he is promulgating: www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2021/11/01/ivermectin-still-doesnt-treat-covid-19.
Below is a selected list of additional articles I was able to find from a simple search of Google News refuting this nonsense. I am sure that Mr. Romine is inconvincible, but I hope that other readers of this paper will look at the evidence and not resort to unscientific cures or treatments et cetera for a potentially serious disease. (You can Google the titles below to find the actual articles.)
Ivermectin fans gain powerful advocates despite no proof it fights COVID; Boston Doctors Warn against Use of Ivermectin as COVID-19 Treatment; Japan Continues to Use Vaccines, Not Ivermectin, to Fight COVID-19; Ivermectin: How false science created a COVID “miracle” drug; Toxic Effects from Ivermectin Use Associated with Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 | NEJM; If You Take Ivermectin for COVID, Here’s What Happens to Your Body; Ivermectin Shows that Not All Science Is Worth Following; In Re-Analysis, Ivermectin Benefits Disappeared as Trial Quality Increased; Ivermectin: Misuse against COVID risks undermining its use for other diseases; Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize-winning wonder drug – but not for COVID-19; Opinion: Ivermectin’s a wonder drug – but not for COVID; Ivermectin: A trend in fighting COVID-19, but does it do the job?; Poison centers in Pennsylvania see an increase in Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine exposures; I-TECH Study: Does Ivermectin Work against COVID-19?; Ivermectin and COVID-19: Busting the Myth; Can antibiotics, Ivermectin and supplements help fight COVID-19?; Poisonings from unproven COVID treatment Ivermectin surge around the country; Ivermectin does not reduce risk of severe COVID-19 illness – MOH; 5 COVID data detectives tackle Ivermectin fraudsters; Coronavirus: Why and how Ivermectin became a fake COVID cure, and continues to draw attention; FDA Warns against Ivermectin Deworming Drugs for Treating COVID-19; MOH study confirms “no benefit” in using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19; Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19; and How a false science ‘cure’ became Australia’s contribution to the pandemic.
Don’t send letters
“Right now, I don’t read so good, don’t send me no more letters, no.” (Bob Dylan)
The recent election results in Virginia suggest, among other things, that Virginia parents want their public school boards and teachers to be primarily concerned with enabling students to learn to read and write so they can learn historical scientific facts as well as philosophical views. The goal of this learning is to help them to discover how to think critically without telling them what to think.
With this in view, my first-grade Catholic school had two classes comprised of 90 and 89 students, respectively. Despite such numbers, no student advanced to the second grade until learning to read and write. I never appreciated how difficult a task teaching such large classes had been for the Sisters of St. Joseph – who worked for room and board – until I was a student-teacher of a ninth-grade class of 26 students who had reading abilities that were poor or nonexistent. Furthermore, the classroom atmosphere was unruly and my tenured sponsoring teacher’s efforts were mostly perfunctory. Perhaps it is telling that of the nearly 180 students in the first-grade classes of my youth, only two students were from a single-parent family due to divorce. Indeed, research shows that children who grow up with both parents at home score, roughly, 45 points higher on literacy reading assessments and are likely to enjoy a more economically stable and secure family life than those raised in single-parent homes.
There has been a longstanding debate within Christendom about the miracles and spiritual gifts recorded in the New Testament. Some, like the Baptists, tend to believe they ceased in the second century, while others, like the Pentecostals, disagree. Baptists are a very industrious group and have remarkable accomplishments, despite believing supernatural gifts stopped after the “apostolic” age. With this in mind, there is a joke among Pentecostals that, because of their skepticism of the miraculous and their industry, if Moses had been a Baptist, when he was caught between Egypt’s Pharaoh and the Red Sea, he would have organized the trapped Israelites and had them construct a bridge over the Sea rather than expect God to part it.
I write all this because I was considering the two different approaches taken to solve the problem of poor test scores and low literacy rates existing in too many of America’s public schools and thought of the aforementioned Christian “in-house” debate. One group tends to minimize any underlying causes, like single-parent homes, for deficiencies in these areas and think any problems can be solved, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, by providing increased funds to public schools. The other group is convinced that unless the major factors of divorce and out-of-wedlock births that lead to single-parent homes are addressed and corrected, additional funding will only prove effective if miracles are possible.
Although I don’t know the position the Sisters of St. Joseph would hold in the debate within Christendom, I suspect that they, along with many teachers in America’s public schools, would agree with the realism of the second group regarding education. Tragically, unless the Sisters of St. Joseph have a resurgence of vocations enabling them to offer their services to the public schools and/or current divorce and out-of-wedlock births decline, many of our children will be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, regarding education, with little hope of escaping. And, because of this (unlike Mr. Dylan, who wanted “no more letters” because he desired to cut off future communications), the main reason these children will not be receptive to letters from anyone will be because they really “don’t read so good.”
We let them get away with it
I talk for a living, and I talk to a lot of people. I hear a wide range of political opinions, but not much disagreement about the real-life, day-to-day things we all deal with.
One thing for sure: Most of us are not trying to climb the ladder of political office to get rich. Sadly, political power is lucrative. I think politics has a lot of money sloshing around, and since getting elected can be expensive, the probability of “doing favors” is more tempting the higher up a politician climbs.
I advocate a healthy distrust of, and a watchful eye on, both the actions and inactions of everyone we elect.
Congressional office is vastly too generous with their medical and retirement perks. Why? Well, one answer is that we let them.
Care worker shortage
Care, like food, water and shelter, it is a cornerstone for survival. Utterly dependent upon it in our infancy and childhood, we need it no less as we age or become chronically ill or disabled. Yet care work has historically been devalued, disrespected and underpaid. The median annual salary for home-care workers in NY State is $19,600, and with no benefits such as paid sick leave or health insurance, many care workers rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid and food stamps to meet their own basic needs. It should surprise no one, then, that NYS has a massive, and worsening, care-worker shortage.
NYS currently has a shortage of 25,000 home-care workers, expected to grow to 80,000 by 2025. Home health aides, personal care aides and consumer-directed services will add more jobs than any other occupation in the state over the next ten years. By 2028, there will be nearly 800,000 job openings. The care-worker shortage coincides with an unprecedented elder boom. New York State will grow 1.3% by 2040, but the population of people over 80 will grow by 42.2%. And while much of the discourse revolves around seniors who need care, people with disabilities need home care to remain independent in their own homes. According to the CDC, one in four New Yorkers has a disability.
I’m a Registered Nurse, and I’ve worked alongside home-care workers providing care for older adults. I could not have done my job without these skilled workers who are in the home, day in and day out, providing essential care that helps people remain independent in their homes and communities. Without this care, peoples’ health deteriorates, and eventually, a nursing home may become the only option. Nursing home placement is cruelly ironic, as it is where most people do not wish to be, accelerates decline and costs vastly more in Medicaid dollars than it would to receive long-term care at home (for those who may not know, Medicaid is the only payer for long-term care, aside from private long-term care insurance plans). As someone who has had many older adults in my life, and as a nurse, I am intimately familiar with the slowing down and the decline of the body and mind that renders care necessary for most of us the longer we live. As a nurse, I am also painfully aware that we are all a heartbeat away from a diagnosis or an accident that leaves us with a disability for which we may be dependent on care the rest of our lives.
Thanks to decades of tireless grassroots advocacy, there are finally bright spots everywhere — care is finally on the table, not just something to talk about, but something to invest in! The Fair Pay for Home Care Act in NYS would raise wages for home care workers to at least $22.50 per hour. This kind of investment in the workforce will contribute significantly to the recruitment and retainment of care workers, which will in turn ensure that seniors, people with disabilities and family caregivers receive the care they need. And in turn, such an investment will help rebuild NY’s economy. In the Hudson Valley, we have bipartisan co-sponsorship of Fair Pay from many of our State Senators and Assembly Members. Call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Gov. Kathy Hochul and let them know you want them to include Fair Pay for Home Care in the next state budget. And to learn more about the bill and the growing movement for care and care workers, visit https://www.nycaringmajority.org. People are in desperate need of care workers. Someday, you may be too. Care is a cornerstone of a functional society. Care is essential. And care can’t wait.
Legal right to choose
I was born on the Left and my heart has always been on the Left. That is to say, we are one species of brothers and sisters who have come a long way by the efforts of exceptional individuals and a hard-working collective who built the stone monuments and cathedrals. Unfortunately, we have also inadvertently gotten ourselves into some current intellectual impasses that the God myth is not helping with. We have built a complex world with cars and planes and supermarkets and homes with heat and air-conditioning and energy needs. This has led to a better world for many, many people. Try scavenging for apples and blueberries to refresh your memory or try catching a fish with a wooden spear or living in a leaky longhouse with minimal insulation as did the northeast Lenape Indians before Columbus. We have been so successful, in fact, that we are now all over the planet in great, maybe too great, numbers and technology has led us to a place where individuals have to earn a living to pay for these new luxuries. Technology has also more recently exacerbated labor issues where many people are left behind and can’t make a living. We have encountered, produced, who knows what, a useless class that no one knows what to do with. A limited decline in population would help alleviate many of our current difficult issues.
So, it appears to me obvious that abortion should be legal, if not encouraged, when the people involved can’t or do not want to have a child. Again, abortion or the ‘right to choose’ should be made legal on a national level. Many people agree. Congress should act. This would help in almost all our current big issues. Why have the current Democratic majority not focused on this? Reason would help in so many issues including resources and energy use and the continuing flood of unwanted people. The quest for equality is questionably useful and frustrating to all, focus on the passage of a national legal right to choose.
Thanks for supporting live professional theater
The Denizen Theatre would like to thank the Hudson Valley community for their support of live professional theater.
The overwhelming outpouring of positive feedback about our current production Apples in Winter by Jennifer Fawcett starring Jennifer Delora is humbling. We are proud that after four weeks of performances to standing ovations every night we were compelled to extend it one more week until November 21.
Rarely does a theater company get to produce such a well-written play by an Albany-based playwright that is so superbly acted and received.
Thank you Hudson Valley community!
The truth be told
Regarding Nick Henderson’s biased article “Start the Clock,” I believe some correction and clarity needs to be made. Firstly, what AT&T is calling 5G is actually advanced 4G as the proposed equipment is LTE and UMTS components, synonymous with 3G & 4G-infrastructure. This so-called 5G network along with 3G and 4G operates in the “Sub-Six” frequencies range (6MHz-6GHz), which utilizes microwaves as opposed to genuine 5G-technology, which utilizes millimeter waves in the electromagnetic spectrum (“EMF/EMR”).
Henderson’s baseless assertion that “No officially sanctioned studies have linked 5G technology to health problems” is very misleading and is pure industry propaganda. “Zero” studies on genuine 5G, have been funded by the telecom industry, as documented by Senator Blumenthal grilling top telecom CEO’s before a Senate Committee Hearing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqMqasein6w).
The government also has not “sanctioned” any so-called “official studies” while vehemently pushing 5G-technology across the nation. To say no official studies show any health problems associated with 5G-technology, implies that “official studies” were done and the results showed 5G biologically safe, when no such studies were undertaken. Mr. Henderson should issue a retraction of his deceptive misstatements.
Alternatively, 30,000+ peer-reviewed studies on EMF/EMR show in the overwhelming majority, biological harm occurs (emf-portal.org). Henderson inserting the word “officially sanctioned” before studies in his article implies independent peer-reviewed science is not credible. Meanwhile, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (“NASEM”), the premier science group in America and the highest honor for a scientist to be appointed to, has issued this report “An Assessment of Illness in U.S. Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies” (2020). Section 4: “Plausible Mechanisms” cites independent peer-reviewed studies that clearly document the plausible mechanisms of biological harm from low-level EMF/EMR exposure, causing various types of biological harm to U.S. embassy employees overseas. That science would be relevant to existing 4G and AT&T’s 5G upgrade associated with their current application (See pages 17-20 https://www.nap.edu/read/25889/chapter/6#19).
If the library of peer-reviewed science, not “officially sanctioned,” is good enough for the NASEM, who reports to the President, it should be good enough for Mr. Henderson to report to the HV1 readership.
Apparently, 20 years of propaganda by the telecom industry has caught hold of Mr. Henderson’s imagination in their vast disinformation net. The real news story, yet to be published, is levels of toxic manmade-artificial EMF/EMR are constantly rising unabated, billions of times from natural levels, to our mutual detriment and possible extinction.