Letters to the editor (1/5/22)

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.


Make Trans-Hudson project best for our community

The Trans-Hudson project at North Putt Corners Road in New Paltz remains rife with issues and we, as a community, and those appointed and elected need to ensure these problems are thoroughly addressed before it is built.

The project has been amended frequently over the years, and it may very well be at its best iteration to date. It is still not adequate, however, and we need to continue to work to amend the many issues that remain.

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There are a myriad of reasons this project is unresolved, but they are clear. The corner is already a dangerous intersection that merges with the Empire State Trail frequented by bicyclists and pedestrians, and adding high-volume businesses will only increase the danger. Our all-volunteer New Paltz Fire Department will soon be located just beyond this corner at the intersection of Henry W. DuBois and North Putt, and the newly built police headquarters is there, along with our Rescue Squad. What’s evolved over the years is an emergent emergency services corridor, not yet tested by traffic or study. It’s imperative we have further insight on that impact, when seconds truly count. It’s a project so vital to our community, at the most busy intersection, that requires our complete attention.

Additionally, the jobs that would be produced by the proposed businesses offer little promise for workers who need above-minimum wages to live in our community. This is an equally important factor to consider.

When the Ulster County Planning Board was presented with this project, the Board strongly suggested a second look, citing that the design plans do not seem to be in line or reflective of New Paltz and that there needs to be a clearer plan for maintenance of the Empire State Trail that is proposed to run through the site.

A clear, revised plan needs to be proposed so there are no surprises. The only way to guarantee the project works for our community is to understand how it will be fully rendered before it’s built.

The proposal isn’t quite right yet and we shouldn’t settle. This is our opportunity to make this project the best for our community. Please, let’s take it at every step.

Michele Zipp
William Wheeler Murray
New Paltz Village trustees

Making no claims

Paradoxically, agnostics are happiest at Christmastime.

Sparrow
Phoenicia

Cue Groucho Marx

I love ducks. They’re so silly. They waddle, they quack and they stick their heads underwater and waggle their butts in the air. They make me think Republicans. Of course, one probable difference: You want the submerged ducks to come up for air. But then again, there’s a big difference between fowl and foul. So, remember: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck, chances are…it’s a chicken in drag, or it’s my (at it again) drunk uncle Sam claiming voter fraud. Oh, one more difference is when a duck gets behind a bill, it is useful.

Say the “magic” word: Why a duck? Why a Republican?

To Hudson Valley One publishing, the writers and subscribers, too, plus for all “Letters to Editor” writers who believe this newspaper allows a sanctuary that serves up sacred cows as Hamburger Helper, as well as a place to get your fill of nonsense ‘n’ peppermints with snippets of a cosmic giggle and an eight-mile-high chorale of zip-a-dee Buddha: Keep the sunny side up! Just a little reminder to keep smilin’…that is, if you need it.

And of course – Happy New Year!

Neil Jarmel
West Hurley

New Paltz Rotary Club thanks community

The New Paltz Rotary Club held our Facebook Holiday Power Wheel Fundraiser in November and December to raise money for our Scholarship Fund. It was a great success, and we were able to raise over $10,000 to award this spring to graduating high school seniors who wish to pursue college degrees and/or technical training.

We would sincerely like to thank all those who participated and donated to our holiday fundraiser, including those individuals and businesses who donated prizes, goods and services. Special thanks to: Jenkinstown Day Spa, Village Pizza, Carry Out Kings, Main Street Bistro, McGillicuddy’s, George and Cathy Sifre, Maria Rice, Julian’s Provisions, Gardiner Liquid Mercantile, P&G’s Restaurant, the Inn at Kettleboro, Garvan’s Restaurant and Maggie Mae’s, Kevin Zraly, Doug Thompson, Lombardi’s Restaurant, Mountain Brauhaus, Kristin Bowe, Wallkill View Farm Market, Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden, Inquiring Minds Bookstore, Berner Financial Services, Watergrass Hill Bed & Breakfast, Meadowscent Florist and Bob and Dawn Rich.

Our Rotary Mission is “Service above Self,” and we are truly grateful to live in a community that embodies this very ideal. Again, thank you to all for your support in our fundraising endeavors.

Lauren Rooney
Cathy Sifre
Geraldine Kelly
Jeffrey Smith
Linda Ferrante
Teresa Thompson
New Paltz Rotary Club
New Paltz

A Christmas story

It was the night of Christmas Eve and I was awoken by a disturbance outside my window at 5 a.m. It sounded like an argument – perhaps a drunken disagreement. Soon I saw the flashing lights of a police car. “Get up,” I heard, and listened for a bit before going to my window to survey the scene. I saw two police cars and two officers standing calmly over a young man who was lying on the ground. Was he drunk or mentally ill?

The officer that did the most talking was a large white middle-aged-looking male and the other officer was an equally large black male. I listened to them try to make a human connection to this young man on the ground. I learned through the questioning that the man’s name was A. and he was 19 years old; his mother lived in New Jersey and that he spoke English with a Spanish accent. At one point I heard him say, “You are going to kill me; I’m going to die.” To which the officer replied, “No, that’s not going to happen, we want you to be happy, we want you to be able to see your mother.” After awhile an ambulance pulled up and A. was convinced to get in so that they could help him.

Christmas is a difficult time for some people, and it is also a time that some people make that extra effort to help others in need. I was grateful to witness the Saugerties police officers helping this young man in a difficult time in his life. I hope that they all had a better Christmas for it; I know that I did. Thank you, officers, for doing the right thing.

Wendy Weinrich
Saugerties

The Great Basin

Las Vegas is built on a large part of the West with no river that flows to the ocean. Geologically, this is a giant bowl of rocks and sand that over the thousands of years since the last Ice Age receded, left an area that early settlers were able to hand-dig a well and enjoy abundant water. The Great Basin. Now even wells dug 1,000 feet deep do not find water. All of the residents of Las Vegas and the beautiful suburbs use recycled water. Run a faucet, a shower or flush your toilet and that water heads off to the sewage treatment plant and the water is retrieved and recycled back to the faucets, showers and toilets. Lawns are not permitted for any new housing.

Just on the outskirts of Vegas is Hoover Dam. It is the primary source of electricity for the region. Unfortunately, the reservoir behind the dam is nearly empty. So much water is siphoned off the Colorado River that soon the great Hoover Dam will not be able to turn the turbines that make the Las Vegas region’s electricity.

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If we can bring tar sand, thick crude oil from central Canada down to the refineries of Louisiana to become gasoline and heating oil, all being pumped through pipes, and then pump the refined gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel as far north as New Jersey though more pipes, it seems logical that all the surplus (flood) water that is making life miserable in the lower Mississippi could be pumped through pipes into the Great Basin and into the upper Colorado River. Farms that depend on water being pumped to Central California, and farms along the Colorado, could continue to provide America with abundant crops and the Mississippi could be kept better-behaved.

One hundred years ago, smart citizens built the reservoirs and the aqueduct system for New York City. They were planners. Where are those farsighted men and women today?

Paul Nathe
New Paltz

Mission continues for Wreaths across America Day

On behalf of the Wreaths across America organization, the New Paltz Rural Cemetery, the Brannen van den Burg VFW Post 8645, the VFW Auxiliary to Post 8645 and our family of volunteers and supporters, we want to thank you for your support of the mission to remember the fallen, honor those that serve and their families and teach the next generation the value of freedom.

As Wreaths across America founder Morrill Worcester told the audience at the recent Appreciation Rally, “We’ve just barely scratched the surface” of honoring every veteran as they so deserve; but we have done so much and touched so many lives, and we could not have done any of it without your support.

On December 18, 2021, Wreaths across America National Wreath Day, over 950 wreaths were placed to honor and remember all veterans laid to rest at the New Paltz Rural Cemetery and the Ulster County Veterans’ Cemetery. With each of the sponsored veterans’ wreaths placed on December 18, an American hero’s name was spoken out loud so they would not be forgotten.

We express our tremendous gratitude to all who made this possible by sponsoring wreaths and volunteering to honor our veterans on December 18.

Thank you to the following: our corporate sponsors, Rycor HVAC, Mohonk Mountain House, Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home, Ulster County American Legion, New Paltz Rural Cemetery Association and PDQ Printing.

Thank you to the ceremony participants: New Paltz Fire Department, Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, New Paltz Police Department, SUNY New Paltz Police Department and Ulster County Law Enforcement Honor Guard. To Ann Shulte Lundell for representing Gold Star families; the Rip Van Winkle Troop 272 Boy Scouts: Warner Hein, Aidan Rice, Ethan Greger and Evan Rice; Heart of the Hudson Girl Scout Troop 60142 girls: Erin O’Donnell and Ella Pons; and Troop 60135 girls: Victoria Cole and Madison Wanamaker – all for honoring and representing the eight armed forces during the ceremony. Thank you, Chris Marx and the Town of New Paltz Highway Department, for wreath cleanup.

Thank you to Andrew Mironchik, VFW Post 8645 commander, and Ulster County Veterans’ Agency director Mark Cozzupoli for emceeing the ceremony, as well as our speaker, congressman Antonio Delgado. As an added treat, Chris Nadareski, liaison for Rip Van Winkle Scouts, released a rehabilitated red-tail hawk during the ceremony in honor of all veterans.

And last but not least, we want to acknowledge and give many thanks to John Liguori, superintendent of the New Paltz Rural Cemetery, along with employees Clifford Campbell and Glenn DeHardt. They go above and beyond in taking care of all the details leading up to, during and after Wreath Day!

Our mission continues as we look to 2022. Starting on National Wreaths across America Day, Saturday, December 18, and running through Friday, January 14, 2022, all wreaths sponsored through a registered WAA Sponsorship Group will be matched by HQ for placement next December! Our direct link is www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/NY0270.

Ron & Kathy Mironchik
Cindy Dates
Wreaths across America location coordinators

More please

The most recent Walkabout column, Lucky 27, was one of the finest pieces of writing in HV1.

C. J. Asonge beautifully captured RUPCO and the City of Kingston’s successful efforts at rebuilding the Midtown District. She also portrayed the deep impact of RUPCO’s leadership in building affordable housing.

I saw the Midtown area through Asonge’s unique lens and beautiful portrayal of what’s becoming, more and more, a distinct community.

Building community leads to vested interests in furthering its successes and stability. RUPCO has, indeed, been key to this, along with the support of a progressive Kingston administration.

More please from C. J. Asonge!

Jo Galante Cicale
Saugerties

The consequences

The moratorium’s implementation by the Town Board last year did, in essence, put off any potential sale of the Peterson-owned Lasher’s Funeral Home property, which asks the questions: Did the Town stay the property taxes? Who paid for the daily maintenance and upkeep of the property?

Howard Harris
Woodstock

The last tree in Woodstock

Christmas in upstate New York was shaping up to be all we’d hoped for. Gwen and I were in Woodstock to spend the holiday with our family: Nate, Bahar and three-month-old Uma. This was to be Uma’s first Christmas and we were all thrilled to be part of it.

Bahar was looking forward to decorating a tree in the cottage they were renting. It would also be their first Christmas in Woodstock, where they were building a house on a nearby tract of land they acquired last year. We were more than happy to bring up a large box of Christmas decorations that have not seen much use in the past few years.

Nate planned to get a tree earlier that week, but had been busy pouring the foundation for the new house. Not to worry; we all assumed that there would still be trees available on Christmas Eve. After a leisurely breakfast, enjoying the woodstove that took the chill off and, of course, feeding and dealing with the baby…well, the time sort of got away from us. It was close to noon before we went on our search for what was to be an elusive tree.

In keeping with the spirit of a Norman Rockwell Christmas, Nate wanted to avoid the big-box stores, thinking that picking out a tree from a rustic farmstand would be more quaint. We were disappointed, but not deterred, to find that the local farmstands were all out of trees. One had not had trees since Thanksgiving. Nate located a tree farm in the next town that still had trees, but they were only open till noon: not enough time for us to get there.

The big-box stores were beginning to look like our last option, but the few we surveyed were also out of trees. Some forays into Rhinebeck, Kingston and the surrounding area did not yield any better results. Disappointment was beginning to morph into dismay and disbelief. I reminisced about how my Dad would always wait till the last minute to buy a tree, hoping to drive a better bargain. It wasn’t always the most attractive tree, but he never failed to deliver.

About now we would have settled for a Charlie Brown tree, but even that didn’t seem to be available. I proposed a Plan B: “Hey, maybe we can resurrect a dead tree from the property and fashion a sort of Tim Burton Nightmare before Christmas tree. I mean, it’s better than nothing.” In my defense, I should add that Gwen and I have had fun experimenting with Minimalist and Cubist trees – usually with interesting, if not stellar results.

Somewhat aghast, Bahar, never one to admit defeat, made a last-ditch phone call to Sunfrost Farms, a local produce and gourmet farmstand, in hopes that they might have a remaining tree. To our delight and amazement, they did have one, and they would hold it for us till 1:15 p.m. We were only ten minutes away and made it with time to spare.

The tree in front of the store entrance took us completely by surprise. Not only was it the perfect size, it was the most beautifully shaped tree ever. No way somebody hadn’t already bought that tree. We were elated. As Gwen went in to buy an apple pie, the manager came out and proceeded to lash the tree to the roof of our car. I was getting a bit nervous since we hadn’t discussed the price. With this being, arguably, the only tree around for miles, the store could literally name its price; I would have bought it in any case, but I thought I should ask how much we owed him.

“Merry Christmas,” the manager said, “there’s no charge for the tree.” We were dumbfounded. How’s that possible? The manager explained that a nice lady from the City always buys her tree from them and they had saved this one for her, since she was such an esteemed longtime customer. She had called that day and said she wouldn’t be able to make it out of the City this year and, since the tree was already paid for, she asked him to pass on the Christmas spirit and give the tree to the first person who asked for one.

We were stunned, gratified, delighted, thrilled, nonplussed – you name it. I asked if we could buy the stand the tree was on and he said, “Sure, I can give it to you for $20.” I rushed inside to catch Gwen just as she was about to pay for the pie and told her to add the stand to our bill, but the tree was free. “I’ll explain later,” I said. The cashier, never pausing to question the situation, promptly rang up the tab.

Ecstatic and relieved, we all drove back home with Uma sound asleep in the back and the miracle tree strapped to the top of our car. As we were crossing Woodstock’s “town center,” a young man ran towards us, pointing excitedly to our car. I thought the tree had come loose and he was bringing it to our attention. He quickly asked, “Say, where did you find that tree? I’ve been looking for one everywhere.” We told him, “Sorry, that’s the last tree in Woodstock.”

Béla J. Demeter
Bethesda, Maryland

When kindness is cruel

“…the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10)

In his latest rant, “Deck the Halls with AR-15s,” Neil Jarmel criticizes two Republican legislators who featured family members, including children, holding weapons, as well as Republicans who supported the Kyle Rittenhouse jury’s verdict, and states: “The GOP has lost its mind. Their Christ is not the Christ of the Bible.” This raises the following questions: 1) Are such Republicans really un-Christlike if they post such photos or believe that justice was served in the Rittenhouse verdict? and 2) How would one determine what is a “Christlike” view or action?

Apparently, Neil thinks he knows enough about “the Christ of the Bible” to qualify him to make such judgments. For this reason, Neil’s proclamations about the lack of concern for decency, morality and compassion caused me to wonder not only if he ever read the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament (which would be a necessity for anyone claiming to be qualified to make such an unequivocal judgment about the “Christ of the Bible” and decency, morality and compassion from Christ’s perspective), but if he even knew the origin and meaning of the word “Christ.”

Similarly, after reading Meyer Rothberg’s moral pronouncements regarding the cruelty and motives of those who want to require work for those seeking Medicaid, I also wondered if Meyer ever read anything but liberal propaganda. If Meyer wants to understand the reason a person of faith (or anyone who accepts the worldview of Western civilization) might think that requiring work (of those capable) for Medicaid recipients is necessary, he should read Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, located in the New Testament. In it, Paul writes, “If anyone is unwilling to work, he shall not eat,” and explains the reasons for this instruction. Moreover, although the Bible clearly teaches religion that God considers “pure and faultless” includes “taking care of widows…in their distress,” Paul’s first letter to Timothy (Chapter 5) places strict conditions on widows who seek help from the church community. Although some might consider such requirements antithetical to “the Christ of the Bible” or cruel and immoral, they are actually in complete agreement with the biblical view of human beings, as well as decency, morality and compassion.

In this view, humans, although made in the “image and likeness of God,” are “fallen” creatures. Because of this, they are not only capable of doing good, but also capable of being attracted to evil and yielding to and justifying impulses inspired by this fallenness. This would include “gaming” health care and social service systems meant to help those truly in need. Consequently, followers of “the Christ of the Bible,” as well as the framers of the Constitution (who held to the Judeo/Christian worldview of God and man), would be in agreement with political views that take the “fallenness” of human beings into consideration in making policy judgments and, because of this, placing qualifying restrictions upon them.

With this in view, since “the wicked” are defined in the Bible as those who have a distorted view of God and mankind, without such a consideration, from this perspective, the kindest and most compassionate acts of “the wicked” will, ultimately, only prove to be cruel to the societies that propose and support them.

George Civile
Gardiner

Pete Cecere

He has become an owl.

Peter Cecere — 1953 – 2022.

Patricia M Gibbs
Woodstock

Corruption under the radar in Woodstock?

Corruption is a weighty word, so maybe what’s going on in Woodstock around potential 5G cell service could be called “improper governance” instead. Specifically, the fact that the Town has hired an attorney whose website is titled “AntiCellTowerLawyers.com” to rework zoning related to 5G — and whose services will be paid in part by an ardent anti-5G activist.

We all have opinions and care about any number of issues. For example, I live in the Scenic Overlay (SU) and am alarmed about instances of tree cutting that may reflect insufficient Town enforcement of the SU provisions of the zoning code. May I, a private resident, select, recommend and then pay for a forest conservation attorney to advise the zoning reform committee and the Planning Board on the SU provisions? Could a resident who works for a hotel development corporation bankroll the Town’s hiring of experts to review transient housing policy?

Government functions should be paid for with government funds, obtained through the public as a whole. A Town’s decision about what to spend time and money on shouldn’t be swayed by the financial contributions of individual residents. We elect Town officials to review issues fairly, make decisions based on a full body of information and facts, and balance the interests of everyone — not to be swayed by select residents with the greatest financial means and the strongest opinions.

Nadia Steinzor
Willow

Mirror

The door of the New Year has opened. Once upon a time, all the death brought by the pandemic would have seemed normal. Years ago, causes of illness were an unknown part of living before advanced medicine, worldwide communication and scientific innovations.

I looked at four charts in the New York Times this morning that included the effects of the pandemic on the entire world. The number of places my fear got hooked could compete with Velcro. Yet, to pull the information plug feels impossible.

Death will be at my door, and I will have missed the warning. So instead, I will worry in the most advanced ways possible. I will have access to every alert; intel will come from sources all over the planet. There will not be a molecule in my body that is not informed, warned and given direction on where to go and not to go, how to eat, vaccinate, breathe and everything I should avoid. I am alert as once my ancestors lived on the savanna when they saw lions in the tree line.

Fear is the true pandemic, and there is no mask or vaccine to protect me from it; these safeguards, when used, constantly remind me of the illness and amplify fear.

Who, what, where, have remedies to such high amplitudes of fear? Is it in our religious institutions who baptize and bury us? It’s clear that our government primarily fuels itself on capital and fear. We all search for answers to questions and wisdom in our external worlds while the answers reside within. There is nothing more personal than death. Medicine attempts to relieve pain and soften our ends and lengthen our days but no more. What remains is our relationship with self. Do I care enough about myself to comfort myself? If not, where should I look? In the mirror.

Larry Winters
New Paltz

Experts being censored

Dear HV1 editor and readership, I wish everyone in this New Year good health, hopeful outcomes and a long fruitful life.  In that spirit, I have shared information in my past letters to raise peoples’ awareness to deal with the events that have been coming our way on an unprecedented scale.  It is very important that all sides of the issue be heard, not just one controlled narrative, as history has shown what happens to that society that prevents free sharing of information.  Our society is now on a path of banning information coming from experts in the field of vaccines from informing the public what they have learned during this pandemic. One example is Dr. Robert Malone who was responsible for developing mRNA technology and has nine patents on it. Twitter just blocked his account for speaking negatively about the vaccines. He is certainly not anti-vaccine, as his career is developing vaccines. Dr. Michael Yeadon Ph.D., former vice president of Pfizer is another expert who developed vaccines who has been censored on mainstream media. Dr. Peter McCullough, who happens to be the most published cardiologist on PubMed, is also being censored for speaking out on the vaccines. There are many more, who because they have discussed their success with treating Covid-19 with early treatments such as Ivermectin, or have revealed the injuries they are seeing from the vaccine, are being censored, including the testimonies from the vaccine injured. 

Furthermore the latest studies coming out, like the one from Denmark , show that after three months of being vaccinated the vaccinated are 76.5% (Pfizer) and 39.3% (Moderna) more likely to get the Omnicron variant than the unvaccinated (https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/new-study-shows-vaccines-must-be).

 Can you blame those of us who don’t believe the official narrative or hype on the vaccines from Big Pharma and the mainstream media? BTW, the most vaccine hesitant group in the U.S. are Ph.D’s (https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/americans-with-phds-are-most-reluctant-to-get-vaccinated-against-covid/ar-AANjRHh).

My 40-year-old son, who is chief engineer on a large fishing vessel in Alaska, has had all the required shots for his employment and has just been diagnosed with Covid-19. I know of several people who have been vaccinated and have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and only know of one unvaccinated person who has Covid.  It’s time to take an honest look at the official narrative, listen to the opposing views from experts and stop censoring them.  Our survival depends on it.

Steve Romine
Woodstock

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