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.
Toiletgate: A bum rap?
Don’t say that Trump broke the law. He would never do that, would he? The Presidential Records Act: It is a matter of law to hand over all correspondence and documents to the National Archives as a way of preserving all historic documentation. This Records Act is critical to our democracy, in which the government is held accountable by the people – but, as usual, Trump who never respected norms and didn’t give “two shreds” about this law, routinely ripped up documents and even flushed the shredded papers.
It’s funny how much our perception of the National Archives has changed…gives new meaning to the words “document dump”…err, I mean, “taking a massive Trump.” How many copies of the Constitution did the White House plumbers (quite different from those under Nixon) find? Trump seems to be fond of wiping his rear end with that document. Makes sense now. Trump never could drain the swamp when his own pipes caused a backflow – plus this explains why Trump so often “shit his pants”: because the toilets were clogged.
Maybe that’s why he went on his toilet rant and rolled back the water efficiency standards: He was complaining about how he had to flush the toilet continually. Pantomiming a flushing motion, Trump brought his frustrations with low-flow toilets to life. “Ten times, right? Ten times.” Apparently, that happens when trying to flush incriminating evidence down the drain.
He pledged to run America like one of his businesses, and he did just that. You know, none of his shenanigans surprise me anymore. I’m sure as time passes all of his BS will come to light. I just hope that when all is said and done, that there are new checks put into place so we never allow such a vile human being to get anywhere near the Oval Office toilet again.
Well, he certainly has the experience of flushing his reputation down the loo. Oh, and here’s a new phrase or excuse for that stuffed toilet: “Don’t go in there, I just flushed a Mar-a-Lago’s worth of classified documents.”
I wonder if White House plumbers are required to get “Top Secret” security clearances in order to work on White House toilets. Should we worry about the irretrievable, there’s just so much more tangible evidence. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks, right? We know he has broken an insane number of laws, so why is it he cannot be held accountable? Do I hear “lock him up? Someone, please do.
As the National Archives turns to the Department of Justice to investigate Donald Trump’s mishandling of presidential records, not only are they trying to keep Trump honest on the records he took home with him, but they’re trying to nail down classified material, too.
I know it’s tiring to continually be barraged with his total disrespect of the norms…err, duty of the presidency; but we cannot get complacent and try to tune it out. Even given the harsh realities it shines a light on, it’s funny, because it also shines a light on the ridiculousness of it all. Can this really be happening in our country?
And now there’s a problem with his crappy phone-call records. This must be what headlines stating gaps in White House “logs” are referring to, as this also goes along with Trump’s “unprecedented” document-destruction habits.
No need to re-“butt” any of this…he-he-hah!
Friends of the Shawangunks (FOS) appreciates that the new Gardiner Town Board (TB) is committed to getting at the truth of how the Awosting Club has been allowed to operate a commercial “glamping” business — without permits and without penalties — for over two years. Inasmuch as betrayal of the public trust is at the heart of the matter, it might have been preferable for Town Board deliberations to take place in public rather than in executive session, but we thank the Town Board for tackling this unfortunate saga.
Community support for environmental protections depends on public confidence that land use regulations are imposed equally and enforced impartially. Questions about the inexplicable special status of the Awosting Club accelerated, which Supervisor Majestic artfully deflected with what now appear to have been intentionally misleading answers, referencing lawyers and negotiations. Under increasing scrutiny from the community and the press, Supervisor Majestic finally confessed: she had personally opted to suspend the rules for one property owner, Camilla Bradley. Comparable businesses (b&b’s, campgrounds, lodging facilities, etc.) were not thusly favored.
Whether members of the prior Town Board were unaware of, or complicit in, Ms. Majestic’s special arrangement with Ms. Bradley is also a legitimate question.
Gardiner’s campground regulations, adopted two years ago, require Town Board licensure for both new and existing campgrounds. To our knowledge, the Awosting Club has no license, and numerous warnings and deadlines have been allowed to pass without consequence. Addition of new structures requires site plan approval by the Planning Board, but there has been no application.
Because there has been no review, we do not believe that environmental concerns have been addressed: Was there any intrusion into the highly protected Palmaghatt Stream buffer by the pilings supporting the geodesic dome platforms? Are septic provisions adequate? Is any danger posed by the large generator recently installed “in case of a power failure?” Has a revised stormwater runoff plan been prepared to address conditions resulting from the “improved” road system? Are active firepits monitored? What about light pollution at night? Is it remotely credible that the Awosting Club of 2021, with its large new geodesic domes and extravagant offering of amenities, can legitimately claim qualification for a “grandfathering” exclusion from review? Will the Gardiner Environmental Conservation Commission be given an official opportunity for a site visit and report?
Friends of the Shawangunks calls on the Town Board to take swift enforcement action, which should include halting unauthorized operations and requiring retroactive review of any structures installed without permits.
Fair and thorough scrutiny of the Awosting Club matter is essential to renewing confidence in the carefully crafted environmental regulations protecting the Shawangunk Ridge — Gardiner’s own “Last Great Place,” on behalf of us all and the generations to come.
After a period of healing, we also hope for restored community faith in honest, open and honorable governance.
John Hayes, President
Friends of the Shawangunks
Winston Farm development
My pen is most definitely ready Gregory. And so, here I go…
Certainly, land owners have the right to do with their land as they wish, but for the fact of the matter that as their plans stand now, each and everyone citizen of this area is going to be impacted by their decision to develop a Loud, polluting and natural space destruction, not to mention the continuous increase in traffic, exhaust, responsibility of taxpayers to construct, maintain and pay taxes for all the road accommodations that will be essential to their development plans.
Since they only paid $3,000,000 for the property, they could think to sell it and build their adventure park, water park and amphitheater in a far more appropriate location that will not impact all of our lives so negatively. Keeping it forever wild is also an option since these ‘good local men’ are said to care about their community.
Of course they could also choose to develop a project that would enhance our area, not invite thousands who will care not about this land. Should one of them ask me, I have a bunch of far more acceptable ideas. However, seems to me that making lots of money at the expense of thousands of us citizens who actually live here full time is beyond the pale and an imposition on every one of us. And quite frankly obscene and absurd.
If you’ve read either of my previous letters, you must know that this will not benefit our Town or Village, as this being a self-sufficient one-stop entertainment center, few will bother to come into our Town and Village to spend time in our restaurants and shops. Why would they? They’re only here to go swimming, riding amusement park rides and leaving behind all their waste. Perhaps the owners should take into consideration more than just making money at our expense?
This is the most inappropriate proposal for development of this property. Such an undertaking should be taken in an area, outside of any town or city, where it cannot inflict such harm on others.
So, sir, when you castigate the ‘two’ (and you are oh so incorrect about the number) of us stating why “we” didn’t buy the property in the first place, and say there are “already 287,000 acres of Forest Preserve land in the Catskills,” that indicates to me your concerns are not about your community, just like those three men, but about trying to make a point that has absolutely nothing to do with reality.
As for getting pens ready, you bet — pens and people and resistance to this profoundly inappropriate project.
Did you know that cutting down certain trees planted within 20 feet of either side of any properties, fronting on or contiguous to or located within 20 feet of New York State Highway Route 212 between the point where Plochmann Lane intersects Route 212 and the point where Route 212 intersects the Bearsville-Wittenberg Road in the hamlet of Bearsville, is not allowed unless a permit is issued by Woodstock’s Town Board ?
Spirit of generosity
This is a shout-out to the awesome plumber and person Gary Tomsen. When people ask me if I know a good plumber, I say “I know a great plumber!” He’s not only incredibly knowledgeable and competent, but also really kind and generous. During the aftermath of the ice storm, when he was really busy helping customers with serious plumbing emergencies, he took the time to assess my situation with photographs I sent him, talked me through what I needed to do to remedy the problem and wouldn’t even let me pay him for his time and service! Given the overabundance of enmity lately, Gary is a wonderful example and reminder of the kindness that exists within our community.
Beneath the weather
Weather is the new terrorism.
Please allow me to comment on the December 29 three-to-two vote by the (Town of Saugerties) Town Board to opt out of the New York State (sneaked through by ex-Governor Cuomo) that allows retail marijuana sales (non-medical) and smoking marijuana lounges.
Thanks to the Town Board members who voted No to the slippery slope on two fronts: Leeanne Thornton, Margaret Nau and Mike Ivino. Thanks to all three. Mrs. Thornton, do you remember when then-US senator John F. Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage? Well, if there was a 21st-centurty version, (you, Leeanne Thornton) belong to it – also senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. A strike against insanity, absurdity and lethality.
To the publishers, editors and writers: First of all, congratulations on reaching this important milestone. And thanks to all of you for years of quality local news reporting.
I thoroughly enjoyed Brian Hollander’s article and the reminiscences told by the familiar participants.
As Joni Mitchell wrote: “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” and almost losing our local paper to COVID is a reminder not to take it, or anything else, for granted.
Good luck with the next 50 years.
To anyone and everyone who voted for the present administration, and are now annoyed by rising prices for food, gas, heating fuel and electricity (especially that), console yourself by saying “Let’s go, Brandon” when you pay. Trump may have been abrasive and annoying at times, but at least he provided us with a stable and steady economy and low inflation.
Fair pay for home care
Arriving at the point that I needed home care was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. Multiple sclerosis has been crippling me for ten years. I was a chef in New York City, and now I need someone to cook for me and feed me or I cannot eat.
I am qualified for 40 hours/week of home care, and I have gone years without care workers because of the worker shortage. Too often, I end up not taking care of myself: dehydrating myself so I do not need to urinate, not eating three meals a day, letting my muscles seize and strain because I do not have help to get to the physical therapy I need.
New York has the worst home care workforce shortage in the nation (Mercer). The home care worker shortage is a result of our state government treating the workers as worthless, like their work doesn’t matter – which says my life doesn’t matter.
This is why I am fighting for Fair Pay for Home Care in the New York budget. Fair Pay would wipe out the home care worker shortage by increasing wages from $13.20 to $22.50/hour.
Fair Pay for Home Care is now backed by 127 state legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes. We must get it over the finish line this year.
The first step to helping me fight chronic illness is Fair Pay for Home Care because otherwise I am left fighting alone.
Ballad of a thin POTUS
It has been reported that Barack Obama stated, “Never underestimate Joe Biden’s capacity to [mess] things up.” The following parody of Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man,” titled “Ballad of a Thin POTUS,” was written and recorded by Donald Trump and sent – with his condolences – to Barack Obama. It tells the story of Barack Obama’s troubled recollections of Joe Biden’s candidacy, as well as his reactions to Joe’s presidency. (The musical mood of this song is dark and foreboding.)
You walked into the room your cell phone in your hand
You’re reading a text by a disgruntled Bernie fan
She ridicules Joe’s candidacy; you type, “You must understand
He’ll never be POTUS,” as you drop your new cell phone
‘Cos the primaries are happening and Joe’s in the game
And he really wants the throne
You hear Joe talking and he sounds like he’s speaking Greek
The tale he tells of Corn Pop makes him seem like a freak
You wish he’d shut up but he continues to speak
And you think, “It’s embarrassing,” and feel so all alone
‘Cos you know something’s happening and you hate what it is
Joe’s working for the throne
You’re at Joe’s inauguration with Michelle by your side
You feel ashamed but pretend you’re glad and full of pride
You try so hard your true feelings to hide
As you think, “I wish I had just stayed home”
You can’t believe what’s happened, but you know it did
Old Joe won the throne
Well, Joe’s speech is over and you rise, leaving him behind
Your hopes of a legacy restored have vanished from your mind
Your fears of what’s ahead makes you think something unkind
“Joe should be placed on remote control”
‘Cos something has happened and you hate what it is
Your VP has the throne
You call Valerie Jarret and you ask, “Is this meant to be?”
And she says, “Don’t you have eyes that are able to see?”
And you say, “Yes, but my eyes must be deceiving me”
As you shout, “It’s impossible” into the phone
And Val says, “Accept what has happened ‘cos it really did
Biden’s on the throne”
You made many contacts with those who once smoked crack
To find out if Joe’s presidency is all in your imagination
But they all say, “With all due respect, we’ve just sent Joe a check
For his new tax-deductible political organization”
A-a-a-ah, you’ve been with young professors who’ve read both your books
With great chefs you’ve discussed gangsters who were cooks
You’ve talked of songs that have the very best hooks
You wish that you were less well-known
‘Cos something’s happened and you really hate what it is
Your VP’s on the throne
Inflation is rising and Russia’s threatening Ukraine
The way Joe left Afghanistan caused such misery and pain
There are increased COVID deaths and a backed-up supply chain
America has insulted Emmanuel Macron
Bad things have happened and you know why they did
Joe Biden’s on the throne
We-e-e-ll, Nancy Pelosi comes to you and clicks her high heels
And then she prays for you and tells you how she feels
She denies she’s here to make some crass political deals
As she says, “It’s time to pay back all your loans”
You’ve got to make something happen and you fear what it is
You’ve got to help Joe keep his throne
You’re envisioning a rally at midterm election time
You’re feeling naked and wish you were a street performing mime
You’re introduced and then you read your very first line
“Let’s help Joe be successful” while wishing you’d stayed home
‘Cos the worst thing is happening and you hate what it is
Joe wants to keep the throne
(fade to dark foreboding music)
You are a T-cell for the world
The roles of common men and women on our planet have always been T-cells fighting power-hungry political viruses. Perhaps this is how we have reached the chaos we live in today. Average working humans maintain the infrastructures of civilization. Repressed regular folks eventually riot and revolt against dictators, tyrants and demagogues. Workaday people make up our world’s immune system: not mighty armies or deadly police forces; just simple people abused enough to face their deaths to take down those dictating political power.
Today’s coronavirus combined with politics has compromised the world’s immune system. Viruses are ancient and have been at battle with human T-cells, making them more robust from the beginning. The test now: Can T-cell Humans defend the attack on mortality by today’s politics?
However, something occurred in 1972 that offered humans immense insight. Humans saw the Blue Marble from space for the first time and named it the Gaia Effect. This event showed us the world as the single community it is. “All is one” was seen by everyone.
Still, today we plant our hopes for change isolated in countries and states, depending on our political institutions to deal with our concerns. Politics has proven ineffective at making civilized decisions for the masses. In America, we do not see survival as creating a world community, but isolating and segregating ourselves into political parties and globally into friends and foes.
The unrecognized gift of the pandemic starts on a personal level by forcing individuals to make daily decisions of life and death. COVID-19 has delivered the message “All is one” on the wings of death.
We’ve all watched the globe infected by COVID, and still, many are unwilling to see the world as one community. Unfortunately, such blind ignorance will deliver the human race to extinction.
Where are the tools once used for developing the personal character to make such difficult decisions? Were they once in our education and religious institutions? Did students once learn the value of having to create a moral compass? Is Facebook now our only font of wisdom? Or have power and money become the only ideal compass settings of value seen by today’s young minds?
Standing up for common life values is nature’s attempt to keep our species alive. But fortunately, when humans protest supremacy, they have taken the role of Earth’s T-cells circling the political virus of “All is mine.”
The concept of “All is one” goes against the core values of the explorer, the individualist and the wealthy. However, if you study the coronavirus, it knows well that “All is one;” it is how it survives. All humans breathe the same way and fight illness the same way regardless of color, size, age or wealth. Corona is alive because “All is one” and will remain until humans absorb its teaching lesson. Recognize you are a T-cell.
Consider the cost
Good parenting, in my experience, rarely forbids, or even says “no.” My wife and I raised two exceptional men. Many a person has told me this.
I do regret one thing, though. I did not try to talk my sons out of playing football. Frankly, I was not informed enough 40 years ago about the damage brains suffer from hits to the head. We know it is real and cumulative. No helmet helps, and no player is spared.
When Frank Gifford died, we learned he had Alzheimer’s for about seven years…most of his son’s life. Handsome and smooth on Monday Night Football, until that last year, when all he could say was “he paid the price,” on cue.
Boxing is worse. Consider the cost in years of his lost older life before ‘toughening up’ your son. Old brains can do real work if not wrecked ‘playing a sport’. America’s Favorite, sadly!
NFL player obits are rarely for old men and usually contain the facts of mental decline, alcohol and poverty. Read ’em, and weep.
It’s still a problem and now we know the cost
On December 1, 2021, you published a letter from me advising that many health care workers in our region and elsewhere in the US, were not aspirating the Covid vaccinations they were administering.
Aspiration is the simple process of pulling back on the hypodermic plunger after insertion of the needle and before administering the injection to ensure the needle has not penetrated a blood vessel. This is Nursing 101, a procedure that has been followed in countries like Taiwan since the beginning of the vaccine push. Germany and Denmark recognized the error of their ways several months ago and corrected it nationwide. In contrast, local geniuses using Google have determined that they know better than the health care systems of Germany, Denmark and Taiwan and it’s not an issue even worth considering.
Meanwhile, the numbers are in: Healthy young men getting the Covid vaccines — as they are administered in the US — stand a higher chance of serious injury and death from the vaccines than they do from Covid Myocarditis inflammation of the heart.
Here is a February 19, 2022 video from Dr. John Campbell, an educator of nurses with multiple decades of experience, making the point again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVXA9posslo&t=2s
It would be nice if the legions of newly minted public health experts, fortified as they are with their ideological certainty, knew what they were talking about and local doctors and health care workers cared to learn their business better. There’s a reason the U.S. ranks dead last in health care outcomes of all the developed countries in the world and the aspiration issue is a good example of why.
The tools of tyranny
This past week the government of Canada unleashed unnecessary violence against peaceful protests by Canadian truckers protesting against government vaccine mandates and for medical freedom. The protest had been making headway for their goals as the premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario announced that they would be dropping the mandates. The truckers were winning but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau couldn’t let that happen so he resorted to tactics only a tyrannical government would use. All along he had been using the government-controlled media to report only negative and fabricated stories that the truckers were white supremacists with Neo-Nazi links and not just hardworking families who believe in Canada’s “Charter” freedoms, including the right to peacefully assemble and protest.
When the media tactics failed Trudeau influenced Go Fund Me to withhold and divert $9 million of the $10 million to charities of their choosing and not the wishes of the donors. The people using a Christian fund organization raised another $9 million in three days of which Trudeau froze that account and the financial accounts of anyone in Canada who donated more than $25 to the truckers. If you can’t see the tyranny here, you have to be asleep.
The right to assemble and protest does not mean that if your protest is successful, the government can then use the tools of tyranny to break it up. Trudeau, seeing that he was losing, then put in place “The Emergencies Act” that gave him more powers, originally intended for national emergencies only after consultations with the other provinces and was a reasonable and proportionate response. Trudeau refused to sit down with the protest organizers and did not consult with all the provinces. Furthermore, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wants to make permanent this invasive financial surveillance system introduced as part of the “Emergencies Act” to crush the civil liberties protests in the future. That would mean the financial assets of anyone who disagrees with the official narrative could have their bank accounts frozen.
This is the stuff of tyranny and should be a wake-up call to all those who are behind allowing our society to be outfitted with a 5G IoT (internet of things) smart grid matrix that will know your location, every move and transaction. Such a system in the hands of those who would use it to suppress our rights to protest would be devastating to maintaining a true democracy that requires protest movements, as history affirms.
The actions of Trudeau should give pause to those who are pushing this technocratic agenda on all of us globally. People all over the world need to protect their individual communities from being swallowed up into this globally controlled network of what on the surface looks like digital conveniences but are in fact the tools of the oppression.