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.
Save Castle Point
Veterans’ Affairs has recommended the closing of the Castle Point VA Medical Center in Wappingers Falls, a move that will make getting medical and dental care difficult for many veterans in our area. The thought of the potential closure in itself is creating anxiety. We need to ensure that our veterans have the best services for their health, as well as locations that are conveniently located to their homes.
News of a potential closure comes during a pandemic, when we’ve seen firsthand how preventative and palliative care is extremely vital. It’s a time when mental health care is at the forefront of our minds: Many have struggled, especially veterans who are at a 50 percent higher risk to die by suicide than those who have not served. Doors should never be closed on our veterans; we should only be opening more, to help more.
Veterans depend on Castle Point, and I’ve witnessed this with my own father. My father is a Vietnam veteran, a double Purple Heart recipient, and he used to dress up as Santa to bring smiles to fellow veterans at the VA. Castle Point, in essence, is its own community – and one that so many have come to depend on. My father is now 74 years old and has come to rely on Castle Point for many of his medical and dental needs.
My family experienced the extremely long wait times in seeing doctors at non-VA facilities when Castle Point didn’t have an orthopedic doctor available for my dad. Many doctors’ offices do not have available appointments offered for months – some even a year out, as was the case for my father. We cannot accept that our veterans would have to wait for care that has urgency. Many doctors are so busy that they aren’t even taking new patients; and if Castle Point closes, some patients may struggle to find proper care in a doctor’s office near their home. Many who rely on Castle Point already have experienced some downsizing of services.
If all who rely on Castle Point for their medical services have to go to a different facility, we must also take into account that concern and stress of unfamiliarity, as well as a further distance to travel for care. This could be particularly difficult for our elder veterans. This could dissuade some veterans from not getting the care that they need.
Many veterans depend on Castle Point for critical care, for their medications, to help with their quality of life. To close Castle Point is to not only create barriers for our veterans who need medical care, but it could impair their health. It shuts down a community, a safe place for those who served our country to rely on. It is simply disrespectful to those who served to cease the medical care that they have come to depend on. We cannot remove services; we instead need to add them. We need to ensure our veterans have the best accessible care.
Thank you to congressman Antonio Delgado and Ulster County executive Pat Ryan for bringing more attention to this important cause and doing the work to save Castle Point, helping to ensure our veterans have access to the best care.
A good solution
I have two comments relevant to the proposed development at Winston Farm in reaction to two letters in Hudson Valley One (April 20, 2022).
Number one is a point of information regarding Jo Galante Cicale’s letter. The organization that followed the Winston Farm Alliance was No Saugerties Casino. It was formed as a result of a real threat of the farm being sold as tribal land to the Seneca Cayuga Indians located in Oklahoma, which would then allow them to ultimately have a gambling casino and assorted artifacts associated with gambling venues on the land. Fortunately, Saugertiesians were spared a lengthy court battle, as a result of a ruling in early 2008 with good reasoning by Dirk Kempthorne, secretary of the Interior under president George W. Bush, saying tribal potential land purchases had to be located close to their current reservation; otherwise, the land would be of little benefit to tribal residents.
However, after that prolonged and intense battle, pretty much all the volunteers were drained of energy (after two major fights to preserve the Winston Farm); and, although there were some promising leads that were generated by the No Saugerties Casino Alternative Committee as a vision statement, they were not followed up. That proposal included housing! Which brings us to the current situation.
Number two is Janet Asian’s very sensible idea for a way that the three developers could “save” the land is worth pursuing. What flows from her letter is the notion of buying the land from our three Saugertiesians and making it a green space in a rapidly-becoming-“suburban” locale. I am sure a volunteer organization of dedicated Saugertiesians can be formed to fundraise locally so as to come up with at least the $3 million that three potential developers have invested so far. Then, perhaps using the alternative and its vision for the Winston Farm as a starting point, this wonderful site can be both preserved and developed so as to be able to give Saugerties something unique.
Yes, I know there are plenty of flaws in this vision – for example, where will the money to pay the previously collected tax obligation come from? But I have supreme confidence that Saugertiesians, working with Misters Mullen and company, can come up with something that will be a positive for Saugerties and a legacy for our town.
We, as members of the Peace, Justice and Prisons Committee and the New Paltz Society of Friends (Quakers), oppose violence in any form.
As violence continues to escalate in Ukraine, we stand in solidarity and sympathy with the people who have suffered egregious assaults on their lives, freedoms and human dignity. We also stand with all the people throughout the entire region whose lives are being torn apart by war. We grieve the loss of life and destruction that war inevitably brings.
We urge all parties to cease fire and remain at the negotiating table, keeping lines of communication and dialogue open and active. Diplomacy is the best way to bring peace to this region.
For more than 350 years the Religious Society of Friends has sought a world without violence. As people of faith, we are called to show mercy and compassion to one another, to invite in the stranger, the hungry and those who are sick. We are also called upon to uphold justice and advance nonviolent solutions to conflict and promote peaceful cooperation among all peoples.
We affirm that war is never the answer. Lasting peace can only be achieved through peaceful means.
On behalf of the New Paltz Society of Friends
Hope you read this, Jo Galante Cicale
Regarding Jo Galante Cicale’s letter in the April 20 issue of Hudson Valley One:
Ms. Cicale, I’ve read your letter in response to letters that I’ve written. You got it wrong. As I mentioned in my letter of February 9, had you been following comments regarding the proposed project I made in reply to someone named Brandon, I made it clear and plain that: It is not the men, it is the project.
I hold no ill feelings. I know Johnny Mullen; he has done work at our home and I know the generous causes he supports. Kudos and much gratitude for his dedication to help Saugerties and the individuals who have reaped the benefits of Johnny’s caring and generosity. Again, this is not personal. This is about the dangers implicit in proposing any project that can pollute our aquifer: pollution that cannot be remediated and will have a direct impact on our community, should some accident happen.
You assume that I am not aware of past attempts to prevent inappropriate development of Winston Farm? Not so. I have been involved in community protests, not only against the proposed Winston Farm dump and the casino, but in other community protests not related to the Winston Farm, such as the tire-burning facility and the bluestone mine announced after the purchase of land behind the Veteran Pork Store.
Any pollution to the aquifer will have impacts of unimaginable consequence. May I suggest that anyone interested in learning about the consequences search for www.ck.org and read “Cleaning up Groundwater.”
Whatever any developers, regardless of who they may be, think to plan for any parcel overlaying an aquifer, they must be prevented from doing so for the simple fact that, once something goes wrong (and there is never a 100 percent guarantee nothing will), entire remediation is not going to happen. This is the source of drinking and bathing water for ourselves, our neighbors and our community. The water would no longer be potable once the aquifer is polluted.
Your property value will be negatively impacted and your taxes will likely go up. Who do you think will be paying for this? Us – each and every one of us.
Development is necessary for a community to grow and prosper, for certain. But it must be wise and thoughtful development and be for the betterment of the community. This is precisely why there are zoning laws – i.e., aquifer overlay protection laws et cetera. I am simply exercising a responsible citizen’s right to see that these laws and regulations are scrupulously followed.
Marjory Greenberg Vaughn
Vote no on May 10 in Woodstock and stop this insanity
I am a licensed professional engineer and have been practicing for 50 years. One area in my realm of expertise is water quality and hazardous waste.
I am incredibly concerned that the Woodstock Library Board wants to buy a piece of property that was previously occupied by an industrial company. During their manufacturing process, they generated toxic wastes that were disposed of in dry wells and seepage pits on site!
They contaminated the soil and groundwater at this site with poison which is still present today! There has been no effort by the past owner and the present owner to remediate this condition.
The Library Board, with the support of the town officials, want to buy this property at an outrageously inflated price, relieve the present owner of any future liability and place it directly on the shoulders of the Woodstock taxpayers. This is an outrage.
Jeffrey Collins, president of the library board and other board members, are on video record and other social sites telling voters in this community that there is no arsenic and no lead on that site This is a catastrophic lie designed to deceive the voters into supporting this project. The records showing this contamination are available to you.
Vote no on May 10 and stop this insanity!
This note is in response to Susan Slotnick’s column in Hudson Valley One that discusses Whoopi and her comment concerning European white people and her show being canceled by who-knows-who. I don’t know Whoopi other than from movies and TV. I liked her well enough. I found her funny and competent. She has gone on to make her mother proud.
I did know her Mom, Emma Johnson, because she was my son Alexander’s nursery school teacher at the Hudson Guild in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Mornings, as I delivered my son to school, we would often chat and discuss our respective children and we had laughs together. Emma was a tall, stately woman with a dignified demeanor and a wonderful voice and sense of humor. She was quite a person.
She was anxious about her daughter Caryn, who was 23 in 1978 when my Alex was three. So, over a three-year period, we would touch base on the issues of our lives at the time. I can say that she was concerned and worried about her daughter, who was running around with strange people and trying to become a comedian, of all things. Emma was a sensible woman who wanted a more sensible child.
In any event, I bring this up as an example of people getting along. I am a white Italian immigrant male and Emma was a Black woman. We were friends, and I feel that race relations have deteriorated since then in a very ugly and strange way.
The next generation took over the narrative, and as far as the media and the university are concerned, things are worse. Luckily, on the ground and with regular people, things are generally better for most folks. As we all know, barriers have been broken by law and there are more interracial marriages and more women are in higher positions. However, there is a lot of anger and bad feelings and more alienation; this is crazy, because we have a lot to celebrate.
The narrative of the story is being told by the divisive angry ones who run things like schools, media and companies and are in government in high positions. This is a very complex story as to how we got here, and obviously I am cutting it short. Many would want to change it a bit and take it to where they are, but… but is the thing. We are getting ourselves very confused, and many of us now know that God is not on our side alone. He should stop the next war, but. Only we can; we can make it better. So, I just remind us: “Come on, people now, smile on your brother / Everybody get together and try to love one another.”
My appeal really is to leaders who have riled up the legions, making trouble for all of us. To Democrats and the left: “Where is the love?” And are you not trying to muzzle voices you don’t agree with, thereby killing sacred free speech that we profess to love? And to the right: Guns and violence don’t really solve much, and somebody has to take care of the planet so that we can all eat and live better. Sports teaches us that losing is okay; you don’t have to blow the place up.
Yes, Putin is pissed now!
Sing with me me me! Putin went to sea sea sea / To see what he could see see see / But all that he could see see see / Was his ship at the bottom of the sea sea sea…
Here comes that sinking feeling again. Ukraine takes credit for hitting a ship with anti-tank missiles. Russia confirms its flagship missile cruiser, the Moskva, is now at the bottom of the Black Sea. The ship is now on a special military underwater operation. The star of the fleet did a deep dive. Rust in pieces…
So, Russia’s story is that the ship blew itself up? Is that supposed to be better? “Hey, Navy Guys, don’t worry about those Ukrainian missiles; they are a myth, everything is fine. The flagship just spontaneously blew itself up. Nothing to worry about. And now Russia is moving all their other warships further out to sea away from the Ukraine coastline. It’s because the warmer water near the shore caused the internal fire that caused the ammunition explosion that caused the stormy weather. But sure, the ship that has sunk wasn’t hit by Ukrainian missiles – nah, couldn’t ever happen. Obviously, the Moskva is busy trying to denazify the fish in the Black Sea…
Russian State Television: “Our flagship cruiser Moskva [that’s one way to attack Moscow] did not sink. It was ‘explosively’ promoted to a submarine.” Ukraine to Russia: “We sunk your Battleship.” Russia: “Nah, we blew up our Battleship.” World response: “LOL & hip-hip hooray.”
On Vlad’s state media: “Look over here, there is nothing to see. Russia is strong like Putin. Battleships are not at the bottom of the sea; the sea is on top of the battleship – Vlad’s been having a bad day for about eight weeks now.”
Give Ukraine whatever it needs. They seem to know how to make the most of what they have. They have an iron will. Sometimes the underdog is a pit bull. A war-inducing country with a full Navy loses a ship to a country they’re invading that doesn’t have a Navy. Well-played. And I’m thinking, if Ukraine didn’t do it, then Russia has no need to retaliate.
Again, RIP Moskva and by extension the fear of Moscow. To Putin, with love: Pride of their Russian navy, rust and barnacles! Essentially, Russia is a faded power that just happens to have some serious nukes in the basement – if they work! Wait a minute – wasn’t someone claiming Putin was a “genius” for starting this war? Let me think, who was that again?
So far, it makes Putin and his military look like ineffectual buffoons. The Ukrainians cried to God for help and God will never forsake them. He will fight for them and give them victories. Ukrainians are strong in defending their home, and the support of the world is also giving them so much needed help. “Mad Vlad” hates being laughed at. Let’s try to make the laughter reach the Kremlin.
Jokes aside, I reminded myself that there were a bunch of shit-scared sailors, quite possibly conscripts, who, in fighting a war they had no choice in, died. They lost their lives, following the orders of the madman Putin and his dreams of world domination. History will not treat him kindly. God will judge you, Putin; be ready to accept your punishment.
Hudson Valley ready to lead
What would you invest in if you ran the world’s tenth-largest economy?
Would you invest in a healthcare system where good quality care is an everyday fact of our lives, and we don’t have to worry about bills and medical debt? Would you invest in a stable housing system where the next generation can afford to live in the neighborhoods they grew up in?
If the hundreds of conversations I’ve had in the last month are any indication, you’d probably also invest in an energy system that provides clean, renewable energy with the sole purpose of serving people, making sure essential things like heat and electricity are always reliable and affordable.
Albany, where an entrenched establishment passed a billionaire budget that gives more public money to the owner of the Buffalo Bills than to our underfunded SUNY system, seems to be on a different page. In a government where we have two Democratic supermajorities and no GOP obstruction, where we can pass any bold legislation that we want, Albany chose to pass a budget that does far more to enrich billionaires and corporate donors than to lift up working people.
If our budget is a moral document – and it is – then what does that say about our government? It says that even in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, where we saw all our assumptions about safety fall apart, those who govern our laws and spending have not had an awakening.
Why else would they not fight to get home care workers off poverty wage and help address the critical shortage of such workers? They could have done this with the Fair Pay for Home Care Act. Why else, at the peak of an eviction crisis, would they not fight to protect the right of tenants to remain in their homes if they have done nothing wrong? They could’ve done this with Good Cause Eviction. Why else would they not expand childcare support to all families, regardless of where the parents were born?
Why else, just days after the IPCC sounded the climate alarm – saying building emissions are heating the planet faster than cars, trains, buses and airplanes combined – would the State Assembly fight to remove the budget’s only major climate provision, the All-Electric Buildings Act, which would have banned gas hookups from new construction starting 2024?
Why else, at a time when companies like Central Hudson are charging us exorbitant prices, claiming high costs of fracked gas, would they not include the Build Public Renewables Act, which would have put us on the quickest path possible to creating the clean, affordable and renewable energy we need?
Business as usual requires a vacuum of compassion and imagination, that’s why.
But business as usual is not unbeatable. Last year, when Governor Cuomo pushed a billionaire budget of his own, with devastating public sector cuts and mass layoffs, a group of legislators worked with the Invest in Our New York movement – a movement I was part of – to organize, fight and even go on hunger strikes in order to stop austerity and bring working people economic relief by taxing the very richest.
We won that year. And we can win again. Because, unlike those in Albany, we have the vision, the will and, most of all, we have each other. Together, we’re going to lead, not just for ourselves here in the Hudson Valley, but for every New Yorker, so that we can create a model of the government we deserve and of the future we deserve. It’s not a tall order to say: The Green New Deal starts right here in New York, and District 103 will lead the way there.
NPHS unites us onstage
As always, I was completely blown away by the talent on the New Paltz High School stage! As we all get to experience live theater again, after all this time, I am grateful to directors, actors, all of these young people who give of themselves and bring us all such entertainment. I made the rounds to local high school productions; NPHS was by far the best. Top-notch vocals. Tears and laughter. A pit to die for. The best technology. Such talent on that stage.
Coming into The Theory of Relativity, I was pleasantly surprised by Anna Adams, Christine Vigliotti, Ana Kirsch, Emily Bishop, Nicholas Kutzin, Melissa Cino, Solo Diedhou, Delia Nocito, Ryan Hyland, Jamie Newell and all of the beautiful voices! Those who attended the show even got a physics lesson prior to the performance, thanks to physics teacher Mr. Foti.
That last number, “Nothing without You,” summed everything up perfectly: We are all connected and nothing without each other. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need connection to one another. Thank you to Nancy Owen, Dan Young and the thoroughly talented cast and crew for inspiring the audience to truly connect with each other and the outside world.
My wife is a Drama Queen, which makes me a Drama Prince Consort.
Broadway-bound: cast, crew & director of The Theory of Relativity
I grew up attending theater. Every other weekend I was in the City with my grandma seeing a Broadway show. When I got older, I started performing and learning the ins and outs of crew. I went to college for theater and have lived in the City “working in the biz” for a while. Every year I make it a point to return to the Hudson Valley with my daughter for all of the local shows.
Over the years, there are some schools that have become our favorites and others that have fallen to the wayside. Our absolute favorite productions are always performed by New Paltz High School – we have seen everything since 2014 and even a few prior to 2014 – they do not disappoint. Broadway-caliber talent!
This year was no different: We saw The Theory of Relativity and were completely blown away. From the stunning lights and sound to the mesmerizing voices onstage, contemporary costumes to the wonderful pit, heartfelt acting to tears and laughter and even a physics lesson. We cried during “Promise Me This” and “Footprints” performed by Anna Adams and Jamie Newell. We laughed during “End of the Line,” “Allergic to Cats” and “Julie’s Song,” performed by Jenna Triguero, Tessa LaPolt, Nicholas Kutzin and Christine Vigliotti. We cheered for Solo Diedhou during her performance of “Me & Ricky.” Each performance of every song was full of emotion and intensity. Ryan Hyland’s “Pi” was another standout song – great vocals on that young man. The immense energy and theatricality in “Relative Pitch” and “Great Expectations” – that’s not something you typically see on a high school stage. “Nothing without You” was so powerful.
Congratulations to the cast, crew, director and everyone involved in this outstanding production. I am sure that several of these students are bound for Broadway!
New York City
After reading the article titled “No MOU” in last week’s addition of Hudson Valley One, I immediately thought of Hans Christian Andersen’s folktale, The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Republicans need to play fair & be informed
It’s time to set the record straight regarding congressman Antonio Delgado (D19): He has never been a fan of “defunding the police” or cashless bail, as Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro would have us believe. Molinaro ought to know that cashless bail was voted on by the New York State government, and Delgado, as a member of the US Congress, has nothing to do with that.
What he did do in the House of Representatives was to support the bipartisan Invest in Law Enforcement Act. This would send federal dollars to rural police departments to improve recruitment and training practices. The Act was applauded by multiple police, sheriff and state trooper organizations.
Is it too much to ask Republicans to play fair and be informed?
The Theory of Relativity at NPHS
New Paltz High School (NPHS) always puts on my favorite shows and this year did not disappoint! I made the rounds to local high school productions with my sister and niece. My niece was the only one of us familiar with The Theory of Relativity (theater major).
I walked in not knowing this show, but recognized many familiar faces. Anna Adams was a stepsister in Into the Woods last year and had me going through a box of tissues with her song “Promise Me This.” Delia Nocito was Cinderella’s mom in last year’s Into the Woods and had me laughing at her monologue this year. Christine Vigliotti, Jamie Newell and Solo Diedhou I recognized from past productions as well – and the vocals on those three! I recognized Ana Kirsch and Nicholas Kutzin from the fall production of The Alibis, and loved their numbers.
We loved the show so much, we returned with my husband and daughter. Thank you to Nancy Owen, Dan Young and Kate Weston for bringing back live theater to NPHS.
Noise law should be repealed
My name is Adam Pollack and I grew up in Woodstock, New York. After leaving Woodstock, I moved to Albany, where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology and Master’s degree in Public Administration. Core concepts of coursework included equity, rights and political ramifications. Additional concepts that were integral to my coursework included regressive taxation, Pigovian tax and ghetto tax.
Across the planet, if you asked any individual knowledgeable of the concept of “Woodstock” what “Woodstock” is, their response is likely to be associated with a massive concert about peace, love and music, which took place in the name of the Town of Woodstock. Responses would not be associated with “peace and quiet,” as the Office of the Town Council member stated in a letter dated April 13, 2022.
To clarify, had the concert been within the Town of Woodstock and the current law had been in place, the following would have never occurred, if the concert were not a municipality event or a sponsored individual event, as excepted under the proposed law: August 16, 1969 to August 17, 1969 – Grateful Dead, 10:30 p.m.-12:05 a.m.; Creedence Clearwater Revival, 12:30-1:20 a.m.; Janis Joplin, 2-3 a.m.; August 17, 1969 to August 18, 1969 – The Band, 10-10:50 p.m.; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 3-4:14 a.m.; Paul Butterfield, 6-6:45 a.m.
I am writing today to defend the people of Woodstock and clearly state that Chapter 139 of the Town of Woodstock laws is currently structured as a ghetto tax, not a Pigovian tax, and as such, unless the Town of Woodstock is prepared to make a significant publicly funded investment in the arts, and regularly and immediately issue permits to any and all individuals operating music-producing equipment that embody the spirit of the Town of Woodstock via the creation of a 24-hour-operated office, that the law should be repealed.
Those who argue that this law is a Pigovian tax view music as a nuisance, and furthermore, there is no investment back into the community for the arts that embody the soul of the Town of Woodstock community. This is a ghetto tax: one that is imposed on economically disadvantaged artists who call the Town of Woodstock home and cannot afford a $250 fine for simply playing music at the wrong time of day.
I would like to say, with as much certainty as an individual can without being the individuals making the statements themselves, that the members of the aforementioned musical acts of the original Woodstock concert would not have approved of this law. The Town of Woodstock’s resources would be much better spent supporting the spirit of its community instead of suppressing and oppressing it.
In conclusion, I believe it is an affront to the community of Woodstock to be defending the rights of the citizenry from oppression that was already resolved over half a century ago. History repeats itself, and if the current members of the Woodstock Town Board do not act to repeal this law, the political ramifications and potential protests of not repealing this law are likely to be real and impactful.
Adam G. Pollack
Commentary on life
If a cattle truck rear-ends your Honda Fit, you are entitled to a footlong Subway and a ‘98 Buick.
It’s a nuance, but you can oven-bake potato latkes (pancakes) by the law of less cholesterol.
Veg out – I stopped all forms of kale for one good broccoli mantra. Om…
The path to enlightenment may cause tears on your spiral, but the FDC has approved (EUA) emergency use authorization.
Gladys Q. Flitchnick
Questions for critical thinkers
I have six questions for those who still have the ability to do critical thinking, which is very necessary in these perilous times.
First one is: Why does the CDC list a person who received the vaccine injection and died within 14 days as unvaccinated, when the majority or reported deaths after vaccination were within the first couple of days, effectively hiding those deaths as of the unvaccinated? By the way, my stepfather died two days after vaccination.
Second one is: Why did the FDA respond to a Freedom of Information Act request by a group of doctors seeking the data the FDA used to approve the Pfizer vaccine by asking the Federal Court for 75 years to release the requested documents, when it only took them 180 days to review and give their approval? By the way, 75 years is how long the federal government sealed all documents relating to the JFK assassination, which is considered to be the normal lifespan of a human being, so conveniently everyone involved will be dead.
Third one is: Why are they forcing these risky vaccines on healthy children who have an “extremely rare” chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19? By the way, healthy children usually develop only mild coldlike symptoms if infected.
Fourth one is: Why did the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci disregard a World Health Organization (WHO) warning against, and instead mandate exclusively the use of expensive Remdesivir for hospitalized COVID-19 patients when it previously failed all of its previous clinical trials (because of serious liver and kidney problems) when much safer, more effective and inexpensive alternatives were available? By the way, Remdesivir with understated serious side effects costs $3,500 per treatment, while Nobel Prizewinning Ivermectin, used for 40 years and on the WHO’s list of top essential medicines, has no serious side effects, costs $25 per treatment, and Hydroxychloroquine, also listed by the WHO as a top essential medicine, has been used for 75 years with minimal but overstated side effects, costs $1 per treatment.
Fifth one is: Why is the vaccine for COVID-19 being pushed on people who already had COVID-19 and recovered, developing the needed antibodies and an immune system way more effective at fighting future infections? By the way, a January 19, 2022 CDC Study showed natural immunity provides much more protection and longer-lasting than the vaccine.
Sixth one is: Why has RFK Jr.’s book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health been effectively censored, even though it was the number-one bestseller on the booklists of The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Amazon? By the way, RFK Jr., an environmentalist who has done much to save the Hudson River, is also an expert vaccine lawyer. Every chapter of his book is footnoted with an extensive list of abundant documentation of everything he has stated.
To be continued when I finish the book.
The Theory of Relativity at NPHS was a wonderful show
Live theater is back! New Paltz High School recently performed the rarely-talked-about musical The Theory of Relativity! After all of these shows being postponed, canceled, changed et cetera, the NPHS students finally got to do live theater, mask-free!
I was completely blown away by the talent. I cried while Anna Adams sang, I laughed while Nicholas Kutzin and Christine Vigliotti sang about cat allergies, I thought about my life as Jamie Newell sang about “Footprints,” I was blown away by Solo Diedhou’s number and so many others.
Thank you to Nancy Owen, the cast, crew and staff at New Paltz High School on such a wonderful show!
The midterm election
Previously, I submitted three letters regarding Social Security. The last one I mentioned the importance of the midterm elections and what the Republican are attempting to do and are doing.
Ever since the January 6 insurrection, Donald Trump has claimed that the election was false, that it was stolen from him. This despite the court system in the country, including the Supreme Court, saying otherwise.
He constantly harangues this issue, over and over. He appeals to a certain section of the country, and that is the Midwest and the South. The population for the most part is white; the mob at the insurrection was white. This is his base.
The SPLC, Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Alabama, issued a report to this writer that there are over 838 active hate groups in the country in 2020. These hate groups include the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, Neo-Confederate, Neo-Volkisch, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-LGBTQ, Anti-Muslim and general hate groups. This is Donald Trump’s base. This is where he goes periodically, even though out of office, for his support.
The Republican Party had a president who appealed to this radical base (2016-2020). Donald Trump’s administration let loose this white supremacy idiom throughout the country. His proclaiming, when in office, “Why don’t people from Norway and those countries emigrate to the US instead of from those ‘shithole’ countries?” Translation: Norway and those countries are white and those in those “shithole” countries are not white.
Donald Trump’s lies about the election and that the election was stolen from him has led the South to pass voter suppression laws to prevent the minorities from voting – a revival of Jim Crow-era tactics that silence people of color or low-income people, students and others from voting. This effort represents a sweeping and unconstitutional repudiation of voter rights in a Southern state (Georgia) with a long history of disenfranchisement. (This is from the report issued by the SPLC.)
It is not only Georgia, but other states as well, making it difficult for minorities and low-income people to vote. I have repeatedly stated in previous letters that if the midterm election of 2022 witnesses the Republicans taking control of both houses of Congress, Trump will most assuredly run for president in 2024. The Republicans are doing everything they can to increase their chances of winning. If that happens and Trump wins, then my benefits as I know them now will disappear forevermore. And the federal government will be on its way to the Hoover days of yore: strictly a business enterprise and a gradual extradition from the social affairs of the country.
With a Supreme Court conservative, the country will change into something which I feel we will never recover from. Be aware of what is going on. Support the AARP and NAPSSM (National Association for the Preservation of Medicare and Medicaid). The next letter I will have the telephone numbers of your representatives, state and federal. Contact them. I also will repeat the addresses and telephone numbers of the AARP and the NCPSSM. Get involved, boys and girls.
“Nothing without You”: NPHS presents The Theory of Relativity
It felt so good to be in the NPHS auditorium again! As I made the rounds to local high school productions with my kids, my mind kept coming back to New Paltz High School’s production of The Theory of Relativity. These talented students brought tears to my eyes, laughter to my heart and awoke something in me along the way.
Tessa LaPolt, Delia Nocito, Jenna Triguero, Nicholas Kutzin, Melissa Cino, Christine Vigliotti, Ana Kirsch, Emily Bishop and others made me laugh at just the right moments. Anna Adams and Jamie Newell tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry. Ryan Hyland and Solo Diedhou blew me away with their vocals and talent.
Every high school, if given the chance, needs to do this show – it provides opportunities for everyone, it inspires, it makes you think. Most of all, it reminds us that we are nothing without each other. Connection is so important. Especially to teenagers.
Congratulations and thank you to Nancy Owen, Dan Young, Kate Weston and Nicole Foti for choosing this inspirational show!
Taxpayers should be running for cover
A lot of money has been wasted on various schemes to either tear down the library or move it somewhere. The latest one should have the taxpayers running for cover. At great expense they want to move the library to this ugly industrial building (Miller/Howard building on Dixon Avenue) well away from the center of town. Also, the soil around there has been found to contain some contaminants such as arsenic and lead. This environmentally unfriendly move will increase car traffic on Route 212, a road unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Don’t let them take away our library. It’s a part of what makes Woodstock special. Vote NO on the bond issue May 10.
A “No Mow May” is a great idea. A “ No Spraying Pesticides/Weed killer on Your Lawn This Summer” would be a great idea as well. If you want to help the pollinators and beneficial insects, don’t stop at the end of May. Having little yellow flags with a skull and crossbones stuck into your lawn with the word “Poison” on it doesn’t sound all that environmentally friendly.
Neil is right on point
I think hell must have just frozen over as I find myself in total agreement with a letter from Neil Jarmel! I’m referring to his letter of 4-13-22 entitled “Mama said.”
I think most sane people would take Neil’s position on the woeful and immature behavior of Will Smith in his incredible overreaction to the routine, timely, and appropriate comedy of Chris Rock. Only the nitwit, lemming celebrities with the same mentality as Smith’s would stand behind him with their misguided and shallow applause for Smith’s slapping Rock as Smith purported to be “standing up for his woman.”
Demi Moore was very attractive with her buzz cut in her GI Jane movie. Jadaq Pinkett is also very attractive and she, too, looks good with her buzz cut. I actually looked at Chris Rock’s joke as a comedic compliment to Jada. Rock even started off his joke with “Jada, I love you” This was hardly the insult that Smith, in his twisted mind, made it out to be. And, if the slap wasn’t ridiculous enough, Smith showed additional classlessness by yelling from his seat, not once, but twice: “Keep my wife’s name out of your effing mouth!” His reactions are what we’d expect from a 13-year-old macho bully in the schoolyard who didn’t like what another 13 year old just said to him.
And, Smith tried to feebly blow it off with his asinine comment of: “Love makes you do crazy things” That wasn’t love, Will, that was childish, immature, and macho stupidity. It’s very disappointing to see a guy with such exceptional acting talent reduce himself to such an uncalled for, disjointed overreaction.
It’s been established that Chris Rock did not know of Jada’s condition of alopecia, but even if Rock had been aware, the joke was still funny, appropriate and right on target as an excellent comparison of Jada’s look to that of Demi Moore’s look from the GI Jane movie — perfectly harmless, good humor, except for Smith, who may have had one too many drinks which obviously clouded his thinking ability and judgment.
Chris Rock showed more composure and class than Smith could ever dream of.
John N. Butz
Where’s the beef?
My two favorite newspapers are Hudson Valley One and the Wall Street Journal. The Journal wrote this week that beef prices are about to fall, but it’s really bad news: the drought running from New Mexico north into cattle country is forcing cattlemen to take their breeding cows to be slaughtered.
The supply of beef is going to rise; prices for burgers and steaks will fall; then the drought will not just be rain, but the shortage of beef that will follow will take beef prices out of reach for many families.
So I begin to try to get somebody to listen to my warning: we are totally unprepared for that cycle of climate change called drought. Stage one, no car washing or lawn watering. Stage two? Well, you might try to imagine turning on your faucet or flushing your toilet and nothing happens.
Fire trucks will not find hydrants with water after their tanks run dry. Food prices should be OK, except for most of our wonderful local produce, as the rest of the country is unlikely to be in the drought that will torture our lives unless we plan now and build up the reservoirs of water we will need.
The City will stop our taking of their aqueduct water; the court case will not be settled until the years of extreme water shortage is over. We need to build ponds and lakes to store water for the potential of drought throughout the Hudson Valley. If climate change means anything, long before we suffer from that so-called existential threat, please tell your politicians that they are responsible for preparing for the future.
Thinking it over
The following song parody by Dr. Jill Biden was leaked to the New York Daily News by an anonymous source. Although not completely verified, it consists of the musings of the “First Lady” about the election of her husband, Joe Biden, and the effects it has had on the country and the world. It also includes discussions regarding his plans for the future. The song seems to be directed to Independent voters, anti-Trump Republicans, disillusioned Democrats and the press.
(To be sung to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right”)
You keep wondering how Joe got elected
but you should really know…by now
When China’s virus came it was suspected
Trump would be gone some way…some how
when you awake and start a new born day
you’re wonderin’ why build back’s gone away
and you realize that things are worse today
even though you thought Trump wasn’t right
Well, it’s 16 months and things ain’t gettin’ better
Since Joe’s been on top in DC town
Putin’s Ukraine invasion we were all a-fear’n
has come and Joe can’t bring prices down
NATO’S hoping Putin will soon make peace
so that his murderous ways will cease
and their fuel supplies, they, won’t decrease:
Trump warned; dependence on Russia’s not alright
Well Joe has gone to OPEC for more oil
cos fuel prices are gettin’ awful high
Yes, he’s told the Saudis “Please increase your drillin’
cos Putin’s made inflation reach the sky”
The Saudis said “We’ve told you this before;
we won’t be helping Uncle Sam no more
Joe’s Iran treaty will help Iran for sure
and if Iran gets nukes, that’s not alright
The pundits have announced: “All the nations,
are glad to be rid of Trump the hack”
Yes, they told us “Since Joe’s the POTUS,
all is well and America now is back”
But Joe’s move in Afghanistan was a real bad call
England wasn’t happy when they saw it fall
Europe needs Russia’s oil and that’s not all:
Macron’s telling his wife Brigitte “Trump wasn’t so bad”
It seems those 50 intel guys were lying
when they said the laptop story wasn’t…so
Yes’n all the papers covered up for Hunter
Cos, they knew that it would be; bad news for Joe
The NY Times and the D.C. Post
knew this story would make Joe’s, chances toast
They hid the facts and then made this boast:
“We’re not fake news and Joe’s alright”
Pelosi’s still thinks “Mueller…found collusion”
though he really didn’t find it at all
Yes, she thinks he proved Trump was a traitor
and his investigation should’ve cause old Trump to fall
But though it didn’t turn out…her way
She’s got “The Insurrection” that’s still in play
and if Dems hold “The House” she’ll make Trump pay:
then her world will be alright
Well, my Joe’s claiming “the country’s doing fine now”
though inflation’s going through the roof
and he said “all our problems are Trump’s fault”
though he never really offered any proof
Immigrants are surging with no relief in sight;
we’re giving up our borders now without a fight
Never thought I’d vote Republican but now I might
Cos what Joe’s doing’s not alright
Guess you’re wonderin’ who’s next if Joe leaves office
as we’re looking toward 2024
Yes, I guess you’re wonderin’ who’ll be left standin’
cos you hope Joe won’t be runnin’..anymore
I can’t blame you for what’s…on your mind
I won’t even say such thoughts are unkind
but even if you’re deaf, dumb and blind
You know a Dem in office won’t be alright.
(Spoken to the Press)
I guess the truths you all have been concealin’
made electing Joe seem the thing to do
But when they’re known those truths’ll be revealin’
how foolish we were to have trusted you
You can fool all the people, some of the time
Even though foolin’ folks is such a crime:
when they learn the truth fooled folks will chime:
“We need a Press that’s like honest Abe”
Seeking quiet in town
There was a ‘listening session’ at the Community Center on Rock City Road to allow Woodstockers to speak out on the trend toward outdoor concerts in town. It was not a debate, but rather an opportunity for people to express their opinions on having amplified outdoor music concerts, many of them in the evenings.
The three venues: The Colony, the Station Cafe and soon, the Bearsville Center complex are proponents of outdoor amplified music. They all claim that such performances are essential to their business survival, especially due to the pandemic, which is now fading from the scene. They also claim that Woodstock has always had amplified outdoor sound. And, they claim that such performances are consistent with the commercial zone the venues are in. Most of the speakers either worked at the Colony or played there, so ‘the deck was stacked.’
Despite the fact that much of the core of downtown Woodstock is indeed zoned commercially, many hundreds of residential owners and rental tenants live within earshot of the three venues and there is a problem of excessive sound levels often running into late hours, thereby disturbing and depriving many of the ability to enjoy a quiet backyard dinner on a summer night.
Being quite close to the Station Cafe myself I can attest to the loud sound levels and the late hours. This goes on many nights. It is depriving us of the tranquility and comfort we should be entitled to.
We hope that the town will keep all citizens in mind when considering the demands of a few venues and that our displeasure will not be drowned out in the cacophony. Music is important to Woodstock, but so is peace of mind.
Woodstock Library bond vote May 10
As we approach the May 10 date for a bond vote to enable the Woodstock Library to move to a new location here’s my two cents: Good job Library Board. I think this building is a great location for the library and, despite misgivings, I’m prepared to vote Yes on May 10. Here is a link to the latest meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a3_Ijaff7Q&t=3s.
At that meeting, Ms. Hera’s expressed strong concern about the town’s character. I understand that concern (as well as her frustration). Personally, I do wish the current library could be rehabbed in a cost-effective way while retaining the quaint Old New England feel. I also wish it would stay at its location on Tinker Street. But, it is clear that renovation or even repairs and maintenance of the current site are not possible under the current administration. Ultimately, we the public are not running the library. It is the Board which is responsible for deciding on the library’s direction. If they are determined for a new, upgraded, modern facility, who are we to stand in the way as long as it is reasonable, affordable and functional?
I’m voting yes because I feel that this entire long saga needs to be brought to an end. It is difficult for the public to really have a voice in a library’s direction. It seems to be due to the way that the BOE created a system of management of libraries which makes it virtually impossible for people to bring a change in culture of the boards. Once a majority is formed on a board, the status quo is maintained by singling out objectors and politicking to get them removed from the board. Since elections rotate, to build a new board would take several years and require enormous perseverance, determination and resources by a coordinated group, all for thankless volunteer positions. In the meanwhile, the public has no control over the day-to-day operation and maintenance decisions for the facility. So, if a board decides to let a facility go, it can simply be allowed to deteriorate to the point where there is no other option but to replace it. So here we are, eleven years and close to a million dollars later. Despite a public survey showing that the majority wanted an affordable upgrade of the current location, we are again facing a less desirable option. What we wanted is not going to happen. So let it be, this will do.
Regarding the current building, if this new plan is successful, I believe that the old facility should be turned over to the town for its use. It was built with taxpayer money and, after it is no longer in use as a library, it should cease to be controlled by the Library Board. It would be a nice home for a museum, ideally to educate the public about the preserving nature and the environment or other public facility.
Are we crazy?
The passing of the 52nd Earth Day has come and gone and with it an earth ravaged by the threats of unchecked industrialism, outdoor recreation, deforestation, air and water pollution and the impacts of mankind increased a thousand fold by climate change and biodiversity loss in the Age of the Sixth Extinction and the Age of the Anthropocene.
I was present at the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 as a dewy-eyed naïve young naturalist in Kissena Park, Queens, when I met Mayor Lindsay along with a hundred others to inaugurate a call to arms to save a dying earth from DDT, burning rivers, toxic air and water and to inform an apathetic citizenry about how, we the human species and environmentally unconscious Americans were hell bent on destroying the only home it had in the universe in order to fill the pockets of greedy industrialists. Holding up a little jar of tadpoles and fish for Mayor Lindsey to see, I was totally unaware of the fact that 52 years later, despite 70’s legislation like the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the creation of the EPA and the banning of DDT in 1972, we still continue on the suicidal path of eco-cide. Fifty-two years later nothing has changed. Now, we see an Ulster County and the Beautiful Catskilll Park and Preserve, at the bulls eye of still more environmental degradation such as the opening of Sojourner Truth State Park, the building of an asphalt batch plant on Route 28 right at the Gateway to the Catskills with the stench of cooking tar wafting over the hills and homes, the continued pressure of the 850 company to create an industrial complex with blasting and excavation of bluestone rock endangering the Town of Kingston aquifer in the heart of the Bluestone Forest and the Winston Farm project in Saugerties, which will take away more precious green space through deforestation, harm ground water resources and accelerate biodiversity loss in the Catskills and the Hudson Valley. Urban sprawl, cars and parking lots, the aggravated impacts of more outdoor recreational vandalism from mountain bikes, ATVS and snowmobiles and unrestrained dogs in dwindling biological enclaves are all part of a human sickness that is unraveling the very web of life on this planet.
Never mind that as I write this, the disappearance of animal species at the rate of one every 20 minutes (according to the IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) is increasing, along with carbon dioxide (418 PPM) or that the Arctic ice cap and Antarctic ice shelves are disintegrating raising ocean levels worldwide along with ocean acidification and an insect “apocalypse” threatening crop pollination and ecosystems. Forests are cut down in the tropics at the rate of 150,000 acres a day and tropical rain forests (as with all forests) are the source of our rainfall, oxygen and mitigation of climate change effects.
Are we crazy? Haven’t we learned anything about the sanctity of life, all life that is sharing the earth with us? As one of those young naturalists who was present at that first Earth Day, I have to say that 52 years later we still have not learned its lesson in protecting the earth. Ulster County especially, is an example of that blind egocentric viewpoint and not inculcated with the ecological consciousness Aldo Leopold, the great conservationist has implored us to develop. Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring alerting us to the lethal bio-magnification effects of DDT, (which almost killed off our National Symbol-the Bald Eagle) would be appalled to see how little we progressed in cultivating a bio-phillic country. Ulster County with all its so-called environmental watch dog agencies should be ashamed of itself in its woeful environmental track record to save Mother Earth.
Victor C. Capelli