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.
Murder will always be murder
Basic and direct logic would start with the factual premise that murder is the taking of an innocent life. Since abortion is, also, the taking of an innocent life, the indisputable conclusion is: Abortion IS murder.
We’ve repeatedly heard terms and phrases such as “women’s healthcare rights”, “women’s reproductive rights”, “my body, my choice”, “a woman’s right to choose”……..a right to choose what? To give your unborn child the same natural and moral right to life that your mother gave you, or the “right” to simply murder it, instead? These terms are personally and politically watered down phrases that their proponents hope will divert our attention from the reality of what’s really going on……the act of murder. And it doesn’t matter that this act of murder had been legally sanctioned by an extreme, irrational and flawed decision made by five imperfect Justices in 1973.
In response to Carol Bergman’s and Eric Glass’s personal experiences with abortion described in the last two editions of HV1, the moral, civil and right decision was staring them right in the face, all along, before even having to undertake their unnecessary and harrowing experiences in hunting down medical personnel to assist them in killing their unborn children. The humane, moral and ethical decision was to bring their child to term and immediately put the child up for adoption. No need for back alley horrors. This rightful solution applied before Roe v. Wade as well as still applying, all these years, after Roe v. Wade.
The inconveniences, real and perceived, by bringing the child to term and putting it up for adoption, are only temporary. A month or so of disrupting employment or studies can be quickly resumed. Women and supportive men have done this countless times in resuming their pre-pregnancy lifestyle and goals.
Those who are emotionally empty and have no compassion or respect for life will continue to murder their unborn children for purely selfish reasons. I would venture to guess that these people never gave a moment’s thought to the significant heartache suffered by couples who desperately want a family but are unable to have children, as the childless couples are forced to hear and read stories about people who have nonchalantly murdered their unborn children.
For those that have no problem with continuing the murders of unborn human life, there have been reports on medical abortion. It allegedly involves two FDA-approved medications taken in conjunction with each other — mifepristone and misoprostol — which is supposed to help the heartless murder their unborn child. Assuming this method is safe and, again, negating the back alley horror stories, then why all the out-of-control, overreactive demonstrations in front of Supreme Court Justice’s homes and elsewhere?
As I divert a little, while speaking of these demonstrations in the neighborhoods of the Justice’s homes, where is our spineless Attorney General, good ‘ol Merrick? There is a black and white law on the books, 18 U.S.C. Section 1507, which clearly shows that these demonstrations are breaking the law with their obvious intentions of harassing, intimidating and interfering with our judicial system by trying to influence/coerce the Justices into changing their opinion. He should have given clear and strong orders, on day one, to arrest these people on the spot so that the Justices and their neighbors could resume their normal lives.
So much for bipartisan justice.
John N. Butz
For the sake of goodness
Dr. Anthony Levatino, a board-certified gynecologist who performed over 1200 abortions, testified before the House Judiciary Committee in 2017 about what occurs during a second trimester (14-24 weeks) D & E abortion. He listed the instruments used in the abortion process and described removing legs and other body parts piece by piece during the procedure. In the recent letters written by Carol Bergman and Eric Glass regarding their harrowing experiences in procuring an illegal abortion (Carol for herself and Eric for a woman he had impregnated) they never explained why most abortions were illegal or were considered wrong or “sinful” by the major religious denominations prior to the Roe-Wade decision. However, Dr. Levatino’s testimony did: abortion kills a developing human life.
With this in mind, people are appalled when photos or images of aborted fetuses are displayed. While it is not a pleasant sight, a photo of an aborted fetus accurately portrays the results of an abortion and belies the assertion that abortion is merely about a woman’s right to choose and the control of her own body. Because of this, supporters of abortion rights need to conceal what really happens during an abortion. Indeed, the hundreds of thousands of pregnant women who come through Planned Parenthood’s doors for an abortion and get ultrasounds never see the ultrasound images because those images of a developing human life — even in its early stages — destroy the abortion industry myth that a fetus is just a ‘clump of cells’ lacking human qualities. And the perpetuation of this myth serves the interests of Planned Parenthood’s, lucrative, abortion business.
Last Chance Harvey (featuring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson) is a film about the growing connection between two broken, lonely people (Harvey and Kate). This connection inspires both as they unexpectedly transform one another’s lives. At one point the couple are sitting in a piazza near dawn and Kate says, “I haven’t stayed up all night since I was a student.” Noticing a change in her demeanor, Harvey says, “You got sad…Why?” Kate responds, “I got pregnant once. I ended it. I didn’t think twice about it…That’s what smart girls did…I do sometimes wonder, you know, whether if I had it [the child], he or she would be funny or clever or…neurotic…I don’t know why I told you that.”
Surprised by the scene, I also wondered, why Kate informed Harvey of her abortion and surmised that because of their relationship Kate trusted Harvey and her (apparently lifelong) regret over her abortion was something she needed to confess. Perhaps Kate did so in the hope that she could find some absolution and relief from the guilt and remorse she suffered over her abortion. In their articles about their abortion experiences, both Carol Bergman and Eric Glass explained that their lives would have been very different had they not participated in getting or helping someone get an illegal abortion. Maybe, unlike Kate, they both should have thought twice about it and considered the reason abortion was illegal in the first place: the “unborn something” that was interfering with their plans for the future, was actually a developing human life that abortion would kill. Maybe then they would have changed their plans and did what was “right.” If they had, they certainly wouldn’t have gone through their harrowing experiences and, perhaps, their lives would have been enriched by the baby they saved and the good they did. Certainly, they wouldn’t have had to write articles about the reasons they sought abortions and the difficulties they encountered in obtaining them. Although, such confession articles may temporarily relieve the guilt of those who write them, gain sympathy for those in similar predicaments and argue for keeping abortion legal, they do not deal with the reason that most abortions were illegal until Roe-Wade: abortion kills a developing human life.
In closing, as one who has greatly sinned and experienced the mercy that offers forgiveness and the grace that gives peace with God, I know that Rev. Allison Moore and Pastor Rebecca Patterson (“Abortion is not always a sin”) as Christian ministers, should be able to confidently attest to anyone who has had one that “abortion is always a sin,” but it is a sin that can be forgiven. And this forgiveness which alone can truly relieve guilt and offer absolution comes not by “confessions” regarding their abortion experiences that present reasons and excuses for why they did what they did, but by admitting the truth that what they did was “wrong” and asking for the forgiveness of sin that only the author of truth, mercy, grace and life itself, can give. Someone once wrote that it is impossible to put the “genie” of the sexual revolution “back in the bottle.” However, since this genie has contributed to emotional scars, ever increasing STDs, unwanted pregnancies and the need for 63 million (and counting) abortions, perhaps we should consider this revolution’s consequences to our society: not only for our society’s good but “for the sake of goodness.”
1984 on steroids
Fake news is biased, slanted, shaded, often total fiction and political. Plausible deniability is lying. Both are designed to make sense, be believable and misdirect our attention from the truth. Magicians use misdirection for entertaining tricks. Politicians use it to make millions!
In my work in progress, From Chappaquiddick to Chappaqua, I am exploring my once-beloved Democrat Party to discover how they evolved from liberals like me into Tammany Hall hucksters leading to lifetime political creatures like Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff. Only small traces of Democrats remain. Fragments.
In Animal Farm by George Orwell, he imagined the present we now live in. It is a fast read, surprising in its brevity and a frightening forecast of the society that follows WW2. Unrecognizable then, obvious now.
Politics today is Hamlet brought to life. “To sleep, perchance to dream, aye, there’s the rub!” I hate liars. My hate speech is protected by our Constitution.
Proposed downtown preservation district in New Paltz
The time has come for the Village of New Paltz to join the many communities across the country and right here in the Hudson Valley that have preservation districts and/or a community design review process in place to protect the local character, history and architectural distinctiveness of the places in which they live. Experience has shown that these measures protect and strengthen community character and support the tax base.
We are fortunate that our downtown area has been on the State and National Registers of Historic Places since 2009 — an honor that relatively few communities can boast of, but one that comes with no local oversight. It is time to put this honor to work for New Paltz residents and businesses. The community benefits of having a basic design and architectural review process are clear: appealing streetscapes, improved safety for pedestrians and vehicles, attractive neighborhoods, protection against architecturally inappropriate renovations and unsuitable new construction. And they come with real economic payoffs for individual property owners and neighborhoods at large. Properties with local protections generally maintain their value better than those that do not; protected neighborhoods are generally considered more desirable places to live and do business.
The Village is facing many new pressures: a shortage of affordable housing, ambitious plans to infill the few remaining open spaces, the prospect of future tear-downs and renovations, changes on commercial Main Street and a rapidly developing commercial corridor on North Chestnut Street. We need to guide new construction and the exterior renovations of the future. Some unfortunate but highly visible examples in recent years remind us of the need to pay attention to future development so that New Paltz remains New Paltz, while creating new opportunities for all.
To address these issues, the Village Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) proposes establishing a downtown preservation district, the second in the Village after Huguenot Street. The district would include all of the 2009 State and National Register of Historic Places district, the full length of Main Street to Joalyn Road at the Village border, Wurts and Elting Avenues, Peace Park and Hasbrouck Park and the section of Plattekill Avenue from Main Street to Hasbrouck Avenue. All new construction and exterior renovations to properties in this new district would be subject to Village HPC review, along with Planning Board approval and building permits.
If we as a community can make this modest commitment, we will position the Village for a prosperous and dynamic future, while retaining the community character we all love. As described in a recent video produced by the Village HPC, protected neighborhoods hold their value better and are more pleasant to live, dine and shop in. But they also create a strong sense of shared community and enhance the beauty of where we live by connecting the past to the present. New Paltz has a rich history. Preserving our local architectural heritage is part of preserving our past as we safeguard our future.
On April 27, the Village Board of Trustees opened a public hearing regarding the creation of the Downtown Historic District, and a corresponding change to the name of the HPC, to “Design Review Board — Historic Preservation Commission.” The public hearing will remain open through the June 8 Village Board meeting, which will be held in the former Fire Department offices at 25 Plattekill Avenue. All comments about the proposed historic district and HPC name change may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Mayor Tim Rogers, Village of New Paltz, 25 Plattekill Avenue, New Paltz, NY 12561.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Deputy Mayor Alexandria Wojcik
Trustee Michele Zipp
Trustee Stana Weisburd
Trustee William Wheeler Murray
Just the way “God” planned it
Don’t be “Buffaloed” by the recent mass killing in which minorities were targeted in a predominantly Black-neighborhood supermarket. The fault doesn’t just lie with the shooter; it also lies with those pushing the “white replacement” conspiracy theories.
The shooter was radicalized reading and watching speech/rhetoric social media or infotainment-like news outlets who have pushed this, unapologetically – and yes, the consequences of their podiums plus the addition of this ongoing bullshit, poison and/or filth help to fuel the hatred. What begins in words ends with much worse as white nationalism continues to flower in America.
This includes right-wing Fox “faux” news pundits like Tucker Carlson and many GOP candidates/representatives who do not renounce or reject these horrific views. Tucker and his friends keep saying there is no race problem: “It’s liberal propaganda.” Blood is on their hands. Don’t give them a pass: Confront them on air and rush them with follow-up questions.
Fascists believe that the more inclusive cultural shift is actually an attempt to replace “white values and culture.” The Republican elephant in the room is being racist, misogynistic and as always, being afraid of losing the patriarchy. Trump normalized their beliefs and behavior.
They see multiculturalism and inclusivity as weapons used to erode their “superior race.” Of course, the easier explanation is Hitler. Same theory. We should hold accountable the sources of these horrible ideologies (i.e., Tucker Carlson, Proud Boys). Yet I doubt that will happen!
I reiterate: A cult leadership and far-right agenda of division and hatred fed by conspiracy theories and a culture of unsubstantiated fears is the cause for this kind of violence. Many in power still can’t acknowledge the “Big Lie” and are the cause of the insurrection at the Capitol as well as any of the subsequent violence they’ve inspired.
This kind of evil or hate is learned. Furthermore, you still can’t yell “Fire!” in a movie theater just because you have freedom of speech. A white supremacist would still be free to say that he’s going to go shoot a bunch of people at a supermarket; it would just be reported to authorities and hopefully prevented. Cannot imagine what fresh new hell Elon Musk’s “freedom of speech” Twitter will bring out.
Finally, how does a person with a history of threatening gun violence at graduation in 2021 not get charged, then legally own a gun almost a year later? I completely believe that we as a nation need to get the states and federal government to do something about better standards for gun control. Bottom line: We keep falling down the rabbit hole; we need to prevent ourselves from falling into darkness.
All is well under Fred’s watch
Does anyone else see the irony in Hudson Valley One’s article “Branching out?” in the May 4 issue?
To celebrate Arbor Day, the Town of Saugerties planted three trees on April 30 at the Kiwanis Ice Arena. Among many of Fred Costello’s quotes in the abovementioned article, two stood out to me: 1. “Our forests are under threat” and 2. “With climate change, that will continue to happen. One of the ways we can make a small impact is to continue to plant trees so we will have those trees to replace them.”
The irony is that on Fred’s watch as supervisor, there has been a ton of development. Some would say that’s progress. My mind sees the destruction of the environment – trees and all. If things continue as planned, can you soon envision the Winston Farm property?
We shouldn’t worry, though. Fred et al planted three trees on April 30, so now all is well with the world.
You serve your masters well
Well, Mr. Schumer and Mr. Biden, you are succeeding in degenerating and eliminating your “deplorables.” Supporting the elimination of innocent infants, destroying the growth and development of infants dependent on special food formulas, allowing corporations and bureaucrats to dictate medical practices and services, refusing to end the power and activities of China and cartels in poisoning our youth, destroying our small businesses and jobs. You serve your masters well.
Dr. Paul Jankiewicz
I would like to acknowledge two businesses in Woodstock for having installed water stations so people can fill their reusable non-plastic water bottles: Houst’s & Sons Hardware at 4 Mill Hill Road and Sunflower Natural Foods Market at 75 Mill Hill Road. It is this kind of undertaking that will help make folks aware that they do have alternatives to buying throwaway bottles of water. Only eight percent of all recyclable plastics actually get recycled.
Thank you, Jody Bryan, owner of Houst’s, and Melissa Misra, co-owner of Sunflower, for taking responsibility for our planet. Will the Town of Woodstock do the same?
Citizens Concerned About Plastic Pollution
It took 154 years for the Republicans to become completely evil (while constantly talking about God).
Are we in a war or not?
Frontline soldiers fight to end wars.
As a veteran, I have no complaint about how the media’s bombarding the public with the fear and hatred of the Ukraine War. Without these truths, we would forget that the base objective of war is to kill your enemies, who happen to be other human beings. Our options are to permanently shut off the TV or change channels. It’s so easy to ignore the killing we humans do when it’s delivered by cables and radio waves.
I stopped watching the war because the news brought up memories of the battlefields I once fought on. From 1969 to 1970 in Vietnam, I thought I was protecting the very civilians who were ignoring the battlefields I was on. These civilians were enjoying free love. Today’s civilians have a panoply of distractions, Facebook, YouTube and cable TV, all available to avoid the deaths accumulating with US weapons in the Ukraine War. With the click of a key, there are no difficult decisions to make. We do not have to witness events that upset us. All our illusions are safe while we are entertained. There is no responsibility for carrying the complex morality that the war would confront us with. And finally, it’s never been so easy to avoid the guilt of doing and saying nothing.
If we stop ignoring the truths of the Ukraine War, we have to start asking who started the war and why. It’s never a frontline soldier’s first choice to go to war, because their lives are on the line. Politicians and dictators make our enemies and decide when and how to kill them. Those politicians order our military leadership to gather and motivate enlisted troops to become convinced who they are calling enemies are bad enough to kill. At the same time, generals click computer keys and direct drone pilots to fire on the living, who are just white dots on the screen ten thousand miles away, to end their hearts beating.
Are we in the United States at war today? Yes, Ukraine is our war, funded by our tax dollars, which politicians see as their life’s blood. But, instead of the dead blood splattering us, we supply the Ukrainians with a vast killing power that stimulates our economy because we must replace the massive weapons we’ve given them. We need to own being in this war and stop turning off the channels that show the truth, as we did in the Vietnam War.
Our government taking control of soldiers’ lives is not unlike the changing abortion laws. Taking control of a women’s life is similar to taking control of a military recruit’s life. Government leaders want to take legal command of a woman’s body, then add the lives of those same children kept alive when they join the military.
Lower speed limit on Route 212
My family supports the effort to limit the speed on Route 212. We have occupied our house on 212 for over 20 years. We often see drivers speed past in the wrong lane.
Years ago, my son and I were in the car and a driver who was well over the speed limit and not paying attention slammed right into us as we were turning into our driveway. She was going so fast and she did not even see our left blinker or possibly could not stop in time. My son was 8 and thankfully not injured. Now my son is driving himself, and I always worry some speed demon will back right into him.
Many drivers treat Route 212 like a highway. Reducing the limit might at least help.
A tribute to a person who did so much
A ceremony was held in Kingston on May 19, 2022, to honor Coach G. Warren Kias as Kingston’s and the Hudson Valley’s greatest basketball coach of the 20th century. He coached at Kingston High School from 1927 to 1963, and passed away in 1977.
Moments are rare in local athletic history when Kingston sports fans leave a ceremony with the thought that the time will never be forgotten in one’s memory. One of these special occasions took place on May 19 with a special tribute to Coach Kias. Former KHS friends and athletes came from near and long distances to be at the memorial tribute to Coach Kias on that day. I guess the Kingston fans had to be there for this honor to a great coach and friend. It was nice to see the Kingston community join together to acclaim a celebrated person. At the end of the wonderful ceremony and words of praise, the crowd stood in harmony to express our appreciation to remember our great hero.
Some flashes of memory came back to us, such as the night in 1948 when Kias’ basketball team defeated a powerful Mont Pleasant team from Schenectady to win the New York State Sectional title. Some senior fans recall the impressive winning streak of 28 straight games from 1936 to 1938, 54 games from 1938 to 1940 and 43 games from 1943 to 1949. Kias coached Kingston’s greatest basketball player, Ron Scheffel, who went on to star for the North Carolina State Wolfpack and led them to two straight ACC titles. The college team was ranked No. 4 in the nation.
A Freeman sports writer years ago wrote, “When the books are finally closed on the KHS basketball team, the names of Ron Scheffel and Coach Kias will be written in large print.”
After many years overlooking Coach Kias, finally, major honors will be extended, including a Coach G. Warren Kias insignia to be placed on the Kate Walton Field House basketball court. The court is officially named the “G. Warren Kias Court” today.
A professional photograph of the wonderful Coach Kias will be placed in the Kingston High School “War of Heroes.” We know that Coach Kias was a great mentor, but we will also remember him as an outstanding, dedicated person, one of Kingston’s greatest heroes of the last century.
You have probably read at least one of the several letters sent to this paper regarding the stealth transition from traditional Medicare to one called REACH. REACH is a new version of Direct Contracting Entities. You may also know, by now, that you will not be told of this transition, which happens under the radar. This is an attempt to steer us away from the least exploitative version of senior healthcare to one where middlemen can receive 40% of monies unspent in provision of its outlay.
This is an outrage, given that REACH is nothing more than the profiteering privatization of healthcare. /We have learned and experienced a dismal fact since the pandemic — vast inequities among the demographic between poor, people of color and the better off. If you don’t want to compound the inequities of healthcare for both seniors and younger in the insurance industry, you will not want to support REACH.
Please contact your Congress person, and urge them to sign on to Congresswoman Jayapal’s legislative effort to stop REACH and any other version of so-called healthcare.
Black lives matter
This week marks the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. It also marks two years in which Saugerties residents have stood on the corner of Main and Market streets to proclaim that black lives matter.
For over 100 days we did this daily and then reduced our presence to weekly. So now, we hold our vigil each Saturday from1 to 2 p.m. Why do we continue to do this?
We continue because the problem continues. In April, Patrick Lyoya was shot in the back of the head by a Michigan officer following a traffic stop. In fact, it is hard to keep up with all the instances of suspected police overzealousness, sometimes leading to death.
But now we have Buffalo.
Hatred continues to terrorize and kill our neighbors due to their race, religion or ethnic background. Gunmen have attacked groups of blacks, Muslims, Asians and Jews — innocent people gunned down.
So we stand each week against such hatred. By doing this, we remind ourselves that the problem continues after the headlines have moved on. Hopefully our neighbors also pause for a moment to remember the awful toll that hatred of “others” continues to inflict on our society.
Seniors Serving In Place
I am writing this letter representing New Paltz SSIP, Seniors Serving In Place. Senior citizen property owners are eligible for special exemptions for county town and school taxes relative to their income. However, these exceptions have not kept pace with our Social Security benefits. The state exemption cap hasn’t changed in 14 years. In contrast, federal cost of living adjustments have increased 22.4% since 2009. The result is lower senior exemptions.
The senior tax exemption on New Paltz school taxes, which are the lion’s share of property tax bills, incomes cannot be more than $21,000, the cap set in 2003. Social Security cost-of-living adjustments have totaled more than 63%. Many seniors are having difficulty making ends meet. We urge all seniors to contact their New York State legislators urging them to increase New York’s senior sliding scale income cap to reflect nearly 15 years of missing cost-of-living adjustments. We also suggest seniors urge the school board to adopt New York’s maximum income cap and to start using the state’s next cap as soon as it is changed.
Sharon Roth, Secretary
New Paltz SSIP
Preserve Winston Farm as open space
I am fully in agreement with all those who are calling for Winston Farm to be preserved as open space.
We are in a dire climate crisis! But we have an opportunity here in Saugerties to do our part to avert its worst consequences. We can preserve Winston Farm as a nature preserve and plant trees! Trees are one of our most important defenses against climate change, and according to Friends of the Earth, forests are vanishing globally at a rate of one New York State sized area per year.
I too am calling upon the three purchasers of Winston Farm to donate the land as a preserve, or to allow concerned organizations and citizens to purchase it from them for that purpose.
I refer all concerned to foreverwildmovie.com. This film documents how the Town of Telluride, Colorado raised $50 million to purchase the valley floor and save it from development. If needed, we could surely raise $3 million!