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.
What’s best for our students
I’m writing this letter as a parent in the New Paltz Central School District and as an educator with 32 years of experience teaching abroad, teaching and coaching teachers in both rural and urban K-12 public schools and as a former administrator in student diversity programs in higher education.
I recently attended the June 14 NPCSD School Board meeting to advocate for hiring and retaining teachers of color in our district. The lack of diversity in the teaching staff of our public schools is a national issue and NPCSD is no exception. This month, I heard at an educational presentation about how research backs up what many of us have known to be true: the measurable difference a culturally congruent teacher makes in the lives of students of color. I have seen this difference as a parent.
As I waited for the public comment period to begin, I was shocked to hear the announcement of superintendent Angela Urbina-Medina’s resignation. I don’t know the details of the resignation, but it was clear from the public comment that this was not her choice. I already knew that trustee Diana Armstead had recently announced she was leaving the Board because of racism in our district.
I have worked with Angela in her previous roles in another district. I appreciated how much she cared about students and listened to teachers. She was always able to keep her cool and sense of humor, even in difficult situations. I was excited for her to come to New Paltz, but also worried about whether she would be supported.
It’s not unusual for administrators of color to be isolated, subjected to microaggressions, held to a much higher standard than their white peers and forced out of their positions. I have seen this happen too often and it has been frustrating over my career to see less competent white administrators remain in their positions for years.
Angela’s wife Christina used the word “cowardly” in her moving public comments in support of Angela. It made me think of times when I stood up in the face of injustice and times when I was cowardly for fear of retribution. It’s important for us taxpayers to be brave and continue to advocate for both hiring and retention of people of color at NPCSD at all levels. There are many districts giving lip service to diversity, equity and inclusion. We need to be better than that and do what’s right for all students: be courageous enough to practice what we preach.
The urbanization of Woodstock?
On May 31, 2022, the Woodstock Housing Task Force (did you know one existed) presented its proposals for altering the zoning code for housing throughout our rural town.
One proposed change would allow two accessory dwelling units (ADU’s) for every single family home in Woodstock. The task force says it is concerned with the need for affordable housing in Woodstock. However, the wording of the proposed zoning change states that the ADU is designed to “encourage more housing opportunities for long-term rentals.” The word “affordable” is not mentioned. Also, encouragement of long-term rentals is not a guarantee of long-term rentals.
I am perplexed as to why, if affordable housing is the goal, Kevin O’Connor of RUPCO was not contacted to propose the building of an affordable housing complex on a proper site in Woodstock. RUPCO has done excellent work in the past and their projects guarantee affordable housing. This is also much more environmentally sound than erecting new buildings throughout Woodstock and urbanizing our community. We already have a Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals for homeowners who wish to alter their properties. Perhaps more leniency and flexibility for homeowners could be addressed if they continue to live on site for a period of time. But the new plan would encourage developers to buy single family dwellings in Woodstock en masse, turn them into rentals and inflate housing prices and property taxes.
Where is the guarantee of affordable housing for present homeowners on fixed incomes? We need a property tax cap for this population. Also, what ARPA funds are available to Woodstock homeowners to help with home repairs? I did not see that mentioned in the new proposal.
We need more than one public hearing on these proposals. The public is not aware. Woodstock residents should receive mailings announcing the public hearing dates, times, and places.
The Town Board will soon vote on these proposals. Be informed and let them know how you feel. Call 845-679-2113. Email our Town Board members as well as committee members looking at these proposals.
Our present zoning laws protect us from developers wishing to purchase most of our single family homes. The new proposals seem to encourage developers to do just that.
Remembrance: Kenneth Wapner, a “county lawyer”
In the beginning I thought I was unique, but clearly, I was not. Hudson Valley One and Kenneth Wapner made that abundantly clear. Many people have the same thoughts about him as me. He was beloved. He was trusted. He had your back. He walked on water. He had perspective and principles: “You don’t leave when someone’s down, you stick by them. You’re with them in the good times and bad. Always get it.” So absolute. So uncompromising. So demanding. So loving. So humorous. He had a clear moral compass that is increasingly rare these days.
Like others, I met him when looking for a house in Woodstock, but none were found. Nothing is perfect. It never is. He worked on Wall Street and lived on the Upper West Side, but that changed. He moved to Woodstock in 1964. He pursued liberal causes pro bono. I doubt that he ever billed me or others. In 1970 he founded a law firm. In 1971 he founded Riverby. Soon thereafter he paid off all his debt. On May 22, 2022 he passed away in his home on Chestnut Hill Road in Woodstock.
Once more I took pen to paper to honor a dear friend, but I could not find the words to adequately express my feelings. I felt bereft and still do. I may never change. He was one of a kind.
What makes Woodstock, New York unique? The mountains are great. The streams are a delight. There is art, music, theater and culture of every sort.
But what makes Woodstock special is the volunteers. Pre-COVID there were approximately 1,000 volunteers in a town of slightly over 5,000 people. If you do a search using “Woodstock” and “Volunteers’ Day,” you can see a list of 70 organizations that range from arts organizations to town committees to food pantries to children’s sports to pretty much every aspect of life.
Many people have recently moved to Woodstock due to the combination of COVID and real estate costs. I hope the new residents check out the volunteer opportunities. Volunteer work can enhance your relationship to the community, lead to new friends, create satisfying changes and add to every aspect of our town.
You can volunteer to complete a one-time task or choose something with a longer commitment. You can choose something that already interests you or try something novel.
So welcome, welcome new residents. I hope you jump in and join us.
Ryan YES, Delgado NO
Pat Ryan may be the best-qualified candidate for the United States Congress from our region since Maurice Hinchey.
A graduate of West Point who served two tours in Iraq, successful businessman in the technology field, resident of Gardiner and Ulster County Executive, he truly knows the territory of what these extraordinary and dangerous times require: courage, savvy, honor and commitment to community.
None of these qualities are now evident in Antonio Delgado, who inexplicably sacrificed his Congressional vote for a ceremonial post in the current Hochul administration. With the Democratic margin in the House razor-thin, and the endurance of our American democracy at stake, every vote counts. Delgado betrayed the faith of constituents who elected him — and is spending their donations to what they believed would be his congressional campaign on an inconsequential and markedly different quest. For shame.
I am casting my Lieutenant Governor vote for Ana Maria Archila.
Kathryn Hochul’s original choice for that office is one example of her poor judgment: Brian Benjamin was forced to resign after he was arrested on federal bribery charges. Ms. Hochul seems more focused on demographic advantage than democratic values. Hochul’s ethical “flexibility” is also evident in her pride at being the darling of the NRA, until that proved inconvenient.
Although not yet well-known, Ms. Archila was a vivid player during the Brett Kavanaugh supreme court appointment hearings, when she memorably and courageously confronted Senator Jeff Flake as he desperately tried to get in an elevator to avoid her questions about his supporting Kavanaugh despite accusations of sexual assault.
Vote for the brave and the best: Ryan for Congress. Achila for Lieutenant Governor.
Trump’s Big Lie, grift & cheating ways
The House Select Investigative Committee has laid out their case that January 6 was “the culmination of an attempted coup” and vows to establish Trump’s responsibility for the riot. For those that need a reminder: Trump lost a national election and there was an attack by a violent terrorist mob on our US Capitol. I’m glad that this is getting wrapped up. Americans, all Americans, need to know the truth.
The January 6 committee did not disappoint. The amount of information and sequence of events is utterly enormous. I am impressed, hopeful and thankful for the thousands of hours put in by our elected officials to help us digest the enormity of these events. Stunning!
Twice-impeached Donald Trump was the engine and fuel for the insurrection and attempted coup of January 6, 2021. The committee placed Trump at the center of what is described as an “attempted coup” to try to overturn president Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Trump encouraged his supporters to stop Congress from certifying the election for the presidency, which he lost. Trump knew he lost, but pushed the “Big Lie” (an incredibly big lie) and moved ahead anyway with a scheme to remain in power. There was no fraud or irregularity in the voting that favored Biden; however, there was in fact willful blindness to the truth and in doing so by Trump; he ultimately gifted millions upon millions of dollars ($250,000,000) from his constituency based on a lie/false election claims. He had criminal intent to his actions.
Trump’s false claims of the election being stolen radicalized the insurrectionists (he lit the fuse); he wanted to erase the will of the people and keep the presidency, which is illegal and similar to what evil undemocratic dictators would do.
Trump aides testified that he knew he lost and was told many times that there was no voter fraud when he lost the presidential election to Biden. Unfortunately, at that point, nobody was going to stop Trump. He was irrevocably all in with the Big Lie conspiracy. He can never get anywhere near the presidency ever again.
It is telling: All the people who said “Trump was guilty” testified under oath, while all the people who say Trump is innocent have refused to testify under oath. Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
They are wisely afraid of the thunderbolts that would result if they did. They know they are lying and the government could likely prove it. Self-preservationists all.
I cannot believe Americans would not take what Trump did seriously. Democracy is over if a peaceful transfer of power is not honored by the loser. Even in Watergate you had major elected Republicans who were honest with Nixon – and told him to resign. They were in favor of the USA over the POTUS.
It’s sad that there is so many not interested in the truth now. There are many elected Republicans who only care about being loyal to Trump. They don’t give a fuck ‘bout understanding our Constitution.
To those who say Trump is innocent (hahaha): Lying is this man’s load stock. They, Republicans, used to represent the party of Law and Order, imagine that! That was a long time ago, before Nixon. They also claimed to represent the “Moral Majority,” but that was always a crock. Moral Majority is now proven to be subjective and asinine; ever think you would have seen that day? Back in the ‘70s, we had patches to sew on our jeans, or jean jackets, which said, “The Moral Majority is neither.”
They used to represent the party of equal rights, too, but not since Lincoln.
Praying that there are sufficient Americans grounded in reality to save their democracy. I think many around the world are bewildered as to why the former imPOTUS45 has not yet been arrested and charged with sedition.
Means nothing if the DOJ doesn’t act on it. Of course! No one is above the law if we have a democracy! Charge him! If a coup attempt goes unpunished, it is a training exercise.
This can’t be our community
I attended my first Highland School Board meeting this week after hearing that the Board would be considering a proposal to reinstate a school resource officer (SRO). For context, an SRO is an armed and sworn law-enforcement officer with arrest powers who works in a school setting. The main difference separating an SRO from other police officers is that they have had some special training on how to work with youth. In New York State this is a five-day, 38-hour training.
First, a positive reflection. The School Board handled everyone with respect and listened carefully to their constituents, both in support and opposition to the proposal. This proposal was included on the School Board agenda after the shootings in Uvalde, Texas inspired a handful of Highland community members to create a pro-SRO and metal detector petition.
When the one person who stood up in opposition to an SRO, citing issues of equity and mental health understaffing, they were inappropriately heckled by those in the audience who had created the petition. The Board swiftly put a stop to the harassment. Thank you to the HCSD School Board for handling this with ease.
What struck me during the public comment period on the SRO was the appalling, blatantly racist undercurrents and hate I heard from some of the constituents pushing for the SRO. While claiming what an amazing community Highland is, one person mongered that “They are dropping off busloads of immigrants in our town and we need to arm ourselves.” A minister from a local church stood claiming colorblindness, as he said, “We don’t see color in Highland.” These were the most obvious racist comments among a slew of more subtle microaggressions. This is my community?
The only woman of color on the Board called out the blatant racism to the crowd while the rest of the white board was mute. Why did the lone Black member have to address this?
Community, to me, means embracing everyone, not just the white, gun-toting people who hold the same views. Community means helping others no matter their skin color, their political beliefs or their economic status. That is not done through colorblindness; that is done through a lens of equality.
All community members and leaders need to work together to stop the divisiveness of racism within our families, schools and community. Don’t let the most vitriolic aspects of the community inform decisions on our future. We, as a community, need to change this narrative by calling out our family members, neighbors and community on any racism to foment change.
Dorsky Museum a gem in our midst
Our area is perfectly located for short trips to museums and botanical gardens in places like the Berkshires, the Finger Lakes and the urban megalopolis just to our south. Yet, one of the most underappreciated cultural gems is right here in New Paltz: the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz. Rotating exhibitions throughout the year keep me coming back, and right now, the Museum has one of its most intriguing exhibitions in recent memory.
“Mary Frank: The Observing Heart” is on view until July 17 and is a must-see. The multi-decade retrospective highlights her socially conscious works, which are truly unique. As an added bonus, the Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary with highlights from the permanent collection, along with some newspaper articles from the founding era that shed light on the construction and Grand Opening. Twenty years on, the Dorsky continues to deliver premier art right in our backyard.
Sweet land of Liberty?
I am an engaged American citizen who cares deeply about our country. I have already donated to a few candidates this year, who I believe could help our nation with their ideas and plans, if they were to be elected. There is nothing out of the normal about this, in a regular political year. However, between the recent high-tech influences on our elections combined with the effects of the global pandemic, we do find ourselves in a unique political climate.
The recent unrelenting amount of texts and e-mails for more and more donations has become a real turnoff. It appears that once we donate to a candidate, then we are on their list, and we then get bombarded with desperate pleas to donate more. Do you actually believe all the urgency in the ads? I have heard that these unrelenting requests for donations is happening to concerned citizens of both major political parties. Almost all the pleas for more financial help focuses on the belief that more money equals more political wins. Do you believe that? I’m not so sure, but then again, I really don’t know.
I lived in Florida in 1998 when the ex-governor, Lawton Chiles, suddenly passed away from a heart attack. He served from 1971 until 1979, and was well-respected and loved by most politicians. He became governor by walking across the state and shaking the hands of thousands of people. Yes, there was a time, not too long ago, when politicians actually believed that they could win elections by focusing on their points of view about issues that people cared about, rather than how much money they raised. However, I understand that the virus certainly put a damper on handshaking and person-to-person meetings. But I still believe that elections can be won by good people who get their message across in meaningful ways to their constituencies.
If I am right, then there is still hope for our democracy and hope for a good future for our children and grandchildren. If I am wrong, then it may mean that the American public is now totally vulnerable by being swayed by the irrational flood of political ads and commercials, with less and less regard about the character of the politicians they end up voting for. Could this be the result of the decades of the dumbing-down of America?
A friend of mine many years ago warned me when he said to not overestimate the intelligence of the American public. At that time, I thought he was wrong, but now I’m not so sure. If there is something to be scared of, it may be that many of our leaders, unfortunately, may not have the ability to lead us in what’s best for our nation.
But before we decide to send donations in or vote for a candidate, can we please take the time to think? I know how charismatic candidates can appear and their desperate requests can pull at our heartstrings. But can we please work toward seeing through the political façade? Maybe, just maybe, if we reclaim our ability to think clearly, then politicians will do their best to show us their intellect and caring instead of all that glamour and glitz. And then it might help us all to realize that money may be important, but it cannot overshadow the value of a strong candidate with good ideas and a passion to inspire and uplift our communities.
Join me in voting for Sarahana Shrestha
On June 28, my fellow Democrats will have two choices in the race for Assembly District 103: Kevin Cahill and Sarahana Shrestha. I remember a time when my Town of Saugerties was represented by Mr. Cahill, and at least one of my elementary Social Studies classes took a trip to his Albany office shortly before redistricting pushed us out. I’ve fond memories of that trip way back when. But that was then, and memories don’t pay bills.
Now, over the past months, I’ve gotten to know Sarahana Shrestha and what a force she’ll be for us in Albany. She’s seen across this district the struggles of everyday life. The rent is too high, that house with the white picket fence is a pipe dream and people are just plain struggling. Despite this, we saw entrenched Albany politicians take a pass on truly meaningful legislation (yet they had time to deliver a $650 million handout to two Buffalo billionaires). She is a staunch supporter of Good Cause Eviction legislation, the Build Public Renewables Act and the New York Health Act (just to name a few things that Albany politicians love to talk about but never seem to act on). We truly cannot and should not continue to wait for them to do so.
The future is now, and as Sarahana says, “It must be beautiful!” Join me in voting for Sarahana Shrestha, whether it be on June 28, via absentee or the early voting period (June 18 to 26).
Tim Scott, Jr.
One without the other
Without racism, capitalism would have died in 1921.
While discussing the hiring of [Francis “Butch”] Hoffman, our current building inspector, to fill the position vacated by our retiring building inspector, it was pointed out that there was a complaint made against him. McKenna responded with “The complaint is against the department, not Hoffman,” and continued, as quoted in HV1, “State code enforcement officials had visited the property and were satisfied with the progress Hoffman was making in getting the owner to make repairs.” However, a letter sent from the State Division of Building Standards and Codes Oversight Unit read, “My office did a visit to the Town offices and the site… He [Hoffman] has already started getting the proper documents together and is sending them to the property owner.”
The condition in question related to building and zoning code violations that have been ongoing for years, and now the proper documentation is getting put together to be sent to the property owner. Based upon the way McKenna has dealt with the Big Deep and other issues, one could believe he thinks progress is being made.
A Saugerties letter-writer wrote last week, after hearing about the cancellation of the gun show in Saugerties, that he was “worried the car show in July will be canceled if there’s a big accident on the Thruway.” I am very curious as to which of the recent tragic events in Uvalde, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Tulsa, Chattanooga, Laguna Woods or Birmingham (shall I list more?) was an accident.
I have received notice from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) information that is of vital importance for the welfare of persons 65 and older: those collecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I will quote directly from the paper received.
Fact: Medicare will turn 56 on July 30; Social Security’s 86th anniversary is August 14. Eighty-five percent of Americans oppose cutting these vital programs to reduce the budget deficit. Social Security is the main source of income for more than 34 million households. Of the 62 million people covered by Medicare, half have incomes less than $27,000.
Also, an article from the AARP, June 2022, states the Census Bureau found 71 percent of older Americans are the nation’s most powerful voters, along with 65 percent of voters between the ages of 45 and 64. They are the most influential voting bloc in the country.
This article by yours truly is to keep these facts in mind, regardless of what party one belongs to or whether you have any party at all. If you are drawing benefits, Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid, one has to be aware of these facts as well as what the GOP is attempting to do without our knowledge. For instance: the TRUST Act (Time to Rescue United States Trusts Acts). This would allow lawmakers with the power to recommend cuts to the programs. This means if only seven members of these “rescue” committees approved of changes, they would be “fast-tracked” in the House and Senate with no adequate debate among lawmakers. Moving these debates from the committees that normally oversee them to narrow, less transparent panels on a rushed schedule is unfair to all Americans who pay into the programs.
Another attack comes from REACH (Realizing Equity, Access and Community Health). According to the NCPSSM (National Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare), seniors across the country are quietly being enrolled in this program. Medicare allocates corporate middlemen a defined portion of each senior’s medical expenses. What they don’t pay for each senior’s medical expenses, they keep for themselves! There is a profit motive here for corporate personnel. Guess who loses out?
And don’t forget the concept of privatization. This is where there are no FICA deductions taken out of your paycheck, where the employer also contributes the same amount. This is the basis of Social Security. Without FICA, there is no Social Security. Without payroll taxes, our benefits will come out of the reserve fund until that runs out. This FICA money is your money for you to invest it, put it under your mattress, closet, whatever. How many of us are going to save it? There is always a roof on the house, dental bills, a hundred different scenarios where that money is going to be spent. And if one invests it, there are always the recessions, downfalls, depressions where money can go out the window in a heartbeat.
The best and most secure is the program FDR passed in 1935; likewise for the Social Security amendments passed by Lyndon Johnson in 1965: Medicare and Medicaid. Without FICA, these programs are thrown back on the citizen to do whatever. Can anyone imagine the cost of medical cancer treatments today without Medicare? Can anyone imagine the cost of maintaining someone in a nursing home without the assistance of Medicaid?
The GOP have hated these New Deal programs of FDR, even though they were forced to support him at the time due to the Depression. They hated them at the time and they hate them now. The three attacks mentioned – REACH, TRUST Act, privatization – are a tip of the iceberg and a warning of what is going to happen if the Congress goes GOP and Trump is elected again. With a conservative Supreme Court, we are back to the days of the marauding capitalists, every man for himself. And we know what happened then, don’t we?
Joe’s still the one
During an Easter season event on the White House lawn, POTUS Biden approached the crowd to take selfies with children and answer questions. Suddenly, staff member Meghan Hays, dressed in a giant bunny suit for the festivities, approached Joe and gently but forcefully directed him away from the crowd. This same directing (sans bunny suits) often occurs during Biden’s addresses when the press corps attempts to ask him questions. (Can anyone imagine this happening to any other Democrat or Republican POTUS?) For this reason and his sinking poll numbers, it is not surprising that The New York Times recently reported that Democrats are viewing Mr. Biden as “an anchor that should be cut loose” before the 2024 election.
During the 2020 campaign, the eloquent Barack Obama’s promotion of his former VP seemed perfunctory at best and alarmed Joe and his team. Because of this and the recent New York Times story, Barack Obama wanted to encourage his beleaguered former VP by sending a clear message that Joe has his support if he chooses to run in 2024. To this end, Barack wrote and recorded the following song “Joe’s My Guy,” inspired by the great Mary Wells hit “My Guy,” and posted it on his website. The song features spirited background singing from Nancy Pelosi, Jill Biden and Michelle Obama.
Some folks I know have asked
If Joe is my guy (my guy)
I told them so but they
Still don’t know if Joe’s my guy (my guy)
I’m sticking to my guy
‘Cos there’s no one better
Like Bush and Quayle we’re stuck together
I told you from the start
I won’t be torn apart from my guy
No feminist gal could ever
Beat a pal like my guy (my guy)
Some people may feel
My support’s not real, for my guy (my guy)
I gave old Joe my word of honor
I’d support him and I’m gonna
It may sound deceiving
But I’m still believing in my guy
As a matter of opinion, I kid you not
Joe’s the best candidate that we’ve got
As a matter of truth to be exact
My party’s in trouble as a matter of fact
No socialist guy can
Take my eye off my guy (my guy)
No gaffe-free man could
Ever spoil the plan of my guy (my guy)
He’s just as “smart” as AOC
It should be as plain as it can be
There’s not a Dem today
Who could take me away from my guy
There’s not a gent or gal who
Could spin a tale like my guy (my guy)
He’s never ever right
No one’s as old and white as my guy (my guy)
They said Joe Manchin was a hack
But I’m glad he stopped Joe’s bad “build back”
And as sure as I’m livin’ my support
I’ll be givin’ to my guy (my guy)
There’s not a story told that’s quite
As bold as my guy’s
He made the presses stop
When he told of young Corn Pop (my guy)
Joe’s gaffes are frequent it’s so true
And if he runs again, he’ll be 82
No amount of disapprovin’
will stop this man from choosin’ my guy
There’s not a Dem today
Who could take me away from my guy
(What you say?)
There’s not a guy or gal
Better than my pal; Joe’s my guy
(Tell us more)
As sure as I’m livin’ my support
I’ll be givin’ to my guy
(There’s no one else?)
Joe’s been a bust but
He’s the one I trust, Joe’s my guy
(Are you sure?)
Inflation’s gettin’ higher but
I’m no Joe denier, Joe’s my guy
(It’s still Joe?)
Our border’ overrun but Joe’s
Still the one, he’s my guy
I have always liked the movie reviews, please bring them back!
This worries me
This worries me: that Greg Kleen thinks gun violence and car accidents are the same thing.
Cahill for Assembly
I wholeheartedly support Kevin Cahill for New York State Assembly on June 28. Kevin has been a public servant for our area for years. He has helped hundreds of us with all sorts of issues and has brought many projects and great funding to our area over the years. He knows his way around the Legislature and is able to get laws passed because he is well-known and well-respected. He champions women’s rights, the environment, affordable housing and is endorsed by multiple labor unions who know he does everything he can for our working citizens.
Kevin works tirelessly for us and is passionate about doing a great job for the people he serves. I am repeatedly blown away by the depth of his knowledge about government and legislative process, which gives me a sense of security in these volatile times. And he refuses to run a negative campaign, which almost means more to me than anything, given the awful color of our electoral lives at this point in history. I really appreciate someone who runs solely on their merit.
I am proud to cast my vote for Kevin Cahill on June 28.
Gardiner’s environment violated again
The Gardiner Town Board could not stand up to the “good old boys” at last Tuesday’s Town meeting. They unanimously decided (with one dissent) to give Wireless Edge a permit to install a 120-foot cell tower for tenants ATT and Verizon. This goes against the town zoning regulations to protect Gardiner’s unique viewsheds under the Shawangunk Ridge. Wireless Edge has no interest in a tower’s impacts on the Gardiner neighborhood, community and landscape. The Gardiner Town Board failed to protect its citizens and its assets.
The decision was not based on hard data proving that the tower will provide service in the dead areas. This was the only purpose for erecting a tower in such an unsuitable location. Why didn’t the Town Board demand the hard data requested for this decision from the radio frequency engineer consultant who was hired by the town? Was Gardiner only interested in putting a cell tower on Town property? Is this income-driven? Why didn’t they look at other sites that might have solved the problems?
The Town Board said that they would reevaluate the tower’s success six months after installation. Imagine erecting a 120-foot+ tower and deciding in six months it is useless! Are they trying to set the stage for multiple towers in Gardiner? Who will take down obsolete towers? Will Gardiner become a random installation of cell towers affecting the Town’s beauty, views and peace of place!?
CELL NO! Concerned Gardiner citizens
Comparing cars to guns
So, Greg Kleen wants to compare cars with guns. Well, it’s a tired old argument, but if you really want to go there…
Cars have a single purpose. Transportation. Accidents happen and many people have died in car accidents due to negligence, poor judgment, mechanical failure, etc. But when we get behind the wheel, we have one thing in mind and that’s to get from here to there. Over the past 60 years, great strides have been made in making that trip safer. Cars are more crash-worthy than ever before and accident survivability improves every year. Technology has given us everything from crumple zones and airbags to mirror-mounted obstacle warnings and lane-drift alarms. That weird pattern you see in your windows with polarizing sunglasses? All automotive windows are made with weak points designed to fracture without creating shards that can cause further injury. That metal bar running across the back of tractor-trailers? Put in place after Jayne Mansfield’s speeding car went under a trailer, decapitating her. Thanks to a simple metal bar, that doesn’t happen anymore. Every time a dangerous phenomenon is identified the NHTSA moves to correct the situation. Even roads are modified when safety issues arise.
Guns also have a single purpose. To kill. Some are designed to kill animals, others to kill people, but their existence depends on their ability to take lives. You can go out in the woods and shoot soda cans for practice, and that can be a lot of fun, but don’t lose sight of the real purpose of firearms. If you are threatened at home, you are within your rights to use deadly force, but you probably wouldn’t jump in your car and try to run your assailant over. Cars are also a poor choice for deer hunting, unless one jumps in front of you on the highway. Guns have a purpose. And while cars have gotten safer every year, guns (and ammo) have become increasingly lethal.
If you really want to pursue the comparison, let’s require every gun buyer to take a written test with a few dozen safety-related questions, followed by a 20-minute practical exam during which you have to demonstrate firearm’s safety and proficiency for a certified government representative or police officer. Let’s require every gun to have liability insurance in case anyone is accidentally injured or killed with it. Let’s make sure the manufacture of guns is as heavily regulated as the auto industry. Let’s make sure your weapon is inspected every year to show it hasn’t been modified from its original design and is still in good working order.
When you cheapen the discussion of firearm safety with a useless comparison to cars, you do fellow gun owners no favors. Stay in your lane.
Vote for Kevin Cahill in the Democratic Primary June 28
Kevin Cahill deserves to be re-elected — no doubt about it! For over two decades, he has worked on our behalf first in the Ulster County Legislature and then in the NYS Assembly. While in public office, he has:
• Worked to hold down taxes at the state and local levels;
• Strove to increase aid to public education, including SUNY;
• Was an early proponent of single payer Healthcare in New York;
• Advocated for women’s right to control all their health decisions;
• Repeatedly called for accountability of Central Hudson and other energy providers;
• Fought for affordable housing moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures;
• Worked to provide relief for small business owners and workers;
• Dealt with funding for infrastructure repairs and improvements;
• Assisted community leaders dealing with Covid-19 and Behavioral Health and Detox services in Ulster County.
And the list goes on. That’s what we wanted, and that’s what we got!
But one more characteristic that highlights his qualities as a politician — both in office and in his campaigns. He has integrity! What he says he will do, he does if possible. He will truthfully answer questions about what he believes and what he has done; he is “transparent,” forthcoming, a man of his word. Is trust not what we want most of all in an elected official? He has shown us for over 20 years that ethics guide his values, principles and actions. He earned respect and leadership by his years of experience and accomplishments. We are fortunate to have Kevin Cahill as our representative. Let’s keep him there. Vote for Kevin Cahill in the Democratic Primary June 28. And we’ll do it again come November.
Vote for Jumaane Williams and Ana Maria Archila
Governor Hochul betrayed a great many New Yorkers in recent months because she did not support the Fair Pay for Home Care Act. This measure, supported by bipartisan majorities in the State Senate and Assembly, would have addressed New York’s worst-in-the-nation crisis in home care by increasing the pay of home care workers, from a current poverty wage to a living wage.
By contrast, Jumaane Williams and Ana Maria Archila — running in the Democratic primary for Governor and Lieutenant Governor — both strongly support Fair Pay. In fact, they both showed up with activists in New York City and Albany and spoke forcefully about the need for this budget measure.
What’s more, Williams and Archila support the New York Health Act, a single-payer healthcare plan that neither Hochul nor her running mate, Antonio Delgado, supports. The New York Health Act has growing support from legislators and the public and if passed, could lead the way in our nation to finally join the rest of the developed world and offer affordable healthcare for all.
Cast a vote that you can feel good about this primary season. Early voting started on June 18 and Primary Day is June 28. Sign the pledge at this link (https://secure.everyaction.com/Fmh3keL8zEaKJPjhDR8vGA2) to vote for two remarkable Care Champion candidates: Jumaane Williams and Ana Maria Archila.
Disappointed in my town
I was disappointed about what I saw on the Village Green while walking through town Saturday afternoon. A man was playing a saxophone, people were sitting around and enjoying the show and some were dancing. The police came and shut everything down.
I would think Woodstock should welcome harmless artistic expression such as this. Must everything be so controlled and regulated? Kill the spontaneity and kill the fun. And kill what tourists might just be coming to Woodstock to experience.
Sedition, sung to the tune of Tradition, from Fiddler on the Roof
Inspired by George Civile’s musical dabbling, here’s one that I hope you can get through without losing all faith in humankind:
To the tune of Tradition, from Fiddler on the Roof by Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick
Who sent his mob to pillage and destroy, throwing in the dust heap, our peaceful transfer,
Who only thinks of how to stuff his pockets, never thinking once of anyone else?
the Donald, the Donald . . .Sedition
the Donald, the Donald . . .Sedition
Who could care less about the Constitution, never read a line, doesn’t have a clue,
Who sends his mob to sack the seat of Congress, while he watches all of it on TV?
the Donald, the Donald . . .Sedition
the Donald, the Donald . . .Sedition
Who knows the way to fire up a crowd, no thought for the consequences, hatred unbound,
Who never suffers for his reckless actions, always gets away, God willing till NOW?
the Donald, the Donald . . .Sedition
the Donald, the Donald . . .Sedition
The tragedies of young angry men shooting up schools is a sad part of the failure of a very few men. I think that one strong motivation to behave so horribly is to gain attention: to be somebody visible, known, remembered. Few have chosen to live even long enough to watch the thousands of hours of TV and the front pages of newspapers. Their imaginations are enough, fueled by our media previously turning one after another into national fame.
It is not confined to young kids in school shootings, though our hearts are torn apart assuring these depraved young men will get the attention they want so terribly. The guy with the car mowing down kids in a parade didn’t really get his 15 minutes though did he? Some political embarrassment I suspect.
Politicians and ‘journalists’ all pour fuel in the fires that these emotionally still boy imaginations have responded to back to the post Civil War crimes that Jesse James read about in every paper in the nation. Headline news! Hell, he is still famous today, and while I cannot name any of the boys who shot up Columbine, no reader needs to ask “what’s he talking about?”
Cuomo used Sandy Hook to get the NY SAFE ACT passed in days. That’s how politics works: ‘ride the media wave’. It did nothing to stop the racist murders in Buffalo. Big for Andy, though!
I think we should explore the wisdom of making horrible acts BIG news. I think some tiny percent of young men have a deep need to go out in a blaze of imagined glory. It is not, I believe that they see themselves heroically, but just, rather, remembered. Can we try paying their acts a lot less attention, please.
I felt forced to stop watching TV news to maintain sanity. Unfortunately, politics has infected my family. Some long-term friendships are challenged by the uptick in politics. I have been unable to listen to the other side of the argument because of the extreme behaviors stirred up by politicians.
I spent my early life ignoring politics until I was a senior in high school. Then, Mr. Feori, my history teacher, slapped his pointer so hard against the world map that it sounded like a rifle shot, saying, “Many of you boys are soon going to find out where the country of Vietnam is.”
I was one of those boys. I returned from Vietnam in 1970. From that point, it took 20 years to examine what the politicians of that war had done to me. Marriage, various jobs, in and out of education, raising a child and getting a divorce all allowed me to be distracted from the challenging questions growing inside me. So what did the politics of that war actually do to my life and the country’s life?
Having been a combat Marine, I was trapped between killing rice farmers and those my age at home protesting I was a baby killer. Emotionally I felt like the spearpoint of American politicians. McNamara spawned rhetoric in our troops, such as “Kill anything that moves,” so the American public believed our politicians were winning the war.
At Phu Bai Vietnam airbase in 1969, my Sergeant Major spoke to our squadron, “If one of you Marines is killed, I can replace you in a few days. Recruits are ready to come. But, on the other hand, if I lose one of the birds you’re supposed to be guarding, it costs millions of dollars to replace.” The Sergeant Major summed up the war for me and every war we’ve been in since.
I supported taking human lives for politicians I believed to be good, fair, trustworthy people. I thought I was protecting innocent Americans back home. It took years for me to face this lie. Since I awoke to the slowly leaked truth, I have struggled to remain silent about politics.
School children are getting shot in school. Billions worth of missiles and bombs were sent to Ukraine under the pretense that we are helping. In reality, American companies will replace these weapons making billions for select individuals.
Today fear is alive in speaking about politics. In community gatherings where ordinary folks seek human comfort and hope to cultivate trust, ignoring politics appears to be a prerequisite for any public group to function. This is difficult for me because I believe the rift caused in America by the Vietnam war was swept under the rug and never publicly professed. Yet, it is the foundation of why we are in the political dilemma right now.
Religions have missed the mark of instilling morality, trust and humanity in our culture. Our ignoring of politics is what politicians want. We have been effectively maneuvered to have our hands over our ears and mouths.
Commentary on Life
Ole Lucy Brown
Princess summer, fall, winter, spring
Earliest predictor of Climate Change
Active hooter training transit cops
You have won
You have been contacted by the cancellation department
Spectrum — NO you may not refresh my modem
U.S. abuses of human rights
Joshua Shulte is being held in New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Facility. After four weeks of testimony and six days of jury deliberation, Shulte was found guilty of contempt of court and making false statements, minor charges for which federal sentencing guidelines call for imprisonment of zero-to-six months. The jury deadlocked on all other counts, and the judge declared a mistrial. Shulte is awaiting retrial. He has been incarcerated since October 2018.
In a lawsuit filed by Shulte’s attorneys against the Bureau of Prisons, Shulte is “locked in a cage in a concrete box the size of a parking space with purposely obstructed views of outside, the cages are filthy and infested with rodents, rodent droppings, cockroaches and mold: there is no heating or air conditioning in the cages, access to books and legal material, medical care, and dental care. All attorney-client privilege is also void as the prison conficates, opens and reads all legal mail…No matter what crime an individual is alleged to have committed, the United States Constitution grants all a presumption of innocence. Indeed, no American wants to be treated like a caged animal if accused of a crime — dependent, deserted, dehumanized, demoralized and detained.”(https://consortiumnews.com/2022/06/15/john-kiriakou-a-whistleblowers-agony/)
Shulte is a former CIA hacker whose job was to break into other country’s cyber security systems. The charges of which he is accused: releasing the equivalent of two-billion pages of documents containing techniques used by the CIA to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, hack into TVs and car guidance systems and mask hacking by the CIA disguised as other nations. Collectively known as Vault 7, the programs were published by WikiLeaks beginning in March of 2017.
Last week Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ Australian publisher, was cleared for extradition to the United States by the United Kingdom to stand trial for exposing the war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq — including the murder of civilians and two Reuters journalists — by the George W. Bush administration. On appeal from the U.S., the U.K.’s Home Secretary overturned a magistrate court’s decision not to extradite Assange based on Assange’s health and the conditions of U.S. solitary confinement, conditions illustrated by the case of Joshua Shulte.
As journalist Caitlin Johnstone writes: “Washington, London and Canberra are colluding to imprison a journalist for telling the truth. By standing his ground and fighting them, Assange has also exposed the lie that the so-called free democracies of the western world support the free press and defend human rights.” (https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/06/18/assange-is-doing-his-most-important-work-yet/)
Among others, the U.S. is sanctioning Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria and Russia for their human rights abuses. While imposing inhuman conditions on those presumed innocent by the Constitution, and extraditing foreign journalists for exposing U.S. war crimes, just who is the abuser of human rights?
Gardiner ginormous garage sale
Attention smart shoppers: Back again after a long hiatus is the Gardiner Ginormous Garage Sale this Saturday, June 25 at Station Square in Gardiner from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All sorts of nifty things for the home and yard, and we are accepting donations all week including new and gently used items: Small pieces of furniture and small appliances in working order (coffee makers, blenders, mixers, etc.); toys, puzzles, books and board games; Halloween costumes (clean); household items and décor; tools; gardening supplies; holiday decorations; framed artwork; tote bags, handbags, suitcases; CDs and DVDs; vinyl records; collectibles and antiques; and musical instruments. We will even come to pick up as well. Please call me with donations at 845-616-6960.
So, looking for bargains, clutter clearing and Feng Shui or just some fun and community? See you there! All profits support the good work of the Gardiner Democratic Committee.