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.
Once again, I must bring up the irrational behavior of those who smile when they see women suffer. Misogyny, the dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against women, is the official definition. We already know that many men want to dominate women in various ways. We all know how women have suffered over the years from brutal attacks by men. An unbelievably large number of women walk through life with ugly memories of heinous crimes, perpetrated on them by angry men. Yes, we unfortunately know this.
But what many of us may not be aware of is the deep hatred, conscious or unconscious, that thousands of women have for other women. “Closet misogyny” is the term that comes to mind when some women smile quietly when other women are suffering. What do you think about that?
In 2016, 52 percent of all white women in America voted for Trump, in spite of him being accused of multiple rapes and sexual indiscretions directed toward women. Was it Trump’s charisma and his appeal as a father figure? Maybe. Maybe not. Or maybe it was because many white women may have had an inexplicable, deep-seated hatred for Hillary Clinton. How many times did I hear women telling me that Hilary was too much of something or not enough of something else? Many women were extremely critical of her, and maybe it was simply that she was a woman. How many white women did not vote at all because they believed negative stories about the first female presidential candidate? We’ll never know that answer.
But we do know that 90 percent of Black women did vote for Hillary. Why were they able to make that decision? What galvanized their votes for Hillary when white women could not figure out how to vote for her? Could it be that Trump’s unapologetic racism may have solidified their vote against such a racist, and subsequently made it a no-brainer to vote for Hillary?
But now we have the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the Republicans doing everything they can to push through horribly oppressive laws against all women, who simply want to retain the right to choose. How could it be, that in 2022, and in the United States of America, there are new laws being passed threatening pregnant women who were raped to either carry the pregnancy to term, or be considered a criminal if they seek an abortion? It’s not enough that they had to deal with being raped? It’s not enough that they have to handle the fact that the rapist’s violence and unwanted pregnancy has cause them more pain and confusion from their ongoing nightmare? But now many women will have to sneak around in dark corners of our society to seek relief from the toxic situation. Something is very rotten in our current society.
So, we now are three months away from a very important election in November. Most Republicans are pushing a platform that will enslave women even more in our society. Women have the voting power to comply with this, or to resist such archaic and irrational platforms. Republican women especially have more power than they think. They can vote “Yes” to oppressing women more. They can either avoid voting altogether, or they can decide that the Republican Party has made a grievous error. They can choose to vote for more humane platforms, even if it is against the party’s position. They clearly have the choice.
Women have come so far since over 100 years ago when they successfully fought and won the right to vote. Today they are holding jobs that years ago they had no chance of getting. Women have successfully advanced into positions of leadership in the business world. I am constantly inspired by the progress women have made, as well as their gifts to our society. I am also saddened by the subtle ways they continue to thwart their own efforts to further empower each other.
“Closet misogyny” is a phrase, but it doesn’t have to be a way of life for millions of women. But first looking in the mirror and honestly accepting what may be true today could possibly free many women from a deep-seated belief that holds them back from their own power. But will they take the time to look into that mirror?
“Once we accept our limits, then and only then are we able to go beyond them.”
– Albert Einstein
No one is born married.
Indian Point shutdown
The NYISO, the organization responsible for managing New York State’s electrical generation and transmission infrastructure, announced that in 2021, downstate New York, including the Hudson Valley, received 89 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels. Compared to 2019, this was a 20 percent increase in the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity.
The shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the activation of two new fossil fuel plants, Cricket Valley and CPV Valley, and the intensified use of existing generators resulted in the increased use of fossil fuels for electricity generation.
Each year, the NYISO publishes Power Trends, a report on the previous year’s operation of New York’s electrical grid with a discussion about the opportunities and challenges moving to a 100 percent renewable energy supply.
Woodstock Climate Smart
Our partner Trump
Again? They’re not even hiding it anymore. Is the “again” modifying “help?” “Help again” just like they did in 2016? Huh, I think I might have seen this episode. They’re doing reruns. They really miss Trump in the White House, and we all know why. Yeah, Kremlin propagandists are openly fantasizing about a second Trump term wrecking America. Wow, whew, SMH. Russia, if you’re listening, “Installed by Russians. Removed by Americans. No thanks. We already dealt with that issue.”
Russian state TV host Evgeny Popov says it’s time for the Russian people to call on Americans to change “the regime in the US” before its term expires “and to again” help our partner, former president Donald Trump, to become president once more. I think that Popov meant to say “puppet,” not partner.
Popov’s continued praise of Trump on Russian state television demonstrates that he is their guy, just like he is regaled on Fox News. Trump was angry that Fox News had been ignoring him recently, adhering to a new memo and focusing on other potential 2024 candidates. I guess Mister Popov was filling in for regular host “Tzucker Carlsonocoff.” Whoa, whoa, weird flex when Russians on state TV tell the truth, but okay. I’m always struck at how similar the sets of Russian state TV and Fox news look. Anyway, it looks like our Tucker has his marching orders.
The partnership is confirmed! Russia says the quiet part out loud: “our partner Trump,” komrade = “partner Trump” other synonyms – kompanion, kompatriot, krony and/or kolleague. Isn’t that interesting? Now that Russia is involved, “that Fox memo” won’t be followed. Sheessh, I never like the term “Axis of Evil,” but they are on a spindle of their own making, aren’t they?
Since nothing happens on Russian state TV without Putin’s approval, I see this as explicitly calling for, or appearing to be, Putin’s confession to election interference to me. And now, their Fox affiliates are doing their best or will be wanting to spread all the Russian propaganda. It won’t matter to MAGATs. They literally prefer Putin over Biden, according to polls. So, they’ll gladly accept Putin taking things over.
I may be wrong, but thinking about this, seems like this is almost necessarily out of desperation; everything has gone against Putin and getting Trump back into the White House from Moscow is his best hope. He’s desperate. Russia needs to create a “total internal breakdown” inside the United States, and he said that Trump was just the man to make it happen.
I’m not surprised by this. But I am a bit concerned. And not Susan Collins concerned. Keep calm and “Fuck you,” Russia! So, what’s it gonna be in America? Time to pick a side.
Republicans will never wash off the stench of Trump. Do GOP voters have any idea what it’s like to live in Russia? Democrats need to use this. Dems need to blast this! If they don’t run the shit out of this in the 2022 midterm and 2024 election ads, then I have lost all faith in this political party. This is being teed up on a goddamned silver platter for candidates up and down the ballots. Do not miss this golden opportunity!
Rent control hurts renters, landlords, communities
The Common Council through their actions have made Kingston radioactive to any new housing development in the City, having caused the problem in the first place through suffocating zoning and other regulations, making it impossible to build. Any promised future zoning reforms will now prove futile, since individuals and companies who would step in and build, which would actually solve any housing shortage, will avoid the toxic environment like the plague now being telegraphed by City government.
The Common Council is engaging in extremist government overreach by implementing New York City-style rent control and bankrupting mom-and-pop landlords throughout the City. These actions will be ineffective, since it only covers ten percent of Kingston renters. Rent control is proven to make apartments less available and will lead to accelerating rents on the other 90 percent of City renters. Just look 90 miles south. ETPA is targeted at older buildings and perversely puts strict dollar limits on improvements, so the ten percent will suffer living in dilapidated and deteriorating living conditions, frozen in time.
The only way to solve the housing crisis is to construct additional supply, but last night the Common Council might as well as put a large sign at the Thruway circle: “Housing Investment Not Welcome Here.”
Rent control will not add a single affordable housing unit in the City, will kill the needed building that is actually the solution and therefore self-perpetuate the situation. It is not a “step in the right direction,” but sadly, as might be expected out of City Hall, decidedly a “step in the wrong direction.”
Executive director, Hudson Valley Property Owners’ Association
Be responsible for your own safety
Responding to the article “Sharing the road,” I am sorry that the young lady was injured and is suffering, and I applaud her goal to make the roads safer for bicycle riders. She has lots of courage and strength and purpose. Allow me to approach this issue from a different angle. Bicycle riders often repeat the mantra: We have as much right to roads as automobiles. Okay, since no one driving a car has a legal right to drive, since it’s considered a privilege granted by the state after passing a test, you have no rights to the road; you are allowed the privilege – unless you have more rights than others? Maybe rethink that argument.
Yes, of course we all need to be cognizant of bike riders and their safety. However, I never hear about their own responsibility for safety. Past wearing a helmet and wearing special shorts so they don’t get chafed, what are they doing as a group? Pushing for mandatory lights, signals, horns, rearview mirrors and safety courses? Nope, never hear it. Pushing to prohibit use of bikes on roads unsafe for bicycle traffic? Nope, never hear that one. How about license and insurance for your bikes? How about urging recreational riders to ride on trails provided all over the Hudson Valley for this very purpose? Limit group riding on roads to two or three people and in single file? Never hear those either.
The Idaho stop proposal is just plain silly. The premise is we break the law all the time by not stopping for lights and stop signs, so just let us do it legally. Also claiming that it reduces the risk of riders being clipped on corners. Interesting. I wonder, how much does it increase the risk of getting run over by a car the rider didn’t see coming before pulling into the intersection? Dangerously foolish idea. How about following the laws as written like everyone else?
The fact that bikes got more tickets than trucks in New York City is not a very good argument for your cause. It is astounding that trucks that travel thousands more miles a day than bikes could in a month in New York City get less tickets than people on bikes! That not inequity; that’s an example of the of the careless attitude of many bicyclists.
I spent about 40 years on the road as truck driver, and from Day One all I ever saw was “Safety begins with you.” On posters in dispatch, on mirrors in rest rooms, on the door to get in the truck, on sun visors at every safety meeting, it was pounded into us; and I believe that it is the only way to be safe as possible, no matter what I am doing: working, riding my motorcycle, driving my car or shaving. I cannot depend on those I share the road with to do the right thing or even see me. By the way, I can’t tell you how many times someone in a car or on a bike did not see my 102-inch-wide, 70-foot-long, 13-and-a-half-foot-high truck on beautiful sunny days. So, do really think you are very visible on your bike?
Ride your bikes safely; it’s up to you. Keep fighting for safer roads, but start being responsible for your own safety.
Got you last!
In the past, I have played the game “Got you last” with Peter Fiorentino, writing responses to him because of his misrepresentations of my views. With this in mind, Peter is once again misrepresenting something I wrote. In his letter “Vaginal politics and the Bible,” Peter states, “George Civile’s letter…argues that the Bible supports this SCOTUS [abortion] decision and is viewed as a source of higher truth by most people.” The only problem with Peter’s relating of what I argued is that I argued no such thing. Nor did I say (if context means anything) that the Bible is viewed as a source of higher truth by most people.
This is what I actually wrote in my letter – more complicated, indeed: “Funny thing about caring about what the Bible says: When one is combating slavery or fighting for civil rights and social justice, the Bible is viewed as a source of higher truth by most people. However, if one is speaking against sexual immorality or abortion, the Bible becomes irrelevant to many of these same folks.” This quote was a “play” on something similar Steve Massardo wrote about the Constitution, and the letter itself was a response to Steve’s “More complicated than that.” The point of the quote was not that most people view the Bible as a higher source of truth, but rather that many people will value what the Bible says – and even honor it as a higher source of truth – only when it validates their views. Moreover, since the major purpose of my letter was to answer “Yes” to the question gleaned from Steve’s letter “Should Americans care what the Bible says since we don’t live in a theocracy…yet?” it is obvious that Mr. Fiorentino mischaracterized my letter’s purpose.
It should be noted that Mr. Massardo had challenged my assertion that the Biblical narrative – reflected in Genesis 9:6, of humans having been made in the image of their Creator – was responsible for the view that human life was unique and held to be sacred, even in the womb, by the civilization (Western) it helped to form. Regarding Peter’s other arguments, I again recommend Susan E. Wills’ non-Biblical article “Ten legal reasons to reject Roe.”
Because there is a great chance that any response from Mr. Fiorentino to this letter will misrepresent my words again, I submit the parody below of the Platters’ classic hit “The Great Pretender,” titled “The Misrepresenter,” for Peter’s consideration.
Note to Stephen Massardo: Steve, your letter “Salvation history is irrelevant to this discussion” was not well taken, because its claim that the point of your letter was unclear to me – it wasn’t (see my letter “More complicated indeed” and references to Stephen above), and your statement “The Bible is not – and should not be – a source of law in the United States” is untrue. To wit: It contradicts the following quote and many more I could present: “Since the first settlements in British North America, Christianity and the Bible have had a significant influence on American jurisprudence. This reflects Christianity’s expansive influence on Western legal traditions in general and the English common law in particular.” (Christianity and American Law by Daniel L Dreisbach, published online by Cambridge University Press, 24 June 2019.)
Regarding my engaging in rhetorical gymnastics “trying to convince people that the Bible doesn’t condone slavery,” it is true that slaveowners and slave traders used the Bible to protect their economic interests to condone slavery by taking scripture verses out of context and ignoring the very relevant “salvation history” needed to properly understand “the Book.” However, the Bible speaks against slavery in no uncertain terms, placing slave traders in the company of those the New Testament asserts will not inherit the kingdom of God: “lawbreakers and rebels…those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral…for slave traders – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” (I Timothy 1:8-14).
It is interesting that the song Amazing Grace was written by a man, John Newton, who engaged in the slave trade, and after his dramatic conversion to genuine Christianity – which involved studying the Scriptures – spent the rest of his life fighting against slavery, aiding William Wilberforce’s 20-year campaign to end slavery in England by inspiring and helping him found the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, more commonly called the Anti-Slavery Society.
There is much more to say on this and other subjects from both of your recent letters, and I will do so in the future. (May I say, God and the editor willing?) In the meantime, readers are encouraged to interchange Stephen and Peter in the parody below. And, Stephen, I’d love to read a parody song from you, so go for it!
Oh, Peter’s the misrepresenter
He misrepresents what I say
My words it seems come from his dreams
I feel like a pawn in Pete’s play
Stephen’s the misrepresenter
He makes my words seem unsound
His thoughts of me are not mine you see
He must stop his messing around
Lest his “Feedback” distortions abound
His words have the feeling of make-believe
His critiques conceal what my real words reveal
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Peter’s the misrepresenter
This missive I will not prolong
My words it seems come from his dreams
So I’ll say “Got you last” with this song
In a game that I hope won’t last long
(Won’t last lo-o-ng)
Separation of church & state & reproductive rights
Pope Francis has recently joined a growing list of world leaders to apologize for the disastrous impacts of past colonization and forced religious or cultural assimilation. The countries, religions, victimized peoples and legacy of impacts vary from case to case; there is a common theme. Forcing the ideals of one religion or culture onto other people with established culture results in a myriad failure, unrest, strife and disenfranchisement. Although there may not be an outside country invading America, it is affronted by an effort from within our own borders to force the religious beliefs of a few on the established cultural norms and constitutional rights of the many.
The First Amendment prohibits Congress from establishing religion or favoring one religion over another. The recent rash of state laws strictly limiting or prohibiting access to safe abortion caters to a minority of religious zealots (would-be oligarchs) and represents internal religious colonialism. Not all religions or people believe that life begins at conception or that every sperm is sacred (cr. Monty Python – it still holds up). Not all Americans practice organized religion, and some don’t believe in God, which is their constitutional right. Some of the Founding Fathers weren’t even sticklers for organized religion and rather opted for deism.
In Thomas Jefferson’s own words, the First Amendment’s prohibition on establishing religion “was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state… That wall must be kept high and impregnable.” I’m no lawyer, but legislation to force the will of one religion across the larger population flies in the face of what I’ve learned about the First Amendment over the years, not to mention a slap in the faces of the Founding Fathers, whom we’re all so supposedly fond of.
In his apology to Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, the Pope acknowledged that these problems are not all in the past, warning, “Yet today too, there are any number of forms of ideological colonization that clash with the reality of life, stifle the natural attachment of peoples to their values and attempt to uproot their traditions, history and religious ties.” America finds itself at a precarious crossroads, with one road continuing the American experiment and maintaining the wall separating state and church as the Founding Fathers prescribed, or a second where the foundations of our democracy are corroded by government-sanctioned internal religious colonialism.
We have an obligation to future generations to keep the ideology of religious oligarchs out of our legislation on the local, state and federal level. We should learn from past mistakes and hopefully avoid the need for another apology for forced religious assimilation.
Back to the garden
The Woodstock Village Green is a beautiful garden. We have this beautiful garden because there are volunteers who, for years, have tended it. They are retiring. They are the last of their kind: gracious people moved to service by civic pride. There is no one stepping up to take on their work. An untended garden dies. Will Woodstock allow that to happen before something is done?
I suggest that the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Woodstock form a public/private partnership to fund landscaping on the Village Green. We cannot get ourselves back to the garden if the garden is dead from neglect.
William C. O’Neill
Winston Farm development & the public’s role
The Saugerties Farm, LLC proposal to rezone and develop the 840-acre Winston Farm is one of the largest projects to come before our Town Board. As the proposed development of the property is under review, the public can play an important role.
The Conservation Advisory Commission (CAC), an advisory group to the Town Board, is charged with surveying and monitoring area natural resources and is a participant in the review process. The CAC does not advocate for or against this project. It identifies environmental implications and makes recommendations. We encourage the public to become familiar with the process and the public’s role.
The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) defines the process and procedures by which environmental consequences are identified, investigated and assessed. The Saugerties Farm proposal, classified as a Type 1 project, is subject to an extensive review through the process. The Town Board, as Lead Agency, has reviewed and responded to the Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) prepared by Saugerties Farm, LLC, the applicant. The board issued a Positive Declaration, indicating the potential for adverse environmental effects.
Currently, Saugerties Farms, LLC is preparing a draft scoping document that outlines their plans for responding to the potential environmental issues outlined in the Positive Declaration. Once this draft scoping document is released to the public, there is a public comment period. At this time, concerned citizens and agencies can respond through writings and public hearings with additional comments and suggestions to be considered in the final scoping document.
Saugerties Farm, LLC must then complete a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Any issue not included in the scoping document will not be addressed in the DEIS. When the DEIS is completed, it will be subject to further review and input from the public where additional actions may be called for.
Upon completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), involved agencies may review and respond to the document. With guidance from its consultants, then and only then will the Town Board vote on the applicant’s request for a zoning change.
The CAC believes that an informed public is important to ensure that any present and future development within the Town of Saugerties is environmentally sustainable and in the best interest of the community. The CAC encourages the public’s full participation as the potential development of the Winston Farm moves through the SEQR process.
If you want to rent out your house and property to someone for a large wedding or any other type of large gathering (a violation of the Zoning Law), it appears, based upon a recent occurrence, that you do not have to get permission from the building inspector or the Planning Board or get a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. All you have to do is fill out an application for a mass gathering permit and get Supervisor McKenna to sign off on it.
A Kansas moment
In the August 23 Special Election for Congress in the 19th Congressional District, women’s rights are on the ballot, and we need a “Kansas moment” to stop Marc Molinaro from winning.
As Dutchess County executive, Mr. Molinaro needed a luxury sport SUV leased for $1,300/month at public expense to do his job. That’s more than the monthly rent of an average one-bedroom apartment in Dutchess. Embarrassing, yes; but not as distressing as his extremist voting record in the New York Legislature. Mr. Molinaro voted No to legalizing same-sex marriage, No on prohibiting gender discrimination, No on allowing unmarried people to adopt a child, No to extending worker rights to farm employees and No to stopping domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms.
Mr. Molinaro has embraced extremist political positions and our democracy in under threat. On August 23, we need to vote No for Mark Molinaro and Yes for West Point graduate and Iraq veteran Pat Ryan, a strong pro-choice man who will fight to protect our hard-earned freedoms.
It’s on our currency
The United States currency used worldwide has the statement “In God We Trust;” it is a lie. We use this moral statement to hide our government’s behavior towards our own people and those countries we go to war with.
Our Constitution supposedly comes from the Bible. The phrase “In God We Trust” is used on our money for the same reasons we use “So help me God” in our military enlistment oath: because morality motivates soldiers to risk their lives. When people stand before Congress and pledge to tell the truth, they often conclude, “So help me God.”
Catie Edmondson of The New York Times wrote on May 11, 2019, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: in temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque – but not in Congress,” said representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He ended with, “What Republicans are doing,” he continued, “is using God.”
If our Constitution was respected enough by the government to hold the lives and welfare of individual citizens’ morality first, it would not have to twist and bend the document to facilitate the needs of the wealthy who have merged with politicians.
Historically, when the ruling class ignores the needs of the lower classes, causing starvation, pestilence and legalized slavery, change will not occur until it reaches extreme degradation, death and catastrophe. The possible loss of their or their family’s lives can motivate those suffering to rebel. Today there are indicators we are approaching this time, because if we add the urgency of political failures with the degradation of our environment and overuse of our natural resources, we are moving faster toward rebellion than past historical events have.
The obvious question in the minds of many is why we ignore the fact when it is being communicated continuously that we are near the end of our human existence. My best guess is we trust technology, the demigod who we believe can fix anything going wrong with science and cash. So what if Apple and Microsoft wrote “In God We Trust” in every computer program? Would that help any more than what we have written on our cash? If that does not work, maybe we should have every politician stand in naked truth before a Constitution that is allowed to hold the moral truth of its origin. Perhaps this would help politicians from uttering campaign financing statements in place of the Lord’s Prayer.
As I reflect on “In God We Trust,” it seems God has done his or her job. He or she has observed how we treat each other, how often we resort to war to solve our differences and how many hungry and poor go unfed and cared for by those with plenty. God has seen how we misuse our animals, plants and natural resources. In my imagination, God is nodding her head, thinking there is only one way they’ll learn; then she wipes her tears.
Marty’s objections to morality and procedure
As Marty Klein took two parts to express his thoughts on the Supreme Court and other topics, I will make this part one of two parts, to address Marty’s opinions.
Marty correctly said that the Supreme Court, basically, has always been respected. But, not anymore. Why is this? It’s because the Court came down with an appropriate decision that many on the left do not like, at all. Now, the Court is suddenly a pariah. And this is all due to a serious moral decision that takes the high road in objecting to the killing of innocent, defenseless unborn babies. Why would a civil society be perfectly okay with this type of inhumane slaughter? As George Civile recommended in a prior letter, look up the account given by Dr. Anthony Levatino who provides the gruesome, step-by-step and piece-by-piece, detail of how a living human being is brutally slaughtered in the womb. I, also, refer everyone to an extensive article cited by Mr. Civile by a Susan E. Wills, ESQ and her methodically pointing out, in detail, ten legal reasons why Roe v.Wade was improperly decided, in the first place.
Regarding Marty’s first outrage, Merrick Garland. We, of all political parties, are extremely fortunate not to have been saddled with such a weak and inconsistent legal mind on the Supreme Court. His current job, as Attorney General, is to fairly and neutrally enforce the laws of our land. However, he can’t even acknowledge and enforce the basic black and white law, 18 U.S.C. — Section 1507, which prohibits protests, picketing and demonstrations, peaceful or otherwise, in front of the homes of Supreme Court Justices. He will not appoint independent counsel to conduct objective investigations into already documented instances of likely corruption within the Biden family — reports people won’t hear on their beloved “news” sources, CNN, MSNBC and The View. Regarding enforcement of our clear immigration laws which protect our citizenry and our national security from all types of dangers pouring through our southern border, Garland’s biased spine is missing in action. And, do you mean to tell me that Garland has no power or influence over all the Soros backed District Attorneys who are pushing this vile and dangerous cashless bail reform garbage, putting all of us in danger while coddling the criminals? And, Americans would want someone this incompetent, erratic and dangerous on our Supreme Court?
Regarding Marty’s second outrage, it appears as if he isn’t pleased, this time around, with how the Supreme Court Justices are nominated and confirmed, at least, when he doesn’t like who is being appointed to the Court, namely Justice Gorsuch.
Regarding Marty’s third outrage, he refers to “serious” questions about Justice Kavanaugh’s past. So, we’re questioning a college student who, decades ago, had a few beers with his classmates, as did millions of other college students over the same period of time? And then, having to defend himself against baseless, foggy allegations by Dr. Ford whose OWN witnesses couldn’t even back up her flimsy story and all its wild assertions against Kavanaugh? Marty questions Justice Kennedy’s “sudden resignation” yet doesn’t question Justice Breyer’s resignation under similar quick circumstances? Why the concern, anyway? Justice Kennedy was replaced by another conservative justice and Justice Breyer was replaced with another liberal.
Regarding Marty’s fourth outrage, he is, again, questioning and objecting to the appointment of another conservative justice, this time Amy Coney Barrett. If the situation was reversed, with the Democrats in control, there’s no question that they’d be doing the exact same thing with the quick appointment of another liberal justice.
And, I think most of us are quite surprised at Marty’s apples-to-oranges comparison of Officer Chauvin’s REAL murder of George Floyd to Mitch McConnell’s “murder” of what or whom?
Part two next week.
John N. Butz
I attended the climate presentation “Fire and Ice” on Thursday, August 4 at the Saugerties library. Presenter Leslie Surprenant, representing the Saugerties Climate Smart Task Force (in collaboration with the Climate Advisory Council), did an excellent job of weaving a lot of information together in an interesting and engaging way and introduced some online tools I was glad to learn about. I would recommend it to anyone with any interest in this dire issue. If you’re part of a group that would like to see it, you can contact Leslie by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On another note, the article in the current issue of HV1 about Colombia Utilities Power’s default in service to the Town of Saugerties makes it crystal-clear that we shouldn’t be leaving energy production 100 percent in the hands of private and/or for-profit companies. As is true in healthcare, there needs to be at least a “public option” for providing electricity. Both are necessities of life, and “the market” shouldn’t be in control of either. The “public/private partnership” model has some very big holes in it.
It’s in the Constitution
George Civile’s latest futile attempt to bolster the logic of the “Alito decision” in overturning Roe v. Wade (HV1 letter, 8/3/22), misses the mark in a number of ways:
His assertion that the coincidental abortion of a female fetus “is not only a very real and present threat to female freedom, but female existence;” absurdly implies that the fetus’s female gender must have been specifically targeted. Roe v. Wade provides no specific reference to the gender of the developing fetus — but it does give significant preference to the personhood of a woman who has been tragically befallen with an unwanted pregnancy. Please, let me again quote from the US Constitution:
14th Amendment, Section 1:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
I would therefore ask George to explain why women should ever be denied “equal protection of the laws” in regard to the control of their bodies; or ever be deprived of “life and liberty” by any State in the United States, as guaranteed by our Constitution?
I would further implore him to respect the wording of the Constitution; in federally guaranteeing women their rights, equal to his, and other men. American women cannot be constitutionally treated as second-class citizens, and thus compelled to “involuntary servitude,” as prohibited by the 13th Amendment. Finally, I would again like to re-emphasize that the US Constitution, not the Bible, is the “law of the land” — as clearly codified in the 1st Amendment.
Peter V. Fiorentino
Highest gas prices
New Paltz has long had the highest gas station prices in the mid-Hudson. They are always ten cents cheaper in Orange County 10 to 20 miles south.
But recently I have noticed very large variations in gasoline prices at Ulster County gas stations, in addition to the general rise in gas prices over $5 a gallon last month, followed by the drop to the near $4 a gallon national average last week at some area stations.
Last week, I was surprised to see the Sunoco station at the corner of South Putt Road and Route 299 Main Street charging $4.799 per gallon, highest in Ulster County, while about one mile away down Main Street at Oakwood Terrace opposite St. Andrews Episcopal Church, the usually lowest-priced gas station in New Paltz was charging $4.389 — about 40 cents per gallon less!
Also last week, gas prices around Kingston dropped even farther to $4.13 at the
Quick Chek station on Washington Avenue near the NY Thruway entrance and its roundabout traffic circle.
The lowest area gas price I have seen was in northwest Kingston near Green Acres Golf Course at $4.099 last week.
How can gas station pump prices vary wildly in Ulster County by 70 cents a gallon? Gas station owners must all be buying their gas wholesale for about the same price. Is this the great American free market enterprise at work? Or is this price gouging and profiteering by a few greedy gas station owners in a time of wild wholesale price swings?
What can price conscious consumers do about this? Only one thing — drive a little farther down the road and support the gas stations with the lowest prices.
Jim Ottaway Jr.
Congressional action at last
Just when many Americans had lost all hope that Congress could do its job for the American people, a flurry of bipartisan and Democrat-only measures run against this trend.
In the past six weeks, bipartisan legislation addressed the wave of mass shootings, even if the measures were too little and too late. Then Congress passed the CHIP Act to encourage American production of microchips and other high-tech products. And after Republicans voted against assuring health care to veterans wounded by burn pits in our foreign wars, they turned around and helped pass the legislation.
Now, supported only by Democrats, the Senate has confronted climate change and passed the Inflation Reduction Act which now goes to the House. This bill not only will reduce emissions causing global warming, but it will do so by providing support to American families and businesses. The expansive bill also addresses the cost of prescription drugs and keeps millions of Americans insured for health care. It does all this and pays for it by raising taxes on large corporations and funding the IRS to go after high-income tax cheats.
Just when we thought nothing could get done, Congress has acted for the American people.
What Marc Molinaro stands for
I suggest that CD 19 August 23 voters, if considering voting for Marc Molinaro, first examine what Molinaro stands for.
Pat Ryan has made his positions clear: he supports a woman’s right to choose, health and financial benefits for his fellow veterans, support for consumers against large corporations and utilities like Central Hudson who overcharge customers and democratic values over the extremism of our former president.
Molinaro, in 2019, opposed NYS legislation to codify abortion protections. Not surprisingly, he recently stated that he would oppose similar federal legislation.
Molinaro also has a history, as a NYS Assemblyman, of voting against pro-worker and pro-community bills. He voted against: helping small businesses make health care benefits available to employees, guaranteeing workers meal breaks and rest stops, fair wages, protection for freelance workers and authorizing an inter-city bus permit system for those needing mass transit.
As for his support of the former president, his views, as the Ithaca Voice stated on July 5, “remain evasive.”
I believe that Pat Ryan is the candidate who deserves our votes. As Ulster County Executive, he has consistently served the people. He spearheaded rehabilitation of the former IBM site, leading to over $200 million in regional investment; increased mental health and addiction recovery services; put Ulster’s first electric buses on the road; and started a green careers academy at SUNY Ulster.
Let’s elect a veteran and true patriot: Pat Ryan.
The year is 2022 and Richard Nixon is a complete unknown to all but your oldest readers. He started the war on water pollution, and the most beautiful freshwater resource in the Northeast is closed for swimming on these great summer days because the DEC, and all the fake leaders of every city, town and village will not protect this beautiful, bountiful, accessible Hudson River from treating it like an open sewer. The river should be full of boaters, swimmers and fisherman, but it is too filthy to swim in or eat fish from. Every person who you vote for should take a stand to fix this disgrace without compromise.
Commentary on life
Decisions of deliciousness we must face as adults:
Like many, I am suppressing my crush on the Allstate-Mayhem-Guy.
A “courtesy call” from a bill collector = an oxymoron.
Senior housing aroma – liniment — is it Ben Gay or Witch Hazel?
Just what is the Toll-Free Crime Stoppers Hotline number for government officials?
Rejoice in sweating chafing, prickly heat, itchy-twitchy rash…It’s summer, y’all!
Confession: I once had a “boyfriend loophole”…it was a zipper!
TA-ta ! I am off to a funky date with my main squeeze — “total” Jim!
Myrna S. Hilton
Why I’m voting for Pat Ryan on August 23
Like many of my friends and neighbors I am worried about the future of democracy and the possibility that baseless and even violent challenges to election results will become more common. That’s one reason I’ll vote for Pat Ryan in the August 23 special election for U.S. Congress, District 19.
As Ulster County executive, Ryan has been a thoughtful leader focused on the needs of his constituents and working collaboratively with county legislators of both parties. To take one example, he seems to take legislative committees seriously. They are described clearly and concisely on the county’s website. It’s easy to understand the purpose of each, who the members are, how to get their agendas and minutes and even how to attend meetings.
In Dutchess County, where I live, there’s nothing comparable to guide interested residents, and as far as I can tell, there are no committees dealing with many critical issues including housing. Instead, Ryan’s opponent, the multi-term Dutchess County executive, spends tremendous amounts of time and energy making sure his party exerts nearly total control over the legislature. Under his watch, Republican legislators have reduced committee meetings to bureaucratic exercises refusing even to discuss most Democratic proposals. Instead of using committees to engage with ideas and develop budgets and legislation that serve the people, they often announce votes days or even hours in advance and then call the question without discussion.
Let’s send someone to Washington who will be principled about serving us and understands how to make Congress work again.
It can’t be business as usual anymore!
Once again, along with others, I am calling on Tony Montano, John Mullen and Randy Richers to either donate Winston Farm for a nature preserve or to sell it to those who would preserve it as one.
From every standpoint, developing this beautiful 800 acres is misguided. First, the aquifer can’t support it, nor can the roads due to the increased traffic. And, overwhelmingly, the climate crisis pleads for us to preserve it, with its climate and habitat preserving forests and trees, meadows, creeks and ponds. The climate crisis is upon us; it can’t be business as usual anymore! Even here in the northeast, moose are literally being bled to death by ticks that are no longer being killed off in a warming winter!