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.
Two tragic dates in history
September 11, 2001 and January 6, 2020 are two tragic dates in American recent history.
For the last 20 years, I have made a memorial in Brooklyn for the World Trade Center. For the past 12 years I have driven from Saugerties to Brooklyn to the street where I used to have a studio from which I could see the Twins in the vanishing point at the end of the street. I paint a “casting shadow” about 50 feet long on the asphalt. As the paint fades away through the year, like our memory, I come and refresh it. I made it without permission, but it struck everyone in the neighborhood, including the local fire department. Come September, I’ll be driving down to Brooklyn to refresh the memory of that horrific day in our history.
The January 6, 2020 insurgency cannot just be painted on the street as a memorial or designed like the Vietnam Memorial because, unlike these events, it is not a conflict with a foreign enemy, but rather belies a profound division within us as a nation. Where one side sees a blow to American democracy, the other sees a righteous event to be glorified.
This vulnerability within us is a stab into our national stability that threatens to ooze nonstop. We must be vigilant and on guard, as that is what democracy demands! We cannot let this glorious experiment be blown away. There is no alternative!
As an immigrant/citizen of 48 years, I write this with a great sense of urgency. I turned into a father and a grandfather here. Is my adopted country falling apart?
Ze’ev Willy Neumann
The following was also put on Facebook: “Why is it that, year after year after year, drivers in Woodstock have to notify the Town supervisor that eastbound vehicles on Mill Hill Road [Route 212] can’t been seen by drivers entering town from Route 375 because of the height of the plants in the triangle before anything is done to correct the problem?”
Although there were numerous responses directly related to the height of the plants, the issue of putting a signal light there elicited an exchange regarding how many signal lights there are in Woodstock. Someone stated that “A light is a good idea. We’d be a one-light town.” Supervisor McKenna then responded, “Two lights.” The response to his comment was, “Hey Bill, a lot of us know that the other [current] light is on 28 and Zena. It would have been more appropriate if you would have commented on what you are going to do about the condition at 375 and 212.”
The Godhead must love old people, because She turns each of us into one.
Prospect Street’s new water main, improved fire protection
County records list that the oldest houses on Prospect Street are from 1890 and 1900.
The Village of New Paltz was incorporated in 1887, primarily to organize fire protection, because some of our neighboring communities had suffered devastating fires. Plans were developed to build a water system for fire protection and drinking purposes. By October 1891, Village of New Paltz trustees authorized entering into an initial five-year contract that included “35 or more hydrants suitably distributed throughout the Village.” Subsequently, the Village government acquired the “New Paltz Water Works Company” in 1915. The New York State Conservation Commission, predecessor to today’s New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, approved this acquisition and use of the upland reservoirs in a decision on Water Supply Application #162, dated June 5, 1914.
We are wondering when Prospect Street’s four-inch water main that is being replaced with a new eight-inch was originally installed. The four-inch main had been reduced to an approximately 2.5 inches because of tuberculation in the cast iron pipe. The new eight-inch main is still cast iron, but has a cement lining.
An important advantage of having an eight-inch pipe means more water can flow quickly if a hydrant is needed to extinguish a fire. The New Paltz Fire Department and municipal water go hand in hand, just as they were intended to in 1897.
Mayor, New Paltz
Treason is the reason for the season
What did Trump take? What was in those classified documents? What did the FBI find in the basement of Mar-a-Lago? More importantly, what did Trump intend to do with that information? I don’t know.
Hey, it’s possible that he was just stupid and incompetent! Okay, it’s probable that he’s stupid and incompetent, but I mean that it’s possible that he stole those documents unintentionally. Does that make it any better? (Fortunately, even if true, there’s no way he’d admit that.) Oh, and the movers didn’t accidentally pack them.
How is it legal for an ex-president to keep any government documents? It’s not! Never was, but “He’s special!” Hah!
Again, I reiterate: It is not legal; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Once you’re out of office, documents go to the archives. The FBI moved on him like a bitch. When you have probable cause like the DOJ had, they come for you. They can do anything, even “grab ‘em by the evidence!”
He had at least 11 documents that were top-secret or classified. It’s kind of against the law to have those in your possession as a civilian. Yeah, TFG is all about law and order, until it applies to him; then it’s a witch hunt.
In 1978, Congress passed the sweeping Presidential Records Act that has been the standard ever since. Every president, when they leave office, those records that have been created by the president and his staff are presidential records that go to the National Archives. Once you leave the White House, the owner is the American people. This includes all presidential material, whether it’s routine, unclassified notes or top-secret national security documents.
He must be held accountable for his crimes, and there are many. He cannot be allowed to run for the presidency again. His supporters will rail and rally and spit and kick and some will do harm, but that will pass and we will have peace. And won’t it be wonderful!
Not to worry
Although every media outlet, except (the wretched) Fox News, ignored or squelched the Hunter Biden laptop story and President Biden claimed it was debunked, recently The New York Times, WaPo and others have confirmed that the New York Post story was genuine and the laptop involved did, in fact, belong to Hunter. It seems those 51 former intelligence officers – to put it diplomatically – were wrong about the story being “Russian disinformation.” It also seems Fox News wasn’t so wretched for covering the story. (Questions for Feedback’s TDS ambassador, Neil Jarmel: Was denying the Hunter laptop story the first “Big Lie?” Are you now or have you ever been a Hunter Biden laptop story denier?)
Moreover, photos have been published that show President Biden with Hunter and his business associates, despite his claim that he was ignorant of Hunter’s business dealings. Because Hunter’s e-mails speak of “the big guy” receiving payments, they appear to support Hunter Biden business associate Tony Bobulinski’s account, given before the 2020 election, that this “big guy” was Joe Biden. In addition, by President Biden committing to sending Hunter $100,000 between 12/2018 and 1/2019, it may be true that he (allegedly) helped to pay $30,000 for Hunter’s use of escorts. Now the growing fear within the White House is that Hunter will soon be indicted by the DOJ.
Despite, perhaps, being unaware of these stories, in light of the details above, readers are invited to sing the following parody of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby.” It tells the tale of POTUS Joe’s increased worries over the FBI and Delaware investigations of Hunter, the implications of these investigations for his presidency and the story of a loyal wife standing by her man when times are tough.
Well fear’s been building up inside of me
For oh I don’t know how long
I don’t know why but I keep thinking
Hunter’s done something that’s wrong
He’s such a bright smart guy
So I was quite surprised
Fox News said Hunter’s in trouble
(Hunter’s in trouble)
And Joe can’t make it all right
I know I should have told the truth
When I denied I knew about his deals
Wish I could turn it all around because
Of how bad this all feels
There’s proof I told a lie
And that I’m his “big guy”
So I think now I should worry
(Now I should worry)
‘Cos it might not turn out al right
He never told me, “Pop, I’m dating more than
Several ladies of the night
And if you knew how much they cost me
It would make your hair stand up in fright”
‘Twas less than 50 grand
But much more than he planned
So he said, “Send money Poppy
(Send money Poppy)
I’m worried things won’t turn out all right
And now a red wave’s really coming
And they’re going to take the House away
And Chuckie Schumer’s getting nervous
‘Cos he thinks the Senate’s now in play
Don’t think that I’ll survive
Felt more dead than alive
When Chuck said, “Be worried Joey
(Be worried Joey)
‘Cos we can’t make it turn out all right”
I think I’m doing well enough to run
Again in 2024
But it seems the party I belong to
Doesn’t think I should run any more
I feel revived and bold
Though Build Back’s been on hold
When Jill says, “Don’t worry Joey
(Don’t worry Joey)
Everything will turn out all right”
Though Hunter’s feeling heat
I still hear Jill repeat
The same words, “Don’t worry Joey
(Don’t worry Joey)
Everything will turn out all right”
When things are going wrong
Jill still makes me feel strong
When she says, “Don’t worry Joey
(Don’t worry Joey)
Everything will turn out all right”
Al Qaeda’s still around
But I put Zawahiri down
So Jill sings, “Don’t worry Joey
(You got Zawahiri)
Everything will turn out all right”
They’ve raided Donald’s home
Maybe I will keep my throne
And Jill sings, “Don’t worry Joey
(Don’t worry Joey) 3x
Everything will turn out all right”
Israel not a bully, West Bank not “occupied”
In his recent letter (“What would you call it?” HV1, 8/24/22), Matt Frisch relies on a layman’s spurious interpretation of international law to assert Israel has illegally “occupied” the so-called West Bank (actually, Judea and Samaria; it is quite literally the area from which the appellation “Jews” derives). It falls to Mr. Gold and me, respectively the president and executive director of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County (UCJF.org), to rebut this with facts.
We can’t explain this more authoritatively than George Mason University Law School professor Eugene Kontorovich, so we won’t try: “Under international law, occupation occurs when a country takes over the sovereign territory of another country. But the West Bank was never part of Jordan, which seized it in 1949 and ethnically cleansed its entire Jewish population. Nor was it ever the site of an Arab Palestinian state. Moreover, a country cannot occupy territory to which it has the sovereign title, and Israel has the strongest claim to the land. International law holds that a new country inherits the borders of the prior geopolitical unit in that territory. Israel was preceded by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, whose borders included the West Bank.” (Source: Wall Street Journal, 2019). End of debate.
Further, Mr. Frisch labels Israel as a “bully” whose government policies “encroach on Palestinian land in the West Bank.” That would be laughable if it were not so common and pernicious a misconception. The total land area of Israeli settlements is less than 40 square miles; that’s only 1.7 percent of the West Bank. A large proportion of “settlers” live in East Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest city. Banning Jews from Jerusalem is somewhat analogous to banning Catholics from the Vatican. Others live in areas where Jews resided peaceably side-by-side with their Arab neighbors for thousands of years.
Mr. Frisch opines that “People’s sympathies don’t usually lie with the bully.” Just a couple of weeks ago, Hamas militants launched thousands of rockets from the West Bank and Gaza at Israeli residential neighborhoods. That’s the formal definition of terrorism. Fortunately, Israel’s missile defense system, Iron Dome, knocked down 97 percent of them, or the loss of civilian lives would have been horrific.
So, who is the bully? The country that offered the Palestinians an independent state three times – secured by assurances from the US government – and was rebuffed for strictly political reasons that have more to do with antisemitism than Palestinian prosperity? Or is it the Iran-funded terrorist factions who have vowed the destruction of Israel and continue to foment unprovoked violence against non-combatants?
Facts, substantiated by internationally acclaimed experts and verified via reputable, authoritative sources, are stubborn opponents, indeed. Wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Frisch?
The word game
The word “No” has lost its meaning in the ears of many today. It gets ignored and is called an impingement to creativity. Some kick it aside, claiming it dictates their right to do what they want. Others see it on the computer, delete it and look for the “Yes” that agrees with their point of view. I’ve used it as a verbal suit of armor to protect myself from invasive advertising, psychopathic politicians and domineering newscasters. But, when we extract “No” from our vocabulary, it flushes away with the other biological duties nature has given us, such as only taking what we need to live.
I wonder if “No” has become too entangled with the word “responsibility.” “No” – it often sets limits. “No” – it closes doors. If we’re looking at No, we must also look at Yes; it’s often interpreted as all-inclusive, offering endless choices. But, once Yes is provided, it almost always calls forth restrictive language to focus on one point, and the wish for the all-inclusive Yes disappears.
In my confusion of the Yes-and-No question I feel confronted with daily in our politics, I asked my wife to read what I was writing, and her feedback was, “The Republicans say No all the time, such as, ‘There will be no abortions. There will be no voting if you don’t jump through all the hoops.’” She was right. It seems like Republicans lean heavily towards No unless it involves the needs of the wealthy. Democrats appear to use Yes more, but their expansive Yes hides the many invisible Nos in the complex abstract laws, rules and rhetoric they make. Ultimately, both parties use the visible and invisible No and Yes to misdirect money from the humanitarian needs of those who pay for their salaries.
As individuals in personal relationships, we all grapple with No and Yes in our private lives. However, if we were to treat our friendships, marriages and raised children like our politicians govern our lives, divorce would be more of a norm than it is today.
Yes, reader, this is a word game – a word game that attorneys play every day. Newscasters, academics and those who run political campaigns live in this world of words. Their words redirect massive amounts of tax dollars, shade the truth and consume our trust.
Without Yes and No being a believable part of our political dialogue between our government and us, it forms similar schisms in all other aspects of our personal and business lives. As a result, many have learned to use our leadership’s language, behavior and misbehavior in their lives and workplaces. This behavior loses trust in the value “No” or “Yes,” which then manifests side effects of losing discipline, patience, tolerance, confidence and creativity: all qualities democracy boasts of cultivating.
Historically, the powerful, wealthy and politicians have divided our citizens into those with just enough to live and those with not enough, ignoring that if they were to divide a fraction of the concentrated wealth, there is enough for all to live. “Yes, this is the truth we all know!”
Thanks to Gardiner Fire Department
Many thanks to the dedicated, well-trained volunteers of the Gardiner Fire Department. After responding to help with the brushfire at Sam’s Point on Sunday, they had to rush to put out the fire in my garage. They arrived so quickly and were able to protect my house from significant damage. I will be forever grateful. These men and women volunteer their time to protect and serve the community. They deserve all of our support.
On a side note, if you use a lawn tractor, please be sure to make sure that you clean it of all grass and organic debris before putting it away. This includes the engine! Apparently, mice built a nest in mine that smoldered and then ignited after being shut down and put away.
No great men on the horizon
I feel sorry for the millions that never served under a great president such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Despite a severe disability, he overcame herculean odds of his time to run for public office. His New Deal programs exist today.
His rules given to his public relations team: “Never mention my opponent’s name for good or for ill. For to do so, you give him free publicity. Simply state my name, the office I run for, what I did for the people my last term, what I intend to do for them in the future.” Many could learn from him.
Each election I am weary of the negativity. Now the Republicans are chastising the president for giving debt relief. Not being fair to others. Not long ago a wealthy man addressed a Black student body at their graduation. He surprised them all. He was paying off their school debts. Again, one would think, “How unfair that others didn’t get such a break.”
Since when is life fair? There are Higher Powers at work we cannot understand. Some benefit; many do not. Everyday there are, in our eyes, injustices. We must have an attitude of thankfulness for those that benefit. Moving into a society and world undergoing massive changes, being confronted with serious internal problems, a blessing for many.
I know this. Work steadily, hopefully and responsibly towards what you desire in life. Strengthen your backbone when there are setbacks. In time life/God moves in mysterious ways. You will be helped in ways you can’t imagine. Just persevere. Be kind. Do good. We must all be spiritual warriors today.
We have got to have more than the two-party system that is more divided than ever, to the detriment of the people. All the great religions speak of giving to causes greater than yourself. In this era of “selfies,” this must change. Mrs. Roosevelt, a great and positive lady in her own right, stated, “Whatever happens in life, do the best you can, but just keep going.”
Sadly, there is no FDR on the horizon. He had undergone a deep spiritual transformation through his disability. In overcoming his own “crippled condition,” he was able to heal, transform a crippled nation. A true visionary. One that is greatly needed now, one who speaks beyond the system, power, greed and ambition.
There is a book, Great Speeches by Native Americans, by Bob Blaisdell. Read those speeches. They hold a vision, a power, an inspiration you never hear from our politicians. And we called them savages.
When will Congress finally act?
Our disabled veterans are grossly undercompensated. The consequences for all of us could be dire.
In 2022, a totally disabled veteran with no dependents is compensated at the ridiculous rate of $39,984.72 annually. The National Average Wage Index (NAWI) for 2020 was $55,628.60 per annum and the median income for 2020 was $67,521. The per capita GDP in 2020 was $63,416, among the highest in the world. This rate of compensation to disabled veterans is deliberate and cruel.
They have been asking various administrations and Congresses for fair compensation since the end of World War I in November 1918. That was 103 years ago. Where is proper compensation for them? Is it ever coming? Do we make them wait another century?
In my opinion, the basic reason for their gross undercompensation situation is because they are only compensated for projected loss of wages due to their disabilities. They are not compensated for their low quality of life. Quality of Life Compensation has been routine now in the US Courts in awarding personal injury compensation to injured parties for over 50 years at least. Why is it not awarded to injured veterans?
I ask Congress to pass legislation this year to compensate them fairly, especially the totally and permanently disabled among them who should be compensated at least at the level of the NAWI.
This is now a grave national security problem.
Once there is full realization among our youth that serious injury or illness in the armed forces almost guarantees a lifetime of near-poverty, the armed forces will collapse. In truth, this has already started to happen.
It is long past time for Congress to finally compensate these broken former troops fairly. To do less is to invite a national defense nightmare that frankly I do not think our nation is prepared to endure or accept as reasonable. Congress must finally pay them fairly this year.
Distorting our Constitution
When writing our Constitution, I don’t believe our forefathers ever intended that there be a “freedom,” a “liberty,” or a “right” to kill innocent, defenseless human beings.
In response to Peter Fiorentino’s “The Constitution and Abortion,” he only looks at the word “person” from the point of view of a woman. But, what about substituting an unborn baby as the reference to being a “person” in Peter’s Amendment phrase selection, in that Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment “prohibits any state from depriving any “person” (aka, an unborn baby) of life, liberty or property without due process of law?” Where’s the unborn baby’s due process of law, as a “person,” with the same rights as born “persons?”
Peter uses the phrases “bodily autonomy” and “medical treatment for ‘their bodies’.” What could be the possible connection, moral or otherwise, between these two terms and the slaughtering of an unborn baby in the womb?”
Regarding “their bodies,” since when is the killing of an unborn baby considered “medical treatment” for their bodies? Medical treatment, by anyone’s definition, is treatment needed for medical conditions such as disease, disability, injuries or other invasive conditions of the human body, whether male or female. An unborn baby does not meet the definition of any of these conditions requiring real and actual medical treatment.
And, further, on the reference to “their bodies,” the unborn baby has its own separate and distinctive features, independent from its pregnant mother such as fingerprints, DNA, etc. Therefore, the unborn baby is its own body which means the unborn baby is not the body of its pregnant mother, merely another genetically separate “person” temporarily residing within its mother’s womb. So, the tired cliche of “my body, my choice” doesn’t work anymore since it’s not “my body” she is choosing to kill — it’s the other body.
As Peter says, references to the U.S. Constitution are largely lacking in the ongoing discussions of abortion in our HV1 letters. The only thing largely lacking is any clear and specific reference in our Constitution to abortion. I’m sure I’m not the only one that sees the fallacies in the broad stretches of Constitutional interpretations, that try to make it look like our Constitution deals with and addresses abortion in an indisputable fashion. Peter’s thoughts on “involuntary servitude” are just one example of how, not only Peter but others, put their own spin on carefully chosen wordage in our Constitution.
I agree with Peter’s reference to the equal responsibility of the man who causes the pregnancies. Laws should be enacted that, once the man is identified as the father by the woman and/or by testing, if necessary, the appropriate court should order child support. For those that don’t voluntarily pay the monthly court-ordered amount, they should consider the following: If they arrogantly continue to refuse to pay the court-ordered support, they should be reminded that they will be looking at some jail time. A good number of men likely have a good-paying job or profession. If they, suddenly, are looking at a minimum six-month jail term, how many of them would foolishly jeopardize their careers and future by continuing to refuse paying child support? Measures like this would be a true wake-up call that should get the attention of men who think impregnating a woman is no big deal, as they run off into the sunset thinking they will escape any further responsibility for their thoughtless behavior.
John N. Butz
Commentary on life
Marble, rye, macadamia nuts, meringue anything.
If there is a free rain barrel giveaway in Queens, why not the Hudson River Valley?
The CIA/FBI and Amazon have found ten pounds of redacted Trump wedding vows!
Alas, there will be no Labor Day sales at Howard Schultz’s anti-union Starbucks!
Check your discomfort index: If you have witnessed flapping flesh at a pool, gym, spa or beach, you may be entitled to compensation.
Tantamount to terrific: Trump has won the International Grifter Award. Mazel Tov!
TA-ta…I am off to the September back-to-school teacher excuse letterthon.
Myrna S. Hilton
Environmental testing — Woodstock Library
Suppose you had a suspicious area on your left knee that might be cancerous and went to the doctor to be examined. For some unknown reason the doctor examines your right knee and declares that you are perfectly fine. Metaphorically speaking, that’s exactly what happened when the engineering firm who did the environmental review for the library board tested the site at 10 Dixon Avenue. This site has a documented history of excessively high arsenic, lead and other industrial compounds. They took 54 soil samples on the site and only did one valid soil core in the rear yard where the original septic system was located. This was the source that disposed of most of the hazardous waste on the property! 13 soil samples were taken on a .9-acre parcel that was not part of the original Model Optics property, 10 Dixon Avenue. This was purchased from the owners of the Gypsy Wolf through a questionable lot line relocation and issuance of many variances by inexperienced Woodstock planning and zoning boards in 2014. Forty additional samples were taken on the southerly edge of the property and in the front yard. The front yard sampling showed arsenic readings of seven, approximately half of the DEC remediation level, but there is no mention of this in Colliers’ final report.
Maybe tucked away in their thousands of pages of verbiage was this clue to the intent of their testing and final conclusion. On page 7 of the 1,999-page Collier Environmental Report was this possible indication of what their ulterior motive:
4.6 Reason for Performing Phase I ESA. This Phase I ESA is being performed in support of the new Woodstock Public Library.
What Colliers’ failed to realize is that their professional fee was being paid by all of the taxpayers in Woodstock, not just by the supporters of the library’s move to 10 Dixon Avenue.
Latest Town Board meeting and Winston Farm
I attended, via Zoom, the Saugerties Town Board meeting on August 17, privilege of the floor and public comment sections. There was some cogent questioning of the Denier Car Wash proposal which raised some new issues for me. Chief among them is why the request for a zoning change is being made directly to the Town Board instead of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Supervisor Fred Costello’s remarks suggest that a decision made by the Town Board has wider ramifications than one made by the ZBA. This should be another red flag to those concerned about development on the Winston Farm property.
But what caught my attention for the first time in my years of listening in on (and sometimes contributing to) public comment sessions were remarks made by the supervisor in a lengthy lecture he delivered to the crowd about how things work in the kind of process the Winston Farm development proposal has set in motion. I heard him say, more than once, that we have to remember that the board members have their own points of view, just as we do, and that their personal points of view will weigh in to the final decision, whatever the SEQRA investigation reveals and whatever the majority of the voters want to happen or not happen on Winston Farm. But the board members cannot behave like ordinary citizens, with their private concerns and interests, when they make decisions for the whole town.
I want the members of the Town Board to think carefully about what their job is. When they act as a governing body, their personal interests, opinions and feelings have to be set aside. They have to act impersonally. They have to understand the wishes of the residents, weigh the arguments intelligently and impartially, separate fact from fiction (with respect to the safety and capacity of the aquifer, for example), and decide on the basis of what’s best for the community as a whole. In no way whatsoever should they consider the financial “rights” or interests of the investors who purchased the property. In any case, “property rights” shouldn’t trump the rights of nature and the rights of people to live in peace. They are 3; we are 20,000.
The board has a legal right to decide the fate of Winston Farm, but it must earn the moral right. What’s best for the community as a whole includes what’s best for the planet as a whole. The board will have to consider the much bigger picture of the looming climate crisis. One speaker, a woman whose name I didn’t get, talked about the responsibility of governing bodies to consider the consequences of compromising carbon sinks like Winston Farm in any way whatsoever, and the board needs to educate itself about the facts of our planet’s deteriorating prospects when they make the final decision on development of any kind at Winston Farm.
Supervisor Costello mentioned, as though it justified letting the developers make a profit at the expense of the local environment, the well-being of the residents, and the whole planet it’s a part of, that the property had been for sale for a long time and that conservation/preservation groups hadn’t stepped up to purchase it. But this is a little disingenuous, as the asking price was $10-12 million before the current owners somehow got the property for under $4 million. If only that amount had been needed until this latest deal got made, purchase of the property by un-developers would have been much more likely. I would continue to ask the current owners to agree to sell it for what they paid to a conservation group so that fundraising can begin. The board should encourage this course of action.
Winston Farm’s fate is the biggest challenge facing this community for many years, and the first for this particular board. Let’s hope they step up to meet it. Perhaps, just to start with, a referendum, non-binding or otherwise, would be in order.
Electing a new County Executive
When previous Ulster County Executive Mike Hein vacated his office, there wasn’t enough time for a primary, so the political committees were forced to choose their candidates.
The Democratic Committee chose Pat Ryan, who had just lost his bid for Congress to Antonio Delgado. Last week, Ryan was elected as the new Congressman for US District 19. So, he will be leaving for Washington shortly and so we must elect another Executive.
Again, there won’t be enough time for a primary.
Again, the committees will be forced to choose their candidates.
Again, the great majority of its membership won’t have any say.
One of the three Democrats who wants to get chosen is Jen Metzger. Metzger, who recently lost her State Senate seat to Mike Martucci, wants to follow in Ryan’s footsteps and become our next Executive. I’m sure, like Ryan, she’ll declare that if elected she’ll complete her term. However, like Ryan, she may opt to run for higher office should the opportunity present itself.
Another is March Gallagher, our present Comptroller. Gallagher is a lifelong resident of Ulster County with a savvy understanding of county government. As our Comptroller, she has been our fiscal watchdog and has saved us taxpayers a bundle. As Executive, she will do more than check where our taxes went, she will control how our taxes are spent.
Metzger was an excellent State Senator and I’d be 100% for her if she was running for the State Senate again.
Gallagher is an administrator; Metzger is a policy-making lawmaker.
Ulster County went to an Executive form of government for administrative purposes not to provide a layover for those in between campaigns.
So, I implore each and every Democrat Committee member to choose Gallagher for Executive and start up a campaign committee to ensure Metzger’s return to Albany.
As one of many Americans who worked during all four years of college, and then paid back the loans my wife and I took out while raising two kids, our reaction to President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is not happiness. Now, in our 70’s, we are being told to pay off the loans taken by millions of new graduates in a country with an extreme worker shortage. This teaches a very bad lesson: dependency.
With my wife at home taking care of the kids, I worked two jobs and paid off the loans. Do the same kids. Learn to stand on your own two feet.
Thanks for the inadvertent honor
Dan Shapley of Riverkeeper has earned the gratitude of the community for his attention to the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) situation in the Wallkill River this summer (HV1, August 24, 2022). He has been very effective in calling upon his wide network of knowledgeable people in various academic institutions, environmental advocacy groups and regulatory agencies to monitor and study the HAB phenomenon. The goals of all the studies are prevention of these outbreaks by understanding the causes and alerting the community during times when contact with the river should be temporarily avoided. In the article, Dan referred to me as a Professor Emeritus. I do have a Ph.D. in botany and microbiology and I have published a number of scientific papers on cyanobacteria (the microbes responsible for HABs), so I can claim some scientific expertise in this area. And in recent years I have taught some courses at SUNY Ulster and Marist College.
Nevertheless, I need to point out that I am currently a retired person without a university affiliation, so Dan’s reference to me in the article as a Professor Emeritus was not quite accurate. But thanks, Dan, for the inadvertent honor!
Hometown boy makes good
I have worked with, campaigned with and campaigned for Pat in Gardiner, going back to 2016. He’s the real deal.
It would be a stretch to say we are friends — I’ve never been to his house, nor he to mine — but we’ve pounded the pavement together, tallied up numbers together, gossiped, mourned and attended gatherings. It is mind bending to see our Hometown Boy on the network news, MSNBC primetime and the front page of the New York Times. I’ll probably always regret not having gone to his campaign headquarters on election night, the outcome unclear until the last minute, the relief and rapture of a midnight unpredicted WIN! Lordy, there’s nothing like it, the posse of giddy, exhausted, anxious, amped comrades, coiled inside themselves, waiting.
We closed the poll site around 11. It was 40 miles to Ryan’s headquarters in Kingston and I was fried. My dog was waiting, so I headed for home instead of the highway. Heading over the Ridge in my CRV capsule, radio on, they called it for Pat. It’s surely better there were no witnesses to my screaming and swerving and tears.
This morning on NPR, he masterfully answered call-in questions with intelligence, range, insight, decency and big-heartedness.
How do we get where we are? Our journeys of place and purpose? Isn’t this a time? I believe that if Pat wins again in November, he will be an American President.
I want to live enough more years to see our next JFK, an Irishman from Gardiner.