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.
Think & learn
The Town Board of Saugerties is considering the proposed Winston Farm development. The development affects over 800 acres of agricultural land and a very significant aquifer. I consider it a travesty on many levels, but primarily the two mentioned above.
The threat to the aquifer is well represented by many in Saugerties, but I feel the agricultural question is not given the attention it needs. Taking that land out of agricultural use is potentially a real error affecting the future. Agriculture is changing in the USA. Climate change, growing populations and all the economic changes harnessed to these are going to require more agriculture, more innovative agriculture, better and shorter distribution methods. New York is capable of making these changes, but not if good land is covered with asphalt and houses. Ulster County has only the land paralleling the Hudson River and the Rondout Valley of viable agricultural land. Why lose what’s left?
Enough misused and inadequately used land is available for housing, but what is left of undeveloped agricultural land should be put in a special status. That special status might be used for some innovations like a training center for people wanting to learn farming of many kinds, wind farms et cetera.
We need to think and learn; the old ways are killing us.
Mary Ann Mays
Any thoughts from abortionists?
There have been many letters written to Hudson Valley One about abortion, especially in the past several months following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. And, most of them are from people who have no problem, whatsoever, with what abortion actually and literally represents, most recently evidenced in last week’s edition, in letters from Jane Schanberg and Rebecca B. Wilk. Even though past letters from pro-life writers have detailed the brutality of abortion and what is specifically done in the methodical killing of the innocent unborn baby, not one pro-abortionist has ever acknowledged and commented upon what this brutality means to them, assuming they even have the compassion, morality or courage to speak honestly on what they think about this egregious practice.
Their only concern is fallaciously and hopelessly trying to tie the “need” for an abortion to the politically manufactured and erroneously used terms of “women’s healthcare” and “women’s reproductive ‘rights’.” As mentioned in previous letters, more than once, “healthcare” applies to both women and men which involves their seeking medical attention to treat illnesses, sicknesses and other maladies of the body. “Reproductive rights”, again, are equally exercised by both women and men when they voluntarily decide to have vasectomies and hysterectomies or need treatment to their reproductive systems due to invasive diseases, tumors, etc. All these circumstances requiring medical treatment have absolutely nothing to do with the killing of an unborn baby. Not one abortionist has ever explained how the killing of an innocent, unborn baby is, in any way, connected to any of the previously mentioned health conditions requiring real medical treatment.
Roughly, 1% of all pregnancies are the result of rape. And, only one half of 1% are the result of incest. So, that leaves 98.5% of all pregnancies as fair game for abortionists. Putting aside another 2% of abortions for saving the life of the mother, we still have open season on 96.5% of all remaining pregnancies. The vast majority of abortions in this category are due to purely selfish and self-centered reasons. Instead of focusing on the causes and prevention of unwanted pregnancies, the abortionists ignore and don’t care about these realities as they blindly parade around with their illogical signs and posters citing “women’s healthcare,” “women’s reproductive ‘rights’” and “my body, my choice” as they pretend abortion is their “Constitutional right.”
I’m sure a healthy number of readers would like to see abortionists go below the surface of their self-serving signs and posters and clearly explain to our readers what they think about the brutality of baby killing and what needs to be done to address the causes of unwanted pregnancies. They never bothered giving any of this a second thought because they always had their birth control solution in Roe v. Wade. It seems like they are left with two choices, now: Face the music and deal with the reality of baby killing or move to a state that will continue to allow the slaughter of innocent, unborn babies.
John N. Butz
Commentary on life
Peek Freans, jelly bellies, ghee for thee.
My very best beef has always been Wellington!
If Jane Fonda is 84, then I am a spring chicken.
How many conspiracies are floating about? It’s stupid soup.
Nasty Hurricane Fiona hitting PR and DR so hard-given Fiona means “white” then, even storms are discriminatory.
Myrna S. Hilton
With vitriol towards Trump and his supporters reaching new heights (or lows), I was reminded of this passage from Hamlet in which the Prince, watching a play with his mother, turns to her and asks: “Madam, how like you this play?” to which she replies with a sense of irony, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Of course, Hamlet’s mother means that the Player Queen’s protestations of love and fidelity are too excessive to be believed.
With this in view, the following parody of the Beatles song “Help!” presents the view that the “too much” vitriolic protestations, against Trump and MAGA Republicans, by the anti-Trumpers comes from a genuine belief that “Something is rotten in the state of” America. However, unlike their anti-Trump protestations, they are really convinced that the “rot” comes from the policies of the (81 million-vote) man they chose and the party he represents. Note to reader: I like to imagine Neil Jarmel (representing all TDS sufferers) singing this song about (and to) his archenemy, Donald J. Trump, with a poignant sense of distressed urgency.
Help! I need somebody
Help! Not just anybody
Help! You know I need Donald’s help!
When he was young he built big buildings every day
Many people liked his style and praised him in every way
But when he won his race everything went strange
Those who praised him changed their minds, their
Thoughts became deranged
Help me if you can, Joe’s brought me down
And I don’t appreciate him being ‘round
America is quickly losing ground
Donald, ple-ease help me
And now the world has changed in ways that are so bad
Biden’s rule made inflation high, America is sad
And more than now and then I feel bereft and poor
I know that if Donald was back I’d feel much more secure
Donald help me now, China’s so strong
‘Cos Joe’s policy towards them has been so wrong
Putin’s war with Ukraine will be long
Won’t you ple-ease help me?
And now Joe’s speaking ways are causing me distress
Some say his last speech sounded like a dictator’s address
He said he’d bring the country unity for sure
But since he’s been in charge, unity flew out the door!
Help us please there’s trouble in the land
And we need to know you’ll lend a helping hand
The country now is pleading as one man
“Donald ple-ease help me!”
When he was young he built big buildings every day
People liked his style, raved about him in every way
Though people still defend Joe and his running mate
In their hearts just like Trump, they want America great
Al Qaeda’s back in Afghanistan
And Joe, he left behind more than one man
Our border’s overrun, help if you can
Donald, ple-ease help me!
When I was young, I thought leftists’ views were always right
I worked hard to support their truths with all my youthful might
But now I’m older I can see that I was wrong
And so “Please help me Donald” is now my earnest song
Donald help me now, I feel ashamed
The media made my Trump hatred inflamed
My sorry worldview needs to be reframed
Won’t you please help me, help me, help me-e-e? ooooh
Now’s our chance in Gardiner!
Here in Gardiner, we have a precious opportunity coming up in the November 8 election to support preservation of our open space, farmland and water resources. On the back of the ballot will be a referendum to create a Community Preservation Fund (CPF). Money for the fund will come from a proposed Real Estate Transfer Tax of 1.25 percent, paid by the buyer, on the dollar amount of real estate transaction that exceeds the previous year’s countywide median sale price. For 2022, that is $320,000. There is no tax burden for current property owners.
Gardiner’s Town Board will appoint and oversee a CPF Advisory Board, which can negotiate with willing landowners to purchase conservation easements or development rights from those landowners who want to protect the most environmentally valuable portions of their land from development. In the past 15 years, Warwick has used this mechanism to preserve over 4,000 acres of open space that might otherwise have been developed.
Volunteers have put in hundreds of hours of hard work on this initiative. Now we are working to inform residents and get out the vote on November 8. Please check out our evolving website at www.voteyesgardiner.org or look for our literature, and remember to vote Yes.
Have you donated?
“A fool and his money are soon parted.” Here is another “Can’t fix stupid” installment:
Post-election fundraising – DOJ reportedly is scrutinizing Trump’s post-defeat fundraising in which he aggressively fundraised off the 2020 election, capitalizing on his supporters’ anger about and refusal to accept his loss. Not only was there a big lie, but there was also a big rip-off.
As a result, Trump is on the receiving end to the tune of around a quarter of a billion “dummy” bucks. Trump doesn’t care about America, as he raised all this money to “Stop the Steal;” he went on to steal the “Stop the Steal” money from monthly small-dollar MAGAt donors. Is the PAC “Save America” a giant slush fund whose fundraising, expenditures and payouts are largely used to cover legal costs to Trump and his coterie of advisers who found themselves in trouble with the law?’ This PAC has shared only a small portion of its bounty with candidates in contested midterm races. Instead, it has hoarded cash or used it to pay firms and groups devoted to helping Mr. Trump, including his own businesses, or to undermining his enemies.
It now appears that he spent more time planning to overthrow the government and stealing from his people than running the government; of course, all this was being done in between his golfing. Don’t tell me he didn’t know exactly what he was doing. It was always about the grift. His followers are and always have been his mark. He declared that he loved the uneducated and it is plain to see why. Are they too stupid to understand, or just maybe these MAGAt idiots are too busy eating all the mystery meat from peach tree dishes?
If I had a nickel for every Trumplican idiot that huckster Trump shucked, I’d have a shitload of nickels. Probably more than I could take to Coinstar in one trip. Well, in their defense, his cult of deplorables claim to be Christian and are a group that has often followed unscrupulous men, to their ultimate regret.
Why would people believe that Trump didn’t siphon off all that cash that was supposed to go towards an election defense fund that never existed? Why wouldn’t anyone not believe that TFG has not defrauded his supporters? The grift goes on for this bloated con man and his family and those elected enablers in the GOP. That is why he is so horrible. We now can surmise that Trump is probably behind the Prince from Nigeria e-mails. Game recognizes game – LOL!
“Don the Con,” as he’s known in New York, has been grifting people out of their money most of his adult life, so no one should be surprised. Whether he’s the president or a businessman, Trump simply can’t escape the temptation of the con. Once a con man always a con, man! The more he lies, the more money he makes. He solicits their $$$ to pay his personal legal bills, failing ventures and fund Herschel Walker-like candidates!
There is an old saying, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me 9,000+ times, then I must be a Trump supporter.” And sadly, America’s democracy has paid a very dear price because of Trump’s continual con-like antics.
Many thanks to Woodstock Library
I recently finished facilitating a six-part reading and discussion series about “Land, Liberty & Loss: Echoes of the American Revolution,” hosted by the Woodstock Library.
We had a great bunch of participants, a first-class guest speaker and lots of deep interest, little prejudging and lots of thoughtful talk and listening to each other. But what made it all a success was the amazing support of the library staff, especially Ivy, Kim, Mae and also their colleagues. It truly could not have happened without their attention and commitment, and I just want to publicly thank them one more time for their hard work and professionalism. We are so lucky to have them in Woodstock!
Kindness, generosity, community spirit
It has been said that volunteers are the wind beneath the wings of any successful community. Recently, many wonderful neighbors helped to present the 18th annual Volunteers’ Day: A Day of Gratitude, which is a thank-you, a valentine from our community to all the volunteers in our town and the Greater Woodstock area. Please join us in thanking the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Volunteers’ Day Committee: Helene Aptekar, Susan Laporte, Britt St. John, Fran Braun, Peggy Fusco, Claire Keith, Alan Gottesman and Ron Van Warmer, whose tireless work helped to provide a very enjoyable honoring of the volunteers. There also was a small army of helpers who came to set up the venue and helped to create a delightful party celebrating the guests of honor.
Britt St. John chaired the Event Management Committee, setting up the venue, picking up the delicious food from the restaurants and helping to serve food all afternoon. Britt also helped to restore the park to pre-event condition. Fran Braun chaired the Food Acquisition Committee responsibilities, with help from Joyce Balsamo and Britt. Fran made sure that all the restaurants (over 30 restaurants) were contacted and that food was arranged for pickup; then she served the food to the volunteers all afternoon. Peggy Fusco helped to turn Andy Lee Field, our community park, into a beautiful party venue. Peggy carried in truckloads of flowers to decorate the stage and the picnic areas. Peggy also brought the Free-Range Singers to entertain the guests of honor and also set up the venue, and provided the hats and crafts booth. Susan LaPorte, our secretary, worked tirelessly to obtain the carloads of supplies needed to put on an event like this and also helped to check in the volunteers and the general public at the entrance table.
Helene Aptekar, our vice president, chaired the Volunteer Outreach Committee, along with Jesse Jones and Claire Keith, who helped to reach out to all the volunteer organizations in the Greater Woodstock area. Claire also helped all afternoon to keep the venue clean and pleasant, so the volunteers could enjoy this day celebrated in their honor. Alan Gottesman helped to set up the event and provided the thank-you signs for the sponsors and donors; in addition, Alan helped with the raffle. Ron Van Warmer helped reach out to all the media in the Hudson Valley region to announce Volunteers’ Day. Ron also worked to pick up the food from many area restaurants with help from Tamara Cooper, our former Board president, Randi Soloman, Jim Robinson, Britt St. John and Whalen Helm.
This year’s Volunteers’ Day: A Day of Gratitude was an outstanding success due to the efforts of many other kind and generous neighbors who helped in addition to the Board of Directors already mentioned. Please also thank Richard Fusco, who managed our Facebook page @ Volunteers’ Day: A Day of Gratitude (please like our site). Richard also worked tirelessly to help set up the event and helped check in the guests of honor and the general public at the entrance table. Steve Granedir for help with keeping the parking lot organized and the drop-off space available, among other things. Barbara O’Brien and Lisa Spinelli, who helped to decorate the tents with ribbons and balloons and spread their delightful community spirit throughout the day. Please also thank Yvonne Sewell, Linda Leeds, Henry Vas Nunes, Katherine Daves for help with setup; Chris Bailey also helped with setup and worked at the food service table all afternoon. Patricia Seminara and Too Tall Todd helped to restore the venue to its previous condition.
All the donors and sponsors deserve to be thanked for their support, but this letter is for all those neighbors who gave up their Saturday to help support Volunteers Day’: Day of Gratitude.
In order to put on a Volunteers’ Day event as these remarkable neighbors did, there are so many critical jobs and tasks which must be accomplished. All of Woodstock is very lucky to have good neighbors and community members like them. All these wonderful people are the wind beneath the wings of the Volunteers’ Day: A Day of Gratitude celebration.
Woodstock is the only town in America that has an event like this in which all volunteers in a community, both current or retired, are thanked, regarded as the guests of honor and treated to a day held in their honor. If anyone would like to be a part of this wonderful community tradition, and join in to help with next year’s celebration, “Many hands make light work.”
See you at the Library Fair
The 65th Elting Memorial Library Fair takes place on Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The huge book sale continues Sunday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Fair is held in the library parking lot, at the corner of North Front and Church streets in New Paltz. Entry to the fair is free, or shop for books as an early bird on Saturday at 8 a.m. for only $10.
• Books, books and more books, plus CDs and DVDs all at bargain prices
• Lots of children’s activities. A bookmark contest by age group with judging at 2 p.m.
• Children’s books and toys
• Raffle with over 100 prizes, including a midweek stay at Mohonk
• A silent auction that is already active online
• Meet our public servants: fire, police, EMS
• Plants, jewelry and food
• Music all day
The library is still accepting donations for toys and games: Drop off in the library’s Steinberg Room during regular library hours. Items must be clean and in working order. Jewelry: Drop off at front desk. For more details and to purchase raffle tickets, go to eltinglibrary.org/libraryfair.
Chair, Elting Memorial Library Fair
Trees, like socialites, dress for the season.
From an article in the Daily Freeman: “Architect Les Walker will be honored during the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild [WBG]’s annual celebration. At the early part of this year, the WBG Board of Directors awarded Les with emeritus status as our historic preservationist for his longstanding dedication to the organization. Walker’s primary interest in Byrdcliffe is the preservation of the historic Byrdcliffe Art Colony buildings.”
One would think that Walker, as an “historic preservationist,” would have as his “primary interest” the design of an addition that complements the Comeau Building, rather than, as his proposed design does, ignores its historic aesthetics.
Midterm elections crucial to maintaining benefits
At long last, drug price relief. I will quote directly from the AARP bulletin, for September 2022. And I quote: “A new law requires Medicare for the first time to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices, and it penalizes those that raise their prices faster than inflation. The law will save hundreds of billions of dollars for seniors, taxpayers and Medicare. Drug companies have for decades raked in record profits by charging Americans three times what people in other countries pay for the same medications. While the big drug companies relied on their high-paid lobbyists, misleading advertising and enormous war chest, we relied on you, what Dr. Andrus called our army of useful citizens: more than eight million actions, such as signing petitions, sending e-mails, writing letters or picking up the phone and calling Congress. Already the drug companies are maneuvering to overturn the law or water it down. But with your continued support, neither will AARP.”
I quoted the AARP, and now I will also quote the NCPSSM: “With the midterm elections just weeks away, and opponents of Social Security and Medicare poised to gain a majority in Congress, it is very clear that your earned benefits could land on the chopping block. Entitlement reform is a must for us. What he really means is cutting your earned benefits, raising the eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare and privatizing these programs. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader, and his allies in Congress have been more concerned about preserving massive tax breaks for their wealthy friends than passing legislation that would help workers and retirees make ends meet at a time of record-high inflation. The wealthiest people in America pay little to no income tax, and they continue to enjoy a windfall from the unpaid-for Trump-GOP tax law passed in 2017.”
There it is, you “ole” prunes, something that this writer has been pushing for the last six years, that is: With Donald Trump and the Republican Party, those benefits we have now are going to disappear. My sister is in a nursing home, no family of her own (not married), no income except for a small death benefit and small Social Security. The cost of maintaining her is enormous, and without Medicaid, another supplement to the Social Security Act of 1933, it will throw my family into an upside-down catastrophic nightmare. Throw in the cancer treatments my wife of 58 years has endured, especially hers for the last ten years, and it is a nightmare never visualized with previous administrations. And this is not just me, boys and girls, but you and everyone paying into Social Security and Medicare.
The midterm elections this November will be crucial to our maintaining our benefits. If we lose the Congress, Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority leader, will push ahead to strip what benefits we have, or at the very least, obstruct the last two years until Biden’s term in office is over.
I’m fearful that if Donald Trump runs again and gets reelected, our way of life as we have experienced since FDR is over. We will be back to the days of pre-Hoover with the capitalists in charge.
The seniors in this country are the largest and the most active, with voting power over 70 percent. There is enough voting muscle to change the dance these tap dancers dance to.
Winston Farm public hearing
The Town Board in Saugerties hears comment from the public on the Winston Farm Development this Wednesday, September 21 at 6 p.m. in the Frank Greco Senior Center. Here are my questions and concerns I urge them to consider as part of the public session:
Water: How much is really available from the aquifer? If Saugerties declared a water crisis after only two to three months of little rain (confirming our reserve water supply is limited) should we really be building a large development that will consume hundreds of thousands of gallons?
If wells in the immediate area of Winston Farm are running dry, as is the case currently, if the water crisis in Saugerties was identified ten years ago and if there are no other viable sources of water for the area, why would a massive development directly above the aquifer even be under consideration?
Shouldn’t the water from that aquifer first be secured for the existing residents of the Village and the Town, rather than being provided to an entirely new development, compromising current residents?
Shouldn’t all development of more than a handful of homes be frozen in Saugerties until and if the water-supply issues can be remedied?
Shouldn’t two to three independent hydrology reports be commissioned to accurately assess how much water supply is actually available from the aquifer as a baseline to any conversation about water in Saugerties? Shouldn’t a reserve buffer amount then be applied to the amount of water believed to be available?
Shouldn’t any consideration for zoning changes for Winston Farm be contingent upon the Village being granted a wellhead on the site and a significant number of daily/annual gallons of water guaranteed to the Village on a priority basis?
Only last in the process should any water be provided to any development at Winston Farm –certainly not as a first priority.
Local road construction and ongoing traffic related to the Winston Farm project: Embedded in the scoping document are references to using several roads as construction vehicle corridors, including but not limited to Route 32, Route 212, Augusta Savage Road, Mower Mill Road, Hommelville, Northwoods, Lodge and Buffalo Road (which can only be accessed via Lodge Road/Hommelville Road and Harry Wells Road).
It’s critical to understand that in order for caravans of dump trucks and heavy equipment trailers to access these roads, they are traveling to these roads via other connecting roads, many of which are single-lane and in semirural, quiet residential areas. Specifically, Hommelville, Lodge, Northwoods and Buffalo are all single to no more than 1.5-lane, winding, hilly roads that are heavily wooded on both sides. None are accommodating to construction vehicles, which regularly hit telephone lines and low branches as well as preventing oncoming cars’ passage.
Allowing any access to Winston Farm on any of these roads during construction or once complete is unacceptable due to the severe impact on the quality of life to homeowners on these roads. Years of heavy construction trucks and/or use by residents of Winston Farm will cause irreparable and unacceptable levels of noise, dust and traffic, severely impacting home values as a result.
The planned development of several estate homes on the end of Buffalo Road and Northwoods/Jeep Trail Road should be denied and no access whatsoever to the site from Hommelville, Northwoods, Buffalo and Lodge should be granted. Further, no development on the heavily wooded and hilly western and northern sides of the site should be allowed due to construction noise, clearcutting and wildlife displacement that will be required.
Additionally, the extensive infrastructure and paving required to support development on the western and northern sides will be complicated, expensive and disruptive to the site and the surrounding areas (water, sewer, gas, electric, roads, lighting, access et cetera).
All access to the site should be limited to Route 32, Route 212 and via existing access points off of these roads. Development should be contained to the parts of the site that border these roads only, for the reasons outlined above.
I respectfully urge the board to take an extremely conservative and pragmatic approach to approving plans for Winston Farm by focusing on our current needs for our residents – and our children – and preserving the tranquil, scenic beauty of our area, its water, people and wildlife.
Your decision should not be driven by any sense of obligation to ensure a financial return to the owners of the development. This calculation is solely their responsibility and is a business risk inherent in their decision to purchase the property and its known limitations at the time of purchase.
The Town Board’s decisions and thought processes should only be driven by doing what’s right and what’s best for the current and future residents of Saugerties and the surrounding area. You have the opportunity to do something great for Saugerties and the surrounding area by limiting the scope of this development and protecting our resources!
New Paltz’s wrestling tradition
New Paltz parents, you have an incredibly valuable opportunity for your school-aged girls and boys. Our community has a decades-long esteemed wrestling tradition with amazing and generous coaches. Your kids will build physical and psychological muscle that they’ll be able to draw upon for the rest of their lives.
Encourage your kids to wrestle this 2022/23 winter season. Keep your eye out for the wrestling club for elementary school ages and the middle school and high school teams.
Cancer fight a top priority, Woodstock to DC
Last week, I was honored to represent New York on Capitol Hill. Along with roughly 600 of my fellow American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from across the country, I traveled to Washington, DC to urge lawmakers to make cancer a national priority.
Together, we called on Congress to support lifesaving policies that help people prevent and treat cancer. We asked legislators for their support in increasing federal funding for cancer research and prevention, and to support increasing the diversity of those enrolled in clinical trials.
I had the opportunity to sit down with staff from Senator Schumer’s and Senator Gillibrand’s offices and tell them that cancer isn’t partisan; it touches every community. I also let them know that New York residents and many others across the country rely on them to support legislation that will help reduce the cancer burden and protect our communities.
With about 1,670 people dying from cancer daily, we must take legislative action on these crucial issues. Congress should seize the opportunity to pass critical, bipartisan legislation to help save lives and end cancer as we know it.
I encourage you to join us, giving us a stronger and louder voice in the fight against cancer. Visit fightcancer.org to be connected to people like me in your community.
Sandi Cassese RN, MSN, CNS
Immediate past president, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Abortion issues in our politics have spawned vast moral confusion in America. This, in my mind, is the primary reason it’s a political agenda. Chaos is a tool to prevent obvious other critical issues from being seen or getting airtime. Confusion has allowed politicians to lie in our faces without encountering significant responses. Disorder, the sister of confusion, helps to undermine trust and truth, which we need when seeking clarity. Unfortunately, we become worn down by chaos, and the end behavior becomes throwing issues into the corner and hoping someone else may solve them.
Professional confusers know turmoil often feels like our fault for not paying enough attention or misunderstanding the information. In today’s communication world, with its ever-changing new equipment, codes, passwords and endless online scams, we face many difficulties, from starting our car to the checkout in the shopping center. Here are terms I found on Google: information overflow, infobesity, intoxication, information anxiety and information explosion — all hold a degree of what I am trying to say.
This is how we communicate in today’s world. No inquiring phone call has a human being on the other end of the phone who might be able to hear in our voice what we need. What we need is someone to listen to us.
Confusion has evolved into a criminal art form where consummate liars have spent their ten-thousand hours becoming a master of their craft. The expert confuser even knows how to create chaos without using words by showing photos that mislead and creating emotional events that distract attention from those attempting to deliver facts.
I’ve allowed the excuse that I am an old man who did not grow up with an iPhone in his hand to explain my confusion. I feel like I am an antique communicator who believes in body language, tone of voice and eye contact to inform me. I don’t know how to keep a repetitive google message off my screen other than throwing a pipe wrench at it. But, I know how to frame a house, put in all the plumbing, pour concrete, build and shingle a roof, dig a ditch, do basic wiring and fix most things that break in our household.
I don’t think the epidemic of bewilderment has much to do with intelligence. The secondary gain of confusion is that if we remain confused, it becomes a way to not follow our instincts; if we did what we felt, we’d then have to explain why we did it. Our befuddlement is like the curtain the Wizard of Oz hid behind. Most of us ignore we are animals, yet we know animals stay alive using their instincts.
Our computers have taken the place of our mouths. But, it’s taking us a long time to understand that the machine has no more heart and soul than a car. I know computers fly and kill our enemies, tell the weather and predict earthquakes. But, we keep trying to put love into the metal box with the computer, and it keeps crawling out, looking for someone to actually talk with.
An unfair raise for home care workers
On October 1, thousands of home care workers under state Medicaid are due to receive a $2-an-hour raise. They will then earn $17 an hour downstate and $15.20 an hour elsewhere.
But will the home care agencies they work for receive enough to manage the increase? That’s not quite clear. The state will release the funding to private insurance firms, but allows them to decide how much money to keep, and how much to send to home care agencies. Some agencies could be so badly squeezed they might close their doors.
Even with the pay bump, admit it: this ain’t much. Especially for a job so critical and demanding, and in the face of a home care worker shortage so severe, it is a true crisis.
A budget measure called the Fair Pay for Home Care Act was passed with bipartisan support in both the State Senate and Assembly earlier this year. But Governor Hochul and her budget people killed it in favor of granting small pay raises.
Fair Pay would have meant a 150% increase over regional minimum wages, so up to $22.50 an hour: enough to provide a living wage, help retain and attract workers, and with a strict enforcement mechanism.
Fair Pay for Home Care will be back this coming year, and it must pass. People with disabilities and seniors desperately want to stay in their own homes and stay out of nursing homes. Fair Pay will help make that possible.
So many of us have stories to tell. Your voice matters. Call or email your state legislators and the Governor. Let them know how much Fair Pay for Home Care would mean for you or a loved one. Learn more about this fight at the New York Caring Majority site.
Voices from the past
Kudos to the Woodstock Historical Society and all who presented “ Voices from the Past.” It was both informative and delightful. So creatively did they weave together stories of Woodstock individuals from the 1700s up to World War 2. Well acted and well done, with the laughter and tears of the times. The haunting fiddle music of “Ashokan Farewell” was perfect. Thank you!
Really, it doesn’t
Electric bicycles are motorcycles and what laws for Harley Davidson Hogs should equally apply to these new, NOT green bikes.
They ride on sidewalks, weave through long, long lines of traffic crawling somewhere, coming from attractions designed to create traffic. In New Paltz they are on the R2R Trail!
If Greenies mean it, why does New Paltz host so many “drive here” events? Is the R2R Trail parking lot filled with locals, or good people we have attracted to drive miles to get here?
It is great seeing that cowboy on a horse, but his mustang is a hay-burner, not a kilowatt guzzler!
I have lived in Woodstock for over 32 years. I own my own home and do not own a short-term rental. I am a property manager for short-term rentals, overseeing several STRs in and around Woodstock. I have plenty of clients and turn new business away often, so what I say next is not about personal gain.
Since I have been doing this work for over ten years, I’ve made some observations. For example, the majority of folks wanting to rent their homes are second-home owners, not companies purchasing multiple houses to make a killing. Most of my clients are families in their middle 30s to 50s who want to spend time up here but need to rent their homes out to defray costs. Since by town rules owners can only rent for less than half the year — a maximum of 180 days — these homes are clearly residential and not commercial ventures.
A significant number of my clients eventually move up here full-time, but some of them have sold their houses for various reasons. Here is what I have observed about the new owners:
• As there are no new permits available for STRs in Woodstock, the new owners must be wealthy enough not to need to rent their houses out to defray costs.
• These houses now sit empty the vast majority of the time.
• Therefore, no one is spending money in and around town. Only the most basic services regularly continue — the electric company and the fuel companies make money on these houses while local businesses and service people do not.
As a property manager at my level, I need assistance. So, it turns out that I provide the means by which the following people earn the majority of their income:
• Five cleaners.
• Three part-time assistants.
• A handyman/contractor who used to work alone and now requires a minimum of three additional employees at all times.
And this list does not include the innumerable other service people such as electricians, plumbers, lawn/snow maintenance people and repair people whose services are necessitated by the use of these rentals.
I have seen that short-term rentals can be good neighbors if they are managed properly. And it seems clear that it’s better overall to have people using these second homes than it is to have them sitting empty. I do hope that the arbitrarily low cap on STRs can be raised so that the not-so-rich people can continue to own these second homes rather than having them sell to even wealthier owners. The latter only takes us in the opposite direction from where we are trying to go.
Fire facts, 911 and the truth
Fact: open-air fires, called an “uncontrolled burn,” cannot melt steel like what happened at ground zero on September 11, 2001. A “controlled burn” is where oxygen is injected into the fire causing it to reach much higher temperatures, like in a foundry where steel is made molten. The fires of 911 were uncontrolled burns and could not have brought any of the steel to a molten state, which abundant video evidence documents. The ignition fuel of the 911 fires in the North and South Towers was jet fuel, which is refined kerosene. Does your kerosene stove melt when you make a fire in it for hours on end? Does a propane stove, that makes a hotter fire than kerosene stove, melt its steel grates?
A 2011 high-rise building fire report by the National Fire Protection Association stated that there is an average of 110 high-rise fires a year in steel-framed buildings over 13 stories tall. Between 2005 and 2009 there were 550 serious high-rise building fires in steel-framed buildings and none of them collapsed due to fires. In 1974 in Sao Palo, Brazil, a high-rise building caught fire and burned twice as long as the WTC did and did not collapse. In 1988 in LA, California, the First Interstate Bank building burned for three-and-a-half hours and did not collapse. In 2009, the Manadarin Oriental Hotel high-rise building in China burned for six hours and did not collapse. In 2013, Chechnia’s tallest building burned for seven hours and did not collapse. In 2004, the tallest high-rise building in Karakis, Venezuela burned for 17 hours and did not collapse. In 1991 in Philadelphia, the One Meridian Plaza high-rise building burned for 18 hours and did not collapse.
These building were roaring infernos, totally engulfed in flames, yet they did not collapse, as their steel-framed structures were not compromised by fire and are still in use today. Meanwhile, the WTC buildings were not totally engulfed in flames like the buildings just mentioned, as the fires were limited to the planes’ impact zones and most of the building was left unburned till they collapsed. These buildings were considered the strongest buildings in the world at the time and were a construction marvel, yet Tower #1 and Tower #2 collapsed in only one hour due to random fires according to the official narrative. In one day at the WTC Complex, two 110-story steel-framed buildings (#1 & #2) and one 47-story steel-framed building (#7), collapsed while accelerating through the path of greatest resistance in seconds (12, 12 and 6) when no steel-framed buildings in the history of the world has ever collapsed due to fires. For video footage of fires mentioned, view Anatomy of a Great Deception 12:27 to 14:23 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Q5eZhCPuc&t=862s).
Thirty-five hundred architects and engineers affirm fires did not bring down WTC buildings #1, #2 and #7, controlled demolition did, as the forensic evidence documents (https://www.ae911truth.org/evidence/evidence-overview). The official story is a fabricated myth covering for a covert operation.
A truly pathetic pile of foul accusations
I read, with revulsion, the “satirical representation” authored recently by Rebecca B. Wilk of Woodstock and published in the paper. She purports to support “women’s rights to defend their own lives” while claiming to neither advocate nor promote abortion. Rather than provide any information about any step taken by herself or anyone else to defend the lives of women, she makes a litany of accusations of her idea of wicked ideas/actions she believes typical of pro-life men and women.
Her claims include that we will gladly kill your sisters and daughters, love the smell of blood, won’t pay taxes, desire to see women punished, delight in the impregnation of children, don’t believe rape victims, don’t recognize illness, won’t assist women who miscarry, laugh at the dead and dying, support the gun killing of children, support wars overseas just for the killing of children, exploit the environment and delight in death penalty executions.
What an ugly and repulsive diatribe. In addition to being completely absent of any cogent or compelling case for her position, she has unbelievable gall to assume that every person who rejects abortion must also share all other unflattering and evil characteristics she lists.
Maybe she can make an attempt to support her own position with some measurable facts or even a sympathetic argument? Or is it supposed to be good enough to hurl a pile of foul accusations to win the day? Truly pathetic.