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.
Quoth the Terramor nevermore!
Perhaps our beautiful, green Mid-Hudson Valley is too beautiful for its own good, for even developers, some of whom apparently consider the green of a dollar the highest form of beauty, can’t help but notice.
Why else are they attempting to foist on us huge projects which will do nothing but despoil the Valley’s charm and beauty, which will result in the loss of flora and fauna and clean air and water and wetlands and endangered species and peaceful quiet and congestion-free roads and many of our other treasures?
In blatant disregard of these treasures for the many, these developers are hungry to put treasure in the already deep pockets of the few — themselves. As a result, our neighborhood has suddenly become a hotbed of development, including 850 Route 28, 530 Route 28, Winston Farm and other projects.
One of the most brazen break-ins into our home is the “glamping,” or luxury camping, project called Terramor, which would consist of 75 plush tents on 77 presently pristine acres on the Saugerties-Woodstock border, with an entrance along Route 212 by the South Peak Veterinary Hospital and possibly one on Glasco Turnpike.
Space does not permit me to go into the gory details — the exact ways in which Terramor would compromise the lives of every single Saugerties and Woodstock resident or the various deceits that have accompanied the proposal’s promotion; much of this information is public record and available online, including on the Citizens Against Terramor Facebook page.
And much of this information will be available at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, when the Saugerties Planning Board will hold a public information session on Terramor in the Saugerties Senior Center, at 207 Market Street. We’ll even have an opportunity to be heard.
Whether we speak out or not at this meeting, let’s all residents of Saugerties and Woodstock raise our voices as one and shout down this locals-be-damned land grab. Let’s join forces this Tuesday and beyond, so that soon we’ll all be able to say, “Quoth the Terramor Nevermore!”
Poor Neil, our energizer TDS bunny
Neil Jarmel’s obsession with Trump continues to be mind boggling. How does he completely focus on a man who hasn’t been President for two years, yet totally ignore commenting on the current president who’s done more damage to our country in two years than any president has ever done in a four- or eight-year term, even Jimmy Carter? Neil says Trump is “headed down the path to becoming irrelevant.” For anyone focusing on today’s problems and living in the present real world, Trump has already been irrelevant for two years.
When Trump was relevant and before the pandemic, he engineered a record economy with never-before-seen stock market achievements as well as record unemployment numbers, especially for blacks and hispanics. He was standing up to China as no other president had ever done. He actually enforced our immigration laws while striking deals with Mexico to prevent the vast majority of immigrants who were not legally entitled to asylum, from entering our country illegally. He was genuinely concerned with and protecting our national security.
Biden, on the other hand, is directly responsible for many significant political gaffes. He intentionally stripped us of our energy independence by crippling our still-critical fossil fuel needs, knowing full well that there were no “green new deal” energy substitutes anywhere near being tested, proven and immediately available to be introduced as legitimate and viable energy sources, with only 3% of Americans owning electric vehicles (EV’s) and only 15% of Americans even being able to afford an EV. He recklessly and intentionally opened our southern border for the sole purpose of soliciting future Democratic voters for generations to come, while at the same time not caring, in the least, about the illegal drugs, felons and terrorists he was welcoming into our country. In the two years of his extremely weak presidency, there are already nearly 1,000,000 illegal “gotaways” in our country, with two more years of this gross negligence yet to unfold. Will these illegal gotaways have the best interests of our country at heart? Apparently, unlike the rest of us, Neil has no problem with this real threat to our democracy and country, as he continues to remain silent.
And, we didn’t even get into Biden’s total indifference for the lives of Americans, our deceased and surviving military and Afghani partners who helped us for 20 years who were left behind in his colossally incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan. And, how about our corrupt FBI and DOJ, aided and abetted by such buffoons as VP Harris, AG Merrick Garland and “border enforcer” Alejandro Mayorkas, just to name a few?
Considering all of the above, Neil, in his severely dysfunctional TDS bubble, incredibly still wants us to believe that Trump is the “clear and present danger to democracy and the United States” while Biden gets off with a complete free pass on everything. Obviously, and surely against his beliefs, Neil does need our prayers!
As a side note, with Neil’s obvious command of the English language, the puzzling question arises. Why does Neil suddenly need to spiral down into the gutter with his x-rated school yard expletives? Even though Neil thinks it puts an explanation point on his views, most readers would say, in disappointment, that Neil’s “style” is a major detractor.
John N. Butz
Curious courts Part I
In 2013, I made a complaint to the New York Department of Public Service (“DPS”), the regulating agency of utilities, against Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, (“CenHud”).
My DPS complaint, had to do with CenHud terminating my electrical service in 2013 and keeping me without electrical service for six years because I wouldn’t accept a smart meter. It didn’t matter that we had medical reasons for needing an accommodation of an analog meter, CenHud adamantly refused.
That was the back-story of my arguments before multiple courts. The arguments expanded as I learned more and uncovered fraud in the process of litigation. The DPS complaint was made over the phone in few brief calls with the DPS Office of Consumer Affairs (“OCS”). They presented themselves as being there for us and allegedly trying to help us by doing an “investigation,” which was absolutely not the case. They never informed us that we should have a lawyer when speaking over the phone to the OCS, or spoke with anyone else other than CenHud, who are their alleged “experts.” It became apparent that the OCS administrative procedures are set up to protect the utility, not the public. So, be aware, if you ever need to file a complaint about your utility, the DPS and its OCS, are a captured agency of the utilities. They worked hand in glove to keep us without electricity instead of helping us protect the right to have a simple $20 analog meter, like all my former eight neighbors still have ten years later. I did file a formal complaint to Ulster County Supreme Court, presided over at that time by the now retired Justice Christopher E. Cahill. That Court alleged that I already litigated my case with the DPS/OSC, citing the legal doctrine of “collateral estoppels.” The problem with that is for that legal doctrine to be invoked by a litigant there must have been “actual litigation” in a “quasi-judicial” setting with the elements of due process to have a “preclusive effect.” Also there must have been a “full and fair opportunity to litigate.” Multiple case law from the higher courts affirm [Zimmerman v Tower Ins. Co. of N.Y. (2004 1st Dept.); Jeffrey’s v. Griffin (N.Y. Court of Appeals 2003); Stega v New York Downtown Hosp.(N.Y. Court of Appeals 20180]. The latter case law from the highest court in New York states very clearly as follows:
“That it was an official governmental investigation conducted by a regulatory agency does not by itself make it a quasi-judicial function”
Obviously a few brief phone calls with the OCS, in no way can be considered “actual litigation” as there was no prior litigation made with proposed claims on court papers that I signed. Curiously ex-Judge Cahill, set the stage that I have been trying to undo as it would hamper all my efforts to receive due justice by making that erroneous determination of collateral estoppel having effect.
To be continued…….
Stephen P. Romine
Amnesty letters together make a difference
This past December members of our community gathered for Amnesty International Mid-Hudson (AIMH)’s annual virtual global Write for Rights event on Zoom for the third year in a row.
Thank you to all the community members who joined our chapter members to write letters for the ten cases that had been selected democratically by AI members. We joined hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, all writing letters on behalf of these prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders.
We contributed 200 letters as part of the largest human rights letter-writing event in the world. All our letters together will make a difference where prisoners have been freed as a result of our combined efforts worldwide.
There is still time to write letters. Write one letter. Write ten letters. This link has the ten letters to be copied along with the addressee on the top left of the letter. It is more effective to hand copy the letter than print it digitally. Here are the ten letters and addressees:
What to do with your letter. There are two options. First option: Nine of the letters require $1.40 postage each which you could consider a donation by paying for the stamps and mailing the letters. Also contact Diana Zuckerman at email@example.com or 845-389-3779 for questions and/or tell her by noon January 29 how many letters you wrote for our AIMH chapter count. Second option: Contact Diana at these same links to arrange giving her your letters with postage to be paid by AIMH. Please do this before January 21 so there is time for her to get your letters to mail overseas and will also have the count. Thank you for considering writing these letters. Every letter counts! Join us!
To learn more about each case go to http://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/write-for-rights/#takeaction.
If you would like join our chapter to support our efforts to fight for social justice year-round, we meet the third Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. on Zoom. For more information, contact Diana at the links above.
Thank you to Hudson Valley One for the excellent coverage.
Amnesty International Mid-Hudson Chapter
Our children and guns
Culture is defined as “the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions that are passed down from generation to generation.” In 2022 there were 639 mass shooting incidents (defined as four or more people shot in a single incident, excluding the shooter). Guns are the leading cause of death of children. In 2022 more than 6,000 children were injured or killed in shootings.
On January 13 near Newport News, VA a six-year-old shot a teacher with a handgun. According to Police Chief Steve Drew, “this was not an accidental shooting.” How did a six-year-old have access to a loaded gun? Who taught this child how to fire a gun? Who groomed this first grader to believe it was okay to shoot a teacher they didn’t like?
There are at least ten gun shops within 20 miles of Newport News and 14 gun shops within 20 miles of Pine Bush, NY. Why so many? Supply and demand? Why the demand? Is it due to the ever-present hate and fear rhetoric? Why has it become an honor to own so many weapons that homes literally have arsenals? Is America’s gun fetish fueled by a massive propaganda campaign conducted by certain organizations for profit and power?
Who is promoting extreme beliefs and institutions in regards to guns? They are influencing our children and grandchildren. Responsible leaders in a civilized culture actively work to curb what and who is contributing to the unwarranted deaths and injuries of its citizens. Why isn’t this happening in America?
Stories of sheer bullshit
With one foot on the banana peel, his résumé may be largely fiction, but maybe he’s trying to fit in with the other politicians, especially those in his political caucus — is that so wrong? Yeah!
Here’s what I don’t get… If it’s discovered that I lied on my job application, I am terminated (aka fired) immediately! So why is it different for an elected official?
When a person runs for political office, they are asking John q. Public (you and I) for money to fund their campaign, right? And we donate to their candidacy based on who they tell us they are…education, work history and at times their racial background and religious beliefs. In Santos’ case he lied about ALL FOUR!
Lying, cheating and spreading disinformation is the stock-in-trade for the Republican Party. They’re not even waiting until they’re in office; GOP operatives are already lying before their foot is in the door!
George Santos is a disgrace to the GOP. Santos is a weasel, but that’s what the MAGAt Republicans like about him. Damn, “see no evil, hear no evil, BUT show no problem speaking evil with lies.” When he mentions I’m not a criminal, he’s testing the “saying the quiet part out loud” phase of GOP leadership. Since when is someone who purposefully lied and ran on his fake resume, not a criminal? So, we should believe he’s not a criminal because he’s telling the truth about his guilt?
If this is not illegal, strict ethics laws on defrauding voters need to be implemented immediately. If what Santos did is illegal, enforce the law and prosecute him.
Unfortunately, known liars are welcomed into the Republican Party with open arms, whereas known criminals like Trump are compared to God. Could this new sleazy character be TFG’s running mate 2024?
As a Harvard and Yale educated doctor, lawyer and astronaut who helped Thomas Edison invent the light bulb, I have little patience with people who lie about their credentials.
What I would like to know is why nobody bothered even running him through “Been Verified” before the election. Yeah, he needs to be made to leave. He shouldn’t get to choose to resign; he should be kicked out. This is unacceptable. I’m sickened as a Republican. I want him out!!!!!
However, when you really think about it, aren’t we all a little Jew-ish? And Ir-ish on St. Patrick’s Day? And Dan-ish when we are eating pastry? Investigate this piece of crap, now! Did he really say, “I’m Jew-ish?
A drag, hump, groovy, weatherman, fer sure
When I saw my first tee-shirted, braless woman, it turned me on. Tune in, drop out. Drifting off to sleep, my hunting buddy had been talking about his wife, slowly ending with “it’s a drag, man, it’s a drag.”
Years later, they divorced. In boot camp we humped miles straining in the heat. In Albany, a whole lot of cool kids humped, stoned and joyful. Anybody do any of that now? Some people could not say a thought without “groovy,” while others could not respond without “fersure.”
All that is the harmless, continuous creation of language. When the weathermen talk about climate change, a lot more consistency of word-meaning is called for. Not Fauci science. The real, still very limited stuff. It’s OK that we have not figured it all out yet.
Ardent protectors of Earth circa 2300 have no clue about most of the components of weather. ‘Barometric pressure’ would hurt their little gray cells to explain. The role of the Van Allen Belt? While overwhelmingly critical to our lives and weather is mostly meaningless to the growing Tesla mob that is chipping away at our right to take a vacation.
“Existential Risk!” The battle cry of the Dems last presidential primary was attached within a breath to “climate change” in seemingly every speech. Not so much now with NY Senator Schumer leading the Senate. He’s the guy who called Senator Gillibrand “our little cutie” when she replaced Senator Clinton, who went on to lie about the death of our Ambassador in Benghazi while standing over his casket.
Different rules for the rich and powerful. It’s a drag, man.
Before you buy your EV, see about the life-cycle of those batteries. Kids’ lives are at stake in mines. Not groovy. Did you call cops pigs? You learned better, right? The science of EVs
stinks. But science is interesting. Try it!
A gloved, masked nurse holds a new vaccine as I enter the lands of the pandemic. He waits to poke my flesh while I confront my fear of pain and dying.
It’s become hard to allow hope to return after all the death I have witnessed in the past two years. Over a million Americans a year are dying of Covid. My memories of how I was before the pandemic interferes with the stillness I’ve cultivated in isolation. The pandemic has become a catalyst that helps me find my inner self. The lack of distraction in my isolated daily life has been replaced by contemplating living and dying in ways I never had the calm to imagine. The volume of my internal dialogue has been turned up and I have begun to listen.
In my twenties as a combat Marine in the Vietnam War, I did not expect to live. However, in the last days before returning home, many new dimensions of thought came about what I’d do if I did live. What I am writing about now awakens me from this same place. I then promised myself that if I lived, I would tell how I got made into a killing machine.
The pandemic is different from fighting an unjust War. Nature is not my enemy, yet she is taking life. Nature brought me into this world. She provides everything I need to exist, including the lessons being taught now by the pandemic. Unfortunately, ignoring nature is now a dominant mindset. Nature is delivering excruciating lessons to awaken us to the fact we are the alfa killer of all animals, including each other.
My conversation with my inner self has become about deciding when and how I will risk my life. I have no control but to mask and isolate. I am learning that every new vaccination triggers my imagination to see myself heading out the front door back into the rat race where folks tell me who I am so I don’t have to figure it out inside myself.
My internal dialogue right now is about being “vaccination-safe.” I see friends and family gathering, no masks and returning to what they knew as the status quo. Why do so many folks know there is danger in eating out, attending family functions and elbowing up to folks who believe the pandemic is not real? The reply inside myself is that my need to answer this question is not a path for me that will help. It is nothing more than another distraction from me going inside myself to roam the vast untraveled plains or climbing the magnificent mountains of emotion and meeting the unique characters within that I’ve spent my life walking past.
Today, I shall descend my basement stairs into a world of salamanders living under the oil tank. Shadows of bamboo shaking in the wind came through the narrow basement windows. The background music from my imagination will set the tone for an afternoon of making a talking stick to give as medication to those to whom no one listens.
We all have inner selves that need listening. So when you find yours, be gentle.
A good idea for a reality TV show: Out-of-work celebrities buying peaches.
Choose a New Kingston ward map
The City of Kingston, like other municipalities, is redrawing its current ward maps to align with 2020 census data on local population changes. Every ten years, according to the City’s Charter, the Council must remap Kingston’s nine wards to ensure an equitable population distribution within each ward.
There are two alternative plans up for consideration by the Common Council, and residents of the city are invited to offer their opinions at a public hearing this week.
I prefer Plan C because it is the most comprehensive in creating new wards based on demographic changes that occurred over the past ten years. Plan C will amplify the voices of the City’s communities and enhance representation for like-minded neighborhoods, rather than attempt to keep current ward boundaries.
Take a look at the plan options and voice your opinion on Thursday, January 12 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Two new ward maps (Plan A and Plan C) will be considered by the public and by the Kingston Common Council. View them at https://engagekingston.com/redistricting. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I urge the Common Council to vote in favor of Plan C. You may, too.
Appreciation to the Mohonk Preserve
Just wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Mohonk Preserve, Inc., its wonderful staff and long dedicated Board of Directors, for delivering the Testimonial Gateway project to the community. The beautiful Pin Oak Alle , new parking area and the connection to the River-to-Ridge trail all serve to create a significant recreational asset that is well utilized and appreciated by many. Thanks!
Shades of the broken watch
Will Woodstock Town Supervisor McKenna be able to give examples of “the precedents in the past where the town and various entities got together and did share costs, more commonly defending lawsuits?” This is the answer that he gave for the cost-sharing of fees paid to Andrew Campanelli in response to Councilmember Bennet Ratcliff’s belief that the town should pay all of Campanelli’s fees.
Hey Neil, Joe Biden is the POTUS!
In his letter “Be there. Will be wild” Neil Jarmel wants to hold a former POTUS accountable for past actions. However, despite an unprecedented border crisis of his creation, numerous questionable policy decisions and possible influence peddling, as suggested by Hunter Biden’s laptop emails and public testimony, Mr. Jarmel has never written a word about holding Joe Biden accountable. Indeed, because of his silence in this regard, it seems Neil is an election denier since he keeps writing as if Trump’s still POTUS. And despite the Mueller and other investigations over the past six years (which resulted in two impeachments), Neil is eager for more of the same. With this in view, perhaps conservatives would be willing to have the honest policy debates Neil has proposed, if Neil was as eager to hold Joe Biden as accountable for his words and deeds as he is (and will always be) to hold Donald Trump and Republican voters. Despite his silence about Biden accountability, unlike Neil, I will not (strangely) threaten sexual intercourse against Mr. Jarmel’s quietude as he did for any silence Civile and Butz might have regarding further Trump investigations. (See Neil’s “Be there. Will be Wild!” in which he wrote “F*** your [Civile/Butz] silence.”)
( A tribute to Neil Jarmel inspired by “Bette Davis Eyes”)
His propaganda’s bold:
it makes false fears arise
His tales are always told
with specious alibis
He’ll turn his pen upon you
he tries to sound so wise
but it’s just all for show
He tells real deceptive lies
Claims he’s for Joe; and adores Joe
but he’d rather just ignore Joe
calculations rule his actions
divides people into factions
he sees the world through biased eyes
while he tells deceptive lies
He acts like he’s so kind
it helps him in his fight
you’ll think he’s of sound of mind
while his mind creates bad alibis
He’ll load you down with words,
when he writes his replies
He’ll say he loves the truth;
while he tells deceptive lies
He’ll accuse you; to confuse you
for his goal’s to, disabuse you:
he’s suspicious so malicious
makes his old song seem brand new:
He seeks to strengthen his woke ties
by telling woke deceptive lies
He’ll strike you with bad words
that are so full of pride
He’s first to throw a stone
from a glass-house tall and wide
He tries to write with charm:
but charm can’t hide his guile
He hopes to gain the edge
with misleading words that reek of bile
He’ll fool you; just to rule you
with words that are cruel to you:
he’ll grieve you; won’t believe you
his goal is to deceive you
He wears blinders on his eyes
as he tells so many lies
His TDS is real
it cannot be denied
He always makes a fuss
if you’re not on his side
He uses profane words;
bad logic to disguise
He claims to love the truth
but his truths are merely lies
Don’t ban tools farmers need
It’s been another tough year for U.S. farmers. From supply chain hassles and higher costs stemming from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, to increased drought and torrential storms brought about by climate change, trying to keep their crops healthy and businesses going has been a challenge to say the least. The extreme worker shortages also make for long, hard hours for those left to tend the fields and animals.
Many have closed up shop. Others are hanging on by a thread.
And despite all this, many of our farmers are supplying local food banks free of charge with nutritious products for those who are food insecure. And to be sure, the need has never been greater.
But our farmers are also in need of lifelines. Along with the challenges mentioned above, year after year they are beset by bills in legislatures across the northeast that seek to ban scientifically vetted pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural practices that our farmers rely on. Thanks to activists, the words pesticides and herbicides have become demonized for no good reason. The EPA has a rigorous testing process for these tools. In fact, these products are some of the most regulated in the world. If they don’t pass muster, they don’t make it to market. One has to ask, what is the point of having a group of scientists test and vet products if we don’t listen to their conclusions?
Farmers need pesticides and herbicides to control invasive species, fungi, plant disease and rot which all threaten crop health. Most are using precision farming techniques which identify the parts of the crops that are in jeopardy of failing. In turn, this allows them to use less and less of these products by targeting only the area of the crop that needs help.
We don’t ban approved medicines that can treat diseases. The same logic should apply to agricultural products.
We know that lawmakers are well-intentioned. But they must listen to the science and to national and state regulatory bodies charged with licensing these biotech products. It’s critical that we ensure farmers have all the tools necessary to grow healthy crops with high yields.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), America imports 24 percent of our fruits and vegetables. An analysis by experts at U.C. Davis shows even higher numbers — roughly 66 percent of fresh fruit and 33 percent of fresh vegetables. We’ve seen a sharp increase in those imports during the last few years and all predictions say the percentages will continue to rise.
While the globalization of food imports means we can enjoy certain foods unable to be grown in the U.S., we must simultaneously protect farmers who grow foods on U.S. soil.
To ban pesticides and herbicides that are on the market is destructive to the viability of our farmers and will damage our ability to produce enough food. It will also stifle future innovations.
We hope that in the upcoming legislative sessions, lawmakers will follow the science and act in the best interest of their farming constituents for the good of the industry and, quite frankly, for the good of consumers.