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.
Hudson Valley One welcomes letters from its readers. Letters should be fewer than 300 words and submitted by noon on Monday. Our policy is to print as many letters to the editor as possible. As with all print publications, available space is determined by ads sold. If there is insufficient space in a given issue, letters will be approved based on established content standards. Points of View will also run at our discretion.
Although Hudson Valley One does not specifically limit the number of letters a reader can submit per month, the publication of letters written by frequent correspondents may be delayed to make room for less-often-heard voices, but they will all appear on our website at hudsonvalleyone.com. All letters should be signed and include the author’s address and telephone number.
Twenty years of celebrating the Earth
This year marks 20 years of celebrating Earth Day at the Reformed Church of New Paltz, 92 Huguenot Street. The Earth Day Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Flags of countries around the world will be on display. The theme of the day is “The Ten Commitments: a Pathway to Sustainability.” Come to this family-friendly event to learn how to get off fossil fuels, increase the efficiency of your home, talk with electric car owners and energy experts and learn the difference between wish-cycling and recycling. Bring plastic films (grocery bags, bread bags, bubble wrap) to support Gardiner Library’s Bag to Bench challenge. Trex, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking products, will repurpose plastic bags and films into a bench that will be donated to the library.
There will be food, music, speakers, activities for the children, nature walks and fun! Hope to see you there!
And the upshot
“I’m ready for my close-up.”
“How do you plead?”
If you are sending money to a man who owns a private plane, to pay for his legal fees, there’s a very high probability you’re an effn moron. Expect him to stick to the playbook. Trump only fools fools. Yes, this is a man who has fattened himself on greed and grift.
Is this sign really necessary?
If you ever wanted to know directions to the South Pole, or Carnegie Hall, or some other 20 or so destinations, your curiosity may soon be satisfied.
Last Monday, the New Paltz Design Review Board and Historic Preservation Commission held a public hearing for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a large “fingerpost” to be situated outside Elting Library.
Alan Stout designed it, Alan Stout will construct it and Alan Stout will finance it. That may be nice and generous of him.
But, at least in my view, that thing has no real practical function. And placing it outside the library, at a rather busy intersection, the 12-foot post with 25 “fingers” pointing in all planet Earth (and beyond) directions, does not impress me as a wise choice. You don’t have to be pointed to these sites outside a library.
It may eventually become a conversation piece; but as such, it should be located in an open space where you could truly walk around it and maybe wonder a bit “what and why?”
Make your opinions known.
Russia, China, Iran and hockey
Washington Capital hockey star Alex Ovechkin strongly supports Putin and Russia’s savage war against Ukraine.
How is it even possible that he is not booed at every Washington Capitals game?
Try to imagine, back in history, if the Japanese didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor and we never entered the war in 1941 (not so far-fetched if you remember FDR, the Isolationists and the extreme right wing in America!). Imagine an ardent supporter of Adolph Hitler playing baseball or basketball in 1940, 41, 42 etc.
Granted, American Jews, in particular the wealthier Hollywood and well positioned, were pathetically non-vocal about well known Nazi atrocities, but I think Madison Square Garden would have loudly heard booing and hostility towards any Nazi playing basketball!
So, a silly analogy you may say, but, my point is still that Alexander Ovechkin supports the evil of Vlad Putin, supports the murdering of children and the war crimes of Russia.
He should be met with resounding disapproval!
While I’m at it, I suggest our Senators and Representatives propose legislation that would ban Chinese, Russian, North Korean and Iranian college students from majoring in most math, science, AI, software or certain engineering degrees.
Our colleges, especially local Hudson Valley colleges, make a lot of money from foreign students.
The ban would be in academic disciplines that would benefit those nations, who, essentially, are our enemies and are horribly abusive to their own people.
We should welcome these students to freely pursue degrees in the arts, in medicine, history, languages, philosophy, speech pathology, astronomy, sociology, anthropology, film, environmental studies, geography etc.
Just not in STEM, advanced math, coding, computer science and related disciplines which has already been documented and recognized by our government as being a problem, especially with China!
Neil’s extremely limited bubble
As Neil Jarmel continues to keep himself buried in the isolated world of his Trump obsession and completely away from the realities negatively impacting ALL of us, he demonstrates that he’s totally out of touch with the bigger picture problems facing our country.
One of these major problems is the partisan bastardization of our judicial system. A prime example is how our government handled the investigation of the January 6 faux “insurrection” compared to how they “investigated” the REAL catastrophes — the 547 riots during the 2020 “summer of love.” Regarding January 6, the Biden administration overused bottomless financial and people resources to spend thousands of hours to review and re-review Capitol surveillance to identify every last participant in the January 6 event so that they could all be prosecuted. Why weren’t the same efforts and resources used to investigate the BLM, Antifa and other liberal “peaceful” demonstrators who demolished businesses, properties, threw rocks at police officers as well as assaulting them, burned their vehicles and precincts while also causing injuries and deaths? This double standard and abuse of government resources is the REAL and INTENTIONAL threat to our democracy which is right up Neil’s alley — it’s HIS kind of law.
A further example of the Jarmel lopsided and hypocritical application of law involves the most recent prosecution of a 25-year-old man from Connecticut. He used a shield to temporarily pin a Capitol police officer to a door. There was no assault causing injuries that required medical attention. The “Judge” called this behavior the most egregious of any of the actions committed by other participants. The young man apologized and called his action “unmistakably stupid.” After this “egregious” assault, the officer was fine. Yet, for this single boneheaded action, the “Judge” sentenced this young man to 7 1/2 years in prison — the kind of sentence you’d expect for any of the non-investigated thugs who committed real crimes during our beloved “summer of love.”
We’ll never hear Neil address this severe bias and judicial imbalance because his flaming Democratic cat has his tongue.
John N. Butz
Kudos to a legislator
I’ve never praised anyone in a letter to a paper before, but Legislator Joe Maloney deserves it. Last summer I worked up my nerve to address the Legislative body at their monthly session about an issue affecting my neighborhood in Mount Tremper. Those two minutes to speak go by in a blur and it feels like you are facing a sea of blank faces. It’s very intimidating. Afterwards, Mr. Maloney came up to ask us more about our issue. We are not even in his district, but he cared enough to approach us and was the only one who did.
The second time I went back, the same thing happened except this time, a week later, he drove out here to try and understand more of what the problem was. I asked him why he got involved and he answered something like “if a constituent goes to all the trouble to approach us, the least we can do is find out more about their issue.” He didn’t care that I am not from Saugerties. This really kind of amazed me.
This is what I want more of from our elected officials. That they view us as members of their community and whose job it is to listen to and respect us. Sometimes just the expression of care does a lot to diffuse a person’s worries. Watching Joe also taught me the power of saying no. Whatever the issue is before the legislature their job is to take the tougher and less popular stances if it aligns with their ethics and is best for their constituents. It’s not always the popular choice to make, but I would rather know I can count on them to buck the group rather than always take the easier route of going along with the other legislators.
No one is perfect, we all have our opinions, but for me and my neighbors, Mr. Maloney has very much earned our respect and gratitude.
I wish to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Saugerties Little League for the outstanding job, over 45 volunteers — both adults and children — with cleaning up the grounds on and adjacent to the six fields utilized by Little League in the Cantine Veterans Sports Complex on Saturday, April 8.
League president Jay Mooers did an exceptional job organizing the 45-plus volunteers, along with coordinating not only cleanup efforts on the grounds, but other tasks such as the hanging of nearly 100 fence sponsor signs, cleanup of dugouts, flower beds and others.
With Mr. Mooers at the helm, the Saugerties Little League board of directors is a strong, vibrant and aggressively working board. It certainly shows with all the improvements they have undertaken over the past several years, all as volunteers, along with many other volunteers “outside” of the Little League circle. This season, there are 40 teams that comprise Saugerties Little League!
Additionally, Mike Hunter volunteered his time and equipment replacing roof shingles on both dugout roofs on Martin/Speirs Field # 2, which I further greatly appreciate. All expenses were paid for by Little League and there was no outlay of taxpayer funds. Likewise, with all the aforementioned improvements over the past several years!
It is great to see Little League baseball in our community thriving and it is equally great to see the level of volunteerism, along with many new volunteers that have come onboard.
The Little League fields and grounds look immaculate and, again, on behalf of my entire Cantine team, extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all involved for a job exceptionally well done!
Greg Chorvas, Superintendent
Cantine Veterans Sports Complex
Why is there no mass transit by airplane?
How much do we care?
New York’s population is aging rapidly but the state is facing the worst homecare shortage in the nation: we don’t have enough home care workers to care for the state’s older adults and disabled people. I will be 62 in a couple of months and am appalled by the fact that this shortage has been growing in recent years to the point where in a recent survey 20% of state home care positions are unfilled due to staff shortages. A report from the Fiscal Policy Institute found nearly one million New Yorkers will need home care by 2035. Now there are people who cannot get out of bed without the assistance of a home care worker so without one they remain hostage in their beds. How awful is that? Some people are not elderly, but are disabled. Young people who still have much to contribute to their community remain in bed due to not having steady in home care. How can this be so in the 21st century? Family members have to quit their jobs to provide home care for their loved one or bring them to a nursing facility? For one individual it costs the state more money to pay for a nursing facility than to pay a home care worker a living wage to provide the same services to that person at home. This shortage is dangerous: without anyone to care for older adults and disabled people they are vulnerable. Older adults will go without meals, without proper medication oversight, and more New Yorkers will be forced into nursing homes. As a property manager for Section 8 senior housing for ten years, I witnessed firsthand what happens to an elderly person who goes without home care. They use the ER as a revolving door when their lack of care at home lands them in the hospital. Only to come home and begin the vicious cycle all over again. I have witnessed wonderful people who have died due to lack of home care.
Home care is skilled health care work — including tube feeding, toileting and medication management — yet the state pays home care workers lower wages than workers in nursing homes, child care and substance abuse care. Even those who flip burgers are guaranteed a higher wage than these essential workers! How can this be?
New York took first steps to address this crisis by passing small home care raises last year. But now the Governor wants to return workers back to the minimum wage in the near future. This is preposterous! At a time when New York’s population is aging and the demand for home care is greater than ever, Hochul is ensuring the shortage only deepens in the coming years. We need to end the state’s dangerous home care shortage to keep older adults and disabled people safe — and the way to do it is by blocking Hochul’s home care cuts and instead raising home care wages.
Fair Pay for Home Care is legislation that would pay home care workers as skilled health care workers by raising the wages to a living wage. This way a person entering into the home care services sector can build a career. They deserve to receive benefits, paid time off and a living wage that means they don’t have to be on food stamps or receive housing assistance to keep their job. The State Legislators agree and have sponsored and co-sponsored Fair Pay for Home Care last year and in this year’s budget. Call Governor Hochul at 518-474-8390 and let her know as a constituent you want her to pass Fair Pay for Home Care Workers! You will be glad you did, especially if you or someone you know needs in home care.
Central Hudson’s electric delivery rate will increase again in June
Politicians need to wake up to Central Hudson’s extremely high kWh electric supply rates compared to the rest of NY State. For once, look at Central Hudson’s electric supply kWh rate currently 13 cents compared to Syracuse’s 5 cents and Albany’s 6.5 cents. It’s no surprise to me that Ulster County saw a whopping 33 percent increase in 2022 sales tax from Central Hudson electric bills. To make matters even worse, the Central Hudson electric delivery rate approved by NY PSC will increase again in June 2023 by 6.6 percent from $0.09889 to $0.10546 per kWh. Here is a link showing Syracuse’s low electric supply rate from National Grid (documents.dps.ny.gov/PTC/zipcode/13202).
Dance! Dance! Dance!
I had the joy of seeing Footloose at New Paltz High School, twice a few weeks ago! So much talent on that stage! I was mesmerized by the dancing! Nathaniel Johnson, Ben Gorney, Audrey Shannon and Nafi Diedhoiu truly stood out as dancers. I could not take my eyes off of them, not only are they talented, but they exude energy on that stage. Those voices! I remember hearing/seeing Jenna Triguero perform a duet in last year’s The Theory of Relativity, but nothing could have prepared me for the talent, heart and soul on that stage as she belted “Holding Out for a Hero” and sang the romantic “Almost Paradise” and so much more. Ryan Hyland was just so fun to watch as Ren McCormack, a true triple threat. Lindsey Clinton’s performance of “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” was out of this world.
These kids have lost so much over the past few years, due to the pandemic — thank you to Nancy Owen and her team for helping these students to shine their light and express themselves.
Skipping a beat
The Woodstock Volunteer Handbook states: “Volunteerism is the heartbeat of a community. Its citizens could not maintain the character of our town without much selfless contribution of time and effort. We — and Woodstock — are grateful for your interest and involvement.”
Supervisor McKenna’s actions over the years give the appearance that not only is he unaware of the Handbook’s contents, but that he also must have forgotten his comment about how much the towns in Ulster County owed to their volunteers. His behavior over the years has resulted in the resignation of an entire Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as the members of the Ethics Board and Paul Shultis, a 16-year volunteer who was the Planning Board chair.
His recent behavior toward the volunteer chairs of the Commission for Civic Design and the Woodstock Tree Committee shows that he has not changed. His lack of appreciation of volunteers is further indicated by his current removal of Alex Bolotow as chair of the Woodstock Environmental Commission. The question is why.
They got away with it
This past April 4 commemorated the day a man of God was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Most people have no idea that in 1999, from November 15 to December 8, a civil trial was held in a Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, Thirteenth Judicial District at Memphis for the wrongful death of Martin Luther King Jr. The civil action was brought by the King family represented by international human rights attorney, Dr. William Pepper against the defendant Lloyd Jowers and other “Unknown Conspirators.”
Attorney Pepper brought forth 70 witnesses in the trial, many who were aged and close to their death and ready to confess their part in the assassination. Among the witnesses were ex-military intelligence people, Memphis police and Tennessee State Police, who all played a part in the murder, including providing the getaway. Most notable was the confession of Lloyd Jowers, who confessed to hiring the hit-man to assassinate King and that assassin was not James Earl Ray. The trial lasted three weeks and the 12 jurors came to a unanimous decision in one hour. The King family brought the suit to get the real facts on the record and monetarily only asked for $100. You can view the transcript of the trial online (https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/MLKACT/). The main-street-news-media has been curiously silent about the trial, except the New York Times who only did one article the next day after the decision on December 9, 1999. The Memphis Court declared “King was assassinated by a conspiracy that involved others, including government agencies.” Attorney William Pepper authored the books: Orders to Kill, An Act of State and his final book on the subject The Plot to Kill King. Bottom line is they got away with it and the public was deceived.
Candidate meet and greet in Hurley
If you have been following the events of the past year in the Town of Hurley, it’s starting to look like a reality TV show here. We have lawsuits, problems at the transfer station, conflict between the town board and highway department, and worst of all, opaque finances. This coming Tuesday, there is going to be a proposal for a nine-month moratorium on new development in the town after town officials suspended the comprehensive planning process over a year ago.
We don’t need a moratorium, however, we certainly need change. We need leaders who will heal and move forward here in Hurley. Lawsuits need to be settled, the transfer station needs to be fixed, the highway department needs a permanent home and financial information needs to be shared with the public. It’s time to end the reality show and get back to reality.
There is an alternate Democratic slate of candidates that has taken shape, and that slate will be the change that we are in desperate need of. Michael Boms will bring level-headed leadership to the supervisor position and Diana Cline, a lifelong town resident, has a history of service to the town and will bring the steadiness we need.
There will be a meet and greet with this slate of candidates on April 24 at 6:30 p.m. under the pavilion at Dug Hill Park. All are welcome to attend.
In art truth may still exists
The truth can often be found in art, where artists dare to confront reality and reveal the hidden truths that are often overlooked or ignored. In a world filled with distractions, it’s essential to turn off the TV, put away the newspapers and listen to the voices of artists in our midst.
Do Ho Suh’s artwork, “Metal Jacket,” made from 3,000 dog tags on a U.S. military jacket liner, is a poignant reminder of the toll of war. It’s a stark representation of the lives lost, the parents grieving and the realities of conflict often obscured by rhetoric and distraction.
The responsibility to address these issues rests with each of us. Art shows us the silent deaths, the grieving soldiers, the distraught families and the aftermath of war on all society, which cannot be ignored. Art leads us to the reality of the illusion of a good life portrayed by advertisements and commercials, showing us that the truth is complex and often heartbreaking.
To truly understand the impact of war, we must be willing to confront uncomfortable truths. This may involve watching truthful movies or plays about war, listening to the stories of veterans and tearing off the mask that hides our eyes from the harsh realities. It may require us to challenge the narratives and question the status quo.
Ultimately, it’s about making conscious decisions about spending our lives and resources.
It’s about acknowledging the profound meaning of art that speaks the truth and using our voices to break the trance of denial. By stepping into the public square and listening to the artists in our midst, we can better understand our world and work towards creating a more just and compassionate society. So read a poem, go to a museum, make art and support artists.
In From Chappaquiddick to Chappaqua we learned how the Kennedy clan’s political power flowed from the Democrat Party that promised hope and safety to the Progressive Party that today is on the verge of completing President Obama’s understanding of Saul Alinsky’s teaching away from Martin Luther King’s America with freedom of opportunity for all to the Orwellian Animal Farm we are rapidly sinking into. As always, politics affords many the means to take wealth while pretending to be reaching down to pull others up. Barrack had a dream that one day he would have everything money could buy. Joe Biden saw that he needed to step up his game, and with his brother and sons circled back to Joe Kennedy and went straight for the pot of gold he wanted his share of.
The Peanut farmer was not going to be his legacy. George W was born into wealth and power, a path not available to Coal Country Joe. He did OK working the DC hustle, but the Clinton’s proved, and even Al Gore proved, that the White House held gold, and when Hilary could not fool enough of the people, he saw his last shot and campaigned from the basement during Covid and is now trying to back up the truck and leave with his fair share.
Easter weekend in the US, 2023, crucifixion and resurrection
Just prior to Easter weekend this year there was a mass shooting incident at a Christian grade school in Nashville, Tennessee. This senseless tragedy resulted in the death of three nine-year-old children, and the death of three adult staff members.
Young people, mostly Tennessee High School students, came to the Tennessee Legislature to protest the state’s gun control laws, which are among the least restrictive gun laws in the US.
In support of the student protest, three Tennessee legislators rose to the center of the Legislative Chamber and began to speak, using bullhorns, when their microphones were cut off by the Tennessee political leadership.
As punishment for this act of conscience, these three were subjected to mini trials, immediately, then and there. Two of the three legislators were young, 27-year-old black men. A third legislator was a sixty-year-old white woman, a former teacher.
The vote on the young black men was “guilty,” with the punishments being “expulsion” from the legislative body. The white woman avoided expulsion, but just barely.
As it turned out, the attempt to silence these two young black men was an abject and ironic failure. As all of America was about to learn, these young men were brilliant orators, who spoke with clarity and passion, highlighting violence and justice issues in Tennessee and America.
The words and expressions of these young men were resonant of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words and expressions. Similarly to Dr. King, the struggle for peace, justice and non-violence was spoken of in terms of spiritual quest and spiritual journey.
Martin had had a vision of “the Promised Land.” In a speech, just prior to his assassination, he noted that he might not live to arrive there, but that the movement, and society, would indeed get there.
The trials, difficulties and successes of these two young men, will, no doubt, be an important part of the inexorable journey to “the Promised Land” and toward the bending of the moral arc of the universe toward justice.
Important parts of these events occurred during Easter weekend. The words, the struggles, the trials of Jesus were not forgotten, implicitly or explicitly.
Like Jesus, these young men, in their quest for peace and justice, were found “guilty” and had their own “crucifixion,” as they were expelled from the governing bodies of the nation.
As the journey towards the Promised Land continues in new ways, and as the Resurrection of Jesus was a once, yet continuing event, we are already seeing the “resurrection” of these two young men, as they are being speedily returned to their elected offices.
Easter weekend, 2023 has profound lessons for all of us.
May we learn them well!!!