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Successful street fair
The Friends of the Saugerties Library recently held a successful street fair. This fair is part of our mission for community outreach and it was wonderful to see the enjoyment of that day.
We’ve thanked the many donors, volunteers and neighbors who helped. There’s one more important thank you.
This fair could not be successful without the generous help of our local media who provided numerous public service announcements.
We thank Hudson Valley One, Greg Gattine, WDST-Radio Woodstock, Lighthouse TV, the Daily Freeman, and numerous others who helped share through social media.
We appreciate the efforts of local media to keep us informed.
Ray Rebholz and Jennifer Kavanagh
Co-presidents, the Friends of the Saugerties Public Library
Following up on my last two letters addressing drag queens, transgenders, the LGBTQ community and gender dysphoria, these behaviors are only practiced by 7.2% of our entire population. That means that 92.8% of our entire population does NOT practice or participate in these behaviors. So, the obvious unasked question of the vast majority of the extremely timid and intimidated heterosexual population is: why is the agenda of a mere 7.2% being crammed down the throats of the 92.8% in many different ways and by so many different businesses and organizations, as if it was normal, standard behavior?
The most obvious answer, in the business world, is for growing profits by targeting many specific groups, chiefly in this instance the LGBTQ community. Since profits are the number-one concern of businesses, we’ll never know what moral and religious beliefs are really in the hearts of these CEO’s and these business’s top brass. For profits, many will even compromise their faith and moral values to pander to anyone. How’s that been working for Anheuser-Busch, Target, Kohl’s, Adidas, Cracker Barrel, et al?
But, one business recently and quickly vaulted to the top of the list of spineless, woke profit hucksters — the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. After scheduling the scandalous group of drag queens identifying as the “sisters of perpetual indulgence” to perform during pride month at a ball game, the Dodgers rightfully received such immediate blowback from the public that they cancelled this group’s appearance because, among other things, the group blasphemes and mocks the Catholic faith dressed as nuns who perform incredibly obscene and lewd gestures on a crucifix as well as defaming Jesus Christ’s own mother, Mary. Yet somehow, after receiving flack from the LGBTQ’s 7.2% community, the Dodgers spinelessly and incredibly cowered to this small group and rescheduled this anti-Catholic hate performance. And this is how the LGBTQ community refers to “celebrating pride?”
Can anyone out there justify or defend this display of outrageous sacrilege and hatred? I didn’t think so.
John N. Butz
Senior citizen tax exemption
I have been volunteering for the past three years with AARP preparing tax returns for low to moderate income individuals in Gardiner, New Paltz and most recently, Stone Ridge. These folks, particularly senior citizens, are indeed struggling financially and it’s likely that it goes unnoticed on an everyday basis.
There is in place a senior citizen tax exemption available to homeowners that, to my surprise, many low income senior homeowners are not aware of. Even so, during the Town of Marbletown Town Board meeting on February 21, 2023 and according to the BlueStone Press, a resolution was passed, 5-0, to raise the senior citizen income limit from $29,000 to $50,000 to reduce the taxable assessment to a senior’s home by 50% (this is above and beyond Enhanced Star). There is also a sliding scale percentage that can be adopted for higher income earners up to a maximum of $58,400. For those seniors who are aware of the program, it has been a lifesaver for them to be able to afford their other day-to-day necessities that have skyrocketed in cost.
The town officials promised to do everything they could to get the word out — the town website, Facebook and the local newspaper, as well as looking for a volunteer to assist seniors with the needed paperwork.
I urge all towns and school districts to follow the lead of the Town of Marbletown to the $50,000 per year income maximum for a 50% assessment reduction that is currently allowed by New York State. Our most vulnerable senior citizens should be given the choice to affordably stay in their homes.
Municipalities also have the option to permit veterans disability payments to be subtracted from total income.
I also urge all community members to contact their Town and local School Boards to ensure this dollar maximum is enacted. It will immensely help the friends and neighbors we all have who may be in need.
More information can be found by visiting tax.ny.gov/pit/property/exemption/seniorexempt.htm.
It must be nice to see the world in nice, crisp black and white instead of all the messy grays that actually exist. In his letter of June 22, John Butz clears up the whole gender dysphoria issue with the simple assertion that there are two genders, and that what we now call dysphoria is just the hormone-induced confusion of puberty. No muss, no fuss, no nuance. And especially, no facts.
These opinions, no doubt forged in the gurgling cauldron of misinformation that is Fox News, are unsupported by evidence and asserted without citation (“If God’s natural order were a mistake, the vast majority of our population would be LGBTQ and transgender…” Really, John? Got any data to support that?) So now that we have identified the expert in the field of gender pathology, let me ask John a few questions.
Biologically, we define women as having two X chromosomes and men as having one X and one Y. Simple, right? Black and white. But what about the people who are born with two X and one Y? Are they women because of the two X, or men because of the Y? Are they “mistakes” by god, or genetic anomalies caused by random mutation? How about folks who have two full sets of X and Y? What the heck are they?
Around the seventh week of gestation, a gene on the Y chromosome begins to express the male hormone testosterone. This causes gonads to become testes instead of ovaries, which is the default state. In some individuals, however, this gene fails to turn on, and the individual never develops male sex characteristics (mistake by god, or mutation?). They are labeled as girls at birth and are raised as girls, but some of them feel like boys. A check of their chromosomes indicates that they are boys (XY). A course of hormone treatments early enough will encourage their masculinization, and withholding these hormones will leave them with external feminine characteristics, but they will remain sterile. By puberty, they will develop breast tissue and will be indistinguishable from other girls.
So tell us, who decides whether or not these kids get the hormone treatments? The kids? Their parents? Their doctors? Or John N. Butz of Modena, NY?
More muck boot time
McKenna wrote: “I was open and willing to work with others to protect and better our town.” Open, who is he trying to con. Take a ride to the Comeau and look at the addition, an addition that was supposed to complement the Comeau building. He should not have allowed the construction to proceed without letting the Commission for Civic Design complete its review of the architects drawing.
Recycling tips in New Paltz
On June 16th, we had another fascinating and informative visit to County Waste’s MRF (Material Recycling Facility) in Albany where they handle approximately 300 tons of materials daily. Follow “Mayor Tim Rogers” on Facebook for our favorite tips posted daily for single-stream recycling in New Paltz. Please note recycling rules may be different if you are outside of New Paltz and your hauler uses UCRRA’s MRF.
For example: Tip #4 – Keep caps ON and ATTACHED wherever possible.
If the cap cannot be attached, throw it in the trash. Loose caps can cause obstruction during the sorting process in the recycling facility’s machinery.
Make sure contents from your container are emptied. The sorting process involves different machinery that shakes, blows and weighs items to separate them. AI robots and optical sorters that can identify an object’s color, size, shape, structural characteristics and chemical composition are also used.
Mayor Tim Rogers
County legislator replacement rules need reform
The Village of New Paltz’s county legislator quit in April, eight months before the end of her term, to take a full-time job. She then tried to push her choice of a replacement — one of the candidates running in the June 27 Democratic primary, less than 90 days away at the time.
Since that could be seen as election tampering, the Ulster County Legislature rejected the first candidate.
Meanwhile, village voters had no public notice of the appointment, no public discussion and no opportunity to comment on the choice of a legislator to represent them for the remainder of 2023.
Worse, due to a flaw in the County Charter, the legislator who quit was legally able to pick her choices without public notice or discussion, and without a chance for any other candidate to step forward. It was done without any notice to voters in the village. There was nothing on the village website, the village Facebook page (with 13,000 members) or even the county legislature web page.
The deal was so backroom that on Friday, May 5, the Daily Freeman reported that the name of the replacement candidate had not been made available to them as late as the weekend before the Tuesday night vote.
On Tuesday evening, May 9, the Ulster County Democratic Women made our objection to the whole process known to the legislature at their special meeting to fill the vacancy.
We thanked them for preserving the integrity of the New Paltz village’s legislature primary. And we asked them to fix the broken section of the County Charter (C-2) by providing a legal procedure for replacing a candidate democratically.
To her credit, Esopus county legislator Laura Petit wrote a local law to fix this issue.
To date, that law has not been passed by the legislature.
No one from the New Paltz Village Board of Trustees bothered to make that local law public or even mention it. It’s not clear whether they even know about it.
On May 31, we wrote to the Charter Review Commission to make them aware of this issue.
To date, we have received no reply. Nor are we aware of any action the Charter Review Commission might take to ensure that no county legislator is replaced without public notice again.
The Ulster County Democratic Women have voted unanimously to protect open and transparent election procedures in case any county legislator resigns in the future.
Lack of swift action by the legislature to remedy this matter is unacceptable.
Lack of response by the Charter Commission to our request to amend the Charter’s section C2, and specify a replacement procedure in the event of a future vacancy, is unfathomable.
We call on the legislature and the Charter Revision Commission to guarantee their integrity by acting on this issue quickly.
The Village of New Paltz mayor and board of trustees also owe voters an explanation of why they failed to offer public notice of the replacement, solicit candidates to serve and why they did not ensure that the replacement process was transparent.
Let’s end backroom deals that put friends in high places and instead preserve representative democracy.
Jane Schanberg, President
Ulster County Democratic Women
FBI, TV or reality?
Speaking not as a gun lover (I am not), I believe the overwhelming number of guns in NYS homes are there for two good reasons: peace of mind in a dangerous world and hunting. Educated, practiced experience safely handling guns greatly reduces accidents with firearms.
The late Robin Williams taught: “Joke ’em if they can’t take a fuck”! Not much help if a belligerent thug is pounding on your back door. Better feeling is holding a loaded gun while waiting for the police. God Bless Cops! Who really believes that stricter gun laws are going to save lives? Gun crimes are done by one all inclusive group: criminals. They buy guns illegally, they carry them illegally and they mostly illegally shoot their enemies over what have to be called illegal business disputes.
“Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” growled one of The Magnificent Seven (the good one, the first). Black and brown people die disproportionately to whites by population because gangs in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods do mostly illegal things, and do not operate within, wait for it: legal boundaries. Really dumbfounding, and sadly hopeless, “Make buying guns legally harder to reduce gun violence.” That’s a natural IQ test!
There was a woman from Texas, whose Chili was called “Solar Plexus.” In their gut it did burn, but all the men that she spurned were just happy to try for her breakfast!
Present day FBI top brass do not have my trust. They should have raced to the Capitol January 6, and did nothing. And presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was dangerously more risk taking with classified information than any of the other self-important politicians caught (each acting knowingly) and the FBI either allowed it, or worse, did not detect it. And Jake Sullivan had to tell the Secret Service that an intruder was in the kitchen. Who? Big WH-DC defense guy. (Small fry do not get agent protection.)
The Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Peace Boat will be docking along these Hudson River Valley sites this July: July 6 – Beacon (S/V Woody Guthrie); July 7-8 — Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston; July 8-10 — Hop-O-Nose Marina, Catskill; July 10-13 — Albany. Come out to welcome and visit with the crew at any of these locations.
The boat originally sailed to the Marshall Islands in 1958 in protest of U.S. nuclear weapons testing. It is currently on a leg of a journey to highlight the need to halt nuclear weapons development by the U.S. and other nuclear armed nations. This is a stance worthy of each of us as we can urge the U.S. and the other nuclear armed nations to sign the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This treaty has been signed by scores of nations — EXCEPT for the U.S., Great Britain, Russia, China, France, Israel, North Korea, India, Pakistan — notably those countries possessing nuclear weapons. I urge you to contact your congressperson, senators, the president, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the above countries to demand that they sign and ratify the treaty. Our planet, our loved ones, our children and grandchildren deserve no less of an effort from us. When asked what we are doing, at a minimum, to enhance life and preserve all of creation, can we respond that we have at least made an effort? Peace!
We need to create the conditions that will retain and attract artists
While arts institutions create jobs, attract visitors that also patronize local restaurants, shops and pubs, motivate houses buyers and build the luster of a community, it is individual artists who make the art and make up the core of local membership in those institutions. That is why many towns and cities across the country have endeavored to create artists’ housing, by converting former factories or disused commercial spaces and to also help provide non-living studio spaces. We need only look to the rest of the Hudson Valley for inspiration. Woodstock should become a magnet to retain and expand the number of working artists living and working here.
Don’t be fooled by critics’ motives
The ongoing hit job on the District Attorney’s Office, particularly towards Chief Assistant District Attorney Emmanuel Nneji, is astonishing. Various news outlets and columnists have written about recent cases without any context.
What is the context? Across New York State, seasoned attorneys left district attorney offices in droves after the new discovery law. Across New York State, countless cases have been dismissed because discovery requirements were not met. Prior to the new discovery law, handing over evidence was required only for cases going to trial (about 10%) but now is required for every case in a truncated timeframe.
NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services statistics on cases and their dispositions from across the state and across time show that Ulster County has done better than most counties.
And Nneji’s career in context? A successful prosecutor for 32 years serving under Republicans and Democrats, he has prosecuted hundreds of violent crimes without any controversy, taking on the toughest cases that other prosecutors avoided. He is well respected by his colleagues and the community.
What has changed? Nneji is now a candidate for DA and Mike Kavanagh’s supporters are gunning for him. The Daily Freeman, for instance, makes every case a front-page story, detailing every hiccup or misstep.
For me, the final straw was the Freeman’s front-page article of an opinion of former DA Holley Carnright. It wasn’t newsworthy. Instead, it was a vendetta from a Republican, in office when the discovery law was passed, who did not train prosecutors to meet the new requirements and who is still smarting that his choice of successor was defeated. His goal is to tarnish Kavanagh’s opponent.
We cannot be fooled by the motivation of Nneji’s detractors. They admired him when he was their colleague at the DA’s office, but became rabid critics when he became the Democratic candidate. Local reporters must dig deeper, provide the full story and give Emmanuel Nneji the respect he deserves for his lifetime dedication to justice.
Nothing else matters
I’m renovating my house, molecule by molecule.
They’re ‘baked-in’ morons
We just had “Happy Arraignment Day,” everyone! Now, if we can also get “Merry Gag Order Day.”
Nixon’s Republican Party had integrity and forced him to resign. Until the Republicans heard the president obstruct justice on his hidden tapes, most congressional, GOP members stood behind the ethically deficient Richard Nixon. He was pardoned. He agreed to shut the f*** up. I cannot see that happening now. It is like Watergate, BUT with morons.
Today’s GOP has witnessed Trump [a Gold-Plated Turd] obstruct the truth for 50 years.
Did everyone see the protest at Disney World with the NAZI’s carrying their swastika flags and Trump banners? That’s what we are headed for, if you keep voting for the leader of the MAGAt Red Reich. It’s all about “me and my boxes and my Trumpanzees.”
To understand Trumpanzees you need to understand that they see politics as a win/lose game. Just like football. Because of this, facts, science, truth and honor are incapable of affecting their belief system.
Let’s be clear, I deserve a cake. I have suffered this traitor and moral degenerate since the day he announced his first run for president! When will we be angry about Trump’s cottage industry of selling America to the highest bidder — oh heck — any bidder. When do we charge him with “TRE45ON?” He never did anything for the regular Americans like you or me. A twice impeached and twice indicted Trump never put America first. I tried to tell everyone who said they were voting for him, what he was! You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make ’em drink. I am tired of looking and talking to the wrong end of the horse.
I should be eating a cake! I’m making myself a goddamned cake…lol… I need a beautiful “ICED” cake. Can’t wait to have a slice of “incarceration cake.”