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.
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The Catskill Mountains are not for sale
Let’s set the record straight with facts, not alternative facts, as the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp and Ulster Strong attempted in their recent letter about the preeminent Catskill Mountainkeeper being too strong an advocate for our region.
These two “economic development” groups represent big money-interest developers. Developers are the very same people who over decades opposed clean water and air regulations, zoning and planning laws, and most vocally prevailing wage laws which uplifted local construction workers.
Catskill Mountainkeeper — with its hundreds and hundreds of local supporters — oversees the protection of our region from the money changers. They DO NOT, nor ever have, engaged in fear-mongering. Accuse them of reading tea leaves if you will, as we’ve seen untold local destruction due to climate change which Mountainkeeper has repeatedly forewarned against and taken bold steps to successfully prevent.
I do not know how the economic development fan club can seriously write that development benefits our tax base, our workforce and fixes housing problems. Case in point, the latest attempt to attack our community is the surreal proposal to build luxury homes, a golf course AND a helicopter pad in an environmentally sensitive area. What the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp and Ulster Strong forgot to mention is that this development will be eligible for gluttonous tax breaks and will not help a single local person looking for housing. And, never in history has development lowered taxes anywhere, ever. Development, by its nature, calls for more — not fewer — services.
We are not building walls but saying no to over-development of a region which is to be cherished; our region is akin to sacred ground. It’s time for all of us to stop kowtowing to developers and taking candy from predators. We welcome appropriate reuse of the numerous existing buildings and housing stock. Developers need only to look at RUPCO and local architect Scott Dutton’s visions for the types of development they successfully achieved with full support from our communities.
Catskill Mountainkeeper’s supporters are proud to partner with them in halting development detrimental to our communities. And we do so unapologetically.
Overdevelopment serves only developers. We know who you are and we are not buying your BS. The Catskill Mountains are not for sale.
Jo Galante Cicale
Simply not true
After reading Donzello Berelli’s letter to the editor last week I took the writer’s advice and looked up Jennifer Pritzker, founder of the Tawani Foundation. Berelli accused Pritzker of “planting the ‘agenda’ in schools, institutions and state legislatures.” I don’t know what is meant by that, but Pritzker is a retired lieutenant colonel from the Illinois National Guard who now identifies as a woman. She is the first transgender billionaire and has used her considerable wealth to contribute to a variety of worthy causes, including programs that provide transgender care. In the multiple entries I came across there was absolutely no hint of anything inappropriate associated with Ms. Pritzker. I looked it up!
I am sure Berelli has heard the following fact before: Leading medical groups recognize the medical necessity of treatments for gender dysphoria and endorse such treatments. Among a host of others these include the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. If I had a transgender child, I would certainly follow the advice of the medical community rather than some unknown psychiatrist with an agenda like the author mentioned in Berelli’s letter.
Furthermore, letters from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner, a regular therapist and a mental health professional are all required before sex change surgery can be performed and a patient must be 18 years old to qualify for these procedures.
Finally, when it comes to minors, no hormone drugs can be administered without parental consent. The same is true for chest surgery which cannot be performed unless the patient is 15 year old. To say that children who “still believe in Santa Claus” are making these life-changing decisions on their own is simply not true.
Mary Anna Cox
Kakistocracy in Woodstock?
They say the best man for the job is the one who doesn’t want it. The town supervisor, who thinks and acts like a mayor, continues to do whatever he wants. Well, why not, no one has held him accountable yet. He comes from a construction background, with liens to prove it, and likes to throw mud at others in public.
The alternative? An Ivy League graduate, who portrays himself a victim, yet hasn’t worked a hard day in his life, has lived off of others money while not paying his taxes, declared bankruptcy and loves to throw mud at others in public too! They both seem to want the position of supervisor real bad. Maybe they are the same person in the end.
See folks, the problem with democracy is that everyone gets a vote!
Town board “lawyering up”
For me, the two most significant things I was looking for were absent from the article. First, am I, a taxpayer, going to foot the bill for the shenanigans of the town board? Seems to me if they are going to play fast and loose with the rules, it should be their dime. Second, why is the alleged misbehavior concealed? An amorous peccadillo? Piles of cash on the desk? Drugs? If Mr. Ratcliff’s accusations are going to cost the town tens of thousands in legal expenses, I trust they are serious enough to warrant that.
A more honest position
To call the claim of apartheid in Israel a “canard”, as Rondavid Gold does in his recent letter, is a disservice to the many Israelis who, with great sorrow, have come to that realization themselves
They are not alone. Respected organizations such as Amnesty International and moral leaders such as Bishop Desmond Tutu have likewise concluded that a country split by a separation wall, with separate laws, separate towns, and separate roads–all determined by the majority population–does indeed fulfill apartheid’s definition.
Even anti-Palestinian Israelis do not necessarily deny the reality of apartheid. One proclaimed to me, as we stood together in a lecture hall in the city of Rehovot, “We NEED apartheid! We NEED the wall!”
Perhaps that would be a more honest position for Mr. Gold to espouse.
Brown water survey
For planning of targeted repairs within our drinking water conveyance system, we are asking where you have seen brown water in New Paltz to see whether patterns exist. Please complete our brown water survey: https://forms.gle/J5su9h5Fzc6oLv3x6
Even small disturbances in New Paltz’s municipal water system can stir things up and send brown water into people’s homes or work. We believe the most recent reports of brown water in New Paltz occurred because:
1) There was a water main break on private property at an apartment complex. The complex is served by two valves from different municipal water mains. One valve needed to be shut off during the repair, and that redirected water flow. Shutting it off and then reopening the valve back on once the repair was complete likely contributed to stirred up brown water at the complex and for nearby neighbors.
2) The university has been performing routine hydrant flushing. Both the town and village do this too and at times doing it together. Fire hydrant flushing is important maintenance done once or twice per year. Hydrants need to be tested regularly so they work in emergencies and they are flushed to remove deposits that may occur inside distribution pipes. During flushings, some customers may notice reduced water pressure and discoloration.
3) Water pressure at the treatment plant needed to be turned up with university students returning. Water is treated at our plant up on the mountain and then sent down the hill. However, with gravity it could reach the village at a high pressure that could damage pipes, so a pressure reducing valve (PRV) is used. The PRV is also adjusted regularly (lowered or increased) to keep water moving in and out at the other high point in our system — in the two 1.5 million-gallon tanks in the Cherry Hill neighborhood closer to the Thruway.
Our ~100 year old tuberculated water mains are prone to creating turbid (brown) water when they are jostled. This happens when we’re performing work on the system, flushing hydrants, there is nearby construction shaking the ground, etc. Our water quality is tested and we have inquired with several experts about our “brown” water. Fortunately, it is considered common, in fact, an almost “normal” condition for most systems with older cast iron water mains. That being said, we can do better.
The best we can do when you see brown water, while we’re in the midst of securing grant funds to take on larger capital projects, is to advise residents to run their taps until water clears.
We have applied for grant assistance in each of the six rounds to the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) via the NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) since 2017. We received one award in 2019 and have our fingers crossed for 2023’s application, the sixth round, that we submitted this summer.
Mayor Tim Rogers
A perfect choice for town board
Evan Holland-Sheppler is an ideal choice to fill the New Paltz Town Board seat vacated by Dan Torres.
The central point of representative democracy is ensuring the widest possible sampling of voices have someone who knows and understands them in ‘the room where it happens.’ As such, local government especially should have a robust cross section of community members in elected office.
Evan has a unique perspective that we would do well to prioritize. He is representative of a generation facing very different social and economic realities from those who came before, making his voice necessary, especially in our college town. He combines this with deep commitment to and knowledge of the democratic process (he is currently managing Manny Nneji’s campaign for district attorney). Evan has lived in New Paltz his entire life and has always given back to this community — this is his home, and he shows that by showing up, again and again.
It seems especially fitting for Evan to take the seat being vacated by our last youthful representative, a signal of an ongoing commitment by our community to be intergenerational in our decision making. But make no mistake — appointing Evan to fill the seat is not merely symbolic. Evan has earned the respect of so many people in our community and he is well positioned to bring together a mix of new ideas, lifelong understanding, personal relationship and lifelong commitment that will serve our community well — quite possibly for years to come.
We would be hard pressed to find a better addition to the town board than Evan Holland-Sheppler.
Limina Grace Harmon
Arraigny day in Georgia
Georgia prepares to break strongman. This guy is poisonous. His reign of holding the Republican Party hostage will be over. The “Rule of law” will prevail under the umbrella of the RICO Act.
Tsunami of Crazy: “I did everything right and they indicted me -e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e!” – tfg.
Witnessing in real time a mafia investigation would have been infinitely less soaked in ridiculousness than the present predicament, if only because the characters and their relationships to each other could never approach the hyper-caricatural flair of this cast. Oh, The Don and his badfellas.
Times like these I really miss Jimmy Breslin who understood about “gangs that couldn’t shoot straight.”
With a commonsense purpose, our mindfulness wants to help remedy the wild insanity of their world and do right by correcting Trump’s terrible plus bigly lawlessness within our own society. We know when enough is enough. Self-serving ex-president bullshit conspired with a suffocating squeeze on freedom’s breath. They wanted to bring down democracy and install an authoritarian a-hole.
We’ll unravel their plot and recognize the enemy’s stink to defraud the voters throughout the land. Racketeering is seen as a brutal reality now. It is easy for us to recognize the smoke and mirrors as well as clearly seeing through ‘the crumbs’ of flawed options to overturn a lawful and successful election. They are all indicted as criminals and have been charged.
We, the people, will not be helpless. Create a narrative. The countdown is on. We are testing the meaning of democracy. Trump and company have been exposed for attempting to steal an election — throw ’em prison if they’re found guilty — Humming: “Georgia on my mind.” I’ll bet anything that it’s on his mind too. ’Nuff said!
A second chance
I have managed to keep up with the Joneses; (luckily, they’re almost bankrupt.)
Bird-banding has failed to stem the tide of decreasing bird numbers
Bird banding has been done for so long that bird researchers and watchers typically don’t give it much thought. Perhaps they should.
I visited a bird banding station once, and when I saw the intense fear in the eyes of the birds being handled, I had to leave and never wanted to revisit the experience.
Am I motivated by emotion when I call for an end to this practice? Absolutely! But there’s plenty of emotionless rationale behind my contention that banding should be discontinued, and it’s based upon physics, biology, logic and empathy.
Physics (the science of the relationship between matter and energy) dictates that increasing the amount of mass to be carried over miles requires increased energy stores to carry it.
Logic (the science that deals with the principles of valid reasoning) thus suggests that banding must be detrimental. A migrant has evolved to add just enough fat to its body to provide the energy needed to carry its average weight across the Gulf of Mexico. Adding a band — which increases mass to be carried — means a songbird’s energy will be exhausted sooner. Even if a bird’s energy is not depleted until it is as close as a few inches from land, the result is disastrous because the creature will drown if it falls into the water. Songbirds don’t swim.
Empathy (the ability to identify with and understand another’s situation and feelings) tells you that birds are terrified when handled by humans who are their natural enemies (some humans, including scientists, still kill birds).
Bird-banding science began in America over 100 years ago. As a tool for preservation, it has obviously failed to stem the tide of decreasing bird numbers. Hence, there’s no reason to add insult to injury; these animals are struggling enough to survive in a degraded world.
Marlene A. Condon, author and photographer
And I smile
Big, strong men come up to me , with HUGE tears in their eyes and ask me: “Wolf, when, oh when, will that lifelong loser, that man living off too many grifts to count, that pathological liar, finally be locked away?”
And I smile and say:”Oh you tearful big strong men! America will soon be great again.”
Unshakable shadows of yesteryears
“In Iceland, the memories of the barren mountains have become dirt at their bottoms, growing trees.”
— Unshakable Shadows of Yesteryears
The past and its constant presence in my life are unlike the guru’s metaphor of “never bathing in the same river twice.” My experiences, memories and histories are ceaseless rivers that flow within me, shaping and defining my identity. These rivers may change their course or pace, but their waters carry the residue of joyous and painful ancient moments.
The past is my shadow. It trails me, and irrespective of my desire to outpace it, my history lurks behind an ever-present, inescapable and persistent silhouette.
I am a fugitive of my past. No matter how far I run or where I hide, my history of war remains a ghostly pursuer, constantly reminding me of its existence. Trying to escape, I sought exits and ran down back alleyways, only to find my memories of fear and terror living in my bones.
In my mind’s basement and attic, I have categorized my past. Just as forgotten belongings gather dust in secluded corners of my home, old memories, regrets and experiences remain hidden in my mind, only to resurface unexpectedly. This secret storage makes it feel lighter momentarily, but my memories are baggage that gets transferred, not discarded.
The past’s enduring presence is an undeniable truth. It all comes with me. Leaving my past behind may be an ideal way to lighten my heart and step into the future unburdened. But it remains tethered to my soul, a constant companion until the end of time. My journey ahead is not escaping my past but acknowledging, understanding and harmonizing with the hauntingly beautiful melody’s I have lived.
Our country’s bipartisan Covid-19 vaccine was a huge failure. The danger was exaggerated. We were led to believe that the flu-like disease was more lethal than it was. We didn’t know that there were safe and effective treatments like chloroquine and ivermectin. Government ignorance and corporate media’s suppression of these treatments was the basis for rushing ahead with “vaccines” that were unproven for efficacy and safety. The gross political/medical malpractice was totally unnecessary. We had treatments that worked. Consider Nigeria, with its huge urban population, where people routinely take chloroquine to prevent malaria. Covid-19 in Nigeria was statistically insignificant. Ivermectin, among the most commonly prescribed and safest medicines in the world was prescribed by my doctor and was available online, for a low price, but its users were ridiculed and vilified by corporate media. The reporting was false.
The Great Barrington Declaration, from October 5, 2020 was signed by 938,279 concerned humans, including 47,618 medical practitioners and 16,099 public health scientists. It called for focused protection, without shutdowns and mandates, similar to Sweden’s protocol. We didn’t have to suffer so much.
The Cleveland Clinic’s peer review study from April, 2023 presents compelling evidence that the vaccines neither prevent Covid-19 nor its spread. It is a huge study, using all 65,000 of the clinic’s employees. It indicates that the more jabs a patient takes, the more likely the disease. Is there a larger study by a more respected institution? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6VdcRc3u0A).
Most of the hysteria has subsided, but certain institutions, ironically including institutions of higher learning, are continuing with the mandate and requiring proof of vaccination. Why is that?
Winston Farm and Open Space Institute
Dear neighbors and friends: I am in favor of selling 600 acres of Winston Farm to the Open Space Institute. This will provide future generations with a conserved open space.
I want you to support this good idea, too. Will you? It’s a “no brainer” and a win/win for everyone.
Very disturbing questions
It has come to my rapt attention that there are now 800 peer-reviewed studies from leading medical research facilities around the world that definitively link Myocarditis to the Covid-19 vaccines. These studies cite a huge surge in heart attacks and sudden deaths among children and young athletes who were vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccines. These scientific documented facts are being suppressed by the legacy media centers that basically receive 70% of their advertisement revenues from Big Pharma. Hmmmm…
I’m also questioning why Dr. Robert Malone who invented the mRNA technology that these vaccines are based on is publicly warning us NOT to get these vaccines. I also wonder why Dr. Peter McCollough who is the world’s most published cardio expert is stating publicly that the Covid-19 vaccines are “dangerous.” There is also Dr. Michael Yeadon, the retired vice president of Pfizer for 16 years, who is warning that the Covid-19 vaccines are “dangerous.” And why did Dr. Kary Mullis who won a Nobel Prize in bio chemistry for inventing the PCR test say that his test was “not to be used to diagnose any disease.” This was the most widely used test for Covid — Anthony Fauci’s choice.
All of these top scientists in their respective fields and literally thousands of other doctors have been threatened, fired from their jobs and/or accused of misinformation by the legacy media and the likes of Anthony Fauci, the CDC and the NIH.
And lastly, why did the CDC advise doctors everywhere NOT to treat Covid patients until they got so sick that they had to be put on ventilators in hospitals when most of the rest of the world was using a proven effective and SAFE drug that has been on the market for 60 years. That’s correct, IVERMECTIN has been documented to have saved millions of Covid patients globally who were infected with Covid if they were treated early. The two people who invented Ivermectin were also awarded with Nobel Prizes.
Is it a coincidence that the only way that a drug can be rushed to the public with emergency-use-only status is if there is “no existing treatment” for the disease they want to treat. And with a vaccine, in this case, developed at “warp speed,” never thoroughly tested on humans. It has now been admitted by the CDC and Pfizer that the Covid-19 vaccine “DOES NOT PREVENT TRANSMISSION.” So what’s really going on? We are being told not to do our own independent research. Why shouldn’t we?
The is inspired by Apocalypse Now and the insistence by POTUS Biden’s supporters that, despite his many lies and terrible poll numbers, Biden’s honest and doing a good job. Readers should imagine a puffy Putin-dressed in black-speaking to Joe in the preamble and then singing a parody of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” to a divided and restless feedback readership.
Putin: Are you an honest man?
Biden: If you don’t know the answer to that then either you ain’t black or you never watched MSNBC…seriously, come on man! Of course, I am…I’m “Scranton Joe” the honest POTUS…No joke…I really mean it…
Putin: Vranyo! You frequently lie. You even told Afghan Gold Star parents, your son, Beau, died in Iraq and your countrymen the lie that you knew nothing of Hunter’s business dealings. (You lie so often, when you finally went to Hawaii, I expected you to tell the audience you were raised by Hawaiians.) So, “Nyet,” you’re not an honest man: you’re an errand boy sent by Democrats to assassinate the truth.
51 biased intel guys were lying:
and they put on quite a show
Yes’n all the pundits covered up for Hunter:
cos, his laptop was bad news for Joe
The main stream press looks bad today
for choosing to look the other way
Looks like the piper’s gonna get his pay:
I bet Joe’s seventh grandchild thinks that’s alright
(Putin addresses Press)
I guess the truths you all have been concealin’
made electing Joe seem the thing to do
But when they’re known, those truths’ll be revealin’
how foolish Americans were for trusting you
You can fool 81 million people, some of the time;
even though foolin’ folks is such a crime
When they learn the truth fooled folks will chime
“Our Press makes Pravda seem alright!”
In 2019, Supervisor McKenna wrote: “I am thinking of appointing a task force to discuss, review and make recommendations with regard to signage, sandwich boards and the ‘billboard’ coming into town. I would like to appoint the CCD (Commission for Civic Design), a number of merchants and other interested parties.” The final make-up of the task force was members of the CCD, members of the business community and a member of the planning board.
Fast forward to 2023, where, once again, McKenna proposed forming a sign committee to review and make recommendations regarding signage, sandwich boards and the ‘billboard’ one sees coming into town. Is this the year Woodstock will have a sign law in place or will McKenna continue to appoint committees?
Hurley’s short-term rental regulations are helpful
It’s distressing to hear that many in our area are suffering due to the lack of affordable and available rental housing. Yes, short-term rentals (STRs) are to blame for much of it in Woodstock and surrounding towns.
In Hurley, one of Melinda McKnight’s first initiatives was to propose and pass regulations that require Hurley homeowners to be living on-site during any short-term rental period. This effectively stops out-of-town/corporate buyouts of properties in Hurley to be used exclusively as short-term rentals. Perhaps other towns will consider following Hurley’s lead in establishing the strongest short-term rental regulations in Ulster County. Thank you Hurley supervisor Melinda McKnight!
Tobe and Meg Carey
I believe that the best way to understand a point of view that I do not share is to listen to it carefully. MSNBC provides me with online education that is pretty much non-stop Trump bashing. Clearly, Joy Reid and the rest of their team (Rachel Maddow seems to be weekly, the others nightly) really want viewers to know that Trump is a dirty, rotten scoundrel.
This week, for my values, as President Obama put it, they crossed “a bright red line.” Put aside that Syrian Bashir al-Assad is still the thug in charge, and the Obama’s are spreading their gospel everywhere jets can fly, putting me in jail in Georgia would be my death, and the MSNBC team this week was gleeful, all on camera celebrating the mug shot heard round the world.
Taking a man’s life is rarely happy. “We got him” is the way President Obama told the nation bin Laden was dead. I was relieved. But The Donald, never my choice at Starbucks, did get about 70 million votes even after our sadly inept CIA, FBI and others violated his rights from the morning after he got more electoral votes than Ms Clinton.
Yes, I think that our trusted nation’s spook establishment did dirty deeds against that blowhard everyday of his term and that is a serious crime. Read James Comey’s book. He is a strange dude of a spook!
To celebrate what may be the end of President Trump’s freedom is giving the finger to a lot of good, family-valued, America-loving Americans. Big smiles on MSNBC, I hope, do not improve their in-the-toilet ratings.
It appears that the “mainstream” media is discovering a deeper understanding of the Biden family. No, they are not the Sopranos, but President Obama is starting to look like he was ‘blindsided’ by his Veep. With a talent like Valerie Jarret, his actual White House chief of staff for all eight years, how did he not realize that “something was rotten in the State of Denmark” (all credit to whoever wrote those words).
President Biden did win over President Trump, but he sure got a lot of help from those 51 NSA, CIA and FBI retirees who told us Hunter’s computer was another Russian hoax. At some point, ‘willful blindness’ is going to be apparent, in my opinion.
Unrelated, The Weather Channel has an amazing documentary about communities north of the Arctic Circle called High Arctic Haulers. Clearly, descendants of the first Americans are made of tough stuff!
Elting Library 66th annual fair
The 66th Elting Memorial Library Fair in New Paltz will take place this year on Saturday, October 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the huge book sale continuing Sunday, October 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entry to the fair is free, or shop for books as an early bird on Saturday at 8 a.m. for only $10 or on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for $5 (when most items will be half-price).
• Thousands of books in three dozen categories as well as LPs, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs.
• Lots of children’s books, toys, and activities.
• Silent auction and raffle with over 100 prizes including a mid-week stay for two at Mohonk Mountain House.
• Children’s activities.
Donations for books are closing as the book shed is almost full, and the staff needs time to sort and categorize to be ready for the fair. Book donations will be accepted during posted hours on August 30 and the weekend of September 2-3. Jewelry donations can be left off at the circulation desk during library hours. Toy donations, clean and gently used, can be left during library hours. The last day to drop off toys is October 6. Thank you!
Paul Edlund, Chair
Elting Memorial Library Fair
Bennet’s dubious allegations
Regarding HV1’s August 23 “Woodstock board lawyers up” article, a Bennet Ratcliff quote proposes that he allegedly saw something that was “very inappropriate” between supervisor Bill McKenna and a town employee. Watching the August 15 town board meeting YouTube video, it should be obvious that the subject “town employee” was a “woman.” Bennet would have us all believe that McKenna, knowing other town board members would be arriving within 15 minutes, allegedly took the career-damaging risk of doing something “very inappropriate” with a female “town employee.” Bennet, a savvy I Phone techie, who claims to have caught Bill in other similar compromising situations, conveniently never thought to pull out his I Phone and snap a quick photo of Bill and the town employee in their alleged inappropriateness. Allegedly, Bennet’s sidekick on the town board, Maria Conte, never saw the inappropriateness because Bennet was in front of her blocking her view as they entered the supervisor’s office.
This all smells of a dirty DC political maneuver that Bennet has learned from his Washington cronies to unfairly discredit McKenna. In the past, Bennet peddled his influence with the Clintons as a business that led him to being hired as a negotiator in the 2009 Honduran coup, obviously for the interests of coup leader Roberto Micheletti and not the exiled lawful president Manuel Zalaya. Never mind President Obama affirmed “the coup was not legal” the day after it happened (Intercept August 29, 2017). Bennet adamantly alleged on my radio show that his negotiations led to free and fair elections in Honduras. Meanwhile, the UN, the European Parliament, the Carter Center and all the surrounding Latin American countries said otherwise.
Can we now trust Bennet’s dubious allegations about his political opponent Bill McKenna, without any other evidence than his word? Nazi henchman Joseph Goebbels stated: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
Hopefully, Woodstockers are smarter than that.
I was just wondering …
I was just wondering … How can it be that the NY State school districts got about $3.4 BILLION from the lottery last year, and the number of students has dropped steadily for a LOT of years, but the annual increases in my school property tax has not even slowed down a little? (FYI..The last two big prizes only brought in about $100 million for the schools).
I was just wondering … How is it that just in my own county, we have seen thousands of acres of private lands turned into trails and parks, and the losses of these property taxes are added to the burden of those left just trying to survive?
I was just wondering … Why is it that when someone wants to do something on their own property, it draws hundreds to town meetings to get it shut down, but we can’t even get that many to come out to vote when a $20 million wish list is added to the school budget in order to keep taxpayers from having to experience a “drop” in their tax payments?
I was just wondering … How is it there is $15 million available in “surplus” tax money available to create housing initiatives, when we have hundreds of taxpayers losing their homes and properties EVERY YEAR due to inability to pay property taxes?
I was just wondering … How is it we can spend tens of millions of dollars creating walkways in the middle of nowhere, but the folks local to the businesses and schools have to walk in the streets and try to avoid the speeding cars and giant potholes?
I was just wondering … Since it seems that most political discussions are more about NOT picking someone than about picking a good one, why can’t we add a “NONE OF THE ABOVE” to all of our election forms?
I was just wondering … Since our elections are supposed to be pitting the two best people for the job, why can’t we make the loser be the defacto running mate?
I was just wondering … How is it that when we have thousands of eligible registered voters and only a couple of hundred come out to vote, the headlines read “overwhelming support” and “public mandate”?
Policing in our community
Any hiring, actions or decision making attempts by the Saugerties Town Board that does not include an independent, non-affiliated police commission, comprised of residents of Saugerties, to objectively oversee activities from hiring to firing to disciplinary measures , related to the future of the Saugerties Police Department, would be a mistake. The police department and its leaders should never be, nor ever have been, allowed to be politicized. A robust and fair police commission will effectively remove this component so the department can carry on, as interim Chief Barbaria emphasized, the good work of policing in our community (https://www.dailyfreeman.com/2023/08/26/interim-saugerties-police-chief-lou-barbaria-seeks-to-move-department-forward/).
Paul Andreassen, Former Saugerties Town Councilman
Malden on Hudson
We love bicycling! We love walking our rescue dog, we love jogging — all on the beautiful Ashokan Rail Trail. We enjoy the peace, tranquility and the ‘splendor’ of nature along the reservoir.
That being said, we have noticed an increase of bicyclists who speed on the rail trail as though it were the Tour de France. These inconsiderate hooligans refuse to slow down when passing through a crowded section of the trail; often with small children, families and people walking their dogs. These speed demons seem to have the funds to possess fancy bike apparel and impressive equipment — but no money to purchase a bicycle bell or horn? Doesn’t it occur to them that the good citizens peacefully enjoying the trail do not have eyes in the rear portion of their heads to facilitate the anticipation of a bike speeding up behind them?
As a result, we have witnessed many close calls and unpleasantly surprised trail revelers as they, their children and/or their dogs almost end up as ‘road-kill’.
So, we reckon we’ve made our point here and kindly request that any and all rail trail cyclists slow down when pedestrians are present and, when sneaking up behind others, PLEASE announce your impending arrival and SLOW down when the rail trail is congested. Thank you and have a safe and pleasant ride.
Donny Kass & Francesca Ortolano
Help me to understand
On Sunday, as a 63-year-old black man, I listened to the news out of Jacksonville, Florida that a heavily armed 21-year-old white man went to a Dollar General store to deliberately go hunt down and kill innocent black people. This is not a first, second or third time this has happened. How can a 21-year-old have so much hate and evil in their spirit and soul to write an insouciant racially hate filled manifesto and act as a buttress to every white supremacy and white nationalist hate group? Who would actually go and carry out such a wicked act of violence? Can someone, especially from the white community, give me some insight? What bad seeds are being planted in these young men’s heart and minds? Is it family rhetoric at home, lack of family values or social media interaction and influences? Is it a lack of spiritual and/or moral guidance? Is it a mental and emotional health crisis? It just can’t be just mental illness. I see and come across many mentally ill people who don’t want to kill others. Or is it a failure of our country and its policy and lawmakers? Please, I really need some intelligent answers. It’s black people today, but children, LBGTQ, Jews, Asians, Christians, Muslims, women and other general and random people tomorrow. This weekend’s shooting was nothing less than a modern day lynching on black people.
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic, “I Have a Dream” speech, which we have framed and hanging on our wall. In it, MLK says, “I say to you today, my friend, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise and live out the true meaning of its creed.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men (women) are treated equal.”
Lastly he says, “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and city, we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
A very powerful speech from who I saw as a very prophetic man. However, the hate and injustices that is consistently being plagued in America, I don’t feel very free. Dr. King’s dream has become my living nightmare. We are one race and that is the human race. One Love!
Campaign supporter or concerned native Woodstocker?
I am speaking to recent articles and letters quoting my participation in a public-be-heard session of the Woodstock town board meeting, dated August 10, 2023. When I volunteered to join the WHRC, I made a commitment to my community, to support the local government agencies to uphold their obligatory duty to honor human rights of all Woodstock community members and visitors to Woodstock, New York. My position on the WHRC does not require me to sideline my voice as a member of my community. When I speak in an official capacity as a commissioner, it will be made very clear. I came to that town board meeting as a deeply concerned community member. The recent articles in HV1 and the Kingston Freeman delivered a fraction of what I spoke to and neither journalist provided me with an opportunity to comment. They insinuated the meeting to be filled with specifically McKenna supporters — I ask folks to discern the difference between community members fed up with obstruction and being a campaign supporter. The latter is a shallow description of those who are speaking out in such a way.
The cause of my upset is rooted in the choices Mr. Ratcliff has made in his campaign. In an effort to oust his opponent, he has not only taken the time of elected officials, volunteers, board members and others with baseless claims and accusations, costing taxpayer dollars and adding several servings of obstruction of the tasks at hand, he is directly harming people. Since the beginning of the 2023 campaign season, there have been several issues that have arisen, all of which call for serious attention. Each has involved vulnerable community members. Bennet Ratcliff has not worked with the board to support resolution, but instead, he has used the vulnerability of those centered to grandstand for campaign fodder while obstructing board capacity. His most recent campaign strategy caused direct harm to a woman, in her workplace and two women’s personal relationships and centers himself as the affected party — in a complaint made about workplace safety. When I made note that a once strong, independent member of the town board now only speaks always and only in agreement with — and after Ratcliff — I was unaware that the person was a witness to his accusation. While I arrived at the town board meeting with an on-the-street version of the story, Bennet’s own public statements resemble a dark game of telephone — the first places a witness at the scene of his accusation and the second account backtracks, stating that his witness may not have seen the same thing he saw. This is further disconcerting, as it appears another woman has been brought into his campaign and used inappropriately. I would like to make note that if said accusation were to even be true … Ratcliff feels that it is perfectly acceptable, as a man in America, to make a woman vulnerable in her workplace, use her to attack his opponent and spread awful rumors about her. People can prioritize their own comfort and be offended by my strong voice speaking loudly, but there are many real issues in our community to be concerned about, and I would much rather be focused on the health of our community, than speaking to dirty campaign tactics.