from November 24, 2006)
The Nov. 9 Olive Press carries a letter by the Rev. James Audlin
complaining that an invitation to lecture on Native American
history was extended to a woman who is not Native American.
Rev. Audlin goes on to say this is just as inappropriate as
asking someone of French extraction to speak on Chinese culture.
I beg to differ.
Besides the famous example of the late Andre Malraux, who was
authority on Chinese art, one can offer more recent examples.
According to the Audlin line of reasoning, the cellist Yo-Yo
Ma, of Chinese extraction, should not be asked to perform Bach.
The conductor Seiji Ozawa (Japanese) should keep his hands off
Tchaikovsky. And surely it was improper of Picasso (a Spaniard)
to use African motifs in his art.
While this country has many shortcomings, there is one thing
it gets gloriously right: it recognizes merit based on competence
and willingness to work, not as some function of ethnic origin.
Let's keep it that way.
I am writing today in regards to a situation that has been frustrating
to me over the past few weeks that I think the community should
be aware of. I am a resident of the Town of Olive. I work part
time out of an office in Manhattan and take the Trailways bus
into the city twice every week, leaving early in the morning
and returning late at night. For the last year, I have been
getting on the bus at the Rosendale Hardware Store, where tickets
are sold and the bus picks up passengers. There were several
complaints about the parking area at the Hardware Store over
this period of time, commuters were not legally allowed to park
there so risked being towed, and the parking lot was not lit
at all during the night. In an effort to resolve this problem,
the NYS DOT built a park and ride in the town of Rosendale for
commuters to use.
The park and ride cost nearly $168,000 to build in order to
make it more convenient for commuters to park and catch the
bus. The lot was marvelous for almost a full two weeks when
all of a sudden the bus no longer would stop at the newly built
parking lot. According to bus drivers for Trailways, the parking
lot was not designed properly for buses to pull into; therefore
they could not stop there for “safety issues.”
Safety Issues? Funny how the bus will stop anywhere else along
Route 32 except at the designated parking area in Rosendale.
Not to mention that the safety of Trailways passengers is put
at great risk when we are forced to walk along State Route 32
(a three-lane highway with a speed limit of 55) in the dark
for nearly a quarter mile. Children, Seniors, and patrons like
I are forced to put our lives at risk by walking along side
of speeding traffic with no street lights in order to get to
our cars and drive home. When commuters are paying sometimes
$450 a month to ride the bus into the city for work, we should
be given the chance to park our vehicles legally without putting
our lives at risk.
When winter comes at full boar and snow piles line the shoulder
of 32, how will passengers get to their cars then? The town
or Rosendale’s tax dollars put to no good use whatsoever.
A parking lot for commuters is useless if the bus will not stop
there and pick them up. Ulster County Transit Center Director
Cynthia Ruiz said that “This is a perfect spot for this
type of park and ride.” In my opinion, the spot is not
I hope to see this situation resolved shortly, otherwise I will
need to find other means of transportation to Manhattan, perhaps
the Metro-North where I know I can park my car and get the train
in the same place.
Enclosed is a copy of a letter sent today to the Onteora Board
Dear Board of Education,
In your search for a multi-million dollar capital project that
meets the needs of the district, please pay utmost attention
to making sure any buildings and renovations are as energy efficient
and green-energy powered as possible.
It’s vital that the board take all due deliberation in
considering any building options and projected budgets and not
rush to a deadline for presenting a plan to the public. In light
of the dwindling student
population, and the cost of any plan, I believe if the voters
of the district see a renovation project that makes bold changes
in the way the district meets its energy needs, they will respond
positively. I also
believe the voters would see a such a green-plan to upgrade
existing and new facilities as an investment in the future.
To suggest spending between 62 million and 70 million dollars
of taxpayer money on district improvements and not take advantage
of the best possible solutions for our 21st century environmental
and energy needs would be unconscionable.
The board and its architects and planners should look at every
applicable place for energy conservation, as well as for use
of active and passive solar, wind, and geothermal systems that
could help make the district energy independent. And I trust
you are researching all possible sources for grants and funding
of innovative “green” building choices.
When making renovations, the district could implement an “Onteora
Initiative” and aggressively act in ways to make the district’s
facilities more energy sustainable. Planning would most likely
show that the district could add solar collectors to its existing
buildings and properties in Boiceville and perhaps at each of
its school building sites for both efficient solar hot water
and solar photo-voltaic systems.
Any roofing or building plans for additions to any Onteora buildings
must be designed to the highest world-wide efficiency standards
and not depend on a narrow search for building options. Onteora
could be a leader for energy responsibility throughout our community
with a carefully designed project that took into account the
kinds of design standards and building practices currently favored
in Germany, throughout Europe, and increasingly in use world-wide.
The district could look close by, in Tivoli, at the Common Fire
Housing Coop. for ideas on how to design structures and choose
materials for energy independence and responsible product purchasing.
Recent municipal solar photo-voltaic systems installed in Woodstock,
Rosendale and New Paltz also point the way to our energy future.
They augment the electricity available on the hottest days when
most needed and when they generate excess electricity, the power
feeds onto the grid helping meet the need for clean sources
of energy. This is a double win for our community.
A comprehensive greening of the district’s buildings and
operating systems would be of great benefit to the environment
and will be a boon to district taxpayers as they see lower energy
costs to operate the district’s facilities. Such an energy-wise
approach will go a long way toward gaining public support for
any capital construction plan put forth by the Board of Education.
Knowledge is power, but you need excess to information to obtain
knowledge. Tax payers of the Onteora School District need to
be informed. This is why I extend my sincere thanks to Lisa
Childers for her exceptional reporting on the Onteora School
Board meetings. For many that can’t go to the school board
meetings Lisa Childers reporting provides a wealth of information
about the school and helps to generate interest in the school
district. For many tax payers of the district Lisa’s articles
are the only resource that’s available to obtain accurate
information about everything regarding the school and how the
School Board is planning to spend our tax dollars.
The impact of the recent re-capture of the Senate and the House
of Representatives by the Democratic Party illustrates just
how much President George W. Bush disappoints the American people.
After contributing to the defeat of his own party at the polls
he is now asking the same Senators and members of the House
of Representatives to return to Washington, D.C. to complete
his old agenda as lame ducks.
Lame Duck sessions are not a reflection of a healthy democracy
because it permits an old and now political agenda to still
be continued in its direction and unabated without recourse
for the great mass of Americans.
As a native born American radical I can personally speak about
the COINTELPRO and Naval Intelligence tapping of my telephone,
dirty tricks firing from jobs, visits to employers and newspaper
editors. Wiretapping my telephones from Long Island to upstate
New York, calls from security people asking if I was going to
attend a specific meeting. Individuals who working with me and
others, befriending us, organizing peace demonstrations only
to surface later on as special agents. Now George W. Bush still
under the disguise of protecting us from terrorism is spying
on all Americans who are against his policies in Iraq. After
he has lost at the polls he has the nerve to continue full steam
ahead lying about cooperating in the future with the new Congress
while seeking continued support for John Bolton to represent
the US in the UN.
Bolton should never have been there to begin with. The media
is now trying to positively message us concerning his replacement
for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld activities of his father’s
former CIA Director Robert M. Gates Director who by practicing
“plausible deniability” is all of a sudden is rehabilitated
and clean as a whistle on the Iran-Contra Affair. After all
everyone feels bad for the old George now because it appears
his wings have clipped by the American people.
This is truly a farce because once again the media is spinning
a web of protection for the Bush administration and Mr. Robert
Gates who is depicted as a “team player, works behind
the scenes, is a member of an independent study group researching
the Iraq War and knows his way around the pentagon and the Chiefs
of Staff. It is a plain old dirty trick hoot right out Vietnam
to Iraq. It is the same kind of bird who worked with the FBI,
and Army/Naval Intelligence and the covert wars in Central America.
This is worse than Watergate ever was. It is Bushgate/Oilgate
or how do you make a giant stinking mess look like a place even
the Queen of England would like to take a room in.
We need to tell our representatives and our representatives
elect. “ No to Gates, No to Bolton and No to any laws
passed by lame ducks” that undermines our constitutional
rights to privacy by permitting the indiscriminate use of wiretaps.
If it is true the Brits have 35 different conspiracies of terrorism
they are monitoring tells you there is something really rotten
in Great Britain and the sink there is about the same as here.
What happened to the last crew of alleged terrorists just before
the elections? If they know about these people are they just
recording tapes for “plausible deniability” or is
this just a sequel to the movie “The Anderson Tapes.”
Personally I am still listening to the Basement Tapes by Dylan
and the Band.
A couple days before the mid-term elections I sent a check out
to the sandman (oops, correction: that should read “hay
man”), along with a little note saying something (he’s
a fellow Democrat) to the effect: “Let’s hope for
a successful election.” (I think I actually even used
an exclamation point!) But as the envelope was sliding down
the mailbox, I thought to myself, what the H did I write that
nutty note for? I say this because 6 years ago I finally woke
up (or so I thought) and smelled the coffee beans: Democrat,
schmemocrat; what’s the difference? (My therapist says
I’m a “recovering Democrat.”)
Anyhoo, it’s easier to realize that it won’t make
one hoot of difference who’s running Washington—Dems,
Repubs, Comms—you get the idea—if we have a clear
understanding of what politics is and what it is not. Issues,
schmissues; it’s not the issues, stupid! Politics is the
process of who gets what resources, when, and how. All political
activities aim ultimately to controlling wealth and maintaining
unchallenged power— in any state or society (sorry, America
is no exception here). Who benefits most is the end outcome
of the competition. The corporate media and our imperialist
warlords (those in power), as well as others jockeying for control
and power (read: the “opposition”), obscure the
term to refer to differences on other issues.
So, now that we’re clear on that: With all due respect
to below and minimum wage earners, tree huggers, the educationally
challenged, and all of us proud, lucky Americans living without
health insurance (feel the love?) in the wealthiest nation on
the GD planet: Are the Dems going to restore our Constitution?
Our Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties? The checks and balances
between the branches of government? Are they gonna revoke the
unconstitutional and treasonous Patriot Act, restore Habeus
Corpus, restore the Posse Comitatus Act, restore the rule of
domestic and international law? Roll back presidential power?
Abolish NSA spying on US citizens? I.e., are they going to dismantle
all mechanisms of the current dictatorship (AKA “Unitary
Executive” by the goons in Washington)? Dooon’t
Are the Dems gonna get us the H out of Iraq? Noooope. Don’t
think so. They We don’t want another experience like that
of 1997, where “final” decisions were sprung on
us. The community must have input during the consideration of
these issues so that administrators will consider the real needs
of the community. After the decision not to merge in 1998, The
Kingston Hospital’s Mission Statement was changed to reflect
its commitment to secular values. The administration held several
forums to dialogue with people around the county. But we are
concerned about this commitment. The Berger Commission has held
public hearings around the state. When they came to New Paltz,
we made clear our concerns about The Kingston Hospital merging
with a religiously-governed hospital because of its restrictions
on certain healthcare services. The hearings, which included
ten-minute presentations with no questions or opportunity to
reply, are not enough. The community must be a part of the discussions
between the hospitals.
Mildred M. Meyer
High Falls NY
These are exciting, hopeful and yet still frightening times.
The recent elections have opened up possibilities for change
and for peace and many of us are breathing a sigh of relief.
But of course, there is still so much to be done.
And now the people of New Orleans need our help!
Over a year ago the American people watched the destruction
of New Orleans on their televisions. We all saw not only the
enormous power of Hurricane Katrina, but we also saw the effects
of years of poverty and racism on the citizens of New Orleans.
Many Americans were shocked and angry. Millions of dollars in
relief flowed into New Orleans from very generous and good hearted
Americans, while the government poured billions into the war
effort in Iraq.
But now, over a year later, the disaster continues, not a natural
disaster (so far this year New Orleans has not felt the wrath
of mother nature) but more the governmental kind. It's not in
the headlines, or even in the back pages of our newspapers.
Before Katrina there were over 8,000 units of public low income
housing in New Orleans. Many of these housing projects were
solid, made of brick and concrete. After the Hurricane, the
Public Housing Projects were fenced off, the tenants unable
to return, not even to get their belongings. Many of these developments
were not seriously damaged by the storm and yet the tenants
have not be allowed to return. In a city where thousands homes
were destroyed, there is no alternative low income housing.
HUD, which runs the projects in New Orleans is in the process
of deciding to tear them down, with some plans to replace some
with "mixed housing" - which not only will take years
but will also eliminate a majority of low income units. The
tenants of these projects lived in them for years, often for
generations. They had leases, they had family and friends in
their community. Mostly they are dispersed throughout the region,
refugees in their own country. The HANO, Housing Authority of
New Orleans is deciding this month the fate of 5,000 of these
housing Units. While some of the housing projects are in serious
disrepair, many can be rehabbed and upgraded at less cost than
demolition and rebuilding. While I was in New Orleans in June,
I saw the St. Bernard Projects myself and clearly with some
gutting and repair, those houses were sound. Some local contractors
have recently added their voices to the call to save them. Tenants
have organized to fight their demolition and they are asking
for our help. I met some of these organizers in June. They are
angry, articulate and determined to return to their homes. This
is the kind of help that doesn't cost money or require a trip
to New Orleans. They need for us to contact HUD, to contact
our Congress people and tell them to stop the plans to demolish
public housing in New Orleans.
One of the New Orleans tenant's organizations is called Survivors
You can easily go to their web site at www.survivorsvillage.org
. Go to "ACTION Alert" and send a letter to the Alphonso
Jackson, Secretary of HUD in Washington. And click on "our
homes" for more information. Additional information can
be found on the Common Ground Relief web site.
Now is not the time to be silent. It is still the time for us
to be outraged.
Last Friday evening I attended the first Ulster County Watchfire
in recognition of Veterans Day, on Tongore Road, just off Route
209. Lisette Landin of Olive has worked for years to get it
organized and it finally happened, and it was extremely moving.
The night was cold and damp, there was a tent with donated food
and drink. No politicians spoke, only Vets, it was low keyed,
and when the huge bonfire was lit shortly before midnight, it
was emotionaly powerful and serious. I hope this ceremony will
continue and grow.
This past Sunday evening I went to Nyack to hear the father
of Lt. Ehren Watada speak. Lt. Watada has refused deployment
to Iraq on the basis of the "War" there being illegal,
and will be court-martialed in Fort Lewis, Washington. He has
declared "I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to
be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did
nothing to deserve our aggression. My oath of office is to protect
and defend America's laws and its people. By refusing unlawful
orders for an illegal war, I fulfill that oath today...if I
am to be punished, it should be for not acting sooner."
Please write to Lt. General James Dubik, Commanding General,
Fort Lewis, 1 Corps Bldg 2025 Stop 1, Fort Lewis, WA 98433 to
register your feelings and thoughts about this brave and thoughtful
I have lived in Mt.Tremper about 25 years and recently something
quite wonderful and extraordinary has taken place there. I am
referring to the people who are now in management of La Dutchess
Anne. They are wonderful and courageous people. Fabrice, the
chef, comes from Brittany and learned his skills there and in
Switzerland and in the United States. His fiance, Tania, a Peruvian
princess, performs many tasks. Steve, a sculptor, works in the
kitchen and Erica, from Phoenicia, takes care of the dining
room and makes an excellent martini. Robert Rizzo, whose parents
once owned the Phoenicia Inn, plays an accomplished and mellow
All you have to do is visit and try them for the first time.
On behalf of Shandaken Area Youth Sports and Helen Cordo, we
would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people
for their continued support of the Annual James. A. Cordo U-10
Olive Soccer for hosting the event. Chris Fischer for organizing
and officiating. Tyler Fischer, Claire and Andrew Wilsey for
running lines; Phoenicia Pharmacy; Brio’s; Phoenicia Wines
and Liquors; Mike Iapoce and Phillip Kirschner; The Nest Egg;
The Country Store; Boiceville Florist; Tiso’s; Cathy Neal
for her great cakes; Blake Killin.
Congratulations to Woodstock’s U-10 for winning the tournament