We feel obliged to report that Members of the Ulster County
Legislature will not reconsider a vote that took place on Thursday,
August 11th, 2005 regarding the Large Parcel Law. That night,
a majority of our colleagues on the Ulster County Legislature
decided against adopting the local option, which is commonly
known as the Large Parcel Law.
Please understand that we vocally and adamantly fought against
implementing the Large Parcel Law by getting key bi-partisan
support from Minority Leader David Donaldson, the majority of
the Democratic Caucus, along with several key Republican committee
Chairperson’s. We were united in the belief that the Ashokan
Reservoir’s taxes should stay in Olive – and not
spread throughout other municipal boarders within in Ulster
We are thankful that residents of Olive and Members of the Olive
Town Board attended the meeting and spoke about the failures
of this law. In addition, we must commend the citizens group,
Olive Matters for their efforts.
Lastly, we would like to recognize our colleagues on the Ulster
County Legislature who supported the Town of Olive on August
11th. Those Legislators are: Susan Zimet of New Paltz, Jeanette
Provenzano, Peter Loughran and David Donaldson of Kingston,
Joan Feldmann, Joseph Roberti and Robert Aiello of Saugerties,
Michael Berardi of the Town of Ulster, Joseph Stoeckeler and
Susan Cummings of Wawarsing. A number of lawmakers who have
supported Olive, with regard to the Large Parcel Law, in the
past were not present during this legislative session, including
Frank Dart of Kingston, Theresa Hyatt and Gerald DePew of Wawarsing
and Brian Hathaway of Rosendale.
Thank you once again for your time and attention to this important
Robert S. Parete Peter Kraft Richard A. Parete
Members of UC Legislature
The recent article in the 9/15/05 Olive Press (November Approaches)
had a couple of comments that made me feel compelled to respond.
It can also be said that misstatements foster ill will. It bothers
me greatly that Berndt feels that I have been ‘bad mouthing’
him or anyone. I have a great deal of respect for Berndt and
I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t like Berndt!
There are many long-standing, friendly ties that bind us all!
But I don’t think that’s the issue.
If I understand Berndt’s comments correctly, I can’t
help but take exception that Berndt would consider normal discussion
of Town affairs as bad mouthing someone. All I am doing is pointing
out some of the things that I feel should be different.
There are many more issues in our town than Berndt suggests
is my ‘platform.’ I don’t consider I have
a “platform!” Your reporter asked what issues I
thought were of importance to the people of Olive. The ones
I brought up were the ones I hear about the most - and that
I feel are the most important, but there are others.
Olive First Aid: First of all, it was reported in this article
that ...”They’ve got to get certified - something
they (the town board) promised to do six years ago and still
have not done.” I’m sorry, but the way this was
reported has totally confused me! I can’t imagine what
you have done to the general public! Contrary to the article,
Olive First Aid already IS ‘certified’ to carry
patients - and the “Town Board” didn’t promise
to do anything with Olive First Aid. But, I AM surprised that
Berndt would say that the Town does not get involved with the
Olive First Aid Unit. Didn’t we all (the Town Board) have
a meeting with members at Olive First Aid offices in Shokan?
Didn’t a member of the Olive First Aid board come to us
with a request for help and we discussed the billing possibility?
And didn’t we get a subsequent report back from OFA at
one of our Town Board meetings concerning the advancement of
that goal? Didn’t we feel billing would allow them to
have a full time EMT or Paramedic? Wasn’t the goal to
have someone available during the critical weekday when manpower
is low? Weren’t the concerns expressed at that meeting
about the lack of daytime response and the increased number
of calls being answered by Kingston ambulances? This adds precious
response time to someone in need. And then there are the issues
of several of our citizens facing very large ambulance bills
which were not being paid by Medicare. Whatever the issues with
Olive First Aid handling the paper work which would qualify
them for Medicare billing, is of little concern. I’m sure
all involved would agree that pure and simple, there was no
follow through to get it done. That’s not your fault,
Berndt, and I certainly didn’t say it was. It’s
not entirely Olive First Aids’ fault, either. It’s
hard to get people involved. It’s the lack of volunteerism
that is hitting everywhere these days. As far as Berndt questioning
why I didn’t bring the “squad’s problems to
town board meetings...” I have voiced my concerns about
the lack of daytime responses and how I thought billing might
help, many times. Both while I was on the board and since. Sue
Gunther has - many times, over the last two years, with first
hand experience about Medicare payment issues because of her
Mom. This is not new news. This is forgotten news. And yes,
Chris and I did join the Olive First Aid. We applied with Chris
as a Driver and me as an Associate. We were actually encouraged
to join by squad members because they were, and still are, looking
for help. We joined late last year. We wanted to do what we
can for our community. I know I can’t handle one of the
rigs, and I know I don’t handle broken bones. But I can
help in the background. I can type. I can help with fund raisers.
Chris can drive the rigs, he has the experience, through his
years as a police officer, to be a first responder - and it’s
something we both wanted to do. It’s what we can offer.
I hope to help, not stand outside and point a finger at what
is wrong. If I am asked, I will help to make any changes they
want to make for better service to our Olivites/Olivians. Olive
First Aid has been gaining some members. But it’s really
a struggle to entice much-needed volunteers. We need to find
a way to get more folks involved. I see billing as an alternative
to raising taxes - I see offering some kind of incentive to
those that volunteer as a way to help offset the major contributions
of time-away-from-family they make to our community.
Cell Tower(s)... How many people knew about the Boiceville balloon
test on July 31, 2005? I’m just very curious about how
this Boiceville applicant had a balloon test without the public
hearing that our first applicant had to go through. It was through
that public hearing that requests were made of Masterpage on
where visuals were to be done, etc. Is the Town going to insist
on the same visuals that were required of Masterpage during
their application process? I was able to do the same line-of-sight
analysis of the Boiceville Site that I did of the Masterpage
site. I don’t need to see an application to do that. I
remember Berndt’s praise and thanks for coming up with
those same line-of-site maps presented to the folks from Beaverkill
Road when they thought Olive might put a tower at the Transfer
Station. Berndt met with possible tower builders at the transfer
station and other locations around town to see what our possibilities
were. He was advised by ‘the tower guys’, that the
best site the town had (on town-owned land) was the Shokan Park
because of its height. The other site Berndt said they mentioned
happened to be the privately owned Indian Totem Poles for it’s
main stream location and line of sight through the mountains
beyond. The newest tower application (for Boiceville) is near
I feel the Town should be more pro-active in getting a tower
here. To me it’s a safety issue more than a convenience.
I know, and so does Berndt, that there are many ‘dead’
spots in town where radios don’t work - where ambulances
can’t talk to dispatchers to get further directions. If
we had good cell coverage, this would not be a concern. Or perhaps
it’s okay that bus drivers can’t talk with dispatchers
when they break down. As evidenced by recent Letters to the
Editor, we all heard about how long one of our Town Board Members
waited for someone to help when she broke down. A cell phone
would have prevented that. By now, we should have had the ONE
tower that would service the town and give critical additional
communication for Police, Ambulance and Fire Departments. I
consider us fortunate that we haven’t had a tragic disaster
that could have been prevented if the tower was in place. I
guess the major question doesn’t involve all that Berndt
did to delay or side step making a decision on the Special Use
Permit, it’s how he could possibly think he’s acting
in the best interests of the people. And yes, I was a Town Councilwoman
at the time of this review, and Berndt knew I was in favor of
this tower. It gave coverage to the majority of the town - unobstructed
- from a low tower height. Is it really in our best interests
to not be able to call 911 from the side of the road when we
see a fire raging, or witness a terrible, life-taking accident?
Large Parcel ... I still can’t fathom how other towns
knew about this legislation before we did. Shortly after this
information began to unravel, I did a little research on the
Web to find out what this was all about. How it was started,
etc. I circulated petitions asking that the Large Parcel Bill
be revised to remove reservoirs from it’s content (I still
have the copies). With Berndt’s blessing, I invited Assemblyman
Cahill and Senator Bonacic to come to one of our Town Board
meetings so we could present them with the petitions and ask
for their help. When Senator Bonacic wrote a letter (rather
than come to the meeting) he stated that Olive had not responded
to his office when this legislation was pending, yet other towns
had. This response indicated to me that news of this legislation
WAS out there before it became law. Assemblyman Cahill sent
a representative - Rob Parete - to accept a copy of the petitions.
He was not able to tell us much about what Mr. Cahill would
or could do now that it was a done deal. Both Politicians eventually
indicated that the best interests of the majority of their constituents
were being served by this legislation and therefore, we were
on our own. I went to then assessor Mike Sommers and asked about
the so-called notification letter Senator Bonacic spoke of that
was sent to town assessors about the Large Parcel legislation.
Mike responded: ‘I get so many pieces of paper each day
- I don’t always have time to pay attention to them all.’
I left his office thinking we were not being well represented
Berndt started a ‘committee’ to research Large Parcel.
Olive DOES Matter. It matters deeply to many of us - whether
we serve on his ‘committee’ or not. Committees are
great ways to allow for input from the general population of
the town. There used to be several committees that have fallen
by the wayside over the years. It would have been great to start
this committee off by giving them a list of what you had tried
that failed, let them discover other avenues. Let them come
to Town Board Meetings and tell everyone what they have been
able to accomplish and what they feel would help? Make decisions,
move forward. They really did bring cohesiveness on this issue
in our town - they worked hard to get people together - THEY
did it! We all (Town Board) went to the School Board - I spoke
there, remember? And we all went to the Ulster County Legislative
Chambers - remember? But Olive Matters got to the people of
this town and moved them into action with votes.
But before all that - before the news of the Large Parcel Legislation
came to us, I attended a meeting, along with Berndt and other
Town Board members, with our previous assessor, Rob Every. He
put together an elaborate amount of paper work and went to a
great deal of trouble to explain how the Equalization Rate is
applied as well as show us what would happen to our taxes if
the reservoir value went up, down or stayed the same. Rob highly
advised that a re-evaluation was in order. But you, Berndt,
led the way in arguing against that. You were worried about
the impact to some of our citizens. You chose to ignore the
advice of the one person who could see the handwriting on the
wall. You went to the State Office of Real Property Services
(ORPS) to get them to look at the reality of the assessment
of the Reservoir. Why weren’t you pleading our case all
the years we have been dragged into court by NYC? Even the Judge
presiding over our case (in 2002?) pointed his finger at you
and told you it was time to get a re-evaluation done. There
were several major indicators long before Large Parcel became
the issue that forced your hand. There’s no ‘secret
plan’, Berndt - just some very open, obvious signs that
I feel should have been heeded. Had routine re-evaluations been
done over the years, the increases would have been incremental,
not this walloping slap in the face we all got. Some of our
citizens will be facing another large increase. The re-evaluation
will be welcome news to the new-comers in our town who have
been paying the highest of the taxes. They should see a reduction.
Those that have had recent refinancing or built additions should
be pretty close to market values, and their taxes should not
change too drastically. But those that have not had any changes
- those who have not had any reason for our assessor to visit
their property - those folks who have been paying on a very
low ‘market’ value - will get the worst of this.
I just don’t happen to feel this is the responsible way
to watch out for our town and its citizens. When the school
said they would give Olive the time to get it done, it took
Berndt 18 months to get it started. It should have started immediately
or at best, within the couple of months it took him to find
a firm to do the work.
The only way I see Large Parcel going away is to REMOVE reservoirs
from the law. I don’t see how the re-evaluation alone
will remove us from the yearly stigma of the Large Parcel Law.
We need to remove the school trustee vote and the Ulster County
Legislative Chambers as battle grounds for what should never
have happened in the first place. But we definitely would have
had a better case in all our dealings with the various boards
had we heeded the advice of our past assessor (and the Judge)
and did the re-evaluation before it became the focus of an issue.
The time is now to move forward, accomplish the re-evaluation,
get the assessment in place, and work on removing reservoirs
from this law.
And again, Berndt - I’m sorry if you consider this bad
mouthing - I consider it my opinion. And I think I have a right
West Shokan, NY
I live in a town without a cell tower. There are many times
a day I wish I had one. As a fireman, I would like to call home
and let my family know I am okay. As a surveyor, I am sometimes
out in the field and cannot be reached. I bought a mobile phone,
and if I dangle out of my upstairs window and face Mohonk, I
can sometimes get a signal. I was surprised to have someone
ask me at the Pot Roast Dinner in Olivebridge, “ Why don’t
you want a cell tower?” I emphatically do.
First of all, a town has no choice about having a cell tower
or not. We probably would have had a cell tower up and running
three years ago if Masterpage hadn’t refused to go through
the Planning Board as any other business or resident would if
a zoning or subdivision issue were a question. Neither the Town
Board nor the Planning Board denied the cell tower. Masterpage
simply refused to follow the Planning Board process, and the
application has set of some judge’s desk without consideration.
They chose litigation instead of lawful procedure.
In the meantime, another company choosing another location has
started the application process. I am hoping that this application
will progress smoothly, so all of us in Olive can enjoy cellular
Bruce A. La Monda, Councilman
Jeremy, first off, let me correct the ones who say you're "gone,"
because I truly believe that you are, have been, and always
will be, here in spirit. I quote from a wise man who said, "Jeremy
wouldn't have wanted to be remembered as anything but ordinary,
which is exactly what he was anything but!"
Jeremy, you could have walked in any footstep that any member
of my family could have. Big brother, true advisor, loyal family
member, and a structural point in my well being you shall forever
be. It's funny how I can express so much to you now that it's
too late to confront you. I guess as time goes on, the best
thing I can do to honor you is to excel in life and to look
after your friends and loved ones.
I vow to never forget your face, aura, laugh and personality.
As the beautiful bonfire that was set for your celebration dims
down, I trust you know that we all love you and pray that you
are one of the first people we see when it is our time. Peace-out
Would all the believers of an after-life kindly pray for my
bitter and hardened heart to be softened and opened to such
fantasy? For if this preposterous fable be true, then my sweet,
precious son, Paul, just embraced his adored brother Jeremy,
and the two epitomized the cliché of riding off into
the sunset, together.
Debra Ann Romano
For the past couple of years there has been a lot of controversy
about erecting a Cell Tower in our area. Some feel it will take
away from the beauty of their mountain views. I maintained an
open mind about this until the night of August 30th when I had
a accident on rte 28 that could have cost me my life. Due to
the impact, my car was not drivable. I had ankle, leg, shoulder,
and at the time possible neck injuries. I felt around in my
car and was relieved to find my cell phone. Guess what NO Signal,
I couldn’t even call 911. As a former EMT-D (25 years)
I know the importance of the golden hour. This is the time needed
to treat life threatening injuries for the best possible outcome.
If it was not or the help of a passerby I don’t know what
I would have done.
So I say to all you residents who would rather see trees and
flowers then a tower when you have your morning coffee, supporting
the installation of a cell tower could save a life. The life
you save could be your own!
Lucky for me my injuries were not life threatening and I am
on the mend.
Thank you to Carol my guardian angel, and to the members of
Olive 1st Aid.
Sandy Hawver Boiceville NY
Onteora is not making the grade. As reported Onteora special
education students in the middle school failed to make adequate
progress in Math and English pushing the school below the State
accountability standards. The cost per pupil is higher then
any other school in Ulster County. According to the June 2004
report to the Governor and the Legislature under expended per
pupil unit, cost per pupil in the Onteora School system is four
hundred dollars more per pupil then any other school in Ulster
County. How can the cost to educate pupils in the district be
so much more expensive then all of the other school’s
in the County and still not make the States requirements? Cost
per pupil has been talked about before in the district, but
evidently nothing has been done.
Now that the large parcel debacle appears to be over it’s
time for the School and the Board of Education to look at why
it cost so much more to educate the students in the Onteora
School district. I’ve never seen any of Onteora’s
agendas include a resolution to study the cost of managing the
school. Corporations continually check to see what operations
are or are not cost effective. We can’t call a school
a business, but in a way it is. Analyzing cost to see what operations
are cost effective and what ones are not could result in meaningful
savings to the tax payers. Efficiency is another cost reducing
factor. Tax payers elect the trustees of the Board and entrust
them to keep their best interest in mind.
Is the School Board making the grade? School board agendas are
filled with resolutions by the Superintendent of the school
asking the board to approve all kinds of spending. According
to the approved minutes of the August 22, 2005 meeting all seven
Board of Education members voted yes on seven different resolutions.
Not one was questioned or discussed. School Board members do
not manage the school, but they do have the right to question
any spending any they can have anything included in any School
Board meeting’s agenda. They are also responsible to the
tax payers not just the school.
My name is Timothy Cox and I am a candidate for Olive Town Justice.
I throughly enjoyed meeting and speaking with many Olive Town
at Olive Day. However, many residents I spoke with were under
the impression that I work for New York City. I do not.
I am the Staff Attorney, or Corporate Counsel, for the Catskill
Watershed Corporation (CWC). CWC is a not for profit, local
development corporation based in Margaretville. The members
of CWC are the 41 towns in the New York City watershed. The
supervisors of those towns elect twelve of the fifteen directors
on the Board. I am only the attorney for CWC and I can't take
credit for the good work CWC does, such as reimbursing homeowners
to fix failing septic systems, making business loans or giving
a grant to local schools for Trout in the Classroom.
The CWC is not New York City.
As many residents in Olive know, Judge Vincent Barringer is
retiring this year. He's served as Olive Town Justice for over
20 years and his experience, both as a former town supervisor
and as town justice, as well as his simple common sense will
be missed. I was honored that many in the town felt that I am
the right person to try to fill his shoes.
I am a native upstate New Yorker. I grew up in northern Saratoga
County in the Towns of Greenfield and Day. I graduated from
SUNY Plattsburgh with a BA in Criminal Justice and Political
Science. I then attended and graduated from Pace Law School
in White Plains. I met my wife, Rebecca, there and we married
a year after I graduated. My parents still live in Day and my
father is the chair of the Day
I also have extensive experience as a clerk for a busy trial
court. I spent two years as a court clerk in the Bridgeport
Superior Court in Connecticut. I was in charge of a special
docket of over 250 cases related to asbestos exposure. I was
also the court clerk for more trials than I can recall. Prior
to coming to the CWC, I was in private practice with a small
Connecticut firm for several years. Some Olive residents may
know me better simply as Adrianne's dad. Adrianne attends storytime
at the Olive library every Tuesday morning with my wife Rebecca.
In November, the residents in the Town of Olive will elect a
new Town justice. For better or worse, that job is becoming
more and more complex. Usually, a town has to pay to send a
newly elected justice to Albany for a week of classes and tests.
However, lawyers admitted to New York bar, such as myself, are
exempt from having to go through those classes and tests. This
would save the town some money.
With my prior experience as a court clerk and lawyer, and my
understanding of living and growing up in a small town, I believe
I'll be an excellent town justice for Olive. My wife and I couldn't
of anywhere else to settle and raise our family. I look forward
to speaking personally with many of you in the weeks before
Although it has been clear from the beginning that the editorial
board of the Kingston Daily Freeman supported the proposed Belleayre
Resort, they have always maintained that it must meet ‘environmental
standards‘. Who’s ‘environmental standards‘?
In their September 11 editorial, the Freeman dismissed the NYSDEC
Administrative Law Judge’s decision to adjudicate 12 issues
as “unnecessary to protect the environment”. Apparently
the Freeman’s support for meeting environmental standards
only applies as long as it doesn’t interfere with development.
Last summer’s Issues Conference provided a forum where
many top exerts testified that numerous claims and conclusions
made in the developer’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(DEIS) were incomplete or erroneous. Aside from the first day,
the Freeman had no representation at the conference and I suspect
members of their editorial board did not burn the midnight oil
reading the DEIS and the thousands of pages of comments and
testimony. Yet they seem to believe they understand the issues
better than the Judge who presided over the conference and took
a year to make his decision.
The Freeman simply mirrored the opinion of developer Dean Gitter,
who has taken no responsibility for the numerous flaws and omissions
in his DEIS. Instead, he has blamed the State Environmental
Quality Review (SEQRA) process and opponents of the project.
The Freeman editorial also quoted Ulster County Chamber of Commerce
President Ward Todd, who jumped on the ‘blame SEQRA’
bandwagon as well. For the record, Todd and his wife Jane, a
Shandaken Town Board member, are co-owners of an 11-acre parcel
at one of the main gateways to the proposed resort.
It is disturbing that the editorial board of a prominent newspaper,
which is a primary source of information for many people in
the area, appears unwilling to take a closer look at this issue.
Do they know, for instance, that the area slated for development
has one of the highest rainfall levels in the state? That the
soil-type on the development site is very erosion-prone and
would be almost impossible to keep on the mountain during a
hard rain once the land is deforested? Are they suggesting decision-makers
should choose expediency over sound science and risk storm water
run off eroding the mountainsides, fouling the Esopus and causing
flooding, perhaps worse than we had in April where people lost
their homes? The storm water issue is one of the many critical
issues which have NOT been resolved and will rightfully proceed
The SEQRA process is working. This is the largest single development
ever proposed for the Central Catskills region and reviewing
it is complicated by its massive scale and mountaintop/side
location within the NYC Watershed and the Catskill Forest Preserve.
A more superficial environmental review would not serve the
environment or the public. It would only defer problems to the
future and it would ultimately be the taxpayers who would be
left with cleaning up the mess.
Recently, the journalist Jeremy Scahill, writing in The Nation
magazine (September 22, 2005), exposed the use of private security
firms in New Orleans to “secure neighborhoods” and
“confront criminals” in the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina. This use of what I can only call “mercenaries”
on the streets of an American city is profoundly disturbing,
dangerous to the people of New Orleans, and has echoes of the
private groups of thugs Hitler used to squash and intimidate
any and all opposition.
These private security firms, which are heavily armed, are supposedly
guarding government projects, private businesses and homes.
Blackwater, USA, a firm that worked in Iraq, has 150 men dressed
in flack jackets, and has already been involved in shootings.
Other firms, according to Scahill, include DynCorp, Intercom,
Blackhawk and an Israeli company called Instinctive Shooting
The use of these mercenaries on our streets is terrifying. They
are not part of the regular police or National Guard and there
are no built in accountability structures. As far as we know
these mercenaries are not directly supervised by the government
nor are they trained in the protection of people’s constitutional
rights as our local police and National Guard, hopefully are.
Their use demonstrates the utter breakdown of our government
and its responsibility to protect its people. These mercenaries
must be particularly scary to African-Americans who have memories
of lynching and murders carried out by vigilantes. But spreading
that terror may be part of the very purpose of the mercenaries:
to create a New Orleans with fewer African-Americans and poor—drive
For anyone worried about the creation of a police state in America
or in fascism these mercenaries on our streets are a particularly
ominous sign. What the U.S. is doing to people abroad is coming
home, here to America. The historian Thucydides wrote of Athens’
expanding empire. That empire led Athens to become a tyrant
abroad and then a tyrant at home. As Chris Hedges the former
New York Times reporter said, “The tyranny Athens imposed
on others it finally imposed on itself.”
Michael Ratner, President
Center for Constitutional Rights
New York, NY
As New Yorkers know all too well, the price of gasoline has
risen steadily over the past several months, and this week,
in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the price spiked dramatically.
My offices around the state have received numerous calls from
consumers expressing concern at these developments and questioning
the legality of the price increases. In response, I have instructed
my staff to monitor the situation and pursue evidence of any
In this regard, the public should understand that there is no
specific regulation of gasoline prices in New York. Retailers
generally are free to charge whatever the market will bear.
However, retailers, distributors, refiners and producers are
not free to use a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, to
justify dramatic price increases unless those increases are
directly attributable to additional costs incurred. If they
do raise prices without such justification, they may be price
gouging, which is illegal under New York State law.
My office will work with relevant federal, state and local agencies
to determine whether violations have occurred. We will respond
quickly and aggressively if evidence of price gouging is uncovered."
NYS Attorney General
In an article that appeared on Saturday, September 17, 2005
in the Washington Post entitled: Bush Says Spending Cuts Will
Be Needed Tax Increase Not Part Of His Gulf Relief Plan, it
is becoming very clear that he expects working people, low income,
frail elderly and people with disabilities to pay for the failures
of his administration to protect the people of the Gulf region.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Gulf region needs to be
rebuilt and those who are homeless need to be helped but it
should not be the people who can little afford any cuts in their
benefits and wages to achieve this. It is asking all of us to
pay not once but three times.
Originally the funding for protecting and emergency reaction
plans were cut by the Bush administration in order to help fund
the war in Iraq and now he is asking all of us to pay again.
New Orlean passed a Living Wage Law of $15.00 per hour for all
construction work and on September 17, Bush by decree ended
the prevailing wage-rate in hopes of paying workers in the recovery
effort at the federal minium wage of $5.15 per hour. In addition
there is a conservative phone-in effort to cut Medicaid and
other government benefit programs in order to pay for the Hurricane
Relief. This is an outrageous atrocity, especially when millions
are being raised to assist in the relief effort while it appears
the conservative agenda and the Bush administration are talking
out of both sides of their mouth in hopes the American people
are aware of just what is really happening.
As the System Advocate of the Resource Center for Accessible
Living, Inc. I am asking individuals to call their representatives
now, especially Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer to ask that
they not allow this to happen.
Why should the working people, low income, poor, frail elderly
and people with disabilities be forced to carry the weight.
It is time for President Bush to roll back his tax-cuts to wealthy
and for this group to finally bare their rightful share of pain.
CUTTING MEDICAID IS THE WRONG THING TO DO: Instead of cuts,
we need MORE money for Medicaid, so survivors of Hurricane Katrina
can get the health care they urgently need. Instead of cuts,
we need MORE money for Medicaid so states can avoid some of
the draconian cuts they have been considering. And, since we
don't know yet just how much damage Katrina has been done to
the nation's economy, we need to make sure Medicaid is in a
position to help if unemployment starts going up again.
WE NEED YOUR HELP: Members of Congress are already getting calls
from conservatives urging them to go ahead with budget reconciliation
and Medicaid cuts -- whether they pass a Katrina relief package
or not! That's why we're asking you to call your Senators and
your Representative today. Urge them to:
(1) SUPPORT the Hurricane Katrina disaster package please go
to the following url http://www.familiesusa.org/ for more information.
(2) OPPOSE any cuts in Medicaid and permanently delay budget
Call Congress Toll-Free:1-800-828-0498. This number goes to
the Capitol Switchboard. Just ask to be connected to your Senator's
or Representative's office.
Please call today!
RCAL has already sent equipment, whatever we can to the victims
of Katrina. This crisis should not be used as an opportunity
to expidite the cuts in essential benefits and services to the
very people who need it the most.
Resource Center for
Your editorial of the September 15th Olive Press was certainly
hate filled with a number of errors. The whole thing was an
error in that instead of writing a "bring us together"
type of message you preferred to "trash" anyone and
everyone connected to the Republican White House. I have no
problem with that except that editorials have a way of creating
"me too's" or the reaction "exactly".
Here's my problem at this time. There are a number of fund raising
events going on through many venues. During three of them some
entertainers have taken the liberty to personally and politically
assasinate the president which has some effect on getting our
Republican [and Conser-vative] brethren exorcised to the extent
that they might say, "if that's how they're going to help
the victims, then let them do it themselves". Certainly
we are bigger and better than that but Bette Midler demonstrated
poor taste just prior to her act at Madison Square Garden. A
few "ground" their axes at other events days before
while many got the hurricane aftermath activities wrong. These
were "tacky", in bad taste and the wrong forum for
Indeed the media [including the Press] got it wrong in accusing
the Federal government of doing nothing prior to the "hit".
What about the first responders? City officials who left 1000
school buses to drown; citizens who declar-ed they would not
leave because their "houses would be looted" and those
who declined to evacuate because they claimed they could "ride
it out"? All on TV.
Then Katrina hit at a "4"; pretty rough stuff. There
was indeed looting as seen by we TV viewers and reported by
the media. Wolf Blitzer of CNN wondered aloud "what are
they going to do with a TV set"? Brian Williams of NBC
commented on the hospital looting of white uniforms and surgery
equipment. Then there's the Normandy [now WWII] Museum that
was looted for it's computers and so many items on exhibit.
And Jill Paperno of Glenford tells us that all they [the looters]
were doing was getting food and water to women and babies. Yeh,
Jill! Everyone would have looked the other way if that was the
case, but even the National Guard's attention had to be directed
from rescue to looting and shooting. Who wants to eat firearms
and ammo [stolen from a gun store]?
You're right on with the Highway bill that will build a bridge
in Alaska that connects an island with a poulation of 50 to
a mainland town of 8000 and the 50 don't want or need any of
the 8000 to alter their way of life. Guess who or what the majority
of the "yeas" were for that "pork" bill?
Demo ..... well, see the Congressional Record. As for the short
changing of the Corp of Engrs. budget we can give Congress the
credit. Sure Bush signed it. We should be celebrating this man.
He's the "candy man" in a Santa suit. Speaking of
candy; No comprende, the reference to "Soldiers handing
out candy to happy Iraqi children". We do that wherever
we go in the world whether it's an occupying force in Japan
['45], a joint effort in VietNam [60's] or in response to starving
Somal-ians. Don't "trash the troops". They don't belong
there to begin with.
To be sure, Mr. Editor; most of your line is correct. But rather
than just mention "Halliburton is flying", you must
make the connection. Chaney took stock options on departure
from Halliburton, hence Halliburton gets con-tracts, cheats
on them for 60 million, gets fined for less than that and gets
a new contract or renewal. Go figger.
Lets do the Oil and [natural] gas. Getting into a"flap"
with Canada or Venezuela wouldn't mean a thing re: U.S. oil/gas
imports. All oil from most or all producers goes on the world
market and as much as Chavez wants to tweak our noses he has
yet to demand that his oil be segragated from the pool so we
don't get any. For you economic wizards who see the oil distributors
as "rip off" artists, try this one. When at Sigonela
Nav. Air Station [Sicily] in 1984 we had a rental car. Doing
the math [Liters to Gallons/ Lira to dollars] gasoline was $3.02
per gallon. Today the price of gasoline here is making a correction
just as the stock market did when it adjusted to a Dow of 1000
[a long coveted goal] and kept going to over 10,000. Increases
in oil products will surley cause other consumables to rise
in price; but didn't inflation occur when interest rates went
to 21-22% during the late 70's when we know who was president?
For you "worryers" who praise God when someone else
is worse off, gasoline is at $5.00 +/- per gallon in Italy today.
It's at $6.00 in Norway [North Sea Oil] because Norway has no
refineries. It goes to Scotland as crude and returns refined.
Israel, the only middle east country with no oil, imports its
oil products and guess where it comes from? Correct; other middle
east countries that hate Israel who buys it on the world market.
Your editorial Mr. Editor criticized everything sacred to politicians
of both stripes that I must conclude that you have a notebook
far more complete than a Nexus.
After all this I commend our Democratic nominees for approval
at the polls on Nov. 8th. They have demonstrated their ability
to lead [and govern]. Yeh, Mr. Editor. We have come to "rely
on our elected officials". That's the way it is. Editorials
are comprised of "hot air" and a "squishy"
Glenn T. Anderson
In the next few months, the Ulster County Board of Elections
will be making a decision that will affect the residents of
our County for two or more decades. The citizens must take action
to insure the decision made will be the one that allows each
citizen to have their vote count the way they cast it.
Under recently passed State Legislation, Ulster County Board
Commissioners Thomas F. Turco and Harry M. Castiglione will
decide the type of voting machines that will be used in all
elections in our county. The era of lever based machines is
over. And in 2006 and beyond, each voter will be using a new
kind of machine.
I urge each voter to write these Commissioners (284 Wall St.,
Kingston, NY 12401) and demand they choose a Paper Ballot to
be counted by Optical Scanners (PBOS) at each voting place.
This method will insure that the voting system used in Ulster
County will be reliable, accessible, accurate, transparent,
secure and verifiable.
Unfortunately, the vendors of election machines are trying their
best to force election commissioners to purchase DRE machines.
These Direct Recording Electronic machines are similar to the
touch screens used in banks. They are subject to software errors
or manipulation that can go undetected by the voter and even
voting officials. They do not easily allow for a recount to
occur in case of disputes. The software used in these machines
is secret and the voter cannot be certain that his/her choice
is truly recorded. There are many instances already that show
these machines to be inaccurate and false in their vote totals.
The vendors want to sell DREs to our communities since they
are more expensive to purchase, are more expensive to maintain,
and are likely to break down more often and with greater frequency
than PBOS machines. The cost of DREs is 50 - 100 percent more
than PBOS systems. Since our County taxpayers will pay the final
bill for these machines and since our County Budget is already
in the red, it behooves our County Legislators to insist the
Election Commissioners purchase the more economical machines.
More information about these machines and the pressure being
placed upon our local Commissioners is available at www.nyvv.org.
Your tax dollars and your voting rights are at stake. Take pen
in hand and let your Election Commissioners know that Ulster
County residents want a PBOS system when they go to vote.
Richard P. Cooper