On January 25, 2010, as Supervisor of the Town of Shandaken,
I was advised to declare a State of Emergency in the Town
due to severe flooding. I'd like to thank all the volunteers,
the Fire Departments, the Town of Shandaken Police Department,
the Town of Shandaken Ambulance Squad, the Ulster County Sheriff's
Department, Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, the DEP and Ulster
County Emergency Management for all their assistance and help
during and after this threat to our town. I would also like
to thank the Highway Departments of the Town of Shandaken,
Ulster County, and New York State. The crews were out during
and after this event helping to avert potential disasters
and securing our roadways ensuring safe passage for our citizens.
We are grateful that there was no loss of life or homes during
this recent emergency.
Robert A. Stanley, Supervisor
Thank you for your support of our auditorium's renovation.
The renovation is inspirational to us and to our students.
Last week we rededicated the auditorium to Harry Simon, who
began and taught in the Onteora music program for 36 years.
His marching band was legendary for winning many awards, and
marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; at Shea Stadium
for a Giants game; at the 1980 winter Olympics in Lake Placid,
and even recording a Pepsi commercial.
For the concert, we invited alumni musicians to play along
with our 150 student musicians - in orchestra, chorus and
the band. We had over 60 alumni musicians, dating back to
the 1960s, come back to play, some from as far as Maine, California,
Maryland and Virginia. Their enthusiasm sparked us all. The
electricity in the room was extraordinary. We thank them,
and our wonderful emcee, Simmie Sernaker.
For the music department, this celebration and our new auditorium
means a tremendous amount. Performing in the auditorium now
is a pleasure. Gone are the hard, uncomfortable plastic seats
(donated to area groups), replaced by comfortable fabric ones.
And, we now have HVAC, custom-designed acoustics and lighting
and sound controlled by a computerized board. New steel rigging
means we can have sets for our productions.
We also would like to thank the following area businesses
for their donations to feed our 200+ musicians, and for our
after-concert reception. Please patronize them, their generosity
is immeasurable. They are: Adams Fairacre Farms, Boiceville
Supermarket, Bread Alone, Catamount at The Emerson Resort
& Spa, DECA at Onteora HS, Deising's, Dominick's Caf?,
Hudson Valley Spring Water, Hurley Ridge Market, Kasey's Caf?,
Mizuna Caf?, Onteora Mountain House, Pastryqueen's Cooking
School, Sportsman's Alamo Cantina/Brio's, Sweet Sue's, Village
Pizza and Winchell's.
We invite you to join us for our next concert, featuring guest
artist, Justin Kolb, pianist. The date is February 4. Look
for further details at www.onteora.k12.ny.us. We hope that
the auditorium will become a well-used venue by artists and
speakers supporting our students' education.
Thank you again. And, please do come to the upcoming events.
Dr. Leslie Ford, superintendent
Onteora School District
I was devastated to learn that thousands of pallets of food
and water sit in the Port Au Prince airport while people are
dying of starvation and dehydration...no food or water in
a week for most of them. When the food is moved it is to the
On the ground small charity groups are the ones who are getting
in what little aid they have in relation to population (Haitian
People's Support Project, Madre, etc.) with no access to what
is necessary to give to life.
That marines could have been dispatched from nearby Guantanamo
Bay on the many planes there...and with many supplies including
water purification systems is a given. It did not happen.
Furthermore the head of a humanitarian organization on the
ground there, an American, has called the story of 4000 prisoners
a lie. That is pretty strong language from an American. Dr.
Evan Lyons of Partners in Health and attorney Joseph spoke
stating that that at least 80 percent of the imprisoned were
not charged with any crime and have sat in jail from between
one and six years...Many of these are former low ranking officials
from the elected government of President Aristide which was
ousted violently a few years back.
This was reported by Amy Goodman, award winning journalist
of impeccable credentials, on TV (Link TV) and many radio
stations and at www.democracynow.org.
"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
West Hurley, NY
I found Mitchell Langbert's letter in your January 14th issue
quite interesting. His theory that Democrats come in two general
categories, a)liars, and b) suckers, was quite persuasive.
But why just Democrats? His theory fits Republicans even better.
Republican policies are even more in thrall to large corporate
interests over those of common individual citizens.
Personally, it seems to me that Party loyalty most resembles
rooting for sports teams; "Yay my team, good, bad, or
pitiful." No one ever wonders if the Mets really deserve
to win or are really objectively the best -- Mets fans just
want to win any way they can.
During this time of economic uncertainty, and for some, economic
instability, there is an anti-poverty tool that many people
are unaware of. Called the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC,
it was initially enacted in 1975, and has been expanded over
the years to become one of the best anti-poverty tools in
the country, enjoying broad bipartisan support. For the 2009
tax year, a claimant with one qualifying child can receive
a maximum credit of $3,043; a claimant with two qualifying
children, a maximum credit of $5,028; and a claimant with
three or more qualifying children, a maximum credit of $5,657.
Yet, research by the Government Accountability Office (GAO)
and the IRS indicates that between 15%-25% of people eligible
to receive the EITC don't claim it.
The Ulster County CASH Coalition, led by the United Way of
Ulster County, was formed to help rectify this. In 15 locations
throughout the county, trained volunteer tax preparers are
available to work privately with individuals and families
by appointment. Appointments are available during the day,
and every Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., January 30-February
27 at the Hudson Valley Mall, and on Saturday, March 6 at
the Everette Hodge Community Center in mid-town Kingston.
To schedule an appointment, call 845-802-7190. While appointments
are preferred, walk-ins, especially at the Hudson Valley Mall
and Everette Hodge Center, are welcomed. Also available on
site will be specially prepared packets with comprehensive
information on other federal, state, and local benefits that
customers may be eligible for.
The ultimate goal of the Ulster County CASH Coalition is to
make sure that every household in Ulster County eligible to
claim the Earned Income Tax Credit does so. Not only is it
a benefit to the family who receives it, but for the county
as a whole, as data shows that much, if not all of the refund
is used to pay bills, or to buy basics such as food and clothing.
So, please pass the word to you friends, your neighbors, and
your colleagues. Help is available.
Stacey Rein, President
United Way of Ulster County
In Jennifer Holz's Phoenicia Times column the large photo
of a Chickadee was irresistible and her accompanying piece
was quite courageous, making a parallel between the chatter
made by birds and the chatter of people. She did not use the
word gossip once, though it seems that is what it was about.
She refers to a book by a rabbi and also Jewish law, "...slander
ruins a life for years to come." She says a mouthful
when she says, "I will resolve to pay more attention
to what goes out of my mouth than what goes in."
This reminds me of a film, "Odd Man Out", a British
movie about an IRA member, seriously wounded, who finds refuge
in a wreck of a mansion, occupied by three societal outcasts,
a priest an artist, and a physician. The three want to use
the dying man for their own selfish purposes, indifferent
to his life or death situation. I compare this to several
people telling the same tale about the same person but for
their own individual reasons, emotional, ego driven or whatever.
It is interesting that when we talk about someone, degrading
them, we are doing so perhaps without fully realizing why.
We are using that person-for our own purpose, regardless of
the harm we may do, unless, of course we are doing it intentionally.
Sure there is friendly gossip, but not friendly slander. Incidentally,
to a Chickadee, one sunflower seed is a mouthful. .
T hank you to the Phoenicia Times POV for giving us the oppor-tunity
to read Martin King's "From Paul's Letter to American
Christians." It was an extraordinary read. What a courageous
man Martin Luther King Jr. was!
I have to remark on the intelligence and passion behind Jill
Paperno's letters. Her dedication to informing us of various
issues and trying to light a fire under our dormant butts
has to be commended. Keep it up Ms. Paperno. The big pot of
truth and awakening has tipped over and is slowly spreading.
Thank you to the Phoenicia Times for its generous letters
Mount Tremper, NY
The Phoenicia Times appears to cover closely the activities
of Shandaken's town government. However, it's very interesting
what you don't mention.
The Town website was abruptly shut down. The volunteer webmaster,
Rose Dorn, wife of the former town supervisor, Peter Disclafani,
claims that she was not properly thanked by the newly elected
town supervisor Rob Stanley. Therefore, she is not responsible
for turning over the codes to the website or re-installing
the town's primary public communication link.
The sole mention of this debacle, perpetuated by a clearly
disgruntled partisan volunteer, is Ms. Dorn's letter to the
Editor printed in the January 14 issue of the Times.
Ms. Dorn goes on to tell us she was contacted by the Town
attorney, but she refuses to turn over access to the website
without a satisfactory thank you or an offer to pay for her
work. It's astounding to me that a former volunteer can hold
the town hostage and it doesn't rate a footnote in the Times.
If the same thing had happened when the last Republican administration
turned over the reigns of government to the Democrats, I have
no doubt you would have heard shrieks of complaint from this
newspaper. The selective coverage of the Phoenicia Times bring
to mind the type of censorship Google is facing in China.
Mt. Tremper, NY
Last year we were suddenly in the midst of stage 4 lymphoma.....my
husband was critically ill, and was hospitalized or undergoing
treatment most of the year. Throughout this period, we were
constantly astonished by the the calls, cards, prayers, and
assistance from not only our dear friends; but also from people
in the local businesses, our doctor, and individuals we knew
mostly just to say hello in town. People showed up and extended
themselves to us with food, shopping, firewood, chores around
the property, and help with our dogs when I needed to be working.
The meaning of the word "community" became clear
to us, and our gratitude is immeasurable. Who knew there were
so many angels in one small town ? Thank you to all of you
for your incredible kindness and support.....the experience
was truly life-changing.
June & David Brought
The portrait of unimaginable human suffering coming out of
Haiti is unbearable even to look at. I wish I could get these
images out of my mind but I can't. How the people of Haiti
find the strength to go on is beyond me.
Likewise, I can't help seeing these images and flashing back
to Gaza and similar scenes of people trapped in collapsed
buildings, mourning over lost loved ones, of the hopelessness
and despair in the eyes of the homeless wandering the streets.
The loss of any life always gives us pause to reflect because
our consciousness of mortality makes us see ourselves in the
dead and dying.
Poverty is easy to ignore, and war is easy to support when
it's stripped of its humanity.
Mount Tremper, NY
Like many, I was frequently approached by Mark at the Woodstock
Library, Grand Union or on the street and eagerly engaged
in dialogue (during his non-silent phases) about what was
important to him at the time. As a lawyer, he often gave me
his opinion, and sought mine, about current legal topics.
Each conversation ended with his gift of a Buddhist drawing
on rock, paper or wood.
Some years ago I took one of Mark's small inked stones with
me on a visit to Sri Lanka. In Anuradhapura, in the center
of the island, stands a strong old tree, said to have grown
from a shoot of the original Bodhi tree under which Siddhartha
Gautama achieved enlightenment in India centuries earlier.
It is a sacred and busy spot, where pilgrims gather and monks
chant. I approached as close as I was permitted and deposited
the stone as an offering.
Upon returning to Woodstock, I encountered Mark in Bradley
Meadows and told him the story of his stone. As I spoke, tears
gathered in his eyes and, though he was in one of his silent
periods, he grasped my hands and slowly whispered "thank
I'll miss him.
Rose Dorn, wife of the former Shandaken Town Supervisor, Peter
Disclafani, writes in the January 14 edition of the Phoenicia
Times, that she is upset because she didn't receive a thank
you from the new Supervisor, Rob Stanley, for the countless
hours she worked on the Town's website.
Ms. Dorn has made it clear that she has no intention of continuing
to volunteer. Since all her countless hours took place during
her husband's tenure, shouldn't he be the one to thank her?
When asked to turnover the codes to the website, she refused
and the site mysteriously shut down. Ms. Dorn points out that
she is not responsible for backing up the information on the
site and wants a proper thank you or payment for her "countless
hours of volunteer work".
What did Ms. Dorn do? She erased all of the programs on the
Town's official website; she refused to turn over the password
keys to the incoming town administration; she posted a snarly
letter demanding either some form of acknowledgment for her
work or payment. In a fit of childish peak she destroyed Town
property and we're supposed to applaud her behavior. Give
me a break!
To be a volunteer, one acts of one's own free will and unpaid.
That's a volunteer!!
My husband and I have been volunteers for our hamlet's fire
department for over 50 years. I guess in Ms. Dorn's world
that means if we feel unappreciated we can take one of the
trucks home in compensation for all our work!
Instead of a thank you from the Town, Ms. Dorn should issue
an apology for her childish behavior and hope the town doesn't
sue her for the thousands of dollars it will have to spend
to redo the website.
When President Obama and his Cabinet took office a year ago,
they faced an array of historic challenges: an economy in
freefall, job losses averaging almost 700,000 a month, a middle
class under assault, two wars and badly frayed global alliances,
and a staggering $1.3 trillion budget deficit.
Faced with these unparalleled challenges, the President and
his Cabinet got to work. The Obama administration took bold
steps to rescue the country from a potential second Great
Depression; to rebuild the economy for the long-term -- so
businesses can thrive, the middle class can grow and all our
families can be more secure; and to restore America's leadership
in the world, as our government wrestle with the global challenges
of the 21st Century.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research this
recession began in December 2007. The fact that there are
more than 7 million fewer Americans with jobs provides an
indication of the human tragedy many in our country are continuing
to endure. Fortunately, we're no longer seeing the severe
deterioration in the job market that we saw last January.
According to the Congressional Budget Office the "American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act," has already created and
saved up to 2 million jobs.
Nevertheless, small businesses have continued to find it difficult
to get the loans they need to start up or grow. Obama has
proposed to increase the guarantees for Small Business Administration
backed loans, and has asked his Treasury Secretary to continue
mobilizing the remaining TARP funds to facilitate lending
to small businesses.
Recently, Obama pointed out: "And when we walked through
these doors last year, our first and most urgent task was
to rescue our economy, to give immediate relief. These steps
have saved or created about two million jobs so far. But more
than seven million have been lost as a consequence of this
recession, an epidemic that demands our relentless and sustained
Palin and Brown represent change on the Republican side. Now,
Democrats need change or else. What we need now is George
Clooney, Steven Colbert, Jon Stewart, Sam Waterson, Susan
Sarandon, Sandra Bullock, Fran Drescher and Meryl Streep to
step up to the plate, serve their country and help to take
it back from the corporate heads. It belongs to We, the People
- remember? Don't worry about what they know- they can be
filled in by Kucinich, Waxman, Waters, etc. Whatever their
lack of history is, they surely know more than Palin and Brown
and those are one step away from running our country.
As for Health Care, we can solve that without Washington.
Have you seen a doctor lately? That's so "then".
Now, you see his Nurse Practitioner. So, why not open up a
"Nurse Practitioner" storefront? Or, call it something
else, if you must. Why bother with insurance to cover what
you could pay for. The only reasons one needs insurance is
for surgery and expensive drugs. So, let's get a new insurance
policy - one that only covers surgery. Instead of using up
your insurance for drugs that surely weaken your system, get
insurance strictly for surgical procedures, and pay for over-the-counter
preventative remedies that humans have been using since Biblical
times. Remedies that work - and that don't have serious side
effects, unless you don't head the instructions. Let's go
walk the reservoir for free, invent a shovel and a rake that
works in both directions, and buy local pesticide-free food.
Meanwhile, if you should get cancer, a heart attack, or any
condition that will turn into "pre-existing", I
suggest taking a vacation outside the country, and don't get
your condition on their list, or you're cooked - at least
for now, unless we take our country back. Oh one more thing:
DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT.
With the rising costs of propane and electricity, alternatives
to these fuels are needed. Compost heating is a technology
that hasn't yet been fully tested, but it still shows a lot
of promise for the future. If this method is used properly,
it can be a very effective way of heating water. There have
been many prototypes made of this technology, but none that
have been marketable.
A compost heated shower works by heating water inside of a
compost pile. The most important piece to this method is having
a living active compost pile that produces heat. Anyone can
do this if they are willing to take the time and energy.
If we were all to use this method of heating, everyone would
have to learn to compost effectively. It would take some time,
but in the long run it would be worth it. Also you could save
a lot of the money that you would otherwise spend on propane
Compost heating is realistic for the future because the prices
of propane and heating fuels are going up. It would also help
decrease pollution which would be very beneficial to our environment.
Fox has hired Sarah Palin. What a catch!
I think I missed my calling. I should have aspired to be program
director at the Fox Network. I see endless possibilities for
the former governor. Since I don't expect any of the Murdochs
to call me soon, I feel compelled to share with them my tele-visions.
If I was the program director: "Palingenesis," a
story of the rebirth of a dysfunctional Alaskan family; "Palinopsia,"
a real-life series that chronicles the life of a woman who
sees foreign countries from her home; "Palinode,"
a story of recantation of passed lives.
"Palindrome," a late night show (good timing) which,
of course, will feature the Saraband and be sponsored by the
However, the focus of the network could well be a true-to-life
show featuring, among others, Steven Seagal, with Ms. Palin,
on the streets, protecting mankind: "Betcha I Getcha!"
Rupert, call me...
The "Ship of State" in Washington, DC is trying
to trim its sails following the forceful northeaster that
blew in from Massachusetts. We watch with interest as the
ship's captain struggles to change course in search of calmer
waters. Ah yes, treasury secretary Geithner may be made to
walk the plank. Likewise the navigator, fed chairman Bernanke,
may be targeted to be put in chains and set adrift as well.
From "The Bridge" (we call the White House) a tie-less
president whips up the citizens in Ohio into an ideological
frenzy of rhetoric. He says, "I will not stop fighting."
Perhaps it is time to stop fighting and try to embrace. (Mr.
President, you tried to embrace murderous adversaries i.e.
Iran, North Korea and the like -- all of whom want to kill
us. You failed at that. Why not try to embrace those who once
upon a time believed and trusted you for the change you proffered?
The change you brought thus far is CHUMP change, not CHAMP
change as we had hoped.
From the the Bridge of your command, flash your search light
and find a quiet port. Stop saying, "I will continue
to fight." Your passengers are fiscally bloodied. Come
to the rail and see the shore-laden-lives of the unemployed.
Unload the ship of the over-weighted agenda your party has
lashed to the deck of the USS America.
With jobs we will repay our treasury, provide for family and
country. Your "wish-bone" policy has snapped and
we all have gotten a splintered end.
As Americans go back to work again and regain self-respect,
so perhaps you, Mr. President, can regain the respect of passengers
and stand with pride on the bow of the USS America. Ring the
bells to alert your crew -- slow the speed; re-check your
charts, change the ship's course. Otherwise your political
party pirates will be holding us hostage for a debt ransom
figure most can't even imagine. Don't scuttle the ship of
We are one year into the Obama presidency and where are we?
Two personalities are before us - Obama the candidate and
Obama the president.
Obama the candidate is the leader we were looking for. During
the campaign, you said the things we wanted to hear, you gave
the promises we were seeking, you said you would fight the
special and vested interest groups, the pork barrellers, the
lobbyists, the multi-national corporations, congressional
corruption, and you would protect middle class America. You
got us all fired up and ready to go.
As a 40 year Republican New York State Committeeman from the
Hudson Valley, I bolted and went to work for your election.
I spent my time, energy, money and opened my rolodex for fund
raising. I also got some very interesting phone calls. We
won, but where are we? You have kept two campaign promises
- Michelle got a night on the town in New York City via Air
Force One, and Malia and Sasha got Bo...
On the Olympics it was Obama 0; Climate Warming, Obama 0;
Virginia, Obama 0; New Jersey, Obama 0; Massachusetts, Obama
0. How many 0's must there be before it becomes clear that
a majority of the country does not think you are moving in
the right direction?
You got off to a poor start with the appointment of Timothy
Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. You put the Fox of
Wall Street into the Obama Hen House to lay out fiscal policy.
Many see him as little more than a Mule for his banker-broker
friends. We end up with a Secretary of Treasury who did not
file or pay his income taxes on time. What kind of message
does that send to Middle America?
The Health Care program appears to be some two thousand pages
of bribery and congressional corruption - Former Vermont Governor
Howard Dean seems to have it right. Trash the whole thing
and start over again. You really only need One Page to get
started toward a Consumer Protection National Health Program:
Item One - No Preexisting Conditions - period - no ifs, ands,
ors or buts for special vested interests.
Item two - No Caps - period. The last thing you need when
you are sick is some insurance company actuary saying you
are no longer a medically viable assumption under the company's
age and medical standards criteria. You are going to die in
a short time so go off into the woods and be quiet about it.
Item Three - Portability. A health benefit should be declared
an entitlement benefit and 100% ambulatory on a national basis.
If a citizen wishes to move at the request of an employer
or for personal reasons, say from South Dakota to New York
City, health benefits go with the citizen and no surcharges
or reduction in benefits. The benefits should be universal
and national in application. Item Four - Strip the insurance
companies of their exemption from the anti-trust laws. Mandate
that insurers must compete across local, state, and regional
lines of jurisdiction. Corporate greed will take over and
insurers will come up with national programs tailored to the
needs of the citizen because they want to gather unto themselves
as much money as they can in each marketing area. That's it
- a one pager and throw the other 1,999 pages on the trash
heap of Congressional arrogance.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president and probably the most
gifted, saw ahead of his times and believed the Republic needed
periodic revolution to cleanse itself. In a letter to William
Stephens Smith of November 13, 1787 he wrote: "the tree
of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood
of patriots and tyrants; it is its natural manure."
I do not believe in violence. You can be of great service
to your country and send a message which can highlight a new
direction in your presidency. Send a Term Limits proposal
to the congress - Senators - two sixes, Congressmen - six
twos and back to private industry.
Congressman Charles Rangel of New York seems to have a different
view. He advocates that from time to time somebody gets elected
president and goes to the White House for four or eight years
and then fades into history. With no term limits, the seniority
system and the all powerful committee chairman system, the
Charles Rangels hang around a long time. Rangel has been in
Congress for some 44 years - that is more than five presidencies.
Rangel seems to be saying: Hi, my door is open 365 days a
year. If you need something done, come and see me and bring
Mr. President, a majority of the people like you and still
have faith and trust in you. You need to do a 180 policy wise.
You can save your presidency and place in history and the
Democracy. Many of us will be waiting and watching.
God Bless You and God Speed to you in your efforts for America.
H. Clark Bell
Last week a breath of fresh air came over the political scene
when George Phillips announced his candidacy to represent
our 22nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives.
George has all the earmarks of a leader and a winner: He is
young, intelligent, well educated, experienced and personable.
He is a hard worker and is highly motivated to restore the
principles of fiscal conservatism, limited government, individual
freedoms and traditional values to our government.
George is a summa cum laude graduate of Villanova University
and has a Master's Degree from Notre Dame. He currently teaches
at a Binghamton High School and at Broome County Community
George served on the staff of Congressman Chris Smith of New
Jersey for four years where he handled assignments in foreign
affairs, business matters, immigration and senior citizens
issues for the Congressman.
Former NY gubernatorial candidate John Faso was present in
Kingston to endorse George and pointed out some of the major
problems with the current administration in Washington, including:
the mortgaging of the financial future of our children and
grandchildren to the reckless spending impulses of today,
the accumulation of control over every aspect of our private
lives and the hubristic attempt to grab power over 20% of
our economy via a socialistic health care program. Faso praised
and congratulated George for stepping into the breach to resist
the big government intrusions and power grabs and to work
for the benefit of the people.
George Phillips is a young man who dreams big dreams...who
believes America's best days are still ahead of us. He comes
to represent us in Congress at the right time...for he is
desperately needed, right now.
summer, and to get my kids up to the NYS Fair in Syrucuse
for 4-H shows and competitions. The immediate effect of this
cut will be NO 4-H public presenations in March; NO 4-H Clothing
Review and Show in May; NO 4-H kids going up to Albany this
spring to learn about state government; NO tractor safety
training; NO UC 4-H booth at the NYS Fair in August; NO UC
kids going to national 4-H animal science competitions this
fall;and quite possibly, NO 4-H animals, exhibits, competitions
or milk shakes at this summer's UC Fair. Imagine going to
the fair and finding only rides and the midway. Imagine the
huge drop in attendance. This is a real possibility at this
time. For my kids, and nearly all 4-H kids I know, the Ulster
County Fair is the absolute high point of their entire year.
I spend a lot of my free time volunteering as a club leader
in order to teach kids how to raise animals humanely; I teach
them poultry science and how to run a small farm; basic farm
animal biology and care; how to plan and produce effective
public events that enable to public to see where their food
comes from and learn about animals. I could go on and on.
My heart is really breaking right now for the kids in 4-H
in this county.
I have to tell my 14-year old not to bother making that fancy
dress she was going to show at the May clothing revue, since
it apparently won't be happening. The pieces are already cut
and she was going to start sewing this weekend. The purse
she already made is just a thing she can use , but not show.
Also that her and her brother won't be part of the dog drill
team that practices all summer to compete at the NYS Fair...
won't be happening this year. No need to schedule a pullorum
flock test with NYS Ag & Markets, since I guess
chicken's won't be going to the fair this year.
I don't know whether I'll be allowed to continue my Feathered
Friends 4-H club meetings, nor the annual Spring Fun Festival
we were planning to produce on April 3rd, like we do every
year, at the High Falls Firehouse. If UC 4-H doesn't exist,
then our club activities aren't covered by Cornell Cooperative
Extension insurance, so my hands will be tied. What a huge
disappointment, to me, my family, the kids in my club, and
everyone who's ever petted our chickens, dogs and rabbits
at the fair and the many other places my club goes.
Ulster County Legislators ought to be ashamed of themselves.
I'm deeply ashamed of them. I'll be watching their individual
votes on Feb. 10th, and I will not be voting again for anyone
who votes to
eliminate Ulster County 4-H.
Dramatic policy changes that go against the interests of the
people take both parties to accomplish. That is why the insurance
industry, oil companies, weapons makers, pharmaceuticals,
etc. pay for both types of politicians, Republican and Democratic.
Reagan's revolution in deregulating corporations and hiring
their lobbyists to run the government was only completed during
Clinton's presidency, when the accounting and banking sectors
were given free rein to speculate with the public's money,
and huge corporations were allowed to buy up all the media.
By the end of the Clinton Era, Reagan's extreme and ruinous
ideas had gained the legitimacy of being supported by both
parties. We were off to Enron and to the current subprime
In a similar way, the Bush/Cheney counter terrorism policies
that so horrified a majority of Americans are now getting
bipartisan support from Obama and the Democratic Congress.
This year, it is Obama praising the virtues of war while he
intensifies the violent military occupations in the Middle
East. Gone are his condemnations of indefinite detention,
government eavesdropping, military commissions, extreme secrecy,
and immunity for government lawbreaking. The Bush/Cheney era
is entering its golden age.
All this would not be so surprising if we understood that
the two major parties serve the same corporate interests,
and that our elections are just Punch and Judy shows served
up by corporate media. Enjoy the entertainment, because that
is all we will ever get from our current, two party political
I plead a grievance to the flatulent corporate state of America,
and to the plutocracy for whom we slave, one notion: greed
is god - (thieves invisible) - with lunacy and junk stores
Now is the time for all good persons to come to the aid of
their country - lest we all be held accountable.
In response to the Jan. 14th letter from the standing waitstaff
of Sweet Sue's, I'd like to say - first, no offense to any
of you, or to Sue herself - but Lea was the only pleasant
thing about the place. As a cook, I understand the importance
of the attitudes and presence and state of mind of the cooks
and the surrounding environment, and the impact such has on
the food. Perhaps this is why nothing I eat there sits well
with me. Nonetheless, I visited the establishment from time
to time to see Lea's smiling face as she moved gracefully
around the too-closely-packed tables usually all alone, and
to have coffee or get a cookie for my little boy. Now, I'd
rather drive to Woodstock to get a descent breakfast.
Along with countless neighbors and locals, I will no longer
patronize Sweet Sues. Whether or not the community should
or should not be privy to the inner workings of the small
businesses in our neighborhood, as the waitstaff suggested
in their letter, the fact is that we are all aware of one
important fact - Lea was the face of Sweet Sue's and now,
all of a sudden, she is gone. If a business wants to be successful
in a small town, it had better take into account the consequences
of decisions like this one, no matter what the reason, legitimate
or not. Perhaps the visiting city folk will keep Sue's in
business, but I have heard comments of disappointment and
shock from several of them as well, one of whom stated he'd
traveled from the city just to see Lea.
I wonder if Dakota's next question might be: "Where will
you have breakfast now?"
Chisti D. Dryden
It is impossible to believe that the citizens of the USA really
want to reduce energy used or "go green." It is
all talk because when the chips are down there are only a
few who care enough to have changes made or make changes themselves
in the way we live and waste. If this were not so we could
probably save billions of dollars and reduce emissions enormously
simply by using less electricity. That disgusting satellite
view of this continent's glow of light at night attests to
wanton waste. In no way can one excuse the use of so much
light. Half as much would easily be possible and just as effective
for safety's sake. The whole gamut of waste from over heating
of buildings, over use of hot water, burning of unnecessary
light, etc. etc. is known. We all know but most don't care.
Other countries control light usage in hotels. Hot water heating
devices used elsewhere can cut down drastically on the unnecessary
heating of water. We all know these things. We need to trim
up our act and demand that municipalities reduce electric
usage with unneeded lighting.
Another big energy saver would be reduction of driving miles
by everyone. Do you realize that gasoline was rationed once
and we survived well? So many trips are made when it would
be easy to consolidate. Defy that instant gratification urge
and put off "going right now" to going the next
time we have to make the trip.
The Kindle electronic reading tablet is a portable computerized
device. Its purpose is to download books which are displayed
for reading on its screen. The owner of a Kindle purchases
a license to download each book. Other services are available
through subscription just as electricity is obtained from
Does physically holding a genuine book in our hands change
our reading experience? Would Great Expectations still touch
our hearts as deeply if it were presented as transient blips
on the surface of a plastic plate? What about the Bible, the
Koran, the Talmud and the Bhagavad Gita? Will the poetry of
Yeats still "get us" in the same way or will it
be diminished? Is champagne the same when drunk from a Styrofoam
cup? Is a snap shot of the Grand Canyon really worth the climb?
In short, will Kindle trivialize literature?
Media scholar Marshall McLuhan observed that "the media
is the message." If he's correct then what is the message
of Kindle? Will it convert literature from an art to a product?
Will books become media content? Do only commercially viable
works of literature have a chance at world-wide network distribution
as is the case with television, music and movies?
Who will have access and who will control it? What happens
if you don't pay your literature bill? Surely, you will be
cut off! (Not so at the library.) Will accountants then have
the ultimate editorial control? Is this the privatization
of the literature? Will this new kind of printing press sow
literature more broadly throughout the world or only exclusively
to those who can afford it? What about dissenting voices?
What about minority voices? Will Kindle publish anti-Kindle
works? Controversial works? The Grapes of Wrath? Fahrenheit
451? Slaughterhouse 5? The Origin of The Species? Would Johannes
Kepler's dangerously controversial three laws of planetary
motion have been published by Kindle if it were available
in the 1500s? Even in its day Astronomia Nova wasn't a box
Many of my tech-savvy friends are eager to get a Kindle or
have already gotten one over the holidays. Here I'm referring
to certain friends whose obsession it is to monitor the state
of affairs at all times through manipulation of their Blackberry
brand fetish sex toys. A constant connection to the mother
ship is maintained for them through an electronic implant
clipped directly to their ear. Sometimes these friends appear
slightly transparent, as if they have just begun to teleport
somewhere and are only partly in my presence. However, they
assure me that they've heard every word I've said. Like, really.
I mean totally. But that's another matter for another letter.
I just experienced government as it should be...efficient,
effective and caring. County Executive Michael Hein recently
made the time to meet with me regarding Historic Huguenot
Street. This meeting went well beyond "face time,"
and I was impressed by many aspects of the level of support
that I received. Importantly, it was clear that he truly cares
about our mission. County Executive Hein provided helpful
suggestions on clarifying how to better reach out to those
in our region as well as those visiting Ulster County. Furthermore,
on the spot he brought in his staff with appropriate expertise
to assist with identifying potential grant sources for our
organization. This kind of leadership is imperative for the
overall health of our non-profit organizations and county
government. County Executive Hein clearly is making a difference
to Ulster County.
Mary Etta Schneider, President
Historic Huguenot Street
New Paltz, NY
What good luck we have recently had! After eleven years of
stellar service in Sweet Sue's over in Phoenicia, the legendary
Lea has come to work in Woodstock! My husband and I would
often drive to Phoenicia just for the fun of talking with
Lea over our breakfast or lunch - No more driving! She's here!
If you still don't know who I'm talking about, picture the
tall, graceful blonde dancer- super-waitress handling those
breakfast plates faster than a blackjack dealer deals cards...Phoenicia's
Here in Woodstock we all like nice healthy food - we like
to know where it comes from and what's in it. A quick and
peaceful breakfast and lunch, great coffee, smoothies, salads,
soups served with grace and happiness - I'm re-setting my
GPS (Go Purchse SAUSAGE) to Sunfrost.
Welcome to town, Lea. You're going to like it here.
Abortion is the most horrendous, barbaric, despicable and
disgusting thing that mankind has conceived. I have witnessed
an abortion in progress where the surgeon cuts up a living
baby in the womb and out comes pieces of fully developed body
parts; legs, hands, arms, detached heads, and eviscerated
torsos. Pictures of aborted babies lying in pieces in a bloody
tray; and several babies all chopped up in a garbage container
demonstates the horror of abortion. This is what abortion
is really about. People who chant "pro choice" liken
this in a cavalier way to a pimple on the nose that must be
plucked. That is far from the truth. And this holocaust of
the wombchild is condoned by our U.S. and State governments.
We taxpayers are even forced to pay for this carnage with
taxes to which we object. This is an absolute disgrace and
must be stopped. Planned Parenthood, the most egregious perpetrator
of abortion, must be held criminally accountable for its actions
and must be de-funded from taxpayer support. And politicians
who promote abortion must be removed from office.
Abortionists as well as the women who abort must be held criminally
liable and prosecuted for their conspiratorial actions in
killing innocent life. We worry more about cats and dogs and
snail darters than we do our own progeny. Where is our moral
indignation, I ask, when it comes to abortion? Let's hear
what you have to say America!
Here is an Old Fish Tale...
I will relate a tale of the summertime brook, in hopes of
loosening your purse strings a bit to help us stock trout
in Woodland Brook, and in hopes of amusing you.
"TRUDI TICKLES A TROUT-One summer, as the water in the
brook got lower and lower because of the draught, some of
the boys dammed up a corner of it with rocks and made a respectable
little wading pool. It was deep enough to let the kids dog
paddle and an adult sit in it up to his chin and cool off.
Trudi and her husband Ettore were down there one afternoon
when they spotted a big trout scoot under a rock. Trudi, before
she went off into the world to make her fortune, grew up along
this stream, as did her daddy before her, so she knows it
pretty well. And as a girl, her daddy taught her how to tickle
trout and she got very good at it. To tickle a trout, you
spot one under a rock or an undercut bank. Then you put your
hands in the water real real slow and stroke its sides and
belly. This sort of hypnotizes the fish and allows you to
do what you want with it. Nowadays, if your intent is to scoop
it out of the stream, take it home and eat it, you're breaking
the law, so it's a practice that's pretty much fallen by the
Trudi's husband Ettore began learning to fly-fish this summer
and he attacked his new hobby with high purpose and energy.
I imagine the pursuit of salmo with a fly became the overriding
topic of household conversation. So it was only natural that
Trudi, given an opportunity, would jump at the chance to show
her spouse that there are other ways to catch a trout that
don't require a feathered hook. And though it had been a good
forty years since she'd last mesmerized a trout, there are
certain talents that simply do not leave a person. In the
next few minutes, under the incredulous eyes of her fledgling
fly fishing hubby, Trudi set about tickling a seventeen inch
brown. She knelt down on the rock where the fish was hiding,
reached under and leaned over the edge. She found the quarry.
Delicately, delicately, she began to stroke its sides. The
big fish began to relax, and then the whole thing fell apart.
In her concentration, she'd leaned over too far, and with
an," Ah shucks and be DAMNED," on her lips she tumbled
into the creek, arse over teakettle, as the valley old-timers
would say. Zing went the trout upstream, and damply home trudged
Trudi with Ettore.
JIM TAKES A SMOKE BREAK-About a week after this, Jim wandered
down to the wading pool in the late afternoon to contemplate
nature and to smoke a cigarette. He too has known the brook
all his life, but seldom had he seen anything quite as bizarre
as what happened next. Finishing his Camel, he tossed the
still smoldering butt into the stream, having been taught
as a young lad by Smokey the Bear that such an action was
a fine way to prevent forest fires. From under Trudi's rock
the big brown trout surged out, leapt in the air and dove
upon the floating butt, thinking it was something nice to
eat. As fast as he could, Jim hurried back to his cabin, The
Grand Hotel, grabbed his fly rod and tackle, and returned
to the site, where now two other neighbors stood-innocently
contemplating nature in the late afternoon.
"Hey, watch this fellows," Jim said as he tied on
a big white fly and began presenting it as artfully as he
could. For the next ten minutes he floated it above the rock,
beside the rock, below the rock, even under the rock. Nothing
happened, and his audience began to grow restless.
There are times in each sportsman's life when the temptation
to act, well, unsportsmanlike presents itself. And-let us
admit it--there are those few occasions when we actually succumb
to weakness. It wasn't so much that Jim wanted to catch this
particular trout, as it was that he wanted to prove that it
existed in the first place. For his audience was casting dispersions
on his veracity and his description of the cigarette chomping
brown. Well, that's not true; he did want to catch it pretty
badly. So, putting down his rod he motioned the two kibitzers
to wade into the water and join him next to the rock. They
reached under, found that indeed the fish was there, and for
the next few minutes tried as best they could to grab it and
pull out from under. The trout was doing its best to resist
and escape. But in the end, Homo sapiens won out over Salmo
Jim felt sorry for this fine trout-one of the bigger ones
that had been stocked in the brook that spring-and decided
that it should be released. But, try as they might to revive
it, the poor fish kept going belly up. Apparently the rough
treatment it'd received had been too much for it, and it just
gave up the ghost. Women trying to tickle it one day, and
nicotine and mugging the next-no trout was built to withstand
that sort of abuse.
That evening he invited the audience and several other friends
over to his place where he cooked that trout in the biggest
cast-iron frying pan he could find in the old kitchen. The
trout was so big that he had to cut its head and tail off
to fit it into the pan. They feasted in candlelight around
the big oak table. It was delicious, and not a scrap was left.
There's a moral to this story, surely two or three, but I
leave it to you to find the one you like the best."
Now every word of what I've just related is true, mostly.
As Huck Finn said, "I only stretched it a little, where
necessary, for art's sake." And it is true that we need
some help from you to be able to stock the Fly Fishing section
of the brook, as we've been able to do annually since 1965.
Would you please make out a check to THE WOODLAND TROUT FUND
in the amount you feel the stream deserves, and send it to
me, Mike O'Neill, at Mike O'Neil, 101 Rambling Road, Vernon,
Woodland Valley, NY
It's that time of year for one of Phoenicia's favorite winter
traditions! Valentine-making sessions at the Phoenicia Library
have resulted in unique, handmade Valentines. These festive
cards are available at several Main Street businesses for
a suggested donation of $1. All proceeds will help support
our Library, which now offers free wireless service for your
own laptop, as well as the desktop computers upstairs. We
also have a brand-new copier/fax machine available to the
public for very reasonable rates. And if you're looking for
a special Valentine's Day gift, check out our new Phoenicia
Library backpacks, featuring a bookish bear, designed by Shandaken's
own Kurt Boyer.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Phoenicia Library Board
Winter's are always long
And Lover's seem to lose their song
Yet when it's real beyond faith
It will never enter an empty gate
So hang on I say
Until the cold wind turns
And the blush of Spring fills your face
How blessed the dancers are
Carefree in their bubble
Spinning without illusions
Through all the seasons
NO questions NO answers
And Constant In their
Knowledge of Love
There's no having
Nothing in Love
There's no having
It ALL in Love
Love is nothing
We chase our tails
To find our heads
Lying in an uncertain bed
While your pillow beckons
I'm here, I'm here,
I'm right HERE.