I am just wondering if it offends others, as it offends me, that
our Onteora High School distributed "Shooter" style
shot glasses to our seniors as their Senior Prom gifts? The school
faculty and/or staff authorized the prom committee to give our
17 and 18 year old seniors ‘tools' for drinking, even as
they posted a letter on the front page of their website from D.
Holley Carnright, our District Attorney, commending them for having
"taken measures to prevent drinking by students at school-related
functions and to deter the consumption of alcoholic beverages
by individuals less than 21 years old."
The letter goes on to say "As a result of the efforts of
the Ulster County Underage Drinking Prevention Team, the law enforcement
agencies of our county, and this office, the dangers presented
by underage drinking have been identified and continue to be addressed.
Any assistance you can render in that regard will be greatly appreciated
by all of us, and more importantly, may save the life of one or
more of our children and others."
It appears as if our local high school has not identified the
dangers of underage drinking, nor rendered any assistance in that
regard, and has not "taken measures to deter" the consumption
of alcoholic beverages by 17 and 18 year olds, and has given a
gift to the Seniors of 2009, that, I believe, most parents would
not be pleased with.
I have contacted the school on several occasions to ask the Principal
or the Superintendent to explain the reasoning behind the "shot
glass" gifts, and the apparent mixed messages they are giving.
Perhaps one day they will return the call and explain.
Is it just me, or does this offend anyone else?
Before I read about alleged harassment at the county jail, I had
read the following and it is clear to me that the brief excerpt
I am about to quote describes the source of muc of the problem
causing sexual harassment, discrimination, rape and murder.
"...as on the plane physical, man is not Man - but only boy,
rude, forward and solicitous only to the exert and exhibit his
strength...so on the plane spiritual, man is not Man, but only
materialist, having all the deficiencies, intellectual and moral
the term implies.
In rejecting, as the present age has done, the soul and her intuition,
man excludes from this system of his humanity the very idea of
woman and renounces his proper manhood."
From the introduction to Honore de Balzac's (French novelist,
1799-1850) Seraphita, this edition published in 1907.
Mount Tremper, NY
When Dr. David Gunn was murdered in 1993, the militant anti-abortion
movement made a hero out of his killer. At least six of the people
who publicly declared themselves supporters of Dr. Gunn’s
killer, by signing a public declaration praising that murder,
went on to do time for anti-abortion violent terrorism, including
two murders. Within two years of Dr. Gunn’s murder, seven
more people were wounded at abortion facilities, and four more
killed. The same radical fringe is calling Scott Roeder a hero
and praising him.
Steve Deese, a radio talk show host on WHON in Ohio asked: “Are
babies in Kansas safer today than they were yesterday while George
Tiller was still taking in oxygen? Yes—is the answer to
the question. Maybe the fact that we have a lawless society that
has not protected these babies from this infanticide created the
Scott Roeders of the world, who in very John Brown-like fashion,
illegally took matters into his own hands, saying if the system
will not deal with an evil then to hell with the system.”
David Leach, who publishes a newsletter called “The Prayer
News” to which Scott Roeder submitted articles, told The
Associated Press that: “He will be the hero to thousands
of babies who will not be slain because Scott sacrificed everything
for them.” Leach told the Iowa Independent: “So far,
the Bible discussion I have seen overwhelmingly supports anyone
willing to sacrifice everything in order to physically stop an
abortionist from killing thousands of babies.”
The Prayer and Action News web site stated: “So far, the
only way to save hundreds, arguably thousands of unborn lives
now has been to destroy abortion buildings or kill abortionists.”
Regina Dinwiddie is a long-time anti-abortion militant told CNN,
that Tiller’s murder was: “absolutely justified,”
and told The Associated Press that she is glad about Dr. Tiller’s
death saying, quote, “I wouldn’t cry for him (Dr.
Tiller) no more than I would if somebody dropped a rat and killed
Dan Holman, a member of anti-abortion group in Iowa called “Missionaries
to the Preborn,” told CNN, that Dr. Tiller’s death
was something to cheer, and that he thinks abortion would justify
assassinating the president, who Holeman considered, “Deserving
A reign of terror has existed for over 30 years. There have been
eight murders, seventeen attempted murders, forty-one bombings,
and one hundred and seventy-one arsons.
The murder this week of Dr. George Tiller, a brave physician who
continued to provide reproductive health care despite being shot
in the arms, and having his clinic vandalized and bombed, reminds
us that we can never be complacent about our rights. Simply because
there is Roe v. Wade, simply because choice is legal, simply because
it is the law of the land - does not mean that those of us who
fought to put it in place 35 years ago can relax now.
Women's rights to reproductive health care, including abortion,
are being squeezed and narrowed as the physicians and health care
workers who provide these services are threatened, harassed -
What can we do, besides weeping for Dr. Tiller or raging against
his killer? We can urge the government to revitalize the National
Task Force on Violence against Health Care Providers. We can send
money and support to Planned Parenthood, Medical Students for
Choice, and NARAL-Pro Choice America.
We can speak out against Bill O'Reilly and others who fan the
flames of anti-choice violence to cut out the incendiary rhetoric.
Dr. Tiller's blood is on their hands.
Sheila Isenberg, Chris Collins
Hooray for Oklahoma !
The state law passed today, 37 to 9, had a few liberals in the
mix, an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance
to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along with the ACLU, said
it would be a mistake. Hey this is a conservative state, based
20 on Christian values...!
Guess what? We did it anyway.
We recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal
immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from, unless
they want to get a green card and become an American citizen.
They all scattered. Hope we didn't send any of them to your state.
This was against the advice of the Federal Government, and the
ACLU, they said it would be a mistake.
Guess what? We did it anyway.
Yesterday we passed a law to include DNA samples from any and
all illegals to the Oklahoma database, for criminal investigative
purposes. Pelosi said it was unconstitutional.
Guess what? We did it anyway.
Several weeks ago, we passed a law, declaring Oklahoma as a Sovereign
State, not under Federal Government directives. That, for your
information, makes Oklahoma and Texas the only states to do so.
Guess what.........More states are likely to follow. Louisiana,
Alabama, Georgia, both Carolina's, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri,
20Arkansas, West Virginia, just to name a few. Should Mississippi
act, so will Florida . Save your
confederate money, it appears the South is about to rise up once
The federal Government has made bold steps to take away our guns.
Oklahoma, a week ago, passed a law confirming people in this state
have the right
to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles. I'm sure that
was a set back for the Kennedys and Ms Pelosi.
Guess what ? We did it anyway.
By the way, Obama does not like any of this.
Guess what? Who cares... We're doing it anyway.
At no other time has there been a greater need for a national
health care system. Problematic, however, is that few people realize
how severe the personal and economic inequities are, as Washington
approaches a decision which will affect our citizens for decades.
From 2000 to 2007, the cost of living rose 22 percent; wages increased
an average 20 percent; medical care costs rose 30 percent; while
health insurance premiums skyrocketed 73 percent, and continued
to increase to the present-day at 90 percent! (Also, interesting
to note that most market activity remained stagnant for this period.
Not so for health insurance corporations, which continued to receive
their highest economic returns in history.)
As our citizenry feels the effects of a declining economy, more
of us will, even if we are among the fortunate with health coverage,
find our insurance to be unaffordable. We are the only industrialized
nation without a national health plan. Yet, as a national economy,
we spend twice as much on healthcare as any of these other countries;
with less positive result: i.e. the US has a higher infant mortality
rate than 25 countries!
As with the many issues facing our nation, nothing will change
for the positive unless we, the people, determine to inform ourselves,
and state our positions, widely, to our elected government representatives.
I urge you to learn about HR676, consider the implications of
a nation without health care for all, and understand that single-payer
insurance (aka Enhanced Medicare for All) would be easily funded
through a 4.5 percent employer tax and a 3.4 percent payroll tax
- even together, a far cry from current insurance costs.
Visit www.calnurses.org; www.singlepayernewyork.org; www.pnhp.org;
and www.healthcare-now.org for more information.
New Paltz, NY
As New York's jobs melt away and its need for health care grows,
the Obama administration has proposed cutting New Yorkers' nursing
home benefits by some $75 million in just the first year. That's
the wrong prescription for New York's economic and health care
The idea of slashing New Yorkers' nursing home benefits under
Medicare Part A originated with the Bush administration. It seems
inconsistent with President Obama's core policy goals, job creation
and health care reform.
These workers are the key caregivers in our nursing homes. They
measurably improve care for a population whose numbers and needs
These cuts will compound another ongoing crisis: chronic under-funding
of nursing homes by state Medicaid rates. Providing skilled nursing
care will cost more. Promising quality improvement programs will
be threatened. In the end, our ability to care for New York's
oldest, sickest seniors will diminish.
Cuts to care and jobs? Our seniors deserve better. So do our workers.
President Obama, please reconsider.
Richard J. Herrick, President & CEO
NYS Health Facilities Association
My three years on the School board and my brief tenure as its
president are nearly over. I have some thoughts I want to share
about how best to move forward.
Our District still lacks a comprehensive plan that considers all
of the issues we need to look at – with their associated
cost and tax implications. Voters have never been presented this.
For me, the results of recent years’ board and budget votes
give some indications of direction, but they don’t tell
a complete story.
Last year about 2500 out of 4500 voters supported a slate advocating
no 5-8 middle school configuration; and opposing the closure of
any additional elementary schools. Three years earlier, with 10
people running, the top vote-getter got approximately 1900 out
of 4000 votes cast, where the voters’ priority seemed to
be low taxes. There are 11,500 possible voters in our district,
of which about 6,000 are registered to vote in school elections.
Not included are those property owners who have not designated
their Ulster County address as their primary one – but do
pay a significant part of the total tax levies for our schools,
etc. So a wide swath of our taxpayers haven’t weighed in
on any of these issues.
Both our School Board and the public need to understand and make
decisions reflecting the priorities of our community, but we as
a board haven’t given everyone complete information to reflect
on, and we’ve tended to view certain votes at certain times
as mandates when they reflect a slice of our electorate’s
views. It’s the Board and Superintendent’s responsibility
to discuss and set all of the district’s projects and programs,
inviting community members to join the process, and then survey
or get a vote from them on a comprehensive plan. Onteora has spent
the last 10 years fighting over one issue or another, and it inhibits
our ability to make long-term decisions and allocate resources
to support those decisions. I think the only way to overcome this
is to develop a thoughtful, inclusive long-term plan.
I recommend that the Board and Superintendent take the next year
to create such a plan, incorporating the community in their work.
I suggest they use our recent strategic plan (which focused on
curriculum) as a model for the process, and that they create task
forces on a variety of issues whose recommendations culminate
in a long-term district plan. Then this should be presented to
the public, so that we all can understand what programs and projects
we value enough that can and will support financially.
Budget-building for the 2009/10 school year will begin soon. I
recommend before the Board and Superintendent begin this process
that they survey voters presenting a rough plan incorporating
everything we would ideally want, and which details the costs
and tax implications for these things. From this scope we’d
get a clear sense from the voters (all 11,000 of them) as to what
level of taxation they could bear against the programming it offers.
We’ve operated under the impression that taxpayers don’t
want any increases. But the truth is that’s impossible to
achieve, and we will have to cut many things to stem our rising
costs. We have an approximate 170 students graduating this year,
with incoming classes of approximately 105-110 students. We need
to understand the entire community’s views on how important
various programs and configurations, etc. really are and what
their costs will be going forward. And we have to keep in mind
that none of us want to make our community unaffordable for those
with fixed or limited incomes. The programs to consider include
the retention of three elementary schools; the variety and breadth
of programs we offer; professional development to support and
foster improved teaching; ms configuration, the ms and hs electives,
the extra-curricular sports and clubs at the ms and hs; the summer
school and intervention programs; any departmental curricular
innovations that improve learning; facility upgrades –both
because our old buildings need it and because there are instances
where physical conditions inhibit learning; inclusion of green
and sustainability initiatives; technology; class size; and busing.
Yes, it’s a lot of issues and many are quite complicated.
We are fortunate to have the in-house capability to do this, with
a very able Superintendent, and a very smart board. Encourage
them to do this. Write letters, call or email the administration
at OnteoraBOE@onteora.k12.ny.us, and LFord@onteora.k12.ny.us.
Or come to the Board’s meetings and speak.
Again, I want to thank all who have helped me serve in my three
years on the board. It has been an interesting experience, a challenging
one, with its accomplishments and its frustrations. There is a
very good foundation here – and I hope we can build on it
to increase our educational excellence and the entire community’s
participation in it. I wish continued success to the Board and
to all of the staff and thank them all for their dedication.
Re: land use in the town of Phoenicia, I propose that a youth
hostel be built on the site of the former Shandaken Arms. Although
the sewage issue may pose a problem, a youth hostel would bring
in young travelers eager to buy local products and patronize local
businesses, anxious to keep the area green and pristine, and contribute
to the area’s liveliness.
As a recent college grad who spent a semester abroad in Ireland
(my sister spent a year in southern France) I am particularly
sensitive to the benefits of youth hostels. I depended on them
for clean, affordable, safe, fun, and sustainable accommodation.
After seeing first hand the positive effects of youth hostels
on European towns and cities, I can testify that they promote
healthy traffic of the kind Catskill towns need.
A youth hostel would stimulate local entrepreneurship. For example,
an entrepreneur might well open a local bicycle rental offering
sturdy bikes, hourly or daily, at affordable prices. Bikes are
not only a clean, fun way to travel, they reduce car traffic,
especially in summer where parking is an issue.
Likewise, a youth hostel might hire a local resident to manage
a communal garden, run by hostel employees and guests alike, reducing
Finally, a youth hostel would bring in students and other young
people from around the world to Phoenicia’s front porch,
strengthening the town’s commitment to diversity and culture,
in addition to strengthening the local economy.
I ask the town of Phoenicia to seriously consider supporting the
construction of a youth hostel in the vacant spot where the former
Shandaken Arms used to stand. It would be a smart and rewarding
Shandaken & New York, NY
There have been numerous letters in our local papers attacking
the proposed Resort at Catskill Park. Most of these letters were
written by a small group of members of the so called “Catskill
Heritage Alliance”. The most recent attacks have unfairly
included Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. The CHA has written to
Governor Patterson urging him not to allocate any stimulus money
for Belleayre Mountain expansion. How is it possible that a group
of supposedly concerned citizens, whose primary focus is to stop
the private development of a resort in our area, loses sight of
the desperate economic plight of our region? As taxpayers and
“stakeholders” we personally resent the attack on
one of the most viable economic and community oriented resources
in our area, The New York State operated Belleayre Ski Center.
To try and deprive Belleayre of any of the much needed budgeted
state or stimulus funds, that is needed to maintain and expand
this park, is to deprive our community of one of its most valuable
life support systems. There are actual human beings, our relatives,
friends and neighbors, who work here, and whose livelihood and
healthcare depend on the success of this mountain. There are surrounding
villages and businesses that have and could continue to benefit
if this mountain is successful. The current stagnation due to
these incessant attacks is sabotaging our economic future.
We think that it is important to separate the growth of Belleayre
Mountain from the development of the resort and approach each
as two separate entities. There is no doubt that a resort and
state park facility would definitely compliment each other but
to think that this area could survive without the park is equivalent
to turning your back on the future of our community. Why are we
allowing a few to speak for all of us? Why do some people have
the need to fulfill their personal differences and vendettas at
the expense of “our” mountain? This is a facility
created for the people by the people and definitely has proven
over and over again to be a pillar within our community.
The park offers down hill skiing, snowboarding, cross country
skiing, hiking, picnicking, swimming, boating and cultural events,
and so much more, to thousands of visitors to our area each year
while maintaining a healthy focus of contributions to our community.
The facility offers a variety of affordable plans and programs
so that the “average working person” can enjoy outdoor
& cultural activities. We are in awe of the great programs
offered, such as skiing to the special people of ARC, Adaptive
Sports for the disabled, Tuesday’s Children is a program
catering to relatives and victims of 9/11 and other programs directed
to assist our school children and senior citizens. We found it
admirable that the people of Belleayre reached out to help the
business community this winter by putting a BOGO (buy one, get
one) stimulus program in place. To receive a free lift ticket
a guest just needed to buy their lift ticket for that day and
turn in a receipt showing that they spent $50 at a local business
that was a member of the chamber of commerce.
In addition, Belleayre Center has supported the fundraising efforts
of many of our charities such as Margaretville Hospital, Relay
for Life, The Boy Scouts of America, two of our local animal shelters
and the Alzheimer’s Foundation to name a few.
Did you know that many of the staff members at Belleayre volunteer
their time to make these programs and fundraisers available? The
staff especially took the extra step this past year with the withdrawal
of promised funding by the DEC. Funding that was withdrawn partly
because of the pressure from the highly debatable issues brought
up by the group trying to stop the resort. And to add insult to
injury two ski centers in Greene County and Plattekill Mt. saw
these actions as an opportunity to jump on the band wagon.
The people of Belleayre have repeatedly shown their dedication
to our community. Now it is our time to show them that we recognize
the value of having such a state facility in our backyard and
that it is a privilege. This is truly a mountain owned by “we”,
We extend our personal gratitude to the staff and supporters of
Belleayre who did a tremendous job of keeping the Ski Center open
in spite of lack of funding, deep cuts in staffing and constantly
being bombarded by unfair and inappropriate accusations. It was
hard to keep your spirits up but you did a fabulous job!
Mark and Ann Lukin
Let's be real clear about why Belleayre Mountain Ski Center isn't
getting federal stimulus money. Stimulus funding to expand facilities
at Belleayre Mountain Center ( BMSC) has been delayed due to failure
of NYS DEC to complete a Unit Management Plan (UMP) in 2002 as
required by DEC guidelines. The UMP was delayed so that it could
incorporate changes requested by the developer of The Belleayre
Resort in Catskill Park. This delay made a "shovel ready"
project impossible in 2009 since neither the BMSC UMP or the Environmental
Impact Statement from Crossroad Ventures have yet been done. If
the BMSC UMP had been done in 2002 as mandated, then expansion
of facilities at BMSC would be a "shovel ready" project
now and able to get stimulus money in an area that needs it badly.
Assertions in a recent letter that the Catskill Heritage Alliance
(CHA) has been attacking BMSC are absurd and misleading. The Catskill
Heritage Alliance has been a long time strong supporter of Belleayre
Mountain Ski Center as a valuable regional resource and will continue
Recent letters accusing the Catskill Heritage Alliance (CHA) of
personal attacks on the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center and its
employees, and accusing us of trying to torpedo stimulus funds
for the Ski Center are factually wrong on all counts. Not only
do we support the Ski Center and applaud the key role it plays
in the community, we’re also on record that the Ski Center
should be expanded to its full complement under the 2002 draft
Unit Management Plan (UMP).
We did not and do not oppose stimulus funding for the Ski Center;
we simply flagged suspicious entries on the list of stimulus requests
asking for $62 million to expand the publicly owned Belleayre
Ski Center, “and with it, the development of the privately
owned Belleayre Resort.” Using stimulus funding needed for
infrastructure and economic development for private luxury ski
condos clearly would have been an abuse of the program.
It is not CHA’s work (as if we had such power – we
can’t even get in to see DEC staff or obtain documents through
our FOIL requests!) that torpedoed stimulus funding and continues
to bedevil the Ski Center expansion we all want to see. It’s
the inappropriate, damaging, and apparently deliberate strategy
of blurring the lines between the public Ski Center and the private
Resort, so that the private developer can lay claim to public
aid in his bid to build a highly inappropriate project on sensitive,
This situation came about because the 2002 UMP was never implemented,
as it should have been, and was later discarded as the developer’s
plans for the private Resort evolved. In 2007, an Agreement in
Principle (AIP) was rammed through by then-Governor Spitzer calling
for a new UMP requiring the state to purchase the old Highmount
Ski Center and create ski-in ski-out capabilities for the private
luxury Resort. We are still waiting for that new UMP today, but
the premises for it laid out in the AIP are so confused, linking
the public Ski Center and the private Resort so inextricably,
that even experts have trouble telling where one ends and the
other begins. That confusion is calculated to help the developer
get the Resort he wants, but it hurts the rest of us.
So far, derailing the 2002 UMP and adopting the AIP have held
up Ski Center expansion for seven years. The murky, joined-at-the-hip
approach of expanding the Ski Center “and with it”
building the Resort effectively disqualified the Center from stimulus
funding it might otherwise have gotten. Those are both losses
for the public interest, and more will accrue until the Center
and Resort projects are de-linked.
No one disputes that the Ski Center and the people who work there
are pillars of this community. The best way to support them and
enhance the Center’s role as an economic engine is to cut
its expansion loose from the burden of an inappropriate private
project that threatens to enrich the developer at the expense
of our local economy and environment.
Richard Schaedle, Chairman
Catskill Heritage Alliance
Pine Hill NY
In a story about June’s Shandaken Town Board meeting, your
un-named writer implies that I didn’t want to save tax dollars.
That’s a lot of hooey! Here’s the real story.
Mr. DiSclafani signed a no-bid contract with an engineering firm
to design a sewer system that New York City had already rejected.
The city rejected it again. Now the same company wants even more
money to amend the proposal.
DiSclafani illegally demanded a $2,500 payment from an applicant
to the planning board and then was required by lawyers to give
the money back, with interest. Taxpayers will undoubtedly pay
legal fees to defend that behavior.
Last month, Di Sclafani, Doris Bartlett and Tim Malloy tried to
pass one law without even giving two other councilmen a printed
copy to review. In that same meeting, they tried to slip new wording
into a measure they were passing, without first putting it to
a public hearing. This month, these same people voted to pass
a law then had to take it back for a do-over because once again,
they had not followed proper procedures. In the first few months
of an administration, you could cut these people some slack for
this sort of behavior, but now they’ve been at it for 18
months and they know better.
With numerous well-documented failures to follow legal or ethical
procedures, when the Supervisor announced he could save money
on the town’s insurance, red flags popped up. Why did he
wait 18 months for a sudden interest in saving money on insurance?
Who was invited to quote on this package? Is he saving money by
These seem like reasonable questions. As always, DiSclafani could
not even name the firms who supposedly quoted the package, let
alone answer the other questions. Maybe he can save money with
the same amount of coverage. Maybe if he put it out to bid, he
could save even more. Either way, he has legal, fiduciary and
even communication responsibilities that must be met before he
“wings it” into yet another no-bid contract.
At the end of the article, the writer suggests our town now needs
to hire a good management assistant. We don’t need another
salaried employee. We need honest public officials willing to
read the laws they are supposed to uphold and rigorous about communicating
openly and transparently. This is the platform on which DiSclafani,
Bartlett and Malloy ran and one they have ignored since their
first day in office.
Finally – after undercutting the Ulster County Townsman
for years with a “newspaper” that is free and that
doesn’t charge going advertising rates for most ads, you
people at The Phoenicia Times finally drove them out of business.
Now you write long sad stories decrying the demise of that venerable
institution. Spare me the crocodile tears guys. You put the
Townsman just where you wanted it. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
It is sad that the Townsman has ceased publication. It performed
great service in keeping us up to date in civic and political
matters and on environmental matters relating to the waterways,
regulatory disputes and regulations. Newspapers all over are closing
both from lack of profit and decreased usage. The use of internet
instead of papers is a growing trend and it could be dangerous
by reducing the diversity of news sources. Will our information
be controlled by the voices of those who have gobbled up the independent
voices? Let us support our newspapers.
I am having a problem with your fairness, and your judgement.
In the past you have returned a letter or two as being less than
acceptable for publication. You requested revisions or a better
choice of words. Those letters never encompassed name calling,
derogatory terms or descriptive adjectives. They may have been
"left handed" compliments as I am inclined to do in
written or spoken communication.
In the Phoenicia Times of June 4, 2009 a letter adressed to you,
the missal begins Dear Editor; "To Cheney the Dick"
and proceeds to attack all Republicans with inappropriate hysteria,
vile and venom. That's OK. I love the the First Ammendment which
is protected by the Second Ammendment, the only ammendment of
27 that according to some state what the people cannot do. All
the rest are about what the government cannot do.
My complaint is in the public addressing of a former Vice-President.
We can and do speculate as to what Mr Cheney's activities were
and where he was at times. We have seen a number of "senior
moments" on tape experienced by VP Joe Biden and no one has
declared him to appear as other than a decent person.
Perhaps we would do better to turn off the David Lettermans and
others with over active imaginations or wishful thinking. In many
letters I have criticized Mr Cheney, GW Bush , Rush Limbaugh and
others. I have suggested we support President Obama and let him
take whatever errors into retirement whenever.To Mr J. Andrew
Smith of Bloomfield, and those that support his brand of humor
I would recommend keeping company with the "lolly-pop"
crowd. You are too imature for the rest of us. And you have enough
to do with Corzine's high Blomfield taxes.
Glenn T. Anderson
You move to a new town . You are walking your dog - look at him
prancing along, secured by his harness and six foot leash when
you notice dirty looks from your neighbor. Or, worst of all, the
authorities come to your home and inform you that you must remove
your dog from the town, or surrender him to be killed. Do these
things happen in America? Yes, they do...
These nightmares. and others like them, are the GRIM REALITY of
breed specific dog regulation or BSL. Across America, more than
300 communties have restricted or banned outright 36 different
breeds of dogs. Is your dog obedience trained, a therapy dog,
or just a spoiled couch potato? It may not matter. If your town
decides that your dog is a member of any of the banned or restricted
breeds, you will have fewer rights than your neighbor. Even if
that neighbor allows his dog to run loose and become a nuisance
in the community, or if he has chained his unsocialized dog in
the far corners of the yard, his dog may still be viewed more
favorably than your cherished, family companion. Towns and cities
across a America ban or restrict dogs without regard to any actions
of the dogs themselves, or the degree of acre and control excercised
by responsible owners.
Want to take your dog to visit a relative? Depending where your
relatives live, you may be placing your beloved pet in jeopardy,
because that community has enacted a broadly worded, draconion
statue that targets dogs that look like your dog. Many people
don't learn about breed specific legislation until a police officer
or animal control officer knocks on their door and tells them
the dog sitting on their couch has been declared a dangerous animal.
Once enacted, breed specific regulation is hard to repeal. The
task force that studied dog issues in Prince Georges's County,
Maryland concluded that the countys breed ban was expensive and
and ineffective. Denver’s breed ban was expensive and the
harshest in the country, Under the terms, authorities have killed
thousands of dogs, many of whom were wonderful & loved family
Enormous amounts of studies show that this is not working and
instead what need as to be focused on is enforcing leash laws
nd promoting owner education.
What can we do? Know the animal ordinances in your town. Don't
just be a good pet owner. Insist that your town hold all pet owners
to the same high standards to which you hold yourself, what ever
kind of dog they share their lives with.
Breed specific laws are cruel. They don't make our communites
safer. Humane care of companion animals does. And REMEMBER those
dogs who do search and rescue?. German shepherds, Rottweilers,
Labrador Retrievers? Can you imagine if they banned them in NY?
Who would have looked for suvivors of 9/11? Maybe a Chihauhua
or Boston Terrier?
Let’s not jump on media "hysteria" breed specific
with false information provided by the papparazzi, good people
of Shandaken, with a "lynch mob mentality" in the Catskills.
Education and taking responsiblity is the tool needed here. As
for the building permit for the kennel to house these dogs are
you now in the kennel business, Mr. Christie? Also. I don't believe
that Jen is a certified dog trainer, because she had her dog ,
who is a wonderful dog mind you, trained in Kingston at Canine
Anyway, the main conclusion of the studies was that breed specific
legislation doesn't work for several reasons: that there are inherent
problems in trying to determine a dog's breed, making enforcement
difficult at best; that fatal attacks represent a very small portion
of the bite related injuries and should not be the major factor
driving public policy; and that existing non- breed legislation
already exists and offers promise for the prevention of dog bites.
The focus should be on enforcing leash laws and promoting owner
education programs. Learn the facts people do some research. You'll
be surprised how many other breed dogs cause attacks.
At perhaps no time in history has mankind been as ignorant of
natural canine behavior as we find ourselves in the 21st century.
The human/dog bond. Dogs have been around for over 31700 yrs.
the most complex and profound inter-species relationship in the
history of mankind - has been reduced to a a simple axiom: bred
of dog = degree of dangerousness
The fact remains that dog owners, of any breed of dog, is the
ownership issue. Punish the deed, not the breed. For more info
on these important issues I compiled some websites for anyone
interested www.hsus.org;www.petitiononlin.org; www.akc.org; www.americanhumane.org;
www.avna.org; or www.aspca.org.
Big Indian, NY
The 9th Annual Women's Health and Fitness Expo is complete and
we're just beginning to look at the impact and meaning of this
growing event. Each year seems better than the last, and once
again I'm overwhelmed by the community's enthusiastic reception.
I'm especially moved by the growing number of people who come
forward offering help, wanting to be a part of it. People learn
of the Expo from others who have attended or volunteered; previous
volunteers ask if there isn't more they can do. I feel deep gratitude
that I live and practice in a community in which people care about
health and about one another and are eager to do something about
This year the Expo was fortunate to have once again the many volunteers
from the community. Victoria Langling, with the help of her regular
employer Markertek, once again came on board to help organize
volunteers. Numerous other volunteers, from teens to senior groups,
handed out flyers and spread the word to their community groups.
Several organizations distributed flyers including The Jewish
Federation, local Little Leagues, The Kingston Chamber of Commerce,
The Kingston City Schools, Adam's Fairacre Farms and numerous
The day of the event, Laurie Kelley, Director of UARC in Kingston,
was invaluable in organizing registration and admissions at the
event. Amanda LaValle and Annie LaValle served as zone leaders.
Students from Ulster Boces and Chef Alec served as assistants
to celebrity chef Sara Moulton, on and off stage. Members of several
groups including League of Women Voters, RSVP, Hudson Valley Horrors,
Kingston High school, Onteora High school, The Daily Bread Soup
Kitchen, Woodstock Film Festival, Markertek, Labcorp, Hudson Valley
Foot Associates and many others were on hand leading up to and
on the day of the event.
Special thanks to Wendy Lamb, Angie Vigliotti and Laura LoPresti
who helped organize the event and served as coordinators. Pam
Tack served as artistic director with the help of Adam, Ben and
Sydney. Web and Expo production were made possible with the help
of Christine Baldelli and Matt Deakin of Lilypod Media.
Ulster County Executive, Michael Hein; Deputy County Executive,
Adele Reiter; Senator John Bonacic; Nina Postupak, Ulster County
Clerk; Alice Lawliss, Deputy Clerk; Susan Cummings, Ulster County
Legislator; as well as Lori DuBord, representing Congressman Maurice
Hinchey, and Ashley Dittus, representing Assemblyman Kevin Cahill,
were on hand the day of the event offering support.
Such local involvement, with over 150 booths, seminars, workshop,
fitness and cooking demos by local hospitals, businesses, community
and non- profit organizations, demonstrates our commitment to
building a healthier community. Sponsors contributing to the Expo
this year were Markertek, MVP Healthcare, Medical Associates of
the Hudson Valley, Mid-Valley Cardiology, Northern Dutchess Hospital,
River Radiology, Adam's Fairacre Farms and many more.
In addition, these community members have not only given of themselves,
but have brought family and friends on board. My husband, Dr.
Craig Moss, and my daughter Jessica helped in many ways from fundraising
to working onsite at Tech City, giving out flyers and volunteering
the day of the event. My colleagues at Medical Associates of the
Hudson Valley, Dr. Marc Tack, Dr. Michael Sheran, Dr. Charles
Kutler and and Dr. John Froude, as well as all the Medical Associates
of the Hudson Valley staff, have supported the Expo since its
inception and continue to be a part of the event.
This major undertaking is nurtured and guided by the dedication
of The Women's Health and Fitness Foundation Board. The support
of Joyce Lieblich, Dr. Jane Ferguson and Marc Braunstein, as well
as many members of the supporting board, have allowed both the
EXPO and the Foundation to grow and develop.
The Foundation's goal is that Ulster County be the healthiest
in the state and we believe this starts with individuals adapting
a healthy lifestyle and spreading the word. The Expo would not
be possible without the enthusiasm of the entire community. It
is your willingness to be involved and the excitement you bring
to the hard work of making the Expo happen that makes me believe,
without a doubt, that we can achieve the goals we're setting for
a Healthy Ulster County. You've proven that you care and you've
demonstrated that caring about health, making choices for health,
helping others understand that they too can make a change, is
infectious in the best of all possible ways.
Together we are creating a new way of looking at health. Together,
as a community, we will make Ulster County the healthiest county
in the state. Thank you for helping to build healthier families,
a healthier community, a healthier Hudson Valley.
Debra Karnasiewicz, M. D.
Thanks to everyone who came out to our annual Library Fair and
made it such a success! We’re happy to announce that the
Phoenicia library hours will be increased beginning on June 28th.
Our new hours will be:
Mon., Wed., Thur., Fri. – 1- 6
Sat. AND Sun. 10-3
Tuesday will remain 10-4.
The library will be open on Sunday through Labor Day weekend.
Also, the Library will be hosting a reading entitled “Coming
Home to the Catskills” by published poets Will Nixon and
Matthew Spireng on Saturday, June 27th, from 2-3 p.m. The event
is free; books by Will and Matthew will be available for purchase
and signing, and a portion of the proceeds of book sales will
go to the library.
Hope to see everyone at the Library this summer!
Phoenicia Library Board
On behalf of the Board of trustees of the Olive Free Library I
would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the members
of the community who helped make the Olive Free Library's 50th
Anniversary Celebration a great success. Thank you to all the
community members who donated items for the Silent Auction and
to the Boiceville Supermarket and the Boiceville Wine and Spirits
for donations of food and wine. Thank you to Lisa Menard for a
wonderful afternoon of music, to Rosalie Burgher and Ruth Anne
Muller for their great contributions to the program and to all
the people who came out to celebrate this historic event. The
Olive Library is a true asset to our community and is here today
because of the foresight of Olive residents who believed a town
library could be a center of knowledge and community activity,
which it certainly is today. Here’s to the next 50 years
of the Olive Free Library!
Mary Ann Shepard, President
Olive Free Library
I regret that circumstances have not until now afforded an opportunity
to respond to Jeff. Lieberson’s lengthy letter in response
to my article(s) on the current national "Food Safety"bills.
His letter’s content, taken verbatim et literatim from Representative
Hinchey’s website, is a blanket response to criticisms of
HR 875 rather than to my own article (which dealt specifically
with that very response, called the FWW statement, in part three
of the article, as well as critical comment on the bill). Replying
to a reiteration of the document I had already dissected is in
no way meant to be an attack upon the Congressman or Mr. Lieberson,
who graciously agreed to the interview which I drew upon for my
recent article(s). Rather, it is directed toward the unsigned
stonewall document quoted in the letter which did not originate
in Hinchey’s office but is being used widely and deviously
to deflect earnest critique of indefinite and very questionable
sections of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, HR-875,
which Rep. Hinchey agreed to co-sponsor with scores of other legislators
who may or may not have actually studied the bill..
After attempting to discredit the bill’s detractors with
ad hominem characterizations and erroneously portraying inquiries
and criticisms from small farmers, legal observers and others
concerned with the bill’s language as "Internet hysteria"
and a "misinformation campaign," the FWW statement cites
the Organic Trade Association and the Organic Consumer’s
Association for support As even their Wikipedia profile points
out the "OTA has been criticized for being an agent of big
business interests working to undermine the credibility of the
organic movement," and played a hand in diluting the accepted
definition of "organic" in the 2006 Agricultural Appropriations
Act, leading the Chicago Reader to observe "Organic...Means
Whatever the Feds Say It Means." The FWW statement also fails
to mention that, although approving of parts of it, the OCA does
NOT support the bill, saying: "We share the concerns of the
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which opposes the bill because
it could be interpreted to impose onerous regulations on small
farms..." They sagely add that "(t)he number one thing
we could do to increase food safety is to stop the factory farming
of animals" which, of course, are primary factors in foodborne
The statement, which first appeared on the Food & Water Watch
website (and, with aggressively organized distribution, quickly
on virtually every other website backing the bill), masterfully
misguiding many soon after public reaction began to emerge, also
makes use of the Annenberg Political Fact Checker website, which
is often useful, particularly to Progressives seeking to verify
or disprove partisan political claims and those who just relish
the perverse joy of exposing the lies of politicians but, looked
at objectively, is as unbiased as Fox News is "fair and balanced,"
with a worm jar of funding ties to an elite foundation which operates
above the tug of left-right debate but shows not inconsequential
links to Senator, now President, Obama,, whose Chief-of-Staff,
Rahm Emmanuel, who had been the point man for NAFTA in the 1990s,
has lived rent-free in the Washington D.C. home of Representative
Rosa DeLauro, who is the primary sponsor of HR 875, which meshes
with Obama’s long-standing ties to the biotech industry
as outlined in my article, and so on...
While conservative pundits typically miss the point in these tangles,
sparing their corporate friends to chase independent geese, the
network of associations from which these food bills emerged commonly
tramples party boundaries in pursuit of global objectives. Invariably
crafted by industry attorneys, this kind of legislation benefits
consumers only inadvertently. Often the actions proposed in such
bills mandate new technologies to benefit business sectors at
the expense of the general public- such as irradiation, to cite
just one example, which strips food of nutritional value in order
to prolong product shelf life rather than devise strategies to
We have entered a new era in which food and water supply are destined
to become areas of intense conflict in the very near future and,
although few in the political arena seem anxious at the moment
to point it out, the national sectors of food and finance are
on parallel tracks to total globalization of national resources,
"harmonized" with World Trade Organization rules and
objectives. An assertive rollout of expanding biotech initiatives
this Spring rides shotgun with the new legislation, trackable
on industry sites like Biotechcheck.org, with Monsanto & company
strengthening their hands in China and elsewhere around the world
as bills like HR 759, the FDA Globalization Act of 2009, S-384,
and the others seek to mandate the presence of genetically modified
microorganisms in food aid to Africa and more (see Food First’s
Policy Brief No. 18; "Why the Lugar-Casey Global Food Security
Act will Fail to Curb Hunger" or Nicole Johnson’s astute
article "The 2009 Food ‘Safety’ Bills Harmonize
Agribusiness Practices in Service of Corporate Global Governance"
at the FarmWarsInfo or OpEdNews.com). It is, as the Food-To-Consumer
Legal Defense Fund contends, a federal takeover of the national
food supply to tailor the system to global aims and, despite legislators’
denials, it’s clear that the biotech industry is in the
Last month, the prestigious American Academy of Environmental
Medicine (AAEM) joined the call for an immediate moratorium on
the industry’s GM foods experiment on the American public,
issuing a position paper which recognizes, in review of research
studies, that ‘(t)here is more than a casual association
between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation."
As biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute has observed,
since GM-related illnesses develop over time, their causes are
difficult to trace and can have serious long-range consequences
The AAEM study notes: "Specificity of the association of
GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple
animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including
upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy and
inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure and function
of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism
as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging
and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species
(ROS). Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been
documented. A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility,
showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly
lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn. This study also found
that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in
the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein
synthesis and modification, cell signalling, cholesterol synthesis
and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in
animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth and
disruption of the intestinal immune system."
In short, the simplistic gene modification being employed to transfer
toxins into cells via "guns" or bacterial and viral
vectors ignore complex cellular networking processes and quantum
biowave genetic functions, leading inevitably to unpredictable
cellular reactions. More than 95% of DNA has unknown functions.
The widespread use of viruses in these processes opens a door
wherein they may recombine, creating dangerous new strains. Research
indicates that ingested virus genes may be taken in by body cells
and remain in organs. The hazards go on and on as the money pours
in. The biotech companies are aware of this and hide their sponsored
studies as "business secrets." When rapid onset symptoms
are manifest, as they were in the pet food crisis of 2007, industry-linked
universities can do chemical studies to pin the blame on a convenient
patsy like melamine, without resort to or even mention of tests
for the presence of GM ingredients which might produce the kidney
crystallizations found by the university researchers at Guelph
(where Monsanto bases its Canadian headquarters) and Cornell (which
co-holds GM patents with Monsanto). With so many billions at stake,
it’s easier to blame cyanic acid in combination with other
natural byproducts of melamine (because they will be present if
melamine is present( than it is to check for transgenic proteins
or enzymes which will not show up in mere chemical tests. When
the leading genetic authority Arpad Pusztai reported dire results
in animal studies with genetically modified potatoes at the Rowett
Research Institute of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1995, the designated
patsy was Concanavalin A, a lectin which Dr. Pusztai did not use
but was slyly and misleadingly inserted into the debate as political
channels from the White House, through Britain’s Prime Minister
Blair, exerted the pressure to silence the scientist’s protestations.
An internal Monsanto report at that time by Stan Greenberg (spouse
of HR 875 chief sponsor Rosa DeLauro) assessing the negative impact
on public opinion from events stirred up by the case is quoted
the "Attack of the Killer Potatoes" chapter of Rampton
and Stauber’s 2001 book Trust Us, We’re Experts!
If, as claimed, bills like HR 875 are designed to address food
safety, why isn’t the issue of crops modified using transgenic
vectors like Salmonella typhimunium, Shiga toxin 2e (Stx2e) and
Escherichia Coli a focus of these bills? Why does the FDA continue
to ignore its own scientists? Why are government agencies like
the USDA and FDA permitted to co-own patents with biotech companies?
If, as claimed by HR875's supporters, it is not designed to serve
an agenda suited to the agri-industrial giants who contribute
weightily to the political war chests of incumbents like Rep.
DeLauro, then what exactly is the problem with amending its language
to explicitly exempt small farms, gardeners and the like from
its clutches? The first complaint of critics is that the bill
avoids being scale appropriate. That’s easily fixable. Also,
the Annenberg column finds "hysteria" in concerns about
DeLaurio’s husband’s past dealings with the Monsanto
corporation but if, as claimed, the bill was not authored by industry
insiders, why not just reveal the names of the proud experts who
crafted it and put a swift end to such speculation?
There is much more to say which space will not permit but I would
urge Congressman Hinchey, a co-sponsor of HR 875 whose previous
and continuing efforts at reform of the FDA’s "revolving
door" atrocities of regulation by industry instruction and
blatant corruption have been admirable, to follow the example
of Representative Chelle Pingree of Maine who, identifying herself
as a small organic gardener, has withdrawn her co-sponsorship
due to the bill’s potential impact on small farmers. Representative
Hinchey sits on the Agricultural Appropriations Committee which
DeLauro chairs but surely there are issues here which transcend
routine political quid pro quo.
If there are a few who have worked themselves into a lather approaching
hysteria over these bills, it may be understandable. They are
more than subtly geared to benefit the largest food firms, CAFOs
(Confined Animal Feeding Operations) and the associated interests
who make no secret of their desire to destroy their comparatively
small competitors. In turn, the diminutive opposition most threatened
by the laws are protesting that it is the factory farm systems
of the big guys that create the vast majority of the current problems
with food safety. These aren’t all hysterical individuals
worked up over trifles. If you take the time to look closely,
you’ll find that this legislative onslaught IS a big deal
with far-reaching implications for the future and there is real
substance to far too many of their objections.
West Shokan, NY
Many problems in our society will be solved when young men are
willing to become good fathers. Of course, they can do this only
if they have an example to follow. As fathers, we need to be the
strongest role models for children, especially for our sons.
I loved my father. He had a tremendous sense of humor, but he
also was strict and set boundaries which I didn't always appreciate
at the time. I always knew he loved me. Once when I was eight
or nine, I angered him so much that he threatened to punish me.
I looked up at him and, before I knew what I was doing, blurted
out, "Papa, I'm really sorry. Do what you have to do-but
I know you still love me." To my astonishment, he leaned
down, put his arms around me and said with a tenderness that came
from the bottom of his heart: "Christoph, I forgive you."
Like many fathers today, my father's work sometimes kept him away
from home for long stretches. I remember as a five-year-old, if
I refused to obey, all my mother needed to do was to show me his
picture. "Your Papa wouldn't like it," she'd tell me,
and I'd give in.
I felt very secure just being with my father. As a small boy I
decided I wanted to be like him when I grew up. This relationship
held me through hard times, even after his death. Now I want to
pass this on to my children, grandchildren, and to all of you.
Fathers, if you love your wife and if you love your children,
give them your time. Spending time together will give your family
inner and emotional security. This is much more important than
financial security. The Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral writes,
"Many things can wait. Children cannot... To them we cannot
say 'tomorrow.' Their name is today."
The love we show our children by giving them our time and attention
can hold them in good stead even years down the road. As Dostoevsky
reminds us in The Brothers Karamazov, "You must know that
there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome for life
in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood,
of home...For if a man has only one good memory left in his heart,
even that may keep him from evil."
To be a father is to fulfill a noble vocation. But fatherhood
is not for everyone: it is not for cowards or for those who are
unsure of themselves. Once we become fathers, we remain fathers
until we die. A true father must be a leader-a captain who guides
his family's ship through perilous waters to safe shores, a general
who rallies his troops to take on the daily battles.
On the other hand, a father should also model love and compassion.
Jesus was not afraid to compare himself to a hen gathering her
chicks. He also wept. These qualities belong to true manhood,
and a true father will seek to embody them.
Finally, I believe even the best intentioned fathers will not
be able to fulfill their task without finding a firm faith in
God. When they do, our families and the entire country will be
strengthened, because strong families form the backbone of our
Johann Christoph Arnold