to the Editor
After reading the articles in the Olive Press, Woodstock Times and the
Kingston Freeman concerning the 18 dogs, I feel compelled to address
Mr. Shapiro's comments. I get the distinct feeling that not only does
Mr. Shapiro want to be the complainant, but also the judge, jury and
executioner. However, that is not how the system works.
I had the good fortune to work with Judge Wright for about 10 years
and I always found him to be very thorough and a lot of effort was put
into his decision. I also question why the press brought up the fact
that Judge Wright had been censured. Was that really necessary? It seems
to me Mr. Shapiro should go back to being a County Legislator and let
the court system do its job. I also understand that Mr. Shapiro claims
to have argued in court when the records show he has yet to appear in
court on behalf of the Ulster County SPCA on this issue.
It appears Mr. Shapiro is using these dogs for his own personal agenda.
This is in response to the comic in your 5/7 issue by Gus Murphy. I
have long ago come to terms with the fact that ‘The Olive Press’
is hopelessly biased. But the comic you ran left me with my jaw on the
ground due to its outright hostility. Two Republican characters (one
whom I believe to be Mitch McConnell. I can’t figure out the other
one.) responding to the Arlen Specter character who says “Its
practical. I can’t win a Republican primary” states “How
dishonest! He doesn’t like that we’re the party of WHITE
SOUTHERN RACISTS.” The other character says, “Yeah. Tell
Are you kidding? Does Janeane Garofalo now sit on the editorial board
of the Olive press? I wont even get into the Robert Byrd issue. Talk
about selective memory. But to equate over 50% of the US electorate
in one swath as “White Southern Racists” is astounding.
Although I should not be surprised. The word ‘Racist’ is
bandied about now with such casual ease it has rendered itself meaningless.
It is now the new “Reductio Ad Hitlerum”. The sheer hypocrisy
is mind-boggling. The left will endlessly drone on (justifiably in some
cases) about the McCarthy era. A Commie behind every tree! Or anyone
with hair longer then their jaw line in the 60s and early70s was suspected
of being a “Pinko”. We heard the same thing during the Bush
administration. People opposed to the war in Iraq are wrongly being
called “Un-Patriotic”! Okay. Fair enough.
Yet now we find ourselves in the inverted world where anyone who questions
(Merely questions!) our President, immigration policies, Islamic terrorism,
high taxes, runaway spending or Multiculturalism in general is immediately
hit with the ‘R’ word. Anyone see any similarities here?
There were some guys in Salem in the 17th century who would find this
thinking very familiar. Which brings me to my final point. The Olive
Press may be a small town paper, but your are playing a dangerous game
by feeding into a line of thought that dehumanizes and turns those of
opposing views into “The Other”. Not someone you simply
disagree with, but someone evil and beyond redemption. Because today,
to be accused of being a racist is the worst thing that anyone can possibly
be fingered for. That is why it is thrown around so much, and that is
why it strikes terror in the hearts of those accused. Regardless of
the truth of said accusation.
If you think I am being melodramatic all one has to do is take a look
across the pond to Europe. Militant black hooded groups of so-called
“Anti-Fascists” known as “ANTIFA” routinely
viciously assault people or groups (victims have been elderly woman)
whom THEY deem to be “Racists” and or “Fascists”.
Who are these people being assaulted you may ask? No, they are not “Skinheads”
or “Neo-Nazis”. These are groups who are Pro-Israel, groups
who oppose the European Union and mass immigration and groups who question
the whole multicultural orthodoxy. Add to this, speech, which is being
more and more curtailed under flimsy “Hate Speech” laws.
Unlike here in the U.S., free speech is not enshrined in most European
I thank God that groups like ANTIFA enjoy no real power here in the
U.S. Yet. But irresponsible and biased journalism molds minds and sets
the stage. The fear is already palpable. For instance. I am taking a
huge gamble attaching my name to this letter. Why? Because of the stance
I have just taken. I count on the local populace to earn a living and
I can guarantee that many (not the fair minded) have already made up
their minds that I am a terrible person and a right wing nut job. Maybe
they haven’t? But in today’s climate, one speaks unpopular
things at their own peril. This is the mindset that one small comic
in one small paper in one small town is helping to shape. You are obviously
free to print what you please. But I ask that you seriously think about
the monster that biased journalism (no matter how large or small) creates.
The last time the press was so antagonistic to its fellow Americans
was in the early 1860s. And that was in the middle of a Civil War.
To Cheney the Dick:
You protest Obama "criminalizing" your administration's actions
-- did Nixon and Hitler teach you nothing? Outing CIA agents, warrantless
wire-tapping and torture are crimes! You actually want memos released
proving torture yielded information -- all Republicans just don't get
it: the ends don't justify the means. You say we can't safely imprison
terrorists -- any Democrats saying that you'd call unpatriotic! Why
talk all over TV anyway -- but not before Congress under oath -- when
as VP you were nowhere? The Democrats won -- if you can't take it, go
crying back into your hole, you typical Republican hypocrite. As your
kind used to say, support the President.
J. Andrew Smith
I am writing in response to Julie McQuain’s letter last week.
I know my letter is likely to generate the usual letters of protest
from those who oppose the expansion of Belleayre Mountain and are so
blinded by their own anger at any threat to their exclusive use of our
wonderful outdoor resource that they are willing to sacrifice the well
being of the entire region to prove their point. They will stop at nothing
and the constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, deceits and recycled
and debunked “facts” keeping pouring forth.
I just can’t stand this self centered, self righteous, not in
my backyard, nonsense any more.
Julie McQuain’s letter personifies the position of the Catskill
Heritage Alliance and its organization. Acting in an unholy alliance
with the truly mega-developed ski centers in Greene County, they want
to destroy Belleayre and sacrifice the surrounding communities. The
Kingston Freeman in an excellent editorial called them “Political
Vultures”. They cloak themselves with a mantle of being an “environmental
organization”; however the well respected national and local environmental
organizations that they invited into our community have abandoned them
and support the expansion of Belleayre Mountain. They claim to want
to “Save the Mountain” but their actions show they are happy
to have it fail and revert to the level of skier visits of a decade
or more ago and the concurrent effect on the economic climate of our
Are their vistas and their precious solitude more important than the
economic chances of the entire region? Are they so blinded by self centered
anger they can’t see the declining school enrollments, the closure
of churches, the failure of local businesses, the struggles of local
trades people, the increases in local taxes. Our economy is dying and
our young people reluctantly forced to move away. Make no mistake about
it. The Catskills Heritage Alliance is working again the economic interest
of our area. They cavalierly spurn the federal stimulus money being
sought after and used elsewhere across the country to jump start local
communities. Jobs don’t mean anything; they are totally unimportant,
if you don’t need one. It is easy to scoff at a so called “menial
job” until you need one to help support a family.
The expansion of Belleayre Mountain is not a cure all but it is a start,
and a good one, toward revitalizing the tourism industry we started
to lose a generation or two ago. The Save the Mountain gang is completely
bankrupt when it comes to positive new ideas to give our community a
chance at economic stability and prosperity.
Save The Mountain is an outrageous oxymoron and people like Ms. McQuain,
John Carney, her husband and Richard Schaedle are destroying our community
and using the false mantle of community action to mask a thoroughly
selfish Nimbyism, run amok.
These are strong words but true and its time we all spoke up and reclaimed
our communities and our chance for the future.
Rosina M. Montana
After a long silence on the subject, the media is talking about a proposal
for health care reform called "Single Payer." Although President
Obama has pledged that all proposals would be considered, "Single
Payer" has been denied a place at the table, even to the extent
that its advocates, have been arrested if they attempt to speak at government
hearings. The for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies wield
great power in Washington and are behind the efforts to stifle all public
discussion on "Single Payer"
The term "Single Payer" describes Medicare which has insured
seniors for over 40 years at 3 percent, a very low cost of operation.
HR 676, introduced in the House by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. provides
for universal health care under which every man, woman and child of
all ages, income, employed or not, would be covered. It would be Medicare
for all. There would be no deductibles, co-pays or referrals or need
for Medigap insurance. It would cover all medical and surgical care,
pharmaceuticals at prices negotiated with Medicare, doctors and specialist
visits, dental, vision and mental health care. Patients would have freedom
to choose their own doctors and hospitals,
It would be financed by additional payroll deductions of workers salaries,
plus the employers contribution, to be placed in a dedicated fund, not
to be used for any other purpose than health care. All health systems
would be managed under this plan: Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Care,
Federal Employees, etc. The only payer would be Medicare, the same as
it is under the present system. This is where the greatest savings would
occur, three percent compared to the 30 percent cost of administrating
the private insurance companies. Preventative medicine would be practiced,
and produce even greater savings.
Every American has a stake in fighting for Medicare For All and taking
back our health care system so that it works for us rather than being
a cash cow for the insurance companies. Contact me at 334-9162 for further
President Obama (who I voted for and support) recently declared intent
to "work with the insurers." To me, this language denotes
the uninsured will still have to buy their own health insurance (though
there will be discounts for the low income uninsured) and hopefully
the uninsured with preexisting conditions can get coverage (if they
pay for it).
How will premiums be determined? So far, it sounds like people with
take-home income of $50K or more will still have to pay about what health
insurance costs now - at least $1000 a month, or $12K a year out of
Who can afford to pay 25 percent of his/her net income for health insurance?
Most uninsured people in this income range are simply not buying health
insurance, hoping they won't get seriously ill and will have less than
$12K a year in medical bills. And prescriptions, can't forget that -
a few prescriptions can easily cost $500 a month for the uninsured with
So far, I don't see changes coming that will alter the status quo very
much. The only change could be that some will be forced to pay for the
"new" medical insurance even if they feel they can't afford
West Saugerties, NY
Medical marijuana bills are pending in both the NY State Senate and
Assembly. Seriously ill patients should have legal access to medical
marijuana when recommended by their doctors. Thirteen states have passed
popular laws to allow the doctor-advised, medical use of marijuana.
These laws are working well and protecting sick and dying patients.
Please support A. 7542 and S. 4041-A to protect patients in our state.
Arnold Lieber, M.D.
Every time I go to a seniors exercise class I come away with a bag (or
more) of food for the pantry. These donations are making a significant
difference in what is available to the patrons. Now, because of these
donations, we consistently have foods that have not been on the shelves
in times past.
The Good Neighbor Food Pantry now has a selection of "extras"
for our patrons. These items include facial tissue, cooking oil, tooth
paste, canned milk, flour, salt, pepper, spices, pet food, canned vegetables,
canned soups, salad dressings, etc. (all those little things that many
of us take for granted in our kitchens).
Pet food is becoming a staple in our Food Pantry and it is a very popular
item. After all, our pets are part of the family and they need to eat,
too. This pet food is available because of the generosity of persons
who remember to include pets when they shop for the Food Pantry. Do
you have a pet or pets? Can you include an extra bag, box, or can of
pet food for food pantry pets when you buy for your own? Your generosity
will be greatly appreciated.
Recently, Anita Jurak donated a dozen empty coffee cans that Katrina
Barber's third grade art class at Woodstock Elementary transformed into
donation cans that are being distributed to various retail outlets in
Woodstock. So, now you can donate your extra change to the food pantry.
Upcoming events for the Good Neighbor Food Pantry include a table at
the Wednesday evening Farm Market Festival. We hope to have a table
at this Wednesday evening event throughout the summer so that you can
donate either food or $$$ to the pantry while you shop at the market
and enjoy the festivities on Wednesday evenings.
In addition to the food donations from the Seniors activities classes,
we have been receiving donations from anonymous persons who drop food
off at the pantry during the week when it is closed or they drop it
off at my home. These gifts are very much appreciated and we are looking
forward to having more and more people sharing extra food with us.
We are looking to add three more congregations to our food bank group
of sponsors. If you are a member of a group that would like to participate
in the food bank, please contact us at 845-399-3967. If you are not
a member of a congregation or organization but you feel that you know
of one that would make a good sponsor, please call and nominate that
group so we can contact them.
If you are growing your own garden this summer, we invite you to "grow
an extra row" for the food pantry. It's a real easy concept. All
you do is bring your extra produce to the pantry early Thursday mornings.
If you have never gardened before, now is a good time to start. Buy
yourself a tomato plant, put it in the ground, and share the extra with
the food pantry!
Several nationally known companies who either manufacture or sell food
in our area are serious providers of food to our pantry. Although they
do not bring the food to the Good Neighbor Food Pantry directly, they
regularly donate large amounts of food to our area distributor in Latham
and we receive the food. These companies are: Tyson Chicken, Walmart,
Beechnut, Eggland's Best, Stewart's, Welsh's Grape, Freihoffer, Hannaford,
and Price Chopper. There are, of course many, many others. But these
are the names that I have received. Please keep this information in
mind as you shop. These are some of the companies that make a significant
contribution toward keeping our shelves stocked. Locally, Sunflower
is sharing fresh produce and bread.
Of course, all of these wonderful things are happening at our Food Pantry
because individuals such as yourself are sharing food and money with
the Food Pantry and because Markertek never forgets us when it is time
to give generously. We will not be able to continue to do these wonderful
things without the continuing generosity of every one. Please remember
your Good Neighbor Food Pantry every time you buy groceries.
It has been said that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat
it. I can tell you from my personal experience in high school that the
same is true for algebra, English, social studies and biology. But,
for the time being, let us focus on history.
There was a time when the Western World was heavily dependent on the
countries of the Middle East to deliver much-needed commodities. I'm
not talking about crude oil but about oils, spices and silk. During
the Middle Ages there was a great demand for goods from India and China.
The only known methods for delivery of these goods involved dealing
with the peoples of Arab lands. Then as now this proved to be both costly
and unreliable. At the end of the 15th century Vasco de Gama rounded
Africa's Cape of Good Hope. In doing so he opened up a sea route from
Europe to Asia and took the Middle East out of the loop.
Last week Barack Obama announced that we would raise the MPG standards
for all vehicles and start the country on a path toward energy independence.
He didn't look much like Vasco de Gama but it was clear that the country
has stepped off in a new direction. We as a nation are now going to
pursue policies that will free us from our dependency on Middle Eastern
oil. It is nice to have a president with a working knowledge of history.
What Newt, Rush, Dick and the other remnants of the neo-conservative
movement need to realize is that they are now irrelevant. It doesn't
matter if they show Obama to be a European style socialist or even a
card-carrying communist. They can prove that Nancy Pelosi personally
water boarded Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton flew one of the planes on
9-11 and FDR caused both the great depression as well as our current
economic woes; it won't make any difference. The wind has shifted. It
is no longer blowing from the east. The ship has sailed and neo-cons
missed it. My advice for them - cash in your chips, get in your V8 powered
SUV and go on out to the golf course.
Hot Springs, AR
For what reason that completely false information about HR 875, the
Food Safety Modernization Act went out on the Internet is not known
but the Political Fact Check deems it as "Internet hysteria."
The bill will fix problems in our Food Safety system. It would not interfere
with backyard gardeners, farmers markets, organic gardening. It would
require food safety requirements be met in interstate commerce. Food
safety experts and more exact testing and firmer controls resulting
in consumer protection are the goals of this bill. It will require all
imported foods to meet safety requirements. It will allow a boom for
our own growers.
How sad it is to see this abortion item looming so large on the horizon.
We must remember that it is not that part of the population believes
it is wrong and others don't. Some oppose it but that there are issues
such as woman's right to choose and the ills accompanying an unwanted
child or the hardship having the child would cause, in weighing the
matter. Of course there are many who oppose abortion and wouldn't have
one but realize that others don't share the same belief and are entitled
to their beliefs. The cause of the intense friction is not what is believed
about abortion but that some believe they are the arbiters of everyone's
behavior and have the right to take away the rights of others because
of what they believe. Some people believe it is a sin to work on the
Sabbath. Not too many years ago our laws upheld this belief. What would
happen if enough people who believed it wrong to work in the Sabbath
had laws passed requiring all businesses and factories to close on Sundays?
(Of course that would not include restaurants!) The question that needs
an answer is: Is our country run as a democracy or as a theocracy?
Summer is in the air — and what better way to celebrate than the
annual Phoenicia Library Fair! All are invited to this fun-filled event
on Saturday June 6, from 10-2, on Main Street in Phoenicia. From vintage
books (one of our recent treasures actually sold for $900 on line!)
to our fabulous plant sale to yummy baked goods to festive face painting,
there’s something for the whole family. And at 10 a.m., kicking
off the fair, Uncle Rock will be performing upstairs in the Angler’s
Parlour—his only Phoenicia-area show of the summer!
Hope to see you all there!
Phoenicia Library Board
Our Magic Rainbow Man, my Thom, has passed over into one of his paintings
of a beautiful water color sky with rainbows.
He died Sunday, May 3, 2009. His mother died May 3, 14 years ago. It
was sudden without pain. He asked for some cranberry juice and by the
time I brought it to him he was in heaven. A storm came in later in
the day. It rained hard as the heavens cried with me. Even without the
sun at the end of the day, rainbows were seen over Jim’s home,
my nieces and at our friend Mike Morgan’s house. Mike had just,
five weeks ago, cut up 250 of Thom’s rainbow posters into two
inch squares so Thom could work on collages. Thom was so excited about
the collage work he had finished and signed the Saturday before he died.
He was working on another collage in a larger size on Saturday night.
It was left unfinished with my remembering all of the enthusiasm of
my early day Thom.
He had been ill for some time but we kept going forward. He did not
die from any illness that we knew about. I was relieved that his death
was a painless one, just like his mother.
I miss his laughter, his whistling, his wonderful singing voice, watching
him paint his water colors and cleaning his little scraps of paper edges
as he cut up rainbows for boxes, give aways and other multitudes of
Thom’s rainbow was a reflection of God’s visual word. Every
time we see one in the sky we will think about him. What a monument.
From the first opening of our Rainbow Store at 124 Tinker Street to
the end at the Boiceville Rainbow Store – The in-between times
of communion with the two of you, the secret gift of Thom’s original
piece ,to dinner visits , parties and the most wonderful conversations
and always being remembered. I thank you for sharing your lives with
us that I might have these memories.
Love and Hugs,
Mary Klika aka Lady Rainbow