to the Editor
Constructive criticism should be a reasoned, unemotional response in
an effort to guide. This is in stark contrast to Mrs. Bauer's letter.
Mrs. Bauer's litany of wrong doings on my part are false. Mrs. Bauer
is misinformed either by belief or by design.
I did not sign a no-bid contract with an engineering firm to design
a sewer system. New York City never rejected the reed bed system. The
DEP agreed to fund a feasibility study as a means of learning about
a new system. A similar system has since been approved for Cortina Valley.
I did not illegally demand a $2,500 payment from an applicant to the
Planning Board. I was never required by any lawyers to give any money
back, with interest or not. True, taxpayers will undoubtedly pay legal
Myself, Doris Bartlett and Tim Malloy did not try to pass a law without
giving two other councilmen a printed copy to review. The information
was put in all the councilmen's mailboxes. That two councilmen never
received them is indeed strange, or not, when you consider the mailboxes
are open to anyone entering the copy room. Additionally, the entire
Town Board was at the Planning Board meeting
when this law was reviewed by the Planning Board. This law has been
on the Town website from the inception and the motion was tabled. Where
was the surprise?
Mrs. Bauer claims that there are numerous well-documented failures to
follow legal or ethical procedures. Oh, really? Doesn't Mrs, Bauer believe
in reporting illegal actions to the authorities? It is one thing to
falsely accuse in a letter and at Town Hall, it is quite another to
bear false witness in a deposition.
Mrs. Bauer claims she is frightened by everything I do. Saving between
$30,000 and $35,000 on the town insurance policy is especially scary
for her. I did indeed name the three companies, for an insurance proposal,
that gave us written quotes as required by law, at the Town
Mrs. Bauer writes that we need honest public officials willing to read
the laws they are supposed to uphold and be rigorous about communicating
openly and transparently. Is she kidding? I answer every single question,
every single time, sometimes over and over. I take my legal,
fiduciary, and communication responsibilities very seriously.
Finally, Mrs. Bauer claims that I have ignored my promise to be open
and transparent - Not true. I am committed to accessible and responsive
government and I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts and
concerns. I welcome constructive criticism as a means to find common
ground towards a solution to a problem. The Town website is shandaken.us
Peter DiSclafani, Supervisor
Former Cigna Insurance senior executive Wendell Potter recently testified
before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
about the insurance industry he worked for. He told them, “[T]hey
confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their
Wall Street investors."
Why are we paying twice as much as any other industrialized nation for
health care and getting lousy coverage in return? Here's what Senator
Sanders of Vermont has to say about the quality of health care under
the present broken system: “What do we get for all this spending?
to the World Health Organization, the United States ranks 37th in terms
of health system performance and 72nd in overall population health.
Moreover, a recent international survey found the U.S. is dead last
in terms of patient satisfaction.”
President Obama says if we could start from scratch, he would favor
a Medicare for All system...so I urge him to step up and START FROM
SCRATCH. In the the face of the failed private health insurance system,
to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is the
definition of insanity.
It's not the Medicare and Medicaid system that will bankrupt us, it's
the massive extra costs patients, doctors and hospitals have to deal
with due to the multiple billing requirements and the 20-30 percent
overhead in the private insurance industry that are driving the system
into bankruptcy. Top this off with the profits for insurance corporation
investors and million-dollar salaries for their executives and it's
clear where the problem lies. Two-thirds of personal bankruptcy in America
is caused by medical bills. Contrast this with industrialized countries
that have a Medicare for All type system, where not one citizen is bankrupt
because of health issues.
If the for-profit system works so well then why are there nearly 50
million uninsured Americans and millions more underinsured? And if their
approach is superior, why are the insurers afraid of some competition
from a simplified public health plan? If for-profit insurance works
so well, then why do 2/3rds of Americans want a Medicare for All plan
that they can't lose if they become unemployed or from which they won't
be cut if they have pre-existing conditions (when they most need medical
If only a weak “public option” is enacted by Congress and
signed into law and private coverage stills rules, then the insurance
companies will cherry pick younger, healthy citizens and leave those
among us most in need of medical care to the public sector. This will
indeed make the public option more expensive and then the private insurance
shills will turn around and say, “See, we told you public health
costs more!” Shameful! If Congress allows the insurers to rape
the system again, we all suffer.
Fortunately, our Congressman Maurice Hinchey is a sponsor of the Medicare
for All proposal (HR-676) in front of Congress. Too bad our Senators
Schumer and Gillibrand don't see fit to support their
constituents by backing a similar proposal in the Senate (S 703), put
forward by Senator Sanders of Vermont. As of now both Senators have
lost my support. If they turn around and support Medicare for All, I'll
be there for them.
I urge all readers to call or fax these two Senators and tell them we
need a Medicare for All plan that meets the medical needs of citizens,
not a profit-making insurance scheme that only meets the needs of the
insurers. To reach Senator Schumer call: 212-486-4430 Fax: 212-486-7693.
Senator Gillibrand is at Tel. (212) 688-6262. Fax (212) 688-7444.
Daily, our President mentions 45 million people in the plight of being
uninsured or underinsured or denied health care in our mutual homeland.
In D.C. on July 30, many people from across our nation will arrive to
rally on behalf of family members, friends, other Americans, as well
as for themselves, regarding the need for affordable, quality health
care for ALL. I hope they succeed. I hope we succeed in making this
birthday the turning point for a better healthcare system...a better
I HOPE others across America will have rallies in their hometowns as
much as possible, and/or write their congressmen and senators to support
HR676, the single-payer plan. Presently, the bill HR676 single-payer
is in Congress, but not in the Senate. I too feel the necessity of our
mutual effort toward such an urgent and noble need. We still have the
time to rally and write!
A Coalition of Concerned Citizens of New Paltz, NY will rally in solidarity
for this cause July 4, July 11, July 18, July 25, and July 30 on Rt.
299 (east of Main St., on the sidewalk near the entranceway to New Paltz
Plaza.) at 11am to 12:30pm. Please feel welcome to join in. This group
advocates HR676 single-payer, because it provides reform with affordability
To see a loved one die...a fellow human being's life taken...a child
denied life...the pain and suffering...because others make health care
For the purpose of your own research, I provide some addresses below:
Explanation of HR676 along with its online petition: www.johnconyers.com/healtlhcare
Should you need a paper petition, ask a a friend, family, neighbor,
or librarian to print one for you from the online site www.healthcarenow.org;
To view a dvd: Michael Moore, "Sicko" rented at a video store
Writing your own note to your congressional representative and senators
is very helpful and persuasive as to your commitment... access toll-free
1 866 338 1015 for their names and addresses for your locale.
Myra C. Long
New Paltz, NY
In this great nation, every year, tens of thousands of Americans are
falling victim to the ever greedy private health care insurance companies.
At least 18,000 Americans die because they don't have health insurance,
and thousands more die because of claims delayed or claims denied. Dawnelle
Keys, from the film Sicko, had Insurance, but was denied care (a simple
blood culture and antibiotics) for her two year old daughter. The child
died because she was not in an ER hospital affiliated with Kaiser. I
feel that this is a typical case of legalized homicide. If Dawnelle
Keys Lived in England, Norway or Australia her baby would in all likelihood
be alive to-day.
If we were to adapt Obama's public option plan, 119 million people would
move over to the plan. Would the two trillion dollar private health
care industry allow the government to provide a service to exist alongside
theirs that would cut into their profits? The only option we really
have if we want to save lives is to get the middle man out of health
care. These corrupt corporations only care about their bottom line.
Doctors nurses and the people are rising up to let it be known that
we are a moral society...no more profits will be made off the sick and
dying because HR 676 (the new and improved Medicare for everybody) has
no room for waste and CEO billionaire salaries. Instead, it will relieve
your money worries in times of illness.
For more Information contact: www.johnconyers.com/healthcare ; www.pnhp.org;
www.healthcare-now.org. Write and or call your representative for support
of Single Payer Health Care (HR 676). Call Hinchey at 1-845-331-4466,
Gillibrand at 1-202-224-4451, Schumer at 1-202-224-6542.
New Paltz, NY
This is for our Onteora school board members...
Please don't let Dr. Ford talk you into doing something as detrimental
as doing away with the elementary strings program at Onteora.
There are families who have moved or are considering moving to this
district because of programs like these. ESL students and others have
grown by leaps and bounds, stimulating their brains, sharing with their
communities, providing an example to other children about what is possible.
Concerts become a medium of community outreach and goodwill.
The benefits of this program are myriad for all students and families
in this community; what are you truly saving by discouraging prospective
parents and children, closing an outlet of learning and expression,
diminishing our schools in every way.
Dr. Ford seems hell-bent on something, but it is clearly not the best
interests of our children.
Please stand up and do something!
We at the Barcelona International Children's festival believe that INDIE
Programs should not be cut. We believe that films by, for and about
children and young people are of immense cultural value when they educate,
form and entertain. Media Creation is an important tool in today's world,
not only for those young people who have access to the technology and
natural creative abilities, but for those children who need stimulation,
the means and organizational tools to create, and therefore enhance
their technololgical skills and self-esteem by doing so.
We screened productions through INDIE at our festival last year, which
won a creative prize, and we look forward to sharing more films from
this unique school, so necessary for Media Education and Healthy Screens
in our Society.
Doina Bird, Barcelona International Children's Television Festival
On Sunday May 31 two Catskill Mountain Club directors, Ann Roberti and
Jack McShane along with 3 others enjoyed an exhilarating kayak paddle
on the recently opened waters of the Cannonsville Reservoir. This was
kind of a test run for the group to see how the required steam cleansing
of our watercraft would go and to check out a launch site facility.
We must report that the cleaning process went very well. We went to
the JMT enterprises on Chamberlain Brook Rd. where the proprietors Joe
and Monica were friendly, informative and efficient. Joe steam cleaned
while Monica did the computer and paperwork and issued our day pass
stickers which were attached to the bows of our craft. All this took
about 45 minutes in total for all 5 of us.
We launched at the south side of the Apex Bridge were we left our cars
on a well graveled parking area. As we paddled out to the west toward
the main body of the Cannonsville we encountered a DEP police launch
with three very polite officers that observed our stickers, wished us
a great paddle and waved us on. We avoided a very strong head wind by
adhering to the lee shore, investigating inlets, coves and of course
all the wonderful drift wood and other flotsam. We stopped at another
launch site were we indulged in our P&J sandwiches and Gatorade.
Now we crossed to the other side of the reservoir where we decided that
we had done about 3.5 miles, about enough, turned and enjoyed the return
trip riding a nice tailwind. On Ann’s goading we picked up some
scrap flotsam for eventual proper disposal of which we hope the DEP
will take note.
All and all this was a great first time paddle and we recommend all
other paddlers to try this great opportunity on this pristine and beautiful
NYC reservoir. With luck and no glitches on this DEP pilot project we
anticipate paddles on the Pepacton and the Ashokan and other NYC reservoirs
in the future. Information on this pilot project is available on the
DEP website – http://NYC.GOV/html/watershed_protection/recreation.shtml,
including local outfitters that rent boats that can be used on the reservoir.
Immediate issuance of the required DEP access permit is also available
on this website.
Thank you NYC DEP and all others involved in getting this wonderful
recreational opportunity available to all of us.
In a letter to the Editor of the June 14, 2009 Olive Press, Ms Mescal
Hornbeck laments the shutting down of the Woodstock "Townsman"
newspaper. One day there will be another Book of Lamentations due to
unusual "catastophic" events and all who read it will say,
"how could this happen"?
Ms Hornbeck blames "lack of profit and lack of usage"but offers
no reason why no profit or usage. A product fails when it falls short
of expectations. That is when one disagrees with a publication's philosophy
or the shoe doesn't fit. It's a matter of "whose ox is being gored".
Most of us can live with criticism if it is done with decency and respect.
No doubt the Townsman served its readers quite well with reporting current
events, the state of controversial regulations, ongoing local affairs
and a diversity of other items.
Ms Hornbeck is correct in her observation that newspapers around the
country are falling over like "ten pins". The NY Times, that
venerable voice of all the people is wrestling with bankruptcy. None
of its supporters are flocking to the rescue. During the Soviet days
of wine and roses the NY Times was often referred to as the NY Pravda.
Strikes and labor demands sorted out a few old stalwarts (Daily Mirror,
Herald Tribune NY Sun, etc). (note; I am a labor union devotee and my
manager's compensation depended on my subordinate's success).
Ms Hornbeck wonders if the "uncontrolled" voices will gobble
up the independent voices. Ms Hornbeck obviously belongs to that group
who advocates for "equal air time" (conservative vs liberal).
Mario Cuomo offered himself and got lots of egg on his face. The sponsors
him the door while Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly marched on.
Yes, Ms Hornbeck, the Capitalist Republic market in the US is alive
and well. It still dictates to those (outlets) who accept their paychecks.
Viewership und Readership est ein!
Glenn T Anderson
It is wonderfully good news that Ulster County is to have a doctor at
the head of the Health department. A public health doctor is as much
of a specialist as a urologist or an orthopedist and so we hope that
the Doctor heading the Health Department is or will become a Doctor
of Public Health who will bring Ulster County "up to snuff."
Public health doctors can evaluate needs in the health field and are
able to coordinate the services of the various branches in the Department
of Health along with the expertise of the private purveyors of health
care. A great deal of public health is dependent on public education
which involves the media and the schools. With a background in medicine
and in public health practice he can promote prevention of as well as
management of epidemics.
Through history we have seen many important changes, such as those during
the early 1940s, the transformation of sexually transmitted diseases
- considered as shameful conditions which weren't discussed openly -
into the realm of treatable disease as the result of Dr. Thomas Parran,
the Surgeon General at that time. A good public health department safeguards
our health and saves millions of dollars in health care. The successful
onslaught against Tuberculosis waged by the public health program with
much of the work being done by public health nurses in the late 1940s,
was a valuable achievement, with TB rampant in all sectors of society
at the time. It is possible that well coordinated public health approach
could do wonders to stem the obesity epidemic. I am sure the public
health nurses will be delighted to have a person who can utilize their
skills and, with them, tackle some of the people's needs of which they
Welcome to Trashnecia. I cannot believe the powers that be have taken
the one glimmer of beauty, those beautiful potted flowers, off the streets
of Phoenicia. It’s bad enough that we have to endure looking at
that awful sight, the barren land with all sorts of debris on it from
the hotel fire, but to take down the flowers, too. This is all in the
name of politics, the Democrats vs. the Republicans and the town gets
caught in the middle to suffer. When I tune in to the town meetings
it’s like tuning into a bad sitcom show of wannabe lawyers. Everyone
is talking, but no one is listening. It is such a shame to see the potentially
beautiful hamlet surrounded by a panoramic view of the majestic Catskills
going the way of tobacco road with huge cigarette advertising signs
to see first thing coming into Phoenicia. It would take so little to
uniformly fix up this town with matching shops and new sidewalks. Fellas,
come on kiss and make up and make this the beautiful town it should
The Center for Competitive Politics sent a letter today to leaders in
the New York legislature listing constitutional problems with a state
senate bill that would implement taxpayer financed campaigns in the
Empire State. The bill, S. 5814, is sponsored by Sen. Malcolm Smith.
“Campaigns financed by taxpayer dollars stifle free speech and
effectively limit citizens’ voices from political debate while
doing nothing to address the problems of real or perceived corruption
and supposed undue influence by organized interest groups,” said
Center for Competitive Politics President Sean Parnell. “The New
York Senate should not force citizens to support candidates with whom
Supporters of so-called clean elections in states where the program
has been implemented — Maine, Arizona and New Jersey — have
promised benefits that have never materialized. Taxpayer financed campaigns
have not reduced corruption, undermined the influence of organized interest
groups, reduced state budgets by eliminating wasteful spending or increased
the ranks of female legislators or those from nontraditional backgrounds.
Taxpayer financed campaigns have failed to reduce the ability of organized
interest groups to support favored candidates. According to a February
2009 study by the Center for Competitive Politics, nearly half of all
donors to so-called clean candidates were affiliated with organized
interest groups, primarily from two government employee unions, the
National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club, and the statewide pro-life
and pro-choice groups. These groups are able to use their organizational
strength to leverage government money for candidates they support.
The New York bill also raises serious constitutional questions. The
bill includes provisions that provide participating candidates with
extra taxpayer money in the event that non-participating opponents outspend
them, or if independent citizen groups run ads opposing them or aiding
their opponent — up to four times the amount provided initially.
This punishes the speech of non-participating candidates and independent
groups alike by attempting to negate their speech and the speech of
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Davis v. FEC that discrimination
against and punishment of the constitutionally protected speech of self-financing
candidates was unconstitutional. Specifically, the Court held that campaign
finance laws cannot discriminate against a candidate “who robustly
exercises” their free speech rights by providing the opposition
a financial benefit as a consequence. A federal judge in Arizona considering
a similar scheme has indicated that such “matching funds”
are likely unconstitutional, and is expected to give her final ruling
soon. New Jersey dropped a “clean elections” proposal in
September 2008 because of similar constitutional concerns.
Jeff Patch, Communications Manager
Center for Competitive Politics
When we read stories about the allegations made by workers at Hannaford
("Bias on Aisle Six?"; June 18 Woodstock Times) it is hard
to believe we live in the 21st century. It is sickening to think that
anyone today would be tormented because of the color of their skin,
ethnicity, or disability. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employers violate
the employment rights of low-wage vulnerable workers in the Hudson Valley
with great frequency; young workers can be subject to sexual harassment,
rampant health and safety violations occur in an attempt to cut corners,
workers are fired for attempting to freely form a union, and sometimes
workers do not get paid at all for their labor because the employer
assumes that immigrant workers and other vulnerable workers can be too
afraid to come out from the shadows and demand their rights.
The Workers' Rights Law Center, highlighted in the Hannaford story,
is a free legal services office that seeks to educate and empower vulnerable
workers, conducts class action lawsuits and provides legal referral.
Every penny collected goes directly back to the plaintiffs. Unlike a
contingency settlement, only a nominal fee is collected for legal fees
from the employer that has broken the law. In just a few short years
hundreds have attended workshops and trainings and more than $1.5 million
has been collected and is back in the hands of exploited workers.
This is a great organization that I am proud to be a part of. We operate
on a shoestring budget and depend heavily on personal donations to continue
this important work. With our economy in a downturn, the business of
protecting workplace rights is booming at a time when our normal sources
of operating funds have been cut back. If you can help, please consider
a donation to: Workers' Rights Law Center, 101 Hurley Ave., Suite 5,
Kingston, NY 12401. For more information or for help with your workplace
concerns, call (845) 331-6615.
Jen Fuentes, Chair
WRLC board of directors
On behalf of the Phoenicia Library Association I’d like to thank
our local nurseries, Nightshade, Terrace Farm and Trestle Farm for donations
made to the annual plant sale. I’d also like to thank our local
gardeners, Terry Spies, Anique Taylor, Marvella and so many other “anonymous
donors” who were out there digging and dividing to benefit the
library. Much appreciation, of course, to all of our patrons who came
by to purchase some plants. It’s always so nice to see and chat
with local residents and visitors and we really appreciate your support.
On behalf of Healthcare is a Human Right and Family of Woodstock's free
holistic community clinics, we'd like to thank the committee members
of Phoenicia Phirst Phriday for honoring us at their event on June 5
at the Upstairs Gallery in Phoenicia.
Healthcare Is A Human Right hosts quarterly free holistic clinics in
Woodstock, Phoenicia, and Kingston. We are grateful to the PH3 committee,
as well as the Big River Band, Fran Palmieri, and Barbara Dempsey and
Company for coming to together to help raise awareness and donations
for our clinics. It was a great evening of music and community.
Julia Rose, L.Ac
When I read your paper I find myself being drawn to Cally Mansfield's
Kid's Corner. I am far from being a kid but Miss. Mansfield brings out
my inner child. She writes about that long ago world with pure honesty
and a zest and wonder that is both refreshing and profound. I throughly
enjoy her kids eye view that has a bit of magic and wonder. It summons
up those dormant feelings and I can't help but be grateful.