Our Town of Olive Library - The Pillar of our society. A Library
filled with literature for young and old - rich and poor.
A library with available reference material in all imaginable
fields of interest. Plus - collections of musical and artistic
works to focus on special interests. All of this for all of
Have you truly made use of our multi purpose library on Route
28A in our Town of Olive? Have you been to any of the special
programs, plays, movies, concerts, provided by the dedicated
full time and voluntary staff? Have you taken advantage of
our library's capability to obtain a vast variety of books
via the Mid Hudson Library System? Have you accessed the library
computers, CD's DVD's Wi-Fi's?
As a former educator, having been a Teacher and Principal
in the NYC Public School System, I savor the fact that we
have such an excellent library facility in our town. We can
and should be proud of our library that far outshines those
in neighboring towns. In these dire financial times, we must
all step up and go the extra mile to assure that our library
will continue to service all of us now and for all the years
to come. Our future generation depends on us.
With all of this said - now you know my feelings about how
wonderful our library is and what a vital resource it is to
our community. I urge you to support the Chapter 414 Resolution
on Election Day - to help keep our Olive Free Library active
Over the past 30 years my family has been privileged to partake
of the services offered us by our local library. The Olive
Free Library has offered us a wide variety of resources in
addition to community support programs and performance venues.
Many of their productions have been of "world class"
caliber and their "in-house" music director Lisa
Dippold-Menard has for years brought her magic to the younger
children of Olive. All this, in addition to the oodles of
books, DVD's, CD's, free wifi and even Wii games are made
available to us all. Numerous art, craft, dance, exercise
and rehabilitative programs are provided shelter there and
as a retired teacher I've witnessed first hand the OLF providing
both refuge and internet services to students who otherwise
would have no access to these necessary tools.
This November I intend to cast my vote of support for our
town's most valuable resource. The average household would
spend $25 dollars/year (the cost of 2 movie tickets WITHOUT
popcorn!-or 1 hardcover book). Should OFL continue to survive
on the partial funding from our town board then several of
these valuable services may no longer be available to us and
ours. Let's let our library know just how valued they truly
Wini Baldwin Paetow
I was rather surprised to read William Kemble's story in the
Daily Freeman on Tuesday, August 31, headlined "Auerbach
raps Legislature." The statement made by Comptroller
Auerbach that the Legislature has a "laissez-faire approach
and hands-off governance style" is far from the truth.
As a former educator, I have two lessons for Mr. Auerbach.
The first is that you need to study the history of a situation
before you speak. The second is to always do your homework
so that you don't look like a fool, as you do now.
The UCRRA was created by the NY State Legislature in 1986.
A legal agreement was signed by the County of Ulster and the
Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency in 1992, whereas the
RRA would provide "the service of accepting and processing,
and/or disposing of all Solid Waste and accepting, processing,
and marketing of Regulated Recyclable Materials within the
County in consideration for the payment by the County to the
Agency for such service of Net Service Fees, if and to the
extent required pursuant to the terms of the Agreement."
The overall goal of the agreement was to provide the collection,
transportation and disposal of solid waste in Ulster County.
The second phase of the agreement was to provide environmental
and cost effective solutions to the collection, transportation
and processing of regulated recyclable materials. This plan
was predicated on a flow control law which would provide the
RRA with the required waste to operate at a cost effective
level. The Carbone decision of 1993, however, judged the flow
control law illegal. The original intent was to site a County
Landfill within the boundaries of the County. This initiative
failed between 1992 and 1997. No local municipality wanted
a landfill within its boundaries. This action forced the RRA
to establish two regional transfer stations: one in New Paltz
to serve the southern portion of the County and one in the
Town of Ulster to serve the northern portion. The RRA then
had to collect solid waste at its two regional transfer stations
and export it to privately and publicly owned landfills in
New York State, at a major cost to County taxpayers.
In response to the Comptroller, I believe the Legislature
has exercised oversight of the RRA. The Agency previously
reported monthly to the Environmental Committee and now reports
to the Government Services, Environmental and Administrative
Committee. The Legislature will continue to monitor the situation,
and look for ways to reduce the costs of running county government,
but it is much easier to do so with the Comptroller and Executive
I am surprised that once again the Comptroller failed to criticize
the County Executive for demonstrating a lack of leadership
in this regard, while serving as County Administrator for
a Legislature controlled by Democrats, and for the last 18
months as County Executive. Auerbach has, once again, demonstrated
why we need new leadership in the County Comptroller's office.
We need someone who does not take their marching orders from
the County Executive, but a truly independent Comptroller.
The people of this County will see through this election year
grandstanding. Mr. Auerbach, we all know the problems, why
don't you try being part of the solution? This superficial
piece of election year drivel offers no solution at all. In
the future, before you speak, do your homework, identify the
problem, and offer positive solutions with team spirit. This
piece does none of the above.
The Net Service Fee is a charge to the County because the
Agency does not generate sufficient income to offset the total
cost of disposing of solid waste. The Agency has reduced the
Net Service Fees over the last four years, as indicated in
the Comptroller's report. It cost the Agency approximately
$4.1 million last year to transport the solid waste to a landfill
near Syracuse. Imagine the millions in savings if we could
have sited a landfill in the County.
I am calling for the RRA and the Legislative Counsels to amend
the original agreement to reflect the changes that have occurred
with the loss of flow control and lack of a landfill. We must
investigate the means to make the Agency self-sufficient and
eliminate the Net Service Fee. The Agency's effort to continue
to control expenses in this economic climate will help to
reduce the NSF and, perhaps eliminate it.
I am also asking the Legislative Counsel to investigate the
question of flow control and the possibility of new legislation
to improve the financial conditions of the County.
Frederick J. Wadnola
Chairman, Ulster County Legislature
I have attempted to stay out of the fray in regard to the
Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency and the County Comptroller's
report. Comptroller Auerbach claimed in his report that the
Legislature has been lacking in their oversight with the UCRRA
since its inception. Although there is validity to the report
it certainly doesn't tell the whole truth.
It doesn't seem likely the UCRRA will ever be self sufficient
there is no county facility that takes the trash, it is shipped
to other counties, and that cost (net service fee) is charged
to the County. That fact, along with the reality that the
agency lacks the power to control the flow of trash generated
within the County, makes it impossible to turn a profit, hence
higher net service fees. But, as the Comptroller points out,
the Legislature is charged to monitor the UCRRA's budget closely
to assure the taxpayers pay the lowest net service fees possible.
During the 90s the Republican controlled Legislature had a
laissez fare oversight. People like former Democrat Legislature
Gary Bischoff from Saugerties constantly poured through the
UCRRA budget with a fine tooth comb and attempted to keep
the agency on its toes. One such thing Gary pointed out was
that the Agency's attorney fees were nothing short of staggering
compared to other counties. Charlie Shaw, the head of the
agency at that time, would repeatedly cry it was politics
and that the Democrat minority was just attempting to discredit
the agency. Rather than admitting there may be a problem the
Republican Legislature defended the UCRRA, ignored Gary's
call for better oversight, and kept handing over higher and
higher net service fees.
In January 2006-December 2009 when the Democrats controlled
the Legislature I had the honor of serving as the Chairman.
We worked with the Republicans as much as they were willing
to work with us to make changes that would create what I called
"Better Government at a Better Price".
The UCRRA was one of the agencies and departments that were
considered in need of better oversight. One of my first acts
as Chairman was to appoint Democrat Brain Shapiro from Woodstock
to chair the Environmental Committee. One of the committee's
charges was to oversee the UCRRA. Brian worked with Gary Bischoff,
the Agency's Director Mike Bemis, and the UCRRA board to assure
all spending was needed while constantly looking for more
efficient ways to deliver the service.
That diligence brought about the lowest net service fees in
the history of the agency, which in turn proves the Comptroller's
point that better oversight of
the UCRRA can save money. The Comptroller could have drew
attention in his report that the net service fees were the
lowest under the Democrat controlled Legislature but instead
he attempted to not have an appearance of politics so he issued
a blanket report to warn what a lack of oversight could do.
The response from the present Chairman of the Legislature,
Republican Fred Wadnola of Ulster, along with various members
of the new Republican controlled Legislature, was nothing
more than a resort to the same old tactics of screaming politics
and claiming the Comptroller is just attempting to discredit
the Legislature. This was the same argument used when the
cost of the JAIL was being questioned as it was when the UCRRA
was running up staggering bills. It is amazing how things
never seem to change.
David B Donaldson
Ulster County Legislator
We are writing to let you know that we have enthusiastically
endorsed Eric Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General.
This was an easy decision for us to make because, as a lifelong
progressive reformer, Eric has fought as an attorney, activist
and lawmaker to deliver equal justice for all New Yorkers.
Eric has the deepest, broadest and most diverse grassroots
coalition in this race - it's a coalition that only a candidate
devoted to fighting for equality and justice can build. Eric
has been a strong leader for the interests of New York's hard
working families from increasing the minimum wage, to championing
the right to organize, to improving the worker's compensation
system, to bringing good-paying green jobs to our state.
Eric will fight against corporate corruption on behalf of
New Yorkers who have been victimized by big corporations,
big banks, insurance companies and other special interests
that don't play by the rules. He's been a leader in fighting
corruption and abuse in state government. He authored the
most sweeping ethics reforms in decades and led the charge
to expel corrupt Sen. Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted
of a domestic violence crime.
Schneiderman lead the fight to end the draconian Rockefeller
Drug laws that wasted taxpayer dollars and devastated NY communities
Named one of the greenest senators in the state by EPL/Environmental
Advocates, Eric is an unwavering supporter of environmental
justice. He believes that every New Yorker has the right to
clean air, safe drinking water and healthy communities to
raise their children. Eric also believes that environmental
protection and job creation must go hand in hand.
As The New York Times wrote in its endorsement, "We endorse
Senator Schneiderman in the Democratic primary because of
his sound judgment, legal expertise, political independence
and long history of fighting for government reform."
Guy Kempe, Jennifer Fuentes,
Brian Shapiro, Jim Mays
Mid Hudson Valley
Working Families Party
In response to last week's letter, "The Mosque is Too
Close," written by Pastor Donald Moore, the Senior Pastor
of the Living Word Chapel here in West Hurley, perhaps the
Pastor does not needs to be reminded of the literal definition
of the word Pastor, which according to the Merriam Webster
Dictionary is , "a spiritual overseer; especially: a
clergyman serving a local church or parish," but of the
more accepted definition as one who not only teaches, guides
individuals on a spiritual path, but also fosters the culture
of peace both within the community and within ourselves.
Pastor Moore, how can a man, who claims to provide spiritual
guidance and represent the teachings of Christ, be so lacking
in tolerance by promoting the culture of hatred which is spreading
like wildfire in this nation? What does one's commitment to
the Qur'an and the Hadith have to do with one's commitment
to this country? Is your definition of patriotism based on
one's religious or spiritual path? Even the founding of fathers
of this nation set out to separate the Church and the State.
What would they think of your definition of Patriotism?
What do you mean when you say "...we have seen the work
of committed Muslims." I assume you are not referring
to the 9/11 terrorists as being committed Muslims. That would
only serve to illustrate your lack of knowledge of the Islamic
faith and what religious commitment truly means. After all,
Pastor, as someone who would consider himself a committed
Christian, and according to your definition of religious commitment,
would that make you a terrorist as well? There is a big difference
between being a person committed to his or her faith and a
zealot. Calling the tragic events of 9/11 "their (Islam's)
bold declaration of victory" is ignorant, hateful and
Need I remind you that every organized religion has mandated
forced submission by various means? Why single out Islam?
During the Crusades wasn't it Christians forcing other people's
to submit to their faith?
Telling Muslims that they "need to become committed Americans,"
rallying people to reclaim Dearborn, Michigan just because
it is the city in America with the largest Muslim population,
citing the rise in Muslim Prison converts only serves to incite
and contribute to America's shameful culture of hate. What
would your "Prince of Peace - Jesus" say about this
type of preaching? A man of peace would certainly want the
entire world to live in harmony, despite any differences.
Wouldn't he? Shouldn't you?
West Hurley, NY
It appears that whoever wrote your editorial is missing the
point. I have yet to hear anyone opine that Muslims should
not be allowed to practice their religion in New York City,
or anywhere in the United States. Not one commentator of any
political persuasion has said that there should be a law "respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof." I could argue that defending a religion on
the constitutional grounds of the first amendment would in
fact be defending the right to discriminate against women,
(which in itself is a constitutional violation), but perhaps
we can leave that discussion for another time. Would the president's
faith be of concern to anyone if he was a practicing Muslim
who believed women were second class citizens? I am going
to guess yes, but again, let's leave that for another time.
Never in our history, has any major religious organization
attempted to cause such hate and vitriol, on purpose or accidentally.
Over 70% of the American people feel that an Islamic Center
would be inappropriate at Ground Zero. It is, and would be,
like rubbing salt in the wounds of the people of New York,
and the families of those killed when the twin towers went
down. It would be as appropriate as the Japanese building
a Shinto Shrine over the Arizona, in 1949. It would be as
appropriate as building a statue of Hitler, and erecting it
next to a caboose in Port Royal, South Carolina, which contains
a Monument to the Holocaust. It would be as appropriate as
a Klan Rally and cross burning along side of every black church
in the United States, every Sunday.
We are as a nation a very forgiving people, and that is a
testament to us. Less than 70 years ago, we bombed parts of
Germany and Japan back into the stone ages, yet today, how
many drive automobiles made by a Japanese or German company?
A black man was elected President of this nation, and won
the majority of voters in many southern states. I deplore
his politics, but applaud that we have overcome that hurdle.
Maybe someday we will elect a person of Iraqi descent to the
presidency, or drive a car made by a Saudi company, but I
wonder what religion that claims it wants to unify, promote
peace and understanding, in the shadow of some pretty horrid
circumstances would really believe that this was the right
thing do to, at this time?
It will take time for the wounds to heal, and we are not there
yet. Americans do not care what religion their neighbors are,
but it is not the time or place to build a Mosque at Ground
Zero. It would in fact be far better that structures for commerce
and business be built there, as it would point us back to
a normalcy. I am not going to throw a party at my house, complete
with a band and adult beverages, when my next door neighbor
has had a death in the family and is in mourning. This is
about respect, humility, and being a good neighbor, not the
prohibition of the free exercise of religion.
Christopher A. Jones
Shokan, New York and
Beaufort, S. C.
To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "There he goes again."
The prince of anti-government paranoia, the sage of "non-sequitor,
" the magician who turns opinion into fact. Who else
could this be but Mitchell Langbert, an obviously learned
man who has lost his way emotionally.
As the talented Gus Murphy said, "Where to begin?"
Well , for one, Mr. Langbert's mid-August letter where he
rants against making the Hudson Valley a national park. Never
mind the grants, advertising and other incentives that would
spur economic growth. No, he says the government would and
eventually cost the people along the river. To prove his thesis,
he uses New York State's Adirondack region. Making it a national
park, he says, has impoverished the residents. Never mind
that the area is remote, can't support agriculture, and has
no year-round industry or public transportation to speak of.
I guess Mr. Langbert would oppose making the Route 28 corridor
a scenic byway for the same reasons!
IN his response to Gus Murphy in the July 29 issue he gives
a mish-mosh of constitutional and political history to fit
his ideology. Mr. Murphy correctly criticizes him for making
vague and exaggerated generalizations. Teddy Roosevelt, the
"trustbuster," originator of the graduated income
tax and creator of the National Park system was a socialist?
The progressive and Conservative parties have changed labels
many times, but one thing is certain: the conservative party
was always the party of the rich, laissez-faire capitalism,anti
civil-rights, anti labor unions, anti women's rights, anti
Social Security, Medicare, minimum wage and regulation of
corporations and banks (two depressions) - and it still is!
FDR "supported big business.... cloaked in rhetoric that
sounded like it was supportive of labor" - Preposterous!
Big business always fought to defeat him in his four elections.
Progressives did not create the horrors of the inner cities;
they were the result of companies that stuffed workers ( women
and children too) in fetid, dangerous factories for near-starvation
wages, of greedy slumlords and of bigotry against ALL minorities.
"Has America been getting greater since the progressives
took power in 1904?" Despite what Mr. Langbert says,
the answer is an unqualified YES. Since then America has become
the richest, most powerful, and until recently the most educated
country in the world.
Increasing income inequality, the Depressions (both of them),
the stagnating hourly wage, the exodus of manufacturing, the
massive increase of Wall Street's power and corruption. (The
oil spill, of course, was the result of cancellation of regulations
by Reagan and Bush - the child) These disasters were not caused
by progressives, they are obviously the result of conservative
policies ie.the tax cuts on the super rich, the global economy,
Finally, in an Aug 26 letter, Mr. Langbert quotes an unnamed
"local government official" as saying the average
per-student cost at Onteora is $31,000 per year (yes, the
Phoenicia School should have been closed). He goes on to say
"assuming the $31,000 figure is accurate" "Assuming"?
In a letter this damning of the school district, wouldn't
a sane person have checked this figure before continuing?
Continuing the lunacy, he goes on to compare that cost with
the elite private schools of the Northeast, which cost somewhat
less than $31,000. We know what is coming next: the Conservative
mantra (a la Milton Friedman) in which schools compete for
students in the free market. Then he says (seriously?) Onteora
would have Beekman and the UN School in New York City. Quite
a bus ride if parents in Onteora choose a NYC school!
In closing, I would surmise that Mr. Langbert is a member
of the Tea Party. And I suppose he knows that it was founded
and is financially supported by the Koch brothers ( two of
the top ten richest men in America) ; Rupert Murdoch, the
employer of those luminaries Glen Beck and Sarah Palin, and
Dick Armey's "Freedom Works" front which promoted
the recent Beck-Palin event in Washington, DC on the steps
of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther
King's famous civil rights speech. I suppose Mr. Langbert
also knows that the policies of the Tea party favor the rich
and corporations at the expense of the middle class.
If I seem to be fomenting class warfare - so be it!
In 2007 The Business Council rated economic growth in the
New York counties. Growth that matched the nation's average
growth in five categories: jobs, average wages, total personal
income, per-capita personal income and population received
an A+. Those that lagged the nation's average in all five
areas received an F. About half of New York's county's, including
Ulster and Warren, received an F. There are many people satisfied
with poverty. They vote for Democrats. Others are Democratic
activists eager to accrue benefits to themselves but to impoverish
others. Congressman Maurice Hinchey is in this latter category.
He has produced "pork" for himself and his political
cronies but given trichinosis to Ulster County's economy.
Nationally, employment growth has been about 20 percent since
Hinchey's election. Here in trichinosis-, or should I write
Hincheynosis-, afflicted Ulster County, job growth since 1990
has been about zero. The same is true of Warrensburg, Murray
Heller's Hinchitopia where on any winter morning the unemployed
congregate in the local diner.
I appreciate Murray Heller's candor. Congressman Hinchey has
generally attempted to paint himself as a moderate. Heller
makes clear that he would like to see Hinchey do here what
he has done to the Adirondacks. Heller also seems to imply
that regulations on your eating habits are fair game for the
Democratic Party's "moderates." Here in Ulster County
Hinchey has broken up extended families because children cannot
find jobs. Heller, writing from one of his two residences,
makes clear that Hincheynosis has been good to him because
he can enjoy beautiful views, free of pesky, lower class peasants
who disagree with his progressive, Democratic Party religion
and might run power saws that disturb him. As well, Heller
considers me a simplistic "true believer" because
I disagree. For Hinchey and Heller, politics is a religion
and all who disagree must be damned.
In Natural Right and History (p. 184) Leo Strauss adumbrates
the origin of the left's religious commitment to the state.
It arises from the foundation of liberalism. Hobbes built
on Machiavelli and converted the biblical notion of a state
of pure nature and the fall with a possibility of grace to
the Enlightenment notion of a state of nature characterized
by natural right and the liberal equivalent of grace, a natural
rights-based civil society. Building on Strauss's interpretation
of Hobbes, the left's religious faith in the state travels
through Hegel's providential laws of history to Marx's teleological
messianism. The Bismarckian welfare state that was based on
the socialization of Christianity and preceded Nazism by 40
years came to America through institutionalists (today called
progressives) like Richard T. Ely and John R. Commons. Progressivism
integrated the social Gospel with German historicism and American
Populism, and when combined with Marx's atheism produced a
new religion of state worship. This religion that Mr. Heller
advocates suggests that any human activity is immoral and
that nature must be preserved for the elite, of which he considers
himself a member. Heller adduces proof of his elite status:
his friendship with the publisher of the Adirondack Daily
The eviction of the average person from his home in order
to provide aesthetically pleasing environments for the affluent
and the super-rich has been part of the left's catechsim ever
since the residents of Olive were evicted from the Ashokan
and then the New York Times supported Robert Moses's eviction
of one sixteenth of New York City residents. Today New York
City reflects the flowering of this value system. Only the
super rich, of whom Mr. Heller approves because they agree
with him about Hinchey, can afford to live in Manhattan after
eleven decades of taking advice from the Ochs Sulzbergers,
who undoubtedly would also call my views simplistic.
Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.
West Shokan, NY
I agree with Mitchell Langbert, PhD, that the Democratic party
and the Republican party "are both marionettes of big
business." (I would've said "corporate stooges,"
but that's a mere semantic difference in taste.) Yet it is
clear that, nationally, big business considers the Republicans
to be more reliable, or at least less distracted by other
matters - follow the money.
Which brings me to my big problem with Mr. Mitchell's expressed
views: He seems mostly to be motivated by anger at the Democrats.
Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that; I've
been mad at the Democrats since the 1970s. (Us Irish can hold
a grudge for 400 years.) But I've been mad at Republicans,
too, since the 1990s.
I urge a more nuanced view. Locally, I see no problem with
being mad at Democrats, especially if they've held power recently.
Statewide,I'm a bit split. I'm glad that the Democrats took
the State Senate, and it's too soon to boot them. Remember
all the waste that Bruno's boys had larded up? Like the private
tv studio, for Republican Senators only? Yoiks! However, I
would love to see the Republicans take the Assembly for the
same reason. And it may be the only way to get rid of that
awful Silver guy.
Nationally I'm still mostly mad at the Republicans. We've
only just started cleaning up their mess, and there's no indication
that they'd even try if put back in charge. They need a longer
time out. I admit that I'm rather conservative about money
and budgets, but I think the Republicans are less conservative
about such things than the Democrats are. Remember how blithely
they piled up the debts? I sure do.
All the Glenn Beck talk about radical socialism is utter nonsense.
Boob bait for Bubbas. President Obama is a perfectly ordinary
center-left Democrat. He ran as one, and he's governing as
one. I wish he'd show more anger, but I understand why he
doesn't: Angry Black Man Scary.
I received my annual Onteora School Tax Bill. Twas an innocuous
envelop yet my heart raced as I timidly opened it. There it
was, just as foretold, an amount 3.8% greater than last year;
in my case now approaching the $2,000 mark.
Despite their protestations to the contrary those in charge
of the district budget must think outside the box and find
innovative ways to cap/reduce this increasingly strangling
economic burden. Those who are lucky enough to be employed
aren't seeing anything like 3.8% pay hikes and those on fixed
incomes are drowning.
Our NYS representatives are vocalizing roaring silence on
the issue and are offering their constituents nothing but
the same old business as usual political indifference. Being
a fair minded chap I look forward to returning the favor on
Election Day and will cast my vote for anyone but the incumbent.
The Republicans want credit for American troops leaving Iraq
after seven years of war. Although it's a false narrative,
they claim "the surge" is why combat troops can
now leave - even with more than 50,000 still stationed there
and Iraq in ruins. Since Republicans are yearning for credit
- let's give them credit where credit is really due:
-For the Republicans' abject failure to prevent the terrorist
attacks on 9-11...on the Bush/Cheney watch, while spending
billions of dollars on intelligence services. Give the Republicans
credit for failure to "connect the terrorism dots."
-For starting an illegal war of aggression against Iraq based
on lies. Iraq was a sovereign nation that never attacked us,
had no weapons of mass destruction, had no Al-Qaeda, and had
nothing to do with the 9-11 terrorist attacks. After WWII
these wars of aggression were declared war crimes. Give the
Republicans credit for shamelessly following Hitler's example.
-For a foreign invasion that sparked the Iraqi civil war in
which nearly 4,500 US troops have died with more than 32,000
grievously wounded while over 100,000 (conservative estimate)
Iraqis have been killed and four-million made refugees. Give
the Republicans credit.
-For overseeing a system in Iraq and Guantanamo that tolerated
and even encouraged torture. Give the Republicans credit.
-For overseeing both the robbery of billions of U.S. dollars
in Iraq and the looting of our economy by the largest banks
and corporations at home. Give the Republicans credit.
-For costing taxpayers over three trillion dollars for the
Iraq war and its consequences. Give the Republicans credit.
-For privatizing military, intelligence, and governmental
services while accelerating and subsidizing corporate power
which rewards sending jobs overseas and pushes working Americans
to the bottom of the economic pile. Give the Republicans credit.
-For bailing out their biggest Wall Street buddies while the
rest of us flounder, like New Orleans after Katrina. Give
the Republicans credit for the highest unemployment since
the Great Depression.
-For continuing their efforts to privatize Social Security
and for trying to grab more of our hard-earned savings for
gambling by the Wall Street banksters. Give the Republicans
-For tirelessly working for 30-years to gut needed financial
regulations and for recklessly driving the world economy into
massive failure. Give the Republicans from Reagan through
Give the Republicans credit for decades of malfeasance and
financial mayhem, but don't give them (or their Tea Party
stalking horses) any votes. If they win in November, sadly
we'll end up giving them credit for even more of their failures.
Share your own "credit-due" list with us by way
of this and other area newspapers.
As a member of the 98 percent of Americans who are not part
of the corporate elite, I am deeply concerned and alarmed
at what is happening, and what is about to happen to our Democracy
in the up coming mid term elections. It is very clear that
since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the 'Citizens United'
case, corporations now have the power and resources to control
the outcome of any election they choose. 'One person, one
vote' becomes a joke when the media is overwhelmed with corporate
money. The only answer to this for the rest of us is a constitutional
amendment reversing 'Citizens United.' Moveon.org is sponsoring
a 'Fight Washington Corruption Pledge' that promises just
that, and much more. It is a stand against corporate corruption,
and for fair and honest elections. With over five million
members nationwide, and many active local chapters in New
York State, Moveon.org is working hard to ensure that the
coming midterm elections reflect the true concerns and needs
of the people of New York, the 98 percent not represented
by corporate money. Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Hinchey
(and over 185 other candidates) have already signed on, and
we need Senator Schumer to do the same, and take a public
stand against corporate corruption.
I first came to the Catskills in 1980 via Woodstock and have
had a home in Phoenicia since 1997. I have found one thing
that is a continuing annoyance up here in the Catskills. Houses
here are far from stores, doctors and dentist offices, jobs
etc. It is very difficult, especially if you have little children
like I do, to travel to all these places. When you have a
place to go, like a doctor or dentist office, a person should
be able to expect to leave their home, travel the posted speed
limit and arrive at the destination at the correct time. Unfortunately,
there are members of our community who are either unable to
travel the posted speed limit, or who take some perverse pleasure
in driving well below the speed limit for the purpose of exerting
control over and aggravating the driver(s) behind them. Many
of the roads here do not have passing zones and cars are backed
behind such drivers for miles, often resulting in late appointments,
unnecessary irritation and danger to all the drivers on the
road. There may be times, for example if you are delivering
a sick child to the hospital, when you can not wait and may
be forced to pass such a driver in a zone that is not designated
for passing, this is very dangerous.
There is a simple solution to this problem, one that I use
myself when I am feeling tired or dreamy and just want to
cruise along enjoying the scenery well below the limit. When
you do this keep an eye in the rear view mirror. When cars
come up behind you, find the first available spot to pull
over and let them pass. Intentionally driving slow for the
purpose of blocking the road and forcibly slowing the traffic
behind you is not only rude and obnoxious, it is a dangerous
antisocial behavior that could result in a serious accident.
Woodland Valley, NY
The Phoenicia Rotary wishes to thank everyone who made our
September 10th fundraiser so successful.
In particular a special thank-you to all the merchants and
restaurants for the donated items and gift certificates for
our raffle including: Adams Fairacre Farms, Al's Restaurant,
Boiceville Wine & Liquors, Boiceville Market, Dave Channon,
The Emerson Place, Hanover Farms, Hong Kong Restaurant, Mama's
Boy, 60 Main a Community Store, Oriole 9, Peek-a Moose Restaurant,
Sewplicity, STS, Stucki Embroidery, Sweet Sue's, Tender Land
Home, Ulster Savings and VidaKafka.
Kudos to Paul Pettinato and his staff for once again providing
plenty of great food and service to all who attended and to
Keith Holmquist for the excellent music mix that seemed to
Life can have wonderful continuities, little circles within
larger circles. I interrupted my reading to step outside and
three women and a man emerged from a car that parked on the
side of the road. They were middle aged to elderly. As they
walked onto the far end of my property, I thought "they're
from Europe," one woman especially with her colors and
I had been reading Maxim Gorky, ( pseudonym of Alexsy Maximovich
Peshkov, 1868/1936, Russia). When one of the women told me
they were from Uzbekistan and Russia they were delighted to
hear I was reading Gorky's novel "Mother", ( about
the 1905 Revolutionary movement. He took a prominent part
in the Russian Revolution of 1905 but opposed Russia's participation
in WW1 as well as the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 and
was also critical of Lenin's dictatorial methods in his newspaper.)
One woman was 86. She had white hair and four of her own upper
teeth protruded prominently. She did not speak English but
when I told her I was a baby, 77, compared to her, she laughed.
The man was big and I asked him where he was from and when
he said Brooklyn, I said, "that's not a Brooklyn accent"
and gave him a playful pat. He walked among my carvings with
his arms crossed and did not engage in conversation. The two
other women, one an artist, the other a musician, were animated
about my sculptures and one said "when I look at your
work it gives me a warm feeling."
Mt. Tremper, NY