Just because a person can see does not mean he/she has “vision.”
THANKS FOR THE FOOD DELIVERY AND CEREAL DRIVE
Woodstock had two opportunities to help out the Good Neighbor Food Pantry last Tuesday and everyone really did help. First, there was the food delivery at the Woodstock Reformed Church. Drivers included Jim Hansen, Al Abrams, Bruce Abrams, Annette LaValle, John LaValle, Ed Gilligan, and Barry Greco. They were met at the pantry by Mike Lourenzo, Lisa Calcagno, Catherine Hazard, Bobbie Blitzer, Hatti Iles, Tom Unrath, Phil Sullivan, and Diane Dunne. The food arrived right after 9:30 a.m. and all 6,000 pounds were put away by 10:30 a.m.
Then, later in the day, Ann King, Barbara Velazquez, and Arlene Spool were in the bakery section of the Sunflower Natural Foods Market collecting donations for cereal for the food pantry. Because of the generosity of everyone at the Sunflower on Tuesday afternoon, they were able to get enough cereal to almost cover the needs of the pantry for the next four weeks.
The Good Neighbor Food Pantry is very successful only because many, many people are willing to donate time, food, and work to make it a success. Volunteers working in the pantry this month are from the Woodstock Reformed Church and Palden Sakya.
On behalf of everyone involved with the Good Neighbor Food Pantry, I thank you for all you do for our success each month. The next food shipment will arrive on March 15. And, the next cereal drive will also be on March 15. Thank you in advance for your participation in the Good Neighbor Food Pantry next month.
CENSORED IN WOODSTOCK
Though I don’t reside in Woodstock, I’m in my third year as a member of the Woodstock Poetry Society. I’ve had the pleasure, when visiting friends there, of reading my poetry at monthly events held in the old town hall. I also have my poems posted on the official website. I’ve been fortunate that a few of my poems have been published in recognized journals and won awards. So, when the Society announced in 2010 that it was going to publish an anthology of its poets I was, naturally, thrilled. I submitted three poems (all previously published) for the journal. I looked forward to being included in a work with the fine poets who make up the Society. Then the chosen editor of the anthology, Trina Porte, sent back the poems as pre-publication sheets for my approval and all I can say is that I was shocked and stunned by what she had done.
One of my poems, On a Sunny Day, which has been posted at WPS for over two years and has been published in the journal, ABZ, and which I have read in person in Woodstock and elsewhere, had been ripped to pieces and rewritten by Ms. Porte. In communications she asserted that images in the poem were “sexist” and might “hurt a reader.” Though the poem is certainly provocative (as I intended — it can be found at woodstockpoetry.com) it is in no way “sexist” but, more to the point, by what right did she alter an artist’s finished work, depriving readers the opportunity to make up their own minds about it? I charged her with “swimming in political correctness” and censoring my poem due to a personal bias and I demanded the poem be published as it had been originally written by me. She refused, informing me that, as editor, she could do whatever she wanted to my poems and that furthermore, none of my poems would now be included in the anthology.
To have to endure this kind of censorship in Woodstock of all places is, to say the least, ironic in the extreme.
ISLAMIC STATES VS. JEWISH STATE
So, how much do we hear about an imposed Islamic state, about the Moslem Brotherhood, that they will take over the democratic system in Egypt, that an Islamic State, like Iran will be a threat to the so called western free world, and especially Israel, the so called “only democracy in the Middle East.” Ha!
And then, how come the media has not caught up yet with the great “Theocratic State of Israel,” maybe that theocracy wants to take over the western free world? But that we won’t hear. The “only democracy in the Middle East,” only wants to recognize the Jews from around the white world as its only citizens…So, how democratic is that?” We are continually threatened by the boogie system of the Islamic world, while right in front of our noses this theocratic state of Israel that has invaded more countries than any Islamic state, killed innocent people and children, stolen the citizenship of thousand of that land’s natives, committed various types of crimes against all of its neighbors, killed Americans, committed ethnic cleansing of the natives of the land of Palestine, destroyed their culture and then stole it and claimed it as its own — like for example jaffa oranges, hummus, babaganoush, tabouli, Arabic music, etc. — would be more inclined to attack the “western free world.” In reality the State of Israel has the best experience on invading other countries, and then making them disappear, as has happened with the State of Palestine. Also we know that when this little thing was created it was in a very shoddy way. This so called “Great State of Israel,” is the “Great Empty Shell” of the middle east. No culture of its own and no real normal life…always ducking…never resting…always prepared to hate, shoot and kill in the name of that inflated and favorite word of theirs: Security. Wow! Sixty years of experience on this practice will take them very far.
Hate, shoot and kill, has become their brand. As toddlers their surrounding is always hate, stolen from their youth, surrounded by the language of “hate them,” a rifle is forced into them (like a toothbrush) and then, they are send to kill the “other,” that one they have never met. Then the shooting is extremely easy, and so the aim to children’s heads is encouraged and when it comes to adults is like aiming to a banana. Nothing to regret.
And so, why is the media and the western world so preoccupied with the Islamic world and god forbid, a democratic State of Egypt if the danger is much closer to home, more violent, experience in hate and ready to explode a nuclear mushroom? And they have the best propaganda mouthpiece available in the world: AIPAC. Let’s see, this rouge state has the best experience in the planet for invading and then taking over a whole country, exporting these tactics and have our politicians under their thumb who have been bribed with our own tax money ($3+ billions of which some of which boomerangs to this country again). They have the money, the experience and the lobotomized media and environment necessary for this kind of take over. And aren’t these the same tricks used by our own government to invade other countries? Food for thought.
Since the shooting in Poughkeepsie, sadness fills my heart. Any attempt to offer words of encouragement would be meaningless. The words of Jesus, who was watching on that fateful day, remain: “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends… You are my friends if you do my commands.”
Officer John Falcone and all the other officers present followed this highest calling as they gave themselves to protect the innocent. Jesus was there and received him. He has gone before us on the path that we shall have to take at some point. Through his death God reminds those who are daily in harms way to remain prepared. God shall call you, and us, only at the hour that God has chosen. Until that hour, that lies in God’s hands alone, we shall all be protected even in greatest danger, and from our gratitude for such protection ever new readiness arises for the final call.
My heart goes out to the beloved Falcone family. I pray that they would feel encouraged by these words of Jesus, “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I will go and prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be also.”
My brothers and sisters of Law Enforcement remain on my prayers.
Johann Christoph Arnold
Pastor, Woodcrest Community
LETTERS IN THE NEWSPAPER
The intellectual level of letters to this newspaper has me worrying about the future of our country. I suspect that all the media attention paid to ignorant, simple-minded, and vociferous people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin has encouraged the nitwits among us to believe that, by comparison, they aren’t such nitwits after all.
A case in point: Bill Campion claims that I wrote that he was guilty of spreading the “blood libel.” Well, I am fairly sure that Campion is guilty of any number of sins but not the blood libel, and I never wrote it. (But his ancestors were guilty, surely.) Campion himself has accused me of abusing St. Francis, my favorite saint, and has called me a fascist. I wonder what other bizarre fantasies and distortions he harbors inside his head.
Where did I supposedly convey this blood-libel accusation? According to Campion, on my blog. I went to my blog and found this: “And then there is Bill Campion of Mount Temper, who (1) bizarrely accused me of abusing St. Francis, (2) claims that I ‘celebrate’ the killing of Palestinians (a lie), and (3) that I have really ticked off Osama bin Laden. I sure hope that (3) is true.
And I want to add that whenever someone as filled with blinding hatred, as Campion, is becomes apoplectic with rage, an angel sings.”
BLACK CATS: NICE PETS
Thanks to the Woodstock Times for your notice about the black cats at the Ulster County SPCA. The news that a donor prepaid the adoption fees for 12 black cats touched my heart. The kind donor wanted to offset an ignorant and cruel superstition that makes it more difficult to find homes for black cats.
There will be spirited disagreement about this but I think black cats have the nicest personalities, having known many black cats who are sweet and friendly yet spirited and are devoted friends.
We just adopted a wonderful black cat from the SPCA who is affectionate and fun-loving despite a rough start in life. We’re tickled to see her enjoying what is probably the first home she has ever been in. I hope others are also going to the SPCA to adopt their cats.
HOW’RE YOU BEING TREATED
If politics is the distribution of wealth, let’s see how working people in the U.S. have fared over the last 25 years.
1983: Social Security taxes are increased, creating a trillion dollar in surplus payments from working people to the government by 2009. The surplus is used over this period to provide tax cuts for corporations and the very rich.
2003: Wars of aggression in the Middle East cost a trillion dollars over the next decade. While working people pay for these wars and even sacrifice their sons and daughters, the oil companies and weapons makers reap huge profits.
2008: The banking and investment sectors collapse, necessitating well over a trillion in tax dollars to be paid to financial corporations. Little or nothing is paid to the millions of Americans who lose their homes in the Wall Street speculation.
2010: Obama makes a secret deal with Republicans to continue Bush era tax cuts for the corporations and the very rich, costing over a trillion dollars in revenue over the next ten years.
2011: Corporations, with over two trillion dollars of profits in their coffers plan payouts to their corporate management and their wealthiest stockholders. Few new jobs are created.
2011: Obama plans a trillion dollars in cuts over the next decade for services that benefit working people.
How has the plutocracy been treating you? Working people must learn to fight back if we want anything for ourselves or our families. Nobody is going to do it for us.
IN RESPONSE TO COUNCILPERSON MAGARELLI
In a six hundred-word letter to Woodstock Times (20 percent longer than Rosenblum’s Comeau Stewardship Plan), Councilperson Cathy Magarelli makes an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the public that “This board has a vision and a plan.” Surprisingly, Magarelli compliments editor Brian Hollander for being “eloquent” and “aptly” in his recent editorial, even though his editorial is critical of the Town Board’s lack of fundamental planning skills. It appears that Magarelli missed the intent of Hollander’s editorial, appropriately entitled “Back to our Future” and characterized by one noteworthy sentence: “But the difficulty all along (with the Town Board) has been that there is no coordinated plan, or timeline for dealing with any of these items.” Magarelli is apparently unaware of the skills and discipline required to develop and implement an overall plan. For example, has anyone set eyes on a single timeline to accomplish the “town plans” that Magarelli refers to?
The honorable councilwoman states: “We as a board have agreed that the Town Hall should be renovated first.” Whereas just a few weeks ago, at a rushed 15-minute meeting, there were much different priorities passed in a resolution by the same four councilpersons. Jay Wenk was the only councilperson at this Town Board meeting who demonstrated wisdom and foresight. The other Town Board members wrongly voted not to renovate Town Hall first. Then on February 8, the same four members rescinded their thoughtless resolution and instead supported Wenk’s good judgment. Magarelli exaggerates that “The Town Board has come to a consensus, concerning the future of this town.” The consensus, defined by the voting record, is essentially to first renovate Town Hall. Unfortunately, this swift “consensus” transformation is not based on independent thought and analysis. Rather, the “consensus,” Magarelli refers to, is entirely based on their concern and embarrassment of losing a public referendum.
Finally, Magarelli mistakenly concludes: “This board knows how to take that vision, move forward and make it happen.” I suggest that she re-reads Hollander’s editorial that more accurately describes the Town Board moving backwards, not forward. And for a change, forthcoming projects, as Hollander suggests, “must be dealt with methodically, with an overall plan in mind.”
WIKILEAKS COMES TO WOODSTOCK
As we all know, the whole world passes through Woodstock. We are a microcosm. So perhaps it isn’t a surprise that our small town has a role in a newly released WikiLeaks cable.
The cable, from the US Embassy in Cairo and dated October 6, 2009, confirms that “the Egyptian Ministry of Defense verified that it received 75 Electrical Rotron Fans from Ametek Rotron/Rheinmetall Defence Italia for use in the Skyguard Air Defense System.”
So Woodstock isn’t mentioned by name, but we’re represented by a mainstay of our local community and the town’s largest employer.
Were these fans paid for by U.S. taxpayers as part of our generous military aid to the Egyptian dictatorship? The fruits of a highly skilled and dedicated Woodstock workforce were probably also present in the Abrams tanks that lined Tahrir Square, and the F-16 warplanes that buzzed the pro-democracy demonstrators there.
This arms transfer from Woodstock to Mubarak was perfectly legal — perhaps commissioned by the Pentagon itself. The cable (you can find a link to it on the Woodstock Weapons Watch blog) was part of the State Department’s Blue Lantern program, which monitors arms exports in case they get into unsuitable hands. Mubarak’s were deemed suitable.
Woodstock isn’t particularly better or worse than any other town. That’s what makes us a microcosm. This was just one of 70,000 such Blue Lantern-approved arms transfers every year. Communities everywhere are facing the same dilemma. The material bases of our tenuous prosperity are bound up with dictators, oppression and environmental devastation.
What can we do about it? Not close anybody down. Rather open up a conversation. Peaceful investment in any case creates more jobs than investment in war. It has to begin everywhere. That includes here.
WOMAN ON THE GO
We in the Catskills can now rest assurred with the appointment of Dr. Kathleen Nolan as Director of the High Peaks Branch of the Mountainkeeper. Our lands will be in safe hands. Her keen eye, extreme intelligence and devotion to the truth gives us the confidence whatever future hurdles the high peaks of the Catskills face they will be dealt with intelligence and devotion.
MORAN’S LATEST ILLEGAL ACT
Last week I received a copy of an email that Supervisor Moran sent the other Town Board members. The email was a “poll” of the other Town Board members. Moran sought approval of the “language” of a letter he wanted to write to the DEC, which, he wrote, needed to be “in the name of the Town Board.” What Moran was doing was seeking a vote, in email, which is illegal. All Town Board votes must be conducted in open meetings with ample notice.
The “language” of the letter Moran was writing was beside the point, a foil to make the Town Board members think they were only supposed to approve the “language,” not explore the content or question the letter’s existence. The letter was, in fact, an authorization of RUPCO’s application for water supply. This means that by asking the Town Board members, in the form of a “poll” of the “language,” Moran was trying to circumvent actually having a vote on an issue that is very contentious and must be discussed and then voted on in an open meeting.
I suppose Moran learned nothing whatsoever from the last Town Board meeting at which he went along with the majority to rescind a resolution that had been presented with no background and no justification, and was challenged by the people of this town. What he should have taken away from that episode is that he does not control the entire board, and that however quick and slick he thinks he is, there is no way he will get away with illegal actions.
Last year, when Moran shut off water to the community gardens but continued to supply the Bear complex with water, he violated state law. This and other related no-no’s will, I am positive, be very interesting reading over at the DEC.
In addition to this illegally secret vote Moran tried to swing, there is the question of what application RUPCO is even sending out. The Town must apply to expand the water district, since the Town is the owner of the water district. RUPCO would be simply an additional customer and has no standing as an agent of our water district. The application that must be submitted, must be prepared and submitted by the Town of Woodstock, not by RUPCO with a one sentence letter endorsement that the Town Board does not even realize it has approved. The application must include, among other things, water conservation plans and supply and demand audits. RUPCO is not in any position to prepare such documents, unless Moran gave RUPCO license to take town data and run simulations and send them in to the DEC on behalf of Woodstock. Could it be?
With this letter, I make a motion to stop Jeff Moran, using the tools he hates most: transparency and lawfulness.
TWO PARTY RULING SYSTEM
The people of Egypt did not request a permit for their demonstration that toppled billionaire kleptocrat Hosni Mubarek, described by Hillary Clinton as a “close personal friend.” Nor did they meekly resign themselves to being corralled into “free speech zones.” Although they were a peaceful assembly, when they were attacked with violence they defended themselves and fought back. Compare this to the anti-war movement in the U.S., a movement which divided into one sector which supported/supports the Democratic Party as a way to end the imperial “Bush” energy wars and the other sector which holds occasional demonstrations in DC on Saturdays, when nobody is in DC to see them. Then the demonstrators go home. The demonstrators in Egypt did not go home.
A major difference between the ruling elite in the U.S. and that of Egypt is our two-party system. As described by John Clark in the internet article ‘What Can We Do To Support Egypt?’: “Our own ruling party is quite brilliant in that, unlike that of Egypt, it has two branches. One, called the Republicans, takes the initiative in developing the trajectory of the system. It experiments with how far the limits of that system can be pushed. When this development causes too much disorder and opposition, the other branch, called the Democrats, steps in, introduces measures to re-stabilize the system, diffuses dissent, and then, before long, turns power back over to the Republicans.”
Surely, by now, most everyone who voted for Mr. Hope and Change realizes that they were suckered big-time. The Neocons, including Dick Cheney, laud Obama’s continuation of Bush/Cheney policies. Where to turn? Some think only in terms of a choice between Democrats and Republicans. “How would you like a President Palin?” goes the standard line. It means “let me vote for the Democrats once every four years and then get on with my personal life and my job.” There is another choice: not Democrats or Republicans, but us, we the people, in the streets. If anti-war demonstrators, in the huge anti-war demonstrations leading up to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, had stayed in the streets (yes, without permission or permits) in New York City or in DC, we could have stopped that war, prevented hundreds of thousands from being killed, prevented the permanent radioactive pollution of Iraq with depleted uranium, and as an extra bonus: saved the U.S. economy from being destroyed by military spending on unnecessary and illegal wars.
This March 19 marks the 8th anniversary of the illegal U.S. war of aggression against Iraq. The continuing occupation is never going to end unless we the people make them end it. The “target dates” for troop withdrawals are continually changed, 50,000 armed U.S. troops in Iraq are magically declared to be not combat troops, but advisors or peacekeepers. Permanent U.S. military mega-bases have been built in both Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be a civil disobedience protest against the wars in front of the White House at noon on March 19. For more info google Chris Hedges’ article “Where Liberals Go to Feel Good.”
WHO NEEDS GOVERNMENT
I remember when you were sending a message to the public, you had to be innovative — sending a subliminal message in order to disguise the truth. Like the Marlboro Man — a symbol of health and strength — the copy didn’t have to say that Marlboro’s would make you healthy and strong, you just thought they would. In fact, they would make you sick and weak.
Still, those were the good old days, when you weren’t allowed to tell outright lies. Those days are gone, and now, money will permit you to tell just about any lies you want, so long as the bill is paid. Let’s take the “Death Panels for Grandma,” that killed the public option. It was an outright lie, and now that the real death panels are peeking around the corner, the phrase can no longer be used.
Most people don’t realize that there are some formerly middle class who depend on their social security checks for mortgage, heat, medical bills or insurance, food, and basic survival. Those that didn’t chose to spend their lives investing in the market, but found other reasons for living, will now be at risk if the government shuts down. Oh, and then there’s the veterans, but who cares about them these days. We can do without them, we can just privatize the Army.
So, when the new congress returns, the majority, who apparently don’t believe in government, will gladly shut it down. That’s what they came for, so once done, they can then go back on vacation and figure out how to continue in their new jobs, as spokespersons for the billionaires, that helped finance their elections. After they’re done celebrating their victory, they will be paid to address the public and read the messages from their bosses, and there goes democracy in the U.S.
Hey, we had our chance, now it’s the Middle East’s turn.
We’re moving on to: Duhmockery
PARKING, BDR CHRONOLOGY AND BEST PRACTICES
The Woodstock Land Conservancy would like to correct an omission in a previous WLC letter to the editor on February 10, “Comeau Update,” regarding the resolution of the 2009 violations at Comeau. Under Cathy Magarelli’s guidance and with Bill McKenna’s assistance, in May, 2010 the Town submitted “final” Planning Board and ZBA-approved plans for the upper parking lot expansion at Comeau. Upon resolution of the violations, the plans were immediately reviewed by WLC. Copies of our review letters (June 30, 2010 and July 21, 2010) are available on our website: www.woodstocklandconservancy.org/. We apologize for the oversight and any confusion it caused.
We are also writing regarding the February 10 Woodstock Times article, “Capturing the Comeau,” reporting on the February 8 presentation of the draft Comeau Baseline Documentation (BDR) to the Town Board by Woodstock Land Conservancy’s (WLC) Executive Director and Comeau Working Group Chair. First and foremost, WLC is delighted that Town Board and WLC representatives met on February 8. Our representatives are ready to participate in the completion of the BDR review with Town Board members just as soon as weather permits. It has been and remains at the top of our priorities at Comeau. We appreciate the constructive efforts of those Town Board members working to facilitate completion of this work.
Unfortunately, we also find it necessary to address statements attributed to the Town Board’s designated Comeau representative Terrie Rosenblum. After the February 8 meeting and at a previous January Town Board Meeting, she asserted that WLC has been tardy in preparing the BDR, out of compliance with the easement and national standards. Terrie’s statements run counter to the facts of the BDR chronology as well as Town-WLC communications about the easement. So does the inference that WLC is primarily responsible for delays since the draft documents have been ready for Town review (July 20, 2010).
In the interest of transparency and accountability, we will post a fuller summary and chronology of the BDR process on WLC’s website. We note the following facts here:
1) The vast majority of key draft BDR maps and documents are based on data collected on an initial site visit by WLC’s BDR consultant in mid-December of 2009 — within weeks of the easement’s signing on November 16, 2009. This conforms with national standards and is a best practice — that BDR field documentation reflect the condition of the land under easement as close to the filing of the document as is feasible.
2) In the case of the protracted Comeau easement process, completion of the BDR prior to the signing of the easement was well nigh impossible. The Town’s Special Counsel Steven Barshov was aware of this. He participated in discussions with WLC’s attorney and BDR consultant in the days leading up to the easement signing. The purpose? — To establish an agreed-upon methodology in the development of the BDR. WLC’s continuing work to develop and refine the draft BDR during the first half of 2010 was also communicated to Mr. Barshov and Town officials. This too is a matter of record.
3) At a July 20, 2010 Town Board meeting “update,” WLC’s Executive Director informed Town Board members that the draft BDR documents were ready for their review. Logistics and scheduling issues have delayed the BDR presentation and review since then including two postponed meetings in October and November, one by an emergency Town Board executive session and one by a major rainstorm and flood. Again these events are simply a matter of record.
WLC’s ongoing commitment has been to provide high quality documentation at Comeau and facilitate its earliest possible review by the Town. In our view, the assertions to the contrary are counter-productive to our mutual efforts.
Executive Director, Woodstock Land Conservancy,
PAW NEEDS TOWN HALL
Performing Arts of Woodstock board members were very recently told and shown by Town Board Member Bill McKenna what the Board plans for theTown Hall’s future.
After the Justice Court’s, Police Department’s, and dispatcher’s needs are met, the large empty space in the center of the Hall will be available for rent for meetings and classes, but not for PAW. Past lack of communication between the Town Board and PAW seems to account for this exclusion.
PAW presents three major productions: in the fall, in the late winter, and the spring. The Town Hall has been its home for over 40 years. Its work has been recognized by the New York State Council on the Arts, the press (when it could afford reviewers), and audiences, members of which have often favorably compared PAW’s shows to ones in New York City.
Other Woodstock venues are unsuitable for PAW. The Woodstock Community Center cannot accommodate a major theater production at present. It has insufficient electrical power, too small a stage, no wings, no backstage, no storage, poor acoustics, and a very crowded schedule of activities. Renovations at the WCC are scheduled to begin after Town Hall renovations have been completed. It may take several years before the WCC is ready for a major production. In addition, we believe that the Woodstock Playhouse is expected to accommodate large productions rather than the more intimate kind of show that PAW produces.
For several seasons to come, PAW needs to be at the Town Hall. We firmly believe we can coexist (Jeff Moran’s word) with the Justice Court in the main hall. Beyond the performance space, we need restroom facilities and a small dressing room. We would make every effort to reduce our day-to-day visibility. Stage furniture and equipment would be stored behind curtains after every rehearsal and performance. We would actively seek input from the Town Hall office occupants.
Please send letters or email to Town Board Members (45 Comeau Dr. or firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know that the public wants PAW to continue to produce interesting, challenging plays at the Woodstock Town Hall.
Adele Calcavecchio, Vice-President, PAW
FOLLOW UP ON FUTERFAS LETTER TO DEC
At the Town Board meeting of February 8, I told the Town Board of a letter from Rod Futerfas, Town Attorney, that he sent to the DEC with false information about RUPCO and the water district. I also wrote a letter to the editor of this paper on February 10.
At that Town Board meeting, Jeff Moran said he would follow up. On February 17, I followed up with an email to Jeff (and copied the Town Board) requesting status. I received no response from Jeff so on February 22, I sent another email. As of the writing of this letter (late afternoon February 22), still no response.
If a correction letter was indeed sent, great, then just tell me what date. If not, why not and why is it taking so long? Why isn’t this being taken seriously?
It’s no wonder there are so many people disillusioned with our town government.
NOT THE WAY TO GO ABOUT IT
On Thursday, February 17, Jeff Moran sent an email message to all Town Board members asking if we would approve a letter he wanted to send to DEC authorizing RUPCO’s application for a water supply permit. This would be done in the name of the Town Board. Jeff was asking us to ignore the open meetings law by trying to get all of us to vote for something that is required to be discussed, and voted on, during a public meeting. I quickly copied your reporter and some others with this information; this is what is called transparency. Jeff’s attempt at an illegal action, in my view, could not be kept quiet. I would have been held as an accomplice if I didn’t publicize this. In a subsequent email, Jeff thought my action to publicize this matter that would have brought shame on all of us if it became public knowledge was “inappropriate.” Well, that’s an opinion, for whatever it’s worth.
Secondly, it’s my understanding that RUPCO is not the organization that must make the application for extending water into the ‘Woodstock Commons.’ It is the Town of Woodstock that must do that. RUPCO is not the property owner, but a potential partner in that venture. The Town has to get the approval, and Jeff’s letter was, in my opinion, the incorrect instrument as well as the highly inappropriate way of going about it. To accede to his email request would have ruined our reputations.
PLEASE RETURN MY RABBITS
Morningstar Raindance is being charged with animal cruelty by the SPCA. “What is wrong with this picture?” I think to myself as I am carrying a bale of hay for my animals up a steep hill in the last snowstorm.
I am an animal lover and animal activist. I started Peace on Earth Farm, where I have rescued 18 chickens, two sheep, one dog, one cat, and two rabbits. I love rabbits because they are so cute and cuddly, so I adopted a few more. I thought that because they were small, they were too young to get pregnant. Then there were 21 bunnies and two were adopted by friends. I tried everything to find homes for the rest of them but it is not Easter time. I was totally overwhelmed so I called the SPCA to surrender most of the bunnies. I called them.
There was no reason to suspect that the bunnies were anything but healthy. They had very thick and beautiful fur since they lived outdoors in the rabbit barn. They had bright eyes. They were eating, hopping around. Rabbit pellets were normal. Then under a bright light, when they were examined, injuries were discovered.
This was a medical problem that I was unaware of and not a situation of animal cruelty. There is a big difference between these. I thought and believed that the bunnies were healthy.
Although farm animals sometimes have coccidiosis, they have diarrhea as a symptom. The remedy is commonly sold at feed stores and I have it right here in the barn. However, rabbits show no symptom of coccidiosis and their rabbit pellets looked normal so I did not know they had it. If the SPCA had determined that coccidiosis was going around in the rabbit barn, all they had to do was to tell me and I would have treated them for it. Instead, they took all my rabbits. I would like my 10 rabbits returned to me ASAP.
Since they already have a good home where they are loved and well cared for why is the SPCA’s money being wasted taking care of ten rabbits that already have a happy home? I have six empty rabbit cages and 75 pounds of rabbit food in my kitchen. I loved my rabbits and at least one of them, Hip Hop, is unadoptable because he bites.
I live in nature and my rabbit cages were not dirty, as the SPCA is accusing me of. It is a different style of cage — homemade and wooden, not metal. I have hay and litter boxes in each cage as well as fresh water and food everyday including snacks, lettuce, carrots and oats, The litter boxes were changed everyday and the whole cage cleaned totally once per week. I usually let the rabbits out to hop around while I cleaned the cages. The SPCA happened to show up in the morning before the cages were cleaned and they used this as a reason to justify their actions.
I am 60 years old and brain damaged. My two strong sons have moved out so I am taking care of the farm by myself, and the quantity of rabbits became overwhelming especially when my car died in the middle of the winter.
For the spring when the ground is no longer frozen I want to construct tunnels for the rabbits in the rabbit yard modeled after what was created by Donna Stack so that the rabbits can actually enjoy the underground.
I think my precious, beautiful rabbits had a very happy life here on Peace on Earth Farm until the SPCA took them and have them now in their metal cages indoors and away from Nature and home.
My 10 rabbits are being held as hostages of the SPCA unless I pay the ransom fee of $800 dollars. A lot of this was money spent unnecessarily but I would have paid the medical expenses of the bunnies that I was surrendering if Brian Shapiro had asked me. He did not have to kidnap my 10 rabbits and charge me with animal cruelty, since I was very upset that the bunnies had illnesses that I was unaware of.
Recently, Adell Seligman, a well known lawyer and friend of the SPCA, made Peace on Earth Farm into a Not-For-Profit corporation. Since I am a fellow animal activist, I suggest that the SPCA drop the animal cruelty charges and return my rabbits.
If anyone would like to help my rabbits come home, please call 247-0321.