On November 3, the elections will be over and people will return to their regularly scheduled programs and lives thinking that “politics” is over for another year.
However, there is a very important unresolved issue which will have a major effect on how things are run in New York State for the next ten years. The 2010 census figures will be released in a few months, and new legislative district lines will have to be drawn for the New York State Legislature and New York’s Congressional districts. In the past, this redistricting has been done by the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. The present task force consists of six members — four legislators and two non-legislators. All are appointed by the leaders of the New York State Senate and Assembly. Previous redistricting has been called “the incumbent protection plan” because the resulting districts have been created for purely political reasons.
There is a growing demand by good government groups and other for the appointment of an independent redistricting commission to draw the lines.
The Saugerties League of Women Voters is having a meeting on Wednesday, November 3 at the Frank D. Greco Center in Saugerties at 7:30 p.m. This meeting will include a presentation and discussion on redistricting – what it really means, and why it is important for citizens to demand reform of the process.
This is an open meeting and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information call 845-246-2945.
Saugerties League of Women Voters
LESSER OF TWO EVILS ACTUALLY MORE EVIL
Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.
This is especially true of recent Democratic presidents who have offered themselves as antidotes to Republican abuses. Clinton (I still believe in a place called Hope) completed the Reagan revolution by slashing welfare while deregulating the accounting, communications and banking industries. Obama (hope we can believe in) is going to do Clinton one better by destroying the crown jewel of the New Deal, Social Security.
Clinton was just about to take the axe to Social Security when his libido got the better of him. It is doubtful we will be that lucky with Obama. He has named two avowed enemies of Social Security, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, as co-chairman of a special commission on the deficit. There is little doubt what the commission’s final recommendations to Congress will be: cut Social Security benefits and privatize.
This despite Social Security paying for itself for the last 50 years. In fact, trillions of dollars have been siphoned off Social Security to pay for endless wars, as well as giveaways to Wall Street and the very rich.
It will take a Democratic president to destroy what such an overwhelming number of Americans support. With Obama in office, most Democrats have lost their will to fight anything. Watching their middle class lifestyle melt away while millionaires become billionaires, all they can do is repeat the mantra that betrayed them in the first place, “the lesser of two evils.”
JUDGE RACE ABOUT EXPERIENCE, NOT POLITICAL AFFILIATION
In the end, electing a judge is not about politics, it is about qualifications and experience. Wendy Ricks’ 20 years of legal experience in private practice, her training as a mediator and most of all her four years serving in the Saugerties court system makes her eminently qualified to continue her service to Saugerties.
Justice Ricks is tough on repeat offenders, but for many defendants, an appearance in town court marks their first encounter with the justice system. When I asked Wendy what was one of her biggest surprises during her four years within the Saugerties court she said it was the number of first-time youthful offenders who appeared before her. She felt that her legal and social work experience allowed her, in many cases, to re-direct them into alternative programs that changed their direction before their actions led to a felony where they would be remanded to the County Court.
Wendy has done a tremendous job as our Town Justice and has earned all of our support on November 2.
Chair, Saugerties Democratic Committee
RICKS IS WELL RESPECTED
When Wendy Ricks was elected four years ago to become the first woman town justice in Saugerties’ history, she did so with support from voters of all political parties. People in our community have enormous respect for Wendy’s education, qualifications, experience, judgment and integrity. I hope you will join me in voting to re-elect Wendy as town justice on November 2.
SAUGERTIES NEEDS RICKS
I am writing in support of justice Wendy Ricks who is currently running for re-election as Saugerties town justice. I have known Wendy for over five years in my capacity as a volunteer leader in the Girl Scout community in Saugerties. Judge Ricks and I might not be affiliated with the same political party, however she is the candidate I will support this November at the polls.
Judge Wendy Ricks is a constant example of what a true public servant should be. She is fair, consistent, non-political, and hard working. Judge Ricks is not only a dedicated justice for our town, but also an active member. One can often find her coaching on the soccer fields, helping out at Girl Scout functions, and volunteering for local events. Judge Ricks cares about the town of Saugerties and the people who live here. Judge Ricks has done an excellent job these past four years, and her fair, honest, hard-working, knowledgeable, and dedicated spirit is just what this town needs in a Justice.
Ruth Ann Johnson
AUERBACH A GOOD COMPTROLLER
I recognize that it is hard to get excited about an election for Ulster County comptroller. However, I would like to give voters a reason to not only vote, but to vote for Elliott Auerbach. I met a lot of people during my years in politics. Elliott Auerbach is one of the good guys. Auerbach understands the complexities of government and watches not only Ulster County spending, but the effectiveness of various programs. As a lifetime resident, I know that he really cares about Ulster County. The office of Ulster County comptroller was created with the implementation of the new charter. In the short time that the office has been in place, Auerbach has defined what the role of comptroller, and is winning praise from many people. Please join me in supporting Elliott Auerbach for Ulster County comptroller.
STOP FAVORING PHILLIPS
Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Hugh Reynolds’ column in this week’s Times after seeing his front page “news” article last week, extolling George Phillips, headlined ‘People Have Had Enough.’ Now, in this week’s column, “High Drama in Saugerties,” Reynolds uses Mark Knaust, Saugerties Conservative Party Chairman as an eyewitness of an encounter between Maurice Hinchey and an obnoxious (my opinion, based on the column) Freeman reporter, Bill Kemble.
Really, Hugh, should we have expected an objective report? Reynolds then follows with a report from Kemble which contradicts Knaust, claiming a different encounter lasting “three or five seconds.” Of course, Reynolds saw nothing of this. But he did “see” Hinchey make “a curious gesture towards Kemble” from the front table. You don’t have to be a psychologist, as I am, to see what is going on here. Reynolds is using his role as reporter and columnist to attack Hinchey and support Phillips. Inappropriate as a news reporter and sneaky as a columnist (why not come out, Hugh?).
Towards the end of his column, Reynolds writes, from both sides of his mouth, “I don’t call winners or losers...but I thought Hinchey was clearly off his game.” He then goes on to further distortions of the process, always favoring Phillips and ridiculing Hinchey.
Yes, this person has had enough! Enough free political support for Phillips from the Saugerties Times.
DON’T GO BACK TO BUSH
George W. Bush left office with over 670,000 jobs lost. He turned a hard-won budget surplus upside down, into a deficit of $1.3 trillion. During the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the Tea Party’s answer is: privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicare — benefits earned by hard-working Americans; benefits that keep millions from falling into desperate poverty.
It’s a myth that Social Security is in crisis. Republicans keep repeating it as they have tried to raid SS, or kill it, for decades — prevented by Democrats. If they succeed now it’ll be the biggest handout ever to Wall Street.
Tea Party patriots don’t want one penny spent on America. Their answer is tax cuts for the highest incomes and multinational corporations — entities sure to outsource American jobs and invest in foreign countries.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey says investing in America’s infrastructure makes sense. We applaud his efforts in job creation, green energy technologies, tax cuts for families and small businesses, and Wall Street reform to safeguard the public from another economic collapse. These programs are starting to succeed and will turn the US economy around. We must not go backwards to the very “trickle down” economic policies that failed us.
Ulster County Democratic Women
SWATTING A FLY
I don’t care how Hinchey treats a pesky reporter. Sometimes you have to swat a fly who continues to annoy you. We all know that Hinchey has a great record of service to the people of the Hudson Valley. His office is always ready to help us whenever we need them.
HINCHEY SUPPORTERS NEED CHECK UP FROM NECK UP
Mike Harkavy, Saugerties Democratic Committee Chair, stated in a letter to this paper, “I support Congressman Maurice Hinchey who never ducked a hard question…”
Mike, perhaps you need to Google “Hinchey shut up” as well as read Hugh Reynolds’ column in the October 21 Saugerties Times. Hinchey not only refused to answer the question, he put his hands on reporter Bill Kemble as he pushed him aside.
Anyone who supports a candidate for public office that displays this type of behavior needs their head examined.
PHILLIPS WILL DO WHAT’S RIGHT
It’s been an honor and privilege to work for the election of George Phillips to Congress. George is a good and decent human being. He sticks to the issues, tells the truth and doesn’t insult his opponent; that says something good about the man.
George is full of enthusiasm and energy trying to do what’s right for our country. I ask that you vote for George Phillips, a vote you will never regret.
PHILLIPS HAS WHAT IT TAKES
It is time for the Hudson Valley and the rest of the 22nd Congressional district to put Maurice Hinchey to rest! George Phillips has the personal integrity and intelligence to represent our interests in Congress. George has worked in Congress as a congressional aide and knows how the system is supposed to work and where the improvements need to be instituted. He is also an expert on American history and has the intellectual overview of who we are, where we came from and where we should be going as a nation and has the intelligence, integrity and courage to lead us there.
Phillips is correct on national security, jobs, the economy and all the other issues that affect our lives and businesses here in Ulster County and beyond.
New York City Mayor Ed Koch and international business leader Ronald Lauder came to Kingston and Newburgh to endorse Phillips for many reasons. Both are international experts and leaders on the economy, national security and America’s national goals.
Vote like America’s security depends on it — it does!
PHILLIPS WILL DO AN EXCELLENT JOB
Congressional candidate George Phillips began his campaign in Saugerties earlier this year as a long shot in the race against Maurice Hinchey, who has held political office for 36 years. Phillips campaigned tirelessly to let voters know of his positive plan to stop the wild spending in Washington and to restore sanity to our government. His message has resonated greatly and the mood for change has increased dramatically so that Phillips is no longer a long shot but is poised for victory. Phillips is vigorous and experienced, having spent four years as a congressional aide to congressman Chris Smith. He is intelligent, well educated, likeable and compassionate. He is a decent human being. I am absolutely confident he will do an excellent job as our representative in Congress
JOBS ARE HINCHEY’S LEGACY
Day and night, 24/7 this election season, the mantra on cable TV, editorial pages and political blogs has been Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Given that’s supposed to be a determining factor behind whom we support or turn away at the polls next week, I submit that no one within miles around deserves our vote more than Rep. Maurice Hinchey in his bid for re-election.
Maurice has toiled hard and effectively to bring The Solar Energy Consortium to the Hudson Valley and with it, Congressional subsidies and manufacturing companies who employ, initially, hundreds of employees with solid promise for those numbers to continue to increase by impressive multiples.
Over time it’s not unreasonable to hope that TSEC will help close the employment gap that IBM left behind in the wake of its enormous pullout some years ago. And that, ultimately, will prove to be a shining legacy for our long-term Congressman among his many other impressive achievements.
PROUD OF HINCHEY
I have been fortunate for many years to be able to say with such pride that congressman Maurice Hinchey is my congressman.
He has always stood bravely for his principals whether it was “safe” or not. He was an early opponent to the ill-conceived war on Iraq; he has fought against the monopoly of the airways and for a free and honest press. He was consistently been in the forefront in the fight to protect our environment, most recently leading the battle against fracking which could destroy the clean water of our communities. He is a co sponsor of the Clean Water Restoration Act which will protect waterways throughout the country from the dangers of industrial pollution.
During this time of recession, congressman Hinchey has not simply worked to bring needed Federal money to our communities but he has worked to help New York and our community be a leader in green jobs and green energy — by helping develop the Solar Consortium — our hope for the future. As a senior member of Congress he has both the knowledge and the position to lead our country forward.
He also works for his local constituents and is always available as our advocate.
And now he is being targeted by the of forces of reaction to unseat him with money coming in from who know where. Saugerties should not risk losing one of our most valuable and trusted resources! I hope that everyone will come out on Election Day to assure that we continue to have a Congressman who we can be proud of. Bring your friends and neighbors too and support the Democratic ticket.
I am shocked by the letter in your paper this past week from Jim O’Reilly of Saugerties. This gentleman was proud to run as a Democrat for the County Legislature and willingly took our time and money to get elected. Now he is bashing all Democratic values as if he never shared them. Jim was a leader in the fight to stop a dump on the Winston Farm in Saugerties. It is because of his efforts and our efforts that he got elected as a Democratic member of the Legislature. Now he writes that Maurice Hinchey “works to impede and sabotage drilling for clean natural gas.” Jim did not object to all the assistance Maurice gave us in opposing the mega-dump and I do not believe he truly wants to sacrifice the leadership Maurice has to offer to demand full disclosure of all the chemicals used to mine for natural gas in the shale pockets that exist in close by neighborhoods. We fought the dump to protect our watershed. Jim surely cares about the quality of water enjoyed by our neighbors. Maurice Hinchey is the only enlightened candidate running for Congress in our district who will protect against the hazards of fracking for natural gas that threatens the environment in New York State. Please protect our most precious resource, water, by keeping him in Congress
CIVILIZATION IS DOOMED
It’s a great idea to vote against war — unfortunately there isn’t anyone to vote for who is willing to do the job, except the socialists, communists or some other person or party who will be considered a wack-o by 99 percent of America and ignored. The best recent shot was Kucinich, but no one elected him because he is short and has funny ears. That’s America for you, they care more about funny ears or the length of the male appendage than racist, mafioso mass murder. I’m afraid our civilization is doomed. 100,000 years from now a chimpanzee archeologist will be digging up human remains and wondering what happened.
I write to urge our citizens to vote for Maurice Hinchey for U.S. Congress. George Phillips, Hinchey’s opponent, supports hydro-fracturing in our rural areas. Hinchey is a leader of the opposition, a big reason for the big business bucks going to Phillips to plant his signs all over the countryside. If you don’t know what “fracking” means, please find out all you can about it before you vote. I promise you, it is not in your interest to allow it. It is a monstrosity, brought about because the oil and gas companies tell us we are living on top of a trillion dollars worth of natural gas, and they demand to remove it by force, using billions of gallons of our exceptionally clean drinking water, and their secret blend of chemicals, along with intensive pressure to blast out the gas from thousands of feet under ground. What sane person would even believe the first word these companies utter? Yet, they are saying: “Trust us with your precious, life giving land and water!” And people like Phillips are saying, “Duh, ok, how much money will I get, boss?” After what happened this year in the Gulf of Mexico, after our entire experience of big oil and gas, it is beyond stupid to trust them! How deep are people in denial, really? We’ll find out on election day.
Sadly, this is not a very bad movie about zombies from another planet who’ve come to destoy us. It is a money maker, according to Phillips, and his fellow Republican big business, big oil and gas, big money backers. Phillips’ campaign signs whine: “Had Enough?” As if things are so much worse than two short years ago! When I see the “Had Enough” signs, I think, “Had enough beautiful trees, pure drinking water, clean air, pastoral views, and babbling brooks? Had enough of nature’s peace and quiet? Had enough of your homes having any value at all? Had enough of birds, and other cute little critters in our beautiful New York? Had enough using the good sense you were born with? Had enough of that “stewardship of nature” thing?
Furthermore, beyond this one race, and this very important issue, I ask everyone reading this to vote Democratic across the ballot because it has been proven that Republicans will destroy any beautiful thing, and support any preposterous lie the big oil and gas companies, big business, and big finance industries choose to sell us. Republicans are only worse this year because of their “Tea Party” extremists, gone all ballistic and barbarian since Obama got elected. All they are whining and screaming about was happening during their precious Bush and Cheney years, including the destruction of our budget, the war based on lies, the financial ruin, and much worse than what we have now. Nevertheless they pin it all on Obama and the Democrats, and they have unlimited money from big business to brainwash people.
Vote for the survival of the middle class, vote for our beautiful natural world and the wildlife who live in it, vote for intelligent, sensitive humans who love, and protect life. One last observation for the “pro-life” voters. How are Tea Party Republicans “pro-life” in any way, except in demanding, beyond all reason, to force pregnant girls and women to bear unwanted pregnancies, whether they are raped by a stranger, or by their own father, or just too immature to have and love, and care for a baby. If anyone really thinks that is “pro-life”, in the face of how these barbarians think about our natural world, or the proliferation of gun violence, or issues of war, the economy, or the U.S. Constitution which guides us, they have a very different definition of “life” than the one I’ve absorbed my entire life as an American woman with a conscience and a little common sense.
HINCHEY AND SAGER ARE THE CLEAN WATER TICKET
The pressure from moneyed interests for hydraulic fracturing is hot and heavy. Recently the DEC has admitted difficulty in handling its current duties so cannot hope to handle the added oversight. Congressman Maurice Hinchey and State Senate candidate David Sager have been, from the start, committed to ensuring the safety of these extraction processes and the protection of our water. Have a say in your right to clean drinking water. Vote for Hinchey and Sager.
NUCLEAR POWER FAR FROM CARBON-FREE
Bob Berman may be a great Astronomer, but he gets it wrong when he leaves his field of expertise to stump for nuclear power (Almanac, October 14).
Berman’s statement that ,”the only alternative to making a fire in your home’s furnace or woodstove is to use electric (resistance) heat,” ignores geothermal (which uses less electricity), and passive solar which uses none. While he correctly states that we get few sun hours in winter, he ignores super efficient building designs that practically heat themselves with waste heat from cooking, lighting, refrigeration, body heat, minimal passive solar etc. The Germans and other Europeans are making great strides in this area. Their buildings are so tight that a ventilation system with heat exchangers is employed.
Nothing is more misleading than the suggestion that nuclear power is carbon free. Every energy source needs to be evaluated on its energy return on investment (EROI). A photovoltaic solar panel has to run 1-3 years to recoup the energy used in manufacturing and installing it. But it lasts for decades. Passive solar has a much higher EROI, especially when incorporated into original building design. While the nuclear fission reaction itself is carbon neutral, the many fossil fuel inputs that make the nuclear fuel cycle possible including mining, milling, enrichment, fuel fabrication, transport, plant construction, shielding, waste disposal, terrorism protection, and capacity factor over the life of the plant are considered, nuclear is a marginal net energy source at best, and a substantial greenhouse contributor.
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) estimates that 1500-2000 large reactors built at a cost of trillions of dollars to replace coal plants could in theory effect a small drop in carbon emissions, but by wasting money that could otherwise be spent on renewables, would actually result in a net increase of carbon dioxide. Easily extractable uranium would quickly be depleted, leading to the mining of lower grade ore, and even higher greenhouse emissions. If one new reactor were placed on line every two weeks (they currently take 6 - 10 years to build) it would take 60 years to build 1500 reactors. So much for the “near-term.” The waste would require a Yucca Mountain-sized waste dump to be built every 3 - 4 years. These facilities would need to be guarded in perpetuity.
Conservation, such as the high tech houses referenced above, eliminates seven times as much carbon per dollar as nuclear, and wind energy is about twice as effective per dollar as nuclear, according to NIRS. And those are conservative estimates, because nuclear power plants have so much unpredictable down time, and the energy costs of dealing with even one major accident would dwarf the marginal contribution to greenhouse mitigation. Sorry Bob, but despite some legitimate siting issues, I’d rather look at graceful wind turbines than an ugly nuclear power plant belching radioactive steam or killing millions of fish by heating the water in the Hudson river. Much less of a terrorism target, too. Nuclear power is going nowhere without massive taxpayer subsidies.
As an astronomer, Berman surely knows that nearly 1 thousand watts (1Kw) of solar energy hit each square meter of the earth’s surface under clear conditions. Enough solar energy lands on the U.S. in 1/2 hour to meet our entire energy needs in all forms for a year. Look to that great reactor in the sky, not those dangerous, obsolete and inefficient contraptions that the same greedy corporations that buy our politicians and thrive on war love to build.
STANDING BEHIND PALADINO
Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor, visited Ulster County on October 12, sparking a media frenzy and backlash from the gay and lesbian community. Selective reporting by the liberal-leaning media with no love for the GOP didn’t help, but I am proud of every Paladino supporter who attended the New Paltz and Kingston press events where Carl apologized for his previous comments. His explanation of his position on gay marriage — that he doesn’t believe in it because he is Catholic and the church defines marriage as between a man and a woman — is viable. While he doesn’t support gay marriage, he supports civil unions and believes that all people deserve equal treatment and protection under the law. Carl and I are on the same page.
Following Carl’s visit, “leaders” of the gay community launched personal, slanderous attacks against me and my husband, the most non-political person in Ulster County. This behavior demonstrates their total lack of integrity and the losers in this scenario are the members of the gay community who unknowingly alienated one of their strongest allies for equality and rights — me. That’s right. The GOP chair supports equality and non-discrimination. Political lesson number one for the ring-leaders — don’t run your mouth and risk making enemies of people who really are your friends.
And the leaders of the Ulster County Democrat Party should check the facts before sending a press release chastising the GOP leadership — they assumed my position without asking. At the State GOP convention, when Carl Paladino discovered that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak after his nomination or before the vote, he nominated himself. He was straightforward, no-nonsense and funny. He promised he would petition his way onto the ballot and when he finished speaking, I believed he would. He needed 15,000 Republican signatures and collected 28,000. He secured the Taxpayers line with an additional 28,000 signatures. Carl was not only serious, he was determined. As I predicted, Paladino won the primary, becoming the Republican candidate for governor.
I am the County Republican chairwoman and Carl Paladino is the GOP gubernatorial candidate. He made some comments for which he apologized, and I accept that. There is no way I will support a career, multi-generational politician with ties to special interests and a campaign account funded with $26,000,000 of other people’s money. I am not trying to diminish the concerns of the gay community — I know their plight. I have written articles on estate planning and asset protection for non-traditional couples, where attacks and challenges come not from the general public, but from their own families. If you think the majority of New Yorkers will cast a vote for governor based on Carl’s comments, think again. The problems facing New Yorkers are lack of jobs, high total taxes from a bloated government, high cost of living and outrageous property taxes. These are the issues the voters will vote against and precisely why they will vote for Carl Paladino. He has nothing to gain. His only motivation is to fix New York, a state he loves and a place he and his family call home. I believe he, without conflicts of interest, no owed favors or back room deals, will be able to do what is necessary to save this state and all of us. I stand firmly behind Carl Paladino for the next governor of New York.
Robin Vaccai Yess
Ulster County Republican Committee
HAWKINS FOR GOVERNOR
I am writing to bring to light what I see as some of the major problems faced by New York State. Our economy is dragging, jobs are non-existent, education is failing, and our environment is at risk in
a big way. After having followed the campaigns of Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino, it is clear they both fall on the same side of the political landscape. Cuomo’s first statement during the debate was “we
have to cut, cut, and cut.” Obviously we have major shortfalls in the NY budget, yet neither he nor Paladino say anything other than the typical Republican rhetoric about cutting programs and waste; apparently the working class citizen is now considered waste, our jobs, our wages, our education, and the protection of our environment is simply not important enough to fight for.
A new market is on the horizon, and it is a necessary one to stimulate and help grow in order to put people back to work in NY. Green technology is all around us, yet no one knows where to find it. The energy solutions presented by Green technology will help us become a more sustainable society. The fossil fuels industry is waning, and becoming more destructive to our environment as time goes on. From the spill in the Gulf to the mess hydro-fracking has brought to places like Dimick, Pennsylvania and many others, this industry has had its time and I suggest we bid it farewell. NY is now fighting against hydro-fracking from coming into our state and contaminating the natural water supply for millions of people. Special interests and money-drenched politicians are quietly shaking hands to try and force this down our throats; we can’t let it happen.
One candidate for governor of New York seems to stand out from the rest: Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate. He is proposing to stimulate NY’s economy by funding a “Green New Deal”. He suggests that we stop rebating the stock transfer tax to Wall Street, which was worth 16 billion dollars last year. With that money NY could fully fund education and all public programs while eliminating our deficit.
He also advocates a 50 percent bailout bonus tax, which would bring in another $10 billion. Finally he says we should return to the progressive 15 bracket tax structure we had in the ’70s, so the rich can pay their fair share. Right now the janitor at Trump towers pays a higher percentage of his income to taxes than Donald Trump himself; that is fundamentally wrong, and New York can no longer put up with it. We could use a governor who will fight for the working class, and not the upper class. With all that, we can fund initiatives to spark a Green infrastructure and create jobs in a new market and make it boom.
Scott Patrick Humphrey
WILSON FOR STATE COMPTROLLER
I am writing to support candidate Harry Wilson for New York State comptroller. Harry has been endorsed by the New York Times, The New York Post, and The New York Daily News. He is a graduate of Harvard University, and later in life Harry went back to Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA. Harry Wilson has real world experience that can help the State of New York, if he is elected as comptroller.
Harry played a wide variety of roles at four highly distinguished financial firms: Goldman Sachs, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, The Blackstone Group, and Silver Point Capital. At these firms, Harry employed a broad set of skills essential to the comptroller’s role as sole trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund: building and developing a world-class investment team; making asset allocation decisions; assessing institutional investors and fund managers; and negotiating complex transactions.
Furthermore, Harry spent a significant portion of his career working with, investing in or acquiring and restructuring distressed companies. He used his analytical and leadership skills to determine how to fix company problems, particularly rooting out waste and inefficiencies, and worked with management to do just that. This skill set fits well with the comptroller’s power to audit government spending – with Harry’s background and experience, he will be able to take a far more aggressive and creative approach to reining in runaway spending and devising creative ways to improve existing programs.
Last year, Harry agreed to serve on the president’s Auto Task Force – the group responsible for the overhaul of General Motors and Chrysler. As a fiscal conservative who believes in free markets, Harry wanted a say in how the auto bailout plan was administered. If both President Bush and President Obama were going to move forward with it, he wanted to make sure it was done right, and only once. Harry was the only Republican to join the leadership team of the Task Force.
Harry staunchly opposed the Chrysler bailout and made the case repeatedly to his colleagues. He thought the company had a low probability of turning the corner, so the bailout was not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. He is proud, however, of his work to fundamentally restructure General Motors – its board, its management, its operations and its labor arrangements. With the revised operating and labor cost structure and capital structure created through the restructuring, Harry believes General Motors can again become a profitable automaker.
Harry has never served in public office and is not a career politician. He is the type of fresh face that we need in Albany.
BEND OVER, PLEASE
With the expressed support of 70 percent of the general population, French workers refuse to sacrifice their pensions to pay for the malfeasance of global finance, while the bankers reward themselves with taxpayer dollars after crippling large sectors of the world economy.
No such resistance here in the U.S.A. With corporate-backed Republicans poised to retake many seats in Congress and state houses, progressives here appear to be paralyzed by voters’ futility and cynicism — the inevitable consequences of Obama’s obeisance to his inner circle of Wall Street agents. Meanwhile, taxes soar, jobs are lost, workers are squeezed, the economy stalled — and we give the public treasury to the ones who caused the problem.
If Democrats don’t get to the polls on Election Day and vigorously resist the corporate/financial juggernaut, what are our options? Revolution? Not likely. Bend over and continue handing our money to the financial elite.
Call me an incurable idealist, but I’m gonna vote.
KEEP TOBACCO AWAY FROM KIDS
Kudos to Celia Seupel for the health article “Fighting Teen Smoking” (Saugerties Times, October 14). It is important that the community realizes the tobacco industry is very clever and continues to target our youth! As pointed out by Ellen Reinhard, director of Tobacco Free Action Coalition, “smoking among young people has declined…but recently that decline has slowed.” This is a dangerous turn of events! The clever design of the cigarette ensures that our youth become addicted to this deadly substance very quickly. Sadly it also ensures that the future of the addicted smoker is one full of various chronic illnesses. As adults, let’s work together in keeping our youth safe. Become more aware of the placement of this deadly product. Let’s work to get this out of sight!
Tri-County Cessation Center
MUSTANG BOWL A GREAT SUCCESS
We are proud members of the Grant D. Morse Elementary School community! On Wednesday, October 20, the school hosted its seventh annual touch football extravaganza known as the Mustang Bowl. The weather was, yet again, picture perfect as the warm sunshine illuminated a vivid blue sky and a splendid array of autumn foliage. This impressive scenery provided the backdrop for the schoolyard transformation into a classic football field, complete with game programs, a scoreboard, balloons galore, cheerleaders, TV cameras, commentators, officials, souvenirs, and concessions.
I found myself wiping tears from my eyes and bursting with pride in my heart as our daughter’s name was announced and she took her position among her teammates. The austerity budget may have broken some of the school district’s programs, but this event proved that it has not broken the Morse community’s spirit. With over 1,000 fans in attendance, the school spirit resonated from the fifth and sixth grade participants... from the honorary captains who are chosen each year for their positive contributions to the Town of Saugerties ... from Mr. Spirig and his youth band who continue to display their determination to keep music alive in the Saugerties schools ... from the high school Key Club members who are becoming model citizens of our town ... and from the parents who tightened the network of support around their Morse students as they chitchatted during the post-game entertainment and tailgating BBQ. This same spirit even trickled down to the younger Morse students who proudly wore their school colors waiting for their rite of passage while aspiring to be out on the field when their time comes.
Thank you to the sponsors who, despite endless requests for donations to support school programs, continue to generously give for these worthy causes. And although they prefer to keep the focus off themselves, we would be remiss if we did not express our heartfelt appreciation to Joe Defino, Donald Dieckmann, and the entire staff at Grant D. Morse for the energy and effort it takes to create these very special lifetime memories for our children.
John and Kim Jorgensen
WATCH OUT FOR FELINE DISTEMPER
Kingston and surrounding areas are experiencing an outbreak of Feline Distemper. We at Kingston Animal Hospital have seen more than eleven deaths. This is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread in feces, vomit, and body fluids of infected cats. The symptoms are weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea. The cats display an extremely low white blood cell count and are often anemic. Most cases are fatal. Indoor cats are at risk as the virus can be brought in on your shoes etc. Timely vaccination is preventative if your cat is unvaccinated. Check with your veterinarian.
Dr. Arnold Rugg, DVM
Kingston Animal Hospital