A recent column by Hugh Reynolds misrepresented slightly the position of the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region on Golden Hill.
While the League did indeed recommend that the county sell the nursing home to a private entity, it did not recommend not-for-profit over for-profit. Studies show that both non-profits and for-profits can provide excellent care.
The quality of the management is key, and the League urged the county to select a buyer with a fine record of service so that the quality of care and all or most of the excellent employees at Golden Hill could be retained.
Mr. Reynolds also says, “Lost in all this numbers crunching is the compassion for the elderly infirm that used to be part of the Golden Hill conversation.” He may not have been referring to the League in saying this, but we assure him and others that compassion was very much a part of our organization’s conversation.
The elderly in Ulster County include taxpayers on limited fixed incomes struggling to hang on to their homes, elderly with disabilities that need in-home services (e.g. home nurse visits, Meals on Wheels), and elderly infirm who might actually prefer another Ulster County nursing home because it’s newer, closer to family, or otherwise more appealing.
And contrary to a commonly-held belief, all nursing homes are required by law to take Medicaid patients, so Golden Hill is not a “last resort” for those with limited funds.
In an economic crisis such as the one we’re in, the compassionate response is to look carefully at the needs of all who are hurting and meet these needs as completely and efficiently as possible. When new solutions might allow us to preserve needed services that would otherwise be cut, it is both compassionate and intelligent to explore them.
League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region
We like Pike
The Kingston Uptown Business Association has and continues to support the plan for restoration and refurbishment of the Pike Plan.
This city asset has long needed the attention and upgrading that will be the end result of this long-awaited project. From its initial discussion five years ago we have continuously voted in favor of any plan which will assist the business owners in improvements to the visual experience of the Uptown District. While naysayers continue to discuss its merits perhaps they should step back and see the overall effect the continued deterioration of this canopy presents to all visitors and residents of the city. As the leading voice for business in Uptown Kingston, we see far more important issues which need to be addressed, among them the elimination of the Pike Plan assessment from the canopy owners and the homestead/non-homestead tax issue which drives commercial business out of the city. Interested parties to join in those discussions are welcome!
Kevin J. Quilty
Kingston Uptown Business Association
Horny animals in a rut
This is in reply to the annual misinformation letter from the Animal Rights gang about deer hunters causing traffic accidents. First of all, the bucks are in rutting season, that is, their brains are focused on sex, sex and more sex. When the antlers lose their velvet covering each fall, hormones kick in, and the term “horny” was originally coined to describe male deer in rut. They will follow the scent of hot does far out of their regular territories. Secondly, the deer are used to the Daylight Savings traffic patterns of people coming to and from work. Standard time change has them temporarily confused about when is the best time to cross the road. Third, the frost/freeze has killed the summertime green plants that they feed on, and their food source changes to twiggy browse. Those are the real reasons deer accidents rise in the fall, not those mean old hunters.
The previous letter writer claimed that we killed off predators “for sport.” Do we want mountain lions in our back yards? Do farmers want wolves and coyotes around their sheep and chickens? We must intelligently control wildlife, or watch deer go through starve-off cycles. After all, browsing animals like deer are only on earth as feed for other animals. I much rather prefer that the people benefit from this meat, and not a pack of coyotes. This of course brings up the subject of vegetarianism. Does your mouth water when you smell the turkey roasting in the oven? Question answered by Mother Nature.
Happy Hunting, yall.
Clear-cutting at Cooper Lake
Yesterday, I was walking around Cooper Lake for the first time in a few weeks, and I noticed, to my utter shock, that literally hundreds of trees had been cut down around the lake in recent weeks, including an entire clear-cut on the 212 side of the lake.
As I stood there, several Cooper Lake residents stopped in their cars, aghast at the devastation, all asking the same questions that I had in my mind. Who did this? Why was this done? Was there some practical reason for clear-cutting entire sections of the forest?
I went home and immediately Googled Cooper Lake, looking for articles in either the Woodstock Times or the Daily Freeman that would perhaps mention the forthcoming destruction. I couldn’t find a thing.
After asking around a bit, a few people who live around Cooper Lake told me they had received a letter from the City of Kingston informing them what was about to transpire and saying that the wood from the trees would be harvested and sold commercially.
I, like many others, have the following questions in mind: Who is responsible for this? The Town of Woodstock or the City of Kingston? Who were the contractors/tree-cutters involved, and who is profiting from this sale? Did the razing of hundreds of trees have to pass any sort of public hearing, either in Woodstock or Kingston?
I would appreciate if Woodstock Times could clarify some of these questions in an upcoming issue. I have copious photographs if you would like to use them.
Woodstock Times editor Brian Hollander clarifies: Talk about being exempt ... the city of Kingston owns the property and because it is a municipality operating in another, it has the ability to do as it pleases on all of its watershed property, without permission from Woodstock, without SEQRA, without public notice or hearing. This came up several years ago in a similar situation in Mink Hollow on property that is part of its watershed wherein the city did some extensive logging and despite much protest from neighbors, the town could do nothing. The City of Kingston in that case, magnanimously, made a presentation to the town, in which it assured the town of its intentions to follow good forest management practices, and told the town what it was going to do. And it proceeded to do it. The good news about that time is that the city did exactly what it said it would, didn’t mess around, and noticeably, doesn’t mess around with its watershed. The Kingston water superintendent, Judith Hansen, is very protective of it and the city’s legal prerogatives. That includes logging and selling the wood.
This time, other than the letters to the surrounding property owners, nothing appears to have been said. At least not so it would come back to me.