I commend Lynn Woods on her excellent article, “Problem on the Rondout,” in your April 7 edition. Unfortunately, most citizens are totally unaware of the health threats posed by the Millens scrap metal operation on East Strand.
Spills and other toxic contaminations emanating from Millens’ property have at times necessitated the actions of the Kingston Fire Department, the Kingston DPW, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation — and even the U.S. Coast Guard. All because one man has put his business interests over the health concerns of his fellow citizens and repeatedly thumbed his nose at environmental laws. Mr. Millens has failed to meet the requirements of an order on consent imposed by the NYSDEC in 1996 which required him to remediate his property and the surrounding properties onto which contaminants originating from his operation had migrated.
Last year, a public hearing was held at the town hall in the Town of Ulster to garner public response to Mr. Millens’ desire to relocate his business in a pristine woodland setting off Route 32. The standing-room-only meeting was predictably hostile to this venture. Since this meeting, Mr. Millens appears to be biding his time before re-entering the SEQR process necessary to pursue his quest. His engineering firm, Brinnier and Larios, have employed subcontractors to conduct traffic and water studies and to complete a brief survey to establish the property coordinates for the GPS grid. Presently, Mr. Millens has a binder on the property, but has not yet purchased it from owner Thomas Gelormino of Torrington, Conn.
This property is adjacent to my home. My neighbors and I — plus many other Town of Ulster residents who are cognizant of Millens’ history of pollution — are vehemently opposed to his re-location in our town.
We await his next attempt at the SEQR process and hope our fellow citizens have learned something from Ms. Woods’ article.
Town of Ulster
Mother’s Day should be a happy day, but this Mother’s Day, my first thoughts will be of a young mother, Jessica Welch, who was recently killed in a horrific act of domestic violence by her husband. This young woman was shot in front of her 3-year-old child.
I’ve learned more than I care to admit about domestic violence over the last couple of years. I have seen victims stand up with tremendous courage, under enormous pressures, facing their abuser and shining the light on them.
I have learned about the real dangers of abuse, the impact on women and their families and the bizarre societal pressures around abuse and the tragic acceptance of abuse.
I’ve learned something else.
Someone knew. Someone always knows. Someone saw this bastard yell at her, scare her. She told someone about the previous problems. She reached out to someone.
Some women do suffer truly in silence, but it is very rare for a woman to have never told anyone Someone knows.
Someone sees the rage in a man’s eyes towards a friend or a sister. Someone is there when he calls her a “piece of shit” — someone sees the bruise.
Someone calls and hears her voice shaking, quivering. Someone always does.
The question is and I know first hand it’s a hard question to answer, the question is if you are that someone, what do you do?
Far too many people walk away. Or condone the activity. Or remain silent themselves and that’s what the abuser is counting on. The silent complicity of the ones who know. We also are far too forgiving of men who commit abuse. No matter what your station is in life, or what reputation, if you are guilty of abuse against women, or you are complicit in the covering up of abuse, you should be shunned by society.
It’s easy to remain silent and self-ignorant. It’s easy to say it’s not any of my business. But it is.
The victim of abuse who told you she was being abused, that took all the courage she had. Then it’s your turn. Yes it sucks. Yes you get dragged into someone else’s hell and usually we all have enough chaos in our own lives to deal with, but into the vortex you must go. You can end up being part of the chaos yourself, sucked into it, and called out on it, but into the vortex you must go.
I know Jessica Welch’s friends loved her. I know they are heartbroken. I also know that if they were writing this letter, they would tell you: Please do something, please just do something …
Family Domestic Violence Services
The Washbourne House
Here’s looking at you
I was pruning rosebushes today in the beautiful garden of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church when a particularly pernicious bush thrust a thorn straight up into my left eye. It was painful, quite disturbing, got my attention immediately. I blinked furiously, and teared copiously, to no avail. It was firmly entrenched and would not budge. With both eyes now tearing, and my vision very blurry, I certainly couldn’t drive … so I called 911, feeling rather sheepish. By the time I confined my overly-friendly dog to the car and gathered up my precious pruning tools, Jim arrived. Jim, surname unknown, handsome, blond, with glasses and a smile, appeared like a vision before me. To be honest, I wasn’t quite panicked, but I was concerned. Very concerned. OK, alarmed. Very naturally, since an assault to one’s eye is horrifying, painful, and disorienting. My left one burned like fire, the right wept uselessly in tandem. With no depth perception, I staggered toward him.
He was so calm, so gentle, so sweet. I’m certain I was babbling senselessly with fear and trepidation; I know I wasn’t steady on my feet. He sat me down in his vehicle, and tried to assess the damage. Calming my flapping hands and protesting lips with gentle instructions, “Look up, look down, don’t blink” while my hands and eyelids fluttered instinctively. I was terrified: I know you might be thinking, “What a twit!” but the pain was exquisite, and the fear of losing some of my sight was massive. He was persistent, comforting, so gentle, and after what seemed like an eternity, said “I got it.” He showed it to me, and through weeping, reddened, terrified eyes, there it was, now helpless on his thumb. You should have seen it … it was colossal, huge, menacing … OK, not so huge, but a fully formed thorn, in fact. In my eye.
Soon, other kind, wonderful, and gentle people came, notably Coll (not short for Collin, by the way!), and Darcy. They proceeded to cheerfully blindfold me (to keep the eyes from moving), Jim joking all the while about making me run an obstacle course containing some type of alligator/water hazard. Now that I knew that the humours of my eye were not streaming down my cheek, I began to see the “humor” in the situation. (Sorry!)
Off we went to Kingston Hospital, where a very clever and kind physician named Craig Nassau Van Roekens (I didn’t remember it, it’s on the pharmacy box) and a lovely nurse named Colleen tested my eye, treated me very promptly and courteously, and didn’t take all day about it. In fact I was in, pronounced not blind, and out, in a jiffy.
Somewhere along the way, my knight in the shining armor, Jim, mentioned that perhaps I should consider wearing safety glasses next time I prune (Monday morning quarterback, you!). I gave him some banal argument, of course, about them fogging up too much but tomorrow I will be out in the garage trying to scare up a pair. Before I go back and finish that pruning.
On a serious note: Pay your taxes, people, and without whining! In exchange, you have skilled, caring, wonderful people and the equipment they need just waiting to nurture you whenever you least expect to need them.
Secondly: Thank you, Jim. I have absolutely no doubt that, were you not confident and intrepid enough to pluck that thing out immediately, much more serious damage might have been done with that thorn wandering around in my eye socket during the bumpy trip to the hospital. You are a God among paramedics.
Lastly: Please come and see our amazing garden, designed by Jim Dinsmore, at St. Gregory’s. Everyone is always welcome.
Are U.S. dollars fiscally unsound
In 1981 when Jimmy Carter was ending his presidency, the U.S. dollar printed by the Treasury, for purposes of this letter, had a purchasing power of 100 cents. Interest rates were around 20 percent. In January 2011, some 30 years later, the dollar has lost 77 percent of its purchasing power. A dollar today has only 23 cents of purchasing power, according to inverse worthing of money formulae.
With the enormous debt run up since 2008, the Federal Reserve has printed billions of dollars and put them into the market place. Chairman Bernanke called this practice Qualitative Easing, part one and part two. These dollars have no real backing. The concept seems to be to create inflation and further depreciate the dollar so that the debt can be paid off with very cheap dollars.
The European Central Banks have gone in the opposite direction, increasing interest rates to control inflation and protect the soundness of their currency. Foreign investors have diversified away from the U.S. dollar and there is now a real question as to whether or not the U.S. dollar will lose its position as the world’s reserve currency.
Today the national debt in approaching $14.3 trillion and of the total debt, China and Japan hold some 21 and 22 percent respectively. What happens if they call the debt?
The Congress has done some crazy things, such as robbing the Social Security Trust Fund to fund spending programs. Today there is not one real dollar in the fund. The Congress simply writes an IOU and puts in the so-called Lock Box. Sooner or later the money will have to be paid back or there will be no funds to pay Social Security benefits.
Pimco, one of the world’s largest bond funds with some $1.5 trillion in assets, decided in March to get rid of its U.S. Treasury Bonds because of the fiscal insanity going on in Washington. Pimco is now accepting the Chinese Yuan, the British Pound sterling and the Euro for payment of its products. The Euro has made significant gains against the U.S. dollar going up from about 1.19 to 1.41 per dollar, and the pound sterling has also made significant gains.
If the U.S. dollar loses its status as the world’s reserve currency, it will make 1929 look like a picnic
The Congress must abandon its practice of tax, spend and elect.
Perhaps Obama should have a meeting with Andrew Cuomo and learn about no new taxes, no new fees, and balance the budget, and live within your means like the rest of us must do.
H. Clark Bell