Recently, the Ulster County Human Rights Commission sponsored a seminar for employers to update them on the NYS Human Rights Law and its 2009 amendments. We appreciate the many employers in Ulster County who attended this and other seminars and who make every effort to comply with the law.
In 2009, the Human Rights Law was amended to provide an important protection to employees, particularly female workers. As of July 7, 2009, a worker who is a victim of domestic violence is protected from being discriminated against by an employer. This means that an employer may not terminate an employee because she (or he) has obtained an order of protection against an abusive partner. It means that if other employees are permitted to take time off to attend to personal business, the victim of domestic violence must be given the same personal time off to attend to matters associated with the violence. The law now makes the place of employment a safe one for persons in an abusive relationship so that they can remain employed while considering their options.
We know that in tough economic times domestic violence tends to increase. Many agencies in Ulster County work to stem domestic violence and Family provides shelter for victims and a remediation program for abusers. We hope that anyone who is in an abusive domestic situation will seek out these services.
An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against by an employer due to their being a victim of domestic violence is advised to contact the Ulster County Human Rights Commission at (845) 340-3147 for a consultation.
Chair, Ulster County Human Rights Commission
Marciano-Walcott, Paterson-Johansson, Robinson-Dempsey, Holmes-Spinks I, Hagler-Hearns I, Costello-Curry; events that made boxing history. So too, was Fight Night on June 19.
I write to salute Billy Costello, the Kingston PAL, and the American and Irish warriors who entered the ring for an outstanding Fight Night!
A boxing fan since I was a boy, my enthusiasm has waned over the years - a little bit each time a fighter engages in self-aggrandizing behavior outside the ring, and a little more still each time a new title is added within the weight classes. It cheapens it for me. When I was a kid, there were only three and - as a fan of boxing history - I daydream of the day when being the champ in your weight class will mean that you are THE champ.
With all due respect to the other sports and activities a youngster can engage in, and with the greatest admiration for the lessons that can be learned, no sport teaches young people - young men, especially - the lessons that can be learned in the ring. Lesson number one: Let your guard down, even momentarily, and you have no one to blame but yourself if you get tagged in the face. Lesson number two: Sometimes, you have to take a few shots in order to land just one of your own ... make it count! Lesson number three: Don't take advantage of your opponent's mistakes; he may wise up when you least expect it! Lesson number four: Give it all you've got, and you still may lose the fight.
Anyway, it was gratifying to personally witness mastery of so many life lessons demonstrated by individual fighters that came out on Friday night. In one fight, two great athletes flew furiously at each other in round one, only to realize by round three that they would have been better off biding their time. Another young man, hesitating in the early moments of his bout, gave his opponent the upper hand, and had a hard time catching up. Still another, being hit between the shoulder blades with a shot that I thought would level him and disqualify the other man, gave his all for the round and a half he had left, and still lost the decision. Those boys owe a great debt of gratitude to the Champ, Billy Costello, and to their other trainers in Kingston and other parts of the state. So does the Irish Team (composed of both Catholics and Protestants) owe a debt of gratitude to their trainers.
I have since become aware of another lesson that was taught. Apparently, the opponent of one Irish fighter injured himself and withdrew. Yet, the Irish fighter continued to train, confident that a new opponent would be found. No one who was asked would accept a fight against this boy (whom everybody observed to be a formidable foe) and, long story short, he did not get a fight. He should have. He earned it.
I cannot find words to express the real depth of my hope that all of Kingston will turn out for the next Fight Night in November. I am told by a reliable source that more international events are in store for us in the future. In the time between now and then, come down to the Costello Gym at 5:30 p.m. on any weekday evening, and watch the boxers train. But be careful ... Billy may just give you a set of wraps and put you to work on the bag. Then again, given our society's addiction to reality TV, that may be just what the doctor ordered to gain a little perspective and learn some of the more important lessons reality has to teach.
Thank you, Champ! Thank you, Aaron! Thank all of you great fighters for a great event!
P.S. I have one request of the Hibernians; if you provide the honor guard for November's Fight Night, please provide the traditional rendering of the National Anthem, so that people's attention will be drawn to our flag, and not the exaggerated stage presence of the person who is singing. Take a lesson from the Irish boxing team for that one!
Independence Party no longer independent
Hugh Reynolds reports that Len Bernardo and the Independence Party have endorsed Maurice Hinchey. Well that is the end of the Independence Party as a serious alternative to the traditional political parties.
If Mr. Bernardo wishes to feed with pigs and celebrate the kind of rancid bacon which is brought to our community as bribes in order to distract from the policies and practices of one of the most corrupt and dysfunctional Congresses and administrations in our history, then he has sold out his former supporters and the citizens of our community.
How quickly the rise to power brings out the dismissal of courageous decisions to protect the rights of citizens. The unprecedented assault on individual liberty and opportunity, which has occurred under Mr. Hinchey's reign, calls for a new title of Mr. Bernardo's party. Perhaps he has already suggested the alternative as the "Party Porkers."
Dr. Paul Jankiewicz