I want to thank the many community heroes who helped to make our first Kingston Neighborhood Celebration at the YMCA park on Aug. 28 a happy success. My sincere gratitude goes out to Savon Party Center, Dallas Hot Wieners II, Gerald Burke, Alderman Hayes Clement, County Legislator Mike Madsen, Kingston Neighborhood Watch, CSEA Kingston Unit, Kingston Police Benevolent Association, Kingston Firefighters Association, Elisa and Parker Ball, Jeremy Blaber, the Kingston Community Gardens Club, and, of course, the YMCA. It was a beautiful day for families with games for the kids, facepainting, music, arts and crafts, a gardening workshop and lots of delicious treats. Thank you again for helping to make the Kingston Neighborhood Celebration an event to be proud of.
Ward 5 Alderman Jen Fuentes
A what in church? Let me see if I have this straight. Two legislators from Wallkill, one of whom is a contractor, decided that they know what’s best for Ulster County and proposed a resolution that would eliminate the Office of Consumer Affairs (immediately, according to the resolution). Needless to say, this went over like a fart in church.
The reckless and unprofessional (not to mention politically motivated) behavior of Kevin Roberts and Kenneth Ronk will hopefully be remembered by the good people of Legislative Districts 8 and 9 on Election Day 2011.
I support Schneiderman …
Many New Yorkers are undecided as to which Democratic candidate to support for attorney general. As a matter of fact, not many know that a primary election on Sept. 14 will decide which of five candidates will be the Democratic nominee for attorney general in November. My vote is unhesitatingly for state Sen. Eric Schneiderman. He’s a tireless advocate for justice and fairness and has 10 years of legislative credentials to prove it. His track record makes him uniquely qualified to meet head on the challenges faced by our small cities and towns in upstate New York. For example, he’s worked to stem the tide of gang and drug-related violence while holding absentee landlords accountable for drug and gang activity on their property. At the same time he was sponsor of the law that finally repealed the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. Plus, he’ll use the AG office to fight for job protection and the protection of affordable housing.
Senator Schneiderman has been a leader in the fight for comprehensive property tax legislation to relieve the out-of-control financial burden on owning our homes. He opposed any increase in SUNY tuitions without approval of the legislature having determined that any change to SUNY and community college funding would make higher education unaffordable for many New Yorkers. As attorney general, Schneiderman will protect our water supply by suing to prohibit hydrofracking until it is proven to be safe. And he will work toward an energy future without Indian Point.
Albany insider? I hope so. Schneiderman has been the harshest critic of corruption, waste and fraud in the public sector. As attorney general, he will fight to restore the transparency, honesty and efficiency necessary to give New Yorkers the government we deserve. It may sound like the language of politics again, but he’s already got the wins to support his claims. On Sept. 14, I’ll vote for Senator Eric Schneiderman, an attorney general who will work for all of us.
… and so do we of the WFP
We are writing to let you know that we have enthusiastically endorsed Eric Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General.
This was an easy decision for us to make because, as a lifelong progressive reformer, Eric has fought as an attorney, activist and lawmaker to deliver equal justice for all New Yorkers. Eric has the deepest, broadest and most diverse grassroots coalition in this race — it’s a coalition that only a candidate devoted to fighting for equality and justice can build. Eric has been a strong leader for the interests of New York’s hard-working families from increasing the minimum wage, to championing the right to organize, to improving the worker’s compensation system, to bringing good-paying green jobs to our state.
Eric will fight against corporate corruption on behalf of New Yorkers who have been victimized by big corporations, big banks, insurance companies and other special interests that don’t play by the rules.
He’s been a leader in fighting corruption and abuse in state government. He authored the most sweeping ethics reforms in decades and led the charge to expel corrupt Sen. Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted of a domestic violence crime.
Schneiderman lead the fight to end the draconian Rockefeller drug laws that wasted taxpayer dollars and devastated New York communities for decades.
Named one of the greenest senators in the state by EPL/Environmental Advocates, Eric is an unwavering supporter of environmental justice. He believes that every New Yorker has the right to clean air, safe drinking water and healthy communities to raise their children. Eric also believes that environmental protection and job creation must go
hand in hand.
As The New York Times wrote in their endorsement, “We endorse Senator Schneiderman in the Democratic primary because of his sound judgment, legal expertise, political independence and long history of fighting for government reform.”
Chair, Mid Hudson Valley Working Families Party
Jennifer Fuentes (WFP/D) Alderman, City of Kingston Ward 5
Brian Shapiro (D/I/WFP) Ulster County Legislator, Dist 2, Woodstock
Arthur R. Richter
Citizens for Universal Healthcare
Don’t vote for Cuomo or Hinchey
It is common knowledge that subprime mortgages enabled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, became the weapons of mass destruction which brought down the big financial institutions and created the current recession. So who are the people who controlled Fannie and Freddie as they took the world down the path of financial destruction and what are they up to now? In something so big, so consequential, it is difficult to single out one person or one group but the chief culprits stand out clearly.
For starters there is Andrew Cuomo. Yes, Andrew Cuomo, the very same person who now conceals his major role in the worldwide financial trainwreck in hopes an uninformed electorate will make him governor of New York. Between 1997 and 2003, Andrew Cuomo was secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Clinton. He had no background in housing or banking and his appointment was strictly a reward for political loyalty. During his tenure, Cuomo led Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into ruinously loose lending standards backed by an implicit guarantee of taxpayer bailouts. Borrowers with no prospect of being able to repay got mortgages, often with no money down. Of course Andrew Cuomo didn’t act alone; the impetus for his actions came from Democrats in Congress who promoted, championed and excused the actions. People like Maurice Hinchey, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Charles Schumer, Barack Obama (yes, he was then Senator Obama) — politicians whose re-election strategy is to buy votes via political give-aways.
Thus was built a financial house of cards. It took five additional years for this house of cards to finally collapse, but collapse it did with catastrophic effects in which we are still immersed.
So why would anyone want Andrew Cuomo, the engineer of financial collapse, to be governor of New York? And why would anyone vote for a political hack like Maurice Hinchey, the prototypical left-wing opportunist who contributed mightily to the financial collapse and who has made a comfortable career for himself by buying votes and paying for them with other people’s money? Wouldn’t it be far better to vote this crowd out?
All the faces of fracking
New York State sits on enormous gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale.
The oil and gas industry claims there is enough gas to create independence from foreign fuel and yet we know there are efforts to market this gas internationally. This creates a new controversy that is not specific to Ulster County. We will feel the effects of it as will many towns and villages in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a technique to extract natural gas from shale deposits deep under the surface. Tons of gallons of water, sand and some 596 undisclosed chemicals are injected at great pressure to crack open the shale to release the gas.
Who makes up the pro-fracking faction? Who wants to start drilling now and not wait for more research to determine the effects of this form of drilling?
The oil and gas industry and their many associations such as American Petroleum Institute, Energy in Depth and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP);
Lobbyists who have flooded Albany and lost the fight trying to convince the members of the New York State Senate to vote against a nine-month moratorium in support of researching first;
Politicians who often do whatever is best for their campaign contributors and not their constituencies; state and local municipalities who see a possible increase in revenues; and landowners (who are financially challenged) who have signed contracts with companies to lease their mineral rights for a large initial amount and future residuals and who are momentarily blinded to the common good of preserving our natural resources.
Who makes up the anti-fracking faction? Who wants to wait for more research to review and analyze, in depth, the effects of deep drilling technology as used in the Gulf of Mexico?
Environmentalists who understand that nature’s balance relies on bio-diversity and that nature does not fit computer models;
Voices of the people who are tired of corporations and governmental agencies rushing head on into what could be disastrous for water and air quality, public health and environmental safety;
Politicians who act in the best interest of their constituencies rather than their campaign contributors
State and local municipalities who realize one disaster could deplete any realizations of revenue from drilling
Landowners who could be further financially challenged should their rights to clean water and a peaceful and safe environment be violated by gas exploration in their community; and federal and state agencies that have the responsibility to make sure all water resources are safe and in no way compromised. Go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/511.html to read about the Department of Environmental Conservation’s mission and issue priorities. The New York City water authority should be on alert!
In August the New York State Senate passed a moratorium to research before issuing permits for drilling. The Assembly is returning to Albany this month and they must pass an equivalent bill. Please contact 1). Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at (212) 312-1420, 2). Assemblyman and Chair of Environmental Conservation Robert Sweeney at (631) 957-2087 and 3). your assemblyman (for most, Kevin Cahill at (845) 338-9610). Tell them they must get Bill A.11443B on the Assembly floor for a yes vote for a moratorium. Some of the many web sites out there to inform you include www.frackaction.com, www.earthworksaction.org and www.GaslandtheMovie.com.
In closing, it’s up to all of us impress the importance of environmental impact studies and at least a nine-month moratorium to hold off drilling on our State Assembly meeting in Albany early this month. It will take each of us — our family, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers and everyone else — to bring the “common good” back to “community.”