I’d like to ask all those who have George Phillips yard signs or bumper stickers just exactly what it is they’ve “had enough” of. Is it the fact that the Republican minority in Congress has abused every parliamentary maneuver, especially the filibuster, to try to thwart President Obama and the Democrats’ legislative proposals — even when the legislation has been full of ideas that the Republicans themselves have supported and put forth?
It is clear that minority leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have no concern for the well-being of the American people. All that’s important to them is that they regain control of Congress so they can pave the way for their corporate bosses to skewer the economy again and return American workers to the “rightful” place of servitude to the ruling class, forever in debt and reliant on the emergency room for their “health care.”
Yeah, I’ve had enough of it, too. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to send Phillips to Washington to add a bullet to Boehner’s gun. I feel very fortunate that I can vote for Maurice Hinchey, whose obligation is always to his constituents, whether he’s in the majority or not.
We must all contact our friends and relatives around the country and urge them to vote for their progressive/Democratic candidates so we can keep power out of the hands of the conservative/tea-bagger pawns of corporate interests and allow the hard-won progress of the Obama administration — affordable health care for millions, the start of real Wall Street reform and a genuine path to economic recovery — to continue.
When individuals believe that they are always right, they just become road blocks to accomplishing the goals of the town.
Elliott Auerbach has been exceptional as our County Comptroller, conducting hard-hitting audits and probes of agencies and departments; safeguarded funds during this difficult economy, and performed openly and independently from the County Supervisor, Legislature and partisan considerations. He’s the “watchdog” we should keep and I hope Woodstockers from all political persuasions appreciate that there’s really no Republican or Democratic way to be a good Comptroller, only the way he has done so from day-one in office.
NO MORE BACON
Thank you Congressman Hinchey for “bringing home the bacon” with all those nice government handouts and grants. The trouble is that it’s our bacon that you stole and cooked to give out to your selected constituents. Now I have no bacon to feed my family, and my children and grand-children won’t have any bacon because you spent it before they even got it. So, I have had it and I’m casting my vote for George Phillips for Congress hoping that he will bring back “our bacon” so we can feed our families now and for the succeeding generations. And if George Phillips fails to do this, we will kick him out of Congress too. Enjoy your taxpayer, government sponsored, generous retirement and health care Mr. Hinchey, and thank you again for all the bacon.
Why is the school tax burden falling on Olive?
We have sent this letter to the Onteora Central School Board.
We have lived in Olive for 26 years, and never in a million years would we have thought that we would have to sell our house because the school taxes were increasing at a rate that is, for us, unsustainable. In five or certainly, ten years, we will no longer be able to afford to live here. In the last five years, our school taxes have gone up 312%. Pensions, healthcare contributions, and administrative bloat will increase to the point where they are greater than what a large portion of the local Olive economy can sustain.
Why isn’t the School District spending growth limited to the rate of inflation plus/minus the growth or decline in student population? New York spent $17,173 per student for public education in 2007-08, more than any other state and 67% more than the U.S. average, according to Census Bureau statistics. At Onteora, it’s $31,250 per student. Wow! 44% higher than the state’s average. Where is this money going?
With a decreasing student population, the unreasonable rise in the school tax is unacceptable. The voters approved a 3.8% increase, yet the tax went up 8.7% for the people of Olive. This shows a disregard for the people who voted for one percentage increase, and were charged another. This kind of “bait and switch” is clearly a fiscal lack of responsibility and accountability to the taxpayers. The increase should have been made clear to the people of Olive, prior to voting, so that we could have voted on the real figures, or at least addressed the increase.
If we all write letters to the School Board, maybe changes will occur.
Ellen and Pascual Nieves
PHILLIPS IS NO PROFILE IN COURAGE
The Republican Party has always claimed to be the party of family values. That was the bedrock of their platform but you would never know it this year. Based on Carl Paladino’s past actions it was an eye-opener when Republican Congressional candidate George Phillips hitched his wagon to Paladino, who heads the Republican ticket.
It is common knowledge that Paladino has disseminated racist emails that demeaned Barack and Michelle Obama as well as pornographic emails that defy description while saying, “We must stop pandering to the pornographers and perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives.” He has questioned Andrew Coumo’s parenting skills in the face of his own parental indiscretions. He was forced to flip-flop after slurring the gay community. The public gets it, and polls show that they find this behavior unacceptable for anyone seeking public office.
When questioned on his support for Paladino on YNN’s Capital Tonight, Phillips without hesitation said, “I do support Carl Paladino for Governor.” When questioned about Paladino’s controversial comments he said “I’m not going to comment on them.”
Mr. Phillip’s reluctance to take an independent stance and repudiate this behavior shows that he accepts the whole Paladino package. This was certainly not a profile in courage.
I support Congressman Maurice Hinchey who never ducked a hard question or feared to go against the conventional thinking of his own party when he disagreed. He deserves your vote on November 2.
Saugerties Democratic Committee, Chair
IT’S YOUR WATER
It’s us or it’s them. We must act now! The bottom line: The oil and gas industry would like to come to New York State and drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale using a new technology called Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing (HHF). Also called fracking, this procedure is so complicated and unpredictable there is no way to assure that there will not be the equivalent of a Gulf oil spill. The New York State Senate has passed a temporary moratorium and it is now up to the Assembly to do the same. Otherwise new permits could be issued allowing this drilling to start.
Yes, we need to lessen our consumption of fossil fuels. Yes, we need to support the development of renewable energy sources. For now, we need to prevent this catastrophic procedure which is equivalent to the environmental destruction as experienced by people in Appalachia who live downwind and downstream from mountaintop removal. To better understand the disastrous effects of fracking go to www.ogap.org, catskillmountainkeeper.org/node/1031 and www.gaslandthemovie.com.
Assembly members are busy preparing for the elections on November 2 and may not be back in Albany to finish business until after the 2nd. Call them now to urge them to vote for this temporary moratorium to further study the effects of HHF on public health and the environment. Call them everyday — it’s that urgent. And call or email everyone you know in the state to also contact their Assembly person.
Please call 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 to the Assembly floor for a YES vote for a moratorium. 4) Call Governor Patterson (518-474-8390) and tell him to encourage Assembly passage and then to sign the bill.
Mahatma Gandhi said “You may never know what results come from your actions. But if you do nothing, there will be no results.” Please act now! It’s our water, our soil and our air for all of us to share. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Your calls matter.
TALK ABOUT THE BUDGET
There has been a lot of publicity about the new budget, and I want to know what the citizens of Woodstock think should and/or shouldn’t be done to try to lower the proposed increase in taxes. I’ve reserved the Community Center on Thursday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m., for a Town meeting. This will be an informational event for me; decisions cannot be made there, of course. Every comment will be brought by me to the full Town Board for consideration.
THE 62-YEAR-OLD PARADOX
The civilized world must actively support the Palestinian plight for freedom. They have been oppressed far too long. Yet, “to recognize Israel, within secure borders” is also a mandatory requirement. Resolving both problems simultaneously strikes to the heart of this paradox. That is, resolving one problem contradicts the other.
My previous letter on the subject began with the words “It’s inhumane madness coming from both sides.” Tarak Kauff misinterpreted my overall message oblivious that we have common goals. Kauff is a caring individual who takes a compassionate and protective stance for the oppressed. Although his abusive language, like “racist,” weakens his argument, his stance remains a noble one. But there is another side, which eludes Kauff and those who think like him
Although it’s true that the Hamas charter was written in 1988, it’s their only Constitution of record. It still contains the text, falsely attributed to Mohammed, to “Kill Jews.” If this is a “club for Zionist propaganda,” as Kauff asserts, then the Hamas had plenty of time (22 years) to remove this “propaganda.” Yet, it remains.
There should also be no doubt that the Palestinian leadership lacks the wisdom of a Nelson Mandela, who stated, “I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.” To “recognize Israel within secure borders” is the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Criticism of Israeli policies often serves to obscure this fact. Yet, this is the only path to co-existence.
Nevertheless, the Palestinians are still denying the Jewish nature of the state. “Israel can name itself whatever it wants,” recently proclaimed the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, while according to news reports, his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said, “the Palestinian Authority would never recognize Israel as the Jewish State.” The Jewish right to statehood is a tenet of international law. The Balfour Declaration of 1917, the League of Nations in 1922, and the United Nations in 1947 all called for the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people” in the land then known as Palestine. One can easily argue that Palestine was not the best choice, but Middle East history, international law and its doctrines will not change without igniting a brutal war, as was witnessed in 1948.
Kauff is correct that Mandela was part of an “armed resistance,” but Mandela always fought against the Apartheid without threatening a blood bath of white Afrikaans. When in power, Mandela welcomed his prior enemies and created the Rainbow Nation under a new mult-colored flag. In sharp contrast, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s leadership, (who recently provoked Israel by visiting the Southern tip of Lebanon, boarding Israel, as a potential Iranian supported base) are not seeking a “Rainbow Region,” welcoming Israel into their “Muslim brotherhood.” Indeed, Hezbollah would not exist were it not for Iranian funding and political influence. Hence, Israel’s borders must be secure for their survival, especially when a maniac like Ahmadinejad, having a fanatical disregard for human rights, openly voices the destruction of Israel.
Finally, I’m exiting this hopeless debate, in this newspaper, to avoid any further misinterpretations of my position. Under the current Middle East leaderships and their fundamentalist mind-set, this paradox will get far worse before it gets better”.
ARE YOU OWED BACK WAGES
Are you owed back wages? Were you not paid your prevailing wage?
The Workers Rights of Ulster County is conducting a survey for workers who may be eligible for back wages if you worked on construction projects in Ulster County funded by the federal government. This survey will include all people who have worked on the Kirkland Hotel, the Stuyvesant Hotel, the Hasbrouck Avenue property, 134 Hunter Street, the Petit House Condominiums and the Van Buren Street property, all in Kingston, as well as Park Heights in Rosendale and Buttermilk Falls Townhomes in Ellenville.
We want justice for all Ulster County workers and will make every attempt to get you the money you deserve to be paid based on the prevailing wage.
Please send your name, address, e-mail address and phone number to: The Workers Rights of Ulster County, P.O. Box 306, Bearsville, New York 12409 or e-mail us at WRofUC@Yahoo.com.
NEGLIGENCE AND DERELICTION
If the 2011 preliminary tax levy of $3,953,921 proposed by supervisor Jeff Moran was 38% more than last year’s levy, then the supervisor’s revised levy of $3,426,897 for 2011 is an unwarranted 20% increase.
The library board approved a 3.4% tax increase, the fire commissioners approved a 2.3% increase, and the highway department asked for a 3.6% increase. One could only wish the Woodstock Town Board would exercise the same fiscal constraint and discipline exhibited by our other taxing authorities. Instead they lump all these tax levies together and announce there will be a “town wide tax increase” of only 10.76% thereby concealing the town board’s own 20% tax increase.
It has been reported that supervisor Moran has left town and is traveling to Italy even though the town’s budget is not complete. One can hardly blame him for wanting to leave town; it’s no fun explaining a 38% tax increase to your friends and supporters. On the other hand, the primary duty of the supervisor and chief financial officer is to prepare the town’s budget. Leaving town before the budget is approved should be considered as negligence and dereliction of his duties as supervisor.
The duty for completing the budget process now falls on the remaining town board members. Hopefully, for all of us, they are able to demonstrate the same spending restraints exhibited by the surrounding towns and jurisdictions. I wish them well.
KUSIKIY A CHILD
I am very grateful to Paul Smart for including my new book in the Literature, And such section of Woodstock Times. Mr. Smart performs an invaluable service for the arts in the communities of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley. I appreciate and feel honored by his comments about the importance of my story to engage children in the world of disappearing customs and ongoing cultural needs.
I just wanted to clarify that although the story of my book “Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru,” is based in a real place, all other elements of the story — the characters, the plot line, the songs and images — were created by me. Like most children I heard many stories as a girl, but the story of Kusikiy is an original story which I created. When I write stories I like to weave reality, people and places, with my child like imagination. I have
spent the last five years painting the illustrations and writing the original story of Kusikiy to share with others the importance of the great glaciers on our planet and to acknowledge that children have environmental concerns.
Again, thank you to Paul Smart for including my book and congratulations on the much needed addition of this literary section to Woodstock Times.
The two candidates for Congress in our district offer starkly different choices to voters. Maurice Hinchey is a tax and spend liberal who has been in political office 36 years, literally half of his life (he obviously doesn’t support term limits) while George Phillips is a fresh young leader and solid conservative with a socially compassionate record.
Hinchey’s spending of other people’s money is legendary, but in addition to being a big spender Hinchey is also a social radical, a member of the ultra left wing “Progressive Caucus.” He votes for same-sex “marriage,” taxpayer funded abortion, partial birth abortion and infanticide (yes, infanticide; he voted against supporting the “Born Alive Infants Protection Act” which passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate and in the House with only Hinchey and six other ultra-radicals dissenting). He votes to defeat state laws by transporting minors across state lines to secure abortions and to ignore parental consent laws. He supports assembly line, “Clone and Kill” of human embryos to obtain their body parts for experimentation.
Hinchey is one of only a handful in Congress who voted to continue funding the “Acorn” organization when Congress voted to end funding after that group’s outrageous actions were exposed. Hinchey supports the forced unionization of workers against their will (card check). He votes against securing our southern border, and supports special benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens. He supports race based affirmative action in jobs and education.
Hinchey’s positions on the environment are also at the most extreme fringe level. He proposes to nationalize the oil industry, works to impede and sabotage drilling for oil and clean natural gas and opposes carbon free nuclear energy. In contrast he votes to lavishly fund his financial supporters in the solar panel business while the Department of Energy projects that even by 2035 solar energy could provide only an inconsequential percentage of our energy needs.
Hinchey periodically engages in wild, irrational charges, for example that President Bush deliberately allowed Osama bin Laden to escape. He is a fan of Fidel Castro and held a fundraiser this summer which featured his friendship with the Communist dictator.
In contrast, George Phillips is a breath of fresh air, a young, friendly, honest, intelligent, vigorous conservative. He campaigns under a pledge to eliminate wasteful spending, reduce the deficit and restore Constitutional government. Phillips is pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family and pro-Constitution. After graduating magna cum laude from Villanova, he spent two years in Louisiana as a volunteer teacher of disadvantaged youth as part of his Master’s Degree program at Notre Dame University.
In Washington, DC, Phillips taught for a brief time as a substitute teacher in inner city DC public schools before becoming a congressional aide to Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey where he gained four years of solid congressional experience working on foreign affairs, business matters, immigration and senior issues. He currently teaches history at a private high school and at Broome County Community College.
George Phillips has the enthusiastic support of the Republican and Conservative Parties and the Tea Party Movement. If you want to restore honesty, integrity and sanity to our government in Washington you couldn’t do better than by voting for George Phillips.
I don’t know if I’m much of a lady, but I sure had a great time at Ladies Night at Woodstock Hardware last week. What a welcoming way to introduce us to their large new line of eye-candy kitchenware, handcrafted soaps and pamperings, plus glamorous housewares large and small. The second floor of that he-man hardware store has transformed into a shopper’s paradise. But what I really loved is how they created a classy but cozy neighborhood party. Woodstock Hardware brought people together. What a great spirit on a rainy night!
BONACIC’S QUESTIONABLE ETHICS
On a voter registration form, many independent voters incorrectly think they are declaring their non-allegiance to all political parties when they check the Independence box. (In fact, they should instead check “Blank.”) Perhaps that party should be required to change its misleading name since the Independence Party is anything but independent.
In what is clearly an ethical breach, a member of its State Executive Committee, Langdon Chapman, is Republican State Senator Bonacic’s top operative and Counsel, and an associate in Bonacic’s law firm. When David Sager announced his intention to run against Bonacic for New York State Senate, Chapman tried to use the Independence Party line as leverage against other Democratic candidates if Sager remained in the race. In addition to the Independence Party bullying, Chapman, in a startling ethical lapse, has been retained as attorney for five municipalities in Bonacic’s Senate district and was even hired by a town Supervisor who is also a full time Bonacic Senate staffer.
It is cozy connections like this that give the New York State legislature its soiled reputation. David Sager has taken a strong stand that as State Senator he will fight to abolish loopholes that allow ethically challenged politicians to function in grey areas.
It was a particularly bad week for Bob Berman to drop a line in his otherwise informative column in support of nuclear (fission) power. Tritium is in the drinking water at Vermont Yankee and at elevated levels around the Pilgrim plant near Plymouth. The Zion nuclear power plant built in 1973 near Lake Michigan is being dismantled rather than restarted. After the collapse of support for the Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland, nuclear plants being promoted in South Carolina and Texas are folding as well. It is as simple as “follow the money.” Even with government subsidies and insurance guarantees private capital is not investing in nuclear.
As quoted at www.nirs.org, “Commenting on last week’s setback to yet another new reactor project, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner and former Chair of the New York Public Service Commission Peter Bradford said: “The four pillars of the nuclear revival: underestimated costs, ignored risks, political ballyhoo and prodigious but inadequate subsidies now make clear that we are dealing not with a renaissance but with a bubble. The main remaining question is just how much taxpayer money will go into keeping it inflated.”
And that is just the front end. We have just given up on Yucca Flats as a nuclear waste repository and “glassification” of military waste at Hanford, Washington looks to be dangerous and hugely expensive.
Nuclear power has always been tied to the nuclear weapons fuel cycle as we see currently in Iran and any plant has to be seen as a possible terrorist target and national security threat.
For Bob to further insinuate that major environmental groups are changing their minds on nuclear is misleading. Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Al Gore are against nukes. Ads by Entergy touting it a “low carbon emission” alternative to coal ignore the mining, building and waste cycle and is a cynical “greenwashing” of an incredibly dangerous and dirty technology.
It is true that Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog founder, says he now considers nuclear power as a necessary bridge. But any technology that produces radioactive waste which is highly toxic for tens of thousands of years during a time of forecasted rising sea levels within the next few generations simply defies logic. It is not just a “bridge to nowhere” but to pollution on a geologic timescale.
So let’s start by pushing for “caulking for clunkers” and better insulate our existing housing stock, catch up with Europe and make PassivHaus our building standard. By reducing our consumption, we get the best return on energy investment while promoting decentralized local solutions with wood gasifiers, wind, low head hydro and the latest “smart” solar panels.
And I’ll look forward to reading Bob’s new book under a VU1 lamp sharing our mutual appreciation for the best (and only) source of “safe” nuclear (fusion) power, the Sun.
Bob Berman replies:
At least I’m debating a smart, well-intentioned person.
I’ll limit this to “risk” and “alternatives.”
It’s disingenuous to compare modern nuclear power’s health risk with having no power plant at all, of any kind. Or to compare nuclear with “insulation” meaning conservation, as Julian does, which again means no generating plant. Shut down a few nukes and you need to immediately generate massive power by some other means. In practice, this means coal, or sometimes oil. Over 10,000 people die each year of lung-related problems caused by those carbon-spewing plants. That’s the true, actual comparison. Zero deaths from nuclear, numerous deaths from coal. These are real people, not intellectual abstractions.
In a half century, not one person has been killed in the U.S. or Europe from a nuclear power plant. Time and reality, not theory or guesswork, has proven that there simply is no safer way to produce lots of power. And even factoring the processing, nuclear is still extremely carbon friendly.
Waste is indeed the realistic problem, but it steadily decays into harmlessness: Look it up in a physics book. I’d put it into a geologically stable salt mountain until rocketry is reliable enough to shoot it into the Sun.
We agree that the Sun is the future. Meanwhile, we have to address the needs of the next 20 years. Realistically and factually, not wishfully.
There has been a mass defection
There will be no resurrection
An untreatable infection is ravaging your bones
Now there’s no use in pretending
On you it’s all depending
Self doubt is never ending,
Turn away and go on home
You once had the power
The prophet of the hour
Now you watch the crumbling tower
And you feel so alone
The darkness on the inside
Has caused a major landslide
The sadness that you can’t hide
You’re the light that never shone
From the garden of perfection
You reaped the whole collection
Now it’s gone without detection
The seeds were never sown
The image once was clearer
When you looked into the mirror
This depiction draws you nearer
It’s just the puppet on your throne
DON’T TRUST BONACIC
Hydrofracking is the unconventional mining technique used to access natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, a massive rock formation spanning New York State’s southern counties including Sullivan and Ulster. Gas companies and their lobbyists have poured millions into lawsuits, advertising campaigns and electing industry-friendly politicians. Corporate spokesmen disparage ordinary people worried about their drinking water, air quality and children’s health. But the public, informed by the documentary film, Gasland, and reports from environmental organizations, know this issue needs to be seriously examined. Exposure to the chemicals used in “fracking” include documented cases of potential brain and organ failure, respiratory and neurological harm when these chemicals become airborne toxins, and birth defects of livestock.
David Sager, a Sullivan County legislator now running for New York State Senate asks, “Do we really want industrial gas wells right next to our houses of worship, our schools, or in the middle of our residential neighborhoods?” Sager has been consistent and outspoken in his commitment to protect New York State’s water, air and public health. He has taken representatives of the gas industry and NYSDEC to task for failing to ensure that the industrialization that comes with hydraulic fracturing does not compromise our infrastructure, our environment, or our communities. David Sager wants regulation based on science, not on energy companies’ unenforceable and empty promises.
The approval of a recent state Senate bill to impose a moratorium on hydrofracking only postpones hydrofrack drilling — it does not call for further research, or even waiting for the EPA study to be done. The moratorium has been called an “incumbency protection program” designed to help long-term Senators, like John Bonacic, appear sympathetic to people worried about the risks of frack drilling.
We can’t trust Bonacic with our natural resources. But we can trust David Sager to protect our forests, air, water, and health now and for the future.
JoAnn Chamberlain, Ulster County Democratic Women
The information about the organization, Staying In Place, which is found in Sunday’s Freeman (October 10) has information that could be of importance to everyone of the residents of Woodstock over 50 years of age. The article is on the front page in the Life section, “No Place Lime Home.”
As a recipient of the volunteer shopping service and the Home Visitation services available to members I can only say that it is so much better having a person who wants to give the service doing it than asking a friend or neighbor to do so. They may be happy to do it but, as Sam Magarelli said, it embarrasses you to ask. Let me say that volunteers who serve in this program may be assured that they will be greatly appreciated. The more volunteers and the more diverse their offerings the “greater will be your glory in Heaven,” as the church folk would say.
If you are a person wishing to find a useful activity and expand your horizon this organization offers you a great opportunity to do both. Younger persons as well as retirees are warmly welcomed. For information call 845-514-4891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time Woodstock bids farewell to Harry Castiglione, a man who has contributed so much to our lives with his music, his years of work with Woodstock’s Christmas festivities and with his years of conscientious public service on the Board of Elections of Ulster County.
HOW TO TRIM THE BUDGET
To Woodstock Town taxpayers: The current 19.6% increase in the 2011General Fund “amount to be raised by taxes” can be reduced to 0%. Four possible combinations available to the board to achieve 0% are:
1) Institute an immediate freeze on current (2010 budget) spending in Contractual, equipment, and selected part-time personnel lines. This will have the effect of increasing the size of the current budget surplus for use in 2011 budget.
2) Continue to trim the Supervisors tentative 2011 budget.
3) Reduce the Town fund balance from 8% to 3% and use the surplus to reduce the “amount to be raised by taxes” in 2011.
4) To increase the current 2010 town budget surplus, find the appropriate town reserve fund to pay for the 2010 unbudgeted $35,910 wood plank expenditure for the Comeau trail and introduce the proper resolution to the transfer the expenditure from the 2010 budget.
In addition, provide for public access ASAP, at the Town Clerks Office, the detail information/calculation used to determine the projected costs in the 2011 budget for the Unemployment Insurance, Medical Insurance, Social Security, and NYS Retirement benefits lines. Also, provide an analysis of the effect on Woodstock payments of the NYS Comptroller’s “contribution stabilization program” for towns.
If the town’s assessed value has risen from last year and we have a 0% increase in “amount to be raised by taxes” in the 2011 budget...we will actually see a reduced tax rate from last year!
Providing this information in a timely fashion will give the public the information needed to be informed at the public hearing on the Supervisors tentative budget November 9, 2010, 7:30 pm, at Comeau.
Janine Fallon-Mower, John A. Mower
A SPECIFIC GROUP OF MUSLIMS
I want to thank the local newspaper for being bold enough to allow this free exchange of information to flow the American way.
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashad, the director-general of Al-Arabiya TV, wrote that the ground zero mosque will become “…a monument to those who committed the crime. I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a monument or a place of worship that tomorrow may become a source of pride for the terrorists and their Muslim followers.” (Washington Times)
I grew up in Harlem and the South Bronx during the rise of the Nation of Islam, have many copies of Qur’an given me by my friend who is a leading imam in the Hudson Valley. I have ministered to and know Muslims from Bangladesh, Iran, Palestine, Israel, and even Kingston, NY. I have eaten with, traveled with, laughed and cried with many Muslims, so let’s stay on the subject — we are (or at least I am) discussing a specific group of Muslims — not all. The radical, violent, jihadist Muslims have identified you and me as combatants targeted to be enslaved, converted or dead. They make no exceptions for all tolerant, all inclusive, peace loving infidels. You will be forced to submit, whether you are liberal or republican, democrat or independent, Jew or Gentile, atheist or agnostic, or a peaceful moderate Muslim…and under Sharia Law all homosexuals will be killed, and all women reduced to second class citizenship. They are not the same God — Allah hates Jews and Christians, and Jehovah loves them. Allah has no son, and Jehovah has the only begotten Son. This is not some bigoted opinion of mine, but the teachings of the Qur’an, Hadith and Sharia Law. I pray you’ll examine these resources — all of whom are or were Muslim. They have put their lives on the line to bring us the Truth. The least you could do is listen to them — Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, www.thethirdjihad.com or on YouTube; google Tawfik Hamid, professor and former terrorist; read “Why I Left Jihad” or “God’s War on Terror” by Walid Shoebat, ex-Muslim terrorist; “Islam and The Jews” by Dr. Mark A. Gabriel, Islamic History Professor, Cairo, Egypt; “Son of Hamas” by Mosab Hassan Yousef — these people can help all of us live together with understanding.
Finally, Jesus didn’t say don’t judge ever or at all. He said, ‘examine yourself first and judge with mercy and truth,’ etc., knowing that you’ll be judged. I’m a pastor — I get judged all the time, so move on to the topic and judge radical Islam in America, and love all and protect the peaceful moderates.
A THANK YOU NOTE
This is for all the wonderful customers who I had the pleasure to meet and wait on at the Hurley Ridge Market in West Hurley. They were not only customers, I considered all of them friends. I enjoyed going to work every day knowing that I would have the privilege of waiting on you.
It was a privilege to have known all of you…if you were not satisfied with my service, I am sorry. I did try my best to accommodate you all. The satisfied customers outweighed the unsatisfied a thousand to one — customers like Emanuel, Heather, Marlene, Robin and Al (just to name a few), plus many, many more. It made my job easier and gave me something to look forward to each day.
I will miss you all very much. Please know that because of wonderful people like you, it made my 11 years at HRM a much nicer place to work. Hopefully I will get to see you all in my daily life.
HAD ENOUGH HAD ENOUGH
Has anyone but me had enough of the “had enough” signs? Every time I pass one I think, “I don’t earn enough to have ‘had enough’ yet.”
What I have had enough of is subsidizing the wealthy and other Bush-era policies that have squeezed the middle class into the margins and squandered our future with deficits to fund tax cuts for the people who need them least. After nearly 10 years of tax cuts for the upper-most income earners, why aren’t there “enough” good jobs for all of us if that is, as is so vehemently claimed, the reason for top income tax cuts?
I’ll tell you another thing I have had “enough” of: waste, fraud and abuse in local government. While the dollar totals don’t compare to that at the state and national level, when it happens here in Ulster County it feels more personal. That’s why I couldn’t be happier about the job Comptroller Elliott Auerbach has been doing investigating the facts and reporting them.
One thing we in Ulster County have not had enough of is Maurice Hinchey and Elliott Auerbach. Give me more! Vote Hinchey for Congress and Auerbach for Comptroller.
YALE AT WOODSTOCK ELEMENTARY
I would like to take this opportunity to thank longtime WAAM artists member Yale Epstein for making our first school visit of the 2010 school year a big success. The 4th grade from Woodstock Elementary joined us to learn about Milton Avery and to meet and talk to Yale Epstein, whose work is on view, and to tour exhibits in our galleries. As WAAM enters into our 7th year of providing arts outreach into the local schools, I am very thankful to be a part of a program that helps strengthen our local students understanding of our deeply creative community.
Beth Humphrey, WAAM Museum Educator