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, http://catskillmountainkeeper.org/node/1031 and www.gaslandthemovie.com.
Assembly members are busy preparing for the elections on Nov. 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 e-mail 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.
Two Books, Two New Paltzes
As co-chair of “Two Books, Two New Paltzes” (I’m not sure which I’m representing because I live in both New Paltz and New Paltz), I am happy to introduce our book selection for 2010, “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Many of you are familiar with Dickens’ original tale, but our version has a twist. I would like to share a brief excerpt from the opening of the book, which I’m sure you will find relevant to our current circumstances:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and then it got even worse.
It was the age of secrecy, it was the age of foolishness.
It was the epoch of intimidation, it was the epoch of incredulity.
It was the season of lies, it was the season of darkness.
It was the spring of zeal, it was the winter of despair.
We had everything before us, we had nothing before us.
We were not going direct to Heaven, we were all heading direct the other way. (Perhaps to Gardiner?)
In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
There was a supervisor with a large community center on the throne of New Paltz; there was a Mayor with a large firehouse on the throne of New Paltz. In both New Paltzes it was clearer than crystal that things in general would be done as they demanded.
It is extraordinary how Dickens’ words, written over 150 years ago, still carry so much resonance today.
Anyone interested in “Two Books, Two New Paltzes” can search for our group on Facebook. In addition, I encourage everyone to attend the upcoming Local Government Efficiency Advisory Committee meetings, so that in the near future we can actually have “One Book, One New Paltz.”
Library yes, cost no
Most everyone that uses or has used the Highland Library can agree that the building is overcrowded and, to a point, outdated. A new facility would be an asset to all.
That being said, even in an ideal economic environment, renovating a two-story, 13,000-square-foot commercial building and spending $6 to $7 million for this project is, in my opinion, unacceptable.
We will see different methods of showing the cost and the cost break-outs (site work/building construction, contingencies, etc.) but, bottom line, the cost is $6 to $7 million, a range between $461 and $538 per square foot.
I applaud everyone’s initiative in seeking to improve our library. Find another location and reduce the size/cost and you’ll have my support and the support of my neighbors.
A successful book sale in Gardiner
The Gardiner Library Board of Trustees would like to thank the following volunteers and local businesses that donated their valuable time and resources to the very successful book sale we hosted Sept. 10-12, 2010: Marie Zapf, Bob Zapf, Kathleen Desmery, Owen Desmery, Martin Desmery, Jude Desmery, Emmy Abrahams, Paul Osgood, Mary Ann Osgood, David Dukler, Ginny Gravatt, Tenney Gravatt, Alice O’Connor, Andy Sosnowski, Jerry Rice, Bryan Weyant, John Smylie, George Weiss, Teresa Thompson, Beth Barry, Debbie Coyle, Annie Pisciotta, Peggy Decker, Alyse Peterle, Anne Smith, Leslie Rosen, Everett Haddard, Maryann Colopy, Enthusiastic Spirits and Wine Shop,
Lou Lou World and Gardiner Library staff and dedicated volunteers.
Thanks to their contributions, the Gardiner Library raised over $4,000. Many thanks to those who donated books and to those who purchased books. We will be taking book donations throughout the year for next year’s sale and our ongoing book sale carts in the Gardiner Library lobby. Donation guidelines are available at the Gardiner Library. Please call the Gardiner Library at 255-1255 to make arrangements for large donations. Anyone interested in volunteering for our book sale can contact Susan Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Hill, President
Gardiner Library Board of Trustees
Join me in voting Row A, all the way
I lend my pen to the services of Frank Skartados and the team of candidates who will be found on Row A. I point to Frank because I respect the tremendous amount of work he has done for the citizens of Marlborough. Having followed his first term in office since he is a fellow resident of Milton, I appreciate the amount of work he has done and how he bucks the powers that be to make sure he saves my bucks.
Likewise, Elliott Auerbach is doing a great job as County Comptroller and has worked with Sheriff Van Blarcum to make sense of the county jail debacle created by the former Republican-controlled County Legislature. Newcomer Harley Doles will speak his mind and fight for my clean water from the Aqueduct.
That’s why I’m voting Row A, all the way on Nov. 2, Election Day. Join me.
Had enough of what
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.
We need Congressman Hinchey
Thanks to Congressman Hinchey’s efforts, the Hudson Valley is becoming a leader in clean tech manufacturing -- which is helping wean the world from fossil fuels and has led to the creation of hundreds, and soon thousands, of local jobs. Voters in Hinchey’s district who care about the environment and jobs should have his overwhelming support for re-election.
In 2007, when the economy tanked, Hinchey created The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) to attract and help fund local clean tech companies. At the time, my employer, Prism Solar Technologies, a developer of cutting-edge holographic technology, decided -- with Hinchey’s support -- to headquarter in the region and last year bought a 93,000 sq. ft. plant that had been recently shuttered in Highland. Prism now has 40 employees, has hired dozens of additional contractors and expects well over 100 employees in coming years.
The story’s frequently repeated, with Hinchey helping attract and grow local businesses including Solartech Renewables, Precision Flow Technologies and Earthkind Solar. Last week, Hinchey began securing $5 million for SUNY New Paltz to partner with local solar businesses for educational opportunities and products for the government.
We need Hinchey’s experience and knowledge in Washington so these extraordinary developments continue.
Mr. Castro is a hero
The other day I was at lunch and my friend was choking. Mr. [Rod] Castro, the assistant principal at Lenape Elementary, ran over and saved her from choking. Mr. Castro is a hero! We will miss him at his new job. They are lucky to have him.
Elaina Shipe, Third grade student
Keep Hinchey in Congress
The people of the 22nd congressional district have a very important decision to make this Election Day. Maurice Hinchey has an opponent who is trying to ride the wave of discontent to victory. It goes without saying that people are fed up with ‘politics as usual.’ Do not be misled! Maurice Hinchey is not ‘politics as usual.’ I have watched and worked with Maurice Hinchey for many years. He is one of the most approachable and sincere men in public service. He has always stood up for what is right and does not play party politics.
Maurice has been a constant supporter of our men and women in the armed forces. He has been a strong voice in advocating for the increase of benefits and the improvement of medical treatment for our service men and women in need. He has also worked to make sure that the funding necessary to protect the American interests around the world is in place.
In addition, Congressman Hinchey has been a strong voice for the middle class of this district. He voted for, and the House has passed, more than 40 bills designed to give tax incentives for small business. He realizes small business is the backbone of our economy. Do not be misled by clever commercials created by out-of-state special interest groups. Check the record…Congressman Maurice Hinchey has represented his district with intelligence, dignity, honesty and the strength and belief of his convictions.
We need Maurice Hinchey in Congress. Vote for Maurice Hinchey on Election Day!
Neil M. Gilberg
A train wreck
The Chilean mine rescue shows a functioning society and nation where the people are engaged by, and exert themselves to solve acute national challenges and where government, as the organized expression of their will, assures that business and resource owners serve their stakeholders.
Contrast this to the American freak show of the Tea Baggers identifying many of the problems with our current implementation of our political system, but failing to recognize the lie that unregulated markets provide optimal socioeconomic results (and in turn mouthing words with too many syllables for them to use safely, like ‘socialism’.) And the thrashings of the GOP’s power holders as they realize that their moral and intellectual bankruptcy has been discovered by their base.
This dystopia is set in the larger context of government, which is a train wreck because it is largely serviced by what has become a distinct political class, who think that elected office is a career rather than a public service. (Maurice Hinchey is a notable exception to this problem.)
We too have acute problems to solve. They will not be serviced by bovine mouthings of simplistic dogma, recently proven vividly to be false, particularly that unregulated markets provide optimal socioeconomic results and that government is bad.
Unregulated markets accumulate power and wealth, which results in monopoly pricing, lack of consumer choice, contention rather than competition, corruption and theft of wealth by the ownership class. That class has an obligation to the people and needs to be regulated when it fails to meet it.
Good government, or more broadly, just social organization, is one of those core human preoccupations along with sex and death. For good reason: people figured out a while ago that it’s needed to protect the public from predation by its own members, including said ownership class.
We’re lucky to live in a country where a bunch of smart guys, motivated by their own experience of bad government, figured out a structure for good government. We need to use it right, motivated by building our future, rather than by refilling our slop trough.
Bringing shame and disgrace to Ulster County
Robin Yess you insult God and all people of Ulster County. How can you support someone going around spreading lies and filth, someone who is spreading hate just to get votes. Robin Yess, the Ulster County Republican Chair, is doing just this. She has brought shame and disgrace to New Paltz and Ulster County. Her greed for power has led her to think unclearly and we are all paying for it. Media in the tri-state area covered Ms Yess’s embarrassment. She invited a terrible person at the worst time.
Some are saying Robin Yess is mentally unstable.
Since April, the Associated Press and other news organizations have published e-mails from Yess’s buddy Paladino that his camp admitted are extreme to say the least. Sick, perverted, hard-core images and captions that are sexist, perverted, racist and homophobic. Christians and conservatives do not ever condone and promote such things. Why did Ms. Yess endorse Paladino over Lazio and then invite Paladino last week? Not only is the civilized world looking down on us, but this adds fodder to others around the world. This person running for governor of the State of New York has created contradictions, distrust and confusion and makes people look down at us with disgust. How did this happen?
We had two hour’s notice that Ms. Yess had invited Paladino’s circus to town. I changed appointments and jumped in front of the computer posting on my Facebook wall to my 4,700 friends and composed an e-mail that goes out to my 17,800 contacts, including 200+ press contacts. It was hard to believe that the teabaggers had actually decided to move forward with this in light of the fact that Paladino’s campaign was in a tailspin from the latest remarks over the weekend.
It was Tuesday morning and I was hoping for a few people to turn up. I was excited to see a good amount of smart, well-spoken, good, progressive people and elected officials on my side. I then saw Fawn Tantillo on the other side and it reminded me of ten years ago when the seed was planted to cultivate the good people of New Paltz to make history.
Within a few hours in front of all the press up in Kingston, I had the opportunity and asked diplomatically about his comments about gay people in light of the suicides and torture of gay youth. Paladino, almost to my surprise once again, as is his nature, answered off the cuff and off topic with an apology! Done! Contradicted himself big time! Within a few hours he followed up with a press release and recent endorsements were lost and rescinded.
I will always speak out against Republicans and a rare few Democrats because they have been taken over by unreasonable extremist fundamentalists of the far right. As a gay American farmer, I will go out on a limb and fight for my rights just as others have before me -- freedom and equality for all, not just for the religious terrorists. You might not like the truth when it is staring you right in the face, but people like me are doing it more and more. Instead of finding fault with people like me and fault with everything around us, for a change I would like to hear how we could improve and find solutions. It is very simple to me -- Republicans talk poorly and hate gay people and then young kids are bullied, beaten up and commit suicide.
I do not or cannot discriminate against Republicans -- they are not a race, a religion or protected class of any kind. Republicans are a political party, so why do some people treat it like a cult? Republicans like Paladino and Yess are thugs who I will fight like an enemy of bullies; they are the extremists in our time and in my country.
If you are defensive of Republicans, I suggest you take a few days and think about the fact that you are unable to admit real huge problems with the Republican political machine.
I also suggest that you seek help and try like an addict to disengage and break the addiction that this most toxic poison called the Republican Party has done to you. You are not thinking clearly my friends. You sound like the pathetic voices in the 1930’s in Germany defending the Nazi’s! You are not making any sense.
To Ms Yess and her friend Mr. Paladino: Do not lie and pander for votes claiming you are a Catholic. As a Christian, you cannot get away with being a hypocrite for very long. Robin Yess and Carl Paladino cannot talk out of both sides of their mouths forever. It is now known you have collected rent and profited from Planned Parenthood and gay clubs for years. Ms Yess, you may scream all you want at people, but God knows and keeps track of people who support and keep the lies perpetuating. You have lost any credibility you had with your poor judgment. Whether you support separation of church and state or not, we cannot trust Republicans like you with decisions in any capacity. You insult God and all people of Ulster County.
Trying to end hypocrisy for a better Democracy one day at a time.
Billiam van Roestenberg
A vote for William Larkin and Thomas Kirwan
On Nov. 2 we will go to the polls to vote for the men and women that will represent us.
I am asking you to cast two of your votes for William J. Larkin for the 39th Senatorial District and Thomas Kirwan for the 100th Assembly District.
Senator Larkin supported: Restoring the STAR program, regional balance and equity in school aid distribution, property tax cap, mandate relief for school and municipalities, major appropriations spending cuts, agency consolidations and Medicaid reforms to balance the budget with no tax increase.
Senator Larkin voted against: Every one of the Democrat’s new taxes and fees and against the billions of dollars in new spending added by Democrats.
Senator Larkin pushed for a State spending cap that would save the taxpayers $6.4 billion.
Tom Kirwan believes that the state must curb spending and get a handle on Medicaid payments abuse that cost the taxpayers billions each year. Tom Kirwan is a true reformer and will watch our tax dollars; he will make sure that we, the taxpayers, get the “biggest bang for our buck.”
Please join with me to send Senator William Larkin and Thomas Kirwan back to Albany. They will represent us, the taxpayer, and get the results we deserve while watching our tax dollar.
Nancy E. Hammond
A successful book sale in Highland
The Friends of the Highland Public Library and the Highland Hose Co. #1 Ladies Auxiliary, would like to thank all those who helped make our first annual giant book sale on Sept. 18 a huge success.
In particular, we would like to thank Quality Cleaners, Allure Hair Salon, Hannaford Grocery Store, Always Moving and Storage of Kingston, Dunkin Donuts and Hello Dolly Real Estate for their generous contributions and donations.
Of course we must mention the workers whose help was invaluable. Hats off to Ben Smith, Nick and Barry Rinalli, Dylan Ose, Aryana DePorres, Joe and Sue Bacci, Alfred Worrad, Allie Gordon, Erin Paradies, Marissa Trotten, Larry Carry, Kay Stuntz, Collen Perry, David Krikon, Olla Peiffer and Mark McPeck.
And last but not least, all those who came and supported our project.
Angela E. Grieco, President
Friends of the Highland Public Library
Thankful for the donations
Girl Scout Troop #289 would like to thank everyone who donated to the food drive at ShopRite on Oct. 16. ShopRite sponsored their first annual Fall Festive to benefit local food pantries. Our troop helped to collect the food donated. The very generous customers of ShopRite donated nine overflowing shopping carts or one mini bus of food. Thank you all -- from the people who donated a little change to the folks that gave bags full of food.
Deb Curto, Rose Lutz, Erica Strauss
Sara, Brandi, Brittany, Jennie, Amanda and Alicia
Hinchey appeared dazed and confused
In last week’s League of Woman’s Voter debate between Representative Maurice Hinchey and challenger George Phillips in the NY 22 district, 38-year DC insider Hinchey, when asked what his plans were to decrease the deficit, appeared dazed and confused and had to have the question repeated and then explained. His reply? “Deficit? What deficit? My own personal deficit?” He also made a statement that Medicare and Medicaid aren’t in financial trouble. But don’t take my word for it, see the video for yourself at http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/15/hinchey-deficit-what-deficit.
When questioned by a local reporter after the debate about Hinchey’s part ownership of the Partition Street Project, which benefited financially from Hinchey pork, Mr. Hinchey lied about his part ownership, told the reporter to “shut up,” then started an altercation with the reporter. He allegedly put a hand to the reporter’s throat. Constituents in the NY 22nd know where the swamp monster is and it’s time to pull the plug and drain it.
Casting my vote for George Phillips
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.
Re-elect Elliott Auerbach
I would like to encourage everyone to vote to re-elect Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach. Elliot, in his first two years, has been very effective finding waste and inefficiency and consequently tax savings.
The job of the comptroller is to be the people’s watchdog and root out corruption. So I do not know what the Republicans were thinking when they nominated Fawn Tantillo. I mean, there is an anti-corruption and nepotism county law named after her. Go look it up -- I kid you not -- I could not even make something like this up. It is commonly known as the “Fawn Tantillo Law.”
So we have a clear choice -- an independent, talented, hard-working advocate in Elliot Auerbach. Or a tool of the regressive Republican forces that gave us the jail and raised our taxes by 60 percent. I vote Elliot.
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 NYS 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 NYS 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.
Attend the Town of Lloyd Town Board meetings
I would like to encourage Town of Lloyd residents to attend the Town Board meetings. I have been attending for approximately eight years and for the most part there are about seven to ten people that attend, usually the same ones each month. There are a number of things going on in the Town of Lloyd that I think our citizens should be aware of. There is also the upcoming budget meeting. Normal meetings are the second Wednesday of each month, starting at 7:30 p.m., and the budget meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 10. Please, please try to attend these meetings. In addition, there is a board workshop meeting the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. We need to start listening and participating so we are aware of what our Town Board is bringing forward and to help them in determining their direction on issues.
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 ten 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.