Letters to the editor (6/29/22)


The views and opinions expressed in our letters section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Hudson Valley One. You can submit a letter to the editor here.

Dropping the bollard

What happened?

I thought that bollards are installed to prevent a vehicle from causing personal injury or physical damage to property. Why didn’t the bollardin front of Sunflower do that?

Maybe the architect will have the answer.

Howard Harris

America’s gun culture

As Quakers, we are opposed to all forms of violence. Every time there is a mass shooting, most agree that something should be done. We are saddened that nothing seems to change.

Mass murder is extremely odious, causing pain and suffering for many. There were 693 mass shootings in our country in 2021. So far this year we are on pace to surpass last year’s figures. Our rate of gun violence is nearly four times greater than the next country on the list. In countries where guns are not as readily available, the amount of violent deaths is greatly decreased.

The Religious Society of Friends in New Paltz supports the following proposals:

1) Ban the manufacture, sale and ownership of AR-15-style assault weapons. The only purpose of such weapons is to kill a lot of people quickly. What possible need does anyone in our community have for such a weapon?

2) Extensive background checks as well as a system of reporting people who might be a threat. In every one of these incidents there were warning signs before the deranged person went on their rampage. Why are obvious waring signs not acted on to prevent the killings?

It is shocking that there are more guns in America than people. If guns were not so accessible there would be a lot fewer murders fueled by the heat of passion. It is reported that 90percent of Americans want safer gun laws. Congress must act on this rather than doing the NRA’s bidding.

We live in a country where mass murders and drive-by shootings are the norm. More guns are being sold now than ever before. We, as Quakers and community members, are committed to standing up to the NRA and changing America’s gun culture. A peaceful world is a deep value we seek in our everyday lives.

John Rosett
Clerk for the Peace, Justice and Prison committee of the New Paltz Religious Society of Friends

Democracy in action

It isn’t always easy to believe in the power of government to reflect the will of citizens, but I suddenly have some faith in democracy. Here in the Town of Hurley, my family and our neighbors have asked over and over for a solution to a local problem, and our new Town Board actually listened and took action. We live near a patch of state land that has been more and more abused as a de facto shooting gallery. All of us neighbors, aged 3 to 95, have been tearing our hair out at the constant noise pollution and the terrible state of the trees and land. Hurley has a new government now, and instead of ignoring us as previous administrations did, this one took us seriously and helped us solve the problem. So on behalf of ourselves and our neighbors, a huge thank you, especially to Melinda McKnight, Peter Humphries, and Gregory Simpson, for helping us see democracy in action. After 20 years of lackluster and even damaging Town politics, we are finally on the right track!

Gretchen Primack

Survival as a nation

What is being talked about the most? School shootings by angry young men. Why is this? Most complex questions are like peeling an onion.

What is the most talked about controversy? Abortion. With the new technology, the beginning of life at conception can be documented and every stage thereafter. What is abortion? The taking of a life.

What is the most talked about? Huge marches by both men and women, for the right to an abortion, (or limited or no right to abortion because of a possible decision by the Supreme Court.) The names and addresses of Supreme Court justices have been made public, and people are encouraged to intimidate and threaten them. As senator Chuck Schumer said, “They have unleashed a whirlwind.” Indeed, Schumer unleashed a whirlwind when judge Brett Cavanaugh and his family could have been killed. Is that what we do every time we disagree?

With stadiums full of aborted babies, what would a rally for life look like? What is genocide? The targeting for death of a specific group of people — usually to do with race, ethnicity, usually different ages.

Doesn’t that apply here? The common element is age — under nine months. Isn’t abortion genocide? (Sadly, there are circumstances when the option of abortion needs to be available; thankfully, that should be rare). If we don’t respect and protect the lives of our most innocent and defenseless, why should any life be considered sacred?

Peeling the onion more; why is only one person involved in an abortion? The Me Too movement was very short-lived. It progressed to include men, as in “It’s all about me” — one person involved in abortion — and all of life.

I’m angry — shoot, push down the stairs in front of a subway train or kill with my car; I want something — hurt or kill; I dislike a particular group of people (ex. Asians and Jews) kill; any group who opposes (ex. Police) kill. It’s not necessarily guns.

Of course, there are many more layers: no father figure, poverty, loss of old fashioned” values. etc. etc. We are indeed living in a whirlwind, and our own generated end times? Why do young men kill schoolchildren? This is the world we have given them. Will we survive as a nation?

Martha Pearson

Tip of te racist iceberg

John N. Butz’s response to my letter regarding Black Lives Matter ends with an assumption so personally insulting and so revealingly racist that I expect an apology in the next edition. With astonishment and anger, I read the following: “There is no doubt in my mind that Alan’s son is getting the education, empathy and support he deserves from Alan, something Alan’s son never got from his absentee biological father from an apparent non-nuclear family.”

First of all, my son is not the progeny of some stereotypically imagined “absentee” black father, he is my biological son. Apparently, Mr. Butz (and unlike him, I will refer to him respectfully, even if his response has shown him undeserving) could not conceive of an interracial marriage, or why the product of such a marriage might decide to identify as “black.” (Spoiler alert: It’s because of people like him.) But that’s only the tip of the racist iceberg.

Assuming, for the moment, that there actually had been another, black father in existence, on what basis does Mr. Butz assume that, one, he must be “absentee,” two, the son must “apparently” be out of wedlock, and, three, that this black man didn’t provide the “education, empathy and support” that I, a white father, has?

In one paragraph, I’ve learned everything I ever and never needed to know about Mr. Butz. And I am thoroughly disgusted.

Alan M. Weber

Road kill

Country squirrels wish they were city squirrels.

Ze’ev Willy Neumann

Plaudit for Platt

Thank you, Frances, for the beautiful article you wrote about the Bridge Music Dance Project. I appreciate it very much.

Joseph Bertolozzi
Composer, Bridge Music

Trump’s just a con man

The Big Lie was also the big ripoff. To all the red-hat set: Well, duh? Trump has so far raised $250 million after the 2020 national election for a bogus Election Defense Fund that didn’t exist. It was always about the grift. It is sad that his supporters fall for his scams. He has absolutely nothing in common with them except delusions.

Trump didn’t care about America, and then he raised all this money to Stop the Steal, and went on to steal the money.

Color me shocked (sarcasm). No way would he try to scam people out of their money! I’m shocked! Shocked, I say! After all, he had a university…well, no… But a charity…well, no.

There’s one born every minute.” I’m struck by the fact that the unlucky, unwell, unskilled, unwise make up so much of the Republican base these days. I understand the wealthy interests are served by Trumpian loyalty, but these other folks? Just easily duped. Sad.

He is a con man plain and simple, and if his supporters don’t know this by now, then they get what they deserved. Well, he himself admitted his followers aren’t that bright. Huckster Trump continues to shuck their wallets. He knows exactly what he’s doing. That is why he is so horrible.

Interesting that these people don’t remember him saying in 2015 that they were going to be winning so much,and they were going to have so much money that they were going to cry to him to stop winning so much they can’t take it. And more money than they were going to know what to do with it all! So, for him to be asking for money, just very interesting! What goes through their reasoning, I wonder!

Wow, people, what are you thinking? Trump really has brainwashed many, and the bad thing about it is they are still giving him their money.

Do you care that you’re constantly being lied to? Good grief! Burying your heads in the sand and using ear plugs will only hinder any attempts to hear the truth. The Trump madness must be a thrill for them. A bit of brightness in their flat, dull lives. It’s not that they can’t change their minds — they don’t want to give up the rush.

Bill Clinton was recently heard saying: “Call me crazy, But I think sedition, treason, insurrection and certainly money theft for a bogus defense fund should be investigated as thoroughly as what I did to get impeached.”

I say, “On one hand we have lying about a blowjob, on the other hand we have death, madness, traitorous conduct, mind-numbing stupidity, stealing money from one’s own constituency, and a fake tan. I’ll take the first one any day.”

Neil Jarmel
West Hurley

With gratitude

ArsChoralis, a Woodstock-based chorus founded in 1965, wishes to thank Woodstock’s Town clerk Jackie Earley, town supervisor Bill McKenna, and their wonderful staff for allowing us to perform this past weekend at the beautiful Comeau property, a pastoral setting near the center of town. They are a model of small-town governance, and ArsChoralis is grateful to have their support.

Our audience braved chilly temperatures and winds on Saturday to enjoy our performance, and on Sunday they came out in force to celebrate the approach of the summer solstice, Juneteenth, and Father’s Day, What a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate together through the power of music!

We have been bringing the people of the Hudson Valley together through choral music for over 50 years. and we collaborate frequently with local arts, religious, cultural, and municipal organizations who make our musical outreach possible. We couldn’t have created such a magical weekend of music and community without the support of the Town of Woodstock, our audience, and our talented musicians. Thank you for helping us make such beautiful music.

Tony Coretto
President, ArsChoralis Board of Directors

Beth Bliscelebration

Newsman M. Pacut has started the first annual Memorial Day celebration of’ Beth A Blis Peace Day on May 30, 2022. Please celebrate every year to promote world peace. Thank you, Michael Pacut, Woodstock NY and Northampton MA Newsman.

Michael F. Pacut
Northampton, MA

Truth through chemistry

I’ve taken too much LSD. That’s why my letters to the editor sound like this.


Violations of due process

On 4/15/19, I filed an Article 78 petition with the State Supreme Court in Albany (lower court) for a judicial review of a New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) 12/14/18 order, denying an analog meter opt-out choice, even for medical reasons. I was trying to show the lower court that the peer-reviewed literature does not support the claims made by the PSC and Central Hudson Corporation (CenHud) colluding with each other to assert there are no adverse health effects from RF/EMF pulses from smart meters. The PSC, in tandem with CenHud, claimed more than 100 scientific peer-reviewed studies support their official determinations, and that they had done an exhaustive review of the studies. They adamantly refused to identify any of them throughout three collateral proceedings. The lower court, abusing its discretion, accepted those unidentified 100-plus studies as proof of the PSC claims of the biological safety of smart meters. Alternatively, with the same judge I submitted an active link, aka “hyperlink, that accessed a database of 2000 scientific peer-reviewed studies proving the PSC claim is capricious, The lower court, suasponte (of its own accord and not by a motion of the PSC), struck the hyperlink from my petition because they said the actual documents (studies) had not been filed on the administrative record even though the hyperlink was.

So when the PSC submits as proof, 100-plus studies that have not been filed on the administrative record, nor been identified, or even shown to exist, the lower court does not act sua sponte and strike the PSC’s reference to the unidentified studies, while my 2000 peer-reviewed studies that have been shown to exist, and even where they are located, is stricken from the proceedings.

This is a classic violation of due process, of which fundamental fairness is a prerequisite. The lower court demonstrated clear bias by not adhering to equal treatment of the parties, nor following its own dictum regarding filing actual documents on the administrative record that are to be used as evidence.

Additionally the PSC, having to respond to my Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) requests, admitted they have no records of ever having reviewed any scientific peer-reviewed studies all the way back to 2005, when smart meters were first approved in the state.

What this all means is the PSC fabricated the existence and review of the fictitious 100-plus studies, and inserted that myth into an official state government document, the 12/14/18 PSC order. Consequently the PSC has been committing fraud in a court of law, aided and abetted by CenHud, while the well-being of the public’s health is being grossly neglected.

This case (#533446) is now before the Third Department appellate division in Albany, having five judges reviewing the lower court’s spurious decision (https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/Login). All the party’s papers have been filed, including an amicusbrief. We will get to see in the coming weeks if the higher court has the integrity the lower court is obviously lacking.

Steve Romine

Presumption of innocence?

Joshua Shulte is being held in New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Facility. After four weeks of testimony and six days of jury deliberation, Shulte was found guilty of contempt of court and making false statements, minor charges for which federal sentencing guidelines call for imprisonment of zerotosix months.

The jury deadlocked on all other counts, and the judge declared a mistrial. Shulte is awaiting retrial. He has been incarcerated since October 2018.

In a lawsuit filed by Shulte’s attorneys against the Bureau of Prisons, Shulte is “locked in a cage in a concrete box the size of a parking space with purposely obstructed views of outside, the cages are filthy and infested with rodents, rodent droppings, cockroaches and mold. There is no heating or air conditioning in the cages, access to books and legal material, medical care, and dental care.

“All attorney-client privilege is also void as the prison confiscates, opens, and reads all legal mail.No matter what crime an individual is alleged to have committed, the United States Constitution grants all a presumption of innocence. Indeed, no American wants to be treated like a caged animal if accused of a crime — dependent, deserted, dehumanized, demoralized and detained.” https://consortiumnews.com/2022/06/15/john-kiriakou-a-whistleblowers-agony/

Shulte is a former C.I.A. hacker whose job was to break into other countries’ cyber-security systems. The charges of which he is accused: releasing the equivalent of two billion pages of documents containing techniques used by the C.I.A. to compromise wifi networks, hack into Skype, hack into TVs and car guidance systems, and mask hacking by the C.I.A disguised as other nations. Collectively known as Vault 7, the programs were published by WikiLeaks beginning in March 2017.

Last week Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ Australian publisher, was cleared for extradition to the United States by the United Kingdom to stand trial for exposing the war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq — including the murder of civilians and two Reuters journalists – by the George W. Bush administration. On appeal from the U.S., the U.K.’s Home Secretary overturned a magistrate court’s decision not to extradite Assange based on Assange’s health and the conditions of U.S. solitary confinement, conditions illustrated by the case of Joshua Shulte.

As journalist Caitlin Johnstone writes: “Washington, London and Canberra are colluding to imprison a journalist for telling the truth….By standing his ground and fighting them, Assange has also exposed the lie that the so-called free democracies of the Western world support the free press and defend human rights.” https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/06/18/assange-is-doing-his-most-important-work-yet/

Among others, the U.S. is sanctioning Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria and Russia for their human-rights abuses. While imposing inhuman conditions on those presumed innocent by the Constitution, and extraditing foreign journalists for exposing U.S. war crimes, just who is the abuser of human rights?

Christopher Spatz

Buying a contaminated site?

Are you aware that environmentally conscious Woodstock, NY is about to purchase a contaminated site? And they expect the taxpayers to foot the bill to clean it up? How come the seller isn’t responsible for the expense?

We are citizens of Woodstock, and we are very concerned that our town is in the process of purchasing a historically toxic industrial site in a private sale from a corporation which has no liability to clean up the property. A purchase agreement was signed that states, “This statement releases the seller from any and all future environmental liabilities emerging from this historically toxic property and makes remediation of any such liabilities the responsibility of the buyer.”

We do not believe there has been sufficient due diligence performed by anyone in our town to have the taxpayers take on this potential liability.

Why weren’t the taxpayers informed about this clause in the purchase agreement? Why was it hidden from the public?

This purchase will be funded by a municipal bond issued by the Town of Woodstock and paid for by Woodstock taxpayers. If you believe the taxpayers should not be held responsible for Woodstock’s gross negligence, please send us an email at: thewoodstockcoalition@gmail.com.

Daniel Rubenstein
The Woodstock Coalition

Accept what we think

If Neil Jarmel (“Trump’s lies…”) were really concerned about discovering the truth of the events of January 6, he would have written at least one letter protesting speaker Mancy Pelosi’s dismissal of minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, to serve on the January 6 Select Committee. This unprecedented action certainly should have caused a fair-minded truth seeker (as Neil suggests he is) to raise the question “What’s up with that?” (But I digress.)

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough recently complained that president Joe Biden can’t catch a break these days because not only have his policy decisions resulted in record-breaking inflation, the border being overrun, supply shortages, and the vast majority of Americans polling that the country is moving in the wrong direction. The press is also criticizing POTUS Joe for non-policy issues. These include the revelation that his staff writes explicit, large-print, step-by-step directions for the commander in chief to follow regarding what to do when addressing the public or media, and every Biden fall, untruth and gaffe. (It’s kind of like the way Joe and Mika treated Donald Trump every day on his show for four years.)

With this in mind, the persistent left-leaning political bias of Scarborough and most of the mainstream media helps to foment and solidify division within America. This bias is most obvious when media and news outlets present and defend only stories and narratives that support political leaders and views they hold dear.

A recent example of this was the lack of coverage of the assassination attempt on justice Brett Kavanaugh: Mentioned on page 20 of The New York Times, this story was virtually ignored by most of the media.

This bias was also on full display when the recent attacks against 40 or so pregnancy support centers, in response to a leaked Supreme Court draft that indicated Roe vs. Wade was to be overturned, was hardly mentioned by the pro-choice-supporting mainstream media.

Despite the unfairness of this bias, having read most of Neil Jarmel’s letters, I’m convinced that he believes our politically divided nation will only achieve unity when those with conservative Republican opinions take full responsibility for any disunity and embrace Neil’s progressiveliberal sense of reality.

This includes the view that progressive biases are always completely justified and any biases of the conservative press are indefensible because orange man’s and Republican positions on the issues are evil. The following parody of the Christian anthem “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” titled “There will be peace on earth if you see it my way!” reflects the aforementioned Jarmel’s beliefs. It works best if the reader imagines it being sung with conviction by Nancy Pelosi, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Adam Schiff to minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks under the careful supervision of HV1’s very own “Yay for my side” Feedback propaganda writer Mr. Neil (orange man and Republicans are bad) Jarmel.

Let there be peace on earth

and let it begin with you

to accept what we think

is something you all must do


With Joe as our POTUS

brothers we can be

let’s all cheer our great POTUS

in perfect harmony


Let’s all give Joe some love

let this be our goal for sure

If we support his plans

for hatred we’ll find a cure

(This closing stanza should be repeated by incredulous readers

of any political perspective until they believe its message)

Just take this moment

and sing this moment

the new words of this song

“There will be peace on earth

once you admit you’re wrong”

George Civile

They incur no risk

“Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.”

Upon reading this statement (4 B.C.-65 A.D.) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, I believe it remains accurate today in our government. Seneca was a stoic philosopher who thought people could learn to live their best lives by maximizing positive emotions, reducing negative emotions, and assisting individuals in honing their character virtues.

I quote the article “Veterans in 117th Congress, by the Numbers,” written by Leo Shane III on December 28, 2020, in the Military Times. He refers to how many politicians had enlisted in the military, “The lowest since at least the start of World War II. Information on congressional members with veteran experience before then is incomplete, making comparisons difficult. However, the number could grow in coming years. Of the 79 lawmakers elected to the 117th Congress who are aged 45 or younger, 21 (about 27 percent) served in the military.”

The number of politicians with no military or battlefield experience is the majority. Which, as Seneca said, leaves life-and-death decisions made by politicians who will incur no risk and have historically incurred no risk of going to war.

When your life may be at risk from decisions you have made, it provides you with the role reversal needed to understand those others whose lives you chose to put at risk. Without this emotional insight, we become morally neutered by wealth and power, which has overtly manifested in the world’s major countries today. Politicians use the absence of the personal human perspective of those we send into harm’s way to get the public to worry about the Amazon delivery guy being late instead of the decisions politicians make about human life.

The topic of abortion is the next place where we might use Seneca’s point of view. Those in the Supreme Court who turned over Roe verse Wade are way beyond having childbearing years, and most are antiquarians. The majority of the decisions they do make in court will never affect their own lives. In Seneca’s words, they incur no risk from the laws they change and create.

We now have a form of government where the politicians who make and pass the laws are more immune to the consequences of breaking laws than any other group. What has become profoundly evident daily in our news is politicians’ flurry of endless lies and crimes, with the justice system having no ability to create consequences for those politicians breaking the law.

The laws have become convoluted, with many loopholes and abstract ways to be interpreted, that if you can afford an Ivy-League attorney who went to school with the judges and politicians, you will incur no risk.

When it comes time to vote again, consider if your vote decision will incur a risk to your own life and those you love.

Larry Winters
New Paltz

Central Hudson’s monopoly

It is about time that New York State looked seriously at taking over the electric utilities. This is probably the only way to end the current monopoly control and inflationary price escalations of Central Hudson that are impoverishing so many lower-income customers, both residential and businesses. The Public Service Commission has been ineffectual in applying controls to local utility pricing, citing their inability to control the price of fuels.

At the core of the current problem is the fact that energy markets in New York were deregulated in 1998. On the surface, deregulation seemed like a great idea and a way to break up big utilities like Con Edison. But, in reality, the move generated a bundle of new regional monopolies and gave them the right to set prices.

This equates to something like deregulating home mortgages by allowing them all to be variable-rate programs. This might make you ask, why not demand and invite greater competition? Primarily because, as long as prices are free to rise with virtually no limits, greater private competition alone will not likely lift price pressure.

One solution that sprang up was the ESCo. Third-party companies — today called Energy Supply Companies (or ESCos) – are now allowed to enter the marketplace and handle energy supply, some in the guise of alternative energy suppliers. That brings us to today, more or less. Prices are way up with no logical explanation and little political impact seen, just expressions of sympathy … you know, thoughts and prayers.’ There are, for now, smal=scale concepts for escaping from utility hell, including: going off grid by owning your own solar or wind power and storage batteries, organizing one town at a time into an energy coop, or pulling up stakes and moving to a place or country where utility bills are more affordable. Finally, support New York State legislative efforts to impose anti-monopolistic laws and oversight. That is called antitrust, and it used to be practiced on a national level.

But, what about getting rid of private utility companies altogether? More than 2000 communities – in 49 states and 5 U.S. territories – have a public power utility. As a whole, public power utilities offer lower rates than other types of electric utilities. American Public Powerm a non-profit organization, is a trove of information on how this works and where it supplies electricity to over 49 million Americans. See https://www.publicpower.org/public-power. Public power utilities are community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that safely provide reliable, low-cost electricity while protecting the environment. Homes and businesses in across the U.S. — large cities like Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles and Seattle, as well as small towns and the Navajo nation — get electricity from a public power utility. Collectively, these utilities serve one in seven electricity customers across the U.S. and operate in 49 states — all except Hawaii — and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Like the public option’ for the Affordable Care Act, which was cut out of the original bill, public utility alternatives may not solve all the issues or reign in all price escalations, but would go far in providing a viable alternative to monopolistic practices that currently are running rampant in New York State and crushing lower-income Hudson Valley residents.

Doug Sheer

More complicated than that

Funny thing about the Supreme Court: When you agree with them, they’re “upholding the Constitution.” When you disagree they’re “legislating from the bench.”

Several recent letters have asserted that abortion is murder. Now that Roe is no longer in effect, I have a few questions for the writers.

The U.S. Constitution makes this guarantee: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There are many non-Christians for whom abortion is a necessary step if the mother’s life is at risk. How do you reconcile the First Amendment with laws prohibiting others from exercising their religious rights?

If a woman’s life is threatened by an armed assailant, she has the right to defend herself with deadly force, i.e., shoot first. If her unborn child is a threat to her life, does she not have the same right to self-preservation, even if she wanted the child?

Who decides if her life is at risk during a pregnancy? You? Me? Samuel Alito? Shouldn’t that decision be made in private between a woman and her physician? Doesn’t HIPAA apply here?

If abortion is murder, what should the punishment be? Since she would have to make an appointment to have one, a woman would be guilty of premeditated murder. In Texas, that’s a capital offense. Do you advocate executing a woman who has an abortion? In New York, premeditation carries a sentence of life in prison without parole. Should women be incarcerated for life if they have an abortion?

Where do we draw the line? As Mr. Civile reminded us a couple of weeks ago, “If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands.” (Genesis 9:6). A little later in the pentatuch, though, we are told that if a woman is unfaithful to her husband and gets pregnant, a priest can cause her to miscarry with a bitter potion (Numbers 5:16-22). Sounds like an induced abortion, doesn’t it? Of course, because of point the above, we really shouldn’t care what the bible says about it because we are not living in a theocracy (yet).

According to a study published by the Guttmacher Institute, 37:3 (2005), about one in seven abortions occur because a man – boyfriend, husband, father – pressures a woman into it. Do we execute the man, too, or just the woman?

In the U.S., only about 20,000 babies are adopted each year from women who have voluntarily relinquished them. If 800,000 more unwanted children are born in the U.S. every year, can we agree that there should be a system in place to care for them? Of those who aren’t adopted, should state or federal funds (higher taxes) provide for their well-being until they turn eighteen?

Many Christians would like to frame this issue in black and white, but I think it’s more complicated than that, and is still a matter of bodily autonomy, medical privacy, and religious freedom.

Stephen Massardo

Bogus climate savers

I have now seen two Teslas in New Paltz that are not visitors. Top that, Saugerties! We’re in with the in crowd, we know what the in crowd knows! (all love to Moma Cass!)

We have some solar panels up in New Paltz, too. Given the billions spent by the feds inducing us to buy EVs and solar panels, I conclude that most of my fellow citizens either still find these bogus climate savers too expensive, or doubt they will last very long.

I want nothing to do with Made in China. Hear me roar, Walmart and Target! (except Sam’s smoked salmon).

Solar panels are all made in China. China is the pollution capital of the Earth; they make almost all their electricity the old-fashioned way: coal. They use electricity from coal power to make solar panels!

Germany, currently almost an ally, killed its nukes after Fukushima (Japan) got wrecked by a tsunami and is now back to burning coal for electricity. Their massive investment in windmills cannot make even a tiny fraction of their electric needs. It’s either that or help Vlad kill all the men and many of the women and children in Ukraine by buying his oil and clean natural gas.

Shame on India for picking up the slack! Shame on Biden for signing off on the Russian gas pipeline called Nordstromwhile killing our Keystone XL pipeline.

Paul Nathe
New Paltz

Commentary on life: Save the fireflies

Did you hear the thunder as millions of suffragettes turned over in their graves?

The best, the very best Supreme has always been diva Diana Ross.

Myrna Hilton
Ulster Park

Elting Memorial Library parking lot

I am writing, as a senior and longtime patron and supporter of the Elting Memorial Library and New Paltz community, to alert your readers to a very confusing situation regarding parking in the Library parking lot. Please beware and park at your own risk!

On the morning of May 12, ’22, I parked at the Library parking lot at 8:45 a.m. after meditation on Huguenot Street from 8 to 8:30 a.m., followed by coffee with fellow meditators at The Bakery, with the intention of returning a CD thereafter. To my astonishment on returning to the car park at approximately 9:45 a.m., my car was not there! It had been towed!

There is a sign in the parking lot stating, “No Overnight Parking,” and that violators will be towed by Tow-Rific. I had not parked overnight. I went to Tow-Rific to collect my car. I was told that the Library director had called the company to request the towing. Not only was I required to pay a fine of $270 ($250 plus $20 tax), but the fine could only be paid in cash, thus incurring the additional time and expense of a two-way cab fare.

The following day, I immediately wrote a careful, thoughtful letter to the Library director, with a copy to the president of the Board, and hand-delivered them to the Library, explaining what had happened, thinking surely, this is a simple misunderstanding or an oversight on their behalf, and expecting to be reimbursed for my towing expense. The parking regulations on the Library’s website clearly stated: “After one written warning, the vehicle in violation will be towed at the owner’s expense.” I had not parked overnight, nor had I been given any prior warning.

I have since met with the Library director once and the president of the Board twice. There have been numerous e-mails back and forth as I sought clarification. I was informed the consensus of the Board was that I should not be reimbursed (with no reason given). I have discovered layers of ambiguity surrounding the Library’s parking policies and signage, even after the Library consulted their lawyer. And now, the “After one written warning…” regulation has since been removed from the Library website!

I am still extremely perplexed and disappointed in how this issue has been handled. I have also offered creative community-friendly ways of using the parking lot as an asset, especially when the Library is not open, and this has been positively acknowledged. However, it seems to me the Library has been in violation of its own parking policy at the time, yet I am paying the price!

Six weeks later, I am still hopeful that the Library will live up to its mission statement “to be the welcoming heart of our community, where all can discover, create and connect” and will reimburse my inappropriately created towing fee.

Puja A. J. Thomson
New Paltz

No Hypocrisy

I’m writing to respond to my friend Glenn Gidaly’s letter in HV1’s June 15 edition, in which he charges the public with hypocrisy. Glenn thought it hypocritical that the proposed construction of a single-family residence in the SP2 (Special Protection) zone of the Shawangunk Ridge was challenged, while a separate proposal for an eight-car parking lot on the SP1 portion of land owned by the Gunks Climbing Coalition was not. That challenge was mounted primarily by the Gardiner Environmental Conservation Commission.

The ECC has no formal input in such matters until a referral is received from the Planning Board. The Climbing Coalition referral was received a week after Glenn’s letter, and the ECC is currently formulating our position on the matter. For now, however, suffice it to say that equating a homesite in SP2 to an eight-car parking lot in the lower-elevation SP1 is an “apples-to-oranges” comparison for numerous reasons.

Further, it’s not the number of houses or the number of acres that is at issue, as Glenn suggests; rather, it is the precedent established by the Planning Board’s reinterpretation of a Zoning Law provision, established in 2008, requiring that construction take place at the “lowest feasible elevation.”

I fear we will be seeing more rooftops punctuating the scenic view halfway up the Ridge. Less perceptible will be the damage to the Ridge’s biodiversity, which – among other fundamental benefits – helps to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in our region. According to a recent webinar sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, a single-family home constructed in unfragmented forest negatively impacts plant and wildlife habitat in the surrounding 30 acres(https://cornell.app.box.com/s/zpfkwtrokw0n0jam2ziwr15st22j4tda).

Lastly, the ECC is concerned about the Planning Board allowing an applicant to write his/her own Conservation Analysis, rather than requiring that it be authored by an objective third party with no vested personal interest, as would be standard business practice. Measures should be taken to ensure objectivity of these analyses.

I do appreciate Glenn’s concerns and the contribution he has made in stimulating public dialogue.

Michael Hartner
Chair, Environmental Conservation Commission

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