The public must be allowed to vote whether they want to create a fire district for the town and village of New Paltz. My fear is that those who are interested in seeing the creation of a fire district fail, will accomplish this simply by preventing it from going to a town and village wide vote. This is undemocratic, corrupt politics. Whether people are for or against, they must be given a chance to vote on it directly. It is ALWAYS in the public interest to vote directly on an important matter.
We are very lucky, in such a large municipality including a college, to have a volunteer fire department. Many municipalities half the size of New Paltz do not have volunteer fire departments. If the fire department at any point had a serious lack of volunteers, like several other elements of our government, as has been expressed by current New Paltz elected officials, and our fire department had to be paid a fair salary plus benefits, we would seriously be in a dire financial situation. We should appreciate what we have and that the demands of our fire department and their request for a fire district are fair and reasonable.
The fire department is operating under constraining conditions. The most obvious examples is their lack of a full time staff person to support their efforts.
I do not believe that the added costs that would accompany the creation of a fire district are exponential. I make less than $15,000 a year and with hefty student loans, rent, phone bill and living costs, I am on a tight budget with no sign of the economy improving. I am not afraid of paying more. The benefits of having a fire district far outweigh the costs.
People who are truly concerned about the spending of the fire department spiraling out of control will come out and vote to ensure the election of responsible commissioners whose priorities would include safety issues and fiscal responsibility. I am confident that the firefighters who have already, on numerous occasions, demonstrated community involvement, will engage the community and urge all residents of the town and village to come out and vote in December.
I think that a Fire Commission will more effectively and efficiently manage the fire department so it may meet the ever-growing needs of this constantly expanding community. It has changed greatly since the fire department was established and we must update the system under which it operates.
I have faith that the fire department will be reasonable in their requests as they have always been. When they begin asking for diamond-studded fire hoses, then we should be concerned about “extravagant equipment.” These are volunteers whose only benefit from their work is the satisfaction of a job well done and the appreciation of those that they have helped and kept safe. I don’t see people with this motivation making unreasonable demands and burdening the taxpayers unnecessarily. The concern that the fire department will abandon their current firehouse is another unfounded fear surrounding this issue. I do NOT see our firefighters leaving the fire station and using our scarce community resources to build a fire tower that would make Donald Trump blush.
The other emergency services in this community operate under commissions as well, so should the fire department. It is my understanding that unlike the police and the rescue squad, the budget will not go to the Village Board for approval, but will be voted on directly by town and village residents. Whenever the public at large has direct input on a matter as opposed to a small group of elected officials, it is a good thing.
I discourage the idea of putting this to a committee first. For some things that are not urgent, having a committee work on it first is appropriate. However, in this case it would only delay, perhaps indefinitely, important changes.
I believe that our town and village residents are perfectly capable of making this decision for themselves. Whether the majority are against it or for it, our community deserves the opportunity to decide for ourselves.
Vote for George Phillips
It’s time for Congressman Maurice Hinchey to go. Last year we had a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion, three times any previous deficit. This year, not only did Congress fail to pass a budget for the first time since the Budget Resolution was passed in 1974, no budget resolution, which places a cap on spending, was passed. I believe in an election year this was deliberate since we now can only estimate the deficit. Congressman Hinchey brags he “brings home the bacon.” In reality, it’s pork and to get it he must vote for pork for other congressmen. This has gone on for years, but with a $14 trillion national debt, it has to stop. President Bush’s last deficit was $400 billion, which was abdominal; President Obama’s was $1.3 trillion, which is criminal. As all money bills must start in the House of Representatives, we need to do our part by retiring Maurice Hinchey and electing George Phillips. We’ve had more than enough.
What’s wrong with this picture
It’s a miracle! Since the advent of the controversy surrounding the mosque at Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg and others on the far left have belatedly discovered the First Amendment and freedom of religion.
However, wasn’t it Bloomberg who attempted to require medical students (including Catholics) to participate in procedures for murdering babies through abortion? Apparently, Bloomberg’s vision of religious freedom applies to Muslims, but not to Catholics.
Moreover, where were these neophyte proponents of religious freedom when the New York City Board of Education prohibited the display of nativity scenes in public schools, while permitting the menorah and Muslim crescent to be exhibited?
In addition, recently Catholic adoption agencies in several states were forced to close because they opposed placing children with same gender “couples.”
Lastly, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero was destroyed on 9-11. It has still not been rebuilt because Port Authority won’t authorize its reconstruction. Yet, a mosque near Ground Zero financed by radical Muslim extremists is put on the fast track to be erected. What is wrong with this picture?
The troglodytes have emerged from the sewers once again this election cycle to rip and tear our Hinchey signs. As I am a woman of means (eat that Trog!), the signs will be replaced with ease.
However, if you see a missing link look-a-like -- or smell one -- (the hysteric’s adrenal glands are working overtime) throw him/her a Hinchey sign to rip up; it keeps them from pulling the wings off butterflies.
Hinchey is a public, spirited guy, so he’ll agree to the sacrifice of a few signs to save the butterflies.
Now, I know you will complain you have met some Democrats who pong -- hell nobody’s perfect. But we do not rip up Hinchey signs or anyone else’s signs.
It is a win-win to have the opposition’s signs on the lawn of a known town nuisance, an inveterate whiner or a trog. It reflects on the candidate negatively.
All the Hinchey signs belong to super, smart, darling, nice folks...except for me of course -- I can be not so nice, kiddo. A word to the wise.
As for the loser who stole my Hinchey signs, may your assessment triple and your property tax quadruple -- and oh, I nearly forgot...the signs were heavily covered in saltpeter, so even if you were wearing gloves, there goes your already puny sex life. (If you live.)
That’s an old Sicilian curse -- especially the scientific sex life evil eye I just cast on you. I love elections.
Gerrymandering is still alive and well
As citizens are busy getting registered to vote and learning about the candidates, the election results, in many cases, are already pretty well guaranteed by those who drew the voting district lines ten years ago.
You learned in school about gerrymandering, the drawing of weirdly shaped districts that best serve the political party in charge. Alas, gerrymandering is still alive and well. But you can do something about it. And the opportunity won’t come again for another decade.
Attend a free League of Women Voters discussion on redistricting at the Esopus Town Hall in Port Ewen from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Oct. 16. Then get the state Assembly and Senate candidates in your district to promise to support a non-partisan commission to handle the drawing of district lines.
Candidates are worried about voters being fed up with a dysfunctional state government, so they’re listening. Use your voter power to get real and lasting reform.
Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region
A hearty thanks
The 2010 Heart of the Hudson Valley Bounty Festival Committee would like to thank all who made our fourth annual Bounty Festival a great success. A special thank you to Pete Seeger; it was an honor to have you perform at the Bounty Festival and visit our farming Town of Marlborough.
We are very grateful to our official sponsors who helped make the event a safe, enjoyable and successful one: George M. Carroll, Inc. & Total Body Fitness Studio, our major sponsors Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and Brooks & Brooks P.C. Music was provided by: Hudson Ridge Band, Tanager and DJ Spinner. Demonstrations by: Madelines Dance Center and Stellar Sunshine Hoops. In-kind services provided by: Milton True Value Hardware, M&T Bank, The Falcon, Mobile Life, Balloon Designs by M&S. Supported by: Town of Marlborough Police, park employees and highway department, explorers. Additional help was given by Southern Ulster Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scout LaRissa Orlando, Honor Society Student Mia Rende and our hosts the Town of Marlborough and Meet Me in Marlborough.
A special thanks goes out to all who donated time, goods and services to the festival, including members of the planning committee, area businesses, festival participants and volunteers. Guests came from near and far on a beautiful autumn day to one of the Hudson Valley’s most scenic locations -- the Cluett-Schantz Park in Milton -- and got the chance to enjoy a one-day event that showcased the Heart of the Hudson Valleys agricultural heritage, attractions and businesses, along with supporting the Marlborough Playground Fair. A complete list of 2010 Bounty Festival sponsors and volunteers may be found on the Heart of the Hudson Valley Bounty Festival website: www.hvbountyfestival.com.
Heart of the Hudson Valley Bounty
New Paltz YMCA Haunted Playground
As the leaves turn colors and lose their green,
It’s time once again to think Halloween.
Luckily our town truly “goes to town”
As we all dress up and parade around.
This year, as before, a group of us ghouls
Is planning our production, yes we’re fools.
We’ve done it three years at Hasbrouck Park --
A huge undertaking, many folks remark.
We’re always in need of local support,
Making props, sets and costumes, tall and short,
As well as acting on Halloween night.
It’s a daunting task that we try to do right.
If it happens you want to help out this year,
Please let us know, and you needn’t fear;
We’re all quite friendly as we plot and scheme.
And if you help out, we’ll tell you the theme.
Do call us or show up on Thursday night
7 p.m., Village Hall, up one flight.
And If you can’t come, but have funds to lend,
We’ll also count you as a Halloween friend!
Yours in fear,
for the YMCA Halloween
Haunted House Production
Vote for Hinchey on Nov. 2
We are very fortunate to have a representative in Congress who consistently fights for hard-working American families and against the abuses of the big banks and corporations.
Representative Maurice Hinchey was one of the first members of Congress to call for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, the disastrous Supreme Court ruling that has resulted in a tsunami of secret corporate donations overwhelming our elections. Corporations are spending their unrivaled wealth on political ads attacking candidates who stand up for the middle class and who do not toe the corporate line. Fifty former attorneys general and prominent law professors recently signed a letter calling Citizens United “a serious danger to effective self-government of, for and by the American people.” Our Congressman was one of the first to recognize this threat to our democracy.
Additionally, Representative Hinchey has made the Hudson Valley a hub for clean green energy, creating hundreds of new jobs. He is a champion of small business and opposed the bailouts for “banks too big to fail.” He is also a leader in defending our environment, most recently, speaking out against the destructive practice of “fracking.”
Representative Hinchey has always been there for his constituents, now it is time for us to be there for him. To assist in his re-election campaign call 331-4466 and be sure to vote on Nov. 2!
Fortunate to have Maurice Hinchey
We in the 22nd District are so fortunate to have as our representative Congressman Maurice Hinchey. I can’t imagine a more responsive and proactive leader. He restores my faith that there is still a semblance of true democracy in this country. In issues he tackles, he leads the way rather than following in lock step with any ideology. Regarding gas drilling, Congressman Hinchey first carefully and objectively examined all aspects of the issue before charging to the front of the effort to protect his constituency, and all Americans, from a rush to industrialize that could devastate our environment. His opponent favors the risky “drill baby drill” approach. Hinchey supports transition to non-polluting renewable energy. He moved legislation that will help the military to switch to green energy. He celebrates the fact that solar cells will now be manufactured locally. He has secured federal money to upgrade local infrastructure, most recently a huge grant to rebuild Monticello’s water treatment facilities. These policies will provide and maintain more local long term jobs than boom and bust gas drilling. I trust my neighbors will recognize the importance of supporting and reelecting Maurice Hinchey to Congress. His values and our interests are the same.
Support a new library in Highland
I am writing today in enthusiastic support of the plan to create a new Highland Library. Our current little library is always packed with people of all ages, and hums with activity, but has long since outgrown its current building. We need and deserve the beautiful, spacious, energy-efficient, accessible library that has been proposed. The plans and drawings that were presented at the public meeting on Sept. 22 depict a place that will not only meet the needs we currently experience, but that will stimulate the love of learning that is at the heart of a vibrant community.
It appears that the human brain is hard-wired to start learning immediately and to go on learning through its whole life. Every newly formed connection in the brain provides us with a little chemical reward, a tiny physiological experience of pleasure in accomplishment, one that hooks us into keeping on playing this immensely satisfying game -- for that is what learning really is. All good librarians, like those we are so lucky to have in Highland, know this, and they find ever novel ways, even within the limitations of their buildings and budgets, to keep people of all ages coming to the library, seeking information, stimulation, new ideas and community.
Where else can one borrow a stack of free movies, find a large-print book, a mystery or a Henry James novel, sit on the floor with other toddlers and turn the pages of a tattered favorite, refine a resumé on the computer, share ideas in a book club, learn to cook or sew, see a documentary on local history -- in short, simply experience and celebrate the joys of the unique human brain? (If you aren’t familiar with all that goes on at the Highland Library, visit the website at www.highlandlibrary.org.)
Free public libraries may be the greatest institution of American history. They have helped to create a nation of dreamers, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and leaders. A lovely, inviting, spacious library will serve as a center for the learning community of Highland and as a symbol for visitors of the value we place on the life of the ever-evolving human brain. I urge everyone to attend the next public meeting to learn more about the plan and then to vote yes on the library referendum in December.
An endorsement for Frank Skartados
Frank Skartados is the kind of representative we need in the New York State Assembly. I have had the pleasure of meeting Frank several times. He listens to his constituents and does what’s right for working families. I’ve seen him on “Meet the Leaders” several times and have been impressed each time by his understanding of the issues and his drive to do what’s right for the people he represents. He is not afraid to speak out against his party leaders if he feels they are on the wrong track. Frank has shown that he is fiscally responsible by not taking per diem payments, while other Assembly members have taken thousands of dollars. He commutes to Albany so he can be home in his district with the people he represents and save taxpayer money at the same time. I strongly endorse Frank Skartados.