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Letters to the Editor

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The River Reporter welcomes letters on all subjects from its readers. They must be signed and include the correspondent’s phone number. The correspondent’s name and town will appear at the bottom of each letter; titles and affiliations will not, unless the correspondent is writing on behalf of a group.

Letters are printed at the discretion of the editor. It is requested they be limited to 300 words; correspondents may be asked to cut longer letters. Deadline is 1:00 p.m. on Monday.

Letters can be sent by e-mail to editor@riverreporter.com]

To the editor:

Your article on the Wearry Brothers was not entirely accurate. How do I know this? Herb Ropke came to my father James LaBarr, Sr. of Beaver Brook when he delivered the mail that day and told my father something was wrong over at the Wearry Brothers since they had not picked up their mail from the mail box in several days. At that point, my father, my mother and I went over to the Wearry’s house. My father went up to the house and went in and discovered one of the bodies. We then called the information into the BCI [Bureau of Criminal Investigation] and state police and later the other brother was found in one of the hen houses. So although some of the information is incorrect, much of it is not.

Now as to youngsters at the local Boy Scout Camps telling ghost stories about the Wearrys, that is rather disrespectful to their memory. I want to point out that although the brothers lived a rather odd life, they were in no way dangerous to anyone, and if anything, could be very helpful when asked. During WWII, the Air Raid Observation Post in Beaver Brook, which was across from my Uncle Dan’s bar, had many volunteers from the surrounding area. The Wearry brothers donated their time along with everyone else. Although they were somewhat reclusive, they were not unfriendly. Many times boarders, who stayed at my parents’ boarding house, would always ask to go with one of us when we went to the Wearrys to buy eggs. The brothers both would sit down on the front porch and talk with any of our houseguests. They were quite interesting to talk to and they never missed an opportunity to talk with people. And when someone died in the community, the brothers would always be there to pay their last respects.

I just wanted to point out to your newspaper that although the brothers are a part of Tusten history, they were not in any way the type of people we could not respect. They would help others in time of need.

William A. LaBarr

Middle Village, NY


To the editor:

I would like to express a sincere thank you to those who came out and voted for me during the recent election. Your confidence in my abilities and qualifications is appreciated. I campaigned hard for the opportunity to serve the best interests of the future of Lackawaxen Township. My desire to bring my experience to the table was seen by many, including those whose written endorsements were seen on the pages of some local newspapers. Unfortunately, forces behind the scenes and beyond our control were in play. The old adage that “politics make strange bedfellows” has never rung more true. Please feel secure that your votes were not wasted, for this election has created a much wiser politician out of a somewhat naive candidate.

Ron Tussel

Bohemia, PA


To the editor:

There is a bill about to be decided on in Congress that will encourage a future of war, pollution, and economic decline. It is a bill that helps a few energy industries to get richer while making the country as a whole, poorer. It is the Energy Bill. The final draft has been made behind closed doors.

This administration has its head in the sand when it comes to energy. Our government is concentrating on fossil fuels while most other countries in the world are turning to more modern technologies, leaving us in the dirt. One day, we will wake up and wonder why we are so behind, wondering why we missed the boat on advanced energy technologies. Our government is doing us a disservice by holding us back in the dark ages.

An intelligent energy policy is key to a healthy economy, a clean environment, and peace. The current bill is not intelligent. It is based on short-term greed. The extreme provisions in the bill are wrong for us and the planet.

Here is what you can do: call the capitol switchboard toll-free at 800/839-5276. Ask for your Senator’s office. In Pennsylvania the Senators are Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum. Simply ask them to support a filibuster of the Energy Bill. This is an important way they can use their power to say “no” to a bill that is not good for the country.

Katharine Dodge

Lake Ariel, PA


To the editor:

The president would like us to believe that his Energy Bill sets a sensible path for American policy for the future. Maybe if our future looks like the Cold War.

The Energy Bill promotes oil and coal with fat tax breaks and by relaxing the enforcement of clean energy standards. As if big business in this country isn’t fleecing taxpayers enough.

We are already fighting a war over oil when we should be thinking about the future and focusing our resources on new, clean technology.

Please telephone (800/839-5276) our senators today to filibuster this regressive and destructive bill.

Brian L. Shera

Liberty, NY


To the editor:

Sullivan County’s election results were promising; they just didn’t go far enough. An incumbent often described as a bully and another whose honesty and excessive self-interest came into question became lame ducks. Greg Goldstein held on, somehow, perhaps because his opponent ill advisedly enlisted the help of Raymond Pomeroy.

For reasons that defy rational thinking, Leni Binder is still with us. If she is offered responsibilities beyond knitting in her office, the new majority will have demonstrated fatally flawed memory. Cautious Kathy LaBuda won because her opponent tied his hands behind his back. Let us hope that being part of a majority will encourage her to keep personal vendettas to herself and give her the security to let her basic decency prevail. Jodi Goodman shows promise in having heretically acknowledged the very serious opposition, among residents, to casino gambling. Rodney Gaebel, surely a quiet architect of garbage importation and other atrocious ideas, survived for reasons unclear to me and Jonathan Rouis, who prevailed, and of whom I know little, is said to be a smart and good guy.

What the legislature must now do to clear the decks for effective government is see to it that Robert Kunis is further separated from meaningful public influence and that Ira Cohen is ushered into private practice.

In that connection, in my survey, noted above, no two people chose the same word in reference to Ira Cohen. Which might lead one to think that he may be seen as a well rounded or perhaps interesting person. Wrong! The words chosen (often with a knowing smile) were synonymous.

Lee Karr

Forestburgh, NY


To the editor:

The Justin Online Military Oral History Collection is seeking the stories for online publication to this history resource of military veterans, war industry workers and those with stories of the home fronts during WWI, World War II, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and all other eras wartime or peacetime as well as Civilian Conservation Corps members and staff.

If you would like to participate, please send your stories to James F. Justin, CCC Museum, P.O. Box 5, Woodbury NJ 08096 or email to JFJmuseum@aol.com

James Justin

Woodbury, NJ


To the editor:

Delphine Tufts Garrett wanted to donate her home to the care of the aging, and when her grandfather passed away, she opened Murray Tufts Garrett Manor to do just that.

Affectionately known for many years as the Methodist home, Murray Tufts Garrett Manor, now Wayne Delaware Manor, has always cared for the aged. Through its doors have passed neighbors, friends and relatives from Narrowsburg, Jeffersonville, Beach Lake and Honesdale. People too frail to continue caring for themselves have found refuge and good medical care.

The staff always tried to be self-reliant when it came to attaining money for residents’ needs, such as entertainment, parties, holiday get-togethers and dining out. We continue to have an annual flea market, sell Irish soda bread, homemade Easter bread, and we hold an annual Christmas Craft Bazaar.

However, we now need to turn to the same community. This home has helped for so many years and now needs to ask for your help. We are in desperate need of a van for transporting our residents to doctor visits, hospital testing and occasional outings. Our little maroon caravan has bit the dust and lost her 12-year old transmission. We have done research and found a dealer in Michigan who will sell us a brand new center aisle van for $25,500, delivery included, but we can’t raise that amount with a cookie sale.

If you have an idea or could financially help us in any way, please call. Any donations would be tax deductible.

For more information call Wayne Delaware Manor at 570/253-8631.

Sandy Kline and Jan Stawski

Beach Lake, PA


To the editor:

This year, the Ukrainians world over commemorates the 70th anniversary of the famine-genocide engineered by Joseph Stalin and his regime from 1932-1933. To establish Soviet rule of collectivization, he deliberately and forcefully starved seven to 10 million Ukrainian peasants and farmers by confiscating the entire grain crop and foods produce from the population. He carefully planed this famine to bring Ukraine to its knees. It was tragic moment in history of Ukraine.

When millions starved from famine, accredited New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, stationed in Moscow, reported that the Stalin’s forceful collectivization plan was proceeding smoothly. He praised the regime of Stalin and the Soviets. He expressed his “respect for the Soviet leaders, especially Stalin”, when he called him “a really great statesman.”

This tragedy was well known to Ukrainians, but it is still not widely recognized. In 1988, the U.S. Commission on the Ukrainian Famine concluded that the victims “starved to death in a man-made famine” and that “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933.”

The Canadian government recognized the famine-genocide of 1932-1933 and called for the fourth Saturday in November to be designated as a day of remembrance for those who perished during the time of the famine.

On October 20, 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives, adopted Resolution #356, by a vote of 352-0, regarding the man-made famine-genocide in Ukraine. Part of that resolution resolves “the millions of the victims of the man-made famine that occurred in Ukraine from 1932-1933 should be solemnly remembered and honored in the 70th year marking the height of the famine. This man-made famine was designed and implemented by the Soviet regime as a deliberate act of terror and mass murder against the Ukrainian people.”

All Ukrainian communities across United States and Canada will be marking this solemn anniversary throughout the month of November. On November 15 at 2:00 p.m., the Ukrainian community will gather in St. Volodymyr’s Church to pray and pay respect to victims of the 1932-1933 Famine-Genocide. Rev. Mark Hirniak will conduct this solemn sermon.

Through remembrance, we can stop such acts of brutal cruelty and violence against humankind. The world has to be aware of what happened in the Ukraine in those years so that it never happens again.

Bohdan Kandiuk

Glen Spey, NY


To the editor:

Sullivan West residents are suffering from a financial hangover as they suddenly realize that the consolidated school district is overbuilt and under-funded. According to information supplied to me under the Freedom Of Information Law, Sullivan West enrollment topped out in 1999 at 1,755 students. Without gambling casinos or any other exogenous shock, Sullivan West school enrollment will drop to 1,337 students in 2011, which is a precipitous decline of 418 students or twenty-three percent from the peak levels reached just four years ago.

Jeffersonville-Youngsville has a capacity of 1,103 students. As of October, 664 students are attending school at Jeffersonville-Youngsville.

The Delaware Valley campus has a capacity of 681 students. Currently, Delaware Valley has 218 students.

The Narrowsburg school building has a capacity of 401 students. Incredibly, only 122 students are now attending classes in Narrowsburg.

The new Lake Huntington high school has a capacity of 1,061 students. Only 565 students are now enrolled in classes at the new high school.

These figures are very conservative.

All four Sullivan West schools could host at least 3,246 students in comparison to the 1,614 students attending classes as of October.

This means that Sullivan West is presently functioning at 50 percent of capacity, which is an absolute disaster. Without casinos, Sullivan West will have only 1,337 students by 2011 and will then be functioning at 41 percent of capacity.

The incompetent planning that resulted in the Sullivan West merger is best reflected in the fact that five million dollars has been poured into the aging Narrowsburg school building which only houses 122 students and is operating at 30 percent of capacity.

Contrast the stark reality of these figures with the January 29, 2001 Facilities Needs Assessment Summary signed by Sullivan West School Superintendent Michael Johndrow which referenced being “severely overcrowded” in the three former districts as a reason to build the cavernous and expensive new high school.

The truth is that local taxpayers have been royally hosed. You can expect huge tax increases over the next few years as a result of the poor planning and profligate spending of the Sullivan West administration on grandiose projects built to enhance speculative pipe dreams, such as a nonexistent gambling boom, which can’t be financially justified at the present time.

What a mess.

Noel van Swol

Long Eddy, NY

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