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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

Keeping her promises

To the editor:

Tina Palecek, supervisor of the Town of Highland, has done what few political leaders ever accomplish—she lived up to her campaign promises. Tina promised to change Highland’s tax assessment process, which was hurting every homeowner in the town. Assessments were going up when property prices were plummeting. To see a leader steadfastly and stubbornly focused on the issue she successfully campaigned on was inspiring. Kudos to Tina Palecek, Town of Highland Supervisor, for sticking her neck out and fixing a wrong.

Charles Petersheim
Eldred, NY

Careful what you wish for

To the editor:

In the recent column by Marcia Nehamiah that highlighted the negative aspects of the wastefulness of resources in our society, there were certainly some important issues raised.

But the part supporting the “no buy anything” day on one of the most important days in the retail year could hardly be appreciated by your advertisers. You know them. They pay your salary, sponsor your holiday contests, belong to the chamber of commerce, pay for flowers and seasonal decorations, employ staff and run ads all year to entice the public to partake of their products or services. Talk about “biting the hand.”

There is no question that motivation to buy goes beyond tradition, but pointing at this family-oriented period and local merchants seems misplaced. Style changes, new inventions, fashion emphasis, improved products, gimmicks and trends are a few of the aspects hardly controlled by local folks. So let’s not confuse the message and the messenger. After a year of planning and commitment, retailers and service organizations would not offer unwanted products, and yet we now seek to penalize them at the time of their best opportunities just for following their long-standing business procedures.

Your worthy campaign needs to start further back in the chain to explore the issues raised. In the meantime, let’s support our local advertisers, buying only what we need and can really afford making it the best possible season for all.

Recommending boycotts requires careful thought. You never know when you may be made the target.

John A. and Rose E. Lloyd
Narrowsburg, NY

No entitlement to public support

To the editor:

The editorial in The River Reporter on November 20 regarding the Cappelli and Associates project at the old Concord site was absolutely correct, and a very serious issue was addressed which will impact every resident of our county, regardless of the outcome.

What is this insidious attitude throughout our country that profit-making entities are somehow “entitled” to public support? Haven’t we had enough yet of these greedy, self-serving organizations who want everything in exchange for promises, often meaningless?

Contact your legislators and public officials and demand an end to this fiasco.

Cathy Farris
Mountaindale, NY

Consider all the facts

To the editor:

It’s too bad Wayne Holbert felt the need to engage in name-calling in his recent letter regarding gas drilling. He’s entitled to his views, but issues can’t be productively discussed and debated when emotions rule rather than level-headed discourse.

Mr. Holbert reads one article containing very generalized information put forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which seeks to debunk “myths” he feels have been perpetrated by the tree-hugging set, and concludes that it resoundingly defeats the fears and concerns of thousands of citizens, some of whom are acknowledged experts on the subject and have presented very convincing evidence that counters the DEP’s “facts.”

I refer Mr. Holbert to another article, one that appeared in the April 10-16, 2008 issue of The River Reporter: “Western PA landowners regret deep gas well deals. Gasses bubbling out of the ground and into drinking wells and ponds.”

After reading it, he might want to find the nearest oak tree and give it a good squeeze.

Bob Wasserman

Milanville, PA

Planning for a new junkyard?

To the editor:

The Town of Liberty expects to pass a special-use permit for a junkyard on Willi Hill Road. This is directly above Briscoe Lake. The community does not want this.

Ironic LLC, the company that wants to run this junkyard, has stated that there was a junkyard there previously. Yes, but it has really been inactive for years and has never been tested for contamination. Under current Liberty law, this site would not be approved.

Any contamination/waste from this site could also contaminate property in the towns of Bethel and Callicoon, and contaminate streams and lakes in Callicoon.

Do you know that they just changed the weight requirement for travel over the Briscoe Lake Bridge to 15 tons from two tons? This road is in Bethel. And there is a brand new sign on Culler heading towards Willi Hill saying that there is a 15-ton bridge ahead (Town of Liberty). We believe this was done so that the junkyard trucks can pass. I guess they are getting ready to pass the special permit at their December meeting.

If you are concerned, you can write the Town of Liberty Planning Board, c/o Nancy Saucier, 120 North Main St. Liberty, NY 12754, email or call 845/292-8511.

Pat Durney and Vivian Hanselmaier
Liberty, NY

Privatization not looking so smart

Just love doing those quick trivia tests The River Reporter prints a few times a year. Perhaps your readers may be able to answer the trivia that’s been on my mind for nearly a year: does anyone out there know which investments the outgoing George W. Bush had in mind when he was so determined to privatize our life-long-earned Social Security? I notice Bush has been hush-hush on that topic lately, since the exhausting Presidential campaign contests took center stage for over a year.

With the economy oozing down the drain and our pockets vacuumed out, what if… what if Bush had gotten his privatization plan implemented and those investments were sucked into this doomed financial quicksand? Any answers to those “trivia” questions?

Afi Phoebe
Narrowsburg, NY

An open letter to Republicans

To the editor:

I know that you’re going through a hard time at the moment, so let me offer first a few words of condolence. As a Green Party member, I don’t know what it’s like to attain nearly unlimited power and then feel it slip from my hands, but I do know what it’s like to have to start over from scratch. So I hope you will consider these suggestions carefully.

First, accept responsibility for your situation. You did this to yourselves. Your losses weren’t because of the “liberal media” or “elite intelligentsia” or any of the other bugbears that you have used as facile excuses in the past.

Second, recognize the true nature of what you are competing against. If you really think that Obama is a “radical socialist” or “left-wing extremist,” then you will continue to “misunderestimate” your opposition. When you persistently mislabel someone with inaccurate but incendiary labels, eventually you make your own rhetoric meaningless. Stop trying to scare people with obvious untruths, unless you are satisfied with receiving only the support of credulous people who lack critical thinking skills.

Third, realize you have some decisions to make about who you are and what you want. You are not a unified party, of course, but a coalition of various interest groups. Part of your problem is that some of the interests of your constituent parts are contradictory: laissez-faire capitalism and Christian morality, for example. If you are truly united by economic issues, then run on those and leave the social issues to someone else—or vice versa.

Fourth, give up notions of attaining hegemony, or a permanent majority, or the destruction of your opposition. You live in a pluralistic democracy, one that is only going to get more diverse in the future. Get used to it.

Good luck.

Skip Mendler
Honesdale PA

Financial education needed

To the editor:

While the blame for our current economic crisis lies resolutely with greedy Wall Street bankers and predatory lenders, their schemes succeeded because they took advantage of the low financial literacy of many working Americans. A comprehensive response to this crisis should not only curb the excesses of Wall Street, but should also ensure working Americans know how to avoid financial risks that could force them into long-term debt and even cost them their homes.

At the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center, financial literacy and managing your personal budget is a core component of students’ education, along with traditional academics and vocational training. We should ensure similar opportunities for basic financial education are available throughout our schools and community to help protect working Americans and our economy from falling victim to predatory lenders again.

Shawn Colin Bailey Sr.

Business Community Liaison
Delaware Valley Job Corps Center
Callicoon, NY