Letters to the editor June 18 to 24
This piece titled “America?!!!” was done by local mixed-media artist Erica Hart who has had careers as an art teacher and commercial artist.
My name is Anthony Kane. I retired in 2009 after 25 years of service to Sullivan County as a Judge. In nearly 40 years, I have not taken a public position in a political contest, but I feel compelled to speak out now.
There is a Republican primary on June 23 for the office of Sullivan County District Attorney. It is my belief that the district attorney (DA) is the most important elected office in the county.
Acting Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan Galligan is the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party. This past year, the other candidate changed his party registration after he was unable to obtain the endorsement of the Democratic party after holding public office as a Democrat for more than 20 years.
DA Galligan is an honors graduate of New York University and earned her law degree from the Georgetown Law School. She was hired as an assistant by then district attorney Jim Farrell in 2010 and, over the past decade, served in every capacity and performed every function in the DA’s office, ultimately becoming Jim’s Chief Assistant. As of January 1, she assumed the full responsibility of the office as the Acting Sullivan County District Attorney.
Meagan is a life-long resident of our county and is a member of the latest generation of the Galligan family whose exemplary public service dates back decades.
After having known Meagan nearly her entire life and having had the opportunity to watch her function both as an assistant DA and as the acting DA, it is my opinion that Meagan Galligan is the only candidate for district attorney with the integrity, energy, ethics, and commitment to hard work required to hold the office of district attorney.
This access has been frequently used for launching boats and rafts via trailers since its birth. In the last five years, I average close to 25 launches there a year and have never been stuck in the mud with my vehicle or trailer. I run a CUA-permitted fishing guide service on the upper Delaware River. This access is very important to me and other river users alike to have the option to launch or retrieve their boat via a trailer.
The decision to close trailer access was unwarranted; it is most certainly not a public safety hazard. If it was truly a public safety hazard, I believe, as stated at previous UDC meetings regarding this topic, that some relatively minor improvements with large gravel and a compactor can solve most issues regarding mud on your tires or losing a sandal.
That being said, as in the letter which the UDC wrote to the NPS and BSA about rescinding the new policy, when launching a boat into the Delaware and assessing a muddy launch situation, as is very common at river launches everywhere in the world, “Common sense will generally prevail.”
Lake Huntington, NY
It is now readily evident to a large majority of Americans that police brutality, most especially toward people of color, is a major problem in our country. Especially are police unions finally getting the intense scrutiny and criticism that they have historically earned. However, the idea that “police bad” is our actual foundational problem is a fairly pathetic and simple-minded notion that reduces the problem to the “flawed” nature of human beings and ultimately will not lead us very far in the struggle to improve the situation. Notions of officer morality alone are requisite, but will not suffice.
For example, when “bad” police unions sign contracts with elected municipal and other governmental leaders, those who sign—union and management alike—explicitly agree with the terms entailed. Police unions cannot and have never unilaterally made the job rules under which the police function. They have complicit enablers and allies who largely agree with how the police do their job. Changing police operative behavior may involve closer examination and the outright replacement of certain statutes as well as some irresponsible local and state officials.
More generally, we should narrow the scope of police responsibilities. It is folly to expect police to be the solution to problems for which they have little or no training. Psychological dysfunction, drug rehabilitation, social work, homelessness and numerous other societal problems should not be the responsibility of police. In fact, law enforcement is the sole province of police, and under the best of circumstances, it is a critical and difficult job to get right.
Finally, we should build into policing genuine job rewards and advancement for officers who legitimately “serve and protect” rather than brutalize segments of the public. We can thus encourage police to “do the right thing.” We need a transparent system that not only rightfully punishes unjust or illegal police behavior but also honors police adherence to the law and a just moral code. In law enforcement, there should be little to hide or to hide from.