Letters to the editor October 15 to 21
In these tumultuous times, I often find it beneficial to leave behind the troubles of today’s world and enter into the world of my own imagination.
I first met Sen. Jen Metzger about 10 years ago. Our families were part of an informal group of motley locals who met once a week to play soccer together. Sometimes the teams were mixed and sometimes it was parents versus kids, with ages ranging from 3 to 40-plus. Family Soccer, as it was known, was a rare opportunity for a diverse, intergenerational, outdoor gathering—just for the fun of it. Jen stood out as a warm, dedicated parent who, as busy as she was, knew it was critically important to set regular time aside to be with her kids and neighbors.
Over time, I came to know of her extensive involvement in local government, her passion for access to high-quality education, her extensive work for environmental protection and her commitment to economic development in our community. Jen’s concern about balancing funding for public education while keeping property taxes affordable is a pillar of her work in Albany. As the director of Citizens for Local Power and a member of the New York State Clean Energy Advisory Council, she fought for environmental protection and promotion of green jobs. She has worked tirelessly to protect our water and the air quality of our beautiful Hudson Valley ecosystems on the local Environmental Commission and the Climate Task Force. Jen’s commitment to quality of life for families and small businesses has driven her to fight for property tax relief and strategic revitalization of our small and rural towns.
The one thing that stands out most when I think of Metzger is her accessibility. She is everywhere in the small towns where her constituents live, work and play—listening and striving to bring our concerns back to Albany. Jen represents us all.
Dr. Susanrachel B. Condon
As we approach Election Day, it has only become more apparent as to why we must elect Mike Martucci to represent us in Albany. We need a representative who isn’t afraid to elevate our voices and make decisions for the betterment of our communities. One-party rule drowns out significant minority opinions that need to be heard. Policies decided and voted on a majority of Democratic politicians in New York City and Long Island greatly affect the Hudson Valley. We need a state government that is significantly more representative of its people.
Mike Martucci is dedicated to repealing bail reform to ensure our communities are their safest, introducing tax credits to mitigate burdens placed on our farmers and is committed to helping small businesses. As a local farmer, former business owner and philanthropist, it is evident these issues are personal to him as well. We live in communities that rely on our small businesses, our farmers, our families, etc., and I believe Mike will relay this sentiment while in office. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or undecided, I hope you can see past party division and recognize the meaningful change Mike can make in our rural communities should we elect him to represent us in the NY State Senate.
As Election Day quickly approaches, it is crucial to consider what is truly important for us as Americans and as concerned citizens. Living in the Poconos with its beautiful natural surroundings can lull you into thinking we are living in a paradise; but look closely and you will see great needs in our communities—our paradise!
Health care must be a primary concern for all of us, young and old alike. Our counties are in desperate need for their own ambulances (right now, only the townships have their own ambulances), health care centers and medical facilities; many of our centers have closed and moved out. We need Planned Parenthood to return and be a strong presence in our communities, not just to protect reproductive rights but also to provide much needed critical health care. We must pay attention to alternate methods of voting in this pandemic era and voting from home is a great convenient safe option.
Please support democratic Marian Keegan’s candidacy for the Representative to PA 139 district and she will not only advance all the above mentioned vital community concerns, she will champion our causes and make our communities match our beautiful natural surroundings with a healthy environment.
Vote democratic. Vote for Marian Keegan.
Lords Valley, PA
My heartfelt thanks to the River Reporter’s presentation of Fire Prevention Week!
COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing and disinfection procedures forced the Narrowsburg Fire Department to cancel our annual fire prevention open house.
You have helped fill that void.
Stephen Stuart, assistant chief
Narrowsburg Volunteer Fire Department
This has been a year of firsts for me. It’s the first time I ever felt the need to put up a political sign. It’s also the first time that I’ve had any stolen.
I’ve tried not to take this personally; after all, my neighbor’s signs, as well as a number of other Biden/Harris signs in the Beach Lake area, have disappeared in the last few days. However, it’s a bit difficult for me to accept that someone can trespass on my land and steal something that I paid for. I do think it was a cowardly and sneaky thing to do and wonder why someone might feel threatened by a few little signs. Unfortunately, it is a shame that our election process has evolved to this extent. Trump supporters often seem to be so very concerned about their Constitutional rights, even to the extent of refusing to wear masks for themselves or others. Therefore, I wonder why some would be opposed to my Constitutional right to express a political opinion.
Beach Lake, PA
The obnoxious behavior of our unpopular president seems to have infected some of our neighbors. On both sides of the river, Biden for President signs have been stolen from in front of homes at an alarming rate.
Callicoon Center, NY
In Sullivan County, chairman of the legislature Robert A. Doherty has taken to publishing his own newsletter. This month, he congratulates himself on the transfer of the care center (county’s nursing home) and the county’s Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) from the ownership of the county to a Community Development Corporation, which he plans to use to lease or sell these entities.
Why does Mr. Doherty think this is such a swell idea, to outsource two of the county’s best and most venerable health institutions? Basically, his agenda is to dismantle any social or health services that aren’t mandated because they “burden the taxpayer.” In reality, his project will have very little impact on our taxes, as the county will still bear the burden for the poor health of vulnerable residents. He also claims that putting the Care Center and CHHA “under new management” will not affect the quality of services or put county employees out of work. Well, the first thing any new owner or leaser can do is fire the union employees and hire nonunion ones. NYSDOH regulations ensure that this can happen 90 days after the sale or lease has taken place (NYS DOH Regulations, Article 7, Section 763.11, Governing Authority: www.bit.ly/RRgovauthority).
Meanwhile, Doherty’s partisan attacks on public health will deplete our resources to deal with the pandemic while the legislators dazedly follow his lead, having voted 8-1 to allow this transfer with a half-baked resolution that they had only barely read and which hadn’t been passed through any committees or was ever seen by the director of public health. The Sullivan County Legislators need to wake up and do their jobs to keep the few health resources and experts which the county has to protect their vulnerable residents.
Lise Kennedy, RN, BSN, MS
There are just so many ways to rationalize and avoid voting. Life is full of complications, all of which are personal and undeniable. On the other hand, for far too many Americans, voting seems abstract and full of pious notions that seem not to enter into our “real” lives.
So, it seemed a big surprise in 2000 when a “few” votes in Florida decided that Bush and not Gore would be president. Would Gore have responded to 9/11 with a decidedly unrelated invasion of Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands (thousands of Americans)? We can’t know. Life or death are starkly different outcomes that a few votes might have altered. In saving the Affordable Care Act, John McCain vividly showed the power of one vote. Perhaps, it should not have been surprising, but yet again, some remained surprised.
The cynicism that surrounds the civic duty involved in voting in our country is a powerful force. We are “the greatest democracy in the world” that votes at a nonetheless feeble rate. Among the 32 most advanced democratic states in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. ranks 26th (2016) in eligible voter participation (evp) at 55.57 percent (www.pewresearch.org). In 2016 national elections, Australia voted at a 90.98 percent evp.
Which brings us to November. Once again, life and death are lurking on the ballot. We can’t know how Hilary Clinton would have handled COVID. But it is doubtful she would have disbanded the Obama pandemic taskforce and incessantly lied to us about the murderous plague engulfing our nation and, ultimately, even the president himself. If Clinton had done even a typical bureaucratic mobilization against COVID would 10,000 or perhaps 100,000 lives have been saved? We can’t know. But we should all know by now that voting is as real as life and death.
On November 3, please vote for Joe Biden. Life and our precious loved ones are all we really have.