Sullivan County legislators: say ‘no’ to Option 1 and keep Tusten whole

Posted 7/13/22

All three of the proposed redistricting options are flawed and need to be redone, but Option 1 is especially odious. This option must be eliminated from consideration, because it separates the Town of Tusten into two disparate districts. 

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Sullivan County legislators: say ‘no’ to Option 1 and keep Tusten whole


All three of the proposed redistricting options are flawed and need to be redone, but Option 1 is especially odious. This option must be eliminated from consideration, because it separates the Town of Tusten into two disparate districts. 

Downtown Narrowsburg and the Flats would be in District 5 and the rest of the town in District 2. This contorted and contrived separation eviscerates the Town of Tusten’s voting clout by gerrymandering it out of existence. By splitting the Town of Tusten into two different districts, Option 1’s unethical manipulation of district boundaries will adversely affect the town’s voting strength in all future county legislature elections.  

This anomaly is not just happening in Tusten. Current redistricting options 1, 2 and 3 all need to be revised, to eliminate the underhanded practice of splitting towns into different districts in order to dilute and manipulate their voting strength. 

Legislators must reject Option 1 out of hand, to preserve proper representational voting in the Town of Tusten, and do the same with Options 2 and 3, for any other towns thus affected. 

Honor your pledge to represent and act in the best interests of all Sullivan County residents. Now is the time to stand up and be counted. We will be watching.  

Thanking you in advance for acting responsibly to preserve proper representational voting for all people within the new districts.  

Star Hesse
Narrowsburg, NY
District 1, currently

Putin’s playbook in action

Prof. Paulson’s commentary (“The Spirit of ‘76,” River Reporter 6/23/22) reminds us we are a free people, not subject to tyrannical powers of a despot. He opens Putin’s playbook for our examination of tactics. However, I have seen that playbook before, many times.

Put out false information, align yourself with popular causes, have a group intimidate and cheat, blame others, get inside. That is how Putin got into power and gets away with doing his will.

You know it happened in history. Heck, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is a manual on how to do this.

The scary part of this historical manual is that it works. Bullies get into power because they are elected.

They stay in power as influence and control are expanded; soon the crowds love and live the lie.

We remember Hitler’s charisma, but we have historical references on every continent.

The January 6 hearings exemplified how the playbook worked here. Done correctly, news sources can be “closed” by labeling them fake; facts can be countered with false data. There is no need to shoot the experts when they can be wrongly discredited. Protesters are labeled. I am so angry our former President did this to me.

The ancient Greek philosophers feared that with time, in a democracy, eventually the populace will vote it down.

Beware the extremists (on both sides).

Richard Stein
Monticello, NY

A call for empathy, not confrontation

If our beautiful American union is to survive, we must learn how to respectfully disagree. The confounding aspect of the debate that the overturning of Roe v. Wade has rekindled is that we never seem to be discussing the same things; choice, life, personal liberty, religion freedom—we all mass behind our barricades, and our positions become all or nothing. If we cannot empathize with those who don’t agree with us we will lose everything.

We cannot let each crisis that our country faces, be it abortion, gun violence, drug addiction, climate change, virulent disease, freedom of elections or whatever challenge comes next, continue to divide us. We must all commit to starting from a position of cooperation, not confrontation. This is what America has been and should be—the place where creative problem-solvers work together to meet challenges. A place where our rich mix of cultures gives us the unique perspective to think in new ways.

The alternative is too frightening to contemplate. A nation unable to tackle problems, too distrustful of our fellows to voice opinions, unable to provide the leadership to build a more just world. 

I do not believe this is the future. I believe that there are reasonable people who can listen, make compromises and accommodate opposing viewpoints. I believe that we all have the power of empathy, and we need to use that power, starting today.

Charles A. Rubin
Lake Huntington, NY

Skip the spin and focus on facts 

Some folks have taken it upon themselves to speak for us, or about us, while not in possession of the facts. Other folks, in possession of the facts, have chosen to not speak up but to allow convenient (to them) misinformation to linger in the public forum. 

We take this opportunity to speak for ourselves and with the facts. 

  1. We do not have a restraining order against Bar Veloce. 
  2. We do not have a lawsuit pending against the Town of Tusten. 
  3. We do not have a lawsuit pending against Bar Veloce. 
  4. We do not have a lawsuit pending against Frederick E. Twomey. 
  5. We do not “have a vendetta against Frederick E. Twomey.” 
  6. We did file with the Tusten Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on February 14, 2022 an appeal of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy (CO) issued on October 5, 2021 for 174 Bridge St., in substance, demanding that the town enforce its own zoning law. 
  7. Frederick E. Twomey has filed an Article 78 lawsuit against Neil Latkowski (chair of the Town of Tusten ZBA), James Crowley (code enforcement officer) and us (personally), to stop the ZBA from continuing to hear our appeal of the CO. 
  8. When before the Sullivan Supreme Court in March and April 2022, Frederick E. Twomey volunteered, yes, volunteered, to keep Bar Veloce closed while the suit is before the court. 
  9. The judge accepted Mr. Twomey’s offer for Bar Veloce to remain closed and made the closure mandatory until he issues his ruling. 
  10. The judge continues to consider the information submitted by parties to the suit. 

We note that Mr. Twomey’s attorney was apparently provided with a copy of the typed minutes of the ZBA meeting of February 14 in time for his submission to the court on April 8. As of July 1, almost five months after the February 14 ZBA meeting, those typed minutes are still not on the town’s website for the town’s taxpayers to read. 

Brendan P. Weiden 
Kathleen M. Weiden 
Narrowsburg, NY

Ground covers are great for birds, pollinators

I feel guilty about the way I planted 50 Canada anemone plugs last weekend. These ground covers are native—despite the name—and they are aggressive. You wouldn’t want them in your flower garden, even though in June they produce charming white flowers with yellow centers.

I planted them around the base of two trees and I cheated… big time. How did I cheat? Instead of laboriously pulling out every weed, I covered the desired area with cardboard, piled on three to four inches of compost, and then planted each two-inch plug one foot apart. So easy that I wondered if it would possibly work.

And why plant native ground cover around the base of trees? It suppresses weeds; prevents erosion, of course; and provides winter habitat for some native pollinators. It also provides a safe place for birds and pollinators to hide and forage. And it looks great!

Since Canada anemones are aggressive, they’ll grow fast and be hardy. Any weeds that appear will effortlessly be removed because the compost is fluffy.

Lilies of the valley, though not native, have some value for the base of trees, as do ferns, both of which have the advantage of not being on a deer’s menu.

For more suggestions, and to match ground covers with your site, visit https://wildseedproject.net/2017/01/native-groundcovers-beauty-biodiversity-ground-level/.

Doris Chorny
Wallkill, NY

redistricting, putin, roe v. wade, tusten, board of zoning, birds


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here