Letters to the editor April 2 to 8
We’ve been buffaloed by our scientists! They claim the earth is round! Hah! How foolish—obviously it is flat! Otherwise we’d fall right off the bottom. They’d have us believe there’s a mystical force they call “gravity” that somehow keeps us from falling off! Duh… and the “globe” is spinning? Do we all have invisible ropes that keep us from flying right off this spinning earth? How ridiculous!
Here’s a simple test that you can do at home. You’ll need a volunteer, a can of beer, an empty glass and a yardstick.
Have your volunteer stand erect. Then pour the beer into the glass and place that upon your volunteer’s head. Now, stand back, and with the yardstick gently push the glass of beer over the “edge” of the volunteer’s “round” head. You see? It falls right off, proving my point!
And the moon has a mystic force that causes high and low tides in our oceans? Yeah, right! What really happens is excess water (high tide) runs off the edge of our flat planet, thereby causing a low tide. Then the whole process repeats—it rains, the water level goes up, excess runs off the edge, etc. Simple!
It’s near April Fool’s Day but they ain’t foolin’ me.
Phil Yacino Jr.
Every 10 years, the census plays a major role in determining the legislative representation, money and services Sullivan County is eligible to receive from the federal and state government. This includes funding for road and bridge repairs, school and safety net programs, support for firefighting and policing, community renewal and disaster recovery assistance. Unfortunately, Sullivan County has a history of chronic undercounting resulting in its second-to-last ranking for census participation in all of New York. If this undercounting continues in the 2020 census, Sullivan County stands to lose even more monetary aid and legislative representation over the next 10 years.
We can reverse this death-spiral trend. In March, letters were mailed to all residents to reply to the census online. In early April, letters containing the census form will be mailed to all residences that did not respond online. Other “non-response” follow up measures, including mobile assistance outreach vehicles and telephoning, will start in mid-April, with door-to-door canvassing of non-responding residences from mid-May through July 31, after which compiling of the census count should start.
The census establishes our strength and clout in Washington. The form takes 10 minutes or less to fill out and is available in many languages. If we exert a maximum effort to ensure everyone participates, the 2020 count of Sullivan County’s population will accurately reflect the legislative representation (federal, state and county) monetary aid and services we deserve. Working together, we can get this job done.
Star D. Hesse
Last Tuesday, March 24, in a sweeping about-face, President Trump apologized for mishandling the coronavirus in the critical early months. He acknowledged that he got it wrong on February 26 when he said that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. was going down and would soon be “close to zero.” There were only 60 cases in the country when he said that, but the number was rapidly rising. As of March 24, there were more than 43,000 cases, and that number is doubling every two days. Trump also admitted he was wrong to blame the media for making coronavirus “look bad” and for denying that he had any responsibility for the shortage of testing kits—a shortage which continues to hamper efforts to combat the disease.
Finally, the president stunned reporters when he uncharacteristically set aside his concern for the stock market and expressed compassion for the millions of Americans whose lives have been upended by the pandemic.
None of this ever happened. Never will.
Callicoon Center, NY
There is a moral and legal obligation for all temporary residents of Sullivan County to report to the census bureau that this where they should be counted. The forms are being sent to all addresses—first home, second home, retirement home, wherever. If you’re here on April 1, you are to be counted here. If you are staying in a borrowed house, you are to be counted there. If I had a second home here, I would be tempted to list my primary residence down in the five boroughs or wherever to be counted there. But the question is not, “Where do you want to live?” The question is, “Where are you?” Since this has a huge impact on locals, locals should have an organized effort to get the count correct.
All our focus right now should be on pulling together and battling this serious and widespread contagion that is fundamentally changing our lives, our incomes, our way of life and our health and safety.
That’s why I was very surprised to see a very negative attack ad by Republican candidate Michael Martucci against Sen. Jen Metzger. Not only did I find it inappropriate in this difficult time, I found it focused on scare tactics rather than a serious presentation of an important issue: the bail reform law that went into effect in January.
Is Martucci saying he supports a bail system that is unjust in that it penalizes the poor and advantages people of means? Does he support that people able to pay bail and guilty of the very same misdemeanor, nonviolent offense get to go free while a poor person doesn’t? That’s what Martucci’s attack ad means in practical terms.
Metzger has been working with her colleagues on some reasonable changes to the law which we should commend her for. More importantly at this moment of global pandemic, she has been doing the hard, important work all our state and local leaders have been doing. She’s been getting information out about COVID-19, working to highlight the good happening and delivering food and volunteering at the food pantry herself! It seems that during a health crisis, we should be focused on supporting each other and not playing scare tactics and petty politics.
To me, discussing these issues in a non-hysterical, calm way is what’s appropriate in this difficult time. I would ask Martucci to revise his approach. This should be a time of truth, not misrepresentation. It’s a time when we should be able to believe both our current representatives and those who vie to replace them.
Speak truth, not hysteria.
Jeffrey C. Allison