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Letters to the Editor

We encourage letters on topics of direct interest to the Hudson Valley but welcome your opinion on any subject.

This column may include "Opinion" pieces, submitted by public officials, and "Letters", submitted by citizens. These submissions are presented as opinions only, not as news or confirmed facts.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of MidHudsonNews.com or anyone associated with this website.

Letters are published as received. We do not correct spelling, grammar or syntax, but may edit for excess length. (Our suggested limit is 250 words)

We do not publish annonymous letters. All letters must contain the author's full name and hometown.

You may contribute one letter per 30-day period (except for political letters).

 

POLITICAL LETTERS

For the November 6 general election, the following rules will be enforced.

  • Letters must address issues, not personalities.  Personal insults or statements intended to impugn the character or integrity of a candidate will not be published.
  • The 250-word limit will be strictly observed.
  • Letters must be received, by email, by 11:59 p.m. November 3. All political letters will be removed the night of November 5 and will not appear on election day, November 6.
  • Beginning September 1, the 30-day limit will be suspended for political letters only. A ten-day (10) limit will apply to political letters.  You may submit one letter per ten-day period.

Please read our GUIDELINES

JAMES O’DONNELL FOR CONGRESS

I am writing to express my support for James O’Donnell for Congress. 

Jim has earned a distinguished career which culminated in retirement as Lieutenant Colonel for the New York State Police, after which he was appointed to serve as the Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department.

Jim is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, attended the Harvard University JFK School of Government, graduate level study at the University of Alabama and has a degree from Dominican College.

In addition to being a dedicated husband, father of 8 and grandfather of 7, Jim has dedicated his life to public service.  He currently serves as a County Legislator for Orange County’s 21st District.  Prior to his election as a Legislator, Jim served as Director of Operations for the Office of the County Executive and then Deputy County Executive.

His opponent, Sean Patrick Maloney, despite NOT being nominated by the Democratic Party to run for New York State Attorney General, abandoned the 18th Congressional District office to run for the Office of Attorney General anyway.  He not only put his personal interests above the needs of the constituency of the 18th Congressional District, but also ahead of the wishes of his own party.  The Democratic Party nominated an African-American Female to run for New York State Attorney General and he challenged her in a Primary election and lost.

This November, VOTE JAMES O’DONNELL for CONGRESS!

Cindy M. Trimble
Cold Spring
October 15


Elect Republicans

Gov. Andrew Cuomo : "[Conservatives] have no place in the State of New York."
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) : "If you see anybody from [Pres. Trump's ] Cabinet...you tell them they're not welcome anymore."

Hillary Clinton : "You cannot be civil with Republicans."

After the loathsome way Democrats treated Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, thinking people are left with only one conclusion: If your values are at odds with the Democrat Party platform, then you have no right to exist. This is not a far-fetched supposition. The GOP headquarters in Manhattan was vandalized on October 11 and a note was left saying "... this is only the beginning..."

Democrats revile the GOP with harangues on "bipartisanship", "corporate welfare", tax cuts for "the rich" and propping up a military industrial complex to the detriment of their beloved entitlement programs. However, should they achieve majority status in Congress, then it won't be a problem at all to squander taxpayer money while simultaneously fomenting public discord to impeach and remove both Pres. Trump and Justice Kavanaugh.

Given this set of circumstances, the greater good of our state and country will best be served by electing a Republican majority in both Albany and Washington, DC.   

Linda Cebrian
Dutchess Cty Conservative Committee
Rhinebeck 
October 15

 

Woodbury residents vote line “A”

Woodbury Village’s history is filled with bad decisions; $8 million for a village hall; six ineffective lawsuits on KJ; huge tax increases.  Our Mayor rebuffs input from others, often overlooks knowledge and expertise, and attacks those who speak out.  He and his trustees vote consistently 5-0. 

Now, under the banner of Save Woodbury, he’s handpicked his team for 2 vacant trustee positions.  We can expect more bad decisions adding high density housing and ignoring businesses in the hamlets in favor of the Commons.  Residents deserve better.
 
Candidates Stephen Hunter and Reynaldo Hernandez will reverse course. 

Years ago, a study about unification of town and village found advantages without jeopardizing the protections of the village.  State grants exist for this. Consolidation is key to more efficient use of tax dollars. It maintains village and town entities. It ensures the functions of each aren’t duplicative. It precludes municipalities from suing each other. However, there was no follow up.

Hunter and Hernandez support coordinating budget cycles, making budgets easier to understand and improving transparency. It’s almost impossible to achieve this with two municipalities having different cycles.

Our quality of life depends on properly managed growth and stewardship of the environment.

Hunter and Hernandez are committed to implementing the Master Plan which controls density. The Mayor said the Plan means nothing. 

We need the right people in office to accomplish it. 

Stephen Hunter and Reynaldo Hernandez represent Woodbury’s best hope for leadership and lower taxes. 

Vote Row A. Our community’s future depends on it.

Willa Freiband
Woodbury Democratic Committee Chair
October 15

 

Supports Pete Harkham

I am writing in strong support of Pete Harkham, specifically for his strong support of The Reproductive Health Act.   I am greatly concerned that women’s rights and options for health care, and their right to choose to have an abortion - and safely - are being eroded across the country.  The Women’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) has been passed by the NYS Assembly several times, and has now been stalled by the NYS Assembly.  This act was written to clarify and expand on certain provisions on Roe v. Wade, most notably to move abortion from the penal code to the public health code, to allow abortion in any stage of pregnancy when the health of the mother is threatened or in the case of fetal inviability, and to allow early abortion services to be provided by qualified, trained physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, and licensed midwives, making abortion safer and more accessible for women in underserved communities.  Nearly 80% of New Yorkers support a woman’s right to have an abortion.  Thus, Pete Harkham represents the majority of New Yorkers on this issue.   Terrence Murphy has voted against the RHA, and is in the minority.  Terrence Murphy is the wrong candidate to protect a woman’s right to choose, to advocate for women’s health, or to empathize with for women making the most difficult decision of their lives, which they alone have the right to make.  Vote for Pete Harkham for NYS Senate.

Julie Evans
Croton on Hudson
October 10

 

Supports Harckham

Travelling Interstate 84 to Connecticut I pass the Sandy Hook exit.  Waves of sadness grip me remembering the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.  Who can forget 20 children,  ages 6 - 7 yrs. old and six adults were fatally shot.  Then the shooter took his life. Earlier that day he shot and killed his mother. He suffered from multiple mental health disorders-and he owned a gun! Republican State Senator Terrence Murphy is running for re-election in SD40.  Mr. Murphy  co-sponsors S.879, a bill to repeal the SAFE Act outside of NYC.  He opposed the SAFE Act in previous campaigns. The NRA contributed $2000 to his last campaign.  Neither Murphy or his staff respond to gun control issues. I do not want Senator Murphy as MY representative in Albany.  He is not looking out for any of our best interests regarding gun safety issues. I am voting for his opponent, Democrat Pete Harckham.  In 2018 the NY Assembly passed SAFE Act enhancements, rejected by the Republican controlled Senate. They include:  RED FLAG BILL-removal of guns for the mentally ill,  background checks, convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic,  ban on guns for those convicted of domestic violence. Pete Harckham supports the enhancements. New York needs  to join eleven other states who have passed this legislation. Tuesday, November 6th, I urge all registered Democrats to vote for Pete Harckham.  We must defeat Senator Terrence Murphy who represents the Trump agenda in Albany.  Our votes are critical!

Karen Sevell Greenbaum
Croton-on-Hudson
October 10

 

Supports Schmitt

As a local fireman I find it important that we elect someone to office who supports our community first responders and volunteers.

I can tell you that Colin Schmitt is that person.

Colin Schmitt stands with fireman, police, EMS and all first responders. He is always there to support our local fire department events and causes. He knows its important because he comes from a first responder family. He personally knows the dedication and commitment that comes with serving the community.

Beyond his demonstrated support, Colin also has the proven professional track record of helping departments and agencies. As Chief of Staff in New Windsor and previously Director of Operations of the NYS Senate Homeland Security Committee Colin has the local and state level experience necessary to take care of any issue or concern first responders like myself may face.

I urge all my fellow first responders and those who support us to cast their vote for the leader who has our back without question, Colin Schmitt, for State Assembly,

Donald J Bounty
Captain of the Cornwall Fire Dept.              
Cornwall
October 8

 

Supports Schmitt

As a long time resident of New Windsor I want to tell you how great it has been for town government to have Colin Schmitt working for us.

Colin has gone above and beyond for the community. He is always just a phone call or email away from providing assistance. 

Mr. Schmitt shows up at many community events and does his very best to assist and support. This is the type of leader we need more of. 

I know Colin is now running for State Assembly. Election Day is fast approaching and I hope all residents of our district will vote for him.

Having seen his personal dedication in New Windsor, and all the outstanding positive results, I cannot wait to see how well he serves us in the  State Assembly and all the good that comes from it!

Lisa Jugan
New Windsor
October 8

 

Supports Harckham

In the event Roe v. Wade is overturned by the new Supreme Court, New York State can protect women’s reproductive rights with The Reproductive Health Act (RHA), a bill that has passed the NYS Assembly several times in recent years only to be stalled in the NYS Senate.  NYS Senator Terrence Murphy (SD 40), a member of the Senate Health Committee has been complicit in keeping the RHA from a Senate vote.  He has asserted that the RHA would allow women to have abortions at will up to full term.  The language of the RHA, however, states that abortion after 24 weeks can only be performed when a woman’s health or life is endangered by carrying the pregnancy to term or if the fetus is not viable. 

Murphy also opposes the RHA on the grounds of religion, that he is a Catholic.  Understandably, his Catholic teachings might make him personally averse to abortion; however, Senator Murphy was elected to be a public servant. He has a duty to represent his constituents (among them the 80% of voters who advocate for women’s right to choose) and not the Catholic Church.  

A vote for Pete Harckham is a vote for the RHA, which would move abortion out of an antiquated 1970 law that put it in the NYS penal code and place it in the NYS public health law code where it belongs.  Abortion is health care, not a crime.   

Sara Campbell
Croton-on-Hudson
October 4

 

Supports Harckham

We all know that State Senator Terrence Murphy takes personal credit for everything positive that happens in Albany, whether or not he had anything to do with it.  Now, he’s spun an even more egregious fantasy by claiming that he, himself, brought Democrats and Republicans together to achieve these accomplishments. Yes, that’s Terrence Murphy the great conciliator. 

And he actually expects us to believe that! C’mon Mr. Murphy, we’re just not that gullible.

But if you’re such a genius at bringing warring factions together, Mr. Murphy, how about dragging your Republican colleagues along to pass the bills on women’s health, universal healthcare, election reform, immigration, ethics reform, gun safety, and all of the other legislation passed by the Democratic Assembly that was left to die in Senate committees by you and your Republican collaborators?  You never mention that, do you?

We can end this logjam by replacing Mr. Murphy and his henchmen in the Senate with good Democrats who care more about you, their constituents, than they do about the special interests who pour millions into their campaigns. 

Such an individual is Pete Harckham who is opposing Mr. Murphy in the 40th district.

Pete is an experienced legislator who, with like-minded associates, will free this much-needed legislation from committee limbo and get it enacted for the benefit of you, your family, and all New Yorkers.

Vote for your interests.  Vote for Pete Harckham on November 6.  It’s a decision you’ll never regret.

Joel E. Gingold
Croton-on-Hudson
October 1

 

NY energy policy

Governor Jerry Brown of California recently signed a bill that commits California to one hundred percent zero-carbon electricity by 2045. But he failed to include methane in the legislation, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon, and he continues to permit fracking for natural gas in CA. News coverage of the bill portrays California as moving to 100% renewable energy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. California and New York are supposed to be climate leaders, but their energy policies are ignoring the devastation that methane pollution is wreaking on our planet.

Here in New York, Governor Cuomo often touts the state as a climate leader.  But when it comes to energy policy, NY is falling behind. Progress with the state’s energy efficiency measures and renewable energy production has stagnated, while new construction and expansion of fossil-fuel based electricity generation continues.

Power plants that burn diesel fuel and natural gas, like the CPV plant recently built in Orange County, are being proposed all over New York State. If these plants go online, they will lock us into decades of greenhouse gas pollution--further igniting climate change, devastating our public health and economy, and jeopardizing the safety of New Yorkers. Locally, there is one of these plants known as the Danskammer, an old coal plant that they want to convert to natural gas, in Newburgh NY.

If New York and California want to be the climate leaders that Governors Brown and Cuomo tout them to be, California needs to ban fracking and New York needs to deny permitting of all new fossil fuel expansion. Coast to coast, we must move our nation to 100% clean, green, renewable energy now.

Paige Golembeski
Environmental Project Leader, NYPIRG at SUNY New Paltz
October 1

 

Supports Schmitt

As a woman I plan to only vote for a candidate this November that I know will represent my values and beliefs every single day.

For State Assembly, that candidate is Colin Schmitt.

Colin stands as the clear choice for those who want an official who will stand up for women, represent our interests and be a voice of support and advocacy for us in State Government.

It is easy for candidates and politicians from both parties to talk about treating women fairly and fighting for them. It is another thing to show it.

Colin Schmitt is a proven leader. One who has a track record of delivering results for us. Colin has been on the front lines supporting women owned businesses and working to ensure equal employment opportunities exist for women in our area.  He is committed to making our area more affordable so we can not only live here, but have the ability to prosper here. He has an unmatched record of working to keep our community and families safe.

A vote for Colin Schmitt is a vote to be proud of. I hope many will join me in supporting Colin Schmitt who has a record and history of standing with us.

Sonja Eversman
Goshen
(October 1)

 

Supports Schmitt

As a young woman in my early twenties I find it critical to ensure that my voice is heard and that my generation is represented by elected officials.

That is why I am proud to be a member of the Women for Schmitt coalition supporting Colin Schmitt for State Assembly.

You have probably seen the pink signs all around that say “Women for Schmitt.” These signs are more than just signs, they represent many women across our district, including many young women like myself who are actively supporting Colin Schmitt.

For many of us, this is the first time being politically involved. We do so because we know Colin Schmitt can make a difference. When we speak, Colin listens. He is engaged in our community and the issues the affect our generation. Colin stands with us and is a voice for opportunity and equality that is so refreshing to see.

There is a lot of noise on social media these days, and it is easy for voices of the next generation to be drowned out. That will not happen here-we will be heard loud and clear in our support of Colin Schmitt and when he is elected Colin will always stand with women of my generation and all generations as an official we can be proud of.

I urge all women to go out and vote for Colin Schmitt this November!

Danielle Komondorea
New Windsor
September 19


Dear Congressman Faso

I write to request that you publicly denounce the SuperPAC-funded attack ads against Antonio Delgado that have been permeating the airwaves. These ads paint your Democratic opponent in an extremely negative light and they say nothing positive about what you bring to the table in your work as a government leader. This is not a stand-up way to support a campaign.

Further, these ads have deep and conspicuous racial overtones. These ads are ad hominem in nature and divisive in their effects. And it is important to keep in mind that Mr. Delgado has a family.

At this time in our nation’s history, we need leaders to step up and cultivate messages of unity. A condemnation of these ads on your part would be such a step and I appreciate your consideration of this request.

Glenn Geher
New Paltz
September 17

 

Attorney General responsibilities

When voting this year, please remember what the responsibilities of the Office of the New York State Attorney General are and what they are not.   I worked for NYS Attorney General Robert Abrams (D), G. Oliver Koppell (D), Dennis Vacco (R), and Eliot Spitzer (D).  Back then, the AG’s Office worked hard to protect the taxpaying people of the State.  In addition to defending state agencies that are sued, we fought for New Yorkers against elder fraud, consumer fraud and price gouging, enforced the Lemon Law, Antitrust Laws and protected consumers from bad businesses, including nursing homes and charities and assisted in landlord/tenant disputes. 

It is NOT the job of the NYS Attorney General to attack and undermine the duly elected President of the United States, and it is NOT the job of the Attorney General to send attorneys paid by New York State taxpayers to the sites of day laborers to provide free legal assistance, nor is it their job to distribute guidelines for communities to create Sanctuary Cities and refuse to cooperate with other law enforcement officials.  I was appalled when I called the office of disgraced former AG Eric Schneiderman (D) only to hear, “Press 1 if you would like to file a complaint against President-elect (later President) Donald Trump”.  That is a blatant misuse of the office paid by taxpayer dollars.

All 4 Democrat candidates during the debate were clear that they intend to continue the work of Eric Schneiderman (D).

Cindy M. Trimble
Cold Spring
September 9

 

Guidelines

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