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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)

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  Personal insults or statements intended to impugn the character or integrity of a candidate will not be published.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

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

 

Supports Figueroa

If the incumbent for Ulster County Sheriff, who is questionably running on the Democratic ticket, wins in the 9/13 primary, he will be a shoe-in November, as supported by the Republican Party. I support the other candidate, Juan Figueroa, endorsed by the Ulster County Democratic Nominating Committee, partly because of an incident at the 2018 Latino Plattekill Festival.

My husband and I were seated at a table for a non-profit organization.  Juan Figueroa was standing behind us.  My husband was in an animated conversation with a lady picking up pamphlets. My husband’s folding chair was next to a slight incline and tipped sideways. My husband embarrassingly fell onto the ground. Figueroa lunged toward my husband who waved him away. 

I heard Mr. Figueroa say, “He’s fine, he’s a big guy,” to my burly white seventy plus husband.   Subsequently, I read that Juan Figueroa, who attends many town meetings, is very qualified, including being a former   NY state trooper. His literature states he will treat people humanely, and with respect. I witnessed this respect… and sensitivity.  

Why is sensitivity, and respect important? Many of us will suffer a family crisis and stressful legal situations that require law intervention. I want a sheriff who is sensitive to all human beings, and treats them with respect.  Also, will set these positive examples to those who work with and under him. These are difficult times. We have an opioid crisis, and other family issues severely impacting people in Ulster County and around this nation.

Nora Hamond
Wallkill
September 5

 

Supports Van Blarcum

At a County Democratic meeting in the late 1990s, we were told of Paul Van Blarcum, a life long Democrat who was serving the UN International Police Force in Bosnia, which was going through a terrible war.  Aside from the daily dangers he faced, Paul had a personal, humanitarian mission – to deliver shoes to the people who were suffering atrocities and shortages of basic necessities.  And deliver he did - 17,000 pairs!  

Over the years we were fortunate that Paul had the helm of the sheriff’s department.  Whether battling gangs, domestic violence, keeping our streets safe while maintaining the road patrol, Paul has been an honest, fiscally conservative and fearless law enforcement leader.  When the opioid crisis struck, Paul had the initiative to create the multi-agency URGENT,  and his office has been teaching every law enforcement agency, and civilians, how to save lives using Narcan.

Yes, Paul Van Blarcum is bold;  quiet yet outspoken; and yes, unafraid to think outside the box.  

As the former Vice Chair of the Ulster County Democratic Committee, I encourage all Democrats to vote for Paul in the 9/13 primary, and the general election on 11/6.   He deserves our support now!

 Michelle Tuchman
Saugerties
September 5

 

Fellow Democrats,


     You are called to vote on Primary Day, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, to make your choices for the November ballot candidates. The local races need your special attention.

     The NYS 104 Assembly seat formerly held by Frank Skartados is being pursued by five candidates. Personally, I am endorsing Jodi McCredo.  I believe that Jodi:  is loyal to the Hudson Valley; that she has the ability to work across party lines to get things done as evidenced by her work             on the Beacon City Council;  and is dedicated to improving our schools and changing policies on how they are funded.  Especially, I believe in the sincerity of her promise to work for us.

     Her experience as a small business owner, her public service activities and activism, and her strong work ethic tell me that Jodi McCredo will be the new workhorse for our riverside communities.

     I urge you to go to the candidates’ websites and review their campaign information. Most important, VOTE on Sept. 13.

      Susan Notar    
Newburgh
September 3

 

Supports Rettig

The hot pink lawn signs Women for Schmitt baffle me.  Most women I know want their candidate to demonstrate he is for THEM.

Matt Rettig is that candidate.  He’s pledged to carry on the work of James Skoufis to support legislation such as the Contraceptive Coverage Act; Pay Equity; Victims of Violence Act; and the complete Reproductive Health Act. He will not block this legislation like the Republicans have done.

Matt wants legislation that secures women’s rights and makes NY a more compassionate state for our seniors, daughters and granddaughters.
Matt is FOR women who work for small businesses but don’t have legal protections from sexual harassment; FOR changing  NY law to allow those woman to recover legal fees; FOR protecting  victims of sex trafficking from being protected for prostitution.

Matt will fight FOR working mothers who are paid lower salaries than men with children. He wants to prevent realtors and landlords from discriminating against victims of domestic violence.  Matt trusts women to make their own reproductive health care decisions. He will fight FOR women to have access to contraception in insurance plans that also cover Viagra.

When electing our next Assemblyman, women should consider Matt Rettig. He demonstrates through his positions and actions that he is the only candidate who is truly FOR women. 

Willa Freiband
Woodbury
September 3

 

Juan Figueroa is the Real Deal for Sheriff

Let’s be clear. This nation is in crisis mode right now. And it is up to all of us to work together to get things back on track.

In Ulster County, our current elected sheriff has made headlines for such activities as using the official Facebook page of the Ulster County Sheriff’s office to urge citizens to boycott the NFL and for encouraging citizens across the county to carry guns in their daily lives. This is not a portrait of the America that I know and love.

While the current sheriff may be a registered Democrat, the fact that he has regularly obtained the Republican ballot line in past elections is something of a sign. To my mind, the current sheriff of Ulster County does not stand for the basic values that underlie a true Democratic platform. Further, I would argue that his actions are inconsistent with many of the foundational values of our precious nation.

If you want change that you can believe in, I strongly urge you to do anything in your power to help get Juan Figueroa elected as the next Ulster County sheriff. I know Juan extremely well and I can honestly say that he is the real deal in every respect. He will not disappoint.

A retired (and decorated) member of the New York State Troopers and the United States Marines, Juan has an extensive background when it comes to overseeing major law enforcement and military activities. He has played a major role in taking down drug cartels. He was charged with overseeing the creation of temporary villages for our troops in Iraq. His resume for this position is unbeatable.

While Juan’s background relevant to the position is outstanding, knowing him well, I can say that it is his character that truly sets him apart. When I first met Juan over a year ago, he came across as respectful, bright, forward-thinking, and capable. I have worked with him extensively since that point and, from this vantage point, I can honestly say that the first impression he gives is spot-on. Juan is incredibly genuine and hard-working. He is deeply respectful of everyone, which leads to him being extremely well-liked and trusted by people who are fortunate to get to know him. He is a team player. He listens to others and takes feedback into account. And he is a true leader, fully capable of mobilizing people and making things happen.

The world is a mess right now. In a democracy such as ours, the primary way to make change is at the voting booth. This election season (Democratic Primary: Thursday, September 13; General Election: Tuesday, November 6), let’s make sure that Juan is elected as our next sheriff in Ulster County. At this time in our nation’s history, we need leaders who are forward thinking, experienced, genuine, trustworthy, and community-oriented. At this time in history, Ulster County needs Juan Figueroa for Sheriff.

Glenn Geher
New Paltz
August 26

 

Here’s Why Robert Kesten is the Best Choice for New York State Senator

Robert Kesten listens to the People. Robert Kesten will represent the People. All the People!

Robert is a lifelong Westchester resident, living in Lewisboro, with his husband and two sons. He’s experienced working with presidents, prime ministers and state and local elected officials. Robert is also an educator, union member and human rights activist. 

As your State Senator, Robert will vote for a NY Health Act that guarantees comprehensive, quality healthcare for all, saving New Yorkers billions of dollars in healthcare costs. 

Robert will vote for the Reproductive Health Act codifying the protections of Roe V Wade in NYS, because healthcare decisions belong between a woman and her doctor and can no longer be entrusted to Washington. 

Robert will vote for common sense gun laws to prevent dangerous felons and abusers from buying guns and he will vote for practical gun safety laws to keep guns and ammunition locked away to reduce accidental child shooting accidents. 

And Robert will vote for the Child Victims Act to protect our most vulnerable. 

Robert’s experience includes creating jobs, children’s safety, education, balancing budgets, and environmental improvement. And he refuses to stand still and watch our infrastructure deteriorate.

In the past two years, Robert worked tirelessly to help other Democrats such as George Latimer and Shelley Mayer get elected. In recognition of his commitment to the Democratic Party he was endorsed by nearly every Party Committee and Grassroots organization in Senate District 40. Robert, and his supporters, knew last September that he could beat the Republican incumbent and keep the “Blue Wave” flowing.

I have no doubt, that Robert Kesten is the most qualified person to be our next State Senator for District 40. He has given 8 Town Halls on our most important issues. That’s 8 more than anyone else. 

He is knowledgeable, confident, ethical and committed to victory.

Mark A. Lieberman
Vision With Action Can Change The World
Yorktown Heights
August 26

 

Supports Schmitt

Now more than ever we need to elect people with proven experience to represent us.

That is why I am voting for Colin Schmitt to be our next NYS Assemblyman.

Colin Schmitt has the experience necessary to make a great Assemblyman and work hard for all of us every day.

Colin has achieved great results for residents of our area. When it comes to some of the most pressing issues facing our district, Colin has developed solutions and is always a step ahead!

You see it in his success with local ethics reform, economic development, infrastructure improvement and more.  And afterall in the end his success is our success.

I have seen my fair share of candidates, and I am sure many can say that same, that come around and talk about what they liked to do and how they like to do it.

Colin Schmitt is different he talks about what he has done. He talks about success he has delivered for our area. We need to put that success to work for us in the Assembly.

I suggest we all join together and vote for Colin Schmitt.

Sally Anne Elving    
Goshen
August 22

 

Supports Kesten

Robert Kesten, a Democratic candidate for NY State Senate in the 40th district, is running for office for the first time.  But, unlike his primary opponent Peter Harckham, former Westchester Legislator who was handpicked by Governor Cuomo, it means that Robert will ensure that there is a distinct and independent voice in Albany that will fight for us.  He is an activist, a union member, a father and has lived in this district his entire life.  Robert has the support of grassroots activist organizations and almost all local Democratic committees in the district.  Yes, his primary opponent has the Democratic political machine behind him, but 2018 is the year for grassroots Democrats and independent voters to tell both party machines that we want to choose our own representation.  We will blow past the Democratic Party machine in the Thursday, September 13th Democratic Primary, and we will unseat Republican Trump-supporter Terrence Murphy on November 6th.  We will turn NY Senate District 40 BLUE!

As your State Senator, Robert will fight for single payer healthcare, which will provide comprehensive healthcare for New Yorkers as a right, not a privilege, while saving us billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Robert will fight to protect women’s reproductive health and ensure women “equal pay for equal work.” Robert will also fight for the safety and wellbeing of our communities by keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others.

I wholeheartedly support Robert Kesten in the Primary on Thursday, September 13th, and I urge you to do the same.

Marianna Stout
Peekskill
August 22

 

Supports Delgado

I write this letter about the honor of work - and the dishonor of not showing up for the job.

The great people of NY’s 19th Congressional District deserve a Congressional Representative who will show up to work and do their job. We deserve Antonio Delgado for Congress. Delgado works hard and will represent all the people of our great district - with dignity and respect.

The main job of the congressional representative is to have open public town halls and meet openly with his or her constituents and listen to their views and take them to Washington, The job of the Congressional Representative is to listen to people - no matter if you agree or disagree.

For citizens of NY's 19th Congressional District -  and for his last 2 years in office - our current Congressman John Faso has not done his basic job. 

He has not honored his commitment to properly represent our district. In fact - he has not shown up to work. John Faso has NOT held one open town hall meeting - open to all the citizens of our great congressional district. That is disgraceful. That is a no show job.

The average adult voter in our district must show up for work and honor his or her commitments. However, Mr Faso - as a representative - has not done his job. He has been a no show. He has avoided his constituents and has been in hiding from the community he claims to represent. 

My questions are - Why is Faso hiding ? Why is he so scared of his constituents ? Why Is it that he can’t hold (1) open town hall in 2 full years ? Why is he taking the voters for granted ? If he is not listening to his constituents - then, who is he listening to - The Koch Brothers ??

The bottom line is simple  - Congressman Faso is not living up to his basic responsibilities as a public servant.

We deserve a Congressional Representative who will show up to work and do their job. 

Please - join me in voting for - Antonio Delgado for Congress - for our illustrious NY’s 19th Congressional District.

Leslie Gabriel
Kerhonkson
August 22

 

Likes our news coverage

I want to thank you for always being first with local breaking news.

My son texted me that he was responding on mutual aid to the City of Newburgh P.D. for a reported riot. Yes, I was concerned and started looking for on line news, Mid Hudson News was the only on line news to be covering it and gave the report that the situation had been diffused, what a relief.

The Times Herald Record might cover it in a few hours or tomorrow morning and they want me to pay for their web site? What a joke!  I guess they’re too busy to see what the Liberal Washington Post is reporting on.

R. Rudolph
Town of Newburgh
August 22

 

Supports Malick

Why am I voting for Pramilla Malick in the 9/13/18 Democratic Primary, for the NY State Senate seat, 42nd District?  Because I want someone representing me and my community who is committed, hardworking, loyal, passionate, progressive and an activist, who is not afraid to speak" truth to power."  Pramilla has been relentless in fighting corruption (Joe Percoco conviction) and the multi-billion dollar fracked gas infrastructure industry, notably, the CPV Power Plant.  She has been the brains, energy and stamina (starting with the segmented Minisink Compressor Station, seven years   ago) behind the grassroots organization, Protect Orange County.  While this life and health matter has been Pramilla's signature issue, I am confident Pramilla will work with equal zest, vigor, perseverance and fortitude on all matters that affect the 42nd!

Pramilla has proven who she is and what she stands for.  She cannot be bought, bullied, silenced or corrupted.  Send strength, leadership and purpose to Albany.  Vote Malick on 9/13/18.  Please do not sit this one out.  Please vote for the only Democratic candidate for the 42nd, who has demonstrated through her actions, over the last seven years, that she is worthy of your vote.

Mary Ann McDonough
Otisville
August 14

 

Supports Schmitt

In November we must elect someone with the honorable experience to serve as our State Assemblyman. We are blessed in the 99th District to have that candidate, Colin Schmitt.

Colin Schmitt has served our state and our country with honor and integrity in the Army National Guard. He also serves the public as Chief of Staff in the Town of New Windsor and previously as Director of Operations of the NYS Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.

Colin is someone who is willing to roll up his sleeves and accomplish any task. He has proven that over and over again.

During election time we are often saturated with a lot of information and many choices. Thankfully this one is easy. We can vote for a leader who has actual accomplishments and credentials to his name. Someone who has done the right thing regardless of party.

Rarely do we have candidates who have accomplished real success for the public at large. Someone with a true track record to be proud of. Colin Schmitt has all that and more. Colin Schmitt will help this district succeed, he already has proven the ability to do and he isn't even elected yet.

Milly Ardisana
Chester
August 10

 

Supports Schmitt

This is the first time I have a written a letter to the paper and I wanted to do so to express my support for Colin Schmitt to be our next Assemblyman.

My family and I have seen Colin Schmitt in action. All across Cornwall and the surrounding areas we have bumped into him at parades, community events and even as he has gone door to door campaigning.

Colin Schmitt offers this district the whole package. He not only has the experience, but energy and ability to deliver for all of us. Whether it is as Chief of Staff to the Town of New Windsor or as a member of the NY Army National Guard Colin has dedicated his life to service for others, and has backed it up with success.

By electing Colin Schmitt we get an Assemblyman who will work tirelessly and with unique prospective to deliver results for our district and to solve our most pressing issues.  

My family is proud to support and will be casting our votes for Colin Schmitt for NYS Assembly on November 6th and urge all in our district to do the same.

Tara DiSalvo
Cornwall
August 10

 

Sexual orientation is not a mental disorder

With all due respect, Linda Cebrian (Letters, July 27) is factually incorrect when she says, “the Q in LGBTQ stands for ‘Questioning,’” and she is factually wrong when she calls LGBTQ orientations a “disordered mindset.”

The consensus in psychology is that sexual orientation is not a mental disorder, and so efforts to cure it are more akin to brainwashing or communist re-education camps than they are to legitimate psychotherapy.  

Adults can choose any kind of therapy they wish, but children need to be protected, even from their parents. Sexual assault is certainly evidence of mental disorder, but not sexual orientation.

Keith Walters
Monroe
August 1

 

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