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Letters to the Editor
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Supports Cocchiara
 
I endorse Rich Cocchiara to become our next New York State Assembly representative for the 99th District.  Rich is an innovative business leader, who has been a tax-paying homeowner and resident of our district for decades, where he has been raised 3 children.  He has been a town councilman for 12 years, and he has served as a volunteer developing the future leadership potential of local community youth.  Rich is someone who knows what the problems are that confront the people of this district, and he will do all that he can to make sure our voice is truly heard in Albany.
 
Rich wants to improve our community so that people will want to stay and live in New York, instead of fleeing our region due to high taxes and inadequate job opportunities.  He wants to bring sanity back to our state’s education system by stopping Common Core, and he wants to provide a positive new business environment for entrepreneurs and corporations, for our hourly wage earners, and for our future college graduates here.  Finally, I know Rich personally and he is a person of integrity, and he is not just another “photo-op” politician.  He is honest, reliable, and willing to work the very long hours necessary to succeed in this position.  I believe Rich Cocchiara is the person best qualified to be our next 99th Assembly District Member, and I plan to vote for him this November.  I hope you consider supporting him too.
 
Mark Levy
Salisbury Mills
(September 19)

 

Got a Farm Bill? Thank Congressman Chris Gibson

Virtually every sector of New York’s economy benefits from the U.S. Farm Bill. The federal government’s agricultural and rural development programs are absolutely crucial to Upstate New York and the country as a whole. 

The Farm Bill sets federal policy; including conservation efforts, dairy and crop insurance programs, medical research into Lyme disease, infrastructure development (most notably broadband programs), beginning farmer and specialty crop programs, plus farm-to-market promotional and incentive programs.  

Our Congressman Chris Gibson recognizes this and as an integral member of the House Agriculture Committee, made sure to help draft the best bill Upstate New York could hope for.

Hearing young Mr. Eldridge say that he would have voted against the Farm Bill tells me one thing about him: he does not understand the district he would like to represent. 

Nor does he understand the district to which he previously moved in order to run; which is currently represented by Farm Bill-supporting Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.

Sean Eldridge just doesn’t get it.  He sees the Farm Bill as another opportunity to score political points by claiming that it takes food from the mouths of the poor. 

Do you think President Obama, Chuck Schumer, or any of the other 132 Democrats (and two Independents) would have supported a bill to do such an inhumane thing?  In fact, when preparing to sign the Farm bill, President Obama said it assures “America’s children don’t go hungry” and “will continue reducing our deficits without gutting the vital assistance programs millions of hardworking Americans count on to help put food on the table for their families.  

President Obama recognizes that this bill ensures our Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) remain strong and able to meet the needs of our nation. 

Mr. Eldridge’s claim that this bill does not live up to this commitment is both dishonest and untrue. 

We’ve all seen the bumper sticker” “Got Food? Thank a Farmer”?  I’d like to make a new one: “Got a Farm Bill? Thank Congressman Gibson.” 

Or how about: “Got a Farm Bill?  Thank God Sean Eldridge is not in Congress.”

Robert M. Bishop
Hamden, NY
(September 19)

 

Smith will fight, needs your help

As many of you know I am running as an independent candidate for Congress.  The petition that I filed has been challenged, not for any matter of impropriety, but on technical matters, which I believe will be overcome in court.  The fate of the candidacy will be determined in the next two weeks.  I can begin the legal battle and have already taken steps to do so, but just as I needed the help of 5,000 of you to submit the petition, I now need your help to sustain any legal effort.  I ask you to consider donating to the campaign.  If you can do so, please visit www.gofundme.com/deyyz8 to donate or mail donations to Mr. Smith for Congress, P.O. Box 354, Goshen, NY 10924.  Thank you.

Scott Smith
Goshen
(August 26)

 

Supports Stage

Christine Stage has been my professional adversary for fifteen years, and I am convinced that she is the best candidate for Orange County Family Court judge.

Unlike the other candidates, Chris has been a constant presence in Family Court for three decades.  She is a veteran Family Court attorney and an expert in her field.  When someone has a question, the response is often, “Ask Chris Stage.”

Perhaps even more important than legal expertise is the fact that Chris has the right temperament to be a Family Court judge.  Chris is reasonable, practical, down-to-earth and compassionate.  I trust that Christine Stage will make the right decisions for the children and families of Orange County.

Maria Patrizio
Circleville
(August 22)

 

Praises Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and personally thank Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson for their hard work to fight foreclosures and evictions in Dutchess County.  They use a two-part organizing strategy of legal defense and public action to keep people in their homes. 

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson and I have had a working relationship for the past two years.  We and many others signed petitions, attended vigils and contacted banks like Bank of America and the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union to help keep two families in their homes.  Together, we all worked to prevent two homes (one in Wappingers Falls and the other in Beacon) from becoming vacant and another family from becoming homeless. 

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson organizes around the principle that fighting banks is a collective, not an individual, struggle.  The ultimate goal is to educate, organize and support homeowners and tenants to defend their right to stay in their homes. 

If you know anyone facing foreclosure and/or eviction, I strongly encourage them to contact Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and their local elected officials for guidance.  When we stand up and fight together, we win.

Francena Amparo
Dutchess County Legislator, Dist. 14
(July 31)

 

19th District candidates

Recently the name carpet bagger has been used to describe Sean Eldridge as he makes a bid for Congress in NY’s 19th district.  Eldridge only recently moved to the 19th district. 

As a native New Yorker, I am puzzled as to why this is an issue.  After all, New York has a long history of welcoming people, including politicians, to the state from all over the country and the world. It is one of the strengths of this state which has contributed to its stellar place in the history of the US.   Does anybody remember the campaigns of Bobby Kennedy and, more recently, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg (from Boston of all places) and Bill deBlasio who was born in NY but raised in Cambridge, Mass. 

In addition to the local issues facing the Hudson Valley, members of Congress must also deal with national issues like the economy, immigration reform, extending benefits for the unemployed, cuts to the food stamp program, whether or not to raise the minimum wage, the national debt, and the unsettled situation in the Middle East.  The list goes on and on.  Isn’t it better to concentrate on the candidates’ stands on these issues than to be distracted by the issue of where a candidate was born and raised?  Shouldn’t Gibson be required to answer why his Republican party has obstructed votes on these issues?  Shouldn’t Eldridge be required to articulate how his election might change the grid lock in Congress? 

I urge all my fellow voters in the 19th district to pay attention to what the candidates say on these important issues and not be distracted by the trivia which frequently emerges in a close race.

Al Ragucci
Rhinebeck
(July 19)

 

"Educate United Water"

One resonant theme of the NYS Public Service Commission proceedings in Albany regarding United Water and Rockland County, is "Outreach and Education". The arrogant French-controlled utility lives in the same existential self-deception bemoaned by Sartre. United Water's Jersey middle-management operatives tell us that our opposition to desalination and rate-increases are a mere product of our own lack of edification on the topic of water. Infuriatingly, United Water even seeks to charge us rate-payers money, in the form of surcharge, to so "educate" us.

Yet look at their individual credentials. Discarded expatriates. Third-rate intellects. Industry hacks. Small-market toadies. And they want to teach us?

I have a better idea. Today Rockland County citizens launch our own "Outreach and Education" initiative - called "Educate United Water". This initiative teaches United Water management the difference between ethical and unethical. Safe versus unsafe. Charge versus overcharge. Fact versus fiction. Transparency versus concealment. "Educate United Water" teaches United Water to stop ripping off its customers with arcane schemes. To stop abusing rate-payers. To stop delivering inferior product. Moreover, the "Educate United Water" initiative will now instruct United Water in the manifold benefits, to them, of a hasty departure from the County of Rockland.

John J. Tormey III, Esq.
New York
(July 16)

 

What is Boehner doing?   

No to bank and Wall Street Reform; no to consumer protections; no to a Jobs Bill; no to investing in infrastructure; no to helping our kids get an affordable college education; no to universal health care; no to equal pay for our women for equal work; no to feeding our hungry; no to saving our environment; no to Immigration Reform, all of which hurt the Hudson Valley and our country.  The “House of No” obstructs anything that might serve the interests of the people who fought and daily strive to make this country stand for something better.

What is House Speaker Boehner doing?  By joining the Tea Party on the extreme right, who now control the Republicans Party, the Party of the 1%, he has sold us out!   Boehner lacks the “courage,” to lead the House on any issue that might serve Middle and Working Class Americans.  He is about “Politics,” doing whatever the Billionaire Koch brothers or “trickster” Karl Rove command, obstruct everything Obama and the Senate agrees on, bring a law-suite against the president for doing what he can to remedy the problems the House won’t address.

What happened to the Republican Party?  It used to be about American values, Christians caring about their countryman?  Boehner and the “Tea” curmudgeons are about the rich, who pull their strings and hope Americans will swallow media talking points hook, line and sinker. “Impeach the President!” He’s too Presidential!  No! Boehner needs to go!  He sold out “Republicans” and all America.

Randolph Hurst
Slate Hill, NY
(July 16)

 

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