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Letters to the Editor
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Thank you Legsilator Anagnostakis

This Thank You Letter is in response to the THR 6/17/15 article, " Taxpayers Cost Of Valley View Plunges."    While there are others to thank for consistently blocking the sale of this outstanding nursing home, my thanks goes to one of the main individuals involved,  Legislator Anagnostakis.  Legislator Anagnostakis was a key member of the 2012  Valley View Investigative Committee.  This Committee began the long hard look into what was going on at Valley View that was driving up costs and using those inflated costs as an excuse to sell a valuable county facility.

Michael brought many skills to the investigation.  He had a keen understanding of the Valley View financials.  He analyzed and exposed the facts.  He continued to investigate and ask the right questions, even voting for subpoenas for those county officials who refused to testify under oath.  He passionately spoke about the travesty of selling a county nursing home that appeared to be purposely mismanaged.  Michael worked countless hours looking for and exposing the truth.

Thank you Michael for your honesty, integrity, diligence, perseverance, bravery and finally your "moral compass" that drives  you to do the "right thing" for the sick, elderly and disabled residents of Valley View.  You have helped save a "home" for the current Valley View residents.  Additionally, you have saved a "home" for future Orange County residents  who may be  in need of exceptional rehabilitation and/or nursing home care.  Thank you Michael on behalf of the Valley View residents, families, dedicated employees and all who will benefit from this outstanding nursing home.

Mary Ann McDonough
Family Member of Grace McDonough, 24 year Valley View Resident
(June 22)


Different only in scale

One cannot be opposed to the problematic relationship between our elected officials and the Kiryas Joel voting bloc, the consequences of which we all know too well, and at the same time support Mrs. Clinton’s latest efforts to secure the Presidency in 2016. 

In the former instance the Kiryas Joel community has been labeled, perhaps deservedly, as “bad neighbors”, but in truth the blame for the problem lies more squarely on the shoulders of the elected officials who will often sacrifice the greater good of their constituency and even the rule of law for reliable electoral support.

In the latter instance, Mrs. Clinton seeks to create her own reliable voting bloc on a national scale by pandering to the illegal immigrant and Hispanic populations.  To secure these votes she recently declared her support for citizenship for illegal immigrants and proclaimed she would be more aggressive than President Obama in the use of Executive Action on the issue. 

To the communities that she courts I would say, be on notice that you are being used, not for your own good, nor the country’s good, but rather for the good of Mrs. Clinton alone.  I would also ask you to consider what will the point of coming here have been if in the end you reduce this country to the places you have fled?  What will you have achieved for your children?  Nothing.

To the voters of the region and nationwide, these two abuses differ only in scale.

Scott Smith
(May 22)


Albany Corruption: Skelos and Serino

Although troubling, it was unsurprising to see another corruption scandal rock the halls of Albany. This time, it was Long Island's Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos: he faces charges of bribery, extortion and misuse of public position, among others. Perhaps more troubling is just how much time, money, and attention Mr. Skelos placed on the Hudson Valley during the 2014 elections, choosing current State Senator Sue Serino to run and funding her campaign with special interest money along with $10,300 of his own. The most troubling part of all? It took days for Sue Serino to ask for his resignation - which only came after mounting political pressure. The move was disingenuous, as she joined her colleagues anyway in blocking a vote to force Skelos out on the Senate floor. How can we expect true representation from Serino when she is so beholden to her downstate campaign donors?

Brian Kelly
Red Hook
(May 19)


Family of the Year awards dinner


On April 23, Family Services hosted the 28th annual Family of The Year Awards Dinner which recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the community and whose ideals reflect those of Family Services.

Harold and Elayne received the Lifetime Achievement Award for their tireless dedication to improving their community. Since their 1956 arrival in the Hudson Valley, they have been strong supporters of the arts, education and more.  Their combined efforts and leadership have served and led many organizations – including but not limited to Poughkeepsie City Schools, Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, Mill Street Loft, Arts Mid-Hudson and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill.

Bill and Jane Austin & Family received the Quality of Life Award for their work to improve the lives of those around them. Their value of community is clearly evident through their commitment to and efforts on behalf of many organizations and non-profit human service agencies.

Over 300 local community leaders attended the event, recognizing the positive impact Family Services has on our community. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Presenting Sponsor, Health Quest; Platinum Sponsor, NFP and Gold Sponsors, Central Hudson, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, MidHudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center and Rhinebeck Bank. We thank Media Sponsor, IHeart Radio and the many businesses, organizations and individuals who supported the Family of the year Awards Dinner through sponsorship, gifts and in kind donations.

Thank you to all who enable Family Services to continue its legacy of more than 135 years of providing hope, improving lives and strengthening community to over 9000 individuals each year. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we salute you.

Paul Haering, Board Chair
Family Services
(May 11)


No Stewart’s gas station in Wiccopee

Attention East Fishkill residents, Fishkill residents, and aquifer - watershed advocates, Stewart’s Shop wants to build a gas station in the Historic Hamlet of Wiccopee. Contrary to rumors this is NOT a done deal. They have NOT purchased the property to date.

We are asking for your help to tell the town, AGAIN, that we do not want nor need a gas station in this Historically sensitive and environmentally critical area. Stewart’s wants to put thousands of gallons of gas on top of a major aquifer that residents in East Fishkill and Fishkill depend on for water, water that IBM/Global Foundries depend on for manufacturing, and feet away from Bloomer Brook, a tributary of the Fishkill Creek Watershed.

The idea of a gas station here flies smack in the face of any pretense that East Fishkill cares for Historic preservation, wetlands protections, and aquifer and water protection. It is a terribly inappropriate site for this project.

Be a supporter by visiting www.wiccopee.org to contact our elected officials and tell them NO to this project. There will be a public hearing, check website for date. PLEASE ATTEND! Stewart’s has a pattern of items appearing late on board agendas and sometimes suddenly removed. Visit www.wiccopee.org for updates and news. Sign up for email alerts. There’s a list of “things you can do to help”.

Ten years ago you told them NO, please help us tell them AGAIN – NO STEWART’S GAS STATION in Historic Wiccopee Hamlet.

Ann Bell
Wiccopee Hamlet, East Fishkill
(May 11)


Violence against women

Everyone has the human right to live free from violence. Yet violence against women and girls is one of the world’s most pervasive human rights violations, with one in three women worldwide experiencing it in her lifetime. That is millions of women every year.

This is a human rights crisis of epidemic proportions. Violence knows no national or cultural barriers and comes in many forms, occurring everywhere from Egypt to India to California in the form of rape, acid attacks and murder.

Part of the solution to this epidemic is the bipartisan International Violence Against Woman Act (IVAWA), a bill that would make ending gender-based violence a top US diplomatic and foreign assistance priority by improving and better coordinating the efforts and programs that already exist across the US agencies that do work overseas.

Representatives Chris Gibson has demonstrated that he cares just as much as I do about ending this global epidemic by co-sponsoring IVAWA in the House of Representatives. I urge all of Rep. Gibson’s constituents to thank him for his support and urge him to push for passage of this bill.

Nicholas Crocitto
Legislative Coordinator, Amnesty International, Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter
New Paltz, NY
(May 11)


Right to vote in Blooming Grove

The recent attempt by the current Supervisor in the Town of Blooming Grove to deny voters the opportunity to vote for local officials including town clerk, tax collector and highway supervisor is an outrage. Mr. Fromaget says his motive was to "save money". Does he really think voters are that stupid?

Voters will have their chance to respond to this arrogance with their ballots in September.

Maybe Mr. Fromaget should explain to veterans and their families why he tried to take the right to vote away from Blooming Grove residents,

Larry Delarose
(May 11)



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