Serving the Towns of Wawarsing, Crawford, Mamakating, Marbletown, Rochester and Shawangunk, and everything in between

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Vol 10.40   
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Thank You So Much, Dear Readers,
For Your Continued Support!
Vote 'No' On Constitutional Convention

The September 21 issue features a letter laying out the author's reasons to vote 'yes' for a constitutional convention. The author cites corruption and special interests as the main reasons for holding a constitutional convention.

While I'm sure well-intentioned, I'm not sure the author understands the entire situation. A constitutional convention opens the doors to the New York State Constitution being completely rewritten. This includes worker's rights, environmental protections, and voting rights. These are laws meant to defend the citizens of New York, which could be erased under a Constitutional Convention.

The author also states that "anyone who is eligible to vote can run as a delegate to the convention." This is a misguided statement, as it is much more likely that wealthy, politically connected insiders will be delegates, and they will serve the very same special interests the author is trying to disempower. Furthermore, the New York Stars pension system is a prime target for special interest groups. Hard-working government employees have contributed over $1.9 billion dollars to their retirement fund. If special interests, especially big banks and hedge fund managers, get the Constitutional Convention that they want, they could rewrite the laws on the pension system, and take away the retirement plans of many families in New York State.

Furthermore, some estimates predict that a constitutional convention will cost the tax-payers up to $300 million dollars to pay for the delegates and any staff member they choose to hire.

The author goes on to say "...take the torch passed to us by the Founding Fathers at Philadelphia..." Actually sir, the Constitution of New York was adopted in Kingston, NY.

Kyle Sitzman
Pine Bush

NYSNA Endorses Andrew Zink for Ulster Legislature

I want to thank the New York State Nurses Association for endorsing my candidacy for Ulster County's 14th Legislative District. I have met many nurses across Shawangunk and Wawarsing while listening to the concerns of my fellow neighbors, and I am honored NYSNA has chosen me as their endorsed candidate. As we get closer to November, this campaign is gaining serious momentum and I am proud to be supported by so many state-wide organizations such as NYSNA. If you are looking to get involved with a campaign that will shake up the status quo and bring real change to the Ulster County Legislature, look no further. This campaign is doing just that and we are gaining the attention of people and organizations all across this county and state. I look forward to meeting even more of you on the campaign trail in the coming weeks.

Andrew Zink
Candidate for Ulster County's 14th Legislative District
Pine Bush

Offense Taken At Article

I read an article in this paper a few issues ago that aired the feelings of a Bloomingdale[sic] resident and a Hassidic man living in Chestnut Ridge. It was very encouraging in terms of renewing hope that all of us in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties can find ways to appreciate each other.

And then I read Chris Rowley's editorial in the 9/21 edition.

I was offended by Chris Rowley's veiled anti-Semitic remarks in his editorial printed in the September 21 issue of this paper.

First, I would like Mr. Rowley to thoroughly explain his reference to "21st Century Catskills Levittown." I find this comment to be the most offensive of all. Does this paper support anti-Semitism?

Rowley's reference to a voting bloc is offensive. It suggests that no resident of Chestnut Ridge thinks for themselves in the voting booth. You don't know that and you can't prove it. Maybe you can provide proof that every single Bloomingburg eligible voter cast their vote... that is, banded together to defeat the opposition and form their own voting bloc, and still had no chance of winning.

It's offensive to me that you think you can reduce two complex companies down to small plastic pieces and actually get me to believe you.

Rowley's writing makes him sound like a Luddite, despite his NIMBY protests to the contrary, and I believe that this paper has an obligation to the communities it serves to find common ground for people to come together. Instead, Rowley's words are divisive, bigoted, and ignorant.

I strongly urge Chris Rowley to abandon anything to do with news, newspapers, or "educating" the public about political issues, and go back to science fiction... and stay there.

Debbie Falco

Prener's Schadenfreude

Mr. Prener again exhibits his method of championing the notion that most climate scientists in the world know less than he does about climate change. He refers to Oxford geoscience [sic] professor Myles Allen saying the rate of warming hasn't happened as the models predicted. So, therefore climate change isn't happening via man's burning of fossil fuels which distributes CO2 into the atmosphere.

Mr. Prener would have readers believe a big time geosystems professor doesn't believe in climate change/global warming.

That's patently untrue. Here's the London Times article re Professor Myles Allen's quotes:

"Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and another author of the study, said: 'We haven't seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven't seen that in the observations.'

"He added that the group of about a dozen computer models, produced by government institutes and universities around the world, had been assembled a decade ago so it's not that surprising that it's starting to divert a little bit from observations. Too many of the models used were on the hot side, meaning they forecast too much warming.

"According to the models, keeping the average temperature increase below 1.5C would mean that the world could emit only about 70 billion tonnes of carbon after 2015. At the present rate of emissions, this carbon budget would be used up in three to five years. Under the new assessment, the world can emit another 240 billion tonnes and still have a reasonable chance of keeping the temperature increase below 1.5C.

"Thats about 20 years of emissions before temperatures are likely to cross 1.5C, Professor Allen said. 'It's the difference between being not doable and being just doable'."

Mr. Prener in an online response insisted the ice caps are "growing overall, not shrinking." While there has been an uptick of ice caps from year to year, 2017 is listed as having one of the ten lowest minimum levels of Artic ice caps; recorded since 1979. Same goes for the Antartic.

Steven L. Fornal

Caucus Confusion In Marbletown

Reading about the Marbletown Democratic caucus, one comes away feeling disappointed, confused and not a little angry.

A chaotic process was described, ending in a "coup of sorts." Opinions from both candidates and their supporters differ regarding the outcome. The coup assertion was based on the sense that "real" Democrats were outvoted by "newbies."

Whatever the cause or motivation, the unfortunate result for Marbletown voters is that one candidate will head the ticket of both parties, thereby denying any competition. Democracy relies on competing ideas that resolve in an election and people rightfully feel cheated when denied choice. However, if a candidate's strategy was to create a sure thing by shrinking voters' options, it may have backfired; I haven't heard so many people upset about an election outcome since, well, last November. Attempts by individuals seeking office to gain political advantage at the expense of the people only justifies the cynics who tell us all politics is corrupt.

No matter the different candidates' agendas, this unfortunate outcome is the fault of Marbletown's Democratic Party leadership. First and foremost, the caucus was not conducted in Marbletown, which is a violation of state campaign laws. And, secondly, the leadership recognized a tie-breaking ballot that was not valid. As it turns out much of this chaos could have been avoided had the Marbletown Democrats not refused the expertise of county Democrats in conducting the caucus. In doing so, Marbletown's Democratic leadership failed their constituents and threatened a shriveled race for supervisor.

The moral of this story is that voters want many points of view when it comes to choosing civic leaders. Broad candidate participation should be welcome by all.

Steve Wood
High Falls

Gutter Gutter