Letters to the editor January 7 to 13
I want to wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and safe year to come.
As you may know by now, my term in the New York State Senate [has ended] as of December 31, 2020. It has been the greatest honor to represent you and to be a voice in Albany for the needs of our Hudson Valley and Catskills communities. My staff and I have so enjoyed spending time in your community and learning about the issues and priorities that matter most locally. We have sought to be a resource for you, to advocate for you and to help make progress in areas of local and statewide importance.
This has been a challenging and difficult year for everyone. Beyond the tragic loss of life COVID-19 has caused, the pandemic has affected every aspect of our society and economy and has caused widespread stresses and financial hardship. During this time, my office has focused first and foremost on helping our residents, frontline workers and businesses get through this crisis. This has taken many forms: assisting people with obtaining unemployment benefits; securing needed personal protective equipment for our hospitals; distributing hand sanitizer to food pantries, libraries and essential workers; advocating for federal relief for small businesses; and passing legislation to protect families from utility shutoffs, price-gouging and homelessness, among other pressing concerns.
In spite of the challenges we continue to face during this pandemic, I remain hopeful about the future and our ability to learn from this crisis and build more resilient communities. We have made a good start already during this legislative session.
Some of the most rewarding work I’ve done in these last two years has been at the very local level, partnering with our communities to help projects and programs move forward that protect survivors of domestic abuse, house homeless veterans, equip volunteer first responders, expand rail trails and parks, reduce climate-damaging pollution and improve water quality, and dozens of other important efforts. These local initiatives are only possible because of the dedicated work of community members who are driven by compassion for their neighbors and who want to create resilient communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
My office is currently in the process of transitioning responsibilities to the new representative of the 42nd Senate District, Senator-Elect Mike Martucci. Please direct all legislative and case-related matters to his office by calling 845/344-3311.
Best wishes for good health to you and your loved ones.
Once again, Sandy Long has eloquently written a poignant viewpoint in the River Talk article in the December 24 issue, “The solace of natural sound.”
She begins, “Many years ago, on a silken starlit night, I sat peering into the dancing flames of a campfire, mesmerized by the occasional dervish of blaze and smoke... natural sound-unmarred by human-generated noise.” How poetic and thought-provoking!
Unfortunately, we are increasingly assaulted by all the noise surrounding us, which reduces the quality of life, our well being and mental health. Living in northeast Pennsylvania makes it easier for us to find the quiet, although I fear that too many don’t take the time to appreciate what is readily available to us. We hope that more people can find quiet in their lives and reduce the stress that is all too common now, especially in the time of COVID-19. As Sandy suggests, give yourself the gift of time spent in spaces and places where natural sound is not yet extinct.
Thank you, Sandy, for your gift of giving us valuable insights into the beauty of the world around us.
Joann and Roy Morsch