Letters to the editor February 4 to 10
Your child comes to you and says, “Mommy, may I have a glass of water?”
You get a glass, pour some water in it, go to the medicine cabinet and get some nail polish remover and pour it in, go to the garage and get some paint thinner and pour it in, stir it up and say, “Here, honey.”
Unimaginable, right? Yet Lisa Baker and others are suing the DRBC to allow hydraulic fracturing in the watershed of the Delaware River Basin.
The chemicals used in fracturing are “proprietary,” so we don’t even know what they are. They are injected into the ground at high pressure to fracture the shale and release the gas. Once the shale is fractured, do you think the injected chemicals will stay put? No, they will percolate through the ground, just as water does, and find their way into wells, reservoirs and the Delaware River itself. Maybe this won’t happen in Lisa Baker’s lifetime, so she isn’t worried about it, but her children should worry because when their children ask for a glass of water, what will be in it? How do you feel about this? Let Lisa Baker and your other representatives know.
Someone dropped off seven large boxes of mostly canned goods outside the door of the Narrowsburg Ecumenical Pantry. The volunteers, who arrived to work, cut open the boxes and proceeded to look at the dates on the goods. They were all old dates, some dating to 2016.
If these perishables are not good for you, they are not good for the people who are in need of food.
We appreciate all those who donate to our pantry and request that you check the dates on non-perishable goods, whether you are dropping them off at the hall in the back of St. Francis on Thursdays or in the barrel in Pete’s Market.
If the food is outdated, we have to bring these goods home and either put them out for garbage pick up if we have it, or go to the dump ourselves with it. It costs us money.
Thank you for checking those dates before donating!
Another year has passed and many of our assumptions have been challenged. But there are two truisms that remain: community newspapers are as important as ever, and the hard-working employees at the area building departments remain the cornerstone of our communities. A big shout out to both for their tireless, and many times, thankless, efforts.
As a resident and voter of Sullivan County, I have significant concerns with the position of some of our county legislators, several of whom have gone on the record in support of the privatization of the Adult Care Center at Sunset Lake. While I am a proud supporter of private initiative and the capitalist foundations of our economic system, I believe that there are instances when profit-driven initiatives do not serve the interests of our community.
In my experience, private adult care facilities serving affluent consumers do a remarkable job attending to the needs and desires of the patients and families they serve. In those instances, the model works well: High fees and the competition among these facilities assure that management and shareholders are focusing on their bottom line but also paying very careful attention to the quality of their services, lest they lose a patient to another facility.
But in less affluent communities, the formula is often quite different. The absence of competition and the often modest fees that private management can collect from less affluent patients and families can lead to pressure on the bottom line, often at the expense of those being served, as well as the needs of the community. Every business is out to make a profit, and why shouldn’t they? But this is exactly why the public sector can often do a better job: Because there is no profit in the equation, the focus remains on the patient and their care. And just as significantly, our elected representatives—not a distant corporate entity—can be held accountable to the community.
With humility, I call on every member of the community to reach out to our elected officials and ask them to continue to support local community control and oversight of the care center. I ask that this be accomplished without rancor and without drawing political lines across our communities.
Our seniors and their care must not be compromised, either as pawns in a political knife fight or as constituents who have lost their voice because of a rush to privatize a place that is so important to the communities, families and individuals it serves.
Our sheriff’s deputies would put their lives on the line for any of us, and I feel obligated to defend them when they’re taken advantage of.
I’ve lost count of the number of county government meetings I’ve attended over the years, and I don’t recall ever seeing deputies posted there. Under Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty, however, it’s become a regular occurrence; this past Thursday, I stopped counting at six deputies.
Assigning deputies to babysit hampers their law enforcement role and wastes taxpayer dollars. Although the issue has been raised several times to Mr. Doherty, he’s refused to address it.
Some think he’s trying to stoke division within the community, while others believe he’s indulging authoritarian fantasy. Either is inexcusable.
Scapegoating our deputies is also inexcusable.
Last Thursday, they placed the county government building under COVID-19 lockdown, Doherty-style. Under his instruction, members of the public already in attendance were prevented from either reentering a meeting (if they needed to step out) or trading places with others waiting to attend while complying with the room occupancy limit socially distanced and properly masked.
As Thursday’s county video of the monthly county legislature meeting shows, when legislators discussed with Mr. Doherty instructions deputies had told them he’d issued, Doherty denied issuing them.
Throwing our deputies under the bus is shameful. Mr. Doherty owes them and the public he denied access an apology.
Rock Hill, NY
I have known Mr. Alvarez long before he became a legislator when I led a crisis intervention team in Sullivan County for the state of New York. I found him to be most helpful and he was most trusted. He presently has my full support.
By the way, where were you when we struggled to remove a huge, ugly political sign in the most prominent location in Narrowsburg? It was there for months, long before and after the election. It is still there now, although defaced, waiting to be removed.
And lastly, hands off the care center. Support Sullivan County health care!