Letters to the editor July 23 to 29
The July 16 River Reporter article seeking to clarify the alleged bear cab shooting left me with more questions than answers. I never saw the Facebook posting that prompted the story. But in Susan Wade’s article, DEC official Wendy Rosenbach is quoted as saying the homeowner “acted appropriately” and that the bear was an adult. (Incidentally, that quote has no closing quotation mark, so readers can’t tell where her quote actually ends.)
But we are left in the dark as to what actually happened. Had an adult bear been inside the house trying to attack a two-year-old child, as the Facebook post alleged the homeowners had claimed? Did the bear die, and if not, what became of it? Under what circumstances does the DEC consider shooting a bear to be an appropriate action?
In an article that purports to seek the truth behind a disturbing Facebook post, readers would appreciate more in-depth reporting than what was served here.
[Editor’s note: According to DEC, the incident involved an adult bear that was in a resident’s home when it was shot. A small child was in the home at the time but the bear did not attack the child. It is legal for a homeowner to shoot a bear if it’s inside the home.]
I write to oppose the transfer of the Care Center at Sunset Lake to an LDC and its eventual sale. Clearly, it is the desire of this legislature to shield the public from the facts and circumstances surrounding this proposed sale. Also clearly, this legislature has identified potential suitors that it refuses to publicly identify. The sale of this facility, an asset to our county, in this time when the healthcare of our residents should be of paramount concern, is baffling to me and to our committee.
While there may be management issues within the facility, it is time that each member of this legislature rolls up their sleeves to fix these issues, not cut and run. It costs the average household less than $80 each year to fund the care center. Many other publicly run nursing homes run at a profit. Either way, this facility is a bargain at twice the price. If it weren’t, there would be no suitors to take it over.
What we do know about the privatization of these facilities is this: Patients suffer. Those are our neighbors, our fathers, our mothers and our friends. They will suffer for this action and we will not forget who did this to them.
Private operators do so for profit. They will limit staffing, buy inferior supplies and focus only on private-pay residents. Those without the means to pay for a bed, those most in need, will be passed over in the name of profit.
What does it say to your constituents, that in the same year that the sheriff moved into a 100+ million-dollar facility, you are willing to deny their loved ones a care facility, you are willing to cut the jobs of those caring for our most vulnerable? And finally, you are doing it with virtually no input from the public and virtually no discussion amongst your peers or consultants.
Other municipalities are able to run their facilities at a profit; Orange County has done just that after its residents demanded that their government do better. What is clear from the last two weeks is that your residents are demanding the same thing. That you do your job, not use your position to sell off our assets to friends. Fix the care center. Don’t sell it.
Steven Vegliante Chair
Sullivan County Democratic Committee
Thank you for reconsidering selling our Adult Care Center (ACC) at Sunset Lake in Liberty. Your willingness to listen and course-correct is appreciated—it is, of course, also your job. But results matter and will eventually either heal or add to the damage that such a poorly thought-out proposal caused. We are a long way from resolving things.
I say with self-interest what I hope is true: Each of us is worthy of another chance rooted in sincerity. This is your chance.
I need, however, to clear the air and begin with my own legislator, who I find a likable enough guy, well-educated and experienced—the last two, anyway, featured by him each election cycle when he’s requesting votes.
Alan, you’re not new to legislative affairs, so I ask: are you bringing that experience and education to bear? (Feel free to respond to these pages.)
And to the other eight, all of whom voted with Alan on July 2 to pass Resolution No. 252-20. I listened to some of you later claim it was never your intent to vote on July 14 to sell the ACC but, rather, to hold the public meeting then. But how could a resolution that resolves to explore selling it and creates the entity for doing so be interpreted another way?
Words matter. Your explanation speaks to a level of tone-deafness difficult to fathom. I don’t think it passes the “smell-test” but apologize if I am wrong.
Rock Hill, NY
Scientists told us that wearing a mask can reduce the pandemic’s spread. Ordering people to wear masks in public places became controversial because President Trump encouraged the naysayers, polarizing the issue. The Republican position ridicules wearing masks. They want freedom to do as they wish. Unfortunately, universal mask-wearing is necessary to be effective.
Their false argument is that our Constitution provides for basic freedom and wearing a mask infringes on that freedom. All laws infringe on our freedom and that is their purpose. Without laws, there would be anarchy. Imagine a day when we could decide whether or not to stop for a red light. Even worse, imagine a day when we could shoot everyone we did not like. We know it is illegal to cry fire in a movie theater because it would cause panic and a stampede. Passing a national law requiring universal mask wearing in public is not unconstitutional and is hardly a novel action. Every civilized society has multitudes of laws and enforcement makes them work. Republicans want small government and limited laws, a reasonable position, but not a basis for rejecting a law needed for the common good.
Mask wearing is the simplest and least expensive way to combat a raging pandemic. We have the worst outbreak in the world while other countries have shown that the pandemic can be brought under control. Refuters are uncaring about others and may bring peril upon themselves. We need a national mask law which is strictly enforced. Republican obstructionism is a pointless defense of unsound views of freedom accomplishing nothing but feeding the pandemic.
How can it be that this president (along with Tucker Carlson) can challenge the loyalty to America of Sen. Tammy Duckworth? Duckworth, an Asian-American woman and the Democratic senator from Illinois, lost both of her legs in 2004 during a combat tour of duty in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Heart for valor. Neither our billionaire (maybe) president nor the wealthy and privileged Carlson have ever served in the US military. Back in the day, the president was miraculously, but somehow not surprisingly, a five-time Vietnam war deferment recipient. Sometime after that war ended, the notoriously severe bone spurs that prevented his military service never again surfaced as a noticeable health problem. In fact, in recent years both he and his white house physician have disingenuously described his current health as “perfect.”
This underhanded armchair warrior attack on the loyalty of an actual war hero is not an aberration. Actually, it seems a simple plan, quite in line with much of the thinking of this president. After all, the president may have learned these and other tactics from his long-time association with the disgraced Roy Cohn, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief council.
Despite his administration’s staggeringly inept and appalling record, this president continues his baffling demands for praise and credit. Perhaps, just perhaps, if we ignore the science and the staggering death toll, the “kids in cages”, the assault on clean air and water, the shattered economy, the vast numbers of unemployed, his claims to being “above the law,” his fondness for white supremacy, his circle of corrupt associates and appointees, the pardoning of criminal friends, traitors and wanna-be mobsters, his nondisclosure of personal tax returns and financial records, the nepotism (especially Jared), the 20,000 lies—oh well, let’s just leave it there.
This November, vote by any means available.