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Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Jackie Horner

To the editor:
With sadness, respect and fond memories we read of Jackie Horner's passing.
Before we screened Dirty Dancing in August, 2017 at the Callicoon Theater to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the film, we contacted Jackie to see if she would be interested in hosting a Q&A after the film was shown.
Not only did she enthusiastically agree, but she brought with her props from her days as an instructor as well as copies of a book that included a chapter of her memories of times gone by. She held sway over the adoring, transfixed audience for more than an hour; her memoir was sold out.
Rarely does somebody come along with as much energy, enthusiasm and joie de vivre as was exhibited by Jackie that Saturday afternoon. She was truly a bright and shining gem in the entertainment firmament who will be sorely missed.

Barbara and Jim Kayton
Fremont Center

The People's Voice

In recent days we have heard many comments by the Republican Senators and Congressman that begin with the statement “the American people believe” followed by some minority viewpoint. I would like to point out that the last time the American people spoke out in an election (2018 congressional election) the American people overwhelmingly elected, women, minorities, and young people. According to Wikipedia, “In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, won control of the House. The Democrats gained a net total of 41 seats from the total number of seats they had won in the 2016 elections. The 41-seat gain was the Democrats' largest gain of House seats since the post-Watergate 1974 elections, when they picked up 49 seats. The Democrats also won the popular vote by a margin of 8.6%, the largest margin on record for a party that previously held a minority in the House. Turnout was the highest for a midterm election in more than a century, with over half the electorate casting ballots.”. Even in many State elections we have seen flips from red to blue. What the American people think is very clear.
So please Mr. Republican, don't tell me what the American people believe and think. The fact is the American people thought it necessary to drastically change the direction of our country and put some check on a President gone wild.
The Republican Party is a party of old white men. Just a few years ago the leaders of the Republican Party realized that this fact would become a major problem for the party as the demographics showed that in a few years our minorities will no longer be minorities, but in fact, be the majority. Add to that the fact that more and more young people and women are becoming politically active and registering to vote and run for office. The Republican Party leadership made plans to broaden their appeal and reached out to minorities, young people and women to attract them to the Party.
Then came Donald Trump, an old white man doubling down on an old white man agenda. “Make America Great Again”. Return to the “good old days” of segregation, sexism, racism, hate, and exclusion. An economy good for the rich and the super rich with little benefit trickling down to the rest; low wages so millions of working people have no chance of enjoying the American Dream.
The last great hope for the Republican old white men party, the G.O.P. (Grumpy Old People) is to destroy our democracy and replace it with a monarchy. Trump and company are in the process of doing this. Take a look at his consolidation of power.
• Stacking the Supreme Court (all white nominees, no women) and many federal judges with conservatives
• Encouraging Foreign election meddling- “Russia, if your listening”
• Consolidating control of the Justice Department, with an Attorney General, Mr. Barr to carry out Trumps policies
• Misrepresenting the conclusions of the Mueller Report
• Appointment of conservative judges
• Consolidating control of the State Department, with a Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo, blindly following Trump's orders
• Trump says, “I can do whatever I want”
• Nearly taking us to war (always a good way to unite people behind their dictator)
• The U.S. Senate after their partisan vote impeachment, has shown us that they are part of the executive branch and complicit with Trump's Imperial Presidency.
• And perhaps the scariest of all, Trump will do nothing to guarantee that we have free and fair elections.
• Little effort to investigate foreign meddling
• Encouraging foreign meddling
• Voter suppression

The GOP knows they are the dinosaurs after the asteroid hit (the elections of 2018), doomed to extinction. No wonder they have lost their senses and don't even pretend to act in the interest of our county, only in the interest of their preservation of power.
The only thing standing between Trump's Imperial Republican Presidency is a free and fair election. I am confident that IF we have a free and fair election this year the American people will elect Representatives, Senators and a President that will restore order, decency and observance of the Constitution.
Sadly, I am not confident that we will have free, fair, elections that will not be corrupted by Russian interference. I do not believe that our national government is doing enough, or even if it is doing anything to prevent the Russian interference. Indeed, the President encourages it. He has dismantled the Federal Election Commission which is supposed to have 6 members, down to 3, not enough for a quorum and basically useless going into the next election cycle.
You read comments on Facebook everyday which fuel the fire of division between friends and family; a fire fueled by the Russian digital devils. The oldest rule in the dictator rule book of conquest is to divide and conquer your enemy. This is what Trump is good at.
I would like you to join me in calling for a public investigation and report of the Russian election corruption efforts and what is being done about it. The public needs to have confidence in our election process. I have read that something is being done, but I don't know what is being done and I am sure that our efforts are not enough to insure a free and fair election.
Join me in demanding to see what changes have been implemented to prevent future cyber-attacks and how we are more prepared by sharing the plan to protect the integrity of the 2020 election.
Join me in supporting legislation to require every voting district in the U. S. to have paper backups of all ballots in 2020.
Join me in requesting that Facebook change the algorithm that promotes the most hateful and divisive posts, to one that encourages healthy conversation, edits out profanity, and promotes the sharing of joyful life moments.
Join me in demanding a complete bi-partisan investigation and report of the “Russian and foreign meddling” and what will be done to prevent it. Write your congressman and Senators along with those Congressmen and Senators that are conspiring to create an Imperial Presidency. Time is running out.
Join me in engaging your friends and neighbors in a conversation of what is really happening, before it is too late. Most importantly make sure you vote for a return to cooperation that will “secure the blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity”* so our kids and their kids can enjoy the promise of this country. A promise for good; for our planet, and for its people.
I hope you save this letter so should our efforts to change the direction of our country fail, and Trump's vision of the world becomes a reality, you can't say Charlie did not warn you.

* Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity: The point of this phrase in the Preamble, and the constitution of the United States as a whole was to help protect the country's hard-earned rights for liberty, unjust laws, and freedom from a tyrannical government.

Charles Barbuti

Living Within

To the editor:
Black, white or brown it's all over town
Rodriquez or Italiano
All get along we sing our song
Some even have a piano
Living within rich and some poor
All try giving a hand
As you stroll down the street
A mean dude all in heat
Some from a far away land
Just be you, look ahead
Don't turn please instead
Walk up the block, where it's busy
Never alone must bring your phone
Or a friend even, ask your Aunt Lizzie
Live in color is great
Your feeling or fate
Wish you good luck, enjoy life
Let's love one and all up and don't fall
Every guy, gal and hubby and wife

Catherine LoBosco

That's Me

To the editor:
Walking down the road a piece
A gal stopped me a bit
Are you the lady with the hat called Ma Brady?
I nodded that's me that was it
Perhaps you are the poem writer
I read in the Democrat
A smile on my face I said
You're in the right place
That great paper put me where I'm at
That's me as you see
I'm as happy as I can be
To be recognized by someone like you
Take a peek two days a week
And you will seek
All the info and news
That comes through.

Catherine LoBosco

Valentine Hearts

To the editor:
Now comes the time
You are mine
We celebrate it's Valentine
So much fun with friends and foe
Places with hearts we will go
Dress in red, roses that shine
Hands holding tight
Saying you're mine
Sodas and ice cream bringing some home
A fun day like this
We're never alone
Valentine once a year we all wait
Some with their hubbys
And some bring a date
A Happy Holiday to all of you folks
Have a super day
Smile, laugh and tell jokes

Catherine LoBosco

Callicoon Center Band Director an Icon

To the editor:
While reading the article concerning the Callicoon Center Band, where several people were lauded for their contribution to the tradition, there was one very obvious omission.
That person was my dear father, the late Raphael (Sciarra) Shaara. Ray was the music director from the band's inception in 1935, through 1976, when he suffered a stroke. His dedication to the band was Legend.
I can't imagine him being over looked!

Virginia Shaara Jamieson
Beach Lake, PA

Joining the struggle

To the editor:
At around 6 p.m. Eastern Time on January 31, the United States of America, after over 230 continuous years, ceased being a democracy. That's when 51 Republican Senators voted to prevent witnesses from being called during the impeachment “trial” of Donald Trump.
The action in effect nullified the impeachment process by rendering the House of Representatives impotent in enforcing legally-issued subpoenas.
Thus the House can no longer function in its constitutional role by providing oversight over the Executive Branch.
In one of his many thousand lies, Trump has declared that under Article Two of the Constitution he can do “anything he wants,” indicating that he's above the law - a dictator.
Under such circumstances Trump can openly shut down any and all free elections by inventing another of his “national emergencies.”
It's time that we freedom-loving citizens, regardless of party affiliation, band together to put a stop to this madness while we still can do so. I'm ready to join in the struggle.

Marshall Rubin

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