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Wednesday, January 22, 2020


What to say?

To the editor:
A few issues ago, a Democrat reader dared other readers to find and report five lies Donald Trump has uttered.
An alert and industrious reader replied (1-10-20) with five (5) researched and documented verifiable, provable, irrefutable, undeniable, substantive, oft-reported lies by the president.
The intrepid first reader shot back (1-14): these are not lies; they are exaggerations.
What does one make of such a response? Where does one go? What to say? Here's a possibility: You cannot make this stuff up.

Bill Duncan

Thank You Senator Metzger

To the editor:
State Senator Jen Metzger is working hard for Sullivan County; let me count the ways!
She urged the state Public Service Commission to reject NYSEG's (New York State Electric and Gas Corp) request to increase your electric bill by 23%. This would add $10.20 per month to your bill on average. NYSEG wants to do this to increase their profits by 9.5%! She also took the company to task for poor ‘preventive maintenance' which resulted in many power outages. She opposed the company's closure of its walk-in office in Liberty, saying it presents difficulties for the poor and elderly. There will be a public hearing on the proposed rate hike on March 2nd.
In Sullivan County some 2,789 residents don't have high-speed internet. Jen is aiming to fix that with Bill #S5696 which moves to construct broadband and fiber optics in rural areas. She affirms that “Our children's education and every kind of business depends upon (high-speed internet), whether it's a farm or a small bed and breakfast.”
Senator Metzger did an amazing service for the people in the Roscoe School District of Liberty. Due to a late tax filing they owed the state $1.4 million. Bill #S2611 removed the debt and was signed by the Senate, Assembly and the Governor. Breathe a sigh of relief and thank Senator Metzger!

Doris Chorny


To the editor:
Kudos to the newly elected members of the Sullivan County Legislature now being chaired by local businessman Rob Doherty, and to the Executive Committee, who rescinded the proposed land deal in Rock Hill last Thursday which would have been the site of a new visitors center. The resolution will now be voted on by the full board.
The former legislators agreed to buy the land valued at $80,000 for a staggering $400,000! During the last election, the voters spoke loud and clear to all the candidates and the deal was rescinded by a vote of 7 to-1 this past week when the new legislators met for the first time after the elections-so an election promise was finally kept.
Plans are now underway to accommodate the needs of the Visitors Association. I would rather the Visitors Association do more to promote and bring much needed resources to our local businesses and organizations in our small river towns rather than build a $4.5 million dollar center.

Paula Campbell

Starting to see the light?

To the editor:
It is nice to see some conservatives (The Lincoln Project) and Evangelicals (Christianity Today, Mark Galli) finally acknowledge what has been obvious for a while, that their embrace of the most hateful, divisive, incompetent, immoral and corrupt president in history might impose serious harm to their credibility, reputed principles and political longevity. Despite being the beneficiaries of this lawless GOP regime's subversion of our constitution, these patriots have stood for democracy, and I applaud them.
But it should be more well-known than it apparently is that nearly everything we have done as a country, that has made us great, has been a result of progressive activism, from both parties, once upon a time. I invite the conservative readership to please opine on this.
From Abolition to Suffrage, child labor, unions, Anti-Trust, The New Deal, education standards, veterans benefits, welfare, environmental protections, national parks, desegregation, minimum wage, Roe v. Wade, the Voting Rights Act, Social Security and Medicare, Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Affordable Care Act, gay rights, etc. Also, Prohibition. That one was a mistake. Point is every time, we dragged conservatives along, kicking and screaming. What have conservatives done?
Not much in my lifetime but indecent war profiteering, pioneering shameless corporate ownership of Congress, constant reincarnations of long debunked trickle- down economics featuring obscene tax cuts, subsidies and deregulation benefiting an oligarchy that profits regardless of our exploding federal deficit and resulting recessions. Also repeated assaults on gains we have made for social justice. We are in an emergency. We cannot afford to go backwards anymore.
Onward: Our greed has made us pathetic stewards of nature. We've made moderate strides to protect pets, but our farm (now mostly factory) animals, and the people tasked to raise them, really need us to reexamine our humanity.

Jennifer Young

Why even have street lights?

To the editor:
The Town of Bethel will meet once more to move forward on converting all street lights in the town to LED. I am all for “greenness” but over in our part of town there is only one street light, at the intersection of 17B and Burr Rd. Why is it there?
The Incandescence has no practical application except for locals sighting their 22 calibers. So I ask, Why does the town of Bethel even have street lights? Perhaps so the deer can find a crosswalk?
Bethel would more so qualify as a “Green” award winner if we just turned off the street lights (wherever they are)?

Joseph Pawlick

Trump just exaggerates a little

To the editor:
Ever hear someone say, “[I'm] So hungry I could eat a horse,” “When I get home my parents will kill me,” “I laughed my head off,” or “It's raining cats and dogs?” All exaggerations.
The Five Lies attributed to President Trump by Rebekah Creshkoff (1-10-20) are just that. Exaggerations that really didn't hurt anyone.
How about “You can keep your doctor and rates will go down” or “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky”?
Compare Trump's [lies?] with all he's accomplished in three years despite The Democrats' opposition. Three years and millions of dollars wasted on impeachment investigations that went nowhere.
A robust economy, tax cuts, cuts in regulations resulting in low unemployment, energy independence, rebuilding the military, record stock market figure, trade deals that favors the USA for a change, the list goes on and on.
No credit by the news media. Fox News is one of the only news channels that does.
Thank God we have a President with the backbone to tell it how it is and doesn't go around the world apologizing for America's greatness.

Fred Niessen
Pleasant Valley

Fix, Don't Scrap Bail Reforms

To the editor:
Kudos to State Senators James Skoufis and Jen Metzger for supporting ways to address bail reform problems without throwing the baby out with the bath water. For centuries, a different standard of justice has been available to the well to do. It is arrogance to presume only poor defendants pose a risk to public safety. Restraints on violent offenders must apply to all, regardless of their income. The reforms Mr. Skoufis suggests ensure public safety, while continuing work to level the judicial playing field. A list of criteria might help make the dangerous defendant designation a more uniform, less arbitrary process, adding protection for defendants appearing before judges who may come from a more prosecutorial background. Removing aspects of the two-tiered justice system that grossly discriminates against poor defendants is long overdue. These reforms are a good start but much more needs to be done, and the sooner the better for everyone.

Star D. Hesse

Keep Moving Forward

To the editor:
One of the fundamental principles of our criminal legal system is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. But for decades, tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been held in jails not because they were guilty of a crime, but due to the size of their bank account.
If two people were arrested for a crime, one rich and one poor, the rich person would often get to go home while the poor person would languish in jail, even though both are seen as innocent under the eyes of the law.
Opponents of bail reform point to the new costs associated with implementing these reforms but fail to acknowledge the human costs of incarceration. Those who are left in jail pretrial often have two choices: take a plea deal or remain incarcerated for months and sometimes years at a time. This harms people in our community, causing them to lose their jobs, housing and sometimes children.
Bail has been used as a tool to keep poor people incarcerated pretrial, not keep communities safe.
It strips households of their financial resources, drives them into debt, and destroys communities. If safety is the concern then we must ensure people have adequate housing, jobs, and schools to send their children to.
Bail was intended to ensure that people who were released return to court, not to peg one's liberty to their means. There are many other ways to ensure people return to court, such as court reminders and pretrial services, and studies show that the majority of people actually return to court after being released.
Lawmakers listened to what the majority of New Yorkers have been demanding for years: that no one be jailed simply because they are poor. This January, re-forms will go into effect so that far fewer people will be detained in jails due to their poverty.
New York must not reverse course on these reforms and continue to push our state forward to ensure that justice is not available only to those with means.

Lorraine Lopez-Janove

Five times Trump lied

To the editor:
The December 20, 2019 issue of The Democrat included a letter that essentially challenged readers to name five times President Trump has lied to the American people. Here are five occasions:
Jan 19, 2018: In his State of the Union address, Trump said, “We enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history." Actually, several other tax-relief bills — including those of 2013, 2010 and 1981 — were significantly larger.
Oct. 27, 2018: Hours after a gunman killed 11 and wounded six in a Pittsburgh synagogue, Trump defended his decision not to cancel a campaign rally, saying the New York Stock Exchange opened the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, the NYSE didn't reopen until Sept. 17.
Sept. 1, 2019: Trump tweeted that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama. However, eight National Hurricane Center forecast updates over the preceding 24 hours showed Dorian steering well away from Alabama.
Sept. 30, 2019: Trump tweeted that longstanding whistleblower rules were changed just before the whistleblower report was submitted. Actually, the current rules have been in place since 2014.
Nov. 12, 2019: Trump tweeted, “Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.' Some are very tough, hardened criminals." However, immigrants with significant criminal backgrounds are not eligible for the DACA program.
The letter writer also claimed that Trump has never called the press the enemy of the people. However, on April 5, 2019, he tweeted: “The press is doing everything within their power to fight the magnificence of the phrase, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! They can't stand the fact that this Administration has done more than virtually any other Administration in its first 2 years. They are truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
The letter writer encouraged readers to do some research. I found it most instructive.

Rebekah Creshkoff


To the editor:
Time to relax shopping is less
Put away that beautiful holiday dress
Families afar, sit back and rest all that company and goodies
Sure was the best
Relaxation some yearned for
With one two three four
Sound of a knock they all run to the door
Good looking that cooking
Always had a full table
Just about to sit down
In comes Aunt Mabel
A lot of love and fun
Feel that elation
I enjoyed every bit
And welcome “relaxation”

Catherine LoBosco

That's Life

To the editor:
No matter your age, 30 or 80
Stiff upper lip like Rosie O'Grady
Age is a number no matter how high
You are what you look like
Some wonder why
Time goes so fast, forget today's date
Miss your appointments or once more very late
That's life so be happy and healthy just try
Be thankful you're able to do and get by
Enjoy each morning as you lie awake
Go out and get goodies
And your strawberry cake

Catherine LoBosco

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