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Wednesday, June 26, 2019


We've been so lucky, too

To the editor:
I have read Kathy Werner's columns since I was a child (I fondly remember “Cyclops”!) and had the privilege of laying them out as editor of the Democrat for the better part of two decades. I remain a fan of her writing talent and skillful storytelling displayed in “Lifelines” - albeit an admittedly jealous fan, when it comes to her jet-setting tales of world travel.
Her latest column once again told of a fabulous European vacation, but this time my envy was swept away by emotion, as Kathy wrote painfully and poignantly of the final days spent with her beloved husband John. I knew them both casually through my work at the paper, but I felt like part of the family every time I read another edition of “Lifelines.” And so the tears splashed warm and heavy on my cheeks as I finished the June 21, 2019 column, nodding my head in both sorrow and gratitude for the words Kathy shared.
“We had a pretty terrific run right up till the end,” she said of her and John's adventures. “We were so lucky.”
As were we, the readers of the Sullivan County Democrat. Thank you, Kathy, for bringing us along for the ride of a lifetime.

Dan Hust
Damascus, PA

Sanctity of Life

To the editor:
Member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was 100 per-cent correct when she described the detention centers at the southern border as “concentration camps.” Although somewhat kinder and gentler than those in existence during Hitler's regime, there are many dreadful similarities between those of years past and today's centers initiated on orders by Donald Trump.
These facilities are for holding people of a specific ethnicity.
Seizing children and tearing them from their families is a common occurrence.
The constitutional requirement for due process is being ignored. Deplorable conditions prevail. Children are being packed and locked away in small cages and are often being denied medical care, toothpaste, soap, blankets while means of recreation are being cut back. Although these facilities contain no gas chambers, there have been multiple deaths, mostly children.
These youngsters were brought here by their parents seeking asylum from ruthless drug lords and other criminals.
All this and more is being allowed to continue, due largely to the acquiescence by the majority of cowardly Republicans in Congress. You know, they're the ones who claim to stand for the “sanctity of life” and “family values.”
Republicans and mealy-mouthed Democrats may denounce AOC's description of these hell-holes as “concentration camps,” but that's exactly what they are, and it's up to us to bring back decency and legality to our nation, for if we fail we WILL become the next nazi Germany.

Marshall Rubin

Frustration with Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

To the editor:
I am a lifelong resident of NY state, and I fully support the natural gas industry. I do so for so many reasons, mainly for the jobs that investment in domestic natural gas projects creates. It has cleaner emissions than oil, and it's extremely economical. The list can go on and on.
The need for energy is always increasing, and I believe the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project would help meet that need for many NY and NJ residents and businesses. This is why I am frustrated with the New York DEC and New Jersey DEP for denying water quality permits for this project.
This project will support thousands of jobs, generate critical tax revenue and help the region continue to lower its carbon emissions levels. New York has already seen its cleanest air in about 50 years thanks to increased use of natural gas over fuel oils. Northeast Supply Enhancement will help continue this success.
Northeast residents, particularly New Yorkers, cannot afford for this project to be delayed any longer.

Andrew Cherepanov

Condemn Bad Remarks

To the editor:
I hope Representative Delgado will condemn Representative Ocasio-Cortez's remark comparing former President Obama's and President Trump's border detention facilities with concentration camps (he won't). Ocasio-Cortez's remark is worthy of a moron trying to prove her intellect by impersonating a halfwit, not a U.S. Representative.

Harv Smith

Never be afraid to call 911

To the editor:
We, the members of the Roscoe Rockland Volunteer Ambulance Corp, would like to correct the recent pieces of disinformation that has been circulating through both Livingston Manor and Roscoe communities. Some unnamed individuals recently attended a meeting of the Town of Rockland Senior Citizens and informed them that we no longer accepted Medicare and would be billing them $1500.00 to take them to the hospital.
This is a lie being perpetuated by a county business that is currently in a contractual dispute with our corps. The truth is actually very simple - we always have and continue to take ALL forms of insurance. In fact, you don't even need insurance for us to come to help. Yes, we will bill your insurance, but we will not turn you in to a debt collection agency if you don't have insurance or your insurance only covers part of the bill. We use that money to cover our costs of operation, which is NOT funded by your taxes.
We are not a for-profit business whose only concern is serving our community members in their time of need. We understand that it is a great honor to be called to assist you, and that there is a huge responsibility to be allowed into someone's personal life as much as we sometimes have to be to provide proper treatment. Never be afraid to call 911 if you need help, your local volunteers are always ready.

Roscoe Rockland Volunteer Ambulance Corp

Anti-Immigrant Bias

To the editor:
The financial advice on ETFs and mutual funds in Joel Lerner's column in the June 14 issue of the Sullivan County Democrat is very well-written and clarifies some of the questions I had. However, he concludes his article on Flag Day by writing that he finds it strange that non-Americans collect benefits, wave their countries' flag and are afraid to go home.
First of all, I do not find it strange that non-Americans wave the flag of their country. After all, we are a nation of immigrants, but unlike the millions of immigrants who entered our country at Ellis Island, today's immigrants are in frequent contact with family members back home through advanced communication and do fly back to visit their relatives. Secondly, where are these other country's flags most often displayed? At the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Israel Independence Parade, and West Indian Parade which are celebrations of the diversity of our great nation. Fortunately, many native-born Americans disagree with Mr. Lerner and enjoy attending these events.
You know what I think is weird? The number of Americans in this area who proudly display the Confederate flag in front of their homes and on their vehicles. The Confederate flag is the flag of traitors who seceded from the United States, carried on the inhumane practice of slavery, and lost the war to the Union. This is the second time I have noticed an anti-immigrant bias in Joel Lerner's column (the first was in the December 15, 2017 issue) and I felt I must respond.

Gale Lichter Haynes

Vote for Susan Harte

To the editor:
I am the chairperson of the Town of Bethel Republican Committee. The Committee met earlier this year and nominated Bethel resident lawyer, Susan Harte, as our Republican Party candidate for Bethel's Town Justice position. Even though the Town of Bethel Republican Committee designated Susan Harte as the Republican Party candidate, she is being challenged by the Democratic nominee, for the right to run on the Republican line in the general election (due to a special rule which allows judicial candidates to primary any party line - even those to which they do not belong.) Therefore, it is imperative that all registered Town of Bethel Republicans vote in the primary Tuesday, June 25th, at the Duggan School from noon to 9:00 p.m. Without your vote, a Democrat, not a Republican, will represent the Republican line on the ballot in the fall.
I have known Susan for over 15 years. She works and lives full time in the town of Bethel. She very actively supports and volunteers for many local community organizations and is a staunch supporter of our law enforcement community. Susan's opponent has been the town judge for 20 years. I believe it is time to elect a judge who will make sure that the Town Justice Court serves the people well and respects their valuable time. (You may recall the headline in last year's Sullivan County Democrat dated May 2, 2018, entitled “Board and Justice Court Spar over Posting Hours”).
If you require an absentee ballot, please contact the Board of Elections at (845) 807-0400. Again, I urge all registered Republicans in Bethel to vote in the primary to ensure you have an option to vote for a Republican candidate, on the Republican line, in the fall general election.

Susan Brown Otto

Good to see Al

To the editor:
I've known Al Dumas for 6 years now and know him to be a fantastic kind of man.
To see him taking on the responsibility to clean the War Memorials is just like Al.
It's nice to see someone that wants to preserve and make clean memories of our loved ones from war at a time that others want to destroy those memories by removing them from site and history.
Too bad his boss, that let him start this endeavor, won't let him finish the work which is for the public.

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Deny the Tarpon/ Verizon Tower

To the editor:
Town of Thompson Planning Board Members, State Assemblywoman Gunther, County Legislator Sorensen, Senator Metzger,
As a concerned Fourth Generation resident of Wanaksink Lake I attended the Planning Board meeting to learn what Tarpon and Verizon had submitted, and to hear from two professionals we tax paying landowners hired -- a highly qualified RF Engineer, and an attorney specializing in cell towers. I went from being concerned to angry!
I'm not angry that we residents spent our own money to hire outside experts. I'm happy we did. I and many of my neighbors are prepared to spend more. What made me angry?
I learned the cell tower application has numerous deficiencies. I learned that independent expertise should have been made available to you, our representatives, at no cost! That indeed, it was the responsibility of the applicants to pay for real tests delivering real information upon which you could make a proper decision. I learned there was misinformation being peddled, that willing site owners had not been contacted. I learned that the proposed tower height of 184 feet can be even further increased without review. I learned that rather than evaluating impartial expert analysis that should have been done, self-serving corporate expediency, greed, and conflict of interest regarding the site owner were attempting to ram this proposal through your board.
I learned that according to our charter, you are responsible for protecting the beauty of the land we have worked hard to preserve for generations!
We all want improved cell service, but we do not want the natural beauty we cherish desecrated by an ugly steel tower rising high above the tree canopy.
It is not necessary, and it is not right! The RF Engineer said the impropriety of this site proposal was one of the most egregious he had reviewed, and he has seen thousands.
Our expert team has identified suitable alternatives to this plan.
I urge you to deny this application and move forward with a tower placed in a less intrusive location. There are viable alternatives to achieve our shared goals.
Over two hundred and sixty families living around Wanaksink Lake (that's a lot of people, mine now includes Fifth and Sixth generations) will be enraged if you allow this tower to needlessly ruin the beauty of our cherished lake.
Please do the right thing! Deny this application!

Mark DeMuro
Rock Hill

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