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Tuesday, April 13, 2021


NY budget is reckless

To the editor:
The legislators in Albany have passed a new budget of approximately $212 billion. That number should shock the citizenry, but, as usual, the budgetary wheels will be put in motion, days will pass and the people the legislators serve will simply be left to kvetch about the price tag - or leave New York State.
To put this budget in perspective, know that Florida has almost three million more people than New York and is geographically much larger than New York. Logically, you would think that Florida's budget would exceed New York.
Alas, Florida's 2021-2022 budget is less than half that of New York and has no state income tax - which is increasing under the new NYS budget.
Even more shocking is the fact that the new NYS budget even exceeds that of California, a state with twice as many people as New York.
I understand that state government has to pay its bills and invest in projects that benefit its citizens, but our elected representatives need to explain how a budget of this size is possible, especially compared to states of similar or greater size. Perhaps there is a good explanation for this budget or the fact that, despite a cash infusion from the Feds, it's an increase of 10% over last year.
Without an explanation of any kind (I've asked), I will be left to my opinion that this budget is reckless, harmful and an insult to all New Yorkers.

Tim McCausland

Facts matter

To the editor:
Especially in these times of rampant “fake news,” facts matter now more than ever.
When anyone can get on a soapbox and go on a tirade against the governor while, almost undoubtedly, having turned a blind eye to the twenty-six woman who accused former president Trump of various degrees of sexual misconduct, it is important to be reminded that it was Sam Cooke who wrote “A Change is Gonna Come,” not Otis Redding.
And I'm sure he is turning over in his grave at the thought of his civil rights anthem being invoked in such a manner.

Paul Stankus

Is there a Facemask penalty?

To the editor:
I'm left to wonder if a facemask penalty was called on two recent plays shown in the Democrat sports pages. Clearly, two Ellenville football players and a Roscoe player were not wearing the mandatory masks over their faces - a requirement for playing and practicing all high risk sports in New York State.
This is not a judgment on the rule, but an observation on its enforcement and ensuring that equity is maintained throughout all high school sports. I think it's safe to say that players without masks would find it easier to breathe, run and perform than those wearing masks.
If one team has players wearing masks and another does not, advantage to the team with maskless players. Also, I'm sure volleyball and soccer players would like to play without masks, but cannot hide under a helmet.
It's not clear what the penalty or consequence is, if any, for players not wearing a mask. Just another layer of confusion New York State and Section IX have created by allowing full-time athletics but not full-time academics.
As one parent said recently at a Sullivan West Board meeting, “how is that from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., my kid has to social distance in the school as a student, but after 1:30 p.m. when he becomes an athlete and goes to play his sport in the same building, he doesn't? What kind of message is that?”
The same contorted message that Section IX is sending by not allowing spectators to indoor events such as volleyball even though New York State has approved it.
I realize managing schools and school athletics in the COVID era has been extraordinarily challenging and ever-changing. But all we are asking for as parents and residents is consistency and common sense.

Ken Cohen

Community spirit is alive and well

To the editor:
The Youngsville Firecrackers, a Cornell Cooperative Extension Community Group would like to thank everyone that contributed to our 2020 Sock drive. Although we could not meet together regularly due to Covid 19, our sock drive was outstanding.
Carla Dworetsky coordinated, collected, and organized all the socks, hats, mittens, scarves. Area businesses housed donation collection boxes, members Tracy, Mary, Patti and June helped collect from businesses, receiving a grand total of 1,314 items.
Community members knitted and crocheted beautiful hats, scarves, mittens. The St. Francis, St. Georges and Youngsville Reformed Church members also collected for the drive.
Items donated helped the churches fill 33 community baskets, deliveries were made to the Jeffersonville Adult home, First Way Life Center, Recovery Center, United Way, Sullivan West Elementary and High School, Corona Self Help Center, and any family in need.
If you know of any non profit organization that could use items please contact Carla Dworetsky (845) 482-4588.
Thank you to everyone that donated, knitted, and crocheted, businesses that housed collection boxes, your generosity and kindness is appreciated.
Youngsville Firecrackers would also like to announce our 2021 Scholarship. Applications will be available at Sullivan West Central School Guidance Office, APRIL 30, 2021 DEADLINE. Applicant must be a SWCS Senior, living in the Youngsville Fire District.
Applicant must be pursuing further education in field of choice, and is intended for educational path of choice, not only college. Contact Jane Doughty (845) 707-2250 for info.
Youngsville Firecrackers are proud to live in our towns and county where communities come together to support each other. If interested, our community group normally meets at the Youngsville Fire House every third Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m., Sept - June thanks to ours hosts the Youngsville Fire Dept. However we currently are not meeting due to Covid 19, hoping we'll be able to meet soon.
Our community support, generously, and kindness will help us to continue to help our communities, and we are thankful.

Jane Doughty

Change has to come

To the editor:
It appears that government dysfunction reigns in New York at the state level, NYC level, and in Sullivan County.
At the state level there is a governor who should be removed from office, but for unknown reasons, remains in office despite his apparent disregard for women. But unfortunately for many, this type of behavior is acceptable. And the unfortunate matter is that this comes at a crucial time period in state government due to the pending state budget.
I am not going to spend any time on the NYC situation as events there are self-explanatory.
However, in Sullivan County, one finds the continuous drama of the Sullivan County Legislature and one wonders why nothing constructive ever gets accomplished in the county. Despite the recent real estate surge (which will bust), little positive has happened, and it appears that the local elected assembly member is primarily concerned with the fate of the casino and little else.
The late Otis Redding penned a lyric, “A change is gonna come,” and that lyric should be rephrased as it applies to New York State and Sullivan County Governments: A change gotta come!

Ralph John Savarese

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