Letters to the Editor

In Support of Sarita Bhandarkar

Letter To The Editor

Dear Hudson Valley Community, 

Please support Sarita Bhandarkar’s campaign for State Assembly in the 99th District. As a New Windsor resident and as a teacher starting my 18th year in a local public school, I can no longer watch what is happening in our communities, our country, and with our students without taking decisive action. My endorsement of Sarita comes with the knowledge that her voice will directly support us in Albany as she works alongside Senator Skoufis to advocate for justice, economic equity, and most importantly, for what’s right and against what’s wrong. In addition, Sarita believes that community strength ties directly to the success of public schools  (see saritaforny.com). I have dedicated my life to empowering young people to turn their voices into sources of strength for themselves and for their community. There is no more crucial time then now to have Sarita in Albany, especially when facing potential devastating budget cuts that could negatively impact students in our region for generations. She expresses community leadership and support, which we need so much as a country right now. Everywhere. Let’s put our voices together for people who will fight for what’s right. 

Sincerely, 
Kristin J. Oberle
Cornwall Central High School ’93
Duke University T ’97
Science Teacher: 2000-present

In Support Of Assemblyman Colin Schmitt

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor:

2020 is a major election for me. I just turned 18 and will be voting for the very first time. As a young woman and lifelong resident of New Windsor I am proud that I will be able to cast my vote for our Assemblyman Colin Schmitt. 

Colin is a local New Windsor resident and he has proven himself to be very effective for us.

He is very active on numerous issues that matter to me. He has been a dedicated advocate for young women and all women in Albany supporting and passing critical legislation. 

As a 2020 high school graduate I appreciate his outspoken support for us students who had their education, graduations,and experiences turned upside down.  Colin was always there fighting for us. 

As a New Windsor resident I really appreciate everything he has done for our town and district. Especially fixing those pesky rail crossings I had to go over every day to and from school and putting an inclusive playground into our local park for all kids to be able to use. 

As I cast my first vote for Assemblyman Colin Schmitt I hope you will join me!

Sincerely,

Angelina Clarino

New Windsor, NY 

In Support Of Assemblyman Colin Schmitt

Letter To The Editor

Editor:

I want to thank our Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for once again delivering for Goshen.

Last week I was pleased to participate in a grant check presentation where Assemblyman Schmitt presented a $50,000 state grant to Goshen Central School District to establish a cybersecurity, aviation and drone flight lab.

This forward thinking opportunity will be the only one like it in our entire region. Our students will have new opportunities open to them that will be life changing thanks to our Assemblyman.

Congratulations to Goshen High School and School District for working with the Assemblyman on this outstanding project and thank you again Assemblyman Schmitt.

Sincerely,

Legislator James O’Donnell 

Goshen, NY 

In Support Of Assemblyman Colin Schmitt

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor:

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt has served New Windsor with honor and integrity and I want to thank him.

Colin is a local, one of us. During his first term he has delivered like no one before him.

During COVID Colin provided PPE masks and hand sanitizer for our New Windsor first responders and essential personnel. He has partnered with Councilman Regenbaum to provide free antibody testing for local residents who teach or serve the community. Colin also restocked the New Windsor food pantry when it went bare at the onset of this crisis.

Our Assemblyman has delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding to provide relief to local taxpayers and fix local roads. Let’s also not forget how he worked across the aisle to fix those pesky CSX rail crossings which were a disaster for years.  

This is on top of all he has done to personally assist me and many other residents all while supporting our police and firefighters. 

Thank you to New Windsor’s own Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for taking care of New Windsor. You have the support and vote of my family!

Sincerely,

Syliva Bittles

New Windsor, NY

Supporting Assemblyman Colin Schmitt

Dear Editor: 

I am writing you in support of Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for his re-election. I am supporting Assemblyman Schmitt because of all the support he has given to his constituents throughout his district and in particular to the Village of Woodbury. 

Since day one of his term Colin has always been just a phone call away. He is always ready to assist in every way possible. 
 
During the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown we partnered to deliver food to local seniors and residents in need. When our local state funding was eliminated Colin worked to get our local AIM funding restored. When no PPE masks or hand sanitizer was available for our essential workers and first responders during the pandemic Assemblyman Schmitt delivered hundreds of these critical supplies to our village. 

I personally appreciate all the support Assemblyman Schmitt gives to our Woodbury residents and the work he does district wide. 

As a local leader and resident, I fully support and urge all to re-elect our community minded Assemblyman Colin Schmitt.  

Sincerely,

 Timothy P. Egan, Mayor
Village of Woodbury 

Thanking Skoufis For MTA Protest

Letter To The Editor

I am taking this time to write in disbelief after reading a story that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is taking a look at the prospect of cancelled train service in Orange and Rockland counties. How would tens of thousands of people get to work if they did this?

The story did say that State Senator James Skoufis was very much against this idea. I placed a call to his office and after talking to his staff, I am sure the Senator will do all in his power to save our rail service.

Thank you Senator Skoufis for fighting for the interests of the rail commuters in Orange and Rockland Counties. He knows how important a service this is for all of us.

Aimee Stout

Montgomery, NY

Letter To The Editor
The Votes Have Been Cast In VSBG

Well, the votes have been cast in the Village of South Blooming Grove. If you voted for

Mayor LoFranco and his board, thank you and thank you for braving the long line.

Prior to the election, the question was posed; “Do we vote to allow our mayor and Board

to continue their hard work or do we elect persons about whom we know nothing? Are some,

of those persons, residents so recent, that they know nothing of our Village?”

Were the Mayoral candidates, opposing Maryor Lofranco, running to serve as puppets to

a group with nefarious intent? Were they running to serve their personal agendas? Are they

someone trying to curry favor for a lucrative land deal? Who are they? Well the questions are

answered. The voters elected George Kalaj and his trustees, who will now control the Village

Board and Planning Board. Remember, in testimony, George Kalaj did not know his running

mates nor was he aware of the candidate-petition lawsuit filed on his behalf.

A severe blow was foisted upon the Village with this vote. What is abundantly clear is

John M Hickey

Village of South Blooming Grove

Letter To The Editor
The Votes Have Been Cast In VSBG

Well, the votes have been cast in the Village of South Blooming Grove. If you voted for Mayor LoFranco and his board, thank you and thank you for braving the long line. Prior to the election, the question was posed; “Do we vote to allow our mayor and Board to continue their hard work or do we elect persons about whom we know nothing? Are some, of those persons, residents so recent, that they know nothing of our Village?”

Were the Mayoral candidates, opposing Maryor Lofranco, running to serve as puppets to a group with nefarious intent? Were they running to serve their personal agendas? Are they someone trying to curry favor for a lucrative land deal? Who are they? Well the questions are answered. The voters elected George Kalaj and his trustees, who will now control the Village Board and Planning Board. Remember, in testimony, George Kalaj did not know his running mates nor was he aware of the candidate-petition lawsuit filed on his behalf.

A severe blow was foisted upon the Village with this vote. What is abundantly clear is the fact that the Village now has a Mayor who ran at the behest and direction of political operatives, whom I believe do not have the best interests of the Village on their agendas.

If you chose not to vote, shame on you. You allowed others to determine your future.

Since your voices were not heard at the voting booth you may have forfeited a voice in the future. Over 450 absentee ballots were submitted on behalf of a single block of voters. Eighty three were rejected for various reasons.

Now we know the power of a block-vote.

John M Hickey
Village of South Blooming Grove

Letter To The Editor
Pelosi’s Puppet
Congressman Maloney is a phony. He promised to be a uniter and bring the people together. The majority of his constituents voted for President Trump in 2016. Instead of representing that majority, he became a Pelosi puppet. He joined forces with Schiff, Nadler and the other Trump haters and tried to have our duly elected President removed from office.

I was shocked when I learned that Congressman Maloney has voted with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time since he was first elected. He can’t be voting with the Hudson Valley if he’s too busy trying to placate Democratic leadership. Vote for Chele Farley for Congress and she will represent the people, not a political ideology.

Patrick O. Dunnigan
Rock Tavern, NY


Ball Dropped On PDR Legislation

To the Editor

Local communities have been pressing for several year for a Purchase of Development Rights program. This is when a VERY small percentage of real estate transactions goes into town funds that are set aside specifically to create and protect imortant open space and farmland.  Farmers can promise to not develop a portion of his land, and get a deduction on their taxes, similar to the portion that is assigned to Parkland Fees.  The real estate transfer fee is not paid by other homeowners in the town, and since it is such a miniscule amount, it doesn’t impact realtors or buyers in any significant way.   Realtors would have us believe that it will hurt their business.  Right when protecting the disappearing scenic views, waterways and water itself is becoming urgent, and people are eagerly looking for housing in the Lower Hudson Vally is NO time to be worried about a few dollars that could help our area continue to be healthy, environmentally safe and scenically attractive.  Otherwise the benefits of living here will be gone.

Our representatives in Albany have been working on this for TWO years.  Once again they dropped the ball by trying to Go Big Or Go Home, trying to get the benefits of PDR programs for the county all at once, instead of one at a time, for the few communities who have asked for it.

 Shame on you!

James and Esther Stanley

In Support Of Sarita Bhandakar For Assembly

Letter to the Editor:


Our State Rep needs to be changed as soon as possible, the current Assemblymen seems to be supportive of the same divisive rhetoric that is tearing apart our country and his voting record proves it. Colin Schmidt voted against safety measures intended to allow voters to vote absentee/by mail in order to protect against the spread of disease, and even though he voted against the property tax cap he claims to have voted in support of it! COVID denial and lies are crippling this country and Colin is part of the problem. A vote for Sarita Bhandakar in November will ensure our futures will be represented by someone who as a local educator and lawyer cares for our community and has the expertise to prove it! We need her voice in Albany!!!
Doug Page – Harriman, NY

Doug Page

Thank You To Colin Schmitt

Dear Editor:


I wanted to thank Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for his strong advocacy on behalf of women in our community and our state.

Assemblyman Schmitt has been fighting for justice and equality for all women during his first term in office and I know he will continue to do so!

Just in the last year and half alone, Colin helped pass the Equal Rights for women constitutional amendment in the State Assembly.  

He also helped pass the Equal Pay legislation.  Schmitt has also supported, co-sponsored and helped pass more than half a dozen domestic violence protection bills to protect and ensure justice for women who are victims of domestic violence.

This is on top of bills to ensure women have more accessible healthcare coverage and support in other critical areas like maternal health.

There is no stronger advocate for women and girls in our district than Assemblyman Colin Schmitt and I just wanted to say thank you.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Prestia 

Highland Mills 

Town of Woodbury, NY

Support For Sarita Bhandaker for Assembly
Letter to the Editor

When a candidate asks for my support, I want them to be straight with me. Colin Schmitt says he supports women and families. I disagree. Colin’s voting record supports gender inequity reducing opportunities for women, seniors, and minorities. His votes demonstrate a lack understanding that women and girls, especially women of color, have been held back by institutional bias.  His record ignores the needs of single parents, struggling families, and undermines health care and financial needs. I can’t support a man whose votes maintain women’s second-class status.

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt voted NO to a bill to establish a health care budget that would grandfather coverage under the Affordable Care Act in the NY Health Plan.  Covid proves how disastrous it is for families not to have good health insurance coverage. Schmitt said NO to a bill to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. He said NO to a bill to protect rent regulated tenants from harassment. He said NO to a bill to prevent firearms in schools. He said NO to a bill acknowledging women have the right to make their own family planning decisions. He said NO to increasing state rent control protection and stabilization rules.

Colin’s voting record lines up with his political party’s interests, not his constituents. He said NO to a bill regarding congressional request to release presidential tax records. He said NO to a bill to allow transferring voter registration and enrollment after moving. He said NO to a bill to extend voter registration cut off. And he said NO to early voting.

Colin Schmitt said he was for term limits. I agree. I plan to vote for Sarita Bhandakar (AD99). Her record demonstrates true advocacy for families, women, minorities, seniors, and the principle that constituents come first.

Willa Freiband

Don’t Defund Police

Letter to the Editor

Defining the obvious.  This is a message to the slower members of our communities:  Less police means more homicides and serious crimes.

In other words, more crime and violence results from defunding law enforcement.

Get real! Suppiort your police and they will support you!

Nancy Van Hine

Do Not Sell Mount St. Mary’s Desmond Estate

Letters to the Editor

I have heard a most troubling rumor that our own Mt. St. Mary College is considering selling the  iconicand historic Desmond Estate with its 26 acres and a variety of trees that could qualify as an arboretum.

This estate was bequeathed to the Mount by the generous Alice Curtis Desmond, years ago in 1990, before she died, and we understand that the college also received a generous sum of money to be used for its maintenance.

It seems senseless and callous to sacrifice the estate, permitting the beautiful 26 acres to be subdivided, and the unique and historic ‘Arts and Crafts’ style mansion to be demolished.How ironic that several years ago, the Mount erected a substantial block of dormitory structures on Powell Avenue, expending much money, no doubt.

The Desmond Estate, the home of Alice Curtis Desmond, sits in the very heart of Balmville and is deeply entwined in the history of the community.  The College’s program of Adult Enrichment could not have been better located.   And the estate is a marvelous gem, that the College was given to cherish and preserve for everyone’s pleasure and enrichment.

Is this now to be destroyed and history obliterated with ugly earthmoving, noisy dump trucks plying the narrow roadways, as great old trees are toppled, in the heart of the Balmville community?

Alice is really all of us.  We must protect our legacy.

Sandra Kissam

Town of Newburgh

Drivers Risking Lives

Letter to the Editor

Dear Fellow Drivers,

Normally I read the letters to the editor but, after observing three traffic situations within the past two weeks, I am now finding myself writing one.

To the three drivers I observed I have one question.  Was your destination so important that you risked your life and the lives of those around you to get there?

Let me describe these traffic instances to the readers.

My husband and I were driving along Route 94 heading towards Newburgh.  As we approached the red light at Forge Hill Road, the driver behind us pulled into the gas station on the left, drove through, turned right into a Forge Hill Road and then turned left back onto Route 94 all in order to avoid stopping for the red light.  I asked myself  “Did I really see that?”

The second incident occurred on Willow Lane.  As I was braking to stop at the stop sign (isn’t this what you’re supposed to do?), the car behind me (who had been on my bumper since Route 207) pulled out, passed me on the left and drove through the intersection never bothering to stop for the stop sign.  He/she then continued to speed down Willow Lane at a high rate of speed.  This is a residential neighborhood with many young children, dog walkers and joggers.  Slow down!  It’s 30 mph!

The third incident was at the intersection by Flannery Animal Hospital.  I was stopped in front of Flannery’s waiting for the light to turn green so I could make a left onto Route 300.  The light turned green.  Thank heavens I didn’t pull out quickly because a car came speeding down Route 300 and proceeded to run the red light.  I slammed on my brakes, the pickup behind me did the same and pulled to the right to avoid my bumper, the cars currently stopped for their red light pulled in different directions…….all to avoid the idiot who ran the red light!  He/she missed me by inches!  To top it off, the idiot running the red light had the nerve to blast his horn at ME!  (And “idiot” isn’t what I called you at the time!)

To all you drivers who speed, run red lights and drive recklessly……..please pay attention to your driving.  Life is too precious to give it up in an automobile accident.

The New Windsor police are a wonderful bunch of guy and gals.  They do their job everyday with professionalism, experience and a smile.  But they can’t be everywhere.  The public needs to drive responsibly to avoid instances such as these.

M. Strong

New Windsor

Dear Neighbor;

We find ourselves at a challenging time,   I have been a Town of Blooming Grove and Village of Blooming Grove resident for three decades.  I came to raise my family here.  I came to escape from the Bronx where I began to see decay and filth and utter disregard for all things civil.

For these many years, I have enjoyed the tranquility and comfort of an environment where all residents were responsible for and to each other.  We didn’t throw our garbage and debris in the streets.  We didn’t build things without proper authority.  We respected each other and each other’s rights.

In the last couple of years, we have seen many changes.  We saw the influx of new neighbors, whom we welcomed.  We have seen rapid development and renovation and the resulting disregard for proper refuse and building material disposal.  Our streets have become littered.  We find water heaters in our streets and household garbage strewn about.  Our sewer lines have been clogged by inconsiderate neighbors who dispose of diapers,cloths and female sanitary products.

Our Village board, under Mayor LoFranco’sleadership, has done a masterful job in limiting the abuses.  But for the Board, we would be living a nightmare, as folks experienced in some Rockland communities.  The Board has been successful in securing financing to mitigate our critical water issues.  They have implemented enforcement measures to correct quality of life  abuses by some of our residents.  Since Jim LoFranco has assumed his thankless job duties, he has worked diligently, often long into the night and on weekends; to right the ship.  He has responded to every challenge with vigor and commitment.

Mayor LoFranco and trustee Sue Ann Vogelsburg are running for re-election on Sept.15.  Patricia Morrice is running for a Board seat vacated by the untimely death of Jim Mullany.  The voters of South Blooming Grove have an important decision to make,  Do we vote to allow our mayor and Board tocontinue their hard work or do we elect candidatesabout whom we know nothing?  Are they residents so recent, that they know nothing of our Village?  Are they running to serve as puppets to a group with nefarious intent.  Are they running to serve their personal agendas? Who are they?.  These questions must be answered.

John Hickey
Blooming Grove

Letter to the Editor

Hope For An End To COVID

Dear Editor,

I keep seeing back and forth conversations regarding how the COVID pandemic is being handled in our country.  I find it incredible that a handful of people are being either blamed or praised for something that’s totally new and uncharted territory.  The president is being called a murderer, the NY Governor is being called a dictator and amid all the illness and death, it still somehow seems like it’s been politicized and the truth is hidden behind blame and skirting responsibility and add to that …“science” that seems to keep contradicting itself.   That’s because nobody has the answers.  They just have suggestions and guidelines.  All we can do is follow the suggestions for keeping ourselves and others healthy and hope for the best.  Hope that our leaders make their decisions based on what’s best for the people, not for their party. Hope that an effective vaccine is available soon.  Hope that COVID is eradicated and just becomes a distant memory that we are protected from experiencing ever again.  Stay healthy everyone!

Reggie Sampson

Rich Steger for Newburgh Town Council

Congratulations to Rich Steger for being unanimously nominated as the Democratic candidate for the vacated position of Town Council by the Town of Newburgh Democratic Committee.

As a life long resident of Newburgh and teacher for the Valley Central school district, Rich Steger will bring new and fresh ideas to improve the quality of life for all residents by introducing policies that will continue to improve services and access to local government, while maintaining low taxes. Rich would be tremendous asset on the board.

Vote Rich Steger for Town Council November 3  for a better and improved Town of Newburgh.

Ernesto Tirado

No Public Participation?

Letter To Editor

It is laudable that the OC Legislature expanded the scope of its Diversity intervention  initiative, from the Hasidic community  to include  “racial and ethnic conflicts.”  This was reported in a news Editorial. The Editorial further reported what was missing in this approved resolution, was “it was not communicated, not specific and it did not include people in the diverse community.”

Editorial Boards should  listen to streamed Legislative meetings, since April, 2020. The Legislature’s  Chair, Steve Brescia, states, ” Public participation is postponed to future legislative sessions.  The public is instructed to send their written comments, via email,  to J. Ramppen. This sheds light on why the Diversity resolution has not included “people in the
community.”  All  Legislative meetings no longer include “people in the community.”

With the technology that is available today, there is no legitimate/acceptable reason for the Legislature eliminating public participation. Emailed public comments are not public and they have no impact on the resolutions discussed and voted on at the meeting, as they are received after the fact!

This further erosion of democracy in the  Legislature silences the public on the Diversity issue and on all Orange County issues.  Is it legal to use the pandemic, so that the public voice is not heard?

Yet, the Legislature is willing to throw $100,000 at an “expert” without hearing from the people. This must change. Public participation is a prerequisite, if our country is to remain a democracy!

Mary Ann McDonough

Letter To Editor