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Letter to the Editor – Daily Hudson Valley News http://www.hvinsider.com/articles Online news source for the Mid Hudson Region Fri, 01 May 2015 05:10:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.2 Letter to the Editor Rabbitt For Orange County Clerk http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-rabbitt-for-orange-county-clerk/ Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:59:32 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=14537 Dear Editor:

I want to tell you a little about Annie Rabbit, my first boss, mentor, and friend.

Since a young age I was compelled to be involved in public service. I viewed it, as I still do, as a way to make a difference and help others. While still a teenager (now out of college) Annie saw my desire and was willing to bring me onto her team.

When many others would not take a chance on a young citizen looking to help, Annie did. Annie’s willingness and eagerness to let me do what I loved changed my life. She provided me the opportunity to learn what no book or classroom lesson could ever teach.

During my years of interning, volunteering, and working for Annie I got to see a shining example of servant leadership. I was able to see the care and compassion that Annie devoted to each and every citizen of her Assembly district and the State of New York. It didn’t matter if you agreed with her or had supported her, all Annie cared about was assisting in any way she could. She could do this all while sticking to her beliefs and morals, a rare trait at any level.

Annie has proven herself for several terms in the Assembly. It is now time to bring her style of leadership back to Orange County, and I urge all residents to vote Rabbitt for County Clerk this November.

Sincerely,

Colin Schmitt
New Windsor, NY

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Pay-to-Play Reform and the Players Involved http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/pay-to-play-reform-and-the-players-involved/ Sun, 06 Oct 2013 15:38:01 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=14475 Campaign reform in Orange County is a welcome sight. However when looking at the legislators involved some curious facts unfold.  In September Legislator Steve Brescia catered to pressure from Construction Unions that called for lawmakers to exempt donation limits.  Mr. Brescia then proposed to change the proposed $250 limit to $1000.

One has to wonder if Mr. Brescia was motivated by merit on this issue or the more than $3000 he received from such groups since being elected.

The proposal’s sponsor, Legislator Mike Anagnostakis, has no reported donations coming from Construction Unions but it is curious to note that thus far in 2013 it appears that only $400 out of $4,385 comes from donations within his voting district.

Recent articles suggest Mr. Anagnostakis is taking more moderate positions in governing. A review of his past political activities suggest a more extreme side. This includes a 2004 donation to the propaganda group “Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth” that was designed to spread disinformation about former candidate for President John Kerry.

The question that comes to mind in all this is who is playing who in this situation?

Stephen L. Krasner
Town of Newburgh, NY

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Letter to the Editor – NY State Gun Law and Budget http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-ny-state-gun-law-and-budget/ http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-ny-state-gun-law-and-budget/#comments Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:28:55 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=11451 My Opinion on the Governors’ Gun Law & Budget

In the recent rush to pass a gun law, the Governor failed to address the fact that a Non-US Citizen can obtain a pistol permit in New York State.

A semi automatic assault rifle is a hunting rifle in a different housing.

Limiting seven rounds in a magazine but not mentioning how many magazines a person can be in possession of.

Then designate 380 Million dollars to enforce this law which really was not thought out very well. This money should be ear marked for mental health in New York State.

In the past, New York State had many hospitals dedicated to Mental Health. This system has all but been eliminated because of State cut backs.

The governor has stated the family must monitor each other for mental health. Yet no real support system is in place. Many with mental health, drug, or alcohol addiction end up in County Jail only to be released and returned repeatedly.

The budget presented by the governor denies payment for some anti-psychotic drugs substituting generic for name brand for low income mental health patients.

Please target the money where it will have some impact.

The real problem is the mental health of the person pulling the trigger.

Gil Piaquadio
Councilman
Town of Newburgh

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Letter to the Editor – Domestic Violence http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-domestic-violence/ Tue, 11 Dec 2012 00:29:19 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=10845 Domestic Violence

In today’s society sometimes we overlook what’s right under our noses or in our own back yards.  As chief of the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department one of my jobs is to monitor criminal activity.  Typically, we see a spike in certain crimes during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One of those spikes is domestic violence. Many victims of this crime are afraid to come forward and say they are a victim. Some don’t want the embarrassment and all too many times victims don’t want to pursue charges.

Let me relay a domestic violence call that came into our department during the holiday season.  A male and his girlfriend were at their home arguing over how she lost her credit card.  The male became irate and began punching her in the face numerous times.  He then began to slam her head into the wall and finally picked up a microwave oven and hit her atop of the head.  The female subsequently went to the hospital with a large laceration and scull fracture.

This was a true incident occurring in Pike County and these types of crimes are becoming all too common.  The female in this case was “lucky” and survived.  Increasingly in Pike County we see domestic fatalities.  As police we tend to be a reactive agency in these types of situations, which means we are called after the event happens.  Hopefully by writing this we can become more proactive in helping to prevent these types of crimes.  We need your help.

It is never right for someone to hit or touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating.  You should report these incidents; if not to the police then to a teacher, a relative, a doctor or even just a friend.  In order for us to help you, you need to want help.  There are many agencies available to you as a victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

I can’t say that in all cases we are going to be able to prosecute the offender, but we have no chance if we don’t know the crime is occurring.  The police want to put an end to domestic and sexual violence and to make our neighborhoods a safer place to live.  For more information on seeking help visit our website at www.eprpd.org.

Chad Stewart
Matamoras, PA

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Op-Ed from Senator Ryan Zinke http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/op-ed-from-senator-ryan-zinke/ Thu, 20 Sep 2012 18:19:22 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=9741 The recent troubling state of affairs in Libya, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East is a stark reminder that we need strong American leadership. The chaos in Egypt and Libya, the uncertainty of Iran, and the back-handed treatment of Israel are direct consequences of a White House that leads from behind, a White House that does not believe in American Exceptionalism. American Exceptionalism is the belief that our values are outstanding and unique to the world. These values have made the USA the greatest asset to the globe. We do not apologize for them! The Obama administration has repeatedly proven it does not believe America is truly exceptional. Three examples stand for the world to see: the President’s proclivity for apology, his shunning of our allies, and the willingness to bow to the world.

Why does the world see our President take an apology tour across the Middle East and Europe – speaking of our so-called “mistakes,” “troubles” and “arrogance?” After his election, he portrayed the US as naïve, hasty bullies. His appeasement approach represented the United States – NOT as the greatest nation, but merely as one of many nations. When unrest was rising a few days ago, the Obama administration in Cairo issued a statement apologizing for freedom of speech. Rather than condemning the violence and disrespect of our nation, the administration officials felt the need to pacify the mob with an apology. While the President rightly stepped away from those remarks, it is still his administrations’ words. It sent mixed messages and creates an aura of weakness.

The administration has repeatedly thrown our closest allies under the bus, especially Israel. For the last three and a half years, the US-Israel relations have been on shaky ground. White House action has not matched the rhetoric toward our strongest, democratic ally in the Middle East. Historically, America has defended Israel’s right to exist despite terrorist regimes like Iran and Syria who threaten her national security and democratic freedom. Instead of strengthening ties with Israel, the President – on numerous occasions – has chided Israeli leadership, snubbed important meetings, proposed harmful policies, and ridiculed Prime Minister Netanyahu. Meanwhile, he has done nothing to deter Iran or Hamas’ destructive ambitions toward Israel. Instead his platform is based on talking with dictators while shunning allies. On multiple occasions, this administration has tried to “restart” foreign relationships to the peril of our friends. In an effort to appease Russia, he canceled missile defense plans leaving Poland and the Czech Republic defenseless. Nobody can forget the President’s infamous promise to be “more flexible” with Russia after his reelection. With Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East, his platform has been based on talking with the reckless regime. His administration has been reluctant to enforce real sanctions. In the wake of recent events, the President has invited the new Muslim Brotherhood leader of Egypt for talks while simultaneously snubbing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The policy of appeasing our enemies and shunning our allies emits the scent of weakness.

The President bows to the world. On multiple occasions from Saudi Arabia to Japan the President has bowed to world leaders – not in mutuality but in subjection. Our values are too great; our military too strong; and our history too deep to bow in deference. The service men and women of this great country have sacrificed too much to see their Commander-in-Chief bow.
This is a call to action. We can simply disapprove of the direction of our country or we can CHANGE the direction of our great country. The world does not deserve our apologies; the world benefits from our leadership. However, the Obama administration promotes policies of appeasement and apology; the recent disgrace at American embassies reflects that failure. Now is the time to bring back the belief in American Exceptionalism. If we simply disagree with the President’s policies, we will have four more years of weakness and appeasement rather than dignity and strength. But if we unite with our belief in America, we can change the next four years.

Sen. Ryan Zinke
Chairman, Special Operations for America
USN SEAL (Retired)
www.soforamerica.org

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Skoufis: Thruway Toll Hike is a Trickle-Down Tax http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/skoufis-thruway-toll-hike-is-a-trickle-down-tax/ Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:40:42 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=9333 Now is not the time to require businesses that deliver the goods we depend on everyday to pay a 45 percent toll increase. The economy is still struggling; we have not yet rebounded from the recession.

The proposed toll increase will affect more than just truck drivers. Increasing the costs of shipping will force small businesses to pay more for goods. When businesses are forced to pay more, consumers bear the costs as well. This is a trickle-down tax.

The toll hike is completely unacceptable and does nothing to improve New York’s business climate. We should be committed to helping businesses grow. This toll hike does the exact opposite.

James Skoufis
Candidate for 99th State Assembly District

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Letter to the Editor – Upholding Integrity http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-upholding-integrity/ Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:04:43 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=8931 Letter to the Editor – Upholding Integrity

On May 18th County Executive Edward Diana made the following statement in a letter to the community, “I believe there is no greater responsibility than upholding the integrity of public office. I stand by my personal convictions and beliefs and am committed to being fiscally and ethically responsible.”

While it is refreshing to read that statement coming from our Chief Executive in Orange County, I call to question Mr. Diana’s follow through in living up to that responsibility he claims to uphold.  By avoiding the opportunity to truthfully address the public under oath, by providing testimony, it begs the question as to how honest and truthful he is being on certain business and issues as they relate to the taxpayers of Orange County.

Mr. Diana you are a publicly elected official and it is your duty to take the opportunity presented and speak the truth when it comes to the business of the people.

Stephen L. Krasner
Town of Newburgh, NY

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Letter to the Editor From NFA Principal Maxine Nodel http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-from-nfa-principal-maxine-nodel/ Thu, 05 Jul 2012 21:46:53 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=8683 Dear NFA Community – Students, Families, Dedicated Staff:

Congratulations on reaching the end of the 2011-2012 school year and for the graduation of another class!

At this time, I would like to share with you how honored and privileged I am to serve as your Executive Principal.  I am committed to working with integrity, respect, professionalism, transparency, and collaboration.  I am committed to meeting the learning and social/emotional needs of all our students, as well as supporting all NFA staff members in reaching our school-wide goals to the best of my ability.

We are beginning our work together at a time when our nation is transforming American education to better prepare our graduates for the rigors of college, career, and citizenry within this global economy.  As a result, we will be working via New York State mandates under the guidance and support of our district.  In this regard, I am eager and excited to begin our collective work as we embark upon this new journey together.

The state mandates are bringing nonnegotiable change.  For some, change can be daunting, yet, invigorating for others.  I view change as the latter, as well as an inevitable and vital part of growth.  Since change is obligatory in our case, I agree with educator/author Alan Watts’ that “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – I look forward to dancing with the stars of NFA where we are charged with continuing to speak into the lives of each of our students in the most effective ways possible.

During the summer, I will be reaching out to all NFA school stakeholders as we prepare for and transition into the 2012-2013 school-year.  I am eager to meet everyone and, most importantly, listen.

With gratitude,

Maxine Nodel
Executive Principal

“Individually we are one drop; together, we are an ocean.” ~Ryunosuke Satoro

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Op-Ed: Congress Remembers the Taxpayer http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/op-ed-congress-remembers-the-taxpayer/ Mon, 02 Jul 2012 20:10:10 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=8654 The challenges facing our country should push the U.S. Congress to work together for a fiscally-responsible future. The country is facing a $1.3 trillion deficit and $15 trillion debt and the national elections are producing lots of heated rhetoric about budget, tax, and spending problems. Despite this, we see more talk than action. So it is at least a little inspiring then, when Congress finds agreement on a responsible spending proposal, as happened recently.

Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, M.D. (NY-19) was among the majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives that voted to pass an amendment to the fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill to cut wasteful spending. Instead of supporting $25 million in new taxpayer-funded industry subsidies for oil shale, this bipartisan group of members of Congress voted to invest those monies in deficit reduction.

While $25 million doesn’t seem like a lot in the big scheme of things, when you consider how deep a deficit hole we’re in, every dime, every million counts. Sadly, this was the only cut amendment to the bill that passed, and barely passed at that. But at least it is something.

The federal government has provided tax credits, price guarantees, and loan guarantees for the oil shale industry for decades. In addition, our public lands have been given to private companies for oil shale research and development without requiring the payment of rents, bonuses, or royalties for facilities producing at less than commercial scale. You’d think all of these handouts would have paid off by now, but no. All these subsidies support an industry that doesn’t even exist: commercial oil shale development in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. After 100 years, energy companies still can’t figure out how to extract oil from the rocks in the Rockies without wasting an enormous amount of money and water. There remains no commercially-viable method for producing oil shale today. Earlier this year for instance, Chevron gave up and walked away from its experimental oil shale leases in Colorado.

We hope this is just beginning and that more wasteful subsidies will be stripped from the federal budget. But at the same time there are those that want to waste tax dollars on new subsidies! Congress will likely see a series of bills over the next few months that will include more proposals for more subsidies–including for big oil companies. In these tight budget times, we cannot afford to throw good money after bad. We’ll be working with Congress, including Rep. Hayworth, to ensure taxpayers
won’t continue to lose big in debates about America’s budget priorities.

# # #

Taxpayers for Common Sense is an independent and non-partisan voice for taxpayers working to increase transparency and expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare. The nonprofit has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Ms. Ryan Alexander, President
Taxpayers for Common Sense

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Submitted by Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/submitted-by-orange-county-executive-edward-a-diana/ Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:50:53 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=8342 Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana submitted the following statement:

“Last night the voters of Wisconsin showed the rest of America that sound fiscal policies enacted during an economic downturn, although difficult to embrace, are necessary to ensure fiscal stability and promote economic growth – for the betterment of citizens and taxpayers.

Here in Orange County we, too, have had hard choices to make in the name of those we serve.  We know that our conservative economic policies have been successful because taxes in Orange County have remained stable and our County remains fiscally sound while we promote economic freedom and individual choice.  This fact has been validated by Moody’s Investors Services, an objective world-renowned institution, recognizing Orange County with a Triple-A Bond Rating two years in a row.

Our economic development team continues to create jobs in a very difficult climate, as is evidenced by the recent relocation or expansion of companies like Mediacom Communications, CoachUSA/Shortline and Carlisle SynTec.  We are able to produce these results because the County of Orange believes that government works for the people, and not the other way around.”

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