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Thursday, May 25, 2017


Not entitled to own facts

Don Dittmer chooses to be repeatedly glib and dismissive of the facts as he voices his own opinion (Sullivan County Democrat 5/16/ 2017 and 3/3/1017). But Mr. Dittmer is NOT entitled to his own facts, despite Donald Trump's attempt to make “alternate facts” something other than a euphemism for bald-faced lies.
I cannot account for Mr. Dittmer's faulty (selective?) memory or possibly willful ignorance of the racist attacks made by Republicans - elected, rank and file and those in the faux news cable and Internet media - against President Obama and his family. Space limitations do not permit an extensive sampling of all of the disgracefully racist, Republican lowlights.
Suffice it to say that depicting President Obama as a clichéd African witchdoctor and labeling it “Obamacare;” depicting President Obama lynched in effigy; urging voters not to “reNig” when President Obama was running for re-election, and gorilla and monkey references to the President and his family too numerous to mention, are a matter of public record.
Mr. Dittmer invokes the names “Sharpton” and “Jackson” as if their very mention discredits the outrage that DID accompany these and many other racist Republican attacks on the Obamas. The FACT is, decent people, people of good character, DID condemn these statements, while Republicans typically laughed along with and closed ranks behind the racists uttering, texting, twittering, emailing and Facebook-posting these foul outrages.
Indeed, Mr. Dittmer's self-identification as a “birther” along with Donald Trump betrays his true political agenda and belies any claim to objectivity much less credibility.
Neither I, nor this Country, nor likely the world will “stay safe” until the Trump regime is gone from government and this unseemly blight on our nation and blot on our national reputation is expunged. As I said in my letter of March 21st, “until then, we protest.”

Rich Altman
Swan Lake

High praise for Adult Care Center

The following is my experience as a resident of the Rehab Unit of the county's Adult Care Center in Liberty. On February I underwent a pacemaker change at University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. During the procedure a lead broke and tore a hole in my heart muscle, necessitating emergency open-heart surgery to repair the damage. I was discharged and immediately entered the Adult Care Center.
The next morning nurse consultations evaluated medications needed, and physical and occupational therapies were started. The therapy sessions were quite demanding as I had just been released from the hospital after lying on my back for six days.
Occupational therapy exercises were demanding and included brushing “Bugsy Siegel” one of two therapy rabbits, whose purpose was to strengthen hand control and relax residents. Blaze, the second rabbit, entertained residents by endlessly chasing a beach ball around the room.
Physical therapy concentrated on a stationary bicycle, leg lifts, stair climbing and walking. As my time at the Center passed, it was clear I was improving, and staff members closely monitored my care.
My conclusion after nearly three weeks in the Rehab Section and the whole Center is … fantastic! The excellence of the Rehab Department and the Center goes back to staff and pride. The staff is knowledgeable, attentive and caring - attributes evident on all staff levels from administration to nursing, therapies, housekeeping and all other departments.
It is that pride and dedication that results in such high standards for the entire facility, standards that should be emulated by similar facilities, public and private.
I have always been a supporter of this facility. Now I can give nothing but the highest praise to all involved in making the Sullivan County Adult Care Center a stellar example of professionalism, pride, dedication and excellence!

Frank Burbank
Livingston Manor

Going to miss Dan

To the editor:
I am saddened to learn that Dan Hust will be leaving your employment as of Friday, May 19. I have been the Kenoza Lake news correspondent since around 2004, and have had the privilege of working with Dan in his capacity as both editor and reporter.

Over the years, I have seen Dan at numerous Town of Bethel Planning Board and Town Board meetings. In my opinion, he has always written his news articles with just the facts and without bias or personal opinion. Professional, integrity, discretion, dedication are words that come to mind when I think of Dan. You would never have the words “fake news” and Dan Hust in the same sentence.

Please let Dan know that it has been an honor and privilege to “work” with him and thank him for his dedication to the journalism profession. Finally, I wish him all the best in his new job.

Yours truly,
Susan Brown Otto
Kenoza Lake Correspondent

Susan Brown Otto
Kenoza Lake

Please reconsider, Mr. Faso

To the editor:
In his letter, Mr. Faso has certainly earned the title of typical politician. He manages to combine part truths with whole lies. The health care act he voted for has been checked by the Congressional Budget Office, Kaiser Health Services, and multiple medical associations. All of them agree the health care bill Faso voted for does two things. It takes millions of ordinary Americans off health care insurance and gives $800 billion to the most wealthy Americans over the next 10 years.
John Kasick, Republican governor of Ohio says 700,000 people in his state will lose insurance under the bill Faso voted for.
Mr. Faso, you were elected to represent the people of the 19th Congressional District, not the millionaires who live on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Your vote will hurt many people in our country, some of whom are really good people I know. The bill you voted for is horrible for so many of our neighbors.
Please reconsider your vote and please don't lie to us anymore.

John Mulhern

In response to Rich Altman's letter of March 21

To the editor:
Dear Rich,
Don't remember any racial attacks or anything you say was done to Obama or family.
Sharpton, Jackson and liberal democrats would have screamed!
Birther movement included Donald Trump and myself, I'll ask one thing: If Obama had nothing to hide why did he spend $3+ million to stop the FOIA requests?
I don't agree with the Electoral College but since it's what we go by Donald won, and as he says it's the toughest way for a Republican to win. Hillary to this day is making excuses why she lost is moot and blah.
The stupidity I mean is when Trump does anything (cough), they have something to say. When he does something that he said for six months that he is going to do and he does it, right away Schumer or others start yelling foul! Schumer says his caucus and him will NOT work with the Republicans or with the President. They lost but will hold our Gov't hostage from us! Sounds treasonous!
Protest, fine, but WHY all the violence, facemasks, destruction and cop killings? What about peaceful protests? Most of what you spin is more of what Trump is doing to bring America back to the people, freedom that was taken away.
Clean water? The EPA? The EPA brings to mind Flint that still suffers today and there's Alabama's water, again the EPA! The states can do a better job with agencies they have - DEC, EPA and others to combine. The Federal EPA destroys.
Freeing up the job-killing regulations is already helping the nation getting jobs back and the economy. The wall without being done is already stopping 70% of illegals from entering.
Liberal media bashing Trump on everything he does, nothing was done to Obama. They will not stop on Trump until after his 8 years.
Stay Safe,

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Competing stories on health care

To the editor:
Two competing stories, realities actually, emerged with Obama Care - one of betrayal, one of gratitude.
A liar President, underperforming to promises made, is villain of the first story; the same man, bringing health care to people previously beyond reach of it, is hero of the second.
We're now told Trump Care will resolve the problem. But it is, respectfully, laughable to conclude it has removed the logjam, enlightened us all on the WAY.
Yet a third reality, that of selfishness, need not desert us. When disaster strikes, say, from flood or terrorism, most of us don't support assisting only those who can pay to be assisted - we appreciate being caught on the wrong side of such logic. Why then, in America, is illness apparently considered by so many to be a choice?

Dave Colavito
Rock Hill

Faso's yes vote on Trumpcare 2

To the editor:
Faso's reasons for voting for the new TrumpCare
1. Currently one third of US counties have only one insurer.
2. Premiums rose an average of 25 percent this year for those on the exchanges.
3. Deductibles will average more than $6,000 this year for those in the lowest-priced ACA plans.
4. 4.7 million Americans were kicked off their plans by the ACA.
5. The ACA raised taxes by $1 trillion, including new payroll taxes for employers, business investments, and taxes on over-the-counter drugs and medical device manufacturers.
6. 18 out of 23 ACA co-ops have failed, including Health Republic in New York State, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
7. 20 million Americans are without health insurance under the ACA.
Items 1-4 are easily fixed by reintroducing the Public Option, which the Republicans killed in the original bill because they refuse to acknowledge that sometimes the “market” does not make the best decisions. Items 1-4 are proof of that.
Item 5 is pure cynicism. TrumpCare2 gives close to a trillion dollar tax break to the top 10 percent. Item 7 is also cynical. More than 20 million will LOSE health care they already have under the Republican plan.

Roy Tedoff

Your guy is now our guy

To the editor:
On election day, the American voter has three choices. He can abstain, vote split ticket or straight ticket. By taking the last option, he accepts all candidates on that ticket. He does have the option of a write in which is very seldom exercised.
That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Trump on his spectacular upset at the polls.
I would also like to congratulate all his supporters for the hard work getting their guy elected.
Your guy, who bullied all the men standing on the stage with him, and demeaned some of their wives. Congratulations!!!
You know, your guy who sat with his Gucci loafers up on his desk with his daddy's million and five deferments while his peers went off to sacrifice life and limb to defend his right to do this.
Congratulations, your guy who stated that he knew more than our generals about ISIS. I guess now we can do away with our Military Academies. Look at the savings for the American taxpayers.
Congratulations! Your guy who humiliated a well-known journalist on National TV by mocking his disability. You should be real proud of that moment. Congratulations!!!!
I could state many more things you should be proud of but I'll end with this one:
Congratulatinos to all you men supporters of your guy. You would be proud to stand next to your wife and have your guycome up to her and grab her wherever he desired, because he says she would not care because he is a star. Boy, I wonder what he would say about gun control at this point.
But I digress. I am here to congratulate your guy. I really respect the presidency; but, I cannot respect the man picked to fill this position, therefore I cannot call him president Trump. I feel that would elevate his status to that of his great predecessors, and I cannot, in good faith, agree to that.
(I spent 20 years in the military defending his rights so I think I have the right to call him Mister Trump)
Who knows? Your guy might make a great president, but based on his past history, I doubt it.
Your guy, congratulations!
My main fear is Mr. Trump's itchy trigger finger. We know he will not place himself in harm's way, did I mention the five deferments? I'm sure he has no qualms in placing thousands of young lives in harm's way.
Congratulations, your guy is, God forbid, our guy now.
God Bless America.

Jim Stone
Damascus, PA

Comey's firing echoes the past

To the editor:
The firing of James Comey, head of the FBI, is an act of terror committed against we the citizens of the USA. It is the latest move by the Trump gang to cover his behind and in particular head off the investigation of the Russian connection into our elections and government operations.
If you know what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the takeover by Communists of the eastern European countries after WWII, you can see how Comey's firing is echoed in the past by tyrannical governments wishing to have their actions hidden from the public view to avoid criticism.
Would Trump like to have complete control and do whatever he wishes whether it hurts people or not? Look at what he does and says, and judge for yourself.
Act, call, write or email your Senators and tell them to call for an independent investigative group to explore our Russian connection in terms of Trump and family, Michael Flynn et al. Thanks for caring.

Tim Shera

Affordable Care Act needed improvement

To the editor:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has failed in its promises to the American people. We were told health insurance premiums would be cut by $2,500. Instead they rose by $4,300 for a typical family.
This year deductibles will average more than $6,000 for those in the lowest-priced ACA plans. And 20 million Americans still lack health insurance. In too many cases, the Affordable Care Act is forcing people to buy insurance they cannot afford to use.
My Democratic colleagues responded to this emergency by sending tweets and throwing tantrums. I voted to support the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which lowers premiums, reduces taxes and puts patients in charge of their own healthcare decisions instead of Washington.
The AHCA prohibits insurers from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition. Outrageous and false claims have attempted to frighten people that preexisting conditions won't be covered.
The Washington Post declared this allegation categorically false. Children up to 26 years old can continue to stay on their parents' healthcare plans. I pledged to keep these provisions in the bill, and delivered on that pledge.
In addition, no member of Congress is exempt from the legislation; we play by the same rules. The AHCA also provides $138 billion to reduce premiums and deductibles, while providing additional funding for maternity care, opioid addiction and mental health.
The legislation provides generous health care subsidies to those who lack access to employer-provided healthcare, allowing purchase of coverage for individuals and families.
The AHCA also delivers on another pledge I made.
By requiring state government to take ownership of its Medicaid costs, we are reducing county property taxes in the 19th District by more than $224 million, a 44 percent average tax cut.
Property taxpayers have been footing the bill for Albany's unrestrained Medicaid spending for 51 years. It's unfair, unsustainable and killing the Upstate economy.
My amendment allows over two years for Albany to plan for this takeover and can be accommodated within the state's existing budget.
Now the AHCA moves on to the Senate, where additional improvements are expected. I welcome them.
Those interested in reversing the failed status quo and providing affordable healthcare access for millions of our fellow Americans should welcome them, too.

John J. Faso

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