Today is: Friday, July 21, 2017
National Award-winning,
Family-run Newspaper

Established 1891
Callicoon, NY | 845-887-5200
Monticello, NY | 845-794-7942
To immediately access any story, please enter the Story Number in the above box.
Friday, July 21, 2017


Editorial impugned credibility

To the editor:
The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) appreciates the overall sentiment of the editorial: “Life jacket? Wear it!” in your July 14 issue, which urged everyone to use Personal Flotation Devices while swimming, boating, fishing or floating on any water body.
That cautionary tip is particularly relevant in light of the unfortunate suspected drowning death of a 69-year-old man whose canoe capsized on the Upper Delaware River July 8. Sources at the scene reported he was not wearing a life jacket.
The UDC had observed multiple instances of the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA) using photographs in its promotions - including ads published in your last two Catskills Confidential magazines - depicting water recreation activities lacking any life jackets. We expressed disappointment in two letters dated March 2 and June 1 over the missed opportunity to offer a “united front of positive, potentially life-saving messaging for visitors and residents” which demonstrates that “safety and fun are not mutually exclusive.”
Our simple objective was satisfied when SCVA President/CEO Roberta Byron Lockwood explained in a June 21 reply that those images had pre-dated the UDC's correspondence and stated, “I have updated my staff and creative council and impressed upon them the importance to not put out any new material without life jackets.”
However, near the end of the editorial you stated, “Although the SCVA could point to photos on the UDC website showing fishermen in a boat without life jackets, they pledged in the future to only use river shots that included life jackets.”
The SCVA letter clearly stated that those referenced images of anglers were social media postings on the National Park Service Facebook page (updeNPS), to which they provided a direct link. That mistaken editorial reference to our organization's website served to unnecessarily and inaccurately impugn the credibility of the Upper Delaware Council rather than reinforce the water safety message we should all commit to consistently promote.

Laurie Ramie

USA healthcare and freedom

To the editor:
What I see Bill Lucas doing is just repeating whatever he watches on CNN, as if they actually report real news or as The Donald calls it “fake news” is more like it. I pray for a real news station that provides unbiased factual info without a political spin/lean. Obamacare/ACA and healthcare is a huge issue, and I agree with Mr.Lucas and Ms. Morse that there is corruption and greed from politicians to big pharmaceutical companies and big insurance companies, and that is the core problem.
However, Obamacare/ACA did not fix the problems, it worsened them and the media (like CNN) has refused to truthfully cover this very real problem. Do you remember when Congress passed Obamacare without reading the 1,000 page document? Do not be fooled or divided by the biased liberal media, it is not easy to create a good healthcare program for everyone, but I certainly do not want to sacrifice our freedoms and liberties to become like Europe or Scandinavia.
America is great and our greatness comes primarily from God who our founding fathers put first. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else will be added to you, Matthew 6:33."
These other countries that have better healthcare that the liberal media and Mr. Lucas and Ms. Morse compare us to do not have the US Constitution or our Bill of Rights, etc.
I respectfully ask you do you want to sacrifice what makes America great just to have better healthcare?
We as Republicans and Democrats need to stop fighting and start finding common ground and tell our politicians to do the same!
God bless America, One nation under God, In God we trust.

John “JP” Pasquale
Livingston Manor

How to fix healthcare

To the editor:
Thirty-two of 33 developed nations have universal health care, with the United States the lone exception. The cost to us is 50 to 100 percent higher per capita than these other countries, yet the World Health Organization ranks the US at 37 out of 199 in health care outcome. With what we spend, we should be number one! All the finagling down in Washington keeping the insurance companies and lobbyists happy is not the way. Time for them to go.
Big pharma is a disgrace. The CEO of Regeneron was paid over $47 million in 2016. CEOs also own millions of shares in their own companies and we pay the dividends. Dozens of pharmaceutical and health care companies operate the same way. We need radical change.
Why can Denmark charge a 45% tax rate and pay for everything from cradle to grave: health care, child care, university, nursing home care, etc. No wonder they're rated the happiest country in the world!
We spend five months paying income taxes and get little in return. And the same people who want to cut Medicaid for the poor, want to give the savings to the rich! We struggle on, and watch our kids do the same.
According to William Falk, editor-in-chief of “The Week” magazine, “too many people and companies have a vested interest in a health-care system that's the most expensive and inefficient in the civilized world. … no matter whose name precedes ‘-care.'"
More and more money is needed to pay for higher health care premiums. Whatever you do, keep the wealthy wealthy!
Our Washington representatives are playing us and pretending to fix a broken health care system. The “swamp” that's been filled by this administration stinks.
Let the rest of the world show Mr. Trump how to “Make America great again.”

Joanne Morse
Damascus, PA

Lucas: “Negative?”

To the editor:
Thanks to Don Dittmer for his Lucas "Negative" letter of July 11th.
Please point out some "positives" in the era of Donald Trump. From his shameful birther claims to his volume of outright and obvious lies, exaggerations and absurd tweets, to his Comey disaster and how seriously his unstable behavior has diminished our standing in the world, what's to cheer about?
And this is without any "positives" from the Russian investigations.
Trump is a trainwreck, who couldn't care less about the public he should serve. He has proven he only cares about his name and image.
As for the ACA, the GOP never wanted a government subsidized healthcare plan for average folk, unlike every other developed country in the world. Healthcare is a business for the profit of major GOP donors and those that can afford it. The ACA ended up convoluted with all of Obama's efforts to meet GOP complaints.
Notwithstanding, its problems with insurance and drug company needs for greater profits, the ACA would survive with the increased subsidies and patient mix compensations the ACA had planned for and the Dems have been pushing for.
But the GOP wants the ACA to fail so they have created the instability (with over 60 repeal, NOT FIX, votes) and cuts in the bill's planned funding in order to chase out remaining carriers.
So the GOP can kill the ACA but has no clue how to deal with over 20 million that will lose coverage, many are Trump supporters. The partisan Trumpcare offerings poll at 12-17% public support. This, in part, due to the prime repeal motive to take up to $700 billion from Medicaid and give to their richest friends in tax breaks.

These are not LUCAS NEGATIVES. You get what you vote for, welcome to Trump.

Bill Lucas

Chamber music is back

To the editor:
One of the greatest mid-summer treats in this lovely Upper Delaware region is the annual announcement of concerts by WCM- Weekend of Chamber Music- a group of world-class musicians that perform in scattered venues across Sullivan and Wayne counties. This is real music, not the rhythmic noise that passes for music too often at Bethel Woods.
This July's Festival kicks off with a fundraiser at the Eddie Adams Barn out of Jefersonville on July 15; next day a string quartet plays free at Callicoon's Farmer's Market followed by Thursday MusicTalks! Session at Catskill Distilling (Bethel) and the Arts Society (Livingston Manor), and the two major Saturday night concerts back at the Barn (7/22 & 29). These are at 8 p.m. but I'd recommend coming an hour early for the illuminating chat on that night's music by co-director Andrew Waggoner.
The shock of this season's schedule is that it's “Strictly Strings”! Waggoner himself is a violinist; his wife (and co-director) Caroline Stinson is a versatile cellist. All other announced artists (aside from pianists ) are string-players. Even this years' Composer-in-Residence (Jesse Jones) is a mandolinist!
This means we won't be hearing from past stalwarts like Matt Sullivan (oboe) or memorable clarinet players. Most shockingly absent is Judith Pearce whose masterful flute has always been the voice of past WCM seasons - and who indeed is totally responsible for its creation, lo, those many years past, before turning it over to Waggoner/Stinson!
I'm just hoping that the special magic that graced all previous WCM concerts will not prove to be Gone With the Winds!

Alfred Lees

Lucas, always negative

To the editor:
I've been reading the Democrat for many years and I've noticed a certain bias Bill Lucas has against other people and their opinions. No matter what JP Pasquale says, or others like him, Bill always has a negative attitude towards them.
Lucas' drawings are his opinion, and they are always in the negative. Even as a gun owner, he puts gun owners down. His latest drawing, as usual puts down our President with thanking everyone that voted for Trump about losing your healthcare.
Allow me to remind you, Bill, that Obamacare is about to die! In 2018 the last provider is going to drop out. Right now any providers left are about to leave. Costs of Obamacare have skyrocketed, the co-pays are out of sight and you can't keep your doctor.
So Bill, thank President Trump for what? Obamacare was doomed as soon as they voted it in which had nothing to do with Trump. So you can thank Pelosi and the Democrats for the healthcare situation not Donald. It's going to take the Republicans and President Trump to fix it since Schumer and his caucus will not work with anyone.
As to you, your articles and your drawings, it would be nice to see something positive come from you once in a while instead of all your negativity especially when you are incorrect. I can't remember you picking on Schumer or any one of them that hasn't done anything too good for us!
I keep reading and seeing your attacks against several other writers. Negativity, we have too much of. How about something positive for a change?

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Copyright © 2017 - Sullivan County Democrat