Today is: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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Established 1891
Callicoon, NY | 845-887-5200
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017


A ban on fracking is the best course

To the editor:
On Wednesday, September 13, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with the Governors of Delaware and Pennsylvania, comprising a majority of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), announced that they voted in favor of a resolution to issue draft regulations that will permanently ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in the Delaware River Basin.
As an issue that we've been battling for years, we think that a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin is a tremendous step in the right direction, and we commend Governor Cuomo and the other Commissioners who voted in favor of this resolution. New York State banned high volume fracking because of the overwhelming scientific evidence of its threats - especially those to public health and the environment, so a ban in the Delaware River Basin, is the only course to protect our water, air, health and communities.
This is the first step in multi-month process to see the ban fully implemented, and hopefully brought to its logical end. However, the language in the resolution includes “provisions for ensuring the safe and protective storage, treatment, disposal and/or discharge of wastewater …” and goes on to mention “regulating” water withdrawals for fracking. This is concerning because current scientific studies have shown, many times over, that these activities cannot be done safely.
To that end, we will continue to make our opinion known, and will stand alongside our neighbors and environmental colleagues - the 60,000 of us who signed a petition delivered to Governor Cuomo this past July calling for this ban - and will call on the Commission to ban water withdrawals, as well as wastewater and gas storage in the Basin. This is truly the best course of action for protection of the Delaware River Basin.

Wes Gillingham

We are family

To the editor:
In recent years it's become fashionable to see our government as the enemy - something that takes our money, restricts our freedom, and gives us little of value in return. But the recent hurricanes that devastated parts of Texas and Florida remind us that we need a government capable of responding to problems that would otherwise overwhelm us. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln said it best: “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves.”
Never mind that 23 Texas congressmen and both Texas senators voted to deny New York federal assistance to help rebuild after superstorm Sandy. We know better. Texans can count on the people of New York and our elected representatives to see that their state has what it needs to rebuild in the wake of hurricane Harvey. We haven't forgotten that we're all part of the great American family.

Bruce Ferguson
Callicoon Center


To the editor:
Smoking is no joking
In no time it will destroy
A pack an' you'll start hacking
These cigs are not a toy
Breathing getting heavy
Tired cannot rest
Can not wait losing weight
Must do what is best
Price went up and nonstop
They always find a way
Get that pack or electric zap
You're living day by day
Smoking some tried cold turkey
A habit but it's thru
Try real hard, pray to God
And it will soon be you

Cathy LoBosco

Being community minded

To the editor:
Are you community active? Would you like to be more active?
In recent years the Grover Hermann Hospital Auxiliary has assisted the Hospital in the purchase of needed items in order to provide more services to you and your family.
Are you aware of the early intervention program being offered to children in their early years?
Are you aware that you could have a mammography, dexascan or CAT scan at our hospital?
Were you aware the hospital can treat burn victims using tele-burn?
This award-winning hospital offers more services than can be listed here!
The Auxiliary raises funds through the Health & Children's Fair, the selling of raffle tickets, our jar program, our sticker program, and donations.
Grover Hermann Hospital Auxiliary needs your help. In recent years, the Auxiliary has been fortunate to have the ability to assist in the purchase of equipment for both in-patient and out-patient care. Therefore, Grover Hermann Hospital has been able to offer more and more services to the community. Grover Hermann Hospital is much more than a community hospital. It has grown to become an integral part of Western Sullivan County. If YOU join the GHH Auxiliary, you can help shape the future care for your loved ones. Please consider becoming a GHH Auxiliary member. We would love to have you join us at one of our meetings.
In September and October, we will meet on the third Saturday of the month - (9/16 & 10/21). All meetings are held in the Hospital Cafeteria at 1:30 p.m.
Come join us. Share your ideas for Grover Hermann Hospital!!!!

Barbara Donatelli
Damascus, PA

Do something already!

To the editor:
The following letter was sent on Sept. 7 to the governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and mayor of New York City:
The Upper Delaware Council urges the Decree Parties to take immediate action to finalize an agreement to manage flows from the Delaware River Basin Reservoirs, and avoid the devastating impacts on our ecosystem and economy that a reversion to the 1983 operating plan would wreak on the Upper Delaware River Valley.
We are genuinely appreciative that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) initiated voluntary releases of additional water three months ago after the Flexible Flow Management Program expired on May 31 due to failure to reach unanimous consent on its renewal. Their decision essentially saved the river from harm during the summer season.
With NYC DEP's announcement that it will begin ramping down releases ahead of implementing extremely low 1983 “Revision 1” release rates, there is a renewed urgency for the Decree Parties to work out a longer-term solution.
As leaders of the four Delaware River Basin states and New York City, you are responsible for setting the tone in prioritizing the protection of the river system over hardball negotiating tactics that threaten to harm our vital ecology and tourism-based economy, including a world-class trout fishery and the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River unit of the National Parks System.
Releases from Cannonsville Reservoir would decrease from 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 45 cfs on Oct. 10th, and 33 cfs on Nov. 1st. In flood situations, there are no spill mitigation provisions to help safeguard downstream people and property.
We implore the Decree Parties to break through the impasse in light of the serious and dire consequences that await otherwise.

James A. Greier
Chairperson, Upper Delaware Council

Grateful thanks from a Houstonian

To the editor:
I was so proud to read in yesterday's paper that Sullivan County is sending folks to help rebuild Houston. Hurricane Harvey has devastated this area. It will take Houston years to rebuild and we, frankly, need all the help we can get. Fortunately, we have no damage to our home. We are thankful because we live very close to Buffalo Bayou, which is expected to continue to flood for the next 15 days.
I subscribe to the Democrat because as part of the Schaefer family - my grandfather was Oscar Schaefer - it allows me to keep up with family. I especially like the Down the Decades. And it brings back wonderful memories of the summers I spent in Jeffersonville.

Ellen Anselm Cooper

Ellen Anselm Cooper
Houston, Texas

Aileen Gunther honored

To the editor:
Great choice by the Democratic Woman for picking Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to honor. Aileen is doing a good job.
From across the aisle, I support her as I did her husband Jacob because of their real values towards our Constitution, which wasn't mentioned. You can't please everyone, but in the important place of our rights, Aileen keeps them important as freedom matters!
A backer of our rights, Aileen voted against the S.A.F.E. Act and is voting for its repeal. Why? Besides the fact that parts have been found unconstitutional and thrown out by the courts; the State Police aren't enforcing other parts; and we now have found this Act takes away our right of due process.
Gov Cuomo pushed this through quickly with no public input or legislative discussion. It's a disastrous act that should never have been made law with all the wrongs in it. Aileen is in contrast to Gov Cuomo here.
What Aileen does in her backing of our Constitution, fighting bad legislation, fighting for first responders and staying in contact with and replying to her constituents makes her a good representative of the people.
For the candidates, no one mentioned being for our rights or for reducing our high taxes. They mentioned their platform of “resistance” and complaining about our President. Nothing mentioned about it being time to start working together in Congress for our Country not their solutions. The ones running for Congress said nothing about the 4th Amendment that was voided in part of the US recently. This is of great concern.
Congratulations Aileen and keep up the good work in backing our rights and staying in contact with those that contact you. Maybe you could teach the others about these things.

Stay Safe,
Don Dittmer

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Thank you from Phoenix

To the editor:
We really enjoyed our recent trip to Sullivan County. After we left your Callicoon office, we went to the Sullivan County Historical Society, where Fred Fries helped us for over an hour combing through their genealogical files. I walked away with so much information regarding Sgt. Thomas J. Mangan, who was featured in your New York State Police 100th Anniversary section, and who I believe to be a relative of mine. Plus, we will stay in touch with Fred for a long time.
Thank you for publishing the 100 year history of the New York State Police, and giving me such a great connection with the Mangan clan. Please let your staff know how happy we are to have made this connection.

Ed Mangan
Phoenix, AR

Thanks for the story

To the editor:
Thank you so much for the wonderful article you published in the Sullivan County Democrat about my recently published book “Through Their Eyes.” The article was very well written and conveyed exactly my purpose for writing the book. You will be pleased to know that I got some great feedback and even a few orders! Hopefully I will be able to schedule some book signings and will be sure to advertise the dates and locations in the Democrat.
Thanks again.

Lynn Nalven

Praise causes wonder

To the editor:
While I'm sure I'm not alone with appreciating your above-the-fold top billing of RM DuFour's appointment as head of BOCES, but as a taxpayer and father in the Eldred District, I can't help but wonder how long Mr. DuFour has been phoning it in in our District. Eldred's graduation rate slumped below 70 percent and their academic measurements are frighteningly unimpressive under his watch.
One has to wonder at the criteria BOCES was using when hiring, and the Democrat while praising. Are our expectations really that low?

Charles Petersheim

USA cannot afford to lose DACA and build a wall

To the editor:
We must not be fooled into thinking that eliminating DACA is going to boost our economy and save taxpayers' money. In fact, it will have the opposite effect. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has protected hundreds of thousands of children who came into the country with their parents, and has enabled them to receive education, job training and work permits, and now that investment is paying us back. Tech, healthcare, agricultural, pharmaceutical and engineering are just some of the industries that have benefited from this skilled labor force, not to mention all the startup companies and entrepreneurs that have arisen from people given a chance to become productive citizens.
Eliminating DACA would deprive the nearly 800,000 people protected by the program (often referred to as Dreamers) of jobs and access to education, and put them at risk of deportation. Rescinding DACA would damage our economy, reducing GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. Unemployment costs skyrocket, actual welfare costs would increase, homelessness, deportations and the costs to manage them would be crippling to our economy.
DACA is not welfare, it is just one piece of sensible legal immigration policy. Both political parties bear some responsibility for the failure to enact comprehensive, fair immigration reform, but some PA lawmakers - Rep. Lou Barletta and Rep. Tom Marino, Sen. Pat Toomey, and certainly Donald Trump - have stalled meaningful efforts to preserve their own power.
We can't afford to lose programs like DACA and build an expensive, xenophobic wall to control immigration. It won't work and it will cost taxpayers billions of dollars while enriching the bigot who proposed it.

Adrianne Picciano
Damascus, PA

Thank you from Jeff Jems

To the editor:
On behalf of JEMS, I would like to thank you for your incredible support of our last JEMS' event - “Celebrating Puerto Rico.” The coverage given us by The Democrat was well beyond our expectations and we so appreciate the extra support. The audience loved the concert and were up on their feet dancing to many kinds of Caribbean music. We were pleased with the turnout and the fact that the audience came from near and far.
As you well know, Jeffersonville is a village that is desperately trying to recover from more than a decade of depressed economics and natural disasters. The Democrat's advocacy of our village and JEMS' programs has contributed to the beginning of an upswing in Jeffersonville. We are indebted to you for all the publicity you have given our events and the successes we have enjoyed this summer.

Regina Wagner

Re: Deferred action for childhood arrivals

Editor's note: The following email was sent to Congressman John Faso.

If we're honest, fervor over immigration took a turn after the towers fell 9/11/01. Terrorism and lawlessness became a prop for a bigotry never directed at the likes of McVeigh when he bombed the Murrah Building, or of Kaczynski after his bombing spree.
We speak of ourselves as a nation of laws. Where does our bigotry and hypocrisy figure?
For generations, U.S. consumers and businesses welcomed illegal labor, because it was cheap - to pick our food and build our homes, to scrub our toilets and wash our floors. We didn't question who provided it or how it was being provided.
Where is our accountability for what we've cultivated? Now that Donald Trump has rescinded DACA, who will speak for the children - raised as Americans, by parents doing what we've asked them to do? If this is American exceptionalism, I'll have none of it - not in my name.
It's my understanding you support legislation for young people previously protected under DACA to remain here permanently. If you do, this would be a good time to lead.

Dave Colavito

Dave Colavito
Rock Hill

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