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Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Concern about interference

To the editor:
I had to laugh and shake my head seeing Bill Lucas's latest anti-Trump cartoon (July 9th) He is still pushing the phony Trump/Russian collusion, even though FOUR separate investigations have found NO COLLUSION.
I would like to remind Lucas and other readers that the Obama administration had received multiple warnings from national security officials back in 2014 that Russia was stepping up their intelligence operations and “disinformation” networks that could disrupt our elections. Servers needed to be secured against hacking.
Not only wasn't that done, but Hillary Clinton was using an ILLEGAL server that was far from being secure against hacking, had in fact used it to share CLASSIFIED documents and there is proof that not only Russia hacked into her server, but China, N. Korea and possibly other countries as well.
There is also proof that not one vote was changed in the 2016 election because of any interference from another country.
Thanks to the Electoral College system, voters across America had a voice in that election, unlike in the 2018 mid-term elections where just a few very populated counties got to choose who won.
Americans should be very concerned about interference in our political process by foreign countries but also from platforms like Google and Facebook. Plenty of proof that these two and others are purposely using social media to influence people to vote for liberal democrats while censoring republican/conservative views.

Denise Connolly

Monticello Mismanagement

To the editor:
‘I'm worried'; ‘Board members confused', ‘looking for support from other municipalities' & ‘sell it' aren't good sounding phrases. Sounds like a call for a goverment bailout, a children-losing on a failed-school-budget or just plain mismanagement!
Voted to go over the 2% cap, their responsibility is to keep costs down, but to suggest a 7% tax increase is ludicrous; does any board member show ‘responsibility', did anyone on the board do any work to cut out the waste & pork before taking away things ‘for' the taxpayers?
No raises for elected or appointed officials, good, because you don't deserve any. Since you can't make it work then a cut in your pay seems right instead of making the taxpayers and public suffer, don't ya think?
You say you're not reducing the police force, but you won't be filling 4 vacant positions. If you're not going to replace them then you are reducing the force under rising crime problems! Another people's loss plus you're waiting to see if the PBA will sue. How about a foreman that's a superintendent?
The parks, place for the people/children, gets tossed. Fixing roads, something for all the people, gets tossed. The Stroebele Center, something for the people/seniors will close, but they will move the money making court to another building while a loss for the people exists. Dillon Park pool, for/loss for the people, will close or be sold to be able to open and etc.
How does a board take away so much from the taxpayers who pay for, use and expect these services and not punish themselves for failure? Cost of living & taxes have gone up not down.
How about the taxpayers take some things away from you? You wouldn't like that now would you. Remember who you work for!

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Our Bootleg Dove

To the editor:
Sometimes it takes a hamlet of dedicated volunteers to get things done right. The Woodstock Commemorative Dove now sited at the entrance to Phillipsport (off Route 209 between Wurtsboro and Ellenville) was created through cooperative action by a team of Phillipsport Community Center members and friends in memory of an international event held 50 years ago here in Sullivan County in the town of Bethel that ushered in a new conception of the term community.
Our dove was constructed and donated by artist, musician and friend of the PCC, Paul Kean. The dove graphics were designed and painted gratis by longtime Phillipsport artist, Kathleen Anderson. The concrete base for the peace sign was donated by friend and neighbor, Earl Thornton. The installation was completed by PCC Trustee, Andy Weil.
We tried, time and again, beginning last December to become an active participant in the Dove Art Project sponsored by the Sullivan Catskill Visitors Association.
However, our phone calls went unreturned, our emails went unanswered, materials requested went undelivered. We asked our county legislator to help, to no avail. We spoke with Sullivan Renaissance staff, who have worked with us to great success for more than 15 years and they agreed to advocate on our behalf, to no avail.
It became apparent that what was clearly a great idea--a trail of 50 colorful doves memorializing the 50th anniversary of Woodstock--was being poorly managed and executed and traded in favors. Aside from the 15 townships in the county, preferential treatment was reserved for commercial establishments who could pay for the privilege of displaying one of the remaining 35 doves.
Participation was exclusive not inclusive, centering on free doves for the townships, but not for community organizations that offer services local governments don't provide, that serve youth, the elderly and the disabled, that cherish and promote the arts, culture, preservation and history, and who provide a gathering place for community members.
Ultimately, we were advised the Visitors Association Brand Name Dove came with a price of $1,400. As PCC President, I noted that an opaque process driven by pecuniary interests hardly evokes the spirit of Woodstock.
Doveless and rebuffed, but undeterred, the PCC persisted without the sponsorship of the SCVA. Recently, our homegrown, Woodstock commemorative dove stands upright and proud--no strings attached--greeting residents, travelers and visitors as they enter our southeastern corner of Sullivan County from Ulster.
Come admire our visual tribute to the spirit of that historic event, take rest in our Gateway Gardens flanking the entrance to our small but all-inclusive, community-minded hamlet, borrow a book from our little free library there and stay awhile. Our dove welcomes everyone, much like that seminal event of peace and community in Bethel did half a century ago.

Bob Speziale

The spirit of the doves is inclusive, not divisive

To the editor:
Last year, in preparation for this year's 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association (SCVA) and the County of Sullivan embarked on several projects to commemorate an iconic event in an iconic way. One of the ideas that resulted was the Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail© - a path for all of Sullivan County to celebrate what happened in Bethel in 1969, and to keep celebrating this land of “peace, love … and doves” for years to come.
The original vision was to have the SCVA purchase a dove for each township and village in the County - 21 in all. A few wanted more than one, and we accommodated. As word spread, however, it became clear that private businesses and nonprofit groups wanted doves, as well.
Because each dove's manufacture costs over $1,000 and we only had enough funds to cover the original set, we asked the “second round” participants to pay for their doves. Many dove locations said yes, but several interested individuals, businesses and groups decided not to go further. That included the Phillipsport Community Center, which opted to create their own dove, just recently unveiled.
While not part of the official Dove Trail©, it is a beautiful creation that welcomes passersby to Phillipsport, and we're delighted and flattered by the community's acknowledgment that this is an idea worth copying.
Kindness and peace to one another represent the true spirit of Woodstock, and in that spirit, we encourage visitors and residents to take a trip to see Phillipsport's dove, along with the other “bootleg” doves scattered throughout the County, as well as the 50 incredibly unique doves on the Dove Trail© (several of which are in the Town of Mamakating). Together, they represent who we are, who we strive to be, why we want people to visit - and just as importantly, how truly interconnected we all are.

Roberta Byron-Lockwood

Animal Cruelty

To the editor:
Some have dogs and cats for years
Till one day want a rest
Wait till dark of nitetime
Rid them now it's best
Pets confused left far away
in the dark of nite
Cries and squeals how that feels
So sad it's just not right
Many hit by cars it's dark
Laying in the road
Trucks pass by as they die
They stop and have them towed
Animal cruelty much to be found
Please folks have a heart
When you can't care for your pets
Reach out and be real smart.

Cathy LoBosco

A Mother's Loss

To the editor:
Whats' goin on these gals all gone
Moms and Dads in pain
Leave the house so happily
Does not come back again
Meet these dudes walkin, the street
Pretending to be sweet
Conversing with each other
Stop for a bite to eat
Feels like magic what a guy
Respectful held my hand
Before the day was over
Alone I coudn't stand
I screamed out for my mama
Just across the street
She tried to pick me up but couldn't move my legs or feet
He was nowhere, left his beer
Left me on the ground
Mother's loss worse than a cross some nowhere to be found.

Cathy LoBosco

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