Today is: Monday, March 19, 2018
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.
Monday, March 19, 2018


No to SRO's

To the editor:
Your Editorial of March 6 continues the current trend of assuming teachers are inept in the handling of firearms that they couldn't possibly protect our children from an attacker with them.
In areas like ours and most of the state, teachers are people that are already proficient in the use of firearms that would be useful in the 10-15 minute response time of police.
Teachers already have training for mentoring, educating all types, trained to see the signs of abuse and mental issues that they must report and will have a better relationship with the students over the course of their time together, more than that of 1 Armed SRO!
Teachers have been trusted with the safety, the education, the growing up experience as far back as I can remember. Schools also had psychologists for real problem children until Gov Pataki fired them and soon after the trouble started.
What an SRO does and will do goes in contrast to what School Boards, Superintendents, Principles and parents are for. The SRO isn't with a police department and wants to re-adjust your school.
I looked up this ‘SRO' position, which in 2011 made $65K a year probably a lot more now, will only have 1 in any school building at any one time as part LEO, part counselor and an intricate part of the day-to-day operations of a school. Sorry but this is what we have School Boards, Superintendents and Principles for.
They have already had problems with SRO's and disciplining of students and a slew of other problems. So don't be so quick to be pushing SRO's on us without really doing some research on them first.
Between your Editorial and the research I've done so far, these SRO's don't sound too good-of-a-thing to go with, don't be so fast!

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Student's Walkout

To the editor:
Teen murders in Florida. Law enforcement had at least one credible direct threat of death with a gun and more. Probable cause - no action.
Florida's response; stop 18 - 20 year olds, previous lawful purchasers, from purchasing rifles. No matter how reasonable that may sound, or the political winds blow, it is not a reasonable restriction.
The only way it could seem remotely reasonable is if we prevented 18 - 20 year olds from other activities requiring responsibility. Fighting our wars being the most obvious. Marriage involving children? Should 25 be the age of adulthood? The age drivers become "safer" and we no longer have a "teenage brain". How about 45?
"School shootings are extraordinarily rare. Why is fear of them driving policy", writes Harvard's David Ropeik, " The statistical likelihood of any public school student on any given day being killed with a gun in school since 1999 are roughly 1 in 614,000,000. Far lower than almost any other mortality risk a kid faces. Including travel to and from school, contracting a life threatening disease while in school, or a life threatening injury playing inter scholastic sports."
Eric Levitz writes, "No epidemic of mass school shootings... there's more risk to life whenever they ride in a car, swim in a pool, or put food in their mouth. An American lifetime odds of dying in a mass shooting in any location is 1 in 11,125; in a car wreck 1 in 491; drowning 1 in 1,133; choking 1 in 3,461. Criminal victimization in school has collapsed in tandem with overall crime rates".
Rifles of any type are used in less than 3% of all murders nationwide.
This may do nothing to console or ease fears. It may be considered unnecessary, or irrelevant. The Bill of Rights is not.

Timothy Manzolillo

Right for the job

To the editor:
It's easy to see that Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas was the man for the job during the recent dramatic weather events and their aftermath. His local know-how, life-long fire company service and ability to marshall and coordinate efforts across multiple federal, state and local agencies clearly expedited the response and success of the Highland area recovery.

Charles Petersheim

School walkouts

To the editor:
I used to live in Coral Springs, my sister lives in Parkland and FL where Douglas High school is. My prayers and condolences go out to them. Let's look at the solution rather than just more fake news/media hype; take a look at our government buildings and airports they are well protected, why not our schools? If we took a few million people off public assistance/welfare then we could afford highly trained, armed police and drone surveillance in our schools. Yes better mental health services is needed and the 2nd amendment gun rights can stay intact without AR 15s. However we have all overlooked the main issue, The bible calls them forces of darkness. The book of Ephesians chapter 6:10+ tells us to put on the full armor of God and to resist the devil. But how can we fight the devil when we have removed God from government and public school! It is time for more Jesus and less politics! But how!!? We all need to turn off our cell phones, put down the social media, click off the boob tube, de-stress and sit down in green pastures by quiet waters and He will restore our soul, pray/talk to God. This is the main solution to stopping school massacres not school walkouts.
God bless America, One nation under God, In God we trust.

John “JP” Pasquale
Livingston Manor

Right man for the job

To the editor:
It's easy to see that Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas was the man for the job during the recent dramatic weather events and their aftermath. His local know-how, lifelong fire company service and ability to marshall and coordinate across multiple federal, state and local agency efforts clearly expedited the response and success of the Highland area recovery.

Charles Petersheim


To the editor:
Recently Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference in Washington DC about the strong bond between Israel and the US, and gave a warning about the danger of a nuclear Iran and stated "It is especially great to be in America's capital now that it's acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Thank you, President Trump, for that historic decision," He also praised the Trump administration for reinforcing that move with the relocation of America's embassy. He also quoted from the book of Ester about how an earlier Persian (now called Iran) named Haman attempt to exterminate the Jewish people but failed then and will fail again. Netanyahu warned, about "radical tyranny" as the force behind Tehran's quest to build an "aggressive empire" that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen and more - all seek Israel's destruction. He also condemned President Obama's 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and said Iran is looking for ways to attack Israel. Iran has moved military to Syria to be able to attack Israel are developing precision-guided missile factories in Syria and Lebanon against Israel. I will not let that happen," Congressional support was also clear at AIPAC, "Security of the US is strong when our bond with Israel is strong," said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, says it's a different story in the classroom. "I am deeply concerned about what is happening in many college campuses and anti-Semitism." The Bible tells us that Israel is the apple of God's eye and all who bless Israel will be blessed.
God bless America, One nation under God, In God we trust.

JP Pasquale
Livingston Manor

Guard the till

To the editor:
It's outrageous that Sullivan County's Industrial Development Agency gave Middletown Medical Corp $88,000 in tax abatements for moving its business a couple blocks in Monticello.
Middletown Medical is a very successful firm that charges handsomely for what it does, and Sullivan County's desperate health situation will not be “abated” when several doctors park their luxury cars a few streets away. Some say the new office will “invest” in new tech. Any new machines and operators will be paid for by the fees Middletown Medical will charge. Who's kidding whom?
Five of six IDA board members voted for Middletown Medical's scam. So much for our “public servants” guarding the till. (Joe Perrello was the lone dissenter.)
Finally, Middletown Medical can afford full-page color ads to get new customers. By a rough estimate, those ads have already cost well over $4,000, a good deal as the county gives away our tax money for a prosperous company's further profits.

Bill Duncan

Which Faso

To the editor:
NYTimes headline, 2/28--“Guns Create a Political Minefield in the Midterms: After Florida Shooting, Candidates Carefully Adjust Views.” And so we see those adjustments in the recent statements from Rep. John Faso. His 2/16 public statement offered his prayers and the assertion that “the shooter shouldn't have been eligible to purchase firearms.” In a more hopeful development, his 2/23 response evolved. Although criticizing the FBI, he 1) repeated his support for strengthened background checks, 2) agreed that a ban on bump stocks should be examined, and 3) said we should “seriously explore” raising the age to buy semiautomatic weapons.
Contrast with these statements on his web site: he is “proud” of his “A” NRA rating; he says he will fight “liberal efforts to trample on our freedoms”; he voted for a House bill loosening restrictions on carrying concealed guns across state lines.
In a 2/22 C-SPAN interview, Rep. Faso rejected as an “outlandish smear” the claim that the NRA's $8,000 donation to him would influence his votes and offered a defense of the NRA lobby: some NRA members work for police, fire, and emergency departments and are “enmeshed in our community, and . . . to say that they somehow don't care about school shootings and other violence is really an outright lie.” Other adjustments. Have you or I lately attacked the police, firefighters, and first responders, accusing them of not caring about the shooting? Doubt it. This adjustment telegraphs to those who might be uneasy about what they perceive as his waffling on gun rights.
“Chameleon”: a lizard . . . that changes its skin color to match its surroundings so that it cannot be seen (Cambridge Online Dictionary).

Tom Denton

Copyright © 2018 - Sullivan County Democrat