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Letters to the Editor

We encourage letters on topics of direct interest to the Hudson Valley but welcome your opinion on any subject.

This column may include "Opinion" pieces, submitted by public officials, and "Letters", submitted by citizens. These submissions are presented as opinions only, not as news or confirmed facts.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of MidHudsonNews.com or anyone associated with this website.

Letters are published as received. We do not correct spelling, grammar or syntax, but may edit for excess length. (Our suggested limit is 250 words)

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For the November 6 general election, the following rules will be enforced.

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  • Letters must be received, by email, by 11:59 p.m. November 3. All political letters will be removed the night of November 5 and will not appear on election day, November 6.
  • Beginning September 1, the 30-day limit will be suspended for political letters only. A ten-day (10) limit will apply to political letters.  You may submit one letter per ten-day period.

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Supports Malick

Why am I voting for Pramilla Malick in the 9/13/18 Democratic Primary, for the NY State Senate seat, 42nd District?  Because I want someone representing me and my community who is committed, hardworking, loyal, passionate, progressive and an activist, who is not afraid to speak" truth to power."  Pramilla has been relentless in fighting corruption (Joe Percoco conviction) and the multi-billion dollar fracked gas infrastructure industry, notably, the CPV Power Plant.  She has been the brains, energy and stamina (starting with the segmented Minisink Compressor Station, seven years   ago) behind the grassroots organization, Protect Orange County.  While this life and health matter has been Pramilla's signature issue, I am confident Pramilla will work with equal zest, vigor, perseverance and fortitude on all matters that affect the 42nd!

Pramilla has proven who she is and what she stands for.  She cannot be bought, bullied, silenced or corrupted.  Send strength, leadership and purpose to Albany.  Vote Malick on 9/13/18.  Please do not sit this one out.  Please vote for the only Democratic candidate for the 42nd, who has demonstrated through her actions, over the last seven years, that she is worthy of your vote.

Mary Ann McDonough
August 14


Supports Schmitt

In November we must elect someone with the honorable experience to serve as our State Assemblyman. We are blessed in the 99th District to have that candidate, Colin Schmitt.

Colin Schmitt has served our state and our country with honor and integrity in the Army National Guard. He also serves the public as Chief of Staff in the Town of New Windsor and previously as Director of Operations of the NYS Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.

Colin is someone who is willing to roll up his sleeves and accomplish any task. He has proven that over and over again.

During election time we are often saturated with a lot of information and many choices. Thankfully this one is easy. We can vote for a leader who has actual accomplishments and credentials to his name. Someone who has done the right thing regardless of party.

Rarely do we have candidates who have accomplished real success for the public at large. Someone with a true track record to be proud of. Colin Schmitt has all that and more. Colin Schmitt will help this district succeed, he already has proven the ability to do and he isn't even elected yet.

Milly Ardisana
August 10


Supports Schmitt

This is the first time I have a written a letter to the paper and I wanted to do so to express my support for Colin Schmitt to be our next Assemblyman.

My family and I have seen Colin Schmitt in action. All across Cornwall and the surrounding areas we have bumped into him at parades, community events and even as he has gone door to door campaigning.

Colin Schmitt offers this district the whole package. He not only has the experience, but energy and ability to deliver for all of us. Whether it is as Chief of Staff to the Town of New Windsor or as a member of the NY Army National Guard Colin has dedicated his life to service for others, and has backed it up with success.

By electing Colin Schmitt we get an Assemblyman who will work tirelessly and with unique prospective to deliver results for our district and to solve our most pressing issues.  

My family is proud to support and will be casting our votes for Colin Schmitt for NYS Assembly on November 6th and urge all in our district to do the same.

Tara DiSalvo
August 10


Sexual orientation is not a mental disorder

With all due respect, Linda Cebrian (Letters, July 27) is factually incorrect when she says, “the Q in LGBTQ stands for ‘Questioning,’” and she is factually wrong when she calls LGBTQ orientations a “disordered mindset.”

The consensus in psychology is that sexual orientation is not a mental disorder, and so efforts to cure it are more akin to brainwashing or communist re-education camps than they are to legitimate psychotherapy.  

Adults can choose any kind of therapy they wish, but children need to be protected, even from their parents. Sexual assault is certainly evidence of mental disorder, but not sexual orientation.

Keith Walters
August 1


Opposes Ulster ban on conversion therapy for minors

Would a good society seek to deny children treatment for a condition that has been statistically proven to shorten one’s lifespan? Well, Ulster County can now be added to the list of suspects.

Last week on July 20, totally unaware of any local complaints and with no public outcry, the Ulster Cty legislature added a new four-letter word to its penal code: SOCE.  

SOCE is the acronym for Sexual Orientation Change Effort, an umbrella term for talk therapy counseling tools used by licensed therapists to assist those who seek treatment for unwanted same-sex attraction.

Ulster County has banned such (voluntary) treatment for minors — even minors whose same-sex attraction presumably results from abuse. Even despite the fact that the "Q" in LGBTQ stands for "Questioning." The parental right to direct the upbringing of one's own children is undermined along with the free speech rights of mental health counselors. Ex-gays who have been helped by such treatment are being marginalized as well. Just business-as-usual for the purveyors of Big Sodomy. I wish they would acknowledge that all people have as much right to pursue a heterosexual lifestyle as they do to pursue their disordered mindset. People have a right to talk to a therapist about anything they choose. Conversely, anyone who does not want therapy isn't required to get it. 

It seems the only ones who will benefit from this unjust law are pedophiles, hebephiles and ephebophiles. Remember Jerry Sandusky? How many of his victims were left confused and frustrated over their sexual persona because of the likes of him?  Well, according to Ulster Cty Executive Michael Hein the answer is "Who cares?" After all, children are not a monied special interest group.

Linda Cebrian
July 27


Trump puts America in Peril

    I thought I'd never see the day when the President of the United States would cower before Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. But it happened at the Helsinki joint press conference between the two on the international stage. Trump the lamb and Putin the lion. Trump, side by side with Putin, had the opportunity to confront him and condemn Russian interference in our 2016 Presidential election. Instead he embraced Putin's lies and dismissed our election's sabotage. Trump expressed trust in Putin's so-called strong and powerful denial of Russian meddling in our election over the findings, to the contrary, of our intelligence agencies; findings that clearly indicate Russian cyber attacks conducted to compromise the integrity of our 2016 election. America's transparent and open electoral process is a cherished pillar of our democracy; it separates us from dictatorships like Russia. In essence Trump's traitorous behavior at this summit conference made America look weak, emboldened Russia and compromised our national security. This is tantamount to Trump aiding and abetting Putin's Russia in its quest to undermine our democracy ! Former CIA director John Brennan called Trump's despicable behavior nothing less than treasonous. Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, asserted America is presently under a cyber onslaught by the Russians. 

    Trump went on to say both nations are to blame for the poor relationship presently between us. Trump actually had the audacity to insinuate that somehow America and Russia are moral equivalents ! I felt like I was in the 'Twilight Zone' listening to Trump ramble on and degrade our nation. According to Trump, Russia is not our enemy or foe but a competitor. I wonder why Trump even had this summit meeting with Putin especially following the grand jury, under the Mueller investigation, handing down indictments against 12 Russian military intelligence officials, 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies for election meddling. The Mueller probe is certainly no witch hunt contrary to Trump's assertion. 

    Where are the Republican patriots to castigate Trump's deplorable press conference performance. Aside from Senator McCain vehemently condemning Trump's atrocious behavior, there was no outrage, only acquiescence by the Republican party. Disturbingly the party line is politics over patriotism even at the expense of our national security. In one recent poll it showed 79% of Republicans approved of  Trump's comments at Helsinki; they must be drinking Trump's' believe me and support me no matter what I say or do' patented potion ! This Republican complicity dangerously normalizes Trump's shameful behavior. Fittingly he should be addressed as comrade Trump and his American flag pin on his jacket lapel be replaced with one of a hammer and sickle banner.

John Lown
July 27


Supports Delgado

“No Mud, No Lotus.” So says beloved Buddhist teacher and writer Thich Nhat Hanh, now 91 years old. The lotus flower has to have mud in which to grow. No mud, no lotus.

In US Congressional District 19, we are deep in the mud with John Faso. He votes with and props up the current President, an open white supremacist. Now Faso has pulled out his own predictable dog whistle.

In fact, the more traction Antonio Delgado—a brilliant, earnest, visionary candidate—gets, the louder Faso’s whistle will be. Decent people cringe that our current congressman is so dirty. That’s what politicians do when their parties are regressive and have no good ideas. They play dirty.

The mud can grow a lotus, however. Each time Faso blows that whistle, donate what you can to Delgado’s campaign. Don’t waste your time arguing with bigots; instead, register voters. Give your time and treasure to a fantastic slate of regional candidates, including Antonio Delgado, Pat Strong and Jen Metzger for State Senate, Juan Figueroa for Sheriff.

Together, we will transform mud into the most beautiful flower: legislatures that look like America and that truly represent people, not corporations. Legislatures that work in concert with citizens to fully realize cherished American ideals and promise—for equality, for opportunity, and for justice.  

Michelle Sutton 
July 19


My view

While national politics and the upcoming congressional elections seem to get all the attention these days, Hudson Valley residents – particularly those in the 39th Senate District – would be wise to not lose sight of things going on closer to home.   

If State Senate Democrats pick up just one seat this fall, like the one I’m retiring from, Democrats will control the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office. As someone who has represented this area for nearly four decades, I can assure you that this scenario – unchecked Democrat control of state government – is not in the best interest of Hudson Valley families.

Let’s look back. In 2009 and 2010 New York City-based Democrats controlled all three parts of state government for the first time in a generation. Total Democrat control resulted in the elimination of STAR rebate checks, $14 billion in new taxes and fees, and the school-crippling Gap Elimination Adjustment, which took billions of dollars away from our public schools. They also enacted the now infamous MTA bailout, which included a job killing payroll tax on employers and an MTA surcharge on vehicle registrations. After just one election cycle, voters returned Republicans to control of the chamber. 

That was then. So what about now? State Democrat priorities this year include taxpayer funded political campaigns, higher taxes, single-payer health care, recreational marijuana, late-term abortion, and free college tuition for illegal immigrants. Those may be New York City’s priorities, but they’re not the priorities of families in our area.

With anti-Trump hysteria casting an unshakable, mind-altering spell on Democrats at all levels, to the point where a 28-year-old socialist from New York City is now, according to Democrat National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, “the future” of their party, there is no telling what unchecked Democrats will do to energize their increasingly frenzied base. Granting 35,000 convicted felons on parole the right to vote may be a good indicator of things to come. 

There is much at stake in local State Senate races this fall. With only a handful of close contests, voters in the 39th Senate District may ultimately decide which party controls the Senate and, therefore, the direction our state goes in. I urge voters to choose carefully.

William Larkin
State Senator, 39th District
July 19


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