Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 10-1-20

Help American Legion Post 178 with October BBQ

Amid the COVID pandemic, many organizations are experiencing a shortfall in expected revenue and the ability to sponsor large gathering events. Our veteran organizations are no different. 

This fall, the Sons of the American Legion of Millerton American Legion Post #178 will not be holding their annual Clambake. 

In addition, it is expected that the Millerton American Legion Auxiliary will not be able to put on their annual Chili Cook-Off/Daytona 500 event in February. 

Different ideas for fundraisers to continue to support veteran affairs are being considered. 

One of the first events to be held in this new environment will be a joint venture by the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

It will be a Take-Out Only Chicken Barbecue with sides and dessert. Dinners can be picked up at the American Legion Post #178, 155 Route 44, between 4 and 6 p.m.  

Advanced tickets are available from any Legion member or by calling or texting 518-755-0291. The cost is $15. 

All community support is greatly appreciated for this event!

Charlene Mayville

Millerton American Legion Post 178 Auxiliary 

Dover Plains


I support Karen Smythe for state senate, so should you

The 2018 election between Karen Smythe and Sue Serino for the New York State Senate, District 41, was very close — only 688 votes apart. Now Sue Serino has more of a legislative record for voters to consider and I think that she should respect us enough to accept Karen Smythe’s challenge to a virtual debate so that she can try to justify her record.

Sue Serino’s vote against the Reproductive Health Act was, presumably, based on her anti-choice beliefs. Although I do not agree with this stance, I understand it. What I do not understand is Serino’s “no” votes on other laws enacted to protect women’s (and families’) interests. She voted against a bill that allows childcare needs to be considered when someone is applying for unemployment benefits. She voted against a law that prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who request flexible working arrangements. She voted against a measure prohibiting employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history (a practice used to keep women at lower salary levels) and against a law prohibiting those convicted of domestic abuse from buying guns.   

She also voted against other measures that do not, in my opinion, support the needs of voters in New York’s 41st Senate District. She voted against a measure that requires grocery stores to give excess food to qualifying food banks instead of disposing of it in a landfill. She voted against laws that prohibit evictions until six months after the COVID emergency is over and prohibit evictions and rent collections for properties without certificates of occupancy. She also voted against a law that expands consumer protections against data breaches and against a law that increases goals for renewable energy.

Fortunately, all of these pro-women, pro-consumer laws were enacted despite Sue Serino’s opposition. I think that Sue Serino’s voting record shows support for those with money and power rather than for the majority of her constituents.  

Karen Smythe, on the other hand, has thought hard and creatively about how to improve our lives. She wants to use the Hudson Valley’s natural assets to attract jobs from NYC in emerging industries such as green technology.  She wants to: increase broadband access — so key to helping local businesses and increasing employment; make college more affordable; partner schools and businesses for early technical training and apprenticeships; make taxes fairer so that quality schools are not available only in wealthy towns; fight for affordable health care and support renewable energy to protect our environment. Karen’s goals are, I think, shared by most of us — Republicans and Democrats alike.

At the very least, Sue Serino owes us an explanation for her votes: She needs to show up for a virtual debate with Karen Smythe.

Amy Rothstein 

Pine Plains


Is this the ‘American Way?’

As I sit here watching and listening to the events unfolding around me, it’s become apparent that this is NOT the American Way as I (we) were taught by our parents, grandparents and educators. I grew up here, went to school here and will die here, I’m sure, but there is nothing to look forward to for our future if the liberal media, wealthy Democrats and these spoiled children of the last decades have shown us how things will be.

Do we want to live in a Marxist state, Socialist state or Communist state?

How about everyone become Muslims? This country was born on Christian values with God as its center. The Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Declaration of Independence, everything was written around Gods words. It’s even printed on our money, “In God We Trust!” Every dollar that has been printed has those words on it and has traveled all around the world!

That has made us targets for anyone who doesn’t believe in our God. God hasn’t abandoned us. He’s watching but there needs to be an acknowledgment of Him.

I was raised to respect everyone. My parents were not racists. My grandparents were not racist. I learned God’s word at our local church that preached from the Bible. There is no wavering on what it says. These so called “peaceful protests” that turned into riots of looting and arson are not the way to show your support for a group or political party.

Everyone has an opinion and it shouldn’t turn into an argument that includes so much violence and hate. BLM and ANTIFA are running their own agendas that are being funded by very wealthy liberals that want to tear this country down and blame our President Donald Trump. The time wasted in the past three years by these liberals who were upset that Hillary lost the last election could have/should have been spent on the betterment of this country and worked together to get more done. The whole thing comes down to spoiled children throwing tantrums for not getting their own way!

Now I know I’m writing this to a very liberal paper that will probably “edit for space or remove the words God and Christianity” because it makes them cringe, but in my world, this American will still stand behind the president, stand for the pledge, bow my head in prayer and continue to believe God is in charge and that all the misdoings of these tyrants will come to light and you’ll be served your due justice!

God Bless America!

Ronald Murphy


Editor’s note: Other than making a few grammatical corrections, Mr. Murphy’s letter was not altered.


Truth or consequences — again 

Rant on, Mr. Blackman. It’s rhetoric like yours (in your letter to the editor last week) and many others that increases President Trump’s popularity. Keep up the good work. 

Your self-stated hatred and intolerance for President Trump overlooks his numerous accomplishments for America within the past four years, despite almost entirely non-journalistic media coverage and an entirely uncooperative Democratic Party with a few “Never Trumpers” thrown in. 

Don’t focus on characteristics but instead character.   

Larry Conklin


Editor’s note: Larry Conklin writes the monthly opinion column, Veteran’s Corner, for The Millerton News.


Consider volunteering for the Red Cross to save lives

The American Red Cross is urgently seeking volunteers to support in sheltering those displaced in disaster-impacted areas of the United States.

For the past few weeks, our focus has been rightfully focused on how we can support communities across Louisiana, Texas, California, and now Oregon. Tens of thousands have been evacuated with little notice or time to gather belongings and thousands of homes have already destroyed or severely damaged.

These are communities we know and people that need the Red Cross.

As amazing as the recent efforts have been — our communities need more. The needs are growing in hard hit communities across Oregon, while thousands are still displaced in Louisiana and Texas, Hurricane Sally made landfall and caused significant flooding and destruction along the Gulf Coast, there are more storms to watch in the coming days and weeks; all while the COVID-19 pandemic continues for us all. 

The need for the American Red Cross has never been clearer and to help us meet this challenge, we are encouraging community members across our incredible Eastern New York Region to step up and join the mission.

Stand up and help today! No previous experience necessary, virtual training is provided and all safety protocols are followed. Train and plan to deploy to disaster impacted areas across the nation.

Sound like YOU? Please visit www.redcross.org/volunteertoday or contact erin.musto@redcross.org or call 518-569-1427 for more information or help applying.

Erin Musto

Volunteer Recruiter

American Red Cross

Eastern New York Region



Open minds, broader thinking needed

A year or so ago, I told the publisher and editor of The Millerton News that they ran the risk of alienating and losing half of their readership if they continued their steady stream of anti-Republican and anti-Trump editorials, commentaries and cartoons. The paper, and the public, would be better served with a little variety. A lot of good it did me. So much for diversity.

The Sept. 24, 2020 issue contained two pieces that deserve comment.

My good friend and former neighbor, Peter Riva, must be spending too much time sitting in the New Mexico sun if he seriously thinks that the Electoral College is some sort of racist plot. Truth is that the Electoral College represents a compromise reached by the nation’s founders to prevent the larger states from running roughshod over the smaller ones. In its design and working, it has nothing to do with white supremacy, or with redistricting. I do agree with Peter, however, that it isn’t going away anytime soon.

Leo Blackman’s letter was another of his angry anti-Republican rants, which at first I assumed he wrote because some miscreant vandal tore down his giant Biden sign. (Please, let’s stop tearing down and defacing political signs. Two years ago, it was a big Republican sign in Wassaic; now it is Leo’s sign. It is wrong, uncool and someone is going to get hurt.)

I am sorry to break it to Leo that political correctness is frustrating (as well as annoying), not for the reasons he states, but because it is mostly just mindless virtue-signaling. I respect Leo’s right to hate Trump, and Republicans generally, but hatred clouds the mind, and seems to prevent Leo from writing rationally about politics or Republican policies. 

His letters would make more sense, and communicate more effectively, if he calmed down and wrote with less venom and anger, and with more reason. 

Neither Trump nor Republicans or their policies are as evil as he would like you to think.

Michael Chamberlin



Vote for George Kaye

I am supporting the election of George Kaye, running to fill the one year interim position on the North East Town Board. 

Over the past several years George has served as board member and past town supervisor. He has spearheaded our Comprehensive Plan and the development of our joint village/town garage. 

Having served with George on the board, I know he is the best qualified, most knowledgeable candidate. We need his vast experience and expertise to complete the last phase of the highway garage. Drive by the garage site on Route 22 and see what he has been able to do! Let’s have him help finish the job.


Ralph Fedele

Deputy town supervisor

North East

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