Letters to the Editor - The Millerton news - 11-3-22

Vote Democratic

I am writing this opinion because we, as a nation, as a unified people, are at this time in a position of great importance.

The results of the coming elections will determine whether we together decide to succeed as a society or continue to devolve toward disunion and destruction.

Supposedly, and ideally, we have a population of citizens unified under the idea of freedom and the established rule of law enabled by our Constitution. Because of our individual proclivities we have a populace with a large variety of ideologies under a larger ideal governing principal. Given a large enough sample of people you would probably find an almost 50/50 split between the risk or risk adverse, red or blue, Democrat or Republican. This balanced split is manifest in the current balanced Congress and the nature of our choice of recent presidents.

I could never understand, given a set of facts, how anyone could possibly not agree with me. I have come to realize that the contrary systems we have must be accommodated. Our work and solutions have always come through negotiation and compromise when that option was possible. This seems to be getting harder daily. Now that we have blatant disinformation and dishonesty, our ability to negotiate is leaving fast.

The issues that currently demand the most attention usually get the work, but resolution is hardly ever achieved. The choice we the people have in the electing of current candidates running for office will determine which of these issues are addressed and how they are addressed.

All, if not more, of these issues require work to enable our society to function as we now know it. However, two from the list now stand heads above the rest. If a great deal more effort is not considered and applied to the issue of climate change, anything else we apply ourselves to will not matter. The effects and repercussions of a swiftly changing climate around the world will affect and amplify the negative characteristics of all the other listed issues and would make dealing with the other issues untenable. Before throwing a lot of legislative weight at the climate crisis, we will also need a strong economy. If the economy is not strong, the electorate will not have the motivation to make the necessary changes to deal with this issue.

I can’t expect to change anybody’s beliefs or opinions according to their ideological positions nor could I assume that presenting evidence that supports my position would hold sway to an inflexible ideology. To date, amongst the two major political parties vying for control of Congress, only one party has consistently presented platforms and proposed legislation to take on climate change while growing and stimulating the economy.

One guess as to which party that is.

I think one journalist I read said it quite succinctly. Elizabeth Kolbert said

“We now have a choice between worse, or less worse. I think I’d rather have less worse. Vote, and vote considerately and appropriately.

Scott Culbreth



It can mean life or death for patients in Labor and Delivery

As a physician who practiced emergency medicine at Sharon Hospital for 30 years, I read Dr. Nickles’ Oct. 27 letter to the editor with much interest.

Dr. Nickles tries to reassure the Sharon Hospital community that the emergency department is ready to take care of all OB/GYN emergencies. That is simply not possible. Let’s remember that an emergency department is not an operating room and that even the best skilled emergency physician and staff do not have the skill set of an OB/GYN specialist. True, in some if not most circumstances, a patient can be stabilized and transferred to another hospital for further care. In my experience, however, it may take up to 40 minutes for a patient to arrive at a neighboring hospital. That is assuming that an ambulance is readily available and that the road conditions are good.

That is time that a woman who has active internal bleeding as a result of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy or an unborn child who is experiencing intrauterine distress may not have. I have been in the position of taking care of those patients and I have always been grateful that an OB/GYN specialist  could arrive and get the patient(s) immediately to the operating room when needed.

Let’s remember also that Nuvance is not being asked to create a new service at Sharon Hospital. It is instead taking away a necessary, and potentially lifesaving, service that has been available to the Sharon  community for nearly 100 years.

How much money does Nuvance need to save to justify a maternal death or a child that is so disabled that he or she will require specialized care for the rest of his or her existence?

I am not sure what Nuvance means when it says it is following a “growth-based Sharon Hospital Transformation Plan”, but I do know that closing the OB/GYN department at Sharon Hospital is a terrible idea and robs the community of an essential service.

Richard A. Bennek MD

Merion Station, Penn.


Let’s Elect Michelle Hinchey

It is time for a change.  This election year, Millerton is in a new State Senate District, and we have an unusual situation in which two incumbent NY State Senators are running against each other to fill that one new district Senate seat.  One of them, Michelle Hinchey, is the right person at the right time for Millerton.

Michelle Hinchey learned the value of public service from her father, the widely revered former U.S Congressman Maurice Hinchey, and she has already demonstrated her own ability to get things done in Albany.  Since being elected in 2020, she passed over fifty bills in just two years, bringing Democrats and Republicans together for legislation to improve our upstate quality of life. Many of her bills like those expanding broadband and better healthcare access passed unanimously.

Importantly for Millerton, she also served as chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee. She wrote legislation to make New York’s farm to food bank program permanent.  She drafted legislation to require government agencies that purchase food to spend more of their budgets with local NY farms.  She also secured a large investment in rural and upstate housing through the State Budget. She secured over $5 million to support our local police departments and first responders and to expand gun violence prevention programming. She boldly believes that reproductive care is healthcare, and that healthcare is a human right.  She also fought for upstate universal pre-K expansion to help get parents back to work, created a tax credit for all COVID expenses incurred by small businesses, worked to suspend the state’s gas tax, and to fully fund our public schools, thereby helping to hold the line on property taxes.

Michelle Hinchey is under 40 and understands how the issues of climate change, unaffordable housing for young families, and the lack of well-paying jobs in the Hudson Valley impact the ability of young families to stay here.

I have seen Michelle Hinchey speak several times.  She is smart, articulate, and extremely knowledgeable about the details of the many issues she addresses.  She is passionate about serving as a State Senator, and it is clear that she deeply cares about the people in her district. She is the right person to be our next New York State Senator.  She will serve Millerton’s best interests. In this important election year, we need to elect Michelle Hinchey.  Early voting is from Oct. 29-Nov. 7, and the final Election Day is Nov. 8.

Dean Nicyper

Shekomeko (Town of NorthEast)


Participate: Vote!

As an ordinary voter, I sometimes wonder how important it is to vote; how much effect can one person’s vote have? Nevertheless, I have never missed voting in any general or primary election. After all, it is the one chance I have, through my vote, to express my point of view and, perhaps, along with the votes of others, affect the future conduct of politicians.

If most people don’t bother to vote because they feel that their one vote is not significant, our politicians will have no incentive to conduct themselves in the best interests of the country. Indeed, it seems that many politicians feel that they can act primarily in their own self-interest, which often means catering to large corporations who lobby them, rather than considering the needs of individual citizens.

Also, in small towns, a few votes can be decisive in an election.

To ensure that our country succeeds, and to keep our democracy, I think that we must participate in it the main way we can — we must vote.

Amy Rothstein

Pine Plains

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