Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 10-27-22
One party rule is bad
Politics is not a game—it is about government policies that deeply affect all of us, directly or indirectly, and please be aware that elections, which decide these policies, have consequences.
In New York State, and at the National level, we have seen the terrible effects of poor policies, especially under one-party Democrat rule. The Biden and Hochul administrations have been stumbling badly in almost all areas, and Biden’s messaging has been particularly incoherent.
With the help of most media, Democrat candidates would like you to forget:
•The Biden administration’s tragic and embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan, that has emboldened hostile regimes in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere;
•Excessive Democrat spending has fueled record inflation, which is likely to lead to an economic recession and the loss of many jobs and decline in economic growth;
•Their support for the movement to defund police, along with no-cash bail policies, have resulted in an unprecedented crime wave;
•The open Southern border has led to an unlawful invasion of migrants and deadly drugs;
•The Democrats’ war on fossil fuels caused record gas prices (and gasoline is the least of it—try buying a tankful of diesel fuel), and will cause fuel oil, propane, natural gas, and electricity prices to spike during the coming Winter.
Our experiment in progressive government has taught us all valuable lessons. Fortunately, Democracy need not mean permanent one-party rule by Democrats. Please keep this in mind when you cast your vote this November.
Good news on the ballot: Prop. 1
Northeast Dutchess voters have a chance to vote YES for Proposition 1 which will provide $4.2 billion for projects across New York State that contribute to improving public health, increasing access to nature, and protecting people from deadly heat and flooding. Projects like helping to fund our sewer!
The Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act will invest funds to replace old water mains, build waste water treatment facilities, update stormwater systems, bridges and culverts, plant trees, purchase clean school buses, protect family farms. This funding combined with that from the Federal Infrastructure Bill that recently passed will provide a once in-a-generation opportunity to advance projects that have long held our communities back.
But we have to vote it in! Voting begins on October 29th for several candidates for public office but also for Proposition 1 (on the reverse side of the ballot).
The North East/Millerton Climate Smart Task Force urges your YES vote on Proposition 1. This is our chance to make a real difference for the next generation.
North East/Millerton Climate Smart Task Force
North East’s wonderful town clerk
It is a pleasure for us, representing both the Democratic and the Republican Committees of Millerton/North East, to enthusiastically encourage all registered voters to support Elizabeth Strauss for Town Clerk in the upcoming election. Tilly, as she’s known, is doing a valiant job in the Clerk’s office. There are years of old files that are being digitized for easy access. She’s the one who is responsible for keeping all the Town records as well as issuing hunting, dog and marriage licenses. She’s also a professional presence welcoming visitors to Town Hall and helping them find the resources they need. Tilly is a team player who collaborates with others in Town Hall to make the business of North East run smoothly. The Town needs an effective Clerk. Fortunately we have that with Tilly…and have it in spades!
Please vote for Tilly to keep Town Hall running smoothly.
Chair, North East
Committee of North East
Vote for Congressman Ryan for U.S. Congress
Congressman Pat Ryan is the right choice to represent our community in N.Y. District 18 in the U.S. Congress. He is a fifth-generation Ulster County native, decorated combat veteran, small business owner and former county executive. He embodies the old-fashioned values of integrity, honor and patriotism that are sorely missing in many of our elected officials today.
In his time in public service, Pat has focused on kitchen table issues, like bringing more good jobs to the area through spearheading the rehabilitation of the former IBM site (leading to more $200 million investment in the region), never raising taxes and even cutting the gas tax by 50%. In congress, Pat is going after price-gougers, guaranteeing middle-class voters a tax cut, and making sure billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share. He believes women, not the government, should make their own choice about whether to end a pregnancy.
Congressman Ryan wants to ensure that our community stays safe. As county executive, Ryan increased funding to Ulster County’s URGENT violent crime task force and voted for increasing law-enforcement budgets. He supports commonsense gun reforms that will help keep dangerous weapons out of hands of criminals. He is committed to increasing mental health and addiction recovery resources. He also has taken action to address the threat that climate change poses. As a county executive, he started to Ulster County Green Careers Academy at SUNY Ulster and put the county’s first electric buses on the road.
I wish we could go back to a time where more elected officials were like Congressman Ryan. When we could trust our representatives to speak the truth to us, act in moderation, know the limits of their power and put service to their country first. Let’s join together in sending Pat Ryan back to Congress.
Sharon Hospital needs to keep L & D
I am outraged by Nuvance Health’s continued threats to close vital departments at Sharon Hospital when they have not yet obtained the necessary permission to do so.
For years now, Nuvance Health has been spreading the rumor that they are planning to close Labor and Delivery and make cuts to the Surgical Department and the Intensive Care Unit at Sharon Hospital. They started making these announcements long before they had even sent in their application to the CT Office of Health Strategy, whose approval is required. Instead, they seem to hope these rumors will help the departments “close themselves,” by frightening expectant mothers and other local residents into seeking care elsewhere, and nurses into finding other jobs.
I am a local mother who gave birth to my first son at Sharon Hospital a year and a half ago. My delivery was complicated, but my experience was made so much better by the fantastic Labor and Delivery unit and the amazing nurses and doctors who cared for me there. My husband and I hope to have another child someday soon but are now fearful of the potential risks and unknowns if we’re forced to drive to some other, unfamiliar hospital an hour away.
Our area has undeniably been changing since the pandemic began. More and more young couples and families are moving to this area, and among our friends our age, many hope to have more children. There is a great need for a reliable Labor and Delivery unit in our community, and we have it! And it’s not something we can afford to lose. Having a baby, and especially getting great care while doing so, creates a bond between a family and a hospital, and keeps them coming back for future care. My husband moved to this area when he was 3 years old, and his younger brother was born at Sharon Hospital. Their family has been getting cared for at Sharon Hospital their whole lives. My husband even told me about Sharon Hospital early in our marriage, and how excited he was at the thought of our children being born there. I had never had that kind of connection to a hospital before, but I now see what he means.
Sharon Hospital is a special place. It is more than just a hospital, it is a cornerstone of our community and so meaningful to so many who live here. We are lucky to have such an amazing facility nearby and we must do everything in our power to keep it. I urge you all to submit written testimony to the CT Office of Health Strategy as soon as possible to let them know how important Sharon Hospital is to you and to encourage them to deny Nuvance’s application. Written testimony should be sent to email@example.com. Please reference Docket No. 22-32511-CON.
Vote for Didi Barrett
It’s been over a decade since Didi Barrett was first elected to be our State Assemblymember, and she has shown time and time again that she shows up. She shows up when things are tough, and even more so when she’s looking to fight for us, championing whatever our communities need to grow and thrive. She has helped our town leaders find creative ways to lessen budgetary burden, including finding $500,000 in funding for the new Town Garage. She has invested in our children in so many ways, including this summer when she helped the NECC secure grants to begin a sorely needed Day Care Center in town. Just in the last few months, she helped us make our busy town safer by supporting efforts to bring solar powered pedestrian crosswalks to Main Street. And that’s just here in Millerton! Didi Barrett is a partner to our District. I call on all of my neighbors to re-elect her to keep doing good work on our behalf. We know Didi shows up when it matters. And now we need to show up for her during early voting from October 29-November 7, or on Election Day November 8.
Sharon Hospital’s ED clinicians are prepared for all patients
As Sharon Hospital continues the regulatory process for the proposed closure of the Labor & Delivery Department as part of the growth-based Sharon Hospital Transformation Plan, I want to reassure the community that our Emergency Department team is well-prepared to care for our patients. We are here and ready to support your critical medical needs every day, including those related to labor and delivery.
Emergency Department providers have labor and delivery training as a foundational learning through their residency program when training to become a physician. Throughout the regulatory process to phase out Labor & Delivery, Nuvance Health and hospital leaders have instituted additional clinical trainings to prepare staff to help mothers and babies through emergent situations. The trainings have and will continue into the future and are reinforced through simulated drills.
The Emergency Department providers and nursing staff are also completing Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) training that mirrors the training current Obstetrics and Pediatric providers complete. This training ensures the Emergency Department staff will be fully equipped to stabilize infants prior to traveling to one of the neighboring hospitals, in the event of an emergent birth that requires resuscitation.
While this training ensures we are prepared for any emergency, according to data from similar, nearby facilities who closed their Labor & Delivery units, we do not anticipate the proposed closure of Labor and Delivery to result in emergent births at Sharon Hospital.
We continue to ensure our teams, in partnership with local EMS personnel, are prepared for any emergency. We continue to meet on a regular basis with the local EMS squads to ensure continuity of communication across all areas as Sharon Hospital adopts changes.
Sharon Hospitals’ Emergency Department is open for the community 24/7/365, equipped with staff that have undergone strong clinical training to handle emergent situations, including those surrounding pregnant women and babies in the community.
Together, we look forward to providing care for all members of our community when called upon.
Dr. Leroy Nickles