Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 6-30-22
Delivery man is worthy of an award
Recently a friend of mine who lives in Ancram experienced a medical emergency while home alone. It was late in the afternoon when she collapsed on her living room floor. As she lay there semiconscious she heard someone calling out, so she managed a “Please help me,” thinking it was a neighbor. In fact, it was a young man named Ryan from Culligan who was making a delivery for her water softener; he heard her dog’s furious barking and just felt that something was amiss.
Ryan got inside, found my friend and called 911. When she said “orange juice” he realized it was a diabetic emergency, got the juice and added some honey, bringing her back to consciousness.
He helped her into a chair and at her request he phoned a relative and then me. Even though I told him I would be there quickly, he assured me that he had called 911 and he would stay with her until they arrived.
True to his word, when I arrived the ambulance and the Culligan truck were side by side.
As Ryan began to pull his truck away I was able to thank him in person, but I don’t know his last name and I want people to know that Ryan the Culligan man may have saved a life that day, just doing his job, knowing his customers, on an ordinary day.
Thank you, Ryan.
Legislature needs to declare Juneteenth official county holiday
In 2021, Democratic legislators in Dutchess County proposed a resolution to make Juneteenth a county holiday. We believed Americans in every corner of the nation should share this opportunity to celebrate Emancipation, spend time with family and friends, and remember and reflect on the two-and-a-half-century struggle against slavery.
A quick search finds that many New York counties (among them Albany, Erie, Essex, Onondaga, Suffolk and Ulster) have declared Juneteenth a holiday. But the chair of the Dutchess Legislature, Gregg Pulver (R-19), rejected the bill (the 34th time he blocked consideration of a Democratic proposal). He informed us that the Legislature could not “recommend employee contractual benefits” and observance could only be decided by “those who control the county holiday calendar”— the county executive.
Last week, County Executive Marcus Molinaro said he supports Juneteenth (though there is no record of him ever calling for a county holiday) but can’t act “without a decision by the county Legislature.”
What a joke. Either these guys are too incompetent to understand their own official powers, or they don’t want Juneteenth in Dutchess, but don’t want to say so. (If past experience is a guide, both will now hastily claim it was the unions’ fault that employees did not get the holiday.)
Democratic legislators tried again last week, on the eve of Juneteenth, to urge Dutchess to join the nation, state and other counties in recognizing Juneteenth but they were rebuffed again.
Dutchess has one of the largest African-American communities in the Hudson Valley as well as thousands of allies who care about the legacies of injustice. At a time when citizens are struggling with economic hardship and lack of services, here is one more sign of contempt. We deserve better.
Former minority leader, Dutchess County
Regarding Roe v. Wade being overturned
As a physician, a mother and a woman who has benefitted from access to safe legal abortion, I must speak on behalf of all the women who will be denied their dreams for a future because of this ruling.
Roe had just recently become the law of the land when I found myself pregnant at the age of 15.
Had I not had access to this procedure in a Planned Parenthood clinic, I can only imagine the poverty and depression that would have been my life.
Instead, I was able to finish high school, college and medical school and live the rich meaningful life that I am so grateful for.
We cannot allow women to be forced to carry children that they don’t want and don’t have the resources to care for.
We must vote for representatives that will support women’s reproductive rights and push back right-wing authoritarianism that is threatening our country.
Kristie Schmidt, MD
Expand Supreme Court
To protect our reproductive freedoms, we need to expand the Supreme Court.
The Judiciary Act of 2021 would add four new seats to the Supreme Court, bringing the number of justices to 13. It would help restore balance to a Court that Mitch McConnell has packed with right-wing extremists who just dismantled abortion care in America.
Recent polling showed that not only do a majority of Americans believe that the Supreme Court should uphold the right to abortion care, they also agree that we need to restore balance to the court and support adding additional judges to the Supreme Court.
I’m urging Congress to pass the Judiciary Act so we can create an institution that moves away from partisan politics and represents the good of all Americans.