Serving the Towns of Wawarsing, Crawford, Mamakating, Rochester and Shawangunk, and everything in between
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Thank You So Much, Dear Readers,
For Your Continued Support!
Now Is The Time To Discuss The Issues

The headline reads "1 student killed, 3 wounded in school shooting"! This would seem to be a good time to discuss gun control and ways to stop or reduce these shootings that seem to happen weekly, but no, the right-wing shouts, now is not the time right after a (weekly) shooting with people in pain and anguish from losing a close friend or relative. You can't use peoples suffering to make a political point.

A week or so ago, we were hit with a category 4 hurricane (Harvey) and immediately after hit with a category 5 hurricane (Irma) — the first time that has happened ever. This would seem to be a good time to discuss climate change and how to stop and/or reverse the damage being done by our use of fossil fuels, but no, the right-wing shouts, now is not the time while people are struggling with such great destruction and loss. You can't use peoples suffering to make a political point.

(The following is a made-up story — otherwise known as alternative facts.) My uncle Harry refuses to get flu shots. This past winter he came down with a bad case of the flu and he almost died. When I visited him in the hospital I said to him, "So Harry, now you will be getting your yearly flu shot, right?" He got very agitated and said, "Don't talk to me about that right now. I just almost died." Well I shut right up after he said that.

So next winter I'm sure Uncle Harry will skip the flu shot and run the risk of getting the flu again and maybe dying again. And next week there is a good chance there will be another mass shooting. And the rest of this hurricane season and the next one and the one after that there almost certainly will be more cat 4 and cat 5 hurricanes (maybe even more and worse ones consecutively.) Because now is not the time to talk about that.

Lee Augustine

Thank You For The Rescue

We would like to thank DEC, local fire departments (Accord, Napanoch, Rochester 2, Kerhonkson), family, friends, and neighbors for all the time and energy in the search for our 93-year-old father, Abe Waruch. He went missing in the Cherrytown mountains on August 17th. The intense search included rescue dogs, helicopter, ATV, and volunteer grid searches based out of a command post.

Thankfully he was located after over 24 hours with no life-threatening injuries and is back on his feet again. Abe was born and raised in Cherrytown and has hunted and explored those hills since childhood. While Abe was missing he drank from creeks and slept in a bear den.

A lesson to be learned: Always let others know where you're going. Always carry flashlight, matches, water, snacks, and other safety items.

Thanks to all of you for your diligent rescue.

Claudia Masters, Mark Waruch, Candace Waruch, Kristen Atkins, and Martin Waruch

Vote 'Yes' On Constitutional Convention

Election Day will be here before we know it and a question will be asked of all New Yorkers. That question is whether or not a constitutional convention should be convened.

I firmly believe that this is a great opportunity for "We the People" to come out in force and vote to conduct our own business instead of leaving it to politicians who take money from special interests. There is no law saying politicians must control this. In fact, anyone who is eligible to vote can run as a delegate to the convention. The issue of who gets elected as a delegate would be voted on in 2018 and the convention would be convened in 2019.

Many reforms are needed in our state (ethics, campaign finance, redistricting, etc.), and these are not going to be tackled by corrupt officials, as we all know.

It is also important to note that any proposed changes will come before voters and we ultimately decide whether to approve or reject them.

I urge all voters regardless of party to stand up together, take the torch passed to us by the Founding Fathers at Philadelphia and vote "yes" on the state constitutional convention.

Timothy Scott Jr.

Reject Medical Malpractice Bill

New York is ranked the worst state to practice medicine. Despite growing concerns over our community's physician shortage, conditions for practicing are only becoming more hostile. Beyond exorbitant educational debt for the graduating medical student, New York offers among the lowest wages for physicians, the highest malpractice award payouts and the most expensive malpractice liability insurance premiums.

Recently, the state legislature passed S6800/A8516, which will alter medical malpractice liability by greatly expanding the time to file a lawsuit and will only serve to further exacerbate the systemic problem of rising malpractice costs. Student doctors at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine now wonder whether staying in New York to practice medicine is a realistic possibility. We entered medical school to heal patients. When harm occurs to a patient, it is not with mal-intent and we empathize with the needs of the patient. System-wide protections are in place to conduct case reviews, examine errors, gauge preventability and propose improvement to ensure the best patient care. Reform requires enabling our patients to have access to more doctors, not bills like this that will only deter doctors from practicing in New York.

The state has a dangerous doctor shortage and future doctors are already being deterred from certain specialties or medicine altogether due to malpractice liability concerns. This bill sets a dangerous precedent for liability across the country. We urge Gov. Cuomo to reject this bill in favor of more sensible legislation.

Stephanie Zeszutek

Gutter Gutter