letters to the editor/opinion

Our Letters Policy

Posted 7 November 2020 at 7:00 am

We appreciate input from our readers, and we publish letters to the editor without charge. While open speech and responsibility are encouraged, comments may be rejected if they are purely a personal attack, offensive or repetitive. Comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Orleans Hub. Although care is taken to moderate comments, we have no control over how they are interpreted and we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of comments and the rationality of the opinions expressed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content and brevity. Please limit the length of your letter (we suggest no more than 500 words) and provide your name, telephone number, mailing address and a verifiable email address for verification purposes. Letters should be emailed to news@orleanshub.com.

Jacobs distorts causes of crisis at southern US border

Posted 2 May 2021 at 7:49 am


Congressman Chris Jacobs staged a phony phone town hall on April 21st to discuss actions at the Southern Border. Mr. Jacobs stated that the Biden administration was allowing the cartels prey on migrants before they enter the U.S.

To be clear U.S. law stops at the border. Forcing migrants and asylum seekers to stay in Mexico, which is what the previous administration did, is what allowed the cartels to prey upon the migrants.

Human Right Watch reported: (Washington, DC, March 5, 2021) – “Asylum seekers sent to Mexico by the administration of former US president Donald Trump have suffered violence and extortion by Mexican police, immigration agents, and criminal groups.” Human Rights First wrote: “As of February 19, 2021, there are at least 1,544 publicly reported cases of murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, and other violent assaults against asylum seekers and migrants forced to return to Mexico by the Trump Administration.”

Another false (lying) claim of Mr. Jacobs is that migrants failed to show up at court after being given an appearance ticket. Vox reported: “About 99 percent of asylum seekers who were not detained or who were previously released from immigration custody showed up for their hearings over the last year, according to new data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, a think tank that tracks data in the immigration courts.”

Mr. Jacobs’s lying may make good sound bits, but it makes bad corrupt policies exacerbating the immigration problems. To stem the flow of migrants we need to address the root causes which include poverty, violence and climate changes. These are all addressed in President Biden’s immigration bill he sent to Congress after being sworn in as President on Jan. 20, 2021.

William Fine


Popularity of outlandish propaganda doesn’t bode well for country

Posted 28 April 2021 at 7:24 am


We are being asked by President Biden to invest in ourselves and our future. I think the need for the changes he proposes is demonstrated by QAnon and the similarly outrageous tales that are animating by so many.

It seems to be the same phenomenon we see in the Mideast, South America, dictatorships, and third world countries in general – find someone else to vilify for your own failures. Conspiracy theories and hate speech goes a long way.

It’s true some people are gullible and also true that some are thrilled by the attention they get when repeating conspiracy theories or having “smart aleck” answers. But typically when  outrageous stories and propaganda gain traction it’s a sign that things are not working well.

Propaganda keeps politicians in power and lines the pockets of those who benefit the most.

A major reason President Biden’s proposals are so popular is that he was at the center of political power when things worked well! FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and to a lesser extent Carter all had our economy humming. They took a bankrupt country with people starving and turned it from the 20th ranked agrarian country into a capitalist country that dominated the industrialized world. Social policies served the needs of the many while not ignoring those of the few.

Since about 1982 in many ways the US has coasted and in other ways backtracked, both economically and in trust that change can accommodate all. By the 1986 tax act we started down the slippery slope in which taxation started to be paid disproportionately by the lower and middle class. There were cut backs in essential services. Four-year college started to become less accessible. Money started going into stocks rather than job creation. There have been incredibly enormous increases in the deficit (all under Republicans),  strategic goods started getting produced overseas, and the effective tax rate on corporate America dropped precipitously – now averaging 8% on multinationals.

As setbacks mounted and cooperation died, people have increasingly accepted the sort of outlandish claims those who were around used to chuckled at. Fables and conspiracy theories are so popular that TV ratings demonstrate people who do not get enough on Fox are leaving  Fox and turning to RT (formerly Russia Today) and OAN, both of which are Kremlin affiliated, and NewsMax.

Turning seriously complicated issues into TV entertainment with childish name calling demonstrates how bad off some are (or think they are) and how much some have to lose when we recapture what made us great.

The simple truth is we can recapture our greatness because we know our problems and we know what to do. We have done it before.  The other side, such as it is, prays on fear pushed by those who want to cover up the failures of the past 40 years.

Conrad F. Cropsey


United effort needed in war against Covid

Posted 27 April 2021 at 9:03 am


Consider this: when the US has gone to war in the past, it made people go and fight and kill whether they wanted to or not. It was to protect the people of the country, all the people.

Some volunteered, being true patriots. Now we have people refusing to fight against a viral enemy that seeks to injure and kill us. They refuse to do their duty, refuse to care about their fellow Americans and squawk about temporarily being asked to live under wartime conditions.

Imagine this: you are in a defensive position in  foxholes with you fellow soldiers. How would you feel if several soldiers decided to not load their weapons because they didn’t think the enemy was coming? Would those people be caring about their country and you? Would you tolerate it?

What if the enemy was attacking and killing men by the hundreds because some of your fellow soldiers did not have loaded weapons? One of the things to remember in this land of freedom is quite simple: Your rights stop where mine begin. If your “rights” endanger me, you are violating MY rights.

Gregory T. Schmitt


County Legislature urged to back youth hunter legislation

Posted 25 April 2021 at 7:42 pm


Recently the NYS Legislature passed a law making it legal for youths aged 12-13 to hunt deer with any weapon legal for adults, only while accompanied by a licensed adult.

Every older adult has grown up with this opportunity, if his/her parents allowed or encouraged it. Most of us survived.

It was an important step in our learning about and appreciation of nature, and in my case, at least, set me up for a lifetime of outdoor recreation and enjoyment.

The new state law requires counties to buy in. If your county legislature doesn’t enact supporting legislation, the law doesn’t count in your county.

I urge the Orleans County Legislature to draft and pass legislation to enact this new state law and promote youth hunting opportunities.


Jerry Adams


Local Conservative Party enthusiastically backs Lee Zeldin for governor

Posted 23 April 2021 at 8:41 pm


The Orleans County Conservative Party unanimously endorses NY Congressman Lee Zeldin as candidate for Governor of New York in the 2022 election.

I first heard the congressman make his announcement on the Sean Hannity radio show last week. After personally speaking to him while he was on the floor of Congress in the process of casting a vote, I was sold that this was the right man to take on failed Governor Andrew Cuomo or whatever kind of incompetent evil that the Democratic Party puts up to further destroy the soul and business climate of a once great state like New York.

The destructive one-party leadership of progressives in this state is causing the smart people with the means to leave to go to well-managed law-and-order states like Florida, Texas, Tennessee among others where they can live free from burdensome regulation and nanny state bureaucrats, where the money they retire on or earn will go much further.

Lee has impeccable credentials and is a combat veteran, a paratrooper and infantryman of the Army’s Elite 82nd Airborne Division having participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He holds many other military titles.

He is a proven winner. Elected to the State Senate in 2010 then to the US Congress in 2014, representing NY-1 successfully ever since. In just 2 weeks he has raised well over $2.5 million dollars. Lee will be leaving his position in Congress because he knows it’s do or die for the Empire State.

New York can not survive 4 more years of regressive progressive leadership. Lee is a true conservative. More conservative than many of his counterparts in Congress. He has what it takes to bring this sunken ship called New York back up from the depths of despair.

That is why so many of us are pleased that we have a candidate so conservative and getting out in front a year and a half ahead of the election. We hope Lee Zeldin becomes a household name and the Orleans County Conservative Committee is very excited to endorse this man as a candidate to lead our state.

The people and businesses are begging for real leadership. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic Party have failed us miserably and left a path of destruction and real human suffering. Cuomo has ruled as a King, a Tyrant and a Gangster. Cuomo is an embarrassment to our state and our country. We have had enough! Cuomo and any gubernatorial candidate they may put up needs to go!

Paul Lauricella


Chairman of Orleans County Conservative Party

Community, country should unite behind vaccination effort

Posted 22 April 2021 at 9:16 am


President Trump was right to invest in new delivery methods for a Covid-19 vaccine – vaccines which provide astonishing protection. President Biden has an experienced team doing a remarkable job on the rollout.

Lessening the situations where the numbers indicate masks help – restaurants, churches,  sports stadiums, malls, hospitals, and so many other things – is there for the taking.

We can get back to life if all take 5 minutes to protect themselves and others. So it’s time to stop bickering on this one and take the win! Get vaccinated.

Conrad F. Cropsey


Jacobs uses fearmongering in highlighting only one part of complex immigration problem

Posted 21 April 2021 at 11:16 am


Congressman Chris Jacobs visited the Southern border stating that the situation is a “national security and humanitarian crisis.”

Yes it is and it has been for years. But it is not just immigration at the Southern border; we also have a Northern border and two oceans and airports with multi points of entrance. That is one reason why we need a comprehensive immigration policy.

Mr. Jacobs only highlights the arrest of suspected terrorist at the Southern border but not the fact that most suspected terrorist attempt to arrive by airplane. PolitiFact reported in 2017 there were 2,554 individuals on the terrorist watchlist who tried to enter the country, most of those by airplanes.

Even Mr. Jacobs’s predecessor former Congressman Chris Collins expressed concerns about our Northern Border. He told Howard B. Owens of The Batavian that “Canadians (are) pouring over the border to get health care that’s just not available within their universal healthcare system,” (The Batavian August 3, 2017).

Furthermore, it needs to be pointed out that Mr. Jacobs gave tacit support to predominately white terrorists who attacked the Capitol on Jan 6th wearing body armor and carrying bear spray, baseball bats, climbing gear and pipe bombs to prevent Constitutionally mandated activities.

By only emphasizing the Southern border, Mr. Jacobs is showing his racism and appealing to his anger-based fearmongering disinformation politics of his base. The immigration issue is multifaceted and can only be addressed with knowledge-based problem solving not scaremongering disinformation of Mr. Jacobs.

William Fine


Be considerate to wildlife and slow down while driving

Posted 20 April 2021 at 10:23 am


What would it take to get someone who had not yet come to the realization that “speed kills” to become convinced that it does?

The latest edition of Living Bird, a magazine sent out to contributors by the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, contains photographs of chestnut sided, magnolia, black and white and other warblers. They are generally not much larger than chickadees, a delightful little bird seen around Orleans County year around. If you hit a chickadee, or any one of over twenty types of warblers, with your vehicle, it would almost certainly die, and you would likely never know it.

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, six young tree swallows were killed by one vehicle in a single pass as they sat in the road mourning the loss of their mother. It really is sickening when you know that it does not have to be this way. But insects do certainly benefit.

Our “country” road has two American kestrel nests on it. There are bluebirds, catbirds, song sparrows, chickadees, orioles, and innumerable other species of avian delights that speeding vehicles will kill all over Orleans County without denting the machine. Often, all we must do to prevent it is get started earlier, travel more slowly, and think about how our actions impact other living things.

When my good friend, the owner of Hojack’s restaurant, saw his first American redstart up close, as someone without much birding experience, he was nearly speechless. “What the heck is that?” he exclaimed about the bird that was hovering two feet in front of his face.

We were getting firewood when he got his first look at one. Redstarts are one of our migratory birds, as are over twenty different types of warblers. The speed at which we choose to drive impacts how many of them—and dozens of other songbirds—we kill without ever knowing it.

Warblers, redstarts, and chickadees favor woodland habitat.  Driving our vehicles more slowly favors them.

Traveling on country roads as if we have taken leave of our senses really can have consequences we may never have considered. It may increase the rodent population by killing birds such as American kestrels, or result in our descendants never having a chance to hear a bluebird sing, among many other things. Speed may even result in the death of another human being.

So, for those travelers who can only get to 80 miles per hour by the time they get to the railroad tracks, perhaps you should get an electric vehicle with some serious acceleration.

Warbler migration will soon be upon us. Know that responsible behavior can benefit them.

Sincerely yours,

Gary F. Kent


Unequal treatment by law enforcement should be discussed in schools

Posted 20 April 2021 at 7:04 am


In Steve Smith’s recent letter he advocates amending the public school curriculum to include lessons apparently to insure the public’s safety in the event of an encounter with police, especially those leading to an arrest. In other words, lifesaving protection from the protectors.

Although well intended, Mr. Smith’s letter misses the point. Despite what some people may think, it’s not about whether one resists arrest or not. It’s about who resists arrest or even when they don’t resist.

This may come as a surprise to many people in Orleans County, but even white people have been known to resist arrest during an altercation with law enforcement. In fact, when taken into account that blacks make up only 13.4% of the U.S. population and although blacks are nearly twice as often charged for resisting as whites, the overall incidence of whites resisting arrest is still greater. But even that doesn’t matter.

Here’s the issue. With rare exception, white people who resist arrest and are then taken into police custody ultimately will end up either 1. Pleading out or, 2. Found innocent or guilty by a jury of their peers as our Constitution so wonderfully provides.

If found guilty in New York State, resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor (according to https://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york) and is punishable of up to one year in jail, 1 to 3 years’ probation, a fine of up to $1,000 or … “twice the amount of the perpetrator’s financial gain from the underlying crime.” In the case of George Floyd, twice the amount of an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.

Unfortunately for a disproportionate number of people of color, that very same offense carries a dirt-nap sentence from which they will never wake up. Even though at the very moment they died at the hands of the police, they were secured in police custody, no longer posed any threat and remained innocent until proven guilty.

Maybe that should be taught in public schools as well.

Or is that just simply too “PC”?


Tom Graham


Albion High School ’78

Republicans in past favored inclusion over exclusion which benefitted the country

Posted 19 April 2021 at 11:28 am


I have long believed that a strong two-party system with both parties presenting platforms that appeal to most voters is essential to our society. A number of people have commented that the Republican Party has become one of exclusion – uninterested in minority issues, fearful of change, favoring the suppression of voting, and worried that a rising tide of immigration will result in endless Democratic Party victories at the local, state and national levels.

It does not have to be this way. Consider the following organizations and actions enacted by a President who believed that the inclusion, not exclusion, of more people in the democratic process was healthy for the country: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Clean Water Act, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), Consumer Protect Safety Commission, and dramatic increases in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. That President was Richard Nixon.

In US history we have had 35 national political parties. The two that have survived generally appealed to wide segments of our society. Those that disappeared narrowed their appeal by catering to an ever smaller group of voters.

Note that the US Census Bureau statistics indicate that by 2060, 50 percent of the total US population will be part of a minority group. I believe both parties should consider the dramatic increase in minority voters an opportunity to broaden their appeal. I also suggest the Republicans take a long look at the Nixon Presidency and consider the opportunities inclusion politics can bring.

Jack Capurso

Ashburn, Va

Albion High School 1960

Take the time to research issues, including voting rights controversy, and don’t rely on social media, ‘elites’

Posted 18 April 2021 at 9:59 am


I appreciate the letters to the editor section of the Hub, as it gives individuals an opportunity to express their opinions on many areas of concern in our community, state and beyond.

I appreciate it even more when facts are checked and provided in an honest and fair manner. That being said, If anyone is interested in learning about what Jim Crow laws were and why they came about please stop by any one of the local libraries in the area. Please do not rely on one-sided opinions and half facts.

I will say the Jim Crow Laws started following the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in the Democratically controlled Southern States. They came about as a means to thwart any and all political, economic and social gains of the Blacks at the time.

These laws remained in effect from approximately 1865 to 1965. In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. In 1965, The Voting Rights Act was signed and in 1968 the Fair Housing Act. Granted just because these laws were signed it did not mean peoples’ attitudes or hearts were changed overnight. But it did provide a legal foundation for action where one did not exist before.

On refreshing my memory on many of these subjects, I found some very interesting stories of people who fought against the injustices of these times. Some became household names, but others, equally important I found, made an impact in the fight against racial inequality. Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. are very well known, but another who deserves mention is Victor Hugo Green, a Harlem postman who wrote a book “The Negro Motorists Green Book.” It identified all the safe places African American travelers could stay. His book was first published in 1936 and remained in publication for nearly thirty years. Others I read about were Ida B. Wells and Charlotte Hawkins Brown, who each fought against segregation and violence toward Blacks.

Another reason I write is because of the misinformation flowing through our news media, elected officials, corporation heads and even the Hollywood elite concerning Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021. This piece of legislation was worked on for many months by a bi-partisan committee who hashed out their differences and worked on a solution to insure voter integrity.

The Act provides an expanded early voting period of three weeks, with Saturday and Sunday voting, which was important to the African American population because their “Get Out The Vote” drives are sometimes held in local churches. Their polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and if you are in line at 7 p.m., you will get to vote.

Then there is the food and water…The law states that “no person shall solicit votes in any manner, or by means or method…” Or to put it simply you can’t pull up to a polling site in your campaign vehicle and start handing out food and water to influence voters. Voters are allowed to bring their own and polling sites may set up coolers or drink stations if they so choose to.

Producing identification is not new and is not just for voting. Have you ever tried to cash a check, go to the library and check out a book, go to the doctor, register your car, obtain insurance or get assistance…the list goes on. More than half the states in the US require voter ID. 97 percent of registered Georgia voters have an official driver’s license or (free) state ID. I might add that the majority of registered voters want voter ID and that includes 65 to 70 percent of African Americans. (Depending on which poll you look at).

So, don’t take my word for it, investigate these things on your own. If you use your computer, be sure to scroll down and find official sites, and don’t just rely on social media opinions that pop up. Please take the time to be fully informed.

Rochelle Moroz


Office for the Aging, food distribution volunteers deserve thanks for efforts in pandemic

Posted 17 April 2021 at 7:55 pm


It’s time to thank the Orleans County Office of the Aging. Melissa Blanar, the Office for the Aging director, and her team worked very hard to get many of the residents of Orleans County vaccinated, especially those who have no computers or were having a difficult time getting an appointment.

Also another area that should be thanked are the volunteers who worked with the food distributions that have been ongoing for months. Those volunteers worked in all the elements – rain, snow, sleet and sometimes heat.

Jeanne Crane


Lyndonville family appreciates community support after CO poisoning

Posted 17 April 2021 at 9:53 am


A few weeks ago, my family suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. We’ve had so many people supporting us.

First and foremost, we have to thank the first responders – the EMTs and firefighters that saved the 6 of us, plus our pets. I’ve been a CNA for 20 years, the last 5 years at the North Wing in Medina. They were amazing enough to give me a leave of absence to take care of my family without hesitation. Kris’s job at Dobbins did as well. Lyndonville school has been outstanding!

Our son Nicholas alerted us that something was seriously wrong, when we believed it was a stomach bug. Without him, we may not be here today.

We’ve had donations, along with well wishes from family, friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers. This right here is what pulls at my heart strings the most. I feel like outpourings of love are usually done after people pass. Unlike most, we are beyond lucky to feel this while we’re alive. Unless anyone has ever had this happen, I don’t know how to describe this. As if having a close call with death isn’t enough, all of this love and support just drives us to be better people. We fully believe in Karma, and have good intentions to “pass it on.”

You always hear, “life’s too short” or “appreciate everything you have.” It doesn’t hit home until something like this happens. Always hug your family. Tell people I love you. And sincerely from the Skowneski family, thank you for caring about us. #lyndonvillestrong

Jessica Skowneski


Schools should teach less PC, more about obeying the law

Posted 17 April 2021 at 9:25 am


Here’s an idea:  Since the following concepts are clearly not being taught in a vast number of homes, why not add them to the primary & secondary school curriculum:

1. Obey The Law

2. Comply With Law Enforcement

3. Don’t Resist Or Attempt To Flee From A Lawful Arrest

If school officials can’t find time in the school day to incorporate these life preserving lessons, they could make time by eliminating some of the PC nonsense that is currently being taught!

Steve Smith


Medina doctor influential in bringing modern medicine to the community

Posted 15 April 2021 at 3:46 pm


We were greatly saddened by the news of Dr. Sterling’s passing. We were contemporaries practicing medicine in Medina. Actually, when I was looking for a place to establish my practice as a General Surgeon, Jim was a big factor in the decision to come to Medina. Dr. Sterling was the first in Medina to provide modern anesthesia. (As opposed to open drop ether method.) He was a pioneer in that sense in Medina.

Jim was a gentleman and a great friend and fun to be with. His wit and sense of humor is still legendary in our household and circle of friends (almost in a Yogi Berra-esque way).

As it turned out, Jim Sterling, with his huge family practice, was the biggest supporter of new doctors coming to the community and the community should be grateful to him for bringing modern medicine to Medina.

We will miss Jim! RIP! Our sympathies to Ilya and the family.

Sal & Kris Abbasey