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Hawley should modify survey to questions include Covid-19

Posted 4 April 2020 at 9:53 am


I don’t get it.

Mr. Hawley says that his Legislative Survey was mistakenly sent out for reasons beyond his control, but then he doubles-down and asks people to take the very same survey, even though it completely avoids asking any questions about the Covid-19 virus. I don’t get it.

James Renfrew


Our Letters Policy

Posted 3 April 2020 at 7:00 am

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Hawley says Legislative Survey should have been sent before virus pandemic, but was held up

Posted 1 April 2020 at 8:37 pm


Many of you may have recently received my survey in your mailbox. This survey was supposed to have been sent in early January prior to the start of our 2020 Legislative session to help me understand constituents’ views on issues.

It was held up for reasons beyond my control and was released, erroneously, as we face one of the most difficult times in our state’s and nation’s history with the Covid-19 Virus.

Please practice social distancing, stay home and wash your hands over and over and over. We will get through this.

Take the 2020 Legislative Survey online by clicking here.

Steve Hawley


Member of Assembly, 139th District

Sidari, Sherman and Elliott deserving of re-election in Medina

Posted 31 March 2020 at 11:15 am


I want to go on record as endorsing Mike Sidari for the office of Mayor for the Village of Medina, as well as Village Trustees Marguerite Sherman and Timothy Elliott.

Mr. Elliott was my first point of contact in the Village government when I began the pursuit of funding a new concrete public skate park in Medina in early 2018. Tim provided a wealth of information to set myself and the Medina Skate Society on the proper path for gaining local support and fundraising for a new skate park.

Mrs. Sherman has been a proud supporter of the efforts of the Medina Skate Society both on the Village Board and out at our local events over the past year of fundraising. Marguerite has spoken positively of the Skate Society and the new skate park during Village Board meetings and has attended many of the skate park fundraising events even with family members in tow.

Mr. Sidari has been most helpful to the efforts of the Medina Skate Society and has been integral in progressing the project forward over the past two years. Mike has voiced his support for the project to other Village Board members even before the Village secured the Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Skate Park Grant. Mike has kept the lines of communication open, answering calls, providing documentation and keeping correspondence between Medina Skate Society members, the Tony Hawk Foundation, the Department of Public Works and the Village of Medina to ensure the skate park project is on track to become a reality.

Mayor Sidari has also made it a point to attend every event he was able to and has been a familiar (and friendly) face to our local skaters and Skate Society members.

I would encourage any and all Village residents to cast a vote for positive community engagement and development and re-elect Mike Sidari, Marguerite Sherman and Timothy Elliott.


Alex Feig

Medina Skate Society President

(Editor’s Note: The village election was moved back from March 18 to April 28 and now has been moved again to a date to be determined in June.)

With closed public buildings and poor internet service, Apex’s lengthy application is hard to access

Posted 31 March 2020 at 8:58 am


I read that Apex Heritage Wind LLC submitted an application to the state February 26, 2020 for an industrial wind project in the town of Barre.

However, I can not access it because all the libraries and the town hall are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

My internet access is limited to my phone which will not download a lot of pages. I am sure that there are many others with little or no internet.

Is New York doing anything about this? Has the government suspended the process while we are dealing with closures and social distancing?

Nancy Blank


Government aid in Covid-19 crisis should include help for people with compromised immune systems

Posted 30 March 2020 at 8:45 am


I see the news every day, lawmakers are extending unemployment benefits for workers who have been laid off due to the Covid-19 crisis, extending help to small businesses, etc. These are fantastic things.

I am writing to ask what about the millions of us Americans that live and work every day with compromised immune systems due to underlying illnesses or from immunosuppressive medications?

The Americans that only have the choices of go to work at higher risk of disease and infection, or stay home voluntarily, make no money and not be able to pay bills or buy needed supplies. We fall through the cracks, not eligible for unemployment benefits because we stay home voluntarily in hopes to avoid infection, not eligible for assistance because we have a job we can go to if we choose that risk.

We are not lazy people, we would just prefer not to get sick if possible. Many of these people are hard-working Americans that pay taxes and contribute to society. I have written a similar letter to Senator Robert Ort’s office, with the only response being: “We have been hearing a few stories that are similar to yours and with everything rapidly changing each day, we advise people to continue to monitor the DOL’s Unemployment ( website as they post changes and waivers of requirements as they come in.”

That’s great, but I don’t foresee the DOL waiving the “ready, willing, and able requirement” for unemployment. That would be welfare at that point.

All the while the state doles out millions of dollars to perfectly capable people that are flat out working the system to get a free ride, carry 1,000-dollar cell phones, covered in tattoos, freezers full of food, smoking cigarettes, carrying cases of beer and lotto tickets out of the stores and never paying any taxes, and getting tens of thousands of dollars back in tax “refunds.” How is it a refund? Last I knew, tax refunds were refunds for overpayment of taxes.

Scott Lonnen


President didn’t follow government’s own manual for responding to pandemic

Posted 30 March 2020 at 8:14 am


I write to settle the unfortunate bickering about the handling of COVID-19 and daily changes in stories from the President since January.  While fact checking I found the previously uncirculated and complete 2016 National Security Council manual on pandemics. It is embedded in full in this article which follows.

The “play book” is fully indexed and has appendixes with contact and capability information detailed about who should do what in a pandemic of THIS magnitude – the why, what, when, and under what circumstances are laid out. If it had been followed there would be none of these distracting arguments now. The complete playbook (manual) is found by clicking here.

The existence of the Manual in the NSC office located in the White House settles any argument that the response has been anything other than abysmal. By January 23rd our scientists had confirmed COVID was just as highly with droplet (sneeze) transmission as suggested by China. That is the last date for any excuses not to turn the page to “1918” type outbreaks and those “additional” measures. Social distancing, tests, were weeks late by then.

Before President Trump was elected there was a fear that a property developer might not be up to the challenges of the Presidency in a crisis. Now we all have to pray our President, President Trump, finally listens to the actual experts and  executes the plan! You know I think it should be the United States Armed Forces in charge but no matter these delays are killing people.

Worse, if this President had simply funded the Bush/Cheney/Obama/Biden “Arura” project in 2017 we already would have 70,000 more ventilators.  (Look it up you Doubting Thomas’s and apologists.)

Frankly, we need to spend as little time talking about President Trump as he does thinking up and pitching all these daily yarns he then has to “clarify” or back down on. It’s bad faith use of the Bully Pulpit that both presidents Roosevelt – one Republican and one Democrat – used to lead us through and out of catastrophe.

Conrad F. Cropsey


Hawley’s survey is divisive and omits pressing concern with coronavirus

Posted 29 March 2020 at 9:19 am


Thank you, Don Welch, for correctly pointing out that Assemblyman Hawley’s “Legislative Survey” is a not-so-subtle campaign flyer sent out on our dime. Mr. Welch, you beat me to it!

One thing you did not mention that I spotted immediately in reviewing the survey is that there is not a single question about the coronavirus. With that matter front and center in everyone’s mind I was astounded that there was no reference to it.

I am sure that this survey was in the works for some time, but was there no one with the wits to stop it from going out with this glaring omission? Maybe the Assemblyman shares President’s Trump’s view that everything will be back to normal by Easter, so no need to include anything about it in the survey? Good God, I hope not!

But of course the Assemblyman’s pet concern pushing for western/upstate New York to secede from the rest of the state is included, as usual. Mr. Hawley, I am a New Yorker. I was born here, educated here, and expect to live out my days here. Do not try to divide my state! Especially at a time like this.

James Renfrew


Prison employees should be provided with masks, protective equipment during pandemic

Posted 29 March 2020 at 9:05 am


As a concerned citizen, I’m speaking for myself and many others in my community. NYS is the epicenter of the coronavirus with 44,635 cases and 519 deaths (as of Friday) and people admitted to hospitals doubling every 4 days.

We would like to know how the governor can possibly justify expecting Correction Officers or any Corrections employee to put their lives on the line every day, but are not willing to protect them with masks, gloves and other equipment and stopping transfer of inmates between prisons. How does that even make sense for controlling or prevent spread?

The point about masks, etc. not being part of uniform code is completely moot. The world has completely changed. All the rules have changed. Absolutely nothing is as it was, yet the Corrections workers still show up. Every day they are on the front lines keeping you and your families, and the rest of us safe regardless of the fact that COVID-19 is just beginning to affect the prisons. They then however risk bringing it home to their families and community. Correction facilities are one of the most confined areas in the nation with 1.3 million incarcerated in state prisons, 3/4 of a million in local jails, nearly 200,000 in federal prisons and 43,000 in NYS prisons alone living in extremely close quarters.

If NYS is leading the way to be a teaching point for other states to follow, as you our governor stated, we should teach them the correct way. As of 3/25/2020, 75 NYC inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 and 37 Corrections staff members, up from 50 inmates and 30 staffers the previous day. Sharp spikes in positive tests should be a warning to those in charge of the realization that it could bloom into our nation’s first major outbreak inside a correctional facility, spread to others and then the communities. Those responsible for protecting you and your loved ones, me and my loved ones and everyone else at the risk of their own lives, need to be protected. They need the governor to stop the inmate transfers and provide masks, gloves and other equipment to corrections workers to do the job they are expected to do and are willingly doing, showing up in order to protect us all.

Joanne Johnson