letters to the editor

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.

President’s pardons aren’t for his ‘innocent’ friends

Posted 30 November 2020 at 9:27 am

Editor:

As the President hands out pardons one thing is important to keep in mind – pardons are not only “conferred” but also presumed to be “accepted.” Innocent people do not need pardons.

What I mean is that as the President confers pardons, the people who receive them are guilty!  Over the next few weeks we will learn how many Trump Administration people committed crimes while he was President or were crooks in the first place.

So, Trump party members, you will soon learn how many crooks – and crimes – you have been blind to.

Conrad F. Cropsey

Albion

With Republicans powerless in NY government, turn to Libertarians

Posted 28 November 2020 at 10:11 am

Editor:

Congratulations to the New York State Republican Party on becoming New York’s largest third party! With the incoming Democratic supermajority in the State Senate, the NYGOP has officially ceased to have any relevance whatsoever in state politics.

There is literally nothing they can do, now that the Democrats will be able to pass any and all legislation they want, including tax hikes on the middle and working classes, gun rights restrictions, and job-crushing regulations, all without fear of the Governor’s veto.

Democrats will also be able to redraw Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts however they please, since Republicans will no longer be able to obstruct the process or ensure a fair outcome, meaning more extreme gerrymandering to cement the Democrats’ gains and ensure Republicans never retake the State Senate.

The policies and tax burden driving residents away in record numbers will only get worse, forcing ever-increasing numbers of residents to move to other states.

How did this happen? It’s quite simple, really: the Republican Party has no values and nothing to offer this state. They have no ideas, no solutions, and no spine. They trot out a sacrificial lamb every four years to run against Cuomo and complain about how bad things are, then they disappear until the next election.

Worse yet, they voted with Democrats to give King Cuomo unlimited emergency powers to address the pandemic, which translated into a months-long lockdown that decimated small businesses and destroyed thousands of livelihoods. Republicans are just as responsible for this travesty as Democrats. If that’s how they legislate, then they deserve to be relegated to third-party status with zero influence on state politics.

Who then can stand in opposition to the Democrats’ disastrous policies that are driving New York State on a road to ruin? There is another party: the Libertarian Party, which is actually committed to making New York a better place to live.

America’s third-largest party is ready to emerge as the next major party and work with Democrats and Republicans alike to implement policies that will increase everyone’s access to the American Dream and achieve liberty and justice for all Americans.

Learn more about the Libertarian Party by clicking here or email ocnylp@gmail.com to get involved today.

The Libertarian Party is New York’s best and last chance to avert a calamity unparalleled in this state’s history, so what are you waiting for? The Republicans aren’t going to save you!

Change your party, change your vote. Join the Libertarian Party today!

Chase Tkach

Carlton

Chair of Orleans County NY Libertarian Party

Giving thanks for communities that stand together during times of challenge

Posted 26 November 2020 at 10:58 am

Editor:

Another Thanksgiving is upon us. Truly one of the most American holidays, it is a wonderful day to help us remember the good things life has given us. Amidst dropping temperatures and fewer daylight hours, it is a great  time to get warm and gather with loved ones safely, eat well and fill your spirit.

This year is obviously different. We’ve been fighting this pandemic for nearly nine months now, and I, like many of you, am growing more and more concerned with the restrictions placed on us.

But I think it’s important to remember why these guidelines are in place. With the colder weather comes the cold and flu season, which will further strain our healthcare system and threaten our more vulnerable populations, particularly the elderly. Obviously, the state is in no position to make demands and requirements about how citizens choose to gather in their private homes , but please be sure to follow guidelines where you can.

Among the many things to be thankful for this year – friends, family, health, comforts, joy – is the fact that this state, our communities, have stood together through these trials and tribulations, and we worked together for the betterment and well-being of our loved ones and neighbors. That is something to be truly thankful for. And now that we’re reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s as important as ever for us to remain vigilant in our fight against this pandemic.

Stay safe, stay well, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Batavia

(Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County.)

NY sheriffs say common sense works in fighting Covid spread, not heavy-handed tactics

Posted 24 November 2020 at 11:44 am

Editor:

Since the first Covid-19 orders issued by the New York State Health Department, Sheriffs across the state have been responding to thousands of complaints of violations of those orders. They have been doing what they can, within the law and the Constitution, to address those complaints.

The criminal laws have very limited applicability with respect to those complaints, and in most cases use of the criminal laws would be unwise. Fortunately, our citizens have, for the most part, willingly complied with advice and encouragement to follow health directives.

We think that is the best approach and we continue to advise and encourage all our citizens to comply with guidance issued by state and federal health agencies, and to exercise caution and common sense. So far, that approach seems to have worked, helping New York achieve one of the lowest infection rates in the country – without having to apply heavy-handed law enforcement tactics.

Recently, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order which limits “non-essential private residential gatherings” to no more than 10 individuals. That has caused great consternation among many of our citizens, who envision armed officers arriving at their doors to count the number of people around the Thanksgiving table.

Many Sheriffs and other law enforcement leaders have felt compelled to allay those concerns by assuring citizens that officers will not be randomly coming to their homes on Thanksgiving Day to count the number of people inside. That would be neither practical nor Constitutional.

The Governor has responded by dismissing those serious concerns on the part of local law enforcement, saying, “Law enforcement officers don’t get to pick and choose which laws they will enforce.”

We find that comment ironic, and disingenuous, since the Governor has directed that his own State Police do not have to enforce the order. Apparently, it is another case of “do as I say, not as I do,” such as we have seen with many other political leaders. He has also called Sheriffs “dictators” for following the Constitution rather than his orders, which we also find ironic.

We do not know if the Governor’s limit on home gatherings to 10 individuals is the right number or not. That is a decision for science, not us, to make. We do know, however, that the Governor has attempted to foist upon local law enforcement an impossible task.

How are officers to know, without violating citizens’ right to privacy and other Constitutional rights, how many people are in the home?  How are they to determine if the family gathering is to be deemed “essential” or “non-essential”?  If 12 people normally reside in the home, are the officers to order two of them to move out? If 11 individuals are found to be present in the home, who is to be charged with violating the order, all 11 or just the last guest to arrive? Or is it only the homeowner who is in violation? Are officers really supposed to arrest guests who don’t stay 6 feet apart or who fail to have on their face masks during dinner?

All of those are serious questions which make it impossible for law enforcement to know how to legally enforce the Governor’s order. They are questions that could have been addressed if we had a functioning State Legislature, creating clear and enforceable laws after input from those who would be impacted by them. Instead we are faced with an unenforceable dictate issued without any consultation with law enforcement or the public as to enforceability.

We believe that rather than issuing orders that cannot be practically enforced, and then blaming law enforcement when they are not enforced, the Governor would better serve the people of New York if he were to use his position to encourage citizens to use common sense and voluntarily adhere to the guidance of state and federal health officials.  We would gladly join him in that.  We know the citizens of our communities, and we believe they would be far more likely to voluntarily follow his recommendations than his orders.

In conclusion, we urge all our citizens to keep informed on the best steps to take to protect themselves, and others, from the spread of this terrible disease. We urge you to listen to our public health officials. We urge you to limit your exposure to those outside your household as much as you reasonably can.  If we all do that, we will sooner be able to get back to normal.

We in law enforcement do not have the resources nor the legal authority to force you to do those things. It is a matter of individual responsibility and we are confident that you will all voluntarily rise to the occasion.

Jeffrey Murphy

President of New York State Sheriffs’ Association

Washington County sheriff

(This statement was approved by the executive committee of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association.)

Cuomo has served with distinction in leading state in fight against Covid

Posted 22 November 2020 at 9:44 am

Editor:

People around the world have been calmed by one man, a leader, who prioritized public health, used fact-based, clear communication on positive and negative consequences of behavior during the Covid crisis, daily, when no one else did.

As phase two escalates, I hear the pain and understand the frustration and fear of small business owners. The lack of relief from our federal government goes unmentioned. Unmasked gatherings of human beings, protesters, extended family and friends caused clusters, allowing the infection level to rise.

We did it. The people of the community are responsible for the regression, not the governor. Like the Titanic, we failed to heed the warnings.

Open your eyes, Western New York, Governor Cuomo is not a perfect human, but deserves thankfulness, not hate, for his courage and dedication, in protecting us.

Thank you to the 2020 International Emmy Founders Award for recognition of the hero in our own backyard.

Carol Nochajski

Wilson

Giuliani’s antics more fitting for Jerry Springer Show

Posted 21 November 2020 at 3:45 pm

Editor:

It’s called Rule 11.

Rudy Giuliani went to Court in Pennsylvania last week and said the things he has been saying on TV – voter fraud, dead people involved in a conspiracy, voting machine companies involved with one raided in a German City where is does not have an office and there was no raid, dead people voting (hello widows like “Mrs. James” who did vote), post-dated mail being counted, you name it and the whole television spiel came out. He was really over. Further than any Trump lawyer had gone.

But then the judge asked one simple question. “Are you alleging voter fraud?” It was a “Yes” or “No” question.

If Giuliani had said “Yes”, the judge would have required Mr. Giuliani to file papers saying that and both sides would have had to present their evidence to the court. It a simple thing to update papers to reflect updated facts.

But Giuliani, like every other lawyer for the Trump party when asked by a court, responded “No”. “No”, he was not alleging fraud. If he had said “Yes” under Rule 11 he would be swearing he had some credible evidence of fraud and a reasonable legal basis to believe fraud took place.  That sounds simple given all he has said on TV.

But Rule 11 requires that an attorney tell the court the truth. Lies bring fines, disqualification from certain types of cases, and can cost the liar their law license. It’s one thing to lie in a press conference, but you do not tell bold faced lies to a federal judge! They crush you for not having any reasonable factual or legal basis to make a claim. Parties lie, lawyers do not knowingly do so or permit it.

So when you hear the words “Fake News” just remember Rule 11 and see if that news was said in court or court papers.  (Also when you hear the words “News” check to be sure the NEWS paper or NEWS source (“commentators” are excepted ) has a compliance department and double sources everything it says and separates fact from conclusion.)

This was a clean election with an overwhelming margin of voters voting for change. Elections are democracy!

And when Giuliani gives a press conference with spray-on hair dye dripping down his face, know you are seeing the final throes of four years of political theater now degraded to compete with the Jerry Springer Show. Rule 11 trumped Trump……. The answer was “NO”.

Conrad F. Cropsey

Albion

Locally owned businesses need your support

Posted 21 November 2020 at 10:41 am

Editor:

These are the kinds of times that cripple your favorite locally owned small businesses. Please support them with your holiday shopping.

Remember all the local small businesses that you’ve asked for years and years to donate and sponsor your sports clubs, school events, organizations, etc.?  They’re calling in a favor. Answer the call.

Lynne Johnson

Chairman

Orleans County Legislature

President’s Covid response has been grossly inadequate, with no pushback from GOP

Posted 21 November 2020 at 9:30 am

Editor:

Several letter writers have stated that Trump’s opponents blame him for the coronavirus. Let me be clear: no one is blaming Trump for the virus, just his response to the virus.

President Trump, his administration and Republican sycophants have politicized the pandemic making sound health policies, such as wearing a mask, much more difficult. The administration has abandoned its responsibility leaving it up to the states to fend for themselves.

Hospitals and nursing homes are still struggling, after 10 months, to have enough PPE, staff members are exhausted and there is no help from the federal government.

However, this administration could not achieve this level of malfeasance without the support of Republicans like Congressman Chris Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs thinks that the administration, with 250,000 deaths and counting, is doing a good job.

Today, we see cars lined up for miles in modern bread lines, and refrigerated trucks lining up outside of morgues. Main Street is a ghost town and even Thanksgiving is threatened. These are the results of policies that Mr. Jacobs supports and praises.

We need leadership. It is time for Mr. Jacobs to put aside partisan politics, study the problems and find solutions that work for Western New York.

William Fine

Brockport

45th president harming our democracy by claiming election fraud

Posted 20 November 2020 at 3:57 pm

Editor:

On January 20th, the 46th President of the United States will be inaugurated. The future of the Republic may depend on how the 45th behaves between now and then.

Continuing to “con” millions of good people by claiming the November election was rigged threatens to drag the United States down. Putin loves anything that diminishes our faith in our nation’s democratic institutions and processes.

When he won 306 electoral votes in 2016 despite losing the popular vote by 2.8 million votes, number 45 termed his victory an “historic landslide”. When the President-elect gets 306 electoral votes this year while getting 5.5 million more popular votes, number 45 calls the election a “fraud”.

Several of my Republican friends are not buying it. Former Missouri Republican congressman Tom Coleman agrees. There are numerous others, but the party collectively is no profile in courage.

H.R. McMaster told journalist Fareed Zakaria last Sunday that Biden is saying, “exactly what you need to hear from a President-elect”, and that “Allegations of a rigged election are dangerous.”  When Zakaria said, “Putin’s central goal is to sow doubt about our democratic institutions”, McMaster added, “Russia wants to . . . reduce confidence in our institutions.”  He then said, “Our duty is to oppose a President trying to undermine the Constitution.”

John Bolton pointed out that the Department of Homeland Security has called the election the most secure in American history. Bolton continued, “The Russians couldn’t ask for anything more (than wrecking the Republic).” Calling Number 45 “a failed President”, Bolton opined, “We need Republicans to tell the truth too.”

Michael Chertoff lamented that Number 45 was, “. . . playing Russian Roulette with the safety and security of the American people”, adding that “our adversaries around the world are looking to make hay from (a rocky transition).”

Zakaria’s final guest, Peggy Noonan, told him there will “always be an audience for this ‘stabbed in the back’ mentality and Number 45 is cynically abusing and taking advantage of good and patriotic people by insisting that he won an election that he clearly lost.

The authors of our Constitution and founders of our republican form of government did a brilliant job, but separation of powers and genius design cannot save us from ourselves.

Sincerely yours,

Gary F. Kent

Albion

Nurse is thankful for PPE and support on frontlines of fighting Covid

Posted 17 November 2020 at 1:20 pm

Editor:

As a nurse in a Covid-only ICU these last 8 months, I am thankful that I’ve had adequate PPE to keep myself and my family safe from the virus that is ravaging America.

I’m thankful for those who have supported healthcare workers on the frontline. We haven’t had a choice about being faced with the things we’ve had to go through, and there’s still no end in sight.

I’m thankful for those who have heeded the mask mandates and social distancing so that we can try to get a handle on it. I’ve seen a lot of death – including fellow nurses and doctors, and I’m thankful for every day I’m given.

Kandace Pierce, RN

Albion

New Murray highway superintendent appreciates support in election

Posted 13 November 2020 at 9:53 am

Editor:

To the Town of Murray residents, I would like to thank everyone who supported me and got out to cast their vote on election day this year.

The kindness that I’ve received during this campaign has been amazing. Thank you all. Some of you have gone above and beyond helping to place signs, make phone calls, write letters on my behalf or graciously welcomed my campaign signs in your yard. There are no words to express my heart felt appreciation.

Running a political campaign has certainly been a roller coaster ride. With the passing of my father in August, his various words of wisdom often resounded in my head. I’d prepared myself for either outcome.

Now that I have been elected as Town of Murray highway superintendent, I understand the confidence you’ve shown. I will always remember that as an elected official I am charged with the protection of my neighbor’s best interests. Thank you again. I am eager to begin.

Yours truly,

Dirk Lammes

Murray

Holley Elementary does great job honoring veterans, even without usual assembly

Posted 11 November 2020 at 8:28 pm

Editor:

Every year the Holley Elementary School has held a Veterans Day assembly to honor veterans associated in some way with Holley or the school.

Several years ago, my granddaughter asked me to participate. Who can refuse a 6-year-old?  The assembly greatly exceeded my expectations. To see all the children, teachers, staff, and other veterans joined by song and verse, is heart humbling.

For the past several years I have looked forward to this assembly. Covid-19 put a hold on any assembly for this year.

Holley Elementary School has more than made up for this limitation. There is a veterans’ tribute on their web site. It too humbles.

Please do two things: 1) go to the Holley Central School District web site (holleycsd.org) and click the Elementary School Veterans Day Celebration under latest news and watch their work.  2) please honor those at Holley Elementary School for this unbelievable work. It is wonderful.

Thank you and God bless all.

Kevin Foley

Holley

Veterans’ sacrifices should never be forgotten

Posted 11 November 2020 at 7:45 am

Editor:

As another year passes, with just as many challenges (or certainly more so) as in years previous, we arrive at yet another Veterans Day.

Like many federal holidays or days of remembrance, it may sometimes be easy for us to forget why we have days like this dedicated in the first place. Between the large-scale issues that face us today and the minutia of our lives, we can easily forget why we celebrate as we do. Veterans Day is here to remind us why.

To serve one’s country on the battlefield is one of the most selfless things a person can do. Our nation has a proud history of innumerable servicemen and women giving themselves to the country, to ensure our safety and security, and to protect the prosperity in our country today. That sacrifice cannot be understated.

As veterans, our soldiers, sailors and airmen and women alike all face unique challenges when leaving service or retiring. What these folks see and do would shock even the most accomplished individuals.

There’s truly nothing like the work our veterans do; that’s why we dedicate this day to honoring and remembering them. It’s not just a day for department stores to get rid of some over-stocked goods or a day to throw a fun parade for the town.

The true essence of Veterans Day is about showing reverence and thanks to those who have given it all so we can have it all. Remember their sacrifices today, and remember to thank a veteran when you see one. God bless America.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, most of Orleans and part of western Monroe County.

Don’t silently accept distortions, fabrications from the president

Posted 9 November 2020 at 5:46 pm

Editor:

What makes this country strong, great is the web of relationships, beliefs, trusts, decency and identity that make a society work.

Many Republicans, like Congressman Chris Jacobs, replace accepted facts with lies, baseless accusations, support for QAnon and conspiracy theories. This has cost us trust and dissolves our connectivity our sense of community.

When Trump tweeted that he protected the “Suburban lifestyle” because he rescinded rules to reduce racial segregation, minorities felt that their American rights, as citizens, were challenged by an elected official. Your rights, as an American citizen, were challenged by elected officials and the silence of Republicans like Mr. Jacobs is the silence of consent.

The Buffalo News Editorial (11/07/20) wrote that at a news conference (11/05/20), Mr. Trump stated lies that were “aimed at the heart of American democracy. If they are not countered by responsible Republicans they will gain currency. Silence is consent.”

The Editorial states that Chris Jacobs is silent. Just like Mr. Jacobs said nothing about Mr. Trump’s tweet suggesting a 75-year-old protestor injured by Buffalo police officers wanted to be hurt in a setup against the police. Trump said the protestor could be an “ANTIFA provocateur.” Silence is consent.

To unite this community, to heal the country, Mr. Jacobs needs to end his silence. Denounce the hatred, lies, conspiracy theories and racist comments by the current administration. The time to heal is now, silence is consent.

William Fine

Brockport

Talk to your parents and elders who offer wisdom in these stressful times

Posted 7 November 2020 at 8:38 am

Editor:

With so much that can been taken as negativity, or at the very least, stressful. I hope this attempt at spreading some positive makes the cut.

I would like to say Happy Birthday (Nov. 6, 934) to my dad, Charles H. Hunt Jr. He would have been 86. He worked for the NYSDOT for 34 years as a welder, working on Canal Barges and I’m sure other things.

He was also President of the local chapter of the CSEA for a period of time. During which he was very vocal about the risks of lead poisoning. A thing he was all too familiar with, being diagnosed with it himself. He wrote and spoke directly to Congressmen, helping raise the awareness of lead poisoning to where it is today. (The “acceptable” lead levels, as it relates to lead poisoning, in the 1980s are shocking!!)

He passed away March 7, 2009. And on that deeper note, it’s strange. I somehow can’t imagine him in today’s world. I learned so much from him. Often, I find, it’s things I didn’t even realize I learned until much later.

In this age of global pandemic, political uncertainty and just general uneasiness on a scale never seen before, I would love to sit and talk to him. Even for just a few minutes.

If you have a decent parent in your life, talk to them. If nothing else, they offer a different perspective. It’s being open, able and willing to see things differently that leads to not only realizing things about yourself, but also growing and evolving as a person. And, when you think about it, isn’t that the basic meaning of life?

Charlie Hunt

Syracuse, NY (Albion native)