2017-08-30 / Mailbag

Lighting of the fire towers

To The Editor:

On Saturday night, September 2, we invite everyone to find a place with a view of your favorite fire tower on the horizon for our 4th annual Lighting of the Fire Towers Event!

This event is meant to showcase the history of the five Catskill fire towers and some of our other friends around the state. Find an area in your neighborhood where you have a view of one of the fire towers. From 9 to 9:30 p.m., look up to see the cabs lit up. Remember that these towers were watching faithfully like beacons over your property for years to help prevent forest fires. The men and women who were in those cabs were there to protect your property from forest fires by providing fire fighters with an early detection and reporting system that was amazingly accurate.

If you are lucky, your area may have been covered by more than one tower!

For additional information about possible viewing areas near you, please refer to the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development website: catskillcenter.org

Laurie Rankin,
Catskill Center
for Conservation
and Development,

We have the right to walk around

To The Editor:

This letter is in response to last week’s article about the video involving several members of the Mendlovic family.

I did call the NYS trooper’s office at the time video was filmed. Subsequent to this event, I had to contact the trooper’s office again due to uncomfortable interactions with Mr. Mendlovic.

We have the right to walk around in peace without harassment or being intimidated.

It is important to notify the authorities when necessary so there is a documentation trail and action can be taken.

Marilyn Ringel,

Need more open society

To The Editor:

I was dismayed seeing the article, Fleischmanns Hasidic Hotel Owners in Feud With Residents, in last week’s paper. At this time of increased anti- Semitic rhetoric it is astounding that a simple dispute getting loud and out of hand is expanded into front-page news.

The Satmar group, singled out in the piece, are religious Jews with quaint customs, often maligned by those who would denigrate them based on Satmars’ aversion to the government of Israel and thus, Zionism. Further, the website referenced on Facebook turns out to be one created by detractors of the Satmars, solely to satirize this religious folk and show off its foibles.

More emphasis should be placed on creating an open and egalitarian society, and less on fostering prejudice.

David Rubenstein,

To The Editor:

I write today compelled to state what I stand for as an individual, a citizen, and an American in light of the recent protests in Charlottesville.

I was deeply troubled that our President initially opposed only the violence while glossing over the underlying principles behind the protests. His later comments have been contradictory and provide no clarity regarding which principles he supports. The Confederacy, White Separatists, White Nationalists, White Supremacists and Neo- Nazis all share a common belief. They justify denying full rights and protections to a second class of citizens who they define not by behavior but by birth.

This idea is unconstitutional. It flies in the face of the core principles of our American democracy. Generations of New Yorkers fought and died to oppose this idea — in the Revolution, the Civil War and in WWII.

So, what do we New Yorkers stand for today?

I stand for equal treatment, equal protection, and equal justice under the law regardless of race, creed, gender or orientation. I stand for free speech and the right to peaceful protest. I believe the answer to offensive speech is the sunlight of open discussion. I oppose those who instead believe opposition to offensive speech justifies censorship, property damage or violence. I reserve violence as an option only in opposing harmful actions — and only when other solutions have been exhausted.

Polling shows nearly two thirds of Republicans support Donald Trump’s reaction to the protests in Charlottesville. Exactly what that means specifically regarding these principles is unclear. To my many neighbors who put up Trump signs and bumper stickers— I’m not asking about your support of Donald Trump generally, but what PRINCIPLES do you stand for ON THIS ISSUE? Are you quietly looking the other way? Are you quietly giving a wink and a nod to racists, anti- Semites, anti-Muslims and White Supremacists? I’m not making an assumption. I’m inviting you to start a discussion. In the interim, the silence is deafening — and disturbing.

Lisa Tait,
New Kingston

Editor’s note: Lisa Tait is chairman of the Town of Middletown Democratic Committee

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