Medicaid needs to be fixed. Governor [Andrew] Cuomo has made this a priority. However, his proposal to put the Consumer Directed Personal Care Program (CDPAP) into Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) fixes what is not broken.
CDPAP is a form of personal care where consumers are the employer. The consumer hires and trains his/her personal assistants and it provides them with the ability to direct their own care. The program eliminates or minimizes many of the concerns that exist in health care, such as excessive waste to administrative salaries, provider fraud, and medical malpractice. Because the program is able to cut out the administrative costs, it is dramatically cheaper than traditional personal care programs and produces significant savings for the state. Surprisingly, even though it is cheaper for the state, the personal assistants the consumer hires often make more money than they would under traditional models.
The proposal to merge the successful CDPAP into MLTCs is misguided and will actually cost the state money. MLTCs receive a set amount of money regardless of cost. Plus, the program is based on the concept of administrative oversight, eliminating one of the primary ways in which CDPAP is able to achieve savings. Therefore, all of the things that make CDPAP special and cost-effective currently would be eliminated in this new format.
Medicaid needs to be fixed; however, we must make sure we are smart in fixing it. Otherwise, we will just spend more money on false cures.
Susan J. Hoger
Resource Center For Accessible Living, Inc.
IN A FOG
What is it that causes individuals to have their heads in a cloud and not see the obvious ?
In Bob Berman’s informative column, 3/24, there was a serious error. When uranium-235 is fissioned, two products results whose sum of mass is slightly less than 235, the difference in mass being converted to energy according to the Einstein equation, E=mc2. The range of atomic mass units of fission products ranges from about 90 up to about
140; examples would be strontium (Sr)-90, and cesium (Cs)-137.
Berman cites the cesium as going to bones; this isn’t true. The cesium is an alkali metal, Group 1 of the periodic table and resembles the common biocations sodium and potassium. Sodium is largely extra-cellular in mammals while potassium is mainly intracellular. Strontium, on the other hand, is an analog of calcium and is concentrated in the bone salt (hydroxyapatite) in bones and teeth. Both Sr90 and Cs137 are moderately long-lived radioisotopes and present serious health dangers to people who are exposed to significant amounts in food and water; neither are found in the gas phase and so breathing them is a non-problem.
Associate professor emeritus, chemistry, SUNY-New Paltz
BERMAN REPLIES TO ABOVE
Thank you, David. You are absolutely right about cesium. I actually caught this error myself, but too late before it was published. However, I caught it in time so that my public-radio version, heard during NPR’s weekend edition last Sunday, had it all correct, as you know if you caught that program. Just shows -- you can’t get away with anything around here.
Enclosed is the URL to a site that provides more info for Woodstockers who wish to continue to set the pace…”Stop Fra*king with Us !” It’s http://dontfrackwithny.com/the-problems-with-fracking-in-new-york-state/
Congress should be lobbied fiercely to bolster the Clean Water Act with strict disclosures re chemicals used for fracking, especially within 100 miles of wildlife preserves like the Catskills … I’d rather live next to a methadone clinic than any Halliburton Project !!!!
Tell Cuomo none of this is Rocket Surgery (use euphemisms he understands given he has zero regard for “science”). Get with the program!
A WOODSTOCK WELCOME
Regarding Paul Lojeski’s letter about me [Censorship in Woodstock, Feb. 24, 2011], it seems that Mr. Lojeski didn’t understand the situation. I am an independent publisher who offered to publish an anthology of poetry by Woodstock Poetry Society members. As editor, I would choose and edit work at my discretion, getting final approval from each author for any edits I made.
A great majority of the authors involved thanked me for making their work stronger with my editorial decisions. For a few, we went back and forth until we were both satisfied that the needs of both the poem and the anthology were being met. Mr. Lojeski had two misogynist images in his poems, and when I asked him to change them, he demanded I print his work verbatim. I refused, and he was therefore not able to be included in the anthology.
One other writer refused inclusion, and two authors were not able to reach a satisfactory compromise and pulled out. That’s publishing, and that’s editing. Twenty-eight authors (including myself) remain, happily anticipating this new book.
As a relatively new member of Woodstock Poetry Society myself, I have been delighted by the welcoming community of writers, and impressed by the quality of work heard here, which is why i wanted to publish an anthology -- to share this beautiful work with the wider world.
Unfunded mandates are the reason New York counties have had the highest property taxes in the country. Albany’s proclivity to dictate what its counties must do, without providing the funds to do it, has placed an unjust burden on property owners in particular and county governments in general.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is committed to putting a two per cent cap on property taxes. Any legislator that lives north of New York City will be committing political suicide to oppose it. Mandate relief is scheduled to follow somewhat later.
In the interim, the only way a county will be able to deal with budget costs that exceed the two per cent cap will be to cut non-mandated services, which in Ulster County’s case would be the Golden Hill Health-Related Facility, the sheriff’s Criminal Division, mental health, or Coordinated Children’s Services. The Golden Hill infirmary can be taken over by the private sector and should be. The Criminal Division could be taken over by the State Police. Mental-health clients would have to be relegated to charities and non-profits. And Coordinated Children’s Services saves a lot more money than it costs.
Making things worse is the probability that federal funding will also be cut.
No easy choices.
I don’t envy our legislators.
OBAMA’S POTOMAC FEVER
George H.W. Bush before commencing military action in Operation Desert Storm sought and received congressional authorization. George W. Bush before commencing military action in Iraq and Afghanistan sought and received congressional authorization. President Barack Obama before commencing military action in Libya neither sought nor received congressional authorization.
The Constitution, Article One, Section Eight, clearly states that only the Congress shall have the power to declare war. President Obama, who formerly taught constitutional law at the University Of Chicago School Of Law, is presumed to be aware of these provisions of the Constitution.
President Obama was a fantastic candidate. He said the things we wanted to hear. He made the promises we were looking to become reality. But once he got to Washington he turned into just another politician. The hope for change and a better America vanished under the yoke of politics as usual.
When the wind blows from the west over Key Bridge, it ruffles the waters of the Potomac and something floating in the air gets into the White House, and the incumbent president catches Potomac Fever. The president then takes on an attitude of omnipotence which convinces him that he does not need the advice and consent and authorization of the Congress. And then we got trouble down there in River City
Why are we in Libya? What are our goals? What was the triggering event? What is the exit plan? What national security risk does Moammar Khadafy Duck present to America? What are the projected budget costs?
Are not these the questions that should have been discussed with the Congress and the American people before the United States started firing missiles and dropping bombs and killing people?
What do you think?
H. Clark Bell
PEGGY DESERVED MORE
While I enjoyed reading Paul Smart’s article about the Seeger’s concert, I was disappointed that virtually his entire piece was about Pete. The only mention of Peggy Seeger was in reference to a song that was written about her by her husband, Ewan MacColl, more than 50 years ago!
Although not as widely celebrated in America as her older brother, Peggy Seeger has had a long and vibrant career, both here and in the UK (her adopted home), as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, folklorist, recording artist, writer and political activist. Among her many finely-crafted songs is one of the most famous anthems of the Women’s Movement, “I’m Gonna Be An Engineer.” She has made 22 solo albums and has played on 100 more. Peggy has had a powerful influence on many in the American and British folk and traditional music revival (including on me). Surely, she deserves a little more attention in Woodstock Times.
That said, I was thrilled to have played a small part in bringing two of my longtime musical heroes to Woodstock and the Guild. It was a historic moment, and a moving experience for me and everyone else in the room. Pete and Peggy were brilliant, and made every person in the audience feel like a member of their extended family. My thanks to them both!
MANNIKINS AND ORCHIDS
On certain days, I’m inclined to agree with one of Tolkien’s characters: ‘The Age of Man has ended, the time of the Orcs is here’.
Especially, I suppose, the female variety?
PEACE IS WITHIN
I would like to invite my community to a free DVD Presentation featuring Prem Rawat, also known as Maharaji, world renowned as an expert on inner peace, on Sunday, April 3 at the Bearsville Theater from 5 to 6:15 p.m.
Many of you were able to hear Prem Rawat in person when he came to Woodstock last August. Some of you told me how much you appreciated the event, and many of you are now on the preparatory process to learn the practical techniques he teaches. Perhaps you have heard him on our local cable program, “Words of Peace” that airs every Wednesday from 8 to 8:30 p.m.
I met Prem Rawat in 1970 in India when I was a traveling hippie. He was twelve years old at the time. I subsequently learned the techniques he teaches to go within, and returned to the west to prepare for his first visit. We are coming up on the 40th anniversary of his arrival in the West in June 1971.
We are going to be showing a DVD of one of Maharaji’s talks. His theme is always the same, a theme that resonates and feels familiar. “The peace that we are looking for is within. It is in the heart, waiting to be felt, and I can help you find it.”
The free presentation will introduce a practical way, which he calls “knowledge,” to find inner peace and fulfillment. Many listeners say they experience a deep sense of calm and greater clarity by merely listening to him express his vision of life. His message is fundamental and crosses all cultural, social, educational, economic, religious and political boundaries.
Over the last 40 years, Maharaji has addressed more than 12 million people on every continent. People find that his conversational, interactive style often make his talks deeply personal experiences.
“What I offer to people is not just talk,” he says, “but a way to go inside and savor the beauty that is within. I don’t create the beauty. It is within you. The gift of knowledge is a practical way to connect with that feeling inside. Without that, all my words would be empty.”
Please join me on Sunday, April 3. Together we will shake off the doldrums of this never-ending cold spell and generate warmth and community! Light refreshments will be served. For more information: www.wopg.org or 332-2247.
CONSEQUENCES OF FRACKING
Praise to the Woodstock town board for its resolution to restrict gas-industry activity on roads controlled by Woodstock. It is a beginning.
Towns may not regulate gas drilling, it is true. However, regulating the effects on our lives from big trucks traveling through our town, even on state or county roads, are still part of New York State home-rule rights.
Towns still have the legal rights through zoning law to control negative impacts of industrialization on our quality of life. This includes traffic, noise, vibrations, fumes, damage to roadways, degradation of air quality, loss of agricultural soils, hazards to pedestrians, dimensioned recreational opportunities. Towns may limit congestion that can delay emergency response to fires, accidents and health emergencies. (Terre vs Borax, US Supreme Court 416).
Woodstock does not have to prove hydro-fracking is dangerous. Woodstock does not have to compete with the state’s right to regulate mineral extraction. Woodstock need not have power over Routes 212 or 28. It is all too possible that the clean air quality, relative quiet, road quality, and general quality of life will be changed in Woodstock by the massive scale by gas drilling in the rest of the state.
Woodstock lies between the Thruway and Gas Country. The scale of truck traffic required by the gas drilling west of us is hard to imagine. Go to theecologist.com to see two people trying to have a conversation on a sidewalk in a Pennsylvania town while heavy tank trucks one after the other inch right down Main Street. Think of the diesel fumes. How many trucks? Up to 1500 (double for round trips) for each frack of each well. New York expects 80,000 to 100,000 wells. Roads in Pennsylvania are crumbling. Accidents with toxic spills happen weekly. Dust is ubiquitous. (Join googlegroup, SusquehannaCoGasForum.)
The next step for Woodstock is to consult with one of the environmental defense lawyers helping New York towns tighten zoning laws. Our noble Woodstock environmental commission is already on it! Stay tuned.
President Barack Obama wants us to be perfectly clear that the invasion of Libya is to protect its citizens from its repressive government. What’s perfectly clear is that this humanitarian concern is glaringly absent in other situations of slaughtering civilians, as in Gaza, Sudan, Bahrain and numerous other murderous regimes around the world, armed and supported by the U.S.
What’s perfectly clear is the oil grab and strategic regional influence that removing Gaddafi will provide to the plutocracy currently in control of the Western world. What’s perfectly clear is that the progressive mandate that elected this closet “centrist” corporate poster boy to the presidency has been usurped by the cadre of financial and corporate elite who have gained complete control of our national political process.
What is not clear is what it will take for Americans to wake up and realize the impotence of their vote. What is not clear is how we will be able to take back our country from this perfectly clearly corrupt plutocracy.
WHY WE ARE RESENTED
It has now become apparent to most Americans that our country was supporting all of the worst dictators in the Middle East. While our government slashed teachers and social services at home, it was paying billions to these corrupt human-rights abusers.
The growing wave of Middle East resentment against the United States stems from our support and protection of such monsters; all our talk of spreading democracy was a lie.
The country in the Middle East getting the most US aid is also the most destructive of our national interests. The billions we have poured into apartheid Israel have come to undermine our very democracy at home.
The Israeli lobby (AIPAC) has accumulated such power in our country that it affects all US foreign policy, including decisions to wage war. In fact, the Israeli prime minister appears to have more power in Congress than Obama. [Benjamin] Netanyahu forced Congress to condemn the Goldstone Report despite the fact that it was written by a world-respected human rights judge who is Jewish. He made the Congress and the President veto the recent UN resolution declaring Jewish settlements illegal in the West Bank, despite the fact that every other country in the world disagreed with our position, and despite the fact that our own State Department has always maintained that settlements are illegal. Such is the control that this lobby and the Israeli prime minister has over our supposed democracy. We the people must take our country back, starting with our Congress.
COLONY CAFÉ CONCERT
There was a delightful event last Saturday night. There are many who should be acknowledged for their support and participation. The music was great, the venue was new and special, the volunteers were great, and those who attended were treated to a wonderful time.
The concert was at the Colony Café that has seen a splendid rearrangement. It’s become a charming cabaret, Jessica and Mary Ann Harrigfeld thank you. “Not The Beatles” put on a great show. Many in attendance are still smiling and recalling the performance. It was delightful to hear “Spatter The Mud” fulfill a great Irish music program, and the “JV Squad” ended the evening with their famous tight harmonies and dance music.
The sound and tech was tended excellently by Jeff Harrigfeld. Local treasure Bruce Ackerman and Dave Hanzel entertained, and the beautiful Kimberly Kay provided one of her charming laugh-filled monologues.
Linda Seeley, Sue Carroll, Tom Seeley, Corey Seeley, Cathy Magarelli and WHAiV board member Tamara Cooper were on hand and helped tremendously as well as Barry Samuels, who is also a member of the board of directors. Thanks again for all the help.
Don’t forget that on Sunday afternoon, April 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the Kleinert- James Art Center there will be a performance by the Bel Canto Institute of nineteenth-century Italian arias. This concert is a benefit for WHAiV (Woodstock Honors & Appreciates Its Volunteers) also known as the Volunteers’ Day Project. Tickets for Bel Canto concert are available at the Golden Notebook and on line at www.volunteersday.org Hope to see you there!
Member, board of directors
Last week’s Woodstock Times editorial (March 24), written by Brian Hollander, cites similarities between Franklin D. Roosevelt’s decision to enter America into World War II and president Barack Obama’s decision to go to war with Libya. Differences are much more prevalent than similarities, however.
President Roosevelt had cogent reasons, given the rise of fascism in Europe and that threat to the United States. He also addressed the American people beforehand asking for their cooperation and support. Roosevelt also consulted Congress, a constitutional requirement that American presidents consider too bothersome these days, the result being that the United States is now actively at war in four countries simultaneously -- Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya.
Mr. Hollander uses as the basis for his editorial a book written by Henry Kissinger that he calls “estimable.” I’ve never been able to figure out how a person who in no small way was responsible for millions of deaths -- American, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian -- in a war that was delusional, is consulted and quoted on foreign policy. If I had that responsibility to live with, I would not be writing any books about diplomacy. Quoting him compounds a grievous and heartbreaking time in American history which, unfortunately, became a harbinger of American malfeasance in the international arena up to he present day.
RITE OF SPRING
Spring is here, and kids will be out more and parents will worry more. So we need to become more knowledgeable about how youth and parents can navigate through the problems of drinking, drugs and the stress of growing from child to teen. As a community we need to make sure we promote harm prevention and good judgment!
We are very lucky to have a youth council that holds Stone Soup meetings to brainstorm ideas for Woodstock’s youth! We are very lucky to have a great youth center that is looking to engage kids in the arts and learning (skateboarding too) also new FaceBook sites like “Woodstock Youth Center” and “Young Woodstoc” that give kids a place to be themselves and share meaningful projects, dates, advice and help information.
Our kids are a positive force in this town! In our culture we give more attention to people when they do something wrong then when they do something right! We need to talk, listen and recognize our kids/teens when they show good attitude, self-respect and getting along. They do have these qualities they just need to be noticed .... Their eyes light up when you acknowledge them for even the smallest things.
We lost a charismatic young man from a loving warm family in our community last month. It left a hole in our hearts. That is why I am writing. The pills look like all the others pills in our pill-popping society. In fact, many kids find them at home in the medicine cabinet. Kids do not Google information about the drugs they take or are offered. If these drugs are combined with alcohol, they can be deadly.
As a parent I have not even heard about many of the drugs lurking in our community. We need knowledge and communication.
I would like to make a proposal to Woodstock/Ulster Publishing if they would consider a column that reports on these topics to help community awareness for parents and youth.
TRUTH IS PATRIOTIC
Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers during the war in Vietnam. They demonstrated our government’s lies and illegal activities that had been kept out of the sight of the citizens of this country. Dan was termed a traitor who might have gone to jail for 150 years. His release of those secrets helped to end that war that was started with a lie: the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. The cynicism of our government then was best revealed by Defense Department chief Robert MacNamara, who wrote, “We knew the war was unwinnable, but we continued to send troops anyway.”
Dan is a patriot. His actions prevented deceit from continuing to represent us.
Bradley Manning has been termed a traitor. He has been accused of releasing secret information about this government’s lies and activities to Wikileaks, none of which have endangered the lives of anyone, unlike the reported war crimes which took the lives of many. He is being held in solitary confinement in the Marine jail in Quantico, Va. 23 hours a day. Naked at night. Unable to exercise, such as doing pushups. Unable to sleep from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Allowed one visitor from time to time. The information that Wikileaks has made public so far shows, again, the lies, deceit and crimes of this government, as well as the lies and deceit of other governments.
A CIA operative in Pakistan recently killed two innocents there. Our country paid $2,300,000 blood money to the relatives in order to fly out the killer. Bradley Manning, who has only been accused of crimes, not yet convicted, is tortured in our jail. President Barack Obama has claimed that “we don’t torture.” Therefore, the president, a Constitutional scholar, asked the Defense Department to look into the claims of torture. Not surprisingly, they reported back that Bradley is not being tortured, that he is being protected from himself.
I don’t want to be president, but if I were, I wouldn’t ask those holding Bradley if he is being well treated. I would require an independent, outside source to find out. Or I would go there myself.
Sunday, March 20, several hundred concerned citizens, including me, went to Quantico to show support for Bradley Manning. Nonviolently. Dan Ellsberg was there, and former colonel Ann Wright, and very many Veterans For Peace. We intended to put flowers at the base of the replica Iwo Jima Memorial outside the Marine Corps gate. That memorial is open to the public 24/7/365.
However, we were not allowed to do that. There were about 100 police on hand; county and state riot controllers. Some were wearing black masks and were armed with machine guns, gas, tasers, shields and clubs. We were told that if anyone stepped into the road they would be arrested. Eventually, we were told that a delegation of six would be permitted to place flowers on the memorial. I was honored to be one of the six. We walked across the road, arm in arm, holding our red and white carnations, and were stopped before we reached within 50 feet of the memorial, and ordered to place our flowers on the ground. We had been lied to, again.
Brad Manning is a patriot. Dissent is patriotic. Supporting dissenters is patriotic. Demanding to live with truth rather than deceit is patriotic. Desiring to place flowers on a memorial in sympathy for those who have been killed because they were patriotic is honorable.
The orders that prevented us from doing that are dishonorable. The orders that prevent the citizens of this country, the taxpayers, from knowing what’s being done in our name, are dishonorable. The men and women who issue those orders are dishonorable.
We, the taxpayers, are paying for wars based on lies that are claiming the lives and welfare and society of innocent women, children and men. We are the responsible ones. It is not just a matter of “being done in our name.” It is us, the taxpayers and citizens who are committing those atrocities. It is high time more of us stood up in person to resist the crimes of our government being committed in our name.
AGE OF ORCS
On certain days, I’m inclined to agree with one of Tolkien’s characters: “The Age of Man has ended, the time of the Orcs is here.”
Especially, I suppose, the female variety?
A SECOND COMMUNITY GARDEN
Spring is near, its time to think about growing a garden! There is a plan for a second Woodstock Community Garden in the Bearsville Flats area. If you are interested in having a plot or would like more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to: Bearsville Community Garden, PO Box 153, Bearsville, NY 12409
FARM TO CAFETERIA
Like really good food? Think our kids should be eating the best, freshest, most nutritious stuff we can get them to eat? Well, help us then, by showing up for “Cool Aid,” a “Farm to Cafeteria Line” fundraiser at Onteora’s charmingly retro-chic Boiceville digs on Monday, May 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
We are honored to have a number of our outstanding local chefs who’ll be preparing hors d’oeuvres for you, including Devin Mills of Peekamoose, Ric Orlando of New World Home Cooking, Gianni Scappin of Cucina and more. Event details continue to unfold, look for future ads and stories and listen for the buzz that’s building. And check Onteora’s website at www.onteora.k12.ny.us.
And in the meantime if you are a true believer in healthier food options for our school kids or have a business which shares this interest, we’d love you to join our rapidly forming roster of sponsors, including Ulster Savings Bank in both Phoenicia and Woodstock, Sunflower Natural Foods, Woodstock Chimes Fund, Hanover Farms, Freshtown of Margaretville, Harmony Builders, Woodstock Times and our own new school district superintendent, Dr. Phyllis McGill. The two sponsorships tiers are at $250, and $1000 and up.
And what’ll we do with the money we raise? Well, we’re buying a great big walk-in freezer, so that the kitchen that’s feeding all of our students can extend our use of locally grown produce: freeze these foods at the height of their nutritive value, reducing spoilage, increasing efficiency for our cafeteria staff, and making our kids healthier and happier ... or at least better fed!
Additional activities will include food crafts for kids organized by some of our beloved local pre-schools including First Steps, Discovery, Windy Ridge and Woodland Playhouse, plus background music by Onteora student musicians, juice and smoothie bars; healthy snack alternatives by our home-and-career students. Hudson Valley book author Joanne Michaels will be there. Gardening and nutritional information will be provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension, and healthy salad dressing by R.N. Lysa Ingalsbe. The Woodstock Farm Festival is participating.
We thank the district’s three elementary PTAs, the middle achool PTSO, the high school alliance and Onteora’s staff for their support. Come on out and have a great time. Interested sponsors, please talk to us by April 8.
Anyone else interested in helping? Let us know!