Letter from Dan Buttermann
Voter registrations are changing quickly. Just five years ago, the Republican party registration outnumbered the no-party registration by 250,000. But in five short years, the no-party registrations have gone way up, and now outnumber the Republicans. The Democratic registration lost ground too. This is a significant change. What has not changed is the requirements for a no-party candidate to be on the ballot — a candidate must secure three times more petition signatures than a Democrat or Republican. So, although voter preferences are changing, evident by registration trends, the requirements to be on the ballot remain the same.
This trend is a signal to our political leaders that changes are needed to ensure candidates, no matter the party, get a fair shot at being on the ballot. Changes made in other states, such as open primaries, ranked choice voting and parity of signature requirements to be on the ballot, should all be considered.
I am running to represent the 122nd Assembly District, and will be on the ballot as a Democrat, but that is not enough. My goal is to represent everyone and to include as many people in the process before election day, so I will be passing an Independent Nominating petition as well — referred to as “Party for a Day.” This petition is often used by no-party candidates. The name of my party for the election is Common Sense. We need action on common sense solutions that address the problems of our generation, and in order to succeed we need more people engaged in the political process.
Letter from Ln Alessi
I am so overwhelmed by all the support, love and kindness which has been extended to my son and me since my daughter Vincenza’s passing. Words seem grossly inadequate as I reflect on all the wonderful things people have done for us. Living in a community where people genuinely care about each other and express that care through their actions is the greatest gift.
I know how challenging life can get for all of us and yet challenges are always made easier with others’ encouragement and support. I thank everyone in “my village” who reached out to us and have helped carry us through this most difficult time. I am grateful that so many people extended their hands and hearts to us. I would never have been able to care for my daughter throughout her illness and her transition without all of you.
My sincere thanks.
To the Editor:
The 2019 Bail Reform Bill is probably better called a Criminal Justice Reform Bill. It did much more than just make changes to the bail laws in New York.
We have all heard numerous outcries that many of those changes were too much, and that a new reform bill is required. I agree that parts of the 2019 bill are not improving the system. However, I would not vote to repeal the bill, as many Republicans have called for. Instead, I would act as the governor is doing – introduce changes that will make the bill work better.
The governor has proposed a 10-point plan to change the original criminal justice reform bill. These changes include restoring the court’s ability to apply or not apply bail in some cases, such as certain gun-related cases and repeat offenders of non-violent crimes, modifications to the discovery timeframes, and funding for mental health services and pretrial programs.
I support these three proposals and I want to point out the importance of the discovery changes.
Discovery is the process of exchanging evidence. The original reform law requires a very short timeframe for prosecutors to make the exchange – in most cases fewer than 35 days. The law says that if police have the evidence, then it is assumed the prosecutor does, too.
This is where the problem starts to take shape. This timeframe can be impossible for police agencies to meet in many cases, and the result is fewer arrests and more staff for documents handling (higher costs).
The concept is valid – provide the evidence as soon as possible and by doing so we can forget about the phrase “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
The fixes in the governor’s proposal support our police agencies and make it possible for them to make arrests and deliver the evidence promptly, which means our communities are safer.
Dan Butterman, Oneonta
[Editor’s note: Mr. Butterman is a candidate in the race for the New York State Assembly’s 122nd District.]
To the Editor:
All’s fair in love and war, International Law, or an eye for an eye? Either way, it’s not a piece/peace of the pie nor the apple of the eye. Putin and Stalin are from the same mold, (fungus).
Gerry Welch, Cooperstown
To the Editor,
We all have the most critical challenge of our lifetime at hand. Our constitution, plus our freedoms, are in great jeopardy and the attack is on fast track now. We are so fortunate to have lived through such great times in this country. We need to thank God, as well as all the fearless people that sacrificed, including the ultimate sacrifice, for the great years we have been blessed with. Freedom doesn’t come without a cost.
Historically, in this country we have fought for our country as one team, but for a longer time than most of us have realized we have an enemy that has worked hard at dividing us. You know how divide and concur works. We are up against a very smart/experienced global network that has been setting their stage for a long time. If you can’t take your target from the outside do it from within. That’s where we are at.
Patriotic Republicans must win by a wide margin in 2022 and 2024 in order to save our freedoms going forward. The radical globalists have bought our Democrat party and are poised to gain full control of us forever if we can’t reverse the current path of our government.
Today’s Democrat party will steal elections, lie, and do anything to progress their leaderships corrupt agenda. With the grip they have in government, the media, our court system, plus the money they have behind them, it is very hard to bring them to justice.
We must communicate these facts everywhere we can and seek reputable information to base our decisions on. Most important, we need to ask God to support us in our quest to save our country’s constitution/freedoms so coming generations have the quality of life we have been blessed with.
Bruce Beckert, South New Berlin, NY
To the Editor:
My friends and family are directly affected by the war in Ukraine. My sister and her two daughters had to flee Ukraine to Moldova, and then to Austria. My brother-in-law had to stay behind in the country and we do not know if he will remain alive.
How can it be okay to have a Russian Federation tank drive over a civilian in their car? How can it be okay to have innocent children be bombed? How can it be acceptable that Ukraine is being destroyed? We cannot allow to have this happen! Let us fight against war and dictatorship any way we can.
Thank you to the Cooperstown community for standing with Ukraine. Please do what you can. If you can pray or keep people affected by the conflict in your daily thoughts – do that. Educate yourself and be aware of the situation – awareness is a first step. If you are a business owner or know one – maybe a fundraiser can be organized. Maybe you can write to your local senator or President Biden. Let us continue doing our part. Let’s be tolerant of the increase in gas prices and support the U.S. government decision to help Ukraine.
Dear neighbors, again thank you for all your support. Your efforts are valuable, felt, and greatly appreciated.
Please refer to the link below. It comprises extensive amounts of updated sources and examples of outreach and donation shortcuts to well-known and long-standing organizations:
The organized effort led by the local Ukrainian churches and the UCCA (Capital District branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America): https://www.518ukrainians.com/
Живе вільна Україна! (Long live free Ukraine)
Joshua Echavarria and Aliona Yezhova
To the Editor:
I applaud The Freeman’s Journal‘s endorsement (3/10/22) of the anti-bullying activities held recently at Cooperstown Central School. I further applaud your reporting of the remarks made by two students to the CCS Board of Education stating they received “no support from ‘a member of the administration’ when they reported incidents of racial intolerance and bullying,” and I trust you will continue to follow that story and its ramifications.
What I cannot accept, then, is your willingness to use as a source of humor the travails of one Mr. Elmer Fudd as referenced in your editorial entitled Wabbit Season. Clearly, Mr. Fudd is the target of repeated and extensive bullying by Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. It is obvious that Mr. Fudd is at the mercy of the mental gymnastics and spiteful rhetoric of Bunny and Duck. In the film you reference (“Duck! Rabbit! Duck!”), Mr. Fudd, a hunter, is simply trying to ascertain which animal is in season. He is lied to multiple times:
Dirty skunk season
Fiddler crab season
The superior wiles and mocking intent of bullies Bunny and Duck gradually wear at the fragile psyche of Mr. Fudd. While admittedly it is the duck who sustains the bulk of the physical violence, the repeated verbal and emotional abuse imposed upon Mr. Fudd ultimately results in a complete mental breakdown; sadly, this is on full display in the final moments of the film when a broken and befuddled Mr. Fudd is told it is baseball season and begins firing his rifle at a baseball tossed out by Bunny. (Bunny also mockingly commands, “Here boy! Here boy! Go get it!” as if Mr. Fudd is a dog). He runs off toward the horizon laughing hysterically as he continues firing at the ball and we are left to only wonder about his ultimate whereabouts and well-being; it does not bode well.
The abuse of Mr. Fudd depicted here is at best a sad commentary on animated films of the early 1950s and at worst a serious indictment of all who would inflict permanent psychological damage on others. For your editorial (which, by the way, had nothing to do with hunting) to reference Mr. Fudd’s suffering to make a “humorous” point about New York State government is, frankly, despicable.
Rochester, New York
The proposed New York State licensing program for cannabis dispensaries (a.k.a. dope shops) gives priority to applicants that have a record of being “justice involved” – that is, persons convicted of drug charges, or the relatives of such persons, before the state dope sale law went into effect. What a great euphemism for a criminal!
Fortunately, I qualify – having exported hashish from England to America in the 1970s. So where do I apply for a license to become the Dope King of Main Street? If sales are slow, I can simply consume the inventory or dispense it gratis to the denizens of Farkle Park.
One toke over the line in Texas,
Recent reports and letters that advocate for keeping the overtime pay threshold at 60 hours rather than reducing it to 40 present valid issues facing farmers today. Farmers struggle, caught between increasing costs and low income from processors who set the prices they will pay.
Farming is a noble profession; farmers need and deserve to make a steady, predictable profit. Paying overtime at the 40-hour threshold will hurt farmers. Prices would need to rise to accommodate that pay increase.
My question: if a business needs to underpay workers to survive, isn’t that business marginal? Aren’t the workers subsidizing those businesses?
Americans need to pay farmers more for their products. We have the cheapest food in the world. Food processors get to set prices to ensure that they always make a profit, while farmers take all the risks. It is unfair and inefficient to squeeze costs out of the lowest link in the production food chain — the farm workers.
Perhaps Americans could begin to look at the true cause of the crisis in farming, and help farmers look UP the food chain for a fair return for feeding us. Americans could support farmers in their effort to get paid fairly. Maybe then we could save more family farms.
Texas’s new voter suppression law is a great example of how to keep lots of people from voting. The new statute requires a voter to present either a driver’s license or their Social Security number in order to get an absentee ballot. Since Texas only requires one of these IDs to register to vote, if a county registrar receives an absentee ballot request with a type of ID they don’t have on file, they can’t match the ballot request with the voter. That has already resulted in massive numbers of absentee ballot request rejections.
Other than a lawsuit to overturn the law to conform absentee ballot requirements with voter registration data, there is a simple solution for this: Don’t vote for politicians who don’t want you to vote.
It seems like almost every day we hear about state legislatures across the country passing laws that make it harder to vote. Systemic voter suppression continues to degrade our democracy and the consequences of doing nothing will be felt by generations to come.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do on a local level to improve the system of elections in our village. As a Village Trustee, I feel it’s my obligation to our citizens to be proactive and to propose innovative ideas.
Over the last few months, I’ve been working on proposed changes to our village charter to accommodate moving our village elections from March to November. That would mean our village elections would coincide with all of our other general elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
It has been documented time and time again, that increasing the number of times people have to vote decreases the chances of them showing up. By making this change, when folks go to vote for their President of the United States they’ll be able to vote for their Village Trustees as well.
After fighting in Afghanistan for 20 years and spending more than 1.5 trillion dollars and accomplishing nothing but starvation for millions and political instability in the country, the withdrawal was the correct step.
What did the United States learn from this terrible mistake, which cost the American taxpayer $300 million a day for 20 years? It seems that our current government had not learned anything to avoid making the same mistake again in Ukraine.
Let’s stop this warmongering rhetoric in the US. A diplomatic solution to the crisis is of utmost importance at this juncture. Let’s cease the belligerent talk and sit down at the diplomatic table to start talking about the amount of money and the number of innocent lives that could be saved on both sides. Let’s learn from all the past wars. War only brings destruction as revealed by human history.
The future of agriculture locally may be in the hands of a three-member board. The decision they make will impact our farms immediately.
The decision to be made — should the overtime threshold for farm labor move from 60 hours to 40 hours? The answer — no. According to a study from Cornell’s Dyson School and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (commissioned by New York State) 72 percent of workers stated they would not remain in their current job; 70 percent of guest workers stated they would seek work in other states. Owners of one-half of fruit and vegetable farms and two-thirds of dairy farms would redirect their operations.
Today, January 25, the National Baseball Hall of Fame makes its annual announcement of who has made the cut and has answered the call.
This should be a number one priority on the daily news shows if baseball is America’s Pastime, but the truth is baseball is the game that time has passed.
Tom Brady’s speculated retirement has commanded a seven-minute segment on “The Today Show” promoting football’s greatest player before the once-greatest entire sport in America. Product placement is crucial if you plan on competing, and once again the NFL has upstaged the brightest Baseball Analytic Champions.
The Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee thanks everyone for making this holiday season a success.
With your donations and participation, the Village was decorated, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Frosty and Rudolf arrived, and the season commenced. Santa had hundreds of little visitors and answered dozens of letters.
A special shout-out to: Bill Waller, Liam Murray, Cody Moore and her Equestrian Team, the Village Crew, Ah Coopella, Tin Bin Alley, The Pit, Leatherstocking Corporation, Tallman Enterprises, Andrea House for the wonderful Santa signs, Lake and Valley Garden Club, Cooperstown Fire Department, the Chamber of Commerce, and all our new young and energetic members — we couldn’t do it without all of you!