Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 9-27-18

Smythe best choice for state senator

We need Karen Smythe as the next New York state senator for the 41st District. Ms. Smythe’s campaign demonstrates that she will stand up and vote for the interests of her constituents. That cannot be said of our current state senator, Sue Serino (R-41).

Although Sen. Serino makes the right noises about issues such as the environment and helping women, her legislative record says otherwise.  Her views — and actions (or lack thereof) — on women’s reproductive choice are out of sync with the needs of the majority of her constituents.  While the philosophy behind her anti-choice view can be understood, if not shared, her failure to support the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act is not defensible. If abortions are, as everyone agrees, to be avoided, why hasn’t Sen. Serino supported S.3668, which would require insurance companies to give women affordable access to the contraceptive care prescribed by their doctors without a co-pay, allow women to obtain a one-year supply and allow emergency access to contraception?  This failure on her part is not logical and not supportive of women’s needs.

Similarly, although Sen. Serino purported to ally herself with our excellent Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D-0106) last year in expressing support, generally, for pro-environment legislation, her voting record on the environment this year was abysmal, earning her a 38 percent rating by the New York League of Conservation Voters.  Only one state senator ranked lower.

Karen Smythe advocates strongly for women and the environment. I look forward to having her as our next state senator.

Amy Rothstein

Pine Plains


Event a success

Many thanks to Charles Kavanaugh and his son Charles Kavanaugh, Jr, appraisers from Schneider’s Jeweler’s of Kingston. The FRIENDS of the Pine Plains Free Library event was successful and brought an exciting opportunity to the community to evaluate and sell their goods.  We appreciate their professional manner, shared information, and the convenience of holding it in the Community Room.  

Janet Fitzgerald, President

FRIENDS of the Pine Plains Free Library

Pine Plains


Elect Peter Salerno Pine Plains Town 


Pine Plains needs to elect Peter Salerno as Town Justice this November.   

Peter was appointed  by the Pine Plains Town Board to replace Judge Christi Acker when she was elected to the Supreme Court last year. He has been doing an outstanding  and thoroughly professional job for the past nine months on the bench in Pine Plains. Peter has more than 40 years of litigation experience in the courts of New York State, including a stint as an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York.  He has demonstrated that he possesses an excellent temperament for judicial work. He is respectful and thoughtful. Because he is semi-retired, he has the time to do the necessary administrative work and study, which is in addition to the time court is actually in session. He knows the law and has no difficulty  researching anything new that arises. Peter has demonstrated his commitment to the Town of Pine Plains by serving six years as an alternate on the Planning Board.

Peter Salerno is being opposed by Ibis Guzman who is a popular fixture in Pine Plains and who has done much for the local community, which he clearly loves. However, Ibis does not have the  qualifications for the position of Town Justice. All of the substantive and procedural laws that are relevant to the broad jurisdiction of a Town Court cannot be learned in a six day cram course. While New York State does not require that Town Justices be attorneys, most who serve effectively without having attended law school and have had careers in law enforcement.

Selecting a judge should never be a popularity contest.  The qualifications and experience  of the candidates are the most important things to consider.  Clearly, Peter Salerno should continue as our judge in Pine Plains.  Ibis’s continued contributions to the community will, of course, be appreciated.

Sarah Jones

Pine Plains 

Editor’s note: the writer is a member of the Pine Plains Town Board.