Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

On­te­ora board mem­bers should re­sign over mas­cot

Dear Editor: The On­te­ora school board has been ly­ing about the In­dian mas­cot is­sue. I did some research and found sev­eral prob­lems with the blind­side vote that was taken to do away with this icon.

This vote was done at a work­shop meet­ing where vot­ing on is­sues does not take place. Vot­ing is saved for the reg­u­lar monthly board meet­ing, when the pub­lic would at­tend.

The board said Na­tive Amer­i­cans were of­fended by our mas­cot. Not true. First, not one In­dian ever at­tended a board meet­ing prior to the vote. The let­ters that were re­ceived by the school board were so­licited by a board mem­ber, not sent be­cause of any protest by any In­dian group. The let­ter that was sent by the Seneca In­di­ans said, “The Seneca Na­tion does hereby op­pose the use of racist and de­mean­ing In­dian sports mas­cot.” The On­te­ora In­dian mas­cot did not even come close to meet­ing these con­di­tions. I guess the school board failed to read this let­ter.

The other In­dian na­tion con­tacted by the school board in Wis­con­sin did not even know where our school dis­trict is, and their pol­icy on mas­cots is the same as the Seneca. I also was given, by a board mem­ber, a list of In­dian groups that were “of­fended.” Same sit­u­a­tion as the other In­dian na­tions. So, as you can see, the In­di­ans had noth­ing to do with the board’s de­ci­sion to take away our mas­cot.

It sure was not driven by the ma­jor­ity of the dis­trict res­i­dents. At the meet­ing af­ter the vote, the ma­jor­ity of speak­ers was in fa­vor of keep­ing the In­dian mas­cot. The ma­jor­ity of the stu­dents did not what to lose their mas­cot, so this was not stu­dent-driven.

This leaves us with the only rea­son this was done. This move was some­one’s per­sonal agenda. Why some­one thinks they have the right to im­pose their per­sonal agenda on oth­ers is way out of line and con­duct not be­com­ing a school board mem­ber.

I ask the four board mem­bers who voted for this disgraceful act to re­sign. They have vi­o­lated the pub­lic trust and their oath of of­fice.

Doug Eigh­mey, West Hur­ley

Fight the pipe­lines

Dear Editor: Pil­grim Pipe­line Hold­ings, LLC, wants to build two pipe­lines from Al­bany to Lin­den, N.J., us­ing the New York Thruway right of way. These pipe­lines would run through 31 com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing all the towns in our area that are in the Thruway’s path.

Be­sides the im­pact it will have on traf­fic when they be­gin con­struc­tion, this pipe­line will cross may wa­ter­ways, some of which sup­ply drink­ing wa­ter to nearby com­mu­ni­ties. The prod­ucts prob­a­bly will be shipped wher­ever the price is right, so we may not even get any fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit. Crude oil will be shipped here from North Dakota. This is the highly volatile oil that you hear about, the stuff that makes train cars ex­plode. Do we want that same oil un­der the ground near our homes, our chil­dren’s schools, our hos­pi­tals?

There are a lot of things we can do, like call or write the gover­nor and state and fed­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tives and say we don’t want it.

Amy Klet­ter, New Paltz

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