I would like to commend Michael Benedetto for his heroic actions. Mike went the extra mile in helping identify a suspect in an assault. The actions he took were not a surprise to me. I would like to share a story to show you what type of person Mike is.

I would like to commend Michael Benedetto for his heroic actions. Mike went the extra mile in helping identify a suspect in an assault. The actions he took were not a surprise to me. I would like to share a story to show you what type of person Mike is.

He and I played on opposite sides in the Sunday morning Middletown league. A play at home plate occurred that was reminiscent of the all-star play that involved Pete Rose and Ray Fosse. I was behind the dish that day, runner on second, two outs, base hit to the outfield. The throw beats the runner. I could see he had bad intentions, so I braced myself, holding the ball with two hands. Next thing I know I end up behind the backstop. The umpire yells, "You are out, and out of the game." I was proud I held on to the ball but not too happy with the base runner. I don't remember if Mike was the batter or if he was the first-base coach. I do remember that he rushed over to me concerned about the hit I took: "Are you OK, Hector?" I nodded yes. His final words were, "Heck of a play!" I'll never forget that incident.

Hector C. Vazquez


Scapegoating again

Spotting an inconsistency in NY Times' columnist Paul Krugman's piece "Ideology can make you sick" on May 22, I discovered some presumptions, as well, one being to accuse the Bush administration for the nation's tainted food. "Without question," declares Krugman, "America's food safety system has degenerated over the past six years." This is his argument, and sounds like any other American "whine-o" in need of a scapegoat; because Krugman then goes on to state that there has not been any significant food safety regulations since 2001 except those mandated by Congress! Which is it?

He raises the question of FDA employees, "soft-pedaled by their superiors." (I wonder how far back this goes!) At any rate, Krugman does present a case of our food supply being tampered with. Food-warfare. Let's see what the new Democratic Congress does about it, specifically about mandating country-of-origin labeling. I just read about Chinese toothpaste containing deadly compounds. We've already witnessed E. coli outbreaks, poisoned nuts, and countless dogs and cats dead from plastic-laced chow. Chickens eating the stuff are of utmost concern now. Hats off to Mr. K for cluing us in. Still, the overall battle eludes him and some others. Evildoers, as the president says, are everywhere, even in our midst. Maybe the FDA and government are at wits' end trying to keep up.

Andrea Marino

Highland Mills

As a child, my parents always told me it was much easier to be a gracious winner than a gracious loser. This is certainly evident in the two articles about the Monroe-Woodbury and Pine Bush school board members who lost their seats on May 15. Both school districts' incumbents are perfect examples of being extremely sore losers. The "it's everyone else's fault but mine" mentality is clear in their reasoning as to why they lost their seats. Maybe they lost their seats because the voters, not the school union and teachers, felt they weren't doing the job and felt someone else could do it better. As community leaders, isn't it their responsibility to be gracious losers as examples to the children they care so much about?

Mary Alice Rogers

Pine Bush

When Beth McGurk first contacted me about getting a refund for the cost of burying her career-Army husband, I contacted the Orange County Department of Veterans Affairs. I was told Mrs. McGurk would have to resubmit a letter of request. Mrs. McGurk received a negative response. The letter apparently went from one office to another, with each office saying the other was responsible.

After months of frustration, I called the Times Herald-Record. The day after the story appeared, two men arrived on Mrs. McGurk's doorstep with a check for $500. Why did it take a front-page story before a deserving widow could get her benefits? Why was nothing said about her receiving the benefit? If you think you may be eligible for widow's burial benefits, contact me at 564-7187.

Edward Flanagan

New Windsor

Regarding the May 16 editorial "A Matter of Faith," Tom Kirwan of Newburgh will be hard to beat when they compile the common sense, straightforward, nonmanipulative answers to questions put before an elected official.

He said, "It never fails to amaze me when editorial writers are shocked to find out the pope is Catholic." You implied Tom Kirwan said something entirely different. If you want to paraphrase, "Hey editors, the pope is Catholic. Duh!" is more like it.

In your editorial you are calling the pope a religious activist. You are taking the pope's statements, which statements were made to Catholic bishops, and you are criticizing their doctrine. How dare you? Would you do that to Muslims? To Jews? To anybody but Catholics? You are trying to resurrect the bigoted fears that the pope will start dictating the votes. That went out with the election of Kennedy.

Your readers are not stupid. As long as we have politicians like Kirwan who talk simply, eloquently and informatively, we will continue to vote for them despite your feeble attempts to manipulate the voters.

Camille Reid