Realtors' letters (July 11-12) predictably praise state Sens. Larkin and Bonacic for ensuring that Orange and Ulster counties weren't included in transfer tax/home rule enabling legislation for the Hudson Valley.

Realtors' letters (July 11-12) predictably praise state Sens. Larkin and Bonacic for ensuring that Orange and Ulster counties weren't included in transfer tax/home rule enabling legislation for the Hudson Valley.

The bill would have enabled towns in those counties to vote on whether to establish transfer taxes for preserving farmland and open space.

One calls it "a needless tax that would do more harm than good" and raises the affordable housing issue, the other says that county monies are available and transfer taxes are a last resort.

Such taxes would be on the portion of a house price above the county median, affecting affordability little. The Orange County Open Space Plan says: Since open space is tax-positive, it can help stabilize property taxes, and help affordability.

Demand for open space monies from the county (and state and feds) is ALWAYS much higher than supply. And county grants are only in matching form — gotta have local bucks (like from transfer taxes) to get 'em. In our fastest-growing county in New York, it's time for the "last resort" — these taxes are clearly not "needless."

A recent Trust for Public Land random survey showed great concern in Orange County over loss of open space and great support for open space funding. Realtors know that towns with preserved open space are more desirable. Let the voters decide.

Seymour Gordon


I am blessed to live in the greatest and wealthiest country in the world with some of the best medical minds. Yet, I am a middle-class citizen who has had a medical problem for the last four years and I can't seem to get any help.

In desperation, I tried to receive help from the state, and I was told I make "too much" money. So I therefore would have to quit my job as a schoolbus driver or look for a job offering less pay to receive help from the state.

I was also told that if my employer offers health benefits, I cannot receive state assistance. My employer does offer health benefits; I simply cannot afford them. I would have to give up eating and/or paying my other debts in order to do this.

Almost every medical office I have called for assistance asks me what insurance I have. Still receiving no relief from my discomfort, I went again to see a doctor. The head physician outright stated to me that no one has given me the proper tests or taken the proper cultures as I have no medical insurance.

I would like proper treatment, with the middle-class having reasonable insurance rates so that we may continue to eat and pay our bills as good citizens.

Debra Martino


I take umbrage with the TH-R's totally inappropriate missive on the Pulaski Highway speed reduction that has been 18 years in the making!

In 20 years of owning a home on Pulaski: Our home was hit by a speeding auto with a drunk at the wheel; my husband has pulled one dead and two dying motorists from their mangled vehicles; the neighbor's home has been hit five times; after I signal for a quarter mile, fools still try to pass me on the left as I turn left into my drive; one child has died and many children have come close to being hit; I have witnessed more than 32 accidents on my small section of the highway.

Pulaski has more than 500 homes and farms along its eight-mile stretch; it may not be Snooty Woods Crossing, or Vinylvicky Way, but this is home, and we deserve the same protections as any other homeowner in Orange County.

Too damn bad if it is going to take more then 10 minutes to make the trip from Warwick to Goshen via Pulaski; and if you're so out of shape that slowing your speed by 10 mph gives you whiplash, maybe you shouldn't be driving at all!

Drive 45 on Pulaski and arrive alive!

Claire Brennan-Jarrow


Kudos to Assemblyman Tom Kirwan on speaking out on Judge Kulkin. How dare an elected official, specially one who is to enforce the laws impartially, make comments as he purposely let the suspects go from a Puerto Rican Day parade melee.

The police officers of Newburgh, as well as the rest of the Hudson Valley, have a difficult job to do and it gets tougher every day. They do not need a judge declaring open season on police officers. What message does that send to the perps in the streets? What message does it send to the taxpayers?

My compliments to the men and women of the Hudson Valley law enforcement agencies for continuing to do their jobs daily, in spite of "officials" such as Kulkin. You are supported by the working taxpayers.

Tom Carton


Fraternal Order of Police

Lodge 957