Letters to the Editor

Orange County Needs Free Bus Service

One of the most frequent issues my Orange County constituents raise with me is also one of the most solvable: the challenge people face due to the lack of viable public transportation options.

In February, county residents at a transportation forum, held at SUNY Orange in Newburgh, voiced their concerns about a bus system that isn’t meeting their needs. Some talked about the lack of basic necessities such as bus stops that are protected from the elements, the need for more handicap accessible options, updated, easy-to-read schedules, intercity loop buses similar to the ones available in Beacon, expanded routes, and longer hours of operation. Acting County Executive Harry Porr recently proposed examining the feasibility of light rail connecting the Beacon Metro-North station to both downtown Newburgh and Stewart International Airport. This would dramatically reduce costs to commuters and tourists and provide a direct connection from Grand Central Station to Stewart. It would not only boost international travel into Stewart, but also greatly assist a struggling community – my own City of Newburgh.

I fully support Mr. Porr in urging the state to make this proposal a reality, a project he has advocated for since at least 2001. Meanwhile, however, there is something we can do right now that would greatly improve transportation and boost usage of public transit: We can make bus transportation free to the public, and the benefits would far outweigh the nominal costs to the county.

Nationwide, communities that have expanded routes and invested in free public transportation have seen dramatic increases in ridership, while enabling  people to access both jobs and services, boosting tourism and commerce, and connecting communities.An increase in public transportation also greatly decreases our carbon footprint. More importantly, think of the single mother who is struggling to pay her rising rent and energy costs, trying to pay off her student loans, paying for child care and taking three taxis to get to one of her three jobs (none of which offer health insurance), spending $10-$30 a day for transportation just because the buses are not consistent or don’t come around at the times she needs them.

The people have spoken. We can and must do better. Let’s begin by expanding hours and routes, and making transportation free for our community.

Kevindaryán Lujan, Orange County Legislator, District 4,

(845)-282-6081 – Kevindaryan.lujan@gmail.com


Letter to the Editor
In Support of Ross and Belfort for South Blooming Grove Trustees

Dear Editor,

Ross and Belfort are the right choice for South Blooming Grove

I ask all residents of South Blooming Grove who are registered to vote to come out on Tuesday March 19, 2019 and vote for the People First candidates, John Ross and Johnny Belfort for Trustees in the Village election.

Both candidates are honest, have Integrity that cannot be matched, and are committed to work for all the residents in the Village. Both of these fine men are pillars of the community: Mr. Ross is a lifelong resident and has devoted hundreds of hours coaching the youth of the community in little league. He has served as Deputy Mayor for the past year and has been a constant source of good advice and support on all village matters.   Mr. Belfort, who has lived in the Village for 5 years, is a retired NYC detective. Shortly after moving into the Village, he inquired about getting involved in his new community. He can be seen driving around the streets of the Village picking up litter and engaging other residents.

John Ross and Johnny Belfort represent long-time residents and new neighbors living and working harmoniously for one common goal: the good of the Village of South Blooming Grove.  I am proud to serve the village with both of these fine citizens and ask for you to support them in the March 19th election.

James LoFranco, Mayor
Village of South Blooming Grove


Letter to the Editor

In Support of George Green for New Windsor Supervisor

Dear Editor,

As  former Supervisor for the Town of New Windsor I was surprised to hear that George Meyers was interested in running for my old job. If I remember correctly that didn’t work out for him very well last time. The town was in chaos. First responders locked out and unable to serve the community. Town hall was run like Myers personal property with no regard for transparency or open government policies.

It was quite an honor for me to be Town Supervisor. It takes a person dedicated to public service with a demeanor that promotes a productive setting to get the most value for the taxpayer and keep a town moving in the right direction. George Green has proven himself to be that person.

As we all see in our state and national politics there is divisive and unproductive atmosphere. Let’s not bring back the disruptive and fruitless environment that we have experienced before. We should focus on continuing the prosperous and positive direction that George Green and I worked so hard together to produce.

William J Larkin Jr.
New York State Senate, Retired