Vote YES on Prop 1

I fought hard in 2019 to get true Independent Redistricting for Dutchess County, to end the corrupt gerrymandering of our legislative districts. We succeeded in getting it before the voters in 2020.

The change is now on your ballot for an up-or-down vote. Please turn over your ballot and vote YES on the independent reapportionment commission. It’s not perfect but it’s much better than what we have today.

How can you get tested for Covid-19?

“Where can I go to get tested?” “I’m worried and I want a test.”

Testing is STILL NOT AVAILABLE ON DEMAND. There is still a terrible shortage of tests, especially north of the city.

Two collection sites are available for pre-screened people suspected of having COVID-19 to give a specimen sample for a test. These are not testing sites. Testing is done offsite and results are not immediately available.

The collection site is ONLY for people who meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. You called your doctor’s office and had a consultation.
  2. Based on your symptoms and other information you provided, your doctor determined you meet criteria for COVID-19 testing and ordered a test for you.
  3. You have a scheduled appointment at the collection site. Your doctor will give you the phone number to call to schedule an appointment at the collection site.

So contact your doctor.

Munn urges public: Cover your nose/mouth

Everyone – even those who are considered “low risk” – should act as if they are contagious and wear a nose/mouth covering if you must go places (like the supermarket or pharmacy or even the park) where others are present.

This will reduce the transmission of the virus from you to others by catching droplets in your breath. You don’t need a surgical mask. A scarf, an old T-shirt cut in a strip or bandana will suffice.

I also urge all local businesses that are still open to have their employees do the same and to require all visitors to wear face protection.

This should be done countywide and statewide.

There are no food shortages. Buy sensibly.

There are no food shortages. The US generates a HUGE amount of food and exports tons of it. While there are concerns about some specialty medications and definitely a shortage of medical equipment, masks and gowns for hospitals, the supply chain for food continues to operate. It is our healthcare system that is most at risk.

There could certainly be disruptions in stuff we get from overseas like some out-of-season fruits and vegetables, electronics and chemicals but I lived thru my childhood without year-round access to watermelons and cantaloupes and I’ll survive this too.

There are temporary “out of stock” items because of overbuying and hoarding. Stores restock and are cleaned out immediately by people who saw the empty shelves and are there at the opening.

The supply chains are intact for just about everything, especially stuff produced in the US like meat, chicken and paper products like toilet paper (produced from US/Canadian trees and factories). Just about every common product you see missing in the stores is because other people have bought it out and more is on the way. Factories will not expand production dramatically to make up for this because people are still going to use the same amount of toilet paper and all those people who stocked up won’t be buying for weeks or months.

Please buy sensibly and be considerate.

Why I’m voting NO on Pulver for chair – again

This coming Tuesday, January 7, the legislature will have its 2020 organization meeting and select a chair. The Republicans have a majority and thus will select one of their own, likely to be Legislator Gregg Pulver of Pine Plains.

Over the past two years, Pulver has served as Chair and has a track record of acting in a blatantly partisan manner, blocking the consideration of legislation objectionable to him, his party and County Executive Marc Molinaro.

Laws meant to increase transparency, prevent corruption and hold drug manufacturers responsible for their opioid distribution sins were all blocked from being discussed in committee or in front of the full board.

Pulver put forward important legislation without working across the aisle, resulting in embarrassing and sloppy proposals like the loophole-ridden disclosure law that had to be amended on the floor. And he stalled consideration of Independent Redistricting to avoid having it on the 2019 ballot, leaving it open to repeal in 2020.

All of which I am sure he is proud of. In essence, he was doing his job and that’s why he’ll be elected chair again.

Pulver’s empty promises of bipartisanship and working across the aisle were broken and he has lost any credibility on that topic.

But Pulver’s decision to block a ban on the torture that is conversion therapy on minors was beyond the pale. While it was later banned by the state legislature in a near unanimous vote, Pulver refused to allow us consider the law, afraid of putting his caucus on the record in favor of or against the heinous practice.

Unbelievably, some of my fellow Democrats are still considering voting for Pulver in the hopes he will change his stripes. What they fail to accept is that he can only do what his fellow Trump Republicans and Molinaro allow him to do.

Contact your legislator and urge them to vote against Pulver on Monday.

Culvert investigation yields clues

The best part of serving the community is helping out constituents and connecting them with solutions.

When a Route 9G resident spoke to me over the summer about how her culvert clogged during the winter, flooding and freezing her driveway, I urged her to contact me when it happened, take photos and we could petition the state for a fix.

This morning I got a text and went to investigate.

Water flowing across the driveway, in some cases inches deep.

Sure enough, the culvert was clogged and water 4 inches deep was flowing across her driveway. If this continued there would be a thick sheet of ice if the temperature dropped. And the driveway was already significantly eroded.

The output end of the culvert had little flow so the other end seemed the more likely culprit.

Culvert? Are you there?

The opening is buried but I can hear a little water trickling. That suggests the opening may be obstructed. Before we ask the state to remedy the situation, we need to figure out what’s wrong.

So about 15 minutes of shoveling, chopping and poking later, I had cleared up the problem.

Turns out this time it was mostly ice and snow. Last year it was a car bumper from an accident on 9g jammed deep inside that the homeowner’s son was able to extract.

Before we ask the state to replace the culvert with something bigger, we’re going to try to prevent plows from burying the culvert’s entrance and see if that solves it next time around.