THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: What’s the problem? Blame the ‘city people’

THERE’S NEW YORK CITY and there’s upstate New York. From what I can figure, Yonkers is where upstate starts. This is just another example of what we can call “we-they” syndrome.

Human beings have always been territorial. That’s why people hire professionals to make sure that no one encroaches on their property by a quarter of an inch. Wars have been waged over this territoriality thing and the upstate-downstate split is just one of those things. It’s convenient for those folks who are concerned that the New York City folks have more than they do. That’s certainly not true for many of the people who live in the city. Places like the Bronx have more poor people than anywhere else in the country but hey, who wants to deal with facts when there are feelings to be followed? People like Donald Trump cater to these feelings. Indeed, an argument could be made that this exacerbation of differences is what got him elected President of the United States.

As you probably know, the whole “we-they” syndrome has been exacerbated by the coronavirus mess. Cuomo has made it clear that he will move things around to different sections of the state when and where they are needed. That was a golden opportunity for some of the upstate cheap tin horn politicians to metaphorically yell, “Batten down the hatches.” Read more…

EDITORIAL: Better way to say thanks

THIS ISN’T MUCH of an editorial. At the moment the job of plotting the future of The Columbia Paper–in print and online—is the priority.

More about that below. First, please join me in thanking Jack Mabb, the county director of public health, and Supervisor Matt Murell (R-Stockport), chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, for the clear, timely sharing of Covid-19 data and the local policy and procedures shaping our pandemic lives. Having the data, which is terrifying, is better than ignorance. Cling to the facts or drown in misinformation, distortions and lies.

Statewide, Governor Cuomo has set the tone. His actions and humanity reassure New Yorkers and the world that our democracy still produces effective leaders when we need them most. Read more…

EDITORIAL: How’re you doing?

AS IF THE FLOOD of information about the pandemic weren’t disorienting enough, suddenly having a little spare time on my hands made me more than a little confused. Mental health caregivers might call my condition anxiety. Well, yeah.

These jitters aren’t only from overexposure to the charts of illness and death that thrill the national media. And I understand conflicting advice about the best way to voluntarily quarantine yourself is bound to happen at a time like this. We need to know what we’re up against, and if the rules on best behaviors can seem fuzzy, it’s because we know so little about this particular coronavirus.

Every week for the last 11 years I edited and coordinated production of The Columbia Paper. For those 11 years our small, talented team wrangled thousands of words and scores of images into a snapshot of life in Columbia County. Most weeks we were only seconds shy of missing our press deadline, flirting with a disaster that threatened paychecks for the 20-or-so people it takes to create this community newspaper each week. And as soon as one paper was done we started on the next. Read more…