Announcement to be made very soon!: Garnham

PORT JERVIS — Douglas Garnham is running for Second Ward Common Councilman, on the Republican line, this November. There’s going to be a “full announcement” soon Douglas told BriennaParsons.com Thursday evening. Details of the announcement are being worked out by Mr. Garnham and his team of “15 or so” individuals and are still to be seen, but he has agreed to further questions about city policy in an upcoming interview.

The forthcoming profile, to the backdrop: the City in Renaissance, Mr Garnham, will be answering questions regarding city policy and issues such as the Council, planning, zoning, recent construction, taxes, fees, as well as other matters. To be part of the conversation, leave your Port Jervis subject of interest or questions for Douglas Garnham in the comments. As always, thank you again for reading.

It’s screwed up what’s going on

A friend made a good point yesterday, and here’s what he said on Facebook:

Everyone is upset Trump blocked trans people from enlisting. I agree he did it as a political move to spite the LGBT and appease Dr w è#tt. Examples include:

  • Any history of depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
  • Any history of mood altering medication (including for ADHD)
  • EeDCAny dietary allergy
  • Any history of using a psychiatrist for more than six months
  • Diabetes
  • IBS
  • Color blindness
  • Pretty much any condition which requires regular medication.

The sad truth is that the psych requirements already ban most trans people, as well as a large portion of my feed who take any sort of medication. I agree Trump is doing this just to screw trans people, but in all honesty they were screwed before this anyway.” — Joe

And Joe isn’t wrong.. Being transgender is an alienating experience, and a dangerous one. The only statistic higher than our murder rate, is the number of trans people that enlist compared to cisgender individuals; we’re brave.

Stay brave friends, because this is only a speed bump, on a long road.

Transgender to no longer serve US Military

USA — Wednesday morning, “after consultation with [his] Generals and military experts”, President Donald J. Trump announced via Twitter that “transgender individuals” will no longer be accepted or allowed “to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The ban comes after a discussion in the US Government about transgender medical costs and the inclusion of such costs in the Obama-era military budget.

Trump continues with the reasoning for the ban stating, “our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

However, a 2016 RAND study commissioned by the Pentagon itself contradicts the President’s reasoning, finding that the medical costs for transgender military members would be an “exceedingly small portion of active-component health care expenditures.”

By analyzing private health insurance data on gender transition-related expenditures, (such as hormone therapy or surgical treatment, for instance), researchers found that Military Health System costs could increase by $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year if it were extended to cover the costs of the estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender people in the military. This amount pales in comparison to the Department of Defense’s $49.3 billion health care expenditures in 2014, for example, and would represent between 0.005% to 0.017% of the department’s overall health care costs, according to the study.

Overall, the study estimated that only 29–129 service members would seek gender transition–related care per year, and 30 to 140 personnel would seek hormone therapy. Another 25 to 130 personnel would seek surgical treatment. — via Fortune.com

Port Jervis: Turning Over a New Leaf

PORT JERVIS – It’s late September 2015, and unseasonably warm. I’m wearing jeans and a black v-neck as I cross Front Street and Jersey Avenue to approach the Gun Lady I was chasing down a story that I had just stumbled upon after a speed bump along my initial path had sent me home.

Maria Mann, the patron saint of the city of Port Jervis, according to a 2nd Ward resident at the time, was running for the Common Council from her ward. Aiming to be picked up by the Republican committee, the female gun shop owner with progressive views and conservative tastes, made the one liberal bone in my body twitch. After chasing scoops and policy change for years at a “progressive” Upstate New York college, I couldn’t slow my haste, and decided to drop in for an interview.

No forewarning, I requested a Q&A session that moment, and she graciously accepted. Conveniently, Maria’s Campaign Manager, Christopher, was there and helped smooth the harshly left-of-center questions back into focus within the city. Maria, didn’t bat an eye at my gay or transgender outward appearance, and neither did he; not only that, but they were genuinely helpful in keeping me informed and without slant in their favor with their info.

Fast forward, the Primaries, like the most recent Bernie Bust, were rigged. At least, that was the unofficial reason that Maria Mann didn’t get her name on the ballot under the red flag. She didn’t give up, and neither did any of her voters, she ran as a write in.

Coming close, Maria would try the tactic of the write-in candidacy one mote time upon the mournful passing of a long-time statesman, Mr. Bell. Another unsuccessful bid by a hair, had honestly left ‘the people’s candidate’ bruised and without her trusted Campaign Manager, or myself for the record as a GOTV and Volunteer coordinator. The job was beyond my availability and expertise, but Maria Mann didn’t need it, because she knew to stick to her guns.

Maria wouldn’t let them forget their choices, their words, and especially not their inaction. Taking action in the name of justice is what accelerated her to the greater public eye in the first place, when she helped in the arrest of the man who had murdered her neighboring shop owner, Mr. Kucher. Her luck, dedication to the city, and persistence paid off.

Monday evening, the Common Council of the city of Port Jervis, with the resignation upon a conflict of interest by Mr. van Horn , filled his seat. The body led by 2nd Ward Senior Councilman George Belcher moved to appoint Maria Mann 2nd Ward Councilwoman beside them. Many celebrated in the city that night.

Looking forward to asking you questions at Council meetings Maria.

New Addition of Vaczine Magazine reaches Port!

PORT JERVIS, New York – Last Thursday morning, in the hours before dawn, Vaczine Magazine #3 by Walt Cessna arrived in the care of two agents of art. The piece, free to one of the contributors and residents of Port Jervis, Owen Tate, is the third in a series of photography magazines that curate and showcase works of LGBT artists from all over. The magazine is now on display at The Space in Port Jervis.

For more information on viewing the magazine or purchasing a copy for yourself, please contact Owen Tate. His recent photographic ensemble, Celso by Owen Tate, is still on display at the Mount Vernon Public Library in New York City. All business inquiries can be directed to the artist, whom is always eager to work with new and returning artists.


Featured Image of Gwen with U Project CD, Horns Magazine, and Vaczine Magazine by Owen Tate.

Special Council Meeting, November 22nd, Tuesday, pre-Thanksgiving

A Special Common Council Meeting was scheduled Saturday, for the following Tuesday, the 22nd, before Thanksgiving. Many elected representatives of Port Jervis, New York were ill-notified of the session, and subsequently, the public, which was in poor attendance of the most recent engagement this past Monday. With topics for public discussion on the Port Jervis Ambulance Corps and our current local water crisis, it is with high hopes that one expects the press to be present, and perhaps even a better turnout than the most recent Monday Common Council Meeting.

The Port Jervis Ambulance Corp, an independent body unconnected to the city, was once a wholly volunteer organization. However, in more recent years since it was originally organized, it has paid EMTs and Paramedics, in order to offset the costs of their training. Unfortunately, it has had to close due to its services remaining unpaid for by those that utilize it.

Second on the agenda is the current state of Port Jervis water. Where we aren’t discussing the drying reservoir system, we are most certainly speaking about the water quality in the city and its plumbing. The costs of renovating the piping and cleaning up the water as a whole is something of great debate for residents.

Again, please make it to the Special Common Council Meeting Monday in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building of Port Jervis, 20 Hammond Street, at 6pm.

Trans Community, Allies Press Back Against Police

WASHINGTON D.C. – Friday, in response to a traumatic and life-threatening incident that occurred Wednesday, trans woman of color organizer, speaker, and activist, Lourdes Ashley Hunter, made a call-to-action for those who stand in support of the transgender community, people of color, and anyone facing state repression by way of the now militarized police around the country. This rallying cry is resounding with the growing social awareness of police violence against the Black community, and louder still, in a year that isn’t just the most deadly on record for the transgender community, but one that saw the election of a President that many believe to be fuel to the flames of hatred, bigotry, white supremacy, and violence.
Lourdes posted this Friday afternoon: “[Metropolitan Police Department] has NO RIGHT to drag me out my home because a white woman was offended by my Blackness! I will be mobilizing if folks are interested in joining the team! Lawyers, organizers, folks with financial resources, cis folks who are ready to lay their body down for a Black Trans Woman!”
Late Wednesday night, 16 police officers illegally entered the home of Trans Women of Color Collective activist and organizer, Lourdes. Claiming an alleged report from a neighbor of assault by the known nonviolent activist. Without being read her Miranda Rights, she was taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia’s 3rd Precinct.
Venus Di’Khadijah Selenite, who was present for the incident, reported that 16 police officers detained the single trans woman of color. The activist, Lourdes, wasn’t returned home until close to 4am, Thursday, the same day of a #TransCommunityBriefing at The White House including her and Venus. As of 10:30pm, Friday night, no formal charges are being pursued by the activist against the Metropolitan Police Department.
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Image Credit: Trans Women of Color Collective