Saugerties Times Letters (September 1-8)

mail-letter-sqNot for sale

I am opposed to the plan being proposed to create anchorages in the Hudson River

I am a former U.S. Coast Guard-licensed deck officer (unlimited tons, any ocean license) who actually spent time working as a second and third mate on multi-cargo tankers and chemical ships plying the oceans, harbors and yes, even the Hudson River, taking refined oil products to Albany. I also studied transportation economics at the NYU Graduate School of Business and wrote my thesis on OBO (ore/bulk/oil) vessels and why they should be used for all movement of bulk cargo with vessels that have double hulls to prevent spills.

The proposal to anchor barges and tankers alongside the river towns of the Hudson River is a very bad idea and needs to be stopped. The river has been in the process of being cleaned up from a variety of pollution sources to the point at which it is used by river towns as a primary source of clean water. Riverkeeper, the Clearwater and Scenic Hudson, to name a few organizations, have spent time and money cleaning up the river and it needs to be protected, not threatened with unimaginable pollution threats from very heavy Bakken oil and oil products. It is bad enough that tanker car after tanker car are running down the railroads that side the river (those cars need better control and modern equipment). A good friend of mine who runs a maritime disaster cleanup firm had the job of cleaning up the Bakken oil mess in Quebec from the rail car derailment that virtually destroyed a town and took two-plus years to clean up. (


Bakken crude oil’s flash point is 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Any vessel more than 50 gross tons that plies the river should be required to have a double hull from the keel to the weather deck. That double hull should never be used for anything — a void space to prevent spills in the event of collisions or groundings. (Don’t forget about the big rock under water around the curve at the U.S. Military Academy.) The tugs pushing barges should have the same requirement, and no Bakken Crude from Canada should be allowed.

This is a very bad idea and it not necessary. One part of the proposal is based on the need to allow the crews to rest — any vessel leaving New York harbor should have a vacant berth in Albany before it is allowed north of the George Washington Bridge.

The terminals at the Port of Albany can only handle a limited number of barges and vessels at one time. The reason that there is increased traffic is that the shippers are moving heavy Bakken crude oil to refineries on the East Coast so that the oil companies can make more money and profit by exporting the refined products.

Transiting day or night is not a problem as long as they remember to have up-to-date charts, a working depth finder and two workable radars — one large-scale and one small-scale — with officers and crew who know how to use them. Then the only time a vessel or tug with barges should have to anchor is in terrible weather (which they should have known about and not left their safe berth in New York Harbor or Albany).

Having multiple anchorages in the river will spread the risk and put many more first responders at risk who do not have the equipment or training to handle the impending disaster that follows a collision, spill or fire. Heavy crude will sink and pollute the bottom. Refined product will float on the surface and be a little easier to confine and clean up, given that everyone has the right training and equipment.

I am happy to testify at any hearing on this proposal. There is no excuse for putting the Hudson River and the river towns at risk for a major spill or collision and with increased traffic is not a question of whether it happens, but when.

Again, I am opposed to this plan. Our river is not for sale.

Vic Work


Duffer Open thanks

The Duffer Open golf tournament was recently held at the Rip Van Winkle Country Club, in Palenville. A full field of 72 golfers enjoyed a beautiful day of golf, games, raffles, food and drink.

On behalf of the tournament committee, Mike Tiano, Saugerties Varsity Boys Basketball coach and Ed Duffy, we would like to extend a very big Thank You to all the sponsors, golfers, family and friends who participated in this event. With their participation it made this event a successful fund raiser and all proceeds are given to the Saugerties Sonics Boys and Girls travel basketball organization.

Awards were given to the following: First place: Ginger Vail, Greg Vail, Ron Kubart, Ginger Vail, Bill Bassett; Second place: Bill Brown, Bob Brown, Bob Adam, Lou Marangelli; Third place: Mike Melville, Bill Murphy, Jeff Dudzic, Tom Averill

Mixed team: Barbara Beisel, John Beisel, Steve Bogert, Steve Ahrens

Longest drive, men’s: Frank “Uncle Sonny” Misasi

Longest drive, women’s: Ginger Vail

Closest to the pin, men’s at 3 feet 1 inch: Anthony Viviani

Closet to the pin, women’s at 13 feet: Loretta Couillard

In addition to the golfers another big Thank You needs to be extended to the following individuals, local businesses and organizations, who through their generosity made this fund raiser a big success!

John  and Sara Smith our hosts and staff from Rip Van Winkle Golf Course for their continued hospitality and hosting of this tournament and donation of multiple prizes and gift certificates.

Becky Mulford and anonymous friends who created and donated  mutiple raffle baskets.

Our sponsors: Rip Van Winkle Country Club; Black Head Mountain Golf Club; Lazy Swan Golf Club; Sunny Hill Golf and Country Club; Windham Mountain Golf and Country Club; Thunderhart Golf Club; Rondout Valley Golf Club; Christmans Golf Club; Mike Tiano, Electric; Mayor Bill Murphy and family; Tim Murphy Law Offices;

Ken and Donna Wamsley; Becky Mulford and friends; Alan A. DeRosa DDS, Robert H. Klein DDS, PC — General Dentistry & Orthodontics; Mid Hudson Valley Investment and Retirement Center — Sal Bocchimuzzo; Kingston Nissan; Benson Steel Fabricators; The John Schoonmaker family; The John Ryan family; The Kuriplach family; Petite Productions; Ulster County Sheriff’s/Correction Officer Benevolent Association; Bank of Greene County; Sawyer Motors; Ulster County Sheriff’s Employee Association; Mid Hudson Valley Credit Union Consumer Lending Manager Franco Bocchimuzzo; Saugerties Teachers Association; Giant Steps Pre-School; Morse Elementary 6th grade;

Krause’s Chocolate Inc.; J. Mullen & Sons, Inc.; Van Kleeck’s Tire; Servpro of Catskill; Rose Noone, Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty; Saugerties Fire Department.

The list is extensive, but an acknowledgement to all needs to be extended showing the community support for this event and the Saugerties Sonics basketball program!
Regards and Thank you!

Mike Tiano
Saugerties Varsity Boys Basketball coach

Ed Duffy 


Bernie supporters: help Hillary

Your paper last week carried a letter from Lisa Jobson, a Bernie supporter who urged support for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President. I disagree.

I attended the People’s Convention the weekend before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. What I heard were many people fed up with traditional Democratic Party policies and practices. They urged us to vote for Jill Stein who spoke at the People’s Convention about her campaign and her outreach to Bernie, which he flatly rejected. Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein align with my values more than have the Clintons.

I have been involved in political campaigns for 50 years; I did not think that Bernie could come out-of-no-where and generate a national following that could capture the Democratic Party nomination. I hoped he could; I worked hard to support him; and donated money as if he could, but Hillary had a 30 year head start.

I am not giving up on the Bernie vision for the United States. Our allies and Bernie too are organizing to build the grassroots foundation a Presidential election requires. In four years either Hillary will have won our support, or we will move on to Bernie 2020, or Elizabeth Warren or some other progressive candidate who will be able to benefit from our organizing efforts until now and from now to 2020.

I ask Bernie supporters to stay connected and keep the pressure on Hillary. The Democratic Party Platform is a big step in the right direction. Google “2016 Democratic Party Platform” and read it for yourself. Our only true option is to help her get elected and not to waste our vote on a minor party candidate, no matter how gratifying that may feel. It won’t feel good if Trump wins. Trumps is enough of a con man that he just might be able to fool 50% plus one of the people who do vote. Bernie-ites owe it to Bernie, not to let that happen.

Lanny E. Walter


Bears need our help

Early morning on garbage pick-up days, along route 212 from Willow heading west, one can see several overturned bins with trash scattered on the road. Bears! I’m urging people to please refrain from putting out their garbage overnight, or indeed until just an hour or so before pickup time. Perhaps those who can’t hang around can organize a “trash pool” with neighbors taking turns.

By inadvertently ‘training” bears to maraud the trash, you are sowing the seeds of their destruction. I understanding that the official policy has changed, and “nuisance” bears are no longer trapped and then released in wilderness. Instead, bears are now routinely euthanized.

Thus, be aware that if you make a bear complaint, you’re effectively killing that animal. These magnificent creatures, the namesake of one of our hamlets, need our help. Don’t “feed” them garbage, and, unless a bear is truly a menace, please don’t phone in a complaint.

Bob Berman


McGinty for Surrogate Judge

I am writing to give my whole hearted endorsement of Sara McGinty for Ulster County Surrogate Judge. I have known Sara for more than six years now and am confident that she will serve our community with honesty, evenhandedness and humility.

My husband and I first met Sara when we finally got around to drafting our wills. Truthfully, we had put off this task for way too long. Let’s face it when you draw up your will — you are staring your mortality in the face and well, that’s just not a lot of fun. We asked several friends about a lawyer and every single one of them said, without hesitation, call Sara. We arrived at Sara’s office and immediately she put us at ease. We had a hundred questions and she answered them all patiently and carefully as if she had all the time in the world for us. And she could see how hard this process was for us, acknowledged that difficulty and in the end, she almost made drafting our wills enjoyable. We left her office and we asked each other why the heck it had taken us so long.

I’ve heard a lot of other people say the same about Sara — whether working with her on a will, dealing with a business or family difficulty — Sara is always the calm and steady presence. And isn’t that what you want in a Surrogate court judge? The judge will be dealing with families and individuals in crisis — you want someone who has a steady hand as she helps the individual or the family find their path through.

I’d also like to talk a bit about Sara’s solid ties to our area. Sara has been a part of our community for over twenty years. She has advised clients on estate and elder law planning and more. She was Rosendale Town Justice from 1992-2000 and Hearing Officer at the Kingston Housing Authority from 2010 to present.  And there’s more — Sara is a volunteer advisor for Jewish Family Services who provide in-home counseling for housebound seniors. She is often a featured speaker for Senior and Caregiver groups where she discusses disability planning, Medicaid, wills, trusts and estate administration. She has also worked with many Continuing education legal programs in the area where she advises these groups on Surrogate Court litigation, estate planning and ethics and more. All of this points to Sara’s commitment to this community and that her experiences as a professional and a volunteer have more than prepared her for the job of Ulster County Surrogate Judge.

So, finally, on so many levels, I feel Sara is the right person for Surrogate Court Judge — she has the temperament, she has the knowledge, the skills and she is a proven friend of our community.

Get out and vote for Sara McGinty in The Democratic Primary September 13.

Daisy Foote
Stone Ridge


Sharon Graff for Surrogate Judge

About a week ago, I found a will dating back about 30 years in my old files. I had been out of touch with this “best friend” for so long, that I had no idea if she was still alive, so I Googled to no avail. A few days later, I asked a friend of mine if she knew an attorney who could find people, and she gave me a name.
Later, when I looked at my calendar, I realized that I had written down that name, Sharon Graff, because another friend of mine had recommended her for  something else.  The final “message” came two days later, when I was at a Zephyr Teachout meeting, and I sat down next to a woman who introduced herself as Sharon Graff. That was it for my personal legal search, however when I got home and looked her up, I  saw that she was running for Surrogate Court, and frankly I knew just about nothing of that position.
So I googled and learned that  they handle mostly cases that have to do with wills and estates, which can be  complicated, since wills are often changed. I also learned that they deal with many of the legal issues that affect a person’s finances, like real estate, divorce, injury law, and business ownership, to name only some. So, my next mission was to see what she stood for morally.
After a brief meeting with her, I learned that not only is she qualified legally, but that she has spent much of her time defending people that were in need and that she spends more of her time listening than she  does in “telling.”
Since the Surrogate court also oversees cases that involve orphans and guardianship and people whose rights need defending, I felt that in addition to being qualified, she was also a “caring” person.
So I decided to bring my experience public and say that I believe that Sharon Graff will make a sensitive and logical Judge that I will be voting for, even if it means that she won’t be able to handle my issue. I hope that she wins for Surrogate’s Court for the good of all.
The place to vote in this primary is the same place you went to for the general, and the date is September 13.

Jill Paperno


Speak out against CELLCO tower

Please come to voice your opposition to Verizon CELLCO erecting a tower on one of Saugerties most historically intact areas, rural Schoolhouse Rd. The proposed site is within view of National Historic Register eligible homes, archaeologically significant areas, and undisturbed wildlife

Further, this proposed cite goes against the Town of Saugerties Comprehensive Plan, the Town Zoning Law with specific regulations for new phone towers, the Town Historic Preservation Law and the National Historic  Preservation Act of 1966. It is opposed by the Town Historic Preservation Commission.

The ZBA Hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 7 at the Saugerties Library Community Room.
CELLCO should find  an alternative site. You speaking out at this meeting will make a difference.

Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist


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