This week’s letters (7/7-7/14)

Not a fan of the School Board

Saugerties voters went to the polls twice and voted no on the Saugerties School Budget. But despite people saying ‘no we can’t afford it’ the Saugerties BOE decided to push through an austerity budget that was one dollar less than the proposed budget. Some board members tried to justify their vote with laughable comments. The current VP of the Board said that since no member brought up changes he assumed everyone agreed to the one-dollar reduction in the austerity budget.

A new board member not yet sworn in told the Saugerties Times that you have to go along with what the superintendent wants. What about what the people want?

Ignoring the fact that people are hurting this board has done the unthinkable and decided the taxpayers don’t know anything. It’s even worse when you consider the second vote cost between six and seven thousand dollars to hold.


The school district also wastes our money. Featherbedding is a term I believe I learned in a social studies class some years ago. The best example of this was adding the railroad caboose cars to all trains and manning them with people who had nothing to do but play cards all day. The modern version of this practice is alive and well in Saugerties. Recently, a study headed by the superintendent of schools was conducted on the elementary schools because of a significant reduction in student enrollment. They formed a committee that was supposedly bipartisan but heavily loaded with administrators, teachers, principals, which concluded that if we close an elementary school we may need more of everything.

Unexpected results! No, as a matter of fact, we got an unofficial version of what to expect from Mr. Ball, a member of the committee, who wrote a letter to the editor condemning a board member. It was election time and his comments may have been before the first official committee meeting.

Interestingly, I filed about six weeks ago for information on the makeup of this committee and have received nothing as of July 1. Saugerties taxpayers wake up. They’ve got your wallet but they want your pants too.

Vincent Hackett



Register now for adult learning classes

Even for adults, it’s not too early to be thinking ahead to the start of school. Lifespring, Saugerties’ own town-sponsored adult education series, begins its new year on Tuesday, Sept. 13, but registration for the fall semester should be mailed in with a postmark of no later than Aug. 2.

In the fall semester participants can learn about diverse topics like meteorology, the history of jazz, how to understand poetry, or the Bill of Rights. There are also more active courses, such as the one on T’ai Chi. Lifespring classes provide both a way to refresh understanding of topics studied years ago, or to explore subjects never encountered before. The complete course catalog may be found at For people who don’t have access to the Internet, the phone number to request a printed Lifespring catalog is 246-2800, ext. 452..

This fall there is also a spacious new location: the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, on Glasco Turnpike in the Town of Saugerties, near the junction with Route 212. Classes start there on Tuesday, Sept. 13 and end Nov. 1.

Lifespring describes itself as an adult learning community, meaning that from the start two years ago it was formed as a membership organization, completely run by volunteers, to offer interesting, stimulating once-a-week classes on a variety of subjects to retired people and other interested adults. The classes run in the daytime, on Tuesdays, to make it convenient for those who prefer not to drive at night.

An annual $60 membership fee entitles each member to take as many as three courses a semester, Between the fall and spring semesters, that gives a possibility of up to six courses a year, as well as a number of movies and special events.

Naturally, members are free to register for fewer than three courses a semester, but often find that Lifespring’s congenial, cooperative atmosphere, and the possibility of interacting with an enthusiastic group of old and newfound friends, make those Tuesday mornings and afternoons the highlight of their week. It’s a good way to keep active and meet interesting new people, to chat and have a cup of coffee or tea between classes or have lunch together, discussing points made in the last class. That’s why, for me, Lifespring has become a real community. I look forward to its starting up again after the summer break and sincerely hope others will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Sandra Ostoyich

Lifespring Board


More materials needed for animal beds

On behalf of the staff of the Town of Saugerties Animal Shelter, I want to thank Dr. Olexa, Mrs. Hallam, Ms. Soddan and their students at Saugerties High School and Junior High School for making beds for the cats and dogs who reside at the animal shelter as part of their Home and Careers curriculum. The students enjoyed making something that helped to make the pets at out facility comfortable. The materials were donated by Saugerties faculty members who cleaned out their closets, donating fabrics and batting for stuffing.

The students involved in the project were Kim, Pam, Chyanna, Brittany, and Jake from Ms. Soddano’s class; Andrew, Shelby, Nicole, Elizebeth, Robert, Rebecca, Jennifer, Jason, Joseph, Kayla, Ricky, Evan, Logan, Carissa and Abby from Mrs. Hallam’s class. This is not the first time these students created the beds. Last Christmas dozens of beds, all sizes and colors, were donated to the shelter. The students would love to continue making beds for the shelter animals but need more donations of materials. Anyone in the community who has left over fabric such as flannels, fleeces, or other suitable materials for pet beds as well as batting for stuffing, can donate by contacting Dr. Laurel Olexa at 845-247-6806. Thank you students and teachers, for your thoughtful and loyal dedication to the pets at the shelter.

God Bless you.

Marie Post

Shelter manager


Successful garden tour

On Saturday, July 9, a beautiful sunny day, over $6,800 was raised for the Boys and Girls Club, Saugerties Unit, when close to 400 people visited the gardens on the seventh annual Secret Gardens of Saugerties Tour. To call this year’s tour a success would be a understatement.

My sincere thanks to all those involved with the tour. Without question, my biggest and most appreciative thank you goes to the gardeners – Sylvia and Pete Kramer, Jim Flarerty and Bob Skibsted, Ed Fondiller and Kate Doran, David Hutchison and Paul Backstrom, Renata and Patrick Corcoran, Harriet and Paul Tomasko and Tripp Bassett, who worked many, many long hours in their gardens to make them as perfect as possible for the day of the tour.

My thanks and gratitude to the many businesses and individuals who helped by sponsoring the tour – The Center of Health, Helsmoortel Insurance and Realty, Lazy Swan Golf Course and Clubhouse Grill, Methods Tooling and Manufacturing, The Naccarato Insurance Agency, Saugerties Animal Hospital, Sinnott Associates, Betsy and Doug Wilson, Aqua Jet Pools and Spas, Awnings Direct, Marge and Gary Bischoff, Boice’s Farm and Garden Stand, Dr. Debra A. Koehn, Drs. Farideh and Fred Moqtaderi, Rip Van Winkle Country Club, Ryan Roach and Ryan, P.C, Mike Saporito Photography,Leeanne and Larry Thornton, Connie and Michael Catalinotto, Croswell Enterprises, LTD – All natural soils and mulches, Leighton’s Water Treatment and Hudson Valley Spring Water Company, Raquel and Harold Kleinfeld, Red Cedar Farm, Myrna Sameth, Simulaids and Total Tennis.

Thanks also to those who provided goods or services – Adams Fairacre Farms, Paul Backstrom, LoDolce Machine Company, MandT Bank, Mirabella Restaurant, Herve Senequier, Sue’s Restaurant and 9W Car Wash and Donna Vale. Kudos to Sharon Brontolli and Rick Smith and all the folks at Smith Hardware, who each year, have interrupted their busy days to sell tickets for the tour. I also extend my sincere thanks to this newspaper for publicizing the tour. The tour could not happen without the help of the 39 volunteers who assisted at the gardens and at registration on the day of the tour. My thanks to each and every one of them. Lastly, thanks to the 300 people who bought tickets to view the beautiful gardens. I hope you all had a wonderful time.


The proceeds from the tour will help the Boys and Girls Club, Saugerties Unit continue to serve the needs of the Saugerties community.

I couldn’t have done it these seven years without all of you.

Thank you all!

Jamie Fine

Tour organizer




Thanks to Jamie Fine from the Boys and Girls Club

For seven years you have tirelessly worked to create The Secret Gardens Tour of Saugerties and generously donated the proceeds from it to the Boys and Girls Club in Saugerties.

This year, as in years past, each and every garden selected for the tour was unique and special in its own way. Some gardens had such a wow factor there simply weren’t words to express such beauty. All the homeowners were extremely gracious and friendly to the guests on the tour and the guests were all in awe of such incredible beauty at every garden. You created a truly magical experience. We know it is a labor of love for you and we love that you continue to find secret gardens that bring such joy to so many people.

The board and our club members are extremely grateful for your support and generosity over the years. Selecting the Boys and Girls Club as the recipient of the monies raised during The Secret Garden Tours has been, to say the least, an enormous gift. We are so thankful for your ongoing friendship to our club.

Sue Worthman

President, Board of Directors

Boys and Girls Club, Saugerties Unit


Strawberry Festival success

On behalf of the parishioners of Trinity Episcopal Church, thank you very much to everyone in the community who attended our June 18 Strawberry Festival. Without all of your our festival would not have been the great success it was. The vendors, the music, childrens’ bouncy house, the excellent food, strawberry shortcakes and shakes, plus all the extras made a great day.

We appreciate very much the support we receive from the community for all our dinners, etc. We are very fortunate to have several excellent chefs in our congregation who produce such excellent food for all of our events.

Many thanks to Seamon-Wilsey and Buono Funeral Services for the use of their canopies, the Knights of Columbus for the use of their parking lot for overflow parking, the two town police who kept everyone safe crossing the streets or getting in or out of the parking lot, all who worked very hard to make our festival a fun, successful day.
Vicar Jeanette Tweedy
Wardens Karen Wurzel and Joette Courselle
Vestry members Linda Adorno, Francesca Ortolano & Joe Ferraro


Palestinian POV

I want to publicly thank the Saugerties Library for the use of their beautiful Community Room (now cooled geo-thermally!) that serves the many varied civic, educational and cultural interests of our mid-Hudson community. As coordinator of MECR’s educational film series on Palestine, I was so pleased with the response to our first film Fragments of a Lost Palestine, shown June 21. Forty-five people attended the event from places throughout the mid-Hudson valley (and beyond). Following the film, many different views were aired while we enjoyed home-made middle-eastern refreshments. Thank you to all who participated in making this a successful and memorable event. I look forward to our upcoming films onTuesday evening, June 19th, 7:30 p.m: Voices of Palestinian Youth in the Saugerties Library Community Room.
Jane Toby


Post-Prom thanks

The SHS Class of 2011 Sr. Post Prom Party Committee would like to thank all the parents of seniors and seniors who assisted our committee with either time and or donations. Because of your support this year’s Sr. Post Prom Party was a smashing success.

We would also like to thank the following businesses and organizations for your generous contributions to the Sr. Post Prom Party. Even with a down economy, you all reached down deep into your pockets to provide a safe event for our SHS seniors.

Judy’s Florist, Saugerties Carpet, Michael Catalinotto, H.L. Snyder Appliance, Lykes Martial Arts, Murphy’s Plumbing, Sawyer Motors, Bob Siracusano, Lezette Express, Benson Steel, Ulster Savings Bank, Sawyer Savings Bank, Krause’s Candy, Town of Saugerties, Glasco Fire Company, Trustco Bank, The Reis Group, Simulaids, Flanigan’s Cleaners, Rex Kiniry Heating & Plumbing, Hudson Valley Cruising, James Biron, J. Mullen & Sons, Inc., Kiwanis Club, Saugerties Fire Dept., Village Apothecary, Mid Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Helsmoortel Realty, Sawyer Energy, Honey Nails, IXL, Price Chopper, Omelette Café, Markertek, Coffee Systems of the Hudson Valley, Michael Whitall & Ray Zarcone. Chuck Schirmer, Seamon Wilsey Funeral Home, Jonnie G’s Diner, Saugerties Animal Hospital, P.C. Smith & Son’s, Genesis Diner, Greco Motors, Starway Cafe, Hot Towel Barbers, Bed & Body Works, Kat Michaels, Author, and Target.

Every year the Sr. Post Prom Committee works tirelessly to raise funds to provide our seniors a safe place to go after the prom. This event provides the parents of student’s comfort knowing that their kids are in a safe and exciting environment. On behalf of all our committee members, parents & businesses, thank you for a job well done.

SHS Class of 2011

Sr. Post Prom Committee


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