Letters to the editor (12/22 – 12-29)

Thanks from Afghanistan

On behalf of the Air National Guard members stationed here at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan and at our forward operating locations, I am writing to thank yourself and your colleagues at the Support Our Service People Inc. (SOS) for the care packages that we’ve received. The items in the packages were perfect for our needs here and especially at the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), where such items are in scarce supply.

Additionally, the thoughtfulness and generosity that you have shown has touched all of our deployed members. Your actions have been a reaffirmation to them of the support we have back home. Once again, thank you for your kindness. Have a happy holiday season.


Air Force EI Management Cell

Kandahar, Afghanistan


A great day for Saugerties

As manager of Happy Paws Thrift Store, I would like to have a retraction of the article pertaining to last Sunday’s village event regarding the amount of sales for Happy Paws. The amount was not correct. Please do not include any amount of sales in this retraction. Jeannine Mayer copied me, which I appreciated.


Christmas in the Village every year is a wonderful event. It was a great day for us and the village. We are proud to have our business in Saugerties. We hear so many good comments from our customers regarding Saugerties. Happy Paws Thrift Store is all-volunteer and our proceeds benefits the Ulster County SPCA.

Thank you for including us in the article. Enjoy your paper.

BEVERLY SHARRETT, store manager

Happy Paws



The coolest olives

It looks like Saugerties has a new destination in the village, the Brine Barrel, located on Partition Street. What a great mouth-watering place to go and shop for a great variety of pickles, olives and sauerkraut.

We went on Saturday and limited ourselves to only three things. But we will be back this Saturday buying more. We’re already out of the olives. Can’t wait. This type of shop is what makes Saugerties the Coolest Small Town.




The day after Christmas

’Twas the day after Christmas all through the Kiwanis dome

Not a person was skating, not Ed, nor Any, not even a gnome.

The posters and pennants were hung on Keith’s wall

In hopes the Stanley Keg would soon come a call.

The pucks were nestled all snug in BJ’s bucket

While water was dripping from Terry’s faucets above it.

Becky in her parka, and Koeg in his gear

Were waiting in Benson’s bleachers for the team to appear.

When out on the ice, there rose such a clatter

Bob sprang from the office to see what was the matter.

Away to the boards Bob dashed in a flash

To see if Kleemann was hurt in the crash.

Beaver’s light in the dome cast a shadow below

Where Rob laid, just holding his toe.

When what to Marc’s wondering eyes should appear

But a hockey team and a goalie all dressed in full gear.

With a little old skater so lively and quick

Marc knew in a moment it must be Hockey St. Nick.

More rapid than Edwards his admirers came

And he taunted and shouted and called them a name.

Now skate, now pass, now get us some more

Onward, onward, Jason, we need you to score.

From the end of zone to the top of the crease

Put the puck in the net, Angus, and the crowd you will please.

As skates pound the ice and Weaver’s wild pucks fly

They meet up with the goalie, who stands wide and high.

Up to the goal Bodie’s speedy puck flew

St. Nick was the goalie, but nobody knew.

Then in a twinkling, Zambo looked on the shelf

Bash was howling and cheering, along with each little elf.

As Randy drew in his head and was turning around

The puck hit elf Teresa and made a loud sound.

Teresa was dressed all in green from her head to her foot

Her clothes were wrinkled and covered with soot.

Her shoulder pads she had flung over her back

Teresa looked determined and ready to attack.

Her eyes how they gleamed, her dimples turned nomie

Her cheeks were like roses, her nose the color of the Zamboni

Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

Ears stuck out of her helmet and shined with a glow.

The shaft of her stick she held tight in her hands

As Marzac skated down the ice giving commands.

The goalie wasn’t Harkin, he was stout and had a round belly

That shook when he laughed like Tina’s bowl full of jelly.

The goalie went down to block the elf’s shot

Looked at her and laughed, and said, Is that all you got?

But to Wenzel’s and Kalieb’s surprise, Teresa got the puck

Took a full slap shot and made St. Nick duck.

He spoke not a word, but threw down his stick

It was pretty unsportsmanlike for a guy like St. Nick.

He kicked off his pads, they swept down the ice like a broom

He stomped off the rink and headed to the locker room.

He sprang to his sled, to his team he gave a call

And left that little elf standing right there in the hall

But Brownie heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight

Merry Christmas to all, good luck and good night.




Hydofracking waste

The Rondout waterfront is an Ulster County gem. An oil/gas company has already approached the city of Kingston to accept (for a nice fee) toxic hydrofracking waste into the Kingston waste treatment plant, as reported in Lynn Woods’ excellent Kingston Times article of October 24.

Section, Appendix 21 of the new DEC SGEIS for gas drilling lists Kingston as a sewage plant capable of treating the poisons, salts, radium, bio-cides that spew back up the wells after each frack. So far, Kingston has said no because of present capacity limits.

What would this mean for Kingston? Hundreds of tanker trucks full of unregulated

chemicals winding through and ruining the streets. These toxic salts will destroy any sewage plant system, according to Al Appleton, sewage treatment expert.

(google Green Street, wbai.org archives), Not to mention contaminating the Rondout Creek. Pity the paint job on the Clearwater!

Somebody ought to alert the Clearwater. Poughkeepsie and Beacon are also

on the list for “pre-treatment” approval.




Window vandalism

I was wondering if the paper could do a story asking the public if anyone had any knowledge or saw anything about in regards to who broke the bookstore window Saturday night.


The Inquiring Mind



Contributions to holiday fund

The WGHQ Happy Christmas Fund continues to receive donations with contributions to date of $34,976. We are $2500 below collections compared to 2010 and $6500 from our goal of $41,500.

We are now in our last week with collections continue through Saturday, December 24. We distributed over 430 gift cards to needy families for children’s clothes and toys. We will help needy seniors with food this holiday season.

The WGHQ Happy Christmas Fund is non-sectarian and 100% of all donations are distributed to the needy. No cash is given to the Happy Christmas Fund recipients only gift certificates for children’s clothes and toys. Food for seniors is through the Ulster County Office for the Aging. The WGHQ Happy Christmas Fund is a tax-exempt corporation and is registered with the New York State Department of Charities. There are no administration expenses taken from donations.

Donors can mail contributions to 82 John St., Kingston, NY 12401.


Town of Ulster


The Esopus Creek Conservancy and Frack Free Catskills are excited to announce a collaboration on a free screening of the nationally acclaimed film Gasland, by Josh Fox on Thursday, January 5, at 6 p.m. at the Senior Citizen’s Center on Market Street. in Saugerties.

This is a critical time for the environment in of New York State and in our community as NY State DEC is closing public comment on the DGEIS (Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement) on the issue of hydrofracking in NYS and could be ready to begin issuing permits for drilling this coming year. Many other states across the country, from Pennsylvania to Texas, Wyoming and West Virginia are experiencing the horrendous effects of hydrofracking on drinking water, air quality, roads, rural quality of life and public health. In NY State we have a chance to learn from these states, stop this destructive practice before it starts and become a model for environmental responsibility across the country.

Because of public pressure the DEC has extended public comment until January 11.

After the screening we will all have an opportunity to write our comments to the DEC. We will have computers to send comments via email and paper and envelops to write them by hand if you prefer. There will be ample information about the highly complex and fatally flawed environmental statement which will help us formulate personal comments raising our serious concerns. The DEC by law must comment and respond to all comments they receive before January 11.

Kathy Nolan from Catskill Mountain Keeper will be on hand for discussion, provide information and to answer questions. If you have seen the film already and want to join us for discussion and letter writing you are welcome to come at 8 pm.

Light refreshments will be served.

What a wonderful way to start the New Year- re-affirming our commitments to being involved in our community and helping take care of our earth.


Esopus Creek Conservancy



Health care to healthy earth

Happy holidays. Along with the celebrations of the holiday season are thoughts about how important our health and the health of the earth are to enjoying this time of year.


Universal health care is the first identifying characteristic of an intelligent, cohesive society. We cannot have a healthy political system or economy without a healthy and educated populace. In the new year, learn as much as you can about the various countries that provide health care. One good resource is the PBS documentary Sick Around the World which explores the different models of health care for five countries.

Banning High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) is the only way an informed and concerned society can protect the environment and the health and well-being of all living things. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed the permit conditions allowing HVHF to move forward in our state. There are 25 categories where the public can comment on the proposal’s countless flaws and inadequacies and due by January 11, just two weeks away! Before any other resolution for this new year make this a priority to send in comments.

There is no Plan B for saving the earth, the environment, agriculture and tourism, outdoor recreation and safe water, air and soil. It is up to everyone of us to take the time to take an action



New Paltz


Look at LEAP

I read the New York Times religiously five days a week when possible. I read everything, looking for a bright spot in the news to fortify my remaining faith in human progress.

Border patrol agents who have expressed doubt about the value of the war on drugs have been interrogated and and fired, the Times informs me (12/3 A12.) This violation of First Amendment rights by the Obama administration is certainly not heartening, but what does cheer me is the fact that there exists an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) that some of these agents belong to, usually joining up after being fired or retired. This group has “an email list of 48,000. Its members include 145 judges, prosecutors, police officers, prison guards, and other law enforcement officials, most of them retired…”

These are people with first- hand knowledge of the enormous human cost of the futile drug war who are speaking out. Can this be a harbinger of the day when Americans decide the drug czar has no clothes?




Time is running out

It’s funny how ones thoughts emerge over time. Many people have been saying for a while that we no longer live in a true democracy, at the same time that others wrote that thought off as ridiculous. I kind of agreed that we were losing our grip when Al Gore conceded early, but I figured that enough people voted for Bush to make his win acceptable.

Then, when we waged war against Iraq, linking their possible nuclear weapons to their possible connection with 9/11. That didn’t seem right to me, since there were too many people questioning the evidence, like inspectors saying that it wasn’t true, and writers from the New York Times reporting that Bin Laden and Hussein were enemies. I had thought that America was against starting wars, but was supposed to use the military for defense. But it seemed okay with everyone else, so I put it aside.

Then, when our military became a for-profit business, and when everyone seemed okay with that, I thought, Am I alone?

But my doubts shrunk to the size of a pea when we elected in our first black president, Barack Obama. Democracy was surely alive in my country and always would be.

But then came the Supreme Court decision, which gave corporations the right to pour enormous contributions into the campaigns of their chosen candidates, and I couldn’t find any way to label that other than “the right to buy elections.”

Lately, I’m seeing fraud and what one would assume would be illegal in the banking, Wall Street and mortgage industries but without any consequences to the ones committing what seems to be crimes. But maybe they re-wrote the laws to make these frauds legal. Just in case, they made it all look good, by arresting Bernie Madoff, a man that was surely guilty of defrauding his clients, but not a true insider.

My message is to come together and not allow them to divide us and conquer as has been done over the past few years. Our government is in a stalemate right now, and will be for another year. This is our chance to join the 99% and take back our government, for if we don’t we will all suffer the consequences.