Letters – July 12-19

Living history

What a wonderful idea… a spotlight on the historic houses of Saugerties through the eyes of the Saugerties Times. And what a perfect house to begin with. Reporter Jennifer Farley nicely captured the history and the relevance of the Bigelow Homestead and demonstrated that history is not a dead subject.

That idea was recently reinforced when I read an article about an Irish school girl who was just awarded a prize for providing a street name for a new local housing development in Ardglass, a village in Northern Ireland. She was influenced in her choice of a name by a local shopkeeper who was a font of information about local history. He had mentioned that Thomas Hunter, the famous New York City educator (he founded Hunter College in New York in 1870 as a school for girls only), was born in Ardglass. Ms. Mulligan, the 10-year-old prize winner, paid tribute to both Hunter’s origins and the path his life had taken by creating the street name “Hunter’s Way.”

I thought of the work of Michael Sullivan Smith and his Saugerties History Atlas, and Audrey Klinkenberg, our town historian and resident genealogist, and the Town of Saugerties Historic Preservation Commission as well as the Saugerties Historical Society, and of Saugertesians some time in the future who will make use of the work done by those historians.


Susan Puretz


Thoughts on a tragedy

The recent tragedy overcoming Adam Schillinger along with the suicide note showed us a part of his life of which few of us were aware. Adam had worked on maintenance of our landscape here in Saugerties many times over two years. He was extremely resourceful, strong, hardworking, kind, thoughtful and reliable. He also worked for two of my neighbors on Van Vlierden Road. He could be relied on to carry through an assigned task with minimal supervision.

He worked and thought creatively, building stone terraces with a rare artistry. We could never get enough of his talent. Adam displayed a sensitive caring not often encountered. That this apparently covered a deep sense of alienation and depression of which my wife and I were unaware makes us feel we failed him in some way which I wish we could make up. We are grateful to his family for including us in the memorial service at Seamon-Wilsey and hope they can find relief from this terrible loss. Adam’s work here will always be a visible reminder of his essential worth as a human being.

Barry Benepe


Sad about hospital closure

Like many citizens of our community, I am saddened by the news about the pending closure of Kingston Hospital. I arrived as a 14-year-old immigrant, 57 years ago. One of the first things I experienced was having to go to Kingston hospital for surgery. I did not know the English language and was very frightened. The care of the doctors and nurses who tried to make me feel at home in a new country was unforgettable. Over the last years I have had to use the hospital many times for different reasons. The service was always friendly and courteous; and it was clear that people mattered to doctors and nurses of Kingston hospital. My family and I appreciated this and I am saddened that my children and grandchildren will not experience this in the future. As a local pastor, I have also always enjoyed visiting patients and working closely together with the administration.

Furthermore, I think of the economic hardships that this closure will bring to many families, resulting in the loss of many jobs. All the more, we have to stand together as a community – looking out for one another in a time of crisis like this one. A personal word to the hospital administrators, doctors and nurses: thank you for what you have done for me and for all of us. You will truly be missed. Wherever you end up, keep up the good work.

Johann Christoph Arnold
Pastor of the Woodcrest Community


Great parade

To all mutual aid companies; police agencies; sharing individuals: I would personally like to extend a sincere Thank You for making this year’s parade the organized and successful event that it was.

The parade, time-wise, was the longest, at 2 hours, 43 minutes and 24 seconds!

The individuals and organizations that participated in this year’s parade exceeded previous years and this created a record line of march unprecedented for a 4th of July parade in Saugerties! Sincere thanks and all the best.

Frank Rea
Saugerties Fire Department
4th of July Parade Chairman


Don’t stop the fight

We have talked ourselves into more work. The Ulster County Hydrofracking Brine Prohibition Act was rewritten to accommodate our many written and oral comments. The revision can be found on the Ulster County Legislature website.

Notice please that this local legislative process honors citizen input. This law now has criminal penalties. Will the DEC honor the content of the 66,000 comments it received from concerned New Yorkers? Will the Frackers breaking “regulations” face criminal penalties?

In Ulster County Law a second public hearing will be held July 17 at 7 p.m. at the County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston.

Why bother? Because it ain’t over until they vote on August 14. We do not want our wells, our dogs, our kids to be a repository for soon to be (if we don’t stop hydrofracking in NY) growing quantities of NY gas well waste fluid—radioactive and poisonous no matter what they call it.

Joan Walker-Wasylyk