Letters (4/25-5/2)

mailGreat start to Little League

Kudos and hats off to the Saugerties Little League for the spectacular job the league did for their Opening Day Parade and Ceremonies this past Saturday. It was great to see the many hundreds of boys and girls that turned out and participated. Equally impressive were the hundreds of parents and spectators that lined the parade route along Pavilion Street and at William Thornton Memorial Field.

The organization and professionalism of the opening events and parade were clearly evident. Further, the amount of planning, coordinating and work put forth by many within the league, led by President Bill Ball. From the American Legion Color Guard, to officials and dignitaries, to our illustrious police chief, to the renowned public address announcer, to Erica Guerin throwing out the first pitch and capping it all off, young David Henkel’s rendition of the National Anthem played so eloquently on saxophone.

Additionally, it was indeed an honor and privilege, as a tri-grand marshall, to march and stand between two icons in Gladys Hutton (the Queen) and Erica Guerin, daughter of the late Ernie Fick (the King). It certainly gave new meaning to……“a thorn between two roses.”

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Congrats, Saugerties Little League board, coaches, players, parents, Gladys, Erica, etc…..what a great day and a great way to kick off the 2013 season. It was an honor to be part of your day. Thank you and all the best!

Greg Chorvas
Superintendent, Parks, Buildings and Grounds

 

Speak out against casino gambling

When Gov. Cuomo in 2012 proposed new commercial casinos, he said they would need regulation. Likely reasons: (a) mitigate problem gambling (b) protect against cheating and organized crime.

Casino owners want regulation about as much as do big banks: the least possible. Regulation hurts profits by constraining practices (e.g. payday loans) and limiting externalities, costs of doing business that are passed to society at large. A company no longer free to discharge waste into a river faces new costs; paying them may lose it business if competitors avoid similar restrictions and don’t raise their prices. Casinos, in business only for profit, hate to absorb fiscal burdens they have always externalized, like the socioeconomic costs of problem gambling.

The central statistic of casinos: Grinols and Omorow [J. Law and Commerce vol. 16, 1997] estimated that 50 percent of the gross revenues after winnings are paid out (about half the profit) comes from compulsive and problem gamblers — about 4 percent of the adult population — who comprise less than 10 percent of casino customers. From this statistic follows

The ethical dilemma: if casinos steered all the pathological and problem gamblers in their sphere into lasting recovery and prevented the creation of any new ones, profits would drop by 50 percent. How would that play on the bottom line? Not well at all. What to do?

Solution: express concern about problem gambling with a façade of “prevention” methods structured to fail. Accede gracefully to toothless “regulation.” Legislators weighing “second passage” of a bill meant to legalize new casinos in NY by amending the constitution through public referendum must ask three questions.

“Would those casinos work really hard to profit 50 percent less than many others do?” That’s obvious: No. “Do I really believe NYS can and will properly regulate casinos if they don’t want it and the state shares in their profits?” Another no.

“Is it fair to NYS residents to commend to them, by a “Yes” on second passage, a sham I don’t believe in.” NO.

Readers, tell your Assembly Member and your State Senator “vote ‘No’ on second passage.”

Stephen Q. Shafer md, mph
Saugerties

 

The writer is chairperson of Coalition Against Gambling in New York Water meter waste

I have been doing some reading on new water meters which the Saugerties Town Board voted to install in the Glasco Water district. Since the public hearing to install these was very brief and the vote to move forward was taken on the same night as the hearing, Dangers include a wide range of problems from health issues, drastically increased bills, accuracy, hacking and privacy issues. There has been and continues to be litigation on these smart meters.

The Saugerties Town Board’s main justifications for this project is to reduce staff time in reading meters and to use funding offered by the US EPA. However although the board voted to borrow $2.384 million for Glasco Water District projects, this project alone will impose a minimum financial burden of $366,632 (in a best case scenario) on the district. This amount could be best used to pay an employee over a period of 10 years and prevent at least one layoff. It no longer takes a month as cited by a Town Board member to read the current meters since many homes already have outside reading devices eliminating the need for staff to enter a home. Furthermore it seems that all of our officials need to learn and apply that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Grant money has strings attached and Saugerties officials might best begin to look at what’s on the other end of the string.

Gaetana Ciarlante
Saugerties

 

Earth Day thank you

I would like to thank any and all citizens of our community who participated in Earth Day clean-up, particularly those in my immediate neighborhood of Hommelville Road and Peoples Road. Although it was discouraging to see fresh garbage strewn alongside the orange Town garbage bags waiting for pick-up this week, we musn’t give up the fight to keep our community clean. I have been traveling more than usual recently. One of the first things I take notice of when visiting a new area is whether it is clean. If it is, it meets an important criteria for me to consider returning to that area.

When I return home to Saugerties though, I find myself feeling disappointed that we cannot provide a cleaner community for visitors who come from all over the country,not to mention keeping our beautiful landscape clean for the personal pride of our citizens. Please reinforce to our younger generation the importance of proper garbage disposal and recycling, and provide them with a role model by signing up for Earth Day clean-up next year!

Kim Jorgensen
Saugerties

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