Letters: Remember the old post office?

ktx sq USA_inverted_Jenny_siegal_nov_07_$977,500_Remember the old post office?

Am I the only one who sees a parallel between County Executive Hein’s rush to rip up the U&D tracks and Mayor Garraghan’s scrapping of the old post office?

Consider that both were/are motivated to grab a few easy bucks “now” for their respective budgets at the cost of destroying an irreplaceable asset worth much more.

The track, installed and still in place, can be easily and cheaply (as government jobs go) repaired. Total replacement is unthinkable. Same with the post office.


The tracks can share space with trails and possibly provide the additional benefit of allowing some older, less able users to ride through the scenery and fresh air. We all can’t hike, skate, cycle, etc. for miles anymore! Give us a break.

The Kingstonites who fondly remember the post office debacle should be shouting out loud against Mr. Hein’s error on this one. There is still time. Shame on him!

Roy P. Anderson, Kingston


I guess, do something

Is our mayor, as people in the newspaper said, a maniac?

Well, I am no doctor, but thanks to them, I don’t write letters anymore! I wouldn’t even talk to anyone either, but the doctor (“doctor” but not a psychiatrist) who told me that manages a book store every day of the year, never takes a vacation and, of course, isn’t crazy himself!

I don’t think the mayor has yet stopped people on the street to tell them that they’re fat, a slob or anything else. He just stopped someone supposedly going through a stop sign, though the car driver denied it, and said the mayor was a maniac! Me he only called “sick” once, and then said in front of everyone in the community room at a meeting that his mother several times was crazy. But perhaps all that was just to reassure everyone while crazy wasn’t OK, sick was OK. I was thinking at the time, “His poor mother” and that I had been told by doctors I was well!

One policeman in the paper wouldn’t comment; “retiring soon,” didn’t want to get involved! A sheriff’s car decided [to] avoid trouble, though [the] man who supposedly but denied it went through the stop sign signaled to him, sheriff, for help! “Help! Help! Help!” — Took off! Sheriff!

Well, discretion is the better part of valor!

God bless us all, and good luck to the mayor. The city council met in secret wondering “what to do?” I guess, do something, just don’t get into trouble! I bet they won’t!

Joseph A. Murphy Jr., Kingston

There are 9 comments

  1. Bryanx


    It feels tainted with just a tinge of desperation?

    I do see the motivation: grant monies (and track salvage dollars) foot the cost. Any foot traffic beyond 12,000/year or so can be touted as a win: new tourist dollars at no money down. That would be a sweet political victory.

    But you would think that, at a time when tens of billions per year are proposed in the Federal budget for “fix-it-first” transportation projects, our county and municipal leaders would try to score a bigger win. The current scenarios in play seem to me a classic example of aiming low. Higher than usual, but lower than what’s possible.

    You would think the counties, cities and towns along the west shore of the Hudson would be screaming for a return of the rail service that was taken from it over 50 years ago.

    Massachusetts is fishing for billions for serious expansion of passenger rail throughout that state. Even the little city of Troy, New York is looking into the possibility of bringing back its rail connection from their Amtrak station over to Albany. The tracks are still there.

    But around Ulster, the only discussion on the table is “less trains”.

    How about “more trains, more trails”. If Uncle Sam is providing capital, aim high.

    First step: feasibility studies.

  2. Michael Rowe

    Well, well, well, word is spreading across the country (even to me here in Colorado) that Ulster County and the City of Kingston are just a bunch of bullies, stampeded by sundry outside groups to find some way to throw out the Ulster & Delaware Railroad to fulfil some fantasies about how much tourism will be developed by replacing the railroad with a trail. I have seen a number of these rail-to-trail conversions; a large number of them are abject failures and/or sink holes for public money. Shame on you, Ulster County; shame on you, City of Kingston. Go find somebody else your own size to pick on!

    Mike Rowe
    Boulder, CO

  3. nopolitics

    Oh no Mr. Rowe, you can’t tell any such truth to anyone around here–you see we have much much more politics here than you do there(I know–I used to be “there”–just up the road a piece in Ft. Collins, Loveland, and over in Weld County in Greeley–and I wrote a piece for the Boulder Lampoon on the theme of the silliness politics too once–I’m SURE you would have found it wonderful-still miss the health food supermarket in Boulder too). I’m quite familiar with the rather conservative way to think, which is really as geographic areas go, quite uncharacteristic of Boulder as I recall…the rest of the state moreso….at least at THAT time….(mid-1980’s)
    It is only the County Executive’s fantasies–bolstered by a monkey smile and a speech pattern worthy of a Fuller Brush Salesman–that we need worry about it seems, but if he gets too drunk with power we might want to be worried about possible DWI on Rte. 28. $130K per annum in salary helps float that bloated head as well.
    Well now and as for the other letter, lemme see…the former Mayor told me several things that are properly categorized as being personally critical and although he didn’t stop me on the street to do so(unless the information highway counts as a “street”) he might as well have stopped anyone with a brain in the process of thinking…..hmmm…….or even Archie Bunker in the process of being bigoted….

  4. John Garesche

    The U&D corridor that is now being proposed for a rail trail has not been a successful rail operation since the 1910’s. The current operation – which operates on just 5 miles of the 38 mile track, has failed to deliver. They should continue to operate (although I would like to see it done as a non-profit with more investment – including government) in the scenic Phoenicia area. Perhaps they can expand all the way to Boiceville. Instead, they are trying to operate in Kingston where nobody really wants them except old-time train enthusiasts.

    Trail supporters have been asking them to share the tracks for years, and they have denied that. Now they claim they are for rails and trails, but the cost of that exceeds ten times the cost of conversion to a trail. The immediate solution is a trail from Kingston to the Reservoir, and the rail line can work on expanding from Phoenicia.

    It’s the rail supporters who are being divisive and selfish. It’s time to use the public resource! Comparing this to the old post office – which was demolished to reduce liability – is not a fair comparison. The railroad can continue to operate in their historic and successful area on the other end of the line. A trail can be created on the rest of the line so that it is not left to rot.

    1. Vincent Carcaramo

      John. Literally everything you just stated couldn’t be more false. Do your homework before you get your wrist slapped.

      1. John Garesche

        Believe me Vincent, I have done a lot of homework. I am a fan of public transit. However, you need to do your homework. The railroads has been declining since the roads were built to handle trucks (which the railroad helped to build!) They tried to shut down passenger operation at early at 1934, again before the war, and finally succeeded in 1954. All of this is right from CMRR Co, Inc’s website: http://catskillmtrailroad.com/history.php

        All anyone needs to do is to walk the unused portions of the line (try 209 to Hurley Mountain Road!), observe the nearly 1 mile of washed out tracks, see full trees growing between the rails: and it becomes obvious. A quick view of the county proposal’s pictures of the line will support it for those who can’t walk the line themselves: http://www.co.ulster.ny.us/planning/ucpb/sp/cmrt/20130723%20Presentation.pdf
        CMRR is letting most of the corridor rot.

        So, tell me, Vincent, what am I saying that is false? I’ve providing two links supporting my most significant statements. Everything I said is easily verifiable. Or are you like all the rail only fanatics who claim to be for rail with trail while having spent the last twenty years shooing hikers off the line? Making bold, but completely unsupportable statements.

        So your homework, Vincent.

        1. Vincent Carcaramo

          What you are looking at is only a portion of the facts. Much of the line was easily repairable before Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Looking at the lines now and saying they are letting it rot is wrong on multiple levels. They are in fact out there repairing and maintaining all of the right of way every week, as seen on their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CatskillMountainRailroad, and written on their website, http://catskillmtrailroad.com/history.php. In fact, they were fast enough to have passenger lines running just two weeks after Irene.

          If you are unhappy with the restoration of the lines, which is the reason why the county owns the lines in the first place, go out and help them. The CMRR doesn’t run on “gimme-gimme” handouts and isn’t paid for by hard earned tax payer’s dollars. The trail will be funded by taxpayers dollars (upwards of a tenth of a billion dollars), and will raise the total taxes in the county by $11,000 annually. The CMRR was furnished by themselves.

          So assume people come and walk the 60 miles trail and back, even more so then the CMRR: the trail will be free to enter and free to use, and therefore free to destroy by littering and pollution. I talked to some realistic pro-trail people and they claimed they “Get in their car, bring their lunch and water, drive to the trail, ride their bike to and back to their car, and drive back home.” Where the $3,100,000 rise in sales come from beats me. Sounds like to me the county is having its own land taxes paid for by the CMRR and bringing tourists in country wide.

          Also, the county seems to do a smashing job running it’s existing trails…: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=412300932209845&set=pb.351628611610411.-2207520000.1378753895.&type=3&theater

          The proposed trail operation has no signatures, and no approvals. The grading for trains is not on par with the grading required for a trail, and is too steep. A trail cannot be legally put on the current lines without mega engineering. The ties will need to be disposed of, as they are coated in chemicals, and very costly…a cost that the railroad is paying for themselves as a part of restoring the line for safe use.

          A bigger part to me is the sheer and absurd bullying to local business. As owning a business is a dream of mine once I am out of college, I like to stay a part of local politics to see where things are going. UC has made no effort to hide their corruption. Seeing as they are not a fan of revenue-engine local companies, this will be the last “shoot yourself in the foot” story of UC for me… I will bring my business elsewhere.

          I will bid the county ado the day the CMRR is removed from any segment of it’s entirety. I used to commute alongside 209 to SUNY Ulster 5 days a week, twice a day. At most I saw 30 people using the trails. Sounds like a huge waste of maintenance costs (oh wait the taxpayers are paying for that too) because they aren’t paying a dime to use it.

          Also, CSX has trains that can boast 500mpg once moving. There will be no need for trailways buses, that at most get 13mpg, to run to these small stops, and save the environment some hassles, if those cards as to be played.

          The railroad has pushed people off the line for one reason…they are trespassing. There is no trail yet, and there is no legal right for them to be there. Parts of those lines are operational, and it is a safety hazard. Once a trail is in place alongside the rail, and they have legal rights to be walking alongside the rail, then they can walk the line.

          Hope that is enough homework for you.


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