Letters: Kingston Point Rail Trail, high school bond vote

Photo by shnnn

Photo by shnnn

Uplifting summit

With all of the bad news in the world, it is uplifting when something positive happens in our midst. I had the pleasure of attending the recent Kingston Greenline Summit and it was exciting and energizing. The Greenline combines the Kingston Point Rail Trail project with other trail projects and street improvements to make walking and cycling all over the city welcoming, safe and accessible. Cities all over the country are experiencing reduction in crime, improvement in quality of life and renewed interest in real estate along city trails. Thanks to the efforts of the Kingston Land Trust, Kingston’s trail projects and “complete street” plans are well beyond the dream stage.

It can be hard to appreciate how special something is when it is close to home. At Kingston’s Summit, representatives from New York Parks and Trails, The National Park Service, Hudson River Valley Greenway, The Open Space Institute, as well as the mayor and every regional rail trail organization were there in support of Kingston’s plan. That was impressive. The future they recognized was the Kingston Greenline as the vital urban hub connecting trails in the region, from the Walkway Over the Hudson to the O&W and Wallkill Valley rail trails and out to the Ashokan Reservoir and Belleayre Mountain along the proposed Catskill Mountain Rail Trail — people outside, biking and walking to school and work, getting healthier and enjoying the incredible historic and natural assets of where we live. Thank you Kingston Land Trust!

Susan Goldman, Woodstock

November or December?

This is an open letter to Dr. Padalino and the Kingston City School District School Board.


We know you want to build a new high school and are planning on asking the community to vote Yes/No on the proposal via a referendum. We also understand you want the community to vote on this in mid-December because you need the time to explain why we should vote yes.

We want you to re-schedule this vote to November to coincide with the general election when a far greater number of residents gather to vote. Between now and November you have three months to present your case. If you can’t make it in three months, another month won’t make a difference.  Or is there another reason for wanting to vote in mid-December?

What’s it going to be, November or December and why?

Ronald E. Dietl, Kingston

Panel an excellent opportunity

In your article, “Gilead Street Blues” of Thursday 18 July, the Mayor proposes a committee of lawmakers, reaching out to the public, to define and address some of the infrastructure problems that affect residents and visitors of our city.

This seems to be an excellent opportunity for the Kingston Common Council to add value to their already important work. We have an aging infrastructure that is badly in need of attention, and residents need to know what’s going on with the essential systems that support our everyday life.

One problem here is that sewers, buried cable, the undersides of bridges, and road beds are invisible until they fail, so it’s hard to know where to pay attention until a catastrophic failure happens. We don’t have to go very deep into the past to find examples; the Twaalfskill at Gilead and Wilbur, the sinkhole on Washington between Linderman and Donovan place, and shutting gas off to a third of the city on a cold winter night. Others, like the recently de-certified berm behind the KinstonPlaza, are coming, and maybe this committee can play a crucial role in getting the jump on those.

Some will see this as adding another layer of government to fixing problems, but I see it as an opportunity to use the vital resources of people already intimately involved with the problems that affect the neighborhood. Take advantage of the aldermen communicating between City hall and the residents of the wards. Put to use the warnings of people that “smell that awful smell,” or notice that three or four of the street lights are out, even though they’ve already called Central Hudson.

When I told Mr. Hoffay that I was considering a run for alderman in the 3rd Ward, he told me to always remember that the Common Council is a co-equal partner in government with the mayor’s office. Wise words, Mr. Hoffay, and advice I take to heart.

I wait for the reaction of the people of Kingston to this proposal in the coming days.

Andrew Champ-Doran, Kingston

There are 5 comments

  1. Paul Payton

    The Catskill Mountain Railroad has be running sold-out trains in Kingston for several weeks now. Doesn’t that tell us somethihg about the popularity of the railroad?

    Tarailroad, while preferring to have the right-of-way to itself, has expressed an active willingness tocoexist with a trail. Isn’t it time For the politicians to support the railroad their constituents already support?

    1. John Garesche

      Sorry, Paul, but people in Kingston do not want the railroad. They are a bad neighbor. Most are for rail and trails- but not with the Catskill Mountain Railroad Company, Inc. They are decades away from being able to connect the Kingston segment with the Phoenicia segment.

      Let’s use the right of way. CMR Co has failed. It’s time for a trail.

      1. SSCrowe

        Sorry John, but I don’t think that you speak for all the people of Kingston. I, like many other residents, think that there should be both options–a rail trail and an active Catskill Mountain Company railroad. Frankly, there has never been a fair public discussion of the issue.

      2. tom Healy

        John I think you views falls in line with the minority. Parking a dump truck on the tracks makes kingstons mayor the bad neighbor. Most I think would agree that the railroad is being railroaded. By the county and the city.

  2. Edward Willett

    To the Editor
    In regards to your article; “Local Cyclists use their Pedal Power” July 25th,by Carrie Jones Ross, I would like to add that Bike Friendly Kingston is very involved in making Kingston a much safer and convenient place to bike. Bike Friendly Kingston is a community group that has been in existence for several years with the aim of promoting safer and more accessible biking for all residents.
    It’s great to see an increasing number of people on bikes, whether for recreation, exercise, or practicality. There are many people for whom biking is their primary means of transportation. There are also many of us who would bike more if it was safer and more convenient.
    For all of these reasons it is important that we move forward with improving the bicycling infrastructure in Kingston. We are currently raising money to pay for the installation of Bike Sharrows (markings painted at intervals on the road to indicate that bikes and cars share the road and where it is safe and appropriate for bicyclists to ride). These are not bike lanes and will not affect the flow of traffic, but will improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. We are hoping, with the support of the community, to raise the necessary funds for this to happen this fall. You can find out more information at Bike Friendly Kingston’s Facebook page.

    Ed Willett
    Bike Friendly Kingston

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