Letters: 10/24-31

An open letter to Congressman Gibson

You must know that much in your newsletter, to put it generously, twists the truth. Republicans brag that they got subsidy verifications written into the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Of course, verification requirements for subsidies were written into the ACA from the start; it is so obvious as to be laughable. Clearly Republicans “agreed” to this provision in order to save face for holding hostage the US government—costing taxpayers $24 billion—and the world economy. Turns out that Americans like their government to function, after all.

You can repeat Republican talking points in lockstep with your colleagues but you know that Democrats “unwillingness to negotiate” was not what shut down the government. Americans know that, in fact the entire world knows that. What you fail to mention in your newsletter is that Republicans, having voted 42 times to repeal “Obamacare” and failed, insisted on negotiating it with the president and the Senate and both fortunately stood their ground. The ACA is the law; it is here to stay and it will benefit millions of Americans, which is clearly what Republicans are afraid of. Your party practiced blackmail diplomacy and lost. Admit it, take responsibility like grown-ups and promise the American people that you will never to do it again.

Clearly, Mr. Gibson, you are not a bad guy, but you are a member of a party that is willing to put people’s lives at risk for its radical ideology. It has voted 42 times to dismantle “Obamacare” but passed no legislation that would benefit the vast majority of US citizens. Indeed, as you wrote in your newsletter “finding an agreement is not that difficult when we come to the table.” It’s time we saw more of that from Republicans. For the next debt ceiling (i.e. debt payment) vote we urge you to be on the side of sanity which will probably mean not voting with your party.


Judith Simon



Follow the money

Follow the money and you see why Cuomo is acting as he is. The money trail is finally seeing the light of day, and surprise, surprise …Gov. Cuomo has been one of the gambling industry’s major beneficiaries. According to a New York Times article by Thomas Kaplan, since 2005 Cuomo has collected more campaign donations from gambling and horse racing interests—over $1 million—than any other elected official or candidate in the state.

And apparently Cuomo is following the gaming industries operational model of the “house always wins” by the legal criminality route that he has taken in getting this legislation to the ballot box. His most recent egregious act is to have the Board of Elections frame the wording as an advertisement for the glorious benefits of gambling money. By this rosy language he has stacked the deck and violated the sanctity of the ballot.

They say prostitution is the oldest profession and gambling the second—surely Cuomo’s action indicates he has learnt from both “professions.” Fellow voters: Are we going to let him get away with that? Vote no to proposition one.

Susan Puretz



An undead thank you

Village Invasion, the Hudson Valley Zombie Crawl, went off successfully Saturday, Oct. 19 from 6-10 p.m. in the village of Saugerties. The streets were closed and people from all over descended upon Main and Partition streets dressed as zombies to enjoy the music, participate in a parade and costume contest, and support local businesses that had zombie themed events all night.

As organizer of the event, I want to thank all those involved.

First and foremost, the Village of Saugerties and Mayor William Murphy– thanks for supporting us and helping us get our permitting done. The Department of Public Works and Bob Ciarlante was a tremendous help supplying and delivering barricades and trash cans and cleaning our mess up promptly– even on a Sunday morning!

Enough thanks cannot be conveyed to the Saugerties Police Department. If, as a resident, you had any doubt to the quality of our police force, leadership, and officers, I’d gladly prove to you their worth. I worked closest with Chief Sinagra, Lieutenant Filak, and Sergeant Derek Fallon. These gentlemen were terrific in ensuring the safety of our participants and helping us with the process. The officers who assisted that night were indispensable to us and we thank them very much.

The volunteer Saugerties Fire Department, led by Dave Mason, was also a tremendous help. They showed up on their own time to assist the police and help us have fun. Truly, they are some of our best community advocates.

Thank you to the New York State Police for sending five quality officers to patrol as well. Diaz Ambulance stepped up, as always, and had EMTs patrolling and other resources available if needed. They couldn’t do anything about all the dead people walking around though, it seemed.

This year we also had 20-plus members of the Saugerties High School Key Club participate. They were excellent and blew us away with their maturity and willingness to get their hands dirty. Members of the Hudson Valley Horrors Roller Derby team manned the gates and assisted us again. Thank you ladies– we could not have done it without you!

The final official head count was 4167 people (and we stopped counting at 8:30 p.m.). We asked for $2 donations at the gate and raised $4,687. We are allocating money for the Saugerties Food Pantry and the balance, along with last year’s donations of $2,500, will go towards repairing or rebuilding Small World Playground.

Thank you to the Village Invasion team: Jaimee Moxham (Captain Cruella– the founder), Perri Naccarato and Zach Liberman of the Computer Guys, and the Village Apothecary staff. Jaimee’s parents, Barbara and Jim Smith, and her aunt Lois Every were there working to the bone, as always. Thank you!

To the businesses who supported us – thank you! We hope to see you ghouls next year!

Neil Smoller