Letters (July 10-17)

Beach patrons, not businesses, should clean it up

mailAfter reading some of the comments in the June 26 issue regarding the conditions of the village beach, I felt it necessary to write in response. Several comments from readers implied that fixing up the beach is the responsibility of local businesses. One comment specifically stating that Diamond Mills should “throw some money our way.” Another comment stated that the bordering businesses should hold fundraisers because “they are surely making enough money to help.” How is the village beach the responsibility of Diamond Mills or any of the local businesses? The main concern regarding the village beach was noted to be graffiti, broken picnic tables and overturned grills. Clearly, these issues are a direct result of those using the beach. Vandalism, and a complete disregard for public property, should not be the responsibility of the local businesses. I agree that the town is responsible for attentively patrolling the area, installing the necessary surveillance to ensure safety and holding responsible those that are found to be misusing public property. I do not agree, however, with the belief that those businesses in the area are responsible.

Our local business owners are incredibly generous and supportive of the Saugerties community in general. Don’t hold them responsible for damage and vandalism caused by others. Rather, attend town meetings to ask the town for the support and increased patrols; petition for the necessary surveillance cameras; establish a group of volunteers to clean up once a month; consider asking a local church or volunteer group for a few hours of help each month. As I drive home from work each evening, I see a large group of people using the beach, swimming, cooking and fishing. Surely there are some who wouldn’t mind joining a cleanup committee? This is an issue of community and personal responsibility. Ask the town for what is needed but do not presume that successful businesses in the area should take responsibility and “throw money our way.”

Kate Bagshaw


Collective more numerous

I appreciated Janet Asiain’s informative article on The Long Spoon Collective in the last issue of Saugerties Times but she got the numbers wrong!


Our name comes from the parable where feeding each other brings joy and the title was the inspiration of Chris when we met often in the fall of 2013 to share potlucks and talk about Frank’s and Chase’s philosophy along with each dream and vision of the baker’s dozen or so of us gathered in community. There were more than that original baker’s dozen when we met at Carin’s and Mark’s for our first collective activity of taking apart 80 pounds of garlic bulbs so that during the ensuing days we could carefully plant each clove in hand-tilled and hilled and mulched field at Vivian’s and Jim’s. We laid down cardboard between the rows so no weeds would grow and would enable the gathering of garlic scapes in the early summer. On two occasions we met to make garlic scape pesto and there were again more of us working and, of course, feasting. Almost every day throughout the spring and summer, Chase, Frank and Karuna worked passionately, intensely and tirelessly in the fields, joined by Ben and Alex, later by Lala, Jared, Luce, Suzanne, Monica, Mark and others I cannot now name. The strong young guys gave their muscles to the rigorous taking down of donated barns and houses to be used for tiny home building.

Every two weeks, as vegetables become ready, more people from all over come together to learn and contribute ideas to the project, and enjoy a potluck, music, and distribution of harvests while an array of people also take part in the building of cobb ovens made from sand and clay, the first at Jared’s, Lala’s and Luce’s place where we see permaculture in practice. The work of the collective is at one and the same time visionary and real engaged in by people of all ages, inspired originally by the amazing philosophy of Frank and Chase. Multiply the number six (as written about by Janet in her article about the Long Spoon collective) by two and then three and then by four and more and note that the size of the collective grows exponentially and keeps growing and expanding with the love of everyone who comes to participate in this building of community — a community in which we are finding our roots in our relationship to the earth and in caring for each other. And all are welcome — ad infinitum!

Jane Toby


Conservative callbacks

In August of 2013 the New York State Conservative Party of Ulster County sent federal officials, President Obama, senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman Gibson a letter advising them that the executive committee did not wish to see the United States military engage in the conflict in the country of Syria. At the end of Sept. 2013 our party sent a letter to the editor to a number of local newspapers stating that the only official who extended our committee the courtesy of a reply was Congressman Chris Gibson. Congress Gibson agreed that a “boots on the ground” response to the Syrian conflict was not warranted. None of the other officials contacted responded to our letter.

I wish to update the status of our contact with our federal officials. It is with great pleasure that I advise that the Ulster County Conservative Party has received a reply from President Barack Obama. The president reviewed the progression of the conflict, the consideration of limited military action and the ultimate choice of a diplomatic option. We commend the president for this approach and look forward to a continuance of a diminished American military presence in the Middle East. We have still not heard from senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

The Ulster County Conservative Party continues to hold similar views regarding reentry into another US-Iraqi War. America needs secure borders, energy independence using domestic resources and reinvestment in American business and manufacturing. Our children need to be taught to think again. God Bless America.

Jack Hayes
Recording secretary,
Ulster County Conservative Party


Stop the bomb trains

On Sunday July 6, over 50 people stood by the railroad crossing in Saugerties holding a vigil organized by Frack Free Catskills to remember the 47 people who died in a fiery blast when a train carrying crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota derailed and exploded, flattening the town of Lac-Megantic just outside of Quebec a year ago to the day.

It was the same kind of trains which run twice a day through Saugerties and other towns in the Hudson Valley from the Port of Albany to refineries in New Jersy and Philadelphia. We held replicas of the black crude oil cars with warnings like Explosive, Toxic Cargo, Stop Oil Trains. On July 4, despite the rain, we marched in the parade, with our “crude oil trains” to share this warning.

We joined many other communities around the country who held vigils and rallies . It was not only a remembrance but a determination that these trains and the barges which carry the same explosive and dangerous crude down the Hudson River must to stopped. We have learned that these trains, 100 cars long, are not safe to carry this crude oil. We have learned that railroad workers have dubbed the train “bomb trains” because of the likelihood of derailment and explosion. We have learned that there is no safe way to transport the volatile and explosive crude. We know that Global Partners is trying to get permits for heating stations in Port of Albany so they can transfer tar sands from Canada onto barges going down the Hudson. We know that there are efforts to allow for the export of this fuel overseas. Profits for the big oil companies, danger for us. Accident’s by train and barges have increased rapidly. It’s an accident just waiting to happen here.

Sue Rosenberg


Sidewalks in rough shape

Speaking of sidewalks, I think something should be done with the ones throughout the village. They are horrible. This is why people walk in the streets coming back from the field after fireworks. We couldn’t even push a carriage down those sidewalks; my niece would have had a concussion

Mallisa Mayr
Via Saugertiesx.com