Letters (July 17-24)

mailFestival was a success

A special thank you to the people who held the Hudson Project musical festival this past weekend! And a special thank you to the town and the local and state police who made it a peaceful event. We had the privilege of filming the festival for Lighthouse TV23, our local station (my husband and I are volunteers). A great time was had by all who attended. The kids were polite, the venue was well run and the only things missing were more shade trees on Friday and Saturday and less rain on Sunday.

We talked with many of the attendees who came from across the United States and New York. Most had never been to the Catskills before, much less Saugerties. All loved the venue and the friendliness of all the locals. Many came to hear specific performers, so the breadth of offerings at the concert brought diverse people together.

Many of our local businesses were started by people who came here originally as tourists. The Hudson Project was a great way for a new generation of young adults to get to know our beautiful town. Hopefully some of them will move here, start businesses and flourish.


Again, congratulations to all involved!

Beth Murphy


Can’t blame Obama for this one

Santos Lopez (“Words Of Wisdom,” 7/10/14) writes that “In 2009, the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghadi in U.S. custody by executive order was released.” It’s not clear whether Mr. Lopez means that he was in custody or released by executive order but neither is true. Perhaps Mr. Lopez’s eagerness to blame President Obama for all the problems in the world got the better of him. In fact, George G.W. Bush was president but it was the Pentagon that released him, certainly an unfortunate error.

According to US Department of Defense records, al-Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca as a “civilian internee” by US Forces-Iraq from early Feb. 2004 until early Dec. 2004, when he was released. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended an “unconditional release” of al-Baghdadi. Had he been kept imprisoned without any evidence of terroristic activity, the U.S. would have been committing the same egregious violation of human rights that the Japanese carried out on 4,200 Americans in the Philippines during WWII, many of whom starved to death, and as the U.S. carried out against Japanese-Americans at the same time. It is true that al-Baghadi has since pursued a leadership role in ISI and, were he captured, would justifiably be imprisoned. I am sure that Mr. Lopez would not support our government violating human rights and imprisoning civilians who they are suspicious of. We knew of such practices in Castro’s Cuba.

Meyer Rothberg


Word to the wise

Mr. Lopez is a Faux News parrot. May I suggest that the “Breakfast Club” is essentially a collection of scarlet-naped fellows who would be comfortable walking around in white robes wearing pointy hoods. Attributing “wisdom” to any of Lopez’s points is ludicrous. Extreme right wing bias is more accurate. By the way, I am not a big fan of the current president, but I consider him a vast improvement over his predecessor.

Ralph Childers


Accessory to a crime

Last Sunday, July 13, I took part in a vigil in Woodstock protesting Israel’s bombing of Gaza. As a result, I feel called upon to speak out in this community. I am all for Israel as a nation, but not for its present stance as a bully tormenting a small child, as the power of the Palestinians is in relation to its power. Israel’s destructive and murderous policy should be stopped. Unfortunately that is hard to do because we — taxpaying citizens of the United States — are backing and helping to pay for it. Israel would better use its vast power and technology not to kill Palestinians but to find out and bring to justice the people who actually did kidnap and kill those three Israeli young men.

I urge everyone who is concerned about this murderous policy, in which we are complicit, to write to their representative and senator and tell him or her so.

Phoebe Hoss