Preservationist bloc has power
There is an increasingly expanding community that has chosen to live here because of the cultural and natural amenities of Saugerties. A lot of them have their primary residences elsewhere and do not vote here so their concerns are not on the front burner of a government elected by a group of voters actually small in number compared to this community’s presence. This community, however, is close to being the provider of the lion’s share of taxes and purchasing power local employment depends on, and, our elected officials should understand, can make decisions that cause real consequences for those that do vote. Without any effect to their investments or lifestyle here this community can easily choose to not patronize businesses and institutions they see as coercing government into undermining their interests.
Over the past half century this community pressed hard for preservation legislation. In Saugerties their concerns are represented well by those that are qualified to sit on the volunteer commissions and boards that protect the environment this community has chosen for their home. This community is very aware of the actions of businesses and institutions that would circumvent those legally constituted bodies charged with preserving what they regard as their community’s identity. Every time an elected official does not consult and blatantly bypasses these preservation safeguards, this community takes notice and responds in a manner that is likely beyond the intentions of someone who has assumed that a reactionary response is representative of the interest of the voting population.
Saugerties’ status now as a lifestyle community is more complex than past shrugs and knowing comments on curious local cultural traits can simply dismiss away anymore.
Michael Sullivan Smith
Against militarized police
Kingston residents are outraged by the statements Kingston Police Chief Tinti made to Ulster Publishing in the “Serve, protect but not invade” article published Aug. 21, 2014. We condemn his “praying for peace, preparing for war” approach to policing our streets. Militarized police forces escalated the violence in Ferguson, MO, and we do not condone these tactics in theory or practice here in Kingston.
Chief Tinti stands alone in his zeal for handouts from the Department of Homeland Security; Woodstock, Rosendale, Ellenville and Saugerties leadership understand that armored weapons are not equivalent to a “fire extinguisher in the corner” but are the opening volley in a war against those they are sworn to serve and protect. Militarization of the police is not a black or white issue – it is a human rights issue – though it is proven that people of color and people in poverty are disproportionately affected by violence committed by police.
Soldiers in the armed forces train every day to use the weapons of war in a safe, responsible manner against the enemy. Kingston area residents are not the terrorists this equipment is designed to destroy. Weekend training for its proper use is inadequate, and deploying what is essentially a tank to serve a warrant is a travesty – not a point of pride. Kingston is not a combat zone, and we refuse to be held hostage by the ideology that it is.
We encourage Chief Tinti to reconsider his stance and to “pray for peace, prepare for peace” instead. It is imperative he address Kingston residents in a public forum and adjust his policies to reflect the progressive policing of his more enlightened peers.
Stacy Lyn Burnett
Golf tourney raises funds for animal shelter
On behalf of the staff of the Town of Saugerties Animal Shelter, I would like to acknowledge and thank Kim Hines for raising funds for the shelter by putting a great deal of time and effort into organizing a women’s invitational golf tournament at the Lazy Swan Golf Course. She raised a generous amount of money for the shelter to be used for the shelter’s renovations projects. Kim e-mailed me it was a great success and every one had a grand time. In addition each participant brought donations for the shelter, such as pet food, toys, blankets, towels, and cleaning products, adding up to filling our passenger car. We want to thank the participants who took part in this tournament. We are so grateful for the kindness shown to our shelter by these wonderful women. This is the second year for this invitational tournament and I have been told it will be an annual event. Thank you so much. We are truly blessed.