It is easy to see what side of the train debate Mr. Reynolds supports. Good journalism would hope that fair and unbiased reporting would show not only the benefits for a for-profit railroad company but also the negative impact that this railroad company has had on the many residents who have had to live next to the tracks for the past 20 years.
Facts of the tracks are that it is great to see such a great turnout for Thomas the Tank Engine. For those children’s parents who can afford the cost, it is like when the circus comes to town, or you take your child to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny or Santa, with overpriced tickets and sky-high merchandise to boot.
It is also easy to see what side our elected county Legislator Dave Donaldson [is on; he] sides with a for-profit company (CMRR) over his own local residents which he is supposed to be representing. Knowing how many years and hours Mr. Donaldson has donated to the CMRR, I often wonder if he also has any financial ties with them as well.
In the old days an elected official would recuse themselves from a board or committee if there was a conflict of interest, but I guess those days are long gone. The rudeness that was shown to the speakers who spoke on behalf of the trail at the most recent committee hearings clearly showed how much hostility and ill feelings are inside of Mr. Donaldson. For true fairness to the process, he should have volunteered to annex himself [sic] from the proceedings.
It is sad that many families that actually live in Kingston could not afford this entertainment at $20 a person for a 20-minute ride. Now I hear The Polar Express will cost you $36 a person, so for a family of four it will be $144 but you get a free cup of cocoa! (Funny, nowhere on any of the posters for either Thomas the Tank Engine or The Polar Express does it give the ticket prices.)
With the average family living in the City of Kingston making under $30,000 a year, and as reported, most of these families who came to enjoy Thomas came from Manhattan, Rhinebeck, Woodstock and New Paltz, Mr. Donaldson should be aware that these people are not the ones that will be voting for his continued tenure in the legislature.
I have at least 10 years of pictures of the overgrown, trash-laden, rotted-out, rat-ridden, smoke-filled, vegetation-sprayed, tracks, non-payment of rent, and the lack of abiding to their lease.
If the grass and weeds grew to over six feet tall on my property and I did not clean up the trash that is thrown onto my property and I did not pay my mortgage I would get fined, cited and finally the bank would take my house. Thank god for Mr. Hein. Enough is enough.
Thomas the Tank Engine is the biggest thing and the most popular event that has ever happened to this CMRR in 20 years, so times that by number of riders times 20 years of abuse and the stats are not so great.
I personally brought 15 picture books filled with pictures of the filth, overgrowth, trash and non compliance of the CMRR lease over the past 10 years to the county legislature. I have written about the many times local community groups have had to clean up the tracks and haul away truck loads of trash and debris at the City of Kingston’s taxpayers’ expense as it’s carted away to the dump. But has Mr. Reynolds done one article about that side of the CMRR? No. Have I seen Mr. Donaldson at one neighborhood track cleanup in the past 10 years? The answer is no!
Mary Ann Parker, former alderwoman for the Midtown’s 4th Ward told the legislature that the last president of the CMRR wrote in your newspaper that “Midtown could go s–t in their hats!” (Editor’s note: Not exactly — Parker said Earl Pardini said that to her in response to her concerns about track-maintenance issues; Hugh Reynolds reported that in a column in 2013.) This is the true feeling of this for-profit company towards the city of Kingston and its residents and the way they use children to get the publicity they crave.
Is it worth all the mess for a couple guys who like to tinker with trains, to tie up our busy city streets every time their trains cross Washington Avenue, Downs Street, O’ Neil Street or at the plaza? Just wait ’till this Christmas when you get caught in a traffic jam at one of these locations, a for-profit company that can not even afford to buy proper railroad signs, signals, or crossing lights.
If families really want to take part in this kind of entertainment, and they come all the way from Manhattan, Rhinebeck, New Paltz or Woodstock they will be willing to drive the extra miles to Phoenicia and not think twice about it.
I have been waiting 10 years to say this: Goodbye, CMRR and thanks for the memories. I look [forward] to walking, biking, strolling running down a clean trail with my kids, and not having to pay a dollar a minute for my kids to enjoy the trails. Maybe Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Reynolds can move up to Phoenicia, buy a restaurant together next to the tracks and sell pancakes in the shape of a train and charge $20 a plate and maybe the residents there will drink the Kool-Aid you two are trying to sell the people of Kingston and maybe the residents will vote Mr. Donaldson in as their legislator representing the CMRR’s concerns over their own!
Matt Ryan, Kingston
We’re for Gibson
We are supporting Chris Gibson in his re-election bid to the Congressional seat of New York’s 19th district. Our reasons for supporting Chris Gibson are many, however one of the top five reasons are his participation the “No Labels” reform movement in Congress. Chris Gibson has been on board with this movement to create a national strategic agenda since 2010.
We are encouraged by the work of Chris Gibson and No Labels to make Social Security and Medicare sustainable and solvent over the next 75 years. We believe that one of the ways to help return our great country back prosperity for all citizens is to encourage and support candidates who are committed to reaching across the political aisle and who will work to problem solve in a bipartisan manner.
Please join us in supporting Chris Gibson — no labels, stop the fighting, start the fixing, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Janine Fallon Mower & John A. Mower, Woodstock
Gibson’s moderate myth
After reading “Laboring in Obscurity” (Sept. 18 Kingston Times) about Chris Gibson’s high approval rating among Democrats, I had to wonder what they are reading and how they are informing themselves.
Is it possible Democrats really don’t know how he votes in Congress?