Letters (December 4-11)

mailWarrant checks a safety issue

While I understand the concerns of Legislator Bartels and others regarding security checks at social services, I contend that the practice is legal and necessary. The sheriff has a duty to protect the good men and women who were once subjected to assaults and dangerous working conditions. What Sheriff VanBlarcum did was add another level of security in his quest to keep the peace. By her (Bartels) actions and veiled threats she had managed to coerce the good intentions of the sheriff into discontinuing the practice.

What legislators should be doing is support the sheriff, but they didn’t. Which places a level of danger to the work place, and if a social service examiner is injured as a result, I would guess that he or she would have a costly civil suit against those who created this reversal. Further, this procedure in no way is an affront to the needy, and I would guess that they too would want to insure that the sheriff keep a tranquil atmosphere at that location.

Michael LaPaglia

The writer is the former sheriff of Ulster County


Save Café Mezzaluna

With the passing of Mery Rosado, Saugerties has lost one of its most beloved supporters of art, music and poetry. Mery, through her generosity and enthusiasm, embraced local artists by sponsoring music events, art exhibits as well as poetry readings at Café Mezzaluna. She will surely be missed by everyone including the café’s many loyal patrons who enjoyed Mery’s warm and friendly smile.


During Mery’s illness, Cherie Lee, who has worked side by side with Mery during the past nine years, took charge of the café to keep it going during this difficult time and Cherie is eager to continue to keep it alive. A Save Café Mezzaluna account has been opened at Key Bank on Main St. in Saugerties to help raise money to secure a deposit for the purchase of the café from Mery’s estate. As of this writing approximately 25 percent of the money has been raised through an appeal to the community. I encourage anyone who has enjoyed a meal, an art show, musical performance or reading to consider contributing to this project so that we all can continue to count Café Mezzaluna as one of Saugerties treasures. The funds need to be raised quickly to meet bank deadlines and should the goal not be met, all monies contributed will be returned to the donator. Contributions large and small are welcome. Anyone who wants to help can just drop in at Key Bank and tell the bank teller that you want to help “Save Café Mezzaluna.”

Barbara Bravo


Saugerties must oppose pipeline

A well attended public information forum on the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline was held at SUNY New Paltz on Monday, Nov, 17. Very interesting that the town of Rosendale has passed a resolution denying permission for this company to proceed with surveying property in Rosendale for this proposed pipeline and the town of New Paltz has this subject on its agenda for its next meeting; however not one elected official from the village or town of Saugerties had the wherewithal to attend the forum on this subject. Shame on them.

Geraldine Romano


Obama’s immigration swindle

I am the grandson of immigrants. I have no problem with immigrants. And no, for those of you who attempt to shut down dialogue thru name-calling, I am not a racist. What I object to are the illegal and unfair actions of the U.S. government of late regarding immigration. So I was not happy with the slanted article on immigration in the Saugerties Times.

There was no mention of Obama’s cynical attempt to pack the U.S. with fraudulent voters; no explanation of “chain migration”(bringing in one family member to justify bringing in the rest of the family); no mention of actually enforcing the border (our border agents are being prevented from doing their job); no mention of cracking down on employers illegally hiring; no mention of the fact that we are bankrupt and are borrowing money to give benefits to illegals; no mention of the fact that many illegals steal your ID then drive, vote and illegally sign up for benefits we can’t afford to pay!

Or how about the fact that honest businesses that don’t break the law can’t compete with those who are cheap lawbreakers who hire illegals! Is that fair? Going out of business for following the law?

But it is just the usual slanted journalism; no surprise here, can’t let ’em know the truth! Please, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining! This is just a scheme to pack the Democrat party with potential fraudulent votes! What’s that, you say? “Illegals can’t vote?” Well, thanks to our activist “Department of Justice” and other corrupt officials blocking any attempt to discern fraudulent votes, now they can and do outvote you! You can’t let non-citizens vote because that is like giving the car keys to a kindergartner! They don’t know the history and hard-fought battles that are the reasons our laws are the way they are, and until they learn them should not vote, not to mention that you could have Vladimir Putin, al Qaeda, ISIS or whoever voting in our elections if non-citizens can vote!

So I say “Attention fatcat government traitors! Stop racking up debt and then slapping the American middle class with the bill! Enough is enough!”When the people who lend our government money to operate cut us off and they say “no more phony paper money to pay us,” who do you think will get slapped with the bill? You and I, that’s who! And the fatcats will laugh in their palaces at the dumb Americans that they duped because they will not have to pay a cent!

Karl Krause


Unequal hospital reimbursements

Recently, it was reported that Dave Scarpino, the director of the Health Alliance’s Kingston campus of Benedictine and Kingston Hospital, was traveling to Washington DC in order to lobby on behalf of receiving higher reimbursement rates for services that are billed to Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, the Kingston-area hospitals and Vassar Brothers in Poughkeepsie receive 25 percent lower reimbursement rates than Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck and St. Peters Hospital in Poughkeepsie receive from Medicaid and Medicare for all medical procedures. Upon receipt of this information, I phoned Mr. Scarpino’s office and offered my assistance as a member of the Health Care Committee within the Ulster County Legislature.

While in Washington, Mr. Scarpino directly met with Congressman Chris Gibson in addition to other individual meetings with aides from the offices of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. I myself also phoned all of these representatives’ offices in Washington, and I spoke directly to aides from everyone’s office except for Senator Schumer’s office. In addition, when Sen. Gillibrand was at Cahill Elementary School last spring, I personally spoke to her about the imperative need for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates being equalized for the Kingston area hospitals. After a conversation with Mr. Scarpino, he thanked me for my efforts, and he explained his strategy for trying to get bipartisan support for reimbursement rates being equalized. Mr. Scarpino believes that for this lobbying effort to be successful there needs to be a bi-partisan effort made within the House of Representatives through an alliance between Congressman Maloney and Gibson. Congressman Gibson represents Kingston and Congressman Maloney represents Poughkeepsie, and within the Poughkeepsie area, Vassar Brothers Hospital and St. Peters Hospital receive unequal reimbursement rates from Medicaid and Medicare. Such reimbursement rates are set and determined by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services which is a government agency within the federal government. Within the policies that are set forth by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, there are geographical regionalized zones which partially determine what the reimbursement rates are for various hospitals. Unfortunately, the Kingston area hospitals have historically been placed in regionalized zones that do not give them the highest possible reimbursements rates for services billed to Medicaid and Medicare. And as a result, the Kingston area hospitals have not been able to offer the same level of wages that are offered to doctors, nurses and other employees at other area hospitals like Northern Dutchess and Vassar Brothers. These policies set forth by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services are clearly not coherent, as is evidenced by the unequal reimbursement rates that are received by the two Poughkeepsie area hospitals.

Within the Ulster County Legislature’s Health Care Committee, I have taken the lead role in assisting Mr. Scarpino in the pursuit of equalizing these reimbursement rates, and I have stressed the importance of this effort to everyone within the Ulster County Legislature.

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature