Letters (December 18-25)

mailActual proof

An observer of the Ferguson tragedy stated that the “hands up, don’t shoot” chant was “a gesture proven by the grand jury not to be appropriate or accurate.” Grand juries do not prove the truth or falsity of anything. We all know from our own experience or from TV that testimony at a trial is confronted by exhibits, contrary statements and cross-examination. Only then can a jury try to find the truth. Nothing like that happened before the secret Ferguson grand jury.

Those folks were presented with a bunch of testimony behind closed doors, but none of it was challenged by an adverse party. Michael Brown had no representative digging for the truth of what actually transpired. The grand jury in Ferguson found no probable cause to indict. It did not prove a thing. The truth of what happens remains free from proper scrutiny. I hope our federal criminal justice system will put the evidence to a true test. Perhaps Michael Brown surrendered before he was shot dead, perhaps not, but we should not surrender until we learn the truth examined in a public court room.

Lanny Walter, Esq.


Massage for a good cause

The Saugerties Farmers Market is happy to report the extraordinary amount of $1,200 raised for the Village Playground Fund Lion’s Club. This was made possible by the dedicated efforts of Sakinah Irizarry, a very skilled licensed massage therapist, who gave chair massages at the market throughout the year in exchange for donations.


Not only are the massages enticing, healthful and oh so relaxing, but it was a win-win to receive a wonderful service and at the same time to support the improvement of a local playground. Readers can find Sakinah at the last indoor market on the Saturday before Christmas, Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Senior Center, 207 Market St.

Judith Spektor
Saugerties Farmers Market Committee


Heating help

The cold weather months are now upon the residents of Ulster County, and I wanted to call attention to some programs that are in place to assist Ulster County residents in the payment of their utility bills. Ulster County Community Action is a not-for-profit public assistance entity that is based out of Kingston, and they will assist residents of Ulster County in the application process for the statewide Heating Energy Assistance Program, HEAP. If residents of New York meet the criterion of financial need, HEAP will assist those who correctly fill out an application in the payment of their heating oil, natural gas or electric heat bills. At Ulster County Community Action, Suzy Hinchey is the director of HEAP, and she can be contacted at (845) 338-8750 or she can be seen by visiting their office which is located at 70 Lindsley Ave., Kingston.

In addition to HEAP, Ulster County Community Action also has a weatherization program in place which will assist homeowners and landlords in the insulation and weatherization of their dwellings according to their level of financial need. An application process is used to determine whether homeowners and landlords meet the financial need-based criterion, and for more information, residents of Ulster County can contact Anthony Pampinella at (845) 338-8750 or visit the office which is also located at 70 Lindsley Ave. in Kingston.

If anyone has questions about these programs or any of the other ones like Early Childhood Head Start, Food Pantry or Little League Assistance Funding at Ulster County Community Action, please feel free to contact myself or Village Trustee Don Hackett, as we are both members on the Board of Directors.

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature