Letters: Civics defined, Niagara Bottling, economic development

ktx hudsonfultonstampThe definition of civics

Kingston Citizens has prevailed in the Niagara Bottling proposal: a very fine job.

I found this definition of Civics and I think it fits very well: “The art of being a prosocial problem-solving contributor in a self governing community.”

Yes, that fits Kingston Citizens quite well.

I expect there will be some grumbling about “naysayers” and “nimby” and public interference … understandable, of course, but will not be taken seriously.


At the very least, there can be no disagreement that Kingston Citizens did a fabulous job of informing the public and contacting the offices of power in a clear, full presentation of real costs to be weighed against benefits, which were, after all, not well defined at all.

The City of Kingston has been very well served and this community’s work has been widely noted with great respect.

Gerald Berke, KingstonCorridor.com, Kingston

Larger firms for higher wages

On Thursday, Feb. 12 on WGHQ’s Kingston Community Radio, talking with Ward Todd, I mentioned that the average wage for Ulster County residents is very low, about $13,000 less than Dutchess County residents. I told Ward that we need to do more to attract medium to large companies to the county, using the SUNY Ulster College’s Start-Up NY designation at TechCity (former IBM site). I mentioned that we are emphasizing small business and tourism development almost exclusively. This results in low average wages compared to Dutchess County.  We have very visible evidence of our low Ulster County wages: look at the Hudson Valley Mall where, one by one, stores are closing.

The lack of Ulster County and City of Kingston having an aggressive plan for attracting medium to large companies to the area is hurting the lives of our residents, especially our young people looking for good-paying jobs for raising a family. The Start-Up NY program at SUNY Ulster-TechCity offers 10 years of no income taxes for companies moving from out of state. Why don’t our leaders aggressively use this Start-Up NY designation to bring medium and large companies to the area?

Ralph Mitchell, Kingston

We did it together

Last week brought some great news: Together, we drove the dreaded Niagara Bottling Company from our midst, thereby removing, for now, the threat to our beloved Cooper Lake and our watershed.

We at SaveCooperLake would like to thank everyone who supported our efforts, including all Woodstock citizens who spread the word, the shopkeepers who displayed our posters, our donors, Jeremy Wilber and the Woodstock Town Board. We’d like to thank Michael Lang for letting us use his iconic dove for our posters and Paul Rubin of HydroQuest for his outstanding water report, and to Jerry Washington for providing invaluable assistance on water and traffic issues. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to Brian Hollander, editor of the Woodstock Times and Dan Barton, editor of the Kingston Times for making sure this critical issue got the coverage it deserved. Thank you to Michael Hein for encouraging the Town Of Ulster to take our concerns into account. And to KingstonCitizens.org and the Woodstock Land Conservancy, our grateful appreciation for your efforts.

Let’s every one of us give ourselves a big pat on the back. And now to the business of making sure this never happens again. Stay tuned …

SaveCooperLake.org – Richard Buck, Terry Dagrosa, Jenn Nelson, Cambiz Khosravi and Elizabeth Simonson – Woodstock