Letters (April 16-23)

mailSaugerties should oppose pipeline

The Pilgrim Pipeline is a bi-directional 178-mile pipeline proposed to be constructed from Albany, down the New York State Thruway corridor to Linden, NJ. Volatile Bakken crude would move south from Albany through Saugerties, Kingston, and all the other towns adjacent to 87. And gasoline or heating oil would be transported up north. Many Saugerties landowners have been approached by this company, asking to survey their land. Members of CAPPS NY (Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline, Saugerties NY) have been working to gather correct data about how much oil will be transported, how explosive Bakken crude is, and how it has affected other communities in the U.S. in which pipelines have been built. CAPPS is part a coalition of local groups opposing the pipeline. In Hudson Valley 13 towns as well as the Ulster County Legislature have passed resolutions opposing the pipeline. Thirty-three towns in NJ have passed similar resolutions. Saugerties should join them.

Bakken crude is one of the most volatile types of oil and there have been numerous pipeline leaks and train explosions in the past several years that have been well documented in the news. If this pipeline is approved and comes through Saugerties we run the risk of being another one of these liabilities. When there is a rupture it will cause damage to property and potentially cause injury and loss of life to the community. What is very likely is that a leak in the pipeline will severely affect our water (streams, wells, all aquifers that are nearby).

Saugerties Town Supervisor Helsmoortel, along with some Town Board members, recently met privately with representatives of Pilgrim and have stated that a “public informational meeting” will be taking place in our town. The date is yet to be announced. Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting and learn more about what is being proposed in Saugerties. You can contact the town supervisor to find out when that meeting will be taking place at 845-246-2800 x345.


Tamara Telberg


Library’s first 100 years

Saugerties Public Library celebrates 100 years in 2015. A commemorative booklet marks this anniversary by depicting the beautiful Carnegie Building, its addition, special moments of the recent past and its loyal Friends. Copies of the publication are available at the library and various local businesses.

We invite you to pick up a booklet, enjoy these highlights, and become a member of Friends of the Library if you are not yet one. Friends do many things, including sponsor fundraisers to support library services, volunteer time to help with programs and special projects, keep the public informed about activities and goals, and sponsor scholarships for graduating Saugerties Seniors.

The Booklet Committee would like to send a hearty thank you to many contributors for their help in designing and supporting this effort: those who shared photographs, Karin Yerry who helped with layout, and local businesses which contributed funds for its publication: Bishop’s Gate Realty, Helsmoortel Insurance Agency, Helsmoortel Realty Inc, Merritt Construction, Naccarato Insurance Agency Inc, Saugerties Tax Service (Robert Cranston CPA), Sawyer Motors, Sue’s Restaurant and In Memory of Thomas Zulick

Congratulations, much-loved Saugerties Public library, on your first 100 years!

Eleanor Redder, Chair; Vernon Benjamin,
Nancy Forsythe, Joe Gavner, 
Mary Alice Lindquist,  Mark Smith,
& Frank Rees, Library Director
Booklet Committee


Removing errors in medical records

Unfortunately, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HIPPA, consumers of health care do not have legal possessive rights to obtain the written hard copies of their own medical records when they are disseminated back and forth between health insurance companies and the entities where they receive health care. Under HIPPA, the conflated summaries of your health care records (which are used to make medical determinations by the health insurance companies as to whether your coverage is approved or denied) are not obtainable when such information is electronically disseminated. In the 21st century, everything is electronically disseminated, as all medical records are transmitted through an email, facsimile or telephone call. Under HIPPA, this information is considered to be protected informational property of the insurance companies or in other words a proprietary trade secret. And this information is only accessible through a court-ordered subpoena which is not available until a patient has exhausted all of the appeals that are available to them within the appeals processes which are set forth by the specific state insurance laws within their state of residence. Assuming that a patient should lose their appeal(s), this process of exhausting all of the appeal(s) available to them will take 2-3 years, and once this process of appeals has been exhausted, a consumer of health care would have to sue their health insurance company in Civil Court in order to obtain their own medical records. In the interim, however, their medical bills will have continued to accrue and/or their illness, injury or ailment will not have been treated because of the denial of coverage by the insurance company.

While the details of HIPPA are extremely troubling on a federal level, there are other insurance laws which are equally troubling on the state level. Specifically, Section 18 of New York State Health Law does not allow for errors within one’s health care records to be permanently removed. Under Section 18, if you or a qualified person or persons discover a mistake or omission within a patient’s health care records, a brief written statement can be submitted in order to call attention to the mistake. This written statement will be added onto the patient’s medical records after the mistake and both entries will permanently remain in the patient’s medical records. Unfortunately, this practice can have an adverse effect on the ability of patients to purchase health and life insurance, and it can potentially have an adverse effect on the future treatment of patients in a clinical setting.

Within the Ulster County Legislature, I have drafted a memorializing resolution which calls for the New York State Legislature to correct the flaws within Section 18 and allow for such mistakes to be removed. In addition, I am setting up meetings with Senator James Seward and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill who are the respective chairs of the insurance committees within the State Senate and Assembly. Ideally, our elected officials in Albany will correct these flaws and take responsibility for their past mistakes.

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature


Great outdoors

I want you to know how much I enjoy the things written by Barbara Buono. I never met her, but I knew her mother. I loved the ones about stone walls and the last one about snow. It is very personal and from the heart. Many seniors here wait for her stories.


Editor’s note: This letter came from the Saugerties Senior Housing complex on Main St., but we couldn’t make out the signature. Normally we wouldn’t print a letter without a byline, but in the case of praise, we sometimes make exceptions.