Letters (July 30-August 6)

mail-letter-sqScrutiny for campaign donations by developers

I am encouraged by the news that Ulster County Legislature Chairman John Parete is introducing a law that limits the amount of campaign contributions elected county officials can accept. This is great news given the recent disclosure of large campaign contributions made by developers looking to build a kosher pot farm in Saugerties.

I find it troubling that both the county and town pledged “community support” without knowing much about the project or without holding a public forum (Daily Freeman online 6/26/15).

When elected to the Saugerties Town Board, one of my first acts will be to introduce legislation that limits campaign contributions from town contractors and developers with projects before the Planning Board or from those seeking a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal with the Town Board. The law will also prohibit elected officials from seeking campaign donations from town employees.

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A review of campaign donations in recent election cycles shows several questionable contributions from developers and town contractors. This “pay to play” culture must end. Enacting strong campaign finance legislation will enhance public confidence in county and town government and show decisions are dictated by the best interest of taxpayers and not campaign donations.

Joe Roberti Jr.
Saugerties

 

Glaring omissions in letter about baseball heckler

I’d like to respond to the letter submitted to Saugerties Times by Schenectady parent and teacher Laura Favata, who took exception to a fan at her son’s American Legion game on July 20. In her letter she gives a verbal spanking to not only the Saugerties fan, but also the Saugerties coaches and parents for not acting to stop this fan from what she viewed from the Cantine grandstand as his verbal harassment (bullying) towards the Schenectady team. Ms. Favata goes on in her letter to alert readers of her high standing as a teacher and responsible member of the Schenectady community and goes on to educate all as to the proper way the incident should have been handled.

Well Ms. Favata, I have to be the bearer of bad news… I call BS on you. For your information I too sat in the grandstand that night, two rows below the group of Schenectady parents which, I would have to assume, you were a part of or at worst-case were in close proximity to and I have to say I saw a picture quite different from the one you painted in your attempt to embarrass the Saugerties parents and coaches..

I saw no mention in your letter of the Schenectady men who were screaming at the Saugerties player calling him (by number) “bush league” and “a disgrace.” Nor did I hear you mention the other Schenectady parent who yelled “I hate that kid” for all to hear. Incidentally their verbal attacks were because the Saugerties player was merely holding his arms out and shaking his batting gloves while he was taking his lead off first base (i.e. being a kid). The Schenectady parents taunting went on the entire time this kid was on base and reached a peak as he ran off the field to the dugout. (Incidentally, this all occurred prior to the Saugerties fan beginning his antics and was more than likely what got him going.)

Laura, as an elite educator and high-standing, holier-than-thou member of the Schenectady community, did you do anything to stop the Schenectady parents you were sitting next to for bullying the 18-year-old from Saugerties whose only crime was his acting like a kid? Nope, didn’t think so. Being you felt it necessary to try to publicly shame others, I think it was quite hypocritical, not to mention negligent and underhanded of you, to turn your back and ignore what those men from Schenectady were saying and then go on the attack against the people of Saugerties.

That being said, I feel adults should keep their mouths shut if they don’t have anything positive to say at these games, and Ms. Favata, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and act is if their dignity is above everyone else…and oh yeah, always tell the entire truth, I’m sure you would want your students to.

Karl Lezette
Saugerties

 

Editor’s note: The previous letter was published online last week to serve as a reply to the letter by Laura Favata. The following letter was submitted in response to this one.

 

Saugerties should apologize for harassment at baseball game

Laura Favata eloquently wrote about the non-stop verbal insults that the Schenectady players were subjected to as guests at the District 3 Legion Baseball Tournament. She captured the events very well and is a better writer than I, so I do not feel the need to add to the narrative of what happened. She also expressed the emotional toll the events had on her and the profound disappointment in the failure of the so-called leaders: Joe Finn (tournament/district director) and Rich Koegel (Saugerties head coach). She voiced her objection and disappointment in a very respectful and reasonable tone. Mr. Lezette, adding further insult to injury, decided his tone would be laced with ridicule and sarcasm. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Favata’s point was lost on him.

Regarding the “bush league” comment from one of our dads: I thought he had directed it to the thuggish fan. Mr. Lezette is incorrect in his assertion that the thuggish heckling began later. Completely untrue. We had been witnessing it well before the “bush league” comment and, in fact, he had been going off earlier in that inning and had already been called out by a few of our parents. However, Mr. Lezette is correct that directing the “bush league” comment to a player was wrong and I don’t disagree that it was directed at the player – I probably misunderstood at the time because the “fan” had already begun his antics. But trying to draw some moral equivalence between one five-second inappropriate comment to nearly three hours of vile harassment is absurd and falls flat.

Mr. Lezette also supposes that maybe the “bush league” comment was the impetus for the three-hour thuggish heckling. This also is absurd. First, as I said, the behavior of the “fan” began before the “bush league” comment. Second, it would take a team of psychiatrists to determine what the motivation was for that “fan” to behave in such a sustained, nasty manner to kids playing ball. There were other aspects of his behavior that were alarming (threatening violence to coach and a parent) and bizarre (putting a Gatorade bottle in the pocket of a parent, then taking it out and saying “that’s my Gatorade”). I am pretty certain he entered the ballpark with his true nature, exhibited his true nature for three hours, then left the ballpark with his true nature intact. Any attempt by Mr. Lezette or anyone else to in any way justify or defend the man’s behavior is a losing argument.

The final point lost on Mr. Lezette is that, yes, guys like the thug Monday night exist in the world. It is unfortunate, but that’s part of society and why we have police departments and asylums. But the real issue that night was the abject failure of Finn, Koegel, and the umpires to act on the repeated requests of our coach and parents to do the right thing and enforce the codes of conduct that every umpire, coach, tournament director, and player swears to. The players of the Schenectady County Indians deserve at a minimum a written apology from the league and the league should place sanctions on the Saugerties coach and district director. Otherwise, the league no longer stands for the its mission regarding sportsmanship and citizenship.

Brian Apkarian
Schenectady

 

Kudos to village DPW

As a resident of West Bridge St. I would like to take this opportunity to say what a great job Mr. Fanelli and his crew on the Saugerties Village DPW did, along with the Town of Saugerties Highway Department, Town of Ulster Highway Department and Ulster County Highway Department and also the personnel from Callanan Industries, while resurfacing and repaving West Bridge St. in the village of Saugerties. This was a project that was long overdue and in dire need. They made it look like it was a piece of cake.

It is indeed a pleasure to see the teamwork in action from these various branches of government and private industry working together to get a job done. Mr. Fanelli has certainly stepped up to the plate as the new head of the village DPW. Again, thanks for a great job.

Sydney G. Mills
Saugerties

 

On the roads

I like to commend Bob Fanelli and his crew for doing a great job on repaving Bridge St. It needed it badly. And thanks to the village authority for making it a priority.

Also thanks to Saugerties Times for the article by Phyllis Segura about our desperate situation regarding the trucks passing through our small village that was made for horse and buggy originally, a situation for which we are now at the mercy of the New York State DOT.

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Willy Neumann
Saugerties

 

Dedicated to community

I am writing a letter of support for the work that Angie Minew has done for kids in our local area. I know personally of situations that Angie has helped in the Saugerties area always benefitting the children. It’s difficult to put yourself out there and try to make the world a better place and also handle the enormous amount of unsolicited criticism that people give. You have to be strong and this is a character trait Angie does have, strength!

I have several years of experience teaching grades pre-K–12 and I can say that Angie is teaching the children that attend her daycare. We have had conversations about challenges in teaching reading and writing. She sends consistent reminders any way she can to make sure that my son does not miss out on something. She has sent home updates, class letters, lunch menus; basically anything you see come home in a regular classroom setting she does.

Personally she has been extra attentive during this past year for me and my family since I had something tragic happen to me last summer. It was very nice to know that I did not have to worry about my son as I sent him to her care while I was and still am healing. That is priceless to a mother.

Keli Kane
Saugerties

 

In search of cheap eats

New Saugerties restaurants: To cater to the ever increasing tourist crowd and HITS, there are now many choices in our area, many very high-priced. As someone on a fixed income, I welcome good food at a reasonable price.

I’d like to recommend two new venues and an old favorite who has moved. First, there’s Stone Pony Barbeque out on Kings Highway. Wonderful food with great custom sauces and a wide variety of drinks in a new building with outdoor seating, ample parking and great music on weekends. It may be a bit rustic for some with no AC, picnic tables and paper plates, but the food is well worth the drive.

The second restaurant is Tokyo Station at the foot of West Bridge St. This is the latest of many oriental venues at this location. They feature wonderful sushi but also serve other Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes. The menu and décor are elegant, service is great and the prices are very reasonable. Both of these restaurants have reasonable lunches and bargains on food and drink from 4 to 6.

My third favorite, Just A Bite, is greatly enlarged with a full bar and a large commercial kitchen. It is now located on Partition St. next to Inquiring Minds’ Bookstore. Look carefully for the low-priced “bites” on the menu. I love to create my own lunch. This is a great place for a reasonable breakfast or lunch.

Alex Wade
Saugerties