Letters (August 6-13)

mail-letter-sqOpiates in Saugerties

In recent months, I have spoken with many residents of Saugerties and listened to their concerns, and out of these conversations, several common complaints emerged. While conversing with three residents in their mid-late 20ss, I was informed on how severe the heroin and prescription pill epidemic is around Saugerties. One woman described to me how some of her childhood friends had developed the habit of using heroin as a recreational drug. She told me that she was mortified at the thought of women in her age group (late-20s) using such dangerous drugs with little or no regard for the risks involved with such drugs. Similarly, I spoke with two men in their mid-late 20s who expressed deep concerns for how much these drugs have permeated our community. One of them made a plea to me for more drug counselors and psycho-therapists being brought into Ulster County while also making opiate-blocking counter-drugs like Naloxone and Naltrexone more readily available. Such opiate-blocking drugs are useful in breaking the addiction cycle through blocking the receptors within the body that allow the effects of opiates to be felt. Such opiate-blocking drugs also block the full effects of withdrawal symptoms from being felt. It is widely known that opiate-based drugs like heroin produce intense withdrawal symptoms which leave their users so dysfunctional that they are unable to manage their lives. Recently, numerous cable news networks have presented programming that focused on the inter-relationship between opiate-based prescription pills and powder-based opiate drugs like heroin and opium. With the recent wave of prescription pill addiction-related issues, law enforcement and the pharmaceutical drug industry have revved up enforcement against the black market for prescription pills. And as a result, opiate-based prescription pills have become more difficult to obtain while heroin has become easier to obtain. Consequently, many of the people who had developed prescription pill addictions switched over to heroin as their drug of choice due to its accessibility.

Although the awareness of such problems is a solid step in the right direction, more resources need to be allocated in order to combat these problems that plague our society. In the 1800s, the British government fought in two wars against China in a fight for the ability to allow British opium merchants to sell opium throughout China. These specific imperialistic practices do not exist anymore, and the grip that opium had on China has evaporated. Perhaps a strategic and concerted effort within the United States and Ulster County can help to make our opiate-based addiction problems eventually evaporate in this country.

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature


A helping hand

I would like to thank the Good Samaritan who came to my assistance when I was in a car accident at the intersection of Rt. 32 and Peoples/Hummelville Rd. on Monday, July 27. His actions made a difficult situation more comfortable. Also many thanks to all of the first responders and volunteers who came to the scene.


Carol Giannelli


Judge not, that ye be not judged

In regard to the incident at the Saugerties-Schenectady American Legion game on July 20 and letter sent in by Mr. Brian Apkarian taking exception to my calling out fellow Schenectadian Laura Favata for telling half-truths:

Mr. Apkarian, I’m sorry that my sarcasm offended you, however Mrs. Favata’s “eloquently” written letter only told readers what she wanted them to hear and that was unfair and divisive and people needed to know that. Although your letter was also well written, it too lacked accuracy and fairness as it cuts corners and misrepresents what happened that night. You unreasonably “villainize” the American Legion district officials and Saugerties coaches for not addressing what you felt was an unruly Saugerties fan however in a continued biased fashion you attempt to minimize the level of the abusive heckling by the Schenectady parents that night and unfairly give them absolution for their equally poor behavior.

Karl Lezette


Choose choice

Choose choice, or somebody will choose for you.

In recent America, the government chose a policy of birth control for married couples only when at the time safe abortion was against the law. When I lived in Amsterdam, preferred housing went to couples with children but marriage licenses went to couples with housing. The Chinese government chose a one child per family program for those seeking employment, schooling, or housing benefits, which meant forced sterilization and abortion for most women. After World War II the Russian government chose to ban birth control in order to rebuild a decrease in population.

You see just how valuable choice can be and why some politicians want to steal it from you.

Salute Finley Schaef, and brave folks who protect your right to choose.

Joan Max Reinmuth


Keep dreaming

A dark and ominous cloud hangs over the heads of all living creatures on planet Earth. Entire species disappear; the majestic lion is the hunter’s prize game. People blow themselves up for … for what? Excessively rich and powerful people want more. African natives were kidnapped centuries ago for cheap labor and now are shot dead for not being submissive — sometimes, like the lion, for simply being there. These days, our days, are the Age of Anxiety.

We want to believe that God is good, or simply to have faith. Thomas Berry said: “The dream drives the action.” While some human beings lose themselves in despair, multitudes are dreaming of a new and better world — and they, like Orville and Wilbur Wright, are doggedly pursuing their dreams — and many are realizing them.

The military junta that ruled Uruguay from 1973 was intolerant and brutal in the extreme. Whenever the band struck up the national anthem before major soccer games, the thousands of Uruguayans in the stadium were lethargic and listless in their singing. However, when the anthem declares, “Tiranos temblad!” —“May tyrants tremble!” — the crowds in the stadium bellowed in unison, waving their flags. After that brief, excited roar, they continued to mumble their way through to the end. The military rulers, who actually considered removing the words from the anthem, were thus obliged to suffer this embarrassment until 1985, when they lost power — and the dreamers won!

Let us have strong faith and keep our dreams unflagging! We are many, they are few.

Rev. Finley Schaef


Saugerties needs Minew

I would like to take the time to tell you about my neighbor Angie Minew. In the time I have known Angie I have personally witnessed the countless hours she puts into her own family, her business, and the community. Angie’s door is always open. She is the person we all go to with the hard questions. We call her the fact-finder. She will do what it takes to get the real answers good or bad. She is the kind of person we need in office.

She has taken me in as her family even sharing holidays with my son and I. The daycare kids are busy learning about local community year long. During the summer the kids do packets of work for the next school year. This way they are ahead of the curve when school starts. We all attended the Ulster County Fair together. The kids loved it.

There isn’t too many things I personally can say Angie wouldn’t do for you or this community. She volunteers her time on the Saugerties School Board and Ulster BOCES board of education. She is also a coach for soccer, softball and flag football.

Please come out to one of her events and get to know her.

Angie is family orientated and a community advocate.

Dawn Hollis