Letters (August 13-20)

The issues that matter

It’s easy to go with the flow. It’s easy to do what everyone else is doing. It’s just as easy to stay clear of true concerns for day-to-day life. It’s not news to repeat the obvious, yes Saugerties has a drug issues– be that heroin, or prescription pills. You will find, so does everywhere else. Yes it’s true the Hudson Valley has a high rate of Lyme disease. Yes it is true that cancer needs a cure, as does AIDS and finding out the reasons why so many children are born premature or diagnosed with autism. All these things are highly important and affect all of us. These are concerns of a national level but what is happening here? It’s easy to say we need cheaper prescriptions, better healthcare– who will really disagree with that? I certainly cannot. All the topics topics I just mentioned are real issues that need solutions, awareness and are not to be taken lightly.

Hear me out– what about our day-to-day? Yes of course people suffer with the above mentioned issues daily I’m not trying to belittle that in any way. I’m thinking on a local level. Where is the concern there? Where is the concern that we do not have a drug education resistance program in our schools? There are even grants available for this and yet for two years meeting with the chief and discussing this on a school level it’s met with negativity. What can we do locally? We can educate our children about the safeties, dangers, and side effects. I for one like to be aware of what is going on and do that for my family as well.

Locally we are turning our little village/town into a tourist town. What about the people living here? One in three households require some form of government assistance just to make ends meet. Encouraging tourism is great but what impact is it having on Saugerties? If I take my family of five out to eat it is easily over $100.

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Recently another house in my neighborhood was forced into foreclosure and another for sale. The average family cannot afford to live here, pay a mortgage, utilities and feed their family. What is being done about that? We have approximately seven foreclosures in my little neighborhood. What does that say about our local economy? What does that say about taxes? What does that say about a balanced budget?

Of course we welcome anyone visiting but tourists do not pay mortgages. The long-term is you and I. Loose systems of checks and balances don’t create a balanced budget. National concerns while extremely important do not create jobs for you and I. Living on government grants and depending on them for survival is not the “American Dream” I hoped for.

We need for more politicians to invest in you and I. The small business, the family, the daily attributors to our local Saugerties. Let’s stop playing it safe and start really addressing the issues in our political climate. We need a better morale coupled with a positive environment with less government control around every corner. We need a stronger more united Saugerties with a family core to attract and maintain families like yours and mine.

Angie Minew
Saugerties

 

Trust Minew

This letter is being written in support of Angie Minew for District 2 Legislator. I have known Angie for six years now; she provides daycare for my two children. When I first met Angie I was a new mother in panic mode because I needed daycare for my child immediately as my other provider decided to close unexpectedly. I brought my daughter to her house so that we could all meet. Within minutes I knew Angie was a perfect fit for us. The way she spoke with such passion about her daycare and the children was all I needed to hear.

Over these past six years Angie has not only been a daycare provider for me but a friend, an extension of my family. She is a smart, caring, passionate woman who puts her heart and soul into anything she does. She practices what she preaches. Our children are taught civic responsibility, that our community is what we make of it. Take pride in your work, be honest, responsibility, respect; these are all lessons that are taught on a daily basis to my children and lessons that Angie takes to heart.

I have always been able to approach Angie about any concerns regarding my children. She is an active listener, something you don’t find too often anymore. I believe this is a quality that is lacking in politics, one that Angie can bring to the table. What good is having a local representative if they aren’t really listening and hearing what their constituents have to say? Too often you are given the same old song and dance with no follow through. It’s time for that to change.

Angie believes in our community and wants to be part of making it stronger. I have no doubt that she will give the same level of passion and concern to Saugerties as she does to all of her children at Speckled Frog. As a mother I trust her with my children, as a resident of Saugerties I trust her with my community.

Janine M. Budd
Saugerties

 

Democracy’s decline

Citing Robert Gilmore in Liberalism and the Politics of Plunder and applying this to political parties, it translates into the reality that parties must include, not exclude. The purpose is to attract voters, not drive them away, but what we are witnessing on the national level as well as the local level is just the opposite. Consequently people don’t vote at all and there numbers now exceed the total of both major parties. This is the decline of participatory democracy.

Bob Aiello
Saugerties

 

March for a cure

Two years ago my mom died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Not long before she passed away, as we took a drive along the Hudson River, she placed her hand over mine and said, “Oh, Sweetie, I’ll never forget this summer.” Knowing that she would ultimately forget, not just that drive, but me, and all of the memories that made her who she was, struck me with an almost physical force, but I managed to respond, “I’ll never forget it either.”

And I haven’t forgotten. Sadly, over five million Americans are in the process of forgetting— of having their memories erased and their lives horribly transformed by a disease that has no cure, has no effective treatment and whose course cannot be slowed. Alzheimer’s strikes another American every 67 seconds and its treatment will cost $226 billion in 2015 alone. Of the ten major diseases that strike Americans, Alzheimer’s affects the most, but receives the least amount of funding.

So I’m walking— along with hundreds of others on The Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Dutchess/Ulster County Walk will take place on The Walkway Over the Hudson on Sat., Sept. 19, but the time to register, to form a team or join a team, is now. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises more funds for research, education, treatment, and the march towards a cure than any other effort. Please visit www.alz.org for details on how to participate. I feel that I’m part of a community that’s capable of great things, and I know that the end of Alzheimer’s starts with us.

Julie Mihaly
Palenville

 

CIA outsourcing

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Culinary Craft Association (CCA), a small union that represents facilities workers at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This union is comprised of buildings and grounds workers and used to also include housekeepers and some kitchen workers. I’m writing because our members feel it is important that the community know what’s been going on at the CIA over the last couple of years. While the administration at the CIA gave themselves healthy raises, they decided that over 60 workers were too expensive to keep. The college outsourced these jobs, turning good union jobs with benefits into poverty-wage positions. The CIA is a non-profit institution, and is thus tax-exempt. Our members believe this creates certain duties toward the community for this institution and others like it: duty to create good jobs for community members, a duty to pass on some of the success its workers make possible, and a duty to respect the rights of workers to represent themselves as they see fit.

Union members at the CIA value their jobs, they love serving the students, and they are proud to be a part of the community. But since the CIA has taken these actions, these loyal workers have been living in fear for their livelihoods. CCA members don’t know who might be next to go. The CCA has asked for an agreement from the CIA that they not outsource any more jobs during the life of the current contract. The CIA has refused. The CCA now asks that if you believe in good, local jobs, please let President Ryan know. He can be reached at t_ryan@culinary.edu. Thank you for your time and support.

Jeff Wyatt
Union Representative, Culinary Craft Association
Kingston

 

Climate change affects all

At last, climate change beginning to get some attention, (although not yet mentioned in the presidential debates). The latest big story was a bit of a shock to all of us, because it was caused by the very organization that is supposed to be protecting the environment — the EPA.

No, it wasn’t the usual motive (money) that is the usual cause of most of our environmental disasters and often led by the BOOGI (Big Oil Or Gas Industry) men.

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In this case it was the EPA.

The EPA was trying to deal with a dormant gold mine and to clean it up, since it had been slowly leaching into the surrounding rivers. Instead they caused a spill that released about three million gallons of a light orange mud into a river in Colorado. The mud contained toxins such as arsenic and lead, which peaked up to 3,500 times more than the normal levels that they were trying to prevent. It went all the way down to the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for San Diego and Los Angeles, which you may have noticed is already in a drought.

In other words, the issue of climate change, which some of us have been talking about for many years, is now beginning to get attention, and since we’ve never focused on the cleaning up of our planet before, “mistakes will be made.” I guess someday clean water is going to be worth more than gold.

When they first came out with the news, they said it may not be dangerous to people and animals. Are they kidding? Animals do not get filtered water. They just go to rivers and drink it.

Another example is the upcoming Olympics that is still scheduled to take place in Rio DeJanero, Brazil. Some of the competitions (swimming, canoeing and rowing) will take place on polluted waters, proven by tests that have taken place. But hey, priorities first. Think of all the tourists that will be spending money in hotels and restaurants, as they enjoy swimming on beaches like the Copacabana Beach.

Yes, even the super rich are going to feel climate change, so if they continue to ignore it, they can blame themselves.

Jill Paperno
Glenford