Letters (September 3-10)

mail-letter-sqProud progressive

A letter in your Aug. 27 edition by Mark H. Knaust uses the capitalized word “Progressive” as a curse word. That is nonsense!

Progress is a goal to work and fight for. The struggle of former slaves and Hispanic Americans to achieve equal standing in our country, a struggle still in progress, is a progressive cause.

The struggle of women to achieve the right to vote and to achieve equality in our society, a movement still in progress, was and is a progressive movement.


The right of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer people to escape discrimination and abuse and to achieve marriage equality is a progressive movement.

Addressing the human causes of global warming and the government regulating the discharge of green house gasses is a progressive effort to improve the environment for all of us and future generations.

The goal of denying the most wealthy in our country the power to control free democratic elections is a worthy progressive goal.

I am a progressive who believes the world can and should be a better place for all of its people, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, and that striving toward that progressive end is to be honored, and not cursed.

Lanny Walter
Chair, Saugerties Democratic Committee


Change is good

I feel compelled to respond to a letter in last week’s Saugerties Times concerning the “turn of events” in this country… especially in regard to equal rights for gays.

In Mr. Knaust’s letter to the editor, he proclaims that “every American has a stake in seeing the institution of marriage sustained and protected.”

Well isn’t that exactly what the Supreme Court has said? Just imagine, less than 50 years ago it was against the law for a white person and black person to marry. Things change… this is called “progress.” It is one of the basic responsibilities of government to protect the rights of the weaker minority.

The fact that now two men or two women can marry means that they have equal benefits as heterosexual couples. This is the way it should be. I worked for more than 45 years and paid into social security. But if I should pass before my husband, he would have gotten nothing if we weren’t married. It’s called spousal benefits and you have to be legally “married.” There’s that word again.

I for one think it’s great things are changing so get with the program, Conservatives!

Mark Smith


Why plant street trees?

If you regularly walk the streets of the village you know what it is like to linger in the shade on a hot day when the sidewalks radiate heat. In the spring the village streets rival any other setting with our magnolias, cherries, dogwoods, and pear trees in full bloom. Have you ever stood under a silver maple on a windy day when its helicopter seeds twirl and float to the ground with kids running in all directions laughing and try in vain to catch them? Trees offer us so much beside the obvious shade and beauty:

  • Residents walk more on streets with trees.
  • Street trees cut traffic noise.
  • Trees improve air quality – In one study, stands of trees reduced air particulates by 9 to 13 percent, and the amount of dust reaching the ground was 27 to 42 percent less under a stand of trees than in an open area. And of course there is the carbon they absorb while putting out tons of oxygen.
  • Trees increase property values. Streets with trees look more stable and prosperous, increasing value by 5-15 percent.
  • Trees save energy – The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
  • Trees act as essential lofty environments for song birds, seeds, nuts, squirrels and other urban life.
  • For a planting cost of $250 it is estimated that a single street tree returns over $90,000 of direct benefits (not including aesthetic, social and natural) in the lifetime of the tree. (Dan Burden, Senior Urban Designer; Walkable Communities)

I would not like to imagine the village of Saugerties without its shade trees. As many of the grand old silver maples decline, we are lucky to live in a village with a forward thinking mayor and Village Board who recognize the benefits provided by street trees. Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Our grandchildren will be grateful.

Virginia Luppino


Use your imagination

During my recent visit to Old Towne San Diego, I asked randomly selected Mexicans what they thought of Donald Trump.

There was consensus in their answers. Sadly, those answers cannot be printed in family-friendly newspapers.

Jo Galante Cicale


Saugerties’ finest

It’s too bad to read of a hit and run in our fair city, but that notwithstanding, it warmed my heart to read of how it unfolded. The reasons are threefold:

First, the cop walking the beat was none other than our chief of police. Just because he is management doesn’t mean he’s above pounding the pavement and mingling with the community. Second, the suspect stopped, showing that even though he may have faltered, he still has respect for authority and his place in our community. Third, Chief Sinagra ran him down blowing his whistle. Too many times these days we read of police resorting to disproportionate force when a suspect runs from them. Sinagra’s reaction reminds one more of a London Bobby than a New York cop, and it worked! I’m proud to be served by him.

Bill Barr


Repeal SAFE Act

On Jan. 15, 2013 Gov. Cuomo signed into law the New York State SAFE Act. Those who have been following the erosion of Second Amendment know that it has little to do with safety but is a significant step toward disarming America. However, the SAFE Act does make it safer for criminals to commit crimes. Since 2013 there have been numerous rallies against it, court cases, lawsuits, and proposed legislation to repeal the law. Many municipalities at town and county levels have passed resolutions to oppose the SAFE Act thereby sending a message of opposition to Gov. Cuomo, our state senators and our assemblymen. In March of 2013 Saugerties’ attempt to pass a resolution repealing the SAFE act was hijacked by Democrat-backed town councilmen and converted to a resolution which for the most part supported the SAFE Act. Currently in Albany the attempt to repeal the SAFE act is tied up in committee.

In June 2015 the Ulster County Legislature passed a resolution calling for repeal of the SAFE Act. It was the second such resolution as the first was done in March 2013 under the chairmanship of Terry Bernardo. This past Aug. 19, I requested of the Saugerties Town Board a resolution calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act. Others have joined me throughout Saugerties by signing a petition for the same. Do not let your Second Amendment rights be forgotten about or continue to be buried in committee. Please contact the Saugerties Town Board and tell them you want the SAFE Act repealed.

Gaetana Ciarlante
Town supervisor candidate


A good turn

I want to commend the Dock Street resident who posted a sign to visitors to the nearby site of last week’s tragic accident. It gave permission for visitors to use their private driveway to turn their cars around on the narrow, dead-end street, and expressed sorrow for their loss.

It was mentioned to me by a Kingston resident visiting the site and on her way to the funeral services thereafter. She was moved and appreciative of the gesture and as a Saugerties resident, I want to express my appreciation as well.

I think this small gesture goes a long way to living up to our village’s moniker of “Friendly Saugerties.”

Sakinah Irizarry