Letters (September 10-17)

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What is it all for?

I was a supporter and vendor for years. Live here in Saugerties. However, it’s clearly time that some people with the Kiwanis organization stop and consider what they stand for. I have been horribly ill due to a genetic kidney disease, but I must work. My husband and I are self-employed and due to my health issues have been struggling.

The last time I was in the hospital, it fell to my husband to send in the contract application for the upcoming garlic festival. However, my husband failed to include some items. So Jeanne Sutton emailed him to send everything by the ninth of that month, which my husband promptly did. He kept the receipt from the post office just in case.

But it did not matter. Later we received the application back in the mail. As apparently the second mailed application did not get to Jeanne Sutton until the 14th. Obviously, it never should have taken that long.
As we are out of the very important show and income, I am beyond sad. We are all people here just trying to make it. Self-employed people are stranded when a devastating illness takes over. I applied well before I was diagnosed for both life and disability insurance. But denied.

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The daily struggle to stay a head above water is for the first time in our lives huge.

The sad point I am trying to make is: What is it all for? Why even try? Especially now?

I have always given to my community. I raised my family. I worked double time. Why?

Of course I begged both Rich and Jeanne to reconsider. I would like to understand the perspective of a group trying to raise money for this community. But easily turning their back on a longtime vendor? No one with the Kiwanis group would return any of my emails or calls.
Thank you, fellow community members of the Kiwanis. A closed-heart group is in charge. That in my opinion needs to search deep in their life and ponder the bigger picture. This person in this town begged for reconsideration, something I have never done before. I am hanging off the cliff, desperately hanging on for hope.
In my life every day is a struggle. I have always offered up my hand. Always. And if that doesn’t count any more, then what does?

Pam Montes
Saugerties

 

No pride in slavery

There is a house in Ruby flying a Confederate flag with the word “heritage” written on it. It’s offensive. The “heritage” referenced on that flag is slavery.

The Civil War was fought to end slavery, period. How can anyone be proud of that heritage? Is this one of the reasons we continue to have racial problems?

We need to acknowledge our history of slavery, the inherent evil in it and have shame that it happened. Maybe then we can learn to accept one another as human beings regardless of race or religion and stop flying Confederate flags.

Beth Murphy
Saugerties

 

A gem of a resource

I would like to thank those who came out to support me as a write-in candidate in the Saugerties Public Library’s board election on Thursday, September 3. It is great that so many came out to vote, many for the first time. We really do have a gem of a community resource which needs all of our support, all year long.

Elizabeth Stegmayer
Saugerties

 

Enough complaining about SAFE

Several recent letters to the editor urging the town board to repeal the New York SAFE act prompted me to write this letter. I suggest instead that the town board consider resolutions that affect all members of the town of Saugerties, not just a small number of hobbyists.

Yes, I used the word hobby to describe gun ownership. In my nearly 50 years as a gun owner and almost 25 years as a proud member of the Saugerties Fish and Game Club, that is what I’ve seen. Gun usage is a hobby for 95% of gun owners. Only a very small percentage of gun owners need these weapons to protect their lives, businesses, or property. So for the vast majority of us who enjoy target shooting or hunting, this is a hobby.

Do I enjoy restrictions on my hobby? No. But my hobby must be put in context with the public safety, and the tens of thousands of deaths caused by guns each year. In just this year alone there have been 258 mass shootings.

Were my hobby instead flying model airplanes or drones, and that hobby was causing this many deaths per year, we would all gladly accept severe restrictions on the hobby or even a complete ban. So I can accept having a few less cartridges in my magazine as stipulated by the New York State safe act. There are so many other issues much more important to our daily lives.

I suggest instead that the town board consider adopting a resolution that affects all of us: the corrosive effect of money in national politics which threatens our very democracy. I know, this sounds like hyperbole, but consider these facts. In the last five years, two Supreme Court decisions (Citizens United and McCutcheon) have unleashed a flood of private money into national and state political races. And most of this money is coming from only a few wealthy donors.

Only a few hundred families have contributed 50% of the money raised so far in the 2016 presidential election. One family alone has pledged to spend almost $900 million in the 2016 election. In July the Koch family held a week long retreat where 15 of the 16 Republican presidential candidates and their campaign staff attended and competed for their contributions. These donors are not foolish investors. They expect a return on their investment. And they get it – complete access to influence the candidates for president and Congress.

Does this resemble a democracy to you? Perhaps Russian democracy, but not American. A country controlled by a wealthy few is not a democracy. It’s called a plutocracy.

So I asked the board to consider a resolution in support of the constitutional amendment that allows Congress to pass laws restricting political spending. Read the full text of the amendment here: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/387532/text-citizens-united-constitutional-amendment-tim-cavanaugh

Steve Wehr
Saugerties

 

Important reminder

If you’re an Independence or Republican Party member who supports Bernie Sanders for president, you must register as a Democrat in New York by October 9 this year in order to vote for Sanders in the state Democratic primary next spring. Do it before it’s too late.

Glenn Kreisberg
Woodstock

 

The latest from Cloverlea

I recently acquired the old Clovelea mansion property in Saugerties. Since my acquisition of the site, there has been a slew of homeless people who broke down the fence and have begun habitation of the premises, although it is condemned. They are most likely meth addicts, as I went through there to try to rouse them several weeks ago and I found remnants of drug use. They are using it as a flophouse and causing a potential dangerous situation for themselves, as well as adding a criminal element to the community.

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I called the police numerous times, only to be told that it’s not their problem and the trespassers are “squatters.”  They said I need to start eviction proceedings, which from experience I know can take up to a year. I’ve been in real estate for almost 20 years and an illegal occupant in a condemned building is a trespasser, not a squatter, as there is no electricity (which they are now stealing from my neighbor), heating, or running water.

About three weeks ago (maybe longer), I received a call from the building department “advising” me of the situation, at which time I explained to them I was well aware of it, and told them about the lack of cooperation from the police. Since that correspondence, all authoritative parties have disappeared.

No one wants to deal with this criminal element and I’m at a loss for what to do. Maybe some pressure from the local community will help alleviate this potential powder keg. I am willing to cooperate with the town and the police in any way I can, but I am not going to put my personal safety at risk by going in there again. Nor am I going to put myself at risk of legal problems by forcibly evicting them.

Additionally, I’ve had two different contractors up there to get bids to rejuvenate the property, but neither will go back for fear of both their employees’ safety as well as the legal ramifications of the possibility of an altercation between their employees and these criminals.

I am available to discuss this situation any time.

Jason Moskowitz
Saugerties

 

The American dream

I want to take a moment and show admiration to Regina Marcucci, the owner of World of Dance. Last week World of Dance had its first open house since the relocation to Route 9W.

The studio is amazing but the background story is a true testament of what a vision and hard work can and will do. World of Dance began with an idea: Regina looking at her husband 14 years ago, simply stating I want to teach dance. His support, the support of her family, and ours within the community continue to provide the building blocks for the success of the studio.

As I stood in the studio I was a little overtaken with fact that this started with an idea and the lengths it has grown and will continue to grow is well deserved! This is the American dream! Regina not only provides dance lessons in a variety of fields but she also demonstrates the value of teamwork, traditional moral values and provides a confidante to our children. This is the practice of a true leader, one I am proud to support, I am grateful she is in my child’s life!

Angie Minew
Saugerties