Letters (November 19-26)

mail-letter-sqUncivil debate on SAFE Act

I am all for free speech, even when I don’t agree with it. But I think it wholly uncivil — if not traitorous — to refer in print or in other speech to “our traitor President” — especially of a man who has been twice elected to his high office by the people of the United States. One may disagree with him, but still respect him.

It is, furthermore, unwise and incendiary to speak of him or any president as planning to attack his fellow citizens; such talk is likely to incite crackpots to attack him or other officials.

And speaking of “American values,” one such I have learned over the years is the value and power of negotiation, of believing others innocent until proved guilty, I have not learned that it’s a good thing to keep a gun in the house in case someone threatens — or seems to threaten — me. If we all acted that way, there’d be mayhem every day.


Phoebe Hoss


Join the solar team

There’s a unique opportunity for Saugerties citizens to be part of an important effort to bring Solarize to Saugerties. The program offers solar roof panels and in ground installations for homes and businesses making going solar easier and more affordable. We are forming a team of volunteers to bring the program to Saugerties.

The team will have the full support of Solarize Hudson Valley (SHV), a nonprofit organization that will provide: training, promotional material such as posters, flyers, yard signs, names of certified installers, information about tax credits, incentives and loans available. To learn more about SHV, just visit www.solarizehv.org.

Here’s what the team will do to spread the word about the Solarize Saugerties program: attend an organizational meeting, attend a training session, conduct educational workshops, attend events to promote the program, distribute flyers, signs, posters, create a media contact list, issue press releases, get materials printed. The estimated volunteer time is 3-5 hours per week.

The program runs until the end of June 2016. Let us know how you can contribute to the Solarize Saugerties Team by e-mailing solarizesaugerties@gmail.com

Mary O’Donnell


A message of hope

Soon it is going to be Christmas. The Christmas story tells of how the angels told the shepherds “Fear not, I bring you good news, for a Savior is born in Bethlehem!” These same words are being said to us today, and should be our response to the terror that is being spawned all over the world. Belonging to the Christmas message are the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” These two things should spur all of us to action. This is something I can do to make a difference in this confused world. Everybody can love, everybody can hate. Let us choose love. It is the strongest power. When we love instead of hate, isis cannot touch us.

The aim of the enemy is to drive fear into our hearts and separate us. If we do that, they will have won the war. So let us unite, and encourage one another, especially those who have lost beloved ones, and let the true bond of love that encompasses all humankind really come to the foreground. Here everyone can help, including the children.

Everybody is created in the image of God, and God loves each one. It does not matter what faith people come from. Let the attacks in Paris be a call to return to God, and, like the prophets told us, to forsake our idols. Then God will help us.

We all need to pray for the families of those who died. A word of encouragement to the victims’ families — As the terrorists killed and wounded so many, I am convinced that everyone who died in the tragedy was immediately welcomed into the arms of Jesus. Yesterday I was thinking about all the terrible news from Paris and looked out my window. I saw an incredibly beautiful rainbow spanning the Catskill mountains right down to the valley where I live. This reminded me of God’s words in Genesis 9:16: “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” This gave me hope and I want to pass on this hope to you.

Johann Christoph Arnold
Senior pastor, Bruderhof, Rifton


Travel safely

This year has flown by, and Thanksgiving is already right around the corner. For many of us, this means traveling to spend the holiday with friends and family, near and far. So I want to remind everyone that no matter how far you’re driving this Thanksgiving — whether it’s down the road to a friend’s house, across town to pick up a pumpkin pie, or hundreds of miles to see a favorite relative — you could be involved in a crash. And if you or anyone in your vehicle are not wearing your seat belts, you’re at a much greater risk of being killed. In 2013, more than 300 people were killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend alone. It’s a sad statistic, but even more sad is that many of those deaths could have been prevented with one simple click of a seat belt.

Plain and simple, Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. More cars on the road mean more crashes. More crashes mean more fatalities, but don’t be one of them. In 2013, approximately 12,584 people survived crashes because they were buckled up. If everyone had worn their seat belts that year, an additional 2,800 lives could have been saved. And that’s just the point of this national seat belt campaign: Buckle Up America – Every Trip, Every Time.

Many motor vehicle crash fatalities can be prevented by seat belt use. In fact, in the last decade, over 100,000 people survived crashes because they were properly restrained. In 2013, a total of 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, and almost half (49 percent) of those occupants were not buckled up. Thanksgiving weekend in 2013 (6 p.m. Wednesday, November 27, to 5:59 a.m. Monday, December 2), a disturbing 58 percent — that is, nearly 6 out of 10 — of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. At night, the statistic was even worse: 64 percent of the occupants killed at night were unbuckled.

That’s why the Saugerties Police is once again joining safety advocates nationwide to spread the message about the importance of seat belts— to prevent these tragedies from occurring. Most Americans know of at least one person who’s been killed in a crash, but too many people are still lying to themselves, thinking it couldn’t happen to them.

This Thanksgiving and every day of the year, make sure your seat belt is buckled before you start any road trip— whether it’s one mile or a thousand.

Joe Sinagra
Saugerties Police chief