Letters (April 21-28)

mail-letter-sqKilowatts from the sun

I was asked by a member of the “Solarize Saugerties” team, who knew I installed a roof-mounted photovoltaic solar system a few years ago, for some feedback on my experience with having solar. I can say that I am very pleased with the entire process from design, to installation, to operation. It has certainly lived up to my expectations, supplying all my electrical needs for under $25/month, as well as enough extra to run a recently installed electric water heater. This allows me to shut off my oil furnace for approximately 6 months out of the year.

The system has overproduced my electrical needs thus securing cash refunds from the utility company for the past 2 years.

The system has produced tremendous savings over what I would have spent on traditional fossil fuels … all from just the sun that shines on my roof. What’s not to like?


He mentioned that Solarize Saugerties is conducting workshops at the Senior Center April 25 and May 19 from 7-9 p.m. to help others “go solar.” I couldn’t be more supportive!

Ray Andreassen


Be more aware

The month of April serves as the one month during the year in which autism is officially recognized as something that all Americans should practice a higher level of awareness towards acknowledging. The acknowledgement and awareness of autism is certainly warranted after recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls have autism within the United States. Unfortunately, these statistics might actually be an underestimation of the true statistical percentage of the population parameter for those afflicted with autism as there is a wide variation between the statistical data across the United States. According to a 2010 study by the CDC, the three states with the highest levels of autism are New Jersey at 1 in 46, North Carolina at 1 in 53 and Utah at 1 in 54. Conversely, the three states with the lowest levels of autism are Alabama at 1 in 175, Wisconsin at 1 in 108 and Colorado at 1 in 101. While some might point out that the main shortcoming of this study by the CDC was that only 11 states were analyzed, and the data was comprised from the number of 8-year-olds who had been diagnosed with autism, as the actual number of those afflicted with autism may be higher, because some children may not get diagnosed until after the age of 8, and some states may not have adequate health facilities in rural areas where children could be examined for the potential of autism. A compilation of data from studies across North America, Europe and Asia estimates the population parameter of those afflicted with Autism to be between 1 and 2 percent. Whatever the reasons are for the variance in the numbers of 8-year-olds who are estimated to be afflicted with autism, one thing is clear: the estimated numbers of those afflicted with autism has dramatically risen from 2000-2010. Some critics have argued that a difference in the criterion for those afflicted with other cognitive deficiencies had changed in 2000 which led to a higher number of children having been diagnosed with autism and that the changes in statistical data is correlative to data from each respective condition. This assertion has never been proven. Whatever the true numbers may be of those afflicted with autism, several things are clear: (1) more research needs to be conducted on the causes of autism, (2) more research needs to be conducted on treatments and potential cures for autism and (3) school districts need to be continually looking for better ways in which to address the needs of children afflicted with autism.

Charles A. Simkovich, a chiropractor and cranial osteopath in Wexford, Pennsylvania, has reported successes in treating people with autism from his specialized treatment program that he also uses to successfully treat people afflicted with post-concussion syndrome. Hopefully more health care professionals will follow Dr. Simkovich’s led and develop other innovative ways towards the prevention and treatment of autism!

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature