Letters (June 9-16)

mail-letter-sqClose the zoos

The gorilla who was brutally executed at the Cincinnati Zoo was innocent. The parents were guilty; The zoo was guilty; we as a society are guilty. The parents were negligent in letting their child climb over the barrier. The zoo was negligent for not building a safer enclosure. Society is guilty of supporting zoos which are dangerous to both animals and visitors. Of course, action needed to be taken to prevent harm to the child. But the entire situation could have been avoided and further such situations can be avoided if we stop  keeping wild animals in captivity for our entertainment. Wild animals need to be in the wild, not unsafe and dangerous captivity. The gruesome and unnecessary death of this gorilla highlights the need to discontinue zoos. Wild animals need to be preserved in the wild, not cages or artificial habitats. Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” The captive zoo animals have no choice and no voice, but you and I do. The exploitation and harm to wild animals in zoos will only end if we raise our voices and also stop visiting zoos.

Eli Kassirer
New Paltz


Dog park in Saugerties

Well let’s see, I think we’ve been called one of the best little towns in America so what’s missing? Plenty of ball parks, a skating rink, playgrounds galore, great boat launches, tennis courts, Seamon Park, canoe & kayak facilities, HITS, the list goes on.
What we don’t have, that they do have in Woodstock, Kingston, Catskill, Athens, Gardner, Mt. Tremper, New Paltz, and most other nearby towns, is a dog park!
If you are interested in upgrading our great little town please contact Erin McGurgan at erinmcgurgan@aol.com, or Ralph Childers at rip12477@gmail.com. We will let you know if we get enough interest to petition the town to create one.
Please let your pooch loving friends know about this letter!

Erin McGurgan, Ralph Childers


Support right to boycott

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 157, which he signed on Sunday, June 5, should be of concern to each and every one of us. This executive order threatens the rights of Americans to take collective action to address injustice by using boycott as a form of free expression and as a powerful means of protest. Furthermore, the creation of the related discriminatory “blacklist,” which the New York Office of General Services will post on its website and update semi-annually, is blatantly dangerous.


Thankfully, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects our right to free speech. This means we are allowed to express, be exposed to, and receive a wide range of facts, opinions, and viewpoints — even when the ideas are unpopular. Under this umbrella of free speech, Americans have the right to boycott, and we have a long history of using boycott as a tactic to achieve justice. Let’s remember that before the American Revolution, colonists boycotted British goods (think, “no taxation without representation”?) and that, since then, American citizens (and corporations) involved in social justice movements have used boycotts for issues ranging from Animal Rights, Testing, and Welfare; to Civil Rights; to Environmental Health/Integrity; to Human Rights; to LGBTQ Discrimination; to Labor and Worker Rights; to…

We can look back to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the Civil Rights era to fight segregated buses; to Cesar Chavez’s boycott of grapes to fight the toxic spraying of insecticides; to the boycott of South Africa to end apartheid; to the more recent fast-food worker boycotts to raise the minimum wage; and to peoples/corporations current refusal to do business with North Carolina for its recent banning of local LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances and its requirement that transgender people use public bathrooms that match their birth certificates. The list goes on.

However, Governor Cuomo’s shameful signing of Executive Order No. 157 against institutions and companies that support Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), an international, grassroots, nonviolent movement to gain freedom, equality, and justice for Palestinians, goes against this history. Perhaps the only good news here is that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution still guarantees our right to advocate for change, to organize against injustice, to engage in boycotts, and, yes, to advocate for BDS.

To learn more, go to palestinelegal.org/newyork.

The #RightToBoycott is a constitutionally protected form of political free speech.

We will not be silent.

Helaine Meisler


Spot repair versus replacement

In the last two weeks, there has been a construction project taking place along New York State Route 9-W on the Southern border of Saugerties where it intersects with the Town of Ulster. This construction project is replacing guard rails along Route 9-W. A sub-contracted company is completing the project, and although the new guardrails are aesthetically pleasing to look at, the old guardrails perhaps were not in need of a full structural replacement, as about 10 percent of the rail support bands were rusted and/or separated from the structure of the rail which was still in good functional condition. Spot repairs would have been far less costly for guardrails that would have easily lasted another 5-8 years.

After I was able to secure the repair of Teetsel Street in the Village of Saugerties within 24 hours after I had called it to the attention of Mayor Murphy, and after I was able to have had potholes repaired on Village Drive, Stephens Court, Route 9-W (in front of the Barclay Heights Diner), Manor Lane and Edith Avenue from the quick response of Saugerties Highway Superintendent Doug Myer, I was asked on Facebook to facilitate for the repair of New York State Route 212. Route 212 has been in dire need of repair from Veteran all the way up through the Town of Woodstock and westward for well over five years. This stretch of Route 212 is so bad along each side of westbound and eastbound lanes; it is unsafe for motorcycles to drive along this long stretch of the highway, and it is quite a bumpy ride (to say the least) for all automobiles and bicycles! State legislators and State Government needs to pay closer attention to what needs to be repaired and what can be spot repaired rather than being fully replaced and then allocate highway funds accordingly!

I also want to thank the Lamouree-Hackett Post for the Memorial Day ceremony where one of their members had to be treated for heat exhaustion from Diaz Memorial Ambulance. The entire crowd was happy to see that the veteran service member was okay after Diaz showed up to assist him. In addition, the County put on a great candlelight vigil on the Thursday evening prior to Memorial Day at the Ulster County Veterans’ Monument; I was the only Ulster County Legislator in attendance.

Chris Allen, Ulster County Legislature


The right to boycott

Middle East Crisis Response opposes injustice and apartheid and horrendous violations of human rights. Therefore, we boycott Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. BDS enables people of conscience to play a meaningful role in the Palestinian struggle for justice. Governor Cuomo’s executive order punishing those who are standing for justice through support of BDS is unethical and unconstitutional.

Nic Abramson, Pia Alexander, Fred Nagel, Adam  Roufberg, Jo Salas, Jane Toby, plus two others from MECR


Yandik will turn 19th blue

Listen up registered Democrats — you have a job to do. Tuesday, June 28, from noon to 9 p.m. you must find time to vote in the Congressional Primary! I hope that vote will be for Will Yandik. With Will’s help, we have a chance to turn the 19th Congressional District blue. That’s ‘cause Will Yandik is the guy who knows our issues. He exhibits good common sense and can reach out to all the constituents who make up our district — young and old, blue and white collar workers as well as farmers, conservatives and liberals. Will Yandik can win this district, but first we have to help him win the Primary. Democrats can make the difference! Vote June 28th!

Cindy Lanzetta