Letters (June 23-30)

mail-letter-sqYandik stands out

Democrats have two good candidates to decide from in the upcoming 19th Congressional District Democratic primary. Will Yandik stands out in that contest. Will was born, raised and worked on his family farm in our district. He graduated from Hudson High School, went onward with a scholarship to attend Princeton University, and from there earned a master’s degree from Brown University. Will personally understands our area’s needs from his local life experience and his service as a town board member in Livingston. His professional experiences as a journalist, educator and environmental leader have prepared him well to address the difficult policy issues facing us nationally. Unlike his opponent he has personally reached out to all the district communities during this primary to hear his constituents and let their voices be known to him. We have a unique candidate before us who stands tall in the traditions of our former congressman Maurice Hinchey and deserves our vote.

We urge you to vote in the Democratic primary on June 28 from noon-9 p.m. for Will Yandik, a candidate who will work for us in Washington.

Sharon and Jim Sofranko
West Shokan


Oppose Cuomo boycott ban

Our First Amendment rights are under attack. On June 5 Governor Cuomo signed executive order #157 that divests New York State funds from any companies that support Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel. It also creates a blacklist of those companies that is public and that will take input from the general public. And Governor Cuomo had the temerity to say that “we’ll boycott those who boycott.”


The Supreme Court in its 1982 NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. decision recognized boycotts as a First Amendment form of protected free speech. This means it is wrong for New York State to penalize those who engage in constitutionally protected free speech, whether Governor Cuomo agrees with their points of view or not. And having New York State assess our political motivations and then create a database of those it disagrees with is a serious threat to our civil liberties.

Boycotts have long been recognized as a legitimate and non-violent method of trying to change behavior. History is replete with examples: from our forefathers refusal to pay taxes to the British without representation, to Ghandi’s Salt Strike, to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to the boycotting of South Africa, to today’s boycotting of North Carolina for its discrimination against the Transgender community.

In reaction to Governor Cuomo’s boycott ban, I and other Woodstock citizens are organizing a campaign to have the Woodstock Town Board pass a resolution that reaffirms our rights to free speech and our rights to boycott. It is important for individuals and communities to defend their basic human rights when they are under attack. We are planning a series of informational sessions and a petition campaign as a show of community involvement in a lead up to the introduction of the resolution for a town board vote.

If you believe in free speech, please sign our online petition and follow our progress at WoodstockFreeSpeech.org. Please inform your friends and neighbors and ask them to join us.

Nic Abramson


Thank you all

On June 4th the Saugerties Lions Club held its Annual Golf Tournament at the Rip Van Winkle Golf Club in Palenville. All proceeds from the tournament and raffle are used to fund the Joseph Bosco Memorial Lions Club Scholarship. Annually, a $ 4000 scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior from the Saugerties area.

With the help of the Saugerties Community and in particular the individuals and businesses who provided donations, we were able to meet our $ 4000 goal.

In the tournament the team of Bob Kraft, Joe Stopczynski, Chris Fabiano and Sal Misasi Sr. finished in the top spot. Closest to the pin was Cory Charleton.

The Saugerties Lions Club wants to give special recognition to John and Sarah Smith as well as their staff.

A special Thank You also goes out to these major contributors: Old Republic Title, Glasco Abstract, Helsmoortel Insurance & Realty, Naccarato Insurance, The Reis Group, Saugerties Bowlers Club, Sawyers Motors, Ulster County Corrections Officers, The Exchange Hotel, Adams Fairacre Farms, John Mullen & Sons, Saugerties Elks Club, Saugerties Kawanis Club, Sawyer Chevrolet,  Viking Industries, Benson Crane, Sinnott Insurance, Dederick’s Pharmacy, Benson Steel, Sinnott Plumbing and Destinations of New York.

The Lions would again like to thank all the other 75 businesses and individuals as well as all the players who made this effort a success which is a great example of the Saugerties Spirit.

Thank you all!

Bob Kraft
Tournament Chairman


CVS mess

I would like to respond to Jo Galante Cicale and her letter in the June 16 Saugerties Times, regarding the mess at CVS. Bravo to you! Bravo!

I thought I was the only one when I walked in and saw 14 people waiting in line to pick up prescriptions, three people in line waiting to drop off prescriptions, and after leaving finding you could not get around the building because of the cars lined up at the pharmacy window. As Jo pointed out, this was not the employees fault as they were all trying to catch up on 3000 prescriptions that they acquired when they took over Village Apothecary. I left that day and went back again, and they were so overworked they sent a renewal request to a doctor that a family member had not used in more than seven years and was no longer practicing. At one point that staff was asking each other how long they could put customers on hold when they ask if they could hold a moment.

I took the opportunity to ask them what was going to happen when they get caught up on the 3000 prescriptions, and they come back up for refills? No Answer. Just this week I went in and one of the pharmacy cashiers asked for assistance and could not get any because everyone behind the counter was busy.

Jo, you hit the hammer on the nail and CVS Corporate dropped the ball big time; and they need to step up to the plate and make it work.

Brian O’Leary
Mt. Marion


McGinty lifelong committed democrat

I recently learned that Sharon Graff, who was endorsed at the Ulster County Democratic Convention, is not an enrolled Democrat. Graff registered as a Democrat for the first time ever in mid-October, 2015. She can’t even vote for herself in the Democratic Primary in September.

I am outraged that our party is supporting Graff instead of lifelong, committed Democrat, Sara McGinty. How could this have happened in our Democratic Party?

Is it fair to fellow Democrats to ask them to sign the petitions (currently being circulated) which endorse Graff’s candidacy when she is not even an enrolled Democrat?


Rose Unes


Yandik best choice

I will vote for Will Yandik for Congress in the June 28 Democratic primary. In several forums and appearances I attended, Mr. Yandik has shown a clear grasp of the issues concerning the 19th Congressional District, which should not come as a surprise since this is where he grew up. If speech is index of the mind, Mr. Yandik exhibits acute intelligence. His support of major principles of the Democratic Party is not disputed. His experience and accomplishments as an elected Democratic official in an otherwise Republican environment gives hope that partisan demonization just might cede to workable solutions for the nation’s problems.

Another important consideration is Will Yandik’s awareness that a significant part of a congressman’s job is constituent services. Very often, it is your Representative whom you first contact with snags you might encounter with, say, Social Security or Medicare, or with policy issues you might have with, say, the F.A.A. or other federal agencies. To hear Mr. Yandik speak of the importance of this important role for a congressman will give anyone confidence that he will hire effective staff to address the needs and concerns of his constituents.

Will Yandik is the best choice in the June 28 Democratic primary.

Jeremy Wilber


Teachout: where Hinchey left off

Congratulations to those who took part in the democratic candidate’s debate for the seat being vacated by Chris Gibson. Nary an unkind word was spoken, by candidates, nor  audience and the moderating duties were performed admirably by Woodstock Times editor Brian Hollander, great questions, evenly fair to both candidates.

Since both Zephyr Teachout and Will Yandik are intelligent, well educated, personable, sincere about what they hope to achieve if elected and are close on the issues, for me it comes down to their past accomplishments in determining who I’ll vote for. Based on all I’ve learned about Teachout, she gets my vote. Among her interests & accomplishments:

CEO for the anti-corruption nonprofit Mayday PAC; She’s an antitrust and media expert, covered extensively in her book, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United; Director of Internet Organizing for Howard Dean’s campaign; Cofounded “A New Way Forward”, designed to break up big banks “too big to fail” which damaged small businesses after the 2008 crash; Involved with Occupy Wall Street; National director of the non partisan Sunlight Foundation which works to make Congress more transparent; Works to support education and backs the teachers and parents in the anti common core opt out movement; Helped to organize the movement to ban fracking in NYS;

Among her plans of what she’d like to accomplish once elected: Promote/support bills in Congress that adopt clean sources of energy by helping to end the intricate system of public subsidies that keep dirty sources of energy artificially cheap, and promote renewable sources: solar, wind, and hydro; Protect waterways/drinking supply by reducing the risk of contamination and ensure that when contamination is found, the responsible parties are held accountable; Fight for public financing of elections; Work every day to overturn Citizens United.

Teachout is a tenured Associate Law Professor at Fordham Law School teaching constitutional and property law & previously Visiting Professor of Law at Duke.

Last, but not least, she ran for the Democratic Party nomination for NY Governor in 2014 losing against Andrew Cuomo, bu receiving 34% of the vote. Not too shabby for someone who didn’t have nearly the political machine (or money) behind her that Cuomo had!
Please vote for Zephyr Teachout Tuesday, June 28. She’s been endorsed by Senators Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Kristen Gillibrand & The New York Times.

Teachout is the candidate we’ve been waiting for to take up where Maurice Hinchey left off.

Maya Horowitz