Letters (June 30 – July 7)

mail-letter-sqNever give up, just take a break

If you worked all of your life and made a decent salary and are now retired, I assume that you are living on your Social Security plus whatever you put into the stock market.  What’s it worth now?
What’s around the corner? Can you live on Social Security? I believe that you can, but you may have to sell the house first.
Then again, what did the Native Americans do? They built fires to keep warm in the winter and ate whatever was edible. They didn’t have crème de brulè with expensive wine for dinner in restaurants. Hey, maybe we just have to get back to a more natural way of life. After all, we’re better off than those living in the city, where all they are breathing in is gas fumes and other toxins.
So, let’s be thankful, listen to some music, breathe in deep (when the sky is blue), and then get back to paying attention to what’s happening to our beautiful planet, and do what we can to fight against the obvious Climate Change that is being witnessed all over the planet.

Jill Paperno


Other sides to the story

I believe in looking past my own culture to “the other side of the story.” Not long ago, I attended Bard’s first Palestinian Film Festival. A small group of students gathered first to listen to a Palestinian American poet, Suheir Hammad. Suheir combined the parlance of Brooklyn (where she was born in 1973 and grew up) with the ardent cries of her grandparents, refugees from Palestine. With hip-hop beat in her spoken-word pieces, she brought in her family, her community, Palestinian women. “I grew up with a sense of loss,” she says “that you can work generations to build something and suddenly lose it all.”

Suheir’s passionate voice rises out of her Muslim tradition, her Palestinian heritage, her Brooklyn upbringing. The title of one of her books “Born Palestinian, Born Black” says it all. The students were enthralled with Suheir’s spoken-word pieces. From her poetry “Drops of this Story,” to the film in which she stars “Salt of This Sea” (to be shown this Friday night at 7 as part of the Palestinian film series at Kingston’s UU), Suheir challenges over and over again the dominant history that attempts to erase her culture.  She brings home to us “Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded.” Watch her TED talk! Listen to her! Read her poetry! See her film!


Jane Toby


CVS apology

Regarding the recent letter from one of our customers about our Saugerties pharmacy (“CVS mess,” https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2016/06/19/letters-june-16-23/), we apologize for any inconvenience or unsatisfactory service our customers experienced following the transition of Village Apothecary to CVS Pharmacy.

We recently brought on several staff members from Village Apothecary and we redesigned and expanded the pharmacy in our Grand Union Plaza store. We are committed to serving the Saugerties community and these changes have helped us to greatly improve the customer experience in our pharmacy. Customers who have any service issues are encouraged to speak to our store manager or contact us at 1-800-SHOP-CVS.

Mike DeAngelis,
CVS Health
Senior Director, Corporate Communications 


Whose failures were Benghazi?

Watching members of the Benghazi Committee report on reasons for failures of embassy security, I noticed a glaring absence of information. Nowhere is it reported that most of the members of the Committee voted to cut $300 million from U.S. Embassy security budget. (1)

For “2013 the GOP-controlled House proposed $1.934 billion for the State Department World-wide Security Protection, well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama Administration.  House Republicans cut security funding by $128 million in 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012.” (2)

“Senator Clinton had warned that Republican’s proposed cuts would seriously effect America’s national security — a charge rejected by the Republican House members.”(3)

Perhaps the Committee’s leaving out these details is a way of avoiding their own responsibility for the failures in Benghazi.”

(1), (2), (3) From: Ben Armbruster, THINKPROGRESS, 10/10/2012, www.thinkprogress.org/security/2012/10/10/985191/chaffetz-absolutely

William Hayes


Morse Rocks appreciation

I want to express my gratitude to all those who supported the Morse Rocks Music and Arts Festival this year. Whether as a contributing artist, volunteer, sponsor or patron, your participation allowed young people to aspire to something beyond their self-imposed potential.

The excitement, enthusiasm and preparation these young artists and volunteers brought to the festival continue to highlight the necessity for more events such as this. As an educator, we know the power of dreams can only be fueled by opportunity. When opportunities are provided, the results are unlimited. Thankfully, we have a superintendent of schools, Mr. Seth Turner, who fully understands the significance of this event and nurtures its growth.

Morse Rocks serves to provide this “stage.” The event, though extremely costly to produce, is intended to be significant in terms of profile and scale. Authentic audiences are a critical part of self-discovery and motivation. Music and art lovers do not have to come to this event, but more and more, they are choosing to come because of the quality of talent selected as headliners. Our young people are preparing themselves to meet this lofty challenge of exceptionality.

We want to extend special thanks to all volunteers who worked to provide a great festival experience for the patrons and artists. For the weeks and months leading up to the festival, the volunteer staff worked to plan, develop and implement the infrastructure and necessary arrangements to bring this festival to life. During the week preceding the festival, volunteers spent 10-12 hours a day on site doing all the necessary tasks involved in transforming the Smokin’ Pony BBQ into a full-scale festival venue.

This was the first year we sought out sponsors to help us with the costs involved in producing the event. In typical Saugerties’ fashion, they came through in spades. Partner sponsors were Sawyer Motors, Viking Industries and Blue Mountain Construction. Additional sponsors included TDC Auto Repair, Naccarato Insurance, Markertek, Lezette Express, Kingston Plaza, Benson Steel, The Grant D. Morse PTA, Partner Rentals, The Blue Kats, Kiwanis Club of Saugerties, Kevin McLaren, Price Chopper, The Village of Saugerties, Krause’s Chocolates, Mother Earth’s Storehouse, Dutchess Beer Distributors, and artist catering provided by Mirabellas and Starway Pizza. Lastly, we are exceptionally thankful to John and Katie Livermore and the Smokin’ Pony BBQ for allowing us to hold this event at their place of business.

Someday it is hoped this festival will meet expenses and turn a profit in order to start construction on a permanent 3-season performing arts amphitheater at the Morse School. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on the objective of providing opportunities for the students and young adults whose gifts lie outside the 3-Rs and athletics. Putting them alongside professionals in their area of talent to inspire, develop and collaborate is ultimately what we define as success. Judging by the increasing quality of their respective art forms, we are achieving this goal.
On the outside of our educational realm, success is determined by the quality of the product in relation to the price they paid for their ticket. Every ticket buyer, every last one, was blown away with the product they received and were thrilled to spend their weekend with us.

Thank you for being part of this success.

Come enjoy a slice of Morse Rocks as we present “Freedom Rocks” at the Cantine Veterans Memorial Complex on July 4 beginning at 3 p.m.

Joe Defino
Teacher, Grant D. Morse School  Festival Organizer