Letters (July 21-28)

mail-letter-sqLibrary Fair thanks

Well, another successful and enjoyable Library Fair! We want to say a heartfelt “Thank you” to all those who helped, including the following: To those who did the heavy physical work of setting up and disassembling — putting up 65 tables, working the hand fork lift, lifting the pallets, and boxes and boxes of heavy books — they were: The Ulster County Sheriff’s Dept. Work Program, the Town of Saugerties Ice Arena guys — Rob, Peter, Nigel, and Jim, our afternoon crew — Lanny, Phil, Ray, and Key Club members, Ed Cullenen, Nina Palumbo-Torres, Rebecca Sauer, and Brianna Stanley. It was hot, heavy, and dirty work and we are so grateful for their energy and muscles!

And to the food department — Lox of Bagels, Hudson Valley Desserts, Giordano’s Pizza and all those who donated baked goods.

Thank you also to The Saugerties Police Dept., Diaz Ambulance, SPCA, and CASA for their displays, information and handouts.


To our great music providers, guitar player Katie Hofstatter and the Kevin Mclernan band.

Thank you to our vendors — Brine Barrel with their famous pickles, Tom Miron with his birdhouses and other wooden ware, and Ken Kleinburg for his artistic hand stamps. And lastly for the 35 or more Friends and volunteers who helped us with this event! We apologize if we have omitted anyone.

This was truly a community effort! Thank you again!

Barbara Kaisik and Elaine White
Co-Chairs, The Friends of the Saugerties Public Library



Hudson Valley Mall…one casualty among many

Having been in the Shopping Center Industry (yes, there is such a thing) for over 40 years, I have seen firsthand the rise of malls, the cannibalization of markets by mall developers and now, sadly, their decline. Hudson Valley Mall going into foreclosure is just one of the causalities of the shifting retail landscape from bricks and mortar to the Internet. Ironically, the Internet has been responsible for declining Mall sales which has led to mall closures, just as 50 years ago Malls impacted small downtown retailers across the country forcing many of them out of business.

Malls are categorized by productivity and sales per square foot. The best are rated A, followed by the B and C malls which are most at risk. Major department stores and chain retailers have been forced to evaluate all of their locations with an eye to jettison their poor performers. The loss of Hudson Valley Mall’s Macy’s and JCPenny are examples of such business decisions. Without department stores, which have traditionally been the main customer draws to a mall, the smaller retailers suffer.

Among this gloom there is a silver lining for independent retail store owners such as the wonderful ones we have in Woodstock. Not only do they have a selection of merchandise not found online, but they provide personal, one-to-one customer service which a website cannot do. It’s one thing when an on-line retail site welcomes you by name as a result of a cookie placed in your computer, but that cannot compare to a warm “hello” and “may I help you” when entering a local shop.

So support your local businesses because they support the entire community.

Paul Kastner


Hope springs eternal

Sometimes one has to begin to face the truth, and on Monday night after the Republican convention was over, I turned off the TV and tried to go to sleep, with my firm belief that the next president would be Donald Trump. My thoughts began to turn to what I’d do after November. I don’t want to leave my Willow Trees, or even more my country, but…bottom line is my emotions wouldn’t let me fall asleep.
So, I turned the TV back on a bit after midnight, and to my shock and surprise, my negative thoughts were taken over by the news that had just been released. Melania Trumps speech, which was the reason I had given up hope for a Democratic win, was plagiarized. It was taken from Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008 and by about 1 a.m., the news was out.
My Country, Tis of Thee.

I send my praises to MSNBC for coming out with the truth so fast. That I have left my negativity in the past.

Jill Paperno