Kingston Times Letters: Irish Cultural Center, presidential debates


Move the Irish center

I ask that this message be read and included in the minutes of the public comments section of the next planning board meeting to discuss approval to proceed with the proposed Irish Cultural Center.

I ask the planning board to keep in mind commitments, either implied or documented, made to previous developers of property in the Strand area. For example, allowing owners of multi-storied buildings to convert upper floors to rental apartments or more recently, use the former Hutton Brickyard property for an open-air food market. Both approvals had to consider tenants and patrons had to park somewhere. To date the city answer seems to be park in the two small municipal parking lots in Strand.

I have family members living in those approved apartments on the Strand and I can’t believe planners expected them to walk to work, shopping, or home. Now it’s time to honor city commitments to quality-of-life issues relating to parking. A shuttle bus service to the Hutton Brickyard from the municipal lots on the Strand is not the answer. Nor is the recent suggestion from the attorney for the center developer “nearby municipal lots are the answer for a project with 19 off-street parking spaces that plans to host venues for up to 400-plus attendees.


In my mind that thinking is like pouring a gallon of water into a quart container and not expecting to spill a drop.

End any further consideration of siting the Center in the proposed location. No problem with having an Irish Cultural Center or for that matter a German center or an Italian center. Just locate it in a location that has ample off-street parking for the expected venues. Do the proper thing, live up to the commitments you already made to residents living in the area and deny any new idea that would make that commitment impossible to fulfill.

Ronald E. Dietl


No parking, no business

I would like to share my concerns about the parking problem the Irish Cultural Center of the Hudson Valley will cause for my business and others (businesses, churches, residents) on and surrounding the Abeel Street area.

It is unwise to think that 18 parking spots will suffice for a venue that can accommodate 430 people. Parking is an issue now and I did speak with at least 300 of my customers who have stated that parking is a horrendous issue as it stands currently.

I have been involved with the Rondout community as both a business owner and a person who works diligently to better our community. I sit on four different boards of charitable and local organizations. This community and the Armadillo have been my life for 30 years.

Without parking there will be no business; without the Armadillo, 15 people will lose their jobs; without any revenue, I cannot give back to our local charitable organizations.

I need help with this issue and I am appealing to my local Ward 8 representative and to the City of Kingston officials, boards and commissions to please be aware of the hardships the decision of allowing the ICCHV to move forward without sufficient parking will create.

Merle Borenstein

(Editor’s note: The writer is owner of the Armadillo restaurant on Abeel Street.)


Let them debate

Although many Americans are extremely dissatisfied with the presidential candidates representing the Republican and Democratic parties, the other two national parties are being excluded from the presidential debates. These two national candidates, who are on the ballot in enough states to win the election, are Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for president and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate. These two candidates want and need to introduce themselves to the American people.

Polling shows that 76 percent of the American people would like all four national candidates to be included in the scheduled debates planned for September and October.  However, the “Commission” for presidential debates, a mere corporate entity created by the Democratic and Republican parties, in order to exclude other national candidates from participating in the national debates, officially announced this week that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were not invited to participate. In other words, this corporate “commission” does not want other voices to be heard.

Historically, the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization, was in charge of the rules regarding presidential debates. However, when the Democratic and Republican parties insisted on exclusionary tactics to keep other voices from being heard, the League of Women Voters pulled out. Now you have the Democratic and Republican parties making all the rules to benefit only themselves.

I quote Jill Stein, “In America, we have a right not only to vote, we have a right to know who we can vote for.” If you go to Jill Stein’s website,, you can sign a petition letting the world know you support a democracy where all of our national candidates can be heard.

Lisa Jobson