Saugerties Times letters: 9/29-10/5

letters-blueTrump equals racism

There has been much debate about Trump and his supporters and whether they all share, or approve of, his racist beliefs and hateful language.

Here’s how I view it. Trump cannot be separated from his racism. This is like saying that Hitler had a good economic plan!

As Americans our democracy is currently under assault by an ugly under belly. Let’s stand together in November and soundly denounce Trump.


Jo Galante Cicale


Vote yes on Family Court move

Ulster County is currently faced with a situation that warrants the support of all registered voters on Election Day in order to vote “yes” on a ballot referendum that asks voters if the Ulster County Family Court should be moved from Lucas Avenue in the City of Kingston to the Business Resource Center in the Town of Ulster. Such a move requires the majority of voters in Ulster County to vote “yes” in order to facilitate such a move, because there is a New York State Law that mandates the location of all Family Courthouses to be located in the County seat community. A new Family Courthouse is needed in order to make room for a third Family Court Judge that was added in 2015. The existing Family Courthouse on Lucas Avenue (which is a rented facility) is not adequate for the housing of three Family Court Judges. The Consolidated Courts System of New York State mandates very specific criterion for Family Courthouses. A specific type of wood is required within the courthouses, a requisite amount of square footage in each judge’s office, a separate entrance for the judges along with separate locker rooms and parking areas for the judges and clerks. The current Family Courthouse on Lucas Avenue is not architecturally accommodating for such renovations. In addition, the landlords of the leased facility do not want to make any renovations and alterations on their building, and they do not want construction work to be done at night, (as construction work cannot be completed during the day while court is in session).

Since early 2014, the Consolidated Court System has sent repeated correspondence to the Ulster County Executive and Ulster County Legislature stating that Ulster County needs to take action in order to create a Family Courthouse that addresses these needs. Ulster County Government has been unable to address this situation in a more timely manner because of the situation at the Lucas Avenue Courthouse, and because the City of Kingston does not contain any viable tracts of commercial real estate that would accommodate a new Family Courthouse. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I was briefed on the possible alternatives for a new location of Ulster County Family Court. The two options within the City of Kingston would cost the taxpayers of Ulster County an (estimated) additional $10,721,000. One of those options, the Alms House on Flatbush Avenue, is not architecturally conducive for a Family Courthouse, and the building has since been sold, while the other possible option, the County Mental Health Center at Golden Hill, would require a permanent relocation of the Mental Health Center.

The Business Resource Center in the Town of Ulster is currently 60 percent vacant after Ulster County Community College’s satellite campus moved to Sophie Finn, and the overall costs associated with any renovations are $10,721,000 less than the Mental Health Center option.

I do not believe in “dumb-ing it down” for the voters which is why I voted to keep the ballot language on the upcoming ballot referendum informative rather than non-descript. On Election Day, vote “yes” to move the Family Courthouse to Ulster!

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature, Saugerties and Malden


Saugerties Animal Shelter Benefit Yard Sale

The Town of Saugerties animal shelter is having it’s semi-annual yard sale on Saturday October 8, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. They accept all new and gently used goods except clothing or electronics. Every penny taken in will be used directly for the animals. So please donate and then go to the yard sale and spend, spend, spend. The Saugerties animal shelter is located at 1765 Route 212 at the transfer station.

See you there.

Esta Schultz


Stein answers questions

I hope that local newspapers will include my short letter.  I simply want to inform people that despite the odds, sometimes democracy prevails.

Last night was the first presidential debate. Two national candidates, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, were not invited to participate. However, Jill Stein used her creativity and resources to create her own media. As Bernie Sanders used to say during his rallies, “Sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box.”

Jill Stein succeeded in using social media to answer each debate question in real time.  We could hear responses from three candidates, not two. You can go to Facebook to hear Dr. Stein’s responses. Additionally, “Democracy Now” is using their show on September 27, to include Jill Stein’s responses to the questions posed to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Gary Johnson was invited to take part in the debate on “Democracy Now” but he was unable to attend.

Thank you for letting me get out this information.

Lisa Jobson