Saugerties Times letters (10/13-19)


Pipeline dangers

Two weeks ago hundreds of people attended Public Forums about the Pilgrim Pipelines- in Catskill, Saugerties, New Patlz  and Newburgh. Speakers from Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, local organizers and officials spoke about the risks and dangers Pilgrim Pipelines pose and importantly what we, as residents, can do.
Over the last year, 29 municipalities in NY along the proposed route of the pipelines have taken bold steps in response to Pilgrim Pipelines. They have passed resolutions opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline Project, demanded that DEC be lead agency in  the environmental review, demanded an extended public review. Over a thousand people have signed petitions and attended forums in communities from Albany all down the NYS Thruway to Newburgh as well as participated in vigils and other public actions, placing lawn signs throughout the area. As communities learn more about these pipelines, more and more people are raising their voices, outraged at the risk these pipelines would put our communities in.
Now the struggle against Pilgrim Pipelines has become more urgent and exciting as the permit application process moves forward. The DEC and NYS Thruway Authority (co-lead agencies) have issued a Positive Declaration — a Determination of Significance — stating that there is a potential for multiple significant adverse environmental impacts from the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline” and listed 20 broad areas of concern. As a result, a full environmental review will be required before a permit can be considered. Commencing soon, a 30 to 60 day scoping comment period begins and this is where we all can play a vital role in determining what the review will cover and study. There are a wide range of issues which local communities should insist on being  included: impacts on traffic and roads, on property values for homes near the proposed routes, on water resources, air and water quality, our local volunteer firefighters, historic farms, endangered species and on the greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Just last week a land owner noted that an old gas pipeline runs within yards from the proposed Pilgrim route next to her house. This is an example of the kind of scoping issue which only a local person may be aware of.
We urge everyone especially our Town Board  to participate in these scoping comments. Make them personal, make them about local issues, make them about your concerns,  about climate change — whatever your concerns are, make your voice heard.
For more detailed information about how to write the comments, the date the comment period begins, and where to send comments, visit or call 845 246 3449.

Sue Rosenberg


Independent and local  

I was dismayed that I read about the possible tax override in a legal notice and not in an article. If I missed the article I apologize. I was dismayed that I read part of the budget increases in the “Opinion” section. I thought journalism was to report the news and then the impact it has on the people. Reading the 173 page budget proposal is a daunting task and interpreting it is even harder harder.

This is to the town board — Our property taxes are higher compared to other towns. People gasp when I tell them what I pay and what I receive. I do live in the Village so my taxes are slightly different, but it is always reported the Village brings in tourism which seems to be our main revenue. We need to bring in industry. We cannot afford any higher property tax increases whether it is 4% or 6%. As for the health insurance costs increasing by 22.4% — do what the rest of the country is doing, digging deeper into their own pockets. That is just a sad fact. Since the ACA employees have had to pay  more.  The cost of living adjustment was last done in 2015 and was 1.7%. The prediction for 2017 is less than 1% if any. Gee, and to think we gave away $5000.


Carol L. Cochrane


Reject fear, anger, resentment

There’s a letter by a New York Times editor, Michael Luo, to a woman who told him to “go back to China.” Luo, a Harvard grad born and raised in the USA was more saddened than angry at the encounter, having experienced this sort of prejudice many times before. But perhaps he was surprised that a well-dressed woman on the upper East Side of New York would yell, “go back to your f*ing country.” He comes to the conclusion that “you had these feelings in you, and, the reality is, so do a lot of people in this country right now.”

Maybe we should thank candidate Trump for helping bring to the surface the ugly underbelly of America. It by no means represents the majority of our citizens, but it is deeply disturbing to see the roiling pot of hatred that has been bubbling over during his campaign. You can’t fix a problem, nor cure a disease, until you identify it. It’s obvious that we as a nation have a lot of work to do.

Oft quoted words by Abraham Lincoln, made on the occasion of his first inauguration to a population scarred and deeply wounded by the war between the states, have never been more appropriate, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Hillary Clinton has said that “America is great because America is good.” Let’s not let fear, anger and resentment define us. Let’s celebrate our diversity and use what can divide us to make us better. We need to be good to be great.

Nancy Campbell