Kingston Times letters (11/3-9)


Zombies salute their sponsors

UlsterCorps would like to thank everyone who participated in and contributed to the success of our seventh annual Zombie Escape on Saturday, October 29t at Williams Lake. To our 2016 sponsors and supporters: Radio Woodstock 100.1 WDST, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Kohl’s Cares Associates in Action, Vaz-Co, Rock and Snow, Blue Q, Topricin; race directors from Shawangunk Runners Steve Schallenkamp, Christopher Regan, Mendy Gallo; our amazing team of volunteer zombies and other helpers of all ages from UlsterCorps, High Meadow School, Rondout Valley High School and SUNY New Paltz; zombie makeup artists Patty and Evan Lankhorst, Laura Nordstrom, and Stacey Parthemore, Yoshi FX , Columbia Costumes; Antilogy Screenprinting and Hae Auh for the shirts and design; Davenport Farms, Hurd’s Family Farm, Jenkins and Lueken Orchards, Adams Fairacre Farms, Shoprite of Kingston for refreshments; Split Rock Recording Studio for the spooky sounds; photographers and videographers Kellie McGuire, Peak Magazine and Martin Weiner, and to Williams Lake for hosting us.

All proceeds from the event will benefit UlsterCorps, a countywide resource hub for volunteerism, collaboration and service with a deep commitment to engaging high-school and college-age students. UlsterCorps partners with schools, civic and religious organizations, other nonprofit agencies and business volunteer programs to help them provide services to county residents.

Overall female winner was Gabriela Olivera with a time of 23:45.70, male overall winner Adam Beach with a time of 21:29.60.


Beth McClendon


John Faso is our answer

I am deeply concerned for the future of our area. I have sold real estate in Ulster County for 22 years. I have seen the market at its best and at its worst. I have watched people lose the homes that they worked so hard to obtain because of job loss.

I have also worked in retail at various stores in the area and have watched these businesses close over and over because economically they can’t afford to stay here. Our own Hudson Valley Mall is basically non-existent.

People that were born and raised and love this area are moving away because they can’t afford to live here any more. We have no jobs here. Our taxes are among the highest in the nation. Our heating bills are outrageous. And on top of that our healthcare system is draining us to the point that people will need to choose between eating and caring for their families or paying an enormous monthly insurance bill.

We are at a point in our lives where we can no longer allow this to continue. We are at risk of losing everything. I have a husband, children and grandchildren, and for the first time in my life I am afraid of what the future holds.

We as a nation are not safe, but we continue to allow people into our country, many of whom want to destroy us. I for one can not sit back and allow this irresponsible behavior any longer.

I am voting for John Faso for Congress because John understands not only our needs locally but also our needs as a nation. He has lived here and raised his family here. He is as deeply concerned as I am about our future. He knows the job ahead of him and he knows what needs to be done to fix the mess that’s been made.

It is my opinion that John Faso is our only answer in the 19th congressional district, and I hope you will agree. Please join me in voting for John on November 8.

Lorrie Morse
Port Ewen


1863, 1929, 2016   

Four score and seven years ago,

our fathers crashed forth upon this nation

a stock market, conceived in trickery

and dedicated to the proposition

that all men are created venal.

Now, in these darkening days before

perhaps another Black Tuesday,

we are engaged in a great election,

testing whether our nation — or any nation

so conceived and dedicated—

can long endure.

We are met today

in the final throes of that election.

We pray that its dire prologue

portends not a yet direr epilogue;

that the rattling of sabers

echoing in the electorate’s ears

is not a death rattle,

but rather a call to arms

against greed and corruption,

fear and hatred,

vice and venality,

that this nation might endure.

The world will little note nor long remember

what is said here; but it can never forget

what incorruptible men and women

have done, and can still do, here.

It is for each of us, moreover,

to summon up our own efforts

in the unfinished work

they have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is for us to dedicate ourselves

to the great tasks before us,

and to resolve:

that from these honored few

we take inspiration

and make sacrifice

to pursue those causes

to which they have given

such full measure of devotion;

That they shall not have striven in vain,

nor strive in vain today, and

that nor shall we;

that this nation shall have

a new birth of freedom; and

that government

of the people,

by the people,

for the people

shall not perish from the earth.

Tom Cherwin


Short-term rental advocate

Suzanne Cahill, City of Kingston planning chief, said to me as I forayed into the flexible short-term rental  business as an entrepreneur, “No one can dictate to a building owner how long you can rent whether it is one year, five years or a weekend or a day. It is your building.” This informed my emerging enterprise, offering short-term accommodation to cultural creators, business travelers and weekend adventure seekers in Kingston, Woodstock and Phoenicia.

County executive Mike Hein, comptroller Elliott Auerbach, chamber of commerce president Ward Todd, economic development director Suzanne Holt and many others in Ulster County congratulated me and wished me all the best for my new startup.

When I created the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice we needed to find lodging for a large number of singers, musicians and technicians, and our community rallied to provide rooms in their homes, cabins and apartments. Later I moved my family to KIngston to start the Kingston Festival of the Arts and again needed to house cultural creatives and called upon the goodwill of the community, including the Old Dutch Church which accommodated the cast of “The Other Mozart” when it played for two weekends during the Kingston Festival.  I also noticed the burgeoning film activity in the area, also requiring  flexible accommodation. These experiences gave me the idea for creating a more formal structure for offering short-term rentals to meet the growing need in the area.

Over the past three or four years I have had the pleasure of hosting many creative work teams, most recently production companies from three indie movies, who set up their production headquarters in my “Studio 286” in Uptown Kingston for six weeks each time,  as well as a technical team from Kentucky for several months on assignment with Time Warner Cable assisting their digital rollout.   have also hosted numerous visitors in my Woodstock and Phoenicia rentals, usually young couples visiting the area for two or three days for a romantic escape to the countryside where the love to hike, eat at local restaurants, visit local stores, attend cultural events and festivals, and relax in nature. Ulster Savings Bank partnered with my new business providing a commercial mortgage to get things started.

Safety and noise regulations are already in place whether a rental is on a long-term or short-term basis. All rentals must adhere to the same fire and other safety regulations. The police deal with noisy neighbors. In Kingston landlords owning short- and longer-term rentals are required to register with the city, and in New Paltz and Woodstock all rentals both short- and longer-term are inspected for safety compliance once a year.

Nobody can dictate to a propertyowner how long he/she is able to rent a property as all safety and neighborhood concerns are already addressed with existing laws.

Short-term rentals of houses, cabins, rooms and apartments have always been part of the rich and storied history of our area, contribute enormously to economic development. They have peacefully and safely existed alongside hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and resorts. The only difference now is that they are online just as every other business in the world is.

Kale Kaposhlin from Kingston’s Evolving Media just completed the second annual tech conference at the Ashokan Center. Many New York City tech entrepreneurs came to explore possibilities of relocating or expanding to the Hudson Valley. “A lot of innovative creative people want to stay where they can connect with locals,” he reports. “Personal connection is one of the most compelling components in attracting creatives to our area.”

I am originally from New Zealand. My wife Bex is from Scotland. We came to make America home, attracted by the abundant opportunities in the Hudson Valley to make dreams become reality. Here’s to the Festival of Choice!


Kerry Henderson


Vote For Faso? No!

As a state Assembly member John Faso, voted against equal pay for equal work for women, against a woman’s right to make choices her own body, against safe access to abortion clinics, and even against protections against stalking. And he supports Dinald Trump despite his history of negative remarks and actions against women. So why should I, and any woman, vote for Faso?

Add to this Mr. Faso’s history as a lobbyist whose firm was fined a whopping $500,000 for a pay-to-play pension fund scandal. That’s right, he’s been an Albany lobbyist for the past 14 years minus time out for his failed run for governor.

So Mr. Faso certainly can’t run on his record. He has nothing positive to offer voters. Instead he uses his unlimited campaign funds for sneaky ads spouting lies against his opponent, Zephyr Teachout.

Why I’m voting for Zephyr Teachout? It’s a long list starting with: she’s smart, she’s pro-women, she’ll fight to end pay-to-play politics, she has a history of fighting on the side of issues that make a positive difference for the people of NYS and for our district, and she is the candidate to follow in the footsteps of our great congressman Maurice Hinchey. She has my vote, Maurice’s vote and I hope she has yours.

Judith Simon


Zephyr wrote the book

That a person “wrote the book” on something has become fairly cliché, but it is not cliché when it comes to Zephyr Teachout, candidate for the 19th Congressional District seat. Her book “Corruption In America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box To Citizens United” is a treatise against the corporate influence and corruption that have overtaken American politics.

Even the usually corporation-friendly Wall Street Journal described her book as “a masterly work of scholarship” that proposes how we might return to the Constitution framers’ efforts to “prevent corrupt acts before they are perpetrated, rather than relying on punishment after-the-fact.” Yes, she actually wrote the book on fighting and preventing political corruption, and for this and many other reasons, she has my vote.

Mark Rosen
New Paltz 


Hayes opposes smart meters

Since 2013 I have been actively fighting the deployment of digital utility meters throughout our community. As it happens, Woodstock — and by extension Ulster County — is one of the most active anti-smart-meter areas in New York State. Over the years I have called assemblyman Kevin Cahill’s office to complain about the digital utility meters without tangible success.

All digital meters with electronic components impact people’s health, safety and privacy. That is why Stop Smart Meters NY and Stop Smart Meters Woodstock are advocating for an analog meter opt-out.

On Wednesday, October 26, I attended a town-hall meeting with assemblyman Cahill at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center. During the question-and-answer period I addressed Mr. Cahill with the following: “Since 2015 the City of Kingston and the towns of Woodstock, Olive and Gardiner have passed memorializing resolutions supporting analog utility meter opt-outs without penalties and monthly fees. If elected, would you advocate for an analog utility meter opt-out without penalties and monthly fees in the New York State legislature?”

He responded that smart meters help distribute energy equably through the grid. Further, he stated that assemblymember Michael DenDekker’s bill (NYS A4354) is one that he supports. This bill is unacceptable as is does not allow people the right to retain or recover their analog utility meters. Unfortunately, all digital utility meters presently being deployed by Central Hudson are woefully impacting the community.

This fall I met with Jack Hayes, Mr. Cahill’s Republican opponent, and I have found him to be a sincere and honorable man. He attended several Woodstock smart-meter forum meetings and since that time he has pledged that if elected he would advocate for an analog meter opt-out in the NYS Assembly.

In the remaining days before the election I implore any who are concerned about this issue to call Mr. Cahill’s office (tel. 338-9610) and see if they can get a commitment from him to work on an analog meter opt-out. If you’re not satisfied, then I urge you to please consider voting on November 8 for Mr. Jack Hayes to fill the 103rd District Assembly seat.

Weston Blelock


Highly qualified Matera

I’m voting for Peter F. Matera for judge in the Ulster County Surrogate Court, and you should consider doing so as well. And here’s why — experience matters!

Mr. Matera has been an attorney in Ulster County for 30 years and has argued many cases in the Surrogate Court, dealing with complex legal issues. He has been an assistant district attorney for 23 years, and is currently serving in that capacity right here in the Woodstock court.

He has also served in virtually every one of the other 19 towns in Ulster County in that  same capacity. He has provided services to the community as an assistant public defender. He has argued cases at the state appellate level and is licensed to practice in federal court in New York’s eastern and southern districts.

Of the three candidates seeking election to the Surrogate Court, Mr. Matera was the only candidate rated as “highly qualified” to hold the position by the Ulster County Bar Association. He is sincere, honest, compassionate and fair, and has the demeanor to serve as a judge. On November 8, vote Peter F. Matera judge, Ulster County Surrogate Court.

Jim Monserrate
Lake Hill


Hillary or prison camp?

Vote for Hillary! Forget Jill Stein! Why? Because if “The Donald” wins, I will meet you two years from now in a prison camp in New Mexico, surrounded by 30,000 Muslims and the entire Black Lives Matter movement, and you’ll say to me: “OMG, Sparrow, you were right!”