Saugerties Times letters (7/13-20)

Support Joe Maloney for District 2 legislator

As the local election season heats up I would like to throw my support behind Joe Maloney for District 2 County Legislator.

Joe is a lifelong county resident who is a father, husband and local business owner. As a member of the Independence Party he brings a compromising and unifying approach to the Legislative body with a level of intellect, professionalism and work ethic that will serve District 2 in a way that they have always deserved.

It is rare that sitting Legislators actively promote a challenger over the incumbent but in this particular case the difference in experience, civility and knowledge of the position is in such contrast that I feel compelled to weigh in.


Joe’s opponent has desperately sunk to the strategy of aggressive door to door politicking…demanding signatures and votes through intimidation and persistence rather than working and serving for them.

Joe’s passions in serving the community of Saugerties are centered around preserving the environment and making our local tax dollars go as far as they possibly can. As a business owner he knows the importance of a bottom line and has a keen eye and specific ideas to implement on day one to get the job done. Joe’s motivation are his two young sons who he hopes to help create a prosperous environment for so that they too will one day raise their families here.

I urge all registered voters in Barclay Heights, the Village of Saugerties and Malden who belong to the Independence, Republican, Democratic, and Conservative parties to vote for Joe Maloney during the primary election which is held on September 12, 2017 and all registered voters to go out in numbers to support Joe Maloney in the general election held on November 7, 2017.

Dean Fabiano,
Ulster County Legislator, District 3


Faso on ‘Setting the Record Straight’

In his recently sent “Constituent Guide” Congressman Faso outlines his “accomplishments” in recent healthcare legislation.

He touts his “Property Tax Reduction Act”: While I agree that the burden of Medicaid costs might better be shared on a different basis, simply shifting the costs from County to State in New York without any well defined plan to replace cuts does not constitute “relief” or a “tax cut.” The same “health care” legislation supported by Faso that allows this tax shift on the one hand, actually cuts Medicaid by $772 billion on the other. States are being left alone to make up the loss in revenue that supports things like nursing homes, drug addiction programs, mental health, birthing services and more. What do you think that will do to our State taxes, or health care options, while the wealthy get nearly $707 billion in tax reductions?

Though he says “Insurance companies cannot directly deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions,” they are, under State waivers, allowed to eliminate essential benefits thus rendering coverage unavailable.

“No member of Congress is exempt from changes in the law.” That should go without saying. Bragging about it seems odd.

“$138 billion included to cover health-related costs”: that’s inadequate, dwarfed by the $772 billion in cuts he’s fostered in Medicaid alone.

The bill he backs offers “Healthcare tax credits”…but on individuals 55-64 years old making $26,000, only $4000 comes off estimated premiums of $14,000-$16,000…that’s unaffordable!

The costs of the House/Senate proposals are draconian compared his claim of “savings.”

Marcus Arthur


Thanks to all for the medical help

The impact was sudden and forceful to my shoulder and I turned to my left and stood up to look at my wife sitting by my side and the top of her head had turned crimson red with blood. The impact of a thrown baseball bat from a batter at the plate had struck her from  maybe 15 yards away. Immediately I told her she would-be alright and began to address the open wound on her forehead.

Within thirty seconds I heard a female say, I’m a doctor, can I help; then another female said I’m a nurse, ice and bandages appeared within minutes and my wife was triaged on the spot and subsequently taken to the Kingston Emergency Room by Diaz Ambulance for further treatment.

We were at a Stallions baseball game the night of July 4 and I write this to thank Dr. Beth Hilmi, the unnamed nurse, the staff and coaches of the Stallions baseball club who provided the necessary medical supplies and Saugerties Police. Also the fans whose moral support was gratifying.

We did not see nor hear the released incoming airborne baseball bat that caused the trauma to my wife’s head as timing and circumstances dictate most everything we do. I believe a net in front of the third base spectator benches would be a worthwhile investment which would prevent another injury of this kind.

Again my heartfelt thanks to those persons assisting in my wife’s well-being that night.

Mike Andrews


America alone

It is hard to know which is worse for our country: that our President was marginalized by the European leaders at the G-20 summit, or that the President continues his dysfunctional courtship of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Either way, it is starting to look as though this President is the greatest threat to our nation’s security.

Trump’s unpopularity with the G-20 nations, our country’s strongest allies, is his own fault, but it is our citizens, whose livelihoods depend on the United States as a fully participatory member of the G-20 Summit, who will pay the price as we are left behind and left out of the agreements forged on climate change and trade.

Trump and his cabinet ignore climate change at our nation’s peril. While exploiting American drilling appears beneficial in the short term, our focus on drilling now will leave us unprepared to compete in the expanding markets of renewable energy. Our workers will suffer and our economic growth will languish.

In matters of trade, Trump’s America First posture is turning into an America Alone isolation that will leave the United States nothing more than crumbs in the trade agreements made and solidified between the European leaders.

Climate and trade are intertwined and the fortunes and futures of American success will be dictated by our nation’s ability to be strong and credible, recognized by and in cooperation with the leaders of Western Europe and its allies.

We cannot station troops around the world, send men and women into combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Korean peninsula and other places and pretend that we are not enmeshed in the world and all its problems.

Equally distressing is to see that our president, on the world stage, impugns our intelligence agencies, lambasts our free press and tacitly agrees when Putin insists he did not meddle in our election, despite the informed conclusion of seventeen government agencies with access to provable, credible evidence.


When our President insists on American First at all costs, he is courting an unintended policy of America Alone. Well, maybe not alone. Surely Russia would love to help us out.

Deidre J. Byrne


Primary fairness

In his most recent article, Klaus Gaebel  tried to explain my motivations for seeking a Town Board seat. I am a candidate because the property tax controlled directly by the Town Board increased by an average of 6% per year over the last decade — nearly triple the rate of inflation. Saugerties taxpayers need an advocate who will work to deliver essential services more efficiently and seek new ways to reduce our crushing property tax burden. Through my blog and Facebook page, I reported on many issues impacting town government and believe I have the knowledge and experience to be an effective Town Board member. I have received the endorsement of the Independence Party and hope to be endorsed by the Conservative Party.

I would like to add to Mr. Gaebel’s article on the nomination process for town candidates. Saugerties Republicans should know that Don Tucker and myself are the only Republican Town Board candidates that did not interview with and actively seek the Democratic Party endorsement.

I also strongly disagree with Mr. Gaebel’s spin on the 2015 and 2017 town elections. The Town of Saugerties is controlled by a political machine whose supporters and beneficiaries will do anything to keep power. The real, unreported story in town politics is the manipulation of the political system to prevent voters from having a choice in the 2015 and 2017 elections.

The Saugerties Republican Committee overwhelmingly supported switching to a primary system to encourage more participation. To ensure fairness, the Committee did not endorse Town Board candidates and I worked with County GOP Chair Roger Rascoe to guarantee each candidate’s place on the September 12 primary ballot.

Joe Roberti, Jr.


Invitation to Indivisible Saugerties meetings

I was very impressed by the work that was done by Indivisible Saugerties members. I am impressed by the leaders who plan and sustain the meetings, and methods of communication.

The committee leaders and their committees have been working with great passion and commitment and have been planning and getting things done. They have been very informative and motivating.

However, I was a little disappointed in the number of people who showed up at the last meeting, compared to earlier meetings. It is most important to come to these meetings.  We may not all have the time or skills to pick up some of the activities, but if we are sitting with disbelief and outrage about what has been happening in our country, then that is what might be helpful at meetings. Your energy is support for those who are working hard to make things happen. It is important for us to be in the room to hear what is going on and what is being done. We must continue to feel the outrage and also feel the hope that comes with action and unity. We need to be in the room to applaud those who are taking the action. We need to be there to see if there is something that arises that we can take part in. You never know.

I’m not saying this to make anyone feel guilty, but rather to emphasize the need to be in this together, to be cheerleaders and energy-surgers. We cannot sit back. It is going to get worse. We all know very well what happens when we do nothing; we also know what happens when we join together to create change. We are in danger on many fronts: local, national, international, ethical, and humanistic! T he actions and behaviors we have been subjected to will not change. Among other things, they are fed by need for attention and publicity, so in order to keep the attention going, more outrageous behavior will be demonstrated. We are already aware of how much of our world is being destroyed by arrogance, vengefulness, provocation, and lack of ethics. Until a treatment team replaces the enablers and parrots in the White House, we need to be in the Indivisible Saugerties house. (This is not just for those who live in Saugerties!!)

Please come to Indivisible Saugerties meetings.

See for more information.

Arzi McKeown


Congressman disrepects Saugerties constituent at 4th parade

The Saugerties 4th of July Parade couldn’t have been more lovely. We had great weather, wonderful displays of community effort, children, flags, balloons, and great camaraderie no matter our political affiliation. Until…I came in contact with our Congressional Representative John Faso. I saw Mr. Faso’s appearance along the parade route as a rare

opportunity to finally speak to the man who has voted a horrendous deal to strip healthcare from our citizens and our neighbors.

I asked the Congressman why he voted in favor of the Republican Healthcare bill that strips us of our healthcare? And I asked when was he going to give us back our healthcare? Mr. Faso’s response was nothing short of shocking. His comment to me was “get away from me lady!” That’s it. Direct quote.  “Get away from me lady!”

Needless to say I was quite taken back. As a voter, taxpayer and senior citizen I had the right to speak with my elected official. He could only respond to me with sheer disdain and inappropriateness — “Get away from me lady!” because I had a different opinion. When I returned to my seat at the sidelines, obviously shaken, neighbors agreed I’d done the right thing saying, “I have a family member with a pre-existing condition. You were right!”

I hope this local Saugerties story will help people make a decision at the next election. John Faso is not a person who chooses to speak with his constituents. He disdainfully treats us like dirt and therefore does not deserve our vote!

Thanks to the rest of Saugerties for making a great parade.

Nancy E.K. Schaef


Doing constituent’s work

I want to thank Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel and Town Highway Superintendent Doug Myer for promptly responding to a request that I had made to them about the removal of a tree that was cut down in front of the welcome center of the Esopus Bend Trail on Sterley Avenue. Two constituents of mine had called the matter to my attention while I was campaigning at their residence last month. And even though I had left messages on Mr. Helsmoortel and Mr. Myer’s cell phones on a Sunday Afternoon, they both promptly responded and removed the tree within 20 hours of my request!

This is not the first time that Doug Myer has diligently responded to constituent requests made by me, as he previously sent the Town Highway Department out on several other occasions to fix potholes and cracks in the roads throughout Barclay Heights and Kings Village during the 2015 campaign.

Campaigning door-to-door is the aspect of my job that I enjoy the most, because it allows me the opportunity to communicate with voters and listen to their concerns and hear about direct constituent requests that they have on the local, county, state and federal level. Throughout my three campaigns, I have been able to coordinate for the removal of construction gravel by CSX Railroad that had been left behind at a dangerous railroad crossing on Doyle’s Lane, the removal of a tree on a constituent’s property (as stated before),  the repair of six different areas of potholes and damaged roads within Barclay Heights, Kings Village and the Village of Saugerties on Teetsel Street (thanks to Mayor Murphy and the Village Highway Department who responded within 24 hours back in 2015 on that request), while also arranging for a resident of the Village to have their water tested for the presence of lead during my first campaign. In addition, I have contacted County Offices in order to ascertain the exact ownership status of vacant houses throughout Barclay Heights in order to ease the concerns of local neighbor who asked for my assistance on these matters. Direct contact with voters allows me this opportunity to do my job to the best of my capabilities, and it allows me to understand what concerns my constituents have on multiple levels.

Chris Allen, Ulster County Legislature