Saugerties Times letters (10/12-19)

Vote Vinny Altieri

I write this letter as a show of my support for Vincent Altieri to be elected to the Saugerties Town Board. I have known Vinny for more than 30 years and consider him a valued friend. I truly believe he has the management skills and budgetary knowledge to be a huge asset to the Town Board and to the residents of Saugerties. At his employment with the county he assists in the management of a $32 million dollar budget. He deals with three different labors unions as a Supervisor. I feel Vinny has great communication skills and is very approachable. Vinny Altieri has a real desire to do the best he can for the Town of Saugerties and I encourage residents to give him a chance to prove he can step up to the challenge.

Paul J. Van Blarcum
Born and raised in Saugerties

 

Not so stressed

In last week’s Opinion letters, it was written “The town of Saugerties is one of eleven towns to be designated Financially stressed.” We all know how statistics compare with lies. I look at the report for Saugerties and see its Financial Stress level is 47.5%, where 45% or below is designated as “not stressed.” So the town is just over the threshold.
Further, I see:

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(A) 6 locales that have significant stress (much worse than Saugerties),

(B) 27 locales that have moderate stress (worse than Saugerties), and

(C) 64 locales that have susceptible stress (including Saugerties).

Also, the Self-Assessment Tool provided by the Comptroller’s office projects Saugerties will fall well below the financially stressed level to 36.4% in 2017. See the report for Saugerties for yourself. Also see tinyurl.com/y7o52llv search for the town of Saugerties and click “Self-Assessment tool” on the right to see that the town projected to be designated as “not stressed” in 2017.
Is the town of Saugerties in as bad a shape as the letter implies? Decide for yourself.

Mike MacIsaac
Candidate for UC Legislature, District 1

 

Thanks! It was a blast!

On behalf of the thousands of youth served by the Rip Van Winkle Council of Boy Scouts, I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the generous sponsors and shooters who helped make our 9th Annual Sporting Clays for Scouting fundraiser at Orvis Sandanona the most successful ever!

The outstanding success of this event was directly attributed to the generous support of UBS Financial Services of Albany, our tournament sponsor; Ulster Savings Bank, our luncheon sponsor; Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor and Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, our breakfast sponsors; H.M. Hughes Co., our prize sponsor; Sherman Furniture Rentals and Paulsen Development, our ammo sponsors; The UPS Store, our auction sponsor; Central Hudson, our target sponsor; Timely Signs, our signage sponsor; Hudson Valley Foot Associates, our media sponsor; Kingston Physical Therapy, our bucket-drop sponsor; CZ-USA, our firearm sponsor; Keegan Ales, our beverage sponsor; and Orvis Sandanona, our host for the event. These local businesses have once again demonstrated their unending commitment to the Scouting program and the youth of our community.

Charles “Bud” Walker, Chairman
BSA Sporting Clays for Scouting

 

Town is not paying for charging station 

Recently, the Parks and Buildings Department of the Town of Saugerties installed an Electric Vehicle Charging Station, in the South Ice Arena Parking Lot, off of Small World Avenue. The first of its kind, in Saugerties.

Unfortunately, there has been misinformation, in media print and from communications the Department and Town has received.

The Town of Saugerties did not fund the purchase, nor is the Town paying for electrical charges for those who utilize.

The Unit was purchased from LilyPad EV, under Ulster County bid award, with Prepaid Commercial Cloud Plan and installed in-house by the Parks and Buildings Department.

Both the procurement of the Electrical Vehicle Charging Station and the in-house install was done under terms of a NYS Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) Grant Contract # DEC01T00298GG-3350000. All costs associated with both are being reimbursed by DEC, through the DEC contract terms.

Although, this is a NYSDEC Grant, funds are not tax-payer derived. Rather funding came via a Volkswagen settlement award, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA then allocated to the States, with New York State receiving $127.7 million. The State chose to allocate all of the settlement award, from the auto maker, on clean air projects.

Additionally, as part of the settlement award, there is no charge to Users who utilize for two years. DEC will be reimbursing during the course of the two years and no public (taxpayer) funds are being disbursed.

The next round of DEC funding has been announced and we are hoping to install two additional units, in the Cantine Complex, within the next eight to ten months. One, at the Frank Greco Memorial Center, along with one other at the Large Pavilion and Conference Center, 10 Pavilion Street.

For further information, please email gchorvas@saugerties.ny.us. You may also phone the Department at 845-246-5890 x 310.

Greg Chorvas, Supt. Parks & Buildings
Saugerties

 

Vote MacIsaac

With the coming November 7 elections, one wonders how to go about making the decision of voting for a candidate that will serve us best. So who should you vote for?

I have known Mike MacIsaac for approximately 25 years. I have talked with him concerning his frustrations with poor decisions made by the Ulster County legislature. I admire his determination to make things right and his willingness to accept the challenge to perform the digging needed get to the heart of a matter and to vote for what is best for the residents of Ulster County. Mike is a willing worker and will do a thorough job in researching issues that face the county. I encourage you to vote for Mike MacIsaac, Ulster County legislature District 1.

John Gaetjen
Saugerties

 

Support Fred Costello

As a non-enrolled voter in Saugerties I evaluate the merits of local races by taking stock of the specific issues and candidates. I look for characteristics that epitomize “servant leadership.” Why is someone doing this? Is it to be a servant of the people, or is it to enhance their own personal power, or the power of who endorses them? Does this person project humility and demonstrate through words and deeds that they are collaborative, empathetic, and able to build and sustain relationships? Does this person see that the greater good sometimes stands in opposition to narrow partisan views?

Fred Costello has served this town as a true servant leader for well over a decade; first as a member of the Town Board for two years, and then eleven years as the Deputy Supervisor. During this time our town has thrived.

Fred and I were classmates and neighborhood friends. His interest in public service started when he was a young man, and has been born out of a true sense of doing what is right for the Town of Saugerties in every instance. Fred has built relationships throughout the town by reaching across the aisle, speaking respectfully to one and all, and conducting himself with integrity at all times (especially and including during election season). I support Fred Costello for Town of Saugerties Supervisor, and ask you to join me on election day.

Bill Ball
Saugerties

 

A community food effort

A year ago, we at the Saugerties United Methodist Church were introduced to the staff and programs at the Boys and Girls Club on Partition Street. What a wonderful environment: the staff and the volunteers are there to take care of our community’s children. They play, do arts and crafts and homework, Yes, homework, and they are helped by dedicated volunteers. We also discovered that many of the children stay at the club until closing, which is 8 p.m. We were curious: did the children receive a meal? No was the answer, the club lacks the facilities to provide enough food. We knew we wanted to help.

The church decided to begin providing healthy means once a week. Tuesday was chosen as the day for this endeavor. However, it became apparent that the church was not capable of cooking every week and so our program coordinator, Evelyn Stokrocki, decided to ask some of the local restaurants if they would consider providing food.

With hopeful expectations, Evelyn first approached Freddie Costello Jr. of Sue’s Restaurant. Evelyn was not sure what the reaction would be but Freddie was more than happy to help. He assured her that he would be very willing to help your young people as he felt it important to show them the community in which they live cares for them.

After receiving such a warm welcome from Sue’s Restaurant, Evelyn approached several others in Saugerties and its environs. To date, we have received trememdous assistance from Nick at the Barclay Heights Diner; Abraham at the Village Diner; Jorge from Main Street Restaurant; John from the Starway Cafe; and just recently, Slices of Saugerties has also decided to provide food. The Hudson Valley Dessert Company provided breakfast for the children during the summer months. Price Chopper gave a very generous gift card to help in the effort. And it should be noted that Paul, a manager at Adams Fairacre Farms has also been providing food for meals.

We at the church wish to thank everyone who has helped make this program a sustainable one through their generous donations. We also know the children appreciate (and eat) every morsel they receive.

God bless them all.

Pastor Tony Mecca,
Saugerties United Methodist Church
Saugerties

 

Job killing tax plan

Part of President Trump’s tax reform plan (a/k/a tax breaks for the rich) boasts that most people will be able to file their taxes “on a postcard.” This would be possible because the plan eliminates virtually all deductions except for mortgage interest and charitable contributions (it also allows a filer the option to select a “standard deduction” instead).

This simplified filing, should it come to pass, will result in the elimination of thousands of IRS jobs (as well as the jobs of the tens of thousands who work as tax preparers in the private sector). Currently, the State Department, Defense Department, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies and departments are woefully understaffed. Open positions are left unfilled while other jobs are being systematically eliminated across the government.

This President promised he was going to make jobs, but he doesn’t sound like much of a “jobs maker” to me.

Deidre J. Byrne
Saugerties

 

Helping the disabled

I am pleased to pass on to the residents of Saugerties and Malden that the Ulster County government has allocated funding for the renovation of several county-owned buildings in order to make them in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The first buildings to receive these renovations and improvements will include the Ulster County Fairgrounds, the County Mental Health Buildings, the Ulster County Courthouse, the Trudy Resnick Farber Building, the Ulster County Building and Emergency Management Offices. As part of the renovations, these buildings will receive ramp installations, sidewalk replacements, entryway, doorway and hallway improvements, doorknob replacements, bathroom improvements and the installation of Braille-readable informational signs.

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In serving as the vice-chairman of the Healthcare Committee under Chairman Craig Lopez, I stated in a press release that “This undertaking demonstrates Ulster County’s continuing focus on serving the needs of individuals with disabilities, their caregivers and loved ones”. As a caregiver myself, I wanted to also stress how these renovations benefit the needs of our elderly population in allowing them to have better access to County services and recreational areas like the Fairgrounds, the Ulster County Swimming Pool and the Catskill Mountain Railroad. Chairman Lopez stated that “there are so many unique opportunities in Ulster County, but for individuals with special needs, some of the things that make them unique create unintended barriers.” These renovations will help to eliminate and mitigate these barriers so that those with special needs and some of the elderly population can more easily access county services and recreational activities. Within county government, the legislature is committed towards working together to improve the access of these places for those with special needs and those within the elderly population who will benefit from such improvements.

Chris Allen
Ulster County Legislature, District 2
Saugerties

 

Shout Out launched

Shout Out Saugerties had its official launch Saturday, October 7th at Lucky Chocolates and the Chamber Welcome Center. After remarks by Mark Smith, President of the Chamber and Barbara Bravo, Coordinator of the Artists Studio Tour, and myself, The Community Board was unveiled. People who gathered to celebrate the launch wrote enthusiastic suggestions on the Board, titled “Wouldn’t it be cool if Saugerties . . .” Those of us organizing the festival are grateful for all the support we received. A public Forum to discuss and follow up on the suggestions will be held Oct. 29, 4pm, at Reformed Church of Saugerties, Main Street.

The Mayor’s Proclamation read by Jeff Helmuth is worth reprinting:

Whereas, the month of October has been recognized as National Arts and Humanities Month by thousands of arts and cultural organizations, communities, and states across the country, as well as by the White House and Congress for over 30 years;

Whereas, the arts and humanities embody much of the accumulated wisdom, intellect, and imagination of humankind;
Whereas, the arts and humanities enhance and enrich the lives of every American; Whereas, the arts and humanities play a unique role in the lives of our families, our communities, and our country;
Whereas, the nonprofit arts industry also strengthens our economy by generating $135 billion in total economic activity annually, $22.3.billion in government revenue, and by supporting the full-time equivalent of 4.1 million jobs;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Village of Saugerties Board of Trustees do hereby proclaim October as National Arts and Humanities Month in the Village of Saugerties, New York and call upon our citizens to celebrate and promote the arts and culture in our nation and to specifically encourage the greater participation by those said citizens in taking action for the arts and humanities in their villages, towns and cities.

By Order of the Village Board, Village of Saugerties, this 5th day of September 2017.

​​Suzanne Bennett, ​
Chair, Shout Out Saugerties
Saugerties​

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