Kingston Times letters: I-587 Roundabout, Central Hudson gas regulating station

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 ninth 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

 

Find another place

We are concerned neighbors who live near the empty lot at the corner of Washington Avenue and Janet Street. On Monday, Oct. 16, the Kingston Planning Board will meet to decide whether to allow Central Hudson to place a gas regulating station on the property.

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The lot is currently zoned R-1 (i.e., for a single-family residence only). Kingston’s Zoning Law section 405-9B(1) which describes allowable utility uses, states that special permits may be granted to put utility infrastructure on R-1 properties if the planning board determines that there is no other reasonable location in a less restricted district that can be utilized for the purpose.

The planning board should require Central Hudson to provide the public with a list (including dates and addresses) of the other sites that it has pursued for this new substation over the last 20 years, and the reasons these locations were not reasonable. If other locations were not pursued in less densely populated areas, the planning board should deny Central Hudson’s request. This is in full compliance with Kingston’s Zoning Law, since a special permit can only be granted if no other reasonable locations can be utilized.

Although we support infrastructure improvements, the board should not allow the substation in this location. Significant and serious questions remain unanswered regarding the economic, health, safety and environmental impacts that this substation could pose in our dense, residential district. Surely other sites can be found, rather than placing it in the middle of our neighborhood where our families and children live and play.

Brandi Budziak
Zoe and Matt Dunn
Felipa Gaudet\
Nancy Graham
Chris Livecchi and Andrea Gatzke
Stephanie and Ken Nystrom
Reynolds Scott-Childress
Sari and Brad Will
Kingston

 

Why the roundabout?

I would like to better understand the DOT’s fixation with roundabouts. I am specifically thinking about the intersections of Interstate 587, Albany/Broadway intersections.

I understand the DOT’s study that congestion exists at those intersections. As a retired resident I have observed that problem and the problem occurs twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening.  By the way, DOT’s definition of “congestion” means possibly waiting for one traffic light sequence change to clear the intersections. Hardly a justification for spending $6 million of taxpayer money. I have also read your documents that said the “congestion” could also be solved by lane markings and technology signal changes at a cost of 20 percent of the cost of the roundabout idea.

I have also researched and found the city solved a similar problem at three intersections with modern signal light technology at a cost of $470,000.

I discussed this with Mayor Noble. He told me the city supports this idea because the water/sewer/gas lines under those road surfaces need to be replaced and if he can get DOT to deal with that as part of the project the city will save $7 million.

Now as a taxpayer I do simple math, $6 million for a roundabout, $7 million for infrastructure, totals $13 million of taxpayer (my) money. Now I understand how politicians think. But I still don’t understand why I spent $6 million to construct a roundabout that poses a challenge for us senior drivers to enter and exit. If I have to spend $7 million to repair infrastructure why do I have to spend double that to solve a non-existent congestion problem?

Ronald E. Dietl
Kingston

 

Disgraceful

Last week’s disgraceful ruination of the ambiance of one of the most historic crossroads in the entire United States should not be taken lightly! In the “good old days” the responsible party, or parties, would have been “tarred and feathered” and run out of town, preferably “on a rail.” We have become too civilized to do that today, but their guilt is hard to forgive, and it must be shared.

By our environmentalist mayor and his subordinates; by the superintendent of the [Department] of Public Works; by his street paving foreman and his workers who did what they were told to do, apparently without question and even by the passers-by who witnessed this destruction. It shows a pitiful lack of knowledge and understanding of our history and our heritage.

As a student of No. 7 School, (Cioni building) for eight years, how easy it could have been to escort each class to this historic site, less than a half block away, to listen to a short explanation of  its importance to our heritage. It never happened! Hence the ignorance. Mine as well as everyone else. We did not know any better. Obviously none of the cutting crew never even gave it a thought.

What can be done to correct this stupid mistake? It is very possible to buy mature trees of a proper variety to replace those scourged beyond repair. Instead of applying for a “grant” which may take 10 years in forthcoming, I would like to suggest that a fund be established wherein citizens, merchants, the Kingston School District and both the City of Kingston and the County of Ulster use some of their “discretionary funds” to help make this happen. Whatever is proper, please do not let this die because of apathy. When that results, heritage is a lost cause.

Bill Ford
Kingston

 

Film criticism

Ken Burns’ series on the Vietnam War was very moving to me. His treatment of the draft dodgers, however, didn’t look anything like my experience. In 1965, as a privileged middle-class white boy, I decided to take advantage of a second 2S deferment, to which I was entitled as a matter of right if I continued my education. In an amazing miscalculation, I decided that the war had to be over in three years, so I went to law school.

The images of Operation Rolling Thunder brought me back to the evening in 1967, when, seeing them for the first time, I decided I wasn’t going to participate in the war. I was engaged at the time and remember telling my fiancée and her family that I was going to be a war resistor and would understand if she wanted to cancel the wedding. She did not, we were married and left for Canada a year later. We crossed the border as Julian Bond was giving a speech at the Democratic convention in Chicago. Again, as a privileged, middle-class, white boy, I entered Canada as a landed immigrant, which gave me the right to participate in the above-ground economy. I moved to Canada with my cousin and was shortly joined by one of my best friends.

We all lived in Toronto. We were all honored by the Canadians we met for the choice we had made in moving to Canada. Shortly after I arrived there I became aware of the Union of American Exiles. Because I was in graduate school, I was able to spend some time doing volunteer work in their office in downtown Toronto. In the year and a half we spent in Toronto, my wife and I were on the receiving end of the underground railway, which received hundreds of draft-dodgers and deserters. We had someone in our house every week. I have many memories of those times. The deserter who was thrown out of the Army because he kept on telling his lieutenant that the lieutenant looked like Elmer Fudd. H. Doyle Abernathy, who deserted twice. The man whose family, upon learning that he wanted to desert, called the FBI, so the man had to jump out of the second floor window with one shoe and hightail it through the snow to the border.

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I was able to screw around with my draft board enough to be able to come back anytime I wanted. I did shortly after I turned 26, the magic age. My cousin and best friend both decided to stay in Canada (they may have made the right choice). My cousin became a doctor and still practices medicine in Canada. My friend became a high school English teacher and retired; he and his wife now travel around the world visiting their children. Both of them can return here any time they want to and frequently visit us. I know many others who both stayed in Canada and came back to America. Most of us went on to lead successful lives.

I met some people who couldn’t make it in Canada. I know there are many people I never met who failed to succeed. But to assume that everyone who went to Canada failed is a distortion of reality.

David Gross
Woodstock