Saugerties Times letters (12/14-20)

Local homeless + home foreclosures

Am I missing something here? I have to ask if it is ironic to anyone else …

Just a page or two after an article about the massive increase in the homeless

population in Ulster County, is a listing of about 600 county properties where the homeowners have their properties up for county auction due to taxes.


I also find it interesting that if a profit is gained from the tax sale (after back taxes and cost of sale/handling), that the money goes straight to the county coffers…

These properties are separate from the daily bank foreclosure notices in the paper, which are extensive.

Just saying …

Mark Hoffstatter

Thanks to all

On Sunday, Dec. 3, the Saugerties Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Holiday in the Village celebration. The event was a huge success … [it] was well attended and enjoyed by all. We would like to thank: the Saugerties High School Key Club for their “elf” chores; Bella Luna for providing the space for the Holiday Market; Gustav Pedersen and Gail Abate for coordinating the market; Barbara Bravo, Bill Kimble and Cornelia Seckel for judging the beautifully decorated windows; and Dancing Tulip Floral Boutique for providing the winners’ ribbons — this year’s winners are Hudson Valley Dessert Company, Saugerties Antique Center and the Dutch Ale House. More thanks go to Sue and Victor Sacher (our head elves); all the village merchants who participated; Jeannine Mayer for her annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas” at Seamon Park; the Kiwanis Club, Ray and Carol Ann Mayone for their popular carriage rides; Marge and Harry Block for their wonderful open house at Kiersted House; Michael’s Farm for the petting zoo; the Saugerties High School Choir; and the Saugerties DPW and Fire Department for setting up the village tree and lights. And to the local fire departments who participated in the fire truck parade. This year’s winners are Asbury-Kaatbaan, Centerville, and Glasco.

One of the big draws of the Holiday in the Village is the toy raffle run by Bob and Larry Siracusano and the Sawyer Automotive Foundation. Bob wishes to thank: Diaz Ambulance for the bike helmets, Sawyer Savings Bank, Ward Backhaus, Michael Persico, Bella Luna, Lions Club, Ulster Masonic Guild, Saugerties PBA, Sawyer Motors employees and volunteers, and everyone else who helped bring smiles to the children’s faces on that day. See you all next year!

Mark Smith, chair
Peggy Schwartz, vice-chair
Saugerties Chamber of Commerce

Faso and the tax bill

On Thursday November 16 just after the Republican’s tax bill that devastates everyone in the USA who isn’t super rich passed the House of Representatives John Faso put a full page ad in the Woodstock Times telling us that he voted against the bill. It’s interesting that although he’s voted on dozens of bills since he’s been in office I don’t recall that he ever before thought it necessary to broadcast his decisions on any of them as openly and strongly as this.

Mr. Faso almost always votes with the Republicans. In terms of the tax bill his party had many more votes than they needed to pass it so they didn’t need his “ yes “ vote. Though he may have voted against it to enhance his chances of getting reelected in 2018 to be fair to him he seems to realize that the bill is very damaging to most people and as a result he is seriously working to help all of his constituents. We should be grateful to him for doing this. But that’s not the issue. The real issue is that regardless of his kind consideration and help in this particular matter we must still work very hard to replace him next year with a Democrat to be sure that the Republicans do not continue to control the House. If they do Trump’s grotesque agenda of constant lying, raping normal citizens and dismantling our democratic institutions will continue.

The flow of power goes directly from Trump to the Senate and then to the House. To stop Trump we in the 19th Congressional District have to use the direct power that we have (our votes) to be absolutely sure that Mr. Faso does not continue to be our Representative in Congress next year. If we care about our country, ourselves, our children and grandchildren we must do that. There are many good Democrats lining up to run for the seat in the 19th District. Examine them all and join up with a campaign and/or other organizations. Write letters, talk to everyone you know, give money, whatever it takes. Don’t let up until Mr. Faso has been replaced with a Democrat.

Ralph Moseley

Zero-sum game

A Minnesota man (who twice voted for Al Franken but who thought the senator did the right thing in resigning): “The Democrats should have a zero-tolerance policy because it provides a contrast with the Republicans.”

A New York man (me, somewhat pedantically): The media attention, and the severe penalties now being paid by some men, (many of) whose members have long lorded it over women, are long overdue.

“Me Too” (if I may): But I have some concerns. For instance:

Many in Donald (“Grab ’em by the Pussy”) Trump’s “base” — a term I use for its resonance — may be unable or unwilling to acknowledge the aforementioned contrast. (Indeed, by the time you read this, they may have voted into Alabama office a bookend to Trump, this one’s prey, apparently, adolescent girls.)

Those GOP voters who do acknowledge the contrast between Franken’s and John Conyers’ capitulations and Trump’s and Roy Moore’s noncapitulations, and who additionally acknowledge the contrast in the severity of the men’s alleged misdeeds, won’t necessarily appreciate those contrasts — or, at least, won’t appreciate them in the way Democratic Party leaders likely hoped they would.
Instead, the Democrats’ zero-tolerance policy may wind up being a zero-sum game, with the “Grand Old Party” and its true believers once again the appreciative victors, once again the snickering beneficiaries of what they sneeringly call “political correctness”; and with the grand old Bible Belt — buckled ever more piously and proudly, and pinchingly, around the hearts and minds of good ol’ boys and their “Stand by Your Man” women — sporting two more notches, from which will hang two banners, one featuring an elephant rising up on its two hind legs and laughing hysterical​ly, the other a donkey, flat on its back, gasping for breath. ​

Tom Cherwin

A mission for honor

Since 2012, the Hudson Valley Honor Flight has flown over 1,300 local military veterans and their guardians, along with a medical and safety team staff, to Washington, D.C. for a one-day trip. World War II, Korean War and terminally ill Vietnam veterans fly at no cost, while volunteer guardians pay a fee to participate.

On April 8, 2017’s HVHF Mission 15, I was the guardian for Francis Farnsworth, World War II Navy veteran of Woodstock. You can read about our once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight experience in my Thurmont, Maryland hometown newspaper:

The annual Hudson Valley Honor Flight’s Lunch of Honor was held on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor, where Honor Flight alumni veterans attended for free, along with family, friends, sponsors and dignitaries.

The currently scheduled 2018 Hudson Valley Honor Flights are on April 14 from Stewart International Airport and on May 19 from Westchester County Airport.

If you are or know of a World War II, Korean War or terminally-ill Vietnam military veteran, please take the opportunity to submit an application now for the upcoming Hudson Valley Honor Flight, which serves eight local counties. Area citizens who are interested in being a guardian are also encouraged to submit an application now. Both the veteran and guardian applications are available on the Hudson Valley Honor Flight website at and the HVHF phone number is (845) 391-0076.   Additional volunteer opportunities are available and donations are always appreciated to continue these wonderful experiences.

For information on honor flights in other states and areas, contact the National Honor Flight Network at (937) 521-2400 or visit their website:

Let’s honor all our military veterans for their service and sacrifice!

Andrea Mannix
New Paltz