Saugerties Times letters (2/22-3/1)

It’s us!

That is to say, this “exceptional” country that compares to no other in the world apart from Somalia — like us — awash in guns. But, they essentially have no government. Do we?

I get it. Guns don’t kill people, people do. With guns. And nearly always, like this latest,  the shooters are younger, angry, white males with easy access to military-grade weapons they find unsecured in their own homes and cars. What’s with that?

And consider that utter failure Obama, who owned up that after eight years he had failed to “come to take” anybody’s guns away. None. Nada. Zilch. What’s with that loser?


I just returned from visiting my daughter who’s decided to become a Swede. Married one. Has birthed a Swedish lad. They live in Lappland just shy of the Arctic Circle. Brrr.  But get this? Everyone up there has guns if they want them. They have to take a course not unlike the one to drive that other lethal weapon, cars. It’s renewable pretty automatically, if you haven’t screwed up by, say, shooting a reindeer rather than a moose or a fellow hunter. I asked a lot of these guys and women, too, if they were worried about the broad access to guns in Sweden (and Norway and Finland for that matter).

Nope. Why would we be? They’re in safe hands, trained shooters, safety locks required, secured in purpose built vaults, and, well, in a country where gun-violence of the kind we have is rare, shocking when it happens, and serious stuff done to prevent reoccurrence when it does.

In other words, without fuss or politics in a “socialistic” country that cares about healthcare and full employment (protests for more of it rather than less), gun ownership is essentially a non-issue. They appear to just approach access to guns the way they do most things, with common sense, little histrionics, and run-of-the-mill concern. I wonder, why can’t we if we’re so “exceptional”?

Great for the gun industry, undertakers, coffin makers, and grief counselors, but few others. It’s not about ‘gun rights,’ it’s about politics and profits. They are stepping over the bodies of our kindergarteners to get their hands on it. No more.

Dr. Jack T Patterson

You can help NYSDOT protect pollinators

There are a few ways for you to help in this endeavor:

1- Identify patches of milkweed, the sole host plant for monarch caterpillars, along stretches of state roads by noting the numbers on little green signs along the road.  Email that information to Ms. Manos-Jones,, who will compile it for the NYSDOT. Signs can be provided so that the milkweed will not be mowed.

2 – Individuals or groups can adopt an intersection, or a stretch of state road, to create and maintain a pollinator pathway. The NYSDOT will provide a sign, just as it does for groups or businesses that adopt a stretch of road for litter removal.

The first example of this will be the High Falls Civic Association creating a pollinator garden at the intersection of 213 and Berme Road.

There have been more butterflies, bees, and other pollinators in our area this past season than in many years because of the efforts of individuals and groups creating butterfly/pollinator gardens, and less spraying of our roads.

Thank you for doing your part in making our area pollinator friendly.

Maraleen Manos-Jones

O’Connor exciting Assembly prospect

I had the privilege of hosting a meeting in Saugerties this week with Aidan O’Connor who is running in the special election April 24 to fill the vacant NY Assembly seat in our district. Aidan is a remarkable person who would be a strong advocate for us in the Assembly. His experience as an EMT throughout the district means he understands the issues that affect our region. Additionally, he was elected as a Greene County legislator and chairs their Health Services Committee. As an active member of first responders’ organizations, Aidan has worked across party lines in Albany and Washington, D.C. to pass legislation that improves patient outcomes while strengthening medical first responders.

Aidan grew up in Greene County, graduated from Greenville High School, and earned his paramedic certification from SUNY Cobleskill. His knowledge of our communities, his energy and his smarts add up to an exciting prospect as our next Assemblyman.

Kathy Gordon

Dear Mr. Faso

This is a quote from your website: “I support the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Recently, I voted in support of H.J. Res. 40 which strikes down the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) over-reaching rule related to the sharing of personal information with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Under the rule, the SSA would distribute to NICS the personal information of anyone deemed impaired according to the SSA’s list of mental disorders. The SSA list of impairments includes various eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and the inability to handle one’s own finances. Anyone who met one or more of these criteria would be deemed mentally incompetent by SSA/NICS, and would be denied their Second Amendment rights. As this rule advances the stereotype that those with mental disabilities are inherently dangerous, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as well as the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) supported H.J.Res 40. Additionally, it is worth noting that under the Gun Control Act of 1968 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, it is already illegal for anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution to purchase a firearm.”

What you do not state on your website is that under current federal law there many people who have not been ‘adjudicated’ and who have evidenced severe mental and social disorders who are able to walk into a gun show or a store and buy automatic weapons and ammunition. The main reason to buy automatic weapons is to kill people; they are not a typical hunting weapon.

The second amendment says “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Tell me how many of those individuals buying assault weapons are part of a regulated militia?  As long as you and others ‘edit’ the 2nd amendment and cling to your dubious interpretation of the amendment, we will experience escalating mass killings nationwide. No one should be able to buy an assault style weapon without any governmental controls.

The Albany Times Union lists a 2016 contribution to you from the NRA of $5950 on their web page.

Do you stand with the people you represent or with the gun lobby that contributes to your campaign?

Laura Phillips

There is one comment

  1. Iain Machell

    A warm heartfelt thank you to all the volunteer fire department personnel who worked tirelessly through the storm on Friday. I was one of the many in Malden-on-Hudson whose basement flooded to a dangerous level, and the fire department could not have been more helpful, generous, and professional. Hooray for our volunteers!

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