Saugerties Times letters: (3/8-3/14)

Student safety, not politics, is the issue

This is in response to the outlandish and foolish comment recently made by Board of Education member Mike Maclary (see Saugerties Times, March 1, 2018). Maclary states that it is “disgraceful that the chairman of the Conservative Party (George Heidcamp) and the candidate that he supported for town supervisor in a recent election (Jim Bruno) were pushing the issue in the manner they were.” Really, Maclary, really? Elections were over last November — this is March; what does politics have to do with the topic at hand?
Maclary is missing the point entirely. First of all, Messrs. Bruno and Mayone, and other members of the school board began talks on this concern several years ago, long before Maclary even thought about becoming a board member. When we first addressed this issue, Mr. Bruno was already on the town board — he didn’t need any support from the Conservative Party. In fact, during that same time I was not the chairman of the Conservative Party. Obviously Maclary failed to do his homework on this one.

Mr. Bruno also met with the Seth Turner in October 2017 to get a status update on the issue and that meeting was unknown to me (at the time I was no longer a board member). I wrote my letter to the School Board on February 22, 2018, strictly as a result of what happened in Florida and the realization of what could happen here; and absolutely independent from Mr. Bruno. And now, in light of an incident right here in Saugerties just in the past week, the necessity of taking a proactive approach is being brought to bear.
The bottom line is this: Mike Maclary doesn’t know what he’s talking about; in fact he doesn’t even have a clue. Instead of being concerned about the “politics” of an issue, or his own personal agenda, or deflecting criticism away from the current board and attempting instead to discredit or diminish me for bringing it up, he should be thinking about what he can do as a member of the school board to protect the kids. I’ll go one step further and say that if Mike Maclary isn’t putting the safety of students foremost, he has no business even being on the Board in the first place.

George D Heidcamp, Sr

Why no/low bail?

Our school district had quite a scare over the past couple of weeks. According to the press release by our police department, an 18 year old male (a senior at Saugerties High School), posted about how he envies the perpetrators behind the Columbine school shooting. He also posted “Just remember: when the (expletive) hits the fan, there won’t be any time for mercy.” When the student was questioned, he lied to detectives and said that he didn’t own any firearms. This lie was repeated by his father who later admitted to hiding the firearms and other weapons in his business located on Glasco Turnpike. These included a fully automatic 9mm Uzi, an AR-15 assault rifle, homemade knives, and a firearm prototype.


Now let’s get down to the judicial end of this business. Both men were placed under arrest and charged with (and I quote from the press release), “Felony of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 3rd Degree.” The father was also charged with “Misdemeanor of Obstructing Governmental Administration.”

When placed before the Village Court for arraignment, the father walked away a free man (for now), and his son was to be sent to Ulster County Jail but posted bail. So we now have two men walking around with one being an immediate and credible threat to our community and his father being a potential accessory considering his actions to hinder an investigation. I strongly believe that the public deserves to know the legal reasoning behind this decision.

Timothy Scott, Jr.

Ulster Plant contrary to Carbon Neutral policy

Glidepath, a midwestern energy company, proposes a project known as the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center. This is to build a hybrid natural gas/battery storage ‘peaker’ plant in the Town of Ulster, intended to provide short-term peaking power generation. Our area has clean air, however, and does not need peak capacity. This project would produce a huge amount of harmful emissions: a total of 30,270 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. It could also have detrimental impacts on water, such as groundwater and wetlands, and have adverse effects on the community character. Moreover, such a project is contrary to the mission of Ulster County, as the first net carbon-neutral county in the state, to promote renewable, sustainable energy sources. Public participation in the Scoping process is encouraged by commenting on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Written comments must be received by March 22nd and should be submitted by mail to the lead agency, The Town of Ulster Town Board, 1 Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine, N.Y. 12449, Att’n the Hon. James E. Quigley, 3rd Supervisor; or by e-mail to

Elizabeth Shafer

Protect our animals

There are so many animal lovers in our area that I wanted to bring this potentially devastating legislation to  the community’s attention.

I was deeply saddened to learn about two recently introduced bills — HR 4879/HR 3599 — known also as the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act.” This legislation was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and it has the potential to reverse hundreds of animal cruelty laws across the entire country including those protecting dogs in puppy mills and animals on factory farms. If this horrible legislation passes, even the sale of horse and dog meat could become legal in states that have specifically prohibited these practices! I am an animal lover and regularly volunteer with my local animal shelters. I’m appalled that this law is even being considered due to its potential to threaten not only animals, but our food safety and the environment.

Something has to be done to stop HR 4879/HR 3599 from passing! One thing we can all do right now is contact our congressional representatives and ask them to strongly oppose this bill. Please join me in doing so today!

Caren Fleit
Lake Hill 

Setting the record straight

Regarding Diane Neal’s congressional run and the meeting at Starbucks. I went to that meeting to hear what Neal had to say. Most of the others that were there were local Democratic committee insiders.

First they tried to get her to drop out of the race completely; then they accused her of being paid off by the Republicans to run; then they requested that she run in their primary; and failing that they offered her a guaranteed slot and their full support if she ran for the State Senate instead of Congress.

I don’t know if these insiders had the authority to offer her an uncontested slot, but someone made a call to somebody who showed up and gave that impression.

If she did what they wanted her to do, they’d be singing her praises, but she didn’t, so they’re saying she’s terrible.

Thomas Kadgen

Tague for Assembly

On April 24, 2018 the Town of Saugerties will have a Special Election for New York State Assembly District 102. Assemblyman Pete Lopez was the representative for Saugerties until he was appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency in Region Two. Pete was an honest person who was devoted to his constituents. He was a Representative who fought for the people of Upstate NY in a chamber dominated by officials from New York City.

The New York City influence has earned the New York State Assembly the reputation of being one of the most corrupt government bodies in the USA. The dominant New York City influence has stifled numerous attempts to pass Ethics Reform Laws to clean up the culture of corruption in Albany.

We must elect a candidate who will not join the NY City culture of corruption. We need to elect Schoharie Town Supervisor Chris Tague to ensure we have a representative who is loyal to our area and will not succumb to the politics of shame practiced by the New York City crowd. Chris Tague is a self-made man who ran his own dairy farm at age 14 and went on to manage one of the largest businesses in Schoharie County. Chris Tague gives back to his community volunteering on numerous public service boards. Chris Tague is upstate New York and we need him in the assembly.

Jack Hayes

Thanks, Saugerties police

The Woodstock Jewish Congregation is grateful to Chief Sinagra and the officers and dispatchers of the Saugerties Police Department. The Department personnel are skilled, diligent, and caring. We are fortunate to have them overseeing the safety of our community.

Susan Mack, Executive Director
Woodstock Jewish Congregation

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