Kingston Times letters (4/26-5/3)

Plant is the wrong way to go

Regarding GlidePath’s proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center in the Town of Ulster, we take issue with the inevitable negative impact on our air quality. Did you know Ulster County has some of the best air quality in New York State per reports by CAPP-NY, Catskills Mountainkeeper and Scenic Hudson? This precious asset allows GlidePath to obtain permits more easily to emit levels of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide without breaching current environmental standards! By the way, to launch a project they have never before attempted! A gas fired power plant, with diesel backup will compromise air in all our backyards, as wind and weather patterns will carry these gases farther than the proposed location, which is some 600 feet from three residential neighborhoods!

Additionally, this project is not in line with New York State commitment to reduce, and finally end, our reliance on fossil fuels.

Imagine taking a ride to the proposed site on the corner of Frank Sottile Boulevard and Miron Lane, you would see solar panels on the land fill, and on the right is where two smoke stacks are proposed. How ironic!

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Thus, we request the town supervisor and the board to continue their due diligence as lead agency, and “lead” the Town of Ulster toward a future with additional wind and solar energy projects that will serve our town with sources of renewable energy, rather than two gas towers as relics to, and evidence of, a desperate measure based on a false sense of urgency.

Eileen Murphy
Town of Ulster
Jo Shuman
Town of Rosendale 

The creation of fear

I am writing in response to the April 6 article “DA: Gang Behind Brutal Slaying is Still in Kingston” and the April 7 article “How the 18th Street Murder Case was Cracked” by Jesse J. Smith. While I deplore the brutal murder of the young man that took place at the Turkey Point Forest Preserve in Saugerties, I find the framing of the story by law enforcement problematic. Media representations of gang violence typically rely on fear to encourage the further militarization of law enforcement and promote anti-immigrant sentiment. Stories like these are typically devoid of historical and political context. The current immigration crisis is directly related to U.S. foreign policy in Central America and immigration policy during the 1980s and 1990s when we propped up genocidal and dictatorial regimes that brutally murdered and “disappeared” hundreds of thousands of citizens, and then denied them asylum. The resulting poverty, gang violence, and sexual violence against women, are the reasons Central American immigrants are making their way across our borders. Many immigrants from Central America and Mexico are fleeing gang violence, only to encounter it when they arrive in the United States. Social science research illustrates that the overwhelming majority of immigrants do not engage in criminal behavior, come here to work, and pay taxes and Social Security. Systematic research and data collected by law enforcement indicate that crime is actually lowest in immigrant communities across the United States. Nonetheless, stories like these fuel the fires of racism and xenophobia. Gang violence has become code for dangerous immigrants, defining them as inherently “other.” The media is filled with stories of the violent nature of Mexican and Central American immigrants. District Attorney Holley Carnright’s assertion that gang members come to Kingston because of the “welcoming and inclusive city” resolution where gang members are not hassled is not supported by evidence. In fact, the police reported that they have not uncovered any other gang related criminal activity in Ulster County. Although public figures typically refrain from using racial epithets, their language is nonetheless racialized. Stereotypical depictions of Central American and Mexican immigrants as dangerous gang members who are threatening our safety and devouring our limited resources are ubiquitous. Detective Sergeant Robertson’s comment that they are investigating whether or not Ulster County has been used as a killing ground, despite no “specific intelligence” to support this claim, fuels people’s worst fears. Sadly, this inflammatory discourse has increased substantially under the Trump Administration, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Many of our neighbors are being swept up in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, on their way to work, to court and even to hospitals. Undocumented workers and unaccompanied minors in the Hudson Valley are becoming increasingly afraid to leave their homes and go to work and school — the reason they came to the U.S. to begin with. Perhaps more news stories about the ways  in which immigrants contribute to our community would mitigate the overwhelming fear these stories create.

Dr. Anne R. Roschelle
Ulster Park

Alice (and the White Rabbit) in Bunderland

It becomes curiouser and curiouser,
Appears spuriouser and spuriouser,
Feels injuriouser and injuriouser;
As we get furiouser and furiouser,
I grow worryouser and worryouser
No one’s hurryouser, hurryouser,
For it’s late…it’s late…it’s late!

Thomas Cherwin
Saugerties

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