Saugerties Times letters (7/12-19)

A group effort

I am writing to thank Saugerties Times for doing the story about the Town of Saugerties Tourism and all the work done to promote our town.

While it is true that I provide most of the written content for the Discover Saugerties guide I would like to acknowledge everyone who works hard to get the guide out to the public. I have worked closely with Mark Smith, co-chair of the chamber for many years, deciding on what info to provide on special pages and how to lay-out the guide. And Mark is always responsible for our wonderful, eye catching covers and provides all the illustrations and graphics.

Others who contribute include Peggy Schwartz, vice-chair with Mark of the chamber who coordinates member listings and of course works with Mark and me. Barbara Bravo, director of the Saugerties Artist Studio Tour and chamber board member works with Peggy Schwartz with all the proofing and editing before the guide goes to print. And we need help getting these out and so often that help comes from Bob Siracusano of Sawyer Motors.


The Discover Saugerties guide is published by the Saugerties Chamber of Commerce so I encourage everyone to support them with this years Sailing Around Saugerties so they can continue to provide the financial support to continue and consider joining the chamber so you can be in next years guide.

Marjorie Block,
Special Projects, Tourism
Town of Saugerties

Oppose gag rule in Title X application

I am horrified at the recent changes made to the Title X application for funding. These changes amount to a gag rule, making it illegal for doctors and nurses to provide full and medically accurate information regarding pregnancy, including the accessibility of safe and legal abortion. Moreover, it will take away funding from community health organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provide millions of people each year with vital services such as STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and birth control.

This attempt to take away women’s basic rights is a disappointing step backwards. As a college student, I’ve studied the history of feminist and women’s health movements, interned at organizations which fight for women’s rights, and participated in events like the Women’s March. These experiences filled me with hope for the future, and a drive to continue to fight for equality. Yet, as I look toward a possible career in activism, the future is uncertain.

Thanks to those who’ve come before me, I grew up with the privilege of being able to rely on quality, safe, and comprehensive health care. If you want to ensure that healthcare decisions continue to be made by women and their doctors, not by ideologically-driven politicians, submit a public comment at by July 31st, and follow your local Planned Parenthood affiliate for events to make our voices heard.

Emily Gilbert

Marjorie is a tremendous asset

I would like to congratulate Saugerties Times for featuring a much deserved article on Marjorie Block. Marjorie works tirelessly on promoting Saugerties as Chairperson of the Saugerties Tourism Committee.

Her dedication to the history of our Town and Village is also evident as President of the Saugerties Historical Society, where she oversees the beloved Kiersted House with pride and love.

Kudos to a woman who is a tremendous asset to our Town and Village!

Mark Smith, SCC Chair

Thanks, DPW

Hats off to our Saugerties DPW workers paving streets in this heat! Also for the great job they did repairing the damage to my driveway and the street caused by a falling tree last month.

Walt Hackett

Farms are for vegetables

If you have ever travelled along Churchland Road and Churchland Lane in Saugerties, you have probably noticed the beautiful 100 acre field surrounded by many homes. This open space is a natural habitat for wildlife and has been preserved for decades by many environmentally concerned neighbors.

Currently there is a plan to put a solar “farm” on this open space. While most of us are in favor of alternative energy like solar, we cannot understand why a project of this vast scale is not going to be situated in our towns’ industrial zone rather than this residential community?

We are deeply con concerned about the use of pesticides on this land to keep down the weeds around the solar panels. Under this land is an aquifer and eventually the seepage and runoff of pesticides will effect the water supply nearby and beyond. Does Churchland Lane get its water supply from this source?

The hawks that circle this nearby hillside and field hunt on this land and will lose their habitat and risk an even greater fate from pesticides ingested. In addition, we have several uncommon hawks in the area. Who speaks for the hawks and all the wildlife that will be displaced?

We are not becoming aware of the need to approach projects with care for al life that depends on open space. It’s a beautiful field and the main reason we bought our home here nearly forty years ago overlooking this natural field, which reminded us of Italy. We have grown to love it and want to protect it. The desire to protect our “backyard” is a positive response and many local land conservancies agree: The Esopus Creek Conservancy, Scenic Hudson, Woodstock Land Trust and The Conservation Advisory Committee of the Town of Saugerties.

We call upon all of you, groups and neighbors alike and the larger community to help support the effort to save the field for future generations. The appropriate place for large industrial solar arrays are non-residential areas, but rather commercial zones. Small projects scattered around are a better alternative to destroying a large and vibrant natural habitat and visually less intrusive.

On Tuesday, July 17 there will be a planning board meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Saugerties Senior Citizen Center to address the issues and the public can respond. Come and speak for the health of your community, the landscape, the hawks and all wildlife. We do not need another study to determine why we are cancer ridden. We simply need to stop polluting our land, water and air and question the notion of a solar “farm.” Farms are for vegetables! For more information, please contact the Saugerties Planning Board.

Alan Spivack and Joan Monastero