Saugerties Times letters (8/2-9)

Bows are both art and usable  

As someone relatively new to the event, I was happy to be included in the July 19 feature story on the upcoming Saugerties Art Studio Tour. However, the writer misinterpreted something I said, and it will give readers the wrong impression as to how I feel about my handmade bows.

When I first started making bows, my desire was to make “shootable” or working bows, using raw materials from nature. Not until some very good friends complemented me on the beauty of the bows did I ever think of looking at them as art. But now I do see them as beautiful objects in and of themselves, as well as usable tools.

So, yes — I am happy for anyone to purchase my bows for any reason, whether to hunt or to hang on the wall and admire as a work of art. 

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Vince Curry
Saugerties

Scott for Library Board

The Saugerties Public Library is a rich learning environment for people of all ages. On September 6, we as a community are responsible for electing three trustees to the Library’s Board — two five-year terms and 1 three-year term.

With a location that is constantly improving, there is no reason to not explore all our candidate options to see who can maintain the solid relationship that has been built between the community and our beautiful Library.

We need a trustee who will continue integrating the needs of the community with the ever-growing inventory. Remember, the library offers more than just books! They offer free Wi-Fi, computers to assist with writing resumés, audiobooks, and movies…just to name a few items! On average, the Library issues 49 new library cards per month — meaning inventory needs to be forever increasing to keep the community pleased.

We need a candidate who will focus on balancing the fair wages for employees while being mindful of our hard-earned tax dollars. Someone who thinks of the big picture — possible solar energy if more cost efficient.

When voting, please keep my friend and former classmate — Timothy Scott Jr., in mind. I am certain he will put the needs of the community before anything else. He will be fair and transparent with the Saugerties community about his plans as a candidate for one of the three available trustee positions.

Please come out and support Timothy Scott Jr. on September 6 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Saugerties Public Library. In the famous words of Dr. Seuss, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”

Emma Lee Osborn
Saugerties

Churchland Road/Lane solar farm

Like many environmentally dedicated Saugertesians individual members of the Esopus Creek Conservancy (ECC) Board are following the ongoing process regarding possible approval of the solar farm in the Churchland Road/Lane area. However, we want our community to know that we, as a Board, have not taken an “official” stance on this proposal.

William Robelee,  Robert McGilvrey
ECC Board Members

Figueroa for sheriff

I am surprised to find myself excited about a candidate for sheriff. I don’t usually pay much attention to that election, until now.

Juan Figueroa offers us an exciting opportunity to change the face of law enforcement in Ulster County. He truly believes that law enforcement and the community need to work as a team. Among his priorities is to revise the response to the opioid epidemic. His plan starts with education and treatment, working with the medical community and families.

The job of sheriff demands relevant experience and luckily for us, Juan has it. His active service in the Marines was followed by decades in the Marine Reserves. He retired from the NY State Police after 25 years as a Trooper and Investigator.

Problems have plagued the current sheriff, from sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits by employees to political comments on his official communication. I oppose his views on gun laws and immigration.

Democratic voters can choose Juan Figueroa in the September 13th primary. The Ulster County Democratic Committee overwhelmingly endorsed him, because it is time for a new sheriff and Juan Figueroa is the right person for the job.

Kathy Gordon
Saugerties

Where should solar panels go? 

Most agree we must transition toward renewable energy. With proposals for solar projects popping up all over the Hudson Valley, the big question is where should they go?

Unlike fossil-fuel power plants, solar facilities keep our air clean, provide good industry jobs, and create a more reliable, resilient energy system. Still, they shouldn’t be sited where they’ll destroy farmland or harm iconic vistas, historic sites and critical wildlife habitat. Ideal locations include rooftops, parking lots, landfills, contaminated sites and industrial/commercial zones. But there aren’t enough of these to build the generation needed to help meet the state’s renewable energy goals.

Via smart planning and design, farmland can be protected by avoiding the most productive soils — studies show crops can grow and animals graze among solar arrays. Native species planted around them can support bees and other pollinators. Impacts to views can be minimized by using existing topography and vegetation, maintaining sufficient setbacks and adding screening. Solar layouts can be designed to avoid critical wildlife habitats, and affirmative measures adopted to permanently protect them.

Tools like these are outlined in Scenic Hudson’s Clean Energy, Green Communities: A Guide to Siting Renewable Energy in the Hudson Valley(www.scenichudson.org/renewables). By using them, developers, communities and neighbors can together find ways to maximize solar energy’s benefits while minimizing its impacts. We’re glad to see this happening in Saugerties, where an approved solar array sited on a landfill will provide energy for the town, the planning board is reviewing another proposed project, while a third, which would have had significant visual impacts, was withdrawn.

Solar panels are a symbol of progress. The Hudson Valley has an opportunity to show how a region can move toward clean energy while preserving what makes this such a special place to live.

Audrey Friedrichsen, Esq., LL.M.
Land Use and Environmental Advocacy Attorney
Scenic Hudson, Inc.

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