Saugerties Times letters (10/10-10/16)

Proud of Climate Smart designation

I’m at a loss as to how to adequately express my appreciation to all who worked so long and hard to earn the NYS Department of Climate Change’s certification as a Climate Smart Community. Thank you, Fred Costello, for making climate change an issue when you ran for Supervisor two years ago and for following through on your commitment.  Thank you to the top-notch volunteer task force that is continuing to do to great work on behalf of all of us. Thank you to the town board, the department heads and all the town employees who gave of their time. Climate change is the defining issue of our times, and you’ve all done us proud!

Jo Galante Cicale
Saugerties

Clegg’s smart policy on drug crimes

I grew up in Utah, certainly one of the reddest states in the nation, so recent news from Salt Lake County was, to me, breathtaking. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the County District Attorney will reduce the convictions for many non-violent felony drug crimes to misdemeanors. More than 12,000 individuals who were tried between 1997 and 2015 will therefore be “eligible for expungement and a variety of benefits, as well as certain housing and jobs.” (https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/09/24/salt-lake-county-is/)

In other words, rock-ribbed Republican Utah will join the rapidly advancing national movement to re-think how the criminal justice system addresses the “war on drugs.”  Increasingly, we understand that building bigger prisons and jails is a losing proposition.  Instead, drug use and addiction treated as mental health issues are far more likely to bend toward positive — and cost effective — social solutions.

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The opioid crisis has put a glaring spotlight on the personal tragedies that have struck all neighborhoods and all ranges of families in the country. Overdose deaths gather full attention, but less publicized are the ways in which those convicted of drug crimes face barriers to rehabilitation when they are released. In Utah, ex-addict Tony Radjen described how when he “looked for employment and housing [I] found out very quickly that my past would be an obstacle to opportunity and security.”

On November 5 Ulster County will elect a new district attorney, who will have an enormous impact on how drug-use crimes are addressed. Using his discretion, he can channel charged individuals to drug courts, strengthen alternatives to incarceration and restorative justice, and lobby for increased county resources for mental health services.  The candidate who will chart this new direction for Ulster County is Democrat Dave Clegg. He has pledged a commitment to all of these reforms, even as he promises to prosecute violent felons who prey on the vulnerable. Clegg will work closely with Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa to address the opioid crisis with sensible and humane policies.

Many addicts are our children, and children of our friends and neighbors. We want them to have an opportunity to build a new life after drugs. We voters should look for the District Attorney candidate who pledges to join hands with communities across the country like Salt Lake. Red and blue can unite for the benefit of all. That candidate is Dave Clegg.

Tom Denton
Highland

Praise for Costello

I was much dismayed by Paul Andreassen’s letter of Oct 3, 2019 most unfortunately titled “A question of integrity” by the letter editor. Mr. Andreassen criticizes our Town Supervisor, Fred Costello, for billing the town $500 for mileage reimbursement for his driving, round trip, from Cape Cod to Saugerties, for a Court hearing on the Karolys dumping matter. Instead of criticism, Costello should be praised for his commitment and  willingness to drive down and back for this hearing, a matter that his constituents are most concerned about. And, as Costello pointed out, this has been his only reimbursement request, paying for trips to Albany “on his own dime” despite his (and, I’m sure, Andreassen’s) knowledge that Republican Town Supervisor Kelly Myers received $4,500 in mileage reimbursement! That Andreassen went so far as to end his letter with a statement referencing “clear penalties for intentional breach of the public trust” sickened me. His letter is, alone, sufficient reason for me not to vote for him.

Fred Costello has been an excellent Town Supervisor and, before that, Town Board member, for many years. He has the full and total support from me and from my wife, Naomi, who served many years on the Comprehensive Planning Committee

Meyer Rothberg
Saugerties

Gallagher for Comptroller

March Gallagher is the best candidate for Ulster County Comptroller.  March’s life experience has prepared her for the Comptroller’s job, from her education as a lawyer to her work experience, including:

– Working for the Assembly Ways and Means committee analyzing and negotiating the annual budget

– Analyzing Superfund risk at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis

– Managing the Department of Economic Development for Ulster County, which included working with the State for funds and explaining to the public how PILOT programs work to attract business

– Leading and managing people to perform their best in various leadership positions, including as President and CEO of Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

Vision, management skills and the strength to stand up to power are the skills needed for Comptroller. March has these proven skills. Please vote for her on Tuesday, November 5.

Beth Murphy
Saugerties

Trump’s failures

Have you noticed Donald Trump’s lack of regard for the moral, legal and ethical standards of our culture; his inability to abide by society’s rules? Maybe not. It’s difficult to see the behavioral signs of APD (Antisocial Personality Disorder, sometimes called Sociopathy) because once you trust someone, loyalty becomes a “blinder.”

A sociopath is usually glib exhibiting superficial charm. But he manipulates and cons seeing his self-serving behavior as his right. Others are his victims, to be used for his purposes.

This individual has a grandiose sense of himself. Laws and mores don’t apply to him. He creates a complex belief about his powers and abilities. He lies easily and it’s almost impossible to be truthful on a consistent basis.

A sociopath lacks remorse, shame or guilt. He views people as targets or opportunities. Instead of friends he has victims and accomplices.

He feigns warmth, joy, love and compassion. He doesn’t experience these things because they are not genuine. He is outraged by insignificant matters, yet unmoved by that which upsets a normal person.

Trump is the smartest person there is. He has announced this in his loudest voice. Only he can solve our problems. Yet, even though he says he graduated at the top of his class (after only two years at Wharton) his name does not appear in the graduation program as having achieved excellence: not summa, magna or cum laude. He has however, threatened to sue the college if they release his grades.

Donald said he would bring his business experience to the White House. His businesses have filed for Chapter 11 six times. His failed businesses include three casinos, Plaza Hotel, Trump Airlines, Trump Magazine, Trump University and several others. The burden of his failures have most often fallen on investors and others who bet on his business acumen. Take note: Trump still refuses to show his taxes and, no U. S. banks will lend to him.

When a person with APD recognizes someone who may be smarter than him he must insult, berate or downplay that person or his/her accomplishments. This makes him feel superior even though he has nothing to offer himself. He takes license to denigrate all who make him feel inferior.

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The only defense against a sociopath is awareness and avoidance. There are no cures for APD.

Information presented is from works by Hare, Seto, Konrad, Wood and an article by Preston McAfee, Profile of the Sociopath.

William Hayes
Saugerties

Supporting Nicole Roskos for Town Board

As a 33 year resident of Saugerties, I am compelled to support Nicole Roskos for Town Board.
I’ve known Nicole for nearly a decade. My first strong impression of her was founded in her artwork. Her sharp eye for details, recounted in her distinct creative way, resulted in paintings of forest settings I felt like I could walk in to. Subsequently I have seen this same sharp eyed intelligence and creativity expressed in her concerns for our community in general. She is proactive in highly relevant issues such as production of green energy, preventing illegal dumping, and resisting environmentally destructive and unnecessary development. Also, she is dedicated and skilled in organizing personal and community projects, including her own gardening and landscape business, and in raising her child. OK, I confess, her four year old son is one of my very favorite people! Oh, another noteworthy fact, Nicole has earned a Ph.D. in environmental studies along the way.
Saugerties is a special and homey place, set in natural beauty vital to our local economy. Nicole will work honestly and effectively to preserve this. If things like life experience, relentless dedication to the environmental and economic well being of one’s community, a solid education, and passionate parenting seem like good traits for our Town Board members to have, then electing Nicole is the goal!
Thanks for reading and considering this.

Vern Rist
Saugerties

Spreading the light

On behalf of the Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy, I would like to extend our gratitude to Arm of the Sea Theater for the creation of this year’s Esopus Creek Puppet Suite. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Lighthouse, writer/director Patrick Wadden and artistic director Marlena Marallo crafted “Keep That Light Trimmed and Burning” to share the epic history of this cherished beacon on the river. The project was aided by a Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area grant. Each of the season’s seven performances offered a chance to learn about our local history with vibrancy and awe. A talented team of researchers, artists, musicians, actors, and crew collaborated to create a shining interpretation of history, treasured by all ages. Our highest compliments go to Arm of the Sea Theater for making this community partnership so very rewarding.

Anna Landewe
Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy

Get out and vote

This past Monday, federal judge Victor Marrero allowed the Manhattan district attorney to subpoena Donald Trump for eight years of personal and corporate tax returns. (But don’t hold your breath: After Trump’s lawyers immediately appealed the decision, the appeals court “temporarily” blocked the order. And the beating goes on…)

In rejecting Trump’s argument that sitting presidents are immune from criminal investigations, and his lawyers’ claim that release of his tax returns would cause him “irreparable harm” (!), Marrero called these positions “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”

Indeed, the judge might well have been describing this entire presidency. Yet less than a handful of Republican politicians — and seemingly no local GOP candidates (but hey, now’s your chance) — have spoken up against this repugnant man or his repugnant policies.

Election Day is a less than a month away, November 5. Voters who remain loyal to Trump are beyond my reach, beyond my understanding — and now, with the ever-mounting, heartbreaking evidence provided by the nearly three years of his reign, beyond my sympathy, no matter their grievances or excuses.

But to every Democrat in this county, I plead: vote! Tell your family and friends: vote!

Tell them that this year they can vote early if they’d like, all over the county, from October 26 through November 3.

If they’re “not political,” tell them to vote for the sake of their children and grandchildren. If they “don’t vote in off-year elections,” tell them that if the commandeerer-in-chief and his accomplices — in D.C., in Ulster County, and in every town, city, and state in America — keep looting our country and its values, what those who sat back and watched will be watching the dispossession of everything they would have voted for, had they but bothered to.

Vote!

Tom Cherwin
Saugerties

Ivino for town board

I have known Mike Ivino for quite a few years in a business environment. Mike has always presented himself in a courteous and professional manner. He always informs you of when he will be there, and lets you know if he will be late or has to reschedule. His work ethic is exceptional; he always performs the job exactly as was stated it would be done. I think Mike would make a great councilman due to his ability to keep people informed and to get the job done.

Sandy Mauro
Saugerties

Costello leading the fight for community 

I am appalled to see Paul Andreassen’s negativity and dismissiveness of the Karolys dumping and the work of Supervisor Costello. His most recent claim that Supervisor Costello wasted taxpayers money when he asked for reimbursement to return for a court hearing shows his lack of knowledge of what is important to this town and diminishes the awful impact of this dumping on residents of Saugerties. We are in a battle that has been long fought against this Karolys dumping situation. Saugerties is lucky to have Supervisor Costello leading this fight on our behalf to stop this dumping. Saugerties residents’ lives are being impacted every single day as this continues. And when we finally get a court date against Karolys, it is essential that the leader of our town be there to stand up for his constituents. 

Certainly, Paul wouldn’t understand this since he hasn’t attended the hearings. He hasn’t witnessed the shenanigans that Fred is fighting to protect our town and residents.   Supervisor Costello sacrificed his time, his time with family, and his vacation to be here on that day and I applaud him for his dedication. I can only assume based on Paul’s letter that he would not have returned himself, which reflects how little he understands about the importance of this situation.  

Mr. Andreassan, let’s focus on what you would do if you were elected. We understand that you would not show up for this fight against toxic materials coming into our community. But what else? Because from what I see, all you have to offer is criticisms and half-truths, but no vision for our great town of Saugerties.  

Nejla Liias
Saugerties

FCC drops the ball on O.T.A.R.D. rule and 5G

In 2015 I moved to the small apartment I share with my husband on Church Road in Saugerties. By 2017 I experienced difficulty breathing and persistent coughing that made my body ache. I had been tentatively diagnosed with COPD in 2002 but was never so sick.

I tried many things to improve my health, however, nothing made much difference. Then a friend informed us that wireless equipment in our home might be keeping me sick.

I read about the taxpayer funded National Toxicology Program study, how pulsing microwave radiation from 2G and 3G cell phone towers can cause cancer. I learned how scientists, medical doctors and engineers worldwide are protesting wireless technology for its ill effects on living things. Over 150,000 signed the “International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space,” (5Gspaceappeal.org). I discovered that wireless transmissions made many people ill, and that some nations gave this illness a medical diagnosis: “electrohypersensitivity” or EHS.

When my husband and I converted our “wireless” home to 100% “wired,” my COPD symptoms disappeared fast! I wonder, how many others are suffering health effects from wireless transmissions and do not even know it?  

Even though the Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov 888-225-5322) is obligated to “protect the safety of life,” it has proposed a change in the O.T.A.R.D. rule to allow consumers to install devices on their homes to transmit 5G or other radiation around their neighborhoods, whether or not their neighbors want this. The “Over The Air Reception Device” rule was originally intended to allow consumers to receive service at their home, not to enable “hubs” for the telecommunications industry. It could make me sick again, or you or someone you love.

I feel we should hold the FCC to its own mandate to guard the safety of our health. Please ask it not to allow devices on homes that can transmit 5G or other wireless radiation. 

Tamara Schuppin
Saugerties   

Who will ask the tough questions?

I am Paul Andreassen, candidate for Town Supervisor. At face value complicated questions like reimbursement policies, code of ethics and financial disclosures can be taken as an opportunity to strengthen Saugerties. Over the coming weeks I hope to enlist some help from town employees and council candidate Mike Ivino to explore ways to upgrade our online town budget and create a “policy portal” with all the town’s policies available online. This is the year 2019 and the people of Saugerties should be able to have a searchable budget with organizational charts and an easily accessible policy portal so town officials, employees, and most importantly the taxpayers can stay informed.

The truth is it’s incredibly difficult to manage, vet and perform real in-depth analysis on the town level without someone’s toes being stepped on. We’re serving with friends and neighbors and questions and decisions are often awkward if not extremely uncomfortable. None of us like confrontation. However, if we don’t ask who will? Tough questions need to be asked and it is our duty, as elected officials, to perform to a higher standard than the electorate we serve. We need to be answerable for our actions no matter how uncomfortable.    

Paul Andreassen,
Town Councilman and Town Supervisor Candidate
Malden on Hudson

Karolys cannot continue to dump

I am puzzled by the #Love thy neighbor sign at the Karolys dump. Last I checked, love meant to care for your neighbor, not to dump toxic debris into their water and air. Now we the neighbors must have the water regularly tested for multiple contaminants (Lead, DDT, mercury etc); it costs $350 each time. Karolys must not be allowed to continue dumping illegally, for a large profit, or others will be encouraged to do the same; the word will go out that Saugerties is open for dumping. If elected to the town board, I will not only make sure that the dumping ceases, but that it is cleaned up as fast as possible.

The painfully slow court hearings over these past months have been tough to watch. I am grateful that I see Fred Costello there, he has been steadfast. Unlike his opponent in the election, Costello attends all the hearings, and is clearly committed to the health and well being of our community. Yes, Costello even drove back during his vacation in Cape Cod to attend court, a dedicated leader.

Nicole Roskos, Candidate for Town Board
Saugerties

Costello’s strong Climate Smart leadership

As a resident of Saugerties, I am incredibly proud that our town is the first in Ulster County to have been designated a Certified Climate Start Community by New York State. At the town board meeting on October 2 our town received this exciting award, a result of targeted efforts that make our town more energy efficient and reduce polluting emissions.

I am proud to be a member of this community — one that is dedicated to responding to critical issues of our time, doing what it can to protect its residents today, and taking actions that make our town stronger for future generations. This hard-earned designation is another indication of the strong leadership of Supervisor Costello, along with the extraordinary commitment and work of wonderful volunteers. Thank you to Supervisor Costello and the volunteers who worked hard to make this award a reality! See the informative website: http://www.climatesmartsaugerties.org.

Peter Orr
Saugerties

A question of integrity?

It has become increasingly clear that, even though Mr. Andreassen has been running for Town Supervisor for a year, he lacks a vision for the future of our community.

His recent personal attacks are reminiscent of the tired and old negative campaign styles of the past. He recently questioned a mileage reimbursement which was approved by the town board, of which he is a member. Ironically, it was the first travel reimbursement that I requested as an elected official. He knows that it is common for officials to receive reimbursement for expenses that are incurred as a result of conducting official business. After all, a number of reimbursement checks have been issued to the Andreassen household. He also knows that, as part of compensation, the supervisor is entitled to either mileage, a town vehicle or a vehicle allowance, of which I have taken none. Since becoming  the Town Supervisor, as much as $8000 has been available to me for travel. I have only requested one travel reimbursement in my time in office. The $470 in mileage reimbursement, which I incurred coming home from and returning to my family vacation to tend to town matters, was the first and only such travel reimbursement.

Mr. Andreassen’s dismissive view on the town’s effort to resolve a dumping issue is equally concerning. The Town had been anticipating a court date for months. It was the town’s understanding and hope that once the Zoning Board of Appeals rendered its decision, the restraining orders prohibiting the town from taking enforcement action would be lifted. The court decided to hold hearings before rendering a decision on whether or not the restraining order would be lifted. While we were waiting for the court, the DEC released test results that indicated that the material being brought to Saugerties was  contaminated. Finally, after months of waiting, the court moved up the hearing date from October 8th to August 7th. I was one of dozens of people who attended the hearing. The second hearing was August 12th, which happened to be when I was away on a family vacation. I drove home, and once again, I was one of dozens of concerned residents who took time out of their day to show solidarity with their neighbors on this very important issue. Had Mr. Andreassen found time to attend even one of the hearings, he may have a different perspective and be less dismissive about its importance.

Our community deserves better. Old school political attacks, half truths and misrepresentations are beneath us. Let’s continue to work together to manage our costs, rebuild our infrastructure, protect our resources, improve our recreational opportunities and plan our future

Fred Costello Jr.
Saugerties

Vote Levine in District 1

We are pleased that our neighbor Aaron Levine is running for the Ulster County Legislature. We have known Aaron and his family for over 20 years. We need more young people with fresh ideas in government. If you are a resident of County Legislature District 1 in Saugerties, please join us in voting for Aaron Levine.

Gary and Marge Bischoff
Saugerties

Less drama in government

Sometimes Ulster County Government is filled with too much drama. In late 2015 after an electric car charging station was installed at the Ulster County Building, numerous legislators took exception to the allowance of non-County Fleet vehicles being able to charge for free. Some legislators even discussed establishing a vend-card system to charge for electric usgae even if it meant that a payment system would cost more than the entire annual electric bill for all vehicles which was $800. In this instance, I witnessed my legislative colleagues become embroiled in a time consuming endeavor that was a waste of productive time and collective intelligence. 

As I thought of what a soap-opera-like scenario was developing before my eyes, I thought of an idea to resolve this embattled situation. I thought if County Government could find a private sponsor like Central Hudson to pay for the annual electric bill for the electric car charging station, it would eliminate this drama-filled situation. After brainstorming this idea, I shared it with my 22 legislative colleagues and forwarded it to several of the Deputy County Executives. Within ten days after presenting my idea to my colleagues, County Executive Mike Hein announced that the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce had agreed to sponsor $1000 per year for the electric bills at the charging station. At the time, several of my legislative colleagues were upset that the County Executive’s Office had fast-tracked my idea rather than having waited for the County Legislature to set a policy for the Executive Branch to follow. Because the County Legislature had ended its 2015 session, this process would have taken three moths for us to set and vote on the establishment of such an aforementioned policy. I was happy that the policy was fast-tracked and that the situation was resolved.

As a County Legislator, I was able to diffuse drama-filled situations through brainstorming solid ideas that were implemented. During my third term, I will diffuse similar situations and work to implement specific rule changes that will create a more professional environment that is filled with less drama.

Chris Allen
Saugerties

There are 2 comments

  1. Just saying

    I’d like to offer my opinion on the letters recently submitted to the editor. I respectfully disagree with those who claim Paul Andreassen personally attacked the supervisor, and I absolutely do not agree that he doesn’t care for the future of this community. What a joke; everyone who knows Paul, knows exactly where his heart is—and that’s exactly with the community. And anyone who truly knows Paul, knows all too well that he most definitely has a vision for Saugerties’ future—and he lives it. Just think of what he will accomplish as the supervisor in 2020. In my opinion, those aforementioned claims and remarks are nothing more than political rhetoric, made by political hacks.

    Paul was not personally attacking anyone, he was merely pointing out to the taxpayers that the supervisor charged us $500 to travel back and forth to Kingston to sit in and listen at a hearing. He was not subpoenaed to be there nor was he there to testify; it was simply his choice to attend. Now, I have no problem with him doing that, however, I do have a problem paying for it (as most other taxpayers would). I realize this is an election year and folks send in letters of support and/or criticism of the candidate—and that’s ok—but to say Paul personally attacked the supervisor is the biggest joke of all. You can’t exclude public disclosure of information that may tend to be embarrassing to your candidate (and that you’d rather it not become public) under the cover of “no personal attacks or criticism.” It’s an old trick and won’t work here. Submission of travel expenses for the supervisor’s trips to Kingston is a fact. Just saying….

  2. Jp

    I wish someone would pay me $500 to drive from Cape Cod to Saugerties. Why so much money? I also like how during election time Costello starts to attack his opponent. He started to shred Bruno the last time out, and Bruno is a great guy!

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