Switch to renewable energy
National Grid, which provides energy to New York City and Long Island customers, and its fracked-gas supplier, Oklahoma-based Williams, would like us to believe that their products are vital to life.
In advance of the Public Service Commission’s June 11 decision on National Grid’s long-term energy plans, the question of what is vital to life becomes urgent. It’s urgent for us in the Hudson Valley, too, as fossil fuels contribute to global warming for all.
Methane, a.k.a. “natural gas,” is actually a threat to life. When methane leaks into the air before being used — and the EPA estimates that the leak rate is about 14% — it absorbs the sun’s heat, warming the atmosphere. In the first two decades after its release, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Methane is even a threat to life in the short run, with communities near gas plants suffering from higher rates of respiratory disease and other health impacts.
We don’t need gas to keep us from shivering in the dark. Rather than buying more gas, utilities should promote energy efficiency and electric heating and cooking solutions.
New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandates that we have 100% renewable energy by 2040. Governor Andrew Cuomo must reject more pipelines, more compressor stations, and National Grid’s expansion of the Liquified Natural Gas facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Let the utilities switch to developing sources of renewable energy, which would truly deliver what is vital to life.
Vote for Stan O’Dell for Saugerties Town Justice
I write today in support of my dear friend, Stan O’Dell, and his candidacy for Saugerties Town Justice in the upcoming Democratic primary. While Stan’s lifetime body of work is uniquely suited for this important position (30 years a NY State trooper, a BCI investigator assigned to the World Trade Center and Saugerties fireman), it is his personal qualities that I wish to highlight. Stan is the neighbor that checks on you in a storm, who stops if he sees you pulled over on the side of the road and offers to search with you if your dog or cat goes missing. He offers to mentor a kid in trouble. Honesty, fairness and reliability are his trademarks. He is the type of friend and neighbor and public servant that makes Saugerties the unique place it is. In this chaotic moment he is a calming voice of reason, who stands strongly for justice for all people. I urge my friends in the Democratic Party to vote in the upcoming primary and I hope you will vote for Stan O’Dell for Town Justice.
Proud to support Claudia Andreassen in her re-election for Saugerties Town Justice
As a female attorney who has been practicing law in New York for close to 15 years, a lifelong Democrat and a sitting member of the Saugerties Democratic Committee, I am proud to support Claudia Andreassen in her re-election for Saugerties Town Justice. Claudia has been our justice since 2012 and a member of the Democratic Party since 1968. She is an incredibly strong and competent woman who has been endorsed by the Ulster County Democratic Women and who has demonstrated her commitment to justice and fairness in her past eight years on the bench.
On a more personal note, she has also been reaching out to her neighbors who have been going through trying times during this pandemic — myself included — and I know her to be a kind and compassionate individual who cares about all of us here in town. Claudia more than deserves our votes. I hope everyone makes sure to cast their vote for Claudia on or before June 23 in this very pivotal primary election (local elections are where it all begins) and I hope all of you and your families are doing well.
Saugerties Democratic Committee
Covid, race and extinction
With this year’s entrance of the Covid 19 pandemic and the recent race riots throughout many cities in America, it is easy to see death has crawled from our unconsciousness and is screaming in our streets. The real first responders to this reality are our black protestors. They are enacting the repressed emotions for all of us who are sheltered, fed and with health insurance.
We all fear death, and it stirs internal conflict that calls for expression to try and make those around us hear. When ignored, it calls louder and louder, both from the streets and from under our rib cages. We all fear extinction. We see the absence of moral leadership in government and it triggers rage because we have no personal control over our primary needs for existence.
Apocalypse appears to be the only catalyst to induce the needed change. Past protests have not upset our elected leadership enough to disperse our collective wealth to those sick and in need of life’s essentials. The poor are caught between technology taking their jobs and the one-half percent hoarding all the nation’s wealth. Man’s history of suicidal behaviors towards himself and nature has reached an extreme.
Right now man is the animal consuming so much he is triggering global catastrophe. He was never the steward of earth’s salvation, his ego never allowed it. The few tools man cultivated were housed in educational institutions. Indigenous wisdom was slaughtered by what was called the religious and civilized world.
The role of elder once attempted to maintain a conscious balance in the human community. Today the elder’s life experience and emotional intelligence is replaced by Google. The insatiability of our youth is fed by capitalists who are choreographing technology to sell to their deepest instincts.
Discipline for anything other than making money is a rare commodity. Stillness of mind and body is considered non-productive. Tolerances for imperfection, instead becomes a judge of character. We as human beings are midway down a mountainside and have lost our footing. We are too frightened to call for help because we know all too well, it will not come. We know not how to reach within to locate help from our true selves, that pathway has never been supported by the society that educated us. We look to the sky at the gathering thunder clouds and mumble the remnants of a prayer we once heard our great, great grandmother say before putting us in the cradle.
Somewhere buried in the ruins of our dreams are the seeds of humanity. They were evident in our hospitals with Covid care. Some say they were witnessed between neighbors helping one another. These seeds are almost never seen in our media. While walking the battlefields of 2020, we may locate enough wounded and scarred to rehabilitate a way of life where our values can be reprioritized to included love, kindness, humanity, care,and responsibility for what and who is still living.
Act now, Kingston
The last several weeks have been filled with devastating news of black people killed by police officers: George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. But it’s not just the last few weeks. These murders propel a continuation of the fear that so many of our black family, friends and neighbors have lived with their whole lives and for generations.
And yet our own city does not have systems in place to support victims of police brutality by bringing officers to justice and avoiding this type of police conduct in the first place. What will it take for Kingston to protect the lives of black people by putting in place common-sense accountability measures for police? Are we waiting to react to the news that someone we know or love had their neck pressed into the concrete by a police officer’s knee until they can’t breathe?
Our city’s police commission is not set up to serve justice to victims of police brutality. The appointed commission, empowered to hire, fire and discipline officers, has almost no transparency in its process — the chief of police currently sits on the commission, which is a blatant conflict of interest.
The police commission must be set up to remove and support bringing charges against officers who mistreat, abuse and murder the people of our city. Kingston police officers must have ongoing training on de-escalation, implicit bias and other crucial topics that inform their conduct. We need our city’s leadership to prioritize black lives by creating total transparency in the police commission’s appointment guidelines and procedures. These changes must happen now — before another precious black life is lost to police brutality.
I endorse Stan O’Dell for Town Justice of Saugerties.
I have been involved in Ulster County Democratic politics since the mid-1970’s. Mostly I served beer (once I turned 18) at campaign fund raisers where my parents, Mary and Rich Messina volunteered me to help. My parents helped with a number of local, state and Congressional campaigns. My mother was the first woman Democrat to run for a seat on the Ulster County Legislature. I benefited greatly from those early experiences by learning to pay attention to local politics because in my home, Tipp O’Neill was quoted regularly, “All politics is local.”
In between those formative days in the 1970’s and today, I went to college, got married, we have a wonderful son and I worked for IBM for 38-and-a-half years. We returned to the Hudson Valley in 1998 and I’ve been on the Sawyer Savings Bank board since 1999. In 2019, I formed a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit to advocate the FAA for the rights of recreational drone operators. Without going too deep, the FAA is pressing regulations which could hinder aviation as a hobby which has fueled many STEM careers.
It’s the sentiment of, “All politics is local” that attracted my attention to Stan O’Dell running for Town Justice of Saugerties. I’ve known Stan for years and I like his deep knowledge of the law from his 30 years with the NY State Troopers where he achieved a very senior position as senior investigator, and also his life-long empathy, honesty and deep-rooted respect for every individual he meets. The work of a town justice is serious and can have a lasting impact on individuals who come before the court. I know Stan will be fair, thoughtful and empathetic to victims as well as perpetrators who come before him.
I endorse Stan O’Dell for Town Justice of Saugerties. Please consider joining me.
David W. Messina
Malden on Hudson
In the Democratic primary that ends June 23, many Saugerties voters will choose their representatives on the Saugerties Democratic Committee. Extraordinarily, there are two slates of candidates in 11 Election Districts (EDs). One consists of 22 candidates in those EDs, all nominated by the Saugerties Democratic Committee and endorsed by the Ulster County Committee. The second slate consists of 12 people in those EDs. In each contested ED, voters choose two out of three or four candidates. (In five EDs there are no contests.)
These slates are very different. The endorsed slate has many decades of Democratic Party activism to its credit. All its candidates have voted in previous Democratic primaries. All have volunteered in campaigns. Collectively, these endorsed candidates have contributed almost $15,000 to Democratic campaigns committees since 2016, according to the NYS database. The full endorsed slate is at https://saugertiesdemocrats.org/.
As a group, the challenging slate’s candidates have no such record. Only two have volunteered in any capacity for Democratic candidates. Six have not voted in a Democratic primary in Ulster County, or not done so for many years. Five changed or reactivated their party registrations, or newly registered, to become Democrats within the past year; four of them did so in 2020. The NYS contributions database shows a total of less than $400 in donations from this slate to Democratic candidates and committees since 2016.
Primary voters seeking consistent commitment to Democratic candidates and values from their committee representatives may want to bear these records in mind.
Re-elect Claudia Andreassen
I have known Judge Claudia Andreassen for over 20 years. For eight of those years, she has faithfully served, and is still serving, as one of our town justices. For 26 years before that, she served our community as an Ulster County probation officer.
Without question, she is uniquely qualified to continue on the bench. I urge all voters from the Democratic, Working Families, Green, Libertarian and Independence parties to vote for her in the primary election on June 23. Claudia deserves your vote. We love that she is and has been a fair and unbiased incumbent justice, and we also love that she is a voracious reader and a regular at our bookstore at the corner of Main and Partiton Streets in the Village of Saugerties. She has our undivided support!
Inquiring Minds Bookstore
“Not a racist” not enough!
“Racism in America is like dust in the air,” said Kareem Abdul Jabbar. “it’s invisible even though you are choking on it, until the light gets in.”
Soon after George Floyd’s shockingly wrongful death, a news commentator of color addressed white people like me who think we are ‘not racist.’ He maintained that people of color cannot overcome racism by themselves because it is institutionalized, that white people need to act against racism as they become aware of it, and that we need to evolve from not racist to anti-racist.
Since he spoke these words, the TV ads I have been mostly ignoring appear to me in their true racist light. In 24 hours, I compiled a list of seven ads I found offensive for the way they depict people of color. Two of them follow.
In the first, a too-big-to-fail bank advertises its project for feeding needy neighborhoods. Opening images show a racial mix of women and children, an empty fridge and a voiced message about hard times, followed by an image of a mature, non-smiling hooded black man and the phrase “…equally dire crisis.” I believe the sponsors have determined that we white people feel threatened by black men who are made dangerous by hunger, and we are to see this big bank as saving us from that with their worthy program.
In the second, a famous household battery company features two dancing toy robots. One with the superior batteries is white with light blue accents and is able to keep dancing, while the other with the inferior batteries has gray and purple accents and collapses. The colors gray or ‘light black” and purple both bring people of color to mind. I think this sponsor believes white people see themselves as superior and blacks as inferior, and is pitting them against each other to sell their product.
In despising people of color, these sponsors manage to be quite insulting to whites as well!
I plan to complain to the TV station and their sponsors that made such offensive ads and refuse to buy what they are selling. I hope others will, too. I call it commercial lynching. and it has to end!
How a dual primary works
The Democratic presidential primary is a dual primary, where voters can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and for the delegates of their choice — even if the delegates are not on the same line as their choice for president.
Here’s how it works: Presidential candidates run against each other in a statewide primary, with their delegates running in some congressional districts. Delegates are allocated based on the performance of the presidential candidates within the congressional district (for us that’s District 19). There are 184 pledged delegates statewide elected from congressional districts in the primary (92 male and 92 female). Congressional District 19 has three female and three male delegates for a total of six delegates.
In the presidential candidate contest, a presidential candidate must receive at least 15 percent of all the votes cast for all the presidential candidates in a congressional district. In Congressional District 19, if only one presidential candidate reaches the required 15 percent, then that candidate is entitled to all six district delegates from our congressional district.
If, for example, a presidential candidate receives 30 percent of the votes for president in a congressional district, that candidate will be entitled to two delegates. The delegate on their line who receives the highest number of votes will be elected as the first delegate. The delegate of the opposite sex who receives the highest number of votes shall be the second delegate. They would be elected to go to the national convention.
If another presidential candidate received 60 percent of the vote in District 19, that presidential candidate would be entitled to four delegates with the two females and two males, with the highest votes on their line being elected to attend the convention. In determining which delegates achieve the most votes to earn a place at the Convention, votes cast for a delegate on a line (other than the line of the voter’s preferred presidential vote) will be counted as a vote for that delegate.
Why does it matter if the delegate doesn’t represent the eventual presidential nominee? The short answer is that it influence the eventual Democratic platform and rules. We saw in 2016, where Bernie Sanders changed the rules about superdelegates at the Democratic convention, something that wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t have delegates to push progressive ideals.
For absentee ballot votes, the ballot has to be delivered in person to the board of elections in your county by June 23 (Primary Day), or postmarked by June 16.
Stan O’Dell’s impressive career is ideally suited for the roll of Town Justice
We write today in support of the candidacy of Stan O’Dell for Saugerties Town Justice in the upcoming June 23 Democratic primary. Stan’s impressive career is ideally suited for the roll of Town Justice: Thirty plus years in law enforcement as a NY State Trooper and an Investigator, then Senior Investigator and supervisor for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He was assigned to the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attack, conducting emergency response, interviews and investigations. Stan’s record of community service is even more impressive: Chairman of the Village Waterfront Advisory Board, appointed by Mayor William Murphy; A member of the Ashokan Release Working Group for Flood Resilience and Climate Resiliency; A 2nd Lt. C.A. at the Lynch Hose Company and Chief Marine Officer and active member of the Saugerties Fire Department. In this difficult time we have seen Stan work tirelessly with our dedicated public officials of all parties to get vital supplies and services to our first responders, medical community and most vulnerable citizens. He is fair, respectful and honest, and will seek a just and compassionate approach in every case. Our family has known and worked with Stan for decades. We are honored by his tireless service to our community, and are proud to call him a friend. He is a true person of integrity, who is willing to stand up for the voiceless in our community. We whole-heartedly endorse him for Saugerties Town Justice and we hope that our friends in the Democratic Party will do the same.
Kevin and Renee Hinchey
Happy anniversary to me
It was back in May 2010, over 500 letters ago, that I took on the role as Woodstock’s gadfly. A gadfly, for those of you who are unaware, is a person who persistently annoys or provokes others in order to move them to action. My role started many years before [Bill] McKenna and his cohorts removed me, a volunteer for 15 years, from my position as chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) without cause, years before all the members of the ZBA resigned because of McKenna’s attempts to influence their decisions, and long before the more than $30,000 was spent on lawyers advising McKenna’s current ZBA.
This role could not have continued all these years had it not, in fact, been for the efforts and actions of previous town-board members, as well as some of you. I would especially like to thank Bill McKenna for the material he has provided me over the past few years, for without him, I would have been limited in the number of letters I wrote.
Good Democrats, dead Democrats
On Thursday, May 28, Donald Trump re-tweeted, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Ulster County Republicans, is this how you feel about your Democratic neighbors? Your parents taught you from the cradle never to speak so crassly, and so you teach your own children. I don’t believe you want us dead.
Ulster County Republicans, won’t you please now disown your party’s leader? Mr. Trump owns the violence breaking out across the nation. He is the chaos president. In the words of conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, Mr. Trump inverts the message of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address: “With malice toward all, with charity for none.” In your hearts, you know this is true.
Or listen to general James Mattis: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens, to past generations that bled to defend our promise, and to our children.”
The cost is clear. We’re facing the loss of our country, its ideals and its institutions. Ulster County Republicans, put your country before your party.
Please watch the video of George Floyd’s murder. It’s shocking but not surprising. When you’re black in America, you live with the consciousness that murder at the hands of the police is possible. When marchers shout, “Black lives matter,” what they mean is, “Black lives matter, too.” Insisting on the truth of this statement is what motivates the nationwide protests. Malice is what breeds the violence.
Black lives matter. Our nation matters. Truth matters.
Marching won’t change what you do
Of course in the Kingston game — some people are not picked for a team and/or are not allowed in the lineup — The Noble Way — exclusion of healthy skepticism. So Noble squanders away fund balance, over taxes everyone, pads his family’s payroll and creates crony jobs. And when things get tight, he first closes anything that he can that hurts the Urban poor — parks, playgrounds and layoffs police and laborers who maintain parks.
In memory of my father
My father, Chester Szarejko of Little Neck passed away on May 11, 2020 at the age of 93. He lived a long and fulfilling life. He was all about loving and caring for me and my brother Michael and the rest of his large extended family. He was a part of every aspect of my life and regularly visited our property in Woodstock. He loved supplying me with unique and unusual items to sell in my shop.
His accomplishments were incredibly extensive. Above all, the values he held most dear were of respect and tolerance, which was quite evident by the sheer number and types of organizations he was involved in. He was so full of energy and the willingness to serve his community. He loved helping and supporting all people. It was his nature.
Being of Polish descent, he was naturally very active with the Polish organizations, but he didn’t stop there. He was fully engaged with other groups, such as the Americans of Italian Heritage, the Samuel Field Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the American Muslim Association of the United States. He was also active with the NAACP of New York and the Queens Women’s Center.
He was very active politically and contributed greatly to the Democratic cause. He was president and member of various Democratic clubs and in particular, he was president of the New American Democratic Club (a multi-cultural organization of immigrants new to New York City).
The Bangladeshi community thought so highly of my father they invited him to be the guest of the Bangladesh government to tour the country in appreciation for his dedicated service to Bangladeshi Americans. He was also a member of president William Clinton’s entourage on his visit to Southeast Asia.
Everyone knew and valued him. They turned to his expertise, his guidance and his willingness to help in any way he knew how and was honored with several awards, such as the Man of the Year Award from the Queens County Jewish War Veterans and the Humanitarian Award from the American Muslim Association of the United States.
The world has lost a truly dedicated and accomplished man. Most of all, I lost my dad, my hero and my best friend. I will miss him dearly.
Stan O’Dell will benefit the town as a very fair judicial candidate to all residents
I am the former Treasurer of Ulster County and the first Commissioner of Finance, having been elected in 1977. I have been a member of the Democratic Party since the 1950s.
It is an honor and a privilege to endorse the candidacy of Stan O’Dell for Town Justice of the Town of Saugerties this November.
I have known Stan since he was a teenager and he was a continually active member of Demolay, a junior part of the Masons. I have admired him for his ability to work for others whenever and wherever he was needed.
Stan was an outstanding member of law enforcement until his retirement in 2015. Stan also has an exemplary reputation in the community for his integrity as a law enforcement officer for many years.
I feel very fortunate to have been a part of Stan’s life and I highly recommend him as the perfect choice for the Town Justice of Saugerties. He will benefit the town as a very fair judicial candidate to all residents as well as an admirable choice for the Democratic Party !
Commit to systemic change
It is extraordinarily painful to continually see acts of violence committed against black people. It is frightening to see communities and individuals so unnerved and outraged by police brutality that some protests have led to looting and violence.
But our country just watched George Floyd senselessly killed. Additionally, this act of violence committed against a black man, happened in the midst of the Covid crisis, a pandemic that has disproportionately hurt people of color.
Even if many of us unknowingly benefit from institutional racism, and with blind privilege regularly commiting acts of everyday racism, I believe many are sickened by racism and do not consciously perform racist acts. We were conditioned in a systemically racist and classist world. We have been doing an awful job of actually living up to principles of equality and justice that we have sworn are important.
It could be the beginning, or it could be the continuation of difficult conversations about race, inequality and social injustice. We need to really look at ourselves and agree to do everything in our power to change what so obviously and direly needs to change. Without deliberate and systemic change to correct wrongs, violence and disenfranchisement will persist.
All police department spending, training and support services should be thoroughly analyzed as to how they protect and serve the community. There needs to be a distinct differentiation between the mission statement of the military forces and local police departments. All law-enforcement agents must be held accountable for their actions and be appropriately prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for unnecessary acts of violence against any civilian.
But we cannot stop with police departments. We also need to commit to broad systemic change that includes public healthcare for all and an end to for-profit health insurance and public education for all. with funding fairly distributed.
We can no longer afford to hope racism and the injustices it perpetuates just dissipates, or there will be more senseless and preventable murders of our black neighbors.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Village of New Paltz
This quote says it best
I began drafting a letter in response to the recent walk from the White House to a nearby house of worship, that the president made. But, clearly, the quote I found below from Robert Hendrickson, rector at St. Phillip Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona, says it best:
“This is an awful man, waving a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he does not attend, invoking laws he does not understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained by accepting foreign interference, exploiting fear and anger he loves to stroke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity.”
She has served faithfully
I write today to express my support for Claudia Andreassen in the upcoming Democratic primary. Claudia has a deep and thorough understanding of the law with her education in it starting with a bachelor’s degree earned in 1968, a master’s in 2012, to various certificates and credits earned through the present day.
She has put this education and training to very good use here in Saugerties. The town board appointed her to the position of town justice in 2012. and she has served faithfully in that capacity ever since, having won two elections in the process.
It is no secret that Claudia also serves faithfully in other roles. For instance, she is a deeply committed and compassionate volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and is a member of the NYS and Ulster County Magistrates Association. During this challenging time, we need a person who is committed and compassionate to guide our justice system.
Claudia has the experience as a judge who’s dealt first-hand with the new challenges of bail reform and Covid 19. She’s proven time and time again that community and justice for all within it matters. Fellow Democrats, please join me in casting your vote to re-elect the honorable justice Claudia Andreassen, whether it be via absentee ballot or in-person on June 23.
Tim Scott, Jr.
Extraordinary actions required
These are difficult times for any arts organization, as they are for all the creative artists and musicians these organizations rely upon to fulfill their mission statements. Saugerties Pro Musica is no different.
The board of Saugerties Pro Musica has decided to take some unusual steps in an attempt to save our 25th season. We already cancelled the last three concerts of the 24th season. Now we are cancelling the first three concerts of our 25th season — September, October and November 2020 — limiting us to only five concerts scheduled each month from January to May of 2021.
Due to the savings incurred by cancelling those six concerts, the remaining five concerts will be free. No admission will be charged. This guarantees that a community struggling under the economic losses of the Covid 19 pandemic can at least have good music for free.
One caveat. This can only happen if the Saugerties United Methodist Church, where our concerts are held, is available for this purpose. Currently, they do not anticipate allowing third-party use of their facility this fall. We hope to be able to hold concerts there in 2021.
If we cannot, the entire season is lost.
On another note, our contract with the musicians reads that they receive payment on the day of the concert, but if a performance is cancelled they do not get paid. In light of these difficult times, we will prepay half of their contracted performance fee now to help tide them over during this pause, with the balance paid on the concert date. If events dictate that we must cancel more concerts, we will make every effort to reschedule the musicians to a future concert date. But, if we are unable to reschedule for whatever reason, the advance fee may be kept by them without repayment.
This is our way of helping to ensure musicians are here for future performances. This is unprecedented for any tiny organization to do, but extraordinary times require extraordinary actions.
In effect, besides helping our musicians and our community, Saugerties Pro Musica is self-funding its 25th season. Many organizations are not able to do that. This will leave them a bigger piece of whatever arts funding is available for not-for-profits in these tight financial times.
Please support these organizations and our local advertisers. Local businesses are the heart of our town. They fund organizations such as ours, as well as countless other events and organizations that help to make Saugerties the vibrant, thriving community we all enjoy. They deserve our support.
Thanks to everyone who has helped make Saugerties Pro Musica a successful institution celebrating a quarter-century of fine music in our community. Our next concert is January 24, 2021. Until then, remember — stay safe and healthy — and keep music in your lives.
Lisa Mayone, Edward Leavitt
Saugerties Pro Musica Board
I stand with Andreassen
Putting others first.
That’s my experience of Claudia Andreassen, whom I have known for 35=plus years. I encourage you to review Claudia’s education and experience training at http://voteforclaudia.com/background/ Her trainings in dealing with mental-health and addiction issues alone, have set a high bar difficult for her opponent to match.
I encourage you to join me in voting to re-elect Judge Andreassen, a lifelong Democrat. At this moment in time more than ever, lifelong democratic values matter. We know where Claudia stands, and I stand with her.
The pandemic of injustice
My heart is breaking again. It is crumbling under a relentless onslaught of tragedy. As if the hundreds of thousands of deaths from the Covid 19 pandemic were not all by itself too much for us to mourn, we are forcibly reminded of the long-standing pandemic of racial injustice. How did we ever let the fight against this disease dissipate? Too preoccupied by the radical measures necessitated by the more recent physical disease, many of us lost temporary sight of the longstanding social and spiritual disease of institutionalized racism. Not now! It took another hideous and unjustified killing to turn our attention back. Many of our brothers and sisters never lost sight, having to fight against it every day, coronavirus or not. I am embarrassed that I allowed preoccupation with the virus to obscure a problem that has vexed this world for centuries.
I mourn the death of George Floyd. A death that, God help us, we all saw happen before our very eyes, making every single one of us a witness to the horror of racism. The blatant disregard for the pleas of a dying man, the arrogant persistence of the murderous posture for what seemed like an eternity beyond the point of responsiveness, shows us that the recent indictments are precisely what is called for. The firing of all four officers the following day and their present arrests for murder show us that there is hope for our justice system, that we have pulled at least a glimmer of righteousness out of an institution sullied by prejudice for so long.
That the crime itself could be committed by officers of the law is an indictment against us and our society. That we can respond quickly to the built-in wrong and attempt to right it is our hope for a better future.
The world as a whole has been energized. The legitimacy of the demonstrations as well as the illegitimacy of the violence that marred them has seen to that. It is tragedy added to tragedy that we could not have the peaceful protests without the attempted appropriation of them by the violent few and the organized haters. Yet another tragedy that some of our political leaders were unable to focus upon the righteous protest and instead bellowed about the “weakness” of the response to the looting and arson. Of course there must be a response to these crimes, but that was not the ultimate significance of recent events.
The police had a very difficult task: institutionalized racism, the cause of the incident in the first place, has to be rooted out. Relationships with the community must be vastly improved. Protesters have to be protected while exercising their constitutional right of assembly. Incidents of violence, vandalism and looting that horribly accompany the true protests have to be dealt with. Distinguishing who is who, forbearing to overreact while not failing to act appropriately act. It is a tightrope I cannot imagine having to walk.
I pray with words of the psalmist (80:5-6): How long will you spurn the prayers of your people, feeding them tears as their bread..?
Help us, God! I pray that we find within ourselves the strength and the moral compass to right the wrongs of the centuries, and treat all people as fully human instead of disregarding the humanity of those groups that various societies have assigned the status of “other.” I pray that evil is exposed and tripped up, that decent people expressing themselves in decent ways will not be corrupted by the malicious few. I pray that the massive mobilization of good people that was necessary to bring our focus where it needs to be does not result in those good people paying a price they should not have to pay in terms of the physical disease that still haunts us and does not care about decency and necessity.
Rabbi Bill Strongin
Ahavat Achim Jewish Congregation
We have a job to do
The Kingston Midtown Arts District (MAD) stands in solidarity and support of all those in the fight for social equity across our nation.
The current cycle of peaceful, yet angry, protest and mourning in the wake of the killing of George Floyd reminds us that we each have a job to do — not tomorrow, but today — to address systemic racial injustice. MAD embraces this responsibility as part of our mission.
As thoughtful leaders, artists often respond to injustice with expressions that help shape and illuminate our understanding of what is going on around us. In this time of national crisis, MAD honors and celebrates the diversity of artistic expression even in the face of ugly truths. We will continue to create opportunities to share the stories of all the people in our community, expand our art programs into our most under-resourced neighborhoods and collaborate on projects with historically under-represented groups. Our priorities are equity and inclusion in all the work we do.
The arts alone cannot solve society’s deep-seated problems, but artistic expression opens unforeseen pathways to healing and communion and enables us to navigate a way forward to greater understanding and empathy. This is the work for which we stand.
Anne Bailey, Ray Curran,
Maggie Inge, Richard Frumess, Liz Baker, Neville Bean,
Noé del Cid, Nina Dawson,
Lara Giordano, Frank Waters
Kingston Midtown Arts District
Board of Directors
Fact versus fiction
Fact: This letter is addressed to the seniors of all parties — Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Independent and those without any political affiliation — seniors being those persons 65 years and above. No one else.
Just to recap a bit, I have repeatedly emphasized the threat the man in the Oval Office has on our benefits. I receive reports from the AARP, NCPSSM and Democratic Party on a regular basis, which I pass on to you ‘oldies’ for your awareness. As mentioned, so many times in previous letters, the GOP hates the benefit programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and has hated them since their inception in 1935 and 1965.
Being age 81, I have a fear that my benefits are going to go the way of the wild goose, or they are going to be disemboweled. For instance, one of the last letters sent to this newspaper by yours truly brought to your attention, two facts. Let’s look at them.
Congress has been pushing for privatization of Social Security for years, always claiming that they cannot afford it as it is a drain on the budget. Also, the AARP, in a letter to this writer, mentioned that Congress, in addition to this privatization, proposed a 15-to-20 percent cut in all senior Social Security monthly benefits. For example, someone drawing $1200 per month, 20 percent of this is $240 less a month or $2888 per year gone! Now figure there are approximately 60 million seniors drawing these benefits between the ages of 65 and 95 times this $2880 per year. This equals an amount of $1.728 trillion. That’s one trillion, 728 billion dollars of our money.
Opinion: If the GOP wrote this author a letter and stated something like: “Gee whiz, Bob, since so many people are out of work and will be for some time, isn’t it appropriate that the seniors buckle down and bite the bullet to assist these people? “After all, isn’t this the American way?”
My answer to the GOP would be: bullshit! “Why just the seniors?” Let everyone — senators, representatives, supreme court justices, as well as those still working — contribute as well also take 20 percent from the military, stop spending billions of state-of-the-art technologies, which will be obsolete down the road. How about the billionaires and millionaires kicking in 20 percent. How about Amazon, which I believe pay no taxes at all, paying 20 percent? The most important rationale of all is the hatred the GOP has had for these programs down through the decades.
All these social calamities, virus and riots are important in their own right, but they obscure what is really going on behind the scenes. Pay attention, folks, pay attention.
A more honest America
I write this today to honor George Floyd, who was buried yesterday after being murdered by a white policeman in Minneapolis last week. May his death have meaning and help bring healing.
Since the Civil War and the ending of slavery in 1865, the deep, underlying energy that has ruled the white-black relationships in our country has been one of fear. Blacks, in addition to anger for how they have been treated, have a deep fear of white people with good reason. The effects of generations of slavery and horrible oppression run deep through the cells of all of the bodies of black folks.
Yet the reverse is also true. White people have a deep fear of black people. There is deep guilt that white people carry, whether they know it or not, because of their understanding of all the bad things that white people have done to black people over the years. Every white person knows this on some level, and their kneejerk reaction is to expect all those blacks to be outraged and wanting to get revenge.
All the thoughtful laws and all the well-meaning government and non-government organizations that support programs to help America with this great divide surely have some good effects with equalizing the standard of living between whites and blacks. But those programs, unfortunately, are still inadequate when it comes to shifting the deep fear that sits in all of us as Americans on a cellular level.
I believe a good beginning to help us work through this emotionally stuck place would be to first admit to ourselves how scared we are of the other. This society is so overwhelmed with fears, but we’ve been raised to act like we are always strong, courageous and fearless. We work so hard to hide our fear.
But now may be the perfect time to give up that pretense. It’s an old pattern of behavior, and it has kept the chance of real and permanent healing next to impossible. But we may need to give up that old phony bluster for a new and more honest assessment of who we are today, and where we are going as a society. How about an America which is more open about our fears and an America which is determined to talk about those fears?. We can do this. But let’s not forget that it starts with us!
Time for perspective
I watched aghast at what seemed forever, the knee chokehold on that poor black man. My heart cried out, “For God’s sake, let go!” Dismay and horror turned to hope as I watched the multitudes from every background, age, race, color march in solidarity against this murder and injustices laid bare by this event.
Movies, books, the media helped me to gain awareness as I moved into adulthood about the injustices, lynchings, slavery and suffering experienced within the black community. The ‘why’ I even asked as a child living in Florida viewing forced separation, “But Mommy,” I implored,” they’re human like us.” All they have wanted has been a shared life as an American. Talk about a people suffering through injustices. What about Native Americans?
We mowed down entire villages. We wrapped them in smallpox-infested blankets, fed them alcohol, raped their women. We shot their chiefs in front of their people, cut them up, and put pieces in boiling water. We engaged in wholesale genocide. Whose life history was worse? All they want is their lands back taken by broken treaties and greed. They know about pain and suffering. Where was the media and outcry for them?
It doesn’t end there, either. Let’s not forget the Jews. Millions gassed. Used for medical experimentation. Women raped. Exterminated for no reason but for a madman’s ideals. I’ve known many in my lifetime. Warm-hearted, good, generous people. What about their unfathomable losses? Who can measure who suffers more?
Need I mention the thousands of women raped yearly in India and South America, here? The emotional suffering through sex trafficking, sexual assaults, abuse. What about the physical, mental, sexual abuse of children? It doesn’t end with kids or women, either. Pass a senior daily? Ask them about pain. Where is the outcry? Marches for them? There are still others.
Sea and air creatures with condoms, needles, glass, plastic, pollution in their bellies. Land animals murdered, tortured for a horn or two. They are like us. Just different shapes and colors. All a part of the Creator’s mind. They suffer losses, have fears, love life like we do.
Everyone climbing mountains in themselves and like climbers — stumbling, falling, tired, exhausted at times. There is no pricetag for all the above. Fear, the root cause. No one is exempt. We all have a world of work to do. It begins in ourselves.
Aldous Huxley, famous writer and philosopher, stated on his deathbed, “Let us be kinder to one another.” In a nutshell, it boils down to just that.
Justice for Iyad and for George
One week ago, Israelis and Palestinians took to the streets to demand justice for Iyad al-Hallaq, a Palestinian man with autism who was killed at point-blank range by police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City. The police later claimed he was holding a weapon: it was his lunch in a paper bag.
Protestors’ signs read: “Justice for Iyad, Justice for George,” a reference to the unarmed black man killed last week in Minneapolis. Solidarity of black leaders — Malcolm X, Huey B. Newton, Angela Davis, June Jordan and now Black Lives Matter — standing against the occupation of the Palestinian people and for their liberation is almost as old as Israel itself. Why? Because black Americans grasp that their support empowers their cause, not diminishes it. Similarly, Palestinians have always seen parallels between their oppression and racism in America.
Now, thanks to Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), we have the opportunity to send Israel a message. H.R. 2407, the “No Way to Treat a Child Act,” would prohibit any of our $3.8 billion in foreign aid to Israel from continuing their practice of military detention and abuse of children. Supporters of this bill, including 26 co-sponsors, believe we must take concrete steps to hold Israeli police accountable for their violations of Palestinian children’s rights.
If you agree and live in Congressional District 19, please sign this open letter to congressperson Antonio Delgado: http://chng.it/vtSpBJnz6h.
This is your chance
As Martin Luther King. Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
We are here, as Barack Obama has voiced, “because the uncertainty and hardships of the pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life.”
In going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained and effective action, then this moment in history can be a pivotal point in our nation’s struggle to achieve our highest ideals.
As Mark Twain said, “The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” It’s only been through protests and civil disobedience that any government has paid attention to marginalized communities. Because of the recent sacrifice of young lives, the world is paying attention today.
“If you want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between politics and protest. We have to do both.”
In the words of Antonio Delgado, “The power of the vote is often maximized when it can tap into the energy that protesters make visible.”
In any given moment we are faced with two choices, to step forward into growth or backward into safety. Growth and comfort do not coexist.
Gandhi begged us to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This is your chance to do just that.
Malden on Hudson
Our votes have never been so important
The endorsed Saugerties Democratic Committee members have always lived up to their ideals and have been a reassuring presence over these last terrifying months. They deserve your vote: by absentee ballot, early in person, June 13-21; or on Primary Day, June 23. ALL VOTERS MATTER and our votes have never been so important — or the moment so opportune.
These last weeks have shone a spotlight on America’s failings. And the president’s mishandling of the protests — and of the pandemic — has shone a spotlight on his. We must keep those spotlights on. Otherwise Trump, having divided and carved us up, will take us down.
The tide is turning. Evangelists — even Pat Robertson — are acknowledging that holding up a Bible is not the same as upholding it; the D.C. archbishop and other faith leaders agree, and for that and Trump’s general moral turpitude are repudiating him. Some Trump rally-goers and rank-and-filers are realizing they belong to a group — the have-nots — that a Trump-exacerbated pandemic has disproportionately ravaged and that Trump himself continues to ravage, pushing workers back into meat-packing plants and other dangerous situations.
Some whose pockets Trump fills are wondering: “What profits is a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?” Grandparents are shuddering at the thought of leaving their grandchildren’s fates in Trump’s hands, and those grandchildren are on the march. Police officers are marching with them and taking a stand by taking a knee. Emboldened by General Mattis, military officials are denouncing Trump for demanding deployment of active-duty forces and brutalizing peaceful protesters in order to stage a photo op.
Several incumbent GOPoliticians have finally voiced their long-held anti-Trump views. And a growing number of former Republican leaders — Bush, Powell, Rice, etc. — are piling on.
Let’s pile on as well. Let’s take a first step by voting for the endorsed Saugerties Democratic Committee. And then let’s keep marching!
A Green for Andreassen
On June 23, the residents of Saugerties will be deciding who will represent them and their party for the upcoming town judicial race. It’s no accident I am a registered Green Party member. Democracy, social justice, ecological sustainability, economic justice — our platform is about people not politics.
Judge Andreassen encompasses these values and more. Spending 26 years in the world of probation and eight years on the bench, Claudia Andreassen has balanced accountability, respect and dignity for all. As we strive to make our town, county, state, country an equally fair place to live and thrive, we should be paying close attention to our judges. With probation reform in its infancy, we must choose carefully. For eight years Claudia has earned our trust and respect. She’s treated all that have entered her court equally with true blind justice.
Elected officials and judges are people. When you find one with the compassion, fairness and intellect of that in Claudia, you keep them.
Let’s keep judge Andreassen Green.
Support Claudia Andreassen
I am writing to show my support for Claudia Andreassen for town justice in Saugerties. Judge Andreassen is a life-long Democrat who has been on the bench for two terms, serving our community well. We all deserve to have her on the bench for four more years. Please vote for Claudia.
Instead of draining the swamp, Trump swamped the drain.
Vehicle parades a success
I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the many who assisted with the two recent vehicle parades.
The first, honoring and thanking all our essential and healthcare heroes. The second, recognizing and congratulating the Saugerties High School spring sports teams and players, especially the graduating seniors who never got the opportunity to play a game or match in their final year of high school.
What was a small idea that popped into my brain one early April morning mushroomed into two spectacular vehicle parades, as a result of the many people who put forth much effort and thought:
Bob and Larry Siracusano, along with Kevin and Renee Hinchey, who split the costs of the large banners displayed on the front of the grandstand on Cantine Field #11, the large pavilion and soccer building roofs. Mr. Hinchey also donated an electronic digital scrolling message board.
Joe and Paul Beckert, Timely Signs, who provided those impressive banners at their cost only.
Randy Richers, NY Drilling and Richers Electric, who donated the 160 t-shirts, 80 for each evening’s vehicle parade. Arthur Green, who provided nine mannequins dressed in varsity baseball uniform.
The committee, who did an awesome and exceptional job, supervisor Fred Costello, mayor Bill Murphy, police chief Joe Sinagra, Kevin Hinchey, Bob and Larry Siracusano. From the school, Tom Averill, Lee Molyneaux, Mike Pugliese, Kirk Reinhardt and Dom Zarrella.
Special thanks to Pat Praetorius and Meyle Reyes, singing of “God Bless America” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” on Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively. Rob VanDerbeck, his always awesome job on the microphone, from the Cantine press box. Tyler Bode, singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” Saturday evening as the baseball players, along with their families were on the field. Joe DeFino and his energetic team with live streaming both evenings, along my great team that put forth much initiative and work.
Additionally, Artie Russell, Ed Hunlock, Aaron VanDerbeck, Matt Russell, Bill Carr and Virginia Carney, who volunteered their time as directional and gate attendants.
Further, to the fire departments, Diaz Ambulance and Law Enforcement, along with the public that took part each evening. Ulster Hose and Saugerties FD for the “draping” of the large American flag as the parade came back into the complex on Moser Drive.
Like so many previous successful Saugerties events, it was another great team effort amongst many. Likewise, it was again a genuine honor, privilege and pleasure working with all of you in pulling off two amazing events for our wonderful community during a very bleak time in our lives. Thank you!
Greg Chorvas, Superintendent Cantine Veterans Sports Complex Parks & Buildings Department
We looked for something that the pandemic, the George Floyd debacle, and climate change have in common and came up with several examples. But probably the most devastating was poor leadership.
With the pandemic, president Trump blew it off as “a Democratic hoax” in the beginning and as no big deal, losing valuable time that may have led to tens of thousands of additional deaths. Later, he played the blame game, pulled out of the World Health Organization, and said the Chinese were responsible.
Trump was AWOL during most of the George Floyd incident, emerging for a photo-op that disrupted a peaceful protest. He alienated most of his retired military generals by calling out the army to quell this civil disobedience.
Finally, Trump has been relentless in rolling back most of Obama’s restrictions to mitigate climate change. How could anyone in these times be opposed to making cars more efficient?!
Aren’t we entitled to have a leader who, in times of crisis, excels in mitigating, not exacerbating?
Dan and Ann Guenther
Protect the taxpayers
Having now seen the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Town of Woodstock and Selina, the devil isn’t only in its details. It’s also in its lack of details!
This project has been highly controversial with lawsuits and lawsuit protections filed. This MOU, without double-spacing type, would fit easily on two pages of 8 1/2” x 11” paper. Yes, that’s correct folks, a standard residential lease form contains far more legalese and protection of parties than this critical MOU draft for this controversial project. If my lawyer presented a document to me such as this MOU to protect me under these circumstances, he’d be fired immediately.
However, opinion is this document isn’t about protecting neighbors as taxpayers. It’s about protecting the town board from controversy of a lawsuit and to give Selina the benefit of partial operation and continuance of construction prior to planning-board approval in violation of zoning law — under the guise that if Selina doesn’t cooperate, the town will stop them.
Further opinion, together with understanding Selina is in the hotel business, it seems apparent they’ve made a bed for town-board members who may approve this MOU. Zoning law clearly defines steps necessary for Selina to follow. This was affirmed by the ZBA interpretation a year ago.
Opinion is that proper town-board action is not circumventing due process or overruling the ZBA. Instead, let Selina choose to take action to recoup valid losses through town insurance for mistakes they feel were made by town officials. The insurance will pay town legal fees.
Selina should be forced to go through full site-plan review process without exemption or exception and without interference from the town board. The ZBA determination should not be overruled. The planning board process should not be compromised or influenced by potential litigation.
Paramount responsibility is protecting neighboring taxpayers from further expense, time loss and potential devaluation of real property and quality of life. In short, the town board should own any mistakes. To do so otherwise will be a stain on this town board.
Visit woodstockconcerns.com for details and like our Facebook page.
Easy to talk to
I support Claudia Andreassen for Saugerties town judge. She has many years of experience on the bench. She is a kind, caring and thoughtful person. I thankfully have never been on the other side of the bench when judge Andreassen was presiding, but one of my children was for a speeding ticket. My child said that in the courtroom Judge Andreassen was personable and easy to talk to. She did not make my child feel like a criminal, rather that they were the only person in the court.
We need this type of professionalism in our town court. If you are able, please vote for Claudia in the June 23 primary. Experience counts.
Protecting and serving
The men and women of the New Paltz Police Department appreciate the statement made by our chief of police. However, we feel it is important that the community hears directly from the members of the department as well. We unequivocally condemn the treatment and murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis.
We understand that this horrible incident has caused a great deal of pain throughout our community, state and nation. We want our community to know that we pledge to be instruments of change while continuing to treat all our citizens with fairness, compassion and empathy as we carry out our everyday responsibilities in protecting and serving the New Paltz community. We strive to be the servants of our community needs.
Members of the New Paltz Police Department
Beth Weredyk asks for your vote
I’m Elizabeth Weredyk and I ask for your vote on June 23 for the Saugerties Democratic Committee. So many of us feel under-represented. That so many things, organizations, groups, committees come before us, the people. Our voice has been overshadowed and drowned out by establishment politics and the personal agenda of career politicians. That feeling is real and the solution starts at the bottom.
Our first level of representation is election district representatives. Names we shamefully never know who all too often do not keep us informed. I run to represent Saugerties District 13 – “The Heights,” and if elected on June 23, I guarantee that you will know me, my contact information and everything going on in our village, town and county. Your questions and concerns will be heard and voiced.
Individuals wishing to represent OUR Democratic line will answer YOUR questions. Candidates will be vetted, supported and then held accountable.
It is time to raise the bar, it is time for the Saugerties Democratic Committee to have transparency and inclusion. Let me help bring this to the Saugerties Democratic community. The election is June 23 and I ask my fellow Saugerties Democratic friends and neighbors to vote, to be heard and to be represented. I’m Elizabeth Weredyk and you can contact me at (845) 217-5681 or email@example.com. Thank you.
Newest Saugerties Democratic committeeman endorses Judge Andreassen
On June 23, I’ll begin my first term as a Saugerties committeeman representing District 11. One of the foremost responsibilities of a committee representative is to find, vet and support good Democratic candidates. Claudia Andreassen, a two-term life-long democratic judge who has a proven record of fairness and compassion, deserves, and should represent the Democratic line in the upcoming general election. June 23 is our chance to ensure that happens.
From traffic violation on up, I want my family, friends and neighbors standing in front of a judge I know is righteous, blind to anything but justice. No back-door conversations, no deals, no phone calls, no politics. It’s fairness, it’s equality, that’s justice. That’s Claudia Andreassen.
Saugerties Democratic Committeeman, District 11
Yes, a challenge to the Saugerties Democratic Committee — that’s democracy
I’m Ken Kleinberg, an active life-long Democrat running for the Saugerties Democratic Committee in the June 23 primary (District 2, the village). I’m in this race to help bring needed change, visibility and accountability to the Saugerties Democratic Committee, especially when the overall goal is to elect Democratic candidates to advance our community and country. I believe:
Committee members should be elected — currently many of the committee members are self-appointed — these positions should be decided with the people’s vote.
Names and contact information of district representatives should be readily accessible on the committee’s Facebook page and website, including the names of all Democratic challengers that will appear on the ballot.
Committee members should be open to conversations and communication with those looking to be included — they should not self-endorse themselves on social media or literature without this debate.
Committee meetings should be open and transparent to all — there should not be “executive” or “private” sessions behind closed doors (or Zoom sessions) where people are removed from participating.
The committee should use money that is donated by the community to ensure the election and support of leaders, such as Congressman Delgado — not to attempt to retain their own committee seats.
The current Saugerties Democratic Committee’s leadership should not be attempting to shut down all challengers. The committee needs transparent and accountable representation. I am one of many Democrats looking to bring new energy, abilities and leadership.
I ask for your vote on June 23.
In my life, I have lived through the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Mid-Eastern conflicts. I have seen major protests during the Vietnam War, the 1968 Chicago Democratic Political Convention and the March on Washington for Jobs and Peace. To the credit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership, the March on Washington for Jobs and Peace was the largest and most peaceful of them all.
The recent event where a man was murdered by another man wearing a police uniform was the catalyst for perhaps one of the saddest times in hundreds of years. There is no doubt that the man who murdered George Floyd deserves and will get a prison sentence for the rest of his life. If that police officer was representative of the Minneapolis Police Department, then that department should be required to go through a major reform. But Minneapolis is not representative of all the police departments in the United States. Most police officers are hard working decent people who perform their jobs in public service in an excellent manner, working to protect and serve all our people of all races and creeds. Our society could not exist without them.
I think the media in reporting the recent protests was responsible for increasing the rioting and looting that was reprehensible. These rioters and looters were not protesters, they were anarchists. Their actions caused many of us to think that civil unrest was possible throughout the United States and threatened our Constitutional form of government that we are so blessed to have. Needless to say, the tragic death of George Floyd fueled the riotous behavior causing the deaths and injuries of many peaceful people, as well as destroying businesses of hard-working Americans and the local economy. Many areas will take years to recover and many of the people living in these areas will have a diminished quality of life for many years.
I think most people in the United States are good people who respect one another. Their daily lives consist of hard work so they can better their lives and their community and there are no ideas that fill their heads with thoughts of harming others. As a person in Woodstock, I believe that all the problems that caused the recent events have nothing to do with us, and it is my pleasure to live in such a great town.
Why Gardiner 5K was cancelled
The 18th annual Gardiner 5K Classic scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 16 has been canceled for this year. The health and safety of all runners, walkers and volunteers is our top priority, and we felt this was the best course of action to take. We know that many of you were really looking forward to the Gardiner 5K Classic as we were, but we want to make sure everyone stays safe during this stressful and trying time.
As you know, the proceeds of the Gardiner 5K Classic went to the Gardiner Fire Department for improvements and maintenance to the firehouse. If you would still like to donate to the Gardiner Fire Department, you could still do so by mailing your contribution to: The Gardiner Fire Department, P.O. Box 271, Gardiner, NY 12525 or go to our website: gardinerfireandrescue.org and make your donation electronically.
The volunteers at the fire house continue to answer fire and medical calls through this whole pandemic. Gardiner residents have been so kind as to drop off N95 masks and surgical masks for us to wear when going on calls. We are extremely appreciative.
We want to thank you for your continued support. Please continue to practice the guidelines that have been put in place to protect us all. We’ll see everyone at the next Gardiner 5K Classic scheduled for July 15, 2021. Please stay healthy and safe during this horrific pandemic.
Donna M. Lyons , Luke Lyons , Barbara Clinton, John Fracasse, Theresa Colucci, Bernadette Koonz, Landon Fracasse
A black lives matter
I believe it is critical to support Rise Up Kingston and pass the police accountability legislation. Also, our state leaders must repeal §50-a. Please continue to highlight news related to these efforts.
From New Paltz’s police chief
Over the last several days, I have struggled to find the words to explain my thoughts on the murder of George Floyd and the greater issue of entrenched systemic racism and inequality that is pervasive in our society — a system that I am a part of. At first, I was hesitant to say anything out of concern that my words would be viewed as hollow, divisive, insensitive or hypocritical. But instead I concluded that saying nothing makes me complicit and allows a system designed to oppress others to continue unabated. I care deeply about our community and realize that as chief of police I need to use my platform to help effect critically needed systemic change.
George Floyd was murdered; there is no other conclusion to draw. Those officers had a duty to care for Mr. Floyd and they failed. I am angry and sickened by the depraved indifference of human life captured in the video. I also realize that my anger about Mr. Floyd’s murder pales in comparison to the anger and rage that black people and communities of color must feel right now. For them, this killing is another stark example of the injustice and inequality within our society. I cannot begin to understand because I am a white male and wear a badge. My privilege shields me and skews the prism through which I view and live in the world.
In the last several years our agency has implemented changes to hiring, training, policy and supervision with the goal of being better servants to our community. We are a New York State-accredited police agency and one of the most diverse police departments in the area, representative of the community we serve. However, we are not perfect. We need to do more; we must do better within our agency, our profession and by our communities if we are going to reestablish trust and legitimacy.
For me, that starts with listening, which is what I did on Saturday. I was out on the streets during the peaceful demonstration in New Paltz. The anger and pain I witnessed were powerful, but the listening cannot stop there. I am inviting community members to contact me so I can hear more. I know this will be difficult — introspection and change usually are — and there is no easy solution. I will most likely not have answers to the many questions posed, but I am willing and want to listen to what the community has to say in the hope dialogue can lead to positive change. Please feel free to contact me at the New Paltz Police Department.
Chief of police