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Letters to the Editor - June 30, 2011
June 30, 2011 01:20 PM | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COMET’S RESCUE

Thank you so much for this story, such a beautiful illustration of the many hands of compassion moving swiftly to help save one very lucky Comet!

Chris Kerr and Kirsti Gholson, Bless you! And then onwards to Denise Edelson referring them to Saugerties Kennel Operator then to the angel work of Barbara Runyon and FFF Wildlife Center: just so golden.

As to all the Dead On the Road: oy, no kidding. For me, this concern tends to kick in when I get behind the wheel which helps to slow me down.

Just even a drop more awareness and care as we drive can go a long way to prevent these unfortunate casualties.

Myra Sito Velasquez

Bearsville


NO PHONE WHEN IT RAINS

Our federal government, in the name of the people, throws tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to just about every little piss-ant country on the planet. Our federal government, in the name of the people, wastes tens of billions more U.S. taxpayer dollars building “infrastructure” in hostile countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in this country, my Verizon landline telephone service disappears every time it rains, and my town government refuses to even consider providing cell phone service.

And these people want my vote.

Ask me if I’m happy.

Gary Maurer

Willow


AN EDITED EDITORIAL*

Are you listening ?...“A municipality has to act when a violation is first illuminated, and in a decisive fashion. A town may choose to look the other way in some instances when it doesn’t have the enforcement capability. This however, often leads to situations where “the law” is left hanging out there, cut off at the knees. Changes to the law always have larger ripples and need to be further thought out.” (* see Woodstock Times, June 2.)

Howard Harris

Bearsville


HRVR CUTS CORNERS

Hudson River Valley Resorts (HRVR) wants to build 160 luxury homes and a full service resort on the site of the old Williams Lake Resort in Rosendale. It has actively blocked efforts to have the water and environmental issues of Williams Lake studied by independent professionals. It seems that HRVR doesn’t want a careful scientific analysis of its project. We, the public are entitled to, and should want nothing less.

HRVR wants to cut corners and ignore significant factors which could have serious consequences. They have marketed this project in “green” in an attempt to have the public and potential buyers believe that they have paid attention to the environment and the issues that are specific to the Williams Lake eco-system. Having plans to build energy efficient homes and using environmentally friendly materials is commendable, and ultimately will be good for their bottom line. Failing to adequately assess the impact of 160 luxury homes and the construction of a full scale resort on a fragile piece of land is simply wrong.

We live here and want to make sure that today’s plans for a massive project are well thought out and that the consequences are understood.

It’s time to speak up and let the DEC and our public officials know that we don’t want this project rammed through. We’ve too often seen the effects of ignoring environmental safeguards.

David Friedman

New Paltz


RESIST THE GAMBLING PRESSURE

Senator Schumer, a tireless lobbyist for more casinos in New York State can breathe a sigh of contentment as he has finally achieved his goal. On June 14 the Interior Department reversed its ban on Indian tribes building casinos in sites distant from their reservations. A flood of new casino proposals can be expected, involving Catskill as well as other sites, as distant tribes and their developers take aim at the lucrative New York City market. This new ruling by the Interior Department ignores the provision of the Indian Gaming Act of 1988 which prohibits off-reservation casinos except in special circumstances.

Senator Schumer and other politicans who support casino expansion talk of economic development and tax dollars for Albany’s coffers but never talk about the harms of casinos — economic damage to local businesses, increases in crime, traffic, bankruptcies, suicides, and other effects of pathological and problem gambling — on the localities involved.

I am not a prohibitionist but I do believe we should resist the persistent pressure of the gambling industry to permeate our communities and our way of life. Money talks so citizens have to talk even louder.

Arnold Lieber

Saugerties


THE ROAD IS OPEN

Of all the Jews who hate their fellow Jews, possibly the most despicable are the hypocritical, righteous kind. While there is plenty of reasons to criticize the Israeli government, Israel’s right to protect itself and not allow shipments of arms, rockets and explosives into Gaza is unquestionable. Furthermore Israel does not restrict humanitarian aid flow into Gaza, it just insists on delivery of all goods to the nearby ports of Ashdod, or Alexandria (Egypt) where ships can be checked for weapons meant to be deployed against Israel’s citizens and only the legitimate humanitarian aid to be trucked into Gaza, together with the daily flow of goods from Israel into the Palestinian territories. Let us check some facts our missionary local Jewry prefers to ignore: In August 2005, Israel completely withdrew from Gaza. While right wing activists insisted on demolishing the high tech greenhouses that housed the thriving strawberry industry, which counted for 40 percent of Gaza’s economy, other resisted. $14 million were privately raised by Israelis and American Jews, who bought the greenhouses and donated them to the Palestinians. However, on the day the Israelis pulled out, the Gazans, with their ingrained hatred, smashed the greenhouses because they were once owned by Jews. Within 36 hours it was all gone. So where do you get the audacity to blame Israel for their high unemployment? Lack of housing? Or Health services?

Hamas spent millions of dollars on rockets, but not a penny on building roads, hospitals, housing, or a school. In fact when you get off the boat visit Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, or the hospital in Beer Sheva and see how many Palestinians are being treated for free, while the Israeli tax payers foot the bill. Is that human rights violation, or humanitarian care? Israelis pay for Gazans’ health services, while they spend their money on death.

Arabs are unhappy in Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Alger, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain and Tunis. I guess you’d fault Israel for that as well. Khaddafi and Assad, blame everyone but themselves for their mess, so does Hamas in Gaza. I hope you get a good cup of coffee on the boat, because you need to wake up and smell the truth. And if you get tired of the boat, you can simply walk to Gaza via Egypt, the road is open. Even better, unload your ship in Sudan, where genocide continues for more than a decade and pour your compassionate heart into a true and just cause.

Mirav Ozeri

Mt. Tremper


JESUS SAYS ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN

It was not a proud day for the State of New York when the legal definition of marriage was changed to include same-sex partners. Tragic fruits will result from turning our backs on God and the respect for faith of the forefathers of our country.

All people, including homosexuals, deserve compassion and love, but Jesus Christ was clear that marriage can only be the lifelong union of one man and one woman. That covenant was ordained by God and the state has no authority to alter this eternal truth.

It is also disappointing that this bill was an eleventh hour result of special interest politics in Albany. Had more time been taken to thoughtfully consider this issue and listen to each other, a better way could have been found. No matter what slings and arrows may be thrown, people of faith must bear witness to the teachings of Jesus Christ, marriage, and the family as instituted by God.

Johann Christoph Arnold

Senior Pastor, Woodcrest Community

Rifton


SUCCESSFUL SOUP DRIVE

Volunteers from the Good Neighbor Food Pantry gathered outside the Sunflower Natural Foods Market on Saturday and solicited donations of soup or money. This enthusiastic group of people included Thurman Greco, Lisa Calcagno, Ann King, Marylou Paturel, Barbara Velasquez, Karen White, and others. This group of people also included the many people who made donations to the pantry willingly and generously as they shopped at the Sunflower.

At the end of the day, all the food was hauled over to the pantry in the basement of the Woodstock Reformed Church on Tinker Street. The generosity of the members of the Woodstock Reformed Church has been extended to the pantry for many years. In the beginning, the pantry served about 20-40 people weekly and was open only on Thursday mornings. With the current recession, the numbers of low-income families forced to choose between rent, health care and groceries has been growing. The Good Neighbor Food Pantry is now serving about 1000 people each month and it has been necessary to open the pantry on Wednesday afternoons as well as Thursday mornings.

Throughout the years, the pantry has been housed in a corner room in the basement. Both the volunteers and shoppers at the pantry are grateful for the unending generosity of the parishioners of the Woodstock Reformed Church. To me, this ongoing experience is not about charity for poor people. The pantry is bringing people together to share food and create a community where we strive to help everyone feel comfort, safety, and welcome.

If you would like to participate in this pantry event but were unable to, it is not too late. Simply send a check to the Good Neighbor Food Pantry, c/o Woodstock Reformed Church, 16 Tinker St., Woodstock, NY 12498.

Thanks.

Thurman Greco

Woodstock


TUNING IN, FADING OUT

LilyRose Marks (June 23) helped me to organize some thoughts that I have also had about WAMC. I greatly appreciate (and financially support) that station. I have also benefitted tremendously from NPR for almost 40 years in various locations around the U.S. where I have lived and traveled. One of the pleasures of a trip is to tune into different NPR affiliates as others fade out, and listen to their differences and similarities in programming. In N.Y. that could mean listening to North Country radio as one drives south from Canada, near Plattsburgh or Potsdam, picking up WAMC on the way down the Northway, and then hearing WSKG as one turns southwest on I-88 toward Oneonta and Binghamton. However, now these smaller, more local stations have competition from the Big Box Boy out of Albany. It’s surprising that NPR affiliates would be competing, and does not make sense in light of decreasing public funding and limited listener dollars. As Marks notes, while WAMC expands its number of translators to increase its geographic range, the need for more funds grows, as seen by its escalating fund drives. Unfortunately, the increasing range of WAMC reminds me of the spread of stores like Wal-Mart into communities that had thriving locally-owned downtown retail districts; how many stores (and listener-supported radio stations) can be sustainably supported within a limited population, and how can the needs of a locale be best met? National retail chains and national radio companies contribute to a dilution of local character and to local business responsibility to the community. Bill McKibben, a great friend of WAMC as Alan Chartock has described him, has written clearly about the benefits of local radio (and locally-owned economies) in “Deep Economy.” It may be wise to urge restraint on the expansion of our excellent Albany-based station into other locales, for economic and social reasons.

Rich Feldman

Shokan


FREE SPENDING

It’s rare to read such a concise appraisal of our dysfunctional town board as that given by Geddy Sveikauskas in last week’s Woodstock Times.

According to Geddy, “It is shameful that after four years in the town’s highest elective office the town supervisor in his recent statement couldn’t do better than assign to all the Woodstockers the task of discussing the responsibilities of the town to its young people.”… “Because of the passivity of the town board, the Woodstock Youth and Family Council has had to take on the task of rising $10,000 for a much-enriched summer program for the youth of our community.”

Geddy shouldn’t have been surprised by the supervisor’s response. Two weeks ago, when explaining the $300,000 budget shortfall, Supervisor Moran observed, “Woodstock’s taxpayers must determine the level of municipal services that they require and what they are willing to pay for such services.” Apparently the supervisor believes the residents are responsible for managing the budget process, not the town board.

When it comes to spending on architects, lawyers, engineers and consultants, the town board has no problem finding the money. The legal fees defending the town against “serious legal consequences’ because of Deputy Supervisor Terrie Rosenblum’s failure to create an acceptable Comeau stewardship plan in the18 months allowed would have easily paid for the enriched youth summer program.

In spite of the budget problems, the town board continues to spend freely on lawyers and consultants without any obvious benefit for the town while essential services go unfunded. It’s time for the town board to accept its responsibility for managing the town’s budget and curtail their frivolous spending on unnecessary laws and projects.

Ken Panza

Woodstock


GROVELING AT THEIR FEET

There is something pathetic in the way Bibi Netanyahu wipes the floor with our president. Obama simply stated that peace between the Palestinians and Israelis should be based on the 1967 border, the position that all past U.S. presidents have taken — the position that an overwhelming number of other countries in the world have taken.

And yet, Bibi rubbed poor Obama’s nose in what he had said, publicly refusing to even consider such an idea, while rushing tens of thousands of new Israeli settlers into the occupied West Bank.

Then Bibi spoke before the U.S. Congress and got 29 standing ovations. His message? That Israel will continue to flout international law by ethnically cleansing even more Palestinian people from their homeland, and that Israel doesn’t need U.S. military assistance (although the $3 billion per year to Israel better keep on coming). Cheers and more cheers.

What makes our government fawn over this racist leader of the world’s most vicious apartheid state? Are they so fearful of the Israeli lobby that they would get down on their knees if they were told to?

Not one peep about the U.S. citizens murdered by Israel’s wanton violence: Rachel Corrie, Furkan Dogan, or the 34 crew members of the U.S. Liberty. Will our leaders dare say anything to protect the 50 brave American citizens sailing to Gaza this week to break the blockade? Or will our president and our congress shame us once again by groveling at the feet of the Israeli lobby?

Fred Nagel

Rhinebeck


SOMETHING AMISS

Lao-Tsu left town (Imperial China) on a water-buffalo. Jesus came into town (Rome) on a donkey. Buddha left his father’s estate, fell in love (found enlightenment) under a Bo tree.

St. Francis forsook his father’s mercantile wealth, walked barefoot through Assisi. We incarcerated Sitting Bull a million times over, and ourselves, with roads and shopping-malls. Mt. Rushmore has grown obese.

Socrates found a cure for this Gordian-knot psycho-political headache: hemlock. Alas, something has been amiss for a very, very long time. What could it be?

Ask the centipede. He lives in Woundstock.

Ron Rybacki

Woodstock


MORE ABOUT ME

I am a large land mammal.

Born here in 1956.

Ran two businesses in town, so I know what it takes to scratch out a living here.

My mother was a Democrat, my father was a Republican, and I loved them both. I suppose that is why I’m non-enrolled and that’s why I need your help to get on the ballot. I was raised to be self sufficient. I like to carry my own water, so asking for help does not come easy for me, but here goes.

Starting on July 12, I will be circulating a petition. Your signature in no way obligates you to vote for me, it merely gets me on the ballot as a choice. So if you are a registered voter in the town of Woodstock and have not signed a petition for anyone for town supervisor you can be my new best friend. Here is a phone number where you can reach me if you are interested, or if you want to find out more about me: 845-802-6472. I live on the edge of radio free Bearsville, so don’t get discouraged if you get sent to voice mail, I’m good about returning phone calls.

Thanks.

Lorin Rose

Bearsville


THE LIGHTS ARE ON

Do you ever wonder why the lights are on when the Woodstock Public Library is closed?

It is because the building is being used by groups in our community who need a free place to meet.

With the exception of Mondays, when the building is cleaned and repaired, our library is bustling. In 2010 our library had about 100,000 visitors. Officially open 43 hours, five days a week, we can check out books and videos, use the computers, read or attend a variety of story hours and programs for teens. (WiFi is available outside at all times.)

Our library also sponsors some after-hour activities: literature discussion groups, a monthly library board meeting, as well as FORUM three Saturday evenings a month and live music once a month. Check the library website for event times: www.woodstock.org. There are also nine groups that are not library sponsored but meet there anyway. Isn’t that wonderful? Woodstock Public Library is there for us all to use, like a community park n a building. Our library is in use 58 hours a week with meetings on Sunday, early Wednesday morning, and after hours most weeknights! That is why the lights are on.

Our Woodstock Public Library doors are open to everyone, even when it isn’t open!

Katryna Barber

Woodstock


DISTRICT VOTE ON WATER TESTING

I am in receipt of the complete “packet” from the DEC, as a contiguous neighbor to the proposed Woodstock Commons project by RUPCO.

As I read it, “no clearing of trees is allowed between April 1 and September 30.” That box is “checked off” on the permit, number 3-5158-00179/0000. To me, that means no work can begin until September 30 and when the DEC conditions are met, as well as an extension in funding is granted.

The last thing we want is an abandoned project after the land is further “disturbed” by RUPCO, as it has already been to some extent. I hope that funding applications are fully accurate, as in the past we have had questions.

If the Town Board must make a decision based on the conditions spelled out by the DEC, then that will take the time to complete the tests etc. that are required. How do we know how much these tests will cost ahead of time? Who knows what will be found?

The water district users will end up funding the “conditions” of the DEC permit and many of these are the same people who are against building Woodstock Commons in that location. How can that be legal or fair? It has been 26 years since some tests have been done. Why has this been ignored for 2 ½ decades?

We insist that, at the very least, if it goes as far as the water district users having to pay an unknown amount for testing and repairs etc., that it be put to a vote first to see if that is want we, the users want. We will be the ones to carry the burden of any mistakes. If we would have to pay, then we must get to decide. Our homes have already been devalued and then there would be a levy. Where is this money supposed to come from, especially from those of us on low fixed incomes?

Just say “no.”

Phyllis Lane

Woodstock

Editor’s note: According to Guy Kempe of RUPCO, the prohibition against clearing trees between April 1 and September 30 was a condition of the DEC wetlands/discharge permit (as opposed to the water permit recently issued to the town). The prohibition related to the possibility that migrating Indiana bats might roost on the property during the period in question. As previously reported in Woodstock Times, RUPCO last January removed trees that were a potential roosting habitat for the bats. All of the tree clearing, according to Kempe, took place outside the wetlands and buffer areas. The DEC was unaware of this action, but has since been informed of it. In conclusion, there is no current prohibition against tree clearing on the project site.


I HEART THE DEC

It’s hard to believe a state agency had to step in and do what the town of Woodstock should have done before green-lighting the massive housing development proposed by RUPCO. I’m grateful for the DEC’s diligence and independence, neither of which seems to exist in this quaint little town of ours. Also, thank you to Robin Segal who continues to stand up against not only the town, but a nasty for-profit developer who happily resorts to insults and accusations when things don’t go their way. Here’s hoping the town will finally do the right thing for our water, our wetlands and the people who live here.

Cheryl Chapman

Woodstock


SUPPORTING KIDS HISTORY CLUB

This past weekend the Historical Society of Woodstock presented the “Talking Houses” project. Local kids in the recently formed Kids History club chose buildings in town that fascinated them. They researched the history, wrote narratives and created large cardboard replicas of the buildings. Many of the buildings were from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s!

On Saturday, it all came together in a performance for the public at the Eames House on the Comeau property. I would like thank the children Adam, Carmen, Helen, James, Raphael and Kelly for their tireless work on this project! I would also like to thank the many adults that helped us bring this project to fruition.

Those are Linda Schultz for art instruction, Amy Raff, director of the Woodstock Library for helping us explore the Woodstock Collection, Mark Plate the town assessor and his office for helping find information, the Ulster County records and tax records staff, Janine and John Mower, Tim at Tinker Toys Too, Maria at Maria’s Bazaar and Gladys Plate for interviews, Catskill Art Supply, and Russell Richardson for videotaping. A huge thanks goes to JoAnn Margolis, archivist at the Historical Society for her help finding facts and her constant collaboration on the project.

And as always, thanks to the parents of the kids in the History Club for their enthusiasm and flexibility and the Historical Society for their support and encouragement.

Talking Houses is part of the recently formed ongoing series of programming for children which includes a Victory Garden and our exciting new summer program both of which are at the Eames House on the Comeau property: Three days of workshops called “Our Local History’s Story” July 25, 26, and 27th. The three days are themed Embracing The Land: What Indigenous cultures can teach us; Hearing Woodstock’s Story: Oral History and Science; and Artists and Nature: Artists who lived here, nature and art. Children will be going out into the community as part of these workshops.

Thanks again for the community participation in Talking Houses, both those that helped make this happen and to the many people that came out to see and hear what we found.

Jill Olesker, Coordinator of children’s programs

Woodstock


FREE TO MARRY, NOT TO ENJOY WATER

Friday the New York State Senate passed marriage equality, following in the legislative footsteps of the Assembly. We are free to marry whom we wish.

However, we are not free to enjoy clean air or water that can be polluted by horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HHF). So now it’s time for the New York State Senate to follow again in the footsteps of the Assembly that has passed a bill to extend the moratorium on hydro-fracking for natural gas. We need a moratorium for another year of research before beginning to hydro-frack and devastate our state. In fact we may see that banning HHF is the best solution!

Either Governor Andrew Cuomo brings back the Senate now to vote, or he takes matters into his own hands with an Executive Order. Either way the Governor can be our new environmental hero. Call the Governor now at 877-255-9417 and ask everyone you know to do the same.

Rosalyn Cherry

New Paltz


KIDS TELL THE STORY OF WOODSTOCK

Last Saturday the Woodstock History Kids Club, an ongoing program of the Historical Society of Woodstock, presented a wonderful program titled Talking Houses. As part of the program local school children selected and researched the history and the stories of a number of buildings in town. As I listened to their presentations, I was reminded that our buildings have their own tales to tell and that they are integral part of what makes Woodstock, well...Woodstock. I want to thank the members of the club for all the hard work they put in researching and uncovering the history behind our structural landscape. I also want to thank Jill Olesker for her work leading the program. Her continued efforts towards instilling in young Woodstockers a sense of history and a respect for our past is a reminder that the responsibility for our local history is one that falls to all of us.

As Woodstock debates the fate of Town Hall (don’t sell); as what remains of Meads Mountain House is soon to become a memory, the messages of the children last Saturday seemed to hit home even harder. When buildings are no more or are altered beyond what they once were, our town is also altered. Imagine the additional stories club members might have uncovered if the old Longyear House, or the once proud Woodstock Hotel still stood. It matters not whether they meet the strict criteria for inclusion on the state or federal list of historic structures, rather, it concerns what each building brings, in its own unique way, to that which we call Woodstock. To some, they may be nothing more than an assortment of lumber and/or bricks, but, as the members of the Woodstock Kids History Club reminded us last Saturday, each building has a story to tell, stories that, when woven together, help form the foundation that is our shared history.

Richard Heppner,

Town Historian

Woodstock


DEMS FOR THE PEOPLE, REPUBS FOR THE RICH

Our representatives in Congress are supposed to be working for middle-class Americans, not just their multi-millionaire donors.

Unfortunately, congressional Republicans are doing the opposite by proposing to disassemble Medicare, cut education and eliminate much of our social safety net, while at the same time extending tax cuts for millionaires and corporations. They are doing nothing to create jobs. It’s not fair that the average millionaire gets over $100,000 a year in tax breaks while families struggle with a shattered economy and 9.1% unemployment.

This isn’t about deficits, it’s about who our government is working for. Conservatives in Congress have demonstrated, that they’re working for the corporations and the wealthy elite.

The only political party that has balanced the budget in the last 50 years in this country is the Democrats. Republicans don’t care about your money. They’ll say they do at election time, but then they give it away to the corporations in the form of subsidies and tax cuts.

Actually, 60 percent of the projected deficit by 2019 will be caused by the Bush tax cuts. If we only did one thing and went back to the tax rates we were paying when Bill Clinton was president of the United States, 60 percent of the deficit would disappear.

Progressive champions Jan Schakowsky and Bernie Sanders have introduced bills in both houses of Congress to make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.

Progressives in Congress intend to end the Bush era tax cuts and make Congress more responsive to working people. Conservatives in Congress have a plan to end Medicare and give more tax breaks to millionaires. It has already passed the House and is being supported by nearly every Republican in the Senate.

The Democrats have the President and a slim majority of supporters in the Senate.

Jim O’Leary

Delhi


IS NOTHING SACRED

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of “big oil” t.v. ads promoting what are termed the “advantages” of hydrofracking for the past several months. Not that they use the term hydrofracking, of course, but the safe drilling and retrieval story these ads promote are total lies. As if these ads weren’t bad enough they have also added the “tar sands” ads, again, presenting the extraction of oil from these sources as being achievable via “environmentally friendly” methods. More lies! Several of their “pitch people” are as slick as slime. But they have truly hit the lowest of the low with their use of little children to “rote speak” their lies as if, 1) those children really had a clue about the actual facts and 2) we listener’s have I.Q.’s equal to our shoe sizes and will simply believe what these “cute little children” are saying! Is nothing sacred? Have they no qualms about using children in their attempts to brain-wash the public? I won’t even touch on the subject of the kind of parents that would allow their children to be so mis-used.

The implications are that to not take advantage of “These sources of natural gas that are sufficient to supply the entire country for the next 100 years” is akin to treason. The CEO of Central Hudson recently stated he was in favor of hydrofracking. This should come as no surprise. Had he spoken the truth he would be out on his ear! It is essential that each and every one of us rise up and fight against these moneyed conglomerates. We all need to contact our elected representatives and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that the environmental damages these actions will cause is far too dear a price to pay. If they ignore our pleas, then we should vote them out of office in November, and every November until only far-sighted and responsible representatives are in every office. We, our children and all future generations deserve the peace of mind the knowledge that our water tables will not be contaminated will bring. The toxic chemicals used in the process of hydrofracking will poison not only the water tables, but the soil as well as the air. The heavy equipment necessary to extract what are truly minimal amounts of oil from tar sands decimate everything in the area. Wake Up people! Speak out! Our government is supposed to be “Of the people, by the people, for the people,” not “Of the conglomerates, by the CEO’s, for the Senators, Congressmen and Lobbyists.”

Unless we all press the issue of renewable energy sources as the only sensible avenue to pursue this country is headed for an ever-more dismal future and our progeny, as well as all domestic and wild life forms will be left to suffer the dire consequences. Can you live with that on your conscience? I can’t.

Mary Phillips Burke

Woodstock


YOUTH CENTER SERVES 700 PER MONTH

Please accept this letter, which we write in order to address a misstatement in “Building Bricks” June 23, 2011. Your reporter began the article incorrectly, stating: “Russell Richardson […] became program director of Woodstock’s Youth Center in January.” In fact, The Town contracted Open Space, Music, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization of which Mr. Richardson is an employee, for the six-month period from January 1 through June 30. This arrangement, as correctly reported, was to provide an opportunity for Mr. Richardson, the director of the former Indie Program, to seek private funds to provide extracurricular learning opportunities for the youth of Woodstock and surrounding towns.

Woodstock’s Youth Center, one of four in the entire county, services six to seven hundred youths each month. In addition to the Youth Center’s six-figure budget, more than 99 percent of which is directly funded by Woodstock’s taxpayers, the Town provides material and financial support to our excellent Summer Recreation program as well as to our thriving Little League Baseball and Youth Soccer programs.

The Youth Center, a Town facility, is open to youths ages 11 to 18 years from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays; the Center’s Skate Park is open in dry weather.

The Center’s competent staff arranges and conducts field trips, actively engages with the boys and girls in various ways in- and out-of-doors, and maintains a safe and supportive environment.

At the upcoming Town Board meeting of Tuesday, July 12 at 7:15 p.m. at the Comeau Building, Assistant Youth Director Patrick Acker will present to the Board a report covering the first six months of 2011, and will discuss his plans for upcoming field trips and expanded recreational and instructional programming. As always, we encourage you to attend in person or tune in to Channel 23.

Jeff Moran, Cathy Magarelli, Bill McKenna, Terrie Rosenblum, and Jay Wenk — the Woodstock Town Board.


JOY AND FEAR

Yesterday I awoke and turned on the television, to hear that gay marriage was now here in my home state. I now can consider taking advantage of my new civil rights, as part of our 41 year relationship. Joy! Yesterday, I ran into friends of about 25 years and told them of my new happiness. I was not sure of their feelings and I was right, they were angry and asked me to leave.

Sixty-six years ago I was removed from my family because of a suicide attempt because I was a fairy. I was, at age 14, not welcomed back home. Now at the age of 80, it has come full circle to fear. If I proceed to take advantage of my civil rights, will I now be threatened and unsafe in my home and community?

Ralph Goneau

Woodstock


TERRIE’S MY CHOICE

Terrie Rosenblum will be my choice as the Democratic candidate for Woodstock Town Supervisor. I met Terrie at an Ulster County Democratic Women’s meeting. I have known her for many years. Terrie has impressed me with her breadth of knowledge of the rules and regulations concerning Woodstock Town business and government. She is very thorough and reads all the fine print…Terrie has essential leadership skills. Terrie is a good listener. Terrie makes reasoned educated decisions based on knowledge of the subject. She thinks long and hard while considering the impact on the people and taxes of Woodstock. She then uses studied common sense before voting. Terrie Rosenblum has been a resident in Woodstock for over 40 years. She knows and understands the history of how Woodstock operates. She uses this past information to move forward and keep current. You know where Terrie stands and you can trust her discretion. I will vote for Terrie Rosenblum based on her current performance and willingness to work for everyone in Woodstock.

Audrey G. Yacos

Woodstock


WHY I’M RUNNING

My mother was an avid hiker of the trails and old roads around the Town of Woodstock. In later years, she ran a bed & breakfast that encouraged guests to explore the beautiful landscape of the area. The valleys, streams and wetlands of the Catskill Mountains were then (and are today) a natural attraction for people from far and wide.

There are those who see environmentalists and environmental issues as merely an obstacle to land development and the streamlining of Town government. In Woodstock, I see them as working in a complement fashion to assure viable and sustainable progress. In fact, more than most other communities in Ulster County, Woodstock relies on this natural beauty to attract tourists, sustain property values and produce an unsurpassed quality-of-living.

Case in point is our Wetland and Watercourse Protection Law (WWPL). As Town development continues and there is less suitable land available to build on, it will inevitably lead to the use of environmentally sensitive areas. These areas, the majority of which are left unprotected by State or federal law, serve very valuable environmental functions and should be treated appropriately. They filter and replenish the water supply. Watercourses prevent erosion, bank failures and flooding. The Town needs to use the WWPL as a tool to complement sustainable, strategic development. Any other attempt to make substantive changes to the law would be irresponsible.

In the campaign for a position on the Town Board, I have found that most Woodstock residents share my position on the environment. I continue to reach out to all registered Democrats to sign my nominating petition. If you would like to sign on, please call me at (845) 514-0004 or email me at crossforwoodstock@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

Peter Cross, Woodstock Town Board candidate

Woodstock


HISTORY YOUTH

A splendid performance of five young people took place on Saturday, June 25 at the Woodstock Historical Society. Their leaders, Jill Olesker and JoAnn Traub worked tirelessly with the young people who are all part of a local history club headed by Jill Olesker. Bravo and encore performance at WAAM soon.

Abigail Robin

Kingston


EXCITED ABOUT THE PLAYHOUSE

We would like to take this time to say how excited we are about the renovation and reopening of the Woodstock Playhouse. Having peeked inside, we are amazed at the beauty of the new construction. For years traveling to Hudson, Ellenville, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz or Rhinebeck were the only options to see theater in a large and comfortable venue. How wonderful it will be to have a luxurious theater right in our town of Woodstock.

Thank you New York Conservatory of the Arts for reviving the playhouse. Here’s hoping that the community residents will come out and support the theater to help make it a complete success.

Geri and Jerry Garfinkle

Woodstock


WHO WANTS TO PAY

Last week Jay Wenk wrote a letter to this paper urging people in the water district to call or email the members of the town board if they don’t want to pay upwards of $80,000 to test the water so that RUPCO could hook up to the system.

I think the question should have been “would the people in the water district who want to spend upward of $80,000 call the town board members and let them know?”

Robin Kramer

Woodstock Water District


BATTERY POWER

I read somewhere that a one hundred square mile area of solar panels could power the whole country. Imagine all the mall parking lots in the country covered with solar panels. Why, we could power the world!

Cars would park under the panels and every space could have an outlet for recharging our electric cars.

Perhaps Woodstock, with state grants etc., could cover its parking lots with solar panels and power the town. Excess electric that goes back into the grid might provide some income for the town. We could be an example for the world!

Of course there’s always the problem of what to do when the sun don’t shine. Baghdad batteries perhaps!

Greg Stephens

Bearsville


WOODSTOCK DOG PARK

The Woodstock Dog Park is officially open. Special Thanks to the members of the Dog Park Task Force that made this happen: Walt Bollenbach, Lee Danziger, Marie Duane, Kari Hastings, Hatti Iles, Teri Reynolds and Laura Ricci.

The park is located in the woods at Mallory Grove. From the village take Route 212 West, make a left turn on Dixon Avenue and a left at the Rick Volz Little League area.

All are invited to use the park with well socialized dogs.

Please keep your dogs leashed until you get inside the park gates...Of course, please clean up after your dogs (poop bags are available). Bring your own water and bowl. Dog etiquette is appreciated. Please read the park’s regulations sign.

Enjoy!

Fran Breitkopf

Woodstock


TEDDY BEAR

Last night, while meditating, the phrase “Kingston is a teddy bear town” came into my mind. (Clearly this referred to Kingston, New York.) I report this phrase in case it has any meaning.

Sparrow

Phoenicia


NO DUELING PLEASE

I read Deputy Supervisor Rosenblum’s remarks in last week’s paper and surprised even myself at how quickly I was able to subdue my visceral disgust at her shamelessness — her “all evidence aside” pandering to a constituency she apparently believes has not seen, heard, read, nor otherwise paid any attention to her central role in the municipal pall that is cast over so much of Woodstock these days.

As someone whose own “civic awakening” occurred precisely because of the refusals of these so-called leaders to tap into the “openness,” “creativity” and “volunteerism” all around them, which they now claim to hold so dear, I admit to a great temptation to refute, citing chapter and verse, the many contemptible hypocrisies, illegalities, swiftboatings and other indignities thrust upon their constituents, employees (and fellow board member, Jay Wenk) in the name of “getting things done (or not done)” by authoritarian fiat. But somehow I managed to wrap up all that unhealthy and unhelpful negativity, fold it into a tiny triangle of paper, and flick it right off my desk into the dustbin of history. I join those who thank Jeremy Wilber for promptly and publicly addressing concrete issues raised by fellow citizens, and I challenge Terrie Rosenblum and all our candidates to do the same.

It is hardly “name calling and accusations” to ask someone seeking public office to answer for his or her record. Nor is it “nasty rhetoric” and “bullying” to hold our public officials to account, and to seek clarity and specificity as to their claimed skills and qualifications. This is more aptly described as “the democratic process.”

Joe Nicholson

Woodstock


CIRCLING THE BLOCK

It seems that my remarks were seriously misinterpreted by your reporter George Pattison in last week’s Woodstock Times (“Mission Accomplished,” June 23) on the discussion of the parking situation in town. I referred to a past Woodstock Library Forum presentation “Parking and Planning Opportunities in Woodstock” given by traffic engineer Georges Jacquemart on December 6, 2008, where he suggested to free up parking in the center of town, shop owners and employees should park in outlying parking areas. I related how one had to circle the block several times just to pick up an item at the Hardware store. Mr. Pattison can review the discussion by going to Woodstocktv.org on his computer, selecting the last town board meeting and moving the slider to 1:14 to review my remarks.

As the presentation by Mr. Jacquemart was an interesting and a forward looking view of traffic engineering, I will submit the video of Mr. Jacquemart’s presentation to Woodstock’s Public Access station channel 23 for viewing next week. The general public may find it of interest.

David Menzies

Woodstock

George Pattison responds:

I stand by the story.


OUR TOWN

I just came back from a meeting of one of the Ulster County Committees. Clearly the economic atmosphere is not expected to get better in the near future.

With the growing anxiety that is spreading around the globe, many of us are turning to what our own community has to offer. What do others find when they come here?

The town offers a children’s Summer Recreation Camp program, run by the town. We have a town tennis court, adult pick-up soft ball games, a basketball court, a child’s playground, a skate park and more, all at Andy Lee Field. There are children’s playgrounds at Rick Volz Field and the Woodstock elementary school. We have beautiful serene public areas and swimming at Little Deep and Big Deep. We have Wilson State Park in Wittenberg, with walking trails and boat rentals. We have a dog park at Mallory Grove.

There are hiking trails at Mink Hollow Road, Mt Guardian, Silver Hollow, Overlook Mtn., the Tremper Mountain Trail in Willow, and a lot more. A brochure that will point to the locations of our many, mostly free, recreational gems, for us as well as visitors, would be a valuable resource.

One of our jobs as members of the Town Board is to respond to the changing needs of our populous.

We need to create pocket parks and vista areas to enhance, admire and preserve this incredibly beautiful and unique place that we call home. Working together, we can do it frugally.

As your next supervisor I will continue to use the task force concept that has been so successful. It nurtures the cooperative community spirit that brings Woodstock back to its roots. I welcome the ideas that you have to enrich our town.

Terrie Rosenblum,

candidate for Town Supervisor

Woodstock


WHAT ARE OUR VALUES

I moved to Woodstock over 13 years ago because one of my wife’s best friends lives there and one day she said “We’re going shopping today in Woodstock” and I said “What are you going to shop for?” and she said “A house.” She called me a few hours later and said “Well, I think we own a house” and I said “I hope I like it.” So that’s how I came to live here. But what happened when I moved here was that I fell in love with the spirit of the town and felt as though I had come home.

What I fell in love with was how the town always came together to take care of one another. Before we actually had moved in, we went to Christmas Eve on the Village Green and it was snowing. What could I say to that? I felt I was blessed to live here and wanted to give something back and volunteered to serve one of the town’s boards and was eventually put on the Telecommunications Committee and later the Environmental Commission, which I am honored to Chair. I’ve also volunteered to put on the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, which to me are among the proudest moments we share. I still feel blessed and still want to serve the town.

We will have some choices to make over the next few years of where we will spend our money and how we will continue the spirit of serving one another. These are my choices: We need to keep our business community vibrant. That does not mean turning the town into a strip mall. It does mean having rational standards with which our businesses must comply that are applied uniformly. It means that we have to analyze the effect that seemingly attractive quick fixes will have on the town’s businesses.

We have to care for our seniors and we have to care for our children. The seniors are the source of our legacy and children are the reason we pass it on. For us to say that we don’t have enough money to spend on them because we have wasted it on lawsuits and lawyers’ fees is a betrayal of everything I believe we stand for.

If you nominate me to run on the Democratic ticket and elect me to serve, I will listen, discuss, think and decide, in that order. We haven’t had enough of that and we need it.

David Gross

Woodstock

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