The Tour of the Catskills is back for a third year, and this year promises to be the most exciting one yet! This year’s finale race features a climb up Platte Clove, a.k.a. Devil’s Kitchen, for the first time in a bike race since the Tour de Trump race in the 1990s. The Tour of the Catskills is a three-day pro/amateur bicycle race that starts Friday, July 30, in Tannersville, is in Windham on Saturday, July 31, and ends on Sunday, Aug. 1, in Hunter.
We are looking for volunteers to help with registration on Friday and road marshals on Saturday and/or Sunday. All volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt and lunch on Sunday with the racers. As an incentive, groups or clubs that bring 10 or more volunteers over the course of the weekend are eligible to receive a $100 donation for their organization. This incentive is open to any kind of group and is not exclusive to athletic organizations. There are three- to four-hour shifts available for just one day or as many as you’d like over the weekend.
The Tour of the Catskills is going to be an exciting event and I encourage everyone to take time for a drive that weekend to come watch some of the race, and please consider volunteering for a few hours. For more information about the race or to volunteer, go to www.tourofthecatskills.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bandstand a great opportunity
During the past few years several attempts have been made to put a decent bandstand at Gallo Park, in the Rondout. Now that the beautiful paved walkway has been completed, there’s never been a better time to add this attraction. To neglect this opportunity is like baking a cake and forgetting the frosting.
Some people may feel that enough money has been spent in the Rondout and other parts of the city should be considered. That’s a legitimate argument if you’re talking about paving streets. Streets, however, are not attractions, and people do not visit Kingston to see the streets. They come to see the attractions.
And it’s not just visitors who check out the attractions. The residents — the voters — check out the attractions. When the bands play in the Rondout 80 percent of the audience are voting seniors who enjoy the music. And they come from every ward in the city.
With a new bandstand we’ll also be seeing movies which will attract a wider, younger audience.
Kingston is fortunate to be able to shift funds from the Carnegie building project to build this bandstand. It can be replaced next year and the delay will not hurt that project.
The Common Council has a wonderful opportunity. I hope they take it.
John P. Heitzman
(Editor’s note: The writer is a former mayor of Kingston.)
Celebrating Hein’s success
Eighteen months into his first term, Mike Hein and his administration have much to be proud of. Beyond the nuts-and-bolts success stories in numerous county departments, Mike’s key political achievement has been to provide leadership where before there was none. While it may be irksome to his political detractors, Mike’s omnipresence is exactly what the county’s voters demanded after decades of not knowing who should get the credit — or more often the blame — for Ulster County’s dysfunctional government. Now we know. And as a result of the significant improvements in the functionality of the County government, there is a lot more credit, and a lot less blame, than there used to be.
The impact of Mike’s leadership extends beyond the county’s borders: the ability of this county to negotiate and cooperate with our neighbors, with Albany and with New York City have all been dramatically improved by the reform of our government and by Mike’s proactive leadership and advocacy for our communities. It is to Mike’s great credit that he has filled this role so successfully with no predecessor to emulate, his never having held elected office before. It’s even more to his credit that he has managed the affairs of the county so successfully in a time of national economic turmoil.
It is a shame that rather than join in the celebration of the success of our new form of government — something that all the citizens of our county can and should be proud of — some on the other side of the aisle skip no opportunity to try to knock Mike down for their own partisan gain. I suppose they just want to go back to the days when they were in charge, back before we elected Mike and Comptroller Elliott Auerbach. You know, the days of high taxes, wasteful spending and no accountability. The good old days for them, perhaps, but not for the citizens of this county.
Julian Schreibman, chair
Ulster County Democratic Party
Support the jobless
Losing your job is a very demoralizing experience. You can blame yourself, feeling like you did something wrong, when you had nothing to do with the economic circumstances surrounding the loss. The Republicans add insult to injury by insinuating that the jobless are slackers, responsible for their own circumstances. The Republicans continue their assault by denying the extension of unemployment benefits. We reject this characterization of American workers who have lost their jobs during this devastating recession. We support the continuation of unemployment benefits for our hard-hit friends and neighbors who are going through hard times.
The Saugerties Democratic Executive Committee
Mike Harkavy, chair
Marcus Arthur, vice chair
Donn Avallone, vice chair
Beth Murphy, secretary
Harriet Tomasko, treasurer.