Thank you for the excellent article about the King’s Inn charrette (July 20 Kingston Times) that was held on July 16.
The wonderful thing about the event was the substantial community and public involvement it engaged. Your article was thorough, well written and reflected the importance of the day.
The fact that so many people, including a significant number of local architects, took the time to participate is very exciting and encouraging. People care about their community — our community. Ultimately, the key to redevelopment of the King’s Inn property will depend upon a private developer implementing a financially viable project. I hope that the ideas brought forth will inspire and help the process move forward more swiftly.
Kingston deserves it.
Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Play’s got it all
For those of you have not yet seen the play about Sam Cooke’s life, Where You Been Baby, do yourself a favor and see it this weekend (July 30 and 31) at the Woodstock Community Center at 8. It is a great theater experience — soul-stirring, foot-tapping, hand-clapping fabulous evening of theater. A very talented cast gives a great performance. The play’s got it all — drama, passion, politics and, of course, great music.
Paterson’s selfless crusade
We must all applaud the bravery of Governor Paterson in trying to save the state from financial meltdown. The easy way would have been to tax millionaires, big banks and Wall Street a little more. But that would have been picking on a very small, unpopular minority. Nobody likes that 1 percent of the population that owns everything and continues to make million-dollar salaries during this prolonged recession. In fact, about 90 percent of US citizens want to tax the rich and big corporations more.
So you have to hand it to Paterson, going against the popular sentiment to do the right thing. How noble his purpose as he cuts budget spending for public schools, health care, retirees and the handicapped.
Paterson’s selfless crusade seems to be spreading. Candidate Cuomo has stated flatly that no matter what gets cut, the salaries and profits of billionaires won’t be touched. Even President Obama is getting into the act. After giving a trillion to Wall Street and several trillion to the corporations involved in the invasions and occupations of the Middle East, the federal government is just about broke.
It would be so easy demanding that the bankers give the money back and that our soldiers return home from any number of military adventures abroad. But Obama, with his audacity of hope, is going to take the knife to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, education, etc. Bush tax cuts for the very rich will almost certainly be extended. What courage!
Astrophysics is interesting because we know so little about the biggest thing there is: the universe. It seems the more we learn about the universe the bigger it gets, always expanding beyond our grasp. Bob Berman states that “we can only observe 1.6 percent of the universe at best since the light from 98.4 percent of all galaxies will never reach us.” He thinks the cosmos may well be infinite so it will never be understood by us finite beings. “There are too many unknowns,” he writes. “And who can honestly grasp these various infinities of matter, density, space and time?”
There are two possibilities: The universe is finite and we may eventually solve its mysteries. Or the universe is infinite and ultimately unknowable. The data and theories point more and more to an infinite universe, but I think it is far too early in the game to say whether the universe is finite or infinite.
This is an exciting time in astrophysics precisely because we know so little. We are just beginning to explore outer space, the solar system, let alone the universe. There is still much to discover about the cosmos, about 98.4 percent would be my best guess.
No fossil fuel Sunday
Atonement Lutheran Church in Saugerties, Christ’s Lutheran Church in Woodstock and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in West Camp (about to turn 300 years old, by the way), will be observing “No Fossil Fuel Sunday” on Aug. 1.
Our churches will be using as little electricity as possible in our churches for worship, which means no lights in our sanctuaries, no fans, no air conditioning, no use of organs (you know what I mean), no refreshments at coffee hours following worship using electricity (and Lutherans consider coffee hours to be something nearly sacramental), and whoever is not able to walk to our churches is urged to car pool, so that at least three people are in each vehicle arriving at our churches.
Why are we doing this? To call attention to the destruction of our environment due to dirty fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas; to inform BP, Halliburton, Transocean and other dirty fossil fuel and drilling companies that we really do “mean business”; to start an expression of repentance for what we, as consumers, have done to contribute to the oil eruption in the Gulf of Mexico; to challenge our national churches, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to stand up for our social statements and claims about wanting to protect God’s creation; to challenge our government to “come clean” on energy reform because of global climate change. Have you noticed, by the way, how warm it has been this summer so far? Welcome to global climate change.
We have invited Lutheran churches in Kingston to participate in “No Fossil Fuel Sunday,” and we now invite all local faith communities in Saugerties to observe an equivalent sabbath, either this Sunday, Aug. 1 or some other sabbath. We all need to repent and do what we can to heal the earth. Will you join us?
The Rev. Edward R. Schreiber
Atonement Lutheran Church
P.S. I will be walking to Atonement for worship and home from Atonement after worship, a distance of 15 miles. So motorists out and about early Sunday morning, please don’t hit me. I’ll be walking Route 32 from East Kingston into Saugerties, starting at about 5:15 a.m. Sunday. Honk if you see me! And let all of God’s people say Amen!