Much appreciation to Will Dendis for recognizing the flourishing Saugerties artists’ community in his editorial, but I have to say I don’t recognize myself or any Saugerties artist I know in his description. I have never heard anyone refer to her/himself as coming from “East Woodstock,” and I firmly believe that if Saugerties were given the opportunity to rename itself “East Woodstock,” and it were put to a vote, the artists’ community would vote unanimously against, even if there were grant money involved.
Saugerties artists have shown their pride with the Saugerties Artists’ Studio Tour, now in its eighth year, with the art in village store windows, with the horses and with this year’s amazing Palatine Spirit exhibit at the Kiersted House. Artists like Nancy Campbell have made the village of Saugerties a subject for her paintings, artists like Steve Crohn (board of trustees, Saugerties Public Library) have been actively involved in public spirited projects, artists like Barbara Bravo have worked tirelessly to advance the cause of Saugerties as a cultural and tourism mecca.
I grew up in Saugerties, and have all my life been associated with one of our town’s great art attractions, Opus 40. Like my stepfather, Harvey Fite, who courted my mother by taking her to the Saturday night square dances at Wilgus’ General Store, I’m proud to be a resident of High Woods and of Saugerties.
I heard the term “East Woodstock” a few years ago, and I believe it referred to the fact that some Woodstockers’ favorite restaurants are in the town of Saugerties, on Route 212: New World Home Cooking, the Red Onion and the former Blue Mountain Bistro (now Touche). As my family lives in West Saugerties by the Woodstock border, the term became sort of a family joke. Joke, as in not to be taken seriously.
That said, the Saugerties-Woodstock border snakes through some of the most wild and magnificent Catskill Mountain scenery, and I rejoice to be able to celebrate it in my art. I like my life and art to be bigger than the artificial borders set up by humans in their attempts to rein in the natural world. Let’s laugh; it is a joke, right?
CENSUS ALMOST DONE
The 2010 Census is winding down and the village of Saugerties would like to thank everyone who participated in this effort. Even though the basic census is completed, there are still quality control operations which will continue until the end of August.
This years’ census was complicated by budgetary constraints at the Postal Service which did not allow for mailings to post office box holders as in previous census counts. The census workers have had to work extra hard to make sure that all households are counted.
Quality control officers may visit your household this month to double check previously collected information or to check to make sure that you were actually counted. I encourage you to cooperate with these census workers to assure that we are all counted. We need to have a complete count to assure that we are properly represented for federal funding and in votes at the state and national level. All census workers are required to present identification and all census information is confidential.
This year, extra efforts were made to accommodate non-English speaking residents. I wish to thank Awilda Jiminez for her work in the foreign language census desk for the village and town of Saugerties. I also wish to thank our village clerk, Mary Frank, and the deputy census clerk, Anita Yates, for their assistance.
Village of Saugerties census director
KEEP FIGHTING AGAINST FRACKING
New York State Citizens: 1; Gas Industry Lobbyists: 0.
Gas industry lobbyists have spent a lot of time in Albany lobbying our state senators and Assembly members to not pass a moratorium that calls for more study before moving ahead with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York State. Meanwhile, very committed and concerned citizens have also been lobbying these elected representatives to pass a moratorium on fracking, the controversial method to extract natural gas from shale formations by forcing millions of gallons of water, sand and undisclosed chemicals at very high pressure to crack open the shale to release the gas. New York State sits on very large natural gas deposits under the Utica Shale and the Marcellus Shale.
On August 3, 2010, the New York State Senate voted 48 to 9 for a moratorium until May 2011 to study the effects of fracking on water and air quality, environmental safety and public health (bill S.8129B). It is expected an equivalent bill, A.11443B, will be voted on by the assembly in September.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization Common Cause conducted a study called “Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets” to determine the impact of the natural gas industry lobbyists on our elected representatives and appointed officials as they draft and evaluate potential legislation weighing the economic benefits to our state (revenues) against potential environmental catastrophes (risks). Both the individual companies (such as Chesapeake Energy, who spent $658,273 in the first four months of 2010) and the trade associations paid out record amounts to influence the Legislature and the governor. In spite of this flood of lobbying money the New York State Senate chose to approve at least a nine-month delay in issuing permits so they could review and analyze the effects of this form of gas drilling, thereby acting in the best interest of all the people of New York.
Senate majority leader John L. Sampson said that we do not need to look any further than the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico to realize that there is no financial benefit worth risking the safety of New York’s water supply. On the other hand, the moratorium was blasted by an industry group, the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, which said the Senate had “caved” to alarmists who have exaggerated the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, cheating the state out of desperately-needed revenue. This is the industry argument and our senators are not buying it.
The natural gas industry wants this moratorium defeated by the New York State Assembly. Call Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver (212-312-1420) and tell him to bring the moratorium vote to the floor of the Assembly this September. Call your assemblymember (Pete Lopez, 518-943-1371) to ask him to get this bill on the floor and convince others it is the right thing to do. Please ask everyone you know to make these calls. Let’s be sure the Assembly follows in the footsteps of the Senate to protect our natural resources.
GOOD SCHOOL NEWS
This letter is long overdue, and I apologize for that.
Lately, just about all that we hear about our Saugerties School District has been struggling with its finances. And while that might be true, what has been missed is that in this last year, children came to our schools and received a good education. Every school day, good things happen in our buildings – they go unnoticed, quietly, just the way they should. Please know that the children of our district will continue to receive the best education possible as we move into this new academic year.
There are many, many committed professionals in our buildings who come in everyday and give all of their energy, heart and caring to the children of our district. There is so very, very much that goes on in our buildings everyday – education, programs, services, athletics – and it all operates efficiently, without problems and in the best interests of our children. I have both the responsibility and pleasure to witness this on a daily basis.
There are also many parents and businesses in our community who step up to support both our children and our educational programs. Funding for our sports program was developed for this upcoming school year, and an effort to support music, art and library services is well underway.
The same is true for our proms – our junior prom took place on April 23, 2010 at La Mirage in Port Ewen. The junior post prom took place at our own Saugerties Bowler’s Club. Mr. Rob Houtman was kind enough to once again offer his bowling alley for our students to use free of charge. Pizza Star, Barclay Heights Diner and Putt-N-Plus were also generous in their donations towards this event. The folks who put this event together were Candy Latourette, Debbie Littlefield, Patricia Moore, and Sharon Greth. And many parents volunteered their time and energy, making this a wonderful night for over 200 juniors.
Our senior prom took place on May 28, 2010 at the Hillside Manor in Kingston. The senior post prom took place at Wood-N-Wheels in Port Ewen. Many of our community businesses donated generously towards this event: Town of Saugerties Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Saugerties Electric, McDonald’s of Saugerties, Ulster Savings Bank, Stone Pony, Key Bank, Lux Hair Studio, IXL Health and Fitness, Schoonmaker’s, Kiwanis Club of Saugerties, Michael Saporito Photography, Flanigan’s Cleaners, Krause’s Chocolates, Lezette Express, Judy’s Floral Shop, Kingston Nissan, Rip’s Auto Parts, P.A. Lawrence, Inc., Sawyer Motors, Sawyer Savings Bank, Texas Road House Restaurant, Uniforms U.S.A., Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Joseph’s Hairstylist, Center of Health, Hot Towel Barbers, Village Apothecary, Buono Funeral Home, New World Home Cooking, Stop DWI Task Force, Stewart’s, Sam’s Club, Café Mezzaluna, Centerville Fire Company, Mirabella, Ward Backhaus Collision, Riccardi , Morse, Cahill and Mt. Marion Elementary P.T.A., High Woods Reformed Church, The Well, P.C. Smith Hardware, B.P.O.E. Saugerties Lodge Elks, Six Flags – Lake George, Village Diner, American Legion Post 72, The Exchange Hotel, Saugerties Educational Support Association, Reis Group. It is certainly very rewarding to see our community come together as it always does in support of our children to insure their safe enjoyment of their senior year. Approximately 275 seniors had a fabulous evening to celebrate their growth and the upcoming conclusion to their senior high experience.
I apologize to anyone or business I may have inadvertently omitted.
With many debts of gratitude to the administration, faculty, support staff, parents and businesses of our community, I offer my most sincere thank you for a job very well done.
Saugerties high School
SUPPORT NON-MOTORIZED BOATING ON THE ASHOKAN
We are a community group supporting the DEP’s efforts to bring recreational boating to the Ashokan Reservoir. We salute the DEP for its successful pilot program at the Cannonsville Reservoir and look forward to a program suitable to our beautiful Ashokan. As responsible boaters, we will work with the DEP and local environmental groups to ensure a program that is respectful of other recreational activities, environmentally safe, and supports or even enhances the DEP’s efforts to sustain water quality.
Over 750 people have signed a petition, split fairly evenly between paper and online. The idea is simply to publicize the solid support the DEP would have when they bring their recreational boating program, which includes kayaks, canoes, rowing boats, and small sailboats to the Ashokan.
AshokanBoaters.org recommends anyone interested go to the website, where the petition can be signed, paper copies and posters can be downloaded (to be printed out), and lots more information is available. The petition drive will wrap up in September and we expect to have over 1,000 signatures by then.
Curry Rinzler, project manager
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB THANKS COMMUNITY
On Sunday, August 8, the Boys & Girls Club Saugerties Unit held its second annual golf tournament at the Lazy Swan Golf Resort. It was a perfect day for a golf tournament. The event drew a full slate of 18 teams, many of them repeat players from last year.
The tournament was a resounding fundraising success. The club wishes to gratefully acknowledge The Lazy Swan for hosting our tournament again and to the many sponsors and donors listed below who’s contributions helped to make the tournament possible and fun: Bob Sinnott, Allstate; Lazy Swan; Mitchel Pollak; Steve Gierszewski; Dutch Ale House; Center of Health; Dutchess Beer; Blackhead Mountain Golf Club; Rondout Golf Club; Apple Greens Golf Club; Michael Stein; Apollo Mgmt Julia Dart; Thunderhart Golf Club; Mountain Vally Manor; Catskill Golf Club; Wiltwyck Golf Club; Woodstock Golf Club; Jason Brott, Empire Merchants; Lox of Bagels; Windham Golf Club; Kiss My Feet; Duane Dart; IXL; Saugerties Lumber; Rip’s Auto Parts Inc.; Saugerties Fine Wine & Spirits; Candace Johnson; Fehr Bros Industries Inc.; English Garden; Partition Street Wines; Sauger Tees; Saugerties Electric; Greco Motors; Flanigan’s Cleaners; Nelsen Supply; Bob Gehring Trucking; Thomas Roessner State Farm; Louis Fuoco DDS; Holley Carnright, Ulster County district attorney; Al Riozzi Construction; Cliff Tienken Plumbing; Chuck Schirmer Construction; Greg Chorvas; Pappas Construction; The Beer Store; Riverside Pizza; Barclay Heights Diner; Turks Garage; P.C. Smith Hardware; Moorhus Computers; Tony Buono golf; Helsmoortel Realty & Insurance; H.L. Snyder & Sons; Chester Krom Attorney at Law; Village Apothecary; Dedricks Pharmacy & Gifts; Nekos-Dedricks Pharmacy; Kiwanis Club; Ward Bachus Used Cars; Murphy Law Offices; Sawyer Motors; Dr Joseph Mueller, O.D. ;Lezette Express; Saugerties Lions Club; Naccarato Insurance, Frank & Company Jewelers; Saugerties Carpet & Linoleum; Stella’s Restaurant; Valley Spas & Pools; Land & Sea Grill & Steakhouse; Polaski Dental; Tim Mauro Co Inc; Maggiore Electric; Murphy team; Eileen Williams team; Mike Sommers golf; Pete Kramer golf; Bob Sinnott golf; Mike Abate team; Eletronic Concepts, Gary Bischoff; Lisa Stanley; John Greco Attorney; Michael & Cynthia Saporito; John Bruno; Sandi Albelli; Rondout Savings Bank; Ron Myers team; Benson Steel; Methods Tooling & Mfg; Exchange Hotel; Kenneth D. Gillegan Esq; Leighton Enterprises Inc; Town & Country Liquors; Murphy Plumbing & Heating; Awesome Audio; Kevin Michaels; Sue Worthman; Gary Buckman; Bill Sheeley team; M&M Carpet Cleaning; Saugerties Athletic Association and Guardian Self Storage
Sincere thanks to all the volunteers who stayed at the resort all day to ensure the tournament ran smoothly. And lastly, extra-special kudos to tournament chair Wally Michaels and his committee for working diligently to make this event so popular and successful. A job well done!
Thank you all!
Sue Worthman, board president
Boys & Girls Club Saugerties Unit