At the recent budget workshop and canidates debate session, October
17, 2009, there was much discussion and criticism of the Town of Olive
Capital Reserve Accounts. These accounts were established and funds
added to them from unexpended balances over a period of twenty plus
years. These accounts are for specific expenditures; for example,
if a building needed a new roof, it would be funded from the buildings
account. They are not savings accounts to be spent on a rainy day.
If an accident put a cruiser out of commission, a new police car would
come from the police account, and so on. By state law these accounts
cannot be used for lowering the tax levy: they do, however, enable
the town to continue to maintain its viability in these hard economic
times without bonding and putting the town in debt. It is important
to realize these accounts were funded through town revenues such as
mortgage tax, sales tax and interest bearing accounts when the economy
was good and there was extra revenue.
Because of economic hardships, all of this year's unexpended balance
will be applied to reduce the tax levy and not be put into capital
reserves. Thank goodness, we will be able to reduce the preliminary
budget without balancing it on the backs of employees and first responders
or by rescinding contracts made in good faith as was proposed by others
who are new to the budget process.
Bert Leifeld, Supervisor
Bruce La Monda, Deputy Supervisor
This is for the citizens of the Town of Olive:
I want to say thank you to my community and to my constituents for
permitting me to serve during the past 16 years as Town Councilman.
I have always felt that the entire complement of the Town of Olive
residents were my constituents. And I thank you all for letting me
be part of the Town Board. I have tried hard to keep all points of
view in mind. Everyone has a way of seeing his or her world - and
it is important for each of us on the Town Board to try to understand
the various viewpoints.
So many times I have said to others that I am so lucky to be part
of a Town Board that works very well together. No matter our personal
differences and no matter who has sat on the Board, we always have
been able to come to a solution that we feel benefits the Town and
permits us as individuals to work together as a whole. I am so grateful
for the opportunity and I will miss the camaraderie we have felt through
I feel it important to reiterate that it was my fault that I was not
nominated for an additional term. When the Democratic Caucus was held,
I had alerted individuals that I would not be at the Caucus because
of family business. I was the only family member who had a flexible
schedule and could travel out of state. Once I left Ashokan, I became
very focused on the work waiting to be done and I totally forgot about
assigning someone to nominate me at the Caucus. It was only after
I returned and I found a phone message from a newspaper reporter and
a message from the newly nominated candidate Linda Burkhardt that
I realized what had just happened. I regret that this happened, because
I would have liked to have been able to continue the work that I have
been actively involved in.
There are several Town projects, which the Town’s people are
probably only slightly aware of, that will have future impact on the
Town. I would like to be able to continue as a volunteer representing
the Town. Of course, everyone is aware of the new sewerage treatment
plant in Boiceville. In addition, once the State budget crisis evens
out, we may see special money coming to that area for revitalization.
We also have a very small amount of funding - shared among the seven
municipalities - to begin a process of visioning for the Boiceville
area and for the entire Route 28 corridor through Olive. The Central
Catskills Collaborative (made up of the seven municipalities from
Hurley to Andes) is currently working towards creating a Route 28
Scenic Byway from West Hurley all the way out to Andes. Soon a citizens
working group will need to be created in Olive to help with the process
of putting together our segment of a corridor management plan for
the Scenic Byway. I have taken the responsibility for managing this
effort within the Town of Olive and I hope to be able to continue
it. Plus I have been given a leadership role within the Collaborative
as Chairman for the next six months, after which the Chairmanship
will shift to Fleischmanns. Each Town (or Village) is responsible
for defining what is important for that municipality - for instance,
what makes the Town of Olive special - its history, its culture, its
geology, its scenic attributes. We are working with State agencies
to assist with the process of creating a Scenic Byway. This is a very
positive project, which will let us in Olive focus on what we want
to convey to travelers through our Town. Another project that awaits
the release of State funding is the building of a picnic park in Ashokan.
We are part of the Lower Esopus Watershed Project (the lower Esopus
includes the area below the Ashokan high dam all the way to Saugerties)
and also the Esopus Management Plan for the Upper Esopus (this include
the area of the Esopus Creek above the Ashokan Reservoir). I have
enjoyed my involvement in all these projects and I sincerely hope
that I will be allowed to continue to somehow represent the Town of
Olive in the work that remains to be accomplished.
Allow me an opportunity to do some analysis on the make-up of a Town
Board. I do not want anyone to take my comments as being from a feminist
viewpoint. However, there are different ways that men and women work.
There is a lot of work that goes into being an active participant
on the Board. Women often see issues in a broader light and may be
better prepared to reconcile differences when there are communication
problems. Women are worker bees. I know that I have a proclivity to
get immersed in what interests me. And I saw this in both Cindy Johansen
and Linda Burkhardt - both of whom I enjoyed working with. And I do
want to say that I appreciate the care that Rita Vanacore put into
the School Board - she is another hard worker and much to be admired.
We have two very qualified women candidates. Bottom line - it is important
that there be at least one woman on the Board. I have worked with
Linda, so I can say definitively that she is a hard worker - and that
means a great deal to me to see that someone is willing to pull his
or her own weight. She was effective when she was last on the Board
and I expect that she will be equally or more so, given another opportunity.
From my perspective, we have a very fine and capable Town Board. Whenever
one new member has come on board, we have found the change to be workable
and sometimes even refreshing. A mass movement to change the makeup
of the Town Board will also change the dynamics we have worked hard
to achieve in our relationship with New York City and the Department
of Environmental Protection. Please vote wisely and not with an attitude
of change for change’s sake. The current Town Board has achieved
wonders over the past few years and is to be congratulated for keeping
the Town on an even keel and with a good budget process.
Thank you very much, everyone. And remember to VOTE on November 3.
Helen K. Chase
Following the Town budget meeting on Tuesday, October 13, I urge Town
of Olive citizens to vote for a new Town Supervisor (Barringer), Town
Boards people (Van Buren and Grazier), a new Highway Superintendant
(Scofield) and a new Town Justice (Van Kleeck) on Tuesday, November
3. There were at least four startling revelations of mismanagement
by the current Town Supervisor, Berndt Leifeld, and his rubber-stamp
First, discussion of a two percent tax hike this year would be outrageous;
of a five percent hike beyond belief. That the Democrats have been
discussing a nine percent hike, even if exaggerated as a campaign
ploy, is unthinkable. When social security benefits have not been
increased; when many are out of work; and when few if any have received
raises, to discuss raising taxes over nine percent, a move that could
force elderly Olive residents to sell their homes and demolish property
values, is arrogant and incompetent.
Second, a private citizen noted a sixty percent differential between
spending and amount budgeted on health insurance. Although the Board
had glib explanations, it appears that large sums in the six digit
range have been moved from one account to another without public discussion
Third, when I asked the Town Board to make public the variances between
actual spending on specific items and the amount disclosed to the
public in the Town budget, Town officials essentially told me that
I was asking rude questions and should keep quiet.
Fourth, the Town Supervisor has repeatedly stated that because unionized
employees in the Highway Department have received a four percent raise,
all other Town employees must receive the same raise, even though
taxpayers have mostly received no or smaller raises, and social security
recipients have not received any. I ask you to put on your economist's
cap. What is the incentive effect on negotiation strategy if the Town
Supervisor starts with the assumption that raises for all Town employees
are dependent on the raise to which he agrees to the other party,
which is supposed to be at arm's length? The incentive is to breach
the duty of good faith bargaining and give the other party as high
a raise as possible, since your own raise depends on the raise you
give to the other side. Mr. Leifeld has created this perverse incentive.
It is time for a change. Olive needs transparency and competent management.
As a member of the Town of Olive Republican Committee, I urge you
to vote Republican this year.
Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.
West Shokan, NY
...And fellow citizens here in the Town of Olive. It is time to set
the record straight!
Regarding the upcoming local election, I find it very discouraging
to read and hear a number of inaccurate and misleading articles and
letters to the editor. For one example, it is unfair to blame our
current leadership for all the trees that were cut due to the reconstruction
of route 28-A. The City of New York was simply responding to being
"PUT ON NOTICE" at the Lemon Squeeze Rally. Looks like we
got more than we bargained for, oh and please refresh my memory, who
led that rally ?
One of my personal friends and neighbors has written that it is time
for change here in Olive. I have no problem with change if something
better is available, but change just for the sake of change does not
make good common sense. Would you choose someone to perform open heart
surgery on you instead of a real doctor because the person had watched
"Scrubs" on television?
Above and beyond writting letters to the editor, as a musician and
songwriter, I have written a song titled, "Don't Fix It, If It
ain't Broke". I have been invited to perform it at the annual
senior luncheon at the Boiceville Inn scheduled for Oct 29 at noon
until 2 p.m. The luncheon is brought to you by your Democratic candidates
and hosted by John and Barbara Parete.
In conclusion we have a highly, experienced town government, why mess
with it? No sporting event can be won without team work, and that
is what we already have - a team! Supervising a town, making informed
decisions, maintaining our roads, and officiating a court of law all
come with the need for previous knowledge and experience in the field.
Does Olive really want new voices at the table who haven't bothered
to even attend Town Board meetings before they became candidates?
I think not. Lets keep the varsity team working for us, this is not
the time to bring in the inexperienced third string. "Don't Fix
It, If It ain't Broke".
Although the Meet the Candidates in the Town of Olive was this past
Saturday, I feel the need to make my platform known to all those who
might be interested.....first, and foremost, my candidacy is not endorsed
by any political party. Therefore, if elected, there will be no political
agenda...any decision I must make will be based solely on the needs
of the community as a whole.
These are the proposals, if elected, I would bring before the Town
To create a budget finance committee composed of members of our town
who are qualified to guide us in a fiscally responsible way creating
a more efficient use of our town funds and to also help to create
a long term strategic plan that would enhance and enrich our community
To work with our local police, firefighters, and ambulance employees
and volunteers creating and inplimenting an evacuation procedure.
The Town of Olive plays host to one of the largest resivoirs in the
state and we should be prepared for dam failure or attack.
To research community development grants and funding available from
the federal or state governments
with the express purpose of improving and enhancing our town facilities.
To investigate the possibility of creating a community group health
plan that could ease the burden of individual health benefit costs.
To remind our Town that the Large Parcel legislation is just sleeping....it
is not dead...and we must continue to vocalize and initiate all efforts
to put it to rest permanently.
Vigilance, dedication and the ability to think outside of the box
and make decisions are qualities that I would bring to the table as
a member of the Olive Town council.
At the end of 2009 I will have served as your Town Clerk/Tax Collector/
Records Management Officer for 27 years. A personal thank you is extended
to each and every Olive resident for bestowing upon me the distinct
honor of forever being a part of the Town of Olive’s history.
As most of you know, public access to government records and preservation
of our town’s history is of major concern to me. I’m constantly
saying, “An informed citizenry is the best guarantee of good
government.” So, having attended hundreds of Town Board meetings
and being the author of over 2,100 pages of Town Board Minutes I’d
like to share factual information regarding changes the current administration
West Shokan residents on the banks of the Bushkill are all too familiar
with the need for flood control along this stream. With Berndt Leifeld
as Supervisor and Linda Burkhardt and Bruce La Monda as Town Board
members on March 8, 2007 the Bushkill Stream Emergency Project and
debris clean up was implemented through a federal grant with the Town
of Olive as project sponsor. Thanks to Berndt Leifeld’s diligent
work with federal representatives, the Corps of Engineers and Ulster
County Soil and Water there was no damage to private or public property
along the Bushkill this summer during all the heavy rains. No town
tax dollars were spent to rectify a critical flooding issue.
With Berndt Leifeld as Supervisor and Linda Burkhardt and Bruce La
Monda as Town Board members Resolution #4 of 2003 was passed on May
6, 2003 establishing a Service Awards Program for the volunteer members
of the Olive Fire Department, Inc. This resolution was subject to
a mandatory referendum with the entire town supporting the service
awards program at the polls in the fall. The program is geared to
encourage and reward volunteerism thus avoiding the tremendous cost
of a paid fire department. As homeowners and taxpayers we recognize
the importance of our volunteer members and thank them for their service.
From 2004 to 2007 with Berndt Leifeld as Supervisor and Linda Burkhardt
and Bruce La Monda as Town Board members numerous informational meetings
regarding the Olive Sewer District in Boiceville were held. The Town
Board agreed to participate in the project but opted to give the property
owners within the district the final determination as to whether or
not they wanted the facility. NYS law prohibits anyone from outside
the district paying any tax dollars to the district. The property
owners within the proposed district participated in a special election
and on May 8, 2007 overwhelmingly voted to continue with the project.
Funds in the amount of $12,278,000.00 were allocated from the Catskill
Watershed Corporation (CWC) to build the facility. Further negotiations
were held with the City of New York through the CWC resulting in NYC
paying a substantial amount towards the operations and maintenance
costs resulting in affordable rates for private property owners. This
newly created district will allow for business expansion in Boiceville.
In 2001 with Berndt Leifeld as Supervisor and Linda Burkhardt and
Bruce La Monda as board members the Town Board accepted bids for the
Lester S. Davis Park swimming pool complex. Funds and grant moneys
were received to reconstruct the existing swimming pool and to build
new bath houses. An additional $12,000.00 budget item was received
from the state to finish the parking lot and walkways in Davis Park.
Highway Superintendent Jimmy Fugel used town equipment and manpower
to oversee and complete the blacktopping project.
The fact should be addressed that Highway Superintendent Jimmy Fugel
through proper budgeting and utilization of Capital Reserve accounts
over the course of his past eight years has gradually upgraded Olive’s
antiquated highway equipment. New equipment is ready to go in emergency
snow events and tax dollars are saved in replacement parts and repairs.
Supervisor Berndt Leifeld is the elected 2nd Vice President of the
Catskill Watershed Corporation which is a major source of funding
for Olive residents. For the 2002 and the 2008 trials regarding the
Ashokan Reservoir the CWC provided $1.435 million dollars in legal
fees to the Towns of Olive and Hurley. In addition, individual full
time property owners in Olive received $3,358,058.00 for septic system
improvements, Olive businesses received $1,677,000.00 in economic
development loans and grants, and $2,233,476.00 was received in storm
water funds to stop erosion around streams. As member of the CWC board
which approves all funding to watershed communities, Supervisor Berndt
Leifeld has also represented us well.
One of the most important changes that has occurred in the Town of
Olive in the past couple of years is the improved communications and
working relationship with the City of New York. Supervisor Berndt
Leifeld and Board Member Bruce La Monda worked tirelessly to receive
a firm commitment from NYC that no road closures would occur during
the city’s bridge and road reconstruction project. Perhaps the
most historic change occurring under Supervisor Berndt Leifeld’s
administration is that we now have a settlement with NYC with an agreed
upon assessment of the Ashokan Reservoir. As the legal funds that
were previously available from the CWC are now exhausted, this settlement
will save Town of Olive residents millions in legal and appraisal
We have proven leadership in the Town of Olive and I’m proud
to be a part of that team.
Olive Town Clerk
Unfortunately I was unable to attend last Saturdays Town of Olive
meet the candidates event so I am not fully informed of the various
candidates qualifications and platforms at this time. I believe that
all of the candidates are good people with the Town of Olive's best
interests at heart.
I do believe that Rita Vanacore is an excellent choice for Town Board
due to her demonstrated willingness to work very hard for Olive. She
spent approximately 30 hours a week working for us as a member of
the Onteora School Board and was instrumental in helping to derail
the enactment of the so called Large Parcel Law during her tenure
on that board. She also spent much time and effort serving on the
Town of Olive Large Parcel Review Board. Rita has repeatedly demonstrated
the willingness and ability to put in the hours and do the research
needed to arrive at a well informed opinion. In my view she will add
a lot of value to our Town and will be an excellent addition to the
I am a senior citizen who still has the ability, knowledge and wisdom
to be able to see the real man behind the talk. My wife Rita and I
have known Tim and Rebecca for over five years and during this time
I have witnessed first, a father who loves his family, second a lawyer
who is professional and forthright, and third, a Town Justice who
is very knowledgeable about the Penal Law and Code of Criminal Procedure
as well as the Vehicle and Traffic Laws. A Town Justice is a position
that should be held in high esteem, a seat that should be given to
a professional with a criminal or law background, a person who by
all standards will do the job to the best of his ability, and have
the guts to excuse himself if one of the parties is a neighbor or
friend. This is why I am hoping your readers will vote for Mr Tim
Cox for Town Justice. Please remember this word,
"IMPARTIAL" The vote should not go to a person who has a
lot of friends and they all get along together, this causes mistrials
and cases thrown out of court. The vote should go to a knowledgeable
candidate who has the background, education, law degree and understanding
of what a Felony, Misdemeanor, or Traffic offense in Lieu of arrest
means. I strongly believe this person is Tim Cox.
Thank You for reading this article.
Peter G. Polis
This year's Olive election has become electrified by the fact that
we have a full slate of candidates from which to choose. One candidate
for town council who has earned our vote is Rita Vanacore. She possesses
the qualities which qualify her for this important position.
First, she is a true public servant. For three years she gave her
time and resources to represent us on the Onteora Central School board.
Rita devoted about thirty hours per week to the school district at
what was often a thankless job, and for which she received NO monetary
compensation. She was always well prepared no matter how complex or
controversial the issue. When she is elected to our town board we
will receive the same exemplary dedication.
Second, she has a quiet, nonthreatening demeanor which is what we
need from our representatives. She is an excellent listener who genuinely
is concerned about her constituents. If you bring a concern or consideration
to Rita you'll be given her complete attention as well as her total
respect. If she doesn't agree with you she'll explain why, but she'll
never scream at you or try to shout you down. She works well with
others, and this is absolutely an essential attribute for a town board
Third, she is thorough. When she undertakes a challenge she diligently
researches the issue until she discovers the best solution. Rita also
has an uncanny ability to gain the utmost assistance from our state
and federal representatives. During these most difficult economic
times, we must take advantage of grants and all other sources funding
which are available.
Fourth, she has boundless energy. While serving on the school board,
she also attended many Olive Matters meetings to learn all she could
about the Large Parcel law. Anyone who paid taxes in Olive during
2004 may recall the headlines of the Olive Press, "TOWN RESIDENTS
IN TEARS OVER TAX HIKES." The school board's decision to invoke
the law resulted in a 59 percent tax hike for us. When the county
legislature followed suit, some Olive residents saw their taxes increase
by $10,000. While we were still reeling from this injustice, Rita
and several other Olive women became candidates for the school board.
Olive voters wisely elected them and we were rewarded when they successfully
defeated other attempts of the board to reenact the Large Parcel in
subsequent years. It was intelligent and beneficial for Olive to elect
Rita then; it is wise to elect her on November 3rd.
Finally,and most important, she is willing to go the extra mile to
represent us. When passed over by the major parties in her effort
to gain the nomination, she created her own party, the Olive Branch,
and garnered the necessary signatures on her petitions to gain access
to the ballot. By this action she has proven how important the council
woman position is to her. Many would have given up; Rita formed her
own party.I appreciate her desire to represent us, and when she is
elected we will be represented by one of
the most determined, organized, and energetic people I know. She will
be one of the finest council members Olive has ever had.
Therefore I am voting for Rita Vanacore. I assure you that issues
like the ugly Large Parcel law, which slipped in to devastate our
town,will not pass through under Rita Vanacore's vigilant watch. I
observed the reams of documents she reviewed and studied each week
while serving us on the school board. She will do her job; she will
save us money, and she will perform the duties of town council person
in the most ethical, honorable and respectful manner. Please vote
for the only independent candidate on the ballot on November 3rd.
Vote for Rita Vanacore.
John R. Tisch
West Shokan, NY
I am writing to very strongly advocate on behalf of Timothy Cox, Candidate
for Re-Election as Olive Town Justice. Since being elected Olive Town
Justice almost four years ago Tim Cox has distinguished himself as
a Fair and Impartial Judge closing approximately 600 cases each year.
From 1996 to 1999 Judge Cox worked as the Assistant Clerk for the
busiest civil court in the State of Connecticut. Tim has won the Trust
and Admiration of his fellow Town and Village Judges in Ulster County,
they elected him Vice President and 2010 President Elect of the Ulster
County Magistrates Association. Judge Cox has a Bachelors Degree in
Criminal Justice from SUNY-Plattsburgh and is a 1995 Graduate of Pace
University Law School gaining a Juris Doctorate and Environmental
Law Certificate. Tim Cox currently serves as Corporate Council for
the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) working for all 41 Watershed
Towns. In his spare time (are you kidding me?) Tim Chairs the Pace
University Environmental Law Alumni Advisory Council among other things.
I’m proud to call Tim Cox my Town Justice and I’m sure
his educational background and experience do the same for you. Re-Elect
Timothy Cox Olive Town Justice.
Edwin J. Maldonado
I served with Linda Burkhardt on the Town of Olive Board for four
years. In the election two years ago, she missed being elected, and
for two years now she has, without pay or title, continued to serve
Olive as Recreation Committee Chairperson and as a town Committeeman.
Linda and her husband Fred attend every Town Board meeting to keep
up with what is going on in local government. Conversely, three other
Town Board candidates only showed up after they became candidates
for this election.
Linda is a worker. I believe she was the victim of misinformation
whispered and telephoned in the past election. Linda is and was a
firm supporter of the highway and emergency services in their negotiations.
Rumors otherwise may have caused voters to vote with their ears and
not their open minds. Putting Linda Burkhardt back on the Town Board
would be putting a valuable and dedicated worker back on a team who
has Olive, not politics, in mind.
Town of Olive Councilman
Vote for Vanacore...As a long time friend of Rita Vanacore, I am greatly
encouraged that she is running for Olive Town Council. I have been
on committees with her and found her to be open minded, fiscally responsible,
a problem solver, respectful and a good listener; working with both
large and small groups. Rita is always committed to finding the right
answer through research and dedication. I know that she has great
ideas to economically stimulate our town and will be an active community
member. I look forward to having her represent the Town of Olive.
When it comes to politics the shrill call for change often preceded
profound regrets. History is rife with examples.
To those who have been or will become the beneficiaries of the stewardship
of the Town of Olive lead by its seasoned supervisor, Berndt Leifeld,
I would urge some careful contemplation before the coming election.
So much of the quality of life in this town that many take for granted
can be so drastically affected by powerful political interests beyond
our control. It is so important that we maintain the kind of leadership
and hard work that has been provided by Berndt Leifeld. Time and again
Mr. Leifeld has successfully advocated, negotiated, and managed our
interests by being capable, tough, and respectful in the right measure.
And in doing so he has consistently gained the respect and good will
of those at the other end of the table.
Being a strong negotiator without making enemies, when it counts,
West Shokan, NY
In a small town it seems there is a personal nature to an election
that is unfortunate and I think unwise.
When voting for your personal interests means not voting for people
you are friendly with and have happily done town business with, an
election challenge to incumbents can be misinterpreted as a personal
affront. But is that wise?
When voting I disavow "feelings" and assess the best economic
choice that serves my fiscal well being. I swear I would vote against
my own son if I thought he was going to raise my taxes. "Sorry,
The team challenging our Town of Olive incumbents are running on the
Republican and Conservative lines this year.
They have made a commitment to a hiring freeze and a frozen budget.
They will actually refuse the health care package and will not take
a health care buyout.. Vince Barringer, running for supervisor, will
take a ten thousand dollar pay cut as well. I really appreciate that.
Because the Republican / Conservative candidates are making a clear
commitment to thrift at their own personal cost, I am convinced that
this year I should vote the Republican Conservative ticket for the
By the way, these candidates will require a town board majority to
halt the growing town budget burden.
These are new and scary times. We New Yorkers will soon pay a huge
government mandated obligation to make up the pension shortfall of
the New York State employees. Spam and water for dinner anyone? The
tax burden we face will be enormous and will threaten the home ownership
of those who live on the fiscal edge. Federal spending on the "Stimulous
Package" has lowered our dollar index value from 99 to 75 in
the past eight months. Yikes, there goes the buying power of the American
When I vote for Vince Barringer and the rest of the Republican/Conservative
ticket November 3rd., I will not be voting against anyone. I will
be voting for my economic survival.
Glenda Rose McGee
I would like to address the voting body of the Town of Olive. I have
kept a low profile for all these years, but now I feel compelled to
put a few thoughts on paper for you to consider. I will not throw
darts or badmouth or even praise any one person. I will only discuss
common sense and practical opinions that I have about the upcoming
election. Change seems to be the theme lately. There's change at the
Federal and State levels of government. Do we also need change at
the local level of government? If you are truly satisfied with the
manner in which the town board is running the town and handling your
money, then why change a good thing. Just as the old saying goes,
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
We are all intelligent people and know that our tax base is still
one of the lowest in the county. Our recreation Department is one
of the most cost efficient and friendly you will find anywhere. I
would like everyone to take a little time and reflect on the positive
changes throughout the Town over the last few years.
Change is a good thing if done in a wise manner. This is a challenging
time for any Town Board. Let's keep a proven Board in place. Remember
sometimes actions speak louder than words. Not all promises can be
met. What seems promising now may not be important in our future.
Blanket statements should be met with questions rather than blind
agreement. Use your common sense when making that decision behind
the voting curtain this election day.
BJ Leifeld Jr
Linda Burkhart is one of the most caring individuals we have ever
had the pleasure to know. Her concern for the people in her community
extends widely in all directions. Anyone who can raise five wonderful
children all of whom are productive solid citizens and still have
time for her neighbors and her grandchildren is amazing and a valuable
asset to any community.
Linda’s leadership goes far. Her long list of accomplishments;
getting Time Warner to increase their coverage in Olive, parcel legislation,
replacing the pool and especially the negotiations with NYC on the
Reservoir assessment etc. is a strong indication of how she will continue
to serve and plan for the people of Olive. She has served on the Zoning
Board of Appeals, the Recreation Committee as Chair, the Ulster County
Youth Board, the Olive Town Board and the Shandaken Theatrical Society
to name a few.
Vote for Linda, she has the experience, the skills and the heart to
work for the Town of Olive and its residents.
Cathy Magarelli & Sam Magarelli
It was a surprise to read the Democratic party's achievements in their
recent ad in your newspaper. Especially surprising was where they
took credit for CREATING the Senior Art and Exercise Programs. True,
the town FUNDS it, but the Democrats definitely did Not CREATE it.
Judith Boggess of Shokan is the brain-child behind the creation of
the Senior Art and Exercise Program. It was through my son, Peter
Friedel, and my presentation to the Town Board that brought this highly
successful and valuable senior program to the board's attention. True,
Ms.Burkhardt was then a town councilwoman and also on the Recreation
Board. She presented the merits of the program to the Rec.Board, but
she did Not CREATE the Senior Recreation Program. I believe in giving
credit where credit is due.
West Shokan, NY
I have been active in town government for the past thirty-five years.
I have served on boards and committees with both supervisor candidates.
I feel I should speak out in support of the current Town Board who
has successfully negotiated with NYC to determine an acceptable assessment
of the Ashokan Reservoir. Negotiating rather than threatening has
enabled us to keep roads open while bridges get repaired.
We have a recreation program that is second to none. Our roads are
kept in shape and plowed efficiently. Our courts operate without controversy.
The town office is a welcoming place staffed with men and women chosen
for their abilities, not their political affiliation. Look at our
committees. We have a supervisor who asks, “Can you do the job?”
not “Are you a Democrat or Republican?”
Look to the towns surrounding Olive. Olive has the stable and experienced
team of leaders who cooperate for their citizens, not for their egos.
Let’s keep Olive “The best little town by a dam site!”
I have known Earla Van Kleek for many years and there is no doubt
in my mind that she is the better candidate for Town Justice. Earla
knows the community; knows the Town: and has worked extensively with
youth-at-risk. Unless you go to Albany or New York City, you would
not find a Justice better qualified to work with our troubled youth,
misdemeanor charges and the kinds of cases that are presented in our
Olive does not need a corporate lawyer who does not understand the
real world. Rather it needs someone with commitment to justice seasoned
with compassion and common sense.
As the former Ulster County Elections Commissioner, I am writing to
inform voters how to vote for a candidate at large for the office
of Town Council. All other elected positions are in a head-to-head
race, but TOWN COUNCILMEN run AT LARGE. This means that any two people
can be selected, from any party and from any line, to fill the two
seats on the Town Board. The top two vote-getters earn the two seats.
In a previous election, I received calls after the votes were tallied
to complain that voters thought that names placed over each other
on the ballot meant that you could only vote for one of the two. Not
Especially in this election where there are five candidates: Bruce
La Monda, Linda Burkhardt, Craig Grazier, Don Van Buren, and Rita
Vanacore. Not only are there five candidates, those candidates’
names might appear on five different lines: Democratic, Republican,
Conservative, Open Government Party, and the Olive Branch Party. The
voter can choose ANY TWO no matter if they oppose each other above,
below, beside, or kitty-cornered. A voter can vote on any line as
long as they choose only TWO candidates.
Be an informed voter. Exercise your right as an American.
I am writing in support of Don Williams campaign for County Court
When Don Williams announced his candidacy for judge I was excited
because I know Don and what he has to offer. He has been a strong
leader while serving as district attorney of Ulster County for the
past 8 years. His dedication shines through his service and involvement
in the community. He makes tough, independent decisions based on the
law and common sense. Don listens to the concerns of citizens and
keeps the best interest of the community at heart.
Don truly wants justice for individuals and the community. As a judge,
Don would preside over a variety of criminal and civil matters. Because
of Don’s experience as district attorney, he knows when to make
jail or prison sentence recommendations. He is not afraid to stand
up for what is right. His experience as district attorney has exposed
him to a variety of types of cases. Don has the ability to look at
situations objectively, and that is what justice is all about. He
has always advocated for our most vulnerable citizens , children and
the victims of domestic violence.
He is an advocate for those who may not have a voice or the courage
to stand up for their rights. He is compassionate and understanding
in his dealings.
Difficult cases of all types are brought before a judge on a daily
basis. Judges are charged with following the law and making decisions
accordingly. Many times those decisions can be unpopular with certain
individuals or groups, but those decisions have to nonetheless be
Don Williams has had experience making those decisions, many times
envisioning the criticism and fallout that will follow. But those
decisions are made and he faces them with the conviction.
Don has worked hard on important issues like reducing domestic violence
and improving the lives of children and youth in Ulster County. As
director of Family Domestic Violence Services, I have witnessed first
hand his sensitively when dealing with battered women and the empathy
he has for survivors of Domestic Violence.
Don has a wonderful family that he is devoted to. He knows what is
I for one would be proud to have Don Williams as our next Ulster County
Judge and know that battered women in the county would breathe a sigh
of relief to know we have a judge who not only understand the complex
dynamics of Domestic Violence but also truly cares about justice being
He is an intelligent, thoughtful person of conscience and will make
a fine judge. Please support Don Williams for County Court Judge.
Kathleen Welby- Moretti
Last week I visited the County Clerk's office to obtain a copy of
the deed to my house. While I was there I noticed that the second
floor of the building was decked out like a museum. Hanging in the
hallway were rows and rows of pictures drawn and painted by area 4th
grade students. Portraits of Henry Hudson and drawings of his ship
were just some of the pieces of artwork. The creativity shown by these
kids was amazing to me. It looked as if they were really embracing
the history and not just reading about something boring from a textbook.
I stopped in to tell the Clerk that I thought the exhibit was fantastic
and that I wished my own kids could have been there to see the posters.
Luckily, she was able to provide me with a color booklet that had
pictures of each drawing that I could take home with me to show my
son and daughter. She also gave me two workbooks for each of them
entitled "Archives for Kids" and "Biographies for Kids".
Many thanks to the Clerk's Office and to area schools for making learning
fun and getting our children involved in the community.
Maryann F. DeGroodt
People are quick to complain when something goes wrong, but how many
of us are willing to take the time to give credit where credit is
due when something goes right? Recently I went to the DMV to register
my car. What I expected was not what I got.
I had been having a terrible day at work and the last thing I wanted
to do on my lunch hour was stand in line. I was pleasantly surprised
when I saw that there was no longer a line in which to wait. In its
place was a machine dispensing tickets and some benches where I could
sit and wait for my number to be called. In less than 5 minutes I
was at the window and the very pleasant woman who waited on me made
the transaction quick and painless.
Thinking back to previous trips I have made to the DMV, I can honestly
say that the process has never been so smooth. I certainly hope that
they continue to be that smooth in the future.This ticketing system
is a great way to diffuse a potentially stressful situation. I think
all public offices should consider getting one.
SHAME ON THE ONTEORA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (OTA)!!! In these difficult
economic times they are going to put out such an absurd media campaign.
First the buttons…” United we teach”, Then the recent
“Picketing”, to the Ridiculous Crisis center on Rte. 28
(How many signs do the need to let their members know where the building
is), now the recent letter threatening a job action. Each one of these
ploys is to gain sympathy for them from the unknowing public and the
students. Recently my elementary age children and their friends were
talking about the proposed “Job Action”, and made the
“…the teachers are going on strike…yea they don’t
even care about the families.”
From the mouths of babes!
It is important to note that I do not have any problem with a union
representing a group, the right for that union to have a contract,
the right for that union to expect good faith bargaining, and the
right for that member to expect its representatives to represent them
and their interests. That being said, let’s look at some facts:
1. The OTA is currently under contract. The most recent “negotiated”
contract expired June 30, 2008. The OTA’s above referenced contract
contains a provision that is found on page 1 Article II paragraph
one that states; “This agreement will be automatically renewed
on an annual basis after the expiration date herof”….The
contract expired on 6-30-08 and automatically rolled over for another
year. That year came and went and the contract rolled over for another
year and will expire on 6-30-10. If a new contract is not finalized
it will roll over for another year. This could continue until a new
agreement is finally agreed upon.
2. The Onteora Teachers Association falls under the regulations of
the Taylor law, which governs labor relations for public employees.
(The following web link will provide the information confirming the
following information http://www.goer.state.ny.us/CNA/bucenter/taylor.html)
3. The Taylor Law prohibits strikes by public employees it also defines
and prohibits improper practices by public employers and public employee
4. During these rollover years, mentioned previously, the members
of the union are receiving pay increases, maintaining their benefits
as well as all of their previously negotiated terms and conditions.
Based on the contract from 2003 to 2008, the MA 1 teacher (first year
teacher with a Masters Degree) starting salary increased 15% or $7,239
during that contract term. As a teacher progressed over that same
period that automatically received a pay increase by moving to the
next level such as MA 1, MA 2 etc. As an example The MA 1 teacher
starts at $46,668 and progresses to the 5th year, there salary in
the 5th year is $59,374. (this does not include a “bump for
achieving tenure at the conclusion of year 3) This represents a salary
increase of almost 28% or $12,926 over 5 years simply for not getting
5. Upon the expiration of the original contract, the 5th and final
year rolls over so the MA 1 teacher will become an MA 6 teacher with
a salary of $60,908. That same teacher is now currently an MA 7 teacher
with a base salary of $63,996.
Now for my opinion… During the past 2 years I cannot believe
that some sort of offer has not already been placed on the table by
the District. Did the rank and file of OTA see or hear of any offers?
If not…why? If so did they want more? If it was lower than the
3.75% increase they are getting now, why not sit back and ride the
current annual extensions. If any member of the OTA thinks that in
this economic climate they are going to get more, I would classify
them as delusional. I certainly hope that the district is NOT offering
anything more than that is in their current contract. I would demand
that the district representatives expect the OTA to give back some
of the things they gained in their last contract such as a greater
contribution to their health insurance. They currently contribute
only 5% of the premiums while the rest of the world contributes 30%
or more. Or surrender the cash incentive should their spouse have
medical insurance at their job, this cash payment is as much as $2,400.
Another area to look at is the sick leave clause. Currently the can
accumulate sick days. The rest of us typically have a use it or lose
it policy where we work. While they accumulate sick days, of which
they get 17 days per year, they can take a cash payment for as many
as they want after they accumulate 75 days. So if a teacher who gets
17 days per year, uses 5 days each year will accumulate 12 days per
year. In 8 years they can cash in 96 days at a rate of $53 each for
a total of $5,088…compliments of the tax payer!
The current contract is a pretty sweet deal all by itself. Considering
the current economic situation where employment in Upstate NY as of
July is 7.9%, the average Household (usually includes2 people) income
as of 2007 is $66,256. Considering all of this, why is the OTA leadership
making so much noise? The only answer I can come up with is GREED,
and we thought Big Oil and Big Banking were greedy!!!! If that is
the case, SHAME ON THEM. Instead of all this grandstanding, provide
us with some details of what you want. I am not interested in hearing
the he said/she said garbage or the finger pointing; GIVE US SOME
DETAILS if you want our support.
Let me make perfectly clear I am not angry with any individual teacher,
administrator or board member, however; I am very angry with the actions
of the OTA as a whole. There recent ploys are a blatant attempt to
gain sympathy and support from the public. They seem to have forgotten
what their real job is…Teaching our children. The Board cannot
go unscathed. Their inability to act decisively on anything much less
complicated contract negotiations, is evident. They seem to be focused
on other less controversial, matters and are only concerned with their
own self interests rather than setting a clear vision for the ENTIRE
West Hurley, NY
As I read a long rambling letter from a self-professed English teacher
who took no small amount of cheap shots at this woman named Vanacore,
I was struck by the hostile tone of righteous indignation as the teacher
smugly intoned that since 26% of the population possesses Bachelor's
degrees, that they are somehow above the other lowly wretches. As
I read on in disbelief, the educator went on to say that the standards
of teaching are strictly enforced by a group of overseers who make
sure that tenured teachers don't lapse into comfortable mediocrity.
Well this really hit a sour chord with me because I know it to be
untrue. I personally know of a district elementary school teacher
who has dulled or destroyed countless musically gifted children by
substandard teaching and poor attendance. I complained to the principal
via letters and had a meeting, but to no avail. I was told that there
was nothing to be done because the teacher had tenure. He is still
there today destroying future minds. So after realizing the fallacy
of that statement I read on to the next benediction about how hard
working the teachers are in our district. Well I am very pleased to
hear such a statement of dedication from our educators. That's why
they are paid so well in this serene, well-behaved part of New York.
It would really be a remarkable case of self sacrifice if that same
English teacher had to "drive 100 miles" to teach in one
of New York's garbage-strewn bullet pocked cities. There the salary
would be a lot less and the conditions quite a bit different - not
nearly so many Bachelor degree holding parents.
Putting that letter aside, let's have a public discussion about the
real issues. What are the teachers' demands? Are they saying that
a 2% cost of living increase (from their old contract) is not enough?
Why are their demands confidential? Why don't they publish their demands
so when we see them picketing in front of the school we know what
it's all about? Are they afraid of losing public support? Renting
the building across the street from the school is an obvious stratagem
to curry public sympathy. I'm sorry if I and everyone else I know
didn't have the time to stop by the "Crisis Center" during
working hours to get the details.
Lastly, as everyone knows, many of us are barely holding onto jobs,
have already lost their jobs, have no health insurance, are scrambling
to pay bills and are in danger of losing our homes. Those property
owners who pay school taxes will soon become renters who pay no school
tax. Do you really want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg?
These are economically disastrous times for most of us. You are lucky
if you have a safe, secure, well paying pensioned union position in
this beautifully rural part of New York. Don't destroy the good will
we have toward our teachers with unreasonable demands.
I can not remember the last time that a Letter to the Editor made
my blood boil as the letter from Ms. Bryan. We have freedom of speech,
but to denigrate some one else ( Rita Vanacore for expressing her
opinion) with such venom is totally unacceptable.
My husband and I are College educated (he being a retired executive
from a major Corporation) almost needing a dictionary to decipher
her exceedingly long ego massaging letter. Sadly, she was degrading
a member of this community who has been trying through hard work and
dedication to improve and advance the Town and School District...
I would like to inform Ms. Bryan that we poor "misinformed viewers"
of Fox News and Bill O'Reilly are "Fair and Balanced" and
also are willing to listen objectively to her opinion and perhaps
find some value in her long EPISTLE...
Meanwhile, WE, the people who pay the bills, should feel properly
chastised by a Person of Superior Intellect....
The Labor Relations Committee of the Ulster County Legislature has
prepared a Local Law that will require all contractors in the county
to have a license to perform “Home Improvement” work.
The type of work that comes under the proposed law is very, very broad
and includes – masons, blacktopping, roofing, landscaping, grading
and excavation, carpentry, swimming pool construction and even includes
the local handyman, etc., etc.
All contracts over $1,000.00 will require that the work be done by
a county licensed contractor. The type of work covered is defined
in the 27 pages of legalese of the proposed law and is very broad
and all inclusive.
To oversee the proposed law a Board of 10 persons will be appointed
- union representation on the “Control Board” is required.
The “Control Board” will have the power to draft the test
required, determine the qualifications and experience necessary to
obtain a license, set the types and amounts of insurance required
by the contractor and may require the contractor to have a Bond –
very expensive and difficult, if not impossible, for a small contractor
to obtain. All work covered under the proposed law will require a
detailed written contract – the law defines the content and
form of the required contract. No longer will work be done on a “handshake”
This law, if enacted, will drive many small contractors and tradesman
out of business and make work covered by the proposed law more expensive
for the homeowner. Not the way to go during these difficult economic
The law is anti-business and anti-consumer – it is a law that
is designed to eliminate the small contractor and allow only the larger
contractor to meet the terms of the law necessary to obtain the required
license. Violation of sections of the law can result in a fine and
The myriad of rules and regulations is much too complex to cover in
this letter. I would urge all contractors and tradesman to learn about
this law and discuss the details (the devil is in the details) of
the law with the candidates who are running for the position of County
Legislator this November. Now is the time, prior to the election,
to learn the position of each candidate before voting for members
of the County Legislature.
Imagine that your house was severely destroyed by a natural or manmade
disaster. You still own the land, and the foundation is still in tact,
but the roof is destroyed, the basement is flooded, all appliances
- destroyed, trees have fallen on the building and the ground is mud.
For some reason, you find out that insurance will not cover your damages,
and you are barely holding onto your job. There is no way that you
can afford to put your home back together. Now, a contractor, whom
you know as "the best in the area", comes to you and says
he'll fix it, at no cost to you. He'll try to work with you, but you
both agree that he has the final decision on how to best use his expertise
to return your home to you, and it may take some time.
You would like to have a working kitchen, but since winter is coming,
he choses to begin by getting a safe roof in place. You'd also like
to have your bathtub back, but he found snakes in the basement, and
decided to clear them out, before even getting your plumbing back
in order. All the while, you're complaining to him, and more frequently
about him, to your friends and neighbors. When he goes out to pick
up supplies, he runs into unfriendly people. He continues to do what
he knows is right, keeping his focus on repairing your home for you
before winter sets in.
This is my analogy: Our President is the Contractor, the Right Wing
nuts are the snakes in the basement, and the Democrats are - YOU -
his former loyal supporters. OK. He's not giving everything that we've
lost back to us in the first year. Did we really think that he could
take the train wreck that was left to him from the previous 8 years,
and turn it around to everyone's satisfaction in the blink of an eye?
Do we know what he's facing now that the corrupt and evil place, formerly
called the People's government, has been taken over? Can we even imagine
what it's like to have to deal with the powers that be? Did we really
believe that he could say: "I'm tearing down everything that's
in place and building it from scratch"? That was an un-realistic
dream. Our President needs us behind him. He needs to let the powers
know that he has strong support from US. They know about "Divide
and Conquer" and they are winning on that premise. On Monday,
they (the Insurnace Companies), threatened to raise the average insurance
rate if a public option bill is passed. If we stand around and complain
about Obama not being tough enough, wouldn't it be more useful to
understand why he's moving cautiously?
He needs us to make it clear to the opposition, that we are behind
him. If we don't, We, the People will lose. We won't be able to blame
it on Obama folks. We can take this one on ourselves. If our country
fails, it will be our fault.... not the Republicans, not the Corporate
crooks, but We, the Democrats, for being spoiled brats. Let's put
our noses to the grindstone and speak out. We all want a public option,
let's let the Insurance Companies know that we do, and more importantly,
let's let Congress know. As Michel Moore said on Monday: "don't
abandon the best hope we've had in our lifetime for change."
Write letters, make phone calls, don't leave it all up to one human
being. He needs us. Let's step up to the plate.
Abortion is a central issue in the Health Care Reform debate. Republicans
are now trying to prohibit abortion even in health plans that consumers
pay for out of their own pockets. Legal abortion is once again at
The idea that a full person exists from the moment of conception is
not a scientific fact, but rather a tenet of particular religions.
Separation of church and state mandates that religious beliefs not
be made into law. Government should not legislate morality.
Abortion has always existed, and will continue to exist no matter
what the law says. Keeping abortion legal ensures that it will remain
a safe medical procedure.
The ability to choose legal abortion is essential to the health and
well-being of women and families. Birth control doesn’t always
work, and isn’t always available or affordable. Unless a woman
can decide when or whether to become a mother, she cannot decide how
to live her life. And women’s self-determination is essential
to a just society. Women, as they say, hold up half the sky.
Our political representatives are constantly bombarded with anti-choice
messages, even though those opinions are the minority. I urge readers
to contact their Congressional representatives and leaders and to
tell them that full reproductive services must be kept in health care
Recently, the Dow closed up over 10,000 for the first time in over
a year. Wall Street is recovering quickly, but Main Streets across
America continue to struggle with a national average of 9.8%
Americans are fed up with unacceptable treatment from the giant financial
institutions. They’ve squeezed every last dime from us with
tricky banking and credit card fees. They destroyed our economy with
risky investment schemes and scoop up $400 billion in our tax dollars
to bail themselves out.
Today, they have deployed an army of high-paid lobbyists and a million
dollar ad campaign to convince Congress, that it shouldn’t change
the lax regulations and cozy relationships that got our country into
Earlier this year, our representatives in Congress passed the toughest
credit card reform bill in history and our government is in the process
of putting those reforms in place. Last month, customers began complaining
about the ridiculous checking overdraft fees. Complaints from members
of Congress prompted some banks to “voluntarily” cut what
they were charging.
A proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would protect customers
from abusive financial schemes, fine print and confusing loan contracts
so we know the risk we’re taking on. We’d have a regulator
whose only job is to create sensible consumer rules, while making
sure lenders and banks follow them, and going after those who don’t.
States would share the job with Washington, so we’d have no
more extra-risky mortgages, or hidden tricks in credit cards and loans.
The financial industry knows this would end their cozy deal, and they’re
fighting it tooth and nail. They’re lobbying against a watchdog
that would prevent their risky schemes. Their running TV ads
attacking the concept of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. We
must not let these charlatans to turn the table, because we must change
how we do business in this country and return to sensible credit and
I am saddened by the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award
Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. As much as I love and respect
our President, this was a hasty decision that will not bring good
consequences. To me it seems that the requirements to receive the
Peace Prize have, in the last decades, become so diluted that only
famous and rich politicians are able to be awarded the prize. Here
I think of Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and now our current President. These
public servants have already received so much recognition and fame
that they do not need the prestigious Peace Prize.
What about the thousands of common people who have devoted their entire
lives for peace? They should be the ones who are considered. Martin
Luther King and Desmond Tutu, for example, received the Peace Prize
because they gave their lives to working against violence, especially
racially motivated violence, and war.
True, our President has fostered a new climate of diplomacy and openness
in Washington and in the world -- a vast improvement over his bomb-first,
ask-questions-later predecessor. But campaign promises and political
realities aside, he has yet to demonstrate a commitment to a peaceful
resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan. And there are many among
us, even his supporters, who remain skeptical of his actions in Iraq
and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Jesus says we will know a tree by its fruits. Even the best fruit
takes time to ripen. How can our President -- as good-willing as he
might be -- bear meaningful fruit after less than a year in office?
The Nobel Committee should do better than this. I hope that many other
voices will join me in expressing their disappointment in this decision.
Johann Christoph Arnold, Pastor
The Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency has had, for months, scheduled
a Household Hazardous Waste and Recovery Day for October 10th. Several
months ago, I put the date in my calendar and planned for it with
all of the excitement of attending a party where the gifts were all
environmentally dangerous. (What would a bride call this? Her "mercury
I alerted neighbors. I was gathering up old printers, computer monitors,
paint thinners, dead fluorescent bulbs, insecticides, etc. I felt
like a witch who was only missing "eye of newt" to make
my poisonous brew complete.
And then, the day before the event, I went to the website (http://www.ucrra.org/recycling/hhw.htm)
and discovered that you had to have made an appointment and that they
were all booked up.
An appointment to recycle? When did landfills get so fancy? The demand,
I was told, was overwhelming. Eh, what would this tell us? That the
event needs to be extended? Nope.
The next event will not be until next Spring and the operator who
answers the "hotline" suggests booking appointments in February!
I had half a mind to set all of my recyclables on an inner tube and
send them down the Esopus, but a saner mind prevailed.
If Ulster County government is serious about protecting the environment,
they need to figure out how to make this event happen more frequently
than the changing of the equinox.
In the meantime, if you need a broken computer, ancient paint thinner,
or a couple of half-used cans of bug spray, have your people call
my people. No appointment necessary.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and across the country,
battered women’s advocates are joining elected officials &
concerned citizens and many others to organize events and activities
that raise awareness about domestic violence.
Fifty-five percent of the 157 female homicide victims in New York
last year were murdered in domestic violence incidents, according
to a state report released Monday.
One in six of the 800 homicide victims known to police in 2007 had
a domestic relationship with their assailants -- either as an intimate
partner, child or other family member, a State Division of Criminal
Justice Services study found. More than half (72) of the 135 domestic
homicide victims were currently or had been in an intimate relationship
with the offender, and females were the victims in 81 percent (58)
of those cases, the study said.
On September 30th, Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein led the
way in bringing business leaders, city officials and concerned citizens
together to put domestic violence in the forefront of our community
and elevate it as a mainstream social issue.
The program consisted of speeches, group sharing, and lighting the
County building purple and a moment of silence to remember and honor
those lives touched by domestic violence.
The night would not have been possible without the support of the
Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein . I would like to acknowledge
and thank him for his support in shining a light on domestic violence
and sending a message that domestic violence has no place in our community!
Thank you Michael P. Hein for caring !
Program Director, Family Domestic
After weeks of frustration with computer problems unsolvable via internet
tech support, I dug out last month's Phoenicia Times and called one
of your advertiser's, Scott Cameron of Computer Cures. com. I'm so
glad I did. What a pleasure. He got back to me right away, came to
visit my ailing computer next day and spent quality time focused on
all my complaints with my beloved old machine and naturally, fixed
them all, finding even more that needed easily remediating. He doesn't
know I'm writing this, but I am so grateful to him for his ad in your
paper and his evident expertise. Thank you both. I heartily recommend
Here at the Mystery Spot in Phoenicia we'd like to take this opportunity
to thank everyone who's come out and supported our free Music for
Front Porches concert series and helped make it possible.
It's been a pleasure and an honor to be able to present our series
of free musical performances to the community all season long. Deepest
thanks to the incredible musicians - many with local ties to our area
- who have given their time and talent to play on our front porch:
Laura Cantrell, Life in a Blender, Steve Almaas, Two Dark Birds, Uncle
Monk (Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan), Gail Ann Dorsey, and Ambrosia
Parsley & Chris Maxwell.
A special thanks as well to the Kirks and our wonderful neighboring
businesses on Main Street who have allowed us to make a little joyful
noise on the weekends, and to anyone and everyone who has helped spread
the word. Thanks too to those concert-goers who stuck around to browse
our seven rooms packed with vintage clothing, vinyl, and assorted
See you on Main Street!
Laura Levine, Proprietress
The news that Ulster County has a qualified Doctor, Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck,
to head the County health department is truly most gratifying. A good
Public Health program insures protection from disease with control
of water and sewage, restaurant practices, and other environmental
hazards. It helps by maximizing effective usage of personnel within
the system. The qualified Public Health Nurses have the potential
of providing more services than they are often permitted to give.
Coordination of the various health care agencies and individuals in
the community could result in better health care. A doctor with the
experience that Dr. Hasbrouck has can insure the efficient running
of the department. In addition to this, however, he can tackle some
health problems of the population by working with the educational
system, the medical doctors and health care facilities and the media
to combat the obesity epidemic. Public Health resulted in getting
tobacco usage under control and it is possible that this obesity epidemic
could be stemmed by education within the restaurant industry and in
general education, and medical practice guided by the Public Health
And another challenge is the hazard to health and the atmosphere posed
by wood burning stoves and fireplaces. This is hard to tackle as both
are used and enjoyed by many.
The tangled mess that Dean Palen left the Health Department in will
take a while to fix and we wish Dr. Hasbrouck well in the enterprise
and look forward to the day when Ulster County's Health Department
is up on top.
I am an old Public Health nurse who feels very deeply about the importance
of Public Health and good Public Health practices. I think this County
deserves the best, not what we have endured for several years.