On September 27, a Winter Watch Forum was presented at the Woodstock
Library. It was a very informative and well attended Forum. I want
to thank all those who made it possible. The initial idea for having
the Forum was presented by Director D.J. Stern. Our discussions regarding
how Ulster County could be involved, developed into a very worthwhile
program. Our speakers presented valuable information and answered
the publics questions. Special thanks to Dave Donaldson, Michael Hein,
Roberto Rodriguez, Michael Berg, Brian Shapiro, Jeff Moran, Chris
Collins, Pat Courtney, and Kari Hastings. They all did an excellent
job in informing the community about their areas of expertise. Additionally,
Amy Raff was the person who made sure all the details were in place.
She handled communications, and made sure our Library needs were met.
Dave Menzies and Barry Miller videotaped the entire meeting. This
enables all of us to be able to watch the meeting from our homes,
and hear information again in case there were some points we missed.
Most of all, I want to thank those who attended. Their interest in
our community makes us feel our work is important. Thank you.
Thanks to all the people that helped make this one successful. If
there are any questions, or if you need to speak to someone about
Winter Watch, please contact me directly, or call the Woodstock Town
UC Legislator District 2
Judging by the calling of a Special Board Meeting recently and some
letters in the paper, communication issues between the Onteora School
District, the School Board and the public continue to be a problem.
Some comments and suggestions:
1) Announcements from the Board, including the calling of Special
Board Meetings and their topics, should come from the District Clerk,
not the Superintendents office. Unfortunately, since the retirement
of our long-standing Clerk at the end of the last school year, the
district has been through two replacements; at the time of writing
the position is, I believe, again vacant.
2) The district needs to post minutes from the board meetings both
on its web site, and to those who have signed up to receive them (again,
via the District Clerk). Currently, there have been no minutes from
a board meeting made available since those from June 10 with the lone
exception of the August 5 meeting, the Minutes of which are posted
on the web site. Among the Minutes currently missing are those from
July 1, at which the new Board passed a moratorium on the Middle School
Grades reconfiguration. These minutes are surely a matter of public
record. Why has the District not made them publicly available? We
should not have to FOIL them.
3) Continuing with the School’s web site: The Board Of Ed meeting
information page still contains the press release from the Superintendent
from June 2007 announcing a Grades 5-8 reconfiguration, which was
rescinded this past July (except that, as just stated, the Minutes
announcing that decision have never been made available). And if the
front page of the schools web site can be used to make short-notice
announcements of snow days and cancellation of sports events, why
cant it be used to announce Special Board Meetings called at two working
days notice? As visited on October 7, the front page still has a letter
up from the Superintendent anticipating the start of the new school
year a month earlier. The Headlines section leads with a link to a
Middle School Steering Committee that last met several years ago.
5) Can we please pursue the idea of filming board meetings and community
forums for transmission on our local public access channels? Its a
wonderful solution to the time and energy concerns that prevent so
many people from attending these events.
6) The idea of a blog was suggested by some Board members, as a means
by which to better communicate with and receive input from the community.
The District Superintendent raised the possibility of legal action
(presumably for libel), and that was the last the public heard of
it. Lets take a can do attitude and trust that such a venture would
be well received and that, if it had a comments section, the public
would be civil and polite in using it.
7) The publication of board members e-mail addresses, as demanded
in some letters to the editor, is a red herring. (Every one of the
four new board members printed their e-mail addresses in their press
releases and their campaign literature back in April and May. These
addresses were then printed by the newspapers.) The best way to ensure
a message gets through to the board is to do address them as a body.
One does not need to attend a board meeting; a letter sent to the
district Clerk with a request that it be distributed to the board
should suffice. That person can always follow up with an individual
board member, to ensure that the letter was indeed distributed. As
to how the Board then responds to this information/opinion, well:
the old board gave the public two minutes to speak at meetings, and
that was often the last anyone would hear of their comments. The new
board has not only extended Public Be Heard, but has requested that
people follow up with their thoughts in writing if possible. This
And of course, we always have our newspapers to fall back on. Here’s
hoping these communication issues can be solved soon and that the
letters pages become a place to celebrate our school community’s
fine work in educating and informing parents, students and all taxpayers
Mount Tremper, NY
Dr. Leon Botstein is quoted as saying, "public education is the
bedrock of any hope that we might have for the Democratic process
and we will be as good as the educational system we provide."
I believe Dr. Botstein, as many people do, is confusing an educational
funding model with an educational system. This confusion is understandable
because the funding model and the educational system have gone hand
in hand for over 150 years.
On the surface the idea of publicly funded education sounds great.
Unfortunately, public funding puts the control of the educational
system into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats and takes it
out of the control of teachers, parents and especially the people
being educated (remember them - the students?). The educational system
in use at most public schools was designed in the 1800's as a way
to convert an agrarian society to an industrial society. We had to
take kids off the farms and "teach" them how to sit at desks
for hours on end and to take orders from their superiors. They had
to be taught that someone else was in charge of determining what was
important to know and that their worth was based on the evaluation
of an outsider. This wasn't just the "way it turned out;"
it was planned like this from the beginning. The founders of the compulsory
educational model in this country wanted a system that would create
compliant factory workers. They based the model on the Prussian system
that was designed to create well-trained, obedient soldiers. They
must have realized that factory workers and soldiers aren't really
For over 100 years this system worked and was very successful. It
took a country that was an economic backwater and made it the greatest
industrial nation in the world. Over time, however, the world changed.
We no longer need factory workers. We need people who can think for
themselves, people who know that they are ultimately in charge of
their life. We need people who have the confidence to try and fail,
and the persistence to keep trying until they succeed. We need people
who know that they are the only true judge of their life and who know
that they will succeed or fail based on how well they know themselves,
not how well they can repeat facts for a test. We need people who
understand how to function in a democracy, not a benevolent dictatorship.
How can Dr. Botstein say, with any accuracy, that "public education
is the bedrock of any hope we might have for the Democratic process"
when the vast majority of the voters in this country have been publicly
educated and yet we have one of the worst voter turn out rates of
any democracy in the world?
Perhaps it is not the funding model, but the educational model? Perhaps
we need to rethink how we educate our youth? Perhaps if our student's
schools were governed by a democracy, the students would understand
their responsibilities in a democracy and their power in this democracy?
Perhaps it is time to stop trying to fix our 19th century educational
model by throwing more money, more regulations, more bureaucracy and
more tests at the problem? Perhaps it is time to redesign education
for the 21st century?
Jeffery A. Collins
Sixteen yrs ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl …perfect
in every way, or so i thought. By first grade she was diagnosed with
severe ADHD, by eleven years old she had already been in two psychiatric
hospitals and was diagnosed with early onset bi-polar. By sixteen,
she was admitted a total of 5 times in hospitals to regulate medication
levels, has been in 16 schools, and has spent a lot of her school
career being educated at home by different school districts.
Our teenagers already believe that the teen life is a very traumatic
time for them and we as adults could have no idea what it’s
like to deal with their everyday highs, lows, trials and tribulations.
Now add in a child who has a chemical imbalance causing her highs
and lows to be so much more confusing and chaotic. This is a child
who aches and wishes with every fiber in her being to be “normal,”
to be treated with dignity and respect. But is so used to being treated
as an outcast by friends, family and peers due to this disease.
Five years ago, I gave birth to another beautiful baby girl…not
so perfect. Something was horribly wrong. She was very small and although
there wasn’t much as far as physical appearance to lead me to
the conclusion that something wasn’t right with her , I still
had that pit in my stomach and this horrible feeling that my intuition
was right .
I was right ….after 13 admissions and two surgeries in the next
three year period of time, and one doctor who decided to have faith
in me as a mother, my child was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
Tthis is a very rare genetic disorder that decreases life expectancy.
This disease usually affects three or more organ systems in the body,
causes developmental and learning delays and some congenital defects.
I now have a 5 yr old little girl who has 8 doctors that she sees
regularly, who is the size of a two year old, takes over 25 medications
a day, gets her blood sugars checked, can’t do a lot of what
other two year olds do physically, doesn’t have the best of
speech and gets sick when you breath on her. The one thing she does
every day, sick or well, is tell you she loves you , that sh e is
happy and wants to know if you are happy too.
Three years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, perfect in
every way, or so I thought… until I touched him. Every mother
when they give birth to that child immediately wants to hold their
child, feel that baby nestle in the crook of their arm, feel that
baby’s warm breath against them ….my child stiffened like
a board, completely traumatized by the feeling of my touch. It took
just about two years for him to test below levels allowing me to pursue
a developmental specialist who was able to confirm what I already
knew the day I gave birth. My son was autistic.
I never take for granted anymore the kisses I get (only on the hand,
arm or cheek). I never take for granted the hugs I get (usually only
when he is tired). And I never take for granted when my others say
they love me, as I will probably never hear it from him.
We as parents, expect that our children, special needs or not, will
be extended the same privileges, rights, respect and dignity that
everyone else in the United States is given, and that the laws allow.
In some instances we don’t even think twice about it, such as
the right to a free and appropriate education.
In September i decided to make Hurley my home and live the rest of
my life with a native of your community and moved my children here,
very excited with the prospects of what our new life and my children’s
future would bring.
On September 5th I attempted to register my children in school. As
of today, my children are still sitting home without an education
and a different reason every time I turn around about why.
I was told immunizations, and brought them in. I was told proof of
residency and brought in many. I was told i needed to attend a residency
hearing and did…providing nothing new. And still won the hearing.
My children have been documented as residents and eligible for an
education in the Onteora School District. I spent two and a half hours
signing forms for the school to educate my children and I signed forms
allowing for temporary services to be put in place until CSE meetings
can be scheduled. I was asked to provide a driver’s license
with the current address and did. I was asked to provide custody papers
and did. I was asked to provide birth certificates and this is where
I draw the line.
Most of what I was asked for can be found in my children’s school
records and although I signed releases twice for them to acquire these
records they have refused to do that as well.
I firmly believe that if I were registering “normal” kids
in in school, the cost to educate them would be minimal and they would
have immediately received an education. Instead I provided 3 IEP’s
with their forms showing the need for special nursing needs due to
medications and special diets, aides, furniture modification due to
abnormally small stature, the need for instruction to occur at home
for one and instruction to occur in a specialized setting for another,
speech therapy times two, occupational therapy times two and physical
therapy for one, behavioral intervention plans and the possibility
of specialized programming for the home schooled student.
It is also my belief that all the school district is seeing at the
moment is their bottom line and their budget “going to hell
in a hand basket “
Their first priority should be to our children’s special needs
or not and doing what needs to be done to provide them the best education
they can. Our children are our future, they will be our next heads
of government , they will be our next CEO’s, they will be the
ones in our final moments, providing our care. They will be our teachers,
police and fireman and the person serving you your coffee at the beginning
of the day.
While their peers are holding these important positions in life…
My children will still be sitting home playing with their crayons,
waiting to start their education. .
West Hurley, NY
Wednesday, September 10: In the early afternoon e-mails begin to circulate
stating that the Fall Festival at Belleayre Mountain will not proceed
after 29 years. This came from word of mouth from a DEC representative
who stated this was a collective decision between Albany DEC and the
Thursday, September 11: e-mails indicate that The Coalition to Save
Belleayre had a regular scheduled meeting for Saturday September 13
at 9 a.m. at the Lower Lodge and this would be an ideal time to attend
and show support for the Ski Center.
Friday, September 12: The Times Herald-Record reports that on the
previous day, Maureen Wren, a spokesperson for DEC states there will
be change at Belleayre, the extent is being worked out. In the same
article a vendor, who has sold his wares at the festival for many
years states that it costs DEC approximately $23,000 to host the festival
and that the revenues lost are more than $70,000 above the cost of
the event. Later that Friday afternoon an Albany DEC news release
states the 29th Annual Belleayre Fall Festival will be held at a new
location. The event will be a partnership between DEC and the Delaware
and Ulster Railroad in Arkville. It further states that Belleayre
Mountain representatives will also be on-site to provide info about
tickets for the upcoming ski season.
Saturday, September 12: a crowd of at least 200 people rallied at
the Lower Lodge to show support for the Ski Center and the Coalition
to Save Belleayre group. There were a diverse group of speakers ranging
from politicians to skiers. Not to be seen anywhere were DEC officials
nor Belleayre Administrators! Comments and answers would have been
welcome by all present.
Wednesday, September 17: A Daily Freeman news article asked DEC spokesperson
Maureen Wren why the Festival was moved. She evades the question with
this: The railroad had offered to host it at their location, and we
agreed. She went on to say that the budget cutting decisions were
made inclusive of those who are in charge at the ski center. The next
sentence says that the Belleayre Superintendent declined comment.
Saturday, October 4, 2:15 p.m.: A sign at the intersection of County
Rt. 49A and the entrance to the upper Belleayre Mountain Ski Center
Lodge indicates a reception is being held. Further investigation indicates
a private wedding is being held at the summit Lodge. A chairlift is
in operation with attendants, two lift maintenance personnel, and
a person serving in a supervisory capacity. A Belleayre Security Vehicle
and a Maintenance Pick-up truck were also seen in operation.
Comment: Don’t we the people deserve some direct answers from
NYS DEC and/or their Superintendent at Belleayre regarding not only
this ski season but also the day to day operations? Does it make sense
to cancel a profitable Fall Festival weekend for thousands but yet
host a private wedding for a handful of individuals??
We are astounded by the letter eight visitors from Long Island wrote
in the September 25, 2008 edition of the Phoenicia Times. How selfish
can people be? And how ignorant?
First they say Belleayre is doing just fine without the resort. Well,
maybe the trails they ski at Belleayre they see look great to them,
but they seem to have missed the poverty the rest of us experience
upon leaving the mountain. They want us to keep the raw nature of
the mountains for them to look at as they travel back and forth to
their second homes. Maybe if they had to earn a living here they too
might see the benefit of a resort.
Second, they have the nerve to say that if we get this resort, the'll
have to drive to the Adirondacks to find what they would miss here.
Don't they know that Gore Mountain, (New York State owned and operated
in the Adirondacks,) is getting five (count 'em 5) new hotels in a
ski in-ski out development up there? That too is a public/private
partnership in which the state will invest. We missed their objection
to that development.
Maybe we should go to Long Island and look at all the investments
of taxpayer dollars there. Let's start with Jones Beach and Bethpage
golf course. Do these Long Islanders resent those investments of taxpayer
What we need here folks is a little balance. With 80% of the land
already owned by the State and the City, and with no other sort of
development or industry available to us, the Belleayre Resort is as
good as it gets. And we warrant a guess that once it's built you second
homeowners will hardly even realize it's there.
John & Jane Rossitz
This is to express two related concerns, as both a lifelong resident
of New York City, and a 24-year resident of Shandaken, a small rural
town in the Catskill Mountains along Route 28.
My concerns pertain to Belleayre Mountain’s wonderful public
ski center, and the proposal for a massive private development, on
the west side of the mountain, of luxury hotels, luxury condominiums,
a golf course, luxury restaurants and other facilities.
First, the ski center: In 1984, before the bucolic magnificence of
Shandaken and adjacent areas had been “discovered” by
the media, my wife and I purchased a small one-story house off a local
road. We did not buy it as an investment, but to escape on weekends
to an area largely untouched by the maddening overdevelopment in the
The house was essentially one large room; it had no well, a tiny bunk
area, a tiny half-bathroom that doubled as a storage room, a few kitchen
appliances and a wood-burning stove. Modest, certainly, but to us
it was paradise. Although we have since added some improvements (a
well, two bedrooms and a full bath, for example), it remains modest—and
remains our paradise.
Almost immediately, we began to visit Belleayre in the winter for
its breathtaking cross-country skiing lanes. We also visit in the
fall, especially for Oktoberfest. And often in the summer, initially
just to let our twin daughters run up and roll down the hills, and
now simply to take in the sights. In all our visits, we note the sight-seers
seem to reflect a wide diversity of moderate-income and middle-income
backgrounds, just like my wife and myself. Everybody always appears
to be having a ball.
As you know, beyond its function as a great place to visit all year,
Belleayre is a revenue generator for the broader community, and therefore
for New York State, both as a tourist destination and a job provider.
Will you allow that to come to an end? Although some original proposed
New York State cuts were rescinded, some additional cuts will remain.
And more cuts may be lobbied for in the future, probably by private
sector ski facilities, or some high end developers, who wish to attract
a clientele that is anything but diverse. That would be unspeakable.
But I have a second concern: the Crossroads venture for massive luxury
development on the west side of the mountain. It is truly mind-boggling,
and terrifying in terms of its destructive environmental impact, and
its ultimate negative economic effect on the community. Think of virtually
every other place in this country where similar developments—always
luxury—have transformed viable communities into ecologically
corrosive playgrounds for the wealthy. Think of the Hamptons, with
their mansions replacing homes, with traffic arteries choked to the
point of suffocation, where most restaurants are now affordable only
to a very small upper segment of the population. Indeed, think of
New York City, where virtually every neighborhood has gentrified to
the extent that long-time small businesses are forced to shut their
doors, and lifelong residents face eviction.
I won’t tire you with a million facts and figures about the
development. But we all know that it would entail years, perhaps as
many as ten, of polluting construction and waste trucks clogging Route
28, which is already over-driven. It would build luxury housing above
the ski slopes, visible from everywhere, replacing the magnificent
natural views of trees and wildlife. Its thousands of artificial lights
would beam up into the sky, making it difficult if not impossible
to see the stars. It would violate NY State recommendations against
building on slopes steeper than 15%: the resorts are slated for slopes
of 20%, and a hotel would be blasted into a 35% slope. Its own shops
and hotels and restaurants would service its expected clientele, insulating
them from local businesses. The water table in the surrounding area
would be sharply reduced.
For New York City, toxic runoff from the development would surely
threaten our precious water supply.
(None of these awful effects will be mitigated by the so-called “compromise”
crafted by former Governor Spitzer, reached behind closed doors with
a few public interest organizations, which are saddled with a gag
And, as always with luxury developments, it would force up taxes to
the breaking point, to pay not only for ski lifts and other publicly
funded perks to the developer, but for more fire and police protection,
medical facilities, and social services.
Would it provide jobs? Perhaps, ten years from now, some minimum wage
jobs for some local residents. But keep in mind the experience of
over-developed Aspen and Vail, Colo., where land and house values
have escalated well beyond the reach of the former working class residents.
Which means that prospective workers cannot afford to live there,
nor even travel over long distances to work. Those jobs at the development
would likely go begging. Other, higher paying jobs—spa masseurs,
chefs, and managers, for example—would most likely be reserved
for people from European countries, who tend to be demanded as more
“appropriate” by high-paying resort-goers.
This venture must be stopped. The super rich in this country do not
need yet another playground. The rest of us do not need yet another
ecologically and economically wasteful eyesore.
So please, use whatever influence you have to continue public funding
the ski center—not only this year, but for decades to come—and
to oppose the Crossroads venture. Please do not allow our—and
our neighbors’—paradise to become a paradise lost.
New York, NY
I entered the race for County Comptroller for one reason: to serve
the public by protecting their tax dollars from the waste, fraud and
abuse that have become commonplace in our government.
I will be a full-time Comptroller who will stand up to the deal makers
and insiders who have wasted millions of our county tax dollars on
boondoggles like the county jail project.
I'm not a politician. I'm a Certified Public Accountant with 20 years
of experience as a proven independent fiscal watchdog, and I'm a successful
For me, this office is my chance to give something back to the county
where I was born and raised; the county where my wife and I raised
our three children; and the county that deserves better than the waste
and corruption that we have seen over the last several years.
I've been fortunate, and what I learned growing up here in Ulster
County helped me to succeed in life. I want my children and all our
young people to succeed here too, and like so many of our citizens,
I have had enough of seeing our tax dollars frittered away.
I'm in this race to serve; to offer my energy, experience and expertise
to the people of Ulster County. And other than their support, I won't
ask for a thing in return. That's why I pledge that, if elected, I
will not accept any salary as comptroller and will instead return
it to the taxpayers of Ulster County.
My goal is to safeguard county tax dollars, not spend them.
But that is only the beginning of my commitment to serve.
This first election for County Comptroller will set the bar for all
who will follow. We have only one chance to get it right the first
time. We must set the bar high now by electing an experienced auditor
and proven fiscal watchdog who is truly independent of the political
If elected, I will be exactly that kind of Comptroller.
James E. Quigley
Jim Quigley must have realized his days were numbered in the real
estate world of sub prime mortgages and plummeting property values
when he made a decision to flee his Wall Street world and attempt
to buy his way into the Ulster County ’s Comptrollers seat.
It seems that Republican Quigley will spare no expense to purchase
power and has spent over $80,000 to date to bring his bailout and
buyout mentality to county government
Quigley, who smugly addressed the 300 hundred members of the Ulster
County Chamber of Commerce who attended last month’s breakfast,
condescendingly stated that he would donate his salary if elected
comptroller. While noble in concept, he displayed his usual arrogance
and disregard for the hard working men and women in the audience.
He let them know that he was “forced” to leave the county
to make his living and by doing so, literally slapped the face of
everyone who earned a paycheck in Ulster County .
It is evident that while most of us are worried about the high cost
of gas, home heating oil and food, Quigley is concerned about how
he can pay money to elbow his way into a world he knows nothing about.
While his party’s national platform attempts to address the
concerns of “Joe Sixpack” and the “hockey moms Quigley,
with his “I am above it all” attitude, displays the same
Wall Street arrogance that has brought us to the brink of financial
The one thing that Quigley and his good old boys’ money can’t
buy is the experience and integrity of his Democratic opponent Elliott
Auerbach, a man who puts the public’s interest before his own.
I have just now got around to reading County Attorney, Koplovitz's
press release, "Lower Esopus Summons and Complaint Fixed by Attorney
You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Released so close to election
day, it is one of the dirtiest examples of government electioneering
for their own, their "pseudo incumbent," east of Mayor Daley's
Very smooth flaktion if I do say so myself. Fridays and Mondays are
generally considered favorite media days for news they want to "hide."
On the other hand, Saturday is said to be one of readers/viewers'
That is, news that gets into circulation Saturday.
This release might be a masterpiece of obscurity, released today at
1:37 PM, long after it could make Saturday's edition. Then Columbus
Day. And, who knows what then? It'll be old news. Ho hum...
The document is so full of lies, half truths, concealment and "forgotten"
history, if it weren't so sad an example of the government which MUST
BE WIPED CLEAR OF OUR POCKETBOOKS, it would make fascinating Hollywood
fare. I don't know where to start.
Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd or shades of The Godfather come
p. 5 One million seven-hundred thousand dollars squandered? Sounds
like an outdoor UCLEC. Maybe an outhouse. ANOTHER taxpayer fiasco.
Will it EVER end? Not unless every incumbent is kicked out of office.
p. 2, Para. 2 Dave, that's a claim to which you have NO RIGHT asserting.
The Democrats did NOTHING to stem the tide. Nor did Heinsight have
a THING to do with uncovering the matter. It was Lisa Cutten...entirely.
I sat to her right in the 6th floor library and agonized watching
and listening as two Democrats shouted at her in disbelief that she
would have the gall even to suggest such things as now, apparently,
the AG is MERELY CONFIRMING. At NO TIME did I see "Chef"
Hein in any of those meetings. Did anyone protect Lisa as she did
the job expected of a county auditor? Not that I saw or heard.
Indeed, at about that time, in an effort to convince the Ulster voter
that we desperately needed the charter, I produced a 4 + minute video,
Flush it !, which I uploaded to You Tube and My Space, detailing several
examples of fraud, waste, mismanagement which I was convinced ONLY
the charter would remedy.
In the video I made a special point directed to Cutten; "Why
don't you quit?"
See it for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mIuq1Q0HI
Pity is that if Republican or Democrat is elected county executive,
wait and see: it'll be just more of the same...political bossism as
usual. And it won't be any easier knowing that the voters deserved
what they got...such lemmings. January 2 they'll start complaining.
The Legislature "overwhelmingly obliged?" Except for the
two Democrats who continued to deride Cutten.
Paras 3 & 4 Such grandstanding, Chef! But, then, you never were
one not to lie your way into situations you couldn't otherwise negotiate.
You're in for the surprise of your short career: in California they
called it the "Bradley effect." You're totally surrounded
by yes men; no one dares tell you the truth. While collecting signatures
for my petition, three county employees admitted they were scared
for their jobs if anyone found out...and you surely WOULD HAVE. THey
said, "Sorry, I'd like to, but I dare not." They MUST say,
"Of course, Hein's my choice." But, then, in the voting
booth. THAT's your downfall. Prepare for it. If I don't win, Bernardo
The investigation was NOT initiated AS A RESULT OF the legislature's
resolution. Dave, you waited so long, you almost have another "jail
escape" in which the statute of limitations runs out: the SAME
delay you pulled on Don Williams when you didn't hint in time that
you smelled a rat. He couldn't move without even an INKLING of evidence
from the legislature. The "investigation" had long before
been triggered, urged, by Lisa Cutten. You waited months and months
after she blew the whistle. It's a wonder she lasted as long as she
p. 3, para 3 Again, Mike Hein had NOTHING to do with "proposing
a general audit" until Lisa Cutten had nearly worn out her throat
I never saw Hein in ANY of the crucial meetings UNTIL HE DECLARED
his candiadcy for office.
p.4 para 3 ipp7????????!!!!!! "abdicating their fiduciary duties?"
Where was our legislature all this time? What about the committee
which was supposed to have overseen LERW and EMC? I heard nothing
from them except laudatory comments and, aimed at Cutten, "How
do you DARE suggest that Fritchler may have committed fraud?"
He was a convicted felon. Served time. And his hirer KNEW IT. How
much had he paid off that person or people who hired him? After all,
what else does a smart politician do with taxpayers' money but take
jaunts, etc., etc., etc.?
Show evidence that I'm misguided and have leaped to conclusions and
I'll be only so willing to retract these allegations.
Let me get this straight, Mr. Len Bernardo, who is running for County
Executive, has made economic development and jobs the central issue
of his campaign. Yet, in his business he has used $100,000 in taxpayer
money to create jobs for [in his words] a bunch of kids.
Well, excuse me, but what we need is jobs for moms and dads jobs that
pay a decent wage; jobs that have benefits. And we need those jobs
here in out County, without the big tax bill. When businesses get
tax breaks to develop property and open up shop in Ulster County,
that revenue is forgiven by our county and our tax bill goes up. I
say, if a business gets a tax break and does not hold up its end of
the bargain, it should give the money back. Mr. Bernardo has criticized
Mike Hein for the job situation in Ulster County but it is not the
administrators job. I suggest Mr. Bernardo stop the double talk, get
his house in order and return the taxpayers money.
I am writing to express my support for Elliott Auerbach in his candidacy
for Ulster County Comptroller. I have had the pleasure of serving
with Elliott on the Board of the Ulster County Industrial Development
Agency over the last two years. Elliott is an analysis-driven individual
who is deeply concerned about the people of Ulster County. He will
bring his combined public service and private sector experience to
the job of Comptroller in order to be the people’s watchdog
over our County finances. Elliott is friendly and approachable. He
gets along with nearly everyone, but don’t let his charming
personality fool you, underneath he is hard as nails, especially when
it comes to protecting the taxpayer from waste, fraud, and abuse.
I’ve watched Elliott Auerbach struggle with tough, complicated
issues such as job losses in Ellenville and prevailing wages on the
IDA. He weighs his decisions carefully and works hard in support of
the people he represents. Finally, Elliott comes from Main Street
not Wall Street. We need a Comptroller who will not hesitate to audit
and expose problems like those of the Lower Esopus River Watch, but
who will do it with compassion and tact. A Comptroller is more than
just an auditor; it’s someone who can manage an entire team
of auditors and provide oversight of the County Executive regardless
of political affiliation. Elliott Auerbach will make a great Comptroller,
one who supports our new Charter form of government (and has since
the inception), and will seek to put the long-term health of Ulster
March S. Gallagher, Esq.
Being pleasantly surprised by Mr Quigley’s offer; that if elected
Comptroller he would use his salary to fund two extra positions in
the Comptrollers office, I began to wonder about what makes millionaire
businessmen run for local office. Why would anyone leave the lucrative
private sector to work for much less in the public one.
In Mr. Quigley's case it appears to be devotion to his community.
He has a long history of civic duty and commitment to Ulster County
which includes the financial rescue of Coleman High School.
On the other hand Mr. Bernardo‘s motivation for running for
County Executive remains a mystery. After developing a multi million
dollar company, he sold it and moved here from NYC after 911. He and
his wife opened a skating ring and a fitness center. He is a political
novice without any experience in government.
Having attended most of the candidate forums I am left with the impression
that Mr. Quiqley is stepping up to the plate in order to serve the
community, while Mr. Bernardo is looking for something to do.
There is a perfect tax storm moving our way. The State is in a financial
crisis and the majority of our state representatives are in the pockets
of special interest groups. My guess is that they will cut the state
budget by passing the costs on to the counties. If ever we needed
top people in Ulster County government it is now. People with the
governmental know-how and political connections to protect our tax
Does the Republican candidate for Ulster County Comptroller Jim Quigley
think for one moment that the good people of Ulster County are not
intelligent enough to figure out that not only is he one of the Republican
good old boys as its party’s treasurer, but he is also one of
the largest single contributors to his party’s financial
well being. According to the Times Herald Record Quigley made political
contributions of more than $74,000 in the past several years, including
$30,000 in donations last year. Quigley is so entrenched in good old
boy politics that his home on 7 Tall Oaks Drive is the address used
for all financial filings of the Ulster County Republican Committee.
Does Quigley think that the voting public has forgotten the Republican
Reign Of Terror that brought us the Ulster County
Jail? The Republican controlled Legislature, many of Quigley’s
party faithful such as Todd, Gerentine and Murray, were responsible
for unnecessary and improper expenses, careless oversight, extensive
design errors and sticking the taxpayers with twenty years of debt
at nearly $ 100 million dollars.
This is the same Jim Quigley who attempted to thwart the good work
of Dr. Gerry Benjamin and the Ulster County Charter Commission when
he organized and personally financed the Coalition Against The Charter.
He knew that it would be dangerous for his Republican cronies to allow
the electorate an opportunity to place experienced candidates like
Elliott Auerbach and Mike Hein in positions of responsibility.
We all have seen the widely published television clip where McCain
takes the microphone from the woman in the audience that said I can’t
vote for Obama because he’s an Arab. (Or words to that effect)
Then McCain quickly took the microphone away from the woman and said,
no no ma’am he’s a decent man and you don’t have
to be afraid. He didn’t say that Obama was a good man.
That was a very dramatic moment for McCain that made him look like
he was a nice guy. And, it made it appear that he was turning down
the malicious remarks against Obama that he and Sara Palin have been
doing for weeks. That kind of scenario brings up a question. Could
that woman have been a plant in the audience that agreed to make those
remarks so McCain or someone that works for him knew who to give the
microphone to? This could have been something like what happens in
a live television broadcast. When the speaker is speaking and drops
a one liner or hesitates there’s one or more persons off camera
that starts to clap. In that kind of setting everyone in the audience
follows by starting to clap. It’s a trick that works. The above
question should be considered by all those that haven’t thought
Do you know why John McCain and his running mate are running around
whipping up their campaign-stop crowds into an angry frenzy with their
personal attacks against Barack Obama? Because they are running out
of ideas. They know that their platform that so closely parallels
the failed administration of George Bush, one of the least popular
presidents in American history, will not work, so they are resorting
to mudslinging and fear mongering.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama has a plan for change. Real change, and not
just a borrowed slogan. He wants to end the war in Iraq, safely and
responsibly, and put more resources into fighting Al Qaeda and the
Taliban in Afghanistan and other countries that may be harboring them,
a war which we walked away from too soon. He wants to be a real advocate
for the middle class, bringing tax relief and better health care where
you and your doctor get to decide on what’s best for your health,
without a bureaucracy getting in your way. He wants to improve education
for our children, make college more affordable, and help us become
more competitive in this 21st century economy.
With so much at stake in this election, I don’t want someone
who feels the need to whip up people’s fears (and changes his
strategy every time the wind changes) in order to get a couple of
notches higher in the polls.
From the beginning, when I first heard Barack Obama speak at a campaign
event during the primaries, I appreciated his intelligence and enthusiasm.
During what was at times a very contentious primary season, I grew
to appreciate him even more for his coolheaded approach to sometimes
difficult situations. I know he will bring this to the White House,
and I know that this is what we need right now. That’s why I’ll
be voting for Barack Obama on November 4. I hope that you will too.
Ulster Park, NY
Progressive voters agree that centrist Democrat Barack Obama would
better president than rightist Republican John McCain.
Some progressives, however, question whether the political centrism
timidity of the national Democratic Party and presidential ticket
is an adequate response to the extraordinary problems confronting
our country. These include the most disastrous economic crisis since
the Great Depression, two expensive endless wars, an ever-growing
rich-poor gap, rising prices, and a looming environmental crisis.
New York's a safe state for Obama. Progressives concerned about the
efficacy of a centrist solution for deeply troubled America can vote
for a left third
party candidate without fearing McCain will take our state.
There are good candidates including Cynthia McKinney (Greens) and
Nader (Independent). But if you really want to make a statement, consider
the socialist candidate - West Coast union leader and left activist
Gloria LaRiva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, who is running
on a truly progressive platform (see www.pslweb.org).
Ours is the only advanced industrialized democracy with a two-party
system limited to centrism and conservatism. Other major countries
have viable third alternatives, either a mass social-democratic or
socialist party. That's why virtually all of them are miles ahead
of our country in social programs for working people ‹ from
less poverty to more years of life, from universal healthcare to longer
vacations. Turn your ballot into a political pronouncement Nov. 4
- vote for socialist Gloria LaRiva.
Jack A. Smith
New Paltz, NY
I've been talking with friends and neighbors about the disappearance
of their 401K's and I'm astounded at how well they are taking it.
Yes, they are all voting against Phil Graham's McCain, but the remarkable
surprise to me is that they are resolved, not panicked, but prepared
to do their own shoveling, and carry on, with hope that once the illegal
(until Graham de-regulated it) mortgage scams are fixed, we can return
to a sound economic policy.
I wanted to share some of Greg Palast's thoughts with you. He likened
the economy to a tree, pointing out that without strong roots, a top
heavy tree will fall over. Yup, we're the roots and the money lenders
are toppling our economy. The ones at the top have put their money
safely away, somewhere. But the rest of us, well, thank Heavens we
know what it is to plant our feet on the ground and to be nurtured
by the beauty of our surroundings. I'm hoping that we are now more
united, and that the McCain "divide and conquer" campaign
will fail and that we will not let the next election be stolen away
Let us vow to have our votes counted, and let us try to protect those
that are going to have their voting rights denied. The way the law
is now set up, if your address has changed, you may well lose your
voting rights. That includes some soldiers in Iraq. Sounds incredible?
Well, read it in the Help America Vote Act. What they are planning
to do, is to claim that people that have moved, are not legally entitled
to vote, (unless they can prove otherwise) or, in other words, take
advantage of the foreclosures.
In Ohio, more than 5% of homes went into foreclosure, that's about
67 thousand votes. In Michigan, the Republican party said that they
have a list of foreclosed homes, and will eliminate those people from
the voting records. My guess is that at least, they match Ohio's numbers.
John McCain's contributor and landlord for his campaign office in
Michigan, is also owner of law firm Trott and Trott, a firm that handles
most of that States foreclosures. So it's easy for them to have a
list of foreclosures. Here's how they do it: they send mail to a foreclosed
voter, then when it is returned, they consider that person ineligible
to vote and take his name off the list. Of course, after he is rejected
at the polls, he can fight it, but most don't, and even if they did,
the election would be long over by the time they won.
This is coupled with the need to show your drivers license, which
also can be contested when it's too late. So, if you don't have a
license, as many black voters don't, they don't get to vote. In Milwaukee
over half the population doesn't have drivers licenses. An estimated
673K Indiana residents don't have drivers licenses, which I believe,
is more votes lost than were challenged in the two former elections.
Which reminds me of Florida where letters also go out to voters, and
if they are returned, they also are not allowed to vote, so here goes
Florida and Ohio again. Hey, this is a BIG issue. Citizens do NOT
have the right to vote, under the HAVA. I think it's more like the
help the HAVES act.
But let me call on my optimistic side. It could be good news. Maybe
all the machines aren't fixed, and they aren't relying on that this
time. Furthermore, if We, the People asked that all the votes be counted,
and that those denied the right to vote, be reviewed, and then counted,
we could possibly, just possibly,learn from the past 2 elections and
Take Back America. Whaddaya Say?
The latest edition of the Olive Press [10-09-08] finds Mescal Hornbeck
on a "hate" mission again. It is all very nice that Barak
Obama and Joe Biden are at the top of their class, Sarah Palin hasn't
contributed anything to the USA, much less to the world and now we
know that John McCain graduated from the USNaval Academy as 894 of
899. How disgraceful!
Mescal Hornbeck is one of those people who stand on the sidelines
cheering for the felon who has wrested a police officer's gun and
is being encouraged to "shoot him"!!
William Warnecke, now Bill Warnecke is no better with his reasoning
that McCain has serious [?] cancer and what a disaster if Palin becomes
Have any of you rightious folks ever seen Obama's birth certificate?
What do you know of his history [if he has any]? John McCain's life
from birth in the Panama Canal [territory] to his residences [including
the Hanoi Hilton], to the homes that he doesn't own [none] to his
life as we see it on TV today is an open book.
Let me inquire of all the brilliance out there that despise the rich;
when was the last time a poor person gave you a job? Even cleaning
out their cellar? I'm not sure why Olive let the vagrants and mendicants
into Onteora. All you have done is lower Onteora's scholastic average
and the intelligent students are leaving. Sure, registration is down
By the way, a Harvard Law degree does not equal a JD, but #894 got
to rank of Captain USN, ret. [the hard way].
Glenn T. Anderson
It is well nigh impossible that the concept of having a universal,
single payer health insurance program under the aegis of the government
isn't at the forefront of the consideration of our leaders and potential
leaders. Obama sounds as though he's seeing to it that the health
insurance companies be somehow controlled to make this happen. He
doesn't talk about leaving them out of the plan. McCain talks about
achieving coverage for all by seeing that each person is allocated
so much funding per head so that health care insurance can be purchased!
Imagine using our money to pay the private companies what they charge
for the insurance. What they cost us is 20 percent or more to cover
their profits. He isn't going to get the corporations out of the picture
and interfere with private enterprise. The Insurance industry has
us under their control by dint of the money they spend to "educate"
us and to bribe our law makers to stay in line. They spend billions
of our money doing this. Where are the voices of the officials who
espouse that single payer plan? Maurice is silent on the subject now
where he used to be strongly supportive. But it is a fact that there
are many millions who support it and there is hope in that, I hope.
The Onteora Class of 1974 is currently planning it's 35th Reunion.
We have been unable to contact several of our former classmates. Attached
is the list of names of those classmates. Anyone with any information
may contact me or go to our Class Webpage at www.onteora1974.com
Margaret Smyth (Bolivar)
Debra Tabler (Gremer)
Mary A. Vente
Susan Herzog (Arden)
Susan Kysor (Barnum)
Thank you very much,
Lori Hurt, CHair
Reunion Search Committee
The economic events unfolding globally portend a change (at least
in some small measure) back to local production and sourcing of food,
fuel, fiber and other essentials in those communities which are fortunate
enough to have the resources, history and culture to effect the change.
Any elder of this community knows what real energy efficiency and
a small carbon footprint looks like. They lived it decades ago when
only 2 rooms were heated and you knew who produced all of your food
and fuel. No money was the norm. Work, planning and co-operation was
the creator of real value and well being. Can we re-access these timeless
sources of essential goods and services? As long as the sun and the
natural biological systems we rely on are present we can choose to
derive our essentials locally if need be.
In my view, farmland and homestead security is of much greater concern
than other more expensive types of security which at times may actually
be counterproductive to their intended effect. If my neighbors household
and my own is fully stocked for winter, then we will be secure against
any temporary supply disruption that might arise. What does neighborhood
and hamlet security look like? To me, like it did 60-70 years ago
and earlier. Grazing livestock, fields under a crop rotation plan
including fallow periods, locally derived soil amendments with some
lime shipped in, grain bins, co-operative canning kitchens and wood
skidders being horse, mechanical or both. We will be making changes
going forward in our personal energy consumption profiles, like it
Energy has been re-priced and it now pays to use wood which is in
abundance. At 250-300 per cord, some new producers may enter the fray.
Existing producers are swamped. The change in the value of the dollar
has likewise been dramatic and painful. Less well known is that at
last years all time high in the S&P and Dow stock market indexes,
the actual real purchasing power of the indexes had fallen by 50 and
65% respectively, as compared to the previous highs in the year 2000.
The inflated nominal value from a massively inflated currency masked
the actual declining value. It was a silent slow motion crash in real
terms and portends distress for those with retirement, pension and
health care promises made to them by far off entities which may or
may not survive.
What can a community do to achieve some sort of state of well being
and optimism while we travel the corridors of uncertainty? It can
meet and talk about these and other issues surrounding the newly formed
re-localization movement on Sat. Nov. 8 at 5pm at the Odd Fellows
Hall on Rt. 213 in Olivebridge. Park around the corner at the firehouse.
Wood fired pizza potluck starts at 5 followed by a screening of “The
Power of Community”, whichs documents the change in Cuba to
local organic food production in response to a severe change in the
price and availability of petroleum products in Cuba due to the collapse
of the former Soviet Union in 1991.
RSVP about pizza toppings and other potluck needs to either firstname.lastname@example.org
or 845-657-2030. Come out, meet your neighbors and talk about what
true security means to you. Charlie Blumstein
To local people...
Thank you for Collecting blankets and towels for the doggies. They
are so happy!!!!! Thank you so much.
Annie Lee Vankleek