Thank you for your coverage of the Route 28 road safety problems,
as well as for the request for action on this matter. Thanks also
to Rich Feldman for his excellent letter about the matter in the previous
issue. Since there were three tragic fatalities in the same spot on
Rte. 28 in the month of August, we contacted Kevin Cahill's office
to request he put serious pressure on the DOT to deter any further
accidents. We stressed to him that deterrents such as decreasing speed
limits, relying on police monitoring, widening/repaving the road,
and memorial markers are ineffective and clearly not enough for some
parts of Rte. 28.
What seems to be missing is the real message. How do we get tourists,
truckers, and locals to slow down and pay attention? Route 28 is unique.
It is a dangerously designed road further complicated by illegal speeding,
and distracted driving (that's texting and cell phones). How do we
get an impactful message out there that will make a difference on
safety? Maybe strategically located signage - "DANGER: DO NOT
CROSS OVER THE CENTER LINE!" or "CAUTION: KEEP ALERT FOR
SLOW MOVING AND TURNING VEHICLES".
As your article pointed out, it's been three years since the April
2007 accidents occurred, and nothing effective has been done. We have
heard numbers bandied about that $2 - $8 million were allotted to
improve Route 28 and yet we still don't have any such signage or serious
focus on the this issue. Assemblyman Cahill relayed that he would
stress the concern to the DOT, which we appreciate. However, our community
who live here and use Route 28 are most directly affected by these
tragedies, so if we really want to make a difference, it is we who
need to speak up loudly and do it now. Call for forceful signage to
go up as soon as possible, and more seriously analyzed and effective
solutions to be found and implemented within a deadline.
Our hearts go out to all the families who have lost loved ones on
Route 28 recently and over the years. Anyone reading this drives on
and has family, friends, and neighbors who drive Rte. 28 daily. Do
we want such tragedy to ever happen again? to anyone? Please contact
Assemblyman Cahill at 845-338-9610 or http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=101
with your thoughts. And if you would like to make Rte. 28 safe, please
join us to create and promote solutions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posie Strenz, Mt. Tremper, NY and Christina Himberger, Boiceville,
THANK YOU for the years of local news! Saying goodbye to our favorite
newspaper and all the many many wonderful writers and articles - so
sad to see you go! Good luck in your future endeavors!
Kt & Ralph Legnini
West Shokan, NY
The end of an era is upon us. Our local newspaper is shutting down.
Brian Powers has contributed immensely to our town. I am going to
miss his editorials, every one's columns and the news. Perhaps after
he pursues his other dreams, he'll return to publishing one of the
most anticipated papers I've read....In the meantime, thank-you, Brian,
and everyone else....and good luck.
Yours in the struggle,
Just want you to know,that for me you are the best newspaper around.
In fact you are the only paper I read, cant remember the last time
I read the Woodstock Times, and I have been here for 34 years.
Why dont you start charging for your paper? I would gladly pay for
I am going to really miss it, you did a great job.
Mt. Tremper, NY
As we start a new school year, the Onteora Central School District
Board of Trustees would like to update you on current and upcoming
Ms. Charlotte Gregory became our Interim Superintendent over the summer
and will continue in that role while we embark on our search for a
new, full-time Superintendent. Ms. Gregory brings to her position
over 34 years of experience as a Superintendent in New York State,
and we have all been thrilled by her energy and enthusiasm, and her
willingness to take a pro-active stance on issues concerning our students.
Please take the opportunity to welcome Charlotte as you see her at
The new Superintendent search is being conducted through BOCES, at
no cost to the District, except for advertising fees. Applications
are due by October 1, after which the Board will begin the interview
process. We will be working with a shared decision making team made
up of representatives from all of our district's areas and groups.
It is our hope to hire a full-time Superintendent to start work early
in the New Year, though that is dependent on our confidence in the
At the September 14 board meeting, the Trustees appointed Michael
McKeon to fill the seat on the Board left vacant after Donna Flayhan
moved out of the District. Mr. McKeon had already been serving on
the Audit Committee and will bring considerable expertise to the Board.
His appointment lasts until the next election, in May 2011. We would
like to thank Dr. Flayhan for all her hard work during her two years
of service and wish her and her family the very best in their new
Beginning with our September 28 meeting, the Board will begin discussing
the "footprint" of the School District - that is, the potential
future configurations for buildings and grades that will best serve
our students. Over these next six meetings at the three active elementary
schools leading up to the end of the calendar year, we plan to alternate
"presentation" meetings with "forum" meetings.
The presentations will encompass the conversation and work done thus
far, and by this we convey our appreciation for the various groups
that have assembled in the past to discuss and study the direction
of the District. Your work will not go unrecognized.
The conversation will progress as we receive input and discuss ideas,
and we encourage parents, residents, staff and students to attend
whenever they can. There will be opportunity for public discussion
at each of meetings and we welcome your input. We also plan to create
a task force to assess the available information and present recommendations
to the Board. We are open to creative new ideas that may not yet have
been widely discussed. In the meantime, on the Onteora website (under
BOE, Past District Planning Committee Work) you will find relevant
past studies and findings.
Finally, a reminder that the great Levon Helm has kindly donated his
services for a special concert at the Harry Simon Auditorium on October
22. Monies raised will be divided equally between the five schools
for the purposes of Arts in Education. Tickets are available through
We will keep you updated as the school year progresses.
President, OSCD Board of Education
As supporters of a modern sanitation system for the hamlet of Phoenicia,
we were pleased that the Shandaken Town Board has finally voted to
enter into an agreement with the Catskill Watershed Corporation to
assist us in making an appropriate choice.
We were less than pleased, however, with an attempt by certain Board
members to hire a lawyer to become involved at the very beginning
of the CWC's activities. There is no reason for the Town Board to
consider hiring any outside attorney until the CWC has finished gathering
information on the options available to Phoenicia, has evaluated those
options, and shared the information with us. At the present time,
there is nothing for an attorney to review.
When the CWC makes its recommendations, which should be some time
next year, if our regular Town attorney feels the matter is beyond
his expertise, then an attorney with specialized experience in these
matters could be hired. However, that attorney should be someone who
has no prior involvement on either side of the issue, and can therefore
be totally unbiased and free of conflicts of interest.
For all of these reasons, we urge the Shandaken Town Board to vote
against hiring an outside attorney at the present time.
Patricia L. Ellison, LeRoy (Roy) Winchell, Chris Fischer, Bruce Winchell,
and 17 others
WRONG. Braylon Edwards, the Jets wide receiver gets arrested for DWI,
.16, and the NFL says "this is a violation of their substance
abuse policy". WRONG. It is a crime. Driving While Intoxicated
is a crime. An organization that has as much influence on our young
people as the NFL should get it straight.
D. Holley Carnright
Ulster County District Attorney
Approximately a year ago, Jack Bennett, of the Ulster County Substance
Abuse Board attended a meeting with Ulster County Children Services
Coordinator, who recognized AWARENESS as a viable program. She asked
that we find a way to work together. Jack had already approached the
judges to utilize an evidence-based, brief intervention program developed
by Dr. Ken Winters and colleagues at the University of Minnesota.
The founder of the AWARENESS Teen Program contacted Dr. Winters. The
two decided to pilot a program where teens deliver the evidence-based
program including a fourth component of the brief intervention only
offered to the AWARENESS program.
The program consists of interviews, two with the teen, one with the
parent and one with the teen and parent. The teen delivery alleviates
the clinical feeling, allowing volunteer participants to let down
their defenses. Teens reflect on their relationships with substances.
It opens communication for parent and teen to interact
without judging or blame. It is the perfect environment for teens
to help themselves change their behavior.
AWARENESS is a not for profit currently filing a 501c3 and has a fiscal
sponsor. If anyone would like to donate, the goal is to pay teens
to implement and teach teens the program. Many of them volunteer their
time but when they get jobs, they have no time to help. Alycia Geiss,
who killed a passenger when she drove the day after drinking (not
realizing she had alcohol in her system) volunteers in the program.
She speaks to teens who are mandated by judges to attend the class
held at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center to learn the dangers
of substance use.
I hear a lot of people who are unsure if investments in infrastructure
across the country are effective. They must not drive around Ulster
County - bridges are being repaired, roads are being re-paved, and
upgrades in power generation are keeping unemployment in check in
Ulster County. There are other reasons to things are starting to look
up too - solar panel manufacturing jobs are being created and parking
lots at Tech City are looking full for the first time since the mid-90's.
Stimulus is not meant to be the end all be all, but spending a dollar
in the county generates more than two dollars in economic activity
in the local economy. Some think a better solution is to stick "Had
Enough?" political signs on the side of the road. Well, we have
not "had enough" targeted investments in our national infrastructure,
we have "not had enough" focus on the middle class and we
have "not had enough" investment in our schools. However,
the silent majority has "had enough" of so-called tea party
patriots who vow to fight to add $700 billion to our nation's debt
in order to give the wealthy a tax cut and want to elect naysayers
instead of roll up your sleeves and get to work.
I'm writing to express our sadness that your paper has decided to
discontinue publishing. I think your paper is an important part of
our community, and although it seems to already be the case, I hope
its time is not over.
I know it wasn't what part of your plea for assistance, but if it
would help, we would be happy to commit to an ongoing advertisement
in your paper in way of support. We don't typically look to advertise
locally as most of our business comes from outside areas, but we consider
it a worthwhile expense to do our part, to support your work. I am
sorry that we cannot do more.
Sara Loughlin, Co-Owner
Democrats have given tax cuts to small business owners; tax cuts to
clean energy companies and a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans.
Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations to create jobs overseas,
Democrats are cutting taxes for companies that put our people to work
here at home.
The Obama administration has been investing in growth industries like
clean energy and manufacturing, because solar panels wind turbines
and electric cars will be "Made in America." There are no
better workers than American workers,
and when the naysayers said our government should just let the American
auto industry vanish and take hundreds of thousands of jobs down with
it, congressional Democrats voted to stand by them, but required,
that they make the tough choices necessary to compete once again.
America's auto industry is on the way back.
Furthermore, congressional Democrats have made sound and long overdue
investments to upgrade our outdated and inefficient national infrastructure.
The Obama administration is not just talking new about new roads,
and levees; but also a smart electric grid and the broadband internet
and high-speed rail lines required to compete in the 21st century
Those kinds of investments are for America's future, but they're creating
hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs today. It was because
of these investments, and the tens of thousands of projects like them
all over this country, that our recovering construction sector actually
grew last month for the first time in a very long time. Nevertheless,
nearly one in five construction workers are unemployed. It doesn't
do anybody any good to have so many American construction workers
idled for months, even years, at a
time when there is so much of America's infrastructure that needs
to be rebuilt.
Eighteen months ago a seed of an idea was germinated in our local
Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited about some kind
of community art project celebrating our world-famous Esopus Creek
trout population. That seed was nurtured and fertilized by a large
group of community-minded people. Today, the fruits of our harvest
can be viewed in a gallery show at the Arts Upstairs, on Main Street,
Phoenicia. Twenty-seven original works of art depicting, interpreting,
and reimagining our Catskill trout are on display until Sunday, October
10, when the
artworks will be auctioned to benefit Trout Unlimited. The public
is invited to join us for this unique live auction event, beginning
at 5PM. The art collection can also be viewed at www.theleapingtrout.com,
where you can place an auction bid online until the day of the auction.
The Phoenicia Times and Olive Free Press have chronicled the Leaping
Trout Art Project since its inception. The PT and OFP have been a
enabler of not only the Leaping Trout Project, but all the conservation
efforts of the APWC-TU, as well. When these newspapers are gone, they
will be leaving behind a big hole in our mountain community. A heart-felt
thanks from Trout Unlimited to Brian Powers, Paul Smart, their families,
and staff for their tireless efforts to inform and enrich our mountain
community. Your voice will be missed.
Mark Loete, Chair
The Leaping Trout Art Project
To start with, we need to determine who runs the government? If you
say the voters and all the politicians we elected, you are wrong.
Big Business runs Washington. Big Business, 12,000 companies and associations,
employs 2,500 lobbying firms, using 22,000 lobbyists to influence
100 senators, 435 members of congress and their 7,000 staffers.
We have heard so much about lost jobs. They were not lost - Big Business
exported those jobs to China, India and other "less developed
countries." The reasons are very simple; increased profits through
near slave labor.
The first wave of exports was in the textile industry, the mills and
the cut and sew operations. Business chased low cost labor and we
could not compete. Next major industry to go was the steel industry.
We needed to clean up the air in Gary, Cleveland and other steel producing
cities. Oh yes, let us not forget increased profits. Now the ore is
mined in Australia, shipped to China, where the Mongolian and Chinese
coal is used to make steel for buildings in America, including the
new World Trade Center.
Now the part that I am most familiar with is the Electronics Industry.
I was the CFO of Admiral Corporation, at one time the largest manufacturer
of Television Sets in America. As imports increased, we required help.
Admiral Corporation was taken over by Rockwell International and they
found they did not have the answers and shuttered the TV plants at
a great loss. Closing plants was also the fate of Zenith, Motorola,
Sylvania, GE, and Westinghouse.
Now, today, Flat Screen TV's, Computers, iPods, Cell Phones and a
host of other electronic products are not only produced with cheap
labor, $166 a month, but with skilled labor and new high tech machines
from Germany. These companies do the complete process from design
to boxed-for-delivery throughout the world. One electronics manufacturer,
Foxconn, a Chinese company has 25 plants employing 920,000 workers.
Revenue last year was $62 billion. We know this is only one of the
There is a new class of self loading container ships, with a crew
of only 13, carrying 10,000 twenty foot containers at speeds not dreamed
of a few years ago.
Now that we have identified the elephant in the room, what do we do?
If you think the stimulus program will turn the tide, think again.
This did not happen in the last few years. It is, and has been, a
creeping cancer on the American work force.
We must get out of all agreements that prevent us from running our
own economy. Let's start with a 25 percent duty on luxury imports
that could be manufactured in the USA, and ten percent on the rest.
To settle a trade dispute, President Johnson imposed a 25 percent
duty on light trucks. The duty, called the "chicken tax"
is in effect today and forces foreign companies to build their light
Big Business does not want to change the status quo. Exxon Mobil,
H-P, Intel, Coca-Cola and McDonald's all have over 60 per-cent of
their revenue from overseas expanding markets such as China and Brazil.
When the politicians talk about bringing jobs to our area, ask them
what their positions are on import duties to level the playing field.
A few words on personal income taxes. We had a coalition of both political
parties with common interests from 1942 to 1963 when the marginal
tax rate was generally ninety-one percent on taxable income over $400,000.
Those were the good years.
James A. Goese
On behalf of the Olive Free Library Board of Trustees I would like
to take this
opportunity to encourage all the residents of the Town of Olive to
vote YES on the upcoming 414 Resolution on the ballot on Election
Day. The Library Board has studied the issue of funding for the library
for quite sometime and we believe the 414 Resolution will provide
a secure funding source the library. Our library is a vital resource
for the town. It provides a large selection of books, magazines, CDs,
DVDs and programs to our patrons. Our computers are in constant demand
and we also have free wireless for those who bring their laptops.
Our community rooms are a great center for many activities and
organizations. During this economic downturn, the library has been
busy helping people searching for jobs and providing materials and
resources for training for new employment. It is also a great place
for FREE entertainment for the family. (DVDs, games & programs.)
We would love to continue to provide these services and much more
but we can not do it without your support. Please Vote Yes on Election
Day, Tuesday, November 2. "Our Community, Our Library."
Mary Ann Shepard, President
Olive Free Library Board of Trustees
First off I would like to express my dismay at hearing that this will
be our last edition of The Olive Press and Phoenicia Times. Although,
at times, we have been on different sides on issues, I have always
felt that having a newspaper that is about our wonderful community
was an asset to all of us. By providing a relatively inexpensive advertising
venue for the many varied activities in both Phoenicia and Olive your
paper made getting the word out easier and will be sorely missed.
As president of the Shandaken Theatrical Society we relied on the
Phoenicia Times and Olive Press to let people know what shows we were
doing and how to contact us. The other advertising entities available
to us are much more expensive and stretch our limited advertising
budget to the limits. We could, also, always count on your paper to
put a photo or an article in print for us to let the community know
what was happening at STS.
As an Olive resident I always counted on Carol LaMonda's column, A
Jar of Olives, to let me know what was happening in Olive. Whether
I agree with everything written or not I would read the paper and
become more informed on something, and isn't that the purpose of a
newspaper, to inform its readers? Unfortunately we have no other newspaper
that is willing to cover the events that take place in our communities...
I guess we are just not big enough to merit such coverage... and your
leaving will leave a large gap in keeping us all informed about our
It is with deep regret that I write this letter,
I read with interest a letter from Mr. Mitchell Langbert, Town of
Olive Republican Committee who received financial information from
a local government official. I would be interested in looking at the
same information. The school's latest information comes from the State
Education Department in a District Report Card format from the 2007-08
data given to taxpayers at annual budget time. The state reports $12,929
per student for the general education program, for 1,818 students
and $34,231 per student for 339 special education students. Instructional
expenditures for general education for classroom instruction (excluding
Special Education) plus a proration of building level administrative
and instructional support expenditures show $12,929 per student. These
expenditures include amounts for instruction of students with disabilities
in a general educational setting. District expenditures such as transportation,
debt service and district-wide administration are not included. Instructional
expenditures for Special Education are K-12 expenditures, plus K-12
pupils for students with disabilities (including summer special school
expenditures), plus a proration of expenses for building level and
administration and instructional support services. Again district
expenditures for transportation, debt service and district-wide administration
are not included. These exclusions allow for a comparable expenditure
with schools of similar size and all public schools across the state.
Other states may report expenditure data in a different manner as
I have discovered from previous comparison studies. It would be difficult
to see such a difference in cost comparison as noted in the previous
letter unless one took the total expenditures and divided by the number
of students to judge how that number compares with other area schools.
That would be comparing data on an "apples to oranges" basis.
Since districts in the state have some expenditures which are not
easily compared district by district in that some districts have a
central building site for education K-12 which can be less costly
to operate, and others have multiple sites which duplicate costs.
Some districts have new construction costs or long term debt; and
some districts have inordinate transportation costs because they transport
students over large geographic areas to school. Onteora has one of
the largest geographic areas in the state, transporting over 1500
students to four different sites and a number of other educational
settings over 315 square miles. The sparcity factor for Onteora is
6 students per square mile as compared with some other rural areas
of 10-25 students per square mile. Such factors become major considerations
for educating costs per student. One can only hope that comparison
studies take into consideration the diversity of educational costs
and compare data on an "apples to apples" basis.
Many other factors also come into consideration on the revenue side
of the expenditure picture. As I reviewed the information that I have
seen in the district, I do see that Onteora has the lowest true value
tax rate in the area. I found that district's $10.48 true value rate
was dwarfed by local districts which range from $15.61 per thousand
to $19.47, giving credence that the Onteora District has the lowest
rate in the region and has been careful with expenditures and revenues
in the taxpayers' best interest.
I mention these points in fairness to a district that is making an
effort to keep the costs of education in line while still striving
to provide the best educational program within the taxpayers' ability
to pay. It has been very difficult for all of us in New York State
to cope with the financial burdens, and no more difficult than for
school districts which not only did not get an increase in state aid,
but have given back several billions of dollars over the last several
Onteora Central School
It's unfortunate that the first mainstream expression of the truth
about 9/11 was presented by a contentious representative of a repressive
regime - Ahmadinejad. However, the evidence supporting his claim -
that 9/11 could only have been engineered by elements inside the U.S.
Government - is compelling and substantive.
Slow motion replays of the collapse of the Twin Towers show explosions
occurring on the corners and mid-sections of the buildings, just below
the collapsing floors. Dust samples taken from nearby apartment buildings
reveal substantial amounts of a new, high-tech explosive which is
known to cause temperatures far hotter than jet fuel, hot enough to
quickly melt, and even evaporate steel.
The fall of WTC#7 (housing CIA, NSA, World Bank, NYC Emergency Command
Center) occurs in classic demolition form, collapsing into its own
footprint at free fall speed, impossible to occur from the relatively
minor fire damage it suffered. In fact, the only three steel frame
buildings in history ever to collapse from fire were WTC 1, 2 and
Little or no wreckage, and no bodies were ever recovered from the
site of the jetliner supposedly downed in a Pennsylvania field. Same
for the plane that supposedly struck the Pentagon - no airplane parts,
no bodies. The evidence goes on and on.
Beyond bringing to justice the real architects and perpetrators of
9/11, these facts should serve to awaken the American people to the
tragic truth of who is controlling their country. Awakening is the
first step. After overcoming the shock and dismay, we must set about
taking our country back from the covert plutocracy which has so successfully
and thoroughly hijacked our once beloved nation. Google "Loose
Change 9/11: An American Coup" and fasten your seat belts.
This is in response to your September 9 article about the Planning
Board. As usual, you can only print the negative side of an observation.
The Shandaken Planning Board cancelled their September meeting because
of lack of business, this is true. But I say this sits very well with
all of us on the board, because you failed to write that the planning
board has met this year for 9 workshops, 8 Regular meetings, and at
least 3-4 meetings with the Town Board on the Farm Stand issue. Yes,
we found many things to discuss. We also met a few times for special
meetings in regard to other topics.
How about writing some words of praise for the effort we have put
in. Or that we have met at least 20-24 times THIS YEAR ALONE and it
is only September. I think this is a well deserved break for us. You
must have been waiting all year for us to take a meeting off so that
you could write about it. Because I have not seen a thing all year
in your paper about any of our meetings. The meetings you DO NOT have
the courtesy to attend. But of course, you wouldn't write something
positive, would you.
On your other topic, Beth Waterman was not STRIPPED of anything. We
as a board nominate a new chairman every year. This is so everyone
gets a chance to be Chairman.And she was not REMOVED from the Planning
Board by the Town Board or Rob Stanley, her term was up and she was
simply not re-appointed. She was on the board for at least 10 years.
She was put on the board in 2000 to finish out Tim Molloy's appointment
and then was reappointed for her own term of 7 years. You would almost
think this was a campaign ad, set out by you to re-appoint her, and
portraying her as if a terrible injustice was done, when there was
no such thing.
In the future, please try to report ALL sides of an issue before you
engage your mouth or your pen. There is enough drama in Shandaken
without you dreaming up some.
Joanne Kalb, Vice Chairman
Shandaken Planning Board
Big Indian, NY
One day we"ll be silent from all that we say.The people with
power will take that away.The"ll pick at our freedoms,one day
at a time.You wont see it comming,you"ll think its just fine.And
one day you'll wake up and be told what to do.from what car to drive
to what brand of shoe.So dont you just sit there,STAND UP AND FIGHT!In
novembers election,we can make things alright.
I'll miss your paper...
I am really upset and disappointed that my very favorite local newspaper
is closing down the presses. Do you realize how important you have
been for the past 7 years? Your newspaper gives its readers a well
balanced, clever, exciting, interesting, focused views of how things
are, not just in the high Catskills but world wide. We will all be
greatly diminished without that sweet little newspaper which you have
lovingly produced for us each couple of weeks.
There is nothing out there quite like your progressive voice. It should
not be silenced. We need you.
Recently, there have been increasing calls to rein in New York State's
Medicaid budget. Both the Republican gubernatorial candidate and New
York's Lieutenant Governor have pointed to the need for reform as
the Medicaid budget continues to skyrocket.
Through my work with the Resource Center for Accessible Living, a
Kingston-based non-profit organization that assists people with disabilities
to live more independent lives. I have seen areas where reform is
In my opinion, there should be a "look-back" period for
people who receive Medicaid funded community care. At present, people
can transfer assets one day and qualify for Medicaid the next. Although
there is a transfer penalty for Medicaid coverage of institutional-level
nursing home care, there is no transfer penalty for community Medicaid
- coverage of regular medical services and most home care programs.
As a taxpayer, I think that's pretty outrageous! Secondly, people
on Medicaid who are employed should be obligated to take their employer
health plan, if offered, as primary insurance. Medicaid can often
pay for the employee's share of the employer health plan so that the
employer plan becomes primary and Medicaid secondary. To me, that's
good public policy.
Finally, at first glance, it would appear that spousal impoverishment
is something that should be eliminated. However, if spousal impoverishment
didn't exist, the "well" spouse would be driven below poverty
so that the ill spouse could get needed care through Medicaid. That's
not humane - provisions for spousal impoverishment should remain intact.
Fran Wishnick, Resource Center for Accessible Living
I'm going to DC on Saturday to stand with hopefully tens of thousands
of trade unionists and anti-war activists at the 10/02/10 One Nation
rally to say that good jobs with good benefits are possible if we
realign our priorities and refuse to be baited into blaming each other
or giving up on our dreams of a better world. I'll be carrying a two-sided
sign- 'When did teachers get so powerful that we are responsible for
everything that's wrong with the schools? When the right wing decided
that good public schools and well paid teachers stand in the way of
their plans to pauperize America' on one side and 'They wanted to
privatize social security. Imagine if they had succeeded! Now they
want to privatize the schools. They must be stopped again! on the
other. All right, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but I'm out
Your paper has kept us well informed and provided a forum for all
different voices but has always reserved a special place for voices
of dissent such as mine that are often kept out of mainstream media.
You will be greatly missed! I hope your staff is able to hang around
and continue to enrich our community.
A member of the Olive Day organization, Linda Burkhardt ,suggested
I contact you if possible to post the following letter of gratitude
in the Olive Press.
Olive Day has been an event that I looked forward to every year. It
has been similar to a family reunion. It's a time to gather and see
the originals of Town of Olive year after year. What was a small event
has now grown into a huge event. From the originals we now have extensions
of families,friends and neighbors. We all share our memories of the
past, moments of the present and thoughts of the future. Even though
Olive Day is a fund raiser for Democrats, politics are put aside on
Olive Day, and it is about the people within the town and those coming
to Olive. It's about a community helping each other while at the same
time having a fabulous time. Olive day is about the children having
the frog jumping contest.The Boy Scouts demonstrating their loyalty,obedience
This year through the kindness of the organizers of the 'Olive Day'
and the Perry family, an announcement was made just a few weeks before
Olive Day, that some of the proceeds from the Kent Reeves Memorial
Run would be donated to my son, Jason Jones, who is undergoing Stage
4 Cancer surgery and treatments. The Perry family organized the walk/run
and in addition donated all of the proceeds from their Nascar simulator.
The energy created and generosity from these acts of kindness is priceless.
The out flowing of support that can truly lift ones spirit is incredible.
I want to thank each and everyone that participated in the walk/run
and to those that took a ride in 'The Marine'. Thank you to those
giving individual donations. Special thanks to Patrick Burkhardt (the
new Windham Warrior) his wife Jeannine Burkhardt ..thank you to your
sponsors.. my gratitude for all your tremendous efforts in contacting
the Onteora Runners and Eric Houghtaling. Additional special thanks
to Andrew Burkhardt and Chelsey Brooks and their sponsors. Thank you
to Olivia Fitzpatrick and the Onteora Color Guard. Heart warming thank
you my parents Ed & Donna Burkhardt for all your endless love
and support. Loving thank you to Fred & Linda Burkhardt,Chris
& Kathy Schoonmaker, Stephen Burkhardt, Eddie Burkhardt. Thank
you for your support Bridgett and Mike Driscoll, and Amanda Burkhardt.
Thank you to Tracy and Damien Magarelli. Thank you to Jenn Valle,
Sydney and Mackenzie Skinner for your artistic talents. Thank you
to Don, Liz, Catherine and Nick Jones. A gracious thank you to 'The
Kingston Dialysis team' and thank you to employees of the Kingston
Health Alliance for all your donated time. A savior thank you to Kai
Hillman. Lastly, thank you to my son Jason for your strength, courage,
Thank you to the Olive Press..... you will be missed ... shall you
I would like to thank all the wonderful people who made Olive Day
2010 such a great success! Olive Day happens because a lot of people
work very hard to make it happen and I want to thank all my fellow
members of The Olive Democrats for all the hard work that went into
a successful Olive Day! The Olive Fire Dept, The Olive First Aid Unit,The
Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts,The Food Bank at the Olive Bridge Methodist
Church, The Killian Foundation, The benefit for Joe that Ed Kahill
ran , the benefit for Jason Jones, the little girl who collected blankets
and towels for dogs in shelters were all present at Olive Day. There
was a record crowd and everyone seemed to be having fun! Olive Day
has always been a day for laughing, meeting people you may not see
all year, dancing, eating good food and just plain having fun!
Boy Scout troupe 163 had a beautiful ceremony at the beginning of
the day commemorating the 9/11 attacks on our country and I am not
ashamed to say that It brought tears to my eyes and ,I am sure most
everyone else who watched the ceremony.
Did everyone see the rope bridge that Boy Scout Troupe 63 constructed?
There was also a wonderful section for a scout camp and a dunking
booth, I hear they were lined up to dunk Bruce LaMonda, and a Jumping
House. Olive has very active Boy Scout Troupes and it was great to
see the efforts of the young people in our community appreciated!
The Olive First Aid Unit was there offering information, Blood Pressure
checks and also selling Ice Cream as a fund raiser, I have not gotten
back to them yet, but It looked like it was a success! Olive Day is
a time when many local people are able to sell things they make, like
Buddy Eckerts maple syrup, or Louise Schryver's hand knitted garments,
or even Alex's marshmallow guns! Other organizations use Olive Day
as a fund raiser, like The Bushkill Rod and Gun Club, with their chicken
dinners and the much talked about chicken liver, bacon and onion sandwiches,
I heard a rumor that they had to go out and get more chicken livers!
Olive Day is also a time for getting information out to everyone,
the Ulster County Health Dept was there with a table full of information
as well as the Ulster County Area Transportation with bus schedules.
Cornell Co-operative with their stream management display and The
Ashokan Center with their displays were all busy . Trout Unlimited,
Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation were there to explain what they are all about
and maybe to raise funds to help with their causes.On a personal note,
my nephew Jason Jones, was so very touched by the outpouring of love
and support he received in his ongoing battle with cancer. Knowing
that so many people care about him is a very potent medicine and will
help in his recovery every bit as much as the chemo he will undergo.
I want to say Thank you to all that contributed and stopped by to
wish Jason well I know he was overwhelmed with the love he received.
If you were there you would have seen a lot of people enjoying a beautiful
day in the Catskill's and the company,music,food,and booths of their
friends and neighbors! I was in charge of the vendors for this event
and after it was over I spoke with a lot of them and what they told
me made so proud to be a part of our community! They said that they
love doing Olive Day...not because they make a boat load of money,
but because the people who come to Olive Day are so wonderful!
So Thank You wonderful people of Olive for making this years Olive
Day the success it was for without you there could not be an Olive
Good bye Olive Press.
One of the most important elements in the making of a community is
local paper. For ten years the Town of Olive has has grown as a community
because of our local paper. I have counted on the Olive Press to keep
me connected to the goings on specific to my town, socially, culturally
and politically. We will surly become less with the loss of this paper.
Thank you Brian Powers for your courage and vision. Keeping them honest
and us informed. Thank you Paul Smart for your attention to the arts,
music, theatre being presented by our neighbors here in our town.
I will miss reading the columns from Jen Holz, Aaron Bennett, Cally
Mansfield and all the others. I will miss the Olive Calendar and the
oh yes the letters, I think I will miss these the most. The Olive
Press was such a presents to my live here is Olive its hard to believe
Good bye and thank you all for this wonderful gift.
West Shokan, NY
I read the current isssue of your wonderful paper last evening with
a tear in my eye. We all know that the use of the internet has changed
the way people want to get their news. Older folks, like myself, used
to need to see it in print to believe it, but the world is changing
and we either change with it, or become extinct.
I am over 50 and have looked forward to reading your newspaper every
2 weeks, since I moved to Olivebridge 4 years ago. From the proper
translation of Abenimenijad's speech to the U.S. a couple of years
ago to the back page "people on the street" questions, your
paper has been informative and enjoyable. THANK YOU.
But before I say goodbye, I have an idea. Start the "Olive Press
Blog". Let us all know about it in the last issue and on the
local radio stations. I'm sure you will create a following. There
are legitimate ways to make income from such a venture. Google "Ken
McCarthy". He's a tech-saavy guy right here in our own Hudson
Valley who conducts seminars on writing and making money on the internet.
Your staff already knows how to write. All you need is the marketing
team to gather info. Google "Making money on blogs", and
see where that leads you.
I have dial-up service where I live, and an enjoyable low-paying job.
I have never tried making money off the internet, but I do know people
Just a suggestion, folks.
Most Shandaken residents know that a lawsuit remains pending between
the town and 29 families of the Shandaken Landowners Association.
Since few people I think, really know what it's about, and since everyone
in town is paying - year after year- to defend the town's actions,
I think it's time people actually thought about what what's being
defended and why.
Shandaken has not had an official tax reevaluation since 1978. The
result is that since then some families have paid high taxes while
others paid lower ones in the form of 1978 property values. A few
people, in other words, have been carrying the tax burden for the
many. In recent years this has been changing, as the current assessors
appear to be trying to apply our laws somewhat more fairly. But that's
our current situation; not the one our 29 families were compelled
to file suit over, five and a half years ago.
Our 29 family own properties larger than 20 acres; in 2005, Shandaken's
assessors illegally raised our assessments, forcing us to pay up to
50% more than what New York State or New York City were assessed at
for their undeveloped forest landholdings. It was a clear violation
of the state's State Real Property Law and of our federally protected
civil rights under the Equal Protection clause of the United States
Constitution. Before they did this, they asked the state if they could
raise just the taxes on privately owned properties larger than 20
acres. They state said they couldn't. They did it anyway. Then after
we filed suit, the next year, 2006, they went to the state and the
city and said look: the private landowners are paying our new rate,
now you have to pay that amount too. And the state and the city, said:
"OK, sure." Why, we don't know.
Over the past 15 years we have seen a rash of illegal and one sided
assessment practices in Shandaken. There are laws to protect residents
from improper or unfair practices but if the laws are ignored then
the tax assessor has a free hand to tax who they want and for whatever
amount. Here's an example: When you buy a home, its market assessment
is what you inherit. A tax assessor cannot just show up and raise
your taxes because you just moved in. There is even a name for this
illegal practice, it is called the "Welcome Newcomer law"
and it's long been standard operating procedure in Shandaken. Many
people buy a vacation home or are part time residents; there is no
way they can contest this illegal act and the town knows it. They
are not even allowed to vote in this town even though they pay taxes
here. So the practice goes on.
When I first purchased my land in 1997, I fell victim to this when
the tax assessor decided to jack up my taxes over 300% on lands that
were not improved or changed but simply purchased by myself. When
we went to town hall on Grievance Day we were told, "if you can't
afford it maybe you should leave". This good old boy approach
to taxation in Shandaken is a dark and dishonorable way to do business.
In fact, experts hired by the Shandaken Landowners have researched
the tax rolls and have found no uniform or coherent taxation practice.
Some people are given a tax hike just because they bought a home and
others just because they painted theirs. In other cases things seem
more personal. Maybe the tax assessor did not liked them or maybe
they did, this is not how taxation should work. I would also like
to correct Paul Smart numbers on the price increase of the disputed
land values. It was not $600 per acre but was changed from $600 per
assessed acre to $2,400 market value per acre. Either way, any increase
obtained illegally from a citizen is criminal regardless of the assessors
The families of the Shandaken Landowners Association are Republicans,
Democrats and every shade of non-enrolled and non-aligned. We filed
suit because in 2005 the town knowingly and intentionally violated
our civil rights by singling us out for illegal taxation practices.
We believe they committed another crime by falsely certifying the
town's 2005 tax roll. They did both those things so that the following
year, they could leverage the two illegal actions to get the state
and city to pay more in taxes. When you violate one family's civil
rights you violate everybody's civil rights. Today you nail the people
with red houses, so that tomorrow you can nail the people with blue
houses. This is not how the laws are written and this has to stop,
and we are trying to stop it here, forever.
The SLA has repeatedly attempted to work with the town board in resolving
these issues and bringing fair taxation to the town. We have been
met each time with a deaf ear and their response has been to litigate
this in court costing the town of Shandaken many hundred of thousands
of dollars. Recently the SLA won again an appeal where the township
to have our case dismissed. The judge who presided over this appeal
found that in fact the SLA has grounds for this suit and denied the
town's request. I personally wrote the town supervisor asking him
if he would like to sit down and resolve this. His answer again was
no-response to my letter but a refilling of the appeal. This will
continue to cost the town and the SLA but let it be known the SLA
is not going away and we will win in the end. I do not know about
you but I want to live in a town where the town itself follows the
letter of the law and fair practice. Shandaken needs to own up to
what it actually did during the years when Rosalie Boland ran the
Assessor's office. It needs to make things right with its citizens
that were victimized. Our town board has managed to keep our experts
and testimony out of open court for over 5 years, but we will get
our day there and we will prevail. Fair taxation must be the prime
agenda of all town board members and citizens.
Peter Vinci, President
Shandaken Landowners Association
Pine Hill, NY
On the suspension of publication of The Phoenicia Times, for me, loss
does not describe it. I see it as creating a very bleak vacuum. A
while back I started to think of a town as having a consciousness
and helping it to grow and mature. I was thinking and feeling this
in relation to Woodstock that I moved to 53 years ago as an artist,
only I was disturbed by the narrowness of the vision there. It was
not in touch with the depth and richness of Woodstock. The consciousness
of the town was being controlled and directed too narrowly. The editor
had been Town Supervisor.
The Phoenicia Times has the potential to express the richness of Shandaken
and let its growth be more open and organic. Editors of small town
newspapers can become self-important and controlling because it's
a one-man operation. I felt The Phoenicia Times was avoiding that.
Without this paper how will the Town of Shandaken know what it is
or what it is becoming? This is a serious loss. The paper has been
published with a concerned and caring intelligence that will be hard
to replace. I will certainly miss this avenue of communication.
Mt Tremper, NY
It is hard to fathom that there will be no more Phoenicia Times after
this issue and what it will be like without this big/little newspaper
that has become such an integral part of our community. We thank you
for all these years of hard work, dedication, wit, creativity, local
color, perspective..... We thank you for covering the big and little
things in our town and for your attention to the details that make
us who we are. We thank you for making the Phoenicia Times and Olive
Press a focal point for information about local issues of critical
importance so that we could remain engaged and informed.
A special thanks to Brian Powers whose inspiration it was to begin
the Phoenicia Times, who carried it on his shoulders, who stayed up
late and got up early for it, all in service to our community. We
wish you a great next project, whatever that may be. We are sure it
will be awesome!
To all who made the Phoenicia Times and Olive Press possible, we all
Judith Wyman, Loren Quinby
Marcy Meiller, Pete DiModica and Chandra Lencina, Jack Morelli and
Christie Scheele, Glenna Herz, Rich and Bonnie Schaedle, Anique and
Nesha Taylor, Ian and Nanci Laughin, Doris Bartlett, Kathryn Haber,Jean
Druffner, Mary Macy, Susan Robertson , Calandra Cruickshank,
The Ladner Family, Ricarda O'Connor and Michael Ottavi, Aaron Bennett,
Mary Herrmann, Rick, Jen and Joey Dragon, Stephanie Blackman and Mark
Loete, Michele Wooten, Dave Pillard, Dara Heinlein, Susanna Margolis,
Maureen Nagy, Deborah Spivack, Nita Friedman, Nick Alba,
Jim Nevin, Freddi Dunleavy and Goline Doremus, Sharon Umhey, Holly
George Warren and the Phoenicia Library Board,
And many more who were not able to respond by press time...