(News Briefs March
Woodstock town Supervisor Jeremy Wilber has been elected to
serve as an Ulster County delegate on the Coalition of Watershed
Towns executive committee, replacing incumbent Bruce LaMonda,
a town of Olive Councilman who was appointed to the committee
two years ago to fill a vacancy left by Olive Supervisor Bert
Leifeld. The only voting was by town boards of towns within
the watershed portion of the County: Shandaken, Olive, Woodstock,
Denning, Hurley, Marbletown, Rochester and Wawarsing.
Just prior to the mid-March vote deadline LaMonda was shocked
to learn that he was in a race at all and said he suspected
Wilbur’s name was thrown in by Shandaken Supervisor
Robert Cross Jr., who was on the losing end of a battle with
LaMonda last year when LaMonda asked the Coalition to support
Olive’s efforts to get the controversial large parcel
bill shot down in the Onteora school district.
Wilbur, who supported the large parcel bill along with Cross,
made a few appearances at Coalition meetings in Margaretville
to try and sway the board, but did not succeed.
At the same session the committee quietly replaced longstanding
Attorney Jeff Baker. Baker, a partner in Albany-based Young,
Sommer, Ward, Ritzenberg, Baker and Moore, will step aside
to make room for the firm’s founding member Kevin Young,
who will take over the day to day responsibilities. There
was no explanation for the change.
There’s plenty of water flowing throughout the area
of the Esopus Creek running through Shandaken and Olive. This
water, which creates problems because it runs wild, is not
going to go away, and on March 20th at Shandaken town hall,
experts told a crowd of water watchers that the flooding isn’t
But its better than it was 20,000 years ago, when receding
glaciers made the whole area a lake with Panther Mountain
in the middle.
Dan Davis, the project manager of a $750,000 study of the
upper Esopus and its tributaries, explained how those glaciers
were also responsible for the clay and silt that turns the
streams chocolate during high water events today.
These and scores of other fascinating details are now in one
data base thanks to a team of scientists from Cornell University
Cooperative Extension, the Army Corp. of Engineers and the
New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
Davis and Cornell’s Jeremy Magliaro and Michael Courtney
explained that the management plan the team developed is not
a set of laws or regulations but a tool to be used by communities
and residents as they deal with the ever changing streams
The plan does make recommendations. Several trouble spots
were identified as in need of immediate attention. The plan
also suggests that people consider moving out floodplains
rather than deal with the problems that are inevitable, according
to the results of the study.
Shandaken Supervisor Robert Cross Jr. said “This is
a living document that will help us in the future with identification,
education, and in some cases implementation of areas in need
of stabilization or repair.”
Michelle Friedel and Richard R. Wolff attended an Olive Matters
meeting in March to announce their intentions to run for positions
on the school board which will be voted on in May. Both indicated
that their focus was foremost upon educational issues although
they each acknowledged that the Large Parcel option remains
as an annual source of divisiveness in the school district.
Wolf is a school bus contractor in the Kingston school district
who has lived in Olive since 1985. He has also served on the
Olive Zoning Board of Appeals and boasts an 11 year record
of attendance of local school board meetings. He said that
he supports the continuation of three elementary schools within
the district and an expansion of the middle school in the
Also in attendance at the March 7 meeting were OCS school
boardmembers Maxanne Resnick and Rita Vanacore, an OM member.
Seats up for election this year are currently held by Dave
Patterson of Hurley, a former board president, and Marino
D’Orazio of Marbletown, current board president.
Todd Out At CWC
Ward Todd, a longstanding member of the Catskill Watershed
Corporation, will step down from his post next month when
the CWC hold its 10th Annual Meeting of member towns Tuesday,
April 24 at 6 p.m. at CWC offices, 905 Main Street, Margaretville.
Results of the election of representatives from Greene, Ulster
and Sullivan Counties to the CWC Board of Directors will be
announced, but since no one faced opposition it’s no
secret that Town of Hurley Supervisor Mike Shultis will takes
Todd’s place as an Ulster County delegate. Once officially
elected Shultis will represent the watershed towns of Ulster
County alongside Ulster’s other delegate, Olive town
supervisor Bert Leifeld.
There were two other delagate seats available but those, currently
held by Sullivan County’s Georgianna Lepke and Greene
County’s Michael Flaherty, are expected to be kept by
both, who are running unopposed.
Also at the annual meeting a new video about the CWC, its
history and its programs will be screened.
The 15-minute film, produced by Drew Harty of Treadwell, is
timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the New York
City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement, which created the
CWC to develop and run environmental protection, economic
development and education programs in the City’s Catskill-Delaware
The floor will then be open for questions and comments from
representatives of member towns and villages.
Following the Annual Meeting, the regular monthly meeting
of the Board of Directors will be held.
The public is cordially invited to attend.
Verizon representatives scheduled to meet with town officials
on March 8th in regard to a possible cell tower site at the
Shokan landfill were delayed by an accident which stalled
traffic on the New York State Thruway for hours and the meeting
will be rescheduled.
Bet you didn’t get that news on your cell phone!
Ulster County officials unveiled their new master plan for
the county this past month, one that includes greener buildings
and a continued targeting of culture, the arts, and technology.
The first piece of the 12-part strategy, according to Glenn
Sutherland, chair of the steering committee for the project
dubbed Ulster Tomorrow, will be to coordinate a group of community
leaders who all have personal and business stakes in the community,
and will help the vision for the county become a reality.
Sutherland added that culture and technology are going to
be a major part of where the county will be headed in the
“We’re talking about culture, the arts, and other
things of that nature. We’re talking about enhancing
our agricultural base. We’re talking about obviously
enhancing our tourism base and working in the area of bringing
in our green technologies and our renewable technologies as
Sutherland said from there, the county will begin to look
at more in depth, economic development and open space usage.
Pledging to make the new plans more active than similar past
efforts, 16 individuals have been recruited to help turn the
ideas of the development strategy into reality.
Sutherland is co-leading with county Legislator Hector Rodriguez,
D-New Paltz. Others include Joseph Deegan, of Deegan Sanglyn
Commercial Real Estate, charged with recruiting a diverse
business base; Hurley planner Paul Hakim of the Wilber National
Bank, in charge of streamlining the local permit review process;
Robert Ryan, chairman of the Ulster County Development Corp.,
in charge of “cultivating a community of leaders,”
Ward Todd, president of the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce,
looking to develop measured accountability; Sam Kandel of
the Small Business Development Center; targeting assistance
to emerging businesses; March Gallagher, chairwoman of the
Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, looking to redesign
service networks; Dennis Doyle, director, Ulster County Planning
Department, seeking to develop appropriate infrastructure;
Jennifer Schwartz, deputy director, Ulster County Planning
Department, in charge of preserving and enhancing local quality
of life; Irene MacPherson, interim president of the Ulster
County Development Corp, looking to retain and expand existing
businesses; Nancy Schaef, of the Ulster County Workforce Development
Board, seeking to create a labor force in line with business
needs; Paul Rakov, of the Emerson Resort and Spa and Crossroads
Ventures, tooking to “enhance the travel and tourism
industry; Michael Siegel, of the Rondout Valley Growers Association,
in charge of the strengthening of agricultural efforts; Melissa
Everett, of Sustainable Hudson Valley, in charge of developing
a strategic advantage in ‘green’ and renewable
technologies and products; and Ron Marquette, vice chairman,
Ulster County Development Corp, looking to nurture a creative
Ulster County lawmakers are planning to vote next month on
resolution excluding the development of gambling casinos from
the entire county. Members of the county Legislature's Environmental
Committee are bringing forward a resolution in support of
a similar measure being pushed by state Assemblyman Kevin
Cahill calling for Ulster County to be removed from the list
of counties in which Gov. Elliot Spitzer can enter into compacts
with American Indian tribes to establishing gaming facilities.
Several Ulster County towns, including Gardiner, Hardenburgh,
Marbletown, New Paltz, Plattekill, Saugerties and Woodstock,
have already adopted resolutions outlining their opposition
to gaming facilities.
State Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, said the governor has
assured him he does not support a casino in Ulster County.
Business Week magazine has put Kingston and the rest of Ulster
County on its top 10 list of places for artists to live in
the U.S., saying attracting the creative can be a driving
economic force and noting that a burgeoning arts community
is an indicator of neighborhood gentrification and economic
prosperity. Also on the list were Los Angeles, New York City,
San Francisco, Nashville, TN., Santa Fe, NM; Carson City,
NV; Boulder, CO, Nassau-Suffolk counties of New York state
and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA. The rating by the magazine
was done in conjunction with Sperling’s BestPlaces.
It gave points for an arts and cultural index, which considers
the number and size of an area’s arts resources. In
that category, Kingston rated 87 out of 100. The magazine
also listed a diversity index, which considers the likelihood
of meeting another person of different race. A higher number
indicates more diversity, with a maximum score of 100. Kingston
The magazine said that the percentage of the population between
25-34 was 12.24 percent and put the cost of living index at
103. That index is based on a national average of 100. If
the cost of living average were 300, it would indicate three
times the national average.
New At UCDC
An out-of-state economic developer and lawyer was chosen by
Ulster County business leaders as the new president and CEO
of the Ulster County Development Corporation.
Lance Matteson, a Vermont native, was the clear choice of
the 90 resumes sifted through over the past few months for
the top development corporation job. A Harvard graduate, he
has a background in economic development, including positions
as the past executive director of the Bennington County Industrial
Corporation, and the president of the Bennington County Micro-Technology
Matteson said his main focus will be keeping jobs in the county,
and creating new ones.
The GOP-controlled State Senate which normally all but rubber-stamps
gubernatorial appointments, has finally moved forward on Governor
Spitzer’s DEC Commissioner-designate Alexander “Pete”
Grannis. On Tuesday, via secret vote, the senate’s Environmental
Conservation Committee, held its second confirmation hearing
since March 20 and moved the nomination to its final &
formal approval stampers, the Senate Finance Committee. Common
wisdom in Albany seems to be that Grannis’ appointment
and the restructuring of DEC that’s expected to follow
has been delayed pending agreement on the much larger and
wholly unrelated state budget. As of press time, that agreement
appears to have been reached.
Grannis, a Manhattan Assemblyman and long a key figure in
State environmental policymaking, is broadly supported for
the job by Democrats and the environmental community, while
his 30+ year legislative record has drawn opposition from
trapping, hunting, smoking, and gun rights interests.
In a prepared statement for the Senate “EnCon”
committee, Grannis characterized his priorities for DEC as
rebuilding the long-understaffed agency, climate change, dam
safety, smart growth and sustainability, environmental justice,
Eligibility requirements for the Catskill Watershed Corporation’s
Septic Rehabilitation and Replacement Program have been revised
to allow more homeowners to participate. If you live within
the New York City Watershed in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie,
Sullivan or Ulster Counties, and your septic system is within
150 feet of a watercourse, or 500 feet of a reservoir or reservoir
stem, you may sign up to have your system pumped out and inspected.
Homeowners within the newly expanded eligibility distance
should have received a letter explaining how to participate
in the program. A toll-free call to the CWC (1-877-928-7433)
to arrange an initial visit with technical staffers is the
Participation is entirely voluntary. Those who sign up agree
to have their system examined. If the system appears to have
failed, or is likely to fail, the CWC will reimburse full-time
residents 100 percent of the cost of replacement. Part-time
or non-resident property owners will be reimbursed 60 percent
of eligible repair or replacement costs.
Your one-or two-family residence or home-business combination
must use less than 1,000 gallons of water per day.
If your system is farther than 150 feet from a watercourse,
and you have received a Notice of Failure or Violation from
the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, you are still
required to make the repairs. Keep receipts from all design
and construction work done on the system and you may be eligible
for reimbursement at some point in the future.
The CWC Board of Directors recently authorized reimbursement
of eligible costs for residential septic repairs and replacement
conducted anywhere in the West-of-Hudson Watershed between
Nov. 23, 2005 and January 31, 2007, regardless of whether
those systems are located in the current priority areas for
If you have questions about whether you are eligible for reimbursement
for past repairs, or whether you qualify for the revised program,
please call the CWC at 845-586-1400 (toll-free 1-877-828-7433).
In addition, homeowners who meet income requirements may qualify
for hardship assistance from the CWC, whether or not their
property lies within an eligible area.
“Rural Life in the Catskills: A Forum on Food, Water
and Wood for the Future,” will bring together scholars,
authors, practitioners and producers to consider these critical
aspects of life in the Catskills on Saturday, April 14 at
the Andes Hotel, Andes, Delaware County. The event runs from
9:30 to 3:30. The $20 registration fee includes lunch. To
reserve your seat at this stimulating event, send a check
payable to the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development
(CCCD) to the Catskill Center, PO Box 504, Arkville, NY 12406.
Registration deadline is March 30.
A downloadable program and registration form can be found
at the website of the Olive Natural Heritage Society, one
of the event’s sponsors: www.onhs.org
The heritage of the Catskills encompasses a long legacy of
managing the land for agricultural and forest products, clean
drinking water, wildlife, outdoor recreation and scenic open
spaces. How best to support and encourage the continuation
of these treasured aspects of the region will be the focus
of the day-long forum.
The forum is the fourth symposium on regional environmental
issues sponsored by the Catskill Institute for the Environment
(CIE), a consortium of representatives from area colleges
and other educational organizations. In addition to CIE, the
Catskill Center and ONHS, the Andes forum is co-sponsored
by the Watershed Agricultural Council, Bard Center for Environmental
Policy, the Agroforestry Resource Center, Catskill Forest
Association, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and
the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Onteora Community Junior Football Committee, committed
to helping the Onteora School District rebuild its football
program by enlisting children ages 8-13 to learn the fundamentals
of contact football in a community league, held an informational
meeting and early registration for its planned team on Saturday,
March 24 at the Olive Town Hall on Bostock Road in Shokan.
On hand was Mark Keyser, president of the Kingston Area Junior
Football League. The goal of the Onteora Community Junior
Football Committee is to organize two new teams, a junior
and senior team, each with 20- 25 players. All games will
be played at Dietz Memorial Stadium.
“By joining forces with the Kingston Area Jr. Football
League in Kingston, children in the Onteora communities of
Woodstock, Shandaken, Hurley, Marbletown and Olive will have
the opportunity to play the game of contact football prior
seventh grade,” said a press release from the committee.
“The committee’s philosophy is that of engaging
and teaching children football fundamentals so they have basic
skill before entering the Onteora Middle School and join the
Onteora Modified Program. We can see this philosophy working
with the sport programs in baseball and soccer.”
The Kingston Area Junior Football League was started in 1971
to provide a safe and healthy environment for young people
to learn the game. The league is a non-competitive instructional
league with a junior division which allows 8-10 year olds
to play together and a senior division for 11-13 year olds.
Contact Cindy O’Connor at 657-2620, Wally Fulford at
657-6741, or Gene Sorbellini at 657 –6570 for further
New CPR News
Chest compression - not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation - seems
to be the key in helping someone recover from cardiac arrest,
according to new research that further bolsters advice from
heart experts. A study in Japan showed that people were more
likely to recover without brain damage if rescuers focused
on chest compressions rather than rescue breaths, and some
experts advised dropping the mouth-to-mouth part of CPR altogether.
More than a year ago, the American Heart Association revised
CPR guidelines to put more emphasis on chest presses, urging
30 instead of 15 for every two breaths given. Stopping chest
compressions to blow air into the lungs of someone who is
unresponsive detracts from the more important task of keeping
blood moving to provide oxygen and nourishment to the brain
Another big advantage to dropping the rescue breaths: It could
make bystanders more willing to provide CPR in the first place.
Many are unwilling to do the mouth-to-mouth part and become
flummoxed and fearful of getting the ratio right in an emergency.
Sudden cardiac arrest - when the heart suddenly stops beating
- can occur after a heart attack or as a result of electrocution
or near-drowning. It’s most often caused by an abnormal
heart rhythm. The person experiencing it collapses, is unresponsive
to gentle shaking and stops normal breathing.
Mt. Tremper Crash
Timothy Smith of Shandaken was found dead the morning of March
13 in a drainage ditch along state Route 28 in Mt. Tremper,
apparently the victim of a motor vehicle accident the night
before. Shandaken police said the body of Timothy P. Smith,
45, of Fox Hollow Road, was found by members of a state Department
of Transportation crew who were inspecting damage to a guard
rail on Route 28 near state Route 212. While checking the
rail, the DOT employees saw an overturned 2001 Dodge pickup
in a drainage ditch at the bottom of a steep embankment, and
they found Smith’s body about 10 feet away from the
vehicle, police said.
Police believe Smith was westbound on Route 28, on his way
home from work, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Monday when his
truck went off the road, through the rail and down the embankment.
Smith was thrown from the truck, which came to rest upside
down in the 25-foot-deep ditch, police said. They said there
are houses near the crash site and that homeowners the next
morning reported hearing the crash. But no one saw anything
out of the ordinary Monday night - neither the vehicle nor
Smith’s body were easily visible from Route 28 - and
no one called police, they said.
It was not clear whether Smith died in the crash or sometime
afterward. Police added that they did not find evidence that
Smith was wearing a seat belt.
Route 28 was closed for about 2 1/2 hours the morning of the
13th, and traffic was rerouted onto Wittenberg Road.
Eat Yr Veggies
Fewer than a third of American adults eat the amount of fruits
and vegetables the government recommends, a trend that’s
remained steady for more than a decade, health officials are
now saying. That’s “well below” the government’s
goal of getting 75 percent of Americans to eat two servings
of fruits and having half of the population consume three
servings of vegetables each day by 2010, said the U.S. Center
for Disease Control and Prevention.
The diet survey, part of a huge federal health survey of every
state, is based on responses from 305,000 adults in 2005.
It indicates the country is only about halfway toward meeting
its healthy eating goal three years from now. Although the
rate of fruit and vegetable consumption has remained unchanged
since 1994, health officials said the goal is still within
Specifically the survey showed that 27 percent of adults ate
vegetables three times a day, and about 33 percent ate fruit
twice a day. A serving size is a half-cup for most fruits
and vegetables, one cup for leafy greens.
Senior citizens were more likely than others to follow Mom’s
advice to eat more veggies, with slightly more than a third
of that group eating three or more servings each day. Younger
adults, age 18 to 24, ate the fewest vegetables. Nearly four-fifths
of that age category scraped the veggies to the side of their
plates - if they had vegetables on the plate at all.
Likewise, seniors also ate the most fruit, with nearly 46
percent eating two or more servings of fruit daily. People
age 35 to 44 ate fruit the least, with fewer than 28 percent
eating the recommended amount of fruit each day.
Dr. James Knodell, director of the Office of Security at the
White House, told a congressional committee in recent weeks
that he was aware of no internal investigation or report into
the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. The White House
had first opposed Knodell testifying but after a threat of
a subpoena from the committee he was allowed to appear.
Knodell has testified that those who had participated in the
leaking of classified information were required to attest
to this and he was aware that no one, including Karl Rove,
had done that. He said that he had started at the White House
in August 2004, a year after the leak, but his records show
no evidence of a probe or report there.
Rep. Henry Waxman recalled that President Bush had promised
a full internal probe. Knodell repeated that no probe took
place, as far as he knew, and was not happening today. Knodell
said he had no conversations whatsoever with the president,
vice president, Karl Rove or anyone about the leak.
Asked by chairman Waxman if he knew this was an issue of concern,
he said “yes.” Asked if he learned this from the
White House or the press, he said, “through the press.”
Knodell, who is a career employee and not a Bush appointee,
said he would go back and “review this with senior management.”
He admitted that leaking classified information called for
action, whether the leak was accidental or on purpose.
The head of the Internal Revenue Service is facing questions
in Congress about auditors’ complaints that they are
being forced to close corporate cases prematurely, allowing
billions in tax dollars to go unpaid. In interviews, these
revenue agents warned that unless they were free to pursue
what their instincts tell them, their focus would end up being
only on known abuses, and new ones created by the tax advice
industry would go undetected.
The agency countered that it had increased the number of companies
whose tax returns it examined by a fourth since 2001, even
though the number of auditors was virtually the same. Agency
officials said this was accomplished by cutting back slightly
on audits of the very largest companies, which produce more
than 80 percent of all corporate profits, while increasing
audits of those with assets of $10 million to $250 million,
as well as those of regular citizens.
Rot The Teeth?
Root beer could be the safest soft drink for your teeth, new
research suggests, but many other popular diet and sugared
sodas are nearly as corrosive to dental enamel as battery
acid. Prolonged exposure to soft drinks can lead to significant
enamel loss, even though many people consider soft drinks
to be harmless or just worry about their sugar content and
the potential for putting on pounds, the study says.
The erosive potential of colas is 10 times that of fruit juices
in just the first three minutes of drinking, a study last
year showed. The latest research reports that drinking any
type of soft drink hurts teeth due to the citric acid and/or
phosphoric acid in the beverages.
Non-colas are less acidic than colas overall, the study found,
but they erode the teeth more effectively than colas.
“This study simply doesn’t mirror reality,”
said American Beverage Association spokesperson Tracey Halliday.
“The findings cannot be applied to real life situations
where people’s eating and drinking behaviors are very
different and there are many factors at work.”