Follow Up on the
That Call Signal?
“JNS builds cell towers working in partnership with
municipalities,” Leifeld observed. “I think they
‘did’ most of Greene County and I’ve notified
Verizon that we’ve been speaking with them.”
If the project is to proceed beyond some immediate snags presented
by the Olive celltower siting law, Leifeld said that a tower
situated on town property offered the prospect of a 50-50
split with JNS on income generated from telecommunications
carriers after maintenance and other costs are subtracted.
The supervisor said that a 30 year contract was discussed
during which the town would continue to own the property and
Other sources expressed doubt that the optimal arrangement
for the town’s resources could be achieved without exercise
of the multi-bid process afforded by municipal laws 103 and
104. They expressed an opinion that the JNS deal was “overpriced”
although details of the arrangement were anything but clear
at this point. In any case, the finder’s fee from carriers
signing on to the tower, or “key money” in telecom
jargon, would seem to belong entirely to JNS without any investment
on their part beyond time. Sources named other consulting
firms they felt had a better record, in terms of benefiting
smaller towns, in making the necessary municipal-corporate
Verizon’s interest in the landfill location comes as
a surprise to a Woodstock resident with experience in dealing
with telecommunications companies and who cites a Verizon
policy of not building on landfills. That presumed policy
could not be clarified with Verizon officials by press time
but the fact that the company has approached Olive in regard
to the location is a matter of record. The town board met
with Verizon representative Robert Ford in a workshop session
on April 4th to discuss the matter.
Verizon said that the present tower on South Mountain would
not provide adequate line-of-sight access for beaming microwave
signals to other base stations around the area, Leifeld noted.
Additional viability for the transfer station site is furnished
by the “limbo” created in a lack of communications
from the mountaintop facility’s operator, Masterpage,
who has already backed away from a Shandaken tower deal.
“If they’re bankrupt, they should tear (the South
Mountain tower) down,” Leifeld said.
A perhaps more prominent snag is presented by a co-location
clause in the town’s tower law which insists that prospective
carriers must first consider presence on any preexisting towers
before the building of an additional tower can be approved
or provide a valid reason the existing tower would not suit
Leifeld said that town attorney Peter Graham was studying
the question and the town board was awaiting his legal opinion.
Two of the three candidates
vying for two board seats are from Olive, and Richard Wolff
and Michelle Friedel are running as a team. Running independently
is incumbent school board president Marino D’Orazio
D’Orazio has lived in the Onteora community for over
twenty years. He has served on the Onteora school board for
nearly ten years. Married with three grown children, he works
as a lawyer on Front Street in Kingston. He is a graduate
of Brooklyn Law School and received a PhD from City University
of New York.
D’Orazio says he wants to continue with his work as
a school board member because he feels he cannot “jump
ship,” during a time of change. “I think that
this is not a good time for me to retire…we have a brand
new superintendent, we are going to be putting before the
voters a capital improvement project with possibly a reconfiguration
of district facilities and I think we have a lot of new members
on the board and they could use a little experience.”
While on the board, he has been through the mascot controversy,
division as a result of the Large Parcel Legislation, West
Hurley elementary school closing, “and don’t forget
past board fighting and legal issues involving the past superintendent
(Dr. Hal Rowe).” His most difficult time was when Superintendent
Justine Winters passed away.
D’Orazio did not support closing West Hurley Elementary
School. Commenting on proposals to possibly close additional
elementary schools, D’Orazio said, “My gut feeling
is that I support community schools, but I am pretty open
minded and I will listen to other proposals, I do support
a separate middle school, but I can’t see myself supporting
a single campus.”
D’Orazio also did not vote in favor of the special education
reductions in 2006. He supports this year’s budget and
tax levy set at 3.86 percent, but notes caution when giving
too much fund balance back to taxpayers. “I believe
that you have to have a cushion for emergencies.”
D’Orazio is uncertain what kind of future the Large
Parcel Legislation will have because he believes the town
of Olive has come very close to equalizing taxes. Last year
he said there was a very small tax gap between the towns and
that is why he voted in favor of the piece of legislation
that would take the New York City reservoir and divide the
tax equally among the district.
“The town government in Olive really did everything
it could to meet the concerns of the board of education in
the past in respect to Large Parcel and they worked hard to
do it…maybe this year, it (equalized taxes) will happen
by default and we won’t even need to address it,”
he said. “I think that our job as a school district
is to treat all our tax payers the same way.”
Wolff has lived in Olive for 23 years, has four kids and along
with his wife considers himself an active participant in school
issues. He has attended school board meetings for the past
eleven years and said that was his reason why he would like
to run for school board.
Wolff works as a school bus contractor and manager of Ethan
Allen Enterprise Incorporated in Kingston. He has never conducted
business with the Onteora district, and therefore was not
affected by the consolidation of contract bus companies last
Wolff is primarily concerned about the budget and loss of
educational programs due to cuts. He believes last year the
school board wasted time with special education cuts and having
to restore them, causing a lot of grief for parents. He raised
the same concern this budget season.
“Sometimes you have to cut because enrollment is going…even
this year in music to cut half a position,” he said.
“But maybe the music department has to look at their
department, maybe there is a teacher retiring, you don’t
have to eliminate that other person.”
Wolff believes if the district had more fiscal control and
long-term budget plans in the many departments, than maybe
educational programs would not be affected.
Of the three renovation plans for the district mapped out
by KSQ architects, Wolff prefers to keep the local schools
open. He believes the middle school should separate from the
high school in a six-through-eight model.
Wolff said the district rushed into closing West Hurley and
once again planning long term was his theme. He noted especially
the large acreage of grounds that West Hurley sits on and
the potential for better facilities. But he said, “I
would think if you are going to keep three community schools
you could probably have West Hurley, but you have Woodstock
and they like having their own school…but I am not sure,
everybody seems very happy here at Woodstock, I think the
transition went well.”
Large Parcel was another issue that Wolff believes too much
time was spent pondering. “It should not even come to
the table, look at how much time is wasted on the LP issue.”
He would prefer the legislation was not brought up, but will
vote no if it does.
Wolff is Vice Chairman of the Olive zoning board of appeals,
sits on the board for United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County,
is a member of New York State school bus contractors association,
New York Association of Pupil Transportation Supervisors and
a council member of Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Friedel has lived in Olive for five years, but has been a
resident of the Kingston area since 1989, is married and has
two kids. She would like to be on the board because of her
concern for quality “educational programming”
and to make “sure we have a great school.” She
is an educator for Ulster County BOCES in the career tech
center and an early childhood development instructor for high
school students interested in entering the field. Friedel’s
profile sheet said that she would like to ensure that students
have the skills to compete in a global workforce. She has
a Masters Degree in Education from the College of Saint Rose
in Albany and a Bachelor of Science in education from Castleton
State College in Vermont.
Of the three plans proposed to reconfigure the schools she
says she does not have enough information to make a solid
decision and wants to keep an open mind. “As a community
member and a parent and as a board member, I would really
have to look at the figures and the enrollment…A or
C are the two plans I like, I personally believe the middle
school-six-through-eight would be a really nice environment
for the adolescent age because they are a specialized age
group.” Plan A keeps the three elementary schools open
and Plan C will close an additional elementary school.
Friedel said the recent cuts in special education services
are State mandated and could not be reduced. On the school
board’s move to cut special education she said, “But
there are two sides of every story...I was not part of the
decision making process so I don’t know what the facts
She supports the 3.89 percent tax levy but would maybe like
to use the fund balance to lower it even more. “I say
go for it, if you are not going to cut any services or programs.”
She also believes some reserve money is necessary for long-term
Like Wolff, Friedel would not like to see the Large Parcel
legislation be a part of board business, but will vote no
if it comes to the table noting that it tears communities
apart. “I am sure people would be upset with that, but
I also feel I have to vote no. Even the national school board
does not vote on any tax property policies or actions, so
if the national school board does not touch it, then the local
school board should not touch it.”
Proposition #1 on the upcoming ballot asks voters to approve
the 2007-2008 Onteora school budget, which is slightly above
a contingency budget, If voters defeated the budget two times,
it would automatically be reduced to a 4.11 percent increase
and all equipment purchases removed from the budget under
Proposition #2 asks voters to approve money for the purchase
of four in-house buses to replace four aging, high mileage
and high maintenance buses at a total cost of $279,825. Requested
are a 29-passenger wheelchair accessible bus not to exceed
$60,238, a 66-passenger bus not to exceed $87,378, a 20-passenger
bus not to exceed $44,843 and a 65-passenger bus not to exceed
In 2006 voters rejected two of the four buses proposed on
this years May 15 ballot.
“For the last few years Shandaken and Olive’s
enrollment has been dwindling due to population and kids traveling
to Hurley to play in their Little League,” McGlyn said
this past week, just back from a practice leading up to the
season’s opening day Saturday May 12. “This is
awesome that our towns have combined; otherwise we would have
both had weak leagues.”
McGlyn’s counterpart in Shandaken, who started working
with the league last year after Theresa Grant ran it for several
years, is Bobby Jones and his wife Theresa.
“There used to be ten teams here in Olive and as many
out in Shandaken at one time,” McGlyn continued. “Last
year we were able to have five teams – maybe 4 1⁄2
if you counted right, and the interest wasn’t there
for that many this year.”
McGlyn says as far as he’s concerned, both he and Jones
came up with the idea of combining into one league simultaneously.
He says the two men share a sports enthusiasm and good volunteer
skills, even if he also admits that Jones knows a bit more
about baseball than he, more a football guy.
“We figured that just because we’re different
towns we’re not that far away and this thing was doable,”
he added. “Now we’ve got 60 kids in a strong program
and ten games where we used to be able to play only eight.
McGlyn said that he was worried at first whether the town,
which has its own athletic program and bonafide athletic director,
would sanction something crossing across borders. But then
Geno Sorbellini loved the idea and everything was a go.
He figures a similar move happened in Shandaken.
“We were unsure whether this would involve town politics
and we were half expecting a situation,” he said. “But
right off the bat all we heard was ,”Great, you can
A big boost came later, McGlyn said, when Route 28 service
station owner John Rano put a sign in front of his place advertising
the new league. Ten kids signed up within a week because of
Games, McGlyn added, will alternate between Grant Avery Park
on Bostock Road in Shokan and Glenbrook Park off Route 42
Opening ceremonies start at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, May
12, with the league’s first game at 10:15 a.m. and a
second at 12 noon. All three Olive-based teams will play that
day, along with one of the three Shandaken teams.
The following afternoon at 1 p.m., May 13, the remaining two
Shandaken teams will play at Glenbrook Park.
The remainder of the season includes games on May 16, 18,
23, 24, and 30; and June 1, 2, 6, 8, 13 and 16, with championship
playoffs throughout the final week in June. A special league
trip to Great Escape in Lake George is also part of the schedule.
Asked how community support was going, McGlyn said there could
be more. He noted, however, that Hurley and now Woodstock
are sanctioned Little League leagues because of the amount
of volunteer and community support each has.
Does that mean he hopes to get to similar heights at some
“We’re not at that step yet,” McGlyn replied.
“We’re just trying to put out a good product for
the kids. They’re not going to care who wins or loses,
but what good times they had. That’s what matters.”
For more information on the new Olive and Shandaken Little
League, stop by its games or contact McGlyn by either calling
657-9742 or e-mailing him at email@example.com
My mother’s mother came from Puerto Rico. She went to
school until the second-grade, when a flood swept the region,
and my grandmother was nearly killed, walking to school. This
was when she stopped attending.
My mother’s mother had a breathtakingly beautiful voice,
but her stage fright impeded any singing career she could
have pursued. Instead, she plied an anonymous trade with her
hands, working the sewing machines in a garment-producing
sweatshop, enduring the unspeakable conditions that accompanied
this lifestyle. But she was crafty, frugal, and industrious.
She took home little scraps of this and that, and clothed
my mother and her three sisters. She crocheted bible covers
and a great many other things, selling them wherever she betook
Motherhood is an act of selfless love, as in Shel Silverstein’s
The Giving Tree, a book I’ve carried away from my childhood.
In its loving protection, generosity, and altruism, it is
one of the most beautiful things on this green earth, and
should never be overlooked.
Mother’s Day impends, it is true. But I would venture
to say that there is no single time in a year to express gratitude
towards anyone who has offered assistance, without asking
anything in return. Gratitude is enormously cherished by any
who have the fortune to receive it, and anyone can give it.
I will say it again: anyone can offer gratitude!
I, your faithful journalist, may be found guilty for offering
little in the way of thanks. My attainment of adolescence
has certainly taken its toll on the “harmonic duality”
of my mother and I. It has impeded, not our love, which is
absolute, but the expression of our love. Speaking as a part
of a household, growing older is difficult because, as new
effects are created, old effects are destroyed, and I encounter
new difficulties in getting along with my mother. We both
struggle to be heard over the other’s rising voice.
I write these words to you – I speak of gratitude, and
of love – because I hope that a part of me is listening,
too. (Ooh; that makes me a bit of a hypocrite, doesn’t
The bond between mother and child is as strong as ever, despite
tension brought by growth, society, and dispute. Every human
values the guidance, pride, and care offered by another human.
Maternity is a divine thing, and should be valued as such.
Every act of spontaneous kindness, and every act of compassionate
protection or generosity, every such boon and every such loving
thought (regardless of one’s age, gender, or relation)
is a little part of a great love. This spirit of motherhood
is prominent among the things that brighten our lives and
A Jar Of Olives
Linda chose this play because it is about small town life
that reveals the big secret about life anywhere on the
planet. It is set in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire,
but it could very well be set in our little town with
any set of neighbors who share the joys and sadness of
life. The Webbs and the Gibbs could just as well be the
Barringers and the Kelders. The action comes from the
ordinary routine of people as they go about the daily
business of life.
In addition to our Town Board and County Legislators,
which Linda cast as bodies in the cemetery, you will see
Ben Rounds, Ruth Ann Muller, Jim Mays, Louise and Douw
Diehl, Delores Schofield, Sara Jayne Rothkopf, Brandon
Aja, and Erin Guiditta from the Town of Olive. Even John
Parete, owner of the Boiceville Inn, makes an appearance
as the town’s undertaker. Colleen Scanlon is our
prompter. The cast is predominantly from Olive, but I
would remiss if I didn’t mention the main character,
Ted French from Shandaken, who is amazingly convincing
as the stage manager with a New Hampshire accent.
The playwright knew what we all know. Olive or Grover’s
Corners is not a geographical entity. Our town is not
an outline on a political map. Our town is the sum total
of its people. It is the newborn, the teenager, the adult,
the senior and the memory of those who lived here before
us. It is the celebration of sixty-three years of marriage
of Frank and Muffy Carle. It is the opening of a new nursery
in Boiceville. It is the meeting of the Tongore Flower
Club and the sign up for Little League. Our town gets
its energy from the connection of person to person as
we go about our daily lives doing the work of the world.
This is the place where we live and love. It is Our Town.
My thirteen words are these: “Oh, Mr. Webb, is there
any culture or love of beauty—in Grover’s
Corners?” The answer for Olive is a resounding YES!
After seeing Kate McGloughlin’s art exhibit in Beacon
and observing the dramatic talent of my friends and neighbors,
there is no question about culture in Olive. Beauty? We
have cornered the market on scenic vistas.
Culture, however, has two meanings. One means the extrinsic
arts and finer trappings of a community. In a larger sense,
culture is the total way of life of a group of people.
Olive’s culture is one of zest for life, respect
for neighbor, love of family, and pride in Our Town. Many
of us know, as Thornton Wilder knew, that each ordinary
day is special enough.
There were only a handful of onlookers at the firehouse
when the votes were tallied, but all were in celebration
mode. Olive Councilman Henry Rank, who owns land in the
hamlet, said, “I think it’s great; Now the
town won’t fold up.”
Following a study which concluded that a wastewater treatment
plant would be the most efficient and effective means
of treating sewage in Boiceville, the Olive Town Board
agreed last year to proceed to the design phase, in which
a system was designed to handle an estimated 62,240 gallons
of wastewater per day from the customers within the Boiceville
district. The issue of forming the district was the subject
of a public hearing in March.
The May 8 vote was on whether or not to form the district.
In legal terms, forming the district green lights the
project. A vote against the formation of the district
would have been a death knell for the plan.
A similar vote in Phoenicia earlier this year resulted
in a $17 million offer from New York City being rejected,
the first time in the program’s ten year history.
The cost of construction of Boiceville’s collection
system will be paid from a block grant from the Catskill
Watershed Corporation. Operation and maintenance fees
for residences will be capped at $100 per year. Businesses
will be charged according to usage, with a $250 minimum
fee per year. The city will pay all else, including a
majority of that owed by the Onteora School main campus,
whose presence in the system serves to keep costs down
Councilman Bruce LaMonda was on hand for the vote count.
Although not a landowner in the district, LaMonda, a frequent
critic of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection, said he was glad the project was approved.
“It’s an opportunity,” he said. “We
would have been remiss if we didn’t help make it
The Olive town board unanimously endorsed the project
on Tuesday, May 1, when Rosa, engineer Henry Lamont and
attorney Kevin Young answered questions from the public
about the proposed system, which Rosa described as a one-time
good deal other towns in the region fought hard to get.
Olive audience members, predominately male and older,
sat cross-armed and shouted out questions and comments
as the presentation proceeded, expressing their general
wishes that they not have to deal with New York City,
a school district based in their town, or any outside
bothers not of their asking.
“I don’t trust your words,” said one
man repeatedly, summing up much of the attitude in the
orange-hued former Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall
that serves as Olive’s meeting place. “I’m
70 years old and I don’t trust your words.”
And yet it seems enough people heard something good enough
to convince them to say yes to what Phoenicia had so recently
said no to.
“We fought for these dollars for the communities,”
Rosa said. “The city of New York never wanted to
build these systems. We fought for this!”
Rosa further pointed out that if and when a community
turns down a sewer system, it faces the possibility of
having New York regulate local septic systems by forcing
them to shut down. He talked about situations involving
businesses that he’d seen in Greene and Delaware
counties, and added that monies available for private
septic system replacements from his current entity, the
CWC, is limited, and not fast to access. After all, there
are over 22,000 such systems within the affected watershed
region not covered by municipal sewer systems.
Lamont, of Kingston, explained how his systems worked,
showed a rough design for a similar facility to what’s
being planned for the flood plain behind the Trail Nursery,
on a 12 foot riser to avoid damage when the Esopus rises.
Explained how maintenance is set up so more than enough
is covered by city payments, the better to avoid future
costs for the Town of Olive, who would end up owning (and
being responsible for) the finished plant.
He will now start planning an actual plant for completion
The earlier meeting’s mood shifted noticeably when
it was pointed out that certain building expansion restrictions
would be lifted with a municipal water system, that mortgages
would be easier to procure, and there would no longer
be a threat of homeowners poisoning their own wells.
“I, too, would like to go back to the seventies
and eighties when people would just leave us alone up
here,” Olive Supervisor Bert Leifeld summarized
when the board gave its unanimous support to the project.
“But that’s not going to happen. The City’s
not going away; the school’s not going away. I just
really believe that we should take advantage of this offer;
they worked hard for this money. I wish we didn’t
have to think about any of this… but we do.”
All moot now as Boiceville gurgles ahead into a new future
as the town’s bonafide business center.
Next stop… planning and digging. Don’t flush