Real Estate?!? Sales of existing single-family homes rose
dramatically in the Hudson Valley in the first quarter of
the year over the same period in 2009, according to data compiled
by the New York State Association of Realtors. Sales of existing
single-family homes rose by 54.3 percent in Greene County,
by 43.7 percent in Ulster County, by 42.9 percent in Columbia
County, but by only 8.8 percent in Dutchess County. Orange
County was the only Hudson Valley county where home sales
slipped, dropping 1.6 percent. In related news, a recent public
auction of foreclosed delinquent tax properties held by Ulster
County saw the county receive $864,928 on 42 properties owing
a total of $336,291. The 2010 auction, it was later announced,
received $251,828 more than what was bid in 2009. The annual
property tax sale is a public auction of properties that are
at least three years delinquent in general municipal taxes.
A total of 63 parcels made it to the 2010 auction, of which
42 sold... most of those being vacant lands. Meanwhile, average
retail gasoline prices in New York have risen nearly 10 cents
per gallon in the past weeks, averaging $3.08 per gallon at
press time, according to gasoline price website NewYorkStateGasPrices.com.
This compares with the national average, which has stayed
flat, moving just 1.2 cents per gallon in the last week to
$2.85 per gallon. Including the change in gas prices in New
York during the past week, prices today are 89.1 cents per
gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12.4
cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average
has increased 7.1 cents per gallon during the last month and
stands 83.5 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.
Shared Services? A charter-mandated meeting Intermunicipal
Collaboration Council, bringing together County Executive
Mike Hein and local and legislative leaders in late April
ended up being dominated by the county's new push to share
services between municipalities, and in particular Hein's
proposal to contract with towns to provide snow removal and
some summer maintenance to county highways. Deputy Legislature
Chairman Frank Felicello, R-Marlboro, said he's heard from
town highway superintendents and county employees who are
concerned that the proposal would cost towns money and cost
employees jobs. He and others questioned whether the county's
flat per-mile rate was equitable to all the county's municipalities,
a subject first raised this past winter by Town of Olive board
members. The county offer is $6,800 per mile of county highway
for winter plowing and sanding and "light" summer
maintenance, which would include mowing and some pothole repair.
Hein said the executive's office is working with a number
of communities to craft agreements he hopes will be finalized
by the end of May.
Budget Down The county received much less than it budgeted,
although not quite as much as it ended up spending over the
last year, according to a new report by Ulster County Budget
Director Arthur Smith. The biggest revenue shortfall was in
sales tax, which the 2009 budget anticipated at $85.5 million
versus the $77.8 million it actually received. Overall, the
2009 budget anticipated raising $274 million in revenues,
but brought in only $258.4 million, Smith said. That the county
was able to significantly reduce spending - the budget called
for general fund spending of $275.7 million, but the county
only spent $258.4 million - helped buffer the county against
the loss of sales tax revenues. To close the gap, the county
was forced to tap its surplus fund balance, but not to the
extent initially anticipated. Ulster County lawmakers appropriated
about $1.8 million from the county's unreserved general fund
balance to offset spending in 2009, but needed to draw down
just under $1 million. According to the county's financial
report, released Monday, the county closed 2009 with a $25.5
million fund balance, down from the 25.7 million balance at
the end of 2008. But the 2009 balance drops to $18.2 million
once more than $7 million in anticipated draw-downs for 2010
are applied. That puts the county's unappropriated fund balance
at 6.5 percent of its budget. The state comptroller recommends
a fund balance of between 5 and 10 percent. Ulster County
Executive Michael Hein said the hit to the county's fund balance
could have been significantly worse if not for a revenue boost
through the federal stimulus program and money-saving steps
taken by the county during the year.
"Give Housing a Voice" a program developed by the
Ulster County Housing Consortium (UCHC) to be launched at
The Birches at Esopus on May 6 from 5 - 7 pm, is premiering
a new advocacy website underwritten by Ulster Savings Bank
to help fulfill its mission "to inform Ulster County
residents and leaders on a wide range of housing facts and
needs and motivate communities and their residents to become
proactive about housing choice."
Anchored by a website that gathers local and national research
information along with real life stories and situations that
offer accurate up-to-date information on Ulster County's housing
infrastructure, the campaign will offer on-line petitions,
posters, billboards and other media messages. Michael Berg,
the Family of Woodstock founder serving as Chairman of the
UCHC, said that "The purpose is to raise awareness about
affordable workforce housing, sufficient housing supply at
all income levels and the need for implementation of balanced
land use and smart growth planning techniques."
Individuals, local business, civic and government organizations
can sign on to messages at no cost and sponsor public service
messages at low cost to help increase awareness and motivate
action. For further information call 331-2140 or visit www.rupco.org.
This spring, lodging establishments in the Catskills Region
will have the opportunity to help keep thousands of pounds
of soft goods out of local landfills by participating in a
new, 5-county Green Concierge project being pioneered by the
Catskill Watershed Corporation. The project will kick off
this month with a free door-to-door soft goods collection
run to lodging facilities in the area, where staff will introduce
the Green Concierge project to participating facilities while
collecting materials for donation.
Gently used soft goods such as towels, sheets, blankets, bedspreads,
curtains, shams, bed shawls, table linens, clothing, uniforms
and shoes in non-soiled condition will be collected from lodging
facilities and donated to local charities through a door-to-door
collection drive throughout the five Catskill counties.
Facilities eligible to participate in this project include
hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and rental condominiums
located in the Catskill watershed of Delaware, Greene, Schoharie,
Sullivan and Ulster counties.
The Green Concierge project is an economic development initiative
sponsored by and funded through grants from the Empire State
Development Corporation (EDSC) and the Catskill Watershed
Corporation (CWC). Over the next three years, approximately
150 tourism and lodging facilities in the watershed region
will receive free one-on-one technical assistance to improve
their economic and environmental sustainability practices
through pollution prevention, resource conservation, recycling
and toxic chemical reduction. In addition to technical assistance,
some facilities involved in the Green Concierge project will
participate in a green certification program that will document
and verify their sustainable improvements.
HospitalityGreen LLC, a Sullivan County environmental consulting
firm, developed and is spearheading the Green Concierge project.
Delaware, Greene and Schoharie counties are scheduled for
a door-to-door pick-up on May 11-14. Sullivan and Ulster counties
are scheduled for a door-to-door pick-up on May 20-24. HospitalityGreen
will contact eligible facil in early May to set up a collection
For more information regarding participating in the project
or for questions and/or schedule conflicts, contact HospitalityGreen
at (845) 436-6173.
Kindergarten pre-registration and screening for the 2010-2011
school year will be held in the Onteora Central School District
during the month of May. This event will be held at all three
elementary schools as follows: For Bennett School, registration
will be May 25 and 26; for Phoenicia, the dates are May 17
and 19; and for Woodstock Elementary, registration dates are
May 24 and May 27. If you have not already scheduled an appointment,
call your local school: For Bennett, call Gina Tucker at 657-2354;
for Phoenicia, call Sheila Jansen at 688-5580; and for Woodstock
call Eva Park at 679-2316.
A child must be 5 years old by December 1, 2010 to be eligible
for kindergarten in September 2010.
The Onteora Central School District Board of Ed also recently
announced the creation of a dedicated Public Comment Phone
Line, 845- 657-2677 x490, designed to serve as an extension
of "Public Be Heard" and aimed, in particular, at
those community members who are unable to attend school board
meetings. At first you will hear "Onteora Faculty Mailbox"
and at that prompt you should dial extension 490. Recorded
comments will be accessed by board members. Community members
are asked to state their name and their topic of discussion.
Trustees may also be contacted via e-mail through one master
account at OnteoraBOE@onteora.k12.ny.us
The State University of New York, the nation's largest public
university system, recently unveiled a new roadmap for the
future that aims to encourage entrepreneurship that officials
say will create jobs and stem an exodus of young New Yorkers.
The strategic plan, 10 months in the making, will enable SUNY
to help drive New York's economy and create jobs through innovation
by stressing a "entrepreneur mindset" and establishing
"cradle to career" programs that would connect the
64 campuses to bring new ideas to market. The plan also calls
for revamping teacher education and making it easier for community
college students to transfer to SUNY schools.
Among the strategic plan's proposals:
SUNY StartUP will invite local entrepreneurs to campuses to
advise and mentor students and professors. Entrepreneurship
courses will be added to "create a cadre of idea generators
and job creators."
SUNY-INC, which stands for Incent New Companies, will create
a link to fast-track ideas to market, starting with a local
research team that would funnel discoveries to successive
experts with "the end result: new companies, new jobs,
and the growth of a new economy."
Revamping teacher education plans will include a SUNY Urban-Rural
Teacher Corps to provide "real-world experience"
to prospective teachers, the same way medical students get
Agreements are being established to allow SUNY community college
students to more easily transfer credits to four-year colleges.
The creation of OPEN SUNY, a program to make the system the
most extensive distance-learning university in the nation.
A new focus on remaking New York as a leading location for
health care research and training.
The emergency room at Benedictine Hospital ceased operation
on April 28 as part of a deal that allowed state health department
officials to grant final approval for a second phase of Kingston
Hospital's emergency room expansion. HealthAlliance of the
Hudson Valley, the parent company of Kingston and Benedictine
hospitals, also runs an emergency room at Margaretville Hospital.
Company officials have said they are uncertain what will become
of the emergency room space at Benedictine Hospital. Ambulances
will be standing by at Benedictine Hospital for a while to
take patients who mistakenly drive themselves there to Kingston
The federal Food & Drug Administration sent out a recall
alert last week for children's Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and
Benadryl, all McNeil Consumer Healthcare brands of liquid
medicine. The recall was based on an accumulation of consumer
complaints that revealed manufacturing problems affecting
quality, purity and potency. More than 40 varieties, with
differing sizes and flavors, of the popular over-the-counter
drugs have been recalled, and parents are being warned not
to administer any to their children.
The mistakes ranged from providing a higher dose of the active
ingredient to purity questions about inactive ingredients
to the presence of solid particles in the liquid. The company
didn't say how much extra medicine was involved, but did call
the risk of serious medical events "remote." The
particles included solidified product ingredients and "manufacturing
residue," which the company identified as "tiny
Consumers are advised to visit McNeil's product recall web
site before tossing the recalled bottles to input the product
codes to get a coupon good for a future purchase. McNeil couldn't
give a timeline for when the drugs will back on store shelves.
Once the investigation into what happened is over, the company
will need to implement corrective action, they said.
Meanwhile, the FDA is warning consumers not to give their
children adult-strength versions of Tylenol or Motrin. The
FDA is advising parents that generic versions of the recalled
products are not affected and the agency does not expect there
to be a shortage of children's medicine as a result.
Tea Party Fears?
One of the latest viral editorials making the circuit of certain
web circles is a piece labeled, "Army Preps for Tea Party
'Terrorists' by PatriotPost blogger Mark Alexander, who is
charging that "the Obama administration and their Leftmedia
sycophants" have been preparing for a talked-about Tea
Party protest at Fort Knox in Kentucky. "Local detention
centers are being made ready for mass arrests," Alexander
quotes what he says are interrupted Intel calls which chart
possible connections between right wing militias and the ad
hoc national group which is trying to set up a local branch
in the area, and held its first meeting at the Phoenicia Fish
& Game Club last month.
Meanwhile, according to that effort's lead organizer, Chris
Johansen of West Shokan, he has recently posted $300 to the
Town of Olive for use of the town's Shokan Park for an evening
meeting, starting at 7:00 PM, on Saturday, May 22.
"I have confirmed George Phillips the Republican and
as of right now I've heard nothing From Maurice Hinchey,"
Johansen said of a planned Meet The Candidates event for those
running for the U.S. Congressional seat held by Hinchey for
nearly two decades. "This town hall meeting will be hosted
and organized by the Mtn. Tea Party with participation of
the other two major parties."
More details in our next issue...
The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program has a new
Volunteer Steam Stewards program, set up to involve interested
full or part time residents of the Ashokan watershed in stream-based
projects as a way to visibly model positive stream stewardship
practices and assist the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management
Program in carrying out a wide range of community activities.
Some of the opportunities available include stream clean-ups,
education, streamside plantings, stream monitoring, outreach
to local communities, invasive species control, and organizing
local events. Volunteers will participate in a one day training
on various monitoring methods, invasive plant id and control,
and learn about ways to protect this environment. More information
will be announced as it becomes available.
To become a Stream Steward, contact Dona Crawford at email@example.com
For more information about CCEUC community programs and events
call 340-3990 or visit www.cceulster.org.
Several of the annual Ulster County Police Chiefs Association
awards handed out at a recent ceremony went to both local
police officers, and the solving of a longstanding local crime.
In the category of Meritorious Police Service, Detective Fred
Holland of the Shandaken Police Department and Deputies Chad
Storey and Hadeer Omar of the Ulster County Sheriff's Office
were commended for their work last May 21 when Holland noticed
a vehicle parked for a long time on state Route 28 in Allaben,
questioned its driver, later identified as Stephen J. Shepherd,
and an eventual arrest of the man for having allegedly killed
his wife out in western New York. Stephen Shepherd later was
charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter,
a felony, last October.
Also touted were the state police investigators out of Ellenville
who helped solve the more than 10-year-old case of missing
Samsonville teenager Joseph Martin. Investigator Peter Cirigliano
was commended for having opened up a fresh perspective that
led to the reinterviewing of two individuals believed to be
the last to see Martin alive, one now in prison serving a
20-year sentence for a murder he committed in 1997, the other
on federal probation for a drug conviction. Eventually, Alexander
Barsky, 29, admitted that he and Daniel Malak had killed Martin
by hitting him in the head with a steel pipe. Barsky said
the two buried Martin's body in a cave in the woods, where
they had gone the night of Martin's disappearance.
Barsky was charged with second-degree murder, a felony, but
was allowed to plead guilty in August 2008 to a reduced charge
of felony manslaughter. Because he was only 15 when Martin
was killed, Barsky was sentenced to 3-1/3 to 10 years in state
prison. Following Barsky's confession, investigators interviewed
Malak, 29, who already was in prison. Malak reportedly was
not so easily moved, but leads gained through Barsky's arrest,
new evidence and further interviews ultimately led to Malak
being indicted for second-degree murder in Martin's death.
Malak pleaded not guilty last September, and the case is pending
in Ulster County Court.
A new initiative from the Killian Mansfield Foundation, the
local not-for-profit set up in the memory of the Olive teen
who passed away from cancer last year, is currently in the
running for $50,000 in funding from the Pepsi Refresh Project...
should it get enough e-mail support.
The goal of the grant proposal? To get an aromatherapy kit
to every child diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Why? Because
each year, about 10,000 children are told they have cancer,
and the first line treatment, chemo/radiation, causes terrible
side effects-predominantly nausea and anxiety for the first
treatments. Aromatherapy, Mansfield's family found, is very
effective at relieving nausea and bringing a sense of calm
to the anxious pediatric cancer patient. Though aromatherapy
alleviates this discomfort during the early stages of treatment,
very few patients receive it and its not covered by health
"KMF is dedicated to helping those 10,000+ children diagnosed
with cancer in the coming year," noted Killian's mother,
Barbara, in a press release on the new fundraising challenge
(see her Mother of the Year picture inside on page 33). "Vote
to provide them ALL with a simple and highly effective aromatherapy
kit that includes therapeutic grade essential oils: Peppermint
(for nausea) and Lavender (to restore calm), a diffuser, and
instruction guide on complementary therapies viewed as safe
and effective by the medical community to relieve discomfort
during cancer treatment. Search 'Pepsi Refresh Project,' click
on the 'Vote Here' button. You will have to register with
your email address and choose a password that you will use
to log in every time you vote. In order to win, KMF will need
as many people as possible to vote daily."
An Albany County man fell about 100 feet to his death on May
1 after he lost his footing while hiking in the Devil's Kitchen
area off of Platte Clove Road in this Greene County town,
according to state police. Troopers at the Catskill barracks
said William J. Costello, 53, of Delmar, slipped on steep
mountainous terrain and fell around 11:15 a.m.
Police said Costello was an inexperienced hiker, was not familiar
with the terrain and apparently was hiking alone when the
accident occurred. Retrieving Costello's body required the
efforts of state police, state environmental conservation
police, state forest rangers and rope rescue teams from the
Tannersville, Haines Falls, Palenville, Centerville-Cedar
Grove and Woodstock fire departments.
Police said Costello's body was examined at the scene by Greene
County Coroner Hassan Basagic and was taken to St. Peter's
Hospital in Albany.
Major Food Drive
On Saturday, May 8, in conjunction with the National Association
of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service, the
United Way of Ulster County and the Kingston Post Office are
coordinating a countywide food drive to collect food for local
"Food pantries are still seeing record numbers of clients,
says Su Marcy, United Way Vice President. "All are reporting
between 30-50% increases in requests compared to last year.
One pantry started a year ago serving 35 people once/week
and served 127 people in one day just two weeks ago!"
The idea of the new drive is to help local food pantries by
leaving non-perishable food items such as pasta, dry milk,
cereal, and canned goods (please NO glass), for your letter
carrier on Saturday, May 9th or by bringing donations to your
local post office beginning this week.
For More Information on the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the
largest one-day food drive nationwide, - visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.
For about as long as anyone can remember since Barack Obama
launched his run for the White House, there have been all
manner of crazy, conspiratorial rumors about the man who is
now our president. And early on, Obama's campaign team sought
to address the swamp of fiction by going pro-active, launching
a website called "Fight The Smears" that was exclusively
dedicated to battling back against the background whispers
that asserted that Obama was a socialist Muslim sleeper agent
with a foreign birth certificate. Those efforts drew the concern
of some who worried that debunking a rumor only gave it more
According to Internet rumor-debunkers David and Barbara Mikkelson,
who have long plied their trade at Snopes.com, a comparative
analysis of the rumor-mongering of the still-young Obama presidency
and the two terms of his predecessor now show that after eight
years in the White House, George W. Bush was the subject of
47 internet rumors. After less than two years in office, Barack
Obama has been the subject of 87.
Even more telling is the relative accuracy of those stories.
For Bush, 20 rumors, or 43%, are true. Only 17, or 36%, are
false. The remainder are of mixed veracity (4), undetermined
(4), or unclassifiable (2).
In contrast, for Obama only 8 of the 87 rumors, or 9%, are
true, and a whopping 59, or 68%, are whoppers. There are 17
of mixed veracity and 3 undetermined.
Need Some Art?
Talk about an interesting new enterprise that could help raise
the cultural climate of the area, expand the pool of those
collecting art, and find new homes for all the great work
being created in the area...
The Kingston Library has set up a new program for loaning
original artwork to patrons. To fill it, they've put out a
call to artists for framed, original, ready to hang artwork.
For now, all donated artwork will become the property of the
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), with funding from
the New York City Department of Environmental Protection,
has awarded $50,000 to 15 farm and food Pure Catskills member
businesses through the Sustainable Agriculture Development
Program. Part of the Pure Catskills Buy Local Campaign, this
program works to support the economic viability of regional
agriculture. The 15 grant awards, ranging between $945 and
$5,000, were awarded for product development, marketing and
educational activities. The highly competitive grant offering
received 60 project proposals requesting $307,000 in funding.
By category, this year's funding allocated $34,885 to product
development, $3,170 to marketing and $11,945 outreach and
Recipients of the 2010 program include farmstand improvements,
restaurant product development, "Food for Thought"
farm-to-school events, new soup recipes, maple syrup brand
and aged oat cheese products, local food festivals, the return
of elderberry wine, marketing drives, and livestock processing
Only one project was awarded in Ulster County... due to scarce
For more information, visit www.nycwatershed.org.
Gay & Surviving!
A grant from the national organization SAGE (Services &
Advocacy for GLBT Elders) will allow the Hudson Valley LGBTQ
Community Center to significantly
increase its programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
senior citizens in the Hudson Valley.
As America ages, its senior population faces numerous challenges
such as improper medical care, workplace discrimination and
emotional distress stemming from isolation. Such problems
are even more extreme for LGBT seniors. The Center's expanded
agenda of SAGE programs will include Public Policy/Advocacy
Training, Educational programs for gay seniors, and training
for long-term care providers, home health care workers, rehabilitation
services and senior housing providers.
The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, Inc., was established
in 2005. Its membership numbers more than 1,500 individuals
and families. The Center opened its doors in February, 2007,
in Kingston. The Center provides social services, cultural
outreach and advocacy on issues important to the entire Hudson
Valley LGBTQ Community.
Visit www.lgbtqcenter.org or call 331-5300 for more information.
It may seem like a long stretch ahead until school lets out,
especially for thye kids among (and with) us, but for anyone
looking to have a camp experience over the fast-approaching
summer months, the time to pick and choose, apply and registeris
Fortuanetly, going away to camp, at least in this neck of
the woods, doesn't necessarily mean going away from the region.
There's plenty of local day camps around the area, some YMCA-sponsored
and others religious, Boy Scouts-oriented, or private in nature.
There are even a handful of great overnight camps, including
the queen of them all up in Frost Valley.
Kicking things off very locally will be an upcoming Open House
and Community Garden Planting Day at Catskill Woodland Camp,
Cara Cruickshank's Phoenicia-based mixture of folklore and
fun, set for 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Sunday, May 16 at 109
Main Street in Phoenicia (the Parish Hall and Field.)
A number of the camp's teachers and counselors will be on
hand for drum and storytelling workshops, weed walks, nutrition
talks and more.
Set up for all ages, preschool through high school, the camp
will run in weekly sessions from July 5 through August 27.
For further information on Catskill Woodland Camp call 688-2068
or visit www.catskillwoodlandcamp.com.
For more about YMCA camps Seewackamano, in Olive, and Wiltmeet
in High Falls, call 338-3810 or visit www.ymcaulster.org.
For more on Camp Ulster at SUNY Ulster, call 339-2025 or visit
www.sunyulster.edu. For more on Frost Valley, cal 985-2291
or visit www.frostvalley.org.
Also of interest, Catskill Outback Adventures and the Pine
Hill Community Center are teaming up to offer a summer youth
program called Youth in the Outback to run on Mondays and
Fridays from July 12 until August 20. The Center is located
at 287 Main Street, Pine Hill, and Catskill Outback Adventures
is located at 8243 Rt 28, Big Indian. Call 254-9888 or e-mail
email@example.com for more information and to pre-register
A graduation ceremony was held at UPAC in Kingston last month
for 25 new Environmental Police Officers from DEP's Kingston-based
Environmental Police Academy. The academy, launched in 2002,
is the first-of-its-kind in the nation to provide training,
experience and concentrated course work in advanced environmental
laws. This class brings the police force to 189 sworn members.
The 25 graduates included several with experience in the military,
law enforcement, and emergency response. Locally, they included
Christopher Carr, Scott Kanvin, Matthew Kruger, of Ulster,
Richard Mugge, and Jesse Murphy, all of Ulster County. Kruger
was named class leader.
Graduates successfully completed a total of 30 weeks of instruction
in which they underwent intense training in counter-terrorism,
the environment, police science, and the use of firearms and
Developers of a proposed luxury resort on the former Williams
Lake Hotel property outside Rosendale have been told their
proposed environmental study is inadequate after years of
review and revision. State environmental officials said the
DEIS is insufficient for underground water flow and wildlife
use of the Binnewater lakes, on which the resort would sit.
The draft environmental impact statement was submitted earlier
this month by Hudson River Valley Resorts, which wants to
build a 94-room hotel, 22 lakefront suites, 14 cabins, 101
attached single-family residential units and 59 detached single-family
residential units on about 52 acres of a nearly 500 acre lot.
State officials wrote that major deficiencies in the environmental
impact statement included the absence of approved wildlife
survey protocols to accurately assess the impact of the project.
They also said the developers have not followed previous recommendations
that water levels in the Binnewater lakes get close attention.
Sullivan County Legislator David Sager and Glenn Dannaham,
a teaching assistant from Kerhonkson, have announced they
will seek the State Senate seat held by John Bonacic since
In a statement slamming Sager, a Bonacic aide hinted at a
re-election bid by the Mount Hope Republican but declined
to say whether the six-term senator will, indeed, run this
fall in New York's 42nd Senate District.
A registered Republican, Sager filed on Wednesday to switch
his party enrollment and will seek the Democratic line in
the November election. But his enrollment change won't take
effect until Jan. 1, 2011, so he needs the approval of the
Democratic chairpeople in the 42nd District's four counties
in order to run on the party's line.
In a press release announcing his candidacy, Sager said he
differs from Bonacic on many issues -particularly proposals
to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale regions of
New York City's watershed in the Catskills.
Characterizing Bonacic as a "fierce proponent of unfettered
gas drilling," Sager said he would demand that any such
drilling be "safe, legal, economically beneficial to
all and subject to local control."
Bonacic spokeswoman Joeann Drake called Sager's candidacy
a desperate attempt to find a Democrat to run against the
incumbent. She said Sager is "grossly misinformed"
about the drilling issue and is playing "into the hands"
of New York City "elites."
"Sen. Bonacic will continue to stand up to the New York
City Democrats who will be funding Mr. Sager's campaign,"
Drake said. "These are the same people who have voted
to deny New Yorkers property tax relief, imposed the MTA (Metropolitan
Transportation Authority) tax ... and are now forcing local
contractors to lay off employees because they won't fund road
and bridge projects."
Dannaham, a teaching assistant in the Rondout Valley Central
School District, calls himself "an independent libertarian
who believes in limited government, true personal and economic
freedom, and fiscal responsibility."
In announcing his candidacy, Dannaham said he is running for
office to stop government from interfering the private lives
and to bring an end to state spending on special interests.
He said he is not enrolled in a political party and will run
on an independent line on the November ballot.
Bonacic was unchallenged in 2008.
The 42nd Senate District comprises all of Sullivan County
and parts of Ulster, Delaware and Orange counties.