Follow Up on the
Summer Camp this year will employ over
30 "youngsters"... young adults,
actually. Some of these counselors have
moved up from being last year's campers
- and will now enjoy the status of being
counselors-in-training. Many will move
up a level each year and continue to
work each summer right through their
college years. For many, it's their
first jobs, and a good opportunity to
be close to home and still make a few
bucks, especially if you like being
with kids who want to have fun.
Each counselor is given an orientation
- which sets ground rules and expectations
during their summer employ. After all,
they will be responsible for your most
valued possession - your children.
Activities abound during Summer Camp,
even though this year, the Town Board
moved to eliminate the weekly field
trips. The cost of bussing campers to
Rhinebeck to the movies or the Zoom
Flume Water Park near Catskill became
too costly. There's a rumor that entertainment
might be brought in as a special treat,
but nothing concrete has yet been scheduled.
"Campers" as all participants
are known, will be treated to many activities
during the day. Arts & crafts, ball
games, and of course, time in the pool,
are all part of the routine. But if
your child would just like to read a
book in the shade of one of the many
pines, they are welcome to do that,
as well. No one will be forced to do
what he or she is not comfortable doing.
Bussing will bring your child from home
and back - with pick up points arranged
by home addresses.
It is strongly recommended that no iPods,
iPhones or cell phones be brought to
the park - actually anything of great
value should wait at home for fear of
lost, stolen or broken results. Counselors
are also not allowed to bring cell phones
so that distractions are kept to a minimum,
though certain Supervisors will have
their phones available for emergencies.
Summer Camp runs Monday through Thursday
until August 4 - with each day ending
around 3 PM. Cancellations happen -
mostly for inclement weather - but it's
wise not to presume that camp will be
called off because it happens to be
raining in Samsonville! It may not be
raining at Davis Park!
This year, Summer Recreation is using
www.cancellations.com as a means to
supplement notices of closing or early
release due to weather conditions. This
coupled with good old fashioned phone
networking, might help to get the word
All the details of camp are available
at the Town office in West Shokan and
were handed out in Bennett School. If
you have any questions, comments or
concerns, you can contact Gino Sorbellini
or any member of the Olive Recreation
One important note: As in past years,
the town's swimming pool is open to
Summer Campers only during posted recreation
hours. It will open to the public after
camp each day and of course, each Friday,
Saturday and Sunday.
The pool and Summer Camp are open to
Olive Residents only - but also include
children who are visiting Olive residents.
So if your grand-kids are here for an
extended stay - or even just for a couple
of days - be sure to bring them down
and get them signed up for some fun,
Town of Olive style.
For Dr. Ford
In a separate interview, School Board President Laurie
Osmond said, "When the BOE chooses not to act
there is no vote taken."
This allows Ford's contract to expire. By taking inaction,
there is only one fiscal year left on Ford's contract
with the district. The board can review her contract
again by June 30, 2011.
It was recently reported in the Saratogian newspaper
that Ford was one of the finalists for Superintendent
for the South Glens Falls School district and rumors
continue to swirl around her actively seeking employment
Osmond is not aware if Ford has found a job or is
looking for work, calling all the talk "hearsay."
"All I know is what I read in the papers."
Ford was out due to illness and did not attend Monday's
In a separate phone conversation, past school board
president Marino D'Orazio said he couldn't recall
contract renewals or discussions during the ten years
he served. He said Dr. Hal Rowe retired during his
time on the board, followed by the untimely death
of Rowe's replacement Justine Winters. He served for
one year with Ford and supported her as Superintendent.
He could not give an opinion based on experience,
but said any contract purposely allowed to lapse sends
a message to look for work elsewhere.
"The way I would read it as a past school board
member," said D'Orazio, "is this kind of
inaction sends a message of no confidence."
In other news... The district is considering changing
the way it retains lawyers based on the increased
number of hours that they have been used. This past
school year, the district used approximately 150 hours
over its retainer, but was able to modify the overtime
hours with Donahue, Thomas, Auslander and Drohan law
firm. General legal counseling in 2009/2010 was budgeted
at $34,900 with an additional increase of $13,000.
Osmond said the board plans to use a "different
formulation to reflect reality," based upon increased
costs and mandates requiring legal council.
Over the years, legal fees have consistently increased.
In the 1998/99 school year, 101.5 hours were used
in legal council. Ten years later, in 2008/2009, that
number increased to 402.80 hours. During the reorganization
meeting in July the board will consider upping the
legal retainer to $48,000. General legal council does
not include contract disputes or other special disputed
During this past year's budget discussions, several
public pleas were made demanding that the board address
the aging district facilities, declining enrollment
and Middle School options. As a result, at Monday's
meeting, the board discussed holding community forums
over the summer, but decided the summer months would
not draw enough community interest. The end of September
was penciled in as a target to begin discussions.
The board plans to contend with recent arguments on
whether an additional elementary school should be
In 2004, West Hurley Elementary closed amid district
wide protest. The reason given was declining enrollment
and expanding budget. Community members demanded that
district plans be put in place over the future of
the remaining buildings and West Hurley School. The
board of education at that time promised to find ways
to make use of the West Hurley building, but a plan
never surfaced. It remains unused at a cost of approximately
$40,000 per year, in fuel and other expenses. To completely
shut the building would make it unmarketable and also
fall derelict according to State regulations.
In 2005 the school board at the time and newly hired
Superintendent Justine Winters created the Future
of The District Committee. Their responsibilities
included the viability of reopening West Hurley School.
After lengthy research, four recommendations were
made: hiring a firm to recommend facility upgrades,
redistricting to level out student population, and
the creation of a separate middle school and continue
with three elementary schools (instead of four). In
2005, KSQ architects were hired and based on several
community forums, made a recommendation in 2006 to
keep the remaining three elementary schools open and
create a six-through-eight middle school. This was
followed by a Board of Education rejection of the
plan and substitute choice of another plan that would
close an additional elementary school. This was followed
by public protest and the successful election of a
school board that promised not to close any more schools.
Later this fall, expect work to start up again on the
road project below the Reservoir Dam, with one-way traffic
to be maintained at all times. At least that was the
last anyone has heard...
On the local front, Highway Superintendent Jim Fugel
reported that work is almost complete on the major road
reconstruction along McMillan Road near Broadhead. This
section of road has always been prone to flooding. Since
materials for this project were mostly stockpiled from
the local bridge work being done by NYC, funding was
not so much an issue as manpower to do the work. Work
started on this section as soon as snow was gone from
A few finishing touches are scheduled for this week
and the re-paving of the road is scheduled for July
6, directly after the holiday. With the elevation of
the road greatly improved, and larger areas made for
dispersing water, the problems with flooding have been
contained to one side where it will be able to absorb
excess water rather than running over the road.
Other roads slated for consideration this summer include
parts of Sheldon Hill Road where the road surface is
starting to break up. Preventative action such as patching
and oiling that is being planned will help to delay
further breakdown of the road surfaces so that major
repairs will be less likely.
Fugel said that if the budget allowed, he would also
like to target an area of Kelder Highway, near Brown
Road that is also starting to break apart.
Of course, all depends on the budget once they get that
far. But then everything seems to be attached to purse
strings these days, so keep an eye out as you travel
The primary purpose of the event, and five
others around the state, was to urge passage
of the "Englebright-Addabbo Bill"
calling for a moratorium on the issuance of
drilling site permits until the completion
of a recently commenced EPA study of the potential
impact of the process is completed. The coordinated
demonstrations emphasized damage to the regional
eco-system along the Gulf Coast from what
they term another form of "extreme drilling"
with inadequate "back-up" plans
for potential environmental contamination.
infrastructure for drilling is quite a long
process," observes Nadia Steinzor, a
Willow resident and Marcellus Regional Organizer
for the Oil & Gas Accountability Project
(OGAP) of Earthworks, part of a 20 group coalition
calling for the moratorium. "There are
applications in front of the DEC currently
and a lot of land is already leased; 40% of
Tompkins County, around Ithaca, the Finger
Lakes, Delaware and Sullivan Counties... There's
an effort in progress to do some lease-mapping-
find out where it is and how much."
Steinzor said there is concern beyond the
oil industry's track record of leaving ruin
in their wake.
"New York is not the only state looking
to close its budget gap in this way,"
Steinzor said. "But there's very little
calculation as to cost to municipalities and
long term cost in building out the gas industry
areas of the state which would lose tourism,
farming, vineyards, fishing, and other areas
that are difficult to put figures to...There's
no attention being paid to that end and what
it would mean; extensive build-out for thousands
of wells, where municipalities are saddled
with the costs around road damage, health
care issues and other things."
group sponsoring the New Paltz rally, FrackAction,
estimates budgetary shortfalls from the 29
new DEC positions the Governor proposes to
oversee gas extraction,,, Meaning taxpayers
would subsidize the methane gas industry by
$5 million over 2 years. Calculated over a
20 year period, potential total gain from
gas extraction is seen as $22 billion (by
FrackAction estimates), to be sized against
an unmeasurable decrease in the $392 billion
the state realizes from the farm, tourist
and other revenue expected to be affected
. Under a chart with these figures, they add:
"Other deficits not included here are
up-front lease payments, or costs from damage
to the infrastructure or loss of farmland
and potable water."
Horizontal hydraulic fracturing or "fracking"
is a relatively new process elaborated from
drilling techniques developed by the Halliburton
Corp in the 1940s which injects huge amounts
of water with chemical additives far below
ground surface to break shale layers and free
the gas, a process which critics claim endangers
aquifers and water systems through the region
because the chemicals can "travel for
miles along underground fissures to groundwater
and ultimately streams that feed reservoirs."
Even EPA's 2004 report concluded that 30%
of toxic components of fracking fluid, like
benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene ans xylene,
remain underground after injection and were
"likely to be transported by groundwater
supplies." A 2008 investigation identified
at least 65 chemicals used in gas drilling
that were classified as hazardous or toxic
under federal environmental laws.
Although the industry denies contaminating
wells, a letter from Northeast Pennsylvania
residents, Craig and Julie Sautner, offered
first-hand testimony stating otherwise. The
Sautners, now dependent upon delivered water,
enjoyed "pristine" well water before
drilling began. In less than a month their
well had "high levels of manganese, aluminum,
iron, sodium, chloride, TDS and heavy metals
with highly satured methane gas." Their
tale is echoed by residents in other states
where the process has been used, as documented
by Josh Fox in his film Gasland, which won
a documentary award at the Sundance Film Festival
in January and scheduled for a screening on
July 17 in Woodstock.
contaminants in the Sautner's well are only
a few of the toxins routinely involved in
the fracking process, points out SUNY professor,
public health expert and Woodstock resident
Donna Flayhan. She spoke at the demonstration
about how there are many ingredients which
have remained "trade secrets" because
of an addition to the 2005 energy policy act
now called the "Halliburton Loophole"
which (besides giving the energy companies
federal eminent domain powers) exempts the
oil & gas industry from federal statutes
to protect and environment, including the
Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act,
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act,
Clean Air Act, Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act, National Environmental
Policy Act and the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
prime concerns are with synergistic effects,
compounds which, when combined, cause escalated
and unforeseen effects. Her experiences working
with toxin synergies in Gulf War Syndrome,
toxin exposures of 9/11 and other unusual
ailments drew her attention to the potential
fallout from frack-drilling in the watershed.
groundwater and aquifers are contaminated,
it effects everybody,' Flayhan said. Efforts
to close this loophole are included in the
so-called FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility
and Awareness Act sponsored by Rep. Maurice
Hinchey , among others. Hinchey, like Earthworks,
does not oppose drilling per se but is demanding
that it be approached responsibly and safely.
A companion bill has been introduced in the
Senate by Sen. Charles Schumer , with others.
The debate has formed along roughly partisan
lines, with Hinchey's opponent for the 22nd
District seat, George Phillips, making the
issue a major platform in his campaign, accusing
Hinchey of an "anti-drilling agenda"
and "opportunistic fear-mongering"
due to the "troubling events" in
the Gulf of Mexico, which he contends is completely
unrelated to the Marcellus deposits.
Another bill, introduced the day before the
rally, was less favored at the gathering because
it proposed only a one-year moratorium regardless
of how long the EPA study took to complete.
A previous EPA study, undertaken with Christie
Whitman at the helm, provided foundation for
the loophole the FRAC Act hopes to erase,
provoking controversy when Vice President
and former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney cited
executive privilege to keep the deliberations
between EPA and his drilling task force secret.
to a WCNY story by Susan Arbetter, the NY
legislature is vulnerable to some sway on
the issue due to the fact that State Comptroller
Tom DiNapoli, as Trustee for the NYS Common
Retirement Fund, has significantly invested
state pension monies in gas-drilling companies.
The new elements of the fracking process were
first worked out on Barnett Shale deposits
in North Texas, using an average of 2,226
gallons per million cubic feet of gas in a
drought-troubled region with 10,000 new wells
and thousands more in the works. In a report
from that state which speculates that 100,000
wells may be targeted for the Marcellus Shale
Project, it is stated that the gas companies
are already "bankrupting" the Lone
Star water supply. Billions of gallons of
fresh water have become "polluted beyond
use, and the portion that surfaces from the
drilling hole, called flowback, is pumped
into a disposal well deep into the earth under
a 'containment barrier.' This permanently
removes the water from our hydraulic cycle."
Jar Of Olives
I know my joy of my summer will be spent walking Diva and her
canine friends around the woods to the stream. For fellow dog
lovers, you might want to watch (You Tube) or purchase a documentary
called "Canine Instinct" about dog trainer Kyle Warren.
Kyle is Olive's own "dog whisperer." I am told Lou
Chartrand, Kyle's high school wrestling coach, makes an appearance
in the film.
Remember when you were a kid, and you saw the summer stretch
out before you like a cat in the sun? In youth, time slowed
down as the daylight stayed until past bedtime. Now, I am convinced
all my clocks are set to another universe or dimension. Before
I know it, the six o'clock news is on telling me what already
happened before I had even decided what I wanted to do that
day. There must be some time warp that speeds up in direct proportion
I am always amazed when the calendar says June and I can still
see a few stray Christmas decorations lurking on some shelf
or corner. The younger me would have been horrified that half
a year has gone and rush to put them away. The older me will
look at them and concede, "I'll leave them there. After
all it's only five months until the holidays."
Joe Ahouse, Olive's Peter Pan incarnate, has announced that
he will retire this year. Thousands of youngsters benefited
from Joe's long career as physical education teacher, football
and track coach, and former recreation director. We will be
closely following Joe around because, rumor has it, he has located
the fountain of youth. Let's hope it is not on City property.
It's time for Olive's outstanding summer recreation program
to begin. The day camp runs from July 6 through the third week
in August. Davis Park is used Monday through Thursday by rec,
so the Pete Tosi Memorial Pool is open to the public on those
days after 4:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday the pool is open
all day for residents of Olive.
Check out more of the Trout Unlimited Leaping Trout fish on
display around the area. Bruce Duffy's is in the Boiceville
Inn, Robert Selkowitz's is at the Reservoir Inn, and Brian Powers
can be seen at the Pineview Bakery. The art auction will be
Here's a shout out to Maggie Kunkle who is recovering from a
broken ankle at Golden Hill. Maggie always reads THE OLIVE PRESS
to keep up with things at home, so please Maggie, "Heal