The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has
announced that it has concluded a study that indicates that
the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products
in New York City's source waters pose no public health risks.
The one-year pilot program tested for the presence of pharmaceuticals
and personal care products in New York City's three upstate
watersheds, finding only extremely minute quantities of these
"The findings of this study confirm that pharmaceuticals
and personal care products do not pose a health risk in New
York City's drinking water," said DEP Commissioner Cas
Holloway in a press release. "Our top priority is to
ensure the quality of the drinking water that nine million
New Yorkers need every day, and we perform more than 500,000
tests each year to monitor water quality. Though there was
never any indication that pharmaceuticals and personal care
products presented a health or quality risk to our water supply,
we undertook this study as part of our ongoing efforts to
rigorously analyze all aspects of water quality. Pharmaceuticals
and personal care products are part of our daily lives, and
the fact is traces of these products are present in the environment.
We want to be sure that the presence of these products in
our water supply did not rise to a level that impacts the
quality of drinking water, and that is what this study shows.
DEP will continue our rigorous and comprehensive monitoring
every day, to ensure that we continue to deliver the healthy,
great tasting water that New Yorkers expect."
Throughout 2009, DEP conducted quarterly tests at three source
water locations in the Croton, Delaware, and Catskill watersheds
to determine whether a target group of pharmaceutical and
personal care products could be detected at any level in New
York City's water supply. After collection, the samples were
tested at two different laboratories in each of the four rounds
of sampling during the year. The samples were tested for the
presence of 78 compounds - including antibiotics, hormones,
prescription medications and endocrine disrupting compounds.
Of the 78 compounds tested, 16 pharmaceuticals and personal
care products (PPCPs) were detected at least once, and eight
compounds were detected in three or more quarters of sampling.
None of the 16 detected PPCP compounds were found at a concentration
that would present a potential public health concern.
Pharmaceuticals have probably been present in water and the
environment for as long as humans have been using them. Drugs
that are consumed are not entirely absorbed and are excreted
and passed into wastewater and surface water. Some pharmaceuticals
are easily broken down and processed by the human body or
degrade quickly in the environment, but others are not easily
broken down and processed, so they enter sewers or septic
Up until recently, hospitals and other health care facilities
have often flushed out-of-date or excess drugs down toilets.
DEP is currently working with the state and its watershed
partners to develop alternatives to disposing of unneeded
medications that do not pose a threat to the water supply.
Wastewater treatment plants are designed to remove solids,
chemicals and microorganisms but not at miniscule concentrations.
The one-year pilot testing program, initiated in January 2009,
focused on pharmaceuticals that have been detected in surface
waters, groundwater and treated water discharged from wastewater
treatment plants in national and regional studies conducted
by the United States Geographical Survey and New York State
Department of Health.
The results of this pilot study will be used to help assess
the need for a continued program on emerging contaminants
and to develop a more targeted program for subsequent years,
if necessary. A summary of DEP's study can be found at www.nyc.gov/dep.
Uncertain, now, is what happens to a recent investigation
of local hospitals and nursing homes by Attorney General Andrew
Cuomo that led to settlement actions and fines and talk of
a new state policy on such matters, which surfaced in a number
of meetings and news stories this past January.
Upcoming, on Friday, June 11, there will be a special summit
on all such matters to be held at CWC headquarters in Margaretville,
starting at 10:00 AM.
Most knew or were touched by Cindy VanBuren of Olivewhose
battle with cancer ended on March 11. A Celebration of Life
for the woman will be held at Davis Park, West Shokan, on
Sunday, June 13, beginning at 12 noon (earlier if one can
volunteer to help set up). Many are bringing side dishes to
compliment the chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers that will
be grilled all day. Live music will be provided by Ben Rounds
Bank, X Files, The Pontiacs, Doraine Scofield & Chris
Walsh, and Murali Coryell and a co-ed softball tournament
is being set up (teams should sign up through June 9). Plus
Prizes are being donated from local businesses and residents,
which will be used for some of the events as well as separate
raffles for some larger prizes that have been donated for
the event (a painting by Kate McLoughlin, a truck load of
firewood). T-shirts and other handmade souvenirs will be for
sale during the day and there will also be a 50/50 raffle.
All proceeds for the day will go to the VanBuren Family Fund,
which will fund an annual scholarship (to be given to local
students in Cindy's name), and a donation will be made to
the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge, which offers cancer
patients and their families a free, temporary place to stay
when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another
city. If you cannot be at the event but would like to make
an early donation, you can send your contribution to the VanBuren
Family Fund at Wilbur National Bank in Boiceville. Early funds
will help to purchase anything needed for the celebration
that isn't being donated.
Born March 8, 1962 in Hicksville, Van Buren was the daughter
of the late Albert and Jean Shultis Klippel and had resided
in the area for over 30 years. She was a graduate of Onteora
Central School, class of 1980, and was on the girls varsity
softball team. She was also a booster for the Onteora wrestling
team in recent years. She was active in the operation of her
parents' restaurant, Al and Jean's Landmark in Boiceville,
for 22 years and was a teacher's aide at the Onteora High
School the. She was active in local sports, including coaching
volleyball and softball, and she played for Olive Women's
League Softball and Budweiser Dart League in the town of Olive.
For further information and donations contact Amanda at 657
8106 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit cindyscelebration.webstarts.com/index.html
for further details.
At the June 1 Onteora Board of Education meeting past school
board trustee Rita Vanacore criticized the current board for
not budgeting a Superintendent search and accused the board
of backroom deals. "I see nothing on the agenda to date
indicating that our Superintendent contract is under renegotiation,"
said Vanacore, noting that current super Dr. Leslie Ford's
contract is due for renewal June 2011. "Is it true that
the board has already picked its successor internally, thus
alleviating an external search? I take personal affront to
a board who puts their personal agenda ahead of the welfare
of our entire student population." Vanacore asked a series
of questions, requested answers, "in a timely manner,"
and said she will publish them alongside her letter.
According to the Saratogian newspaper in Saratoga Springs,
Ford applied for a superintendent position at South Glens
Falls School District. She is one of two candidates vying
for the seat of 19-year veteran Superintendent James P. McCarthy.
The position begins July, 2010. His contract was not renewed
by the district's Board of Education with no reason given.
Both candidates were scheduled for an interview May 25.
Ulster County Party chairman Julian Schreibman was confident
as he addressed his party's recent nominating convention at
the Kingston Holiday Inn, where endorsements were made without
opposition for Democratic incumbents Congressman Maurice Hinchey,
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Assemblyman Frank Skartados, Sheriff
Paul Van Blarcum, and Comptroller Elliot Auerbach, as well
as for Andrew Cuomo for governor, Thomas DiNapoli for state
comptroller, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for U.S.
Harley Doles was given the nod to run for the 39th Senatorial
seat, currently held by Republican William Larkin; and David
Sager to pursue the 42nd Senatorial seat currently held by
Republican John Bonacic.
In separate news, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein's name
briefly surfaced as one of several in the running as a possible
Lt. Governor running mate for Cuomo, although the would-be
governor named Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy as his choice
for the position at the state Democratic Convention in Westchester
County just before Memorial Day, when the biggest news seemed
to be the fact that incumbent governor David Paterson did
not show. A final okay for Cuomo's pick will take place in
September, when a formal primary vote takes place.
Ulster County Republicans are set to hold their own non-official
nominating convention on Tuesday June 8, site to be announced...
Arts For Ulster!
UlsterCorps and the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum
are joining together for a first-ever project, Arts for Ulster,
that brings together 50 works by 50 artists set to benefit
50 separate causes... a unique series of events designed to
foster volunteerism, build community, and raise money to support
services for Ulster County residents. All events will be at
WAAM, 28 Tinker Street in Woodstock, with a Gala Preview Reception
on Friday, June 11th from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, and continuing with
a five week gallery exhibit in the artist association and
museum's Towbin Wing featuring works by A-list artists Judy
Pfaff, Gillian Jagger and Richard Segalman.
More than 50 artists in all are donating work to benefit organizations
providing a wide range of important services throughout our
region. A complete list of the artists and the organizations
participating can be found on the UlsterCorps website, www.ulstercorps.org.
The Gala Preview Reception will also include a special chamber
music performance of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Esopus
Musicalia. Saturday, June 12, will be a public opening reception
for the show. On Friday, June 18th, 7pm, there will be a Special
Performance by Rebecca Martin, the critically acclaimed singer
songwriter, at WAAM.
The breadth of artists involved, and the causes being helped
by their sales, is as valid a cross-section of the region's
cultural scene as can be seen these days. Organizations benefiting
range from cultural institutions to food kitchens, a variety
of social service agencies, and community projects.
Arts for Ulster will culminate with a Live Auction fundraiser
on Saturday, July, 17th from 6-10pm with auctioneer James
Cox and a classical guitar performance by Liam Wood. Auctioned
will be the more than fifty works of art each by a different
artist, each benefiting a different not-for-profit.
Tickets for these events can be purchased at WAAM or online
at www.woodstockart.org or www.ulstercorps.org or by calling
845-679-2940 extension 300.
FCC Muck Up...
A total of 248 congressional members are raising concerns
about the Federal Communications Commission's plan to reshape
the regulatory framework for broadband services in order to
adopt net neutrality rules. Republicans say doing so will
reduce investment in broadband networks and kill jobs. Some
Democrats say the FCC should wait for further direction from
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski does not need Congressional
approval to adopt net neutrality, a set of rules that would
require Internet service providers to treat all Web traffic
equally. Genachowski, who has the support of President Barack
Obama in pursuing net neutrality, has received political cover
to move forward despite increasing lobbying efforts from the
cable and telephone industries, including biggies AT&T,
Comcast and Verizon, who are sending the message that the
FCC's actions likely will be challenged in court. They and
congressional supporters are also trying to say that net neutraility
or any sort of regulation of Internet business plans would
be a distraction from "the more important priority of
expanding broadband services to rural areas."
The Senate and House Commerce Committees, meanwhile, have
announced plans to consider rewriting the Communications Act
to clarify the regulatory status of broadband.
The net neutrality fight has all but consumed the FCC over
the past two years. In 2008, the agency under the Bush administration
ordered Comcast to stop slowing traffic to file-sharing sites.
Earlier this year, a federal court reversed that order, deciding
that the FCC did not have the authority to regulate Internet
services. To regain that authority, Genachowski proposed reclassifying
broadband services so a decades-old framework will govern
them designed for copper phone lines. Hoping to ease Internet
companies' fears, Genachowski said he would not impose the
most burdensome aspects of the traditional rule. But the telecom
providers say a future FCC could easily reverse that promise.
Consumer advocates and Silicon Valley technology companies
who support net neutrality rules, including the likes of Google,
Amazon, eBay, Consumers Union and public interest groups,
argue the FCC has the authority to protect consumers' interests
on telecommunications networks. An updated communications
bill could take years to pass, they say, stalling other FCC
Meanwhile, in terms of opening up radio waves to low power
community stations, which has been blocked by the major radio
industry and National Public Radio in recent years, the Local
Community Radio Act is being readied for passage over the
The Local Community Radio Act was approved by the House last
year. When passed, it will relax restrictions on licensing
for the low-power, community radio stations, allowing numerous
new opportunities for local news and music via hundreds of
new low-power stations across the country.
Unemployment eased locally and statewide in April, the New
York Department of Labor reported recently. The statewide
jobless rate in April was 8.4, down from 8.6 percent in March,
and the state gained 31,5000 private-sector jobs during that
period, labor officials said.
Locally, unemployment rates in April were as follows.
ï Ulster: 7.2 percent, down from 7.9 percent in March.
ï Dutchess: 7.4 percent, down from 7.9 percent.
ï Greene: 8.1 percent, down from 8.6.
ï Columbia: 6.9 percent, down from 7.8.
ï Delaware: 8.2 percent, down from 9.3.
ï Sullivan: 8.8 percent, down from 9.9.
New York City's jobless rate dropped from 10 percent to 9.8
Meanwhile, housing sales were up yet again for the same period,
both in terms of volume and prices, although it should be
noted that April was the last month for special tax credits.
Let's see where things stand for May...
The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP) Stream
Stewards program will be hosting a cleanup of the Esopus Creek
on Saturday, June 12 followed by a Potluck Barbeque and entertainment
for volunteer clean-up crews at the AWSMP Main Office located
at 6375 Route 28, in Phoenicia (across from the former Margo's
Restaurant). Volunteers will meet at the AWSMP Office that
morning at 9:30am and carpool to cleanup stream access sites.
Gloves & trash bags will be provided for the cleanup.
Participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes & dress appropriately
for sun/rain. Prizes will be awarded to everyone and also
for the most interesting trash items found!
Immediately following the clean up at 12:00pm, volunteer clean-up
crews will return to the AWSMP office for the Potluck Barbeque
which will feature music by singer, Peggy Atwood. Burgers,
veggie burgers, hot dogs & buns will be provided - Volunteers
are asked to bring a side dish to share.
Stream Stewards are full and part time residents of the Ashokan
Watershed who participate in a myriad of important and beneficial
activities. The purpose of the program is for volunteers to
get involved in stream-based projects in the community as
a way to visibly model positive stream stewardship practices
and assist AWSMP in carrying out a wide range of community
Please RSVP no later than Thursday, June 10 by calling Colleen
Griffith at 845-688-3047 or email@example.com.
AWSMP is funded by NYC Department of Environmental Protection.
The Rondout-West Branch Tunnel portion of the Delaware Aqueduct
of the New York City reservoir system will undergo a planned
shutdown this fall to perform the next phase of work related
to the long-term repair of the tunnel. In October, DEP will
install a backup support - a giant plug - behind an existing
hatch that ensures that water in the tunnel does not go into
the shaft, which workers need to access to install pumping
equipment that will be used during the long-term repair. Ahead
of the three-week shutdown, DEP has agreed with the states
of Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania on a program,
starting this week, to manage the incremental release of water
from reservoirs during the summer months that otherwise would
be diverted during the planned shutdown.
In February, DEP announced that work had begun on the Operations
Support Tool, a cutting-edge, $5.2 million computer system
that will enable DEP's water supply operators to more accurately
predict water storage levels in the City's reservoirs so that
DEP can better manage the movement of water throughout the
reservoir system. The initiative, the first of its kind in
the world, will improve the City's water management systems
by predicting events that could affect water quality much
earlier than is now possible, and incorporating more data
in the computer models used to determine water flows. It is
being implemented on a rolling basis and is expected to be
complete by 2013.
The 85-mile Delaware Aqueduct is the world's longest continuous
tunnel and conveys drinking water from the Cannonsville, Neversink,
Pepacton, and Rondout reservoirs to the City's distribution
system, and provides approximately 50 percent of the City's
daily water needs.
Since 2002, Mayor Bloomberg has invested approximately $493
million in preparation work for the eventual repair of the
Delaware Aqueduct. The City has committed another $100 million
for additional work over the next four years.
The shutdown will allow workers to perform work on a shaft
necessary to ultimately repair the Aqueduct. Earlier this
year, divers investigated the area around an existing hatch
in the shaft that leads to the Aqueduct. In the fall, this
area will be reinforced, which will lay the groundwork for
the next phase of work, the installation of a pumping station
in the shaft.
Over the next 12 months, DEP will temporarily increase the
amount of water available for release from its Delaware Basin
Reservoirs as part of the Flexible Flow Management Plan, an
agreement between the four basin states of Delaware, New Jersey,
New York, Pennsylvania, and the City of New York to manage
the water storage levels and releases of the Cannonsville,
Pepacton, and Neversink reservoirs.
Parks Stay Open
New York Gov. David Paterson reached an agreement last week
to have all 178 state parks open on Memorial Day weekend and
beyond. His administration had targeted 41 parks and 14 of
the state's 35 historic sites for closing, along with service
cuts at others, to help reduce the state's budget gap. Locally,
Mills Norrie State Park in Dutchess County and Taconic State
Park in Columbia County were to have their hours and/or services
Paterson said negotiations would provide $11 million for full
operations this year, effectively offset by money from the
Environmental Protection Fund, which would be cut by about
$74 million. The measure also is expected to keep the targeted
historic sites - including Olana in Columbia County - open
this year, as well as Department of Environmental Conservation
campgrounds targeted for closing. Among those campgrounds
was Devil's Tombstone in nearby Lansesville.
According to administration officials, lawmakers still need
to find another $2 billion to $2.5 billion in spending cuts
to close the deficit and adopt a balanced budget of roughly
$130 billion for this year. The state budget for 2010-11 was
to be completed by April 1 and is now nearly two months late.
Assembly Bill 924 and Senate Bill 6793, bills authorizing
the state Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate
rules for the use of crossbows for hunting in New York, are
pending consideration in the Assembly and Senate Environmental
Conservation Committees, respectively. Proponents are saying
an "aggressive expansion of hunter choice and opportunity"
is needed at a time when hunter retention and recruitment
rates are declining, putting "our proud hunting heritage
in serious jeopardy."
Opposition is coming from vertical bow hunters and those concerned
with the deadliness of crossbows, especially in increasingly
Talk about another strange set of battle lines...
This summer's meeting of the Historical Society of the Town
of Olive will be held Saturday, June 12 from 2:30 to 5 PM
at the Old School Baptist Church/Meeting House at Winchell's
corner, Rt. 28, Shokan. An open house begins at 2:30. At 3:00
cultural anthropologist Doris Soldner will speak on the social
and cultural history of the 19th century, interweaving the
story using members of the church as representatives of the
area's population. Ms Soldner is a retired museum curator
and director of education for the Wilton Historical Society
in Connecticut, as well as a long-time antiques appraiser.
At 4:00 a concert will be held by lamplight featuring Celtic
Crossing, internationally-known Celtic music performers and
Shokan residents featuring Abby Newton and David Hornung with
Lynn Hardy and Barbara Lubell. Refreshments will be served,
Parking is available on the grass by the church and across
the street behind Winchell's Pizza and the music store.
The "Friends of the Catskill Fire Towers," supported
by the Catskill Center in Arkville, acting under volunteer
agreements with the Department of Environmental Conservation
is looking for volunteers to be part of this unique group
interested in helping maintain and interpret the Hunter Mountain
Fire Tower in Greene County and Mount Tremper Fire Tower in
Ulster County. Fire tower volunteers will be part of a larger
effort to improve connections with local communities and the
greater Catskill Park.
Those interested in more information on Hunter Mountain, please
contact Gordon Hoekstra at 201-497-8910 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Mount Tremper, please contact Matt at 917-204-2032 or
email@example.com. For all fire tower information,
please contact George Profous, Forester, NYSDEC at 845-256-3082
or The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development at
845-586-2611. For a brochure, call DEC to request "Fire
Towers of the Catskills: A Guide for Hikers and History Buffs."
The towers are also featured in "The Catskill Adventure"
The National Inclusion Project recently awarded a $10,000
grant to the Frost Valley YMCA to implement "Let's ALL
Play" Inclusion in Recreational Programs. The grant will
allow children with developmental disabilities to enjoy a
successful summerexperience in an inclusive setting at the
camp, which has served children with special needs for over
The National Inclusion Project has been actively developing
its Let's ALL Play Program since the program's inception in
2004. Today, the Project supports over 35 recreational programs
across the US.
Let's ALL Play helps bring an inclusive recreational experience
to children with disabilities. It gives children with developmental
disabilities the same experience as those without. Children
with disabilities and their peers who are typically developing
come together to participate in recreational activities such
as swimming, arts and crafts, community service, physical
fitness and more.
The National Inclusion Project provides services and financial
assistance to promote the full integration of children with
disabilities into the life environment of those without. The
Project strives to create awareness about the diversity of
individuals with disabilities and the possibilities that inclusion
Financial assistance is available for campers. For pricing
and registration information, call 845 985-2291, or visit:
Also at Frost Valley, the entity, in partnership with The
Childrenπs Hospital at Montefiore, is introducing Hearts
in the Valley camp, a summer camp experience for children
who have chronic heart disease or heart transplants, to be
held August 8 - 20. This first year will be a pilot camp for
6-8 children from the tri-state area. The Childrenπs
Hospital at Montefiore will be providing a team of doctors
and nurses, including a Cardiologist, who will oversee all
medical aspects of the camp. Frost Valley YMCA will be providing
the camp experience and programming.
Frost Valley YMCA is seeking additional funding sources to
be able to provide families with full scholarships for the
children to attend camp and build the program to serve more
children in the years to come. For information please call
(845) 985-2291 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputies from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office report the
arrests of Rodney Cooper, 48 of Latham, and James Lambert,
45 of Latham, for Attempted Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree.
The two turned themselves in on May 20, after learning that
they had warrants for their arrests. Rodney T. Cooper, a third
defendant, had previously turned himself in. All were charged
with Attempted Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree, a class E
Felony, for being involved in a driveway sealing scam where
they preyed upon an elderly homeowner offering to seal her
driveway for a reduced price due to the homeowner's age. They
advised the homeowner that the job would only cost her a few
hundred dollars. When they were finished, the cost had jumped
into the thousands of dollars. The homeowner did not have
the money they were asking for and they offered to drive the
homeowner to the bank to remove the funds for payment. An
alert bank employee stopped the transaction before it could
be completed and alerted authorities.
Rodney Cooper and James Lambert were arraigned at the Kingston
City Court and were remanded to the Ulster County Jail with
no bail. Rodney T. Cooper was arraigned on May 11 and remanded
to the Ulster County Jail on $5,000 bail. They were set for
arraignment in Marbletown court.
he British official inquiry team examining the origins and
conduct of the Iraq War met with some relatively senior former
officials of the George W. Bush administration on a weeklong
visit to the U.S. earlier in May. But neither Bush, Dick Cheney,
nor any other very senior Bush-era policymaker, military,
or intelligence official appears to have been willing to speak
to the inquiry team, which is led by Sir John Chilcot, a former
senior civil servant.
Only a written statement submitted by Paul Bremer, the former
ambassador (and de facto viceroy) in Iraq, has so far been
published on the inquiry's Web site. In it, Bremer takes some
pains to defend two of his, and the Bush administration's,
most controversial and consequential post-invasion decisions
regarding postwar Iraq: the decision to disband the Iraqi
Army, which had been one of the foundations of Saddam Hussein's
regime, and the decision to ban Saddam's Baath Party and begin
a process of "de-Baathification" that is still roiling
Iraqi politics today.
A British official familiar with the inquiry's activities,
who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information,
indicated that the list of Americans published by the committee
was almost certainly a complete list of U.S. people who had
spoken to the inquiry team, and that it was unlikely, though
not completely impossible, that other American witnesses had
cooperated with the inquiry in secret.
Many other high-level Bush administration officials, from
the president and vice president themselves to key Iraq policy
officials like Condoleezza Rice and Pentagon officials Donald
Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith, to key intelligence
officials like former CIA director and deputy director George
Tenet and John McLaughlin, either would not respond to questions
as to whether they would meet with the inquiry or indicated
rather forcefully that they were not interested in cooperating
A Democratic plan to send $23 billion to the states to save
the jobs of 100,000 to 300,000 public school teachers, librarians,
counselors and other employees slated for layoffs looks dead
for the time being.
The layoffs already have begun. Advocates for teachers are
calling them catastrophic. Critics of the emergency aid say
states need to clean up their fiscal acts and make changes.
In the meantime, large, populous states such as California
and Texas, for example, are each expected to absorb the loss
of more than 30,000 teachers and other personnel, according
to White House estimates.
Schools are cutting staff and programs because the recession
has depleted state tax revenues, which pay for public education.
Democrats in the House of Representatives had hoped to pass
the $23 billion emergency bailout as part of a spending bill
for the war in Afghanistan that was slated for passage, but
fiscally conservative members from tough districts weren't
happy about having to defend another vote that would increase
the deficit. And so the school aid measure never came to a
vote. Nor did it have any more luck in the Senate, where some
Democrats were equally jumpy about spending, and the majority
couldn't secure the necessary 60 votes for passage.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Regional Director Willie Janeway has released a list of potential
land stewardship projects planned for the upcoming year, based
on Governor David A. Paterson's proposed budget (and ready
for anything better).
"By supporting funding for stewardship projects, we ensure
that state lands can continue to be used to their fullest,
expanding tourism opportunities and enabling greater access
to New York's natural resources," said Janeway.
Pending projects in DEC's Hudson River Catskill Region include
trail maintenance on 330 miles of trails on DEC managed State
Lands in the NYC Watershed to help protect water quality by
addressing erosion and to better accommodate public recreation;
work to repair and maintain waterway access sites throughout
the region and basic maintenance at DEC owned campgrounds.
Specific additional project needs include:
Fishing Access Sites, Boat Launch Sites and Waterway Access
Sites across the region, $34,000 for repairing, installing
seasonal docks, opening facilities, repairing emergency lighting,
grading and maintaining parking lots at sites...
Woodland Valley Campground in Phoenicia and Kenneth Wilson
Campground in Mt. Tremper, (Ulster County), $26,000 to replace
aging infrastructure and achieve compliance with environmental
and health regulations, including construction of replacement
shower buildings to replace aging toilet buildings, reconstruction
of water, sewer and electric systems, construction of accessible
parking and repair of eroded roads, construction of recycling
stations and rehabilitation of eroded shoreline areas.
Kenneth Wilson Campground in Mt. Tremper (Ulster County),
where there is currently no ADA access to the shower building
from the parking lot, $35,000 to complete priority campground
improvements and build shower building access to come into
compliance with ADA guidelines.
Great Vly Wildlife Management Area (Ulster County), $10,000
to repair, regrade and reopen the parking lot and access road
while resolving enforcement issues by moving the lot closer
to the county road.
The projects detailed above are pending projects which require
funding through the EPF Stewardship category, which was cut
to keep state parks open. The actual projects DEC will be
able to complete are dependent upon the availability of funding.
Keep your fingers crossed...
Ulster County elections commissioners are expecting to move
entirely to optical-scanning voting machines for the Sept.
14 primary because of consolidation of polling sites throughout
the county. The same election districts will operate, with
89 polling sites and a total of 130 to 140 new digital scanning
machines throughout the county. Officials currently have 108
machines and have ordered another 40 to be sent to the state
The commissioners said they expect some confusion during the
first year of use, but have found demonstrations easily resolve
questions from voters about use of the machines.
The new machines are considered an improvement over lever
machines because a hard copy of each ballot will be available
to count instead of relying solely on electronically recorded
Republican Commissioner Thomas Turco said voters will recognize
the system from standardized tests taken during school and
noted their safety... with voters marking paper ballots then
read by the scanners and all items then sealed for review.
The commissioners said the county is basing the number of
machines needed on about one per 1,500 voters instead of the
one per 3,500 voters recommended by the state.
Ballots will be filled out prior to using the machines, possibly
shortening the overall voting time.
"Where you used to wait in line to use the machine, pulled
the lever and, then, you left, now you are going to get a
ballot, go to a privacy area, fill out the ballot at your
own convenience and just walk up and feed it into a machine,"
We'll see how it all shakes out... guess we know why this
is being tried out in a year without much on the local election
front... or a presidential race, for that matter...