News Briefs 7/29/2010
The longtime Town Clerk for the Town of Shandaken was arrested
last week following an alleged scuffle between her and the
Deputy Town Clerk in the town's offices in Allaben.
Laurilyn Frasier, 59 of Phoenicia, was arrested on Tuesday,
July 20th after a complaint was made to the Ulster County
Sheriff's office that Frasier had pushed her deputy, Jacqui
Gugleilmetti. Frasier was charged with Harassment 2 second,
a violation. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable
to the Town of Shandaken Court at a later date, police said.
Reports from sources that were in town hall during the incident
indicate that the two women were engaged in a verbal disagreement
immediately before the alleged shoving.
Frasier has been Town Clerk for over 20 years, most recently
being re-elected in 2008 to a four year term.
DEP Sues Again
The town of Shandaken was informed last week that the New
York City Department of Environmental Protection has filed
a lawsuit challenging this year's tax assessments of parts
of the wastewater systems in Pine Hill and Chichester. Supervisor
Robert Stanley said he is looking into whether or not the
lawsuit represents a violation of trust between the DEP and
DEP has over the years filed many lawsuits against several
of its watershed towns over assessment values. The towns cannot
afford to keep defending themselves against the lawsuits ever
since a city-funded defense fund at the Catskill Watershed
Corporation was depleted over a year ago, so last year an
agreement was made between the DEP and the Coalition of Watershed
Towns on how waste treatment facilities would be assessed
from here on. The idea was that the DEP would agree to no
longer challenge assessments.
Jeff Baker, the Attorney for the Coalition, said this week
that the matter must be researched because it remains unclear
whether the collection systems being disagreed about fall
under the agreement.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection held
three meetings in recent weeks on the proposed 10-year extension
of their watershed land-buying program. Meetings included
a July 13 Delaware County session in Delhi, a July 14 gathering
in Tannersville, and a July 16 hearing in the Sullivan County
Town of Grahamsville. All except for the Greene County event,
home to Coalition of Watershed Towns Chairman Dennis Lucas,
who negotiated the current acquisition plan over recent years,
were sometimes boisterous and filled with rancorous complaints
about New York City's century-old role in the region.
The Land Acquisition Program, as the DEP calls it, is the
key to New York City's plan to avoid building a multi-billion-dollar
plant to filter its drinking water, most of which is collected
in upstate reservoirs in the Catskill-Delaware watershed.
The idea is simple: The city will buy as much land near the
reservoirs as it can from landowners who are willing to sell.
That land will remain undeveloped, and will act as a giant
buffer between the city's water and pollutants.
If New York City reaches its peak acquisition goals, said
a Denning town clerk in Sullivan County, only 4.2 percent
of Denning's developable land will remain.
In Delhi, where about 40 turned out, Delaware County Board
of Supervisors chairman Jim Eisel called the program a "shotgun
approach," and said that the plan was an attempt to give
vast tracts of land to environmentalists.
Dean Frazier, the commissioner of the Delaware County Department
of Watershed Affairs, said that the DEP's plan for land acquisition
did not take into account the amount of money landowners could
make by leasing their land to gas companies for hydraulic
fracturing. "Natural gas should be part of the cost-benefit
analysis," he said.
Andes resident Jack McShane, a former president of both the
Catskill Forest Association and the Catskill Landowners Association,
said that he mostly supported the land acquisition program,
but was concerned about assessments, restrictions on bluestone
quarrying, and gas drilling.
Neversink resident Dick Coombe, a former Assemblyman, suggested
all city reservoirs be opened up to boating, that biking trails
be created around the reservoirs and farm stands and bed and
breakfast houses be promoted to create a local economy that
uses New York City's water supply as a centerpiece.
"I would just urge you all to remember that we have rights
and dreams here also," Coombe told the DEP. "We
need a livelihood in the watershed. You're getting our water,
so it's important that we get your economic stimulus."
New York City's Department of Environmental Protection already
owns approximately 100,000 acres in the watershed and plans
to solicit 440,672 additional acres and acquire as much as
96,948 acres in the Catskill-Delaware watershed by the year
2022. That includes more than 20,600 acres that the city hopes
to buy or conserve through easements in Sullivan and Ulster
counties. The DEP said those projections were perhaps slightly
inflated to account for the highest possible effects on local
The quality of drinking water supplied to New York City and
dozens of neighboring upstate communities depends primarily
on the quality of the streams and rivers which feed the water
supply reservoirs. These source waters are vulnerable to degradation
and contamination from various watershed land uses, development
activities, and assorted land management practices.
Dave Tobias, deputy chief of the DEP's bureau of water supply,
said the city can only pursue some properties. Solicited parcels
must include wetlands, stream buffers, or other water features.
They must also include 10 or more acres and slopes of at least
And, perhaps most importantly, the city cannot force local
people to sell.
"Those who don't wish to speak to us don't have to,"
The DEP also might amend a long-standing agreement with watershed
towns that prohibited New York City from grieving its assessments
until 20 years after the purchase date. The city has proposed
changing that to 30 years, Tobias said.
New York City paid more than $2.4 million in taxes to watershed
towns last year.
It's only a few weeks until the first annual Phoenicia Voicefest
gets underway over the weekend of August 13 through 15, and
much is happening already. The entity recently established
an advisory board, under the chairmanship of pianist Justin
Kolb, with Deborah Voigt, Garry Kvistad, and composers George
Tsontakis, Robert Manno, and Robert Cucinotta among its first
members, all renowned within classical music circles.
It's also been announced that festival founders Maria Todaro,
Louis Otey and Kerry Henderson will help open the Ulster County
Fair at 6:00 PM on August 4th, singing "America the Beautiful"
as county and state officials open the fair. Before that,
there will be a fundraising dinner at the Emerson Resort on
Saturday, July 31st featuring Todaro, Otey and Henderson,
along with tenor, Christian Reinert. Pianist Karen Delavan
will accompany them. Formal dress is required. Tickets can
be purchased by calling 688-2451.
The festival is still looking for volunteers for now and the
festival weekend for its various local events, which will
involve all of Phoenicia. For further info e-mail info@PhoeniciaVoiceFest.com
or call 888-214-3063
Some signs of the local economy are good, others not so.
Sales of existing single-family homes rose dramatically in
the Hudson Valley during the second quarter of 2010 as compared
to the same period last year. While the largest gain was in
Westchester County, where there was a 69 percent hike, Ulster
County saw a 42.9 percent hike, year to year, while Dutchess
sales rose 32.4 percent and Greene County sales went up 21.7
percent. Sullivan County had the smallest gain in sales from
April through June with a six percent increase. Prices there
fell from $138,000 last year to $134,000 this year.
The federal government has extended the closing deadline to
receive a tax credit from April 30 to September 30, and that
is also helping the condition.
In food prices, the weekly cost of feeding an Ulster County
family of four was $207.13 during the week ending July 23,
a decrease of $1.95, or one percent, since the previous survey
two weeks earlier.
Meanwhile, however, average retail gasoline prices in New
York have risen 1.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging
$2.84 per gallon Sunday. This compares with the national average,
which has increased 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week
to $2.74, according to NewYorkStateGasPrices.com.
Including the change in gas prices in New York during the
past week, prices Sunday were 16.3 cents per gallon higher
than the same day one year ago and are 2.9 cents per gallon
lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased
0.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 25.5
cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.
Hang in there...
In a follow-up on the July 13 beaver attack story out of Shandaken,
during which at least one beaver attacked and bit two swimmers
and two people tubing in the creek about a mile upstream from
Phoenicia, Shandaken Police has reported that their officers
shot at one of the beavers, and the active beaver dam along
the creek was destroyed while searching for the animals. Detective
Fred Holland later said police believe one beaver was wounded
by a gunshot. He said the beaver was shot by a man involved
with the search who had been authorized to fire by an official
of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
A week later, the police said no beaver has been found. "We
believe the beaver is deceased," noted Shandaken Polie
Department Officer in Charge James McGrath.
If a beaver is found, the Department of Environmental Conservation
wants to test the animal or its remains for rabies, added
agency spokeswoman Wendy Rosenbach.
Rosenbach said there is no reason to believe the animal or
animals involved in these incidents are rabid. She noted that
any animal will become aggressive if it feels threatened.
Anyone who finds a beaver carcass in the Phoenicia area should
notify the Shandaken Police Department at (845) 688-9902.
Governor David Paterson signed a bill aimed at pollution from
home heating oil into law last week that aims at lowering
the sulfur content of home heating oil in New York State by
mid-2012. No. 2 oil is the most commonly used by households
across the state, so the ultra-low sulfur oil is expected
to significantly reduce air pollution that causes health problems
like asthma and can shorten lives.
The bill that passed yesterday was hard-fought, and opponents
are already seeking to punish the legislators who voted to
pass it. A news blog devoted to the heating oil industry reports
that voters in Sen. Darrel Aubertine's upstate district have
received automated phone calls that tell them the bill-which
Aubertine voted for will raise their heating costs by $900
this winter. Similar attacks are ongoing in other state legislative
A] spokesman for Sen. Aubertine refuted the assertions in
the automated phone calls, stating that, "This won't
do anything to your bill....The bill calls for the reduction
of sulfur to make the fuel more efficient and it will save
money... The cited increase of $900 is a completely false
number that seems to be made up."
The fast-growing stack of lawsuits filed against BP over the
Gulf of Mexico oil spill will likely soon be consolidated
before a single federal judge. The U.S. Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation was to convene this week in Boise,
Idaho, to hear arguments to combine the suits and avoid the
legal chaos that could engulf what promises to be one of the
biggest civil suits since the 19-year, $250 billion court
fight over asbestos.
Attorneys for both sides favor the consolidation, although
they disagree on which federal court and judge should get
BP and its partners in the Deepwater Horizon venture prefer
Houston, where BP's American headquarters, Transocean and
Halliburton are all located.
Attorneys for the fishermen, hoteliers and property owners
have asked that the case be assigned to federal judges in
Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. But most are pushing for
New Orleans, where the majority of the suits have been filed.
The Justice Department, which is conducting separate civil
and criminal investigations, also weighed in in favor of New
"As for the oil spill, we shall forgo a cascade of words
like 'catastrophic' and 'cataclysmic' as they simply do not
do justice to the magnitude of the economic, health, and environmental
devastation wrought up on the nation's waters," Justice
Department lawyers said in a June 16 brief. "The proceedings
regarding liability for this event will potentially be of
The assemblage of attorneys in Boise was expected to be so
large that the seven-judge panel already has extended the
allotted time for arguments. The panel is expected to assign
the case to a federal judge by mid-August.
Mike Papantonio, a Florida attorney representing fishermen
and property owners, said sending the case to Houston would
be, for BP, "like having your mother and father on the
jury. If you took the oil industry away from Houston, you'd
have a tumbleweed town."
BP, in turn, argued in court papers that the federal court
in New Orleans is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina
and is already overburdened with several other large, complex
The BP case has attracted some of the most prominent attorneys
in the plaintiff bar, including those who sued Exxon after
the 1989 spill of the Exxon Valdez tanker in Alaska. In the
three months since the Deepwater Horizon well blew out, attorneys
have scoured the gulf to sign up clients and filed more than
250 suits in eight states. Among the claims are several class
actions, which could potentially involve thousands of plaintiffs.
At least three suits have been filed using the federal RICO
law (which stands for Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations), which was originally passed to give prosecutors
a tool to fight organized crime.
"Exxon Valdez was pretty easy: one company that owned
one ship," said Jeffrey Fisher, a Stanford University
law professor who argued the Exxon case before the U.S. Supreme
Court on behalf of the fishermen. "With BP, here's a
much more complex web of business interests involved in the
well. You can follow that right on down the line, to the number
of claimants and the number of kinds of claims."
Val Exnicios, a New Orleans attorney representing the Louisiana
commercial fishermen's union in its suit, said the case could
end up like the asbestos litigation, which is the longest-running
multijurisdictional case in the country.
"In my 21 years in practice, I have never seen a case
that has potential to be as large in economic terms,"
Exnicios said. "I can't even imagine what."
But BP's money may not flow as freely as the oil from its
runaway well. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down
the punitive damages in the Exxon Valdez suit to $500 million
- a fraction of the original jury award of $5 billion, which
a federal appeals court had cut to $2.5 billion. The 1990
Oil Pollution Act, passed in the wake of the Exxon Valdez
spill, caps damages at $75 million, although since BP's well
blew out Congress has been working to raise it retroactively
to $10 billion.
Additionally, the $20 billion victim compensation fund set
up by BP is expected to reduce the number of court claims,
much as the 9/11 victim fund did.
As we went to press this week, a final vote was expected in
Albany on whether or not the state sets a moratorium against
gas drilling, or fracking, until a new federal EPA study is
completed in the coming year, Sen. John Bonacic said he was
one who would now be voting in favor of a moratorium.
In the week before, a coalition of environmental advocacy
groups called on the state Legislature to approve the bill
that would suspend for 11 months the issuing of new permits
for hydrofracking to extract natural gas from underground
rock formations. The group held a news conference in Albany
headed by the group Frack Action and largely assembled by
Ulster County Legislator Susan Zimet, D-New Paltz.
The message they all had was the same. State Assembly and
Senate members must approve the 11-month delay in natural
gas or oil mining in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations
and, if they don't, members will work to vote them out of
Folk singer Pete Seeger, a Beacon resident, took time away
from his 69th wedding anniversary to travel to Albany and
performed a new song he wrote about the environment.
Meanwhile, advocates of gas drilling started touting a new
study they had funded that purported that, "Natural gas
production in the Marcellus Shale region-if developed-could
create 280,000 new American jobs and add $6 billion in new
tax revenues to local, state and federal governments over
the next decade," adding that the fracking phenomenon
was, ""One of the biggest opportunities to create
jobs and increase America's energy security lies within the
Marcellus Shale region," according to American Petroleum
Institute President Jack Gerard, president.
The information war over the natural gas drilling practice
commonly has been heating up as filmmaker Josh Fox's film
"Gasland," winner of the special jury prize at the
Sundance Film Festival last winter, has been shown to huge
audiences throughout the area and started airing regularly
Energy In Depth (EID), an information service created and
funded by the oil and gas industry, recently posted "Debunking
Gasland," a point-by-point argument against the Fox's
startling discoveries. EID paints Fox as a "purveyor
of the avant-garde" who is guilty of "flat-out making
Fox and his team of researchers and scientists have responded
with a report affirming claims made in the film. In a letter
released with the report, Fox states that EID's debunking
relies on "smear tactics" to further the industry's
"attempts to shut down questions about their practices."
An 18-month study by the journalists at Propublica uncovered
more than 1,000 cases in which water supplies were affected
by fracking practices. Propublica has revealed that companies
drilling in Pennsylvania have been regularly fined for environmental
accidents including the spilling of hazardous chemicals.
And then there is the June 3 blowout incident in Clearfield
County, Pennsylvania. Last week, Pennsylvania state officials
confirmed that "blowout preventers" in a fracking
well failed during a cleanout operation, causing a blowout
that spewed natural gas and thousands of gallons of fracking
liquids across the area, contaminating a spring and a stream.
John Hanger, Pennsylvania's environmental secretary, said
during a press conference last week that the blowout could
have been "catastrophic" had any of the gas ignited.
Hanger went on to announce a total of $400,000 in fines leveled
against well operator EOG Resources and its contractor, as
well as the department's decision to allow the firm to continue
Buy First Home?
Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) is administering
a Community Development Block Grant on behalf of Ulster County
to assist first time homebuyers with grants for closing costs,
down payment, and post closing repairs. This program is available
to prospective first time buyers that are mortgage qualified
and have an accepted binder and earn less than 80% of area
median income ($50,600 for a family of 4). Eligible properties
are located within Ulster County excluding the City of Kingston.
Interested qualified buyers should contact RUPCO at 331-9860,
extension 226, for more information and applications. First
time homebuyers that are not mortgage qualified but interested
in RUPCO's homebuyer education and counseling program can
also call 331-9860, extension 220, and sign up for an orientation
of program offerings.
An auctioneer convicted of stealing more than $27,000 from
a renowned Woodstock-based muralist's estate has been sentenced
to prison. Greene County Court Judge George J. Pulver Jr.
imposed a two-and-one-third-to-seven-year sentence in state
prison on Anthony Bonneau, 46, former owner of T's Family
In April, Bonneau was convicted of third-degree grand larceny
after a three-day jury trial. The jurors found that Bonneau
had indeed swindled the family of James Michael Newell, a
prolific artist and muralist during the 1930s Works Progress
During the sentencing Pulver referred to Bonneau as "a
swindler, a drifter, an auction house grifter."
Newell's granddaughter, Valerie Ducos, had contacted Bonneau
in 2009 after being referred by a long-time friend. Ducos,
formerly a resident of Woodstock and now residing in Cairo,
intended to sell some of her late grandfather's belongings,
including original mural boards Newell used to create such
works as "The Evolution of Western Civilization,"
a fresco mural displayed in New York City public schools depicting
the transformation from prehistoric societies to modern civilization.
Other belongings that were auctioned included paintings from
Newell's collection, sketches, furniture and other household
At first, Bonneau told Ducos that he could sell the items
for $1 million, claiming he had sold Picasso paintings in
Europe and had vast experience in selling artwork.Then he
reduced the sale price, as the location of the auction changed
from New York City to the Holiday Inn of Kingston to Woodstock
and ultimately to the Cairo firehouse.
"I did hope to get $100,000," Ducos said previously,
"but there was nobody in Cairo. There were maybe 20 to
30 people at the auction in Cairo."
Ducos said proceeds from the money raised at auction would
have been put toward the care of her 81-year-old mother Patricia,
who suffers from dementia.
Several of Bonneau's friends and family were among those attending
the auction on Oct. 25, 2009, with family members purchasing
Bonneau had raised $40,455 from the auction, though Ducos
never saw any of that money.
Bonneau took a 30 percent commission of $12,136 and additional
fees, leaving only $27,363 for Ducos, which she was never
"He's a really good con artist," Ducos said. "He
had the money. The DA subpoenaed Bonneau's bank records and
he had the money in his account, and he chose to keep it."
Along with Pulver's sentencing judgment, Bonneau was ordered
to pay $27,363 in restitution and a $1,368 surcharge.
Four people have been arrested on drug related charges following
a several month investigation into the sales and trafficking
of heroin at 50 North Street in Kingston.
The investigation by the URGENT task force branched out into
the towns of Marbletown and Woodstock and surrounding areas.
Police raided the residence of Terry Mantia, 59, at 855 Lapla
Road in Marbletown armed with a search warrant and found several
glassine envelopes containing heroin, cocaine, scales and
chemical agents used in the packaging and sale of narcotics.
Anthony Messina, 25, of Boiceville, and James Monarch, 39,
of Olive Bridge, were also there; Messina possessed cocaine
and heroin and Monarch had a hypodermic instrument.
Tristan Boss, 36, of Woodstock, who was also there, had 371
glassine envelopes with heroin and a substantial amount of
cash on him, police said.
Several other people were detained at that address, but where
questioned and released.
Mantia and Boss were charged with drug related felonies. Messina
was charged with misdemeanor drug possession and Monarch was
charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.
The raid and arrests were made on Friday, July 23.
A rural school district that canceled its prom rather than
allow a lesbian student to attend with her girlfriend has
agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit the
ACLU filed on 18 year old Constance McMillen's behalf. The
district also agreed to follow a non-discrimination policy
as part of the settlement, though it argues such a policy
was already in place.
A benefit concert in Woodstock last month in honor of McMillen
raised more than $30,000. Proceeds from "All Love, All
Woodstock" were to be divided among McMillen's college
education fund, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and AIDS
Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Onteora
High School's Gay-Straight Alliance. The benefit, held June
25 at the Bearsville Theater, featured Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame member Ronnie Spector.
Besides musical performances, the event featured an auction
that included celebrity swag and autographed memorabilia from
actors and musicians, as well as a $1,000 package from the
Woodstock Writers Festival that included dinner with author
McMillen said the victory came at the price of her being shunned
in her small hometown of Fulton, Mississippi.
District officials said in the settlement offer that they
didn't believe they violated McMillen's rights.
Christine P. Sun, an ACLU lawyer, said the case has "inspired
countless other people around the world to stand up for what's
McMillen eventually withdrew from Itawamba Agricultural High
School and finished her senior year at a school in Jackson,
Miss. She has since moved to Memphis, Tenn., where she plans
to attend Southwest Community College in the spring, majoring
in psychology. She said she'll use the settlement money for
her college education..
McMillen's case gained national attention and she was featured
on talk shows and served as a grand marshal for New York's
Gay Pride Parade, among other events. She also visited the
Our nation's capital just endured its hottest June since records
began in 1872, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. So did Miami. Atlanta suffered its second-hottest
June, and Dallas had its third hottest. In New York, the weather
was relatively pleasant: only the fourth-hottest June since
1872. Then again, New York is on pace for its hottest July
Yet when United States senators and their aides file into
work last week, on yet another 90-degree day, they decided
to do approximately nothing about global warming. The needed
60 votes weren't there, at least not at the moment.
All the while, the risks and costs of climate change grow.
Sea levels are rising faster than scientists predicted just
a few years ago. Himalayan glaciers are melting. In the American
West, pine beetles (which struggle to survive the cold) are
multiplying and killing trees.
According to NASA, 2010 is on course to be the planet's hottest
year since records started in 1880. The current top 10, in
descending order, are: 2005, 2007, 2009, 1998, 2002, 2003,
2006, 2004, 2001 and 2008. Furthermore, the first half of
2010 was the hottest six-month period recorded globally with
temperatures around the globe 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit above
Hot is the new normal.
Last June, the House passed a cap-and-trade bill. It set a
national cap on carbon emissions and required companies to
have permits for such emissions. To keep emitting as much
as they had been, companies would have to buy permits from
more efficient companies.
Republican leaders, though, were only too happy to cast cap
and trade as "cap and tax." In the process, they
helped scare away senators who had long supported this very
idea, like Lindsey Graham. The sad paradox is that cap and
trade - which trusts in the efficiency of markets - was originally
a Republican policy, signed by the first President Bush to
reduce acid rain, and disliked at the time by many liberals.
See everyone in September...
Artists in the Central Catskills have a new challenge: create
a store with only an empty storefront, two days, and a $1,000
budget. The Re-Store Design Challenge storefronts will be
selling their designs as they open for "business"
from August 21 to September 19 on Main Street, Roxbury, and
votes will help choose the winning team (and a scholarship
or grant for that team's participating student member.)
Three design teams will compete to be the best, brightest
and most creative retail designs ever imagined in the Catskills.
Design team leaders Andrew Williams (architect), Donald Hill
(interior designer), and Sean Scherer (artist and entrepreneur)
have now chosen their design "sous chefs" to complement
their own skills with some additional artistic heavy lifting
as they tackle their Re-Store concepts for the former Enderlin
Gallery spaces on Main Street Roxbury.
Learn more about it all at the Re-Store Design Challenge facebook
page or call sponsoring organization, The MARK Project, at
586-3500. Funded in part by the A. Lindsay & Olive B.
From Friday, July 30 through Sunday August 1, the Delaware
County community of Fleischmanns will host the Second Annual
Catskills Cup at Fleischmanns Park, including three days of
tennis, beginning with a free junior tournament on Friday
with BBQ and free live music in the evening with the Catskill
Mountain Boys and Esquela. On Saturday, July 31, the all-day
adult tournament includes a gala Hall of Fame dinner, with
music by zydeco roots band, L'il Anne and Hot Cayenne. The
tournament offers two men's divisions, one for players 55
and over and an open division, a women's open division and
mixed and open doubles divisions. Tournament semi-finals and
finals conclude on Sunday, August 1. Proceeds benefit Fleischmanns
park and community programs. Entry fees include Hall of Fame
dinner tickets. Non-players may attend the gala dinner and
concert for a fee, as well. Sign up or reserving dinner tickets
by calling 254-5341 or visiting www.tenniseveryone.com.
Four students from SUNY Ulster's Environmental Studies Program
have been assisting this summer in stream management projects
in the Catskill region. Student interns Tiffany Runge of Boiceville,
Anthony Lombardo of Saugerties, Beth Dickinson of Elmira and
Stacie Howell of Highland have been working with the Catskill
Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI) of the Delaware County Soil
and Water Conservation District to improve streamside habitats.
The SUNY Ulster students, along with interns from SUNY Delhi,
have removed invasive plants and planted native vegetation
Students from both colleges have participated in summer projects
in the New York City watershed for several years that are
funded through a contract between the Catskill Region Soil
and Water Conservation Districts and the New York City Department
of Environmental Protection.
Meanwhile, SUNY Ulster's "real-world classroom"
model and interactive learning approaches will be featured
at a conference showcasing successful teaching at community
colleges across the state. The college has been selected to
give presentations at the Upstate Successful Teaching Conference
on Oct. 22 in Syracuse hosted by the Institute for Community
Sean Nixon, assistant professor and coordinator of the school's
graphic design program, will speak on "YOU + the Classroom
that Never Sleeps" about how students are sharing their
design work with the community using the Internet and social
media tools. Hope Windle, instructional designer, also will
present at the event about interactive learning.