Political change in normal times often unfolds at a snail’s
pace. That change is in the wind locally is clear. As to when, this
election or next, is anyone’s guess. The type of municipal leadership
that prevails during long economic booms is often quite different
than that found during periods of economic retrenchment. As to some
of what drives political change, recent articles in the New York Times
and other media outlets have revealed that NYS local government pension
costs will rise by 61percent in 2011 and triple by 2015, thereby causing
substantial property tax increases. With that in mind, if and when
any real change does occur here in Olive, I would like to see a few
I would like to see a volunteer town budget commitee formed that would
research and help construct our town budget based on some of the projections
made by the NYS comptroller who recently revealed that 30 percent
of municipal payroll costs will soon go to the NYS pension fund, not
including police and fire personnel which will be 41percent of payroll
costs. Getting a handle on this portion of the town budget is essential
given that we are now up to 56 town employees.
I would like to see a plan that considers employment reductions if
possible via means of attrition as opposed to layoffs, as pulling
the rug out from under anyone is not the Olive way at all. Spreading
knowledge of the budget process and details via a volunteer group
would bring in technical expertise not normally available to the administration
and it would also add some measure of resiliency to the process. Currently,
the budget process in Olive is in the hands of two people and there
is no transparency as far as I can see. If a key person is disabled,
the ship would still sail in good trim. In these difficult economic
times it is only fair that any interested member of the public could
actually see projections of how our hard earned tax dollars will be
spent. There is much volunteer talent available to serve if given
the right venue and this will serve us all well, in my view.
I would like to see the local cable tv public access channel opened
up after being closed for decades due to specious reasons. Town Board
and other important meetings and announcements could then be broadcast
at will. The reasons given for the long term closure are simply absurd
and closure is no longer tenable. Streaming internet coverage could
easily augment the local cable tv access channel.
Near the end of long economic booms and the associated long term incumbencies,
the major political parties often start to look like extended family
franchises leaving large blocks of people under or unrepresented.
The times we now find ourselves in are usually the season for third
party candidates as voters repudiate counter-productive governing
structures that bow to partisanship and political considerations to
the detriment of the whole. Political survival is the first order
of the day and all decisions and actions are colored by it.
Either this election or the next, real change will indeed occur here
in Olive and I look forward to the new, more transparent and collaborative
governing structure that will supplant the old. The last election
illuminated the fact that people in Olive are not slavishly devoted
to party lines. They will cross lines when need be, which suggests
to me that on a local basis the partisan-based system is faltering.
While it is a little sad to see Councilman Friedel's suggestions rejected
out of hand due to political considerations the vast majority of the
time, I rest well knowing that the current system is nearing completion
All in all, the current administration has done a good job for the
decades of the long economic boom. With the swift erosion of our economic
lives at hand, a new governing structure is desired by many and we
will indeed have it, either this election or next. See you at the
Charlie Blumstein Olivebridge, NY
I believe that Woodstock Times' Brian Hollander’s July 2nd “Two
More Resignations” editorial summed it up best when he wrote
about Rick Wolff’s unexpected departure from the Onteora Board
of Education – about how opposing points of view may not be
represented on this more homogenized board and how this current board
could indeed use the historical perspective of a tenured trustee such
as Mr. Wolff.
I was frankly astonished to read Mr. Wolff’s letter to the editor
on September 3rd in The Woodstock Times, referencing a “Phoenicia
School Board” that is apparently rife with personal agendas
and not one that focuses on the best education for our children…this
morning, as we got ready for our first day of school, I thought of
As our family stood outside waiting for the bus, I invited one of
our boys to accompany me to a business mixer at a horse show, one
of this little boy’s passions. I explained that I had only two
tickets to the event and that there would be yummy food, prizes, goody
bags for all who attended and of course, horses. Little Boy said,
“Nah, I don’t think I want to go.” I asked our Big
Boy if he wanted to attend instead and he said, “Yeah, ok, sounds
like fun.” At that point, Little Boy promptly piped up, “I
changed my mind; I want to go.”
On this, the first day of school and the eve of the first BOE meeting
for this 2009-2010 school year, I thought, hmmm, here’s a message
for Mr. Wolff, my boys and, for that matter, our whole community:
Stay in the mix.
Go the distance.
Make your opinions known.
Quitters, crybabies or people who drop out of the game but yell directions
from the sidelines don’t necessarily get the goody bags.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to mix up a nice big batch of Phoenicia
Kool-Aid for the board of education meeting tonight.
Mount Tremper, NY
My applause to the Onteora teachers who, either mentally or physically,
did not participate in that disgusting display of self-righteousness
at the high school this past week. Picketing teachers?....isn't that
I was on the Onteora School Board until July of 2008......As a Trustee,I
was involved in the beginning negotiations and I have to say that
for the last few decades our teaching staff has been handed a plum
Where else can a person, just out of college with a Bachelor's Degree
begin with a starting salary of $49.00 per hour....Do the addition
folks.....starting salary $50,000 for 180 days of work. Never mind
that the rest of us work approximately 100 more days a year.
Now let's take that little cost of living increase that the teachers
might settle for (about 3.75%) at each new contract signing. That's
a 3.75% increase per year for the extent of the contract. Now add
to that their Step increase every year just for being employed by
us. Now tack on their educational increases. Which brings us to a
minimum at the end of, say, a three year contract, of approximately
a 11% salary increase per year. Are you still with me? Now, for extra
services like class advisor or extra-curricular activity advisor,
add a stipend of up to $4,000.00 per year and where does that take
Let's move on to benefits. Last I heard, teachers at Onteora were
paying 7% of their medical benefits and if we have husband and wife
teaching, one gets a family plan and the other gets reimbursed for
the money it would cost of if they had their own plan. Since when
did a benefit become a salary negotiation?
And when a teacher at Onteora retires, an amazing thing happens. They
don't have to pay anything towards their medical benefits PLUS they
even get their Medicare payments reimbursed.Wait....it gets better.
After they are with us for three years, they receive tenure. If they
have proven themselves that is. But wait, the Board can't vote against
tenure....that's illegal...if you vote against tenure, you must fire
that teacher. If you vote against tenure and you don't fire that teacher,
then they automatically get tenure. So, what’s the point of
There's more.....after a teacher has been with the district for three
years, they don't have to contribute towards their retirement anymore.....it's
the sole responsibility of the school district. That's us folks.
Now, some people might think I'm against teachers. Nothing could be
further from the truth. I am against their union (the strongest one
in the world). I'm against an organization that forces teachers to
join....they have to pay union dues whether they want to participate
or not...It's almost like teachers are held hostage in order to keep
their positions.But in return, the union protects them from being
responsible for anything if they just perform in a mediocre way.Whoever
heard of getting a rise in pay without job performance being considered.
The increases come every year regardless of whether a teacher is the
best in the field or is just hanging on.
What's wrong with this picture? The Onteora Teachers contract has
many flaws that have been put on the negotiation table but the union
wants nothing to do with that. Onteora, under the negotiating expertise
of their recently rehired firm, has been throwing "the baby out
with the bathwater" for decades and giving in to any demands
made. Each year that these many unreasonable demands are met, our
taxes skyrocket and our children suffer.
In these economic times, when is the union going to say "Enough
is enough" for now and sit down with the real intent of doing
what's fair and equitable for the district and for the best education
for our students?
I think of those innocents on
the high towers
who, rather than waiting to
be choked to death
by the moiling acrid smoke
or burned by the
terrible approaching fires,
chose to implement
their own deaths—and jumped.
And of those many, I think
of the couple who fell
clutching each other in
an inseparable embrace
to the last.
My Manhattan son, Dan,
saw all this
and cried, as did we all.
Damn damn damn!
This morning, on the
anniversary— if one can use that word
He took two perfect long stemmed roses to work
opened his midtown window
and let the petals fly away in
Manhattan's strong morning wind.
He thought on this for a time
and then began to work, as
the migraine imposed itself.
J. Michael O'Neil
Woodland Valley, NY
I would like to comment on some inaccurate statements printed in the
September 10, 2009 edition of the Olive Press. According to your reporter,
the Ulster County SPCA “sent around” a press release with
false information about a court case involving David Delisio, an Olivebridge
resident. Your article blames the supposed press release and the UCSPCA
for providing false information to the Daily Freeman newspaper, which
printed and later retracted parts of their story. For the record,
the UCSPCA did not send out any press releases on the final disposition
of this case. Secondly, after reading the Freeman’s incorrect
assessment of Deliso as being found “guilty,” it was one
our own legal advisers who contacted the Daily Freeman newspaper to
set the record straight.
We appreciate the Olive Press as a local, independent newspaper -
something of a rarity these days. However, we do urge you to scrutinize
all information for accuracy, and not publish local hearsay and rumors
Brian Shapiro, Executive Director
Ulster County SPCA
Editor’s Note: We should have called you, Brian, instead of
relying on the “sources” who passed on the erroneous information.
It was with great delight that we learned of Mrs. Ruth Houska's recent
honor given by the community during Shandaken Day. Mrs. Houska and
all of the volunteers at the United Methodist's Formerly Yours Thrift
Shop do an outstanding job! The Formerly Yours Thrift Shop was founded
many years ago by a former pastor's wife and has been staffed by innumerable
volunteers over these many years. Giving of their time and talent
they all do so very much for our churches and the larger community
The Formerly Yours Thrift Shop is attractive and very well maintained.
The shop provides good quality, gently used items at very reasonable
prices for the people of Shandaken and surrounding communities. Because
of its long standing presence in our community, the thrift shop is
able to assist in many worthy endeavors.
We certainly thank the many giving individuals of the wider Shandaken
community who so generously give to the Formerly Yours Thrift Shop.
Their work is greatly appreciated. Many thanks are due to Mrs. Ruth
Houska and her team of volunteers for all they do and have done at
the Formerly Yours Thrift Shop. God bless you all!
Rev. Richard McSherry, Pastor
The United Methodist Churches
A couple of things. 1) Re page 25. Disgusting commercial. I have pointed
this commercial out to my boyfriend as well. I have personally detested
yogurt in all forms for as long as I can remember. But seeing her
slurp it from the container like that is gross.
2) Opera in the Park. Thank you to the performers as you were all
superb. I would most certainly attend next year if it does indeed
become an annual thing. But I do have a few suggestions. Perhaps we
could lower the admission, and if an itinerary of the evening's music
could be available beforehand, well that would be fabulous. On a personal
note, while the singers all sang beautifully, I felt Louis Otey's
performance especially exquisite. My request to you is to include
these songs next year: a) I am the Pirate King from Pirates of Penzance,
b) Mountain Duet from Chess. Louis has the perfect voice for these
selections. I hope he likes them.
3) Re the brouhaha in the Paper. I read neither the article by Ms.Holz,
nor the response by Ms.Shalaew. I do not know either of them, I have
only read the maelstrom of responses and opinions. My words are for
Josh Holz. Journalism is the objective (ideally) reporting of the
news. Journalism is (ideally) the stating of facts and not feelings
for relaying information. Letters to the editor, on the other hand,
is not. Your letter was somewhat terrifying to me. Let me explain.
You are the youth of the nation, the youth of the nation that will
someday rule the nation. You may not agree with what you read but
remember you're reading opinions, not facts. The alternative is to
not allow people to voice their opinions in open forum. You may not
agree with these opinions, but to curtail the right to do so in a
world where our freedoms are being curtailed all the time, well that
is where the terrifying part comes in. To encourage the denials of
freedoms this country was designed to protect as sacred is dangerous
for you, liberty, and justice for all.
Woodland Valley, NY
KUDOS TO DECLAN FEEHAN? You can’t be serious!
“Kudos” to a man who, for almost two years, subjected
the residents, visitors, and businesses of Phoenicia to his toxic
trash heap formerly known as the Phoenicia Hotel.
“Kudos” to a man who, for almost two years, thumbed his
nose at the businesses on Main Street by refusing to accept responsibility
for his property, knowing full well the adverse effect his overgrown,
filthy, garbage-strewn lot would have on the shopkeepers and restaurants
that are the life blood of Phoenicia.
“Kudos” to a man who, for almost two years, played the
“victim”, by blaming the townspeople for his inability
to clean up his mess and punishing Phoenicia for not approving the
sewer referendum that would have enabled him to build on the lot where
the Phoenicia Hotel had once stood before being torched by arson.
Why he believes it is the responsibility of Phoenicia’s residents
to dig deep into their pockets to pay for a sewer system, for which
the majority of whom do not want or need, just so he could benefit
from an obviously poor business investment that he alone entered into
with his eyes wide open, is beyond comprehension.
“Kudos” to a man who, for almost two years, insulted Phoenicia
with his lies and excuses as to why he couldn’t clean his toxic
mess. One such excuse (lie) he addressed to me at a town board meeting
after I questioned why he hadn’t as yet cleaned the lot. He
responded that he had been issued a “stop work order”
by the Dept. of Health due to possible asbestos contamination when
in truth, it was later revealed, that it was in fact a “compliance
order” issued by the Dept. of Labor to ensure he hired a cleaning
company licensed to deal with an asbestos cleanup.
“Kudos” to a man who, for after almost two years of evading
his responsibility, took just 1 1⁄2 days to have the unsightly
lot cleared of debris. But even in doing that, he had to “stick
it” to the town just one more time. He had the workmen begin
clearing the lot with their trucks and heavy equipment on a Sunday
morning at 11:00AM when the stores and restaurants on Main Street
were at their busiest and people were just departing Sunday church
services. The noise and dust kicked up by the operation were not only
irritating, but it was unhealthy as well. The inconveniences it caused
Declan Feehan’s arrogance and contempt for Phoenicia, its residents,
visitors, and especially his fellow businesspeople on Main Street
are without limit. It would seem, in his mind, it’s all about
him . . . If Declan’s not happy, then Phoenicia should not be
happy, or so it would seem. Now, because he was finally made to clean
up his mess, to punish us even further, he threatens Phoenicia with
the possible construction of 200 storage units on the property. Is
there no limit to his hubris and sense of entitlement?
It’s time for Declan Feehan to grow up and “step up to
the plate” and take responsibility for his actions. Time to
face the fact that he took a chance on a business venture and he blew
it! He rolled the dice and he “crapped out”, not the town
of Phoenicia, not its residents, not the successful Main Street businesses,
but him. He, and only he, is the one who made the bad business decision,
not us, and we will not be made to pay for his mistake.
An open letter to the citizens of Ulster County:
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization
that encourages informed and active participation in government, works
to increase understanding of major public issues, and influences public
policy through education and advocacy.
The League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region both supported
and campaigned for the adoption of a charter form of government for
Ulster County. Our members served on the Charter Commission and contributed
to its corresponding Administrative Code.
We wish to inform the public that we will continue to monitor the
transition of our new county government to ensure that each branch
of government exercises its rightful powers and performs its assigned
duties as stated in the Charter. Additionally, any proposal to amend
the Charter must clearly outline how this change will benefit the
citizens in Ulster County, adhering to a thorough process of due deliberation.
Jean McGarry, President
The League of Women Voters
of the Mid-Hudson Region
We can ignore politicians and the vast whole “health care industry”
barking about “socialism.” They’re paid to bark.
Cut off their money and they might become more decent, responsible
human beings. We need a public option plan to keep them honest.
The President is pretty much all by himself. He has to beat back the
$1.3 million dollars a day — a day! — the insurance companies
are pouring into lobbying Congress and brainwashing the public. He’s
trying to do a good thing. Will the public get smart and help him?
The tide seems to be turning in favor of the public option. Let’s
The facts are clear: the fee for the service system we have is geared
to put as much money as possible into the pockets of the vast health
care industry. It only works for the privileged and those of us on
Medicare already enjoying a public option. As in the world’s
other developed countries, we must have a public option to keep the
private plans honest. It would be affordable and do the job.
In 1941, Edward Dowling pointed out: “The two greatest obstacles
to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion
among the poor that we have democracy, second the chronic terror among
the rich, lest we get it.”
Recently, Matt Taibbi wrote: “We have an urgent national emergency
on the one hand, and on the other, a comfortable majority of ostensibly
simpatico Democrats who were elected by an angry population, in large
part, specifically to reform health care. When they all sat down in
Washington to tackle the problem, it amounted to a referendum on whether
or not we actually have a functioning government.”
The mandate for healthcare reform given to Obama has been dismissed
by the Republican Party, who still have a great deal of influence
in the Senate. Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina told
an attack group that if they’re “able to stop Obama on
this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
A public option might not pass, because the votes simply aren’t
there in the Senate. Some disappointed voters suspect that they’ve
been deceived and defrauded, by Obama and our representatives in Congress
regarding health care reform. New York’s representatives in
Congress have not been obstacles to change, but politically unsophisticated
voters are suggesting that they and Obama have been bought off by
the health care lobby. Frustration, anger and suspicion has become
a distraction from real issues. It’s a serious problem for the
Party and of course Republicans enjoy seeing those disappointed voters
like Matt Taibbi form circular firing squads, because it makes their
job much easier.
It’s a delusion that we have democracy, because our Senate was
designed to protect the interests of the powerful. Instead of blaming
Obama and our representatives in Washington, Mr. Taibbi might try
educating his fellow citizens, who are susceptible to fear mongering.
Recently, I spent four days traveling in Canada, one day by train
and the other three by bicycle. Along the way, I took the opportunity
to get the straight scoop by asking every Canadian I met about their
health insurance system. I was surprised by what I learned.
I spoke to people of all ages and from all walks of life. They or
their family members had received treatments including a hip replacement,
prostate surgery, a bypass and treatment for breast cancer and broken
bones. I even had the chance to meet two people from the UK and ask
them about their system.
I learned that in these systems the patients choose their doctors.
When they need treatment, they make an appointment (typically for
within two or three days). When the appointment is over, they’re
done — no paperwork, no payment, no bills, no bureaucracy and
no interaction with the government. If they need to see a specialist,
their doctor determines the urgency of the need and the specialist
schedules them accordingly.
The Canadians I spoke to admitted that there is a shortage of specialists
and that for non-urgent or elective procedures the wait can stretch
to a few months, but every one of them felt that this was a small
price to pay for guaranteed health care. Several told me that their
system is “not perfect, but no system is.” Without exception,
every single person I spoke to was extremely happy with the system,
describing it as “fantastic” and “excellent.”
The strongest complaint I heard was from a young man who said that
he sometimes had to wait two or three hours in a doctor’s waiting
I made it a point to ask each person if they would prefer that Canada
went to a US-style health insurance system. The responses ranged from
“no” to “HELL NO!” to “our system is
sacred.” One said that without it, his mother would be dead
and that it added 15 years to his grandfather’s life. Not a
single person said they would give up their system. Many said they
simply could not understand why we in the US tolerate a system in
which we might lose our health care and be driven into bankruptcy
if we lose a job, are determined to have a pre-existing condition,
become sick, or exceed our insurance’s benefit cap.
Although I thought I might hear some positive comments about their
health insurance plan, I never expected a response that was so completely
unanimous and so overwhelmingly enthusiastic. If you know Canadians
or have the chance to meet any, I urge you to ask them about their
experiences. I feel certain that if every American had the chance
to talk to real Canadians about their system, we would be having a
very different debate about health insurance reform in this country
— or maybe we wouldn’t be having a debate at all.
New Paltz, NY
Ulster County Democratic Women applaud President Obama and members
of congress in their effort to reform healthcare on a national level.
We urge congress NOT to act hastily on this very complex issue but
instead to continue thoughtful debate to enact the most inclusive,
effective and cost-efficient solution for healthcare reform.
Healthcare is especially important for women of all ages and ethnicity,
as we are more likely to have lower incomes than men and work part
time. Women are less likely than men to be eligible for or able to
afford their part of employer-sponsored health coverage. Women covered
as dependents on a spouse’s healthcare plan lose coverage if
they divorce or are widowed.
Over 43 million Americans are uninsured—the majority of whom
are employed!—and 14,000 more lose coverage each day due to
job loss, denial, and economic hardship.
1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due
to unaffordable medical costs. 62% of all bankruptcies filed in 2007
were linked to medical expenses. 80% of those people HAD health insurance!
In August, UCDW endorsed Healthcare for All. We support Single-Payer
Healthcare as defined by HR 676. UCDW adopted Principles of Healthcare
Reform we believe to be vital to meaningful reform including Equality
of Healthcare, Access to Care and Adequate Training for Staff Dealing
with Victims of Crime and Domestic Violence.
We ask that congress protect the true intent of healthcare reform
from being gutted by profiteering insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
A bill that forces everyone to buy health insurance without making
it affordable or setting universal standards for care and coverage
will not only punish those that need healthcare the most—it
will impoverish counties and communities.
Please read all principles online at www.ucdw.org and view the impact
analysis of Single-Payer on lowering school budgets.
JoAnn O. Chamberlain, President
Ulster County Democratic Women
Health-insurance premiums have risen 3.7 times faster than wages in
the past eight years, with ever-increasing co-pays and deductibles.
Medical bills cause more than half of all personal bankruptcies. One-quarter
of all medical spending goes to administrative and overhead costs.
National health spending is expected to account for 17.6 percent of
the GDP this year. The U.S. spends nearly $100 billion per year to
provide health services to the uninsured; that’s at least equal
to the estimated $100-billion-a-year cost for reform over the next
ten years. That is half the cost of the Iraq War each year.
Small businesses will pay almost $2.4 trillion in health costs over
the next 10 years. Health insurance costs the average American family
$13,000 per year. Emergency care for the uninsured costs each American
$1,000 per year.
Most economists say a public option is necessary to successful reform,
yet some continue to oppose a plan much like the one every member
of Congress receives. Note: Every member of Congress has a health
insurance plan. Why can’t all Americans have the same? Why should
we continue to be a nation of haves and have-nots?
It is with the deepest gratitude that we say thank you to our friends
for the gift of last Sunday’s Benefit for Alchemy. We were overwhelmed
by the extreme generosity of Woodstock. No sooner than our customers
heard that we were struggling did someone say, “It’s time
for a benefit!” Spearheaded by filmmaker David MacDonald, volunteer
organizers sprang into action. As part of our belief in supporting
the community, Alchemy has hosted several benefits in the past, but
we never could have imagined being the recipients of one. To each
person who gave their time, services, a donation, encouraging words,
or a shoulder to cry on; to every supremely talented musician who
took the stage and played from their hearts until the wee hours; to
every visual artist who shared their perspectives of the world; to
every poet who shared their unique voices; and to our amazing staff
who continues to believe in our mission of celebrating the spirit
of creativity, we extend an emotional, heartfelt “thank you!”
When we first moved to Woodstock, we were told that big ideas won’t
succeed here. The truth is, Alchemy as an arts venue is a big idea
that comes with a big house, big overhead, and the ever-present energy
of former owner Albert Grossman - a big patron of the arts. But we
believe now more than ever that our idea to bring people together
in a supportive place that prizes creative thinking, self-expression,
healing, fun, comforting food, and true friendship is a necessary
one - one that reflects the soul of Woodstock. What we witnessed was
the magic of people helping each other, and that to us is pure Alchemy.
Thank you again, and bright blessings!
Stephanie Izarek and Nick Martin
The political arena can be tough, as an arena it is. A sad part is
that friends may be angry with friends who have opposing views. Both
know others who agree with them but does one have only folks who agree
with you as friends? Thing is that most of us don’t know all
the facts and our support or opposition of candidates is based on
what we do know and what impresses us as vitally important. But our
friend knows things that she feels are vitally important, too. What
to do? Keep your friends and see how things turn out. One of you will
be able to say “See, I told you so,” be it good or bad.
We hope the winning candidate does the job especially well and one
of you can rejoice in your judgment or V.V.
The word is that a vaccine against cancer is about to be brought out.
What a breakthrough! The question who gets it and when? And since
there a number of different cancers, would there need to be just one
vaccine? What are we going to die from? Here we are in the throes
of a horribly damaging epidemic of obesity about which something could
be done if the will was there. Are we waiting for a vaccine against
obesity or are we and our doctors going to do something about it?
It can cause more problems and misery through life than cancer of
which we die or are cured but we don’t put in years as victims
of our own making from cancer. The thing is, you don’t start
doing something about it at 60, your parents and Doctors start when
you are 6 months old. At 60 you can start doing something, however.
Cut down on the amount of food you eat and omit the high calorie foods.
Start finding the things out you need to know.
My husband and I both adore cats, and we grieve with you over your
losses. However, we do have an ideal solution. We live on the outskirts
of Fleischmanns, and our neighbor, whose house is 20 feet away from
ours, is into feral cats, which live under her house--all 50 odd--and
their number grows exponentially. They are uninoculated and doubtless
have a variety of diseases. I myself seem to be growing allergic to
them, and there may come a time when I can't reside here anymore or
only when medicated with antihistamine.
We've tried by every means possible to deal with the situation, alas,
to no avail. Nobody gives a hoot about the constant stink that we
and our guests inhale or the ooky catty dew that we are forever cleaning
from the soles of our shoes, our floors, and our car or the ear-piercing
screams and yowls during mating season or when one of them gets into
a snit. Added to that, we cannot have our four-year-old grandson up
because we're afraid he'll chase after them and try and play with
them when our backs are turned for a moment. That goes for weekend
guests with pedigreed dogs.
We are desperate. Send coyotes, please. Yes, oon bel dee round up
some nice vicious, hungry ones in a Have-a-Heart trap and drive over
to the eastern end of Fleischmanns and let'em go.
Thass all folks. Everybody happy.
Dr. Nancy Bogen
The following is an open letter to U.S. assistant secretary for Indian
Affairs Larry EchoHawk:
Dear assistant secretary Echohawk,
In 2005-06 engaged citizens of Saugerties in Ulster County, New York
beat off an attempt to locate an off-reservation casino in our town.
We were concerned about the broad ripple of social ills associated
with casinos. We were heartened by secretary Kemphorne’s subsequent
upholding of the Indian Gaming Act’s proscription of off-reservation
Now we have a proposal for as many as three off-reservation Indian
casinos in nearby Sullivan County bringing those ills to Sullivan
and closer to us and also probably renewing pressures for casino development
in Ulster and surrounding counties as politicians reason- “if
we are to get the harms, let’s also get a piece of the action.”
Pretty soon we are in a race to the bottom as localities chase the
gambling dollars. The price will be paid by the taxpayer, not the
casino, as associated costs will eventually surpass the casino tax
Our state politicians studiously ignore independent studies (not those
in the service of the casino industry) which show great human costs
as casinos stimulate and evoke problem and pathological gambling,
leading to increased embezzlement, fraud, crime, depression, suicide,
marital breakup, medical and social service costs, the undermining
of local businesses. Earl Grinols in his book Gambling in America
shows that “the long term cost-to-benefit ratio from introducing
casinos to a region that did not have them previously is greater than
3:1. As a device for raising taxes, casinos are more socially costly
than a conventional tax. Even assuming that cost numbers are overstated
by a factor of three and correcting them, casinos still barely fail
a cost-benefit test.”
It seems highly immoral as well as shortsighted to support state government
by means which predictably increase all sorts of social evils. It’s
not a fitting policy for a great country and certainly not consistent
with an avowal of “family values.”
Please uphold the law and block casinos which are detrimental to our
communities and values. No off-reservation casinos in Sullivan County!
Arnold Lieber, M.D.
Olive Day is now behind us, but the newly formed S.A.F.E. TEAM hopes
that the school bus drill at Olive Day will be a long lasting memory.
The S.A.F.E. (Student Accident & Fire Evacuation) TEAM is an organization
made up of volunteers who promote school bus safety.
At Olive Day we filled a bus with smoke and evacuated the bus. Both
children and parents participated in the drill. In the photo, Steven
Croswell is making his way to the rear of the smoke filled bus. Once
at the rear, he will sit down and slide out with the assistance of
For more info on how parents can help drivers keep their children
safer, go to www.myyellowschoolbus.com. If you are interested in helping
the safe team, click on contact us on the web site.
David W Croswell, Bus Driver
The Catskills, New York
Those pine-speckled mountains
aptly named "Catskill"
Rise high or sky climb in three
counties, New York.
Old as the ice age that carved them
And spawned the lush cover and
core of blue rock.
Down in the valleys in slowed
ripple or rage,
Streams churn-tumble or run
their serpentine ways.
Whirlpools to cascades when
spring showers fade
And scented fogs give way to rainbow
As spring tickle buds and stale
ice slips away,
Come flora and fruit, summer fun
and cool nights.
Reds, yellow or beige, autumn's
color holds sway,
While winters with snow, bring down
The deer is still here where the bull
Black bear and 'coons, still growl,
And happy the eagle perched high
in the pines,
With turkeys, big trout, and that bold
But where are the chiefs of the tribes
The stewards of nature from moons
Yet! Nightly and stealthily their spirits
Giving voice to the winds, to Esopus
The grand view from the peaks is
a God given treat,
With beauty and scope, there's
a wonder that thrills,
For these mountains, as such, they
make life sweet
And righteous guides rule in these
Patrick J. Reilly
Pearl River, NY
Raindrops blessed us through most of our Shandaken Day celebration
in Big Indian and Oliverea. Those who attended received prayers and
blessings all day long from our Native American friends. They attended
the dedication of "Winnisook", the new addition to the Big
We, the committee agree that Shandaken Day in Big Indian and Oliverea
was a great success. We thank all of you who came out to celebrate
Living in Shandaken, in the beautiful Big Indian and Oliverea Valley,
we are truly blessed!!!
Please continue to enjoy our wooden nickels during this coming month.
Remember next year, Shandaken Day will honor Shandaken, Bushnellsville,
Many Thanks to our committee and all the volunteers who joined us.
Thank You for Helping: Big Indian Oliverea Beautification Committee,
Evan Pritchard, All Vendors and Patrons, Shandaken Highway Department,
UCAT, Michael Hein, Aaron Bennett, Dick Cable, Iouri Federov, Mary
Herrmann, Jack Jordan, Stephen LaMarca, Nancy Smith, R.J. Stanley,
Butch VanLoan, Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, Big Indian
Native American Cultural Center, All of our Native American friends,
Town of Shandaken, Big Indian Post Office, Yvonne, Maurice Hinchey.
Belleayre, Kurt Boyer Design, Rev. Ralph Darmstadt, Frank Flax, Beatrice
Morra-Hull, Amanda Kibe, Tina Rice, Sandra & Bob Stanley, Storm
Stanley, Michael Weeks
Shandaken Day Committee
Co-Chairman Rob Stanley
Co-Chairman June LaMarca
Treasurer Laurilyn Frasier
Kathy Jordan, Buffy Kibe, Jane & John Rossitz. Mike Wentland,
Martie & Gary Gailes, Robert Kalb,
Chuck Perez, Patty Rudge
As most of us know, there was an extremely overwhelming, blessed,
musical celebration of Killian Mansfield’s life held at Davis
Park Sunday, September 13th. The outcome was beyond what I think anyone
would have imagined. This 16-year-old really touched so many lives—young
and old—in ways that we really need and should begin to imagine.
The processional line that left St. Augustine singing the joyous song
“Blessed” led by Uncle Rock (a.k.a. Robert Burke Warren)
and John Coghill trailed for a good mile with just rows & rows
of people holding onto their instruments/voices, to the place where
Killian will rest from pain and be at peace now. After the procession,
at Davis Park to have a musical celebration of Killian’s life
with songs, family, friends, food and an outpouring of love to Killian’s
I grew to love this family when they moved across the street from
us two years ago and have always wanted to help them in anyway I could.
Killian became a part of our family. I was one of the many volunteers
extending our love to help this family pull this very special day
together. While Sharon Sofranko and her daughters and beautiful crew
hung the colorful cranes at Davis Park, I volunteered with the help
of my daughter and her friends and Anna Giuliano (thank you so much),
my dear friend Shirley Wiley (thanks for standing solo watching the
food as the walk went on) and Mary Guliano (thank you thank you to
the end) to set up the tables and arrange the food, drinks etc. I
had such wonderful helpers throughout the day (Leslie Sawhill, hugs
for jumping in helping) as the food just began to pour in. Really
amazing the love everyone put into these dishes!
BUT I WRITE THIS FOR A REASON: I really need our little town to acknowledge
how our representatives stepped up that day. We thank Berndt Leifeld
for having several town employees at the ready. Police officers Paul
Mejias and Tom Vasta made sure that blessed walk was a safe tribute
to Killian. Blaise Sava and Dennis McKay, and Ruth Williams stayed
until the very last person left, making sure the family did not have
to worry about park clean up. This letter is not enough to thank them—their
participation meant a lot to us all. To all the civil servants in
our town of Olive, we thank you and appreciate all that you do.