Follow Up on the
Gives City Its OK
The 33 page report, issued on August 21, is a major milestone
in EPA’s yearlong process of deciding whether to renew
the filtration waiver for another five years. Should the City
need to build the filtration system it would cost an estimated
$8 billion plus hundreds of millions each year to operate.
EPA’s Philip Sweeny, the leader of the team that compiled
the report, said it’s basically the first of two decisions
necessary for approval of another 5 year waiver.
“The report is a look back at how the city did over
the last five years,” he said Friday.
EPA says the City did well. With that determined, the City
can go to the next step and prepare a plan that states what
it will do to protect water over the next five years. The
EPA's second decision, set for early next year, will be whether
they feel the plan will work or not.
A report card of sorts that gauges how well the City did at
implementing plans to handle water quality protection in the
watershed region, the report gives good marks in general.
Where it does not it states that poor performance was beyond
the City’s control.
“Overall, the City has successfully satisfied the obligations
specified in the 2002 Filtration Avoidance Determination,”
the report states. “For most programs, the City has
met deadlines and expectations. Examples include land acquisition,
in which the City has exceeded solicitation targets and has
successfully protected 71,000 acres, and the small farm program,
through which 42 whole farm plans have been developed. In
programs where there have been delays or shortfalls, the City’s
explanations and justifications have generally been accepted
as adequate by EPA.”
For example, wastewater projects, funded by the City to the
tune of millions, have taken longer to complete than expected.
But the reports claims the delays are due in large part to
the extensive coordination needed between the City and the
communities. In Stream Management Programs, designed to reduce
water-fouling turbidity, some stream restoration projects
were delayed due to wet weather conditions which precluded
The report, now under review by involved agencies, gave favorable
reviews for the City’s efforts in surface water treatment,
septic and sewer programs, waste treatment plant upgrades,
stormwater control, land acquisition, agriculture, forestry,
wetlands protection, watershed monitoring, enforcement of
watershed regulations and for education and outreach.
An updated Watershed Protection Plan to define the next round
of watershed protection activities will be prepared by the
City by end of the year. The 2007 renewal is expected to be
put in place next April, although EPA warns that it could
at any time during the process reverse its decision.
The City of New York first received a five year waiver in
1997, which was renewed in 2002 for another five years.
Meanwhile, Regional EPA Spokesperson Mary Mears said that
Regional Administrator Alan Steinberg, who agreed to look
at a new proposal by Belleayre Resort developer Dean Gitter
to downsize a portion of his resort alongside a site visit
to the area last month, said that no decision regarding the
proposal has been made at present, and won;t be expected for
several weeks yet.
Towards A Sewer
Designating itself as “lead agency” in compliance
with SEQR regulations, the town accepts an agreement with
the Catskill Watershed Corporation for a site meeting that
entity’s “specified criteria regarding size, location,
elevation, environmental and availability” in the resolution.
CWD agrees to provide “funding for the planning, design,
construction and supervision of a sewage collection system
and waste water treatment plant for the hamlet” of Boiceville.
It also states that Lamont Engineers, “the CWC’s
Engineer believes it has identified a parcel that meets the
above criteria” and “the Town’s attorney
has negotiated an option agreement for the purchase of the
parcel at its fair market value.”
Although not specifically identified, the site is believed
to be the one presently occupied by the Trail nursery on Route
28 in Boiceville, although another property across the road
is still said to be in contention.
“It’s a bit different than the grant they’re
doing up in Shandaken and we become owners of it in the end,”
Olive Supervisor Brendt Leifeld said candidly. “The
whole plant will be turned over to the town when it’s
finished but this is far from a done deal. There’s two
pieces (of land) they’re looking at and they’re
not sure they’re going to get either one of them They
needed our ‘lead agency’ status to go forward
but I don’t believe they’ve agreed on a price.
“What they have to do is get an appraisal and in order
to pay for it out of the grant money, they need a commitment
from us that we would be lead agency if the deal goes through.
It’s far from over and there’s another area ahead
where we can drop out altogether. We told them quite bluntly
that if this is not an affordable thing for the commercial
properties in Boiceville, we’re not going to do it.
They know that and they say they can negotiate with (New York
City) for more funds because of the school connection and
all of that. That’s fine, if they can do it but if they
can’t, it’s not going to happen.”
The presence of the Onteora School complex and the Ashokan
Reservoir in Boiceville are said to be prime reasons for the
construction of the plant.
A meeting about Route 28 itself is scheduled to take place
between town officials, Lee Zimmer, Kevin Young and the New
York State Department of Transportation at the town hall on
September 14 at 7:30 pm.
The reprieve was reported by Father Phillip Tran,
a Vietnamese priest and former Navy chaplain, who arrived
to conduct a Friday mass with a letter from the archdiocese
announcing that he was to take over as “administrator”
of the parish, distinct from a “pastor”, which
entails a six-year appointment. He replaces Father Christopher
Berean, who was offered a posting at the prestigious St.
Mary’s of the Snow Parish in Saugerties when it
looked like the Phoenicia parish was going to be dissolved.
“I can’t blame him at all for taking it,”
said Jane Wolfrom, local elementary school teacher and
a member of the committee formed to try to convince the
archdiocese to let the parish continue. “It looked
like we were going to be closed down. He had been there
previously, and it’s a much bigger parish. He’ll
have a lot of responsibilities there. We’ll miss
him. He really made you think, and he’s a wonderful
Gene Gormley, head of the committee to save the parish,
said the decision is “better than we’d hoped
for. At this point everything we know is positive.”
The committee, according to Wolfrom, had proposed the
compromise of closing the parish’s two mission churches,
Our Lady of Lourdes in Allaben and Our Lady of La Sallette
in Boiceville, while retaining a full complement of daily
services at the Phoenicia church. Under the bishop’s
plan, part of a general “realignment” in progress
throughout New York State, the Phoenicia church would
have been a mission church under Woodstock’s jurisdiction
and would have held a single weekly mass, conducted by
Woodstock’s Father George. So far, it appears that
the Phoenicia parish will keep its status and its own
priest, and nothing has been said about closing its mission
Wolfrom credits Gormley for providing “the spark
that got everyone really motivated” to fight for
the parish. The committee gathered statistics on church
attendance and met with representatives of the archdiocese
in Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County to pitch the importance
of the parish within the community.
“We fought so hard and threw ourselves at the mercy
of the bishop,” said Wolfrom. “It wasn’t
well received, but we must have reached someone. We’re
thrilled we got it, but the lack of fanfare is confusing.
Father Tran was told about a month ago that he’d
be with Father George in Woodstock, and then a few days
before arriving here, he was told he would be in the Phoenicia
She sees the decision and its lukewarm announcement as
“a wake-up call not to take for granted something
you think is special. We’d better make the best
of what we’ve got.” Suggestions under consideration
include fundraising to install an oil burner at the Allaben
church so it can stay open in winter, and possible changes
to the religious education program, which is currently
oriented toward entire families, not just children.
St. Francis de Sales Parish, the northern & westernmost
outpost of the New York metropolitan area’s 10-county,
2.5 million member Catholic community, currently serves
more than 260 local families with between 500 and 600
registered parishioners. It is, geographically, one of
the Archdiocese’s largest parishes, encompassing
roughly 500 square miles.
St. Francis de Sales has only been operated directly by
the Archdiocese of New York for three years. First established
in 1902 by the LaSalette Fathers, a modern missionary
order now based in Hartford, CT, ownership of the parish
was transferred to the Archdiocese of New York in 2003.
That transfer took place against the backdrop of a private
settlement of a federally filed lawsuit against the order
and one of its previous resident priests for alleged improprieties.
Father Hector LaChapelle is currently serving in North
St. Augustine’s Chapel in West Shokan will continue
to stay affiliated with St. John’s in Woodstock,
as it has been for the past three years.
Calls to the archdiocese for comment were not returned
by press time.
a “doggone-good” day for Bev Stein’s
quest to upgrade the Town of Olive kennels. Hoppy
Quick’s carved bear sold over five thousand
dollars’ worth of raffle tickets, and the
Flea Market’s “Going to the Dogs!”
proceeds added to the coffers. At this moment the
Town of Olive Dog Lovers and Volunteers have reached
the $5,750.00 mark. Bev sends a big THANK YOU to
Hoppy and all the people who bought tickets, the
businesses that sold tickets, and the places that
Right now there are two dogs, Molly McGee and a
beagle named Nelly Bly, at the kennel. Both are
scheduled to be adopted tomorrow. Olive’s
kennels are clean, and the volunteers take loving
care of the dogs. They contact surrounding towns
to assure that dogs are returned to owners or adopted
One of my flea market purchases was a dog biscuit
mix complete with fire hydrant shaped cookie cutter.
You know you have too much time on your hands when
you spend a Sunday morning kneading this cheesy,
grainy mixture into dough, rolling it out, stamping
out two-inch fire hydrants and baking them. Then,
to prolong the ridiculous endeavor, I had to dry
them for an additional four hours. Mind you, I have
not planned a thing for supper, but I did produce
two-dozen grayish dog cookies. Kahlua, our old chocolate
lab, sniffed, rejected and abandoned the one I offered
him. I tried wrapping it in bacon, but he outsmarted
me by unrolling the bacon with his tongue and spitting
out the homemade biscuit like it was an olive pit.
As I mentioned before, I retired this year, so school
opened without me. Amazing! It went on without me.
My husband describes it as stepping out of a stream,
like our Esopus Creek; the water closes in and the
current flows on. There’s both sadness and
comfort in that image. Others take over and the
process goes on. No, I am not going to have a “pitty
party” (to quote Judie Rank) because when
I think of teachers who have retired, I know that
teachers touch lives. The passing of Mimi McGloughlin,
or Mrs. McGloughlin, as her students called her,
is proof of that.
As I looked over the thousands of people at Olive
Day, I saw families who could say, “ She was
my (pick one: son’s, daughter’s, niece’s,
nephew’s, brother’s, sister’s,
husband’s, wife’s, mother’s, father’s,
aunt’s, uncle’s, or neighbor’s)
kindergarten teacher. She was my son’s teacher.
My friend Pat Tosi remembered how she walked her
little sister, Barbara Kunkle Churchill, down the
hall to the kindergarten in the “new”
school in 1952 to Mrs. McGloughlin’s classroom.
She taught us all, and she will live on in the lessons
she taught us.
Teachers don’t just fill us with facts. A
successful teacher will “teach” a student
to learn—to learn to find out what they need
to know in order to solve a problem or make a decision.
A kindergarten teacher, like Mimi, is the first
teacher to open doors to learning. Robert Fulghum
wrote a book entitled All I Really Need to Know
I Learned in Kindergarten. In a way, Mimi taught
us all we need to know: share, play fair, be kind,
clean up after yourself, don’t hurt others,
and, I’m sure she would add—love yourself,
your family, all others and your country!