Your January 20 editorial so irritated me, that it is difficult
for me to excerpt only a few sentences for comment, but here
So let’s start with school taxes, and from the position
that with respect to the large parcel bill, nobody’s got
a corner on truth, justice, and the American way here. Olive
has solid arguments about its unique situation and the historical
price it’s paid for the reservoir that the other towns
haven’t. However. It is fundamentally unreasonable that
similar properties in adjacent towns pay wildly different taxes
to support the same school system.
As I recall (and it can only be based on memory, as your online
archives are all linked to the November 11, 2004 edition), in
2003 before the Onteora school board voted to hold off and wait
a year then eventually adopt the large parcel, an Olive Press
editorial expressed essentially the same sentiment, except perhaps
the part about Olive having solid arguments. (I guess the reaction
from Olive residents did influence your editorial position,
if only just a little.) But I remember my irritation at that
time at reading in one of your editorials that folks in Olive
knew that paying lower taxes than the other towns in the district
was unfair and inequitable, and probably should end.
I don't know your background, or who those friends of yours
are, but my friends and family believe no such thing. Those
of us privileged enough to be Olive natives, with roots that
go back for generations, understand that the "historical
price" you mention certainly does give us "a corner
on truth, justice and the American way" on this particular
issue. I write this not to insult town residents who were born
elsewhere, and moved here later. It has been my experience that
some who find their way to our town take a first look at the
grave site (also known as the Ashokan Reservoir) and it speaks
to them, too. They completely understand what you describe as
our "unique situation." Sadly, there are others who
cannot feel it, and they are clueless. I saddens me that one
of the clueless is penning the editorials for the purportedly
That won’t fly in reasoned discussion in Olive, to say
nothing of outside Olive. Unfortunately there is no way to compensate
for what happened to our native civilizations, nor has anyone
thought up, so far, just compensation for the armed robbery
of most of the Town of Olive by New York City in the early 20th
century. It’s done. The best we can hope for is fair tax
remuneration from them.
Reasoned discussion? According to whom? I believe "outside
Olive" are the two most telling words in this stunning
quote from the "Olive Press." Maybe in the interest
of really representing the town whose name you plaster across
your publication, you should seek occasional input from some
folks who are actually "inside Olive."
Gina Giuliano, PhD
Castleton & Samsonville, NY
Editors note: Thanks for the heads-up on the website's archive
function. It's fixed.
Dear Olive friends and neighbors,
Mere words have difficulty expressing the importance of all
Olive residents attending the 2-10-05, 7PM Ulster County Legislative
meeting at the U.C. Cty. Bldg., 244 Fair St., Kingston, NY,
12461. Approximately 2000 of us are in danger of liquidation
of homes and lands in the near or foreseeable future, and will
I hope and pray that the other 2000, who can afford the 91%
county increase and 58% school tax increase, will attend the
meeting to lend support to the petition to rescind the Large
Parcel Bill S6221a, 2002, U.C. Resolution 320, 2004.
Our seniors, those on fixed incomes, those who are disabled,
and working class families need all the support they can from
all of us, just to survive the coming years.
The Large Parcel Bill was fraudulently enacted, and only the
media is willing to transmit the message, thus far. Major networks
have decided to send film crews on the 10th to document the
David and Goliath saga that is unfolding. Do not underestimate
the power of 4200 Olive corporate shareholders. 2000 are willing
to fight hard for redress. Please come and join us in solidarity
for all Olive residents and help undo this travesty of cultural
destruction. It should be the only mass meeting we need.
Call me with any questions. 845-657-2030.
My school taxes have gone up 57%, and now, my county tax has
gone up 91%. These horrendous tax hikes are due to the Large
On Sept 4, 2004, I wrote the following letter to Assemblyman
Kevin Cahill, and to State Senator Bonacic: "How is it
possible that you could allow the grossly flawed Large Parcel
Tax Law to be passed? How could you vote on this law and not
have taken the trouble to find out first that your constituents
in the Town of Olive will have their property school tax raised
by at least 55%? How do you suggest your Town of Olive constituents
pay this horrendous tax hike? This law needs to be changed as
soon as possible!!! I expect that you, my elected representative,
will give me the courtesy of a reply to my questions."
As of this date, neither Mr.Cahill nor Mr. Bonacic has had the
courtesy to reply to my letter. I believe that a written letter
requires a written reply; that it is a matter not only of courtesy,
but is the duty of a responsible professional, most especially
of an elected representative.
Ann Marie Seddon
In a letter to the editor in the January 20, 2005 edition of
the Olive Press Christina Fendley felt compelled to write of
her experience working at Emerson Place. I, too, now feel compelled
to write a letter in response. What a shame that she chose this
avenue rather than coming to me, as I feel a bit betrayed by
someone I felt I had befriended.
When Christina came to work here in sales and promotions, she
didn’t get along with her department head and turned to
our human resources to see if there was an alterative position.
Rather than lose her, Human Resources worked with me and we
transferred her to The Lodge front desk. Her interests and talents
didn’t lie in the hospitality industry and she made it
clear that as soon as she found other work (which she was actively
seeking) she would be leaving. During this time her co-workers
at the desk adjusted their schedules so that she could continue
to be employed and go to various job interviews. I personally
spoke to her potential employers and gave her recommendations.
All of that seems fairly generous on the part of any employer.
Ms Fendley says that Emerson Place offers only transitional
jobs. In an industry where turnover nationwide is measured in
months, many local people have been employed here for years.
In the three years that I have worked here, I have seen people
come and go (and often return) but there are dozens that have
been here much longer than I. Emerson Place is one of the largest
employers in Ulster County, Healthcare is offered, salaries
and wages do increase, and there are benefits and staff discounts.
I know these things to be true, I began my employment here as
a Front Desk Agent. I work here and am a part of Emerson Place
and proud to be part of what has been accomplished. I think
Ralph Waldo Emerson would be quite pleased too.
Come see me and let me show you around.
General Manager of
The Lodge at Emerson Place
After reading years of articles on Crossroads, Catskill Corners,
Emerson Place and Dean Gitter I was struck by a recent editorial
letter from Mrs. Martie Gailes (wife of Gary Gailes -employed
by Dean Gitter ) seen in the Phoenicia Times about the Conde
Nast Johansen award ceremony dinner at the Emerson Inn. I noticed
a few important details missing such as the names of the people
who had worked so hard over the last five years to help achieve
this prestigious and quite elusive honor for the Emerson Inn.
Mark Johnson (resigned as C.E.O./C.F.O.); Jerry Jacobson (resigned
Hospitality General Manager); Tim Phillips (resigned Inn Manager);
Dawn Chinchen (resigned Spa Director); Amanda Gold (resigned
Ass. Inn Manager); Ed Graygor (Resigned Sales Consultant); Gilbert
Stiener (resigned Emerson Chef); Ross Fraiser (FIRED as Emerson
Head Chef); and Laurent Ertle (Resigning this month as Emerson
Food & Beverage Manager). I wonder if Mr Gitter ever congratulated
each one of these core people who worked very hard for the Inn
to receive this award.
We are often told about how Catskill Corners / Emerson Place
employs many local workers. I think this should be reviewed,
my question is where are they now? Where is, Sue Marchesani
- FORCED TO RESIGN after over 7 years devotion at both the Spotted
Dog & Catamount Café; Karin Senecal - FORCED TO RESIGN
after she held the complex together as Head of Operations for
9 plus years; Heather George Gockel -RESIGNED/? Accounts Payable
Manager for over 5 years; Eddie Cleveland-FIRED Graphic Designer
after 9 years; Mary Sheridan-Dibble - FIRED after over 8 years
in various positions; Carol Conrad -FIRED after over 4 years
as sales associate; Igor Surdiuk - FORCED TO RESIGN after 2
years as Catamount Chef; Steven Johnson -RESIGNED as Executive
Head Chef after only six months; Sarah Byrne -FIRED Head Dining
Room Manager - Inn/ Catamount Manager after over 3 years; Carol
Martineau-Lopez -FIRED Sales & Marketing Director promoting
Catskill Corners and Emerson Place for nearly 4 years; Ilene
Hinchey -FIRED as Public Relations Director for complex; Shirley
Johnson RESIGNED Public Relations after less than a year; Joan
Lawrence-Bauer who was phased out of her position as Marketing
Director after 5 years; Bonnie Benjamin -FIRED as Catamount
Manager then Wedding/Event Director for 5 years who loved her
job coordinating weddings; and Rich Fuqua - FIRED after 6 months
as Head of Sales after being quoted in a November Freeman article
that the Sales & Wedding revenues were $700,000.00 last
year. There was also the consortium of local businesses that
was hired to develop and implement the re-branding marketing
that was terminated.
Dean Gitter, in a Daily Freeman article appearing on January
16, 2005 in the Business Review & Forecast had said that
he was committed to providing career paths in hospitality management
but he found the pool of even minimally skilled applicants to
be too small. He is quoted as saying that "It's a small
labor pool and as we've grown, we've had to reach further and
further out to get the people we need." Perhaps, Dean,
this is less a result of flight out of the area, and more a
direct result of the new C.E.O., Mr. Wright and the administration
tactics he employs that has shed valuable workers from the workforce
either by being ruthlessly fired or the employees choosing to
resign because they don't believe in the leadership or direction
that Emerson Place is being given.
RESIGNING or YOU’RE FIRED at Catskill Corners and Emerson
Place seems to be the tragic trend. So much for the locals,
and a major portion of the international management staff that
helped to achieve each of the awards for the entire complex.
Who is this new C.E.O. Mr. Ted Wright? Maybe Dean Gitter your
Mr. Wright isn’t that RIGHT after all.
Big Indian, NY
Last month, after the Ulster County Legislature approved $7,000.00
for the Federated sportsmen's Club, several articles noted that
the Woodstock Film Festival is one of 33 "outside agencies"
that the county funds annually. Although the festival does receive
county funding - for which it is appreciative - it should be
noted that there is great disparity in allocation: for 2005,
the Legislature granted the festival $500.00.
According to current economic impact indicators, the annual
benefits of the Woodstock Film Festival result in more than
two million dollars worth of local revenue. These dollars are
spent on jobs, tourism, promotion, and local businesses including
vendors, venues, bed & breakfasts, hotels, restaurants,
gas stations, incidentals, and much more.
The Woodstock Film Festival, a not-for-profit, 501 (C)(3) organization
has a six year track record of presenting an annual program
and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities
that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.
The Woodstock Film Commission, under the auspices of WFF, has
successfully promoted sustainable economic development by attracting
and supporting film, video and media production.
Recent productions include the Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise
"War of the Worlds" project, and the Paul Reiser,
Peter Falk film "The Thing About My Folks," among
While we are grateful that the UC Legislature saw fit to include
us in their annual budget, we sincerely hope the legislators
will further support our efforts to sustain local economic development.
Woodstock Film Festival
They sure dislike to tell the truth in regards to the twin tower
buildings going completely down by being hit by two terror piloted
planes. First is that fuel oil burns at 1800 degrees while steel
melts at 2900 degrees so No Cause. Second is that there was
corruption by permitting the steel beams by cutting the bottom
and middle flanges so that construction was made easy in placing
the cross beams on the outside beams. Another reason was because
thousands of holes for telephone lines were drilled on the floor
on the insides of each outer walls opposite each other from
the bottom to the top floors.
I have found out this from an old retired iron worker who worked
on the twin towers plus I also worked on two similar buildings
50 years ago when I belonged to Union no. 2448. There were no
telephone cables those days.
I have been a member of the Krumville Reformed Church. We have
had a wonderful Elder for the past twelve years. Recently he
had to leave for health reasons. I was asked to find a replacement.
I managed to find a few but not on a permanent basis. It's very
discouraging to both of us when only four or five people attend.
I'm afraid that if we don't get a better attendance we will
not only lose our Elder but our little church as well. New Members
are welcome. Services are Sundays at 10:30AM.