The members of the Odd Fellows Lodge 491 in Olivebridge, as well
as the Actors and Writers group, wish to offer their heartfelt
thanks for the beautiful sign Mr. Kurt Boyer, of Eagle Signs in
West Shokan, hand crafted and so generously donated to our historic
old building. Mr. Boyer has the ability to craft signs in the
antique style, as so well evidenced here, as well as modern carved
and painted signs for the purposes of today. He expressed his
opinion to us that this community is unique and that, having become
a part of it, he was happy to help our restoration efforts by
rejuvenating some the old flavor to this cherished building. We
are privileged to be in the position to display his craftsmanship
and artistry, and take this time to express our sincere gratitude.
Simply put, if the Catskill Corners project is allowed to go ahead
it would put an end to life as we know it here in the Catskills.
I think most people overlook the obvious. It's easy to see the
impact this resort would have on general environmental concerns
but how about the "energy." Yea, OK, I said it, the
"energy." What I mean by the "energy" is the
true reason why anyone lives in and Loves this area. It's the
"energy" in these Catskill Mountains that emit a great
and peaceful power for they truly are sacred mountains.
They put off a subtle but powerful force, the same intensity you
get when you go to the ocean or witness a hurricane or volcano.
These are definable effects. The one undefined effect is the energy
effect. It is a power everyone knows exists, but because it is
from the element "Ether" rather then Water or Air or
Fire, it is not easily understood or recognized but we all know
it is there. Do not underestimate the effect this resort will
have on this powerful energy in our lives.
When you go to the top of any mountain in the Catskills at sunset
you can see the energy. It is the purple mountain majesty. Why
do you think it is so powerful here? Go south and feel the "energy."
It is flat and cold and yellow. Here in the Catskills, it is warm,
purple and mystical. I don't know about you but I don't go any
where in the summer. Where can you go on vacation when you live
in the Catskills? You are already there.
This is the true reason for the resort. It is because the principles
of the project see the power of it and they want to make money
on it. Nothing is wrong with this practice if you are a true American.
So far we Americans have demonstrated that everything is put here
for our use. Kill it, cut it; or just bulldoze it away - it is
our right as humans! Right? If you have more money and the right
connections on the town board and in the NY Assembly then you
should exercise your true rights as an American businessman and
go for it.
Well, I am an American and I can see what this resort would do
to the energy of the area and most everyone who lives here. We
have all made sacrifices to live here. Making money is just one
of them. The winters are hard and we really can't have a garden
and how about those black flies? But we all put up with it and
why? Would it not be better to go elsewhere and make a living
if money was the only issue? Why are we all here? It's the energy!
Please do not allow a few people who have money interest to manipulate
capitalistic powers to befit the few when so much is at stake.
If you think CVS was hot, then wake up and check out what is about
to get dumped in your back yard! Please contact your congressman,
town board, newspaper, DEC, CHA and so on, and say something!
Don't let Mother Nature get raped right in your back yard and
stand there and watch. Let's start to be true Americans as we
were intended to be. Protect our Mother, Re-Spect our environment
and beware, as God exists in every Thing! My Love to all.
Mt. Tremper, NY
Last week Chris Olney, one of the staff directors of the Catskill
Center in Arkville, wrote to complain about the fact that 150+
labor type folks showed up at the last Belleayre Resort hearing
to state their case for the construction and resort jobs this
project would bring to the area. According to Mr. Olney, these
labor proponents were "rowdy." I don't know what planet
he was on that night but the only rowdiness came from his own
supporters (Catskill Center Members?) trying to drown out people
speaking in favor of the project.
Mr. Olney goes on to accuse labor proponents of presenting their
case as "jobs vs. the environmentalists"; that "they
were simply motivated by money and showed up to say what they
were told to say." I guess Mr. Olney wasn't listening when
one of the labor leaders stated most clearly that, if the project
could not be built in accordance with environmental rules and
regulations, then it shouldn't be built...period.
I guess Mr. Olney didn't notice that his pal, Eric Goldstein,
an attorney for the NYC-based NRDC, the group that refused to
support or endorse the 1997 Memorandum of Agreement because the
proposed regulations restricting life in the watershed weren't
draconian enough, was leading and orchestrating a pack of outsiders
to speak against the project. Maybe Mr. Olney should look to pin
the charge of creating "divisiveness" on his comrades
from NYC and not a group of hard working laborers from Delaware,
Ulster Greene and Sullivan counties seeking decent paying jobs.
Mr. Olney laments the fact that on his modest salary he can't
afford to buy "a couple hundred of acres of land to hunt
on...and keep a few cows on." Maybe he should ask the Catskill
Center for a raise (a big raise!) or maybe like the labor folks,
he should concern himself with the fact that it's the lack of
decent paying jobs in our area that forces so may young people
to flee in droves; it's the reason that so many parents here worry
how they'll pay for their kids education; it's the reason that
so many families here depend on the income from two or more jobs
to make ends meet.
Finally, Mr. Olney opines that "low-paying jobs at the resort
will not keep people here when land values and property taxes
spurred by the resort escalate." According to information
released by the resort developers in 2002, the resort will generate
542 full-time jobs paying an average wage of about $30,000. Of
those 542 jobs, 111 would pay an average of $48,500. On top of
this, resort workers would receive a number of fringe benefits
(health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacations, etc.) as
well as tip and/or bonus income. This doesn't sound like "low-paying
jobs" to me, but maybe Mr. Olney knows of better job opportunities
in the area.
As for his assertion that the resort will spur an increase in
land values and taxes, Mr. Olney has at least got it half right.
In all probability, the resort will likely cause some increase
in land values. So, for those local people who one day might want
to sell their home or business, chances are they'll get more for
their property if the resort gets built.
As for property taxes, the resort should in fact lead to lower
taxes for all, so long as municipal and school officials do not
spend all of the windfall in new tax revenues the resort is expected
In conclusion, Mr. Olney would cynically dismiss the plea by a
group of local labor leaders as nothing more than "noise,"
"a superficial...show of support," "a commodity
bought by the developer."
And what was their plea?
It was to ask for a fair, balanced and objective review of the
project by organizations such as the Catskill Center.
From the tone and content of Mr. Onley's letter, it's clear that
he and presumably his employer - the Catskill Center - have a
Mt. Tremper, NY
The appearance, and quick disappearance, of scores of building
trades union members at the February 19 hearing on the Belleayre
mega-resort offered impressive evidence of union solidarity and
served as a perfect object-lesson in who will really profit if
this resort is built. Their leaders having signed a preliminary
agreement with Gitter's Crossroads Ventures, the rank- and-file
duly turned out, applauded "their" speakers, talked
through opponents' speeches, and rose to their feet when
instructed to do so by an arm-waving union rep down front. I talked
with a number of the brotherhood outside the auditorium, and not
one of them had any notion about the issues involved. A few were
honest enough to express surprise that their "opponents"
were not millionaire NIMBY-ites but schoolchildren, small business
owners, homemakers, and a school superintendent worried about
traffic. The union members began leaving after their leaders had
spoken:, and all were gone by the dinner break ˜ no doubt,
as one speaker said, because they had so far to go to get home.
That is why their appearance is such an apt metaphor. If the mega-resort
is built, these construction workers will show up in the morning
and depart by sunset, taking their paychecks with them. Their
economic contribution, if any, will be the price of lunch. They
will not be here at night, they will not be here on week-ends,
and when the thing is built, they'll move on to the next
job. They will have gotten theirs, which is all they were clamoring
for that Thursday night, and those of us who live here and/or
cherish the public land here will be left with the consequences
ˆ our long-tern economic engine, the wild Catskill forest
preserve, ruined for the short-term benefit of a few
While reading the Olive Press, I came across a letter written
by a Stuart Root. This letter had so much to say about Mr. Root's
financial concerns of the Crossroads project, that I decided to
see just what expertise he had. It seems that Mr. Root has a very
rounded background in financial matters. In f act he is named
as one of the conspirators that cost the taxpayers of this country
many billions, yes billions of dollars through his remedies to
the savings and loan collapse. This information is covered in
the book titled, " ŒThe Greatest Ever Bank Robbery"
by the distinguished business journalist Martin Mayer. Mr. Root
was a participant in the most embarrassing financial calamity
of this nation to date.
Another interesting piece of reading is titled "Project
Hammer Reloaded" by noted crime reporter David Guyatt. This
outlines Mr. Root's involvement with the international plundering
of Nazi loot and Japan's WW2 stolen gold hordes. One can
only wonder why good old Mr. Root would come out in the light
of day after such a distinguished financial career just to comment
on the Crossroads project's financial health , when it appears
his own financial advice does not have such a good track record.
Mr. Root said that this project will never get funded. If that
is the case then it will never get built! Sp just what is his
problem, he could have saved himself a long drive. I wonder which
one of his cronies is paying him for his involvement? Maybe, if
I spend a little more time on the Internet I will find just who
his benefactor is.
Big Indian, NY
Rumor has it that there is someone around that does not believe
that Bush stole the 2000 election. Perhaps it is a matter of semantics.
Bush beat Gore by 537 votes.
In the months prior to the November 2000 election, Florida Governor
Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State, Katherine Harris ordered
election supervisors to purge 57,000 voters from registries on
the grounds that they were felons not entitled to vote in Florida.
It turns out these voters were not felons, at most,a handful.
The voters on this "scrub list" were, notably African
American (about 54 percent), and most of the others wrongly eliminated
were white and Hispanic Democrats.
Florida signed a $4 million dollar contract with DBT Online since
merged into Choicepoint of Atlanta. Florida is the only state
that pays a private company to provide a list for "cleansing"
voter rolls. Early in 2000 Choicepoint gave Florida officials
a list with the names of 8,000 ex-felons to scrub from their list
of voters. It turns out none on the list were guilty of felonies,
only misdemeanors such as drunk driving, (like their Governor's
brother, George W. Bush). The company acknowledged the error and
blamed it on the original source of the list - the state of Texas.
Choicepoint spokesman Martin Fagan concedes his company's
error. ("I guess that's a little embarrassing in light
of the election.") He defends the company's overall
performance, dismissing the errors in 8,000 names as a "minor
glitch", less than one-tenth of one percent of the electorate,
(though the total is 15 times Bush's lead over Gore). Mr.
Fagan, added Choicepoint is responsible only for turning over
its raw list, which is then up to Florida officials to test and
This is, of course, only part of what went "wrong"
in the 2000 presidential election in Florida and led to the selection
of George W. Bush.
Mount Tremper, NY
It has been widely reported that Ulster County District Attorney
Donald Williams has charged New Paltz Village Mayor Jason West
with 19 counts criminal counts of performing illegal marriages
for same-sex couples. New York State law codifies solemnizing
marriages of couples that have no licenses as a misdemeanor offense.
Mr. Williams was quoted saying: "State law says a public
official can't preside over a marriage unless a marriage
license is presented to him. It is not for this prosecutor and
certainly not for a part-time mayor to take it on their own initiative
to ignore that law." (New York Daily News) and "I
cannot ignore charges that an elected official may have broken
the law." (New York Times)
Donald Williams has proven himself to be a hypocrite. Four years
ago, when I was serving as a Town Councilman, I joined a group
of concerned citizens in petitioning Mr. Williams' office
to prosecute documented cases of voter fraud involving elected
officials in the Town of Denning. We submitted clear and compelling
evidence of criminal activity including fraudulent absentee ballots,
a signed affidavit of confession, and an order from the New York
State Supreme Court permanently enjoining the opening of a fraudulent
ballot. But all was to no avail as District Attorney Williams
failed to prosecute the case. New York State Election Law section
17-132 codifies voter fraud as a felony.
Why would our public prosecutor selectively enforce a misdemeanor
and not a felony? How is the integrity of public office best protected
in our county if our district attorney arbitrarily applies his
The debate over same-sex marriage will surely continue to be hotly
contested, but what does that have to do the fair application
of justice in preserving the integrity of our elected officials?
It is most unfortunate that our County District Attorney, on whom
we depend to safeguard us from the proliferation of criminal activity,
has decided to abuse his position of authority in such a capricious
manner. I am both saddened and disgusted that my county tax dollars
are being frittered away on the prosecution of a negligible offense
that will undoubtedly end up as nothing more than a political
grandstand. I am also angered that serious abuses of public office
continue to remain uninvestigated and unaddressed.
In regard to "Ginger Schnapp"'s recently published
Your proclamation that those who oppose you are ignorant is itself
born from ignorance. People in this community are refusing to
back down against Crossroads and are enforcing the democratic
process because they want all the information. They aren't
subdued by the questionable promise of jobs. They attend the hearings
to get more information and in their spare time weed through the
DEIS to try to understand what is going to take place. Speaking
of which did you actually attend the hearings? I only ask due
to a statement made in which you questioned the students protesting
and generalized about people from "far away" being
involved. Firstly, on what bases did you conclude that the students
were "coerced"? As one of them, I can tell you that
they attended because they cared to be there as the future of
this community. And were we supposed to look jazzed at the prospect
of our mountain being leveled? Forgive us for not posing for the
camera. Secondly, who came from far away? These fantastical fabrications
that supposedly were rallied didn't help much since they
didn't exist. WHO are you talking about? Everyone who attended
seemed to already have concluded which side they belonged to and
why, or went for the purpose on gathering more info, as was the
intent of the hearing. Before you start making general statements
you should get the facts straight.
Olive Bridge, NY
Letter to the new crew at Rhinebeck Aerodrome:
How does an old established organization incur the wrath and enmity
for what has for many years been a smooth running, community centered
and widely celebrated extravaganza? Answer; It shouldn't; but
you all have succeeded in destroying something like no other in
the world. The antics, artistry and aerobatics that so many of
us have seen [more than once] in the skies over Rhinebeck is about
to come to an end. We who have supported the efforts of
the Palens and their crew(s) are disgusted with the new board,
new CEO, new director(s) and the fact that there's nobody new
of any talent or value.
I concur with the letter that my brother, Lowell Anderson sent
you and I should like you to know that following the demise of
the Rhinebeck Aerodrome we would both demand that the [many] items
of the "Gustave Anderson Collection" [known as the "Lindburg
Era] donated to the Aerodrome Museum be returned to us so that
we might place them in another Aero-museum, either public or private.
I suspect that you new cowboys who have "rustled" the
Aerodrome feel that it's all yours. Wrong !!
How retarded could you be in "canning" Ken Cassens,
a man of impeccable credentials, doing yoeman work in building
a replica of "The Spirit of St. Louis"? He also repaired
or directed repairs on other antique "flying machines".
He acquired old authentic meters and guages, crafted wings, stringers
and struts and was an inspiration to the volunteers that you ignominiously
dismissed. This man was a drawing card as well as the craft that
flew or was exhibited. Having a conversation with Ken was like
talking to an aviation pioneer.
Well, good luck folks at Rhinebeck Aerodrome. We'll see you at
the auction in five years [or sooner]. Don't sell the donated
items. They are not yours.
The amendment would affect me personally as I am a pistol permit
holder. The people in my position and I will have to tighten our
belts; that will affect local merchants. If the amendment does
get enacted into law, then it is only a question of time before
the anti-gun lobby and the Democrats extend it to ALL firearms
owners. To avoid financial hardship many will have to dispose
of their firearms. Hunting will take a nose-dive. Firearms dealerships,
the upstate art of gunsmithy, the venison processing industry,
taxidermy, etc... would become extinct. The project that feeds
deer meat to NYS's poor will have to be cancelled. Deer population
will multiply and ravage farmers' crops. Wild fowl population
will explode and their droppings would affect the quality of NYC
Therefore, I respectfully URGE the Chambers of Commerce from upstate,
Delaware County Watershed Committee, NYCDEC, NYSDEP to pool their
resources together and hire a high-power, high-profile professional
lobbyist, who has 'unrestricted' access to the executive chamber;
perhaps an influential former Republican Assemblyman/Senator turned
lobbyist. The lobbyist will have to be able to quantify upstate
disgruntlement into numbers of votes the governor may lose in
re-election. Those die-hard downstate Democrats are NOT going
to vote for a Republican candidate, even if he takes anti-gun
stand to woo them. A disgruntled third party candidate may run
on a pro-gun stand with the endorsement of the National Rifle
Association. The governor should look in the history books for
the lessons taught by the likes of Ralph Nader and Ross Perot.
Shyamal K. Sen Gupta
Bovina Center, NY
The beauty of the United States Constitution is the freedoms that
it gives us. For example, if you don't want a same-sex marriage,
you don't have to have one. Furthermore, you're free to belong
to a religion that doesn't sanction them. Because of these Constitutional
freedoms, it's hard to understand the virulent opposition to same-sex
The 9th Amendment states: "The enumeration in the Constitution,
of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage
others retained by the people." The founders added this amendment
to guarantee that those fundamental rights not listed in the Constitution
must be respected by the national government. Certainly, legal
marriage and the 1,049 privileges of legal marriage (catalogued
by the government) from health insurance to hospital visitation
to social security benefits to inheritance rights are fundamental
The 14th Amendment states: "...No state shall make or enforce
any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities [rights]
of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive
any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process
of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws." Because same sex couples have broken
no laws by their choice in relationships, they are clearly entitled
by this amendment to the same privileges accorded to heterosexuals,
i.e. marriage rights.
The 1st Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech..." In other
words, church and state are separate entities. Much confusion
about same-sex marriage stems from a misunderstanding of this
basic American principle. In fact, two components to what we think
of as 'marriage' exist: the religious component and the legal
component. Although religious 'marriage' may discriminate, legal
'marriage' is prohibited from doing so. People associate marriage
with sacredreligious law, yet separate and aside from religious
law, marriage is a legal contract governed by state law. People
opposed to same-sex marriage on religious grounds need to recognize
Article 4, Sections 1 and 2 state: "Full faith and credit
shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and
judicial proceedings of every other state. . . . The citizens
of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities
[rights] of citizens in the several states." For example,
to drive across the country, one doesn't need 50 different driver's
licenses. Or, in the case of marriage, if one is married in Massachusetts,
the other 49 states must honor the marriage.
Although, President Bush calls for a Constitutional Amendment
to discriminate against 10 percent of Americans, and Congress,
as well as numerous states, has passed "The Defense of Marriage
Act," a simple reading of the U.S. Constitution will tell
you that all of these anti-same-sex marriage laws are unconstitutional.
But, despite the unconstitutional contortions that politicians
and the states may do, ultimately, same-sex marriage will be decided
by the Supreme Court who has a clear obligation to rule according
to the Constitution. And even if, when same-sex marriage finally
wends its way to the hallowed halls, partisan justices prevent
the clear intent of the Constitution from prevailing, another
more democratic court in the future will approve marriage rights
for all citizens. We will probably live to see it.
So why are Americans wasting the time, the legal costs, the cultural
aggravation? The fact is when same- sex couples are afforded equal
rights, nothing much will change for the larger culture. No one
will make your religion perform same-sex marriages. No one will
take your heterosexual lifestyle away. Nothing will change except
the U.S. will become a more democratic nation.
As usual, President Bush has it wrong again; marriage isn't the
foundation of society, but "thou shalt not kill" is.
Killing is the end of society, the end of civilization, and there
are many ways of killing; racism, sexism, arrogance, intolerance,
lies and superiority are all examples. In our country, we've done
it all, to Native Americans, blacks, women, all new immigrant
groups and gays, lesbians and transsexuals. All are victims of
the ways of killing.
"Marriage is a pact between a man and a woman," sayeth
George and others, but homophobia is the motivating force that
drives this belief, the fear of that which is within. The ultimate
hypocrisy is offered up as "we believe those folks can cure
themselves of their affliction if they would only work at it,
but there's nothing wrong with us." Rather than cop to their
own fear, which would be a giant step toward normalcy, they hide
behind God or other "truths." They want to control minds
and behavior and call the result the foundation of civilization,
the bedrock of society.
Marriage should be a socially recognized contract between people,
whoever they may be, and for those who have a problem with that,
let them look at the faces full of joy and love of the couples
getting married, as a recent editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle
pointed out. Let them look at those happy faces and try to empathize
with the humanity there.