Briefs March 30, 2006)
Deputy New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Mike Principe, who announced his imminent retirement
in recent weeks, has sent a letter to the town noting that
the city will begin repairs on several of its roads and bridges,
as long requested. And although the DEP states that regular
inspections since 2004 have shown all its spans to be in safe
order, it has started to prioritize repairs, starting with
the the bridges over the Dividing Weir crossing the Ashokan
Reservoir and including the span that crosses the CMRR tracks
leading to the Dividing Weir.
Principe explained in his letter that the repair delays, and
long hiatus before a 500 plus signature petition from local
residents was answered, were necessitated by the city’s
need to go through the same environmental reviews and other
administrative hurdles as all municipal entities.
Actual dates for repairs have yet to be made, and will hopefully
take into account the long detours necessary with any closures
of the Dividing Weir, as occured for security reasons following
the 9/11 tragedy.
The Ulster County Legislature exed out three jobs from two
departments recently, giving the county a net savings of $53,000,
with more expected through a new management program that added
a pair of paralegal positions to oversee future government
contracts. It’s all part of the new Democratic majority’s
struggle to deal with a $300.25 million budget, voted in by
their Republican predecessors, that led the state with a 39
percent increase in the tax levy and which will, they were
recently told, force a budget deficit of $1.15 million if
spending or revenue adjustments aren’t made.
The legislature has since requested a five percent cut from
all departments and cut funding for 16 nonprofit agencies
by nearly 60 percent and eliminated aid altogether for another
The only restoration they made, after considerable lobbying,
was $30,000 in contingent match funds to the Ulster County
School-to-Work Partnership, which had seen its $60,000 allocation
Also eliminated by the Legislature was $3,000 for the Shandaken
Theatrical Society; $2,000 for the Trolley Museum of New York;
and $500 each for Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen, Catskill Ballet
Theatre Co., Historical Society of Woodstock, the Kingston
Rep Co., the Truth Project, D&H Canal Historical Society,
Unison Art & Learning Center, Friends of Historic Kingston,
Historical Society of Shawangunk & Gardiner, Ulster Ballet
Guild, and Huguenot Historical Society of New Paltz. With
the School-to-Work program, the cuts total $70,500.
Agencies that maintained some funding were: Ulster County
Library Association, $100,000, a 50 percent reduction; Ulster
Performing Arts Center, $2,500, a decrease of $9,500, or 79.17
percent; Ulster County Community Action, $15,000, a decrease
of $5,000, or 25 percent; Hudson River Maritime Museum, $1,000,
a decrease of $5,000, or 83.33 percent; Federated Sportsmen’s
Clubs of Ulster County, $2,500, a decrease of $4,500, or 64.29
percent; Mohonk Preserve, $1,000, a decrease of $3,500, or
77.78 percent; Resource Center for Accessible Living, $2,000,
a decrease of $3,000, or 60 percent; Retired Senior Volunteer
Program, $7,500, a reduction of $2,500, or 25 percent; Court
Appointed Special Advocates, $18,000, a reduction of $2,000,
or 10 percent; Shadowland Theatre, $1,500, a decrease of 50
percent; Ulster Literacy Association, $1,000, a decrease of
50 percent; Ulster County Arts Council and Ulster Arts Alliance,
$500, a 50 percent reduction; Woodstock Film Festival, $250,
a 50 percent reduction; Center for Photography at Woodstock,
Ulster County Historical Society, and Women’s Studio
Workshop, $250 each, a 50 percent reduction. County officials
did not include on the cut list a $3,000 funding item for
the Ulster County Agricultural Society, which represents a
50 percent cut. Officials said negotiations are ongoing with
the agency, which organizes the Ulster County Fair.
Ulster County lawmakers have approved funding the county half
of $6.21 million in upgrades at Ulster County Community College
under the first phase of a six-year plan that will see some
non-emergency improvements delayed to 2007. A longer schedule
was set in an effort to keep in step with budget deficit reduction
steps being taken by other departments.
Trash Fee Hike?
Because of increasing monthly losses tied to riusing fuel
and outside hauling and disposal costs, the town is currently
eying rises in the fees for the town’s transfer station.
Exacerbated by dropping subsidy shares from the county and
rising Resource Recovery Agency costs to participating transfer
stations, the town is looking into a cost basis for recycling.
Fees have already gone up from $2 to $2.50 per bag of household
garbage in the past year, as well as for commercial haulers,
who have compensated by raising their own rates for homeowners.
Expect further discussion of these matters at the town’s
next workshop and board meetings in Shokan this coming week.
The Jail (Again)...
The primary contractor on the Ulster County Law Enforcement
Center project, David Christa Construction, has submitted
a bill that is nearly $8 million more than county officials
anticipated, potentially pushing the overall cost of the project
above $92 million. Legislators have said they will fully investigate
the claim before paying… a new practice unlike that
seen in the past, when the project started its slip into two
years and $12 million beyond expectations, before the latest
The county has said the county balance owed to David Christa
Construction is $1.45 million.
Meanwhile, Sheriff J. Richard Bockelmann has said he needs
eight new hires and three months of staff training before
he can show state officials the county’s nearly completed
Law Enforcement Center is ready to operate properly with his
department meeting state Commission of Correction standards.
The Republican official has also come under fire of late for
the lavishness of his new offices.
Bovis Lend Lease, one of the nation’s top contracting
firms, was let go by the legislature earlier this year after
having been paid $3.5 million since being hired in 2000. Legal
actions are currently expected.
State Commission of Correction officials have provided Ulster
County legislators with a list of problems that need to be
addressed before the county’s new jail is allowed to
house inmates, including texture problems on kitchen flooring,
the need for outdoor exercise screens, various equipment needs,
and the employment problems referenced by the sheriff.
Lawyers for Christa Construction, it later turned out, have
agreed to negotiate their payment request if the legislature
holds off placement of blame for problems to date… at
least for now.
Many lawsuits and investigations involving the project are
At the Tuesday, March 7, Olive town board meeting, Ulster
County Charter Commission member Marianne Collins presented
the commission’s recommendations for renovation of the
county government. Reading from a four-and-a-half-page summary,
Collins offered few embellishments and concluded by offering
to answer questions. When none came, she cited the most commonly
asked question, whether the changes would cost taxpayers more
money, and answered, in summary, “No.”
After fifteen months of work, the charter commission has issued
its endorsements and is now presenting them to town boards
and interested members of the public. Among the recommendations
are the reduction in size of the legislature from 33 to 23
legislators, as already approved by public referendum. The
commission endorsed single-member districting, plurality winner,
and partisan election. Suggestions for governing redistricting
every ten years, following census-taking, include establishment
of an independent, nonpartisan, seven-member commission on
The charter commission unanimously voted to endorse election
of a county executive with a four-year term of office and
no limit on the number of terms a person may serve. Although
hiring of a non-elected executive was considered, Collins
said the decision was based on testimony from citizens and
government officials, who stated that “in every single
case, elected executives are more effective at interacting
with other layers of government, and they have clear accountability.”
Other recommendations include listing of separate powers and
duties for the legislative and executive branches of county
government, as well as definition of roles of certain boards,
department heads, committees, and the Ulster County Development
Regarding the cost of the revised structure, Collins pointed
out that the current county tax increase of 39.1 percent is
twelve times higher than the mean increase statewide of 3.3
percent. Per capita spending in charter counties is currently
only slightly higher than in non-charter counties, $124 per
capita as opposed to $119 per capita, while Ulster’s
rate exceeds both of these figures. “We reviewed a great
deal of data,” said Collins, “and there is no
empirical evidence to imply that our costs will increase.”
To view the charter, visit www.ulstercountyny.gov/charter.html.
Plan D Deadline
Seniors need another six months to sign up for the Medicare
prescription drug benefit, Congressional Democrats, including
our own Maurice Hinchey, have started saying in light of the
upcoming May 15 cutoff deadline for the Medicare Plan D Prescription
Drug benefit that President Bushg has steadfastly refused
to consider extenbding. They are saying that people eligible
for the prescription benefit are confused by the various offerings,
and some are even paying more for medicine now than they were
before they joined the program. A re-think of the entire program
Those who sign up for the new program after May 15 will have
to pay higher premiums, according to the plan up and running
Seniors complain they’re confused by the myriad of private
options offered in the prescription drug program. Many poor
people ran into problems when they were switched over from
their drug benefits within Medicaid, the health insurance
program for the poor, to the Medicare drug benefit. And many
pharmacists are struggling because they haven’t been
paid for drugs administered by the program.
Hinchey is introducing a pair of bills to ameliorate some
of the immediate problems faced by senior citizens enrolled
in the Medicare Part D drug plan. The Congressman has co-sponsored
the proposed Medicare Emergency Drug Intervention Compensation
Act that would guarantee that states would be reimbursed for
their outlays for the program.
Hinchey has also co-sponsored The Medicare Informed Choice
Act that would allow seniors to sign up for Medicare Part
D without paying a late fee. The bill would also allow beneficiaries
to make a one-time change in enrollment if they are dissatisfied
with the plan they have selected.
The fundamental problem with the Medicare Part D program,
said Hinchey, is the fact that it was designed as a benefit
for insurance and drug companies. The law was passed without
the usual public hearings, testimony by experts and extensive
debate, he asserted. Rather, said Hinchey, it was essentially
drafted by the pharmaceutical industry, with the better part
of the approximately $1.2 trillion estimated cost of the program
over the next 10 years going mainly to big pharma.
The plan passed narrowly after an unusual three-hour delay
during voting. During that time, reluctant Republican representatives
“were bribed and threatened to make them vote for it,”
The long-term solution, said Hinchey, is to scrap this privatized
plan and allow seniors to register for a plan administered
by the federal Medicare program. This should offer a low annual
payment, low co-payments and should cover all drugs. The congressman
has cosponsored the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Act,
which would allow every senior citizen to choose a Medicare-sponsored
plan with a monthly premium of $35, low out-of-pocket expenses
and no gap in coverage. The bill also requires CMS to negotiate
with the companies for discounts.
Hinchey was not hopeful that any of these bills would be passed.
Until a different Congress is elected, the law will remain
on the books as is.
The Veterinary Technology Club at Ulster County Community
College will hold a rabies clinic and wellness fair for dogs
and cats on the college’s Stone Ridge campus on Sunday,
April 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Rabies shots will be
provided at a cost of $5 per animal. Animals must be restrained
by a leash or carrier. In the event of rain, the clinic will
be held April 23. Advance registration is not required. For
information phone (845) 687-5233.
New York City Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff announced plans recently
to include flood prevention measures in the reconstruction
of the Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County, adding that he hoped
the measure would send a message to upstate communities that
the city is “trying to do better.”
“New York City is committed to providing that relief
to the residents downstream,” he said. “On behalf
of myself and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I would like to thank
them for their patience and understanding during this difficult
The reservoir spill control program at Gilboa will be modeled
after measures already in place at two other city-owned reservoirs
in the region, the Pepacton and the Neversink. During the
winter at those two reservoirs, the city maintains voids in
the reservoirs equal to one-half of the melted snow pack surrounding
each reservoir. Absent any significant snow pack, the Department
of Environmental Protection maintains the voids at a level
equal to the amount of water that would run off into each
reservoir from a one-inch rainfall occurring over a six-hour
Since problems were identified at Gilboa, the city has been
reducing water levels in the Schoharie Reservoir via the Shandaken
Tunnel, which empties into the Esopus Creek in the Shandaken
hamlet of Allaben. The release has raised concerns among residents
in the Esopus Creek corridors above and below the Ashokan
Reservoir that there could be a repeat of last year’s
devastating floods this spring.
The opening of old flood channels through the Ashokan Field
Campus in Olive have helped alleviate fears from residents
downstream of that reservoir, but more specific actions regarding
Ashokan Reservoir and Esopus Creek flood control measures
have yet to be made.
On an ongoing basis over approximately the last two years,
NRDC (Brad Sewell), Sierra Club (John Stouffer), Riverkeeper
(Leila Goldmark), NY Trout Unlimited (Ron Urban) and other
conservation organizations have compiled and reviewed wetlands
jurisdictional determinations made by the New York and Buffalo
district offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which
are the two Corps district offices covering New York State.
To date, they have reviewed files for over 330 sites at which
the Corps determined it had “no jurisdiction”
to protect the site’s wetlands. The determinations were
made during the period 2001-2005.
The purpose of the coalition’s study is to assess the
continuing extent to which wetlands in New York State that
are clearly under a development threat (as indicated by the
owner’s interest in seeking the jurisdictional determination)
are not being provided federal protection because they are
considered “isolated” wetlands. Such wetlands
would thus be solely reliant on New York State’s and/or
local regulatory programs for protection.
A New York State Local Government Records Improvement Fund
grant initiative has been awarded to the County Clerk’s
Office to develop a teaching aid package utilizing Immigration
and Naturalization Records. The Ulster County Clerk’s
Office, Mid-Hudson Teacher Center and the New York State Archives
is hosting a workshop entitled “The Builders of Ulster
County” to introduce a new curriculum developed using
these local records to teach immigration in grades 4 –
8, to be held on Tuesday, May 9 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in Room
1907 of the Old Main Building on the SUNY New Paltz campus.
Using local records from repositories in Ulster County, including
the County Clerk’s Office, the Senate House State Historic
Site, the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection and Library,
and the D & H Canal Museum, Susan Stessin-Cohn has created
a curriculum for classroom teachers through a grant from the
New York State Archives. The curriculum addresses the need
to study immigration, while developing ELA and mathematical
skills in real context. It was developed with the New York
State Social Studies tests in mind. The focus on local immigration
and the stories of people in places with familiar names like
Kingston and Gardiner will get the students’ interest.
Experiencing this curriculum enhances students’ higher-level
reasoning skills with activities that require analysis, interpretation
To register for “The Builders of Ulster County: A Workshop
Using Local Records to Teach Immigration in Grades 4-8”
(Course #1-0506101), visit the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center website
at www.mhtc.dcboces.org and click on the link for “On-line
Registration”. If you are in a school district that
is a member of My Learning Plan, please go to your district’s
website and click on Mid-Hudson Teacher Center to access offerings
and follow your district’s approval policy. The registration
deadline is April 28, 2006.
For any additional information, please call (845) 340-3040.
Federal aid to help the poor cope with energy costs will increase
by $1 billion to more than $3 billion this year, despite the
opposition of congressmen and senators from warm states. The
$1 billion, on top of $2.1 billion already allotted for the
current budget year, was obtained by transferring money originally
intended for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. Under a compromise
worked out in the Senate, half of the new money would be distributed
according to an existing formula that would favor warm weather
states while the other half would be spent at the discretion
of the president.
A federal appeals court has overturned a clean-air regulation
issued by the Bush administration that would have let many
power plants, refineries and factories avoid installing costly
new pollution controls to help offset any increased emissions
caused by repairs and replacements of equipment. Ruling in
favor of a coalition of states and environmental advocacy
groups, including New York, the United States Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit said the “plain
language” of the law required a stricter approach. The
court has primary jurisdiction in challenges to federal regulations.
The ruling by a three-judge panel was the court’s second
decision in less than a year in a pair of closely related
cases involving the administration’s interpretations
of a complex section of the Clean Air Act. Unlike its ruling
last summer, when the court largely upheld the E.P.A.’s
approach against challenges from industry, state governments
and environmental groups, the new ruling was a defeat for
the agency and for industry, and a victory for the states
and their environmentalist allies.
With a wry footnote to Lewis Carroll’s “Through
the Looking Glass,” the court said that “only
in a Humpty-Dumpty world” could the law be read otherwise.
The provision of the law at issue, the “new source review”
section, governs the permits required at more than 1,300 coal-fueled
power plants around the country and 17,000 factories, refineries
and chemical plants that spew millions of tons of pollution
into the air each year.
Wal Mart Bank
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has been subjected to months of
criticism from community bankers and unions for its plan to
open a specialized bank, is gaining some powerful allies:
some of the nation’s biggest companies. The Bentonville,
Ark., retailer is the target of intense lobbying to scuttle
its application to operate an industrial-loan company, or
ILC. ILCs allow retailers, auto makers and others to offer
consumer loans and other banking services directly to their
customers, as well as perform transactional business for their
Banks, worried about looming competition from a retailer known
for its aggressive pricing, have put Wal-Mart on the defensive
by arguing that mixing banking and commerce could pose risks
to the financial system because industrial banks are regulated
less stringently than commercial banks.
But a number of the most-recognized companies disagree, swarming
Capitol Hill to convince lawmakers to protect the use of this
kind of state-chartered bank. The American Financial Services
Association, a trade group representing companies such as
General Motors Corp., General Electric Co., Toyota Motor Corp.
and others that operate ILCs, plan to testify in hearings
next month on whether Wal-Mart should get federal deposit
insurance if state banking regulators allow the retailer to
proceed with its plans. Several major Wall Street firms, which
own ILCs, also are lobbying behind the scenes to protect industrial
banks, worried that the anti-Wal-Mart movement will endanger
their business operations.
Jane Thompson, president of Wal-Mart Financial Services, said
critics are relying on misinformation to undermine its applications
for a charter in Utah and FDIC insurance. She said Wal-Mart’s
bank would help cut $5 million to $10 million a year from
its stores’ various processing costs for credit-card,
debit-card and electronic-check transactions.
Ms. Thompson said the retailer’s application explicitly
says Wal-Mart won’t open branches. “We’re
committed not to [open branches]. Period,” she said.
Meanwhile, a group of New York state legislators wants Wal-Mart
and other retailers to pay more for employees’ health
care so taxpayers won’t have to.For the third time in
two months, a bill was announced that would go after large
employers whose workers wind up on Medicaid or other state-sponsored
health care programs. Sponsors say retailers are encouraging
low-wage employees to seek out Medicaid. The result: Taxpayers
are footing the health bills of full-time workers because
their employers are not, they said. The bill, if approved,
could affect as many as 450,000 workers in New York, backers
The State Assembly for passing legislation that will give
New York towns a powerful new tool to preserve “community
character.” Known as the Community Preservation Act,
the law gives municipalities the power to voluntarily create
a fund dedicated to protecting natural areas and water resources,
working farms, and historic buildings. The Community Preservation
Act benefits New Yorkers by removing the obstacle of seeking
legislative approval to fund local efforts.
The Community Preservation Act now moves to the Senate where
it is sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino and has more than
enough votes to pass; thirty-two Senators have already requested
to cosponsor the bill. Introduced in the Assembly in 2004,
the bill enjoys bi-partisan support and majority sponsorship
in both houses. Governor Pataki has also announced his support
for the policy, which is echoed by a growing coalition of
more than 50 conservation, farm, historic preservation, and
municipal organizations, including the New York Farm Bureau
and the New York Association of Towns.
For more information on the Community Preservation Act, visit:
The furor over efforts by an Arab company to buy U.S. port
operations has focused attention on a little noticed economic
fact of life: America increasingly is foreign-owned. From
the ritzy Essex House hotel in Manhattan, owned by the Dubai
Investment Group, to the nationwide chains of Caribou Coffee
and Church’s Chicken, owned by another company serving
Arab investors, foreigners are buying bigger and bigger chunks
of the country.
The U.S. must borrow more than $2 billion per day from foreigners
to finance its huge trade deficits. In 2005, for example,
there was a record deficit of $805 billion in the current
account, the broadest measure of trade.
Foreigners already own half of the U.S. government’s
publicly traded debt. As of January, some $2.19 trillion in
Treasury securities were in the hands of central banks, including
China and Japan, and private investors abroad.
At the end of 2004, the total foreign direct investment in
this country — actual factories, office buildings and
other tangible assets as opposed to stocks and bonds —
came to $1.53 trillion, 8.2 percent more than in 2003.
Preliminary results of a study of North Dakota farm children
exposed to pesticides show they performed significantly lower
than their peers on IQ tests, though their scores still are
within a range considered normal. The study two groups of
children in the northern Red River Valley, one group living
on or near an active farm or field, another living at least
a mile away. Children living on or near farms tested an average
of five points lower on standard IQ tests. The study, funded
by a branch of the National Institutes of Health, will go
on to determine whether there is a correlation between the
level of exposure to pesticides and performance on memory,
intelligence and other mental functions.
The researchers found the average intelligence score for the
farm children was 98 - still within the range of 85 to 115
that is considered normal but was well below the average IQ
score of 103 for the group with lower chronic exposures to
pesticides. Children living on farms also had lower scores
in verbal comprehension, visual perceptual reasoning, memory
and mental processing speed, the study found.
The study is an offshoot of a large epidemiological study
that UND researchers are conducting on chronic pesticide exposure
and degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s
Tax Info Sales
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is quietly moving to loosen
the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns.
If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers,
for the first time, will be able to sell information from
individual returns — or even entire returns —
to marketers and data brokers. The possible change is raising
alarm among consumer and privacy-rights advocates. It was
included in a set of proposed rules that the Treasury Department
and the IRS published in the Dec. 8 Federal Register, where
the official notice labeled them “not a significant
IRS officials portray the proposed changes as house-cleaning
measures needed to update outmoded regulations that were adopted
before the IRS began accepting returns electronically. The
proposed rules, which would become effective 30 days after
a final version is published, would require a tax preparer
to obtain written consent before selling tax information.
Critics call the proposed changes a dangerous new breach in
personal and financial privacy. They say the requirement for
signed consent would prove meaningless for many taxpayers,
especially those hurriedly reviewing stacks of documents before
a filing deadline.
Meanwhile, a variety of companies are trying to get their
hands on your tax refund before you do, and state law-enforcement
officials are cracking down on some of the practices. As the
April tax-filing deadline approaches, businesses from tax-preparation
firms to auto dealerships are offering consumers the opportunity
to put their expected refund checks to work weeks before the
IRS sends them out — often by loaning them the expected
amount for a high fee. Dozens of retailers, including Olive
Garden restaurants and AMC move theaters, have begun offering
gift cards in exchange for tax refunds to people who file
using TurboTax, the popular tax-preparation software. H&R
Block Inc. recently launched savings accounts for customers
to channel their tax refunds. And hundreds of car dealerships
will prepare your taxes if your refund is applied toward a
down payment on a car.
But state officials are clamping down on some of these programs,
claiming they saddle low and moderate-income families, recent
college graduates and others with high fees. Last year about
three of every four tax filers received a refund, according
to the Internal Revenue Service. Those refunds totaled nearly
$218 billion, or about $2,171 per household.
Last week, H&R Block, the nation’s biggest tax preparation
firm, was sued by New York’s attorney general for selling
so-called Express IRAs that allegedly earned less money than
what customers paid in fees. That action followed a lawsuit
last month against Block by California’s attorney general,
who accused the firm of charging fees that equate to annualized
interest rates that can exceed 500% on so-called refund-anticipation
loans, the popular instant refunds, which are loans that clients
repay when their refunds arrive.
Block said at the time that the California suit has “no
legal or factual merit,” and said it clearly discloses
the terms of its loans to consumers. The company also has
denied the charges in the New York lawsuit, saying its IRA
program offers its customers “a powerful first step
toward ensuring a secure financial future.”
Big Army Plans
The U.S. military has developed a ten-year plan for “deep
storage” of munitions and equipment in at least six
countries in the Middle East and Central Asia to prepare for
regional war contingencies. The plans, revealed this month
contracting documents, call for the continued storage of everything
from packaged meals ready to eat (MREs) to missiles in Bahrain,
Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman, as well as the establishment of two
new storage hubs, one in a classified Middle Eastern country
“west” of Saudi Arabia (“Site 23”)
and the other in a yet to be decided “central Asian
Though President Bush yhas expressed the view that U.S. forces
would stay in Iraq past 2008, the plans to continue to “pre-position”
war material in the Persian Gulf region leave ambiguous whether
the U.S. military foresees the ability to establish a permanent
present in Iraq in the long-term. By 2016, the contracting
documents show that the tonnage of air munitions stored at
sites outside Iraq will double from current levels.
Prior to Tuesday night’s meeting of the CWC, Olive supervisor
Berndt Leifeld was anticipating the introduction of a resolution
which would approve CWC president Alan Rosa’s sending
of notice to the Ulster County and Sullivan County legislatures
that if they intended to adopt the large parcel law option
this year, they’d better be prepared to also pay a share
of the legal fees expended in fighting New York City’s
continual efforts to lower tax appraisals on its upstate watershed
Since the CWC funds are designated for watershed towns and
only watershed towns, Leifeld reasons, then non-watershed
towns who benefit from the City’s payments by taking
a cut of the City’s watershed taxes should be obliged
to contribute to the legal defense fund against those lawsuits
seeking to diminish such payments.
Leifeld also said that the Nextel Corporation is expected
to present a bid to colocate their transmitters and receivers
on the cellphone tower which the Masterpage Corporation to
errect at the peak of South Mountain in West Shokan this Spring
at the town board meeting on Tuesday, April 4th.
New England, as well as downstate New York, could be in for
a big one. Meteorologists say conditions — including
warmer temperatures in the Atlantic Basin and cooler temperatures
in the Pacific Ocean — are ripe for the Northeast coast
to be hit by a whopper of a hurricane this season.
Ken Reeves, a senior meteorologist at the AccuWeather Center
in State College, Pa., said that when the Pacific is cooler,
it "essentially drives the storm track further to the
east in the Atlantic Ocean basin." He predicts the East
Coast north of the Mid-Atlantic states could see a Category
3 hurricane, a storm that could resemble the devastating systems
that hit New England between the 1930s and 1950s.
Batten down those hatches!