Dear Editor, On the first Sunday of April, during the recent
flood, two Girl Scout troops (Troop 1239 and Troop 1234) from
Croton-on-Hudson, NY were struggling to find our way home through
the Catskill Region of NY. We had 3 carloads of girls and 4
troop leaders. It was quite a harrowing experience, as we were
stopped each time we found a new way to get home by the ever-increasing
floodwaters. Just when we thought all hope was lost, and we
would be spending the night at a Motel, we met our kind stranger.
He heard us ask for directions, and instead of giving us yet
another set of directions, which might have brought us to another
closed road, he had us follow him, for 1/2 hour, until he found
a way onto the Thruway.
We neglected to get his name, and have no way of thanking the
man who led 16 girls and 4 women back and around the streets
of Kingston NY. What a wonderful lesson of kindness for our
girls, this unknown stranger, who spent part of his Sunday afternoon,
leading us through the city .We hope, perhaps, he might read
this newspaper, and feel our gratitude.
Girl Scout Troops 1239 and 1234
Croton On Hudson, NY
Late in the evening on Wednesday, March 23,20051 our family
experienced a medical emergency. I needed to get to the hospital
quickly but was unable to drive. In addition, due to the heavy
snowfall, the driving conditions were extremely hazardous, so
it was inappropriate for my wife with two small kids to drive
me. Our only recourse was to call 911.
Needless to say, no one would have chosen to drive in such bad
weather. Yet the Olive First Aid Unit’s volunteers responded
to my call and drove me to Benedictine Hospital for emergency
care. The Unit members acted with skill and efficiency, and
I felt totally confident in their abilities.
On behalf of my family and myself, I wish to express our deepest
appreciation to the Olive First Aid Unit for their response
and help at a critical time, especially under such severe weather
conditions. Their commitment to helping neighbors in distress
is both a tribute and an inspiration to our community. We are
extremely fortunate to have such volunteers, and we cannot thank
the Olive First Aid Unit enough.
Note: The Olive First Aid Unit was organized in 1973 and contracts
yearly with the Town of Olive to furnish general ambulance services
to persons within the Town. This not-for-profit corporation
operates on an around-the-clock basis and consists of volunteer
members who are trained in emergency medical procedures. They
currently maintain three, ambulances, which are housed individually
at 19 Church Street in Shokan, at the intersection of Grassy
Ridge Road and Sheldon Hill Road in Olivebridge, and at the
Town Highway Garage, 53 Watson Hollow Road in West Shokan.
West Shokan, NY
As Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature, I am reaching
out to residents and businesses imploring that we band together
in an effort to provide donations to the victims still suffering
from the flooding that devastated many areas in our county.
Several Ulster County agencies have already taken the necessary
steps toward securing state and federal grants that will help
provide financial assistance. The time needed to accurately
assess the loss of real property under state and federal guidelines
is, however, lengthy.
Additionally, many of the victims have experienced a total loss
of all personal belongings and are left without the basic necessities
of day-to-day life. It is my hope that we can unite during a
time of extreme need for many of our neighbors and help provide
some basic essentials by donating things such as: bottled water,
food, clothing, toiletries and, of course, monetary contributions.
If there are people that may have rooms available to rent or
would like to donate construction supplies or services, over
270 individuals have been temporarily or permanently displaced
and are in immediate need of housing.
Anything that anyone is able to donate is greatly valued and
may be sent to the United Way, 450 Albany Ave., Kingston, NY
12401. Please be sure to earmark all donations as "flood
relief". I am speaking for all Legislators when I say your
thoughts and considerations are very much appreciated.
Richard A. Gerentine, Chairman
Ulster County Legislature
I am very happy to say that Laura Tabbal of Samsonville has
taken on the role of garden coordinator and educator at the
Senior Residence at Tongore Pines in Olivebridge. Laura is a
master gardener and school garden educator and has created a
plan to grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs for residents and
garden helpers at Tongore Pines. There are several avid gardeners
at the 'Pines who are happy to have the garden finally worked.
Lauras sweetheart Fred Keoghan is doing a lot of the heavy work
making it a family affair. Steve Kellogg of Rondout Valley Topsoil
is providing compost gratis for the second time as the soil
in the raised beds has settled since construction. We need to
build more beds and could use your surplus lumber.
We need a surplus wheelbarrow or garden cart, surplus plants
and seeds, garden tools, bird houses, humming bird feeders,
etc. Call Laura at 657-6151 for more details. We meet at the
garden on Saturday mornings at 9.
Harvesting the herbs and veggies to put directly on pizza is
always fun so we will build a traditional wood fired clay bake
oven at the site as well. Call me at 657-2030 for more details
on that little joyride.
The Large Parcel Article 78 lawsuit is kaput due to lack of
written evidence and a statute of limitation that expired four
months ago. Those with the testimony will not offer it up in
written form. Our 3 local County Legislators have given me the
yes, no, maybe routine for a month and it is clear that no written
statements will be coming from that crowd. I believe that the
numbers of voters in Olive vs. the other Towns may be a factor.
The next legal avenue is a plenary or full bore suit to be filed
Given the enmity and social unrest caused by round one of the
Large Parcel enactment, one may surmise that the School Board
will weigh the merits of plunging us into round two of School
District destruction. That is exactly what is happening, one
enactment at a time. One would think that after a 30% school
tax hike due to the increased reservoir assessment, the School
Board would have deemed that enough life blood had been drawn
for the first round, but no, they needed more blood. As a result,
all of our major commercial retail sites are for sale. Wallets
predictably closed after our disposable income evaporated instantly
due to the optional Large Parcel enactment. I know of many whose
mortgage payments have gone up by hundreds.
Our moderate income workers and fixed income seniors now face
dispersal to hither and yon. They call this fair. Only a Judge
and jury can arbit fairness, and the record and witnesses testimony
I relish the thought of the parade of witnesses before the jury.
If lying to the Governor, Assembly, and Senate is business as
usual and permissible, then that is the confirmation that democracy
and the U.S. Constitution is dead, in NY, anyway. The same unlawful
ruses was used at every level, giving us quite a roster of defendants.
The trail of broken laws has made for a voluminous suit that
seeks substantial damages from those individuals who carried
out ORPS unlawful vision. Those involved in Ulster County are
essentially NY ORPS patsies. They are in the calm before the
storm. I wish them good luck and godspeed.
Mary Jane Bernholz, Rita Vanacore, and Cindy O'Connor for School
Board! They are highly qualified and will serve Olive and Onteora
My name is Jack Jordan and I am a candidate for the Board of
Education because I would like to continue to promote quality
education in a positive and cost effective manner. I will be
retiring in September 2005 after 35 years as an educator. In
my career I have had many experiences in the field of education
that should assist me in being a productive member of the board.
I taught high school social studies and coached varsity basketball
and golf at neighboring Tri Valley C.S. During that time I also
served as President of the Teacher’s Association and successfully
negotiated a new contract. I served as Dean of Students at T.
V. prior to becoming H.S. principal. After four years as principal
at T. V. I moved to Jeffersonville NY and assumed the post of
high school principal at Jeffersonville-Youngsville C.S. I held
that job for 3 1/2 years until I was selected as Superintendent
of Schools for J-Y.
As superintendent I was responsible for facilitating referendums
and three building projects. I had the opportunity to negotiate
new contracts with the teachers and support staff. Responsible
budget planning and implementation were key areas of my job.
One of my major efforts was to lead the reorganization of our
district with neighboring Narrowsburg and Delaware Valley. My
tenure at J-Y ended with the successful merger and subsequent
forming of the new Sullivan West C.S. For the past 5 1⁄2
years I have been the Director of Secondary Programs for Sullivan
If elected, my educational philosophy will be the same as that
which I have followed throughout my career and that is, the
bottom line in decision-making must be what is in the best interest
of the majority of the students. That’s why I have been
in the education business and why I hope to be able to continue
to make a positive impact as a member of your Board of Education.
In addition, I believe it is important that each of the towns
within the district have proportionately equal representation.
My wife Kathy and I live in Pine Hill. Kathy has lived in the
Onteora district for most of her life. We each have one grown
child. My daughter, Jennifer Jordan works for the Department
of Social Services in Sullivan County and Kathy’s son,
Dan Aley Jr. is a police officer in Binghamton. We have two
granddaughters who attend Tri Valley C.S.
If elected I will do my part to support the continuing excellence
in education that Onteora is widely recognized as having earned.
Communication + Teamwork = Success
Pine Hill, NY
Anyone who has had an opportunity to see and hear Lisa Childers
close up comes away impressed with her mature focus on children
and their education. For years we have seen how bright and informed
she is, how attentive to the realities and the possibilities
of education here and now. When School Board seats are up for
election, we may see contenders whose approach is fueled by
anger or by political concerns beyond that sphere. Despite provocations,
Lisa Childers is not an angry person. She is a caring and knowing
person whose eyes are on the real prize: quality education in
a nurturing environment, achieved with all possible cost-efficiency.
Lisa is a loving and fair-minded person who, though her own
parenthood is central to her life, takes a view that’s
broad enough to benefit everybody’s children. And behind
that petite image there is a toughness that comes from rightness.
For the children’s sake, we can make no better use of
our votes on May 17th.
My name is Cindy O’Connor and this May I will be running
for the Onteora Board of Education. I have lived In the Onteora
School District since 1966 and graduated from Onteora in 1976.
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree In Marketing from Kings
Col/ege in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. My husband and I own and operate
Sheldon Hill Forestry Supplies in Shoken, New York, which we
started in 1984. I currently reside In Olivebridge with my husband
Brian and two children, Tara and Troy. My daughter Tara attends
the Onteara Middle School and is in eighth grade. while my son
Troy attends Bennett Elementary and is in first grade. My oldest
son Kevin, who would have been eighteen this March, was killed
in 2002. Kevin is a great inspiration to me and will always
live with us in our hearts.
I believe that the Onteora Board of Education needs members
who are not afraid to ask and answer tough question, have common
sense, are willing to be a hands-on board member, communicate
with all members of our community and strive to create and build
trust with an attitude of honesty. We must be concerned about
the education and safety of our children. A Board of Education’s
job is to make policy and utilize those policies to guide and
determine decisions. A competent Board member must be willing
to research all the facts in order to make knowledgeable and
important decisions facing the future of Onteora. I believe
I would be just that kind of Board Member. Therefore, I ask
for your support in May by voting for me.
My personal experience has brought me on a journey I never would
have believed. In 2003 I researched and learned all about New
York State Pupil Transportation and the agencies that govern
them, NYSED, NYS DMV and the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations.
In 2004, I spoke before the New York State Assembly on dangerous
and fatigued drivers and worked with Assemblyman Jonathan Bing
of Manhattan and Senator John Bonaclc to introduce drowsy driving
legislation. 2005 has lead me to starting an Ulster County Chapter
of VOIDD, Victims Of Irresponsible Drowsy Drivers, called VOIDD
“72” and an Ulster County Wide Drowsy Driving Education
My many years of experience as a business owner have given me
the knowledge of the importance for a sound budget and the need
of spending funds in the correct place to benefit all. Since
1992 I have been involved with the Bennett Elementary School
PT A. starting as a kindergarten parent and holding officer
positions of President, Vice President and Treasurer. In 1996
I join the Bennett Playground Subcommittee and we raised nearly
$60,000.00 in approximately eight short months for brand new
playground equipment. This year I have been involved with forming
the Communications Committee In order to increase the channels
of communication between all stakeholders of the school community.
My personal experience as student, parent, volunteer, business
owner, and taxpayer has kept me in the know as to what this
district needs, and what the stakeholders would like to see
for the future of Onteora.
I want you to know that the passion and drive I carry in my
heart for our children, school, community and what I believe;
will be brought to the Onteora Central School District. Please
make the right decision and choose me as Board Member of the
Onteora School District.
I am Lisa Childers and on May 17, 2005, I will be running for
the Onteora School Board. Because I have a son in the Onteora
school system I became involved with the board of education
and joined committees. Therefore, I am very aware of the strengths
and weaknesses of our school district. Through my attendance
of countless board meetings over the past four years, I have
developed a strong understanding of policy, the budget process
and the means to attain the educational and cultural standards
that we all strive for.
I am currently in my second year as a Site Team parent representative
at Woodstock Elementary School. To highlight some of my experience,
I have introduced a Writing Workshop program and requested an
integrated anti-bully program. This is where parents and teachers
spent the day at a workshop designed to promote positive behavior.
I also organize Woodstock and West Hurley families on Thanksgiving
Day for Family of Woodstock annual dinner. We decorate the community
center with art work by Woodstock Elementary school children.
The Site Team is currently working with the county on a child
run recycle program. As a Site Team Rep, I enjoy working with
teachers, administrators and other parents. I also have experience
as an assistant teacher. I am on the Future of the District
Committee where we toured the schools, worked with the administration
and made decisions for the school board to consider.
We should be very proud of Onteora's cultural achievements,
especially in music. In addition, I understand the value of
athletics and extra curricular activities, because my husband
Keith Anderson is regional commissioner of American Youth Soccer
Organization in Woodstock. I also acknowledge the hard work
and attention that is needed to keep our programs successful.
The current board has shown wisdom in their choice of Superintendent,
Justine Winters, who has given us a fiscally sound school budget
while listening to the needs of all our towns and promoting
quality education. As your representative on the school board,
I will work diligently with the board and administration to
promote public education that is not only affordable but of
the highest caliber. Every school board election is important,
but I believe this one will be a turning point for our future.
People often ask me why I moved here from Colorado. Something
about the tone of this question suggests that I moved from a
magnificent land to an area of less beauty, less splendor. What
a misguided notion! I am daily more amazed at the beauty and
diversity of these soft, green Catskill Mountains and feel privileged
and gifted to live here.
In an effort to help keep my beautiful mountains and waters
clean, I am working with the Catskill Heritage Alliance to do
much needed clean-up work at the Ashokan Reservoir, on two mornings,
May 1st and May 21st. The spring rains and flooding have left
a mess! Please help us pick up the trash and debris. We’re
meeting at 8:45AM both mornings at the Frying Pan area of the
reservoir and will work for two hours. All you need to bring
are a pair of work gloves. Everything else, including permits
to be on city land, will be provided. Call me for specific details.
And please, please, try to make this date. I can be reached
Without a live animal test for CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease)
no one can be certain the CWD isn’t “sporadic, familial,
or environmentally caused”. We have no idea if animals
are carriers and don’t succumb to the illness or if deer
are like sheep with scrapies that carry a genetic marker. It
is assumed that it is always fatal, because animals that have
been found dead have tested positive. It is highly possible
that the animal fails to some other disease or condition, yet
CWD is always assumed. The case in NY is clearly evident that
we don’t know all the answers. A healthy five year old
whitetail doe with no clinical signs of any disease was sacrificed
as compliance with the rigorous CWD surveillance program, and
surprising all, tested positive.
CWD should not be likened to Mad Cow disease which is transmissible
to humans. If CWD were transmissible to humans, we should see
a higher number of cases of nvCJD in hunters and venison consumers,
like they did in England when BSE jumped species. But we haven't,
because CWD is a native deer disease, not a human one and venison
remains safe to consume.
CWD does not travel and flourish on farms. Wyoming which has
no deer farms at all, has the highest rate of CWD in the country.
Even with this situation, wild deer herds are not becoming depopulated
because of CWD. Relatively, CWD is not high risk to cervids
when compared with severe winters, summer droughts, Johnes Disease,
EHD, liver flukes or even coyotes. CWD must be considered in
such a perspective.
If we wish to err on the side of over caution then the recent
case in NY gives testimony to work that must be done on a parallel
basis, with the cooperation of farmers and hunters, as current
theories lead to environmental transmission as a prime vector.
Not only do all farms with susceptible species need to be enrolled
in a CWD surveillance program, but such a program must be developed
for hunters and deer enthusiasts. The Departments of Fish and
Wildlife need to aggressive looking for sick animals to test.
Testing animals without clinical signs such as hunter harvests
will not suffice. Wild cervids found sick or dead must be reported
and tested, just like their farm raised counterparts. A permit
process for hunters bringing in out of state deer kills must
be developed, just as a permit process is required to move captive
cervids. A secondary hunter certification program should be
required for hunting license renewals which would educate hunters
about current restrictions and regulations they are legally
obliged to, just as deer farmers are informed when renewing
their permits. Feeding bans of wild deer must be enforced, and
retailers who continue to stock and sell deer feeds, blocks,
baits should be fined. Requirements for wildlife rehabilitators
must be revisited and guidance language and regulation must
be adopted and enforced. Regulations should also be considered
for taxidermists, slaughterhouses and rendering facilities dealing
with potentially infectious material and offal, to help prevent
CWD is misunderstood and misrepresented. If we were to truly
act on behalf of those animals that both farmers and hunters
affectionately have in common, we would be working at funding
research and finding a live animal test rather than spending
our time pointing fingers.
North American Deer Farmers
Association, NY Branch Chair
I attended an Onteora School Board Meeting last evening (April
5), only my second in 35 years here, for which I am a bit ashamed
now. The phrase honest earnest endeavor comes to mind. No one
is grandstanding on this board. They are civil to each other,
respectful of supplicants, and they talk about children with
affection. Our new Superintendent is sharp as a tack, efficient,
and really a listener.
Although "thankless task" may not be quite right,
"between a rock and a hard place" is perfect. One
need not worry about kickbacks with this board of directors.
There is nothing to work with here. I lowered my eyes from his
when the president of the board thanked the track coach for
personally buying the safety equipment for the high jump. It
seems when taxpayers abandon their school, as ours have, State
Law (I picture Scrooge, shaking his head) stops them from buying
high jump mats, saxophones with all their keys, seats for the
auditorium, etc. I am not making this up. That is the "rock."
In 30 years as a local teacher, I saw that parents here adore
their kids. Some who came to the meeting last night touchingly
pleaded their cases for keeping their kids in their "own"
schools. That is the "hard place." 1) No cash. 2)
Tighten things up. 3) No way!
The most dramatic moment all evening was when Onteora's very
competent business manager concluded the budget presentation
with prediction of a 3.8 percent tax increase "across the
board." When asked what that would be without Olive pitching
in equally, she admitted the rest of the district would rise
above 4 percent. A dramatic moment because it clearly demonstrated
that if the Large Parcel decision is overturned by the Olive-First
partisans running for the Board this year, Woodstock, West Hurley
and Shandaken citizens will continue to shoulder more than their
Fair Share of the school taxes.
Four members of this present Board are up for re-election.
Olive-First residents are also running, to turn back the Fairness.
And, the budget vote is coming. Another year of rejected bare
bones budget is so legally horrible that by the end of the meeting,
I could not face the thought of it for us. Yes all of us. I
live on Social Security, but what happened to our kids? When
I see the enormous pick up trucks and SUVs we drive, I think
the saxophones should have all their keys.
I was struck by what this intelligent board might do with some
resources. I was tempted to ask for the mike to suggest the
school system needs a good sales force. I even know where to
find one. They are in the High School Cafeteria, in recruiter
dress uniform, selling the most powerful military machine in
the world to our impressionable kids. They would serve our democracy
better fighting for the Onteora budget.
For a sales force, we must make do with those of us who care
about our kids and equity in taxation. We must get out the vote,
Woodstock, West Hurley and Shandaken!
Also... Sunday, May 1, New York City: A march and rally against
the Iraq war and for nuclear disarmament will take place on
that day, the day before the UN reviews the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. The marchers will assemble on First Ave. from 50th St.
north starting at 11 a.m. The march will begin at noon, following
a route to the Heckscher Ballfields in Central Park, off 63rd
St., where the rally begins at 2 p.m. The call for disarmament
includes the 10,350 nuclear weapons in Washington's possession.
The Iraq portion of the event includes a call to Bring Our Troops
1,000 Japanese people, many of them survivors of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, and many European town mayors are coming to NYC for
a whole month of activities, including a U.S. Veterans Workshop
at the UN Church on May 3 at 2 p.m. Renowned photo journalist
Takashi Morizumi will be interviewing U.S. Vets who are suffering
from radioactive poisoning (aka "Gulf War Syndrome")
and who have children born with deformities caused by depleted
uranium. The founder of the Campaign to Abolish Depleted Uranium
in Japan is organizing this event to educate about the danger
of uranium weapons being used by the U. S. by the ton in Afghanistan
and Iraq today. The rest of the world knows. The U.S. public
does not. Even The New York Times does not mention it. May 1
march/rally is organized by Abolition Now and United for Peace
and Justice. Information, (212) 726-9161, (212) 868-5545, http://www.abolitionnow.org/may1.html,
When I was standing on the bridge watching the flood waters
rise, I had an idea for the title of a song: "Why Don't
We Do It While It Floods."
(It is possible the word flood has more than one meaning here
and this title has not been copywritten.)
Self-observation: when I was a younger man pursuing women I
was afraid of being rejected. Now that I am older I'm afraid
of being accepted.
Mount Tremper, NY
The very structure of society is shaken and damaged by the fundamentalism
of a relatively small percentage of people. We see Israel being
disrupted by the militant terrorists of the Judaic religion
and the Islamic fundamentalists terrorizing non-Muslim society
as well as non-fundamentalist Muslims and preventing the development
of sound governments and peaceful countries. The United States
suffers at the hands of Christian fundamentalists. The belief
they have the only truth and all people must be required to
adhere to these beliefs can only be a recipe for serious trouble.
A really healthy democracy is impossible with the fundamentalists
sitting on the thrones. This drive to force others to believe
the way they think is right and to punish behavior of which
they do not approve is not inherent in any of the religious
teachings but develops by individual adherents who are obsessed
with this drive. They are people who often have limited education
and who aren't able to look at all sides of a situation. They
believe themselves to be superior to those of different beliefs
and entitled to dominate.
Religion should provide opportunity for spiritual growth, guidance
and support in meeting life's challenges, and satisfying social
life in the community of fellow worshippers. It should not be
a weapon against non-adherents. It would be great to hear more
from the sector of the population that opposes the fundamentalists.
All the religions are being terribly damaged by the fundamentalists.
Church leaders and members alike should be heard from. Not only
should they be heard from consistently but they should repudiate
the fundamentalist stance by their political action at the polls.
Question: Which town has the most land in the Onteora School
Question: Which town has the highest assessed value?
Question: Which town has had the most updated evaluation of
Question: Which town pays a higher percentage of the taxes to
the Onteora School District? Answer: Olive! ! ! !
Out of seven hundred school districts, only three have chosen
the alternate means of assessment. Don’t you think that
there is a good reason for that? The School District didn’t
get one cent more from New York City! The Large Parcel has done
nothing to “equalize” the property tax situation
in the Onteora School District except to make one town the victim
of two others. It has moved the School District into the political
arena and out of the educational arena. Let’s leave tax
assessing to the towns, not the Board of Education.
Kathryn G. Adams