After reading the April 8 article concerning local teens who feel
as if they are being harassed, I felt prompted to write.
I am writing from two viewpoints. I am a parent of four kids,
two of driving age, and two soon to be. Also, my job is heavily
related to highway and vehicular safety.
First, to the Olive Press. I think you should clarify the statement
in quotations concerning the police officer threatening to employ
the dog to search the vehicle. Initially, I thought you were quoting
the officer, but upon reading it again, I believe that the young
operator is quoted as he speculates what the officer might say.
The point is, I do not think the officer did, or would, use those
Next, to the young people who feel harassed. It is normal, almost
obligatory for you to feel this way. Stop complaining. Drive defensively,
obey the law, and the feeling will pass. Those with nothing to
hide have nothing to worry about.
Lastly, to Ms. Rozelle. I think your statement was foolish and
irresponsible. I have only lived here since 1993, so may not qualify
as a 'Local Yokel', but the police may 'harass' me or my family
about 'seatbelts or something' anytime. Seatbelts are not only
the law, but are proven to save many thousands of lives. Are you
suggesting that the police should not pull us over for breaking
As for all you local cops, city, state, or otherwise, please continue
to do the best you can in these extremely difficult times.
My concerns about the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park
are multifold. I look at the development from the perspective
of a local resident, parent of a pre-school child, professional
environmental scientist, and environmental conservationist.
My wife Melanie and I made a conscious decision three years ago
to have our home in the Town of Olive, having lived in Ulster
County for seven years already. Melanie is a teacher in
the Onteora Central School District and we like the quality of
life in this part of the county. We wanted to get away from
areas where the traffic had grown to intolerable levels, e.g.
New Paltz, and where development/suburban sprawl was not out of
control. Providing a healthy and safe setting in which our
three year old son can grow up is of great importance to us; clean
air and water, and safe roads are paramount concerns.
One of the little surprises since settling here has been the weekend
and holiday traffic on Rt. 28. This serves as an introduction
to what would become the norm if a large-scale resort operates
in Shandaken. I am especially concerned about increased
air pollution, as well as greater inconvenience (waiting to turn
from my street onto Rt 28 and slower traffic), more aggressive
drivers, and more accidents. It is safe to assume that a
relatively high proportion of the increased traffic will be as
large SUV's, favored among the affluent who would patronize a
golf resort. Such vehicles contribute more air pollutants
per mile than conventional passenger vehicles. Further,
the roads will need more maintenance, which adds to environmental
degradation (deferred costs that eventually your agency and others
will need to address) and economic costs. These costs will
not be absorbed by the developers but rather passed on to residents.
Clearly, the entire Rt 28 corridor from Kingston to Belleayre
will be impacted, just in terms of increased traffic and the multiple
effects that has.
Another regional effect is ecological. Habitat fragmentation
is a well-documented cause of decreased regional biological diversity.
As terrestrial ecosystems are broken into smaller parcels, biodiversity
decreases. As the Catskill forest is developed into various-sized
plots of non-forested land, the species that evolved with those
forests have less of their required habitat. All species
have a critical minimum amount of habitat that allows them to
survive. Unfortunately, these minimums are usually not known
until after a species becomes rare. We do know that many
species need extensive, continuous areas of undisturbed forest
to survive, if not thrive. A good example is the endangered
mountain lion. Another is the black bear; with this creature,
as development encroaches upon its habitat, it wanders into developed
areas much more. The formerly elusive and wary giant becomes
an unwelcome, brazen, destructive beast. This unhappy situation
is well-documented, being repeated in all regions where housing
and other forms of development have spread into bear habitat.
A 500-acre swath through the Catskill forest can only exacerbate
our regional "bear problem".
Not as obvious will be effects on less conspicuous species.
I am especially concerned about impacts on bird populations, e.g.
migratory species that are contending with habitat destruction
at both ends of their migrations. We have less control on
the fate of tropical forests where some of our species spend the
winter, but we can surely help to stop the loss of their breeding
and nesting habitats here. As these and a multitude of other
species suffer population declines, ecological relationships fail,
often with direct consequences for surrounding human communities.
The most obvious of such effects is the loss of natural insect
pest control provided by birds, amphibians, fish, and various
predatory and parasitic insects.
Exacerbating the effect of deforestation/habitat destruction will
be the use of a range of pesticides. Conventionally operated
golf courses apply among the highest rates of herbicides and fungicides,
among other pesticides, far surpassing most agricultural operations.
I am concerned about the mobilization of such pesticides beyond
the fairways and greens into water, air and soil, and more importantly,
into food webs of the surrounding ecosystem. I am
not aware of the developer proposing an environmentally sustainable
golf course operation, if possible in our region. For ecological
and public health reasons, a golf course is not a good neighbor.
When I look regionally, I also remember the Catskills as a premier
vacation destination with dozens of hotels and resorts.
Most of these were in Sullivan County and most have closed.
Further, most remain unused and with some degree of usable infrastructure.
All are large developed areas, already sacrificed for commercial
development, where the habitat fragmentation occurred decades
ago. These defunct resorts, many with golf courses, represent
an untapped resource, just as industrial brownfields are revitalized
for new occupants or uses. Economically, the old, dormant
Catskill resorts deserve a second life. Environmentally,
it also makes sense to develop new resorts where these old ones
existed: no or little additional habitat fragmentation will result;
roads are already in place; utilities are present. All of
this equates to less energy and materials being needed to prepare
a site. This further provides practical (economic) benefits
for the developer. Mr. Gitter would be highly respected
if he reawakened one of the dormant resorts of the Catskills'
Building a new resort in Shandaken would be like building a new
megastore on previously undeveloped property while other commercial
buildings in the same area are vacant. This aspect of urban
and suburban sprawl is destroying our natural and cultural communities.
We cannot have unlimited development without significant long-term
negative effects. The placement and scale of projects
must be carefully considered. For the reasons above, I strongly
believe that the placement and size of the proposed resort is
ill-conceived and will have detrimental long-term consequences.
Richard S. Feldman, PhD
Chairman & Assoc. Professor
Dept. of Environmental Science & Policy Marist College
I'm writing in response to Mr. Paul Wenner's letter in the 4/8/04
edition concerning the 'need' to find more oil in the US in order
to make us less dependent on 'foreign' oil.
While I very much respect Mr. Wenner for speaking his mind and
know that he speaks for all too many Americans, and also for the
calm and respectful tone in his letter, I must say that I strongly
disagree with his point of view and believe that he has some basic
facts just plain wrong.
Reducing our 'dependence' on 'foreign' oil is a catch phrase that
most resonate with, but when looked at critically is seen to be
smoke and mirrors. We SELL oil to other countries such as
Japan and then import it from the middle east. This is just
a purely economic situation where the oil companies use the ENTIRE
worlds supply of oil as one 'pool' which they move around in a
way to make the most money. No problem there, but it undercuts
the concept of 'foreign' oil.
However, Mr. Wenner's biggest mistake, in my
view, is the idea that we can reduce our 'dependence' on oil [from
where ever] by drilling for more oil. In my opinion, this
is like saying that a junkies stealing 'habit' can be reduced
by growing more 'junk' so the price comes down so he doesn't have
to steal to support his habit. The true answer to our 'dependence'
is to make the price so high that we treat it like the dangerous
substance that it is. I am in no way, suggesting that we
get oil out of our life, only that we realize that it is a precious
and, if miss used as we are today, very dangerous substance that
must be handled with FAR more care than we do now. The conservation
and alternate energy measures that Mr. Wenner mentions in passing
are THE answer, not more oil drilling.
And just to complete my critique, Mr. Wenner
has his facts VERY wrong on ANWAR. He displays an all too
common poor grasp of the ecological issues in ANWAR. The
'2,000 acres' is an absolute minimalist figure that the oil companies
and Alaskan oil people put out. Their record of 'accuracy'
on such figures has been shown over decades to be so poor that
one must only conclude that these figures [put out by organizations
that should have the best, smartest people with the best technology]
must be purely for publicity to get their way. And, Mr.
Wenner either doesn't realize or doesn't want to admit, that the
particular spot that the oil companies want to use is the CENTER
of the Caribou calving grounds. And it just so happens that
the Caribou are the 'keystone' critter of the whole range.
I recommend that Mr. Wenner and others who believe as he does,
inform himself on the term 'keystone' as it applies to the intricacies
of ecological webs of life [in very brief, it means that a 'keystone'
animal has, due to its life style, an inordinately strong effect
on virtually ALL other creatures in a particular ecological area].
And, one last fact. This area of the ANWAR was set aside
specifically because it was such a fragile ecosystem so that even
apparently 'small' impacts have a very large and long lasting
Let's get off the ANWAR and look at the real problem which is
our own profligate lifestyle. Let's begin to really use
our intelligence to create a technologically intelligent conservation
society and not use our 'junkie' mentality to just do more of
the same old 'more, more, more ...'.
The proposed Bellayre Resort is expected to add 300-500 trips
per hour to Route 28's existing peak traffic. Impact on the Town
of Olive, downstream in all senses from this Catskill Xanadu,
was largely ignored by Gitter's projections. The DEIS fails to
address the impact of added construction and delivery vehicles
on our icy, winding roads.
An average sedan, about 200 inches long plus recommended four
car lengths at 45 mph gives 1000 inches per car and spacing. Times
300 trips gives us a crocodile of cars winding its way through
Olive every peak hour that's about 4.7 miles long -- about the
distance from the front door of Onteora MS/HS to Get The Scoop
We only have about 7 miles of Route 28 running through Olive.
Add normal peak traffic in that corridor, and we'd probably have
one lane filled quite solidly with cars.
The deer-infested alternatives, routes 28A and 213, cut through
the southern half of Olive. They have few passing zones (213 has
none for 8 miles between Stone Ridge and Olivebridge), and dangerous
curves. Two cars become a traffic jam on 213 when the one in back
wants to pass but can't and tailgates instead. Route 213 would
be the shortcut for the many expected union workers coming from
counties to the south.
We've already had one fatality on 28A since the DEP closed the
Monument Road "Lemonsqueeze" last year. A serious
car crash closes our roads for hours, and forces many of us to
make 20-mile detours. Many Olive residents who need side roads
off Route 28 don't have the options of detours or alternatives.
This project would forever change the character of our region.
Your input matters. You have until April 23 to email comments
to Alexander Ciesluk at the DEP: email@example.com
I would like to have claimed credit for constructing
the following "Bill of Non-Rights" but it would be contrary
to my last letter to the Press re: "plagiarism". The
author is Georgia State Representative Mitchell Kaye and I would
like to use it as a response to Jack A. Smith who is seeking [his]
perfect world and rather than do anything about it continues to
joust with windmills. Get a life Jack! The poor, the disenfranchised,
the left [remained] behind, the ignored, the uneducated, the afflicted
and the mutants will always be with us.
As for William Moorman; I love the rich; the dirty, ghastly wealthy.
When was the last time a professional, homeless drifter gave you
a job, Bill?
And to Avanti Peters, we welcome you. We're glad you are here.
You must know as a sixteen year old student that the United States
Constitution is not "altered". It is ammended as provided
for by Article V and there is a lengthy procedure for that. But
you must understand young man, that you can't have it both ways.
The constitution may be ammended to prohibit same sex marriage
and then fail in ammending for foreign born U.S. citizens to become
President. This is the way it works. And the best part is you
can oppose one ammendment and support another. You may have the
chance to do just that when you commence your voting obligation.
[Note; "obligation"]. There are at present 27 ammendments;
all valid and all working except one. We can consume alcohol legally
again, but; we can't smoke while "sousing" it up. How's
that for a 200 year old plus document?
Now on to the new "Bill of Non-Rights";
We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to
help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid
more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and
secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our
great-great-great grandchildren hereby try one more time to ordain
and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally
whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters.
We hold these truths to be self evident; that a whole lot of people
are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require
a Bill of Non-Rights".
Article I: You do not have the right to a new car, a big screen
TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally
acquire them, but no one is guaranteed anything.
Article II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This
country is based on freedom and that means freedom for everyone;
not just you. You may leave the room, turn the channel, express
a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots and
probably always will be.
Article III You do not have the right to be free from harm. If
you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful.
Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives
Article IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing.
Americans are the most charitable people to be found and will
gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of
subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch
potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another
generation of couch potatoes.
Article V: You do not have the right to free health care. That
would be nice, but from the looks of public housing we're just
not interested in public health care.
Article VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other
people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone
don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the
Article VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others.
If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other
citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and
lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right
to a big screen TV or a life of leisure.
Article VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure
want you to have a job and will gladly help you along in hard
times but we expect you to take advantage of the oppotunities
of an education and vocational training laid before you to make
Article IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American
means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness which by the
way is alot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance
of idiotic laws created by those of you who are confused by the
Bill of Rights.
Article X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care
where you are from; English is our language. Learn it or go back
to wherever you came from.
The good State Rep. from Georgia added Article XI........
Article XI: You do not have the right to change our country's
history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in
one true God. Yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any
religion, any faith, or no faith at all with no fear of persecution.
The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history.
If you are uncomfortable with that; TOUGH!!
Glenn T. Anderson
The following letter was recently read to the Olive Town Board.
There are some issues I would like to have the Town Board address
concerning the Police Department and a recently received grant
for The Child Passenger Safety Program being administered by the
New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
The reason that I am addressing these issues with you and not
the Olive Police Commission is due to the fact that the Olive
Police Commission does not seem to have regular or public meetings
and there is no way of knowing what is happening as there are
no available minutes for any of their meetings.
The Grant makes certain statements and requirements that raise
1. The signature on this grant is that of Robert C. Schank, and
he lists his title as "Chief Police Commissioner."
It is my understanding that we operate under a police commission
made up of three individuals, none of whom carry any title other
than Police Commissioner. Any of the three could have signed
their name to this grant with the same meaning as Mr. Schank.
It is also my understanding that none can act independently without
a consensus between the three. Presumably, majority would
rule. It should also be noted that Wally Fulford, Police Officer,
was listed on the grant as Program Director.
2. The Grant indicates a request for funding the purchase of a
total of 35 child safety seats at a cost of $60 each, or $2,100.
Use of the seats as set forth in the grant are detailed below,
but it is my understanding of the grant that these seats were
to be awarded to families-in-need, based on a criteria defined
in the grant for low income families. How many seats did
we actually purchase, where are they, how many have been allocated,
3. Part of the Grant applied for indicates we will operate one
(1) permanent "Fitting Station" and must offer regularly
scheduled hours of operation, consistently offering the public
availability. It is recommended that there be liability
insurance covering the Fitting Station duties, have a contact
person who can coordinate activities and be responsible for all
reports, records and to be sure checklist forms are completed.
Several reports are required to be sent to the Governor's Traffic
Safety Committee. Under the current grant this is annually,
but future grants require this information be sent within five
days of Events and Car Seat Checks. The Fitting Station must be
manned by certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians or Instructors
with current certification status. 25 of the safety seats
noted above were requested for Olive's Fitting Station.
4. As stated in the Grant, Car Seat Check "Events" require
that there be involvement by the media and must be well publicized.
A Car Seat Check Event MUST BE SEPARATE from the Fitting Station
and cannot be limited to appointments. The event must have
certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and also a Senior
Checker to supervise and oversee the Car Seat Check Event.
One of our officers is already qualified as a Senior Checker.
10 of the above safety seats were requested for the two Car Seat
Check Events indicated.
5. Expenses NOT covered by the grant are all salaries, advertising
or insurance. Supplanting - the use of these funds to support
other activities of the department - is also not allowable under
the grant. That means this program must be a program in
and of itself - not done at the same time with other activities
planned by the department. At least not with grant funds.
6. Supplies itemized for purchase through the grant were
for an inclinometer, refreshments, signs/banners, scale, scissors,
tape, a tent, pens, clipboards, plastic tubs (storage), tape measure
and pool noodles for a total expenditure request of $500.00.
Page 2 of 2
Total Grant request was for $3,600 with $1,000 being a one-time
start up Incentive Award.
It is my understanding that the Town spent approximately $600
to send an officer to Ulster County Community College to become
a Certified Child Passenger Seat Technician. Based on the
application submitted for this grant, this town already had at
least one certified technician, and actually, now has several
more qualified individuals besides the person we sent for training.
Is there some reason why we needed another person? If we
did, would it not have been better use of taxpayer money to send
our one full time police officer for this training? Doesn't
it make sense that he would already be available for the fulfillment
of this grant, the required Fitting Station hours and service
to our townspeople, more so than any of our part time police officers?
And there would be no additional cost in salary since he is already
scheduled for these hours.
Has anyone looked into and made sure that our insurance does in
fact cover us for the Fitting Station duties? What would
happen if a child were injured or killed after someone from our
department has instructed a mother or father on the correct way
to install a car seat?
The Child Passenger Safety Seat Program has a web site which lists
all locations throughout the state that offer these services.
It also lists all Fitting Station operating hours. Town
of Olive is listed at the end of the section for Ulster County,
with operating hours of Wednesday through Sunday, 2-4 PM, at the
Town of Olive Police Department, Bostock Road. Contact person
listed is Officer Dawn Beers. Based on that information,
the public would expect that someone will be available on those
days, at those hours for a safety seat check. Are
they? Simple calculation indicates that cost to the
town would be in the neighborhood of $8,500 to man the Fitting
Station, plus all man hours for the two Car Seat Check Events
we have committed to for this grant. In light of the fact
that these services are being offered in many locations throughout
Ulster County, with the majority within a 25 mile radius from
Olive, I question our need to provide these services at all.
The Town of Ulster Police Dept., The Kingston Fire Department
at 3 locations, Ulster County Community College, Benedictine Hospital,
Begnal Chrysler Plymouth on Albany Avenue, and the Ulster County
Sheriff's Department (with locations throughout Ulster County)
all offer these services. It is my understanding that our
officers have not had even one request for a safety seat check.
If they have, then I would like to see the report.
The web site also lists all Car Seat Check Events being scheduled
throughout the state. One of the Events offered by the Sheriff's
Department will be held May 15th at the Woodstock Rescue Squad
on Route 212, Woodstock. Others listed for early May will
be at Benedictine Hospital and Colonial Subaru on Rt. 9W, Kingston.
There are others being offered locally, just pick a date and location
that's convenient for you. These Car Seat Check Events are
listed through Sept. 2004 yet Town of Olive is not listed anywhere.
If this is such an important and worthwhile program, and we have
requested and obtained these funds, why are we not hearing about
it? When and how are we providing these services?
Is this grant being used properly and in accordance with it's
I look forward to hearing your reply about these concerns
West Shokan, NY
Throughout April which is Child Abuse Prevention Month I have
been reminded of Ten Things All Children Need by Jennifer Birckmayer,
Senior Extension Associate (retired) from the College of Human
Ecology at Cornell University. This evolving list defines beliefs
about the needs of young children. I encourage readers to
consider it and their own beliefs and values, and then, to act,
to help families and communities provide those things that all
Ten Things All Children Need
Children's basic needs for food, clothing and shelter are met
in ways that let them know they are respected.
Children are engaged in sustained relationships with one or more
Children receive positive attention from at least one adult every
Children can ask questions to which they receive thoughtful answers
and they are encouraged to play out their own ideas.
Children receive more positive than negative adult responses to
behavior and ideas.
Children experience predictability and stability in daily life.
Children engage in enjoyable, developmentally appropriate play
activities with other children and adults.
Children's contributions are valued.
Children are taught the rules of social behavior in a way that
will enable them to become morally responsible adults.
Children's needs for privacy, dreaming and spiritual reflection
No one can meet all needs, no one person, no one organization.
But, together, we can do a pretty good job. Throughout Ulster
County towns, schools and community groups are working on planning
initiatives to strengthen families and communities. All
of us are welcome to participate. Working together to meet the
needs of children, to support parents and caregivers, we can greatly
reduce suffering from child abuse and neglect.
Susan B. Matson
Cornell Cooperative Extension
of Ulster County
Member, Child Abuse Prevention
Coalition of Ulster County
I am writing in response to Town of Marbletown
Supervisor Vincent Martello's letter to the Editor where he asserts
that I have promised casino gaming will be a "panacea."
Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never made such
a statement. In fact, my legislation does not even allow
casino gaming in Ulster County - unless the people of Ulster County
vote for it.
The Supervisor asserts that the people of Ulster County do not
want casino gaming. That might be true - but under current law,
they don't even get a vote! Under current law, Native American
gaming can be forced upon the people of Ulster County. My legislation
gives the people of Ulster County a direct vote on non-Native
American casino gaming. Why any elected official would be opposed
to trusting the people of Ulster County with such a vote is something
I do not understand. In terms of the Supervisor's other question:
who decided that gaming is meritorious and what evidence is there
to support that claim, I offer the following-
1. I never said that casino gaming was "meritorious."
Rather, I said the merits of gaming have already been decided.
Gaming exists in New York at video lottery terminals (VLTs), race
tracks in this region, and in casinos that are already open -
in New York. Gaming exists at lottery terminals in nearly every
convenience store in our State and at "Quick Draw" games
in restaurants. Gaming exists in Connecticut, New Jersey, and
Canada - all of whom compete for the same tourism dollars this
2. Who decided that this gaming would occur in New York State?
The people of this State - who voted to legalize gaming in the
form of the lottery decided one aspect of it. Governor Cuomo -who
entered into compacts with various Native American tribes - without
the consent of the voters or the State Legislature, decided another
aspect of it.
Finally, the Supervisor asks whether or not I have had the opportunity
to "read" about the concerns of the people of Marbletown.
He need not worry - Long before Supervisor Martello was elected,
I have been addressing those concerns, including:
* Working to successfully more than double the
amount of State funding to support farmland preservation. Ulster
County communities have received more than $3 million in aid since
I was elected to the Senate for farmland preservation
* Serving as the lead sponsor of legislation
giving localities the ability to create a new fund for farmland
* Obtaining funds for the Marbletown Community
Center, libraries, hospitals, fire services, and the Rondout Valley
* Having worked to increase Rondout Valley's
School Aid by nearly $4 million since being elected to the Senate.
If the Supervisor wants to oppose casino gaming,
that is his right. What is not his right however, is to mislead
the public on my position. My legislation seeks to move the casino
process forward - but only with the consent of the people of Ulster
County. What is wrong with trusting the people to vote?
I will continue to fight to address the issues
that matter to the people of Ulster County - education, healthcare,
agriculture, and creating economic vitality. I welcome Supervisor
Martello's input on those issues - and the other matters which
effect the quality of life of the people of Marbletown, and all
eighty municipalities within our Senate District.
John J. Bonacic State Senator