A recent report quotes Jeremy Wilbur, Town of Woodstock Supervisor,
stating that a $200,000 home should pay the same taxes whether
it is in Town of Olive or in Town of Woodstock; tax equity is
regarded as a simple matter of fairness. I wish to offer a consideration
of the equity and fairness issue on this subject which relates
to my own circumstances.
My wife and I are Town of Olive homeowners living on a fixed retirement
income. In 1993, we chose to live here because of the affordable
real estate tax structure and I believe that we paid a modest
premium for this. We did look at houses in the Woodstock area
but felt the tax there had an excessive added cost for us even
though I believe the Woodstock house price was slightly discounted
because of the tax level. The house we looked at was about fifty
percent more expensive because of the preferred location. Since
that time our house value has increased about 100% at about $10,000
per year while the house in Woodstock appears to have increased
by 133% at about $20,000 per year, again because of its preferred
location. The net result is that the increase in equity in Woodstock
is approximately equal to our present total house value. In round
numbers, for illustration, the $100,000 Olive house is now worth
$200,000 while the $150,000 Woodstock house is now worth $350,000.
The higher tax in the Town of Woodstock has been more than amply
rewarded by the increase in equity there, confirming the old saw
about real estate purchases that the first three considerations
are, '"location; location; location".
Mr. Wilbur noted that a house in Woodstock which had the same
selling price as a house in Olive would be much smaller than the
house in Olive; however, this observation supports the idea that
over time, a Woodstock property will continue to increase in value
at a greater rate than a house in Olive. In time, I expect that
a small house in Woodstock might be bought to be razed so a more
substantial house can be erected on the lot in the most favorable
location as has happened in other premium locations such as the
Hamptons; this suggests that market value of the parcel with a
small house in Woodstock will not be limited by the size of the
Applying the Large Parcel Bill to the Ashokan Reservoir tax payment
would mean that my taxes would jump more than 50% while those
in Woodstock would decrease by up to 12%, which I believe would
remove the premium due to low taxes from my house and the discount
due to high taxes from the Woodstock house. These premiums and
discounts arise because the market price of a house reflects,
in part, what the market will bear considering the total mortgage
plus tax payment.
We would suffer twice from application of the Large Parcel Bill:
from an increase in our annual cost due to taxes, and from a decrease
in the market value of our house, while the Woodstock home owner
would benefit twice: from a decrease in the cost due to taxes,
and from an increase in the market value of their home. It suggests
to me the phrase, '"having their cake and eating it, too".
We would be doubly penalized for attempting to be prudent about
our living costs in order to provide a double benefit to the majority
in our school district, a benefit which would come from an application
of the Large Parcel Bill to a situation which I understand was
never intended by the bill's authors. This prompts the following
question, '"When does exercise of the power of the majority
become the Œtyranny of the majority'?".
I have presented this last question to the school board and asked
that they consider all factors as to the equity and fairness of
applying the Large Parcel Bill to the Ashokan Reservoir tax revenues.
I was surprised to learn that the press was barred from the onsight
visit to the Crossroads-Belleayre project. As I understand it,
the Administration Law Judge doubted he had the power to require
the land owner to invite the press to attend the onsight visit,
and the land owner then refused to extend an invitation for the
press to attend that onsight visit.
It appears to me, that if the process is required to be open to
the public and an onsight visit is a precondition to the grant
of an application, the ALJ not only has the power, but an obligation
to condition the inspection on the owners granting access to all
those who are part of the process, which includes the press.
Whether the owner has the right to bar people from his property
is beside the point. The owner is seeking a permit
and it must follow all applicable rules if he wants the permit.
Technically, the owner could refuse to allow the ALJ or attorneys
for the parties from walking on its property for an inspection.
What would happen is, the ALJ would refuse to proceed and the
process would grind to a halt. The owner would not get its approval.
Similarly, if the press representing the public is barred, the
ALJ should refuse to proceed unless the owner consented to proceed
in a manner consistent with the regulation requiring that all
proceedings be open to the public.
Nathan Z. Dershowitz
I am writing to request that Commissioner Crotty and the Hon.
Richard R. Wissler stay the Belleayre Resort SEQRA proceeding
until the NYCDEP agrees under the regulatory authority granted
to it by the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to permit
the MOA regulated
components of the proposed development or until there is a successful
challenge to the MOA in a court of competent jurisdiction resulting
in the issuance of the permits to the Resort and/or all or a part
of the MOA is invalidated negating the need for the contested
permits. In fact, I believe it is Commissioner Crotty's
and the Hon. Richard R. Wissler's obligation and responsibility
to so stay the proceeding because of the time and expense that
will be incurred by the State and the taxpayers of New York State
and the interested local agencies and private organizations who
obtain party status in the proceeding.
In its Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and
State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits for the Proposed
Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park Project, the NYCDEP states that
it will not grant necessary MOA permits to the Resort as currently
The MOA is a contractual agreement between the NYCDEP and the
Watershed Communities. As such, Commissioner Crotty or any
Administrative Law Judge acting under SEQRA lack subject matter
jurisdiction over any questions relating to the interpretation
or construction of the MOA contract or its validity. These
issues can only be heard and determined by a court of competent
as the State Supreme Court. Furthermore, any determinations
or findings which result from the SEQRA process are not determinative
of any application for a permit under the regulatory authority
granted to the NYCDEP by the MOA nor are they binding on the NYCDEP
Since the NYCDEP has taken the position that it will not grant
necessary MOA permits to the Resort as currently proposed and
any SEQRA determinations are not binding on the NYCDEP, to continue
with the SEQRA proceeding is to run the risk of going through
the time, effort and expense of the lengthy SEQRA process only
to learn at its conclusion that the Resort is unable to overcome
the MOA or its
regulations. The NYCDEP position that it will not grant necessary
MOA permits to the Resort as currently proposed should be given
great weight because of the detail required by a DEIS. The DEIS
amply information for the NYCDEP to determine whether or not the
Resort would be granted necessary MOA permits.
Additionally, the primary focus of the MOA is water quality for
NYC. SEQRA addresses a whole host of other questions such
as community, traffic, socio-economic and non-water related environmental
issues and impacts. It is a much more involved and encompassing.
A focus on the one issue of NYC water quality under the MOA makes
more sense in terms of time and expense. Also, the standards
to protect NYC water quality under the MOA may be higher than
the water standards under SEQRA and the NYC water quality issues
may not be properly addressed under SEQRA. In fact, I believe
the NYC water quality issues under the MOA preempt SEQRA.
Would a State Supreme Court Judge who is about to hear the hotly
contested property distribution part of a divorce case and who
has just been handed a writing alleged to be a duly executed separation
agreement between the parties providing for the distribution of
the parties' real and personal property continue the trial?
Would he or she let the time and expense of the court, expert
witnesses, the parties, the attorneys and the court personnel
be utilized with the chance that after the trial it will be determined
that the separation agreement is valid, that no valid reason exists
to void it and that it leaves no issue as to how the real and
personal property should be divided?
Although the Resort is not a signatory to the MOA, the Resort
chose to develop a location within two Towns that are signatories
to the MOA and knew or should have know of the MOA. To continue
the analogy, what if one of the spouses objected to the judge
staying the property
distribution trial claiming he would be prejudiced by the delay
and asserting that he has spent great amounts of time and money
preparing for the trial with his attorneys and experts?
Despite the pleas of prejudice by delay and the assertion of great
preparation time and expense, the Judge would stay the proceeding
understanding that if the separation agreement is valid, the property
distribution trial is moot.
Commissioner Crotty should stay the proceeding understanding that
if the MOA is valid and fairly and properly implemented by the
NYCDEP, the SEQRA process is moot.
If the Resort is able to obtain the necessary MOA permits then
the SEQRA process should resume. If the Resort is unable
to obtain the necessary MOA permits, then the proceeding should
I respectfully request that Commissioner Crotty and the Hon. Richard
R. Wissler sua sponte stay the Belleayre Resort SEQRA proceeding
until the NYCDEP agrees under the regulatory authority granted
to it by the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to permit
the MOA regulated components of the proposed development or until
there is a successful challenge to the MOA in a court of competent
jurisdiction resulting in the issuance of the permits to the Resort
and/or all or a part of the MOA is invalidated negating the need
for the contested permits. Furthermore, I respectfully assert
that it is Commissioner Crotty's and the Hon. Richard R.
Wissler's obligation and responsibility to so stay the proceeding
because of the time and expense that will be incurred by the State
and the taxpayers of New York State and the interested local agencies
and private organizations who obtain party status in the proceeding.
This is something I've been working on for a while. It's about
a neighbor's cat that was poisoned and, although I may sound like
a lunatic as I ramble on in the story, the death of this cat really
did affect quite a few people on my street, as well as many of
my friends. It's upsetting to think that one of my neighbors in
this wonderful little town of Phoenicia is capable of a such a
sadistic, despicable act.
I don't know if you'll publish this as a letter, or perhaps an
article, or not publish it at all, but I just had to get it off
my chest so to speak. Thanks for hearing me out.
I am writing in response to repeated letters written by Glen Anderson,
of Olivebridge, attacking me and a very important new program
in the Ulster County Legislature. When I originally drafted
the proposal, commonly known as the Ulster County Health Insurance
Program, I was extremely careful to balance the needs of the uninsured
residents, with my responsibility to the taxpayers.
Since Ulster County is currently prohibited by New York State
law from offering health insurance policies directly to residents,
I called for a group-rate discount plan to be developed by a special
committee, and then administered by a private company. It
is a unique concept, which has gained vast bipartisan support.
This proposal included prescription, vision, dental and general
health insurance policies ˜ each being purchased separately
As we all know, the current state of healthcare in this country
has reached a crisis level. Unfortunately, in a nation of
such wealth, there are still people who do not have access to
the basic level of care. Even sadder, some folks feel this
problem does not exist and that it does not warrant time and consideration
to resolve. My job, as an Ulster County Legislator,
is to solve problems and make the area a better place to live.
I want to reiterate to Mr. Anderson that seeing my health insurance
proposal through to fruition is a priority of mine.
I also want to make it clear that I indeed tried to contact Mr.
Anderson. I made repeated attempts by phone and I even stopped
by his home on Weber Lane to discuss my plan with him. I
have always been easily accessible and remain open for suggestions
or comments. I am often commended for the job that I do
and the stances I take in the Ulster County Legislature.
However, I must take this opportunity to clarify Mr. Anderson's
Finally, Mr. Anderson is obviously miffed at something more than
just my job performance. In his latest letter to the editor,
he went as far as criticizing my family as well.
Ulster County Legislator
Have you ever been investigated for performing your duty(s) responsibly
following an atrocious act committed by someone else? Do you know
anyone who has responded to a catastrophic event whether natural
or perpetrated, did their best to assist the injured, confused
or stressed and was "back-handed", villified or accused
of shirking their duty? Publicly?
I have been observing the 9-11 Commission hearings; the more recent
ones taking place at the "New School" in Greenwitch
Village May 18 and 19, 2004. Some weeks ago the hearings were
initiated and it soon became a political circus. Each day at the
close of a session members would tumble out over each other to
regale the press with "who the devil really is". Enter
John Ashcroft the Atty. General of the United States who had been
called to testify. The Atty. Gen. was questioned as to why the
FBI had not exchanged information with the CIA or some other police
agencies around the country prior to 9-11. He had with him a document
that had been issued as a directive by a memeber of the 9-11 commission
when she had been an Asst. Atty. General which [paraphrased] stated
that the FBI shall not share information with any other police/quasi
police agencies as they serve different purposes in different
[geo] areas. That directive had been declassified prior to Mr.
Ashcroft's [9-11] appearance [so that he could bring it with him].
It seems the public political "shenanigans" have
ceased and some have called for that commission member to take
the "witness" chair. Amen!!
Now we witness the latest "show" in NYC with former
mayor Giuliani, NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerick, NYFD comm. Thomas
VonEssen and the director of NYC emergency mgmnt.
All four performed flawlessly on Sept 11, 2001 and all acquitted
themselves perfectly on May 18-19, 2004. How do I know this? How
do you know this? We all were transfixed to the TV from 8:50 A.M.
that fatefull day in September of 2001 and for many days/weeks
following. We witnessed leadership par excellance that day with
the Police, Firemen, EMT's and others led by their respective
commanders, the Mayor and the Governor. We sadly gazed in horror
as the buildings collapsed down to the last brick. The dissenters
at the hearings are indeed living a nightmare in that they lost
loved ones but it's time to be reasonable. What is this with a
committee for "Hispanic Victims"? Why is there a few
other victim's groups not unlike a trade union? Did they not receive
enough "compensation"? How much is a human life worth,
anyway? Note: One loud mouth at the Wednesday hearing lost no
one and in reality is a "professional" protester. He
is known to show up at a Gay rights thing in San Francisco one
day and the next day he's objecting to the war in NYC; then to
the pro-choice parade in Boston with a bit of violence in Seattle
at the WTO convention. How do I know this? From the media, both
print and TV/radio. It's like Yogi says, "you can see alot
by watching". (Commission member Lehman has apologized to
the four listed above for disparaging remarks).
Yesterday (05-20-04) Mayor Bloomberg spoke eleoquently [as he
always does] on plans of action for the next attack. My only problem
here is who will tell him the "five W's and H"? Who,
what, where, when, why and how? The next one; and there will be
a "next" one will be addressed and responded to essentially
the same as the last one. Some "two-way" radios will
not function well or at all. Rolling stock will be crushed or
blown up and be inoperative. Hospital personnel will be waiting
at the door to receive the injured but there will be none; they
will have expired from the gas, the bomb, the fire, or collapsed
tunnel or bridge.
Mayor Bloomberg informed us that NY state receives $5.00 plus
per capita as it's share of federal funding for upgrading and
other preparation training/equipment. Wyoming gets $16.00 each
while American Samoa [way out in the Pacific with cocanut trees
as targeted resources] will celebrate with $108.00 per capita.
Do you know that most professional Hula dancers in Hawaii come
from American Samoa? (A bit of old Navy trivia).
The bottom line as regards the 9-11 investigation or inquiry is
that the commission is on a witch hunt and each member knows it.
For those who would place the blame for 9-11; pin it on us. Yes;
we are all at fault. The reason is Freedom. Freedom of assembly.
Freedom of information and communication. Freedom of movement.
Freedom of privacy. It's freedom in a free society. Maybe we should
carry ID cards [not unlike the communist countries employ] ready
for presentation to police, FBI/CIA, local "party" leaders
or other authorities much worse than the terrorists. No; you don't
want that. We are complaining of long and time consuming airport
lines now. We are being invited to "snitch" on each
other. We want to photograph the lakes, the mountains and interesting
structures but risk losing our cameras and being prosecuted. Taking
pictures at a family Bar-B-Q could be a questionable activity
with plain conversation equated with "loose lips sink ships".
Make up your mind folks and then live with your decision. But
remember one thing. When those who would attack as the terrorists
do design their deed(s) they leave out one element that is always
missing in their plan; escape. Every common criminal from rapist
to murderer to bank robber and everything in between plans an
exit or escape route. The terrorists are of no nationality, wear
no uniform, care not for women and children and indeed desire
to die committing the act. They are not encumbered or restrained
with escape or alibis and certainly want to be identified.
The 9-11 event was in the planning stages long before January
20, 2001 and even I cannot fault William Jefferson Clinton for
what happened on 9-11-01; or to the USS Cole in Yemen. Or in a
previous attack on the twin Towers. How about the embassies in
Africa? Surely we should find out who "goofed" there.
Glenn T. Anderson
Contrary to conventional wisdom, not everyone has a '"short
memory' when it comes to public matters and concerns. The
following has been simmering in my mind for a long time and needs
to be addressed. In an ironically unforgettable article about
the Onteora School Budget in the April 17, 2003 issue of The Woodstock
Times, Miss Barbara Rueben, the high school principal, was quoted
as saying: '"The culture of the school is about challenging
structure." I wonder how many Onteora High School/Middle
School parents really understood her statement. A better way to
describe the school's culture would seem to be '"structurally
Over the last eighteen months I have been in the school many times
to pick up my niece. I have been continually astounded by the
behaviors I have witnessed, and in particular, the rampant use
of profanity. Certainly, adolescent children will test limits
and the use of crude language is nothing new among those who are
trying on adult personas for size. But, what I have heard would
make even the most foul-mouthed adult wince and goes far beyond
a pose of teenage swagger. This is not just an isolated few peppering
their conversations with blue adjectives but rather a seemingly
acceptable way for more than a handful of students to bellow down
and across the hallways.
Remarkably, I have seen, more often than I care to remember, adults
walk by a loudly swearing student and show little or no reaction.
When I questioned my niece about this behavior she sighed, '"I
know. Everyone talks that way, it's horrible."
As if this weren't disturbing enough, what has happened
to going to school in decent attire? Now I remember a time when
dress codes seemed downright oppressive and jeans and tennis shoes
seem to be what kids are about, why stuff a fifteen-year-old into
a shirt and tie; that was a bit much. But are the kids '"challenging
structure" when they arrive at school (half) dressed and
looking like so many underage strippers? Do midriffs bared, hemlines
raised, and necklines plunged to the point of near-nakedness and
glimpses of male buttocks really challenge anything except dignity?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with or oppressive about enforcing
the dress code that the school states (in its handbook) it has.
Ditto for profane language.
Has it occurred to anyone at the school and certainly ˜ in
fairness to our educators who do have a clear idea about which
social behaviors are not acceptable ˜ to parents at home
who don't set limits for their kids, that this might be
a distraction in a learning environment to say nothing of
other difficulties that might arise; undue attention or even harassment?
Have I been the only one who has heard the boys call out the most
vile expressions and commands? Harm isn't delivered only
with a clenched hand or with a weapon. Words, as most of us know,
have power. Does anyone, parents and educators alike, realize
that these are children who have perhaps not yet fully learned
to deal with the consequences and implications of adult behaviors?
Isn't it rather odd how we shake our heads and act astonished
when teens get in sometimes serious trouble because of these kinds
of behaviors? It's o.k. to '"flaunt it" and '"show
it" but what a tragedy when the consequences these behaviors
tempt manifest themselves. Sound sort of familiar? How astonished
and morally outraged we are about reports of sexual activity among
very young students, among students and faculty.Mystified, we
wring our hands and say we just don't understand what's
going on. Astonishingly, there was a public outcry about '"civil
rights" when the dignified, level-headed, and much less
structurally-challenged middle school principal, Gail Kavanaugh,
tried to enforce a dress code entirely appropriate for young students.
The community members who clamored for '"rights" received
swift, and to my mind, craven acquiescence. What rights were these
folks clamoring for? The right to offer their children up to a
culture that sexualizes and exploits innocents to serve a market?
The right to encourage provocative behavior while we ambiguously
chasten them for acting upon what they have been conditioned by
the culture to be?
It must also, in fairness, be said that rational educators have
been, more and more in this generation, charged with trying to
cope with the cultural and social damage inflicted upon our children,
a topic too lengthy for this discussion, and as such have had
to perform the work of social scientists or psychologists rather
that that of educators. I understand that. If that is the case,
and if educators have tacitly accepted that responsibility, can't
these behaviors be addressed with the students as part of their
education as young members of our human community? What is the
rationale behind ignoring this? Is this administration so confused
about structure that they are afraid to have any at all? It doesn't
seem likely that teaching dignity and self-respect is going to
cramp the style of any adolescent. Further, what about the portion
of the student population that doesn't behave this way?
Don't they have a right to learn in an environment that
doesn't offend their sensibilities?
Call me a Puritan but if the idea is not to oppress the kids,
well, being forced to listen to profanity is oppressive. Maybe
I'll go to work with my trousers slipping from my derriere,
employ only four-letter expletives, call the women '"sluts,"
loudly invite them to perform any number of sexual acts, and see
how that goes. '"Just challenging structure," I could
weakly contend, '"It's my civil right."
The community is challenging the proposed closing of an elementary
school and is once again concerned about the budget. With regard
to taking on a challenge, I'd like to offer one to the school
board, Miss Rueben and her staff, and the parents and guardians
of Onteora High/Middle School students. Perhaps when you are through
standing up to these matters you'll visit the school and
stroll around the hallways when classes are not in session. Take
a glimpse at the structure challenging culture of the school and
the behavior of the children you are so passionately concerned
about. Maybe you'll find a new challenge to rise to ˆ
let's call it good teaching and parenting.
It seems that we are, very slowly, getting some renewed energy
from parents with regard to the many serious Œproblems in
the Onteora school district. I want to encourage more parents
to join the small group that is trying hard to turn things around
for our students. A small handful of parents can't do it
I can relate a story proving that diligence CAN bring about change.
A year ago I got a real eye-opener concerning the rules and regulations
provided by the National Honor Society organization governing
local chapters. Following many, many phone calls, cancelled appointments
by Hal Rowe and letters to various leaders at Onteora, I came
to the disappointing realization that Onteora has been operating
with an antiquated set of (their own) rules and was in non-compliance
with the national organization. I did not report the district,
which would have resulted in the chapter being pulled. Instead
I jeopardized my own children by doing the unpopular thing: nagging!
I knew that it was too late for the students who had been unfairly
denied entry to the society, despite fine grades and admirable
community and school contributions in past years. I also knew
many more would suffer in future years if I didn't speak
out for change. I waited one year I and recently recontacted the
school to see if the changes had been made. Some have. I will
ask for the additional corrected documents I haven't yet
If your student is denied membership and you have confidence that
everything is in order, please support your child and question
the process! There may be a simple answer that makes sense∑
or, you may find what I found: a system that allowed students
with multiple detentions, driving while intoxicated and little
or no leadership activities being voted in while your student
didn't get the popular vote!
I don't want to suggest that the Honor Society is the biggest
or only problem at Onteora. It will take parents who are willing
to speak out, even if it jeopardizes their student's popularity
with the staff, about ALL of the issues that have eaten away at
the quality of our district. (You'll be surprised to learn
that some members of the staff will agree with you. My son was
approached by numerous teachers indicating their support and apall
at what had happened. ) Your son or daughter will survive any
negative effects and he/she will have learned from your example
to question that which seems unfair and advocate for what is right.
Without strong energetic parents and independent
board members, the future at Onteora looks grim.
My name is Kirby Karaffa and I am a senior at Onteora high school.
As most of the public knows, on May 18 Onteora's budget failed.
I would like to talk about what the public doesn't know and how
it will affect most of the youth in this area.
To lose our budget will mean we lose all of our after-school music
programs. This includes Jazz band, Marching band, Sounds of Jazz,
Chamber ensemble, and school musicals. If this change were to
have happened only a few years before it would have changed my
I come from a broken home with many problems a young person should
not have to face. Life was difficult for me growing up. It was
a surprise I made it to 7th grade. With my new school (OCS Jr.
High) I joined the marching band, the best thing that ever happened
to me. My first years in the band were ones I'll never forget.
I learned so much and met so many great people including the director
Steven Murphy, drill instructor, Mary Krembs, and the color guard
instructor, Andrew Koehn.
In the beginning I was kind of afraid of these people because
they were tough on us on the field and worked us really hard.
I learned later that these people who were so tough on the field
would do anything for us off the field. Their dedication to the
band and each member is unlimited. For the first three years I
was in the band we never won anything and always came in last
place, but I developed bonds with members and directors that would
help me through the most challenging time of high school for me.
During my sophomore year my family fell apart and left me alone
with nothing. I eventually found a place with a roommate and worked
a ton to keep it. This time was very hard for me and I can't explain
how important it was to me to have the security and stability
of the whole band. Even though I had little time outside of work,
there was always a place for me on the field. No matter what was
happening in life I could come to school, escape to the band room
and be surrounded by caring, good people and have a home to belong.
All of the directors were there for me to talk and mentor me.
I don't know what I would have done without them all.
There's nothing like the feeling of marching and forgetting all
your problems. Doing a show over and over making lots of little
improvements as a group taught me a good work ethic and how to
work well with others. After six years with the band we finally
brought home championships in the 2003-2004 season. I couldn't
have asked for more my senior years. I cried so hard at my last
show. I don't want to leave the band.
hrough my years at Onteora I also became part of the choir, school
musicals, sounds of jazz, and NYSSMA. Doing all of this gave me
self-confidence and let me be the best I could be. Through these
groups I met Mrs. Krista Cayea, another music teacher here at
Onteora. She is not only a great friend and support, but has helped
me choose what I want to be when I'm older: a musical director.
I think every teacher and director of the Onteora music department
has helped me go to college. Whether it's the skills I've learned
from band, or the support from Mrs. Cayea to think I can do anything
I put my mind to, like college. I'm the first in my family to
go to college. I even got accepted into a prestigious Drama program
at SUNY Purchase. I'm going to have a future because of the dedication
of these teachers to all of their students. I've grown into a
good person because I've been surrounded by them here at school.
The after-school and weekend programs keep me busy and out of
trouble. If the budget fails again all of these activities, including
the marching band, will become a memory. The people I care about
most won't be able to do the things they love. To lose Marching
band, Jazz band, Musicals, and Chamber ensemble would be stealing
away hundreds of students' futures. To lose the extra music programs
would be losing a piece of Onteora's spirit and make a dim future
for prospective music students.
In a world we have today full of divorce, broken homes, and crime
we need a place for our students to be supported and express themselves.
I owe everything to this place and its people. Please on June
22 help vote yes for the budget because one day it could be your
kids or grandkids that just need a place to belong.
West Shokan, NY
I'd like to thank the people of the Onteora community who've supported
me over the last six year as I've worked to improve student achievement
and to promote the Board of Education's vision and goals.
It's been a challenging experience and one I've found rewarding.
I encourage others to run for the school board and to participate
in this uniquely American institution.
Thank you to all those that supported me in the recent Onteora
School District Board of Education election. Your support is only
the beginning. As a community have have the responsibility to
become more active in our children's education. We all have busy
lives, however; there is nothing more important than ensuring
our children have the best education possible. If you are asking
what can you do, well attend the important Board meeting scheduled
for June 7th at 7:00pm. Each of us needs to be more informed in
the decisions that we make. If you are not able to attend the
meeting, write letters or send an e-mail to the administration
and board memebers, expressing your thoughts and concerns. Demand
answers. If you are not sure who or where to send your concerms
or comments, contact your local school or central administration,
they may be able to answer your question, or direct you to the
issues facing our schools are many. While issues such as the large
parcel designation or the West Hurley School are important. Ensuring
that ALL of our children receive the best education possible is
the primary concern. We can acheive this through sound fiscal
management and open communication between the community and the
people running our schools.
Again, thank you to those who supported me in the election, including
our friends, neighbors, people unknown to me, and most of all
my wife Beth Anne and my children.
West Hurley, NY
We wish to point out how often we take our volunteer
Fire Departments, Rescue Squads, Town, County and State Police
for granted. We have never made a point of thanking a policeman
or fireman for committing their lives to helping others, but we
now thank God that they do.
On Saturday, May 22nd, our 3 year old son decided to '"take
a walk" with our dog in the woods surrounding our house
in rural Ulster County. Upon discovering him missing, we called
Ulster County 911 and received an immediate, overwhelming response
from the Olive Fire Department, the Olive Rescue Squad, the State
Police, the Ulster County Sheriff's Department and the Town
of Olive Police Department. This group of dedicated professionals
took swift action to attempt to track our son in the heavy woods
near our home. They organized our wonderful friends, family and
neighbors, along with their staff to put a rescue plan in to action.
We are blessed to have our son back, thanks to
a family almost a mile away who heard his cries and kept him safe
until police arrived to retrieve him. We thank this family. We
also hope that everyone takes a moment to thank a police officer,
or a rescue squad member or a 911 dispatcher for choosing a career
to serve the community. We hope that you never have to call on
them as we did, but if you do, we can testify that they are there
for us every hour of every day. We know that we will never be
able to thank them enough.
Jane & Paul Carroll