Hudson Valley residents have less than a week left to register
to vote in the November election. Mailed voter registration
forms must be postmarked by Oct. 10 and received by county Board
of Elections offices by Oct. 15. Voter registration forms are
available at all town halls, Department of Motor Vehicle offices
and post offices. Residents also can register to vote in person
at any local Board of Elections office.
To accommodate residents who might be unable to register in
person during the week, the state has designated Saturday, Oct.
11, as a statewide voter registration day.
Board of Election offices across the state will hold special
hours on that date so last-minute registrants can sign up to
vote in the Nov. 4 election.
In Ulster County, residents can register on that date from 2-9
p.m. at any town hall, except in the town of Olive, where voter
registration will be held at the Olive Free Library in West
To cast ballots in congressional, state, county or local elections,
voters must be a resident of the county in which they wish to
vote for at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
Tax The State?
A state appeals court has rejected a ban on local tax collections
on state-owned land, a move that ensures the integrity of the
state Forest Preserve and the fiscal viability of many Adirondack
and Catskill communities.
Last year, in a case called Dillenburg vs. New York, state Supreme
Court Justice Timothy Walker issued an order prohibiting the
state from making property tax payments on all lands managed
by the Department of Environmental Conservation, including Forest
Preserve lands in the Adirondack and Catskill parks. Last week,
the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, 4th Department,
reversed that decision.
“This is a major victory for those who live, work and
recreate in the Adirondacks and Catskills,” said Neil
Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club
(ADK). “The state Forest Preserve, which protects more
than 3 million acres of wild lands in the Catskills and Adirondacks,
is an important asset to all New Yorkers, and the fiscal burden
of maintaining these lands should be shared by all New Yorkers
and not fall on the shoulders of a few.”
Under the common law principle of sovereign immunity, codified
in the state’s Real Property Tax Law, no municipality
has the right to tax the state unless the state gives its consent.
In 1886, the year after the Legislature created the Forest Preserve,
lawmakers agreed to allow Forest Preserve communities to collect
taxes on these properties, the first such tax payments in state
history. In 2006, New York paid an estimated $80 million on
its land in the Adirondack and Catskill parks.
Over the years, the Legislature expanded that taxing authority
to certain communities with substantial state property within
their boundaries. Outside of the Forest Preserve, taxes are
paid on most state forest lands, but not all. John C. Dillenburg
III, who was then supervisor of the town of Arkwright in Chautauqua
County, sued the state, alleging that his community was being
unfairly denied tax payments on state-owned property within
Judge Walker, decrying the system of taxing state land as a
“hodgepodge” of state laws “devoid of any
consistent rationale,” ordered the state to stop paying
taxes on all of its lands. Judge Walker immediately stayed his
own order pending appeals, and the state has continued making
the tax payments, but the ruling caused uncertainty and apprehension
for local governments and property owners in the Adirondacks
and Catskills Parks.
The decision prompted calls for a moratorium on additional state
land purchases in the Adirondacks until the case was resolved,
a move that would have tied the state’s hands at a time
when it has a rare opportunity to protect tens of thousands
of Adirondack acres and open those lands to public recreation.
The Appellate Division in Rochester ruled that the Legislature
has the discretion to waive sovereign immunity in certain cases
without being subject to an “equal protection” challenge.
ADK, the Adirondack Council, the Open Space Conservancy, the
Adirondack Landowners Association, the Residents’ Committee
to Protect the Adirondacks, the Association for the Protection
of the Adirondacks, the Catskill Center for Conservation and
Development and Audubon New York filed a court brief in support
of continued tax payments on Forest Preserve land. The coalition
was represented by Marc S. Gerstman of Albany, former chief
counsel for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
A copy of the decision is available at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ad4/.
The folks at Belleayre Mountain want you to know something.
Contrary to popular belief, the state-owned ski center’s
popular fall festival has not been cancelled.
True, it won’t be on the grassy slopes where visitors
can stand in awe of panoramic views of the Catskills in full
color, but Belleayre and new partners Delaware and Ulster Railroad
think they’ve come up with a pretty good alternative.
The 29th Annual Belleayre Fall Festival will be held this coming
Columbus Day weekend, but at a new location thanks to a partnership
announced by the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) and the Delaware and Ulster Railroad. The
festival will take place on Oct. 11-12 at the Delaware and Ulster
Railroad on Route 28 in Arkville, Delaware County from 10am
This year's festival will offer dozens of craft vendors, live
music, food from Mary*s Cooking, a kid's crafts tent, face painting,
a giant hay maze and much more. The DURR will be running train
rides into the Catskill Mountains at the peak of fall color.
However, the Ski Center’s lifts will not be running this
weekend as previously reported.
Normally held at DEC's Belleayre Mountain ski area about five
miles away, the Railroad has worked with DEC to supply support
for the Festival. Belleayre Mountain representatives will also
be on-site to
provide information about tickets for the upcoming ski season.
Belleayre will have a tent where they will again be selling
the popular $99 four-pack of lift tickets, season passes, snowsports
programs, and much more.
For those that remain upset over the Belleayre Fall festival
being moved to Arkville, Councilman Rob Stanley and a couple
of Pine Hill Business folks have set up a mini festival in that
hamlet. Stanley recently complained that moving the festival
out of the town and the county would harm Shandaken and threatened
to set up something that would catch visitors before they went
westward to Arkville.
Now he says that the activities in Pine Hill are only meant
to compliment the larger Festival. Look for Live music and an
Oktoberfest atmosphere starting Friday night at both the Pine
Hill Arms and the Colonial Inn and there might be some special
events at the Pine Hill Community Center as well. There’s
even vendor space available for the weekend. Word is being spread
that such space, while costing $125 in Arkville, is available
for only $25.
If all goes well the event, called the Fall Crawl Oktoberfest,
may become an annual thing.
There’s another limb of this lanky stretch of fall fest
activities set for Saturday in Big Indian at Catskill Outback
Two New York City Department of Environmental Protection police
officers who were brought up on misconduct charges were recently
cleared when a state administrative law judge ruled that Officers
Gianfranco Nuccio and Michael Williamson did not commit misconduct
when they responded to a domestic violence call when on patrol
near the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County on October 2, 2007.
The officers received a 911 call while on patrol of an incident
on County Route 28 at a residence across from the reservoir.
After no response from the first Ulster 911 “poll”
for police response, the officers, who were five minutes away,
They were familiar with the residence since they had been there
before for prior domestic violence and environmental related
calls and they knew one of the occupants was a prior felon.
While responding, the officers sought supervisory permission,
which was delayed due to the unavailability of the nearest assigned
sergeant. The request was ultimately denied by another duty
sergeant, but later approved by a department inspector when
they officers said they were on the scene.
The officers found a bloody man in the driveway of the residence
and maintained the scene until local and state police arrived.
The inspector who approved the response later brought charges
against the two for violating the interim order.
“These officers should have been commended for their behavior
not charged with misconduct,” said Kenneth Wynder, president
of the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association, following
the judge’s decision. “This same agency has had
officers commit crimes and not be charged with any misconduct.
It is ridiculous to then have to justify the actions of good
Union counsel and attorney Terrence Dwyer said this is a case
“that should have never gone as far as it did.”
Information on the potential for natural gas drilling in the
Catskills is now available from the Catskill Watershed Corporation
(CWC) via a packet of basic information culled from various
sources for landowners, municipal officials and Catskills residents
interested in or concerned about the possibility for natural
gas exploration in the Marcellus shale formation.
This geologic formation underlies a large portion of the Appalachian
range, including the Catskill Region and the New York City Watershed.
It is believed to hold substantial deposits of natural gas which
have become accessible because of refined developments in extraction
The CWC Board of Directors, while not taking a position on whether
drilling is good or bad for the area, felt that its role as
a regional entity should be to disseminate accurate, balanced
information from reliable sources on the subject, according
to Executive Director Alan Rosa. Towards that end, it has sent
to village and town clerks in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed
a packet of backgrounders, maps and illustrations on geology,
drilling techniques and their impacts, leasing advice and tax
The packet is available to anyone upon request: Call toll-free
877-WAT-SHED (928-7433); or 845-586-1400.
The CWC has also added a page of pertinent Marcellus shale-related
links to its website (www.cwconline.org). These links include
the DEC, DRBC, CCE, New York Farm Bureau, NYS AG, and the Oil
& Gas Accountability Project.
Guess that, despite early reports from geologists, it all runs
deeper, and farther, than originally expected…
Lark In The Park
The 5th Annual "Lark in the Park" is underway and
its events continue to run through Monday, October 13th. This
year's "Lark in the Park" is co-sponsored by The Catskill
Center for Conservation and Development and the Catskill Mountain
Club. Please check out the impressive line-up of events online
Here's some of the events planned for the weekend (visit the
web site for more details about each and for more events):
Friday the 10th: Learn about the birthplace of the American
environmental ethic as you hike along the Escarpment Trail.
Andy Mele will put forth his hypothesis that this is the birthplace
of the European-American nature ethic, while telling stories
of Irving, Cooper, Cole, Church, the European Romantics, Melville,
Hawthorne, Burroughs, Emerson, Muir, TR Roosevelt and more!
10AM; call Andy at 845-679-0362 for more details.
Saturday the 11th: "Ride the Rails and the Trails!"
You can partake in a "multi-modal" excursion of the
Delaware & Ulster Railroad. Board the rail-ride in Arkville
with your bicycles and after lunch in Roxbury, cycle on the
newest section of the Catskill Scenic Trail to Grand Gorge,
and the catch the late train back to Arkville. 10:45AM; call
Peter Manning at 845-586-2611.
Sunday, the 12th: Kelly Hollow hike followed by a slide presentation
on "Catskill Peaks and Trails". Authors Carol &
David White will lead a hike in Kelly Hollow followed by a slide
presentation/book signing for their new book "Catskill
Peak Experiences" . Hike at 1PM; Slideshow at 4:45PM at
The Catskill Center; Carol and David at 315-853-6942.
Monday, the 13th: 12-mile hike of Plateau and Sugarloaf Mountains
and "discover" the newest trail in the Catskills!
From Silver Hollow Notch you'll ascend Plateau via the new section
of the Long Path and onto the Devil's Path to Sugarloaf and
hike out on the Pecoy Notch Trail. 8AM; Cal Johnson at 845-246-2006.
Pass On Pass?
Ulster County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson’s proposal
that Ulster, Greene and Delaware counties team up to institute
a “Catskill Regional Ski Pass” has received a chilly
reception from one of the region’s biggest ski centers
and only a curious look from another.
Donaldson, who earlier this year called for a public boycott
of activities at Hunter and Windham ski centers in Greene County
in response to their criticism of subsidies for the state-owned
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, now thinks that leaders of the
three counties should meet with tourism leaders and ski center
operators to develop and promote a ski pass that would allow
skiers to ski at any of the centers in the Catskill region.
Tim Woods, president of Windham Mountain, said Donaldson’s
idea has been discussed at length within his organization since
it was proposed, and Windham is not interested.
“First, we’re subsidizing Belleayre (with taxpayer
dollars),” Woods said. “Then we’re loaning
them our customers?”
Woods said he looks forward to more skier visits this season
anyway, saying that he expects high gas prices to keep skiers
from the metropolitan area closer to home than Vermont and New
Hunter Mountain President Russ Coloton said that he doesn’t
know anything about the regional ski pass plan.
“No one has contacted us yet,” he said. “Our
only understanding of it is from what we read in the paper.”
Coloton added that he would be interested in hearing more about
Donaldson said the leaders of the three Catskill Region counties
should work together to promote the whole region and raise awareness
of the fact that there are more ski centers in New York state
than in any other state in the country, and that there are more
ski centers in the Catskill region than in any other region
in the state.
“This type of approach makes more sense than Greene County
attacking Ulster County’s No. 1 tourist attraction, or
Ulster County calling for a boycott of Greene County’s
ski resorts, which in the long run is detrimental to the region
as a whole and to both counties,” Donaldson said.
Who Spent What
Members of the state Senate Majority spent an average of 62
percent more on their legislative offices than Minority party
members during the six months ending March 31, while Assembly
Majority members spent 33 percent more than Minority members
during the same period, according to a new searchable database
of legislative expenditure reports posted at www.SeeThroughNY.net.
The data show the 32 Senate Republicans spent an average of
$445,904 and the 30 Senate Democrats spent average of $274,316
on staff, rent, travel, telephone service, office supplies and
other expenditures. In the 150-member Assembly, where Democrats
hold a 108-42 edge, the average Democratic member spent $181,078
while the average Assembly Republican spent $135,982.
Topping the Senate expenditure list for the period was former
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who spent $607,232. The
Assembly’s top spender was Assemblyman Richard Gottfried
(D-Manhattan) at $402,776. Spending figures for to member offices
do not include added staff assigned to legislators who chair
committees. Also not included are member items, or pork barrel
projects, which can be viewed on www.SeeThroughNY.net under
“Community Projects Spending.”
Roughly $48 million of the $110.7 million spent by the Legislature
during the period was allocated to individual member offices.
The other $63 million was spent on committee and central operations
including telephones, print shops, TV and radio studios and
other items. The Legislature’s 2008-09 budget is $219
The Ulster County Health Department will hold its annual influenza
and pneumococcal vaccination clinics at several locations throughout
the county beginning on October 15 in Shokan. No appointments
are necessary, and county residents may attend any site which
County residents who are at greatest risk for influenza-related
conditions are encouraged to receive the flu vaccination. This
high-risk group includes those over the age of 50, as well as
adults aged 18 and over who have heart disease, chronic broncho-pulmonary
disease, renal disease, diabetes mellitus, other chronic metabolic
disorders, severe anemia and/or compromised immune function,
and others who are at risk of influenza-related conditions.
Influenza vaccine is also recommended for home care providers
and others (including household members) who may be in close
contact with high-risk individuals.
Senior citizens who have Medicare Part B benefits will be able
to obtain their vaccinations through Medicare. The recipient
must be entitled to Part B coverage on the date of service,
Medicare Part B must be the primary insurance coverage, and
the Medicare Card must be presented on the date of service.
For those not eligible for Medicare Part B coverage, there will
be a $20.00 charge for influenza vaccination and a $35.00 charge
for pneumococcal vaccination, payable at the clinic. County
residents enrolled in Medicare Managed Care programs should
consult with their primary care physician prior to presenting
at one of the Health Department’s sites.
Ulster County Department of Health Flu Clinics will be administered
locally this year from the Ulster County Senior Care-A-Van,
for seniors age 60 and over, at Reservoir United Methodist Church
on Route 28 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, October 14
and at the United Methodist Church in Phoenicia from 10:30 AM
to 2:30 PM on Wednesday, November 12.
For recorded information about all dates and times, please call
the Ulster County Health Department Flu Hotline at 340-3093.
Information can also be obtained through our web site: www.co.ulster.ny.us/health.
Meanwhile, Margaretville Hospital will hold its annual Fall
Health Fair on Monday, October 13 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM in
the hospital lobby. Free health screenings will include: Blood
pressure, blood glucose, Body Mass Indexing, hearing tests,
CO breath analyzer, and Pulse Oximeter for lung function.
For additional information about the Health Fair or hospital
services, please call 845-586-2631.
The House of Representatives has granted final approval to $2.4
million for C9 Corporation and PrecisionFlow Technologies to
further develop their solar technology for the US military.
The companies will conduct their work in conjunction with The
Solar Energy Consortium in Ulster County.
The Senate is also expected to grant its final approval for
the funding shortly.
C9 currently has a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense
to develop Silicon Carbide-type semiconductors for the military.
It is anticipated that the newly developed solar application
technology will be used for civilian and commercial use as well.
PrecisionFlow Technologies will construct the machines that
C9 will use to develop its solar products. It’s expected
that PrecisionFlow Technologies will be adding new jobs at its
Saugerties site to adequately handle this new business.
U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey, currently running for reelection,
secured $3.2 million for C9 as part of the Fiscal Year 2008
Fear of the government in many communities after the Sept. 11
attacks and years of debate over immigration policy could create
problems in getting an accurate count of the U.S. population
in 2010, the director of the Census Bureau said recently.
To combat people’s hesitancy, the bureau will work with
local governments and organizations such as churches and community
groups to make sure people understand what the census is and
that the data won’t be shared. Participation in the nation’s
count every 10 years is required, but no one has been prosecuted
for refusing to respond. Getting an accurate count of everyone
who lives in the country is vital because it determines how
congressional seats are apportioned and how federal funds are
given out, among other things.
“A community that doesn’t respond to the census
doesn’t exist,” said New York City’s chief
demographer, Joseph Salvo.
To conduct the survey, the Census Bureau sends mailings and
then follows up with visits to households that don’t respond.
It doesn’t ask about legal status, but there has been
a push to count only American citizens. The 2008 Republican
platform includes that point.
FreeStyle Realty is opening a new office on Main Street in Phoenicia,
directly across from the Phoenicia Belle Bed and Breakfast.
“We are happy and anxious to become a vital part of the
Phoenicia community,” said Doreen Mar, the company’s
Centennial Mortgage has joined FreeStyle by opening a satellite
office at the same location.
Bruce Katz, President of Centennial, indicates that in these
times of financial uncertainty, “You need a powerful team
of local experts fully committed to providing you with the best
up-to-the-minute advice available.”
The Central Catskills Collaborative held the latest of its monthly
meetings at the historic Skene Memorial Library in Fleischmanns
on Thursday, October 2. The featured speaker was Peg Ellsworth,
Executive Director of the M-ARK Project and previously a driving
force behind the Town of Roxbury’s outstanding heritage
tourism programs and landscapes, which earned the community
the prestigious Preserve America Designation and the NY State
Historic Preservation Award. The Roxbury Nine Vintage Base Ball
Club and popular “turn-of-the-century” events like
Railride into Yesteryear have helped stimulate the town and
surrounding area’s economy for 10 years. The community
of Fleischmanns, once a baseball hub of the Catskills, also
recently resurrected its vintage baseball team, the Mountain
Athletic Club, and hopes to connect with the historic Delaware
and Ulster Railroad to repeat Roxbury’s success.
After the presentation, the gathering organized into facilitated
interest groups, who discussed connections between heritage
tourism and two of the region’s key resources: Route 28
(the Onteora Trail) and the Ulster & Delaware (U&D)
Railroad Corridor. The session was designed to assist the collaborative,
which is beginning the planning process for a Rte. 28 scenic
byway and looking into improving the connections between municipalities
and business and nonprofit entities along the U&D Corridor.
For more information please contact Peter Manning, Regional
Planner, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development
(845) 586-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Dave Paterson has signed legislation to encourage the
construction of new homes and the renovation of existing homes
to meet “green building” standards. The measure
was sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill of Kingston, chairman
of the Assembly Energy Committee.
The bill creates financial incentives to state residents who
agree to “go green” when building new homes or renovating
existing ones. The program will be administered by the New York
State Energy Research and Development Authority.
“One of the quickest and most effective ways we can cut
back on energy costs and globe changing pollution is to rethink
the way we build and renovate our homes,” Cahill said.
“Sustainable green building practices are no longer a
luxury; they are a necessity for our economic, environmental
and energy security. The program will give homeowners and builders
the incentives to make green buildings the standard going forward.”
Environmental Advocates has named Kingston Assemblyman Kevin
Cahill as Legislator of the Year.
In 18 months of searching, Justice Department Inspector General
Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief
H. Marshall Jarrett have uncovered new e-mail messages hinting
at heightened involvement of White House lawyers and political
aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.
But they could not probe much deeper because key officials declined
to be interviewed and a critical timeline drafted by the White
House was so heavily redacted that it was ‘virtually worthless
as an investigative tool,’ the authorities said. ‘We
were unable to fully develop the facts regarding the removal
of [David C.] Iglesias and several other US Attorneys because
of the refusal by certain key witnesses to be interviewed by
us, as well as the White House’s decision not to provide
... internal documents to us,’ the investigators concluded
in their report.”
Guess we have to wait for this one to fully unfold…
Educators, public safety officials, parents, and concerned citizens
are invited to attend a conference on “Violence in Our
Schools: Protecting Our Most Valuable Resource” featuring
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, an expert in dealing with this national
and international threat, on Thursday, October 16, from 8:30
a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Quimby Theater on the Stone Ridge campus
of SUNY Ulster. Colonel Grossman will speak on “Lessons
Learned from Jonesboro, Littleton, Virginia Tech, and from Vietnam
and Iraq; The Psychological Cost of School and Campus Violence.”
The morning talk will be followed by an afternoon session on
“Impact and Solutions.”
Colonel Grossman is a West Point psychology professor, Professor
of Military Science, and an Army Ranger who has combined his
experiences to become the founder of a new field of scientific
endeavor, which has been termed “killology,” or
the study of the act of killing. He is also the author of Stop
Teaching Our Kids To Kill, an indictment of violent video games,
movies, and television shows. His Pulitzer-nominated book On
Killing is on the US Marine Corps’ recommended reading
list and is required reading at the FBI academy and numerous
other academies and colleges.
Seating is limited, and advance registration is recommended.
To register by phone, call 845-687-5109.
The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas
20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into
the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered
by scientists.Details of preliminary findings suggest that massive
deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the
Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats.
Underground stores of methane are important because scientists
believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible
for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes
to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists
aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of
Russia’s northern coast have discovered intense concentrations
of methane - sometimes at up to 100 times background levels
- over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the
Siberian continental shelf.
In the past weeks, the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming
with gas bubbling up through “methane chimneys”
rising from the sea floor. They believe that the sub-sea layer
of permafrost, which has acted like a “lid” to prevent
the gas from escaping, has melted away to allow methane to rise
from underground deposits formed before the last ice age.
They have warned that this is likely to be linked with the rapid
warming that the region has experienced in recent years.
Methane is about 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas
than carbon dioxide and many scientists fear that its release
could accelerate global warming in a giant positive feedback
where more atmospheric methane causes higher temperatures, leading
to further permafrost melting and the release of yet more methane.
The amount of methane stored beneath the Arctic is calculated
to be greater than the total amount of carbon locked up in global
coal reserves so there is intense interest in the stability
of these deposits as the region warms at a faster rate than
other places on earth.
The Arctic region as a whole has seen an 8F degree rise in average
temperatures over recent decades and a dramatic decline in the
area of the Arctic Ocean covered by summer sea ice. Many scientists
fear that the loss of sea ice could accelerate the warming trend
because open ocean soaks up more heat from the sun than the
reflective surface of an ice-covered sea.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County recently participated
in the 2008 Snapshot Day event sponsored by the Hudson River
Estuary Program of the DEC in partnership with Hudson Basin
River Watch. CCE educators collected scientific information
from the Esopus Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River, right
across the street from Onteora High School on Tuesday, October
7 from 10 AM to 12 Noon with the high school’s AP Environmental
Studies class. Data will be posted on the CCE website so that
students can compare their results to the 52 other sites that
will be collecting data from the Hudson River on the same day.
And observations from the Esopus Creek will be posted on line
to NYC participants so they can learn more about their water
To learn more about this event go to www.dec.ny.gov/lands/47285.html.
With scientists at odds about the risks of a chemical found
in plastic baby bottles, metal cans and other food packaging,
the government gave consumers some tips on how to reduce their
exposure to BPA even as it said the substance is safe.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee met as a major
study linked bisphenol A to possible risks of heart disease
and diabetes. The scientific debate could drag on for years.
Concerns About Bisphenol ADenis Farrell, AP4 photos Bisphenol
A, a chemical used in baby bottles, food cans and other items,
is safe, federal regulators said. But a new study has suggested
that BPA raised a person’s risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it’s
safe, so we’re not recommending any change in habits,”
said Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA’s office of food
additive safety. But she acknowledged, “there are a number
of things people can do to lower their exposure.”
For example, consumers can avoid plastic containers imprinted
with the recycling number ‘7,’ as many of those
contain BPA. Or, Tarantino said, they can avoid warming food
in such containers, as heat helps to release the chemical.
More than 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their
bodies, but the FDA says the levels of exposure are too low
to pose a health risk, even for infants and children. Other
scientists, however, say BPA has been shown to affect the human
body even at very low levels.
Another study released by the Journal of the American Medical
Association suggested a new concern about BPA. Using a health
survey of nearly 1,500 adults, the study found that those exposed
to higher amounts of BPA were more likely to report having heart
disease and diabetes. Because of the possible public health
implications, the results “deserve scientific follow-up,”
its authors said.
The study is preliminary, far from proof that the chemical caused
the health problems. Two Dartmouth College analysts of medical
research said it raises questions but provides no answers about
whether the ubiquitous chemical is harmful.
FDA officials said they are not dismissing such findings. “We
recognize the need to resolve the concerning questions that
have been raised,” said Tarantino, acknowledging that
more research is needed. But the FDA is also arguing that the
studies with rats and mice it relied on for its assessment are
more thorough than some of the human research that has raised
The agency has asked an outside scientific panel for a second
opinion on BPA’s safety, and the medical journal article
was released to coincide with the advisers’ hearing. The
FDA has the power to ban or limit use of BPA in food containers
and medical devices.
BPA is used in hardened plastics and in a wide range of consumer
goods, including the lining of metal cans, eyeglass lenses and
compact discs. Many scientists believe it can act like the hormone
estrogen, and animal studies have linked it with breast, prostate
and reproductive system problems and some cancers.
Several states are considering restricting BPA use, some manufacturers
have begun promoting BPA-free baby bottles, and some stores
are phasing out baby products containing the chemical. The European
Union has said BPA-containing products are safe, but Canada’s
government has proposed banning the sale of baby bottles with
BPA as a precaution.
The FDA advisory panel is expected to make its recommendations
to the FDA late next month.
Marilyn Ruth Ford, 80, of Mt. Tremper, died on Sunday, October
5th. Her tenacious love of life could not overcome the power
of lung cancer. Marilyn passed gracefully and peacefully from
her sleep while in the loving embrace of her family.
Marilyn lived life to the fullest during her 80 years. She was
born on November 10, 1927 in Brooklyn; the daughter of Florence
Nelson Bennett and Floyd Bennett. As a child, she remembered
riding a sleigh through the snow-covered streets of her Bay
Ridge neighborhood. As a young adult, Marilyn worked at the
radio station of Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. She graduated
Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. She met Robert Ford
at work in his father’s garage in Shandaken in 1947 ,
and they married in June of 1948. During their early married
years they lived in Oliverea, New York City, and Phoenicia.
By 1950 they had built their permanent home in Mt. Tremper.
Marilyn had a love of family, animals, nature, art, and music.
Marilyn had many talents and interests. She played piano, and
painted using watercolors, oils, and pastels. She crafted many
family heirlooms in wood and wool. Marilyn was a talented seamstress;
sewing her daughter’s wedding gown as well as many quilts,
skirts, and dresses. She also crafted stained glass chandeliers
to light her families’ dinner tables. She taught herself
to lay cobblestone with mortar, and carried stones from the
Esopus Creek to build patio walls and stairs. In her daughter’s
house, she laid a cobblestone veneer chimney three stories high,
which is remarkable in light of her aversion to heights.
Marilyn is survived by her husband of 60 years, Robert; her
children Debbie Park of Idaho, Mark Ford of Saugerties, and
Wayne Ford of Roxbury; a brother, Floyd Bennett of Great Barrington,
Massachusetts; her five grandchildren: Matthew and Harley Park,
Jennifer (Park) Haaland, Christopher Ford, and Marisa Ford;
and two great- grandchildren, Megan and Samuel Haaland.
A Service to Celebrate the life of Mrs. Ford was held on Wednesday
at 10am at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia
with the Rev. Ralph Darmstadt as celebrant. Burial will be in
the family plot at the Hudler Cemetery Rt. 28 Mt. Tremper.
DEC officials advised motorists in the state to watch out for
moose, after one of the large creatures was struck by several
motorists and killed on an interstate highway September 23.
Turns out early fall is moose breeding season, and they’re
at their most active this time of year as they wander into areas
they don’t typically travel in search of mates.
Most years, a moose or two meet an untimely end on the northern
sections of the NYS Thruway. Last year, one caused a major truck
accident not far from Catskill.
What was notable about this most recent close-encounter was
that it happened not up in the Adirondacks, but on I-684 down
in the Westchester suburb of Lewisboro. A bit further south
and they’ll have to start alerting subway trainmen...