New EMS Gear
Shadaken Ambulance Squad gave thanks this week to New Paltz
Rescue Squad and Chief Jim Coddington for their gracious donation
of 10 sets of turnout gear to the Town of Shandaken Ambulance
saving a total of approximately $20,000.00.
Voting rights for second homeowners in New York State received
a major boost last week from the courts. In an important written
decision, Justice Kevin M. Dowd of the New York State Supreme
Court, 6th Judicial District in Norwich, granted a petition
filed on behalf of eight voters from Bovina, restoring them
to the Delaware County election rolls. According to the court,
the Delaware County Board of Elections did not apply the correct
legal standard when it removed the voters from the rolls with
the rationale that their residence in Delaware County was not
their primary residence. Furthermore, the court enjoined the
Delaware County Board of Elections from now on to allow residents
with more than one home to choose for themselves if they wish
to vote in Delaware County.
Larry Karam, co-director and counsel of the Alliance for Bovina,
said: “Second homeowners care deeply about their communities,
and shouldn’t face obstacles to community involvement.
We were shocked when the Delaware County Board of Elections
disenfranchised our members, and we’re grateful that our
neighbors in Bovina and neighboring towns are now free to vote
where they think it counts the most. Judge Dowd simply followed
long established law in New York.
The original petition stemmed from a challenge in March 2007
by Bovina resident Ed Rossley. He charged that eight petitioners
were second homeowners, not fulltime residents, and therefore
ineligible to vote in Bovina.
A number of Hudson Valley projects are among those that will
receive state Environmental Protection Fund money under the
Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
New York’s waterfronts extend more than 5,000 miles, encompassing
all of Long Island, New York City, the Hudson River, the State
Canal System, the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, and major
inland waterways such as the Finger Lakes, Lake George, Lake
Champlain, and the lakes of the Adirondacks. Among local efforts
getting funding will be...
The Esopus-Delaware Corridor Revitalization Strategym which
involves the Town of Olive in partnership with five other municipalities
along the Route 28 corridor. They will conduct a visioning,
planning and design for regional revitalization of the Esopus
Creek and the East Branch of the Delaware River. The state will
Ulster County will receive $100,000 for the Ulster County Regional
Waterfront Revitalization Plan.
The Town of Middletown will receive $80,000 for the Middletown
Revitalization Plan in collaboration with the Village of Margaretville
and the hamlet of Arkville.
Ulster County lawmakers have been asked to cut municipalities’
election expenses for next year by about one-quarter of the
planned amount - a move that would save the county’s 20
towns and city of Kingston a combined quarter-million dollars.
As currently envisioned, the total cost of the 2009 election
in the county would be $1.68 million, with the municipalities
expected to pay $1.26 million of that amount. The balance, $420,000,
would be paid by the county.
Town leaders have expressed outrage at how much they’re
being asked to pay, which is nearly five times what the 2007
election cost them. (The cost of the 2008 election, held Tuesday,
is not yet known.) Part of the problem is the towns and the
city of Kingston didn’t learn about the higher costs for
next year’s vote until after many of them had developed
their municipal budgets for 2009.
The proposal for lowering the municipalities’ projected
expenses is to come before the Ulster County Legislature’s
Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 13. If the cut ultimately is
approved, the total cost to the municipalities would be $982,669
- still more than last year but about $277,000, or 23 percent,
less than the projected $1.26 million.
Under the proposal to cut municipalities’ expenses from
the projected $1.26 million to the suggested $982,669, election
costs for next year would be as follows. (The numbers in parentheses
are the additional amounts the county would pay for each community’s
Among local town figures are...
Denning: $3,399, up $857 from 2007. (County: $945.)
Hardenburgh: $1,659, down $1,662. (County: $461.)
Marbletown: $37,116, up $28,448. (County: $10,320.)
Olive: $28,360, up $20,913. (County: $7,886.)
Rochester: $41,874, up $34,015. (County: $11,644.)
Shandaken: $19,995, up $14,169. (County: $5,559.)
Woodstock: $41,467, up $32,000.
Shandaken town police reported arresting a woman who left children
ages 1, 8, and 12 home alone for 31 hours from Friday, October
24 until Saturday. October 25. Police said they charged Lissette
M. Alamonte-Dueno, 41, of 7212 state Route 28, Shandaken, with
three counts of the misdemeanors of endangering the welfare
of a child and criminal contempt Sunday for violating an order
of protection issued by the Ulster County Family Court for a
The children were placed in emergency care by the county Department
of Child Protective Services, police said. Alamonte-Dueno was
sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or
$5,000 bond to return to Shandaken Town Court at a later date.
A new foreclosure prevention initiative for Dutchess, Ulster,
Orange and Sullivan counties, Hudson Valley Foreclosure Prevention
Services, was launched recently in Poughkeepsie. With $1 million
in funding, Hudson Valley Foreclosure Prevention Services is
a joint effort between Hudson River Housing, Rural Ulster Preservation
Company, and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, providing
counseling and loss mitigation services to residents of the
They expect to assist over 1,100 residents through the program.
A Town of Shandaken man has been indicted on two counts of vehicular
manslaughter in the second degree and two counts of vehicular
assault in the second degree in connection with the death of
a friend. On September 6, 2008 at about 10:30 p.m., Jay Canosa,
42, drove a Chevrolet pickup truck into a tree on Broad Street
Hollow Road in Shandaken, resulting in the death of a passenger,
Timothy Phelan, 48, of Shandaken. Another passenger suffered
serious physical injuries including several broken ribs, a renal
laceration and bilateral pulmonary contusions. A lab analysis
revealed a blood alcohol content of .11.
Canosa had admitted to drinking several rum and cokes at a local
bar less than an hour before the crash. If convicted of vehicular
manslaughter, he faces from 2 1/3 to seven years in state prison.
State Senator John Bonacic recently said he would support a
constitutional amendment to let the public decide if New York
should allow full scale casino gaming.
Full casinos are not allowed now, thanks in part, to a ruling
by the current U.S. Interior Secretary, who is opposed to off-reservation
casinos. All that’s allowed are video lottery machines
- electronic slot machines without arms - at raceways. Both
Monticello and Yonkers raceways have racinos.
The former Concord Hotel property is being developed as a large
entertainment complex that will include a new Monticello Gaming
and Raceway and racino. Bonacic said full scale casino gaming
should be left to the voters.
“I would let the people decide; that’s democracy,”
he said. “I would like to see a constitutional amendment
down the road to let the people see if they want to spend their
money in New York or go to Atlantic City or Connecticut or Vegas
Developer Louis Cappelli is investing $1 billion on the Concord
Empire Resorts, the company that owns the raceway and racino,
had been working on plans with the St. Regis Mohawk Native Americans
to build a casino, but that needed federal approval, which was
The Central Catskills Collaborative invites the public to attend
a meeting on Thursday, November 13 from 3-5 PM. The Collaborative
is a group of representatives from seven municipalities from
Hurley to Andes, who are working together to protect and promote
the resources along the Route 28 Corridor. The meeting begins
at 3pm at the Middletown Town Hall on Route 28 in Arkville with
a presentation by the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce
and their website designers, Chris Chase and Chris Lynk from
DTi, on how the website benefits area businesses and governments,
and is a key tool in building the regional community. The Central
Catskill Collaborative website, hosted by The Chamber site,
will be unveiled followed by an update on the DEC-funded Route
28 Scenic Byway project. At 4pm the meeting will move to the
Margaretville Bowl, located opposite the Town Hall. Owner Mike
Finberg, a member of the Collaborative, is offering a discount
bowling package for meeting participants, and refreshments will
be served. For more information please contact Peter Manning,
Regional Planner, Catskill Center for Conservation and Development
(845) 586-2611 or email@example.com
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised its
standard long-term rating and Standard & Poor’s underlying
rating on Ulster County’s general obligation bonds to
‘AA-’from ‘A’, based on the county’s
transitioning of its local economic base toward a more service-oriented
economy, solid financial performance measured by continuous
strong reserve levels, and good management. At the same time,
the rating service assigned its ‘AA-’ standard long-term
rating with a stable outlook to the county’s $14.6 million
series 2008 GO public improvement bonds.
The rating reflects an economic base that historically has been
centered around manufacturing and more recently has experienced
a shift toward a more service-oriented economy; good wealth
and income indicators and healthy tax-base growth; continued
solid financial position since fiscal 2006, despite fluctuating
operations in previous years; and the county’s low overall
debt profile and manageable capital plan.
The stable outlook reflects the county’s continued solid
financial performance. “The ongoing transition of the
local economy, which has broadened employment opportunities,
drawing residents from nearby areas and thus fostering continued
commercial activity, is a credit strength,” said Standard
& Poor’s credit analyst Marilyn Cruz. The county’s
low debt indicators and management’s oversight of the
fiscal policies bring additional stability to the rating.
In other good news of late, sales of existing single-family
homes in the Hudson Valley and Catskills have made somewhat
of a comeback.While most, if not all, counties faces losses
for the past several months, a number saw increased sales in
September 2008 when compared to the same month last year, according
to the New York State Association of Realtors.
Sales rose by almost four percent in Greene County and they
eked up by one percent in Ulster County.
Sales of existing homes fell by 44 percent in Delaware County,
by 23 percent in Sullivan County, and by 18 percent in Westchester
Statewide, home sales year over year in September fell by four
Westchester County continued to have the highest median priced
homes sold at $635,000. Delaware County had the lowest at $120,000.
Homes sold for an average of $240,000 in Ulster.
What can a community do to achieve some sort of state of well
being and optimism while we travel the corridors of uncertainty?
It can meet and talk about these and other issues surrounding
the newly formed re-localization movement on Sunday,. November
9 at 5pm at the Odd Fellows Hall on Rt. 213 in Olivebridge.
Park around the corner at the firehouse. Wood fired pizza potluck
starts at 5 followed by a screening of “The Power of Community,”
which documents the change in Cuba to local organic food production
in response to a severe change in the price and availability
of petroleum products in Cuba due to the collapse of the former
Soviet Union in 1991.
RSVP about pizza toppings and other potluck needs by calling
657-2030 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Maverick Concerts of West Hurley has been named “Best
Cultural Business” of 2008 by the Ulster County Chamber
of Commerce and the Ulster County Development Corporation. The
award is in recognition of Maverick’s contribution to
the quality of life of Ulster County residents through culture
and the arts and for furthering Ulster County’s identity
as a cultural destination.
The award was presented to the Maverick’s Board Chairperson
Susan Rizwani and Board Member Dr. Edward Leavitt at the Fourth
Annual Ulster County Business Recognition Awards Dinner on Tuesday,
October 21, 2008, at the Wiltwyck Golf Club.
Maverick Concerts, which concluded its 93rd season this past
Labor Day, is America’s oldest continuous summer chamber
music festival and a winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP
Award for Adventurous Programming. Presenting concerts by nationally
and internationally known performers at affordable prices, Maverick
thrives on its audiences’ love of great music and the
spirit of its unique site in the unspoiled woods just outside
In 1916, Hervey White, founder of the collaborative Maverick
Art Colony, gathered a group of artists and other volunteers
to build a hand-hewn “music chapel.” This rustic
concert hall is now a multi-starred attraction on the National
Register of Historic Places. The hall, with its perfect acoustics,
is ideally suited to chamber music and the intimacy of live
performance. In 2008, Maverick was honored with a $148,000 matching
grant from Save America’s Treasures for preservation of
Maverick presents concerts every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon
from late June through Labor Day. There are four young people’s
concerts on selected Saturday mornings at 11:00. Tickets are
general admission with no reserved seating, and a special “rock
bottom” area provides pay-what-you-can seating. The Maverick
Concert Hall is located on Maverick Road near Woodstock, approximately
one mile from the road’s junctions with either Route 375
or Route 28. For additional information, visit www.maverickconcerts.org,
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County and the Ulster
County Farm Bureau will host an evening of celebration with
fine food and entertainment for their annual dinner at The Hillside
Manor located on Route 32 in Kingston on Friday, November 14,
at 6:30pm. Each year Cooperative Extension recognizes individuals
for their countless hours of volunteering and dedication to
select programs in our community. This year’s Friends
of Extension honorees are Ulster County Area Transit (U.C.A.T.),
Chuck Garrison, Crist Brothers Orchards, and Sickler, Torcia,
Allen & Churchill CPA’s PC.
The evening will include a silent auction. Please RSVP no later
than Friday, November 7. For reservations call Dona Crawford
Cabane Studios Fine Art Gallery and Photography Studio, located
at 38 Main Street in Phoenicia, across from Sweet Sue’s,
will be hosting an opening reception on Frida, November 14th
from 6pm to 9pm. It’s first show of paintings, drawings
and photographs will show until January 1, 2009. Gallery hours
will be Fridays 3-6, Saturdays 12-6, or by appointment. For
further information visit http://cabanestudios.wordpress.com/
Pure Catskills and the Slow Food Catskills Convivium are hosting
a special event dinner at the Slow Down Food Company, Andes.
Six delegates from the Catskills Delegation are returning with
insight and stories from their recent trip to the Terra Madre
Conference in Turin, Italy. The dinner is open to the public
and will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 15th.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., guests will be able to browse displays
from the sponsoring groups and photo collages by the Catskills
Terra Madre delegation. The delegation will share their impressions
of the Piedmont region, understanding garnered from farmers
from across the world and knowledge gleaned from the Terra Madre
events. At 6 p.m., Northern Italian Piedmontese cuisine will
be served, featuring ingredients brought back from Italy and
the Terra Madre food market. Over dessert, farmers and chefs
who attended the event will speak in a roundtable session.
Pure Catskills’ six local representatives were just a
few of the thousands of farmers, chefs, educators and advocates
from around the world at the conference.
Visit www.slowfoodcats.com for more information on Slow Food
Catskills, the local chapter of Slow Food, founded in 1986.
Pure Catskills is an economic initiative of the Watershed Agricultural
Council. For more information, visit www.nycwatershed.org.
Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact Leslie
Deysenroth at the Watershed Agricultural Council by phone at
(607) 865-7017 or by email at email@example.com.
What would it really cost to end global hunger? The United Nations
estimates that it would take at least $30 billion per year to
solve the food crisis, mainly by boosting agricultural productivity
in the developing world. Over the decade that it would take
to make sustainable improvements in the lives of the 862 million
undernourished people, that amounts to $300 billion. Three hundred
billion dollars is a lot of money, but it’s less than
half of 1% of the world’s combined gross domestic products,
not an unreasonable sum to invest in ending the misery and degradation
of hunger. After all, Congress shelled out $21 billion last
year for foreign aid, recently approved $162 billion for the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2009, spent $340 billion
in 2006 alone on public and private research and development...
and then bailed out Wall Street.
Meanwhile, new evidence suggests that organic practices - derided
by some as a Western lifestyle fad - are delivering sharp increases
in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income
of Africa’s small farmers who remain among the poorest
people on earth. The head of the UN’s Environment Programme,
Achim Steiner, said the report “indicates that the potential
contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far
higher than many had supposed”.
The “green revolution” in agriculture in the 1960s
- when the production of food caught and surpassed the needs
of the global population for the first time - largely bypassed
Africa. Whereas each person today has 25 percent more food on
average than they did in 1960, in Africa they have 10 percent
A combination of increasing population, decreasing rainfall
and soil fertility and a surge in food prices has left Africa
uniquely vulnerable to famine. Climate change is expected to
make a bad situation worse by increasing the frequency of droughts
It had been conventional wisdom among African governments that
modern, mechanised agriculture was needed to close the gap but
efforts in this direction have had little impact on food poverty
and done nothing to create a sustainable approach. Now, the
global food crisis has led to renewed calls for a massive modernization
of agriculture on the hungriest continent on the planet, with
calls to push ahead with genetically modified crops and large
industrial farms to avoid potentially disastrous starvation.
But research conducted by the UN Environment Programme suggests
that organic, small-scale farming can deliver the increased
yields which were thought to be the preserve of industrial farming,
without the environmental and social damage which that form
of agriculture brings with it.
An analysis of 114 projects in 24 African countries found that
yields had more than doubled where organic, or near-organic
practices had been used. That increase in yield jumped to 128
percent in east Africa.
The study found that organic practices outperformed traditional
methods and chemical-intensive conventional farming. It also
found strong environmental benefits such as improved soil fertility,
better retention of water and resistance to drought. And the
research highlighted the role that learning organic practices
could have in improving local education.
Backers of GM foods insist that a technological fix is needed
to feed the world. But this form of agriculture requires cash
to buy the patented seeds and herbicides - both at record high
prices currently - needed to grow GM crops.
Bye Bye Birdie will be presented at Onteora High School on Thursday,
November 13 through Saturday, November 15, at 7 p.m. and Sunday,
November 16 at 2 p.m.
Bye Bye Birdie is a hilarious look back at the 1960’s
where easy listening pop music was being overtaken by rock and
roll. This classic musical showcases teenie-boppers from all
over the country who are crying and fainting because the worst
possible thing has happened: Conrad Birdie, the biggest singing
sensation of the 1960’s, has been drafted! Before he heads
off to the army, his manager has created one final publicity
stunt: Conrad will give a goodbye kiss to a randomly chosen
member of the Birdie fan club on a live broadcast of The Ed
Sullivan Show. The plot revolves around the complications that
arise, the craze for Rock ‘n Roll, and the antics of typical
When this Tony Award-winning show opened on Broadway in 1960,
it was a send-up of current popular culture. Elvis Presley and
the Beatles were on the scene, much to the chagrin of parents
all across America. With its timeless themes, imaginative dance
routines, and memorable songs such as “Put on a Happy
Face” and “Telephone Hour “, this blast from
the past is guaranteed to be riotously funny.
Bye Bye Birdie continues Onteora’s musical tradition,
including Grease, Oklahoma, and 42nd Street. Tickets for Onteora’s
production of Bye Bye Birdie are available by calling 657-2373.
All performances will be held at the Onteora High School auditorium
All women of the area are invited to attend the Shandaken Womens’
Network open meeting, social hour and dinner on Wednesday November
19th from 6:00-9:00pm at the Boiceville Inn that is open to
all women who live or work in the area east of Delaware County,
from Kingston to Margaretville. This will be a meeting of hearts
and minds to hear about visions for the group moving forward.
The discussion will be facilitated by SWN member Elly Wininger.
There is no charge to attend the meeting.
Socializing will take place from 6:00-7:30 followed by dinner
from the menu and discussion from 7:30-9:00 p.m.
The Boiceville Inn, 845-657-8500, is located on Route 28 (just
west of Bread Alone) and east of Boiceville, NY.
For more information contact Melody Newcombe, President at 845-688-5472
and RSVP Diana Mae Munch, Reservations at 845-688-7057.
There will be a benefit auction of folk music memorabilia on
Sunday, November 16th 2008 from 3-6 pm at the Unitarian Universalist
Church Hall, Sawkill Road, Kingston (near the Kingston Thruway
Entrance) as a fundraiser for the Heritage Music Foundation.
Donations of all type of memorabilia including LP’s tapes,
CD’s, songbooks, posters, even instruments have been,
and are still being accepted. You can see the current list of
donated items at http://heritagemusicauction.blogspot.com/
On Tuesday, October 28, about 150 people attended the Ribbon
Cutting Ceremony at the Ellenville Senior Apartments. The apartments,
which are located next to Ellenville Regional Hospital, are
a partnership between Warwick Properties, Inc., a for-profit
entity, and Ellenville Regional Hospital, a not-for-profit organization,
providing both safe, independent, residential living and quality
healthcare on one campus.
The newly constructed apartment building consists of a three-story
elevator building containing 55 units of rental housing. All
units are equipped with Energy Star rated appliances and light
fixtures, Energy Star HVAC and Central Air Conditioning. The
project qualifies under the Green Building Initiative. The apartments
are fully rented.
For information on the Ellenville Senior Apartments, please
call 845 647-4772.
Direct To Brain
In this month’s issue of Scientific American, it is reported
that recent bio-tech developments could lead to ‘Matrix’-style
technologies that would allow the human brain to interact with
information and robotics just as a computer would interact with
a keyboard and flash drive. Among these developments is Niel
Birbaumer’s research at Germany’s University of
Tubingen which suggests that, by magnetically stimulating the
cortex and then mapping neuron activity, experts could activate
particular memories in a subject (a potential boon for those
with Alzheimer’s). In addition, researchers at U.S.C.
and Wake Forest are developing an artificial hippocampus that
could, theoretically, one day enable Alzheimer’s patients
to create new memories. And while neuroscientists have already
engineered prosthetics that are controlled by brain signals,
research indicates that soon those prostheses may be able to
send signals back to the brain. Not only would you be able to
reach out and pet a kitten with your prosthetic hand, but you
would also be able to actually feel the softness of its fur.
While researchers have already introduced bionic eyes and hands,
and neural implants capable of learning, these more recent developments
are particularly intriguing. It could very well be that, in
the coming decades, more and more people — particularly
those who have lost brain or limb function — could come
to integrate machines into their bodies and into their very