Once again the Phoenicia Halloween Parade was a resounding
success. It was absolutely wonderful to see so many munchkins,
parents and even the family dogs wearing amazing costumes.
The fun house at the Parish Hall delighted adults and kids
The Phoenicia Rotary would like to thank Steve Blakeley for
his help in procuring the doughnuts, Hanover Farms for the
apple cider and Linda Anitra for making one hundred of those
delicious cupcakes that were quickly devoured.
Looking forward to next years’ parade
Many thanks to so many who helped make Phoenicia’s Halloween
Parade and Haunted House a grand event. We estimated that
about 250 people participated. The M.F. Whitney Hose Company,
led by Gary Carr, sponsored the event and guided our processional
into town. Following the fire trucks is always a lot of fun
for the kids. And, thanks to Chief Jim McGrath and his able
team for securing us from the Halloween goblins. As always,
the Phoenicia Rotary provided donuts and juice, braving the
brisk afternoon to serve the children. And, the PTA, is grateful
to the St. Francis de Sales Parish for providing the hall
in which to stage our Haunted House.
This is the second year that the Phoenicia PTA has created
the haunted house. It is a collaborative effort under the
remarkable guidance of Jen Dragon and Liz Appelson. They conceive
of this fantastical house, gather materials and then help
all of us, children and adults alike, to realize their vision.
This year, Jen and Liz had a 3-week afterschool program at
Phoenicia, where 25 children crafted paraffin hands; created
an Egyptian hieroglyphic wall hanging; decorated two thrones;
made many butterflies, and much more. And, thanks to all who
helped on the Haunted House. They are:
Jen Dragon, Peter (whose carpentry is legendary) and Liz Appelson,
Gina and Duane Krause, Christina (PTA President) and Peter
Himberger, Peter Clapper, Melissa and John Thongs, Kathleen
Wilber, Frank Nazzaro, Mary Gormley, Karen and Mark Howenstein,
Sarah Traeger, Rebecca Ffrench, Mark Friedman, Chuck Cornelis,
Brian Powers and to some of their children, you know who you
Halloween Parade Organizer
Last night I watched the debate repeat on cable access of
those candidates running for Shandaken town government. Talk
about blood pressure going up. I kept asking my husband, Who
is that candidate? Who is that person? Who is that? I can
count on one hand the number of candidates who work on, live
near, or patronize Main Street Phoenicia. I listened to words
being thrown around especially on the topic of tourism, tourism
dollars, and economic growth. When I heard the word “division”
used to describe our town, I could only think of how the Shandaken
town government has consistently failed to address the tourism
issues and problems confronting Main Street Phoenicia, right
now at least a main source of those precious tourism dollars.
I am talking about the lack of 1. parking 2.bathroom facilities
3. cell phone service 4. trash receptacles.
At Phoenicia Pharmacy, there are certain things we are equipped
to handle to help those folks visiting our little town, such
as lost or forgotten meds, calling their doctor, driving directions,
bug bites or motion sickness. But when a tour bus pulls in,
blocking off an already packed parking lot and forty people
pile out wanting to use the bathroom, complaining about cell
phone service, and throwing their garbage on the ground because
there are no garbage pails, that is when I say Someone up
at town hall is not doing their job.
If our town government cannot or will not help solve the summer
tourism issues plaguing the little hamlet of Phoenicia, what
is going to happen when BIG problems arise with that BIG project
up the line? After all my husband has done for this town,
when I see him pulled away from the prescription department,
being forced to play traffic cop or waste management, that
is when I really get mad at our town officials and I dream
of blocking off that parking lot and putting up a drive-through
like Rite Aid.
co-owner, Phoenicia Pharmacy
Some 30 years ago my girlfriend, myself, and a little red
dog canoed the islands of Quetico Provincial Park. The very
first thing the park ranger said to us was that "if our
dog gets into any type of incident with a bear we should immediately
get as far away from our dog as possible.
Dog and bear confrontations are common in the Catskills. Two
weeks ago there was a 400 lb. bear in the center of the Phoenicia
Elementary School playground/ball field before dark.
I spoke with principal Linda Sella of the Phoenicia School
and Jack Jordan of Onteora High School about educating students
of the necessity to evacuate the area where a family dog gets
into any type of problem with a bear. All children should
be told not to engage with their dog during its confrontation
with any wild animal. They should immediately get as far away
as possible, preferably into the house and call their pet
from a window or doorway. Both Linda and Jack agreed that
education is needed and are looking into DEC making a presentation
at the schools.
I am writing in response to the article about the woman “attacked”
by the bear. After reading several articles in the press I
was unable to find anything unusual about the bear’s
behavior. Yes, I do realize that it is not only annoying but
downright terrifying to have a bear anywhere near a home.
But isn’t our training in co-existent living with these
incredible creatures all about being sure that there is nothing
to lure them toward our dwellings. It seems to me that the
bear had found a good and tasty source of food and as she
was in serious preparation for her winter nap she was not
about to forgo her discovery. And a small yapping dog was
certainly not going to be a deterrent. In the Olive paper
the woman claims that she ran into the bear as it rounded
a corner and it was a “collision.” This description
does not sound like an “attack.” Had the bear
intended malevolence this was certainly its opportunity. But
instead the bear turned away. So why must this bear then be
caught and killed? Where was the bear’s behavior viscous
or even abnormal? I give my great sympathy to Mrs. Pearlman.
Had I been in her shoes I would have been equally as terrified,
and even grateful to be alive. But I cannot help but ask the
community and those who have the power to decide when and
if an animal should be killed, does the killing of this bear
feel right to you?
Lindsay Iya Battle
West Shokan, NY
In the October 25th edition, I expressed my dismay at the
proposal of Robert and Russell Oakes to replace Petfare with
eight 100 x 30 storage sheds on 2.1 acres of land fronting
Route 28. I discussed my happiness living in what I called
"Scenic Shokan" for over 20 years because I thought
it was beautiful, rustic, rural,small, friendly, and scenic.
I thought that was why most people settled in this neck of
the woods. I was very upset that this endeavor would ruin
this mainly residential area in which I lived, especially
since the construction of all those sheds would likely necessitate
the cutting down of nearly all the trees on the back part
of the property which soften the view of what is behind them--
2.5 acres of 7 or 8 storage sheds, a garage, and miscellaneous
cars. I felt that this extension of the Oakes' storage shed
business should be addressed as a 4.6 acre proposal and not
a 2.1 acre proposal. This was echoed by the UC Planning Board's
suggestion that the Oakes submit a plan describing how the
property would be integrated. The Oakes have stated that these
properties will not be integrated.
On Tuesday I went to the Olive Planning Board meeting along
with about 40 or 50 other people. Chairman Drew Boggess opened
the meeting and asked the Oakes some questions about the landscaping
and lighting that were remaining from the last session. They
told the PB they were going to put up fir trees and there
would be 8 lights per building (that is 64) with glare protection.
There was discussion about the Town Map and the Town Board
meeting at which the Petfare property was changed to Highway
Business. (Was this Local Law 1, 1995 which I quoted to the
Planning Board in 1999 after the original storage sheds were
okayed, when I disagreed with Mr. LaMonda's statement that
no variance was necessary because Highway Business extended
not 250 feet in that area, but "750 feet from the center
of Route 28?")
The meeting was then opened to comments. Highlights follow.
Several of my neighbors who have lived here for 20 years stated
that placing storage sheds in the midst of primarily residential
surroundings was wrong. Others voiced concern with lighting,
safety, drainage, and lowered property values. Owners of the
house immediately west of Petfare discussed the problems they
had with septic over the last few years, which they felt was
due to the first storage shed business up behind Petfare.
Others in attendance said they felt that calling shokan scenic
in the first place wasn't quite accurate because there were
a lot of ugly places along Route 28. Several pointed out the
three trailers on the Petfare property were ugly and shouldn't
be there. Some stated that this was an inherent problem living
on a highway. Others talked about the need for commercial
development to pump money into Olive. Someone said that the
current storage sheds weren't that bad and the new ones could
be attractive if landscaped. Mr. LaMonda said that if the
Oakes met all the requirements and the Planning Board did
not pass the proposal, there could be a lawsuit. I asked the
Planning Board to verify how the depth of the land would support
100 foot storage sheds, a 50 foot setback, and a 50 foot rear
setback. I questioned the eastern entrance as more dangerous
because Ridge Road, Shokan Park Road and the entrance to Petfare
are all in close proximity. I asked where the gravel would
be placed because it wasn't shown on the map. I asked if the
trailers would be removed and if the existing sign would now
have to conform to zoning rules. After patiently listening
to our comments, Mr. Boggess closed the Public Hearing.
I called Stephany the Zoning Clerk the next day. She said
the proposal had passed but they have to return to discuss
landscaping. My neighbors gave me a picture of the stretch
of land which is currently Petfare. The sun was shining and
the trees were brilliant. I'm going to miss those trees.
As the details of the new Belleayre resort proposal became
known, including 240 hotel rooms, apartments and detached
houses sprawling up toand over the summit of Highmount, affected
community members and other concerned citizens have been contacting
elected officials and those environmental groups whose names
appear alongside the developer’s on the Agreement. The
response from the NRDC president, Francis Beineke is typical-
to paraphrase, “It could have been worse.” In
fact, in terms of potential storm run-off to Pepacton, aesthetic
values, wildlife habitat and community character, the AIP
is more destructive than the original plan. In environmental
circles, there is no way to justify saturating high mountain
slopes with commercial development. In a locality already
combating suburban sprawl such as Rockland county, developing
700 acres while setting aside 1200 might be a victory. In
Catskill Park, these numbers represent a drastic erosion of
the desired ratio of development to preservation.
Elected officials and the developers point to potential economic
benefits of the planned development. The developers and the
huge construction firms they would hire would indeed earn
windfall profits. For the rest of us, there will be only noise,
congestion and higher taxes financing a speculative venture
that endangers our natural resources.
Groups opposed to the Agreement are not necessarily against
all facets of the plan. Our goals are to get intensive development
off Highmount and to limit the development to the Wild Acres
section while making sure it is environmentally responsible
and economically sustainable.
Matt Frisch, Coordinator
Highmount Preservation Association
Recently, a group of 100 Iranian students staged a public
protest, shouting, “Death to the dictator”, as
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech in the presence of riot
police, who didn’t stop them. Last December students
set his picture on fire and booed him. Ahmadinejad is getting
increasingly unpopular at home, as the economy takes a nose
dive and unemployment grows.
Tufts University professor, Vali Nasr, an expert on Iran has
authored a book entitled: “The Shia Revival.”
He says there is a lot of opposition to Ahmadinejad’s
economic policies in Iran. Inflation is high and their president
hasn’t delivered on promises made.
The sanctions imposed by the United Nations are taking a bite
out of the economy and he has become more dictatorial than
in the past. Ahmadinejad’s intelligence services have
been harassing women and students. There is a sense that some
of this pressure is now beginning to boil over within Iran
Experts have suggested that younger people in Iran are fed
up with Ahmadinejad. They’re on the Internet and they
want to see things change. However, these are not the people
who actually voted Ahmadinejad into office. He relied on the
vote of poor Iranians and promised to make their lives better
once he became president. The students have shown a bold initiative
to oppose him, but the next step will be to see if those,
who continue to suffer economically will join in with this
Ahmadinejad is not the ultimate head of state in Iran. The
head of state is the supreme leader, who controls the judiciary
and the military forces. He controls the day-to-day administration
of government and is seen as responsible for the failures
of the government.
We’re not going to see a change towards democracy any
time soon. According to Vali Nasr, the smartest strategy for
the United States is not interfere in the internal affairs
of Iran, because opposition to Ahmadinejad would be seen as
doing the bidding of the Bush regime. We should continue with
an international approach to Iran and let the opposition in
Iran take on Ahmadinejad=
I write this as my old stomping grounds In California is going
up in flames. Can anyone still deny global warming? Droughts
in the west; floods in the South; we are now in the beginning
of the effects of this political football, which will override
everything else in “just a matter of time”.
It’s been proven that the increase in the oceans temperature
intensifies the circulation of water both below and above
the surface of the earth, causing both floods, droughts and
high winds. We enter into a period of awakening, which will
bring more people into realization about the issue, but obviously
Unfortunately, as with wars, etc., all of the important decisions
rest with the politicians, who are indebted to the corporations.
So what can we do? As long as we are still operating under
the guise of a democracy, we simply must let those politicians
know that we demand that they represent us. I just don’t
get how they can vote against themselves as well as us, but
I’ll have to ponder that anomaly at another time.
I also can’t help but wonder if corporate heads breathe
air and drink water. Are they given some kind of modern technology
that puts them above such needs? As far as I know, the Vice
President has a mechanical heart, but I thought he still had
other human organs.
But to the point - there is a demonstration coming up on November
3rd. I just went to the website at: www.stepitup07.org and
found out that the Kingston High School is organizing the
event in our area. They will be giving away fluorescent light
bulbs donated by Herzogs.
By the way, I just heard that Iraq has decided to hold Blackwater
accountable for their actions in their own country. ‘Way
to go – Iraq.’ If we Americans can’t do
it, somebody will. Let’s try to take back our own government
before it’s too late, if it isn’t already.
I'm not an expert mathematician, but when I add up the populations
of ULster, Delaware and Sullivan Counties, I calculate there
is a total of 306,307 men, women and children, according to
the latest figures available. Considering that the federal
government has provided $48 million for Kingston Hospital
to combine services, if that figure and my math are correct,
every man, woman and child represents an asset worth $156.71.
For Dr. Kaminski's playground add another $13. I wish I could
afford $4 million for my very own facility with dubious uses.
There are more than enough beds in the three hospitals to
handle the current rate of patient care. Where does this over-spending
end? If he is so anxious to build a separate facility I suggest
that he apply for a bank loan and erect a hospital in his
own backyard where he can play doctor, surgeon and scientist
undisturbed. However, a more serious situation deserves attention:
what kind of experiments does he plan to perform that require
his isolation from the rest of the hospital? To the best of
my knowledge it is his job as CEO to run Kingston Hospital
as a full time job. Perhaps the reason he fulfills his duties
so badly is that the pressure of his dream is too much for
him. Moreover, since he has control over $48 million who is
to say that a percentage will not be siphoned off for unrelated
No one knows the nature of the experiments he hopes to conduct.
What is frightening is the secrecy surrounding the venture.
I mentioned my thoughts in my previous letter. His hand picked
goon squad will swear to anything he desires. There is no
honor among thieves. While all this is going on he is being
investigated by his peers, by Medicare, and by other organizations
for previous questionable activities. It is up to us, the
taxpayers, to ferret out misconduct and correct it. I am trying,
but I can't do the job alone. It is not only money, but lives
that are at stake.
In 1976, in one classroom of the Dutch Reformed Church on
the Village Green, the Children's Annex began providing programs
for children with developmental disabilities. From the two
children who began school that September, The Children's Annex
is now an established nonprofit agency in the Hudson Valley,
providing comprehensive services annually to more than 250
children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, including Asperger's
Syndrome. We began our 30th Anniversary Campaign about 18
months ago, to raise funds for capital improvements and to
develop a Staff Support Fund. We invite our friends and supporters
from the community to join us 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, November
5 from at our Kingston location to celebrate the dedication
of our new Autism Support Center and to honor those individuals
who contributed to the success of this fundraising drive.
If you have been a part of The Children's Annex history, or
are interested in learning more about the programs and services
we offer, please celebrate with us. Reservations are appreciated
at 336-2616, extension 143.
Susan Buckler, Admin.Director
Jamey Wolff, Program Director
The Children’s Center
This summer we had the happy opportunity to visit family and
friends in Germany. It's so interesting to see how life is
lived differently in another country. Where we traveled, Germany
has compact towns and villages; Houses are close together,
with small yards. We saw no suburban sprawl. At the edge of
many towns, you see the plots of community vegetable gardens;
you see community gardens in cities too. Between the towns,
there was farmland, pastures, or mountains. Only when we took
the train into eastern Germany did we see open spaces that
were not being farmed.
The use of alternative energy was striking. Towns had solar
panels on houses and barns -- hot water panels and solar electric
panels. I'd say about 15-20% of the houses had them. Plus,
we saw numerous windmill clusters of various sizes in the
countryside, ranging from two windmills to the biggest cluster
of about 25. Our friend told us that when the Green Party
was in power, they implemented a lot of economic incentives
for people to install solar. The use of alternative energy
is much more prevalent we see here in the NorthEast.
I found myself asking myself questions. Why are people here
fighting windmills in the countryside? To me, they are very
beautiful looking. They have a utilitarian beauty, like a
silo has. And their presence feels inspiring. They mean we
are not depending on foreign oil or burning coal or nuclear
power for our energy. When is our country going to offer incentives
for alternative energy? I remember the solar excitement after
the oil crisis of the 70s, and how Ronald Reagan gutted the
federal alternative energy programs when he became president.
Almost 30 years later, and how little progress we have made.
Why can't we be world leaders in this?
In Germany, everywhere there are walking paths, and you see
people taking walks, vigorously. Any town you go to, you can
always find several paths to walk on. Most Germans seem to
love to walk or bike. Lots of people ride bikes to do errands
and to go to work. Adults ride bikes in town to get food or
mail, or whatever. When we were in Berlin, the bikers were
very agressive !! There were bike lanes on the city streets
and you had to keep alert to get out of the way of the bikes.
There are no school buses -- kids ride bikes to school or
take public transportation. Public transportation is more
available than in the U.S.
I found myself thinking about walking paths in Shandaken.
For people who don't want to hike mountains, how about a walking
path along the railroad tracks from Phoenicia to Pine Hill?
Or a path from Mt. Tremper to Phoenicia? Residents and tourists
all could enjoy this.
Those are a few of my reflections on how life is lived
Elizabeth Holland Kern
Have you been looking for a great fiction, or the latest non-fiction?
evenings are getting darker , and it is an excellent time
to hunker down with a good book. Our Library Director Regina
Johnson, and her friendly staff have many intriguing suggestions.
With the resources of the Midhudson Library system at our
fingertips, we can help you find just the right read!
Speaking of finding....we have a new way to help you to stop
and start finding! Buying a new appliance for your home? Anywhere,
anytime access is free with your library card! Visit our library’s
web page:http://midhudson.org/libraries and click on “HOMEACCESS”.
Log in with your library barcode found on your library card.
Under magazines, select “Consumer Reports” You
can then search for articles and consumer reports ratings
on thousands of things. Another service we are proud to provide
for our community.
The Phoenicia Library welcomes you to visit. Our hours are
M-W-F 1pm -
6pm, Tues. 10 to 4pm, Thurs. 2 to 6pm and Sat. 10 to 3pm.
Thank you for your continued support. You may reach our Director