before the January 31 Snowball Gala honoring U.S. Congressman
(and former Assemblyman) Maurice Hinchey for his support for
the state Department of Environmental Conservation and its Belleayre
Mountain property, supporters of the ski center, as well as
the massive Belleayre Resort development proposed for adjoining
properties, went on a media blitz attacking other ski areas
in the region. In a late January press release, Coalition to
Save Belleayre Chairman Joe Kelly called for an investigation
of existing and proposed building projects on and near Windham
and Hunter Mountain ski centers, charging that the two facilities
are continuing attacks on the state-owned Belleayre Mountain
Ski Center. His Coalition, along with members of Partners For
Progress, a citizens group that supports the Belleayre Resort,
says there’s a building boom going on around Hunter and
Kelly’s group has been at odds with Hunter and Windham
ever since the two private-sector ski areas began calling for
not only an audit of Belleayre’s operations but a ban
on the use of taxpayer money to fund it, because of worries
that the private-public partnership with the planned resort
would hurt neighboring ski areas, especially with eventual climate
Hunter Mountain’s Russ Coloton, however, replied that
he was not sure what building projects Kelly was referring to,
noting that the resort and local towns had not built a hotel
in over three years, and only added some condominiums made possible
via the town’s acceptance of a city sewer plant. Windham
spokespeople added that the development Kelly was referring
to had occured over a 40-year period, and stopped entirely with
the economy of late.
Kelly, along with Partners for Progress, then issued a joint
statement lambasting a decision by Colonial Liquor Distributors
to move from Kingston to Greene County. Their worry is that
the company is trying to take its Empire Zone benefits with
it, which would make it harder for the proposed resort to get
the same should it want them at a later date.
Meanwhile, county officials and representatives of the Hunter,
Windham and Belleayre ski resorts met recently to find common
ground and Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said he supports
a collaboration between local counties and their ski areas because
he would like to see a vibrant regional ski industry. But worries
were expressed about a proposed recreation tax that would effect
lift tickets at private ski areas, but not Belleayre.
Regarding state funding for both ski area expansion plans and
the DEC’s promised purchase of Belleayre Resort lands,
which may be the real reason for the current Belleayre angst,
NYS Deputy Secretary for the Environment Judith Enck said last
week that, “The project continues to go through the SEQRA
process. Regarding acquisition of Big Indian, the DEC is working
on the it but nothing is firmed up to date.”
We wonder if the groundhog saw any of this coming...
A working group including staff members at The Catskill Center
are currently working towards development of a Pilot Program
to allow for recreational boating on the NYC-owned Cannonsville
Reservoir in western Delaware County. The goal of the Pilot
Program is to improve regional recreational opportunities for
watershed residents and visitors and promote environmentally
sound economic development by allowing a new type of recreation
on this waterbody… and eventually others throughout the
region, including the Ashokan (it is hoped).
Beginning May 22nd, residents and visitors of the Catskill Mountain
Region will be able to partake in non-motorized boating on this
water supply reservoir using vessels such as canoes, kayaks,
johnboats, rowboats, skulls, and small sailboats (those with
Currently, only fishing rowboats that are permanently stored
on-site are permitted on NYC-owned water supply reservoirs.
While portions of this 4,800-acre (20 mile-long) reservoir are
still off-limits for this program, recreational boaters would
be permitted to launch from six (possibly seven) sites that
provide access to nearly 60% of the waterbody.
Under this three-year Pilot Program, boaters will be allowed
on the reservoir from the Memorial Day through Columbus Day
weekends. To prevent degradation of the water supply and the
introduction of non-native and invasive plant/animal species,
boaters will also be required to get a temporary (up to seven
days) or seasonal boat tag that ensures that the vessel was
steam-cleaned prior to launching (a free service provided by
local outfitters) in addition to the regular DEP Public Access
Keep an eye on this one…
The long-delayed sexual harassment suit filed in 2004 by former
employees Carol Martineau-Lopez and Bonnie Benjamin against
owners of the former Catskill Corners, (now Emerson Resort)
in Mt. Tremper and affiliated companies and individuals has
had its trial date delayed by at least nine more months.
At a January 21 pretrial conference between State Northern District
Judge Thomas McAvoy and counsel for the plaintiffs and defendants,
the court determined that, “Due to defendant’s health
issues, this matter cannot be tried before October 2009"
according to a court document filed that same date. While the
document does not specify which defendant the health issue pertains
to, multiple sources confirm it is the resort’s Managing
Partner Dean Gitter.
Meanwhile other sources including former employees indicate
the hotel complex, which has made significant staff cutbacks
in recent months, is seeking new ownership. In a transaction
which may or may not be related, Gitter’s partner and
principal investor in the Emerson and other ventures, Emily
Fisher, has acquired title from his Crossroads Ventures to the
Turner Mansion property in Pine Hill. The mansion on 33 acres
had been previously attached to the company’s large landholdings
on Belleayre Mountain.
The September 2008 transfer, according to documents filed in
December at the County Clerk’s office, indicated Ms. Fisher
paid $21,000 in recording fees to the County, based on a market
value of $1.5 million. The recorded sale price to Ms. Fisher
however was $10.
Barbara Redfield of Oliverea was appointed at the February 2
town meeting to the Planning Board seat left open by the expiration
of former chairman Jerry Setchko’s term. Town Board members
Rob Stanley and Vinnie Bernstein unsuccessfully sought Setchko’s
reappointment while the board’s three Democrats, Peter
DiSclafani, Tim Malloy, and Doris Bartlett opted for Redfield
instead. By way of explanation, Supervisor DiSclafani said “This
isn’t personal, Jerry... I’m looking for some balance
on the board. It’s been a little lopsided for the past
Setchko, a former town Republican Club president, was widely
regarded as developer Dean Gitter’s chosen candidate for
supervisor at the 2003 GOP caucus, where he narrowly lost to
Bob Cross who later appointed him to the Planning Board Although
Setchko told the town board he had “strived for six years
to keep the planning board apolitical,“ many in the audience
appeared not to concur. Redfield’s appointment doesn’t
change the board’s voting majority.
Redfield’s family has lived in Shandaken since 1886 and
three of her four grandfathers were early founders of the Winisook
Club. She currently serves on the boards of the Phoenicia Library
and Catskill Center for Conservation and Development.
On Wednesday, February 18th at 7:30, the Shandaken Zoning Board
of Appeals is expected to make a ruling on the long and controversial
debate over what water harvesting in town is.
Last month the ZBA heard several opinions on the matter at a
public hearing, which brought out many residents. Most hailed
from the Woodland Valley area of Phoenicia, where local businessman
Andrew Poncic is trying to get approval to build a water harvesting
The Zoning Board says their interpretation of town law and whether
water harvesting is a similar use to water bottling is unrelated
to Poncic’s plans.
DeWan to Ashokan
The Ashokan Foundation, led by musicians Jay Ungar and Molly
Mason, has hired environmental advocate and community preservationist
Deborah Meyer DeWan to oversee the transformation of its 374-acre
former Ashokan Field Campus into The Ashokan Center, a state-of-the-art
learning center for environmental education and sustainable
When SUNY New Paltz announced the decision to sell the Ashokan
campus, Ungar and Mason – who had been running fiddle
and dance camps at the location for decades — decided
to do whatever they could to keep the facility open. With help
from the Open Space Institute and the New York City Department
of Environmental Protection, the Ashokan Foundation took over
operation of the facility last May.
The Foundation’s initial goals were to preserve this bucolic
property near the Ashokan Reservoir in the town of Olive and
assure that it will continue to offer outdoor education programs
for thousands of school children annually, and remain as a “living
history” conference center. In addition to maintaining
current programs, the Ashokan Foundation’s leaders have
now begun to broaden their vision to include expanding programs
and facilities to embrace innovative concepts in green, sustainable
“For more than 20 years Deborah has been a tireless advocate
for the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley and the
people who live here,” said Ungar, referencing DeWan’s
years with the Catskill Center, Scenic Hudson,Catskill Watershed
Corporation, and other regional environmental and planning entities.
“Her knowledge, experience and passion will help shape
and implement a new vision for the Ashokan Center over the challenging
years ahead,” said Mr. Ungar.
“Our goal is to establish the Ashokan Center as a national
leader in environmental education, and a learning center for
sustainable living, artistic expression and community building,”
DeWan said, noting immediate plans to replace five buildings
on the site with green buildings to be funded per the NYC DEP
agreement. “It really is to incorporate in our facilities
the very things that we teach, what we learn from the land and
what we learned from the history of this place. This is very
much a living history center. A lot of things that we teach
here, and that people experience here, relate to things that
have been traditional activities in the Catskills.”
Upcoming events planned for the Center include a Feb. 13-16
Winter Songs music workshop being led by Ungar and Mason, a
Feb. 27 EnergySmart teachers’ workshop, and the 15th annual
Winterfest on Saturday, February 28.
To learn more about the Ashokan Foundation and the Ashokan Center
visit www.ashokanfoundation.org and www.AshokanCenter.org or
FEMA Says Unify
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given preliminary
approval to Ulster County’s multi-jurisdictional hazard
mitigation plan. The plan is an effort of the county and 12
municipalities and is a prerequisite to obtaining hazard mitigation
funds from the federal government, said County Executive Michael
“One of the major things that happens with floods and
all the major issues that hit Ulster County is to be able to
do a mitigation plan would be too costly for one jurisdiction,”
he said. “It’s a perfect example of communities
coming together for the betterment of our collective taxpayers,”
Working with Ulster County government to develop the plan are
the towns of Gardiner, Hurley, Kingston, Lloyd, Marbletown,
Marlboro, Rosendale, Saugerties, Shandaken, Shawangunk, Ulster
and the City of Kingston.
As always happens, sometimes it takes the threat or reality
of disaster to force us all to our unified best.
And speaking of joint flood-related projects, Pennsylvania Governor
Edward Rendell has again called for additional measures to protect
residents and communities throughout the basin by more closely
monitoring water releases from New York City reservoirs, with
more regular water releases to avoid potential disaster.
Three Catskill reservoirs supply drinking water for New York
City, ensure drinking supplies to Philadelphia and Bucks County
during droughts, and protect the Philadelphia Water Supply from
salt water intrusion from the Delaware Bay. When the reservoirs
reach 100 percent capacity, any additional rainwater flows out
the reservoir spillway designed for that purpose. Records show
that the NYC Delaware Basin Reservoirs spill an average of 111
days per year, primarily in the winter and spring.
The new Delaware basin-related monitoring and mitigation plan
is the first for these reservoirs that includes flood protection
rules such as counting snow pack as water already in the reservoir,
before it melts. In response to the unprecedented devastating
flooding in 2004-06, an interim plan was adopted by Governor
Rendell and other parties governed by a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court
The county is also part of a new Pattern For Progress shared
operations study funded by a new quarter million dollar grant.
Talk about the benefits of shared decision-making…
In their own attempts to stimulate the regional economy, State
Senator John Bonacic of and Sullivan County Assemblyman Gary
Pretlow of Yonkers have introduced legislation calling for a
state constitutional amendment to legalize casino gaming. Right
now, only electronic video lottery terminals are allowed in
New York except on Native American tribal lands.
“Tourism will increase as a result of casino gaming and
there will be a spillover effect to everything throughout the
county, positive things,” Bonacic has said. “I think
there’s more positive things in it than negative things.”
The bill would allow three gaming casinos in Sullivan County
and nowhere else in the state. Two consecutive state legislatures
would have to approve it followed by a vote by state residents.
Similar votes in the past have failed by large margins.
In 2001, the State Legislature authorized up to three Native
American casinos in the Catskills. The federal government later
rejected the efforts to site one in Sullivan County although
recent reports have the Stockbridge Munsee Indians working to
have the federal stimulus package include them, via Congresisonal
approval and no actual money.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey has replied that the stimulus package
is an appropriations bill and cannot authorize a project like
a casino. That would need Interior Department approval.
Former Secretary Dirk Kemp-thorne was opposed to placing off-reservation
lands in trust so that tribes could build gaming casinos, but
supporters of such projects hope that new Secretary Ken Salazar
sees things differently and will approve them.
Along those lines, officials of the Seneca Nation of Indians
and its Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation met this month in
Albany with officials in the governor’s office to initiate
discussions about building a Seneca-owned resort in the Catskill
Anyone ready to place bets on that?
Brutally cold temperatures, deep snow and thick ice were the
conditions that met the competitors in the 12th annual Primitive
Biathlon held on January 18th in the Oliverea valley. With an
impending snowstorm on its way, no less than 49 men, women and
children of all ages, some wearing frontier clothing from the
1700’s, braved the elements to compete.
The event calls for the use of wooded snowshoes for transportation
through the snow in Oliverea, and marksmanship was gauged on
the success one has with muzzle loading, black powder rifles.
The approximately one mile course is wooded, mountainous terrain
containing four shooting stations spaced along the course. Each
shooting station has two targets at varying distances which
are shot with a patched round ball. Firearms must be carried
unloaded between shooting stations. Primitive dress is desired
but not required, but one minute will be deducted from overall
time for full primitive dress.
Some took over an hour to complete the course, with most coming
in at near the half hour mark, give or take several minutes.
The best time was by Ike Bobseine, competing in the 17-40 year
age range, who did it all in eight minutes and 42 seconds. In
second place was Doug Brayman at twelve minutes thirty two seconds
and third place was Tim Byron at fifteen minutes thirty three
seconds. Both competed in the same age range as Bobseine.
First place in the 12-16 year old age range was Taylor Oaks
at twenty four minutes 12 seconds. In the 41-59 year old age
range Robert reed took first place with a time of sixteen minute
forty six seconds. In the over 60 age bracket Nicholas Bruck
came in with a time of thirty minutes.
In the women’s category Wendy Butler took first place
with a time of thirty six minutes seventeen seconds.
The winners received handmade blankets.
More regional church closings on a par with the shrinkage of
Catholic opportunities in the Route 28 corridor were announed
by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany recently, with six churches
in Columbia County, four in Greene, and another church in Delaware
County set to close or merge over the coming year.
The diocese, in a prepared statement, said the decisions about
these and numerous other churches were the result of 600 meetings
over 2 1/2 years that included input from more than 10,000 Catholics
in a 14-county area.
Among those effected in the immediate area are Immaculate Conception
in Haines Falls, which will merge with Palenville’s Sacred
Heart by July 1, and the immediate closing of Our Lady of Good
Counsel Mission Church in Roxbury.
The diocese cited four primary reasons for the planned mergers
and closings, which affect dozens of churches: Most cities in
the diocese have lost between 25 and 39 percent of their populations
since 1960; Suburban areas in the diocese have grown by 50 percent
or more during the same period; There are likely to be fewer
than 100 diocesan priests serving the diocese’s 132 parishes
within five years (In the 1960s, there were about 400 priests
in the diocese); and many of the multiple urban and ethnic parishes
built just a few blocks from each other in the early 20th century
are now underused.
In accordance with the New York State Agriculture & Markets
Law Section 303-b, Ulster County will accept requests from March
1 to March 30, 2009 from landowners desiring to have their agricultural
lands included within a NYS certified agricultural district.
Landowners seeking inclusion into a certified agricultural district
must submit a completed Ag. District Inclusion Worksheet with
tax map identification number(s), a copy of the relevant portion
of the tax map, and a description of the land within this thirty-day
period to Virginia Craft, Ulster County Planning Board, 244
Fair St., P.O. Box 1800, Kingston, NY 12402-1800. The Ag. District
Inclusion Worksheet and a brochure explaining agricultural districts
are available through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster
To receive a worksheet, a brochure, or more information about
the inclusion process, please contact Teresa Rusinek, Agriculture
Resource Educator at 845-340-3990 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information is also available on Cornell Cooperative Extension
of Ulster County’s website: http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/ulster
then go to the Agriculture section and click on Farmland Preservation
Ulster County has four certified agricultural districts containing
nearly 67,000 acres of farmland at present.
Over 100 farmers, agri-business and agency staff attended the
Fifth Annual Catskill Regional Dairy, Livestock and Grazing
Conference held at SUNY-Delhi last Thursday. Fourteen presenters
offered experience, insight and technical advice through 14
seminars. Topics covered the gamut of farm issues, from raising
pork, poultry and beef on pasture to improving calf health.
The Watershed Agricultural Council works with private landowners
to improve their farm and forest lands in order to protect clean
drinking water for nine million New York City residents. With
funding from the NYC DEP, the WAC sponsors the regional Buy
Local campaign, Pure Catskills. Pure Catskills provides marketing
and branding support to over 200 farmers, growers and livestock
producers in and around the watershed region. Additionally,
the WAC works with watershed farm owners to improve their farm
businesses through farm management and land conservation plans
that ultimately benefit water quality. The WAC works with almost
1,000 landowners to engage private contractors to develop conservation
plans and construct conservation practices in accordance with
For more information, visit www.nycwatershed.org.
NATO officials meeting in Reykjavik - including Secretary-General
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and John Craddock, the supreme allied
commander in Europe - say the race for oil in the Arctic poses
serious new security threats, as well as environmental hazards.
The United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and other
interested parties are all attempting to claim jurisdiction
over the opening Arctic territory and its oil rights, newly
opening shipping corridors, and developmental possibilities.
The Reykjavik meeting aimed to discuss the possibility that
disputes over shipping routes may turn into military conflicts.
Energy experts estimate there may be as much as 25 percent of
the world’s oil and gas reserves lying beneath the Arctic
The United States, Norway, and others have argued that any attempt
by Russia to draw up its own Arctic borders would have no basis
in international law while Canada has been working to strengthen
its own regulatory holds on shipping through the Northwest Passage.
Meanwhile, Russian strategic bombers have made a series of test
flights across the Arctic toward Canada and the United States;
and submarine expeditions have been conducted at Moscow’s
behest to lay claim to gas and oil fields below the ocean floor.
The UN has asked the Arctic states to submit their territorial
claims for review by May 2009.
The Pine Hill Community Center is pleased to announce more opportunities
for part-time, temporary work with the US Census Bureau with
paid training. Jobs begin soon and start at $12.50/hr. A representative
from the Bureau will be at the Center on Wednesday February
18 to offer free testing for Census Bureau Jobs. The test begins
promptly at 12:30 PM. Available jobs include information gathering
in the local community, updating address lists and interviewing
household members. The test will help the Bureau determine certain
skill sets in prospective employees such as clerical skills,
reading, number and organizational skills as well as interpreting
information. The Community Center has sample tests and informational
brochures, so please call us for more information or call the
Bureau toll free at 866-861-2010. You must be at least 18 years
old, a US citizen or authorized to work in the US to apply,
and must bring proof of US citizenship (passport, expired or
unexpired) or proof of authorization to be employed in the US,
plus a photo ID and Social Security Card, Original or Certified
Birth Certificate, Native American tribal document or other
proof of identity.
A new regional food store, Freshtown of Margaretville, opened
its doors for business on Wednesday, January 28, just 13 days
after taking possession of the former A&P store site on
Bridge Street in the Village. PSK Supermarkets, a family run
supermarket company operated by the Katz Family, Mount Vernon,
New York, announced that they were thrilled to open and begin
serving the residents of Margaretville and the surrounding area.
Noah Katz, Vice President stated, “Our goal was to get
the store open with the existing equipment within 2 weeks so
we were very happy to reach that goal when we opened on the
13th day of taking possession of the site.” He added,
“Now that the store is open, we will finish up the bidding
process and begin a full scale renovation this year.”
The store will remain open during the improvements which will
take place mostly at night.
Freshtown is part of the 60 store Foodtown buying cooperative.
Foodtown purchases merchandise at truckload prices and pays
the same costs as all the major chains.
“We really want to thank the shoppers of Margaretville
and the surrounding area for welcoming us so warmly to the community,”
said Katz. “We look forward to serving them and earning
their business for years and years to come.”
SUNY Ulster has announced the launch of a new Institute for
Constitutional Studies with an inaugural lecture on February
19 by the Honorable Albert Rosenblatt, former Associate Judge
of the New York State Court of Appeals.
Judge Rosenblatt will address the topic, “Due Process
Under Stress: The Constitution in Times of National Ordeal,”
at 7 p.m., in the Student Lounge in Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone
Ridge campus. In his lecture, Judge Rosenblatt will explain
how the United States has responded legally and politically
to national crises from the foundation of the Republic to the
present. Appointed by Governor Pataki, Judge Rosenblatt served
on the bench of New York’s highest court from 1999 until
his retirement in 2007.
SUNY Ulster founded the Institute for Constitutional Studies
to help college faculty, students, teachers, business people,
the legal community and the general public in the Mid-Hudson
Valley deepen their understanding of the fundamental principles
of the United States and the New York state constitutions, their
history and their continuing relevance to current public policy
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law
School, Judge Rosenblatt served as Dutchess County judge from
1976 to 1981; a justice of the state Supreme Court (1982-1987);
Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Courts (1987-1989);
and an associate justice of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division,
Second Department (1989-1998). Since retiring from the Court
of Appeals, Judge Rosenblatt practices law in New York City,
teaches law at New York University Law School and is a prolific
The event is free and open to the public. For information, contact
Many common foods made using commercial high fructose corn syrup
contain mercury as well, researchers have found.
Food processors and the corn syrup industry group attacked the
findings as flawed and outdated, but the researchers said it
was important for people to know about any potential sources
of the toxic metal in their food.
In one study, former Food and Drug Administration scientist
Renee Dufault and colleagues tested 20 samples of high fructose
corn syrup and found detectable mercury in nine of the 20 samples.
Dufault said in a statement that she told the FDA about her
findings but the agency did not follow up.
Dr. David Wallinga, a food safety researcher at the nonprofit
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, said he followed
up on the report by looking at supermarket samples where high
fructose corn syrup was the first or second ingredient on the
label. Of 55 different foods such as barbecue sauce, jam, yogurt
and chocolate syrup looked into, one out of three had mercury
above the detection limit.
Meanwhile, speaking of Mercury levels, a Maine-based environmental
organization has found an alarming accumulation of mercury in
the blood and feathers of both juvenile and adult bald eagles
in the Catskills. BioDiversity Research Institute, a nonprofit
environmental organization based in Gorham, Maine, has released
a report that claims eagle chicks in the Catskill Park exhibited
the highest blood mercury levels among eagles statewide.
The new study seems to support the belief that the Catskills
are a methylmercury hotspot.
The FAD Stands
The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled on Dec. 29
that the Coalition of Watershed Towns and the towns of Hunter,
Roxbury and Hamden “lack standing” to seek a review
of the USEPA’s waiver of filtration requirements under
the Safe Drinking Water Act because they had not proved that
a favorable court decision would redress their proposed injuries.
The 10-year waiver, granted in July 2007 by USEPA Region 2,
was the longest yet in a series of waivers that USEPA first
began granting the city in 1993 for its Catskill - Delaware
watershed. As part of the latest Filtration Aviodance Determination
(FAD), NYC promised to spend an additional $300 million to continue
its land acquisition program over the next 10 years.
Among the towns’ complaints were that the latest FAD damaged
their right to “determine the future economic and planning
goals for their communities.”
“This sensible and important ruling means that EPA’s
filtration waiver has passed legal muster and as such New York
City’s watershed protection and partnership programs,
including the new ten year, willing buyer-willing seller land
acquisition effort, can move forward unimpeded,” said
Eric A. Goldstein, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense
Council, an environmental group that had filed an amicus brief
in support of the EPA and the State of New York in this case.
February’s ubiquitous candy hearts are sporting a new
message in New York State this year as part of a new public
awareness campaign – “This isn’t love”
– launched recently as part of “Teen Dating Violence
Awareness and Prevention Week.”
According to 2006 and 2007 studies on teen dating abuse, 1 of
5 teens in a serious relationship say they have actually been
hit, slapped, or pushed by a boyfriend or girlfriend; Nearly
1 in 3 girls say they have been pressured to engage in unwanted
sexual acts; 1 in 3 teens who have been in a relationship say
they’ve been text messaged 10, 20, or 30 times an hour
by a partner finding out where they are, what they’re
doing, or who they’re with; and nearly 1 in 5 say their
partner used a networking site to harass or put them down.
Amy Barasch, executive director of the NYS Office for the Prevention
of Domestic Violence (OPDV) said: “Teenagers receive confusing
messages about signs of love in a relationship at the same time
that they are testing out their own intimate relationships.
We hope that when they see these unexpected messages on the
candy hearts, it causes them to stop and think about their own
The state’s Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
worked with WOCARA, a New York City-based advertising agency
(www.WOCARA.com) that donated its creative talents to develop
the campaign, which features an animated web banner with controlling
heart messages and the tag line, “Control is not love,
it’s abuse,” that can be downloaded and posted on
The campaign is designed to speak to teens in their language,
and in their world. It’s also designed to be distributed
easily throughout the community.
The web banner, poster and other materials, including a fact
sheet on teen dating violence and a comprehensive list of suggested
activities for schools and community organizations are available
on the OPDV website: www.opdv.state.ny.us
Ulster County Community Action’s Early Head Start Program
is accepting applications for program years 2009-10. The free
preschool program provides education, health, nutrition and
family services. Children participating this fall must be 3
years old by Dec. 1, 2009.
In Ulster County, Head Start centers are located in Kingston,
Ellenville, Saugerties, Phoenicia, Plattekill and Wallkill.
A combination option is available in Kingston for three days
a week for 3-1/2 hours and one home visit a month.
For an application, call (845) 338-8750 ext. 118, for an application.
Kingston residents should call (845) 339-3836, ext. 401.
Many counties in the region experienced greater losses in existing
home sales in 2008 than statewide. According to the New York
State Association of Realtors, while the statewide drop as compared
to 2007 was 16 percent, home sales fell by 29 percent in Orange
County, by 26 percent in Westchester, by 23 percent in Ulster
and Columbia counties, and by 21 percent in Rockland County.
Sales fell by 20 percent in Putnam County, by 15 percent in
Dutchess County, and by 14 percent in Sullivan County. In Delaware
County, only one less home was sold in 2008 over 2007.
And that’s including a rebound in the housing market in
November and December.
Median prices of existing homes in the region dropped with the
exception of Greene County, where sales rose by five percent.
They dropped by 14 percent in Sullivan County, by 10 percent
in Orange County, by nine percent in Rockland County, by eight
percent in Dutchess County, by seven percent in Putnam County,
by six percent in Ulster County, by five percent in Westchester
County and by three percent in Columbia county.
“Although New York’s housing values fared somewhat
better than the national average, the 2008 NYSAR annual housing
report shows that we were not immune to the affects of a poor
economy,” said Duncan MacKenzie, the chief executive officer
of the realtors’ group.
Governor David Paterson is preparing a plan that would allow
more adults ages 19 to 29 to be claimed as dependents on their
parents’ health insurance plans. A Commonwealth Fund study
found that 13.7 million people between ages 19 and 29 in the
U.S. lacked health insurance in 2006, which constitutes almost
one-third of the nation’s nonelderly uninsured population.
In New York, about 800,000 residents in that age group are uninsured,
or about 31% of the state’s uninsured population, according
to the governor’s office.
Under Paterson’s plan, state residents would be able to
claim dependents up to age 29 as part of their employer-sponsored
health coverage. The current limit is age 19 or 22 for full-time
students. Paterson’s plan would allow adults who have
children to remain on their parents’ insurance, and those
who are enrolled in college part time or who live in a different
state also could be claimed as a dependent as long as their
insurance policies are subject to New York law. According to
Paterson, families who opted for the expanded coverage would
absorb the additional costs, not businesses or the state.
Paterson’s plan is based on the New Jersey law, which
allows parents to claim adult children up to age 31. Although
New York’s law would be similar to New Jersey’s,
it would be less restrictive, according to Paterson’s
The New York State Historical Association and the Royal Netherlands
Embassy have introduced a New York State Quadricentennial Essay
Contest for the 2008-2009 school year. Grades 4-12 are invited
to participate in New York State’s 400th birthday by studying
its early colonial history and developing an interesting essay.
Students will have the opportunity to research and write about
the early Dutch influence on our state, specifically focusing
on three contributions from the Dutch: religious tolerance,
freedom of speech and the creation of New York as a center of
world trade. Local libraries will support research by collaborating
with social studies teachers and displaying reference materials
related to the topic.
The deadline for competition submissions is March 1, 2009. For
more information, including contest and submission guidelines,
visit www.nysha.org/nysha/for teachers or call Assemblyman Kevin
Cahill’s district office at (845) 338-9610.
On Sunday, February 15 at 1 p.m. the Reverend Stephen Goldstein
will speak at the Reservoir United Methodist Church on State
Route 28 in Shokan. Goldstein is the author of the Denomination’s
Mission Study for 2008-2009, Palestine/Israel. He will speak
on the current crisis, and hopes for peace and security for
Palestinians and Israelis.
Contact Information: The Rev. Lucy E. Jones, 845-657-5107 (657-2326;
day of event); email@example.com
The Central Catskills Collaborative welcomed Gary and Martie
Gailes of the Water Discovery Center as last month’s guest
speakers. The Gailes’ provided an overview and update
of the Center, which is proposed in Arkville. Through research,
exhibits, and educational programming, the Water Discovery Center
wishes to inspire an informed public to seek and implement solutions.
The Central Catskills Collaborative is a team of seven communities
who are promoting the resources of the Route 28 Corridor. Along
with the Catskill Interpretive Center proposed near Mt. Tremper,
the Water Discovery Center has great potential in celebrating
the natural resources that are integral to the region’s
The meeting was held at the Pine Hill Community Center. For
more information, about the next CCC meeting, contact Peter
Manning, Catskill Center Regional Planner at (845) 586-2611.
Tony and Tessa Morelli, 16 year old Onteora High School juniors
in the school’s Indie Program have won Golden Key Awards
in the 2009 state Scholastic Art and Writing competition, and
will get a chance to compete in the state competition at Carnegie
Hall in June.
The two won the awards for their short films, “Samaritan”
and “Cycles,” respectively.
“You couldn’t find twins more unlike one another,”
said Russell Richardson, executive director of the Indie program.
He described both films as “warm and funny.”
“Samaritan,” a silent comedy in the tradition of
Charlie Chaplin, is more on the “impish” side, he
said, while “Cycles,” which features a woman riding
a vintage adult bicycle and replacing random objects on the
streets with others she finds, is “meditative.”
“Cycles” ends when the main character, whom Tessa
said is “more or less a gypsy,” is surprised to
find that the objects she placed have been rearranged by another
nomadic character. “In the end, the second replaces the
first, for irony, I suppose,” she said.
The two’s parents are Jack Morelli, who letters comic
books, and Christie Scheele, a professional landscape painter.
They live in Chichester.
Way To Ski!
Onteora’s ski team under coach Herb Cytryn continued its
regional dominance, sweeping both its Section 9, Division 1
titles at Holiday Mountain February 5, and the sectionals at
Hunter Mountain February 9. For the 12th straight year, Onteora’s
boys won the team title lead by Brad Clarke, Jacob Combe, Joe
Vanacore, and Austin Reiss . The girls team won their 8th straight
crown, led by Marlise Combe, Claire Wilsey, Shannon Hagarty,
and Isabelle LaMotte.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County is offering the
Streamside Native Plant Workshop on Sunday, February 15 from
1:00pm to 3:30pm. The speakers at the workshop will be Chris
Krupec, John Archer, and Francis Goreters. Kupec, a landscape
architect living along the Esopus Creek, will describe how to
look at what resources your site has and sketch a site plan.
Archer, President of John Jay Landscape Development and a member
of the Ecological Landscaping Association will further discuss
principles of creating native landscapes. Groeters, owner of
Catskill Native Nursery in Kerhonkson, will provide details
about specific streamside or “riparian” native plants.
The event is free, but you must register by calling Jenny Burkins
at Cooperative Extension at 845-340-3990. The workshop will
be at the new field office at 6375 Route 28 in Shandaken (Location
of former Black Bear Hollow Café across from Margo’s
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County Master Gardener
Program is offering a series of workshops during February and
March to help the avid home gardener get prepared for spring.
Classes will be held on Thursdays February 12, February 26,
March 12 and March 26. All classes will be from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
at Ulster County BOCES located at 175 Rt. 32 in New Paltz. Pre-registration
is required. For more information call Dona Crawford at 845-340-3990
or visit www.counties.cce.cornell.edu/ulster. Orders are also
being taken, until March 6, for seeds and seedlings; and plans
are being laid for an upcoming Fruitgrowers fair and Sale. Think
Marcel Charles Maier, 90, who served as the town of Olive’s
highway superintendent for 20 years until his retirement, died
Saturday, Feb.7 2009 at the Golden Hill Health Care Center in
Mr. Maier, a 70-year Olive resident, was a member of the Ulster
County Superintendents Association and a life member of the
Olive Fire Department, having served on the board of directors
for many years. He was also a member of the Ulster County Fireman’s
Born August 31, 1918 in New York City, he was the son of Eugene
and Elizabeth Maier and moved with his family to Glenford at
age 3. Surviving are three daughters, Barbara Garcia of Hendersonville,
N.C., Eleanor Jean Nelson of Walden and Patricia Conway of West
Shokan; one stepdaughter, Arlene Morningstar of Phoenix, AZ;
nine grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
Mr. Maier’s wife of 70 years, Hazel M., died Sept.22,
2008. Three brothers, Fred, Walter, and William and a grand-daughter
also died previously, as well as two brothers who died during
their infancies. Funeral arrangements are by Lasher Funeral
Home, Woodstock with burial in the Bushkill Cemetery, West Shokan.