As folks involved with the craziness of Theater, the members
of the Shandaken Theatrical Society have experience with
the unusual. But according to the President of the non-profit
organization, no one was prepared for the shock that came
when she opened the most recent water bill for the Playhouse
they call home in Phoenicia.
According to water district records, for a three month
period, during which the theater was open to the public
on only a handful of days, STS owed $9,000. Before that
the bill was usually around $30 a year.
President Linda Burkhardt said she was aware that the
water district had just adopted a rate change and word
was going around that usage would cost more, but this
“There’s no way we could have used that much
water,” she said Tuesday. “The show we did
during that billing period was Steel Magnolias, not Waterworld.”
Burkhardt quickly worked to get to the bottom of things
and discovered that there is no grievance method users
can go through to challenge water charges. It wasn’t
even clear who the water district actually was. There’s
a Water Commissioner, but he’s only responsible
for operating the system. The bills are sent out by the
Shandaken Town Clerks office, but they don’t handle
district policy, they just do the paperwork. There’s
an ad hoc committee set up to tackle water system issues,
but they do not meet publicly. Until the mid 1990’s
there was a Phoenicia Water District Committee made up
of district residents, but that was abolished by the Shandaken
Burkhardt still is not sure where STS could have gone
for relief, but as it turned out the water meter for the
theater was determined to be faulty, she said. Suddenly
a second bill appeared in the mail which drowned Burkhardt’s
sorrow. It was only for $50.
Shandaken Supervisor Robert Cross Jr said this week that
the town board is now also the Phoenicia Water District
Committee. Next month, for the first time in more than
a decade, the Board will convene as that committee one
half hour prior to the 7pm town board meeting on May 7th.
Increasing jobs and declining unemployment rates in Hudson
Valley counties continues to point to a good economy in
the region, the head of Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress
said last week, basing his comments on a recent state
Labor Department report that noted how new jobs were up
while unemployment fell slightly in the region year over
year in February. Those are good signs, said Pattern President
Jonathan Drapkin, who came to his position from management
at the new Bethel Woods Arts Center in Sullivan County.
“In general, both our unemployment rates and employment
rates are stable and certainly by small percentage points
look good,” he said. “In particular, this
is a good sign, given other indicators such as the prices
of gasoline and housing starts which are not looking as
strong right now. So, it’s a good thing to see the
employment rates at a stable number right now.”
The Hudson Valley remains one of the strong economic regions
in the state, Drapkin added, even while other reports
showed that sales of existing single-family homes fell
off in February as compared to the same month last year.
Statewide, sales dropped 3.5 percent, according to the
New York State Association of Realtors.
Only three counties in the region saw gains – Westchester
rose by almost 24 percent; home sales rose by almost 18
percent in Greene County and by over seven percent in
Sales fell off by almost 40 percent in Sullivan County,
by 30 percent in Columbia County, by over 27 percent in
Putnam County, by 17 percent in Delaware County, by nine
percent in Ulster County, by seven percent in Orange County,
and by three percent in Dutchess County.
The highest median priced homes were in Westchester County
at $969,500, in Rockland County at $489,000, in Putnam
County at $400,000, in Orange County at $321,000, in Dutchess
County at $308,000, in Ulster County at $242,000, in Columbia
County at $220,000, in Delaware County at $157,000, in
Sullivan County at $154,000, and in Greene County at $143,000.
Supporting Drapkin’s boosterist statements, yet
another report commissioned by I Love New York noted that
over 58,000 people were employed in tourism jobs in the
10-county Hudson Valley region in 2006, tourists spent
over $4.5 billion and the region realized $268 million
in local taxes, all as the result of the tourism industry.
Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. President Mary Kay Vrba, who
is also Dutchess County tourism director, said the region
is third in the state in terms of tourism.
In the Valley, attractions are varied, said Vrba. They
include arts venues, historic sites, agri-tourism and
shopping. One of the signs of a tourism boom in the region,
she added, is the number of new hotels opened last year
– 10 facilities with over 1,000 rooms. And other
hotels are being built right now.
Vrba said the Port Authority takeover of Stewart Airport
will also mean additional air service to bring more tourists
into the region.
Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc., as defined by the state’s
I Love New York agency, includes the counties of Rockland,
Orange, Ulster, Greene, Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia,
Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester.
The Ulster County legislature is drafting a resolution
hat would exclude legislators from retiree health insurance,
including vision and dental coverage, to legislators who
have held office for at least six years. At present the
county pays for 50 percent of the coverage, plus 1 percent
per year of service for those with less than 10 years
in office; 75 percent for those with more than 10 years;
85 percent for those with more than 15 years; 90 percent
for those with more than 20 years; and 100 percent for
those with more than 25 years in office. Six former legislators
currently have retiree coverage, which costs the county
a total of $15,335 per year. The impact on the county
is relatively low because the retirees all are over age
65 and supplement their coverage with either Medigap or
Medicare, but legislators in favor of the change say that
discontinuing the retiree benefits is a matter of principle.
“It’s going to be another tough year on the
budget, and you’ve got to look at cutting costs
everywhere,” said Glenford Democrat Peter Kraft,
one of the sponsors of the resolution.
Ulster County lawmakers are also considering an amendment
to the county’s ethics law that would prohibit elected
county officials, department heads, commissioners or chairs
of county committees to hold an executive position in
a town or county political party. The proposed change
would mean that Board of Elections Commissioner John Parete,
chairman of the county’s Democratic Committee, could
not hold both positions. It would also keep his fellow
election commissioner, Thomas Turco, from running for
a leadership post on the Republican Committee.
There are currently 21 lawmakers requesting a public hearing
on the matter, since the change would require a local
law. Minority Leader Glenn Noonan said the move is not
meant to target a specific person.
Legislator Peter Kraft, D-Glenford, said the Board of
Elections is political by its very nature, and does not
see a conflict of interest.
County Attorney Joshua Koplovitz said a state Court of
Appeals case upheld a similar move to prevent elected
officials and department heads from holding executive
positions in political parties in New York City.
A fledging grassroots group has emerged to object to all
proposals that take reproductive services, including abortions,
out of Kingston Hospital as part of a plan for that facility
to join with Benedictine Hospital. The hospitals are attempting
to affiliate under one parent company but have been stymied
during past efforts to do so because, for the most part,
Benedictine Hospital does not perform abortions and Kingston
Hospital does. Benedictine Hospital is a Catholic-run
facility and Kingston is a non-sectarian one.
In a prepared statement, the group said it supports affiliation
to save on costs but does object to locating reproductive
services anywhere outside of Kingston Hospital, a suggestion
that was made in a report by the state Commission on Health
Care in the 21st Century.
“Health Care STAT is supportive of the effort of
Kingston and Benedictine hospitals to save costs and eliminate
duplication by affiliating under a parent corporation,”
the group said in its statement. “Health Care STAT
is working diligently to ensure that all reproductive
services for men and women currently offered by Kingston
Hospital remain integrated into the regular hospital care…
These are legal services and must not be moved to a separate
location, fragmented, or marginalized.”
Besides abortions, those services include tubal ligations,
vasectomies, contraception, family planning and counseling,
infertility options, HIV/AIDS counseling, stem-cell research,
and end-of-life decisions.
Hospital officials have said they think they can devise
a final agreement that will allow for the hospitals to
come together in a venture that allows for Benedictine
Hospital to maintain its Catholic mission and Kingston
Hospital to stick to its cause in providing, among other
things, reproductive services, including abortions.
Questions about the possible cost of the upcoming county
shift to a new charter arose recently when the county
legislature requested that a deputy legislative clerk
be paid to help with transition work to the tune of $25,000.
Supporters of the request say its monies are refundable
from a state grant.
“How can it cost more to transition to the charter
than it did to draft the charter?” asked Minority
Leader Glenn Noonan. He compares the $25,000 requested
in county funds and deputy clerk position that will cost
$41,706 in salary and benefits for the rest of the year
to the $50,000 that had been budgeted for drafting the
Legislator Michael Berardi, D-town of Ulster, said the
transition work is “not a time to penny pinch,”
and pointed out that some extra money and administrative
support may be necessary to deliver the new form of government.
Sometimes the local court dockets have it all over what
the national scene’s focused on. So what if the
jury’s still out wearing blue jeans while deciding
whether Scooter Libby lied or not? Much more interesting,
in our mind, is how Olive Town Justice Ronald Wright’s
going to decide on the case before him February 21. He’s
got 30 days to render a decision.
The case? Hot dog stands serving the Onteora high school
population in Boiceville? One woman, Karen Schweinwald,
suing another, Buddy Rose, under a small claims motion
that Rose broke a verbal contract when he opened up a
new stand next door after selling her his business.
“I really can’t tell you much,” said
Wright’s court secretary, who would only read what
was on the docket, what came before the court, and what
needed deciding. “I certainly can’t give you
any phone numbers or addresses.”
Phone book and internet searches for both people turned
up naught. And with the heavy snows of late… no
hotdog stands on site along Route 28.
So what’s the story?
Rose, the defendant, sold his business to Schweinwald,
the plaintiff, sometime last summer. She claims it was
understood that he would be leaving the business…
she was buying a franchise, a market.
But then Rose got a new cart and opened up where he had
been, within view of his old cart.
According to everyone looking for a weiner since, there’s
been nothing but bad vibes between the two ever since.
And the verdict? Case dismissed, according to Judge Wright.
Which means that Buddy’s move up 28 to the corner
of Cold Spring Road was out of altruistic reasons. Or
Town of Ulster resident Mario Catalano, a dentist and
former county legislator, has declared his candidacy to
become chairman of the county’s Republican Committee,
looking to succeed longtime Chairman Peter Savago, who
has said he’ll step down in September. Catalano,
64, has said that he believes the party is at a crossroads
and needs to adapt to the county’s changing demographics.
Republicans dominated the county government for 25 years
but lost their majority in the Legislature in the 2005
election amid growing discontent over rising property
taxes and the over-budget jail construction project. He
noted that he would like to recruit young people to politics
and widen the party’s base to include more women
and individuals from diverse backgrounds. He said Republicans
will have to “work harder, work smarter and be better
prepared for the mantle of leadership than the other party’s
candidates” in order to gain seats in the Legislature
in this fall’s election.
Catalano served as an Ulster County legislator in 1980
and 1981 and has chaired the American Dental Association’s
political action committee. He also has served on the
planning and zoning boards in the town of Ulster and is
a member of the town’s Republican Committee. He
successfully ran the state Assembly campaign of his wife’s
brother, John Guerin, in 1994.
One of Catalano’s first signs of success, he has
claimed, was to help bring forth a Republican candidate
for District Attorney last week.
Holley Carnright, an Ulster County assistant public defender
from Saugerties, joins three Democrats hoping to succeed
Donald A. Williams, who is stepping down as the county’s
chief prosecutor at year’s end.
Carnright was an assistant district attorney for a short
time in the late 1970s and then served as chief assistant
district attorney from 1979-82 under then-DA Michael Kavanagh.
He opened his private practice in Saugerties after leaving
the prosecutor’s office. Carnright’s wife,
Denise Dourdeville, has worked as an assistant district
attorney since the early 1980s.
The Democrats running for district attorney are Jonathan
Sennett, Vincent Bradley Jr. and Julian Schreibman. The
winner of the November 6 election will begin a four-year
term on Jan. 1, 2008.
April is Autism Awareness Month in Ulster County, according
to the county legislature, who have noted how a diagnosis
of autism can be devastating to parents and families,
and early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.
One out of 150 children nationally is diagnosed with the
disease each year. It typically appears during the first
three years of life, and is far more prevalent in boys
By declaring April as Autism Awareness Month, the Ulster
County Legislature has said that it hopes to contribute
to a public dialogue about the disease and raise awareness
about this complex developmental disability affecting
the normal development of the brain in areas of social
interaction and communication skills.
Buy The Mall?
The family that owns the controlling interest in The Pyramid
Companies has announced that they have begun a review
of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale
of the company’s portfolio of super-regional and
regional shopping centers in New York and Massachusetts,
with the exception of the Carousel Center and Destiny
The independent trustees for the Congel family have retained
Goldman, Sachs & Co. to assist in the review.
The Pyramid Companies owns and operates several malls
in the Hudson Valley including the Poughkeepsie Galleria,
the Galleria at Crystal Run in the Middletown area, Hudson
Valley Mall near Kingston and Palisades Center in West
As the world gets hotter by degrees, millions of poor
people will suffer from hunger, thirst, floods and disease
unless drastic action is taken, scientists and diplomats
warned last week in their bleakest report ever on global
warming. All regions of the world will change, with the
risk that nearly a third of the Earth’s species
will vanish if global temperatures rise just 3.6 degrees
above the average temperature in the 1980s-90s, the new
climate report says. Areas that now have too little rain
will become drier.
Yet that grim and still preventable future is a toned-down
prediction, a compromise brokered in a fierce, around-the-clock
debate among scientists and bureaucrats. Officials from
some governments, including China and Saudi Arabia, managed
to win some weakened wording.
The report is the second of four coming this year from
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United
Nations network of 2,000 scientists. The new document
tries to explain how global warming is changing life on
Earth; the panel’s report in February focused on
the cause of global warming and said scientists are highly
confident most of it is due to human activity. All four
reports must be unanimously approved by the 120-plus governments
that participate, and all changes must be approved by
The tone of the report is urgent, noting those who can
afford the least get hit the most by global warming.
Don’t be poor in a hot country, don’t live
in hurricane alley, watch out about being on the coasts
or in the Arctic, and it’s a bad idea to be on high
mountains with glaciers melting, was the general idea..
Africa by 2020 is looking at an additional 75 million
to 250 million people going thirsty because of climate
change, the report said. Deadly diarrheal diseases associated
with floods and droughts will increase in Asia because
of global warming, the report said.
The first few degrees increase in global temperature will
actually raise global food supply, but then it will plummet,
according to the report. But many of the worst effects
aren’t locked into the future, the report said in
its final pages. People can build better structures, adapt
to future warming threats and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
The new state budget includes $250,000 to provide seed
money to assist Ulster County BOCES in developing a regional
technology school for Hudson Valley students. The school,
to be known as the Hudson Valley School of Math, Science
and Engineering, was proposed by state Senators John Bonacic
and William Larkin last year. Legislation to authorize
the school has been passed in the Senate and Assemblyman
Kevin Cahill is working on moving it through his house.
The school would be modeled after Tech Valley High in
the Albany area. The school would help those high school
students wanting to major in technology with an alternate
choice, he said. There is a demand for people with a technology
background right in the Hudson Valley, Bonacic said.
An actual location for the school would be left up to
the education professionals, said Bonacic. Cahill said
that ideally, the school would be associated with the
SUNY New Paltz School of Engineering.
The State Legislature adopted a 2007-2008 state budget,
hours after the March 31 deadline passed. Governor Eliot
Spitzer said the approved $121 billion state budget will
distribute education aid according to need instead of
politics. Key initiatives in the enacted state budget
include $1.76 billion in new education funding, bringing
total funding to $19.64 billion. The aid will be allocated
according to a new Foundation Aid formula and tied to
new accountability measures; $165 million over two years
for an expansion of the Child Health Plus program, providing
access to health coverage for all 400,000 currently uninsured
children in New York and streamlining enrollment procedures
for 900,000 Medicaid-eligible New Yorkers; $1.3 billion
in additional property tax relief, including an income-based
benefit targeted to middle class homeowners statewide
and additional benefits for senior homeowners, the first
phase of a three-year plan to provide $5.3 billion in
property tax relief; and $50 million in performance-based
aid increases ranging from 3-to-9 percent targeted to
cities, towns and villages, meeting certain criteria,
the first installment in a four-year $200 million program.
In other budget matters, Ulster County’s Department
of Social Services can breath a small sigh of relief now
that the state decided to reimburse the county for about
$1 million worth of anticipated funding that was budgeted
since 2005. However, the department is still facing the
county’s budget crunch, and will keep its hiring
freeze on for the time being.
The state had been looking at the possibility that they
overpaid Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to counties.
In Ulster County, those funds are earmarked for Family
Assistance and foster care programs. But according to
sources, Albany re-evaluated its concerns and decided
to reimburse the money.
Social Services has the largest budget of any county department
at $96.5 million. The county’s roughly $43 million
contribution is supplemented by state and federal aid
for the department’s many mandated services.
New York State Department of Public Health Commissioner
Dr. Richard Daines said he will focus on obesity and nutrition,
smoking and tobacco, and the budget and healthcare appropriations
during his first year in the position.
“The single most preventable cause of disease in
this country is smoking, tobacco, and we can’t say
because there is something in the headlines this week
that we can take our eyes off tobacco. Obesity and nutrition
are major problems that are going to have major life,
personal, and economic impacts in the future. So we need
to be focusing on that.”
Daines said his administration will shift the focus to
primary preventative care and education.
Share The Words
High-School student poets are encouraged to compete in
the 11th Anniversary Word Thursdays Share the Words High-School
Poetry Competition on Friday, May 11, at the Morris Conference
Center, State University of New York at Oneonta. Individual
students from any school in New York State as well as
school teams are invited to compete for prizes that celebrate
excellence in writing and presentation. Those prizes include
US Savings Bonds, sets of Bright Hill Press books, and
readings at Word Thursdays in Treadwell; the winning team
will take home a traveling trophy and a permanent banner
in school colors, inscribed with the names of team members
and their coach, who will be named Poetry Coach of the
Year. Awards will be given by Dr. Marie Wiles, Superintendent,
ONC BOCES, and Bertha Rogers, founding director of Bright
Hill Press/Word Thursdays.
Teams must include no fewer than five students and no
more than 10 students and must be sponsored by a school;
there is a nominal fee for each student, which includes
lunch served in the Morris Dining Room. All fees are payable
in advance, and the competition is coser-aidable through
the DCMO BOCES Arts in Education Program.
The awards include first and second places in the following
categories: The Graham Duncan Award for a Formal Poem
(any topic), the Robert Winner Award for a Nature Poem,
the Nicholas Alicino Award for a Performance Poem (any
topic), and the Bright Hill Award for a Free Verse Poem
Addressing Current Events. Students must designate their
entered poems as formal, nature, performance, or free
verse, indicating topic, and must bring two copies of
each poem, one for reading and one for the judges.
The competition, which begins at 8:45 a.m on May 11, is
in three heats; poets will read their original poetry
to the audience, which will be judged by Gilbertsville
poet and writer Ginnah Howard, Florida poet Robert Milby,
and Treadwell retired educator Patricia Jamieson. In previous
years, students from Binghamton, Charlotte Valley, Cooperstown,
Delhi, Edmeston, Franklin, Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton, Jefferson,
Hancock, Margaretville, Mt. Markham, Norwich, Roxbury,
Schenevus, South Kortright, Unadilla Valley, Unatego,
Walton, and other regional high schools have competed.
Any school may participate in the Word Thursdays Share
the Words High-School Poetry Competition by contacting
Bright Hill Center in Treadwell, 607-829-5055; or by e-mail
Democrats in Congress are working to revive an Equal Rights
Amendment that failed three decades ago, now dubbed the
Women’s Equality Amendment. The measure has much
less support now than when it sailed through Congress
in 1972. It died years later when only 35 states - three
short of those needed - endorsed it.
What supporters hope will become the 28th Amendment to
the Constitution states in its key line that “equality
of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged
by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
In 1971 and 1972 the amendment swept through Congress,
with votes of 354-24 in the House and 84-8 in the Senate.
Over the next five years 35 states ratified the measure,
but even with extension of the seven-year deadline for
action to 10 years, no other states concurred. The first
ERA was introduced in Congress in 1923, three years after
women got the vote. The last ERA-related vote was in 1983.
The new version has less than 200 original co-sponsors
in the 435-member House, and one of them, Rep. Ralph Hall,
R-Texas, dropped off the day after it was introduced,
leaving only eight GOP signatures on it. In the Senate,
the measure has only 21 sponsors, none of them a Republican.
Constitutional amendments must be approved by two-thirds
majorities in the House and Senate and then be ratified
by three-fourths of state legislature.
Pundits are saying the numbers reflect that Republicans
are “farther to the right than they were in the
Conservative groups have been quick to mobilize their
opposition, underlining the abortion and same-sex marriage
issues that resonate with Republican lawmakers.
The bills are H.J. Res 40 and S.J. Res 10.
“Rural Life in the Catskills: A Forum on Food, Water
and Wood for the Future,” will bring together scholars,
authors, practitioners and producers to consider these
critical aspects of life in the Catskills on Saturday,
April 14 at the Andes Hotel, Andes, Delaware County. The
event runs from 9:30 to 3:30. A downloadable program and
registration form can be found at the website of the Olive
Natural Heritage Society, one of the event’s sponsors:
The heritage of the Catskills encompasses a long legacy
of managing the land for agricultural and forest products,
clean drinking water, wildlife, outdoor recreation and
scenic open spaces. How best to support and encourage
the continuation of these treasured aspects of the region
will be the focus of the day-long forum.
Area farmers who attended Slow Food’s Terra Madre
Conference in Italy in 2006 will report on what they learned
from that trip, and Billie Best of the Regional Farm and
Food Project of the Hudson-Mohawk Valley will moderate
a panel discussion titled “Enhancing Markets for
Local Food and Forest Products.”
The forum is the fourth symposium on regional environmental
issues sponsored by the Catskill Institute for the Environment
(CIE), a consortium of representatives from area colleges
and other educational organizations. In addition to CIE,
CCCD and ONHS, the Andes forum is co-sponsored by the
Watershed Agricultural Council, Bard Center for Environmental
Policy, the Agroforestry Resource Center, Catskill Forest
Association, NYC Department of Environmental Protection,
and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
Buy The Well...
Olivebridge singer/songwriter Sarah Perrotta has just
finished her latest album, “The Well,” which
she is expecting to release sometime in May. The album
includes all original songs performed
by herself (voice, piano and organ) and her band, Guitarist
Chris Lane` and drummer Johnny Watson. Special guests
include my heroes Tony Levin (bass player for Peter Gabriel,
Paul Simon, King Crimson…) for all eleven songs
on electric bass, upright bass, the chapman stick and
funk fingers and Garth Hudson from The Band on accordion
for two songs. To defray the cost of printing, she is
pre-selling CD’s for $12. If you would like to be
among the first to receive “The Well”, send
a check for $12 to Sarah Perrotta, 1900 Samsonville Road,
Olivebridge, NY 12461 USA and include the address you
would like your CD mailed to. As soon as the CD’s
are printed Perrotta will mail you an autographed first
edition copy! For vinyl
collectors, she will also be printing a limited number
on vinyl for $20 each.For more info visit Sarah’s
website at www.myspace.com/sarahperrottaband.
Uncle Rock U.
Interactive Music Classes for Parent and Child will be
led by Uncle Rock, renowned local family music performer
and early childhood educator, for children aged 5 months
to 5 years (and the people who drive them) over six weeks
at the Phoenicia Library on Fridays at 1 PM, starting
April 13th. For more info e-mail email@example.com
or call 845-688-2889
The Empire State Railway Museum in Phoenicia will host
a lecture and slide show entitled the “Life and
Years of John Burroughs” on Wednesday, April 18th
at 7 pm. Ed France will speak about the life and times
of the famous nature writer. The Spring Lecture is a preamble
to the Railway Museum’s later seasonal exhibit of
photos of Burroughs’ life, assembled by Ed France
and Lonnie Gale, which opens Memorial Day Weekend for
the season. The Empire State Railway Museum is located
at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia, 688-7501. Burroughs
readers are also recommended to look into the “Rally
at the Rock,” part of a nationwide campaign called
Step It Up to urge Congress to combat climate change,
at Burroughs’s Boyhood Rock in Roxbury on Sunday,
April 15th at 1 PM.
2nd Home Stats...
Amidst all the discussion of an impending Onteora School
Budget, local tax officials were asked to supply information
in recent weeks as to changes in the second home demographics
for the area.
Woodstock’s deputy assessor, Francesca Husted said
they watch their numbers closely because the rate of second
homeowner buying has increased. She said they gathered
data based on people who do not apply for the STAR program,
excluding businesses. Woodstock homeowners in the Onteora
district who do not apply for STAR came to about 48 percent.
In her experience working at the town office, Husted seems
to believe this number is accurate, naming Woodstock a
Bill Cook, assessor for the town of Olive, said 62 percent
of his town’s property owners receive some form
of STAR in Olive. He is confident that the other 38 percent
who do not receive STAR are second property owners, with
little giving way to businesses and rentals.
Assessor Bill Marks of the town of Hurley used a different
method of counting and looked at Hurley homeowners in
the Onteora district who use an out of town address. He
said the number is about 14 percent.
Shandaken could not get their statistics in time for this
The assessors acknowledged that some second homeowners
are attempting to apply for the STAR program that will
reduce their school tax bill, but the procedure to prove
full time residency is a rigorous screening. They hope
no one slips under the radar and also noted that sometimes
residences misunderstand eligibility. Although assessors
try to reach all full time residences, they also said
some do not apply for STAR, but that is a very small number
The latest property equalization rates from ORPS reveals
an overall increase in property values from 2005 to 2006.
Woodstock’s estimated full property value increased
by 6.9 percent, Hurley by 9.88 percent, Olive by 15.70
percent and Shandaken property values increased by 16.67