First Shandaken couldn’t get a cell tower in town if it
tried. Now it appears they might be popping up in unexpected
places. It was announced Monday that Verizon has asked for permission
to build it’s own 130 foot tall tower, called a monopole,
near the Town Hall in Allaben.
At this point negotiations are just beginning, but Supervisor
Peter DiSclafani said that Verizon is offering a flat rate of
$1500 a month to the town.
DiSclafani said that Verizon intends to allow the Town Highway
Department a spot on the tower for its communications, which
currently relies on the use of a 70 foot tall tower on the same
property. The old tower would be removed, DiSclafani said and
the new would be erected elsewhere on the land, probably behind
the highway garage.
Asked what ever happened to the proposed tower for Glenbrook
Park, DiSclafani said that construction was in progress, but
that Verizon still wanted their own facility.
“They’ve been saying for six months that they don’t
feel the Glenbrook tower location is very good,” he said.
Verizon occupies space on the South Mountain Tower in West Shokan
and on the tower located atop Highmount.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)has
announced the release of a Climate Change Assessment and Action
Plan, a comprehensive report detailing the extensive work the
Department has undertaken to better understand and plan for
the potential impacts of climate change on the city’s
water and sewer systems. The report outlines specific steps
that DEP is taking to refine climate change projections for
New York City and its watershed region, better quantify risks
to existing systems, integrate climate change data into departmental
planning for new projects, and develop both short-term and long-term
adaptation strategies for critical infrastructure.
The report states that without proper planning and extensive
adaptations climatic change could have a significant effect
on New York City’s drinking water delivery, stormwater
management and wastewater treatment systems. Preliminary analysis
indicates that: Rising temperatures could exaggerate the frequency
and severity of droughts and heat waves, increasing demand and
straining drinking water supplies; Heavier precipitation could
wash additional nutrients and particles into watershed reservoirs,
elevating pathogen levels and compromising the viability of
DEP’s unfiltered drinking water system; Increased precipitation
would also overwhelm drainage systems, treatment facilities
and sewer infrastructure; and rising seas could pose a similar
threat to key in-city infrastructure, particularly coastal wastewater
The DEP is working to integrate climate change projections into
the planning for all new projects... including its review of
the Shandaken-based Belleayre Resort and Ski Center Expansion
project, for which similar reviews must be undertaken by all
parties. Wherever possible, engineering and design specifications
are undergoing modification to account for future climatic shifts
and changing physical conditions, and existing projects are
already undergoing rigorous evaluation to determine if climate
considerations can be integrated immediately.
“Climate change is a complex, emerging issue,” said
DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “The timing and extent of
change is uncertain, and modifying large-scale infrastructure
systems is expensive and takes time, but with proper planning,
we can make significant progress and develop adaptation strategies…”
In an effort to reduce the impacts of pollutants such as dioxins,
particulate matter and carbon monoxide and to limit the risks
of wildfires, the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) proposed in early May to extend a ban on
open burning statewide beyond the current ban for any municipality
with a population of 20,000, a law in effect since 1972.
Once considered harmless, DEC has reported that open burning
has been found to release more dangerous chemicals into the
air than thought generations ago. A recent study by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with DEC and
the State Department of Health, found that emissions of dioxins
and furans from backyard burning alone were greater than all
other sources combined for the years 2002-04. The study also
found that burning trash emits arsenic, carbon monoxide, benzene,
styrene, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide and other harmful
chemicals. Trash containing plastics, polystyrene, pressure-treated
and painted wood and bleached or colored papers can produce
harmful chemicals when burned.
In addition to releasing pollutants, open burning is the largest
single cause of wildfires in New York State such as that which
burned in the Minnewaska area earlier this Spring. Data from
DEC’s Forest Protection Division show that debris burning
accounted for about 40 percent of wildfires between 1986 and
2006 - more than twice the next most-cited source. The proposed
rule does allow for a number of exceptions, including camp fires,
prescribed burns, celebratory bonfires (where allowed), fire
training exercises, specialized burning to protect crops from
frostbite and burning of agricultural wastes (though not agricultural
plastics). The state is currently conducting a series of public
hearings on the proposal, including one at 5 PM on Tuesday,
June 24, 2008 at the Norrie Point Environmental Center in Staatsburg,
Staatsburg, two from 9:30 AM to noon and 5 to 8 PM on Wednesday,
June 25, at DE’s Central Office, 625 Broadway, Public
Assembly Room 129, Albany, NY
A growing number of local residents in the Catskills have started
to vow a fight to protect their burn options… for trash
and “the protection of a lifestyle we’ve grown used
to,” according to Olive resident Rich Ostrander.
For more info visit www.dec.ny/gov.
Both measures come on the toes of the White House’s final
release of a report outlining climate change dangers on a national
basis, under court order and four years after it was first promised;
and new talk about “greening” industries becoming
a major force in the coming decades.
Longstanding Ulster County Democratic boss John Parete, the
owner of the Boiceville Inn who got his political start turning
Olive from Republican to Democrat nearly 40 years ago and now
has two sons on the Ulster County Legislature, is facing two
challengers for party dominance this summer. Former Ulster County
Assistant District Attorney Julian Schreibman, who ran for his
party’s nomination for County District Attorney last year,
announced his intention to seek Parete’s post this week,
joining former Democratic D.A. candidate Jonathan Sennett of
New Paltz, who announced earlier. A decision will be made in
Both former candidates stated last summer that they felt Parete,
who also serves as one of two county Elections Commissioners,
had intentionally stacked a committee panel to secure a waiver
for a third candidate, Vincent Bradley Jr., to run on the Democratic
line in the September primary. After Sennett received the party
nomination, Bradley ran as a Conservative. The result was a
district attorney race in which Republican Holley Carnright
won against the split remaining vote, with some charging that
Parete had hurt his party’s chances in the process.
Sennett said of his candidacy: “I intend to provide some
youth and vigor and leadership in the party. I am very much
interested in trying to bring together what appears to be division
in the party.”
Schreibman has reserved comment for the time being.
Parete, who has been party chairman for 10 years, said he plans
to focus all of his attention on the county comptroller and
county executive races while “those other guys worry about
getting a job.” He added that he plans to run entirely
on his record - particularly the fact that when he took over,
six Democrats served in the county Legislature, and now 19 have
Zephyr Dresser-Peck, 19 of Woodstock, was sentenced to 1 1/2
to 4 1/2 years in state prison for the drunken driving crash
that claimed the life of his best friend, Andrew “Drew”
Dean-Lipson last May 19, 2007. The sentencing came after an
emotional 75 minute court proceeding before Ulster County Judge
J. Michael Bruhn that drew so many spectators the proceedings
had to be moved to a larger courtroom.
The Dean-Lipson family said they got the maximum they could,
which they still felt wasn’t enough. Dresser-Peck’s
attorney, Steven Coffey, told the court of his client’s
remorse for the accident, his work as a counselor for fellow
teens to help them deal with similar drinking and driving problems
that led to his tragedy, and read a statement from the boy,
who spent much of the hearing in tears.
“Nothing that I can say or do can reverse this tragic
event,” Coffey read. “I loved Drew and miss him
The teens had been among 35 or 40 students drinking at an after-prom
party at the Maverick Road home of area attorney Alan Zwiebel,
according to former District Attorney Donald Williams, who was
special prosecutor in the case. Williams said the grand jury
considered the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash
and found “there were no charges that could be brought
against the homeowners.”
The crash did, however, lead to the adoption of the Ulster County
Social Host Law, which makes it a criminal offense for an adult
homeowner to knowingly allow minors to drink on their premises.
It has also helped draw interest to the Awareness Program that
Dresser-Peck became involved with, and which continues on after
Dresser-Peck, who was 18 at the time of the accident, originally
was indicted for vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent
homicide and driving under the influence of both alcohol and
drugs. In March, he pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular
manslaughter, admitting that he was behind the wheel about 5:40
a.m. on May 19, 2007, on Glasco Turnpike in Woodstock, when
he crossed into the oncoming lane, overcorrected, and his vehicle
went off the shoulder, became airborne and struck several trees,
police said at the time.
Dean-Lipson, 19, of Music Hill Road, Woodstock, was thrown from
the car and was pronounced dead at the scene. Dresser-Peck and
another passenger, Michael “Mick” Sarandon, were
not seriously injured.
A new economic development committee has been formed by the
Shandaken Town Board. The committee is chaired by Pine Hill
resident James Krueger, a singer/songwriter and Director of
the Pine Hill Community Center. The Committee is rounded out
by Heather Roberts, Stephanie Barnes, Steve Witte and Mike Ricciardella.
The liaison to the Committee is Councilwoman Doris Bartlett.
The Committee came under fire this week when Councilman Robert
Stanley questioned its purchase of a $100 banner welcoming visitors
expected to attend the Kayak races scheduled for June 7-8. Stanley
felt the purchase should not have been made until the town board
Ulster County Administrator Michael Hein will be the Democratic
nominee for a new County Executive position likely to pay $125,000
a year versus the Republican Party’s pick of an Independent/Conservative,
Leonard Bernardo, and a Kingston independent without part affiliation,
Ellenville Village Manager Elliot Auerbach defeated Ulster County
Legislature Chairman David Donaldson 12,653-10,427 in weighted
voting for the county comptroller’s race during the Democratic
Party’s convention at the Hillside Manor in Kingston and
will remain the party candidate unless Donaldson challenges
him in a September primary. He will face Ulster resident James
Quigley, who lobbied heavily against the new Charter system
of governance for the county a few years ago.
Hein, 42, was appointed Ulster County administrator in 2006.
Bernardo, 53 and a political novice, is an Accord resident and
owner of the roller rink Skate Time 209.
The Charter Transition Committee is recommending a salary of
$125,000 per year for the County Executive. The salary for the
Comptroller is the same as elected offices of County Clerk,
Sheriff and Treasurer, currently $95,533. The recommended salaries
will be voted on by the full Legislature as part of the 2009
There will be a third Informational Meeting on the Charter shift
for the Legislature, press and public on July 2, following the
6 PM Public Hearing on the Ethics Law in the Legislative Chambers,
6th Floor, County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston,
New York. This information session will cover the last portion
of the Administrative Code as well as the proposed financial
New York City has announced the results of the work of its Flood
Mitigation Taskforce, created in response to extreme weather
events throughout the City and its watershed last year. The
goals of the Taskforce were to first, develop a citywide emergency
flood response plan to coordinate agency responses to predicted
and in-progress heavy rain events; second, develop community
education and outreach materials for empowering residents to
protect themselves and their property; and third, identify and
examine Stormwater Mitigation Study Areas (SMSAs) for strategies
that will improve stormwater management in the most affected
areas in the short term.
“One likely impact of global warming is an increase in
the intensity and number of the coastal storms that often hit
New York,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “In the wake of
three severe storms that struck the City last year - one which
brought our subway system to a virtual standstill - I convened
an inter-agency task force to improve our city’s flood
preparation and response. Modernizing our sewer infrastructure
is going to take decades. While we’re committed to making
these long-term infrastructure improvements, there is also a
lot we can do in the short term to help safeguard our city against
How this all ends up effecting the City’s relationship
with upstate watershed communities is, as yet, anyone’s
In related news, a Floodplain Mapping and Management Seminar
will be held on June 10 bringing together representatives of
the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Rondout Creek Watershed Council,
Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership and Wallkill River Task Force
to educate municipal officials and residents and businesses
living or working in flood prone areas in our own region about
the latest regulations and technologies for flood prevention,
mitigation, and response.
Among points of interest to be discussed are recently changed
floodplain maps, which effect availability of flood insurance
throughout the county; Army Corps Reconnaissance Studies for
the Esopus, Plattekill, Rondout and Wallkill creeks (the Corps
is now considering taking the next step to do a Feasibility
Study for these watersheds, taking a watershed-wide planning
approach, with ongoing input from local municipalities); the
Flood Mitigation Capacity of New York City’s Water Supply
System, updating on new programs and City attitudes; The importance
of Wetlands and Riparian Buffers in Flood Prevention and Mitigation.
The individual presentations will be followed by a question
and answer session and interactive discussion. Art Snyder, Director
of Ulster County Emergency Communications/Emergency Management
and DEC flood management staff will be on hand as resource people
to join the panel and help answer questions.
Registration and networking will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday,
June 10 with the program starting at 6:15 at the Rosendale Community
Center on Route 32 in Rosendale. For further information please
contact: Victor Melendez, Rondout Creek Watershed Council Coordinator
at (845) 454-7673 x 112 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Phoenicia woman, 49-year old Carol Williams, was sentenced
recently to one to three years in state prison for causing a
head-on crash last summer in the town of Olive that killed a
78-year-old Roxbury man. Williams, who pleaded guilty in March
to vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving, was sentenced
in Ulster County Court by visiting Judge Paul Czajka for her
culpability in the accident that took the life of Jose Hurtado.
The prosecution offered “no specific (sentencing) recommendation,”
Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Gerard Van Loan said
in court. Williams’ attorney, Ulster County Assistant
Public Defender Michael Gould, asked that his client be given
five years’ probation. The sentence handed down by Czajka
fell in between the two.
Gould said Williams was seriously injured in the crash and is
no longer “physically or legally capable of driving.”
He said his client spent 40 days in Westchester Medical Center
following the crash, underwent several surgeries for broken
feet and legs and was in intensive care for weeks. He added
that Williams poses no threat to the public, is suffering from
both guilt and physical pain, and attended Alcoholics Anonymous
The crash occurred at 12:19 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2007 when Williams,
who was westbound on Route 28 in Olive, crossed into oncoming
traffic and struck Hurtado’s vehicle head-on. Hurtado
was taken first to Benedictine Hospital in Kingston and died
while being transferred to Westchester Medical Center.
Local Lectures “Learning about nature through the words
of John Burroughs,” will be the topic of a talk by Tom
Alworth Saturday, June 7 at 11 a.m. at Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury.
This is the second of a summer series of family-friendly presentations
about Burroughs and nature to be offered at the Lodge where
the renowned nature writer spent summers during the final 10
years of his life. The Lodge is about two miles off NYS Route
30 just north of the hamlet of Roxbury. Turn off Route 30 onto
Hardscrabble Road, and then Burroughs Memorial Road. Alworth,
a former member of the Woodchuck Lodge Board of Directors, served
until recently as the Executive Director of the Catskill Center
for Conservation and Development. He holds a Master’s
Degree in Animal Behavior from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville),
has worked as a curriculum writer and educator for the Wildlife
Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, and served as Assistant
Director of the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve and Biological Research
Station in Albany County. Woodchuck Lodge will be open for guided
tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7 and 8, as well as the first
weekend of each month through October. There is no admission
charge, but donations towards the restoration and upkeep of
the building are greatly appreciated. Also upcoming are a series
of talks about the historic Byrdcliffe Colony and its role as
a center for the arts in the great Woodstock area since the
early 20th century, all to take place at the historic property’s
White Pines home of colony founders Ralph and Jane Whitehead.
They start Saturday, June 14 at 2 PM with a talk about “Woodstock
in Summer: The Art Student’s Life at Byrdcliffe”
and continue the second Saturdays in July and August.
For further information visit www.woodstockguild.org or call
National Trails Day hits on Saturday, June 7, with a flurry
of back woods activities throughout the region. Here in the
Catskills, one of the big events is a Catskill Center for Conservation
and Development hike of the Dry Brook Ridge Trail, which runs
from Margaretville and the East Branch of the Delaware River
south over Balsam Lake Mountain to the Beaver Kill. Thedifficult
15 mile hike will be split into two sections, allowing participants
the opportunity to join in for one or both legs of the journey.
A group will leave the Margaretville trailhead at 9AM, and then
the Mill Brook road parking area at 2PM en route to the Balsam
Lake Mountain Fire Tower.
Bring lunch and plenty of water. No pets please. Registration
required by June 5th. For more information, and to register
please contact Ben Murdock or Peter Manning at 845-586-2611.
Much is also being organized through the Adirondack Club, including
work on the Ashokan High Point Loop in the Sundown Wild Forest,
where side cutting, drainage maintenance and blowdown removal
will be focused on; the Giant Ledge-Panther Trail in the Slide
Mountain Wilderness Area will be worked on from Fox Hollow to
Panther Mountain, as well as from Giant Ledge to Panther Mountain;
the Haynes Mountain trail in the Big Indian Wilderness Area
will be cleared beginning at Rider Hollow; the Mount Tremper
trail in the Phoenicia Wild Forest will be worked on from the
junction of the Willow and Warner Creek Trails to Mount Tremper
itself; and the West Kill Mountain trail will be sidecut in
So… any excuses NOT to get in the woods this Saturday?
Not So Green
Americans rank last in a new National Geographic-sponsored survey
released recently that compares environmental consumption habits
in 14 countries.
Americans were least likely to choose the greener option in
three out of four categories - housing, transportation and consumer
goods - according to the assessment. In the fourth category,
food, Americans ranked ahead of Japanese consumers, who eat
more meat and seafood.
The rankings, called “Greendex,” are the first to
compare the lifestyles and behaviors of consumers in multiple
countries, according to the National Geographic Society. It
plans to conduct the 100-plus question survey annually and considers
trends more important than yearly scores.
India and Brazil tied for the highest score - 60 points out
of a hundred. U.S. consumers scored 44.9. In between, China
scored 56.1, Mexico 54.2, Hungary 53.2, Russia 52.4, Great Britain
50.2, Germany 50.2, Australia 50.2, Spain 50, Japan 49.1, France
48.7 and Canada 48.5.
To see how you score, take an abbreviated version of the survey.
It’s at nationalgeographic.com/greendex
Bad On 28?
Following the lead of several residents, the Shandaken town
supervisor has lodged an official complaint with the Region
8 office of the New York State Department of Transportation,
saying Route 28, the main travel artery through the area, has
become so riddled with potholes and craters that it is unsafe
In a letter dated May 16, Shandaken Supervisor Peter DiSclafani
told Region 8 Director Joan DuPont that something needs to be
done to the state-owned road.
“This letter is in regards to the very poor and unsafe
conditions of ... Route 28 throughout most of Shandaken,”
DiSclafani wrote, adding that the state’s other roads
in the area, including Routes 212 and 214, also are in bad shape.
“They need immediate attention, not just cosmetic repairs.
They need reconstruction and capital improvements.”
DiSclafani wrote that town officials “receive complaints
about these roads on a daily basis” and that the state
should “give this matter serious consideration.”
But DOT spokeswomen Sandra Jobson said that there are no plans,
at least for the next several years, to overhaul Route 28 or
the other roads cited by DiSclafani
“I’ve looked into if we have planned repaving projects
(for that area), and we do not,” Jobson said. “We
do not have any major reconstruction plans out over the next
five years, and we do not have any resurfacing projects planned.
We usually have those planned out over the next two years.”
Besides typical potholes, Route 28 in Shandaken has areas where
coats of pavement, in some cases as large as a car, have stripped
away, leaving indentations of 2 or 3 inches. Striking such a
patch at the speed limit, 55 mph, can be risky.
Up At Tech City
After a decade’s pause, things finally seem about to start
happening at the old IBM campus in the Town of Ulster, outside
Kingston, currently known as Tech City. After several months
negotiations, the first Ulster County funds to flow to the new
Solar Consortium will make it into the pipeline this week. Ulster
County Development Corporation President Lance Matteson announced
that $130,000 of the $200,000 earmarked by the county legislature
will be presented to the group to help the planned Solar Energy
Consortium get started and operational and to deliver specific
services to the county in terms of growing the solar industry
in Ulster County . The remaining $70,000 will be parceled out
over the course of the year.
The Solar Consortium is working to attract company’s involved
in solar technology to set up shop at Tech City in the Town
Also of late, the Hudson Valley Film Commission and Matteson
announced that TechCity has officially been granted certification
as a qualified film studio by the New York State Governor’s
Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, allowing
potential film productions to use facilities at TechCity to
meet the requirements set forth by the recent NYS Film Credit.
NYS film credit regulations state that productions must use
a soundstage measuring at least 7,000 square feet in order to
comply. TechCity is a 27 building campus located in the heart
of New York State’s emerging technology corridor. Available
spaces measure in size from 7,000 to over 200,000.
Matteson and HVFC head Laurence Rejto have noted that the site,
which served as IBM world headquarters, is ideal for future
film productions… with three major possibilities currently
“The eventual goal however is to get several operating
film studios settled in at TechCity full time–with staff,
equipment, carpentry and prop buildings, the works,” said
Rejto, also a founder of te Woodstock Film Festival. “It’s
not an easy task but this is a step in the right direction.
In order for the facility to thrive, it will need management
and steady income to pay the nut. A legitimate network or cable
talk show or cooking show would be an ideal first step. If the
next Oprah reads this, please have her call our office.”
The Town of Shandaken has found itself named in a lawsuit filed
in State Supreme Court by an Electrical Contractor that is seeking
to collect $136,255 for work done at the Emerson Resort and
Spa last year.
Whitman Electric, Inc. filed the suit on April 24, 2008 against
a slew of people and entities including Dean Gitter and many
of the companies he is involved with. The suit also names other
contractors that appear to have Liens against the Emerson.
In the 14 page complaint the companies vice president, Dale
Whitman, states that his company worked at the Emerson between
June 2006 and June 2007 and had an agreed price of $974,813.78.
According to Whitman, $136,255.18 remains unpaid. He also claims
that Gitter’s Spotted Dog Ventures,LLC., the General Contractor
for the project, has refused to pay despite due demand, but
never challenged the claim or disputed its accuracy.
Whitman filed a lien on the Emerson Property and claims “knowledge
of other liens filed on the property and such lienors have been
named as defendants to this action.”
One “lienor,” is the Town of Shandaken. Supervisor
Peter DiSclafani said Monday that Attorney Paul Kellar is reviewing
the lawsuit and believes it is a legal maneuver by Whitman to
get to the front of the line for payment. The amount owed to
the other lienors remains unclear.
The lawsuit asks the court to order that the Emerson be sold
in order to pay the debt. It also asks the court to demand the
defendants to account for the $4 million loan they received
from the Roundout Savings Bank to build the Resort and Spa.
That mortgage lists the Ulster County Industrial Development
Agency, Spotted Dog Ventures, Kaatskill Development Holdings
and Fort Shandaken Associates as mortgagers.
Our Scenic Cloves
The public is invited to discuss the Mountain Cloves Scenic
Byway at Hunter Elementary School cafeteria at 10:00 a.m. on
Saturday, June 14, 2008. The meeting will focus on a proposal
to extend the Scenic Byway within Hunter and preserve and upgrade
existing and new segments of the Scenic Byway.
Dennis Lucas, Town of Hunter Supervisor, said “Our mountain
cloves are unique natural, cultural, recreational and historic
resources. The cloves and the routes that connect them have
been attractions for over a century. This Scenic Byway project
focuses on ways to protect and enhance the special qualities
and recreational opportunities which are the underpinnings of
our local and regional economy”.
State Routes 23A (Kaaterskill Clove) and 214 (Stony Clove),
as well as Platte Clove Road, were designated NY State Scenic
Roads in 1991 under the leadership of the town with assistance
from the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. These
routes subsequently became State Scenic Byways. In order to
qualify for financial aid to protect and enhance the Byways,
a Corridor Management Plan (CMP) is being developed by a broad-based
Steering Committee. Project participants include the town Chamber
of Commerce, the Hunter and the Catskill Mountain Foundations,
Mountain Top Historical Society, and local, county, State and
non-profit transportation, environmental and economic development
The project proposes to link the existing Byway into a continuous,
connected Scenic Byway ‘loop’ through the designation
of new segments. The CMP identifies the unique qualities of
the Byway and Hunter’s environs and suggests organizational,
marketing and planning actions that will preserve the most salient
features of the Byway. This will enhance the visitor experience
and promote overall economic development of Hunter and the Catskills.
The Project Steering Committee will facilitate the meeting and
draft plans are available for review. For more information,
visit the ‘public announcement’ section of the Town
of Hunter web page: www:townofhuntergov.com, or call Town Supervisor
Dennis Lucas Sr., Town Supervisor at (518)589-6151 x317.
The $26,688,913 budget for Ulster County Community College presented
to the Ulster County Legislature maintains the faculty, staff,
equipment and facilities needed to offer nearly 50 college programs
to the community via a 4.7% overall increase. Tuition for full
time study is expected to increase by $60 a semester to $3420
a year. Part time tuition will increase by $10 to $130 per credit
hour. The contribution by the County of Ulster is proposed to
increase by $275,000 over last year for a total of $6.2 million.
State base aid is expected to remain level over last year at
$2,675 per funded FTE. State aid comprises 25.3 % of the College’s
budget, while the County’s contribution comprises 27.1%
and tuition accounts for 33.4% in the proposed budget.
The full legislature is expected to vote on the College’s
budget at its meeting on June 11.
Our Rail Trail…
Ulster County’s Draft Non-Motorized Transportation Plan,
which calls for eventual transformation of the long-dormant
Ulster & Delaware Rail lines from Kingston to Highmount
into a combined railroad and bicycle route, is now available
for review… and up for a public hearing next week. The
proposed Non-Motorized Transportation Plan includes more than
30 miles of shared use paths throughout the county, along with
on-road bikeways, pedestrian improvements and supporting programs.
The plan also identifies a county-wide system of non-motorized
infrastructure, recommendations for Safe Routes to Schools,
Complete Streets Policies, and a countywide bike parking program.
A public meeting will be held to gather your comments on Tuesday,
June 10 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM in the New Paltz BOCES Conference
Room, 175 Route 32 North, New Paltz. The draft document for
the Ulster Non-Motorized Transportation Plan is now available
at the County’s website: www.co.ulster.ny.us/planning/bikeped.html.
We’ll keep you updated… and see you at the hearing!
Marilyn A. McManus, 76, of West Shokan, NY died Wednesday, May
28, 2008 at Freedom Square Nursing Home in Seminole, Florida
after a battle with cancer. She was born in Kingston, NY on
October 15, 1931, the daughter of the late Clifford and Teresa
A 1949 graduate of Kingston High School, she was a lifetime
resident of the Hudson Valley having worked as a Bookkeeper/Secretary
at Kingston Oil Supply Corp (KOSCO) for over fifteen years,
managing her husband's construction business for the past 37
years and most recently working as a bus aide for the Onteora
School District. She was also an avid New York Yankee fan and
animal lover. Marilyn was a caring, generous and dedicated wife
and mother and will be missed dearly. She is survived by one
daughter, JoAnn DeCicco of Largo, FL; two sons Shawn McManus
of Elkridge, MD. and Michael Bodnar of Pine Bush, NY; one brother
Clifford Schryver, Jr. of Sawkill, NY. Seven grandchildren,
four great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews also survive.
She is predeceased by her husband John McManus, daughter Donna
Benson, and previous husband Joseph A. Stephano, Jr. A Mass
of Christian Burial was celebrated at Saint John's Church, Holly
Hills, West Hurley, NY. Burial at Hudler Cemetery in Mt. Tremper,
World leaders are to meet next week for urgent talks aimed at
preventing tens of millions of the world's poor dying of hunger
as a result of soaring food prices. The summit in Rome is expected
to pledge immediate aid to poor countries threatened by malnutrition
as well as charting longer-term strategies for improving food
Hosted by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, it will
hear calls for the establishment of a global food fund, as well
as for new international guidelines on the cultivation of biofuels,
which some have blamed for diverting land, crops and other resources
away from food production. The urgency of the meeting follows
historic spikes in the price of some staple foods. The price
of rice has doubled since January this year, while the cost
of dairy products, soya beans, wheat and sugar have also seen
A fortnight after the UN meeting, the EU council will focus
much of its time on the food crisis. A ministerial meeting of
the World Trade Organisation in late June will make a last-ditch
attempt in Geneva at agreeing the lowering of international
trade barriers, with the aim of cutting food prices and making
it easier for farmers in poor countries to export their produce.
Food and climate change will also be the twin top themes of
the G8 summit in Japan in early July, and then in September
a UN summit will attempt to put the world back on course towards
meeting the millennium development goals, agreed eight years
ago, one of which was the halving of the number of the world's