to the Editor
The Catskills and the southern tier of New York state are quickly becoming
the epicenter for energy exploration in the East. In the biggest push
for energy development there since World War II, oil and gas companies
have swooped into upstate towns, sending “landmen” on a
door-to-door campaign, buying the rights to drill for natural gas on
It’s all because of the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation
there, and under it is a wealth of natural gas. To gain access to that
gas, developers must blast a combination of sand, water, and chemicals
up to 9,000 feet into the earth. The process, called hydraulic fracturing,
could require the use of up to six million gallons of water per gas
well. Over the next few years, in New York alone, thousands of wells
are predicted to be constructed. The water to drill those wells will
come from New York’s rivers and streams which are already stressed
by a number of factors.
On July 23, Governor Paterson signed a bill into law that will make
it easier for gas companies to get permits to drill in New York. He
also promised strong environmental safeguards. Last week, New York City
officials asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to
establish a one-mile wide protective perimeter around each of the city’s
six major Catskills reservoirs to protect these areas from drilling.
Whether this will be enough protection is yet unclear, but it’s
important that the state adequately protects its water resources.
Some compare the natural gas drilling fervor to the rush for oil in
the West, an area that has seen a 260 percent increase in drilling on
public lands alone, along with severe localized declines in mule deer,
adverse impacts on native trout, and diminished water quality. And now,
thanks to rising natural gas prices, an increased demand for energy
and new technology, developing gas deposits in the East’s Marcellus
Shale has become a viable option.
As alluring as the short-term economic benefits may be—particularly
in economically-depressed areas of New York—the deleterious effects
of this natural gas boom will persist for decades. Hydraulic fracturing
is destructive. As the natural gas comes to the surface, so do millions
of gallons of chemical-laden wastewater that must be properly treated.
And right now, New York state does not presently possess a single facility
to treat the wastewater.
Drilling will occur in parts of New York where wild trout live, wild
turkeys roam and bald eagles nest. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, every year more than $3 billion is generated for the New York
state and local communities from fishing, hunting, and wildlife related
recreation. State officials must ensure that the rush to develop short-term
energy is not allowed to compromise this sustainable economic powerhouse,
and the health benefits of outdoor recreation. The state must also protect
citizens from the effects of the drilling
New York and the surrounding states should develop such native energy
resources as the Marcellus Shale. But not before state officials better
understand the potential impacts of development on local communities,
fish, wildlife, and water resources. For example, geologists estimate
that one drilling site could exist on every 40 to 140 acres in the area.
Given the unprecedented nature and scale of this effort, New York state
lawmakers and agency officials must set stringent standards, and associated
penalties for non-compliance with these standards, to ensure that our
drinking water is safe and that our rivers don’t run dry. These
state standards are more important than ever because the Energy Policy
Act of 2005 exempts drilling activities in the Marcellus Shale from
the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
As this process unfolds, the opportunity also exists for oil and gas
companies to demonstrate their commitment to protecting New York communities
and natural areas. By developing industry-led best practices for construction,
water withdrawal and wastewater disposal, these companies can show the
state and the country that energy development does not have to be synonymous
with ecological degradation.
Like it or not, natural gas drilling in New York and the surrounding
areas will occur. Along with it is the potential for an untold level
of social and environmental damage. As the nation looks to the East
to broaden domestic energy supplies, New York state has the opportunity
to set an example to protect some of its most valuable and irreplaceable
natural areas. It must do so without delay.
Ron Urban, Chairman
NY Trout Unlimited Council
Port Ewen, NY
Aaron Bennett made reference to the two new fishing platforms on the
East Branch of the Delaware River were it empties into the Pepacton
Reservoir, in the August 14, 2008 paper. He mentions that he saw fish
swimming below. All I saw last week were rocks below stretching 10 to
15 feet to the water line. What he failed to mention is that the designers
of these so called fishing platforms probably never fished a day in
their entire lives. The platforms do not extend far enough over the
river and will probably only be usable in the Spring. To fish properly
you still have to climb down the rocks.
This was a complete waste of taxpayers money. They would have been better
off removing the bridge & roadway, leaving the ground graded down
to the water, with a wheelchair access ramp similar to a boat ramp,
which is ribbed for traction. Maybe next time New York City will consult
with people who know. In this case it should have been freshwater fisherman
or handicap freshwater fisherman.
Big Indian, N.Y
Many of my relatives and friends visiting over the summer have asked
me what that huge pile of rubble is right in the middle of Phoenicia.
I heard that the owner is holding out on rebuilding. However, doesn't
the owner of this land realize that delaying clean up and building vastly
affects all of us and our property value?
As a taxpayer and property owner, and fellow neighbor, I implore the
property owner to help make Phoenicia as good as it was before the fire,
perhaps even nicer, and to do so quickly. If the owner cannot do this,
he should sell this property to someone that has the vision to help
Phoenicia continue to be a non-hazardous and charming place to live.
The South Bronx has arrived on Main Street, Phoenicia. As the weather
quickly gets cooler we will be finding RATS in our basements. Many homeowners
and business establishments have already put rat poisons in their basements.
Why, you ask? Just cast your eyes on the disasterous sight in the middle
Our Town Fathers are not doing their jobs. This pile of rubbish is not
only a major Health Hazard but dangerous, not to mention unsightly to
the tourist trade and/or potential home buyers. The property was bought
and is privetly owned and is the responsibility of the owner to remove
this mess. We now have a SLUM LORD IN PHOENICIA! Aint that grand folks!
Since the owner is also a Real Estate sales person he should show this
piece of garbage to potential buyers. Home buying is at its lowest,
and I am certain his employer would love the property’s condition
to further the downward trend of home buying.
Labor Day weekend is around the corner. What a great impression for
those folks and a perfect reason not to come back to RAT CITY Those
who eat in resturants on Main better keep their feet up
As we have just celebrated the Fourth of July last month, and our thoughts
go even more to our brave men and women serving our Country here and
around the world, may we remember them each and every day.
Just recently I saw on TV some of the conditions our troops are going
through. They not only feel the pressures of constant danger which they
are under, plus missing their home and loved ones, but they endure ONE
HUNDRED PLUS degree temperatures! Sometimes these brave mean nd women
can "break" under these conditions which are with them constantly.
They are brave...but human. Our thoughts and prayers should be with
them every day.
For all those who have served in the past, you are not forgotten. One
older gentleman who had served his Country many years ago said "I
wonder if anyone remembers or cares." YES, many of us do care and
appreciate the freedoms we have because of your dedicated service.
Even though at times it seems that wqe are losing some of our freedoms,
and especially the privilege of publicly speaking of our faith in God
on which our beloved Country was founded, we have much to be thankful
for and may we never forget the sacrifices made for this freedom and
all of our God-given blessings. May God bless each of our brave men
and women and may GOD BLESS AMERICA!
It’s fairly transparent for Senator Bonacic to dismiss growing
local and environmental opposition to the size, scale and density of
the Belleayre Resort real estate development, as proposed. He’s
been an unquestioning booster of whatever developer's proposal was current
and appears disinterested in any alternate views from his constituents.
But his comments also betray a lack of understanding of why people live
here, and why they visit.
With his blithe dismissal of a constituent concern as just one person's
viewshed “complaint” in a recent Phoenicia Times interview,
Sen. Bonacic seeks to minimize New Yorkers' concerns about the permanent
damage that unprecedented high elevation commercial construction could
do in the Catskills, as it has already done elsewhere.
The stunning, undeveloped, forest-covered Catskill Mountaintops and
ridges undulate one after another into the distance, and invite people
into nature. The world-famous vistas and dark, starry night sky, now
so rare this close to major cities, are enjoyed by millions year-round.
They are the reason many of us want to live here, and visit this place
again and again.
Yet they are our primary economic engine too. Allowing the degradation
of this irreplaceable asset exemplifies short term thinking that Americans
are rejecting. It imperils our economy as well as the environment, recreation,
fishing, wildlife and prized quality of life. The kind of renewable
energy projects that will provide green jobs of the future while protecting
our environment, that US Rep Hinchey is working toward, with the Solar
initiatives, exemplify long term thinking for our region and our future
Building the Catskill Interpretative Center for the Catskill Park would
benefit local businesses and visitors alike, as could appropriate expansion
of the public, family-friendly Belleayre Ski Center, part of the forest
preserve. That's civic-minded and appropriate development that enhances
our assets. But spending millions in scarce taxpayer dollars and using
public assets primarily to benefit the private Belleayre Resort real
estate development, that would likely benefit only its investors, could
harm the local economy if the primary reason for being here is jeopardized.
This proposal is only the beginning of developer’s plans for these
The NY Comptroller's Belleayre analysis details many of the still-unanswered
economic questions. Read it here: www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/economic/belleayre.pdf
, or at www.SavetheMountain.net
I am not a member of a political party, nor do I intend to become one.
I retired from The Community Corrections Program in 1999, and since
then have been acting as a citizen activist. Over the past nine years
I have attended hundreds of legislative meetings and have served on
a number of legislative committees. My sole objective has been to change
some of the more costly and ill advised practices to be found in the
Ulster County criminal justice system.
Prior to the decision to build the jail several State studies had made
recommendations that, if followed, would have limited the size of the
monstrosity we wound up building. Needless to say those suggestions
In addition to the suggestions regarding the jail, there were other
recommendations that would have have reduced the operating costs for
the criminal justice system in general. These too were ignored.
Since taking over as administrator, Michael Hein has put some of these
initiatives into place. The most significant of which was the consolidation
of Alternative Sentencing and The Community Corrections Program under
the Probation Dept.
Prior to this consolidation the administrative costs for supervising
community service offenders had reached 16 dollars per offender, per
hour. That is an awful lot of tax dollars going for minimally motivated
criminals to perform low priority work. Similar to Alternative Sentencing,
the running costs for the Community Corrections Program reached a point
that it became cheaper to incarcerate the offender than provide them
with an alternative. What began as nominal costs for these programs
had grown to absurdity. For whatever reason (and none, I believe in
the interest of the taxpayer) the recommendation to consolidate these
programs were ignored until Hein became Administrator.
That is why I will be voting for Michael Hein this November, and why
I am urging you to do the same.
The first Executive will set the stage for governing the County for
the next 2 to 3 decades. We need an experienced executive that will
be able to contain, if not reduce spending. Someone who will foster
economic growth without forcing that particular growth on the citizenry
of a locality that might not want it. Someone who will be able to muster
the forces of Federal and State funding streams so that our county doesn’t
fall even further behind our neighboring counties.
To date, the only thing that I’ve read about Bernardo is that
he was successful at business. However, being able to run a business
is no guarantee of being able to run a county. Suggesting that having
an expertise in business automatically translates into having an expertise
in government is like saying being successful as a General qualifies
you to be an Admiral. Government is not like business. Government does
not even resemble business.
We cannot afford to elect someone with the hope that he will pick things
up along the way. We need someone who knows the ropes already. Someone
with the conviction to cut costs and the experience to stick with that
conviction and not get conned by bureaucratic double talk.
In closing ,I would like to take this opportunity to make note of my
disappointment with the new Republican leadership. I cannot, for the
life of me, understand why they decided to go outside their party and
support a virtual novice for such an important position as Executive.
There are at least 6 veteran Republicans serving on the legislature
right now that are heads and shoulders above Bernardo in governmental
experience and would have made excellent candidates for Executive.
Thomas P Kadgen
It was only a matter of time before someone from the "peanut gallery"
attacked my integrity (again) concerning Michael Hein's candidacy for
County Executive. (Letter penned by Legislator Provenzano).
To put it in "simple" terms for Jeanette Provenzano - I have
been paying attention to the fact that TSEC (The Solar Energy Consortium)
announced months ago that "good paying jobs" would be forthcoming.
We are still waiting. The announcement in December 2007 declared that
between 300-500 jobs "hoped to be created." Have any of these
promised jobs materialized? Yet, Provenzano thinks spending another
$200,000 of taxpayer money is "forward thinking?" And she
sings praises for UCDC performance funding? Their success of attracting
any new business is questionable. Do you reward UCDC for the promise
of jobs that may come with new development or the jobs that are actually
Oh, yes - let's not forget the Home Energy Summit that Hein has boasted
about. Results oriented? It is not going to happen with a printed brochure
directing people to agencies and help lines. Appointing another committee
to study the problem is not a measurement of true leadership either.
We know how committees work. They study things to death or legislation
gets buried in committee.
The fact is...Hein has failed miserably as County Administrator and
has not lowered taxes or boosted economic development opportunities.
His track record for missing the mark on sales tax projections and anticipated
revenues has been documented. Poor Jeanette might have missed that class.
As an accused authority (on all county government issues), voting for
Hein, who has not been fiscally responsible in his County Administrator
capacity, will be "business as usual." Aspiring to County
Executive is not an entitlement as Provenzano would like people to believe.
There is talk in the White House of an attack on Iran. This continues
to be going on as a new more urgent plan is a possible war with Russia.
Every moment where problems arise some where else in the world the Bush
Administration with only five and a half months to go is still planning
more illegal wars. This is how cynical the Conservatives and Republicans
have become. Only a new expanded war somewhere else other than Iraq
will help us win in November.
When will we ever learn? War fuels the profits of the super rich military-industrial-corporate
owned complex. War is to capitalism as love is to marriage and instead
of carriages drawing the caissons we have nuclear rockets and the idea
of a limited tactical nuclear war. Just what does this mean? In the
tradition of Dr. Strangelove graping his arm as he advises President
Bush we could blow one city up in Russia and they can blow-up one of
ours. Then out comes the doomsday machine that if one Russian city gets
hit then everything flies sending the planet into a nuclear winter.
Yes a solution to the greenhouse effect.
The solution is to gather the best of the best and send them down into
the caves in the U.S. The shortage of caves on both sides would be the
problem, instead of a missile gap there will be a livable cave gap.
For humanity it would proves the cycles of history are complete we all
live for sixty years back into the cave man period. When will we ever
learn the current President needs to be recalled, impeached and be replaced
by a new President. It has to happen fast before some caveman pushes
the button and sets off the doomsday machine.
Rest in peace
I held off writing this letter, as I was told personally by a recent
graduate of the Onteora Class of 2008 that she, upon returning home
the night of August 5th, had already emailed the Superintendent of Schools
in regards to questions she had following that evening’s BOE Work
Session Meeting. As of today, August 28, 2008, this former student has
not received a reply or acknowledgement to her email letter.
Knowing there are many of issues going on within our school district,
there still should have been an acknowledgement of receipt of this former
student’s recent letter, as the present and future athletes look
up to their former captain for answers.
So, being a parent and therefore representing many other parents, former,
present and future athletes in the Onteora School District, I will ask
the=2 0questions on their behalf, instead of having so many letters
sent out again looking for the answers and explanation.
I ask that you have a little patience when reading my letter, although
lengthy, I feel these are important questions that will affect Onteora’s
upcoming and future sports program and that the community would like
In the past several months, the Onteora School Board of Education, Superintendent
of School, High School Principal and Vice Principal received many letters
in regards requesting reconsideration as to the transfer of Patrick
Burkhardt to the Phoenicia Elementary school from the High School Physical
Education Department for many reasons. They seem to have been ignored.
This is the information that I and others are aware of:
1) Parents and students were under the impression that Patrick Burkhardt
was being transferred from the high school to Phoenicia Elementary School
because his position in the physical education department was being
eliminated - but in the special agenda archive notes it stated that
someone was hired for his position at the high school. If he does not
want to be transferred how is this in the best interest of the district?
If there is a retirement in Phoenicia why wouldn’t you fill the
retirement position? Why transfer a teacher with no elementary experience
when you could hire for the retirement with someone who does have elementary
experience. If he is not comfortable teaching elementary Phys Ed why
are we forcing him? Let him teach what he does best, High school phys
2) Patrick Burkhardt has been the XC and Spring Track and Field Coach
for so many years with an outstanding record at MHALS, Section 9 and
has had athletes consistently continue onto New York State Championships.
Over seven state ranked teams in his tenure is unheard of.
3) Besides coaching, Patrick Burkhardt had started the non-traditional
physical education program which incorporates yoga, Pilates and rock
climbing into his physical education program. Many students have commented
on their increased interest and comfort level in participating in these
types of activities rather than the traditional competitive format.
He was even endorsed by the special education department and the guidance
department- shouldn’t their opinions count? This is a fresh and
welcomed opportunity for the students of our district to be introduced
to and has had very high praise from parents and students. He is the
only non competitive pe teacher in the high school and the only teacher
who does Dance, Yoga, Core, and lifetime activities. His loss is crushing
to non athletes.
4) Mentioned in the letters sent was appreciation from former, present
and future students, and especially parents, regarding the dedication
and the over and beyond caring that Patrick Burkhardt shows to each
and every student and team member. He goes out of his way to update
every player and parent as to practices and schedules (including cancellations
and delays). Many letters also compared his coaching abilities to other
sporting programs that their children have participated in and that
no coach compares to him, some even go so far to say he actually he
should be an example for other coaches.
5) Patrick Burkhardt donates his personal time to the team members and
keeps students aware of opportunities to stay in shape during the non-season.
He encourages his XC team to run in the Kingston XC Series held during
the summer and runs with them to prepare for the upcoming season. He
also keeps parents and students updated on all county-wide and other
cross county road races available, during the summer, for our athletes.
He has personally invested hundreds of dollars of his own money into
Everyone kept an eye on the school web site for the upcoming meeting
and contacted Central Administration to get on the list for either Student
Comment or Public Be Heard. On the web site it mentioned that the 8/5/2008
meeting was a "Working Session" and the 8/19/2008 meeting
was a "Regular BOE Meeting". There is no mention on the web
site that I can find that explains the difference between them, that
left many people not knowing whether the "Working Session"
meeting was open to the public or not.
Unfortunately, upon arriving at Bennett Elementary School, the Board
of Education went into executive session and returned approximately
8:20 pm. Per the agenda it stated that the Student Comment would be
in the beginning of the meeting and Public Be Heard at the end of the
meeting. Three young ladies, Erica Beemer, Tory Bethel and Alex Nichols
expressed their concerns in transferring Patrick Burkhardt to an elementary
level and what they fear that may mean for their future as members of
the Onteora XC and Spring Track and Field programs and phys ed program.
There was an announcement for Public Be Heard directly after Student
Comment which made the students and parents a little confused as to
why the order given in the agenda was not followed.
After the Public Be Heard comments, the President of the Board of Education
announced that the discussion of transfers was being "pulled out"
of the agenda due to a "clerical error" per the Superintendent
of Schools; she explained how they should have never been listed on
the agenda. Then the President of the Board of Education proceeded to
explain that the Board of Education has "no power" in the
decision making of who is going to be transferred to another position
or another school in our district.
At this point in the meeting the parents and students were confused
not knowing what the explanation really meant and had questions, but
were unable to ask because the Public Be Heard session was moved from
the end of the meeting to the beginning of the meeting.
So here are the questions that parents, students and athletes ,including
myself, would appreciate an answer or definition to:
1) What does "pulling out" of the agenda mean?
2) In archived BOE minutes I can find a number of Board of Education
votes regarding transfers. It appears that there is a line item in the
agenda devoted to transfers, but you say the board has no power regarding
transfers.& nbsp; Why do they vote on other transfers and not this
one? If they have approved the in the past they should also have the
power to deny or approve them now, that is called past precedent.
3) Why does the note state "The Onteora Board of Education approves
the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools”?
a) If the Board of Education has "No Power" in the decision
making of who is going to be transferred to another position or another
school and only the Superintendent of Schools can make these decisions,
then what is the Board of Education approving?
b) If that is the case that the Board of Education has no power in decision
making, then why would someone on a Board of Education approve something
if they do not have all the facts of the situation and know exactly
what is involved in the transfer?
c) If it is a recommendation by one person, is it not just that a "recommendation."
Do we know that it is the best solution, the reasons behind the recommendation,
and that all avenues were presented and addressed to the people to approve?
From my understanding Mr. Burkhardt was never even consulted abo ut
this transfer, just told while he was on paternity leave.
4) Why would a teacher within our school district who has a K-12 degree
but has no experience on an elementary level be transferred from the
high school level? Do we know if there is anyone who has experience
at this level? Instead transferring a current staff member, shouldn’t
we have hired someone to fill that position who has experience at that
5) What is the policy for a teacher to be transferred to another position
or another school within the district? Is there a process that must
be followed? Do we ask for volunteers or does it go by seniority? Are
there any other reasons why a teacher may be transferred? Wouldn’t
Mr. Burkhardt have seniority over the new hire?
6) Many people in the school community felt some relief when the Board
of Education approved Patrick Burkhardt to be the XC coach for the upcoming
Fall 2008 season, I don’t think they understand that was really
not the issue. The issue is that Patrick Burkhardt is not returning
from paternity leave until March 29, 2009, therefore upon his return
what happens to be the Spring 2009 track season. If Patrick Burkhardt
is teaching physical education on an elementary level and they do not
get released from school until 3:40 pm and drive the 15 minutes form
Phoenicia to the HS - how would he be able to coach the track and field
team at 2:30pm, when the high school students are released? Would they
get the full workout routine that the program calls for? Wouldn’t
that put their health in danger? Where do the athletes wait for his
arrival? Will there be someone from administration to supervise them
while they wait? This past spring, there usually was only a late bus
run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - Not Mondays and Fridays.
If that remains the same, then on Mondays and Fridays the athletes would
only have less than a 1/2 hour to get their practice time in before
getting on the buses to home. I think people would agree, that does
not make for a successful program. By telling people he can coach it
is very disingenuous and misleading. Any teacher has the ability to
coach however you would not ask a football coach to show up to practice
over an hour late so why is this different.
7) Why would the school district not hire someone for a permanent position
at the Ph oenicia School instead of having a substitute be there for
three-fourths of the year and then have another teacher come in for
as little as 2 and a half months to take over from that point? I would
think that the high school students would adjust better if they had
the substitute until Patrick Burkhardt returns; they are better suited
to adjust to that change at their age level rather than elementary age
8) Are there any Physical Education teachers who are not coaching any
Middle School or High School sport program in the coming 2008-2009 years
and who may also have experience on the elementary level? If so, was
that considered in this transfer process?
9) Was the future of our running programs considered in the decision
process? Was the best interest of our athletes, who are involved in
the Cross-Country and Track and Field programs, considered?
10) For many years in our history and present time included, Onteora
has had problems with filling coaching positions and with the retention
of coaches. Why possibly disrupt one of the few programs that have proven,
over and over again, to be a successful program? A program that other
schools and their coaches actually acknowledge, appreciate and commend
on our athletes on their abilities and the coaching of these teams.
a) From what I know, if Patrick Burkhardt is transferred to the elementary
level, he wou ld not be available to coach the upcoming 2009 Spring
Track and Field program. If for some reason, this changes and he is
able to teach at the elementary school and still coach, his lack of
contact during the day with high school athletes is still a problem.
Not having contact with the athletes during the day would have an impact
on knowing whether the student is having difficulties in a class and
needs additional help. When would he be able to touch base with the
teachers? It would pose a problem for students already on the team,
but what about the students who might come out. How could he help encourage
students to participate if he has no contact with them?
There are concerns now that one previous Spring coach is going to college
(not in our area) and would not be able to coach as and another previous
coach has taken a position at another school district. So right now
we are looking at replacing 3 or 4 coaches and then the question comes
up as to who will coach XC next year in 2009? This decision is affecting
now 2 sport programs, never mind that there are no coaches for the Winter
Indoor Track season which usually is 2 coaches for that program.
11) Why are we going through all this trouble to adjust his schedule
to coach when it didn't have to happen in the first place if they kept
Mr. Burkhardt in his original position, a position he was clearly good
at, and hired for the elementary retirement. Where is the common sense
in making all these moves when it clearly is hurting elementary and
Hs students alike.
Are we, as a district willing to gamble that good standing with our
athletic programs? I know that I am addressing the concerns for the
XC and Spring & Track programs because I have two sons that participate
in them at the present time, but this is an issue to think about if
any other program would be in danger of being affected - what if they
took another coach from high school and transferred to an elementary
level - that program would also be at risk so this is not just a program
or two it could affect any program at Onteora. I respectfully ask that
my questions be addressed and answered. Mr. Burkhardt is not right for
Phoenicia based on the many problems that have arisen. Let him remain
a high school PE teacher. Since school is fast approaching this needs
to be done before school starts and I implore you to act now to restore
him to his original position.
I think McCain has the answer to our financial problems. Another war.
Or at least that's what Randy Scheunemann, his top foreign policy advisor,
and former lobbyist for the country of Georgia, would
like to see. Russia would be a fairly easy country to pick on. Their
image is big and brutish, and Georgia, well it sounds sort of peachie.
They could use a lot of pinkish colors when depicting them in their
commercials. Scheunemann left Orian Strategies, the lobbyists for Georgia
only a few months ago, in March, 2008.
But wait, isn't Russia the one country that actually has a whole lot
of nukes? Like, in the tens of thousands? Now that's scary, even if
Georgia does have a pipeline going through it. We have lots of Nukes
too, but does anybody want to start a nuclear war? Oh, I know - we're
just using nukes as a threat, not to actually use. Now, that makes me
feel better. So, getting back to the war with Russia, where will the
troops come from? Well, guess how many private contractors we have in
Iraq now? Answer: 180,000. That versus our U.S. troops in Iraq of 160,000.
So, it's obvious. National Armed Forces are so 20th Century. We could
make corporations like Blackwater into public companies, so everyone
could invest in them and make money. It would be a way to boost our
economy out of our recession.
McCain could end the l00 year war in Iraq and call our troops home,
or instead, send them to Georgia, to bring the new contractors up to
speed. Then McCain could hold a Mission Accomplished speech in a town
hall meeting, and tell us that we're going to bring democracy to Georgia.
Not only would we free the people of Georgia, but we'd also free the
pipelines. That way, we'd get Europe behind our new war, since Georgia
has the pipeline that transports much of the oil that goes to Europe
and Central Asia. Well, it looks like this particular war will remain
on the back burner for a while, but we need to keep it in mind as we
come into the election process.
So, on the other hand, we have Barack Obama, who wants to try diplomacy
before bombing. Hmmmm. What would that get us? Well, if it worked, maybe
Solar power? Wind power? More clean air and water?
It seems to me that if McCain wins, we're toast. What's left for us
to postulate, is how to support Obama. You don't have to love him. You
just have to love life and a chance at continuing some semblance of
a democracy, republic, or whatever you chose to call the former United
States government. So, what to do? If you don't have the time to volunteer,
how about sending money, making phone calls to voters, write to Senators
and Congressmen and talk to friends. Oh, and one more thing. Pray that
Bush doesn't start another war before the election.
Are your property taxes safe in the Ulster County Clerk’s Office?
Lawsuit to be filed...
I recently encountered under County Clerk Nina Postupacks’ rule,
a payoff made to a County Clerk employee in the altering of my name
on my property deed in a foreclosure fraud scam. A local attorney has
been trying to use a judgment of another party with a similar name to
pass off this fraud. Everything has been based on fraud plus crimes
of identity theft, criminal trespass, and now a payoff to a County Clerk
employee to steal my property. This matter is now in front of the Ulster
County Attorney’s Office, Ulster County Sheriff’s Department,
and Attorney General Cuomo.
New York State began a non-judicial process to steal property anticipating
this current foreclosure epidemic. Banks are part of this scam, as Chase
Home Finance would not accept payments in my case, which I have every
right to prove. A debt collector has no right to my property and would
not have to use such tactics if he had a legal right.
I reported this fraud crime to numerous County Clerks and Court Clerks
and filed 18 USC Sec 4 – Misprision of Felony on Nina Postupack
and others because no one reported my crime. I tried to have an actual
hearing to no avail to allow for oral arguments and to subpoena parties
whom are being used in this identity theft. Judge Gerald W. Connolly
has continually allowed this fraud and identity theft to occur. I requested
a dismissal of my case since inception due to these issues, but Judge
Gerald W. Connolly has needed to pass through these crimes. Ulster County
Attorney Beatrice Havranek removed herself in my case due to a conflict
of interest. I am seeking an indictment of Attorney Edward Rugino and
others of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates with authorities. A major
investigation of the Ulster County Clerks Office to secure this office
and the Ulster County Supreme Court System has been requested.
The Ulster County Supreme Court is doing a disservice to all in the
area in how they are handling cases. This issue should be seriously
reviewed and protested by Ulster County residents. The Ulster County
Supreme Court ships cases off to Albany instead of allowing cases to
be heard right here in Ulster County. For months no face-to-face hearing
would be granted. We are all entitled to due process in the court system
under the Constitution. Are New York State and the Court System that
desperate that they need to steal from the public? These foreclosures
are full of fraud; from my experience I’d have to state a big
Ulster County residents need to take action and protect themselves from
the corruption occurring in the Ulster County Clerks Office and Ulster
County Supreme Court.
Cheryl A. Kennedy
Ulster County Property Owner
Pine Hill, NY
We, The Hudson Valley for Obama, are planning a yard sale on Saturday,
August 30, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (yes, it's Labor Day Weekend) as another
fund raiser for Obama. It will be held on Route 212, in Bearsville,
across from the Woodstock Highway facility. We are looking for items
to sell - please no old clothing. Do look in your attics, basements
and in the trunks full of all those great or quirky things that you
purchased, but really don't know why. Antiques, artwork, rare books
and not so rare books, vintage jewelry, etc. all are welcome (except
the old clothing).
This is a very important election and we need to have money to send
people to various states to convince those who aren't committed to Senator
Obama, why we must have a Democratic President. Change, yes we can!
It's a great time to clean out your home and make room for other things.
Who knows, you might buy some new goodies at the sale that your neighbors
Let's make this into a Whale of a Sale for Barack Obama! Please tell
your friends and neighbors.
Feel free to contact me by email or 679-5438 to donate and or help.
Marcia Panza, Toby Heilbrunn
Alan Marker of Accord, N.Y. asked for a response to his letter. Alan,
I feel sorry for people like you. I don't know how it happened, but
I'm sure that there is a surgical procedure to remove your head from
your ass. God Bless America! You can't have dialog like this in every
Robert E. Steiner
Big Indian, N.Y
Over thousands of years, the people of Tibet have maintained a stable,
contented way of life, in harmony with their environment and at peace
with their surrounding neighbors. Now, despite being oppressed and occupied
by the Chinese military, they continue to create and enjoy and share
with the world their art, their music, and their refined and subtle
spirituality. This truly is an achievement of Olympic proportions.
Our thanks go to Phil Void and the Dharma Bums, Gala Khamba of Tibetan
Arts & Crafts, Tibetan monks Tashi Gawa and Khenpo Ugen, Mrs. Lakshay
la, and everyone who attended the candlelight vigil for Tibet on the
Village Green in Woodstock last week, on the eve of the opening of the
2008 Summer Olympics. We also greatly appreciate the generosity of the
Woodstock Reformed Church in making this space available and the generous
donations of candles and butter lamps for the ceremony from Candlestock
and H. Houst & Sons.
As we bring attention to the difficult situation in Tibet, let us continue
to seek peaceful resolution of the conflicts within ourselves and freedom
and justice for all the peoples of the world.
Executive Director, Tibet Aid
We are friends who couldn’t be much different. One of us is a
Republican Conservative; the other is a bleeding heart Democrat Liberal.
Our friendship, including wonderful political discussions, has flourished
through our common ground. We respect that we are both Americans and
each has their country’s best interests at heart.
It’s in that spirit that we ask our neighbors throughout Ulster
County to set aside differences and come together in helping our community
meet the pressing challenge of getting through the upcoming winter with
skyrocketing fuel prices. This challenge is unprecedented and will take
a commitment from each of us to help overcome it. This winter, please
check on your neighbors and to the extent possible offer any help you
can. This could mean something as simple as cooking extra meals; or
offering temporary housing for someone who cannot afford to heat their
home. Perhaps you can help others pay for fuel oil or utilities. You
can offer to drive or participate in driving pools. Maybe you can offer
free child care so families will have money for other uses.
Federal, state, county, religious, human service organizations and business
leaders, along with emergency responders and fuel companies are working
together to formulate a plan for this potential crisis. However, it
will take all of us to address the serious problems facing our community
and our country.
Believe us, if we can work together, you and others can too!
(Ret.) Col Sidney Penka
Jo Galante Cicale
Shandaken Day was a great success due to a cadre of volunteers. Many
thanks and kudos to the Shandaken Day Committee, Police department,
Ambulance squad, Fire Companies, Entertainers and all the vendors who
participated. Thanks to the Catskill Center for allowing this day to
be held at the future site of the Catskill Interpretive Center. Last,
but not least, thanks to all of Shandaken for supporting another great
Peter DiSclafani, Town Supervisor
After attending the Onteora Board of Education meeting on August 5th,
I thought I’d take a moment here to commend the board’s
twelfth grade student representative, William (Willie) Melvin. It was
a pleasure to watch and listen to an intelligent, articulate and outgoing
young person who obviously has a well-developed sense of community participation.
I was also impressed to see the board give such a high level of deference
to and express respect for other students who chose to speak during
the “Public Be Heard” session of the meeting. Hopefully,
Mr. Melvin’s example and the gracious atmosphere created by the
board will encourage more students to participate in public discussion
of school and board issues.
West Shokan, NY