On August 22 Onteora school board members voted not to vote
on the Large Parcel Bill that would have equalized tax rates
in all of the Towns. In effect that was the same as the bill
being defeated. The vote was 4 to 3 against voting for the
Bill. The board agreed that by not voting on the Bill it would
send a signal to the New York State legislature that they
felt that this type of legislation fractures the cohesiveness
of the school district and that no school district should
be involved in political issues. Last year they thought voting
for the Large Parcel Bill was the right thing to do. Do they
really think that the State is going to change their ruling
or is there another reason why they didn’t want to see
the Bill passed? Three of the four trustees that voted not
to vote on the Bill live in the Town of Olive. As reported
residents of Olive will see a $7.77 per $1000.00 in assessed
value, but if the board had voted for the Large Parcel Bill
Olive residents would have paid $9.92 per $1000.00 assessed
value. Based on $1000.00 of assessed value, Woodstock will
pay $11.60, Shandaken $42.05, Lexington $13.55, Marbletown
$10.62, Hurley $10.47. If the Bill had passed all Towns would
have seen a decrease in what they paid per $1000.00 of assessed
value. What’s going on here?
Board President Marino D’Orazio said that it was his
duty as a school board trustee to see that taxes were applied
fairly and equitably. I thought that it was the responsibility
of all the trustees to see that all Towns were to be treated
fairly and equitably. He went on to say that if a house is
valued at $100,000.00 it should be taxed at the same rate
as another house of the same value regardless of which town
the property is located. For many years the Town of Olive
paid very low taxes while the rest of the Towns made up the
total cost of the school district's expenses.
Congressman Hinchey and State Comptroller Hevesi are out of
the loop. They have based their latest attempt to derail the
Belleayre Resort on out of date information. I would like
to bring you, and them, up to speed.
Two months ago, the regional EPA administrator wrote a letter
to a group of NYC Congressmen, calling for "a constructive
dialogue meant to seek consensus...that would provide for
resolution of the long-standing disagreements that have surrounded
this project." We couldn't agree more!
With than in mind, we recently met with various officers from
the EPA and laid out new concepts to explore. The regional
director, after learning of these concepts, said that he is
reserving judgment until he sees for himself what our new
direction might mean economically and environmentally. For
now, he is no longer supporting the Hinchey "Compromise."
All of this took place long before Congressman Hinchey sent
a press release last week, belatedly trumpeting the EPA's
support of his plan. It seems he even convinced Comptroller
Hevesi that his plan was gaining momentum. He was wrong to
do so. From what we can see, there is no spirit of compromise
coming from the Hinchey camp. His plan is an ultimatum, not
a compromise. And it is Ulster County and the town of Shandaken
that will suffer the most, as his plan calls for the elimination
of several million in annual tax revenue and hundreds of well-paying,
I should explain why we aren't announcing our new concepts
to you. It is because they are exactly that...concepts. We
are continuing our talks with key regulatory agencies. If
they don't approve new plans, then there is no need to announce
something that has no chance of seeing the light of day. When
we are confident that we have even tentative support from
the regulatory agencies, we will then meet with environmental,
business and government leaders to lay out the new future
of the Belleayre Resort. Stay tuned!
To date, we are still embroiled in a lengthy environmental
review process as required by the State. Mr. Hinchey is not
part of that process. Mr. Hevesi is not part of the process.
It would be well for them to stop roiling the waters -- it
is they, not us, who are kicking up dirt and generating turbidity.
Mt. Tremper, NY
As many of you know by now, we're in Iraq for as long as our
leader stays in office. That's what he said in his news conference
on Monday. To quote: "We’re not leaving [Iraq]
so long as I’m the President. That would be a huge mistake.”
Bush leaves office in January 2009. Only 2-1/2 years from
He also stated that 'The terrorists attacked us and killed
3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda
in the Middle East." When asked specifically, what Iraq
had to do with 911 he replied: "Nothing, except for it's
part of -- and nobody's ever suggested in this administration
that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the
lesson of September the 11th is take threats before they fully
materialize. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of
September 11th were ordered by Iraq".
He never said that Saddam Hussein was involved in the bringing
down of the WTC. Well, I'm glad he made that clear, now that
we know that we're in Iraq for more than 2 years, in the midst
of a Civil War. Doesn't that just make you want to ask your
kids to enlist? Speaking of enlisting, how long do you think
it will be before our leader brings back the draft? Now that
he is supremely comfortable in his position of an unchallenged
leader of all branches of government and the army, I'll wager
that it won't take too long.
But, we still have an election coming up in Nov. Now, what
would you say our chances are of taking back the House, and
thereby one branch of government? Slim to none, I feel in
my heart, however I have no choice but to continue fighting.
After all, I was raised in a democracy and I was blessed.
I owe it to my country to continue to ask my fellow patriots
for their participation. Although I am against the present
policy of money buying the media and thereby winning elections,
so long as it is still in place, it seems our only chance.
So, I'm going to point out today, that the DNC is raising
money for the upcoming elections on their site. http://www.democrats.org/
Now is the time for later, who knows what this country will
look like. For all we know, our leaders are believers in the
Rapture and trying to bring about the end of life on earth.
Anything is possible.
Therefore, I promise to change some of my ways. For instance,
now, when I meet someone who believes that Iraq had WMD's
and had something to do with 911, I will not scream and yell
at them, (or at least I will try). Now, instead, I will memorize
our leader's statement and let them know that the admitted
that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 911. I will then
point out to them that there is a waiting line of Middle Eastern
leaders that are waiting to show the world how much they hate
us, which was not the situation before our war against Iraq.
I will point out to them that we are in much greater danger
now, than we were before we'd entered into this ill advised
For the sake of our children and our Grandchildren a reminder
to all that Democracy is not a Spectator Sport.
In your 3 August 2006 issue there are two references to the
current situation in the Middle East which need addressing:
in "New Thermos" Gus Murphy takes a not-very-subtle
swipe at Israel ("Children and peacekeepers killed"),
while in a letter to the editor, Jill Paperno repeats verbatim
a bunch of anti-Israel rhetoric without so much as an attempt
to be subtle. I need to comment on both.
Mr. Murphy makes reference to what one must assume he means
"innocents" being "killed", yet he does
not deign to address how many innocent Israelis are also being
killed. One has to wonder, as I do, just what Mr. Murphy's
Ms. Paperno cites what she seems to believe are impartial,
perhaps objective, and seemingly reliable, sources in her
irresponsible diatribe against Israel. As for the "kidnapping"
of Hamas members, does she actually think that the Israeli
incursion into Gaza to imprison the two individuals she refers
to was in fact the very first action? Does she not know why
Israel would enter hostile territory? In fact, Israeli agents
enter hostile territory to neutralize, if not eliminate, threats
against its citizens and its very existence. Hamas, and, until
recently, the so-called Palestinian Authority, have had clauses
in their charters (I hesitate to use the term "constitution"
herein) calling for the elimination of the Jewish state. As
does Hezbollah. None of these organizations, nor their sponsors,
hide the fact they hate Jews.
Why would the Jewish state, or any other state, not seek to
neutralize or eliminate such dire threats to the lives of
their citizens, or itself?
If there were people in Woodstock shooting weapons and missiles
against the citizens of Glenford, would Ms. Paperno expect
anyone to believe she would not be petitioning her representatives
to neutralize, or eliminate, such threats?
Israel only seeks to be a homeland for Jews. There is no other
place in the world, not in Europe, not in Arabia, nowhere
else, where Jews are not under threat. Why should not Israel
seek to eliminate any and all threats to its citizens or its
very existence as a nation?
If the members of Hamas and Hezbollah were to stop threatening
-- as does the patron of Hezbollah, the president of Iran
-- to wipe the State of Israel from the face of the earth,
then Israel would not need to neutralize, let alone eliminate,
Let Mr. Murphy and Ms. Paperno keep in mind that being anti-Israeli
does not constitute being objective. Jews and Israelis simply
want their enemies to leave them alone. But those enemies
and sympathizers must remember that Jews and Israelis will
never again let their enemies believe that Jews will go to
their slaughter easily or silently.
Currently before Gov. George Pataki there are several pieces
of legislation that have been passed by both the Assembly
and the Senate that positively impact on the lives of people
with disabilities within New York State. They are as follows:
" Mental Health Alternatives to Solitary Confinement,
known as the "SHU Law" (bills A.3926-A/S.2207-C).
The purpose of the SHU Law is to prevent the current use of
regular under-staffed and funded local infirmary special housing
units for individuals who are severely mentally challenged
where such inmates who are a danger to themselves and others.
The new law provides for placement within an appropriate mental
health facility rather the general prison population, including
the local prison infirmary where most severe cases are sent
without appropriate levels of care. This new law requires
the inmate to get the medically necessary care rather than
languishing in the local prison infirmary without medications
or therapeutic services. The governor must sign this bill
within the next three weeks in order for it to become law.
" ADA Title III Added to the NYS Human Rights Law. The
ADA Title III adoption into New York State has been passed
by both the Assembly and the Senate (bills A.3926-A/S.2207-C)
and is waiting for Gov. Pataki to sign it into law. This legislation
adopts the ADA Title III in its completed form as part of
New York State Human Rights Law.
Disability rights advocates from all over New York State are
asking citizens to call up Gov. Pataki at (518) 474-8390 and
tell him to sign into law these two important pieces of legislation.
Thomas R. Siblo-Landsman
Have you noticed the pervasive and continuing graft and corruption
that has become the norm in the Bush administration for the
past six plus years?
I am not sure just where it began until Halliburton came along
with it's 63 million dollar fraud in the "Mess Hall"
debacle. Then it was Brown, Root a subsidiary of Halliburton
with it's Fuel scheme in which gasoline for our military mission
in Iraq was purchased for roughly 38 cents per gallon in Kuwait,
transported to Iraq where the US military paid in excess of
$3.00 per gallon delivered [ABC, CBS & NBC]. Another source
is a Kuwaiti with whom I converse many mornings on "Paltalk",
a computer voice connection not unlike Amateur Radio of old.
She informs me that gasoline at the pump in Kuwait is 32 cents
[US] per standard gallon [not per litre].
Halliburton's "no bid" contract was terminated while
DoD collected the 63 million [no penalty]. Halliburton is
back at the same "stand" doing the people's [and
Bush's] business as I write [PBS].
Then we have the theft of millions of dollars for unfulfilled
service in the "security" game in Iraq. "Blackwater"
was fired but the Bush administration gave them a gift and
in turn Blackwater quit while they were ahead. Other pseudo
security "start-ups" also bailed out after receiving
"earnest " money, government equipment and surplus
military hardware [CBS, 60 Min].
Even the poorest of the poor; the US Coast Guard is being
ripped off with the benevolent blessing of the DHS [Dept.
of Homeland Security] via Lockheed Martin. My source is "The
Navy Times" dated August 21, 2006 in which appears a
report of a "whistle blower" who was a software
engineer for Lockheed Martin. He was concerned that in his
capacity he had found surveillance and communications systems
being installed in the new 123 foot patrol boats are not meeting
the CG's specs and i would add that the contract is not being
fulfilled as stated.
It seems that the vessel's command, control, communications,
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems are
being compromised all for the sake of a few paltry dollars.
For the above equipment to function properly and as designed,
shielded cable must be used as opposed to ordinary "lamp"
cord. As a current licensed HAM [Tech class] WB2INK and holder
of a 1st class Commercial Radio License I know how important
it is to include shielded cable [as used for the delivery
of faithful signals via cable to your TV].
Apparently some exterior cameras have been eliminated leaving
blind spots and the vessel vulnerable. The boat's data and
voice transmittal system has been touted as "cutting
edge" technology designed for secure communications but
is compromised due to the absence of "shielded"
Wait! There's more but I would advise Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
to quit micro managing and leave a few things for the experts.
After all, Mr. Bush is a former bar room "dancer",
Cheney is a manipulator and "Rummy" listens to none
of our Flag Officers [or senior Enlisted].
Lockheed Martin claims all the above is being investigated
by them and the DHS IG. What's so difficult in establishing
the fact that some 180[?] miles of RG-59 [or whatever type]
shielded cable has not been installed in each of what will
be 49 123 foot "Deepwater" patrol boats costing
24 billion dollars total. That's a lot of money in light of
the fact that these 123 foot vessels are being "stretched
from current 110 foot craft.
Makes one wonder a bit about body armor and casualties, Amen?
Glenn T. Anderson
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the generous
hosts who opened their gardens for this year's Phoenicia Area
Garden Tour on June 25. Despite the torrential rains that
threatened all morning and finally descended upon the area
in the afternoon, we had a good turnout of tour-goers who
appreciated the variety of gardens and dedication of the gardeners.
We are grateful to Marvella Casale for her charming flower-packed
Phoenicia village garden, Sylvia Wolf and Leonard Levitain
for their breathtaking Pantherkill retreat, Trudy Stroh for
her wild secret garden full of surprises at each turn, Patty
Rudge and her team of 4-H-ers for their informative discussions
on sustainable farming at any scale, shown by their dedication
to their well-tended animals and abundant organic vegetable
gardens, Micheal Boyer for his gardens full of unusual varieties
hidden in the heart of Pine Hill village, and Ralph Persons
for his terraces, garden sculptures, cabins, and watercolor
studio all cascading artfully down his forested hillside.
In addition to contributing to the Pine Hill Garden Club,
this year's Garden Tour was a fund-raising effort for Phriends
of Phoenicia, a volunteer group dedicated to Main Street beautification
projects in town. We plant and maintain the gardens at the
Bridge Street entrance to town on Rt. 28, the garden by the
Post Office, and the gardens in Simpson Park. We are very
active picking up litter in town, and we encourage all residents
to help in the litter clean-up effort. To donate money to
support our efforts, or if you are interested in joining our
group, contact Elizabeth Holland Kern at 688-7314, or send
a check to Phriends of Phoenicia, PO Box 278, Phoenicia, NY
Elizabeth Holland Kern
The Big Indian-Oliverea Fire Department and Ladies Auxiliary
wish to express our sincerest appreciation and thanks to all
our friends and neighbors who came to our 45th annual Chicken
& Ribs Bar-B - Q on August 5, 2006.
Your support and kindness have made all our fund raising efforts
so successful. We look forward to continuing our service to
all of you and to seeing you next year at our 46th Bar-B-Q.
Members of the
BIOFD & Ladies Auxiliary