Local… And Think Local, Too
It’s an odd week for the nation, when the President wants
to encourage kids to stay in school and really apply themselves,
and school districts across the country think the message is
just too darn controversial to allow it. And when some of our
nation’s best new capitalists are being called communists
because of things they said when in college…
Nevertheless, it’s a hopeful time locally, with several
significant moves forward in our local towns signaling new hope
that we actually can meet some of the bigger challenges facing
us all over the coming term.
Kudos to Declan Feehan for largely completing the cleanup of
the old Phoenicia Hotel site. Being both the most visible and
the most important commercial property in the hamlet, as well
as a key to the entire corridor ever since it hosted Babe Ruth
and other urban celebrities up for a lark way back when, we
sincerely hope that one day it will again host a landmark project
such as a hotel, that will help spark a meaningful commercial
renaissance throughout the area. And like Feehan and so many
others, we believe that wastewater treatment for the hamlet
is an essential prerequisite for a viable project on that site,
just as we think it’s also essential, in the long term,
for Phoenicia residents and their property values, as well as
the economic viability of both Shandaken and this entire section
of Ulster County and the Catskills. Funds continue to be available
through the City, thanks in large part to the Shandaken town
board’s solid, if slow handing of the issue. If we are
able to move this critical infrastructure project forward, together
with a simultaneous resurrection of the “Riverwalk”
redevelopment plan first envisioned by the community and key
landowners nine years ago with the help of The Catskill Center,
then we may in fact be on the verge of some big new beginnings
for the Esopus Valley.
Kudos, as well, to the folks about to revive the old Landmark
in Boiceville as Krazy Kate’s Landmark Inn, to open before
Columbus Day, as well as the Olive Town Board and Boiceville
community’s ability to see that community’s new
wastewater system put into place, making such redevelopment
possible. With the market and its neighboring stores and pharmacy,
as well as Sands Salvage again doing well, it seems that yet
another hamlet is pulling itself up by its bootstraps.
Alongside the success of Scandinavian Grace and Shokan Square
just up the road, it seems that new patterns for future businesses
are starting to shape up for our entire corridor… something
in line with the Scenic Byway push our towns are currently starting
to push forward. It’s all different from what we once
were – more gentrified, more reliant on the idea of Route
28 as a ribbon road joining diverse communities, and more mobile
lifestyles. But it IS progress.
Furthermore, as both Declan and the Olive planners and developers
allowing the new Landmark to come to pass prove, it is all moving
forward not out of defiance, but because of shared concerns.
Again, because it IS progress.
Which, unlike some of the trends elsewhere in our country, seems
quite welcome hereabouts. Which we applaud… and hope continues.
See you all at Olive Day next weekend… and out and about
other times, given the glory of the season we’re now entering.
BP & PS