The Central Catskill Planning Alliance is ready to take
the next step toward securing a scenic byway designation
for the Route 28 Corridor, and they want some help to
“The last meeting was the kickoff,” said Peter
Manning, Regional Planner for the Catskill Center for
Conservation and Development and the advisor to the Alliance,
referring a to a recent session on August 27 where it
was agreed to put the word out that volunteers are needed
to help start accumulating all sorts of information about
the corridor from Olive to Andes.
Old photographs, history, anecdotes about people and places,
and just about anything that will help paint a picture
of what makes this corridor special is welcome.
Manning said that volunteers are needed because the collaborative
is proceeding with a shoestring budget. A $200,000 state
grant has not come through as planned, due to last year’s
budget pull-backs, so the Catskill Watershed Corporation
put up $50,000 to get things moving.
Manning said the collaborative could accomplish what it
intended to do with the once-expected $200,000 with volunteer
Another bright spot is the possible merger with a Main
Street Planning effort in Shandaken, which Manning said
would be redundant otherwise.
For now, all interested are encouraged to start thinking
about everything that makes the communities along the
route 28 corridor unique and begin compiling anything
they might have or know about to support that.
Next month the collaborative will prepare a preliminary
visions and goals statement following an input gathering
session where residents get to help shape both.
That Dog Story...
Olivebridge resident David Delisio’s months-long
fight over the way he kept his dogs, and property, reached
a denouement in Olive Town Court recently when Town Justice
Ron Wright agreed to his request for an Adjournment Contemplating
Dismissal instead of taking the 18 counts of animal cruelty
brought against him by the Ulster County Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to trial. Under the ACD,
all charges against Delisio will be dismissed in six months
unless he gets arrested again. Also as part of the sentence,
Delisio agreed to one announced inspection of his property
by the SPCA.
Yet another local high school has closed up its varsity
football franchise in the area recently, indicating a
shift in the region’s, and perhaps even the nation’s
sports profile. According to reports, it was health and
safety issues stemming from a player shortage that prompted
the Rondout Valley Central School District to cancel its
upcoming varsity football season in recent weeks…
even while athletic directors expressed disappointment
over “the unfortunate situation and hardship placed
on seniors unable to play football.”
With younger students now coming up through junior varsity
teams from the junior, senior and freshman classes, the
current decision is expected to be for one year only…
at least for now.
A similar situation in the Onteora School District several
years ago has yet to be reversed, with parents now pushing
extracurricular Pop Warner and similar league play for
elementary and middle school players as a means of rebuilding
the region’s football presence.
In June, Rondout experienced a turnout of 72 potential
players attending an organizational meeting, although
it was determined that between 20 and 25 lacked any experience
within the program. When weekly workouts started in July,
however, participation dropped immediately to the point
where only 14 players showed up for the opening day of
As part of the enacted 2009-10 State Budget, drivers’
license and vehicle registration fees increased by 25
percent on September 1. Additionally, effective April
1, 2010, all registered vehicles will be required to get
new license plates and renewed registrations. This will
require all New York State motorists to pay not only the
increased fees but also an additional $10 fee for the
new license. Stay tuned for more rising costs… and
folks trying to make political hay out of all that’s
become necessary to keep our governments working as we’ve
all become used to.
Trail Mix Time!
Trail Mix Concerts will be hosting the opening fall concert
of their annual season on Sunday September 20th at 2:30pm
with Vista Lirica, a chamber ensemble combining music
with environmental consciousness. Neil Rynston, clarinet,
Lawrence Zoernig, cello, Beth Levin, piano and guest artist
violinist, Laufey Sigur<eth>ardóttir will
perform works by Khachaturian, Simic, Zemlinsky, Ives
Other concerts coming up include an October Classical
Jam concert and an event in November with Ensemble Caprice,
who recently won the prestigious 2009 JUNO Award for Classical
Album of the Year. Winter concerts include three duos
— Cello & Piano with Amy Sue Barston and Ieva
Jokubaviciute in December, a Two Piano program with Babette
Hierholzer and German pianist Jurgen Appel in January,
and a dramatic young Violin & Piano duo, Guy Figer
and Anna Khanina in February; while the series’
spring concerts start in March with pianist Inna Faliks
returning with a beautiful program of Chopin and Schumann,
followed in April with one of the crown compositions for
the piano, Beethoven’s Diabbelli’s Variations,
performed by pianist Beth Levin. Trail Mix’s final
concert, in May, will be an afternoon of Brahms with pianists
Ami and Pascal Rogé.
For further information on this sparkling locally-originated
and based series, which takes place at the Olive Free
Library on Route 28A in West Shokan and is run by the
same folks behind Woodstock Pianos, call 657-6864 or visit
Hundreds of candles were lit by Catskills residents protesting
the possibility of natural gas drilling into the Marcellus
Shale that underlies the region along the Delaware River
in Sullivan County’s Narrowsburg recently, timed
to affect the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s
deliberations over a potential ban on the controversial
new technology. Reportedly, thousands of people from New
York State and adjacent Pennsylvania communities gathered
in protest Sunday night, September 6, lighting candles
at 22 spots along the river.
Registration is now open for the Ninth Annual Catskills
Local Government Day, to be held Thursday, Oct. 15 at
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. The Catskill Watershed
Corporation will sponsor the event, whose theme this year
is “Climate Change Made Local.” To see the
agenda and register electronically, go to www.cwconline.org.
Registration materials may also be obtained by calling
toll free 877-WAT-SHED, or 845-586-1400.
Elected and appointed government officials and employees,
economic and environmental planners, and interested community
members are welcome to attend. Space is limited; registration
deadline is October 9. A $10 fee includes all presentations
and workshops, as well as lunch.
The event will feature presentations on the science of
climate change along with discussions of its potential
impacts on municipal and community infrastructure and
on the economy of New York and the Catskills. Examples
of area municipalities that have already taken steps to
address flooding hazards and insurance costs, reduce energy
use and minimize their carbon footprints will be highlighted.
Members of planning and zoning boards may wish to take
advantage of a two-hour training session on “Promoting
Climate Protection Through Land Use Tools.” A workshop
for town board members, highway department heads and other
municipal officials will focus on examining the vulnerability
of community infrastructure – from buildings and
parks to sewer plants, water systems and street lights.
“Green Means Business” will look at how businesses
can save money using sustainable practices, and the potential
for jobs in the renewable energy field.
The featured lunchtime speaker, Mimi Katzenbach, will
explain the Transition Movement by which communities work
towards locally-based energy, economic and social systems
– not unlike the Catskills of the pre-World War
II era — as a strategy for meeting a future of weather
extremes, fossil fuel depletion and other challenges.
Local Government Day is being planned with the environment
in mind. Promotion, outreach and registration are being
handled electronically to reduce paper consumption. Those
unable to register online will receive materials printed
on 100% recycled paper. To encourage car pooling to the
conference, CWC will give bottles of local maple syrup
to all those who arrive in vehicles occupied by two or
Belleayre Ski Center, the venue for the event, has been
working diligently for the past few years to cut resource
and energy consumption and to recycle waste. Attendees
will have an opportunity to view plans for the new “green”
lower lodge being planned at the state-run facility. Belleayre
management and its food service purveyor, Boston Concessions,
are working in collaboration with CWC consultant Hospitality
Green to address potential areas of waste and redundancy
at Local Government Day.
Currently expansion of the ski center, plus a conjoined
proposal to build a 928 room resort on its borders, has
been held up, in part, because of the state-mandated requirement
that its review include ample data about possible effects
of climate change, as well as possible mitigation elements.
The Onteora School District still has its new 2009/2010
school calendars held up at the printers and wanted to
remind folks of several interim calendar items: Middle
School physicals and a Phoenicia PTA Back-To-School Breakfast
for staff and bus drivers on Friday, September 11; Middle
and High School fall photos, and a Phoenicia Elementary
School book fair, on Monday, September 14, and Tuesday,
September 15; and a 3:30 PM Audit Committee meeting on
the 14th; a Middle School Back to School night event on
the 15th; Middle School Physicals and a Phoenicia PTA
meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16; a High School Alliance
meeting and Phoenicia Open House on the evening of Thursday,
Sept. 17, and a Bennett School Welcome Back Picnic on
Friday, September 18.
Living At Home
A new AFL/CIO survey, “Young Workers: A Lost Decade”
has found that about a third of workers under 35 live
at home with their parents, and they’re far less
likely to have health care or job security than they were
ten years ago in a similar 1999 survey,
A quarter of young workers surveyed said they don’t
earn enough to even pay their monthly bills, a 14% rise
from 1999. 35 percent are significantly less likely to
have health care than older workers, only 31 percent make
enough money to pay their bills while putting anything
aside in savings, and almost half are more worried than
hopeful about their economic future.
The 100,000 young workers surveyed also strongly prefered
public investment to create jobs over reducing the deficit.
And by a 50 to 23 percent margin, they think workers are
better off with a union. They support Obama and identify
with Democrats much more strongly than older workers.
Only 65 of every 100 men aged 20 through 24 years old
were working on any given day in the first six months
of this year. In the age group 25 through 34 years old,
traditionally a prime age range for getting married and
starting a family, just 81 of 100 men were employed.
For male teenagers, the numbers were disastrous: only
28 of every 100 males were employed in the 16- through
19-year-old age group...
The Martin Murder
Daniel L. Malak, 29 of Kerhonkson, but jailed in Attica
for years now, was indicted by an Ulster County Grand
Jury on the charge of second degree murder for the killing
of Joseph Martin, then 15, on March 25, 1996. Malak is
currently doing time for an unrelated murder and is the
second suspect charged with killing Martin, who was murdered
near the intersection of Schwabie Turnpike and Samsonville
Road in Kerhonkson. Alexander Barsky pled guilty a year
ago to a reduced charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced
to up to 10 years in prison.
Barsky agreed to testify against Malak, as part of the
plea deal. He claims Malak was the ‘mastermind’
of a ‘revenge plot’ to kill Martin.
For more than a decade the Joseph Martin matter has been
the subject of intense investigation by the New York State
Police. District Attorney Holley Carnright said, in announcing
the indictment Tuesday.
The County DA’s office said Malak was to be transported
from the State Correctional Facility at Attica to Ulster
County for arraignment following the Labor Day weekend.
Ulster County has submitted an application for $4 million
in federal stimulus money to build a high-speed, wireless
broadband system to provide Internet service to unserved
and underserved areas of the county. County Executive
Michael Hein said the entire county needs access to the
global economy via broadband.
Targeted areas of Ulster County would include the towns
of Rochester, Wawarsing, Denning, Hardenburgh, Woodstock,
Shandaken, Shawangunk, Olive and other areas. The total
project would cost $4.8 million with the funds not covered
by the federal money picked up by other non-county sources,
Also on the stimulus front, Ulster County Planning Commissioner
Dennis Doyle has proposed the county seek the designation
of Recovery Zone for the sole purpose of maximizing the
flexibility of funds from two new bonding authorities
made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment
According to Doyle the term “Recovery Zone”
as defined in the ARRA is, “any area designated
by the county having significant poverty, unemployment
rate, home foreclosures, and general distress.”
To designate the entire county “gives the maximum
amount of flexibility and allows you to look at funding
Doyle explained that what these two bonding authorities
would make available is the allocation of about $6 million
in economic bonds and about $8.8 million in facility bonds.
The benefits of utilizing these bonds, he added, would
be to lower bonding costs to the county and potentially
lower bonding costs for economic development projects.
While everyone else in Ulster seems aimed at governmental
stimulus funds, the board of directors of the Ulster County
Development Corp. has undergone a shakeup that shifts
the weight of membership more toward the private sector
than the public sector. Ron Marquette, the head of community
relations at Ulster County Community College and chairman
of the UCDC board for nearly two years, said 15 of the
board’s 25 voting members are now from the private
sector, and that the move is designed to “make the
UCDC more relevant” and increase an emphasis on
private enterprise in Ulster County.
Paul Rakov, the agency’s marketing director and
a former top level employee at Dean Gitter’s Emerson
Resort and Belleayre Resort developments, said the board’s
new members are Ken Davenport of Heritagenergy; John Gill
of Gill Farms; T.N. Thompson of Millrock Technologies;
and Paul Hakim of Wilbur National Bank.
A new “Balanced Growth Committee” has been
set up to help businesses that want to move into the area
and create jobs “by educating the public about developers,
providing a voice at public hearings and assisting them
through any logistical problems with moving into the area,”
according to Rakov, quoting Marquette. The committee will
“help people move faster” and serve as a resource
center for prospective businesses, he said.
The creation of more shovel-ready sites for new businesses
will also be a priority, according to UCDC officials.
A new alert from the State of New York Department of Health
concerns a “health advisory” for an intestinal
infection called vibrio parahaemolyticus, which has seen
an increase from NYC up through Albany County since June
1. Vibrio, they’re saying, is caused by eating raw
fish OR undercooked fish such as seared tuna. Symptoms
can occur within hours to five days but the usual set
of stool tests do not include the one for vibrio.
Also, it seems there is no treatment for relief, although
the infection is self-limiting and does require constant
hydration of your system.
The faxed notice was sent to all hospitals, healthcare
providers, laboratories, and local health departments.
Watch that sushi, for the time being at least…
Tax Junk Food?
One of the most detailed investigations ever carried out
into obesity in the US has proposed increased taxes on
junk food and heavily-sweetened soft drinks, a move that
will be aggressively resisted by the multibillion-dollar
The report, Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood
Obesity, written jointly by the Institute of Medicine
and the National Research Council, says: “In the
United States, 16.3% of children and adolescents between
the ages of two and 19 are obese. This epidemic has exploded
over just three decades ... The prevalence of obesity
is so high that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s
generation of children and diminish the overall quality
of their lives.”
It suggests state legislators, governors, mayors, community
leaders and others take action rather than waiting for
a lead from the federal government. These actions include
offering tax credits as an incentive for grocery stores
to open up in poor neighborhoods, building pavements to
encourage walking, creating more bike trails, and reducing
video games and other sedentary pursuits in preschool
and afterschool clubs.
“Childhood obesity poses a serious threat to health
in the United States,” the report says.
Congress, while drawing up a bill before the summer as
part of President Barack Obama’s drive for health
reform, proposed a federal tax on soft drinks.
The Congressional Budget Office, set up to provide members
of the House and Senate with independent advice, estimates
that a three-cent tax would generate $24bn over the next
four years, which would help pay for health reform.
But it appears to be backing down in the face of an intensive
advertising campaign backed by the American Beverage Association,
which includes Coca Cola. The association in July set
up a new lobbying group, Americans Against Food Taxes.
The group says: “Discriminatory and punitive taxes
on soda and juice drinks do not teach our children to
have a healthy lifestyle and have no meaningful impact
on child obesity or public health.”
The group has been running an aggressive advertising campaign
over the summer that shows a family enjoying soft drinks
on a camping holiday, with a voice-over saying “this
is no time for Congress to be adding taxes on the simple
pleasures we all enjoy.”
US obesity rates rose 37% between 1998 and 2006 to the
point where more than 26% of Americans are now obese.
Obese children and adolescents are more likely than their
lower-weight counterparts to develop hypertension, high
cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
Obesity-related health spending has grown to $147 billion
a year, double what it was nearly a decade ago, according
to a study published by the journal Health Affairs.
Obesity-related health problems account for 9.1% of the
total US health budget, up from 6.5% in 1998. Obese people
spend 40% more - or $1,429 more per year — in healthcare
costs than people of normal weight.
Help On The Way
The Rural Ulster Preservation Co. (RUPCO) and Family of
Woodstock are teaming up to assist the homeless and those
at risk of homelessness as part of a housing program that’s
being financed with a state grant totaling $1,019,242.
Both Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO’s executive director,
and Michael Berg, who holds the same title at Family,
say the partnership will make services for people who
are homeless and nearly homeless more effective.
The two agencies worked together in applying for the grant
from the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
The local award — formally designated for RUPCO
— is among $25 million that has come to the state
from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
commonly called the federal stimulus package.
In the new effort, Family will provide case management
services — including finding out whether a person
needs job training, whether they have health issues, how
a person can get needed services and whether they should
go back to school so that they can get a “living
wage” job — and RUPCO will be dealing with
the housing side.
The joint effort is called the Homeless Prevention and
Rapid Re-Housing Program and some of it will focus on
people who are at the brink of becoming homeless.
New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and
the City of New York recently announced an agreement providing
temporary additional releases of water from three New
York City reservoirs to the Delaware River in anticipation
of a future shutdown of the Rondout to West Branch Tunnel.
Under the terms of the agreement now in effect, total
supplemental water available to be released from the Cannonsville,
Pepacton, and Neversink reservoirs, which all feed the
Delaware River, could be as high as 50 billion gallons
over the course of this program that is scheduled to expire
on May 31, 2010. These temporary releases will be in addition
to water that will be released under the Decree Parties’
September 2007 Flexible Flow Management Program (FFMP)
agreement that was amended in December 2008.
The supplemental releases will be based on National Weather
Service (NWS) long-term probabilistic reservoir inflow
forecasts, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
(NYCDEP) historical inflow data, and the water supply
condition of each reservoir. Acting in cooperation with
the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,
NYCDEP will determine which shutdown supplemental release
quantity to use for the three reservoirs. The release
amounts are expected to be reevaluated on a weekly basis
in conjunction with the issuance of updated NWS probabilistic
forecasts and be adjusted accordingly.
The 45-mile-long tunnel transports water from the city’s
Rondout Reservoir to its West Branch Reservoir in the
Croton Watershed. This tunnel is in need of repairs in
order to improve the reliability and long-term sustainability
of the city’s drinking water supply system.
The releases will not affect any of the reservoirs most
of us know here within the Ashokan reservoir basin.
Assistant Secretary of the Interior and head of the Bureau
of Indian Affairs Larry EchoHawk toured the three sites
of proposed Native American casinos in Sullivan County
a couple of weeks ago, but would only say he was on a
He will have to make decisions about those three and other
proposals around the country, including elsewhere in the
Catskills possibly including the lower Catskills, that
would like land placed in trust so that tribes can build
the gaming facilities.
Senator Charles Schumer made it quite clear that he supports
gaming and what it would do for the tribes and the region.
Before the tour, EchoHawk met with Congressman Maurice
Hinchey, Schumer, New York Senator John Bonacic, Assemblywoman
Aileen Gunther and a number of local officials in separate
closed door sessions with a group of people opposed to
casinos and a group in favor of them.
Meanwhile, the recently closed and bankrupted Nevele Resort
outside Ellenville was sold to unnamed developers in recent
weeks and the watchdog group Catskill Mountainkeeper has
started sending out alerts about what they’re dubbing
“the Catskills casino scheme.” The latter
notices point out how new financiers behind the Concord,
and possibly the Nevele land ownership shifts included
the same Malaysian company that financed the startup of
Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut and the Seneca
Niagara Casino in New York.
“The casino scheme is massive and unprecedented,”
Mountainkeeper claims, pointing to the casino proposals’
estimates of over 6 million visitors a year. “A
new ‘Casino City’ with multiple casinos -
3,4,5 even 6 tribes and multiple independent sovereign
nations, police forces and interests will be created.
So where is the cumulative economic, environmental and
social impact study for this? Where is the traffic study?
Where is the impact study on crime, addiction, healthcare
and emergency services for this new Casino City? The answer
is that there is none.”
Argentina and Mexico have taken significant steps towards
decriminalizing drugs amid a growing Latin American backlash
against the US-sponsored “war on drugs”. Argentina’s
supreme court has ruled it unconstitutional to punish
people for using marijuana for personal consumption, an
eagerly awaited judgment that gave the government the
green light to push for further liberalization.It followed
Mexico’s decision to stop prosecuting people for
possession of relatively small quantities of marijuana,
cocaine, heroin and other drugs. Instead, they will be
referred to clinics and treated as patients, not criminals.
Brazil and Ecuador are also considering partial decriminalization
as part of a regional swing away from a decades-old policy
of crackdowns still favored by Washington.
“The tide is clearly turning. The ‘war on
drugs’ strategy has failed,” Fernando Henrique
Cardoso, a former Brazilian president, has said. “The
report of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy
has certainly helped to open up the debate about more
humane and efficient policies. But, most of all, the facts
are speaking by themselves.”.
Reform campaigners have long argued that criminalization
enriched drug cartels, fuelled savage turf wars, corrupted
state institutions and filled prisons with addicts.
The Star Effect...
The enacted 2009-10 State Budget eliminated the STAR Rebate
Program (at a total of $1.6 million), which provided an
average rebate to homeowners in the Mid-Hudson Region
between $104 and $1,186, depending on each home’s
individual assessment and income. Enhanced STAR recipients
received even more to reflect seniors with moderate to
low incomes, decreased ability to pay property tax bills,
some of which reach $10,000 or more in this area. In total,
the loss of the rebate check is what’s made those
school tax bills look so big. .
On Wednesday, September 23 at 8:00 PM, Trout Unlimited’s
Ashokan Pepacton Watershed Chapter will be presenting
a session on the pilot program currently underway for
boating on the Cannonsville Reservoir at the Boiceville
Inn on Route 28.
John Vickers, who is Chief of the Western Operations Division
of the Bureau of Water Supply for the New York City
Department of Environmental Protection, will give a presentation
about the program that was recently introduced and includes
the daily use of sailboats, kayaks, canoes, and sculls
on the reservoir. This is the first time New York City
has opened their reservoir property to recreational boating.
The Chapter1s monthly meeting
begins at 6:30 pm with a fly tying demonstration, followed
by a short business meeting. The presentation begins at
8 pm. The entire evening is open to the public at no charge.
For more information, please visit www.apwctu.org
tween $50,000 and $200,000 in further legal fees... and
no assurance of a win in the case.
Tax Assessor Heidi Clark worked up some examples of how
the settlement would impact individual taxpayers. A property
in town with an assessed value of $30,000, she said, would
pay an extra $12.30 to pick up the slack. But those in
Pine Hill can expect to pay more than twice that amount,
and taxpayers in Big Indian and Oliverea will pay an extra
Prior to the settlement, town officials thought the plant
was worth about $70 million. The City’s Department
of Environmental Protection figured it at more like $30
The settlement, prepared by the attorneys involved, meets
near the middle and results from a lawsuit filed against
Shandaken by the City in 2007 that claimed the property
was over assessed. The settlement covers the years 2006,
2007 and 2008, but does not require any repayment to the
city for those years. It does reduce the City’s
tax responsibility for the Pine Hill plant from now through
2011, but also prevents the city from bringing any legal
challenge during that time as well.
CWC and town officials hope the deal also prevents lawsuits
further in the future, but admit there are no guarantees.
Explaining his support for the settlement, Supervisor
Peter DiSclafani said that CWC has already spent $140,000
in this legal dispute, and that has depleted its funds.
To go to the next level against the City, which has greater
legal resources and way more money, would cost just as
much, only this time the town taxpayers would have to
pay for it.
“We have to be pragmatic,” he said
CWC Executive Director Alan Rosa told the board that he
felt the town would actually lose if they continued the
battle in the courts. CWC Attorney Tim Cox said that settling
was the best way to go.
“Nobody wins when you try to fight it,” he
DiSclafani and board members Bernstein, Tim Malloy and
Doris Bartlett voted to accept the settlement. Only Councilman
Rob Stanley opposed the measure.
Stanley, who said, “I don’t think this is
a horribly bad deal,” voted no because he wanted
to send a message to the City that the town was not satisfied
with the arrangement.
State police have arrested an Onteora High School employee
and charged her with felony grand larceny and related
charges, alleging that she stole over $9000 that school
groups accumulated by holding fundraisers. Elizabeth Sopata,
45, of Kingston, was charged on August 4. In addition
to the grand larceny charge, Sopata was also charged with
forgery and falsifying business records, police said.
According to State Police at Ulster, Sopata, who is secretary
to the High School Principal, was in charge of collecting
and depositing proceeds from fundraisers held by school
groups. Between July 2008 and March 2009, Police allege
Sopata stole $9,200 while handling the funds. She was
arrested following an investigation brought on by an audit
that turned up discrepancies.
On Monday, August 24, School board officials had no comment
on the matter.
Each year students and parent groups hold fund raising
events like car washes and bake sales to pay for extracurricular
activities not covered by taxpayer funds in the school
District Superintendent Dr. Leslie Ford said Tuesday that
Sopata, a long term employee, is currently on administrative
In an effort to streamline the Ulster County budget, County
Executive Michael Hein has said he would offer an early
retirement package to any of the county’s 1,550
CSEA employees who are eligible. In recent weeks, he made
the offer to 31 county employees. Now, he said anyone
who may be eligible may apply for the program and each
person will be considered on a case by case basis.
“We recognize the realities that are facing all
municipalities around New York State. In Ulster County
in particular, we are facing upwards of an $8 million
shortfall in sales tax as well as an additional $4 million
increase in retirement system payments to New York State,”
There are 376 employees who are 55 or older and are vested,
making them potentially eligible for the program. Decisions
as to an applicant’s eligibility to retire under
the program will be based on criteria such as the overall
needs of the county and the necessity to backfill the
The Central Catskills Collaborative (CCC) will meet this
Thursday, August 27. and begin the development of the
Corridor Management Plan for the nomination of a 50-mile
stretch of Route 28 as a Scenic Byway. The meeting will
feature an overview of the Scenic Byway nomination process,
the steps in completing the plan, and the opportunities
for community involvement. An open discussion will follow.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will
be held at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development
on Route 28 in Arkville on Thursday, August 27 from 6-8
PM. Refreshments will be provided. To learn more about
Catskill Regional Planning, please contact Peter Manning
at (845) 586-2611 or visit www.catskillcenter.org. For
more about the Central Catskill Collaborative, please
The management and drivers at Arthur F. Mulligan, one
of Onteora School District’s transportation contractors,
will be directly addressing school bus safety issues at
the upcoming Olive Day taking place in West Shokan on
September 12. One of their key issues: Parents seem to
feel that their obligation is to get the child to the
bus on time, regardless of any cuts to safety that may
In a recent press release, the company has announced that
it, “has decided to become pro active in dealing
with this growing problem and has started the AFM S.A.F.E
Team.” This is a group of volunteers organized to
provide education in preventive measures and evacuation
training involving accidents, fire and emergencies along
with providing general safety instructions regarding daily
transportation of students. Dave Croswell is the team
leader and says he wants to address the public’s
impatience with school buses, and student behavior while
riding the bus. The goal of the S.A.F.E Team, Croswell
said, is to help parents understand that they play an
important role in their child’s safety while riding
the school bus.
“We would appreciate it if parents would remind
their children that any distraction can be disastrous.”
He said, singling out such things as seat hopping and
camera flashes. “The driver is only human and although
they are fully trained and qualified a distraction cannot
be ignored all of the time. All it takes is a split second.”
Visit myyellowschoolbus.com for more information.
And be sure and drive safely…
A $500,000 grant recently announced by Governor David
Paterson’s office brings total home buying and home
repair resources currently available in Ulster County
to $1.6 million in direct spending for the purchase and
post purchase re-habilitation of Ulster County homes.
Rural Ulster Preservation Company officials, who will
be administering the funds, believe that the latest grant
announcement plus other resources in-house will help them
top last year’s total investments of $1.8 million
spent for 34 new homeowners and 75 rehabilitated homes.
The Affordable Housing Corporation grant will provide
an average of $20,000 each to approximately 25 homeowners
to help cover down payments, closing costs and post-purchase
rehabilitation projects that might be essential on the
homes they are able to afford. RUCPO Executive Director
Kevin O’Connor noted that “at least 51% of
the grant must be spent on the rehabilitation portion
of the equation, which is good not just for the buyers
but for everyone in the county. This helps to keep our
overall housing stock habitable,” he added. “Something
that isn’t always easy in this economy.”
Kathy Germain, Director of RUPCO’s Neighbor Works
Home Ownership Center, agreed with O’Connor and
said that the latest grant would be leveraged with other
resources already available at the center to provide maximum
benefit possible to clients and to the county and with
mortgage financing from private lenders.
Because all of the RUPCO grant programs have different
eligibility requirements, Germain urged everyone who might
be interested to contact RUPCO to review their circumstances.
Call 331-9860 or visit www.rupco.org.
The Onteora school board will be taking a long hard look
at the problem of class sizes in the district over the
next few months, and acknowledge that one solution may
be redistricting. At an August 18th meeting, many board
members as well as some administrators agreed that the
best class size for the district would between 18 and
22 students. It was noted however, that in some cases,
such as the fifth grade at the Phoenicia School, there
would be 28 come the start of classes next month.
Trustee Dan Spencer pointed out that recent elections
have shown the community wants to keep the three elementary
schools open rather than consolidate students in two schools.
One way to accomplish the goals of reducing class sizes
and keeping all the schools open, he and fellow trustees
discussed, is to redraw district lines through population
clusters instead of municipal borders.
“We seem to have the right amount of kids and the
right amount of buildings,” Spencer said.
It was agreed that the Board would begin taking a look
at possibilities by first accumulating information on
district lines and population, expecting that Dave Moraca,
the District’s director of transportation, will
provide the board with maps and grids so they can start
at the September 22nd meeting.
Board president Laurie Osmond said the issue should be
examined from a point of view that puts students first.
“It’s very important that we approach this
from an educational standpoint and how class size affects
our kids and which kids it affects,” she said.
Join On Up!
The Board of Education of the Onteora Central School District
is seeking committee members for the following committees/task
forces: Arts Task Force (created to further interaction
between community members in the arts and our students),
Audit (state-mandated, seeking persons with financial
backgrounds), Communications, Facilities, Green, Policy,
as well as the District Health and Wellness Committee
and the District Technology Committee.
Committees generally meet monthly, (the Green Committee
has been meeting twice-monthly), and are task-driven.
Committee members from the 2008/2009 school year are encouraged
to re-join for 2009/2010.
Interested persons are asked to contact the District Clerk:
email@example.com or 845.657.6383 x264
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
has adopted new dam safety regulations following an 18-month
review and revision process, emphasizing and detailing
the responsibilities of dam owners to keep structures
in a safe condition and, to be consistent with the statute,
enhance NYS DEC’s authority to help ensure the responsibilities
are fulfilled. The statutory amendments explicitly authorize
NYS DEC to adopt regulations requiring dam owners to prepare
safety programs including inspections, monitoring, maintenance
and operation, and emergency plans, where failure of the
dam could cause personal injury, substantial property
damage or substantial natural resource damage.
A single paper copy of the regulations, or a single CD
of the entire rule adoption package, are available for
free upon request by writing firstname.lastname@example.org
or calling (518) 402-8151.
Fred Waring of West Shokan first got the idea for his
great new foundation during a trip to Cambodia with his
wife Tracey, in 2001, when they witnessed the needs at
one of the troubled nation’s orphanages. Upon his
return Fred began his grassroots campaign to help the
children he saw by soliciting in-kind and cash donations.
In 2005, he then incorporated The Fred Waring Foundation,
Inc., allowing him to expand his vision to include the
construction of a new center and manufacturing facility
using Cambodia’s natural resources to create products
for export. The plan is to offer to employ orphanage children
when they are forced to leave their orphanages at age
18, so that they can learn a trade, earn wages, have decent
housing and hope for a great future.
Since 2001, Waring, the grandson of the big band-leader,
Congressional Gold Medal recipient, and inventor of the
Waring Blender, has made 3 to 4 trips per year to Cambodia
and each time brings donations of vitamins from GNC and
medicines from New York doctors. The Waring Family has
been donating toys, sporting goods, school supplies, and
They are currently looking for old laptops to be used
in the classrooms of three different orphanages that house
over 500 children and young adults, and in the midst of
a fundraising raffle whose cut-off date is September 21,
and whose prizes include a trip for two to Angkor Wat.
For further information, visit www.fredwaringfoundation.org
Construction has begun on a $1.5 million project to pave
3.5 miles of state Route 28. The project will include
milling and resurfacing state Route 28, beginning at the
west side of the bridge over the Esopus Creek at the state
Route 212 intersection, to the east side beyond the bridge
over the Esopus Creek at the state Route 214 intersection.
Daily lane closures are expected with restrictions in
place during peak travel hours.
The contract was awarded to Callanan Industries Inc. of
Schenectady and is being funded under the federal economic
stimulus program, formally known as the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The state Department of
Transportation has received $1.1 billion for highway and
bridge projects under the stimulus program, with $167
million of the funding expected to be certified for Hudson
Construction of this project is expected to be completed
in late December 2009.
A USPS Arrest
Mona A. Senecal, 42, of Shokan, , who worked as a clerk
at the U.S. Post Office in Shokan, was arrested on Aug.
11 and charged with grand larceny and falsifying business
records, both felonies, according to state police at Ulster.
Senecal is accused of taking $3,895.19 from proceeds she
pocketed while selling money orders at the post office.
End of Season
The Belleayre Music Festival at Belleayre Mountain Ski
Center is closing out its somewhat soggy but still boisterous
2009 season with a pair of upcoming concerts sure to pull
a certain type. On Saturday, August 29, Mary Wilson of
The Supremes will be on hand to sing Motown favorites;
while on the following Saturday, September 5, an ABBA
tribute band will capture the same feeling caught in last
year’s film hit, Mamma Mia.
Visit www.belleayre.org for more info. And start counting
down to Octoberfest and more...
Shot In Groin
An early morning struggle on Sunday, August 16 ended in
a gunshot to the groin for one man inside a home on Route
214 in the Shandaken hamlet of Phoenicia. Kyle Manny,
25, was being treated at Kingston Hospital for his injury,
according to state police at Ulster. Police said Manny
was struck in the groin by one bullet fired from a 9mm
semiautomatic handgun after getting into a fight with
another person inside the residence at state Route 214
During the altercation, the owner of the home, John S.
Rymer, 68, armed himself with the handgun, which police
said is a legally registered weapon.
A prepared statement by police states that in the course
of the ensuing altercation one round was discharged and
struck alleged assailant Manny in the groin.
Police said the investigation led to the arrest of Richard
Manny, 27, who had been staying at the residence with
Kyle Manny. The older Manny was charged with criminal
mischief and endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge comes due to
Manny doing considerable damage to the home. Further charges
against Manny may occur. As for the endangering the welfare
of a child charge, a child was present in the home at
the time of the incident, police said.
The Manny’s were friends of Rymer’s daughter…
The suspect was arraigned in Town of Kingston Court. He
was released without bail. The investigation surrounding
the firing of the weapon by Rymer and the actions of Kyle
Manny is continuing, police said. Should the District
Attorney’s office convene a grand jury and that
jury decides that Rymer should be charged, police said,
then charges would be leveled against Rymer.
Flu, Round 2
The global spread of swine flu will endanger more lives
as it speeds up in coming months and governments must
boost preparations for a swift response, the World Health
Organization said last week. There will soon be a period
of further global spread of the virus, and most countries
may see swine flu cases double every three to four days
for several months until peak transmission is reached,
said WHO’s Western Pacific director, Shin Young-soo.
“At a certain point, there will seem to be an explosion
in case numbers,” Shin told a symposium of health
officials and experts in Beijing. “It is certain
there will be more cases and more deaths.”
WHO has declared the swine flu strain a pandemic, and
it has killed almost 1,800 people worldwide through last
week. International attention has focused on how the pandemic
is progressing in southern hemisphere countries such as
Australia, which are experiencing winter and their flu
season. But it is in developing countries where the accelerated
spread of swine flu poses the greatest threat as it places
underequipped and underfunded health systems under severe
strain, Shin said.
WHO earlier estimated that as many as 2 billion people
could become infected over the next two years - nearly
one-third of the world’s population.
Health officials and drug makers are looking into ways
to speed up production of a vaccine before the northern
hemisphere enters its flu season in coming months. Estimates
for when a vaccine will be available range from September
The Hudson Valley took another hit between July 2008 and
July 2009 with the loss of 17,900 jobs. The state Labor
Department released the latest figures recently, showing
a 2.3 percent loss in jobs bringing the total number of
unemployed to 745,100.
The greatest loss of jobs was in trade, transportation
and utilities, which lost 5,500 jobs, while professional
and business services lost 4,200 and manufacturing shrunk
by 4,100 jobs. The government sector also declined by
Employment gains were in education and health services,
which picked up 3,700 jobs.
The report noted that the July jobless rate for the region
increased to 7.6 percent from 5.2 percent a year ago,
the largest July over the year increase on record since
At the same time, reports are also out noting that the
weekly cost of feeding a family of four in Ulster County
in the past weeks was $200.64. That was an increase of
$1.65, or one percent, above the previous survey week,
ending August 7.
The Ulster County Consumer Fraud Bureau, which conducts
the surveys, said prices increased primarily because of
fewer sale items in the meat and fish category.
New GI Bill!
SUNY Ulster has been recognized for its policies and outreach
to recruit military veterans and facilitating access to
new Post 9/11 GI bill benefits by G.I. Jobs magazine with
the “Military Friendly School” designation
in 2010. The local college was ranked among the top 15
percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools
nationwide for embracing America’s veterans as students
based on a survey that reviewed policies, efforts and
results of military recruitment. SUNY Ulster will be listed
in the magazine’s “Guide to Military Friendly
Schools” that publishes in September 2009.
SUNY Ulster has been conducting informational sessions
on the Post 9/11 GI Bill that went into effect Aug. 1
and provides financial support for education and housing
to eligible veterans. The bill expands benefits and provides
tuition, housing and book stipends, and tutoring.
SUNY Ulster will conduct workshops on the Post 9/11 GI
Bill on Sept. 14 and Oct. 19, both starting at 10 a.m.
at the Dewitt Library on the Stone Ridge campus; and Nov.
16 at 5 p.m. at the Business Resource Center in Kingston.
College representatives will be available to discuss programs
of study, transfer credits, VA tuition benefits and campus
support services. These events are free and open to the
Meanwhile, it turns out that the successful RISE program
at SUNY Ulster may be going statewide. The collaboration
between the college and the Department of Social Services
has been successful at taking candidates that are eligible
for high school diplomas or GED diplomas and getting them
out of the cycle of dependency in social services and
moving them on into the college format,” he said.
Funding for the students in the program comes from state
and federal grants.
For more information, call 687-5022 or visit www.sunyulster.edu.
The annual picnic and general meeting for The Neversink
Association will be Sunday, August 30, at noon on the
Meadow across from Lake Cole at Frost Valley YMCA. The
featured speaker is Lisa Rainwater, Executive Director
of The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development,
who will discuss four invasive species, such as didymo,
that threaten the health of the Neversink River and Valley.
The purpose of the organization is to protect the Neversink
River watershed and the conservation of the flora and
fauna of the Upper Neversink Valley. All are welcome to
Rights For All!
A California-based federal judge being asked to declare
gay marriage a fundamental constitutional right has set
a January 2010 trial date and denied attempts by gay and
conservative advocacy groups to join the case, already
top-heavy with high profile lawyers.
About 30 lawyers crowded into a San Francisco courtroom
hearing the challenge to California’s Proposition
8 same-sex marriage ban recently, a high-risk venture
that will set court policy for years, if it reaches the
U.S. Supreme court. Ted Olson, the lawyer whose Supreme
Court arguments put President George W. Bush in the White
House, and David Boies, his opponent in the 2000 case,
joined forces to overturn Prop. 8, arguing precedents
showed they could win.
Gay rights groups had avoided federal court in favor of
a state-by-state battle for fear conservative Supreme
Court justices would deny their cause. A handful of U.S.
states, mostly in the northeast, have allowed same-sex
marriage, but the overwhelming majority forbid it.
In respectful tones, Olson told federal district Judge
Vaughn Walker participation by gay groups and social conservatives
would only slow the case. Walker, clearly eager to focus
and speed arguments, denied the groups’ motions
but added the city and county of San Francisco to the
case as a government representative. Calif. Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger has signaled his administration will not
actively join the case.
“I am surprised by the governor’s position
in this case,” Walker told a state lawyer, telling
him to urge Schwarzenegger, who personally favours gay
marriage, to get involved. “This is a matter of
some importance to the people.”
Walker set a January 11, 2010 date to start the trial,
an aggressive schedule. Two same-sex couples represented
by Olson and Boies say marriage is a federal constitutional
right which they are being denied.
Social conservatives led by lawyer Charles Cooper say
the people of California had the right to limit marriage
to a man and a woman, since it is in the state’s
interest to limit marriage to couples of opposite sex.
Assistant Secretary of the Interior Larry EchoHawk was
set to come to Sullivan County and the Catskills to meet
with people on both sides of the casino issue as this
issue was going to bed. EchoHawk, who heads the Bureau
of Indian Affairs, will be in town at the invitation of
Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who said the secretary has
no preconceived opinion about whether there should be
Native American Gaming.
Under the previous administration in Washington, the BIA
refused to approve placing land in trust which would have
paved the way for Indian gaming. Supporters are hoping
to pursuade EchoHawk to reverse that and allow for land
Three Native American tribes want to build gaming casinos
in Sullivan County.
Meanwhile. the Seneca Nation, which has been eyeing Sullivan
County for development of a Native American gaming casino,
said last week that it may purchase the entire Concord
Hotel property from Louis Cappelli, who had planned to
redevlop the site for a hotel-resort conference center
with a racetrack and video lottery machine gaming operation
with Empire Resorts.
Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach personally
delivered a check for $61,486.90 to Town of Wawarsing
Officials Thursday evening. The check represents monies
owed to the town from a 2007 Payment in Lieu of Taxes
(PILOT) from the Nevele Grande Hotel.
Auerbach uncovered the money during an examination of
payments made to the county which revealed that $24,341.88
was owed to Wawarsing’s General Fund and $37,145.02
was owed to their Highway Fund.
The comptroller continues to pursue over $600,000 owed
by the Nevele to Ulster County, the Town of Wawarsing,
the Village of Ellenville, the Ellenville Central School
District and the Ellenville Library.
Four inmates at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center
have been charged with gang assault for allegedly beating
up another inmate because he refused to give them some
of his food. The incident occurred in the jail recreation
area of A-Pod on Friday, August 14. The four inmates attempted
to coerce the inmate into giving them some of his food
and when he refused, they attacked him, the sheriff’s
office reported. Once the assault was over, one of the
inmates then told the victim that he should tell corrections
personnel he received the injuries as the result of getting
elbowed during a basketball game.
The victim suffered contusions and lacerations to his
head, face, neck and chest.
Authorities have charged Tarrance Daniels, 17, of Kingston;
Devante Knox, 17, of Kingston; Shaquille Moore, 17, of
Poughkeepsie; and Lee Gray, 18, of Kingston, with gang
assault in the second degree and assault in the second
degree, both felonies. Gray was also charged with intimidating
a victim or witness in the third degree, also a felony.
Old Time Days
At the 10th annual “Turn of the Century Days”
in Roxbury, there's always something new coming to 1898.
This Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6, a gala fireworks display
on Saturday evening will cap a full day of old-fashioned
base ball, mountain music, period fashion, children's
pastimes, history and architecture, horse drawn carriage
rides, beer garden and all the authentic country victuals
you can eat.
All Labor Day weekend, the Harry M. Keator vintage base
ball games will be afoot in Kirkside Park with the hometown
Roxbury Nine hosting the Mountain Athletic Club of Fleischmanns
and the Bovina Dairymen, and from the gritty city, the
Brooklyn Atlantics. Games start at 10 a.m. on Saturday,
Sept. 5 and at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
All weekend, you'll be serenaded by roving minstrels and
Roxbury Brass marches. The Children’s Tent will
be humming with hand crafts, old-fashioned activities
and toys like hoops and stilts. At the popular Teddy Bear
Tea on Saturday afternoon at the original Gould children's
playhouse, girls and boys can bring their teddies and
dolls on a high society date. There will even be demonstrations
of how to make Victorian woven-hair jewelry!
On Sunday afternoon, there will be a Fashion Parade of
19th century dress, from haute couture to work-a-day wear.
The decade-long Labor Day “Turn of the Century”
festivities helped Roxbury earn the prestigious “Preserve
America” designation by the White House in 2005,
for its ongoing commitment to preserving and revitalizing
its historic heritage and for bringing "all the agreeable
pursuits of 1898" to life with painstaking authenticity.
Call 607-326-3722 for more information.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s
Eat Smart New York Program is pleased to announce a new
program “Healthy Nutrition Habits”, a free
six part series will run continuously every Monday, from
1:00pm to 2:00pm. Sessions will take place at the CCEUC
Extension Education Center located at 10 Westbrook Lane
This program is open to all food stamp participants and
low to moderate income families and individuals residing
in Ulster County. Sessions will include various topics
including food budgeting, serving sizes, learning about
food groups, eating healthier by making better food choices,
food safety and more! Participants will gain valuable
kitchen skills through hands-on food demonstrations with
CCEUC Nutrition Program Educator, Danielle J. Garris.
One on one session’s in the home can be arranged
for those without transportation.
All participants who complete six sessions of the program
will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Cornell
Cooperative Extension Ulster County’s Eat Smart
New York Program.
For more information or to attend please call Barbara
Grumberg at 340-3990.
There aren’t just fewer jobs in a recession. There
are fewer babies, too. U.S. births fell in 2008, the first
full year of the recession, marking the first annual decline
in births since the start of the decade and ending an
American baby boomlet.
The downturn in the economy best explains the drop in
maternity, some experts believe. The Great Depression
and subsequent recessions all were accompanied by a decline
in births. And the numbers have never rebounded until
the economy pulled out of it, according to historians.
It’s not clear that it’s the only explanation,
however. Another expert noted a recent decline in immigration
to the U.S. may also be a factor.
The nation recorded about 4,247,000 births last year,
down about 68,000 from 2007, according to a new report
from the National Center for Health Statistics.
This recession began in December 2007, and since then
the economy has lost almost 7 million jobs. Housing foreclosures
worsened in 2007 too, and fell into a state of crisis
The largest decline in births were in California and Florida,
two states hit hardest by the housing crisis.
Of course, 2007 was also a year in which more babies were
born in the United States than any other year in the nation’s
history. In the past, a fluctuation of births by 1 or
2 percent would not be seen as very significant, especially
from such an unusual year.
The cost of tackling climate change will be paid for by
benefits that would come from better energy security,
employment and health, Rajendra Pachauri, the head of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is saying.
Measures needed to tackle global warming could save economies
more money than they cost.
Until now, estimates of the price of preventing dangerous
climate change have all indicated significant costs. The
most authoritative study, the 2006 Stern report, concluded
that 1% of global GDP would be required, and he has since
said 2% is now more likely.
Funding for reducing and adapting to climate change is
one of the most difficult issues in the negotiations towards
a global deal at a UN summit in December in Copenhagen.
But Pachauri argues that if the costs are negative, then
“inertia and vested interests would be washed away.
As the Americans say, it would be like dollar bills lying
on the sidewalk.”
The associated benefits Pachauri pointed to include better
energy security, protecting consumers from oil price spikes,
new employment in green industries, more productive agriculture
and lower air pollution, and cutting health costs. He
said one good example was insulating draughty homes and
installing better energy control systems. “This
can yield very high rates of returns, with pay back in
Meanwhile, photos from US spy satellites declassified
by the Obama White House provide the first graphic images
of how the polar ice sheets are retreating in the summer.
The effects on the world’s weather, environments
and wildlife could be devastating.
The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency
of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House
this month. President Barack Obama is currently trying
to galvanize Congress and the American public to take
action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising
levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
One particularly striking set of images - selected from
the 1,000 photographs released - includes views of the
Alaskan port of Barrow. One, taken in July 2006, shows
sea ice still nestling close to the shore. A second image
shows that by the following July the coastal waters were
Disappearing summer sea ice poses considerable dangers,
scientists have warned. Ice shelves are used by animals
such as polar bears as platforms for hunting seals and
other sea creatures. Without them, they could starve.
In addition, ice reflects solar radiation. Without that
process, the Arctic sea could warm up even more. The phenomenon
threatens to set off runaway heating of the planet, say
The latest revelations have triggered warnings from scientists
that they no longer have the funds to keep a comprehensive
track of climate change. Last week the head of the US’s
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
Professor Jane Lubchenco, warned that the gathering of
satellite data - crucial to predicting future climate
changes - was now at “great risk” because
America’s ageing satellite fleet was not being replaced.
The NOAA is under additional pressure to provide environmental
data because of the re-emergence of the El Niño
climate phenomenon, where warming of the tropical Pacific
causes heatwaves, droughts and flooding around the world.
June’s land and sea surface temperatures were the
second hottest on record, and scientists are predicting
this will be the warmest decade in recorded history. The
last major El Niño was in 1998, the hottest year
in recorded history.
Help The River
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance is accepting nominations
for the 2009 Watershed Stewardship Award, seeking individuals,
organizations, or government officials that exemplify
leadership through successful local watershed protection,
management and restoration of the Hudson River watershed.
The purpose of this award is to recognize the efforts
of local partners that contribute to the protection, conservation
and restoration of the water resources of the Hudson River
basin. The award will be presented at the State of the
Hudson River Watershed Conference, scheduled for September
29-30, at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Museum
Nomination forms can be found online at http://www.hudsonwatershed.org
. Nominations submitted for last year’s award should
be re-submitted for the 2009 Watershed Steward Award.
For questions, call 486-1556.
Also, in response to the Quadricentennial Commission’s
call for a continuing dialogue to advance a vision for
the future of the Hudson Valley in the next 100 years,
the Hudson River Watershed Alliance is sponsoring an online
forum called OurHudson.org.
Talk about getting involved easily…