Up on the News
Cuts Hit Home
At first it seemed like state-owned
Belleayre Mountain was in for a spectacular week. Against expectations,
Governor Dave Paterson vetoed the creation of a $150,000 legislative
Blue Ribbon Commission on competition in the outdoor recreation industry
on September 5, which had been passed unanimously by the state Senate
and by almost as much in the Assembly just a couple of months ago.
The commission had first been proposed by ski area representatives in
neighboring Greene County, and was seen by many, including supporters
of Belleayre, as a means to hold back the popular Ulster County ski
area from being so competitive in a shrinking market getting hit by
climate change. The legislation called for a blue-ribbon commission
to examine whether state-owned golfing, skiing and camping facilities,
among others, had the upper hand over the private counterparts. Which
paterson, in his veto, was the right idea… to provide state residents
with recreation options second to none.
Simultaneous to his veto, though, it turns out that staff meetings being
held at the state-owned ski area were focusing on a series of upcoming
cuts being called by its managing agency, the state Department of Environmental
Conservation, to match Paterson and the legislature’s recent call
for across-the-board cuts of at least 6 percent.
It was reportedly announced that the upcoming annual October festival,
slated for the weekend of October 11th-12, had been cancelled. Ski instructors
had been told there would likely be some major layoffs.
Belleayre’s website, usually chock-full with trail updates, bulging
winter calendars, and pre-season rate offers, has been oddly quiet of
“Belleayre Mountain is currently working on 2008-2009 pricing
and programming,” was its chief message, repeated in several locations.
“Please check this website frequently for updates and changes.”
Employees, Skiers, local business owners and the leadership of the Coalition
to Save Belleayre have since been scrambling to try and find out how
bad it will be for the mountain come winter. While some information
suggests that even a total shut down of the mountain for the ski season
has been under consideration, some cuts have already been put into motion…
such as the upcoming fall festival.
The ski center’s usually loquacious superintendent, Tony Lanza,
refused to comment and directed press calls to the State Department
of Environmental Conservation’s press office. Maureen Wren, the
official spokesperson for DEC in Albany, which oversees Belleayre’s
budget, said Monday that nothing was official about the festival’s
cancellation. Folks at the DEC’s Region Three headquarters in
New Paltz said they’d heard nothing about what might be happening
at Belleayre and expressed surprise when told about what ski center
employees were being told.
But vendors already signed up to rent space at the October Festival
were notified Friday of the cancellation and that refunds were in the
works for those that already paid for their rental space.
And no Oktoberfest is just the tip of the iceberg says Joe Kelly, Chairman
of the Coalition to Save Belleayre, who added that his sources “should
know.” Kelly said there are reports that if DEC does open the
ski center, it will have only one chairlift running to the top of the
mountain and only 13 or so open trails.
Wren said that, like the Oktoberfest, none of these scenarios have been
set in stone.
“There haven’t been any decisions made about Belleayre,”
Asked if there were plans to not open Belleayre this year she said “That’s
not the case at this time.”
When operating fully, Belleayre boasts the Catskills’ only Cat-access
skiing and a widened and improved halfpipe and Area 51 Terrain Park.
With 47 trails, parks and glades and 8 lifts, including a new High Speed
Quad, Belleayre Mountain has evolved over the years, especially since
the early 1980’s when Kelly formed his coalition to keep the ski
center from facing closure. Skier visits have grown from 70,000 in 1995
to more than 175,000 skiers since then.
“I’ve been hearing things from employees, who have been
getting the information from meetings at work,” Kelly said this
week from his home in Long Island. “I don’t want to get
Tony in trouble… let’s just say people are getting ready
for a major cut back.”
Kelly said that some people in his organization believe the budget cuts
are related to the lobbying Greene County did to curtail Belleayre’s
operation, which also resulted in the now-vetoed Blue Ribbon Commission..
“We certainly hope that this is not the case. But it makes no
sense to cancel the Octoberfest, one of your biggest money-making events
in a single year,” said Kelly. “And once you are open and
operating, it makes absolutely no sense to only operate part of your
capital investment. I don’t know if people in state government
are caving to pressure from Greene County to hold Belleayre Mt. back,
but we certainly intend to look at that possibility.”
Kelly said he understands the governor’s call for cuts and the
fact that everyone in the state has to share in the pain of the current
“But this is going to be way more than our fair share,”
he added. “We’re facing a huge budget cut, the extent of
which is only now becoming apparent.”
Kelly has sent out a mass e-mail alert on the potential cuts he says
are in the works, which has in turn spawned more activist e-mails being
passed around the region, as well as among Belleayre ski enthusiasts.
He has also called a meeting at Belleayre’s Lower Lodge to take
place at 9:00 AM this coming Saturday, September 13.
“Supporters of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center reacted with outrage
this week when they learned the extent of cutbacks to the ski center’s
operating budget for the coming season,” Kelly wrote in his widely-disseminated
release. “Saying that these cuts “will destroy what’s
left of the Central Catskills’ economy,” Joe Kelly, chairman
of the Coalition to Save Belleayre, called for a summit meeting of elected
and appointed officials who represent the area and business leaders
whose constituents will suffer if the budget cuts are allowed to stand
“Sources tell us that in addition to the cutting of the festival,
that the ski season could be a month or more shorter than it was last
year, that the ski center could operate at less than its full capacity
even during the height of the season and that staff people will lose
their jobs,” Kelly continued in his e-mail missive. “We
will never be able to recoup this loss - even if they bring us back
to full operation next year… The economic blow to Ulster and Delaware
counties cannot be over estimated.”
Separately, Kelly spoke at length about his beloved ski area’s
“revenue neutral” budget effect, with income balancing all
In a separate e-mail chain, a ski patroller named Rosina wrote, “Dear
Belleayre Ski Patrollers: DEC has dealt Belleayre Ski Center a devastating
budget. To this end the following has been decided the Octoberfest has
been cancelled; Nursery will be not open; No skiwee, alpine development,
or racing programs; Full time Patrol positions cut; Limited snow making;
Possible operation of only the Superchief;” to which Ralph Combe
Jr. of the Slide Mountain Mountain House in Oliverea added, forwarding
the increasingly heavy missive around, “The proposal for the winter
is somewhere between operating one or two lifts with NO RACING, NO SKIWEE,
NO ALPINE programs TO A COMPLETE SHUT DOWN OF BELLEAYRE FOR THE WINTER.”
“I have asked the DEC about any contemplated reductions in State
funding for Belleayre. They tell me no determination has been made,”
noted state Senator John Bonacic in a released statement reacting to
the clamor. “Given the approximately $20 million I have successfully
fought to provide Belleayre for various improvements over the last eight
years, it is important that Belleayre have the ability to utilize that
funding to follow through, complete those projects, and continue to
be the success it is.”
“The real issue here is kind of what we all saw coming a year
ago, when I got this sense we’d be back where we were in 82 and
83. It’s happening again,” Kelly said in a voice apparently
excited by the prospect of another good fight ahead. “The economy’s
bad, it’s going to get worse, but really… why should we
bear this much?”
He added that even if it only ends up meaning skier visits dropping
a third of what they were last year, from 150,000 to 110,000, it’s
still too much… especially with the state simultaneously promising
a huge build-out connecting the ski center to Dean Gitter’s long-proposed
Belleayre Resort project, which Paterson’s predecessor, former
Governor Eliot Spitzer, promised in his Agreement in Principal a year
“This isn’t just a one year hurt,” he said, referring
to a previous Bonacic comment that even if budget cuts necessitated
a few years wait for promised improvements, they were safe in uncut
state capital funds. “People don’t come back.”
Meanwhile, in separate developments regarding the AIP and proposed resort,
officials at Gitter’s development company, Crossroads Ventures,
announced this week that they were “elated” by a recent
court ruling to dismiss a lawsuit that challenged the Spitzer agreement…
even though the people that filed that lawsuit said that they are not
ready to give up.
Talk about having major stories pushed out of the spotlight by even
State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly dismissed the suit September
3, noting that an environmental review of the project still is under
way and permits for the project have not been issued. He said the claim
is not ready for judicial review and added that the plaintiffs have
not shown they have standing to bring the suit.
In a prepared statement released Thursday, Crossroads spokesperson Joan
Lawrence-Bauer said she was not surprised.
“We are elated by this ruling,” she said. “While we
had little doubt about the outcome, it is always gratifying to have
these things behind you.”
According to Crossroads Attorney Daniel Ruzow, Judge Connolly agreed
with Crossroads’ defense that the agreement, put together by former
Governor Eliot Spitzer, was not a final action by New York State and
New York City and that those filing the lawsuit had no standing to bring
the suit because they had not demonstrated any injury or harm from the
The suit was brought by Catskill Heritage Alliance, the Pine Hill Water
District Coalition and Benjamin and Idith Korman, a couple that live
near the site of the proposed resort. Their lawyer, Robert Feller, said
the plaintiffs still were reviewing the decision. He also said they
will be active in the review process and that they could file a challenge
in the future.
On Saturday the Chairman of the Heritage Alliance, Richard Schaedle,
said the group is undaunted by Judge Connolly’s decision.
“Obviously we are disappointed with the ruling,” he said,
“But we are considering an appeal.”
Schaedle said his group was caught between a rock and hard place because,
while they only had a small window of opportunity to file a lawsuit
against the deal, details of the deal were still unresolved. But, he
said, by filing the lawsuit when they did they have kept the opportunity
to challenge the deal alive.
He expects that an appeal will be filed, and in the meantime many of
those details that are currently lacking will become fully formed, and
subject to challenge.
Lawrence-Bauer recently noted that the developers are now working to
complete the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but
that it would still be some time before its done.
“We have several months to put our appeal together,” Schaedle
The judge turned down the petitioners’ standing based largely
on the fact that the harm they were claiming had not occurred yet, that
the organizations had been privy to the negotiations that resulted in
the AIP, and that the two landowners hadn’t adequately proved
their property’s adjacency to the proposed resort, which has yet
to be built.
From its beginnings
working with the initial half million state grant, announced in tandem
with former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s Agreement in Principal for
the building of a resort complex tied to its own Belleayre Mt. Ski Center
last September, the Collaborative is seeking to set a working precedent
for further funding sought to support local goals and objectives that
focus on protecting and promoting the scenic, cultural, historic and economic
well being of the Rt. 28 corridor in the Central Catskills.
Manning said that “the gathering was a great way to help bond members
of the collaborative, which seeks to create a stronger, more unified voice
when seeking funding for municipal improvement projects within the Rt.
28 Central Catskill corridor located between Olive and Andes.”
Dennis Doyle, head of the Ulster County Planning Board and the UC Transportation
Council, was the evening’s featured speaker who gave a presentation
covering the latest updates on the Rt. 28 rail corridor revitalization
project, which now includes a possible bicycle trail to be located alongside
the rail-bed wherever possible. Members of the Central Catskill Collaborative,
along with representatives from the Catskill Mountain Railroad, Delaware
and Ulster Railroad as well as the regional trails community, discussed
the various possibilities and problems inherent in planning the combined-use
railroad and bicycle path project.
Doyle said that, “We need to look at how to resolve the differences
among the various stakeholder groups which may be at odds on some points
but all stakeholders agree that the rail corridor right of way should
be maintained, not be allowed to flood out, not be given away, and not
lost to adverse possession so that we can be sure that the right of way
is being maintained for ourselves and future generations.”
Doyle discussed elements of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad Study, which
found that people from many areas within the rail corridor “can
see that we can combine the rail trail with a bicycle trail.”
As for the time frame for starting the trail project, Doyle said “After
the Ulster and Delaware Railroad study was completed there was a movement
forward on the part of the county’s Transportation Council which
was in the process of updating its transportation improvement program
at the time. Within that document there is actually funding for that portion
of the rail trail that begins as early as March of 2010 with respect to
scoping and design.”
“We have some sense of dollar figures which calls for an expenditure
of $3 million dollars during the period of 2010 to 2012 and another$6
or 7 million after that for about $11 million total. Portions of the funding
are Federal and portions are local, typically 80% Federal to 20% local,”
he added. “Essentially what we need is for someone to take the lead;
we need a champion. Individual communities are not necessarily well equipped
to deal with all of the processes, policies, designs and contractual elements
that have to be done. We have avoided the most difficult situations in
terms of running through the Federal procurement process in order to utilize
Doyle lamented the fact that there is often some resistance to regional
trail projects because non-residents will be using the trails, but he
also emphasized that the non-residents are actually our economic lifeblood
and that they should not be overlooked.
“It is they who will stay at the local bed and breakfast or motel
along the rail trail system,” Doyle noted.
Earl Pardini, President of the Catskill Mountain Railroad said that he
worries that some division still exists between railroad stakeholders
and bicycle trail advocates, and advocated for a closer working relationship
without the rancor that has characterized stakeholder relations in the
This past Spring and Summer, members of the Collaborative met numerous
times to discuss projects for shared Smart Growth funding, with “bricks
and mortar” signage, rest stop, and similar projects winning out
in jointly-submitted proposals.
This past week in Shandaken, though, new discussion arose about a substitute
project for the original half million in funding, or any new funds found.
At the town’s September 8 town meeting, the Shandaken board threw
its support behind both a Pine Hill Recreation Trail that would loop around
the Pine Hill Park and connect to the state-run Belleayre Day Use beach
property just east of the hamlet and structural changes for the popular
Shandaken Theatrical Society’s historic home in Phoenicia.
Organizers asked the town to apply to the Hudson River Valley Greenway
for $5000 to build the trail. An extra $3000 in town funding would be
needed to make the trail come to fruition… an area where CCC help
could come in handy.
Support for that came with ease, but the other request from the Shandaken
Theatrical Society met some resistance. STS wanted, and received, town
board support of an application for funds from the Central Catskill Collaborative’s
Smart Growth Grant Fund, the half a million state fund that will be distributed
among the towns along the route 28 corridor between Olive and Andes.
Councilman Rob Stanley was against the idea, saying that STS was now competing
for money against the town’s own grant request, currently awaiting
final approvals. There were differences of opinion about whether that
was really a concern, but it might all be moot.
STS has submitted its application after the deadline for submission has
Herbs To Hands On
After years of practicing out of her home—supplying herbal medicines,
giving herbal consultations, and offering Reiki bodywork—she has
shifted her work to a more public space, the Phoenicia Healing Arts Center
on Main Street. With the shift comes a new dedication to her healing work
and an desire to give back to the community.
A widowed mother of three, Hyde learned Reiki when her husband, Joseph
Ferris, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. “I was in a woman’s
healing circle, and one of the members, Cathy Parisi, was a Reiki master,”
she explains. “Cathy offered to give me Reiki attunements as a gift
so I could help Joey and treat my family. I received so much help and
good will from the whole community when he was sick and when my kids were
Hyde describes Reiki (prounounced RAY-kee) as “universal healing
energy. Everybody has it—we’re all made of energy, and everything
around us is energy. The attunement process opens the practitioner’s
chakras [energy centers] to resonate so she can channel more energy in
through her own crown chakra, through the heart, and out through the hands.
Cathy would say it’s empowerment in terms of channeling.”
A Reiki treatment is a gentle, non-invasive laying-on of hands that produces
deep relaxation and stress reduction. It is complementary to other healing
modalities, enhancing the effects of acupuncture, herbs, conventional
medicine, or any other kind of treatment. “I’ve seen it work
for pain management,” says Hyde. “It has a way of balancing
energy so certain parts of the body are not stagnating. Sometimes people
relax so much, they fall asleep. Deep sleep, without stress, is when we
truly rest and heal. It’s great for people with anxiety. Reiki can
also bring things to the surface so people can deal with them.”
One client, for instance, fell asleep during a treatment and had a dream
that had frightened him as a child. As his adult self, he was more equipped
to process and learn from the dream.
The herbal segment of her practice is rooted in her training with herbalist
Pam Montgomery. Hyde planted herb gardens around her home and at her job
with the Center for Discovery, a Sullivan County facility for people with
disabilities, where she ran a greenhouse for fifteen years. Since then,
she has been making herbal tinctures, oils, and salves, which she sells
through her website. “I can count on one hand the number of times
any of my kids have used antibiotics,” she muses. “I always
use herbs first.” As she gained experience, she began to teach others
the uses of herbs for healing and developed an herbal consulting practice.
A turning point came last year, when she heard about the free alternative
health clinics held quarterly at the Phoenicia Healing Arts Center. “I
called to ask about craniosacral bodywork for my son,” she remembers.
“I asked if they wanted a Reiki practitioner, and they were excited.
I started doing Reiki at the free clinics in Phoenicia and Woodstock,
and the feedback I got from people was really positive. I loved doing
it. Now I’m trying to expand my practice. In the fall, I’ll
be offering Reiki classes, starting with first-level through the master’s
training, hopefully here in Phoenicia.”
She is happy to be putting her work out into the community. “I left
my job at the Center because my kids needed me close by. I also realized
I was taking my knowledge and experience for granted. The time is right
in the community and the world, that anyone who has information that will
help sustain our health is called to share what we know.”
Adelinda Hyde’s Reiki treatments and herbal consultations are available
by appointment and on a sliding fee scale. She can be reached at 688-2032.
Visit www.oakhollowherbals.com to purchase handmade herbal medicines.
Up Our Town
From the sound
of things at this past Monday’s September 8 town board session,
local laws need to be changed, or at least tweaked, in order bring some
matters to closure. And other matters left for years to laissez faire
seem to have tested the community’s patience to the point where
Shandaken will no longer be able to call itself the land of the let-it-pass.
The highest profile matter is that of the Phoenicia Hotel, or specifically
the remains of what was once the home to the likes of Babe Ruth and Dutch
Schultz. Piled high on the corner of Main and Church streets in Phoenicia,
and currently being compared to some of the worst properties seen in the
South Bronx in its notorious heyday, the debris that was once the historic
hotel has growing numbers of folks in town furious and frustrated.
Unable to get owner Declan Feehan to clean the place up, the town board
is now looking into creating a new law that would give officials the ability
to demand the removal of such rubble. That law will be unveiled in the
coming weeks, and will be the subject of a public hearing at 6pm on October
6th, before the town’s next official meeting.
Feehan, who was present at the meeting when the law was announced, took
some abuse from residents that are fed up with delays at the site. Feehan
said that there was a stop work order issued by the State Department of
Labor and that’s why the site is not cleared of the debris. But
there was considerable doubt about the existence of such an order, notably
from Councilman Vince Bernstein, who said he had called the state department
that day and been told that no such order had been issued.
After Feehan objected, it was agreed that Bernstein might have been asking
for the information in the wrong way. Apparently the order was issued
against the contractor, Woodstock Landscaping, that Feehan had hired,
and not against the actual property or Feehan.
Some wondered, then, how such a specific order could effect another’s
property. Especially given that no one’s seen the actual paperwork
Feehan has been referring to.
It is now expected that Feehan will make the stop work public in light
of the attacks he has endured. It also appears that there is no way the
town can make the property owner remove the debris from the center of
Phoenicia even if that order is lifted. While there are laws on the books
that require structures be removed, there are none requiring any subsequent
debris be removed.
Chichester resident Randy Ostrander noted that such a new law would require
the town to order clean up of all piles of debris, ranging from the remains
of a home that burned over a year ago in Chichester to the infamous JJ
Barrell’s, a long closed restaurant/motel that burned badly decades
ago and remains a blemish in Oliverea.
No matter, said David Pillard, a Shandaken resident and chairman of the
town’s Democratic Party. He noted that Shandaken was learning the
hard way that there are holes in the law and this was an opportunity to
Another law change raised Monday night appeared to some to be directly
related to the ongoing problems with Al Higley’s Hanover Farms farm
stand alongside Route 28 in Mount Tremper. In January, Higley was warned
by the town’s code enforcement officer that his business was in
violation of local laws because it was too big. Lawyers got involved,
there were negotiations, and lo and behold there is now a new committee
in place that has the task of reviewing the current law to see if it can
be amended to accommodate places such as Higley’s.
But Supervisor Peter DiSclafani and Councilman Rob Stanley repeatedly
corrected those that discussion of a new law governing farm stands as
relating to Higley, claiming it was only being written to deal with “future
There was long debate about the town planning board’s request to
have a committee formed to review local zoning laws and find a way to
insert language that would allow for farm stands in residential zones,
such as Higley’s, and allow them to be bigger than the allowable
100 square foot, like Hanover Farms has recently shrunk back to.
“At this point we don’t have a law to cover this business,”
Some thought it should be the planning board;s job to review the law,
but planner Charles Frasier said his board wanted a member of the town
board, the zoning board and code officer Gina Reilly involved. In the
end Stanley, DiSclafani and Councilwoman Doris Bartlett voted to form
just such a committee. Board members Tim Malloy and Vince Bernstein opposed.
Later in the session highway superintendent Eric Hofmeister joined in
with some law making of his own. He’s found that there is nothing
clear on the books about fences. Hofmeister says that people have been
building them too close to the roads, which makes it difficult to plow
snow in the winter. As a result, at 6:30 pm on October 6th, right after
the public hearing on the new debris law, there will be a public hearing
on a new fence law.
As all the above are civilized ways to approach problems, there’s
at least one other problem in town that couldn’t be resolved the
A Mount Tremper man is out on $5000 bail after being arrested for working
in the Esopus Creek with a backhoe. Algernon Reese was put under arrest
on Wednesday, August 27th, when a New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation Police Officer responded to a complaint that Reese was working
in the stream with equipment and a crew of workers. He was charged with
the misdemeanors tied to the obstruction of governmental administration,
disturbing a protected stream, and violating a general prohibition against
This is not the first time Reese has had trouble with environmental officials,
police say. On Aug. 6, Environmental Conservation Police received a complaint
from the Shandaken zoning office about a backhoe in the Esopus Creek,
which is protected by the state, off Plank Road, also known as Old Route
28, between Phoenicia and Mount Tremper about a half mile west of the
Zen Mountain Monetary. Police charged Reese, an attorney and member of
the Shandaken Assessment Review Board, with the misdemeanor of disturbing
a protected stream, punishable by up to a year in jail or a $10,000 fine,
and released him with an appearance ticket for Shandaken Town Court.
Police received another complaint last week, and found Reese again working
at the stream. Police said Reese then obstructed Environmental Conservation
Officer Vernon Fonda’s investigation, and was arrested.
Police describe Reese’s work in the stream while charges are pending
as a blatant disregard for the law, according to DEC’s Lt. Deming
Lindsley told reporters that when Fonda attempted to interview the contractors,
Reese prevented him, saying he represented them as counsel and would not
allow them from speak to the officer.
Reese, who spent months trying to obtain permits to build on the land
several years ago, was trying to control the stream and prevent flooding
from reaching his property, which lies in the Esopus floodplain and was
severely damaged in the flood of April 3rd, 2005.
Since then he has put in concrete barriers, built mounds and dug trenches
to keep the Esopus, which forms a moat around his land during high water
events, from destroying it again.
Lindsley said Reese had been observed committing violations for years,
but believes the lawyer had used his skills as an attorney to fend off
Let’s see how things clean up in his case, now, along with the rest
Michelle Friedel and Rick
Wolff voted for the least expensive sequestering system and once it
was turned down, left the meeting. Out of the five members left, voting
no were Laurie Osmond and Maxanne Resnick, leaving a majority of three
to approve the greensand filtration. Osmond voted in favor of a water
softener and Resnick did not feel comfortable making the decision with
such little information. She declined every resolution.
Superintendent Leslie Ford said that they must have a remedy in place
because of the Department of Health pressure to fix the situation and
continued complaints from staff and students in the schools.
School board president Ralph Legnini said that an EPA report advised
a possible health hazard pertaining to adults drinking a high level
“We’re talking of kids in Bennett drinking this water, potentially
for twelve years, and if I were to choose a solution, I am no expert,
but I have done a lot of research, I would choose the greensand filtration.”
The brown water problem can be seen at the Middle/High School and Bennett
Elementary. State test results have revealed that the water contains
a higher than allowable level of Manganese. Legnini compared the cost
of fixing the water to an earmark from the previous school board of
$350,000 to purchase new lockers at the High School.
“When you are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase
lockers in a time when we are in a very tight budget, that was given
to this board from the previous budget vote, you know we have to weigh
children’s drinking water and lockers,” he said. “As
a parent I would rather have my kids drinking safe water. It’s
unfortunate it costs $85,000.”
The board will need to go through an approval process from the Department
of Health and the DEP. The Greensand filtration allows a certain amount
of back washing that Legnini warned could be another problem with wastewater.
Trustee Donna Flayhan said, “If it does produce excessive backwash,
then the DEP would probably squash it, but it seems to me out of the
three options, the greensand filtration is the one that actually removes
the problem from the water.”
The school board also debated whether the source of the problem was
the pipes or the water source. The Manganese was found closest to the
wellhead; therefore if the pipes have a problem with other elements,
it will be a separate issue. The district maintenance department has
been flushing out the pipes hoping to eliminate sediments. The school
still uses the original pipes dating back to the 1950’s.
The board discussed purchasing bottled water as an interim solution
but cost was a factor. The board asked Superintendent Leslie Ford to
release a letter to parents with kids attending school on the Boiceville
campus suggesting that students bring their own water.
The board began discussions on replacing the old lockers but with an
eye to trimming back the cost. They were given catalogues with metal,
steel and plastic lockers to choose from. Student representative William
Melvin said the High School lockers were in the worst shape, as compared
to the middle school. He suggested that they all be replaced in a more
The district also noted that it would like to remind parents that military
“opt-out,” forms are available on the district website and
page nine of the student handbook. Under a provision in the No Child
Left Behind Act, schools are required to turn student contact information
over to military recruiters beginning in secondary school. Parents have
the right upon request not to permit or “opt-out,” the release
of their child’s information. According to Ford, Parent’s
or students, must sign an opt-out form every year that student is in
High School. Ford said the forms should be given to the High School
principal as soon as possible.