to the Editor
I recently learned that the Town of Shandaken did a re-zoning of properties
in 2006. Does anyone remember getting a notice in reference to this
re-zoning? Most of the landowners that I've spoken to do not.
They all seem to remember the re-zoning in or around 1978.
In that re-zoning I recall a letter explaining that my area in Big Indian
was going to a 5 acre zoning and that if you already had a building
or foundation on less than 5 acres you would fall under a grandfather
clause. Also, if you had vacant land under the 5 acres you had 2 years
to apply for a building permit in order to fall under a grandfather
Does anyone possibly have a copy of that letter sent out? The town doesn't
have any records of the 1978 re-zoning and as far as I can tell the
2006 re-zoning does not follow town code as there are some parcels situated
in 3 different zones.
Robert E. Steiner
Big Indian, NY
I have lived in this town for 10 years. I have never been outspoken
on political issues, nor have I become involved in the heated issues
that surround our town offices. But something has happened recently
that has so incensed me, that I cannot sit and stay quiet.
A good friend of mine recently had a situation wherein she needed help
from our local dog shelter. She desperately needed, sad as it is, a
place for two of the three dogs whom her family thrust upon her to stay
at the shelter – to be put up for adoption or just to stay in
a safe environment until I could find foster or permanent home for them.
I had already had the entire Northeast population of the Siberian Husky
rescue population working on finding foster or permanent homes.
From the first mention that she needed to surrender the dogs, hard as
it was, to the shelter, our Dog Warden said ‘no, no way, you have
to put those dogs to sleep’. This is an amazingly hard thing to
hear about animals you have grown attached to. The one dog had an incident
that caused concern for her potential of aggression. In the weeks that
followed, after repeated requests for help our Dog Warden repeated said
no to helping her, that the dogs should be put to sleep, and that my
friend could be fined or worse, for harboring these dogs who had not
been vaccinated. Even though they were not her dogs, they were in her
possession and she would be fined, and therefore, they needed to be
put to sleep.
He never even offered the help of the organization who has donated so
much money to the shelter and dogs of this community and others, Friends
of Snuffy. No, he just told my friend that she would be fined extensively
if she did not have these beautiful dogs put to sleep. Sadly, one of
the dogs was put to sleep before I was able to sort through all of the
confusion surrounding the relationship between our shelter, which is
funded through our tax dollars, and this organization which offers help
to any dog owner in need.
During my frustrating weeks of trying to help my friend with the dogs,
and then dealing with the unexpected killing of the one beautiful dog,
I have found out a few interesting facts:
That town employees and members of their families leave their own dogs
at the shelter while they are on vacation and while they are moving
from one home to another. May I mention again – our tax dollars
are paying for it. The one town member, Laurilyn Fraser, said, and I
quote from her email “Yes I do leave my dog here when I am on
vacation. I do give substantial donations.” If only they had told
us that this was the policy of the dog shelter, we certainly would have
given a donation and had my friend go on ‘vacation’. Wouldn’t
all the residents like to give a tax deductible donation to the shelter
to watch their dogs while on vacation, instead of the outright expense
of a kennel? Well, now you all know the policy, when you plan your next
vacation, be sure to call your town clerk and arrange for your dog’s
stay at the shelter!
That the one dog who has sadly been a resident of our shelter for 3
years, Sargent,who has an aggression problem, who had been adopted and
brought back several times because he was placed in a home where he
did not fit (aren’t they supposed to check these things out?).
According to Laurilyn’s email the reason was: “ Sergent
was not aggressive, he was a runner and this is why he was brought back.
The person that adopted him did not have a fenced in yard and did not
want to take the time to walk him. “ And according to Nancy Hudler’s
email: “He did go to a home last summer and went after the family
cat after not being properly introduced and the cat ended up at the
vet but he did not die.” So, really folks, what’s the real
story? And why could you not take in a 30 pound dog because she was
suspected of being aggressive? Why could you not ask Friends of Snuffy
for help to have her tested or trained?
And, regarding Sarge, in Laurilyn’s email she states that “His
expenses were all paid for by a local gentleman”... does anyone
know who really paid for Sarge’s expenses? I believe it was Friends
of Snuffy, not a local gentleman. But, only wanting to deal with facts
I know, we’ll wait to hear the truth on this one, I welcome anyone
who may know the truth to feel free to contact me. And oh yeah, let
me not forget further in Laurilyn’s email she states: “He
now has a wonderful home.” Just a note – Sargent is back
at the shelter, having attacked a dog and causing extensive injuries.
As for the Pit Bull that is there now, who we have all heard attacked
a trainer who was working with him, and that he has an aggression problem.
Is there really an offer of training for this dog? Can someone please
explain why my friends 30 pound little dog couldn’t have been
offered this same help? Why our dog warden simply said to put her to
sleep? According to Laurilyn “It is entirely up to the Dog Wardens
when dogs are surrendered. “ Don’t we have a whole town
board who is involved with the shelter? Is it really entirely up to
the Dog Warden’s?
In one of our Dog Warden’s emails he states one of the reasons
being that the older husky “is going to needs thousands of dollars
in medical bills.” How can he or anyone else, (he was supposedly
quoting a worker at the ASPCA) make this assessment if the dog had never
been to the shelter? The reason for refusing this dog was because she
had never been spayed and they were positive she had cancer. Don’t
doctors have to do a biopsy to determine cancer?
I welcome any and all residents of this town to contact me with any
information they have regarding the shelter and their experiences.
Now, on to another related issue – I am going to include a few
more quotes from our public servant, Laurilyn Fraiser: “You do
not have a clue what you are talking about.” (obviously, I have
some clue, I was the one trying to rescue these dogs) and “You
are running off at the mouth about things you have no idea about. “
and again “Here you go again, running off at the mouth!”...
Now, even if I was overly emotional about the death of a little precious
dog, (whom I was able to pet within minutes of meeting and folks who
get paid with our tax dollars couldn’t handle) is there any excuse
at all for a tax paid, public servant to email me harassing letters
like this? Especially when I never solicited her to contact me? Does
she talk to all residents like this? Again, I am opening the door and
welcoming any and all residents to contact me regarding their dealings
with Laurilyn Frasier. Has she offended or harassed you to? Please let
me know. I am going to ask our town board to address this. I will take
your concerns as well, anonymous or otherwise, please do contact me.
This letter is in response to the blame being heaped upon the owner
of the quasi-demolished Phoenicia Hotel. Citizens have been complaining
about the appearance and possible source of vermin contagion in the
village as a result of the Hotel's "deconstruction". They
are concerned about the effect this mess will have on their property
values and on tourism in the town. Personally, I feel that Phoenicians
have no one to blame but themselves for what has been happening with
the property. Last year, voters nixed a plan to install a sewer system
in their village due to intense lobbying by some business owners who
do not want to have competition from a new hotel being rebuilt on Main
Street. Others voted against it because the poor zoning laws in Shandaken
could allow rampant and unregulated growth if a waste treatment system
were installed. It was short-sightedness and selfishness that defeated
the sewer plan and now the Hotel property sits ruined because the owner
cannot rebuild within the confines of his present septic allowance.
Perhaps some good can yet come out of this shambles? The time has come
to push for a waste treatment plan and not to waste time on distractions
such as a study for a "green" system (remember where that
got Woodstock a decade ago? Absolutely nowhere and the delays made their
sewer project costs rise over 25 per cent!). If the unknown expense
of system maintenance is scaring people off the plan, then perhaps all
taxpayers of the Town of Shandaken can pitch in and make it cost effective
for everyone. Even if we are not hooked up to the Phoenicia Sewer System,
our property values will suffer if Phoenicia doesn't take care of its
waste responsibly and our rural economy will suffer if we constrict
economic growth in our Village. It is clear now that the Phoenicia Sewer
project does not only affect Phoenicia, its homes and businesses but
also impacts the rest of Shandaken. If Phoenicia suffers, so do us all.
And the ruin of the Phoenicia Hotel is a reminder that it is a victim
of the problem, not the cause.
As a parent of a young child, and homeowner on Main Street, I am greatly
concerned about the unsightly and potentially toxic pile of debris adorning
the site of the former Phoenicia Hotel. I totally agree with the concerns
expressed in the last issue of the Times- that this is a disincentive
to tourists to return to our fair village, as well as being a major
deterrent to potential home buyers. More than this, I am concerned about
the possibility of lead paint and asbestos being blown in the wind,
leaching into our water and harming the health of my daughter, her friends
and all of us who call Phoenicia our home. Many of us came here as a
bucolic escape from an increasingly toxic city, and now, as a previous
writer so aptly put it, we have a little piece of the South Bronx right
here on Main Street. I too implore the property to owner to clear the
site immediately. He should not have purchased the building if he did
not have the intention or resources to do the right thing and safely
remove the debris when it was demolished.
As I sit here this morning, I glance at the calendar...Septermber 3,
2008...one day before the Onteora School District begins a new school
year. I wonder and worry about our children and their education. The
student population is down almost 200 students since June of this same
year. Lower, even, than the predictions by the statisticians that the
previous school board relied upon to help them come to some very difficult
As I continue to attend board meetings, your new school board, true
to their promises, voted to defeat the 5-8 configuaration that was approved
But, unfortunately, nothing has been under consideration to replace
Time is of the essence, as our marching band deteriorates and our sports
teams struggle to field new members. Onteora doesn't have time to investigate
new configurations for the next three years. By then, our cost per student
will be around a whopping $30,000 per student with no relief in site.
We will be supporting unnecessary and, mostly, unused facilities.
I am saddened by the wait and see game our district has chosen. Tough
decisions are hard to make but for the sake of exemplary, someone has
to make them.
Someone has to put emotions and fear of change aside and help our children
grow and prosper in the 21st century.
Several months ago I e-mailed Superintendent Ford requesting that the
Onteora School District set up a blog on the school’s Web Page
for the purpose of having open communication with district tax payers.
At that time Superintendent Ford said that they didn’t have the
personal to manage a blog.
At the August 19th School Board meeting the board asked for information
about starting a blog. As reported Superintendent Ford said there were
many legal obstacles of liability and risk. Ford received legal council
on the matter and said there could be issues of anonymous or fake letters
written on the blog. She went on to say that Onteora does have some
protection from liable third lawsuits, but it would not shield us from
suits by persons seeking anonymous commentators. The purpose of a blog
is to encourage the free flow of information. In fact an anonymous posting
could be a practical suggestion or point the way to a cost effective
idea. It doesn’t have to have a name attached to it. Tax payers
should be permitted to use the latest in technology to communicate with
the school district and the board should move forward to set up a blog
on the district’s Web Page. Ford went on to say that there have
been cases where districts have been sued.
One of the board members should have thought to ask what districts were
sued and what the outcome of the lawsuit was. It’s almost silly
to think that some one would bring a law suit against the school because
of a posting on the blog. Anyone posting an obnoxious posting on the
blog would be making a serious mistake if anyone wanted to pursue a
law suit. As we all know e-mails can be traced back to the writer so
any posting on a blog could be traced back to the person that did the
posting. There are thousands if not millions of blogs on the Internet.
CNN has blogs and I don’t think they would maintain a blog if
there was any real chance that it would do harm to their image. The
New Paltz School District has a blog on its district Web Page so why
not Onteora. The report didn’t mention any further discussion
on the subject so one could assume that the school board was scared
off and the idea of having a blog is gone.
Was the question regarding the blog for show or was the board sincere
about setting up a blog? If the board is afraid to have a blog they
should post their e mail address on the Districts Web Page. That’s
unless they are afraid to hear from the tax payers. They already have
their names posted on the Site in big red bold text. No way could anyone
miss their names. Most tax payers are not very interested in names.
They want to know how the board members are going to hold their taxes
in line especially in the economical state that this Country is in.
The law doesn’t require a public official to advertize their e
mail address, but the law doesn’t say that they can’t. So,
was the question regarding the blog for show? Was there no further discussion
because the board was fearful of hearing from tax payers or were they
really sincere about wanting a blog on the districts Web Page? We’ll
I I am writing on behalf of Patrick Burkhardt physical education teacher
at Onteora High School and coach to the girl's track and field team
and cross country team. Mr. Burkhardt has been reassigned to work with
elementary school children at Phoenicia Elementary, and his new schedule
would not allow him to continue to coach the high school student athletes.
What a terrible loss that would be. I am writing to you from the perspective
of a parent whose own daughter worked closely with Patrick Burkhardt,
and as an educator. I have been teaching at the college level for over
twenty years, and know the difference between educators who do their
jobs, and those who make a difference. Patrick Burkhardt has made a
difference in the lives of hundreds of high
school students, and he should be allowed to continue to do so. His
commitment and self sacrifice should be rewarded and encouraged. I knew
Mr. Burkhardt when he was getting his degree in SUNY Cortland. He'd
attend classes, do homework, then drive back down to Boiceville to coach
his athletes. He lived in his car practically. but he never missed a
meet or a workout. He has a gift with the female athletes, a rare thing
to find. He knew the delicate balance between pushing and being supportive.
He was a second father to my daughter, She has a roving and involved
father, but Mr. Burkhardt spent so much time with the kids that he took
on that paternal role as well. As a mother I was confident that my daughter
would be taken care of.
Mr. Burkhardt is a man of substance and values. He taught his athletes
discipline, perseverance and self respect. I personally know so many
student athletes who went through his program and have been molded in
a positive way through his tutelage. The kids who were
taunted in school who suddenly found some respect on the track, the
kids who were talented, but had no discipline and direction. the ones
who had no clue that they can be part of something bigger than themselves,
a team As the students matured, I have seen them incorporate the things
they learned into their lives. Some like my daughter Paloma Krakower
(‘05) were able to benefit greatly by being awarded athletic scholarships
to Division 1 schools.
Track and field is a passion, being successful in the sport requires
skill, training and a real understanding of the sport, not everyone
has these components. If you look at the trophy cases in the Onteora
halls you will see how successful and decorated this program has been
over the years. The sacrifice required to produce those results is something
that needs to be acknowledged. The running camps, the endless meets,
competing on the weekends, sometimes till the wee hours of the morning;
the injuries. Highly successful sports programs don't replace their
coaches. You have such a program at Onteora, be proud of it, protect
In the end, it's about the students and serving them well. Track and
Cross Country teaches the students about character, self worth, selflessness
and sportsmanship. It keeps at risk kids involved in a healthy sport.
and breaks down the strict social strata that high school imposes on
students. The track and cross country teams were family to each other.
The parents were family to each other. It is indeed a rare opportunity
that you have to serve your students well. Our daughter has graduated
from Onteora and is on the next phase of her life, but for the sake
of the kids who will benefit from this program, award them the best
opportunity they can have to be really successful by giving them someone
who will lead them to themselves and the values that matter. Expose
them to Patrick Burkhardt.
I am writing on behalf of Patrick Burkhardt physical education teacher
at Onteora High School and coach to the gjrl's track and field team
and cross country team. I graduated from Onteora in 2005, and I can
honestly say that Patrick Burkhardt was the person that had the most
positive impact on my high school and middle school experiences. I was
a member of the cross-country and track team for all six years that
I was at Onteora. Those precious years I can undoubtedly say have shaped
me into the person that I am today; and for that I thank Patrick Burkhardt.
He was an irreplaceable figure in regards to both my athletic and personal
development. He taught me the values of hard work, dedication, teamwork,
sportsmanship, and self confidence. I experienced great success in my
running career at Onteora. I broke multiple school records, and I still
hold the MHAL league record in the 400m. I was the reigning MHAL champion
in the 4QOm for four years and the 800m champion for three years. The
girl'steam was MHAL champions all six years that I ran, not to mention
three years prior to my arrival. I was named the league MVP my junior
and senior years. I was a Sectional champion, t qualified every year
for the state championships in both cross country and track, and I was
a NY state champion my sophomore year in the 400m. I also received numerous
scholarathlete and sportsmanship awards both at the league and state
level. Throughout all of this I had several people at my side; my parents,
my teammates, and my coach. However I consider Patrick Burkhardt to
be more than a coach; he is my mentor, my friend, and my family. The
love and respect that I have for this man cannot be contested.
Growing up I had a lot of issues with self confidence and was constantly
unaware or. unwilling to see my many strengths and accomplishments.
Mr. Burkhardt was always there to open my eyes and work with me to see
the true person that I am. He also opened my eyes to the broader communities.
There are so many people in the world that have not received the blessings
that I have and yet still appreciate everything that they do have. Thanks
to Mr. Burkhardt my teammates and I have become more educated, and compassionate
towards the Special Olympics community. He has dedicated himself towards
loving and caring for these athletes. He is a man with a kind soul that
has organized numerous runs and contributed countless hours towards
supporting both athletes and non-athletes with special needs. He has
great morals and has taught his athletes the same. For that reason alone
he is a great teacher, but I also know that he is a great high school
For many kids, high school is a time of difficulty and self-doubt. I
know for a fact that gym class is not most kids' favorite; it alienates
people and makes them do things that they are not comfortable doing.
However, Patrick Burkhardt is a great physical education teacher. I
attended his class my senior year. He tries to instill in his students
the same values that he instills in his athletes, hard work, perseverance,
and effort. Not everyone has the same talents, but Mr. Burkhardt is
not one to leave anyone out. He makes a conscious effort to try and
include all his students no matter what their strengths or weaknesses
are. The same is true in regards to the cross country and track teams.
They are amongst the few sports in the school that do not turn students
away who want to participate. There are no try-outs, cuts; everyone
is welcome. Instead of making students doubt their abilities, they become
active members of the team. Their presence strengthens the team as a
whole. They are just as important as that of the number one star. The
track and cross country team is not just an athletic team, it is a family.
The friendships that I have made amongst my teammates are irreplaceable.
I expect some will last a lifetime. As teammates we work together, we
have fun together, we care for each other, but most importantly we grow
up together. My teammates were like my brothers and sisters, while Patrick
Burkhardt assumed the role of a surrogate father.
Patrick Burkhardt created the environment under which so many of us
thrived. He encouraged us to always do our best, but to have fun doing
It. For this reason I think that removing Patrick Burkhardt as a coach
will be harmful to the student-athletes at Onteora. He has built that
team over the years and turned them into one of the most successful
athletic programs at Onteora. By removing him you are truly taking away
from these young athletes, and shouldn't they be the main focus? Mr.
Burkhardt will most likely be replaced by a teacher who has little or
no knowledge of the sport thus harming the future success of the program
and the potential athletic careers of these young men and women. It
was because of my success through the Onteora track and cross country
programs that I was able to receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Richmond, a Division I school, to further my running career. Several
of my old teammates are also competing at the collegiate level. This
is the result of our positive and lucrative experiences at Onteora.
! beg that you don't take away that opportunity for future students.
Patrick Burkhardt is a great man who has dedicated himself to enhancing
the high school experience of many students and I implore you to do
Julie McQuain, who has been listed as a public relations spokesperson
for Save the Mountain on their press releases, criticized Senator Bonacic
last week, alleging that he has been an unquestioning booster of developers
who doesn’t want to hear alternate views from his constituents.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Senator Bonacic has worked long and hard to hear and respond to his
constituents and has remained neutral on the Belleayre Resort proposal
throughout its historically long environmental review process. Ms. McQuain
seeks to minimize the Senator’s efforts to meet the needs of all
his constituents and his efforts to seek balance between environmental
protection and economic development. Her charges are unfair and her
arguments are unfounded.
She speaks of “unprecedented high elevation commercial construction.”
But high elevation construction has been rampant in Hunter and Windham
during the last decade. There is not only precedent for such development,
but over there, it has gone on without a single complaint from any Save
the Mountain folks, despite the fact that those two areas are also in
the Catskill Park and also in the New York City Watershed. The fact
that no Save the Mountain person has complained about Greene County
development makes it appear their concern is less about the environment
than it is about NIMBYism.
Ms. McQuain says that constructing the Belleayre Resort outlined in
last year’s Agreement in Principle with the State will degrade
irreplaceable assets. In fact, 80% of the property in Shandaken is already
forever wild or undevelopable by virtue of the fact that the State and
the City of New York already own it. Those “assets” will
not be touched or degraded in any way and in fact, the holdings will
be expanded by another 1,200 plus acres when the State acquires our
Big Indian property.
The alternatives Ms. McQuain proposes include the Solar Energy Consortium
in Kingston. But the fact that she wants people from Shandaken and Middletown
to drive cars back and forth to Kingston each day to work belies her
concern for “sustainability.”
She also suggests building the Catskill Interpretive Center and expanding
the Belleayre Ski Center, both of which will bring day-trippers who
do absolutely nothing for the local hotel owners here.
Ms. McQuain says the public/private partnership between the State and
the Crossroads Developers would likely only benefit the investors. But
neither Ms. McQuain nor any of her Save the Mountain colleagues have
complained about an identical public/private partnership at Gore Mountain
Ski Center, or about the public/private partnerships in Sullivan County
that built the Bethel Performing Arts Center and will now restore several
major hotels and golf courses there. In fact, she lauds the public/private
partnerships at the Solar Energy Consortium without pointing out that
private sector investors will benefit from those transactions. The fact
is, public/private partnerships do in fact, benefit taxpayers. Ms. McQuain
and her colleagues know that because some supporters of Save the Mountain
are in fact, major real estate developers. So again, this concern seems
to be more about NIMBYism than about real economic issues.
Finally, Ms. McQuain refers to a report issued by the former Comptroller
– a report dated August 2006, before the AIP was even considered.
It is no longer valid because it relates to a project that is no longer
under consideration. In fact, even Mr. Hevesi foreshadows the agreement
we now have when he says: “Opponents believe the entire project
represents a danger to Catskill Park and to the constitutionally protected
Catskill Forest Preserve, but they have offered to compromise if the
developer is willing to adhere to a more environmentally sensitive plan
using only the Wildacres site.”
Crossroads Ventures did compromise. We did agree to “adhere to
a more environmentally sensitive plan using only the Wildacres site.”
The State of New York, City of New York, Natural Resources Defense Council,
New York Public Interest Research Group, Catskill Center for Conservation
and Development, Riverkeeper, Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Trout Unlimited
and Zen Environmental Studies Institute all signed the compromise agreement
that Hevesi urged.
We are now working through a 157 page scoping document for a Supplemental
Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the compromise plan. It is this
process of compromise and study that Senator Bonacic supports. We think
the vast majority of his constituents would agree that this is a reasonable
position for a Senator to take and that the radical approach of Ms.
McQuain and the Save the Mountain gang is not reasonable at this time.
Crossroads Ventures, LLC
Mt. Tremper, NY
The members of the "Blow-Up The Mountain Gang" (BUTMG) a/k/a
Crossroads Ventures, a/k/a "Partners for Profit" continue
to litter our mailboxes with their totally deceptive, self-serving propaganda
about their goals and motives in pursuing their project to destroy forests
and mountaintops. I have no idea who the "second homeowner from
Long Island" is (that they refer to), nor do I understand his/her
alleged statement that "everyone here who wants a job already has
one" and that "people here are not really looking to better
themselves." That is such an absurdity that I think that BUTMG's
publicity people created a self-serving fictitious character to try
and distract people from the real issue - their greed, perfidy, and
wanton destruction of the forest. There is no area of the world where
people do not seek to better themselves and where everybody has the
job that they want. That person's statement, whether real or fictitious,
is as irrelevant to the issue as is the litany of schools and programs
they cite which have nothing to do with them.
Contrary to BUTMG's assertions, the best way to enhance the local economy,
a goal and desire that we all share, is to create jobs and business
opportunities on the main streets of Pine Hill, Fleischmanns, Phoenicia,
etc. As my friend Barbara Claudy wisely pointed out, there is a great
need to revitalize these areas to what they were when we were kids here
and the hotels were flourishing. What specific "attractions"
other than tubing in Phoenicia, will the self-described altruistic concierges
of BUTMG's hotels be directing their guests to? I believe that in my
six decades of life I have been to as many resorts as has the author
of their propaganda. The people who leave resorts (and forsake their
attractions) are minimal and tend to go to see natural attractions (ie.
Carlsbad Caverns, Kaaterskill Falls, Niagara Falls), amusement areas
and cultural enclaves such as Woodstock. Resort goers overwhelmingly
stay on resorts. Period.
The business infrastructure that is necessary must be in the valleys
and not on isolated mountaintops, especially on blown-up mountaintops
which we should be preserving and protecting for future generations.
To imply that BUTMG's resorts are connected in any way with colleges'
culinary arts, hotel management or building trades, etc. is an outright
fabrication. These colleges and programs are completely independent
of BUTMG, derive no benefit from them, were there long before this perfidious
group existed and will be there long after they are gone. They do not
attest to job longevity.
BUTMG, why can't you just tell the truth? If you have nothing to hide,
hide nothing. Why obfuscate? We can handle the truth. Can you? Can you
guarantee that whatever jobs your resort may create will not go to illegal
aliens, who send their money to other countries for their families?
Can you insure that a very high percentage of the jobs will go to local
residents who tend to spend and invest in our local economy? I suspect
Pine Hill, NY
The response to Mr. DiModica’s letter has so many obscure assertions
that I will direct my comments to the one question that is most important
to New York residents, especially those who use and support the fine
facilities at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. The question is, “Is
the Belleayre Resort in Catskill Park a risky venture? “ The answer
to that question has been given in a report done by the NYS Comptroller
in an analytic and dispassionate report issued in August 2006, titled
“Belleayre Resort Development Review”.
The conclusion of this report states,
“There are too many unknowns surrounding the Belleayre project.
The formal DEIS contains incomplete and contradictory information. The
comparables for the business case analysis tend to support a lower build
options, while none of the evidence indicated that a nationally marketed
resort complex is compatible with current protections required for the
New York City watershed. Furthermore, the proposal fails to address
a number of local economic development concerns. This is crucial since
the proposal would be located in the middle of the constitutionally
protected Catskill Forest Preserve.
In summary, the Belleayre Resort project appears to be a speculative
venture that may well endanger existing resource uses and end up placing
unacceptable burdens on State, City and local taxpayers. ”
I think that this project has indeed endangered the Belleayre Mountain
Ski Center, as predicted by the NYS Comptroller, since now critics from
other ski areas have been given a new reason to attack Belleayre Mountain
Ski Center. That reason is the Belleayre Resort in Catskill Park.
If Crossroad Ventures and their supporters really want to help save
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, as they assert, the best thing they can
do is to pull the plug on this poorly planned project.
Recently the Partners for Progress sent out insulting flyer showing
photographs that they said represented our neighborhoods with falling
down houses and dump-like property stating that we live like slobs;
I do not feel that that is an honest representation of me or my neighbors
or surrounding communities and I felt badly when I saw it.
The signs that read; “Belleayre; our economic engine” is
a slogan I happen to agree with, but if one looks past the sign and
the website, Partners for Progress are not about supporting the State-run-family-ski-mountain-Belleayre,
they are about supporting the Crossroads-mega-development-Belleayre.
The millions of dollars proposed to be given by NY State to the Crossroads-mega-development-Belleayre,
will not help expand the State-run-family-ski-mountain-Belleayre, our
economic engine, but will be put into boring ski trails and expensive
chair lifts that lead to the Crossroads-mega-development-Belleayre;
I feel like that is not supporting our economic engine, but Crossroads
The last flyer takes the cake; it gives a budget list of job opportunities
as well as payroll numbers, just as if it was taken out of an actual
budget … In a meeting with Paul Rakov, the former Press Representative
for Crossroads, in Fall 2007 at the Woodstock Democratic Club, Mr. Rakov
went thru all these numbers and great job opportunities to then finally
state that none of their financial-job-reports mattered because Crossroads
was not even going to be managing the final resort, that a chain would
be running the resort, and the new management would decide the pay-scale
and jobs needed. Crossroads is hoping for a successful hotel to take
over the project; what are their pay scales and job titles?
Mr. Rakov also said that all the construction jobs would be union jobs
and the workers would travel from Newburgh and Poughkeepsie and would
stay in local inns and motels during the week and we should all be happy
for the additional business of people driving in, buying gas, drinking
in bars and staying in local lodges.
So this last flyer is enticing and looks financially beneficial to all
of us, but in the end, remember that the Crossroads developers will
not be deciding what jobs or what salaries will be offered; the actual
owner-operator-corporation will make those financial decisions. Is it
worth our communities taking that chance? Let’s join forces and
push for NY State to put money into State-run-family-ski-mountain-Belleayre
so we can all enjoy the benefits by expanding and developing the Cathedral
Glen trail and further enhancing State-run-family-ski-mountain-Belleayre
and get the development off the top of the mountain to protect our view-shed
and storm water run-off.
It was inspiring to hear Senator Kennedy speak at the Democratic Convention
and hear him say resoundingly that Universal Health Care was his goal.
That is how important it has been to him and many millions but has not
been obtained because of the billions of dollars of our money spent
in false propaganda to the public and lavish gifts to lawmakers to keep
the private health care industry flourishing. Our gullibility and their
greed are the reasons for our broken, very costly and wasteful health
care system. If you believe that the following conditions should be
changed for the sake of the health and welfare of this country call
your Congressmen and ask that they support and advocate for bill HR
676. This bill is called Improved Medicare For All. Congressman Conyers
presents it. Call toll free 1-866-338-1015.
Forty-seven million people are uniunsured. They are mostly working people
who cannot afford the cost which has risen 73 percent since 2000. The
result is physically and economically catastrophic. Here we spend twice
as much as any other country on earth for health care and some get none.
The health care insurance cost to the "for profit" insurers
includes 30 cents for every health care dollar going for paperwork,
marketing and profits. The profits include gargantuan sums to administrators,
such as the $122.7 million for The United Health Group's CEO in 2005.
The salary could insure 34,000 people. Medicare operated with 3 percent
overhead compared to 15 percent to 35 percent for private companies.
The World Health Organization ranks us 37th down the line for health
care system performance.
We lose more babies in the first year of life than are lost in 25 other
countries. Prematurity is higher here and could be reduced if prenatal
care were available to all.
The many insurers (1,000 plus) can decide what doctors, what hospitals
and even what procedures we will get! Taxes are inflated because of
the health care benefits for employees.
Ours is system that needs fixing and can be fixed if we get together.
The HEALTH CARE NOW organization is spearheading a real push for change.
They are at 339 Lafayetter Street, NY, NY. Call Art Richter in Kingston
for more information: 338-9009.
I've just sent the following web-note to the senior producers of the
News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Will also contact Bill Moyers's producers.
We have a truly alarming situation showing its face in the streets outside
the RNC, and a national-media blackout on it. I hope you will contact
whatever media outlets you can and push this issue.
Fine and good - the New Hour is offering its usual "alternative"
and cable news. But where's the coverage of what the police are doing
outside the RNC? Would it have been ignored in Chicago in 1968 outside
the DNC? oops! It WASN'T ignored.
I remember Chicago '68 --I was a mere teenager then --and the front-page,
top-of-the-hour coverage given to protests that turned violent when
police arrested demonstrators. Do you?
As a sometime member of the press myself, I am shocked (though alas
not surprised) that mainstream media -- especially the News Hour as
less biased source -- is not covering the warrantless arrests and brutal
treatment of even fellow reporters and camerapersons, not to mention
peaceful demonstrators who are within bounds and within their constitutional
rights. People are being tased, twisted and then denied medical treatment
by police; police are seen on video smiling smugly as they arrest Amy
Goodman for covering the convention; a bus which demonstrates COMPOSTING
and other low-energy-consumption means of living has been seized, with
violent treatment of its occupants (including the worms), despite its
bearing registration and violating no laws.
It is not an overreaction to call this by its name, one we would apply
to such treatment by police or military in any other country in the
world: Fascism. It is YOUR DUTY to report it to the American public.
When will you break what appears to be a conspiracy of silence?
The Republican convention was postponed in order to "Protect the
People" of New Orleans from the hurricane, which you may remember
were protected only from looting while others died during Katrina. Not
this time. As the people of New Orleans were evacuated, (in order to
cover for the V.P. choice story and GW's speech), the Republican convention
was postponed, and during the New Orleans evacuation, the police were
getting ready for the bigger danger.... the citizens of the U.S., protesting
against the horrendous government of the past 8 years.
The convention, held in Minnesota, was getting ready for the demonstrations.
Their police force was armed with rubber bullets, tazers and AR 15s,
in order to protect the Republicans from the press. Their orders were
to keep all demonstrations from being documented. The videographers
were kept far from any demonstrations, but worse than that.... they
were arrested. Amy Goodman displayed her full ID and they ripped it
off of her neck and then cuffed her.
A reporter from the Post shouted out in his defense, "Stop, stop...
I'm a Republican". Many of the media,as well as the demonstrators
that were arrested, were done so violently, some bloodied up. Since
this story has not been covered by the media, I have no idea how many
American citizens and how many press members were brutally arrested,
but what I do know is if we don't stop this take-over of our beloved
Constitution, we are sure to be living in a very different country,
and, a very different environment, which has already been severely damaged.
We simply can't sit still anymore. We MUST do more than vote.
Obama must win by a huge margin in order to override any voting machine
manipulations. We must do everything we can to make this happen, including
calling upon the press to cover this story, as well as exposing actual
information about the candidates positions.
Please remember, Democracy is NOT a spectator sport.
I haven’t participated in efforts to impeach Bush, because the
numbers aren’t there. For Democrats to start a fight they can’t
win, would be costly politically for the party and financially costly
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has said: “I ruled out impeachment
before the election in terms of priority for the new Congress. Impeachment
is always on the table, depending on the behavior of the President of
the United States. I said impeachment was off the table, for the following
reasons. Our country has serious problems, some of it springing from
this president’s backward-looking policies. Pursuing impeachment
would have further divided the country, which is not a good idea, right
Pelosi believed that the country had significantly higher priorities
for Congress to address, which included the minimum wage, the cost of
college, and benefits for veterans from the wars in Iraq and
House Democrats have worked to challenge Republicans, but Senate Democrats
appear to have caved on issues like the war and FISA. However, the rules
of the Senate and the House are very different. In the House, the power
rests with Pelosi, who sets the agenda. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid needs 60 votes to get anything accomplished.
Those 60 votes are hard to achieve, because the Republicans in the
Senate are guarding the gate for their president. They have perpetuated
the war in Iraq on behalf of Bush. Republicans recognize that forcing
Bush to veto bills pertaining to Iraq or FISA would be very damaging
to their Party.
With Obama as president, the Senate Republicans will no longer need
to guard the gate and it’s anticipated that the Senate could enjoy
much more bipartisanship.
I am a person of 69 years of age who has never complained about the
way politics has been run, at least not the way I'm doing it now. At
home with my family or friends yes, but not in writing. But the
article I happened to read last week in the new double Summer Edition
of Newsweek caught my eye and I feel your readers should know about
this also. The article read "Mrs McCain, San Diego County Would
Like A Word." According to the article, Mrs McCain, a multi millionaire,
owns several pieces of property around the country. This one piece of
land in La Jolla, Calif. is a nice three or four story condo, which
her aunt lives in and which for the past four years (not months) but
years she has not paid taxes on. Now let’s imagine that were you
or I, lowly middle class people, do you think we could get away with
not paying our property taxes for that long without a penalty, or far
worse, default? I think not.The San Diego treasurer/
tax collector stated that a 1.5% penalty is usually assessed for each
month of unpaid taxes. So let’s see, Mrs McCain's trust came forward
and paid the entire four years, a total of $6,744.42. Now if you didn't
know, her taxes on this condo, in La Jolla, Calif. were a mere $1742.00
a year, the total, times four years should come out to $6,968.00. I
must assume the penalties were taken away and she got a discount for
paying a lump sum. Wouldn't that be nice for all those who had their
home forclosed for non-payment?
Oh, one more thing, she also was in arrears for five or six months of
this year, but again the trust paid the $1742.00 in full. I cannot end
here in good faith without mentioning that one of the reasons I left
Long Island was because my taxes on a piece of land, where I could hear
my neighbors sneeze, a 60x100 lot were in excess of $10,000.00 a year
and going up. How, I ask you, can property in the sunshine state of
America stay at $1742.00 dollars a year for five years in a row, without
some sort of increase, or is this what they call a politicians PERK.
Peter G. Polis
The way the Republican Party displayed themselves at their convention
was appalling. The speakers that bashed their challenger in the way
that they did should hang their heads in disgrace. It would be hard
to believe that most Americans, Republicans or not, wanted to hear speaker
after speaker be so mean-spirited and unfair. Speakers stood there with
a big smile on their faces while ridiculing their challenger. The convention
was nothing but divisive politics at its best. Of course everyone clapped
and went crazy at the convention, but that was all for show. If they
didn’t they might have been escorted out of the building because
they didn’t show support for all those insensitive speakers. They
said nothing of substance, offered nothing of how they were going to
fix the financial problems that millions face today. We didn’t
hear anything about how they were going to fix the healthcare crisis
in our country, high unemployment or the high cost of prescriptions.
I found it offensive when with the nation watching a speaker mocked,
and dismissed the real work that their opponent did helping real people
in south side Chicago. I found it offensive because what the speaker
said offended thousands of people that work so hard every day in this
country helping others that desperately need help.
Young adults getting near the voting age must have thought is this what
politics is all about? Is this the way that we compare one candidate
to another? After watching the Republican convention is it any wonder
that many don’t take advantage of their privilege to vote.
Alaska started as Seward's Folly. Now it is McCain's Folly.
Alaska has a population of some 670,000 people. Sarah Palin has served
as Governor for some 18 months and before that as a mayor of a small
town of Wasilla with a population of about 9,000. That is it for experience
- no foreign policy, no national issues, zip. It is as if Sarah is saying
I ran a corner street deli for about 18 months and this has qualified
me to be CEO of Wal-Mart International.
Sarah is a far right conservative. She is anti abortion, anti gay, anti
lesbian, anti civil union, pro creationist and would push for the appointment
to the Supreme Court of Justices who would repeal Roe vs. Wade.
Are these issues and an agenda Hillary supporters can embrace?
If McCain is elected he would be 72 years old with a history of cancer.
Sarah would be a heart beat away.
Does America really need a person who appears to be a marijuana smoking,
gun totting Annie Oakley from one of the smallest states in the union
with no significant experience calling the shots with world leaders?
If you look at the issues that count, the answer is clear - Sorry Sarah,
H Clark Bell
Former GOP Assemblyman
Recently at an election convention an individual that has lead our communities
in good and bad times has mocked the grassroots efforts that many of
us have made as community organizers.
Many of us have witnessed this direct disrespect to the millions of
people that spend so much of their time and energy giving back to the
community in order for us to have a better quality of life. The countless
individuals who want to make a difference, those who are concerned about
social inequities, and are interested in community solutions and empowering
people were made fun of and belittled by this former Mayor who quit
his presidential candidacy in shame.
Without community organizers there would not have been; The American
Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movements, the Chicano movement,
the feminist movement, and the gay rights movement. Community organizers
have leveraged billions of dollars in public- and private-sector investment;
expanded and improved city services; prevented industrial plant closings;
secured fair-share hiring agreements from public- and private-sector
employers; cleaned-up toxic waste dumps in low-income communities; organized
public and private housing tenants; improved the climate, operation
and performance of neighborhood schools; and built or rehabilitated
thousands of affordable housing units. I truly believe that this is
nothing to laugh at.
Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans and Democrats, I ask you to speak
to your friends and relatives about their decision of which team that
they are going to pick for our next cycle of leadership in the next
election. I will not tell you whom to vote for, but I am asking for
you to vote. The blood, sweat and tears that many of us community organizers
have given in the past are at risk. Understand that if we do not make
change, nothing will change.
Damon A. Finch
I am not a member of a political party, nor do I intend to become one.
I retired from The Community Corrections Program in 1999, and since
then have been acting as a citizen activist. Over the past nine years
I have attended hundreds of legislative meetings and have served on
a number of legislative committees. My sole objective has been to change
some of the more costly and ill advised practices to be found in the
Ulster County criminal justice system.
Prior to the decision to build the jail several State studies had made
recommendations that, if followed, would have limited the size of the
monstrosity we wound up building. Needless to say those suggestions
In addition to the suggestions regarding the jail, there were other
recommendations that would have reduced the operating costs for the
criminal justice system in general. These too were ignored.
Since taking over as administrator, Michael Hein has put some of these
initiatives into place. The most significant of which was the consolidation
of Alternative Sentencing and The Community Corrections Program under
the Probation Dept.
Prior to this consolidation the administrative costs for supervising
community service offenders had reached 16 dollars per offender, per
hour. That is an awful lot of tax dollars going for minimally motivated
criminals to perform low priority work. Similar to Alternative Sentencing,
the running costs for the Community Corrections Program reached a point
that it became cheaper to incarcerate the offender than provide them
with an alternative. What began as nominal costs for these programs
had grown to absurdity. For whatever reason (and none, I believe in
the interest of the taxpayer) the recommendation to consolidate these
programs were ignored until Hein became Administrator.
That is why I will be voting for Michael Hein this November, and why
I am urging you to do the same.
The first Executive will set the stage for governing the County for
the next 2 to 3 decades. We need an experienced executive that will
be able to contain, if not reduce spending. Someone who will foster
economic growth without forcing that particular growth on the citizenry
of a locality that might not want it. Someone who will be able to muster
the forces of Federal and State funding streams so that our county doesn't
fall even further behind our neighboring counties.
To date, the only thing that I've read about Bernardo is that he was
successful at business. However, being able to run a business is no
guarantee of being able to run a county. Suggesting that having an expertise
in business automatically translates into having an expertise in government
is like saying being successful as a General qualifies you to be an
Admiral. Government is not like business. Government does not even resemble
We cannot afford to elect someone with the hope that he will pick things
up along the way. We need someone who knows the ropes already. Someone
with the conviction to cut costs and the experience to stick with that
conviction and not get conned by bureaucratic double talk.
In closing ,I would like to take this opportunity to make note of my
disappointment with the new Republican leadership. I cannot, for the
life of me, understand why they decided to go outside their party and
support a virtual novice for such an important position as Executive.
There are at least 6 veteran Republicans serving on the legislature
right now that are heads and shoulders above Bernardo in governmental
experience and would have made excellent candidates for Executive.
Thomas P Kadgen
It is budget time again in Shandaken. I see on the town website that
the town supervisor would like the taxpayers to take an interest in
the process and help to find ways to reduce and save. I have a suggestion.
Stop unbridled spending, examine priorities, understand your revenues,
and budget accordingly.
As former head of the ambulance department I have a unique insight into
the cost of operations of that department. As a taxpayer, I have serious
concerns about runaway spending and loss of revenue in that department.
The last budget I prepared was for 2006. That budget was about $178,000.
Anticipated revenue from the ambulance department budgeted by the town
supervisor for that year was $145,000, and actual revenue recovered
was $175,000.00. That means that the actual net cost to the taxpayers
for the ambulance department in 2006 was $3,000.
In 2007, the operating budget for the ambulance department was increased.
During that year the ambulance department went way over budget, and
service revenues went way down. The operating budget was again increased
for 2008, and rumor has it that the ambulance department is $75,000.00+
over budget already this year. Revenue recovery is also way down, despite
an increase in billing rates.
The current (2008) budget for the ambulance is $250,400.00. I am not
sure what the recovered revenue is to date, but at the 2 meetings that
I heard ambulance fees reported at, the amount was $8,500 or so in July,
and $5,000.00 or so in May or June. Using the higher number, and multiplying
by 12 months, the recovered revenue for 2008 will be $102,000, which
means that the net cost to the taxpayers for 2008 will be at least $148,000.
That is $145,000.00 higher than in 2006.
I can understand the need for increasing salaries, and operating expenses
do increase. But the increases are greatly disproportionate to increases
in any other department, and there is no excuse for the continued loss
I would suggest that taxpayers (and the Town Board) start asking some
Hopefully all of you had the opportunity to attend this past weekend’s
Shandaken Day festival. I was happy to see many familiar faces strolling
the beautiful grounds of the future site of the Catskill Interpretive
Center, taking in all that the day’s festivities had to offer.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see so many new faces, having luckily
drawn some of the crowds from neighboring celebrations, no doubt.
It was a pleasure and an honor to have been involved with such an important
local celebration. As this was my first year volunteering for this,
I was unaware of the amount of work that must go into such an event,
not just the day or two before, but for months in advance. Because of
that, I would like to thank certain organizations and individuals for
their wonderful efforts that resulted in a tremendously successful celebration.
First, a big thank you goes out to Officer in Charge, James McGrath,
and the Shandaken Police Department, for their wonderful attendance
and for showing support and concern for attendees and volunteers. From
parking to security, they were a visible presence that kept the event
running smoothly, and all officers in attendance were kind and courteous
to anyone who asked for their assistance. Not to be forgotten, the Sheriffs
Department was also in attendance with their Command Vehicle set up
in the Northeast section of the event. They worked along side our own
department, assisting if needed. I also spied a DEP officer, though
I’m not sure if it was work or pleasure, but either way, he was
a welcomed addition to the security force in place. In addition to the
Police presence, the Shandaken Ambulance Squad was a comforting sight
for attendees, and I thank them for taking the time to be there and
ensuring that Shandaken day was a safe, as well as successful, event.
A special thanks also goes out to the following:
Tim Malloy, for greeting attendees and making a daring run for the inner
tubes that were to be used in one of the children’s activities.
My understanding is Timmy lost a few of those tubes out of the back
of his pick up on returning to the event, and had to retrieve them from
a very busy roadway. Thanks to Timmy, so many kids had the opportunity
to have some extra fun.
Harry Jameson, for lending out all of those inner tubes for the event
that day. Without your generous donation, Timmy would not have had anything
to chase down Route 28…oh, yeah, and the kids would have suffered
greatly too. Seriously, thanks a million Harry, you’re a good
Doris Bartlett, for helping to direct the many vendors to their assigned
spots as well as assistance with setup and break down of the event,
and for helping to keep things running smoothly while manning the staff
tent. Also, for not complaining when I came back with a toasted almond
ice cream bar for myself and no one else!
Joe Munster, for everything from set-up, to break down, to assisting
in the organizing of the event, and for the successful promotion of
the event, the multitude of phone calls, meetings and so on. You know
your “stuff”, Mr. Munster.
June LaMarca, for being there for just about every minute of the planning,
right up to the event day, and in general being the most dedicated person
I have ever seen. She was a true gem to the chairmen of the event committee,
as well as all of the volunteers. Her knowledge of vendors is tremendous
Peter DiSclafani, for being a sport and taking his place in the dunking
booth. I missed this particular event, but if you dare sit on a narrow
board and allow people to throw things at you, well you’re okay
in my book. Other than Pete and Rob, I don’t know if anyone else
took to the “plank”, but if they did, a thumbs up to them
Laurilyn Frasier, for all of her hours of work that went into this event.
From bookkeeping and record keeping, collecting ads, and manning the
staff tent, and selling tee-shirts, Lauri was always in the thick of
Declan Feehan, for his hours of support at the meetings and during the
set up portion of the events and for the trips to Kingston for supplies.
By the way, Lucy is still waiting for you.
Tina and Willie Rice, along with their sons, for helping out during
set-up and during the event. It was not easy working without any source
of light in the darkness (literally), but somehow you did it. Watch
those staplers, Tina.
Jay Braman, Jr, and his son, Fletcher for their help with set-up the
day before, along with some young assistants, they braved the heat to
make sure things were set up properly for attendees.
Nick Sveikauskas and Paloma Kopp, for their tremendous help with set
up and vendor assistance. Nick and Paloma, along with Rob Stanley’s
friend Cindy, kept the parking lot situation flowing smoothly, and they
braved the sun and heat to do it. They were a great addition to the
Amanda Kibe, who is now, quite literally, a walking mosquito bite, for
help with the set-up Friday night (hence the bug bites) and assisting
in the afternoon attendance of the event and the break down after. You’re
a trooper. A trooper oozing with bug bites.
Marni Andrews, for her assistance at the event with vendor set ups and
also for giving a wonderful performance, along with Robert Rizzo, entertaining
with her lovely voice and musical talents.
Emerson Inn, Tonche Transit, and UCAT, for the shuttle services provided
to attendees in the neighboring towns in our hamlet. The shuttle services
allowed tourists and residents to leave their vehicles in other areas,
and enjoy a ride into the event, unhindered by vehicle parking issues.
Dave Pillard, who allowed us to set up “shop” in front of
Tender Land Home to sell our tee-shirts.
Rob’s son, R.J., who helped shuttle Mr. Munster around the event
in the “Munster Mobile”.
Belleayre Ski Center, for the loan of the golf cart (Munster Mobile)
for the day’s event, and for equipment assistance at the event.
Earl Pardini, for providing some wonderful music that everyone enjoyed.
Mike Weeks, for supplying the sound system and adding to the charming
atmosphere of the day.
Last, but certainly not least, a huge thank you to Rob Stanley, for
all he accomplished to enable this event take place. From conception
to completion, Rob was there every step of the way. I am in awe at what
he and his volunteers managed to accomplished with the budget and time
constraints that were set. Sure, he played with sticky notes and magic
markers, “arts and crafts” hour was a regular event for
him, and listening to him talk to himself endlessly during the planning
stages was often “entertaining”, but he managed to accomplish
what I thought would not be possible. If I wore a hat, it would be off
to you, Rob. Pat yourself on the back, you done good.
If I have left anyone out it is completely unintentional, and I apologize,
as there are so many of you who contributed their time to make this
a great success. I look forward to next year’s event.
The Phil and Babs Mansfield family and friends would like to gratefully
acknowledge the help from this community on behalf of their son, Killian,
who enjoyed a benefit gathering this past weekend at the residence of
Dusty and Bill Stack to help support this household in a time of need.
We profoundly thank the following for their time, effort and resources.
Here is a list in alphabetical order:
Local Businesses and Restaurants: Adams Fairacre Farms, Bank of America,
Best Party Rental, Blue Mountain Bistro (Bistro-to-Go), E & S Discount
Beverages (Route 28), Gallo's Nursery, Hannaford Supermarket (Ulster
Avenue), Hickory BBQ, La Bella Pasta, Maria's Bazaar, Millie Delgado
(Millie's Home Cooking), New World Home Cooking, Threads of Time, Wal-Mart
Corp., Woodstock Meats, Woodstock Times.
Musicians: Amy Fradon and John Barbaro, Dorranine Scofield, John Berenzy,
Jon Coghill (Los Chigones), John Wirtz, Katies Jeannotte (Car Travelers),
Katie and Ralph and Lucia Legnini (1/2 Ralph and Ralph), Robert B. Warren
(Uncle Rock), Scott Healy, T. G. Vanini, Wil Wright with Jonas Finkel,
and Kieran Prasch Ward and Elan.
A special thanks for friends who donated their time: Dinal Neals, Jim
Sofranko, John Wirtz, Katie Legnini, Millie Delgado, Shirley Wiley,
Tammy Alvarado and the crew of Mountain Gardens Landscaping.
Any continuing donations may be made to The New Hope Fund, Bank of America,
Route 28, Shokan, NY 12481: for the benefit of Killian Mansfield.
As I am sure many of you are aware that, the leadership of the County
is concerned for the well-being of our citizenry in this upcoming winter
and particularly how people are going to be able to keep their homes
heated and a roof over their head during these times of sharp increases
in gas costs, rents, heating fuel, and food. A work group, Ulster County
Winter Watch, has been established by the County Administrator, and
I have taken responsibility to chair the committee to address food issues.
Our primary goal will be to keep the shelves of each of the County's
30 food pantries as well stocked as possible. I believe that in order
to be successful, each community will have to make a commitment to help
its local pantries. If each of the major institutions in a town will
do a food drive on a rotating basis, we will have a continuous flow
of new donated food items throughout the winter for each pantry. We
are asking each business, each school, each local government, each church
group, and any civic organizations that are willing, to plan to conduct
a food drive during the months from October through March.
I am also reaching out to the County's growers to see if they would
be willing to donate a portion of their harvest to be shared with the
food pantries. We are studying the resources available to process this
food so that it can either be frozen, or kept in coolers, so that the
produce will be usable throughout the winter. If you have any resources
to help with this portion of the effort, freezer space, coolers, produce,
or are willing to help with processing, please contact me by email at
email@example.com or by phone at 845 331 7080 x 103..
They say that hard times bring out the best in us. This is going to
be a difficult winter. As a community we will only get through it, neighbor
Thank you for your help.
Chair, Winter Watch Food Committee
Director, Family of Woodstock