Shandaken Republicans have set the date for their caucus, the
annual event where party members choose which candidates to
endorse in the upcoming elections. So far the only person to
have announced interest in running on the GOP line in the town’s
only local race, a one year position on the town Board currently
held by Democrat Doris Bartlett, is Phoenicia resident Tina
Rice is 40 years old and lives in Woodland Valley with her husband
and two children. She is currently employed by the New York
State Thruway Authority, working as a toll collector at the
Kingston exit. A founder of the town’s ski program, she
said that she decided to run because she felt the current administration
might be playing fast and loose with the taxpayer’s money,
pointing out a recent revamp of the Route 28 sign showing the
way to the Hamlet of Mount Tremper where Supervisor Peter DiSclafani
operates a restaurant called the Catskill Rose. She describes
herself as “a fair person with no secret agenda,”
and says she was not chosen to run by any of the special interest
groups in town, but decided to run herself.
“I can only be who I am…I’m not hand picked
by anyone, so that’s that,” she said.
The caucus will be held at 6PM on August 19th at the Glenbrook
Park Pavillion in the hamlet of Shandaken.
Local Businessman Harry Jameson was fined $250 Tuesday for his
role in the much publicized trucking away of Phoenicia Hotel
remains. Dave Gutierrez, also named in the matter, was fined
$600 according to Jameson, who spoke to reporters outside the
courtroom moments after the decision was rendered by Town Justice
Last month the Department of Environmental Conservation issued
tickets to the two local men involved in what DEC alleges was
the unlawful disposal of remains of the hotel.
The charges, which were misdemeanors and violations, are leveled
at Harry Jameson, the owner of Romer Mountain Park in Woodland
Valley and David Gutierrez, owner of Woodstock Landscaping and
the contractor that demolished the remains of the structure.
DEC Police charged Jameson with operating a solid waste management
facility without a permit after some amount was debris was trucked
off the hotel site to Jameson’s property.
Gutierrez was charged with unattended open burning, open burning
without a permit and open burning for commercial purposes. He
was also charged with two counts of unlawfully disposing of
solid waste. While much of the debris remains on the site in
huge pile, some amount was allegedly trucked off site to Jameson’s
Jameson said he paid the fine and plans to just put the matter
Worried About the Upcoming Heating Season? A presentation on
New York Energy $mart Programs will be put on by The Catskill
Center for Conservation & Development in Arkville on Monday,
August 18th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at its main offices on Route
28. The session is set up for homeowners and business owners
to learn about the New York State Energy Research & Development
Authority’s programs to help state residents save money
& energy, including cash incentive and low interest loan
New York Energy $martSM programs are designed to lower electricity
costs by encouraging energy efficiency as the State’s
electric utilities move to competition. Margaretville Energy
$mart Partnership is a program of the Village of Margaretville
and the Greater Margaretville Chamber of Commerce.Register by
August 15: For info contact Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities,
845-331-2238 or e-mail Patrice Courtney Strong, firstname.lastname@example.org
The local effort mirrors, and will include information on, similar
activity starting to take place on a national and state basis,
including Governor David Paterson’s recent call for the
immediate creation of an emergency task force on home heating
issues, especially as pertains to seniors and others on fixed
County officials recently held a “home heating summit”
to solicit input and concerns from local government representatives,
non-profit agencies, businesses, religious organizations and
others in response to rising energy costs. At the summit’s
conclusion, county Administrator Michael Hein said a working
group will be established to use information gathered during
the event, as well as from other resources, to respond to the
problem. That response will be delivered to the Ulster County
Legislature in September, Hein said. The working group will
consist of people from several county departments, as well as
Family of Woodstock, the United Way and the American Red Cross.
Diane Reeder, executive director of Queen’s Galley, a
non-profit organization that runs a food kitchen at Washington
Manor in Kingston, has said her group served 1,200 meals a month
two years ago and now serves more than 7,000. She added that
if her organization cannot afford to heat its building this
winter, it will have to close.
Meanwhile, area oil suppliers are playing cat and mouse with
their annual prepayment and budget plans, with some getting
mailings out already while others wwait for a possible dip in
“Applications are going out this week,” said a representative
at Kosco, the fuel company near Kingston. “Customers have
until August 14 to return them. We’ve set a fixed price
of $4.699 per gallon. You can opt for downward protection by
paying an insurance fee of 20 cents per gallon - the price will
follow the market down. We used to eat that fee, which we have
to pay when we get the oil off the barge. But with prices so
high, we can’t absorb it, so we’re padding it to
Heritage has four different payment plans that vary according
to the time span of the payment spread (all at once, four months,
or ten months) and to whether the price is capped or will go
down if the market goes down. Their rate is $4.759 per gallon,
discounted to $4.709 if paid in cash or by Internet-check, plus
a ten- to forty-cent per gallon surcharge depending on the plan
Calls to Bottini Fuel, now merged with Colonial Oil and Gas,
were not returned as of press time. Its website, bottinifuel.com,
mentions a payment plan but does not indicate when applications
will be available. It does provide a list of government energy
assistance programs and Salvation Army offices for those in
need. Dependable Oil in Shokan is banking on a further price
reduction and is holding out to send out its prepayment and
Meanwhile, business is booming at Cracker Mill Hearth and Emporium,
the Shokan seller of wood, gas, and pellet stoves, but the proprietor
did not sound happy.
“We’re selling three or four more stoves per month
ahead of what we usually sell this time of year. June was like
September. People are upset, particularly older people who filled
up their mostly empty tank this spring and had to pay $800 or
$900. They can’t afford it.”
More funding needs to be made available though the federal government’s
energy-assistance program because of high fuel oil prices expected
this winter, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Assemblyman
Kevin Cahill have said in recent weeks, with the U.S. Senator
speaking last week at Family of Woodstock’s New Paltz
site and Cahill talking from a state conference on Heating in
Schumer said Hudson Valley residents will spend approximately
$275 million more in home heating oil costs this winter than
they did last winter. He also said an estimated 3,100 senior
citizens in Ulster County will use the federal Low-Income Home
Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, to help pay for their home
heating costs. To ensure that seniors and other residents stay
warm, Schumer said he was working on two pieces of emergency
legislation to provide additional money to the state through
HEAP; one calling for a second economic stimulus package that
would increase HEAP funding by $1.25 billion nationwide, to
a total of $3.78 billion; the other to increase HEAP aid by
$2.53 billion, for a total of $5.1 billion.
Schumer said that, based on recent oil prices, the average senior
could have to spend between $720 and $1,260 more for fuel oil
this winter than in the winter of 2007-08.
He noted that HEAP used up all of its 2007-08 money by February
last winter, and said if funding levels are not increased, the
funding for 2008-09 could run dry by Christmas.
Cahill said the state has to balance its budget and deal with
property taxes but that the most important issue is making sure
residents can afford to heat their homes this winter. He said
if HEAP is not enhanced, people will freeze in their homes this
winter. He said the state Assembly already has taken action
to address the issue by passing legislation that calls for $550
million to enhance HEAP and for the income eligibility level
for the assistance program to be increased to 80 percent of
the state’s median income. That would mean a family of
four would be eligible for HEAP assistance if the household’s
income was $55,500 or less, Cahill said. He added that the Assembly’s
legislation also calls for $250 million for energy-conservation
There currently is no companion bill in the state Senate.
Cahill, who chairs the Assembly’s Energy Committee, said
the legislation would be funded by a 2 percent gross receipts
tax on large oil companies, a retroactive measure to recapture
windfall profits from when sales tax on gasoline was capped
at $2 in 2005 and by prohibiting oil companies from passing
along the additional costs to consumers through price increases.
The Riverkeeper environmental group has called on Governor David
Paterson to designate the New York City Watershed in the Catskills
permanently off-limits for natural gas drilling. The organization
said it agrees with the state’s decision to update its
environmental review for gas drilling in New York’s portion
of the Marcellus Shale formation.
The process of extracting the natural gas from the shale could
potentially throw the natural balance out of kilter and cause
pollution to the water supply and that, said Riverkeeper staff
attorney James Simpson, and could force the EPA to impose a
very expensive water filtration system on the Watershed.
“Should the (filtration exemption) be revoked, New York
City would be forced to build extremely expensive filtration
plant. The cost is now estimated at $10 billion with $300 million
annually to operate the plant,” he said. The current exemption
is “the best way to guarantee clean drinking water for
New York City as well as safe Watershed protection.”
“It’s important to look for new and alternative
sources of energy, but not at the expense of drinking water
quality, not at the expense of New York’s watershed areas
and not at the expense of city taxpayers to the tune of billions
of dollars,” said New York City Councilman James Gennaro,
chairman of the city council’s Environmental Protection
There will be a regional symposium on “Gas Leasing: Negotiating
& Protecting Your Interests” held on Tuesday, August
19, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Sullivan West High School
Auditorium in Lake Huntington, sponsored by the Sullivan County
Division of Planning & Environmental Management, the Chenango
County Farm Bureau and the Cornell Cooperative Extension. It
will focus on what landowners need to know before signing a
lease with a natural gas company, particularly how to protect
their property and insuring financial interests, and what gas
drilling will mean for your community. Featured speakers will
include Dr. William Pammer, Jr., Commissioner of the Sullivan
County Division of Planning and Environmental Management; Bradd
Vickers, President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau; Christopher
Denton, Attorney-at-Law; Don Zaengle, a consulting petroleum
geologist; and Jim Leonard, CPA. The panel will address the
gas development process in Central and Southern New York.Registration
for this symposium is required. Interested parties must register
with the Sullivan County Division of Planning at 845-794-3000,
ext. 5028, by no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, August 18.
Ulster County was recently awarded $750,000.00 to expand homeownership
opportunities within the County. The funding is the result of
the County’s application for assistance to the New York
State Office of Community Renewal. The program is expected to
assist 33 households within Ulster County and provide nearly
5.2 million dollars of additional private equity funding. The
program is designed to provide gap financing and minor rehabilitation
to lower housing costs to levels affordable to those making
less than 80% of the area’s median income. In addition,
home ownership counseling is included to ensure that those assisted
remain in their homes once purchased. The Rural Ulster Preservation
Company (RUPCO) was instrumental in the preparation of the grant
and will provide program delivery for the County.
The sales of existing single-family homes in the Hudson Valley
and Catskills regions continued their double-digit decline in
the first six months of the year, according to the New York
State Association of Realtors. The largest decline in year over
year sales was in Sullivan County, which saw a 43 percent drop
off in sales. Rockland County was second with a 32 percent decline.
Ulster and Orange counties each saw just under 31 percent declines.
In Westchester County, sales of existing houses fell by over
28 percent. They dropped by 23 percent in Putnam County, by
22 percent in Columbia County, 17 percent in Dutchess County
and by over 12 percent in Greene County.
Year over year in June, Columbia County had the largest decline
in existing single-family home sales with an almost 46 percent
decline. The drop in Sullivan County was 44 percent, followed
by under 42 percent in Orange, 39 percent in Ulster, 31 percent
in Westchester, 29 percent in Rockland and Putnam Counties,
23 percent in Delaware County and over 13 percent in Dutchess
In June, the most expensive houses sold in Westchester at a
median price of $675,000. Homes in Rockland sold for $445,000;
in Putnam for over $347,000; in Dutchess for just under $314,000;
in Orange County for $295,000; in Columbia County for $280,000;
in Ulster County for $255,000; in Sullivan County for $210,000;
and in Greene County for over $166,000.
Following months of battling a proposed 360,000 gallon, 50 foot
tall water tower next door to her home, a Flieschmanns women
has filed a lawsuit against the Village and the Town of Middletown
to stop it.
Anita Rubin, who lives on Paradise Camp Road, directed press
inquiries to her attorney.
The Village has been mulling the water tower plan for over two
years, working with Delaware Engineering, the firm that built
the Village’s sewer system. Trustees have described the
project as a back up system for the Villages water supply, which
lost some capacity a few years ago when the village sold two
wells. While the Villages supply that comes from natural springs
is said to be adequate, the water tower is said to be capable
of supplying one to three days of water to the village in the
event of some catastrophe. It would also increase water pressure
for the Village.
That may be all well and good, but on July 11th Attorney Ken
Ayers filed a lawsuit against the Village, Middletown and landowner
Arnold Bernstein because his client feels the process used to
determine that the tower is needed was shoddy.
Ayers said the Village improperly prepared the environmental
study of the project and concluded that it was not harmful.
He said the Middletown Planning Board then used that study to
justify granting a special use permit to build the project on
Bernstein’s land. He also says that in exchange for allowing
the project on his property, Bernstein gets a 16 foot wide,
1000 foot long private road built on his land at taxpayer expense,
thus opening up the property for possible sub-division purposes.
He also said the Village could increase the size of the tower
almost threefold if it saw fit, and that the Middletown planning
board refused to place any conditions on the permit issued despite
cries from Rubin and other neighbors to restrict the addition
of any other apparatus, like cell towers, on top of the water
Worse, Ayers said the project, paid for in part by a $1.7 million
grant, would also require a $1.3 million loan. To pay that loan
back the Village would hike water rates from the $200 a year
to $299 per customer.
Rubin said that despite all this, much of it has been kept quiet.
“Not many in the Village know what this will cost them
in the long run,” she said.
An Ulster County grand jury has indicted a former county deputy
sheriff on charges he sought sexual favors from a girl under
the age of 17 in exchange for ignoring a crime, according to
the District Attorney’s Office.
Jeffrey P. Geskie, 27, of Hurley, was indicted on charges of
receiving a bribe and committing a criminal sexual act, both
felonies, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor. The offenses
are alleged to have occurred in High Falls on June 2. Authorities
at the time said the sexual acts were in exchange for Geskie
not filing trespass and other charges against the girl, who
has not been identified.
“While in uniform, while on duty, he elicited sexual favors
from (the girl) in return for looking the other way on criminal
charges,” Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright
said in a prepared statement.
The girl’s attorney, Joseph O’Connor, said at the
time that his client essentially was forced to perform a sex
act because Geskie used threats against her. Among other things,
O’Connor said, Geskie told the girl she would be thrown
in jail and that he would notify her future college of her wrongdoing
if she did not oblige. Geskie was arrested by the state police
and resigned from the Sheriff’s Office soon after.
The June arrest was not the first time Geskie found himself
in legal trouble. In two lawsuits, he was accused of violating
the civil rights of two people in incidents that occurred in
2004, 2005 and 2007.
The Hudson Valley Ombudsman Program is seeking bright, motivated
people who would like to make a difference to residents in nursing
homes and other long-term care facilities. If you have a few
hours each week to volunteer, you can become an Ombudsman and
play a crucial role in resolving conflicts and maintaining a
high quality of life and care for residents of long-term care.
The Hudson Valley Ombudsman program offers free training and
ongoing support in exchange for your good will and life skill.
A new training session will begin in September. For more information
and to apply, contact Bette Ann Moskowitz at the Ulster County
Office for the Aging: (845) 340-3456, or (845) 452-5600 (Ext.
Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate in recent
weeks, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could
be ice-free in summer by 2013. Satellite images show that ice
caps started to disintegrate dramatically at the end of July
as storms over Alaska’s Beaufort Sea began sucking streams
of warm air into the Arctic. As a result, scientists say that
the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed
last year’s record loss. More than a million square kilometres
melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its
grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched,
or even topped, this year.
This startling loss of Arctic sea ice has major meteorological,
environmental and ecological implications. The region acts like
a giant refrigerator that has a strong effect on the northern
hemisphere’s meteorology. Without its cooling influence,
weather patterns will be badly disrupted, including storms set
to sweep around the edges of the Atlantic Ocean. Other environmental
changes are likely to follow. Without sea ice to bolster them,
land ice - including glaciers - could topple into the ocean
and raise global sea levels, threatening many low-lying areas,
including Bangladesh and scores of Pacific islands. In addition,
the disappearance of reflective ice over the Arctic means that
solar radiation would no longer be bounced back into space,
thus heating the planet even further.
On top of these issues, there are fears that water released
by the melting caps will disrupt the Gulf Stream, while an ice-free
Arctic in summer offers new opportunities for oil and gas drilling
there - and for political disputes over territorial rights.
What really unsettles scientists, however, is their inability
to forecast precisely what is happening in the Arctic, the part
of the world most vulnerable to the effects of global warming.
When we did the first climate change computer models, we thought
the Arctic’s summer ice cover would last until around
2070,’ said Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.
‘It is now clear we did not understand how thin the ice
cap had already become - for Arctic ice cover has since been
disappearing at ever increasing rates. Every few years we have
to revise our estimates downwards. Now the most detailed computer
models suggest the Arctic’s summer ice is going to last
for only a few more years - and given what we have seen happen
last week, I think they are probably correct.’
‘It does not really matter whether 2007 or 2008 is the
worst year on record for Arctic ice,’ he added. ‘The
crucial point is that ice is clearly not building up enough
over winter to restore cover and that when you combine current
estimates of ice thickness with the extent of the ice cap, you
get a very clear indication that the Arctic is going to be ice-free
in summer in five years. And when that happens, there will be
The number of Americans who have seen their full-time jobs chopped
to part time because of weak business has swelled to more than
3.7 million - the largest figure since the government began
tracking such data more than half a century ago. Furthermore,
the resulting loss of pay is now being seen as a primary source
of pain for millions of American families, reinforcing the downturn
gripping the economy. Paychecks are shrinking just as home prices
plunge and gas prices soar, furthering the austerity across
On the surface, the job market is weak but hardly desperate.
Layoffs remain less frequent than in many economic downturns,
and the unemployment rate is a relatively modest 5.5 percent.
But that figure masks the strains of those who are losing hours
or working part time because they cannot find full-time work
- a stealth force that is eroding American spending power.
All told, people the government classifies as working part time
involuntarily - predominantly those who have lost hours or cannot
find full-time work - swelled to 5.3 million last month, a jump
of greater than 1 million over the last year. These workers
now amount to 3.7 percent of all those employed, up from 3 percent
a year ago, and the highest level since 1995.
The loss of hours has been affecting men in particular - and
Hispanic men more so. Among those who were forced into part-time
work from the spring of 2007 to the spring of 2008, 73 percent
were men and 35 percent were Hispanic. Some 28 percent of the
jobs affected were in construction, 14 percent in retail and
13 percent in professional and business services..
The growing ranks of involuntary part-timers reflect the sophisticated
fashion through which many American employers have come to manage
their payrolls, say experts. In decades past, when business
soured, companies tended to resort to mass layoffs, hiring people
back when better times returned. But as high technology came
to permeate American business, companies have grown reluctant
to shed workers. Even the lowest-wage positions in retail, fast
food, banking or manufacturing require computer skills and a
grasp of a company’s systems. Several months of training
may be needed to get a new employee up to speed.
More part-time and fewer full-time workers also allows companies
to save on health care costs. Only 16 percent of retail workers
receive health insurance through their employer, while more
than half of full-time workers are covered.
Many experts see the swift cutback in hours as a precursor of
a more painful chapter to come: broader layoffs. Some struggling
companies are holding on to workers and cutting shifts while
hoping to ride out hard times. If business does not improve,
more extreme measures could follow.
Live & Laugh…
Anne Cardinale, Director of the Ulster County Office for the
Aging reminds seniors that the 11th Annual Live, Laugh &
Learn Senior Conference Day of Workshops will be held on Wednesday,
August 20, 2008 at the Business Resource Center, 1 Development
Court, Kingston.. The registration fee is $5 and includes refreshments.
The program has many workshops - registration begins at 8:30
AM. The classes run from 9:15 AM; the last class ending at 4:40
PM. To register and obtain additional information, please call:
Ulster County Office for the Aging at: (845) 340-3456.
A revised proposal for a housing and golf development on the
Carvel property will preserve vistas along state Route 199 and
drastically reduce the overall number of homes, representatives
of the builder have told members of the Pine Plains Planning
Board last week.The concept for the Carvel site development,
a partnership between the Durst Organization and Landmark Land
Co., initially was presented to the board in 2003 calling for
951 homes spread across approximately 2,200 acres on both side
of the Pine Plains-Milan border with a major golf resort at
its center. After strong opposition was voiced by many community
members, Durst and Landmark presented a modified plan.
Exactly how many homes are proposed to be built under the revised
plan remains to be seen. Carvel representatives presented conflicting
numbers during recent meetings, ranging from 648 to 724.
The golf course also been reduced - from 27 holes to 18 holes
- and proposed roads have been reduced from 60,000 feet under
the old plan to 45,000 to 48,000 feet in the new plan.
“Our modified plan reflects many of the concerns that
were voiced ... and we believe we have crafted a plan that is
financially viable and preserves the beauty and the environment
of the Carvel site while delivering financial resources to the
surrounding community,” Alexander Durst said in a statement.
Meanwhile a giant development in eastern Maine located on 3,300
acres of remote wildlands on pristine Schoodic Peninsula, described
as a green community where homeowners and visitors would enjoy
views of the ocean and of mountains rising up from the sea five
miles away on Mount Desert Island, is starting to face major
opposition from a variety of directions.
“The vision is to figure out how to re-establish the connection
between individuals and their natural environments and reconnect
families in the process,” said Mike Saxl, spokesman for
the Winter Harbor Properties investment group that’s proposing
However, conservation groups and officials at adjacent Acadia
National Park say the plan for up to 1,000 homes is out of scale
and out of character with the unspoiled peninsula, known for
its rugged pink granite coastline and breathtaking views.
Winter Harbor Properties is made up of more than 20 investors,
mostly from Europe, said Cecelia Ward, who lives in Florida
and is overseeing the project.
The development, in the works for 2 1/2 years, calls for clusters
of housing lots, two upscale hotels with restaurants, and a
golf course billed as environmentally friendly. The homes would
have solar power and green septic systems, and they’d
be designed to blend in with the surroundings, developers say.
Ward, Saxl and others representing Winter Harbor Properties
have been meeting with town officials, conservationists and
residents to discuss the project.
“We want to be a good neighbor and partner and we’re
trying to find ways to do that,” Saxl said.
Could there be lessons learned here? …
Ulster County has received a new state crime-fighting award
of $351,232 to fund its Operation IMPACT actions, including
$101,500 for the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office;
$97,500 for the Kingston Police Department; $97,160 for the
Ulster County Sheriff’s Office; $45,072 for the Ulster
County Probation Department; and $10,000 for the Ellenville
With the help of Operation IMPACT, according to the officials
concerned, crime in Kingston is down 39 percent for the first
five months of 2008, following a 14 percent decrease in crime
between 2006 and 2007. Violent crime is down 53 percent. Property
crime is down 37 percent and violent crime is down 53 percent.
But firearm-related crimes are up slightly (four reported through
May of 2008 compared with three in the same period of 2007)
In Ulster County, crime this year is generally trending down,
with a decrease of 2.3 percent reported for the first five months
of the year. Violent crime in the county is down more than 20
In addition to DCJS, the following state and federal agencies
participate in the Ulster County IMPACT initiative: the New
York State Police; the Division of Parole; the U.S. Attorney’s
Office; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms;
and the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In addition, Professor Ling Zhou of Marist College serves as
a crime analyst for the Ulster IMPACT partnership.
Operation IMPACT grants fund personnel, including crime analysts,
assistant district attorneys, field intelligence officers, probation
officers and investigators. The grants also support technology,
such as mobile surveillance cameras, crime mapping software,
digital fingerprinting equipment and laptop computers.
The Ulster County Legislature, Ulster County Arts Council and
Dutchess County Arts Council recently announced 2008 awards
from the Ulster County Cultural Services and Promotion Fund
(UCCSPF) of $47,500 in finances provided by the Ulster County
Legislature. 23 applications were received requesting a total
of $126,077, with 12 organizations receiving awards ranging
from $2,500 - $7,000. A broad array of projects were funded
including audience development initiatives, new programs that
will help established arts organizations reach underserved populations,
and public art projects which will draw tourists and visitors
to communities throughout Ulster County.
Awards were given to The Arts Community, the Arts Society of
Kingston, the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), High Meadow
Arts, Historic Huguenot Street, Pine Hill Community Center,
Shadowlands Theatre, Shandaken Theatrical Society, Unison Arts
& Learning Center, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Woodstock
Film Festival in partnership with the Center for Creative Education,
and the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild.
Welcome a young person from Brazil, Japan, Germany, Morocco,
or one of over 60 countries into your home. Share your home
and change the world. Host an exchange student from Youth For
Understanding USA. Students are scheduled to fly to the US throughout
August and many are still awaiting news of their host families.
Provide them a once in a lifetime opportunity—host for
just 90 days to get them off to a good start! Call 1-866-493-8872
or visit our website www.yfu-usa.org to find out more information
on becoming a host family or support volunteer with Youth for
US Senator Charles Schumer has joined Congressman John Hall
to urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish
a Northeastern Regional Disaster Hub in Orange County. The lawmakers
pointed to the Hudson Valley’s proximity to air, rail
and interstate highway transportation options making it an ideal
location for an emergency center that would serve high-risk
areas including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington,
FEMA is currently examining its overall assets and capabilities
and is exploring establishing a hub somewhere in the Northeast.
Schumer and Hall suggested to FEMA a location in the Town of
Wallkill as a regional hub. The agency already has a Primary
Entry Point station in the Town of Wallkill and that location
could work for a new hub, the lawmakers wrote in their letter
to FEMA Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson.
Frost Valley YMCA is holding a Family Farm Camp which will be
held from Sunday to Friday, August 24-29. Families will spend
the session in yurts at Frost Valley’s working farm and
participating in a series of agricultural-based activities.
This special offering is limited to five families.
Guests will be participating in traditional farm crafts such
as wool spinning and candle-making. They will also be tending
the gardens, working with the animals and cooking with the vegetables
that they harvest. Horseback riding, swimming and many other
activities will also be enjoyed.
Frost Valley’s long-running Family Camp will also run
from Sunday, Aug. 24 through Friday, Aug. 29.
For more information, call (845) 985-2291, ext. 205, or visit
Several states have passed laws to encourage people to become
volunteer firefighters and to make it easier for volunteers
to pull away from work, and to keep employers from punishing
employees who leave to fight fires or respond to emergency calls,
according to the National Volunteer Fire Council. Also, Congress
is considering separate measures that would give volunteers
greater tax exemptions for mileage and help volunteer departments
with rising fuel costs.
In West Virginia, which has lost about 2,000 volunteer firefighters
in the past eight years, legislators are studying proposals
that include a scholarship for volunteers and a type of pension
plan. And measures approved this year in state legislatures
include the passage of a law in Colorado that bars large employers
from firing employees who leave work to respond to emergencies,
a new law in Nebraska that bars employers from punishing employees
who arrive to work late because they have responded to emergencies,
and Louisiana and Pennsylvania law that offers volunteer emergency
responders a $100 income tax credit.
In other words, hope still exists…
Benito H. Barcone, 83 of Spruceton Road in nearby Westkill,
died Saturday August 9, 2008 at his residence. He made his home
in the Wittenberg - Bearsville area from 1950 to 1985. He founded
Empire Music in 1948 and was instrumental in the music movement
in the late 1960's in Woodstock. The Hunter-Tannersville School
was the first school he serviced many years ago. He has enjoyed
travel throughout the world, loved to restore old cars, and
was a train enthusiast. He was a United States Navy veteran
having served in three different theaters in World War II. He
earned the American Theatre Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, the
Victory Medal, and the European African Middle Eastern Theatre
Medal with one star.
He was born April 2, 1925 in Connellsville, PA son of the late
Henry and Amelia Caretti Barcone. Surviving are his wife of
58 years, Mira Lee Kelley Barcone, a son Tim of Westkill, a
brother Eugene of Santa Fe NM, and a sister Elaine Van de Bogart
of Woodstock. 4 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren also
survive. He was predeceased by his son Peter in 2002.
A Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of Mr. Barcone will
be held on Saturday August 16th. Gathering will be at 11am and
the ceremony will begin at 12 noon at the E. B. Gormley Funeral
Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia. Friends will be received on Friday
from 6-8pm at the E. B. Gormley
Memorial contributions may be made to the Destroyer Escort Historical
Museum POB 1926, Albany 12201.
The Shandaken Police report the arrest of a Shokan man on numerous
felony charges. Martin Sletten, age 58 of Twin Oaks Drive in
the Town of Olive was arrested after Shandaken Police got a
911 call for an assault on August 3. Police allege that Sletten
pushed his way into the residnce of a Mt. Tremper man and once
in the residence displayed a knife in a threatening manner and
stole property from the resident. Sletten was charged with Burglary
in the 1st degree, a class B felony, Robbery 1st degree, also
a class B felony, Unlawful imprisonment 1st degree, a class
E felony and Menacing 2nd degree, a classs A misdemeanor. Sletten
was arraigned in the Town of Woodstock Court and remanded to
the Ulster County Jail on $25,000 cash bail to reappear in Shandaken
at a later date. The Shandaken Police were assisted at the scene
by DEP Polce and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office Detective
The Onteora High School Class of 1983 has scheduled its 25th
Reunion for October 10-11, 2008. Members of the class are requested
to visit the Reunion Web site at groups.yahoo.com/group/ocs83reunion
for Reunion details and registration. Any information regarding
classmates whose contact information is unknown is also requested
and may be provided through this same Web site. Phone calls
are also accepted at 845-702-8629.
Making Mountains: New York City and the Catskills, os a new
book by noted environmental historian David Stradling, from
the University of Washington Press. The work shows the transformation
of the Catskills landscape as a collaborative process, one in
which local and urban hands, capital, and ideas have come together
to reshape the mountains and the communities therein, with environmental,
economic, and cultural consequences. Look for it in local bookstores...