on the News
Allison, who plans to study mathematics at Vassar College in the fall,
was awarded highest academic honors along with four others in the graduating
class. Joining her with a High Honor Regents Diploma registering 95%
or above were Mihalis S. Kariolis, Eva Marin Knoth, Adam Paul Solis"Cohen
and Class Valedictorian, Natalie Joy Martin.
students who graduated with honors were Hannah Bessell, Cattlyn Carpanzano,
Jacob Dagir"manjian, Josh Duma, Shawn Faulkner, Jennaleigh Fish,
Jessica Gendron, Benjamin Johnan, Melanie Kaftan, Michael Kinnaman,
Heather Lapp, Jessica McCarthy, Elizabeth Morra,
Jonathan Nichols, Sara Ostrander, Lisa Parisio, Erin Raffaldi, Christine
Reynolds, Omri Roden"Schossev, Amina Rushkoski, Rory Schneider,
Jessica Shultis, Ryan Sieber, Joshua Slovensky, Nehemiah Smith, Elizabeth
Thomas, Heather Van Wagner, Kaitlyn Weider and Evan Workstus.
Martin's address urged her classmates to social involvement, pointing
out that the 18"to"25 segment of the population has the lowest
turn"out record of voter"age groups. She said that her class's
school experience in the politics of a democracy, as exemplified by
the organized debates about the Iraqi invasion in April of 2003 and
other student forums,
had primed them to political awareness.
student board representative Hannah Bessell excerpted lines of inspiration
from popular songs by Aretha Franklin, the Indigo Girls and other contemporary
icons, Elizabeth Thomas stirred the crowd with an outstanding vocal
rendition of "Let Them Hear You" from the musical "Ragtime."
The Senior Jazz Quartet, comprised of Josh Duma, Thomas Rosato, David
Anderson and Cory Lomas, played a rousing follow"up to Thomas's
number before guest speaker Andrew Perlman took the stand.
Onteora graduate in 1989, Perlman went on to gather diplomas from Harvard
and Yale law schools. He served as a legal intern for the American Civil
Liberties Union in New York City and law clerk for a federal district
judge in Chicago as well as a teaching fellow at Harvard and associate
of law at Columbia Law School. He has published articles in the Georgetown
Journal of Legal Ethics, the Florida Law Review and the Seton Hall Law
encouraged students to find their own "internal compass" and
pursue those interests which best resounded to that inner guide rather
than yield to social pressures which might lead them into materially
profitable but ultimately unhappy circumstances in life. He offered
as example his own situation of some years ago when he found himself
putting in 80 hour weeks at a large law firm which guaranteed a financially
comfortable future but
endless dreary weeks of boring work.
opting out of the "golden handcuffs" of his position at the
and accepting a substantial cut in salary to teach law, Perlman, who
is now Associate Professor of Law at Suffolk University in Boston, declares
himself to have never been happier.
what may have been a sign of the times at the conclusion of the ceremony,
those with cameras poised to capture what used to be a traditional mass
flinging of caps into the air, were able to capture only a dozen or
so airborne hats.
Heat Up Hearings
Wissler's narrowly technical ruling essentially says that it is too
early in the review process to grant "discovery" or release
of the information sought, and that CPC has not demonstrated it can't
make its case that the cumulative impacts of the resort and the ski
area aren't "substantative and significant" without those
plans. Wissler's ruling, according to CPC Counsel Marc Gerstman,
"will definitely be appealed," setting the stage in the coming
months for the first direct decision related to the project by DEC Commissioner
expected, stormwater issues in Crossroads Ventures' Draft Environmental
Impact Statement has moved to center stage, with experts both from CPC
and The City of New York focusing on its potential problems.
trying to model what actually happens on a landscape in a rainfall,"
said NYC Department of Environmental Protection Hydrologist Joe Damrath.
"Modeling is critical, it's the core of stormwater analysis, and
any modeling is only as good as its input"You've all heard the
expression garbage in, garbage out."
out of the program appeared to the substantive conclusion of CPC witness
Dr. Robert Pitt, who designed and developed the "WINSLAMM"
computer program used by Crossroads to model its stormwater plan. Professor
Pitt, who's authored 8 books and over 100 publications on the subject,
model is set up to specifically deal with surfaces in an urban setting.
It's not very applicable to a forested hillside or a wooded area."
He explained that before his model can be used with any accuracy, it
must be "locally calibrated" with considerable data specific
to the site. "There was no calibration or verification process
conducted"Except for the rainfall file and the site description
file, all the parameter files used were the ones submitted with the
model, not modified to reflect local data."
net effect was that most of the inputs used in running the WINSLAMM
model for the DEIS reflect the "default files", generally
"nationally averages" for the various categories, without
apparent connection to the actual project site. Additionally the model's
rainfall file, which reflects significantly less precipitation than
measured at Belleayre Mountain, comes from Tannersville. "There
is a lot of comment floating around about rainfall data and how we used
it, said Crossroads counsel Theresa Bakner." "To
make WINSLAMM run, you must have hourly data", which, she explained,
wasn't available from higher"precipitation sites closer to the
from problems with modeling, Professor Pitt also expressed concerns
over the project's stormwater detention ponds, indicating their levels
of control of suspended solids and phosphorus were "overly optimistic"
by a factor of about 100%, and appeared to be undersized to accommodate
heavy precipitation events such as rain on snowpack. He characterized
their design as "not conservative," as described in the DEIS,
but "the opposite." Pitt also ventured an opinion as
to the project's impact on trout streams. "They are small and they
are close," he said. "The effects of erosion on the site will
be, I feel, devastating."
concerned about the steepness of the sites, the shallowness of the soils,
and the clay nature of the soils," said Pitt. "All point to
increased hazards and extra effort that will be necessary to mitigate
the effects of stormwater and construction erosion." He also expressed
agreement with recommendations by Watershed Attorney General James Tierney
and Dr. Charles Silver, that due to the very poor soils and extremely
steep slopes, construction sites should be limited to under 5 acres,
as opposed to the 25 acres on each side of the project sought by Crossroads.
modeling issues also dominated testimony concerning the environmental
impact of pesticides and fertilizers proposed for use on the site.
Dr. Walter Kneisel, principal developer of the GLEAMS model (Ground
Water Loading Effects for Agricultural Management Systems) used by Crossroads
was direct in his assessment: "The DEIS doesn't answer the question
as to whether pesticides or fertilizers will increase in the streams,"
to Kneisel, the GLEAMS program which is used by most federal and state
agencies, incorporates over 200 input parameters such as temperature,
rainfall, soil types, and plant cover to predict their interactions
in a daily simulation model. "I reviewed their input, " said
Kneisel. "It led me to think they didn't know what they were doing."
examples cited, Kneisel, like Pitt, noted the extensive use of "default
settings" in the program, again representing national averages
for the variables, instead of the required site"specific data.
"The hydrology data is essential," said Kneisel. "The
hydrology is the driving part that carries the pesticides"The applicant
used default settings"The results of any model are no better than
the worst information put in," he said, inferring that the GLEAMS
data in the DEIS is essentially useless.
the issue of potable water, hydrologist Joe Habib testifying for CPC
cited numerous data irregularities with respect to the amount of water
available to Pine Hill, following the diversion of some of its sources
for the resort. According to Habib, the average monthly flow is "grossly
overestimated," critical data "cannot support claims in the
DEIS," new flow studies are required, and the hamlet's current
public water supply permit was issued by the DEC based on grossly incorrect
to land use, CPC witness Dr. Chad Dawson, co "author of the primary
tex tbook on Wilderness Management used by all federal agencies and
many states and foreign countries, took issue with the lack of analysis
in the DEIS, as well as with DEC's apparent lack of concern as to the
project's impact on adjacent public lands. Dawson, who also developed
the standard Recreational Behavioral Simulation Model used to analyze
such impacts argued that "Nobody has really measured what
the potential effects of the project would be"I recommend that
we do that as vigorously for the environment as we do it for economics
or traffic "It's not only essential, it's required by the State
Land Master Plan."
law does not require us to speculate as regards to impacts", responded
Crossroads counsel Theresa Bakner. "What we have here is a fundamental
disagreement as to what SEQRA requires"It's clearly not an applicant's
responsibility to fill in the gaps on the state's management of literally
hundreds of thousands of acres."
applicant is selling the forest preserve as one of the amenities of
this golf complex, " said Dawson. "(They) say they intend
to Œmarry' the Ski Center and the Forest Preserve. If I'm marrying
somebody, I want a prenuptual agreement"These are things that should
and must be prepared in advance of the resort."
also noted that in the Adirondacks, where he currently works for DEC
as a consultant, the agency will not approve any Unit Management Plans
until such studies are completed and included in them.
for that agency, DEC's Region 3 Senior Forester Jeff Ryder, who oversees
recreational use of the 300,000 state"owned acres within the Catskill
Park, summarized their view of the project's impact by saying "We
will be able to absorb much greater use of public land than we have
to Ryder's figures, 2002 trailhead register data indicates about 150,000
people hike on trails in the Catskill Park annually. According to Dawson's
figures, if half the resort's visitors took one hike on those trails,
that would reflect a 700 % increase in usage of Wilderness and Wild
Forest lands for the entire Catskill Park. What level of additional
use DEC might anticipate from the resort has not been analyzed, though
the agency did propose to monitor it through questionnaires to be distributed
at the proposed resort's "Wilderness Center."
to DEC's offer to analyze impacts on the forest preserve after the resort's
built instead of before, Gerstman said "Your Honor" I believe
they've tried to turn SEQRA on its head."
issues conference being held at the Margaretville firehouse, is expected
to continue through mid or late July.
Mother and daughter had a tearful reunion a week ago, after a difficult
year that started with Clark making her way to Baghdad as part of a
24-hour non-stop full-convoy from American bases in Kuwait.
the week before Independence Day. We want to know what these two women
have to say about patriotism and the Catskill Mountains that are part
of their roots.
was a commune at the bottom of the hill from us when we moved here,"
Gibbons said of long"ago Shandaken. "I used to work at the
old Shandaken Inn, where I learned about French cooking, and at Isolde's,
in Big Indian, where German food was the thing."
spoke about how the rural life suited her perfectly- until she had a
bad accident headed to Stone Ridge around the Ashokan and decided it
was time to move. Her father came down with lymphoma and passed away.
Then her mother held on until all of Patti's brothers and sisters were
off to school.
would LOVE to live there," Clark says, picking up her mother's
train of thought and talking about the two great aunts she still has
living in the Phoenicia area. "It's beautiful, private, and they
don't have any of the air horns and other noises you get here in Kingston.
Now that I'm a mother " or about to be a mother " it's my
says that her family has had property in the area since the 1930s, and
that this fact has somehow shaped her family through the years.
"We've go it in us to fish in the creek, to play in those woods,"
what was her last July 4th like?
tells a story about getting a letter from her uncle in Boston, which
included a clipping of the Boston fireworks, held a week early.
just got the clipping on the 4th of July and that was my fireworks,"
she says. "I passed it around, We had the day off and the cooks
made us all steaks. We were in Dogwood, the camp outside Baghdada that
they've since taken down.
year, she and Gibbons are planning to be on Cape Cod with other members
of their extended family- excepting Megan's brother, Will Clark, who's
an Airman First Class with the military in Montana.
and Megan talk about the difficulties of the last year. For Megan, there
was service throughout Iraq. A deeper insurgency than anyone expected.
More time in bunkers than we've heard about. Her pregnancy caused by
faulty contraceptives gone bad in the Iraqi sun. For Patti, it was dealing
with long letters personalizing what she was hearing on the news. The
fact of her daughter's pregnancy and her frustrations at the way the
Army deals with anything feminine, especially pregnancy.
how do these two women define patriotism, what with their last year?
me, patriotism is taking care of your family and people in your neighborhood,
helping the people in your life," says Gibbons, an artist who teaches
in the BOCES system.
me, it's doing what's asked of you," Clark says, noting how there's
a part of her that wishes she could be with her comrades in Iraq still,
supplying the extra eyes, ears and trigger finger that could make a
difference in their survival there. She notes that she recently re"enlisted
in the Army Reserves for a year.
seen power abused so much," Gibbons adds. "I feel my contribution
is to be as kind and giving to people as I can."
have seen other countries and how they live," Clark says. "I
have seen how wonderfully we live here and I'm glad I am an American.
I feel good in knowing I served my country in a time of need."
two start to question each other's politics, briefly. And then hug.
sun is shining.
love my mommy," Clark says. "I wanted to come back to her,
that was always my main goal. I'm 20, but I still can say that I love
has solidified our relationship in so many ways," Gibbons says.
"It had not been a good relationship before, but by writing to
each other as much as possible, e-mailing and calling each other every
chance we could, we came together in new ways."
realized how much my family meant to me," Clark adds. "I realized
I wanted a close relationship with my family again. So I got it together."
don't expect to ever see eye to eye together," Mother says to daughter.
"But that's one of the freedoms we enjoy."
proud of this new life I'm carrying," replies Clark, putting an
arm around her mother. "If only we can now move to the mountains"