Poncic Maps Bad?
The Shandaken planning board, which agreed to make a decision
Wednesday (Cct. 11th) on the controversial Ponic water
harvesting project slated for Woodland Valley, has been
presented with information that calls into question the
validity of some maps provided by the developer.
This challenge, made by professionals representing the
Woodland Valley Association, may once again delay a decision
on a project that has undergone six years of review, opponents
The board was expected to decide the fate of the project
at their 7pm meeting at town hall on October 11th, which
was set to take place after press time. But at an October
3 workshop session, the planners were presented with statements
from Attorney Jacalyn R. Fleming and Engineer David Clouser
suggesting that some of the information supplied is inadequate
In an October 2nd letter to the planners Clouser challenges
several documents, claiming that the project has been
“misrepresented by the lack of accuracy, the lack
of content and the lack of certification by a licensed
professional engineer and/or licensed land surveyor…”
Clouser also says that the project plan uses mapping with
“approximate scale,” and he singles out one
that was prepared to show the size of the area that would
be used while trucks filled up at the project site on
Woodland Valley Road.
The map, according to Clouser, was “marked up”
by the town highway superintendent to show the area size,
but Clouser’s calculations show the area to be more
than twice the size claimed on that map, he stated.
These and other deficiencies require even more review
of the project before planners can make a decision, Clouser
Fleming echoes these remarks in her letter and claims
that such data cannot meet legal requirements.
“Rough sketches based on incomplete survey data
and incomplete legal descriptions cannot meet (legal standards).
Therefore, it will be a violation of state law if the
Board approves the application without first requiring
signed and sealed drawings,” Fleming wrote in her
September 28 letter to the planners.
Opponents of the project, like Valley resident Marcy Meiller,
believe this new information has given board members pause.
"Substantive issues were formally raised in both
documents,” said Meiller. “Hopefully they
have heard us now.”
However, the planning board has made no decision on the
validity of Clouse and Fleming’s claims, nor as
to how they will proceed this Wednesday, according to
board secretary Marie Stutman.
Stutman said Monday that even though the board could have
ruled on the project in August, Poncic had requested the
board delay voting until this month, as he was out of
town and unable to attend either the August or September
The project calls for harvesting two truckloads of non-potable
water per day, five days a week, from a spring on Poncic’s
land near the end of the dead end Woodland Valley Road
Internationally acclaimed Stream expert Craig Fischnich
of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Research
and Development Center is advising the town of Shandaken
to proceed with caution when it comes to the towns plan
to dredge the Stony Clove Stream, noting that stream stabilization
and flood reduction are complex matters and that frequently
projects are done that are, at least, ineffective and
at worst dangerous.
But according to Supervisor Robert Cross Jr., plans are
now underway to make more room under the Phoenicia Bridge
for floodwater based on an idea Cross hatched last spring
when he decided the problem during high water events is
that the bridge acts as a bottleneck for the Stony Clove
stream, which he said rises higher due to the blockage.
The bridge is at a crucial location in the Phoenicia hamlet
and causes flood overflow to run right down Main Street.
Cross’ plan, the supervisor said, is to dredge a
narrow, deep channel into the streambed to lower the stream
and make more room for the water. The channel, Cross added,
would be about 700 feet long.
Fischnich said last week that he was aware of the town’s
idea, but added that he wasn’t sure about it.
“The question is will it work,” he said.
Fischnich added that many believe dredging is the way
to prevent future problems but in actuality it does more
harm than good up and down stream. Unless the decision
makers are trained in stream behavior, he said, the results
could be counterproductive.
According to Fischnich, dredging actually makes a stream
go up more because it narrows the channel, which speeds
up the water and moves sediment and debris quicker.
Fischnich has been compiling pertinent data since the
Stony Clove plan was announced. He said he would supply
Cross with the information this month in hopes that it
be used to help prepare a sensible and effective plan.
Cross said that the project was already being designed.
When first announcing the project, Cross-said that after
the flood of April 2005 he conferred with State and Federal
emergency officials about the Stony Clove problem and
at the time those officials agreed to fund a different
approach. Then he came up with “a better idea”
afterwards involving the channeling plan.
“It should be narrower and deeper with more current
and flow so it will become a transportation zone for the
water,” he said.
The project, which Cross hopes would be done next spring,
is expected to cost about $12,000. Cross hopes it would
be paid for with grant funding.
Water Rates Rise
The Shandaken town board passed a new set of water rates
for the hamlet of Phoenicia last week, doing so in time
for the changes to be reflected on the next tax bill.
Users will now pay $100 for the use of up to 20,000 gallons
per year and an extra five dollars for each 1000 gallons
used above the 20,000 gallon level. The board claims this
will reduce the property tax burden in the Phoenicia water
district and place the cost burden on users that suck
up most of the water.
In the 2007 preliminary budget a substantial drop in the
amount to be raised by taxes is shown for the water district.
In 2006 that amount was $151,165. In 2007 that amount
drops to only $36,213. The 2007 figure remains unofficial
until the town’s budget, which is still subject
to change, gets formally adopted next month.
Last month a list of examples was distributed to show
what effect the increased rates would have on water district
taxes. The eight examples showed the changes would be
all over the map. Five showed a savings between $61 and
$338. The other three showed increases ranging from $61
Regardless, the measure passed by a 3-2 margin at the
town board’s October 2 session, with Board members
Robert Cross Jr., Joe Munster and Jane Todd in support.
Robert Stanley and Peter DiSclafani opposed after DiSclafani
tried unsuccessfully to get the rate for additional water
dropped from five dollars per 1000 gallons to $4.50 per
The passage of the rate change brings to a close a long,
angry debate over the validity of the increase. Even on
Monday those against the plan complained that the board
was acting without enough information to decide if this
was a good decision.
“You still haven’t looked at the numbers,”
said Mike Ricciardella, while leaving the meeting in disgust.
“They’ll be an election next year and some
people will be out of a job, that’s all,”
said Phoenicia resident Carol Shalaew.
Pine Hill Bonds
The town of Shandaken has agreed to borrow $25,000 to
add to grants and other funds to repair damage on streambanks
in Pine Hill that threaten the hamlet’s water supply.
In all, the repairs will cost $115,000.
In a bond resolution passed unanimously on October 2nd,
the funding was explained as a supplement to a $75,000
grant from the Untied States Department of Agriculture
and to $15,000 worth of unexpended funds.
The $25,000 was borrowed at an interest rate of about
three and a half percent, said Supervisor Robert Cross
28 Repair Delays...
Look for delays in road repairs in the area as an expected
pushing-back of a November 1 opening date for State Route
23A between Haines Falls and Palenville to mid-November
pushes back similar plans for repairs on Rout2 28 just
east of Boiceville, possibly into the Spring. According
to Hunter town Supervisor Dennis Lucas, who works for
the state Department of Transportation, DOT design personnel
have told him the “tensioning of the horizontal
anchors at the retaining wall site” took more time
than was originally expected.
The DOT was planning to hold an informational meeting
Wednesday, October 11 at Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl to give
an update on the repair project and go over the timeline
for its completion.
Route 23A between Haines Falls and Palenville was closed
due to the failure of a stone retaining wall following
heavy rain in late June. During that rain, a mudslide
closed the road and crews that were sent to clean up the
mess discovered the retaining wall had been breached due
to the large amount of precipitation. An approximately
40- by 25-foot section of the wall along the downward
slope below the roadway had failed, taking out a portion
of Route 23A.
The Route 28 repairs involve a culvert buried 50 feet
below the roadway and will necessitate the closing of
one lane, and considerable detouring, for up to three
months. It, too, results from summer rain damage.
Meanwhile, Shandaken Police report that in response to
citizen complaints of speeding vehicles in Chichester,
they patrolled the area over this past holiday weekend,
issuing 21 tickets for speeds between 48 and 55 mph.
The speed limit on 214 is 35 mph, from the Greene County
line all the way down to School Lane in Phoenicia, where
it drops to 30 mph.
The Onteora school district said they could soon restore
funding to continue services from the Ulster County mental
health program called, Family And Child Early Treatment
Services, or FACETS, providing that the district’a
auditors accept the contract.
In August when FACETS contracts were presented for renewal,
interim superintendent Jack Jordan would not allow voter-approved
money for the program based on advice from the district’s
lawyers regarding a new law allegedly prohibiting such
funding. The intent of the law was a revision to an already
existing law to expand access to mental, dental and physical
Because of the school’s interpretation of a passage
prohibiting the use of local tax money, FACETS social
workers operated on a limited basis at the Boiceville
site with only the hope of a funding clarification from
the State education department for the past year.
FACETS provide two social workers at a cost of a little
over $60,000 including benefits and the use of a psychiatrist
at no cost to the district. If the program were dropped,
students would need to utilize services at the Ulster
County mental health facility in Kingston. Currently there
are 33 families using the services in the district and
once money is restored, each social worker will have a
maximum of 20 students.
Although people have spoken out at school board meetings,
the board has yet to discuss FACETS programs and it’s
future. In a phone conversation, School board president
Marino D’Orazio said he wants to follow the law
but reserved caution, noting conflicting interpretations
on the funding. But he said the school board would discuss
FACETS stating, “Clearly this is an education decision
to be made of funding, philosophical and educational importance.”
FACETS works with Head Start, Saugerties and Kingston
schools offering on-site services. The school district
covers 50 percent of the costs and the other half comes
from private insurance, Medicare or out of pocket expenses
based on a sliding scale. Advocates stress the need for
mental health services for teens noting that the public
tends to overlook its seriousness.
Roger Rotella, 28 of West Shokan and a former sergeant
with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Police Department, as well as a former Shandaken police
officer, was indicted last week on charges that he accepted
a bribe with a promise to make a drunk driving charge
against another man “disappear,” according
to an Ulster County Grand jury verdict, which charged
Rotella with one count of bribe receiving, a felony, and
official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
Rotella had been suspended from his job as a police officer
for the Department of Environmental Protection for 30
days and then quit after the suspension was completed.
According to charges from the county D.A.’s office,
Rotella had made a promise to Dale Ford on July 9 that
he would make a charge of driving while intoxicated go
away if Ford paid him $30,000 to do so after Ford had
been arrested on DWI charges on July 4. The district attorney
said that Rotella apparently had mounting mortgage and
credit card bills and noted that the arrest occurred after
state police were contacted about the bribery scheme and
set up a sting operation on July 10.
Rotella later confessed to police.
The town of Shandaken has entered into a five year lease
agreement with Mount Tremper landowner Dean Gitter to
use Gitter’s soccer field. The measure was passed
at the town board’s October 2 session, but not without
some dissension. Supervisor Robert Cross Jr. failed to
supply the board with a copy of the lease for review but
asked for a vote anyway, causing some town board members
to question the arrangement.
A draft of the lease shows that the town will be responsible
for mowing and maintaining the property and includes a
mysterious requirement that the town not file the lease
with the County of Ulster or any other entity other than
the ShandakenTown Clerk’s office and the office
of the Supervisor. Filing it with the county would make
the lease immediately void.
Cross explained that the lease was to allow all local
organizations to use the field, including the Onteora
School District, which has already been using the premises
for soccer activities. But things went into an uproar
when Councilman Robert Stanley complained that the decision
to sign the lease was made in an informal meeting on August
28th between Cross, Gitter, and local newspaperman Blake
Killin. Holding aloft a stack of e-mails that were between
Killin and local Soccer Coach Chris Fisher, Stanley angrily
quoted phrases such as “it’s a done deal’
and guarantees that such a measure would pass unanimously.
“I’d like to know why Mr. Killin knew about
this before I did,” Stanley said. “I’m
a town board member.”
Other board members claimed no knowledge of the deal being
reached, Cross however, acknowledged that he did have
a meeting with Killin and Gitter about the matter.
The measure passed, with Stanley and Peter DiSclafani
voting no. Stanley said it was ridiculous to vote on a
five year commitment without seeing the details. Cross
said it was okay to decide because the town attorney was
going to look the lease over.
This marks the latest chapter for the infamous soccer
field. Plagued with problems from the get go, it was created
5 years ago for Shandaken Area Youth Sports, a local non-profit
group that ran a popular soccer program and needed larger
facilities. Neighbors of the field tried to stop the project
and failed, but along the way forced SAYS to get a special
use permit to use the premises, complete with several
conditions that severely restricted use of the field,
where cars could be parked, who could use it and what
dates and times it could be used. The lease ended in July.
SAYS wanted to extend it for another five years but, according
to Donna Fischer, a member of the organizations board
of directors, Gitter denied the request but indicated
he would allow soccer to continue anyway. Fischer claims
this arrangement created problems that led to no soccer
program this year.
“Our Special Use Permit states that the Special
Use Permit would expire the day the lease does and would
be renewed if the lease was renewed,” said Fischer
in a prepared statement. “I wanted people to fully
understand why SAYS will no longer run recreational soccer
for the town of Shandaken.”
Cross believes SAYS can run the program under the town’s
lease. The season however, is almost over.
County legislators Frank Dart of Kingston and Brian Shapiro
of Woodstock, both Democrats, have been battling over
a proposed county sex offender law that would set limits
on how close a sex offender could live to a school and
other facilities frequented by children. Shapiro has said
crafting the law is better left to the professionals and
worries that if passed, the new law would “create
a purge of sex offenders from Kingston city and send them
sporadically throughout the rural areas of Ulster County.”
Dart has replied that Shapiro’s objection is simply
that, “ he doesn’t want these people in Woodstock.”
Only three people spoke at last week’s public hearing
on the proposed law. It now goes back to committee for
further discussion and consideration to place it before
the full legislature for a vote in the coming week.
Joseph Gilsinger, the 40 year old hit-and-run driver from
Mount Tremper who struck and killed a bicyclist on state
Route 28 last spring, was sentenced to five years of probation
recently, despite calls from the family of the deceased
asking for prison time..
Gilsinger struck 43-year-old Richard “Ricky”
Shultis of Hurley, riding a bicycle in the Town of Ulster,
on April 19 and did not stop. He was arreseted on April
21 after police traced a piece of his pickup and reports
from eyewitnesses. He pled guilty to a felony charge of
leaving the scene of an injury accident without reporting
it on July 27.
The terms of Gilsinger’s probation will include
a mandate that he provide a DNA sample for registration
and that, at the discretion of a probation officer, he
could be subject to intense supervision, electronic monitoring
and substance abuse counseling. If Gilsinger violates
any part of his probation, he will be sentenced to 2-1/3
to seven years in state prison.
Gilsinger apologized in court to Shultis’ family
and said he fled because he was scared, panic-stricken
Todd Thinks Small
Ulster County’s businesses are stronger than ever,
and efforts are in full swing to keep small business thriving
in the Hudson Valley region according to a speech by Ulster
County Chamber of Commerce President Ward Todd at his
outfit’s 10th annual Business Showcase at the community
college last week. Todd, who is now saying that the business
base in the region is the small business, had pushed for
increased tourism and large business ventures when head
of the County Legislature five years ago.
Over 100 businesses participated in this year’s
business showcase held at Ulster County Community College
in Stone Ridge.
Much discussion at the event also focused on both the
county’s long slow recovery from IBM’s leaving
a decade ago and, moreover, the effects on county government
spending on infrastructure brought about by huge overruns
on the county’s very late new jail project, which
was started during Todd’s tenure.
The Ulster County Law Enforcement Center committee, meanwhile,
spent its most recent meeting battling over job finishing
lists and new needs for finishing funds to cover such
costs. There are differing opinions on what needs to be
The hope is to start moving inmates in before year’s
The Ulster County Legislature will conduct a public hearing
on October 30 to brief county residents on the type of
voting machine lawmakers support as the county changes
over to comply with federal law. Gary Bischoff, chairman
of the Efficiency, Reform and Intergovernmental Affairs
Committee has said legislators support going one step
further than the two types of machines suggested by the
“It would mandate that any machines used in Ulster
County for local, state and federal elections must have
a paper record that is the actual paper manually marked
by the voter.”
One machine offered by the state would have the resident
vote on a touch screen and the results logged on a paper
strip similar to a gasoline receipt. The other would have
the voter fill out a paper ballot and place it into an
optical scanning reader.
About one-third of attention deficit disorder cases among
U.S. children may be linked with tobacco smoke before
birth or to lead exposure afterward, according to new
research. Even levels of lead the government considers
acceptable appeared to increase a child’s risk of
having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the study
It builds on previous research linking attention problems,
including ADHD, with childhood lead exposure and smoking
during pregnancy, and offers one of the first estimates
for how much those environmental factors might contribute.
The study’s estimate is in line with a National
Academy of Sciences report in 2000 that said about 3 percent
of all developmental and neurological disorders in U.S.
children are caused by toxic chemicals and other environmental
factors and 25 percent are due to a combination of environmental
factors and genetics.
ADHD is a brain disorder affecting between 4 percent and
12 percent of U.S. school-age children - or as many as
3.8 million youngsters. Affected children often have trouble
sitting still and paying attention and act impulsively
at home and at school. Researchers are not certain about
its causes but believe genetics and environmental factors
including prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco or illicit
drugs may play a role.
As the flu season nears, the Centers for Disease Control
reports that despite shortages in years past there should
be an adequate supply of flu vaccines this year.
“What we understand from manufacturers is that we’ll
have about 100 million doses this year, which is about
20 million more than we’ve ever had before,”
said Curtis Allen, a spokesman for the CDC, which is based
Allen said there are four manufacturers that produce the
flu vaccine. The manufacturers are businesses that hope
to make a profit, so they make only as many vaccines as
they hope to sell. The flu virus changes every year and
the vaccine is only good for this year, Allen said. So,
manufacturers make a best guess.
“Influenza is very unpredictable. You don’t
know when it will hit or how severe it will be,”
To help gauge how much vaccine to produce, manufacturers
observe flu outbreaks in the southern hemisphere, where
the flu season is in our summer months, and try to estimate
from past usage. The flu vaccine is recommended for children
ages 6 months to 5 years, people 65 or older, people who
give care to those two groups or anyone with chronic illnesses.
The largest number of vaccine ever distributed in a year
is 83 million.
Ulster County has ordered 2,200 vaccines. Private clinics
in Ulster County will likely occur during November and
Fly To FLA!
With two words – AirTran Airways – Stewart
International Airport went from the minor leagues to the
majors. Senator Charles Schumer, airline President Robert
Fornaro and Stewart President Charles Seliga announced
recently that the low-cost carrier would provide five
daily flights from the Hudson Valley’s main airport
near Newburgh beginning January 11, 2007. The airline
will fly twice per day to its hub in Atlanta and once
daily each to Orlando, Fl. Lauderdale and Tampa. Introductory
fares will be in the $79 to $89 one-way range. Officials
said the service will be a win-win for both the leisure
and business traveler. The leisure traveler will be able
to capitalize on popular vacation destinations and the
business person will be able to take advantage of air
fares that could be between 60 percent and 70 percent
lower than the full fare carriers, said Fornaro. AirTran
will use its 117-seat, Boeing 717 jets, the youngest fleet
in the country. Schumer said the service could be the
first step toward making Stewart the fourth New York metropolitan
The Catskill Watershed Corporation is offering to help
local residents spend more time on City-owned reservoir
lands by asking those interested in fishing, hiking and
hunting licenses to bring drivers licenses or photo IDs
to the corporation’s offices at 905 Main Street,
Margaretville (Delaware County), so a CWC staff member
can go on line to secure an instant recreational use permit.
The permit and accompanying vehicle tag will be laminated
and trimmed, and a list of recreation areas and designated
uses provided right there.
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently
eased its application process so that permits are obtainable
in just a few minutes on the internet. More than 74,000
acres of city land is now open to the public, with 36,000
acres available for deer hunting, 7,700 acres for small
game hunting, and 25,000 acres and 21 reservoirs available
for fishing. Hikers, snowshoers, birdwatchers, cross-country
skiers and other outdoor lovers with valid permits also
have access to thousands of acres of city
To get one’s permits online and find out which management
units are available for hunting, fishing and hiking, go
to www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation. The minimum age of
access permit and hunting tag eligibility has been lowered
from 16 to 14 with parental consent. Non-drivers must
use a government issued picture ID to obtain a permit.
Meanwhile, The CWC also is developing a new website developed
around an interactive mapping system that incorporates
multi-layered maps and links to community information,
tourism sites and geographical highlights from throughout
the six-county Catskills. On the recommendation of the
Corporation’s Tourism and Marketing Committee, the
CWC is now seeking a web design consultant to obtain the
optimal promotional benefit from the maps and information
gathered on the technical GIS site. The new website will
define, promote and market the region by serving as a
directory, or umbrella, for existing websites that have
already been established by the counties and other tourism
promotion entities in the region, the CWC says.
The review of an all-terrain vehicle policy on state-owned
land has taken longer than expected, but officials with
the state Department of Environmental Conservation hope
to finalize it this fall. The policy was initially expected
to be ready at the beginning of the year, then the summer.
The policy would not be a new law governing all-terrain
vehicles, but would clarify current regulations and specify
criteria that need to be considered for environmental
impacts, according to state officials. The policy would
require agency employees to use due diligence in evaluating
every opportunity for all-terrain vehicle use on state
land on a case-by-case basis.
Last year, the Department of Environmental Conservation
gathered comments throughout the state on a draft version
of the policy. The agency was supposed to use that information
to come up with a revised policy that reconciled the use
of all-terrain vehicles on state lands, while protecting
environmentally sensitive areas.
Some people felt the vehicles had no place on state land.
All-terrain vehicle owners, however, argued that they
have to pay registration fees to the state, so should
be given a place to ride in return.
The state has said it is struggling to come up with a
policy everyone can live with.
New York State Police brass in Albany have sent out an
edict stopping all plea-bargaining of traffic tickets,
but the result is that local prosecutors are finding themselves
in court far longer than in the past and simple traffic
cases are appearing to snarl the courts. Under the policy
that went into effect Sept. 1, state troopers no longer
are allowed to offer plea bargains to motorists issued
traffic tickets. The state Legislature in August passed
legislation prohibiting the state police from instituting
the policy, but Gov. George Pataki vetoed that bill and
the policy was allowed to take effect.
Prosecutors say the practice of state police plea-bargaining
tickets has been sanctioned by the state Court of Appeals,
but Glen Valle, chief counsel for the state police, called
the idea of troopers plea-bargaining tickets they issue
Community colleges in Ulster, Orange, Sullivan and Rockland
counties have joined together to develop the Hudson Valley
Domestic Preparedness Community College Consortium. Students
will be able to pursue a two-year associate degree at
any of the four colleges, which will be linked together
via cyber technology. The project is financed with $4
million in state funding secured by State Senators John
Bonacic and William Larkin.
Bonacic said the initiative is being driven both by a
post-9/11 sense of need for new ways to address homeland
security, and by sensing a desire by some high school
students to pursue a career in this area. Larkin called
the program an opportunity to bring more men and women
into the emergency services and first responder communities.
The consortium will allow students to pursue degrees in
emergency management, fire protection science, paramedic
and cyber security. The hope is some successful students
will pursue four-year degrees.
The Tannersville Village Board, angry at possibly losing
its bus service as a result of recent road closures, has
adopted a resolution opposing a plan by Adirondack Trailways
to discontinue service to Tannersville and Haines Falls.
If the company drops its Haines Falls and Tannersville
service, sticking with its current routes through Palenville
to Windham and to Hunter, they say, the nearest stops
for people in those communities would be Palenville and
The change, according to a notice from bus company, would
allow the company to provide new services to Cairo, Acra,
Durham and Windham and resume service in Saugerties and
Anne Noonan, vice president of marketing and traffic for
Adirondack Trailways, which is based in Kingston, said
the company wants to establish new services to Cairo and
Lexington and move off the routes that use state Route
23A, part of which has been closed for more than three
She said the company has not been able to serve Haines
Falls and Tannersville so it decided to change its routes,
and found its temporary route to Hunter via Phoenicia
and Lanesville non-productive.
“We think there’s a bigger market in Cairo
than there currently is in Haines Falls and Tannersville,”
Noonan said the bus company is working with the state
Department of Transportation to obtain public comment
about the route changes and would have to get operating
authority from the state to make the planned changes.
Former Ulster County Sheriff Michael LaPaglia, a leading
Republican, has endorsed Democratic sheriff candidate
Paul Van Blarcum. He will face Republican candidate Kevin
Costello in next month’s general election.
LaPaglia, who was the longest tenured sheriff in Ulster
County history, said Van Blarcum is the best candidate
for the post, given his 30 years with the sheriff’s
The race is not about politics, but about the most qualified
person for the job, LaPaglia said. “The former sheriff
said he may get some heat from fellow Republicans for
crossing party lines, “but, I’m used to that.”
Ulster County Democratic Party Chairman John Parete said
there is no Democrat, Republican, Conservative or Independence
Party way to run the sheriff’s department.
Costello, a retired lieutenant with the State Police Bureau
of Criminal Investigation, was endorsed by retiring Sheriff
Although gas prices at the pump have fallen back in recent
days, Congressman Maurice Hinchey warns they will go up
again, and most likely after Election Day.
Those prices may have declined, but by varying amounts
depending upon where you are in the Hudson Valley. Westchester,
Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange counties must include
ethanol in their gas, which drives the cost up by well
over 25 cents per gallon. So, in Ulster County, pump prices
are lower to begin with.
Hinchey blames the prices, high or lower, on the lack
of competition among US gas companies, which he said are
making record profits for their top executives.
“Although the prices have dropped back, they are
still not where they ought to be,” he said. “If
we had a fair, organized system here that did not permit
this kind of monopolization and no competition by price
by these corporations, then the American public would
be paying less for gasoline than we are paying today and
we wouldn’t be facing the likelihood that these
gas prices would be jumping up again very soon.”
Hinchey said the Congress has failed in its responsibility
to regulate the monopolistic oil companies.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced
that Citgo, the U.S.-based refining arm of Venezuela’s
state-run oil company, plans to more than double the amount
of heating oil it is making available under a program
to aid poorer communities in the U.S. to 100 million gallons
this winter, up from 40 million gallons. He said the oil
will reach people in 17 states including all of the Northeast,
Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia,
Maryland, and the cities of Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh,
Chavez started the heating oil program last winter, accusing
Bush of neglecting the poor. Citgo says up to 1.2 million
people will benefit this winter.
The United States continues to be the top buyer of Venezuelan
oil, bringing the South American country billions of dollars
in earnings that help fund Chavez’s popular social
The Arts Upstairs!
The Arts Upstairs Gallery announces the opening of its
next show, Open Show, on Saturday, Oct 21, with a reception
for artists, patrons, and friends from 6 pm until 10.
As always, the theme of the show is optional - all work
is accepted, depending on space limitations. The opening
party will feature a pot-luck buffet - please feel free
to bring a dish or beverage, or make a contribution. Drof
off for the show is this upcoming weekend during regular
gallery hours - Friday Oct 13 from 3 to 6, Saturday, Oct
14 from 10 to 6, and Sunday, Oct 15 from 10 to 4. The
Arts Upstairs Gallery is located at 60 Main Street, Phoenicia.
For more info call them at 688-2142.