(Letters from May 24, 2007)
In the May 10, 2007 issue of the Olive Press editorial you
nominated Travis Trim for Sainthood. You outlined his "Rap"
sheet which was woefully short according to "Googled"
web sites, and you continued on with the usual contemporary
Editorials traditionally reveal the soul of a publication
and reflect the philosophy of the community which it serves
but this time the Olive Press has misplaced the local, age
old code of causes and effects. What was in the water the
day you wrote that editoril? It reads as if the NY State Police
generated the hostility and as other police joined in the
"hunt" "Murphy's" Law kicked in due to
[implied] tactical errors. The "errant" tear gas
shell was not errant. Just as Mr Trim did not know that his
"murder" of a police officer failed; likewise the
police did not know that this mutant was dead and so continued
whatever action to capture him. If he "killed" a
police officer, why not anyone who gets in his way?
I am not educated but I am quite literate. I read this editorial
as, having lost a fine, productive citizen [Mr Trim] however
misunderstood, whose worth far exceeds the value of a second
home and/or the life of a police officer who was doing his
duty as assigned. The police manning the road blocks [certainly]
were just waiting for some motorist to commit an error which
would "provoke an attack from an emotionally charged
police force". Emotionally charged? Have you attended
a police funeral? The police at the road blocks had shotguns
as the weapon of choice simply because one does not give an
elusive perpetrator another oppotunity to continue his fantasy.
Mr Trim demonstrated his cunning and evil mind set as the
first officer was about to confront him with a "minor"
traffic infraction. "His"stolen van [was] loaded
with guns" [your words] and so he responded with cowardice.
He also had much ammo as logistical planning might demand
[my thesis]. He was up to no good, so why should we enter
into deep and remorseful mourning for him?
Last evening my wife and I attended "Our Town",
[a play by Thornton Wilder] at the Olive Library. It was wonderful
and I had the opportunity to review your editorial with other
"theatre goer" friends. A "hornet's" nest
has been disturbed and we collectively wondered, why the link
to the upcoming vote on the OSD budget and Board candidates?
By now [publication day] we know that Mr D'Orazio has been
replaced and it causes me to pause. I have criticized Mr D'Orazio
and take nothing back; but I do salute him for his service.
A teacher first, then an attorney with a JD certainly can
find a more enjoyable pastime than attending school board
meetings complete with confrontation and "back biting".
It takes a person with "hutzpah" to lead a group
that wanders in separate, different directions. If Mr D'Orazio
is still there I would hope that he is selected as President.
The OSD Board needs a benevolent dictator to lead orderly
By the way; the "minor" traffic incident, the "minor"
DUI, the "minor" probation, the "minor"
beer purchases for minors, the "minor" pot charge
and the arrests at SUNY Canton as a student are not great
on a resume.
The family of the Trooper "killed" by friendly fire
has been quite magnanamous in their heartfelt concern for
the one who may have fired the round. I can tell you that
all the officers at the scene were saying, "maybe I fired
that shot". I submit that this "normal kid"
Travis Trim, fired that "errant" round!
A north Jersey police officer owns the resultant pile of ashes
that was his second home in Arkville. Officer Chamberlain
cried more for the loss of a brother officer than he did for
"one of the region's more expensive homes going up in
flames [that] was entirely avertable". Did the State
Police really say that the fire was "entirely avertable"
or is this some "Monday morning Quarterbacking?
One last irony; Travis Trim and Trooper David Brinkerhoff
were buried the same day. Officer Brinkerhoff was celebrated
by police reps from Canada, Mexico and all the U.S. cities,
towns and hamlets.
Sadly, Travis Trim is still celebrated by a misguided editorial.
Glenn T. Anderson
You and your buddies did not fairly announce the school board
election (i.e., positive and negative on all the candidates),
or report the news fairly. Thankfully, people saw through
what you were trying to do to push one person, the person
I think was not the best qualified or was he the one with
the best interests of Olive in mind.
This is a letter in response to Ms. Maxanne Reznick's letter
endorsing a candidate for the recent school board election.
In this letter she not only endorsed Mr. D'Orazio, well within
her legal and ethical rights to do, of course, BUT, she also
urged voters to NOT vote for either of the other two candidates,
apparently SOLELY on the principle that they resided in the
Town of Olive. She did this knowing full well that at least
one of them would be elected [since there were two spots to
be filled on the board] and that she would be in a position
of then having to work with at least one of them as a fellow
board member for the good of the Onteora schools system.
This latter point, while certainly her legal right, in my
opinion, violates her oath to be a representative of ALL of
the people of the Onteora school district and is unworthy
of a truly principled school board member. It is small minded
and devisive and she should apologise publicly in this paper
and to the two fine people who she beschmerched [but who were
elected anyway] by this statement if she truly wants to resurrect
her reputation and serve all of the people of this school
The M-ARK Project has sent the following letter to Governor
Eliot Spitzer and we hope you will share it with your readers.
We applaud your efforts, and those of your staff, to try to
find common ground on the Belleayre Resort project. As an
economic development agency that has served the eastern portion
of Delaware County for nearly 30 years, the M-ARK Project
must add its voice to those calling for a final settlement
of the negotiations. Assuming that developers are able to
secure all permits necessary from the variety of agencies
with oversight responsibilities, we support the building of
a downsized resort as currently proposed by the developers.
The Town of Middletown, as well as Andes and Roxbury, desperately
need this economic development initiative and they need it
now. We do not believe that environmental responsibility and
economic development must be mutually exclusive.
We believe that with a negotiated settlement, the SEQRA process
will have worked to arrive at a project size that can be built
without undue environmental threat or degradation. We urge
all parties to come to an agreement that will allow a project
of at least some economic viability to be built.
One need only look at the empty commercial spaces on our Main
Streets to see the need for a resort that will attract more
people to the area. One need only look at the cost of educating
our children to see the need for a major property added to
our tax base. We at the M-ARK Project see these needs in a
much more intimate way, on a daily basis and it’s not
a pretty picture.
The reason we are able to get so many grants for our community
is because we are so desperately needy. But living from grant
to grant, waiting for the government to dole out aid is not
an economic development strategy on which to build a future.
In discussing the economic plight of our region, one board
member said “it’s great to build low income housing.
But unless we get some economic development projects going
around here, we’re going to have to build no income
From day one, most folks have said “we’re in favor
of a project but this one’s too big. If only it could
be scaled back, it would be good.” We applaud the efforts
of elected officials to bring all parties together and to
try to reach consensus on the current scaled back version
and we look forward to learning the details, and when it will
Lucci Kelly. President
M-ARK Board of Directors
M-ARK Project, Inc.
I've been following the Dean Gitter/Belleayre Resort story
for several years now. I believe the project to be a disaster
in the making, pushed by someone who is more concerned about
the money he can make than with the quality of life of the
people in the area and the damage he will cause to the environment.
Thomas H. White of Big Indian points out that there were large
hotels in the area a century ago. In that, he is correct.
However, I beg to differ that the people who built them had
'no idea of what "run off" was'. People a century
ago were a lot closer to the land and what affects the environment
than people are now; they just didn't have a lot of fancy
words to describe what they knew. Yes, there were large hotels,
but they were not the kind of gigantic complex that Gitter
proposes. They were more like the Mohonk Mountain House, and
didn't include multiple golf
courses and tennis courts or condos; they did, however, work
in harmony with nature, instead of bulldozing half a mountainside
and leaving it open to major erosion. Alexander von Humboldt,
writing in the 18th century, said: 'Felling the trees which
cover the sides and tops of the mountains provokes in every
disasters for future generations: a want of fuel and a scarcity
of water. Trees are surrounded by a permanently cool and moist
atmosphere due to the evaporation of water vapor from the
leaves and their radiation in a cloudless sky... They shelter
the soil from the direct action of the sun and thereby lessen
the evaporation of the rain water. When forests are destroyed...
the springs are reduced in volume or dry up entirely. The
river beds... are transformed into torrents whenever there
is a heavy rainfall in the mountains. Turf and moss disappear....
the rainwater rushing down no longer meets with any obstructions.
Intead of slowly raising the level of the rivers... it cuts
furrows into the ground, carries down the loosened soil and
produces those sudden inundations which devastate the country.
It follows that the destruction of the forests, the lack of
the existence of torrents are three closely connected phenomena.'
(James Burke, 'The Pinball Effect'; p 173)
This sounds very much like what Gitter has planned, and the
result would be very much worse than if he just left everything
My other concern regarding the Belleayre project is the traffic
on the Route 28 corridor. As I write, I am looking at the
front page of the 7 April 2007 edition of the 'Daily Freeman'.
I know the mangled car in the photograph very well. My friend,
Terry O'Neill of Palenville, was the woman killed in that
accident, just five miles from my house. It was the third
serious accident on that stretch of Route 28 in one week,
and that's on a road that has very little traffic compared
to some roads I've travelled. People are used to the emptiness
and straightness of Route 28, so they drive well over the
speed limit, talking on their cell phones, with no thought
consequences. If the Belleayre project goes through, traffic
will increase a hundred-fold. How many deaths can we expect
then? Will it be worth it? I think not.
Patricia G. Gerresheim
West Shokan, NY
A word to the wise, I find it somewhat ironic that the “new
“ restaurant at the Gitter Complex being named The Phoenix,
only later to read that the name originated from the mysterious
fire at the old Emerson. Here is where it becomes weird. If
you remember when the old Emerson was built there was a sign
erected with 4 or 5 stars attached to it, guessing that the
developer thought it would be considered a 4 or 5 star hotel.
It was later revealed that this was not the case and one or
two of the stars disappeared. Then we witness this mysterious
fire that destroyed the hotel. So we have a hotel that did
not exceed its expectations destroyed by a mysterious fire
and now we have the “ New Emerson Resort and Spa”.
So we go from an overpriced labeled “average hotel”
to a Resort and Spa - coincidence? My observation could be
wrong however I am sure I am not alone on this.
Mr. Gitter you denied a not for profit youth organization
a lease on the fields that was developed at no cost to you
except great “PR”. In reality all you did was
rip off the efforts of a great many volunteers who were trying
to help the towns youth. Perhaps if we were all still on the
“pro Gitter band wagon” we would still have a
lease on the field. My belief is that as soon as the Republicans
took control of the Town Board the “Gitter Camp “
had no use in having to pacify the towns people. It was back
to business as usual, and the heck with the youth. The organization
that had the lease did not harm the property, they did their
best with the resources they had. Perhaps one day you will
be able to give everyone an answer on why this all took place
- granted you need some time to make it a good story.
You may not care for the sign in my front yard or the context
of it however it is the truth and honestly I tried for a 40’semi
trailer but I was receiving too much gripe from the ZEO on
a 4 x 6 sign and the fact that the trailer wouldn’t
fit in my driveway.
There are a few people you may consider in your back pocket
and assume that a phone call from you or your camp will get
the job done but I sir am not one of them nor am I intimidated
by them. Since moving to this town it has been my goal to
provide the youth with quality sports programs. I did not
realize I would be dealing with so many morons. You see Mr.
Gitter it is not all about the almighty dollar and hopefully
you will soon realize this. I have witnessed your scams, money
now and publish photos later, so it appears you still care.
This year is an election year and although Mr. Cross has created
his committees to benefit your desires, you are not home free.
I met with Mr. Cross in early March 2007 to discuss the use
of the soccer fields this spring. As usual I was promised
the world and to this date have received no help from the
current town board. Not once have the fields been mowed in
2 1⁄2 months nor do we have portable restrooms. Our
club hosts home games from several counties and it is quite
embarrassing to have to tell others to go use the woods -
thanks for nothing. This town needs to wake up and elect officials
that will make the decisions that will benefit all not just
those with special interest. Not all town board members are
useless or counter productive, Mr. Desclafini you are doing
a good job just a little more interest in the youth would
In closing I can only say that I among many have the youth’s
interest at heart and am willing to work with any elected
official or private group who share the same desires. It is
only in Shandaken we must wait until the elections this fall
because our current majority members of the town board have
failed to provide a quality program for our youth.
On May 7th, The Woodstock Democratic Committee hosted a Q&A
between the three Democratic candidates for the office of
Ulster County District Attorney. Vincent Bradley Jr, Julian
Schreibman and Jonathan Sennett patiently answered far ranging
questions from both the WDC members and the Woodstockers that
attended. The Q&A lasted over 2 hours and the candidates
had the opportunity to convey their philosophy, experience
and goals. The Woodstock Democratic Committee wishes to thank
all three candidates for a lively and enlightening evening.
The Democratic Party will be lucky to have any one of these
men as our next DA.
Terrie Rosenblum, Chair
Woodstock Democratic Committee
There have been celebrations of Israeli Independence Day which
are appropriate: the one in NYC had many important politicians
respectfully present. However, with the establishment of the
Israeli state, there was an enormous cost for the Palestinians
which I want to acknowledge. More than 500 Palestinian villages
were destroyed and 750,000 Palestinians became refugees in
1948 to make way for the state of Israel. The Zionist belief
was that Palestine of 1948 was ‘a land without people
for a people without a land’ but there were almost one
million Palestinians living in the area that became Israel.
They did not leave voluntarily but left to avoid massacres
and war. Their loss is acknowledged and honored on Nakba Day
(“Nakba” is Arabic for catastrophe). This Friday,
May 18 is Nakba Day. Like many Israelis who work for peace
in Israel, I wish to acknowledge the Nakba and its ongoing
injustice because I believe this is essential to achieving
peace in the holy land. Please join me for a vigil on Friday,
May 18, at 5pm on the Woodstock Village Green.
When SUNY New Paltz, President Steven Poskanzer visited the
Freeman Editorial Board on April 23, it was great that he
could discuss how funding increases allowed for the hiring
of 38 full time faculty members. It was too bad that President
Poskanzer didn't also discuss the discontinuance of the Sociology
Department's Dual Degree Program in Sociology and Social Welfare.
If only the voices of the many residents of Ulster County
to whom this program gave a helping hand could be heard, maybe
this program would not have been eliminated. This program
was responsible for placing Graduate level Social Work interns
into many Ulster County human service agencies. This resource
allowed these agencies to provide more service at little extra
cost. Furthermore, it brought the knowledge base of the College
into the community and stirred many a conversation on Social
Work theory and technique. Many area Social Work supervisors
received the benefit of being trained at SUNY New Paltz as
field instructors. Such training served as a seminar in human
service provider supervision, a stress management support
and networking group, and a vital source of helping technology
transfer. This is the last year that Ulster County will have
SUNY New Paltz just doesn't care about the disadvantaged and
disenfranchised of Ulster County the way this institution
used to. After May 2007, it looks like this noble program
will be history. If only the voices of the many Social Work
professionals who graduated from this program and went on
to find employment in beautiful Ulster County could be heard,
maybe this program would be revived. SUNY New Paltz used to
offer an economical route to a professional Social Work degree.
With Social Work being one of the lowest paid of the professions,
economy of tuition is a vital consideration for many who want
to be able to afford Ulster County's high housing costs, while
paying off graduate school loans. Many, many professional
social workers have been able to do just that. If only they
could meet as a body with President Poskanzer to hear his
explanation as to why he could not find a way to refund this
program, with or without the aid of SUNY Albany (a partner
in this program - shame, shame on my alma mater).
Unfortunately, over-worked social work supervisors, social
work graduates, human service workers for whom this program
supported their upward mobility and the troubled citizens
for whom this program was a Godsend, weren't consulted before
this program slipped through the fingers of SUNY New Paltz
administrators. President Poskanzer, why was this program
cut and what can you do to bring this program back? Many hurting
Ulster County citizens would like to know.
David S. Shaw
Kingston and Benedictine hospitals have finally announced
public forums on a proposed "realignment." In the
last several months, many decisions have been made behind
closed doors. A number of questions haven't been answered
to my satisfaction.
Why is Kingston Hospital moving away from its mission by agreeing
to move reproductive services out of the hospital?
What about security concerns? If tubal ligations, abortions,
and vasectomies are moved into the Medical Arts Building,
those who oppose these services could easily be disruptive.
If other occupants of the building experience harassment and
decide to move out, what guarantee is there that the center
would stay open?
What about counseling for HIV/AIDS? Catholic hospitals are
not allowed to discuss contraception. How can people at risk
protect their health and the health of others?
They said the hospital doesn't interfere with the doctor-patient
relationship, but doctors at Catholic hospitals must sign
an agreement to follow the Religious Directives. Which is
If you, too, want answers, attend a meeting sponsored by the
hospitals. The next is May 24 at Onteora High School, Boiceville.
Mildred M. Meyer
High Falls, NY
By this time, most readers have heard of the rulings of the
Berger Commission affecting hospitals and nursing homes located
in New York state. Ostensibly, designed to reform them and
lower their costs of operation, its premise is so harmful
to our already failing health care system, that it must be
altered by the state legislature lest it result in ever greater
expenses for New York state residents. In the Hudson Valley
Area this Commission has ordered Kingston and Benedictine
hospitals to merge their operations by the end of ’07
or one of them will have to close. This was based on information
dating back to 2003 and is no longer valid. According to a
recent article in the Daily Freeman, Kingston Hospital has
reported profits from $500,000 to $2 million for the past
three years. But at public information meetings sponsored
by the two hospitals this information was not forthcoming.
The problem of duplication of services at the above mentioned
hospitals can be settled by a simple agreement between them
without the complicated and costly merger process, which will
create another layer of bureaucracy without any gain to the
health care of the patients.
They are planning to build another ambulatory surgery in a
nearby building to provide reproductive services because of
the religious mandates of Benedictine Hospital. These services
are already provided at Kingston Hospital. Does it make sense
to spend the extra millions of dollars it will cost to buy
and equip another site?
We need to provide health care for all regardless of age or
income in a non-profit system Health care is a service, not
an industry. This should be our focus now.
Assemblyman Cahill, Senators Larkin and Bonacic and Gov. Spitzer
must act immediately to reverse the actions of the Berger
Commission and lift the death penalty on one of our much needed
hospitals. They have been derelict in their duty to safeguard
the interests of the people. Call or write them now and demand
Ulster County legislative leaders (Chairman David Donaldson
and Minority Leader Glenn Noonan) are opening the door to
a casino in Ellenville (Town of Wawarsing). In a recent ediution
of the Saugerties Times, Donaldson cites the nearby proposed
casino in Monticello (Sullivan County) as a favorable factor.
"A casino in Sullivan may very well affect that (Ellenville)
area without getting any benefit, you would have the negatives
of gambling with none of the money which comes with it."
Thus do our weak-kneed leaders justify what has been termed
"the race to the bottom." As each casino spreads
its negative affect in an outward radius of some 50 miles
- sucking the money from the surrounding area, and creating
crime, traffic, social problems - politicians in these areas
say, "If we're going to get the negatives anyway, let's
try and get in on the action and have our own casino."
Then, in turn, more casinos are created as everywhere communities
get in on the action and the radius of damage is extended
until everywhere the net negatives of casinos prevail. Tomorrow
Ellenville, the day after tomorrow politicians following their
craven logic will target Saugerties again.
Legislator Brian Shapiro has the right idea. The Ulster County
Legislature should take a stand against casino construction
in the county.
In March, area Catholics demonstrated in Poughkeepsie and
Newburgh. They demanded that Cardinal Egan publicly declare
that Representative John Hall be refused Holy Communion in
any Archdiocesan church because of his openly pro-abortion
stance. As expected, Cardinal Egan did nothing. However, these
pro-life efforts yielded successful results in a different
way. As a consequence of the pressure generated by these protests,
Mr. Hall deleted his Catholic affiliation from his new Website
on April 5.
With this victory in mind, pro-life Catholics will again rally
at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, in front of Sacred Heart Church
in Newburgh (the church of Cardinal Egan's co-Vicar in Orange
County). Participants will demand that Cardinal Egan impose
mandatory canonical sanctions upon Congressman Maurice Hinchey
owing to Mr. Hinchey's strongly pro-abortion positions.
It is to be hoped that this worthy cause will not be greeted
by indifference and moral cowardice on the part of those who
claim to be pro-life Catholics in Orange County and elsewhere.
Protecting the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege requires no less
than wholehearted support.
The Emerson Resort and Spa reflects an investment of millions
of dollars and countless staff hours towards the growth of
the economy in Ulster County and the Catskill region. As the
architects of the new Emerson Resort and Spa, Alfandre Architecture
extends a huge note of gratitude to the people who came together
to design and build the new Resort. Our firm, together with
Steve Molmed, Mechanical Engineer of Boiceville, and Joe Lenskold
Structural engineer of Kingston, worked with Dean Gitter and
his staff to design the new building while linking it to the
existing Marketplace. Many people, too numerous to mention,
were responsible for its construction. Alfandre Architecture
is pleased to have worked with the Emerson Place team on the
development of the Marketplace, the Lodge, the original Emerson
Inn and now the New Emerson Resort and Spa. We are inspired
by Mr. Gitter's commitment to our region. This extraordinary
facility is truly a jewel in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP
David Ekroth, AIA
Alfandre Architecture, PC
New Paltz, NY
Yee-haw! On Friday, May 11, 2007, the Phoenicia Elementary
PTA hosted a Square Dance at the school with live music by
the Earl Pardini Band, a chili contest, games, raffle, photo
booth, cake walk, and more. The turn out by families, teachers,
and community members was phenomenal. Over $1500 was raised
for future assemblies, after school extra-curricular activities,
and equipment that will better the classroom experience.
I’d like to extend a huge thanks to all who contributed.
It’s volunteers who make events like these successful.
We have such an artistic, creative community and it deeply
warms my heart to see those talents benefiting our children.
I was also overwhelmed by the graciousness of our local businesses
that donated food/raffle/silent auction items. I want to publicly
thank each donor, encouraging everyone to support those businesses
in the same manner they support our school. (I’d also
like to say kudos to our chili contest winners: Peekamoose
and Brooke Tinney tied for the title of Phoenicia Chili Champ!).
Many thanks again to all... Al’s Restaurant, Alyce and
Roger’s Fruit Stand, Author/Gene Autry biographer Holly
George-Warren, Boiceville Market, Brio’s,
Catskill Mountain Pizzeria, The Emerson, Hanover Farms, Home,
Hong Kong restaurant, Ice Cream Station, Le France d’Amerique.
Miss Kitty’s Salon, The Nest Egg, Peekamoose Restaurant,
The Phoenicia Delicatessen, Phoenicia Feeds & Pet Supply,
Phoenicia Pharmacy, Phoenicia Supermarket, Russ’ Country
Kitchen, Sweet Sue’s, The Wren’s Nest
Rebecca Ffrench, Vice-President Phoenicia Elementary PTA
Do you want to catch some 'local color' and increase your
sense of community? You are invited to join the volunteers
at the Phoenicia Library Plant and Book Sales. Mark your calendar
for June 2nd from 10:00 to 2:00. Anique Taylor will do face
painting (for 1 1/2 - 2 hours) and Uncle Rock will start entertaining
at 11:00am. We'll be selling baked goods, books (in the book
store & quality used
books), there will be a silent auction and applications to
join the Friends of the Phoenicia Library.
Did you know that the Library circulation for April -07 was
2481 which includes fiction and nonfiction, adult and juvenile
and other media? That is fantastic!! Come help us increase
our numbers. Our friendly staff is here to serve you M-W-&F
from 1pm to 6pm, and Tues. & Thurs from 10am to 4pm.
We have had an adult discussion Book Club for the past year.
Would you like to join us? Hosted by Library Board President
Melissa Thongs, the current book available at the Library
is The Devil and Miss Pyrm by Paulo Coelho. Pick up a copy
and join the Book Club on Saturday June 9th at 12 noon at
the Library for some refreshments and great discussion.
Watch for information on Flick Ford's book signing event at
the Library on June 16th in conjunction with his prints at
the Art Upstairs Gallery on Main St. Phoenicia.
We appreciate the time and talents of our staff and volunteers.
Come check us out at the Phoenicia Library!
Phoenicia Library Trustee
I don't know about you.
I'm talking to the inhabitants of the entire Boiceville and
surrounding areas. When I come home from work (in Ulster Park,
yes it's a ride) but I'm glad to have all that "Boom
Town" crap behind me.
I'm happy driving towards my home. My quiet little "Suburbia
in the woods", Hi Arthur, I'll be in later to pick up
my video. Hello Mario. Hey Joe and Paula. Hi Hoppy...love
those new bears. And I like the new little nursery. Yes, I
like it this way. And anyway, how much is enough?
Remember that line about Vampires? "If you don't 'welcome'
them, they can't come in.