To the children and families of Onteora Central School District:
Please accept the warm welcome from all of our staff as we
prepare to start a new year. I hope that all of your summer
plans have been enjoyable, and gave you plenty of time with
family and friends. Whether it was summer jobs, projects,
trips, or just curling up with a good book, the staff of Phoenicia,
Bennett, Woodstock Elementary, the Middle and High Schools
are excited to invite you back to learn and grow for another
There are a few summer planning issues I thought you would
like to know about. First, the Woodstock boiler is in the
process of replacement. There are new pipes to carry heat
to each classroom and throughout the building. When this project
is complete and the reimbursement received from the state,
we will move forward with renovating the Auditorium. We are
in the planning stages currently for this wonderful change.
Our new Transportation Director, Mr. Dave Moraca, has been
working on updating our bus routes. You might be aware that
he brought the issue of transportation for students with variances
to the Board’s attention. After considering all of the
current needs, he has developed a plan to transport students
with variances to each elementary school.
We will also be wishing High School Principal Barbara Ruben
the best of luck in her new position as Principal of Alternative
Education for Ulster County BOCES. Mrs. Ruben will make the
transition shortly after school starts. This will give all
students and families time to thank her for her years of service
to the high school, and wish her well. Mr. Jack Jordan will
serve as Interim Principal while we conduct a search.
We have new administrators in several buildings. Mr. Gabriel
Buono, formerly the High School Assistant Principal, is now
serving as Principal for Bennett Elementary School. Mr. Lance
Edelman has been hired to assume the role of Assistant Principal.
Mr. Paul Schwartz is the new Middle School Principal. You
and your students may have met him during Orientation.
Mrs. Christine Downs is introducing something new! September
25th will be the first district “Try it Tuesday”.
Whether or not a student buys lunch, they are welcome to take
a taste of a savory vegetable. Look for interesting vegetables
prepared for your pleasure! Woodstock Elementary School will
also take advantage of the WinSNAP service for food services.
WinSNAP is a comprehensive system that includes all aspects
of food service from point-of-sale to inventory, purchasing
Also, you will soon see an invitation to join one of the many
District Committees. Space on each committee is limited, and
some committees require specific training for each member.
New participants will be selected by lottery, with attention
to the different areas in our district.
The Board is also busy, developing goals for this year. Their
focus is on the needs of students throughout our district.
These will be posted on our website as soon as they are finalized.
Dr. Leslie Ford, Superintendent
Onteora Central School District
Regarding newly appointed Director Of Transportation David
Moraca's very late-in-the-game changes to the Onteora bus
routes, there are several problems that need to be addressed
and questions that have not yet been satisfactorily answered:
- Why were so many changes made mere weeks before the start
of classes, forcing parents to scramble and come up with alternate
plans to get their kids to their respective schools? There
has been much worry expressed about safety and much vexation
over the bureaucratic doublespeak and contradictory reasons
for all the changes.
- What is the sense of segregating children with special needs
in a district that prides itself on the opposite?
- How is all of this making things run smoother and saving
Mr. Moraca was hired in July, and, faced with the second largest
school district in the state, he does have a tough row to
hoe and a mandate to make Onteora transportation run smoother.
It would appear that this has all been a well-intentioned
bungle. Luckily, concerned parents have begun a dialogue with
him and compromises are afoot, although none of them sit well
with parents nor do they seem to make much sense, fiscally
I live in Phoenicia, and often we are in a defensive mode
because of persistent moves made by the Board Of Education
which indicate that our much-beloved school is in the crosshairs
of what some in the district believe is progress. So it has
been hard not to view as hostile to Phoenicia the proposition
to make students who variance -- the majority of whom variance
to Phoenicia - go to their "home schools" whereupon
they would get a shuttle to their variance school. This would
get kids to school late, have them on a bus approximately
45 minutes more a day, and force them to leave school early.
Since the above proposal-made last week - concerned parents
have intervened and a compromise has been set up with Mr.
Moraca. But while better, it still doesn't make sense. Now
there will be a stop at Sickler Road and Route 212, about
which parents have safety concerns, where the kids will all
meet - 10 kids in all -- with their parents, in rain, sleet,
sun, and snow, to get on the bus. If things had remained as
they were, the bus would have spent approximately 8 more minutes
going to pick up these kids at their various stops.
Is this all to save money? If that's the case, how can it
be worth it to make this alteration that is of questionable
wisdom concerning safety? Especially in the dead of winter?
And then there's the issue of the special education kids,
who now have their own bus. There have been two reasons given
for this: the special education kids "cause problems"
on the desegregated buses and make the desegregated buses
This is ludicrous. One of the great attributes of the Onteora
system is its inclusiveness. Finding reasons to segregate
and lump together "the special ed kids" as one entity
is insulting. And if the special education kids "make
the bus late," why is that objectionable when making
the variance kids late is not? And since when are special
education kids the only "troublemakers" on bus routes?
Is keeping them from their non-special-needs peers going to
make them calm down or make the non-special-needs-kids calm
And if we're still talking about fiscal responsibility, how
is hiring buses to shuttle kids from Woodstock to Phoenicia
and hiring a separate bus for the special education kids saving
At the meeting last night, Mr. Moraca admitted that the changes
to the kids who variance to Phoenicia would be tough on the
kids, but not hard on the administration. When I objected
to that, it was put to me later that I misheard what he said.
But I did not.
The way I see it, there is much hubris in all of this. Forgivable
and rectifiable mistakes have been made, but rather than own
up to it, those in power are trying to obfuscate the obvious
with bureaucracy and give the impression that it will all
come out in the wash and fix itself. But when it comes to
the treatment of our kids and concerns for their dignity and
safety, that's not good enough.
The Onteora School District’s newly hired Director of
Transportation, David Moraca, has decided, just before the
start of school, that students attending a school on variance
should not be bused directly to school, but instead must be
bused to the school they would have otherwise attended, then
transfer to another bus that will take them to their classroom.
For example, a kindergartener from Shady would be driven first
to Woodstock Elementary, put on another bus, and then driven
to Boiceville or Phoenicia.
Think about that. This means that students as young as five
will have at least 30-45 minutes added to each end of their
school bus ride. Every morning. Every afternoon.
Would any adult (including anyone in our school district administration)
consent to such a nonsensical, wasteful and tiring commute
Studies show a child’s school performance suffers in
relation to increased time spent on the school bus. Not to
mention the increased safety risk associated with time on
Also, why doesn’t this “decision” apply
to the children attending parochial and private schools, who
must also be bused? Why only variance children?
The Town of Woodstock (and, I might add, the Onteora School
District) have expressed the desire to becoming greener and
more environmentally sensitive and sensible. How does driving
these kids around in circles fit into that?
What is the basis of Mr. Moraca’s thinking? To satisfy
some misguided bureaucratic urgings? To try and make a big
initial splash? It certainly isn’t to benefit the kids.
Nor is it to benefit the environment, nor can I believe it
benefits the budget. At the recent Board of Education meeting,
Mr. Moraca admitted this new plan has minimal savings for
What kind of Transportation Director decrees that our children
should spend MORE time on the bus and on the highways, in
all kinds of weather, and that buses spend more fuel and time
taking children to places they do not need to go?
Every new hire is bound to make some missteps. Let’s
hope Mr. Moraca takes the opportunity to consider the practical
impact of such an impractical and illogical decision, and
redeems himself, and his supervisors, by rescinding it.
A recent report by Forbes magazine reported that Ulster County
schools are among the worst’s in the Nation. The report
measured student productivity in comparison to how much money
was spent per student and ranked Ulster County schools 771st
on a list of 775 counties examined. As reported Onteora’s
leaders said the Forbes report is difficult to interpret because
the magazine won’t divulge the formula they used. Forget
the Forbes report and all the spin that has been put on the
The facts are clear. As reported in the October 2006 report
to the Governor and the Legislature the Onteora School district
has the highest cost per student in Ulster County in the Expended
per Pupil unit. Ellenville has the second highest cost per
student in that category. It cost $17,917 per student in the
Onteora School district and $17,173 in the Ellenville district.
Compare this to the $11,733 that Saugerties spends or the
$12,342 that Wallkill expends per pupil. All other school
districts in Ulster County spend far less then what it cost
in the Onteora school district in that group.
In the Special Education K-12 Instructional Expenditures group
Onteora expenditures per student is $30,052 with Ellenville
spending $31,282 per pupil. All other school districts in
Ulster County except Marlboro and Rondout Valley spend far
less per pupil in that group with Highland, Kingston, New
Paltz, Saugerties and Wallkill spending less than $20,000
In the Pupil/Teacher Ratio Onteora has the lowest ratio in
the Pupil/Teacher Ratio category and averages 11.2 students
per teacher versus Saugerties, which has 16.5 per teacher.
This category may very well be one of the reasons for the
very high cost per student in the Onteora school district.
With the declining student population in the school district
and the budget going up by millions of dollars every year
the cost per student could continue to increase drastically
if serious steps aren’t taken to reduce spending which
affects school taxes. Facts shown in the October 2006 report
to the Governor and the Legislature leaves little doubt that
Onteora’s spending helped drag down the Ulster County
School’s to near the bottom of the United States as
shown in the Forbes report.
Is it really over? Funny, I didn't hear any fat ladies sing.
I do remember hearing a union representative warning the audience
at a public hearing "Look, I'm tryin' to talk nice to
youse and I don't got such a nice reputation." The crowd
of bussed-in pro-Belleayre union workers were loud and hostile.
Do we really want 1800 of them hanging out in our bars at
night for 8 years? Do us taxpayers really
want to shell out $45 million for a ski lift to Golfzilla?
Do local inns, restaurants and homes really deserve to be
shut out of the
taxpayer funded sewage plant? If the developer gets to plug
his sewage in, it will take just about every last bit of available
capacity. Good-bye hamlet revitalization. If the developer
gets his way, 28 will become in his words, the "Catskill
Parkway." Do we really want to pay for those extra lanes.
wider bridges and condemned front lawns? Do we want to die
on the Catskill Parkway when weekend warriors try to pass
long lines of construction trucks? Do we really want 400 or
more imported poverty wage workers on food stamps cramming
themselves into our few available rental apartments?
Spitzer said to the developer: "You've got enough for
one day. Don't get greedy." Remember what he's talking
to. In the end, the developer's greed will be his undoing.
Because of his astounding greed and lack of business smarts,
we will have an opportunity to put community character, socioeconomic
impact and secondary growth back on the table. We will have
another round of public hearings. Make yourselves heard. A
decent town government would be a good step also. We get to
decide whether it will be "Home Rule" or "Gitter
I would expect false diatribes from Dave Channon. This is
the same gentleman who inserted pornographic links (in the
name of fine art) on the town website that was developed to
promote the positive attributes of the Town of Shandaken.
He has, to the best of my knowledge, no children who live
here and therefore would not even feel shame for his actions.
His allegations of town government dishonesty would also be
expected since his attitude, as stated in his letter to the
Phoenicia Times, is to vote for Democrats or don’t vote
at all. I hate to inform you Dave, but most of the voters
in this town are non-enrolled and therefore are not obligated
to vote for any party.
What irks me the most, is Dave Pillard’s Shandaken Democratic
Party platform attempts to strategize on this lack of faith
and gain from it politically. This agenda could not be farther
from the truth and this despicable approach is both disheartening
Yes, there have been a lot of attorney fees paid by the town
to defend itself from frivolous lawsuits, but let me remind
you that the town has won every one and will win any pending.
Perhaps if your upset that your property was assessed at $600
per acres, then maybe you could sell me an acre or two.
I love Woodland Valley as much as anyone. Two years ago, Howie
McGowen asked me how the planning board could, in good conscience,
consider accepting Poncic’s water harvesting operation.
I did not want the water harvesting operation nor the precedent,
so I proceeded to lobby Ulster county Legislators on his behalf.
I’ve played cards with six of them. I wanted names of
people in the County Highway dept. who could affirm that the
road and bridges would not handle the proposed traffic. I
was informed that the operation was an appropriate use of
assets, was legal, and could not be stopped. I informed Howie
of this response. The planning board would have loved for
someone to come up with a legal reason to stop the operation
but no one could come up with a legal reason. Do you really
think that unpaid servants of the people of Shandaken wanted
to sit there and be ridiculed by unruly people who claimed
that they were not listened to, and be accused of bribery
and worse, OF COURSE NOT. They were bound to follow the law
as per their oath of office as was later confirmed by the
appellate judge. How much money was wasted by the Woodland
Valley Community Association? Would the people of Shandaken
prefer that the town be sued for preventing someone from exercising
his due rights?
Please Democrats, quit harping on the Emerson for being bigger
than planned, it is not, and sits within it’s allotted
footprint. Find another issue to rag about.
There in mo more left leaning hippie than me, but because
of the obvious dirty tricks, slander, and outright lying by
the Democratic Party in the town of Shandaken I, as a non-enrolled
voter, am endorsing the person whom as done the most for the
underprivileged, has accomplished the most for the entire
town, has the most experience, has the towns best interests
in her heart, and that person is Jane Todd.
In the recent weeks since the Shandaken caucuses have occurred
I find myself hearing bits and pieces of UNTRUE vicious rumors
about the Republican Candidates. Many people have approached
me with upsetting news that certain people in town have even
maligned the candidate’s children and grandchildren.
Some have gone so far as to go to the county and dig out records
that are public information yes, but also of a personal nature
and have publicized it. Certain town business people have
made it their cause to badmouth the candidates up and down
the streets of Phoenicia.
As Republicans, we find this sort of behavior abhorrent to
our beliefs. We feel that a campaign should be conducted on
the candidate’s knowledge, on the issues at hand, and
on the qualifications of each individual to do a good job.
Should we start to drag out the past of these certain business
people, and others, and put it in print? I don’t believe
they would like it!
So good people of Shandaken please do not be swayed by the
horrible false accusations of a handful of people who are
looking to control the town from their armchairs. This group
has an ax to grind, and I feel sympathy for the Democratic
candidates, because willing or not, these psychotic, immature
and totally ignorant people represent them.
Please vote for experience, knowledge and genuine concern
for the people. Please vote for Jane Todd and the Republican
slate of candidates.
Joanne Kalb, President
Shandaken Republican Club
After reading Mr. John Horn’s letter in the August 30,
2007 addition of this paper in reference to the Shandaken
tax roll I couldn't resist this correction. All parcels of
land are not taxed and every owner does not get a tax bill.
A shocking statement, isn't it? Well, check out Section/Block/Lot:
#12-7-1-32. To the best of my knowledge the last known owner
of this parcel was the Big Indian Water Company in the late
1890's.and in 1934 the NYSEG an easement for a utility pole
from the County. Neither the Town of Shandaken, Ulster County,
or the NYSEG have a mailing address for the owner of this
parcel. As of 2006 this parcel was not on the tax rolls. I
attempted to acquire it in 2006 for personal reasons but was
told by the Town of Shandaken that they would first have to
place it back on the tax rolls and then place it up for auction.
They said that the public would be notified when this would
take place. I wonder if there are any more parcels like this
Very truly yours,
Robert E. Steiner
Big Indian, NY
This is in response to Dave Donaldson’s negative attack
While negativity is a Donaldson trademark, I was still a bit
surprised because of the letter Dave sent last year praising
me for my bi-partisan approach in solving county problems.
It is also ironic that Donaldson seems repulsed by the very
Republicans he cut deals with to be re-elected Chairman last
January (a large portion of the Democratic Caucus despises
For the sake of brevity, I will not mention all Dave’s
failures as Chairman. I will outline in another letter Dave’s
manipulation of Civil Service rules so he can appoint political
cronies, the county’s inability to pay vendor bills
on time and his threatening of community volunteers who won’t
bend to his will. Nor will I point out that most of his “accomplishments”
were Republican ideas.
Instead, I will rebut the Democratic “myths” outlined
in Donaldson’s letter:
* Dave brags about a Democratic-created surplus. He doesn’t
mention that while Democrats campaigned in 2005 stating there
would be a $23 million deficit, the county ended 2005 (the
last Republican budget) with a $11.27 million surplus (Daily
* Dave takes credit for saving the county’s bond rating.
But according to the June 11, 2005 Daily Freeman (the Republicans
were still the Majority), Moody’s Investor Services
retained the county’s bond rating.
* In the November 12, 2004 Daily Freeman, Donaldson and the
Democrats stated they would not support revenue enhancers
until there was “a freeze on hiring, filling vacancies,
promotions and management raises.” Democrats immediately
broke this promise upon assuming the majority, proposing new
taxes without taking any of the actions they called for in
2005. As of June, there were actually more county employees
than when the Democrats took over.
Perhaps the biggest myth of all is that Democrats had no responsibility
for the 2005 budget. If Democrats had their way, property
taxes would have been 10% higher! You may ask, why didn’t
Democrats support revenue enhancers in 2005 to reduce property
taxes? The answer is simple--politics.
One can imagine a meeting between Dave and his “brain
trust”, Jeanette Provenzano and Alan Lomita (who were
big supporters of the jail project, by the way). Maybe someone
said, ‘if we do nothing, we can blame Republicans for
a large tax increase and use the added revenue to keep taxes
low when we take office.’
This is exactly what happened. Democrats did nothing to roll
back the 2005 tax increase. In fact, they added another 7%
in 2006--which means Democrats endorsed a 46% property tax
over a two-year period. It's clear Ulster County taxpayers
paid the price for Democratic political aspirations.
The truth is, even if Democrats hold on to the majority, Donaldson
will not be reappointed Chairman in 2008. The choice is yours,
Dave. You can use your remaining few months to reverse your
image and conduct yourself with class and dignity for the
rest of your tenure. Regardless, your legacy will be one of
broken promises, ineptitude, tyranny, bitterness, pettiness,
Joe Roberti, Ulster County Legislator
The so called investigation of the construction of the Ulster
County Jail by the Democrats gets stranger by the week. At
last weeks hearing we learned that Legislator R. Parete (D-Accord),
a member of the jail investigation committee, went on a fishing
trip with the General Contractor on the project David Christa
Construction. After the fishing trip this dynamic duo ends
up at the restaurant owned by his father John Parete, Ulster
County Democrat Chairman, for a little friendly chat. Not
long after this friendly dinner chat the General Contractor,
David Christa Construction, who had a big bucks claim against
the county for extra payments received a very sweet, megabucks
settlement from the county! It would seem that the restaurant
owned by the Chairman of the Ulster County Democrat Party
offered those diners a very unique dinning experience.
It would be worthwhile to hear the sworn public testimony
from Christa Construction on the dinner had at the Parete
family restaurant. This is not to be. This will be one of
the many do not tell stories the Democrats will not put in
the jail report. By the way, I wonder who picked up the check?
We also recently learned that three of the major principals
in this investigation will not be subpoenaed to the public
hearings because, according to the County Attorney, they may
not show up! I always thought that a subpoena was a legal
document that requires one to respond. Now we have a situation
where the project architect, Crandell Associates, the project
construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease, and the major consultant,
Hill International will not be giving sworn public testimony.
It seems to me that the sworn testimony of these three parties
would be fundamental and necessary to getting all the facts
of the story.
The evidence to date indicates that the Democrats are more
interested in getting out a quick one sided report prior to
the November election than they are in getting all the facts.
An objective, non-political, analysis of this project, done
by people with no vested interest, could have served a very
useful purpose. The public and the County Legislature would
learn the full and complete story not just the partisan political
version. With the all the facts known, procedures could be
developed to preclude this from happening again.
Unfortunately, this is not to be. On or about September 17,
2007 the public will be presented with a political document,
prepared by the $60,000 Democrat hired spin meister the public
will never learn the full story. The taxpaying public will
have contributed over $90,000 to the Democrats election campaign
literature and sadly, learn little of what actually went wrong.
This report stands to be nothing more that a flawed and tainted
political campaign document.
William R. West, Former Chairman
Ulster County Legislature
If this were an article for the newspaper, I would entitle
it, "You Snooze, You Lose."
The Kingston Freeman and what they reported about local activists
meeting with Congressman Maurice Hinchey was correct, except
for the number of people in attendance--I stopped counting
at 70. The room was filled to capacity, SRO, with many people
on the sidewalk attempting to get in. The air temperature
in the room was around 90 degrees, bringing people to near
faints. People endured and debated for over two hours with
The Freeman didn't report that when asked why he didn't sign
onto Kucinich's resolution (H.333) for impeachment, Hinchey
said the resolution "circumvented the judiciary"
and he "would not put his name on something that we were
accusing Bush of doing." No one asked why he didn't propose
an amendment to 333.
In this same article, the Freeman avoided mentioning Hinchey
was concerned with the 2008 election and what impeachment
would do to harm all US Democratic candidates in '08. We were
told to look at the big picture and "not come just from
our passion; to use our intelligence; didn't we want to win
in '08?" which angered many in the crowd who thought
they were being talked down to. One woman asked in a subtle
rage: "Did you make a deal with Hillary to take her seat?"
Hinchey didn't answer. The comment may have been prompted
by an earlier statement made by Hinchey when he said he was
thinking he would not run again for the House.
After two hours of intense discussion, Hinchey said, "look
at censure as being the first step to impeachment." Censure,
he said, would bring out all the same information as impeachment
would, and then maybe a ground swell would sweep the country
and demand impeachment. Hinchey never said how long censure
would take. On impeachment, he said he didn't feel he could
get the needed 218 votes from the House, or the 67 votes from
the Senate. Why he believes he can garner the votes for censure,
he did not say.
In defense of Hinchey, one man stood and said that last year
he (and others) took a petition with 1,000 names to the UC
Legislature asking for an Impeachment Resolution. The Fiddler's
33--majority Democratic--did nothing. Now they are going back
with 2,000 signatures (in Sept/Oct) to see if this will convince
the UC legislature. "This," he said, "is what
we're up against locally. Imagine what Maurice is up against
Hinchey did say that Ulster County was more informed than
most areas of the country where news is delivered by Hannity,
Limbaugh and Beck. He didn't feel that most of the U.S. had
the same passion for impeachment that our area is exhibiting.
When asked what people who wanted impeachment should do, he
said "get involved with a media project and demand fair
and accurate news coverage; demand it of the FCC."
Hinchey was asked why he changed his position on impeachment.
He said he has not, never would, and would like to see it
What he didn't say was that when he was out there ringing
the bell for impeachment, the silent majority stayed silent,
and only a minority of people ever came forward in support
of his position. Now it seems, it's too late.
Looking back on a meeting held at the Community Center on
Rock City Road in Woodstock, I recall Hinchey pressing for
impeachment. He generated a lot of enthusiasm that went nowhere.
How many years ago was that? People I talked with a week after
that meeting were commenting on how afraid they were to step
forward; afraid of the Bush administration and the possible
retribution if they became vocal. It was suggested by some
politicians and other "more rational" people that
the activists not be hasty in taking action regarding impeachment;
that we didn't have the "full picture;" that we
should "sleep on it."
Well, as you can see, "You snooze, you lose."
Judith A. Boggess
The Director and Staff of the Phoenicia Library welcome you
to meet the "Letter Friends" with Sue Bernstein
Starting September 22nd at the Phoenicia Library Saturdays
at 11:00am. This wonderful program is for pre-school aged
children and older. Come to the library to sign-up or call
688-7811. Exposure to the lower-case alphabet & the letter's
most frequently used sound will be offered, using the ITL
early reading and writing program. The alphabet is presented
in one continuous story, one letter each week.
Following the short story, children will have the opportunity
to color a stick puppet of their new “friend.”
This has proven to be a strong foundation for learning to
read & it's LOT'S of fun!!
The Library has internet access, and many new books. If you
would like to send us a message, you may do so at email@example.com.
Have you checked-out the Jerry Bartlett Angling Parlor at
the Library? This is truly a treasure. The Mid-Hudson Inter-Library
Loan System allows us to meet thousands of your needs, right
here at 48 Main St. Phoenicia. Please stop by to see us Mon./Wed./Fri.
1:00pm to 6:00pm Tuesdays 10:00am to 4:00pm, Thursday 2:00pm
to 6:00pm.and Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm Come in, use your
library card, and see what a difference it can make!
We thank the entire community for their continued support.
Mark Wilsey, Library Trustee
Reading the 5 short paragraphs titled “28 Fatal Crash”
in the August 16th issue of your paper, I realized what the
repercussions of that “crash” were.
The name of the victim is not nearly as important as the fact
that a father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, son-in-law,
dear friend had been taken from us because of the irresponsible
behavior of just another alcoholic behind the wheel!
Yes, I knew Tonio Hurtado. He was an important part of my
extended family and an honest, caring, respected man. He was
returning to NYC to his job at a building on the upper west
side of the city, a job where all the residents of the building
loved him and miss him.
Now he is nothing more than a statistic, “dead on arrival.”
This senseless death makes me very angry, furious that the
drunk woman who crashed head-on into Tonio’s eastbound
lane survived while we buried our friend last Thursday. When
will this needless slaughter stop!? When will our laws regarding
DWIs or DUI be enforced? You drive drunk, you lose your license
– simple. No second chances.
Sweden has cut its road fatalities in more than half by enforcing
these laws. Let’s take this seriously. Let’s think
about what one irresponsible person can do when he/she takes
those car keys after a night of drinking and turns the vehicle
into a deadly weapon! We grieve for our good friend who deserves
a better obituary.
Glenn D. Ford, Captain of Shandaken/Allaben Hose Company has
the honor of being named 2007 Firefighter of the Year for
his heroic life saving action by Ulster County Firemen’s
On the morning of December 22, 2006, the Shandaken/Allaben
Hose Co. responded to an alarm of a vehicle fire, on Route
28. The first engine on the scene determined that the vehicle
was an Ulster County Rural Transportation Bus. The driver
of the bus, smelling smoke, pulled into the parking area of
the west of the firehouse. Additional apparatus arrived and
a mutual aid for a tanker from Big Indian was issued.
Captain Glenn Ford and other members were in the process of
putting on their fire fighting gear, when all of a sudden
the bus started to roll forward due to the immense heat. It
was headed towards the engine, firefighters and towards traffic.
Alfred Peck, a 40 plus year member was unaware of the impending
danger, as he was putting on his fire fighting gear. Captain
Ford noticed this dangerous situation, with disregard to his
own safety, he rushed into the path of the rolling inferno
and pushed Alfred out of harm, saving Alfred from serious
injury and possibly death.
The bus continued rolling onto Route 28, crossing 2 lanes
and ending up in the eastern ditch where it was finally extinguished.
Due to Captain Ford’s quick thinking, his agility and
his heroic action, a catastrophic situation was averted. Congratulation
Captain Ford on your life saving effort.
Howard Sebald, Fire Commissioner