In response to Mr. Nussbaum’s letter directed at me
and the members of the Shandaken Landowners Association and
other members of our town, Mr. Nussbaum, do you even know
me? We have never met, and you were not at the town meeting,
were you? What is the real reason you decided to publish my
name and others and then twist truths and lie about us? What
can possess a neighbor to publicly attack another neighbor
with no personal knowledge of them? So many insults and false
accusations were made that it is clear you must be trying
to protect a hidden interest.
The members of the Shandaken Landowners Association are both
Republicans and Democrats with their own views and political
beliefs, but the lawsuit has nothing to do with political
motivations, contrary to what Mr. Nussbaum seems to want everyone
to believe. It is obvious that Mr. Nussbaum has his own political
agenda and is trying to convince readers of his point of view.
In the process, you have insulted many fellow citizens who
are honestly trying to do some good for this township. Mr.
Powers is a large landowner and is part of our membership.
I have never said anything different in any letter you say
you read. I would like everyone to know that the SLA kept
these issues out of the papers for months with help of Brian
Powers in hopes of not having the town board feel attacked
or defensive so we could settle this with wisdom and community.
Brian Powers has the right to defend his constitutional rights
also. It sounds like you have a problem with someone standing
up for their rights. You also stated I sucker punched Bob
Cross; this is a bold face lie! You seem to think you can
just say something that is not true and people will believe
it? How can you try and defend someone in office who acts
like he did towards me at that meeting? After Mr. Cross spit
in my face because I was going to bring out the facts in public
what he got after he deserved! I refuse to defend myself for
defending myself and especially to you!
Finally, the truth is, we did not lose the Article 78 as Mr.
Nussbaum stated. In fact it was turned down by the judge because
of a technical filing date discrepancy which we completely
disagreed with and have already appealed. The Article 78 is
not going away and we will win. Yes it has been appealed so
you can no longer say it was thrown out because it is not!
It is not us who is costing the township money; it is Mr.
Cross and other town officials who are costing everyone money
because they knowingly broke the law and then refused to try
and correct the matter! We are not attacking Mr. Cross for
any reason other then what we stated so please do not try
and twist the truth. Anyone who is close to this situation
knows that we tried very hard to settle without cost to the
town or anyone and we tried to clear this whole issue up under
the radar. It was only because of sheer arrogance from our
town supervisor, who decided not to meet and settle this,
but instead is using tax payers’ money to defend the
town’s illegal actions. How much has this already cost
the town? Somebody ask Mr. Cross for the truth if he is able.
There seems to be a pattern in this town. Town officials bully
people around, threatening and even extorting them unless
they fall into line with their special self interests. Many
people in the past have tried to go up against this small
town mentality, and they have almost all lost. I am sick of
hearing these types of veiled attempts to make the people
of this town look bad for not going along with some people’s
special interests. Just write a letter, fill it with lies,
and your friends back at the Emerson will love you for it.
Well Mr. Nussbaum enjoy your free drinks but do not attack
me or anyone else with your lies, as we all see what you are
I am a peaceful family man with five children, I have never
looked for a fight but when a town official comes to my home
and threatens me to accept an illegal tax increase, I don’t
hide. I react. My family and I are here to stay in Shandaken.
This is why I began the law suit. It is not just for me and
my family, but for everyone in this town who wants fair representation.
I had no other recourse but to sue the town to protect my
rights as a citizen of this town. I resent anyone who tries
to mislead the public and make my plight to protect my constitutional
rights a target for public attack. I am not alone in this
situation. There are so many who have had similar experiences
and that is why the Shandaken Landowners Association was formed.
I would like to point out that Mr. Nussbaum’s misleading
statements and the insulting tone of his letter clearly indicate
his stake in the town’s political arena and even the
resort. Mr. Nussbaum, when you attack and insult me for defending
my rights as an American citizen, you have crossed the line.
When Mr. Cross told me that I would not be liked if I sued
the town and that I would suffer for it, was it your letter
that he was talking about? If so, you better dig in deeper
because this Shandaken resident is not going away and will
not be bullied. When people exercise their rights, and use
their hard earned money to take city hall to court to bring
out the truth and stand up for their rights, how dare you
insult them, calling them “crazy”? You insult
everything that makes our country and our laws great but most
of all, you insult yourself.
All we are asking for is our rights to be heard and the law
honored. Please do not listen to this garbage directed from
a few who have financial or power interest in this town for
whatever their reasons may be!
All my best regards to all my neighbors in Shandaken.
Shandaken Landowners Association
I am writing not on behalf of but as a founding and current
Board Member of SAYS, for those of you that do not know what
that is, we are Shandaken Area Youth Sports, an organization
that was developed due to the lack of sports programs for
the children of Shandaken and the lack of cooperation of the
Town Board. When we first came to Shandaken the town Supervisor,
Neal Grant, did anything we ever needed for the kids was an
instant approval. With the passing of Neal Grant was also
the passing of that anything for the kids’ philosophy.
So SAYS began. Six years ago we had a soccer program of 100
plus kids and one field. Negotiations took place with Dean
Gitter to lease and develop three fields on his Mt. Tremper
property. Through the countless hours of many and donations
of time, labor, equipment and money these fields were put
in. SAYS and its members as well as the members and players
of The Onteora Soccer League, Hudson Valley Youth Soccer League
and even the Onteora High School used theses fields. Up until
just a few months ago these fields were maintained by SAYS
with the generous help of Ted Byron. The town of Shadaken
Board and highway department would not be involved in the
upkeep of the fields, up until the Highway Superintendent
changed hands. We thank Keith Johnson for his help.
In case you all are not aware, SAYS entered into a 5 year
lease with Kaatskill Development Partners, LLC which expired
on July 31, 2006. I myself, began my quest to have the lease
renewed with a letter to Kaatskill Development Partners dated
February 15, 2006, in short thanking them for the past usage
and explaining the need to not only renew the lease but have
an answer early enough to hold the next seasons registrations
and obtain insurance. I received no response. A second letter
went out dated April 3, 2006, again no response. Then I began
calling and did finally receive a call back from a representative
of Kaatskill Development Partners. I was told that they did
receive the letters and were simply busy and we would hear
from them shortly. Months went by and finally I called again
and was told that Dean said, “They can use the fields,
there is no need for a lease as it is my property.”
I presented this message to SAYS president and was reminded
that 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. I informed Kaatskill Development partners
of this and the fact that we could not obtain insurance on
a piece of property that we did not own or at best lease.
Again I was reminded of the fact that they were very busy
with what must have been more important issues. All of this
correspondence and unanswered call took place long before
a sign was place in our front yard that obviously offended
Mr. Gitter. A sign that was the direct effect of one person
that himself put countless hours up keeping and maintaining
theses fields for the past 5 years. I can only imagine how
the individuals and businesses that donated time, money and
equipment to see this project happen must feel now that there
is no existing lease with SAYS on those fields, thus making
the special use permit null and void. What use does Kaatskill
Development Partners have for this property? I guess we will
all see soon enough.
As for the rumor that the town will now hold the lease? I
have seen no evidence that this is the case and even been
told by Board Members that they know nothing about this. I
still must question why after all this time does the Town
Board want this?? Really so far the only thing that has been
accomplished is that the Town of Shandaken’s kids have
no soccer program and can not play in the Onteora Soccer League
with their peers. Another big loss will be The James A. Cordo
tournament that also began shortly after SAYS began and was
a positive community event each year since. So we have diverted
back to the lack of sport programs available to our kids.
SAYS was willing to provide the program, insurance, equipment
needed to run the program, however without a lease on the
fields this is not possible. I would like to whole heartedly
thank the present and past Board Members, most of which have
been Board Members since SAYS was formed. All these members
children have long since either outgrown the program or have
moved onto bigger programs but these people still continued
to provide this program for the kids of Shandaken.
I will end this by once again thanking everyone who has supported
SAYS over the years and everyone that took place in the effort
to put in the Mt. Tremper Fields. Unfortunately it appears
that everyone that helped with these fields helped Kaatskill
Development Partners develop a piece of property under a 5
year mask of supplying soccer fields for the area youth. I
wanted people to fully understand why SAYS will no longer
run recreational soccer for the town of Shandaken. It is simple
our lease was not renewed. On a positive note The James A.
Cordo Tournament will go on, another township has graciously
offered to host the event.
SAYS Board Member
Regarding The Charter
I do not belong to any political party: however, I regularly
attend legislative meetings as an involved citizen.
I believe that Ulster County’s fiscal woes have more
to do with the legislative system than the legislators. Ulster
County Government has become a very complex, multi-million
dollar operation. Under the existing system we have part time
legislators overseeing agencies with little, or no information,
as to how cost-effective they are. The legislators, by necessity,
have to rely on what they’re being told by department
heads, whose primary concern is creating the best department
they can, regardless of cost.
"Regardless of cost" has become a nightmare for
Ulster County’s taxpayers.
....and, speaking of costs, very soon the legislature must
decide what to do with the County infirmary. It must either
be sold or rebuilt. It may be that the county has a moral
obligation to maintain the infirmary; however, can we afford
another run-away capital project.
The Persen House... Ulster County received a $ 350,000 grant
to renovate this historic building and put it to some civic
use. They stopped sinking money into it at the 2 million dollar
mark and it is believed that it will take an additional 650,000
to 1 million dollars to complete the project. The building
remains vacant, and looks like it will stay that way into
the foreseeable future.
The Department of Probation Building went from an estimated
$ 890,000 in renovations to over 2.8 million by the time it
was completed. Or should I say almost completed. .
Ulster County Courthouse... In 1996 the courthouse went through
an extensive renovation to the tune of 5.7 million dollars.
In 2003 someone noticed that the roof was caving in. Cost
an additional $ 820,000.00
Need I mention The Jail?
Need I say more?
In November we will be voting on whether or not to adopt a
new form of County government.
I believe that we need to give real power to county wide elected
officials (Executive and Comptroller) and make them, and the
department heads they appoint, accountable. I will be voting
YES for The Charter and I hope this letter convinces you to
do the same.
I am writing as the Chairman of the Legislature with regard
to Legislator Susan Zimet's attendance, or reported lack thereof,
at the recent Public Hearing and Special Session held on August
23 to discuss the Charter.
Legislator Zimet had scheduled a family vacation out of the
area. She had advised me of this far in advance. At the time
that she and I discussed her vacation, the Public Hearing
and Special Session were not scheduled.
On August 9, our regular session was held and it was at this
time that a determination was made that a Public Hearing and
Special Session needed to be scheduled during the upcoming
weeks. With summer arriving, a number of Legislators had family
vacations already planned, children needing to be transported
to college, etc. There were several Legislators absent the
night of the Public Hearing and Special Session.
In the more than two years she has served, Legislator Zimet
has never missed a regularly scheduled monthly meeting of
the Legislature. Her first outing after a bad car accident
last year was to attend the monthly meeting, in pain, even
though I advised her to stay home. This year she has become
Chairman of the Arts, Education, Tourism and Community Relations
Committee and has re-arranged her personal life to accommodate
meetings. She also took on the task of overseeing a Budget
Reform Committee which required meeting time in addition to
other Committee work and Boards she is assigned to. All of
this and yet, she is being taken to task for missing a meeting
due to a family vacation?
She has been conscientious of not scheduling any appointments
that would conflict with her routine meetings. Unfortunately,
politics can get quite dirty and if it were not for the fact
she is running for another political office, the truth is
her absence wouldn't have been pointed out just as it has
not been pointed out for any of the others.
David B. Donaldson, Chairman
Ulster County Legislature
I would like to commend the committee that put so much time
and effort into creating the Onteora 2006-2007 calendar that
we received recently. They did a terrific job putting together
the pictures and short writeups that made the history of our
school district come to life.
I'm also glad that they mentioned the part Helen Cordo played
over the years with the Poppy Court at Phoenicia Elementary
School in one of their writeups.
As an Olive resident, retired teacher aide, and parent of
former Onteora students I really enjoyed and appreciated it.
Many thanks to The Phoenicia Times for keeping its readers
informed on the Belleayre Resort saga. The appointment of
pro-developer Alan Steinberg as the Environmental Protection
Agency's Regional Administrator for the Catskills seems a
classic example of setting the fox to guard the henhouse.
New York State should reclaim through eminent domain the land
for the proposed Belleayre Resort as a public safety measure
to preserve the purity of the Catskill watersheds and reservoirs.
Big Indian, NY
The recent craclkdown on prostitution in the Cilty of Kingston
led to some unfortunate consequences for people, and, at the
same time, highlighted a number of issues - sex in the city,
drugs, community leaders, news coverage, media responsibility,
police priorities... .
All of the outcomes were relatively predictable. But the big
surprise for me was the price point... $500 for the service,
with no other frills - "straight sex" said the newspaper.
Let's assume that the 8 people caught were only 25% of the
available market that evening. 32 transactions at $500 equals
$16,000. Assuming a 350 day year (no work on any religious
holidays), that's $5,600,000 per year. Now let's tax this
at the current sales tax of 8.0% and let's add a special tax.
Call it an entertainment tax, of 10%. That's $1,008,000. With
all of the new taxes being proposed and the various ways that
the government is finding to take our money, why not this?
Legalize and tax. We all know that prostitution has a long
history, and has a large audience covering all age groups
- (by the way, a "hats off' to the 76 year old fellow
who was caught in the sting).
We would accomplish a few things if this were legalized: 1.
Additional tax revenue for a local government that seems to
have an insatiable need to raise taxes 2. End to the link
between prostitution and drug use (the ladies would become
employees of a company - Let's call it "Pleasure Inc."
and Pleasure Inc. would require monthly drug tests. The company
motto could be "While we say "yes" to many
things, we say "no" to drugs".) 3. The police
could move on to more serious crimes, like unsolved murders.
With prostitution legalized and the drug market diminished,
we might not need as many police, thereby saving tax dollars.
The problem would be the current law. I suppose that New York
State would have to pass a law allowing prostitution. That
shouldn't be a problem. We still have the leading members
of the Axis of Taxes. Fresh from their work on the Large Parcel
Law, our Assemblyman (Mr. Cahill) and our State Senator (Mr.
Bonacic) could handle this. They get the law passed in Albany,
allowing local towns and cities to legalize prostitution.
When some of their constituents object, they tell them, as
they did with the Large Parcel Bill - “we didn’t
do it. It wasn’t us, Kingston or Woodstock or ... legalized
it.” Cahill and Bonacic are both very good at this “shell
Additional tax money (probably paid with a smile), reduction
of drug use, and better focus for law enforcement... there
are few programs today that could accomplish all of this.
The Town of Shandaken has a museum!!! It has been open 20
years, how many of you know it exists? The Town Board has
chosen to ignore it.
It is popular with people doing geneology, people who used
to live here, old timers, and people from other areas, even
other countries. But within our own town it's passed over.
I have been involved with the museum since its conception
and have finally come to the conclusion that there is no future
for a museum in the town of Shandaken.
The museum receives no money from the town; has no budget.
The roof leaked and they did put a new roof on but the damage
caused is still evident. There are ceilings ready to fall,
walls crumbling, paint badly needed inside and out. It still
needs gutters to stop the erosion of the soil and building
under the eaves. The windows are literally rotting out and
some are broken.
The library is asking for a budget of $83,000 from 54,500?
They receive monies from other sources also. The museum budget
is $0. There is something wrong with this picture. It seems
to me the Town must either recognize and take care of the
museum or close it.
It appears to me they have already chosen the latter - a slow
death for the one cultural edifice the town has to offer.
It is a shame the people of the Town of Shandaken have chosen
to disavow their heritage.
Nancy T. Smith
Pine Hill, NY
Have you visited the Phoenicia Library lately? In addition
to our extensive collection of books, including access to
the Mid-Hudson Library system collection, and our upstairs
Angling Parlor, we offer special classes and programs to appeal
to a wide variety of ages and interests such as reading readiness,
fly-tying, chess club, poetry readings, book discussion groups,
sewing and origami. It’s wonderful to see is so much
positive energy from our library director, staff and board
members and from the community. In June and July we held two
community planning meetings and began putting together a long-range
plan for the library. There was so much support expressed
at those meetings and recognition of the Phoenicia Library
as a vital hub of the community. It is, however, becoming
increasing difficult to continue to provide this level of
service as our operating expenses, particularly fuel costs,
have continued to rise. In addition to this, funding from
the county has been cut in half. The library’s income,
and therefore its expenditures, is far below the state and
national averages. We want to continue to move forward and
expand our services. We can do this with your help and support.
I urge you to vote yes on November 7 for the referendum to
increase the town’s funding of the library. The increase
of $28,450 will cost the average homeowner approximately two
dollars a month. What a bargain for all that the Phoenicia
Library has to offer!
Veronica Rowe, President
Phoenicia Library Board
The Shandaken Eagle Day Committee wishes to offer many thanks
to all the volunteers who donated their time and enthusiastic
talents to the very successful Shandaken Eagle Day Celebration.
Thanks are due also to the community and many visitors who
supported and enjoyed our efforts. See you next year, August
25th, 2007 to celebrate Shandaken Day in beautiful Pine Hill.
Thanks to all volunteers: Craig Appolito, Brett and Wendy
Barry, Sophie Bodge, Evelyn Bennett, Tom Crucet, Father Chris
Berean, Jeff Collins, Jim Collins, John Crawford, Helen Cordo,
Autumn Carter, Iris Carter, Rev. Ralph Darmstadt, Larry Feehan,
Dennis Frano, Glenn Ford, Hope Gilsinger, Katherine, Maureen,
Scott, and Mary Gormley; Jacqueline Guglielmetti, Tom, Sean
and Ryan Hickey; Patricia Heinz, Blake Killin, Robert Kalb,
Stephen LaMarca, Glenn Miller, Karen Miller, Bill Lohre, Joanne
Myers, Frank Nazzaro, Paul Pettinato, Matt Persons, Christian
Neal, Tiffany Neal, Dave, Rolland, Beecher, Wade, Rebecca
and Tanya Smith, Jennifer and John Simone, R.J. and Storm
Stanley, Adam Steen, Henry Rope, Leighann Sharon, Carol Seitz,
Marian, Kevin and Patty Umhey; Mark and Andrew Wilsey, Bruce
Winchell. Music: Peggy Mulligan, Harry Jameson, Earl and Maryann
Pardini, Peter Halvorsen, Dennis Havel, Bruce Hildebrand,
James Krueger, Keith Holmquist, Michael Kelly. Eagle Makeover:
Dakin Morehouse, Leon Taufield, Denis McLane, Eric Morehouse,
Jim Fletcher, Jane Floege. Thank you to: WWI Re-enacting group
and Guy Gormley, Mike Ricciardella, Phoenicia Hotel, Boiceville
Market, Shandaken Highway Dept., Shandaken Fire Companies,
Shandaken Ambulance Service, Shandaken Police Dept., St. Francis
de Sales R. C. Parish, Ulster County Sheriff Dept., Fish and
Game Club, Phoenicia Rotary Club, the Beast of Belleayre,
Ulster County Rural Transportation, Ambest Emblems, and the
Shandaken Town Board
June LaMarca, Chairman
Committee: Joe Munster, Gene Gormley, June LaMarca,
Maureen Nagy, Bob Stanley,
Bruce Barry, Dakin Morehouse, Declan Feehan, Laurilyn Frasier,
Harry Jameson, Bob Cross
If the Oil War mongers of Iraq were handed Bin Ladin on a
silver platter, they would reject him by saying he smelled
too bad. Otherwise they would have to get out of Iraq and
stop the murder of women and children which they call expendable.
My brain reminded me the other day of the humiliation, nay
the downright prejudice, that I and others of my ilk have
suffered over the centuries at the hands of the majority.
Michaelangelo, Picasso, Einstein and I have been labeled gauche.
Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Queen Victoria and I, with our left-handedness,
have suffered the majority’s snickers and brickbats.
Bob Dylan, Jimi, Ringo, Tiny Tim and I plink our ukuleles
with our left hands.
To all you righties I say: E equals M C squared, Gaul is divided
into three parts, and We are not amused, baby. Get my drift?
Lefty (aka J. Michael O’Neil)
I have been a resident of this area for almost thirty years
and a visitor and Belleayre Mountain skier for even longer.
I recently attended a local input session on the subject of
the renewing of New York City’s filtration avoidance
permit. Of all the people who spoke, I thought Sen. John Bonacic
represented our interests best. He was forceful, clear and
articulate without being strident or pugnacious. It was evident
that he was committed to seeing that our best interest was
not completely subsumed by the interests of New York City.
Soon we will be skiing on Belleayre Mountain again and enjoying
a new, hi-speed quad lift. More important, so will many first
time visitors. This new lift will allow Belleayre Ski Center
to attract a whole new group of skiers and families and further
fulfill its critical function as the engine that drives our
local economy. This “shot I the arm” will be greatly
enhanced by the new main lodge that is scheduled for construction
We have many people to thank for the funding for these vital
upgrades but central to the effort was Senator Bonacic.
I am neither a registered Democrat nor Republican but I am
thankful that we have Sen. Bonacic representing us in Albany.
Thomas H. White
Big Indian, NY
This letter has taken me one year, three months, two weeks,
and two days to finally write. In short, that comes to 444
days. As of this writing, that’s how long it has been
since 7/7/05 -- the date listed on the building permit that’s
posted on the door of Phoenicia Films. Building began on Phoenicia
Films’ porch project, as I recall, during the summer
of 2005. When it wasn’t completed by Fall, common sense
led me to believe it would be done before Winter. When winter
ended, I figured that in Spring we would finally see the project
completed. Surely I thought, no business owner would leave
a construction site unfinished in the middle of Main Street
during the busy tourist season. My final hope for its completion
was the coming of the Shandaken Day celebration. Well, as
the leaves start turning with the arrival of another Fall,
Phoenica Films continues to remain an eye-sore in the heart
of our village. I just hope this porch project won’t
take another 444 days to complete.
This frustrating situation has, however, made me even more
grateful to those Phoenicia business owners who continually
maintain and improve their properties. I thank you for all
of your hard work. I just wish a few others would take the
same pride in our village.
What a wonderful visit we had from His Holiness the Dalai
Lama! Shandaken and Woodstock were indeed very fortunate to
play host to such a memorable event. Thank you Karma Triyana
Dharmachakra, for allowing us all to share a special moment
together with him.
UC Legislator, Dist 2