I am writing to invite the involvement of all constituents
in the Onteora Central School District Community in an important
series of meetings with our architects that will take place
in the weeks ahead.
As you may know, our Board of Education has employed an architectural
firm to conduct a thorough analysis of our buildings and grounds
so that thoughtful decisions can be made about the future
use of our facilities.
Key issues under discussion include the future use of the
West Hurley Elementary School (the Levins Building and the
Ryan Building), the location of a separate and distinct Middle
School, and renovations needed to upgrade instructional space,
infrastructure, safety and energy efficiency at all of our
The architects have completed extensive tours at each of our
facilities and have met with the Board of Education, the administration
and the Commission for the Future of the District. Meetings
have been scheduled for them to meet with faculty members
and other employees. Their goal is to gather as much information
as possible from members of each group regarding our facilities
before they bring recommendations to our Board of Education.
It is the ideal time to share both practical and innovative
ideas, dreams and visions for the future of Onteora.
Now is the time for members of our community to speak up and
offer suggestions, ask questions and participate in a dialogue
with our architects. I hope that you will consider attending
one of the meetings that has been planned for PTA and Community
Members. Your input is important to us! Here is the schedule:
Monday, November 28 at 6 p.m. at Phoenicia Elementary School
Thursday, December 1t at 6 p.m. at Woodstock Elementary School
Monday, December 5 at 6 p.m. for West Hurley School at Woodstock
Monday, December 12 at 6 p.m. at the High School/Middle School
Monday, December 19 at 6 p.m. for the Bus Garage & Central
Administration at the High School/Middle School
If you can't attend the meetings, and you have input to share,
please either email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call
me at the District Office (657-8851). I will be glad to listen
to your suggestions and questions and bring them forward at
our meetings. This is an exciting time for the Onteora Central
School District when each of us can have a voice in plans
for future generations of Onteora students. I look forward
to seeing many community members at our meetings.
Justine Winters, Superintendent
Onteora Central School District
Sadly, this letter is not germane to anything in the Phoenicia
Times but I find both incidents quite interesting and remarkable
for the callousness and "devil may care" attitude(s).
The Seattle Times of November 11, 2005 carries an account
of a fight breaking out in a Tacoma courtroom after a 19 year
old man is sentenced to 30 years for first-degree murder.
The antagonists are the family of the convicted perpetrator
one of whom yelled out following the sentencing , "the
man [the victim] was 69 ; he wasn't going to live forever".
The brawl lasted for 20 seconds before Sheriff's deputies
broke it up and detectives were going to run the video to
determine if any laws were broken.
The victim was a Navy submarine veteran and used a cane following
hip replacement when he was attacked by three young men aged
17, 19 and 21. The 17 and 21 year old are awaiting trial on
the same first degree murder charges.
The remark that the 69 year old victim "wasn't going
to live forever" is absolutely true, though bizarre and
the perpetrator's family believes that prison time should
be based on the victim's age at the time of "execution".
Perhaps sentencing in capital crimes should be determined
by the insurance companies who are experts in life expectancy
and let the judges just "legislate" from the bench.
Instead of the family counting their blessings for the prison
term in lieu of the death penalty they became angry, belligerent
and menacing. That's real gratitude.
The second account is from my own experience watching the
evening news the last few evenings. [Yogi declares, "you
can see a lot by watching"]. It is a scene of a US Senate
hearing room in which American Oil Barons are about to be
questioned on their alleged gouging of the American automobile
and truck operators. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, the committee
chairman was in the process of denying the committee and the
American people of the time tested practice of administering
the oath [to tell the truth] to these oil company CEO's. When
Senator Barbara Boxer of California requested a committee
vote as to whether the oath would be given or not Senator
Stevens became quite arrogant and nasty in denying that simple
exercise. Sen. Stevens is a Republican who would deny a fair
and revealing hearing for whatever reason and it is these
tactics among others that let corporate pirates break the
[moral] law with impunity. Won't it be delightful when Kenneth
Lay [of Enron fame] comes before a committee and avoids prosecution
for possible or probable lying. Lay will most likely be immunized
from prosecution for testifying so "truthfully".
Rafael Palmeiro, a major league player obviously had to take
the oath last October when testifying before a congressional
committee in relation to using steroids and vitamin B-12.
Perjury charges for Palmeiro were avoided this week in a 40
page report while Senator Stevens was acting the role of potentate
My question to Sen. Stevens [and other high and mighty defenders
of the current Washington mind set] is this; Is the alleged
use of steroids by a sports figure more serious than the oil
moguls reaching into our pockets and stealing more than what
is fair just because they can.
Now that the Democrat party has thrashed the Republican legislators
of Ulster County and removed that bit of arrogance we need
to move to the next level. Remember our Military folks and
their families. Some "talking heads" declare that
"if you support the troops, you support the war".
I still wonder what we are doing in Iraq. I appreciate a "good"
old fashioned war and have myself participated in a couple.
Many veterans of various conflicts just today [Nov 11] registered
their displeasure with the charade in Iraq for numerous reasons
while marching in or observing the parade. "Unidentifiable
enemy" was the main concern. "They did nothing to
us was another. WWII vets were the most confused.
Glenn T. Anderson
Now that the mud-slinging of the recent political campaign
is over and done with, I would like to direct our collective
attention to one of the real jewels of the Town of Shandaken,
namely, the Phoenicia Public Library (PPL).
Yes, of course I voted, and I hope the results of the election
serve our town, and all of us, certainly as well as do the
PPL and its stellar staff of dedicated professional public
I have owned a home in Chichester for twenty years. I am in
the process of moving in full time. I am also changing careers,
having left Manhattan corporate work for the world of libraries:
I am pursuing a Master of Library Science degree, and in 2006
I will become an academic Librarian. I intend to work up here,
within but a few miles of my home.
I am reading about and debating the transformation that libraries
are undergoing. Gone are the days of all-knowing librarians
whom patrons approached reluctantly and with all due deference.
Gone are the days of patrons being shushed. Gone, too, are
the days of the library being a silent temple ruled over by
a distant figure with absolute control over the system to
access knowledge. What will replace that library is being
Some librarians want to retain the library of yesteryear.
Other librarians argue for a new library model. Here, in Phoenicia,
we are extremely lucky: we already have tomorrow’s Library.
Articles in Library publications discuss the library as a
Commons, a community space where people can read, compute,
email, play chess, hang out with friends and family, maybe
bring their dogs, a community resource, not a sterile laboratory
where librarians exercise power.
I do hope that sounds familiar, because that is what we have
in Phoenicia. Under Director Regina Johnson, PPL is one the
new libraries, a community commons. With a dedicated staff
of professionals and volunteers, she runs the Library as a
labor of love, for the good of our community.
In one Library School research project, I analyzed PPL, contrasting
it to the New York Public Library. In absolute dollar terms,
PPL is but tiny, compared to NYPL’s $200 million budget;
NYPL’s per capita expenditures are three times as large
as PPL’s. Yet, I argued, take away the big four NYPL
libraries, and Phoenicia does comparably great work –
if not better. In fact, I argue(d), Phoenicia does greater
work with fewer dollars.
Phoenicia’s Library has a small, cramped space (a condition
its staff and many of its patrons and friends hope to solve
soon enough), a frayed plant, and no stone lions guarding
the outside of its front entrance, but it does have Petula
and Magnus inside its one entrance. Its management and staff
are the intellectual equals of NYPL’s, and have far
more enthusiasm and élan than their city brethren,
for they have and want to do more with less.
In Manhattan’s Upper East Side being a Friend of NYPL
is a pastime; Rae Stang (she of Lucky Chocolates) and I plan
to start a Friends of Phoenicia Public Library, soon. We will
do it not as a badge of honour, but as a labor of love. Just
as everything connected with PPL, from its Board of Trustees
to its dogs, everyone connected with PPL loves this jewel
of a Library.
I wish more Phoenicians and neighbors knew about, and used,
PPL, so that they, too, would enjoy its offerings and programs:
origami, poetry readings, chess on Friday afternoons, and
story hour, among many. More than the programs, there are
the people of PPL, the staff, our neighbors, our dogs, too.
For me, going to the Library is a joy, a pleasure, a delight.
It is a nice place to go, to see old friends and make new
Libraries are intellectual centers of our communities, pillars
of our democracy. Corny as it might sound, to have the freedom
to go into a library and read what you wish to, without fear
of being censored or investigated, is the essence of democracy.
In the Phoenicia Public Library, we have a magnificent resource,
a gateway to the world of knowledge and intellectual freedom.
On behalf of the Shandaken Democratic Committee many thanks
to the people of Shandaken who supported our campaign and
candidates in the recent election. We're particularly grateful
to those of you who realized your vote was less about political
affiliation and more about supporting our candidates and their
desire to bring respect to our government and vibrancy to
We will continue to work for you and our community .
Dave Pillard, Treasurer
To every one who supported me by voting, encouraging, phoning,
mailing, ad making, fund raising or any of the jobs that go
into the backing of a candidate, you have my deepest gratitude.
Mount Tremper, NY
Thank you to everyone who supported me in the election of
Assisstant Assessor. I pledge to do my very best for Shandaken,
a town I call home.
Thank you Ulster County Legislative District 2... Thank you
all! The road to the Ulster County Legislature has been a
truly incredible experience. I am the luckiest candidate of
all because my friends and supporters are absolutely among
the best. I deeply appreciate the tremendous support and positive
energy I received from all the people I met throughout the
district, whether at Meet-and-Greet gatherings, door-to-door
visits, or outside the post office. You made it happen and
for that, I thank you.
If I were to try to name all the people who made this candidacy
possible, I would be at it for a long time, and probably still
I must however, recognize my unparalleled election committee.
Their efforts and abilities went far beyond their number and
I could not have done it without them, nor would I have wished
Congressman Maurice Hinchey and his staff, as well as Assemblyman
Kevin Cahill were beyond helpful and kept me going with their
words of confidence. Then there were the many Legislators
who advised me on the issues and appeared with me throughout
the campaign, in support. The Ulster County Treasurers Office
and Administrators Office were instrumental in providing information
that detailed the financial problems we are facing, so I could
accurately present information when asked. The Democratic
Committees in Denning, Hardenburg, Shandaken, Saugerties and
Woodstock were without a doubt, the framers of the campaign,
from the County Caucus on out! My grateful thanks to everyone
on those committees and their volunteers for their endorsements
and hard work.
There were many people who were generous in their financial
support of the campaign. Without their help, there couldn't
have been a campaign.
I appreciate and applaud all the performers and musicians
who helped make my events so successful, and so much fun.
Then of course, there were the business people who donated
to the campaign and created venues that made our events possible.
The many hosts of "meet ant greet" parties, allowed
me to get my message to their neighbors and friends on a personal
I made many friends and learned a lot more about people I
already knew, and in the process, I learned new things about
myself. For that, I am especially grateful.
During this campaign, we had the opportunity to raise issues
and identify, where, as a government we need to improve. I
believe many of the people who were involved or influenced
by the campaign, are motivated to demand government be accountable.
We have a lot of work ahead, many promises to keep, and processes
Again, thank you all. I look forward to representing District
2 along with Brian Shapiro and working with all members of
the Ulster County Legislature towards resolving the serious
problems facing us, and to help shape a government that is
both pro - and inter-active.
Democratic Legislator Elect
Ulster County District 2
I am writing in regard to the article in the Kingston Freeman
dated Thursday, Nov. 10. Some one has said the vote counting
was considered reckless “especially in Phoenicia.”
We don’t know who or why someone would make this remark,
although various names have been mentioned.
As election inspectors, we all worked hard and diligently
to the best of our ability. We counted, checked and double
checked the vote - where did we go wrong? If there is doubt,
please let us know or are you afraid? We’d like to know.
This article was very embarassing not only to the workers,
but the town as well.
We believe a retraction and apology is in order!!
"Shandaken Challenger not ready to concede". This
was the heading at the top of the Region section of the Daily
Freeman on Thursday, November 10th 2005. If it isn't already
becoming increasingly embarrassing enough to live in the town
of Shandaken because of the political divide made so public
with the help of this biased publication, now we have Mr.
DiModica claiming "Shandakengate". When asked what
he thought of the unofficial results by Jay Brayman Jr. (an
unbiased journalist if I ever saw one; yea right!) DiModica
is quoted as saying "The town is still quite divided".
It's because of attitudes like DiModica's supported by publications
like this and their correspondents that this town is divided
and will ultimately remain so for a long time. What was accomplished
during DiModica's tenure as Town Supervisor? I can't think
of anything spectacular. If he wants a legacy they should
put a statute of him out back of the town hall where he spent
a better portion of his time with his "hands free"
phone having "private" conversations so his co-workers
didn't know what the conversations consisted of. Now there
is open Government at work for you. In the past two years
Bob Cross accomplished more for this town than anyone since
the late great Neil "Curley" Grant. Enough said.
Yes the race was close but that was to be expected. It's possible
that after all the absentee ballots are counted (or were counted
depending on when this gets published) that the results could
be changed and DiModica comes out ahead. But, for a want to
be Supervisor who should be stressing the importance of political
impartiality and unbiased cooperation to help get this town
together again to make statements like "the recount is
important because DEMOCRATS watching the polls reported that
the vote counting, especially in Phoenicia, was done recklessly"
speaks volumes about where his personal agenda is coming from.
It would have been too "unbiased" for him to just
simply state that he is waiting for all the absentee ballots
to be counted before he concedes. It would have been to "un-liberal"
like for him to simply just quietly wait it out. Regardless
of the outcome Bob Cross should be commended for the last
two years and I hope that the recount doesn't (or didn't)
Did Saddam have chemical weapons? NO, but we do!
Recently an appalling story from a brave soldier with a conscience
has emerged but, as usual, it is being covered up. WE ARE
MELTING PEOPLE IN IRAQ! Yes, melting people, including women
and children, with a chemical weapon called white phosphorous.
This courageous soldiers first hand account said “I
received the order use caution because we had used white phosphorus
on Fallujah. In military slag it is called 'Willy Pete'. Phosphorus
burns the human body on contact--it even melts it right down
to the bone.”
How can we, the American people, let this happen? Can you
even imagine what being melted to death feels like? Don’t
be fooled by Bush’s cowboy ways, he knows and doesn’t
care, he's gotta win at all costs! Apparently, it’s
just an unfortunate dirty side of his righteous crusade. I
wonder what Jesus would do?
P.S. Don't forget that we have killed 30,000 (or more) Iraqi's.
Thats way more than Saddam. Who wins?
USAF Veteran, Iran-Iraq War
Corpses in an open grave. A huge old warehouse. A huge furnace.
A cemetery, or rather, a place where bodies were in unmarked
graves, secretly and illegally. I was about to be part of
this or was I already part of it? There were people about,
youths who I had to chase away. I decided to call the police
and not be a part of it, put a stop to it. I called 911. I
said, "I have discovered some dead bodies," and
I was immediately cut off. I turned around there were four
distinguished men in suits looking at me. I realized they
had intercepted my call. I had not given the police the name
of the street were I was but hoped they could trace my call.
Is this dream of a death factory, the death factory that the
Bush administration and the Congress and we, the American
people, have created in Iraq?
Mt. Tremper, NY
Shandaken Area Youth Sports and Helen Cordo would like to
thank the following sponsors and supporters of the James A.
Cordo Memorial soccer tournament. FC-Elite. James brothers,
Barry and Douglas; Miss Kitty’s Salon, Phoenicia Pharmacy,
Tiso’s, Brio’s, The Nest Egg, Boiceville Supermarket,
Boiceville Florist, Phoenicia Wines and Liquors, The Country
Store, Michael Iapoce and Phil Kerschner, The Kern Family
and Cathy Neal for her baked goods. We would also like to
thank Kate, Claire and Andrew Wilsey Tyler and Corey Fischer
for their help. Congratulation goes out to Woodstock for their
win and with any luck Shandaken will be able to enter a team
next year! If you wish to donate , sponsor or volunteer for
next years event contact us at Shandakencoach@aol.com.
Helen Cordo &
The folks at SAYS
We would like to invite everyone to participate in a very
special event. For the very first time, the Onteora Girls
Varsity Softball Team has the opportunity to attend spring
training in Orlando, Florida. Spring training is an invaluable
way to prepare for the upcoming softball season. We need your
help in order to make this trip possible.
Here’s how you can help:
1. In order to raise the needed funds, the girls will be holding
a silent auction on December 10th from 1 to 4 PM at Hickory
BBQ on Route 28 in Kingston. Please consider contributing
an item to our silent auction. Items that we are looking for
include: gift baskets, wine, holiday décor items, food
items and books.
2. We invite you to attend the auction and encourage you to
bring a friend. There is an admission price of $10 per person
and includes a light lunch provided by Hickory BBQ.
3. Another way that you can help is to make a donation directly
to the softball team. For a donation of $1000, you can sponsor
one of the players. However, donations of any amount are welcome.
Thank you in advance for your support of this important event.
Together we can make a difference!
Marie Shultis, Parent Coordinator