I just read your editorial in the last edition of the Phoenicia
Times. I'm very sorry to learn that you had a heart attack
and hope you are fully recovered and feeling better. Please
take care of yourself. The Phoenicia Times is one of the reasons
I love living in Phoenicia. It's a great paper.
Besides the honest coverage of the local news, I enjoy the
funky regular columns. . . Sparrow's Bird gossip, the chicken
coop lady, Violet Snow's look at the natural world around
us and where to go hiking if I ever get up off my duff. .
Thank you for putting out this great paper. I appreciate all
you do. Be well,
To the Voters of the Phoenicia Fire District:
My name is Linda Michela. I am running for Fire Commissioner
in the Phoenicia Fire District. That election is scheduled
for Tuesday, December 13, 2005 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM at the
MF Whitney Fire House on Route 214 in Phoenicia. All registered
voters who reside within the Phoenicia Fire District are eligible
to vote in this election.
I am married and have two children. My family and I are residents
of Woodland Valley for almost 8 years now. We were visitors
to the area for almost 10 years prior to that. I am employed
by Uniprise in Kingston. I am an active volunteer firefighter
with over a year of service to this community.
My primary reason for wanting to become a Fire Commissioner
is that we need an active firefighter to become a part of
that board. For a quite some time, politicians and firefighters
who have not been active have run the board. I feel they are
out of touch with the needs of the active firefighter.
There are several important issues facing our Fire District
today. One of which is the ability to attract and keep qualified
firefighters. Another issue we face are rapid changes in technology.
We as a fire district, need to keep up with those changes.
Changing times require us as firefighters to change the way
we do things in order to keep us and the public safe from
I believe that I am the best candidate for the position because
of my willingness to listen to people objectively and my dedication
to working things out. I also believe that I can bring a fresh
perspective to this group. If elected, I will find the balance
between meeting the needs of the Fire District and need to
keep our taxes as low as possible.
On December 13, I hope that you will come out to vote in this
important, but little known election.
Both Crossroads Ventures and the Catskill Center recently
filed appeals to the several rulings of the DEC’s Administrative
Law Judge, Richard Wissler, in reference to the proposed Belleayre
Resort. It has generated yet more newspaper lineage.
There are no surprises in our appeal. It’s a straight
challenge to the judge’s failure to apply appropriately
the standard of “substantive and significant”
to the issues reviewed, particularly in the light of the DEC
staff’s professional competence and expertise, and in
comparison to the economic benefits of the project.
The surprise is in the Catskill Center’s appeal, which
is a bombshell: they have directly attacked the Ski Center,
holding that any expansion of the state facility will deplete
the water supplies of Fleischmanns and Shandaken and produce
traffic at such a volume as to have “dire consequences.”
They are demanding joint adjudication of any future plans,
real or imagined which the DEC might be contemplating in reference
to the Ski Center coupling it with any further review of the
They are asserting that the standard of profound solitude
which applies to the Wilderness designation of parts of the
forest preserve has an umbrella of influence over any lands
anywhere near the wilderness area. In other words, the thousands
of acres of private Shandaken land abutting the 211 tax parcels
owned by the state are subject to limitations of noise, visual
pollution, and other subjective standards which the Catskill
Center might raise against their private use and/or development.
They have asserted that midweek and year-round business is
not to be desired in the Forest Preserve, thereby condemning
every restaurant, inn and hotel-owner in Shandaken and Middletown
to a life lived always on the economic edge.
Lastly, they have advanced a standard of review for any project
proposed in the region, which in time, expense and uncertainty
of outcome will effectively deter any developer from looking
twice at the region.
In short, in their frenzy to kill the Resort, the Catskill
Center has abandoned any pretense of concern for the community
and has revealed their total disinterest in the amount of
collateral damage they cause the citizens, taxpayers and business
owners of Shandaken and Middletown. They should be ashamed
Dean Gitter, Crossroads Ventures
Mount Tremper, NY
When one is seeking a give and take reasonable compromise,
it is counterproductive to take the approach of labeling folks
who disagree with you as extremists or zealots. I don’t
believe there is anybody in our community who is opposed to
economic growth in the region: that would be as unrealistic
as it is undesirable. But in order to approach a common goal
and open a fair and reasoned dialogue, personal attacks are
not what’s needed. Rather than blaming others, it would
be much more helpful and productive to look at ourselves in
the mirror and ask: what am I doing that is contributing to
this divisiveness? Where am I unwilling to listen to points
of view that differ from my own? What steps can I take to
heal the rift?
We can’t control other people, what they think or how
they act. The best we can do is lead by example, modeling
a reasoned and moderate approach to exploring important issues
with a sense of honesty and respect. This approach works whether
you are raising kids, resolving conflicts in your marriage
or healing rifts within the community. When we resist the
temptation to blame others and call them names out of frustration
and instead choose to place ourselves in the driver’s
seat by taking self-responsibility for our part in the disharmony,
you’ll be surprised by the results that can be achieved.
Think about it.
Your editorial of November 24 was, as ever, a wise perspective
on our mountain town, a clear call for personal and community
responsibility, a solemn reminder to those in power that government
is there to represent — and unite -- all the people
of its community.
You did, however, leave out one large segment of our local
population, those who don’t vote but wish very much
that they could. Those local folks care at least as passionately
as any full-time resident about what happens to our town.
Those folks own property here, and their taxes pay for local
roads and local schools and libraries and fire and police
departments. They hire local artisans to work on their homes
when they can’t do the work themselves. They attend
meetings and hearings on local issues, speaking out for our
community. They support local businesses and local agriculture,
they cherish local friends and neighbors. They love the local
landscape and work hard to protect it. And when they’re
not able to be local, they’re thinking about getting
back as soon as they can.
The only local activity off-limits for these folks (who, for
reasons ranging from rent to tax laws, must list city addresses
as their primary addresses) is the chance to vote in local
elections. And as a result, the only local right denied them
is taxation WITH representation. For many of them, the last
two years have been frustrating and disheartening; this second
homer hopes against hope, as you and so many other local folks
do, that the next two years will be very different.
Woodland Valley and NYC
Once again, I am amazed and truly grateful for the awesome
support I received on November 8th. I'll continue to represent
our community with my best efforts and get right to work as
we move into a new and exciting Legislative session. My thanks
go out to all the voters who took time out of their day to
participate in the election. Congratulations to Don Gregorius,
who will be an active freshman legislator for district 2.
Don's team put out an impressive grass roots effort, pulled
him through the finish line, and really got out the vote.
I thank them for their support of both Don and myself. Thanks
go to Mike Stock for his years of hard work and service to
Ulster County. He ran another good campaign and kept it clean.
I am sure he will stay involved in our community, because
that is what he has always done. Acknowledgements also go
to Jim Monserrate for throwing his hat into the ring.
Again, thank you to all of the voters for having faith in
me, and my efforts to make the world a better place.
The Times Editorial of November 24, 2005 has both bad news
and good news. It is initialed by BP which I take to be Brian
Powers the Publisher and he relates the anxious experience
of the heart attack. He then goes on to relate his treatment
and recovery which seems to have been quite satisfactory.
We are always grateful for recovering patients whether it
be ourselves or a total stranger. We celebrate whomever or
whatever it is we direct our thanks to and it matters not
the person or object. An Atheist may be indebted to the doctors
or technicians. Some may feel the first responder(s) are the
heros. As for myself, "I know whom I have believed".
In 1990 at the age of 64 I stepped off into a life that would
be "pill filled" and self controled, something quite
alien to my lifestyle; I had my first cardiac infarction.
I too was treated at Benedictine and it was first class. I
got limousine service via the Olive First Aid Unit ambulance
[don't forget them in your giving]. I then visited my HMO
doctor armed with records and EKG's from Benedictine and began
a regimen of pills, diet and weight reduction.
On January 2, 1997 I had another attack which landed me in
St. Vincent's hospital in NYC. I had what has become known
as "a 3 way" bypass. Kudos to the surgeon and staff;
I walked out 5 days later.
In August of 1999 while camping in Michigan's upper peninsula
I became short of breath and ran back to NY to my HMO doctor
who enrolled me in St. Vincent's on Staten Island for a pacemaker.
Event number 4 occurred last December as I was sharpening
up my horns for the muzzle loader hunt. I was again short
of breath and felt chest congestion. Off to the doctor and
muzzle loading could wait. This time it was a heart valve
replacement for which some unwitting cow offered. I am still
walking around and the cow was celebrated as steak and burghers;
praise to the venerable cow.
My point in sharing these last 15 years on earth is this;
each time I experienced something different with my system(s)
I got some assistance and I got it post haste. As Brian Powers
advises, "take an aspirin and call 911". You may
not need an aspirin, but it sure won't do any harm. I do not
need "nitro" but I carry it as first aid for someone
who just might need it. I might add that we have advanced
so far, so fast in medical techniques, procedures, medicines
and equipment in the last 50 years but it still requires immediate
notification to take advantage of these
We all are pleased that you recovered as well and as quickly
as you have, Brian. You are needed by all those that love
and respect you and certainly as our parochial publisher.
God Bless [may I?].
Glenn T. Anderson
The US and Britain are using depleted uranium (DU-99% U-238)
weapons in Iraq lacing this ancient land with radioactive
U-238 with a half life of 4.5 billion years, the age of the
earth. When the high speed, extremely dense uranium metal
projectile hits the armor of a tank for instance, the impact
creates extreme heat, melting the armor which makes these
weapons very useful to the military. DU is cheap and plentiful,
a waste by-product of building atomic bombs and the nuclear
power industry. It is very convenient for the nuclear industry
to sell this radioactive waste to the military which then
uses it in Iraq. It is an easy solution for the military-industrial
complex but what about its effects on people? After burning,
uranium oxide dust is infused into the air, is carried by
the wind, breathed into the lungs or settles on the surface
to be picked up on the skin, incorporated into plants, eaten
by animals, becoming part of the food and water supply of
the people of Iraq and our children who are soldiering there.
It is particularly harmful to fetuses producing miscarriages
and birth defects and causes abnormally high death rates and
cancer throughout the population of Iraq and in our troops
and in their children conceived after serving in Iraq. One
Iraq War veteran, tested positive for DU, has a daughter born
with no fingers. The VA has refused to consider this a war
related injury and denied a claim for her massive disability.
DU weapons were used in the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Serbia
and Afghanistan so the terrible long term effects of this
contamination are becoming more evident yet we continue to
The UN Human Rights Commission in 1996 banned DU and declared
it a Weapon of Mass Destruction. The UN body declared that
use of DU constitutes a crime against humanity. In 2002 the
UN human Rights Commission stated its use violated the Hague
Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva Protocol of 1925,
the Nuremburg Principles of 1945, The Charter of the United
Nations, the Anti-Genocide Conventions of 1948, The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the four Geneva Conventions
of 1949, the Conventional Weapons Convention of 1980. Yet
we continue to use it - thousands of tons of U-238. What kind
of people are we? Do you want your children to go to Iraq?
We rightly had great contempt for Germans who ‘knew
nothing’ of the Holocaust – how many Americans
will be ‘surprised’ and disbelieve charges against
them of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Are we so disinterested? Is the truth too terrible? There
is no excuse.
For additional information please see <idust.net>, <miltoxproj.org>,
Listen to the man who's been talking to our troops who have
targets of all the shock & awe we've inflicted upon the
Lead your leaders to enact Representative Murtha's resolution.
this vast hemorrhage called Operation Iraqi Liberation.
Bring ALL our beloved troops home NOW! Ignore TV and The NY
they're lying too. Leave no weasel room: ALL out NOW!
Hinchey: 845-331-4466, Clinton: 518-431-0120, Schumer: 518-431-4070
This past week the Town Supervisor shared with the town residents
a memo he framed for himself. At the risk of being a braggart,
I think I have been a pretty successful parent, having raised
four children I am exceptionally proud of. Therefore, I think
I qualify to offer some suggestions on the subject of "investing"
in the children. A good parent never stops learning. Truth
is we learn as much from our children as they learn from us.
If you really want to do something for children, consider
1. Don't be a liar. We are all human and we are all fallible,
however, it's never OK to lie. The reasons are as numerous
as the lies, but the commonality is, lies demean you as a
person and when they catch up with you, as they always do,
they discredit the honest things you've tried to do. Richard
Nixon did many great things for the children of our nation,
yet Watergate too often overshadows them.
2. Don't have double standards. It's easy to abuse power and
punish those who you feel don't agree with you or didn't vote
for you. Treat all community members equally, being inclusive
not exclusive. Don't have different rules for people you dislike.
Don't talk about them behind their backs, tell others not
to associate with them or publicly treat them with contempt.
It's immature. You never know what you might learn from a
different opinion that your own. Abe Lincoln appointed many
of his Political rivals to his cabinet and committees so that
he might learn from them and bring balance to his administration.
3. Try "Building a Community" instead of a "Community
Building". Focus on what we have, Our town has lots of
public buildings and open space including the Pine Hill Community
Center, the Lodges at Belleayre, schools, our churches and
their halls, firehouses and our parks. In addition private
businesses have space that are used by various groups. Why
not start by posting an inventory of these spaces and their
amenities on the town website? Using these facilities is not
only resourceful but it spreads these activities around town
and that's pretty nice. Our community groups such as Scouts,
church, clubs, and sports, to name a small portion , already
bring people of all walks of life together in constructive
ways. Duplicating these efforts will be more of a taxpayer’s
money pit than progress. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
4. Take responsibility. When you do something good it's only
natural to want a pat on the back, but a true test of character
is to own up to mistakes whether they are honest mistakes
or poor judgment. Don't ever justify, but focus on yourself,
take honest responsibility and learn from the situation. Children
are smarter than you think and they can detect a fraud a mile
Mary L. Herrmann
Pine Hill, NY
I think Linda Michela would be a good choice for the seat
on the Shandaken Board of Fire Commissioners. Having worked
with her, I know that she takes her responsibilities with
the greatest seriousness, and to say she is a hard worker
really doesn't cover it.
I wish to thank everyone for their hard work and support in
the last election. We put on a tasteful, honest campaign that
required many hours of work by many people. Unfortunately
I was up against smears and lies from the previous campaign
that were hard to overcome.
As a ticket we took three of the six elected offices and we
lost the others by a very slim margin. The current Town government
must hear our voices in the coming two years.
Thank you again for your support.
Pete Di Modica
Pine Hill, NY
Thank you to everyone who supported the Democratic ticket
election. I appreciate all the hard work that so many people
did in the campaign. And I appreciate all those who took the
few minutes to vote. It was a very close election and every
vote does count.
Thank you again for your support.