Phoenicia celebrated Brazil Night
last Friday in honor of the first day of Carnaval. The evening
included Samba dancing, a traditional Brazilian dinner, live Latin
guitar music and a Capoeira demonstration.
Defining What's Local
Regional Labor Unions Rally For Gitter; Crossroads Construction
By Paul Smart
Approximately 120 members of 15 separate trade unions, including
the Teamsters, showed up in force to express support for Dean
Gitter's proposed Belleayre Resort at the last of a series of
state Department of Environmental Conservation-sponsored public
hearings on the projects 3,500 plus page Draft Environmental
Impact Statement last Thursday, February 19.
They came early, taking up much of the center of the room in
cross-armed solidarity, proudly wearing their locals' t- and
sweat shirts. Whenever one of their union reps, or Ulster-Sullivan-Delaware-Greene
Counties Building & Construction Trades Council President
Henry Bunce spoke, they clapped and cheered loudly. And whenever
one of a long line of local people speaking in opposition to
the project took the podium, they'd stay purposefully silent,
lending a palpable pall to the mood of the room.
Onteora's Super Pick
School District Goes With Experience As Budget Figures Stay
By Violet Snow
The Onteora school board voted unanimously to hire Justine Winters
as superintendent of schools at a salary of $135,000 per year,
beginning July 1.
Winters, now superintendent of the Webatuck school district
in northern Dutchess County, has negotiated with Onteora for
a three-year contract at a rate of pay similar to that of current
superintendent Hal Rowe. The rate will stay the same through
all three years. Any work done before her July 1 start date
will be paid per diem.
Board president Marino D'Orazio stated, "We're extremely
happy with Justine. Through the interview process, meetings
with stakeholders, and several conversations I've had with her,
I continue to be impressed with her as a person and with her
credentials as an administrator. She says she is thrilled to
be coming here."
Belleayre Resort Information Page
Written comments about the proposed Belleayre
Resort should be addressed to Alexander Ciesluk, Jr. NYS DEC,
21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561-1620 The DEC
will be accepting written comments until April 23, 2004.
Phoenecia Water Leak
Local plumber Robert Stanley fears Phoenicia may have outgrown
its watersupply. He and others, including Phoenicia Water
Commissioner Ric Ricciardella and Shandaken Supervisor Robert
Cross, Jr. have been busy for days trying to find a
leak in the system that is causing pressure to plummet and
reserves to dwindle. By February 23, the Hamlet's 250,000
gallon water tank was drained and not replenished by the system's
collective water sources. And it was staying dry.
Stanley thought the problem was a major break somewhere in
the vicinity of the district called "the flats,"
in and around the Woodland Valley Inn. That proved true when
such a leak was found, and then repaired on Tuesday.
Rookie Review Board
Its Chairmanship Uncertain, Planners Prepare To Seat Two New
By Brian Powers
Two new members are expected to be named to Shandaken's planning
board on March 1, bringing the number of fresh members appointed
by Supervisor Cross and the new GOP administration to three
The new appointments follow on the heels of a special meeting
Feb 18th at which the second of two rounds of interviews were
conducted for the seats vacated by the recent removal of Howie
McGowan and Bob Kalb's resignation, which takes effect February
Of the candidates interviewed and voted on by the planning board
for the two vacant seats, the combined high vote getters were
Gerry Setchko of Phoenicia, president of the town's Republican
Club, with four of six possible votes, and Chichester resident
John Horn with three, followed by McGowan with two. Since the
planning board's vote was a non-binding recommendation to the
town board, Kalb was permitted to vote on his replacement. Setchko
and Horn are expected to be appointed at the March 1 town board
meeting, joining new planner Alan Berryann, named last month
to replace Lynn Davidsonm whose term had expired.
Our New Super...
Justine Winters Talks It Out
By Violet Snow
The Onteora school board has offered the job of superintendent
of schools to Justine Winters, currently superintendent of the
Webatuck school district in northern Dutchess County.
So who is the new superintendent?
At the February 16 school board meeting that she attended, Winters
listened closely, asked questions, and related her own experiences
of school reorganization, staff and budget cutting, and bringing
together conflicting groups within her district. She described
Webatuck as having much in common with Onteora, such as its
rural character, diverse constituency, and wide geographic range
with concomitant transportation problems. Differences, she pointed
out, include Webatuck's extreme isolation from urban centers
and consequent high turnover of staff, as well as its annual
budget of about $15 million, as compared to Onteora's current
budget of over $40 million.