on the News
The River Runs
As of press time, it was unclear to verify ownership of the clay bank
except to note that part of it seems to be on City lands, and the other
on a large, recently transferred property.
A couple weeks ago a strong thunderstorm swelled the Birch Creek, washing
out bridges and causing clay to be exposed over a long area of the creek
behind the Pine Hill Waste treatment plant and sections immediately
downstream. While this might be a water quality issue, it is the local
business community, just gearing up for it‚s summer season of
tubing, fishing, and swimming that is shouting the loudest.
„On the evening of May 13, 2004 a storm dumped between three or
four inches of rain on the site of the proposed Belleayre Resort at
Catskill Park,‰ wrote Trout Unlimited in its May newsletter. „This
event lasted a little over an hour and was devastating. The results
are not pretty; a tremendous head cut has opened at the site of the
NY City water treatment plant.‰
Leslie Malley, the owner Big Indian‚s Weyside Inn, whose picturesque
lake has long been a main attraction to visitors, has blamed the changed
quality of Esopus Creek water with having turned their resource lake
into a mud pit. Malley, a member of the Belleayre Region Lodging and
Tourism Association, added that the mud is dealing a huge blow to all
aspects of the local tourist industry.
„As long as this recurring situation is allowed to continue, there
can be no fishing, swimming, tubing or drinking water for that matter,‰
she said. „If visitors can‚t pursue these recreations, why
bother coming here? That will lead to no lodging stays, no dining, no
need for services, etc.‰
Bob Linge, a spokesman for the Tourism Association, agreed.
„This will be a blow to the area economy,‰ he said.
„What has presented itself, with the recent damage from thunderstorm
rainfalls in Pine Hill, is a prime example of what is a natural occurrence,‰
said Harry Jameson III, owner of Phoenicia-based Town Tinker Tube Rentals,
one of the leading tourist businesses utilizing the creek. „High
flows have damaged a stream bank and glacial clay has been exposed which
is eroding and causing the heavy turbidity load present in the Esopus
downstream waters. How is it going to effect the tubing business? Well
first, let me say time heals all wounds and as the water levels tend
to subside the turbidity will naturally decrease until we have another
heavy rain. So the Esopus will slowly get better as the season continues.
Tubing, which I turned into an industry, requires water, the more the
better; but a little bit of turbidity has never been a problem before
and after twenty five years of dealing with people‚s perspective,
I‚m sure it will not make a difference now.‰
Malley said that she thinks the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection should be concerned as well. Muddy water, also known as turbidity,
is more difficult to disinfect than clear water.
„What about the quality of the City‚s drinking water?‰
Malley wondered. „ Isn‚t that supposed to be DEP‚s
Shandaken Supervisor Robert Cross Jr. thinks so. Cross has toured the
site where the clay is exposed, and says he has discussed the matter
„in detail‰ with several DEP scientists and officials. While
there are other stream issues the DEP has been working on, Cross said
he has asked that the Birch Creek problem move to the front of the line
and get repaired as quickly as possible.
But Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the Department, said Friday that he
is well aware of the Birch Creek problem, but according to the department
the turbidity is not effecting drinking water quality.
„It‚s not making it down to the Ashokan reservoir and we‚re
not sure it ever will,‰ Michaels said.
As for Cross‚s idea of making the repair of Birch Creek top priority,
Michaels said that would not happen. „DEP‚s scope is bigger
than Cross‚s scope-but in Cross‚s region it has become our
Michaels said a repair plan needs to be prepared before anyone applies
for the necessary permits to do the work and the application process
itself takes 45 days after submission to the State Department of Environmental
But repairs can also take years. Another erosion problem existed on
the banks of the Esopus near Phoenicia for several years until a $500,000
project cured it last year.
Also, Trout Unlimited filed a lawsuit last year against the DEP because
Trout fishermen disliked how the discharge from the Schoharie reservoir
muddied the Esopus went it came out of the Shandaken Tunnel, known locally
as the portal. Fly fishing guides complained that the muddy color of
the creek prevents them from using it for their business.
The mud from the banks of the Birch Creek appear well upstream of the
portal, an ironic twist of nature given the fact that DEP was fined
$5.7 million as a result of the TroutUunlimited litigation. That decision
is currently being appealed.
„At the end of that two-year period, after all the options have
been studied, the DEP will make a recommendation on a preferred course
of action for modifying or managing the reservoir and the tunnel. The
DEP has not made a commitment at this time to any particular project
at Schoharie,‰ Michaels said.
„As much as TU would like to establish ultimate control over the
Esopus by litigating with the DEC and DEP for rationing of water transfers,
it‚s very evident that Mother Nature rules,‰ noted Jameson.
„Only 25 percent of the entire tubidity load comes from the portal
and that has been scientifically proven for the past 6 years. 50 percent
comes from the Esopus streambed itself and the remaining 25 percent
comes from the Stony Clove. Ultimately, the damage in Pine Hill must
be repaired to correct the problem and in doing so reduce the turbidity
by stopping any further erosion.‰
might think this was initiated by the construction of the plant on the
flood plain, or not adhering to what is assumed to be best practices
during construction of the plant,‰ continued the Trout Unlimited
report on the red river. „Two points are to be made here. The
Resort at Belleayre will expose acres and acres of land to the ravages
of nature, and should not be built on the banks of Birch Creek. Secondly,
the City of New York should do all it can NOW to remedy this situation-
The Esopus Creek is RED all the way to the Ashokan. The addition of
this turbidity to the Esopus Creek has decimated the fishing and tourism,
and will continue to do so for the immediate future. The raging floodwaters
have no doubt swept away this year‚s class of Rainbow Trout in
Birch Creek and the Brown Trout fingerlings in the Esopus Creek.‰
„I know that Supervisor Bob Cross is
working with the DEP and I have been asked to offer my expertise through
the process as well, added Jameson. „Once again, the biggest problem
aside from getting all of the required permits is going to be the question
of where the funding to do the repair will come from..‰
Last Tuesday, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Adjudicatory Law Judge Richard J. Wissler read into the record a number
of exhibits for his later consideration, from the 10 bound volumes of
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) materials that were the
subject of the review to petitions from four entities seeking to gain
"party status" in the subsequent process and enter issues
for consideration to a large box filled with several hundred pages of
testimony and letters from the public and a number of concerned agencies,
including the federal Environmental Protection Agency, regarding the
also noted the purposes of the current proceedings: To determine which
parties, and issues raised by those parties, could be considered "substantive"
and "significant" enough, based on environmental concerns,
to warrant inclusion in first Wissler's ,and later DEC Commissioner
Erin Crotty's decision regarding the Crossroad's DEIS completion, and
whether it might need any mitigation- or downright refusal.
added that the current Issues Conference process would likely not end
until the end of June, with a decision likely by late summer, at the
earliest. Appeals of whatever decision was reached would likely last
into the Fall, with the entire adjudiocatory process not ending until
"late Fall or Winter." And only then would actual permit processes
official time at which all this started, according to Judge Wissler,
was 10:14 AM.
by then, the battle stances of the various partners involved in what
promises to be months of review of Crossroads Ventures' massive double-golf
course, double-hotel resort surrounding the state DEC's own Belleayre
Mountain Ski Center had already been laid out in an informal press conference
in the parking lot outside the fire hall.
Alworth, Executive Director of the Catskill Center for Conservation
and Development and organizer of an ad hoc consortium of eleven national,
state and local environmental organizations calling itself the Catskill
Preservation Coalition, had called the press conference to discuss some
of the issues it was hoping to have heard, and included in the coming
Coalition will be looking at a Forest Preserve issues," Alworth
noted, referring to the fact that in addition to being in the New York
City watershed, it was also firmly situated in the Catskill Park, one
of two large forest preserve tracts, with the Adirondacks, under the
direct stewardship of the DEC. "The DEC, as lead agency, is in
for some tricky business."
noted that as far as the organizations he's working with can tell, the
proposed Belleayre Resort could increase traffic to the Catskill Park,
which is currently in its centennial year, by ten times.
his Coalition see any possible conflicts of interest on the DEC's part?
see if it becomes an issue," he replied. "The jury is still
attorney for the process, Dan Ruzow, noted that a supplemental report
had been submitted to the DEC in recent weeks answering charges made
in some of the submitted comments from the City DEP and other agencies.
is an iterative process," he said, repeating a term used by Gitter
in recent interviews. He added that, as far as he could see, the most
contentious sessions of the current process were likely to come on June
8 and June 22, when visual impacts and stormwater impacts, respectively,
are to be discussed.
and Alworth traded statements about the recent decision by the Coalition
of Watershed Towns to protest the city's comments, with Ruzow expressing
his pleasure at CWT's new involvement, feeling they raised important
Home Rule issues around the project review (see accompanying story);
and Alworth speaking about the important issue being sustainable development
as a key to the Catskills' future, and the fact that he did not see
the proposed resort as being sustainable.
is not an Upstate versus Downstate fight," Alworth said. "And
unlike some reports I've read, I do not believe this indicates, in any
way, the death of the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) between the City
and the Catskills. That idea is ludicrous."
asked whether the growing brouhaha around the project was helping or
hindering the financial commitment of the project's lead backers, Emily
Fisher and Richard Fisher, both of whom live at least part-time in New
York and pride themselves for their board involvement with a number
of key City-based cultural organizations and national environmental
organizations, Ruzow said "It's strengthened it. We're in this
for the long haul. Our loyal investors believe this vision will work."
too, said the Resort issue has galvanized support for the Catskill Center
and other environmental groups involved in it.
Resources Defense Council Senior Attorney Eric Goldstein added that
the current project was thankfully the exception to the rule of Upstate
development patterns, and hence needing greater scrutiny than other
Alworth said that he was hoping the issue of DEC's own expansion and
possible privatization plans for its Belleayre Mt. Ski Center would
be allowed into Wissler's decision-making. He added that the agency
recently refused to release its plans, after being petitioned under
the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), saying that they were still in
"a draft, interagency form."
lawyers in attendance for the May 25 hearing were counsel for New York
City, the state DEC, a number of key environmental groups, and Jeff
Baker, representing the Coalition of Watershed Towns and Delaware County,
in a last-minute plea for inclusion in the talks that was okayed, for
the current process, by Judge Wissler. Filling out the crowd were several
representatives of Crossroads, including a PR agent handing out copies
of the Coalition of Watershed Towns' recent resolution slamming New
York City's comments, representatives of environmental groups, and a
plethora of press.
all the four entities seeking party status in the proceedings, as well
as of all the entities seeking involvement in the process, only the
Town of Shandaken was absent. Wissler noted that he had received an
e-mail from Shandaken planning board attorney Drayton Grant saying they
would rely on their submitted comments and would be providing no witnesses
recent story on the underlying reasons for Shandaken's reluctance to
be present in the process ran into flack from Shandaken Town Supervisor
Bob Cross Jr. and Grant about statements made off-the-record by various
sources as to why Shandaken was not backing up its report at the current
hearings. The story noted that there had been discrepancies regarding
the draft of a commissioned report submitted to the state by hired
environmental consultants, which had been objected to by Crossroads
representatives as being too harsh.
on behalf of Crossroads, said on May 25 that he had no objection to
Shandaken not being present in the proceedings, and suggested that instead
of being considered a full party to the proceedings, they be relegated
to "Amicus" or friend of the court status, since they would
have a chance to review the project later via their planning board.
then questioned the involvement of two of the Catskill Preservation
Coalition's members - the Zen Environmental Studies Institute in Mt.
Tremper and the New York Public Interest Resource Group (NYPIRG), as
well as the legality of such an ad hoc organization.
much testimony from the various members of CPC, by both their attorney,
Marc Gerstman, and their attendant representatives, Ruzow dropped his
New York City's phalanx of lawyers and scientists gave a long presentation
outlining their interest in, and basic concerns with the proposed project,
Ruzow again objected- to both the extent of their comments, which
Ruzow said he feels the courts need to test, implying Wissler's adjudication
as an arena; as well as to the nature of the material they brought up,
a series of giant photos showing erosion in other projects in Westchester
and Margaretville in particular.
said he and his clients had "serious questions" about the
city using the adjudicatory process for watershed planning versus individual
project review processes.
several points Baker, representing the Coaliton of Watershed Towns,
spoke in support of Ruzow, his former law partner.
the afternoon session, discussion centered on matters involving wastewater
treatment, with DEP Engineer Brenda Drake characterizing hydraulic loading
estimates in the Crossroads DEIS as massively incorrect and Ruzow raising
the issue of the DEP's denial of use of its Pine Hill treatment facility
for the project. There was also discussion of mining issues, involved
in the excavation process.
the planned visit to the proposed Belleayre Resort site on May 26, Judge
Wissler said that he had been asked by Gitter, as owner of the property,
to exclude former Shandaken Supervisor Peter Di Modica, a representative
of the Pine Hill Water District Coalition, and Judith Wyman, director
of the Friends of Catskill Park, from the field trip. Wissler said he'd
originally allowed the exclusion, along with exclusion of the press
and any and all photographs, because the purpose of the site visit was
for him to be acquainted with what was being discussed, and nothing
more. But then he added that Gitter had dropped his request to exclude
Di Modica and Wyman.
pleased with the directness and the forthrightness of all these folks,"
Wissler said at meeting's close on May 25th. "I'm pleased with
the progress we're making."
BUT NO PRESS
The subject of press access was first raised two
days earlier at the conference's opening session, with application to
attend any site visits being made on behalf of WAMC Northeast Public
Radio and The Phoenicia Times. Judge Wissler responded that the press
was "welcome" to attend, but that he lacked the authority
to make it possible: permission to enter the project site was "at
the sole discretion of the landowner." Crossroads counsel
Theresa Bakner argued, "We don't believe this is an opportunity
for public information." Marc Gerstman, counsel for the Catskill
Preservation Coalition, countered that such visits were part of a public
review process, and denying access "would essentially be denying
the public's right to know what's going on, in contravention of the
opinions from prominent first amendment attorneys appear to back Gerstman's
position. But according to Bob Freeman of the Department of State's
Committee on open government, the specific question of press access
would not be assured, as a general matter, under state open meetings
law, and any legal determination on the issue would likely rest on whether
or not any such provision of law guaranteeing public access exists under
SEQRA. Stay tuned.
In a preliminary
presentation to Administrative Law Judge Wissler, Ketchum said that
baseline traffic data prepared for the developer by Creighton Manning
and Associates under-reports existing volume by 40 percent, that it
fails to take into account the growth of the Belleayre Ski area or traffic
from the proposed 372 time-share units containing 832 bedrooms, and
that, among other things, shuttle bus trips between the resort and ski
area may be overestimated and parking spaces underestimated.
on data already submitted by Ketchum, his firm projects that the resort's
additional traffic volume of approximately 500,000 cars per year will
result in one additional death and 37 additional injuries from traffic
accidents annually on Route 28. He also posits that the increased volume
will reduce the average speed of traffic and increase travel times throughout
the 28 corridor but especially as one get closer to Kingston, where
annual traffic volume on the road is approximately four times the level
at the resort site itself.
also raised a new issue of "externality costs," representing
the indirect fiscal impact to the region from the additional traffic
loading. Such costs according to Ketchum include things like vibrational
damage to structures, traffic accidents and deductibles not covered
by insurance, and other normally hidden costs primarily borne by the
region's residents. Ketchum's calculations peg such costs of the resort
traffic at $27 million per year, although he said DOT's formulas place
the cost at about $7 million.
to comment on the disparity between the two figures at the conclusion
of Ketchum's presentation, Chuck Manning, principal of Creighton Manning
Associates, Crossroads' traffic consulting firm, would say only "It's
a type of analysis I'm not familiar with, so I'd have to look at it.
don't have the exact figures before me," said Councilman Bruce
LaMonda, as acting town supervisor during Supervisor Berndt Leifeld's
absence over the holiday weekend. "We had heard through the legal
grapevine that ORPS didn't agree with the set numbers but 7 percent
would relate to about $3 million on the land portion of it. They didn't
give us any increase on the value of the buildings, the new police command
center, the dams, the roads, the aqueducts and all of that- just on
the eight or ten thousand acres of land that they own."
stressing that the figures may not be accurate but that he felt they
were "ballpark," LaMonda said the town was looking for an
increase in the upper $200 million to $300 million range. He said the
city's own estimate for this year was entered at $115,930,000 against
Olive's appraisal of $393 million on a full value assessment of $490,774,640.
numbers were dancing about so quickly, it was difficult to do the math
before he said "So, we're over $300 million apart." Anyway,
miles and miles apart...
said that the town quickly began the appeal process on the apportionment
rate through their Latham-based tax law firm, Hacker & Murphy, LLP,
upon receipt of the ORPS figures.
town board had agreed, previously, that if ORPS didn't come up with
a significant increase that we were going to start the appeal process
immediately," LaMonda said, adding that he was not at all surprised
by the lowball figure from ORPS. "We thought we were going to get
somewhere up around $275, $280 million, maybe even as much as $360 million.
It was our understanding that the review board recommended to ORPS that
we get a substantial increase but someone named "Snow" intervened-
I still haven't been able to find out who he is- and went to the director
and said ŒNo, they should only be entitled to around 7 percent
of the land value.' And that's what the director went back and told
As he was preparing to chair Tuesday's town board meeting and introduce
a resolution for Olive to keep its options open on a possible CWC-sponsored
water treatment plant to be constructed in Boiceville, downstream from
a proposed large resort, LaMonda summed it up; "Right now, everything
is still in Limbo. We're appealing, as we agreed we would as soon as
the rate came in- if it wasn't a significant number and we're reviewing
the option of an Article 78 if we're not satisfied with the appeal process."
An Article 78 is a lawsuit designed by the New York State legislature
to challenge actions and decisions of government agencies before the
State Supreme Court and must be petitioned within a 60 day or 120 day
time limit following an official action- in this case, an unsatisfactory
outcome of the appeal filed against the ORPS decision.
Whither The Vote?
Board president Marino D'Orazio said on Monday, "The inclination
of the board is to propose a budget in the four-percent-plus range.
Tom Rosato has some ideas, and I have some ideas. The issue is going
to be what programs and what positions, if any, will become part of
a proposed budget. That was the feeling at the beginning˜if this
budget went down, we would suggest another." In April, Supt.Hal
Rowe and his administrative team proposed the original budget, with
a six percent increase over this year's budget, as well as a second
option, with a 4.3 percent increase, in case of the first budget's failure.
asked how the board would convince taxpayers to vote for the second
budget, D'Orazio said, "We'll try very hard to explain to the public
what it means to have this budget versus a contingency budget. Voting
it down doesn't really save the taxpayers any money. A contingency budget
will have almost a three percent increase, as mandated by law. It's
simple to say, if we vote down the budget, nothing happens to taxes,
but that's not the case. The difference between the budgets is really
minimal, and a contingency budget hurts the kids. Then we have to make
do with the bare minimum, and everything is up for grabs. Most of the
expenditures in the budget are beyond the control of the school district,
such as contracted salaries and mandated programs."
remarked, "I don't think the last budget was defeated over the
budget but from anger and concern over other issues," such as parents'
dissatisfaction with the closing of the West Hurley Elementary School,
the board's plan to apply the large-parcel option, which may raise Town
of Olive taxes by over fifty percent, and the recent Woodstock property
revaluation, raising many homeowners' taxes in that town. Rowe quoted
from charts published in local newspapers indicating that Onteora was
proposing the second lowest budget-to-budget increase in the county.
"We were second highest in tax levy increase because we don't have
any fund balance, since it was given away by another board at another
time. But our budget increase certainly wasn't out of line, there are
just too many volatile issues right now and people who are really persistent
about keeping them going."
trustee Meg Carey lost the school board election but will retain her
seat until July, so she will be voting at next Monday's meeting. She
stated, "My position remains that I want to support what the administrators
recommend. They are the ones who live the budget and know in most detail
how the students and staff are affected. I truly believe when the administrators
make their recommendations, they believe it's in the best interest of
the whole district. I anticipate slight variations in their recommendations,
but I don't expect any major change."
the second budget's chance of passing, she commented, "My understanding
is that a school budget has never before been defeated by such a huge
margin. It makes me question whether there's any budget these numbers
of people will support. The issue is much bigger than the West Hurley
school closing. Taxes are already known to be much higher in Woodstock
because of the reval, and Olive's very concerned about their taxes.
I'm curious how it's all going to be revealed to us."
said he had invited several politicians to "give their opinions
about whether it's appropriate for us to enact the large-parcel law
this year." Senator Larkin, one of the authors of the bill, attached
comments to the legislation indicating that its purpose was to avoid
large fluctuations in taxes each year as large commercial properties
were bought and sold. Olive officials have pointed out that the parcel
in question, the Ashokan Reservoir, does not undergo such changes, and
therefore the legislation should not be applied in this case. District
clerk Wendy Stefano said Tuesday afternoon that Bonacic would not be
able to make the meeting, and she had not yet received word from Larkin
the issue is the contention of Woodstock officials that their town bears
the brunt of school taxes, while Olive pays an unfairly small proportion
of taxes. "A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Olive
government has not chosen to revaluate their properties, which we've
said they should do," said D'Orazio. "Then if the legislation
were enacted, it wouldn't have a huge impact." Olive supervisor
Berndt Leifeld has said the town is preparing to do a reval, but because
one hasn't been done in many years, the process will take at least a
year or two.
a very divisive issue," D'Orazio continued. "Every single
year, we're faced with this decision. As a school board we may become
victims of a yearly jockeying for position depending on what town [candidates
and board members] are from. It's a horrible, probably unintended effect,
another example of higher government laying it on the lowest form of
government we have, which is the school board. Voters look on the school
board budget as one chance to make themselves heard. I hope people who
really were instrumental in voting against it may feel they have made
their point, and it's no longer about teaching someone a lesson but
about not hurting educational programs."
Fraser's currently working on his follow-up film, "Dead Kid,"
which again plays with themes involving the anticipated and actual
realties of rural life in today's Catskills. It's 8 minutes long.
By the time Chance Fraser gets out of high school and heads towards
film school in a couple of years, he should be making television-length
dramas, maybe even feature films.
"I want to take this further," he says in a matter-of-fact
tone, cool as his age, while sitting in the living room of his parents'
bed and breakfast in the center of Phoenicia. ""I'm actually
thinking now of buying a camera. All you need to make movies these
days is a camera and a computer."
Fraser's not quite ready to talk specifics in regards to film schools.
He's still got to finish tenth grade. But he does know how he's gotten
to where he is, and the role his Catskill surroundings have played
in his development.
Chance Fraser moved to the area from Brooklyn when he was 4. Even
though, like many his age, he tends to see the local area as being
a bit "rednecky" at times, he's loved the closeness of nature,
the pockets of sophistication here and there in the area, the number
of film types who regularly make their way through the region, and
the safe, supportive pace of small town life.
"I guess my biggest dream right now is about getting a place
of my own," he says, nodding his head, looking dead serious.
"I'll probably be staying in New York State."
He's been excited about all he's been learning as part of the Indie
Works program he's been part of since its inception. Says that just
learning about what's involved in filmmaking has changed the way he
looks at all movies.
"They taught us about lighting and cinematography and now when
I'm watching movies I find myself just thinking all about how it's
done," Fraser says.
Were there any specific films that he caught his directing bug from?
He talks about early memories of Thomas, The Tank Engine, all the
Disney films and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Edward Scissorhands
made a big impression.
Now, Fraser adds, he's a big fan of action movies, with a particular
passion for Quentin Tarantino, himself a former wunderkind who learned
his craft watching action movies while working in a Los Angeles-area
As for wanting to make movies himself, to dream them up, write them
out and actually direct them into a finished state, Chance recalls
fooling around with his dad, Tom, when he was in 6th Grade and Tom
bought a camera. It all seemed like fun- and relatively easy.
He adds that he's always been into drawing, something he probably
picked up from his mother, Dana, an accomplished painter.
"It's just cool making something," Fraser says. "Making
movies is like drawing in motion- and it's actually easier than drawing."
He's looking forward to the Reel Teens Festival this weekend, which
he's attended since its inception three years ago. He gets a thrill
out of the range of topics the work in the festival covers, as well
as the amount of talent displayed. He gets ideas about how to try
things himself, from all that his peers around the country have accomplished
on their own limited budgets.
In specific, Fraser recalls a long list of great films he's seen at
Reel Teens, which runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings in Hunter-
and should be a must-see for anyone with an active interest in movies
around the area.
He wonders how "The Letter Guy" is going to look up against
all the competition. He's worried about his sound mix in the film.
Finds himself grimacing every time he watches the movie he made, now.
Is worrying about some microphone problems that arose during his recent
shoot for "Dead Kid." Wonders when his prowess will become
such where he can move beyond such limitations.
But is he excited about going with a film this year? What was it like
at the Woodstock Film Festival?
Fraser speaks about how nervous he felt having to answer questions
about his film, but also how relieved he was when another kid proved
so comfortable talking that he took up most of the allotted time.
He pauses, considering.
"It just feels good to be recognized for what I'm doing,"
he finally says. "This has all gotten a lot farther than I ever
thought it would go."
Chance Fraser, if you ask us, is well on his way.
For further information on Reel Teens, call the Catskill Mountain
Foundation Theater at 518-263-4908 or visit www.reelteensusa.org.