The Shandaken Day Country Fair Committee would like to extend
its warmest thanks to the many individuals who helped make
this event a true celebration of our community. Plans for
next year's "Eagle Day" fair on August 26th are
already underway and the committee is ambitious to make it
even bigger, better, and more fun. Thanks in particular to
those who helped with set up, judging, announcements, emergency
services and innumerable other duties (with apologies to any
names inadvertently left out): Father Chris, Hope Gilsinger,
Matt Persons, Bruce Winchell, Bruce Barry, Gary and Gary Carr,
David and Becky Smith, Harry Jameson, Mark Wilsey, the Phoenicia
Rotary, Beecher and Wade Smith, Jerry Pearlman, Lisa Benjamin,
Dennis Frano, the Big Indian & Oliverea, Shandaken-Allaben,
Pine Hill and Phoenicia Fire Companies, Gerry Setchko, Leon
Taufield, John Malloy, Linda Burkhardt and Shandaken Theatrical
Society, Keith & Giovanna Holmquist, Mike Ricciardella,
Dennis Havel, Skip Malley, Tony Lanza, Mary Gormley, Dick
Merwin & the Highway Crew, Paul Boutin, Patty Heinz, Stephanie
Blackman, Tanya Andre, Tom Hickey, Jay Braman, Jr., Jim Fletcher,
Rudge, Tony Eisenbeil, Sandra & Robert Stanley, Sr., Robin
Carey, Jim Holz, Panther Mountain Pickers, Slide Mountain
String Band, Second Nature Rock Band, Jim McGrath, Neil Goodrich,
Frank Nazzaro and R.J. Stanley. Thanks to all!
Chair, Shandaken Day Country Fair
I have been reading the regular newsletters of our local politicians
that are being mailed out to everyone in town. Are our taxes
paying for the printing and postage of these flyers? They
all sound great but it seems a little bit like "old boys"
self-promoting back slapping. Usually when politicians use
the public space to promote their own agenda, such as when
the president or governor gives a state of the union or state
of the state address, the opposing party is given the opportunity
to provide an alternate point of view. This makes for constructive
and health dialogue.
When you look at it this way these flyers are less informative
and more a form of political advertising being paid for by
our taxes. When I pay taxes I assume it will be used for something
constructive, like the repair of bridges and roads, not the
publication and mailing of self congratulatory, politically
motivated flyers. This seems to me to be a misuse of public
funds. If our local politicians want a slap on the back, then
let them come into town on the weekend and walk around shaking
peoples hands. If they want to give out lollipops and candy
let them do that, but I'd rather they buy it with their own
Woodland Valley, NY
I was recently driving up Woodland Valley road and had a memory
of Lew Hallenbeck, his saw mill, his mobile home and his rye
wisdom. I noticed that there is no inkling of his presence
any more on the road.
I remember a newspaper piece about him several years ago but
don't remember which paper. I wonder if those who remember
him would write in with their recollections. It would feel
very good to me to read them.
Olivebridge [formerly of Pantherkill]
I think the frog in that great Photo by Violet Snow should
run for Town Supervisor in Shandaken; see page 17 of the Sept.1st
Mt. Tremper, NY
Town of Shandaken voters beware! Are you being fooled? After
reading candidate for Highway Superintendant Keith Johnson's
letter in the Townsman, (which I found extremely impressive)
I looked into the other candidate Kenneth Berryann Sr.'s qualifications.
This is when I found out that many voters think Mr. Berryann
Sr. already works for the Town. Not so, it is his son Kenneth
Berryann Jr. that works for the highway department. Kenneth
Berryann Sr. is employed ar Rotron, a company that has nothing
to do with road construction. Mr. Berryann Sr. has no, none,
zero experience with road construction. The heavy equipment
referred to at the caucus is in fact a lathe used in the factory
where he is employed full-time.
This brings up another concern. Although I found that the
highway superintendent's position is described as a part-time
job, I am sure it is more of a 24-7 job and perhaps the job
description should be amended. I was told that Mr. Berryann
Sr. has no intention of leaving his full-time job. How can
Mr. Berryann Sr.do a job where he has no experience? This
town has a history of snow and hail storms not to mention
disaster floods. What does Mr. Berryann Sr. know about maintaining,
grading or rebuilding our roads? What does he know about DEC,
DEP, or DOT regulations? Keith Johnson has stated he has experience
with all of the above.
Voters again, please do not be fooled, know who you are voting
for. Since much of your tax money goes toward our roads we
should have a qualified person to supervise the department.
It's too bad that the standard of living of the people of
Phoenicia is soon to be reduced due to the phoney war of massive
destruction and the soon to be septic system plus new water
regulations. The Stony Clove Creek and the Esopus were never
polluting the water, also no one got sick from drinking the
spring water. The City of New York Board of Water Supply did
not order any changes rather it was a clique in the Federal
Government in Washington who ordered all of the changes, some
of them are working hard to put the United States under the
I would like to report that the Town of Shandaken has denied
me access to a copy of the proposed Masterpage Lease which
I recently requested under the Freedom of Information Law.
My application for the records was on behalf of our not-for-profit
organization Citizens For a Responsible Cell Tower Ordinance,
Inc. (see: www.citizensfor.org).
Citizens For believes that “best practices” for
localities seeking to enter the "Cell Tower Business"
is to open up all contracts with carriers or tower construction
companies to the public bidding process, as required by General
Municipal Law Sec. 103. This will insure that the locality
obtains the best deal for its citizens. The criteria which
cell service providers and tower construction companies use
in determining siting is not "the best interests of the
locality" it is the best interests of those private companies
(eg. completing their networks and making profits for their
We also believe it is also “best practices”, if
not a legal requirement, to hold a Permissive Referendum,
under Town Law Sec. 64 (2) when the land the tower is being
built on is Town Land.
Current Federal law (The Telecommunications Act of 1996) puts
local citizens at a tremendous disadvantage vis-a-vis the
Cell Tower Industry by taking away their right to question
the health effects of cell towers or cell phones. It is only
fair that those local citizens have some input into siting
decisions, and that the contracts for the construction of
towers be openly bid, to prevent local cronyism, abuse of
process and kick-backs.
Our not-for-profit organization, Citizens For, is currently
appealing Justice Kavanagh’s 6.25.05 decision which
held that a public bid and a permissive referendum were not
required under the narrow facts of the Town of Woodstock’s
contract with JNS Enterprises, where Justice Kavanagh ruled
the contract one for less than $10,000 and a"license"
rather than a "lease" . Even if Justice Kavanagh
was correct on the law, which we do not believe he was, it
would still be better practice for Towns to open the contract
to public bidding and subject it to a public referendum.
We urge the good citizens of Shandaken, and for all of Ulster
County, to demand an open bidding process for their cell tower
contracts and for public referendums when the towers are to
be built on Town lands. We also urge local elected State and
Federal officials to introduce corrective legislation if,
in fact, a "loophole" exists in the current law
if it does not already require public bidding and public referendums
for these type of adhesion contracts.
Daniel H. Schneider
President, Citizens For a
Responsible Cell Tower Ordinance
I was amazed to hear that Bob Cross and his sidekicks had
set up a new
political party - The Shandaken Party. Good name. It sort
of suggests that only they are for Shandaken, while all the
other candidates are for, what, Lithuania?
I saw through this ruse at once: it allows Bob Cross and The
get their names on the ballot TWICE, thereby convincing more
gullible voters that "hey, this guy must be popular.
I'll vote for him!"
I'm so jealous of this shameless idea that I've decided to
start my own political party! I'm going to call it the "Steve
Party." (I'm holding my own caucus even as I write this.
Hang on. "All in favor of Steve? Aye. Opposed? The person
has spoken! Steve's our guy!")
In fact, as long as I'm at it, I think I'll start yet another
party and call it the "Alburty Party." And, oh what
the heck, why not the "Shandaken Me Too Party!"
Now personally, I'm pretty sick of reading and hearing Dean
Gitter, Gitter, Gitter. There, I've just said it three more
times just to make everybody even sicker of hearing it.
HOWEVER, my first mission will actually be to enlist the support
of Dean Gitter because then I'll get a PAC! Maybe he'll call
it the "Citizens for Progress." Whoops, that one's
taken. Or the "Citizens for Prosperity." No, the
Republicans are running on the whole prosperity thing. (They
haven't said who this prosperity is meant for. I presume Dean.)
So anyway, I'm going to come out in favor of anything Dean
wants. If he wants to turn Belleayre Mountain into a processing
plant for uranium enrichment, I'll let him. (Oops! I just
spilled the beans about his plans for Mt. Tremper!)
Anyway, Dean will then support me. He'll tell me where his
next project will be so I can buy property next to it. And
maybe he'll even give my nephew a job. My nephew's a civil
engineer. He doesn't know diddly-squat about rain runoff or
waste treatment, so he's just perfect for the job. He'll say
cheerful things about Dean's projects and people will say
gosh, he's a civil engineer, so he must know what he's talking
And then I'm going to give the Ulster County Townsman a scoop
and say that somebody has broken into my gym locker! The Townsman
will write inflammatory editorials comparing this to Brad
and Jen. Then Dean can stand up at the next Town Board meeting
and wave around the copy of the triple-secret mash
note I had in my gym bag that I was going to send to Jane
I smell a landslide.
It is repeatedly stated to the public that the Masterpage
Communications’ Cell Tower application in the Town of
Olive is in Federal Court due to pre-existent zoning violations.
This statement is untrue and very misleading. In June of 2000,
when Masterpage applied to the town for it’s cell tower,
the application was for a Special Use Permit which is required
by the Town’s tower law, Local Law No.3 of 2000.
The Special Use Permit application is for a parcel of land
located in a RC-10A zoning district where commercial radio,
television and other electronic transmission structures are
permitted pursuant to section 321.1(m) of the Town of Olive
At the property where the Special Use Permit Application was
submitted for, there currently exists an unoccupied seasonal
hunting cabin with a fully insured right-of-way leading access
The reason why Masterpage was forced to pursue it’s
application in the Federal Court is due to the Town Board
refusing to act on the application, not a zoning violation.
Why would Masterpage, a small business, endure $185,490.00
to date pursuing it’s right under Town law to construct
it’s facility if Masterpage was in violation?
The truth is, all the Town Board had to do was approve the
Special Use Permit application in which they gladly required
Masterpage to pay $28,600.00 of monies for approval, and after
the Town’s consultant had deemed Masterpage had justified
the need for the facility and recommended the issuance of
a permit. Instead of holding up the Masterpage application
based on their “Property Use” delay tactic, which
was thrown at Masterpage nearly a year after applying, and
which again would be superceded by the Special Use Permit,
they could have simply approved the Special Use Permit Application
when it was deemed complete. Instead, they decided to deliberately
hold up the approval process, forcing legal litigation thus
depriving the citizens of the Town of Olive of wireless emergency
Cellular Phone and two-way radio coverage.
In a recent printed article, regarding the current Nextel
application which the Town Board is entertaining and rapidly
pursuing while Masterpage is tied up in Federal Court awaiting
a ruling, the Town Supervisor is quoted as saying he thinks
there is a large population in the Town that want cell tower
The factual truth is that the citizens of the Town of Olive
could have had cell tower service nearly five (5) years ago
if the town Board had just complied with all applicable laws
and approved Masterpage’s SPECIAL USE PERMIT. Two Cellular
Phone providers have had executed lease agreements with Masterpage
for well over four (4) years now due to the site’s unique
ability to cover nearly the entire township with ONE tower.
The taxpayers need to find out what the Town Board’s
real agenda was. What was it? None of this legal litigation
would have been necessary if the elected officials of the
Town Board, which people elect and entrust with their best
interests in mind, would have abided by all applicable laws.
Masterpage complied with all applicable laws, why should the
Town Board be exempt? Again, it must be stressed that a Special
Use Permit supercedes local zoning regulation and only requires
a YES vote by the Town Board which has designated themselves
as Lead Decision Making Body as per their cell tower law.
West Hurley, NY
Do you know how the draft is setup? Well, It's ready to induct
The disaster in the Gulf could provide the need for a draft.
If not now, there will be more chances down the road. As a
draftee myself, I prefer the draft as more egalitarian than
the backdoor draft and the poverty draft we now have. But
a military draft today would be much different than the one
that got me into Vietnam.
Within a few days of Congressional and then Presidential declaration,
the Pentagon draws a lottery of all the days in the current
year. Those turning 20 in that year will be the first group
eligible to receive the "Greeting" letter, which
begins (form SS250), "THIS IS YOUR ORDER TO REPORT FOR
AND SUBMIT TO EXAMINATION AND INDUCTION INTO THE ARMED FORCES
OF THE UNITED STATES. BY DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE
BEEN CLASSIFIED 1-A (AVAILABLE FOR UNRESTRICTED MILITARY SERVICE)
AND ARE DIRECTED TO REPORT..." The location is given
and your induction into the
Army is now 10 days away. Depending upon the number of soldiers
requested, 21 year olds would be next.
The letter goes on to explain how to get there, what to bring
and what will happen if you don't show up - 5yrs prison and/or
$250,000 fine max. It also mentions that you have until your
induction date - 10 days! - to file for reclassification or
postponement. Except for physical or mental
reasons, reclassification means Conscientious Objection and
alternative service. College deferment? There are no deferments.
If you're a senior you can finish the year.
All young people should consider this scenario carefully and
plan for your response. Canada will extradite you. A C.O.
claim made with only a few days of thought and no documentation
will not be successful. If you want to work on qualifying
for Conscientious Objection you need to begin putting your
case together now. Google "Conscientious Objection"
or email email@example.com. You have a lifetime of choices.
Has Bush lost the ability to lead? Questions like these become
relevant in relating Katrina to the whole: did President Bush
and senior Administration management show awareness of the
received wisdom of the experts...were they "on their
brief", as we say? Was the Administration on top of events
or playing catch-up? Did the first steps taken by the Administration
help or hurt? If "hurt", did those first actions
show good judgment, but suffer bad luck?
Once problems arose, how quickly did the President respond,
and did that response reflect reality or wish? Did senior
Administration officials react to problems with flexibility?
Did they recognize problems or deny them?
No doubt you can come up with many such questions. But in
the end, adding it all up, here's the big one: can it be said
that a foreign government, an ally, or a major multinational
corporate interest, based on Katrina (and how it fits into
a continuum of performance) should have faith in the decision-making
capacity and practical performance capability of the US Government
and the Bush Administration?
The recent announcement of Charlie Shaw's retirement creates
an important vacancy at the Ulster County Resource Recovery
Agency, one that should be filled with great care to assure
a sound solid waste management future for Ulster County. The
County Legislators must insist that the Agency board undertake
a comprehensive search to fill this important position before
the year is out.
The credentials for the Executive Director must include someone
with excellent personnel and fiscal management skills, who
can work well with a variety of people and is a competent
and articulate spokesperson. Above all, the person should
be honest, highly credible, and have great integrity.
The goal of the Agency, established by its enabling legislation
and articulated in its first twenty year plan, is to deliver
a safe, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally-sound
system that promotes maximum waste reduction, reuse, recycling,
composting and safe management of household hazardous waste.
The current system of local transfer stations and a centralized
recycling processing facility is an important step in this
direction. However, exporting our garbage to western NY consumes
huge amounts of fuel, which is subsidized by taxpayer dollars.
The price of oil - a non-renewable and highly polluting resource
- will only continue to escalate. The solid waste management
plan for the next twenty years should therefore revisit the
siting of a county-wide landfill in a location that is acceptable
to all. It will take a uniquely skilled person to create the
collaborative and inclusive process necessary to accomplish
this and develop funding to assure its success. The next RRA
Director will need to oversee the development of the system
that will be in place for the next twenty years or more. The
only way to find someone capable of undertaking this challenge
is to perform a professional search now for the most competent
The people of Ulster County deserve nothing less.
Manna Jo Greene,
former UCRRA Recycling
former UCRRA Waste Reduction,
Hazardous Waste and Recycling Coordinator
Grades 9 -12 students and their parents should know about
Opt/Out forms, available from your school or on line at www.leavemychildalone.org.
This form must be returned to your school office by SEPTEMBER
9 or the school will send all the information they have on
the student’s record to the military as required by
the No Child Left Behind Act. Even so a student may receive
unsolicited phone calls, mailings and offers of gifts from
recruiters who have gotten the information elsewhere. The
National Education Association, an organization of 2.7 million
teachers has taken an official stand opposing this transfer
of private student information to military recruiters without
explicit written permission from parents.
Parents especially should also be aware that the Army is paying
a big name advertising firm – Leo Burnett – more
than a billion dollars for recruitment advertising, primarily
television commercials (four commercials aired 4000 times)
aimed at influencing parents to encourage their children to
enlist, ‘help them find their strength’ and with
the Army recruiter as a ‘big brother’ benevolently
chipping in for college. The military also uses video games
that are a sanitized, Tom Clancy version of war that teach
our youth that war is a game and fighting is fun, good for
The reality is different. Almost 2000 soldiers dead in Iraq,
13000 with serious injuries and more contaminated by toxic
chemicals and depleted uranium which produces birth defects
in their as yet unborn children. 57% of military personnel
receive no educational benefit and only 5% receive the maximum
benefit. Promised areas of training are frequently changed
because of ‘military need.’ According to the Veterans
Administration veterans earn less than their peers who did
not serve, make up 1/3 of homeless men and 20% of the prison
Prospective enlistees - you have hard questions to ask yourselves
and you should always take someone with you when you speak
to recruiters. And please do not forget, we must all remember
the enormous emotional and spiritual damage in seeing comrades
killed and in killing and maiming civilians, destroying their
homes and lifelines. Some good websites are www.afsc.org (click
on Youth and Militarism), www.veteransforpeace.org, and the
Good luck young ones and best wishes,
Rabies is alive and well in New York State and Ulster County
is not immune. News travels fast, and many folks may be aware
that a rabid fox recently attacked a dog that was minding
his own business in his own back yard.
In fact, last year there were 118 bats, 264 raccoons, 104
skunks, 24 grey fox, 5 red fox, 5 woodchucks, 3 while tail
deer, and 1 otter with confirmed rabies in the wildlife population
of NYS. Rabies in the domestic population included 19 cats,
2 bovines and 1 dog. The previous year one black bear from
Orange County and a pet guinea pig from Madison County made
the list. See where I’m going?
It is imperative that we vaccinate our pets against rabies.
We live in an area where it is not unlikely that our pets
will come into contact with wildlife. Our pets then are exposed
to our neighbors, our children, and ourselves. The cost of
post exposure treatment for even possible contact with a rabid
animal is $1,000. New Yorker’s spent over two million
dollars last year for this treatment! The Health Department
recommends that even without evidence of a bite, if there
was a possibility that contact occurred, treatment is in order.
This would include a sleeping person awakening to find a bat
in the room, a bat in the room with an unattended child or
mentally disabled or intoxicated person. Be safe and be responsible
. . . vaccinate your pets and avoid contact with wildlife.
Tired of letting anger consume me, I decided I would spend
my Labor Day in action. Though folks around here consider
Stamford, NY a Republican stronghold with little hope of political
discourse, I decided to do a non-scientific survey/protest
and see for myself. I was surprised with the results. With
a hand made sign (from a $.49 piece of poster board) I walked
down Main Street (respecting each billowing flag) from one
end of the village to the other again and again for several
hours. The sign simply read “Impeach Bush Now”
on the front and “Save Our Democracy” on the back.
Though I was a bit concerned for my safety, being alone, my
fear subsided when the first three of the hundreds of cars
that passed, honked and waved in support. Others turned their
eyes away. I got two “f-you’s” and one “get
a haircut”, and all three were delivered from white
men on Harleys. On the total insanity side, two couples (whose
intelligence I won’t judge) suggested “blowing
up all of Iraq.” Other than that the thumbs-up, hoots
and hollers and honks were very frequent. One concerned young
man actually volunteered to carry my sign for a bit while
I took a short break in the shade. Others asked if I had more
signs. Two people took my photo, and several made U-turns
just to tell me how proud they were of my courage. I tell
you this because I can no longer support silence and apathy.
The time to act is now and each of us needs to know that there
are others out there, like us who are sick and tired of being
duped and abused by the powers that be. Yes, I have blisters
and a pounding headache, but knowing I am not alone has sparked
a glimmer of hope. Too much is at stake to hold our tongues
now! Speak out, please.
David J. Turan
As I write this letter the water continues to rise in the
historic city of New Orleans, and our hearts go out to the
people whose homes and lives are being washed away. With the
death toll rising at an alarming rate it seems that all we
can do at this point is watch the destruction unfold.
At the time I write this we have no idea how much worse the
situation will get and how many more lives will be lost.
The best we can do, as a nation, is to donate money, send
needed supplies and give support to the refugees of this terrible
The tsunami-like effects of Hurricane Katrina has been made
worse by the failure of the levees that were designed to prevent
this kind of disaster. The devastation in Mississippi is overwhelming
to say the least, but as I hear the news about Biloxi it seems
some of the reports had been focusing on the monetary loss
of $500,000.00 a day to the state coffers due to the destruction
of the casinos located right on the shores of the gulf coast.
I wonder if the powers-that-be assured the residents of New
Orleans that the levees and massive pumps would not only protect
the city from this kind of flooding but allow low-lying areas
to be developed. The levees were an engineering marvel, but
the bottom line is that they failed and the unthinkable has
occurred and many lives were lost.
I wonder if the politicians and developers in Mississippi
who put their states financial security in the success of
the casinos assured their citizens that this would be a windfall
for them. Now the state that became dependent on the casino
income is left with nothing.
I think about the processes and public hearings that allowed
these choices to be made, resulting in destruction, death,
and financial ruin. I wonder what resistance was raised in
regard to the environmental and economic impact that this
development would have. Were the citizens sold a bill of goods
convincing them that man could control the elements?
We in Shandaken are reminded of our own devastating floods
which pale in comparison to what is happening to Katrina’s
aftermath. But there are parallels that can be drawn and lessons
to be learned about how we proceed in the planning of our
own community to minimize effects of the natural disasters
that we are vulnerable to here.
I think about the public hearing processes that have been
held in the past couple of years which seem to have fallen
on deaf ears. Ears that only hear words of expansion, development
and financial windfalls, without regard to those who warn
of environmental degradation which can allow natural disaster
to be exponentially worse due to major altercation of our
mountains and streams.
Imagine our past floods that we have had if it had rained
just another 24 or 48 hours, or if the snow pack were even
deeper. Now imagine if a major development were built on our
mountains, which have clear cut areas large enough for golf
courses and parking lots allowing that much more run off into
our already swollen streams.
Do the assurances that we have heard at our own public hearings
echo the assurances that the people of New Orleans and Biloxi
They are waist deep now in those assurances.
Shandaken and the Catskills need to make choices that can
minimize, not maximize the scope of a disaster.
Those choices mean choosing leaders in our government who
have the foresight to plan and grow but also have the ability
to weigh the negative effects that some development can bring.
We as citizens must make that choice.