According to the Ulster County Office of Real Property,
the town of Shandaken’s 2006 budget, the tentative
version anyway, must be filed with the town clerks office
no later than September 30th. Then the Town Clerk must submit
the tentative budget to the town board (at a regular or
special meeting) no later than October 5th.
“At this meeting the town board reviews the tentative
budget and makes any necessary changes revisions or alterations,”
the law reads. “Upon completion of this review the
tentative budget becomes the preliminary budget.”
The prelim must then be filed in the town clerks office
who shall reproduce for public distribution as many copies
as the town board directs. The public hearing on the budget
must be on the Thursday following election, it can be adjourned
day after day but not run past Nov. 15th. Final budget must
be adopted by Nov. 20th.
“I can’t give out anything yet because I don’t
know what the final figures are going to be,” said
Shandaken Supervisor Bob Cross Jr. this week, when asked
for an indication of how the budgeting process was going.
“The budget will go out at the last minute.”
Wheras most neighboring towns start their budgeting p[rocess
with a series of open departmental meetings in late summer,
so the public has an idea of what’s what before figures
are presented to the town board in October, Cross said he
didn’t like releasing anything unfinished to the public.
“You’ll have to ask the town clerk for it on
Friday,” he said. “That’s all I’ll
Traffic snarled in Phoenicia Tuesday morning, September
27, when police intermittently blocked Main Street to accomodate
an unannounced film shoot. The producers were delighted
with their experience in town; “Everyone’s been
awesome” said one. Several school buses, however,
were among vehicles delayed and a number of Main Street
business owners were upset that no prior notification of
events had been provided them.
Arrangements for the shoot, producers said, “were
handled by Supervisor Cross.”
The low budget independent film, a project of the Sundance
Filmmaker Labs called “Stephanie Daley”, is
set in Vermont and stars Tilda Swinton, Amber Tamlin, and
It continues shooting in Hunter.
Peter DiModica, the Democratic Candidate for town Supervisor,
found himself fielding complaints that a recently built
workshop on his Pine Hill property was in violation of local
zoning laws. The issue surfaced after Code Enforcement officer
Glenn Miller told the former supervisor, who let him go
from his position after taking office, that the structure
was built too close to neighboring property... after he
had “received a complaint.”
Later, Miller said he reviewed the details and found no
problems with the structure or its placement on the property.
Miller refused to say who made the complaint.
“I’m trying to keep this from becoming political,”
DiModica said Miller had no problem with the matter once
DiModica produced a survey map of the property.
In the spring of 2003, just months after Supervisor Robert
Cross Jr. defeated DiModica at the polls, Code officer Mike
Malloy served DiModica with a warning to clean up his yard.
Malloy said at the time that DiModica was one of about a
dozen landowners who got the warning. DiModica complained
publicly, saying that he was issued the warning in the early
spring, when everyone’s yard looked the same: dead
branches from winter storms, matted lawn, etc..
The Shandaken Town Supervisor fears escalating energy costs
may cause a “three percent” increase in spending
next year, so he is taking steps to conserve.
“We’re all going to feel it this winter,”
Recent hikes in energy costs prompted Supervisor Robert
Cross Jr. to search for ways to cut costs in the upcoming
heating season, and he is planning to have all the old windows
replaced at town hall.
The town hall, which Cross believes is at least 80 years
old, still has its original large, double hung windows.
Many of them - there are about 30 in all - have rotted sills
that allow cold outside air to woosh inside underneath the
Cross expected to have a firm idea of what the window replacement
cost will be by the upcoming town board workshop Wednesday,
Should the board agree to do the job, Cross hopes they back
his plan to use money from the town’s good neighbor
payment, a fund with half a million dollars in it, all supplied
by the City of New York as part of the watershed agreement
of 1997. The fund can only be used to pay for capitol projects
or purchases. This summer it was tapped to purchase a new
ambulance and a new police car, thus dropping the fund well
below its original $601,000 mark.
Peter DiModica, who is running against Cross this election,
has frequently complained that Cross is using the fund too
much. DiModica, who held the office for two years before
being unseated by Cross in 2003, would rather see the fund
left alone to grow to one million dollars through interest
revenue before being tapped.
“I think this (the window replacement project) is
what the Good Neighbor fund is for,” Cross insisted.
“Its better than charging the taxpayers for it.”
He has other energy savings plans for this winter too. Next
to town hall is the town highway department garage, a large
steel building that houses the department’s dump trucks
and snowplows. Claiming its heating costs are astronomical,
Cross wants to install a $4500 furnace that is made to burn
The 320,000 BTU furnace would pay for itself quickly, he
said, because the highway department already has 600 gallons
of waste oil in storage. A local businessman, Cross added,
has another 400 gallons that he would donate.
“That’s 1000 gallons of fuel for free,”
said Cross,” How can you beat that?”
If the town board agrees with him, Cross plans to have the
furnace installed as soon as possible.
Avian flu will mutate and become transmissible by humans
and the world has no time to lose to stop it becoming a
pandemic, the head of the U.N. World Health Organization
said recently. Lee Jong-wook, a South Korean doctor, delivered
his stark warning as the United States worked to rally countries
behind a new U.S. plan to fight the disease, which has already
killed more than 60 people in Asia and spread to Russia
Global corporations are crafting emergency plans for remote
work sites and stockpiles of masks and antiviral medicines
in case dire predictions of a worldwide bird flu pandemic
come true. Businesses could face travel restrictions, a
sharply reduced workforce and disruptions in supply chains
if an especially deadly influenza circles the globe and
wreaks havoc for months.
Economists are saying that should it occur, the pandemic
could send the world into a depression on par with that
which effected the world in the 1930s.
A flu pandemic “is a very different set of circumstances
than a typical crisis like a bomb or even a hurricane. It
plays out over a much longer period of time,” said
Tim Daniel, chief operating officer of International SOS,
a firm that helps businesses manage health and safety risks
The H5N1 avian flu virus has killed more than 60 people
in Asia. If the virus becomes easy to pass from person to
person, some experts predict up to 50 percent of people
where the virus is circulating could become ill, and 5 percent
could die. Sick workers would be quarantined, and others
would have to stay home to care for ill relatives, or children
if schools are closed as a protective measure.
First you see him, then you don’t. Onteora head football
coach Lou Quick said this week that he was fired by new
OCS athletic director Mike Kocher just two games into Onteora
High’s season last week. But Kocher is saying it’s
not a done deal. Quick is saying the incident occurred after
a player sustained multiple injuries during a recent game
and the coach got into a yelling match with the injured
player’s father. Quick, a former assistant at Rondout
Valley and New Paltz, became Onteora’s head coach
last season when the Indians finished 0-9 as a Class B team.
Enrollment increases would have forced Onteora to compete
in Class A this season, in competition with much bigger
schools. But an application to play an independent schedule
was approved, so the Indians are playing a mixture of teams
mainly from classes B and C. In other OCS sports news, the
boys cross country team christened its new course recently
with Mid-Hudson Athletic League victories against Marlboro
and Rhinebeck, the soccer team has been winning, and girl’s
tennis is going well…
Call 211… Call 211 if you need health or societal
help. It’s the new regional health and human services
hotline set up to serve seven Hudson Valley counties, run
by the United Way and known as 211 Hudson Valley, set up
to enable residents in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam,
Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester to access about 3,000
services by dialing one easy-to-remember number. By dialing
211 callers will be put in touch with a live operator who
can refer them to agencies providing food, clothing, housing,
child care, volunteer opportunities and a host of other
services. The hotline, now available only to Verizon landline
customers, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days
a week. The call center in Pine Plains is staffed by English,
Spanish, French and Portuguese speakers who have access
to a translation service that includes 150 languages. 211
Hudson Valley plans to expand its hours of operation next
spring to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and by the end of 2006 to 24
hours a day.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection
recently released a report in which it has concluded that
the agency, which oversees the Ashokan Reservoir, did not
contribute to the April flooding that left hundreds homeless
in Ulster County. Released by state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill,
the report reiterates the DEP’s assertion that water
was not released from the reservoir during the ravaging
“The report amply demonstrates two fundamental points,”
Principe wrote. “First, DEP staff acted appropriately
and swiftly to protect water quality, the water supply infrastructure
and surrounding properties from what was a major regional
rain event. Second, far from ‘causing’ the floods,
the New York City reservoirs diminished peak flow rates
downstream and prevented even worse damage from occurring,”
The report was compiled after local officials questioned
the role the Ashokan Reservoir, which spills over into the
Esopus Creek when over capacity, may have played in the
“The report is not something that allows politicians
to point their finger, but it is backed up by science and
subject to review by other scientists,” Cahill said.
“It lays the facts out on the table… While it
may be politically expedite to point the finger at the DEP
or some ‘villain,’ such tactics do not help
us recover from this tragedy or prepare for the future.”
Ulster County Clerk Albert Spada, who has served almost
39 years, resigned his office two weeks ago wit two years
left on his term. Both parties have named his chief deputy,
Nina Postupack, 47, to succeed the 73 year old former GOP
chairman of the county, and appear on the ballot in a special
election November 8. The job pays $89,271 a year; Postupack
was making $64,277.
Born in the Saugerties hamlet of Glasco, Spada and his family
moved to Kingston in 1945. where her became deputy county
clerk in 1962. He was elected to the first of 11 terms four
years later. Spada was also chairman of the county Republican
Committee from 1969 to 1977.
The Democrats’ endorsement of Postupack means she’ll
have no major-party opposition in the Nov. 8 election. Postupack,
47, has worked in the clerk’s office for 26 years
and has been Spada’s chief deputy since 1990. Spada
faced no opposition since the early 1970s.
Town election costs could triple when when the county takes
them over, officially, come January 1 under the federal
Help America Vote Act. And the increase is likely to be
passed on to towns, county elections commissioners say.
The Ulster County Board of Elections budget, which is $454,095
this year, will increase by $600,000 next year, according
to projections. Town-by-town estimates were derived by apportioning
the total increase based on voter enrollment in those towns.
In addition, those estimates do not include the cost of
replacing all 200 of the lever voting machines in Ulster
County, because that tab will be paid with state and federal
funds. County officials do not know yet if they will replace
lever machines with new technology in time for the 2006
Municipal election costs are generally higher than budgeted,
because personnel costs to administer elections may not
be included in municipal budget figures. These costs include
the hiring of election inspectors and custodians, generally
done by the town clerks, and delivering voting machines
to polling places, which is done in most cases by municipal
A new report by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi has said the
economy of The Hudson Valley and surrounding towns is the
strongest of any region in New York State, with the fastest
employment growth in the state, an expanding tourism sector
and a high concentration of jobs in the “relatively
well-paying professional and business services sector,”
according to a statement released by Hevesi’s office.
The report includes all of Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam,
Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties and found employment
in the region exceeded job growth elsewhere in the state
in the first eight months of 2005 with a gain of 2.2. percent
- more than twice the statewide increase of 1 percent.
Greater increases, at 2.8 percent, were found in the educational
and health services sector which is the second-largest private-sector
industry and among the regions fastest growing sectors.
Strong growth in professional and business services and
the financial activities sector was also found.
An electronic copy of the report can be found on the comptroller’s
Web site at www.osc.state.ny.us via the “report”
link in a press release for this event.
Once again, Ulster County officials don’t know when
the long-delayed new jail will open. Though planned for
a September 21 opening, after several years of delays, legislators
are now expecting an actual opening is more likely half
a year away.
Legislature Majority Leader Michael Stock, who chairs the
committee overseeing the new Law Enforcement Center, toured
the facility earlier this month with several other legislators
and Alan Croce, the state commissioner of corrections.
Part of the reason for this latest delay is purportedly
that the company responsible for the security systems, Black
Creek, was unable to begin installation until certain other
work was completed. The company was not due to start work
until earlier this month and then needed another four to
six weeks for the job.
According to legislator Robert parete of Boiceville, flooring
has yet to be laid, there are open pipes throughout the
building, and there are open, unfinished ceilings in some
“It’s just an absolute mess,” he said,
“and the whole time I’m there ... I’m
thinking what other services could we provide, such as health-care
services, making an investment in housing or just saving
taxpayers their hard-earned money?”
At a ceremonial groundbreaking in October 2002, projections
by then legislative chairman Ward Todd were for the project
to be completed in 18 months, by April 2004. In addition
to being behind schedule, the Law Enforcement Center project
is about $12.6 million over its original budget of $71.8
New York State has announced new testing for elementary-grade
kids as a result of continuing federal pressure: students
will now take standardized tests in mathematics and English/Language
Arts in grades three, five, six and seven, as well as the
current fourth and eighth grade exams. English/Language
Arts testing will take place in January, math tests in March.
Meanwhile, the state’s new promise to eventually audit
all its approximately 700 school districts on a periodic
basis has led to the state comptroller’s office examining
financial records at a number of Delaware and Greene County
school districts. The audits are one of the most visible
components of a sweeping set of changes put in place in
the wake of a massive embezzlement scandal that surfaced
in the Roslyn, Long Island, school district last year. Following
that episode, in which top officials allegedly stole or
misused millions of dollars over the years, and a similar
scandal in another Long Island district, Comptroller Alan
Hevesi successfully sought to beef up his staff and have
it start on a schedule of regular audits.
“We’ll do every school district in the state
within the next five years,” said comptroller spokeswoman
Much of the attention so far has been focused on school
districts on Long Island, which are also being examined
by the federal Department of Education. The federal agency
is not currently looking at districts outside Long Island.
Among the things that budget examiners have looked at on
Long Island and are likely to scrutinize in the Capital
Region, and Ulster County when they get here, are travel
and conference expenses. Audits also typically cover a district’s
fixed costs, such as salaries and benefits, as well as debts
such as bond obligations, and compare them to sources of
revenue like state aid and local property taxes.
All this comes in light of new news that the United States
is losing ground in education, as peers across the globe
zoom by with bigger gains in student achievement and school
graduations, a study shows. Among adults age 25 to 34, the
U.S. is ninth among industrialized nations in the share
of its population that has at least a high school degree.
In the same age group, the United States ranks seventh,
with Belgium, in the share of people who hold a college
By both measures, the United States was first in the world
as recently as 20 years ago, said Barry McGaw, director
of education for the Paris-based Organization for Cooperation
and Development. The 30-nation organization develops the
yearly rankings as a way for countries to evaluate their
education systems and determine whether to change their
McGaw said that the United States remains atop the “knowledge
economy,” one that uses information to produce economic
benefits. But, he said, “education’s contribution
to that economy is weakening, and you ought to be worrying.”
The report bases its conclusions about achievement mainly
on international test scores released last December. They
show that compared with their peers in Europe, Asia and
elsewhere, 15-year-olds in the United States are below average
in applying math skills to real-life tasks. Top performers
included Finland, Korea, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada
The report also underscores that women continue to get paid
less than men.
Women in the United States who are 30 to 44 and who hold
a university degree - meaning a bachelor’s degree,
master’s degree, doctorate or medical degree - make
only 62 percent of what similarly qualified men do. That’s
a lower rate than in all but three of the 19 countries for
which numbers are available. The nations with greater inequity
in pay are Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland.
A recent legislative presentation revealed that because
American Indian casinos exist on land they claim as sovereign
territory, they are not subject to the same regulatory framework,
such as the state Environmental Quality Review Act ( SEQRA)
that governs most development in New York state, such as
the locally controversial Belleayre Resort project in the
“They’re exempt from national standards. Their
participation in those is optional, and it’s the same
with state and local regulations,” Miriam Strouse,
program coordinator of the Environmental Management Council,
told the Ulster County Legislature’s Special Committee
to Study Casino Gambling recently. “They’re
really free to do what they want to do, and if there’s
a conflict, it’s resolved in the tribal court.”
Legislator Robert Parete, D-Boiceville, said if the county
enters into a casino compact with any developer, the county
should require that any agreement include a provision that
the development must comply with the State Environmental
Quality Review Act. Strouse agreed, and added that any such
provision should also require the casino to adhere to any
future environmental regulations. But she cautioned that
the county would have to hire some good lawyers to go head-to-head
with tribal counsel.
At its September 12, 2005 meeting, the Hurley Planning Board
formally appointed itself the Lead Agency for the proposed
Hidden Forest 652-house development in the absence of a
request from any other Involved Agencies to take on the
job, according to Chair Paul Hakim. A Lead Agency is responsible
for undertaking, funding or approving an action, and for
the preparing and filing of any required environmental impact
statement (EIS). They decide what does and does not go into
Geraldine Tortorella, the lawyer and agent for the proposed
project, made a site plan presentation at the meeting in
which the primary change was that Lucas Avenue instead of
Route 209 would now be the primary means of entrance and
egress from the project. The change was apparently made
because they anticipated lengthy and possibly negative negotiations
with the New York State Department of Transportation about
the road cut and traffic light at Route 209. The next order
of business will be to work out an agreement with the Hurley
Town Board on an escrow account from which the Town could
draw any necessary expenses related to the project. The
Hurley Planning Board has yet to schedule a date for a scoping
session to develop an outline with the details of the topics
to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement. A
series of relevant workshops might also be planned.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC), The scoping process has six objectives:
focus the draft EIS on the potentially significant adverse
environmental impacts; eliminate non-significant and non-relevant
issues; identify the extent and quality of information needed;
identify the range of reasonable alternatives to be discussed;
provide an initial identification of mitigation measures;
and provide the public with an opportunity to participate
in the identification of impacts. A full environmental form
is expected to include information on: the project’s
impact on land, water, air, plants and animals, agricultural
land resources, aesthetic resources, historic and archaeological
resources, open space and recreation, critical environmental
areas, transportation, energy, public health, and growth
and character of community or neighborhood as well as noise
and odor impacts.
The controversial Minuteman Project, an attempt to privatize
the catching of illegal immigrants, has run into a snag
trying to get underway in the Northeast along the Canadian
border. According to the project’s co-founder Chris
Simcox, “People on the East Coast couldn’t care
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps plans to launch in New York,
Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine on Oct. 1 have wilted with
no volunteer sign-ups other than a few Metro area residents.
An organizational meeting on Long Island earlier in September
drew dozens of protesters, some accusing the group of being
anti-immigrant or racist.
“These are not people who live close to the border,”
Simcox said of the volunteers he’s gotten. And since
most of the largely rural land along the border is privately
owned, the group would need local permission to operate.
In Arizona, the site of the group’s first project,
Simcox said volunteers helped catch 335 immigrants.
Simcox says he’s “done some scouting”
with the Border Patrol in the region in recent weeks. But
all three Border Patrol sectors in the Northeast say they’ve
had no contact with Simcox or the Minuteman Project.
Al Strack, commander of the American Legion in Champlain,
says, “To start with, we don’t see the people
coming over in droves. We know it does occur around us,
but it’s not a common-day subject. That’s probably
why people aren’t getting all excited.”
One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq’s
defense ministry in one of the largest thefts in history,
leaving the country’s army to fight a savage insurgency
with museum-piece weapons. The money, intended to train
and equip an Iraqi army capable of bringing security to
a country shattered by the US-led invasion and prolonged
rebellion, was instead siphoned abroad in cash and has disappeared.
“It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history,”
Ali Allawi, Iraq’s Finance Minister, said in recent
weeks. “Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In
return we got nothing but scraps of metal.”
The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that
it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without
American military support, Iraqi officials say, making it
difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army
from Iraq, as Washington says it wishes to do.
Most of the money was supposedly spent buying arms from
Poland and Pakistan. The contracts were peculiar in four
ways. According to Allawi, they were awarded without bidding,
and were signed with a Baghdad-based company, and not directly
with the foreign supplier. The money was paid up front,
and, surprisingly for Iraq, it was paid at great speed out
of the ministry’s account with the Central Bank. Military
equipment purchased in Poland included 28-year-old Soviet-made
helicopters. A shipment of the latest MP5 American machine-guns,
at a cost of $3,500 (£1,900) each, consisted in reality
of Egyptian copies worth only $200 a gun.
The Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit says in a report to the
Iraqi government that US-appointed Iraqi officials in the
defense ministry allegedly presided over these dubious transactions.
Senior Iraqi officials now say they cannot understand how,
if this is so, the disappearance of almost all the military
procurement budget could have passed unnoticed by the US
military in Baghdad and civilian advisers working in the
defense ministry. Government officials in Baghdad even suggest
that the skill with which the robbery was organized suggests
that the Iraqis involved were only front men, and “rogue
elements” within the US military or intelligence services
may have played a decisive role behind the scenes.
The money missing from all ministries under the interim
Iraqi government appointed by the US in June 2004 may turn
out to be close to $2 billion. The fraud took place between
June 28, 2004 and February 28 this year under the government
of Iyad Allawi, who was interim prime minister. His ministers
were appointed by the US envoy Robert Blackwell and his
UN counterpart, Lakhdar Brahimi.
Four left-wing Catholic war protesters who threw vials of
blood inside a military recruiting center to object to the
impending United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 likened
their actions to those of historic figures like Susan B.
Anthony and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In opening
arguments at their trial recently, the defendants, who are
representing themselves, urged jurors to heed their consciences
when deciding if those actions warranted conviction on federal
charges that include damaging government property and conspiracy
to impede an officer of the United States.
Clare T. Grady, 46; her sister Teresa B. Grady, 40; Peter
J. De Mott, 58; and Daniel J. Burns, 45, are facing federal
prosecution after a jury in a state court deadlocked 9 to
3 in favor of acquittal last year. Before the state trial,
the prosecutor offered a plea bargain that called for no
jail time in exchange for a guilty plea to a relatively
minor charge. The protesters turned it down. If convicted
of the federal charges, they face harsher penalties than
in state court - up to six years in prison and $250,000
fines. Peace activists and some legal experts fear that
a conviction in the case would make it easier, in their
words, for the government to quell acts of civil disobedience
and stifle free speech.
The Judge is allowing the defendants to talk about their
state of mind at the time of the protest in their opening
arguments, but not to raise their belief that the Iraq war
was illegal or immoral. Dozens of the defendants’
supporters are holding a daily vigil outside the courthouse,
enduring curses from a few passing drivers and honks indicating
solidarity from others.
De Mott is a former Vietnam veteran and a seminary student
who testified that he was gradually moved to become an activist
after he left the military. Burns is the son of a former
mayor of Binghamton, whose family was also involved in antiwar
protests. All are members of the Catholic Worker movement,
an activist group that encourages civil disobedience, and
they model themselves on the Berrigan brothers, two priests
who were among the most aggressive and recognized protesters
of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Consumers who make only minimum payments on their credit
cards are in for a shock. Spurred by a new federal mandate,
card companies over the next three months plan to raise
- in some cases double - the amount card holders must pay
each month. The new minimums are designed to prevent consumers
from being hobbled for decades by credit card debt. An estimated
one-third to one-half of American families carry credit
card debt, with many making only minimum payments.
“This is a positive for consumers,” said Mike
Peterson, vice president of the Salt Lake City-based credit
counseling group, American Credit Foundation Peterson said.
“They won’t be able to carry as much debt and
they will get out of debt faster.”
Increased payments certainly will catch most families by
surprise. And short-term costs may be more than many low
to moderate-income families can bear, said Glenn Bailey,
executive director of Crossroads Urban Center, a low-income
advocacy group, also in Salt Lake City. Many low-income
families use credit cards for emergencies or just to get
by, he said. “Some aren’t in a position to make
a higher payment,” he said. “A change like this
could drive a lot of people into food pantries.”
Lions disturbed by deforestation have killed 20 people and
devoured 750 of their domestic animals in Ethiopia. The
rare daylight attacks, all during August and in the remote
south, have forced a thousand peasant farmers to flee their
homes and sparked a hunt for the lions. Authorities were
hunting the lions, who began roaming after deforestation
disrupted their habitat and caused drought along the Gibe
The hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has grown to
near record size this year, suggesting 20 years of pollution
controls have so far had little effect, the United Nations
said in a recent bulletin on the seasonal depletion of ozone
gas, which filters harmful ultraviolet radiation that can
cause skin cancer and cataracts. The U.N.’s World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the hole would peak
within a couple of weeks.
“It will probably not break any records, but it shows
that ozone depletion
is going on and that the so-called ozone recovery has yet
to be confirmed,” Geir Braathen, WMO’s top ozone
expert, told a news briefing.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is trying to stop
Congress and the Bush administration from seriously degrading
organic standards. According to mailers they’ve started
sending out, large corporations such as Kraft, Wal-Mart,
& Dean Foods, aided and abetted by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA), are moving to lower organic standards
by allowing a Bush appointee to create a list of synthetic
ingredients that would be allowed organic production. Furthermore,
the government would strip away the National Organic Standards
Board’s (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting
standards. USDA, not consumers, would henceforth have control
over what can go into organic foods and products.
For the past month in Washington, OCA has been urging members
of the Senate not to reopen and subvert the federal statute
that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production
Act - OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and
the National Organic Standards resolve differences over
issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then
proceed to an open public comment period.
Belleayre Mountain has added two new glade runs and one
new double diamond/diamond trail, bringing the out-of-bounds,
in-bounds. The glades are located on the upper mountain
between Belleayre Run and Wannatuska and Winnisook and Tongora
and the new trail, Lift Line, utilizes the space under the
Tomahawk Lift. According to the state-run ski center, the
additional terrain opens areas formerly off limits to skiers
and riders, incorporating the natural features of the landscape
to create nature’s own terrain park.
Also, Belleayre has announced that it will now be hosting
the Reliable Racing Carving Skill Park, the first of its
kind on the East Coast. This non-competitive, timed course
is designed to accelerate the learning curve and increase
carving abilities for all skill levels, allowing shaped
skis and snowboards to do exactly what they were designed
to do. The course is free to skiers and riders.
For further information call 845.254.5600 or log on to www.belleayre.com.