News Archive 2005


News Archive - 2002


News Archive - 2003


News Archive - 2004


News Archive - 2005






News from the Accord Rural Cemetery


Fire District Election Results


Richard Countryman Case Adjourned for six months


Status of Hudson Valley Resort Determination Appeal


Ulster County Board of Elections releases Certified Vote Count


Letters and Legal Notices



Town of Rochester Dogs Need Loving Homes (11/18/05)


Preliminary Election Results  (11/18/05)


Community Center to Host Thanksgiving Dinner  (11/18/05)


Peace is Patriotic, Sunday, November 20th  (11/18/05)


“Skate Time 209” wins Roller Rink Naming Contest  (11/18/05)


Letters and Legal Notices  (11/18/05)


Town of Rochester Keeps Tax Increases to 1.7% for 2006 (11/6/05)


Convicted owner of animal shelter surrenders adoption control (11/6/05)


State Byways Advisory Board endorses Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway (11/6/05)


Legislators worry about mold in new jail (11/6/05)


Letters and Legal Notices (11/6/05)

Hudson Valley Resort Residential Expansion? (10/26/05)


Thefts at Local Stores (10/26/05)


Planning Board denies Cat Shelter Permit; Self Storage Units Move Forward (10/26/05)


Governor honors local officer for courage (10/26/05)


Shelter owner sentenced for animal cruelty, neglect (10/26/05)


Ulster County lawmakers anticipate big hike in levy (10/26/05)


New jail leaks  (10/26/05)


Letters – Lots of them. (10/26/05)



Upcoming Trials and Court Dates (10/11/05)


Upcoming Events (10/11/05)


Rochester Democrats On-Line auction and Harvest Celebration


Property Tax Re-Assessment Informational Meetings


Kerhonkson PTA to hold Bag Sale


Teen Charged in Sexual Abuse of Child (10/11/05)


Proposed High School Renovations to cost $15-$50 million (10/11/05)


Fire Tax to Increase by 44% (10/11/05)


Potential Sale of Hudson Valley Resort? (10/11/05)


Shots Fired at Officer (10/11/05)


Man charged with shooting at deputy found in South Carolina (10/11/05)


Jacob Gray, Sr.  (10/11/05)


Ulster jail opening pushed back yet again (10/11/05)


Election changes could prove costly to towns (10/11/05)


Letters to the Editor (10/11/05)


Legal and other Notices




Planning Board to Meet on September 20 (9/20/05)


Fundraiser for Tony McGinty for Family Court Judge (9/20/05)


Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro to speak at Ulster GOP Dinner (9/20/05)


Friends of Historic Rochester, Tour of Six Unique Properties on October 1 (9/20/05)


Accord Artist Barbara Arum’s work to be featured in Kingston Show, opens October 1 (9/20/05)


Singer Amy Fradon to perform at Benefit Concert for Rochester Democrats, October 2nd (9/20/05)


Property Tax Reform Task Force to Host Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, (9/20/05)


Democratic Caucus Results (9/20/05)


Tony McGinty wins Independence Party Primary (9/20/05)


Accord Fire District Taxes to Increase by 44% (9/20/05)


Two Charged in Robbery of Gas Station (9/20/05)


Town roads get mowed this week (9/20/05)


Unabashed love of Manischewitz (9/20/05)


Letters to the Editor & Legal Notices (9/20/05)





Democratic Caucus to be held September 11 (8/31/05)


Family Farm Fesitival on September 11 (8/31/05)


Board of Fire Commissioners Meeting September 7 (8/31/05)


Friends of Historic Rochester Annual Meeting September 16 (8/31/05)


Republican Caucus Results (8/31/05)


Ulster County Extends Sales Tax (8/31/05)


Hudson Valley Resort Scheduled to Re-Open. (8/31/05)


Wireless Hotspot on Main Street Kerhonkson (8/31/05)


Letters to the Editor (8/31/05)



Republican Caucus (8/29/05)


Democratic Caucus  (8/29/05)


Tax Meetings to feature local officials  (8/29/05)


World's First and Only Ever Jewish Redneck Film Festival  (8/29/05)


First Annual Jennie Bell Pie Festival  (8/29/05)


Davis Family Agrees to sell development rights to Open Space Institute  (8/29/05)


Man Drowns in Ulster County  (8/29/05)


Town Board Discusses new federally mandated Storm Water Regulations  (8/29/05)


Fire Causes Evacuation of Hudson Valley Resort  (8/29/05)


Scam Warning  (8/29/05)


Ulster County to Raise Sales Tax  (8/29/05)


Rochester Conservatives give Farmer nod for Supervisor  (8/29/05)


Police arrest seven in Monday Burglary  (8/29/05)


Assistant Soccer Coach Charged with Rape   (8/29/05)


Forum Feature : Smart Bells  (8/29/05)


Legal Notices  (8/29/05)



Ulster County Towns Oppose Casinos (8/10/05)


Planning Board Notes (8/10/05)


Fire District Notes (8/10/05)


Theft from A&M Hardware (8/10/05)


DEC Prosecution Regarding Alleged Burial of White House Fire Debris (8/10/05)


Rondout committee suggests renovations (8/10/05)


Rochester to review revaluation (8/10/05)


Rochester Deputy Clerk to face Kavanagh on Theft Charges (8/10/05)


Sentencing Delayed in Patty’s Angels Case (8/10/05)


77-year old woman beaten and robbed at her home. (8/10/05)


Legal Notices (8/10/05)






Vacancy on Accord Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners (7/5/05)


Davis Farm Sold? (7/5/05)


Fire Board Nullifies Vote (7/5/05)


Grant to help leaders in ridge communities (7/5/05)


Men charged with stealing electronics (7/5/05)


Ulster County Seeks Farmers Interested In Participating in PDR Program (7/5/05)


State audits Ulster County jail project (7/5/05)


Al Loving Dies at 69; Abstract Artist Created Vibrant Work (7/5/05)


Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices (7/5/05)




Do you Want Cable TV/Broadband on Your Street (6/14/05)


Fire District Mandatory Referendum Fails (6/14/05)


Former Deputy Town Clerk in Court (6/14/05)


Town Residents file Claims Against Town Highway Department (6/14/05)


Town Board Considers Tax Break for Senior Housing (6/14/05)


Volunteers Wanted (6/14/05)


Town of Rochester to Hold Community Photo Contest (6/14/05)


Kerhonkson Resident Alex Miller to speak at Ulster County Historical Society (6/14/05)


DEC Grants Permit to Metro Recycling and Crushing (6/14/05)


Rondout budget vote is Tuesday (6/14/05)


Judge orders animals seized from Accord animal shelter (6/14/05)


Letters and Legal Notices (6/14/05)


Upcoming Events (6/8/05)


Memorial Day Remarks by Councilman Francis Gray (6/8/05)


Accord Fire District Commissioner Resigns (6/8/05)


Fire Destroys Accord Barn (6/8/05)


Hudson Valley Resort Water Park Plans (6/8/05)


Rondout Revisits its Budget (6/8/05)


Rondout Valley school chief gets new job (6/8/05)


Letters (6/8/05)


Legal Notices (6/8/05)



Hudson Valley Resort Water Park Informational Meeting -- Corrected Location (6/8/05)


Little Ones Learning Center Plans Birthday (6/8/05)


Town of Rochester to Hold Photo Contest (6/8/05)


Accord Artisan and Jewelry Designer to Host Open Studio (6/8/05)


Rondout Offers a Reduced School Budget (6/8/05)


Ulster County Faces $23 million cash shortfall (6/8/05)


Endangered Species (6/8/05)


Rondout Kids Present Research at SUNY Caucus (6/8/05)


Rondout Valley 'boot camp' objectors won't be punished (6/8/05)


Letters to the Editor (6/8/05)



Town Supervisor and Board to Hold Community Meetings (5/23/05)


Little Ones’ Learning Center to Hold Birthday Party  (5/23/05)


WHAT NEXT FOR SCHOOLS? Five districts ponder options after budget defeats  (5/23/05)


Hotel owner looks forward to park  (5/23/05)


Lobby Day to halt Gov. Pataki's casino plan  (5/23/05)


Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices  (5/23/05)



Public hearing on Water Park Project and Financing at Hudson Valley Resort (5/16/05)


Convicted shelter owner allowed to keep animals (5/16/05)


Town of Rochester to Hold Community Photo Contest (5/16/05)


Saints of Swing marching into Kerhonkson (5/16/05)


Latest jail claims top $4 million (5/16/05)


Ulster County faces $12M budget gap (5/16/05)


Friends of Historic Rochester History Day, May 14 5/9/05


Town of Rochester to Hold Community Photo Contest 5/9/05


Grand jury indicts deputy town clerk 5/9/05


Animal neglect suspects convicted 5/9/05


Update on Queens Highway Mine 5/9/05


Message from Supervisor Town Duke on Town Surveys 5/9/05


Man accused of raping girl, providing her with alcohol 5/9/05


Accord man held in knife-point rape 5/9/05


Man killed, two injured in Route 209 accident 5/9/05


Motorist crashes into convenience store 5/9/05


Move over, Mozart 5/9/05


Air quality worsens as Ulster develops 5/9/05


 Letters and Legal Notices 5/9/05


Supervisor’s Town Wide Status Report on 2005 Flood (5/9/05)


Ulster (County) Expects to Borrow, May Raise Taxes (5/9/05)


Crime Statistics from Ulster County Sheriff (5/9/05)


Town Auditors’ Comments on Year End Finances (5/9/05)


Fire Commissioners’ Meeting April 2005 (5/9/05)


Kerhonkson Artist’s Work Exhibited at Artist’s Ball in Albany (5/9/05)


Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices (5/9/05)



Town Board to Hold April 13 Meeting to Present Townwide Survey Results (4/12/05)


Fire Commissioners Meeting held over to April 13 to interview Treasurer Candidates  (4/12/05)


Property Tax Reform Task Force Meetings April 15th  (4/12/05)


Earth Day, April 23rd  (4/12/05)


Town of Rochester to Hold Community Photo Contest  (4/12/05)


American Indian logo to stay despite an offer to repaint it  (4/12/05)


Accord Speedway ready to get rolling  (4/12/05)


Friends, family come together at new eatery  (4/12/05)


Legal Notices  (4/12/05)


Flood Damage Assessment Forms – Message from Town Supervisor  (4/12/05)



A Message from the Town Supervisor Regarding Flood Damage


Friends of Historic Rochester to Hold Book Sale on April 9th


Adopt a Road Earth Day Roadside Cleanup on April 23rd


Ulster County Tax Auction


Floods Force Evacuations, Close Roads


Davis Farm Receives Two Bids, Decision Forthcoming


Patty’s Angels Case: Still in Legal Limbo


Legal Notices







Genealogical Research

The winter hours for genealogical research at the Museum of Friends of Historic Rochester, 12 Main Street, Accord, are Wednesdays from 12 noon to 3 p.m.  Richard Rider is there to assist in the research with access to extensive resources including the Eleanor Rosakranse Genealogical Collection, many family reports compiled from the internet, and ongoing internet access.  

For an appointment with Richard Rider, please call him at 845-339-6666.

The Museum itself can be open by special appointment.  Please call 845-626-7104 or 845-687-9998.


Seminars on Historic Preservation to be held in Marbletown

Sunday, February 12, 3pm, Marbletown Community Center.  John Winthrop Aldrich, former New York State Deputy Commissioner of Historic Preservation, will speak on the topic "Marbletown is Not Just Anytown USA:  The Benefits of Historic Preservation for Your Town."  For more information, call 687-9004.


Dutch Architecture in the Hudson Valley

Sunday, March 12, 3pm, Marbletown Community Center.  Peter Kenny, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will speak on the topic "Eighteenth-century Dutch Architecture in the Hudson Valley - The Case of the Daniel Pieter Winney House (Bethlehem New York)."  He will talk about the recent installation at the Met of a 1751 Dutch Hudson Valley vernacular house, and how the design of that house relates to other examples in the region.  For more information, call 687-9004.


Preservation of Historic Structures

Sunday, April 2, 3pm, Marbletown Community Center.  This will be a panel discussion led by Marbletown Historic Preservation Commissioners Harry Hanson (preservationist) and Anthony DiGuiseppe (architect) on practical approaches to preserving your historic structure.  For more information, call 687-9004.


Biographical information for the first lecturer is listed below:



Wint Aldrich has lived beside the Hudson River all his life, and for much of that time has been a passionate student of the region's history and an advocate for preserving its natural and historic resources.

A member of the tenth generation of his family to own land at Rokeby, in Red Hook, Dutchess County, N.Y., he was an incorporator of the preservation organization Hudson River Heritage in 1974 and played a major role in establishing, in 1990, the Hudson River National Historic Landmark District, extending for twenty miles along the River north from Hyde Park. This work contributed, in turn, to Congressional enactment of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in 1996.

Wint served as president of the Hudson River Conservation Society (1974-1984), facilitating its evolution into today's Scenic Hudson Land Trust, and he was the founding president of Wilderstein Preservation in Rhinebeck (1980-1988), devoted to restoring and managing a notable 19th century country seat. Since 1975, he has been Red Hook town historian.

In January, 2003, he retired from his position as New York State's Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation, a post at the Office of State Parks, which he had held for nine years. Throughout the preceding 20 years he was a special assistant to six successive New York State Commissioners of Environmental Conservation. Wint is currently working as Advisor to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

A graduate of Harvard with a degree in history, and a former Army captain in Vietnam, Wint and his wife Tracie now divide their time between New York City, Connecticut and Rokeby.


Rochester Town Board meeting


The new Town Board started the first meeting of the year with an agenda filled with new ideas and proposals, including:

Replacing the attorney for the town.

Replacing the position of municipal building code officer with an upgraded code enforcement officer

Establishment of appointment procedures for town boards of commissions

Approving the hiring of Fairweather Associates to assist the town in a revision of the Town’s 1969 comprehensive plan.

Proposing a 12-month moratorium on subdivisions of more than 4 parcels and non-residential structures of more htan 4,000 square feet, which the comprehensive plan is revised.

Announced a schedule of periodic Town Hall meetings to obtain resident input on the comprehensive plan revision.

Changing the location of polling places for Election Districts 1 & 5 from Town Hall to the larger Accord Fire District Headquarters, effective as of the September 2006 primary election.


The meeting had the highest attendance in recent memory, with approximately 200 residents present -- the meeting that to relocate to the Highway Department garage to accommodate the large crowd.  A tape of the meeting, as well as that of a presentation by Fairweather Associates on the comprehensive plan revision will air on Mondays at 7pm on Time Warner Cable public access television.




Accord Fire District Meeting

ACCORD - Fire district commissioners will meet Jan. 10 to discuss a new election for five district chiefs after throwing out the results of a Dec. 8 vote.

The commissioners declared the election improper because it was not done by secret ballot, inactive members weren't notified of the vote and the Board of Commissioners itself did not receive advance notice of which candidates were running, officials said.

"The bylaws state that the companies will put their nominations for chief on a list and submit that list to commissioners," Commissioner Jonathan Blair said. "The commissioners will then validate those nominees."

Blair said qualifications include "age, credentials, training, and are they in good standing with the commission and the company. If those criteria are met, then the commissioners inform the companies that the conditions are met and the companies then shall hold elections and the ballots are to be secret and written."

The board on Wednesday denied the election of District Chief Shawn Farrell, Assistant District Chief Chris O'Connor, and company Chiefs Stephen Stephens of Accord Company 1, John Dunning of Rochester Company 2 and Paul Rider of Alligerville Company 3. The move drew a protest from the crowd of about 60 in attendance.

"The commissioners felt they needed to review these nominations, and in some cases the people who were put up for nomination might not be recommended for those posts by the board," Blair said. "We got into almost fisticuffs, and words were said, and some people were asked to leave. State police were called and the room was cleared."

The board also replaced district secretary Susan Karman, treasurer Lou Kazmarick, and lawyer Phil Cataldi.

"We felt the lawyer wasn't the best lawyer for the district," Blair said. "We needed someone who had more experience with fire districts. The treasurer, we needed someone with more experience to handle the books because we have to get ready for a full (state) audit and the books have not been kept well."

Cataldi was not immediately available Thursday and neither Karman or Kazarick could be reached by telephone.

The board's move bothered some fire volunteers as an attempt to bring down morale within the companies.

"This was just another one of the ploys to make the guys look bad," Ted Fina said. "I don't know what they're trying to accomplish ... but with this type of nonsense going on, it just gets everybody upset. There was no reason for them doing what they did."

Officials said coverage in the district will not suffer because authority has been given to fire captains during emergencies. (Daily Freeman 1/6/06)

[Editor’s Note.  According to eyewitness accounts, State Police officers were called because the meeting room was filled beyond capacity, causing the meeting to be moved.  Later in the meeting, police officers were called again as a member of the audience allegedly threatened members of the Board of Fire Commissioners with a knife].

Deputy hurt in collision on Route 209



Sheriff Deputy Injured

Stone Ridge - An Ulster County sheriff's deputy suffered serious injuries in a two-car accident on Route 209 late Wednesday night while responding to a call for backup. Deputy Lyle Roebuck, 41, was flown to Westchester Medical Center with leg and facial fractures, according to police. Roebuck, an 18-year veteran of the sheriff's department, underwent surgery on his leg yesterday and was listed in stable condition.


At about 11:50 Wednesday night, Roebuck's patrol car - with its sirens and emergency lights on, police said - collided with a car driven by Tanya Stokes, 19, of Stone Ridge. Roebuck's car then went off the road and struck a tree, police said.


Stokes was taken to Kingston Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries and released.


Both cars were going north on Route 209, but police could not comment yesterday on the cause or specifics of the accident. The state police accident reconstruction team is investigating the incident.  (TH-Record 1/13/06)  Editor’s Note:  Deputy Roebuck was chairman of the Accord Board of Fire Commissioners until December 31, 2005




Rifle Wielding Man Arrested in Accord


Benjamin C. Decker, 35, of Accord, was accused by police Monday of threatening to shoot a rifle inside a home, state police at Ellenville said.  Decker was charged with menacing, weapon possession, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and harassment.  Police had responded to a call at his residence and heard a woman screaming inside.  Police entered the home and were able to grab the rifle from the suspect and arrest him (Freeman 12/28/05)



Former Town Clerk’s Trial Postponed

The trial of Annette Rose has been postponed from January 17th to March 20, 2006, with jury selection beginning at 9am in Judge Kavanaugh's court in Kingston.



Local Jewelry designer Barbara Klar is offering a  JEWELRY WAX CARVING
CLASS.  Learn how to turn carvable wax into fine gold and silver
jewelry.  6 classes on saturdays, 1-3pm.  $85 per class.  Previous
metalsmithing/jewelry experience is preferred but not necessary.  visit or call 845-626-3700



Accord Resident Rob Norris is Concert January 15th

HER  In Concert

Divinely inspired, spontaneously extracted, music from the heart place!

Sunday January 15, 2006, 7:00 pm  $10

Deep Listening Space: 75 Broadway, Kingston NY






Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices


Dear Editor,

Three years ago I moved to the Town of Rochester.  One year ago I joined the Accord Fire Department.  And now look what's happened!  I want to thank all the citizens of Rochester for electing me to the Fire Commission, and to my fellow firefighters for their generous support!

Thanks to Steve Schoonmaker who pursued conducting an open, fair election. Thanks to my neighbors who convinced me to run, and thanks to the community volunteers: Stuart Fraser, Marijane Knudsen-Hunlock, Lori Kazmarick, Elaine Lasher, Alan Levine, Loretta Terwilliger, and Rev. Sara Tweedy.  This was a real community effort!

The record voter turnout showed everyone that the citizens of Rochester are paying new, and careful attention, to the actions of the Accord Fire District.  I plan to work hard with the other Fire Commission members to ensure the financial business of the district, and the safety of our firemen, are managed in an open, accountable, environment. 

Happy New Year!

Jonathan Blair
Fire Commissioner -- Elect


Legal Notice Please Take Notice that the Town of Rochester Town Board has scheduled the Organizational Meeting on 1-5-06 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, with the Town Board Meeting immediately following. By Order of the Town Board


Legal Notice Notice of Receipt of Tax Roll and Warrant Please Take Notice that I, Veronica I. Sommer, collector of taxes in the Town of Rochester, County of Ulster and State of New York, have received the tax roll and warrant for the collection of taxes within the Town of Rochester for the year 2006 and that I will attend the Town Hall, Accord, New York, in the said Town of Rochester each and every day during the month of January 2006 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. excepting Saturdays and Sundays and holidays for the purpose of receiving the taxes listed on said roll. Please Take further Notice that taxes may be paid on or before the 31st day of January without interest. On all taxes received after such date, there shall be added interest of (1%) one percent of the amount of the unpaid tax for each month or fraction thereof until taxes are paid or until the return of unpaid taxes to the County Treasurer pursuant unto law. Please Take Further Notice that pursuant to the provision of law, the tax roll for the Town of Rochester will be returned to the County Treasurer of the County of Ulster on the first day of June 2006. Dated: 12-31-05 Veronica I. Sommer Collector of Taxes for the Town of Rochester (Freeman 1/8/06)


THE TOWN OF ROCHESTER- is seeking members to fill vacancies on the planning board, zoning board of appeals and the historic preservation commission. The deadline for letters of intent is 1-20-06 and should be sent directly to the supervisor: PO Box 65, Accord NY 12404. (1/8/06)


LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Rochester Town Board has scheduled a meeting on 1/11/06 at 6:30 pm at the Accord Town Hall to discuss the proposed Comprehensive Plan Update. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (1/9/006)


LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of rochester will hold a public hearing on 1/18/06 at 7:00pm at the Accord Town Hall re: a proposed temporary Moratorium on Development within the Town. All interested persons will be heard. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (1/11/05)


LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Rochester Town Board will hold a Special Board Meeting on 1/25/06 at 6:00pm at the Town Hall, Accord, NY, to interview prospective Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Historic Preservation Commission applicants. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD Veronica I. Somer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (1/11/05)




For Rent.

Lovely one-bedroom apartment on Main Street Kerhonkson. New bathroom

and kitchen--everything else is old in a good way,$900/month includes

heat. or 646-325-4531.


Shared Artist spaces for rent.

Clean, well lit space for artist on Main Street Kerhonkson.  $200

heat included. or 646-325-4531.





Accord – Taking proper care of country cemeteries is a hard job.  Many of the old cemeteries fall into states of disrepair.  (There are over 70 cemeteries in the Town of Rochester.)


Thanks to many volunteer hours spent by men and machinery during the past couple of years, the Accord Rural Cemetery off Towpath Road in the village of Accord has received recent improvements.  The generous volunteers who have been working hard on this project include Lewis Waruch, Fred Wustrau, David Lawrence, Jack Schoonmaker, David Schoonmaker, Jim Diamond, and David Winne.


On land donated to the cemetery by the Schoonmaker family, trees have been cleared and a roadbed laid to provide a new entrance roadway into the cemetery.  Additionally, the land around the perimeter of the cemetery has been cleared out to the original boundaries.  As a local “old timer” has stated recently, “The cemetery looks better now than I’ve ever seen it.”




Fire District Election Results

Jonathan Blair and Kathy Kuthy were both elected to the Accord Fire District’s Board of Fire Commissioners at the December 13th Fire District election.   Blair, who ran against James Allison and William Farrell was selected for the two-term created by the resignation of Robert Hoar earlier this year.  Kuthy ran against Harry Birch and Donald Crow for the five year term.  Ted Fina’s name was also on the ballot, although he indicated that he did not want to run after the ballots were printed.  Voter turnout hit a record, with more than 350 voters compared to about 170 voters last year and a only a couple dozen in the year before that.  The certified results were:


2 year Term:

Jonathan Blair          139 votes (40.8%)

James Allison               101 votes (29.6%)

William Farrell                101 votes (29.6%)


5-year Term

Kathy Kuthy                212 votes (59.9%)

Harry Birch         121 votes (34.2%)

Ted Fina              11 votes (3.1%)

Donald Crowe                  10 votes (2.8%)





Richard Countryman Case Adjourned for six months

Judge Ron Keillor adjourned the December 13 trial of Richard Countryman for six months in contemplation of dismissal.  Countryman was facing Dept. of Environmental Conservation charges related to his alleged illegal burying of burned building debris in the aftermath of the burning of the historic White House Hotel in January 2005.  As a condition of the contemplated dismissal, Countryman must remediate the property, located on Berme Road, to DEC standards within six months.  Prior to the adjournment, attorneys for the DEC asked Countryman under oath about his role in the burning, which was supervised by the Accord Fire District, of which he is an elected commissioner.




Status of Hudson Valley Resort Determination Appeal

The Town’s Zoning Board of Appeal held a brief meeting on December 13 to discuss the process related to the appeal of a determination by Code Enforcement Officer Doug Dymond that stated that the HVR’s proposed expansion did not require a special use permit.  The determination appeal, filed by residents Astrid Fitzgerald and Richard Geldard, asserted that HVR’s proposal to replace a wing, add conference space, and a 36,000 water park constituted an expansion and, therefore, requires a special use permit.  The ZBA will hold a public hearing in January. 




Ulster County Board of Elections releases Certified Vote Count

The UC BOE released its certified results of the November 8, 2005 election, there were no surprises and the winners did not change.  Margins did, however, change as a result of the counting of additional paper ballots, including affidavit and absentee ballots.  Voter turnout was exceptionally high with 2,777 voters



Pam Duke        1,416

Chris Kelder        1,272

Blank         89



Town Clerk

Veronica Sommer        1,370

Kim Tompkins           1,268

Blank                 139


Highway Superintendent

Wayne Kelder               1,444

Roger Hellman        1,196

Blank                 137


Town Board

Alex Miller          1,304

Tony Spano                1,282

Randy Hornbeck        1,245

Tom Ryan           1,013

Betty Kawalchuk        248

Blank                 461

Void                  1




Letters and Legal Notices


Dear Editor:


I am honored that the Residents of the Town of Rochester have put their trust in me by electing me to The Accord Board of Fire Commissioners.  Rochester Voters made history by showing up in record numbers and electing their first woman fire commissioner.


Going into this race, I had many obstacles to overcome and a tremendous amount of work to do.  My many supporters assisted in important ways; they got the word out and kept me motivated when the going seemed so tough.  I owe them a sincere debt of gratitude.


I also want to thank the other candidates who ran clean campaigns based on the many issues facing the fire district.


As I said over and over during my campaign, I will dedicate myself to making sure that the Accord Fire District is a effective, efficient organization that provides safety to its firefighters and excellence to all it serves. Along with Accountability to the public, Reduction in taxes, Reorganization of procedures & finances, Recruitment and training and Receipt of grant monies will be our new 4 R's for Rochester.


I also want to thank the community volunteers; Marijane Knudsen-Hunlock, Stuart Fraser, Lori Kazmarick, Rev. Sara Tweedy, Alan Levine, Elaine Lasher and Loretta Terwilliger who gave their time to work hard during election night to insure that the election was proper and fair for all of the candidates.


Most of all, I thank you, the voters, for your confidence and invite you to attend the 2006 Organizational Meeting of the Accord Fire District at 7:30pm on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at the Main Street Accord Fire House.




Kathy Kuthy

Fire Commissioner-Elect


Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold public hearing on the 20th day of December 2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on the following Applications: Leon & Beth Smith, 3 lot subdivision, Route 209, Tax Map #76.2-2-27.1, B, R-1 District the above noted applications and maps are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearing will be held by the Planning Board at date to be determined. (12/13/05)


Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold public hearing on the 20th day of December 2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on the following Applications: Nelson De Gondea, 4 lot subdivisions, Pond Road private road off of Rocky Mountain Road, Tax Map #52.020-1-8 The above noted applications and maps are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearing will be held by the Planning Board at date to be determined. (12/13/05)


THE ACCORD BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS organizational meeting will be held on January 4, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. The regular meeting to be held at 7:30 p.m. These meetings to be held at the Accord Company #1 Station, located at 22 Main St., Accord, N.Y. 12404, Ulster County. This notification is being given to the news media pursuant to the provisions of Section 94 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York. By order of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Accord Fire District. Lori Kazmarick, District Secretary (Freeman 12/14/05)







The Town of Rochester Dog Pound is Full.  Loving Homes are needed for Loving Dogs.  To visit the dogs online, go to 

For more information call Jill Shufeldt, dog control officer, at 626-5979 or email




Preliminary Election Results

On November 18th, the Board of Elections conducted a recount of the councilman race and counted affidavit ballots executed on election day as well as absentee ballots received since election day.  The results were:


*= winner


Supervisor: (does not include 11/18 count)

*Pam Duke (DEM, IND, WOR, RFI)          1,361

Chris Kelder (REP, CON) 1,246


Town Board

Randy Hornbeck (REP, CON) 1,244

Betty Kawalchuk (CON) 248

*Alex Miller (DEM, IND) 1,294

Tom Ryan (REP, IND) 1,013

*Tony Spano (DEM, WOR) 1,277


Superintendent of Highways (does not include 11/18 count)

Roger Hellman (DEM, RFI) 1,149

*Wayne Kelder (REP, CON, IND) 1,409


Town Justice (does not include 11/18 count)

*Deborah Schneer (DEM, IND, WOR, RFI) 1,295

Mel Tapper (REP, CON) 1,159


Town Clerk (does not include 11/18 count)

*Veronica Sommer (REP, CON)  1,328

Kim Van Aken Tompkins (DEM, RFI) 1,223




Town of Rochester Community Center to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

The Town’s Community Center will host a free Thanksgiving Dinner from 11:30 to 2pm on Thanksgiving Day at the Community Center.  All are welcome, please call 626-2115 for information and reservations.



Featuring U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey; Al Zappala, member of Military Families Speak Out and Member of Gold Star Families for Peace; Judith Karpova, Human Shield.  With music by Amy Fradon, Robin Leah and reggae band Song of Solomon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 1:00 PM; SUNY Ulster's Quimby Theater, Vanderlyn Hall Cottekill Road, Stone Ridge, NY.  Volunteers will be collecting signatures and donations to publish an open letter in local newspapers to Senators Schumer and Clinton, urging the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.  If you are unable to attend and would like to contribute or have your name included on the letter, please send contributions to Rondout Valley Patriots for Peace(RVPP), P.O. Box 473, Accord,NY 12404 by November 30.  Checks should be made payable to RVPP, a non-profit grassroots organization.

Cosponsored  by Rondout Valley Patriots for Peace, Saugerties

Committee for Peace and Justice, and Project for Democracy Rosendale Branch

For more information: Terri at or 845-626-7844 or Max at 626-7373.





Accord, NY, 7 Nov. 2005 – After three months and over 700 name submissions, SKATE TIME 209 has been chosen for the official name of this 30,000 square-foot roller rink, skatepark and arcade under construction in the southern Ulster County hamlet of Accord. SKATE TIME 209 will open to the public approximately March 1, 2006.


The winning name was submitted by John and Kaitlyn Kelder, ages 13 and 11 respectively, of Accord.  Proprietors Len and Terry Bernardo began collecting entries at the Ulster County Fair in

August of this year.  Between the fair, on-line and U.S. mail entries, over 700 distinct names were submitted.  The proprietors, along with their Teen Board of Directors, narrowed the list down to a

"final four," on which the public voted in October.


"We are beyond thrilled, not only at the volume of names we received, but with the creativity and drive shown by everyone involved," said Len Bernardo.  "It wasn’t easy," added Terry

Bernardo,"since we had document every name, when it was submitted and by whom, to ensure we had determined the winner fairly."


John and Kaitlyn Kelder will receive a one-year free pass to SKATE TIME 209.  The other final name entries included Skaters’ Paradise, The Accord Skate Center, and Limelight Skating Center

(a reference to a former building on the property) located at the corner of Mettacahonts Road and Route 209. The Teen Board of Directors, comprised of over 200 local youth ages 12 – 21, is directly involved in all aspects of the center’s development, by way of four sub-committees:  Administration, Public Relations, Food/Entertainment and Skatepark Design.  This last committee made eight revisions before handing a final design to professional park builders Suburban Rails of Fairfield, Ohio (  The Teen Board, in addition to having fun and earning incentives, is also learning hands-on how to plan and run a business.


The Bernardos, in their concept and design for SKATE TIME 209, have been inspired by Colin Powell’s "AMERICA’S PROMISE" initiative, which supports five promises that adults and kids can

make to improve their community.  Said Len, "our goal is to make this area one of the nation’s Top 100 Best Places for Kids to Live, as ranked by the Board of Directors of America’s Promise."




Waking Planet Chronicles begins, "Seen from space, our earth is a shimmering sphere of rare and fragile beauty. From this cosmic perspective, we realize that in addition to being proud citizens of our country, we must also be people of the earth and deepen our reverence and respect for all life and for our jewel of a home.  The time has come for a New World Flag that transcends boundaries andstands for all that is best in us; our ability to wage peace, ensure social and

economic justice for all, foster racial harmony, end world hunger, and create environmental sustainability." Barbara Upton, Kerhonkson created the New World Flag featured on her web site, shortly after 9/11. "After that tragedy, I was impressed with the outpouring of support from all over the world and I couldn't help but wonder, where is the symbol for the unity and harmony of all the people of the earth?" This was the first image that came to her and she knew it was the right one. "The Waking Planet New World Flag is meant to be flown by individuals, families, organizations, schools, municipalities, states and nations. By flying this flag you are saying you choose to hold a vision of a world of justice, peace and harmony. You are declaring that one is entering a hate free zone where all people are respected and valued", Upton said. The site also has Waking Planet decals for sale and will soon have t-shirts too. Waking PlanetChronicles, her alternative news newsletter with information our corporate owned media is not covering, is also archived on her web site. To receive free online each month write to her at




Letters to the Editor & Legal Notices


Dear Editor:


In the days since the election, Republican Club president David O'Halloran has been phoning a number of Democrats in order to "extend an olive branch" and to offer a "deal."  Mr. O'Halloran reminded the Democrats that "there's still one Town Board meeting left" and the Republicans "still have control" of the five-person Town Board through the end of the year.


The deal Mr. O'Halloran offered is that he and the Republican Club get to appoint Leon Smith to the Town's Planning Board (replacing William DeGraw, whose term expires on December 31st), and, in exchange, they will "allow" the Democrats to appoint someone to the Zoning Board of Appeals  (to replace Marijane Knudsen, whose term expires on December 31st).


It's curious that Mr. O'Halloran offers this deal, because at a Town Board meeting in December 2004, Republican Town Councilmen Randy Hornbeck and Ron Santosky stated that they believed that anyone who is on such a body "should automatically be reappointed" when their terms expire after Supervisor Pam Duke had earlier introduced a proposal that called for such appointments to be opened to the public (Tom Ryan voted to adopt the proposal).  I know and remember this well because I was one of several citizens who was denied an interview and consideration for a seat on the Planning Board, which ultimately led to my successful candidacy for a Town Board seat to stop these undemocratic, backroom deals.


If Randy Hornbeck or Ron Santosky go along with Mr. O’Halloran’s suggestion at the upcoming December Town Board meeting, they would be belying their previously stated principles, exchanging their professed actions in the "best interests of the town" for personal or political gain.


On November 8th, voters in the Town of Rochester clearly expressed their contempt for backroom deals such as the one proposed by Mr. O'Halloran.  My fellow Democrats and many fair-minded Republicans I met during the campaign prefer our town make decisions transparently in the full light of day, in full public view, without threats of coercion or promise of reward and that that appointments be made on the basis of qualifications and experience.



Alex Miller


Town of Rochester



Dear Editor,


On behalf of the Town of Rochester Democratic Committee, I am writing to thank the voters of our town for their vote of confidence in last Tuesday?s election.  As proud as we are of our   success, we don’t consider this a Democratic victory as much as we believe it to be a win for our town.


Our town, like most in America, faces some daunting challenges: encouraging sustainable economic development, increasing business and employment opportunities, maintaining our town hamlets, providing affordable housing, preserving our history and our rural character, and enhancing and preserving our scenic and natural resources.  As you read this list, I’m certain you have your favorite town issue, and most likely, you have strong views and opinions about what to do or not do.


As the Town of Rochester crafts and retools the policies that will lead us into the future, it will be easy to watch from afar and grumble about local government but not participate.  We encourage everyone to take the challenge and work with our elected town government.  Our town can change with or without the benefit of guidance.  But change it will.  Town residents can play an active role or not.  The choice is theirs to make, and I’m hoping it will be in favor of constructive




Max Finestone, Chair

Town of Rochester Democratic Committee



Dear Friends and Neighbors,


For those of you who read my characterization on the Rochester Republican Club website — (, I first want to say that I’m sorry if I gave Jon Dogar-Marinesco the impression I was “shoving” a camera in his face. But I’m even more sorry that when I introduced myself and asked if I could camcord him photographing the Rochester Democrats campaigning across the road, that he said “sure,” chatted with me, exchanged pleasantries about our backgrounds, (are your grandparents from Russia?) and then treated my openness as something to be degraded and exploited for the benefit of his local party.


As far as anything else, there’s nothing to be sorry about. Although I was in some of the early Weatherman demonstrations when it was still SDS, I was never in the Weather underground.  I certainly never harmed anyone or anything.  But why, you may wonder, would a young college girl have anything to do with such a group?  Because the same thing was going on then

that is going on now.  A racist war against people who never harmed us. The use of napalm on children. It was also used in Fallujah.  The use of Agent Orange back then, depleted uranium now, which destroys the future generations of all sides.  The destruction of whole cities.  The approval of torture.  The slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, both by military action and by economic sanctions, as in Iraq.  These killed almost a million Iraqi children because the water treatment plants bombed in the first Gulf War could not be repaired.


Thirty five years ago I thought shouting angry rhetoric was a good idea.  Now I think that peaceful resistance is much more meaningful.  I went to Iraq to resist the war and show that I consider their citizens as equal in value to any people anywhere.  And I went because as an American citizen I have the right to travel to see for myself the consequences of my government’s policies.

In Iraq I moved freely among a gracious, sophisticated, hospitible people who spoke three languages and quoted Shakespeare to make me feel at home.  I met exuberant children with Daisy Duck and Smurfs painted on their school walls. I don’t even know if they’re still alive.  And how many more of the young men and women in our own military will be killed and injured there?

The Iraq war, as the Vietnam war, had to be “sold” with lies and distortions.  How will we solve our global or national problems if we indulge in such tactics locally?  I believe that the basis of national integrity starts at the local level.


I’m proud to be associated with people like those I met working with the Rochester Democrats, and all the people I know here of whatever political view, who are straightforward and honest and don’t use smear tactics for their own attempted gain.  To Jon and others who have stooped to such tactics, you ought to know better.  That’s not what this beautiful part of the country, and these good people who are my neighbors, are all about.


Judith Karpova


LEGAL NOTICE ANNUAL ELECTION OF THE ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT On December 13, 2005 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual Election of the Accord Fire District will take place on December 13, 2005 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the following locations: For Election Districts 1, 4, & 5 - Accord Fire District Headquarters at the Accord Fire House located at 22 Main Street, Accord N.Y. 12404 and for Election Districts 2 & 3 - Rochester Company #2 Fire House, located at 922 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson, N.Y. 12446, for the purpose of electing two Fire Commissioners for: one five (5) year term, commencing January 1, 2006 and ending December 31, 2010, and one two (2) year term, commencing January 1, 2006 and ending December 31, 2007. Only residents registered to vote with the Ulster County Board of Elections on or before November 21, 2005 shall be eligible to vote. Applications for Absentee Ballots are available by contacting the District Office in writing addressed to Accord Fire District Commissioners Election, P.O. Box 84, Accord, N.Y. 12404 no later than December 6, 2005 or by walk in, including by proxy, during regular office hours of 1p.m. - 4p.m. Mondays at the Accord Fire District Headquarters, located at 22 Main Street, Accord, N.Y. 12404. Candidates for Fire Commissioner shall file a letter, requesting that their names be added to the ballot, with the Secretary of the Accord Fire District, at 22 Main Street, Accord, N.Y. 12404, no later than November 23, 2005. November 09, 2005 Lori Kazmarick, Secretary Board of Fire Commissioners Accord Fire District 22 Main Street Accord, New York 12404 (845) 626-3707 (Freeman 11/14/05)



Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 15th day of November 2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m., at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY on the following applications: Karen Hof & Michael Russ, Subdivision approval for 2 lots, Queens Highway, Accord, Tax Map # 60.4-2-1.100, A District The above noted applications and maps are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearing will be held by the Planning Board at a date to be determined." (Freeman 11/8/05)


Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold public hearing on the 15th day of November 2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY, on the following application: RNR Housing Inc, Michael Baum, c/o Medenbach & Eggers, Subdivision Approval for Section 2 (lots 8-21 with the deletion of lot 11), Sahler Mill Estates Sundale Road & Sahler Mill Road, Tax Map # 60.4-1-1.2, A District of the Zoning Map. The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearings may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearing will be held by the Planning Board at a date to be determined. (Freeman 11/9/05)



Legal Notice Please Take Notice that the Audit/Workshop Meeting for the Town of Rochester will be held on November 23, 2005 due to a scheduling conflict. By Order of the Town Board, Veronica I. Sommer, Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/ RMC (Freeman 11/16/05)


Town of Rochester Keeps Tax Increase to 1.7% for 2006
Accord, November 4, 2005.   Supervisor Pam Duke today announced that the overall tax increase for General and Highway funds in the Town of Rochester is expected to be approximately 1.7% for 2006.   “I am extremely pleased that we were able to keep the cost of providing services to the residents of our town as low as possible given the significant increases in expenses that we’ve had to face. Rising fuel and utility costs, increased employee benefit costs, and the cost of unfunded federal and state mandates have all been passed down and are, for the most part, beyond our control.” Duke said.  “Despite these increased costs, we’ve been able to cut back in a lot of areas in order to reduce the impact on homeowners. We have kept our increase well below the inflation rate. ”

The town’s general fund tax rate is expected to increase by about 2.3%, with a tax levy of approximately $750,000, and the highway fund tax rate is expected to increase by about 1.19% with a tax levy of approximately $1.13 million, resulting in an overall increase in the combined tax rate of about 1.62%.  This results in a $9.00 per year for a resident with a home assessed at $100,000 ($5 from the general budget and $4 from highway).


Convicted owner of animal shelter surrenders adoption control

ACCORD - The owner of the Patty's Angels animal shelter on Whitfield Road has agreed to let dozens of animals seized from her facility be put up for adoption.
Patty Abezis agreed after a hearing this week in Rochester Town Court to not contest the adoption of approximately 70 animals, mostly cats and dogs, according to Julie West, director of the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"It's great news," West said.
The animals have been housed in various shelters in Ulster County since Rochester Town Justice Albert S. Babcock III ordered them seized from Abezis in June because of neglect.
The seizure order included a provision that all subsequent adoptions had to be approved by Abezis, but her decision this week made that provision moot.
Abezis, 51, of 412 Whitfield Road, Accord, was convicted in April of 38 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and her assistant at the shelter, Tracey Ann Pennington, 47, also of 412 Whitfield Road, was found guilty on six counts.
Specifically, the charges against Abezis and Pennington alleged they failed to provide proper sustenance to the animals.
Both women were sentenced last month to three years of probation. They were allowed to keep personal pets, but the terms of the probation include periodic unannounced inspection visits by the Ulster County Probation Department and the SPCA.
Abezis and Pennington also were ordered to undergo mental health evaluations and perform 40 hours of community service in an animal shelter.  (Freeman 10/5/05)


State Byways Advisory Board endorses Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway

The New York State Scenic Byways Advisory Board has recommended designation of the proposed Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway as anofficial New York State Scenic Byway and a component of the New York StateScenic Byways System, according to an announcement made yesterday by Al Wegener, nomination project manager for the byway.

"It means that we have successfully demonstrated to the Advisory Board  that the Shawangunk Mountains Region has scenic, natural, recreational  and historic resources of statewide significance," Wegener said. "And,  the board endorses our Corridor Management Plan for the 82-mile byway.  This recommendation by the Advisory Board very definitely paves the way
for official designation by state legislators and, hopefully, that will come early in 2006."

The route of the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway will encircle and traverse the northern Shawangunk Mountains and link the towns and villages that have pursued the nomination; the towns of Crawford and Montgomery in Orange County, and the Ulster County towns of Gardiner, Marbletown, New Paltz, Rochester, Rosendale, Shawangunk, Wawarsing as well as the villages
of Ellenville and New Paltz.  (MidHudson News)


Legislators worry about mold in jail

   A leaky roof on the county's new $72 million jail has legislators concerned about possibility of the formation of mold in the yet uncompleted building.
   "As a result of the heavy rains over the last several weeks and the resulting damage to parts of the law enforcement facility, we should ask Ulster County officials working with staff and other professionals to investigate and determine if mold of any kind has taken form within the facility," Republican Legislator Mike Stock said yesterday. Stock, in an e-mail message, has asked for a special meeting of his jail committee on Thursday.
   "Of utmost importance and concern is the safety and welfare of all workers and employees working on this project. Should mold, in any form, be located in the Law Enforcement Center, Ulster County will take every step to remedy this issue," Stock said in the message.
   Already, Stock said he has notified legal counsel to take action against all parties negligent in the matter.
   "It just never ends," said Democrat Tracey Bartels, a member of the committee.
   A recent tour of the facility under construction on Kingston's south side along Route 32 found wet walls on the first floor, she said. "If things get wet, you create an environment for mold to grow," she said.
   The project is nearly two years overdue and millions of dollars over budget. "The whole situation is shocking," Bartels said. (TH-Record 11-1-05)



Letters and Legal Notices

Dear Editor:

There is a post card from the Rochester Republican Club that informed recipients of a “20% tax hike” instituted by Democratic Supervisor Pam Duke.  This assertion is a bald-faced lie -- the actual increase in the Town’s general fund is expected to be about 2.3%, which works out to only about $5.00 per year for a homeowner whose property is assessed at $100,000. 

Aside from the lie, we were most appalled to see that our names were printed on the post card as members of the Republican Club.  Yes, it’s true that were members, but we do not in any way support the desperate falsehoods that Club President David O’Halloran and his fellow officers and candidates are spreading.  The Club’s Town Board candidates were certainly in a position to know that the numbers were false.  Since they control the Town Board, they’re the ones who approve the budget.

The Republicans in our Town and County seem to have a problem with ‘rithmetic.  The Republican dominated County Legislature can’t balance its budget and has gone nearly $20 million over budget on its leaking and moldy new jail.  The Republicans on the Town Board failed to address funds missing from the Town Clerk’s Office for nearly four years after it was brought to their attention by then-Councilman Tony Spano.  And they seem to not know the difference between 2.3% and 20%.

It’s time to clean house and let more fresh air and sunshine into the conduct of our town’s business.  We hope that everyone votes for Pam Duke and her team on November 8th.


Alan and Ruth Bendelius

Dear Editor:

I am writing to inform your readers of an incident which occurred as a direct result of my letter to the editor in your October 11th issue.  As many may know, I write for the Blue Stone Press, primarily covering the Rondout Valley Central School District.  Also, as a community volunteer, I videotape many meetings for the Rochester Residents Association, Inc.

On Tuesday, October 18, I taped the Rochester Planning Board Meeting.  Immediately after the meeting I was approached by Planning Board Chair and Town Justice Candidate Mel Tapper. 

Tapper wanted to talk with me about my letter to the editor.   It was no surprise that my letter about the October 6th Town Board meeting was not popular with his campaign handlers, David O'Halloran and Shane Ricks.  I am sorry that the immature and unprofessional conduct of Town Board members Hornbeck, Ryan and Santosky along with childish antics of Republican Club Officers and Committeepersons O'Halloran, Chipman and Chichkov may have embarrassed Tapper, who, by many accounts, is considered an OK guy.

What surprised me was that Tapper questioned whether I am even entitled to express my opinions, since I am a part-time reporter.  I explained to Tapper that as a professional I am fully aware of matters of journalistic ethics.  I explained that I do not cover the Town of Rochester, except in emergencies, such as a reporter calling in sick.  This frees me to be an active participant in town meetings.  I further reminded Tapper that when I wrote the article on the Republican Caucus, I made extra efforts to write a fair and balanced article.  If I lacked integrity, the caucus would have been the perfect opportunity to write a politically biased and unfair story, which I did not.

I seriously began to doubt Tapper's understanding of basic law when he suggested that I should not be writing to the editor of this web site and that, because I am a reporter, I should not have, or much less express, any of my personal opinions.  I explained to Tapper that I had very well defined opinions and I am perfectly within my right to express them.  Only then did he back down, knowing that I was not going to concede any wrong doing, as none had occurred.

There is a reason that the Freedom of Speech is the First Amendment and not the Eighth or Twelfth or Thirteenth.  To be free to speak up and express our discontent is as American as corn on the cob and apple pie.

Now, I ask all of your readers, do we want a town justice who would, even for one moment, consider it acceptable to question a person's right to express their discontent in a letter to the editor?  It seems very un-judgelike to me!

I urge everyone to think carefully about their choices on November 8th.  For Town Justice we need experience and not just another OK guy.

I plan to vote for candidates who HAVE character rather than characters who use 'rural character' as slogan or worse, code implying that if you weren't born here you somehow lack integrity.

K. Kuthy

To the Editor: 

This is in response to Craig Emery's letter in the last Towncrier in which he criticize my actions as Planning Board Chairman.  It is obvious from his letter that he did not attend the planning board meeting that he writes about, did not read the minutes of that meeting nor speak to anyone that attended that meeting because his version of my involvement is completely opposite of what actually took place. 
     At the 9/20/05 planning board meeting, Robert Burrick of Hudson Valley Resort attended to give a pre-application presentation of their planned renovation/expansion project.  During his presentation he questioned why he had to be before the board since he felt that what he was proposing was just an accessory use to their resort under the zoning law and not subject to planning board review. 
     I told Mr. Burrick that if he disagreed with the Code Enforcement Officer's determination, that his recourse was to appeal the CEO's determination to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  After further discussion a motion was made to send the matter back to the CEO for further review.  Again I reiterated that the board did not have the authority to question the CEO's determination and that he needed to go to the ZBA.  I also brought up the fact that our town attorney had also opined that he needed to be before the planning board. 
     A vote was taken.  I and another board member voted against the motion and four board members voted in favor of it.  As Chairman I am under an obligation to do what the majority of the board directs me to do.  So despite my personal belief and opinion, I wrote a letter sending the matter back to the CEO.  What happened after that was certainly not under my control.
     I never expressed the opinion that the project should not be subject to planning board review.  Anyone who attends planning board meetings knows that I vote with my conscience and for what I believe is in the best interests of the Town of Rochester, not for politics or any other reason.
     Before Mr. Emery criticizes or casts aspersions, he should at least get his facts straight!

Melvyn I. Tapper

[Editor’s note:  Mr. Tapper is a candidate for Town Justice.

Legal Notices

"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Rochester will hold a Public Hearing on the 9th day of November 2005, commencing at 7:30 p.m., at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY, on Application by Captain Omnipotent, c/o Victorian Builders, needs 35 Front, 25 Rear, and 20 Side Yard Area Variances for warehouse storage on existing manufacturing business, Old Mine Road, Tax Map #76.10-1-9.2 `I District of the Town of Rochester. The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Clerk, Accord, NY." Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. (Freeman 10/29/05)

From the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Environmental Notice Bulletin.
Conditioned Negative Declaration
Ulster County - The Town of Rochester Planning Board, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Ample Self Storage will not have a significant adverse environmental impact provided specific conditions are met. There will be a 30 day public comment period commencing with the date of this notice. The action involves a 56,000 sf self storage facility with 1,375 sf of office space on 5.6 acres of land located on NYS Route 209 in the General Business (B) Zoning District. The project is located on NYS Route 209, Town of Rochester.
The conditions are:
1.) Site disturbance during construction shall be limited only to necessary grading as shown on the site plan.
2.) Temporary berms and swales will be installed to divert runoff from newly graded areas until permanent ground cover is established.
3.) The applicant will install a stabilized gravel entrance/exit pad to minimize soil disturbance during construction.
4.) Silt fences and swales will be located on the site to mitigate erosion.
5.) During construction, temporary seed and mulch will be applied to stabilize disturbed portions of the site.
6.) The applicant proposes to preserve all large and healthy trees located on the site.
7.) An erosion control mat will be installed on steep slopes throughout the site.
8.) Qualified professionals will inspect the erosion control measures every seven days during the construction period.
9.) The contractor will prepare a written summary of SPDES compliance at a minimum frequency of every three months.
10.) Prior to the completion of each construction phase, a qualified professional shall certify that the site has undergone final vegetative or structural stabilization methods.
Along with:
1.) In coordination with NYSDOT, “Driveway Intersection Warning Signs” will be posted along Route 209 for oncoming traffic.
2.) NYSDOT will also post temporary construction and truck warning signs along route 209.
3.) The obstructing embankment north of Route 209 will be graded back allow a 600’ sight distance for an approaching car.
4.) The site entrance will contain a 50’ x 68’ (3400 s.f.) pull off area for tractor trailer turnarounds.
5.) The applicant will also construct a 30’ wide curb cut to the site entrance to facilitate the ingress and egress of tractor trailers and moving vans.
Any comments should be forwarded to the Planning Board Secretary within thirty (30) days of the posting of this notice which will expire on November 27, 2005.
Contact: Rebecca Paddock Stange, Planning Board, P.O. Box 65 15 GLF Road, Accord, New York 12404, phone: (845) 626-2434, fax: (845) 626-0141, e-mail: (Environmental Notice Bulletin 10/27/05)

Notice of Formation of Real Hauser Properties, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of States of NY (SSNY) on 10/5/05. Office location: Ulster County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: PO Box 99, Accord, NY 12404. Purpose: any lawful activity. (Freeman 10/27/05)



Hudson Valley Resort Residential Expansion?

An article in the October 21, 2005 Blue Stone Press states that the owners of the resort have been in discussions with a NYC developer and their own attorney about the feasibility of building 200 homes on 200 of the resorts acres.  E&S Development of Rockland County (based in NYC) indicated that it has had discussions with the owners, but that it is premature to discuss any use of the site.



Thefts at Local Stores

Between late Saturday night, October 1 to early Sunday morning, there were six to nine burglaries of commercial businesses in Rosendale, Marbletown, Rochester, New Paltz, Lloyd, Ulster, and Woodstock.  Locally, Tetta’s Grocery Store in Olivebridge reported its cash register and ATM machine stolen. Accord Kwik Mart in Accord reported that its cash register and lotto machine were stolen.  The Citgo station in Rosendale also reported a burglary.  The crimes were allegedly tied to four men from Woodstock, Mt. Tremper, and Glenford, who were arrested by NYC DEP Police on October 2nd.  (from BSP 10/21/05)



Planning Board denies Cat Shelter Permit; Self Storage Units move forward

The Town’s Planning Board denied a Special Use Permit request by High Falls resident Diana Banks to open a philanthropic cat shelter on property on Airport Road.  Planning Board member David O’Halloran raised concerns that there was not an attendant ther 24 hours a day, to which Ms. Banks responded that the Ulster County SPCA does not have 24 hour attendants (nor does the Town of Rochster pound).  Planning Board Chair Mel Tapper stated that Ms. Bank’s existing shelter on Main Street is well run, however, “The neighbors aren’t too pleased.  They were living here first, so we have to think of them.”

Separately, the Planning Board also made a conditional negative declaration for the proposed 56,000 sq ft. storage sheds proposed for Route 209 by Todd Bivona



Governor honors local officer for courage

A Kerhonkson resident was among the 19 officers state-wide honored by Gov. George Pataki yesterday for courage in the line of duty.  Tony Spano, a sergeant in the Wallkill Police Department, received a Certificate of Exceptional Valor because he and the officers under him showed restraint in a deadly situation, according to Deputy Chief Jack Quinn.

             In an August 2004 incident, police received a report that a young man carrying a pistol was walking in a residential neighborhood.  The man, Sean Quirk, ignored orders to drop the gun.  The police officers, under Spano’s command, held their fire even as Quirk fired several shots into the air. When Quirk advanced towards the officers, Spano shot Quirk with a non-lethal shot to the leg.  Quirk dropped his weapon as he fell, but picked up his pistol and shot himself in the head.

             Spano, said of the award, “I’m very pleased for the Governor’s recognition, but I think I did what any person would have done.”


[Editor’s note:  Spano is a candidate for Town Council in the Town of Rochester]



 Shelter owner sentenced for animal cruelty, neglect


Kerhonkson.  Patty Abezis, who was convicted April 29 after a jury trial on 38 counts of animal cruelty, and Tracey Ann Pennington, who was found guilty on six counts, were each sentenced Wednesday in Rochester Town Court by Judge Albert S. Babcock, III, to three years probation.

 In addition, Abezis, 51, of Whitfield Road, Accord, will forfeit ownership of 87 animals that were seized June 10 by order of the same court. After a motion by the defense, Babcock ordered a stay of one week, after which the Ulster County SPCA and other animal rescue agencies in the region will be able to find permanent homes for the 68 dogs, 11 cats, five fowl, two ferrets and a pig that have been in temporary custody and foster homes.

 Both Abezis and Pennington, 47, of the same address, are banned for life from owing or caring for more than two animals.  If they undergo veterinary training in animal nutrition, disease and parasites, and critical care, the ban may be lifted.


Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Gerald Van Loan asked that Abezis be required to pay restitution to the SPCA in the amount of $80,000 to pay for the food, shelter and veterinary care of the animals since July 6, saying that the SPCA did not anticipate having the animals in their care for such an extended period of time.  Babcock ordered a hearing in early November to revisit the question of restitution.

 The terms of Abezis’ and Pennington’s probation call for periodic unannounced inspection visits by the Ulster County probation department with the assistance of the SPCA.  In addition, both have been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation by the county mental health department.

 They will also be ordered to perform 40 hours of community service in an animal shelter.  The terms of Abezis’ probation were altered by Babcock to allow her to leave the county for her employment.

 The two women were not subjected to any fines.

 Abezis and Pennington were convicted of failing to provide proper sustenance and failing to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal, misdemeanors under the state Agricultural and Markets Law.

 Abezis and Pennington declined to be interviewed on the advice of their lawyers.  Julie West, director of the Ulster County SPCA, also declined comment, saying only, “It’s too soon to tell how I feel about this.”  (Freeman 10/13/05)


Ulster County lawmakers anticipate big hike in levy

By Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff

10/14/2005 KINGSTON - The Ulster County Administrator's Office is expected today to release a tentative spending plan for 2006 that is likely to project a double-digit tax increase.

The proposal is being released two weeks earlier than in previous years, thanks to budget reforms adopted by the county Legislature earlier this year.

Majority Leader Michael Stock, R-Woodstock, said the property tax levy in the Administrator's tentative budget will "absolutely" be higher than that proposed for 2005. He said he's heard talk of a projected increase in the 30 to 40 percent range in the tentative budget.

"Whatever it is, it is, and we have to deal with it, and be mature, responsible individuals, leave politics out of it and deal with the issues," Stock said.

Stock added that the actual tax increase per homeowner is likely to be less than the overall hike in the levy because assessments in Ulster County gained about $2 billion in value over the past year.

Minority Leader David Donaldson, D-Kingston, said he's expecting the proposed tax increase will be the 40 to 50 percent range. Legislature Chairman Richard Gerentine, R-Marlboro, was not available for comment.

Lawmakers have known for months of the potential for a budget gap in 2006. The Treasurer's Office told the Legislature in May that the county was facing a cash shortfall of as much as $1.5 million by the end of 2005, and $23.5 million through the end of next year.

While the county has taken some steps to rein in spending, including enacting a hiring freeze and requiring the approval of legislative leaders for major department spending, they fall far short of bridging the million budget gap for next year, which, based on the current year's budget, would take a property tax increase of more than 50 percent to close if no spending cuts are made.

Donaldson said more could have been done to tackle the problem before now.

"Nothing's been done, no meetings have taken place, nothing has been done to discuss it, nothing has been taken out (of the budget)," he said.

If either Stock or Donaldson is in the ballpark of the projected increase, it would be the highest one-year increase in more than a decade.

The initial 2005 budget proposal called for a 24 percent increase in property taxes, but that increase was cut nearly in half - to 12.8 percent - by the time county lawmakers adopted the budget. Over the past five years, the county property tax levy has risen by 49 percent, from $31.3 million to $46.8 million, an average of just under 10 percent a year.

Legislator Susan Cummings, R-Ellenville, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, said the committee will begin its budget review process on Thursday, when it will review budget appeals filed by county department heads. A public hearing on the spending proposal is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 17, she said.  (Freeman 10/14/05)


Ulster Co. tax plan calls for big  hikes


Kingston  – Ulster County property taxpayers are facing a massive increase in

county taxes  of more than 48 percent under the tentative budget proposed


County Administrator Art Smith said the hike is  due to several factors:

- Continuing increase in Medicaid  costs,

- The slowdown in sales tax revenue,

- The evaporation of the county's surplus.

The spending plan totals $299.7 million, an increase of  2.23 percent over

the current spending  plan.

"Unfortunately, the property tax levy increase needed  to fund this budget is $22,823,363 or 48.81 percent higher," Smith wrote in his  budget message. The plan drew immediate outrage from  Democrats hoping to use it in the upcoming election for all 33 seats on the  county Legislature. Republicans hold a one-seat  majority. "This is totally unacceptable," said Democrat  Frank Dart of Kingston. He is

a member of the county's Ways and Means Committee,  which is charged with reviewing the tentative  budget. "There has got to be something that can be cut,"  said Rich Parete, Democrat from Accord. He pointed out that the proposal calls  for 36 new cars and 11

new hires, but no cuts, including the supplemental health  plan or lifetime health insurance for legislators and  management.

"I don't think one incumbent Republican  legislator deserves to be re-elected. They have failed," Parete  said. Republican Legislator Sue Cummings of Ellenville said  she hopes it doesn't become a political football. "Sure, people are going to  point a finger," she

said. "But that points the wrong  message." Cummings is chairwoman of the Ways and Means  Committee that will begin its

review of the budget package next Thursday. "We  will have to make some tough decisions," she said. Smith did not argue that the  budget is status quo, that is, it calls for no layoffs or services  cuts. "If you cut 10-12 percent, can the county still  function?" he asked. "Any  major cuts in expenditures will definitely have an  impact on services." Few expenses fall outside of what a  county is required to provide. They include the sheriff's road patrols, the  Golden Hill infirmary for county senior citizens, and the Mental Health and  Office for the Aging departments. Dart said those should not be subjected to  cuts. "If you need help and can wait 30-45 minutes for another police agency to  show up, do away with the road patrol," Dart said. "But if you want services you  have to pay for it."


Impact on tax  bills


County tax  bill*


$100,000 home –  $422

$200,000 home – $844

$300,000  home –  $1,266



$100,000  home – $322

$200,000 home –  $644

$300,000 home – $966

Public  hearing: Nov. 17, County Office Building, Fair and Main streets,

Kingston. The  time has not been set.

*Estimate only. Individual property  tax bills are subject to numerous

factors which can either raise or lower the  bill.


Source: Ulster County  administration.

TH-Record 10/15/05)



 New jail leaks

By Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff






KINGSTON - Heavy rainfall over the past several days has caused extensive flooding at the new Ulster County Law Enforcement Center, damaging sections of the building that were completed or nearly so, and potentially setting back the opening of the facility another several months.

At a press conference Thursday, county Legislature Democrats said GOP leaders intentionally diverted resources away from work on certain parts of the building, including the roof, to get the Sheriff's Administration offices completed before Election Day.

Majority Leader Michael Stock, R-Woodstock, who heads the jail oversight committee, called the accusation an unfounded political jab.

Minority Leader David Donaldson and Legislator Peter Loughran, both Kingston Democrats, took a tour of the building on Monday, and said the water damage is extensive. Donaldson said it particularly troubling given that he asked if there were any problems with the roof at a meeting last week.

"I was pointedly told by (Clerk of the Works) Brian Cunningham, (Buildings and Grounds Commissioner) Harvey Sleight, our attorneys that were there, and Mike Stock, that there is absolutely no problem. No problem whatsoever," Donaldson said. "Unfortunately for them, weather proved much differently."

Stock said he toured the building on Wednesday, and also saw significant water damage. He said he had no knowledge of the roof problems that led to the flooding at last week's committee meeting.

"There's definitely water damage coming down on the work that's been completed," he said. "It's an issue we need to deal with. My first question is who's responsible, and who's paying for this damage?"

Photos taken by Donaldson on Monday show areas where water has seeped under finish paint on the walls, causing it to bubble and peel off; several spots in the building where there are puddles on the floor; water-damaged ceiling tiles, including some that have fallen and others that are water-saturated; sealed windows with water pooling on the interior sills; and cinder blocks that appear to have soaked through.

Stock and Donaldson agree the water damage could push back by months the project's completion date, now set for November. Stock said he wouldn't be surprised if the building was not done until April, two years after first projected. Donaldson anticipates the opening would be delayed until June or July.

The Law Enforcement Center, the county's largest and costliest construction project to date, is already about 20 months behind schedule and $12.6 million over budget. It will house the county jail, Sheriff's Office, and several criminal justice-related departments when completed.

The completion schedule did not take into account the water damage, and officials from Bovis Lend Lease, the project construction management firm, have called the November date a "moving target" that could get pushed back if additional work was needed.

Notes from Bovis's Sept. 22 meeting with the project architect and contractors indicate incomplete work and damage to the roof, information Democrats say was not shared with legislators. They said it should result in Bovis' removal from the job.

Democrats have also called for the removal of Sleight, Cunningham, consultants Hill International and special counsel Michael Sweeney, saying all have been party to withholding information on the project's status from the public.  (Freeman 10/14/05)



Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

         What are the Republican Candidates in the Town of Rochester afraid of? Why do they refuse to debate their Democratic opponents? We were told that the date originally suggested was not convenient. We then offered to find another date that was mutually acceptable and to form a committee of the two parties that would establish the ground rules. We are still waiting for a response.

        Election campaign debates are a time-honored tradition in American political campaigns. They provide the opportunity for the candidates to express their views on the issues and to answer questions from the audience.

        We regret the Republicans decision and the voters should show their disapproval on Tuesday, November 8th.


Max Finestone

Chair, Town of Rochester Democratic Committee




Dear Editor


My message is to the Republicans of the Town of Rochester.


It appears from the outside that the Republican Party has been taken over by a band of school yard bullies – the Republican CLUB - whose preferred method of operation is destruction.  The Rochester Town Board Meeting (10/6/05) confirmed my suspicions.


§  The carefully rehearsed Republican CLUB faction on the board flexed its muscle, as if to warn us of what will come, and voted down the very website policies they asked to have written.  They railed about a highly professional and competent volunteer who serves as webmaster accusing her of being partisan. They refused to instate co-chairmen to active town committees.  They acted as one, directed and guided – as if they were puppets – by the Republican CLUB.  There was no thought about the good of the town.


§  Republican CLUB members at the meeting sought to postpone necessary meetings about the up-coming property assessments.  They all but threatened to disrupt the meetings if they were held.


§  Other Republican CLUB members engaged in personal attacks on a non-club board member and the town supervisor. That behavior is unsocial, ill-mannered and unacceptable.


The Republican CLUB seems determined to ruin what’s working about our town, and they are not joined by Republican Party voices.  The CLUB demonstrates no attempt or even willingness to discuss and resolve differences, no effort to listen to another view or reconcile conflict, no desire to include anyone other than those who think like them.  What kind of government will we have if these characters dominate?  Are you ready to return to the days of closed door sessions with no opportunity to express your opinions?  Are you prepared to succumb to government by a select few?  Will you be happy when 209 becomes as cluttered and developed as 9W in Kingston?  Are you prepared to lurch into the 2006 with zoning codes from 1969?


Our town has some vitally important issues on the table.  To find agreeable solutions demands willingness to hear all sides and open dialog.  This isn’t easy with the most agreeable, much less with school yard bullies slugging to have their way.


If you are a Republican and you see what I see, think twice before pulling the lever for a CLUB candidate because they just may not represent what you believe your Republican party represents. 


Gene Moncrief



Dear Editor:


In reading about recent news in the Town of Rochester, I wonder if I really am living in sleepy Ulster County:  eighteen year old teens sexually abusing 8 year old girls, members of  the Bloods street gang shooting at sheriff deputies on Berme Road and fleeing the state,  animal abuse cases lingering in court for years, elected and public officials on trial for misdeeds.   It almost makes me homesick for the peace and quiet of the big city.


Rochester and Ulster County have seen a tremendous growth in population since I moved here.  There’s also been an increase in the complexity of the types of crime committed in our Town.  To deal with it all, we need qualified local judges with extensive legal education and training and practical experience, not well-intentioned politicians who think that being a judge is a cakewalk and a nice part-time job.


We love our small town, but we must recognize that the big city is catching up to us and that the days of easy-going country judges can no longer be a way of life as we deal with big city problems.


On November 8th, I’m voting for Deborah Schneer to be Rochester’s town justice.  She’s practiced law for 20 years, has extensive trial and appellate court experience and the confidence and knowledge to make the legal decisions necessary to address our Town’s crime. 




Claire Wasser

High Falls





Dear Editor:


There is something strange going on in the Town of Rochester. It seems that the town’s Code Enforcement Officer, Doug Dymond, has ignored the town’s attorney and decided that no special permits are necessary for the Hudson Valley Resort’s proposed 8 storey, 35,000 square foot water park expansion.  As I understand it, this is totally contrary to what the town’s lawyer indicated as being required by town law.  So, if this true, it appears that the hotel can now expand without any environmental review, no assessment of the impact of the park on the neighborhood’s water supply, traffic, noise or any other aspect of the proposed water park’s operation.


It is also strange that Town of Rochester Planning Board Chair Mel Tapper has allowed the Planning Board to go along with this decision, despite knowing what the town’s lawyer said.  As Mr. Tapper is now a candidate for Town Justice, it will be interesting to see whether he will allow the Planning Board to ultimately go along with Mr. Dymond’s inexplicable decision or if he will follow the law and the advice provided by the town’s counsel and, in so doing, defy his Republican Club political backers. So far, Mel Tapper seems to be following politics, not the law. Not the best course for someone who wants to be Rochester Town Justice.  What will his rulings be like in town court if he can’t run the planning board correctly?  Will he follow the law or give special treatment to special interests?  These are all reasonable questions.


An expansion of the magnitude proposed by the Hudson Valley Resort may or may not be significant.  Their plans may or may not have a negative effect on our residents.  By making these surprising decisions, Mr. Dymond and Mr. Tapper have taken away the right of our community to ask these questions and ultimately determine what we want and don’t want. 


Proper enforcement of our town laws is necessary. We rely on our planning board and our code enforcement officer to do that.  Who will enforce the law if  Mr. Dymond and Mr. Tapper refuse to?





Craig Emery






Dear Editor


I find it so amazing that this man, a Rondout Valley High School graduate, went on to Cornell University, an ivy league school, where he graduated, and instead of heading off to somewhere else where he could have made 'big bucks', he came back home to work his family's farm.  Chris Kelder has integrity.  This is a REAL man, with REAL country values.  Chris Kelder has REAL country character.


Chris Kelder knows what it is to work hard for his family's and town's well-being.  He's a REAL farmer, not a phony 'gentleman' farmer, transplanted from the city or suburbia, who bought a piece of land in the country pretending to be something he's not.  With Chris, you get the real  thing.  Chris knows what it's like to work hard and how to get things done.  Chris Kelder is a no nonsense kind of man.  He's not afraid to fight for what is right, which today means fighting for lower taxes, no nonsense government, and most importantly, citizen's property rights.


I live here because I choose to live here.  I like it the way it is.  It's pretty here.  The people are nice here.  It's peaceful here.  My children got an excellent education here. If I wanted to live in suburbia, I'd move to suburbia.  The way some of the new citizens are trying to make our town into something it's not, something it shouldn't be, something it was never meant to be, is just not right.  Why move to a place because you like it the way it is and then try to change it into something else?  I live here because I choose to live here.  The town of Rochester is a rural, country town, with rural country values.  That's why I am voting for Chris Kelder for town of Rochester Town Supervisor.  Chris Kelder will keep the town of Rochester the way it should be.


This is a very important election. Let's keep the Town of Rochester the wonderful place it is.  Let's elect Chris Kelder the Rochester Town Supervisor.


CHRIS KELDER will  fight for YOU, your TOWN, your TAXES, your PROPERTY!!!


Alysse Ricks





Dear Editor,


What is it about an informed citizenry that so threatens the Rochester Republicans?


I saw last week’s Rochester Town Board meeting on public access TV, and what I saw truly appalled me.  It seemed clear that the Republican board members – two of whom are up for re-election November 8 – were only interested in de-railing any activities that might actually make the citizens of this town better-informed.  It also seemed clear that the whole dismal affair was being stage-managed – not far off-stage – by David O’Halloran, who heads the ultra-conservative Republican Club.


At the meeting, O’Halloran objected to the scheduling of meetings to be held around town by the Town’s Tax Assessor on the upcoming re-valuation.   These meetings are to be purely informational, to educate interested property owners about a process everyone is concerned about.  But O’Halloran claimed these meetings will “politicize” the tax revaluation process.  If the point weren’t clear enough, he threatened to bring out his candidates and Republican Club members, presumably to heckle and disrupt the sessions if they weren’t postponed until after the election.


O’Halloran, aided and abetted by Republican Board members Randy Hornbeck and Tom Ryan, also tried to discredit the town’s new web site – another source of free, unbiased information for all citizens.  They again tried to politicize the issue by accusing the volunteer web master of using the site to foster a “Democratic agenda.”


I happened to be at the Town Board meeting, some months ago, when this issue first surfaced.  At that time it was suggested that town officials develop a set of policies to insure that the site remain purely informational and non-political.  In response, Supervisor Pam Duke -- with the assistance of a local resident whose professional responsibilities include the drafting of internet compliance policies -- developed such a policy and presented it to the Town Board.  All Board members indicated general agreement with the draft policy and suggested minor modifications that were subsequently incorporated.


But suddenly, at last week’s meeting, the Republican members who had privately endorsed the policy turned around and attacked it.  They refused to vote on a motion to adopt it, and Tom Ryan even chastised the volunteer webmaster in public for being a Democratic partisan.  The supreme irony?  Two of the Republican board members admit they haven’t even seen the town web site!


What’s really going on here couldn’t be more obvious, or more troubling.  With an election coming up, the Republicans are putting their own partisan ambitions above the interests of informed citizens, and accusing others of having the same motives.


All I can say is, being called partisan by David O’Halloran is like being called ugly by a frog.



Ann Morris



Letter to the Editor:

The Kerhonkson Elementary School PTA hosts a  fundraiser each year at the Saunderskill Farms in Accord. Producer Gail  Wikane and Director Elaine Samuels decided that this year's theme would  be "The Haunted Pirate Ship" and it was a big hit! We had many visitors  who were thrilled by our efforts, and their compliments were graciously  appreciated. We would like to take this time to thank our wonderful  cast and crew of the Pirate Ship who made each guest feel welcome and  maybe a little scared at times. We had many helpers that returned each  weekend, (as well as each year), but during the three weekends we held  this year's event they enjoyed playing pirates. The crew was made up of  a variety of age students of the Rondout Valley Central School District,  from High School to Elementary School. 

Our thanks also go out to the parents that were able to lend us some of  the props that we used in the making of the ship. Some items and  services were donated by Nancy Lawrence, Livia Vanaver, Swim King Pools,  Mark and Kris Zimmerman,

 Sue Gleich and Ringler Surveyors. Special  thanks to Dan Schoonmaker and his family and staff at the Saunderskill  Farms for allowing us to haunt in their greenhouse these past five  years. 

The PTA would like to thank all those that walked the plank and helped  them with their efforts to build a pavilion at the Elementary School.  This has always been more than a fundraising event, it brings such joy
and excitement to so many, that it is our way of giving back to the  community that supports our PTA. Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Thank you,

 Elaine Samuels



Dear Editor:


I have lived in the Town of Rochester for 20 years now. When we first moved here, Ulster County was a quiet, bucolic refuge from the noise and the crime of big cities. Since I moved here, however,  Ulster County has grown and the population of our once tiny town of Rochester has bloomed.


Along with the increase in population, there has also been an increase in the crime rate and the types of crimes commited here. Recent crimes have included everything from sexual abuse of a minor, to the robbing and beating of an elderly woman in her own home, and to street gang members shooting at sheriff's deputies. Gone are the days of the kindly town justice slapping delinquents kids on the wrist and settling small claims and minor disputes between neighbors.


The increase in the complexity and frequency of crimes in Ulster County calls for the election of qualified local judges with extensive legal experience and education. That is why I'm supporting Deborah Schneer for Town Justice in the Town of Rochester. She graduated from NYU Law School and has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in our county. Prior to opening her own law practice in Rosendale, Deborah Schneer worked for legal service agencies representing clients in a broad range of civil matters including civil rights issues. As an Assistant Attorney General for NYS Depratment of Law, she investigated and prosecuted cases of charitable fraud and malfeasance.


On November 8th, I’m voting for Deborah Schneer to be Rochester’s town justice.  Her extensive trial and court experience make her an ideal candidate for the position.




Suzanne McHugh



To the Editor:

We are writing this letter in support of Melvyn Tapper for Town Justice for the Town of Rochester. We have known Mel and his family for over 25 years. We could tell you about his history, living here all his life, working as a court reporter and being Chairman of the Town's Planning Board. But everyone knows that. We are supporting Mel Tapper because we TRUST him. We are supporting Mel Tapper because he is the MOST HONEST person you will ever meet. We are also voting for Mel Tapper because he will be FAIR when handing out decisions no matter how hard they may be. It does not matter this time what party he belongs to, we are voting for the MAN we know and are proud to vote for him.

Janine & Barry Barash




Dear Rochester Voter:

As a registered voter, I recently received a friendly letter and a lollipop from the Republican candidate for Town Justice - Mel Tapper - asking for my support and vote.  Don't be suckers and swallow his pitch, or his lollipop.  Mr. Tapper may be a very nice man, but his carefully crafted letter makes him out to be far more. 

From a quick read of his plea for your vote, it might appear that Mr. Tapper has the background and experience to serve our community as Town Justice.  While the recent letter I received from Mr. Tapper states that he has "worked" in a courtroom every day and has "been involved" in hundreds of cases from drugs to murder, he really ought to go on to explain that his involvement has been limited to observation and stenography, not the practice of law, and that he has never represented a client before a court.  The people of Rochester deserve more than a note taker to guide our Court!  We also deserve a Town Justice who will be honest about his/her qualifications and experience. 

Wouldn’t you rather have the legally educated and more experienced person serving your important needs? Mr. Tapper's opponent, the very experienced attorney, Deborah Schneer, is truly qualified and experienced. She is a 1984 graduate of NYU Law School and has been practicing law for over 20 years.  She has represented clients in state and federal courts in matters both simple and complex.  She has picked juries, questioned witnesses, presented evidence, made legal arguments as a trial attorney.  She has handled appeals.  I believe that Deborah Schneer possesses the qualifications, experience, integrity and balance needed to set a new standard as Town Justice.

It is time for a system upgrade in Rochester. Vote for the candidate who has integrity and real legal experience - and who doesn't need to sugar coat her credentials.  Together we can lick Mel Tapper, not his lollipop, by voting for Deborah Schneer for Town Justice.

James Braun


To the Editor: 

As Election Day approaches, I am concerned that people come out and vote. It is the duty of each individual to voice our needs and vote for the candidate that will best represent us and our community. That candidate is MELVYN TAPPER.  I have known Mel for 24 years.  The Town of Rochester would be lucky to have him as its Town Justice.  Mel is a Senior Court Reporter for the NYS Supreme Court.  For almost 20 years Mel has worked daily in Criminal, Civil, Family and Justice Courts.  He has worked with the best judges in the State and knows how to run an efficient, orderly and respected courtroom.  As the present Chairman of the Town's Planning Board he has shown the ability to make the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions in a reasoned and knowledgeable manner after carefully weighing both sides.  His experience, integrity, sense of fairness, common sense and long-time roots in the community will enable him to be an excellent judge for the Town of Rochester.  My vote is for MELVYN TAPPER and yours should be too.  

Carol Waxman





Upcoming Trials/Court Dates

October 12, 6pm

Patty Abezis, Patty’s Angels Animal Shelter.  Decisions on pending motion and possibly sentencing.


October 18, 6pm

Accord Fire District, Board of Fire Commissioners member Richard Countryman will appear in Rochester Town Court on charges relating to the alleged illegal burial of the burnt construction and demolition debris resulting from the remains of the White House Hotel in January 2005.


November 14

The trial of Deputy Town Clerk Annette Rose is expected to begin.  Rose was indicted on charges related to the alleged theft of town money from the Town Clerk’s Office. 


 Upcoming Events


Rochester Democrats host on-line auction and Harvest Celebration

Rochester Democrats are hosting a first-of-its-kind silent auction to raise money for Democratic candidates.  Local artists and authors have donated more than 30 items for the silent auction, which is posted on 

Many of the items will also be displayed at a Harvest Celebration, hosted by Ward Mintz and Floyd Lattin at their Lucas Avenue home this Saturday, October 15th from 4pm to 6pm.  All are welcome.  The venue is a 100-acre working farm located on the banks of the Rondout Creek.  The turn-of-the century farmhouse has been lovingly restored and houses a curator’s collection of contemporary art.  Call 626-3587 for more information or email:


[Editor’s note on political and campaign notices: We publish all notices received without endorsement of any candidate or party.  To submit a notice send it by email to:  We reserve the right refuse or edit notices received if we determine that they are unsuitable for publication.]


Rochester Town Assessor, Sharon Hornbeck will hold four informational meetings on the 2006 Property Tax Reassessment. There will be a presentation of the process, followed by a Question and Answer session. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, October 18th at 7-8:30 PM: Alligerville Fire House (4 Creek Road)

Wednesday, October 19th at 7-8:30 PM: Accord Fire House (22 Main Street)

Monday, October 24th at 7-8:30 PM: Rochester #2 Fire House (140 Samsonville Road)

Tuesday, October 25th at 7-8:30 PM: Rochester Court House (922 Samsonville Road)


Kerhonkson Elementary School to hold Bag Sale

The Kerhonkson Elementary School will hold a Bag Sale to raise money for a community pavilion that will be built on school property.  The KES PTA is accepting donations of gently worn clothing in good condition in any size (mens, womens, girls, boys, toddlers, and infants – no shoes).  Drop off boxes will be set up in the Marbletown, Rosendale, and Kerhonkson Elementary Schools and the Stone Ridge Nursery School from November 1st to 15th. The actual Ladies Night sale will be on November 18th from 8-10pm.  For more information  call Kathy Hoffstatter at 626-7362



Teen charged in sexual abuse of child

An 18-year-old Accord man is accused of having sexual contact with an 8-year-old girl.
Bruce Davis, 18, was charged Monday with first-degree sexual abuse, a felony. He was arraigned in Kingston City Court and sent to Ulster County Jail on $5,000 bail. He was released on bail Tuesday night, pending further court action.
Police said the charges came after a lengthy investigation into reports of possible sexual abuse in the Town of Rochester.



New Construction Proposal for Rondout has a Range of Estimates

On September 20, construction officials and architects hired by the RVCSD presented plans for the renovation of the high school ranging from $15 million to $28.4 million.  One week later, school board president Maureen Sheehan asked at a meeting if the community would prefer a more comprehensive renovation project that could cost as much as $50 million.  The renovation plans include upgrading facilities to meet current code.  (Excerpted from BSP 10/7/05)



Accord Fire District Increases Budget by 44.71% to Pay for Ladder Truck.

The elected commissioners of the Accord Fire District voted to increase the 2006 budget by more than 44.71% to $832,270.  This increase follows an increase in 2005 of approximately 43%.  In recommending the increase, Town Board member Randy Hornbeck, who is up for re-election this year, stated "Taxpayers last year paid a 43% increase in fire tax.  We did it last year and what did you hear?  How much flack?  it was OK last year.  Get it done and over with [the tax increase].  Next year you bring it back down and you look like heroes." 



 Potential Sale of Hudson Valley Resort

Unconfirmed reports from employees of the Hudson Valley Resort indicate that the owners of the hotel have been in discussions with a downstate developer who has expressed an interest in the hotel with a plan to construct 200 homes.  HVR’s management did not discuss these plans with members of the Planning Board when the topic of the HVR’s water park was discussed at its most recent meeting.  



Shots fired at officer

Suspects in pickup took off; police manhunt followed
By Paul Brooks
Times Herald-Record
  Kerhonkson – Someone fired gunshots at an Ulster County sheriff's deputy as he tried to stop a pickup truck near here late Thursday night.
   None of the shots hit the deputy, who did not return fire. An intensive search for two suspects continued into last night.
   The chain of events went like this, according to officials:
   In response to a report of a suspicious vehicle, an unidentified deputy went to the area of Berme Road near the intersection of Routes 44/55 at 10:07 p.m.
   When the deputy arrived, he heard gunshots and saw a pickup quickly leaving the area. The driver of a second vehicle told the deputy that he had been shot at, and the officer saw a bullet hole in the man's van. That person sped away from the scene as well.
   The deputy went after the fleeing pickup truck. More shots were fired at the deputy during the chase on Berme Road. The car chase ended after a little more than a mile when the driver of the pickup stopped and fled on foot with a passenger. The area is heavily wooded and threaded by the Rondout Creek.
   The shooting triggered a massive search involving sheriff's detectives and K-9 units, state police, Ellenville police and a state police helicopter.
   Police consider the suspects armed and dangerous.
   The noise from the helicopter woke Nancy Ferguson in her home on Kelsey Lane, about a mile away from where the car chase ended. She called state police in Ellenville, who told her that police were searching for a couple of people.
   "I was scared," she said yesterday. "How can I protect my life if they don't tell you what is going on?"
   About 20 officers were still involved in the search in Ellenville and the surrounding area late yesterday. Police put up several roadblocks in the area, but removed them after several hours, sheriff's Detective Lt. Ron Dreiser said.
   "We are still in the area. We are following a ton of leads," Dreiser said. (TH-Record 9/24/05)


Man charged with shooting at deputy found in South Carolina

Kingston, An Ellenville man wanted in connection with a September 22 burglary in Wawarsing and with firing a rifle at Ulster Couty Sheriff's deputies has been arrested in South Carolina. TH-Record 10/6/05)

Emar A. Abrams, 29, was arrested Thursday by US Marshals in Columbia, SC, as he was trying to flee out the back entrance of a home on Shellnut Avenue.

On September 22, Ulster County Sheriff's deputies said they were fired upon when they arrived at Berme Road near the intersection of US Route 44/State Route 55 in response to a call about a suspicious vehicle.  Police said they heard gunfire and as they purused a pickup truck, that shots were fired at the patrol car.  The driver of the pickup and a passenger abandoned the vehicle and the rifle and fled into the woods near Foordmore Road, police said.

The passenger, Chrus Faust, also of Ellenville, was arrested Sept. 23.

During the invetigation and manhunt, police found that Abrams was a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.  Members of the sheriff's office, state police, Ellenville police, New York City police, investigators from teh state's parole and correcions division and US marshals followed up on leads locally and in New York CIty and were able to confirm that Abrams was at a residence in Columbia, SC.

Abrams was charged as a fugitive from justice and is awaiting extradition back to New York. ( Freeman 10/8/05)



 Jacob Gray, Sr.

GRAY- Jacob T. Gray Sr. lifelong resident of  Accord, NY died Saturday September 24, 2005, He was 76. Jacob was born on  January 23, 1929 in Accord, the son of Russel and Catherine (Terwilliger)  Gray. He had married MaryLou Donaldson who died on November 25, 1996. Mr. Gray  worked with the Laborers Local 17 Union in Newburgh, NY. He is survived be his  eight children, James Gray, Mary Shultis, Linda Gray, Jacob Gray, Jr., Peter  Gray, Paul Gray, Michael Gray and Raymond Gray. His sister, Ellen Quick and his  brothers, Russel Gray Jr., and Vernon Gray. He has 16 grandchildren and 14  great-grandchildren. Jacob was pre-deceased by his brother Chester Gray and his  sister Irene Banks. Visiting will be held Monday, September 26 from 2 to 4 and 7  to 9 p.m. at H.B. Humiston Funeral Home, 30 Forty Second Street,  Kerhonkson. The funeral service will begin Tuesday the 27th at 11a.m. at  the funeral home. Interment will follow at Pine Bush Cemetery,  Kerhonkson



 Ulster jail opening pushed back yet again

By Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff




KINGSTON - In the latest of what has become a seemingly endless series of delays regarding the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center, construction managers now say the project will not be done until at least Nov. 30, a two-month postponement that makes it unlikely any inmates will be in the building this year.

Shibel Jabaji of the construction management firm Bovis Lend Lease, who has been overseeing the project while project manager Dick White is on medical leave, said even that date is uncertain.

"Looking at the project, and looking at all the different areas of the project, and looking at the failure of some of the contractors, and looking at how much work they still have to do, it is anticipated that it is probable the construction work itself can be, and may be, completed by the end of November, assuming the contractors pick up the pace and get their work done," he said. "If they continue doing what they are doing, the date is very difficult to guarantee."

Members of the county Legislature's Law Enforcement Committee reacted with a mix of bewilderment, anger and resignation to another delay that several lawmakers said they saw coming.

"I am not surprised by these gentlemen coming in here today and telling us they're not prepared to turn the keys over," said Legislator Peter Kraft, D-Glenford. "If there is a report that you have regarding contractors, I think it would be helpful for them to share it with us so that we can begin to make decisions as opposed to relying on them to try to get us through this project."

"As this story has been played over and over again, I don't know what the hell we hired you guys for," committee Chairman Michael Stock, R-Woodstock, told Jabaji.

Jabaji said some of the contractors have been meeting target deadlines while others have both missed scheduled milestones and have failed to provide Bovis with estimates of the time they'll need to do certain tasks. Since August, he said, Bovis has been working with contractors to try to pin down certain completion dates, with varying success.

Stock said it was Bovis' obligation to let lawmakers know that the September completion date wasn't likely to be reached earlier in the process.

Clerk of the Works Brian Cunningham said the fact that the deadline would not be reached is not "a brand new issue" and that several people, including Cunningham, special counsel Mark Sweeney and county Buildings and Grounds Commissioner Harvey Sleight, knew that September completion was unlikely.

Jabaji said sections of the facility are complete or will be soon. The maintenance building, physical plant and kitchen are complete, the warehouse will be vacated by Monday, and the administration side of the facility will be done in mid-October, he said. Besides the jail, the facility will house the county Sheriff's Office and other criminal justice offices.

The project, originally due for completion in April 2004, is roughly $12.6 million over budget.  (Freeman 9/23/05)



Election changes could prove costly to towns

By Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff




TOWN OF ULSTER - Municipal election expenses could as much as triple when local elections are entirely taken over by counties starting Jan. 1 under the federal Help America Vote Act.

Implementing the legislation commonly known as HAVA, which, among other things, centralizes election operations in counties rather than in municipalities, will more than double the Ulster County department's budget, an increase that is likely to be passed on to the 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 the towns.

"What we're giving you here is just something to budget for, to cover the bases," Republican Election Commissioner Tom Turco told a Tuesday breakfast meeting of the Ulster County Supervisors Association at the Kingston Family Restaurant on state Route 28. "What the county Legislature decides on to charge back, and what our final budget is, could be entirely different. However, by the time we have those numbers, your budget process could be over, and you need to have something in the budget to prepare for HAVA."

The 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 elections.

Shawangunk Supervisor John Valk said the shift from town administration of elections to the county will nearly triple his town's costs for elections next year. Valk said this year, the town budgeted about $11,000 for elections, while the election board's projection for 2006 is $32,377.

The city of Kingston, which by virtue of its voter enrollment would pay the most of all the county municipalities next year, will pay $73,681 according to department estimates, compared to $43,250 this year.

Turco and Democratic Deputy Election Commissioner Kathy Mihm said the county will take on a great deal of new responsibilities once all election operations are centralized, including the storage and maintenance of voting machines; transportation costs to move the machines to polling places; training, pay and mileage reimbursement for election inspectors and custodians; and required audit reports generated by systems testing.

In addition, the Board of Elections is looking to hire six new staffers next year - four clerks and two machine technicians - to handle the anticipated increase in workload. Part of that workload stems from a new mandate requiring electronic filing of campaign finance disclosures at the local level.

Mihm said 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 highway departments.

"We just have to go with the flow, and it's staggering," Rochester Supervisor Pam Duke said about the possible increase in election costs. "It's unfortunate. We have to do what we have to do, but it's a huge increase in what we pay for elections."

Turco said while there may be a one-year delay in the replacement of the lever voting machines across the state, since the state has yet to certify any particular machines so that counties may purchase them, that will not affect the rest of the implementation of the Help America Vote Act.  (Freeman 9/21/05)



Letters to the Editor


Change in Letters Policy

In response to a number of reader comments and in order to prevent individuals from dominating the letters to the editor portion of these newsletters, we have adopted a new letters policy, in which we reserve the right to limit the frequency of postings by a single letter writer within any 90 day period.  This policy shall take immediate effect.


Dear Editor:


I’d like to dispel a few rumors that evolved from the Town of Rochester Planning Board meeting of September 20th at which the Hudson Valley Resort’s application for a Water Park was discussed.


Rumor:  I asked the HVR for $30,000 to pave the way for the development of their proposed Water Park. 

Fact:  Bob Burrick (the HVR’s director of planning), Susan Blixen (the planning consultant engaged by the Town of Rochester) and I had a conversation immediately following the public HVR informational meeting on May 31, 2005.  In that conversation Mr. Burrick asked how the review  of  the project might be speeded up.   Mr. Burrick chose to misinterpret our conversation and represented to the Planning Board that a “payment” was solicited.  In fact, what Mr. Burrick was told was that if his project were to go before the Planning Board for review, he would most likely be required to make a payment into a Planning Board escrow account if a SEQRA review were required by the Planning Board.


Rumor:  I called a mandatory public hearing to review the HVR’s plans and required the Planning Board to attend.

Fact:  The owners and management of the HVR, the water park developers, our town’s CEO, Doug Diamond, and I thought that the town boards should all hear the presentation.  I offered to make arrangements for an informational meeting and invited the Planning Board and the ZBA; Mr. Burrick offered to host the meeting.  While the public was invited to attend the meeting in accordance with the New York State Open Meetings Law, Mr. Burrick opened the meeting to public comment and participation.


You can tell by the false allegations that are being thrown about that an election is coming up soon.  I have not interfered in the working of the Town’s autonomous Planning Board, but I have and will continue to act on behalf of the best interests of the residents of our Town.


The Hudson Valley Resort is an important asset to Rochester and the surrounding community.  It employs many of our residents and attracts a lot of tourists, who enjoy the hospitality of our Town’s businesses and people.  Like every business in town, the HVR’s expansion plans should be heard fairly and openly within our Town’s laws and with appropriate opportunities for public comment.  Mr. Burrick’s false assertions, however, are not helpful and I would hope that the HVR moves forward in its planning in the good faith manner that the residents of our Town deserve. 




Pam Duke





Dear Editor:

The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa wishes to clarify any misunderstandings concerning statements relative to the Town’s Planning Board to review and oversee the proposed renovation project at the HVR.  The dialogue between town officials and the HVR concerned a prior request last spring that the resort deposit escrow monies in advance. On May 31, in conjunction with the public meeting to unveil the project, the Town supervisor and an outside representative requested that the resort deposit $30,000 in escrow, with the town to cover the cost of the outside planner’s fees with respect to the project.  This request was made without formal application for the project having been filed with the town and without the Town Building Zoning and Zoning Department having the benefit of reviewing the application without a predetermined decision on the application for zoning.


Believing this to be inconsistent with prior procedure within the town, officials form the HVR brought attention to those inconsistencies at the September 20 Town Board meeting.  However, resort officials wan to make clear that under no circumstances did any representative of the Town of Rochester or official of the planning board, ever request the HVR to advance funds for the project outside normal procedure.  The resort sincerely apologizes to the town and those public officials if there was any misunderstanding or confusion with respect to that discussion.



Robert S. Burrick

Hudson Valley Resort & Spa





Dear Editor:


Thanks for covering Rochester Republican caucus.


The principal concern raised by the Republican Supervisor candidate, Chris Kelder, was “the loss of private property and small business owner rights due to actions of government attempting to control growth.”  The only businesses that I’m aware of that have had any problems opening in Rochester are those businesses that compete directly with Republican officials or officers of the Republican Club. Two examples:  outdoor weddings are not permitted at the beautiful Diest House Bed and Breakfast on a commercial stretch of Route 209 because of objections by the Planning Board Vice Chair/Republican Club Treasurer Shane Ricks, who owns property nearby (but who doesn't mind having 1,000+ people at his own Blue Grass festival); objections by the Planning Board to a proposed new storage business because Ricks owns a storage business that the new one would compete with (the proposed business would also compete with a another storage operation started by the son of Randy Hornbeck, Republican/Conservative candidate for town board ).  Another Planning Board member objected to new houses being constructed on his own road, but as a contractor, freely supports construction everywhere else.  It does seem that the Republican old boy network is very effective at protecting their friends and their business interests.


Let’s face it, the “actions of government attempting to control growth,” refers to zoning, a concept supported by the overwhelming majority of our residents and which  protects the public pocketbook.  Zoning laws, for example, prevent people from building in flood zones; without the laws, people would build there and publicly funded emergency services and federally-funded flood insurance would have to bail them out.  Does Chris Kelder forget that the Town of Rochester’s zoning laws were implemented by his own forward-thinking grandfather, Franklin Kelder, in 1969 in an attempt to protect our town from uncontrolled growth back then?  Is he fighting his heritage and the laws that his own party implemented and once stood for?  The “protect your property rights” cry never was an issue during the nearly three decades that the Republicans had 100% control over the town board, but now that there’s a Democratic supervisor, this is all of a sudden a problem?


Our town needs honest officials who have common sense and the best interests of the town, not their personal pocketbooks, in mind.  Competence should be the deciding factor, not party politics or self enrichment. The good ole’ boys have been in control for decades and have done nothing, while our children have had to move out of town to look for work and our seniors have had to sell their homes because of run away taxes. It’s time for change in Rochester. 



T. Murphy





Dear Editor:

Deconstructing Atheism.

Being poor is a physical thing, poverty is a state of mind.

Atheism is like a state sponsored casino, it supplies sugarplum dreams to weak willed persons, opiate of the immature.

A lone Atheist can whine his eyes hurt when he sees the word God, and a black robed elitist will insist on scrubbing all the walls of Liberville, while thousands die quietly from the lack of Christian Charity.  

  There is nothing neutral about Atheism.  Contemporary Atheism was initiated by Marquis De Sade who tried to relieve the guilt of Sadomasochistic behavior as he wasted his seed in a 17 century nut house.  “God never was. All gratification is achieved through inflecting pain.”   I guess a sacrifice on a cross wasn’t painful enough for the perverted goat.

  Another priest of dementia, Nietzsche, adds fascism to the Atheist’s prayer book, “To relinquish belief in God is to affirm our identity is beyond all challenge or judgment, opening the path to new creative ways of conceiving ourselves and the world in which we live.”  According to this German God, there’s no need for courts at all.

Then along came Huxley, the high priest of vanity logic.  “We are all swimming in the meaningless of nothingness.”  “Morality interferes with sexual freedom.  All systems are inherently unjust; there is no judgment, no sins.”  Like a self mutilator, Ms. Huxley destroys any meaning he might mean, by the meaning of what he means in meaning less.

   Atheism was the state religion of U.S.S.R. with wings of isolation and alienation, intellects gleaned from its’ ruins, Existentialism.  “If there was a God how come he doesn’t cure for the pain,” such rational justifies the existential who nurtures an emotion compulsion that manifests in running from breast to breast seeking meaningless conquest? Only satisfied; by a strength in numbers.   

  The only way a compulsive addict can get control over their compulsion is with the help of God.  For salvation an addict must believe in an entity beyond humanity, must rise above the chorus of Mao and friends who seek to kill God to strengthen their State.

 Queers swish through toilet flooded Bourbon Street, seeking strange tricks during Southern Decadence Day.  Disease is their liberation, encouraging perversion on the post-modern, existential man, is their way.  Once you are Gay you’re always Gay, once you’ve been seduced by perversion, you’re lost.  Send in the clowns, use the school buses for the dead later gator, party on.

 Personal property and self responsibility mean nothing to a politician who dreams of foisting their own master plan.  It’s their desire to tie up your future.  Mental Dungeon and Dragons; it’s all about control through propaganda and intimidation.  Notice the predictions of disaster if you don’t do things their way.

   80% of the New Orleans poor are born out of wedlock, what happens to the fatherless upon return?  The continuation of victim-hood through the enlighten poverty of Atheism?

  Better yet, surround them with casinos.  

   The modern State and its minions take great pain to hide the fact; only through God we equal. Until the self serving awake, they’ll continue, through narcissism, to try to force their limitations on everybody else.   

Vote Republican, at least there’s a chance to still be a person.






Dear Editor:

I am writing to you to express my disgust with the way in which Town Council Members Tom Ryan, Randy Hornbeck and Ron Santosky along with Republican Club President David O'Halloran and Committee Member Carl Chipman behaved at our last town board meeting

I also want to express my hope and belief that here in our little town, Character still Counts!!!

Let's get this out of the way, I am a democrat and I support the democratic candidates.  I am also friends with many Republicans and Conservatives, whose views I respect and share much common ground.

Having said all of that, I now must add, that at the Rochester Town Board Meeting on October 6, I witnessed a disgusting display of behavior that exemplified the opposite of this spirit of willing cooperation.  The obstructive behavior was insulting to every person in our town and was a complete violation of what leaders, especially in America, are supposed to do.

Readers who were not present should know that their councilmen, Hornbeck, Ryan & Santosky refused to cooperate and vote on a resolution adopting use policy for the town web site.  It should be noted that they not only requested this policy but had agreed to in the earlier discussion during the meeting.  When it came time to vote, they simply became obstinate and uncooperative.  This same behavior occurred when resolutions on naming Co‑chairs to previously established town committees came up for vote.  This failure to cooperate was followed with Republican Club leaders David O'Halloran and Carl Chipman strongly criticizing the Pam Duke for allowing the Tax Assessor, Sharon Hornbeck, to hold a series of question and answer meetings to inform the public about the upcoming re‑assessment process, scheduled for mid October.  O'Halloran indicated that, from his point of view, no such town business should occur during ‘election season’ or that they will automatically become political.  Perhaps Mr. O'Halloran believes that all functions of governing should halt because of elections.  Should highway work halt, how about the clerk's office, should it close as well? However, the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, at least for me, was to see a woman who is currently on the Maricopa County, Arizona Most Wanted List attempt to lambast our Town Supervisor over what is right and wrong and The Constitution of the United States.

To all of my fellow Rochesterites, Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives and Independents alike, make no mistake about it; there is a group in our community who call themselves Republicans, but act solely in their own best interest.  They align themselves with Conservatives but Tax and Spend freely.  The claim to stand for economic development but perpetuate poverty and profit from it by seeking build prefabricated low quality cheap housing in rental trailer parks and invest in businesses that employ few to no skilled and well paid employees.

Their veiled threat to turn informational meetings into political events and their non-cooperation are perfect examples of how they are not acting in a manner consistent with what the majority have clearly expressed that they want in non-partisan forums such as Imagine Rochester, town wide surveys and information meetings. In every format, the expressed desire of the people of Rochester, be them Republicans; Democrats; Independents; Conservatives or non-enrolled, from 20th generation Accordians; weekenders; new comers and everyone in between, has universally been consistent.  WE, THE PEOPLE of Rochester want our current codes enforced, planned real estate development and growth, economic development that brings jobs, and for our community to retain the special beauty and character of our valley.

Those who try to scare you by telling you that 'the democrats' want to take your property rights away, are simply telling you a lie.  The truth is that many republicans are standing tall alongside of democrats with a simple goal in mind; to grow The Town of Rochester in an orderly and thoughtful way, which will attract employers, while keeping the beauty of our valley and the character of the historic rural hamlets intact, as part of our heritage. 

There is a group in our town that will lie to you because of their fear of change and their desire to retain power and control for their own personal gain.  It is as plain and simple as that.

This group has refused to participate in a simple candidate debate to discuss the issues.  This should tell every voter how they disrespect not only the people whom they seek a vote from, but the very spirit on which our great nation was founded upon.  This is the very same spirit of cooperation that men and women are sacrificing for, that spirit of cooperation is called Democracy and on November 8th I hope every person in this town exercises democracy by giving those who seek office using non-cooperation as part of their political strategy to get a taste of their own medicine.

Make sure that Character Counts in Rochester on November 8!

Vote for open government, fair government and a government of those who stand for cooperative government!!


Thank you for your attention,

K. Kuthy
Accord, NY


Planning Board to Meet on September 20

7pm Town Hall.  On the agenda are an application for a philanthropic use (cat shelter) on Airport Road, Ample Self Storage on Route 209, several small subdivisions, and pre-application by the Hudson Valley Resort for a proposed water park, updated meeting rooms and replacing a guest room addition. 



Fundraiser for Tony McGinty For Ulster County Family Court  Judge

Please join us Sunday September 25, 2005 from 4:00PM – 5:30PM

Hudson Valley Resort and Spa, 400 Granite Rd., Kerhonkson, NY 12446

Beer, Wine, Soda and Finger Foods, Featuring the Music of Charlie Kniceley. 

RSVP or 845-389-0846

Hosted by Dr. Elizabeth Gregory and Maureen Sheehan




Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro to speak at Ulster GOP dinner
The annual Ulster County Republican Committee dinner will feature guest speaker Jeanine Pirro, the Westchester County district attorney, who is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator.  The dinner will be held at the Nevele Grande Hotel on September 28.  For further information, call 845-338-6245.


Tour of Six Unique Properties

 On Saturday, October 1, 2004, Friends of Historic Rochester will sponsor a tour of five homes dating from 1709 to 2003, plus a contemporary horse farm with its state-of-the-art barn, with everything from hay mow to riding ring.  Included with the homes are wonderful gardens, ponds, a reflecting pool and gazebo, and idyllic open spaces.  Tours start at the Museum, 12 Main Street, Accord, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Tickets are $20 for members of FHR, $25 for non-members (who can join FHR for immediate discount).  The Museum will be open at no charge, with local history displays, gift shop, book sale, and the just-completed second floor where the Eleanor Rosakranse Genealogical Library collection will be available to the public for the first time.  For more information please call 845-626-7104, or 845-687-9998, or e-mail to



Accord Artist Barbara Arum’s Sculpture Featured at Kingston Show

A sculpture exhibit of  "RELIQUARIES and TOTEMS" will be shown at the COFFEY GALLERY in Uptown Kingston Reception:  Saturday, OCTOBER 1, 5-7:00 Exhibition:  Oct. 1 - Oct. 30



Amy Fradon to Perform in Concert to Benefit Pam Duke Re-Election and Rochester Democrats

Singer/songwriter and Accord resident Amy Fradon will perform at a benefit concert on Sunday, October 2nd at the Accord Firehouse, Main Street, Accord, from 4pm to 6pm.  Donations will be accepted at the door.  In addition to Amy Fradon’s concert, a number of local artists have donated works of art for an online silent auction.  These artists’ work will be featured on the Democrats’ website,

Fradon, formerly of the well-loved duo Amy Fradon and Leslie Ritter, has been quietly and steadily forging a solid name and reputation as a beloved singer/songwriter. She is known for her richly textured, memorable concerts and for the impressive musicians she has been touring with for the past 5 years, now called Small Town News. Her music is laced with country, folk, pop, swing, blues and a capella riding on lovely melodies, humor, wisdom, and story-telling. Amy started singing and writing when she attended NYU as a dance major. She sang Neil Young songs in the stairwell and began to draw small crowds on the steps which eventually spilled over into coffeehouses. She moved to Woodstock, NY when she spontaneously joined a band of fabulous musicians including, Cane Roberts (Alice Cooper band), Eric Parker (Joe Cocker and Steve Winwood). Gary Bonner (the Turtles) and Robbie Dupree. Blessed with a golden ear and a powerful, clear voice, Amy was soon in demand for recording sessions and touring as a harmony and lead singer. She found herself working with the Woodstock elite... names such as Maria Muldaur, Happy and Artie Traum, Robbie DuPree, Livingston Taylor, Ed Sanders and the Fugs, Orleans, Peter Yarrow, Tiny Tim, Rick Danko and Tim Moore.



 Fri. Oct.21, 7:00 pm at Rosendale Community Center, Route 32.   Assemblyman Kevin Cahill to discuss his  statewide program bill A08069  that changes the financial basis of the costs of education from exclusively  relying on property taxes. Everyone is welcome.  Sponsored by the
Property Tax Reform Task Force.  FMI Judith Gustafson, 687-2435 or




Democratic Caucus Results

Rochester Democrats held their caucus to select Democratic nominees for Town offices on Sunday, September 11.  The results were:


Supervisor:             Pam Duke (sole nominee)

Town Board:            Alex Miller and Tony Spano (sole nominees)

Town Clerk            Kim Van Aken Tompkins (sole nominee)

Highway Superintendent:            Roger Hellman (sole nominee)

Town Justice:            Deborah Schneer (sole nominees)



Tony McGinty wins Ulster County Independence Party Primary

The results of the Independence Party primary to determine that party’s candidate for Family Court Judge indicated that Tony McGinty (also endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties) easily defeated Steven Nussbaum (endorsed by Republican and Conservative parties).  Countywide, the results were: McGinty 171; Nussbaum 96;  In the Town of Rochester: McGinty 13, Nussbaum 2.



Fire District Taxes to Increase by 44%

At its September 18th meeting, the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Accord Fire District voted on a $832,270 budget for the 2006 calendar year.  This budget represents a 44% increase over 2005.  The 2005 budget itself was 45% higher than 2004 and the 2004 budget was 45% higher than 2002’s budget.  This tax will be levied to taxpayers on January 1, 2005.  Since 2002, the Fire District tax levy has increased by more than 200%.


Two charged in robbery of gas station

 10-month-long investigation into an armed robbery at the Citgo gas station on Route 209 in November yielded two arrests Wednesday.
   Arlo Hull, 20, of Kerhonkson, and a 15-year-old were each charged with first-degree robbery, a felony.
   Police said Hull entered the gas station on Nov. 13 armed with a knife and took money from the store clerk.
   Hull was arraigned and sent to Ulster County Jail without bail. The juvenile, now 16, was arraigned and released, pending court action. (TH-Record 9/16/05)



Town roads get mowed this week



ACCORD - Rochester Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder told Town Board members last week that it's time for the mower to hit the road.

Kelder also noted a commitment he made to property owners that he would try to give notice before mowing began.

"We plan to mow with the arm mower beginning next week - possibly not Tuesday, as we are finishing up other important projects, but soon after," Kelder said. "The mower extends up 20 feet and out 20 feet, and we are required by law to mow anything that encroaches on the highway and impairs motorists, or might hide a child or animal."

Town Supervisor Pam Duke asked if the mower is the same as the "Slash Buster," which she said prompts complaints. Kelder said there are no plans to use that model.

Kelder said the arm mower moves quickly and that mowing along most town roads will be completed in a short period.

IN OTHER business last week:

* Town Board members voted to increase the veterans' tax exemption and added a "Gold Star Parent" exemption. The change will be effective as soon as the town files notice with the state Secretary of State.

* Accord resident Kathy Kuthy asked that the town consider working with other towns to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Duke called Kuthy's proposal "a good idea" and said Rochester may join another town or towns in a relief effort.

* A report from the town code enforcement officer prompted a discussion of how much work is being requested of that department. During August, 27 certificates of occupancy were issued in the town, bringing the total to 219 so far in 2005. Some 43 homes received inspections, for a total of 320 year to date.

The town currently employs two code enforcement officers.

* Board members expressed regret that the sale of the former Barley Store on Main Street in Accord has fallen through.

* Board members said they will consider raising speed limits on Lucas Turnpike and some sections of U.S. Route 209.

Duke said there have been concerns about the increase of traffic on Lucas Turnpike since the speed limit on the Marbletown portion of Route 209 was lowered to 40 mph.   (Freeman 9/6/05)


Unabashed love of Manischewitz

Embracing the under-represented Jewish redneck lifestyle

by Jay Blotcher

Harris Silver, a resident of Kerhonkson, says he wants to increase traffic and quicken the economy in this Ulster County

town. "It's about the revitalization of main street," said the 39-year-old graphic designer-marketer. While other local towns hold street festivals or quilting bees or huckleberry festivals to accrue income and spark tourism, the slacker-style version of P.T. Barnum has planned a different gambit to attain these goals: introducing the first annual Kerhonkson Jewish Redneck Film Festival.


The provocative name alone should guarantee a gaggle of local farmers, cineastes, anthropologists and cultural rubberneckers. The Film Festival will be held on Sunday, September 4, at the yellow building next to the firehouse on Main Street in Kerhonkson. The double-bill screening begins at 8 p.m. and includes The Coen Brothers's The Big Lebowski (1998) and Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles (1974). Barring any protests, the evening should wrap by midnight. Best of all, admission to this zeitgeist-hiccup of an event is free. People are urged to bring folding chairs and blankets from home, in the event of a full house.

The last time Silver had a scheme, it prompted so much outrage that he ended up in the pages of The New York Times. Last year, Silver and his design group Think 3 submitted a fake ad to the local Blue Stone Press, which was meant as a lampoon of gentrification trends in Ulster County. However, some townspeople saw the obtuse joke as thinly-disguised

racism and complained to the community newspaper. The flap eventually filtered downriver to the paper of record. For the Kerhonkson film festival, provocation is again intended, but Silver hopes the gag is more readily identifiable.

"We're not taking ourselves too seriously," Silver said.

Few films embrace the Jewish redneck lifestyle, suggesting a paucity of candidates for the festival. But Silver said that he faced challenges in selecting the double-bill. "It had to feel right," he said. To ensure that the themes on-screen are echoed in the refreshments, Silver will sell Pabst's Blue Ribbon beer - a libation which may well have inspired the maxim, "You don't buy beer, you borrow it" - and Maneschewitz wine, a mainstay of Jewish holidays.

"Kerhonkson is a real place where people work for a living and farmers farm and hunters hunt - and people aren't afraid to drink Manischewitz," Silver said.   (Ulster Publishing 9/3/05)





Letters to the Editor & Legal Notices



September 12, 2005


Dear Editor:


            I would like to thank the dozens of people in our community who contributed to our Hurricane Katrina relief collection.  I would also like to thank the organizers of the Kerhonkson Street Fair and Dan Schoonmaker of Saunderskill Farm for allowing us to solicit donations at those locations.


Together, we raised $1,900, including matching gifts from Rochester Democrats and friends.  This money will be put to good and immediate use by the American Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those whose lives have been devastated. 


America has always been a place of humanitarian action and compassion — a place where people look out for each other and are always willing to take care of their neighbors in need, whether they are across the street, around the corner or around the globe. 


Our hearts go out to those whose lives have been shattered by Hurricane Katrina. We cannot imagine the suffering and grief left in her wake, but we can pull together as a community and a nation to help begin the healing and the rebuilding.  The outpouring of compassion in this tragic situation is overwhelming, but more money is needed.  To make a donation directly to the Red Cross, call 1-800-HELP NOW.




Max Finestone, Chair

Town of Rochester Democratic Committee





Dear Editor,

I just had to respond to the letter in the previous e-mailing by Bill Dukas of Kerhonkson, in which he makes a number of ignorant remarks denigrating all kinds of progressive and intelligent social policies (among them, gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, true separation of church and state, and reform of the Electoral College so that the winner of a presidential election actually wins and takes office). He notes that to be for these things, people should vote Democratic, and those who are against these things should vote Republican. I completely agree.

The Republican Party, from the local leadership through the presidency—and at every level in between—has become a strong force and an unapologetic platform for regressive, right-wing social policies, much of it motivated by a gross misinterpretation of the good intentions of Jesus. A careful and unbiased reading of the New Testament would be a revelation to people like Bill Dukas. Jesus was quite the political lefty, with his compassion for all, his concern for the poor, his message of peace, and his disdain for hypocrites. (By the way, Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. Why is that?)

Let’s see—what else has the Republican Party come to? I don’t think we have to go into detail about the lying, cheating, greed, and, most recently, in the hurricane-ravaged areas, the shameless photo opportunities, all of which are the hallmarks of the Bush administration. And speaking of George W. Bush, Mr. Dukas, Democrats don’t wish him ill—I think most of us just wish him gone. Perhaps he can click the heels of his boots three times and repeat, “There’s no place like Crawford.”

Finally, I find it very interesting that Dukas accuses Democrats of being for higher taxes. In fact, starting at the local level, we’ll soon be getting clobbered with new taxes. For example, we will all feel a significant dip into our savings accounts when we’re faced with the fact that the county will have to raise our property taxes to fund the Ulster County Legislature’s bumbling mismanagement of what used to be our budget surplus. In addition, we now we have an 8% sales tax, 4% coming from the State and 4% the result of the Republican-dominated legislature’s unfortunate decisions regarding projects like the new jail. The Ritz-Criminal Hotel is not even finished, and it already has cost millions and millions of dollars over-budget; the project should never have been started in the first place.

At the federal level, Americans are going to have to fund the clean-up of large portions of several states in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Of course, as a Democrat, I’m completely in favor of saving the lives and guarding the health of displaced human beings, feeding them, clothing them, educating their children, and helping to rebuild their homes and businesses. However, we are diverting many millions of our tax dollars every day so that we can focus on causing illness, death, destruction, and social mayhem in a country where the United Nations should be (assuming any political body should have intervened). How are we going to pay for both of these costly efforts?

Mr. Dukas, I hope you’re enjoying the war.

Joanne Stil



Dear Editor,
I must admit that I was truly puzzled by the letter posted by Bill Dukas of Kerhonkson.  As a democrat, I must say that I am not "for" the seduction of Boy Scouts (?!?) Nor am I "for" taking all reference to God out of our public forum, off our money or out of our courts. I am not "for" judges who refuse to referee but enjoy legislating new law, however, I am "for" Judges who listen and if they find there are no laws to govern a particular situation or predicament are not afraid to legislate, on behalf of the people, to set out new laws that speak to a new situation.  I cannot think of a single soul alive who would be "for" his underage daughter being raped, democrat or republican, nor can I think of a young girl alive who would feel emotionally equipped to deal with a crisis of this magnitude without a great deal of embarrassment.  I also cannot think of anyone, democrat or republican, who would kill their first born child by having its brains sucked out at the moment of birth.  Mr. Dukas' list goes on and on.....and I believe it is time to stop this type of finger pointing and work TOGETHER, as ONE NATION under God,  whoever that particular God my be, to make this country the great nation it once was.  Partisan finger pointing only serves to undermine us all and I believe we all deserve to be treated with dignity....whether we are the Commander-in-Chief or his homosexual neighbor.
My two cents.

Deborah Hitz






You are not required to print Bill Dukas' hateful, "please-pay-attention-to-me" rants......  doing so does little to encourage meaningful dialogue on important issues, and makes the newsletter seem more like some cheap blog than a legitimate news source.  If Mr. Dukas wants to stand on his roof and scream angry, hateful rhetoric -- i say let him.  But those of us (and i assume this includes the towncrier) who want to make our community better for all of us don't need to provide him with additional platforms for his incoherent editorials.





Dear Editor:


I am outraged after reading Bill Dukas' letter to the editor. If Dukas is not on some kind of medication may I suggest he gets on something right away. The nerve of this sick and stupid individual. How dare you link these things to voting democratic. I am a proud Democrat! If you like lies and lying about reasons to go to war, then vote Republican. If you like a poor economy vote Republican. If you like the Supreme Court deciding an election then vote Republican. If you like giving more to the rich and taking from the poor then vote Republican. If you like our own people in wake of a disaster not getting the proper help and a slow response then vote Republican.

I think you get the picture. How dare Mr. Dukas insult anyone for being a Democrat. You Sir have a sick and stupid mind. It's just idiotic speaking of one's underage Daughter!

Mr. Dukas, may I suggest Sir that you dig your head out of you know where and go see your Doctor, maybe he has some kind of medicine he could put you on because there seems to be something really wrong with you.

I am a proud Democrat and I owe no one an apology for being one.


Tom Tacti, SR.



Dear Editor,

Robin Nigro has proven to be a dedicated and trustworthy public servant.  It is clearly the Accord Fire Department that needs to get its act together. 

Joyce Greenough





Dear Editor:

Although it claims neutralism, the Towncrier has the appearance of a Democrat newsletter.  I’m curious about the activist who anonymously writes and compiles many of its notices, why not give them public credit?   Notice that the last issue of September 5th was only a few days after an e-mail of August 30th and both of those e-mails carried duplicate Democrat caucus meeting with telephone #’s and encouragement.  Also note the Towncrier, dated July 17th, published a direct link to online rochesterdemocrats with no thought of any Republican balance.  If you save e-mails check how many Towncrier newsletters supply Democrat info in its body of information vs. how many of its newsletters supplied Republican info.  Big difference.  

 In the Towncrier’s defense its possible no Republican submits anything to them yet someone who writes anonymously for the Towncrier knew ahead of time to be at the Republican Caucus to post the results of the Kelder/Duke setup.  It is not hard to imagine Liberal activists signing up as Republicans to jam the Republican Club’s already approved slate.  A cheap tactic and judging from the reaction at that Caucus, unappreciated.  Months before, the Republican Club had already put together their ticket and Ms. Duke did not attend a single one of those meetings yet she thought nothing of the ploy to extend the sweltering Republican Caucus into the night.

At that Republican Caucus there was ample literature stating the website, which was conveniently overlooked by the Towncrier’s anonymously planted contributor, who also ignored the many flyers advertising a Republican Family Day on Sept 11th.

Question;  Is the Family Farm Festival, which falls on the same date, purposely dated to tunicate the underexposed Republican Family Day?  It will become obvious if Democrat flyers are handed out at that Family Farm Fest.  The folks who will attend the Fest would not be aware of the political implications, but those who put it together...  well, we know how sneaky Liberals can be.  Notice on the Towncrier Sept 5th e-mail there is no mention of the Sept 11th Republican Family Day which had been planned for many months.

For sure the Towncrier posts Town hall meetings and interesting local news but, by its omissions, it quietly seeks to manipulate its readers into a specific ideology.  Fair and balanced isn’t natural in today’s political climate, one has to make an effort.  Posting all ‘letters to Editor’ is general practice;  it is the subtle nuances in the anonymous body of the Towncrier I question.  

Bill Dukas



[Editor responds:  Approximately one month ago (as we have done in prior election years), we sent a letter to the chairs of the political parties in the Town of Rochester asking to videotape their caucuses for broadcast on public access television (in their unedited entirety, fixed camera).  We also invited them to send us for publication any notices of political events or other announcements as many other town organizations do.  We’re disappointed, however, that only one group chose to respond and would welcome the opportunity to publish notices submitted by other groups.  This publication does not endorse any political party or candidates for any political office.] 



Town of Rochester will hold a Public Hearing on the 20th day of September 2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m., at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY, on the following Application by: Diana Banks, property owned by Richard Seiberking, Special Use Permit for Cat Shelter, Philanthropic Use, Airport Road, Tax Map #69.3-2-31.12, R-1 District The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearings may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearing will be held by the Planning Board at meeting to be determined at 7:00 PM, at the Town Hall, Accord, NY (Freeman 9/6/05)


Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 20th day of September 2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m., at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY on the following applications: Peter Sutherland, c/o Medenbach & Eggers, 4 lot subdivision, Stony Kill Road, Tax Map# 76.4-3-21, R-1 District The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearing will be held by the Planning Board at a date to be determined. (Freeman 9/9/05)


Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board of the  Town of Rochester will hold a Public Hearing on the 20th day of September  2005, commencing at 7:00 p.m., at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord,  NY, on the following Application by: Denise Mensche Ross, c/o William Mensche,  proposed 3 lot subdivision, off of Lucas Turnpike, Accord, Tax Map  #77.2-2-29.2, R-1 Zone The above noted application and map are open for  inspection at the offices of the Planning

Board and Town Clerk, Accord,  NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearings may do so in person or by  attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public  hearing will be held by the Planning Board at a date to be determined.  (9/14/05)


WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Accord Board of Fire Commissioners will hold their regular scheduled meeting for September on September 12, 2005 and September 19, 2005. The meting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Accord Fire Station located at 22 Main Street, Accord, N.Y. 12404 Lori Kazmarick District Secretary (Freeman 9/9/05) 


Democratic Caucus, Sunday, Sept. 11th, 1:30pm at Accord Fire District HQ

Town Democrats will hold a caucus at 1:30 pm on Sunday, September 11th  for the purpose of nominating candidates to run for town offices in the November 8, 2005 general election.  Nominees will be selected for Town Supervisor, Town Board (2 seats), Town Clerk, Superintendent of Highways, and Town Justice.  The Town of Rochester Democratic Committee has endorsed Pam Duke for re-election as Supervisor.  Alex Miller and Tony Spano for Town Councilman, Kim Van Aken Tompkins for Town Clerk, Roger Hellman for Superintendent of Highways and Deborah Schneer for Town Justice.  For more information, visit www., email, or call Max Finestone, Chair at 626-7373.


 Family Farm Festival, September 11

There will be a family farm festival on Sunday, September 11 at Epworth Camp and Retreat .  The event will have a Celebrity Chef Competition, feature heritage breed farm animals and their caretakers, tell you where you can buy local and sustainably produced organic or biodynamic fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and dairy products in en effort to promote community supported agriculture.  Enjoy storytelling, draft horse hay rides, face painting, mountain-building, blacksmithing, music and more. For more information visit. or email  or call 845-687-8938



Board of Fire Commissioners Annual Budget Meeting

A meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners will take place on Wednesday Sept. 7, 2005 at 7:30pm at the Accord Fire House.  The 2006 budget is scheduled to be considered as it must be filed by Sept. 20, 2005.  Unlike for the budgets for the school district and town, no public hearing is required for the Fire District budget, so this meeting is the only time the public's voice will be heard prior to finalizing the 2006 budget.
If you want to know how and where your fire tax dollars will be spent and why an increase might be needed please attend this meeting.


 Friends of Historic Rochester to Hold Annual Meeting

Friends of Historic Rochester will hold its annual meeting on Friday, September 16, 2005 at 7pm at the Rochester Reformed Church on Route 209.  At least three new directors will be elected.  The program will include a presentation by Tim Tetlow entitled, “An Antiques Appraiser Tells (Almost) All.  All members and friends are welcome and refreshments will be served.



Republican Caucus Results

Supervisor: Chris Kelder (134 votes), Pam Duke (33 votes). 

Town Board:  First Ballot:  Randy Hornbeck (121), Tom Ryan (25), Betty Kawalchuk (21)

Second Ballot: Tom Ryan (99), Betty Kawalchuk (55)

Town Clerk: Veronica Sommer (118), Kim Van Aken Tompkins (33 votes)

Town Justice: Mel Tapper (uncontested)

Highway Superintendent: Wayne Kelder (uncontested)




Ulster extends its 1 percent added sales tax

By Paul Brooks
Times Herald-Record
   Kingston – Legislators extended the county's 1 percent additional sales tax last night, with the majority saying they saw few realistic options.
   "The county already has a shortfall of $15-$20 million; I don't see how making it a $40 million shortfall helps the residents of Ulster County," Democrat Alan Lomita said during his party's caucus.
   Republican Glenn Noonan pointed out that he has voted against tax increases in the past but supported this one. "How would the county manage without the $20 million it brings in?" he said.
   The subject of the lackluster debate was a two-year extension of the 1 percent in additional sales tax the county levies on shoppers. The additional 1 percent brings the county share of the local sales tax to 4 percent. The state levies an additional 4 percent.
   The county counts on its total sales tax to bring in nearly $82 million this year. The additional 1 percent voted on last night brings in $20 million of that total.
   When the Legislature first approved the sales tax hike back in 1993, it was enough to quickly wipe out the deficit that existed back then.
    The problem is that sales tax collections have not increased fast enough to keep ahead of county spending. Collections this year, so far, are falling more than 1 percent below projections.
   Without the sales tax cushion, the county has few options, and most of them are painful – like raising other taxes or making cuts.
   The county has done little of that, according to Democrat Frank Dart of Kingston. He was the only one of the 29 legislators present last night to vote against the extension.
   "The problem with Ulster County is we have not been proactive," Dart said.
   Other Democrats agree.
   "It's time to take a hard look at cuts," said Hector Rodriquez of New Paltz. "This year it is finally time for the Republicans to agree with us on how we can rein in the waste." (TH-Record 9/1/05)


Hudson Valley Resort and Spa to reopen

   The weather and government officials willing, the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa will reopen the weekend of Sept. 9.
   The spa was closed after a fire Aug. 24. The blaze began in the kitchen and spread to a roof. The prolonged heat twisted one of the support beams. A crew was working to shore up the weakened beam and hoped to complete the job yesterday, said Robert Burrick. He is director of strategic planning for the resort.
   "The damage was worse than originally thought," Burrick said. As yet, the economic impact of the weeks-long closure is unclear, he said. The hotel employs about 200 people. (Th-Record 9/1/05)




Wireless Internet Hot Spot on Main Street, Kerhonkson

Main Street Kerhonkson is now a high speed wireless internet hot spot. So if anyone has an urgent e-mail they need to send or receive they can swing by main street to take care of business.




Letters to the Editor:


Dear Editor


If you’re for homosexual marriage; vote Democratic.   If you’re for the seduction of Boy Scouts, vote Democratic.  If you’re for taken all reference to God out of our public forum, and off our monies and out of our courts; vote Democratic. If you’re for Judges who refuse to referee but enjoy legislating new law; vote Democratic.   If you approve your under age daughter being raped then taken out of state by a stranger for an abortion without your notification; vote Democratic.  If you’re for the killing of the first born by its brains being sucked out at the moment of birth; vote Democratic. 

   If you wish our Commander and Chief ill and wish misfortune on the war front; vote Democratic.  If you’re for higher taxes, acquiescing private property and doing away with the Electoral College; vote Democratic.  If you refuse to take the responsibility for being the greatest nation on this planet; but rather celebrate a culture of death and UN governance; vote Democratic. Otherwise, you may just be a bigot, racist, homophobe, without elitist chromosomes.    If you can you take the pain of being called a bad name; vote Republican and rest assured common sense can not be manipulated.


Bill Dukas




Dear Editor

In regard to an article in the Blue Stone Press & the Town Crier regarding the previous Treasurer of the Accord Fire District (AFD).....I’d like the public to know that I resigned as Treasurer on 03/22/05 due to the increasing professional misconduct of the Board of Fire Commissioners (BFC) and have never accepted payment for services not rendered. I faithfully served the AFD from 1993 through my resignation and I accept full responsibility for all financial information during that period of time. I can assure the taxpayers that the finances of the AFD were up to date and properly handled in accordance with the NYS Office of the State Comptroller (NYSOSC) guidelines and that during that time period the AFD had remained audit free.

After my resignation, I was reluctantly retained by AFD as a sub-contractor to provide the Treasurer duties on a monthly basis until a new Treasurer was hired. I also agreed to prepare and file the Year-End 2004 Treasurer Report with NYSOSC. I was not hired, nor did I agree, to train the incoming Treasurer. I did not accept this task because: all policies and procedures are outlined in the NYS Financial Information for Fire District Officials manual issued by the State Comptroller which is the Fire District’s financial "bible"and if not followed properly, I could have been held liable. When I was hired twelve years ago after a NYS audit revealed serious problems with the financial reporting, I was just handed the financial "bible" and received no training or guidance.

My vouchers, which were reviewed and approved by the BFC, were for preparation of the Treasurer’s Monthly Reports and duties - not for training. When the new Treasurer was hired, I was contacted by the BFC’s that my services were no longer needed. I did advise the BFC’s and the new Treasurer that if there were general questions that needed to be answered I could be contacted by telephone. However, I was previously advised by one BFC that business is conducted at meetings only and that telephone calls were inappropriate.

My resignation took place as a result of a lack of professional behavior by the BFC’s. I was mandated to attend meetings which had no agenda or rule of order, which included frequent outbursts of obscene language, disrespectful treatment of Fire District employees, and allowing cigarette smoking in a public building. I was embarrassed by the presence of a video camera for the purpose of videotaping meetings to be aired on public television due to the aforementioned conditions. Upon hire, I could not commit to attending entire meetings; therefore, it was agreed that I would attend the monthly meeting for the purpose of issuing the Treasurer’s Report only.

In regard to "mounds of backlogged paperwork from the previous Treasurer"... Upon the hire of the new Treasurer, I returned a storage box full of paperwork containing: Annual reports and budgets for the years which I served, blank computer checks, vouchers to be filed from the two months I prepared after my resignation, two copies of the accounting software backup diskettes, a "Pending" folder which contained a few disputed vouchers and a few unpaid bills due to the absence of the proper documentation necessary to process invoices for payment. As previously stated, I accepted the responsibility of submitting the Year-End 2004 report with NYSOSC as I felt I was responsible for its filing. As for the AFD needing a software upgrade, the current software has historical data dating back to 1993 which includes serial numbers for equipment purchased over that time period. The software used was adequate to generate the Treasurer Reports on a monthly basis, track the annual budget, and to prepare year-end reports easily and without flaw in accordance with the NYSOSC guidelines.

As many of your readers have been following this saga over the past several months, the AFD BFC’s has been in complete disarray. Their problems are not with their "budget" and the previous Treasurer, it has to do with poor management and uncontrolled spending. Every month it appears that the finger is being pointed at a new victim. They need to point the finger at themselves, accept responsibility of the position to which they have been elected, act in a professional manner, and abide with the rules and regulations governing Fire Districts.

In my opinion, the AFD BFC’s will soon be eligible to be inducted into the "Romper Room" Hall of Fame. I would like to reiterate that I have never accepted money for services I was not hired or contracted to provide. I apologize to the residents of the Town of Rochester for having to desert such an important position. It has been my pleasure to have served the community for the past twelve years.

Robin Nigro, Kerhonkson



Republican Caucus, Wednesday, August 31; 7pm at Accord Fire District HQ

Town Republicans will hold a caucus at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, August 31 for the purpose of nominating candidates to run for town offices in the November 8, 2005 general election.  Nominees will be selected for Town Supervisor, Town Board (2 seats), Town Clerk, Superintendent of Highways, and Town Justice.



Democratic Caucus, Sunday, Sept. 11th, 1:30pm at Accord Fire District HQ

Town Democrats will hold a caucus at 1:30 pm on Sunday, September 11th  for the purpose of nominating candidates to run for town offices in the November 8, 2005 general election.  Nominees will be selected for Town Supervisor, Town Board (2 seats), Town Clerk, Superintendent of Highways, and Town Justice.  For more information, visit www., email, or call Max Finestone, Chair at 626-7373.



 Fri. Sept. 16, 7:00 pm at Rosendale Community Center, Route 32.  Senator John Bonacic to discuss his  voluntary county program bill  S164 that changes the financial basis of the costs of education from  exclusively relying on property taxes. Everyone is welcome.  Sponsored  by the Property Tax Reform Task Force.  FMI Judith Gustafson, 687-2435 or
Fri. Oct.21, 7:00 pm at Rosendale Community Center, Route 32.   Assemblyman Kevin Cahill to discuss his  statewide program bill A08069  that changes the financial basis of the costs of education from exclusively  relying on property taxes. Everyone is welcome.  Sponsored by the
Property Tax Reform Task Force.  FMI Judith Gustafson, 687-2435 or



The World’s First and Only Ever Jewish Redneck Film Festival

September 4 at 8pm, Main Street Kerhonkson (next to the fire house)

Double Feature:  The Big Lebowski and Blazing Saddles


The FIRST ANNUAL JENNIE BELL PIE FESTIVAL will have many events happening that day along with a CHILDREN’S TALENT SHOW with PRIZE MONEY underwritten by Kerhonkson Key Bank. Some of the highlights for this first annual event are a “DELICIOUS PIE CONTEST,” ARTS AND CRAFTS VENDORS, CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES, FOOD, A SILENT AUCTION, plus other activities that day include a petting zoo, milking a cow, hay rides, a giant corn maze, pumpking Picking, and a CAR SHOW to be held at Saunderskill Farm on Route 209, Accord. A spectacular FIRE WORKS display at dusk will top off this “First Annual” event, which will take place on Saturday, October 1st.  Talented Youth, Down Home Pie Makers, and Vendors please call Town Of Rochester Youth Commission for applications at: (845) 626-2115.




Davis Family Agrees to Sell Farm’s Development Rights to Open Space Institute

The 288-acre Davis Farm on Route 209 in Kerhonkson will be forever preserved as farmland under an agreement signed with the Open Space Institute on August 5th.  Under the agreement, OSI will have 18 months to raise the approximately $1.6 million price for the purchase of development rights to the farm.  OSI will be using a combination of its own funds, contributions from a generous local family, and state grants for the purchase.  Under the agreement, the Davis farm will continue to own the farm, be able to sell or mortgage it and use if for farming purposes, including the construction of additional farm structure such as barns.  An out of state developer had previously expressed an interest in the property with plans to construct 300 housing units and a strip mall.  Open Space Institute has been active in the Rondout Valley and recently reached a similarly structured agreement for 400 acres with the Davenport family in Marbletown and the Paul family in Hurley for an additional 200 acres.  OSI has protected 180,000 acres since its establishment as a not for profit organization in 1974.


 Man drowns in Ulster County

A Brooklyn man drowned in Rondout Creek at High Falls Saturday when he slipped on a rock falling into the water, State Police at Kingston reported.

David Leong, 23, was wading in the creek and slipped. Unable to swim, he failed to resurface, police said.

He was recovered in about 18 feet of water by divers from the Ulster Hose dive team and the Ulster County Sheriff's Department dive team. He was transported to Benedictine Hospital in Kingston where he was pronounced dead. (Mid Hudson News 8/29/05)




Town Board Discusses New Federally-mandated Storm Water Regulations

At its August 4, 2005 meeting, the Rochester Town Board discussed the federally mandated Phase II of existing Stormwater Management Regulations.  The regulations are intended to keep storm water runoff, including snowmelt, that is not absorbed into the ground and that migrates to other properties and waterways.  Supervisor Pam Duke propsed that the town participate in a co-operative effort already adopted by about ten towns in Ulster County in an effort to reduce costs and gain the expertise of engineers, lawyers, and other experts on this subject.  The Town Board took no action on her proposal, despite the potential savings to taxpayers, and voted to table discussion.  Other issues discussed were the restoration of the town’s veterans’ honor roll and a new site plan checklist.





KERHONKSON - Smoke from a fire filled much of the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa Wednesday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of 50 guests and employees and the relocation of more than 200 guests who had planned to check in.

The fire, reported at 1:52 p.m., "seems to have started in the roof of the kitchen," said Paul Rider, chief of Accord Hose Co. No. 3. "There are some very big air-conditioning units there, and the fire was electrical in origin."

Rider said more than 100 firefighters, from more than a dozen area departments, responded to the scene. Some, upon exiting the eight-story hotel tower, were in distress from the heat inside, but none required hospitalization.

"It was a very intense fire, and it took us about an hour to knock it down," Rider said. He said there was heat and fire damage in the kitchen and smoke and water damage throughout the building.

"There are sprinklers in the building - they were going off all over the place - but they didn't do a lot of good," Rider said. He said his crews had to tank water in from a hydrant at the nearby Kerhonkson Firehouse.

Investigators from the Ulster County Cause and Origin Unit had left the scene by about 8 p.m., Rider said, but had not completed their inspection. Rider said there was some structural damage in the building.


The tower, where the fire started, was built in 1969, Rider said.

Jay Davis, director of operations at the resort, said hotel guests were sent to the nearby Pine Grove resort, the Nevele in Ellenville and the Holiday Inn in Kingston. Two catering events planned for the weekend - a wedding and a Rondout Valley High School reunion - were moved to the Williams Lake Hotel in Rosendale.

"We're not looking forward to opening on Thursday," Davis said. "We're still in the process of collecting information. It's possible we'll be closed for the weekend."

Davis said he believed the damage to the building can be repaired.

Robert Burrick, director of strategic planning for the resort, said there is an elevator that connects the kitchen to the mezzanine above the lobby, which previously housed a restaurant. Smoke filled both of the recently renovated public areas, along with the furnished lobby.

Burrick said he was having lunch at Bentley's, a restaurant on the opposite end of the hotel, when the fire was reported. Some wings may not have been seriously affected, he said.

While some guests lounged by the pool, seemingly indifferent, others gathered on the outskirts of the fire scene, held back by yellow caution tape. They asked about spouses they thought might be napping inside, or car keys they hoped to retrieve.

"I'm glad everyone got out. That's the most important thing," said Joe Huang, a representative of the corporate group that owns the Hudson Valley Resort, who was on the scene Wednesday.

Huang said the evacuation was onducted room-by-room, first with a phone call, then opening doors if needed. The first thing the firefighters did was check the facility room by room, he said.

By 3 p.m., there seemed to be as much smoke coming from a nearby barbecue grill as from the tower of what was formerly the Granit Hotel.

Maureen Sheehan, catering manager and wedding coordinator for the resort, said 72 day-guests on a golf outing at the resort were holding their luncheon largely as planned, already situated in a large tent outside of the hotel.

"Our neighbors at the Pine Grove and the Nevele have offered to help any way they can," she said.

The fire department asked Central Hudson to shut power off to the entire building. The utility is not allowed to turn the power back on until given the go-ahead by the fire department, according to Central Hudson spokesman John Maserjian. He said a decision on restoration of power will come following an inspection.

"We're not sure when or in what section of the complex we'll be allowed to turn power back on," Masserjian said.

Davis said about 50 people were in the hotel when the fire started; guests had checked into about 25 rooms. "It's good it was a gorgeous day - most of the guests were outside when the fire started," he said.

Huang said there were 137 room reservations for Wednesday night, to accommodate between 200 and 260 guests.

The 275-room resort has been operating mostly below occupancy in recent years, a condition which has prompted the owners to propose the construction of an indoor water park and a broad renovation of the property. The park would feature water slides no higher than the eight-story tower where Wednesday's fire occurred.

Fire companies called out in response to the fire, in addition to Accord, included Ellenville, Kripplebush, Lomontville, Napanoch, Modena, Bloomington, Stone Ridge, Cragsmoor, Hurley, High Falls, Kerhonkson, Olive, Ulster Hose, Gardiner and Accord.  (8/25/05)


For photos visit:



We're received compaints/warnings about a group of "college students" from the University of Texas who have been going door to door using high pressure sales tactics in Rochester selling student reference materials ($795.00).  Once invited into peoples' homes, they have been unwilling to leave until a sale has been made.  They have been reported on Berme Road and  Boice Mill Road neighborhoods.  A (related?) posting from the Rondout Valley Central School District website:

We have received inquiries from community members regarding a woman going door to door presenting herself as a summer intern.  There are NO authorized personnel from the Rondout Valley Central School District who are authorized to either sell books or provide tutoring services




Ulster County lawmakers next week will vote on not only keeping a three-quarters of one percent increase in the sales tax that it had already implemented, but will raise it by another one-quarter of one percent.

County Legislature Majority Leader Michael Stock said that the increase will translate into another $20 million to be divvied up.

“About $2.7 million to the City of Kingston, about $750,000 to be disbursed among the towns,” he said. The additional one-quarter percent will be an additional $5 million to the county.

Stock expects the vote to approve the sales tax increase to be bipartisan.

Ulster County this year has been plagued with a significant cash shortfall and is exploring ways to alleviate that in 2006. (Mid Hudson News 8/27/05)






Rochester Conservatives give farmer nod for town supervisor

By Pat Rowe, Correspondent



ACCORD - Rochester Conservatives endorsed Republican Chris Kelder to challenge incumbent Democratic Supervisor Pam Duke this fall.

Kelder, who owns Kelder Farms, led a full slate of Conservative Party nominees following a Thursday night caucus that drew 38 of 95 enrolled party voters. The party also nominated candidates for two Town Board seats, town highway superintendent, town clerk, and town justice.

The town Republican Committee plans its caucus at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 in the community rook of the Accord Firehouse on Main Street. No date has been announced for the Democratic caucus, but Duke is expected to seek re-election to a second term.

Kelder was the only candidate seeking the nomination for supervisor at the Conservative Party caucus. A lifelong resident of the town and the son of Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder, he told party members that the town is at a crossroads, and both property rights and limitations on raising taxes must be protected.

A produce farmer, Kelder said his affiliation with state and national farm bureaus, which he serves in an administrative capacity, provides him with much experience he can bring to the town.

Incumbent Republican Councilman Randy Hornbeck and Conservative Betty Kawalchuk were nominated for Town Board over candidates Tom Ryan and Carl Chipman. Hornbeck, seeking his second term, said his priorities are keeping taxes at a minimum and promoting small business development; Kawalchuk said she stands for integrity and fairness and describes herself as a "grandmother who cares."

Town Clerk Veronica Sommer, a Republican who has served eight two-year terms, was nominated for re-election over challenger Kim Tompkins, 25-13. Sommer, who faced a recent controversy over the alleged theft of money from her department, said she was cleared of wrongdoing after testifying before a grand jury. She said she does her job well, from the empathy she gives a family seeking a death certificate to the most complicated tasks demanded of her position.

Tompkins, a Key Bank employee, said she would bring her involvement in the community, her people skills, and knowledge of technology to the position.

Wayne Kelder, the highway superintendent, was nominated for re-election by a vote of 24-13, fending off a challenge by former Supervisor Harold Lipton.

The Conservatives nominated Mel Tapper for town justice. Tapper said his 17 years working in the court system as court reporter provide him with necessary (Freeman 8/20/05)



Police arrest seven in Monday burglary

State police yesterday made seven arrests in a burglary that occurred Monday in the Town of Rochester.
Police said troopers responded to a report of a burglary in progress and found a group of people walking in the road nearby.
Subsequent investigation indicated the group was responsible for the burglary, police said.
Police arrested Shawn Corcoran, 20; Christopher Gray, 19; Christopher Litwinenko, 19; Megan Green, 18; and Karen Hopkins, 16, all of Kerhonkson. Police also arrested Heather Ahearn, 19, and Christopher Ahearn, 16, both of Kingston.
All seven were charged with second-degree burglary, a felony. All were sent to the Ulster County Jail on $1,000 bail, pending an Aug. 23 court appearance.  (8/17/03 TH RECord)



Assistant soccer coach charged with rape

A Ukrainian soccer player faces rape charges after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman at a Rock Haven Road home.
Dmytro Mazur, 38, who was staying at the Ukrainian National Resort on Fordmoor Road, was charged with first-degree rape, a felony.
Police said Mazur and some friends were drinking at a party at the resort and later moved to the home of one of the guests. The attack occurred at the home where the victim was a friend of the owner, police said.
Mazur was recently named an assistant coach for SUNY New Paltz' men's soccer team.
SUNY New Paltz Athletics Director Stuart Robinson said Mazur was fired following the rape allegations. He was arraigned and sent to Ulster County Jail on $100,000 bail. (TH-R 8/16/05)



FORUM: Fitness and Nutrition


Published: August 19, 2005

DONN GOODMAN, a marketing executive in Cleveland, met his first Smart Bell last March in a fitness class at Club Med in the Dominican Republic. It was love at first sweat.

Have you ever tried Smart Bells?

Smart Bells are the self-proclaimed opposite to the dumbbell. Oval disks curved like a perfect Pringles potato chip with rounded cutout handles, they are pleasing to look at and conform surprisingly to the hollows and mounds of the human form, from the small of the back to the back of the head. And they're being used everywhere, from New York yoga studios to the workout rooms at the United States Navy Seals' training camp in Coronado, Calif. Three New York professional teams - the Knicks, the Mets and the Yankees - and the Chicago White Sox have also added Smart Bells to their strength-training programs, the company says.

Smart Bells come in three weights: a three-pound model that works well for youngsters or the elderly; a six-pound version for the majority of users; and a 15-pounder to awaken the inner Arnold. Cast in iron or aluminum with a glossy PVC coating that comes in an iMac-esque array of colors, the Smart Bell is an appealing object that cries out to be picked up and swung around. It's perhaps the only scrap of metal in the gym that is both patented as exercise equipment and copyrighted as a sculpture.

The weights were designed by Paul Widerman, a first alternate on the United States Olympic wrestling team of 1984. In the late 1970's, when he was wrestling at 118 pounds for Harvard, Mr. Widerman suffered spinal compression injuries from conventional weight training. By his sophomore year, the doctors gave him the unappetizing choice of drugs or surgery.

Mr. Widerman chose a third option. He took up yoga, which not only eased the pain but also changed his style of wrestling and training. He explored dance, tai chi and martial arts and found the sweeping, swooping curves of these movement disciplines more pleasing and a better workout than the up-and-down, back-and-forth style of Western weight training. Rather than lift objects overhead, Mr. Widerman sent them into orbit around his head. He learned, as he puts it, to stop fighting gravity and start flowing with weight.

In search of the perfectly shaped weight to flow with, Mr. Widerman went to work on a five-pound lump of modeling clay. The son of an airplane designer and the brother of a puppeteer, he molded the first Smart Bell by hand.

"It was a combination of a U.F.O., a Ferrari and a reclining female nude," Mr. Widerman said. He took his prototype to a wood carver, and then later to a blacksmith to reproduce it in steel. Since 2000, Smart Bells have been produced at a commercial foundry. Along with the weights, which sell for about $75 each, Mr. Widerman has devised special workout programs making use of the Smart Bells.

After he discovered the weights at Club Med, Mr. Goodman ordered a set of three, one in each weight, as soon as he got home, adding them to the treadmill, the elliptical trainer, the Nordic skier, the gravity bench, the Bowflex and the stand of traditional dumbbells already in his home gym. "I use it religiously," Mr. Goodman said. He has cut back on workouts on his other equipment to make time for his Smart Bells. "I'm using the Bowflex less. I'm also using dumbbells a lot less."

Suzi Teitelman, director of yoga for the Crunch Fitness centers in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities, has been using the new weights in a class she developed called Revolution Yoga, a hybrid of traditional vinyasa technique and Smart Bells moves. "It kind of changed my life," Ms. Teitelman said. "It just naturally flowed." She finds that a judiciously placed Smart Bell can help newer, less flexible yoga students hold certain poses. Forward bends go just a little bit lower with a Smart Bell nestled against the small of the back.

Then there are the Navy Seals. With a two-and-a-half-year training period, the Seals are believed by many to endure the most arduous physical preparation of any branch of the military. Over the last few years, the Seals have changed their training philosophy from ordinary physical fitness to what they call functional fitness, preparing their warriors for the world of soaring choppers and underwater demolition. That paradigm shift included purchasing 100 Smart Bells for basic conditioning.

"We do a lot of load bearing, a lot of climbing and take a lot of falls," said Will Guild, who served as Command Master Chief of the Seals' training operations from 2000 to 2003. "Sky jumping with 90 to 100 pounds of gear on your body, things are going to happen," he said. "A lot of the guys have shoulder problems. The motion with the Smart Bells is very therapeutic. It's one of the few things in our fitness program that feels good."

Weights With Pizazz

WHAT THEY ARE: Smart Bells, part sculpture and part exercise equipment, are the heart of a low-impact exercise program that draws on yoga, dance and martial arts. Smart Bells come in three weights and a variety of colors.

COST: $74.95 apiece. Each comes with instructional DVD's and wall chart showing a core routine of 10 exercises.

INFORMATION: (800) 485-0967 or (NY Times 8/19/05)



Legal Notice

Legal Notice PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on September 1, 2005 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY for a proposed Local Law adding a new Article VI to Chapter 128 of the Code of the Town of Rochester increasing the maximum veterans exemption and providing an exemption for Gold Star Parents pursuant to section 458-A of the Real Property Tax Law. All interested persons will be heard. The Town Board Meeting will immediately follow. By Order of the Town Board Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (Freeman 8/15/05)



Ulster County Towns Oppose Casinos

WITH THE city of Kingston and the town of Denning recently adopting resolutions against casino gambling, there now are 11 municipalities in Ulster County that have gone on record opposing gaming halls.
The votes by the Kingston Common Council and the Denning Town Board came in the last week, following a similar vote by the Rochester Town Board in July.
Additionally, the Ulster County Legislature in June adopted a so-called "home rule" measure under which the county will not support the creation of a casino in any community that opposes it.
All of these votes came in the wake of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma proposing in April to build a casino and resort on the Winston Farm in Saugerties. The boards that govern the town and village of Saugerties both oppose the plan.
The other municipal boards that have approved anti-casino resolutions are in the towns of Gardiner, Marbletown, New Paltz, Plattekill, Shandaken and Woodstock.
Groups that have opposed casino gambling in Ulster County include the Saugerties Area Council of Churches and the Classis of the Mid-Hudson Reformed Church in America.
The only Ulster County organization to come out in support of a local casino is the Building and Construction Trades Council, which says the project will provide construction and permanent jobs.  (Freeman 8/7/05)


Planning Board Notes
Two owners of land on Cliff Road have been stymied in their efforts to build on their land by the Planning Board because of the poor condition of the privately-owned Cliff Road.  According to attorney for the town Mary Lou Christiana, the road must be suitably improved for the health, safety and welfare of its residents.  The land is on the same road as Planning Board member Frank Striano and several new homes already exist.

Public hearings for Giuiseppe and Antonella Cassano’s request for a special use permit at 4629 Route 209 to establish a Pace Fitness Club for Women and Donad Hasenflue’s proposed four-lot subdivision on Granite Road are awaiting final approval, which is expected at the August 16th Planning Board meeting.

Vincent Valetutti received conditional approval for a four lot subdivision on Cedar Drive, despite the presence of Indiana Bats (an endangered species) on the property.

The Planning Board gave a favorable advisory to the ZBA for Brenda Bush and Ronald Darnley’s use variance for a beauty salon in a residential district on Route 209.

Paul and Lisa Pacht presented a request for a special use permit for a two family dwelling and former Town Councilman Leon Smith and his wife Beth discussed a four-lot subdivision on Route 209.  (Adapted from BSP 8/5/05)


Fire District Notes
Newly appointed Treasurer Suzanne Kurman reported that her initial estimate of a $100,000 budget overrun was erroneous and based on a lack of proper training in the fire district’s financial recordkeeping.  Kurman indicated that she has been catching up on the former treasurer’s backlogged work and sought advice from CPA Daniel Gagnon, who recommended an accounting software upgrade.   The fire district board tabled discussion on the installment contract financing proposal for its proposed 75 foot aerial ladder truck pending clarification of certain legal issues related to the installment financing.  The Fire District budget is expected to be discussed at the September 7 fire commissioners meeting (7:30 pm at the Fire District HQ on Main Street).


Theft from A&M Hardware
On June 25th, two men drove away with a 2005 teal colored IHI 35 MX excavator and a black 18 foot Corn Pro flat bed trailer.  Witnesses saw two men drive away with both pieces of equipment, worth an estimated $45,000) using a black Nissan Frontier 4x4 truck. 


DEC Prosecution Regarding Burial of White House Fire Debris
Local contractor and member of the Accord Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners Richard Countryman is expected to go on trial next week on charges levied by the NYS  Department of Environmental Conservation related to the alleged illegal burying of debris arising from the controversial burning of the historic White House hotel on January 5, 2005.    The trial, which is open to the public, is expected to begin at 6pm on Tuesday, August 16th at the Rochester Town Court.


Rondout committee suggests renovations

   Forget a new high school. Rondout Valley is better situated to afford renovations and additions to the current building, a citizens task force concluded.
   After more than five months work, the task force said the high school on Kyserike Road is structurally sound, and the tax impact of a new school is too great. The state reimbursement favors renovations and additions as well, the group found.
   The highest priority for work at the high school is improved health and safety, such as better bathrooms, locker rooms and improved fire, safety, security and communications systems.
   The school's science and technology classrooms and laboratories need an upgrade. So do the facilities for students with special needs and the music department, the report said.
   The report did not address cost. But it did say the preliminary architect's proposal for renovation and expansion was "more expensive than needed."
   The task force recommended the development of alternatives for the administration to assess. (TH-Record 8/5/05)


Rochester to review revaluation
ACCORD - Rochester officials will review the process to be used for a townwide revaluation of 4,622 properties that was delayed a year so figures from a hot real estate market could be accumulated.
The session is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Accord fire station on Main Street.
"It's just to make the community aware that we are going forward with the process of preparing the reval," town Assessor Sharon Hornbeck said. "As soon as you say `reval' everybody's hair stands on end, so I just want to do my best to ... make it clear that this is a positive thing and not necessarily that everybody needs to worry."
Officials expect assessments will include recent property transactions and be ready for 2006 property tax levies.
"The sales are the key factor in any reval to determine your modeling for the value, and the sales are going to include up to July 1," Hornbeck said. "There is a matter of processing these sales and then having an opportunity to review them to make our inventory and sales files as good as possible before we do run our values."
Town officials last updated values in 2000 and had expected to have figures updated for the current year.
"It's not as bad as what we did before because we went from 1976 forward and that was a real shocker," Hornbeck said. "Our ink was barely dry (on the 2000 assessment) when the market took off. We're practically back in 1976 when you look at some of the (changes in) sales values."
Hornbeck said it is too early to tell how much of a change property owners can expect in assessments. Among differences affecting calculations in the current revaluation is the size of parcels being sold.
"Prior to our last reval there weren't any real vacant land sales," Hornbeck said. "When we had that boom in the early '80s where the market was hot and then it crashed, there were a lot of subdivisions that went in and then they just sat. Now it's another story; we've got lots of vacant land sales."  (Freeman 7/19/05)
[Editor’s Note: The Rochester Residents Association videotape of this presentation is being broadcast on Time Warner public access TV (along with the Town Board meeting) at 7pm on Monday evenings.]


Rochester Deputy Clerk to face Kavanagh on Theft Charges
Halfway thorugh  July, there was been nothing but blue skies and beautiful weather enveloping the Hudson Valley.  Yet there is a cloud hanging over the Rochester town government as Deputy Town Clerk Annettee Rose was recently indicted for money theft after a state audit.
Rose was indicted on four counts—two misdemeanors and two felony charges.  She is currently awaiting her trial, which is expected later this year or early next year.
The New York State Inspector General took close to a year to audit the monetary affairs of the Town of Rochester and ultimately concluded that the figures were not adding up.  The state then referred their final report to the office of Ulster County district Attorney Donald A. Williams. As is customary, the state asked the DA’s office not to come up with the legal charges, but rather to further investigate the situation and then present their findings to a grand jury panel.  Based on the findings of the state audit and the DA’s report, the panel was left with the decision to dismiss the charges, indict Rose, or issue a report of discipline or removal.
On Tuesday, April 26 the panel decided to levy four counts against Rose.  The two felony charges Rose faces are grand larceny in the fourth degree (theft in excess of $1,000) and falsifying business records in the first degree.  Both charges involve considerable time in state prision. 
The two misdemeanors are both for official misconduct.  One of the official misconduct charges has to do with knowingly committing an unauthorized exercise relating to the office with intent to benefit or deprive another person from benefiting, in this case the Town of Rochester.  The other count relates to knowingly refraining from committing a duty that is imposed upon her by her office.  The DA’s report says that Rose committed these acts between June 29 and July 2 of 2003.
Assistant District Attorney Anna Remit is handling the case and has estimated that it will not go to court for four to six months.  When it does go to trial, Superior Court Judge Mike Kavanagh will preside.  While it is not known for sure, it appears that Rose will be issued a public defender.
According to Rochester Town Supervisor Pam Duke, Rose has been suspended without pay.  (BSP 7/15/05)


Sentencing Delayed in Patty’s Angels Case
Patty Abezis and Tracy Pennington, who were found guilty of animal neglect earlier this year, introduced a motion to set aside their guilty verdicts based on an allegation of jury misconduct.  Their attorneys claimed that a juror, Walter Bauer, was heard making comments about the defendants’ guilt outside the courtroom, a violation of the court’s instructions to jurors. 


77-year old woman beaten and robbed at her home.
On August 3rd a 77 year old Wawarsing woman was beaten, tied up and robbed in her home.  Later that day, Robert Coppersmith, 27, of Wawarsing, Richard Conklin, 36, and John Phillips, 25, both of Kerhonkson were arraigned in Rochester Court pm felony robbery and burglary charges.  All three defendants are being held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 bail bond.


Legal Notices

"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 16th day of August, 2005, commencing at 7:00 P.M., at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on the following Application. Ample Self Storage, c/o Todd Bivona, Special Use Permit for 56,000 sq. ft. of storage sheds with 1,375 sq. ft. office, Route 209, Tax Map #76.2-2-13.22, "B" District The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY. Persons wishing to appear at such hearings may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. Should this meeting be canceled, the public hearings will be held by the Planning Board at a date to be determined." (Freeman 8/6/05)

NOTICE OF FORMATION OF MINNEWASKA HOMES, LLC Registration was filed on July 18, 2005. The address for service of process is 194 Clove Valley Road, High Falls, NY 12440. The Registered Agent is Steven Sidrane, 1427 Sturl Avenue, Hewlett, NY 11557 and the principle place of business of this limited liability company is 194 Clove Valley Road, High Falls, NY 12440. The purpose of this company real estate.

Legal Notice PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a continuation of a public hearing on August 4, 2005 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall re: proposed local law #3 of 2005 amending Chapter 140, Article IX of the Code of the Town of Rochester re: Site Plan Procedure. The Town Board Meeting will immediately follow. By Order of the Town Board Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (Freeman 7/21/05)

"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 9th day of August 2005, commencing at 7:30PM, at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on Application by Brenda Bush and Ronald Darnley, Use Variance for Beauty Salon in R-1 District, Route 209, Tax Map #69.3-3-28.113 of the Town of Rochester. The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Clerk, Accord, NY." Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative.

"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 9th day of August 2005, commencing at 7:30PM, at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on Application by Brenda Bush and Ronald Darnley, Use Variance for Beauty Salon in R-1 District, Route 209, Tax Map #69.3-3-28.113 of the Town of Rochester. The above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Clerk, Accord, NY." Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative.
Notice of formation of Great Dog Productions LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with NY Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) 6/22/05. Office location: Ulster County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: 4628 Route 209, Accord NY 12404. Purpose: any lawful activity. (Freeman 8/8/05)

NOTICE OF FORMATION of a domestic Professional Service Limited Liability Company (PLLC). Name: Frank Wellington Dunn Architect, PLLC. Articles of Organization filed with Secretary of State of NY on 9/21/04. NY Office location: Ulster County. Secretary of State is designated as agent upon whom process against the PLLC may be served. Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the PLLC served upon him/her to c/o Frank Wellington Dunn, 3 Dunn Farm Road, Kerhonkson, NY 12446. Architecture. (8/8/05)

LEGAL NOTICE OF FORMATION OF RONDOUT ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING, PLLC NOTICE of formation of a professional service Limited Liability Company ("PLLC"). Articles of Organization filed with New York Secretary of State ("NYSS"): May 23, 2005. Office location: Ulster County. NYSS designated as agent of PLLC upon whom process against it may be served. NYSS shall mail a copy of any process to the PLLC at 491 Tow Path Road, High Falls, New York 12440. There is no specific date set for dissolution. Purpose: to practice the profession of architecture. The PLLC was filed by Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, PO Box 727, Marlboro, New York 12542. (7/20/05)





Information for Rondout Valley Central School District Board of Education Candidates (3/28/05)


Friends of Historic Rochester to Host Book Sale, Donations Sought (3/28/05)


Accord Fire District Seeks Treasurer (Paid position) (3/28/05)


Town Board News (3/28/05)


Opening Reception in Beacon for Kerhonkson Artist Astrid Fitzgerald (3/28/05)


Kerhonkson Teen Missing for Nine Years (3/28/05)


Conservancy acquires 106 acres near Minnewaska (3/28/05)


Letters and Notices (3/28/05)



Town of Rochester Survey Deadline Extended (3/14/05)


Friends of Historic Rochester to hold Book Sale (3/14/05)


Accord Fire District Seeks Treasurer (paid position) (3/14/05)


Accord Fire District Receives Federal Grant (3/14/05)


DWI Arrest. (3/14/05)


Man facing 3 charges after fight, police say (3/14/05)


Highway Department Worker Loses Control of Truck (3/14/05)


Most Rondout schools below U.S. standard (3/14/05)


Agricultural District Applications (3/14/05)


'Temporary' tax hike likely to stay (3/14/05)


Former employees in tough battle against Schrade (3/14/05)


Letters and Legal Notices (3/14/05)



Town of Rochester Newsletter and Survey (2/24/05)


Rondout Valley Central School District Newsletter and Survey  (2/24/05)


No News on Davis Farm Sale  (2/24/05)


No News on Town Clerk’s Office Theft  (2/24/05)


Shooting at Hudson Valley Mall  (2/24/05)


DEAL US IN: Sullivan County lawmakers endorse casino plan  (2/24/05)


Casino Hearing in Albany on Feb. 28  (2/24/05)


Rondout school district is in the money  (2/24/05)


Town may oppose casinos  (2/24/05)


Town puts off revaluation until next  year  (2/24/05)


Controversies Arise over Existing and Newly Proposed Storage Facilities  (2/24/05)


Aspects of White House Fire Under Investigation.  (2/24/05)


Local Business Sold - Roundout Valley Resort  (2/24/05)


Rondout Valley School District to Hold Budget Development Meetings  (2/24/05)


Rondout Valley coalition aims to attract visitors  (2/24/05)


Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices  (2/24/05)




Frigid temperatures hamper attempts to put out fire (2/7/05)


Accord artist featured in NYC show (2/7/05)


Accord resident to show work in New Paltz (2/7/05)


Singer Songwriter Bar Scott to perform at Woodstock Artists Association (2/7/05)


Man stole $4,000 from home (2/7/05)


Animal House - Animal Abuse in Accord (2/7/05)


Rondout Valley plans to establish foundation (2/7/05)


No official cards on table about Ulster casino  (2/7/05)



Davis Farm Sale Expected (1/16/05)


Planning Board to Discuss Shed Expansion  (1/16/05)


Historic White House Hotel Demolished  (1/16/05)


Accord Fire District Approves Resolution to Prohibit Videotaping of Meetings  (1/16/05)


Town Board Votes to Allow Microphones at Meetings  (1/16/05)


Grand Jury Convenes on Missing Money Case  (1/16/05)


Kerhonkson Loses One of its Favorites  (1/16/05)


Accord Man Killed in Car Crash  (1/16/05)


Accord Animal Abuse Case in Limbo  (1/16/05)


Governor's Five Casino Monte  (1/16/05)


Letters to the Editor  (1/16/05)







Vacancy on Accord Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners

Due to the resignation of one member of the five person elected board, there is an interim vacancy on the Board of Fire Commissioners through December 2005, after which an election will be held to fill the remainder of the existing term.  If you are interested in this unpaid position,

contact the Accord Fire District secretary by July 6, 2005 at 626-3707 for further information.


Davis Farm Sold?

The Blue Stone Press reported in its June 17th. 2005 issue that a New Jersey Developer had agreed to buy all but 20 acres of Peter Davis’ 288-acre farm on Route 209 in Kerhonkson.  A recent call to the new listing office indicated, however, that the property is still available... for $3.5 million.  Open Space Institute had previously been in discussions to purchase the development rights to the farm in order to keep it in agricultural production.



Fire board nullifies vote

By Pat Rowe, Freeman Correspondent


ACCORD - Fire commissioners voted 3-1 Monday to purchase a 75-foot ladder-rescue truck, subject to a permissive referendum, after voters rejected the same proposal earlier this month.

Philip Berger, the fire district's attorney, told commissioners that there were some "not so legal issues" with the June 10 referendum, in which the purchase was rejected, 105 to 75.

Berger said the legal notice should have included a concise abstract of expenditures and noted that the $496,334 purchase was subject to a permissive referendum by district voters. Instead, the notice read that it was subject to a mandatory referendum.

Under a permissive referendum, Berger said, the district has 10 days to publish a legal notice of the proposed purchase, and if no petition signed by 25 percent of district property owners against the purchase is filed, the purchase can proceed. If a valid petition is filed, a referendum would be required, he said.

A lot of criticism was directed toward Commissioner Fred Wustrau, who claimed fellow Commissioner Lyle Roebuck and former Commissioner Robert Hoar illegally signed a contract for the truck's purchase in March. The truck has already been built and is ready for delivery.

Roebuck said the agreement was completed at a public meeting. He blamed Wustrau for changing the wording of the legal notice.

District Fire Chief Shawn Farrell angrily accused Wustrau of rewriting the legal notice, angered over his suspension as a firefighter. He said Wustrau was suspended for reasons that included taking directions to a fire from a 6-year-old and being tardy with equipment, contributing to the loss of a house.

Farrell told commissioners the new truck is needed to adequately protect the district, which he said is growing fast, both residentially and commercially.

Commissioner Steven Schoonmaker also came under fire by Farrell and other firefighters for not supporting the proposed purchase earlier.

Schoonmaker said he now agrees the district needed the new equipment. "But I also don't want to jeopardize the district and see us do something illegal," he said.

The board voted 3-1 to enter into a purchase agreement with Sutphen Co. of White Lake, N.Y., in the amount of $496,334, subject to a permissive referendum.   (Freeman 6/21/05)



 Grant to help leaders in ridge communities
The Hudson River Valley Greenway has awarded a $15,000 Greenway community grant to the Town of New Paltz and seven other municipalities.
The money will be used to provide training to land-use officials in the region of the Shawangunk Ridge – the Village of New Paltz and the towns of Gardiner, Marbletown, Rochester, Shawangunk, Wawarsing and Rosendale.
These officials help determine the quality of life, economy and environment of the communities surrounding the Shawangunk Ridge. The training will come through the Pace University Land Use Law Center. The program will provide technical and process tools to participants.
"It is a terrific thing when municipalities can work together in making important decisions that impact us as a region," said Don Wilen, Town of New Paltz supervisor. (TH-Record 7/2/05)


Men charged with stealing electronics
Two men were charged with taking electronics equipment Saturday from a Main Street  (Kerhonkson) apartment.
Police said Enis Gilmore, 38, and William Dudley, 38, entered an apartment and made off with computers, phones and an answering machine.
Gilmore and Dudley were each charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, and released, pending an appearance in Rochester Town Court. (TH-Record 6/21/05)



Ulster County Seeks Farmers Interested In Participating in PDR Program

Ulster County is seeking farmers interested in participating in its Purchase of Development Rights Program. The program utilizes grant money received from New York State Department of Ag & Markets to purchase development rights from willing farmers, placing agricultural land in conservation easements that continue to allow farm activities while restricting non-agricultural related development. It aims to keep farms in agriculture by compensating farmers for the difference between the value of their property as an agricultural business and the value if it was sold for development. The program is administered cooperatively by Ulster County’s Department of Planning, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. An endorsement from the Ulster County Farmland Protection Board is necessary for applications to move forward. The Ulster County Legislature has demonstrated strong support of the program submitting grant requests to New York State in four of the past five years beginning in 1999. Thus far, more than 3.3 million dollars of state funding has been obtained along with nearly 1 million dollars in matching monies pledged by not-for-profit land organizations. Together the funds would secure conservation easements to preserve over one thousand four hundred acres of farmland in Ulster County.
Farmers interested in being included in Ulster County’s Purchase of Development Rights application should contact Teresa Rusinek, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, Commercial & Consumer Horticulture Extension Educator at 340-3990, or via e-mail at by no later than July 18, 2005 to receive the necessary forms. Information about the program and forms are also available by visiting Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s website:
For more information about the purchase of development rights grant application process please call Teresa Rusinek or Lydia Reidy, Chair, Ulster County Agricultural & Farmland Protection Board, 845-340-3990.


State audits Ulster County jail project

By Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff



KINGSTON - The state Comptroller's Office has begun an audit of the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center, a project now about 17 months behind schedule and roughly $12.6 million over budget.

"We've been monitoring the situation for the last year or so, and we've determined that it is appropriate to do an audit at this time," said Dan Weiller, spokesman for state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

While Weiller said he cannot put a time frame on the investigation, he said the results of the audit won't be made public until several weeks after it's complete. That's because the Comptroller's Office gives the local government officials, in this case, Ulster County, 30 days to add their comments to the draft report before it is issued in its final form.

County officials said they were informed when the auditors arrived late last week that they would be doing a "risk assessment" for two to three weeks, and would determine from that assessment if an audit was necessary.

"They've been here only four days, and have already determined that a full audit is warranted," said Legislator Peter Kraft, D-Glenford, who represented county Democrats at an "entrance conference" state officials had with the county last Thursday.

Legislature Chairman Richard Gerentine said he's a "little puzzled" as to why the state office decided to go forward with the audit at this point, but welcomes the audit.

"I said last year that any assistance or recommendations they could give, I would appreciate it. We want to get to the bottom of anything, if there is anything there," said Gerentine, R-Marlboro.

County lawmakers had unanimously backed a measure last June asking the Comptroller's Office to do a full audit of the project, but after a brief investigation, the state agency decided against it at the time. Neither the Comptroller's Office nor county lawmakers could say why the agency decided to go ahead with the audit now.

"There was a determination made by our professional staff that it was appropriate to proceed with an audit at this time," was all Weiller's would say on that question.

State auditors working on the project include Chris Fedorick, one of several auditors across the state who took part in the audit of the troubled Roslyn school district in Long Island last year. Fedorick was brought into the Law Enforcement Center audit because she works in the Albany bureau of the Comptroller's Office, which includes Ulster County in its jurisdiction.

Gerentine said he hopes that research being done by auditors will help the county in its effort to file counterclaims against whomever is determined to be at fault for the project delays and cost overruns.

The county is currently paying an extensive staff of legal consultants, including Hill International and attorney Mark Sweeney, to do research on the culpability for the overruns and delays. Gerentine said that research should be augmented by the Comptroller's Office investigation.

The Law Enforcement Center project, Ulster County's largest construction project to date, is currently about $12.6 million over its original $71.8 million budget: $4.67 million for bricks and mortar costs and the remainder for claims, legal and administrative costs.

The center, off Albert Street in Kingston, will house the county jail, Sheriff's Office and several criminal justice-related departments, such as Alternative Sentencing. It is now slated for completion Sept. 21.  (Freeman 6/30/05)



Al Loving Dies at 69; Abstract Artist Created Vibrant Work


Al Loving, a prominent abstract painter and collage artist whose work explored the ways color, space, line and form play out in vibrant counterpoint, died on June 21 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. He was 69 and lived in Kerhonkson, N.Y.

The cause was complications of lung cancer, his wife, Mara, said.

Mr. Loving first came to public attention with a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969. Crisp and hard-edged, his early paintings were studies in pure geometric form, often depicting arrangements of cubes. His later works were more fluid: layered constructions of heavy paper that had been painted with bright acrylics, cut into circles, whorls and ribbons, and arranged in multilayered compositions.

Reviewing an exhibition of Mr. Loving's constructed pieces in The New York Times in 1974, Peter Schjeldahl wrote, "As dynamically composed reliefs - as 'wall pieces' - they energize the space around them, seemingly almost to be caught in the act of moving across the wall."

It was striking for an African-American of Mr. Loving's generation to make his reputation in abstract art, a genre from which most black artists were discouraged. In the 1960's and 70's, when he entered the field, African-American artists were under great public pressure to depict the black experience in their work, pushing them toward figurative art.

Alvin Demar Loving Jr. was born in Detroit on Sept. 19, 1935. His father, Alvin Demar Loving Sr., was an educator and part-time sign painter who was later a dean at the University of Michigan School of Education. His mother, the former Mary Helen Greene, was a quilter, as was his grandmother. As a boy, Alvin used to sit at their feet as they sewed, watching their layered constructions take shape.

Mr. Loving earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Illinois in 1963 and a master's in fine arts from the University of Michigan in 1965. He moved to New York City in 1968. From 1988 to 1996, he taught at City College in New York.

Mr. Loving's first marriage, to the former Eleanor Jean Randles, ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Wyn Riser, died in 1990. Besides his wife, the former Mara Kearney, he is survived by a brother, Paul, of Detroit; a sister, Pamela Loving Copeland of Flint, Mich.; a son from his first marriage, Alvin Demar Loving III of Long Beach, Calif.; two daughters from his second marriage, Alicia Loving of Manhattan and Anne Loving Bethel of Eleuthera, the Bahamas; and eight grandchildren. A daughter from Mr. Loving's first marriage, Lauri Loving Hurd, died in 2001.

Mr. Loving's work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among others.

His most recent commission, for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is on view at the Broadway-East New York subway station in Brooklyn. Completed in 2001, it comprises 70 brightly colored stained-glass windows and a large mosaic wall. (NY Times 6-30-05)





Letters to the Editor:


Dear Editor:

There you go..If you don't like the vote toss the vote and say you don't need a vote and buy the firetruck anyway..eventhough you signed the purchase contracts without voter approval..Just like the school district ..shove it right down our throats..We need Fidel Castro to run for governor in New York..or IS that Fidel in disguise...Of course the Accord Fire Comissioners and the Roundout School Board all want Fidel too or ARE they Fidel..  Aint no third world govt got nuthin on Kahonksin...


David H. Bell




To the Editor,


                Yet again, the foreign investors in the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa are talking about spending 30 million dollars to save an ill-fated operation from bankruptcy by adding a water park to the premises and renovating (yet again) the existing facilities. As you may remember they had undergone what they claimed to be a 25 million renovation in 1997, promising a resort that would rival the prestigious Sagamore Resort.

                This, of course, did not happen. Quite the contrary.

                Reviews by recent visitors on tell long sagas with telling titles, such as: “Resort? I’d call this place a last resort,” “This Place is Creepy,” “Keep Driving;” “We made the fatal mistake of staying at the HVR...” and  “It looks like a prison...” Included are many accusations of false advertising.

                Should we trust them to do better this time? Should we believe them when they promise 200 new jobs to local residents, when in 1997 the whole interior renovation was out-sourced to non-local contractors and workers who were shipped in for the work?

                Also, we must not forget that the same consortium tried to dump a casino in our community. Their unconscionable proposal was met with a tremendous uproar of opposition. In many ways, a water park is just as intrusive to our way of life, and adds absolutely nothing positive to the community. On the contrary. increased traffic on already overburdened local roads will add to even more pollution, accidents, litter and congestion.

                They tell us the local community would benefit economically, but could not name one business that actually would. According to the Ulster County Treasurer’s Office, the Hudson Valley Resort currently owes general taxes for the year 2004 and 2005 in the amount of $435,606.25. Should they be given more tax abatements for such a risky undertaking?

                But the biggest question is: what will the enormous water consumption do to our wells?  The water park will be using 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per day in addition to the already high volume serving 334 rooms per day, two restaurants, a golf course and spa. There is a very real concern that individual wells surrounding the hotel could be threatened by the dramatic increase of demand. Water studies of the Shawangunk Ridge aquifer from which we all draw have been inconclusive – suggesting both flow rates and sources cannot be quantified. 

                Their claim that traffic and environmental impact studies are not necessary since the hotel isn’t increasing in size simply doesn’t hold up. Traffic in 30 years has increased substantially. There are many more permanent residents living along the access roads to the hotel. Bungalow colony and hotel guests tended to stay for weeks or the entire summer and did not have two to three people in each household driving to work, coming home, driving to school, etc. as modern households now do. Bungalows were only for summer occupancy, allowing wells to significantly recharge during the 6 to 9 months of non-occupancy.

                Recent surveys show that Town of Rochester residents wish, above all, to preserve the unique rural character of the area and to encourage smart growth.

                A water park isn’t smart and simply doesn’t fit the criteria the residents have envisioned for their town, and could, in fact, be detrimental to our way of life and well-being.


Astrid Fitzgerald





Dear Editor:


I recently had a letter published in the Blue Stone Press. I was disturbed that the Blue Stone Press edited my letter without informing me. It seems to me a letter to the editor is a letter, and the editor’s job is to choose the letters that they want to run but not to edit the letters. If the Blue Stone Press had acted to professionally and informed me of the their desire to soften my words, I would have declined to put my name to the letter. This is the letter as it was submitted:


“As someone with a financial interest in the commercial development of KERHONKSON, I read with interest about the proposed water park at the Mid Hudson Valley Spa. As I understand the importance of creating employment opportunities  I was excited that this proposal could

potentially create up to 200 jobs. And as a developer with an interest in reviving main street Kerhonkson I see the increased automobile traffic that such a facility might cause as good for business.


“But I think we have to have moment of honesty. With a booming interest in the Hudson Valley, and Kerhonkson's proximity to the largest population in the USA, the reason the resort has unsustainable occupancy rates isn't because of the lack of a Water Park.


“A quick check online shows that customers are not satisfied with any part of their stay at The Hudson Valley Resort and Spa. They complain about the lifeless design of the hotel (spa is really stretching it now), the cleanliness of their rooms, the quality of the food. They have sub-par experiences and thus don't recommend it to others or come back themselves. How is a Water Park going to solve these fundamental problems? It isn't.


“It also isn't clear that a water park is a good idea either. Why would anyone want to come to a water park in winter when flights to Florida are so accessible? And why would someone want to be in an indoor facility in the summer? And what happens when a kid has diarrhea in the pool and there is an outbreak of e-coli, or worse and heaven forbid a disgruntled employee who leaves a razor blade in a slide or a death by drowning.


“I think if the hotel wants to embark on such an adventuresome  project and if it falls within zoning rights they have the rights to do so. But it is another matter to ask for tax breaks to embark down such an odd and financially unsure path.


Harris Silver

President, Kerhonkson General Inc.




Dear Editor:

I read with interest the letters from P. Lang [6/8/05] and A.  Fitzgerald [6/14/05] regarding the proposed Water Park at the Hudson  Valley Resort. Since I am not a resident of the Kerhonkson area, I  don’t know all the facts about the potential negative environmental  impact. However, I have had reason to try to deal with this  establishment’s management and have found them to be both  un-responsive and unwilling to accept responsibility for their  actions. There is a reason that the HVR&S has only 30% occupancy and
it is NOT for the lack of a water park. It is incompetent management that has overpriced its rooms and services, while ignoring security and other guest concerns.

While at the hotel to attend a relative’s wedding there, we paid about 50% above the going rate for a room than we would have for comparable  [or better] lodgings at one of the national chains. It would seem to me,
good management would try to make the hotel more affordable to attract more guests, not try to gouge the few that they have [causing them to pass the word of mouth message about the over-pricing]. This place is
not worth a premium rate charge – it’s just another mid-class hotel located next to a golf course.

While there, we were victims of a major security breech, which was detailed in a Letter To the Editor printed in this publication   [6/14/05]. Based on my experience, the other writers have correctly  assessed these people – they are out for themselves and don’t care who  they hurt in the process. With the current management, the resort is doomed no matter what they do. County residents might be wise to cut their losses now and not throw more money down a bottomless pit.

Ron Eiring



Dear Editor:

I'm looking to rent a house in the Accord/Kerhonkson area in the price range of $600 - & $900 monthly. Please contact me to let me know if you can help. I lived in the area from 1996 - 2003 and moved to Sullivan County. I want to return to the area. My # is (845) 434-0151.

N. Tacti



Lyle H. Roebuck, Chair

Board of Fire Commissioners

Accord Fire District

Post Office Box 163

Accord, NY 12404



Dear Mr. Roebuck:


I have been informed by a volunteer who videotapes Accord Fire District meetings on our behalf that members of the audience of the June 13, 2005 meeting tried to intentionally physically impede our volunteer photographer from videotaping that meeting.  The individuals in question, approximately five men, including officers of fire district companies, stood immediately in front of our camera in an attempt to block the camera from photographing the proceedings.  In response, the photographer set up the camera on top of a desk, and was told by an officer of a fire company that she wasn’t allowed to “use fire district property.”


As I’m sure you are aware, the Accord Fire District was established under the provisions of §§17-89 of New York State Town Law.  Accordingly, as a public fire district, the Accord Fire District is subject to the provisions of the New York State Public Officers Law §§101-110, commonly referred to as the Open Meetings Law.  The provisions of the Open Meetings Law specifically permit individuals (or individuals on behalf of organizations) to videotape meetings.


The effort by members of the Accord Fire District or its component fire companies to attempt to physically impede the efforts of our volunteer to videotape meetings is a violation of the spirit and intent of the Open Meetings Law as well as the public service objectives for which Accord Fire District was established.  If such efforts continue, we shall evaluate if such actions constitute menacing or harassment.


Please note that the Rochester Residents Association has no opinion on the agenda topics of the June 13, 2005 meeting and that our sole interest is to ensure that the proceedings are discussed openly in full public view.  We respect everyone’s right to express his or her opinions freely in an environment devoid of intimidation of any sort.


As chair of the Accord Fire District and the meeting in question, you have a fiduciary duty to ensure that public meetings are conducted with the decorum appropriate for a taxpayer-funded public entity and that members of the public who are present are not subjected to intimidation of any sort.




Z. Win, President

Rochester Residents Association, Inc.





Notice of Permissive Referendum Notice is hereby given that the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Accord Fire District in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York, at a meeting held in the 20th day of June, 2005, duly adopted the following Resolution, subject to a permissive referendum. Resolution A resolution authoring the board of fire commissioners of the accord, Fire District, Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York, pursuant to Section 6-g of the General Municipal Law, to establish a Capital Reserve Fund to finance the cost of the acquisition of one (1) Sutphen 75 foot Aerial Ladder Truck. Be it resolved, by the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Accord fire District in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York, as follows: Section 1. It is the intent of this Board to accumulate all of the cost of said, aerial ladder truck, the cost of which is estimated to be $496,224.00. Section 2. The fire district treasurer is hereby directed to deposit monies of the reserve fund in a separate bank to be known as the "Sutphen 75 Foot Aerial Ladder Reserve Fund." Section 3. The fire district treasurer is hereby authorized to invest, from time to time, the monies of this fund pursuant to Section 6-g of the General Municipal Law. Section 4. No expenditures shall be made except upon authorization of the Board. Further resolved, that the resolution is subject to a permissive referendum as provided by Section 6-g of the General Municipal Law. By Order of the Commissioners of the Accord Fire District. (Freeman 6/28/05)
Notice of Permissive Referendum Notice is hereby given that the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Accord Fire District in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York, at a meeting held in the 20th day of June, 2005, duly adopted the following Resolution, subject to a permissive referendum. Resolution A resolution authoring the board of fire commissioners of the accord, Fire District, Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York, pursuant to Section 109-b of the General Municipal Law, to enter into a purchase contract with the Sutphen Corporation for the acquisition of one (1) Sutphen 75 foot Aerial Ladder Truck. By Order of the Commissioners of the Accord Fire District.


LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on July 7, 2005, at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall, Accord, NY regarding proposed Local Law #3 of 2005, amending Chapter 140, Article IX of the Code of the Town of Rochester re: Site Plan Procedure. The Town Board Meeting will immediately follow. All interested persons will be heard. By Order of the Town Board Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (Freeman 6/18/05)

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the undersigned, the Assessor of the Town of Rochester, County of Ulster, New York, has completed the Assessment roll for said town for the year 2005. A certified copy thereof has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Rochester on the 1st day of July, 2005 for public inspection. Dated July 1st, 2005 Sharon Hornbeck Sole Assessor (Freeman 7/1/05)


Do you want Cable TV/ Broadband on your Street?

The Town of Rochester Telecommunications Committee, established earlier this year by the Town Board, has a questionnaire for residents interested in obtaining cable TV and/or broadband internet access.  The Committee, which is comprised of volunteer residents Mark Bellehumeur, Jonathan Blair, and Alex Miller, along with Town Board members Francis Gray and Ron Santosky, is attempting to gauge potential new customer interest as Time Warner, the local franchise holder, begins its budgeting process for 2006.  Priority for new street wiring is given to streets with the highest density of interested residents and is determined by Time Warner.  To complete the survey, you can download it here in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat (PDF).  Responses are due June 21, 2005.


Fire District Mandatory Referendum Fails

The Mandatory Referendum on June 10,  2005 to gain voter approval for the Accord Fire District’s expenditure of $500,000 for a new aerial ladder truck  failed with a vote of 105 against and 76 in favor.



Former Deputy Town Clerk in Court

Former Deputy Town Clerk Annettee Rose, who has been indicted on charges related to funds missing from the Town Clerk’s Office, will appear before Judge Michael Kavanaugh in Kingston at 9:00 am on June 16th. 



Town Residents file Claims Against Town Highway Department

The Town of Rochester received two notices of claim from local residents to seek compensation for damage to property caused by the Highway Department’s trimming of trees adjacent to Old Kings Highway on their property. Christopher Sauer filed a claim for $50,000 and Kristin Johnson filed a claim for $20,000.



Town Board Considers Tax Break for Senior Housing

The Town Board held a public hearing on June 2nd for a new public law that would provide certain tax exemptions for “mother-in-law” type apartments occupied by a parent or grandparent.  While single family homes owned by a senior citizen are already eligible for certain tax exemptions, the new law is intended to provide individuals who provide housing units for their parents or grandparents to also receive a tax benefit in order to make such housing more affordable, subject to an annual application process. The legislation was introduced by Supervisor Pam Duke earlier this year.



Volunteers Wanted

Manna Jo Greene, who is developing a coalition of towns on environmental issues, wants to get in touch with people in Marbletown, Rochester, Rosendale and Wawarsing working on those topics as well as planning/zoning. There will be a meeting on June 23 on karst aquifers, and one on June 29th on the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process. If you are interested in working on these topics, please contact Manna Jo Greene at 687-9253 or my email at



Town of Rochester to Hold Community Photo Contest

As part of the Town of Rochester’s community effort to plan for the future, the Rural Character sub-committee is sponsoring a town photographic contest. In addition to photographs, the sub-committee is seeking volunteers to help with various aspects of the event. If you are interested in helping, contact  Walter Levy (626-3140) or


Theme: The Town of Rochester: Where I Live


We think that our town is a wonderful place to live, and we would like to see evidence of how you see it. Please take photographs of where you live, illustrating what you like best about the Town of Rochester or what you like least. Your photographs will clearly tell us how you see where you


Photograph Show and Awards presentation:

Date: Saturday, June 25

Place: Accord Fire House

Time: 11:00 AM – 4:00PM

· The contest prizes will be awarded by a panel of judges chaired by Jonathan Blair, a photographer best known for his work published in National Geographic Magazine.

· The show will be curated by Mark Gruber, Mark Gruber Gallery, New Paltz.

· We encourage people of all ages to submit photographs

Contest Rules:

1. Each contestant may submit up to 4 photographs illustrating the subject, The Town of Rochester: Where I Live. Photographs may be either 4 x 6 inches or 5 x 7 inches.

2. Each photograph must be identified on the back as follows: Name, Address, Telephone, Email address, The title of your photograph

3. Photographs will not be returned.

4. Submissions will be accepted from June 11 -17, 2005. They may be dropped off at the Town Hall or mailed to: Walter Levy, Photograph Contest, Box 519, Accord, NY 12404



Kerhonkson Resident Alex Miller to speak at Ulster County Historical Society

Please join us on Saturday, July 2nd at 10 AM as Alex Miller presents “Presidential Campaign Memories & Artifacts -  the Hudson Valley and Beyond" at the Bevier House Museum of the Ulster County Historical Society, Route 209, Marbletown, New York (just outside Stone Ridge). 

The multimedia presentation includes original artifacts from over 200 years of campaign history beginning with George Washington's 1789 inauguration through George W. Bush's election of 2004.  A focus on regional candidates for the nation's highest office includes Alton B. Parker and Franklin D. Roosevelt with rare posters, banners, buttons, music and narrative.   Numerous Abraham Lincoln tintypes will be on display including the "holy grail" of Lincolnonia, the finest known example of the famous 1859 ambrotype image of a beardless Lincoln taken by Matthew Brady.

Alex Miller is a lifelong collector of American political and social history, a member of the American Political Items Collectors, a Trustee of the Ulster County Historical Society, and a nationally recognized expert on the campaign materials of Teddy Roosevelt, Bobby Kennedy, as well as social movements like Votes For Women, Civil Rights, and the Vietnam War eras.

For information, please call the museum at (845) 338-5614 or call Alex Miller @ (845) 313– 9276



DEC Grants Permit to Metro Recycling and Crushing

The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation issued  a permit to Metro Recycling on May 12, 2005 to operate a 400 ton/hour crusher at its site on Queens Highway (between Roberts Drive and Rock Mountain Estates.  The permit issuance concludes a two-year fight by local residents who successfully argued that there were significant areas that required further review, including impact on water supplies, noise, traffic, and particulate pollution.  The construction of homes (and an increase of residential density) immediately adjacent to the mine in the ten year period since the Town of Rochester Planning Board issued the original special use permit was not considered in the DEC’s action.  The mine is permitted to operate Monday through Saturday from 7am to 5pm, with the operation of crushers and all processing equipment permitted from 7:30 am to 5pm Monday through Friday.  No Sunday mining activity is permitted on Sundays or the following holidays:  New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Copies of the operating permit can be obtained by writing to




Rondout budget vote is Tuesday

By Pat Rowe, Correspondent



KYSERIKE - Rondout Valley school district voters will go to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots on a $50,659,976 budget proposition and an advisory proposition to use $279,563 from the district fund balance to restore funding for programs lost when first budget proposal of $51,277,502 was rejected May 17.

The latest budget proposition represents an increase of 4.6 percent over the 2004-05 budget. District Financial Director Dennis Geisler said the estimated tax levy would increase by 2.56 percent.

The budget proposal does not include funding for junior varsity and modified sports, eliminates field trips and reduces co-curricular activities, clubs and chaperones at all schools. There would also be a reduction in equipment purchases, and spending for BOCES, transportation, and buildings and grounds.

If both the budget proposition and the advisory proposition pass, funding would be restored for programs not funded under the budget. The money from the district fund balance would have no direct impact on the 2005-06 tax levy. However, if the advisory proposition passes and the budget fails, the funding would not be restored.

Earlier this year, trustees were advised of an excess fund balance of $10,928,150 from which they opted to use $4,656,248 million over a period of years to reduce taxes rather than return the full amount to taxpayers in one year.

Following the defeat of the first budget proposal in May by 53 votes, many parents appealed to district trustees to do something to save the modified and junior varsity sports as well as other programs for the district's students.

Trustees learned from Geisler they could use a portion of the fund balance for this purpose, however stressed to parents the budget must pass for fund balance money to become available through an advisory proposition.

Voting will be at the high school, with polls opening at 6 a.m. and closing at 9 p.m. Voters have been asked to be aware that bus congestion will make access difficult between 7:15 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

If the revised budget does not pass on Tuesday, the district will have to adopt a contingency budget.

Several years ago, New York state established a two-vote limit for budget and budget proposals.

The contingency budget has been set in the amount of $49,932,160. Geisler was unable to estimate the tax levy under the contingency budget.

District officials said the contingency budget would result in further reductions including the elimination of all sports programs for the 2005-06 school year.



Judge orders animals seized from Accord animal shelter

By: MARY FAIRCHILD, Freeman staff


ACCORD - Approximately 80 dogs, cats and other domestic animals living at Patty's Angels, a controversial animal shelter in Accord, were removed Friday night by order of the Town of Rochester Justice Court.

Patty Abezis, 51, and her assistant, Tracey Ann Pennington, 47, both of 412 Whitfield Road, Accord, were found guilty after a jury trial in early May in the same court of failure to provide proper sustenance and failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal, misdemeanors under the state Agriculture and Markets Law.

"Abezis is allowed to keep one personal pet. All the other animals are being moved out of there tonight," Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Gerard Van Loan, who prosecuted the case, said. He said they presented evidence compiled by the Ulster SPCA that the two defendants had continued to fail to supply the needs of the animals.

Judge Albert S. Babcock III had originally denied Van Loan's motion that the animals at Patty's Angels be seized immediately upon her conviction. But Julie West, executive director of the Ulster County SPCA, said at the time, "We are continuing to monitor the situation." She said SPCA staff planned to continue to go to the property twice a week to make sure Abezis is not taking in any more animals and that the ones she still has are being treated properly.

Van Loan said that West and the SPCA made good on their promise to monitor the situation, and that Abezis was not taking care of the critters. "Ms. West and her people found that 80 percent of the animals have lost significant amounts of weight since the May conviction," he said. "One of the animals had lost 32 pounds, another had lost 18. These are dogs, not very large animals."

The seizure of the animals was done under the supervision of the Ulster County SPCA and the animals will be held at shelters and agencies throughout the region. Abezis has not forfeited ownership: that would not happen until sentencing, if at all. Van Loan said any of the animals may be adopted, however, with the approval of the judge.

Van Loan said the hearing took more than an hour. "Judge Babcock took the time to review pictures and video footage supplied by Abezis in her defense." He said Abezis was represented by Robert Zaccheo and Pennington by Sarah Rakov.

Abezis and Pennington will be sentenced July 6. The maximum allowable sentence is one year on each count and a fine up to $1,000.

Abezis and Pennington were arrested in November 2002 after a search of the property by Ulster County Sheriff's detectives found 92 dogs, 24 cats, and numerous rabbits and hens all without food and water. In addition, the facility was contaminated with feces and standing water, detectives said.

The case attracted attention from animal rights activists from as far away as California.

Two previous trials of Abezis and Pennington ended in mistrials. Abezis blamed her arrest and the ensuing legal wranglings on a former employee who she said neglected the animals over a weekend when she was out of town.




Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:


I was surprised and disappointed to see that the Accord Fire Department, the best volunteer fire department in the county,  did not permit absentee ballots in their recent referendum for a new firetruck that would cost taxpayers $500,000.


Voters were allowed to vote only between the hours of 6:00 p.m and 9:00p.m. on June 10. As a result, many people who were not able to to be in Accord during that 3 hour window, such as people who were in the hospital, those who were working or were simply out of town, were  out of luck. Thus, no matter what your views on this expenditure might be,  it's clearly a case of Taxation without  representation.


I call on the members of the Board of Fire Commissioners to ensure that, despite perceived inconveniences, absentee ballots are available for all future elections and votes.


Paul Reisch




Dear Editor,

I wonder what century the planners of the Hudson Valley Resort Water Park think they're living in. I suggest they read Plan B: Rescuing a Planet  under Stress by Lester R. Brown who recently spoke to a packed hall of concerned people of all ages at SUNY New Paltz. Water, Lester Brown has concluded in his thorough research of world-wide climate changes, will be the most endangered natural resource within the next 5-10 years.

Two weeks ago, for the first time in its history, the well in our 180 year old farmhouse went dry for several days. A dire warning of things to come!?  I know of many other residents on Lower Granite Road who have had to find new water veins at much deeper levels. A Water Park with continuous use of  huge amounts of water will endanger the wells of residents living at both  higher and lower grounds within the vicinity of the resort.

The greatest problem to this humongous proposal, however, remains the air  pollution and the traffic, which has increased a hundred-fold or more since  the days the Granite Hotel ran at full capacity. Surely, a project of such  enormous dimensions needs to consider constructing its own access road.

I like Ed Duffy's idea. Let's all pay a hundred dollars more in taxes to be rid of this antiquated monstrosity of a hotel. As many lovers of the region  have put it: it spoils the beauty of Ulster County's most precious resource  - the Shawangunk Ridge, which offers many natural wonders, including lakes and waterfalls.

A. Fitzgerald




Dear Editor:


During the early evening hours of Saturday May 21^st , 2005, a number of rooms at the Hudson Valley Resort were illegally entered and money stolen from the occupants of those rooms.  According to reports, the first theft was discovered that evening, the State Troopers were

summoned and they quickly made two arrests.  During their investigation, the Troopers used information from the resort's computerized 'key' security system to determine that this initial room was entered with authorization using an *_Employee Pass Key_*, which enabled the

identification of the first suspect.  This computer system apparently also allows the Hotel to determine if any other rooms entered using this *_Employee Pass Key_*, and the time of that entry.  Therefore, the hotel had the ability to determine any other illegally entered rooms on

Saturday evening and notify the occupants so that they could check for missing property.


My daughter's room was entered at 6:18PM [while she was attending a wedding reception outside at the resort] and  money was stolen from her wallet.  She did not discover the theft until approximately 10AM Sunday when she opened her wallet to pay for the breakfast buffet at the

resort's over-priced restaurant.  She immediately reported this to the Front Desk and our dealings with the callous and inept management team of this establishment began.


It was upon the arrival of the State Trooper [again], that we learned [from him] of the hotel's capability to monitor room entries.  It was then apparent that the hotel Security Department either was negligent in not checking and notifying people on Saturday evening of the break-ins

or, the more disturbing possibility, deliberately chose not inform the people.  Had we not stopped for breakfast, my daughter, who was traveling as part of a family group, probably would not have opened her wallet until she was home in Central New Jersey.  At that point, the small amount of money lost would not have warranted a trip back to the Hudson Valley to file complaints, etc. that might mar the resort's 'security' profile.   Certainly, this is a possible reason for a cover-up.


While we were at the Front Desk on Sunday morning, none of the employees there were willing to notify any of the 'managers' who had authority to discuss restitution for the 'employee assisted theft' with us because they "don't work on Sunday".  This from a place where a number of rooms

were burglarized by an person using a Hotel issued Pass Key and no one 'in authority' can be bothered.  What does it take to get their attention, an assault or murder of a guest who may have interrupted one these illegal entries?


Since then, I have spent many hours either e-mailing the resort or trying to contact the resort's Comptroller, Jay Davis [identified by other resort employees as the person to talk to].  He has not had the decency to even respond to one of these numerous messages.  I have visited the Hudson Valley many times as a tourist and to visit relatives, so I know this establishment's attitude and lack of responsibility is not typical of the area.  I am writing this to let others know of the possible negative consequences should they book an over-night stay at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.


Ron Eiring



Dear Editor,


I cannot fully express my disappointment in your article regarding the Patty’s Angels trial in the town of Rochester (6 May 05). This was one of the most lopsided articles I have ever read.  Space prevents me from commenting completely on the poor quality of the article.  After stating the jury’s guilty verdict against Patty Abezis and Tracy Pennington on the charges in the first 4 paragraphs, the author Riservato continued to report the side of the defense much to the exclusion of the prosecution.


Riservato failed to give an accurate opening statement for Prosecutor Van Loan, choosing instead one sentence out of context that had nothing to do with the basis of his case.  She chose, however, to report detailed, accurate statements for the two defense lawyers.


She also never addressed the main charges for which Abezis was found guilty and continued on ad nauseam with the defense’s excuses to lesser claims of neglect.


Four witnesses for the prosecution gave lengthy and detailed testimony yet only one of them was briefly quoted.  There was no report of what Investigator LaBuda and Deputy King found when they entered the property on Nov 6 2002.  There was no mention of the dead cat or the stench from the overly abundant accumulation of excrement and urine.  Of all the testimony from which Riservato could choose to quote, she chose ones out of context.  Is one supposed to believe that arrests were made because bowls were “brimming” with food or because conditions were simply “less than satisfactory”?


There were no statements from the two veterinarians who examined the 19 animals on which charges were based.  Where was their professional testimony about the dog that lost 30 lbs since coming to the shelter; the dog with bloody tumors on his feet; the dogs spinning in crates way too small for them; or the dehydrated and ill cats?


She ignored citing factual evidence but gave time to character defense witnesses who seemed to have little knowledge of what occurred on the property on a daily basis.


She quoted the claims of Ms Abezis repair and veterinary expenses, but failed to mention that she was unable to supply records or receipts.


Anyone reading the article that did not attend the trial would probably wonder what all the fuss was about.  The jury of six took less than an hour to agree on a guilty verdict because the reality of the charges was obvious to them.  Riservato did a great disservice as a reporter in relaying an unbalanced article to the public.


Gail Mihocko

Director/Project Cat




Legal Notices


Legal Notice Please Take Notice that the Town Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on July 7, 2005 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall, Accord, NY re: proposed Local Law #3- -2005 Amending Chapter 140, Article IX of the Code of the Town of Rochester Regarding Site Plan Procedure. The Town Board Meeting will immediately follow. By Order of the Town Board Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (6/11/05)


LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Rochester is seeking bids for road work on the intersection of Queens Highway & Rochester Center Road in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County. The bidder is expected to work with the Highway Superintendent to construct the road. Work will consist of excavating of material within roadway. Bidder must supply a D6 or equivalent dozer- minimum 20 Ton Excavator- minimum 3 yard load, minimum 6 wheel dump truck load capacity 10 Ton or more. Work to be completed within two (2) weeks of starting date of July 11, to August 22, 2005. Call 845-626-7221 for appointment to review bid specifications with Highway Superintendent. Bids to be received on or before June 29, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. at the Town Clerks Office at which time they will be opened and read aloud. The Town Board has the right to reject any and all bids. Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (6/11/05)






Upcoming Events


Mandatory Referendum on Accord Fire District Purchase of $500,000 Aerial Truck to take place on Friday, June 10th between 6pm and 9pm at District Headquarters, Main Street, Accord.  All registered voters are eligible to vote.


Casino Discussion

The Ulster County Legislature and the Ulster County Development Corporation will co-host an informational forum on casino gambling at 9 a.m. July 13 at the Ulster Performing Arts Center on Broadway in Midtown Kingston. Among he featured speakers will be representatives of both pro-

and anti-casino groups, as well as public officials from communities that have casinos, including the town of Verona, N.Y., where the Oneida Indian Nation's Turning Stone Casino is located; and Ledyard, Conn., home of the Foxwoods Resort and Casino


A “Flood” of Thanks
How do we thank, volunteer organizations, local businesses, fire and police companies, Red Cross workers, and folks that are most certainly heaven-sent “Earth Angels” living among us? How do we express our appreciation for their dedication, selflessness, and untiring spirit of good will? How do we show our heartfelt gratitude to all these people, some working around the clock during the recent “April Floods,” while ensuring safe ports in the storm, pumping basements dry, providing food and shelter at resorts, a place to store belongings, and so many more heavenly kindnesses that went above and beyond? Our thanks and appreciation to all of you, are in the multitudes for your good will and big hearts to your fellowman. The Town Of Rochester Youth Commission, in conjunction with community members, would like to show our respect, by giving back to you in a very small way, by inviting you and your department to a Free Breakfast honoring you!
“Heavenly Pancakes Breakfast”
(Pancakes, French Toast, Eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, & more)
Date: Sunday, june 12, 2005

time: 9 AM – Noon
Place: Town of Rochester community Center
RSVP: 626-2115, by June 8, 2005
chief cook and bottle washers: Harold Lipton, Carol Dennin, & Valerie Weaver


Kerhonkson Resident Alex Miller to speak at Ulster County Historical Society

Please join us on Saturday, July 2nd at 10 AM as Alex Miller presents “Presidential Campaign Memories & Artifacts -  the Hudson Valley and Beyond" at the Bevier House Museum of the Ulster County Historical Society, Route 209, Marbletown, New York (just outside Stone Ridge). 

The multimedia presentation includes original artifacts from over 200 years of campaign history beginning with George Washington's 1789 inauguration through George W. Bush's election of 2004.  A focus on regional candidates for the nation's highest office includes Alton B. Parker and Franklin D. Roosevelt with rare posters, banners, buttons, music and narrative.   Numerous Abraham Lincoln tintypes will be on display including the "holy grail" of Lincolnonia, the finest known example of the famous 1859 ambrotype image of a beardless Lincoln taken by Matthew Brady.

Alex Miller is a lifelong collector of American political and social history, a member of the American Political Items Collectors, a Trustee of the Ulster County Historical Society, and a nationally recognized expert on the campaign materials of Teddy Roosevelt, Bobby Kennedy, as well as social movements like Votes For Women, Civil Rights, and the Vietnam War eras.

For information, please call the museum at (845) 338-5614 or call Alex Miller @ (845) 313– 9276




Celebrating Memorial Day 2005

Remarks by Francis Gray, Councilman, Town of Rochester

May 31, 2005

This was prepared using excerpts from writings or speeches of President Bush, November 11, 2003 at Arlington National Cemetery; Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC; Rear Admiral Linda J. Bird; Brittney Musick




I am honored to join in this ceremony to honor the Town of Rochester’s fallen heroes. And, I wish to express my appreciation to the Accord Fire Company and to Bruce Schoonmaker for giving me this privilege. I also wish to expand the scope of my talk to include comments for all of our veterans.

Memorial Day is a day to honor the supreme sacrifices that generations of Americans have made to defend our country and to support freedom throughout the world. It is a day to reflect on the courage and bravery of our soldiers. They have paid the ultimate price; it is a day to remind ourselves of the tremendous sacrifices veterans have made to maintain the strength, the freedom and the independence of our great nation.  We owe them the life we know today; all Americans must show them the respect they command, and to make them aware they have our lasting gratitude.

Wars have always caused dissension in our country because we have the freedom to protest. There have been protests to all the wars our country has been in - from the Revolutionary war to today's war in Iraq, something that we need to remember today. That is why it is so important for us to know our history. We should not repeat the mistakes of the past.

While it is okay to protest a war, as one of our rights as Americans, no one has the right to be against the individual soldier. He joined to fight for his country and as a soldier cannot choose the wars nor the way engagements within wars are fought, regardless of personal opinions.

Vietnam was an excuse for patriotism to fell out of favor in the United States and we became a country of people who did not believe in serving their country, a country of people only interested in what they could get - an attitude centered on themselves. Our country suffered because of this 'me first' attitude. It took Sept. 11 to change that. All of those victims had to die to arouse the citizens of America to what they had and what could be lost in the blink of an eye.

Government records indicate 48 million men and women have served in the military since the founding of the United States.  Remember, Americans who were in uniform when the guns of World War I were silenced was only 87 years ago, a very short historical time-frame. We must also remember those who served in World War II and the price they paid for freedom in the world. More than 4 million living Americans served in World War II. They are now passing away at the rate of 1,000 a day. More than 11 million men and women served from the conflicts of Korea and Vietnam, even though the nation’s gratitude was slow in coming those veterans certainly earned this nation's gratitude and respect, especially after September the 11th. 

Today is a day to make sure that we are living up to the promise we make to all veterans – a promise that President Lincoln described as, "to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan."

Remember, except in parades, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell who's a veteran just by looking.

A veteran is a man or woman who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back at all.

A veteran is someone who takes a few years out of their lives,  offering to die for their country just so their friends could be here today to celebrate Memorial Day.  

A veteran is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket.

A veteran, not the reporter, gave us freedom of the press.

A veteran is someone who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

A veteran is the three unknown heroes in the Tomb of the Unknowns, at the Arlington National Cemetery to forever preserve the memory of all the unknown heroes who die unrecognized on the battlefields or on the oceans.

Today and every day, 365 days a year the prayers of the American people are with those who wear our country's uniform. But, as we all know, freedom does not come free.  We owe them the life we know today.  I ask all of you to remember veteran sacrifices. It may help to recall the statement engraved on a wall at the Korean War memorial in Washington, D.C., that states "Freedom is not Free."  You all must convey, constantly, to all veterans that we thank them for their service and contributions to the freedom of this country."

All veterans pay for our freedom.  Those that died defending our freedom paid the ultimate price.  Many have suffered terrible physical and mental injuries in defense of freedom.  We owe them more than we can ever give them for their sacrifice. However, there is one simple way every one of us has the power to accomplish. It doesn’t involve special programs, or parades or grand announcements.  Simply offer them your hand and thank them for their service.  It is the best way for you to let them know that you recognize what things they have done and that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.


That concludes my talk, but please allow me to continue for another minute.

The Town of Rochester no longer offers a veteran’s honor roll that had displayed all Town veterans from WW I and WW II. However, about 20 years ago, someone chose to remove the honor roll and place it in storage.

I feel that is an insult to all local veterans and strongly disagree with the removal. As a Councilman I have asked for and received permission from the Town Board to pursue the cost estimates for the reconstruction of a medium that will honor all Town veterans from WW I to the present terrorist wars and those in the future.

This is what is needed - a volunteer work group to help me make this become a reality. Because our Town has so many talented folks, an idea is to have a contest to develop a concept that will honor, by name identification, all our veterans whether in the form of our own “Wall of Heroes”, a display similar to the old honor roll or some new and exciting way to list the names of Town veterans. See Bruce or Steve Schoonmaker or myself to volunteer.

 Thank you.



Accord Fire Commissioner Resigns

During the June 1 monthly meeting of the Accord Fire Commissioners the board was made aware that Robert Hoar had never filed his oath of office when he was elected. 

This was originally revealed by Hoar during a previous board meeting and was confirmed by a review of the records maintained by the town clerk’s office. 

When faced with this omission, Hoar resigned his office and left the building without fanfare.

This leaves the board with a vacancy.  A public election for his position will take place. (BSP 6/3/05)




Fire destroys Accord barn; electrical problem likely cause

By: MARY FAIRCHILD, Freeman staff


ACCORD - A fire destroyed a pole barn owned by the Peppertree furniture company Saturday afternoon, according to Accord deputy fire chief William Farrell.

"By the time we got there the roof had already given way and is was pretty flattened," Farrell said. The call came in at around 12:40 p.m., Farrell said, and the fire was not under control until almost 4:00. There were crews on the scene until 5:05 p.m.

Farrell said the barn was full of old lumber and machinery, and appeared not to be in use any longer. There was a wood-drying shed on the side of the barn that was undamaged. There was no one in the barn at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries.

"There was no need for an interior attack," he said. "The whole structure was down on the ground when we got there. Farrell said excavating equipment was needed to pull the burning materials apart so the whole site could be soaked and all traces of the fire extinguished.

The Accord fire department was assisted on the scene by the New Paltz, Napanoch, Stone Ridge, Kerhonkson, High Falls, Olive and Ellenville fire departments, Farrell said. "Water was the big problem," he said.

Farrell said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it appears that the cause was electrical. (Freeman 5/22/05)




Southern Ulster resort banks on water park plan

By:Jonathan Ment, Freeman staff



KERHONKSON - Representatives of the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa discussed plans for an indoor water park Tuesday at a joint meeting of the Rochester Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Some of the nearly 100 residents who attended the session had received an anonymous flier that contained an excerpt from an Ulster County Industrial Development Agency public hearing notice and broad statements about the project. Town Supervisor Pamela Duke noted at the outset of the session that no plans have been submitted to the town.

Robert Burrick, director of strategic planning for the 350-room resort, called the proposal an "exciting economic opportunity, not only for the (resort) but also the surrounding community."

The 38,000- to 40,000-square-foot water park would be intended for guest use, and not geared toward day-trippers, Burrick said. He said the park is intended improve occupancy rates at the Granite Road hotel, which are currently at 30 percent.

The facility would hold approximately 450,000 gallons of water, and discharge an average of 5,000 to 6,000 gallons daily, said Ken Ellis, president and chief executive officer of Cohoes-based Aquatic Development Group, which would design and build the facility. He said the highest point of the water park wouldn't be any higher than the hotel's existing eight-story tower.

A 1940s-era 102-room wing would be torn down and replaced with 96 modern rooms in a four-story structure. Conference facilities and the kitchen would also be upgraded.

"The tax base as it exists today will not change," Burrick said. "With respect to noise, everything would be confined to this building." He said plans are not complete, so no environmental impact study has been completed.

"The goal here is to create an experience for families," said Ellis.

There would be a 30 inch deep current of moving water in a lazy river where visitors can float on inner tubes; a children's area featuring a water jungle gym, and "boogie" board areas that might attract otherwise reluctant teenagers, Ellis said.

Burrick said extending the resort's year would enable the facility to keep seasonal workers on year-round. The water park would create an estimated 200 new jobs for the surrounding community, he said.

Accord resident Daniel Werner asked for Burrick's guarantee to pay the prevailing wage during the construction phase, or hire union labor, echoing a request by the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation that the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency require as much. Werner also asked Burrick to guarantee the resort would pay a "living wage" rather than the minimum wage, suggesting that much economic development efforts fail to focus on quality jobs. And he asked Burrick to agree to accept card-check recognition should the majority of employees wish to form a union.

Ellis said it's a private facility, and construction would be an "open shop," with wages paid be up to the individual contractors. Burrick did not say what resort employees might be paid.

Ellis said an assessment of traffic and the resort's existing water supply would demonstrate it could meet demand beyond that of a 350-room resort.

"We are not building a casino. There will not be gambling on this facility," said Burrick, responding to another question from the audience. "There is a strong commitment ... to make this thing work. If we don't move forward, the end of the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa could be around the corner."

"You want to talk about being a good neighbor? Starting thinking about us a little, not just yourselves," said Ed Duffy, a Granite Road resident and resort neighbor.

Duffy said he'd pay another $100 year in taxes to be rid of the resort, for all the damage to his lawn lost buses and limousines cause, and disruption to his life the guests bring.

In spite of the criticism, the suggestion from the town Assessor Sharon Hornbeck that instead of asking why, folks ask "why not," received applause from the audience. (Freeman




Rondout revisits its budget

By: Pat Rowe, Freeman Correspondent


KYSERIKE - A public hearing on a revised budget proposal for the Rondout Valley school district Tuesday attracted five people, only one of whom commented on the plan.

District voters on May 17 defeated an initial budget proposal of $51.27 million, which projected a spending increase of 5.92 percent and a tax levy hike of 4.72 percent.

District residents will return to the polls June 14 to decide on the revised spending plan, totaling $50.65 million, which projects a 4.65 percent spending hike.

"At this point I am still unable to determine the (tax) rate per township," said Dennis Geisler, the district's finance director. "Two of the towns in our district completed revaluations this year. I can say the budget that was presented to voters in May had the lowest impact on the tax levy that it has had in several years. The one voters will vote on next week is lower yet."

Geisler pointed out that the latest proposal eliminates a paraprofessional position in the high school, reduces equipment purchases, and cuts spending for BOCES services, buildings and grounds, and transportation.

"Although this will impact the district, it will not directly impact each student," Geisler said. "Eliminated will be all (junior varsity) and modified sports, as well as field trips. There will be a reduction in co curricular activities and chaperones at the high school and middle school, and after-school options will be reduced in elementary schools."

Last month, trustees agreed to put up a separate "advisory proposition" June 14, which would authorize the district to take $279,563 from the district's $4 million surplus fund balance to maintain funding for those programs. School officials had planned to allocate money from the fund balance over a period of years to help keep taxes down.

"If the budget passes, the advisory proposition passes and funding would be restored for JV and Modified sports, field trips and student activities," Geisler said.

If the revised budget proposition fails, the district cannot put up another budget and must adopt an austerity budget amounting to $49.93 million, which increases spending by 3.15 percent over the current year. That budget would have no funding for interscholastic and co curricular activities or class size modifications.

Jim Economos, a business consultant and former school trustee, asked Geisler what expenditures have amounted to this year. Geisler said could not respond to that, as he does not close his books until the end of June and there could be unforeseen expenditures. He said there are still payrolls to meet and debt service expenses, and he is not ready to provide an updated fund balance figure.

"We've sat through this for years. The fund balance that was announced this year was big. How could that amount have been left unknowingly?" asked Economos.



Rondout Valley school chief gets new job

By:Pat Rowe, Correspondent



KYSERIKE - Rondout Valley school district officials said they were shocked to learn that district Superintendent Marilyn Pirkle will leave the district July 1 to become superintendent of the Washingtonville school district in Orange County.

Pirkle, who will be making $175,000 in her new job, almost $40,000 more than she makes now, said the decision was not easy to make.

"I was approached by the search committee of that district to apply and, admittedly, there had been some discussions and offers before the final offer was made, and I had a two-day window to make my decision," she said. "The decision was not made easily. Rondout has an extraordinarily good collaborative administration and staff. This is a district made up of people working toward the best interest of the students at all times."

Pirkle, who makes about $137,000 at Rondout Valley, was hired in 1999 to succeed the retiring David Giles as superintendent. Pirkle's current contract would have expired June 30, 2007.

In addition to her new position at Washingtonville, Pirkle has been named president of the New York State Council of School Superintendents. She is also President of the Mid-Hudson Study Council.

"I did have a couple years to go with my contract," she said. "However, I was able to provide this district with the required notice provided in that contract.. As for the July 1 start date in Washingtonville, this board felt it would be better for me to do that and this would give them the summer to search for my replacement."

School board Trustee Kent Anderson, who sat on the search committee that chose Pirkle said he was shocked when she announced that she may take a job with another district.

"I've actually only been on the board this time since August, but I can say I have enjoyed working with Marilyn and I know all the board wishes her the best in her new district," he said Anderson "I would imagine we will create a committee to search for a replacement. Last time, there was a designated facilitator who brought the names of applicants to the committee. Once a selection is made by the committee, it is the board who makes the final decision.

"It is difficult to find a good superintendent," he said. "This is a difficult job with a lot of anxiety."

Following a 6 p.m. public hearing on a revised school budget proposal, trustees are expected to discuss the process of searching for Pirkle's replacement. The discussion will be guided by Martin Rugliss, the superintendent of the Ulster County Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Pirkle said the Washingtonville district is in a rapidly growing residential area and currently has an enrollment of 5,200. The district campus includes three elementary schools which house grades K-5, a middle school for grades 6-8 and a high school.

The district is starting a building project along with a grade reconfiguration. The new building will house grades 7 and 8 while the current middle school will house grades 5 and 6.

Washingtonville District voters approved a $67.3 million budget for 2005-06 school year by a vote of 1,543 to 1,461. Rondout Valley voters by 53 votes, rejected a $51.27 million spending plan on May 17.

Pirkle said the budget rejection in no way influenced her decision to move to another district.  (Freeman 6/7/05)



Letters to the Editor

[Please note that letters published herein do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication or its sponsors.]



Thank god for the mysterious [Hudson Valley Resort Water Park] notice. Otherwise nobody would have known about the dog and pony show put on by the HV Resort and Spa. The few easy questions asked by the town board members, made me wonder who was snowing who. I felt the concerned public asked harder questions, none of which the Resort answered. What I did hear was a water park was being proposed by the resort for patrons of the hotel. They would need 455,000 gallons of water and seven to ten thousand gallons per day to run this water park. They would bring down some old buildings and make new updated ones. They also said this would not impact our area. We’re being asked to support a water park that we would not be allow to use. The area residence would have to put up with increased traffic, pollution, maybe less water (by the time they filled their park), and a tax abatement on all new construction. Sounds like the town residents will have to fork over more money to let the resort get a water park, that we will not be allowed to use. Do we really need neighbors like this?

P. Lang


Dear Editor


On Friday, June 10th, between 6 – 9 pm all registered voters in the Town of Rochester, will have the opportunity to vote on a Mandatory Public Referendum which proposes to allow the Accord Fire District to purchase an aerial ladder fire truck.  The proposed vehicle is commonly referred to as a ‘Quint’.  It has a 400-gallon water tank, with a pump and a 75’ ladder.


It costs $496,244.00 plus the cost of the additional equipment and accessories plus to the finance charges for the two years it is expected to be leased/financed for.  During the Public Hearing the fire department presented reasons why us taxpayers should fund this purchase.

Below are 10 reasons why we should vote NO!

  1. During this past month the fire district has already taken delivery of one brand new vehicle and expects a second one this next week.  They have already spent nearly ~$500,000 on these new vehicles!!!

  2. This purchase is not part of a systematic plan to replace obsolete vehicles with up to date ones that suit our community’s needs:  There is no such plan!!

  3. This truck is limited in its use by terrain factors.  In typical rural conditions that includes steep and often uneven slopes, soft ground and mud this vehicle is not usable.

  4. The complex nature of the vehicle requires higher maintenance costs and the vehicle will be out of service for required ladder safety inspections.

  5. The rapid delivery of water is a critical factor in limiting fire damage to both people and property.  This vehicle only holds 400 gallons of water.  We do not have hydrants, a tanker truck, holding thousands of gallons costs about 1/3 of this proposed vehicle.  A tanker truck could lower the local community ISO rating.

  6. This vehicle will require more firefighter training to operate.  Currently, our local fire fighters have complained that training is very difficult to achieve because of availability and time constraints.

  7. The vehicle will increase the insurance costs to the fire district, a cost passed on to taxpayers.  This is not just because the vehicle is so expensive to replace if damaged, but because of the additional risk to firefighters using a 75’ aerial ladder.

  8. In what appears to be an effort to minimize voter turn out, a decision was made to not allow Absentee Ballots on this large expenditure.

  9. There have been continual questions about the fair play and legality of methods used during the bid process, public notice process, and referendum process of this proposed vehicle, since the beginning.  Until these issues are settled, this single bid proposal, which puts us into ~$500,000 debt, should be stopped. 

  10. The Fire District is in disarray; just last week, one fire commissioner stepped down because he never filed an oath of office.  The Accord Board of Fire Commissioners should not be spending an additional ~$500,000 until it gets its organization in order.


Taxpayers of Accord Fire District Deserve Better!

Please make an extra effort to Vote NO on the Fire Truck Referendum

Friday, June 10th, between 6-9pm at the Accord Fire House, Main Street, Accord



Kathy Kuthy




Dear Editor


A underexposed school budget fact;

Divide the $49.93 million dollar budget by 2,900 students. It comes to $17,240. Simple math shows Rondout Valley has morphed into the highest public school funding ratio known to man, 17,240 dollars per each kid, k-12. For perspective; the average per-student cost in New York State is $11,400. Our students cost almost 60% more, yet schools with much less don’t threaten protectorates’ extracurricular.

Voting is not just a ritual; it’s also a watchdog which comes to paying the bills.

Many years ago our community decided to hire this Superintendent. They were unknowledgeable and she seemed to have all the answers. The Board agreed to her remaining in Albany to also work on another job. For all these years we had a well paid, part time Super who functioned to create employee spending. How do I know? It shows on the books in the language of transparency.

One can assume the Superintendent has employed one special assistant who also must have a secretary, combined perks, and life employment guaranteed in order to take up the Super’s part time slack. “Answer my phone,” could cost another salary. All of a sudden one Superintendent’s part time position could begin at 1/2 million dollars a year.

Pardon me, but the Board should not hesitate to look at all payroll expenses to cut redundancies and combine employee positions. The Board should look at the teachers’ population and eyeball overlaying functions, and it should check to see if teachers’ laziness is the real reason for so many assistants. Facilitating costs aren’t great just because they’re new. Trustees must maintain oversight of their community’s investment. In today’s automatic plumpness it is not a Trustee’s function to hustle tax money, but to be entrusted to manage what is given. Every dime, incoming or blown, should be posted on the school’s website next to the back patting. Use a corner of that site for voter information. Post decisions, indecisions, bids, credit lines. Transparency is on the path to enlightenment.

On June 17th vote NO to gimmicky a, b, c budgets. Many neighbors have been forced to move out by teachers’ and administrative needs. Let’s check out those needs, one can need too much.

We are lucky to have many good teachers and administrators, but all contribute to outrageous compounding that has reached $17,240 per child and continues to grow every year. Next year, without a vote, it will be $18,000 per kid. A lot of money is wasted on bad planning with no accountability. Did you know our bus drivers make only $11 an hour? Do they get medical perks or paid vacations? Yet bus drivers have a direct responsibility for our kids that supersedes the teachers. A NO vote is not permission to penalize our children, a NO vote is trying to call attention to the gross mismanagement of investing property taxes.

Bill Dukas







Melvyn Tapper, Chair

Planning Board

Town of Rochester

Post Office Box 65

Accord, NY 12404


Alice Cross, Chair

Historic Preservation Commission

Town of Rochester

Post Office Box 65

Accord, NY 12404


                re:                Proposed Mahoney Subdivision


                                Lower Whitfield Road


Dear Mr. Tapper and Ms. Cross:


The Town of Rochester Planning Board published notice of a public hearing on a proposed subdivision for a ten lot subdivision off of Lower Whitfield Road (Tax Map 68.4-4-4.121, the “Mahoney Property). The legal notice that appeared in the Daily Freeman is attached as Appendix I. 


In reviewing the map, it appears that the subject property is immediately contiguous to a property in the Town of Rochester that is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  This property, located at 167 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord  (SBL 68.4-31.120) appears to be now owned by Christopher W. Kelder and is listed as entry #43  (the “Osterhoudt/Rider/Kelder Property”) on the “Town of Rochester, Ulster County, Historic Reconnaissance Survey (Revised 1995 Edition)” prepared by Kyserike Restorations for the Town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission ((the “Inventory”).


In recognition of the historic significance of the Osterhoudt/Rider/Kelder property, Mr. Kelder received a $17,946 grant from the State of New York announced in June 2001 for the preservation of the “three-aisled Dutch Barn” on the property.  In making the grant announcement, Governor Pataki said, “Restoring these magnificent, historic structures will help preserve and celebrate an important aspect of New York's heritage.  Having grown up and worked on a farm, I understand the value of our family farms. They represent a vital part of our State's past and our future, reminding us of the key role that rural life has played and continues to play in our communities.”


In addition to the close proximity (approximately 30 feet) of the now partially restored Dutch Barn on the Osterhoudt/Rider/Kelder Property, the Mahoney Property is also substantially contiguous to sites #41, 42, and 44  on the Inventory as well as other stone houses located on Store Road, properties #474, 475, 476, 477, and 478.

I have attached as Appendix II an aerial map showing the location of the Mahoney Property and its relation to the Osterhoudt/Rider/Kelder Property. 


Any large subdivision and subsequent residential development on the Mahoney Property will irrevocably harm the historic neighborhood surrounding the Osterhoudt/Rider/Kelder Property and the other historic buildings and farms in the Lower Whitfield area.  Accordingly, I request that a full SEQRA Environmental Impact Review of the proposed development in accordance with the New York State Historic Preservation Act.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.




Zali Win, President

Rochester Residents Association, Inc.



Legal Notices


NOTICE OF SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT MEETING FOR PURPOSES OF BUDGET RE-VOTE RONDOUT VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Special School District Meeting for purposes of a Budget Re-Vote will be held on June 14, 2005 at the Gymnasium at the Rondout Valley High School, on Kyserike Road, Accord, New York, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. prevailing time, when the polls will be open for the purpose of voting by voting machine to vote on the following propositions. PROPOSITION - SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET "Shall the Board of Education of the Rondout Valley Central School District be authorized to expend $50,659,976 in the 2005-2006 school year to meet necessary estimated expenses and to levy the necessary tax." NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that an advisory proposition to be submitted to the voters shall be as: ADVISORY BUDGET PROPOSITION "Shall the Board of Education of the Rondout Valley Central School District, Ulster County, New York, be authorized to expend the sum of $71,264 for the JV Athletic Program; $88,069 for the Modified Athletic Program; $44,513 for District Wide Field Trips; $58,110 for Co-Curricular and After School Programs at the High School, Middle School and Elementary Schools and $17,607 for Chaperones for Evening Co-Curricular Activities for the July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006 school year, for a maximum aggregate sum of $279,563; with such amount to be offset by the utilization of Fund Balance with no additional impact on the projected tax levy; contingent upon the voters approving the 2005-2006 school year Budget, thereby increasing the 2005-2006 school year Budget to $50,939,539." NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that a copy of the statement of the amount of money which will be required for School District purposes during the 2005-2006 school year (the Budget), exclusive of public monies, may be obtained by any resident of the District during business hours, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at each of the District's schoolhouses and at the District Offices, effective May 31, 2005, except Saturday, Sunday or holidays. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Public Hearing on the Budget will be held on June 7, 2005, at 6:00 p.m. (prevailing time) at the District Office on Kyserike Road, Accord, New York, for the purpose of presenting the budget document for the school year, July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006. NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the School District shall require all persons offering to vote at the Special School District Meeting to provide one form of proof of residency, including but not limited to: Driver's License with physical address Non-Driver Identification Card Voter Registration Card Check Book with physical address State Tax Form Heading with School ID #543 Automobile Insurance Policy NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that pursuant to Section 2018-b of the Education Law, applications for absentee ballots for the Special School District Meeting may be obtained at the Office of the District Clerk at least seven (7) days prior to the vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter or the day before the vote if the ballot will be picked up personally by the voter. Written requests for absentee ballots must be made at least seven (7) days and no more than thirty (30) days prior to the vote. Absentee ballots must be received at the Office of the District Clerk by no later than 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, on the day of the vote, June 14, 2005. A list of all persons to whom absentee ballots shall have been issued will be available for inspection to qualified voters of the District at the Office of the District Clerk during regular office hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., prevailing time, until the day of the Election and Vote. Any qualified voter may file written challenge of the qualifications of a voter whose name appears on such list, stating the reasons for the challenge. -Dated: May 29, 2005 -BY ORDER OF THE -BOARD OF -EDUCATION -RONDOUT VALLEY -CENTRAL -SCHOOL DISTRICT -By: Lorraine P. -Sciarrino, District Clerk -Debra Barbiani -Superintendent's -Secretary -Rondout Valley -Central School -687-2400 Ext. 4803 -dbarbiani@ (Freeman 5/29/05)


"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 14th day of June 2005, commencing at 7:30 PM, at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY on Application by Solly Avi-Noam for an Area Variance for a 25 setback for an addition. Property located at 8 Sieber Road, Kerhonkson, Tax Map #59.7-2-3 and in an `A District of the Town of Rochester. The Above noted application and map are open for inspection at the offices of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Clerk, Accord, NY." Persons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative. (Freeman 5/31/05)


NOTICE is hereby given that a license for On Premises Liquor has been applied for by the undersigned to sell Beer, Wine and Liquor under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law at, 5945 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446 Greenbaum Brothers, Inc. D/B/A Oscar Restaurant 5945 Route 44-55 Kerhonkson, NY 12446


NOTICE is hereby given that a license for On Premises Liquor has been applied for by the undersigned to sell Beer, Wine and Liquor under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law at, 6508 Route 209, Kerhonkson, N.Y. 12446 for On Premises consumption. Caribe Breeze Inc. D/B/A Route 209 Kerhonkson, NY 12446 (Freeman 6/2/05)


Hudson Valley Resort Informational Meeting

Meeting re: Hudson Valley Resort will be held on Tuesday, May 31st at 7pm at the Hudson Valley Resort. The Meeting will consist of an informational presentation of plans in front of the Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals for a proposed renovation of the hotel and a 30,000 square foot water park on the property.  The plans are also under consideration for public tax breaks by the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency. 

Corrected Location:

Please note that the meeting will be held at the Hudson Valley Resort, not Town Hall.


Little Ones' Learning Center plans birthday

The Little Ones' Learning Center, located at Rochester Reformed Church, 5142 Route 209, , will celebrate its fifth anniversary next month.
The center invites past and present LOLC families to a party with cake, games, stories, songs and surprises from 10 a.m. to noon June 4. Admission is free.
In 2004, Little Ones' Library ceased to be funded by Cornell Cooperative Extension and a volunteer board assumed leadership of the organization, changing the name to Little Ones' Learning Center. The center is now a registered not-for-profit organization funded by a combination of private and institutional donations.
The center sponsors two reading groups per week at Rochester Reformed Church in Accord: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays for toddlers, and 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays for all preschool-aged children.
There is no charge for storytime or to borrow one of more than 800 preschool publications.
For more information, call 626-4112. (TH-Record 5/26/05)


 Local Artisan to host Open Studio Show and Sale
Accord jewelry designer  Barbara Klar will hold an Open Studio and Sale on Saturday, June 11 from 10am to 6pm at Clear Metals Studio, 265 Whitfield Road, Accord, NY. Call 626-3700 or visit for more information.


Rondout offers voters a reduced budget

By Paul Brooks
Times Herald-Record

Rochester – The Rondout Valley school board cut its proposed budget for next year by $617,526 – trimming the tax levy increase to 2.56 percent – and set June 14 for a second budget vote.
But voters will have the choice of funding many of the items and programs just cut via a second proposition on the ballot, the district said in a news release. The district would cover the expenditures in the proposition with money from its fund balance.
On May 17, voters rejected a $51.27 million budget that called for the tax levy to rise 4.7 percent. That vote was 1,128 against the budget and 1,075 for it, a difference of 53 votes.
The school board could have put up the same budget for another vote. Instead board members chose to cut one paraprofessional position, reduce equipment purchases by $159,365 and eliminate field trips. They chopped junior varsity and modified sports, reduced co-curricular activities by $61,843 and after-school programs at the elementary level by $13,874. The board reduced BOCES spending by $42,020, buildings and grounds spending by $64,000 and transportation by $41,150. The revised budget totals $50.66 million, 4.65 percent more than the current budget.
But the board is giving voters a chance to decide on reversing some of the cuts.
If voters OK the second proposition, students will have junior varsity and modified sports, co-curricular activities, after-school programs and field trips next year. The sweetener is that this will not cost taxpayers more. The district said it will take the $279,563 needed out of its fund balance.
If voters reject both the new proposed budget and the second proposition, the district will have to go to an austerity, or contingent, budget. That would be $49.93 million and would eliminate all sports, field trips, evening concerts and events, co-curricular clubs and activities.
A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. June 7 at the district office. The polls will open at 6 a.m. June 14 and close at 9 p.m. Balloting is at the high school. (TH-Record 5/27/05)


[You can download an absentee ballot application at


Ulster County faces $23 million cash shortfall

By:Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff



KINGSTON - Ulster County is facing a critical cash shortfall that could force the county to borrow as much as $23.5 million to pay its bills through the end of 2006.

Deputy County Treasurer Michael Hein told county lawmakers at a special session Monday that based on current spending, the county will end the year about $1.5 million short, a problem he said will grow even more serious in 2006.

"If revenues and expenses remain unchanged for 2006, and we know that's unlikely, the chart becomes more dramatic," Hein said. "You'd start 2006 with nothing in the savings account, plus that $1.5 million additional debt from 2005, and by the end of 2006 we'd need to borrow over $22 million to cover operating expenses."

Hein said if the county's finances do not improve and the county's bond rating is downgraded as a result, the interest expense associated with borrowing could increase substantially.

"This has the potential for long-term consequences," he said.

The county started this year with very little in its fund balance, which leaves the county with no reserves to draw on in periods when payouts exceed revenue. It is for this reason that the state Comptroller's Office recommends municipalities keep an amount equivalent to between 5 and 10 percent of their total budgets in reserve. In Ulster County's case, that would mean a reserve of between $14.7 and $29.3 million.

Hein said the problem is a long-term one that began in 1997, when the fund balance started gradually dwindling to the point where it is now, which is essentially zero.

The county Treasurer's Office has recommended lawmakers make some changes as soon as possible to try to reduce the gap in county spending.

Lawmakers will now have to make what all acknowledge will be some tough choices: to raise additional money through new taxes or fees, make budget cuts, or look to the property tax to make up the difference.

Neither Majority Leader Michael Stock nor Minority Leader David Donaldson would rule out the possibility of cutting the county workforce or eliminating services the county currently provides. Both Stock, R-Woodstock, and Donaldson, D-Kingston, said everything that is not mandated is on the table with regards to spending cuts.

Based on the county's current spending plan, it would take a property tax increase of 50.2 percent to generate the $23.5 million two-year shortfall facing the county.

County Administrator Arthur Smith is preparing a study of possible cuts and new revenue sources for lawmakers to begin figuring out how to solve the county's fiscal problems. Fees and taxes discussed at Monday's meeting included the home heating tax, which the county phased out over the past four years, a mortgage tax, motor vehicle registration fees, and the full implementation of the hotel/motel tax.

Legislature Chairman Richard Gerentine, R-Marlboro, said he'd send a memo to all department heads today notifying them that no new hires can be made until further notice, including seasonal employees and filling vacancies.

Reasons for the growing gap in the county's finances include flat collections of sales tax, the county's single largest revenue source, and "sluggish" federal and state reimbursements, Hein said.  (Freeman 5/24/05)


 Endangered Species

After languishing in the Town of Rochester court for two years, a case involving 38 counts of animal neglect against Accord resident Patty Abezis, founder and operator of the Patty’s Angels private animal shelter, was settled at a trial in that court on Friday, when Abezis was convicted on all counts.  Her assistant, Tracey Ann Pennington, was found guilty of six counts.  Sentenceing is set for July 6.


Local members of the animal welfare community are asking, however, why the court did not immediately remove the approximately 70 animals that are currently at the shelter even though Ulster County assistant district attorney Gerald Van Loan asked presiding town justice Albert Babcock to do so.  State law permits the animals to be seized.  Babcock refused, saying that the animals appeared to be doing well and he would consider the matter as part of sentencing.  Babcock did not return phone calls from Ulster Publishing on the matter.


But Ulster County district attorney Donald Williams said this week that Van Loan was drawing up a petition the assistant district attorney planned to submit to Babcock on Tuesday or Wednesday asking the judge to allow the Ulster County SPCA and other interested animal welfare organizations to seize the animals and permit Abezis from operating as a shelter in the future as a condition of sentencing.  Meanwhile, the D.A. wants the SPCA to be permitted to inspect the site whenever it wishes.  Currently, the SPCA must give Abezis two hours notice and can not inspect the shelter more than twice a week.


Abezis’s attorney, Robert Zaccheo, Jr. of New Paltz, would not comment on his client’s behalf but said it is likely she will appeal the conviction.  In the past, she has blamed conditions at the shelter on a former employee who she said neglected the animals over a weekend when she was away, but critics of her operation have maintained the neglect was far worse than anything that occurred during one weekend.


In what could prove to be landmark legislation, Williams also said on Tuesday that he hopes to meet with representatives of the SPCA, the national Animal Legal Defense Fund (which had become involved when the case seemed to idle), the New York State Humane Association, and possibly Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and stat Senator John Bonacic in the near future to put forth a bill at the state level that would require licensing for all animal shelters and private rescue facilities.


“If the [individuals operating such shelters] are not following the appropriate provisions of the licensing procedure, their licenses could be revoked without the ordeal of a trial,” said the D.A. fo the proposed legislation.  “This case is a blatant example of how legislation should be passed to permit agencies that care for animals to remove the animals short of and in addition to criminal violations.”


The case drew attention from members of the animal welfare community around the country after Abezis, who had originally purchased the property in 1996, was charged on November 7, 2002 with 119 misdemeanor counts of animal neglect involving 92 dogs, 24 cats and several hens and rabbits.


According to a statement at the time by Ulster County SPCA investigator Thomas LaBuda, whose inspection of the property resulted in the charges against Abezis, the animals had insufficient or no food or drinking water; were found in kennels contaminated with feces and uring; were often in cages that were so small they couldn’t turn around; and in some instances, were in standing water that covered the floors of their enclosures with feces floating in water.  A cat that had apparently been dead for several days was found in one area.  Numerous animals appeared to be suffering from dehydration and parasites; and the odor was so strong Ulster County Sheriff’s deputy William King had to leave the premises.  LaBuda made a video tape of the premises to accompany his complaint.


Three of the sickest animals were taken in to custody and subsequently had to be euthanized.  The remaining 116 animals were left in Abezis’s custody on the property to be monitored by the SPCA until a trial could be held , according to the national Naimal Legal Defense Fund, which as tried to move the case to trial during the past two years.  Williams’ office eventually proceeded with 38 counts of neglect representing the 19 worst cases.  The SPCA had reportedly been monitoring the shelter for years but was unable to bring charges it believed would hold up prior to those brought in November 2002.  Once the case was brought, there were six adjournments: two because the court could not get an adequate number of jurors and once because Abezis dismissed her attorney.


Pat Valusek, chairperson of the New York State Humane Association also believes Babcock should have removed the animals last week now that Abezis “has been convicted of numerous counts of neglect.” Said Valusek, “The SPCA is a private organization and can’t be expected to monitor every animal in Ulster County, particularly in a case where the individual has been convicted of neglect.  The organization has done its job already and needs to be using its resources to address other issues of cruelty in the county.”

[Excerpted from Woodstock Times 5/5/2005)


Rondout kids present research at SUNY caucus

Accord – Students of Science Research in the High School (SRHS) at Rondout Valley High School presented their original experiments May 24 at a formal symposium at Coykendall Auditorium of SUNY New Paltz.
The program, instituted at Rondout in 2001, allows high school students to research a topic and carry out experiments over a three-year period. Students read extensively in their area of interest and executed an original study modeled after the literature they have read.
The evening featured four presentations by first-year students, including lobster aggression, macroeconomics, cancer vaccines, emotional suppression and schizophrenia. Second-year students gave slide presentations of studies in music training and sound perception, E. coli bacteria, photovoltaics, emotional speech perception and the role of COG1 in Oligodendricyte maturation.
Samuel Stewart presented his original data on canine aggression.
Alison Sickler, a third-year student, presented research on music preference and sexual behavior in adolescents. Sickler was awarded Highest Honors (first place) at the Eastern subregional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium this past February, and earned Honors at the state-level JSHS in March. She was also awarded the Eleanor Mill Reed Science Research Award at the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair/Science Congress, held also in March 2005.
Dr. K. E. Saavik Ford was the symposium's keynote speaker. Ford investigated extrasolar comets as a research fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. She is now a freelance writer involved in science education and public outreach.
"Americans and our Rondout students can help fill the needs of this country through courses such as Science Research," facilitator Elissa Jury said. "Regardless of where our students journey in the future, they have learned to navigate the world of ideas and critical thought and investigate the truth."  (TH-Record 5/25/05)



Rondout Valley 'boot camp' objectors won't be punished

By Pat Rowe`, Correspondent



KYSERIKE - Rondout Valley High School students who objected to participating in a physical education "boot camp" led by members of the National Guard will not be penalized for bowing out of the exercise, school officials said this week.

Two days of classes were conducted April 25 and 26 by the National Guard at the invitation of school Principal William Cafiero. District officials said Cafiero had the best interest of students in mind and thought they would enjoy the program, but some parents said the experience caused their children emotional stress.

Activities included running in place, relays, stretching exercises and a ball toss meant to simulating throwing a grenade into a back of a vehicle.

"Mr. Cafiero invited the National Guard, and negativity from students was not at all anticipated," Assistant Superintendent Eileen Camasso said at a Board of Education meeting earlier this week. "The physical education staff was totally unprepared and therefore did not have an alternative plan. During the first day, they realized there was a problem and some teachers allowed students to walk the track if they expressed they felt uncomfortable in the program."

Parents said some students who refused to participate received an "unprepared" mark for that day. Camasso said Cafiero is trying to identify those students and make certain that mark is removed from their grades. The principal met with a group of concerned parents as well as National Guard members, she said.

Some school trustees were concerned that they weren't made aware of the program and that students seemed to have no choice regarding their participation.

"I am offended as a parent of a high school student and as Board of Education president that this was not brought before the Board of Education," said board President Maureen Sheehan. "The line of communication is a problem. I am not saying that the National Guard should or should not have been at the school. I am saying Rondout students have always been given choices and I am offended that they were not given a choice in this activity."

Trustee Kent Anderson said his only objection was that students were subjected to comments from the guardsmen as if they were in a military training setting. Parent Rachel Rogers called it "hazing."

"I hear some teachers did handle this professionally, (but) my son was threatened by the teacher that he could not do the make up of some prior gym days missed if he did not participate," Rogers said.

Rogers, referring to a U.S. Army recruiter guidebook, said the military has a recruitment agenda when it comes to schools. She and other parents requested the district make parents aware of "opt out" forms for such programs.

Not everyone in the audience was in agreement with the group of concerned parents.

"I'm really upset about this," said high school student Katie Coalla. "Kids who graduated from Rondout are over in Iraq fighting for us. Imagine being their parent and hearing this.

"I thought the experience was a good opportunity to talk about men and women from our alma mater who are in the military and what they are doing for us. This has been totally blown out of the water because of a few people. ... These representatives come to our school, they are in a program where they would give their lives for us, and they come here and get no respect. I am upset."

Her comments were applauded by the audience.  (Freeman 5/27/05)


 Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:


The recent conviction of Patty Abezis and her accomplice, Tracey Pennington, for a combined 44 counts animal abuse at their "shelter", Patty’s Angels, was a welcome sign that jurors in the Town of Rochester do care about the well being of animals in our town.   However good Abezis' intentions were, the fact remains that she owned and supervised a facility where horrendous acts of animal neglect and cruelty have been permitted to take place since the allegations were first brought up in 2000.


Abezis and Patty’s Angels have been under a court order to permit the Ulster County SPCA to visit the facility up to twice a week .  These visits were subject to a two hour advance notice and the court order specifically did not  permit inspections of Abezis’ on-site house, where a number of additional animals are held.   It doesn’t take a fool to realize that if you know someone’s going to inspect in a couple of hours, you clean up your act or you hide them in your house.  This order was granted by a judge in Kingston with respect for the presumption of Abezis’ innocence prior to the trial that just found her guilty.


Now that Abezis has been convicted of 38 counts, the rules should change.  On April 28th, Judge Babcock inexplicably denied the District Attorney’s motion that Abezis immediately surrender the animals to the Ulster County SPCA, instead relying on the inadequate prior (pre-conviction) order of pre-notified inspections of Patty’s Angels to ensure the animals’ well-being. 


Now that Abezis and Pennington have been convicted, it’s time for Judge Babcock to send a message to the defendants that their actions and neglect were wrong, and to the Town to say that crimes like theirs will not be tolerated in our community.  So far, we’re not hearing that message.  The court needs to take the more than 100 abused animals away from Abezis and put them in the custody of a responsible organization that has the resources to care for them.  Failure to do so is tantamount to allowing a convicted child abuser to retain custody of the children that he or she abused.  This lack of corrective action should not be tolerated by the decent people of our town.



J. Reilly



Town Supervisor and Board  to Hold Community Meetings

Town Supervisor Pam Duke and the Town Board will hold a series of open town meetings this week at various locations around the Town.  The purpose of the meetings is to discuss results of the recent Town-wide survey, provide an update on recent town activities, and to solicit input from residents about issues of concern.


The meetings will be held at 7pm on each of the following days at the following locations:


May 23             Alligerville Firehouse 

May 24             Town Justice Court

May 25             Accord Firehouse

May 26             Rochester II Firehouse (Samsonville Road)


For further information, call the Supervisor’s Office at 626-3043.





The Little Ones' Learning Center (formerly Little Ones' Library), located at

Rochester Reformed Church, 5142 Route 209, Accord, presents:

On Saturday June 4th, LOLC turns five and everyone's invited to the party!

Come for cake, games, stories, songs and surprises!   If you attend LOLC now

or did in the past, come say HI to all your friends. 10am - noon, free

admission.   For more information, call LOLC at 845-626-4112.



WHAT NEXT FOR SCHOOLS? Five districts ponder options after budget defeats

By Patricia Doxsey, Freeman staff



SCHOOL district officials say forces beyond their control drove the defeat of five local budget proposals in Tuesday's voting.

And leaders in the five districts - Onteora, Saugerties, Rondout Valley, Hyde Park and Cairo-Durham - say they're gearing up for revotes on the rejected plans.

Thirteen out of 18 local budget proposals, or 72 percent, were approved on Tuesday. Statewide, 83 percent of the spending proposals passed.


Rondout Valley

In the Rondout Valley and Cairo-Durham school district, officials say they'll pare down the rejected budget proposals before resubmitting them to voters.

In fact, Rondout Valley officials already have their Plan B in place.

"The reductions have already been identified. We already have a plan in place," said Superintendent Marilyn Pirkel.

The $51.3 million budget that was rejected on Tuesday - in a 1,128-1,075 vote - would have increased spending in Rondout Valley by 5.92 percent and the tax levy by 4.72 percent.

The revised plan will total $50.7 million, an increase of 4.65 percent over the 2004-05 budget. The smaller plan eliminates several programs (including field trips and all junior varsity and modified sports), reduces equipment purchases and eliminates a new paraprofessional position at the high school

Rondout Valley school board President Maureen Sheehan believes the budget defeat was more a reflection of public unhappiness with rising property taxes than with dissatisfaction over the budget itself.

"I think that people are tired of paying taxes, and this is the only budget people ever get to vote on," Sheehan said. "It's not that people are saying 'no' to children or education, but to how we are funding this."  (Excerpted from Freeman 5/19/05)


 Hotel owner looks forward to park

By Jonathan Ment, Freeman staff


KERHONKSON - Operating at about 30 percent occupancy, the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa is banking on a proposed indoor water park to help fill more of its 350 guest rooms.

Robert Burrick, director of strategic planning for the resort, said Wednesday he hopes work on the attraction will begin as early as fall.

A public hearing on involvement of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency in the project was held Wednesday at the resort.

Burrick's "most ambitious" timeline for the project would see the water park open for the 2006 holiday season.

"We are not under any means looking to expand, or call this a water park as you may think when you hear a Six Flags commercial," said Burrick. "It's family-oriented. It's not for day-trippers, it's almost entirely for use by hotel guests.

The project would create about 200 jobs, Burrick said.

"There will be water slides, lazy rivers, things for young children, a way to bring families back to the Catskills," he said. "I remember coming to this hotel and others when I was a young kid."

Plans include renovations of the exhibit hall and overhauls of its guest rooms and other interior spaces.

Peter Gallagher, director of business development for the Ulster County Development Corp., said Minnewaska Co., doing business as Hudson Valley Resort and Spa, estimated savings through county agency involvement in the project at $2.2 million.

Improvements beyond the existing tax assessment would be subject to the agency's standard payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the first 10 years. Assessed taxes on the existing infrastructure would not be affected.

Burrick said the park would be intended for use mainly by guests, and would not result in traffic beyond what would normally occur if the resort was operating near capacity.

The hotel has been operating in the 30 percent occupancy range, he said. "As you can imagine, it's fairly impossible for investors to maintain equity in their investments or make a profit."

More information, and graphic renderings will be offered on May 31 at 7 p.m. when the township committee, town planning and zoning boards, hotel officials and representatives from Albany-based Aquatic Development Corp., will be present to offer details and answer questions.

Aquatic Development Corp. is currently finishing a project in Lake George, Burrick said.

Of a dozen or so attendees, several Lower Granite Road residents voiced concerns about increased traffic on what they said was already an over-used road. Others asked about building height and environmental impact.

Burrick said he would see that alternative routes were offered.

The plan's required environmental review has not occurred.  (Freeman 5/19/05)

[Editor’s Note: The Town of Rochester Town Board, Planning Board and ZBA are holding a joint meeting to hear the hotel’s plans:  7pm, Tuesday, May 31 at Town Hall.


Lobby Day to halt Gov. Pataki's casino plan
June 7th in Albany
Transportation will be provided

Busses will leave from points in Ulster, Sullivan and Orange Counties starting at 7 am and returning home by 6 pm.

With the legislative session in Albany ending on June 23rd, and a proposal for up to three casinos coming out before then, it is absolutely crucial that we talk to our legislators face to face to stop movement on casino plans in the Catskills and Northern Ulster County.

Contact Suzanne Durocher at or 914-630-4815 for more information, or visit




Letters to the Editor



Dear Editor:


I’m proud to say that there was further evidence of the  Democratic Party's growing strength in the Town of Rochester.  On May 15th,  more than 60 of us gathered at the Accord Fire House to get a consensus on the  issues that Rochester Democrats will support in the coming months.    We discussed ideas ranging from Youth and Senior Programs to improving our  town's communications infrastructure (cable tv, improved cell service,  broadband).  Through these

discussions we found that the issue that was  most important was encouraging sustainable development in which  community-friendly business and residential growth is allowed to flourish in an  environment that respects our Town’s wonderful rural character.   Other popular ideas were the strengthening of our existing zoning law  enforcement, enhanced government transparency and financial accountability, and the need for affordable housing for working  families.  Overall,

it was a very positive enthusiastic group full of great  ideas for making our town one that we can truly be proud of.


I’d like to  thank all the participants and invite anyone who is interested in volunteering  or running for office in the Town of Rochester to contact me at 626-7373 or to  visit our website at




Max  Finestone, Chair

Town of Rochester Democratic Committee




Dear Editor:


The recent conviction of Patty Abezis and her accomplice, Tracey Pennington, for a combined 44 counts animal abuse at their "shelter", Patty’s Angels, was a welcome sign that jurors in the Town of Rochester do care about the well being of animals in our town.   However good Abezis' intentions were, the fact remains that she owned and supervised a facility where horrendous acts of animal neglect and cruelty have been permitted to take place since the allegations were first brought up in 2000.


Abezis and Patty’s Angels have been under a court order to permit the Ulster County SPCA to visit the facility up to twice a week .  These visits were subject to a two hour advance notice and the court order specifically did not  permit inspections of Abezis’ on-site house, where a number of additional animals are held.   It doesn’t take a fool to realize that if you know someone’s going to inspect in a couple of hours, you clean up your act or you hide them in your house.  This order was granted by a judge in Kingston with respect for the presumption of Abezis’ innocence prior to the trial that just found her guilty.


Now that Abezis has been convicted of 38 counts, the rules should change.  On April 28th, Judge Babcock inexplicably denied the District Attorney’s motion that Abezis immediately surrender the animals to the Ulster County SPCA, instead relying on the inadequate prior (pre-conviction) order of pre-notified inspections of Patty’s Angels to ensure the animals’ well-being. 


Now that Abezis and Pennington have been convicted, it’s time for Judge Babcock to send a message to the defendants that their actions and neglect were wrong, and to the Town to say that crimes like theirs will not be tolerated in our community.  So far, we’re not hearing that message.  The court needs to take the more than 100 abused animals away from Abezis and put them in the custody of a responsible organization that has the resources to care for them.  Failure to do so is tantamount to allowing a convicted child abuser to retain custody of the children that he or she abused.  This lack of corrective action should not be tolerated by the decent people of our town.



J. Reilly






To the editor,

By its’ actions the only moral values this school administration teaches is the philosophy of divide to conquer and greed achievement.  Lie on the books, lie to Albany, lie to the community, even lie to the kids.  Administrations have learned how easy it is to frame the argument and transfer their inadequacies onto the community.  In reality it’s always been the administration’s needs that push budgets to new heights.  Even buildings’ maintenance and upkeep suffers on purpose, to be used at special moments to embarrass the community.

 Why don’t teachers teach the kids that a NO vote also provides the checks and balances on a school’s budget, the only way a community has of slowing down runaway mismanagement?   Why don’t teachers instruct the kids that in a capitalist society most vote to stay within their needs?  Why aren’t our children taught a school budget is like charity, even home owners without children must contribute?   We all have friends who have been forced to move because their pockets couldn’t keep up with the increases.  But instead of teaching the kids to recognize sacrifice, they’re taught greed. The administration usurps parental responsibility by developing the children’s egos to believe they’re endowed with special entitlement.  This is not real world thinking, it creates a damaging laze affair attitude.

 9-11 drove a lot of frighten people to the suburbs and this administration plays on fears.  This administration’s appetite has forced the real-estate value to jump, which not only brings new money into their system, but because the school property also increases in value, it allows the administration to double-dip by taking the new re-assessed value to the bank for an umpteenth mortgage.  Although we pay for this double-dipping, it remains hidden without a vote.

  I abused one credit card, I have liens, life style changes, credit ruined and I’m embarrassed and ostracized.  This administration has no embarrassment.  They have uncontrolled credit which allows them to push more debt onto this community’s future.

  Our trustees fail us by not controlling credit limits.  I can only assume they’re paid off in no bid or padded contracts.  Kick backs of a new swimming in a yard, a new car in the driveway, vacations, or just cash in the hand.  Never to be investigated nor accountable.  A board president who only serves to rubberstamp an administration is of no use to their community.

 Although this administrate turns the kids against us by the mantra ‘it’s for the children’ their main objective remains to secure as many teachers and administrators positions as possible and seduce their loyalty with outrageous benefits.  The children only served as the catalyst.  Who gets carte’ blanc while kids sacrifice their art, sports, entertainment and extra curricular activities?  Who makes no sacrifices yet calls the parents names if they cry reaching deeper in their generously empting pockets? Who got the first new building?   Who gets outrageous salaries, the envy of the rest of the state?  Who gets $1,700 a month medical coverage while many who pay their salaries have none?   Join the vote NO revolution.   Don’t be afraid, because of this community’s generosity there are hundreds of talented administrators and teachers waiting in the wings. 



Bill Dukas




Public Hearing on Water Park Project and Financing at Hudson Valley Resort & Spa

Begins Wednesday, May 18 at 2:00 PM Manhattan Theater Room, Hudson Valley Resort & Spa

(See Legal Notices below for details)


Convicted shelter owner allowed to keep animals

By Mary Fairchild, Freeman staff



ACCORD - The owner of Patty's Angels animal shelter is being allowed to keep the animals she was convicted of neglecting - for now.

Patty Abezis, 51, of 412 Whitfield Road, Accord, was found guilty on Friday in Rochester Town Court on 38 counts of animal neglect. Her assistant, Tracey Ann Pennington, 47, same address, was convicted on six counts. Each count carries a maximum penalty of one year behind bars. The two women are to be sentenced in July.

After a jury convicted Abezis and Pennington, town of Rochester Justice Albert S. Babcock III rejected a motion by Ulster County Assistant Attorney Gerard Van Loan that the animals at Patty's Angels be seized.

Babcock did order, however, that Abezis not take in any more animals and that none be removed from the property, according to Julie West, executive director of the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

West said the SPCA was ready to take in the more than 100 cats, dogs, rabbits and chickens at Patty's Angels. "We were prepared to bring them all in," she said. "We had arranged for temporary placement facilities and veterinary care for all the animals."

Now, in light of the judge's order, "we are continuing to monitor the situation," West said. She said SPCA staffers are going to Abezis' property twice a week to make sure the Babcock's order is being followed.

Jill Schufeldt, the town of Rochester's dog officer, said she was happy with the convictions but disappointed with Babcock's ruling.

Schufeldt said she was aware of the situation at Patty's Angels as far back as 2000 and that the conditions at the shelter were deplorable.

"Some of the dogs were completely bald with mange," she said, "and all the kennels and cat enclosures were soaked with urine and feces." Schufeldt also said it was not unusual for the power and heat to be turned off at the site.

Neither Abezis nor Babcock could be reached for comment.  (Freeman 5/5/05)



Saints of Swing marching into Kerhonkson
By Chris Farlekas

Often you'll hear "When the Saints Go Marching In" as a rousing number in a black church. It's one of the great soul-stirring, "Amen" hymns. But this Sunday, it'll raise the roof in an unexpected house of worship, the Kerhonkson Synagogue.
That number, as well as klezmer music and swing music, will be performed by the Saints of Swing, as part of a concert honoring the memory of an extraordinary rabbi, Aliza Stein, who was killed in a car crash, along with her daughter, six years ago.
Saints is a seven-piece band featuring the powerful vocalist Rene Bailey, who has performed with such greats as Louis Armstrong, Peg Leg Bates, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King. David Winograd, leader of the Saints, says Bailey is "incomparable, and can blow down the house." When she's not singing jazz, scat or the blues, Bailey is the music director of the Samsonville United Methodist Church. She thrilled thousands of guests during 20 years as featured vocalist at the Peg Leg Bates Country Club.
Winograd, who is the synagogue's president, has been the principal tuba player with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic for 32 years. He has performed with such big bands as the Les and Larry Elgart orchestras and Jimmy Dorsey. He cooked up terrific jazz music with Wynton Marsalis and he has backed classical luminaries such as Van Cliburn and Pinchas Zukerman in concert.
Winograd was director of the Dutchess County Community College Music School from 1996-2003 and teaches instrumental music part-time in the Roundout Valley Central School District.
With a smile, he adds that he "sounds a mighty shofar for the High Holy Days at the temple."
He becomes serious talking about Stein, saying she was an "inspiration and a great spiritual teacher" to him. Stein spent her life following what she called "the prophet's call for justice." That led her to march with Martin Luther King Jr. and to chain herself to the White House fence in the mid-1960s to protest the Vietnam war. She was a pioneer as a woman rabbi in the Reformed branch of Judaism.
When she took over the temple in the early 1980s, it "was falling into a state of limbo. It was ready to become just a burial society," Winograd said. It was an uphill battle to save the temple, but Stein did it, Winograd said. (Th-Record 5/12/05)




Latest jail claims top $4 million

By Hallie Arnold, Freeman staff



KINGSTON - Ulster County lawmakers met for two hours behind closed doors Wednesday night, ostensibly to learn more about the county's legal position with regard to construction delays at the new Law Enforcement Center.

While no formal action was taken either during or after the lengthy executive session, a resolution seeking an additional $4.7 million for the project is expected to come out of a special meeting of the Law Enforcement Center Project Committee at noon on Friday.

That resolution is expected to call for about $4.1 million to settle claims filed by contractors seeking additional money due to the roughly 17-month delay in the project's completion, and another $525,000 to pay construction managers Bovis Lend Lease and project architect Crandell Associates.

Mark Sweeney, the special counsel hired by the county to help guide lawmakers through the completion of the project and claims process, said Bovis and Crandell are due additional money for the extension of their services on the job through the fall, when the project is now scheduled to be completed.

Last September, county lawmakers OK'd spending $8 million more than the project's $71.8 million budget: $4.73 million for additional construction costs, $1.8 million for consulting and legal fees, and $1.47 million to pay claims.

At that time, lawmakers were told it could cost as much as $15.2 million to cover claims and legal and consulting fees, but chose to allocate that money piecemeal rather than in one lump sum.

"Everyone understood and knew at the time that we would be seeking additional money as additional claims were being asserted," Sweeney said. "At that time, there had only been three claims asserted for approximately $9 million. Additional claims have been asserted, and we told them up front that we knew we would be coming back."

Legislature Majority Leader Michael Stock, R-Woodstock, said in addition to reviewing the need for the additional money in executive session, the Legislature as a whole was brought up to date on the status of the investigation into the cost overruns. That information was previously known only by the Legislature's leadership and members of the Law Enforcement Center Project Committee.

"The good news, if there's any good news in this disaster, is that it looks like it may actually be completed by September, or towards the end of September," said Minority Leader David Donaldson, D-Kingston. "If you asked me that two months ago, I was getting the idea that it wouldn't open until March (2006)."

Even so, Donaldson and Stock said expect there will be some resistance to the resolution. Because the county will have to borrow the money, a favorable vote by a two-thirds majority of the Legislature, or 22 of the 33 members, will be required for the measure to pass when it is expected to be considered May 12.  (5/5/05))




Ulster County faces $12M budget gap
By Paul Brooks
Times Herald-Record

Kingston – Ulster County is in a hole $12 million to $15 million deep, millions of dollars deeper than even anticipated, and eyeing serious cuts or tax hikes to dig its way out.
Ulster County Treasurer Lewis Kirschner reported that the county had only $2.6 million in surplus at the end of last year. The number is part of the treasurer's 2004 annual financial report, which was released yesterday.
The surplus in the county's general fund, the main fund and the biggest, was only $1.2 million, the report said.
The decline from the year before is huge, a drop of $12.4 million, according to the report. The county started 2004 with about $20 million in overall surplus, and county legislators used about $15 million to lower the tax levy for this year.
The bad news is that the shrinking surplus leaves the county with that much less with which to tamp down property taxes for 2006.
"Without that surplus ... we are about $15 million in the hole," said Kingston Democrat Dave Donaldson, minority leader of the county Legislature.
"We are going to have to make some serious and drastic changes in the way we do business. It looks like it's just going to get worse unless they make a serious commitment to cutting expenses and raising revenues."
If the $15 million shortfall were passed along to county taxpayers, the annual tax increase could exceed 30 percent.
When the county faced a deficit in its budget back in the early 1990s, the solution was to raise the county's sales tax three-quarters of 1 percent. But sales tax revenues have stalled. So far this year, the take is about $1.4 million below projections, Donaldson said.
"We can't hike the sales tax again. We have already done that," he said.
County Administrator Art Smith said he warned legislators last fall about the shrinking fund balance and its impact. "I can't overemphasize the impact that the decline in fund balance and sales-tax growth will have on future budgets," he wrote in October.
Back then he predicted the general fund surplus for the end of 2004 would be $5 million. Even if it had hit that level, instead of only $2.6 million, it would be too little to make a significant impact on the 2006 budget, Smith said.
The way out of the hole has to be either to raise taxes, raise other revenues, cut expenses or some combination of the three, he said.
All options are on the table, Legislature Chairman Richard Gerentine said yesterday. "I told (Smith) today to give us different ways to increase revenues," he said. Raising the county's mortgage tax or bringing back a home heating tax are options. Legislators have to look at the county infirmary as well. It will cost about $5 million to operate this year.
The situation will force legislators to make tough decisions, Donald said, decisions "they may not want to make." (TH-Record 5/11/05)




Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices



Dear Editor:


I was very disappointed to read that the outside auditors for the Town of Rochester criticized the Rochester Town Clerk's poor financial recordkeeping yet again at the April Town board meeting. It is sad that missing bank statements, revenue mispostings, and accounting discrepancies in the Town Clerk's accounts continue.   These unprofessional  practices were first raised by then Rochester Town Board member Tony Spano in 2001 and again, earlier this year, when it was discovered that $24,000 was missing from the Town Clerk’s Office.


Perhaps, the Town Clerk's salary should be cut by $24,000 to make up for what's been lost under her supervision or lack thereof.  No matter whether the money was stolen, the Town Clerk is responsible for it. The taxpayers of the Town of Rochester should not have to pay again and again for the Town Clerk’s inability to keep track of our money. While the Town Clerk can blame these problems on her recently indicted deputy; ultimately, it’s the Town Clerk who is responsible.


On a more positive note: It is good to see that Supervisor Pam Duke and the Town Board have taken steps to address the issue of missing transfer station funds by recently implementing a trackable system of transfer station tickets to replace the former "punch card" system that had been in place for years.  The new tickets should make it easier to track incoming money and to make sure that it gets deposited into the banks properly. Supervisor Pam Duke and the Town

Board's action in this regard is a big step in the right direction in restoring public trust in our town's government, which has been severely tested by the continuing problems in the Town Clerk’s office.



Sincerely yours,

Vann Emery, Kerhonkson


Vote of Purchase of Aerial Ladder Truck Notice is hereby given that the Accord Fire District will be holding a special election for the purpose of the purchase of a 2005, 75 foot Aerial/Pumper Quint Ladder truck from Sutphen Corporation. Resolution passed for the purchase of the ladder truck at the regular Board of Fire Commissioners meeting held February 2, 2005. The proposed cost of Aerial Truck will be $496,244.00 which will be taken out of the Capital Reserve Fund. Voting will be held at the Accord Company #1 Station Social Shall located at 22 Main Street, Accord, NY 12404 on June 10, 2005 between the hours of six oclock pm until nine oclock pm (Freeman 5/10/05)

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED PROJECT AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RELATING THERETO Notice is hereby given that a public hearing pursuant to Section 859-a (2) of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York (the "Act") will be held by Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (the "Agency") on the 18th day of May, 2005 at 2:00 oclock p.m., local time, at 400 Granite Road, in the Manhattan Theater Room, located at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa, in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York, in connection with the following matters: Minnewaska Company, L.L.C. d/b/a Hudson Valley Resort and Spa (the "Applicant") has presented an applicaiton (the"Application") to the Agency, a copy of which is on file at the office of the Agency, requesting that the Agency consider undertaking a project (the "Project") consisting of (A) (1) the acquisition of an interest in a portion of a parcel of real estate containing approximately 566 acres of land located at 400 Granite Road in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, New York (the "Land"), together with the five existing buildings located thereon, collectively forming a hotel complex (collectively, the "Existing Facility"); (2) the reconstruction of portions of the Existing Facility; (3) the construction on the Land of an addition to the Existing Facility forming an indoor water park facility to contain in the aggregate apporximately 35,000 square feet of space (the "Water Park Facility"); (4) the construction on the Land of an addition to the Existing Facility forming an exhibit hall to contain in the aggregate approximately 20,000 square feet of space (the "Exhibit Hall") (the Existing Facility, the Water Park Facility and the Exhibit Hall being collectively referred to as the "Facility"), and (5) the acuqisition and installation therein and thereon, of certain machinery and equipment (the "Equipment") (the Land, the Equipment and the Facility being collectively referred to as the "Project Facility"), all of the foregoing to constitute a hotel resort facility to be owned and operated by the Company, (B) the granting of certain "financial assistance" (within the meaning of Section 854(14) of the Act) with respect to the foregoing, including potential exemptions from sales taxes, real property transfer taxes, mortgage recording taxes and real estate taxes (collectively, the "Financial Assistance"); and (C) the lease (with an obligation to purchase) or sale of the Project Facility to the Company or such other person as may be designated by the Company and agreed upon by the Agency. The Agency is considering whether (A) to undertake the project and (B) to provide certain exemptions from taxation with respect to the project, including (1) exemption from mortgage recording taxes with respect to any documents recorded by the agency with respect to the Project in the office of the County Clerk of Ulster County, New York or elsewhere, (2) exemption from sales taxes relating to the acquisition, construction and installation of the Project Facility, (3) exemption from deed transfer taxes on any real estate transfers with respect to the Project, and (4) exemption from real property taxes (but not including special assessments and sp