News Archive 2006




News Archive - 2002


News Archive - 2003


News Archive - 2004


News Archive - 2005




    News Archive 2006




Board and Commission Vacancies (12/13/06)


Accord Fire District Fire Commissioners Election Results (12/13/06)


Alligerville Fire House Pancake Breakfast (12/13/06)


A word of Thanks -  Rochester Food Pantry (12/13/06)


Skate Time 209 Featured on National TV (12/13/06)


Eliot Cowan Speaks About Plant Spirit Medicine in Stone Ridge (12/13/06)


Three Events with Brother Gregorio, Master Philippine Spiritual Healer (12/13/06)


Eat, Drink, Talk, Learn (12/13/06)


Rochester and Environs Featured in New York Magazine Article (12/13/06)


Rondout building plan fails (12/13/06)


Wal-Mart may build store in Napanoch (12/13/06)


Artist to Hospital: You’ve gotta have art (12/13/06)


Local farm provides Christmas trees for troops abroad (12/13/06)





Help the Rochester Food Pantry (11/29/06)


School Capital Expenditures Plan Vote (11/29/06)


Accord Fire District Commissioner Election (11/29/06)


News from Friends of Little Ones (11/29/06)


Congressman Hinchey to Attend Local Holiday Party (11/29/06)


Rochester Preliminary Budget Shows Minimal Tax Increase (11/29/06)


Tide of big-box stores turns to area (11/29/06)


Local Broadband Providers (11/29/06)


Man Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charge (11/29/06)


Ellenville hospital's big revival (11/29/06)


Letters to the Editor (11/29/06)





A Reminder from the Fire Department


Alligerville Fire Company Events


Community Thanksgiving Luncheon – November 23rd


What are all the Signs About


Rehab Land Donated – 130 New Jobs coming to Rochester


Task Force Critical of Rondout Valley Building Project


Man passes on blacksmith trade in old home Canal Forge


Letters to the Editor


Give “Til it Feels Good – Rochester Food Pantry




Roswell Rudd to Perform with Mongolian Buryat Band (10/26/06)


Accord Business Couple Featured in Ulster County Press (10/26/06)


Country and Farm B&B Opens in Accord (10/26/06)


Skate Time 209 Named Ulster County Best Small Business (10/26/06)


Youths Charged with Church Break In (10/26/06)


Police Say Man Snapped Cat’s Back (10/26/06)


Pie festival brings out variety of talents (10/26/06)


Rondout Valley dipping into reserves (10/26/06)


Hudson Valley Becomes Notable for Its Exurbanites, Survey Finds (10/26/06)


Silda Wall Spitzer to Host Fundraising Event for State Senate Candidate Susan Zimet (10/26/06)




Son of Kerhonkson Resident Killed in Iraq (10/11/06)


Heart of the Catskills: Old Stone Walls (10./11/06)


A Walk Down Main Street A Huge Success (10/11/06)


Blue Stone Press Features A Visit With the People Next Door (10/11/06)


Accord Sculptor David Stoltz’s work exhibited on Main Street, Accord (10/11/06)


Oil, Propane Storage Proposed for Accord Site (10/11/06)


Black bears cause more complaints this year, DEC says (10/11/06)


Notices (10/11/06)





Winners of Creativ e Sign Contest Announced (10/2/06)


Main Street History Day, October 7 (10/2/06)


Fire House Pancake Breakfast and Open House, October 7 (10/2/06)


Spending, taxes down in Accord Fire District budget (10/2/06)


Accord Fire District to Sponsor First Responder Training (10/2/06)


Students suspected in BB shooting allowed to ride bus (10/2/06)


Members Sought for Town’s Business Development Committee (10/2/06)


Company Fined by OSHA for Accord Accident (10/2/06)


Notices (10/2/06)



Accord Artist Sara Harris to show work in Roxbury (9/4/06)


Accord Fire District to Hold Budget Hearing on September 6 (9/4/06)


Primary Election on September 12, note new voting locations (9/4/06)


Friends of Historic Rochester to Hold Annual Meeting September 15th. (9/4/06)


Kerhonkson Synagogue Vandalized (9/4/06)


Feature in Blue Stone Press on Saunderskill Farm (9/4/06)


Accident on Queens Highway (9/4/06)


Planning and Zoning Committee Holds Public Hearing to Discuss Comprehensive Plan (9/4/06)


Propane and Fuel Oil Tank and Distribution Center Planned for Route 209 (9/4/06)


ACCORD THEN AND NOW : Walk the Hamlet – Celebrating Historic Accord (9/4/06)


Guiness World Record Set for Largest Gnome (9/4/06)


Rochester Residents Association Sponsors Creative Sign Contest (9/4/06)


Ulster lawmakers fear jail may not open until 2007 (9/4/06)


Letters (9/4/06)




Accuracy Check (8/16/06)


Local Artist Featured in Arkville Show (8/16/06)


Alligerville General Store Re-opens (8/16/06)


School Board Approves Capital Expenditures Plan (8/16/06)


Comprehensive Plan Draft Released (8/16/06)


Phase I Cell Phone and Internet Study Completed (8/16/06)


Cops Track Driver, Make Arrest (8/16/06)


Letters (8/16/06)



Town Board Votes Against Self Storage Appeal   (7/27/06)


Moratorium Relief Granted (7/27/06)


Veterans' Memorial Underway (7/27/06)


Highway Department Funding (7/27/06)


Kelder Farm Applies for Special Use Permit (7/27/06)


New Owners Take Control of Hudson Valley Resort (7/27/06)




Upcoming Events (6/29/06)


Planning Board Decision Rejected by State Supreme Court (6/29/06)


Former Town Official Avoids Jail (6/29/06)


Rondout Valley Board approves Improvement Project. (6/29/06)


Kerhonkson Castle (6/29/06)


Environmental Notice Bulletin (6/29/06) 




Town of Rochester Memorial Day Parade - May 29th (5/25/06)


Comprehensive Plan Update Outreach Meetings (5/25/06)


Hazardous Waste Disposal - June 10th (5/25/06)


Little Ones Learning Center presents Dog on Fleas (5/25/06)


Board of Assessment Review Concludes Grievance Hearings (5/25/06)


Ulster Grand Jury Offers Remedies in Missing Funds Case (5/25/06)


Rumors About Town (5/25/06)


Susan Leeds Chisholm (1947-2006) (5/25/06)



Rondout Valley Central School District to make Budget Presentation (5/3/06)


SkateTime 209 Opens (5/3/06)


Fire Rips through Catskill Park (Upper Cherrytown/Kerhonkson) (5/3/06)


Local Resident Directs PBS Television Show “Texas Ranch House” (5/3/06)


Property Tax Assessments Online (5/3/06)


Hydro Cuts Ellenville Workforce (5/3/06)


Letters and Legal Notices (5/3/06)



Earth Day Clean Up - Saturday, April 22 (4/13/06)


Tax Reassessment Information (4/13/06)


Town to Host Comprehensive Plan Update Outreach Meetings (4/13/06)


Deputy Town Clerk Acquitted of Stealing, Guilty of Falsifying Records (4/13/06)


A Lingering Question - Daily Freeman Editorial (4/13/06)


Rochester Residents Association Holds Open Meeting on Tax Reassessment (4/13/06)


Property Tax Reform Task Force (4/13/06)


Letters and Legal Notices (4/13/06)




Meeting on Property Tax Revaluation (3/19/06)


Yoga Classes at Community Center (3/19/06)


Ulster County Master Gardeners Garden Day (3/19/06)


[Hudson Valley] Resort to be Developed (3/19/06)


Accord Man Dies in Auto Accident (3/19/06)


Man Killed in Construction Accident in Accord (3/19/06)


Marble Slab Hits Worker (3/19/06)


Human Shield Appeals Fine (3/19/06)


Obiturary-Kerhonkson Resident Chet Mirsky (3/19/06)


Obituary-Accord Resident Stan Breite (3/19/06)




Featured Business: Red’s Used Furniture and Handmade Gifts (2/12/06)


Loving Homes Needed for Loving Dogs (2/12/06)


Sale of Hudson Valley Resort Pending? (2/12/06)


Rochester Councilman Finds Nails in Driveway (2/12/06)


Fires Damage Two Homes In Accord (2/12/06)


Town of Rochester Receives State Grant (2/12/06)


Zoning Board of Appeals Overturns Code Enforcement Officer Determination (2/12/06)


Letters to the Editor and Legal Notices (2/12/06)



Dog goes extra mile for Master - Homes needed for loving Rochester Dogs.


Friends of Historic Rochester Library Open


Upcoming Historic Preservation Lectures


Rochester Town Board Meeting


Accord Fire District Meeting


Deputy Hurt in Collision on Route 209


Letters and legal Notices



On TV This week: December Town Board meeting, November Planning Board meeting Mondays on Time Warner Public Access TV Channel 23, 7pm


Board and Commission Vacancies

The Town Board will accept Letters of Intent by December 18, 2006 for upcoming vacancies on the following Boards and Commissions: Youth Commission – 2 vacancies; Zoning Board of Appeals – 2 vacancies – one 5 year term member and 1 alternate; Planning Board – 2 vacancies - one -7 year term member and one Alternate; Ethics Board – 2 vacancies; Historic Preservation Commission – 2 Vacancies.  
The Town will also accept Letters of Intent for appointment to the Business Development Committee until December 18, 2006.
Interviews for all these positions will be held on December 20, 2006 beginning at 4:30 pm.



Accord Fire District Election Results

Five Year Term:

Robert Garrett – 184

David Lawrence – 304

One Year Term

Wayne Gray, Sr. – 322

Steve Stephens – 126



Alligerville Fire House Pancake Breakfast

Accord Fire District Company 3 is holding a pancake breakfast on Saturday, December 16th at the fire house in Alligerville from 7am to 11am.  Cost is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for kids up to 12 years old, and $4.00 for older kids and seniors.  At 4:00pm , there will be a tree lighting in front of “A Store in Alligerville”



A Word of Thanks

The Rochester Food Pantry has received more than $3,000 in donations from friends and readers of the Town Crier in addition to large quantities of food.  Thank you for your generosity.  Donations made by check can still be mailed to:  Rochester Food Pantry, PO Box 12, Accord, NY 12404.  Food donations can still be dropped off at Skate Time 209 or at Saunderskill Farms until December 21st.



Skate Time 209 Featured on National TV

Roller Derby team members and SkateTime209 were featured in a story that aired on ABC News

Watch the video (and the short required commercial) at\?searchtext=roller%20derby&type=video



Eliot Cowan Speaks About Plant Spirit Medicine in Stone Ridge

Public Invited to an Evening Talk  with this Author, Teacher and Shaman

Herbalists, healers, naturalists and the general public will be interested in meeting Eliot Cowan when he comes to Stone Ridge on Wednesday, December 13th at 7:15 p.m.  Mr. Cowan, who is a Tsaurirrikame -- a fully initiated shaman in the Huichol tradition, will speak to the community about healing, plant spirits, and the search for warmth and connection in our hectic world.

Mr. Cowan was a licensed acupuncturist when he synthesized herbalism, Chinese Five-Element theory and shamanism into a healing modality called “Plant Spirit Medicine” in the early 1980s.  His book, “Plant Spirit Medicine” (Swan Raven & Co.) captivated readers with its new look at some very old methods of healing, methods that seek not to simply relieve symptoms but to correct imbalances at their core.

Since then, Mr. Cowan has taught Plant Spirit Medicine to hundreds of students in the U.S., Great Britain and Canada.  He will begin a new course series in New York at the Blue Deer Center, beginning in May, 2006 and one near Moab, Utah beginning in August 2007.  

The public is invited to meet Mr. Cowan for an evening of talk on Wednesday, December 13th at 7:15 pm.  The event is free.  For location information contact Lena Hilton at 845- 434-0520 or at


Three Events with Brother Gregorio, Master Philippine Spiritual Healer

nformal Meet-and-Greet Talk (No Charge) Thursday December 14th at 7:15 pm

Upstairs at Stone Ridge Healing Arts Building 3457 Main Street, Stone Ridge NY 12484

(Note: NOT The Marbletown Multiple Arts Center)


Private Healing Sessions

Friday December 15th thru Sunday December 17th, 116 Sundale Road, Accord NY 12404

For details on Brother Gregorio, FAQs and in depth info about the Healing Sessions:


Group Healing and Blessing Ceremony (No Charge)

Saturday December 16th at 7:00 pm

116 Sundale Road, Accord NY 12404

Brother Gregorio preserves the mystical tradition of Spiritual Healing in the Philippines. He was born with the energetic matrix or 'wiring' to be a conduit for the Divinity. This is a chance to meet Brother Gregorio in a lovely casual setting and hear him tell his life story and explain his healing gifts.Topics will include Spiritual Healing through the Sacred Opening ('Psychic Surgery'), Sacred Cupping and Sacred Plate. 


Take this opportunity to experience a gifted healer who has been doing his Spiritual Opening (aka "psychic surgery") work for over 30 years. Deeply rooted in Spirit, yet compassionately human, Brother Gregorio's wisdom, humor and love allow for profound healing on every level. 

Please call or e-mail for further information, appointments and accommodations: 

Rob Norris, 116 Sundale Road, Accord, NY 12404, (845) 626-3266,



Fleisher’s Grass-fed & Organic Meats & Chronogram Magazine are hosting the first ever Sustainable Salon on December 14th.  Catch the premier of the Meatrix 2.5, meet local meat
and dairy purveyors and learn about the value of buying local.
$12 admission includes an open bar serving local wines and beer and cheese tastings.
December 14th 6~9pm Backstage Studio Productions 323 Wall Street Kingston, NY 12401
FOR MORE INFO CALL 845-334-8600 ext 123 or go to




Rochester and Environs Featured in New York Magazine Article

New York Magazine’s December 4th issue featured a write up on our region, along with recommendations on local dining and other establishments.  To see the article, visit:



Rondout building plan fails


KYSERIKE - Rondout Valley school district voters on Thursday said "no" to a proposed $27 million school renovation project.

The vote, 1,142 against to 980 in favor of the project, surprised Board of Education President Maureen Sheehan, who said, "Wow," upon hearing the results at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday in the high school gymnasium.

"It was absolutely not what I thought," Sheehan commented later, saying she was surprised the proposition had failed by such a wide margin. She speculated the plan may have failed because of a late-emerging group of concerned citizens who complained the project did not incorporate enough "green energy" techniques.

"They didn't reach out until the last minute," Sheehan said. "If it was zapped because of that, it's disappointing."

Sheehan said the project also may have failed amid criticism by the Citizens Facilities Task Force, a district-appointed volunteer group led by Joseph Triplo, which maintained throughout the building campaign that the project cost was $8 million to $10 million more than necessary.

"The public has spoken," Sheehan said. "It is up to the Board of Education to look how we can do things in a scaled-down way."

Interim Superintendent Eileen Camasso said she was disappointed with the results. "We'll review the exit polls and review the entire situation with the board and decide on safety repairs and assess where we are going," Camasso said.

After skimming over the exit polls, Trustee Rebecca Reeder said they contained "a lot of comments, which is terrific - it will help us understand what voters are feeling."

Trustee Imre Beke Jr. Said the buildings "still have things that need to be done" even though the proposition failed. "(The) school has to be brought into shape to provide the best education for our students," Beke said. "Even those who voted 'no' realize that things have to be done."

"It's disappointing," Sheehan said. "There was a lot of time and effort spent."

Sheehan, who said Camasso "put her heart and soul" into the project, added that she is "looking forward to moving forward in a positive way."

The project called for renovations at both the middle school and high school.  (Freeman 12/8/06)


Wal-Mart may build store in Napanoch



NAPANOCH - Remember the buzz around southern Ulster County when everyone thought a casino might be located just outside Ellenville? The speculation, the objections, the rejoicing, the controversy?

The buzz is back, but this time Wal-Mart is the hot topic.

Longtime Ellenville resident and real estate developer Joe Tso recently announced an agreement with the mammoth retailer to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the current site of the Valley Mall in Napanoch.

Local residents are divided over whether a Wal-Mart will be good for the community, but, recalling the furor over "the casino that never was," they wonder if this will turn out to be another mirage.

What are the odds? Tso thinks it will happen, but he cautioned: "Let's just say Wal-Mart calls the shots."

The deal, according to Tso, is this: Wal-Mart will buy the Napanoch site for $5.5 million, and Tso will buy back 0.8 acres for $500,000, on which Wal-Mart will build a small retail complex for the four current mall tenants that have leases: a post office, Katherine's Korner, No. 1 Chinese Restaurant and Valley Mall Wines and Liquors.

Once the tenants are in the new building, according to a non-binding agreement signed by Tso and Brian Hooper, senior real estate manager for Wal-Mart, the existing building will be demolished and construction will begin on the new Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Final contracts are await signatures at Wal-Mart's headquarters. in Bentonville, Ark.

Ellenville Village Board member Steve Krulick fears the worst.

"I foresee neighbors coming to blows over this, and local officials having to make the decision of their lives, as threats, bribes and conflicts of interest overwhelm common sense and good public policy," Krulick in a published statement.

Krulick has shown the film "Independent America" and collected other information that he says will show how Wal-Mart "decimates communities, ruins the environment, eats up local revenues, promotes sweatshop labor, brings down local wages, practices racial and gender discrimination and leaves a wake of destroyed local business behind."

At the same time, he has offered to help organize a local group "to discuss and review this situation, not with minds closed, but so that the truth is revealed through research and honest debate."

Ellenville Village Manager Elliott Auerbach has a broader perspective. "The town (or Wawarsing) is starved for certain goods and services," he said. "Whatever goes in there will fill a void in the community."

Auerbach said there may be a "paradigm shift" and that new retail models and new product mixes may be developed by retailers around local demographics.

Responding to Krulick's statement about Wal-Mart paying low wages, Auerbach said the area has enough of a "casual labor" force to fill the jobs.

"That's one of our resources right now," he said.

Town of Wawarsing Supervisor James Dolaway, who owns a business in Napanoch, said he still is mulling over the prospect of Wal-Mart setting up shop.

"There are so many ramifications. There will be pluses and negatives," he said. "We really need to sit down and examine a couple of similar areas where Wal-Mart has located, to see what it will mean for us."

Dolaway said Wal-Mart's wages don't bother him.

"Working there won't make you rich, but they are jobs that can help provide for a family," he said.

If Wal-Mart does decide to build, the next question is when.

Tso said Wal-Mart has its own construction crews and procedures and can put up a building in 90 days once the permits are issued.

Aware that many communities have bitterly fought having Wal-Mart come to their town, Tso said local officials can speed the permitting process by being cooperative.

Local residents who long have wanted more products available to them confess to having mixed feelings about the plan. They want the convenience, but the wonder about the effect Wal-Mart will have on smaller local businesses.

Bella Volchick has been running an opinion poll in her Valley Mall liquor store, and the response in support of Wal-Mart "has been overwhelming," she said.

"We have close to 200 signatures, and only 2 people were against it," she said. "They don't feel it will hurt local business."

And like Auerbach, she notes a local "unskilled labor force" will have access to jobs within walking distance of their homes.

"There is so much negative said about Wal-Mart, but there are pluses," she said. "The community will be fine. It will prosper."  (Freeman 12/6/06)




Artist to Hospital: You’ve gotta have art

The pristine halls of Ellenville Regional Hospital now sport splashes of color thanks to an artist's donation of 24 large acrylic paintings.

Astrid Fitzgerald spent most of her art career exploring abstract painting and geometric images. Her work, spanning 40 years, later delved into the philosophy of the Golden Mean and the history of two-dimensional art as a healing tool.

When her husband, Richard Geldard, recently spent a couple of days getting tests at the hospital, his chief complaint was the lack of visual distraction from the long white hallways and unornamented patient rooms.

Fitzgerald, a Manhattan-based artist with a studio in Kerhonkson, knew that Ellenville would be an ideal place for an Arts for Healing Grant she offers health institutions through her Web site.

Last week the hospital received and hung two dozen of Fitzgerald's large, color-filled acrylic paintings made in the same era as the hospital itself. The only patient room with her art in it, a painting called "Rock Mandala," is the one her husband stayed in.

"On my watch we've painted everything white. It's bright and clean — some might say sterile — which is a good thing in a hospital," hospital CEO Steven Kelley said. "Fitzgerald was extremely generous in donating her art to us. It cheers the place up. Makes it friendlier and warmer. Her donation is a vote of confidence from her. She wouldn't donate her life's work if she didn't think we'd be here to display it."

The hospital continues its re-emergence from its 1999 bankruptcy by celebrating its second year "in the black" and launching the construction of a new emergency wing.

Medical director Dr. Lucinda Grovenburg said Fitzgerald's donation spurred two other art projects that will liven up the corridors and rooms as the hospital expands for the first time since it was built in 1966.

"It's wonderful. Astrid offered to donate the paintings to us, and it's skyrocketed from there. The radiology unit has a long corridor that will be a bimonthly rotating exhibit by local artists. As you know, Ellenville's become very focused on the arts and the artists are very excited about participating," Grovenburg said. "We have a hospice room. Artist William Winters will do a painting in honor of his late wife to decorate that room."

"We think Ellenville is ideally suited for healing. We have a natural setting that larger hospitals imitate with murals and nature paintings. Here you just have to look out the window. It's absolutely beautiful," Grovenburg said.

For more information about future art exhibits at the hospital, call 647-6400. For information about Fitzgerald's Art for Healing Grant Program, go to (TH-Record 11/2/06)



Local farm provides Christmas trees for troops abroad

ACCORD - Christmas trees from a farm here could be on their way to troops stationed abroad as part of a nationwide initiative.

Gordon Bell, who co-owns Bell's Christmas Trees with his wife and son, said the farm donated three trees to the Trees for Troops cause out of some 300 donated statewide. The program delivers trees to soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan and on military bases around the world.

"This is about the only way Christmas tree growers can really help - to send trees," Bell said.

The program began last year. Paula Bell said this is the first year she and her husband involved with it. The Christmas Spirit Foundation, which started the program, said 11,000 trees have been pledged this year from 27 states.

The foundation reports the trees will reach 25 military bases in 17 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar. Gordon Bell said he didn't know where the local trees would end up.

Paula Bell said this is an important initiative because there are no pine trees in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"So many of (the soldiers) have been away from home for so long," she said. "For some, it's even their second Christmas away."

Next year, the farm intends to team with a local Brownie troop that has volunteered to make ornaments to send along with the trees, Paula Bell said.

"Next year, we're going to plan better because we'll understand the process more," she said.

Federal Express is delivering the trees to the troops. (Freeman 12/2/06)


Help the Rochester Food Pantry

Donations by check and of canned goods are still being accepted by the Rochester Food Pantry.  Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at collection boxes at Saunderskill Farms and at Skatetime 209.  Tax deductible donations can be mailed to: Rochester Food Pantry, PO Box 12, Accord, NY 12404. 



School Capital Expenditures Plan Vote

The Rondout Valley Central School District will hold a referendum on Thursday, December 7th to seek voter approval for its $23 million capital expenditures plan.  Voting will be conducted from 6am to 9pm at the Middle School Auditorium on Kyserike Road.



Accord Fire District Commissioner Election

The AFD will hold its annual commissioner election on Tuesday, December 12th from 6pm to 9pm at the Fire District HQ on Main Street Accord and at Rochester FD headquarters at 922 Samsonville Road.  Candidates for the Five Year Term are: Robert Garrett and David Lawrence.  Candidates for the One Year Term are Wayne Gray and Steve Stephens.






The Little Ones Learning Center and the Town of Rochester Youth Commission will hold a Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 2, 2006, 10AM – 4PM, at the Rochester Reformed Church on Rt. 209, Accord.  Come and stock up for the holidays with gifts of the season, such as jewelry, ornaments, homemade chocolate creations, candy, toys, handmade items, and more.  Santa Claus will visit from 11AM – 1PM.  Call 626-4112 or 626-2115 for more information.

Come and join us at the Little Ones Learning Center for Bedtime With Books on Friday, December 8, 2006 at the Rochester Reformed Church, Route 209 in Accord.  Stories will begin at 6:30.  Be sure to wear you favorite pajamas and bring along your favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Children will make craft projects and a bedtime snack will be available.  The program is free and a gift will be given to all who attend.  Snow-date is January 12, 2007. For more information, call 626-4112. Added note:  The Little Ones Learning Center will be closed from
December 24, 2006 – January 1, 2007, reopening January 2, 2007.

The Little Ones Learning Center has been presented with an exciting opportunity.  A local family has offered us a challenge grant of $1,000 to be completed by December 20, 2006.  The grant is in honor of Susan Mangan and Jennie Birckmayer.   Susan is the children’s librarian at Ellenville
Public Library who got the original grant of 90 books through the Bookstart Program for the Little Ones Library in 2000 and who has been on the board ever since.  Jennie is the co-author of the Bookstart Program and a retired senior extension associate of Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Cornell Cooperative Extension funded and administered the Little Ones Library until 2005 when Friends of Little Ones Inc. was established and the program became the Little Ones Learning Center.  Friends of Little Ones, a not-for-profit, is responsible for raising all funding for the Little Ones Learning Center. With the grant, every dollar that we raise will be matched dollar for dollar
up to $1,000.  The Little Ones Learning Center is a free early literacy program and lending library for children ages 0 – early elementary school located in the Rochester Reformed Church.  Our mission is to provide developmentally appropriate language and early literacy experiences with
caring adults to help support child development and readiness for school. We have approximately 3,000 books for loan.   Support our little ones and make a donation to help us make our match.  A donation in memory of someone or as a gift for the person who has everything is a great idea.  All
donations are tax deductible.  Donations should be mailed to Friends of Little Ones Inc., 5142 Route 209, Accord, New York 12404.     Come and check us out at any of our story times – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 10AM – 12 Noon.




Congressman Hinchey to attend Holiday Event

Legislators Joe Stoeckeler, Jr., Mary Sheeley, and Leonard Distel cordially invite you to join them and special guest Congressman Maurice Hinchey


 Saturday, December 9, 4 to 6 pm,

At Oscar’s Restaurant, Rte 44-55, Kerhonkson

 Donation: $25

 All proceeds to benefit the District 1 Democratic Committee.

 For tickets, please send checks (payable to D1DC) to, D1DC, 210 Palentown Rd

Kerhonkson, NY 12446, or call 706-2996 to make reservations

Come join your fellow Democrats and our forward-thinking friends for a glass of eggnog, great food, and a conversation with Congressman Hinchey about the upcoming Congress.


[note on political notices:  Our policy is to publish notices for political events as a community service.  We reserve the right to edit such notices to conform to community standards of good taste.  Publication does not constitute endorsement of any candidates or parties.]




Rochester Preliminary Budget Shows Minimal Tax Increase

The preliminary Town budget for 2007 was presented by Supervisor Pam Duke at the most recent Town Board meeting and it shows a combined 2.79 percent increase in total town taxes.

Increases in the budget included an emergency generator for town hall, funds to rehabilitate a building at the transfer station, a bus for the youth commission, the planned Veterans’ Park, the summer twilight concert series, and increased fuel and utility costs and employee compensation.  These were offset by savings on the town’s cellular telephone contract, the fuel supply contract and more efficient use of official town vehicles.  The increase to taxpayers is expected to be about $1.50 for every $100,000 in assessed value for 2007.

“My goal is to keep the taxes below 3 percent and I think we can do that,” Duke said.

            An update on the wireless infrastructure plan was given.  Better cell coverage grows ever closer to the Town of Rochester.  Testing was conducted on October 19th at the two proposed cell tower sites. Both tested well for the projected service and when used in conjunction, will provide coverage for most of Rochester and parts of Marbletown.  Unfortunately, coverage will still be inconsistent along parts of Route 3, Clove Valley Road and Upper Cherrytown Road.  Aesthetically, the towers will be “pretty much invisible from the transfer station and surprisingly hidden from the diner,” according to the service rep.

            The Environmental Conservation Commission reported that they have been researching alternative energy sources for town buildings and plans to make a presentation to the town board.  The commission is also concerned with the removal of recycling bins from the Accord Post Office as well as the potential impact of a proposed propane and fuel oil storage facility on the wetlands at the project site (Whitfield Road and Route 209).  The storage facility, if approved, will house two 30,000 gallon propane tanks and two 20,000 gallon fuel oil tanks.  There has been significant opposition to the project from neighboring property owners, who have stated that the proximity to residential homes makes the site unsuitable for an industrial application.




Tide of big-box stores turns to area
Lowe's, Wal-Mart focus on regions usually forgotten
A new wave of big-box stores is coming to the mid-Hudson, and it's splashing down in some unexpected places.
Wal-Mart is negotiating to buy the Napanoch Mall in the Town of Wawarsing and build a supercenter. Home-improvement chain Lowe's has set its sights on locations in Chester and Montgomery.
None of those towns has ever been home to a national big-box chain, but they're attracting attention as retailers look to fill in between existing stores.
In Orange County, the first wave of major retailers settled in the county's "A" locations, near the highway intersections in Middletown, Newburgh and Harriman, said Ken Fioretti of Crossroads Commercial Real Estate in Mahwah, N.J. As the market matured and those towns filled up, the retailers began looking to "B" locations, said Fioretti.
In Orange County, that means moving away from the comfort zones at the three major highway intersections. In Ulster, it means moving into the vast terrain south of Kingston.
The Napanoch Mall (also known as the Valley Mall) on Route 209 is on the verge of becoming home to Ulster County's second Wal-Mart Supercenter.
There's a preliminary deal in place to sell the 20-acre shopping center to the nation's largest retailer for about $5.5 million.
"It's agreed upon, but I'm waiting for the contract from Wal-Mart," said Joe Tso, managing member of mall owner Napanoch Valley Mall LLC.
Wal-Mart did not return a call yesterday seeking comment.
Wal-Mart's become a lightning rod for opposition in many communities across the country and locally (New Paltz comes to mind). One thing working in the company's favor here is the town's disintegration into a retail wasteland since mall anchors Grand Union and Ames closed a few years ago.
Here's what a few of the locals said yesterday when told of Wal-Mart's plans:
"You can't buy a belt in this town," said Wawarsing assessor Michael Sommer. "I think it's wonderful."
"It would be an absolute pleasure to have someplace to shop," said Anna Asevedo of Napanoch. "I have to go to Middletown or Kingston to get a skein of yarn. It's ridiculous."
"As long as they keep us here, it's OK," said Sal Altadonna of Brother John's Pizza, a 25-year tenant of the mall.”  (From the TH-Record 11-18-06)




Broadband Providers

We’ve received enquiries about local broadband providers.  Here’s a summary:

Verizon DSL is available in certain parts of town with introductory rates as low as $14.95 per month.

Time Warner Cable offers its RoadRunner cable based broadband in certain parts of town at an introductory rate of $29.95 per month (about $45/month thereafter).

There are three satellite-based broadband providers that start at about about $60.00 per month.  Service is generally available anywhere in town, provided you have line-of-sight to the southern sky. (formerly Direcway)

Local individuals and businesses have also had T-1 lines installed at a cost of about $800 per month.




Man Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charge

State Police from Ellenville barracks arrested Arthur Roe Jr. 20, of Samsonville road last week and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree.   Police said that Roe allegedly abused a 17-year old girl at his mother’s home in Accord.  The mother is the legal guardian of the 17-year old.  They added that Roe entered the girl’s bedroom on Nov. 9 and initiated unwanted sexual contact with the victim.  Roe’s mother and the teen filed a criminal complaint against the man.  He was arrested and sent to the Ulster County Jail on $20,000 bail (UC Press 11/22/06).




Ellenville hospital's big revival
Ellenville - Ellenville Regional Hospital is on an upswing that CEO Steven Kelley is sure will only continue.
With two years in the black after reorganizing, renegotiating, revamping and redecorating, Kelley is finally able to smile. "I'm smiling now, but I didn't smile for the first year I was here," he said.
When Kelley arrived in September 2003, the hospital had lost $7 million in 2002. That shrunk to $1.95 million in 2004 and then to $20,000 by 2005.
As the only medical resource for 30 miles in any direction, the hospital reconfigured to a Critical Access Hospital and left its parent, Westchester County Medical Center.
Ulster County supplied operating funds for 2004. Without that, and support from the village and town, it would have closed.
"We rebuilt the facility from top to bottom. Roof, boilers, labs "¦ We revamped every unit. The place is spotless. We repaid Ulster County every penny they advanced."
The hospital cut its beds from 51 to 25, but is expanding for the first time since it was built in 1966. The new emergency wing, being built without debt, will be done in 2007.
While some patients are transferred to larger hospitals, most receive full care at Ellenville.
The hospital was voted "Best Comeback for 2006" by Hudson Valley Magazine.  (TH-Record 11/25/06)




Letters to the Editor:


Dear Editor:


I was glad to read in the Blue Stone Press about the fiscal discipline that Supervisor Pam Duke and the Town Board have kept in the Town of Rochester. 


While no one likes to pay taxes, I was pleased to see that the combined tax rate increase for the town general fund and highway fund taxes will be less than 1/2 of one percent.  I calculate that to be about $1.50 for every $100,000 in assessed value.  The fear mongers said that the Duke Administration would be one of tax and spend (and I’m sure they’ll twist the numbers around to suit their purposes), yet in taking the time to learn about the budget, it’s very lean – the main increases appear to be long neglected building repairs and capital investments that will pay off in the long run.  It also looks like the Town’s finally doing something to pay down all the Highway Department’s debt.


I think our Town Board should teach our representatives in Washington something about tight budgets and lower taxes.



J. Reilly





As the area continues to grow in popularity and desirability,  I believe it is vitally important to consider commercial growth and where it takes place.  In the long term, every industrial prospect  should be hidden from view. ie not on 209 which is a connector to many destination areas  such as Saunderskill Farms/ Ivans and golf course and most importantly residential communities.  If the original landholders and investors even from afar wish to see the area grow in a smart way, have land values escalate, bring in new restaurants and shops, and utilize the local talent that  exists...well we must consider how we assign and utilize existing properties.  


As a taxpayer and contributor to the community, I  vehemently oppose the location of the  Propane Transfer Station on 209 near the intersection of Whitfield Road. 

Eve Mannes



Dear Editor:

A new business in town ? Could be a good thing ! What does primarily residental mean ? Is it going to provide competition for Suburban, that is now charging escalated deposits on gas tanks. Good !


Congrats to Jim and Sue Cusack and Joe Stoeckler for getting a new venue for  dependency treatment in our local. It is hoped that the clients are kept on premises.

No to the school issue. Papers indicated work to the High School, not the Middle School. Way too much money for such little benefit to the general population. Update, if necessary, and start graduating students that can make something out of themselves. Far too few are making the grade. Our children may be forced to graduate, but are far behind others. This has been going on for too long. Let the teachers teach (class work, polital views do not count) and don't hold them back!

No to reducing the speed limit on UC Rte 1 ....Lucas Tpk. If you want to see the views, pull over. There is nothing wrong with this section of highway. A few deer collisions and some unfortunate accidents. Other than Kyserike Road intersection and the terminus, at Route 209, there are no hazardous segments.

Congrats to the Friends of Historic Rochester for a great job. The museum is a place of honor, for those who have worked so hard.

It's great to have someone like Jonathan Nedbor to preserve our history and follow in the footsteps of past tradesman.

John C. Motzer Sr.


Home Wanted for Chow/Shiba Inu Mix.

There’s a lonely female dog in the Rochester Dog Pound who’s looking for a warm home for Thanksgiving.

For more information call Dog Warden Jill Shufeldt at 626-5979.  A temporary foster home would also be welcome.


A Reminder from the Fire Department

As you change your clocks from Daylight Savings Time, please check or change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.


 Alligerville Fire Company Events

Spaghetti Dinner, November 17th 5pm to 9pm.

Pancake Breakfast, December 16th, 7am to 11am


Community Thanksgiving Luncheon

A free Community Thanksgiving Luncheon will be held on Thursday, November 23rd from 11:30 to 2:00 at the Community Center in Accord.  All are welcome.


What are all the signs about?

A number of homeowners on Route 209 near the intersection of Whitfield Road have been putting up lawn signs on their properties saying “No Propane Transfer Facility Here.”  These have been in response to plans by a Sullivan County businessman to install four 30,000 gallon storage tanks on land that is now predominantly residential in nature.  The business, if approved, would also include a retail operation to sell welding supplies and other retail equipment.  Photographs of the businessman’s other operations are located at



130 new jobs coming to Town of Rochester


Kerhonkson — Hazelden, a leading alcohol and drug treatment program, plans to build a multimillion-dollar youth treatment center at Veritas Villa, a local rehabilitation center.
Jim and Sue Cusack, the founders and owners of Veritas Villa, made the proposal possible with the donation of the 40-acre site to Hazelden. The new center could create 130 jobs.
"We are just charged up," Jim Cusack said yesterday. "Our missions are the same, and we are happy to play a role in helping more young people find the road to recovery from addiction."
Hazelden and Veritas Villa will be separate operations but will complement each other, said Joe Stoeckeler, executive director at Veritas Villa. The local center has 85 beds and treats adult men and women. It was established in 1973 and moved to its current site in 1981.
Once Hazelden completes the planning and approval process, it will construct a 70,000- to 75,000-square-foot facility. It will sit on a hill overlooking Veritas Villa, which is off Samsonville Road in the Town of Rochester, about 20 miles west of New Paltz.
Hazelden is still firming up its construction plans, but commercial construction that size is running at least $15 million to $19 million.
The center can be expected to employ about 130 people, including counselors and other professionals. If the approval process goes smoothly, the center could open in early 2009, Hazelden said.
Up to 75 youths, ages 14 to 25, would stay at the facility for up to two months at a time and then return to their homes, Stoeckeler said. The new center would serve residents in the Northeast, Stoeckeler said.
"We are very excited about this project and extremely grateful to Jim and Sue Cusack for making it possible," said Ellen Breyer, Hazelden president and CEO. "There is an incredible demand for residential programs for young people all across the country, and especially in New York and the rest of the Northeast."
Hazelden was founded in 1949 in Minnesota. It has treatment centers in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois and in New York City.  In 2005, Hazelden served nearly 9,000 clients.
Rochester Supervisor Pam Duke said the Town Board supports the proposal. "All the board really thinks it is needed. It is a win-win," Duke said.
The agreement with Hazelden takes Jim Cusack back four decades to when he went to Hazelden for training as a counselor. "It's like coming full circle," Sue Cusack said. (TH-Record 11/7/06)



KERHONKSON - Veritas Villa, which has successfully treated adults for drug and alcohol abuse at its Samsonville Road treatment center since 1981, is ready to add a facility for young people ages 14-21.

Jim and Sue Cusack, the owners of Veritas Villa, have set aside 40 of the villa's 106 acres to bring in Hazelden, a leading alcohol and drug treatment program based in Minnesota, to create and operate a youth treatment center. The new facility would continue to adhere to the principles of Veritas Villa.

Many of the center's employees are recovering alcoholics - the Cusacks prefer the term "recovered alcoholics" - and are devoted to sharing their success with newcomers to the recovery process.

When the Cusacks established Veritas Villa in 1973, it was the first licenced facility in New York state to treat both drug and alcohol addiction. In 1981, the couple brought their program to the former Rubins resort in Kerhonkson.

"We started with a mission and a dream," Sue Cusack said.

Jim Cusack has been in the business a lot longer. Finding his own first years of sobriety "very rough," he said he wanted to make it easier for others.

"There was no detox, nothing, in those early days," he said.

His response to the lack of treatment options was to build a program that made him a pioneer in the field, and with his wife, he has built Veritas Villa into an 85-bed facility, with a staff of 70, that treats about 1,000 men, women and seniors annually with a 12-step program.

As Jim Cusack's involvement grew, so did his stature, as he helped create the accreditation process that now sets the standards for such facilities statewide.

When the time came for expansion, the Cusacks were careful with the selection process. Although Jim Cusack received his early training at Hazelden, the couple looked at other treatment models before selecting Hazelden. Sue Cusack said they shopped for 10 years to find "the right fit."

The Cusacks also are selective when it comes to clients. Although they bill their center as a place for "the working class," rather than the upper-echelon, Betty Ford-style clinics or the state-run centers for the very poor, Jim Cusack said they don't accept everyone for treatment.

"We don't take clients who don't really want to get well, who obviously don't want to recognize the problems associated with their addiction and change their lives," he said.

Hazelden plans to build a 75,000-square-foot building for the new youth center, which Veritas Villa Executive Director Joe Stoeckeler said is roughly twice the size of the main floor of Ellenville Regional Hospital. Construction costs are expected to exceed $30 million.

The new center is expected to have 70 beds and a staff that will provide 110 new local jobs.

Stoeckeler, an Ulster County legislator and a former Wawarsing town supervisor, sees both the villa and the new youth center as an updated version of the site's traditional use, a place of re-creation.

"It's consistent with land use in the last 150 years in the Catskills," Stoeckeler said. "A place to heal and rejuvenate."

The youth center will be patterned on the villa's program of schooling, living skills, group and individual counseling, and something the Cusacks call "family healing," which they see as an important part of the process.  (Daily Freeman 11/11/06)





Task force critical of Rondout Valley building project


KYSERIKE - While some Rondout Valley school district parents, students, and other residents lauded a proposed $27 million capital project as a much needed step in the right direction at an informal community session at the high school this week, members of the Citizens Facility Task Force decried the project as too large and too expensive.

The project to repair and renovate portions of the middle school and high school will be put to district voters on Dec. 7.

Eighty percent of the project will be funded by state aid, and the tax impact will be spread over the next 15 years, school officials say. A district resident with a home assessed at $200,000 could expect to pay $48 per year; those would a basic state School Tax Relief (STAR) exemption would pay $41; those with a senior STAR exemption would pay $36 a year over the life of the bond.

Joseph Triplo was one of three volunteer task force members who attended the session. One of a group of eight volunteers who had completed a 10-page report on building needs in 2005, Triplo has urged the Board of Education to follow the task force's recommendations, saying the proposal on the table is too big.

The current project is $8 million to $10 million above what the task force had viewed as a priority, said Triplo, who visited the school's business office Wednesday to ensure copies of the task force report would be distributed along with district materials.

"Once again, this whole process is a sham. I mean to expose it as best I can," said Triplo. He said he felt the task force recommendations were never seriously considered.

Kevin Cothren, who also served on the task force, said the district listened to the recommendations for the high school, but he agreed with Triplo that the project might be too big.

"Most of what is in it is needed, but (I) don't know how much is needed right now," Cothren said. He argued that it might be prudent to put off some of the work to future years.

"Some of the work could be done on a continuing basis," he said.

A retired elementary school teacher, Cothren said he always votes in favor of school budgets, but is concerned about the ability of such a large capital project to pass.

Parent Jessica Knapp was concerned that current plans do not allocate adequate practice space for music students. Her daughter, Charlotte Knapp, said present conditions at the middle school make it difficult to be productive in drama and music, and that students spend instructional time moving equipment.

Music teacher Jill Arden said she hoped that the project could be "reconfigured" to include more space for her department. "It's not going to do what we need it do," she said.

"It's maybe a little bigger than we have right now." Overall, however, "We want the referendum to pass," Arden added.

Music teacher Barbara Jones, who also said she favors the project, requested a modification of the music department section of the building, suggesting a possible addendum to the project.

School board Trustee Imre Beke Jr., who in June voted against moving ahead with the project because, he said, it combined vital reconstruction needs with other, less important items, declined to comment on whether the proposed project still combines essentials and extras.

"Perception is reality," Beke said. "What people believe to be true is what matters because that affects their vote."

If approved by voters, construction would begin in the summer of 2008, with an anticipated completion date of 2010. This means current Rondout Valley High School freshmen would see the construction completed.  (Freeman 11/11/06)



Man passes on blacksmith trade in old home Canal Forge

 Nestled in a hillside overlooking the Rondout Creek, sits a long, narrow house with great windows.
The faded writing on the shutters is a reminder of days past. Pork, fish, flour and salt, the shutters advertise, but there is no store in sight.
This house, built in 1820, is in the now-sleepy town of High Falls.
During the construction of the D&H Canal in the 1820s, the area was transformed into a bustling mining and shipping community. New York City's growing demand for anthracite coal and Rosendale cement created an economic boom in the Hudson Valley. Miners, boat builders, merchants and blacksmiths served as an integral part of the system.
The original homeowner, Thomas C. Harnden, owned and operated a general store and a four-room inn during the peak of the D&H. Located off the towpath of the canal, the house is situated in a place that saw much traffic from those traveling to the Hudson.
The Harnden property also featured a stable for mules and horses, used to guide the 20-ton barges down the canal, and a blacksmith forge that belonged to Ira Broadhead. Broadhead's forge has been lost through the years, but blacksmithing has been rekindled on the towpath.
Jonathan Nedbor, the owner, has discovered many interesting items during his years in the house.
During a renovation of an upstairs bedroom, Nedbor found a panel in the wall that hid an opening. Inside were a slew of patent medicine bottles. Throughout the house, Nedbor has found shoes, a harness bell and a shot bag.
"In one of the walls, I found shoes," Nedbor said. "I think they may have been some sort of good luck talisman."
The most interesting find was in Nedbor's yard. While digging trenches for the footings of his blacksmith shop, he discovered a brick wall. After some research, he learned the wall belonged to Broadhead's forge.
"A number of other homes I looked at had something to do with blacksmithing," Nedbor said. "I was surprised to find out this one did, too."
Two decades of smithing
For the last 20 years, Nedbor has been hard at work in his shop only feet away from where Broadhead toiled more than a century ago. His specialty is Dutch colonial and English contemporary hardware and tools. The quality of hand-forged items is what Nedbor likes most.
"Some are simple designs," he said, "while others are an expression of art."
Brian Parker restores old houses in the Albany area. He has used Nedbor's talent to help recreate missing hardware for many of his projects.
"I think his work is great," Parker said. "He does all of his reproductions with great integrity."
Keeping the tradition alive, Nedbor teaches smithing to people of all ages and skill levels. His door is open to visitors interested in the long history of this ancient art form. (Poughkeepsie Journal 10/25/06)




Rochester Election Results (please note these are only for Rochester and do not reflect the larger districts for which candidates sought office).  A number of absentee and provisional ballots have not yet been counted.




Spitzer (D)             63.4% (winner statewide)

Faso (R)             32.9%

Others              3.7%



Hevesi (D)            53.4% (winner statewide)

Callahan (R)            41.1%

Others              5.5%


Attorney General

Cuomo (D)             47.9%            (winner statewide)

Pirro (R)            47.8%

Others              4.2%



Hinchey            100%            Unopposed


U.S. Senate

Clinton (D)            57.7% (winner statewide)

Spencer            37.3%

Others              5.1%


NY State Senate

Zimet (D)            48%

Bonacic (R)            52% (winner districtwide)


NY State Assembly

Keck (D)            58.3%

Crouch (R)            41.7%  (winner districtwide)


Ulster County Sheriff

Van Blarcum (D)       63.6% (winner countywide)

Costello (R)                  36.4%



Letters to the Editor

Fine Community Event 

Friends of Historic Rochester would like to thank the many volunteers and community organizations who cooperated in producing the recent Heritage Day in the Town of Rochester.  Many, many people who attended Heritage Day have remarked on their enjoyment of the event that featured a Regatta on the Rondout Creek, the history of Main Street, Accord, the Museum with local history exhibits and genealogy, a Country Store, quilts, artwork, candlemaking, musical groups, and breakfast, lunch, and presentations at the Fire House.

What a wonderful accomplishment of a memorable “happening” when so many individuals and groups in the Town can work together for a common cause.  Thank you to all. 


Friends of Historic Rochester 


Dear Editor,

I am confused, it appears by you publishing the last article (regarding a fundraiser), that it was a clear political event announcement. Or was it a political announcement that was locally irrelavent? Since you state you don't publish political event announcements of local relavence received from any canidate committee. What are you trying to convey with this double talk?


Toni Sindone, Accord



Editor Responds:  The disclaimer stated:  We DO publish political event announcements of local relevance received from any candidate committee.  Publication does not signify endorsement of any political candidate or party.”  This policy has been in effect since we initiated publication in 2001.  Further, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to edit or refuse any submission in order to comply with community standards of good taste.


Horseboarding. Full board available in new barn on Berme Road in Kerhonkson
bordering the Accord-Kerhonkson rail trail. Email at


Garage Space Wanted for the Winter

If you have a dry garage that you would like to rent out for the winter to store a car please email



 Dear Friends,


As Thanksgiving approaches, it is appropriate to recognize the good work that the Rochester Food Pantry does for neighbors in our community. 


The Food Pantry is an independent tax-exempt organization that was founded in May 1992.  Its sole purpose is to provide emergency supplies of food to people in our community who request it.  The organization is staffed by a group of about twenty dedicated volunteers, who work in donated space at the Accord Fire House. 


When someone calls the Food Pantry’s hotline (626-7501), a volunteer returns the call and makes an appointment to pick up a food basket.  These generally contain enough canned food, frozen meat, dairy products, and other staples to provide three meals a day for four days.  All calls are confidential.


In 2005, the Food Pantry was able to help 343 families by providing 15,444 meals to serve 1,287 people, including children.


The Food Pantry receives about one-third of its funding from private individuals and received additional funds from the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program and the state Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program as well as Shoprite.  The money is used to buy food for neighbors in need and to pay its hotline telephone bill.


This Thanksgiving, we encourage you to make a contribution to the Food Pantry.  We appreciate your support of this endeavor and hope that you will participate by making a donation of money, non-perishable food, or your own volunteer service.   The Rochester Residents Association will match all monetary donations made to the Food Pantry, up to $250.00.


Separately, we’d also like to invite you to join us at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, from 11:30 to 2:00, at the Town of Rochester Community Center.  All are welcome at this free event and reservations are recommended (call 626-2115)



Yours sincerely,



Zali Win, President

Rochester Residents Association, Inc.



Donations of Money

Checks made payable to “Rochester Food Pantry” can be mailed to directly to the Food Pantry at PO Box 12, Accord, NY 12404.  All donations are fully tax-deductible. 



Canned Goods

We have set up a collection box for canned goods and other staples at the Skate Time 209 roller rink located at Route 209 and Mettacahonts Road and at Saunderskill Farms on Route 209.  


We will also have a collection basket at the Thanksgiving Dinner that will be held at the Rochester Community Center on Thanksgiving Day.  Food donations must be labelled, non-perishable, unopened and in good condition (and no larger in size than one quart for canned goods).  Examples of needed items:  canned vegetables, spaghetti sauce, beans (dry and canned), canned soups, peanut butter, jelly/jam, canned meats/fish such as ham, tuna.  Other acceptable items include pasta and rice.  All goods must be unopened and in original commercially sealed containers.




The Food Pantry is always looking for reliable and energetic volunteers to assist with packing food boxes.  Generally, volunteers are needed to be “on call” one week out of every eight and you’ll never work alone as partners are assigned.  Volunteers can donate as little as six hours per month.  To volunteer, contact Wilma DeJager, Food Pantry Director, at 626-7501.

Kerhonkson resident,  legendary jazz trombonist, Roswell Rudd will perform with a Mongolian Buryat Band

Saturday · October 28 · 8pm
at McKenna Theater at SUNY New Paltz
$12 student / $20 members / $25 non-members

For tickets, email the SUNY New Paltz box office or call 845-257-3880 -

Roswell Rudd and Badma Khanda - a Mongolian Buryat Band

Master trombonist Roswell Rudd teams up with Badma Khans and The Mongolian Buryat Band to create a unique concert from seemingly disparate musical traditions: Mongolian throat-singing and American blues and jazz. The traditional Mongolian songs are full of rich tonal sonorities and gorgeous melodies which are magically blended with everything Rudd knows about jazz and blues, and even some straight-up countrified blues on "Buryat Boogie." The Buryat Band is led by Badma Kanda, a vocalist of supreme range and expressive beauty, accompanied by Battuvshin Baldantseren throat singer and multi intrumentalist as well as thee other outstandings instrumentalists who play everything from horse-head basses and fiddles to lute, dulcimer and flute. Roswell Rudd, according to John Wilson of The New York Times " a trombonist of such sweeping power and majesty that he transcends all styles."   for complete tour schedule



Accord Business Couple featured in Ulster County Press

Accord residents Lisa and Yuval Sterer were the subject of a business profile in the Ulster County Press on October 18th.  The Stearers have owned an operate “The Big Cheese,” a show on Main Street in Rosendale that features artisanal and bio-dynamic cheeses, including many regional features.  For more information see the October 18th issue of the Ulster County Press.  The Big Cheese is located at 402 Main Street, Rosendale in the rear courtyard next to the Rosendale Theatre.  Open Wednesdays through Thursdays 2pm to 10pm.  658-7175.



Country and Farm B&B Opens in Accord

The Blue Stone Press published a profile of the newly opened Country and Farm B&B in Accord on October 20th.  The Bed and Breakfast, located on Stonykill Road, is operated by Tim Ganon and Beth Woronoff and contains a beautiful pet friendly one bedroom apartment located on a 20 acre working horse farm with walking and horse trails.  There is also room for horse boarding.  To learn more, visit or call 845-626-4596.



Skate Time 209 named best small business

SKATE Time 209 - a 30,000-square-foot skate park, roller rink and arcade that opened in April on U.S. Route 209 in Accord - will be honored with the Ulster County Small Business of the Year award by the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce and the Ulster County Development Corp. on Thursday at the Wiltwyck Golf Club in the town of Ulster.

Skate Time's proprietors, Len and Terry Bernardo, wanted to create a family-friendly atmosphere at the facility - a characteristic that's evident in its video games, song lyrics and healthy food choices.

Len Bernardo said Skate Time was selected for the small business award for putting a business plan together and seeing it through to the end.

The business grew out of Terry Bernardo's years as a competitive roller skater. She offers lessons on Skate Time's large maple rink, which is canopied with lights and surrounded by music.

"My wife, Terry, and I are ecstatic," Len Bernardo said. "We put a lot of energy and time into making it happen. It all kind of came together and it's really exciting."

Skate Time grew from public input and advice, with the help of a youth board of directors. From taste-testing the snack bar specialties to choosing a name through a "You Can Name It" campaign that brought in 700 suggestions, teens were able to weigh in on the park's every aspect.

Skate Time also features an after-school program for Rondout Valley middle school and high school students, who can take a bus directly to the park and get help on their homework before skating up a sweat until their parents arrive.

The skate park's director, Mat Warner, offers skateboarding lessons, sets up demos and supervises the skaters. Warner said the 10,000-square-foot skate park area - outfitted with half pipes, mini-ramps, hubbas and a bank ramp - is one of the few with a lifeguard on duty to watch out for skaters' safety.

Warner said the skate park attracts people ages 5 to 30, depending on the night's session, which ranges from adult disco to teen and 'tween nights.

"There's a huge demand for it (a skateboarding facility)," Warner said. "During the week, we usually see more business in the skate park than the (roller) rink. On weekends, the rink is really hopping -birthday parties are an integral part of the business."

Len Bernardo said the business has about 370 members who receive a discount on admission, which ranges from a $5 after-school skate to $7.50 for family night sessions.

Skate Time 209 is open from 2:30-6 p.m. Mondays; 2:30-6 p.m. and 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays; 2:30-6 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Saturdays; and 1:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sundays. It's closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the fall.

 (Freeman 10/15/06)



Youths Charged with Church Break In

Three local youths have been arrested and charged for allegedly breaking into and vandalizing the Federated Church of Kerhonkson, a reformed Methodist Church.

Two of the boys are 12 years old and the third is 15, and the state police have charged them with felony burglary and criminal mischief.

The three are accused of breaking into the church on Columbus Day, a day off from school, and spraying fire extinguishers throughout the inside of the church. They also allegedly stole a video camera and food from the kitchen.

After talking to neighbors of the church, police were able to identify the three youths.  Two of them were found hiding in a wooded area near the Rondout Creek and the third turned himself into police.  They were all released into the custody of their parents (Ulster Press 10/18/06)  [Editor’s note: in an unrelated case, the nearby Kerhonkson Synagogue was also vandalized several weeks ago.]




Police say man snapped cat's neck

Accord — A 48-year-old Accord man could spend up to two years in prison if convicted on charges filed Wednesday of felony animal cruelty after police say he snapped the neck of a local woman's pet cat and then left it in a bag in front of the victim's home.
Ulster County sheriff's deputies responded to the home of Phyllis Barringer of County Route 2 following a report that she was being harassed. On their arrival, deputies found a bag of what turned out be Barringer's clothing that included the dead cat.
A sheriff's spokesman said Barringer and Raymond J. Oreily had had a dispute earlier in the day at Oreily's home on Mettacahonts Road in Accord.
Oreily was charged under the state's Agriculture and Markets law with cruelty to animals with depraved indifference, a felony with a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
In addition to the animal cruelty charge, Oreilly was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor.
Oreily was released from Ulster County Jail after posting $2,000 bail. He's scheduled to return to Town of Rochester court on Tuesday. (TH-RECORD)





Pie festival brings out variety of talents

The Jennie Bell Pie Festival last weekend at Kelder's Farm on Route 209 netted prize-winning pies, talented young performers and vintage cars.

Of the more than two dozen homemade pie entries, the winners in the children's category were Julie Mulhfeld for her first-prize apple pie; Jessica Brush, second-prize pecan pie; and Alexandria Rosa, third-prize apple pie.
The all-around best pie, for both child and adult categories, was Julie Mulhfeld's apple pie. Second prize went to Christine Zoler's pecan pie. Third place went to Marlene Shaver's pumpkin pie.
In the Youth Talent Show, Daniel Vogel took first place for his magic show, bagpiper Dorothy Sommer took second place, and a rock band consisting of Stephanie Rzeszewicz on drums with Matt and Derek Hull on guitars took third place. Honorable mentions went to musicians Talia Baker, Andria Stoddard and Josh DeWoody.
The car and motorcycle show was judged by ballot. The Best in Show Motorcycle was a chopper shown by Elliott Sondak. Best in Vintage Car was Mike Redmond's 1955 T-Bird. Stock division was taken by Joanne Carpino's 1967 Chevy Camaro. Best car was a four-door Chevy muscle car owned by Carl and Cathy Olsson.
The Rondout Valley High School Junior Class took in $600 parking cars for the event. Proceeds will benefit class projects. (Freeman)



Rondout Valley dipping into reserves

KYSERIKE - A proposed Rondout Valley school district capital project will cost taxpayers less than initially anticipated, now that school trustees have agreed to apply district fund reserves to the project, but state aid for the project will also be less than anticipated.

At a Board of Education meeting Tuesday, trustees agreed to apply $3 million of the district's fund balance toward the project, estimated at $27 million. Vice President Gail Hutchins and trustees Rebecca Reeder, Michael Redmond, Pamela Longley, Holly Elliot, Imre Beke Jr., and Kent Anderson voted in favor of the motion; Trustee James Ayers voted against. Board President Maureen Sheehan was absent.

"I had questions ... about giving such a large amount of money back to this project that would compromise the long-term plan we had laid out for giving moneys back to voters each May when the budget vote takes place," said Ayers. He said he is concerned that using the entire fund balance would leave the district no money for emergencies.

Ayers also says he was "unsettled" by the news that state aid would offset only 65 percent of the cost of the project, when the district had originally anticipated being reimbursed for 75 percent.

With state EXCEL aid, the district will receive $871,330 of additional state aid over the 65.5 percent normally funded by the state, according to a press release from the district. That brings the reimbursement percentage to about 68.7 percent.

The district will host a high school tour for the general public at 7 p.m. Nov. 1, when administrators will show areas of the school that are slated for improvements. Two informational sessions are planned at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 and 16 at the high school, where administrators and representatives from architects Einhorn, Yafee, Prescott and Turner Construction will discuss the project.

"Once they see how old parts of the building are, they will understand how much this is needed," interim district Superintendent Eileen Camasso said Wednesday.

The project was originally estimated to cost $92 per year for the next 15 years for a district taxpayer with a home assessed at $200,000, said Roy McMaster, vice president of Capital Market Advisors, an Elmira-based consulting firm. With the $3 million fund balance applied, that number will decrease, McMaster said, but he was unable to say by how much.  (Freeman 10/26/06)


Hudson Valley Becomes Notable for Its Exurbanites, Survey Finds

Think “exurbia” and imagine the wide-open spaces of Nevada or Arizona. Think again.

A new analysis called “Finding Exurbia” has found that no metropolitan area has a larger share of commuters living in exurbia — communities on the urban fringe with low housing density, high population growth and at least 20 percent of workers traveling to jobs in a city — than the Hudson Valley of New York.

The study, released this week by the Brookings Institution in Washington, found that while the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown metropolitan area ranked 19th in population of exurbanites, those 200,000 residents accounted for 32 percent of the region’s population. By that measure, it ranked first among the 88 largest metropolitan areas.

Nationally, nearly 11 million people live in the exurbs of large metropolitan areas, or about 6 percent of the population of those areas. Most are in the South and Midwest.

“The definition of ‘exurbs’ depends heavily on housing density, and as sprawling as places like Phoenix and Las Vegas look, they’re actually quite dense compared to a lot of the Midwest and South — too much mountain, mesa, desert to overcome,” said Alan Berube, a fellow in the metropolitan policy program at Brookings and an author of the study.

“Things on the outer edges of the New York region are pretty spread-out in comparison.”

“Exurbia,” as one expert defined it, is just a suburb that takes longer to get to. The term was coined in the 1950’s by A. C. Spectorsky, a social historian, to describe semirural areas far outside cities where wealthy people had country estates. Today, these areas also include roomy McMansions and middle class havens and are “the path of least resistance for new development,” the study said.

Mr. Spectorsky “failed to foresee a contemporary New York metropolis” in which Poughkeepsie forms the exurban frontier, the Brookings report said, and “we might find ourselves wondering in 2050 how New York’s exurbs arrived in Albany.”

Like most areas defined as exurban, according to the study, the exurban New York communities in Dutchess and Orange Counties are disproportionately non-Hispanic white, middle-income homeowners. About 15 percent commute to work at least an hour each way.  NY Times 10/19/06)




Silda Wall Spitzer to Host Fundraising Event for State Senate Candidate Susan Zimet

Silda Wall Spitzer, the wife of NYS Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer is hosting a fundraising event at the Dupuy Canal House on Sunday, October 29th.  You can download an invitation and RSVP at

Tickets are $250. per person or $300 for two.  Mail RSVP and checks to: Susan Zimet for Senate/Silda Afternoon Event, P.O. Box 444, New Paltz, NY 12561For more information about the event, or to join the Host Committee, contact Rachel Padgett at (845)255-2369  or email her at:



[Editor’s Note on political announcements:  We do publish political event announcements of local relevance received from any candidate committee.  Publication does not signify endorsement of any political candidate or party.]



Son of Kerhonkson Resident Killed in Iraq

Michael K. Oremus, 21, a private first class in the U.S. Army, was killed by sniper fire in Baghdad while responding to an explosion on October 2nd.  The 2002 graduate of Highland High School in Lloyd had been in Iraq for about three months of a one-year deployment.  Michael’s mother, Madeline Oremus-Palmese, and her husband, Daniel Palmese, live on Samsonville Road in Kerhonkson.  Oremus’ father, Bruce, died in 1995.  Oremus was a member of the varsity soccer and tennis teams at Highland.  After graduation, he attended Dutchess Community College and was a member of the soccer team.  Michael joined the Army in February 2005 and, after basic training, he was stationed with the 57th MP company in South Korea.  He was deployed to Iraq in July 2006.  He was born October 21st 1984 at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie.  Besides his mother and step-father, he is survived by a brother Eric of Las Vegas and another brother, Richard, of New York City.  A graveside service with full military honors will take place at 10am at the Highland Cemetery on October 11th.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Michael Oremus Scholarship Fund, Highland High School, Attn: Athletic Dept., 320 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland, NY 12528.




"Heart of the Catskills: Old Stone Walls"

Born in West Kill, Norman van Valkenburgh is the recognized historical authority on New York State's Forest Preserve in the Catskills and Adirondacks. His career was devoted to the DEC where he worked from 1955-1986. He has written numerous books and articles concerning historical perspectives and facts about preserve lands, and the beautiful stone walls that grace our hills. Following a reading from "Old Stone Walls" (2004) will be a Q&A period concerning our most valuable resource: the lands and waters that surround us. Book-signing follows. Rosendale Library , Wed., Oct. 25th , 7:00-8:30pm Free/ Call 658-9013 for info and directions



A Walk Down Main Street a Huge Success

Main Street, Accord was alive with pedestrians and activity on October 6 for the Friends of Historic Rochester’s annual Heritage Day.  Markers with old photographs showed how homes and other buildings on Main Street looked a generation ago.  Did you know that the Honda Accord was introduced in a print ad photographed in front of the general store (now Philliber Research) on Main Street.  Ronald Reagan also stopped in to say hello in the 1970s as governor of California.  Many Main Street businesses were open, including Stone Window Gallery, owned by Brinton Baker, Accord Garage owned by Ed Fehring, Ron Sharkey’s antique store and Jeff Shapiro’s pottery studio.  The highlight of the tour was an open house of the Friends’ library and museum, featuring extensive archives and photographs of the region.  Local artists and quilters presented their work in an exhibition marquee on the back lawn to the accompaniment of local musicians.  The Accord Fire Department also sponsored a breakfast featuring their famous pancakes and sausage.  The most entertaining sight, however, was watching the finish of the Rondout Regatta, in which several boats of varying degrees of seaworthiness were attended by brave individuals of varying degrees of nautical ability.  All this was topped off by a glorious day and the peak of our fall foliage.




Blue Stone Press Features A Visit with The People Next Door

The October 6, 2006 issue of the Blue Stone Press features an interview with Accord resident Alice Schoonmaker.  Mrs. Schoonmaker and her husband, Jack, have nurtured and cherished Saunderskill Farms, seeing their enterprise continuing to thrive, with son Dan and his wife Cathy running the farm market and son Dave running the farm.  Their daughter, Dianne, runs Flying Change Stables and riding school.  Pick up the Blue Stone Press to read more.




Accord Sculptor David Stoltz’s work exhibited on Main Street, Accord

Sculptor David Stoltz, who lives and works in the former Port Jackson Methodist Church on Main Street in Accord, has mounted a new exhibition of his latest work in the garden in front of the former sanctuary.   Stoltz uses sacred symbols from different religions as inspiration for his work.  For a private tour, call 626-5842.




Oil, Propane Storage Proposed for Accord Site

A Sullivan County-based oil and propane company has proposed a storage and distribution operation for what some say is an environmentally sensitive site in Accord.


Steve Fornal, chairman of the Town of Rochester Planning Board, said  Mike Taylor, doing business as Combined Energy Services, has submitted a pre-application for an oil and propane storage, distribution and retail operation.


The plans, Fornal said, would include four 30,000 gallon storage tanks – two for propane and two for oil; a distribution process that would include three tankers fueling once in the morning and refueling once during the day; and a retail business to sell welding supplies and other retail equipment.



Fornal said while the site, located near the junction of Route 209 and Whitfield Road, is actually zoned for such use, there is some trepidation over the nature of the property and its proximity to the Roundout Creek.  “One concern is a part of the property is prone to wet conditions,” Fornal said.  “We need to make sure there are no wetlands.” 


Fornal said that environmental records of the locale are “a little suspect” since the state Department of Environmental Conservation hasn’t mapped the area since the 1980s.


But two Town of Rochester residents, Christine Cohoe and David Persell, issued a press release after the pre-application was presented on September 19 that said the site “is within feet of the Rondout Creek flood plain and is directly in the path of all ground water running from higher elevations in the Rondout Creek.”


The press release also said that undeveloped land contiguous to the Accord site ishome to vegetation like purple loosestrife and cattails, as well as birds like the kingfisher, green heron, great blue heron and egret feed in a pond within 300 feet of the proposed fuel storage and distribution facility.


“The pond has been the home for a nesting pair of Canadian geese for at least five seasons< Cohoe and Persell said, “and they have produced many offspring.”


And, the press release states, “the location proposed is visible to the naked eye from the lookout tower of the Mohonk Mountain House.”


Taylor was not reached for comment on his proposal by press time.


Fornal said Taylor is very aware of what needs to be done to protect the site and surrounding property and stressed that, at this point, the pre-application is simply a general outline.  The Town of Rochester’s planning consultant, Chazen Co., will review the proposal.


“As that process goes along,” Fornal said, “Chazen will review the information and study the property.”  (Ulster County Press, Oct 4).

Photos of Combined Energy Services' other facilities can be viewed here.




Black bears cause more complaints this year, DEC says

Times Herald-Record, 10/3/06

Liberty - Three days ago in the dead of night, Barbara Albert heard the crunch, crunch, crunch of an animal tearing apart her garbage. It sounded big. She peaked outside her window in the Village of Liberty and spotted a black bear near her house.
"He was pretty big," she said.
This year, there have been more close encounters with black bears than normal, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
In general, the bulk of the nuisance complaints are still confined to places on the edges of bear habitats, places such as Monticello and Liberty and Fallsburg, DEC authorities said.
But there are signs the bears are getting bolder.
Last week, a big black bear pushed over a dumpster in broad daylight at the Sleepy Hollow Apartments off Route 42 in Monticello. Several kids stood around watching him peaking through the oak leaves. A policeman chased him away by shooting plastic bullets.
Two weeks ago in the Town of Crawford, a male black bear, standing 5 feet 4 inches, scaled an 8-foot fence and attacked and killed a goat in the yard of a home, then was shooed away. Within hours, the bear returned two more times and was finally shot and killed.
Last month, a black bear killed and dragged a 350-pound bull calf on a farm in Callicoon.
This year, the DEC's region three office has logged 370 nuisance complaints, up by a 100 complaints compared to last year.
"Bear populations are increasing in that whole area, and that is part of the reason for their visibility," said Paul Curtis, the associate professor of Natural Resources at Cornell University.
So far, there have been no bear attacks on humans. New York has had one documented attack. In 2002, a bear killed an infant it grabbed out of a stroller at a summer camp in Woodridge.
As the winter approaches, bears are rummaging for whatever food is available to fatten up for hibernation. A big part of the problem is people.
People are leaving their garbage out. Apartment complexes aren't covering their dumpsters.
Attacks are possible, but highly unlikely, Curtis said, adding that most bears are just looking for a quick meal.

Store garbage in cans or dumpsters and keep them in a secure place like a garage.
Put garbage out only on the morning pickup. Burning and composting of garbage might attract bears.
Feed birds only from Dec. 1 to April 1. During the rest of the year, you may be attracting more bears than birds.
Bird seed and garbage are favorite foods for bears. In many cases, bears will choose them over natural food sources.

New York has a healthy population of about 8,000 black bears
The average adult male bear weighs about 300 pounds, females weigh about 160 pounds.
Black bears are New York's second largest land mammal after the moose.
Preferred natural foods include nuts, roots, fruit, plants and insects. Bears will scavenge dead animals but rarely feed on live prey.
Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

(TH Record 10/3/06)




SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, 12:00P.M.- 4:00P.M. , OCT. 15TH - 22ND - 26TH , 2030 BERME RD. KERHONKSON





The Rochester Residents Association is pleased to announce the winners of its Creative Sign Contest.  The grand prize winning entry, submitted by Kerhonkson resident Joyce Greenough, read:


Mini-golf and berry picking                              $22.00

Roller skating and snacks                                $30.00

Ice cream on the way home                            $10.50

Living in a town where everyone gets along:  PRICELESS


Joyce will receive a $50.00 gift certificate to the Rochester business of her choice.


Winners in other categories were:


Most Inspiring, submitted by Kim Massie, of Accord:


            With all the acres here around

            We’ll surely find some common ground


Most Creative, submitted by John Adams of Kerhonkson:


            Tourist Info


            Road Kill Recipies


Most Accurate, submitted by Ron Bonner of Kerhonkson:



            Town with a history

            Town with a future


Most Humorous, submitted by John Adams of Kerhonkson


            HELP ME!

            I’m making signs and I can’t stop.


Most Misleading, seen along the road


            No Lawn Mowers   


Honorable Mention, submitted by Walter Levy:


            Support C.A.V.E.

            (Committee Against Virtually Everything)


Overall, approximately 160 entries were received.  Many signs of a personal nature were disqualified.  Anyone who volunteered to be a judge was asked to judge the entries at Skate Time 209 on October 1st.  There were eight judges, although one volunteer was unable to attend because of a schedule conflict. 


As part of the contest, the Rochester Residents Association donated $1.00 for every entry (up to $100) to the Little Ones Learning Center, a non-profit early childhood learning center with a reading room at the Rochester Reformed Church.





ACCORD THEN AND NOW : Walk the Hamlet – Celebrating Historic Accord

Do you remember the days when…  today’s Accord Post Office building was the site of Breslow’s Pharmacy, Les Aaron’s Luncheonette, the Town Clerk’s Office, and  the Accord P.O.?  Were you there when Philliber’s right-hand building was Turner and Cohen’s Grocery Store, or Kanover and Layne’s Grocery, or Kolvenbach’s Accord General and Soda Fountain,?  Or when Ronald Reagan came to town? Or when Honda Motor Car Company used Kolvenbach’s Accord General as the backdrop for introducing the world to its new model, the Accord!

On Saturday, October 7, 2006 the Annual Fall Tour sponsored by Friends of Historic Rochester will focus on   Historic Main Street, Accord.  Guided and self-guided walking tours will begin at Friends’ Museum, 12 Main Street  between   10 a.m. and   2 p.m.  Proceeding from there up and down Main Street, many of the buildings will be open so visitors can observe what is left from the past and how they have been adapted for use in the present – “Accord Then and Now”.  The tour will feature personal recollections of long-time residents, enlargements of old photographs, and descriptions of each property over the years.  Visitors will experience Accord of the 19th and 20th centuries, of the D & H Canal and O & W Railway Eras.

Many activities are being planned throughout the day, including breakfast and demonstrations at the Fire House, displays and activities at the Community Center, focus on the railroad station, music, and shows under a tent in the back yard of the Museum.  Details of these and other events will follow.  Please save the date and join us at this celebration of the Town of Rochester.

Support for this celebration of the Town’s history is coming from many of the Town’s organizations and individual residents.

If you have memories, photographs or other memorabilia. or would like to participate in the celebration of Main Street in any way, please call 845-626-7104, 687-9998, or  626-3140.

[Ed note: the Rochester Residents Association is a sponsor of this event]





Saturday October 7, 8AM-11AM, Accord Fire Company #1, 22 Main Street, Accord


Open Fire House In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, 12PM-4PM

Demonstrations including, Auto Extrication, Roof Venting, Ulster County Arson Investigation Dog,

Fire Safety, Ulster County Smoke House, Antique Fire Trucks & More!

Rain or Shine




Spending, taxes down in Accord Fire District budget

ACCORD - Fire Commission members have adopted a 2007 Accord Fire District budget of $667,143 that has a 19.26 percent reduction of $159,127 and a $652,143 property tax levy representing a 21.07 percent decrease of $174,127 from this year's budget.

Spokeswoman Kathy Kuthy said the budget includes training for members to become part of a proposed district rescue and first aid squad.

"The first eight will be coming out of the 2006 budget," she said. "We have about $3,800 left in our training, then we have $5,000 in our training budget for 2007, which we believe will be adequate because most of our training is paid by the state."

Kuthy said there are about 48 active volunteers who respond to about 370 calls per year in the 88-square-mile district.

District officials in a press release said the need for a fire district-based rescue squad was raised earlier this month by Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad members.

"Representatives of KAFAS pleaded with the Accord Fire District to support them with medical assistance because, as they stated, sometimes their response time is 15-20 minutes behind the firefighters, who currently respond to vehicle accidents and other life-threatening emergencies in a firefighter capacity," they wrote. "EMT and Paramedics of KAFAS expressed grave concern over their response time explaining how there is a very small window of time, referred to as 'The Golden Hour,' in which lifesaving measures are considered to be significantly more effective."

Under state law, volunteers will require 45 hours of training and six hours of examination in CPR and defibrillation training, which Kuthy said is scheduled to be given in Modena.

In a press release, the budget reduction is said to be a result of paying off a $371,224 ladder truck "without an adequate funding plan. The 2006 budget, while greatly expanded to accommodate the truck payment, was not properly designed and left the district to scramble in order to fund its operating expenses for 2006."

Kuthy said the levy was also reduced because revenues are expected to include $1,000 in interest on bank accounts and fire company spending on social activities was cut by $14,000.

Other action taken by district commissioners during a meeting last week included approval of exemptions for agricultural properties beginning with 2008 tax rolls. (Freeman 9/26/06)



Accord Fire District to Sponsor First Responder Training


Accord, NY; Based on Statements made on September 20, 2006, by members of the Kerhonkson Accord First Aid Squad (KAFAS), during the September meeting of the Accord Board of Fire Commissioners, the Rochester community is facing an emergency. Representatives of KAFAS pleaded with the Accord Fire District to support them with medical assistance because, as they
stated, sometimes their response time is 15 – 20 minutes behind the firefighters, who currently respond to vehicle accidents and other life threatening emergencies in a firefighter capacity. EMT and Paramedics of KAFAS expressed grave concern over their response time explaining how
there is a very small window of time, referred to as ‘The Golden Hour,’ in which life-saving measures are considered to be significantly more effective.

In response to this emergency, The Accord Board of Fire Commissioners have devoted themselves to developing an immediate solution. With the assistance of legal counsel and State of New York (NYS) officials, the board has determined that the creation of a Rescue/First Aid Squad would enable the members of the district’s fire companies, known for their dedication and rapid response time, to be available to assist KAFAS in emergencies by being NYS Certified First Responders.

In order for the Accord Fire District to create a squad, a minimum of eight (8) Fire Department personnel must complete NYS CERTIFIED FIRST RESPONDER with CPR & AED Defibrillation Training (CFR-D) and be certified by NYS. The Training consists of 45 hours of classroom
training followed by a review class and exam for a total of 51 hours of training. The Accord Fire District will pay for the cost of this training.

After successful completion of this course, each CFR-D Firefighter will  be capable of performing the following functions at the minimum entry level: recognize the nature and seriousness of a patient's condition or extent of injuries to assess requirements for emergency medical care;
administer appropriate emergency medical care for life-threatening injuries relative to airway, breathing, and circulation; perform safely and effectively the expectations of the job description. CFR-D serve as liaisons with other emergency services, this course provides an
introduction to this concept. Specific instructional topics include the well-being of the CFR-D; medical, legal, and ethical issues; the human body; lifting and moving patients; airway management; patient assessment; illness and injury; childbirth, infants, and children; EMS
operations. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillation (AED) training are included in this program.





Students suspected in BB shooting allowed to ride bus

KYSERIKE - Two Rondout Valley High School students accused by police of shooting BB rifles at a school bus Monday afternoon were allowed to ride the bus to school Tuesday morning, a district official confirmed.

The students, David G. Stephens, 16, of Mettacahonts Road, town of Rochester, and an unidentified 14-year-old, were charged Monday with shooting BB pellets at the bus from the woods near 19 Mettacahonts Road at about 2:45 p.m., state police at Ellenville said. One pellet struck the rear window of the school bus, causing the glass to "spider," or crack, said state police Investigator Matthew Skarkas, who responded to the incident.

The pellet did not penetrate the glass, and no students on board were injured, Skarkas said.

The bus remained at the scene for about 40 minutes, according to police, who were assisted by Ulster County Sheriff's deputies.

The two teenagers were taken into custody and later confessed to the incident, police said. Both were charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, misdemeanors, and were released to their parents at about 6 p.m. Two BB rifles were confiscated by police.

Tuesday morning, the two students were allowed to board and ride the school bus to the high school, where they were then suspended for five days pending a school hearing, said Interim Superintendent Eileen Camasso. Five days is the maximum suspension period allowed without a hearing, she said.

Questioned about the decision to allow the students to ride the school bus Tuesday morning after being arrested, Camasso said, "It turned out to be OK." She later added that because the bus ride Tuesday morning took place without further incident, "clearly, it was a safe decision."

Camasso said the school district allowed the students to ride the bus because the district had not yet had the opportunity to discipline the students. "They are entitled to due process ... as all students are," she said.

District parent Adelemaria Kirshy said she was "mortified" her 10-year-old son had to ride the school bus Tuesday morning with the two students who were arrested.

"Why are they on the bus? It is not fair to the kids," Kirshy said of the bus ride Tuesday. Letting the students ride the bus the next morning "sends the wrong message," she said. (Freeman 9/27/06)



Members Sought for Town’s Business Development Committee


The Business Development Committee, established under the guidance of Town Councilman Francis Gray,  is seeking new members.  The charge, established by the Town Board is given below.  Anyone interested in participating should contact Supervisor Pam Duke.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE PURPOSE:  To analyze existing business activity in the Town, develop a business recruitment plan with incentives and to make recommendations on zoning law changes that support targeted businesses in the Town of Rochester. The committee plans will be in a manner consistent with the Town’s rural character, preservation of natural resources, and the quality of residential life.

ACCOUNTABILITY:  The subcommittee members will be appointed by and are accountable to the Town Board and shall solicit and receive public input.  TERM:  The committee shall exist until dissolved by the Town Board.  The Town Board can add new members at any time.
1.      Take an inventory of:

a.      Existing businesses
b.      Existing experience and talent within the Town to support new businesses
c.      Services the town lacks that would identify and support new businesses
d.      Targeted businesses to relocate or expand to the Town to satisfy town needs
e.      Existing town zoning codes and conditions that impede economic development

2.      Evaluate and make recommendations on how the Town Government might assist in the recruitment of new local businesses and engines of economic activity
3.      Analyze and make recommendations on infrastructure improvements that the Town Government might assist with in order to attract targeted businesses
4.      Review the Town’s current zoning and subdivision codes to identify areas in need of amendment along with recommendations on the priority of such amendments.
5.      Research sources of outside funding to support report recommendations and draft funding request as added incentives to targeted businesses
6.      Prepare written recommendations to the Town Board based on committee deliberations, resident input, and responses from businesses   





Company Fined by OSHA for Accord Accident


Jeffrey Lawrence was crushed to death in an excavator accident in Accord in February.  Now, the federal government has leveled a $2,500 fine against the Rosendale company he worked for, citing two code violations.  An inspector from the US Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Heath Administration (OSHA) announced that DHL Excavating of Rosendale failed to provide adequate training for Lawrence and had neither initiated nor maintained an accident prevention program for that particular work site.  Lawrence, 47, was killed when he inadvertently hit a lever while trying to exit the cab of an excavator and was pinned between the cab and a tree.  Donald Hasenflue of Rosendale is the owner of the company and was also injured in the February mishap.  (Ulster Press 9/20/06)






Full horse board available in New Barn in Kerhonkson. Barn is on property on Berme Road, adjoining the rail trail between Accord and Kerhonkson. Email me at  Phone (cell) is 845/283-8062





Show opens at the Enderlin Gallery on Sept. 2.
Local artist Sara Harris will be featured in the Enderlin Gallery’s upcoming show, which opens with an artists’ reception on September 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and runs through October 8.  A resident of Accord, Harris has had a number of solo and group gallery exhibitions throughout the Northeast and her work is in held in many private and corporate collections. She is a member of the New York Society of Women Artists and the Arts Society of Kingston, NY.  The Enderlin Gallery is located on Main Street in the historic community of Roxbury, New York.  Gallery hours are Sunday, Monday, Friday and holidays, 11-5; Saturday, 11-7 or by appointment. For more information or directions, call (607) 326-3200 or visit


Accord Fire District to Hold Budget Hearing

The Accord Fire District will hold a Public Hearing for the Proposed 2007 Budget on Wednesday, September 6 at 7:30 PM in the Social Hall at the Fire District Headquarters on Main Street, Accord.    The proposed budget reduces the budget by approximately $150,000, following a 44% increase between 2005 and 2006. 



Primary Election on September 12

There will be a primary election on September 12th for the Conservative, Democratic, Independence, and Independence Parties.  On a local level, the Conservative and Independence parties are holding an “opportunity to ballot” in which Kevin Costello, the Republican candidate, is attempting a write in campaign to take away the nomination by those parties of Paul Van Blarcum.


Please note that in the Town of Rochester voting districts 1 and 5 have changed location from Town Hall to the Accord Fire District on Main Street.  The move was made by the Town Board earlier this year to alleviate over-crowding.  Polls are open from 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm.



Friends of Historic Rochester to Hold Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of Historic Rochester will take place on Friday, September 15th at the Rochester Reformed Church on Route 209 in Accord.  The meeting will start at 7pm.  After a presentation by board members on the group’s activities and plans, Gretchen Reed and Tracy McNally will make a slide presentation on “The Delaware and Hudson Canal.  Refreshments will be served.



Kerhonkson Synagogue Vandalized

The Kerhonkson Synagugue has experienced yet another incident in its history of vandalism, which stems back to 1923, when the temple was first built.  Synagogue president Goldie Goldenberg said, “The original temple had a wooden Jewish star on top which was torn down shortly after the synagogue was build.  It’s history all over again: our new stained glass window of a Jewish star that was a little over a year old was broken.  Rocks were thrown right throu the center of this visible symbol.”  The incident occurred in August.  Goldberg affirmed that thiw is a time for the community to come together.  “With the High Holidays coming, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it’s an important time for us; a time to reflect and to move forward.  The stained glass window, which will cost in excess of $1,000 to fix, will be paid through the temple’s general fund, insurance, and with donations.  She assured that the window would be repaired before the holiday services.  “We are a strong community, we deal with it, and move on,” said Goldberg.  To donate money for the repair of the stained glass window, contact Goldie at 626-2530. (from the BSP 9/1/06)



Feature on Saunderskill Farm in Blue Stone Press

The Blue Stone Press’ August 18th issue  featured a full page article on Accord’s beloved Saunderskill Farm, owned and operated by the Schoonmaker Family for more than 300 years.  The farm, which grows local produce for sale at its shop and nursery on Route 209 is now operated by Jack Schoonmaker and his sons David and Dan, the twelfth generation of the family.


Accident on Queens Highway

A Sheriff Deputy and volunteers from the Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid squad responded to a call regarding a collision involving a cyclist on Queens Highway, just north of Sundale Road on August 28th.  The unnamed male cyclist struck a chicken as it was crossing the road and appeared to suffer only minor injuries.  The chicken, however, succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.  Authorities were unable to answer the question of why the chicken was crossing the road.



Planning and Zoning Committee Holds Public Hearing to Discuss Comprehensive Plan

Approximately 100 people attended the Town of Rochester’s Planning and Zoning Committee public hearing on August 29th at the Accord Fire Station.  The meeting, chaired by Supervisor Pam Duke, was held to hear public comments on the committee’s draft Comprehensive Plan, which it has been working on since January.  Aside from 13 members of the committee, which included representatives from the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Historical Preservation Commission, local businesses, contractors/developers, and farmers, Peter Fairweather of Fairweather Associates, the land use consulting firm engaged by the Town, was on hand to answer questions.

Resident Kandy Santoski stated that she believed the plan made the Town “look like Westchester,”  and that it emphasized the promotion of tourism and second homeownership with little consideration for the expansion of small businesses and other commercial activity.  She asked how the development of second homeowners strengthened the local economy or community any more than full time residents.

Marge Bonner of Kerhonkson said that she had a different take on the plan and that the most recent draft appeared to place a greater emphasis on promoting local commerce and business.  She also raised the relationship between increased development and higher taxes and cited the Town’s Cost of Community Services Report, of which she was an author.  The report shows that the second homeowners significantly subsidize local taxes because they generally use fewer services by not having children in the school system, etc.

Kathy Kuthy of Accord raised the suggestion of placing “sunset provisions” on special use permits granted by the Town and suggested that this would be a good means of ensuring that businesses operating in residential zones do no not negatively impact their neighbors. 

Andy Gilchrest, an attorney for the Kerhonkson/Accord Business Alliance, recently formed by local mining interests, stated that he submitted his group’s comments in writing and asked for permission to present maps of the Town.  The committee agreed and John Orzo gave a presentation of maps overlaying open spaces, commercial zones, recreational assets, soil types and introduced the concept of expanded “resource extraction areas” where shale, gravel and stone extraction activity could be expanded.   

Several residents cited the increasing need for affordable housing so that their children could live and work in the community.  Others

One issue that drew many comments was the potential implementation of a noise ordinance. Trisha Kortright said she grew up in a community that had a noise ordinance and that it was nice, however she was “100% against” a similar ordinance in Rochester.  Billie Launzinger said that she lived in many communities that had noise ordinances, and that they were tailored to the local communities.  She went on to say that many people moved here to enjoy the “peace and quiet’ of a rural community.  Brit Baker cited the importance of “striking a balance” on this and other issues and to look at the big picture.

Imre Beke said that property rights should be protected and that rights of property are a basic civil right, a theme raised by many people present.  Beke went on to say that the many recommendations and implementations reduced the rights of property owners.

Zali Win, president of the Rochester Residents Association, noted that property rights did indeed need to be recognized.  He said that everyone had the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property and that government, through its regulations, had an obligation to preserve the equity that people have built in their homes by protecting against the “trespassing on that right by noise, dust, and water pollution” by nuisance neighbors and businesses.  He disputed the fact that all these businesses paid their full share of taxes and cited the 90 acre Metro mine on Queens Highway and said that the local tax revenue generated by that property was significantly less than the negative impact that it had on neighboring homes and that all property owners in Town were, in effect, subsidizing that mine’s operation as they do many other local business properties.

Pine Grove Ranch owner David O’Halloran said that he didn’t think that the plan recognized the fact that his ranch and the Hudson Valley Resort were the town’s biggest employers.

Supervisor Duke thanked the audience for coming to express their views and said that the committee would carefully review them all.  The committee meets twice a month, with the next meeting at 7pm on September 13 at Town Hall.  A copy of the current draft of the report is available online at



Propane and Fuel Oil Tank and Distribution Center Planned for Route 209

Combined Energy Services of Montecello, the prospective buyers of a single family home currently owned by Kenneth Coddington, located across the street from the Accord Quik Mart, have been approaching residential neighbors to discuss plans and to assess potential neighborhood opposition to the company’s plans to create a fuel oil and propane gas distribution center on the 2.6 acre property.  Plans call for two 75 foot long “bullet” type propane tanks and at least two additional tanks for an unspecified volume of liquid petroleum products.  While there are already some existing businesses in the neighborhood, there remain a number of single family homes and the property’s immediate neighbors are all private residences.  Any plans would have to go before the Planning Board in order to obtain a Special Use Permit.




ACCORD THEN AND NOW : Walk the Hamlet – Celebrating Historic Accord

Do you remember the days when ……’s Accord Post Office building was the site of Breslow’s Pharmacy, Les Aaron’s Luncheonette, the Town Clerk’s Office, and  the Accord P.O.?  Were you there when Philliber’s right-hand building was Turner and Cohen’s Grocery Store, or Kanover and Layne’s Grocery, or Kolvenbach’s Accord General and Soda Fountain,?  Or when Ronald Reagan came to town? Or when Honda Motor Car Company used Kolvenbach’s Accord General as the backdrop for introducing the world to its new model, the Accord!

On Saturday, October 7, 2006 the Annual Fall Tour sponsored by Friends of Historic Rochester will focus on   Historic Main Street, Accord.  Guided and self-guided walking tours will begin at Friends’ Museum,   12 Main Street  between   10 a.m. and   2 p.m.  Proceeding from there up and down Main Street, many of the buildings will be open so visitors can observe what is left from the past and how they have been adapted for use in the present – “Accord Then and Now”.  The tour will feature personal recollections of long-time residents, enlargements of old photographs, and descriptions of each property over the years.  Visitors will experience Accord of the 19th and 20th centuries, of the D & H Canal and O & W Railway Eras.

Many activities are being planned throughout the day, including breakfast and demonstrations at the Fire House, displays and activities at the Community Center, focus on the railroad station, music, and shows under a tent in the back yard of the Museum.  Details of these and other events will follow.  Please save the date and join us at this celebration of the Town of Rochester.

Support for this celebration of the Town’s history is coming from many of the Town’s organizations and individual residents.

If you have memories, photographs or other memorabilia. or would like to participate in the celebration of Main Street in any way, please call 845-626-7104, 687-9998, or  626-3140.



Guiness World Record Set for Largest Gnome

KERHONKSON - A 13.5-foot yard gnome off U.S. Route 209 should soon grace the pages of "Guinness World Records."

The gnome, called Chomsky, will hold the record for the world's largest yard gnome. It stands sentry over Gnome on the Grange, a mini-golf course at Kelder's Farm.

Chris Kelder, whose family has owned the farm for more than 200 years, said it's nice to have such an attraction.

"It's a lot like having the world's largest ball of string," he said. "We used to say were right across from NAPA (Auto Parts). Now we'll say we're right next to the gnome."

The gnome was the brainchild of Maria Reidelbach, who also built the mini-golf course on Kelder's Farm. The record-setting gnome is actually Chomsky II, Reidelbach explains. The original Chomsky was built in 2003, but was made out of the wrong material to be qualified for the world record.

Guinness said that for Chomsky to be record-setting, he would have to be built out of the same materials as other yard gnomes: cement. Reidelbach said she was committed to making the world's biggest gnome and enlisted artist Ken Hutchinson to craft Chomsky II out of cement, straw and chicken wire.

Reidelbach said Chomsky didn't dethrone any other big yard gnomes. Guinness did not have a previous record in this category.

So, building a gnome for a mini-golf course is historically appropriate, Reidelbach said. The first mini-golf course built had gnomes on it. Building a gnome of Chomsky's size just fulfilled an old desire of hers, Reidelbach said.

"It's been a dream of mine for about 10 years to build a roadside attraction," she said.

The measurements were ceremoniously taken with an oversized ruler Thursday evening. As part of the rules of Guinness, Reidelbach assembled a board of "local luminaries" that included Ulster County Legislator Rich Parete, Rochester Town Supervisor Pamela Duke and Mark Brown, leader of a local country-rock band, to witness the event.

Brown, who wrote a song about U.S. Route 209, said the gnome is in a very fitting place.

"If you were going to find it, it would be on 209 or at least in this part of the world," he said.

Also among the luminaries was David Work, a local mushroom enthusiast with the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association. He said the history of gnomes and mushrooms is a lengthy one, which is why he was invited to attend the event. Reidelbach said she is considering adding an oversized mushroom next to the gnome in the future.



Ulster lawmakers fear jail may not open until 2007

Amid the lack of a firm opening date for the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center and state concerns over the facility's physical plant and staffing level, county legislators worry the already overdue jail might have to wait for a 2007 opening.

"Everything is slow. It's how we operate. Two speeds: slow and slower," a frustrated Richard Parete, chairman of the Law Enforcement Center Project Committee, said at a meeting Tuesday.

The state commissioner of correction threw a wrench into the committee's plans by telling Sheriff J. Richard Bockelmann earlier this month that the jail's requirement of 148 full-time corrections officers could not be met because seven officers are out on disability. Some county members are meeting with the commissioner Sept. 14 for a clarification, but Parete, D-Accord, didn't think that was soon enough because if the county has to hire new people, they'll need two months of training.

"If they're going to say on the 14th you need to hire five guys, why not just hire them now?" he asked.

Another bump in the road for the jail is installing the phone system. County Corrections Superintendent Brad Ebel said bids are now being taken to install phones in the jail, but the bidding process lasts a month. The committee approved bids for phone contracts two months ago, but Ebel said he waited while he tried to find a price low enough to eliminate bidding. The county doesn't have to seek competitive bids for projects costing less than $20,000.

Individual cell windows also need to be tinted or blocked somehow, both to prevent male and female inmates from looking into each others' cells and to keep inmates from seeing confidential informants entering the building. That creates a problem, because each cell is required to have some natural light. So, jail officials need to find a way to obstruct the view while letting light in.

If the windows are tinted, the tinting must go on the outside of the windows to prevent prisoners from peeling it off. This would create an expensive process because crews would have to do it with lifts and scaffolds, increasing labor costs.

The jail project is already tens of millions of dollars over budget, but some legislators said Tuesday that the county should worry less about cost and more about simply getting it open.

"The No. 1 priority is finish the job," said Legislature Chairman David Donaldson, D-Kingston.

Also Tuesday, Ebel said corrections officers should be trained and acclimated to the new jail by the end of October. Each corrections officer is required to have 40 hours of training - five days - in the new facility. Ebel said all officers have completed the first two days.

After the initial five days of training, each officer must undergo specialized training, which will stretch until the end of October.

"Hopefully, we'll be done a little before that, but that's a stretch," Ebel said.

However, some training cannot occur until numbers are put on all the cell doors. Some issues had arisen earlier in the meeting about whether the numbers should be vinyl attachments or directly painted on the doors.

[Editor’s Note, Sheriff Bockelman’s term expires in December.  He is not seeking re-election and a successor will be elected in the November ballot.]



Fact or Fiction?

To the Editor:

  I write this letter as a Rochester resident and the following statements do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of members of the Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission, of which I am chair.
  My interest was piqued last week when I saw your cover article ["Intimidation or Making a Statement?" p.1, BSP 8/18/06]. I thought the article would focus on the misleading, erroneous signs that dot the roadways of Rochester. The large photo of the handmade sign and the title sucked me in.
  But instead the signs were barely mentioned and were taken at face value. The article didn¹t even uncover who posted the signs. It also turned out that the intimidation mentioned in the title had nothing to do with the signs, so the title was poorly juxtaposed with that photo.
  The intimidation factor had to do with a group of truckers who attended a town hall meeting but refused to speak. Who were these people and what were they trying to say? Councilman Ron Santosky purported to know what they were doing there, so does he represent this group of people who were trying to "make a statement?" The article doesn¹t get to the bottom of this.
  Regarding the signs, I like to see community members with the energy and conviction to get their message out to other residents. But when the message is deceptive and contradictory it serves to divide and confuse the community.
  One sign says, "No Lawn Mowers," which presumably refers to a possible noise ordinance for the town. All preliminary work that the town Environmental Commission has done on such an ordinance specifically excludes noises made by lawn mowers, farm equipment, and other machinery. Another sign, which you placed on your cover, says "Duked Out, Taxed Out," which implies that Pam Duke has raised taxes. In fact, local taxes have decreased under the current board.
  Some signs contradict themselves. For example, a sign reading "Laws by the Few for the Few" is posted about a quarter mile from a sign that says "Committeed Out." The current administration consistently strives to include as many people as possible in making decisions, hence the healthy array of committees.
  In this beautiful town with a wide spectrum of people and opinions, healthy communication is key.
Chris Hewitt









Rochester Residents Association Sponsors Creative Sign Contest

In recognition of all the creative signs that have been posted around Town in the past few weeks, the Rochester Residents Association announces an online “Creative Sign Contest.”   There will be prizes for the winner of several different categories and the grand prize winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate redeemable at Saunderskill Farms or other Rochester businesses at the recipient’s option.  In order to encourage participation in the contest, the RRA will donate $1.00 to a local childhood literacy program for each accepted entry (up to $100).

As people all have different levels of graphic capability, we’ll only be judging the sign slogan and only the slogan needs to be submitted. 

Prizes will be given for:
Most Creative Sign Slogan
Most Inspiring Sign Slogan
Most Humorous Slogan
Most Accurate Sign Slogan
Most Misleading Sign Slogan

Submit entries to:

Judges wanted:
If you would like to help judge entries, please send us an email at  Being a judge does not preclude you from entering sign ideas, but you will not be able to judge your own entry.

Contest Rules

1.    Sign slogans must be submitted by email to by 11:59 pm on September 15, 2006 (the sponsors reserve the right to extend the submission deadline). 
2.    Emails submissions should include (a) the sign slogan, (b) the entrant’s name.  If an entrant wishes to remain anonymous, however, we will keep the name confidential.
3.    While not required, if you would like to submit a graphic rendering of an entry, please send it as an attached jpg, gif or pdf file.
4.    Slogans of signs that have been posted around Town will automatically be entered in the contest.
5.    There is no limit on the number of submissions that a participant may submit.  Multiple entries may be submitted on the same email. 
6.    Entries will be entered into different categories by the contest judges.  If you would like to ensure that your entry(ies) are considered for specific or multiple categories, please note that in your email.

Good luck to all our entrants!




Upcoming Events

Saturday, August 19th: Movie Night in the Park, Rochester Town Park, adjacent to Town Hall.  “Don the Magic Man” will present his magic starting at 8pm, movie begins at dusk: Feature: “Walk the Line.”  Film series sponsored by Rochester Democrats.  Bring: refreshments and lawn chairs.

Among the pantheon of great country singers, Johnny Cash (played here by Joaquin Phoenix) may just be the most enigmatic. James Mangold's film distills Cash's transformation from man to icon -- from his hardscrabble days on an Arkansas farm to Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., where Cash finally found a way for his talent to come into its own. Reese Witherspoon plays his beloved June, alongside co-stars Robert Patrick and Shelby Lynne.”


 Accuracy Check

If you’ve driven along Route 209 or other roads in Kerhonkson recently, you would probably have noticed a series of hand-made signs posted.  We've researched the topics of some of the signs:

“Out Duked, Out Taxed”

The intended message here is probably that property taxes have risen during the tenure of Supervisor Pam Duke.  While that is true, the fact is that more than 72 percent of total property taxes in the Town of Rochester are determined by the School Budget that is approved each year by voters.  A further 12% is paid to Ulster County as a result of the tax levy determined by the budget prepared by the Ulster County Legislature (and includes costs associated with the controversial still-uncompleted jail project).  Four percent was paid to the Accord Fire District, which presented a 43% tax increase for 2006.  Seven percent was paid to the Town’s Highway Department in accordance with a budget presented by the Highway Superintendent.  Only five percent was paid to the Town’s general fund, which is determined by the Town Board.  Contrary to what the signs try to imply, the 2006 tax rate for the Town of Rochester’s general fund actually declined by a small percentage.


“No Cluster Housing”

This sign probably refers to a discussion in the Draft Comprehensive Plan and expresses opposition to the “new” idea of cluster housing.  Cluster Housing is a site plan layout concept that suggests that housing units in new subdivisions be laid out in denser walkable neighborhoods, while at the same time keeping large portions of proposed subdivisions in permanent open green space.  The intent of the concept is to preserve open views and spaces in order to minimize the impact of housing on the landscape and to minimize future costs to the town for things like road maintenance.  The concept is not a new one, it was wholeheartedly recommended in the Town’s existing 1969 Comprehensive Plan and its inclusion in the new draft plan merely repeats and endorses the 1969 concept.


“Taxed out of Business”

This sign implies that rising taxes have forced local businesses to go out of business or that they have prevented new businesses from coming to Rochester.  As noted above, most taxes are determined by entities or individuals other than our Town Board.  Property taxes are indeed a major problem across New York State.  The Town of Rochester was one of the first proponents and organizers of the Hudson Valley Property Tax Reform Task Force, which is dedicated to finding alternate ways to fund very burdensome local education costs.  While we can’t determine if any business have avoided coming to Rochester, we can say that many new popular and profitable businesses have been created in Town in the last two years.  Rochester is predominantly a residential community and it always has been.  An overwhelmingly large percentage of property taxes in town are collected from private residential property and land, not from commercial property.   And some businesses actually cause other property owners to pay higher taxes.  For example, the 86.6 acre gravel mine owned by Metro Recycling on Queens Highway is assessed at only $109,700, while some adjacent residences are assessed at 2.5 times higher (nearly $300,000), with only 2 acres.  Given the high impact use that Metro’s constant flow of truck traffic (and the resulting required road repairs and maintenance), one could argue that some commercial properties are not pulling their fair weight with respect to Town and highway taxes.


“No Sewer Plant”

It has been a long known fact that many homes in certain neighborhoods in town do not have adequate supplies of drinking water, a problem exacerbated by their location on small lots.  A recent presentation by hydrologists working under a state grant actually laid out the town’s hydrology and mapped out many of these areas.  The report also recommended increasing minimum acreage zoning requirements to address water sustainability.  The idea of a public water system in limited areas has been in place at least since the 1969 Comprehensive Plan, which stated that a public water system was desirable and should be implemented in certain areas.  Nothing has happened in the 37 years since 1969 and the severity of the problem has increased with additional development and a higher population.  Despite this, the Town Board has no present plans to create a public water system and no such plans have been discussed.


We’ll be examining other signs in future issues.  If you have any questions in the meantime, let us know.



Local Artist Featured in Arkville Show

Rochester resident Barbara Arum will be exhibiting 7 sculptures at the Enderlin Gallery in Roxbury, NY during the month of August. The exhibit runs from August 5 through August 27. The gallery is open Saturdays 11:00-7:00, Sundays 11:00-5:00 and also by appointment. Directions to the gallery are Rt. 28 West to Arkville, then Rt. 30 N



Alligerville General Store Re-Opens

A general store on Tow Path Road in Alligerville reopened after being closed for many years.  The store originally opened in the early 1900s.  The store, called “A Store in Alligerville, is owned by Marijane Knudsen, who said “The store was more than just a store, it was the hub of the hamlet – a place to catch up on the events of the day and to get the most current gossip.”  Knudsen stocks local products whenever possible and has a supply of essential groceries, beverages, ice cream, newspapers, gifts and helium balloons. 


School Board Approves Capital Expenditures Plan

The Rondout Valley Central School District Board of Education approved a $27 million high school facilities project recommended by the Board’s Facilities Committee.  Details of the project’s scope, including costs and financial impact, will be distributed by the School District in a newletter to all residents. 



Comprehensive Plan Preliminary Draft Released


Following more than six months of work involving numerous committee meetings and 9 town-wide meetings, a preliminary draft of the Town’s updated Comprehensive Plan has been made available for public view. 


The current draft is expected to be formally reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Committee (PZC) during its August 9 and August 21 meetings, to which the public is invited.  An important part of the review process will be a public hearing that is scheduled to take place on August 29 at 7:00 pm in the Accord Fire Department Social Hall.


The Town Board does not have a formal role at this stage of the Plan’s development.  Rather, it will wait to review the version of the Plan that is recommended to it by the PZC.  The Town Board’s review will also be done in open meetings and with the benefit of a separate public hearing process.


 A summary of the Preliminary Draft is provided below and continues on the back.  It is only a brief outline of the draft; readers are strongly encouraged to read the complete document, which can be downloaded from the website ( or from the Town Clerk’s office.


Summary of Draft Plan


 The Town of Rochester began the process of updating its comprehensive plan in January 2006.  The updated Comprehensive Plan is intended to ensure that the Town of Rochester has policies in place so that the property rights of landowners and the community as a whole are both protected by employing a balanced set of standards for preserving the rights to use land as desired while also addressing the impacts of such development on adjacent landowners and their property rights.  This plan is to replace the Town’s current plan, which was completed and adopted in 1969.


Since 1969, Rochester has remained a community with great natural beauty, a strong sense of history and a high quality of life.  To be an effective guide for the future, a plan should consider all of these factors—natural beauty, history and quality of life—along with others such as economic opportunities and community values.  This plan and its recommendations are intended to enable to the Town to respond to changes it faces in ways that keep these essential qualities intact.


The General Approach of the Plan has been to seek a reasonable balance in all of its recommendations, meaning balance among the varying interests of different citizens.  It also means finding balance among the types of development promoted.  In sum, this means keeping reasonable balance between important community goals and the rights of individual property owners so that:

Growth can take place without compromising the quantity and quality of drinking water available to residents.

New development is sited and designed to minimize the amount of taxes that must be raised to provide new facilities and services to support it.

Town government expands its ability to collaborate and share services and purchasing with a variety of other government entities, including the School District as part of cost-saving efforts.

Rochester may take advantage of changes in the national and regional economy to build the Town’s economic base by encouraging small business, tourism, arts, agriculture and historic preservation.

To the extent possible, the Town remains an affordable place for all to live.

Development complements and strengthens Rochester’s small town quality.

Growth occurs in a way that minimizes loss of open spaces or scenic views.


As indicated above, the Comprehensive Plan is intended to set a direction for development in the Town and then define the actions, policies and other tools that will be used to move the Town in that direction


The Plan provides 6 goals that set a direction for subsequent actions by the Town related to its growth and development.  These goals are listed below, along with related objectives.


1. Environmental Quality


Goal: Strike a balance so that growth can take place in a way that protects the environmental resources we all need to live.



i. Protect the quantity and quality of the water supply by:

strengthening measures to prevent groundwater contamination, such as limiting density of development in areas of lowest groundwater yields and in aquifer recharge areas

developing standards to assure protection of surface waters, including standards for development to assure stream bank protection

protecting the quality of wetlands and other water bodies

providing sewage collection and treatment for hamlets such as Accord

ii. Protect the Town's important natural resources as identified through the Town’s Natural Resources Inventory as adopted by the Town Board.

iii. Minimize disturbance to wildlife and vegetation from the effects of new development and the activities that accompany it.


2. Land Use


Goal: Shape future development so that it a) minimizes tax increases needed to support new growth b) maximizes the ability of people of all means to find an affordable place to live in Rochester by providing for a range of housing choices and lot sizes



i. Direct growth to where it works best by encouraging concentrations of new residential and mixed-used, and nonresidential developments in areas which presently are or which can conveniently be served by roads, utilities, schools and other facilities.

ii. Direct large-scale or intensive development away from more remote areas with difficult accessibility which would likely result in greater environmental impacts and would involve excessive costs for road improvements, road maintenance, and utility installation.

iii. Broaden housing opportunities in the Town of Rochester to provide housing for all populations including senior citizens, working families and households, single adults, and others.

iv. Use incentives to encourage better site design and green design principles in new development projects.


3. Community Character


Goal: Shape growth so that it contributes to and strengthens the qualities that make Rochester unique and define the character of the area from a public perspective, including such qualities as scenic views, open space and history.



i. Develop standards of ridgeline protection for the Catskills and the Shawangunk Ridge that limit clearing and intensity of use so as to maintain existing character.

ii. Create standards and/or guidelines for development and landscaping that maintain a high quality built environment while preserving and using natural beauty wherever possible.

iii. Where appropriate, recognize historical small neighborhoods or settlements in zoning to preserve small-scale mixed use where it remains viable.

iv. Protect and preserve the Town's historically significant buildings and sites in a manner that actively involves private owners of such properties.

v. Prevent intrusion of incompatible uses in residential areas

vi. Ensure that signage in Town is both attractive and functional.

vii. Create an Open Space Plan to provide for significant areas of open space including preserving wooded areas and agricultural lands to the extent possible. The plan should define a system of open spaces and park and recreation facilities.


4. Economic Development


Goal: Enhance both the tax base and local employment opportunities by supporting a diverse economic base that includes tourism, agriculture, services and manufacturing all sited and scaled to blend in with the historic character of Rochester.



i. Encourage the tourism and vacation industry in the Town including but not limited to well planned resort, recreation and Bed and Breakfast development.

ii. Recognize and respond to the economic impact of 2nd home development in ways that strengthens Rochester’s economy and community.

iii. Provide for continued commercial and industrial growth compatible with the Land Use Goals of the Comprehensive Plan, including but not limited to allowing higher density development in hamlet areas.

iv. Create community and cultural facilities integrated with commercial development in hamlet areas.

v. Promote hiking, sightseeing and other outdoor recreation related businesses.

vi. Provide sites for compatible industries (keeping in mind that the predominant character of the Town is residential)

vii. Permit home occupations while regulating their size and the type of use permitted.

viii. Promote energy conservation and renewable energy resources.

ix. Promote broadband Internet access and expanded cellular access throughout the Town.

x. Take measures to preserve productive farmlands as a viable industry resource and as a means for maintaining open space by maintaining right to farm protections.

xi. Support creation of local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs and/or Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) programs designed to encourage participation by farmers.

xii. Provide opportunities for farmers to earn supplemental income as a means for remaining in farming.

xiii. Encourage or support agri-tourism activities by farms in the town.

xiv. Consider creating a plan to proactively promote & develop agriculture in the Town.


5. Infrastructure


Goal: Adopt Town Policies to minimize costs associated with constructing and maintaining public infrastructure needed to accommodate growth.



i. Provide adequate sewer and water capacity to accommodate growth of the Accord hamlet or other hamlets, if appropriate.

ii. Promote concepts to reduce traffic congestion along highways in the Town.

iii. Improve the safety of the roads in the Town by: developing high standards for constructing and maintaining private roads; evaluating and addressing the intensity of use compared to highway capacity when reviewing proposed land uses and/or development projects; employing capital improvement programming to correct safety problems.

iv. Require adequate setbacks and off-street parking for both residential and nonresidential uses with public road frontage.

v. Seek alternatives to strip commercial development along Route 209 and other frontage access highways, by directing such development to hamlet areas and/or concentrated nodes that minimize the road frontage and necessary curb cuts.

vi. Ensure that new construction provides adequate access for emergency services.


6. Government Services


Goal: Provide effective and cost-efficient services for the residents of the Town.



i. Create and maintain reliable communication resources for the town so that residents can better participate in local government.

ii. Improve municipal codes and code enforcement by improving the clarity of code language, simplifying enforcement procedures and seeking to continually improve code enforcement practices in the Town.

iii. Provide a capital facilities planning process with appropriate policies and incentives to ensure that the Town has adequate equipment and facilities for such needs as public safety (e.g., fire and rescue services), highways and transportation, recreation, and overall administration.

iv. Ensure that local policies and regulations encourage development that minimizes the risk from fire and other hazards.

v. Continue to pursue opportunities to work with other municipalities and agencies to reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of government services such as: planning for open space for recreation (e.g., the rail trail); identification and conservation of contiguous areas of natural habitat; economic development including agriculture; planning for areas such as the Route 209 corridor.


Public Hearing


A public hearing on the draft Comprehensive Plan Update will be conducted by the Planning & Zoning Committee on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the Accord Fire House.  All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.



  Phase 1 Cell & Internet Study Completed


As reported in the June Rochester Reporter, Homeland Towers was to conduct reception tests throughout Rochester, with the intention of identifying potential sites to erect towers for improving cell phone and broadband capabilities.  These tests are now done.


The test results provided reception levels on all county and state roads in the town.  The next phase of the assessment will be to set transmitters on cranes at two recommended sites and then conduct a second series of drive-around tests.


If these results are positive and the recommended site(s) involve Town property, Homeland Towers will propose entering into a contract with the Town, whereby the Town receives fees in exchange for the right to erect and operate the new communications facility, similar to the arrangements involving the cable services provider, Time Warner.  Stayed tuned!




Cops track driver, make arrest

Police said Kenneth Childs was drunk when he crossed the double yellow line on Samsonville Road and sideswiped another vehicle around 10:20 Friday night.
The he drove home, leaving the other driver, Richard Hilty, with minor injuries to his shoulder and elbow. Fortunately, Hilty got Childs’ license plate number. Police caught up with Childs, 46, more than an hour later at his home on Schroon Hill Road.
He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while ability-impaired by drugs, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest. He remains in Ulster County Jail on $10,000 bail.  (TH-Record 8/7/06)




Hello everyone,


You may have heard about this in the news, but in case you haven't, the Ulster County Sheriff's Dept. recently seized a large number of cats and dogs from a person in Lake Katrine. The Ulster County SPCA is taking on the care of the animals until the case is ended. This has put a huge burden on our shelter, as there were over 50 dogs involved and approximately 30 cats.


We are a private non-profit agency which does not receive any public funding. In other words, we rely solely on donations.


I am appealing to each of you, if you can, to assist us with collecting items we need to care for the animals. Even if you cannot donate anything at this time, please consider forwarding this email to anyone you can.


We are in critical need of the following items:


paper towels





wire dog crates (especially larger ones)

cat food and dog food


Thank you for your help and support.



 Jackie McDowell, Interim Executive Director

For more information, visit 



Dear Editor:

Please note that there is an error in your newsletter:  Kevin Mahoney, Mahoney Development, LLC is not the first applicant to request and be
granted a variance from the Moratorium.  John Dawson of Dawson Homes Inc. was granted a Variance for Mount Laurel Estates (22-lot subdivision) on
Samsonville Road in late February 2006.  Please correct this since Mr. Dawson worked very hard on writing & securing his variance due to financial
hardship caused by expenses already invested on the Subdivision.   Thank You.  

Edward Sprague
Project Manager
Medenbach & Eggers Civil Engineering and Land Surveying P.C.
(845) 687-0047  x109

Editor’s Reply.  We were indeed incorrect.  The Mahoney exemption was actually the third one granted.  Prior exemptions were granted to John Dawson and the Rusolo family.  Subsequently, an additional exemption was granted to Victor Van Borkulo for Van Borkulo Enterprises


Dear Fellow Rochesterites:

Before I state my comments I would like everyone who reads this to know that I am a registered Democrat who believes in community involvement and I serve our community as a Fire Commissioner of the Accord Fire District.  I am writing this a private citizen and my comments do not reflect the viewpoint of the fire district nor the Democratic Party.

First the positives; we are a community of between 7,000 - 7,400 people.  About half of all residents are either children or super seniors who no longer are active in community affairs.  The remaining 3,400 or so residents are in various stages of the prime of their lives and are busy with their families, careers and other important pursuits.  Despite pressing schedules approximately 10% of your neighbors find some time and muster up a little energy to volunteer in actives ranging from; Little League; Friends of Historic Rochester; The Fire Department; First Aid Squad; The Food Pantry; Chamber of Commerce; senior events; pre-school and school based children's organizations; church and synagogue based groups; political party activities; and the many committees and commissions associated with our town and county government.  The fact that we have 10% of adults in our community actively involved is nothing short of phenomenal and I am both proud and humbled to be part of our awesome community.

The negatives; we have very high seasonal unemployment and very few jobs that offer significant and stable economic incentives or opportunities.  Based on the recently published school district report card, the Rondout Valley High School's dropout rate has increased from 3% in 2003, to 3.1% in 2004, to 5.2% in 2005!  Our rates of poverty, as measured by the numbers of children qualifying for free and reduced lunch, is increasing.  Based on casual discussions with our local deputies it appears that violent crime is increasing in our region due to the increasing blights of gangs and drugs spreading from other areas.  All across our country, including right here at home, too many families face the horrific combination of poverty, alcoholism and spousal abuse/abandonment with little help or hope.  Our environment appears is under constant attack with pressures to develop every inch of our community's wealth of natural resources, pitting neighbor against neighbor in battles that divide this community with claims of eminent domain and other untrue yet extremely inflammatory rumors of a town government seeking to prevent car washing and lawn mowing.  We have very few doctors or dentists and virtually no local specialists.  Just to go to the grocery store involves a using several gallons of fuel because we do not have enough local spending power to attract more stores and services to our town.  Last, but far from least, we are being strangled by taxes and our state is significantly overdue for a property tax and school funding overhaul which would eliminate to inequities between property taxpayers in rural, suburban and urban communities to provide a fairer way to pay for public education and other services New York provides.

As you can see, we have real and significant problems and as neighbors we need to continue to work towards solutions that satisfy the needs and desires of the majority, this is democracy at its best.  I am extremely disheartened when I read in a variety of local publications and web sites many personal attacks towards those whose only crime is to have a different opinion from their neighbors.  Most locally political aware people are well aware that there exists an intra Republican Party power battle is between the Republican Club and the officially recognized Republican Committee.  This is hardly the first time this has occurred and I am certain it will not be the last.  However, the continuous battle will not provide a single solution to our community's needs.  What the battle does do is it drains energy and effort those who are willing to work for a better community and it discourages those who want to roll up their sleeves and help.

What bothers me most of all is this idea that if you are a ‘real republican’ the democrats are your sworn enemy and visa versa.  This simply is not so.  Even on the big national issues, many republicans agree with democratic positions contrary to their party's position and many democrats do the same and agree with republican positions on issues.

Our community is being hurt by those who point their finger at involved people and publicly ridiculing them for being members of the democratic party or chastising moderate republicans for not being 'real republicans’ because they happen to agree with democrats on an issue.  We cannot afford to sink into this morass of attacking our neighbors and follow community members because that have a different opinion which is not in perfect keeping with someone's perceived notion that we need to think exactly the same way.  Isn't this type of forced allegiance to a single set of ideas exactly why we, united in our commitment to freedom & democracy, have stood opposed to dictators and fascist regimes from Jos. Stalin to Kim Jong IL today.

I ask everyone who reads this, republican and democrat alike; do you believe that as a community we can work together, for the sake of a brighter future instead of focusing on political party battles?  Would you like to see those who volunteer to focus on things like better education, a environment that attracts economic opportunities such as more tourism, property tax reform, helping seniors and children, planning and funding for storms, floods and other emergencies and quality growth that will bring opportunities for entrepreneurs to build upon?  If you want a prosperous future for our community than get involved in some sort of activity and work towards our common good without asking if those who are also volunteering are democrats or a republicans, after all, we are all Americans and Rochesterites.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I thank The Accord Town Crier for indulging me by printing this.

Kathy Kuthy







Town Board votes against funding Self-Storage Appeal

At its July meeting, the Town Board voted against the appropriation of funding for an appeal of a NYS Supreme Court Ruling that ordered the Planning Board to issue a special use permit to Ample Self Storage for the construction of self storage units on Route 209, just south of Mettacahonts Road.  The ruling came in response to an Article 78 proceeding filed by Ample that alleged that the Planning Board acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it denied the issuance of the Special Use Permit in December 2005.  The Planning Board asked the Town Board to allocate funds to finance the appeal.  The Town Board authorized the attorney for the Ttown, Rod Futterfas, to file a notice of appeal in order to protect the Town’s legal rights and separately authorized Futterfas to conduct a review of findings in order to determine if sufficient cause for an appeal existed.  Upon reviewing the case, Futterfas determined that the Town had a weak case and the Town Board voted not to go though with the appeal.



Moratorium Relief Granted

In response to a request by Mahoney Development LLC, the Town Board voted at its July meeting to grant an economic hardship variance to the Town’s temporary Moratorium Law.  The Moratorium Law, which was enacted in February 2006, temporarily prohibits subdivisions of more than four parcels and the construction of commercial buildings larger than 20,000 square feet.  The Law also contained a variance procedure by which the Town Board could grant a variance from the law to applicants who could prove economic hardship.  Mahoney is the first applicant to request such a variance.



Veterans’ Memorial Underway

The Town Board approved plans to go ahead with a Veterans’ Memorial, which will consist of a flag pole and brass plaques affixed to large stone markers paying tribute to military service by Town residents.  A permanent list of individuals who have served will be at Town Hall as well as the Friends of Historic Rochester’s museum on Main Street.  The installation of the memorial has been sponsored by Councilman Francis Gray with assistance from volunteers, including Ira Poppel and Richard Rider.



Highway Department Funding

The Town Board approved a further $100,000 in expenditures by the Highway Department for the repair and reconstruction of local roads resulting from recent flood damage.  This latest appropriation follows a $200,000 appropriation made earlier this year.  Applications from FEMA for reimbursement are being processed, in the meantime, the Town has funded the repairs from the General Fund.  Separately, the Town Board is considering a request from Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder for an unbudgeted $8,500 expenditure on a new gasoline inventory system, which has been malfunctioning for two years, according to the Highway Department.  The Highway Department distributes gasoline and other fuel for the Accord Fire Dept., the Sheriff’s Office, County Highway Department, and Accord/Kerhonkson First Aid Squad in addition to Town vehicles.  The Highway  Department then bills the appropriate entity for reimbursement.  The Highway Department was criticized by the Office of the State Comptroller in a September 2001 audit and earlier audits for not maintaining adequate control over the purchase and usage of its gasoline and diesel fuel.



Kelder Farm Applies for Special Use Permit

Chris Kelder, owner of the 90+ acre Kelder Farm on Route 209 submitted an application for a Special User Permit to the town’s Planning Board on July 5, 2006.  The Special Use Permit is required for the miniature golf course on the property that was constructed in the late spring and which opened on July 1st.  The application states that existing uses include: “direct marketing, u-pick produce, agri-tainment, educational center, farm tours, [and a] petting farm” and requests an expansion of use to include: “agricultural-based activities and events, agri-tainment, i.e. mini golf course, edible garden, [and] garden tours.”



New Owners Take Control of Hudson Valley Resort

Everyday Logistics, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company formed in November 2005, purchased the Hudson Valley Resort on March 8, 2006 for $18.5 million, including the proceeds of a $9.71 million loan from Kennedy Funding.  The company did not take over control, however, until recently.  Everyday Logistics, which has an office in Manhattan, is owned by Elliot Spitzer (not the Attorney General) and has publicized plans that call for a retargeting of its potential clientele and focusing "on the significant Jewish population that traditionally visits the area."  The resort went through significant renovations in the late '90s, when most of the resort's 322 guest rooms were refurbished and its nine-hole golf course extended.   Plans allegedly include the development of approximately 250 homes on the 571 acre property, however, the temporary moratorium law now in effect precludes such development unless economic hardship can be proven.  It is unlikely that such a hardship case could be asserted as the sale closed after the temporary moratorium law was enacted.



Letters to the Editor:


Letter to the Editor:

Kelder's Farm is constructing a Miniature Golf Course on its property.
It is not like they are constructing a rock crushing plant or something of that nature. Apparently, they do not have a permit to construct said golf course. Big deal. I do not think that the Miniature Golf is going to have a great deal of impact on the environment. I would like to believe that the Town Board has better things to do than to be worried about the construction of a new Miniature Golf Course. Issue them a permit, stop playing politics and move on to something more important.

Robert S. Gartner



Dear Editor:

Enough is Enough!!

There seem to be a group of folks in the Town of Rochester who do nothing but complain, nitpick and spread rumors to discredit the present Town Administration.  They are quick to criticize new ideas, but unable to criticize the problems caused by years of Republican administrations’ neglect. 

Enough is Enough!  It is time that those of us who kept quiet, believing the comments were so petty they weren’t worth responding to, to speak out.  Councilmen Gray, Miller and Spano have joined with Supervisor Duke to move Rochester out of the 19th century.  These officials have been doing a fabulous job without regard to politics.  Their decisions have been based on strengthening the whole community, not just a handful of supporters.   They have been open and truthful about their agenda and have invited the public to participate at every stage.  Our town officials are actively trying to build our community with the support of Democrats, independents and a lot of community-spirited Republicans.  Unfortunately, a small handful of opponents are more intent on devoting their energy and resources to creating division and diversion.

What the Town Board has been doing is addressing old problems: ensuring money isn’t stolen, repairing Town buildings that have been leaking for years, controlling unbudgeted expenditures and borrowing by the Highway Department, looking at no-cost steps to improve cellular, cable and broadband service, working with other towns to address excessive property taxes, improving our zoning laws for future development and improving communications with residents. They are actively engaged, along with a bipartisan group of community citizens, to update a nearly 40 year old Town Plan.

In the meantime, some town folk would rather spread rumors, since they cannot discredit the actual workings of the Board.  Heard any of these?

1.    The Town Board will prohibit lawn mowing and the use of chain saws and other noisy equipment on weekends. Absolutely false!
2.    The Town Board initiated the recent reassessment to raise taxes so they can spend more money.  In truth, the reassessment was ordered three years ago by a 100% Republican town board and the town’s general fund tax rate actually declined in 2006.
3.    You won’t be able to cut down trees or shrubs on your property. Absolutely false!

4.    You’ll need a permit to paint your house and the color must be approved by a special commission.  Absolutely false!
5.    Clotheslines will be prohibited because they’re “ugly”.  Absolutely false!

Don’t believe these lies.  If you hear other rumors that seem just as outrageous, they probably are.  If you have questions, contact Town Councilmen Gray, Miller, or Spano or Supervisor Duke and get the real truth.  I encourage you to see democratic open government in action by participating in Town Board meetings, held on the first Thursday of each month at 7pm at the Town Hall. 

Town of Rochester Resident….Margaret Bonner



Get Involved?

            There is a new addition to the scenery in Rochester on Route 209. You may have noticed a new billboard has popped up recently. It simply says, “It’s Our Town. Get Involved”. Speaking as somebody who has chosen to get involved, I couldn’t agree more with these words. A wonderful sentiment I wish more would apply. But upon reading further one discovers the next few lines invite the reader to visit the website of a local political organization. I chose not to mention the name purposely because getting involved should not be political.

            One is left to wonder if this group has determined the town belongs only to its members. Does it mean that if you don’t belong or support this group it isn’t your town? It would appear so in the opinion expressed on this sign. I’m personally outraged at the bold, exclusionary statement these words make because it sure reads to me that I was wrong, It’s not my town. Gee, I guess I’m not allowed to be a part of this community. Why is that? I bought my house, I pay taxes, I patronize the local businesses. Heck, I go to the racetrack every Friday. More importantly is this is where I make my home. I should be allowed to consider it “MY Town.” I should be allowed to “Get Involved.” But yet this sign says it isn’t and I shouldn’t if I’m not a supporter of this group. That I find truly sad.

            A visit to the website advertised reveals a site filled with criticism of those who did just that and got involved. A site that promotes name calling. A site that ridicules residents for what they have or haven’t attended (by name for a brief period of time). A site that criticizes those who chose to act when they became victims of violence. A site that even has the audacity to post a picture of one person simply to mock his appearance. It appears if you dare be an individual you will not be tolerated. Certainly not a very inviting invitation to “Get Involved.” No it seems more to say, “Get Involved if you agree with our opinions.”

            It’s time to end the Us and Them mentality that seems to prevail these days. Put aside differences and roll up our sleeves and show some real respect for our neighbors. We don’t all have to agree but we have to learn how to disagree respectfully. Maybe as society has progressed we have actually regressed as we are now a more independent society that no longer needs or neighbors for survival.

            THEM. A truly four letter word if I’ve ever heard one. It’s said so derisively and with so little thought. A word said with such anger and hate that can only be attributed to irrational fear.

            So I am throwing out this suggestion to everybody. Think twice before using those ugly words of Us and, more importantly, THEM. Let’s make US mean the entire community.             Community. Defined in the dictionary as “an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location”. That’s what a community should be. Various kinds of individuals. Wow, a novel idea.

             And I am addressing EVERYBODY with these words now. Stop fearing your neighbor and make an effort to get to know them. You might be surprised.

            Of course possibly there is a more logical explanation for what this sign says. Perhaps the sign painter was just having a bad day or was distracted and simply forgot the “Y”.

            Now that would be a positive sign. Think about it.


Michael Baden






Dear Editor


As regards Toni Sindone's peculiar letter lamenting Town of Rochester town councilman Francis Gray's comments about the "hate group called the Republican Club," (Freeman letter 16 June 2006) wow, talk about "spin." Councilman Gray was specifically referring to the Republican Club website. The site in question is patently offensive. It takes personal attacks to new levels. It doesn't discuss issues in an intelligent fashion. It throws "crap" with the hopes something will stick.


Well, when you get splattered with back splash of the hate you dish out, don't claim you've been "victimized." In candid conversations, no doubt even the Republican Club's presiding officers distance themselves from the website. Sorry, gentlemen (Carl Chipman, Tavi Cilenti, Shane Ricks, Lisa Chichkov) but with "free speech" comes responsibility. That website is yours. Its content is your responsibility.


The Republican Club may have started under honorable circumstances but that isn't what it has devolved into. It is a collection of people that spend their time composing outlandish screeds rather than debate the positions on issues held by those individuals it seeks to discredit/ridicule/intimidate.


Sound familiar? Google Karl Rove sleazy tactics.


The town of Rochester is going through great changes. What is required is the leadership amonthe old and new residents of this town to step forward and seek conciliation for the benefit of future generations. Unfortunately,  Republican Club members (certainly those supporting the website) seem to have their collective head fully ensconced "where the sun don't shine"; hardly a leadership stance.


The website's rendition of Councilman Gray's off-the-cuff statement portrayed as coming "out of the blue" is not even close to being true. It was prompted by the (now typical) road-block tactics of several Republican Club members that show up at meetings to moan over every nuance of change, every paranoid delusion of non-inclusion, every conspiratorial theory conjured from vapors of their irrational fear of being left behind.


I mean, where were these folks when the Republican Bob Baker Administration redid the entire Code behind closed doors, working on it for two full years (1997-1998) without any public awareness at all?


The current Town of Rochester administration under Pam Duke has done all it can to bring to light the activity of the various committees working on the Comprehensive Plan and updating the town Code. Posters are placed all over town, a website has been developed and routinely updated, newspaper announcements are provided in an effort to make residents aware of the meetings taking place. At every meeting hardcopy documents are made available for public perusal.


Republican Club proxies trot out the fictions they're comfortable with in order to agitate, spread discontent and rumors and to generally slow the process down to a crawl in hopes of stopping change.


But, they can only fail. Change is upon us. Evolve or perish.


Steven L. Fornal






Dear Editor:

I thought you might be interested to know that I did finally find my dog.  I can't believe we got him back! It truly was a miracle. I wrote this to tell what happened and to thank you.

We are going to change his name to Darn Lucky! I was posting his ad on again. They said to post it every two weeks. I hadn't, because I really didn't think it would do much good. I put more effort into posters etc. But last Friday for some reason, I felt compelled to re-post the ad. I typed it in, it came up, then I don't know what happened, but I thought it was gone. I was trying to check to make sure it  was there by going to the search and putting in criteria to pull up the ad.


Well, for whatever reason, what came up was all the found pitbulls in all the shelters. I thought I might as well look. Then I saw a picture that looked like Mugsey, same color. I clicked on it and there were three pictures, one of which looked a lot like Mugsey. I almost wasn't going to call because it was in Rock Hill, NY. Where the heck was that? But, I thought, I've got nothing to lose. To make a long story short. Many frantic phone calls later, they found the chip in his neck and confirmed that it was Mugsey! I went hysterical! I couldn't believe it! I was crying and laughing at the same time! Everybody came in and they were all hugging me and laughing. It was so great! I got off work and we drove up there, it is near Monticello. He was at the Sullivan County SPCA. They
named him Bubba, and had him up for adoption. The supervisor there said he had been there for almost a month. He was found in Wurtsboro, walking along the side of the road looking at all the cars. He said Mugsey was very lucky because if they had taken him to the Middletown shelter, they kill them in three days!

I was not able to get in touch with Seth,my son, so my husband and I went. What a ride, Bob was driving like a maniac. We had to get there before 5:00 PM when they close and first we had to go to this little town and pay a fine. We had a lot of trouble finding the darn place. I thought Bob was going to go nuts! Finally we found it and paid the fine. Then we went to the shelter and got Mugs. I gave the shelter the reward money I had.
Mugsey rode all the way home with his head between us, laying it on our arms.
Seth came home and I heard the front door open. Then I heard "Mugsey?  Mugsey? MUGSEY!!!" They were both on the floor rolling around, Seth was crying and laughing, kissing and hugging Mugsey. Mugsey was licking Seth and wagging his tail so hard I thought it would drop off!


A very happy ending to a month of pure hell.
I'm still getting calls about sitings, obviously it isn't Mugsey, but I feel terrible that someone else's dog is out there - lost. Now I have to go all over Ulster County and take down all the posters I put up, and it was a lot!

I sincerely wish to THANK EVERYONE for all their help and support!


Valerie Harris

High Falls


Planning Board Decision Rejected by State Supreme Court

In a decision rendered by Judge John Egan of the NYS Supreme Court, the Rochester Planning Board was found to have been arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law when it decided in December 2005 to reject an application by Ample Self Storage for a special use permit to construct a 77,100 square storage facility on Route 209 between Mettacahonts Road and Queens Highway. 

The Article 78 lawsuit, brought on by Ample and its owner, Todd Bivona, alleged that then-chairman (and former Republican Town Justice candidate) Mel Tapper “spoke out against petitioner’s application in the very beginning of the review process and requested a positive declaration [under SEQRA] to impede the application. ”  The suit also contended that then-Vice Chairman Shane Ricks, “did recuse imself from the proceedings because he owns the largest self-storage business in the Town,” which was located in close proximity to Ample’s property and would be “in direct competition” with Ample.  Ample asserted that Mr. Ricks possibly privately unduly influenced other Planning Board members and that “Mr. Ricks attended the public hearings and made comments against petitioner’s application as well as petitioner’s principal, Todd Bivona, which indicated that he was an outsider and unwelcome in Town.”

The Court’s decision cited several instances where the Planning Board denied the application based on its own (unwritten) preferences such as its preference that the buildings be set further off Route 209, or that the number of buildings be reduced.  The decision also cited the case documentation that indicated that Ample “made every effort to accommodate all of the respondent’s requests only to be faced with new requests at each turn without any basis for the requests other than that they were personal preferences of the [Planning Board members] or the public.”  The decision also states:  “Tellingly, the record reveals that the [Planning Board] had a discussion concerning the fact that there really was no basis to deny the application, but then went ahead and denied it anyway.  The record also reveals that [Planning Board Chairman Mel Tapper] was set against the application from the very beginning and ultimately called for its denial after [the Planning Board] put [Ample] through a rigorous application review process.  

The Town is evaluating whether it has grounds for appealing the Court’s decision.

While members of the Planning Board cited attempts to require that the project conform to efforts to preserve the Town’s rural character, there was no definition of rural character, nor did any architectural guidelines exist in the Town’s laws to require conformity. 

There are seven members of the Planning Board, each of whom is appointed by the Town Board for a staggered seven year term, with one vacancy created each year.  There is also one alternate member with a two year term.  The Town Board voted in January 2006 to appoint Steven Fornal, a new member, as its chair.



Skatetime 209 Update

New York State’s Division of Human Rights advised the owners of Skate Time 209 that it had investigated a complaint of alleged discrimination arising from advertising a Christian music skating session on its weekly schedule.   The compaint prompted a flurry of local and national news stories.  In response to the complaint, Stake Time 209’s owners, Len and Terry Bernardo, said that they had changed the event to “Spritual Skate” several weeks before the date of the anonymous complaint and added that they oppose discrimination in any form and that they welcome anyone who comes. 

Skate Time 209, a 30,000 roller skating and skateboarding facility, opened in April 2006 and draws youth and families from all over the Hudson Valley.  For more information, visit



Miniature Golf Course Constructed without Permit

A miniature golf course is being constructed at a farm on Route 209.  The project, which is located on property owned by former 2005 Republican Town Supervisor candidate Chris Kelder, is being constructed without the permits required by the Town’s zoning codes, which are required for “amusements.”  The miniature golf course, when completed, will include what its promoters call the world’s largest garden gnome.



Former Town Official Avoids Jail

KINGSTON - The former town of Rochester official who was convicted on three criminal counts in a case arising from the theft of town money was sentenced on Wednesday to five years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a fine.

Annette M. Rose was sentenced in Ulster County Court by state Supreme Court Justice Michael Kavanagh.

Rose, 37, of Queens Highway, Accord, was the town of Rochester's deputy clerk when she was charged in November 2004 with stealing $1,158 from the town and falsifying records to cover her tracks. The money was determined to be missing during a routine audit by the state Comptroller's Office.

Rose was convicted in March of falsifying business records, a felony, and two counts of official misconduct, misdemeanors. She was acquitted of grand larceny.

"I would just like to apologize for what happened and ask for your compassion in your sentencing," Rose said to Kavanagh before the judge sentenced her.

The fine levied by Kavanagh was $1,158, the same amount that was taken. Ulster County District Attorney Donald A. Williams was not sure whether the money would be paid as restitution to the town or simply a fine to the state.

Kavanagh told Rose he will not tolerate any transgressions while she's on probation.

"If I am convinced that you violated the terms and conditions of your probation, I will put you in prison," the judge said during the court proceeding.

Kavanagh said his decision to sentence Rose to probation, rather than time behind bars, was based on the fact that she had no prior convictions and appeared to be a good person.

"I think the sentencing was appropriate, given (Annette's) background," said Rose's attorney, Ulster County Public Defender Andrew Kossover. "I don't believe someone like Annette Rose requires supervision. It is highly unlikely she will commit a crime in the future. We are thankful the judge did not incarcerate her."  (Freeman 6/8/06)



Rondout Valley board OKs improvement project

KYSERIKE - The Rondout Valley Board Education has voted to move ahead with plans for a $27 million capital improvement project that, if approved by voters, would include rebuilding and renovating parts of the district high school and middle school.

The school board voted 8-1 in favor of the project on Tuesday. A public referendum on the plan has been scheduled for Dec. 12.

Eileen Camasso, the district's interim superintendent, said the work is needed because the 50-year-old building is in "dire need" of repair.

Teachers and students have "made do," Camasso said, but science, technology and music teaching areas have been hard to manage because of a lack of space, and many rooms do not have windows, she noted.

Imre Beke Jr., the lone dissenter in Tuesday's board vote, said that while he is not against a capital project, he opposes the current proposition because it combines vital reconstruction that the school needs with other items that are not as important.

"It's mixing apples and oranges," Beke said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "Certain things in the high school are sorely needed to be renovated and rejuvenated."

Still, Beke said, the vote was a milestone because it was the first action to set specific recommendations for the building project.

At the high school, the capital improvement budget includes $9.19 million for building upgrades; $1.79 million for wing infrastructure upgrades; $655,000 for gym and auditorium improvements; $4.56 million for a science wing addition; $840,000 for reconstruction of the 200 wing; $120,000 for reconstruction of the art wing; $1.29 million for a technology addition; $250,000 to expand the cafeteria; $1.26 million for music rooms; $4.86 million for incidentals.

Middle school work is budgeted at $2.2 million.

With state aid, the project would cost $92 per year for the next 15 years for a district taxpayer with a home assessed at $200,000, said Roy McMaster, vice president of Capital Market Advisors, an Elmira-based consulting firm.

Homeowners with the state's STAR exemption would pay about $78 per year, while STAR-exempt seniors would pay $69 per year, McMaster said.

Among the concerns voiced by trustees on Tuesday:

* Rebecca Reeder called for the integration of alternative energy sources for the school, including the possibility of solar panels or the use of geothermal energy.

* James Ayers questioned whether the project would make the entire building handicapped-accessible. It would, said Henry W. Woller, senior associate with Einhorn Yafee and Prescott, the architectural and engineering firm consulting on the project.

(Freeman 6/29/06)




Kerhonkson Castle

ACCORD - Every man's home is his castle, and for future Accord resident Michael Ross, a real life fairy-tale of a building with balconies, statues and a golden fence is taking shape in a rural residential neighborhood off Queens Highway in the town of Rochester.

But some of the neighbors in this modest area are unhappy with the attention this looming development has attracted, and say the building is more suited for a commercial venue than a residential home.

"We're stuck in here," said next door neighbor Michael Cancelliere, who feels the building is not in tune with the sensibilities of the family neighborhood. "This man does whatever he wants. It's off the wall."

Cancelliere previously distributed a petition to area residents requesting that Ross pick up the garbage from construction that has been ongoing for over a year.

Teens Josh Vining and Mike Brown, both 17 and juniors at Rondout Valley High School, have been hired by Ross to collect stones for a cobblestone driveway and do other construction related work at the house. The two said Ross is building a ballroom with thrones for himself and his wife, an indoor pool, and a "Sistine Chapel-like" ceiling. The statues outside are intended to represent characters from Greek and Roman mythology, the two said. Vining and Brown are paid $15 dollars an hour for their work; they said Ross often works on the home as well.

"There are so many people driving by on a Saturday we thought about selling lemonade and tickets," joked neighbor Joan O'Brien.

O'Brien lives across the street with her husband Thomas and their three children; the couple have been in the neighborhood for 10 years.

"To each his own," said O'Brien, but she added that she feels something of this magnitude should be located in a commercial area.

Most of the homes in the area are modulars from Brookside Homes, a manufacturing company that specializes in ranch and Cape Cod-style prefabricated houses, O'Brien said.

The code enforcement officer for the town of Rochester, Jerry Davis, said the building meets all criteria for the town but added, "It's a nice building, but it's out of context."

The code for Rochester is that residential building must be less than 35 feet tall, the Ross building measures approximately 30 feet, Davis said. There is no limit for square footage of a residential home in the town of Rochester, Davis said.

"Everyone has their own tastes," Davis said of the venture.

Ross was not available for comment on his future home.

[Update: The Town’s Municipal Code Officer issued a stop work order on the project during the week of June 20th, which will be in effect until the trash and debris around the worksite is cleaned up.]



Environmental Notice Bulletin

Ulster County


Frank Kortright Excavating Inc
633 Cherrytown Rd
Kerhonkson, NY 12446


Frank Kortright Excavating
Rochester Centre Road
Kerhonkson, NY

Application ID:


Permit(s) Applied for:

Article 23 Title 27 Mined Land Reclamation

Project is Located:

Rochester, Ulster County

Project Description:


State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination:

Project is a Type I action and will not have a significant effect on the environment. A coordinated review with other agencies was performed and a Negative Declaration is on file.

SEQR Lead Agency:

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination:

Cultural resource lists and map have been checked. No registered, eligible or inventoried archaeological sites or historic structures were identified at the project location. No further review in accordance with SHPA is required.

Coastal Management:

This project is not located in a Coastal Management area and is not subject to the Waterfront Revitalization and Coastal Resources Act.

Opportunity for Public Comment:

Comments on this project must be submitted in writing to the Contact Person no later than Jul 28 2006.


Lawrence G Biegel
NYSDEC Region 3 Headquarters
21 South Putt Corners Rd
New Paltz, NY 12561




Memorial Day Parade

Rochester’s Memorial Day Parade will take place at 12:00 Noon on May 29th, starting at the Fire House on Main Street in Accord. 


Town of Rochester Comprehensive Plan Update Public Outreach Meetings

Outreach meetings are your opportunity to provide your input into the Town of Rochester’s Comprehensive Plan Update.

 Saturday, June 17th 9am to 11 am

Town Hall, Scenic Dive, Accord

[This is the only weekend session]


Wednesday, June 21 7pm

Alligerville Firehouse, Creek Road


Thursday, June 22, 7pm

Rochester Town Court, Samsonville Road


Tuesday, June 27, 7pm

Rochester II Firehouse, Samsonville Road


Thursday, June 29, 7pm

Accord Fire House, Main Street, Accord


For more information, visit


Disposal of Hazardous Waste & Electronics - June 10th

Wawarsing and Rochester residents will have the opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste and electronics at the town of Wawarsing waste transfer station on June 10.   The special collection, organized by the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Residents must call for an appointment.
The Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency provides the following guidelines for disposal:
* Pesticides, household cleaners, oil based paints, stains and varnishes, turpentine, fungicides, antifreeze, oil filters mercury, automotive products (except waste oil), drain, oven and toilet cleaners, swimming pool chemicals and florescent light bulbs will be accepted.
* There will be a $5 fee per load for electronics. Appliances, microwave ovens, fans, air conditioners are not considered electronics items.
* Cell phones, rechargeable batteries, ink jet and laser cartridges will also be accepted. (Alkaline batteries are not toxic and can be thrown away at home.
* It is illegal to discard vehicle batteries. State law requires retailers of batteries to accept, free of charge, up to two used batteries per month from any individual.
* Medical or biological waste, smoke detectors, latex products, controlled substances or medicines, and explosives such as ammunition or fireworks are not accepted.
 To make an appointment to dispose of waste call the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency at (845) 336-3336.



Little Ones Learning Center Presents Dog on Fleas

Performing a fun musical concert for children

Saturday, June 24th, 10:30 am to 11:30 am (doors open at 9:30)

Adults: $5.00; Children $3.00

In the basement of the Rochester Reformed Church, 5142 Route 209, Accord, NY (across from the bus garage).  Sponsored by Accord Speedway.  For more information, call For more information call Debby Skogman, LOLC program Coordinator at 845-626-4112

 LOLC is a free lending library and early literacy program which meets Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings from 10 am to 12 noon for stories, songs, crafts, and playtime on the ground floor of the Rochester Reformed Church.  Special programs during the year include:  Truck Day, Story Time at Kelder’s Farm, Harvest Time at Stone Ridge Orchard, and Bedtime with Books. LOLC is funded in part by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services via Ulster County DSS/Youth Bureau Division and the Ulster County Legislature; the NYS Legislature via assemblyman Clifford Crouch (107th District); Town of Rochester; Stewart’s Shops; The Revenue Markets, Inc.; local community groups such as the Lions, Lionesses, Youth Commission, Senior Groups, and generous fun-loving neighbors such as yourselves.



Board of Assessment Review Concludes Grievance Hearings

The five member Board of Assessment Review (“BAR”) conducted its annual Grievance Day and conducted approximately 12 hours of hearings on May 23 and 24 at Town Hall in Accord.  The number of grievances this year was higher than usual because of the recent town-wide re-assessment, which was the first conducted since 1999, The BAR, which was chaired by veteran member Alan Levine, heard approximately 70 cases in person over the two day session, with an additional 30 or so cases heard by petitioners who did not appear in person.  After the initial change of assessment notices were sent to property owners in March 2006, Assessor Sharon Hornbeck met with approximately 725 taxpayers to discuss their assessments.  The BAR will meet over the next month to discuss each case and make a determination.  For the first time ever, property owners had online access to the preliminary and tentative tax rolls as provided by the Rochester Residents Association. (



Ulster Grand Jury Offers Remedies in Missing Funds Case

An Ulster County grand jury has recommended changes in record-keeping in the Rochester Town Clerk’s Office after a state audit found $18,000 in cash receipts unaccounted for in 2003, leading to felony charges against a deputy clerk.


Annette Rose, 37, of Queens Highway, Accord, who was accused of stealing more than $1,100 in town funds, was ultimately cleared in March by an Ulster County jury of grand larceny, but was convicted of falsifying business records, a felony, and two counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.  She faces sentencing June 7.


The grand jury report concluded that inadequate policies, inaccurate records and poor oversight led to the town’s failure to account for the funds.


“The New York State Comptroller’s inquiry disclosed serious deficiencies in the policies and procedures in the Town Clerk’s Office,” the report said.  “Internal control weaknesses have contributed to the failure to detect, on a timely basis, that money was not accounted for properly.”


The investigation found that the office issued duplicate receipts for the sale of punch cards and permits, but not for all cash transactions; kept money in a cigar box; and recorded deposits on a computer program that was accessible by a common password.


Testimony also indicated that cash turned over to the Town Clerk’s Office “was not submitted to the bank in an accurate and timely manner,”  the report said.  “During testimony, the town clerk and deputy clerk, indicated that the missing moneys were due to accounting errors and/or lost.”


In a majority of instances, the grand jury said, the deputy clerk retrieved the moneys from the cigar boxes and prepared deposit slips, but inconsistently recorded the receipts in a ledger.  Furthermore, the money was left in an unlocked bank bag, on an open desk, until it was taken to the bank by the assessor’s clerk.  It was the deputy clerk’s duty to reconcile bank balances to checkbook balances, but that was done “only on a monthly basis,” the report said.


Since all the duties were performed by one individual, the grand jury recommended that the duties be segregated in the future.  Also recommended were that the Town Clerk’s Office:

- Use “true cash boxes” and issue duplicate receipts for all monetary transactions.

- Record all cash receipts in a ledger

-Issue separate computer passwords for each deputy.

-Reconcile assets to liabilities on a daily basis; cross check deposits compiled by the deputy clerk, and submit monthly reports to the town supervisor.


The report also cited the Town Board for filing to provide proper oversight of financial operations in the Town Clerk’s Office.   The grand jury recommended the board perform a risk assessment of the office, helping the clerk to develop policies and procedures to ensure records are properly maintained.


Reached at home Monday, town Supervisor Pam Duke said she had not yet seen the report and had no immediate comment. Town Clerk Veronica Sommer declined to comment.  (Freeman 5/16/06)


Rumors About Town

Over the past few weeks, we have received emails and other questions about a number of rumors that are circulating around town.  We have taken the time to research the issues and offer the following:

Is the Town Board working with the Accord Fire District to close the Accord Speedway?

We asked Supervisor Pam Duke about this and she said that there had been no communication with the Accord Fire District on this subject.  She did say that the Racetrack is required to have an emergency response plan in place as a condition of its annual racing permit.  Among other things, this plan requires an ambulance to be on site during any race.  We then asked Fire Commissioner Steve Schoonmaker who said that in prior years, AFD volunteers were on site during races with AFD trucks and equipment.  The attorney for the AFD raised the issue with the board of fire commissioners earlier this year by recommending that the AFD not regularly use publicly owned taxpayer-funded equipment and resources to support privately-owned enterprises, unless such use was in response to an actual emergency call.    He said that the $100 per race fee paid by the Speedway for each racing night was paid to the individual fire companies, not to the Fire District, which owns and maintains the equipment.  He also noted that the board of fire commissioners believed that the $100, even if paid to the Fire District, does not go very far in reimbursing the actual cost of capital, maintenance, or out of pocket expenses such as re-charging fire extinguishers, etc.  In response to the legal advice, the Fire District adopted a policy prohibiting the regular use of Fire District equipment for the benefit of private individuals or enterprises.  He also indicated that the former policy of the fire department filling private residential swimming pools using AFD equipment and calling such activity “training exercises,” has also ended.  The Speedway has adopted a system of off-duty volunteer emergency workers with their own equipment and will call the AFD to respond to emergencies if the Speedway’s emergency response team requires assistance.  The AFD would respond as it would for any other emergency.

The Town Board voted for the reassessment in order to raise taxes to spend more money.

In reviewing the minutes of Town Board meetings, the reassessment process was started prior to 2003 during the administration of former Supervisor Harold Lipton, a time when the Town Board was 100% Republican/Conservative.  However, the composition of the Board is not the issue.  According to state law, each town must complete a reassessment every six years and Rochester’s last assessment was in 1999.

The process started in 2004 with a reassessment of commercial property and continued in 2005 with a reassessment of residential property.  The process was delayed by a full year because of glitches in the implementation of a new computer system by the Ulster County Office of Real Property Services.  By law, the Assessor’s function is independent of influence by the Supervisor or the Town Board, and she has sole and absolute authority to determine assessments (which can, however, be reduced by the Board of Assessment Review in the prescribed grievance process).  In analyzing the town’s general fund budget for 2006, it appears that the substantial portion of the increase in expenditures was due to higher fuel costs, mandated increases (i.e. new election procedures)  and employee related costs.  The tax rate for the general fund actually declined (by less than 1%) in 2006.  The town’s highway tax increased by about 3.5% primarily due to higher debt service expenses and the purchase of new equipment.  Additional equipment and materials (about $200,000), which was not budgeted for, was purchased in 2006 with new borrowings – 100% of the Town’s debt is due to highway department expenditures.  

Why has the Highway Department stopped snow plowing for the School District, the Fire Department, and the First Aid Squad?

Early in 2006, Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder appeared before the Town Board and reported that his employees had been plowing certain properties owned by the School District, the Accord Fire District (AFD), and the Kerhonkson/Accord First Aid Squad (KAFAS).  He reported that this was done as a favor to those entities without compensation, despite the fact that this was not technically permitted under state law (since they are not town-owned properties).  The Town Board took note of his report and the Highway Superintendent subsequently reported that he had unilaterally ended the practice.  The School District and the AFD are separate legal entities with their own budget and taxing authority that includes the ability to pay for plowing and other maintenance services.  The KAFAS is a private not-for-profit corporation that is supported by ambulance revenues, grants, and donations.  

In the same vein, the Highway Superintendent reported that the Highway Department had been offering free sand to residents in the winter (by the bucket) for many years, but that someone had stolen 4 cubic yards of sand.  He reported that the Town Board had not approved the giveaway, which is technically not permitted by NYS Highway Law, and he subsequently suspended the practice.

Why doesn’t the Town give notice of Brush Clearing on private property along public roads?

In a public town board meeting, Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder promised to notify residents along roads where brush clearing was to occur by (a) putting up a sign on the affected road, and (b) attempting to contact owners by mail.  This promise has not been fulfilled, however, Mr. Kelder did notify the town board and issued the following statement:

May 3, 2006

Open letter to the owners of property that have frontage on Town of Rochester Highways.

As is stated in the Highway Town Law of the State of New York, the Highway Superintendent is responsible for the removal of obstructions including brush from the Highway.
Please except this letter as notification that the highway department will be complying with this law and doing brush cutting thru out the town on all of Rochester owned & maintained Highway.

Thank you,
Wayne F. Kelder
Highway Superintendent

Two claims for damage totaling $75,000 have been filed by residents related to damage to private property and landscaping resulting from what the claimants have described as excessive clearing.  


As part of the Comprehensive Plan Revision, will the Town Board prohibit lawn mowing on Saturdays and the construction of sheds?

We discussed this with Supervisor Pam Duke, who laughed when we told her of this rumor.  Duke said, “People with very wild imaginations have certainly been busy spreading their falsehoods. When people hear about ridiculous things like this, I would hope that they would call me so that I can personally dispel these rumors.  The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan revision process is to (a) study what type of growth has occurred since 1969, (b) try to determine what type of growth is likely to occur in the coming years, (c) and to reconcile future anticipated growth, which is inevitable, with preserving the best aspects of our rural community in order to create a liveable and sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.”  Duke continued, “The Town Board and the Planning/Zoning Committee have bent over backwards to provide the means for people to have an input in the Comprehensive Plan Revision and we will continue to get input at every step of the way.  When Supervisor Franklin Kelder, the father of our Highway Superintendent, initiated the first Comprehensive Plan and the adoption of our first zoning laws in 1969, he had the best long term interests of the community at heart.  The current Town Board is equally committed and will continue to follow in the path that he led.”


Accord Resident Susan Leeds Chisholm Passes


Susan Leeds Chisholm was born on April 13, 1947 in New York City to Jeanette and Berkley Leeds, and grew up in West Caldwell, NJ in an 1825 farm house restored by her parents.


She graduated from Boston University in 1969, with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. Her first job after graduation was with the Orson Wells Film School in Cambridge, MA -- one of the school’s original staff who quickly became its Director. For the next three years, Susan, in her characteristic gutsy, take-charge fashion, organized and managed the entire facility, the school, a retail camera store and a restaurant. She then migrated to Director of Public Relations for the Jacob’s Pillow Dance School in Lenox, Massachusetts.


Upon moving to New York City, Susan reinvented herself as Producer with Shareholder Reports, then Principal at Anspach Grossman Portugal, both corporate identity firms.


She brought her now-developed managerial and organizational skills to the human resources discipline, working for both Central National and Republic National Banks, culminating in the role of Vice President, Human Resources and Training at Republic.


Building on her HR experience, Susan took over the General Manager position of Oliver Human Resource Consulting from 1989 - 1995, overseeing a 15-person counseling staff and directing corporate client relations. In 1995, she joined The Ayers Group, a career transition firm, where she created and built the firm’s Human Resources Consulting division. Susan was Managing Director at Ayers until she and Chris decided to retire to Accord in 1999.


During her retirement, Susan went back to what she loved – the performing and visual arts, the written and spoken word. She volunteered at the Olivebridge Actors & Writers theater group; was an active member of a local book club; delivered career seminars for the Ellenville Public Library; and was helping to preserve the rural character for the Town of Rochester as a subcommittee member.


Throughout her life, Susan was a devoted family member, an enthusiastic supporter of classical music ensembles, a voracious fiction reader and avid museum visitor. She loved planning for and taking foreign vacations. She generously shared her professional expertise, offering pro bono career counseling for young professionals and supporting her colleagues still in the workforce.


Who was Susan to all of us? She was, variously, incredibly bold, surprisingly fragile, always riveting, a breathtaking master of brinksmanship, a creative deliverer of the impossible, stunningly intuitive, a cheerleader, mentor, confidante and ultimately, an amazing and irreplaceable person to all who knew and treasured her.


Susan’s passing leaves an unimaginable void in the lives of her adored husband, Chris, her father Berkley Leeds, her brother Gilbert Leeds and his wife, Adele; a niece, Caroline; nephews Christopher and Colin; cousins Valerie, Joanne, Wendy, Barbara and David, many caring friends and her beloved Border Collie, Eira.


A memorial service was held at the Chisholm’s home on May 6th.



Rondout Valley Central School District to make Budget Presentation


Officials of the Rondout Valley Central School District will present information on the proposed budget for the 2006-2006 academic year at a public meeting to be held on Saturday, May 6 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Middle School Lecture Center, located on Kyserike Road in Accord.


Acting superintendent of schools, Eileen Camasso, and business administrator, Debra Kosinski, will represent the school district.  Some members of the publicly-elected board of education are also expected to attend.


The district has proposed a $59.3 million budget, which represents an increase of 5.89% from 2005-06.  The proposed tax levy increase is approximately 5.95%.  The school budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 16 from 6am to 9pm at the high school auditorium.


“We are extremely pleased by the administration’s willingness to attend this meeting and to hold it on a Saturday morning, when people can attend conveniently,” said Zali Win, president of the Rochester Residents Association.  “With the recent reassessment in Rochester and other towns, property taxes are at the top of people’s concerns and this event will help answer many questions in an open and public forum.”  The meeting is expected to comprehensively supplement presentations made at Town Board meetings made in Marbletown (5/2), Rochester (5/4), Rosendale (5/10), and  Wawarsing (5/4).


The public forum is taking place at the invitation of the Rochester Residents Association, Inc. with the participation of the Property Tax Reform Task Force (a coalition of the towns of Marbletown, Rochester, Rosendale and Wawarsing).


For more information email: or call 626-3285.

Information on the school budget is available online at:


A downloadable copy of the Absentee Ballot application for the budget vote and vote for school board trustees is available at:  It must be RECEIVED by the school district by May 10th if the ballot is to be mailed, or by May 15th if it is to be picked up in person.





SkateTime209 Opens


The much anticipated grand opening of SkateTime209, the new 30,000 square foot skating and skateboarding center on Route 209 took place on Thursday, April 27th with Rochester Supervisor Pam Duke and Ulster County Chamber of Commerce president Ward Todd cutting the ribbon alongside owners Terry and Len Bernardo.  Ulster County Legislators Len Distel, and Mary Sheeley Joe Stoeckeler presented a “Pride of Ulster County” award to the Bernardos.  The opening is the culmination of two years of planning and construction.  In addition to a 11,000 square foot maple skating floor, the facility features a 10,000 skateboard park, a game arcade featuring non-violent games, a snack bar, and a separate area for birthday parties. 


Also located within the facility is a new hobby shop called “Watts Your Hobby” offering skateboard supplies, radio-controlled cars and other popular items.  The “Watts Your Hobby” name was chosen by the proprietors, Bob and Kim Warner, who also own and operate Warner Electric, a local electrician contracting firm.  Their website is


For membership other information, visit or call 626-7971. 





Fire rips through state park

By Deborah Medenbach
Times Herald-Record

Gallery: Fire burns over 100 acres in Catskill Park

Kerhonkson - What started out as a large brush fire Sunday night that swept over Vernooy Falls Ridge was burning out of control yesterday and could keep growing through the day today.

The wind-driven fire, reported at 7:53 p.m. Sunday, had exploded through more than 400 acres of Catskill State Park by late yesterday afternoon. It could exceed the intensity of the blaze that hit the same area exactly five years ago to the day.

The fire jumped two man-made fire breaks as well as Vernooy Kill, authorities said. No homes were in the path of the windswept blaze, and exhausted firefighters were preparing last night to abandon their efforts and try again today.

"It won't be over tonight," said Ulster County Fire Coordinator Charles Mutz, adding that the combination of wind and low humidity made fighting the blaze difficult. "It's difficult

trying to hold it."

Firefighters were to stop working an hour before dusk last night, but two bulldozing crews planned to continue past dark, cutting new fire breaks into the Catskill forest designed to contain the fire.

Forest ranger teams from upstate, volunteers from the Mohonk Preserve and Sam's Point fire teams will join firefighters today. State officials were even organizing inmate crews to assist with the firefighting.

On Sunday, members of the Napanoch and Accord fire departments attacked the blaze, then at 100 acres, by entering the woods from opposite directions to search for the origin.

By yesterday morning, Ellenville and Kripplebush fire departments had joined the fight as the blaze doubled in size. Replacement crews from Stone Ridge, Cragsmoor and High Falls arrived midmorning to take over for exhausted firefighters.

The inferno, fueled by dry laurel, jumped two fire breaks by 11 a.m., and all teams were pulled off the fire lines to the central command center. Forty firefighters waited as three helicopters made 250-gallon water drops onto hot spots. Entire trees ignited like matchsticks, authorities said.

A large cloud of black smoke was visible on the horizon through the day and was even reported by passing planes.

The fire of 2001 was more intense because the ground was drier, said Wendy Rosenbach, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. "This one is covering a larger area and by the time it gets to the top of the ridge, it's possible it will become a ground fire, which will be harder to handle and take longer to put out," she said. (TH-Record 5/2/06)

For photographs, visit:




60 firefighters up against odds in Catskills fire

By Jeremiah Horrigan and Deb Medenbach
Times Herald-Record

Kerhonkson - Sixty firefighters tried to stop a raging forest fire that was expected to consume more than 1,000 acres of state park land yesterday.

Do those sound like good odds to you? Then consider this: New York's Central Park is 843 acres: 6 percent of Manhattan's real estate.

Those are the kind of odds - 60 up against 1,000 - these volunteers are up against in the Catskill wilderness.

As of last night, the fire had already burned more than 850 acres, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Such is the life of a volunteer firefighter in the season that brings brush fires coursing through mountains and fields.

When there's a fire on the mountain like the one that's burning through its third day in the Catskill State Park, it's not like you pull out a fire hose and put out the blaze. You dig ditches and watch which way the wind blows.

Fighting a brush fire is as close to a military operation as you'll find outside of Iraq. You're always trying to keep ahead of an unpredictable and dangerous enemy.

Even the words used to describe the fire sound military: Containment. Fire suppression. Putting up a perimeter. It's hard, back-breaking work.

Pat Davis, the assistant chief of Accord Company No. 1, rubbed his face. He had just returned from the fire line. He looked tired. He'd been on the scene all day and most of the previous day.

"We get a break at night; we get to go home. It's too risky doing this at night," he said.

Gisella Volz was sweeping out her yard along Upper Cherrytown Road. Behind her, a giant plume of gray smoke rose.

"It's scary," she said. "We have fires a lot."

The only thing keeping her calm yesterday was that the fire wasn't as threatening as it had been five years ago, when a similar brush fire lit up the skies behind her house.

The fire was being fought on two separate fronts yesterday.

Relatively dry conditions and a steady wind made containment difficult, according to Ulster County Fire Coordinator Charles Mutz.

When the fire is finally history, it will be because of firefighters wielding rakes, hoes, shovels, and chain saws, he said.

Mutz said yesterday he hoped most of the fire would be contained by nightfall and that crews would be able to start mopping up by today. If the weather stays sunny, it could take longer.

"Tough work," he said with a shake of his head. "It's real tough work." (TH-Record 5/3/06)



Local Resident directs PBS series “Texas Ranch House”

Kerhonkson resident Bobbi Birleffi directed episodes of the popular new PBS series, Texas Ranch House.  The show is the latest and most ambitious experiment in living history from the makers of “Colonial House”, this new series sends a group of modern-day people back to the year 1867.  It is the era of western expansion, a time of rounding up and branding free-roaming cattle and taming wild horses.  Find out more at



Town's property assessments online
Move by residents allows comparisons

Accord - Paying property taxes is bad. Navigating the arcane property assessment system to try and lower the taxes is worse.

To even have a hope to cut into the taxes requires a visit to the local assessor's office to collect the numbers needed.

But not everyone has to take time off, drive to the local assessor and pour over volumes of records.

Lots of lucky property owners can do much if not all the work from their home computer. Dozens of municipalities from Long Island to the Buffalo area have put the local assessment rolls on the Internet. Many bankers and Realtors use commercial systems to do the same thing.

But only one community in the mid-Hudson has put that information on the World Wide Web - the Town of Rochester in Ulster County. It's even free.

To top it off, it's not town government that's behind the Internet option. It's a group of local residents, the Rochester Residents Association.

"People look at the whole process as a big black hole," said Zali Win, the Accord resident who founded the association six years ago. "Part of the reason is the information is not easily accessible."

Win wanted to fix that.

Late last year Town Assessor Sharon Hornbeck started to adjust the property values on the town's 4,600 parcels. The notices of the new assessments and the potential tax impact went out in March.

Win decided to put the town's revaluation assessments on the association's Web site: The cost: about $65, Win said.

Residents can look up proposed assessments in the revaluation and compare them with the 2005 assessments. They can see the resulting percentage change, and they can do this for every parcel in town. They can see recent sales, too. All this is valuable since "comparables" are an important part of calculating the assessment of a particular parcel. Assessments matter because they are the basis for property taxes.

"A lot of people contacted me and said this is a valuable tool," Win said of his online list. "It's an imperfect process and, by nature, there are going to be mistakes. People should know how to correct them."

But Hornbeck said she is not really happy with the information on the Web.

"If everyone hangs over the back fence and compares taxes, they don't understand that a lot goes into it," Hornbeck said. "It's just 'My neighbor is paying less.' They don't care why they are paying less. They just want to pay the same, and it is not always possible."

Even so, Hornbeck agrees that the public is going to want more and more of the information on the Internet. "I don't think it's a trend that can be stopped," she said. "I may be electronically challenged, but most people aren't."

Tax calendar
May 1  Assessors file tentative assessment rolls for the coming tax year.
May 23 Deadline for assessment grievances to local board of appeals.
July 1 Final assessment roll filed. Property owners then have 30 days to go to court.
Sept. 1 School districts mail property tax bills.
Jan. 1 Town, county tax bills go out.
Source: New York State Office of Real Property Services. (TH-Record 4/18/06)




Hydro Cuts Ellenville Workforce

Hydro Aluminum will cut its workforce at its Ellenville, NY aluminum extrusion facility by about 7%.  Reductions will be done via a combination of voluntary early retirements and layoffs.  Hydro estimates a total of 24 positions will be eliminated, with layoffs beginning March 31, leaving about 360 employees working at Ellenville, including those at the cast house.  This reduction only affects extrusion and drawn tubing operations.  Hydro pointed to a combination of challenging market conditions and improved productivity as the reason for the reduction.  Hydro said particularly in the tubing market, customers have shifted production offshore, with nearly 15% of the plant’s tubing volume moving offshore in the past 18 months alone.  The company is trying to develop new products and customers but must reduce costs to remain competitive (Platts Metals Week, April 10, 1006)




Letters and Legal Notices


Dear Editor:


On April 6, 2006, I presented the following letter to Supervisor Pam Duke and Members of the Rochester Town Board and read excerpts during the public comments period:


One day a couple of weeks ago, I was working in my home office when I heard what sounded like a heavy truck in front of the house. I pulled away from my desk to look; in the road was a big orange dump truck with a man standing in it, holding an power pruner and just about to cut yet another limb off my black walnut tree. I yelled at him over the noise and told him to stop, not to touch one more branch on that tree. He was very polite, turned off the pruner, and told me that he wouldn’t cut any more off the tree, but when “He”—with a capital H—comes up the road to check the work, if “He” didn’t think they cut enough off, “He” would make them come back. I asked who “He” was—of course, it was Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder.


Then I asked the man why he had cut so much off the tree. The answer was that “He” tells the workers what to do and they just do it. I asked if there was a reason they were cutting up so high—were they expecting our dead-end road to become a right-of-way for 18-wheeler trucks—and, again, the answer was that “He” told them to do it that way. When I measured the distance from the ground to the lowest branch that was left hanging over the road, I found that the branch is more than 20 feet up; this was the pruner’s intended next target—the pruning saw was on the limb when I stopped the procedure. The limb below it, the immediately previous casualty, had been approximately 18 feet up from the ground. I measured at the end of the stub (and more about “stubs” later).


Before devastating our black walnut, the crew had butchered my neighbor’s ornamental plum tree in his front yard—the branches were blocking nothing. The tree will probably live, but only because my neighbor, Ron Hamm, is a certified arborist and knew how to mitigate the damage. It was bad enough that the tree was cut unnecessarily, Ron pointed out, but he said he was baffled about how it was cut: “They left all these stubs—if you don’t cut back the stubs right, it could kill the tree,” Ron told me. I looked at the stubs on my black walnut and realized I would have to call my arborist and pay to have him try to repair the damage.


There are several specific points I would like make to this Board:


1.     I have heard Wayne Kelder say that he can do whatever he wants to any portion of any property within a certain distance from the center of the roadway on either side. I believe the distance I heard was 25 feet from the center of the roadway. Twenty-five feet from the center of Lawrence Hill Road is 2 feet shy of the foundation at the front of our house. I doubt that Wayne would try to “do whatever he wants” to that section of our property, but, according to his understanding of what the law allows, theoretically, he could decide that my front yard should be a swale and bulldoze everything almost to my front door.


2.     We were not informed that this tree cutting was to occur. I would not have had town employees attack my tree with power toys, but I would have called the expert who has managed the trees and shrubs on my property for more than a decade. Why were we not informed? I believe it is because property owners who are told that their trees are to be cut would ask questions and would demand answers that make more sense than, “He tells us what to do and we do it.” Wayne himself would be questioned, and he would have to explain his rationale for how much of a tree supposedly needed to be cut, how high up the branches supposedly had to be cleared. He would have to face contention.


3.     It seems clear to me that the Town employees whom Wayne instructed to cut trees have no training in how to make such cuts without doing damage—both to the tree and to the appearance of the roadside and the property of residents. If I’m wrong and they have been trained, we need to get our money back from the instructor. Otherwise, we should all be appalled at Wayne’s lack of regard for anything but the capricious exercise of what he perceives to be his authority.


4.     It is questionable how the crew determines how high they go in cutting limbs and branches. There must be some reasonable guidelines that exist to specify the extent of cutting, both depth and height. I cannot believe that the law gives one individual the authority to subjectively decide these things. And how is that subjective decision communicated to the crew? It can’t be by objective measurement of distance, because it is “He” who rides up and down the road and gets to say whether, in his opinion, enough has been cut.


I ask that the Board recognize that this problem is not just about a tree, or even every property owner’s trees. It’s about the destruction of personal property, it’s about abuse of authority, it’s about a man with questionable judgment being outside of the realm of accountability to anyone, including the Town Board. Because Wayne does not answer to the Board—a fact that he has been quick to point out—he behaves like he answers to no one but himself. He says he answers to the citizens who elected him. Perhaps it would help us all if he remembered that his election last November was anything but an overwhelming mandate, and his unimpressive margin of victory indicates that he has lost the confidence of many of the citizens he supposedly serves.


I urge the Board to have the town attorney investigate whether Wayne Kelder’s understanding of the scope of his authority and actions is accurate, or whether he has incorrectly interpreted some of the laws concerning his power. Until his mandate is determined by someone other than Wayne himself, I urge the Town Attorney to obtain an injunction against the Highway Superintendent to stop him from wantonly destroying more trees, more landscape, and more history.


If such a legal measure is not possible, I urge Wayne Kelder to start, on his own, acting like a public servant instead of a public nuisance.



Joanne Still




NOTICE OF FORMATION OF HEALTH WEALTH, LLC Article of Organization filed with Secretary of State on 12/6/00. NY Office location: Ulster County. Secretary of State is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the LLC served upon him/her to c/o Health Wealth LLC, 143 Queens Hwy., Kerhonkson, NY 12446. Purpose: to engage in any lawful act or activity. (4/17/06)



Legal Notice Please Take Notice that the Town Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on 5/4/2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the Accord Town Hall re: a Proposed Local Law amending Chapter 22 of the Code of the Town of Rochester regarding the Historic Preservation Commission. A copy of this law is available for review at the Town Clerks Office. The regular 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 4/12/06)


Legal Notice of Estoppel The bond resolution, summary of which is published herewith, have been adopted on April 6, 2006, and the validity of he obligations authorized by such resolution may be hereafter contested only if such obligations were authorized for an object or purpose for which the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, Accord, New York is not authorized to expend money, or if the provisions of law which should have been complied with as of the date of publication of this notice were not substantially complied with, and an action, suit or proceeding contesting such validity is commenced within twenty days after the date of publication of this notice, or such obligations were authorized in violation of the provisions of the Constitution. A complete copy of the resolution summarized herewith is available for public inspection during regular business hours at the Office of the Town Clerk of the Town for a period of twenty days from the date of publication of this Notice. Dated: Accord, New York April 6, 2006. Town Clerk Bond Resolution Dated April 6, 2006. A Resolution Authorizing various purposes in and for the Town of Rochester Ulster County New York at a total maximum estimated cost of $198,925, and authorizing the issuance of $200,000 Bonds of said town to pay the cost thereof. Specific object or purpose: Purchase of a truck with snow plow attachment. Period of probable usefulness: Fifteen years- limited to five years Maximum estimated cost: $123,295 Amount of obligations to be issued: $123,295 bonds Specific object or purpose: Purchase of materials in connection with reconstruction of roads Period of probable usefulness: five years Maximum estimated cost: $75,000 Amount of obligations to be issued: $75,000 bonds By Order of the Town Board Veronica I. Sommer, Town Clerk/RMC (4/12/06)



Legal Notice Please Take Notice that the Town of Rochester Town Board will hold a public hearing on May 4, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, Accord, NY re: proposed local law amending Chapter 22 of the Code of the Town of Rochester re: Historic Preservation Commission. A copy of this proposed law may be reviewed at the Town Clerks office, Accord, NY. The Regular Town Board Meeting to immediately follow. All interested persons will be heard. By Order of the Town Board, Veronica I. Sommer, Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/ RMC (Freeman 4/19/06)


NOTICE TO BIDDERS Notice is hereby given that the BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS of ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT will receive proposals for the following: INSTALLATION OF VEHICLE EXHAUST EXTRACTION SYSTEM The Contract includes the complete installation of Vehicle Exhaust Extraction Systems within the Accord Fire District. Proposals must be sealed in an envelope on which it is clearly stated "Bid for Vehicle Exhaust Extraction System" and shall be addressed to Kathy Kuthy, Secretary, Accord Fire District, 22 Main Street, P.O. Box 163, Accord, New York 12404 and received by her by mail prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 3, 2006 or delivered to her personally prior to 7:30 p.m. on May 3, 2006 at the firehouse located at 22 Main Street, Accord, New York. Bids will be publicly opened and read at 7:30 p.m. on May 3, 2006. Prospective bidders are hereby notified that all work to be performed under this bid notice must be fully installed, tested and completed on or before July 12, 2006. Contract Documents, Information for Bidders, Form of Bids, Plans and Specifications, may be requested by mail at the following location: ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT 22 MAIN STREET ACCORD, NEW YORK 12404 or by appointment by calling (845) 626-3707 or by e-mail request to The award of bid pursuant to this notice is subject to appropriation of funds for this purpose in accordance with the applicable provisions of the General Municipal Law. All bids must meet the requirements of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and all other applicable statutes and have attched a statement of non-collusion. All documents submitted in connection with this bid will become the property of the Fire District and the Fire District will not return bids or bid documents. The Board of Fire Commissioners reserves the right to waive any information in, or to accept or reject any or all bids or to awards the contract to other than the lowest bidder, if it is deemed in the best interest of the Accord Fire District. No bidder shall withdraw his bid within 45 days after the formal opening thereof. BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT (4/21/06)


NOTICE TO BIDDERS Notice is hereby given that the BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS of ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT will receive proposals for the following: INSTALLATION OF HIGH PRESSURE BREATHING AIR SYSTEM The Contract includes the complete installation of high pressure breathing air system within the Accord Fire District. Proposals must be sealed in an envelope on which it is clearly stated "Bid for High Pressure Breathing Air System" and shall be addressed to Kathy Kuthy, Secretary, Accord Fire District, 22 Main Street, P.O. Box 163, Accord, New York 12404 and received by her by mail prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 3, 2006 or delivered to her personally prior to 7:30 p.m. on May 3, 2006 at the firehouse located at 22 Main Street, Accord, New York. Bids will be publicly opened and read at 7:30 p.m. on May 3, 2006. Prospective bidders are hereby notified that all work to be performed under this bid notice must be fully installed, tested and completed on or before July 12, 2006. Contract Documents, Information for Bidders, Form of Bids, Plans and Specifications, may be requested by mail at the following location: ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT 22 MAIN STREET ACCORD, NEW YORK 12404 or by appointment by calling (845) 626-3707 or by e-mail request to The award of bid pursuant to this notice is subject to appropriation of funds for this purpose in accordance with the applicable provisions of the General Municipal Law. All bids must meet the requirements of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and all other applicable statutes and have attched a statement of non-collusion. All documents submitted in connection with this bid will become the property of the Fire District and the Fire District will not return bids or bid documents. The Board of Fire Commissioners reserves the right to waive any information in, or to accept or reject any or all bids or to awards the contract to other than the lowest bidder, if it is deemed in the best interest of the Accord Fire District. No bidder shall withdraw his bid within 45 days after the formal opening thereof. BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT (Freeman 4/21/06)


NOTICE is hereby given that there is a Vacancy on the BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS of ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT. The Board of Fire Commissioners will accept letters of interest from Residents of the Fire District, who are interested in being appointed to the board, for a term expiring on December 31, 2006. Letters of Interest shall be adressed to Kathy Kuthy, Secretary, Accord Fire District, 22 Main Street, P.O. Box 163, Accord, New York 12404 and received by here by mail prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 2, 2006 or delivered to her personally at the firehouse located at 22 Main Street, Accord, New York, or by appointment by calling (845) 626-3707 or by e-mail request to BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT Freeman 4/21/06


NOTICE is hereby given that there is a vacancy for the position of Secretary to the BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS of ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT. The Board of Fire Commissioners will accept applicaitons from residents of the Accord Fire District, who are interested in being appointed to this part time job. Requests for applicaiton shall be adressed to Kathy Kuthy, Secretary, Accord Fire District, 22 Main Street, P.O. Box 163, Accord, New York 12404 or by appointment by calling (845) 626-3707 or by e-mail request to BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS ACCORD FIRE DISTRICT (4/21/06)


LEGAL NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Accord Fire District will hold a special Meeting at 7:30 pm on May 3, 2006 at the Accord Fire District Headquarters located at 22 Main Street, Accord, NY 12404 for the purpose of opening sealed bids for the Installation of High Pressure Breathing Air System and the Vehicle Exhaust Extraction Systems as well as any other fire district business that may be listed on the Meeting Agenda. (Freeman 4/21/06)




Earth Day Roadside Cleanup.

The Town of Rochester is hosting an Earth Day Roadside clean up on Saturday, April 22nd.  Various organizations are organizing clean up parties and sponsoring litter removal on adopted roads.  For more information, contact the Youth Commission at 626-2115


Tax-Reassessment Information

Over 150 people attended the discussion on the recent property tax reassessment sponsored by the Rochester Residents Association.  We have created a new webpage with preliminary assessment rolls, information on how to challenge your assessment, and links to other on-line resources.  You can access this webpage by visiting 
Please note that all information provided is from sources believed to be correct, however, we take no responsibility for errors or omissions.


Town to Host Comprehensive Plan Update Outreach Meetings

These meetings are an opportunity to provide your input into the Town of Rochester Comprehensive Plan Update.  All meetings at 7pm

Monday, April 17; Accord Fire House, Main Street, Accord

Tuesday, April 18, Alligerville Firehouse, Creek Road

Thursday, April 20, Rochester Town Court, Samsonville Road

Monday, April 24, Rochester II Firehouse, Samsonville Road



Clerk acquitted of stealing from town, convicted of falsifying records
By Kathryn Gill, Freeman staff


KINGSTON - An Ulster County jury on Thursday cleared Rochester's deputy town clerk of felony grand larceny charges in a case of missing funds but found her guilty of falsifying business records, a felony, and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct.
Annette Rose, 37, of Queens Highway, Accord, could face up to four years in state prison, said Assistant District Attorney Katherine Van Loan, who prosecuted the case. At minimum, she said, Rose could receive a conditional discharge, a fine and probation.
Van Loan said she has not yet recommended a sentence. Sentencing has been set for June 7.
Ulster County Public Defender Andrew Kossover, who represented Rose, said the fact that she was cleared of grand larceny indicates she did not receive any "benefit" from the alleged theft.
"The verdict is troubling because, although I believe we had a very intelligent, hard-working and sensitive jury, the verdict they ultimately reached may be an inconsistent verdict," Kossover said.
Rose, who had been employed by the town full-time since 1999, was charged on Nov. 3, 2004, and subsequently suspended from her job.
At a hearing Monday to decide what testimony would be allowed before the jury, state Police Investigator Jeffery Sicina testified that he spoke with Rose on Sept. 2, 2004, as part of a police investigation in response to a state audit that found more than $18,000 unaccounted for.
"She said the money may have fallen off (the) desk into a garbage can," said Sicina, who stated that Rose first said she did not know where the money was.
Sicina said Rose admitted she was in financial trouble, that a foreclosure on her home was imminent and that her wages were being garnisheed because of unpaid school loans.
The state Comptroller's Office audit found "serious weaknesses in the internal control structure as it relates to moneys collected in the Town Clerk's Office." Specifically, the auditors found $18,282 unaccounted for, all but $115 of it related to the sale of transfer station permits and punch cards.
Ultimately, however, a grand jury indicted Rose on charges she stole $1,158.
(Freeman 3/24/06)





An Ulster County jury has cleared a Rochester deputy clerk of the more serious indictment that she stole some $1100 in town funds, but convicted her of falsifying business records, a felony, and two misdemeanor charges of official misconduct.
The verdicts, which Public Defender Andrew Kossover characterized as maybe "inconsistent" unfortunately raise as many questions as they resolve about not the indictments and the book-keeping procedures in the town that weakened the case for the prosecution.
Testimony revealed the defendant told a state police investigator that anyone in the clerk's office could have had access to the money.  "She said the money might have fallen off the desk into a garbage can," the investigator testified.
The municipal accounting procedure in this case not only failed the town but thwarted investigators.  This was a system ripe for abuse.
Having blown the whistle, the state Comptroller's Office also has a broader role to play. It is not sufficient to merely determine that some funds are unaccounted for in Rochester and to refer findings to local authorities. The comptroller should have enforcement powers.
Sentencing in the Rochester case is scheduled in early June.  The defendant could face prison time on the felony conviction, or more likely, a conditional discharge, fine (restitution) and probation.
There are, however, some loose ends.  A comptroller's audit revealed $18, 232 unaccounted for, yet the deputy clerk was indicted for stealing just over $1100.  And the rest? Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams has indicated those issues were thoroughly detailed during the grand jury proceedings, with the findings handede up to Judge Michael Kavanagh.
Grand jury reports are typically sealed.  But we ask Kavanagh to consider making public the grand jurors' recommendations, if any, on how to prevent this kind of indicident in the future.



Deputy clerk faces trial on theft charges
By Kathryn Gill, Freeman staff

KINGSTON - A deputy town clerk suspended amid allegations she stole $1,158 from the town of Rochester and tried to falsify town records to hide the theft faces a trial in Ulster County Court today.

Annette Rose, 37, of Queens Highway, Accord, was indicted by an Ulster County grand jury last April on felony counts of grand larceny and falsifying business records, and misdemeanor counts of official misconduct. Rose, who had been employed by the town of Rochester full-time since 1999, was charged on Nov. 3, 2004, and subsequently suspended as deputy town clerk. 

"It's all in the district attorney's hands now," Rochester Supervisor Pamela Duke said by telephone Monday.

In a hearing in Ulster County Court Monday to determine what testimony will be allowed at the trial, Assistant District Attorney Katherine Van Loan called to the stand Jeffery Sicina, a state police investigator who spoke with Rose on Sept. 2, 2004, as part of a police investigation into the incident. Sicina said Rose at first said she did not know where the missing money was.

"She said the money may have fallen off (the) desk into a garbage can," he said.

Sicina, who estimated that he interviewed Rose for about 15 minutes, said she admitted to being in financial trouble, and that a foreclosure on her home was imminent. He said Rose told him her wages were being garnished because of unpaid school loans.

"It's gonna look bad, but I am in financial difficulty," Sicina recalled Rose saying.

Ulster County Public Defender Andrew Kossover, representing Rose, argued that Sicina's testimony should be disallowed because the interview took place behind closed doors, and was, by nature, "custodial." He also said Rose should have been read her Miranda rights, saying she has the right to remain silent until she speaks to an attorney.

State Supreme Court Justice Michael Kavanagh, who is presiding in the case, ruled that he would allow Sicina's testimony.

After the hearing, Van Loan said that she would be using most, if not all, of Sicina's testimony as part of her prosecution.

The charges were a result of an investigation by state police and the Ulster County District Attorney's Office following an audit by the state Comptroller's Office that showed approximately $18,000 in fees, mostly from the sale of transfer station permits and punch cards, missing from town coffers.

The Comptroller's Office said the audit found "serious weaknesses in the internal control structure as it relates to moneys collected in the Town Clerk's Office. Specifically, the auditors found $18,282 unaccounted for, all but $115 of it related to the sale of transfer station permits and punch cards.

Van Loan said the maximum sentence for the alleged offenses is prison time, but she would not say what penalty she intends to pursue if Rose is convicted. (Freeman 3/21/06)



Rochester Residents Association Holds Open Meeting on Reassessment

On Saturday, March 25, 2006, the Rochester Residents Association met at the Accord Fire House to discuss Property Tax Reassessment. There were over 200 people attending, with standing room only. Zali Win, the President of the Association, stated that,   "The purpose of the meeting was to provide a forum for open discussion of issues of concern to Rochester residents.”The issue of concern for this meeting was property assessments.

Zali opened the meeting with an organized presentation of the assessment process in terms of how assessments were made and how to appeal if an individual believed they were assessed incorrectly. He provided the group with a general explanation of how taxes were calculated.

 Zali then introduced Marilyn Lowe of Vince Lowe Associates, a Kingston based firm. Ms. Lowe said, “We are here to help…to give you a better understanding of the grievance process.”  She then introduced Gordon Webb who carefully and thoroughly listed the steps to the grievance process. According to Webb, there are several steps that residents can take if they feel they are incorrectly assessed. He likened these steps to a friendly, remedial process.

The first step in the process is to go to the assessor (Sharon Hornbeck, Main St., Accord) and request a copy of the booklet, How to File a Review for Your Assessment. Next he suggested  that interested individuals obtain a copy of their assessment card. If what is listed on the assessment card is incorrect, make notes as to where it is incorrect. Additionally, ask for a copy of the spread sheet the assessor used to list the comparable properties. Get the street addresses of those houses and drive by to see if they are in fact comparable. Webb believes, “You have the privilege and responsibility to see where they are in error.”   All this information is available in the assessor’s office. He suggests to look for 2 years of comparable sales.

If you believe you have been assessed incorrectly, you must file a grievance by Tuesday, May 2, 2006. Final valuations are filed by July 1.

Also in attendance at the meeting was Justice Babcock, Francis Gray, Pam Duke, Mel Topper, and Bruce Schumacker. There were a multitude of questions asked by the audience throughout which were answered by the invited  speakers. A clear theme of those attending was that their property tax assessment had increased significantly from the prior year.

More information is available at
(BSP 4/7/06)


Property Tax Reform Task Force

Property taxes got you down?  Has the market value assessment of  your house gone sky high, even when you have no intention of putting it on the market?  Are you beginning to think about moving elsewhere, since writing a check for your school tax bill nowadays means having a special Tax Savings Account or robbing peter to pay paul?  Want to do something about it?
Join the Property Tax Reform Task Force!  The Task Force is a coalition of the Towns of Marbletown, Rochester, Rosendale and Wawarsing and works to find a new, equitable way to fund the costs of local government and education.  We believe the solution lies in Albany, and that school funding, in particular, should come from a resource other than property taxes.  Check out our web site at  The call for such reform is heard across New York State, so now is the time to add your voice and help us persuade elected officials in Albany to roll up their sleeves and make a change.  Here's what you can do:
Attend Property Tax Reform Task Force meetings.  They are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Marbletown Town Hall on Route 209 in Stone Ridge (unless a different location is announced).  The next regular meeting is Thursday, April 27.  Come on over!
Attend our special Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 6 (same time and place) to finalize plans for our Property Tax Reform NOW rally scheduled for Saturday, May 6.  Details about the local rally -- and others to be held in other New York State locations -- will be announced.  Plan to attend the rally, and bring your family, friends, and neighbors.
Spread the word about the Property Tax Reform NOW press conference in Albany on Monday, May 8, at 11:00 a.m. being organized in cooperation with other towns in the region.  You are welcome to attend. 
Get in touch with your legislators and elected officials to let them know that you demand Property Tax Reform NOW, in order that you and your family can continue to live in the Hudson Valley, pay your proper taxes, and help support a quality education for our kids. 
Write letters -- to your local newspapers, to the Governor, and the Majority Leaders in the New York Senate and Assembly.  Let them know your own personal story about the property tax burden and that you want Property Tax Reform NOW.
Get in touch with the Property Tax Reform Task Force at so that we can keep you up to date on our efforts to find solutions to the property tax crisis.  Help the Task Force achieve Property Tax Reform NOW.
Judith Gustafson, Chair
Property Tax Reform Task Force



Letters to the Editor/ Legal Notices


Dear Editor:

I'd like to thank the Rochester Residents Association for hosting its March 25th informational meeting on the recent property revaluation in Rochester.  I'm sorry that the Town's assessor, Sharon Hornbeck, wasn't
able to attend.

I learned a few things about the reassessment process that I didn't know.  First, the process was started a couple of years ago under the administration of Supervisor Harold Lipton and it's required by law.  Second, that neither the town supervisor nor the town board have any input in the assessment process-- it's all done by the assessor, who has complete autonomy in the reassessment process.  Third, there's a lot of information on the RRA's website about how to challenge an assessment if you feel yours is unfair.  (

After attending this information meeting, I looked at my actual tax bill and noted that under Supervisor Pam Duke's administration, the town's tax rate for the general fund actually went DOWN in the past year, and there was only a slight increase in the tax rate for the town's highway fund.  I also noted that only about 4.9% of the property taxes we pay in Rochester go to the town general fund and 7.29% goes to the town highway fund.

No one like to pay taxes.  It's good to see that some of our elected officials have actually worked to lower them.

Stephen Busch




[Open Letter to Rondout Valley Schools Board of Education]

Maureen Sheehan, President
Board of Education
Rondout Valley Central School District
Post Office Box 9
Accord, NY 12404

Dear Ms. Sheehan:

The Rochester Residents Association hosted a very successful meeting on property taxes on March 25th.  The meeting was attended by approximately 175 people, some of whom asked questions about the school budget.  As the focus was on the Town of Rochester’s recent property reassessment, we steered discussion towards that subject matter.

Given the fact that approximately 79% of the property taxes collected in the Town of Rochester are for school taxes, we would like to extend an invitation to you, other members of the Board of Education and relevant RVCSD administrators and staff to a meeting to discuss the next RVCSD budget (when it is prepared and prior to the budget vote) and to provide an open forum for individuals to ask questions about the school budget and its components.  While the Rochester Residents Association would propose to host this forum, it is our intention that this meeting be open to everyone.

We would also propose that the meeting be scheduled for a Saturday morning to make it easier for interested people to attend.

I hope that you and your colleagues in the RVCSD will consider this invitation favourably.  I look forward to your reply.  

Yours sincerely,
Zali Win
cc:        Eileen Camasso, Interim Superintendent


NOTICE OF ANNUAL BUDGET VOTE AND BOARD ELECTION RONDOUT VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual Budget Vote and Board Election of the Rondout Valley Central School District will be held in the Gymnasium at the Rondout Valley High School, on Kyserike Road, Accord, New York, on Tuesday, May 16, 2006, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. prevailing time. 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 2006-2007 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 3:00 p.m. at each of the District's schoolhouses and at the District Offices, effective May 2, 2006, except Saturday, Sunday or holidays at the following locations: Kerhonkson Elementary School High School Marbletown Elementary School Middle School Rosendale Elementary School District Office NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that a Public Hearing on the Budget will be held on May 9, 2006, 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, 2006 - June 30, 2007. NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that petitions nominating candidates for the Office of member of the Board of Education must be filed with the Clerk of the District not later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2006. The term of office is for three (3) years. The following vacancies are to be filled: Term of Gail Hutchins, expiring June 30, 2006 Term of Rebecca Reeder, expiring June 30, 2006 Term of Michael Redmond, expiring June 30, 2006 Each petition shall be directed to the Clerk of the School District, shall be signed by at least 46 qualified voters of the district, shall state the residence of each signer, and shall state the name and residence of the candidate. PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that, pursuant to the Education Law, any qualified voter of the District may vote without prior registration. A qualified voter is one who is (1) a U.S. Citizen, (2) 18 years of age or older, (3) a resident within the School District for at least 30 days immediately preceding the election and vote. NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the School District shall require all persons offering to vote at the Annual School District Meeting to provide one form of proof of residency with physical address, including but not limited to: Driver's License with physical address Non-Driver Identification Card Voter Registration Card Board of Elections Notice of Voting Location Check Book with physical address State Income Tax Form Heading with School ID #543 Automobile Insurance Policy with physical address The following documents are not acceptance as a form of proof of residency: Utility Bill UPS Receipt County/School Tax Receipt NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that pursuant to Section 2018-b of the Education Law, applications for absentee ballots for the Annual School District Meeting may be obtained at the Office of the District Clerk, during regular office hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The application must be received by 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, May 16, 2006. 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 3:00 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. AND NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that any proposition or question not requiring official notice in the call of the annual vote and election may be voted upon at said vote and election, providing a petition signed by at least one hundred (100) qualified voters, together with the legal residence of each, is filed with the Clerk of the District no later than thirty (30) days before the vote. Dated: March 10, 2006. BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION RONDOUT VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT By: ______________________________________ Debra Barbiani, District Clerk (3/31/06)

LEGAL NOTICE FORMATION OF STILLMEADOW HABITAT & HOME, LLC 1. Name of the limited liability company: Stillmeadow Habitat & Home, LLC (the "LLC"). 2. Date of filing of Articles of Organization: February 22, 2006. 3. The office of the LLC is located in Ulster County. 4. The Secretary of State has been designated as the agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. The Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process served against the LLC to 425 Old Kings Highway, Accord, New York 12404. 5. The latest date upon which the LLC is to dissolve is February 1, 2106. 6. The purpose of the LLC is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which limited liability companies may be formed under the Act and to engage in any and all activities necessary or incidental thereto. (Freeman 3/18/06)

Notice of Filing of R.A. ROSAKRANSE, LLC 1. The name of the limited liability company is: R.A. Rosakranse, LLC. 2. The date of filing of the articles of organization with the Secretary of State was: March 7, 2006. 3. The county within this state in which the office of the limited liability company is to be located is: Ulster. 4. The Secretary of State is designated as agent of the limited liability company upon whom process against it may be served. The post office address to which the Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the limited liability company services upon him/her is: c/o Robert A. Rosakranse, 5120 Route 209, Accord, New York 12404. 5. This business has been formed to: engage in any lawful act or activity for which limited liability companies may be organized under the LLCL. (3/22/06)

Notice of Filing of Oliver Pipe Organ Company, LLC 1. The name of the limited liability company is: Oliver Pipe Organ Company, LLC. 2. The date of filing of the articles of organization with the Secretary of State was: March 7, 2006. 3. The county within this state in which the office of the limited liability company is to be located is: Ulster. 4. The Secretary of State is designated as agent of the limited liability company upon whom process against it may be served. The post office address to which the Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the limited liability company services upon him/her is: c/o Russel Oliver, 11 Sherman Road, Kerhonkson, New York 12446. 5. This business has been formed to: engage in any lawful act or activity for which limited liability companies may be organized under the LLCL. (3/22/06) 

NOTICE OF FORMATION OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY -1. The name of the limited liability company is: Bunch & Sons Construction, LLC. -2. The Articles of Organization of the LLC were filed with the New York Secretary of States office on 16th March 2006. -3. The County within this State in which the Office of the LLC is to be located is Ulster. -4. The New York Secretary of State has designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. The address within or without this State to which the Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the LLC served upon him or her is Bunch & Sons Construction LLC C/O Timothy E. Bunch, P.O. Box 554; Accord, New York 12404 -5. The company is organized to conduct any lawful business for which limited liability companies may be organized. (Freeman 3/23/06)  

Notice of Formation of CURTIS/PERRY STRATEGIC BRANDING, LLC, a domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC). Articles of Organization filed with Secretary of State on 1/27/06. NY Office location: ULSTER County. Secretary of State is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the LLC served upon him/her to C/O CURTIS/PERRY STRATEGIC BRANDING, LLC, 145 RIDGEVIEW ROAD, KERHONKSON, NY 12446. PURPOSE: To engage in any lawful act or activity. (Freeman 3/24/06)

Notice os Hereby Given that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 18th day of April 2006, commencing at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on the following applications: Anthony Rusolo c/o Gerald Rusolo, subdivision approval to legalize 6 lots created in 1996, Granite Road & Project 32 Road, Tax Map # 76.4-2-11, R-1 District Jon Dogar-Marinesco & Manuela Mihailescu, Site Plan Approval for antique shop, storage area, office space and garage, Route 209, Tax Map # 76.2-2-39.1, B District The above noted application 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 4/7/06)




Meeting on Property Tax Revaluation

The Rochester Residents Association will host an informal meeting on the recent property tax revaluation process at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 25th at the Accord Fire House, Main Street, Accord.
The meeting will feature a presentation by Marilyn Lowe, president of Lowe & Associates, an appraisal firm in Kingston that has extensive experience in challenging local property tax assessments.  The Town’s assessor, Sharon Hornbeck, has also been invited.
The meeting is free and open to all.  For further information email:


Yoga Classes at Community Center

Come celebrate and support your body, your inner harmony, and peaceful well-being in a mindful hatha yoga class. Turn your stress into positive energy. Whether you need to become more lithe, limber and flexible; to connect with your inner-self; to grow stronger and more balanced physically and mentally; or just to get out and do something good for yourself ... THIS CLASS IS FOR YOU. You are encouraged to enjoy what you can do, without judgments or comparisons. Your injuries and conditions will be respected. Adults
and teens on all yoga levels are welcomed. CLASSES BEGIN THURSDAY EVENING APRIL 6 , 6:30 -7:45 pm Your instructor, SARA HARRIS, is a certified yoga instructor and therapist for over 30 years. She is also a stress management consultant. Sara has produced several guided meditation tapes and yoga videos and has been featured in Yoga Journal and Self Magazine. She is an Accord resident. Call 626-2843 for more information. Register for 4 consecutive weeks at a time at $40.00 or Drop-in at $12.00



Ulster County Master Gardeners Garden Day

Ulster County Master Gardeners are holding their annual Garden Day event on the last Saturday in April.  This is all day Saturday at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge.  There are 16 different classes to choose from, as well as vendors during lunch and lots of free handouts and door prizes.  All for $25.  Check it out at   (also check out the seedling sale lower down on the page --- berries and evergreens.  White the sign-up date is past, but there are sometimes extras.




[Hudson Valley] Resort to be developed
Developer planning 250 single-family homes

Kerhonkson - The Hudson Valley Resort and Spa has been sold to a New York City developer who intends to build 250 single-family homes on the 550-acre site while "retargeting" the resort's prospective clientele.

The $19 million sale of the former Granit Resort to the real-estate developing firm of Everyday Logistics LLC was announced yesterday by the project's principal private lender, Kennedy Funding of Hackensack, N.J.

"It's a done deal," Jeff Wolfer, president and co-CEO of Kennedy Funding, said. The new owner, Elliot Spitzer (not the attorney general), could not be reached for comment.

According to Wolfer, Spitzer won't take over operation of the resort for at least another six months.

When that happens, plans call for a retargeting of its potential clientele and focusing "on the significant Jewish population that traditionally visits the area."

The resort went through significant renovations in the late '90s, when most of the resort's 322 guest rooms were refurbished and its nine-hole golf course extended.

Town of Rochester Supervisor Pam Duke said she knew nothing of the sale.

Similarly, no deed has been filed with the Ulster County Clerk's office.

But once that happens, the project will be subject to extensive review under the state's environmental laws. (TH-Record 3/11/06)


Editor’s Note:  There is an extensive article on the development of the Hudson Valley Resort in the 3/16/06 Woodstock Times.


$9.78 Million Loan From Kennedy Funding Facilitates 571-Acre New York Resort Purchase

HACKENSACK, NJ, March 10, 2006 – Elliot Spitzer not only wanted to purchase the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa on over 550 acres in Kerhonkson, New York – he wanted to re-position and develop the property into something far more than it was. The 332-guest room resort complex consists of the hotel tower with six floors of guest rooms, plus wings containing additional rooms and 40,000+ square feet of convention space. It also includes a grand ballroom, 7,000+ square foot amphitheater, an 18-hole golf course with driving range and miniature golf, an attached restaurant with its own kitchen, a modern spa/fitness center, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and a playground.
It’s true that the resort had been more or less breaking even for the past five years, and the surrounding acres of vacant land were just that – vacant. But Spitzer of Everyday Logistics LLC had a plan: He would re-target the hotel’s prospective clientele, focusing on the significant Jewish population that traditionally visits the area, and he would develop the vacant land into 250+ single-family lots.
It’s a grand vision. And Kennedy Funding, a direct private lender in Hackensack, New Jersey, shared that vision, agreeing to a $9.78 million acquisition loan. Jeffrey Wolfer, president and co-CEO of Kennedy Funding, played a key role in the transaction. “The resort had been kept in very good condition, and showed few signs of deferred maintenance,” he said. “The potential of the site is as a resort, and the spa will fit very well into that plan, especially during the winter with the slopes nearby. We’re confident it will work, and we’re happy to have been of service.”
“We developed a very good working relationship,” said Spitzer about Kennedy Funding. “Everyone was professional all the way, and they did exactly what they said they would do.”
Formerly named the Granite Resort, Hudson Valley Resort & Spa offers 332 oversized guest rooms (approximately 320 square feet each), consisting of double doubles, kings, and suites. Staff and manager’s quarters are detached and located to the southwest. The golf course lies to the north of the hotel, and allows views from the rooms that flow over the course and, ultimately, to the mountains beyond. Built in the late 1950s, the resort went through extensive renovation in 1997-98. Most of the rooms were refurbished, along with the lobby and conference room. The spa was also built at this time, and the last nine holes were added to the existing 9-hole golf course.
The $9.78 million loan was brokered by Meridian Capital Group, one of the nation’s leading mortgage brokerage firms. According to Allan Rich, a Meridian broker, “Jeffrey Wolfer was the model of professionalism throughout this transaction. He was thorough, patient, and downright tenacious in seeing that everything went as smoothly as possible. In fact, I think Kennedy Funding went above and beyond the call of duty.” 


Accord Man Dies in Auto Accident

TOWN OF ROCHESTER - A 24-year-old Accord man was killed late Sunday night when the pickup truck he was driving struck a tree on Schwabie Turnpike.

Michael J. Dubois, 24, was pronounced dead shortly after the accident which took place at 11:50 p.m. Sunday, state police at Ellenville said Monday.

Police said that Dubois was driving a blue 1992 Chevrolet pickup truck along the Schwabie Turnpike. At one point, the truck swerved onto the southbound shoulder of Schwabie Turnpike and struck a mailbox.

The pickup then veered to the north shoulder and struck a tree, police said.

Police said Dubois suffered extensive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by Ulster County Medical Examiner Dr. Walter Dobushak.

There were no passengers in the vehicle. Police said Dubois was not wearing a seat belt.

Assisting at the scene were the Accord Fire Department and the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad. (Freeman 3/7/06)



Man killed in construction accident

Kerhonkson - New York State Police were investigating an industrial accident that claimed the life of a one person today.

The accident happened at about 3 p.m. at a subdivision construction site about a half mile east of the Hudson Valley Resort on Lower Granit Road.

State Police Senior Investigator Stanley R. O'Dell said it didn't appear that foul play was involved. (TH-Record 2/21/06)




Marble slab hits worker
A High Falls man was flown to Westchester Medical Center yesterday after a marble slab he was moving hit him in the head.
Thomas Spiegler was working at Barra and Trumbore Industries on Old Mine Road here around 1:15 p.m. when he was moving a marble slab for a fork lift to pick up. The slab, used to make marble counter tops, weighed about 1,300 pounds. The slab slipped, Ulster County Sheriff's Office said, striking Spiegler in the head. Spiegler had difficulty breathing and lost feeling in his extremities, the sheriff's office said. (THR-3/2/06_



'Human shield' appeals Iraq travel fine

[Kerhonkson Resident] Judith Karpova vowed that she'd never pay a fine for traveling to Iraq just before the U.S. invasion in 2003, and she's now taking her vow to a federal appeals court.

As a "human shield," Karpova wrote letters from Iraq to her hometown paper in Jersey City, N.J. She said she also handed out coloring books and markers to Iraqi children. She left Iraq before the war.

Last year, the U.S. Treasury Department fined Karpova $6,700 for violating Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, which banned most travel to Iraq between 1990 and July 2004. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon uphheld the fine, quoting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in her decision: "One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the consequences."

Karpova's lawyer, Michael Sussman of Goshen, filed her appeal in the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the Iraqi travel ban violated Karpova's First and Fifth amendment rights under the Constitution, by limiting her freedom to speak out and her freedom to travel.

Sussman also argues that Karpova's trip to Iraq was a humanitarian exception to the travel ban. (THR 3-18-06)




Chester L. Mirsky

 Kerhonkson--Chester L. Mirsky, 62, know locally for his work against Wal-Mart and other development, died on Wednesday, March 8, 2006, at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie after a long battle with cancer.

Born August 20, 1943, he was the son of the late Ann and Aaron Mirsky and grew up in Clifton, New Jersey.

He graduated from Emory University in 1965 and received a JD degree from New York Law School in 1968.  Mr. Mirsky started his professional work with the legal services branch of Mobilization for Youth on New York City's Lower East Side.  Soon after, he began teaching at New York University School of Law and supervising students in the new Criminal Law Clinic as they represented poor people in cases ranging from murder to draft resistance.   He later was appointed director of the school's Federal Defender Clinic, a post he held until his retirement in 2002.

Mr. Mirsky moved from New York City to New Paltz in the late 1960s and, after retiring, to Kerhonkson.  From the beginning of his upstate residency he was very active in local Democratic party organizing as well as in advocating for serious land use planning and against major development projects.  In the latter realm, he brought his political organizing and legal skills to oppose part of the first wave of uptown New Paltz retail expansion in the early 1970s, the Marriott Minnewaska resort proposal, the local Wal-Mart megamall proposals of the 1990s and various other projects throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley.  His keen insight and passion in such efforts were reflected in the book he co-authored with David Porter, "Megamall on the Hudson:  Planning, Wal-Mart, and the Grassroots Resistance" (2003).

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Kapilow-Mirsky; his three children from previous marriages, Rebecca Mirsky of Brooklyn and Daniel Mirsky and Jonathan Mirsky of Colorado; and his cousin, Esther Simon of Boca Raton, FL.

A community celebration of Mr. Mirsky's life will be held at 2pm on Saturday, April 1, in the Fireside Room in the education building of the New Paltz Reformed Church, Huguenot Street at Broadhead Avenue. Arrangements by Copeland Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz.





Stanley Breite

Long-time Accord resident Stanley Breite passed away at the age of 78 in San Diego, California on March 6th after a long illness.  Breite owned and directed Camp Shangri-La, a summer camp on Upper Whitfield Road for many years, while also teaching, coaching, and supervising in his role of assistant principal for the NYC Board of Education. After retiring, he moved full-time to former camp property and became an active participant in the Town of Rochester's government and local Democratic politics.

Breite was one of the "Famous 12" who were arrested in the early 1990s at the direction of the town supervisor for preventing illegal dumping of toxic waste into the town landfill. He was an active member of the Rochester Food Pantry, which he helped establish. He volunteered with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Kingston and was an active member of Man 2 Man, an organization for men dealing with cancer. He and his life partner of 34 years, Eppie Convel, established a scholarship fund at Ulster County Community College, to assist single parents who were planning to teach or were pursuing environmental education careers.  Breite was an avid tennis player until his battle with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a liver disease.  Besides Ms. Convel, he is survived by four children, ten grandchildren, a sister and a brother. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to:  PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, 5237 S. Kenton Way, Englewood, CO 80111



Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:

Thank you for posting the summary assessment information of the pending Town of Rochester property revaluation on the internet.  This is the first time that we’ve been able to find this information without having to visit the County building in Kingston.  The posting of this information makes it possible for all property owners in town to check to see if their preliminary assessments are in line with other comparable properties.  I presume you got this information from the Assessor and I am glad to see that the openness promised by the new town government is more than just talk.  The recent property tax rises have been mostly the result of higher spending on education by the school district.  While I’m all for providing our areas children with the best education possible, I think the school board cannot forget that our local property owners can only bear so much in taxes without having to make serious sacrifices.




Letter to the Editor:

The information included on the link on the Rochester Residents website in not a Revaluation Tax Roll it is not the Tentative Roll it is actually a Field work Workbook. You are misrepresenting my work. I would appreciate it if you would title it accordingly.
Sharon Hornbeck
Town of Rochester Assessor


[Editor Responds:

In distributing the link to the information, we accurately described the information posted.  The list is a summary list of “preliminary taxable assessed values” as proposed by the assessor and distributed to each property owner.  These preliminary assessments are subject to change and should not be construed as the final assessed valuation.]



The following letter originally appeared in the Blue Stone Press:


I realize that it is the prerogative of the Town Supervisor & the Town Board to appoint whomever they wish to fill any vacancy on any town board they see fit.

And I understand that the Constitution, & the Amendments that proceed it, give the right to any American to show their lack of respect, their lack of honor, & their lack of love to our country by not participating in the Pledge of Allegiance, but I'd like to pose this question:

What kind of example is Mr. Steve Fornal, the newly appointed chair of the Town of Rochester Planning Board, setting by his refusal to lead and/or participate in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the meeting?

What if, through his/her studies, a student found their way into that meeting to learn how American government is run? What thoughts would that student have gone home with? Would that student have gone home with the belief that it is ok not to show their love, honor & respect to their country?

When I was growing up in the 1970s, there was a saying that I heard quite often:

America: Love it or leave it.

Alysse Ricks — Accord


Letter To The Editor,
"America, love it or leave it", inane phrase then, inane phrase now. Those using it then were wrapping their ignorance in the flag, as soldiers and civilians alike were being slaughtered, maimed and sickened for life in a meaningless and senseless war. Saying it now to someone because they do not say the pledge/prayer of allegiance is not only inane, it’s un-American. The true Americans then, as now, are the ones that stand up and make themselves heard when those that are elected to represent us veer off course and start to betray the ideals on which this country was founded. A democracy like ours takes constant vigilance and that is the role of a true patriot. This is what made America great. This is what will make America great again. A true American does not threaten with nails on the driveways of our democratically elected officials. Nor does a true American resort to arson as their means of protest. I applaud, admire and am extremely grateful to our new Rochester Town Government for they have shown the courage, in the face of threats, arrogance and down right greed, to call for the changes our town needs in light of the basic neglect, mismanagement and corruption within the governing bodies of past years. The true American fights with words, ideas and principles while upholding the rule of law and respecting all the rights and privileges that comes with being an American. No true American would mock, under the guise of patriotism, the Constitution or its amendments for the freedoms it protects. If someone chooses not to pledge allegiance to the American Flag, it is their absolute right not to. To challenge that right is un-American! Anyone with any knowledge of the history of the pledge would understand that in 1954, because of the fears brought on by the McCarthy era hysteria, Congress injected religion into the pledge by adding the words "under God". These words made it nothing more than a public prayer which many people find not only objectionable but unconstitutional. I myself do not say the pledge. It has always had a ring of falsity to it, especially these days, as we are now “one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for some.” When a child witnesses anyone exercising their rights under the Constitution, be it at a Town Planning Board Meeting or anywhere, it is a perfect time to educate them on their own rights under an American democracy. They will certainly be more informed and better citizens for it. The real concern for the next generation should be their exposure to a government that thinks its okay to jail people for years without charge. A government that thinks torture is acceptable. A government that cuts health and education funding, while cutting the taxes of the rich. A government that lies and spies on its citizens. A government that has so little concern for the environment that they ignore the facts and try and silence the scientists when they dare to expose the truths. Let’s save the outrage for the present government in the highest office as they continue to trash everything America has stood for. Let’s let our local governments, with its long hard road ahead, do its job with the respect that they deserve. Peace,

Anne Katz, Town of  Rochester


Dear Editor


As regards Alysse Ricks' letter ("America: Love it or leave it") in which she laments the exercise of First Amendment rights, it never ceases to amaze me that such self-ordained Patriots are often the least knowledgeable of what America truly stands for.


The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Socialist clergyman back in 1892. It was a pledge that sought to reflect the Socialist Utopian ideal. It essentially remained as written until 1954 when, during the McCarthy era of rabid anti-Communism, the Pledge was altered to provide a de facto "litmus test" for patriotism as well as a prayer to the Almighty.


That's right, Alysse…I totally reject having to "prove" my patriotism by passing an arbitrary litmus test for same. That you are unable to show tolerance for differing views and seek to force people via intimidation to hold the same views as you do reeks of a totalitarianism that any "true" American should shun with a vengeance.


As to the suggestion that had a student have found his/her way to that meeting, he/she would have been witness to a poor example, I agree. Members of the Planning Board actually conspired to remain silent during the pledge in hopes of forcing an American citizen to violate his own Free Speech rights granted to him under the Constitution of the United States (to which I have sworn an oath). Such a display of intolerance would have indeed have been a poor example of true Americanism: The toleration of disparate views while working side by side to do the business of the People in an unbiased, law abiding manner.


I understand the fear and shock some in the community are now experiencing with all the progress (for so long neglected) now being implemented under the Town of Rochester's newly elected Administration. When government has been peopled by people who hate government for so long, it may be difficult to understand what it means to actually operate according to law for the best interests of all residents.


Finally, as for that saying heard too many times back in the 70s, America: Love it or leave it…It remains a simple minded response.


I'll stay right here, thank you. And I will live each moment of my life in accordance with the true American ideals embodied in the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence.


Steven L. Fornal

Accord, NY





Legal Notices

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold public hearing on the 21st day of March 2006, commencing at 7:00 PM, at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on the following Applications: Mombaccus Excavating, c/o Keith Kortright, Special Use Permit for Proposed addition of service Road and water line to access water well on adjacent parcel. The new facilities will be used in connection with the existing sand and gravel mine, Rochester Center Road, Fischer Road, Tax Map #68.3-3-2, 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 a date to be determined." (Freeman 3/10/06)


LEGAL NOTICE FORMATION OF BLUE MARBLE FARMS, LLC 1. Name of the limited liability company: Blue Marble Farms, LLC (the "LLC"). 2. Date of filing of Articles or Organization: May 19, 2005. 3. The office of the LLC is located in Ulster County. 4. The Secretary of State has been designated as the agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. The Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process served against the LLC to 751 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson, New York 12446. 5. The latest date upon which the LLC is to dissolve is February 1, 2106. 6. The purpose of the LLC is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which limited liability companies may be formed under the Act and to engage in any and all activities necessary or incidental thereto. (Freeman 3/8/06)


NOTICE OF FILING OF RACING DAYLIGHT, LLC 1. The name of the limited liability company is: RACING DAYLIGHT LLC. 2. The date of the filing of the articles or organization with the Secretary of State was: November 9, 2004. 3. The county within this state in which the office of the limited liability is to be located is: Ulster. 4. The Secretary of State is designated as agent of the limited liability company upon whom process against it may be served. The post office address to which the Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the limited liability company served upon him or her is: 205 Granite Road, Accord, New York, 12404. 5. This business has been formed to perform any lawful business or purpose. (Freeman 3/9/06)


LEGAL NOTICE: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Rochester has 3 positions available for the Board of Assessment Review. Please send letters of intent to be received on or before 3/24/06 Attention Supervisor, Accord, NY 12404. Please call the Assessor’s Office with any inquiries at 626-0920.



New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Notice of Complete Application Date: 02/09/2006 Applicant: JUNKO LLC c/o John McGovern PO Box 3658 Kingston, NY 12402 Facility: Hidden Forest Estates, US Rte 209- North side- West of Mettacahonts Rd., Accord, NY 12404 Application ID: 3-5144-00062/00001 Permit(s) Applied for: 1- Article 17 Titles 7 & 8 Private/Commercial/Institutional SPDES Project Description: The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received an application to re-issue/re-new the following pre-existing Private/Commerical/Institutional State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (P/C/I SPDES) permit. DEC has made a tentative determination to re-issue/renew this pre-existing permit for a five year term with updated regulatory requirements and maintaining current effluent limitations and monitoring and reporting requirements. This permit involves the surface discharge through a rotation bbiological contact system of up to 13,500 gallons per day of treated sanitary waste to the Mill Brook. Additional information on this permit may be requested from or inspected at the NYSDEC Region 3 office in New Paltz or the NYSDEC Central Office in Albany. Substantive comments must be submitted in writing to the contact person. To be called substantive, 6 NYCRR Part 621.7 requires public comments "explain the basis of opposition and explain specific grounds..." for opposition. SPDES#: NY 023 5432 Availability of Application Documents: Filed application documents, and Department draft permits where applicable, are available for inspection under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law during normal business hours at the address of the contact person. State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination: Project is not subject to SEQR because it is a Type II action. SEQR Lead Agency: None Designated State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination: The proposed activity is not subject to review in accordance with SHPA. The permit type is exempt or the activity is being reviewed in accordance with federal historic preservation regulations. Availability for Public Comment: Comments on this project must be submitted in writing to the Contact Person no later than 04/15/2006 Contact Person: Andrea Sheeran Glick, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, (518)402-9167 (Freeman 3/14/06)


Featured Business


Kathy and Bill Hoffstatter have started a new business at 5066 Route 209 in Accord (near Main Street).  The new store, called Red’s Used Furniture and Handmade Gifts, features multiple antique dealers, including Nancy Foutz (who ran a shop on Rosendale), Jane Brown, and Roy Bennedetto, who also has a shop in Saugerties named Dusty’s Furniture.  The shop features antiques, glassware of all kinds, crafts and gifts made by local artisans and used furniture.  The shop also features homemade olive-oil based soap, homegrown and handmade birdhouse gourds, ceramic jewelry and many other items.  Visit Red’s, located on the bend between Main Streed in Accord and Saunderskill Farms.  Tel: 626-7155.



Homes Wanted

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




Sale of Hudson Valley Resort Pending?

Developers from Rockland County are reportedly in negotiations to purchase the Hudson Valley Resort from its present owners in order to construct approximately 300 homes on the property.  No information is available on the terms of the sale or the future of the operation of the hotel.


Fires damaged two Accord homes on Thursday, but there were no injuries.

          A structure fire on Diamond Road, off Trail’s End was called in at 10:30 am, according to Acting Fire Chief Chris O’Connor.  the fire evidently started in a woodstove, O’Connor said, but the exact cause was still being investigated.  There were no injuries in the Diamond road fire, and the house, while not completely destroyed, was not habitable, O’Connor said.  It was not clear if anyone was at home.  The name of the owner was not immediately available.

          O’Connor said the fire was under control within half an hour, but crews were on the scene until about 1:30 pm.   The Accord Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Olive Fire Department, with Napanoch and Kripplebush on standby.

          The second fire came in on the automatic alarm system at about 7:30 pm, O’Connor said.  He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

          The [Queens Highway] home is a two-story log cabin, and the damage was minor and limited to the kitchen, he said. No one was home at the time.  The fire was brought under control within about 15 minutes, O’Connor said.  Olive and Kerhonkson firefighters assisted at the scent.  [From the Daily Freeman 2/10/06]




Rochester councilman finds nails in driveway


Accord - Alex Miller has been told he doesn't belong in the Town of Rochester, much less on the Town Board making changes.

Sunday night, someone tried to hammer the point home by scattering about 150 galvanized roofing nails at the end of his driveway.

And if that didn't get the message across, the same thing happened to Democratic Supervisor Pam Duke; nails were discovered in her driveway the next morning. Both times he reported the incidents to state police in Ellenville.

"This, to me, is a political act, a violent political act that seems like terrorism at my own home," Miller said Tuesday.

Miller was elected to the Town Board in November and took office in January. The election put Democrats in charge of the town for the first time in memory.

Among other things, Duke and the new board replaced longtime building inspector Douglas Dymond with someone new, Steve Fornal. The board voted recently to update the town's 37-year-old master plan and approved a one-year large-scale building moratorium.

The moves have been controversial. At last Thursday's Town Board meeting, a state trooper stepped in to control one upset resident.

"It's been 'I do what I want on my land when I want to do it. How dare you come in here and tell us what to do.' " Miller said. "It seems like the town has been a family business, and the family doesn't like anyone looking at the books or asking questions."

Miller said he wanted the community to know about the nails. He hoped political opponents would condemn the action.

The most vocal of those opponents is the Rochester Republican Club.

"It's not condoned in any way - officially or unofficially - by the Republican Club," said Tavi Cilenti, club vice president and a retired police chief.

David O'Halloran, president of the club, said it is not about politics. "It's a rural town, and people do stupid things," O'Halloran said. "We believe in positive politics," he said. "This is silly. God knows, someone could get hurt." (TH-Record 2/9/06)

Editor’s Note:  Steve Fornal was named as chairman of the Planning Board, not the new CEO.



Town of Rochester Receives State Grant


Governor George Pataki announced Thursday the awarding of more than $1.3 million in Hudson River Estuary grants for 45 community projects. The projects will enhance public use and enjoyment of the Hudson River, clean

up pollution, promote environmental stewardship and education, and help to preserve the natural resources of the Hudson River Estuary and its tributaries and watersheds.


The Town of Rochester received one of these grants in the amount of of $18,500 for the development of a Natural Resource Inventory and Open Space Index to protect natural resources in the Rondout Creek, its tributary

system and the watershed aquifer system.


  Zoning Board of Appeals Overturns Code Enforcement Officer Determination

 The January 26, 2006 ZBA hearing on the HVR water park came to abrupt end when Marijane Knudsen, the ABA chair, read a letter from Mr. Burrick, strategic planner for the HVR, announcing they would not object to a Special Use Permit for the water park.  Despite this, the ZBA did rule in favor of the on the appeal to the CEO’s determination that the HVR’s proposed water park did not require a special use permit filed by Astrid and Richard Geldard, thus the project will now require a Special Use Permit from the Planning Board.


Letter to the Editor:


To the Editor:

I was disturbed by Ms. Lisa Chichkov’s letter in last week’s (February 3, 2006) issue. She decries those who “came from other areas in the last few years to decide they want to control what is not even theirs by restricting the use of private property.” She pits them against those people with ““open” land [that] belongs to people who have owned and managed it just fine for many generations.” She further instructs us that “this is not a communist country, an elitist’s, or socialist town and we do not need the town trying to take away people’s rights and freedoms for the “good of all.”” She even tells people who disagree with her to get out of her town and move to a “ghost town” elsewhere.


My family has been in this region for a hundred years, but our longevity does not give us special rights. We came to the United States from Eastern Europe to escape a despotic aristocracy with no regard for the rights of others. We’ve thrived in this democracy that attempts to balance the rights of the individual with the needs of the community. Once my grandparents earned their citizenship, their vote counted as much as the votes of people who arrived a hundred years before them.


Zoning laws have been in existence in the United States since the early twentieth century and they have been upheld by successive Supreme Courts. These zoning laws help protect the value and quality of my open space in the Town of Rochester by preventing the kinds of development that will harm my investment.


No, the Town of Rochester is not, as Ms. Chichkov states, “a communist country, an elitist’s, or socialist town.” It is a democracy where each person’s vote counts as much as another’s, and where government helps balance individual rights with, as our Constitution says, “promot[ing] the general welfare.” The social system of special rights based on land and longevity is called aristocracy. I have no intention of promoting that in the Town of Rochester and I don’t think Ms. Chichkov wants that either. I’ll stick with elected representatives who want to run a responsible government by balancing the rights and needs of all of us.


Ward Mintz




Legal Notices

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION Date: 01/20/2006 Applicant: MOMBACCUS EXCAVATING INC 710 CHERRYTOWN RD KERHONKSON, NY 12446 Facility: FORMER ROCH CTR DEV CORP MINE 257 ROCHESTER CENTER RD ROCHESTER, NY Application ID: 3-5144-00083/00001 Permit(s) Applied for: 1-Article 23 Title 27 Mined Land Reclamation Project is located: in ROCHESTER in ULSTER COUNTY Project Description: The applicant proposes to expand an existing 33-acre sand and gravel mine by 4.5 acres (on a total site of 212 +/- acres) in a linear manner by constructing a service road to an existing well, to be utilized in a dust control plan, thus eliminating the current need to truck water in. The road will not be used to transport excavated material. The location is on the north side of Fischer Road approximately 1/2 mile west of the intersection with Krum Road. Availability of Application Documents: Filed application documents, and Department draft permits where applicable, are available for inspection under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law during normal business hours at the address of the contact person. State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination Project is an Unlisted Action and will not have a significant impact on the environment. A Negative Declaraton is on file. A coordinated review was performed. SEQR Lead Agency NYS Department of Environmental Conservation State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination A Structural-Archaeological Assessment Form has been completed. The proposed activity will not impact on registered, eligible or inventoried archaelogical sites or historic structures. Availability For Public Comment Comments on this project must be submitted in writing to the Contact Person no later than 03/03/2006 Contact Person Lawrence G. Biegel NYSDEC 21 South Putt Corners Rd New Paltz, NY 12561-1696 (845) 256-3054 (Freeman 2/1/06)

LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Town Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on 2/02/06 at 7:00pm at the Accord Town Hall re: a Proposed Local Law to Enact a Moratorium on Development within the Town. The Regular Town Board Meeting to immediately follow. All interested persons will be heard. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD Veronica I. Sommer Town Clerk/ Tax Collector/RMC (1/22/06)

 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 26th day of January 2006, commencing at 7:30PM, at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on Application by Richard Geldard & Astrid Fitzgerald, Appeal for Hudson Valley Resort Zoning Permit #325 for an arcade and support areas for a water park facility along with updated meeting rooms and kitchen facilities plus 100 family style rooms to replace existing rooms, 400 Granite Road, R-1 District, Tax Map #76.4-1-56.1 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 1/16/06)

NOTICE OF FILING OF WILLIAM CAFIERO PROPERTIES, LLC 1. The name of the limited liability company is: WILLIAM CAFIERO PROPERTIES, LLC 2. The date of filing of the articles of organization with the Secretary of State was: December 22, 2005. 3. The County within this State in which the office of the limited liability company is to be located is: Ulster. 4. The Secretary of State is designated as agent of the limited liability company upon whom process against it may be served. The post office address to which the Secretary of State shall mail a copy of any process against the limited liability company served upon him or her is: 521 County Route 6, High Falls, New York 12440. 5. This business has been formed to: perform any lawful business purpose or purposes. (Freeman 2/2/06)


Dog goes extra mile for master

By Jeremiah Horrigan
Times Herald-Record

Ellenville - Every day, she'd sit in the car outside the emergency room of Ellenville Regional Hospital, waiting for a glimpse of Charlie Dutcher.

And every day, Charlie Dutcher waited, too, waited to see Buffy, the German shepherd mix who'd brought such light to his life for the past 10 years.

Dutcher, who's 83 years old, had been in the hospital for nearly five weeks, recuperating from a serious back ailment at the hosp

ital's transitional care unit. His wife, Linda, and Buffy were his lifelines to a life put on hold by his condition.

Then, earlier this week, Buffy went missing.

Linda had driven her out to a wooded area for a run a couple of miles from their village home. Buffy always came back. But on Tuesday, she didn't.

Charlie Dutcher couldn't sleep that night.

"Oh, I was upset, all right. I was really worried," he recalled yesterday.

The Dutchers knew Buffy's eager, unquestioning friendliness wouldn't stand her in good stead with the wilder elements of Ellenville's wooded fringes.

About eight hours after her disappearance, nursing assistant Lorraine Lux was leaving for the night when she saw an unexpected but familiar sight: a German shepherd mix barking and running around the parking lot. It was Buffy, whom Lux recognized because she sometimes groomed the Dutchers' pet.

Buffy had traveled about three miles to get there. Except for a sore front foot, she was none the worse for wear.

The Dutchers were elated. And yesterday, Buffy was granted permission to visit Charlie Dutcher in the hospital lobby. Linda said the dog had been a bit depressed in Charlie's absence, but Buffy was the picture of happiness, doing her best to control herself despite the slippery hospital floors.

Later, Linda Dutcher stood at her husband's bedside.

"You know, you don't notice how much room there is in your heart for a dog," she said. "Being home alone without Buffy was different. Lonely."

She didn't have to explain any further. Outside in the parking lot, Buffy was still waiting. (TH-Record 1/13/06)

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

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


Environmental Notice Bulletin

There were no Environmental Notice Bulletin notices for Rochester. 


View the NY State Department of Environment Conservation's weekly Environmental Notice Bulletin.






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