Archive 2008

 

 

 

2006 Property Tax Reassessment

Assessor's Report - 12/10/07

 

Link to preliminary assessments and other resources.

 

Mombaccus Excavating Mining Plans

Mombaccus Excavating Correspondence

 

 

 

 

Order a reflective Address Marker from Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad

 

 

 

Absentee Ballot Application for Rondout Valley Central School District Budget Vote and School Board Election Only (Click Here for form)

 

bullet

News Archive - 2002

bullet

News Archive - 2003

bullet

News Archive - 2004

bullet

News Archive - 2005

bullet

News Archive - 2006

bullet

News Archive - 2007

 

On TV this week: September 4, 2008 Town Board meeting

Time Warner Public Access, Channel 23, 7pm Mondays

 

 

bullet

Accord Resident Jean Naggar Publishes Memoir (11/24/08)

bullet

Accord Mobile Home Uninhabitable After Fire (11/24/08)

bullet

Town Seeks Lead Status on Mine Application (11/24/08)

bullet

Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, Code and Map Task Force Discusses Airports (11/24/08)

bullet

Seven charged in southern Ulster burglaries (11/24/08)

bullet

Rochester teenager faces arson charge (11/24/08)

bullet

Town of Rochester budget reduces tax levy; hearing set for Thursday (11/24/08)

bullet

Family, friends bid final farewell to long-missing teen (11/24/08)

bullet

Kerhonkson woman goes green in a dome home (11/24/08)

bullet

Four arrested in connection with Ulster County burglaries (11/24/08)

bullet

 

 

 

bullet

Early Voting/Absentee Ballots (10/21/08)

bullet

Rochester to Hold Budget Meeting (10/21/08)

bullet

Planning Board Notice (10/21/08)

bullet

New Business Profile – Lez RX, Inc. (10/21/08)

bullet

Conservation Options and Benefits Focus of Landowner Conference (10/21/08)

bullet

Fire District and Town Board to Work Together (10/21/08)

bullet

Assessor Identified 53 Homes not on Tax Roll (10/21/08)

bullet

Rochester Resouces (10/21/08)

bullet

Bernardo Tax Deal Questioned (10/21/08)

bullet

Kerhonkson man charged with punching deputy  (10/21/08)

bullet

Man who admitted role in teen’s death gets up to ten years in prison (10/21/08).

 

bullet

Bradford Graves’ work to be shown (9/8/08)

bullet

GREEN PIZZA fundraiser for Family Farm Festival. (9/8/08)

bullet

UPCOMING LITTLE ONES LEARNING CENTER EVENTS (9/8/08)

bullet

TWO DAY INDOOR FLEA MARKET & CRAFT SALE (9/8/08)

bullet

Accord Resident Rob Norris to play at Carnegie Hall (9/8/08)

bullet

FALL FESTIVAL IN ACCORD (9/8/08)

bullet

Swastika painted on Kerhonkson Synagogue (9/8/08)

bullet

Police still following leads in Ulster slaying (9/8/08)

bullet

Rondout Valley board sets school tax rates (9/8/08)

bullet

Town Board Offers Assistance to Fire District and Firefighters (9/8/08)

bullet

No Leads on Metal Stolen from Town (9/8/08)

bullet

Rochester Zoning Task Force Still Won’t Allow Public Comment (9/8/08)

bullet

Rochester Democrats Designate Lynn Archer as Town Board Candidate (9/8/08)

bullet

Rochester Appoints New Assessor (9/8/08)

bullet

Town Board Waives Woodburning/Pellet Stove Permit Fees (9/8/08)

bullet

Out of the ashes, a local forest is reborn (9/8/08)

bullet

Traffic stop yields stolen diamond rings (9/8/08)

bullet

Motorcyclist runs off road, hits tree (9/8/08)

bullet

Contact information for Emergency Services (9/8/08)

bullet

Letters (9/8/08)

 

 

bullet

Owners of burned home rue their loss  (July 30, 2008)

bullet

Police believe East Kingston murder victim was killed elsewhere (July 30, 2008)
Students benefit from WISE choices 
(July 30, 2008)
Rochester Assessor Resigns
(July 30, 2008)

bullet

Airport Planned for Samsonville Subdivision (July 30, 2008)

bullet

Board of Assessment Review’s Grievance Day Report (July 30, 2008)

bullet

Metal Stolen from Town; Golf Cart too. (July 30, 2008)

bullet

Wal-Mart reveals plans for store in Wawarsing (July 30, 2008)

bullet

High Falls resident Anne Katz Passes (July 30, 2008)

 

 

bullet

A letter from the Highway Superintendent (6/23/08)

bullet

Friends of Little Ones Learning Center to hold an Open House (6/23/08)

bullet

Local Filmaker to show film (6/23/08)

bullet

Pearl Arts Gallery invites you to ETERNAL EGYPT (6/23/08)

bullet

Diana's Fancy Flea Market (6/23/08)

bullet

Kingston man pleads guilty to home invasion charges (6/23/08)

bullet

Deputies seek four in Rochester home invasion (6/23/08)

bullet

Ulster teens charged in break-in, theft (6/23/08)

bullet

Pact protects farm in southern Ulster from housing, commercial development (6/23/08)

bullet

Wal-Mart may be coming to Wawarsing any day now. (6/23/08)
Rondout Valley Education Foundation seeks alumni (6/23/08)

bullet

Rochester Pantry Launches 6-Month Food Donation Drive                  (6/23/08)

bullet

AARL Field Day (6/23/08)

bullet

The Fire Next Time (6/23/08)

bullet

Memorial Day Parade – May 26th (5/23/08)

bullet

Board of Assessment Review to Hold Grievance Day on May 27th (5/23/08)

bullet

Wildflower Festival at Catskill Native Nursery (5/23/08)

bullet

Art Salon at Pearl Arts Gallery (5/23/08)
Get your passports at Town Hall (5/23/08)

bullet

Rondout Valley Voters Speak (5/23/08)

bullet

Rondout Valley tax levy stands to rise 3.37% (5/23/08)

bullet

Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, and Map Task Force Discussions (5/23/08)

bullet

Town Board Appoints Michael Sommer as Assessor (5/23/08)

bullet

Accord Resident Announces Bid for County Executive (5/23/08)

bullet

COLD CASE CRACKED: Childhood friend charged with killing teen who vanished in 1996 (5/23/08)

bullet

Suspect in Martin killing told police he retrieved bones, threw them away (5/23/08)

bullet

Man charged with assaulting murder suspect (5/23/08)

bullet

Opinion (5/23/08)

 

 

bullet

Rochester Residents Association announces 2008 Scholarships (4/24/08)

bullet

Rochester’s Earth Day Roadside Cleanup.—Saturday, April 26th. (4/24/08)

bullet

BOOK SALE on Saturday, April 26th sponsored by Friends of Historic Rochester (4/24/08)

bullet

Accord Resident Tracy Levitt to Perform in Poughkeepsie (4/24/08)

bullet

Tree Planting Along the Rondout Creek and Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting, (4/24/08)

bullet

NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S QUILT SHOW (4/24/08)

bullet

Accord Artist Sara Harris’ work exhibited in New York (4/24/08)

bullet

Save the Date – History Day (4/24/08)

bullet

School Board Elections and Budget Vote – Tuesday, May 20th. (4/24/08)

bullet

CATSKILL NATIVE NURSERY’S WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL, SATURDAY, MAY 24TH.  (4/24/08)

bullet

Memorial Day Parade. (4/24/08)

bullet

Disputes smolder in wake of Minnewaska fire; blaze blamed on cigarette (4/24/08)

bullet

Minnewaska wildfire state's worst in 13 years (4/24/08)

bullet

RONDOUT VALLEY ORGANICS part II (4/24/08)

bullet

Rondout Valley Business Association Launches Scholarship Fundraising Event: (4/24/08)

bullet

WEEKENDERS DON’T CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY? (4/24/08)

bullet

Ulster County Press interview with Supervisor Carl Chipman

 

bullet

Rochester Residents Association announces 2008 Scholarships (4/7/08)

bullet
Rochester Historic Preservation Commission Hosts New Paltz Preservationists at Special Program on April 21, 2008 (4/7/08)
bullet
Save the Date - History Day (4/7/08)
bullet

Tree planting along the rondout creek and 20th anniversary annual meeting of the rondout esopus land conservancy on May 3, 2008 (4/7/08)

bullet

Memorial Day Parade.(4/7/08)

bullet

Resort Housing Plans Move Forward(4/7/08)

bullet

Rondout Valley voters OK high school wing(4/7/08)

bullet

Pact protects historic Marbletown farm(4/7/08)

bullet

Shawangunk fire team enters fourth season, looks to habitat restoration(4/7/08)

bullet

EXERCISE TV   NAMES TERRY BERNARDO “TOP TRAINER” FOR PILATES(4/7/08)

bullet

Joseph D. Linscott(4/7/08)

 

 

bullet

Accord Fire Company hosts Blood Drive Today! (2/25/08)

bullet

Volunteers Needed (2/25/08)

bullet

Videotapers Wanted (2/25/08)

bullet

Scholarship Fund in Formation (2/25/08)

bullet

Five Suspects Indicted in Accord Home Invasion (2/25/08)

bullet

Fundraiser is planned for 14-year-old Rondout Valley High School Student Erica Bell. (2/25/08)
Seminar: Richard Geldard   
(2/25/08)

bullet

Rochester Historic Preservation Commission Asks Town Residents to Help Identify Buildings (2/25/08)

bullet

Car hits school bus; drivers hurt, kids OK  (2/25/08)

 

 

bullet

Local Resident on Tuesday’s Primary Ballot (2/3/08)

bullet

Valentines Day Dance sponsored by First Aid Squad (2/3/08)

bullet

Kerhonkson/Accord First Aid Squad’s New Website (2/3/08)

bullet

2-year-old girl dies in fire; electrical problem blamed (2/3/08)

bullet

Four charged with stealing copper pipes (2/3/08)

bullet

Five charged in Accord armed robbery (2/3/08)
Comptroller faults Accord Fire District (2/3/08)
Daily Freeman Editorial - Dollars and safety (2/3/08)

bullet

Man tapped into phone line, cops say  (2/3/08)

bullet

Saugerties man charged in armed break-in  (2/3/08)

bullet

UPDATE: Interior secretary rejects Sullivan casino plans (2/3/08)
Master Gardeners Host Huge Annual Spring Seedling and Berry Sale
(2/3/08)
Kerhonkson Resident Kali Fasteau releases album
(2/3/08)

   

 

 

bullet

Accord Resident Jean Naggar Publishes Memoir

Accord resident Jean Naggar’s account of growing up in a Jewish familyi Egypt during the Suez Crisis and has recently been released.  For more information, visit

http://www.sippingfromthenile.com

 

 

bullet

Accord mobile home uninhabitable after fire

ACCORD — Accord firefighters extinguished a mobile home fire within two minutes of arriving at the scene Sunday night, but despite damage being contained to the living room, the home was rendered uninhabitable, Accord Fire Chief William Farrell said.

No one was injured.

Farrell said a woman and “two or three children,” whom he did not identify, occupied the mobile home at 19 Barry Lane. The family had no insurance, he said.

The family went to stay with the children’s father, who also lives on Barry Lane, Farrell said.

Firefighters responded to the scene at 8:30 p.m. The Ulster County arson team was “pretty sure the fire was caused by a cigarette in the couch,” Farrell said (Freeman 11/17/08)

 

 

bullet

Town Seeks Lead Status on Mine Application

The Rochester Planning Board has been reviewing an application by an affiliate of Mombaccus Excavating, Inc., owned by Keith Kortright and family) to operate a bluestone mine on a 9.5 acre site at the end of Amanda Drive in Kerhonkson (near the intersection of Cherrytown Road and Rogues Harbor Road/Camp Rov Tov).  In a departure from previous mine applications, most recently the re-opening of Metro Recycling and Crushing on Queens Highway, the Planning Board has sought to be designed as the Lead Agency in the permit application process.  In prior similar applications, the Planning Board has deferred to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s bid to be Lead Agency.  If designated Lead Agency, the Planning Board will administer the application process in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and will, presumably, be more sensitive than the NYSDEC to concerns raised by local residents.

Mombaccus representatives stated at a public meeting that Mombaccus was “not looking to mine”  on the property, but was seeking the permit “just for construction activity” to build houses for Kortright’s still-young children.  Despite this, the permit, if approved, would permit mining of more than 1,000 tons, generating an estimated 30-40 truckloads per day on Rogue’s Harbor Road (one of the narrowest in town) and Cherrytown, one of the busiest, including significant foot traffic at Pine Grove Ranch. 

While town attorney Mary Lou Christiana stated that the DEC is always the appropriate lead agency on mining and that it always wins when it seeks to be Lead Agency, Planning Board member Mike Baden pointed out that the DEC has allowed municipalities to be the Lead Agency in situations where there are local environmental concerns (including a bluestone mine application in Saugerties).  The Planning Board did send a letter indicating its desire to be Lead Agency.  A copy of the application is available on line at www.accord-kerhonkson.com.

bullet

Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, Code and Map Task Force Discusses Airports

The Task Force is considering a proposal to remove private “airports” from the list of approved special uses in Agricultural-Business districts (“AB-3”).  This topic has been discussed recently in the Planning Board and the Town Board as local developer John Dawson has proposed adding a 1,500’ landing strip on a subdivision he created on Dawson’s Lane off Samsonville Road.  The 1,500’ strip would be among the shortest in the region and questions have been raised about the proposed strip’s safety.  A copy of Dawson’s application is available online at http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/Dawson.htm

bullet

 Seven charged in southern Ulster burglaries

STONE RIDGE - Seven suspects - almost all them teenagers - have been charged in connection with a string of about 20 residential burglaries in southern Ulster County, state police at Wawarsing said.

The suspects, all of whom were arrested on Tuesday, were charged with breaking into homes in the towns of Rochester, Wawarsing, Marbletown, Rosendale and Gardiner over the last six to eight weeks. Police said they stole firearms, computers, chain saws, flatscreen TVs, jewelry, cash, clothing and a number of tools and electronic devices. The suspects have been implicated in theft of a BMW motor vehicle and the arson of a vehicle and building, police said.

After noting a dramatic increase in residential break-ins, state police teamed up with the Ulster County Sheriff's Office and formed a special detail to bust the burglary ring.

A large amount of property was recovered Tuesday, including several firearms.

Six of the suspects were teenagers, and most live in the Kerhonkson-Accord area. Police are confident that they've arrested everyone involved in the burglary ring, but are continuing the investigation and expect additional charges to be filed against the suspects.

Arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, were:

* Kyle G. Kouhout, 18, of 28 Mountain Road, Rosendale.

* Thomas Bauer, 18, of 2940 Lucas Ave., Accord.

* Brandon S. Miller, 17, of 519 Cherrytown Road, Kerhonkson.

* David G. Stephens, 18, of 19 Mettacahonts Road, Accord.

* Ron J. VanEtten, 17, of 1359 Berme Road, Kerhonkson.

* John W. Halter, 21, of 1047 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson.

* Dale J. Faulkner, 17, of 300 Mettacahonts Road, Accord.

All seven were arraigned in Marbletown Town Court before Town Justice Mark Glick, and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. (Freeman 11/13/08)

bullet

Rochester teenager faces arson charge

TOWN OF ROCHESTER — A town of Rochester teenager was charged with arson for setting a truck on fire in September, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Anthony J. Contarino, 18, of 115 Piazza Road, is accused of setting the truck ablaze Sept. 19 on Upper Whitfield Road after trying to steal gas. Contarino and another area teenager fled the scene after the fire started, police said.

Contarino’s accomplice, Brandon Miller, 18, of Cherrytown Road, Rochester, has not yet been charged in the incident, but is in custody on a separate burglary charge. Miller was one of seven suspects arrested by the Sheriff’s Office and state police at Wawarsing Tuesday in connection with a string of residential burglaries.

Besides arson, a felony, Contarino was charged with conspiracy, a misdemeanor. He was arraigned in Rochester Town Court before Town Justice Albert S. Babcock III and released to appear in court at a later date. (Freeman 11/14/08)

 

bullet

Town of Rochester budget reduces tax levy; hearing set for Thursday

ACCORD - The Rochester Town Board will hold a public hearing Thursday on a proposed $3.4 million budget for 2009 that would increase town spending by 7.2 percent but lower the property tax levy by a small amount and hold the line on the cost of employee benefits.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall on Scenic Drive in Accord.

The proposed budget is $228,416, or 7.19 percent, larger than this yearÕs town spending plan. The proposed tax levy is $1.99 million, a decrease of $7,435, or 9.37 percent, from the 2008 level.

Supervisor Carl Chipman said in a prepared statement that the budget does not call for any programs to eliminated, and Òwe even expanded services.Ó

ÒOne example is the implementation of a full-day summer youth program,Ó he said. ÒThis should be of great assistance to working families in our town."

The budget includes $56,203 for expenses related to the town supervisorÕs office, an increase of $9,094, or 19.3 percent; $19,000 for Town Board-related expenses, up $768, or 4.01 percent; $85,412 for the Town Court, up $1,834, or 2.19 percent; $66,273 for the assessorÕs office, up $1,655, or 2.56 percent; $78,143 for the town clerkÕs office, up $1,655, or 7.7 percent; and $74,090 for the highway superintendent, up $3.872, or 5.51 percent.

Also in the budget:

* Building operations: $166,725, up $24,877, or 17.54 percent.

* Garbage collection: $208,906, down $28,092, or 11.85 percent.

* Youth programs: $142,055, up $20,686, or 17.04 percent.

* Social service/home relief: $88,728, up $43,728, or 97.17 percent.

* Employee benefits: $553,183, up $571, or 0.1 percent.

* Highway, general repairs: $511,254, up $11,326, or 2.27 percent.

* Highway, machinery: $150,611, down $22,898, or 13.2 percent.

* Highway, capital expenses: $215,000, up $45,460, or 26.81 percent.

* Snow removal: $154,890, up $5,586, or 3.74 percent.

(Freeman 11/2/08)

 

 

 

bullet

Family, friends bid final farewell to long-missing teen

Looking at a high school yearbook from the 1990s on Saturday are, from left, Ella Bollin, who was Joe Martin’s girlfriend when he disappeared; Martin’s sisters, Jamie and Emily; Martin’s mother, Cathaleen Martin-Lightstone (holding Emily’s 1-year-old son, Joey); and Lightstone’s mother, Joan Miller. Freeman photo by Tania Barricklo.

KERHONKSON — A sleeping newborn. An infant in the arms of his older brother. A first Christmas with his mother. Dressed up for Halloween with his siblings. A summer day with his pet dog. In the family pool, celebrating a birthday, receiving an elementary school award, running track at school.

Photographs of these and other milestones are all that remain of Joe Martin — a few mementos and memories from the life of a 15-year-old who vanished and was killed more than a dozen years ago.

On Saturday, about 40 friends and family members gathered at Rochester Firehouse 2 on Samsonville Road in Kerhonkson to pay their respects to the blonde teenager who everyone called a friend and for whom the family continued to hold out hope until a homicide confession this past spring brought the case to a sudden close.

Ella Bollin still tears up when she talks about Martin, her one-time boyfriend.

 “We were dating for probably 11 months when he disappeared,” Bollin, now 26, said on Saturday. “That’s a long time when you’re that young.

“It’s hard,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “It’s just hard to see a lot of his pictures. It’s hard to think about it and to think that one of your so-called friends did this.”

The “so-called friend” is Alexander Barsky, 27, who Martin went to meet, ostensibly for a night of comet watching, after sneaking out of his Kerhonkson home the night of March 25, 1996.

Martin never returned, searches for him proved fruitless, and police were unable to crack the case for years — until this past May.

That’s when Barsky, who had been interviewed by authorities previously, underwent a renewed police interrogation in Brooklyn, where he was living, and confessed to helping kill Martin that night by beating the teen with a metal pipe. He also admitting hiding, and later disposing of, Martin’s body.

Barsky was charged with murder but was allowed to plead guilty in August to the less-serious crime of manslaughter, and he was sentenced to 3-1/3 to 10 years in state prison. Barsky told police he committed the homicide with another local teenager, Daniel Malak. Malak hasn’t been charged in the case, but police know where to find him: He’s serving 20 years to life in state prison for a murder he committed about a year after Martin died.

Martin’s mother, Cathaleen Martin-Lightstone, said she was touched that so many people turned out on Saturday to pay tribute to her son.

“It really means a lot,” she said.

Inside the firehouse on Saturday, centered between two poster-size boards covered with pictures chronicling Martin’s life, was a wooden box into which visitors dropped envelopes, letters, flowers and other mementos.

Martin’s aunt, Patricia Atkins, said her sister intends to bury the box. “It’s hard because there’s no body. He took even that away from her,” Atkins of Barsky.

Victoria Kirshy and her son Nick traveled 8{ hours, from Connellsville, Pa., to attend the memorial gathering on Saturday.

“I was like his second mom,” Kirshy said, adding that Martin and her son became “best friends” in the short time they knew each other. “He was such an unbelievable kid. He was so loved.”

Sheena Mesceda also attended Saturday’s gathering. She’s been friends with Martin-Lightstone since the two were in grade school together, and her daughter Molly started kindergarten with Martin.

“They both got sent to the principal’s office because he kissed her and she hit him,” Mesceda said with a laugh that was tinged with sadness. “He was good, and he was a loyal friend.” (Freeman 11/16/08)

 

bullet

Kerhonkson woman goes green in a dome home

Odd-shaped, monolithic houses help save energy

KERHONKSON — In a more-sustainable world, there will be homes with gleaming solar arrays on their roofs. There will be homes heated and cooled with the help of geothermal pumps that use the earth's natural energy. And, Peggy Atwood hopes, there will be a lot more homes like her 3,200-square-foot dome.

Considered an oddity of the past, dome houses have been slowly gaining converts in America — more so lately than ever, as fears grow about global warming and rising energy demand.

But Atwood, a musician by trade, hopes to spread the word about the buildings here, where fears of high energy prices, occasional forest fires and hurricanes grow more intense as climate warming occurs.

Her 40-foot-high monolithic dome home is one of only five such buildings in the Northeast. It recently was named "most unique" in the first "Best in Green Building" competition held by New York House magazine.

Unlike the better-known geodesic homes — formed by connecting triangular frames into a dome — the monolithic building is a seamless semi-sphere built with the use of an inflatable air form. That gives it the structural integrity to withstand tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricane winds of 150 mph, according to its proponents.

But perhaps its most salient selling point in these uncertain times is its energy efficiency.

Atwood spends a total of $1,000 a year on all her utilities, including propane-fueled radiant floor heating, she said. In the winter, no drafts can be felt in her home, and she doesn't need an air conditioner in summer, she said.

She had previously owned a house in East Nashville, Tenn., that was damaged by a tornado, as well as a cabin in the Catskills that luck spared from a forest fire. Looking for security, she came upon www.monolithic.com, the Web site of the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy, Texas.

"This is it. Nothing's going to destroy this," Atwood thought, when she first read about the dome, she said.

The total cost of buying her 3 acres of land and building the home came to $464,000. New green-building tax breaks and incentives from the state would likely reduce that cost if it was built today, she said.

According to David South, president of the institute, more than 2,000 monolithic domes have been built in America, and 500 built in 52 countries abroad. South and his two brothers pioneered the balloon-like air form and other techniques used in modern construction of the dome buildings.

Ironically, the strength of the structure is also its greatest liability in trying to gain it more acceptance in society, South said.

"When you have the inside trimmed out, the domes are just as aesthetically pleasing as any other house," he said. "But there are just some people who can't get over seeing a round house."

For more information on Atwood's home, go to www.peggyatwood.com. (TH-Record 11/15/08)

 

 

 

bullet

Four arrested in connection with Ulster County burglaries

WAWARSING – Four people were arrested Thursday by State Police in connection with several burglaries that occurred over the past four weeks including at commercial buildings and a residence in the towns of Rochester and Wawarsing.

Charged with burglary in the second degree were Darryl Conklin, 23, Vincent Dagostino, 21, Joseph Dagostino, 19, and Juan Rivera, 30, all of Ellenville.

The investigation followed a report of persons entering a building at the Hudson Valley Resort where power lawn care equipment including chainsaws, weed wackers, an air compressor, a welder and other tools were stolen.

The investigation led police to one person who was arrested and found in possession of stolen goods from several burglaries. Police later identified three other men involved in the resort burglary and others.

Police said the four had broken into a commercial building where electronics were stolen, a residence where hunting equipment and an ATV were stolen as well as a building where coins and jewelry were stolen.

All four men were remanded to the Ulster County Jail on bail. Police said other charges are pending. (Mid Hudson News 11/21/08)

 

 

bullet

Early Voting/Absentee Ballots

The Board of Elections will hold extended hours in addition to its normal operating hours to assist voters who wish to “early vote” by absentee ballot.  The BOE’s address is 284 Wall Street, Kingston

Tuesday, Oct 21st until 7:00.

Thursday, Oct 23rd until 7:00.

Saturday Oct 25th from 9:00AM until Noon.

Tuesday, Oct 28th until 7:00.

Thursday, Oct 30th until 7:00.

Saturday Nov 1st from 9:00AM until Noon.

 

ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE COUNTY WEB SITE AT http://www.co.ulster.ny.us/elections/

For more information, call 845-334-5470.

 

 

bullet

Town to Hold Budget Meeting

 

The Town of Rochester Town Board will hold a Budget/Workshop Meeting on October 23, 2008 at 7:00pm at the Accord Town Hall.  According to Town Board member Tony Spano, the tentative budget submitted by Supervisor Carl Chipman includes a 13.2% increase in the Town’s tax levy for the general budget.  The tentative budget submitted by the Accord Fire District includes an 8.15% increase in spending.  Both budgets are subject to revision prior to adoption.

 

 

 

bullet

Planning Board Notice

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 21st day of October 2008, commencing at 7:00 PM, at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, NY, on the following  Application:

·Homeland Towers c/o Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, SPA/SUP for 12’x30’ prefab equipment shelter adjacent to approved  tower; antennas and appurtenant cabling on approved  tower, at 100 Airport Road and 6140 Route 209 Approved Tower Locations, Tax Map#s 69.3-2-37 & 76.1-3-17,R-1 Districts

The above noted applications and maps are open for inspection at the offices of the Planning Board and Town Clerk, Accord, NY.

Prsons wishing to appear at such hearing may do so in person or by attorney or other representative.

 

Should this meeting be cancelled, the public hearing will be held by the Plnning Board at a date to be determined.

 

bullet

New Business Profile

Lez RX, Inc. is a new pharmacy that opened this summer at 4737 Route 209 near Accord Feeds and Needs.  The pharmacy is locally owned and operated by Lesly Desarme, who is offering more personalized service than local large chain pharmacies.  Mr. Desarme offers a full fledged pharmacy with over the counter produces, including natural and homeopathic remedies.  The pharmacy also sells such products as oral hygiene, first aid, skin care, foot care, shampoos, and gifts as well as durable medical equipment such as canes and walkers.  The pharmacy is open from 9am to 6pm M-F and 11 to 3 on Sunday.  The pharmacy is closed on Saturday.  Lex Rx’s telephone number is 626-1278.

 

 

bullet

Conservation Options and Benefits Focus of Landowner Conference

On Saturday November 8th from 9 AM to 1:30 PM at SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge, landowners, town planners, municipal officials, concerned citizens, land trust representatives, and others will gather to discuss how undeveloped land helps ensure the protection of water resources, scenic views, wildlife habitat, and quality of life, and the many options, strategies, and financial mechanisms available to support this process. 

Living with a Conservation Easement, focusing on the experiences of landowners who have protected their land by donating or selling a conservation easement or purchasing a property with an existing easement.

Your Land Preservation Team, with a lawyer, an appraiser, and a surveyor explaining their roles in developing conservation easements and how you can be part of and benefit from this process.

Protecting Farmland & Working Forests with an expert from the American Farmland Trust and a forester who is one of the authors of the New York law that provides tax relief to forest owners. They will discuss how landowners can both protect land and maintain their livelihoods. 

Navigating through Local and State Government on the behind-the-scenes interplay that impacts land preservation. Learn about the roles of town and planning boards, assessors, and municipal regulating commissions, as well as the importance of local, county, and state zoning codes, open space plans, and tax codes.

Financial Incentives for Pro tecting Your Land explains the New York State and Federal tax benefits available to landowners and the many town, county, state and federal funding programs for land protection. 

Registration for the conference is $30, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. Members of town planning and zoning boards may register for $40 per person to earn two hours of training credit. To register, visit www.wallkillvalleylt.org, send payment to The Wallkill Valley Land Trust, PO Box 208, New Paltz, NY 12561, or call 845-255-2761. Same-day registration accepted if space is available.

 

 

 

bullet

Fire District and Town Board to Work Together

The three members of the Operations Committee formed by the Town Board on September 4, 2008 sent a letter to the Accord Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners to offer assistance in reviewing the current status of the Accord Fire District and Fire Department volunteer members in the context of the organization’s ability to serve the community, both in response to emergencies and in contingency planning for potential emergencies.  While recognizing the fact that the Board of Fire Commissioners is independent of the Town government and is separately elected by voters, the Operations Committee stated its hope that the Fire District would accept its invitation to work together to represent our town’s residents in an effort to work for the common good.  The committee, headed by Town Board member Tony Spano, hopes to meet privately and confidentially with members of the board and fire department volunteers to identify weaknesses and to recommend solutions as well as to help develop best practices and other efficiencies.  The other members of the Operations Committee are the Town’s emergency coordinator, Jerry Fornino, and deputy emergency coordinator Robert Garrett.

 

bullet

Assessor Identified 53 Homes not on Tax Roll

The town’s new assessor, Cindy Stokes, identified 53 new homes built since 2002 that did not appear on the town’s tax rolls at the Town Board’s September 25, 2008 meeting.  This figure does not include improvements and additions to existing properties.  The temporary assessor appointed earlier in the year, Mike Sommer, was supposed to provide such information prior to March 1, 2008 according to a copy of his service contract dated January 16, 2008 obtained under the Freedom of Information Law.  In addition, the Town Board had previously appointed Trish Kortright, now a candidate for Town Board, to be a data collector in the town to address discrepancies such as this.  According to a letter from the Town Clerk dated October 9, 2008, Ms. Kortright did not produce any records for the Town in her capacity as Data Collector.

 

Ms. Stokes recommended that the Town Board hire another part-time contract assessor with a “State Certified Advanced Assessor” qualification at an additional cost of $30,000 to help address these issues.  When the assessor position was vacant earlier this year, Town Board member Tavi Cilenti recommended that the Town hire an assessor with such qualification as the primary reason for hiring Mr. Sommer.  When the position again became vacant a month ago, such qualified assessors who had submitted applications were passed over in favor of Ms. Stokes, who has not yet been fully certified as an assessor.  Councilwoman Lynn Archer, who is seeking reelection this November, questioned the $30,000 expenditure in the absence of a long term plan for fixing the problems in the assessor’s office; the plan to hire the SCAA was tabled.

 

 

 

bullet

Rochester Resouces

 

When researching the meaning of the word "heritage," one finds it's not just about the past. It's a term companionable with history and the responsibility that current times have to maintain it.

Heritage presents continuity of traditions, family, residences and property. What it teaches helps facilitate the present and the future.

Friends of Historic Rochester knows precisely what the word, "heritage" stands for. A not-for-profit community organization started in 1987, its mission statement is "to promote appreciation and preservation of the historic heritage of the Town of Rochester."

 

However, the Friends of Historic Rochester wouldn't still be a beacon after 21 years without the dedicated assemblage of the many members and volunteers that have supported the cause.

Two such devoted ladies, Alice Schoonmaker, president of Friends; and Alice Cross, a motivated board member, have spent years performing pivotal roles in the organization. These ladies, although in constant consultation while sharing many responsibilities, insisted on letting people know, "There are many other faithful volunteers who are very active in Friends of Historic Rochester."

Friends of Historic Rochester credits Percy W. Gazlay and Eleanor S. Rosakranse as "two of the leading lights" of the organization. The Friends Museum located on Main Street in Accord is dedicated to these two pioneers. Schoonmaker was one of the original four founders. "Along with "Percy and Ellie," as she called them, "there was Margaret Miller and myself."

Although the town already had a Preservation Commission, of which Cross is chairman and Schoonmaker a member, the two work hand-in-hand. "We needed a community organization besides the Preservation Commission, which was concerned with preserving historic buildings," Schoonmaker said.

It was felt that Friends would be able to have a much wider range of activities, such as making a collection of family histories, whereas the commission's focus is to raise awareness about maintaining the historic nature of properties within the town.

Each resides in one of the township's 70-plus revered historic stone houses. Both Alices are history buffs with roots, literally, deep into town soil.

Cross and her husband, John, reared two children in a historic stone house, which is on the registry as part of the hamlet of Kyserike. "Many generations of my family have come from the Town of Rochester," she said. "My grandparents were the last to farm the land where we now live."

Actually reared in Southern California, Cross' heritage and "tap roots" in Rochester beckoned her to return to her ancestral land after college.

Schoonmaker, originally from Avon in New York's Livingston County, transplanted her roots from one rural farming community to another. "Avon was, and still is, a rural farming community like Accord," she said, adding her father farmed 200 acres.

She and her husband, Jack, live in the Schoonmaker Farmhouse, a 1797 stone house that goes back 12 generations. The couple raised their three children there and, to this day, the family and farmhands still farm upwards of 800 acres. Schoonmaker made sure to mention that she also has seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Cross is ceaselessly interested in history and antiques. "I'm fond of saying I think I am reincarnated from an earlier time!" said Cross, whose college major was history. She's substituted in both the Kingston and Rondout school districts for decades.

"I almost became a history teacher after high school," Schoonmaker said, "but I studied to be a medical secretary in college." She added that, after moving to Accord, her time was spent on farm responsibilities, raising her children and many community activities.

So what does Friends of Historic Rochester offer the community?

The original goal of gathering information, documents, books and oral histories has grown to a vast collection over the years and has transformed the museum into a repository of historical statistics. The museum features a special family genealogy research section, where members offer their services to help trace family roots. It contains memorabilia that chronicles the history of the town of Rochester, such as oratories recounting the "Old Days and Ways" and copies of the Cemetery Book, an inventory of more than 70 town cemeteries. There are notebooks with photographs and written material on many historic town assets such as stone, frame and brick houses, barns and other outbuildings, railroad stations, churches, and one- and two-room schoolhouses.

The museum's Picture Walls are replete with archival prints of old-time local postcards and photographs of buildings, people, and events - all with historical significance. Photos having anything to do with the history of the town are always welcomed, according to Cross. She also said photos are copied and framed, with the originals given back to the donors, although the museum does display originals, as well.

An extremely notable component of the museum is the Eleanor Rosakranse Genealogical Research Collection that the museum acquired after her death in 2005. "Needless to say, we are extremely grateful to the Rosakranse family for all their support," Cross said. And each Alice agreed that Rosakranse was one of the earliest and best members Friends has ever had. "Ellie's leadership was absolutely key and we miss her to this day," Cross said, with Schoonmaker echoing the sentiment.

Since 1989, Friends of Historic Rochester has published a quarterly publication, The Accordian. It is named after Dick Winslow's paper, published in the early 1900s. Cross is the editor and welcomes all written articles, photographs or designs for the issues.

The hundreds of Friends' members receive the publication as a membership benefit, but current and back copies can be purchased for $2.50 each. Issues are replete with local tidbits, history, rare facts and historically interesting information and photos. Archives of all past issues are on file at the museum.

In addition, the museum also houses resources for those interested in historic preservation. Although the museum is the headquarters for Friends, it's available as a meeting space for small groups from other town organizations.

On the western edge of the museum property is an ongoing tribute called The Memory Wall, honoring those who have appreciably contributed in some way to the township. It currently has 225 blocks etched with names of people and families from the early 1900s.

"These blocks are part of a fundraising effort," Cross said. "They show appreciation for being a devoted resident."

The blocks can be purchased as a gift for someone who has passed on or someone still alive. Grown to monumental proportions, the wall is quite picturesque and, at this time, crowned with a colorful assembly of potted begonias.

So who or what supports the Friends of Historic Rochester?

In addition to memory blocks and private monetary donations that "come from generous members who give beyond the level of dues," said Cross and Schoonmaker, individuals who use the museum's materials for genealogical or other research also make donations. In addition, they said the town provides annual grants in support of the museum as an asset and service for the town. They also said state Sen. John Bonacic has given member-item grants in support of the building construction and archival storage projects.

The sponsorship of many public events featuring local history is a major part of what Friends does to connect their offerings to the public. The organization's repertoire of activities includes Spring Heritage Day in May, and the upcoming Fall Heritage Day. This year, the latter event will take place Saturday from 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum at 112 Main St.

Heritage Day delights people of all ages and families with demonstrations, displays and local history items for sale. These include Native American artifacts, Revolutionary War militiamen and a wide assortment of heritage crafts. Local artists and authors also present their artistry.

There will be a presentation by Diagna Puglisi-Cilenti, who will share her knowledge of natural ways to health, healing, bug repelling, gardening and benefits acquired from knowledgeable use of native plants. In addition, the museum will be open for browsing to witness the displays of clothing, local artifacts, maps, books and much more. Help in researching family genealogy is available throughout the day.

Special activities for children are being sponsored by the Musketeers 4-H Club and the Town of Rochester Youth Commission. The event and parking are free, and food will be available for purchase at lunchtime. In addition, the museum is serving as a receiving point for non-perishable food donations to the Rochester Food Pantry, which is currently providing twice the amount of meals compared to last year.

This year, Fall Heritage Day kicks off a weekend of festivities. Oct. 5 is the Accord Fall Festival featuring the Tow Path run benefiting The Little Ones Learning Center, a pancake breakfast at the Accord Fire House from 8 to 11:30 a.m. that is hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Accord Fire Company and much more. Prices are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors, runners and youngsters ages 6 to 12. Admission is free for ages 5 and under.

Friends of Historic Rochester volunteers provide a four-season schedule, including genealogical research on Wednesdays from noon to 3 p.m. with Richard Rider assisting. For appointments call (845) 430-0956. For more information or to become a member of Friends, call Alice Schoonmaker at (845) 626-7104 or Alice Cross at (845) 687-9998, send an e-mail to FriendsHistRoch@aol.com" -or write to Friends of Historic Rochester, P.O. Box 229, Accord, N.Y. 12404. (Freeman 9/28/08

 

bullet

Bernardo Tax Deal Questioned

KINGSTON - Leonard Bernardo, the Republican candidate for Ulster County executive, suggested Tuesday "dirty tricks" were being used by Democrats after questions were raised about whether he has lived up to the promises he made to gain a tax break to open his roller skating rink.

The question of whether Skate Time 209 in Accord has met its employment projections was raised Tuesday by March Gallagher during a Governance Committee meeting of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency.

Gallagher said TLB Management, the name under which Bernardo operates Skate Time 209, is one of a dozen businesses that, by their own admission, haven't met employment promises made to gain financial benefits through the Industrial Development Agency.

Moreover, she said, she was told recently that the Skate Time 209 employs only one full-time worker and about 12 or 13 high school students on a part-time basis, not the 15 full-time equivalent positions Bernardo claimed in his 2007 filing with the agency, and shorter still of the 20 he promised when granted tax breaks by the agency.

The agency granted the business, which opened its doors in 2006, tax exemptions in excess of $100,000.

Gallagher, who is a member and former chairwoman of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, is a town of Saugerties Democratic Committee member and a staunch supporter of Michael Hein, the Democratic candidate for Ulster County Executive. Hein is currently the Ulster County administrator.

She said she brought the issue to the committee's attention to determine whether the agency should tighten its control over businesses to which it provides financial assistance.

Bernardo, an Independence Party member who has been tapped as a candidate for county executive by the GOP and Conservative parties, defended his business, accusing the Democrats of being more concerned with defeating him in the polls than of creating economic development in the county.

"It's incredible to me that they would use this as a political issue, ... just because I'm challenging the old guard," said Bernardo. "This is nothing more than IDA-gate. It's what (former Gov. Eliot) Spitzer tried to do with Troopergate, using the government to go after his political opponents."

When asked Tuesday, Bernardo was unable to give a exact accounting of the number of workers his business employs, but said "we have all kinds of kids working there."

"We have high school kids, college kids, we have 20-plus kids there."

Bernardo said the question of his business practices is the latest in a series of "dirty tricks" used by the Democrats, that include the omission of his business from the county's tourism guide. Tourism officials have said that omission was inadvertent and that a second roller skating facility in Ulster County was also left out of the guide.

Hein denied that his campaign orchestrated the Industrial Development Agency investigation or the omission of Bernardo's business from the tourism guide.

He called GOP claims that Democrats were trying to use the issue to gain a political advantage a red herring.

"It's a wonderful distraction technique," said Hein. "Rather than dealing with the core issue, which is Mr. Bernardo is using the taxpayers of Ulster County as his personal ATM, he has misrepresented his job creation versus what he promised."

"The fact of the matter is this is his only interaction with the (Industrial Development Agency) and he's one of the worst offenders," said Hein.  (Freeman 10/1/08)

 

bullet

Kerhonkson man charged with punching deputy

 

 

 

KERHONKSON - A Kerhonkson man was jailed after punching a sheriff's deputy in the face and attempting to take the deputy's firearm during an investigation into a violent assault, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Ray W. Burkard, 56, of 21 Upper Cherrytown Road, was charged with felony assault, felony tampering with physical evidence, and the misdemeanors of resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and assault. He was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

Police responded to a 911 report of a violent assault at Burkard's residence shortly before midnight Tuesday and found a woman with obvious injuries who said that Burkard had assaulted her, deputies said. When deputies contacted Burkard, he had a quantity of marijuana, which he attempted to flush down a toilet. Burkard then became aggressive towards deputies, and struck a deputy in the face and tried to remove the deputy's gun, deputies said. During the struggle before he was subdued, Burkard's arm was broken.

The assaulted woman refused medical treatment, deputies said. The deputy, who was not identified, was treated for facial injuries and released, and Burkard was sent to the Ellenville Regional Hospital for treatment. He was then sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Deputies were assisted by state police.  (Freeman 10/17/08)

 

bullet

Man who admitted role in teen’s death gets up to ten years in prison.

KINGSTON - In an emotional court proceeding on Tuesday, former Ulster County resident Alexander Barsky was sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison for the 1996 bludgeoning death of teenager Joseph Martin.

More than three dozen people gathered in the small first-floor courtroom at the Ulster County Courthouse in Uptown Kingston, including family members and friends of Martin and two relatives of Daniel Malak, who were there to support Martin's family. Barsky has said Malak, who's serving prison time for an unrelated murder, was the mastermind behind the plot that caused Martin's death, though Malak has not been charged.

During the 45-minute proceeding on Tuesday, Barsky, now 27, apologized to Martin's family for his role in Martin's death more than 12 years ago.

Turning to Martin's relatives and friends, Barsky placed one of his shackled hands over his heart and said he was "deeply sorry" for taking Martin's life.

 

"I was always torn up," Barsky said in a halting voice, thick with emotion. "I am so sorry.

"If there was one night in my whole life I could take back, I would absolutely undo that night."

Ulster County Judge J. Michael Bruhn said he "rarely, if ever" had seen a defendant turn to a victim's family and make such a sincere apology for the pain he caused.

Martin, who was 15 at the time, left his family's Samsonville home the night of March 25, 1996, to meet Barsky and Malak, who he knew from Rondout Valley High School, for a night of comet watching. But Martin never came home, and his disappearance remained unsolved until this past spring.

In early May, police revisiting the case went to Barsky's New York City home to reinterview him. Barsky confessed, and he was arrested.

Barsky initially was charged with second-degree murder, though he was allowed to plead guilty in mid-August to the lesser charge of manslaughter - an admission that he intended to harm, but not kill, Martin. At the time of his plea, he also agreed to testify against Malak if the alleged co-conspirator is tried in the case.

Bruhn said on Tuesday that despite Barsky's remorse, justice had to be served, and the judge sentenced the defendant to 3-1/3 to 10 years in state prison - the maximum allowed for a juvenile convicted of first-degree manslaughter. (Barsky was three months shy of his 16 birthday when Martin was killed.)

"Under all the circumstances here, it really is pretty clear, Mr. Barsky, that you must receive the maximum," Bruhn said from the bench.

That judge's pronouncement was met with quiet cheers and applause from Martin's friends and family members in the courtroom.

Barsky said at his plea hearing in August that he and Malak intended to "hurt" Martin because Martin stole money from Barsky a few days earlier. He also said it was Malak who ultimately devised the plan lure Martin to a makeshift cabin in the woods, and it was Malak who struck the first blows to Martin's head with a pipe.

Barsky told police that he, Malak and Martin drank beer and smoked marijuana in the cabin before Malak struck Martin twice in the back of the head. Barsky said he then struck the unconscious Martin with the pipe twice more.

Lance Lightstone, Martin's stepfather, said the family doesn't believe Barsky's claim. He said Barsky was out for "revenge" because Martin was smarter, more handsome and more popular than Barsky, and that Malak was simply Barsky's weapon of choice.

"Joe would still be alive were it not for Alex's actions," Lightstone said. "Daniel would not have participated in Joe's murder alone.

"Alex orchestrated the events, in my opinion, from start to finish," he added.

Emily Martin, Joseph's younger sister, said to Barsky in court on Tuesday: "Alex, you came to our anniversary gatherings ... you witnessed our grief. How could you be so numb and so ruthless?"

Nick Kirshy, who described himself as one of Martin's best friends, added: "What gives you the right to stand here and breath the air you took out of Joey? To take somebody's life and only get 10 years for it is wrong."

Following the proceeding, Martin's mother, Cathaleen Martin-Lightstone, rejected Barsky's apology as simply being designed to gain sympathy from the court.

"I don't believe anything he said," she said. "He just got caught."

Martin-Lightstone said the family will hold a community memorial service for her son from 2-8 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Rochester Company 2 Firehouse on Samsonville Road in Kerhonkson.

Because Barsky returned years later to the wooded site where Martin's body was hidden - to retrieve the remains and later dump them in garbage cans around Brooklyn - the family has no remains to bury, Martin-Lightstone said. Instead, they will have a memory box in which community members can place mementos. (Freeman 10/7/08)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bullet

Bradford Graves’ work to be shown

Work of the late Kerhonkson sculptor Bradford Graves, in bronze, clay and digital, will be exhibited at the Gallery Link at the Ellenville Public Library and Museum, 40 Center Street, Ellenville through September 30.  An Exhibit reception will take place on Saturday, September 20 from 12:00 noon to 2pm.  For more information visit www.rcls.org/epl or call 647-5530.

 

bullet

GREEN PIZZA fundraiser for Family Farm Festival.

@ Epworth Retreat Center on Lucas Turnpike (2.3 miles south of Rt. 213 junction).

Directions:  http://www.epworthcenter.com/directions.html

ALL YOU CAN EAT

Hand crafted pizzas from wood-fired oven.

Dessert pizza included.

Local farm ingredients.

LIVE MUSIC

Tours of permaculture garden.

Straw Bale house tour.

$20 adult; $10 kids (6 and under free).

Questions> 845-626-2317 (Linda and Todd).

 

 

 

bullet

UPCOMING LITTLE ONES LEARNING CENTER EVENTS

 

TRUCK DAY -  Saturday, September 20,  10AM to Noon,  Rochester Reformed Church Parking Lot

    The Little Ones Learning Center will be having its annual Truck Day on Saturday, September 20th.  Children of all ages are welcome to come, climb on, or just look at trucks of all kinds including  a dump truck, fire truck, cement mixer,  tow trucks and many more.  There will be truck stories and crafts.  This free event is one of our best attended.  Rain date is September 27th.

   

TOWPATH RUN

    The Little Ones Learning Center, a non-profit early literacy center for children ages 0-6 located in the Rochester Reformed Church in Accord, is conducting the TOWPATH RUN on Sunday, October 5 to raise funds.  The 6K(3.7 mile) race will be run point to point from Alligerville to Accord.  The race will be run along Towpath Road, up the hill from the actual towpath used for ferrying boats along the former D & H Canal.  Accord and Alligerville were stops on the canal, and the race is part of a heritage celebration Oct 4 and 5 in the Town of Rochester.

    Runners and walkers will meet at the Accord Community Center to register from 7:30 - 8:30 AM.  Participants will be bussed to Alligerville for the run back to Accord.  Walkers will start at 9 AM, runners at 9:15. There will be no parking in Alligerville and all runners and walkers will be bussed to the start from Accord.

    Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the following age groups:  15 & under; 16-18; open; seniors(50 and over);  Town of Rochester residents; walkers; and scholastic teams of 4.  The cost is $15 by September 29th, $18 day of the race, $50 per scholastic team.

    Registration forms may be downloaded from the Little Ones Learning Center website at www.littleoneslearningcenter.org.  For more information contact Bond Brungard at 845-626-5670 or towpathrun@gmail.com.

 

    The Ladies Auxiliary of the Accord Fire Company will be having a Pancake Breakfast on October 5th also - from 8-11:30 AM at the Accord Fire House.  Prices are $6 for adults; $5 for seniors, runners and 6-12; free for 5 and under.  

 

    Come out, enjoy the race, and have a great breakfast while supporting your local organizations. 

 

bullet

TWO DAY INDOOR FLEA MARKET & CRAFT SALE

Sat. Sept. 20 - 10am to 7pm and Sun. Sept. 21 - 11am to 4 pm, St. Peter's School Hall off Rte 213 & Keator Ave, Rosendale.

Free Admission.  Refreshments Available. Space Available. Many different vendors with lots of interesting items. For more information, call Carol at 845-687-7735

 

 

bullet

Accord Resident Rob Norris to play at Carnegie Hall

Richard Barone with Special Guests and Legendary Friends

FRONTMAN: A Musical Reading

A Benefit Concert for WFUV 90.7 FM Public Radio from Fordham University

Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 7:30 PM

Tickets from $28.50 - $48.50 

Featuring Richard Barone -- with: Nick Celeste, Vocals and Guitar; Anthony DeCurtis, Joyce DeWitt, Terre Roche, Suzzy Roche, Vin Scelsa, and Mick Rock, Spoken Word; Ryan Geller and Vernon Reid, Guitar; Steve Holley, Drums and Percussion; Rob Norris, Bass; Janice Pendarvis, Vocals; Jane Scarpantoni, Cello; Randy Brecker, Trumpet; Johnny Rodgers, Piano; and Moby

Special appearance by The Bongos. Additional guest artists to be announced...

Tickets at http://www.carnegiehall.org/article/box_office/events/evt_12547.html?selecteddate=10012008

 

 

 

 

 

bullet

FALL FESTIVAL IN ACCORD

OCTOBER 4TH AND 5TH

 

Accord – The festive weekend begins with a day full of activities at the Museum, 12 Main Street, Accord on Saturday, October 4th.  Sunday’s schedule includes a breakfast and a race.  Several different community organizations are cooperating in the presentation of this Festival which promises to provide plenty of fun for everyone.

        The ANNUAL FALL HERITAGE DAY sponsored by FRIENDS OF HISTORIC ROCHESTER is scheduled for Saturday, October 4th between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Museum on Main Street.  Visitors will find demonstrations, displays, and sale of a variety of items related to local history including Native American artifacts, Revolutionary War militiamen, and a variety of heritage crafts.  Local artists and authors are invited to present their works.

        A fascinating feature of the day will be presentation by Diana Puglisi-Cilenti of her knowledge of natural ways to health, healing, bug repelling, gardening, and other benefits which can be gained from intelligent use of native plants.

        Inside the Museum are extensive materials relative to local history.  Additionally, help in researching family genealogy will be available throughout the day.

        Special activities for children are being sponsored by the MUSKETEERS 4-H CLUB and the TOWN OF ROCHESTER YOUTH COMMISSION.

        Food will be available for purchase at lunch time.  There is no admission to Fall Heritage Day, and parking is free.

        In the spirit of this community festival, the Museum is serving as a receiving point for donations to the ROCHESTER FOOD PANTRY on October 4th.  The RFP currently is providing double the meals as compared to last year.  Requested items are: boxed macaroni & cheese, pancake mix/syrup, cereal, peanut butter/jelly, canned juices, fruits, vegetables, soups/crackers, canned pork & beans, pastas/sauces, tuna fish/mayonnaise.  The RFP’s message is, “Please join us in helping to keep our shelves stocked by bringing a donation with you on Saturday, October 4th.”

        The Fall Festival schedule of events for Sunday, October 5th, includes the Towpath Run and a Pancake Breakfast.

        The TOWPATH RUN is for the purpose of raising funds for the LITTLE ONES LEARNING CENTER, a non-profit early literacy center for children ages 0-6 located at the Rochester Reformed Church in Accord.  The 6K (3.7 miles) race will be run (or walked) from Alligerville to Accord.  Runners or walkers will meet at the Accord Community Center to register from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.  Participants will be bussed to Alligerville for the run back to Accord.  Registration forms may be downloaded from the Little Ones Learning Center website at www.littleoneslearingcenter.org. For more information, contact Bond Brungard at 845-626-5670 or towpathrun@gmail.com.                                        .

        Also on Sunday, October 5th, the LADIES AUXILIARY OF THE ACCORD FIRE COMPANY will be having a PANCAKE BREAKFAST from 8-11:30 a.m. at the Accord Fire House.  Prices are: $6. for adults; $5. for seniors, runners and ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and under.  “Please come out, enjoy the race, and have a great breakfast while supporting your local organizations.”

 

bullet

Swastika painted on Kerhonkson Synagogue

The Kerhonkson Synagogue now has a discolored blot of paint on its door to cover a swastika that was spray painted on that spot between Friday night and Saturday morning, according to Synagogue President Goldie Goldberg.

She said the swastika was visible from the road but was painted over as soon as police finished photographing it Saturday morning.

"It was distasteful to say the least," said Goldberg. "Of course, that's the reason it was done - it's very offensive."

The incident is being investigated by the Ulster County Sheriff's Office, but the detective in charge of the case could not be reached for comment Tuesday or Wednesday.

"It's nice to think maybe it was just some stupid kids," rather than that it was motivated by someone who hates her congregation, said Golberg. She estimated is comprised of between 40 and 50 families.

Goldberg learned of the graffiti when the postmaster called her and informed her that he overheard people talking about it at the post office Saturday morning.  (Freeman 9/4/08)

 

 

 

 

bullet

Police still following leads in Ulster slaying

Police have yet to make arrests in the separate slayings of a Kerhonkson man and Catskill woman who were found dead in late July.

The body of Michael Kleiman, 59, of Kerhonkson was found in a burning truck in a wooded area of East Kingston on July 25. Two days later, Martha Conners, 48, was found buried on her property on Old Kings Road in Catskill, killed by a gunshot to the head.

There's "nothing new to report," said Ulster Police Chief Paul Watzka, who is leading the investigation into Kleiman's death. "We're working this case on a daily basis."

The Ulster Police Department, Ulster County Sheriff's Office, Kingston City Police, and state police are all involved in the investigation.

"We've interviewed way in excess of 500 people," Watkza said. "One interview leads to another. Hopefully something breaks soon."

Watzka was tight-lipped about details, and would not comment on reports that the man had been decapitated. He said only that the body was "burned beyond recognition" when discovered. An autopsy was performed on the body, and DNA tests confirmed Kleiman's identity, but Watzka has not released the cause of death.

Police have released a photograph of Kleiman, as well as a photograph of a truck similar to the one in which the body was found, and the license plate number to the Nissan pickup registered to Kleiman: CGE 5199.

Watzka has said that whoever killed Kleiman probably knew him, and that police believe Kleiman was killed somewhere else and brought to the site where the vehicle was set on fire.

Watzka would has not commented on a possible motive for the killing or whether investigators have identified suspects.

The truck was found by firefighters in a wooded area off First Avenue near a popular swimming area, after responding to a 911 dispatch reporting smoke coming from the woods. The area where the body was found is on the site of a proposed large-scale housing development called The Landing, which would straddle the town of Ulster-city of Kingston border.

Police are still seeking anyone who saw Kleiman or might have talked to him before his death. Anyone with information should call (845) 382-1111, or (845) 336-3784. (Freeman 9/5/08)

 

bullet

Rondout Valley board sets school tax rates

ACCORD - The Rondout Valley Board of Education has adopted the 2008-09 tax warrant resolution, which authorizes the collection of $32,461,041 in taxes from property owners in the district.

The total amount to be generated by taxes is 1.85 percent higher than in 2007-08 and is part of the $59 million budget that district voters approved in May.

According to data provided by the school district's business office, the total assessed property value in the district is $1,865,141,216. The district will collect $14,412,702 from Marbletown, $12,942.217 from Rochester, $3,815,777 from Rosendale and $1,587,345 from Wawarsing.

Tax rates per $1,000 of assessed property value are as follows.

* Marbletown: $15.78, down from $15.99 in 2007-08, a decrease of 1.31 percent.

* Rochester: $17.37, up from $16.52, an increase of 5.7 percent.

* Rosendale: $17.16, down from $18.14, a decrease of 5.4 percent.

* Wawarsing: $941.64, up from $849.84, an increase of 10.8 percent (Freeman 9/4/08)

 

bullet

Town Board Offers Assistance to Fire District and Firefighters

In response to community concerns about recent tensions between the Accord Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners and volunteer members of the Accord, Samsonville and Alligerville fire companies, the Town Board established an Operations Committee at its September 4th Town Board meeting.  The Committee, which was proposed by Councilman Tony Spano, will consist of Spano in his capacity as liaison to the Fire Districe, Jerry Fornino, the Town’s emergency coordinator, and Robert Garrett, the deputy emergency coordinator.  The new committee will seek to identify the needs of the various fire companies and work with members of the Fire Commission on a voluntary basis to establish protocols for requisitioning new equipment, maintenance and training requirments. 

 

bullet

No Leads on Metal Stolen from Town

Metal parts owned by the Town’s Highway Department to be used to repair three Rochester bridges worth approximately $35,000 was stolen in mid-July.  The metal had been stored near Town Hall.  According to town officials, who speculated that the thieves sold the metal for scrap, an insurance claim was filed.  Any information relating to the theft should be reported to the Ulster County Sheriff’s office.  At a July 31 Town Board meeting, Councilwoman Manuela Mihailescu stated that she was surprised to read about the theft in the Ulster County Press rather than from Supervisor Carl Chipman.

 

bullet

Rochester Zoning Task Force Still Won’t Allow Public Comment

According to an August 1, 2008 Blue Stone Press article, the Town’s Zoning Task Force’s chair, David O’Halloran, stated that the group has not taken official minutes and stated that a discussion with the Town’s attorney confirmed that the group is not required to do so.  Recent discussion topics included the size of the Accord hamlet district and whether to include several large parcels totaling about 300 acres should remain in the district, as well as the status of an abandoned quarry across from Town Hall.  Vice Chair Mike Baden suggested that the group should consider including light manufacturing as a permitted use within the hamlet, however, member Robert Rominger pointed out the “if you want to revitalize the hamlet district with shops and residential uses, you don’t want to have light manufacturing uses,” and no change was made.  Other topics discussed including the residential zoning density of the Mettacahonts and Alligerville hamlets (one acre, half and acre with sewage facilities), and the Route 209 corridor, which is designated as an agricultural business district.  Future meetings will take place on September 22, October 6, and October 20th.

 

Rochester Democrats Designate Lynn Archer as Town Board Candidate

The Rochester Democratic Party designated Lynn Archer as the Democratic candidate for Town Board in the special election this November.  Archer, who is the owner of Archer Fine Art and Framing in High Falls, was appointed for one year by the Town Board in December 2007 to fill a vacant seat formerly held by Alex Miller, who resigned with two years remaining on his term.  If elected in November, Archer will fill the remainder of Miller’s term, which expires on December 31, 2009.  Archer, a resident of Accord, has also been endorsed by the Independence and Working Families Parties.  The Republican Party is expected to designate its candidate at a nominating caucus on September 9th.

 

bullet

Rochester Appoints New Assessor

On August 7th the Town Board appointed Cindy Stokes, currently the New Paltz Assessor’s aide to the Assessor’s position for a term expiring September 30, 2013.  Stokes replaces Michael Sommer who was twice appointed to the Assessor’s position, first as a temporary contract employee at a monthly salary of $5,000, then as permanent assessor in May 2008.  He concurrently served as assessor in three other municipalities.  When Sommer was appointed to the permanent position, a member of the Town Board stated that the reason for his appointment was his qualification as having an accreditation held by only 100 assessors in New York State;  Stokes, who is pursuing certification, is expected to obtain certification within one year.

 

Separately, the town defended two small claims complaints filed to challenge property assessments on August 15th.  One was from the owner/operator of a commercial trailer park and the other was from a Kerhonkson resident.  The court has not yet made a determination on the outcome of the cases.

 

bullet

Town Board Waives Woodburning/Pellet Stove Permit Fees

After a discussion at the August Town Board about the rising cost of heating oil and the adverse impact prices would have on residents, the Town Board, at Councilwoman Lynn Archer’s suggestion, voted to waive permit for woodburning and pellet stove permits.  By waiving fees, the Town is encouraging residents to properly install such stoves and to have them inspected by the town’s building inspector to ensure that no fire hazards are created.  The waiver expires on April 30, 2009. 

 

bullet

 Out of the ashes, a local forest is reborn

New species appear in Minnewaska after April fire

By

Times Herald-Record

September 07, 2008 6:00 AM

It started with a nice view and the flick of a cigarette. Maybe a hiker enjoying the dry April weather, maybe a motorist idling on the rocky scenic overlook — no matter. The butt ignited the belly of a forest that hadn't burned in some 60 years, and by the time park rangers and firefighters corralled the flames, more than 3,000 acres of Shawangunk Ridge wildland were charred.

Folks cried tragedy. From Catskill locals to their Hudson Valley neighbors to Manhattan tourists — everyone wanted to know how this could happen here, in one of the state's finest preserves?

"A lot of people saw this and thought, 'Oh my God, this is a disaster,'" said Gabriel Chapin, a forest and fire ecologist with The Nature Conservancy in Cragsmoor. "There was nothing about this fire that was a disaster."

Touring the scorched mountaintops recently, Chapin and a group of local biologists were excited by the opportunities the spring forest fire left behind.

See this sassafras, with its mitten-shaped leaves?

Park staff have never seen so much.

And the witch hazel and the wintergreen and the Indian cucumber root?

"We have more of it than we ever did," said John Thompson, a natural resources specialist with the Mohonk Preserve. "Some species are already responding to the openings on the forest floor."

The burned acreage has also attracted rare birds, such as scarlet tanagers and Canada warblers, plus porcupines, bears, bobcats and rattlesnakes. It's an influx of biodiversity that's drawn scientists to the site all summer.

Problems in the preserve

This fire triggered "a certain level of excitement," said Laura Conner, an environmental educator with the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. "(Park staff) knew there was a lot of fuel load in the park," she said. "Everybody was sort of waiting for this to happen."

The northern Shawangunk Ridge spans nearly 40,000 acres of largely undeveloped pitch pine barrens and rocky summits, chestnut oak forests and heath. To an untrained eye, the expanse looks magnificent and wild, but park experts detect problems in the preserve.

Top among them: the disappearance of the oak trees. Over the last few decades, this towering ridge staple has been pressured by drought, insects and other types of vegetation.

"The future of our oak forest is looking rather bleak," said Thompson. "There isn't a lot of oak regeneration here. We're getting a lot of red maple and sweet gum instead."

Oak seedlings need plenty of sunlight to get started on the rocky forest floor, but increasing spreads of thick mountain laurel and hardier deciduous trees have created much denser, darker growing conditions.

The spring forest fire not only scorched heavy shrubs and underbrush but killed some of the competing trees, letting sunshine bathe the forest floor again. With their hard, tough bark and deep roots, many oaks survived the blaze and reproduced.

That doesn't mean the oak forest will make a comeback.

"But it will be interesting to watch and see if they recover," said Thompson. "This fire sets back the clock, to a certain point, so (the oaks) will have a second chance."

The blaze consumed nearly 3,100 acres over five days. With higher winds and lower humidity, it could easily have jumped its fire breaks, injuring crews, ruining homes and engulfing twice as much land.

Building a better fire

A manageable forest fire has flames no more than four feet high. In the Shawangunks, reports measured flames as high as 90 feet, with a deafening sizzle like water on bacon grease. In some spots, the blaze was tall and hot enough to damage power lines.

Fire ecologist Chapin was one of hundreds on the scene, struggling to establish fire breaks around the inferno. Crews used existing roads and trails as perimeters, lighting small fires designed to eat up all the fuel ahead of the big one. Their defenses held, but next time, the park may not be so lucky.

Hiking through the forest's quarantined burn unit, Chapin pointed to a black huckleberry shrub. Some folks call it "kerosene bush," he said, because its resin is so flammable.

He thinks the state should consider prescribed burns as part of its fire management plan. Lighting smaller, more frequent fires in park lands can minimize the amount of duff — layers of rotting plant matter — in the forests, enrich the soil and maintain a better balance.

"Like a drug prescription, the controlled burns are very specific to the symptoms and needs of the forest," he said.

The Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership, a team of 10 non-profit and public groups, is working with local communities to develop a better fire management plant — one that includes prescribed burns. The Partnership has already staged controlled forest fires on about 60 acres in the Mohonk Preserve.

Last week, a group of ecologists scrambled up a rocky slope off Route 44/55, near the spot where investigators think the fire started. They spent the afternoon debating forest management techniques and carefully studying signs of "green-up," or recovery, in the park.

Even here, where the tree bark looks like burnt toast and rubs off black on the scientists' fingers, there are bright new pine needles dangling from brittle stems.

Emerald candelabras, Thompson calls them, snapping a picture.

On the way out, he bends down to pick up some trash.

He comes up with a fresh book of matches. (TH-Record 9/7/08)

 

 

 

bullet

Traffic stop yields stolen diamond rings

TOWN OF ROCHESTER - A Brooklyn man who was driving drunk with two stolen diamond rings is in jail following a traffic stop on U.S. Route 209, state police at Wawarsing said.

At 8:50 p.m. Monday, police stopped Timothy Best, 42, of 124 Humboldt St., as he traveled south on Route 209 with only one headlight illuminated. A check of the vehicle's license plates revealed that the plates had been stolen from a damaged vehicle at C&J Auto in Rochester.

Police arrested Best for drunken driving, then found him to be in possession of two diamond rings, together valued at $4,700, that had been reported stolen from Camp Rov Tov on Martinfeldt Road in the town of Rochester.

Best was charged with the felonies of grand larceny and possession of stolen property and the misdemeanors of drunken driving, possession of stolen property and petit larceny. He was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $2,000 bail. (Freeman 9/5/08)

 

 

bullet

Motorcyclist runs off road, hits tree

ACCORD - An Accord motorcyclist was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital after losing control of her vehicle and crashing into a small tree Tuesday, the Ulster County Sheriff's Office said.

Police said Caroll Ulbrich, 47, failed to negotiate a sharp curve on Queens Highway near Boodle Hole Road at about 5:23 p.m. She was treated at the scene by the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue squad, then taken by helicopter to the Poughkeepsie hospital. Police said she had multiple non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies were assisted on the scene by state police at Wawarsing, the Accord Fire Co. and Mobile Life Paramedics.  (Freeman 8/1/08)

 

bullet

Contact information for Emergency Services

Ulster County Sheriff: Accord Branch, www.co.ulster.ny.us/sheriff , 911 Emergencies 845-626-2233
Accord Fire District    911 Emergencies, 845-626-3707  
Alligerville Fire Company       911, Emergencies 845-687-9669  
Rochester #1 Fire Co. (Accord)  911, Emergencies 845-626-2231  
Rochester #2 Fire Co. (Samsonville)     911, Emergencies 845-626-7320  
Kerhonkson Fire Co.     911 Emergencies, 845-626-7455  
Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Station www.kafas.us, 911 Emergencies, 845-626-7800 

Department of Environmental Conservation <http://www.dec.ny.gov/>
845-256-3000 (Region 3 Office)        

 

bullet

Letters

 

Dear Editor:

 

My wife Hillary Thing and I wish to thank our exceptional Rondout Valley community, neighbors, and friends.

 

On Sunday afternoon, July 27, during a brief but fierce storm, lightning struck our house and set it afire. During the next several months, half the 1850 farmhouse will be demoed and eventually reconstructed, and the rest of the house gutted and restored. We don’t miss the things; we miss the home and the place in which we wish to raise a family and spend the rest of our lives. Still, we are fortunate and blessed.

 

When lightning hit, we were on our way back from a rained out RVGA Farm Tour. Had we been there, one of us likely would have been hurt. An anonymous neighbor followed the smoke trail and called 911 (This may have been husband and daughter of Lisa Golden in Kerhonkson – we tried to track them down.). Luckily, firefighters from the Accord, Napanoch, and Kripplebush departments as well as the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad arrived quickly. Without delay, they entered the house, rescued our cat, Mickey, and contained the fire best they could – keeping much of the original 1850 structure in tact. We arrived home as they extinguished the flames, and the firefighters’ genuine sympathy moved us despite the decimation.  Neighbor Jill Shufeldt promptly took and cared for Mickey that evening, and Ted Fina patched our roof.

 

Several neighbors – especially Diane and Tavi Cilenti, Zali Win, Marge and Ron Bonner, and Lynn Archer—readily offered or tried to find us alternative long-term living quarters, and neighbors George Turkel, Ken Greene, and Doug Muller rolled up their sleeves to help almost every day immediately following the fire. Carrie and Michael Schapker, Lowell Thing, Jill Shufeldt, Thomas Sandbichlet, Che, and D.J. Miller also  sorted through, packed, and inventoried destroyed stuff. George Turkel also has volunteered to help supervise the house reconstruction. Holly Anne Shelowitz (of Nourishing Wisdom) brought us lunch, gathered clothes, and rounded up funds to alleviate some immediate expenses and lost income. The Rochester Residents Association contributed a generous donation, and neighbors John Krenek, Tom Ratekin, and Gerry Fontinino brought full bags of clothes. Numerous others have offered help and space.

 

Our adjuster Wade Fleming, Service Master, and Allways Moving have each helped the process go smoothly so far.  

 

We’re still shocked and disoriented, but we are blessed to live in this community. Thank you to each of you.

 

Jeff Davis

Accord

bullet

Owners of burned home rue their loss 

A day after a fire apparently caused by a lightning strike damaged his Accord house, Jeffrey Davis has not "gone through the 'why me' phase yet" but is instead trying to look at the experience like it is a test. 
Accord Fire Chief William Farrell said the two-alarm blaze broke out at about 2 p.m. Sunday at the single-family home at 156 Upper Whitfield Road, at which Davis lived with his wife, Hillary Thing. 
Firefighters arrived quickly because they were at sites of downed wires in the neighborhood, Farrell said, but flames were already shooting out of the roof area and near a living room/office area of the home by the time they showed up. 
Nonetheless, 20 minutes later, the flames were extinguished. 
Davis compared the resulting damage to "losing a core organ and a mother at the same time" because, in addition to the fact that "irreplaceable items" were lost, "we love that place." 
The couple moved into the 150-year-old house two years ago from Woodstock and they were married there about one year ago, Davis said, adding, "We still plan to live there for the rest of our lives." For now the couple is staying with Thing's father, Lowell. 
The damage, he said, is concentrated in the den and study areas, with smoke damage throughout the house. Davis said he was going to meet with a cleanup crew at his home, survey the damage and meet with the insurance adjuster Monday night, but even though he is counting on the insurance money to repair the house, some items cannot be replaced by money. 
Davis, a "creative nonfiction" and poetry writer, said he lost 15 notebooks full of his writings and potentially his computer. Though he had not yet accounted for everything that had been lost and said the couple will likely remember missing personal items over time, Davis noted his wedding photos were salvaged. 
Davis said he has always loved Ulster County because it is "full of good people," noting friends and neighbors have been reaching out to him and his wife, who works at Earthbound Herbs and Acupuncture on Broadway in Kingston, to offer any help they can. 
He also praised the fire departments for their efforts, calling extinguishing the fire "a good save-it could easily have been down to the ground." 
"The firefighters were great," said Davis. "You could feel their sympathy when you looked into their faces." (Freeman 7/29/08)

bullet

Police believe East Kingston murder victim was killed elsewhere 
TOWN OF ULSTER - Police believe that a man found burned in a truck in East Kingston was killed by some other means somewhere else and brought to the site where firefighters found the vehicle ablaze. 
Police Chief Paul Watzka said Monday it is the belief of investigators that the man, who has not been positively identified, was not killed in the area of First Avenue where his body was found inside a burned Nissan pickup. 
"We think that he was killed someplace else," Watzka said. 
However, Watzka would not say whether police know where the killing actually took place. He said investigators have suspicions about how the man was killed, but would not reveal those hunches. 
Watzka said more information will be released once tests are completed, but police do believe that the man was killed before his body was burned "beyond recognition" in the truck on Friday. 
Watzka said the investigation is attempting to determine how the victim ended up at the East Kingston spot. It was unclear whether the Nissan was driven to the site with the victim's body inside, Watzka said. 
On Monday, police released a photograph of Michael Kleiman, 59, of Kerhonkson, who is the registered owner of the burned Nissan truck. They also released a photograph of a truck similar to the one in which a body was found. 
Additionally, Watzka had urged anyone who knows Kleiman, who works as a nurse at a Westchester County children's rehabilitation center, or who had seen him prior to the truck fire or after to call police at (845) 382-1111 or (845) 336-3784, the tip line. 
Watzka said that police received a few calls on Monday but they were not very useful to the investigation. He said none of the callers had seen Kleiman in recent days, but that they were familiar with him. Kleiman has relatives living in Westchester County and in New York City, Watzka said. 
Watzka continue to urge that the public call with any information. 
Police also released the license plate number to the pickup registered to Kleiman. The number is CGE 5199. 
Watzka has said DNA testing is being done on the body found in the Nissan truck. He said police would not positively identify the victim until that testing was completed. Watzka said that could take about six weeks. 
Watzka has said that Kleiman "may have been in the area" some time prior to the truck being found. 
Watzka said the area is a location of a popular swimming hole but that police had no indication that Kleiman had been swimming there. 
The East Kingston Fire Department found the body in the truck when it responded to a report of a fire in the wooded area of state Route 32 at about 2:30 p.m. Friday. Watzka said part of the investigation is focusing on why the truck was set aflame in the middle of the afternoon in an area where it was almost certain to be seen. 
He said that his department is conducting the investigation with assistance from the state police, the Ulster County Sheriff's Office, Kingston police, and the Ulster County District Attorney's Office. (Freeman 7/29/08)

bullet

Rochester Assessor Resigns... Again
After serving as Rochester’s assessor for only seven months, Michael Sommer has resigned from the position, effective August 1st. Sommer was first appointed in January 2008 as an acting assessor after Assessor Daniel Baker resigned in December 2007; Baker was appointed in September 2007 after Sharon Hornbeck was not re-appointed by the Town Board upon the expiration of her third six-year term. 
Sommer’s appointment was controversial because he also served simultaneously as assessor in three other municipalities (Wawarsing, Ellenville and Denning). Because of his official duties in those three municipalities, Sommer was not able to be present on Rochester’s Tax Grievance Day as required by law and resigned from the $5,000 per month job as Rochester’s acting assessor for a one week period in May. He was subsequently re-appointed as the town’s Assessor effective one week later. The Town Board publicly solicited interest from potential candidates for the full-time position.


bullet

Airport Planned for Samsonville Subdivision
Kerhonkson developer John Dawson has submitted plans to the Planning Board to convert his subdivision off Dawson Road on Samsonville Road near the Olive line to an aviation-friendly fly in residential subdivision. Plans call for a 1,500 grass runway that would be available for the use of homeowners in the subdivision. While Dawson has represented that no FAA approval is required, other local airstrips in Rochester and the surrounding area have been closed by the Department of Homeland Security because of security concerns. Neighbors of the as-yet-undeveloped subdivision have voiced opposition to the plan citing noise and safety concerns. A public hearing has not yet been scheduled. Information on Dawson’s proposal is available online at http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/Dawson.htm

bullet

Board of Assessment Review’s Grievance Day Report
The Board of Assessment Review conducted its annual Grievance Day on May 27th. Of the 47 complains received by the BAR, 26 resulted in reduced assessments. Assessments of certain properties where it was determined that those properties were adversely affected by their proximity to the noise, dust and excessive traffic associated with certain types of businesses, including gravel mines, due to the negative effect on the properties’ saleability. The BAR’s report included several recommendations including (1) Assessor keep regular office hours, (2) Assessor’s Office keep a detailed correspondence log and acknowledge receipt of all correspondence, and (3) publish tax roll on the Town website. The full report is available online at
http://www.townofrochester.net/Pages/RochesterNY_BComm/boar/BAR%20Grievance%20Day%202008%20Report-Final.pdf

bullet

Metal Stolen from Town; Golf Cart too.
Culvert pipes and other metal purchased by the Highway Department for road construction was stolen from behind Town Hall last month. The estimated value was approximately $30,000. In a separate incident, thieves cut through a fence at the community center to steal a golf cart that is used by the Youth Commission. No word on the recovery of any of these items.

bullet

Wal-Mart reveals plans for store in Wawarsing
WAWARSING — Wal-Mart unveiled plans to the town this week for a 130,000-square-foot superstore on Route 209 with hopes to open in spring 2010.
The revelations came during a meeting with town officials Monday. The company called the meeting and showed up with architects, engineers and lawyers.
"They wanted a meet-and-greet," said Supervisor Ed Jennings. "They brought some proposed plans. This is the first real concrete evidence that they are coming,"
Rumors have circulated furiously about plans for a Wal-Mart store in the former Ames plaza across from the state prison complex. It is owned by local developer Joe Tso. The sale price for the 20-acre site was $5.5 million, Tso has said. But until Monday, nothing had been put before the town, which will oversee the planning process.
Company officials Monday projected a store of 130,000 square feet. It would include a grocery, a pharmacy and a full retail line, but no auto center, Jennings said he was told. The store would be open 24/7. It would employ between 150 and 400 people, depending on the season, Jennings said.
The company will submit plans to the town Planning Board in August, and since the existing site is already configured as a shopping mall, some of the work is already done. Construction, once it starts, would take a little less than a year. The tentative opening is spring 2010, company officials told the town, Jennings said.
"Everyone down here, with a few exceptions, is really excited about it. We are located right in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive 30 miles to buy a handkerchief. This is going to be great for us."
Wal-Mart officials could not be reached for comment Thursday. (TH-Record 7/25/08)


bullet

Students benefit from WISE choices 
By Kyle Wind , Freeman staff 
WHILE HER peers were studying English in the confines of Rondout Valley High School in March, Nara Baker's classroom was a beach in the Bahamas. 
Baker, 18, of Accord, camped in a tent for the month on Paradise Island as she trained to acquire her yoga instruction certification. Now she expects to teach yoga for extra income while she attends Clark University in Massachusetts next school year. 
The Rondout Valley school district's WISE program - which School to Career Transition Coordinator Fran Hertz said allows seniors to pursue an internship or creative or volunteer experience in lieu of a second-semester English or social studies credit - enabled Baker to make the trip. 
In addition to her yoga training, Baker's course also included anatomy, physiology and philosophy classes. She described the experience as "a good challenge." 
WISE, which stands for Wise Individualized Senior Experience, is celebrating its 10th anniversary at Rondout Valley, and Hertz said more than 600 students in the district have experienced the program, including 70 during the 2007-2008 school year. 


In a typical year, 50 to 70 Rondout Valley students graduate from the WISE program, Hertz said. 
JAKE Waruch, 18, of Kerhonkson, pursued a less academic and more hands-on task through WISE: building a rocking chair, which he found more tedious than expected. 
Waruch began carving the chair in February, and he said it took between three and four months to finish it. But he said the chance to study independently was worth the effort because it went a long way toward preparing him for college. 
Waruch's experience lacked the structure of normal classroom activities - he worked on it alone for the most part, with periodic advice from his father, David, and his sister's boyfriend, Lucas Stoddard, a carpenter - but he said that's the key to WISE: teaching students discipline and helping them develop time management skills. 
"It's a great program," he said. "You really learn a lot about yourself." 
WARUCH, who participated in basketball, football and track at the high school, gave the rocking chair to his WISE mentor, district Athletic Director Jake Maloney, whom he described as "more of a brother than an athletic director," as a wedding present. 
"He put everything into that chair," Hertz said, describing the gift gesture as "uniquely sensitive for an 18-year-old." 
FELLOW Rondout Valley football player Ryan Layton, along with partner Lewis Delgado, put together a flag football camp for 30 fifth- and sixth-graders for their WISE project. The students were arranged in six teams - each one consisting of two linemen, three wide receivers and a quarterback. 
Layton said he was not particularly focused on academics during high school and that the WISE project gave him the opportunity to develop a number of skills that will serve him later. He said the experienced honed his organizational skills and provided him with experience in working with children. 
"It's a big responsibility to watch other people's kids," Layton said, noting that he has always liked children and now knows how to keep them under control. The secret is to keep them entertained and engaged, he said. 
LAYTON said the sports program helped the young people in his WISE project develop discipline, responsibility, motivation and a sense of teamwork, especially because "everyone wanted to play quarterback or wide receiver. No one wanted to be a lineman." 
Layton, 19, of Cottekill, considered studying to be a teacher after graduation, but given the difficulty of finding a teaching position locally, he opted to pursue law enforcement at the Ulster County Community College instead. Still, he hopes to return to Rondout Valley to coach at some point. 
THE ULSTER County School-to-Work Partnership provided the startup grant to help Rondout Valley establish WISE, which Hertz described as a cost-effective program. Baker paid her own way to the Bahamas, she said, though a WISE task force raises money to provide $100 grants to 10 students to finance their projects. 
Expenses for the program include the salary for Hertz (who also handles special education planning and coordinates other projects for the district); nominal costs, such as those for a kickoff pizza party; and an annual $500 maintenance fee with WISE Services. 
WISE Services, a nonprofit group founded in 1991 by the creators of the original WISE program at Woodlands High School in Westchester County, provides 18 months of training for school staff members from non-urban districts for a fee of about $7,500, according to Executive Director Linda Greene. The organization also holds workshops and conferences to help districts maintain WISE. 
A 1978 graduate of Woodlands High School, Hertz participated in the WISE program as an assistant at the Pleasantville Cottage School, also in Westchester. Her primary task was working to create a curriculum for a troubled student who had to be separated from other students. 
"I felt I reached him," she said. "We developed a good rapport. The key was to keep him busy at all times." 
Greene described the WISE program as "life-changing for many students," whether it confirms their interest in a chosen topic of study or helps them realize that their interests lie elsewhere. 
WARUCH'S sister Amanda, a member of the Rondout Valley Class of 2001 and a current graduate student at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, found out she was not interested in the magazine business following her WISE internship at Hudson Valley magazine, which her mother, Claudia, said was a valuable lesson. 
Maria Vigna, on the other hand, described her WISE internship, which Hertz said was a study in ethnomusicology, as "amazing." Vigna, 17, of Accord, traveled to Putumayo World Music in New York City on Wednesdays for two months to learn about distribution of foreign music. 
DURING the internship, Vigna often found herself listening to music from all parts of the globe - including South America, Africa and Kashmir - for up to four hours at a time. 
"(Putumayo) is interested in the man playing a flute at the farthest reach of Mongolia," Vigna said. "There is definitely a market for it. The premise is that you're trying to get it out to people here who, if they only heard the music, would love it." 
Vigna said she first became interested in the connection between music and culture when she took African drumming classes at the Marbletown Teen Center. 
"Every type of music interests me because each type represents a different culture," she said. "Listening to different types of music brings cultural awareness. It brings us together." 
VIGNA PLANS to spend the fall in Hawaii, working on an organic farm, then enroll at SUNY Purchase for the spring semester to study anthropology. 
She credits WISE with "bringing me from a naïve child to shape my awareness of the rest of the world." 
OTHER WISE projects have included car restorations, training a seeing eye dog, creating a Web site about healthy teen activities and volunteering in Biloxi, Miss., to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. 
The program is used in more 80 high schools across the country, including Saugerties and Hunter-Tannersville. 
At Rondout Valley, the program is managed by Hertz and math teacher Mary Schreiber. The school's WISE task force - composed of teachers, community members and students - acts as a board of directors and helps students add structure if needed, connect with the community and raise money. (Freeman 7/20/08)

bullet

High Falls resident Anne Katz Passes
Anne Barbara Katz died on July 11 at her home at the age of 55. Annie was a graphic designer and a peace activist. She was very passionate about her work and her beliefs. She was the coordinator of the Hudson Valley contingent of Code Pink and a member of Veterans for Peace. Katz was born on September 15, 1952 in the Bronx to Dorothy Zagar and the late Sol Katz. In addition to her mother, she is survived by her husband, Robert Godwin and her sister, Laura. Contributions made be made in her honor to Code Pink NYC, 630 9th Ave, Suite 216, New York, NY 10026.

 

bullet

A letter from the Highway Superintendent

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 accept 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

 

bullet

Friends of Little Ones Learning Center to hold an Open House

Friends of Little Ones, Inc. is holding an open house on Wednesday, June 25th from 4 to 6pm.  LOLC is located at the Rochester Reformed Church, 5142 Route 209, Accord, NY .  We hope you will be able to join us, visit the Center and see some of the activities provided for the youngsters who enjoy participating in our educational programs. 

 

bullet

Local Filmaker to show film

Kerhonkson filmmaker Susan Hamovitch will have a works in progress screening on July 10th at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, 59 Tinker Street.  The screening starts at 8pm.  Hamovitch will show scenes from Mama Sues Garden: Reconstructing Lives after Katrina 

Sue Boutwell LaGrange sat on the roof of her small house in the Parish for two nights and three days while the waters of Katrina rose around her.  By the time the storm was over, Mama Sue had lost three teeth, four dogs, her job and her husbands business.  Hamovitch bears witness to the difficulty of not only rebuilding a house, but remaking ones life, and meditates on her role as a filmmaker in a disaster zone.  www.mamasuesgarden.com

 

bullet

Pearl Arts Gallery invites you to an Opening Reception with the artists, featuring the show ETERNAL EGYPT on Saturday, June 28th, 2008, 8:00 to 10:00 pm
View the meditative collage and encaustic work of artist Astrid Fitzgerald and the ethereal photography of Sarite Sanders.
At 6:30 pm renowned Egyptologist John Anthony West will give a lecture and slide presentation at the Center for Creative Education in Stone Ridge, two doors south of Pearl Gallery. The lecture is $20. Refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP for lecture: mail@pearlartsgallery.com
Parking for gallery and lecture available behind the Center for Creative Education.
Gallery hours: Thursday through Saturday 11 to 6 and Sunday 12 to 6 or by appointment.

 

bullet

Diana's Fancy Flea Market

To Benefit Diana's CAT  Shelter 

Thursday, July 10th, Pre-Sale Opening with Wine and Cheese, 4pm - 7pm, $10

Friday, July 11th, Saturday, July 12th, 10am - 4pm

Sunday, July 13th, 10am - 2pm

At Christ The King Church, Route 213, between Stone Ridge and High Falls

COLLECTIBLES  *  TREASURE  *  FURNITURE  *  ART & ANTIQUES  *  JEWELRY

 

bullet

Kingston man pleads guilty to home invasion charges

 

KINGSTON - A Kingston man pleaded guilty in Ulster County Court June 2 to felony charges related to a home invasion during which one of the occupants was beaten with a club, Special Prosecutor Paul Gruner said Tuesday.

Joseph L. Buckler, 55, of 22 Navara St., entered the guilty plea to felony burglary, robbery, and assault charges before Judge Roger McDonough in exchange for an expected sentence of 12  years in state prison plus five years post-release supervision, said Gruner, noting the judge offered the sentencing deal.

Gruner said Buckler and alleged accomplice James M. Mateo, 51, of 177 Ten Broeck Ave., Kingston, forced their way into the home at 1258 Rock Hill Road in the town of Rochester in mid-March. The men bound the occupants with duct tape, and the male occupant suffered lacerations and contusions after being assaulted with a club, said Gruner.

Gruner added that Buckler said that Mateo, who is awaiting trial on the charges, was the one who bludgeoned the man with a club.

The two men were arrested March 20, a few days after the incident, state police at Ellenville said at the time.

The men stole cash from the home while the victims were bound, the residents were able to free themselves and call for assistance, police said.

Buckler also pleaded guilty June 2 to another felony burglary charge for an unrelated burglary at 111 Cherry Hill Road in the town of Rochester, according to Gruner. Buckler had a different accomplice for that crime, and no one was home when he entered the home, Gruner said.  (Freeman 6/18/08)

 

bullet

Deputies seek four in Rochester home invasion

 

 

TOWN OF ROCHESTER - Ulster County Sheriff's deputies say a tenant in a Leghorn Road apartment house fought off four men who forced their way into his home early Friday, striking one in the face with the butt of a legally-owned shotgun.

Deputies said four men went to 22 Leghorn Road, off Samsonville Road, looking for the person who lived in the upstairs apartment. When the tenant who lived downstairs asked why the men were there, police said they forced their way into his apartment with his fiancée and young children nearby.

One of the men, police said, punched the tenant in the head, and another pointed a handgun at him before he fought them off. The men, all described as Hispanic, fled in what was described as a white Ford Expedition with no front license plate.

Anyone for information is asked to call the Ulster County Sheriff's Office at (845) 338-3640. All calls will be kept confidential. (Freeman 6/10/08)

 

 

 

bullet

Ulster teens charged in break-in, theft 

 

 

TOWN OF ROCHESTER - Three teenage boys have been arrested on charges they broke into a vacant house and stole copper piping, according to state police.

Christopher M. Rion, 18, of Apt. 2, 182 Second St., Esopus, and Fredrick N. Whittaker Jr., 16, of Apt. 11, 295 Mettacahonts Road, Accord, were both charged with felony burglary, as was a 15-year-old whose name was withheld because of his age.

The arrests followed a weeklong investigation by police.

According to state police at Ellenville, the teens forcibly entered the home, which is currently for sale. Once inside, the teens sawed the pipes from the baseboard heat, walls, ceilings and from the furnace to remove the copper. The interior was also vandalized with graffiti and windows were broken.

Rion was arrested on Wednesday and arraigned in town of Marbletown Court before being sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. He is due to appear in town of Rochester Court on Monday.

Whittaker was arrested and arraigned on May 27 in town of Wawarsing Court and released. The juvenile defendant was arrested and released to his mother with a summons for Family Court. (Freeman 6/7/08)

 

bullet

Pact protects farm in southern Ulster from housing, commercial development

WAWARSING - The 346-acre Arrowhead Farm on U.S. Route 209 in the towns of Rochester and Wawarsing will be permanently protected from development under a $1.375 million easement announced by the nonprofit Open Space Institute and the Ulster County Farmland Protection Board.

The Open Space Conservancy, which is affiliated with the institute, purchased the agricultural easement to ensure the farm, also known as the Davis Farm, will not be developed for housing or commercial use. The purchase is part of the institute's ongoing Two Valleys Campaign, which focuses protection efforts on working farms in the Rondout and Wallkill valleys.

The project was made possible by Ulster County and its Farmland Protection Board, which endorsed the protection of the Davis Farm and submitted a successful application to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets for a grant that will provide 75 percent of the
cost of acquiring the easement. Funds were also provided by the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund, which is held by the conservancy.

The agricultural easement is a legally binding restriction that forever protects the agricultural and scenic values of the farm, while prohibiting housing subdivisions and commercial development.


The farm, just north of the hamlet of Kerhonkson, is said to anchor some of the Rondout Valley's finest agricultural land. Peter Davis and his family will continue to own the farm, and the property will remain on the local tax rolls.

After nearly a century of operation as a commercial dairy, the farm is diversifying to include sheep, goats, and beef cows, while producing small grains, corn and hay. The livestock enterprise will limit the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and non-organic feed additives. Meat and dairy products as well as maple syrup will be sold locally.

The latest easement brings the amount of farmland the institute has protected in the Rondout Valley to more than 1,080 acres. During the past two years, the institute and Scenic Hudson protected the 268-acre Paul farm in the town of Hurley, the 325-acre Davenport Farm, and the 52-acre Misner farm in Marbletown; and the institute protected the 95-acre Osterhoudt farm in the town of Marbletown.

In both the Rondout and Wallkill valleys of Ulster County, the Open Space Institute has preserved more than 2,500 acres of productive agricultural land to date.  The institute is actively seeking support to protect an additional 3,500 acres of farmland in the two valleys.

In the Shawangunk Ridge, the institute has protected 25,000 acres, including Sam's Point and much of Minnewaska State Park. Statewide, the institute has protected more than 100,000 acres.   (Freeman 06/04/2008)

 

 

bullet


Like the average retail employee, the rumor mill's been working overtime: Wal-Mart may be coming to Wawarsing any day now.

On Tuesday morning, two surveyors working out of an unmarked grey van
with New Jersey license plates were spotted in the parking lot of the
Napanoch Valley Mall, the site of the abandoned Ames and Grand Union
buildings. The two workers said that they were measuring the boundaries
of the property, and when asked for which firm the two surveyors worked,
they said that they were from a company called Control Point, based out
of Warren, NJ. When asked if Wal-Mart had hired the firm, the surveyors
said yes, though they declined to be identified or photographed for this
article.

News of the surveyors themselves reached the Ellenville Journal through
business owners who rent out the retail space on the southern end of the
property, on the left side of the now-vacant Ames (which still houses a
flea market each weekend).

While there has been talk of Wal-Mart's arrival to the property - a
20-acre property which is managed by Joe Tso - for about a year and a
half, the aforementioned surveyors; confirmation as to who hired their
firm seems to make Wal-Mart's arrival that much more of an impending
reality.

In an interview on Monday, Jeff Kaplan, the attorney representing Tso
and Mayor of Ellenville, would not officially confirm that Wal-Mart is
indeed the company looking to locate at the Napanoch Valley Mall
property, but did confirm that a site-plan would hopefully be submitted
to the town planning board in June or July to move the process forward.

When asked how this would affect the businesses that currently rent in
the mall, Kaplan said that all such stores would be relocated to newly
built locations once all deals were made and finalized. After this, the
current structure would be demolished and a new building would house
what many believe to be the big box giant. Inquiries made to Wal-Mart's
media relations department were not answered as of press time.


Relocation Obfuscation
When asked if they'd heard of a deal which would require them to
relocate, several proprietors of businesses within the Napanoch Valley
Mall said that they had not been told of any such plans that would take
effect in the near future. However, two business owners did confirm that
they had been told of tentative relocation plans when they began to rent
their spaces.

Out of the seven businesses operating in the space, four have leases,
while the other three rent from Tso on a month-to-month basis. These two
categories of businesses would, according to one business-owner, would
be relegated to two separate, new strip malls that would be constructed
before the demolition of the current space took place. The Napanoch Post
Office, the two properties owned by Tony and Bella Volchik (Napanoch
Valley Wines and Liquors and Katherine's Korner), and the Number 1
Chinese Food restaurant, who all have leases, would be relocated to a
new structure still on the property. The Tool Box, L.R. Cards, and
Brother John's Pizza, on the other hand, would potentially be relocated
to a new strip mall close to Peter's Market in an empty lot also owned
by Tso, the former site of a restaurant called Beefeater Charlie's.

The prospect of being forced to relocate has drawn some mixed reactions
from the business owners.

Bella Volchik, who has often stated her support of Wal-Mart's possible
arrival to the area, said on Monday that she would be uncomfortable
having her wine business moved to a new store that she has never seen
before.

"As a retailer, I'm not moving into a building if I don't know how it
looks," said Volchik. "We're not ready to move, so I don't know how
they're planning this, but there weren't any meetings with the tenants."

She further added that, due to the state's liquor license requirements,
the process to maintain her store's license from one location to the
other may prove to be difficult and time-consuming - a process which
could take from six to seven months - and may cause her to lose business
because of forced closure while waiting for a renewed and approved
license.

Phil Diamond, owner of the Toolbox, is pleased about the idea of having
a location that could draw more customers - the supposed relocation area
would be directly on Route 209 - since he reports that despite people's
frequent use of the mall's post office, many don't realize that his
business has been in that location for two years. He is concerned,
however, about the process of relocation, as well as the costs, which he
estimates at $5,000, and about a month's worth of closure. "It's a big
lump of money, and a big lump of time," said Diamond of the relocation's
costs on Tuesday.

Larry Rosselli of L.R. Cards next door is somewhat ambivalent about a
potential move to a new location. On Tuesday, he said that 95% of his
business's income is derived from mail-order sales, and that he keeps a
storefront because of distribution issues, and as such, he isn't as
adversely affected by his location's relative lack of foot traffic.
However, he said he would certainly appreciate more customers coming
into his store, and that the benefit of being able to provide local kids
with a place to participate in game-tournaments (which his store
currently offers on weekends) could only be strengthened with a more
visible location.

Rosselli added that the relocation plan was described to him three years
ago, when he began renting the space from Tso. He said that Tso assured
him that the monthly-renters without leases would be given spots in the
tentative space by Peter's Market, and Rosselli spoke about Tso's good
business sense concerning his commitments.

"The last thing he [Tso] would want to do is make a promise and then not
deliver on it," said Rosselli. (Ellenville Journal 6/5/08)

 

 

bullet

Rondout Valley Education Foundation seeks alumni

ACCORD — The Rondout Valley Education Foundation is gathering current contact information for all Rondout Valley High School alumni for the RVHS Alumni Directory.

The directory will list academic, professional and personal information, sorted alphabetically by last name and cross-referenced by name as a student, if different. Alumni will also be listed by class year, city and state of residence. The reference directory will help class members stay connected.

To be included, send name, class year and contact information to rvedfoundation@yahoo.com or mail to RVEF, P.O. Box 3, Stone Ridge 12484, attention Alumni Directory Project. Organizers ask alumni to spread the word to fellow classmates.

Alumni will then be contacted by mail or phone to update profiles for the directory.

For more information, go to www.rvfoundation.org. (TH-Record 6/7/08)

 

 

 

 

bullet

Rochester Pantry Launches 6-Month Food Donation Drive                 

 

 Concern increases for town’s needy:

Meals Provided: April ’08: 2,004

April ’07: 1,008

Accord, May 28 – Rochester Food Pantry (RFP) volunteers are launching a six-month food donation effort in the community to offset the hardships of spiraling food costs for some of its residents. “As the cost of feeding a family is radically increasing, the value of food stamps is dramatically decreasing,” said Wilma deJager, RFP Director.  deJager explained that many food stamp recipients are now unable to purchase the food they need for themselves and/or their families with their monthly allotment of stamps, and the problem is becoming more widespread. “The food stamps can’t buy as much. Even for those who don’t receive food stamps, individuals on disability or fixed incomes, buying food is becoming a struggle. We only see the situation worsening for our neighbors in the months to come,” she added.

 Organizers of the two-tier food drive will be reaching out to local residents, business owners, and non-profit organizations throughout the summer and fall. Tier One is an effort to encourage residents to turn summer gatherings at their homes into Pantry Parties by asking guests to bring non-perishable food donations to get-togethers. In addition to providing an invitation template that participants can personalize and use to invite their guests, RFP will also arrange a pick-up service for donations after the party.

DeJager explained that another alternative for summer party planners is to use get-togethers as informal fundraisers for either cash or check donations. For those who choose this alternative, RFP will provide a donation collection display with information on the Pantry Parties town-wide effort; contributions are tax-deductible. To participate in the Rochester food drive and receive an invitation template or donation collection display, telephone Via Associates, 687-7998.    

Tier Two of the program will be conducted among local business owners and the town’s non-profit organizations. A professional event planner will be available to help business owners and organizations design an event tailored to their customers and/or members. Donation pick-up service will also be available for these participants. Among the local businesses and non-profit organizations already committed to offsetting hunger in Rochester: Accord Wine Shop, Christian’s Greenhouse, Dr. Holly Elliott/Family Chiropractor, Friends of Historic Rochester, Kelder Farm, Rondout Valley Veterinary Associates, and Saunderskill Farms. To participate in Tier Two of the program, telephone 626-7834.

RFP serves residents with limited resources, including families, individuals, and retirees. In 2007, the organization assisted over one hundred people a month, providing food for over 15,000 meals during the course of the year. However, the issue of rising food costs in 2008 has become particularly alarming to RFP volunteers because the number of meals they provided in April 2008 has approximately doubled the number of meals provided in the same period last year. “If an item costs more money, it’s going to cost more food stamps,” deJager explained, “because food stamps are a cash equivalent.” Rising prices obviously have an impact on the amount of food individuals can buy – either because they have limited incomes or because food stamps simply don’t have the same purchasing value they had when prices were lower, she added.

RFP is located on Main Street in Accord, at the rear of the Accord Fire House. Those wishing to avail themselves of the services provided need only call 626-7501 to make an appointment. Services are confidential and provided to all who request them.

 

bullet

AARL Field Day

Where the spirit of “Amateur Radio Past” joins forces with the Next Generation of Innovations, Interests and Individuals!!!

 

ARRL Field Day is the most popular on-the-air operating event in amateur radio. Tens of thousands of amateur radio operators gather for a public demonstration of our service. Field Day is part educational event, part operating event, part public relations event – and ALL about FUN!

 

Amateur radio is about knowledge and growth.  It is a hobby and service that truly offers “something for everyone.” Amateur Radio embraces both the old and new.  While CW may no longer be a testing element, it is still a strong and favorite operating mode for many.  Tens of thousands of operators are embracing digital technologies, from RTTY to newer digital modes like PSK31 and Olivia.  Phone operation, probably the largest segment of the hobby, also has new frontiers to be explored with digitized voice, VOIP, and IRLP. It gives all – the old timer and the newcomer, the brass-pounder and the computer assisted operator – the chance to share and teach the broad range of modes and technologies we find in our hobby.

 

Field Day is truly the time in which we bring amateur radio to Main Street USA. By setting up in parking lots, malls, Emergency Operations Centers, parks and even at home, amateur operators learn skills that will allow them to better serve their communities; their friends and neighbors can see and experience the fun and public service capability that their “ham radio” neighbors bring to the community.

 

You're invited to come to Field Day, Sat. June 28, 12N to Sun. June 29, 2 PM at the Town of Rochester, Accord, NY Town Park. Hosted by the Overlook Mountain Amateur Radio Club and your local Ham Radio neighbors.

More info?? Call Bill, N2VOT at 845-389-2307

 

bullet

The Fire Next Time

By Chris Rowley

There should have been a lot more than twenty people gathered at the Kerhonkson Fire Department on the evening of Thursday, June 5, but in the aftermath of the fire that burned 2700 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge in April, it seems that our region has gone back to sleep when it comes to confronting the difficult and expensive issues of fire safety.

The meeting was called to discuss late-April's fire at Minnewaska Park, which included a detailed report from NY State Forest Ranger Robert Mecus on the lessons learned from the fire and the effort of combating it. Heidi Wagner, the Preserve Manager at Sam's Point, also gave a presentation about the Firewise Initiative. A key point that Ranger Mecus emphasized throughout his presentation was that "twenty homes in the town of Wawarsing needed to be physically protected." And that the skill set required for fighting a forest fire was very different from that employed in fighting a structural fire. Mecus noted, with some pride, that the only structure lost to the Minnewaska fire was a "yurt," or a Park Service shed. That drew appreciative chuckles from the audience of fire fighters and state troopers, most of whom had firsthand experience of the fire in April.

However, Mecus noted that the effort to protect 20 homes at the same time required a lot of resources, and that it stretched the ability of the local fire fighting brigades to the limit.

"We ran into a lot of problems, like steep driveways that are very difficult to back a firetruck onto. There are more and more homes being built in areas close to the park, on the ridge, and not enough consideration is being given to fire protection when these homes are built."

Mecus went on to describe in some detail how the effort to fight the fire was organized.

"It wasn't a bunch of guys running around in the woods. It required a large incident management team and a huge amount of resources. By the Sunday, April 20, there were 420 people working on the Minnewaska fire."

Mecus also described the so-far unique characteristics of the fire. "Because it had been so long since a fire had burned up there, there was a considerable amount of dried out fuel, underbrush, branches, leaves, waiting to burn. And with the conditions as they were, and remember we had very low humidity levels, even early in the morning, which is unheard of for New York, the fire was able to grow very quickly and to burn out of control. There were times when we had flames sixty and seventy feet high coming off the fire front. As far as I know, this has never been encountered before in New York."

At this point, Heidi Wagner gave a presentation of the Firewise Program. This program originated in the western states which have been battling wildfires for quite some time. The essential problem is that people have been moving out of towns and suburbs into forest and wildlands. This creates the "wildland/urban interface," which can provide conditions ideal for spreading wildfires, destroying homes, and threatening lives. Firewise is designed to awaken people to what they can do to protect their homes and their families from dangerous wildfires.

Wagner explained that, as Cragsmoor is the only community actually on the Shawangunk Ridge, "we saw the possibility of fire reaching our doorsteps, and so Cragsmoor took a serious look at the problem and what could be done, and that lead to Cragsmoor becoming the first Firewise Community in New York."

Wagner went on to explain that they were faced with the problem of having a lot of houses, a lot of roads and driveways and only a limited amount of firefighting resources, such as trucks.

"So the solution was to take pro-active steps, to make our community safer from wildfires," said Wagner.

The Firewise program for protecting a house includes creating several zones of protection. Zone 1 is a well-irrigated area cleared of flammable material that encircles the structure for at least 30 feet on all sides.

Beyond that lies Zone 2, which is an area where low-flammability plant materials should be used.

Zone 3 is where you should place low-growing plants and well-spaced trees, remembering to keep the volume of vegetation which fuels fires low.

In Zone 4, you selectively thin and prune all plants, and remove highly flammable vegetation.

It was evident that the program's language comes from Arizona, California, or even Colorado or western Oregon. In New York, our climate is usually more that of a temperate rain forest and plant materials grow in such abundance given any access to sunlight that clearance cutting, bushwhacking, mowing, and chain-sawing is much more necessary than irrigation or planting.

However, as Wagner and Mecus both observed, what was normal for New York is not necessarily what will be normal. This April, dry and with abundant sunshine, was more like Arizona-weather than what we're used to. With global climate change, this may become something we'll see more frequently. And if we do, then having a lot of vegetation close around a house on the edges of the forest may be asking for trouble. Mecus illustrated this point with photographs taken of houses on various parts of the ridge that were either hidden in foliage or had woodpiles placed conveniently close to the house.

"Having a nice pile of seasoned, dry wood beside your house is a bad idea in a fire zone," said Mecus. "It may be more convenient in winter, but it provides a fire with all it needs to spread into your home."

Wagner pointed out that "We haven't had a fire here in fifty years, so there's lots of fuel just waiting to burn in the right conditions. Out west, where they've been fighting these sorts of fires for a long time, this has forced changes in codes. In Oregon, we learned you can't even buy a house unless it meets Firewise standards." "What you have to do," said Wagner, "is think like a burning ember. Once you start to see it from an ember's point of view, you can see the things you need to do to keep your home safe. And, I've been told, embers can be carried aloft, up to three miles in the right conditions."

Firewise also recommends sensible ideas like using fire-resistant roofing materials, which means almost anything other than Cedar Shakes. However, in New York, roofing is generally made with Class-A shingles or turned metal, both of which have good resistance to flying embers (for more Firewise info, check out www.firewise.org).

Another Firewise recommendation, this time for construction, is of particular concern where the Shawangunk Ridge and the Catskills are concerned. Since fire moves rapidly up a slope, it is best not to build in places with wonderful views out over the valleys below. However, since that goes against human nature, people with homes perched above slopes should take Firewise precautions and remove any flammable materials below the house that could conduct the fire towards the house.

And, Ranger Mecus would add, it's also vital to think about helping the firefighters. One good example is making sure that your driveway doesn't have too steep a grade. "If a fire truck cannot be backed up your driveway, then in an emergency the firefighters are going to be seriously hampered when trying to save your home." Mecus illustrated this by showing a photograph of one driveway that proved considerably difficult in fire prevention efforts in April. It was designed, perhaps, to allow access to the house for the owner's SUV, but not for fire and rescue vehicles. This is one of those details that Mecus feels should be taken into account in county and locality building codes.

"Going beyond Firewise, all our communities should be looking at their building codes and thinking about the risks of wildfires and how structures can be protected in the event of a fire."

After Mecus and Wagner's presentations, questions were taken by Eric Humphrey, Park Manager, and Gabriel Chapin, an ecologist at the Nature Conservancy. Humphrey said that the burned area would be off-limits to hikers for as much as a year. Chapin noted that this was necessary to keep invasive species out of the burned zone. Chapin and Humphrey also remarked that fresh growth was already underway and that the shrub cover, such as blueberry and mountain laurel, would grow back very quickly, regenerating from seeds buried in the soil.

The question remains as to whether the human inhabitants of the ridge and its environs will have woken up to the warning provided by this massive blaze and take the necessary steps to safeguard our communities before it happens again. One thing of which Ranger Mecus and everyone else was convinced was that it would happen again perhaps not in April, perhaps not right beside 44-55, and that depending on the conditions, it could destroy homes, threaten lives and wreak far more havoc than the Minnewaska Fire of 2008.

==================

FIRE CHRONOLOGY

Thursday April 17

Fire started around noon, probably from a cigarette dropped in the woods close to the Overlooks on Route 44-55, above Kerhonkson.

First to respond were park rangers and local volunteer firefighters.

(NOTE: It was later determined by the Fire Investigation Team that the cause of the fire was NOT arson.)

Thursday 4pm

It was realised after a few hours that the fire was too big and the conditions were creating problems and the tactics that were being used were not the correct ones.  So the decision was made to pull back, reorganize and come up with a better plan for dealing with it.

The Rangers and Firefighters came back in and resumed the effort to contain the fire up until Midnight.

At this stage the fire was covering an area south of 44-55 about 75 acres in extent.

It had almost been pinched  in half by two crews working on either side of it.  There were crews cutting fireline by hand and we also had a bulldozer making wider firelines on flatter ground.

The big problem at this stage was a shelf of rock that projected above the fire on the south eastern side.

The crew cutting the handline were working in very difficult terrain, in dense vegetation and by the time they reached this rock, the fire had crept to the top of the shelf and was spreading past it.  Ranger Mecus determined that the conditions were too dangerous for the crews working in there and they were pulled back. The fire then spread south and east, and then south moving uphill.

Friday Morning 7am

The fire had gone over the rock shelf and was burning towards the Sanderskill. It had doubled in size from Thursday night. Ranger Mecus observed that the conditions were very unusual. The fire was already very hot, there were already flames six or seven feet high and the humidity was very low for that time of day. The fire was already up and moving.

Friday 10am

It was decided that a lot more firefighting resources were required. The fire was spotting over the Sanderskill, that is it was sending embers out in front and starting up small fires ahead of the fire front.  By this point the fire required a Type 2 Management Team, and the call had gone out for statewide help.

Friday 12 Noon

The fire was now overwhelming hand cut firelines and firefighters were pulled back across the Peterskill. A decision was made to used established firebreaks such as carriage trails and the throughcuts below Power Lines as the primary firebreaks since the fire was no throwing up  60 and 70 foot long flames and was moving rapidly south and southwest. Some powerlines, that run 90 feet above the ground, were singed.

Friday 4pm

Firefighting equipment and firefighters had arrived to boost the effort to contain the fire.  Several bulldozers were deployed to widen and clear firebreaks.

At this point the fire behaviour  was extraordinary for New York. The relative humidity was down in the teens and winds were raising 60 foot flame lengths. The fire was still moving uphill which made it very hard to contain.

At one point men in a bulldozer were forced to run for their lives as the fire broke towards them.

The fire was throwing up a lot of embers and spotting small fires ahead of the main fire front.

By this point a Wildland-Urban Interface Assessment Team had been formed and was busy assessing  the home nearest the fire to see how they might be protected. These homes were on Park Lane, Rockhaven Road and Decker Road.

Friday 9 pm Nightfall on Friday brought more helpful conditions. Humidity rose and winds died down. The fire was still active, but it was no longer spreading as fast as it had in the daytime. Over Friday night into Saturday morning the fire calmed down considerably.

Saturday Morning 8am

By this time about 2,000 acres or so had burned or were on fire.

During Saturday Morning lots of help and equipment arrived. The Type 2 Management Team were not there yet, so the fire was still being managed by the local team.

With the increase in resources came the ability to improve firelines ahead of the fire and now these firelines began to hold.  Bulldozers were at work improving and widening firelines.

Saturday Afternoon

Firefighters were pulled back to safety zones, a procedure that is done to ensure that everyone knows where to go to find safety in the confusing and dangerous condiitions of a major fire like this one. However, during this period, which lasted for an hour or so, the fire did not cross the new, improved firelines.

Saturday Evening

The Type 2 Management Team arrived and took over management of the firefighting response to the fire.

Saturday Night

Humidity levels were at 30% and the fire was close to being contained, not completely but mostly.

Throughout Saturday Night into Sunday Morning crews worked to improve firelines and create burnouts. These are small fires set between containment lines, to remove all fuel for the main fire and provide wide firebreaks ahead of the main fire.

Sunday Morning 8 am

The weather had changed, there was much higher humidity and temperatures had dropped considerably. The fire behaviour was now much reduced.

By late morning, Sunday, the fire was essentially contained. The fire was still burning, still dangerous, but it was no longer spreading and the fire defenses were holding it.

Sunday Afternoon

The mopping up operations had begun. Fire crews were moving inside the perimeter of the fire, extinguishing hot spots. This work continued for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, April 29

A week later, the Type 2 Team handed over management to Minnewaska Park. The fire was officially contained, and over.

June 12

Interagency After Action Review. This meeting will take note of what occurred in April and analyze the decisions made at the time and make recommendations for the next time.

Because there will be a next time. As Ranger Mecus points out, "We have these kind of conditions quite often in April and that is when we tend to have these fires."

Final Note

In the town of Wawarsing, there is a total ban on burning between April 15 and May 15 every year, regardless of the weather conditions.

(Ellenville Journal, 6/12/08)

 

bullet

Memorial Day Parade

The Town of Rochester’s Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 26th at 1pm.  Everyone is invited to march, ride on a float, drive a vehicle, motorcycle or even a bicycle.  The kickoff will begin at Rosakranse Masonry/The Revenue Markets on Route 209, proceed north on Route 209, down Main Street and end at Town Hall.  There will be a brief wreath laying ceremony immediately after the parade in front of the Accord Fire House at approximately 2pm.   To register or for more information, call 626-2667 or email KerhonksonAccordChamber @gmail.com

 

bullet

Board of Assessment Review to Hold Grievance Day

Town of Rochester’s Grievance Day, which will be on Tuesday, May 27  from 4pm to 8pm.  Appointments can be made by contacting the Assessor’s Office at 626-0920.  Copies of the mandatory grievance form can be downloaded from below or picked up from the Assessor’s Office.  Property owners do not have to be present to file a grievance or for their case to be considered.  They must, however, fill out the Form 524 and it must be RECEIVED by the Assessor’s Office by 8pm on May 27, 2008. 

Form 524

http://www.orps.state.ny.us/ref/forms/pdf/rp524.pdf

Instruction manual:

http://www.orps.state.ny.us/pamphlet/complain/howtofile/whattodo.pdf

 

bullet

Wildflower Festival

Saturday, May 24th, 10:00 - 3:30, at Catskill Native Nursery

607 Samsonville Rd, Kerhonkson NY. (4.5 miles off Route 209)

On-going talks and demonstrations about native wildflowers, herbalism, gardening and land preservation. Plants, pottery & garden art for sale. Rare and limited stock will be offered. 

FREE admission to all events.

bullet

Art Salon at Pearl Arts Gallery
On Saturday May 24th, Pearl Arts Gallery will host a special Art Salon featuring a lecture by famous Egyptologist John Anthony West. Following Mr. West's discussion photographer Sarite Sanders will speak about her new book "The Eternal Light of Egypt" and the recent exhibition of her work in Cairo. Swiss Artist Astrid Fitzgerald will be present to answer any questions about her collage and encaustic work. This will take place at The Stone Ridge Center for Creative Education two doors south of Pearl at 6:30 p.m. Wine and snacks will be served.
After the presentations a dinner and private preview of  "Eternal Egypt" will take place at Pearl Arts Gallery starting at 8:30 with the artists in attendance.
For more details and to make your reservation go to: (seating is limited, so please RSVP early)
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/114742197

bullet

Get your passports at Town Hall

The Ulster County Clerk's Office will be at the Rochester Town Clerk's Office from 6 PM until 8 PM to process passport applications.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Ulster County Clerk's office if you have questions in regard to the passport process at (845) 340-3288.  Also contact the Ulster County Clerk's office for information on fees and documents required to obtain a passport.

If You have a previously issued passport that has expired within the past 5 years a Renewal Form (DS-82) must be completed. This form can be obtained from the County Clerk's office or dowloaded from http:/travel.state.gov

Renewal applications can be mailed directly to the US Passport Processing Center or the County Clerk's staff would be more than happy to process the application for you on June 19.

For your convenience, passport pictures can also be done on this day for a $10 fee. You can obtain your pictures and apply for the passport at the same time.

 

bullet

Rondout Valley Voters Speak

Residents of the Rondout Valley school district approved a $59.06 million budget, 1,010-791.

The budget is $2.27 million, or 3.99 percent, larger than the current year's spending plan and raises the property tax levy by $589,443, or 1.85 percent, to $32,461,041.

Elected to three three-year Board of Education seats were: incumbent James Ayers, with 1,028 votes; incumbent Kent Anderson, with 985; and former Trustee Pamela Longley, with 865 votes.

Trailing were Annette Ludwig with 695 votes and Imre Beke, Jr. with 659. (Freeman 5/21/08)

bullet

Rondout Valley tax levy stands to rise 3.37%

ACCORD - Residents of the Rondout Valley school district will vote Tuesday on the district's proposed $59.06 million budget for 2008-09.

The budget is $2.27 million, or 3.99 percent, larger than the 2007-08 spending plan and would increase the property tax levy by $1.07 million, or 3.37 percent, to $32.95 million.

During a recent presentation to Rosendale Town Board members, Rondout Valley officials noted the proposed budget keeps up with special education demands, maintains all existing programs, keeps class size averages unchanged, adds a teaching assistant (due to a kindergarten enrollment increase) and eliminates an elementary teaching position (due to declining enrollment).

"The proposed budget ... does not eliminate any one program, but it reduces money allocated to many programs and departments," said Superintendent Eileen Camasso. "Included would be field trips, co-curricular activities, clubs, evening concerts and events, chaperones for dances and clubs, before- and after-school programs at the elementary level, textbooks, paper, postage, furniture and supplies."

Among items in the budget:

* Regular teaching costs: $16.62 million, an increase of $239,343, or 1.46 percent, over 2007-08.

* Special education costs: $7.62 million, up $731,717, or 10.63 percent.

* Employee benefits: $12.9 million, up $487,412, or 3.93 percent.

* Contract transportation: $3.49 million, up $308,399, or 9.68 percent.

* Guidance expenses: $1.39 million, up $33,141, or 2.43 percent.  (Freeman 5/17/08)

 

 

bullet

Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, and Map Task Force Discussions

The Task Force appointed by the Town Board to address zoning and comprehensive plan issues has been meeting every other Monday at Town Hall.  The members of the committee are Michael Baden (Co-Chair), Imre Beke Jr., Jeff Davis, Jerry Fornino, Alonzo Grace, David O’Halloran (Chair), Frank Kortright Jr., Diana Publisi-Cilenti, Robert Rominger, and Martha Tardibuono. Consultant Tom Shepstone has also been participating in meetings. 

The task force has been discussing what constitutes “core farm” districts and the change of certain minimum zoning lot size requirements, as well as defining “low density”, “moderate density”, “hamlet”, and “industrial”, “business” and “rural conservation” districts.

The task force will meet at 7pm on June 9th, June 23, July 14, and July 28 at Town Hall in Accord.

 

bullet

Town Board Appoints Michael Sommer as Assessor

In a complicated series of maneuvers, the Town Board appointed Michael Sommer to fill the remainder of the six year assessor term vacated by the resignation of Daniel Baker in December.  The position had previously been filled for 20 years by former assessor Sharon Hornbeck.  Sommer will also serve three other municipalities simultaneously: Wawarsing, Ellenville, and Denning.  There was some controversy over the appointment as Town Board members Lynn Archer and Tony Spano questioned the ability of Sommer to simultaneously serve three other municipalities and his lack of experience in doing a town-wide revaluation was noted.  Sommer has been working since January on a $5,000 per month temporary contract that expires in July and by many accounts has made progress in correcting what he described to a local paper as a “train wreck” in the condition of the office.

Sommer had to resign from the $5,000 per month temporary contract as he was unable to participate in the Town’s annual grievance day on the date required by state law due to commitments in the other towns he works for.  In order to ensure that an assessor is present, the Town Board temporarily hired former Assessor Sharon Hornbeck for the one week around grievance day. 

The Town’s Board of Assessment Review presented the Town Board with a report indicating the numerous problems and inconsistencies in the Assessor’s Office during Ms. Hornbeck’s tenure.  That report can be found on the Town’s website at: http://www.townofrochester.net/Pages/RochesterNY_BComm/BOARReport2006.pdf

 

bullet

Accord Resident Announces Bid for County Executive

Accord resident Leonard Bernardo announced his candidacy for the newly created position of Ulster County Executive.  The County Executive position was created by the adoption of a charter form of government and the holder of the office will manage the county government.  Previously, the county legislature served as both the legislative and executive functions.

Bernardo, a registered member of the Independence Party, is also seeking the Republican and Conservative nominations, which are quite likely given the Republican party candidate, Glenn Noonan, dropped out of the race on May 20th.  Democrats Michael Hein, currently the Ulster County Administrator and former deputy treasurer, is seeking the Democratic nomination, as is former county legislator Michael Berardi.

Bernardo and his wife, Terry, own Skate Time 209 in Accord.

bullet

COLD CASE CRACKED: Childhood friend charged with killing teen who vanished in 1996

SAMSONVILLE - Twelve years after Joseph Martin disappeared without a trace, a childhood friend of the teenager's has been arrested and charged with killing him, state police announced on Friday.

Martin, who was 15 at the time, vanished on March 25, 1996, after leaving his home on Krumville Road in Samsonville en route to meet friends for a night of comet watching. He never showed up and was never seen again.

State police said that on Wednesday, investigators traveled to Brooklyn to interview one of those friends, Alexander R. Barsky, 27, who had been questioned previously about the case but always had denied any involvement in the teen vanishing. This time, however, Barsky made a number of statements implicating himself in Martin's disappearance, police said.

Police also said they recovered forensic evidence related to the case, but they would not say what it was and would not say whether Martin's body had been recovered. They also did not say how or when Martin died or whether they knew the cause of his death.

State police Capt. Wayne Olson said Barsky was charged late Thursday with one count of second-degree murder, was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and was sent to the Ulster County Jail in Kingston without bail.

Olson said police are "exploring the possibility" that Barsky did not act alone, though no other arrests were announced on Friday.

Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright said even though Barsky was a minor at the time of Martin's disappearance, the DA's office plans to try the suspect as an adult.

Carnright said he expects the case to go before an Ulster County grand jury soon.

Olson said Senior Investigator Stan O'Dell and other members of the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation have done periodic reviews of the Martin case over the years and that during one such review this week, police decided to question Barsky again.

Martin and Barsky both attended Rondout Valley High School. Olson referred to Barsky as a "close associate" of Martin and said the two apparently were neighbors.

Daniel Miller, Martin's uncle, said he was surprised to learn Barsky had been charged with murdering his nephew, "but I had a feeling (all along) something like that happened."

Miller said the news of the arrest came as a shock to the family but that, "without a doubt," this will help Martin's relatives move on.

Miller, who drives a tractor-trailer, said he always kept his eyes out for Martin while on the road.

"I've gone through 23 states in the past six months, and I was always looking - looking around, looking in every car," he said. "His mother went to bed every night for 12 years not knowing what happened to him."

Martin's mother, Cathaleen Martin Lightstone, declined to speak to a reporter Friday evening. Her brother, Michael Miller, said she and their mother, Joan, were too upset to comment.

"My sister and mother are doing about as well as can be expected," he said.

Michael Miller said Martin was on the Rondout Valley track team and because of academic requirements to stay on the team, the teen's grades began to improve dramatically.

"He was really proud of himself," the uncle said. "Sometimes he chose the wrong friends, but he was a good kid."

Martin was last seen when he left his family's Samsonville home, near the Rochester-Olive town line, around 10:30 p.m. on March 25, 1996. He told relatives he planned to walk to Schwabie Turnpike, about a mile-and-a-half away, to meet with Barsky and another friend, Daniel Malak, 17, to watch the night sky for the comet Hyakutake.

Martin never arrived at the rendezvous spot, and though Barsky and Malak both were questioned at the time, neither was charged with any crime.

A year after Martin's disappearance, Malak was charged with murdering a 62-year-old New York City man, George Allison, whose was found shot to death in the man's weekend home in Samsonville.

Malak pleaded guilty in the Allison case in 1998 and was sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison. (Freeman 5/9/08)

 

 

bullet

Suspect in Martin killing told police he retrieved bones, threw them away

TOWN OF ROCHESTER - When Joseph Martin disappeared in 1996, Alexander Barsky helped look for his missing friend.

Barsky participated in searches, vigils and remembrance walks and often came off as distraught over the 15-year-old having vanished.

"He ate with us, walked with us and cried with us," said Kerhonkson resident Patricia Atkins, Martin's aunt. "We thought he was a nice kid."

But now, 12 years later, it's becoming evident to Martin's friends and relatives that Barsky was hiding a deep and diabolical secret - the details of which began to emerge during a preliminary hearing Tuesday evening.

Barsky, now 27 and charged with murdering Martin, sat in the town of Rochester courtroom clad in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit and with his head down most of the time as a state police investigator laid out the evidence, which included Barsky telling police he had an accomplice and that, years after the killing, he went back to where Martin's body was hidden, retrieved the bones, took them to New York City and dumped them in several trash cans.

The accomplice identified by Barsky, according state police Investigator Peter Cirigliano, was Daniel Malak, who was 17 at the time. But Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Katherine Van Loan said Malak, who has been serving time for a different murder since the late 1990s, has not been charged in Martin's death.

Martin, Barsky and Malak all were students at Rondout Valley High School when Martin disappeared.

About 40 friends and relatives of Martin packed the small courtroom for Tuesday's hearing. Barsky was accompanied by his lawyer, Neil Checkman of New York City, and the suspect's mother sat in the front row. Martin's mother, Cathaleen Lightstone, did not attend.

Later, as Barsky left the courthouse, one person yelled he should "rot in hell," while another shouted, "No mercy!"

Cirigliano's testimony and other evidence presented on Tuesday compelled Town Justice Albert Babcock to order Barsky back to the Ulster County Jail without bail. The case now is expected to go to a county grand jury.

Cirigliano testified that Barsky, a Brooklyn resident, confessed early last Thursday to killing Martin after another investigator told Cirigliano the suspect had "bombed" a polygraph test.

According to Cirigliano, Barsky said he and Malak plotted for two days to attack Martin because Martin had robbed Barsky.

Then, according to Cirigliano, Barsky's confession went as follows:

* Barsky and Malak picked up some beer and marijuana on March 25, 1996, and went to Schwabie Turnpike in the town of Rochester, where they had arranged to meet Martin for a night of comet watching. (Authorities have said all along that March 25 was the last day Martin seen alive, before leaving his Samsonville Road home near the Rochester-Olive line.)

* Once together, the three teens went to a makeshift fort they had built, and then, with Martin on his knees, Malak struck the teen with a 2-foot-long metal pipe, probably twice, and then Barsky struck Martin with the same pipe, also probably two times.

* Barsky and Malak then placed Martin's lifeless body in a wheelbarrow and pushed it along a trial until they reached a large rock that had a cave-like indentation. They jammed the body into the space, went back to the fort, had some beer, then went home and went to sleep.

Barsky was interviewed by police after Martin was reported missing, but he told investigators Martin never showed up that night.

But in his statement last Thursday - during which he said he was "grateful to get this off my chest," the investigator testified - Barsky confessed not only to killing Martin but also to later getting rid of the evidence.

The investigator said Barsky told authorities he returned several years later to where the body was hidden, collected the bones, put them in the trunk of the rented car he had driven up from New York City and drove back to the city. Once there, "I threw them in garbage cans," Barsky said, according to Cirigliano.

Police said last week that they had recovered forensic evidence in the case, but they would not say whether Martin's body had been found. On Tuesday, Cirigliano said the evidence was fabric found at the site where Barsky admitted hiding Martin's body.

Barsky was charged late Thursday with second-degree murder, and police said on Friday that additional arrests were possible. No additional charges have been filed in the case, and Malak's name did not come up in any official context until Cirigliano spoke about him during Tuesday's hearing.

Malak is serving 20 years to life in state prison for the 1997 shooting death of New York City resident George Allison, 62, in Allison's weekend home in Samsonville.

Speaking outside the courthouse Tuesday evening, Atkins, Martin's aunt, said finally learning that Martin is dead "is sad for everybody, but at least we have closure."

"He didn't deserve to have this happen, but he deserves to have us follow this through," she said. (Freeman 5/13/08)

 

 

bullet

Man charged with assaulting murder suspect

TOWN OF ROCHESTER - A 27-year-old Accord man has been charged with assaulting the suspect in the Joseph Martin murder case, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said Christopher L. Ronda, a close friend of Martin's before the Kerhonkson teenager was killed in 1996, pushed his way past an Ulster County corrections officer while Alexander Barsky was being brought into Rochester Town Court for a hearing Tuesday evening and assaulted Barsky.

Barsky, 27, suffered contusions in the incident, but no corrections officers were hurt, the Sheriff's Office said.

The court was locked down briefly while Ronda was subdued, and sheriff's deputies then took him into custody and charged him with misdemeanor counts of assault, obstructing governmental administration and criminal contempt, the Sheriff's Office said. The Barsky hearing then went on as scheduled.

Ronda was arraigned in Marbletown Town Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bond. He was due to appear Wednesday evening in Rochester Town Court.

(Freeman 5/14/08)

 

 

bullet

Opinion

Dear Editor:

In Sherry Chachkin's report on the recent Rochester Town Board meeting it is noted that AFTER the meeting Supervisor Chipman said that temporary Assessor "Sommer had tendered

his resignation because the Board of Assessment Review had refused his request for a change of date or time for Grievance Day, at which the Assessor must be present.  Chipman also said that he had subsequently contacted the Board's Chair, Zali Win, who refused to change the schedule."

 

Had Chipman dared offer this preposterous "explanation" during the Board meeting his own devious incompetence would have been immediately and loudly exposed by the three attending Board of Assessment Review members.

 

By law, the Assessor must be present at the Grievance day hours which must occur on the fourth Tuesday of May. At least two of the hours must be between six and ten P.M.

The Assessor is to be there to substantiate the assessments which are being challenged and the two hours between six and ten are so as to provide an opportunity for ordinary working people

to attend without compromising their job obligations.

 

The conflict between Assessor Sommer's two other assessing obligations to OTHER towns cannot be honored as, even if faster than light travel is available, one can only schedule two two hour periods in the time frame of six to ten - thus at least one of his town's assessment obligations could not be met-no matter what kind of temporal gerrymandering, UNLESS one legally changed the date for Grievance Day.

 

As of April 1st, the Town of Rochester Assessor's Office was notified of these legal requirements and potential conflicts. This EARLY notification provide plenty of time for the Town Board to implement the option of changing the Grievance Date by a Town Law. The Board of Assessment Review expressed that it would be more than happy to accomodate a legal change of date. 

During the meeting, in response to a statement from the public, Chipman attempted to pass the buck on his avoidance of changing the date by saying that he had not known of this April 1st notification.  Should not the Town Supervisor, especially when being faced with a brewing problem in the Assessor's office, be aware of all such communications to and from the Assessor's office? Does not good management provide for constant upward communication with accompanying requests for the status of crucial timely issues?

 

All of this is just a smoke screen from an artificially created brush fire carefully crafted to obscure the much larger and more important issue:

 

The Town of Rochester is in dire need of a total revaluation by a fair and impartial and COMPETENT Assessor.

 

The Bluestone Press would do our community a wonderful service if it would publish the 2006 report to the Town from the Board of Assessment Review

and even more indicting - the 2007 report from now resigned Assessor Dan Baker on assessment problems in the Town of Rochester.

 

How is it that, with all of this blatant need for a town wide re-assessment, an assessor is being brought in PART TIME, who has to resign briefly for the crucial week of Grievance Day.

The residents of the Town of Rochester deserve for their dollars an Assessor who can devote full time to this consuming task and who can be present to justify and explain his or her assessments during Grievance Day.  Mike Sommers is probably a fine and capable Assessor although he has never done a re-val. I am sure he can rise to the occasion BUT not on a part time basis - nobody can!

 

Supervisor Chipman's slavish obedience to the under powering of the Assessor's Office - his groveling to the status quo is just that - an ongoing plan to keep the rampant assessment inequities of the Town of Rochester inextricably imbedded under a brush pile.

 

Claude Suhl, High Falls

member of the NON-PARTISAN Town of Rochester Board of Assessment Review

 

Assessor's Office... the fix is in

It looks like the fix is in for a new assessor. After not being able to hire their first choice first, it looks like they are going to have to hire her second. Here’s the background.

After having an assessor with unconvincing qualifications for 20 years, the old Town Board decided not to re-appoint Sharon Hornbeck last year, giving her plenty of free time to enjoy her full retirement.The old Town Board appointed a qualified person who had several years of experience as an assessor in Rosendale for the six year term in the fall of 2007.

After he took over the job in October and saw what a mess the office was, he took to the hills and found another job, but not after telling the Town Board and the town of all the shortcomings, including dozens of properties that weren’t on the tax roll, including $2.3 million of the Mohonk Mountain House!In January 2008, the newly elected Town Board appointed Michael Sommer as a full time acting assessor at the magnificent salary of $5,000 per month. Not a bad gig considering he also collects assessor paychecks from Ellenville, Wawarsing and Denning.

Now the first choice all along was Trish Kortright, who ran the successful campaign that swept the Republicans into office in November 2007. She's also a member of the family that owns the most land in town, including a lot of underassessed rock mines. The new Town Board had to give her some type of reward and the highest paying patronage job available was Town Assessor. As a member of the audience at a Town Board meeting said, “You owe her!”

Problem is, Trish didn’t have any qualifications. Solution? Hire her as a temporary “data collector” so she can get some “experience.” It was a job created especially for her and the Town Board ignored its own hiring rules and didn’t post the job or even think about looking at any other candidates. Not only that, the job wasn't in the budget so the Town Board is going to have to search through some cigar boxes or do some budget tricks to keep the budget balanced.

Then in May, the Town Board appointed Michael Sommer as the “permanent” assessor for the rest of the six year term. We'll get a quarter of the man's attention while paying the full salary despite the fact that there were other well qualified job candidates. Perfect solution. Trish gets her training working for Mike in the Assessor’s office, Mike gets a little extra money for less than a full time schedule. But how does Trish get the job they promised her?

No worries. We’re offering 100 to 1 odds that Mike will quit within a year and that Trish will be appointed to the job with her new found “experience.”

The Town Board's flim flam thank you ma'am charade deserves a medal for creativity. Question is, how much is the lack of a full-time qualified assessor really going to cost taxpayers in Rochester? Aside from the money, it's already costing the Town Board its credibility.  (from www.watchrochester.com)

 

bullet

Rochester Residents Association announces 2008 Scholarships

 

The Rochester Residents Association is pleased to announce that it will award two scholarships to graduating high school seniors from the Town of Rochester this year.  Included is a new $1,500 award in memory of longtime Accord resident Bret Adams for a student who has demonstrated a strong dedication to the performing arts.  In addition the RRA will award a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating Rochester senior.  For more information and an application, please visit www.accord-kerhonkson.com and click on the scholarship application link.

 

bullet

Rochester’s Earth Day Roadside Cleanup.—Saturday, April 26th.

Join fellow Rochester residents on the second day of Rochester’s Earth Day observation in which we’ll perform our annual ritual of picking up roadside trash.   Various organizations and neighborhood groups will meet at various places.  There will be pizza for all participants at the Town’s Community Center in the afternoon.  Rochester Democrats will meet at 9:00 am at the PX Mart on Queens Highway and Route 209. 

 

bullet

BOOK SALE on Saturday, April 26th sponsored by Friends of Historic Rochester

To  benefit of The Museum, to be held at Saunderskill Farmstand, Route 209, Accord.10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Large selection of gently used hard cover and paperback books. Vinyl records from the 70s. and New Tee shirts of the Museum on Main Street, Accord.  For more information, call 845-626-7104 or 845-687-9998.

 

bullet

Accord Resident Tracy Levitt to Perform in Poughkeepsie

Please join us on Saturday, April 26th at 8:30 pm when Cave Dogs presents ARCHAEOLOGY OF A STORM, in a special benefit performance for The Justice For All Speakers Forum
at Vassar College at the Powerhouse Theater, Raymond Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY.

This show is sure to be a visual and audio feast for all! Please see the attached poster for
details and for more information.
 For more information about the performance call Rural and Migrant Ministry at 845-485-8627.

bullet

 Tree Planting Along the Rondout Creek and Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting, Saturday, May 3rd.

 

Join members and friends of the Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy on Saturday, May 3rd in planting trees along the Rondout Creek in Alligerville at 10:30 am, followed by lunch and a presentation by Glenn Hoagland, Executive Director of Mohonk Preserve at 1:00 pm.  Meet at Rondout Esopus Land Conservancy’s headquarters, across the street from the  Alligerville Fire House at Creek Road and County Route 6.  (Free and everyone’s welcome!).  Trees donated by NYD Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

 

Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy is a land trust that holds conservation easements to protect farmland and open space covering more than 3,000 acres in Rochester, Olive, Marbletown, and Denning and surrounding areas.

bullet

 NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S QUILT SHOW
SAT. MAY 3RD, 1:00 – 7:00 ISH
CHRIST THE KING CHURCH, RTE 213, STONE RIDGE, NY

We hang, display and wrap the interior of Christ the King Church-Christo style with
quilts that will blow your mind!
To benefit Mariya uMama weTemba Holy Cross Scholarship Fund and
The Ilinge Isibindi Children’s Project
Quilters include: Wendy Blair • Anne Wargin • Stella Zahn • Pam Flam • Linda Seekamp • Patty Curry •Eileen Barchi • Susan Herman •Wendy McDonald • Tana Miller Linda Fitzpatrick • Mama T Curry • Pam Duke • Margaret Caccamo Elaine Blythe • Jody Mellantahin • Susan Holland. 
Sponsored by The Bidty B*tches, Christ the King Quilters, Stone Ridge Wine & Spirits, Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits, bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy, Bodum, In Pursuit of Tea, High Falls Mercantile and Hudson Valley Dessert Co.

 

bullet

Accord Artist Sara Harris’ work exhibited in New York

“Roots in Connection” an exhibition of recent work by Accord artist Sara Harris will be shown April 18 to June 5 at The Living Room Gallery, St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Ave. at 54th Street, New York, NY.  The artist’s reception will be on May 9th from 6pm to 8pm.  For more information visit. www.saraharrisstudio.com or call 626-2843.

 

 

bullet

Save the Date – History Day

 

Saturday, May 17, 2008 is the date, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the time, the Museum at 12 Main Street, Accord is the place, and Annual Spring History Day is the event.  A main feature of the day is Accord's own Antiques Roadshow where your favorite items can be appraised for $5 each, or three for $10.  Other attractions include heritage crafts, local authors with their books to autograph, music, food, and information on local history and family genealogy at the Museum.

Admission and parking are free.  For more information, call 845-626-7104 or 845-687-9998.

 

bullet

School Board Elections and Budget Vote – Tuesday, May 20th.

In the Rondout Valley school district, three of the nine seats on the Board of Education are available. Three incumbents - Board President Maureen Sheehan and trustees Kent Anderson and James Ayers - are running against two former board members. Imre Beke Jr. of Kerhonkson and Pamela Longley of High Falls are vying for two of the three three-year seats.  The School District’s annual budget vote will also take place on that date.  While there is no information on the budget vote or election on the school district’s website, you can download an absentee ballot application at:

http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/SchoolDistrictAbsenteeApplication.pdf

 

bullet

 CATSKILL NATIVE NURSERY’S WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL will be on SATURDAY, MAY 24TH. 

Native American Fruits for the Home Garden with author and gardening consultant Dr. Lee Reich

Trees: For Beauty, Shade, Nourishment & Future Generations with Francis Groeters, Ecologist and owner of Catskill Native Nursery

The Full Circle Garden: Seed Saving for the Backyard Garden with Ken Greene, Co-founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library in Gardiner

We will be fully stocked with rare woodland plants, perennials, herbs and many other hard to find trees and shrubs. 

TOMATOTHON! returns to supply you with heirloom tomatoes grown in a pesticide free greenhouse with organic methods. Plus - this year we are growing some unusual melons. Melons are easy to grow and very rewarding. Everyone should have the pleasure of picking a ripe, juicy melon off a vine and eating it at peak flavor. You can even grow them in big pots on a sunny patio.

bullet

Memorial Day Parade.

The Kerhonkson Accord Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26th at 1pm.  Everyone is invited to march, ride on a float, drive a vehicle, motorcycle or even a bicycle.  To register or for more information, call 626-2667 or email KerhonksonAccordChamber @gmail.com

 

 

bullet

Disputes smolder in wake of Minnewaska fire; blaze blamed on cigarette

KINGSTON - Wednesday was a day for assessing how the 3,100-acre wildfire in Minnewaska State Park was handled, with Ulster County's emergency management director saying reported conflicts between state and local entities were exaggerated, and three elected lawmakers calling for a review of procedures.

Also Wednesday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said it determined the fire was started by burning cigarette that was discarded on a scenic overlook along U.S. Route 44/state Route 55.

The developments came a day after two controversies arose: some people who live near the fire site complaining they were not kept informed about blaze as it grew, and local fire chiefs saying the fire lasted longer and grew larger than it should have because the state intervened and stopped local crews from doing their job.

Ulster County Emergency Management Director Arthur Snyder said state and local officials worked well together.

"I pride myself and Ulster County on a great working relationship with all emergency responders. This has been unprecedented cooperation of county and state resources," Snyder said on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, by a few people discussing their dissatisfaction and disappointment, the fire will be over and we'll have a lot of work to do to patch up relationships. Those take years to build and just a minute to screw up."

County Legislator Frank Dart, who heads the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Safety Committee, which oversees the Emergency Management Department, said he understood the "big department vs. small department" mentality of state and county officials, but he added that he thought the Emergency Management Department did its job well during the fire, which started last Thursday and was declared fully contained on Tuesday.

"Our people got their noses bent out of shape because they've been fighting fires out there for over 100 years and they know the terrain," said Dart, a retired Kingston firefighter. "They were doing their best and got upset because state and federal officials came in with their big Tonka toys."

Dart, D-Kingston, said he would like to speak with Snyder about getting all the involved parties - state, federal and local - into a room together to talk about what could have been done better during the fire.

County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson agreed.

"We need to understand why they (local firefighters) were pulled off," said Donaldson, D-Kingston. "I don't know what the state's reasoning is, it was not communicated to us."

State Sen. John Bonacic went further, calling for an evaluation by the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control to examine the state's cooperation - or lack of it - with local firefighters.

"I am concerned when I hear from local officials that they feel the state was not responsive to their suggestions," Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, said in a prepared statement. "We need to evaluate the level of state and local cooperation."

Bonacic also called for a review of procedures used to apprise the public of what's happening during an emergency like the Minnewaska blaze, formally known as the Overlook Fire.

But Donaldson, Snyder and DEC officials challenged the allegation that Minnewaska neighbors were not kept informed.

"(Emergency Services) is overwhelmed, but they're doing what they should," Donaldson said. "There has not been any reason to alarm people that they have to (evacuate)."

Said Snyder: "If we thought there was any danger to anyone, they would've been notified. There were things already in place that people weren't aware of." He was referring to the fact that arrangements had been made with the Red Cross to set up a shelter for any fire evacuees.  (Freeman 4/24/08)

DEC spokesman Yancey Roy said a public information meeting about the fire was held Sunday morning in Cragsmoor and the firefighters went door to door to the approximately 40 homes in the Kerhonkson Heights neighborhood near the park.

Donaldson also said communication was adequate.

"I'm sorry if people are upset about the communication, but they should feel free to call into Emergency Management for updates," the Legislature chairman said.

Snyder said there was effective coordination between state and local officials, with the DEC sending experts in public information, logistics and planning. The state also provided local officials with twice-daily briefings on weather conditions, including wind variables and humidity levels.

"By coming here, they were not intending to take over, but to support the local effort," Snyder said. "We don't want the public to think we can't get along. ... Everything that has been done has been a unified decision."

Roy said the fire remained "100 percent contained" on Wednesday but that fire officials were not yet ready to use the word "extinguished."

As for the wildfire being started by discarded cigarette, Roy said investigators were able to rule out a campfire as the cause and said typical arson patterns did not exist.

Also Wednesday, Route 44/55 near Minnewaska, closed since Saturday morning because of the fire, was reopened to traffic, though the park remained closed.

 

To listen to a WAMC radio piece on the subject visit:

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-698698.mp3

 

 

bullet

Minnewaska wildfire state's worst in 13 years

Working feverishly through Sunday night and Monday, state agencies and local fire crews were optimistic that they were getting the upper hand on the fire at Minnewaska State Park that had consumed 3,100 acres since Thursday. After consuming over 2,000 acres over the weekend, what has become the largest wildfire in New York state in 13 years, advanced only 100 acres Monday.

"Weather conditions have allowed for rangers and firefighters to make a full assault on this blaze. We're proud of the significant strides made over the weekend," said Gov. David Paterson said in a new release.

 

Paterson would not go as far as saying the blaze was entirely controlled though, adding that 80 percent of the blaze was contained.

Paterson said, "The fire is not fully contained. Even once it is contained, firefighting efforts will likely continue for several days until the blaze is fully under control."

"Overnight and into this morning they were successful in building a fireline at what would be right in the path of the western advance of the fire," said state Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Yancey Roy. "Crews have been working through the day to widen the path. The wider the better."

According to fire officials, Department of Environmental Conservation rangers and firefighters were able to slow the fire's progress significantly over the last two days due to a number of factors. For the second straight day, favorable weather conditions raised the humidity, lowered temperatures and lessened the impact of the wind.

Additionally, helicopters from the state police and the National Guard have been dropping large amounts of water - from 100 to 500 gallons at a time - directly onto the fire.

"With lowered temperatures of the air and the fire (due to helicopter water drops), we were able to keep crews on the fire all day," said Roy. "The first couple of days, because of extreme conditions, we had to pull people back for safety reasons."

The firefighting efforts have been based out of the Kerhonkson Firehouse, and Paterson thanked members of the fire department in a Monday conference call for being so cooperative with state agencies throughout the blaze.

"There was a fire truck in virtually every driveway in Kerhonkson Heights," noted Roy.

As of Monday night, the only structure that the fire destroyed was a ranger's hut, Roy said. No one had been evacuated, but the Kerhonkson Heights development, which is located at the periphery of the park, has been on alert.

Roy said that fire officials are calling the blaze the Overlook Fire, a reference to a series of scenic overlooks on U.S. Route 44/state Route 55 where the fire is suspected to have begun. Roy declined to comment on what possibly started the blaze, saying that the investigation is ongoing and that quelling the fire was a greater concern.

According to officials who said the blaze has become the is the largest wildfire in New York state in 13 years, the last fire of this scale was the "Sunrise Fire" in Suffolk County in 1995. Roy said that this is the largest fire in Minnewaska State Park since 1972 and the largest on the Shawangunk Ridge outside the park area in almost 60 years.

In consuming 3,100 acres as of Monday evening, the fire grew from about 100 acres mid-Friday to 1,000 Friday night to 3,000 acres Saturday night, according to the Governor's Office.

The Department of Environmental Conservation, which has deployed more than one-third of its statewide ranger staff to the fire, has been in charge of the statewide effort. Additional help has come from the Parks Department, the state Air National Guard, the State Emergency Management Office, the Department of Transportation, state police, the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Ulster County Sheriff's Office and Ulster County Emergency Services.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis said, "There has been a tremendous cooperative effort among state agencies and local firefighters and emergency personnel to make progress against the fire. Still, the fire is not under control and we will continue to commit all resources necessary until it is." (Freeman 4/22/08)

bullet

RONDOUT VALLEY ORGANICS part II

IT'S LOCAL, IT'S ORGANIC, YOU GET TO ORDER ON-LINE WHAT YOU NEED, IT'S BEING SERVED IN A HISTORIC 1840's BARN - WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? We received many inquiries about the CSA pickup at the nursery this season, but not much in the way of money. The farmers need your financial support to make this work. Now, I repeat- NOW- is the time to send in your $300 to Nadia at Rusty Plough Farm. Remember, this is not your old style CSA where you are given a box of kale and swiss chard and told to make a fabulous dinner with it. Rondout Valley growers let you pick what you like and decide how much you need. Going away for June? - no problem, just don't order. Having a big picnic in August? - get extra tomatoes and lettuce. Help us make this partnership between farmers and families a success.

Here is the information again for the CSA :

Join RVO's CSA with an initial investment of $250.00 plus a non-refundable membership fee of $50.00.  

For more information or to join our unique CSA, call Nadia or Oleh at 845-647-6911 or email us at rustyplough@earthlink.net. Check out the site at www.farmtocity.org (look for Rondout Valley Organics under "buying clubs").

 

bullet

Rondout Valley Business Association Launches Scholarship Fundraising Event:

Visions of the Valley 2008/09

Photography Contest & Calendar

 

Submission Deadline for Photo Contest:  June 7, 2008

Exhibition:  July 18-August 9, Rondout Golf Club, Accord, NY

Art Auction by JMW Auctions:  Sunday, Aug. 10, Rondout Golf Club

 

Accord NY -- The Rondout Valley Business Association (RVBA) proudly announces the launch of a new community service and outreach program, Visions of the Valley™ 2008/09.  Destined to become a much-anticipated yearly event, Visions of the Valley™ 2008/09, is a multifaceted photography contest, photo auction and calendar sales fundraiser to benefit local scholarship programs, the event’s participants, and the RVBA.

 

Participating photographers, whether seasoned professionals or talented hobbyists, are invited to capture the natural, year-round beauty of the Rondout Valley and then submit up to 4 individual, unmounted 11” x 14” prints, either in full color or in black & white.  Deadline for submission is June 7, 2008.  (Please see accompanying “Call for Entries”  release for further details)

 

From amongst the entries, a distinguished panel of judges (participants TBA) will then select 13 winning photographs for inclusion in a high-quality 2009 wall calendar, to go on sale later this year.  One photo will be selected to represent each of the 12 months, with a 13th (selected by popular vote) to grace the calendar’s cover.  All submissions to Visions of the Valley™ 2008/09 will then be mounted and displayed in an exhibition at

The Rondout Golf Club and Restaurant in Accord, from July 18-August 9, 2008.  The exhibit will culminate with a reception and auction conducted by professional auctioneer Jay Werbalowski of JMW Auctions on the Sunday, August 10, 2008.

 

Sales derived from both the auction and production of the calendar will be divided between scholarships for college bound seniors and the RVBA.  Photographers will receive 50% of the proceeds from the sale of their work at the auction.  For further  information visit the RVBA website: www.RondoutValleyBusinessAssociation.org.

 

bullet

Letters

 

WEEKENDERS DON’T CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY?

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

I was astonished to read in a recent interview that Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said that second homeowners in our community “are not really contributing to the economy.”  He continued, “As far as local businesses go, it doesn’t make a tremendous amount of difference…”

 

Since the turn of the last century, and well before the age of inexpensive air travel and air conditioning, visitors to our community supported local businesses and farms by spending summers in the dozens of local bungalow colonies and hotels that graced our valley, many of which are still in operation.  Summer visitors injected very welcome cash into the then-agrarian community – especially during lean harvest years. Now, second homeowners follow in that trend, including many who are second, third, and fourth generations of those same summer families.

 

According to an extensive study conducted by the Rochester Residents Association in 2001, second homeowners represented nearly one-third of all property tax revenue in our community, and take little in the form of municipal or school district services – therefore subsidizing those services.  In addition to tax revenue, one only has to spend a Saturday afternoon at Saunderskill Farm or a local hardware or grocery store to see the significant proportion of second homeowners who comprise those establishments’ clientele.  This doesn’t even take into consideration the millions of dollars in the aggregate spent each year on home improvements, and other local services.

 

In terms of economic activity, many of these second homeowners enjoy our community so much that they create local businesses to enable them to move here full time.  I can think of at least ten very successful stores/businesses that have been started in this way in the past couple of years, including an antique store owned by a Town Board member, and Skate Time 209.

 

If the finest attributes of our community, including our Town’s significant natural resources, are degraded by thoughtless growth and insensitive developers, the charm that has brought so many people here for generations and so too will a large part of the economic activity that they bring.

 

Sincerely,

 

Zali Win, President

Rochester Residents Association, Inc.

 

To see the interview in its entirety, visit

http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/Chipman%20Interview%20-%20Ulster%20County%20Press.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

bullet

Rochester Residents Association announces 2008 Scholarships

 

The Rochester Residents Association is pleased to announce that it will award two scholarships to graduating high school seniors from the Town of Rochester this year.  Included is a new $1,500 award in memory of longtime Accord resident Bret Adams for a student who has demonstrated a strong dedication to the performing arts.  In addition the RRA will award a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating Rochester senior.  For more information and an application, please visit www.accord-kerhonkson.com and click on the scholarship application link.

 

bullet

Rochester Historic Preservation Commission Hosts New Paltz Preservationists

at Special Program on April 21, 2008

 

Historic preservation has been a contentious issue in the Town of Rochester, with scores of local residents coming out in 2006 to oppose a proposed new historic preservation law. The neighboring Town of New Paltz, meanwhile, has a preservation law much like the one that Rochester residents opposed. The Rochester Historic Preservation Commission invites local residents to a special meeting and presentation on Monday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. in the Rochester Reformed Church at 5142 Route 209 in Accord to find out what New Paltz has gained and lost in preserving historic structures. Speakers will be John Orfitelli, the Chairman of the Town of New Paltz Historic Preservation Commission, who will be joined by the Commission’s consultant, noted preservationist Neil Larson of Woodstock.

 

Apart from giving an illustrated talk about the significant historic structures of New Paltz, one of the oldest settlements in the country, Orfitelli and Larson will discuss the specifics of the Town’s preservation law and what it empowers the Commission to do. They will discuss examples of structures that have been designated as local landmarks and the reasons for the designations. Importantly, they will also describe the benefits and drawbacks to designation and the nature of the opposition to historic preservation in the township. There will be a question-and-answer period for members of the audience to raise their concerns.

 

John Orfitelli, Chairman of the Town of New Paltz Historic Preservation Commission, spent thirty-five years with IBM and is currently a licensed real estate agent at Century 21 Venables Realty in New Paltz. Neil Larson, President of Larson Fisher Associates, has, among his many accomplishments, prepared the designation materials for the Hudson River National Register Historic Landmark District. He is a former staff member in the New York State Historic Preservation Office and has taught at both Marist College and SUNY New Paltz.

 

This is the second special program that the Commission has sponsored. At the last program, in January, archaeologist Douglas Mackey discussed Rochester’s extensive archaeological resources and their connection to land use laws to an overflow audience at the Museum in Accord.

 

The Town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission has been in existence since 1987 and is entrusted by law to “survey the town for the purpose of determining which structures, buildings and sites or landscapes are worthy of preservation efforts…” It is currently conducting a study, funded by the Preservation League of New York State, to update research on Rochester’s architectural treasures, which, once completed, will be shared with Town residents.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE

 

bullet

Save the Date – History Day

 

Saturday, May 17, 2008 is the date, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the time, the Museum at 12 Main Street, Accord is the place, and Annual Spring History Day is the event.  A main feature of the day is Accord's own Antiques Roadshow where your favorite items can be appraised for $5 each, or three for $10.  Other attractions include heritage crafts, local authors with their books to autograph, music, food, and information on local history and family genealogy at the Museum.

Admission and parking are free.  For more information, call 845-626-7104 or 845-687-9998.

 

 

bullet

Tree planting along the rondout creek and 20th anniversary annual meeting of the rondout esopus land conservancy on May 3, 2008

 Please join us and bring a shovel!

On Saturday, May 3, 2008, the Rondout Esopus Land Conservancy (RELC) will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.  RELC is a charitable organization working with the local community to protect land in Ulster County.

The day will start with planting of native species trees on RELC?s property along the Rondout Creek in Alligerville (Rochester),  in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Conservation of the State of New York (DEC) and its ?Trees for Tribs Initiative,? a program designed to protect streamside  buffers and help improve water quality.   Participants are asked to bring a shovel but the holes in which the trees will be planted will be dug in advance -- no actual digging is involved, only planting and watering.

After the tree planting, RELC will hold its annual public meeting and lunch will be available.  After lunch, Glenn Hoagland, the Executive Director of the Mohonk Preserve, the largest nonprofit nature preserve in New York State, will offer remarks entitled ?Farsighted Actions by Private Landowners: The Key to Success of Our Land Trusts?

SCHEDULE

 

Date:            Saturday, May 3, 2008

 Time:   Tree Planting 10:30 -12:00

            Picnic Lunch  12:00-12:30 PM

            Meeting  12:20-1:00 PM

            Address by Glenn Hoagland, 1:00-1:30 PM

 

Place:   RELC Office at 17 Creekside Road, Alligerville, Marbletown (diagonally opposite the Alligerville Firehouse).  Creekside Road is a turn from County Route 6 just to the west of the Rondout Creek (i.e. before the bridge if heading east).

   

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Rondout Esopus Land Conservancy

The Rondout Esopus Land Conservancy is an Ulster County-based charitable organization with 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.  RELC?s mission is to actively protect land in Ulster County, particularly along the Esopus and Rondout Creeks and other areas in the Towns of Marbletown, Rochester, and Olive.  RELC?s activities focus on protection of open space, forested land, wetlands, stream corridors, and pasture land.  As of 2007, RELC holds easements on 38 properties in Ulster County, comprising 3,079 acres.

 

“Trees for Tribs” Initiative

The Trees for Tribs program conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation?s (DEC) Hudson River Estuary program involves watershed organizations, land trusts, environmental organizations, municipalities, neighborhood associations, schools, soil and water conservation districts, private residents, and a local farm. Volunteers will be planting native trees and shrubs along more than 6,000 ft. of streams and rivers in the Hudson Valley.

Riparian (streamside) buffers are an important aspect of maintaining healthy streams and protecting water quality. These buffers, composed of trees, shrubs, and grasses, help to reduce pollution entering waterways by slowing down and filtering storm water runoff. Buffers also help to reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing stream banks and absorbing high velocity flows. In addition, they serve an important role for wildlife as a shoreline transition zone and travel corridor, not to mention increasing overall biodiversity.

www.dec.ny.gov

 

Glenn Hoagland and The Mohonk Preserve

The Mohonk Preserve is an Ulster County-based charitable organization with 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.  The Mohonk Preserve provides visitors access to over 6,500 acres in the Shawangunk Mountains ? including cliffs, forests, fields, ponds, and streams ? and to a network of over 100 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, running, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.  Also, the internationally renowned ?Gunks? cliffs offer over 1,000 technical rock climbing routes. The Mohonk Preserve is a mountain refuge ? for people and nature.  It is a haven for wildlife, a living museum, and a sanctuary where visitors can come to reflect and be restored.

Glenn Hoagland joined the Preserve as Executive Director in 1993. With over 20 years' land conservation experience, he has been Director of the Citizen Action Program at the Open Space Institute, Executive Director of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, and Land Preservation Director for Scenic Hudson. He is a member of the Association of Nature Center Administrators and a graduate of its Leadership Institute. He is also chairs the Citizen Advisory Committee for the New York State (NYS) Open Space Conservation Plan, and is a member of the NYS Outdoor Coalition, the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway Steering Committee, the Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership Steering Committee, the Shawangunk Ridge Coalition Executive Committee, and the Pattern for Progress Board of Directors.

www.mohonkpreserve.org

 

 

bullet

Memorial Day Parade.

 

The Kerhonkson Accord Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26th at 1pm.  Everyone is invited to march, ride on a float, drive a vehicle, motorcycle or even a bicycle.  To register or for more information, call 626-2667 or email KerhonksonAccordChamber @gmail.com

 

 

bullet

Resort Housing Plans Move Forward

According to an article in the Blue Stone Press, plans for the expansion and development of the Lexington Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson (formerly the Granit Hotel) are going forward with plans for more than 100 condo/townhouses to be constructed in a horseshoe arrangement around the main hotel. 

 

 

bullet

Rondout Valley voters OK high school wing

KYSERIKE - Rondout Valley school district voters Tuesday adopted, by a margin of 1,251-863, a $7.06 million proposition to add a new science and music wing to the northern end of the high school.

Ron Wiejaczk, 54, of Accord, who graduated from Rondout Valley High School in 1971, said he voted for the project because "the science labs are probably the same as when I went to high school here."

District officials have said the school's science classrooms were designed to meet 1958 standards. At a public information meeting last week, lead architect Keith Buff said only one of the school's science classrooms meets the state's current 1,200-square-foot space requirement, while the rest are about 400 square feet shy of the standard.

Buff said the four biology labs, two chemistry labs, and one physics lab to be housed in the new 15,500-square-foot wing would free space in the main building to be used for a special education classroom, a life skills classroom, and a computer lab for graphics classes.

While a number of voters who supported the proposal said they voted in favor of it to bolster the school's science facilities, the prospect of upgrading music facilities appealed to others. The proposed wing would also include an acoustically outfitted music room and two practice rooms.

"Mankind would be gloomy and lost without music," said Jay Martin, 57, of Marbletown. Fellow Marbletown resident Bruce Golden, 47, said "music is vital to young people."

"It's not going to cost us that much - the (tax) impact will mostly be at the state level," added Golden, referring to the fact that 65.5 percent of the cost will be covered by state aid for increasing classroom space in the school.

Roy McMaster, vice president of Capital Market Advisors, said last week that the high school project - coupled with a proposition adopted by voters last October to bring the school into compliance with disability, health, and safety requirements - would actually cost taxpayers about $4 less per year than the health and safety project alone.

The reason for the reduction, McMaster said, is that the district intends to pay for the high school project up front with $3 million from its surplus fund balance and $1.16 million from its capital project fund, and the additional classroom space in the new northern wing will trigger building aid from the state to cover 65.5 percent of the cost over the next 15 years.

Bill Ferguson, 67, of Kerhonkson, said he voted against the proposition partly as a "protest vote."

"Voters said no to this once before," he said, referring to a similar proposition that was defeated when the health and safety project was approved last October.

Joan McLoughlin, 60, of Stone Ridge, who said her children do not attend Rondout Valley public schools, also voted against the project. She said education aid should be split up more equitably between public and private schools.

"There is an assumption that people who send their kids to private schools are rich, but that is a wrong assumption," she said. "(Schooling) should be the preference of the parents, not the government."

McLoughlin said "money should be spent on education, not the building."

Kelly DuMond, 48, of High Falls, said he voted for the proposition, but expects to see some results.

"I'd like to see some kids go to MIT instead of the community colleges around here," DuMond said. (Daily Freeman)

 

 

 

bullet

Pact protects historic Marbletown farm

 

MARBLETOWN - The 95-acre Osterhoudt Farm on state Route 213 has been family-owned and farmed since the Revolutionary War. Now, with the help of the Open Space Conservancy, the farm will be protected from development permanently.

As part of an extensive campaign to protect the "rural character" of the Rondout Valley, the conservancy - the land-acquisition affiliate of the Open Space Institute - entered into an agricultural easement.

The easement preserves the 95 acres of prime agricultural land owned by the Osterhoudts and allows continued use of the farm and its historic farmhouse, while prohibiting residential subdivision. The easement cost $700,000, with capital coming from a loan from the J.M. Kaplan Fund and from the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

"Many generations of Osterhoudts have worked this land," said Claude E. Osterhoudt, who owns the farm with his wife, Holly. "If they were here today, they would be pleased. This beautiful farm is permanently protected."

Osterhoudt said money from the sale of the agricultural easement will keep the farm and beef business on sound footing for years to come.

"Preservation of Marbletown's working family farms has been identified time and time again by our residents as a top priority," said town Supervisor Vincent Martello. "Agriculture plays a vital role in our local and regional economy and is woven into the cultural and historical fabric of our community."

The Osterhoudt family also has given the Open Space Institute three years to raise funds to protect an additional 120 acres of farmland owned by the Osterhoudts opposite Marbletown Elementary School on Route 213. The purchase of that site would cost an additional $1.2 million, which the institute will seek to raise from public and private sources.

To date, the institute has protected nearly 750 acres in the Esopus Creek corridor in Marbletown and Hurley. In the Rondout and Wallkill valleys, the institute has preserved more than 2,200 acres of productive farmland. (Freeman 4/2/08)

bullet

Shawangunk fire team enters fourth season, looks to habitat restoration

NEW PALTZ - The Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership announced plans to open the 2008 window for prescribed burns, entering the fourth season of this ecologically beneficial practice in the Shawangunk region. To occur between March 31 and December 15, controlled burns are planned for up to 12 approved burn sites totaling 90 acres, including fields at Spring Farm and Glory Hill at the Mohonk Preserve.

Prescribed fires are set safely and intentionally under predetermined conditions to achieve land management objectives, and are not set unless all of the required conditions, including moisture levels and wind, are met.

Prescribed fires are often conducted in the Shawangunks in the fall and spring by experienced crews with prescribed burn training, who work closely with meteorologists and other scientists to determine when conditions are right for a burn to take place. This year, the Partnership hopes to conduct burns in several areas during the summer, or “growing season,” when the tree saplings that compromise ecologically important grassland areas are most vulnerable to fire.

“Since we started the prescribed fire program, the Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership team has had extensive training and become increasingly knowledgeable, cohesive, and effective,” says Cara Lee, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Shawangunk Ridge Program.  “In 2008, we will continue to restore grassland areas that provide important bird habitat, as well as starting to use controlled fire in wooded areas that would benefit from fire management.”   

To date, more than 40 acres in nine fields have been burned in the Shawangunks to achieve dual goals: reducing the likelihood that intense wildfires will occur and restoring habitat for birds and other wildlife.  Midhudson News 3/24/08

 

bullet

EXERCISE TV   NAMES TERRY BERNARDO “TOP TRAINER” FOR PILATES

Accord, NY  31 March 2008 – Thousands
of ballots were cast. The votes were tallied.   Over 1,300 trainers were entered in the Exercise TV Top Trainer competition in 8 different categories, and every race was close.  Today, Exercise TV announced the winners of the 2008 Top Trainer competition, and Terry Bernardo of Accord, New York was named Top Trainer for Pilates.  

 

Exercise TV built and promoted "Exercise TV Top Trainer," to be the first interactive online guide and contest to discover the country's best fitness professionals.  Exercise TV is a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable, New Balance and Jake Steinfeld of "Body by Jake."

Between January 28 and March 23, 2008 Exercise TV invited fitness professionals and their clients or friends to nominate themselves or their favorite trainer online.  "We built on the overwhelming response to our 2007 'America's Next Fitness Star' contest, in which more than 1,000 fitness professionals from across the country competed to be named the country's next fitness celebrity," said Chris Mansolillo, General Manager, Exercise TV. "This contest provided online users a fun and easy way to vote, nominate and comment on their favorite instructors across the country."

Top Trainer Winner Bernardo is the owner of Pilates at the Bungalow, an exercise studio in Accord.  "I got an email from Exercise TV one day saying I'd been nominated for Top Trainer," says Bernardo. "At first I thought it was junk mail, then when I found out it was for real.  I was honored and I wanted to know who nominated me.”  Bernardo still doesn't know who nominated her.  It could have been any of her clients from Pilates at the Bungalow who rave about her instruction.  Joy Weber of  Cragsmoore says "She is a very patient and understanding teacher and her passion for Pilates shows up at every session."   Renee Cohen of Accord boasts "Without Terry's skills, patience and love for what she does, I would not be able to walk without pain. She's my hero."

Pilates exercises are accessible to anyone:  young, old, sedentary, or athletic.  Gentle enough for pregnant women, sophisticated enough to challenge the athlete or performer, it is also superb for injury rehabilitation, and is often prescribed by doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists.  Many people use this exercise as a complete fitness program, as a complement to other activities, or as an education program to re-pattern the body to operate in a more efficient daily mode. 

Bernardo opened Pilates at the Bungalow in March of 2002.  The Pilates at the Bungalow client list includes local regulars, famous celebrities, top NYC business executives. 

In addition to teaching Pilates, Bernardo is also a Professional Roller Skating Instructor and uses Pilates principles to help people to improve their skating skills.  “Much of what we teach in Pilates is balance and core stabilization, and this is exactly what skaters (roller and ice) need to help them become a good skater.  Everyone who gets a roller skating lesson from me also gets a little bit of Pilates too.”, says Bernardo.  Competitive Artistic Ice Skaters travel specifically to Pilates at the Bungalow to experience Bernardo’s unique perspective as both a Certified Pilates Instructor and a Skating Professional.

Pilates at the Bungalow is located at 80 Boodle Hole Road in Accord, please call 845-626-5600 or visit www.PilatesAtTheBungalow.com for more information.  For information on skating lessons, Skate Time 209 is located at 5164 Route 209 in Accord and can be reached at 845-626-7971 or www.SkateTime209.com

 

The Exercise TV Top Trainer results can be viewed online at www.ExerciseTV.tv/TopTrainer

 

 

 

 

bullet

LINSCOTT- Joseph D. Linscott of Accord, NY, died Joseph was born on January 14, 1991 in Tuesday, March 18, 2008. He was 17.  Joseph was a Junior Kingston, the son of David and Bonnie (Sanderson) Linscott. at Rondout Valley High School where he was a straight A student who had a thirst for knowledge. Joe was an adventurous kid who loved skateboarding and riding his four-wheeler and motorcycle. He was an avid video game player who always found a way to master and beat the games. In his younger years he enjoyed playing Pop Warner football. When Joe wasn’t in school he worked at Bells Christmas Tree Farm and Barra and Trumbore doing various jobs. Joe always had a way of making Joseph is survived by his father, David and stepmother, Bethany everyone laugh. Strang of Accord, his mother, Bonnie of Napanoch, his paternal grandmother, Norma Clayton of Accord, his maternal grandparents, Edward and Linda Rood of Napanoch, his brother, David Jr. and his sister, Amanda both of Napanoch. Also surviving are many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Joe was predeceased by Visiting will be on Saturday, March 22nd from 1 his grandfather William Clayton. to 4 P.M. at H.B. Humiston Funeral Home, 30 42nd Street, Kerhonkson, NY. A Celebration of his life will follow at 4 P.M. at the funeral home. Cremation will be private. In lieu of flowers, to help defray funeral expenses, donations may be made to: David Linscott, 10 Berry Lane, Accord, NY 12404.  (Kingston Freeman 3/21/08)

 

 

bullet

Dear Editor:

This week, the fifth anniversary of the 2003 US attack on Iraq, attorneys Michael Sussman and Stephen Bergstein filed a brief to the Supreme Court to defend me against the prosecution of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department:  Judith Karpova v. John Snow, Secretary, Department of the Treasury, United States of America.  

Five years ago, in February and March of 2003, I went to Iraq with an international movement called the Human Shields to defend the UN designated civilian infrastructure of that country, such as water treatment plants and power generating stations.  Such sites had been bombed by the US in the 1991 Gulf War, with catastrophic results for the Iraqi civilian population.  The Human Shields had the larger ambition of bringing enough Western people into Iraq to prevent the war from going forward.  Though failing in this greater goal, the sites we lived on during the 2003 war were not bombed.   We were hosted by an Iraqi tourism ministry which provided food, lodgings and transportation within the country. 

The Treasury Department accuses me of supporting the pre-war Iraqi economy by allegedly buying food and thus breaking the economic embargo against Iraq.  As if, had I spent a few dollars, I could have undermined the entire US effort, going on for twelve years, to impoverish and starve the Iraqi people.  Over a million Iraqi people died as a direct result of these sanctions, from the lack of banned medication and from untreated water.  The embargo had become an international scandal.

The war which did go forward in 2003 is beyond a scandal.  The Bush administration has again destroyed the country's infrastructure, used cluster bombs and depleted uranium against it citizens, handed over Iraq's reconstruction money to political cronies, and economically looted the country.  It is closing in on seizing its oil reserves.  In the desperate scarcity it has created, the administration uses US taxpayer money to pay every Iraqi sect and militia to kill each other.  It has killed at least another million Iraqi people through these policies and driven millions more from their homes.  The US soldiers trying to contain the Iraqi insurgency are treated as throwaways, denied protective equipment in the field and care when they return.  While the administration borrows trillions of dollars to pay for its oil war in Iraq, it attempts to punish me and other humanitarian travelers for witnessing pre-war Iraq and stating that Iraqi lives are no less important than our own.

This Administration has a policy of impunity.  The war itself was based on unconfirmed assertions and actually forged documents.  Mercenary contractors commit atrocities in Iraq and are immune from prosecution because they're neither part of the military nor subject to US civilian law.  Iraq itself is not permitted to prosecute any foreign contractors and these contractors fail to rebuild, but get paid anyway.  Paul Bremer, the administrator of Iraq in 2003, says he's not subject to law because the Coalition Provisional Authority was not an entity of the US government.  Worst of all, people are rendered, imprisoned and tortured without the possibility of defending themselves.  In my case the courts mirror this culture of impunity.  Without a hearing, without having to submit any evidence or proof to an impartial judge or jury, the Treasury Department has both accused and convicted me of supporting the Iraqi economy by my humanitarian travel there prior to the war.  In his memorandum to the Southern District Court of New York State, the US Attorney notes that the (Federal) Second Circuit "has declined to attach talismanic significance to the availability of an oral hearing."[1]  A talisman is an object thought to have magical powers.  This is apparently what the government now thinks of due process -- as a kind of superstition.  Thus far the state and Federal Courts have upheld this denial of due process.  I have filed to the Supreme Court today to ask if the culture of impunity has engulfed them as well.  Do they also find due process nothing more than a superstition, or is it instead part of our Constitution, which they need to uphold?

 

Judith Karpova

Kerhonkson, NY


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

bullet

ACCORD FIRE CO., INC.  - FEBRUARY 25, 2008  ANNUAL 29TH BLOOD DRIVE at: THE ACCORD FIRE HOUSE SOCIAL HALL - MAIN STREET ACCORD. when:   3 TO 8:30 PM  -  OFFERING A FREE STEAK DINNER TO ALL DONORS. contact: FOR APPOINTMENTS (845) 687 9416  ALSO -WALK IN ARE ACCEPTED.

 

bullet

Volunteers Needed!

The Town Board has disbanded the previous committees that have worked on the Town’s comprehensive plan, code revision and related areas and proposes to establish a new ten-member task force to revisit these topics.  If you are interested in serving on this task force, please contact us by emailing AccordTownCrier@aol.com for more information.

bullet

 Videotapers Wanted

The Rochester Residents Association has been videotaping meetings of our town government for about six years.  These tapes are broadcast on public access television in an effort to open the process of government.  We are looking for people to help with this effort and can offer a stipend for each meeting covered.  If you’re interested, please email  AccordTownCrier@aol.com or call 626-3285.

 

bullet

Rochester Scholarship Fund in Formation

The Rochester Residents Association awarded six scholarships to college-bound high school seniors in August 2007.  The RRA will continue the program this year and hopes to expand the program.   If you would like to participate in the scholarship recipient selection process or have any ideas for criteria, etc., please email:  AccordTownCrier@aol.com or call 626-3285.   If you would like to make a contribution to be specifically earmarked for the scholarship program, you can mail a tax-deductible donation to: Rochester Residents Association, Inc.,  PO Box 257, Accord, NY 12404. 

 

bullet

Five suspects indicted in Accord home invasion

KINGSTON — An Ulster County grand jury yesterday indicted five people on charges that they assaulted the tenants of an apartment building, including a pregnant woman, during an armed home-invasion robbery last month in the Town of Rochester.
Lucas Renfrew, 22, of Wurtsboro; Alexander Padilla, 20, of Woodbourne; and Luis Santiago, 19, of Kerhonkson, were all indicted on felony charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and first-degree criminal use of a firearm.
Luis Torres, 17, and Stacie Armbruster, 17, both of Ellenville, were indicted on robbery, burglary and firearm charges. Torres is accused of acting as a lookout, while Armbruster’s accused of being the driver.
The robbery occurred on Jan. 13 at the Evergreen Apartments on Mettacahonts Road. (TH Record 2/15/08)

 

bullet

Fundraiser is planned for 14-year-old Rondout Valley High School Student Erica Bell.

KERHONKSON/ACCORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SAINT PATRICK’S DINNER-DANCE FUNDRAISER
Ivan’s Restaurant at Rondout Golf Club, Saturday, March 8, 2008 · 6:00 PM-10:00 PM, Music by the Expressions. $35 per person includes salad & rolls, a corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, penne ala vodka, and chicken buffet, plus coffee and dessert, and a one -hour open bar. Enjoy dancing to the music of the Expressions. Basket Auction. For tickets call Doris Lamon at 626-7921, Chamber at 625-5537, Youth Department, 626-2115.

Erica Bell was able to return to her Accord home after spending many months in Albany Med and Sunny View Rehab. She is responding well to chemotherapy, however she has about twenty weeks ahead of her before they can operate. Erica’s determination is abounding, and has always been big into sports,
proves the true champion she is by now taking steps on her own, and learning to operate a wheelchair.  The family really needs help as they face this trying time, and the Kerhonkson/Accord Chamber of Commerce wants to help with this fundraiser.

 

bullet

Seminar: Richard Geldard   

SATURDAY, MARCH 15 - 10 am to 4 pm (lunch included - donations accepted)
Vivekananda Retreat Center, Ridgely Rd, Stone Ridge, NY www.ridgely.org (for directions)
“The Language of Unity in Eastern and Western Thought”

Dr. Geldard is a writer and lecturer whose many books include studies of Ralph Waldo Emerson and early Greek thinkers. His consistent theme in these books is the search for the ground of being in philosophical thought. This workshop will explore how the great teachers in both Eastern and Western thought have expressed the concept of unity in a world devoted to duality and fragmentation. You may learn more about Dr. Geldard's work on his web site www.rgbooks.com

 

bullet

Rochester Historic Preservation Commission Asks Town Residents to Help Identify Buildings

 

The Town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission is reaching out to residents to help identify important local buildings for a study of the Town’s historical and architectural treasures. This work, funded by a grant from the Preservation League of New York State, is being conducted by Kyserike resident and preservation expert Harry Hansen with the assistance of the Friends of Historic Rochester.

 

Houses made with planks or logs are one type of building Hansen is researching. They look like typical frame houses on the outside but have logs or planks underneath. After the bark from hemlock and oaks was used for the tanning industry in the 1800s, the remaining wood was used in building these unusual houses. If you live in one or know someone who does, please contact Harry Hansen at Kyserike@aol.com.

 

Hansen is also working with Friends of Historic Rochester to identify houses that were lived in or owned by famous people or might have been the site of significant events or “firsts.” Do you live in a house that was also lived in by a famous relative or previous owner? Did something important happen in a structure on your land? Maybe it was the first rooming house in the Town of Rochester or the creamery that stored milk for shipping on the railroad. Maybe it was a store that served the D&H Canal. If you know something about a structure on your property that makes it special, please contact Alice Cross, Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, at (845) 687-9998.

 

Alice Cross noted, “We’re so fortunate to have architectural treasures in our Town. These buildings need to be appreciated and saved for the benefit of future generations.”  When the study of local buildings is completed, the Town will publish Harry Hansen’s report, which will be available to all Town residents.

 

bullet

Indictment for Kerhonkson Accident

Kingston – A New York City man was indicted Thursday by an Ulster County grand jury on two counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree in connection with a fatal accident on Fordemoor Road in Kerhonkson.

The five count indictment against Adrian Chernyck, 20, stems from his striking a man who was walking along the shoulder of the road on August 4, 2007. After Chernyck hit Roman Terletsky, 63, of Kerhonkson, he fled the scene but was stopped by an Ulster County Sheriff’s deputy following a 911 all of a vehicle driving erratically and an unrelated property damage incident involving Chernyck’s car on Route 209. He was found to be intoxicated and charged with DWI.

A separate 911 call reported the discovery of Terletsky. State Police determined Chernyck was responsible for that incident as well.

Terletsky was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie where he died later that day.

The indictment filed against Chernyck charges him with two counts of vehicular manslaughter, one count of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting it which resulted in a fatality, and two counts of driving while intoxicated (12/28/07 Mid Hudson News).

 

 

bullet

Car hits school bus; drivers hurt, kids OK

 

ACCORD - Two people, but no children, were injured Thursday morning when a car rear-ended a stopped school bus on U.S. Route 44/state Route 55, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Click Here!

Deputies said the bus, driven by Carol L. Fischer, 47, of Kerhonkson, had stopped to pick up two children between Granite Road and Lower Granite Road in the Rochester hamlet of Accord - and had its red flashing lights on - when it was struck from behind by a car driven by Jorge I. Morales, 27, also of Kerhonkson. The car then drove into a snow bank, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office did not say whether slippery roads contributed to the accident.

Fischer was taken to the Benedictine Hospital in Kingston with back pain after the 8:45 a.m. accident, and Morales, who suffered cuts on his hands and arm from broken glass, was taken to the Ellenville Regional Hospital, deputies said.

They said the two children who were getting on the bus and four other who already were aboard were not hurt.

Deputies said Morales was ticketed for two violations: failure to stop for a school bus with red lights on and traveling at a speed not reasonable for the conditions on the roadway. He is to appear in Rochester Town Court.

The bus is owned by GJM Transportation. (Freeman 2/14/08)

 

bullet

Local Resident on Primary Ballot

Accord resident Zali Win will be on the Democratic presidential primary ballot on “Super Duper Tuesday” on February 5th.  No, Win isn’t running for president, but he is one of five delegate candidates pledged to presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton in the New York 22nd Congressional District, which is represented by Congressman Maurice Hinchey.   Win as been actively involved with Town of Rochester Democrats and is a member of the New York State Democratic Committee.

 

In addition to voting for the presidential candidate of their choice, voters will have the opportunity to select delegates to the presidential nominating conventions.  It is possible for voters to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and also and to vote for a delegate who is pledged to another candidate. 

 

Polls in Rochester will be open from 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm on Tuesday, February 5th for the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries.

 

 

 

bullet

Valentines Day Dance sponsored by First Aid Squad

“You are never too old for LUV”

February 13, 2008 at SkateTime 209.  6pm to 8:30 pm.  $10.00 per person.

Great Music and Dancing.  Snack Bar Available.  50/50 Raffle

Proceeds benefit Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad. 

For more information, contact Natalie at 594-4471 or Ed at 647-4221.

 

 

bullet

Kerhonkson/Accord First Aid Squad’s New Website

The volunteer Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad has been serving the local community since 1965 by providing emergency medical response and transportation to local residents.  The organization receives its funding from our local community and grants.  To learn more about the KAFAS, please visit their new website, www.kafas.us

 

 

bullet

2-year-old girl dies in fire; electrical problem blamed

MARBLETOWN - A 2-year-old girl died in a fire Thursday afternoon in a mobile home on Marcott Road, according to state police.

Police said fire investigators believe the blaze was caused by an electrical problem.

The girl, who was not identified, was found dead in the charred remains of the building at 139 Marcott Road after firefighters from numerous companies extinguished the blaze, said state police Senior Investigator Peter J. Kusminsky.

The girl's mother suffered minor burns but was not hospitalized, Kusminsky said. She, too, was not identified.

 

Two other people lived in the home but were not there when the fire broke out, Kusminsky said.

Firefighters from the Marbletown Fire Department and several other companies responded to the scene about 2:15 p.m. after receiving a report that a mobile home was on fire and that a baby might be trapped inside.

Lucy Van Sickle, assistant chief of the Marbletown Fire Department, said she knew the fire was bad even before she reached the scene.

"I could see the black smoke from Stone Ridge," she said.

When Van Sickle arrived at the home, "flames were coming right out of the windows," she said. "There was no way anyone was going in there."

A neighbor, Catellino J. Viviani, said his 18-year-old son, Joseph, tried to get into the mobile home to rescue the child but was unsuccessful.

"I had to pull my son away from the trailer because the smoke was so bad," said Viviani, 52. "He tried to get in in the worst way."

Viviani said his son-in-law, Javson Sands, 29, then tried to get in through a window by hitting it with a shovel but couldn't break through because the glass was covered with plywood.

It was the elder Viviani who called 911 after being alerted to the fire by a passing driver who had seen the toddler's mother outside the burning home, frantic.

Firefighters from the Marbletown, Hurley, Stone Ridge, Kripplebush, Cottekill and Lomontville departments responded to the scene, and the fire was extinguished in about half an hour, Van Sickle said.

The girl's body was removed from house by firefighters and state troopers, police said.

Van Sickle said firefighters, police and investigators with the Ulster County Arson Task Force remained at the scene until about 8 p.m.

The girl's mother, meanwhile, was being interviewed by state police Thursday evening at their barracks on U.S. Route 209 in the town of Ulster.

An autopsy on the girl is to be performed today, Kusminsky said.

Viviani said the trailer had been without water for more than a week. He said he noticed the building's external water tank frozen over and said the mother recently went to a neighbor's house to get water.

 

Brenda Berryann, the mother of Lyla Berryann, lived in the mobile home with her brother, Cair, and his 17-year-old son, Bronson. Brenda Berryann tried in vain to save her daughter when the fire broke out but could not reach the bedroom; Cair and Bronson Berryann were not home at the time.  (Freeman 1/24/08)

 

[If you would like to make a contribution to the Berryann family, please make a check payable to “Rochester Residents Association, PO Box 257, Accord, NY 12404.  Please indicate “Berryann Family” on the check.]

 

 

bullet

Four charged with stealing copper pipes

KERHONKSON - Four people have been arrested for stealing over 400 pounds of copper pipes from several buildings in Kerhonkson, state police at Ellenville said.

Police arrested three suspects Monday, and picked up a fourth Tueday. Arrested Monday were Frank

Hasenflue Jr., 28, of 435 Lucas Ave., Kingston; Tammy Gritman, 27, of 435 Lucas Ave., Kingston; and Richard Allen, 21, of Room 226, Capri Motel, U.S. Route 9W, Port Ewen. Arrested Tuesday was John Crispell, 36, of 114 St. James St., Kingston.

The investigation followed a report of unknown people entering a vacant summer camp in the town of Rochester where several hundred pounds of copper plumbing was stolen over a period of several weeks. Police said that the suspects forced their way into the buildings and sawed the pipes from the ceiling and walls, then sold the stolen copper at scrap yards in Ulster and Orange counties. State police at Ellenville said they recovered over 400 pounds of copper.

Further investigation found that the suspects had been involved in similar burglaries in the Sullivan County area, police said.

All four were charged with felony burglary, with additional charges pending, and were sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of bail.


bullet

Five charged in Accord armed robbery

ELLENVILLE - Five people were charged with felony robbery and burglary this week in connection with an alleged armed invasion of a home in Accord on Sunday night, police said.

State police at Ellenville said the Ulster County 911 center received a call regarding an armed robbery in progress at Evergreen Apartments on Mettachahonts Road at about 11 p.m. Police said three masked male subjects, armed with a lifelike pellet pistol, a sledgehammer and a baseball bat, forced their way into an apartment and fled with an unspecified amount of proceeds.

Police said the suspects pistol-whipped and hit the tenant with the weapons. The tenant's injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

Police said four other occupants were in the apartment during the robbery and all of them witnessed the invasion. One of them, a pregnant female, was also struck by one of the assailants but was not injured, police said. No other injuries were reported.

Investigation revealed that two additional subjects acted as accomplices by waiting outside the apartment during the break-in, police said.

Lucas Renfrow, 22, of 109 Kingston Ave., Wurtsboro; Luis Santiago, 19, of 6469 Route 209, Kerhonkson; Stacie Armbruster, 17, of 1 Center St., Ellenville; Alexander Padilla, 20, of 62-23 Route 42 North, Woodbourne; and Luis Torres, 17, of 6 Church St., Ellenville, were all arrested and
charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, both felonies, police said.

Renfrow, Santiago and Armbruster were located, arrested and arraigned on Monday in Town of Marbletown Court and remanded to Ulster County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.

Padilla and Torres were located on Tuesday and arraigned in Town of Rochester Court. They, too, were remanded to Ulster County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.

All five are scheduled to reappear in Town of Rochester Court at a later date, police said.  (Freeman 1/16/08)

 

 

bullet

Comptroller faults Accord Fire District

 ACCORD - The Accord Fire District in the town of Rochester had poor internal controls over cash receipts and disbursements and purchasing was not appropriately designed and not operating effectively, a report from the state Comptroller's Office said.

The audit, which took a look at financial activities from Jan. 1, 2005, through Dec. 31, 2006, also questioned the little documentation available for review concerning the awarding of four contracts totaling $898,008, the agency stated.

The district "had a very weak control environment," the comptroller's report said. "The board had not established policies and procedures for any of the treasurer's financial activities, purchasing or claims process."

Concerning the expenditure of almost $900,000 for equipment, the audit found the board "had no assurance that the district procured these expensive items in the most prudent and economical manner, whether the procurements were influenced by favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud or corruption."

The district bought an aerial ladder truck for $500,000, a pumper truck for $271,392, a vehicle exhaust extraction system for $93,881, and a high pressure breathing machine for $32,735.

The comptroller also tested all claims paid in 2005 and 2006 and found that 168 of them totaling $316,128 "did not contain sufficient itemization or documentation for the board to perform a proper audit." The audit also found that 44 payments totaling $10,608 were made without any supporting documentation.

The comptroller said district officials "generally agreed" with the state's recommendations and indicated that they are taking corrective action. (Freeman 1/7/08)


A copy of the full audit is available online at:

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/2007/firedist/accord.pdf



bullet

Daily Freeman Editorial - Dollars and safety

 

The state comptroller's stinging rebuke of financial procedures by the Accord Fire Department speaks volumes about the need for accountability at every level of government.

 

 

Volunteer fire companies, like the one in Accord, are supervised by elected commissioners, who in turn appoint officers of the line. Since fire districts are granted taxing authority under state law, the people they are sworn to protect also are paying the bills. The comptroller's recent report clearly indicates that this is no small coincidence.

 

The audit, which covered the 24-month period from January 2005 to the end of 2006, challenged some $1.2 million of highly questionable transactions by the fire district board.

Put in perspective, the department's 2006 operating budget, according to the comptroller, was in the $850,000 range, as best as could be determined.

Fire commissioners "generally agreed" with the audit's finding. A corrective plan of action is due before April 1. Commissioners, in their formal response to the comptroller, noted an extended period of reorganization, beginning in 2006, and that many of the issues raised by the state were being addressed.

Nonetheless, the auditors concluded: "As a result of serious deficiencies in information contained in the (board's) minutes and a lack of documentation elsewhere, the board has no assurances that the district procured these expensive items in the most prudent and economical manner, that equipment was of desired quality and that it was acquired at the lowest possible price. Further, the public has no assurance that the procurements were not influenced by favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud or corruption."

Strong words, though auditors did not level specific accusations. But the phrase "desired quality" speaks directly to issues of public safety. Throw in the possibility of "fraud and corruption" and the public may be getting hosed in more ways than one.

It may be, as is often the case, that because boards of directors of fire companies are unpaid volunteers performing vital functions, the public tends to look the other way when it comes to financial matters. Or maybe people simply do not care, as indicated by the minuscule level of voter participation in district voting. Instead, the focus is on fire trucks and emergency responders.

But, again, as this audit clearly reveals, if fire companies are not being operated in a prudent, responsible way, public safety can come into play.

Given a stern warning, we expect members of the Accord department will adopt the rules and procedures advanced by the comptroller. We hope this lesson does not go unheeded by other fire departments that might find themselves drifting into dangerous fiscal territory. (Freeman 1/7/08)

 

bullet

Man tapped into phone line, cops say

 

ACCORD - A 69-year-old man was arrested after climbing onto a neighbor's roof to steal his phone line, the Ulster County Sheriff's Office said.

 

Norman G. Depuy, of Accord, was charged with misdemeanor criminal tampering and trespassing, a violation.

Police received a call from the caretaker at 169 Stony Kill Road, a private residence, that there was a man on the roof and that he had cut the phone line. Responding deputies arrested Depuy after discovering that he had spliced into the victim's phone line and ran his own phone line from the residence to his camp in the woods.

Depuy lives in a makeshift camp in the woods behind the residence. Depuy has deeded access to the victim's property via right of way, which means that he is allowed to cross it to reach his own property.

Police said more charges may be filed following an inspection by the phone company.

Depuy was arraigned in the Rochester Town Court and was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to reappear in court at a later date.  (Freeman 1/19/08)

 

bullet

Accord man charged with drug sales

 

ACCORD - An Accord man was arrested Friday after police searching his apartment found drugs and drug paraphernalia, members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Squad (URGENT) said.

 

URGENT members and the Ulster County Sheriff's Office said they received several complaints about drug sales and activity at 363 Mettacahonts Road involving the suspect, Michael Coddington. URGENT members obtained a search warrant and conducted a search Friday evening. The apartment contained quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, as well as scales, packaging materials and other drug paraphernalia, police said.

Coddington, 26, was arrested in the residence and charged with two counts of felony possession of drugs, felony use of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor criminal nuisance.

Coddington was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and held in the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail and $50,000 property bond.  (Freeman 1/18/08)

 

 

bullet

Saugerties man charged in armed break-in

 

[TOWN OF] ROCHESTER - A Saugerties man was arrested on burglary charges after entering a Rochester home while armed with a rifle early Friday morning, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

 

Louis J. Burgh, 19, of 599 State Route 212, was charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor petit larceny.

Deputies responded to a 911 call of a rifle-toting intruder on Raycliff Drive in the Accord area of the town of Rochester, but the subject had fled the scene by the time they arrived. The deputies broadcast a description of the subject and alerted area police.

A short time later, a Rosendale police officer attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding and, after a short pursuit, succeeded. Approaching the car, the officer saw the butt of a rifle in the passenger seat of the car. The officer removed the driver from his vehicle and advised the sheriff's office that he had a suspect matching the description of the burglar in custody. A search of the vehicle turned up an item that was taken from the Accord residence.

Burgh was arraigned in the Rochester Town Court and held at the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. He will appear in the Rochester Town Court at a later date.

Detectives from the sheriff's office said that the investigation was ongoing, and further charges may be brought against Burgh.

Deputies were assisted in their investigation by Rosendale police and the New Paltz Police Department.  (Freeman 1/13/08)

bullet

UPDATE: Interior secretary rejects Sullivan casino plans
 
U.S. SECRETARY of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne on Friday rejected the proposals of two American Indian tribes to operate casinos in Sullivan County. For the casinos to move forward, Kempthorne needed to authorize the placement of off-Indian reservation land in trust at the two sites. He refused to do that.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe wants to create a casino at Monticello Raceway, and the Stockbridge Munsee Tribe has been developing plans for a gaming hall in Bridgeville.

In nearly identical letters to the two tribes, Department of Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason wrote: The remote location of the proposed gaming facility may encourage reservation residents to leave the reservation for an extended period to take
advantage of the job opportunities created. The potential departure of a significant number of reservation residents and their families could have serious and far-reaching implications for the remaining tribal community and its continuity as a community.

U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey said he was disappointed, but not surprised, by Kempthorne’s decision. Based on the longtime opposition by the secretary of the
interior to off-reservation Indian casino gaming ... such a decision was, frankly, anticipated, Hinchey, D-Hurley, said in a prepared statement. It is clear that the next opportunity for these proposed casinos to move forward and be objectively evaluated will be under a new administration by a different secretary of the interior.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the state Legislature and then-Gov. George Pataki approved the creation of a total of three Indian-run casinos in Ulster and Sullivan counties as a way to boost state revenue. But final approval of the gaming halls rests with the interior secretary.

There currently is no plan on the table for a casino in Ulster County, though towns is the southern part of the county have expressed interest in becoming home to one.

Hinchey has said the presence of casinos could breathe new life into the Catskills and Hudson Valley. State Sen. John Bonacic also criticized Kempthorne’s ruling.

Secretary Kempthornes decision is an arrogant determination by an arbitrary and distant government bureaucracy, the Mount Hope Republican said. We need our senators in Washington to hold Secretary Kempthorne accountable for this poorly made decision.

State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, a casino supporter who represents Sullivan County, called Kempthrones decision totally inappropriate.

Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis also denounced the rejection, and county Legislature Minority Leader Leni Binder called the rejection a slap in the face to Pataki Gov. Eliot Spitzer and others who cooperated and acted in a bipartisan manner to see these projects realized.

Charles Degliomini, senior vice president of Empire Resorts, which owns Monticello Gaming and Raceway, held out hope on Friday.  In no way do we think ... this be the last word, he said. Kempthorne has offered a prejudged, paternalistic opinion that reeks of Washington cowboys know what is best for American Indians.  Degliomini said Kempthornes decision was arbitrary, capacious and laughable. In the end, the record will not support a denial.

In the meantime, he said, Empire Resorts will continue to look at every opportunity to realize the promise of jobs and economic development for the people of Sullivan County. (Freeman 1/4/08)



bullet

Master Gardeners Host Huge Annual Spring Seedling and Berry Sale
 
With the cold and snow, it’s hard to think of munching berries or planting seedlings.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County is holding their huge annual seedling and berry sale in April, 2008 offering an array of plants for the spring planting season.
 
Order forms can be requested now by calling Dona Crawford at 845-340-3990. Order forms can also be requested by mail and downloaded on the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County website at http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/ulster under the Master Gardener Program section. All orders are subject to availability or supply. No orders will be accepted after Friday, March 7, 2008. The pick up dates for all orders are: Wednesday, April 16, and Thursday, April, 17 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Ulster County Fair Grounds in New Paltz, and Friday, April 18, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturday, April 19, from 9:00am to 12:00pm at the Ulster County Highway Garage, 66 Hurley Ave, in Kingston.
 
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County will not be responsible for seedlings after pick-up dates or after they are removed from pick-up station.
 
Trees available this year are: Douglas, Concolor, Fraser and Canaan Firs, Colorado, Norway and Black Hills Spruces, and White, Austrian and Scotch Pines.
The Black Hills Spruce will be our featured selection and hence the most economical of our evergreens. Ready for something new…how about currants?  We’re offering a black and a red (with a name like pink champagne, who could resist?). Of course, we’ll have our standards…blueberries, ever-bearing strawberries and red raspberries. If you want to try them all, we have a special “berry bundle” which includes a pair of blueberries, a pair of currants, five red raspberries and ten strawberries all for $50.

 

 

bullet

Kerhonkson Resident Kali Fasteau releases album

 

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

(FNCD 9012)

 

KALI. Z. FASTEAU  /  KIDD  JORDAN

 

NEWMAN  TAYLOR  BAKER

 

FLYING NOTE Records proudly announces the release of LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland  (FNCD 9012).   Recorded and mixed by the Finnish radio on June 9, 2007, this CD documents for presenters and fans alike what they will hear when Kali. Z.  performs LIVE in concert.  In a riveting sequence of 9 compositions on 9 different instruments, Kali trance-ports  the audience on the mizmar, piano, nai  flute, cello, synthesizer, voice, violin, drum set, and the grand finale on soprano sax. 

This music envelops you with a sound embrace that awakens the senses, stimulates the mind and lifts the spirit.   KaliR17;s imagination and intensity are beautifully matched with the profound emotional range and musicality of New Orleans tenor legend Kidd Jordan and the finesse and dynamism of drummer Newman Taylor Baker.  

All Profits from the Sales of LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival Will Be Donated to the Louis Armstrong School of Jazz in New Orleans, under the Musical Direction of Professor KIDD JORDAN.

 

 

 

 

bullet

LEGAL NOTICES

 

 

We invite you to submit the following for publication:

bulletOpinions on current events, politely expressed.  Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification purposes
bulletBusiness and organization listings, including contact information such as a telephone number and/or e-mail address or website URL
bulletFree classified ads

Contact us by e-mail to TownCrier@Accord-Kerhonkson.com or by mail at PO Box 257, Accord, NY 12404.

 

FAIR USE NOTICE  Postings on this website are without remuneration, and may contain copyrighted material where the distribution or use has not always been specifically authorized by a copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purpose of criticism, comment, teaching, scholarship, and/or research, in an effort to advance understanding of political, economic, scientific, environmental, human rights, and/or social issues. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit or remuneration to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for these purposes. For additional information see: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond 'fair use,' and a copyright has not otherwise been waived, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Letters Policy:  All communication sent by email or other forms to AccordTownCrier@aol.com shall become the property of this publication and shall be considered for publication in the sole discretion of the publishers.

Accord-Kerhonkson On-Line offers free webhosting for qualified non-profit organizations as a community service.  We assume no responsibility for the content of those pages. Accord-Kerhonkson On-Line and Accord-Kerhonkson.com are registered trade marks.  All rights reserved.  Copyright 2000-2004