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News Archive - 2002

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News Archive - 2003

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News Archive - 2004

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News Archive - 2005

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News Archive - 2006

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News Archive - 2007

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News Archive - 2008

 

 

 

Archive 2009

 

 

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Accord Resident Tracy Leavitt exhibits new work (12/6/09)

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Kerhonkson artist Gillian Jagger’s work exhibited (12/6/09)

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Fire District Commissioners Election on Tuesday (12/6/09)

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Celebration of Rochester’s Farming History (12/6/09)

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Fire destroys Kerhonkson house (12/6/09)

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Town of Rochester budget reduces spending, tax levy (12/6/09)

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PLENTY TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Town supervisor sees cancer surgery as a blessing (12/6/09)

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Tape of man fishing to be used in disability fraud case (12/6/09)

 

 

 

 

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Rochester Supervisor and Town Clerk run Unopposed (10/26/09)

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Ulster County Judge candidate De borah Schneer stressing her incumbency on bench (10/26/09)

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End of an Era; Collier Motor Car Company Closes its Doors (10/26/09)

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Minnewaska State Park Master Plan Gets Public Hearing (10/26/09)

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Letters (10/26/09)

 

 

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Congratulations to Friends and Family II Hillside Restaurant (9/21/09)

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Free Shredding by Ulster County (9/21/09)

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Town Government News (9/21/09)

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Update on Retrial of Former Town Employee Annette Rose (9/21/09)

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"Lost" Records Displayed (9/21/09)

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Rondout Valley School Taxes Fall (9/21/09)

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Rondout drops varsity football for 2009 (9/21/09)

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Second man charged in Joseph Martin killing (9/21/09)

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Drug Bust in Kerhonkson (9/21/09)

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Two charged in drug store break in (9/21/09)

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Stone Ridge man charged in hit and run (9/21/09)

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Tuber Drowns in Shandaken (9/21/09)

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Letters to the Editor (9/21/09)

 

 

 

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Special Election of the Accord Fire District on August 25, 2009 (8/20/09)

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Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid seeks volunteers (8/20/09)

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Town Government News (8/20/09)

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Schneer sworn in as Ulster County judge, speaks of keeping open mind (8/20/09)

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Tuber drowns in Shandaken (8/20/09)

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Rondout Valley growers aid food pantries (8/20/09)

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Ukrainians celebrate history at festival (8/20/09)

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After a year, police still seek clues to town of Ulster murder (8/20/09)

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Ulster County man charged in area burglaries (8/20/09)

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Motorist faces drunken driving charge after crash (8/20/09)

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2 injured in Ulster two-car crash (8/20/09)

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Ulster County SPCA says pair left dogs to starve (8/20/09)

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Accord man accused of felony assault (8/20/09)

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Letters to the Editor (8/20/09)

 

 

 

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Rochester Residents Association Scholarship Awarded (7/1/09)

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Brick Oven Family Night at Community Center (7/1/09)

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Palentown School House Museum News (7/1/09)

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Planning Board Update (7/1/09)

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Alligerville Creekside Restoration Update (7/1/09)

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Town Board News (7/1/09)

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Governor appoints Schneer acting Ulster Court judge (7/1/09)
Riverkeeper threatens Speedway Suit. (7/1/09)

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Accord man arrested on felony marijuana charge (7/1/09)

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Kerhonkson Man Charged with Growing Marijuana (7/1/09)

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Ex Clerk’s Conviction is Rejected (7/1/09)

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Vehicle Strikes School Bus; no one hurt (7/1/09)

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Walmart vs Shop-Rite & Friends / All Sides of Lawsuit Speak (7/1/09)

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Failed Biker Trick draws summonses (7/1/09)

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Northeast Spirit Investigations (7/1/09)

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Letters to the Editor (7/1/09)

 

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Celebrate Rochester SATURDAY MAY 16, 10AM-3PM (5/14/09)

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Town of Rochester Property Tax Grievance Day (5/14/09)

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Planning Board Hearing Regarding Mining Expansion (5/14/09)

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Map Task Force Submits Recommendations Board (5/14/09)

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Domino Dairy Farm Saved (5/14/09)

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Seven Vie for Four Seats on Rondout School Board (5/14/09)

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Rondout School District Appoints New Superintendent (5/14/09)

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Domestic squabble turns physical (5/14/09)

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Blaze Destroys House in Kerhonkson (5/14/09)

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Man Arrested for Drunk Driving After Chase (5/14/09)

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18-Time Felon Gets 18 to Life in Home Invasion Case (5/14/09)

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Notice of Complete Application (5/14/09)

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Letters to the Editor (5/14/09)

 

 

 

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Rochester Residents Association announces 2009 Scholarship Program (4/22/09)

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Town of Rochester Tax Assessment Grievance Day (4/22/09)

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Mohonk Preserve Offers Free One-Month Membership (4/22/09)

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Town Board News (4/22/09)

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Map Task Force Update (4/22/09)

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Rondout Valley Board of Education Candidates (4/22/09)

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Rondout Valley school budget cuts spending, tax levy (4/22/09)

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Trooper Delivers Baby in Kerhonkson (4/22/09)

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Letters and Opinion (4/22/09)

 

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Rochester Residents Association Scholarship Program (4/6/09)

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Do you want Time Warner Cable and high speed internet? (4/6/09)

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Friends of Historic Rochester Annual Book Sale – April 18th (4/6/09)

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Rochester Historic Preservation Commission to host Historic Resources Program (4/6/09)

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Proposed Rondout Valley School District Budget (4/6/09)

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School Board Vacancies (4/6/09)

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Town Board Update (4/6/09)

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Controversy About Alligerville Streamside Restoration Bids (4/6/09)

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, and Map Task Force Update (4/6/09)

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Election Tellers Needed (4/6/09)

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A note from Hudson Valley Seed Library (4/6/09)

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Do you want Time Warner cable and high speed internet? (3/29/09)

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Kerhonkson/Accord  Chamber Of Commerce Pork Dinner, Dessert and Coffee (3/29/09)

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Friends of Historic Rochester Annual Book Sale – April 18th (3/29/09)

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Rochester Historic Preservation Commission to host Historic Resources Program. (3/29/09)

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Hazardous Waste Collection  (3/29/09)

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Nectar Imports Presents... (3/29/09)
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Assumes Lead Agency Status (3/29/09)

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Town Board Highlights (3/29/09)

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Stream Disturbance Project – Boice Mill Road (3/29/09)

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House for Rent (3/29/09)

 

 

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Rochester Summer Program Registration (3/6/09)

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Worries that not all properties are on tax roll in Town of Rochester (3/6/09)

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Kelder seeks approval to construct airstrip. (3/6/09)

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Map Task Force Update (3/6/09)

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Continuing Problems at the Accord Fire District. (3/6/09)

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Hit and Run Driver Sentenced (3/6/09)

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Twelve Arrested in Drug Probe (3/6/09)

 

 

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A word of thanks (2/10/09)

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Local Photographer Annette Finestone exhibits work (2/10/09)

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Property Tax Exemption Deadline – In Rochester Too! (2/10/09)

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Agricultural District requests (2/10/09)

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Free income tax preparation assistance offered (2/10/09)

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Kerhonkson student appointed to Military Academy (2/10/09)

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Accord Fire District Update (2/10/09)

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, Code and Map Task Force Update (2/10/09)

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Matters Pending. (2/10/09)

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Town of Rochester Leader sees Opportunity (2/10/09)

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Kerhonkson man, suspect in alleged drug transaction, caught after fleeing police (2/10/09)

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Kerhonkson man sought in heroin sale investigation (2/10/09)

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Rondout Valley Middle School worker accused of stealing prescription drugs (2/10/09)

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Bridge to close for more than a year, worrying town supervisor (2/10/09)

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Kerhonkson man accused of taking illegal deer after shots-fired report (2/10/09)

 

 

 

 

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Accord Resident Tracy Leavitt exhibits new work

Accord artist Tracy Leavitt’s work will be exhibited at Stone Window Gallery on Main Street, Accord from December 13 to January 30th.  The exhibition will feature pieces from her Flower Forms Series.  In abstract or semi-abstract style, these drawings and small paintings are made of graphite, charcoal, encaustic and oil paints with dammar and was medium finishes. 

 

Kerhonkson artist Gillian Jagger’s work exhibited

Kerhonkson artist Gillian Jagger’s work is being exhibited simultaneously at two different galleries:  The Drawing Room, 3743 Main Street and Pearl Arts Gallery 3572 Main Street, both in Stone Ridge. 

 

 

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Fire District Commissioners Election on Tuesday

The Accord Fire District will hold an election for one five-year seat on the District’s Board of Fire Commissioners on Tuesday, December 8th.  Polls will be open from 6pm to 9pm at the Accord Fire District Hecadquarters on Main Street in Accord and the Rochester Fire Company at 922 Samsonville Road in Kerhonkson.  All residents who are registered to vote in the Town of Rochester are eligible to vote.  The deadline for mailed absentee ballots has passed, but voters or their designated representatives can pick up an application and ballot on Monday, December 7 between 10am and 12 noon at the District Headquarters. 

Candidates:  Len Bernardo, Fred Wustrau, and Kenneth McCarthy Jr.

 

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Celebration of Rochester’s Farming History

The Preservation League of New York presented at $4,500 grant the Town of Rochester for an intensive level survey of the Town’s historic farmsteads.  The grant was supplemented by additional donations from Robert Anderberg and Elaine LaFlamme and an anonymous donor through the Open Space Institute and an in-kind donation from Friends of Historic Rochester for research expertise.  The survey will be conducted by Larson Fisher Associates of Woodstock, an historic preservation and planning firm.

 

 

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Fire destroys Kerhonkson house

KERHONKSON — The explosion of a biodiesel manufacturing operation appears to be to blame for a fire that destroyed a Samsonville Road home on Friday.
Fire officials said they were alerted about 8:45 a.m. to a house fire at 59 Samsonville Road in the Rochester hamlet of Kerhonkson.
Accord Fire Chief William Farrell said the owner of the multifamily home apparently was making biodiesel fuel in the basement of the home. Biodiesel is made in a process using cooking boil and ethanol. Farrell said he didn’t know who owned the home, which he called a “total loss.”
The owner of the house suffered minor burns to his hands, Farrell said. No one else was injured.
Daryl VanDemark, one of the tenants of the home, said he “heard and explosion” and then the landlord knocked on his door and told him to get out because the house was on fire.
barrell said the state Department of Environmental Conservation arrived at the scene to oversee the cleanup. He said water used to put out the blaze collected in the basement, where it became contaminated by the fuel. He said officials had to pump the contaminated water from the basement and build a dam behind the home to keep contaminated water from running off the property.
Farrell said the homeowner was issued a ticket by the DEC.
The fire chief was not sure how many people lived in the home, but the American Red Cross issued a press release Friday stating it was providing emergency aid to three adults.
Assisting Accord firefighters at the scene were the Kripplebush, Kerhonkson, Stone Ridge and Napanoch fire departments. (Freeman 11/21/09)

 

 

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Town of Rochester budget reduces spending, tax levy

ACCORD — Supervisor Carl Chipman is lauding town of Rochester employees for finding ways to trim departmental spending and consolidate services under the town’s $3.29 million budget for 2010.
The result is that town spending will be down by 1.7 percent next year and the property tax levy will fall by 3.4 percent.
The budget was adopted during a recent Town Board meeting, and Chipman noted in a follow-up press release that 2010 will be the second consecutive year with a tax levy lower than the year before.
But services offered by the town are not suffering, Chipman said.
“Services such as library participation were expanded, and certain projects such as improvements at the kennel were included” in the 2010 budget, he wrote.
Chipman said that “belt tightening in all departments and maintenance of conservatively estimated revenue streams” helped to keep the budget stable.
“We know that our residents and businesses are struggling,” he said. “I feel it is my responsibility to do what I can so that taxes do not add to their burden.”
The 2010 budget includes $65,792 for the town supervisor’s office, up 17.1 percent from 2009; $20,300 for the Town Board, up 2 percent; $86,876 for the town justices, up 1.7 percent; $79,323 for the town clerk’s office, up 2.8 percent; $88,109 for the assessor’s office, up 2.8 percent; and $74,473 for the highway superintendent’s office, up 0.8 percent.
Other expenses in the budget:
• Employee benefits, $558,832, up 1 percent from 2009.
• Highway department general repairs, $523,817, up 2.5 percent.
• Garbage and refuge removal, $223,775, up 7.1 percent.
• Highway department machinery, $178,141, up 1.4 percent.
• Snow removal, $159,246, up 2.8 percent.

• Building maintenance, $159,043, down 4.6 percent decrease.
• Safety inspections, $77,383, up 1.3 percent.
• Library, $25,000, up 100 percent.
• Elections, $22,048, up 9.4 percent.
• Cemetery, $5,000, down 50 percent.

Freeman 11/27/09

 

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PLENTY TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Town supervisor sees cancer surgery as a blessing

ACCORD — Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman is finding that sweating over town business is helping him breathe easier as he recovers from lung surgery.
For Chipman, 2009 brought a double whammy. The general manager of Collier Motor Car Co. in Ellenville, he learned earlier this year that the dealership was to close under an auto industry restructuring, ending his 26 years of employment with the company. Shortly afterward, he learned he had lung cancer.
Chipmcan, 49, had smoked cigarettes for 30 years. His cancer was diagnosed in August, when he sought followup treatment after an emergency room visit on a separate matter.
“As part of the routine they did a chest X-ray and the spot on my lungs showed up on the chest X-ray,” he said.

“Because of my smoking, before I had the surgery, I was at 61 percent of capacity,” Chipman said. “Then they took 40 percent of the lung, and that just knocked me down that much more. So I have to do some breathing exercises to get my breathing capacity up.”
Chipman said he’ll know in January whether further treatment is necessary.
“Everything is looking pretty good,” he said. “It’s just a matter of healing up.”
The surgery was done in October, and Chipman said he hasn’t smoked a cigarette since. Attending to town business, he said, has been a therapeutic part of his recovery.
“I’m putting in around six or seven hours a day,” he said. “I’ve been working my way up in the last week or so. All these little things that I wanted to do, I can do now. Everybody says that it’s a part-time job, but it’s what you make it.”
Chipman laughed when reminded that Rochester has had its share of political friction. He said the surgery has changed his perspective on town business and working with others.
“It really helps you prioritize everything,” he said. “You don’t sweat the small stuff.”
While the loss of income from his car dealership job had an impact on his family finances, Chipman said he is still fortunate to be drawing a town salary. Between his pay as supervisor and a stipend for serving as town budget officer, “it’s about $35,000,” he said.
“It doesn’t really pay a lot, but my wife works, too,” Chipman said. “I may have to pick something up on the side, but right now, I’m not in shape to do anything else. I’ve always worked two jobs all my life ... but for the first time in my life, I’m able to devote my time something that I really love doing, and that to me is a joy.”
He also is spending more time with his family.
“When my son gets home from school, I’m there,” he said. “There are so many times that I haven’t been there. I’ve been working or at a meeting, and now I’m home more.” (Freeman 11/26/09)

 

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Tape of man fishing to be used in disability fraud case

KERHONKSON - Videotape showing a Kerhonkson man fishing waist deep in a running stream will be used as evidence against him when he is prosecuted for fraud in connection with collecting $35,000 in disability benefits, according to the New York State Insurance Department.
Matthew W. Robbins, 48, of Church Street, Kerhonkson, is scheduled to appear in Kingston City Court today on answer the charges.
He was arrested Nov. 13 as the result of an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau and the New York State Insurance Fund.
Robbins claimed to have strained his back when picking up a water pump while working at a day camp, according to a press release. According to the release, he collected disability benefits from the Insurance Fund for nearly 10 years and testified at two workers’ compensation hearings that the injury left him totally disabled and unable to work.
However, Joseph W. Kochetta Jr., of the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau,
said investigators subsequently recorded videotape of Robbins while he was driving, power washing and repairing vehicles, and fishing.
Robbins was charged with insurance fraud, committing fraudulent practices and workers’ compensation fraud. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if convicted. He was released without bail.
The case is being prosecuted by William Andrews of the Insurance Department, who is acting as a special prosecutor for Ulster County District
Attorney D. Holley Carnright (Freeman 11/24/09)

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ACCORD — Democratic incumbents Tony Spano and Lynn Archer, Republican Elbert deJager and Conservative Harold Lipton are vying for two seats on the Rochester Town Board in the Nov. 3 election.

DeJager, 65, of 2880 Lucas Turnpike, Accord, is co-owner of Mohonk View Trucking with his wife Wilma. He is a 1961 graduate of Minisink Valley High School and has lived in the town of Rochester since 1966. He previously owned a dairy farm in the town.
“I would push for keeping business in the town and entice business with less of a tax burden,” deJager said. “We need jobs. The reason businesses leave is because taxes have become so high. It’s an unfriendly business environment, and zoning has something to do with that.”

Lipton, of 1769 Berme Road, Kerhonkson, is a retired restaurant owner who served as Rochester

supervisor from 2000 to 2003 and as town justice from 1970 to 1982.
He is single and has two adult children.
Lipton declined to provide his age or information about his educational background but said he served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-45 and is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8959.
Lipton said there were no tax increases during two of his four years as supervisor but that he is not familiar with current town spending.
“I haven’t been involved (in) about four years now, and to ask me what’s going on there, I have no idea,” Lipton said. “I was asked to run, and I’m running.”

Archer, 53, of 26 Boodle Hole Road, also will be on the Independence line on the ballot in seeking election to a first full term. She is owner of Archer Fine Art and Framing in High Falls and was appointed to be a councilwoman in 2007.
Archer has lived in the town since 2005. She is a 1974 graduate of Thornridge High School in Dolton, Ill. She is a member of the Rondout Valley Growers Association, the Rondout Valley Business Association and the Marbletown Arts Association.
Archer said she would like to create business opportunities by improving Internet and wireless communications throughout the town.
“Our topography creates some challenges with the peaks and valleys, and we are, I think, the least wired for cable and Internet, so we’ve put a team together this year to focus on bringing technology to Rochester,” she said.
“I’m a recent new small business owner, but prior to moving to this area, I was a weekender here and I spent 20 years with J.P. Morgan Chase as a human resource executive ... and (I) bring a lot to the table with those years of experience.”
Archer also sees some healing in the community following political divisions early in the decade.
“Having had a pretty contentious election a couple of years ago and a lot of pain in the community, we’ve worked very hard over the last couple of years ... (to) come together as a team in the best interest of the people of this town,” she said. “I think we’ve successfully done that.”

Spano, 43, of 79 Lower Granit Road, also will be on the Conservative and Independence lines. He was elected to the Town Board in 1999, lost in 2003 and won again in 2005.
Spano is a police sergeant with the town of Wallkill Police Department in Orange County. He has lived in the town of Rochester for 20 years and with wife Deidre, a secretary for the state Department of Corrections, has two children.
Spano is a 1984 graduate of Rondout Valley High School and earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts and science from Ulster County Community College in 1993. He is a member of the Rondout Valley Rod and Gun Club and the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club.
Spano said the top priority for the town is resolving incorrect assessment rolls.
“There was a problem inside the assessor’s office where ... properties in the town were not properly documented and the assessment rolls were not accurate, so that’s why we are currently undergoing an inventory,” he said.
Spano said the current Town Board has increased “transparency” within municipal offices.
“We can see the communications between both assessor’s office and code enforcement office by the paperwork trail,” he said. (Freeman 10/16/09)

 

 

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Rochester Supervisor and Town Clerk run Unopposed

ACCORD — Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman is running unopposed for re-election next month, and Deputy Town Clerk Kathleen Dennin-Sergio is uncontested in her bid to become clerk.
Chipman, 49, of 15 Barry Lane, Accord, is seeking a second term as supervisor. He is general manager at Collier Motor Car but will leave in advance of the dealership closing Oct. 26 under General Motors’ restructuring.
Chipman was on the Rondout Valley school board from 1995 to 1999 and served as its president for two years. He is a 45-year resident of Rochester and has two children with wife Margaret, a purchasing agent for the state.
He graduated in 1978 from Rondout Valley High School and in 1981 from Ulster County Community College. He is a member of the Elks and Knights of Columbus.
Chipman said efforts to “rein in cost wherever possible and maximize revenue” would consist of “salary containment and looking competitively for certain services for the town.”
“For example,” he said, “sometimes you go with the same insurance broker for years and years and years, then all of sudden you get a quote from somebody else and find out you can save 20 percent.”
Dennin-Sergio, 26, of 43 Denninville Road, Accord, currently serves as deputy town clerk and deputy tax collector. She will succeed Town Clerk Veronica Sommer, who is retiring after 28 years.
Dennin-Sergio is a lifelong resident of the town and has a daughter with husband Anthony Sergio, a heavy equipment operator. She is a 2001 graduate of Rondout Valley High School and a 2004 graduate of Ulster County Community College.
“One thing I have discussed with the board is making yearly burning permits more convenient for people as opposed to the monthly one that we have,” Dennin-Sergio said.
Also, she said, “I would like to get more involved in our town Web site, get more information available to the residents. I am interested in changing the minutes program so that it’s more compatible with the Internet, so people can read the minutes (of town meetings).” (Freeman 10/15/09)

 

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Ulster County Judge candidate Deborah Schneer stressing her incumbency on bench

KINGSTON — On a campaign blitz of chicken dinners and street festivals, Deborah Schneer has been introducing herself across a county where she was mostly anonymous before this summer.

There are certain things she wants everyone to know immediately.

"Hi, I'm Deborah Schneer. I'm the Ulster County Court judge." With a handshake and a campaign flier, that's how she introduced herself to voters at a soapbox derby in Kingston. "I was appointed by Gov. David Paterson this summer and I've been sitting on the bench, hearing cases ever since."

Schneer's friendly greeting underscores her campaign strategy, focusing on incumbency and judicial experience.

That's where Schneer has pinpointed an advantage over her opponent, Donald Williams, who boasts a long record of trial experience but no time as a judge.

Since the August appointment, Schneer says she has heard roughly 400 felony matters ranging from whether a defendant should be compelled to give DNA, to arguments on admissible evidence.

"It's been interesting and challenging," said Schneer, who became the first woman to serve as county court judge in Ulster. "There have been decisions that I've pondered and struggled with, but I think that's important in a judge. Ulster County deserves a judge that's thoughtful and thorough."

Schneer's path to the bench has been a true underdog story. When she began campaigning in March it was uncertain if this quiet but affable woman could even win support from local Democrats, who seemed to favor Town of New Paltz Justice Jonathan Katz as their candidate.

But Schneer became the talk of the Democratic convention this summer when she won the nomination in a two-vote runoff against Katz.

Now she's got deja vu. Running against Williams — a candidate that she calls "well-known and well-financed" — Schneer said she's feeling like an underdog again.

"I generally don't go into these things expecting I'll be the winner," Schneer said during an interview last week. "I go into them with humility." Aside from name recognition and a considerable campaign-finance disadvantage, Schneer has been forced to fight claims that she'll be an "advocate for defendants," and assure voters that she can do the job despite never handling felony criminal matters before August.

"When people look at my record on the county court, I think they'll find that I am right down the middle," she said. "I'm not soft on crime or hard on crime, I'm fair and I make decisions based on the law."

Schneer handled misdemeanor crimes, traffic tickets and small claims during her three-year tenure as Town of Rochester justice. Her 25-year career in private practice focused on prisoners' rights, immigrants' rights and civil matters.

The 50-year-old was raised in Ossining, where her father was a lawyer and her mother worked with adolescents as a psychiatric social worker.

Schneer said that dinner-table conversations about her parents' cases piqued her interest in practicing law as a way to help others.

If elected in November, Schneer said she'll extend her commitment to helping people by starting a drug-treatment court at the county level.

She currently lives in High Falls with her longtime partner and their 4-year-old son. (TH-Record 10/26/09)

 

 

 

 

 

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End of an Era

Collier Motor Car Company Closes its Doors

ELLENVILE – When the news hit back in May that General Motors was going to be closing dealerships across the country, fears grew regarding the future of Ellenville's last new car dealership, Collier Motor Car Company. This past week, General Manager Carl Chipman worked his last day at the company he's been with for 26 years, and closed the doors of the business that's made Ellenville its home since 1965.

"Very sad," is how Chipman describes the turn of events. "I've made a decision that I don't want to go back into the car business because I don't like what I see in the car business. I like small places with personal service, where people aren't numbers: they're people."

Chipman says that the dealership got a letter from General Motors back in May saying that the franchise would not be renewed, a fact which he shared with his staff of 12. As they prepared to appeal the decision, like many of the small town dealerships likewise affected across the country, GM filed for bankruptcy in June. At that point, Chipman knew they were sunk.

"When they did that, that allowed GM to really negate all the franchise laws that they have," says Chipman. "There are certain laws that are there to protect dealers in their agreements. GM, if they had not gone into bankruptcy, would've been faced with lengthy, lengthy litigation, because dealers were all arming themselves and ready to go into litigation over this. As soon as they filed bankruptcy, federal law superseded the state law."

While the dealership closed on Friday last week, the service center will remain open through the end of October, after which the last Chevrolet dealership in Ulster County will close. "It's going to be another vacated building in Ellenville," says Chipman.

Over the months since the news hit the dealership, several staff members have been able to find other work, but there are still a few workers who are left high and dry by the dealership's closure. One such victim is Dave Collier, the owner of the dealership who took over for his father, Bill Collier, in 2001.

"It's hard for him to go looking for another job, because if someone hired him right now, he can't say, 'well, I gotta wait until my dealership closes,'" says Chipman. "It's kind of difficult for him. It's the only job he's ever known, working here."

According to Chipman, there were four criteria that GM used to decide which dealerships would close.

"One of them was sales," he says. "Another was customer satisfaction — we were always one of the highest on the east coast. You hear dealerships bragging about their CSI scores; well we were always at the top of the list on that. Another one was on capital liquidity, which we were okay on, and the other one was projected profitability. Unfortunately, those criteria really played against small town dealers."

Chipman recalls the better days when Schrade, VAW, the Nevele, and Ellenville National Bank provided an economic base on which the dealership thrived. If you needed your car serviced and you lived in town, Collier's would pick up your car for you while you were at work, service it, and bring it back, allowing you to drop by to pay your bill at the end of the day — something the dealership did because it was a part of the community.

"Unfortunately, those things don't show up on graphs and things for General Motors," says Chipman.

As the supervisor for the Town of Rochester, Chipman's economic situation is secure for the next two years, as he is running unopposed for this upcoming election. But his concern right now is for the people of the Town of Wawarsing and the Village of Ellenville, who depended on the dealership both in terms of service and also for the taxes it generated and the contributions it made to various community causes.

Worse still, Chipman believes that Collier's could've weathered the storm.

"We've been through economic downturns all across the decades, and we've always survived," he says. "We would've survived this last one. We started seeing daylight this last spring, and then we got the letter. We would've stayed here as long as we could. David would've carried on his father's business, and I, another 20 years from now, would probably be getting my gold watch." (Shawangunk Journal  10/8/09)

 

 

 

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Minnewaska State Park Master Plan Gets Public Hearing

NEW PALTZ — An updated draft Master Plan to guide the future protection and management of Minnewaska State Park Preserve has been created and will be the subject of a public hearing later this month.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve consists of more than 2,100 acres of forested lands and lakes located along the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County. This includes more than 8,000 acres acquired since the preserve was created in 1971.
The 2009 draft Master Plan updates one created in 1993 that recognized the significant natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources of the preserve, according to its executive summary. The current plan “has been developed with the same preservation-minded approach,” the summary said.
The draft plan presents a series of “preferred alternatives” for future development and operation of the preserve. The status quo alternative describes the preserve as it is used and operated today with no expansion or improvements.
The preferred alternative proposes “a low-level development, environmentally conscious plan that includes several improvements identified in the 1993 Master Plan/EIS (environmental impact statement). Additions and improvements to the previous plan include the adaptive reuses of the former Phillips house as the preserve office and visitor center, with the intent to renovate it as a sustainable, environmentally sensitive structure; the rehabilitation of the existing maintenance facility; revised parking lot designs; and the expansion of hiking, biking, equestrian and climbing opportunities.”
The master plan presents a long-term vision for the rehabilitation and construction of improvements to the preserve and identifies short-term capital improvements totaling approximately $5 million. The pacing of those improvements will depend on the availability of capital funds, “which need to be sequenced with other pressing capital investments in the Palisades Region and across the entire New York State Park system,” according to the executive summary. It said implementation of the plan will “require at least 10 years and possibly longer.”
The draft plan, according to its summary, does not significantly change traffic patterns or vehicular access locations to the preserve. It also states that implementation of the plan will have “substantial beneficial recreation and open space impacts,” which include new and improved recreation facilities and amenities. The summary also states that the protection of water resources in the preserve is a major goal.
The hearing will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 22, in the Lecture Center, room 100, at SUNY New Paltz. Anyone unable to attend the hearing can submit comments on the plan to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation via e-mail to minnewaska.plan@oprhp.state.ny.us. Comments may be submitted until Nov. 13.
A copy of the draft plan and environmental impact statement is available online at www.nysparks.state.ny.us. Copies of the draft master plan and environmental impact statement are also available at Elting Memorial Library, 93 Main St., New Paltz, and at Ellenville Public Library, 40 Center St., Ellenville. (Freeman 10/5/09)

 

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Letters:

 

 

 

Dear Editor:


I am a long-time resident of the Town of Rochester and work in the local court system.

 

As such, I have had the opportunity to know and work with Judge Deborah Schneer for the past several years.  Base on this, I highly recommend her as our new County Court Judge.

 

In my experience with her, Judge Schneer has proven herself to be a fair, honest and extremely hardworking individual.  While remaining to be highly dedicated to adhering to the exact letter of the law and scrupulous in following the law, she maintains an approachable attitude to all involved in any proceeding before her.

 

I am not prone to writing letter of recommendation, but in this case I jumped at the chance to let the public know what a fine lady we have running for the position of County Court Judge.

 

I trust that we will not let the opportunity to have someone of this stature become our next County Court Judge pass us by.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sonia H. Kortright

Kerhonkson

 

 

 

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Congratulations to Salah and Denise and everyone at Friends and Family II Hillside Restaurant on the fifth anniversary of their opening!

 

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Free Shredding by Ulster County

On Saturday September 26th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the county will host an Identity Theft Prevention Day at the county Business Resource Center on Development Court off Ulster Avenue in Kingston. County residents are invited to bring up to three bags or boxes of documents to be shredded at no charge.

 

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Town Government News

 

Town of Rochester renegotiated Stone Ridge Library services for Rochester residents.  At the request of Rochester Citizens for Library Choice, the Town Board and the board of the Stone Ridge Library have reached a preliminary agreement, subject to budget approval, that Rochester will appropriate $12,500 to the Library to support borrowing privileges for 250 Rochester households or about 600 cardholders at $50 per household.  The Library will provide free cards to all Rondout Valley School District students (about 500).  A waiting list will be created for additional households in excess of the initial limit.  Rochester residents are also eligible to receive free Ellenville Public Library privileges.  The agreement was negotiated by Town Board member Lynn Archer, Supervisor Carl Chipman and library board president Suzanne Hauspurg and library director Jody Ford.

 

The Town Board appointed a committee at its September meeting to open discussions with Time Warner Cable for the renewal of the Town’s cable franchise agreement, which expires in 2011. 

 

The Town Board held a public hearing on September 16th to hear comments on the zoning law changes proposed by the planning and zoning commission.  At the conclusion of comments, the Town Board voted to close the public hearing, making it possible to now vote on the adoption of the revised laws, which will come at a later meeting.  All State Environmental Quality Review Act requirements for the adoption of the revised laws have been fulfilled.  For more information, visit www.TownofRochester.net.

 

 

Accord Fire District rejects Operations Committee’s recommendation for quarterly audit of expenditures as “expensive” and a “waste of taxpayer money.”  Recommendations included suggestions regarding financial recordkeeping and large contract purchases.

 

Appraisal Consultants retained by the Town to conduct town-wide verification of inventory for property tax roll.  Lots of errors in square footage have been identified so far. 

 

County seeks $4 million federal grant to bring wi-fi to entire county.  The county sought input from towns, including Rochester, on areas that are under- or unserved by broadband and has applied for federal stimulus money to bring wide area wireless to these areas. 

 

Rochester Republicans select candidates

At their caucus on September 9, they selected the following candidates:  Carl Chipman for supervisor, Elbert Dejager for town council, Mel Tapper for town justice, Katie Dennin Sergio for town clerk, and Wayne Kelder for highway superintendent.  Due to errors in election petitions filed, several Republican Committee members were ineligible to continue on the committee.  The members are now: Imre Beke Sr., Terry Bernardo, Malena Callan, Rob Case, Elbert Dejager, David O’Halloran, Shane Ricks, Tom Ryan, Leon Smith, and Barbara Zaccai.  Separately results of the September 15 Republican primary included the selection of candidates for the Republican line for County Legislature: Terry Bernardo, Manuela Michaelescu, Mary Sheeley and TJ Briggs.

 

Rochester Democrats select candidates

Rochester Democrats held their nominating caucus on September 13th and selected the following candidates:  Lynn Archer and Tony Spano for Town Board, Eric Eck Sr. for Highway Superintendent and Paul Shaheen for Town Justice.  In addition, the caucus also voted to cross-endorse Republicans Carl Chipman for Supervisor and Katie Dennin Sergio for Town Clerk.  Supervisor Chipman read aloud to the members of the Caucus the letter shown below.

 

Rochester Conservatives select candidates

Thirteen members of the Conservative Party attended the nominating caucus on September 14th and selected the following candidates:  Carl Chipman for Supervisor, Harold Lipton and Tony Spano for Town Board, Mel Tapper for Town Justice, Wayne Kelder for Highway Superintendent, and Kate Sergio for Town Clerk.

 

 

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Update of Retrial on Former Town Employee Annette Rose

The retrial of Annette Rose, a former employee in the Town Clerk’s Office, was adjourned by County Court Judge Deborah Schneer in order to consider motions relating to potential conflicts of interests in which prosecutors in the case were formerly employees of the Public Defender’s Office, which defended Rose in the initial trial.  The re-trial is taking place because the original judge in the case, State Supreme Court Justice Michael Kavanaugh, gave incorrect instructions to the jury prior to deliberations.  An appellate court subsequently reversed certain charges, but upheld a conviction of official misconduct.  Rose was including two felony grant larceny and falsifying business records, relating to a $18,000 shortfall in transfer station proceeds;  Rose was charged with the theft of $1,158.  Poor recordkeeping and processes by the Town Clerk’s Office made account reconciliation difficult.

 

 

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"Lost" Records Displayed

Accord -- A program featuring many volumes of restored historic documents of the Town of Rochester, (for years thought to have been lost or destroyed), took place Friday, September 18, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall in Accord, sponsored by Friends of Historic Rochester.
        Veronica Sommer, Town Clerk, described how she and Percy Gazlay found these documents, and how she has had them restored.  Many volumes of fascinating records were laid out on display for all.  These documents detail the town's history, beginning in 1703.  A few examples of what can be found in these documents follow.
        From 1793:  "We the freeholders of the Town of Rochester request......a special Town Meeting in order to make prudential orders and regulations concerning unruly sheep......
        From 1795:  The elected "fence viewer" signs a promise "to fulfill my duty as fence viewer to the best of my knowledge and understanding......without favor or partiality."
        From 1832:  Land valuation for the purpose of tax assessment was based on classification of the owner's land as "first rate land," "second rate land," "uplands," or "mountain lands."     Personal property valuation for the purpose of tax assessment was based on a chart showing ownership of -- Horses, Oxen, Cows, Young cattle, Hoggs, Sheep, Wagons, Carts, Pleasure sleighs, Lumber sleighs, Ploughs, Harrows, Clocks, Watches, $ at interest, Debts, Dogs, and Carriages. 
                Examples of tax assessments are: the owner of Real Estate property valued at $150. was assessed $.03 per year; the owner of Real Estate property valued at $8250 was assessed $2.25 per year.  The D&H Canal property was assessed at $112,500 and the required tax payment was $28.00.
        EDUCATION in the Town's schoolhouses, once numbering 16 separate districts in that many hamlets throughout the Town, was supported by assessments on the families who had children attending, based on the number of days that the family's children had attended during the past term.  For example, in 1857, 124 days' attendance cost the family $3.02, while 9 days' attendance cost $.20.
                For the 1798-'99 school year, the Trustees of the Keyzrick School District reported that 13 scholars had attended school for a total of 1127 pupil days.  These scholars "were instructed according to their several capacities in spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic."
                Teachers in each of the schoolhouses received room and board at the home of one of the district Trustees, plus a monthly salary: $24 (1890-'91), $25 (1891-'92), $30 (1895), $40 (1907), $41 (1913).
        MINUTES from the Town Government provide interesting insights into development of the Town:
        1718-- Beginning of records which list elected Town officials and their salaries.
        1729 -- Elected Town officials consisted of 3 Trustees, 2 Assistants, Supervisor, 3 Assessors, 2 Constables and Collectors, 2 Surveyors of Highways, 2 Overseers of the Poor, 3 Fence Viewers, Horse "Guilder" (gelder?), 1 Common Pounder (who was responsible for monitoring the common grazing   land for the Town's livestock).  He was paid one shilling and sixpence for each horse and cow, and nine pence a head for sheep and hoggs.  
                Beginning in 1761, three Firemen were added to the roster of elected officials.   By 1774 the number of Firemen had increased to six, and in 1776 the title had been changed to Fire Masters.
        1811 -- List of number days that each landowner is required to work on the public highway in his road district.  Each district had a Supervisor of Roads who was responsible for enforcing the required work days.  Requirement was based on amount of land owned. 
        1909 -- A contract with the Ulster Lake Company of Ellenville was signed to construct suitable wires or other conductors for the conducting and distributing of electricity and electric current for light, heat and power.
        1925 -- The State Transportation Department granted to the TOR approval for construction of a highway bridge across the Mombaccus Creek.  Four years later, this matter was still under discussion.
        1929 --  A special election was held for vote on giving authority to the Town Board to borrow $7000 for the purpose of constructing of a highway bridge over the Mombaccus Creek on the Ellenville-Kingston County Highway.  Results of the vote were tallied as follows:  "Votes cast" 93; "No Votes" 88; "Yes Votes" 5.
        1934 -- List of Town of Rochester residents who were selected to serve as Trial Jurors from the TOR for three years.
        1939 -- Consideration was being given regarding acquisition of voting machines from the Automatic Voting Machine Corp.  Question was whether to rent machines for $75. per year, or purchase them for $750 each.
        It seems likely that these records in the Town of Rochester are representative of similar developments and procedures in the surrounding towns in Ulster County. 

 

 

 

 

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Rondout Valley School Taxes Fall

KYSERIKE — The Rondout Valley Board of Education has adopted the 2009-10 tax warrant, authorizing the collection of $32,319,519 in taxes from property owners in the district.
The amount to be generated by taxes is 0.31 percent less than in 2008-09 and will support the $58,879,534 budget for the coming school year, which voters approved May 19.
According to District Clerk Debra Barbiani, the total assessed property value in the district is $1,942,725,512. The district will collect $14,142,934 from district property owners in the town of Marbletown; $12,807,472 in the town of Rochester; $3,793,273 in Rosendale; and $1,575,840 in Wawarsing.
Barbiani said tax rates per $1,000 of assessed property values are as follows:
• Marbletown: $15.33, down 0.96 percent, or 14 cents, from the 2008-09 rate of $15.47.
• Rochester: $16.86, down 0.96 percent, or 17 cents, from $17.02.
• Rosendale: $14.67, down 14.68 percent, or $2.15 from $16.82.
• Wawarsing: $934.24, down 33.8 percent, or $309.04 from $1,243.28.

Freeman 8/27/09

 

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Rondout drops varsity football for 2009

Coach: 'We knew we were in trouble'


Rondout Valley was on top of the football world in 2000, becoming the first Section 9 team to win a state championship. Nine years later, the school won't even field a varsity team, despite a desperate late recruiting attempt.

The district pulled the plug on the 2009 varsity season on Friday, athletic director Michael Kroemer said, because of a lack of players.

“We tried to put it off,” Kroemer said, “but we had to make a decision to be fair to everybody.”

Teams must have a minimum of 16 players for games, all of whom have had the required number of practices. Rondout Valley coach Jim Malak said Rondout Valley's numbers ranged between 14 and 20 at practice, which meant there was a strong possibility it would have forfeited its first two games (Goshen and James I. O'Neill).

Given the physical nature of football, numbers that low would make it difficult for a Class A school like Rondout Valley , playing that schedule, to get through its season.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes was the determining factor when considering our options,” Kroemer said. “Every option has been investigated and there is no other choice at this time.”

The decision came down at 4 p.m. Friday, Kroemer said, and was made with input “from the coaching staff up to the Board of Education.” Since Rondout Valley canceled its season before it started, none of its opponents will be awarded forfeits, Section 9 football co-chairman David Coates said.

“We're going to try and do the best we can to get games for everybody,” Coates said. “We've already put out a few feelers in anticipation of this. So we'll be working pretty hard to work this all out.”

The jayvee and modified programs will continue as scheduled, Kroemer said, and it is “my hope” the juniors will be able to play in jayvee games.

“That's vital to the future of the program,” Kroemer said.

Steve Kastanis is the head jayvee coach. Kroemer said he “can't comment” on Malak's potential involvement this year. Malak said there are seven coaches in the program, so new roles – if any – need to be determined. This would have been Malak's 18th season as Rondout Valley head varsity coach.

“Do I want to involved? Yes,” Malak said. “I don't want it to end like this. I want to get things going in the right direction.”

Malak and Kroemer expect Rondout Valley to field a varsity team in 2010.

“I think I would like to be a part of that,” Malak said. “But at this point, it's important to me to worry about taking care of business this year.”

According to seniors Eddie Pomerantz and Travis Krom, Kroemer broke the news to the team. Then Malak spoke to them.

“(Malak) was really upset,” Krom said. “I'm not going to say he was a total mess, but he took it hard.”

There was a meeting on Monday, attended by the coaching staff, district administrators, parents and players. That's when the severity of the situation was explained, and a Friday deadline set.

Rondout Valley graduate Esther Pomerantz, Eddie's mother, was there with her son.

“It seemed like there was an understanding that it was over,” Esther Pomerantz said.

Except she wasn't going to sit and watch it happen. She put up posters in Kerhonkson and Accord, then set up a Facebook account. Even her answering-machine message was changed. The message was the same: Come out and play football.

“It's sad that it didn't have a happy ending,” Esther Pomerantz said. “This affects so many people. It's not just the players, but their families and the community. You go to those football games and half the community is there.”

Eddie Pomerantz said numbers were down during the off-season workouts, but he figured they would pick up when practice began on Aug. 17.

“But kids didn't show up,” he said. “When we started up, we kind of looked at each other and knew we didn't have enough.”

Krom saw this coming, but didn't want to admit it. Even after Monday's meeting.

“I just tried to play as hard as I could in practice this week, because I didn't want to go out not,” Krom said. “My senior year and it ends like this.”

How did Rondout Valley get in this position? Malak points to a few factors.

Varsity numbers have hovered around 25 the last few years, so jayvee players have been needed to supplement the roster. Since these are the better jayvee players, that weakened the jayvee teams and it showed on the field. Last year, Rondout Valley forfeited its final three jayvee games due to a lack players.

In January, Malak said he considered an independent schedule as a way to help his program. That would have meant avoiding regularly scheduled games with Cornwall, Wallkill and Port Jervis. He ultimately decided against it.

Malak said he had decent numbers at the June signups, but they dropped off significantly during summer weight training. He attributed that to his players' need to work, in light of the economy. Then on the first day of practice, 14 varsity kids showed up.

“We knew we were in trouble,” Malak said. “We tried to give it some time, but we didn't want to hurt the schools we were playing. At least now, they have a chance to get another game.”

Times Herald-Record , 8/28/09

 

 

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Second man charged in Joseph Martin killing

 

KINGSTON — A man who was implicated more than a year ago in the 1996 homicide of missing teenager Joseph Martin has been indicted for murder, the Ulster County District Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday.
Daniel L. Malak, 29, a former Kerhonkson resident who is serving time for an unrelated killing, was indicted on Tuesday by a county grand jury for killing 15-year-old Martin, DA Holley Carnright said.

Malak is the second person charged with killing Martin, who left his Samsonville home on March 25, 1996, to meet some friends for a night of comet watching but never returned.
The cold case was cracked in May 2008 with the arrest of Alexander R. Barsky, then 27 and living in Brooklyn, for second-degree murder. Barsky, who implicated Malak at the time, pleaded guilty in August 2008 to mansalughter, saying he participated in the bludgeoning death of Martin, and was sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison.
Malak is serving 20 years to life in state prison for the 1997 murder of George Allison, a 62-year-old New York City man who was shot to death in his weekend home in Samsonville.
Martin, Barsky and Malak all attended Rondout Valley High School at the time of the Martin killing.

[Malak has pled not guilty.]

(Freeman 9/1/09)

 

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Drug Bust in Kerhonkson

KERHONKSON — A Kerhonkson man was arrested Friday by members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) after his home was searched.
Christopher T. Langjan, 23, of 50 42nd St., Apt. #4, Kerhonkson was found to be in possession of crack cocaine that was packaged for sale.
URGENT received a number of complaints about drug use and drug sales near the apartment building where Langjan lives, also known at “the bridge”, police said.
In addition to the crack cocaine, Langjan had drug packaging material, an electronic scale, cutting agents other drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
He was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor criminal use of drug paraphernalia and criminal nuisance and the violation of unlawful possession of marijuana.
Langjan was arraigned in town of Rochester Justice Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail and $20,000 property bond.

 

 

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Two charged in drug store break in

KERHONKSON — State police on Thursday arrested two Ellenville men they say broke into the Catskill Pharmacy on U.S. Route 209 and stole a large number of bottles containing the drug hydrocodone, state police at Wawarsing said.
Police said a white, heavyset man forcibly entered the pharmacy through the basement at about 2 a.m. Thursday. Their investigation led police to Michael Gable, 36, of Ellenville, who authorities said had been dropped off near the pharmacy “in the overnight hours.”
Gable was found with more than 2,400 hydrocodone pills at his home, and admitted his involvement in the burglary, police said. He was charged with the felonies of burglary and criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor possession of burglar’s tools.
Jeffrey C. Wolcott, 26, of 9 Chapel St., Ellenville, was charged with felony criminal facilitation in connection with the incident, police said.
Following their arraignment in Wawarsing Town Court, Gable was sent to the Ulster County Jail without bail, and Wolcott jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond.

(Freeman 9/11/09)

 

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Stone Ridge man charged in hit and run

KERHONSK0N - A 25-year-old Stone Ridge man has been accused of running a vehicle into a pedestrian and leaving the scene, according to state police.
Michael Oramas, 25, was arrested about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, police said.
He was charged with vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury, felonies, driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired by drugs, misdemeanors, police said.
He was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, and issued traffic tickets, police said.
The victim, Brian Lahl, 30, of Kerhonkson, was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.
Police said Oramas was driving at a high rate of speed through a parking lot on U.S. Route 209. The victim was walking in the parking lot and was struck by the vehicle.
Oramas drove away from the scene but was found a short distance away on Route 209, police said. (Freeman 8/25/09)

 

 

 

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Tuber drowns in Shandaken

SHANDAKEN — A 55-year-old Kerhonkson man drowned in a tubing accident Sunday afternoon in the Esopus Creek, according to Shandaken town police.
Peter Debaun was tubing with a group on the creek when he fell from his tube in strong rapids and his legs became stuck in underwater rocks, police said. Someone from the nearby Sleepy Hollow Campground called 911 at 3:30 p.m.
Police said they did not know which tube rental company Debaun had rented his tube from.
Ulster County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Michael Freer said a dive team was called to the scene to get the victim out of the Esopus Creek, but it was too late. Debaun was pronounced dead by the Ulster County medical examiner, police said.
The last tubing death on the Esopus occurred in 2002, when 17-year-old Nicole Coppolino of Brooklyn was pulled down by fast-moving water and trapped by underwater branches.
Town police were also assisted at the scene Sunday by state police, New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police, the Phoenicia Fire Department and Shandaken Ambulance paramedics. (8/16/09)

 

 

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Letters to the Editor

 

Dear Editor,

 

It is difficult to believe that nearly 2 years have gone by since the last election. Things have changed tremendously in that time period.  The Town of Rochester was a bitterly divided community. Distrust, misperceptions, and misrepresentations were the rule while trust and communication among all the stake holders were the exceptions. Things changed for me considerably upon my election to the office of supervisor. The past 2 years have been a period of personal growth and changing perceptions.  Things are much different when one looks from the inside out instead of from the outside in.

 

I’ve found that the Democrats across the aisle from me are not the monsters I thought they were. I’ve found that we all pretty much want the same things for our town. We might have some differences (especially in methodology) but what we all share in common far outweighs our differences.

 

 I’ve come to respect and understand many of the actions of my predecessor, Pam Duke. I originally disagreed with the changing of Assessor back in 2007 but now see that it was long overdue. I don’t think even she realized the extent of the problems in that office. Since taking office we have found over 700 building applications unprocessed by the assessor crammed in a drawer. We have placed over $17,000,000 on the property rolls and that number continues to increase as the real property inventory progresses. Checks and balances have been put in place in order to prevent a situation such as this from occurring again. We must be vigilant to ensure that assessments are fair and accurate so that each property owner pays his or her fair share. None of this would have come to light if not for Pam’s and the Board’s action to replace the assessor.

 

I’ve come to respect Pam Duke’s fiscal acumen with the Town Budget. She was quite conservative with revenue projections and that enabled our town to escape the pitfalls of over-estimation of mortgage property tax revenue which other towns have suffered from.

 

Pam was very active in preserving open space in our town and I respect that greatly. She spearheaded the campaign to preserve the Davis and Domino Farms and was active with the Shawangunk Scenic Byway Coalition. I’ve followed in her footsteps by bringing the preservation of the Domino Farm to fruition and by bringing my own commitment to preserve open spaces and to thus preserve the rural character of our town. Development is inevitable and necessary but it should be balanced and it should not come at the expense of the natural treasures that make our town so special.

 

Some might wonder why I would give praise to Pam Duke and her supporters. The simple truth is that credit should be given where credit is due.  This should be done regardless of party affiliation. There should not be enemies or animosity in our town. We can have differences of opinion but we must realize that we are all neighbors. I have worked very hard to foster inclusion of all stakeholders in our town and can see that diversity of opinions benefit us in solving our town’s problems. It takes a lot of hard work to build trust and respect and it takes very little to erase those gains. We must not let the current election season alter our course. The mistakes of the past must not be repeated. There should be no tolerance for mean spiritedness and negativity.  Character assassinating website postings and anonymous nasty signs springing up in the night are acts of mean spirited individuals with narrow minded agendas and I will tell you that I will not stand for it and I will fight it.  We are all still neighbors after the election dust settles.  Mutual respect and active listening to each other must be the first rule of decorum.

  

I am committed to having our town be a place where we all work together to solve our problems and I am committed to having the Town of Rochester be the best place it can be to work , live, and play.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Carl Chipman

Supervisor

 

 

 

 

 

  

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LEGAL NOTICE:

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Town Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a  continuation of a public hearing re: a local law entitled “ Zoning Code” which amends in  its entirety Chapter 140 of the Code of the Town of Rochester entitled “Zoning” on 8/24/09 at 7:00pm at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY. A complete copy of the proposed local law is available for inspection at the Town Clerk’s Office.~ All interested persons will be heard.

 

BY THE ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD

 

KATHLEEN A. SERGIO

DEPUTY TOWN CLERK

 

LEGAL NOTICE:

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Town of Rochester Town Board has scheduled a  continuation of a public hearing re: a local law repealing Chapter 130 of the Code of the Town of Rochester “ Telecommunications” to be held on 8/24/09 at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY immediately following the public hearing re: “ Zoning Code” a complete copy of the proposed local law is available for inspection at the Town Clerk’s Office.~ All interested persons will be heard.

 

BY THE ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD

 

KATHLEEN A. SERGIO

DEPUTY TOWN CLERK

 

LEGAL NOTICE:

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Town of Rochester Town Board has scheduled a continuation of a public hearing re: a local law entitled “ Subdivision Code”, which local law amends in it entirety Chapter 125 of the Code of the Town of Rochester entitled “Subdivision “ to be held on 8/24/09 at the Town Hall, 50 Scenic Road, Accord, NY immediately following the public hearing re: “ Telecommunications” a complete copy of the proposed local law is available for inspection at the Town Clerk’s Office.~ All interested persons will be heard.

 

BY THE ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD

 

KATHLEEN A. SERGIO

DEPUTY TOWN CLERK

 

 

 

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Special Election of the Accord Fire District on August 25, 2009

 

Notice is hereby given that the Special Election of the Accord Fire District will take place on August 25, 2009 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the Fire Company Number One firehouse located at 22 Main Street, Accord, for the purpose of voting on a proposition regarding the amendment of the AFD’s defined service benefit program.  Further details area available at: http://www.townofrochester.net/Pages/RochesterNY_WebDocs/AFDLegalNotice2009.pdf

 

 

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Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid seeks volunteers

KERHONKSON — Volunteers are being sought for the Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad.
“In 44 years of serving its community, the Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad has never been more desperately in need of members,” a press release from the volunteer company states.
Last year, the release said, the squad answered more than 900 calls for help from people in the community but there were not enough members to cover every hour of every day.
The squad currently has 30 to 35 active members.
Posters, signs and activities aimed at recruitment will become evident starting next week as the squad calls on the people of Kerhonkson, Accord and Wawarsing to volunteer. And according to the release, individuals who are uncertain about whether they want to deal with the medical issues may find their niche as a driver.
To be a driver, a volunteer needs only a clean driving record, cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and in-squad driver instruction as a probationary member.
Individuals interested in the medical side can begin as soon as they have taken their cardiopulmonary resuscitation course and signed up for a first responder or emergency medical technician course.
Anyone wanting more information about volunteering or an application to join the squad should call (845) 626-2264.  (Freeman 6/20/09)

 

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Town Government News

The Town Board will continue to hear public comments on the proposed revision of the Town’s existing zoning, subdivision and telecommunications laws at a public hearing on 8/24/09.  The most apparent issue of contention relates to the possible limitation on the future expansion of gravel mining activities into residential areas, which has been objected to by members of the Kortright Family, who own two mines on Rochester Center Road that they wish to expand south towards Krum and Fischer Roads.    The proposal also requires town permits for mining activity for more than 250 tons per year (vs. the existing 1,000 ton threshold at present).  Highlights of the proposed law revision include a new zoning density map and clearer definition of permitted uses in residential neighborhoods, conditions for future mobile home parks.  The proposed law has been the subject of several recent public hearings, including one held on a Saturday, August 8th to encourage participation by residents who were unable to attend weekday meetings.

Town government watchers have been paying attention to questions about Town Councilwoman Manuela Michailescu’s legal qualification to continue serving as an elected official in Rochester after she declared her residency to be in an apartment she maintains in Rego Park, Queens in a joint personal bankruptcy filing affidavit filed with her husband.  Under NY State Law, elected officials are required to be “electors” of the jurisdiction that they represent.  The legal issue under review is whether the Councilwoman’s declaration of residency violates the legal requirement to continue to serve and the matter is being researched by the Town’s attorney, who requested an opinion from the NYS Attorney General.   In addition to serving at present as a Town Councilwoman, Ms. Michailescu is also seeking the position of County Legislator in a Republican Party primary on September 15th after she failed to receive the nomination at the Republican Party convention.

With the elevation of town justice Deborah Schneer to the position of judge of the Ulster County Court, the Town Board unanimously appointed Paul Shaheen to fill the vacancy in the town justice court (one member abstained).  Shaheen is an attorney in private practice in Accord who specializes in family law, criminal law, and bankruptcy; he was a candidate for the position in November 2007

 

A new group called “Rochester Citizens for Library Choice” has asked the Town Board to pay Stone Ridge Library user fees for up to 160 Rochester residents at an estimated annual cost of .  At present, residents must pay an annual user fee of $50.00, but can use the Ellenville Public Library at no cost because the Town makes an annual $12,500 contribution.  Up until about five years ago, the Stone Ridge Library was also free, however, due to a significant increase in the annual contribution requested of the Town, which was several times higher than the $10,000 per year at the time. 

The Town Board has contracted with Appraisal Consultants, which submitted the lowest bid ($59,000) to take a new property tax parcel inventory.  The inventory is intended to ensure that all property and improvements are listed on the Town’s tax roll.  With the appointment of a new assessor in 2008, several properties/homes were identified that had not previously been on the tax roll, unfairly increasing the burden on other taxpayers.  

The Rondout Creek bank restoration project along Creek Road in Alligerville is awaiting approval from the Army Corps of Engineers.  The project, which is being managed by recently retired former Deputy Highway Department Superintendent Eric Eck Sr., who was appointed project manager earlier this year after Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder refused to take on the project, is expected to be funded by FEMA money as the damage occurred as the result of flooding in 2005;  the grant money has been received and must be spent  by the end of the year unless a project extension is received from FEMA.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has decided not to take any enforcement action against Accord Speedway’s alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation Recovery Act.  A notice of suit was presented to the DEC and Accord Speedway by Riverkeeper, an environmental watchdog group, alleging that the speedway was illegally dumping polluted track runoff water into the North Peterskill, a tributary of the Rondout Creek. 

 

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Schneer sworn in as Ulster County judge, speaks of keeping open mind

KINGSTON — Newly sworn-in Ulster County Judge Deborah Schneer told a packed courtroom on Friday that growing up with an attorney and a social worker led her to “choose a profession that would allow me to help others less able to help themselves.”

“In our household” — her father was the lawyer, her mother the social worker — “notions of social justice, of fairness, equality, respect for all were constants,” Schneer told an audience of about 125 after her ceremonial swearing-in at the Ulster County Courthouse in Kingston.

Schneer, 50, the first woman to serve as Ulster County judge, was sworn in by Karen Peters, the first woman to serve as a Family Court judge in the county. Peters now is an Appellate Division justice in state Supreme Court.

Schneer’s father, Stephen, held the Bible on which the new judge placed her hand while taking the oath.

“These milestones, including this step I take today as the first female County Court judge, are of great significance — to me individually, of course, but more importantly, to all of us as a community,” said Schneer, who has been on the bench since Wednesday. “Achieving these breakthroughs means that we are ready and willing to find that anyone, from any part of the community, is equally capable of public service, as judge or in any capacity, regardless of personal characteristics.”

On the theme of social justice, Schneer recalled the time she spent as a Vista volunteer between graduating from Tufts University in 1980 and attending the New York University School of Law. She said she spent a year in Missouri “teaching poor people how to be their own advocates.”

Then, fresh out of law school, Schneer took a job at Prisoners’ Legal Services in Poughkeepsie. She said one of the most important lessons she learned in that position was that “when your clients are unpopular, either because of who they are or what they have done, it is critical that your work be of the highest standard and beyond reproach.”

“I committed myself to being thorough and dedicated — to do the best job I possibly could, to explore every meritorious argument, to exhaust every legal and factual avenue available to my clients,” she added.

Schneer said that when she made the transition to town of Rochester justice, her most recent public post, she “learned the importance of keeping an open mind, of deeply listening to the contentions of all sides, of ensuring a full and fair hearing to everyone involved, of giving real consideration to every argument, as well as being conversant in the law.”

Schneer, a Democrat, was appointed to the county judgeship in June by Gov. David Paterson to succeed Republican J. Michael Bruhn, who retired in April. Schneer will run for a full 10-year term this November, opposed by Republican Donald A. Williams, a former Ulster County district attorney.

The current salary for the county judgeship is $131,400 a year.

Schneer lives in High Falls with her 4-year-old son and her partner, Jill Borner, a social worker. (Freeman 8/8/09)

 

 

 

 

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Tuber drowns in Shandaken

SHANDAKEN — A 55-year-old Kerhonkson man drowned in a tubing accident Sunday afternoon in the Esopus Creek, according to Shandaken town police.

Peter Debaun was tubing with a group on the creek when he fell from his tube in strong rapids and his legs became stuck in underwater rocks, police said. Someone from the nearby Sleepy Hollow Campground called 911 at 3:30 p.m.

Police said they did not know which tube rental company Debaun had rented his tube from.

Ulster County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Michael Freer said a dive team was called to the scene to get the victim out of the Esopus Creek, but it was too late. Debaun was pronounced dead by the Ulster County medical examiner, police said.

The last tubing death on the Esopus occurred in 2002, when 17-year-old Nicole Coppolino of Brooklyn was pulled down by fast-moving water and trapped by underwater branches.

Town police were also assisted at the scene Sunday by state police, New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police, the Phoenicia Fire Department and Shandaken Ambulance paramedics. (Freeman 8/16/09)

 

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Rondout Valley growers aid food pantries

KINGSTON — At this time last year, the Queen’s Galley was out of food and money, but this year the soup kitchen is just out of money.

Executive Director Diane Reeder attributes the influx of one of the nonprofit’s two key resources to the latest evolution of the Fall Field Gleaning for the Hungry program, which was developed by the Rondout Valley Growers Association and the Ulster County Environmental Management Council.

Prior to this year, farmers donated blemished produce in one lump sum at the end of each summer — “typically after the first frost,” said Fabia Wargin, the Rondout Valley Growers Association’s food-to-pantry coordinator.

She estimates that 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of produce was donated through this method in 2007. In 2008, the group collected more than 3,000 pounds of produce.

This summer, a five-week internship program gave the program more structure and consistency, said Wargin. Thanks to a pair of interns, the Rondout Valley Growers Association was able to gather, inventory, and organize donations twice weekly from Gill Farms and Davenport Farms, both in Stone Ridge, as well as Saunderskill Farms in Accord.

Family of Woodstock and Frank Mazzaro, the head of the Heart of Catskills Chamber of Commerce, distributed the food.

The program has gave food pantries and soup kitchens around the region a steady supply of food, and as the first internships ended last week, Reeder described the program as already “indispensable.”

Michael Berg, the executive director of Family of Woodstock, said the program has helped food pantries and soup kitchens around the county keep their shelves stocked in a year when the state of the economy has driven local demand up 40 percent. “Survival is a much bigger issue for a bigger number of families,” he said.

Besides collecting blemished produce, Wargin said the regular collection allows farmers to send produce that is just past its sell-by date but still edible to regional food pantries as well. The interns reap quantities like greens, tomatoes, apples, egg plant, squash, and peppers, Wargins said.

Reeder, whose nonprofit receives about half of the donated food, said that because of local farmers’ generosity, her Washington Avenue soup kitchen’s 9,500 monthly meals have been high-quality and healthy.

Recent menu items at the Queen’s Galley have included pasta primavera, vegetarian lasagna, and ratatouille, said Reeder, who quipped that she has been eating better at work than at home.

Berg said a number of food pantries around the county already have arrangements to gather donations from local farmers, but the Rondout Valley Growers Association’s gleaning provides a more centralized way to distribute surplus food.

There are 37 food pantries in the county, said Berg, but so far the program focuses on supplying some of the larger ones like The People’s Place, Ulster County Community Action, and Family of Woodstock.

Wargin noted that it has been a “slow and poor” growing season this year, but farms have still donated significant quantities of produce.

Wargin said the interns — Mark Davenport of Accord and Carrie Carson of Kerhonkson, both 18 and recent graduates of Rondout Valley High School — were paid $10 an hour from a $4,200 grant from the Kingston school district’s Learn and Serve America program.

The interns both agree that working to bring food to the hungry has been a rewarding experience. They have also been working with the Marbletown Elementary School’s wellness group, From the Ground Up, to maintain the school’s community garden and create an outdoor classroom to take advantage of the school’s nature trails, as well as helping the Snyder Estate create a community garden.

Carson plans to attend Roanoke College in Virginia in the fall to study environmental policy while Davenport, the son of Bruce Davenport of Davenport Farms, said he will attend SUNY Cobleskill and study agricultural science.

Wargin said she hopes to find funding to continue the internship program. She said additional money to pay for administrative support for volunteers and interns would also be helpful.

Berg said he believes “it is absolutely necessary” to sustain the internship program, and said that Family of Woodstock will also look to Americorps for volunteers.

The internship program is one of the ideas that came out of the Mohonk Consultation, an annual community forum that focuses on a different topic each year. This year’s topic was hunger, he said.

Berg also hopes to create a repository for local people, whether farmers or individuals with community gardens, to drop off produce when they have grown more than they need. One challenge is to “find effective ways to distribute it before it goes bad,” he said.

Berg said he is looking for grant money to set up a kitchen that could centrally prepare and process donated foods, which would help food pantries store and save food for the winter when farmers cannot produce surplus food to donate. He said he’s unsure of the cost, but said the idea has generated interest in the community.

Since its first meeting in April, Wargin and Berg said the group has continued to meet regularly to address hunger in the county in a more systematic way. Another large meeting is planned in November.

For more information on the interns’ experience, visit http://rvgainternship2009.blogspot.com/.

 

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Ukrainians celebrate history at festival

KERHONKSON — In the 1940s, a young Olga Trush defied the orders of Nazi authorities and stepped off a train in a Slovakian town despite being told that any Ukrainian who got off at this stop would be shot.

Trush, the family story goes, brushed past the guards who never asked for her papers, and this likely saved her life.

On Saturday, Trush's daughter Irene Lewinsky and her 29-year-old daughter, Lida Lewinsky, were trying to find a shady spot at the Ukrainian Cultural Festival at Kerhonkson's Soyuzivka Heritage Center while bands were belting out Ukrainian music on open air stages.

"Who knows?" said Lida. "We might not be here if (my grandmother) hadn't got off that train."

The history of Ukraine is bound with some of the most traumatic events of the 20th century: World War II and the dominance of the former Soviet Union in Eastern Europe.

But to Irene and Lida, both born in the U.S., this history is part of their enduring family heritage, which mother and daughter say is alive and well. Both speak Ukrainian and said they got in trouble with Trush if they spoke to her in English. They made a drive from Staten Island to attend the festival.

It was Lida's first time at Soyuzivka, the large Ukrainian cultural center off Floordmore Road, but Irene remembers coming here when she was a teen. The center opened in 1952.

The festival, which features Ukrainian food, dance and crafts, began Friday and will run through Sunday until about 3 p.m., according to its Web site. It is said to be one of the largest festivals of its kind, attracting people from all over the United States and Canada.

In another part of the center, Ukrainian pop sensation Ruslana, also a former member of the Ukrainian parliament and activist, rested for her show that night in one of the many cottages on the Soyuzivka grounds.

"There is one question I will answer even before you ask it," said the svelte pop star with a smile. "Yes! Ukrainian women are some of the most beautiful in the world." (TH-Record 7/19/09)

 

 

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After a year, police still seek clues to town of Ulster murder

TOWN OF ULSTER It’s been a year since the dismembered body of 59-year-old Michael Kleiman was recovered from his burning pickup truck on the old cement plant property in East Kingston. Police believe Kleiman was killed elsewhere on July 25, 2008, and then placed in the gray Nissan truck and set on fire.
A year later, police are still searching for the killer. Kleiman’s quiet, solitary lifestyle has hindered the investigation, though thousands of interviews were conducted and hundreds of leads followed. Town of Ulster Police Department is working with the New York State Police Major Crimes Unit to solve the murder case. Ulster Police Chief Paul Watzka has asked that anyone who knew Kleiman but had not yet talked to police to please come forward.
Kleiman lived alone since 1992 on Sundown Road in Kerhonkson and worked as a nurse’s aid in a Westchester children’s hospital. He liked to go to antique shops, fairs and local swimming quarries in the summer months.
Kleiman’s family has offered at $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction Kleiman’s killer. All information will be kept confidential and may be provided anonymously, Call Ulster Police, 382-1111 or e-mail www.ulsterpolice.com or mail to PO Box 334, Lake Katrine, NY 12449.  (TH-Record 7/21/09)

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Ulster County man charged in area burglaries

ELLENVILLE  David Miller, 36 of Napanoch has been charged in the burglaries at the Hudson Valley Resort in the Town of Rochester and a previous burglary in Napanoch.

Police say on July 1 he broke into a locked shed and removed several tools from the resort and also stole several thousand dollars worth of tools from his employer on June 30.

He was charged with burglary, grand larceny and possession of burglary tools. He was arraigned in the Town of Wawarsing Court and taken to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash and a $20,000 bond.  (Th-Record 7-9-09)

 

 

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Motorist faces drunken driving charge after crash

LOMONTVILLE — A 24-year-old town of Rochester man was charged with driving while intoxicated Tuesday after his car struck a utility pole and flipped over in this Marbletown hamlet, police said.
Nicholas Saveskie was arrested on the misdemeanor charge after the accident at about 9 p.m. Tuesday on Hurley Mountain Road, according to state police at Ulster.
Police said Wednesday that Saveskie was being treated for injuries at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston.
The extent of his injuries could not immediately be determined.
Saveskie was driving a 1997 white Mazda south along Hurley Mountain Road at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle after passing a motorcycle, police said.
The car struck a utility pole about 150 feet from Johnson Hill Road and overturned, police said.
Saveskie was additionally charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, police said. (Freeman 8/6/09)

 

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2 injured in Ulster two-car crash

TOWN OF ROCHESTER — Two women were injured Saturday afternoon in a two-car accident at the intersection of Lucas Avenue at Alligerville Road, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.

Pia Chaudhari, 35, of Briarcliff, was traveling on Alligerville Road and, after failing to stop for the stop sign at Lucas Avenue, drove into the path of Roger Taft, 65, and his wife Judy, 59, of Accord, deputies said. The Tafts’ vehicle, which was northbound on Lucas Avenue, struck Chaudhari’s car, causing it to become airborne before landing, deputies said.

The Sheriff’s Office said Mrs. Taft developed chest pain and shortness of breath and was taken by ambulance to Benedictine Hospital in Kingston. Chaudhari complained of neck pain and was taken by ambulance to Kingston Hospital.

Chaudhari was ticketed for failing to stop at a stop sign, deputies said. (Freeman 7/12/09)

 

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Ulster County SPCA says pair left dogs to starve

KERHONKSON – Two southern Ulster County residents face animal cruelty charges after two severely emaciated dogs and a cat were found abandoned at a Kerhonkson residence, authorities said.
German Ruiz, 20, of 48 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and two misdemeanor charges of abandonment of animals, according to Brian Shapiro, executive director of the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Cassandra Ronk, 18, of 62 Shivertown Road, New Paltz, was charged with misdemeanor abandonment of animals, Shapiro said.
The pair were arrested Saturday by the SPCA’s Humane Law Division after the animals were found at Ruiz’ residence in Kerhonkson. The dogs, a boxer and a boxer-pit bull mix, were near starving and were taken to the SPCA shelter for emergency medical care, Shapiro said. The cat belonged to Ronk, he said.
Glenn Daniels, the supervisor of the Humane Law Division, said the two suspects claimed they were not able to get food for the dogs.
Ruiz was arraigned in New Paltz Town Court and was due to return Wednesday. Ronk was issued an appearance ticket for today in Rochester Town Court.
The animals remain under the supervision of the SPCA. (Freeman 7/14/09)

 

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Accord man accused of felony assault

ACCORD — An Accord man was arrested Wednesday after attacking a victim with his fists and an ashtray, causing facial fractures and a fractured vertebrae in the victim’s neck, sheriff’s deputies said.
The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported fight in progress at 406 Stony Kill Road, Accord, at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Edward Chroba, 32, who lives at the address, was charged with felony assault and felony weapons possession. The victim, whom police identified only as a male, was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. Chroba was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released to reappear Aug. 12.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by state police, Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue, Mobile Life, the Accord Fire Department and Life Net Medivac. (Freeman 7/24/09)

 

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Letters to the Editor

 

Rochester Should Stick With Ellenville Library

A response to request made by Rochester Citizens for Library Choice, (R.C.L.C.). This is a misguided flow of energy. Some of the issues have a pinch of merit, but plain and simple the town of Marbletown including the library have resisted change at every door. The library has always been aloof from Rochester.

I am a forty year resident of the town of Rochester and I resent the attempt by a few to put their hands in my wallet for personal preferences. "The buck stops here", stance should be taken by Mr. Chipman. Keep the funding as it has been for the last decade. Namely the lion's share should continue to go to the Ellenville Public Library and Museum.

The Ellenville Public Library and Museum is a state of the art, modern, roomy library available and receptive to the whole community. I daresay the creators of the petition have not been inside or attended any of the events and activities offered in the spacious community room.

The Stone Ridge Library is housed in an historic building capable of serving few. The fragile structure of the building is self-limiting. It is currently being supported by very large lumber and steel braces.

The issued presented by the Blue Stone Press can easily be addressed by the town of Marbletown. As a township receptive to the needs of the community, a remedy could easily be found. The travel issue alone could be tabled. We live in a rural area, travel is implied as normal everyday life. The U.C.A.T. bus system is in place to assist with transportation.

A coalition of fringe residents of the mentioned townships should get together and present this hardsip to the close-by town of Marbletown.

Now, please R.C.L.C., withdraw this petition of division. Leave the library funding alone. It will only lead to division among residents. The siphoning of funds will only impair the success of one library and get lost supporting the lumber braces of another.

Kerhonkson resident

 

 

Dear Kerhonkson Resident,

 

As a member of the RCLC I would like to say that maybe you misunderstood our presentation.  Our interest is in no way to denigrate nor devalue the Ellenville Public Library and Museum but to serve the entire Rochester community by re-adding library service, making a library available to ALL of the citizens of Rochester who choose to use libraries.  We are not digging into your pocket, but rather asking that the tax dollars WE TOO spend be allocated for the good of the whole and not just the some.  856 Rochester carholders have disappeared from the library rolls since Rochester no longer contracts with Stone Ridge Library and they have not reappeared in Ellenville.  This is not an insignifigant number, nor do I think it should be considered fringe.

 

Three of us gathered over 350 signaures in 3 weeks without much effort.  Only 1 hour in front of Emmanuel's Market gathered 14 Rochester Residents' support for this cause.  The petition is growing.  We have not stopped our efforts to level the playing field for ALL of our residents.

 

At the town meeting I heard much concern about the lack of internet access in our community.  Shouldn't the lack of a library, which offers internet access be of the same concern?

 

As you may also have misunderstood our town is the ONLY town in Ulster county served by two library systems.  I agree, Ellenville is a GREAT library ecpecially for those who travel south or whose sphere of influence is served in that county.

 

Many people were disenfranchised from library service completely when Rochester was no longer affiliated with the Stone Ridge Public Library.  Mostly because the Ellenville library is just not on their weekly gas map (groceries,work, school).  Personally, I use the MHL to reserve books and research so that on my way home from the day I can pick up my reserves without leaving my everyday 209 corridor.  Were I to do the same in Ellenville it would cost me at least $100 a year more in gas.

 

The UCAT bus is a great system, but not quite the same as the school bus a middle or high school student is able to get on at the Rondout Valley Campus (which serves Rochester students) for a trip to the Stone Ridge Library.  For that same student to have borrowing priveleges would be better, don't you think? 

 

I would like to add that for those who feel access to the Suny-Ulster Library is a sufficient altenrative, perhaps they do not have children or read novels or watch movies and listen to books on tape.  Suny Ulster has a very fine library (I was the artist in residence there last fall)for specific things; mostly course related research materials, few novels and no childrens books, nor movies.

 

I am concenrned that some how this is being turned into a them and us scenario.  The RCLC is advocating for ALL of the citizens of Rochester and also for BOTH libraries which deserve our support and patronage.

 

Sincerely,

 

Nicole Quinn

proud member of the RCLC (Rochester Citizens for Library Choice)

 

 

 

re: Letters which are ad hominem attacks:

 

Do you not realize they diminish you, the editor, and the writer of said letters, far more than they diminish the person being attacked?  They are an embarrassment to our community, regardless of who writes them.  I would like to see some actual editing, to ensure letters stick to issues concerning our town, rather than hate-filled personal attacks.  In addition, readers have a valid expectation that innuendo be removed.  Enough of letters which add no light, but plenty of heat, to our community.  Enough of thinking that local residents are interested in hateful, partisan, blather - rather than reason and respect.  I would like to reclaim Rochester's right to be viewed as a town that has something going for it other than the most vitriolic letter writers, and editors who approve of said vitriole.

 

Signed,

Holly Christiana

Accord

 

 

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Rochester Residents Association Scholarship Awarded

 

The Rochester Residents Association is pleased to award its 2009 Community Scholarship to Amanda Fox of Kerhonkson.

 

In her four years at RVHS, Amanda has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to our community by contributing a significant amount of her spare time to a variety of causes, including counselling and tutoring fellow students and working for local food pantries.  Amanda has also been a successful athlete on the RVHS softball and volley programs, given the sportsmanship award for the former and chosen to be capitan of the latter.  At the same time, Amanda has excelled in academics and was selected to be a member of the National Honor Society. 

 

Amanda will be attending SUNY-Ulster, where she plans to begin her training to become a physician's assistant.  She is truly a scholar-athlete-leader who represents the best attributes of our community.  We are proud to honor Amanda and look forward to sharing in her future accomplishments.

 

The Rochester Residents Association was founded in 2000 in order to provide a forum to improve communications and to make the Town of Rochester a stronger and more vibrant community.  This is the fourth year of our scholarship program, which is funded by the generosity of our members.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Zali Win

President

 

 

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BRICK OVEN FAMILY NIGHT

 

Town Of Rochester BRICK OVEN FAMILY NIGHT Starting Friday, July 10 at the Community Center, we will be offering brick oven pizza, bread, and other oven-worthy items piping hot from the brick oven for families to enjoy. Charlie Blumstein creator of the oven gave oven lessons to Rebecca Shea and others, who will be donating their baking time. Want to help? Please let us
know, and if you would like to donate some of the “fixins”, it would be a great help. We will be offering a variety of family entertainment like story time, games, music, and more. Brick Oven Family Night is every other Friday from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM (If you can, bring a share dish, salad or dessert.)   Call Youth Department at 845-626-2115.

 

 

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Palentown School House Museum

186 Palentown Rd.

Kerhonkson, New York 12446

Open 4th sat. of July (25th) August ( 22nd) and Sept. ( 26th)

* Also by appt. 845-626-7628 or 845-626-4281

We are still trying to locate items of interest to add to our School House Collection

A work detail will be on July 11th

Volunteers are welcome and needed.

For more info. contact Chick Logan 845-626-7628 or 845-626-4281

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning Board Update

The Planning Board held a public hearing on May 19th to discuss the proposal submitted by Mombaccus Excavating, Inc. to expand its mining operations on Rochester Center Road in Accord.  Mombaccus proposes to mine the 13-acre middle ridge that currently separates two existing mines and to mine certain sections 30 feet deeper than current approvals allow.  The addition of the 13 acres will create a 101-acre mine on a 269 acre combined property.  The lead agency will be the NYS DEC as the Planning Board voted on March 17th not to seek lead agency status.  The Mombaccus mines have been the subject of frequent neighbor complaints due to the mining activity in a residential neighborhood. 

 

At the May 19th hearing, residents expressed concern about the potentially detrimental impacts of the expansion proposal, including noise, dust, traffic, property value deterioration, and adverse impacts on neighboring nationally-registered historic sites.

 

 

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Alligerville Creekside Restoration Update

Plans to restore certain sections of the Rondout Creek bank in Alligerville have taken a new turn as veteran highway department employee Eric Eck (now retired), was asked by the Town Board to manage the project after Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder decided to withdraw from the job.  Kelder had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the questions posed to him by the Town Board regarding an earlier solicitation of bids from contractors, which the Town Board rejected.  The damage was caused by flooding in 2005 and the Town has received FEMA money for the project that must be spent prior to August 2009.  Town Board members expressed their dissatisfaction with Kelder’s delay in completing the project, citing the potential expiration of FEMA grant eligibility and loss of project funding for necessary repairs.  Supervisor Carl Chipman expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that Kelder has not provided requested information to the Town Board.  Town Board member Tony Spano said: “It’s quite clear, the Highway Superintendent does not want to do the job.”

 

 

 

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Town Board News

At the Town Board’s May 7th meeting, the Rondout Valley School district made a presentation detailing the school district’s $58,879,534 budget, which included a 0.31 percent increase in expenditures and a 0.44 percent decrease in tax levy.  During the public comment period, resident Laura Finestone raised several issues regarding the Highway  Department: the unnecessary expense of widening of Franklin Lane a dead-end, one house lane (adjacent to the property of Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder), and the storage of Town Highway Department vehicles on that road for an extended period of time, and drastic roadside drainage vegetation clearing town wide.  Supervisor Chipman responded that he didn’t not know the answer to those “very valid questions.”  Councilman Tony Spano raised the issue of Highway Department security practices, referring to the unsecured storage of large piles of gravel and metal such as culvert pipe.  Spano said, “Have we learned from the past?” referring to the theft last summer of approximately $36,000 of aluminum from the Highway Department in the same area. 

 

The board voted to join the Rondout Creek Watershed Council and discussed the joint Wawarsing-Rochester fire protection planning presentation.  Town Board member Lynn Archer gave a progress report on efforts to expand cable/broadband coverage and thanked former Councilman Francis Gray for providing voluminous materials from his previous efforts.  She said that more than 120 residents had responded to the current survey and reported that the current Time Warner franchise agreement is up for renewal in 2011 and renewal preparations were underway, including density requirements and new technology alternatives.

 

The Accord Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners has not yet provided an official response to the Town Board’s request in March to a reply to the Town’s Operations Committee preliminary report.  Supervisor Chipman said he would again write to the Fire Commissioners. 

 

Separately Accord contractor Ted Fina was awarded a $7,950 contract for security renovations at the Town Courthouse, mitigating concerns raised in the January 2007 State Department of Public Safety security assessment.

 

Town considering conducting assessment revaluation and property inventory update

Three members of the Board of Assessment Review met with the Town Board on May 28th and discussed “astronomical” discrepancies between high and low assessments of similar types of homes and asked the Town Board to consider beginning a reassessment.  The Town Board formed an ad hoc committee comprised of BAR members, town board members and the Assessor, to investigate this.  At present, a revaluation is scheduled for 2011-12.  The Assessor reported that about 70 homes, mostly constructed in 2005-07, had not been on the tax roll.  Certain other improvements such as decks and garages have also not been noted on assessment rolls.  The Assessor, Cindy Stokes, said, “As one person, I can’t clean up years of mess.”    There are about 4,777 tax parcels in the Town.    The Board of Assessment Review conducted its property tax assessment Grievance Day on May 26th and will prepare a full report for the Town Board.  Determinations on these decisions were mailed prior to July 1, 2009.

 

 

 

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Governor appoints Schneer acting Ulster Court judge
KINGSTON - Town of Rochester Town Justice Deborah Schneer Wednesday was named by Governor Paterson as interim Ulster County Court judge. She fills the vacancy left with the retirement of Judge J. Michael Bruhn months ago.
Schneer plans to seek a full term on the bench in the fall; she has already been endorsed by the Ulster County Democratic Committee.
Schneer, who has been Rochester justice since 2006, is a sole practitioner attorney.
She began a part-time solo practice in 1998 while also working part-time for the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. In 1987, she spent a year with the New York State Department of Law, returning to Prisoner's Legal Services as a staff attorney and then managing attorney until
1998.
She began her legal career with Prisoner's Legal Services of New York in
1984.
She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 1980 and received
her law degree from New York University Law School in 1984.
She will earn an annual salary of $131,400 as Ulster County Court judge.
The State Senate must confirm her nomination.
www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2009/June09/17/Schneer_judge-17Jun09.htm

 

 

 

 

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Riverkeeper threatens Speedway Suit.

ACCORD — The environmental group Riverkeeper has put Accord Speedway on notice it intends to sue the racetrack for “continuously polluting a nearby stream and connected wetlands” with pesticides, anti-freeze, oil, grease and other petroleum products.
The pending lawsuit, announced on Riverkeeper’s Web site, contends Accord Speedway has used discreet locations to dump waste products into an area that includes a nearby trout stream.
“These illegal discharges are directly entering the North Peter’s Kill from several discrete points along the track’s ‘pit road,’” the environmental group said. “Riverkeeper has documented the Speedway collecting polluted track runoff from a low point in the track’s infield and pumping it into a field on the southern portion of the property, adjoining a wetland area that connects to the North Peter’s Kill.”
The North Peter’s Kill feeds the Rondout Creek, which flows into the Hudson River.
Riverkeeper also alleges Accord Speedway is operating an open dump in violation of a federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ban on open dumping.
“In this instance the Speedway’s collection, pumping, and dumping of runoff from the track constitutes ‘liquid waste’ that is being discarded in violation of waste disposal requirements,” said Joshua Verleun, a Riverkeeper investigator and attorney.
“Any facility that accepts or dumps waste without following these requirements is considered to be an open dump,” he said. “It is unacceptable that there are no systems in place to prevent turbidity, oil, gas, and other chemicals from running directly into the North Peter’s Kill and connected wetlands.”
Officials with Accord Speedway were not immediately available for comment Monday.
Riverkeeper said it served the notice on May 19 and is required to wait 60 days before filing a case in federal court.
“New York State is given the opportunity to step in and file their own enforcement case and the polluter is given an opportunity to halt all violations,” the group said on its Web site. “Following the waiting period, Riverkeeper will file a case in federal court if violations persist and the state has not enforced against the Speedway.” (Freeman 6/2/09)

 

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Accord man arrested on felony marijuana charge

KINGSTON – An Accord man has been arrested and charged with possessing 1.2 pounds of marijuana in his car.

Members of the URGENT task force approached a suspicious vehicle on McDonald Street in the Village of Saugerties late Saturday night. Investigation led to the drug find in the trunk of the vehicle and the arrest of Christopher Ronda, 28, of Rock Mountain Estates in Accord.

He was charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, arraigned and remanded to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50000 bond.

URGENT was assisted by Town and Village of Saugerties uniformed patrols and the Town of Saugerties Police K-9 unit.

 

 

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Kerhonkson Man Charged with Growing Marijuana

TOWN OF ROCHESTER — Joseph G. Clark, 25, of 2030 Berme Road, Kerhonkson was arrested Friday in the Town of Rochester by state police at Ellenville and charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a felony, and unlawfully growing cannabis, a misdemeanor. Investigators found 28 marijuana plants growing within Clark’s home, as well as additional quantities of marijuana and drug paraphernalia which they seized. Clark was later released pending a scheduled appearance in the Town of Rochester Court on June 23. (freeman 6/5/09)

 

 

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Ex Clerk’s Conviction is Rejected

ACCORD — A state appeals court has overturned one of three criminal convictions against a former deputy town clerk in Rochester who was accused of stealing $1,158 from the town and falsifying business records to hide the theft.

The former employee, Annette Rose, was convicted in March 2006 of two counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor, and falsifying business records in the first degree, a felony. But in a June 4 ruling, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court reversed the felony conviction, saying the jury in the case was improperly instructed by state Supreme Court Justice Michael Kavanagh.

“Although Supreme Court properly indicated to the jury that defendant was charged with falsifying business records in the first degree, it mistakenly charged the jury on the law as it pertains to offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree,” appellate court Justice Bernard J. Malone Jr. wrote. The latter charge is also a felony.

The court let stand the official misconduct convictions, but sent the case back for Rose to be retried on the charge of falsifying business records.

Rose was arrested in November 2004 after a routine state audit flagged the missing funds. Following her conviction, she was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay a $1,150 fine.

The appellate court found during its review of procedures at the trial that the jury had been improperly instructed.

“Despite defendant’s failure to object to this fundamental error at trial, in as much as it cannot be determined if the jury found defendant guilty of the crime with which she was charged, the conviction on that count must be reversed as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice and a new trial ordered,” Malone wrote.

Malone said the official misconduct convictions would stand because the verdicts were supported by evidence during the trial.

“The trial testimony established that (Rose) was a public servant responsible for collecting money paid to the town for transfer station tickets, entering that information into the town’s database and preparing daily bank deposits,” he wrote. “The $1,158 discrepancy was linked to transactions made on July 1, 2003, a day on which defendant signed a receipt acknowledging that she received $1,200 in cash from the town supervisor for the sale of transfer station tickets by a local hardware store.”

Rose’s attorney, Andrew Kossover, could not be reached for comment Thursday. It also was not clear when the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office planned to respond to the ruling. (Freeman 6/12/09)

 

 

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Vehicle Strikes School Bus; no one hurt

ACCORD — No students were injured Wednesday when a vehicle struck the rear of a school bus on U.S. Route 209, according to Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the accident took place near Whitfield Road at about 7:22 a.m.

The bus was carrying 13 students from the Rondout Valley High School and Middle School, deputies said.

Kathryn Rice was operating a vehicle north on Route 209 when she became distracted and her vehicle struck the rear of the school bus, deputies said. She was not injured, deputies said.

The bus was being operated by Jamie Slaven of the Arthur F. Mulligan Inc. Bus Corp., deputies said. (Freeman 6/25/09)

 

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Walmart vs Shop-Rite & Friends / All Sides of Lawsuit Speak

NAPANOCH – Since the news of the lawsuit filed against Walmart and the Town of Wawarsing broke a few weeks ago, some of the various people involved in the case have weighed in on the subject — and in some cases, have been asked to weigh in, and have refused. While lawsuits filed among corporations during the development phase are far from rare, this particular suit holds implications for the people who have come down strongly on one side of the debate or the other; namely, should Napanoch get its own Walmart retail store or not?

To offer a little background about this conflict, the suit has been filed by Shop-Rite Supermarkets, Incorporated, Wawarsing-Ellenville for Responsible Development (WERD), and Steve Krulick, an Ellenville resident who is co-petitioning in the case in addition to being the chairperson and most visible and outspoken member of WERD. The community-activist group has provided much criticism concerning Walmart's plans to build a retail store at the site of the Napanoch Valley Mall on Route 209, near Eastern Correctional Facility, and currently the home of several struggling stores and a few large, long-empty storefronts.   MORER30;

FULL STORY:

www.shawangunkjournal.com/2009/05/28/news/0905281.html

 

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Failed Biker Trick draws summonses

TOWN OF ROCHESTER – State police said a Wappingers Falls man fell from his motorcycle Sunday after a failed attempt to perform an acrobatic maneuver called a “stoppie,” during which the driver stops and raises the motorcycle up onto its front wheel.

Troopers at the Wawarsing barracks said Len G. Olhemus, 22, of 26 Laurel Park Road, who performed the stunt in sight of a patrol and later explained to police that he was trying to perform the maneuver, was uninjured.

Olhemus was issued traffic tickets for reckless driving, a misdemeanor, and the infraction of unsafe movement of a stopped vehicle, police said. He is scheduled to appear in Rochester Town Court. (6/4/09)

 

 

 

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Northeast Spirit Investigations 
 
The Northeast Spirit Investigations (NESI) does investigations of any claims of paranormal activity throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. We approach each case with a scientific approach using up to date equipment to determine whether your claim has a reasonable explanation or is in fact paranormal. We NEVER charge a fee for any investigations. If you would like more information or have questions, feel free to call or email us at:
Spiritchasers@Rocketmail.com 845-616-2583

 

 

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Letters to the Editor

 

Dear Editor

 

Re: Jon Dogar-Marinesco's letter (BSP 15 May 2009). Nice to see that Jon could break away from his hugely busy antique business, historic barn restoration, lawn maintenance and other affairs, not to mention his less wholesome web work, in order to grace us with his incomprehensible babble.

 

His claim that "The demise of the Duke administration proved to be a litmus test of sorts," as regards "(t)hose who had the town's interest at heart," couldn't be more wrong!

 

The Democratic administration of Pam Duke— in just two years —retired town debt, produced strong budgets (lauded by current Supervisor Chipman), facilitated the Davis Farm preservation, achieved cell tower placement on town land that offers wireless internet service even as it brings revenues of thousands of dollars a month to the town, rid us of a poorly functioning tax assessor (who even the current RepublicanClub-dominated town board admits left the office in a real "mess"), initiated and completed a new Comprehensive Plan which was adopted into law and was about to do the same for the Zoning Code; all the above accomplishments in a town that had been incapable of achieving same during the prior thirty years.

 

The Duke administration was voted out of office primarily due to fabrications conjured by RC members and anonymously published around town. Such outlandish claims became "reality" by virtue of repetition as speaker after speaker attending public hearings misstated what the code actually contained.

 

The lesson to be learned: People that are lied to will act against their own best interests.

 

What Dogar does not do in his letter, is advance the dialog re zoning and planning and just how important these are to residents of the Town of Rochester even though they may know nothing about the subjects. What impacts residents' homes their largest, most significant investment impacts their lives in terms of lost quality of life, lowered assessed value of their investment (hence retirement security reduced) and lost liberty of enjoying their property as intended.

 

The code so far developed by the current Task Force has done a great service for those residents that use their land for a living but undermines residential use of property; in fact, making that use a second- rate use even though residentially zoned property accounts for about 85 percent of the township and pays nearly three-quarters of the town tax levy.

 

In conclusion, what else could we expect from Jon Dogar-Marinesco seeing as he's new to this town and ignorant of the history of abuse and bullying that has transpired in Rochester for decades in order to allow a small few the freedom to do anything while the many must suffer from those unmitigated impacts. Of course, distorting reality, creating chaos, failing to take responsibility for their positions, and ensuring everything is always about THEIR interests— PERIOD —pretty much defines the RepublicanClub mode of "public service."

 

Then again, there haven't been incidents of glass and nails in the driveways of elected and/or appointed RC officials. No malicious campaign of slanderous lies directed against RC officials. State troopers haven't had to man meetings as meetings haven't been disrupted by RC members. RC officials and their families haven't been personally harassed and threatened. A new code has been developed deleting residential protections prescribed by the Comprehensive Plan even as it seemingly increases density without aquifer recharge considerations and throws the doors open for "property rights" (a.k.a. RC) folk to use neighboring properties to store their foul impacts.

 

So, not to worry. Rochester is, once again, a contented little town.

 

Which makes it quite obvious, does it not, who the dishonest malcontents were in the first instance and what their motives were/have been/will always be?

 

Steven Fornal

Accord, NY

 

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Celebrate Rochester SATURDAY MAY 16, 10AM-3PM

Friends of Historic Rochester’s SPRING HERITAGE DAY and QUADRICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION at the Museum MAIN STREET, ACCORD

 

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Town of Rochester Property Tax Grievance Day

The Board of Assessment Review of the Town of Rochester will hold its annual Grievance Day on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at Town Hall, with a scheduled adjournment on Saturday, May 30, 2009 available by appointment for property owners who are unable to meet on May 26th.

Town Assessor Cynthia Stokes will maintain an appointment schedule for taxpayers, however, appointments are not required for the May 26th session of Grievance Day. 

Taxpayers who wish to file an assessment complaint may obtain complaint forms from the Assessor’s Office or download them from:

http://www.orps.state.ny.us/ref/forms/pdf/rp524.pdf  with associated instructions at:

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

It is not necessary for taxpayers to present their complaints in person.  Completed complaint forms may be mailed to the Assessors Office, Town of Rochester, PO Box 65, Accord, NY 12404, however, correctly completed complaint forms must be received by the Assessors Office prior to 8:30 p.m. on May 26, 2009. 

For more information, property owners may contact the Assessor’s Office at 626-0920

 

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Planning Board Hearing Regarding Mining Expansion

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Planning Board of the Town of Rochester will hold a public hearing on the 19th day of may 2009, commencing at 7:00 P.M., at the town hall 50 Scenic Drive, Accord, N.Y. on the following matter. DEC Application for the consolidation of the Mombaccus Excavating and Rochester Center Mines, DEC # 3-5144-00083-00001 MLR# (30496) pursuant to section140-36I (2) (c) of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Rochester. The above noted DEC Application is open for inspection at the office of the Town Clerk , Accord, N.Y. To view the DEC Application and the maps, please call the Planning Board Secretary at 845-626-2434 to schedule an appointment. Persons 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 Planning Board at a date to be determined  [Mombaccus is also seeking to create a new mine on Amanda Drive, off Cherrytown Road.  For more information on this application, visit http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/mombaccus.pdf ]

 

 

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Map Task Force Submits Recommendations to Town Board

At a sparsely-attended public special meeting of the Town Board held on May 11, 2009, the Task Force submitted its recommendations on a proposed changes to the Town’s zoning laws, including a new zoning map that defines residential unit density and commercial and industrial zones.  No comparison of the new recommendations to the work of the former committee was prepared, however, the Town Board

 

http://www.townofrochester.net/Pages/RochesterNY_codetask/CZMReport_2009_05_11/

 

 

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Domino Dairy Farm Saved

 

NEW YORK, NY — May 13, 2009 — In partnership with the town of Rochester, the Open Space Institute (OSI) announced today the acquisition of a conservation easement on the 149-acre Domino dairy farm on Airport Road in the town of Rochester. The easement allows for dairy operations to continue on the historic farm, but ensures that the land, owned by Margaret DeWitt and managed by the DeWitt family, will not be developed. The preservation project is part of OSI’s ongoing Two Valleys Campaign, which focuses protection efforts on working farms in the Rondout and Wallkill valleys, an area of scenic beauty and abundant farmland.

In addition, an adjoining landowner plans to donate a conservation easement on his property—which he currently leases to the DeWitts—protecting 93 more acres, bringing the amount of protected land to approximately 242 acres. The easement will be donated by landowners Robert and Eileen Rominger and will be held by the Rondout Esopus Land Conservancy and OSI’s land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy.

Three-quarters of the cost of the Domino farm easement was funded by a $693,900 Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) grant awarded by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Farmland Protection Program in December 2007. The Open Space Conservancy provided the required 25 percent local match of $231,300.

The 54-year-old farm is situated in the foothills of the Shawangunk Ridge at the edge of the Catskill Mountains and enjoys a spectacular view of the Sky Top Tower and lands of the Mohonk Preserve.

Domino Farm is close to several other OSI farmland preservation sites, including the 268-acre Paul Farm, the 93-acre Osterhoudt Farm and the 320-acre Davenport Farm in the town of Marbletown and the 361-acre Davis Farm on Route 209 north of Kerhonkson, which OSI protected in 2008.

To date, OSI has protected 18 farms and a total of 2,904 acres in nine separate towns in the Rondout and Wallkill valleys, preserving an important component of the region’s local economy as well as its traditional rural character.

OSI plans to protect an additional 3,500 acres of farmland in the two picturesque valleys that surround the Shawangunk Ridge, where we have also conserved 26,000 acres of land, including the Sam’s Point Preserve and much of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

“It is a delight to work with the DeWitt family in protecting this scenic landscape and allowing their family farm to continue as a viable operation,” said Joe Martens, OSI’s president. “Of all the work OSI does, farmland protection is enormously gratifying since we are preserving a farming way of life and encouraging the local production and distribution of healthy food.”

Domino Farm is one of only four remaining dairy farms in Ulster County. Purchased by the DeWitt family in 1955 and named “Domino” for the black and white patterns on Holstein cows, it has developed into one of the preeminent dairy herds in the country. Its 175 cows and 150 heifers, mostly Jerseys now, ranked among the top 10 in the nation for herds of its size. In the future, the DeWitts anticipate selling value-added milk products such as butter and cheese locally.

"We're so appreciative of OSI and the state of New York for helping us save our land for future generations of farmers,” said Janet DeWitt.

In addition to the dairy operation, the farm cultivates corn, alfalfa and grass. More than half of the property contains fertile, high-quality soils of statewide significance.

“Preserving our rural agricultural heritage is very important to the residents of Rochester,” said Town Supervisor Carl Chipman. “The Domino Farm conservation easement will ensure the continued operation of this dairy farm and preserve the beauty of this open land for future generations. We are grateful for the dedicated efforts of all who worked (NYS Dept. Ag & Markets, OSI, and Dennis Doyle of Ulster County Planning) to make this come to fruition. We are very lucky to have the Davis and Domino farms protected in our town.”

 

 

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Seven Vie for Four Seats on Rondout School Board

 

KYSERIKE — Seven candidates are competing for four seats on the Rondout Valley Board of Education in the May 19 school district election.
Three three-year seats, currently occupied by trustees Michael Redmond, Gail Hutchins, and Rebecca Reeder, are up for grabs along with a fourth seat carrying a one-year term, which will go to the fourth highest vote-getter. That seat, currently held by interim Trustee Kristine Schemitsch, was vacated when former Trustee Kim Wozencraft resigned from the board.
Incumbents Hutchins, Redmond and Schemitsch are all running; Reeder is not seeking re-election. Challengers on the ballot are Lennart Berg, Breanna Costello, Matthew Finck and Paul Zimmerman.

Berg, 45, of 6 Mark Drive, Stone Ridge, is director of educational services at the Culinary Institute of America and former vice president of operations for Kozy Shack Enterprises.
“The most important issue is to balance the educational needs of the students with fiscal responsibility,” he said.
With an incoming superintendent and four school board seats open, Berg said it is “a great opportunity to improve the leadership in the district.” One of his top priorities is improving communication between the school board and community.
Berg, who graduated from Siena College with a degree in finance, lives with his wife Christine, a temporary teacher at Rondout Valley High School, and their son, a ninth grader in the district.

Costello, 35, of 25 Laurel Hollow Estates, Kerhonkson, who previously worked as a private care registered nurse, also cited improving communication between the district and its stakeholders as a top priority. Specifically, she said better communication with teachers is needed for the board to fully understand the needs of each district school during the budget process.
Student health and wellness and a more environmentally friendly district — two goals she sees as related — are also among her priorities. She noted her own work to help start a nature trail near Kerhonkson Elementary School, cowriting a grant to create a garden at the school, and starting a composting program in the school’s cafeteria as steps in that direction.
Costello, the treasurer of the Kerhonkson Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, has served on the School Improvement Team, and co-chairs Kerhonkson Elementary School’s Garden Committee.
She graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Ulster County Community College in 2006. She and her husband, Daryl, a school psychologist for the district, have three children, ages 4, 6, and 9.

Finck, 36, of 246 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord, is a musician and educator who currently gives private guitar lessons. He has taught at area colleges and, from 2002 to 2005, at Poughkeepsie Day School.
Finck said encouraging more participation and public awareness in the school governance process is among his top priorities. He is concerned about what he sees as a growing emphasis on preparing students for standardized tests and said programs “that are most important to the students,” like music and sports, should be maintained.
He said he would also encourage civics instruction to help students become informed citizens, tap into local expertise by bringing community professionals into the schools, and seek to improve nutrition in district schools.
Finck, who majored in performance and minored in education at Long Island University, lives with his wife, Alisa Auchmoedy-Finck, a teacher at Rosendale Elementary School.
Hutchins, 55, of 2 Romney Way, Cottekill, is seeking her fourth term on the board. She said her top priority is maintaining and improving the district’s educational program — always “raising the bar” — and seeing “more students graduating at higher levels of achievement.”
Fiscal responsibility is also a top priority, she said, but “not at the cost of good, viable programs.” She said it is important for the district to “continually evaluate programs.”

Hutchins, who owned a local interior decorating business for six years, is currently an independent consultant for Arbonne. She served as vice president of the school board for about four years and sits on the Budget and Pupil Personnel Services committees.
She received her associate’s degree in fire protection engineering from the Delaware Technical and Community College in 1984 and earned a certificate in medical insurance from the Community College of Denver in 1975.
She and her husband Bruce, a general manager at ProBuild, have three children: a a 32-year-old son, a 30-year-old daughter who graduated from Rondout Valley High School and a 17-year-old son who is a student at the school.

Redmond, 63, of 4974 U.S. Route 209, Accord, is a retired New York City reservoir supervisor who is seeking his fourth term on the board. He cited as a priority the completion of the high school renovation project approved by voters last year — a venture in which he has been heavily involved as head of the district’s Facilities Committee.
Redmond said another top priority is to “still give the kids a solid education” and continue to provide sports and after-school activities. A member of the district’s Budget Committee, he said the district must also look for ways to spend money more efficiently and cut wasteful spending.
A Vietnam War veteran, Redmond served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1965 to 1969, and was involved with the Indian Valley Little League for 38 years. He has also taken courses at Ulster County Community College.
He and his wife of 43 years Judith, a retired registered nurse, have a 41-year-old son, a 42-year-old daughter, and five grandchildren — all of whom are pupils in the Rondout Valley school district.


Schemitsch, 50, of Stone Ridge, a part-time administrative assistant, has served six months on the board. She served on the Reading Instruction Committee from December 2003 to June 2005 and the high school’s Building Advisory Committee from January 2007 to March 2008.
She agrees that completing the high school renovation project is a priority, but said it is important to keep the project from interfering with students’ education.
Schemitsch also called for an evaluation of programs and shared decision-making. She cited the hiring of a new district superintendent as an example of shared decision-making, with five committees of stakeholders interviewing the candidates.
Schemitsch also said she would encourage better voter turnout and participation in the district’s governance process.
Schemitsch studied marketing at Pace University from 1977 to 1980. She and her husband Stephen, a sales manager for Gateway Energy Services, have two children: a daughter who is a junior at Rondout Valley High School and a son who is a sixth-grader at the middle school.

Zimmerman, 43, of 3309 U.S. Route 209, Stone Ridge, is a freelance filmmaker specializing in commercials and videos for industrial films. He said his top priority is to improve communication between the district and the community, saying it is currently “almost nonexistent.” He said the school board cannot properly represent a community without understanding what it wants.
He said his priorities, beyond “keeping programs that work well and cutting or improving ones that don’t,” would be shaped by the needs of district residents. He proposes holding school board meetings specifically to hear from community members.
Zimmerman graduated in 1988 from American University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, specializing in visual media. He and his wife, Jill Goldstein, a publicist, have a 7-year-old son who attends Marbletown Elementary School.  (Freeman 5/13/09)

 

Voting on school board members and the annual school budget will take place at the High School on May 19th , from 6pm to 9pm.

 

 

 

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Rondout School District Appoints New Superintendent

KYSERIKE — The Rondout Valley Board of Education has appointed Russell Agostaro as the school district’s new superintendent.
Agostaro, whose appointment was approved on Tuesday, currently is assistant superintendent for secondary curriculum and instruction in the Newburgh City School District. At Rondout Valley, he’ll succeed Eileen Camasso, who announced last August that she’s retiring as superintendent on July 1.
Agostaro will start the same day Camasso leaves. His salary will be $175,000 per year. Camasso currently draws an annual salary of $154,424, according to the state Education Department.
Camasso is nearing the end of her fourth year as Rondout Valley’s superintendent and has worked in public education for 35 years. During her career, she has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent.
In December, the Rondout Valley school board hired the educational consulting firm Castallo and Silky to begin a search for Camasso’s successor. Agostaro, 48, was one of 35 candidates who expressed interest in the position, said Board of Education President William Oliva.
Agostaro has held his current position in Newburgh for nearly three years. He previously was the Newburgh district’s director of math, science and technology for less than a year; worked for five years in the district’s Office of Funded Programs, which tries to connect program development to funding sources; and taught earth science at the Washingtonville Junior High School for 12 years. He also has taught science courses at Ulster County Community College.
Oliva said the school board was impressed by Agostaro’s “strong teaching background” and believes he will be a good fit for the district, particularly because he lived in Cottekill while he taught at the UCCC. Agostaro currently lives in Gardiner, but Oliva said the appointee has made a commitment to move into the Rondout Valley district.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Agostaro said good communication between a school district and the community it serves is “critical.”
He described the Rondout Valley area as “a vibrant community” that places a “high value on educational excellence” and said he and his wife, Gayle, are happy to be moving their 12- and 13-year-old children to the district.
Agostaro also said he is a “high energy” person, which he believes can be contagious, and that he has “high expectations of himself and others.”
“I believe Rondout Valley can become a premiere school district in this state,” he said, noting his plans to increase academic “rigor” and infuse “21st century skills” into the curriculum.
Oliva said that in addition to being a person who “understands the district and its needs,” Agostaro also struck the school board as someone who believes in “getting people involved in the decision process.”
He is “not dictatorial, but he knows where to draw the line,” Oliva said.
Oliva also said he believes Agostaro’s “team playing and leadership” approach will serve the district well.
Agostaro earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Bucknell University and both his master’s degree in geology and his administrative certification from SUNY New Paltz. (Freeman 5/14/09)

 

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Domestic squabble turns physical

ACCORD – A woman has been charged with second-degree assault and other charges following a domestic incident on Main Street in Accord, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office reported Thursday.

Sacha Wright, 18, was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, and resisting arrest.

Deputies responded to a domestic involving Wright and her estranged husband which had become physical.

She was arraigned in Town of Wawarsing Court and remanded to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail. (Mid Hudson News 5/8/09)

 

 

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Blaze Destroys House in Kerhonkson

KINGSTON — A structure fire in Kerhonkson at an abandoned house on U.S. Route 44/state Route 55 remains under investigation after firefighters from four departments spent about five hours on Friday dousing the blaze.
The fire, which started around 5 p.m., was at an abandoned home at 6140 Route 44/55.
According to Kerhonkson Fire Chief Kevin Mutz, the home, owned by the Decker family, was a total loss.
“We finally got it under control around 10 p.m.,” Mutz said. “We had to call in an excavator to rip it down so that we could get the water on it properly.
The house was right after you crossed the bridge over the Rondout Creek. To the best of my knowledge, no one has lived there in quite a while.”
Mutz said there were no injuries and in addition to Kerhonkson fire department, Accord, Napanoch and Ellenville fire departments provided assistance.
Mutz also said that the official cause of the fire was under investigation and members of the state police and arson task force, who were on the scene on Friday, would be in charge of that investigation. (Freeman 4/26/09)

 

 

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Man Arrested for Drunk Driving After Chase

KERHONKSON — A Kerhonkson man was arrested by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office on Friday after he led deputies on a vehicle and foot chase near his home.
Marcus Dunn, 57, of 149 Krum Road in Kerhonkson, failed to pull over for a traffic stop while traveling on Queens Highway in the town of Rochester, police said.
Dunn became involved in a property damage accident as he entered his driveway, exited his vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot before surrendering to deputies.
He was charged with felony drunken driving and the misdemeanors of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent, reckless driving, failure to comply and unlawfully fleeing from a police officer, along with 13 vehicle and traffic violations.
Dunn was arraigned in town of Marbletown Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear in town of Rochester Court on Wednesday. (Freeman 5/3/09)

 

 

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18-Time Felon Gets 18 to Life in Home Invasion Case

KINGSTON — The 18th time was apparently the charm for James M. Mateo.
Mateo, 52, formerly of Ten Broeck Avenue, Kingston, was sentenced in Ulster County Court Tuesday before state Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough to serve 15 years to life in state prison as a persistent felon following what Special Prosecutor Paul Gruner said was Mateo’s 18th felony conviction.
The felony robbery and burglary charges that led to the sentence stemmed from a March 2008 home invasion. Authorities said Mateo and Joseph Buckler, 56, of 22 Navara St., Kingston, forced their way into a home on Rock Hill Road in the town of Rochester, bound the occupants with duct tape, and beat one of them with a club.
The men stole cash from the home while the victims were bound, authorities said. The victims later managed to free themselves and call for assistance.
The two suspects were arrested on March 20, 2008, a few days after the incident.
Gruner, describing Mateo as someone who has shown “no interest in conforming to what society expects of its citizens,” said his criminal record dates to 1972. The most serious charges came in 1984, when he was arrested on felony charges of robbery and criminal use of a weapon. In that case, he was sentenced to 40 months to 10 years in state prison.
Other convictions Gruner pointed to included felony drunken driving in 1991; felony assault with intent to physically injure a police officer in 1996, for which he was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 four years in state prison; and felony possession of a controlled substance in March of 2002, for which he was sentenced to serve 3 to 6 years in state prison.
Gruner said Mateo had also been charged with a variety of other charges, including misdemeanor petit larceny in 2001. Every time Mateo was released from prison, he violated the terms of his parole, Gruner said.
On June 2, 2008, Buckler pleaded guilty to charges, including felony burglary and robbery, stemming from the March 2008 home invasion. He was later sentenced to serve 12 years in state prison and five years post-release supervision, said Gruner. (Freeman 4/23/09)

 

 

 

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Accord Man Charged in Domestic Dispute

ACCORD — An Accord man is facing a number of charges, including felony criminal mischief, following a domestic dispute with family members, authorities said.
Simon Phillips, 30, of Lot 28 at 19 Mettacahonts Road, was arrested after Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call for a violent domestic incident at Lot 27 of the same address.
In the course of investigating that complaint, deputies found that Phillips had engaged in a dispute with other family members at that location.
Besides the felony criminal mischief charge, Phillips was charged with menacing, obstruction of governmental administration, and two counts of resisting arrest, all misdemeanors, and two counts of disorderly conduct, a violation.
He was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. He is due back in court at 6 p.m. this evening. (Freeman 4/28/09)

 

 

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Notice of Complete Application

Date: 4/22/2009Applicant :Mombaccus Excavating Inc. 710 Cherrytown Rd. Kerhonkson, NY 12466Facility: Former Roch CTR Dev. Corp Mine257 Rochester Center Rd. Kerhonkson, NY 12446 Applicant ID: 3-5144-00083/00001Permit(s) Applied for: 1-Article 23 Title 27 Mined Land Reclamation Project is located: in Rochester in Ulster CountyProject Description: Mombaccus Excavating, Inc., has applied for a five year renewal and modification of its Mined Land Reclamation permit to merge two adjacent mines that it owns the “Mombaccus Excavating Mine” (MLR# 30578) and the Rochester Center Development Mine” (MLR# 30496) to become the “Rochester Center Road Mine” Both of the existing mines are owned by the applicant, Mombaccus Excavating, Inc., and the new combined mined will be operated as a single mine. The applicant proposed the following modifications to create the single mine:----mine the 13 acre middle ridge that currently separates two mines,----improve interior drainage by mining some sections of the mine 30 feet deeper,----and eliminate one of the existing mine entrance roads on Rochester Center Road. The applicant does not propose any changes to the production, processing, mining and reclamation method, or to the hours of operation for this combined mine. The total approved acreage for the two existing mines is currently 88 acres. Mining the center ridgewould add 13 acres, for a new total life-of-mine area of 101 acres on a combined 269 acre property. All of the proposed 13 acre expansion is internal. The two abutting mines are located on the south side of Rochester Road, immediately east of its intersection with Samsonville Road, in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, NY.Availability of Application Documents: Filed application documents, and Department draft permits where applicable are available for inspection during normal business hours at the adress of the correct contact person. To ensure timely service at the time of the inspection, it is recommended that that an appointment be made with the contact person. State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination Project is a Type 1 action and will not have a significant effect on the environment. A coordinated review with other involved agencies was performed and a Negative Declaration is on file. SEQR Lead Agency NYS Department of Environmental ConservationState Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination cultural resource lists and map have been checked. No registered,eligible or inventoried archaeological site or historic structures were identified at the project location. No further review in accordance with SHPA is required. Availability for public comment. Comments on this project must be submitted in writing to the Contact person no later than 06/07/09 or 30 days after the publication date of this notice whichever is later. Contact Person Michael D Merriman NYSDEC 21 South Putt Corners Rd. new Paltz ,NY 12651-1620 (845) 256-3054

 

 

Dear Editor

Just a quick note in response to Mr. Win's comments on contractor's underbidding each other. Please consider other implications of 'under bid'. It does not necessarily mean the total cost will be less with a lower bid. It just means, with their bid clearly lower than the others, they get the job. Once he starts the contractor then realizes that the work can't be properly with out more money. Rather than 'eating the job' (as he has no money to buy food) he tells his client in detial why 'unforeseen' problems require a greater investment on thier part or he does a lower quality job just to stay with in that low monetary number. Or his original lower bid leaves no room for the the truly unforeseen issues that come up in every job and he must 'eat it' or get the client to cover it.  The bids the contractor offered the first time are a more accurate estimate of the works true cost, not always granted, but most likely.

Willow Shamson

 

Dear Editor

 

Regarding Diana Puglisi-Cilenti's letter, "If you have evidence about task force, let's see it," (Freeman 26 April 2009) how interesting that she makes the case she does, seeing as she was a very vocal supporter of a group of Republican Club half-wit thugs that outright fabricated fables of zoning atrocities being adopted by the prior Code Task Force claiming that group was usurping the property rights of residents; claiming everything was at risk of being prohibited like use of clotheslines, mowing lawns on Sundays, residential area lighting, families of more than six children, etc. when none of it was true.

 

During the many public hearings, Puglisi-Cilenti cheered the thugs as one by one they misinformed the public about what was happening. As speaker after speaker chastised the Duke Task Force for making "back room deals" and "planning moves behind closed doors in a way which benefits its members" Puglisi-Cilenti never once corrected the crowd as to the hundred or so meetings (combined Imagine Rochester/Comprehensive Plan meetings, task force meetings, open informational meetings and public hearings) held in open forum, during which the task force took all comments at every meeting, accepted all printed materials even as it made hard copy of all working documentation available to the public and then the task force would digest all the info submitted and would discuss every single issue raised at the next session.

 

Now Puglisi-Cilenti takes exception to Keith Kortright's truthful claims that the current task force is doing exactly what the idiot mob had charged the Duke Task Force of doing. She actually has the audacity to claim the current task force "…has put party lines aside and made recommendations from their conscience, carefully weighing the greater needs of the community versus individual needs, making all efforts to protect our natural resources while respecting property rights."

 

She fails to mention the current task force won't allow the public to speak at its meetings, it provides no hard copy material to the public, has held no public info sessions. Worse, the provisions being deleted thoroughly imperil residential users rights by virtue of allowing nearly everything everywhere without sufficient provisions for mitigating impact intrusion into residential areas; which, by the way is a major aspect of the Comprehensive Plan adopted into law and which, by law, is to serve as the blueprint for any zoning code developed.

 

Puglisi-Cilenti also doesn't mention that during the Duke Task Force meetings she repeatedly lobbied for relaxation of animal husbandry regulations due to her own particular interest: She raised llamas. The new task force is suggesting that section be REMOVED, in its entirety, to be considered at some far flung future date by the Town Board; her "pet" interest thus served. Nor does she mention how the current chairman has guaranteed a much diminished regulatory apparatus for development of his real estate holdings ergo less costly out-of-pocket expense but at the expense of impacts spewing into residential properties. Nor does Puglisi-Cilenti mention how mining is proposed everywhere via simple permit issued by the Code Enforcement Office which must make a determination that such use won't be "detrimental to the neighborhood" a determination that is clearly a Planning Board's responsibility and one that the CEO isn't trained to make; thus further serving developers' interests even  as it allows cheaper gravel to be bought from someone other than Mombaccus (Keith Kortright's gravel company) with all impacts spewing into residential properties and the truck traffic damaging roads. Nor does she mention how "certain" tax delinquent parcels have "suddenly" found themselves in zones with new propitious uses being proposed in order to accommodate "certain" task force member(s).

 

Funny how dishonest, self-serving people refuse to change even as they accuse others of being dishonest and self-serving!

 

 

Steven Fornal

Accord, NY

 

 

 

 

 

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Rochester Residents Association announces 2009 Scholarship Program

 

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.

 

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Town of Rochester Tax Assessment Grievance Day

 

The Board of Assessment Review of the Town of Rochester will hold its annual Grievance Day on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at Town Hall, with a scheduled adjournment on Saturday, May 30, 2009 available by appointment for property owners who are unable to meet on May 26th.

Town Assessor Cynthia Stokes will maintain an appointment schedule for taxpayers, however, appointments are not required for the May 26th session of Grievance Day. 

Taxpayers who wish to file an assessment complaint may obtain complaint forms from the Assessor’s Office or download them from:

http://www.orps.state.ny.us/ref/forms/pdf/rp524.pdf  with associated instructions at:

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

It is not necessary for taxpayers to present their complaints in person.  Completed complaint forms may be mailed to the Assessors Office, Town of Rochester, PO Box 65, Accord, NY 12404, however, correctly completed complaint forms must be received by the Assessors Office prior to 8:30 p.m. on May 26, 2009. 

For more information, property owners may contact the Assessor’s Office at 626-0920

 

 

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Mohonk Preserve Offers Free One-Month Membership

 

In recognition of the importance of being outdoors to health and well-being, the Mohonk Preserve will hold its fourth Eleven Communities Appreciation Weekend on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26.

On these days, free one-month memberships will be issued to Preserve visitors residing in the towns of Crawford, Gardiner, Marbletown, Montgomery, New Paltz, Rochester, Rosendale, Shawangunk, and Wawarsing, and the villages of Ellenville and New Paltz.

 

Visitors with proof of residency in the communities can obtain their free membership between 9~a.m. and 5 p.m. on either day at any trailhead, including the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center. Visitors without proof of residency in one of the eleven towns must pay the standard $10 day use fee for hikers and bikers ($15 for climbers) or can purchase an annual membership. Children 12 and under may visit the Preserve for free, but must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs are welcome, but must be on leash and under the owner’s control at all times.   

 

For a map of Mohonk Preserve trailheads and directions, visit

www.mohonkpreserve.org/index.php?directions

 

 

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Town Board News

 

The Town Board issued a request for proposals for a town-wide property re-assessment at its April 2 meeting.  The last such revaluation was done in 2006 by then-Assessor Sharon Hornbeck, without any outside assistance from revaluation consultants or experts.  The new RFP clarifies that the new assessor, Cynthia Stokes, will manage the project, with specific criteria for evaluating the progress of the project.  Separately, Ms. Stokes noted that she had identified about 100 properties that were not on the tax roll since assuming the position in August 2008.

 

The Town Board rejected all bids received for a streambank repair project due to the fact that the bids received did not contain a cap on the total project cost.  The rejection came in spite of protests by Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder, who was to manage the project.  New bids are due by April 29th. 

 

Supervisor Carl Chipman announced a campaign to increase broadband coverage in the Town of Rochester and said that an updated map showing Time Warner Cable coverage in the town had been prepared.  Councilperson Lynn Archer, who is the Town Board’s liaison to Time Warner Cable, said that more than 60 people had already responded to indicate interest in obtaining cable at their homes by sending an email to: Iwantcable@accord-kerhonkson.com

 

 

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Map Task Force Update

 

The task force held meetings on April 9 and 14th and intends to have a proposal for new zoning and subdivision codes and a zoning map ready for presentation to the Town Board on May 11th.  At the recent meetings, the task force discussed provisions for affordable housing, telecommunications facilities, adult entertainment uses, transfers of density rights, commercial design standards and non-conforming uses and structures. 

 

 

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Rondout Valley Board of Education Candidates

 

Candidates in eight of nine Ulster County school districts filed nominating petitions by the 5 p.m. Monday deadline.

In the Rondout Valley school district, seven candidates have filed petitions to fill four seats. Three, three-year terms for positions currently occupied by trustees Michael Redmond of 4974 U.S. Route 209, Accord, Gail Hutchins, 2 Romney Way, Cottekill, and Rebecca Reeder will be available, according to District Clerk Debra Barbiani. Hutchins and Redmond are both running for re-election. Reeder is not running for re-election.
A fourth seat, vacated when Kim Wozencraft resigned from the board, is available. The term of the seat is May 19, 2009, to June 30, 2010.
Other candidates filing petitions are Breanna Costello of 25 Laurel Hollow Estates, Kerhonkson, Matthew Finck of 256 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord, Kristine Schemitsch of Stone Ridge, Paul Zimmerman of 3309 U.S. Route 209, Stone Ridge, and Lennart Berg of 6 Mark Drive, Stone Ridge. (Freeman 4/21/09)

The election and school board vote will take place on May 19, 2009 from 6am to 9pm.  If you are unable to vote in person, you may download and mail an absentee ballot application.

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

 

 

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Rondout Valley school budget cuts spending, tax levy

 

The Rondout Valley Board of Education has adopted a $58.88 million budget for 2009-10 that reduces the property tax levy by 0.44 percent from the current level, according to school board President William Oliva.

Spending in the budget, which was adopted on Tuesday, is down 0.31 percent from this year's appropriations level of $59.06 million, Oliva said.

The school board had been considering four versions of the budget that would have eliminated between 11 and 28.5 jobs, but Oliva said that after the district received $1,341,301 in federal stimulus money, designed to offset reductions in state aid, the board passed a budget that instead eliminated only seven positions.

Oliva said "most, if not all" of the seven positions will be eliminated through attrition rather than layoffs.

New York state's 2009-10 budget, adopted earlier this month, cuts Rondout's year-to-year state aid for educational programming by about $63,000, or 0.34 percent. Gov. David Paterson's original deficit-reduction proposal would have paid the district about $1.3 million less, but the state Legislature restored some of the lost funding.

Oliva called the Rondout spending plan for 2009-10 an "educationally responsible budget and a fiscally responsible budget."

Rondout Valle residents will vote on the proposed budget on May 19.

In addition to reducing spending, Oliva said the Board of Education opted to apply $2.2 million of the district's fund balance against the tax levy to achieve the reduction from last year's level.

The spending decreases in the four versions of the budget ranged from 1 percent to 2.4 percent, and the board initially was considering applying

$1.7 million and $2.7 million of the fund balance against the tax levy.

Also, the district has received $134,009 in federal stimulus money for economically disadvantaged students - money that cannot be used toward general expenses. Rondout Valley's share of the money for special needs students from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is to be $358,429, but school officials around the region are waiting for the federal government to explain exactly how it can be used.  (Freeman 4/16/09)

 

 

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Trooper Delivers Baby in Kerhonkson

 

KERHONKSON – A state trooper helped deliver a baby following a 911 call, state police said.
On Friday, Trooper Michael Olonko from the Ellenville barracks responded to a 911 call of a woman in labor on Leghorn Road, police said. Police said Olonko arrived and assisted the child’s parents, Alisha Card and William Ramirez, with the birth. He also provided post-birth care until emergency medical services personnel arrived, police said.
The child and mother were then taken to Northern Dutchess Hospital, police said.

 

 

 

 

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Letters and Opinion

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

A recent article in the Blue Stone Press regarding the Town Board’s review of bids for stream bank restoration work in Alligerville stated that the bids reviewed by Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder were rejected because they did not include a cap on the total project cost.  The article stated that during the discussion of the rejection, Kelder cautioned the Board against re-soliciting bids on the project because since potential contractors had already “shown their hands” with their original bids and that they might now try to underbid one another

 

I fail to understand Mr. Kelder’s logic… is he saying that it’s not in the Town’s best interest to get lower cost bids?  As highway superintendent and, as such, acting as a fiduciary for our Town’s taxpayers, the highway superintendent (and indeed all our elected officials) should be doing all he can to ensure that contractors who submit bids all try to underbid each other – that’s why the law that requires such bids is called the competitive bidding law.  The highway superintendent and all of our elected officials should always be on the lookout for ways to lower the cost of services provided and ensure that taxpayers always get the best price and value possible.  By implying otherwise, Mr. Kelder appears to be advocating maximizing the money paid to contractors, thereby failing to fulfill the promises he made and the job he was elected to do.

 

Sincerely,

 

Zali Win, President

Rochester Residents Association

 

 

 

Dear  Town Crier:

 

There didn't appear to be a blog to post my responses, so I'm doing it to you in an e-mail for your edification.

 

Regarding the item below on the Accord Fire District-- I Iooked through the state report and carefully read the Fire  District board's response. From the latter, it appears that the current board is taking financial matters in hand and I have no reason to suspect that anything untoward financially is now going on -- or that anything intentionally nefarious happened in the past.

 

But there are three broad issues raised by the comptroller's report -- and all were ones I considered deeply some 30 years ago, when I was a reporter at Newsday and spent six months investigating fire districts on Long Island.

 

First is that  the report on the Accord Fire District at issue, covering 2005, reads just like the scores of reports that I plowed through 30 years ago. Fire district boards tended then to be lax and indifferent to contemporary accounting standards.

 

Second is the sheer proliferation of fire districts. The argument for them is always local control, but what I learned is that this is illusory, for few voters pay any attention to fire district elections and the people who run for these boards tend to be part of an old-boy's network anyway. Considerable money could be saved particularly on purchasing if districts consolidated or town boards took them over. On the other hand, volunteer fire departments function on morale, and it's important for our safety to preserve high morale, so that if there were consolidation, each firehouse would need to retain a measure of autonomy and funds to use at their own discretion.

 

Third deals with purchasing. As in Accord, the big-ticket purchases for equipment that I examined 30 years ago had few bidders, which reflects the reality that there are few manufacturers of this type of equipment. However, there is equipment that is functional and equipment that is beautiful. One manufacturer told me that he loved the Long Island districts because they tended to spend extra money for chrome and other expensive decorations that made the fire trucks look flashy, which firefighters liked for parades. (I have no idea whether that is the case in Accord.)

 

As part of this series I wrote about a small city in the midwest that either built their own fire trucks or wrote rigid, standardized specs for them to provide bare-bones units that worked well and were at least $100,000 less costly than what the Long Islanders were buying. In addition I wrote about one of the cities on Long Island -- I believe there are only 2, Long Beach and Glen Cove and I don't remember which was which, but it had a paid or semi-paid fire department -- that opted for bare-bones units. 

 

It certainly would be possible for all of the fire districts in Ulster County to agree to standardize their units and to purchase them jointly, providing more purchasing power. However, human nature being what it is, I doubt that local districts would be willing to surrender any autonomy.

 

In any case, I commend you for the fine work you're doing in the Town Crier, which I find an excellent source of local news. Please keep it up.

 

Neil Rosenfeld

High Falls

 

 

 

 

Proposal for a 1,000 Acre Farmland Preserve and Catskill-Shawangunk Greenway in Wawarsing, NY

By John Adams

In the late 1980s, the Rondout (Esopus) Land Conservancy (RELC) proposed the creation of a farmland preservation area centered around the former Davenport Farm in Wawarsing, NY. The conservancy hoped to find farmers to buy individual parcels that would have been protected with agricultural conservation easements. When New York State bought much of the land to expand its prison farm at Eastern Correctional Facility, the plan to protect the lands was not implemented.

Since 1995, I have sought to convince NYS to protect its prison farmland with easements as planned. In 2000-2001, myself and the other farmers who purchased the Davenport parcels applied for purchase of development rights (PDR) grant money through the NYS Farmland Protection Program. Since NYS considers 1,000 acres to be an "important threshold" for protected farmland areas, I am proposing to create a 1,000 acre farmland preserve in the Town of Wawarsing by preserving the state land with easements and making PDR available to the private farms on a voluntary basis.

The area is now recognized in the Wawarsing Comprehensive Plan as an "Agricultural Development Area," or core farmland area. It is in Ulster County Agricultural District #3 and the Ulster County Planning Board recommends limiting allowable uses in the area.

The State of New York has announced that it is closing down the prison's farming operations by June 2009 and plans to lease the land to farmers for the next five years.

Eastern and Ulster Correctional Facilities will continue to house and "process" new inmates (respectively), and employ local residents. But the area has been hard-hit by the closing of factories and the demise of the Catskills' traditional "Borscht Belt" economy.

The Town of Wawarsing, and the hamlets of Napanoch and Kerhonkson in particular, could benefit from revitalization through agricultural and recreational tourism, with the commercial centers being in the hamlets and downtown Ellenville. The Wawarsing Comprehensive Plan seeks to avoid sprawling development along Route 209 by recommending the encouragement of commercial centers. The Napanoch Valley Mall is being redeveloped into a Super Walmart to replace the former discount department store and supermarket on the site.

New York State, together with the Open Space Institute, has created tens of thousands of acres of parkland in Wawarsing, but much of it is designated "preserves" that limit the availability of amenities for tourists and travelers. The farmland preservation area is entirely compatible with and complements the creation of a Catskill-Shawangunk Greenway that would link the two mountain ranges as well as Minnewaska State Park and the Catskill Park.

With Minnewaska's parking lot filling up and closing by mid-morning on weekends in the summer, and overuse of the trails in the Shawangunks being a concern, the greenway could provide hiking and biking to alleviate the pressure on "the Gunks." The Long Path is already planned to be re-routed through this greenway, and the town will build the D&H (O&W rail) Trail through the area from Kerhonkson's downtown parking area to Eastern Correctional's recreation hall parking lot next year. The town will choose a trail designer in 2009 and seek public input for the design. This will make the greenway an intersection of major hiking trails.

The 1999 Sullivan/Wawarsing Rural Economic Area Partnership Strategic Plan for redevelopment of the former Borscht Belt called for both a farmland preservation area and the development of a linear park along the D&H Trail with museums, historic sites, and picnic lodges.

The D&H Heritage Corridor Handbook for Action plan called for protection of the farmland along the canal and trail corridor, perhaps by the RELC, as the viewshed for the trail. It called for loops and spur trails off the main rail trail to make it more interesting. More recently, the Kerhonkson to Napanoch D&H Master Plan and the Ulster County Non-Motorized Transportation Plan called for a trail spur on Port Ben Road between the prison cornfields.

At the margins of the farm fields, especially along the creek, trails could lead to a Rondout Creek Park such as the one envisioned by the 1969 Wawarsing Master Plan. The current Wawarsing Comprehensive Plan also suggests public access to the creek north of Port Ben. The farm lane at Colony Farm could be an alternate off-road hiking and biking route to Ver Nooy Kill State Forest. An agricultural development park at the former dairy buildings at Colony Farm and/or agri-tourism activities would be compatible with the greenway/farm preserve concept.

The NYS Draft Open Space Plan, the state's land acquisition and preservation plan states that agricultural lands that provide linkages "including a Catskill/Shawangunk connection in Wawarsing" should be considered as priorities for protection. These farms serve as corridors for wildlife between the parks (despite the best efforts of the farmers!).

Planners are predicting that there will be an exodus of baby boomer-aged retirees for the next 20 years from large cities to small towns at the fringes of the metropolitan areas. The top three amenities demanded by this demographic group are trails, parkland, and open space, according to the National Association of Realtors. Wawarsing could have all three. If Napanoch, Kerhonkson, and Wawarsing can attract some of these well-heeled people, who do not have children in school but pay school property taxes, it would help to subsidize the local Rondout Valley and Ellenville School Districts. Trails add thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to the value of a home.

When employers look for new locations for their businesses, they are attracted to places that offer a good quality of life, recreational opportunities, and amenities that they don't have to pay for, such as parks and trails. Recreation helps to keep employees healthy, content, and productive.

The Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway Plan encourages the redistribution of recreational tourists around the byway region, both to alleviate overcrowding and to spread the wealth to low-income towns like Wawarsing. With Minnewaska State Park overused, there is an opportunity to attract tourists down into our valley to spend money on food, lodging and entertainment. A bicycle route along existing low traffic volume back roads would be part of the mix. Other successful tourist towns have used their rail trail as the backbone of a series of connected hiking, biking and cross-country skiing circuits. A greenway/farm preserve protects the viewsheds from the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, the D&H Trail, the Long Path and Minnewaska State Park.

A large prolific aquifer underlies the area, and protecting it from development protects drinking water and is in the best interest of everyone.

A Catskill-Shawangunk Greenway and Farmland Preserve in Wawarsing would bring outside money into the town through tourism, and would bring recreation to our townspeople to help fight childhood obesity and diabetes. It would provide safe routes for children between the town park, the hamlets, and the Walmart store. It would protect scarce and important agricultural soils and farmland, help bring customers to local farm stands, and provide croplands and pasture for the use of farmers. It is smart tax policy, since farmland does not use many public services. ("Cows don't go to school.") It protects the environment and our drinking water and fights the sprawl that slows down transportation on Route 209. It preserves our heritage and turns it into a unique marketable asset.

There is simply no reason not to turn the end of the prison farm into the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the Town of Wawarsing, which capitalizes on our proud heritage of Catskill hospitality. Now, when people ride down Route 209 and see the prison farmland they say, "There's the maximum security prison," or "There's the maxie." Imagine the improvement in Wawarsing's "brand" or image if they said, "There's the Catskill Shawangunk Greenway." And it would be the same land, doing the same job of growing Rondout Valley corn!

To leave the farms unprotected and vulnerable to short-term profiteering by developers would spoil them forever. It would be a continuation of the failed policies of the past, not "change." Retail development leads to the need for more services, bigger government, and higher taxes. Tourism and agriculture are Ulster County and New York State's biggest industries and not a thing of the past. Wawarsing needs to regain its lost identity. Its greatest asset is that it is located where the Catskills meet the Shawangunks. They say, "If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are." Wawarsing's children should grow up proud of who they are.

www.shawangunkjournal.com/2009/04/16/news/0904168.html

 

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Scholarship Program

Rochester Residents Association announces 2009 Scholarship Program

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.

 

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Do you want Time Warner cable and high speed internet?

The Rochester Residents Association is assembling a list of areas where residents do not have access to Time Warner’s Road Runner service, which provides fiber optic delivered cable television and high speed internet service.  Time Warner, which has a multi-year near monopoly franchise in the Town of Rochester to provide such service has been notoriously unresponsive to residents’ requests and has provided installation quotes as high as $76,000 to provide such service to households.  The RRA will present list to the Town Board to present to Time Warner.  In addition, there is a remote possibility that Federal economic stimulus money might be available to partially offset the cost of wiring portions of the time.  At present, the alternative providers of high speed internet service are Verizon DSL, which also does not reach all households in town and HughesNet (satellite).  If you are interested in obtaining high speed internet at your home or business, please send an email with your street address to:  IwantCable@accord-kerhonkson.com. 

 

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Friends of Historic Rochester Annual Book Sale – April 18th

FHR will hold is annual book sale on Saturday, April 18th from 9am to 3pm at Saunderskill Farms’ market on Route 209 in Accord.  Proceeds will benefit the Friends of Historic Rochester’s Museum on Main Street in Accord.  Donations of books in good condition will be welcomed on the day of the sale.  For further information call 687-9998 or 626-7104.

 

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Rochester Historic Preservation Commission to host Historic Resources Program

The Historic Preservation Commission will sponsor a program to introduce its updated Historic Resources Survey on the Town of Rochester on April 20, 2009 at 7pm at the Rochester Reformed Church on Route 209 in Accord.   The first survey, prepared by Harry Hansen in 1993, concentrates on stone and brick structures in the town of Rochester (you can download a copy at www.accord-kerhonkson.com/history.htm),  The Survey II features other categories of historic structures in the town, including traditional frame houses, plank and log houses, barns and other agricultural support structures, schoolhouses, churches, railway stations, and creameries.  Perhaps most interesting of all are the many different types of resorts that flourished here during the 20th century.    The members of the Historic Preservation Commission hope that you will be interested in learning about Survey II, as this gathering is designed to increase knowledge about, and to encourage civic pride in, the historic assets and resources of our Town.  Refreshments will be served.

 

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Proposed Rondout Valley School District Budget

The RVCSD has held a series of informational meetings regarding the 2009-2010 school budget. The proposed budget stands at about $60.3 million, representing an increase of about 2 percent,  compared to about $59 million in the current yet.  Concerns were raised about an estimated $1.4 million decrease in State Aid and a decline in local household incomes as a result of the general state of the economy.  Cuts in various areas have been proposed, including a reduction in staff through attrition, and reductions in after school programs and school supplies, arts and environmental education.  The next budget meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 7th at 7pm in the High School auditorium.

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School Board Vacancies

The deadline for filing petitions of intent for three three-year terms and one one-year term is April 20, 2009.  For more information visit: http://www.rondout.k12.ny.us/.  The election will take place at the same time as the School District Budget Vote on May 19, 2009.  If you are unable to vote in person, you may download an absentee ballot application.

 

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To wn Board Update

·         The Town Board discussed a delineation of duties in the Assessor’s Office (between consultants and existing employees).

·         The five members of the Accord Fire District Board of Commissioners did not provide a unified response to recommendations provided by the Operations Committee regarding the improvement of financial controls and procurement procedures. A response by two members did state, however, “While we find your interest in the fire district to be commendable, we find it very unhelpful that members of the town board and its committee would make public allegations, especially in the press, that might lead the public to believe that the town board has certain authorities over the fire district.”  The Town Board does not have any regulatory or financial authority over the Fire District but has found itself compelled to act in response to the Fire District’s inability to adequately address concerns raised by the New York State Comptroller in December 2007.  “We found little documentation available for our review concerning the awarding of four significant contracts totaling $898,008. As a result, the Board has no assurance that the District procured these expensive items in the most prudent and economical manner, whether the equipment was of the desired quality and acquired at the lowest possible price and whether the procurements were influenced by favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud or corruption. The District purchased an aerial ladder truck ($500,000), pumper truck ($271,392), a vehicle exhaust extraction system ($93,881) and high pressure breathing machine ($32,735).” For a complete copy of the Comptroller’s 2007 audit, visit:  http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/2007/firedist/accord.htm

·         The board discussed the possibility of seeking federal economic stimulus funds to expand cable television and broadband coverage. 

·         Supervisor Carl Chipman expressed concern about the number of variance applications to the existing town zoning codes submitted to the Board of Zoning Appeals and a lack of compliance to existing procedures by applicants.  Councilperson Lynn Archer stated that more teeth was required in the code enforcement process.

·         Councilman Tavi Cilenti clarified remarks made in the March 5 meeting where he expressed concern about fundraising by town government agencies.  “I did not accuse anyone of stealing.  We just need a process for such activities.” 

·         Historic Preservation Commission chair Alice Cross presented the Commissions architectural survey to the Board featuring frame and wooden structures. This survey was an update to a similar survey prepared in 1995, a copy of which is available: http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/history.htm

 

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Controversy About Alligerville Streamside Restoration Bids

Bids solicited by the Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder for the restoration of stream bank restoration on the Rondout Creek in Alligerville received scrutiny the Town Board, which decided not to accept any of the bids.  The bids contained only hourly costs from bidders and did not include a total project cost or cap on hours.  The Board directed the re-solicitation of bids, with tighter contract specifications.  Damage, consisting primarily of erosion, occurred in 2005 as a result of flooding.  Repair will be partially funded by grant funds received from FEMA, which must be spent for the purpose stated or be returned to FEMA.

 

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, and Map Task Force Update

At its March 30 meeting, the Task Force agreed to eliminate regulation for most mining operations with an annual excavation of 1,000 tons.  Such mines that intend to sell the excavated material must obtain an annual permit from the Town’s code enforcement office, which shall determine that the mining does “not create any conditions that are injurious or hazardous to the public” or that are detrimental to the character of the neighborhood.  Mines with annual production over 1,000 tons are regulated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, which issues five-year renewable permits.  The Task Force also discussed multi-family housing and made changes to ensure conformity with other portions of the proposed code and to remove superfluous portions.  Recreational areas in such developments will no longer be required to be made available solely to residents of those developments.  Future meetings will be held April 9 and 14 at the Accord Fire House and April 22 and 29 at Town Hall.

 

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Election Tellers Needed

THE RONDOUT VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT IS IN NEED OF TELLERS FOR THE MAY 19, 2009 SCHOOL BUDGET VOTE.

THE VOTING DAY RUNS FROM 6:00 A.M. UNTIL 9:00 P.M.  YOU MAY WORK ALL OR PART OF THE DAY.  TELLERS ARE PAID AT $7.15 PER HOUR AND MEALS ARE PROVIDED DURING HOURS OF SERVICE AT NO COST.  IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING (YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OF AGE) EITHER ALL DAY OR JUST A FEW HOURS, PLEASE CALL GAIL AT (845) 687-2400 EXT. 4813 BY MAY 11, 2009. 

DEBRA BARBIANI, DISTRICT CLERK

 

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 A note from Hudson Valley Seed Library

Yes, spring is here! The spinach is up in the garden and the greenhouse is bursting with tiny seedlings. The deer fencing needs fixing up and the woodchucks are out looking to forage in the back field. We've been starting our seeds in flats of soil blocks. I love the soil block method as it uses no plastic and wastes no materials. We're both still refining our soil block skills, so, if you'd like to learn along with us, check out Doug's blog here.

It's not too late to order seeds for your garden. We offer plenty of varieties that can be planted directly into the cool soils of April and the warmed soils of May--and beyond. We have, however, started selling out of a few varieties. To make sure we can grow even more seeds for next year's catalog we are trying to slow down a bit in terms of events. Thank you all for your invitations to come to your festivals, talk to your groups, run workshops on your farms, and sell our seeds at your markets. We will still be out and about when we can; below is a list of what's ahead.

Thank you for putting your faith in the Seed Library and supporting us in our seedling stage as a local seed company. I hope that the promise our seeds hold for your own gardens will grow bountiful, flavorful, and true. http://www.seedlibrary.org

 

 

   

 

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Do you want Time Warner cable and high speed internet?

The Town Board is assembling a list of areas where residents do not have access to Time Warner’s Road Runner service, which provides fiber optic delivered cable television and high speed internet service.  Time Warner, which has a multi-year near monopoly franchise in the Town of Rochester to provide such service has been notoriously unresponsive to residents’ requests and has provided installation quotes as high as $12,000 to provide such service to households.  The Town Board would like to create a list of residents who desire such service to present to Time Warner.  In addition, there is a remote possibility that Federal economic stimulus money might be available to partially offset the cost of wiring portions of the time.  At present, the alternative providers of high speed internet service are Verizon DSL, which also does not reach all households in town and HughesNet (satellite).  If you are interested in obtaining high speed internet at your home or business, please send an email with your street address to:  IwantCable@accord-kerhonkson.com. 

 

 

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Kerhonkson/Accord  Chamber Of Commerce Pork Dinner, Dessert and Coffee

Saturday, April 4, 2009 · 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Accord Fire House (Main Street, Accord), Adults $12, Seniors $10, Kids 4-10 $8, Eat In or Take Out. Call 626-2616 or 626-5198

 

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Friends of Historic Rochester Annual Book Sale – April 18th

FHR will hold is annual book sale on Saturday, April 18th from 9am to 3pm at Saunderskill Farms’ market on Route 209 in Accord.  Proceeds will benefit the Friends of Historic Rochester’s Museum on Main Street in Accord.  Donations of books in good condition will be welcomed on the day of the sale.  For further information call 687-9998 or 626-7104.

 

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Rochester Historic Preservation Commission to host Historic Resources Program.

The Historic Preservation Commission will sponsor a program to introduce its updated Historic Resources Survey on the Town of Rochester on April 20, 2009 at 7pm at the Rochester Reformed Church on Route 209 in Accord.   The first survey, prepared by Harry Hansen in 1993, stone and brick structures in the town of Rochester, the Survey II features other categories of historic structures in the town, including traditional frame houses, plank and log houses, barns and other agricultural support structures, schoolhouses, churches, railway stations, and creameries.  Perhaps most interesting of all are the many different types of resorts that flourished here during the 20th century.   

The members of the Historic Preservation Commission hope that you will be interested in learning about Survey II, as this gathering is designed to increase knowledge about, and to encourage civic pride in, the historic assets and resources of our Town.  Refreshments will be served.

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Hazardous Waste Collection

KINGSTON — The Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency will collect household hazardous waste and electronics from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 18 at its 999 Flatbush Road location.
The objective of the collection is to prevent those materials from ending up in landfills or contaminating water sources and wastewater treatment plants.
Materials that will be accepted include lead- and oil-based paints, fertilizers, pesticides, household cleaners, paint solvents and hobby chemicals, among others. Latex paint will not be accepted because it is not a hazardous material.
Also at the event, electronics that will be accepted for recycling for a fee of $7 per carload are: computers and their components, VCRs, DVD players, keyboards, printers, monitors and televisions.  The event is for Ulster County residents only. Ineligible to participate are businesses, organizations, farms and institutions.  An appointment must be scheduled to participate in the event. To register, go to www.ucrra.org or call (845) 336-3336.

 

 

Nectar Imports Presents...

Writer and yogi Jeffrey Davis will offer a talk and reading related to the practice of active compassion for literary writing (and living). Jeffrey will read from the recently released updated edition of The Journey from the Center to the Page and a new short story set in the Hudson Valley. Jeffrey lives in Accord, NY, where he serves on the town's Code Task Force for Zoning - a seat that has inspired his compassion.

THURSDAY, APRIL 23rd, 6:00 pm
NECTAR IMPORTS, 1412 Route 213, High Falls, NY, 845.687.2870
NECTARIMPORTS.COM

 

 

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NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Assumes Lead Agency Status

The Town of Rochester Planning Board’s application to assume lead agency status for the Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process regarding a 9.5 acre bluestone mine proposed by Keith Kortright of Mombaccus Excavating was denied.  The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will assume the lead agency role.  The Planning Board sought lead agency status to ensure that the concerns of local residents were properly addressed.  These concerns include, traffic, dust, noise, hydrology and other impacts on the residential neighborhood near the Amanda Drive site off Rogues Harbor and Cherrytown Roads.  In a similar application by Metro Recycling and Crushing in 2001, the DEC did not fully address or mitigate local concerns and has demonstrated a pro-mining industry bias in its decision making process.    Mombaccus Excavating has separately submitted a separate application for the consolidation of two mines on Rochester Center Road into a 101-acre mine, also adjacent to a residential zone.

 

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Town Board Highlights

 

At the March 5 meeting, the Town Board held public hearings and passed and amendment increasing senior citizen property tax exemption levels and adopted a Sex Offender Child Safety Law, introduced by Councilman Tony Spano, that restricts areas where registered sex offenders can live to areas away from schools and other areas where there are high concentrations of children. 

 

Problems at the Assessor’s Office are being reviewed, with a plan of action being developed that will include plans to ensure that all properties are listed on the tax roll.

 

Supervisor Carl Chipman stated that Verizon is installing cell phone equipment at the new tower at the Transfer Station, which should be operational in a matter of weeks, and that AT&T will install equipment in a May-June timeframe.

 

Councilman Spano gave an update on the Operations Committee, which has been serving as a liaison with the Accord Fire District.  The Committee has recommended that the Fire District engage the services of an auditor to ensure the expenditures are properly vetted, however, the Fire District Commissioners have been reluctant thus far to engage such services.  There have been concerns about non-competitive procurements and unauthorized expenditures.

 

Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder received authority to obtain bids for repair of the Rondout Creek embankment in Alligerville.

 

 

 

 

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Stream Disturbance Project – Boice Mill Road

New York State Department of Environmental ConservationNotice of Complete ApplicationDate: 03/16/2009 Applicant: David O’Halloran Facility: O’Halloran Property, Boice Mill Rd. along Mombaccus Creek Kerhonkson, NY Application ID: 3-5144-00247/00001 Permit(s) Applied for:1- Article 15 Title 5 Stream Disturbance Project is located: in Rochester in Ulster County.Project Description: Applicant is proposing to re-direct the current course of flow for Mombaccus Creek (NYS water index #H-139-14-20-2, Class Cts) to it’s former channel located entirely on the applicants property. Diversion will be conducted by the construction of a 360 foot long rip rap embankment keyed into the slope. All work will be conducted during low flow periods. The project is located on the north side of Boice Mill Road. Availability of Application Documents: Filed application documents, and Department draft permits where applicable, are available for inspection during normal business hours at the address of the contact person. To ensure timely service at the time of inspection, it is recommended that an appointment by made with the contact person. State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination Project is not subject to SEQR because it is a Type II action. SEQR Lead Agency None Designated State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination.  The proposed activity is not subject to review in accordance with SHPA. The permit type is exempt or the activity is being reviewed in accordance with federal historic preservation regulations. Availability for Public Comment: Comments on this project must be submitted in writing to the Contact Person no later than 04/09/2009 or 15 days after the publication of this notice, whichever is later.Contact PersonJohn W. Petronella NYSDEC, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561-1620(845) 256-3050 (Freeman 3/24/09)

 

 

 

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House for Rent

The Rochester Reformed Church on 209 has recently completed renovation on its parsonage and is making it available for rent.  It is located right next to the RR Church.  The parsonage is a 4 bedroom, two story house with a bath and a half (one upstairs, the other downstairs), living room, dining room, kitchen, and enclosed porch entry to the kitchen.  There is a full basement and attic.  Garage space for one vehicle is also available.  They have spent a lot of time and money on the renovation (all new replacement windows, stove, dishwasher, and bathroom upgrades as well as painting throughout the house).  The rental price is $1,200 per month plus utilities.  One month's rent is required for security.  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please have them contact Andy Aitken at 626-8218 ASAP. 

  

 

 

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Rochester Summer Program Registration

Registration for the seven week summer program sponsored by the Youth Department at Camp Epworth will take place Wednesday, March 25 from 5-7 pm.  The total program cost is $770 per child. For more information call 626-2115.

 

 

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Worries that not all properties are on tax roll in Town of Rochcester

Board of Assessment Review member Martha Tardibuono spoke at the February Town Board meeting and expressed her concern about the number of properties in town that were not on the Town’s tax roll.  A number of properties were identified after the retirement of Assessor Sharon Hornbeck more than a year ago and were added to the roll.  A $5,000 per month consulting contract with temporary assessor Michael Sommer was supposed to identify all missing properties, however, this appears not to have been done.  The Town Board appointed a new full time assessor, Cindy Stokes, late last year.  The Town Board requested a work plan from Stokes to identify and rectify the problems in the office and Town Board member Lynn Archer has worked with Stokes to develop a plan of remediation that starts with comparing the assessment cards in the Assessor’s office with the town’s tax map to identify potentially missing properties. 

 

Missing properties and properties that are under assessed create an unfair burden on those property owners who are properly assessed.  One form of significant underassessment is the way certain natural resources such as unmined gravel in a commercial gravel mine is not assessed, despite the fact that the existence of the gravel in a property that is used commercially significantly increases the tangible value of the property.   

 

 

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Kelder seeks approval to construct airstrip.

Wayne Kelder, superintendent of highways, appeared at the February Planning Board meeting to present plans surrounding his request for a special use permit to establish a grass airstrip on his property on Lower Whitfield Road in Accord.  He indicated that he would be the only user of the airstrip.  Prior to further consideration, the Planning Board informed Kelder that Department of Transportation approval was necessary prior to any further determination.  As the property is located in an area that is eligible to be designated a national historic district by virtue of the high concentration of 18th Century stone homes, a full review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) would be necessary.

 

There has been a recent increase in applications for private airstrips in Rochester in the past 18 months.  Developer John Dawson has sought approval for a “fly in” community on his unsold development on Samsonville Road near the Olive town line, and there has been interest in re-activating the airstrip on Airport Road near Route 209.  Review and operating requirements for private airstrips by the FAA and other agencies have increased significantly since September 11, 2001 and some local airstrips have been decertified.

 

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Map Task Force Update

Items discussed at the February 9 meeting:

Potential Requirement for traffic studies in applications where 500 or more vehicle movements are expected in a day.

Permissibility of RVs and commercial vehicles in residential lots within the side yard setback requirements.

Establishment of an Aquifer Protection Overlay district, which would prohibit certain activities, mostly encompassing hazardous materials,  in identified aquifer areas

Discussion of calculation of ambient noise levels and, separately, home occupations.

 

 

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Continuing Problems at the Accord Fire District.

The members of the Operations Committee appointed by the Town Board to examine the Accord Fire District’s activities gave a report to the Town Board on Feb. 26th.  The three members, Councilman Tony Spano, Rochester Emergency Management Director Gerry Fornino, and Peter Tschirky, an experienced volunteer firefighter and fire company officer, identified he problems:

Poor or non-existent record keeping (including lack of meeting minutes and deleted financial records), lack of control over purchases and inventory, non-bid purchases, failure to comply with their own internal procedures.  The committee recommended a quarterly financial audit on all financial transactions for at least one year, including retirement and insurance fund, banking, purchase and budget transactions.  The AFD was previously cited for financial management deficiencies in an audit conducted by the State Comproller’s office.  The newly elected Accord Fire District’s chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Robert Garrett, expressed his support of the Operations Committee’s activities and recommendations, but that he was only one vote on the five member board.  Supervisor Carl Chipman stated that he would do everything in his power to fix the situation and indicated his willingness, if necessary, to ask for the dissolution of the Accord Fire District.

 

There are three individual fire companies in Rochester (Alligerville, Accord, and Samsonville), which obtain their funding from the Accord Fire District, which has full independent taxing authority.  The Accord Fire District is managed by five elected commissioners, each of whom serves for five years.  The board of fire commissioners is responsible for the financial management of the district, including budgeting and purchasing, as well as all legal and regulatory compliance.

 

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Hit and Run Driver Sentenced

A New York City man has been sentenced to consecutive 360-day terms in the Ulster County Jail after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter in an Aug. 2, 2007, hit-and-run accident that took the life of a 63-year-old Kerhonkson man.

Adrian N. Chernyk, 21, of 46 St. Mark’s Place, was sentenced by Ulster County Judge J. Michael Bruhn to 360 days in jail on the felony manslaughter charge and 360 days for leaving the scene of a personal injury auto accident, which will be served consecutively to the manslaughter sentence. Chernyk also was sentenced to 360 days in jail on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, which will be served concurrently.  Chernyk, who was 19 at the time of the accident, pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2008, admitting that he was driving his 1995 Range Rover on Fordemoor Road in Kerhonkson when he struck Roman Terletsky, 63, as Terletsky walked along the shoulder of the road.

Terletsky was airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, where he died from his injuries later that day.  While state police at Ellenville were responding to a 911 call reporting an unconscious man lying in a ditch, Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies were investigating an unrelated property damage accident on U.S. Route 209 involving Chernyk’s Range Rover.  Deputies determined that Chernyk was intoxicated and responsible for the accident involving Terletsky.  The maximum sentence for vehicular manslaughter is seven years in state prison. (Freeman 2/14/09)

 

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Twelve Arrested in Drug Probe

WAWARSING — Twelve people were arrested as the result of an ongoing investigation into drug sales in the Kerhonkson and Ellenville areas, police said Wednesday.

Among those arrested was Eddie Pacheco, 21, of 59 Lundy Road, Wawarsing, for three counts of sale of a controlled substance, four counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of stolen property, all felonies, as well as two counts of possession of a weapon and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors.

Arrested for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance were: Theresa Pacheco, 64, and Jillian Shaughnessy, 21, both of 59 Lundy Road, Wawarsing.

Arrested and charged with two counts each of felony sale and possession of a controlled substance were: Cory Steele, 22, of 17 Canal St., Ellenville; Cornelius Cromer, 28, of 5 Maiden Lane, Ellenville; Charles Cox, age unavailable, of 7128 U.S. Route 209, Wawarsing; Michael Barrett, 29, of 26 Park St., Ellenville; Marcello Pissioni, 18, of 24 Canal St., Ellenville; Daniel Ospina, 18, of 251 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson; and David Rosselli, 26, of 8 Kagan Lane, Ellenville.

Also arrested were: Ravanna Smith, 28, of 11 Sands Lane Ellenville on one count each of felony sale and possession of a controlled substance; and Vincent Giammichele, 19, of 6 Anderson Drive, Spring Glen on charges of sale of a controlled substance and three counts of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies, as well as one count of misdemeanor criminally using drug paraphernalia.

On Jan. 26, an Ulster County grand jury indicted several defendants as a result of an ongoing investigation into drug sales in the Kerhonkson and Ellenville areas, members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team said. Police said arrest warrants were issued by Ulster County Court and officers executed one at 59 Lundy Road in the town of Wawarsing. A search of the residence found Eddie Pacheco inside, as well as cocaine, crack cocaine, electronic scales, drug packaging material and several firearms, including two handguns and a stolen handgun, police said. Police said Theresa Pacheco and Shaughnessy were also arrested at that time.

Police said task force members then went to several other Ellenville-area locations and arrested the remaining defendants. Both Pissioni and Giammichele were found in Sullivan County, police said. Police said Giammichele was found with approximately a half ounce of cocaine and an electronic scale at the time of his arrest. (Freeman 2/5/09)

 

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A word of thanks

 

Members of the Rochester Residents Association donated more than $10,000 to the Rochester Food Pantry in response to a Thanksgiving-Christmas fundraising effort initiated by the RRA.  Despite (or because of) the deteriorating economy, cash donations increased significantly and the number of individual donors nearly tripled.   Marge Bonner, corresponding secretary of the Food Pantry wrote:

 

Dear Members of the Rochester Residents Association:

 

“On behalf of the Rochester Food Pantry, I would like to really, really, really thank you for all of your efforts to support the Food Pantry – from your numerous emails arm twisting your members, to your generous matching contribution from the Association, to efforts to place donation boxes around the town.

 

“Unfortunately, the economic downturn has not diminished and we continue to have an increased demand.  In 2008, we served a record 2,180 families (that’s 26,160 meals, some families visited more than once); this is more than a 70% increase over last year.  However, thanks to the generous support of your members, we have been able to meet this increased demand and supplement the food requirements of need families and individuals in our community.

 

Thank you again, and we really, really, really look forward to your continued support in the coming year.’

 

The Rochester Food Pantry is an independent tax-exempt charitable organization that provides food emergency food and basic household staples to families in need.

 

 

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Local Photographer Annette Finestone exhibits work

Accord resident Annette Finestone will exhibit photographs that she took while living in post-WWII Japan in 1946-1947.  The exhibition is at Northern Spy Restaurant on Route 213 in  High Falls.  Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm.  687-7298.

 

 

 

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Property Tax Exemption Deadline – In Rochester Too!

[Editor’s note: Even though this article relates to Marbletown, Rochester has the same deadlines.  Contact the Town Assessor, Cindy Stokes at 626-0920)

STONE RIDGE — Marbletown Assessor Barbara Galloway has issued a reminder that March 1 of each year is the deadline for all real property tax exemption applications to be submitted to local assessors’ offices.
Anyone applying for any real property tax exemption, whether it’s for the first time or it is a renewal, must have their application in to their assessor’s office on or before March 1 of each year.
As March 1 falls on a Sunday this year, the Marbletown Assessor’s Office will accept applications until March 2.
According to Galloway:

In addition to many other real property tax exemptions available to property owners, the most asked-about is the STAR exemption, which is the School Tax Relief exemption program first implemented for senior citizens in 1997, and extended to all property owners for their primary residence in 1998.

The Basic STAR exemption is available for property owners for their primary residence only. It is not based on age or income requirements, but is based on the residency of the owner(s) of the property. A one-time application is necessary, and the owner must provide proof of residency. This exemption does not require an annual renewal.

The Enhanced STAR exemption is available for senior citizens, and can be applied for by March 1 of the year one of the owners will turn 65. It also must be the primary residence of the owner(s). In addition to the age and residency requirement, this exemption is based on the combined income of the resident owners of the property. This year the income threshold is $73,000, based on the combined adjusted gross income less IRA distributions. This exemption requires annual renewal.

Senior citizens with limited incomes may be eligible for additional benefits and, depending on their income, may qualify for reduced taxes for school, county, and/or town taxes. This exemption is also based on age and residency eligibility, and all sources of income are calculated to determine the levels of eligibility for each taxing jurisdiction. The assessor must have documentation of all the applicant’s sources of income to apply the exemption. This exemption is in addition to the Enhanced STAR exemption, affording additional real property tax benefits to seniors on low fixed incomes. This exemption requires annual renewal.

Information and applications regarding these and all other real property tax exemptions are available at your local assessor’s office, at the Ulster County Real Property Tax Service Agency, and at the state Office of Real Property Services.  (Freeman 2/10/09)

 

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Agricultural District requests

Ulster County will accept requests March 1 through March 30 from landowners seeking to have their agricultural lands included within a certified agricultural district.

 

Ulster County has four certified agricultural districts containing nearly 66,000 acres of farmland.

 

To receive a worksheet, a brochure, or more information about the review process, call Teresa Rusinek at (845) 340-3990 or e-mail tr28@cornell.edu.

 

Information is also available at counties.cce.cornell.edu /ulster.

 

 

 

 

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Free income tax preparation assistance offered

A free confidential tax aide program is available in Ulster County to people with low to moderate income with special attention to senior citizens through the American Association of Retired Persons in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service and New York state from Feb. 2 through April 15.

 

The program is being offered as follows, with appointments required:

 

• St. John’s Episcopal Church, 207 Albany Ave., Kingston; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

 

• Kingston Library, 55 Franklin St., Kingston, Mondays, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m.

 

• West Hurley Library, 42 Clover St., West Hurley, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

• Town of Esopus Library, 128 Canal St., Port Ewen, Thursdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

 

• Reformed Church, 92 Huguenot St., New Paltz, fourth Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon.

 

• St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 34 S. Chestnut St., New Paltz, Mondays, Wednesdays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

• Kiwanis Ice Arena, Washington Avenue, Saugerties, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

• Stone Ridge Library, 3700 Main St., Stone Ridge, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

 

• Town of Olive Library, 4033 Route 28A, West Shokan, Mondays, 1-4 p.m.

 

For an appointment, call (845) 802-7190.

 

The following information should be brought with you when you come: copy of last years’ tax returns; W-2 forms from each employer; unemployment compensation statements; SSA-1099 form if you were paid Social Security benefits; all 1099 forms (1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, etc.) showing interest and/or dividends and documentation showing original purchase price of sold assets; 1099-misc. showing any miscellaneous income; 1099-R forms if you receive a pension and/or annuity; all forms indicating federal income tax paid; dependent care provider information (name, employer ID or Social Security number); all receipts or canceled checks if itemizing deductions; Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents. Report the amount of stimulus payments received in 2008.

 

 

 

 

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Kerhonkson student appointed to Military Academy

Congressman Maurice Hinchey nominated Jordan Smith of Kerhonkson to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

 

 

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Accord Fire District Update

Robert Garrett was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners in an uncontested vote in December 2008.  In January, he was elected chair of the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Garrett is a former NYC firefighter and until his election, was the Town’s deputy Emergency Management Director.  Separately, former District secretary Holly Christiana accused former Chair Fred Wustrau of  [committing] “criminal acts of larceny” relating to misplaced checks.  Christiana filed a complaint with the State Police, which investigated allegedly missing checks.  The State Police determined that no crime had been committed and that the case was closed.  Wustrau stated, “The comments that Holly Christiana made are totally untrue.”

 

 

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Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, Code and Map Task Force Update

At its January 12, 2009 meeting the Task Force discussed the parameters of a Conservation Subdivision Option that would encourage cluster type developments in order to maximize open space.  The Task Force also reviewed potential Design Standards, including set back provisions.  Future meetings are scheduled for February 23  and March 2, 16, and 23rd.

 

 

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Matters Pending.

 

The application by Kerhonkson contactor John Dawson to construct an airfield on his unsold subdivision of Samsonville Road near the Olive town line is still active. Dawson has proposed adding a 1,500’ landing strip for a “fly in community”.  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

 

The application by Mombaccus Excavating to permit gravel mining in a residential zone near the intersection of Cherrytown Road and Rogues Harbor road is still pending.  For more information on the proposed mine, visit http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/mombaccus.pdf and http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/Mombaccus%20-%20Misc.pdf.

 

 

 

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Town of Rochester leader sees opportunities in 2009

ACCORD — Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman found 2008 to be a “year of surprises” — including some that exemplified the current economic distress — and said he is looking forward to business and recreational improvements that could be made in 2009.

Chipman, speaking in a telephone interview on Friday, said the most telling indication of economic problems this year could be found in assistance provided by Ulster County to residents of his town.

“I’m doing my end-of-the-year budget stuff right now, seeing different lines, and looking at social services relief,” he said. “We had forecasted $45,000 for 2008. As of November, we were at $61,368, and we’re probably going to run somewhere in the neighborhood of around $75,000, which is quite a hit to the budget.”

Chipman said mortgage problems have added another layer of stress in the town because “people on home relief are probably not the same people who are having foreclosures.”

Recent reductions in fuel prices have helped ease some concerns, but Chipman said he is not confident that costs will stay low.

“At some point, they could shoot right up and again,” he said.

Chipman also hopes the administration of President-elect Barack Obama will, as promised, focus on creating jobs through the reuse of vacant buildings. Locally, that could include the VAW and Imperial Schrade buildings in the town of Wawarsing and buildings at TechCity, the former IBM plant, in the town of Ulster.

“What we need is some kind of stimulus here to find some jobs for people,” Chipman said, “not necessarily in our town, but so that people who live here have a way of working not too far away. I would love to see some of these old factories that are shut down have something done with them.”

Chipman also said Rochester officials will stay focused on finishing sections of the local rail trail.

“We’re moving on the northern end of the rail trail, and I would love to see that completed, and it is on my wish list,” he said.

“The trail that we have is about three miles, and we’re trying to pick up another couple of miles over by Kyserike, near Williams Lumber,” the supervisor added. “That would leave a little gap in between to complete the rail trail.” (Freeman 12/27/08)

 

 

 

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.Kerhonkson man, suspect in alleged drug transaction, caught after fleeing police

SAUGERTIES — A suspect in a buy/bust operation faces extra charges after trying to flee police Thursday.
The Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team tried to take Joshua K. Stuart, 32, of Pine Lane, Kerhonkson, into custody after he allegedly completed a drug transaction in the Grand Union plaza.
But police said he tried to run down two officers and ram one of their vehicles before he fled south to the Town of Ulster, where he rammed an Ulster police car and then fled on foot toward the Thruway.
He was caught after a foot chase involving Ulster County sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, Saugerties and Ulster town police and URGENT members.
Stuart was charged with criminal sale of marijuana, reckless endangerment, assault and criminal mischief, all felonies; resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, misdemeanors; and numerous vehicle and traffic infractions.
He was being held pending arraignment. (TH-Record 1/11/09)

 

 

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Kerhonkson man sought in heroin sale investigation

KERHONKSON — A Kerhonkson man is being sought in connection with an investigation into heroin sales at his apartment, police said Thursday.

Louis Bellaro, 20, of 1366 Berme Road, Apt. 2, is wanted on charges of felony possession of a controlled substance and several misdemeanor charges, members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team said Thursday. Police said anyone with information on Bellaro’s whereabouts is asked to call the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office at (845) 338-3640. All tips will remain confidential, police said.

Members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team said they received numerous complaints that heroin was being sold from an apartment located at 1366/1364 Berme Road in Kerhonkson. An investigation was started and a search warrant was used at the apartment on Jan. 8, police said. Police said heroin, marijuana, drug packaging material, electronic scales and a loaded shotgun were found during the search. Of three people found at the apartment, two were questioned and released, police said. A third, Lauren Mansfield, 18, of 1366 Berme Road, Apt. 2, Kerhonkson, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and released on an appearance ticket to return to Wawarsing Town Court, police said.

A warrant for Bellaro’s arrest was issued Tuesday, police said. (Freeman 1/16/09)

 

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Rondout Valley Middle School worker accused of stealing prescription drugs

KYSERIKE — A woman who worked on the janitorial staff at the Rondout Valley Middle School has been arrested on charges she stole prescription drugs from the nurse’s office, state police said.

Darlene K. Sutter, 46, of 20 Hillcrest Road, Accord, was arrested Wednesday on charges of felony possession of a controlled substance and the misdemeanors of possession of a controlled substance, petit larceny and criminal trespass.

State police at Ellenville said the administration at the Rondout Valley Middle School reported on Dec. 15 that several prescription medications intended for various students at the school were stolen from a locked cabinet in the nurse’s office. A monthlong investigation revealed that Sutter stole the prescription medications on several occasions, including days when she was not working and the school was closed for business, police said.

Sutter was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released on her own recognizance. (Freeman 1/15/09)

 

Bridge to close for more than a year, worrying town supervisor

KERHONKSON — The state has ordered the closure of the 42nd Street bridge over the Rondout Creek in this Wawarsing hamlet, a move the town supervisor fears will put lives at risk.

Ed Jennings noted the shutdown, which is to begin within two weeks and last more than a year, will force the Kerhonkson Fire Company to travel an extra 1.9 miles to reach U.S. Route 209. With the bridge open, the drive from the firehouse to Route 209 is just over one-tenth of a mile.

“The only other alternative is if they could find a place to put one truck on the other side of the bridge, then it might be OK,” Jennings said. “But I don’t think they’re going to do that.”

The local ambulance squad building is on Route 209, but reaching populated areas of Kerhonkson on the other side of the bridge will require a detour of about 1.5 miles.

Ulster County Public Works Commissioner David Sheeley said state inspectors found weaknesses in the “gussets that hold the actual truss of the bridge to the crossbeams at the bottom of the bridge.”

Sheeley said the bridge is to be closed within two weeks but that repairs won’t start until April. Once the project begins, it is expected to take nine months to complete, Sheeley said.

The state is expected to cover most of the project’s cost, Jennings said.  (Freeman 12/11/09)

 

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Kerhonkson man accused of taking illegal deer after shots-fired report

WAWARSING — An investigation into a report of shots being fired after dark led state Department of Environmental Conservation police to a suspected deerjacker, the agency said Wednesday.

At about 9:30 p.m. Monday, authorities received a report of shots being fired and a deer down in a field at the Lundy Estate property.

Acting on that tip and a license plate number, authorities on Tuesday went to the Sundown Road, Kerhonkson, home of Wayne Steinhilber Jr., where they discovered five deer hanging in different stages of being butchered. None of the deer had tags, authorities said.

When Steinhilber, 30, arrived at his home, authorities said, he was in possession of a spotlight and loaded .30-.30 rifle.

He was arrested by Department of Environmental Conservation police and charged with two counts of taking a white-tailed deer that did not comply with the antler restriction of at least three points on one side; two counts of taking an antlerless deer without a license; and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors, as well as possession of an untagged deer, a violation.

Steinhilber was released in his own recognizance to return to court on Dec. 10.

The deer were confiscated and will be donated, authorities said.  (Freeman 11/27/08)