Archive 2012

bullet

Four Ulster County historic sites recommended for State and National Registers of Historic Places (12/23/12)

bullet

Accord pair arrested on felony assault charges at hospital after car crash (12/23/12)

bullet

Kerhonkson man fired shot during argument with landlord, police say (12/23/12)

bullet

Ellenville man sentenced to prison for vehicular manslaughter in death of wife (12/23/12)

bullet

Ulster County Industrial Development Agency wants Skate Time 209 to hike tax payments (12/23/12)

bullet

Town Supervisors Question Ulster RRA Board Member's Landfill Talk (12/23/12)

bullet

An Education In Sharing Services (12/23/12)

bullet

SEVENTY IS THE NEW SEVENTY (12/23/12)

bullet

Police Blotter (12/23/12)

bullet

Letters (12/23/12)

 

 

 
bullet

Thanksgiving Luncheon (11/19/2012)

bullet

Donations to the Rochester Food Pantry   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Town Board considers Draft No Parking Law   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Thank you Supervisor Chipman   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Status of the Rainbow Diner   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Rosendale Elementary School building eyed for use by three towns   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Kerhonkson woman, 69, dies in crash after piece of roof blows into her windshield at trailer park   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Ex-Ulster County resident John 'Jack' Paterno, lost in Superstorm Sandy, was strong-willed to the end   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Central Hudson warns about trio posing as employees, burglarizing homes   (11/19/2012)

bullet

Police Blotter  (11/19/2012)

 

 
bullet

Support the Rochester Food Pantry 10/28/12

bullet

Town Government News 10/28/12

bullet

Ulster police checking leads in 2008 killing of Michael Kleiman 10/28/12

bullet

Police Blotter 10/28/12

 
bullet

Rondout Esopus Land Conservancy to Celebrate 25th Anniversary (9/12/12)

bullet

Friends of Historic Rochester Annual Meeting   (9/12/12)

bullet

Creek Week Events   (9/12/12)

bullet

Rochester Town Board Adopts Fracking Ban   (9/12/12)

bullet

Students OK after Rondout Valley school bus hits deer   (9/12/12)

bullet

Woodstock woman critically injured in Accord crash  (9/12/12)

bullet

Police Blotter  (9/12/12)  

 

 

 
bullet

Town Government News (8/12/12)

bullet

Accord Author’s Book – New York Times Review  (8/12/12)

bullet

Kerhonkson author A.J. Schenkman pens area's best stories in 'Wicked Ulster County'  (8/12/12)

bullet

Rondout Valley school board elects president, vice president   (8/12/12)

bullet

2 drivers hurt in town of Rochester crash   (8/12/12)

bullet

Town of Ulster police seek tips 4 years after homicide   (8/12/12)

bullet

Teens accused of sexual contact with girls, 13  (8/12/12)

bullet

Police Blotter  (8/12/12)

bullet

Letters  (8/12/12)

 

 

 
bullet

Local Artist Barbara Arum Exhibits in New York City 7/8/12

bullet

Rochester Residents Association Scholarships 7/8/12

bullet

Rochester Hydrofracking Law Stalled 7/8/12

bullet

Mombaccus Applies for Mining Permit 7/8/12

bullet

Parvovirus killing dogs in area 7/8/12

bullet

Fire destroys Kerhonksno's Rainbow Diner 7/8/12

bullet

Ulster County Grand jury indicts Ellenville man for wife’s death in crash 7/8/12

bullet

Kerhonkson woman admits to animal neglect 7/8/12

bullet

Accord Speedway Announcer Crashes into House 7/8/12

bullet

3 hurt as Kerhonkson man crashes fleeing police, deputies say 7/8/12

bullet

Man charged with robberies at Accord Speedway 7/8/12

bullet

Convicted killer, 86, released and living in Fla. 7/8/12

bullet

Police Blotter  7/8/12

 

 

 

 

 
bullet

Rochester Food Pantry Needs Laptop (5/22/12)

bullet

Town of Rochester Property Tax Grievance Day (5/22/12)

bullet

Memorial Day (5/22/12)

bullet

School Budgets Pass Across The Region (5/22/12)

bullet

And The Races Are On! (5/22/12)

bullet

Hein Plays Solomon (5/22/12)

bullet

Town of Rochester accident sends mother, child to hospital (5/22/12)

bullet

Two men able to get out of crashed vehicles in Marbletown before fire breaks out (5/22/12)

bullet

Three cars crash in town of Rochester (5/22/12)

bullet

Kerhonkson man charged in theft of more than $7,000 from Stewart's in Hurley (5/22/12)

bullet

Accord teen badly injured while riding on SUV roof (5/22/12)

bullet

Police Blotter (5/22/12)

bullet

Bradford Graves Sculpture Park (5/22/12)

bullet

Letters (5/22/12)

 

 

 
bullet

Rochester Residents Association Scholarships (5/2/12)

bullet

Acorn School to Hold Open House (5/2/12)

bullet

USEFUL ADVICE FOR RENOVATING YOUR HOUSE - May 18th (5/2/12)

bullet

Town of Rochester Property Tax Grievance Day (5/2/12)

bullet

Rondout School District Budget Proposed (5/2/12)

bullet

Town Government News (5/2/12)

bullet

Patroon Grange to Close (5/2/12)

bullet

Apply for pre-K in Rondout (5/2/12)

bullet

Falling tree injures Accord motorist (5/2/12)

 
bullet

Rochester Residents Association Scholarships (4/22/12)

bullet

Acorn School to Hold Open House (4/22/12)

bullet
bullet

Town Board Notes (4/22/12)

bullet

No contest in Upcoming School Board Election (4/22/12)

bullet

Supervisors in towns of Rochester, Ulster breaking state law by omitting welfare costs, Ulster County says (4/22/12)

bullet

Resounding Opposition To Use of Hydrofracking Fluids (4/22/12)

bullet

Accord man explores Amelia Earhart aviation mystery (4/22/12)

bullet

Kerhonkson school wins award for mixing it up (4/22/12)

bullet

'Working together saves lives': Kerhonkson-Accord rescue squad, Accord fire companies hone extrication skills (4/22/12)

bullet

Kerhonkson woman, 49, dies after crash on Samsonville Road (4/22/12)

bullet

Special Prosecutor Appointed in School's Hate Crime Case (4/22/12)

bullet

New Paltz man suffers minor injuries in Kerhonkson plane crash (4/22/12)

bullet

Driver flees town of Rochester crash; 1 hospitalized (4/22/12)

bullet

Police Blotter (4/22/12)

bullet

Letters (4/22/12)

 

 

 

 
bullet

Town Summer Program Registration (3/28/12)

bullet

DEC Burning Ban   (3/28/12)

bullet

Low Cost Dog and Cat Vaccinations   (3/28/12)

bullet

Appeals Court Rules in Town’s favor on Mombaccus suit   (3/28/12)

bullet

Cell Phone Tower Controversy   (3/28/12)

bullet

Town Board News   (3/28/12)

bullet

Smileys win $583K judgment from state, Palisades Interstate Park Commission   (3/28/12)

bullet

Police Blotter   (3/28/12)

bullet

New Business in Kerhonkson   (3/28/12)

 

 

 
bullet

Food Pantry  (1/29/12)

bullet

Town Government News   (1/29/12)

bullet

Help Little Ones Learning Center   (1/29/12)

bullet

New State Senate and Assembly Districts Proposed  (1/29/12)

bullet

County Legislature Elects Bernardo First Female Legislative Chair   (1/29/12)

bullet

Rondout Valley school trustees OK grade shift (updated)   (1/29/12)

bullet

Ka-Ching! Gambling at the Nevele?   (1/29/12)

bullet

"It's Not The 1950s Anymore"   (1/29/12)

bullet

Rochester Loses One-Room schoolhouse in Tragic Fire   (1/29/12)

bullet

Police Blotter   (1/29/12)

bullet

Letters  (1/29/12)

 

 

 

Best wishes for the holidays and for a happy and healthy 2013.

 

 

Town Government News

Town budget adopted with 1.79% tax levy increase.

Public hearing held on public law waiving residency requirement for town office holders (town constables)

Public hearing held on public law parking banning parking on public roads betwwn midnight ant 6am.

Town receives $9,000 state grant for records management/archiving in Planning & Zoning office

New 4-way stop sign at Kyserike Road and Lucas Avenue

 

 

 

bullet

Four Ulster County historic sites recommended for State and National Registers of Historic Places

 

Hasbrouck House

ALBANY – The New York State Board of Historic Preservation has recommended four Ulster County properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Appledoorn Farm in Accord, Judge Jonathan Hasbrouck House in Woodstock, United States Lace Curtin Mills in Kingston and Joachim Schoonmaker Farm in Rochester have been recommended.

Appledoorn Farm evolved from when the farm was established by Benjamin and Catrina Schoonmaker in 1722. It remained engaged in agriculture for over two centuries until its stone buildings were adopted into an architecturally significant country retreat in 1930-1937.

The Judge Hasbrouck House was built around 1800 for a large landholder who was actively engaged in the region’s social, political and economic affairs, and who served as an Ulster County judge.

United States Lace built from 1902-03 and remaining largely as it was first constructed, the facility provides a link to the once-thriving textile manufacturing activity that centered in Kingston.

The Joachim Schoonmaker Farm was his home from 1710-1789. He was the son of one of the Town of Rochester’s earliest settlers and has been farmed continuously by his descendants through the present day and includes a stone house built in 1781.(MidHudson News 12/19/12)

 

 

bullet

Accord pair arrested on felony assault charges at hospital after car crash

Saturday, November 24, 2012

By Freeman staff

KERHONKSON — Two people from Accord are facing charges in connection with a multi-car crash that involved alcohol and ultimately led to assaults on people at the hospital where the two were being treated, authorities said on Friday.

Shawn A. Yerkes, 48, and Sherri Lynn Murden, 44, both of 297 Whitfield Road, Accord, were arrested by deputies at 10:02 p.m. Thursday, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.

Both Yerkes and Murden were charged with felony assault and obstructing governmental administration, a misdemeanor. Murden also was charged with drunken driving, refusing to submit to a blood test, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, and having a prescription medication outside its original container, all misdemeanors, and the violations of speeding, driving an unregistered motor vehicle and failure to keep right.

Deputies said they responded to a 911 reportThursday night about a car crash on U.S. Route 209 in Kerhonkson that involved a fire and people trapped in the vehicle.

They said after they determined Murden’s car, a 2012 Toyota Tacoma, was unoccupied, their investigation concluded that Murden had struck a 2002 Dodge pickup truck driven by Brian Langaeder.

Deputies said Murden’s car then continued over a guardrail and struck several parked cars and a telephone pole.

The car continued up a hill to a wooded area, where it caught fire, deputies said, adding that parts from the car struck a building owned by Gaydo’s Auto Body.

Murden, Yerkes and Langaeder all were injured and were taken to Ellenville Regional Hospital, deputies said.

At the hospital, deputies determined Murden was intoxicated, they said.

Deputies said Yerkes assaulted hospital staff members, deputies, ambulance personnel and state police. One deputy and an emergency medical technician were injured after being struck several times by Yerkes and Murden, according to deputies.

Murden and Yerkes were issued appearance tickets for Town of Rochester Court and released for treatment of their injuries at the hospital, deputies said.

Assisting deputies at the hospital were state troopers from the Wawarsing barracks, the Kerhonkson First Aid Squad, Mobile Life support Services, and the Accord and Kerhonkson fire departments. (Freeman 11/24/12)

 

 

bullet

Kerhonkson man fired shot during argument with landlord, police say

Friday, November 16, 2012

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — A 25-year-old Kerhonkson man was accused Thursday of firing a gun during an argument with his landlord, according to state police at Wawarsing.

Justin S. Nash of U.S. Route 44/state Route 55,   was charged with the misdemeanors of menacing, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, illegal discharge of a firearm, and criminal mischief. He was also charged with harassment, a violation.

Police said Nash was being evicted by his landlord on Thursday. While the unidentified landlord was attempting to serve papers on Nash, an altercation erupted between the landlord and Nash’s live-in girlfriend, police said.

During the argument,  Nash got a 9 mm rifle from the residence and fired one round into a wooded area next to his residence, police said.

Nash then threatened the landlord with the weapon and a fight broke out between Nash and the landlord, police said.

Nash purposely damaged personal property belonging to the landlord, police said.

No one was injured, police said.

Nash was arraigned by Rochester Town Justice Paul Shaheen and released without bail, police said. (Freeman 11/16/12)

 

bullet

Ellenville man sentenced to prison for vehicular manslaughter in death of wife

Friday, November 30, 2012

By KYLE WIND
Freeman staff
kwind@freemanonline.com; twitter.com/KyleatFreeman

KINGSTON, N.Y. — An Ellenville man who was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol during a car crash that killed his wife and seriously injured his stepdaughter has been sentenced in Ulster County Court to one to three years in state prison, District Attorney Holley Carnright said Thursday.

Claude Moody, 53, could have been sentenced by County Judge Donald A. Williams to a maximum of 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison on the felony vehicular manslaughter charge to which he pleaded guilty in October, but Carnright said his office recommended the sentence Williams ultimately imposed on Moody.

Carnright said “the conduct itself” must be punished by the legal system, but at the same time, prosecutors had to take into account that “there is an internal sentence he’ll never get over.”

“An awful lot of sadness came with this,” said Carnright, also noting Moody did not have a prior criminal history.

Authorities have said Moody was driving a 2002 Toyota Rav 4 on state U.S. Route 44/state Route 55 in the town of Rochester on Oct. 4, 2011, when the sports utility vehicle struck a backhoe from behind in a construction area near Jenny Lane.

Moody’s wife, 54-year-old Demetra Barnes-Moody, was in the front passenger seat of the Toyota and suffered serious injuries to her head and other parts of her body, authorities have said.

She was flown to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she died from her injuries.

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that Moody’s blood-alcohol content was above 0.08 percent, the state’s legal limit for drunken driving, and that he also had anti-depressant drugs in his system.

Moody and his stepdaughter were treated for their injuries at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. The driver of the backhoe was not hurt, authorities said.

Carnright described the case as “terribly tragic.” He said he hopes other people learn from it, do not drive under the influence, and make the roads safer for everyone. (Freeman 11/30/12)

 

 

bullet

Ulster County Industrial Development Agency wants Skate Time 209 to hike tax payments

Thursday, November 22, 2012

By PATRICIA DOXSEY
Freeman staff
pdoxsey@freemanonline.com; twitter.com/pattiatfreeman

KINGSTON, N.Y. — The Ulster County Industrial Development Agency wants the owners of Skate Time 209 to pay more in property and school taxes than the Accord business originally agreed to because, agency officials said, the business hasn’t created all the jobs it originally proposed.

The roller skating rink is owned by Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, R-Accord, and her husband Len Bernardo.

Members of the Agency’s board of directors on Wednesday voted 6-1 to ask the Bernardos to voluntarily agree to a 14 percent reduction in the payment-in-lieu-of taxes (PILOT) programs they receive in school and property taxes for their business. Board member John Morrow opposed the resolution.

Skate Time 209 is one of several businesses deemed by the Industrial Development Agency to be "underperforming" in job creation. Last month, the board adopted a policy allowing the agency to ask businesses that have not met initial job projects to voluntarily agree to a reduction in the level of tax breaks received by a percentage equal to one-half the percentage shortfall in job creation.

On their application for tax breaks, the Bernardos indicated they would create 20 full-time jobs, but have only created nine full- and part-time jobs, a 55 percent shortfall in job creation. Under the IDA policy, the PILOT would be reduced by 27.5 percent, however, because the business has provided other benefits to the community, such as acting as a draw for tourism, that reduction was cut in half, to 14 percent. That means, if the Bernardos agree, for the remaining four years of the company’s pilot program it would receive only a 36 percent reduction in taxes as opposed to the 50 percent reduction granted the company.

The reduction translates into a roughly $8,340 increase in the amount the company would pay in lieu of property taxes.

Len Bernardo, who attended Wednesday’s board meeting, again argued that job creation was never a criteria for receiving tax breaks. He said he didn’t know whether he would agree to the reduced PILOT program.

"I don’t know what I intend to do," said Bernardo. "I’m thinking about it."

Industrial Development Agency Chairman David O’Halloran said that if the Bernardos don’t agree to the change, the board could consider a termination of the payment in lieu of taxes program for their company.

The question of whether Skate Time was living up to its job creation predictions was first raised in 2008, when Len Bernardo and Michael Hein vied to become Ulster County’s first county executive, but nothing ever came of those concerns.

O’Halloran, who also serves as the town of Rochester Republican Committee chairman and backed Terry Bernardo’s election campaign, last month revealed his connection to the Bernardos and offered to recuse himself from the discussion over the Skate Time matter, however the board’s attorney and other board members said it was unnecessary. (Freeman 11/22/12)

 

bullet

Town Supervisors Question Ulster RRA Board Member's Landfill Talk

By Jane Anderson

WAWARSING – The Town of Wawarsing supervisor is angry that a recent list of potential landfill sites in Ulster County includes such areas as a recreational lake area, the Nevele, and other properties that, in his opinion, should be preserved.

Twenty-one properties appear on the list submitted by Resource Recovery Agency (RRA) board member Charles Landi.

When contacted, Landi would not talk about why he included the Wawarsing land.

"The RRA Board nor I have anything to report on the subject of landfills at this time," Landi said.

A similar sense of outrage has also emanated by neighboring Rochester, where the issue dominated much of a recent town board meeting.

Wawarsing Supervisor Scott Carlsen is incredulous that environmentally sensitive areas would be considered for a landfill. In addition, Carlsen questioned the motive of Landi's list, given the recent uncertainty over flow control and other issues within the agency.

"I cannot believe that, with all the problems facing the RRA, a board member has the 'spare time' to create a list of 93 potential landfill sites within Ulster County," Carlsen said. "When I saw his list for the Town of Wawarsing, with some 21 sites, it was very apparent that he has never visited our beautiful town."

Included on the list in Carlsen's possession are Cape Pond, a lake in Ulster Heights; the mountain property formerly known as Mt. Cathalia; the Nevele property; the Western Mohegan Tribe (Tamarack); a farm on South Hill Road near the Sullivan County border; the Ukrainian Resort in Kerhonkson, and properties off of Lundy Road in the Lyon's Lake area which are adjacent to significant parcels of state land.

"The list is nothing short of bizarre, and how does a RRA board member think it is acceptable to do this on his own, and then publicize it, with no contact with the individual towns?" Carlsen asked.

Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman similarly made it clear at a Tuesday night board meeting that he has abandoned the idea of a landfill in Rochester. Saying that he was "bushwhacked and ambushed" by a recent newspaper story which quoted him as being open to the possibility, Chipman read a letter he had written to several area newspapers about the subject in which he lambasted the article in the Daily Freeman for inappropriately summarizing his three minutes of commentary before the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, which he says were largely focused on his concerns with the county's flow control proposal.

Flow control, which has since been passed by the county legislature, will require all waste haulers to use the RRA, and allow the agency to set whatever fees it deems appropriate. Chipman feels that this is a short-term solution which could lead to excessive tipping fees, which in turn could result in residents dumping garbage on roadsides rather than paying trash collectors. The expense of hauling Ulster County's waste halfway across the state continues to be the problem, according to the supervisor.

However, the Rochester supervisor added that he's content not to pursue the possibility of a landfill in his town, and pointed out that the Freeman article also quoted a county official who stated that four parcels in Rochester large enough to be suitable for such a purpose " include the Hudson Valley Resort, Williams Lake in Rosendale and the Mohonk Preserve in Marbletown and New Paltz." "I see this issue as splitting the town apart, and that's the lasted damned thing I'll do," Chipman said.

"The RRA has some very serious problems to deal with, and it would be nice to think that each board member is devoting time to plans for debt reduction, analyzing the potential impacts of flow control, etc.," Carlsen continued. "Rather than voice veiled threats about eminent-domain, or suggest that we re-open the closed landfill in the Town of Wawarsing, I think each board member has an obligation to fix the problems at the RRA. Maybe if Charles Landi would make a trip to the closed landfill, he would see the beautiful town park just down the road from the old landfill, and then ask the neighbors about their suffering due to the leaking NYC-DEP aqueduct tunnel 700 feet or so directly below the landfill site."

He concluded, "I am not a landfill expert, but am guessing that NYC-DEP property, Open Space Institute properties, lakes, mountains, and other such sites on the list would not be ever considered for a landfill. Thanks for sharing your hobby with us, Mr. Landi, but 'No thanks'." (Shawangunk Journal)

 

 

bullet

An Education In Sharing Services

What's Up With The New Town Hall Plan

 

By Terence P. Ward

ROSENDALE – The three towns which largely comprise the Rondout Valley Central School District — Rosendale, Rochester, and Marbletown — are poised to make an historic agreement to take over the closed Rosendale Elementary School. While the specific terms between the school district and towns could be months away, the possibility has town employees and elected officials excited about the possibilities, and is being held up as a model for other local governments in the state considering shared services as a way to cut costs while preventing another school from being left abandoned in Rosendale.

According to Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress' report Closed Schools, Open Minds, twenty-five public schools were shuttered in the Hudson Valley as of March, 2012; the figure is closer to fifty if parochial schools and recent closures, including Rosendale and three in Kingston, are factored in. The policy and planning organization has been focusing of late on the adaptive reuse of these buildings, and Pattern President Jonathan Drapkin calls the effort "very, very positive. The towns are looking to preserve their identities, but share services, and I believe the school lends itself to that."

Each town has different plans it's considering, but first and foremost it would allow for centralized justice courts which comply with state standards. To facilitate the schedules of assistant district attorneys and public defenders, each of the three courts meets on a different night, so if the school's library was converted into a courtroom, there wouldn't be any scheduling conflicts. Money to make the upgrades is available through the state court system, which regularly awards grants to local courts for such work.

Court security would be further improved by the Rosendale police department setting up shop there, along with most other Rosendale town services. Chief Perry Soule said that his current station on Lefever Falls Road has everything the town police needs, but he's looking forward to being able to work more closely with other town employees.

"The departments I deal with on a regular basis would be right down the hall, rather than a car trip away," he said. "It's easier to get along and work together when everybody knows each other." The courts would also be improved by the much larger parking area, he added.

Other areas which may see collaborative use include the cafeteria and gym, which could house expanded programs for seniors and youth, including hot meals.

With the school in the town of Rosendale, which has its offices scattered in several buildings in varying states of disrepair, most of those services will likely relocate. Just a short walk away from the school is the Marbletown line, and talk there is also about replacing town hall entirely because the location is so close. It would take action by the state legislature to allow Marbletown to hold its town board meetings outside the town limits, even though it's only by a few hundred feet at most, but Supervisor Michael Warren said that Assemblyman Kevin Cahill is ready to carry that legislation, should the deal with the district come together.

Rochester, being farther out, has no plans to relocate its meetings or town hall offices, said its supervisor, Carl Chipman. However, the town is desperately in need of storage space, and may move its youth and recreation services to the old school.

Pattern for Progress has not been retained to assist on this project as yet, Drapkin said, but he had some words of wisdom nonetheless.

"The district has to look at population projections, and determine if, five or ten years from now, there will be a larger student population," he said. "That will help them decide if it makes more sense to sell or lease the building."

He cited an example of each: the town of Bethel is leasing Duggan Elementary from Monticello School District for $15,000 a year, while the town of Amenia bought its eponymous elementary from the Webutuck School District for a dollar.

"It's essentially the same tax base, and the taxpayers already paid for the building," said Warren, who is hoping for a deal that won't involve paying the district anything more.

However, selling the building outright could run the school district into more fiscal problems, according to its business manager, Deb Kosinski. There are still bonds totaling roughly $1.5 million being paid on the school, and 65 percent of those payments come from state building aid. "If we didn't have the building, we wouldn't get the aid," she said, which could hike the debt service cost significantly. Keeping the building maintained with minimal heat and maintenance is costing the district about $50,000 a year, she said.

The cost to keep a vacant school in usable condition is something which many communities don't consider, Drapkin said.

"They wait too long to make a decision, and the building deteriorates," he explained. "The roof is the most important aspect to maintain in a vacant building, because it keeps water from leaking in and damaging the walls and HVAC system."

The Closed Schools report recommends that an advisory group be formed to consider options, but no one in the district or towns has made a move in that direction as yet. However, conversations about the building's best uses for the community seem to be proceeding apace regardless. It remains to be seen if the district will want to collect lease payments, or if shedding the $50,000-a-year maintenance costs will be deemed sufficient.

"It's a unique situation," said Board of Education president Chris Kelder. "You don't hear about a lot of towns working together like this. It's uncharted waters, and it's going to take a little bit of time — it's not like there is a blueprint in place." He echoed Drapkin's observations when he added, "This could be a model for other municipalities to work together as we go forward." With population projections flat or falling, and no relief from the tax cap or unfunded mandates in sight, it's a model that should be quite welcome if it succeeds. (Shawangunk Journal 11/29/12)


 

 

 

bullet

Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman open to town hosting Ulster County landfill

Thursday, November 29, 2012

By PATRICIA DOXSEY
Freeman staff

Town of Rochester Town Supervisor Carl Chipman has offered his community as a potential site for an Ulster County landfill.

Chipman made the statement during a public hearing on Tuesday about a proposed “flow control” law that would mandate all solid waste collected in the county be brought to a site run by the county’s Resource Recovery Agency.

Chipman told county legislators that he opposes flow control but recognizes it as an “economic necessity.”

He said the law, if approved, won’t solve all of the county’s solid waste problems.

“I believe we need a county landfill,” Chipman said. “I’m even willing to talk about it in the town of Rochester. Somebody’s got to take responsibility, and it’s time that we do.”

Resource Recovery Agency officials have said they would begin discussing the establishment of county landfill once legislators vote to adopt a flow-control law.

County Executive Michael Hein has called on the Legislature to adopt flow control as a way to end the multimillion-dollar taxpayer subsidy of the Resource Recovery Agency’s operations. The agency has said it would need a $2.47 million subsidy in 2013 to close its operating deficit. Much of the deficit is the result of the significant debt incurred by the agency in the 1990s, when it tried unsuccessfully to site a landfill within the county’s borders.

Flow control would allow the agency to establish tip fees (the amount paid by haulers to dispose of trash) at whatever rate is necessary to meet the agency’s operating expenses.

Chipman was one of eight individuals who spoke during Tuesday’s public hearing, and even those who urged lawmakers to adopt the law said the current model, under which the agency trucks trash to a landfill in Syracuse, is unsustainable.

Resource Recovery Agency board member Charles Landi has identified 93 sites, including four in the town of Rochester, that meet the 200-acre requirement for a county landfill. (Freeman 11/29/12)

 

bullet

SEVENTY IS THE NEW SEVENTY

Humorist, Verna Gillis, a resident of Kerhonkson, NY 70, lets us know that SEVENTY IS THE NEW SEVENTY ..

She is a one-liner kind of person who thinks in bumper stickers.

You will laugh, identify and think of people you might not want to remember, as well as those you love.

Laughing , as we know, is a good thing. Laughing at ourselves is essential .

To the point – sometimes sharp; never flat.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Verna+Gillis

 

 

 

 

bullet

Police Blotter

 

 

Drugs: Edwin W. Torres, 32, of Kerhonkson, and Brandon E. Garcia, 18, of Wawarsing, were arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 5 p.m. Sunday on North Main Street and were each charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. Torres was also charged with the infraction of driving while using a mobile phone. Further information was unavailable. (Freeman 9/27/12)

 

DWI: Alan J. Goode, 50, of Kerhonkson, was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent by state police in Wawarsing at 2 a.m. on Saturday on state Route 44/55 in the town of Rochester. Goode was released on appearance tickets. (Freeman 11/25/12)


• Contempt: Andra G. Maguran, 44, of 144 Cedar Hill Road, High Falls, was arrested Sunday for criminal contempt, a felony, by Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies for violating an order of protection. Investigation revealed Maguran had called and texted the victim on Saturday in violation of the order. Maguran was released on a ticket to appear in the Town of Rochester Court on Jan. 9, 2013. (Freeman 12/18/12)

  

bullet

Letters

 

 

Dear Citizens of Rochester,

 

I think it's time to clarify a few things. Firstly I did not state that I wanted a landfill in Rochester. I did state that I would talk about it. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't make any decisions on anything without gathering facts and that includes having a dialogue. I did the same thing about fracking and now am one of the leading elected opponents to that process. That is my nature and when I gathered the facts I realized the danger it posed to our water, pristine environment, and way of life and decided no way for us. I would not support a landfill if I thought there would be any harm to our town but first I would have to learn what the impacts could be. I did not realize how what I said would be misconstrued in that headline in the Kingston Freeman and further more have never met or made or seen any plans for a landfill. As a matter of fact, I have never met this man named Charles Landi who was mentioned in the article. I regret being so naïve to not think about how my statements can be used and it was a mistake on my part not to realize such. The paper took a couple statements out of a 3 minute address and ran with it. It's as simple as that and I was stupid to not guard against something like this. Quite simply I made a mistake and learned a valuable lesson from this incident.

 

Unfortunately the paper neglected to print the other 2 minutes and 45 seconds which I discussed the inefficiencies of the UCRRA and the rising costs of solid waste disposal in our town and county. Currently the UCRRA has a tiered pricing system for solid waste tipping in which municipalities and small haulers pay considerably more than large corporate haulers. I consider this a form of corporate welfare and completely wrong. The citizens who I represent should not pay for Waste Management and other large haulers to to make a profit. I consider the resolution to enact flow control before the legislature to be a temporary solution to the problem at best because they are hauling solid waste hundreds of miles which makes the agency operate fundamentally at a competitive disadvantage. It makes no sense economically or environmentally. With legislated flow control in effect as being proposed, the UCRRA will have carte blanche to raise tipping fees as they see fit. I am very much afraid this will lead to increased fees at the local level at our transfer station or through higher taxes and charges for the local consumer. Those higher costs will translate to increased illegal dumping along our roads and pollution throughout our town. This is already a problem which I deal with constantly and don't want to see worsen. I want to keep our town clean and pollution free. I proposed a commission be created to oversee UCRRA activities such as price increases to limit its power. I also mentioned the possibility of a county landfill as a potential part of a solution. Unfortunately none of these points that I posed made it to print. Controversy sells papers, not common sense.

 

So let me make things perfectly clear. I am not supporting a landfill in Rochester and our Town Board has not had any discussions concerning siting one.

 

Sincerely,

 

Carl Chipman

Supervisor, Town of Rochester

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Editor,

We cannot imagine what Mr. Chipman was drinking when he made his comment. We hope it never comes to fruition but if it does we suggest the location of the dump be in front of, in back of and on the sides of his residence.

Paul and Linda Ciani

 

 

How can we oppose fracking yet entertain the idea of a landfill? Have you lost your mind? We left an area on LI that housed one of these. Trust us, this is not a good idea on any level.

Marilyn & John Acquafredda

2760 Lucas Tpk. , Accord

 

 

Have residents not learned anything about the circus with NY state DEP, NY City water dumping water into the Esopus, flooding problems, mold with residents of Wawarsing not to mention sandy. I do not trust government: federal, state and local leaders with safety and taking care of residents. If you think the town of Rochester and Ulster county are going to stand up and take full responsibility when things go wrong after putting in a landfill there is a bridge in Brooklyn I will sell you.. Cheap! The poor nearby residents (Wawarsing) worry anytime it rains. It's time to empty the trash.

C. Conway

 

Problems with landfill:
The town of Rochester is not a business generating business ventures in getting money. The town is a taxing agency not a business.
When you open the door for county trash you are only one step away from NY state taking over landfills within the state and the state can take land away from you. Other issues, odors, nuisance animals carrying disease, liquid waste disposal, leakage of waste contaminating water tables. No one has said anything about liability, insurance costs, construction costs to build landfill. Now the town recently established standards for a ban on community " fracking" due to water resource contamination why would anyone want contamination from a landfill??? The town has a responsibility for resident safety and setting standards, the town has no responsibility to generate business ventures.

C. Conway

 

 

Let’s begin by not vilifying or politicizing the person making the statement, but rather discuss the content and the ramifications of the statement itself.

I, as everyone else I know, was stunned to see the Town of Rochester offered with four sites out of 93 in Ulster County for the potential home of a 200-acre landfill.

I’ve been told through very brief correspondence, that this was merely an idea tossed out in a meeting and that it would be “out of sight”; possibly in conjunction with an energy generating waste incinerator; or some combination thereof.

And that is part of my concern — as an informal idea, there already seems to be concrete information involved — which makes the potential of it happening all the more real.

Bluntly – this is about the dialog and what our town leadership thinks is good for the community.

A 200-acre landfill and incinerator are not good for us and not what we should be looking forward to as we are simultaneously working hard to preserve our working farms, our farm stands, tourism and the jobs that go with them and in fact make up a substantial percentage of our town’s revenue and population.

Our view of the mountains IS our industry. Our bucolic landscape IS our industry. Our farms, farm products and businesses ARE our industry. An incinerator and the associated reduced air quality alone will obscure those views.

The Route 209 corridor as the only avenue for trash haulers to reach a 200-acre landfill here will become heavily burdened. The cost to maintain those roads will skyrocket. Your trip to Williams, to Saunderskill, to Emanuel’s, to High Falls, to Skate Time 209…anything you do you will find yourself behind trash haulers rumbling up and down 209.

The wind blowing the wrong direction will put you and your property in the stink’s way. The rise in scavenger bird populations that go hand in hand with every landfill ever developed will accompany the blowing trash that drifts from the landfill. The impacts on groundwater are unknown but historically proven to be quite bad.

Even the lightest research of communities across this nation who have fought long, hard and very costly battles to block them – often successfully – demonstrates just how bad for business and property values they really are. And frankly, the town can't afford to pay for that kind of a burden.

Folks are busy disputing NYC over Ashokan water discharges and the oil companies over the potential future impacts of hydrofracking but here we sit incomprehensibly hearing about the potential for a 200-acre landfill to be developed within our town boundaries!

This is an extremely serious local issue with direct impacts on our quality of life. Its something we as a community can’t afford and shouldn’t be pursuing for our future.

(Now, if they want to put the human resources, billing and other professional back office jobs in the old carpet building next to Accord A&M Hardware – that’s a different story. That is the kind of business we should be seeking. Something that benefits the residents in our community.)

My sincere hope for all of us is that this “idea” will be dead in the water before it swims its first stroke.

And my expectation is that the rigorous process facing the town should this idea proceed will simply prove to costly — Air Quality Impact Studies, Traffic Impact Studies, Environmental Impact Studies, Re-writing our finalized and comprehensive land-use guidelines, the protracted legal battle that will commence with any attempt to re-zone a 200-acre parcel for a landfill and ultimately, the guaranteed litigation that will take place if this is forced on us.

I do thank the Supervisor for bringing this kind of conversation to the foreground and it is now time for each of us to get serious about what we want located in the Town of Rochester.

This is not one of them — we all deserve so much better than a 200-acre landfill.

Steven Brinlee

 

Dear Editor/Rochesterites:

 

I don't understand the outbreak of premature NIMBYism. All Carl Chipman said was (if the Freeman quoted him accurately) as follows:

“I believe we need a county landfill,” Chipman said. “I’m even willing to talk about it in the town of Rochester. Somebody’s got to take responsibility, and it’s time that we do.”

Lordy, if we can't even TALK ABOUT it, how on earth will the problem ever be solved?

Please don't let us start acting like those wahoos on Capitol Hill, with their "Just Say No to Everything" mentality.

But Mr. Chipman has long shown himself to be both reasonable and pragmatic. He serves the people of the Town of Rochester -- all of us.

So what's the harm in opening up the (ultrasensitive) topic for discussion?

 

Respectfully,

Linda Fite

 

 

 

To the Editor:

 

Here we go again. A dump. Carl Chipman has done a wonderful job, quite spectacular to my mind, bringing this town together and working towards common goals. I'm sure he remembers when the first massive Rochester Town Dump was proposed over a decade ago - that proposal (and this one): a huge pit to be filled by hundreds of trucks loaded with garbage crowding the roads via 209, airport road, and "shortcut" back roads 24/7, forever - and how that contract split the community: marches, angry packed town meetings, friends and neighbors split apart, sit ins on Airport Road, traffic slow downs, arrests, vile signs everywhere - a true pallor over the town which took many many years --- until Carl was elected Supervisor, really --- to heal. Let's consider that he had a bad day, was misquoted, was taken out of context. Carl Chipman who has done such a terrific, inclusive, honest and sensitive job captaining this town really cannot be considering making Rochester Ulster County's dump - a proposal which will again tear this community apart.

Best regards,

Neil Cohen

 

 

Hello,

I think this area has a lot of untouched, beauty and to start dumping ruins that. While a dump site may be needed, using an area such as Rochester only continues to decrease the planets raw beauty. We do not need more concrete and trash, we need to protect our natural resources. We all need someplace to go when we need to get back to nature, imagine how wonderful to live in such a place. I have not lived in the Town of Rochester long, but a dump would certainly remove any possible reason to live here. We moved here to get away from the day to day ‘realities,’ to have a place where we can relax and enjoy the wonders of nature. If we have to deal with the negative effects a dump site will have on our town, the reasons we moved here will be taken from us. I do not know the answer, and I realize no one wants a dump in their backyard, but there has to be a better place, a better answer. I hope whatever the outcome, it makes as little an impact, on as few people as possible.

Thanks for listening.

Stacey Warr

Upper Cherrytown

 

 

Isn't this DejaVu all over again...? It seems to me we rejected this proposal quite a few years back. What locations are being considered? I'm sure residents would like to know so they can put their house on the market beforehand.
L

 

 

 

 

I am offended by the town supervior's offer of my town for a county landfill. One of the most beautiful, pristine natural landscapes in upstate new york should not become a trash can.

Supervisor Chipman should immediately retract any suggestion that the townof rochester is a potential site.

What next? Nuclear plant?

 

Unsigned

 

 

 

 

To Whom it May Concern:

I am weighing in to oppose the placement of a county dump in Rochester. There is no reason to burden our town with this; we should figure out another solution.

Thank you.

Julie Goldscheid
Kerhonkson, NY

 

 

 

To all Rochester Residents:

 

I cannot believe that Carl Chipman, our town supervisor, is not only open to our town hosting an Ulster County landfill, but has offered our community as a potential site for an Ulster County landfill without our knowledge and consent.

 

Does he believe he has a mandate, since he won another term as supervisor, to make decisions regardless of damage it could do to our community?

 

Why would we want to bring in solid waste, causing all sorts of problems due to heavy truck traffic, toxic waste, road damage, possible damage to the aquifer and the environment, etc.?

 

Yes, we want to attract new businesses, but let's continue in the direction we're going with shops, restaurants, inns, local farmers selling fresh produce and plants, offering petting of farm animals and U-Pick your own fruits and vegetables, hair salons, hardware, auto, propane and feed stores, pilates, and a ranch.

 

 

Barbara Arum

 

 

 

I want a town meeting on a Saturday morning when EVERYONE can attend to discuss this issue. If people can get galvanized over the somewhat remote possibility of fracking in our little town, they should get 007 explosive over this very real threat.

 

 

 

 

There are areas for sanitary landfill which would not sigificantly impact a major population center. It is irresponsible to expose the residents of Rochester to horrors associated with a county dump. I write with experience having lived in close proximity to the now closed Port Washington, L. I. N.Y. landfill. the air quality, noise, dust and odors along with strewn garbage and heavy truck traffic are only the beginning. There was methane contamination, water compromise and homeowners property values plummeted.

NO, NO, NEVER.

 

Pat and Jeff Rosenberg

 

 

Whether the town has a and fill or not I personally think more emphasis should be put on recylcing I know people that still throw everything in the garbage.we should promote recylcing,

 

If this is approved here in time our property values will go down if we're seen as the "trash" of the county.

Jesse Marcus

 

Where are the four sites? How close is this to our home? Why is our supervisor in favor of this? What kind of trash would be accepted? Why not work on tourism and improving our Main streets? This doesn't feel good for us.

Jesse Marcus


 

 

If there is a necessity for an Ulster County Landfill then this should be something negotiated and discussed. Why and whether it's a necessity should first be debated; where it should be located then has to be discussed; and finally it has to be resolved as to which township is selected..

To volunteer our town as a starting point is poor politics and idiotic. There are no major benefits achieved by having a county wide landfill in Rochester, the only benefit is to those towns which do not want an additional dump.

Locating the landfill here will cause a decrease in property values when many are already suffering from their property being at a lower value than when appraised for financing. This will result in more over-financed homes being lost because of the inability to pay mortgage debt.

I am very disappointed in Supervisor Chipman's unthoughtful response.

as always,

Philip Perlman


 

I do not believe that the Town of Rochester should even consider allowing a landfill anywhere in this town. This could be disastrous to our water supply, soil, economy, and quality of life. I would vehemently oppose any attempt at creating a landfill in my town.

 

Joann Descours

 

 

 

So...just where would all the residents of Rochester want their trash to go? Isn't our trash good enough to keep close by? Perhaps it would be better if we sent it to New Jersey, or New Mexico, or even somewhere else in New York? The problem is we ALL have trash, make trash, and must put trash somewhere! We can't keep it in the trees! Just not here is what I am hearing. Not in my back yard.

Trash is more expensive than you think to deal with. It must be collected, stored, sorted, and hauled. That stuff should all be recycled, but how? The metal, glass and paper products already get that treatment. But there is plenty of junk left over.

First we should try to use less. Not very likely, but we can try. Secondly we should try to site landfills as smartly as we know how. Are there some big holes here left over from mining? Can we do this in cooperation with other towns so everyone gets some benefit, and no one town is burdened with a trash mountain?

Everyone, it seems wants local governments to solve our public issues. OK, so here is a chance for us to tackle a big issue. Let's not trash the idea! Let's find a way to reduce expenditures, and increase revenue! It's in our best interest!

J. Blair
Accord

 

 

Sure it will generate $ revenue, so much for rural character of friends of rochester and the town. This does not come without extra costs to town of Rochester. Thirty ton garbage Trucks on roads made for automobiles. Trash blowing out of vehicles requires weekly labor of road crews clean up Diesel engines killing the clean country air with unburnt carbon emissions every exhaust pipe of those massive trucks. On a windy day the smell may carry a couple of miles. Frustrated drivers riding behind the massive garbage trucks on two lane highways are gonna be passed and death will result from accidents. I credit Carl chipman for the brainstorm and idea. Our county has been stormed- out too many times, just take a look at long island. All trashed out! Thanks but no thanks.


C. Conway


 

 

 

Absolutely NOT!

John Messerschmidt

 

 

 

If I recall correctly, when I first read this article in the Freeman on-line Mr. Chipman posted additional remarks in the Comments section, explaining his intent. It might be helpful to include those remarks in addition to the article below.

I am not offering an opinion, just additional information.

 

Unsigned

 

 

 

Assuming that Syracuse is making money from the fees paid by haulers, if similar funds could go to Rochester, what might they be used for to enhance the community, lower taxes, etc.?

 

Don Dunn

 

 

Dear Editor,


I hope that you will publish the comments you receive about "the potential of a county dump in the Town of Rochester." I do not know what the pros and the cons are, and being able to read the comments of town residents would be most helpful in learning exactly what the issue are - in order to form an opinion that is based on reasoned thought.

Perhaps you could even include the "many not printable" comments by blanking out offensive words and ad hominem attacks on Mr. Chipman and others. Even the "many not printable" comments might have a core of reasoning that is worthy of consideration.

Yours truly,
Eli Faber

 

I THINK WE CAN DO IT IN THE TOWN OF ROCHESTER BUT IT SHOULD BE IN A NORTHERN REMOTE AREA OF THE TOWN.
THANKS FOR LISTENING,
BEST REGARDS,
A. CECCHINI, ACCORD

Too bad
Perhaps he does not recall the last dump fiasco

Harry purcell and the mob
Think again
Totally divided the entireTown
Take a trip to fresh kills
That will cure him
One sure way he will be voted out

Unsigned

 

To All Citizens of Rochester,

Please come out in FORCE against this proposed offer to turn our town into a toxic dump. I don't care how much money our town might get......it's not worth it. We all need to protect our land & environment & not turn our town into a huge pile of waste.....not to mention more trucks, smell, poison, rats,etc. I think Carl Chipman should have put this before our citizenry, before he stepped-up with his offer. This isn't a "not in my back yard issue " for a certain neighborhood .......it will effect the whole town. Just as our town has been getting a good reputation with wonderful agricultural businesses, artists & artisans, Sanderskill, Skatetime etc.......this "offer" comes along to muck everything up.
Please PROTEST & pass it along

Regards, Sara Harris

 

Please! Not another landfill in Rochester!

Sincerely,
Arlene Ladden and Michael Morwitz

We need A LOT more conversation before our town offers itself for landfill dumping. Why would we invite this into an area noted for its scenery and food production? What is being dumped? How many trucks and along what roads. toxic leaching into the water table? Hmm... lots more conversation.

Nicole Quinn

I read the article with interest. Solid waste is a growing problem. You may or may not know that NYC etc. is having their solid waste hauled by rail to some where in the mid west. There is a freight railroad that runs through Ulster county that could be used to haul the stuff out, and then a
county land fill would not be required. Just a site where waste can be transferred to freight cars and hauled away. The rail is there, the specialized rolling stock is there, all that is needed is a low cost transfer site. No land fill, no stink, no ugly mound of solid waste. Think about it.

Jim Kingston

 

 

 

Dear Supervisor Chipman,

 

 

Even before having read your recent comments I did discern in your original comment, being a CAREFUL reader, what you have re-inforced with your re-iterated clarification

AND

as some commenters have pointed out, you have an excellent track record

SO

I trusted you would do exactly what you have stated you will do in your comments - that is have a thorough review of the facts and implications with an open dialogue

for all town residents.

 

If only we could have such open-ness and rationality at the state and federal level.

 

 

Thank you

Claude Suhl

 

 

 

bullet

Thanksgiving Luncheon

The Town of Rochester is hosting a Thanksgiving Luncheon  on Thursday, November 22nd from 11:30 to 2Pm at the Town’s Community Center.  The event is open to all and is made possible by a grant from the Rochester Residents Association and contributions of time, money and food from residents.

 

 

bullet

Donations to the Rochester Food Pantry

Contributions to the Rochester Food Pantry can be made by check payable to “Rochester Food Pantry” and mailed to PO Box 12, Accord, NY 12404.  The Rochester Food Pantry is a local volunteer charitable organization that provides meals to families in need.  All contributions are fully tax-deductible.

 

 

bullet

Town Board considers Draft No Parking Law

The Town Board is considering a new town law that would prohibit parking on Town roads between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6 am.  In addition all parking would prohibit parking in four areas:  Upper Cherrytown Road; Granit Road; Project 32 Road; and Main Street, Accord.  A public hearing is scheduled for November 29th at 7pm at Town Hall.

 

bullet

Thank you Supervisor Chipman

The Town Crier has received a number of notes of appreciation for Supervisor Carl Chipman’s many written notices during Hurricane Sandy.   The notices were distributed by Town channels and to the Town Crier’s email distribution list.

 

 

bullet

Status of the Rainbow Diner

According to County Legislator and Ulster County Legislature Chair Terry Bernardo, the delay in cleaning up the port-fire debris at the location of the former Rainbow Diner on Route 209 in Kerhonkson is due to a stop work order issued by the New York State Department of Labor, which has indicated that there might be asbestos on the site.  The building was destroyed by a fire on July 2, 2012.

 

 

bullet

Rosendale Elementary School building eyed for use by three towns

 

ROSENDALE, N.Y. — Marbletown, Rosendale and Rochester town supervisors are in discussions with Rondout Valley school officials and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress about moving various town government functions into Rosendale Elementary School, which closed in June.

Part of the dialogue has been about turning the school’s library into a town court to be shared among the three municipalities, which are all in the Rondout Valley school district, and having each municipality take over one wing of the school.

Although the discussions are still not final and obstacles remain, Marbletown Town Supervisor Michael Warren and Rochester Town Supervisor Carl Chipman both expressed optimism about the potential arrangement.

“If you look at the (New York State Office of Court Administration) template of what a town court should look like, the library matches very closely,” said Warren.

In addition to the prospect of being able to share resources in a joint town court space, Chipman said offices around the library could allow inmates to be kept separate, which is not possible in the existing Rochester Town Court.

Rosendale Town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh was not immediately available for comment, but the other two supervisors said there has been discussion about moving Rosendale police to the former school. Warren cited a police presence attached to the town court as another advantage of the potential arrangement.

Chipman said Rochester’s code enforcement and zoning departments could be moved to Rosendale Elementary School, while Warren envisions the entire town office operation being moved to the building, which is 57 feet from the town line, if the deal happens.

Warren said less than one-third of the 45,000-square-foot Rosendale Elementary School would still provide substantially more space than the current town headquarters in Stone Ridge, which totals 3,500 square feet, not to mention more parking space outside.

Both Warren and Chipman see opportunities for improving recreation and senior citizen programs in their towns as a result of the moves, plus the addition of much-needed storage space.

Warren said the school’s gymnasium could be used for a basketball program and perhaps a wrestling program, and both supervisors said the cafeteria could be used for enhancing senior meal programs.

No longer having to pay Iron Mountain for storage space would save money, said Warren, adding that having space to keep the records on hand would make them more easily accessible.

Moving departments away from the current Rochester town headquarters would also create more room to potentially expand recreational programs there for no extra cost, said Chipman.

Warren said Marbletown Town Hall is in a spot at which commercial real estate is in demand, and he envisions renting the space out to a business. He said the town highway garage would remain where it is, behind the current town headquarters.

Both supervisors also said they do not want to see Rosendale Elementary School deteriorate like the Kingston school district’s Tillson Elementary School, which closed in 1983, or Onteora’s West Hurley Elementary School, which closed in 2004. (Freeman 11/19/12)

 

 

 

bullet

Kerhonkson woman, 69, dies in crash after piece of roof blows into her windshield at trailer park

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

KERHONKSON, N.Y.  — A 69-year-old Kerhonkson woman was killed when a large section of a roof blew into the windshield of her vehicle and struck her, state police said on Tuesday.

Troopers at the Wawarsing barracks identified the victim as Doreen Richardson of 121 Rocky Mountain Road.

Police said the accident happened about 6:15 p.m. Monday, when Hurricane Sandy was blowing through the area, as Richardson drove through the Mountain Valley Resort trailer park. Investigators concluded Richardson’s vehicle continued for a short distance after being hit by the roof piece and then struck an unoccupied mobile home.

Richardson, the sole occupant of the vehicle, died at the scene, police said. (Freeman 10/30/12)

 

 

 

bullet

Ex-Ulster County resident John 'Jack' Paterno, lost in Superstorm Sandy, was strong-willed to the end

Sunday, November 11, 2012

By PAULA ANN MITCHELL
Freeman staff
pmitchell@freemanonline.com; twitter.com/anchoratfreeman

JOHN PATERNO was a man known for his fierce independence.

Although he had cerebral palsy, the 64-year-old lived on his own in a small cottage on Staten Island’s Nugent Street.

In his later years, Paterno had to use a wheelchair, but he never let his disability get in the way of how he lived — boldly, proudly and autonomously.

It really was no surprise to those who knew Paterno best that he refused to leave his home along the stretch of Staten Island coastline that would become the bull’s eye for the deadly surge from Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29.

Paterno, known to friends in Ulster County and elsewhere as Jack, stayed behind, despite pleas from New York City officials to evacuate.

As the massive storm pushed its way into the Midland Beach area, the one-time Accord resident, along with his companion pit bull and parrot, resolutely hunkered down to face the storm.

But the headstrong Paterno was no match for the 12-foot wall of water that came crashing into his one-story bungalow.

Paterno, along with at least 10 others in that Staten Island enclave, died that night, all likely drowning victims.

Sandy ultimately killed 110 people in the United states — 40 in New York City alone — and left millions of people in the Northeast without power for days.

Peggy Dennin of Accord said rescue workers and family members found her brother’s body in his home on Oct. 31.

She said she didn’t hear from her brother after the storm and posted a message on Facebook, looking for someone to tell her how he was. She said she got a call from her cousins the Wednesday after the storm, telling her he didn’t make it.

“They got a boat and got the dog out, and there was still water in the house,” she said. “There were a few deaths in his area a couple of streets over. The people there said they had never experienced anything like this.”

Dennin said she wanted her brother to heed the advice of officials to evacuate, as he did last year when Tropical Storm Irene approached New York, but he set his mind on riding out the storm this time.

“He didn’t think the storm would be that bad, and he didn’t feel very comfortable at the shelter. He felt very vulnerable,” Dennin said.

Many who heard the news of Paterno’s death were saddened, including old friends like Lew Kirschner, the former Ulster County treasurer.

“I could probably talk for a couple of days about John. He was quite a man,” Kirschner said from his winter home in Florida. “He was one in a million. You never knew what he was going to do.”

The two became acquainted when Paterno operated a candy and newspaper stand in the lobby of the Ulster County Courthouse on Wall Street in Kingston in the early 1970s.

At that time, Kirschner ran a deli on Wall Street, and Paterno would visit often.

“We became very close friends, and I sort of guided him along,” Kirschner said. “I took care of him because I liked him.”

Paterno, who was legally blind, walked with crutches in those days while he conducted business at the courthouse.

He often would take a cab or bus out of Accord to sell his candy to the judges and lawyers going in and out of the court building, Kirschner recalled.

“He lived a life that could have been really bad with all the ailments he had, but he lived it to the fullest,” Kirschner said. “He did things nobody else would do and was just a very, very colorful person.”

Dennin agreed her brother always grabbed the most from life, in spite of his health problems.

“He loved people and was always dreaming up things, and he knew how to take care of himself,” she said.

After he left his work at the courthouse, Paterno moved to Syracuse, where he took a telemarketing job at Torch Industries, selling light bulbs.

He moved back to Ulster County in the 1980s, living in Ellenville briefly before deciding to relocate to Staten Island, where four of his cousins lived.

“He liked the big-city life,” Dennin said.

Paterno linked up with the Staten Island chapter of the Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State after he moved there.

Jacqueline Rumolo, the association’s director of community affairs and support services, knew Paterno for almost two decades and said it was hard to come to grips with his death.

“Oh, my God, I couldn’t stop crying when I heard,” Rumolo said. “We were so upset about everything that was going on in general, and then the word came in that a disabled man in that area had died. It was like I had that shockwave in me, ‘Could this be?’”

Once Paterno’s death was confirmed, Rumolo said she almost lost it.

“I was crying for a day, and then I felt so helpless,” she said.

“Like Peggy (Dennin), I didn’t want to have those horrible thoughts about how he died, but these were choices that he wanted to make for himself,” she said.

Rumolo helped Paterno  secure special housing when he first moved to Staten Island, and over the years, she connected him to services he needed to live independently.

Rumolo said Paterno later made the decision to move into his cousins’ neighborhood in Midland Beach.

“He would come and go as he pleased,” she said. “He traveled upstate a few times on his own, and he’d often to go Atlantic City.”

Paterno’s cousin, Angelo, served as his main caretaker, Dennin said, and her brother remained close to his relatives, often going to their homes for Sunday dinners or on shopping trips with them.

Dennin said the only comfort she gets when she thinks of her brother’s death is that, had he lived through the storm, he probably would have been placed in a nursing home — something he wanted to avoid at all costs.

“Life as he knew it would have been over for him until the area was cleaned up,” she said through sobs.

“Going to a nursing home, that wasn’t him,” Dennin added. “He’d always say, ‘I’m never going to go in a nursing home.’”

Over the years, the family tried to convince Paterno to move back to Ulster County, but Dennin said he was too drawn to the city life.

Her one regret is that she wasn’t able to convince him to evacuate as reports came in about the storm’s intensity.

“The thing is, even if officials had gone to his house, he was of sound mind and didn’t have to leave,” she said. “I just wish somebody had scooped him up.”

Now, as she watches TV news reports about the Staten Island cleanup efforts, Dennin shudders to think of how her own flesh and blood perished that night.

“A neighbor said the cottage was submerged and that only the peak of the roof was showing,” she said.

But even though her brother’s death has been hard on her, Dennin said she takes comfort knowing he is in a better place.

“I have an image that he’s walking around heaven, free of pain now,” she said.

Dennin has been helping her cousins coordinate her brother’s funeral arrangements from Ulster County. The family pitched in to buy a new three-piece suit in which Paterno will be buried, and Dennin will bring it to Staten Island in the next few days.

“I was going to go down last Saturday to make arrangements, but my cousins said, ‘Don’t make the trip down here. It’s like a war zone,’” she said.

Paterno’s wake is scheduled for 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Colonial Funeral Home, 2819 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island. He will be buried on Friday.

In addition to his sister, Paterno leaves behind two brothers, Frank and Michael Paterno of Kerhonkson, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in Paterno’s memory be made to United Cerebral Palsy. (Freeman 11/11/12)

 

 

bullet

Central Hudson warns about trio posing as employees, burglarizing homes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Authorities are warning area residents about three men posing as employees of Central Hudson Gas and Electric who are out burglarizing homes.

The trio, wearing safety vests and driving a silver pickup with a yellow light on the roof, has already committed at least two burglaries and larcenies, officials said Monday.

State police and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said the impersonators have recently visited at least three homes in Kerhonkson and Stone Ridge.

“They claimed they were there to change the electric meters, but apparently, their true intention was to commit burglaries and larcenies,” said Charles A. Freni, the utility’s senior vice president of customer services.

Central Hudson’s employees and authorized contractors carry photo identification and will display it on request, Freni said.

“If, after seeing identification, there is still any uncertainty, ask the individual to wait outside and contact local law enforcement or call us for verification,” he said.

Central Hudson can be reached by calling (845) 452-2700 or (800) 527-2714. (Freeman 11/13/12)

 

 

Police Blotter

 

Kerhonkson man fired shot during argument with landlord, police say

Friday, November 16, 2012

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — A 25-year-old Kerhonkson man was accused Thursday of firing a gun during an argument with his landlord, according to state police at Wawarsing.

Justin S. Nash of U.S. Route 44/state Route 55,   was charged with the misdemeanors of menacing, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, illegal discharge of a firearm, and criminal mischief. He was also charged with harassment, a violation.

Police said Nash was being evicted by his landlord on Thursday. While the unidentified landlord was attempting to serve papers on Nash, an altercation erupted between the landlord and Nash’s live-in girlfriend, police said.

During the argument,  Nash got a 9 mm rifle from the residence and fired one round into a wooded area next to his residence, police said.

Nash then threatened the landlord with the weapon and a fight broke out between Nash and the landlord, police said.

Nash purposely damaged personal property belonging to the landlord, police said.

No one was injured, police said.

Nash was arraigned by Rochester Town Justice Paul Shaheen and released without bail, police said. (Freeman 11/16/12)

 

 

 

Drugs: Kenneth Lesane, 37, of Berme Road, Kerhonkson, was sentenced Monday by Ulster County Judge Donald A. Williams to five years in state prison and three years post-release supervision on a conviction of felony sale of a controlled substance. Lesane was arrested in March as part of Operation Clean Sweep in the city of Kingston. He was indicted March 29 and pleaded guilty to the felony sale charge on Aug. 28. (Freeman 11/6/12)

 

bullet

Support the Rochester Food Pantry

Please consider making a donation to the Rochester Food Pantry.  Demand for the Food Pantry’s services are at an all-time high.  In the last 12 months, the Food Pantry has provided more than 36,000 free meals to serve 731 families in our community.  Funding from Federal agencies has been severely reduced as have contributions from state government and corporate grants.

 

Last year, members of the Rochester Residents Association gave more than $12,500 to support the Food Pantry, please help again this year by mailing a check payable to “Rochester Food Pantry” to PO Box 12, Accord, NY 12404

 

 

bullet

Town Government News

At its meeting on Oct. 25th, the Town Board dropped plans to adopt a local law that would prohibit parking on public roads.  A public hearing was held on October 4th in which ten residents spoke against the law and one in favor. 

 

Supervisor Carl Chipman reported that local municipalities were in the “investigative stage” of using the recently-closed Rosendal Elementary School for town needs, possibly shared with other municipalities. 

 

Planning Board chair Mike Baded reported that a presentation of proposed procedural and definitional changes to the town’s zoning law would be presented to the Town Board in January 2013.

 

The Town Board scheduled a Veterans Day service for 12:00 noon on Nove. 11th at Veterans Park, located in the Town Park on Scenic Road in Accord. 

 

bullet

Ulster police checking leads in 2008 killing of Michael Kleiman

Thursday, September 27, 2012

By PAUL KIRBY
Freeman staff
pkirby@fremanonline.com; twitter.com/PaulatFreeman

TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — A request by police this past summer for information from the public that might help solve the 2008 killing of Michael Kleiman has resulted in some leads but no suspect yet, town police say.

Lt. Anthony Cruise, who heads the town police department, declined to provide details of the leads but said police will continue their investigation to find “out who the killer was.”

In July, around the fourth anniversary of Kleiman’s death, police issued a press release asking anyone with information about the case to come forward.

“What I believe is that somebody is talking about it, and that is what we are looking for,” Cruise said at the time.

Kleiman’s body was found inside a torched pickup on July 25, 2008, in an isolated, wooded area between state Route 32 and Devil’s Lake Road in the East Kingston section of the town of Ulster.

The Nissan truck, parked on property that once was home to the Hudson Cement plant, had been set aflame with Kleiman’s lifeless body inside, police said at the time.

The truck’s license plate number was CGE-5199.

Police have theorized that Kleiman — who was 59, lived on Sundown Road in Kerhonkson and worked as a nurse’s aide at a children’s rehabilitation center in Westchester County — probably was killed someplace else and that his body was brought to the East Kingston site.

Since then, Cruise said, police have received hundreds of tips and leads, but nothing has led to a suspect.

Investigators are uncertain if the killer lives in the area. But it’s likely, Cruise said, that the person is intimately familiar with East Kingston and knew ahead of time about the isolated spot where Kleiman’s body was left.

Cruise has said police would like to hear from anybody with information about the case, particularly those who noticed any of the following behavior among people around the time of the killing: unscheduled absences from work, missing scheduled appointments, abrupt departure from the area (either temporarily or permanently) or interest in media coverage of the Kleiman killing.

People who have information that they think can help investigators solve the Kleiman case can call the Ulster Police Department (845) 382-1111 or its tips line at (845) 336-3784; send an email to ksberardi@ulsterpolice.com or acruise@ulsterpolice.com; or send a letter to Ulster Police Department, Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine, N.Y. 12449.

All tips will be kept confidential, Cruise said. (Freeman 9/27/12)

 

 

bullet

 Police Blotter

 

KERHONKSON

Theft: Frankie M. Quero, 19, of 5942 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson, and Thomas Langjan, 18, of 32 East Road, Kerhonkson, were both charged with two felony counts of grand larceny and felony criminal possession of stolen property by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Police said Quero and Langjan were both involved in stealing several firearms from a home in Kerhonkson and selling them. Both men were released on appearance tickets for Town of Rochester Court, Quero to appear on Wednesday and Langjan to appear on Oct. 31. (Freeman 10/21/12)

TOWN OF ROCHESTER

DWI: Jaime E. Chapman, 30, of Kingston, was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent by state police in Wawarsing at 3:20 a.m. on Saturday on Lucas Turnpike in the town of Rochester. Chapman also was charged with the traffic infraction of speeding and was released on tickets. (Freeman 10/21/12)

 

 

Drugs: Joshua Ryan, 38, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing on Hilltop Terrace at 1 p.m. Tuesday and charged with unlawfully growing cannabis, a misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana, a violation. He was issued tickets to appear in Wawarsing Town Court.  (10/17/12)

 

Drugs: James L. Terbush, 39, of 190 Cherrytown Road, Lot 12, Kerhonkson was arrested at 6:20 p.m. Thursday on charges of felony possession of a controlled substance and the misdemeanors of possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. Also arrested was Gerard F. Malak, 48, of the same address, on a charge of felony tampering with physical evidence. Officers with the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team said the two men were arrested after complaints were received regarding heroin sales involving Terbush. Officers said they conducted a probation home check at the men’s residence and found more than 100 “decks” or “bags” of heroin, approximately six ounces of marijuana and more than $6,500 in cash. Malak attempted to hide marijuana during the incident, officers said. Terbush was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, while Malak was released on a ticket to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 10/13/12)

 

Menacing: Peter Venezia, 43, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday on Upper Cherrytown Road on a charge of misdemeanor menacing. He was released to appear in Rochester Town Court. (10/11/12)

 

Contempt: Gail C. Startup, 61, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 8:18 p.m. Monday and charged with criminal contempt, a misdemeanor. Startup was arrested at 6731 U.S. Route 209, police said.  (Freeman 9/26/12)

 

Impaired by drugs: Michael R. Tacti, 20, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Ulster at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on Washington Avenue and was charged with operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor; and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. He was released with a court appearance ticket. (Freeman 9/24/12)

 

 

Burglary: Brian G. Greenberg, 24, Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Ellenville Thursday at 1:50 p.m. at 8 Lower Granite Road and charged with burglary, a felony. He was released on his own recognizance. (Freeman 9/21/12)

 

DWI: Travis M. Fries, 39, of 37 Waterfalls Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested Tuesday at 9:04 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving. Deputies said Fries was stopped on Samsonville Road in the town of Rochester for operating his vehicle with an inadequate taillight. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (9/17/12)

 

 

Weapon: Timothy A. Harasym, 31, of 439 Granite Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested Friday by members of the Kingston Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit and charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon. Police said the unit recovered a switchblade from Harasym on Furnace Street. He was issued a ticket to appear in Kingston City Court. (Freeman 9/17/12)

 

bullet

Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy to Celebrate 25th Anniversary

The Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy will celebrate its 25th year and honor Congressman Maurice Hinchey for his lifetime of service to the environmental and conservation communities.  Saturday, September 15th 3:30 to 5:30 pm at Feather Farm, 2545 Lucas Ave. High Falls, 100 yards south of Rest Plaus).  Refreshments and light fare – all are welcome.  www.RELandConservancy.com

 

bullet

Friday, September 14, 2012

ANNUAL MEETING OF FRIENDS OF HISTORIC ROCHESTER

Town Hall, Accord; 7:00 p.m.

FUN FACTS OF THE TOWN OF ROCHESTER FROM HISTORIC DOCUMENTS

Kate Sergio and Ronnie Sommer

Refreshments. All welcome; come and bring a friend.

Information: 845-626-7103

 

bullet

Family Fun For Ulster County’s Third Annual Creek Week:  September 15, 2012

1 – 3 PM

 

 

Join members of the Town of Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission and Martha Cheo, of Hudson Basin River Watch, for an afternoon of fun and learning for the whole family.  Martha will teach the group how to identify different aquatic insects and creatures and explain why these littlecritters are an important indicator of stream health.

 

Meet at the Roundout Valley Resort, 105 Mettacahonts RD, Accord, NY.  Please wear appropriate shoes for wading in the stream and bring nets, containers and magnifiers if you have them.  In the event of rain, the event will be held Sunday September 16th, 1 – 3 PM. 

 

bullet

Rochester Town Board Adopts Fracking Ban

The Town Board adopted a local law that prohibits hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction within the Town’s borders at its meeting on August 30th.

 

 

bullet

To Trip the Volynska Polka, Respectfully in the Catskills

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — Each summer for about three decades, children of Ukrainian descent have converged on a wooded retreat here in the Catskills, the girls donning embroidered blouses, and the boys puffy Cossack pants, to learn the folk dances of their ancestors.

Think of it as a kind of Ukrainian Hogwarts. This retreat, the Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Ukrainian Dance Academy at the Soyuzivka resort, is secluded in an enchanting patch of forest purchased half a century ago by Ukrainian immigrants. Founded in the late 1970s, it hosts dozens of students each year; this summer had a record 31 new pupils. Many have come annually for their entire childhood and later bring their own children, forging a link with a country many of them can scarcely imagine and may never see.

So it is curious that among those most responsible for imparting this important bit of Ukrainian culture is Orlando Pagan, a son of Puerto Ricans who grew up in the Bronx.

Mr. Pagan, who has been involved with Ukrainian dance since the late 1980s, choreographs and teaches here. He is also heir to a small empire of Ukrainian dance schools in the New York area. His status in this niche of ethnic dance is all the more extraordinary, when you consider that many in the North American diaspora see their affiliation as a last preserve of culture and traditions that they believe have eroded in Ukraine over much of the last century.

“Our parents really encumbered us with this mission that we had to maintain our heritage because Ukraine was stripped of it,” said Tamara Lucyshyn, 46, whose teenage daughters attend the camp.

But as with most diasporas, early orthodoxy has made way for assimilation. The immigrants who fled Ukraine during World War II are disappearing, and knowledge of the language has begun to fade. Many in the younger generations have never been to Ukraine, and lately what it means to be Ukrainian is being recalibrated.

“Orlando is as Ukrainian as you can get,” said Roma Slobodian, 47, whose daughter has attended the camp for six years. “We couldn’t imagine this place without him.”

Mr. Pagan, 45, began dabbling in dance in grade school, albeit hesitantly. The machismo culture of the Bronx was not exactly tolerant of boys in tights, he said. His parents, he added, were not enthusiastic about the idea and were even more perplexed when he announced, at 19, that he would study Ukrainian folk dance.

Recruited by another Puerto Rican friend, he said, Mr. Pagan was immediately enraptured by the intense athleticism of the men and the equally powerful grace of “girls spinning across the floor at 100 miles per hour.”

Most important, he said, the dance was an escape from the poverty and helplessness of the Bronx, allowing him to prosper and set aside problems. And, he said, “It didn’t hurt that the girls were beautiful.”

Over the years he has been involved in other projects, including a stint singing in the boy band Freestone in the 1990s. He has also performed with the Bronx Dance Theater and appeared in a few Off Broadway productions. In 1999 Arthur Mitchell invited him to join the Dance Theater of Harlem, and for the next seven years he toured the world.

Throughout, he said, he almost always practiced Ukrainian dance on weekends and maintained strong ties to Ukrainians, marrying into their world in 2003. His wife, Larisa, is also a dancer and now works with him at the camp and New York schools.

Along the way, he gained the confidence of Roma Pryma Bohachevsky, the grande dame of Ukrainian folk dance in the region. Ms. Bohachevsky, a ballerina from Ukraine who immigrated in the 1950s, founded a network of Ukrainian dance schools in the New York area, as well as the camp here. She also created an elite Ukrainian dance ensemble called Syzokryli, which Mr. Pagan joined.

Typically accompanied by up-tempo traditional music, Ukrainian folk dance often combines jumps performed by men with more graceful movement for women. At the camp students learn the dances of different regions of Ukraine, some dating back centuries.

There are the Volynska polka, from the region bordering Poland, which involves fluid hip and leg movements; and the Hutsulka from the Carpathian Mountain region, which has quick, constricted movements of the legs and feet. Shows often culminate in the Hopak, a central Ukrainian dance, which evolved as a stylized version of Cossack martial arts used to hone fighting skills and show off.

For Mr. Pagan, it came as something of a shock when, in 2004, Ms. Bohachevsky, who had cancer, asked that he take over her schools. When she died that year, he wound down his own dance career to take up her work.

Few seemed to question the decision or Mr. Pagan’s abilities.

“He does what many Ukrainian choreographers will not do,” said Ania Bohachevsky Lonkevych, Ms. Bohachevsky’s daughter, who is now the camp’s director. “He’ll do the research. He’ll make sure it’s accurate and regionally proper.” With his dark features and Bronx accent, Mr. Pagan is an oddity among the many fair, blue-eyed children at the camp. In most other respects he is indistinguishable.

“Raz, dva, tri,” Mr. Pagan counted in Ukrainian, trying to get a group of 8-year-olds back in step after a small blond boy, Taras, twirled out of turn.

It was the day before the final show at camp, and the boys seemed more interested in practicing their kicks than in guiding their female partners through the more graceful steps Mr. Pagan had prepared for them. Beyond the more traditional elements, Mr. Pagan said he tried to give the children a foundation in ballet.

The students, who range in age from 8 to 16, have two weeks to learn the steps for the three-hour final performance. There are about 100 dancers, including young counselors who participate in the show. They practice about nine hours a day. On the day of the show people began lining up outside the locked auditorium an hour ahead of time.

This year they were not disappointed. During the final dance the floor shook under the weight of the full ensemble. It was an intoxicating spectacle of flailing limbs adorned in bright fabrics.

After the show, teary-eyed grandmothers with thick accents showered Mr. Pagan with thanks for his devotion. Some of the parents had danced with Mr. Pagan when he was a young student of Ukrainian dance, and they were now at the camp to watch their own children.

“It has been tough to accept this as my calling,” Mr. Pagan said. “I never wanted anyone to feel like I was forgetting or disrespecting my culture. But at the same time I respect and admire and love this Ukrainian culture.”

In recent years the face of the camp has slowly been changing, thanks partly to Mr. Pagan, who in February took his advanced troupe to Puerto Rico for a show. At the concert Winona Coe, 13, was dressed as a Hutsul from the Carpathian Mountain region of Ukraine. But she was born in the Philippines.

“I don’t speak Ukrainian,” she said. “But I can dance.”  (NY Times 8/24/12)

 

bullet

Students OK after Rondout Valley school bus hits deer

Monday, September 10, 2012

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A bus carrying students to Rondout Valley Middle School early Monday hit a deer on U.S. Route 209, but no one on the bus was hurt and the vehicle had only minimal damage, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said.

The accident happened at 7:28 a.m., bringing out sheriff’s deputies and the school nurse from the middle school.

The nurse evaluated students at the scene, and another bus took them to the school, the sheriff’s office said.  (Freeman 9/10/12)

 

bullet

Woodstock woman critically injured in Accord crash

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ACCORD, N.Y. — A Woodstock woman was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon following an accident in which the vehicle she was a passenger in struck a utility pole, Ulster County sheriff’s deputies said.

The one-vehicle accident occurred at 2:53 p.m. on U.S. Route 209, just south of the intersection with Main Street in Accord, deputies said. Deputies said the vehicle, driven by Jeffrey R. Kimble, 46, of Woodstock, was southbound when it failed to negotiate a curve and struck a utility pole. When emergency crews arrived, they removed the three occupants from the vehicle, deputies said.

Kimble and a rear-seat passenger, Roy E. Nugent, 31, of Kingston, were taken to Kingston Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, deputies said. The front-seat passenger, Kristen A. Ellsworth, 37, was taken to Ellenville Regional Hospital in critical condition, deputies said.

Electrical service to the immediate area of the crash was temporarily interrupted due to the damage to the utility pole, deputies said. Deputies said the roadway was also closed for several hours after the crash.

The cause of the crash was still under investigation, deputies said. (Freeman 9/4/12)

 

bullet

Police Blotter

 

Contempt: Spencer Santosky Jr., 33, was arrested Sunday by state police at Ellenville and charged with criminal contempt, a felony, for violating an order of protection. Police said Santosky had contact with a child at a resident in Accord who was listed on an order of protection as a protected party.Santosky was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released pending a future court appearance. (Freeman 8/24/12)

 

 

Drugs: Melanie J. Prouty, 46, of Kerhonkson was arrested on state Route 44/55 Saturday at 9:20 p.m. by state police at Highland and charged with misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs and violation possession of marijuana. She was issued tickets to appear in Gardiner Town Court. Continued... (Freeman 9/10/12)

 

Drugs: Priscilla A. Conklin, 30, of 5 Foordmore Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested by Kingston police on Thursday at 9:53 a.m. and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. Police said she had a small quantity of cocaine. Conklin was released with a court appearance ticket. (Freeman 9/7/12)

 

Forgery: Danielle V. Boisvert, 30, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Ulster at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at 16 Roberts Drive and charged with nine counts of forgery and grand larceny, all felonies. She was being held in lieu of cash bail. (Freeman 9/7/12)

 

Shoplifting: Priscilla A. Conklin, 30, of 5 Foordmore Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested at 3:52 p.m. Sunday on a charge of misdemeanor petit larceny. Kingston city police said Conklin took $154.97 worth of personal care products from the Hannaford store in the Kingston Plaza. She was released on a ticket to appear in Kingston City Court. (Freeman 9/5/12)

 

Resisting: Joseph P. Blanschan, 49, of 193 Stonykill Road., Accord, was arrested by Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies in his driveway at 11 p.m. Tuesday and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, both misdemeanors, and with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, a violation. Deputies said Blanschan had driven his vehicle while impaired and when questioned, became uncooperative and resisted deputies. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 8/23/12)

 

 

 

 

bullet

Town Government News

 

bulletTown Board revives anti-fracking law with a public hearing on Local Law No. 2 of 2012 continued to August 2nd.
bullet$1.75 fee for “Free Items” at the Transfer Station rescinded.

 

 

bullet

Accord Author’s Book – New York Times Review

Listening to the Void, Vital and Profound

By BEN RATLIFF

WHERE THE HEART BEATS

John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists

By Kay Larson

Illustrated. 474 pages. The Penguin Press. $29.95.

“Where the Heart Beats” is a book about a man learning to use and trust the void. It’s a kind of love story about overcoming the need for love.

Written by Kay Larson, who for 14 years was the art critic for New York magazine, it describes John Cage’s philosophical awakening through Zen Buddhism, which changed not only the sort of music he composed but, seemingly, everything he did and said. Cage’s music and his interactions have been documented in many other books, but what makes “Where the Heart Beats” different is that it centers first on the ideas behind the work: why he sought them, when he came upon them, and where and how he used them. Only secondarily is it about his notated and copyrighted scores, and Cage’s place within the history of music (if indeed that is the place he ought to occupy).

For more than 40 years — from the time of his 1951 talks at the Club, a loft space on East Eighth Street in Manhattan opened by the sculptor Philip Pavia, until his death in 1992 — Cage often found himself around devoted scribes and live microphones. He was an apothegm slinger; he was unstoppable. “I have to get out of here,” the sculptor Richard Lippold, Cage’s neighbor in a run-down Lower East Side building during the early 1950s, told the composer Morton Feldman. “John is just too persuasive.”

In his filmed and recorded interviews you almost always encounter a man who seems born into supreme contentment: he listened, asked questions and had a good, hard, helpless laugh. But in his writings he could sometimes be bizarrely dogmatic, even in his opposition to dogma, and Ms. Larson portrays the younger Cage more this way: agitated, uncool, a walking emergency.

In the late 1930s and early ‘40s he was a young composer who favored rhythm over harmony and the chaotic promise of random, atmospheric noise over the grammar of Western classical music with its “endless arrangements of the old sounds.” But he hadn’t, in either case, completely figured out why. He was unhappy in his work and otherwise; the words “crisis” and “suffering” come up often in the first half of Ms. Larson’s account.

The book relates Cage’s solutions for all the disjunctions in his life, including what Ms. Larson, treading lightly, portrays as his acceptance of his homosexuality. (He was married to Xenia Kashevaroff, the daughter of a Russian priest, for 10 years; he worked with the choreographer Merce Cunningham from the 1940s on and lived with him starting in 1971, though he rarely spoke on the record about it.) He sought to release himself from self-expression in his art and even from emotional expression in his life. “I discovered,” he said in a late-period interview, “that those who seldom dwell on their emotions know better than anyone else just what an emotion is.”

In any case, learning the Zen mind was Cage’s major solution. Daisetz T. Suzuki, the Japanese writer and scholar, came to North America in 1950 on a tour sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, and Cage attended some of Suzuki’s lectures in New York. The lessons he absorbed — particularly one on the ego and the outside world, reconstructed and well narrated by Ms. Larson — solidified notions he’d already been swimming toward through his early studies in harmony with Arnold Schoenberg; his interest in the ideas of noise and anti-art taken from Futurism and Dada; and his readings of Christian and Hindu mystics. What he learned from Suzuki forms this book’s core, and even its structure.

Ms. Larson is on sure ground discussing Cage’s aesthetic world, particularly his connection with New York visual artists from the ’40s and ’50s. But she is also a practicing Buddhist, and she presents Cage almost as a figure in a parable.

The book is meticulous about dates, encounters and critical receptions. Still, there is no mistaking this for a straightforward biography. It concentrates on the most important period of Cage’s philosophical discoveries and starts drawing to a close in the early 1960s, when the composer still had more than a third of his life and work ahead of him.

Much of Ms. Larson’s story takes place inside Cage’s head, so she often has to speculate, with recourse to his interviews and writings, on what he may have been thinking. She imagines him picking up Suzuki’s “Essays in Zen Buddhism: First Series” and reading its first sentence. “How could he not instantly turn the page?” she writes. “From then on, throughout the introduction — and how could Cage not have seen it? — Suzuki seems to be reading Cage’s mind and speaking into his ear.”

Ms. Larson’s speculative soul reading is useful but perilous — not so much because it risks misrepresenting Cage’s thinking, but because it can sometimes generate homely, overempathetic prose. (“The heart-issues that Cage had never resolved were now beating like the undead on the locked doors of his awareness.”) It creates a solid heroic narrative around an awful lot of aesthetic and spiritual information. (This is the third of three excellent books on Cage to appear in less than two years; the other two are Kenneth Silverman’s traditional biography, “Begin Again,” and “No Such Thing as Silence,” by the music critic Kyle Gann, focused entirely on the creation and significance of the piece “4’33.” ”)

After an early interest in counterpoint and tone rows Cage became less interested in a fixed outcome for his music, instead creating structures in which he radically yielded control. The title of Ms. Larson’s book, taken from an essay Cage wrote in the late 1950s, refers to the blood pumping we inevitably hear when we try to experience what we call silence. He called that condition “zero”; for him it was similar to the Buddhist notion of shunyata, which Suzuki characterized as the “Absolute Void.”

Cage wanted to capture the void in his music. Within zero he found chance and indeterminacy, which guided such key works as “Music of Changes,” composed according to hundreds of decisions made with the I Ching; “Imaginary Landscape No. 4,” played by 24 performers on 12 radios, a piece whose output depends on what the airwaves are producing; and the notorious silent piece “4’33,” ” written for a pianist who never touches the keys.

He loved maxims, anecdotes, lessons and manifestoes. You encounter a lot of them here, and they are not breezed over: Ms. Larson writes elaborately on the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, the “Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind,” the ancient Flower Garland Sutra and Heart Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism. These can slow down a reader who’s more interested in the foreground than the background, but the author stays gentle; she shows you explicitly how their ideas echoed through his work.

There’s plenty of fascinating paradox in this book. It’s about music that implicitly criticizes “music” and silence that isn’t “silent”; it’s also about creating the intention to move toward non-intention. “We really do need a structure,” Cage wrote in his “Lecture on Nothing,” “so we can see we are nowhere.”   (NY Times 7/22/12)


bullet

Kerhonkson author A.J. Schenkman pens area's best stories in 'Wicked Ulster County'

Thursday, August 9, 2012

By Ann Gibbons
Freeman staff
 

ULSTER COUNTY residents who look back longingly to the “good ole days” will be startled to learn that they weren’t all that good.

They were, in fact, downright wicked, as Kerhonkson author A.J. Schenkman details in his just-released book, “Wicked Ulster County.”

Schenkman, who teaches history and social studies at John G. Borden Middle School in the Walkill Central School District, held a double major in history and political science at SUNY New Paltz.

Asked if he were related to any of the wicked he describes, Schenkman laughed and said, “No, no, no! I just listen to people when they talk about what their towns were like back in the late 1870s and into the early 20th century. I learn a lot just by hearing people’s stories.

Also the Hasbrouck historian and a member of the Kerhonkson Fire Department, Schenkman said he loves a good story.

“Everybody has a story if you just listen for it,” he said.

Schenkman writes a column, “Stories on the Wind,” for a local newspaper. He said he was inspired to select the title from a happenstance comment. He was speaking near a cornfield with a Native American, who told him, “When you hear a story, it is the wind coming through the corn.”

In doing research for his column and for the classroom, Schenkman said he came across arcane bits of fascinating tidbits that he set aside for later study.



“I loved combing the old newspapers of the times. I’d save them and the drawings or photographs to look at later. I finally realized, ‘Hey, I have a book,’” he said.

History Press, based in Charleston, S.C., published the book as part of its “wicked” places series.

Schenkman was able to do a great deal of research online, including old newspaper crime stories. He said library microfiche files also were invaluable, some with their complete databases online.

“I’d have 30,000 hits in seconds,” he said.

Asked about the “accuracy” of the historical information he unearthed, Schenkman said it’s as accurate as the newspaper reporting of the time.

“Facts varied from paper-to-paper and spellings from day-to-day,” Schenkman said. “I had to go back in the archives to pinpoint dates and places as accurately as I could.”

Schenkman said employees in the office of County Clerk Nina Postupack were tremendously helpful as he cross-referenced his data.

“Sometimes Nina herself responded to a request. And, Ken Gray from the office, always got back to me within a few days with the best information he could find,” he said.

The Ulster Savings Bank, at the junction of routes 208 and 44/55 in Ireland Corners, occupies the former family homestead of the respectable Deyo family. The entire family, and its farm hands, had a violent and unforgettable encounter with the “Gardiner desperado,” aka “Big Bad Bill Monroe.”

“Bill is the stuff of legends The entire country followed his escapades. People picked up the Freeman every day to hear about his latest exploits,” Schenkman said.

Around 1908 or so, Monroe, from Jenkinstown, wanted to rent a room from Abram Deyo house, but was refused. Already suffering from a bad temper, and intoxicated, the 155-pound man immediately swung at Deyo and “knocked him out cold,” according to the book.

Others tried to intervene, in vain, even Abram’s brother, Jonathan, a New York City lawyer visiting the family. Monroe chased Jonathan into the house, where he assaulted him, both men’s wives and children. He then assaulted the farm hands and set fire to the barn which burned to the ground. Oh, and he cut the telephone wires before escaping.

Then, he fled back to Jenkinstown.

The best Bad Bill story, among many, however, is the caper in which he offers a $500 reward for his capture, taunting law enforcement by stating he would be in a certain place at the Orange County Fair. Newspapers reported that he was in the promised place; law enforcement challenged the assertion, since, of course, they went looking for him.

“Bill responded that he was there – dressed as a poor widow!” Schenkman said.

Despite his infamy – things ended badly for Bad Bill.

Sometime after 1912, he was convicted with Edward Barrett, of murdering the latter’s brother, Andrew, who was known to keep large sums of cash in his dwelling. The crime was notable for its brutality.

“The newspapers of the time were not circumspect in relating crime details. I had to leave out some of the more gruesome facts from the stories,” Schenkman said.

“These were violent times, of desperate people,” Schenkman said. “These were real people, living their lives here. Some of their descendants still live here. Streets are named for some of them.”

Asked to compare the “wickedness” of gangs then and now, Schenkman paused for a moment.

“I think gangs back then had better ‘rules.’ You did not kill an innocent bystander. You never killed a family member,” he said, adding, “But, violence is violence and gangs are just bad news.”

Also the author of a book on George Washington’s Revolutionary headquarters in Newburgh, Schenkman said he is working on his first non-fiction, non-history book, a memoir about growing up in Queens.

Schenkman will discuss “Wicked Ulster County” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Clintondale Friends Church on Crescent Avenue in Clintondale.

“Wicked Ulster County” is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, local bookstores and History Press at www.historypress.net.  (Freeman 8/9/12)

 

 

 

bullet

Rondout Valley school board elects president, vice president

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By KYLE WIND
Freeman staff
kwind@freemanonline.com; twitter.com/kyleatfreeman

KYSERIKE — The Rondout Valley Board of Education has elected Christopher Kelder as its president and Breanna Costello as its vice president for the 2012-13 school year.

Both were elected un-animously on Tuesday.

Kelder, the owner of Kelder’s Farm in Accord, is a second-term trustee who was the board’s president for the 2011-12 school year.

Costello, just re-elected to a second term on the board, succeeds Gail Hutchins, who did not seek re-election, as vice president.

Costello, a Kerhonkson resident, co-chaired with Trustee David O’Halloran the school board’s Reconfiguration Committee in 2011-12, overseeing a controversial plan to close Rosendale Elementary School, move fourth grade from the remaining two elementary schools to a grades 4-6 intermediate school in the current middle school building and create a separate grades 7-8 junior high school under the same roof for 2012-13.  (Freeman 7/11/12)

 

 

 

 

bullet

2 drivers hurt in town of Rochester crash

Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Two drivers sustained minor injuries in a crash Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. Route 209 and Samsonville Road, Ulster County Sheriff’s Deputies said.

Deputies said that at 4 p.m. a vehicle driven by Rosemary Weiss, 79, of Ellenville, was turning off Route 209 onto Samsonville Road when she drove into the path of a vehicle driven by Emma Pfeffer, 41, also of Ellenville.

Both women were taken to local hospitals for evaluation and no tickets were issued.

Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad and the Accord Fire Department assisted at the scene.

(Freeman 8/2/12)

 

bullet

Town of Ulster police seek tips 4 years after homicide

 

TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — Lt. Anthony Cruise is convinced someone has talked by now about killing Michael Kleiman.

“What I believe is that somebody is talking about it, and that is what we are looking for,” said Cruise, the officer in charge of the town of Ulster Police Department.

It’s been just over four years since Kleiman’s body was found inside a torched pickup on July 25, 2008, in an isolated, wooded area between state Route 32 and Devil’s Lake Road in East Kingston, which is part of the town of Ulster.

The Nissan truck, parked on property that once was home to the Hudson Cement plant, had been set aflame with Kleiman’s lifeless body inside, police said at the time.

The truck’s license plate number was CGE-5199.

Police have theorized that Kleiman — who was 59, lived on Sundown Road in Kerhonkson and worked as a nurse’s aide at a children’s rehabilitation center in Westchester County — probably was killed someplace else and that his body was brought to the East Kingston site.

Since then, Cruise said, police have received hundreds of tips and leads, but nothing has led to a suspect.

Cruise said the case remains open and that his department is issued another plea for the public’s help.

“As far as a target (suspect), we don’t have that at this time, and that is why were asking the public for help,” he said on Friday.

Investigators are uncertain if the killer lives in the area. But it’s likely, Cruise said, that the person is intimately familiar with East Kingston and knew ahead of time about the isolated spot where Kleiman’s body was left

 

Police have never comment on a possible motive in the killing, nor have they revealed the exact cause of Kleiman’s death.

Shortly after Kleiman was killed, police described him as “somewhat of a loner” and said he enjoyed going to antique fairs and antique stores. He also “frequented swimming quarries” throughout the county, they said at the time.

Cruise said police would like to hear from anybody with information about the case, particularly those who have noticed any of the following behavior among people: unscheduled absences from work, missing scheduled appointments, abrupt departure from the area (either temporarily or permanently) or interest in media coverage of the Kleiman killing.

FBI behavioral experts say these types of behaviors often are exhibited by murder suspects, Cruise said.

“Addtionally, police would like to hear from anyone who may have unknowingly provided the offender with transportation away from the East Kingston area or from the town (of Ulster) business district on July 25, 2008, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.,” a press release from the police department states.

“The town of Ulster Police Department, in conjunction with the New York State Police, are actively investigating this crime and believe, during the past four years, the offender has spoken to someone about this incident and are requesting the public’s help with any information they might have,” the press release states. “The police believe someone knows something about this incident.”

People who have information that they think can help investigators solve the Kleiman case can call the Ulster Police Department (845) 382-1111 or its tips line at (845) 336-3784; send an email to ksberardi@ulsterpolice.com or acruise@ulsterpolice.com; or send a letter to Ulster Police Department, Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine, N.Y. 12449.

All tips will be kept confidential, Cruise said.

Kleiman’s family has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.  (Freeman 7/29/12)

 

bullet

Teens accused of sexual contact with girls, 13

Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — Two 16-year-old males are facing sexual misconduct charges for having sexual contact with two 13-year-old runaway girls, authorities said Friday.

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said that during their search for the two missing girls from the Kerhonkson area, they found that they ran away and were with the males, who were not identified.

Deputies arrested both teens Friday and charged them with sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors. They were released on appearance tickets for Wawarsing town Court. (Freeman 7/28/12)

bullet

 Blotter

u Drugs: Alexander Argueta, 23, of Kerhonkson, was charged with misdemeanor unlawfully growing cannabis and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, by state police at Wawarsing at 5:52 p.m. Wednesday on Camp Adventure Road in the town of Rochester. He was issued an appearance ticket for Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 7/19/12)

 

bullet

Letters



 

To the Editor:

 

The letter below was just sent to the members of the Town of Rochester Board. We urge all area citizens who are concerned about the dangers of fracking to please attend Board meetings of the Town of Rochester to show your support for passage of a zoning ban and a Community Bill of Rights (CBRO). The next meetings we know about are scheduled for July 23rd and August. 2nd. Thank you.

 

To the Members of the Town of Rochester Board:

 

There is now incontrovertible evidence that the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of shale rock to release natural gas and oil cannot be done safely. To delay doing whatever you can to protect our town from the encroachment of this industry into our beautiful rural community is to abdicate your responsibility as an elected official. Now is the time, while the State moratorium is still in force, to pass both a local land use ban and a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (CBRO) to protect the town from dangers posed by fracking which, as you know, include: water contamination, increased air pollution, destruction of our roads, health risks to people, animals and plants; lowered land values and more. The citizens of Pennsylvania have recently been denied home rule by new state laws - this could happen here. Since we still have home rule in New York State at this time, there is no excuse to delay taking action NOW to protect our town and our rights.

 

We know the gas and oil corporations are poised to come in to our communities – there is both Marcellus and Utica shale underlying this region. The geologic studies have been public knowledge for quite some time. They are easily accessible and it behooves each and every town board member and resident to become educated. To wait to be spoon-fed information and delay action on this matter is completely irresponsible.

 

Since water knows no boundaries, we must also think about what is happening not just here, but also in neighboring towns. If we don't care about our neighbors, then, when the chips are down, will they care about us? We must set a strong example of HOME RULE and work with other towns to see that everyone passes laws that protect themselves. Yes, your responsibility is to the Town of Rochester – but we, the residents of this town, also care about the water and the problems that exist around us. This is everyone's water. We must broaden our vision or we will lose to, and become pawns of, the corporations.

 

We support Supervisor Carl Chipman’s efforts to pass a ban on fracking in the Town of Rochester and decry the delaying tactics of some members of the town board. It is time to be proactive by expressing our town's clear intention that no gas /oil company may come here to exploit our town. Having a local law in place before the moratorium is lifted will insure against law suits. Waiting to see what the state does and then finding out that we as a state are open for the business of fracking, is a sure way to end up with a suit!

 

Dryden and Middlefield are the "test cases" in NY State for the gas and oil companies which are trying to intimidate other municipalities into not passing these laws. The companies want us to be very afraid. We should therefore be very bold in protecting ourselves now to be sure that we will not be fracked here. There is no reasonable argument to think, or to fear, that they will also challenge our town. There are many towns in NY with laws prohibiting fracking that are not being challenged. In the worst case scenario; do we want to pay thousands for a law suit, or do we want to pay millions to clean up a town destroyed by the fracking industry?

We are faced with a life changing and life threatening issue that could permanently ruin the character of our town and potentially poison our water forever. Yes, managing our free pile at the town transfer station is important, but the issue of fracking is even more critical to the future of our community. Four out of five residents
are against fracking here and are clearly expressing not only their concerns, but demand that the board heed the wishes of people who elected them. Your job is to protect the majority of residents, not the special interests of a small minority with money and land. The property rights of the few cannot supersede the rights to protect our precious resources of the majority. Can we risk sacrificing our clean water long term so that a few may profit, short term?

More than 1,000 people within the Town of Rochester have signed the petition (as well as more than 1,300 in neighboring towns who are all asking for the same protections). We urge you to show courage, leadership and responsibility by passing the zoning ban and the CBRO as soon as possible, thereby sending a clear message of NO FRACKING HERE. Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Toby Stover and Arlene Gould

Members, Rochester Defense Against Fracking (RDAF)

 

 

 

To the Town Supervisor and the Town Board of Rochester, on receiving our petitions for a Community Bill of Rights-Based Ordinance Banning High Volume Hydrofracking

July 28, 2012

While the municipalities of NY state are fortunate to have the constitutional protection of Home Rule and the ability to refuse a harmful industrial process, we as a state are not isolated. The communities of our neighboring state of Pennsylvania once had very similar protections, which were stripped from them only last year. At this moment, frackwater from Pennsylvania is flowing into the aquifers of the towns along the New York, New Jersey and Maryland borders. If we continue to be fortunate, our state legislature will respect home rule and not try to legislate away our land-use ban on hydrofracking. If we are less fortunate, if the ability of gas and oil companies to influence elections prevails, what this legislature respects today may be changed in the next election, or the one after.

These gas companies have been watching New York State and the effectiveness of our home rule laws. They are already trying to overturn such rights in other states. We would like to give them something else to watch: that we base our rejection of this destructive practice not only on the rights given to us by the state, but on rights that do not depend on the state and that cannot be taken away from us by fluctuations in the politics of the moment. The whole country, in fact, will be looking at New York state. We can decide to shelter ourselves as one of the fortunate few, or we can use both the rights the state has given us and the rights that are inalienable: to life, to the resources we depend on for life, the value of our property and the integrity of our communities. By passing a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance we let other communities here and in other states know that this tool is available to them. And we let the drilling companies know that their efforts to influence state legislatures to strip away local rights will not get them what they want. Whatever the differences between the laws of other states and ours, we are still connected to them. The groundwater that is poisoned even hundreds of miles away will eventually make its way to our aquifers. The political manipulation that is exerted against other states can come back to our doorsteps. A Bill of Rights Ordinance states that we stand with all municipalities in our country in their effort to assert their right to be a viable community.

Thank you,
Judith Karpova
Rochester Defense Against Fracking
845 626-7355
dahlia@wildblue.net
 

 

 

 

Barbara Arum Exhibition

 

Local artist Barbara Arum is exhibiting two sculptures in a group show in Chelsea in July. The exhibit is at Prince Street Gallery, 530 West 25th St., New York (4th floor).

The reception is July 12 from 4 -7 pm. The exhibit runs July 10 to July 28, Tuesday to Saturday 11 to 6 pm.

 

 

Rochester Residents Association Scholarships

 

The Rochester Residents Association is pleased to announce the award of six Community Scholarships for 2012.

 

Justin Joe Brown will study environmental studies at SUNY Ulster. He has been involved in number of outdoor and community activities and will work for the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

 

Todd Gerstenhaber will attend SUNY Binghampton, where he plans to study finance in the School of Management. He has been active in student government and a member of the National Honor Society, taking many advance placement course. He also played varsity tennis and soccer.

 

Kaitlyn Kelder plans to study animal science at Cornell University. She has been active in a wide variety community service organizations and a member of the National Honor Society and taken several advance placement courses. She has also been active in local agricultural programs.

 

Paul Sommer will attend University of Rhode Island where he intends to study to become a pharmacist. In high school, he has demonstrated excellence in academics, sports and community service, while also working-part time.

 

Brooke Spano plans to attend SUNY Ulster, where she will study psychology. She hopes to earn a Ph.D. in physhology for adults and young children. In high school, she was involved in early childhood education at Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Center and taken other courses for college credit.

 

Jenna Tocco plans to study business and accounting. She has been a competitive swimmer for many years and has been a member of the National Honor Society. She has served as a peer tutor and a swim instructor and lifeguard for the Kerhonkson Youth Commission.

We are pleased to be able to help Justin, Todd, Kaitlyn, Paul, Brooke and Jenna as they pursue the next step in their educational paths; we're proud to have them represent our community and to know that they'll still be nearby.

 

The scholarships are funded by contributions and dues received from members.

 

 

 

 

Rochester Hydrofracking Law Stalled

 

The Town Board postponed further discussion on a proposed law to ban hydrofracking in the Town due to a disagreement about whether to include extraction of petroleum  in the ban, which does prohibit natural gas extraction using the controversial process.  Town Board member left the meeting early stating “I’m tired,” as a community group was making a presentation on the proposed legislation.

 

Separately, the Town Board increased the Transfer station fee for tires from $1.50 to $3.50 and to charge $1.75 for each item taken from the “Free Bin” (with revenues to improve the physical facility and offset tipping fees for unclaimed items) and to charge commercial operators $7.00 (medium) and $14.00 (dump) per truck for brush.  These charges will become effective on August 1st.  (Derived from the Blue Stone Press 7/6/12)

 

 

Mombaccus Applies for Mining Permit

 

Mombaccus Excavating, Inc. applied to the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation for a permit to operate a bluestone mine on a 9.5 acre site near Amanda Drive (off Cherrytown Road).  The mined material would be transported by truck to another site operated by Mombaccus on Rochester Center Road for processing.  Mining in the requested area is not a permitted activity under the Town’s zoning code (AR-3 zoning district).   Town Supervisor Carl Chipman submitted a letter to the DEC noting the potential zoning violation and expressing concern about traffic, dust, noise and potential operating hours.  Mombaccus first applied for a permit in 2008, but supporting information was incomplete.  Mombaccus previously lost a suit against the Town alleging that the new zoning law was unlawful.  (derived from the Blue Stone Press June 15, 2012)

 

 

Parvovirus killing dogs in area

 

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Area dog owners should make sure their canine companions are up to date on their vaccinations in light of another outbreak of the parvovirus disease in the Kingston area, a local veterinarian said.

Veterinarian Arnold Rugg of the Kingston Animal Hospital said his practice has seen seven confirmed cases of the virus recently and had at least 15 phone calls from people concerned about their dogs having the disease. He said of the confirmed cases, six of those dogs died.

“So, it’s an outbreak,” Rugg said Monday. He said those confirmed cases were all in the city of Kingston in the areas of Downs, Henry and Cedar streets, as well as Broadway and Clinton and Hurley avenues. Rugg said there were also two cases in the Accord area.

The parvovirus disease is highly communicable and can be spread simply through fecal matter that a dog may walk through, Rugg added.

 

The disease is vaccine responsive, though, so owners should make sure their dogs’ vaccinations are up to date, Rugg said. He said there is a test to determine if a dog has the parvovirus.

“I thought that the public should know,” Rugg said of the situation. He said the virus tends to come in waves.

Parvovirus is a virus seen in dogs that causes the lining of the stomach and the intestine to ulcerate. In some cases, the virus can go straight to a dog’s heart muscle and cause them to die quickly.

Common symptoms of the virus include diarrhea and vomiting. The virus can cause a dog to become dehydrated and collapse.

Treatment of parvovirus includes intravenous fluids, antibiotics and sometimes antiviral medication, Rugg said. He also said everywhere the dog has been has to be cleaned with a mixture of bleach and water to kill the virus.

Rugg said dogs who have been vaccinated for parvovirus may need a booster shot, depending on the last time they were vaccinated. He said some vaccine shots need to only be done once every three years.

The Animal Emergency Clinic of the Hudson Valley also confirmed that its veterinarians had handled cases of parvovirus in the past few months. The clinic said there have been more cases handled in its Kingston location than in its Poughkeepsie office.

Rugg also said there were two cats that had rabies in the Kingston area in the past few months. He said that is another virus that is preventable if pet owners get their animals vaccinated. Rugg also said there are vaccination clinics periodically held to help people obtain low-cost vaccines for their pets.  (Freeman 7/3/12)

 

Fire destroys Kerhonkson's Rainbow Diner

Firefighters battle the blaze at the Rainbow Diner on U.S. Route 209 in Kerhonkson, N.Y., on Monday. (Photo by Tania Barricklo)

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — Fire destroyed the Rainbow Diner on U.S. Route 209 Monday despite the efforts of firefighters from more than a dozen departments.

George Haralabopoulos, who has owned the diner for 26 years, said he was sitting down, talking with a customer late Monday morning when they noticed smoke  outside the window.

“Right away, I got up, and I stormed into the kitchen and all of a sudden, I see the flames coming in through the hoods, the grill was on fire,” said Haralabopoulos, who lives in Lake Katrine.

He immediately called 911.

Accord Fire Chief Paul Rider said at the scene that the call came in at around 11:40 a.m., with the initial dispatch saying it had started in the restaurant’s grill area.

“It’s being a very stubborn fire due to … a couple of drop ceilings, so we can’t get inside because the roof is ready to collapse, so we’ve got to do everything outside,” he said.

Later Monday, Rider said the fire was finally declared out at 5 p.m., leaving the building a total loss.

“We had to bring in an excavator and tear it apart,” he said.

Rider said the blaze started as a grease fire. 

Fire departments had to bring water in with their tankers because there are no hydrants in the area where the fire was. Route 209 was closed for several hours as firefighters battled the blaze.

There were no reports of injuries to the staff or customers inside the restaurant, but one firefighter suffered a twisted ankle while battling the blaze.

Wayne Roosa, whose sister, Caryle Mitchell co-owns the diner with her husband, Haralabopoulos, said the business employed from five to eight people.

Crowds gathered along Route 209 to watch firefighters battling the blaze. Among a group of people huddled to the side was Lisa Bullock, whose grandfather, Henry Bendell, came to New York from Connecticut in the 1950s to build the diner.

It was originally called Bendell’s Diner, she said, and the family sold it to Haralabopoulos in 1986.

“It’s the end of an era,” she said, wiping back her tears. (Freeman 7/3/12)

 

 

 

Ulster County Grand jury indicts Ellenville man for wife’s death in crash

 

KINGSTON, N.Y. — An Ellenville man has been indicted on charges he caused the death of his wife in an October 2011 motor vehicle accident.

Claude S. Moody, 53, of 212 Center St., was indicted by an Ulster County grand jury June 7 on four counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide, all felonies.

Moody was driving a 2002 Toyota Rav 4 on Oct. 4, 2011, on U.S. Route 44/state Route 55 in the town of Rochester when the vehicle struck a backhoe from behind in a construction area near Jenny Lane, Ulster County sheriff’s deputies said. Deputies said Moody’s wife, Demetra Barnes-Moody, 54, was in the front seat of the Toyota and suffered serious injuries to her head and other parts of her body. She died from her injuries after being flown to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, deputies said.

An investigation concluded Moody was under the influence of both alcohol and prescription drugs when the accident occurred, deputies said. He was arrested June 1. (Freeman 6/20/12)

 

 

Kerhonkson woman admits to animal neglect

 

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — A Kerhonkson woman has pleaded guilty to failing to provide sustenance to an animal in a case involving her 8-year-old German shepherd that she had euthanized.

Keri Ann Baker, 40, of 74 Minnewaska Trail, Kerhonkson, pleaded guilty June 4, in Wawarsing Town Court to a charge of failure or neglect in providing an animal necessary sustenance, a misdemeanor of the state Agricultural and Markets Law.

The plea arose from an incident that dates back to January when Baker brought a female German shepherd to the Middletown Humane Society to be euthanized, the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release Tuesday. The release said the extremely poor condition of the dog triggered an investigation by the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The investigation showed the dog had been sick for two years without receiving any medical care or treatment, the release said.

Baker was arrested Feb. 9 by Ulster County SPCA investigators. (Freeman 6/20/12)

 

Accord Speedway Announcer Crashes into House


Stephen Bohn, an announcer at the Accord Speedway drove an automobile into a house located at the corner of Kripplebush Road and Cooper Street in Accord on Friday, June 15th.  He was charged with DWI.  There were no physical injuries to the members of the family who reside in the home, who were present during the accident.  The accident caused approximately $16,000 in damage to the home.  Kripplebush-Lyonsville Fire Department, the State Police and the Marbletown Code Enforcement officer responded to the accident.

 

3 hurt as Kerhonkson man crashes fleeing police, deputies say

ELLENVILLE, N.Y. — An erratic driver being pursued by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies struck an oncoming vehicle on U.S. Route 209, resulting in three injuries, the county Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday.

The driver of the erratic vehicle, a 2005 GMC Canyon, was charged with felony aggravated drunken driving and faces additional charges, deputies said.

The Sheriff’s Office said deputies began following the Canyon northbound on Route 209 about 6:10 p.m. Monday and that when they tried to stop the vehicle, the driver accelerated, struck a berm on the east side of the road, wound up in the southbound lane of Route 209 and struck a 2006 Jeep Liberty head-on.

The Canyon rolled over after the crash, and the driver, Thomas V. Croci, 44, of 29 Kelsey Lane, Kerhonkson, had to be removed by Napanoch firefighters using the Jaws of Life rescue tool, deputies said.

Croci and the driver of the Liberty, Robert Youmans, 37, of Neversink, were flown to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla with fractures and internal injuries, deputies said; Youmans’ passenger, Wendy L. Stoll, 49, of Ellenville, was taken to Ellenville Regional Hospital and then transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie with internal injuries.

Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico said all three individuals were in stable condition as of 3 p.m. Tuesday but remained hospitalized.

Faluotico said state police were reconstructing the accident scene and that the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office will be consulted before additional charges are filed.

He said one of the pending charges against Croci is felony vehicular assault.  (Freeman 6/20/12)

 

 

Man charged with robberies at Accord Speedway

 

ACCORD - Deputies from the Ulster County Sheriff’s office report the arrest of David Rosenfield, 59,of Wingdale, for allegedly stealing money from vehicles and trailers at the Accord Speedway on Sunday.

Deputies responded to a 911 call to investigate a report of a man entering vehicles and utility trailers during a race. Through investigation, deputies determined that Rosenfield had stolen over $1,600 in cash from the vehicles and utility trailers.

Rosenfield is charged with four counts of petit larceny, all misdemeanors. He is in the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 secured bond (Mid Hudson News 7/2/12)

 

 

Convicted killer, 86, released and living in Fla.

CONVICTED MOB KILLER Harold “Kayo” Konigsberg is a free man again after spending more than 48 years in prison.

The 86-year-old Konigsberg was released May 21 from the Walsh Regional Medical Unit on the grounds of the Mohawk Correctional Facility, according to information from the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. He is now on parole and living in the state of Florida.

Konigsberg was serving a sentence of 20 years to life in state prison on felony charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and grand larceny stemming from the 1961 strangulation death of Anthony “Three Fingers” Castellito Sr. Castellito was killed at his summer home near Kerhonkson.

During a Parole Board hearing in April, Konigsberg proclaimed his innocence and raised objections to the proceeding, which was conducted via teleconference, as well as to a risk assessment survey he was required to answer. At times during the hearing, the commissioners conducting the interview asked Konigsberg to be quiet and listen. (Freeman 6/24/12)

 

 

Police Blotter

 

 

• Criminal contempt: Paul Kozlowski, 22, of 58 Jefferson Road, Red Hook, was charged with misdemeanor criminal contempt by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Police said Kozlowski was being interviewed on an unrelated matter when it was realized that he was in the company of a women who had an active order of protection against him issued by Town of Esopus Court. He was released on tickets to appear in Town of Rochester Court on Wednesday.

 

• Petit larceny: David W. Rosenfield, 59, of 29 Rural Ave., Wingdale was arrested Friday at 10:30 p.m. by deputies of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and charged with four counts of misdemeanor petit larceny. Deputies said they responded to a 911 call at 299 Whitfield Rd. in Accord, the Accord Speedway, to investigate a report of a man entering vehicles and utility trailers during a race. Through their investigation, deputies said they determined Rosenfield had stolen more than $1,600 in cash from the vehicles and trailers. He was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail on $5,000 cash bail. (Freeman 7/2/12)

 

u Larceny: Martin E. Williams, 48, of Kerhonkson, was charged with felony grand larceny by state police at Ulster at 11:38 a.m. Wednesday related to an incident reported in the town of Marbletown. He was issued an appearance ticket for Marbletown Town Court. (Freeman 6/29/12)

 

Endangering the welfare of a child: Christopher J. Morici, 28, and Tiffany Rae Ornelas, 23, both of 4726 U.S. Route 209, Accord, were arrested at 4:45 p.m. Sunday and each charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Morici was additional charged with misdemeanor unlawful growing of cannabis and violation possession of marijuana. Ulster County sheriff’s deputies said Morici and Ornelas were arrested after deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive person at their home. While investigating, deputies said they found marijuana being grown and equipment to grow the marijuana. An 8-year-old child was living in the home, deputies said. Morici and Ornelas were released on tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 6/27/12)

 

DWI: Carlos Rojas, 51, of Kerhonkson, was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent by state police in Ulster at 8:50 a.m. on Friday on U.S. Route 209 in the town of Ulster. Rojas was released on an appearance ticket.  (Freeman 6/17/12)

Shoplifting: Victoria L. Ducker, 57, of 1424 Berme Road, Kerhonkson was arrested at 11:45 a.m. Monday on a charge of misdemeanor petit larceny. Ducker was arrested after she was seen taking numerous grocery items from the shelves at the Hannaford grocery store on U.S. Route 9W and placing them in a shopping cart, Ulster town police said. Ducker then left the store with the cart without paying for items worth $237.78 and was stopped by loss prevention personnel, police said. Ducker was released on a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. Shoplifting: Victoria L. Ducker, 57, of 1424 Berme Road, Kerhonkson was arrested at 11:45 a.m. Monday on a charge of misdemeanor petit larceny. Ducker was arrested after she was seen taking numerous grocery items from the shelves at the Hannaford grocery store on U.S. Route 9W and placing them in a shopping cart, Ulster town police said. Ducker then left the store with the cart without paying for items worth $237.78 and was stopped by loss prevention personnel, police said. Ducker was released on a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. (Freeman 6/6/12)

 

DWI: George Christiana, 70, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 3:17 a.m. Sunday on U.S. Route 209 and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 6/4/12)

 

u Grand larceny: Michael T. Taylor, 42, of Kerhonkson, was arrested at 4:52 p.m. Monday by state police at Wawarsing at their barracks on a charge of felony grand larceny. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 5/23/12)

 

u Assault: Joseph H. Asbury, 19, of 584 Main St., St. Remy, was arrested at 7 p.m. Sunday on charges of felony assault and misdemeanor possession of a weapon. Ulster County sheriff’s deputies said the arrest stems from the investigation of four people who received serious injuries from a fight at about 3 a.m. Saturday. The fight occurred during a large party located in a field near the area of 2586 Lucas Turnpike, deputies said. Deputies said one of the victims needed nearly 30 stitches to close wounds to his head and neck. Asbury was identified as the suspect, deputies said. He was arraigned in Marbletown Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. (Freeman 5/23/12)

 

 

 

 

bullet

Rochester Food Pantry Needs Laptop

The Rochester Food Pantry, a non-profit, all volunteer operation, is computerizing its record-keeping and is in need of a functioning, not-too-antiquated laptop computer.  If you have a laptop that you’re willing to donate to the food pantry, please email the details to the FP treasurer, Cameron Bonner, at cambonner@gmail.com.  The donation will be acknowledged with a letter indicating eligibility for a tax deduction.

 

bullet

Town of Rochester Property Tax Grievance Day

The Town of Rochester's Board of Assessment Review will conduct its annual property tax Grievance Day on Thursday, May 24th from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Town Hall. 

The Assessor's Office will maintain an appointment schedule for taxpayers' convenience, however, appointments are not required for the May 24th 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 9:30 p.m. on May 24, 2012. 

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

 

 

bullet

Memorial Day

The Town of Rochester will hold a Memorial Day parade to honor veterans and service personnel on Monday, May 28th with lineup at the Town Hall beginning at 12:30 pm and step-off at 1pm.  The parade route is Town Hall to Granite Road to Scenic Road to Main Street, on to the Accord Firehouse, where a memorial service will be held.

bullet

School Budgets Pass Across The Region

In Rondout Valley, where the district has been racked by controversial decisions to close an elementary school and reconfigure what remains over the past year, with accompanying behavior problems occurring on district buses, voters approved the proposed $56.94 million school budget overwhelmingly, with over 68% of voters saying yes to the spending plan. District clerk Deb Barbiani announced that 1,297 votes were cast in favor of the budget, with just 599 against.

Newcomers Wayne Beckerman and Rebecca Versace got the highest number of votes in the school board race, with 1,221 and 1,190 respectively. Together with incumbent Breanna Costello, who received 1,182 votes, they will each serve full three-year terms starting in July. David O'Halloran, with 1,089 votes, and Michael Redmond, with 1,051, will be immediately sworn in, but their terms will only last until July, 2013.

Earlier this spring, the district briefly considered trying to pass a budget over the state's mandated property tax cap, which ranges between a 2 and 3 percent tax hike, depending on a district's state aid. To do so would have taken a minimum 60 percent approval vote. (Shawangunk Journal 5/17/12)

 

bullet

And The Races Are On!

Accord Speedway Is Off & Running Again

By Terence P. Ward

ACCORD – Accord Speedway is loud and brash, with bright colors and big noises that appeal to fans and hobbyists from grizzled veteran to the fresh-faced youth. It's also strangely retiring, hidden away where no one but its fans, and its neighbors, know where to look. Two or three times a week, hobby racers and those yearning to be pro gather at this track, to find out who is the best at driving extremely fast, while always turning to the left.

The Speedway kicked off its 2012 season with trial races last month, and is now underway with its regular Wednesday and Friday race schedule.

Six different classes of vehicle race at the speedway, although usually only three classes are featured each night. When the track's not crowded by those big kids, there are go-kart races for the younger set. Those and motocross bikes are often the gateway into racing for these hobbyists.

The track takes a tremendous amount of coordination, from the handicapper who decides who races in which heat and tracks the results, to the head starter who waves the flags and makes rulings during the race. That last job is pretty important, because if a driver is thought to have seriously violated the rules (deliberately hitting another car, for example), he'll see the dreaded black flag get waved, which according to regular fan Mike Baden means "get off the track immediately." The same flag is used to pull cars off the track which have serious mechanical problems, or to otherwise protect the health and welfare of all concerned.

Not all owners also drive. Some enjoy being under the hood, and are willing to let others go in circles. Todd Dippel did some racing as a kid, but he's more than happy to let his son Tyler take the wheel. The minimum age to race is just 14, and Tyler is clearly one of the youngest drivers on the course.

The Dippels, who live in Wallkill, have two classes of hot rod: a "crate" and an "open" motor sport. The class descriptions are apt; the crate puts the driver in a metal box, while the driver has a wider field of vision, and a bit less protection, when driving an open motor sport. Either style is safer than motocross; Tyler broke his collar bone in a cycle accident when he was seven.

"I like the adrenaline, the feeling of winning," said Tyler, who won his first race last year and hopes to repeat that success soon. In Friday's races he finished in fifth and seventh places. Regardless of the size of the prize, though, Tyler donates half of his winnings to St. Jude's Hospital.

"That was his idea," says his father Todd of the donations. Dad has to come up with other ideas, like how to motivate his son to focus as much effort on school as he does racing. "He knows that if he doesn't get good grades, he won't race," Todd confirmed. Rick Stone has a few more seasons under his belt than Tyler Dippel — he's been racing one vehicle or another for 52 years, by his count.

"I started with motorcycles as a kid," he said, and moved on to just about every kind of amateur and professional racing available. Stone says that the tiny little lightning sprints cars he races now cost about $25,000, so it's not difficult to understand why sponsors are an important part of the game.

One thing Stone likes about the lightning sprints is that "you have to steer right to go left," so it breaks up some of the monotony experienced behind the wheel. If racing around a track at speeds in excess of 70 mph can be monotonous.

The recession of recent years hasn't been kind to the hobby, which has considerable overhead. Baden, who has been a Friday regular since he was a child, says that there are definitely less drivers than there were only a few years ago.

"Just the cost of fuel has gone up so much that a lot of guys have to give it up," he said.

Baden is a neighbor of the speedway as well, and is not alone in being supportive of the business. Mark Smith, assistant captain of the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad, is always pleased to be on duty during races. "The track has been here since I was a kid, and the squad has always supported th#firefighters on site, manning a fire truck which is owned by the speedway itself.

Speedway owners have expressed an interest in keeping the racing going a bit longer on occasion, when delays caused by the lack of a rescue squad or bad weather causes precious minutes to be lost ahead of 11 p.m., after which no new races may start. Town board members are looking for more specifics before they consider the plan, but a conversation with representatives of the owning Palmer family has yet to make it onto the board's agenda. (Shawangunk Journal 5/10/12)

 

bullet

Hein Plays Solomon

Hasidic Kids' Camps Embroiled In Sect Battle

By Jane Anderson

WAWARSING – Bubbling streams wind through bucolic woods sprinkled with bunkhouses, some that appear to have seen better days, on the outskirts of town. The peace and quiet is a stark contrast to the battles that have been waged recently over who rightfully owns the camps that the properties encompass and the fate of some 3,500 campers hung in the balance this year until Ulster County Executive Mike Hein stepped in to save their summer.

The Ulster County Health Department has taken the first steps this season to open four Satmar religious camps in the town, after Hein temporarily settled an argument between warring factions of a Brooklyn- and Orange County-based Satmar Hasidic sect over the camps.

 

The county planned to begin inspections May 15 on Camp Rav Tov/Ulster Heights, located at 1152 Ulster Heights Road in Ellenville; Camp Rav Tov/Napanoch at 45 Sportsman Road, Napanoch; Camp Rav Tov/Dairyland at 13 Martinfeldt Road, Greenfield Park; and Camp Rav Tov/Kerhonkson at 350 Cherrytown Road, Kerhonkson.

 

The camps require annual permits from the Ulster County Health Department in order to open. But the question of who can apply for such permits sparked the latest battle between brothers Aaron and Zalman Teitelbaum. After fighting over who was to lead Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar, the brothers each broke off into a separate faction in the late 1990s. Zalman's followers are the dominant group in Brooklyn, while Aaron leads a faction at Kiryas Joel, located in Orange County.

 

David Rosenberg, who is affiliated with the Zalman faction, has run the four camps for decades, County Attorney Beatrice Havranek acknowledged in a May 9 letter to the brothers' attorneys. In that letter Havranek announced that the county was issuing the permit to Rosenberg, at least for this year.

 

The decision brought to an end some of the sniping that dragged through the courts for years. In December 2010, Zalman's followers claimed themselves as leaders of Yetev Lev and formally transferred the properties to Rosenberg. Aaron's group challenged the transfer, and it was voided in court in September 2011. At the time, Justice James Gilpatric echoed previous court decisions calling it a religious controversy which cannot be decided by application of neutral principles of law.

 

Nevertheless, in January of this year each faction called itself leader of the congregation and filed for a county permit to operate the camps. Hein's office was then a flurry of activity with letters, telephone calls and personal visits by members of each group, beseeching the county executive to make a decision.

 

The issue caught the attention of congressional hopefuls in New York City as well. Representative Nydia Velazquez supports the camps being owned by more than one group. She is facing a primary this year against NYC Councilman Erik Dilan, who is backed by Assemblyman Vito Lopez — the Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman and a reputed ally of the Zalmanites. Lopez has said Velasquez's support of more than one group owning the camps is a politically poor decision. He visited with Ulster County Executive Mike Hein regarding the camp ownership issue.

 

Hein released a statement May 9 on the controversy:

 

"Each side has made extraordinary efforts to resolve this impasse amicably, but to no avail, and ultimately I must do everything in my power as Ulster County Executive to ensure that the government does not stand in the way of the lawful opening of these children's camps. It is my great hope that both sides of the Satmar dispute will continue to use their collective energies to develop a lasting and long term solution for future operations of these summer camps for the good of the children and to avoid recreating this type of dilemma in the future."

 

The camps must fulfill a number of requirements before being allowed to open. Those include water sampling, a safety plan, documentation to be submitted to the state, insurance requirements including worker's compensation insurance, pre-operation inspections, and other requirements. (Shawangunk Journal 5/17/12)

 

 

bullet

Town of Rochester accident sends mother, child to hospital

Monday, May 14, 2012

TOWN of ROCHESTER, N.Y. — An early afternoon accident Saturday on state Route 209 sent a woman and her child to the hospital for treatment and evaluation.

Deputies of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said they responded to a personal injury automobile accident at 1:50 p.m. They said a 1998 Mitsubishi, operated by Danielle. R. Stangle, 26, of Butrick Road, Ferndale was southbound on Route 209 when her vehicle struck a 2002 Ford operated by Valentina M. Babich, 21, of 130 White Roe Lake Rd., Livingston Manor, from behind.

Deputies said their investigation revealed that Babich was slowing down for traffic in front of her, but Stangle failed to see the slow down because she was looking back to check on the two-year old in the backseat.

They said Stangle was transported to Ellenville Hospital for treatment of facial injuries and the child was also transported there for evaluation. Babich was not injured, they said.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Accord Fire Department and the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad.

 

 

 

bullet

Two men able to get out of crashed vehicles in Marbletown before fire breaks out

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MARBLETOWN, N.Y.— Two vehicles were destroyed by fire following a head-on collision, but the drivers were able to get out before the flames erupted and suffered only minor injuries, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday.

The accident occurred at 11:57 a.m. Monday on county Route 2 in Marbletown, deputies said. They said Kevin F. Taylor, 33, of 62 Kelder Road, Olivebridge ,was driving his 2009 Subaru north on Route 2, while Michael A. Hans Jr., 19, of 42 Hudson River Drive, Saugerties, was driving his 2004 Hyundai south.

Hans lost control of his vehicle, crossed into the northbound lane and struck Taylor’s vehicle head-on, deputies said. They said Taylor’s vehicle then struck a guardrail on the east side of the road.

After both drivers got out of their vehicles, Taylor’s Subaru caught fire, and the flames then ignited Hans’ Hyundai, deputies said.

Both vehicles were destroyed.

Taylor complained of neck and shoulder pain, while Hans complained of abdominal and shoulder pain, deputies said. They said both men were taken to Kingston Hospital by the Marbletown Rescue Squad.

Hans was ticketed for failure to keep right and failure to reduce speed for conditions, deputies said.

The Kripplebush Fire Department also responded to the scene.

 

bullet

Three cars crash in town of Rochester

Friday, May 18, 2012

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After a Kerhonkson resident crashed into a ditch in the town of Rochester, two other vehicles collided when they came upon the accident scene, Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies said Thursday.

Deputies said they saw Casey L. Harkins of Ridgeview Road driving a 2000 Honda Civic south on Lucas Avenue Extension “at a high rate of speed” about 1:21 a.m. Monday and, as they attempted to stop Harkins, the Civic made a right turn onto Old Lucas Turnpike and lost control, ending up in the ditch at the south side of the turnpike.

Harkins was taken to Kingston Hospital by the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad with a hand injury and ticketed for the traffic infractions of speeding, failure to maintain lane, and failure to comply, deputies said.

While the accident was being investigated, deputies said another collision occurred at the same intersection.

Timothy A. Goldstone, 19, of Gold Rock Mountain Estates, Kerhonkson, was driving a 1993 Honda Civic south on Lucas Avenue Extension and, when he came upon the accident, slowed down, when a 1998 Honda Accord driven by 20-year-old Patrick Kelly of Anna Street, Kerhonkson, struck Goldstone’s Civic in the left rear corner, deputies said.

The collision caused “extensive damage to both vehicles,” deputies said.

The pair was evaluated at the scene by emergency medical personnel and refused medical attention, deputies said.

 

bullet

Kerhonkson man charged in theft of more than $7,000 from Stewart's in Hurley

Monday, May 21, 2012

HURLEY, N.Y. — State police at Ulster have arrested a 21-year-old Kerhonkson man and charged him with felony burglary in connection with a theft at a Stewart’s Shop.

Police said on Saturday they arrested Jamie Moran as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, in which Moran is accused of entering and remaining illegally in the Stewart’s Shop located on Main Street in Hurley.

Police said on April 28, while the Stewart’s Shop was closed, Moran stole $7,487.48 and six cartons of cigarettes from the building.

Moran was arraigned and released on his own recognizance with tickets to appear in Hurley Town Court in June.

 

 

bullet

Accord teen badly injured while riding on SUV roof

Sunday, May 13, 2012

MARBLETOWN, N.Y. — A 19-year-old Accord man was seriously injured Friday when he fell off of the roof of an SUV while “roof surfing” on Whitfield Road.

Detectives from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said Tyler G. Rion, of Hornbeck Lane, Accord, exited the front passenger side window of a 1992 Chevrolet Blazer, driven by Leonard Helmich, 20, also of Accord, and fell off of the roof while the vehicle was moving around 5:49 p.m. on Friday.

Police said Rion was allegedly “roof surfing” and struck his head on the pavement from the fall.

Rion suffered head injuries and was transported by helicopter to Westchester County Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition, police said.

The incident is under investigation and charges have not been filed against either of the two men.

 

 

bullet

Police Blotter

 

 DWI: Joseph A. Cioto, 29, of Plattekill, was charged with the felonies of burglary and criminal mischief by state police at Highland and Gardiner at 9:54 a.m. Friday at 476 Cherry Town Road in the town of Rochester. He was being held. (Freeman 5/19/12)

 

DWI: Sean R. Forrest, 28, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing on Upper Granite Road at 11:25 p.m. Saturday and charged with misdemeanor drunken driving. He was issued a ticket to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 5/7/12)

Drugs: Austin R. Davis, 17, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 8:07 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Route 209 and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, use of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of a weapon, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors, and two violations: possession of marijuana and having a controlled substance in a non-original container. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 5/7/12)

 

Drugs: Robert P. VanLeuvan, 37, of 4685 Route 209, Apt. 7, Accord, was arrested by Ulster town police Monday just before 2 p.m. and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, both misdemeanors; possession of a controlled substance outside of its original container, a violation; and two traffic infractions. Also arrested in the incident was Erik J. Berg, 46, of 19 Lower Granite Road, Kerhonkson, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument, misdemeanors; unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation; and consumption of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, an infraction; and Randolph G. Wolfeil, 42, of 68 Ricci Road, Accord, who was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. Police said they stopped a GMC Sonoma for several equipment violations on U.S. Route 9W and found heroin, methadone, marijuana and hypodermic instruments in the car. All three men were released on court appearance tickets. (Freeman 5/22/12)


Tampering: Phyllis E. Barringer, 48, of 325 County Route 2, Kripplebush, was arrested by Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies at 3:36 a.m. Friday on U.S. Route 209 and was charged with tampering with physical evidence, a felony; and possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. Also arrested in the incident was Lisa B. Knauer, 37, of 19 Mettacahonts Road, Kerhonkson, who was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor; and several traffic infractions. Deputies said they stopped a car with a loud exhaust traveling north on Route 209 and saw Barringer, the passenger, throw a crack pipe out of the side door. They said Knauer was driving with a suspended license. Both women were released with court appearance tickets. (Freeman 5/12/12)

bullet


BRADFORD GRAVES SCULPTURE PARK –3rd season opens Saturday, May 12th, 2012 till end of October

 

Kerhonkson, NY – Bradford Graves Sculpture - In the Middle of Somewhere!

 

By appointment only: Call 845 230-0521

email: bradfordgravessculpturepark@gmail.com

http://www.bradfordgravessculpturepark.com

 

 

Bradford Graves ( 1939 – 1998) primarily worked in limestone and possessed a deep and unyielding fascination with archeology and all things of the earth. His sculpture is complex and rich with meaning, simultaneously ancient and modern, raw and sophisticated, solid and luminous. Deeper knowledge of Bradford Graves’ unique inventiveness is to be found only by looking at his massive body of work.

 

On five acres the visitor can spend quiet and leisurely time viewing more than 200 sculptures on display.  The outdoor pieces in the MIRROR PAVILION feature 15 of Graves’ sculpture from the series THIS MIRROR CAN CRACK A STONE.

 

BRADFORD GRAVES SCULPTURE PARK IS THE SECOND LARGEST DISPLAY OF OUT DOOR SCULPTURE IN ULSTER COUNTY AFTER STORM KING.

 

There are smaller pieces and bronzes on display in a separate Gallery.

 

The inspiration that gave rise to Bradford Graves’ work continues to emanate from his large body of sculptures, drawings and digital prints.

 

His extensive personal library is available upon special request .

 

The limestone carvings of Bradford Graves are a celebration of profound perplexity and mystery. They explain themselves neither quickly nor easily.......these silent pieces of chiseled rock plumb the sublime. In their unique way they illuminate mystical dept

Burton Wasserman  May, 1996    ART MATTERS

 

    

 

There is no admission. Contributions are gratefully accepted. The Sculpture Park is a special project of SOUNDSCAPE PRESENTS INC, a not-for-profit Corp.

 

The Sculpture park is available for special events, photo shoots, fashion shows.

 

 

 

 

bullet

An Open Letter to the Community from Members of RDAF (Rochester Defense Against Fracking)

 

We are writing in response to the information we have received from our town board and from other neighboring towns. We are very happy to hear that the towns of Rochester, New Paltz, Marbletown and others are working to pass zoning bans to prohibit fracking in our towns. We appreciate the efforts being made to protect us all and will be present at a public hearing on June 7 at 7pm to discuss the proposed Town of Rochester Local Law #2 of 2012 regarding “Exploration for or Extraction of Natural Gas and/or Petroleum” as presented at the Town Board meeting on May 3rd.

We know that home rule is currently recognized in NY State, so it is urgent to pass these laws now. We also urge the passing of a community bill of rights ordinance, in addition to a zoning ban, to provide greater protection. We have learned that the zoning bans passed in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield are being appealed by the gas corporations, despite the appeal time having expired.

Lawyers from the CELDF (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund), who are experienced on the subject of community rights, zoning bans and rights-based ordinances, recommend strongly that these laws should not be combined but should be passed side by side. See source: www.CELDF.org

For those towns that have already passed a zoning ban, it is easy to later amend it to reference a separate community bill of rights ordinance. The strongest protection is to have the two laws in place, each referring to the other and standing on their own merits. This makes it much more difficult for the gas companies to circumvent these laws.

Both zoning bans and community bill of rights ordinances attempt to protect our towns from fracking; however there are vast differences between them and both are needed.

The zoning ban assumes that our rights are conferred upon us by the State, which can revoke these rights at any point. In Pennsylvania, the Attorney General is suing the people who elected him, on behalf of the corporations. The PA State Legislature has stripped the rights of its citizens to establish home rule in their state. In today’s climate of the “Citizens United” Supreme Court ruling we would be foolish to trust that the State of NY will protect individuals or local towns over corporations or act in our best interest.

In the event that the State of NY does uphold home rule, corporations can still sue under the “takings” clause for lost profit.

A zoning ban merely says that a particular industrial practice cannot be performed in a community, but does not say why. The community bill of rights ordinance is stronger in that it says that our rights are inalienable, cannot be given to us or taken from us by the Federal or State government or any corporation. In attaching these two laws side by side, we are creating the strongest possible protection, asserting our rights and protecting not only ourselves and our environment, but also protecting and practicing democracy.

If a zoning ban is overturned due to the State not recognizing home rule, the community bill of rights ordinance still stands. This is why the two laws need to be separate. This also sends the clearest message to not only the gas and oil companies, but sets an example of courage to surrounding towns to protect themselves in the same way. Since we know that contaminated fracking water migrates for hundreds of miles, we must continue to work with other communities for a statewide ban on fracking, as the State of Vermont has done. Otherwise, a neighboring town that does not ban fracking, can pollute our drinking aquifers with toxic water. We should not be lulled into complacency by thinking that just passing local laws will protect our towns.

Hydrofracking amounts to a gas company seizing control of a community, for its own profits. The arguments of the gas companies that: 1. We need this gas and therefore it is a National Security issue; 2. natural gas is a bridge fuel; 3. it is safe; and 4. that local jobs will be created - are false. Each day there is increasing evidence that these corporate ads are completely misleading. The community bill of rights ordinance addresses the above four points and the zoning ban does not. As well, it addresses our right to a sustainable future.

Therefore, we as informed, concerned citizens, believe it is our best line of defense to pass, as soon as possible, both zoning bans and community bill of rights ordinances, side by side, as the strongest protection we can provide to ourselves, our environment and the future of our communities.

We believe it is our right and responsibility to govern ourselves at the local level of government and also advocate for State, National and World-wide bans against fracking.

Respectfully submitted,

Toby Stover and Rio Stover and

The Members of RDAF (Rochester Defense Against Fracking)

www.rdaf.org  

rochesterdaf@gmail.com

845.687.0692 845.626.7355

 



bullet
Rochester Residents Association Scholarships
The Rochester Residents Association is again offering scholarships for Rondout Valley High School graduating seniors.  
Multiple $1,000 Rochester Residents Association CommunityScholarship will be awarded to graduating high school seniors from the Town ofRochester who demonstrate leadership and academic promise.  
The scholarships will be awarded under the auspices of aScholarship Committee appointed by the RRA and is funded by the RRA's members.
For further information, including an application visit:  
www.accord-kerhonkson.com/scholarships.htm
bullet
Acorn School to Hold Open House
The Acorn School (… for little oaks aged 3 to 7) is holding an open house on Saturday, May 12th at its new location at 2911 Lucas Avenue in Accord from 10am to 12 noon.  For more information contact Motria@AcornSchoolHouse.com
bullet
"USEFUL ADVICE FOR RENOVATING YOUR HOUSE" 
THE SUBJECT OF ILLUSTRATED PANEL DISCUSSION
AT ROCHESTER REFORMED CHURCH 
ON MAY 18, 2012
Every homeowner has a dream about doing renovations on his or her house. Many of us don't know how to begin or who might do the work. We want to respect what previous generations built but also want modern conveniences and energy efficiency. Leading local craftspeople and contractors and owners of historic houses will discuss what they've done and why at an illustrated panel discussion at the Rochester Reformed Church, 5142 Route 209 in Accord, on Friday evening, May 18th, at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.
The evening is sponsored by the Town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission, which organized last year's immensely successful presentation on the town's historic farmsteads. All are invited, including people who are thinking about doing renovations, people who aren't but enjoy hearing about and looking at pictures of cool old houses, and people who are in a house-related craft or profession or thinking about going into that business.
Leading local house professionals on the panel will include Harry Hansen, preservationist and designer of a splendid addition to a National Register-listed house in the Town of Rochester; James and Karin Reynolds, architects who have designed sensitive additions to stone and frame houses; Brian Kennedy of Historic Housewrights, a contracting company that specializes in restoration of old houses and barns, including dismantling old structures piece by piece and reassembling them on a new lot; and Jonathan Nedbor, one of the country's leading blacksmiths who reproduces historic forged ironwork, and specializes in the ironwork of the Hudson Valley. 
Each speaker will show images of his or her work. Questions and comments from the audience will be encouraged. After the program, refreshments will be served and illustrated surveys of historic structures and farmsteads in the Town of Rochester will be offered for sale.
Special Note: The Town of Rochester is looking for residents with an interest in history, architecture and open space to apply for membership on the Historic Preservation Commission. Please contact the Town Supervisor's Office for application information ((845) 626-3043). 
Bring yourself, bring a friend, meet your neighbors, and stay for free refreshments.
WHEN: May 18, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
WHERE: Rochester Reformed Church, 5142 Route 209, Accord, NY
For more information or directions to the Reformed Church, please call (845) 256-5587 or go to http://www.rochesterreformedchurch.org/locateus.htm .
	For more information, contact:  wmintz@nyc.rr.com

bullet
Town of Rochester Property Tax Grievance Day
The Town of Rochester's Board of Assessment Review will conduct its annual property tax Grievance Day on Thursday, May 24th from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Town Hall.  
The Assessor's Office will maintain an appointment schedule for taxpayers' convenience, however, appointments are not required for the May 24th 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 9:30 p.m. on May 24, 2012.  
For more information, property owners may contact the Assessor's Office at 626-0920.


bullet
Rondout School District Budget Proposed
The Rondout Valley Central School District's board of eduction presented a $56.9 million budget for the 2012-13 school year, which is a 3.18% decrease from the prior year's budget.    The proposed budget includes a $34.3 million tax levy and a tax rate increase of 1.99%.  Included in proposed cuts are the terminations of 28 staff members.    The budget must be approved by voters on May 15th.  Five school board members will also be elected on that day.  For an absentee ballot application, visit www.accord-kerhonkson.com 
Town Government News
At the April 15 meeting, the Town Board:
Adopted a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking and the storage, sue, and transport of materials used in or for the process as well as waste products from the hydraulic fracturing process within the Town of Rochester.
Changed the date of Property Tax Grievance Day to May 24th 
The Planning Board approved an application to install three additional antennas on an existing cell tower located at 82 City Hall Road as well as a 1,700 sq. ft. addition to the Saunderskill Farm Market.  
bullet
1519 Patroon Grange to close
The Accord chapter of the Grange has lost its charter from the NYS Grange due to declining membership arising from internal disagreements and possible financial irregularities.  The organization's 165-year old building, located next door to A&M Hardware is expected to be sold.  (excerpted from the Blue Stone Press 4/20/12)

 

bullet
Apply for pre-K in Rondout
KYSERIKE, N.Y. - Applications are now available for the Universal Prekindergarten program in the Rondout Valley school district.
Seats will be offered based on a public lottery to be held on May 15 at 6 p.m. at the High School Library. You must be a resident of the Rondout school district and your child must be 4 years old on or before December 1, 2012. Applications can be picked up at any Rondout Valley elementary school, the district office or can be printed from www.rondout.k12.ny.us.
bullet
Falling tree injures Accord motorist
ACCORD - A 50-year-old woman was injured Saturday when a large tree branch broke and fell onto the windshield of the car she was driving on Lower Whitfield Road.
Debra J. Fehring of 176 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord, suffered head and facial cuts and complained to emergency responders of neck and leg pain. She was taken to Kingston Hospital by the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad.
Deputies said the branch fell onto her car, a 2006 Nissan Altima, as she was trying to stop. Her car then rolled off the south side of the roadway and struck a small tree with its open rear door as she tried to get out of the car, deputies said.  (Freeman 5/1/12)

 

bullet

Police Blotter
DWI: Kenneth Klein, 24, of Accord, was arrested at 2:09 a.m. on Thursday by state police at Wawarsing and charged with misdemeanor drunken driving following a traffic stop on U.S. Route 209, in the town of Rochester. He was issued tickets for Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 4/27/12)
Contempt: Jaimee Cottier, 29, of 295 Mettacahonts Road, Accord, was arrested by Ulster County Sheriff's deputies at 12 a.m. Saturday and charged with criminal contempt and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors; and two counts of harassment, a violation. The Sheriff's Office said  Cottier threatened to harm her ex-boyfriend and his mother and damaged a window screen at the victim's home. She was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and was released pending a further court appearance. (Freeman 5/1/12)
o DWI: Tyler G. Rion, 19, of Accord, was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent by state police in Wawarsing at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday on Mettacahonts Rd. in the town of Rochester. Rion also was charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation and was released on tickets. (Freeman 4/29/12)
Shoplifting: Adam Boudreau, 17, of Kerhonkson, was charged with misdemeanor petit larceny and misdemeanor criminal trespass by state police in Wawarsing at 4 p.m. on Friday. Boudreau was released on tickets (Freeman 4/29/12)
Weapons possession: Michael B. Youmans, 20, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Ulster at 7:25 p.m. Thursday on U.S. Route 209 and charged with possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor; and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. He was released with a court appearance ticket. (Freeman 4/21/12)
DWI: Ronald J. Rider, 30, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Ellenville at 4:38 p.m. Sunday on Lucas Turnpike and charged with aggravated drunken driving, a felony; and drunken driving, a misdemeanor. He was released on his own recognizance. (Freeman 4/21/12)
bullet
Letters
In regard to the Letter to the editor that is signed by "Citizens of the Town of Rochester, NY", I am a Citizen of the Town of Rochester, NY and I don't recall signing any such letter. I'd appreciate it if the actual letter writer would sign it. "Anonymous" has no value in my book.
Glenn Pomerantz
Citizen of the Town of Rochester, NY

 

 

bullet

Rochester Residents Association Scholarships

 

The Rochester Residents Association is again offering scholarships for Rondout Valley High School graduating seniors. 

 

Multiple $1,000 Rochester Residents Association CommunityScholarship will be awarded to graduating high school seniors from the Town ofRochester who demonstrate leadership and academic promise. 

 

The scholarships will be awarded under the auspices of aScholarship Committee appointed by the RRA and is funded by the RRA's members.

 

For further information, including an application visit: 

 

www.accord-kerhonkson.com/scholarships.htm

 

 

bullet

Acorn School to Hold Open House

The Acorn School (… for little oaks aged 3 to 7) is holding an open house on Saturday, May 12th at its new location at 2911 Lucas Avenue in Accord from 10am to 12 noon.  For more information contact Motria@AcornSchoolHouse.com

 

 

 

bullet

Transfer Station Open Mondays

The Town of Rochester Transfer Station is now operating under Spring/Summer hours

Will be open Mondays for the period of April 2, 2012 until September 30, 2012

 

 

 

bullet

Town Board Notes

Excerpted from the Blue Stone Press

 

At its workshop meeting on March 29th, the Town Board:

Discussed community concern regarding the addition of additional cellular antennas onto the existing cell tower off City Hall Road.  Residents have raised concerns about possible adverse affects on health and property values.  Planning Board chair Mike Baden gave an overview on the Town’s limited ability to regulate cellular communications due to overriding federal law.

Discussed the possibility of establishing a town constabulary to provide local peace officers for the town.  Supervisor Chipman said he first wanted to determine if there was an actual need in the town for the force , which was raised by a resident.  The former constabulary was discontinued in 2003 due to potential liability issues and training requirements.

 

The Ulster County Comptroller recently issued a letter to the town asserting that the town did not properly budget for safety net costs.  Supervisor Chipman said that Rochester budgeted for the potential expense in the same manner as other Ulster County towns.  The funds are for temporary assistance provided to needy individuals and is administered by the County with a portion being billed to the municipality of the recipient.  Ulster County is the only county that does not pay this expense at the County level.

 

bullet

No contest in Upcoming School Board Election

In the Rondout Valley school district, five seats are up for election, three of which carry three-year terms and two of which carry one-year terms. The three-year term seats are currently held by Breanna Costello, Gail Hutchins and Matthew Finck. The one-year terms are the result of resignations by former Trustees Lennart Berg and William Oliva.

Petitions for election have been filed by: Costello of 29 Laurel Hollow Estates, Kerhonkson; Wayne Beckerman of 116 Leggett Road, Stone Ridge; David O’Halloran of 230 Boice Mill Road, Kerhonkson; Rebecca Versace of 14 Church Hill Road, High Falls; and Michael Redmond of 4974 U.S. Route 209, Accord.

Redmond had been appointed to fill part of the term for Oliva’s seat and O’Halloran had been appointed to fill a portion of the term for Berg’s seat.

 

bullet

Supervisors in towns of Rochester, Ulster breaking state law by omitting welfare costs, Ulster County says

By PATRICIA DOXSEY, Freeman staff
 

KINGSTON, N.Y. — The Ulster County Comptroller’s Office says supervisors in two Ulster County towns have broken the law and misled their constituents by crafting town budgets that don’t include costs of the Safety Net welfare program.

In letters to Ulster Supervisor James Quigley and Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Eriole said state law requires towns to fund the social services program.

“We feel that you have misled your constituents in presenting a budget without accounting for a known, non-discretionary expense and recommend you take action to correct the budget immediately,” Eriole stated in the letter, dated Tuesday.

Eriole said that because the towns are mandated under to fund the program, the state Comptroller’s Office could force the town’s to redo their budgets to include the expense, a move, he said, that would “place a burden” on town residents.

Mark Johnson, deputy press secretary for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, declined to comment on  the towns’ actions.

Quigley and Chipman disputed Eriole’s claim and said they are being singled out for what other municipalities have done in the past and what the city of Kingston does routinely.

“How is the town not responsible when the county is getting paid for the exact amount of Safety Net in the subsequent period?” Quigley said. “The section doesn’t say we have to budget for it. It says we shall be responsible for it.

“We are not forsaking our responsibility,” he added. “The county is being reimbursed the money it is expending; it’s just not being reimbursed the way they want it.”

“I believe they’re incorrect,” Chipman said of the county comptroller’s interpretation of the law.

Not including the cost of the Safety Net program in their town budgets forces the county to “relevy” those costs on next year’s tax bill.

Ulster County Budget Director J.J. Hanson said doing that would force the county to consider those costs as county expenses, limiting the amount of money the county could raise through property taxes to support its own programs while still remaining under the state-imposed property tax cap.

Quigley said requiring towns to continue budgeting the program’s costs is an attempt by the county “to suppress the taxpayers’ right to know what the costs are that are being mandated by whatever level of government.”

He said the city of Kingston has long included Safety Net costs as a separate line on its property tax bills rather than as a line item in its operating budget.

He said that in 2011, the county relevied the Safety Net costs of seven towns and the city of Kingston, totalling $1.4 million, or 53.4 percent of the overall local share of the program’s costs.

What level of government should pay the local share of Safety Net costs has long been a point of contention in Ulster County, which is the only county in the state that requires municipalities to pay the costs associated with the program expenses in their communities. The city of Kingston and towns with high Safety Net costs want the county to take over the cost of the welfare program, while communities that have little or no Safety Net expenses fear their county taxes will go up with a county takeover of the program.
Freeman 3/29/12

 

 

Ulster County Dispatch

bullet

Resounding Opposition To Use of Hydrofracking Fluids

By Paula Sirc

STONE RIDGE – Moving the venue for Tuesday night's legislative session to the Ulster County Community College's auditorium was a prescient decision for Terry Bernardo, Chair of the Ulster County Legislature; more than 300 people filed into the auditorium to express their support for a resolution that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing fluids, or wastewater brine extracted during the hydrofracking process, to de-ice county roads.

Hydraulic fracturing, or hydro-fracking, is a controversial process that drills horizontal fractures in rock formations using highly pressurized, chemical-laden fluids to increase the rate and recovery of natural gas.

Ken Wishnick, D-New Paltz, who sponsored the law, told the cheering crowd that "we want to be the first county in the state of New York to enact a law of this type."

In essence, the hearing was of little consequence in terms of using the by-product as County Executive Mike Hein last week upstaged the hearing, and legislature, by issuing an executive order that prevents the spreading of brine from hydraulic fracturing on any county-maintained roads.

While his order bans "the purchase of any liquid waste product from hydraulic fracturing operations or the use of any such fracking brine by any part of Ulster County," it does not apply to town or state roads in the county.

Wishnick, a first-term legislator, is pushing to broaden the scope of the initial bill to include gas wastewater brine from conventional vertical NY gas wells, which the NYS Department of Conservation claims is safe despite the fact that their own tests indicate the contrary.

Noting that though the county has never used brining solution to de-ice its roads, Wishnick said he believes, "you're most effective when you act preemptively."

More than 50 people signed up to speak against the practice during Tuesday's forum, many of them urging the legislature to tighten the resolution to avoid loopholes. They also encouraged individual towns to pass legislation banning its use on town roads.

The crowd contends that the gas industry's problem is disposing of its massive byproduct, which anti-frackers say is radioactive and toxic. New York's DEC has issued permits for application of gas waste water brine on roadways for de-icing NY highways.

Citing his work evaluating the groundwater movement and water quality aspects of hydraulic fracturing, hydrogeologist Paul Rubin told lawmakers that "the concept of knowingly and intentionally advocating planned dispersal of fracking brines onto our roadways defies all logic and common sense."

Andi Weiss Bartczak of Gardiner, an environmental toxicologist, cited scientific studies conducted in Colorado that link the chemicals in fracking brine to respiratory and organ problems.

Elly Wininger of Lake Hill urged legislators to strengthen the law so it would withstand the test of time. She noted that the United Nations defines water as a "human right." Eleven-year-old Violet Hansen, from Rosendale, begged the legislature to not spread cancer-causing chemicals on our roadways, saying, "Earth is the only planet that can sustain life because of water. We are about to throw it all away because of money. Many people think kids don't pay attention to what's going on, but we do. Washington Irving wrote about the beauty of the Catskills; that beauty will be gone forever because of fracking."

Last year, the county legislature unanimously adopted a resolution, sponsored by former legislator Susan Zimet, prohibiting the leasing of any county-owned land for high-volume and chemical slick water hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.

Zimet, who has continued her fight against the drilling industry as the town of New Paltz's supervisor, urged the audience to send letters to Governor Cuomo asking him "to slow down, do the health impacts that need to be done, and don't pass this fracking anywhere in NYS."

In February, Cuomo said it would take the state DEC about a month to review the 61,000 comments submitted on draft regulations and an environmental report about hydrofracking. DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said it would be months before the regulations and reports are due. But, Martens also said it was entirely possible that an "extremely limited number" of hydrofracking permits could be issued this year.  (Shawangunk Journal 4/19/2012)

 

bullet

Accord man explores Amelia Earhart aviation mystery

1937 crash inspires cyberflight

By Jeremiah Horrigan

Times Herald-Record

Published: 2:00 AM - 04/03/12

KERHONKSON — The fate of Amelia Earhart is the last great mystery of aviation history.

Millions of dollars have been spent trying to find what remains of the plane in which she had hoped to circumnavigate the world — the plane that crashed somewhere near Howland Island in the Central Pacific Ocean 75 years ago.

And now, an Accord man has developed a tool that might enable intrepid armchair aviators to find an answer to that mystery themselves.

Jonathan Blair is a former National Geographic photographer who was aboard one of those million-dollar "search for Amelia" missions about 10 years ago.

Blair caught the Amelia bug. He read all the books written about the search — what he now laughingly calls his collection of "we didn't find her" books.

His reading and research led him to conclude there was "something goofy" about all the efforts to locate the wreckage of Earhart's Lockheed Electra L10E "Special," the plane in which she and navigator Fred Noonan crashed in July 1937.

"Everybody was looking in the same place, and no one had found her," Blair said.

What if, Blair wondered, instead of booking passage on one of those search efforts (typical fare: $50,000), he could instead book passage on a virtual duplicate of Earhart's plane?

Why couldn't he duplicate her flight path and make his own investigation?

Blair calls the answer to those questions The Electra Project. With a thoroughness that Earhart herself would have benefitted from, he and a crew of investors and researchers have meticulously re-created the Lockheed Electra L10E "Special," the bimotor monoplane that was supposed to carry Earhart across the Pacific but instead became her tomb.

Blair is putting the final touches on the program, which runs on a popular flight simulator program called X-Plane.

After two years of intensive research and costs of $50,000, it's scheduled for public release in June — just before the 75th anniversary of Earhart's disappearance.

Flying a cybertool

Blair is 71, though he bounds about his living room with the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age.

He's seen the world from some rarified perspectives: from the bottom of the ocean while shooting for National Geographic, for example.

He calls the Electra Project a "video game with teeth." It's a description that doesn't appear to do the project justice.

The project is a sort of virtual time capsule. Blair has researched every bit of historical data available about Earhart's "Special," relying on primary sources such as the U.S. Naval Archives.

Coupled with the flight simulator package, the plane can record flight information such as altitude, speed, latitude, longitude and engine performance. It also can reproduce the weather conditions that presumably played a part in Earhart's crash.

Blair cautions that flying a cyber-Electra won't pinpoint the plane's exact location. It is, as he notes, a tool. People who fly it will generate their own insights and theories, just as Blair has.

Blair has logged six 19-hour cyberflights at the controls of his cyberplane. He's convinced that all the major on-site investigations have been way off course.

"After four deep-water searches, all of them west of Howland Island, I'd say to (the searchers), 'Guys, I think you're missing a bet here — why not look east?'"

No one has answered his question.

Yet.

jhorrigan@th-record.com

 

 

 

bullet

Kerhonkson school wins award for mixing it up

Thursday, April 19, 2012

By ARIEL ZANGLA, Freeman staff
 

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — Kerhonkson Elementary School Principal Laura Ayasse says she’s proud of her students and staff for helping the school be named as “Mix It Up Model School” by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program.

Kerhonkson Elementary was one of 77 schools from across the country that received the honor.

“This was one of my goals for the building,” Ayasse said. She said the entire school population was involved in “National Mix It Up at Lunch Day,” held Oct. 18.

At an assembly that day, students watched a video of author Todd Parr reading from his “The Peace Book.” Copies of the book were distributed to each classroom as well as the school library, Ayasse said.

At lunch, students were given random numbers so they would sit at different tables and meet new people they might not otherwise interact with, Ayasse said. She said teachers also shared activities with their students.

For more than a decade, Mix It Up Day has provided students across the country with an opportunity to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, according to  the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center. The center describes it as a simple act “with profound implications, as studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice.”

Last year, 5,500 schools took part in the event, according to the center.

Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: hosting a Mix It Up at Lunch Day in 2011; including different members of the school community in organizing the event; following up with at least two additional related programs or events; publicizing the event; and seeing the event viewed by students and school officials as a success.

Ayasse said her goal as principal is to bring the community into the school and create an environment of tolerance for students. She said as part of that goal the school holds a monthly assembly, like the one on National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, that focus on topics like how to be respectful or how to be a friend. There are also related activities, she said.

“For my students to walk in every day and be respected and know they are safe is very important to me,” Ayasse said.

Ayasse said she plans to have the school participate in this year’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day, scheduled for Oct. 30. (Freeman 4/19/2012)

 

 

bullet

'Working together saves lives': Kerhonkson-Accord rescue squad, Accord fire companies hone extrication skills

Monday, April 2, 2012

By ANN GIBBONS
Freeman staff
agibbons@freemanonline.com; twitter.com/AnnAtFreeman

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — Cooperation is a fine human virtue, but the benign noun rises to the level of the urgent verb cooperate! when lives are at stake.

Fully aware of the need to work together, members of Accord Fire Companies 1, 2 and 3, along with the Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad, recently staged a cooperative extrication drill involving the rescue and treatment of “patients” from a mock motor vehicle accident.

“Teamwork saves lives,” said RosaLou Novi, training officer for the first aid squad. “We and the firefighters are often in crises together, and we must work well together.”

Novi, who sometimes runs several drills per month, said the firefighters set up the recent drill, in which severely injured mannequin “patients” needed to be rescued with various extrication devices from a badly damaged rollover vehicle.

“More than 30 members of the three fire companies worked to free the trapped ‘patients’ as a dozen EMS members treated and prepared the ‘injured’ for transport,” Novi said of the training exercise.

The drill, organized by firefighters Will Farrell Jr. and Dave Avery, involved the rescue of three mock patients — an unbelted front-seat passenger who broke through the windshield, an injured infant whose child seat had not been correctly installed and another person  trapped in the back of the vehicle.

“The entire vehicle had to be dismantled at the scene to free the patients,” Novi said. “Participants had to handle everything from unsafe scene conditions to dealing with the unexpected arrival of an hysterical ‘family member.’”

Now retired as a teacher from the Marbletown Elementary School, Novi has the time to devote to her other career: emergency services. Feeling somewhat guilty because she did not set up the drill, Novi said she took the photos.



“The drill,” Novi said, “are an excellent opportunity to work together on our skills in a situation where lives are not at stake.”

To the casual observer, Novi said, an accident scene looks like total chaos, but, in fact, it is organized chaos. “The firefighters have some jobs. We EMS have other jobs. Sometimes,they overlap and we decide at the scene who will take over what responsibility,” she said.

At the scene, the chief or lieutenant takes charge of firefighters, and EMS has its own in-charge person. “During a major incident, we may share command,” Novi said.

“But,” she said, “if I’m on my way home and come upon an accident, as first responder I’m in charge of the scene.” She said she parks her vehicle in such a way as to shield the scene as safely as she can but leaves the keys in it.

“When the firefighters arrive, they move my vehicle out of the way and set up the scene properly,” Novi said.

Novi said her vehicle has a green light that she uses when responding to a scene. “It doesn’t give me any particular rights, but it does let people know I’m working,” she said.

Novi NOTED that all the firefighters and EMS staff are volunteers. “No one gets paid,” she said.

But, she said, the fire companies are fortunate to have in command at the scene former military personnel who know how to be in charge.

She said Mark Smith, of the Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad, had 10 years of active duty with the U.S. Army, serving in Iraq and with the Secret Service; and Farrell is an ex-Marine who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan.

“I think it’s such generosity of spirit for these young men to return home and put their time and effort into serving their communities,” Novi said.

As for the cooperative efforts of the various emergency responders, Novi said: “We do a lot of training together, and firefighters have been trained to assist us at the scene.” For example, she said, firefighters have been trained to hold an injured person’s head in a stabilized position.

And even though it was only a mannequin’s head that encountered the windshield during the recent extrication drill, “we do get those (in real accidents),” Novi said. “And that’s where the equipment and skills matter most.”

In the drill, the glass first needed to be cut away from the patient’s head. Then the entire windshield needed to be removed. In the meantime, the injured person’s head and body needed to be supported.

“When I say, ‘Get me a bird,’ firefighters will set up a landing zone for us or find the nearest designated landing zone,” Novi said of the need for removing patients by helicopter from accident scenes. “If I need lifting assistance, I ask for ‘manpower, please,’ and several strong guys come over to help out.”

Novi said EMS workers will not enter a vehicle that’s been in an accident until firefighters have it stabilized.

“Sometimes, I’ve climbed into a car and I’ll feel a thump as a firefighter drops a helmet on my head,” she said. “Then he will reach a hand around me to fasten it.

“We watch out for each other,” Novi said. “We keep an eye on the firefighters. When they come out of a burning building, we check their blood pressure and oxygen levels to make sure they’re safe at the scene.”

Novi said firefighters and EMS personnel have tremendous respect for each other’s abilities. “Working together saves lives,” she said. “If we don’t work smoothly with each other, everything takes more time.”

Novi said an upcoming cooperative drill will occur just before high school prom season and will be held at Rondout Valley High School, with the student body as observers.

“The drill will be a drunken driving disaster in which there will be at least one fatality,” Novi said. She said the scene will be like a still-life — until the siren goes off.

“Then, we all start responding to the scene.”

 

 

bullet

Kerhonkson woman, 49, dies after crash on Samsonville Road

Monday, April 2, 2012

By Freeman staff

KERHONKSON — A 49-year-old Kerhonkson woman died after her car went off Samsonville Road and struck a fence and small trees, police said on Sunday.

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said Lisa VanOrden of Cedar Drive was westbound on Samsonville Road in a 2007 Toyota Camry about 3:40 p.m. Saturday when the accident occurred.

VanOrden was found unconscious at the scene and was taken to Ellenville Hospital, where she died, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The cause of the accident and VanOrden’s death remained under investigation on Sunday. (Freeman 4/2/2012)

 

Freeman 4/2/12

 

Policing The RV Busses

bullet

Special Prosecutor Appointed in School's Hate Crime Case

By Terence P. Ward

RONDOUT VALLEY – The case against Jason Gambino, a Rondout Valley high school student accused of harassing a younger student on a school bus because of the other boy's sexual orientation, will be tried by a special prosecutor, according to the Ulster County District Attorney's office.

Kingston attorney Eric Schneider was appointed as special prosecutor in the case because an attorney who recently joined the DA's office had lately worked for the firm which is representing Gambino. Schneider said that this is fairly standard practice to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

"These are serious allegations, and I plan on performing a thorough investigation into the facts of this case," Schneider said. "In my prosecutorial role, I'm here to serve the public."

Gambino was charged on January 6 with harassment and stalking in connection with the allegations. While felonies, such as stalking, are usually moved to the state's Supreme Court, Schneider said that this case is still before Justice Shaheen in the Rochester Town Court.

The district attorney's office did not return repeated calls about another bus-related incident in which a male student was arrested this winter for exposing himself at least three times over a period of time. The accused in that case is a minor, unlike Gambino, and his name has not been released.

School officials have been concerned about behavior on the buses before these two incidents occurred, as the district's reconfiguration plans call for children in grades four through twelve to start sharing bus rides to the main campus. Patricia Robbins, who will head up the new upper elementary school for grades 4-6, has made rooting out bullying a priority.

The district is also rolling out a program called "Peaceful School Buses," which is "a whole-school program that's designed to decrease inappropriate behavior on buses while creating a climate of respect and cooperation," according to the program's web site. This is accomplished through pairing younger and older students, team-building exercises which include the bus driver, and open communication about bullying.

On a related note, a second forum in the series "Assisting Our At-Risk Students" was held last week in the Rondout Valley high school library. The two dozen attendees included parents, school personnel, the Rosendale police chief, and counselors specializing in youth drug use and risky behavior. Participants discussed the reasons why children engage in risky behaviors, including access to drugs and the tacit or explicit permission of parents, and talked about specific strategies which could be used to reduce those risks.  (Shawangunk Journal 4/5/2012)

 

 

New Paltz man suffers minor injuries in Kerhonkson plane crash

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — A 50-year-old New Paltz man suffered only minor injuries when the experimental single-engine plane he was flying struck a tree and crashed about 5:40 p.m. Thursday in this town of Rochester hamlet, according to state police.

Mark Thomas already was out of the plane when emergency responders arrived at the scene and was conscious and alert, said Senior Investigator Stan O’Dell.

Thomas, the plane’s pilot and sole occupant, was taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie with non-life-threatening injuries, O’Dell said.

O’Dell said the plane took off from a small airport in Plattekill and was flying at a low altitude over Old Queens Highway near U.S. Route 209 in Kerhonkson when it struck the tree and crashed in a field. O’Dell estimated the fall was less than 50 feet.

The aircraft was resting on its nose when emergency responders arrived, according to a police press release.

O’Dell did not know where the aircraft, which he described as a two-seat biplane, was headed when the accident occurred.

He said the cause of the accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

 

Freeman 4/6/2012

 

Driver flees town of Rochester crash; 1 hospitalized

Sunday, April 8, 2012

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y.  — Two men were arrested Saturday morning after sheriff’s deputies responded to an automobile accident on Lucas Ave. in the town of Rochester.

Deputies from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said that Patrick J. Rion, 21, of U.S. Route 209, Kerhonkson, was struck from behind when the 2008 Dodge truck he was operating turned in front of a 2000 Honda Civic, driven by Peter A. Wenzel, 31, of New Salem Rd., Kingston.

Rion was turning off of county Route 6 onto Lucas Ave. and was hit by Wenzel, who had just passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone, police said. (Freeman 4/8/12)

Police said Rion fled the scene and was later located by deputies and state police.

Wenzel was transported to Kingston Hospital with a back injury by Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue. He was charged with misdemeanor aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and the traffic infractions of driving without a license and passing in a no passing zone. He was released on tickets to appear in Town of Rochester Court at 6 p.m. on April 18.

Rion was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving, misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent and misdemeanor leaving the scene of a personal injury automobile accident.

He also was charged with failing to yield from a stop sign and was released on tickets for Town of Rochester Court at 6 p.m. on April 18.


Police Blotter

 

Endangering: Glen Peck, 27, of Accord, was arrested at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday by state police at Ellenville on charges of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and violation harassment. He was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released on his own recognizance. (4/19/2012)

Grand larceny: Catherine M. Fox, 46, of Kerhonkson, was charged Thursday with felony grand larceny, identify theft, and misdemeanor unlawful possession of personal indentification information, according to state police at Wawarsing. A state [police investigation revealed that Fox had stolen a debit card along with the associated pin number from a family member, police said. She used it to steal more than $3,000.00 from the victim’s bank account from December to January, police said. Fox stole the money by utilizing area ATMs with the card and pin number to withdraw cash from the victim’s account, police said. Fox was arraigned before Town Justice Albert Babcock in the Town of Rochester Court where she was released without bail. She is to appear in the Town of Rochester Court on May 2 at 6 p.m. (Freeman 4/6/12)

 

Aggravated unlicensed operation: Antonio Santiago, 29, of 439 Granit Road, Kerhonkson was arrested Sunday at 6:29 a.m. by Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with two misdemeanors: operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device and aggravated unlicensed operation, as well as two traffic infractions: speeding and unlicensed operator. Deputies said they observed a vehicle speeding on Minnewaska Trail in Kerhonkson. They said investigation revealed that following a previous drunken driving conviction, Santiago was restricted to driving vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device. They said there was no device on the vehicle Santiago was driving and he was charged, processed and issued tickets to appear in Kerhonkson Town Court. (4/16/12)

 

 

 

 

 

bullet

Letters

 

To The Rochester Town Board,

 

The community members concerned with improprieties of the cell phone tower located at 82 City Hall Road in Accord would like to meet with you. We are requesting a meeting after April 5th and before the Planning Board meeting on April 10th, 2012. We have presented many questions to the town board, the planning board and code enforcement that have yet to be answered. Please let us know when you will be able to meet with us and provide us with specifics concerning the issues below. Do we have your support to navigate the discrepancies identified below?

Will the public hearing for the addition of new antennas be held open until our inquiries have been satisfied? How long will it be held open?

Will you reinstate Section 130 of the Town Code (repealed 2009)? What can we do to help?

Is the original application for the tower still missing? Are the site drawings modified for the court mandate still missing? Are the leases between the town, the tower owner, the Wicks and the cell phone companies still unaccounted for?

Will you contact T-Mobile to request the antennas be only put on town towers? When can we expect an answer? Who will be making this request? There are many benefits to this solution. The Town will recoup much needed funds and it is likely that the town's towers are better sited to supply the needs of more people. The Town can also easily monitor its own towers and T-Mobile can sidestep mounting controversy. One of the town's towers is on a mine, the other is on a land-fill. Both are in less populated areas that are not zoned residential. This is relatively close to a win-win and is well within the town's province.

Why hasn't code enforcement ever been to the tower? If Jerry Davis (Code Enforcement Officer since 2006) is not qualified to inspect this commercial operation within the town's jurisdiction, we request the town contract an independent engineer. Has anyone from the town ever been to the tower? Why does the town have no key or access to the tower? Why can no one from the town tell us how many antenna are on the tower or how many are supposed to be on the tower? Whose job is this?

Despite heavy machinery and construction noise coming from the tower recently, why have there have been no permits taken out? Is the new equipment on the tower legal? Can anyone even say if this fifteen year old tower can hold three more antennas (the modified structural drawings are missing). Why are there currently upwards of three cell phone companies using the tower, but the town only has records of two? The communications shelter by the tower is supposed to be 12x20. Is it? The T-Mobile spokesman mentioned a 2500sqft space (50x50). What is the discrepancy here?

There is supposed to be a $15,000 bond with the town to pay for removal of the tower if Cellular One no longer needs the tower. Our understanding is that Cellular One was sold to AT&T who sold it to someone else. Is this tower's existence even legal as determined by the court mandate? How is it this thing can be transferred back and forth without any town involvement? The town is supposed to be named as an additional insured party to the cell companies policies. Is it? Why has there been a 120 foot wireless facility emitting electromagnetic radiation in our neighborhood (a district zoned R-2) without the town monitoring its compliance with the Supreme Court Mandate or Town Code since 1997? Is this the mode of operation in regards to the town towers as well? If the tower existence is grandfathered in then it should be liable to code violations from whichever code was in place at that time.

Will you require independent testing of emissions of all towers in the Town of Rochester to verify they are within FCC requirements? Will you require this of the tower on City Hall Road immediately? Even though Congress outlawed objection to wireless facilities for health reasons, the FCC has declared what emissions levels it considers healthy. If emissions exceed requirements they are by definition illegal. There is not one example of testing for compliance with FCC emissions standards on this tower by anyone ever. Every cell tower has a sign on it that says it is dangerous to go beyond this point. It may be hard to prove health effects, but these towers are being pulled down in other countries and there is enough research out there to at least question long term exposure. The World Health Organization has declared EMF Radiation as possibly carcinogenic. Here is one of many studies: http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/mice-proteome/

There is at least one example of a buyer walking away from a bordering property because of the tower and another example of home owners moving and selling their home at a loss because of the tower. Towers and antennas have been defeated in US courts due to the decline of nearby property values. Cell towers should not be on residential land and should not be added to.

We would like an environmental impact study done and will be contacting the DEC for their input.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Citizens of the Town of Rochester, NY

 


 

Dear Editor

 

As regards the Cell Tower controversy, 15 years after the first tower/antennas came into our town, we still have not taken the reins to control our own destiny. Under the Duke Administration version of the new zoning code, a stepped review process was to be enacted which would have definitely created the necessary economic inducement to persuade any provider wanting new antennas be co-located on the town property towers. Thereby fulfilling the FCC mandate for coverage, keeping the antennas away from more densely resided neighborhoods, and providing additional revenue to the township.

 

Unfortunately, the code task force under the Chairmanship of David O'Halloran opted to delete said stepped review section which made the Wicks tower a prime antenna site because of being the cheaper alternative. The proof of the above assertion is that T-Mobile, upon learning that a second antenna planned for the pent house roof of the Hudson Valley Resort (formerly the Granite) was required to go through a full Special Use review, withdrew the application.

 

Under the Duke Administration, any new antennas opting to locate on town property towers would only

be required to undergo a Site Plan review. If a new tower were proposed for municipal property it would

require a Special Use permit. If, however a new tower/antenna was proposed for any non-municipal residential area the application would be a Special Use permit deemed a Type 1 action under SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement. The obvious cost of this latter review would absolutely prod telecommunication companies to co-locate on town property towers.

 

I've brought this issue to Councilperson Lynn Archer and have asked she propose a change in the code to include such a stepped review process.

 

Steven L. Fornal

Accord, NY

 


 

 

 

 

bullet

Summer Program Registration

The Town Of Rochester is now accepting registrations for their Summer
Program. The program fee is $100 per week and will include the cost of three
trips and two half day trips. The seven week program starts Monday, July 9
and runs through Friday, August 24 and in session Monday and Friday 9:00 AM
to 1:30 PM, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
You must sign up for two weeks, but they do not have to be consecutive.
Payment plans start now, and must be paid by July 9. For more information to
register call 626-2115.

 

bullet

DEC Burn Ban

On October 14, 2009 new regulations on open burning were implemented by the

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. These regulations: prohibit

the burning of trash, leaves, and treated wood. Additionally, between March

15 and May 15 each year, the burning of brush and trees limbs is also

prohibited due to the increased risk of fire. In the four years leading up

to this ban Ulster County experienced an average of 158 brush fires per

year during these two months. In the two Springs since the ban has been in

effect, there have been an average of 53 brush fires in Ulster County

during this period (between March 15 and May 15: 2006 - there were 200

brush fires; 2007 - 132; 2008 - 162; 2009 - 136; 2010 - 69; 2011 - 36).

Camp fires, small fires for cooking and prescribed burns are allowed;

however they must be attended at all times. For a list of frequently asked

questions about open burning regulations, please see the DEC web site:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/58519.html We all remember Minnewaska fire

which started on April 17, 2008 and burned over 3,100 acres. It was

declared under control on April 22, but not declared out until April 29.

The 911 Center has already begun stressing the importance on using care

during this very dry Spring, and we will be informing callers of the ban

beginning Thursday. You can play a vital role in getting this message out

to the community. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

bullet

Low Cost Dog and Cat Vaccinations

The Ulster County SPCA will sponsor a low cost vaccination clinic for dogs and cats on Saturday, April 7 from 10 am to 2pm at 20 Wiedy Road, Kingston. Fees: Rabies $10, Distemper $15, ID Microchipping $35. An unexpired rabies certificate must be presented in order to receive a three year vaccination. One year shots will be offered without prior proof of vaccination. Appointments are not necessary (cash, MC or Visa) For information call 331-5377 x 216

bullet

Appeals Court Rules in Town’s favor on Mombaccus suit

The NYS Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Town of Rochester in a suit filed by Mombaccus Excavating, Inc. relating to the Town’s 2006 zoning code. The lawsuit, filed by the locally owned sand and gravel mining company, asserted that zoning law was invalid. Town spent more than $70,000 in legal fees and expenses since 2009.

bullet

Cell Phone Tower Controversy

The Planning Board met on March 13 to review an application from T-Mobile to install three antennas on an existing cell tower located off City Hall Road in Accord. The tower already hosts antennas owned by Sprint and AT&T. Local residents expressed the possible adverse effects of radio waves associated with the cell tower, the fact that a private landowner (not the Town, which owns two other cell towers) would be receiving the rental income, and the potential adverse impact on the value of neighboring properties. The Town Board has little authority over the application and the Planning Board is limited in its ability to regulate by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Town’s code encourages the clustering of cellular antennas in order to minimize the promulgation of cell towers around town. The public hearing on the application will continue on April 10th.

bullet

Town Board News

At its March 1 meeting, The Town Board:

Approved changes to Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals fees,

Appointed Mike Dunham as acting Assessor due to the temporary leave of absence of the Town’s assessor due to a recent illness.

Reappointed Steve Rice to the Environmental Conservation Commission and appointed new members: Joe Brit, Jorge Gomes and Ryan Trapani. Laura Finestone and Steve Rice were appointed chair and vice-chair, respectively.

Reappointed Alice Cross to the Historic Preservation Commission. She and Maggie Dulka were appointed Chair and Vice chair, respectively.

Manuel Mihailescu was appointed to the Youth Commission. Jessica Knap and Pamela Stocking were appointed at chair and vice chair, respectively.

Adam Paddock was appointed to the Planning Board and Rob Case was named to replace him as the alternate member. Mike Baden and Rob Rominger were appointed chair and vice chair, respectively.

Troy Dunnand John Dawson were appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Charles Fisher was named alternate. Beatrice Haugen-Depuy and Cliff Mallery were appointed chair and vice chair, respectively.

The Town Board also discussed a request from Accord Speedway to extend the permitted racing time by 20 minutes up to four times per year and to remove the requirement to have a rescue squad on site during races. Town attorney Mary Lou Christiana asked for more details on the request.

(Derived from the Blue Stone Press)

bullet

Smileys win $583K judgment from state, Palisades Interstate Park Commission

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Alfred Brennan Smiley, the patriarch of the family that leases part of the Minnewaska State Park from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, said a $582,714 state Court of Claims judgment in his family’s favor over a lease dispute with the commission won’t be worth much unless it’s paid and no further appeals are filed.

In a telephone interview Monday, Smiley said he and his three sons have grown skeptical over 50 years of court battles concerning a 99-year lease that dates to 1958.

“They have appealed every action before, so I don’t know that this won’t be appealed also,” Smiley said. “It’s always action, then appeals, action, then appeals and so forth. I told the judge the best way to evaluate a property is how many people are trying to steal it from you.”

The family sued to have a septic system for the 5,212-square-foot family-owned Wildmere Cottage restored after three failed attempts by the commission to install a functional system and to provide electric service under the terms of the lease. The court said the family hasn’t been able to live at Wildmere since 1999.

The decision valued the family’s loss of use of the property at $462,000, replacement costs for the septic system at $101,514 and payment for a damaged patio was set at $19,200, plus interest accumulating from the Dec. 13, 2011, date of the decision.

Still, Smiley said he has reason to be cautious about declaring victory.

“There is always a huge difference between the decision and the effectuation,” he said. “There are decisions landing all over the place that are frankly worthless to the plaintiff because there is no execution process.”

Smiley said the property has been in the family since Lake Minnewaska was founded as a resort in the mid-1800s.

The state Supreme Court had earlier ruled in favor of the Smileys in July 2010, saying the commission had deprived the family of use of the property by failing to provide electricity, and owed damages for three illegal septic systems.

“(State engineers) admitted that the various systems they designed violated New York State Health Department regulations and that, although they overlooked various requirements, they thought that the (state) Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation had the power not to comply with those regulations,” the court said. Continued...

Palisades Interstate Park Commission Executive Director James Hall was not immediately available Monday for comment. (Freeman 2/21/12)

bullet

Police Blotter

Probation violation: Damian J. Acosta, 26, of Accord was arrested Tuesday by state police at Wawarsing and charged with felony violation of parole and three misdemeanors: reckless endangerment, aggravated unlicensed driving and reckless driving. He was held by police pending further proceedings. (Freeman 3/15/12)

Olivebridge man runs over, punches brother, police say

ACCORD, N.Y. — A 21-year-old Olivebridge man was arrested on multiple charges after running over his brother with a car and then punching him in the head and face, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said on Saturday.

Deputies said Joseph M. Schwall got into an argument with his brother while driving Thursday on Whitfield Road in Accord, let his brother out of the car and then proceeded to run him over. Schwall then got out of the car, assaulted his brother and fled, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said they later found Schwall at his home, 517 Acorn Hill Road, Olivebridge, and arrested him. He was charged with felony assault, reckless endangerment, menacing, misdemeanor assault, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, deputies said.

The brother, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital suffering from neck and back injuries and numerous cuts and bruises, deputies said.

The brother’s condition was not immediately available.

Schwall was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released from custody. He is to return to court at 6 p.m. Wednesday. (Freeman 3/4/12)

Gary M. Onderdonk, 51, of Kerhonkson was arrested Sunday at 12:59 a.m. by state police at Wawarsing and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (freeman 2/27/12)

Drugs: Pedro Portalin, 41, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Ulster Wednesday at 5:55 p.m. and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. He was released on an appearance ticket for court. (2/17/12)

Failure to provide care: Keri Ann Baker, 40, of 74 Minnewaska Trail Rd. Kerhonkson was arrested Thursday by Ulster County SPCA investigators and charged with misdemeanor failure to provide proper care for her dog, an eight-year-old German shepherd. Investigators said Baker had the dog euthanized in late January, but not before concerned individuals photographed the dog in a state of severe neglect. Evidence was forwarded to SPCA investigators and Baker was arrested following the issuance of a warrant. Investigators said Baker was arraigned in Wawarsing Town Court and assigned a public defender. She is due back in court Feb. 24. (2/13/12)

Illegal commercialization: State Environmental Conservation police, along with New York City Environmental police, responded on Jan. 27 to a complaint of shots being fired and possible deer jacking on Diamond Road, Town of Wawarsing, and arrested Salvatore Regalbuto, 41, and Filadelfio Cassara, 33, both of the Bronx. Police said they found one doe in the truck bed and a loaded bolt action Marlin .22 mag was recovered inside the vehicle, along with two spotlights and four spent shell casings. A second deer was found about 40 yards in the woods from the vehicle. Police said they also found a large quantity of fliers advertising a venison dinner in the New York City area. Police said both men were arraigned in town of Rochester Court and sent to Ulster County Jail on $1,000 cash bail. Executing a search warrant, police said they seized further evidence from the defendants’ summer home and additional charges are pending. (Freeman 2/5/12)

KINGSTON, N.Y. — City police arrested two local men for selling heroin in the area of East Chestnut St. on Friday.

Members of Kingston’s Street Crimes and Narcotics units arrested Kevin Hunter Jr, 33, of 74 Minnewaska Trail, Apt. 4A, Kerhonkson, and Malik B. Acheampong, 39, of 17 East Chestnut St., Kingston after the men were found in possession of nearly 200 glassine envelopes of heroin.

Hunter was charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance and the violation of loitering. He was released on tickets returnable to Kingston City Court at a later date.

Acheampong was charged with two counts felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and parole violation. He was being held at Kingston Police Department awaiting arraignment. (Freeman 2/3/12)

Theft, drugs: Edward M. McConnell, 31, of Kerhonkson, was arrested at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and charged by state police at Wawarsing with felony grand larceny and the misdemeanors of false personation, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. He was ordered held pending further proceedings. (Freeman 2/3/12)

bullet


NEW BUSINESS LAUNCHES IN KERHONKSON!

KICK BUTT BALL - the new stress ball in town - a new spin on a great old idea

Visit out website and see the two videos shot in Kerhonkson with friends and neighbors

www.kickbuttball.com

Founded by Verna Gillis and Paul Widerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulletFood Pantry

Rochester Residents Association Raises $12,800 for Rochester Food Pantry 110 donors responded to the Rochester Residents Association's year end fundraising drive for the Rochester Food Pantry, raising a total of $12,800. Marge Bonner, the Pantry's corresponding secretary, said "We are fortunate that our Town residents and organizations have been concerned, responsive and generous. Through their donations, both in cash and kind, we have been able to meet the ongoing demand and supplement the food requirements of needy families and individuals in our community." The Pantry provided over 30,000 meals to more than 2,500 individuals in 2011, including a 300% increase in assistance to seniors. This is the seventh year that the RRA has assisted the Pantry in its fundraising efforts.

Thank you to all who contributed. If you'd like to make a donation, you can mail a check payable to "Rochester Food Pantry" to PO Box 12, Accord, NY 12404.

bulletTown Government News 

The Town Board made the following appointments at its January 5, 2012 organizational meeting: Carl Chipman named Youth Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals liaison Lynn Archer named Environmental Conservation Commission and Historic Preservation Commission liaison Brian Drabkin named Transfer Station liaison Tony Spano named Assessor's office liaison Mombaccus Excavating filed a petition to appeal the dismissal by the Appellate Division of the company's case against the Town's zoning code.

bulletHelp Little Ones Learning Center

The Little Ones Learning Center in Accord would like to thank everyone in the Rondout Valley and other neighboring communities for their support in 2011. "We had our share of success with our annual events like the annual Towpath Run and the Truck Day celebration in September," said Bond Brundgard, president of Friends of Little Ones.

A lot of hard work, built upon years of planning, was almost undone by Hurricane Irene in August. Little Ones managed to jump ahead of the coming storm and move most of the books and learning materials to the second floor of the Rochester Reformed Church in Accord, where the non-profit early literacy organization offers its free story time sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10am to 12 noon.

"We lost some furniture and bookshelves and had to move our learning space to smaller confines as the flood damage was repaired through the end of 2011," said Brungard. "We expect to move back soon downstairs to the church basement, which has been our home for many years, and we're seeking the community's help again to help us fund a matching grant in 2012 - financial support needed to replace items lost in the flood and to bolster our programming." (BSP 1/6/2012)

To help, go to www.littleoneslearningcenter.org, or send a tax deductible check to: Little Ones Learning Center, 5142 Route 209, Accord, NY 12404.

bulletNew State Senate and Assembly Districts Proposed 

The Town of Rochester's representation in the NYS senate and assembly would change if district lines proposed by the are NYS Legislature's Task Force on Redistricting are approved. For the assembly, Rochester would once again fall into a revised district represented by Kevin Cahill. For the senate, Rochester would fall out of the proposed district represented by John Bonacic. Districts are being redrawn as a result of the 2010 census. http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/maps/ To see the proposed district lines, see: http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/maps/prop2012s/ps51.pdf http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/maps/prop2012a/pa103.pdf

bulletCounty Legislature Elects Bernardo First Female Legislative Chair

By Paula Sirc

KINGSTON - Despite last minute attempts by former county GOP chair Robin Yess to discredit her candidacy, Town of Rochester Republican, Terry Bernardo, who began her second term as county legislator on Tuesday night, was also elected as the first female legislative chair to the new 23-member legislature. After being sworn in for her first term as county legislator, Saugerties Republican Mary Wawro nominated Bernardo, saying that she "has the ability to lead, the impetus to know what to say and when to say it and a passion for true public service."

The nomination was seconded by former minority leader Jeannette Provanzano, who said she was honored to do so for the "first woman in the history of the Ulster county government to be nominated chair."

The Legislature voted 20-2 in favor of Bernardo's nomination; Kingston Democrats Peter Loughran and former legislative chair David Donaldson voted against her nomination. Hector Rodriguez was absent from the vote.

In her 30-minute inaugural speech, Bernardo highlighted some of the goals that she would work toward as legislative chair, including working with the county executive to "hold the city of New York accountable for their openly creating an environmental and life-threatening hazard in Ulster County."

The new chair also urged the legislative body to make policies of economic development that "welcome job creation, streamline the permit process and actively support an overhaul of job-killing regulations, such as the SEQRA process that she says has been used and abused as a tool of the NYC DEP and others to stop economic development."

Bernardo noted that the Charter form of government "set up a balance of power between this body, the executive and the comptroller," and issued a warning to the Charter revision commission that "the vast overhaul proposed by some to make this legislature less effective is not welcomed from this chair today."

Many members of the legislature have complained that the Charter, which took effect in 2008, abrogates their power to make policy. Bernardo reiterated the legislature's responsibility as the policy-making body of the government.

"We are here to provide excellent service to the public - that is our job," Bernardo said.

Bernardo's appointment to the Legislature's top post stirred some unrest among those who believe her ties to the Independence Party will create unwarranted influence on the Legislature. Her husband, Len Bernardo, chairs the Ulster County Independence Party.

Perhaps most vocal in her opposition to Bernardo's election to legislative chair was Robin Yess, who actively lobbied legislators to oppose her candidacy.

During the Republican caucus before the vote, several legislators expressed concerns, initiated by Yess, about Bernardo's choice of legislative counsel from Orange County. Langdon Chapman, who already serves in a full-time capacity as Chief of Staff to Senator John Bonacic and as an associate attorney at Bonacic, Krahulik, Cuddeback, McMahon and Brady in Middletown, is Bernardo's appointee for full-time legislative counsel to the Ulster County Legislature.

Richard Gerentine, R-Marlboro, commented on the "hard feelings" that were outlined in a letter from the Ulster County Bar Association over the hiring of Chapman, an Orange County resident.

Chapman, who was brought in to the caucus to discuss the letter, noted that the county Charter doesn't specify residency requirements. He did add that with the legislative counsel, "all their efforts, all their time - it says so in your charter - are supposed to be dedicated to this job."

The Charter clearly states that the legislative chair has the authority to appoint counsel and that counsel must be duly licensed and entitled to practice law in NYS. The charter also specifies that the counsel shall be appointed on the basis of his or her legal experience and other qualifications for the responsibilities of the office.

Yess raised the issue of "hiring local" and said she was appalled that Bernardo would "fire the son of one of our most beloved judges," Michael Kavanaugh, who worked for the past two years as part-time counsel to the Republican Majority and volunteered his time to help rewrite the County Committee bylaws.

Bernardo said she offered Kavanaugh the same part-time position, with a $10,000 raise, but that he refused. The new chair appointed Saugerties attorney Erica Guerin to the part-time post.

Saugerties Republican Robert Aiello echoed Gerentine's concerns, but, in the end, said, "I'm not going to lose any sleep over it." (Freeman 1/5/2012)

bulletRondout Valley school trustees OK grade shift (updated) Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

KYLE WIND Freeman staff

KYSERIKE - The Rondout Valley school district will look quite a bit different in 2012-13.

With Rosendale Elementary School set to close at the end of this school year, the Board of Education on Tuesday agreed to reorganize the district's elementary and middle schools.

The district's fourth-grade classes will be consolidated within an intermediate school of grades 4-6 that officials say will be separate from a grade 7-8 junior high school under the same roof in the current middle school building.

The vote was 8-1. Trustee Kent Anderson, a member of the Reconfiguration Committee, voted against the grade shift.

"It's not fun to shrink," said Christopher Kelder, president of the school board. "These are some of the most challenging things facing schools, facing businesses, facing communities, when you have to do with less. The governor has put that on our back, and made us do with less. And, hopefully, we can do more with less. Hopefully, this will be a positive thing. I support the superintendent's vision educationally."

Superintendent Rosario Agostaro has advocated the grade shift, along with specialized K-3 primary schools, intermediate exploratory programs, and junior high theme "houses" where students can base their studies.

School board member David O'Halloran, the co-chairman of the Reconfiguration Committee, said he supported the grade shift because it provided efficiencies, the chance to pursue the superintendent's vision, and an elementary school schedule that focuses more on core subjects for fifth- and sixth-graders.

Trustee Breanna Costello, the committee's other co-chairman, said she was concerned about keeping the current configuration without Rosendale Elementary School because she feared overcrowding leading to "art on a cart" and no music classrooms.

Trustee Michael Redmond feared the status quo forcing some students to transition to a new school next year, then the fiscal climate forcing yet another reconfiguration, which would lead to a second transition.

Anderson said the financial imperative might force a second reconfiguration within the next few years, leading to a second upheaval. Meanwhile, he said, all of the change will make the district less efficient and, even though the intermediate school model is in vogue in education circles now, it was not that long ago that the strong middle school model was considered preferable. Continued...

Anderson also cited the prospect of putting fourth-graders on the same bus as secondary students, which has been controversial.

Agostaro said officials will continue to investigate ways to separate the 4-6 students from the 7-12 students, but solutions must be economical and not cost students classroom time, issues that scuttled a proposal to take K-3 pupils to their schools and shuttle grade 4-6 students to the main campus in the morning - and vice versa in the afternoon.

Going forward, Costello said, it is important to settle where students will go next year to give families "peace" on that front and she suggested creating a "transition zone" where parents of displaced students could decide whether to send pupils to closer schools or in some cases to follow their friends. (Freeman 1/25/12)

bulletKa-Ching! Gambling at the Nevele? 

Casino veterans hoping to cash in on Wawarsing's former jewel

By Jane Anderson

ELLENVILLE - It looks like the Nevele Grande Resort is being sold after all - as long as gambling is part of the package. Court-appointed receiver Mitchell Wolff has acknowledged that he is appealing Ulster County Court to allow Claremont Investments LLC to purchase the 433-room hotel on 500 acres for "up to $6.7 million," according to a letter dated January 10. An earlier missive of exclusivity was signed by Claremont in December, although Wolff says he himself did not sign it.

A hearing is set on the matter for 2 p.m. on January 23 before Judge Mary Work at the Ulster County Courthouse.

"As court receiver, if I am trying to sell it, I have to get the court's permission," Wolff said. "I can't go any further without Judge Work's permission."

"I feel like I'm leading the charge here," Wolff continued, noting that Claremont is a strong buyer. "There's a reason I'm submitting these papers. I've checked these guys out."

The news of the sale is bringing hope to the Town of Wawarsing, which suffered from a tremendous loss of jobs when the Nevele closed in 2009.

"It's very exciting news," Supervisor Scott Carlsen said. "I'm excited that the Nevele is going back on the tax rolls, and that they will be paying their water bill."

The closing date is set for January 26. About $100,000 is earmarked for the state Department of Labor to compensate employees who are due back pay, and $1,525,237 will go toward delinquent taxes. The bulk of the purchase, $5 million, won't be made until 60 days from "the date on which casino gaming at the Property is open and operating to the public," according to a letter dated Jan. 10, 2012, from Claremont to Wolff.

Claremont adds in the letter that if gaming is not allowed within five years of closing, "Purchaser shall have no further obligations under this agreement."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed allowing casino gambling on non-Indian land throughout the state, and the Catskills is poised for such development. But first, such a move would require passage by two simultaneous sessions of the state legislature, plus a statewide voters' referendum.

Carlsen said he would welcome gambling at the resort as long as it gains approval from people who live in the town. "We need to look at this in an open-minded way," he said. "The governor has indicated an interest in casinos, especially in the Catskills, but it would take action from the Legislature to do that. I do think we need to listen to the residents of the town and see how they feel about it."

In its letter, Claremont outlines the specifics of the deal, including a laundry list of creditors that are due compensation.

"We believe that the offer presented in this letter is beneficial to all stakeholders in the Property - immediately satisfying the tax obligations of the Property, restoring the Property as a current taxpayer which it has not been for several years, compensating past employees of the Property that are still owed back pay, improving the position of the other creditors by deferring or discharging the most senior debt (tax liens) and providing a reasonable prospect that the Judgment Creditors will be repaid most, if not all, of their debts within a reasonable time period," the letter from Claremont reads.

Attached to the paperwork are biographies of the principals of Claremont LLC: Larry J. Woolf, Michael R. Treanor, Jeffrey E. Levine and Steven Charno. Woolf, according to his biography, has been in the gaming business for more than 40 years and has "extensive experience in leisure resort development, including hotels." Treanor's duties have included managing investments in early-stage gaming opportunities. Levine's expertise is in acquisition, financing, construction, marketing and management. Charno is the president of Douglaston Development, a real-estate development company based in New York City. (Shawangunk Journal 1/19/2012)

bullet"It's Not The 1950s Anymore" RV Teen Charged with Hate Crime on School Bus

By Terence P. Ward

ACCORD - The Rondout Valley School District has been rocked by news of a hate crime taking place on its buses, and it couldn't come at a worse time. According to Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico, 18 year old Jason Gambino, a junior at the high school, was arrested on January 6 for harassing a 16-year-old male classmate. Because the harassment was focused on the victim's sexual orientation, the Ulster County Sheriff's Department treated it as a hate crime and charged Gambino with felony stalking as well as harassment, a misdemeanor.

Faluotico confirmed that district personnel notified his office, following the procedures mandated for such cases.

Rondout Valley Superintendent Rosario Agostaro declined to comment on the case, even in the most general of terms, stating that he was under such advisement by the district's attorney.

RV district officials are currently working on plans to house five grades in the present middle school, and although they will be in two separate areas within the building itself, there is much talk that children of varying ages will start sharing single bus runs.

The idea of grades 4 to 8 being on a bus together is of concern to district parents, as noted at a series of recent meetings tied to the district's ongoing reconfiguration plans.

Lance Ringel, president of the Hudson Valley LGBQT Center in Kingston, would not comment on the specifics of the Gambino case, but spoke generally about hate crimes driven by sexual orientation.

"We have set up safe school roundtables in both Ulster and Dutchess Counties because there is a particular concern that homophobia still does exist in the schools," he said. "Attitudes can change slowly sometimes, but they do change. The message has to come through loud and clear that attacking people because of their perceived sexual orientation is simply wrong. We're seeing more of that attitude now, but would-be perpetrators need to see the social consequences."

At a January 17 meeting of the RVSD reconfiguration committee, which is determining how to best educate the student body about the district's decision to close Rosendale Elementary, Agostaro did discuss the matter of bus safety.

"I will not tolerate mistreatment of students," he told the audience of teachers and parents. "What we hear about what goes on is unacceptable. We are going to solve this problem, starting now."

To that end, Agostaro called for regular meetings between administrators and bus drivers, and noted that he and Transportation Supervisor Gloria Frenza had met with representatives from Arthur Mulligan Bus Company already. He also said that he was investigating a program that the New Paltz and Kingston districts have been using to reduce bullying and harassment on school buses.

Because he is 18, Gambino is eligible for youthful offender status at the discretion of the district attorney's office. Ulster County D.A. Holley Carnright did not return several calls for comment on how he makes such a determination, but his staff did confirm that because the file has not been forwarded by Rochester Town Court yet, he could not comment on the specifics of the case.

Carl Chipman, Rochester Town Supervisor, has been the only elected official to comment for this story to date.

"It bothers me that there are such hate crimes, and discrimination, in this community," he said. "I was hoping that as a community we'd gotten past that. It's not the 1950s anymore. No one should get picked on that way."

Chipman praised the district's action, saying, "They called the police, which shows that there's zero tolerance for this."

The last time that a hate crime in Ulster County made the news was in 2005, when a racially motivated attack in the Kingston schools led to white supremacist Hal Turner coming to the county seat to organize a protest, where he was met by local opposition to his views. (Shawangunk Journal 1/19/2012)

bulletRochester Loses One-Room schoolhouse in Tragic Fire By Terence P. Ward

ACCORD - Dave Waruch shakes his head as he views the burnt-out remains of the Cherrytown School, an historic one-room schoolhouse which was gutted by three neighborhood boys playing with a lighter in the building on December 28. The children have been charged with fourth-degree arson, a felony, but Waruch and his siblings, who own the schoolhouse, don't feel better that they were caught. "It's not the value of the building," Waruch says, "it wasn't worth much. It was the history." Four generations of the Waruch family attended Cherrytown School until the one-building school district was dissolved around 1953. When the building and its contents were auctioned off in 1960 or '61, Waruch's parents bought the building, the school bell, and several of the desks which had been bolted to the floor.

"One of the desks my dad carved his initials in when he went here," recalls Waruch with a smile. "Mom made sure they got that one."

Cherrytown School was never registered as an historic landmark - the family had heard that the designation makes land ownership unnecessarily complicated - but Waruch has school board minutes from the 1930s onward, as his father was one of the trustees on the last board.

"They voted 7-4 to close the school in favor of going to Kerhonkson and just having a bus stop here," Waruch has learned in his research, "and then they voted on whether or not to heat the building for the kids waiting for the bus. It was unanimously against." Waruch's father had been responsible for starting the fire each morning while the K-12 school was still in operation, because his farm was on adjacent property.

The school itself was likely built before 1875, and was one of the few unconverted schools of that time left in Rochester. Waruch, who owns a lumber mill, points to the tell-tale marks that show that the timbers were hand-hewn. A circular-saw mill was built nearby in the 1890s, so had the school been erected afterwards it was have used milled lumber. Additionally, the Beers Ulster County Atlas shows a school on that portion of Upper Cherrytown Road, confirming that some such building was there when the atlas was published in 1875.

In recent years Waruch had sometimes stored hay in the building, although there weren't any bales inside on the day of the fire. He'd like to rebuild it, he said, "but for what purpose, I don't know."

The three youngsters will appear in court at a later date. (Shawangunk Journal 1/5/2012)

bulletPolice Blotter

Endangering: Tammy Lynn Terbush, 39, of 175 Upper Cherrytown Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested Saturday at 12:15 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff's deputies who responded to a 911 call from that address reporting a drug overdose. Police said following an investigation they determined that Terbush had overdosed on cocaine, heroin and possibly pain medication while caring for four children, ages 13, 12, 8 and 2. They said Terbush was transported by ambulance to Ellenville Regional Hospital and was subsequently charged with four counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Police said the investigation is continuting. Terbush was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 1/19/2012)

DWI: David Stubblefield, 40, of 10 Eastwood Apartments, Ellenville, was arrested at 3:15 a.m. Monday on a charge of misdemeanor drunken driving. Ulster County sheriff's deputies said Stubblefield was arrested following a traffic stop on Lucas Avenue after he was seen speeding. He was released on tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 1/17/2012)

u Accident: An Accord man was taken to Kingston Hospital with a complaint of back pain following an accident at 7:48 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. Route 209 and Airport Road, Ulster County sheriff's deputies said. Deputies said Daniel P. Wemp, 21, of 3140 U.S. Route 209, Stone Ridge was southbound on Route 209 and was making a right turn onto Airport Road when he lost control of his vehicle. Wemp's vehicle struck a second vehicle that was stopped at the stop sign on Airport Road, waiting to turn onto Route 209, deputies said. Deputies said the second vehicle was driven by Paul K. VanLeuven, 21, of 16 Sand Hill Road, Accord. VanLeuven was taken to Kingston Hospital by members of the Kerhonkson-Accord Rescue Squad, deputies said. Deputies said Wemp was issued two tickets for bald tires (Freeman 1/17/2012)

Criminal mischief: Ulster County sheriff's deputies arrested Robert W. Zurawel Jr., 45, of Accord, on Monday at 6:56 a.m. and charged him with two felonies: criminal contempt and criminal mischief, as well as misdemeanor assault. Police said they responded to Zurawel's address following a 911 call from the location placed by his girlfriend reporting a domestic dispute in progress. Deputies determined Zurawel was intoxicated and struck the victim in the face several times and threw a drinking glass at her, which struck her in the face, causing injury. They said Zurawel smashed the victim's belongings inside the house and destroyed her television and coffeemaker outside by setting them on fire. Police learned during the investigation that a local court had issued an order of protection against him on the victim's behalf. Zurawel was arraigned and sent to Ulster County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. (Freeman 1/11/2012)

Shoplifting: Justin G. Irwin, 19, of 181 Elmendorf St., Kingston; and Michael R. Tacti, 19, of 150 Ridgeview Road, Kerhonkson, were arrested by Ulster town police Friday at 2 p.m. at the Wal-Mart superstore on Frank Sottile Boulevard and each charged with petit larceny, a misdemeanor. Police said loss-prevention personnel reported seeing Irwin selecting an item valued at $100 from the store display, removing it from its packaging and hiding it in his pocket. Tacti was also seen selecting an item worth $32.97 from a display, removing it from its packaging and likewise hiding it in his pocket, according to police. Both men then left the store without paying or attempting to pay for the items, they said. The men were released on appearance ticket. (Freeman 1/10/2012)

Drugs: Erik J. Berg, 46, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 7:09 p.m. Thursday on U.S. Route 209 on seven counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful possession of a personal identification, and one count of possession of a hypodermic instrument, all misdemeanors; seven counts of having a controlled substance in a non-original container and one count of possession of marijuana, violations. He was arraigned and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. (Freeman 1/7/2012)

DWAI: Joseph J. Celuch, 50, of Kingston, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on U.S. Route 209 on a misdemeanor charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs. Further information was unavailable. (Freeman 1/7/2012)

Shoplifting: Merisa Lake, 19, Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Ulster Saturday at 3:25 p.m. on state Route 209 and charged with petit larceny, a misdemeanor. She was issued an appearance ticket. (Freeman 1/2/2012)

Forgery: Ryan P. O'Donnell, 18, Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Ellenville Wednesday at 11 a.m. and charged with forgery, a felony; and two counts of petit larceny, a misdemeanor. He was being held. (Freeman 12/30/2011)

Resisting arrest: Theron R. Cole, 53, of Kerhonkson, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with the misdemeanors of resisting arrest and criminal trespass at 8:10 a.m. on U.S. Route 209 in the town of Rochester. (Freeman 12/24/2011)

bulletLetters

Dear Rochester Residents Association Members:

On behalf of the Rochester Food Pantry, I would like to thank you and the members of the Rochester Residents Association for your continuing support. Your 2011 end of the year fund drive showed the degree to which neighbors are willing to help neighbors. We received 110 donations attributable to the fund drive. The $1000 matching grant from the association was met many times over resulting in a grand total of $12,800. This amount covers over seven months of costs from the Regional Food Bank, our main source of food. We sincerely appreciate your sustained efforts. Knowing we have a resource we can count on allows us to expand and improve our services.

In addition to the Food Bank, last year we were able to purchase fresh produce year-round. By relying on seasonal varieties, we were able to provide improved nutrition, while keeping our costs in check. We were also able to supplement food with some basic personal care items such as soap and tooth paste.

We had a nearly 8% increase in meals provided in 2011 compared with 2010. We provided over 30,000 meals to more than 2,500 individuals. We saw a tripling in the number of seniors we serve. It is hard to know whether the need is greater or whether they are hearing about us and making use of our services, hopefully the latter. While the demand varies, it is the highest in the winter months as people struggle with loss of seasonal work and heating costs.

We are fortunate that our Town residents and organizations have been concerned, responsive and generous. Through their donations, both in cash and kind, we have been able to meet the ongoing demand and supplement the food requirements of needy families and individuals in our community.

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

Sincerely,

Margaret Bonner Corresponding Secretary