Welcome to Accord-Kerhonkson On-Line

This unofficial guide to Accord and Kerhonkson -- the two principal hamlets in the Town of Rochester in Ulster County, New York -- provides news and opinion, listings of businesses and organizations, calendar events and other information on Rochester and the surrounding community.August 10, 2013

 

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For a listing of registered historic properties in town, please click here. 

 

 

Proposed Tax Roll as of May 1, 2011

 

Tentative 2011 Tax Roll as of March 21, 2011

Property Tax Roll As of August 2010 - Final 

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Time Warner Cable Survey

 

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2006 Property Tax Reassessment

Assessor's Report - 12/10/07

 

Link to preliminary assessments and other resources.

 

Mombaccus Excavating Mining Plans

Mombaccus Excavating Correspondence

 

Rochester Residents Association Scholarship Program

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Kerhonkson Fire Company Annual Chicken BBQ (8/10/13)

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Roswell Rudd to Peform  (8/10/13)

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Hudson Valley Artist Wins Spot In Dallas, Texas, Museum Exhibit  (8/10/13)

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Rochester Democrats Nominate Candidates  (8/10/13)

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Rochester Conservatives Nominate Candidates  (8/10/13)

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Town Board news:  (8/10/13)

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Town of Rochester man electrocuted in 'freak accident'  (8/10/13)

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Rochester Veterans Park seeks improvements, thanks to Eagle Scout project  (8/10/13)

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Founder of Villa Veritas in Kerhonkson pens book about alcohol addiction, recovery  (8/10/13)

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Town of Rochester awaits word on storm repair committees  (8/10/13)

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Mohonk Preserve loses lawsuit over disputed land  (8/10/13)

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Fire eyesore in Ulster might soon be gone  (8/10/13)

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Three Yonkers women accused of gang assault at Rondout Valley Campground  (8/10/13)

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Letters  (8/10/13)

   

 

 

 

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News Archive - 2002

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News Archive - 2003

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News Archive - 2004

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News Archive - 2005

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News Archive - 2006

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News Archive - 2007

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News Archive - 2008

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News Archive - 2009

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News Archive - 2011

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News Archive - 2012

 

 
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Dr Phil to Air Show High Falls Death (7/6/13)

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Time Warner Contract to be Reviewed (7/6/13)

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Two Rochester Farms Listed on National Register of Historic Places (7/6/13)

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Kerhonkson, Delaware County sites nominated for inclusion on NY, US historic registers (7/6/13)

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Accord-Kerhonkson First Aid Squad to use leased personnel. (7/6/13)

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Accord roller rink co-owned by Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo has tax breaks reinstated (7/6/13)

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Times Herald Record Editorial (7/6/13)

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Towns not fully sold on office-sharing plan for former Rosendale school (7/6/13)

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Steve Israel: Fracking takes back seat to casino, but neither is sure thing (7/6/13)

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Towns urge Ulster County not to delay welfare cost takeover (7/6/13)

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Kerhonkson domestic dispute results in charges (7/6/13)

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Police Blotter (7/6/13)

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Letters (7/6/13)

 

 
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Accord Artist Barbara Arum in Chelsea exhibition (6/2/13)

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Bradford Graves Sculpture Park Open (6/2/13)

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A note from Veritas Villa Foundation: (6/2/13)

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The cicadas are coming (6/2/13)

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Mohonk Preserve wins legal fight over boundary (6/2/13)

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Town Government News (6/2/13)

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Lynn Archer Endorsed by Ulster County Democrats (6/2/13)

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Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo vows to fight for GOP line on November ballot (6/2/13)

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Ulster County GOP declines to back Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo for re-election to her district seat (6/2/13)

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Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo denies using political clout to block VLT plan (6/2/13)

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Ulster County to decide again on camp permits that spurred suit last year (6/2/13)

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Gambling Legislation (6/2/13)

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Rondout Valley school board candidates unopposed in upcoming election (6/2/13)

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Kerhonkson driver, 84, airlifted to hospital after colliding with garbage truck (6/2/13)

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Three in Ulster County charged with selling alcohol to underage person (6/2/13)

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Kerhonkson man's grand larceny conviction upheld (6/2/13)

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Kerhonkson man accused of painting graffiti in Kingston (6/2/13)

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Conviction Upheld (6/2/13)

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Kerhonkson man gets seven years in prison for sexually abusing child (6/2/13)

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Police Blotter (6/2/13)

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Letters (6/2/13)

 

 

 
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Rochester Residents Association Scholarships (4/20/13)

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Property Tax Assessment Grievance Day  (4/20/13)

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Accord Artist Sara Harris' work on exhibition  (4/20/13)

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Earth Day Clean Up  (4/20/13)

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Town Government News  (4/20/13)

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Rondout Valley Schools Adopt Budget  (4/20/13)

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Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo denies using political clout to block VLT pla n   (4/20/13)

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David O'Halloran resigns from Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, says Terry and Len Bernardo abuse power   (4/20/13)

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Rosendale will seek money from NY to convert former school into municipal offices for itself, Marbletown and Rochester  (4/20/13)

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Napanoch man accused of illegal burning  (4/20/13)

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Kerhonkson man admits to vehicular assault charge  (4/20/13)

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Marbletown man arrested after leading deputies on car chase through Marbletown, Rochester, then striking tree  (4/20/13)

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Police Blotter  (4/20/13)

 

 
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Town Government News (3/8/13)

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Hydrofracking Ok would be Unfunded Mandate (3/8/13)

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Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester towns may share former Rosendale Elementary School (3/8/13)

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Accord trio charged in food stamp fraud probe (3/8/13)

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Police Blotter (3/8/13)

 

 
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Tax exemption Filing Deadline Nears (2/2/13)

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High Falls Death of Margaret Hayes to be on Dr. Phil (2/2/13)

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KERHONKSON/ACCORD residents/musicians (2/2/13)

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Celebrating our Children, Food and Future (2/2/13)

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Accord Architect, Nancy Copley, dies at 85 (2/2/13)

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Rochester town Supervisor Carl Chipman wants wireless Internet for 2013, but not landfill (2/2/13)

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Does Bernardo Have Her Eyes On Mike Hein's Job? (2/2/13)

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Deal for use of former Rosendale Elementary School by towns of Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester is closer to completion (2/2/13)

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Ulster County town supervisors object to giving scrap metal revenue to county (2/2/13)

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Rondout Valley Faces Student Crimes Again (2/2/13)

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Rainbow Diner Update (2/2/13)

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Police Blotter (2/2/13)

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Letters (2/2/13)

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Kerhonkson Fire Company Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, August 24

4PM-7PM

 

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Roswell Rudd to Peform

Roswell Rudd, THE INCREDIBLE HONK, from KerHONKson will perform with his Quartet at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts on Saturday, August 10th.

The ROSWELL RUDD QUARTET had its premiere performance at the JVC Newport Jazz Festival in August, 2007 performing the songs that were released on their first CD KEEP YOUR HEART RIGHT. (Sunnyside)

Roswell Rudd, trombonist,  who wrote or co-wrote most of the songs says  “This horn player is definitely a frustrated singer whose playing has in turn been influenced more by singers than by other instrumentalists, such as Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday , Ella Fitzgerald and Al Hibbler.

Songs – it’s about the songs.  I grew up on songs – hymns, camp songs, school songs, pop songs of my day on the radio especially the “nonsense songs”   and then the jazz songs.  The “nonsense” and scat were always closer to the instrumental playing. “

The program will include Rudd classics such as YOU BLEW IT from his cult opera Blues for the Planet Earth,;  KEEP YOUR HEART RIGHT which goes back to his days with Archie Shepp (1960’s) and Sheila Jordan (1970’s); to new classics such as BAMAKO and  I'M GOING SANE ONE DAY AT A TIME.

 

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Hudson Valley Artist Wins Spot In Dallas, Texas, Museum Exhibit

 

A recent work by Swiss-born New York and Hudson Valley artist Astrid Fitzgerald has been chosen, through an international juried competition, to be included in an upcoming exhibition at the MADI Art Museum in Dallas, Texas.

 

Fitzgerald’s “Construction 400” will be on display through October 6th at the Museum of Geometric & MADI Art, as part of its 2nd biennial “Origins in Geometry” exhibition. The museum highlights innovative designs based on a range of geometric forms, using nearly every medium. Its collection emerged from a movement beginning in war-torn Europe of the 1940s, with the originally Spanish MADI acronym standing for Movement, Abstraction, Dimension and Invention.

 

Astrid Fitzgerald divides her time between New York City and her Ulster County studio in Kerhonkson, NY. She produces works of geometric abstraction mainly exploring the Golden Mean ratio. In mathematics, that’s the relationship between the number one, and an infinitely long fraction (1.618034...). The ratio appears in nature and architecture and has been studied extensively for centuries. In art, it evolves into shapes and relationships that are unusually pleasing to the eye, for reasons that have never been fully understood.

 

Artist Fitzgerald’s work is represented in numerous corporate, public and private collections in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and is regularly displayed in museum and gallery exhibitions. Her “Construction 400” is nearly three feet high, a creation of casein applied to wood panels. The different sections seem to shift their relative positions in the blink of an eye, giving the artwork an unusual three-dimensional quality.

 

An opening reception for the Texas art show is set for Friday, July 19th. More details are available at the museum’s web site, www.geometricmadimuseum.org. Fitzgerald’s work can be explored in depth at her own web site, www.astridfitzgerald.com. In addition, she recently established the on-line Museum of the Golden Ratio, www.museumofthegoldenratio.org.

 

 

 

 

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Rochester Democrats Nominate Candidates

 

Democrats in the Town of Rochester held a caucus on July 20th to nominate candidates for Town office in the November elections. 

 

The caucus opened with Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach speaking on the importance of the Comptroller’s office and related stories of his five years as the “taxpayers’ watchdog” in that office.  Auerbach is seeking re-election for a four-year term.

 

Lynn Archer,  the Democratic candidate for Ulster County Legislature to represent Rochester and parts of Wawarsing, thanked those present for their support during her five years on the Town Board.  She said that she hopes to bring the same type of bi-partisan cooperation to the County Legislature that has been present in the Town Board.

 

Town Democrats nominated the following candidates:

 

Tony Spano for Town Council

Spano has served on the Town Board for two terms.   He is a highly-decorated law enforcement officer serving in the Wallkill Police Department and was awarded the County’s Top DWI Municipal Officer Award and two Special Congressional Recognition Awards.  He was also a firefighter in the Kerhonkson Fire Department.    Spano is a graduate of Rondout Valley High School, Ulster County Community College, and the New York City Police Academy.

 

Sherry Chachkin for Town Council

Chachkin covered Rochester’s town government news for the Blue Stone Press for six years and has a deep understanding of community issues.  She was a family, education and disability lawyer and has volunteered as a child advocate volunteer since her retirement.  She also worked as a substitute teacher in the Ellenville Schools.  Chachkin said she would ensure that all residents are treated fairly and that the town is a welcoming and hospitable place for all residents.

 

Paul Shaheen for Town Justice

Judge Shaheen has served as a town justice for four years.  He came to Ulster County more than 20 years ago to become general counsel of a local company.  He stated that work as a lawyer with a practice  in family, criminal, and bankruptcy law has given him a wide ranging and sympathetic understanding of the community.  “Some very important things happen in our small courthouse that affect our kids’ and our lives.”  

 

Attendees at the caucus also voted to cross-endorse Republican candidates Carl Chipman for Supervisor and Katie Dennin-Sergio for Town Clerk because of the excellent job that they have done serving Rochester’s citizens.

 

 

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Rochester Conservatives Nominate Candidates

Members of Rochester’s Conservative Party nominated candidates for town offices to for the November 2013 election.

Carl Chipman was nominated for Town Supervisor, defeating Tim Bunch

Harold Lipton and Cindy Fornino were selected for Town Board.

Wayne Kelder was selected for Highway Superintendent

Vinny Nigro was selected for Town Justice.

(additional information on the candidates was not received from the Conservative Party)

 

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Town Board news:

The town has renewed its franchise contract with Time Warner Cable to provide cable television and internet service to town residents.  The ten-year contract was the subject of prolonged negotiations with TWC that took place over the past two years and includes increased revenues for the town (5 percent of revenue vs. 3 percent) as well as commitments from TWC to wire additional areas that do not meet TWC’s  mandated density of 20 subscribers per mile (vs. State of NY requirements of minimum density of 30 homes per mile).  The Town will allocate franchise fees received to wiring additional underserved areas of the Town.

The Town Board also voted to pursue litigation against the owners of the Rainbow Diner for their lack of clean up of asbestos-laden fire debris.

 

 

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Town of Rochester man electrocuted in 'freak accident'

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A 53-year-old man was fatally shocked Wednesday after the trailer he was living in became electrified by wires that had fallen nearby, according to state police.

 

John A. Lasoski of Schwabbie Turnpike was pronounced dead at Ellenville Regional Hospital about 9:30 a.m., Senior Investigator Stan O’Dell said.

 

“This was an unfortunate, freak accident,” he said.

 

About 8:30 a.m., a tree fell on Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. wires across the street from the trailer where Lasoski and his wife, Gwendolyn, have been staying while building a new home on property there, O’Dell said.

 

O’Dell said the wires brought down by the tree fell onto wires supplying electricity to the trailer, causing the trailer to become “basically electrified.”

 

As the couple headed outside to investigate the noise made by the falling tree, John Lakoski grabbed a piece of metal holding up an awning on the trailer and was electrocuted, O’Dell said.

 

Gwendolyn Lakoski went uninjured, O’Dell said.

 

(Freeman 7/24/13)

 

 

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Rochester Veterans Park seeks improvements, thanks to Eagle Scout project

 

ACCORD, N.Y. -- The Rochester Town Board has recognized Troop 22 Boy Scout Grayson Christian’s work to improve the appearance of Veterans Park on Scenic Drive.

 

A certificate of appreciation was awarded during a board meeting last week. Town Supervisor Carl Chipman noted the work was done as part of Christian’s Eagle Scout project.

 

“Eagle Scout projects are very, very long and very detailed,” he said.

 

“This young man came to me and said ‘I really think the Veterans Park could use some more work,’” Chipman said. “He came up with detailed plans for us ... how much manpower or woman power that he needed, and he planned it out very, very well. I think it really does do justice to all the men and women who served our country from our town.”

 

Christian said he decided on the project after attending a Memorial Day ceremony in May.

 

“I went with my grandfather for a ceremony and when I saw that (the park) was all weeded and the gravel was ground in, I wanted to fix it up, because I didn’t think it was doing the veterans enough justice for what they had done for our country,” he said.

 

Christian said planning took about two months and the work took about five days.

 

“We laid down new gravel at the park because what was there was all grounded in from being walked on,” he said.

 

“We planted new plants in the garden and raised a new flag to replace the old one, which was really small,” Christian said. “We put in edging around the two grass islands of the park ... around the main path part of it, so that when you walk through the main path toward the flag pole in the garden, it has this little log edging around it.”

 

(Freeman 8/6/13)

 

 

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Founder of Villa Veritas in Kerhonkson pens book about alcohol addiction, recovery

 

When Jim Cusack introduces himself, he’s not afraid to admit he’s an alcoholic.

 

It matters little that hasn’t picked up a drink in 61 years or that he’s helped 125,000 other alcoholics get sober themselves.

 

Nor does it matter that he’s been running a recovery program—a sort of haven of hope in the mountains of Kerhonkson—for four decades.

 

Even with such credentials, Cusack always states his name plainly and identifies himself as an alcoholic, though the phrase “recovered alcoholic” might be more accurate.

 

So begins his latest book “Trouble is a Gift: A story of addiction, recovery, and hope” released this spring by S and J Publishing.

 

Right up front, Cusack tells readers that his goal is to pass along his “experience, strength, and hope” with the aim of equipping others to overcome their addictions.

 

Helping others find sobriety, in fact, has been his mission in life, and everything else he has done has seemed small in comparison.

 

As the founder of Villa Veritas, a 104-acre former resort founded on prayer and deep faith, Cusack considers alcoholism a chronic and progressive disease.

 

“I lived for the next drink,” Cusack said of his life as an active alcoholic.

 

“You make the choice to do it, but your drug of choice has such a hold on you that you can’t let go.”

He said it started for him at the age of 10. Cusack, the son of Irish immigrants who grew up in the tough streets of Queens, said he would find ways to get booze, even back then.

 

“I had people buy it for me, or I robbed it from my father’s liquor closet,” he said. “I had a lot of tolerance. I could hold it for a while. It got progressively worse, and it kind of grew from there.”

 

In the book “Trouble is a Gift,” Cusack recounts many of the events that led to his addiction of hard liquor, preferably whiskey, and the dark and difficult days that shadowed his recovery.

 

Even while in the U.S. Army Air Corps (now the Air Force), Cusack couldn’t stay away from booze when given the opportunity to drink.

 

On page 27, he tells the story of one particular instance that magnifies the pull it had on him.

 

“One time I got so drunk, I crawled back to the barracks on my belly like a crocodile crawling up out of the swamp,” Cusack writes.

 

“They rushed me to the hospital and when I woke up there were all these doctors and nurses hovering over me, poking and prodding me, asking me questions like I was some kind of a freak.

 

“Finally, I got some nurse to level with me. She told me my alcohol blood level broke the record—the highest anyone ever heard of, and that I should be dead. Then sure enough the big cheese came in for a visit with a couple of doctors, and they told me I was a ‘statistical impossibility’ and that I should be in the morgue.”

 

Other similar stories exist in Cusack’s second book, into which he also weaves in the story of how he and his wife, Sue, met, married and came to open Veritas Villa, meaning “house of truth,” in May of 1973.

 

Cusack, now 84, has remained true to his mission since day one, providing “compassionate, interdisciplinary chemical dependency treatment.”

 

At the same time, he and his staff adhere to a treatment philosophy based on a three-fold (physical, mental and spiritual) disease concept of addiction and employ the 12 steps of recovery and the most current medical, psychological, holistic and spiritual approaches in their work.

 

In Cusack’s first book, “Always Aware,” released in 1995, he focused more on the 12-step recovery principles and how to use them in a classroom setting.

 

“With this one (“Trouble is a Gift”), I put it together…so that many people who are hopeless can get their lives back together,” he said.

 

One of the things that jumps out at the reader is that Cusack’s life calling was somehow ordained in the heavens.

 

During his 12th year of sobriety in 1965, he sought direction in his goal to help others sober up at the Shrine of North American Martyrs on a hilltop in Auriesville, N.Y.

 

Not long after, Cusack was hired to manage the Glen Acre Lodge, one of the first retreat centers for alcoholics, in Sullivan County’s Glen Spey.

 

In time and with the help of religious leaders, he became part owner of the Lodge and landed his first big account with the New York City Police Department.

 

It eventually grew to help members of the city’s fire and sanitation departments.

 

But there was much more ahead as Cusack later teamed up with his wife, also a recovered alcoholic, to develop what is now the Villa Veritas Foundation under the auspices of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville.

 

Their goal was to provide affordable treatment and quality care for people from all walks of life.

 

Under their direction, it would become the first free-standing facility in New York to offer residential treatment for those suffering from substance abuse..

 

In 1981, the Dominican Sisters sold the property, and the Cusacks relocated the present Villa to Kerhonkson, where they have been for the past three decades. 

 

Cusack has received countless honors and commendations for his ground-breaking work in the field, and looking back, he said it’s because he was doing was he was destined to do.

 

“We never took any funding,” Cusack said. “We were self-supporting, and…we’ve run a pretty tight ship.

 

“We also wanted to get the families (of addicts) involved in the program—to arm them with knowledge as well. That was a big deal.”

 

The author said he hopes that when readers turn the final page of the book they will find renewed hope and get on a painless path to recovery.

 

He said the title of the book, “Trouble is a Gift,” is a prerequisite to that realization.

 

“You don’t look at trouble as a gift until you come out of it,” he said.

Freeman 7/21/13

 

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Town of Rochester awaits word on storm repair committees

 

ACCORD, N.Y. — Committees that will recommend storm-repair projects in numerous communities, including the town of Rochester, are to be announced by the state next week, but it remains unclear whether each community receiving state money for the work will have its own panel.

 

Rochester is among towns and other municipalities in New York in which up to $3 million will be spent to repair damage from previous storms and take steps to prevent damage during future storms.

 

State spokeswoman Lori DuBord told the Rochester Town Board on Thursday said recommendations for appointments to the committees still were being reviewed. She said the state Community Reconstruction Zone Planning Program was conceived to have regional committees but that individual municipal groups may be designated to join the process.

 

“That’s something we’re discussing now,” DuBord said. “That’s not how the program was originally envisioned. We had what was called the ‘Ulster Communities Grouping’ ... selected based on a number of criterion, not the least of which were (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assessments.”

 

Ulster County communities that each are in line for up to $3 million worth of projects are the towns of Hardenburgh, New Paltz, Olive, Rosendale, Rochester, Saugerties, Shandaken, Wawarsing and Woodstock and the villages of Ellenville, New Paltz and Saugerties,

 

“We’re still in the process of reaching out to communities and to their community members to find people who are interested in serving (on the committees),” DuBord said.

 

Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said earlier this week that the appointment of committee members by the state was not clearly explained when the grants were announced several weeks ago.

 

 “Originally, I thought that each town would be allocated ‘X’ amount of money and then the town would decide how it would be done,” he said. “This is going to be nothing like that,” he said. (Freeman 8/2/13)

 

 

 

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Mohonk Preserve loses lawsuit over disputed land

 

 

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Mohonk Preserve has lost its lawsuit against Karen Pardini and her husband, Michael Fink, in a dispute over the ownership of  71.45 acres on a 300-acre parcel.

 

State Supreme Court Judge Christopher Cahill, in a ruling handed down last week, said preserve officials failed to provide evidence that supported their land survey. He also said the failure to put the preserve’s surveyor, Norman Van Valkenburgh, on the stand contributed to his decision to support Pardini and Fink.

 

“The decision ... not to call Mr. Van Valkenburgh, who actually performed the survey, when the adjoiner locations were a central, material issue to the case, gives rise to a negative inference that his testimony would not have been helpful to (Mohonk Preserve),” Cahill wrote.

 

“It cannot be argued that Mr. Van Valkenburgh was not within (Mohonk Preserve’s) control,” Cahill wrote. “He was present in court each day during the trial and actively adding (Mohonk’s) counsel throughout the trial.”

 

Mohonk Preserve, citing a paper trail dating to 1881, had argued that deeds show the property is among holdings it obtained through a purchase in 1994.

 

Fink cheered Cahill’s ruling.

 

“It was a complete and through victory, although they are likely to appeal,” he said. “The judge accepted the evidence we put forth in its entirety, and he rejected everything that Mohonk had to say and what they were trying to put forth.”

 

Mohonk Preserve spokeswoman Gretchen Reed said an appeal will, indeed, be filed.

 

“Obviously, we disagree with the decision,” she said. “We believe that the judge’s determination was based largely on his interpretation of an 1881 deed that predated the preserve’s ownership by more than 110 years ... and we also believe that the judge’s decision didn’t address what we believe to be defects in the defendants’ chain of title.”

 

The dispute was the third legal battle in the past 18 years over ownership of various sections of the 300-acre parcel purchased by Pardini and Fink from Marellan Associates in 1987 and was the fifth case overall for Fink stemming from the land disputes.

 

In 2004, the Mohonk Preserve charged Fink with trespassing on preserve property, but the case was dismissed. Fink subsequently filed a suit charging the arrest amounted to malicious prosecution. That suit was settled for an undisclosed sum.

 

The latest decision comes about three months after Cahill ruled in favor of the Mohonk Preserve in a boundary dispute over 14.5 acres and ordered the neighboring property owners to pay $12,250 for cutting down 31 trees on the disputed parcel.

 

Cahill found that in that case — against Chris Ullrich, Sarah Emond, Thomas Marks and Helen Ullrich — the preserve had presented the “more credible” land survey.  (Freeman 8/1/13)

 

 

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Fire eyesore in Ulster might soon be gone

Resident, candidate chips in own cash for Rainbow Diner cleanup

 

KERHONKSON — A big, ugly mass of burnt wood and twisted metal sits on the property where the Rainbow Diner once stood along Route 209 in the hamlet of Kerhonkson.

Very little has changed on the site since a huge, grease-fueled fire consumed much of the building and sent flames shooting 40 feet into the air more than a year ago.

Except for the signs.

The signs that have been mysteriously popping up in the 2,500-square-foot debris field, marking the passage of time and the fact that no cleanup has occurred.

"Happy Anniversary 1 Year!" and "Shame on you town," read two large signs recently put up by anonymous people who are presumably angry over the lack of progress.

The state stopped the site's owner, Caryle Mitchell, from cleaning up the mess. It claimed the presence of cancer-causing asbestos would require specific abatement measures, driving up the cost of any cleanup to as much as $150,000.

Mitchell said that she was uninsured at the time of the July 2, 2012, fire and could not afford to pay out-of-pocket. The town also tried to step in, but once again, the cost became a factor.

According to both sides, the best hope for any cleanup now lies in the hands of retired Kerhonkson developer John Dawson, who is also running for the Ulster County Legislature.

He is the Republican Committee's pick for District 21 and could face the incumbent, Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, in a primary battle.

Dawson insists that his offer to help with the cleanup isn't a poltical ploy to win votes.

"I'm sick of what's there and I just wanted to help the town," said Dawson, 62, who spent $3,000 of his own money to take a class and become a licensed asbestos-removal contractor just so he could cleanup the diner debris.

He said he's spent an additional $500 to hire a firm to come up with the asbestos removal plan, which is required by law.

While Dawson believes there is some asbestos in the debris, he believes that the amount is "next to nothing."

He's offering to remove the debris at cost, which he calculates is about $12,000. That will pay for things like plastic to wrap around the diner's foundation, special protective suits for workers, and the cost of carting the debris to Virginia. Why Virginia?

"Because it's much cheaper than carting it to someplace in New York," he said.

Mitchell said she had hired a contractor to remove the debris about three weeks after the blaze.

Jason Pensabene, senior industrial hygienist from the State Department of Labor, personally came to the site the same day to order the contractor to stop work because of the presence of asbestos.

"Do you think I want my diner to look like that?" Mitchell said. "I miss my Rainbow Diner."

When contacted by phone, Pensabene referred all questions to other state offices, but added, "The procedure is straightforward." He also said that he's spoken with the town about the details of the case.

But Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said Pensabene did nothing of the sort and claims the state has left him "flying blind" for lack of information. The State Department of Labor had no comment on the case.

Since the debris is one of the first things motorists see when they enter the Town of Rochester on Route 209, Chipman looked into whether the town could take over the cleanup.

"It's a disgusting mess, and it's a hell of a way to say, 'Welcome to Rochester.'" said Chipman, who said the town got as far as putting the job out to bid and got a low bid of about $54,000, but then town officials agreed they couldn't spend the money.

"It's not the town's responsibility to clean up private property," said Chipman.

"I can do it with or without Caryle," said Dawson, who said he has grown tired of waiting and has begun trying to seek donations online.

His said that his Facebook page, Rainbowcleanup, has so far raised $210. He's hoping to form a committee and asks anyone interested in donating or volunteering to contact him on Facebook. (TH Record 7/27/13)

 

 

 

 

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Three Yonkers women accused of gang assault at Rondout Valley Campground

 

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y.  – Three Yonkers women were arrested on felony gang assault charges early Sunday morning following a dispute with a female victim at a local campground, according to Ulster County sheriff’s deputies.

 

Michelle Ortiz, 29, of 904 North Broadway; Summer Ortiz, 18, of 455 North Broadway, and Yalitza Ocon, 17, of 67 Elliott Ave., Yonkers, were each charged with felony gang assault, misdemeanor assault and harassment, a violation.

 

Deputies said they responded around 4 a.m. Sunday to a report of an assault that had just occurred at the Rondout Valley Campground. Deputies determined that the three women had attacked a female victim after a minor verbal dispute.

 

Michelle Ortiz was additionally charged with a second felony assault because she used a blunt object during the altercation, deputies said.

 

Deputies said the victim suffered head and facial injuries and was taken by Kerhonkson-Accord Ambulance to HealthAlliance Hospital, Broadway campus in Kingston, where she was treated and released.

 

Deputies said the three women were arraigned in Wawarsing Town Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail. (Freeman 7/8/13)

 

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Letters

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

On the NY State Gambling Referendum

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBqVZFkqQig&feature=youtu.be 

 

I strongly recommend you watch this all through.  It’s 27 minutes long and worth it.  I didn’t have membership to sign in and like it (I do somewhere but data are lost).  It just came out today c/o NYCF

 

Les Bernal, the speaker,  is going to be working closely with us in NY; that will be our privilege.

 

He was speaking to New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, evangelical Christians,  this past April at their advocacy day in Albany.  They have helped us a lot with our work in NY, command a much larger mailing list than CAGNY itself.  Here he expresses themes “no New Yorker is expendable”  “get government out of gambling” that we have borrowed for CAGNY but could do even more with than we have. 

 

Do you think that government’s dependency on predatory gambling is a moral issue or an ethical issue.  Yes, it’s both,  but if you had to make it one or the other, which would you make it?   Puzzler for today.  This is one for trained philosophers to argue about.  Channel Aristotle and Kant, those great minds I could never follow for a millisecond myself.

 

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/silver_and_the_missing_qbP7PiTixhpkQTCqE6dIsL   article picked up by Joan Thursh ties The Speaker to past corruption re Aqueduct racino license.  He seems Teflon-coated but somewhere there may be an opening.

 

Best,

Stephen

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

The removal of the remains of the Rainbow Diner is bogged down despite efforts by virtually everyone with any say in state and local government, in spite of the obvious health hazards of the site –seemingly stuck in the Department Labor Asbestos Control Bureau. It will have its’ one year anniversary July 2nd, 2013.

 

Has anything happened recently to effectuate removal? It would seem that we need further action to put pressure on the powers that be to start the wheels turning. Efforts by everyone up the feeding chain, starting  with Supervisor Carl Chipman, Ulster County Legislative Clerk Fawn Tantillo, Legislature Chairman Terry Bernardo,

Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, Senator John Bonicic and Congressman Chris Gibson trying to get the New York Department of Labor Asbestos Control Bureau to move on this have been fruitless to date.

 

As a long-term Rochester resident, I am reluctantly entering the fray in hopes of resolving this issue which should have been done months ago. I think it is time for the bright light of publicity to shine on this problem in hopes that something can be done.

 

Marshall Berland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Phil will be airing the events of a tragic story that took place in High Falls August 2, 2011.  Air Date: Friday, July 19, 2013, 3 pm on CBS.

 

High Falls Mercantile honored by Home Accents Today magazine

High Falls Mercantile, a store on Main Street in High Falls owned by Accord resident Larry Ruhl was named as one of Home Accents Today magazine’ 50 Retail Stars for 2013. 

 

Time Warner Contract to be Reviewed

 

After more than one year of negotiations for a franchise contract renewal with cable and internet provider Time Warner Cable, the Town Board will hold a public hearing for the ten-year contract on July 11, 2013 at 7pm at Town Hall.  The contract outlines certain areas to be wired by TWC under the existing state required density of 20 homes per mile. 

 

Two Rochester Farms Listed on National Register of Historic Places

 

(Summarized from an article by Sherry Chachkin in the Blue Stone Press 6/7/13)

Two historic farms in the Accord were  added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Appledorn Farm on Route 209, with its 140-acres, was listed as of March 20, 2013 and the 208-acre Joachim Schoonmaker or Saunderskill Farm on Garden Lane was listed as of May 8, 2013.  Both farms were recognized as historically and architecturally significant examples of farmsteads that have evolved over a 300-year period.  Both have been home to members of the Schoonmaker family, descendants of Jochem Hendrickz Schoonmaker (c. 1665-1730), the holder of a large land grant in the Town of Rochester and considered the “founder” of the family’s Rochester Roots.

In March 2012, local residents Ward Mintz and Floyd Lattin purchased Appledorn, subject to conservation easements that prevent further development, from the Open Space  Institute.  The residence has been undergoing a complete restoration since October 2012 and an adjacent “Game House, built in the 1930s to show off African safari and other game trophies is next on the agenda.

Saunderskill Farm has been an active working farm owned by the Schoonmaker family for 13 generations.  The 1787 two-story farmhouse, now owned by Jack and Alice Schoonmaker, is one of the few surviving examples of the “epitome of 18th century masonry domestic architecture.  The farm’s continuous operation producing vegetables and fruit was once a port of call on the D&H Canal. 

 

 

Kerhonkson, Delaware County sites nominated for inclusion on NY, US historic registers

 

The state Board for Historic Preservation has recommended two local properties be added to the state and national Registers of Historic Places:

• Congregation Tifereth Yehuda Veyisroel, in Kerhonkson, Ulster County. Constructed in 1924, the synagogue provided a gathering place in the small hamlet for a wave of Jewish immigrant farmers and merchants, primarily from Eastern Europe, who relocated to the region in the 1910s and ’20s to avoid persecution in their homelands.

• Sidney Historic District, in Sidney, Delaware County. The district encompasses archeological sites where prehistoric peoples congregated on the Susquehanna River flats near its confluence with the Unadilla and also the buildings reflecting Sidney’s development from a quiet agricultural center in the first half of the 19th century to its growth with the arrival of two railroad lines in the 1860s and 1870s.

 

Fifteen other sites across the state also were included in the recommendation.

 

“These are the historic resources that help shape the individuality and ‘quality of place’ of our communities,” Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said in a prepared statement. “Listing on the state and national Registers of Historic Places is a fitting honor and will help preserve these properties for the future.”

 

The state and national Registers of Historic Places are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York state and the nation.

 

There are 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts.

 

Inclusion on the registers can assist properties’ owners in revitalizing the structures.

 

Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.  (Freeman 6/15/13)

Accord-Kerhonkson First Aid Squad to use leased personnel.

The KAFAS will supplement their daytime schedules with personnel leased through Care 1 EMS. The group has been using volunteers exclusively for 48 years.  It has been increasingly difficult to recruit volunteers due to the poor economy, which sometimes forces people to work multiple jobs, thereby leaving less time for volunteer activities. In addition, state regulations now require significantly more training time to qualify as an EMT.  KAFAS relies solely on donations and collections from third-party insurance programs.  Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to:  KAFAS, PO Box 67, Kerhonkson, NY 12446.   In addition, you can help emergency responders find your home more easily by ordering a blue reflective marker with your house number: http://www.accord-kerhonkson.com/KAFAS%20-%20Address%20Market.pdf

 

 

 

 

Accord roller rink co-owned by Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo has tax breaks reinstated

 

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Three Ulster County businesses, including one co-owned by county Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, could  have property tax breaks reinstated by the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency following an agency policy change.

 

Agency Chairman Michael Horodyski said the board on Wednesday voted to reverse a previous policy change that had the effect of canceling payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements with the businesses following a state Court of Appeals decision involving a similar action by the state Empire Zone.

 

In a 5-1 ruling, the Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the Empire Zone couldn’t enact new rules then try to recover tax breaks from companies that had been receiving those benefits before the new rules were enacted.

 

Bernardo, R-Accord, said she was pleased by the Industrial Development Agency board’s action Wednesday, saying the board had “no legal basis” to terminate its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement in the first place.

 

Bernardo called the decision to revoke her businesses tax breaks “politically motivated.”

 

“David O’Halloran (the former IDA chairman and town of Rochester Republican Committee chairman) decided we weren’t paying enough money because he had a vendetta against me,” said Bernardo.

 

“I’d just like to know where I go to get my reputation back,” she said.

 

In October, the Industrial Development Agency’s board adopted a policy allowing the agency to reduce or revoke tax breaks given to businesses that don’t meet their initial job projections. Agency board members at that time also voted to apply that new policy retroactively by asking businesses that have not met initial job projections to voluntarily agree to a reduction in the level of tax breaks by a percentage equal to one-half the percentage shortfall in job creation or face the revocation of their payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreements.

 

In March, the Industrial Development Agency effectively revoked the tax break agreements for Skate Time 209, the Accord roller rink owned by Terry and Len Bernardo, and Hudson Valley Sportsdome in Milton, owned by Nick Pizza, because, they said, those businesses failed to create the jobs they promised in their applications for the tax breaks.

 

A third business, Lloyd Park 2, in Highland, accepted a voluntary reduction of benefits.

Horodyski said Friday that the benefits "potentially" now could be reinstated for all three businesses. (6/14/13)

 

Times Herald Record Editorial

Editorial: Politics has to go both ways

 

Politics is a one-way street in Ulster County.

 

When a well-connected political couple seeks a tax break for their business, they get it with no questions.

 

When the county tries to take away that taxpayer subsidy because the business never hired all of the workers it planned to, it’s a political vendetta.

 

There is no question that Skate Time 209, the business run by Terry Bernardo, the chairman of the county Legislature, and Len Bernardo, the chairman of the county Independence Party, who also ran for county executive, has hired nine workers, not the 37 that were part of the discussion at the time.

 

The original decision to give the Bernardos a break on their taxes did not tie the dollars to the jobs, so the couple was on the verge of suing to keep their good deal from going away.

 

The Ulster IDA backed down rather than to go court. In the future, it will make sure to ask the questions that did not get asked this time and to put all of the promises in writing.

 

All of this leaves Terry Bernardo wondering “... who do I see to get my reputation back?”

 

That’s easy. All she has to do is look in the mirror, then hire more workers or give up the tax break.  (6/14/13)

 

 

 

Towns not fully sold on office-sharing plan for former Rosendale school

 

COTTEKILL, N.Y.  — Town supervisors from Rosendale, Marbletown, and Rochester are moving at varying speeds to decide if and when to relocate municipal offices to the former Rosendale Elementary School.

 

On Monday, the three showed visitors attending an open house how the former 45,000-square-foot school  could be divided into offices.

 

Rosendale Supervisor Jeanne Walsh said she would have moved town offices there “yesterday” if possible.

 

“Rosendale has inadequate space and this represents a great opportunity to have shared services,” she said.

 

She said the town will move offices from the Town Hall on Main Street, including the clerk, supervisor and tax collector’s offices. “Then we’ll be moving planning, zoning and building, (and) assessor, which is in rented space right now, police and court,” Walsh said. “Then highway will move out of the office they’re in now to actually be in Town Hall — so will water and sewer (departments).”

 

Marbletown Supervisor Michael Warren said  “chances are fairly good” that all town offices except recreation will move into the building, which the Rondout Valley school district closed in June 2012.

 

“We’ve done our due diligence, we ran the cost numbers, and this will cost us more than our current Town Hall, but our current Town Hall is 1,960 feet of office space,” he said. “Here we’ll be getting close to 7,000 square feet of actual office space, not counting 25,000 square feet of common area, including the cafeteria, the gym, meeting rooms, and 17 acres of land.”

 

While the former school  is in the town of Rosendale, the Marbletown town line goes through a small section of the property at the northwest corner. Under the plan, the school district would charge each municipality about $4,500 per month for utilities and other expenses for seven years before selling the building for a dollar.

 

Warren said there haven’t been objections raised to moving offices out of the town, partly due to the cost for Marbletown to build new offices.

 

“It makes too much sense,” he said. “First of all, we have an obligation to our taxpayers. The taxpayers of our three towns encompass the same (school district) taxing authority and they’ve bought and paid for this building. So to have this building sit here and us not take it while we have a (current Town Hall) that doesn’t meet Americans with Disabilities requirements ... wouldn’t make dollar-and- cents sense.”

Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman, who has proposed  moving only town court and recreation offices to the former school, said he has heard objections concerning both. He noted that some of the complaints have been anonymous and contained erroneous information about the cost to taxpayers.

 

“If there was a town tax increase involved, I wouldn’t even consider this in the first place,” he said. “There’s no dealing that’s going on. We had an offer from a member of the school board as to the numbers that we’ve been negotiating and it’s confidential until the school board actually makes an agreed-upon number.”

 

Chipman said Rochester’s needs include finding a space for the court because the current court doesn’t meet state requirements for safety or accessibility.

 

“We use an old school that doesn’t come up to standards,” he said. “We don’t have the money for a new courthouse. There is a possibility we could put a courthouse in here and share it with the other two towns and it could be paid for by the Unified Court System, (which) is pushing for these kind of consolidations.”

 

Chipman said he expects it will be at least two months before the Rochester Town Board has the financial information necessary to make a decision. (Freeman 6/19//13)

 

 

 

Steve Israel: Fracking takes back seat to casino, but neither is sure thing

 

Fracking and casinos.

 

In Sullivan County, where some 17 percent of residents live in poverty, some folks see gas drilling and gambling as saviors. Others see fracking and casinos as devils.

 

By now ­ after the 40-year quest for casinos, and the nearly five-year fracking fight ­ you know the reasons both issues generate so much heat.

 

Casinos and fracking mean money and jobs for the struggling county, supporters say. But, say opponents, the natural gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing will destroy Sullivan's greatest asset, its natural resources. Casinos will mean polluting traffic and all sorts of social problems, like gambling addiction and crime.

 

With the push for fracking suddenly taking a back seat to the hot new race for casinos, it's possible ­ just possible ­ that a casino will rise before a drill hits the ground.

 

So what do the foes and fans of fracking say about casinos?

 

When it comes to passion, fracking trumps casinos any day. Its opponents fear fracking far more than they fear casinos. Fracking supporters want to drill way more than they want casinos.

 

Take one of the state's leading fracking opponents, Sullivan and Ulster-based Catskill Mountainkeeper. The group certainly isn't pro-casino. But it's not going to launch an anti-casino fight unless it looks like Sullivan will have more than one.

 

"We're not about casinos; we're about environmental impact," says Mountainkeeper's executive director, Ramsay Adams. "We do not want more than one casino in the Catskills. We will fight to have that referendum (in November to legalize casinos) fail if they give us more than one casino."

 

The county's other leading anti-fracking group, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, isn't even taking a casino stand.

 

"It does not, and will not, have a position on casinos," says member Bruce Ferguson.

 

But, adds Ferguson, he certainly doesn't think gambling, or any massive project, is the answer to Sullivan's ills.

 

"Both (fracking and casinos) are predicated on this county, this region, not making its own way, that we're waiting for something to swoop in and hand us the magic bullet," he says. "It's never worked and it won't work."

 

Even those passionately for fracking can't generate much heat for casinos. Still, the two leaders of groups looking to lease thousands of acres for drilling say casinos are generally a good thing.

 

"I feel any development is good," says Bill Graby, who heads the Sullivan-Delaware Property Owners Association. "But I don't think there will be as many high-paying jobs compared to (fracking)."

 

Al Larson, who heads the county's other landowners group, the Rural Bethel Landowners Coalition, also views casinos favorably in this county where he notes "people are losing jobs, people are losing homes." But he also sees a downside.

 

"I'm more inclined to support casinos than oppose them because they would help some people find a reasonably good job," he says.

 

But ...

 

"Drugs, alcohol and so forth may be involved," he says. "So there would be an increased cost for police, fire and ambulances."

 

But Larson, 73, has also lived in Sullivan long enough to know this: When it comes to any huge project, such as casinos or fracking, there is no sure thing.

 

"Casinos have been coming for decades," he says. "It's like natural gas is coming. I personally doubt I'll live long enough to see it." (TH Record 6-30-13)

 

 

 

Towns urge Ulster County not to delay welfare cost takeover

 

KINGSTON, N.Y.  — Ulster County town supervisors Tuesday urged county lawmakers to stay on track to take on another one-third of the municipal governments’  share of the welfare program known as Safety Net in 2014.

 

At a meeting of the Ulster County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee, officials debated for 30 minutes on the merits of staying with a plan that began with taking over one-third of the local governments’ share this year and the county assuming the full cost by 2015.

 

“For our planning purposes, we start our budgets quite a bit earlier than the county does, so we need to know where we’re going to be at,” town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said. “We have to have a tentative budget in place by Sept. 30.”

 

Chipman, who chairs the Ulster County Supervisors Association, said it is unfair for county officials to administer a program that comes out of town budgets without having to be accountable to municipal taxpayers.

 

“Just on a moral issue, it’s wrong for someone to manage my checkbook,” he said. “As a chief executive officer, I like to manage my expenses.”

 

Wawarsing town Supervisor Scott Carlsen said the town has too much at stake to be uncertain whether Safety Net costs will be covered by the county.

 

“It’s 10 percent of my budget,” he said. “It’s a million dollars in Wawarsing.”

 

Carlsen added that the county Department of Social Services has not be helpful in planning expenses.

 

Deputy County Executive Kenneth Crannell said the county budgeted $1.7 million for a one-third share of 2013 Safety Net expenses, but the actual figure is expected to be $1.9 million by the end of the year.

 

“We’re trending higher,” Crannel said. “If we were to do another third next year based upon current numbers, it would be closer to $2.3 million. That’s the cost of an additional one-third.”

Deputy County Executive James Hanson said adjustments are being considered in a proposal for sharing expenses with the town.

 

“At this point it’s too early to really determine,” he said. “We don’t know where our revenues are falling. There’s not that much data on the sales tax this early in the year to be able to predict where sales tax is going to end at. ... So until we know where sales tax is trending, it’s hard to say what we can do with Safety Net.”  (Freeman 6/19/13)

 

 

Mohonk Preserve wins legal fight over boundary

 

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — The Mohonk Preserve has won a boundary dispute over 14.5 acres, and the neighboring property owners have been ordered to pay $12,250 for cutting down 31 trees on the disputed parcel.

 

The decision, handed down April 15 by state Supreme Court Justice Christopher Cahill, is being appealed.

 

The preserve filed a lawsuit against Chris and Helen Ullrich, Sarah Emond and Thomas Marks in 2009 after three years of disputes.

 

“We were always confident in the outcome,” said Glenn Hoagland, executive director of the Mohonk Preserve. “It certainly affirms our understanding of the title to the property.”

 

In the suit, the Mohonk Preserve contended a neighboring parcel had been used to access preserve property to cut firewood and that “No Trespassing” signs were removed from the property.

 

The Mohonk Preserve also is awaiting a ruling in a case against Karen Pardini and her husband, Michael Fink, over ownership of a 71.45-acre portion of a 300-acre parcel in the town of Rochester.

 

Hoagland said the cases are unusual for the 7,000-acre preserve because of efforts made to settle differences amicably.

 

“We have over 250 contiguous neighbors, and these two cases are the only ones that we’re involved in,” he said. “We actively post and patrol our boundary and engage in communication with our neighbors. We’ve walked our neighbors’ lines with them on request, so these, I think, are rare, and we’d tried very hard in both these cases to avoid litigation.”

 

In the April 15 decision, Cahill acknowledged that settling the boundary dispute was difficult because the deeds have a paper trail dating back nearly 300 years.

 

“Much of the evidence introduced at trial consists of maps and handwritten deeds stretching back to the early 1700s,” he wrote.

Despite the ambiguities, though, the judge said the Mohonk Preserve presented the “more credible” land survey.

 

Attorney Sharon Graff, who represented the neighbors, declined to comment on the ruling.  (Freeman 5/31/13)

 

 

Kerhonkson domestic dispute results in charges

 

KERHONKSON, N.Y. — A Kerhonkson man was arrested by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies Saturday and charged with six misdemeanors following an investigation into a domestic dispute.

 

Deputies said Codi Conklin, 24, of 89 Sundown Road, was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, obstruction of breathing, unlawful imprisonment and two counts of criminal mischief, all misdemeanors, as well as harassment, a violation.

 

Deputies said that about 8:15 p.m. Saturday, they responded to a “past domestic incident” in Kerhonkson, and determined that Conklin was involved in a physical dispute with a woman.

 

They said Conklin is alleged to have choked and assaulted the woman, damaged property and refused to let the woman leave the residence.

 

Deputies said Conklin had fled the residence before they arrived, but he was contacted by cell phone and turned himself in to deputies at the Wawarsing substation.

 

Conklin was arraigned at Rochester Town Court and released with tickets to return to that court, deputies said.

 

They said the woman was taken by private vehicle to HealthAlliance Hospital, Broadway Campus in Kingston, where she was treated for her injuries and released. (Freeman 6/10/13)

 

News

Alexander Barsky, killer of Kerhonkson teenager Joseph Martin, can't go free, NY parole board rules

 

Alexander Barsky, in prison for the 1996 bludgeoning death of Kerhonkson teenager Joseph Martin, has been denied parole again.

 

A state parole board in May said that, despite a spotless record in prison, the 32-year old Barsky does not deserve to be freed because his crime was “brutal and with a total disregard for human life.” Also, the board said, given Barsky’s criminal record in the years after Martin’s death, “there is a reasonable probability that (he) would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law.”

 

The ruling did not detail Barsky’s criminal record. A search of the state Department of Corrections database, however, indicated he did not serve any time in state prison prior to his incarceration for Martin’s death.

 

The parole board’s ruling marked the second time Barsky’s release was denied. The first was in 2011, when the board called Martin’s slaying “a violent, malicious act” and said freeing Barsky “would so deprecate the seriousness of the ... offense as to undermine respect for the law.”

 

Barsky pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2008 for the March 1996 bludgeoning death of Martin.

 

Authorities said Barsky and Daniel Malak, both 15 at the time of Martin’s death, lured Martin, also 15, to a makeshift fort the three Rondout Valley High School friends had built, then beat him to death with a pipe and hid the body in a mountain crevice. Several years later, Barsky returned to the site, collected the remains and dumped them in garbage cans throughout Brooklyn, where Barsky was living, authorities said.

 

Barsky and Malak were questioned by police in 1996 but not charged. The case then remained unsolved until May 2008, when Barsky, under renewed questioning, admitted his role in Martin’s killing.

 

Malak — already serving 20 years to life for a homicide committed a year after Martin was killed — was charged in the Martin case in September 2009.

 

Barsky was sentenced to 3-1/2 years to 10 years in state prison for Martin’s death. Malak was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life.

 

Barsky is due to be released from prison on a conditional discharge on Jan. 4, 2015, following a review of his prison record by a “time allowance committee” comprising officials at the Groveland Correctional Institution in western New York, where Barsky is being held. 

Currently, according to prison records, Barsky has had no disciplinary problems in prison, has completed an aggression replacement training program and is participating in welding program. (Freeman 6/3/13)

 

 

Police Blotter

 

Drugs: Thomas M. Ahearn, 25, of 2030 Berme Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. Ulster County sheriff’s deputies said Ahearn came to the Sheriff’s Office security station at the Ulster County Department of Social Services at about noon Wednesday. A search of Ahearn prior to him entering the building revealed a bag containing a hallucinogenic narcotic, deputies said. Ahearn was released on a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. (Freeman 6/28/13)

 

False personation: John Hunlock, 38, of 6 Knob Hill Road, High Falls was arrested Wednesday on misdemeanor charges of false personation and aggravated unlicensed driving. Ulster County sheriff’s deputies said they responded at about 6:15 p.m. to Lez Pharmacy on U.S. Route 209 to assist an Ulster County probation officer. Investigation showed the officer had seen Hunlock, who is currently on probation, driving a vehicle while his driving privileges were suspended, deputies said. Deputies said after the officer confronted Hunlock, a small dispute ensued and Hunlock left the area. Hunlock was found a short distance away, deputies said. Deputies said he initially provided a false name and was taken into custody. Hunlock was arraigned in Marbletown Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail in lieu of $500 bail. (6/28/13)

 

DWI: Jose C. Inocencio, 53, of Framingham, Mass., was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 10 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Route 209 and charged with two counts each of aggravated drunken driving, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. He was also charged with misdemeanor drunken driving. (6/17/13)

 

DWI: Scott R. Muldoon, 53, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 3:10 a.m. Sunday on  Route 209 on charges of misdemeanor drunken driving and the infraction of driving left of pavement markings. He was released with tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (6/17/13)

 

 

Shoplifting: Hunter S. Falck, 27, of Box 50, 42nd St., Kerhonkson, was arrested by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on a charge of misdemeanor petit larceny. Deputies said they received a report May 30 regarding the theft of baked goods from the Kwik Mart in Accord. An investigation showed that after the baked goods were delivered to the store, Falck stole eight dozen bagels, two dozen sub rolls and three dozen assorted danish, worth $41.70, from the delivery site, deputies said. Falck was released with a ticket to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 7/2/13)

 

Shoplifting: Sara R. Harrison, 22, of Leghorn Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. by Ulster town police and charged with misdmemeanor petit larceny. Police said they received a complaint from Kohl’s loss prevention personnel that Harrison removed clothing valued at $12 from the store without paying for it. She was issued a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. (Freeman 7/4/13)

 

Letters

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

There has been some recent controversy about an email from the Rosendale Town Supervisor that I forwarded to my colleagues on the Town Board to keep them in the loop.  The forwarded email related to the proposal to share municipal services with the Towns of Marbletown and Rosendale at the site of the former Rosendale Elementary School and contained a cost estimate provided by David O’Halloran from the Rondout Valley School Board.

 

I erroneously sent this email to Fawn Tantillo, the deputy clerk of the Ulster County Legislature; she is part of the staff of Chair of the Ulster County Legislature.  Immediately after sending the email, I contacted her to indicate that the email was sent in error and asked her to delete it.  I was completely shocked that the email was forwarded to others and even more shocked when the email became the subject of a political flyer.  Ms. Tantillo’s behavior represents a breach of ethics, and just plain bad manners.  To contemplate that this was done without the consent of her boss is unfathomable.

 

The proposal to relocate some Town services to the Rosendale School is just a proposal that the three town boards are considering.  The proposal presents the opportunity for more space and considerable operating and capital expenditure savings, but also presents significant challenges in the greater distance that many of our townspeople might have to travel to enjoy services that are now provided in Accord.  The Town Board does not have the information to prepare a full financial analysis and is certainly not in any position to make a decision; indeed, no decision has been made, contrary to the spurious allegations that Ms. Fantillo and her unethical colleagues are spreading.  Before the Town Board does make a decision about whether or not to participate in the shared services agreement (which will only be adopted if there are tax savings), you can be assured that a full and transparent discussion with all residents and stakeholders will take place and that all facts will be honestly presented.

 

Sincerely,

 

Carl Chipman, Supervisor

Town of Rochester

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Editor:

As a Republican, you might think I would be supportive of fracking. But there is no partisan way to fix our roads, balance our budgets, breathe the air or drink the water.

I am responsible for our town’s infrastructure and the health and safety of its residents. The last thing we need is trucks shipping in out-of-state workers and exporting natural gas barreling down our roads. The costs of fracking will outweigh any ad valorem tax income received. In a few years, when the gas is gone and the gas companies have made their profits, who will pay to repair the damage? Local taxpayers?

It’s not just our infrastructure that fracking destroys. Our neighbors in Pennsylvania have seen the air they breathe and the water they drink turn toxic. Again, after the gas companies have taken their profits back to Texas, we’ll be left to pick up the pieces.

Don’t get me wrong, New York needs jobs. The costs of fracking are just too great and the jobs it creates too few. That’s why I helped shepherd a fracking ban in Rochester. But air and water pollution don’t respect town borders. That is why we need fracking banned across New York.

Instead, we should be investing in industries that will be here for the long-term, that will hire local people and will re-invest their profits in our communities. New York should fully embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, harnessing and conserving our own power while creating the jobs and economic development we need. That’s the choice that New York should make, investing in our future and protecting our farms, community infrastructure, air and water.

That’s why I’m going to Albany on June 17, with Republicans, Democrats and independents, to call on Gov. Cuomo to ban fracking across the state and to support renewable energy.

CARL CHIPMAN

 

 

 

Dear Editor:

It was encouraging to read the letter (June 9) from Carl Chipman, supervisor of the town of Rochester, and to see his leadership in opposition to fracking in his town.

Chipman gets it right when he says, "...air and water pollution don’t respect town borders. That is why we need fracking banned across New York."

Rochester and other nearby towns, including Andes, New Paltz, Olive, Rosendale and Woodstock, have passed laws banning fracking and related activities in their jurisdictions. Now it’s our time to do the same in the town of Hurley.

Sustainable Hurley will be holding its first meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday (June 19) at the Old Glenford Church. We will be initiating a petition drive urging our town officials to ban hydraulic fracturing and all related activities in our township and prohibit the use of gas waste brine on our

town roads. We plan to go door-to-door throughout the town to gain signatures for our petition.

The more signatures we get, the stronger our voice will be in urging the Hurley Town Board to protect its residents and stand with others all across New York who oppose the pollution of our precious water and the industrialization of our rural landscape.

If you are unable to attend and want to help, contact me at sustainablehurley@gmail.com. On the Internet, find us at Facebook/SustainableHurley with a link to our online petition at change.org.

 

TOBE CAREY

Glenford

 

Dear Editor:

During Memorial Day weekend, my grandchildren found a mother cat and her kittens hiding under a trailer.

Due to family allergies, we were unable to take them into our homes, nor could we catch them. We then pursued various animal shelters ad groups with little hope.

I then called Project Cat. Within less than an hour, Gail Mihocko returned my call and offered to come within a few hours.

She instructed us on what to do and not to do until she arrived. She was not only concerned for the animals, but also for the safety of my family, as feral cats can cause serious injuries and/or illnesses, due to lack of proper care.

After she arrived, her procedures were meticulous and very professional.

Gail captured the mother, her kittens and the father. One kitten was very sick and had a serious eye infection, etc.

The mother and father cat were very aggressive. The instructions not to touch the cats were founded, probably preventing an illness and/or injury to my grandchildren.

Project Cat is indeed a safety asset to the community. Unfortunately, tax deductible donations and other items are desperately need for this very worthy shelter.

Please send a check or money order, or other needed items such as laundry soap, dish soap, special needs cat food and a volunteer handyman carpenter ASAP to: Project Cat, 571 County Route 2, Accord, N.Y. 12404. To adopt a cat or kitten, please call 845-687-4983.

EILEEN BAUL

Kerhonkson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Accord Artist Barbara Arum in Chelsea exhibition

 

Local sculptor, Barbara Arum, will be participating in an exhibit at the Prince St. Gallery in Chelsea.  530 West 25th Street, 4th Floor, For more information call 646-230-0246, Tuesday, June 18 to Saturday, July 6, 2013,

 

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BRADFORD GRAVES SCULPTURE PARK –

4th  season opens Saturday, May 4th, 2013 till end of October. 

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

 

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 NYS AFTER STORM KING.

 

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

 

Drawings and prints, as well as his extensive personal library is available upon special request .

 

“Especially impressive is Bradford Graves, a sculptor who works imaginatively in limestone. Graves seems to be creating modest-sized monuments...his work is most effective when they create the impression of almost natural elements such as one might find, perhaps, in a Surreal seaside landscape.”

 James R. Mellow, May 19, 1973   The New York Times

 

By appointment only: Call 845 230-0521

email: bradfordgravessculpturepark@gmail.com

http://www.bradfordgravessculpturepark.com

A suggested contribution of $5.00

The Sculpture Park is a special project of SOUNDSCAPE PRESENTS INC, a not-for-profit Corp.

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

Sculpture and drawings can be purchased. Please inquire if you are interested.

 

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A note from Veritas Villa Foundation:

 

We are very proud to announce that our Jim has finally finished his most recent book entitled Trouble is a Gift: A story of addiction, recovery and hope.

Jim discusses his early upbringing in Manhattan, the family moving to Queens, his life growing up as a tough street kid, difficulties he had in the Air Force and his hard-drinking years that followed and eventually led to his sobriety and his mission.

Jim's story continues through numerous twists, turns, and fateful encounters, including his first meeting with Sue, his now wife and partner in his life work, and several changes of location before coming upon the resort in the Catskills that is now known as Villa Veritas.

 

We hope that by reading Jim's story, other determined individuals will be inspired and hopeful that they too will be able to overcome any obstacles in their life and turn liabilities into assets.

The book is now available on both the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. Or, if you would like, contact us directly on how to get your own copy.

 

Please let us know what you think!

 

Jim and Sue

 

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The cicadas are coming

The 17-year cicada, on top, emerges in a few weeks.

Lower bug is the annual cicada.

HIGHLAND – Get out the earplugs.

Since before the turn of the millennium, an exodus has been brewing and in just a few weeks hundreds of millions of noisy 17-year cicada will emerge from the ground blanketing the Hudson Valley region and beyond.

Ulster County Cornell Cooperative Extension Research Entomologist Peter Jentsch said the last time this 17-year species, or Magicicada, emerged was in 1996.

Since then they have been feeding quietly on the roots of trees, but when environmental temperatures are warm enough, the immature cicada will burrow out of the soil, mature into adulthood and complete the final stages of their life cycle.

This should be about the end of May or the first week in June, Jentsch said.

Deciduous trees such as maple, oak, ash, beech, elm, and cedar are optimal habitats for cicada, Jentsch explained, and once they’ve emerged, they typically cluster and stay around the environment and whatever tree or groups of trees they were feeding off of as nymphs.

“In the Hudson Valley we see very high populations right along the river, so here in Highland we have high populations, but across the river in Dutchess County toward Tivoli they have very large forested areas of oak and other deciduous trees that these insects prefer and the populations there are just astounding,” Jentsch said.

By “astounding” populations, Jentsch is referring to an estimated average of 3 million insects per acre in the Hudson Valley. This number is just an average, he explained, and it is variable based on the local environment’s proximity to water, deciduous forest density, and level of urbanization or agriculture.

More urbanized areas can expect less than the estimated average, whereas more optimal areas can expect upward of 5 million to 7 million insects per acre.

Campers and country folk should be familiar with the distinctive song of the annual cicada, but while the 17-year species is here there will be a near constant piercing rhythmic singing coming from about 1½ million males per acre, Jentsch said.

It is important to understand that the world is not coming to an end, he added, and that by mid-summer they will all die off becoming food for the birds.

Although they will be emerging, singing, and mating en masse, these insects pose no physical threat to humans. They do noy migrate in swarms creating clouds of biblical proportion that will blot out the sun; as locusts do. They do not bite, nor will they attack, and according to Jentsch, the only real danger is caused by individuals who overreact and take inappropriate action to eradicate them.

He said the most significant health risk is created when individuals douse their home and property with insecticides exposing themselves, their families, and their pets to unnecessarily high levels of poison.

The most immediate cause for concern is amongst commercial agriculturalists.

According to Jentsch, “When they do attach themselves onto roots of trees they do reduce the vigor of the tree, sometimes they reduce the overall growth, and if it’s a fruit tree like apple it will reduce the quality of the fruit, the size, the number of fruit, the type of flowering that it goes through and so controlling these insects on fruit trees is fairly important for agriculturalists.”

http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2013/May/07/cicadas-07May13.html

 

 

 

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Mohonk Preserve wins legal fight over boundary

by WILLIAM J. KEMBLE

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — The Mohonk Preserve has won a boundary dispute over 14.5 acres, and the neighboring property owners have been ordered to pay $12,250 for cutting down 31 trees on the disputed parcel.

The decision, handed down April 15 by state Supreme Court Justice Christopher Cahill, is being appealed.

The preserve filed a lawsuit against Chris and Helen Ullrich, Sarah Emond and Thomas Marks in 2009 after three years of disputes.

“We were always confident in the outcome,” said Glenn Hoagland, executive director of the Mohonk Preserve. “It certainly affirms our understanding of the title to the property.”

In the suit, the Mohonk Preserve contended a neighboring parcel had been used to access preserve property to cut firewood and that “No Trespassing” signs were removed from the property.

The Mohonk Preserve also is awaiting a ruling in a case against Karen Pardini and her husband, Michael Fink, over ownership of a 71.45-acre portion of a 300-acre parcel in the town of Rochester.

Hoagland said the cases are unusual for the 7,000-acre preserve because of efforts made to settle differences amicably.

“We have over 250 contiguous neighbors, and these two cases are the only ones that we’re involved in,” he said. “We actively post and patrol our boundary and engage in communication with our neighbors. We’ve walked our neighbors’ lines with them on request, so these, I think, are rare, and we’d tried very hard in both these cases to avoid litigation.”

In the April 15 decision, Cahill acknowledged that settling the boundary dispute was difficult because the deeds have a paper trail dating back nearly 300 years.

“Much of the evidence introduced at trial consists of maps and handwritten deeds stretching back to the early 1700s,” he wrote. Continued...

Despite the ambiguities, though, the judge said the Mohonk Preserve presented the “more credible” land survey. 

Attorney Sharon Graff, who represented the neighbors, declined to comment on the ruling.  (Freeman 5/31/13)

 

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Town Government News

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At its meeting on May 2nd, the Town Board:

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Adopted a resolution opposing the takeover of Central Hudson Energy Group by Fortis, Inc.

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Approved the blocking off of a turnaround area on Project 32 Road, and

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Appointed  Angelina Hasbrouck to the Youth Commission and Ian Duncan to the Environmental Conservation Commission.

 

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Lynn Archer Endorsed by Ulster County Democrats

 

            The Ulster County Democratic Committee voted on May 30th to endorse Lynn Archer to represent the 21st District of the Ulster County Legislature, which includes all of the  Town of Rochester and the eastern portion of the Town of Wawarsing.

 

            Archer has served as a town councilperson in the Town of Rochester since 2007 and has worked to address a number of issues, including the first revision of the Town’s zoning laws in 40 years, a ban on hydrofracking in the Town, and improved internet and wireless coverage.

 

            “I am honored that the Ulster County Democratic Committee has decided to support my candidacy and I look forward to helping to restore cooperation and mutual respect to the Ulster County Legislature,” said Archer, a resident of Accord.  Archer had previously been endorsed by the Democratic Committees of the Town of Rochester and Wawarsing. 

 

            Archer has owned and operated Archer Fine Art & Framing in High Falls since 2004.  Before that, she was a Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources at JPMorganChase, where she honed her skills in mediating and resolving tough staff and budget issues.

 

 

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Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo vows to fight for GOP line on November ballot

By PATRICIA DOXSEY
Freeman staff

ACCORD, N.Y. —  Denied her own party’s nomination for re-election, Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo vowed on Thursday to “take her case to the people” by forcing a primary for the GOP line in District 21.

Bernardo, R-Accord, was rebuffed by the county Republican Committee on Wednesday when, at the recommendation of the town of Rochester Republican Committee, it nominated John Dawson as the party pick to run for the seat in the Nov. 5 election. 

On Thursday, Bernardo vowed to win the party line in a September primary and accused Rochester Republican Chairman David O’Halloran of denying her the party line in retribution for her unwillingness to support his effort to get county support for a plan to bring video lottery terminals to his Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort in Kerhonkson.

“David O’Halloran asked me to support video lottery terminals for his business — something that could ultimately enrich him personally in exchange for him supporting me. I don’t do business that way,” Bernardo said in an email. “David promised to take me out because I wouldn’t do his bidding.

“I work for the people, not for him,” she added. “I will take my case to the people, and I believe I will be successful.”

In April, O’Halloran resigned from the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency board, which he had chaired for three years, and accused Bernardo and her husband, county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo, of using their political clout to curry favors, carry out vendettas and stifle economic development in the county.

At the time, O’Halloran also said he was actively seeking candidates to run for Terry Bernardo’s Legislature seat, saying the town GOP committee was unsure the two-term incumbent “was the right candidate for the district.”

Just before stepping down from the Industrial Development Agency board, O’Halloran resigned as vice chairman of the county Republican Committee  when, he said, it became clear to him that the Bernardos were using their political influence to block his effort to get state approval for video lottery terminals at his resort as payback for action taken by the Industrial Development Agency against Skate Time 209, the Bernardos’ roller skating rink in Accord.

The Industrial Development Agency terminated its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, deal with Skate Time 209 because, the agency said, the business failed to produce the jobs it promised in its application for the tax breaks. The Bernardos said they never promised to create a specific number of jobs and that the figures included in the application were simply estimates. (Freeman 5/30/13)

 

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Ulster County GOP declines to back Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo for re-election to her district seat

By Freeman staff

STONE RIDGE, N.Y. — Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, R-Accord, was denied her party’s nomination Wednesday, meaning the two-term incumbent lawmaker will have to win a primary to get the GOP line on the November ballot.

The county Republican Committee instead tapped John Dawson as the party’s candidate for the  Legislature’s District 21 seat. Last week, Dawson won the support of the town of Rochester Republican Committee.

Bernardo’s name wasn’t even put before the committee for consideration during its nominating convention at Ulster County Community College.

Bernardo is married to county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo and could run on that party’s line in November. 

District 21 comprises the entire town of Rochester and a small portion of Wawarsing (Freeman 5/29/13)

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Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo denies using political clout to block VLT plan

By PATRICIA DOXSEY
Freeman staff

KINGSTON — Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo rejects claims by David O’Halloran that she and her husband, county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo, used their political clout to block O’Halloran’s plan to bring video lottery terminals to his business, the Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort. 

Rather, said Mrs. Bernardo, R-Accord, O’Halloran tried to pressure and intimidate her to support a resolution asking the state to allow video lottery terminals, or VLTs, at Pinegrove and the Hudson Valley Resort, both in Kerhonkson.

At the April 3 meeting of the Legislature’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee, Bernardo announced she was abstaining from the discussion on the VLT resolution and left the meeting room. The committee subsequently voted 3-2 in favor of the measure.

Bernardo said because of the personal and business relationships she had with O’Halloran, a fellow town of Rochester resident, she was ethically bound to remove herself from the legislative debate over a resolution asking the state to allow the game terminals at Pinegrove and the Hudson Valley Resort.

“I abstained because it would personally benefit Mr. O’Halloran, and I have a relationship with him,” she said on Friday.

Bernardo said O’Halloran, as chairman of the Rochester Republican Committee, raised money for her Legislature campaigns and, as chairman of the Industrial Development Agency, was in a position to reach a settlement in a dispute with the Bernardos’ business, Skate Time 209, over a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement with the agency.

“There were conflicts of interest all over the place,” Mrs. Bernardo. “I was staying out of it.”

On Wednesday, O’Halloran resigned from the Industrial Development Agency, saying it was “clear” the Bernardos would use their influence to reject anything with which he was involved out of spite over the PILOT dispute. 

But Mrs. Bernardo said it was O’Halloran who tried to coerce her into announcing her support for his VLT request and pushing it through the county Legislature.

In one email provided by Bernardo, O’Halloran wrote  he was “shocked” that she was abstaining and said her decision was causing “cracks” in GOP support for the plan. 

In another email, he asked the chairwoman to come to the Pinegrove so O’Halloran could buy her a cup of coffee and the two could discuss a strategy “to show our support for each other.”

Bernardo said that, in a phone call, O’Halloran told her he would “ruin” her and find someone to run against her in the fall 2013 election for her legislative seat.

“He continued to pressure me right up until the day of the vote,” she said, adding that, as the meeting date drew closer, his behavior toward her became more “alarming.”

O’Halloran stepped down as vice chairman of the county GOP Committee the day before the Legislature meeting in hopes of garnering Republican support for the VLT measure, but the resolution was pulled later that day when it became apparent it wouldn’t pass.

O’Halloran blamed the Bernardos for the lack of support, saying the two used their political clout to keep other Republican legislators from voting for it. Republicans hold a 12-11 majority in the Legislature.

“I didn’t call them, I don’t call them,” Len Bernardo said. “This is in his mind.”

Terry Bernardo said she never spoke about the VLT measure with other legislators, and she called it “curious” that, a week or two after being appointed vice chairman of the county GOP Committee, in charge of legislative campaign fundraising, O’Halloran called for the county to adopt the resolution “that would personally, financially benefit him.”

Mrs. Bernardo said she does support the possibility of video lottery terminals at up to three resorts in Ulster County that want them. But, she said, that support needs to come as part of a “concerted effort” to promote resorts in the towns of Lloyd, Rochester, Wawarsing, Saugerties and Shandaken. (Freeman 4/13/13)

 

 

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Ulster County to decide again on camp permits that spurred suit last year

By PATRICIA DOXSEY

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Ulster County is no longer facing a legal challenge over its decision last year to issue health permits for four southern Ulster County summer camps to one of the two warring factions of the conservative Satmar Hasidic sect.

But with the issue over which of the two factions of the Satmar community owns the camps in Wawarsing and Rochester still unresolved, and the summer camp season rapidly approaching, the county finds itself once again in the position of deciding who will get the necessary permits to run the camps.

County Attorney Bea Havranek said the county has once again received applications from both sects to operate the camps. She said those applications, along with applications from others looking to open summer camps throughout the county, are currently being reviewed by the county Health Department, which issues the permits.

“We’re at the very initial stages,” said Havranek. “No decisions have been made.”

Last year, County Executive Michael Hein decided that the health permits needed to open the camps would be issued to David Rosenberg, acting as an agent of Jeno Kahan, long-time operators of the camps, and an ally of the Zalman Teitelbaum-faction of the sect.

Zalman Teitelbaum and his brother Aaron Teitelbaum, who also applied for permits to run the camps, are locked in a bitter feud over who is the rightful leader of the Congregation Yetev Lev, in Brooklyn, which owns the camps. Zalman Teitelbaum draws his support from the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  Aaron Teitelbaum’s faction is in charge of the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel in the town of Monroe.

Last year, when the county decided to issue the health permits to Rosenberg, representatives of “Freidman faction,” which is aligned with the Aaron Teitelbaum faction, filed a lawsuit against the Zalman Teitelbaum faction and Ulster County.

In a decision issued in January, state Supreme Court Justice James Gilpatric dismissed the case against the county, saying the county’s action was “a pragmatic, ministerial function, not a quasi-judicial determination or expression of official policy.”

He rejected the claim that by awarding the permits to one group over the other the county was favoring one faction over the other or that it was tantamount to recognizing the Kahan-Zalman Teitelbaum faction as “the true and legitimate representative” of the congregation. (Freeman 5/1/13)

 

Gambling Legislation

THE ISSUE:

The governor wants lawmakers to endorse gambling on minimal information.

THE STAKES:

A wager is all the more risky on faith rather than facts.

Crossing one's fingers and hoping for the best rarely works out well at the blackjack table. It's not a particularly good way to make laws, either.

Yet Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants the Legislature — and, eventually, citizens — to embrace casino gambling even as important questions go unanswered. If the governor wants lawmakers to vote before the legislative session ends in June, there's a lot more we all need to know and discuss, Mr. Cuomo's disdain for public debate notwithstanding.

Mr. Cuomo wants the Legislature to give second passage to a constitutional amendment that would allow full casino gambling and up to seven casinos in the state. If it passes, the amendment would go to voters this fall.

We appreciate Mr. Cuomo's urgency to get what he believes would be more money into the state treasury, and perhaps spur what he imagines would be some economic development upstate. But he's asking New York to buy into a game where the rules have yet to be explained and the payout is a mystery. Who'd take a bet like that?

High on the list of unanswered questions is the matter of where casinos will go. So far, all Mr. Cuomo has said is that the first three would have to go upstate, although he's also suggested he'd be open to one downstate, too, if that's what it takes to get legislative passage. He envisions casino companies competing to erect grand destination resorts that would lure tourists north, and a gaming commission that he controls picking the winners. At least one major casino operator, MGM, has scoffed at the idea, arguing that no one is likely to make so major an investment upstate at the risk of losing business to the casinos that will eventually be allowed in or near New York City.

It's unclear what casinos will do to the state's current gambling operations. Would casinos reduce lottery betting? What happens to racinos, those raceway gambling halls that now run video lottery terminals? Will they be allowed in the casino competition? Could casinos open near them — and probably drive them out of business? Would the state bail out the communities that lose these parlors? What about the extra tax these operations pay to help support the horse racing industry; will casinos pay that?

Would casinos bring in new business and jobs, or just move money and jobs around?

How does the matter of home rule fit into this? Will communities be able to say no? What's their cut if they say yes?

Will there be extra money for gambling addiction help?

As we said, plenty of questions. The governor suggested back in December that all this can wait until after voters pass the constitutional amendment. What he's asking, in essence, is for lawmakers and citizens to roll the dice first, and worry later.

What Mr. Cuomo seems to forget is that New Yorkers aren't the gamblers here. They're the house. And there's a reason the house rarely loses in gambling — it makes the rules and it knows the odds. It doesn't make sucker bets. And this house shouldn't start now. (Times Union 5/7/13)

 

 

Rondout Valley school board candidates unopposed in upcoming election

By ARIEL ZANGLAFreeman staff

KYSERIKE,  N.Y. — Three candidates are running unopposed for three seats on the Rondout Valley Board of Education.

The candidates in Tuesday’s election are incumbents David O’Halloran and Michael Redmond, as well as Kevin Cothren.

Each seat has a three-year term.

O’Halloran, 52, owns and operates the Pinegrove Ranch & Family Resort in Kerhonkson with his wife, Donna. He has served on the school board since 2011.

O’Halloran earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from SUNY Albany in 1983. He and his wife have two daughters.

“The cost of delivering education in the district has been increasing on a per-student basis while academic achievement has been flat or decreasing,” O’Halloran said. He said he believes it is important for the district to look at every resource and balance the cost with academic achievement.

Redmond, 67, is retired from working as a supervisor at the Ashokan Reservoir for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He has been on the school board for 11 years.

He graduated from Rondout Valley High School in 1965 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1965 to 1969. He and his wife, Judith, have two adult children and five grandchildren.

“I believe we need to give the best education we can,” but without burdening taxpayers, Redmond said. He said the district also should look at education on the county level and see where services can be shared to save money.

Cothren, 62, is a retired elementary school teacher who worked for the New Paltz Central School District. He is married to Janine Hider, a sixth-grade teacher in the Rondout Valley school district, and has a daughter. 

 

Cothern earned a master’s degree in education from SUNY New Paltz in 1986.

“I’m very concerned lately with the failure of the school board to follow through on things,” Cothren said. He said he attended board meetings since he retired and has served on advisory committees for the district, including the Comprehensive District Education Plan Committee.

Cothren said the district recently did a reconfiguration but the board is not working to address problems with such things as busing and discipline.

Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the school district office. (Freeman 5/18/13)

 

 

 

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Kerhonkson driver, 84, airlifted to hospital after colliding with garbage truck

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — An 84-year-old Kerhonkson driver who struck a garbage truck stopped on Lucas Turnpike Wednesday morning was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center for treatment of head and chest injuries, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they responded to a 911 call at 8:50 a.m. reporting a personal injury automobile accident on Lucas Turnpike near Kyserike Road.

They said their investigation determined that a 2000 Hyundai driven by Jaroslaw Mytrofaniuk of Kerhonkson, was northbound on Lucas Avenue when Mytrofaniuk failed to see a northbound County Waste LLC garbage truck, operated by Robert C. Deane, 50, of Middleburgh, stopped in the roadway.

They said the Mytrofaniuk vehicle struck the garbage truck from the rear, going under the truck and pushing it 2 or 3 feet forward.

The Mytrofaniuk Hyundai then came to rest in the southbound lane of traffic, according to deputies.

Deputies said Deane was uninjured in the accident. (Freeman 4/24/13)

 

 

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Three in Ulster County charged with selling alcohol to underage person

ELLENVILLE, N.Y. — State police arrested three people and charged them with selling alcohol to an underage “buyer” during an enforcement effort that checked seven establishments late last week, state police said.

Arrested and charged with prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 were Vimalkumar Patel of Citgo Mart, 5790 U.S. Route 209, Kerhonkson; Dipakkumar Patel, of Rondout Valley Grocers, 5060 Route 209, Accord; and Gopal Gajjar, Accord Kwik Mart, 4990 Route 209, Accord.

The underage sting was conducted Thursday in the towns of Rochester and Marbletown. Police said they checked seven stores in those townships and four properly asked for identification when an underage buyer tried to buy an alcoholic beverage.

Those arrested were released on court appearance tickets.  (Freeman 4/30/13)

 

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Kerhonkson man's grand larceny conviction upheld

Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013

KINGSTON, N.Y. — The state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division has unanimously affirmed the conviction of a Kerhonkson man on a grand larceny charge, according to Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright. 

Michael Lynn, 41, pleaded guilty Nov. 24, 2010, to stealing and using a credit card, Carnright said.

Authorities said Lynn had broken into an unoccupied home on U.S. Route 209 in Kerhonkson and stole cash, a credit card and the homeowner’s car, then took off for Florida in the stolen vehicle.

He was later arrested by state police at Wawarsing and charged with burglary, and grand larceny, both felonies, and misdemeanor petit larceny.

Lynn, a prior felony offender, was sentenced in Ulster County Court to 3½ to seven years in state prison.

In his appeal, he argued that the sentence was too harsh and that the judge was biased. The appellate court rejected his arguments
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Neal D. Futerfas of White Plains represented Lynn, while Assistant District Attorney Joan Gudesblatt Lamb handled the appeal for the District Attorney’s Office.  (Freeman 5/18/13) Court upholds Kerhonkson man's sex abuse conviction

 

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Conviction Upheld

KINGSTON, N.Y. -- A state appellate court has unanimously affirmed the conviction of a Kerhonkson man on charges that he sexually abused an 8-year-old girl in 2005, according to Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright.

Carnright said the crimes occurred between August and December 2005 at the home of the defendant, Marcos Fernandez, who was 18 at the time. Fernandez was ultimately convicted of felony sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

The conviction was upheld by the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Third Department.

Carnright said Fernandez was previously convicted of the same crimes against the same victim in a jury trial in Ulster County Court on Jan. 13, 2009. However, those verdicts were overturned by the state Court of Appeals, which ruled that the trial court had restricted testimony from the girl’s family, Carnright said.

In December 2011, Fernandez was retried and again convicted. Following his second conviction, he was sentenced to four months of incarceration and 10 years post-release supervision on the top count, Carnright said.

Fernandez again appealed,  arguing that the jury’s verdict was “contrary to the weight of the credible evidence” and that “the sentencing court abused its discretion by failing to grant him youthful offender status.”

The appellate court disagreed.

Fernandez was represented by Cynthia Feathers of Glens Falls. Jason Kovacs of Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner and Martuscello handled the appeal for the District Attorney’s Office.

The Ulster County Family Violence Unit handled the investigation. (Freeman 5/18/13)

 

 

 

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Kerhonkson man accused of painting graffiti in Kingston

 

KINGSTON, N.Y. — A Kerhonkson man was arrested early Wednesday morning in Kingston after police caught him climbing off of a roof carrying paint, markers and other items used to make graffiti, police said.

Tyisiah L. Santiago, 19, of 11 Sherman Road, Kerhonkson, was charged by Kingston police with felony criminal mischief, misdemeanor making graffiti and trespass, a violation.

Authorities said that about 3:40 a.m. on Wednesday they received a call about someone on the roof of 57 John St. As officers were making their way onto the roof, Santiago was coming down, carrying items used to make graffiti, police said.

Police said an investigation revealed that Santiago had “tagged” numerous locations throughout the city.

Santiago was ordered held pending further proceedings in Kingston City Court. (Freeman 5/23/13)

 

 

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Kerhonkson man gets seven years in prison for sexually abusing child over a three-year period

KINGSTON, N.Y.  — A 29-year-old Kerhonkson man was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in state prison and 15 years of post-release supervision for sexually abusing a child over a three-year period, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

James Binney of Cherrytown Road had pleaded guilty on April 4 to felony criminal sexual act against a child. He also admitted that he had violated his probation on a felony rape charge from 2005.

Binney was arrested on Jan. 8 by the Ulster County Family Violence Unit after the victim came forward at the beginning of the year.  Carnright said Binney had sexually abused his victim over three years, but it went unreported to authorities until the child turned 14.

Carnright said while the sexual abuse was occurring, Binney was on probation for sexually molesting another victim, who was 11 years old, and had been convicted of rape in September 2006.

Binney’s conviction included his admission that he violated his probation for the earlier crime. Judge Anthony McGinty sentenced Binney on Tuesday to three years in state prison on the violation of probation and ran the two sentences consecutively.

The court also issued an order of protection for the victim through 2043.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Culmone of the Special Victims Unit prosecuted the case. The Ulster County Public Defender’s Office represented Binney. (Freeman 5/15/13)

 

Blotter 

DWI: John J. Slater, 23, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 4:05 a.m. Sunday on Samsonville Road and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 5/27/13)

DWI: Eugene G. Bolduc, 41, of Kerhonkson, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with drunken driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, both misdemeanors, at 2:45 a.m. Saturday on Clay Hill Road in the town of Wawarsing. Bolduc also was charged with the traffic infraction of improper exhaust system, and was released with court appearance tickets. (Freeman 5/19/13)

Leaving scene: John Joseph Slater II, 23, of 710 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson, was arrested by New Paltz town police at 2:55 a.m. Friday and charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury auto accident, a misdemeanor. No further details were provided. (Freeman 5/15/13)

DWI: Jennifer Manuel, 31, of 647 Mettacahonts Road, Accord, was charged by the Ulster County sheriff’s deputies with drunken driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, both misdemeanors, at 11:36 p.m. Thursday on Rochester Center Road in the town of Rochester. Manuel also was charged with the traffic infraction of operating a vehicle with headlight out and was released with tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court at 6 p.m. May 29.  (Freeman 5/12/13)

 

Drugs: Austin S. Taszak, 18, of Stone Ridge, was arrested at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop by state police at Wawarsing on Queens Highway, and was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor; unlawful possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance in a non-original container, both violations; and a traffic infraction. He was issued tickets for Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 5/2/13)

Shoplifting: Alan Macnary, 22, of Accord, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with misdemeanor petit larceny at 5:43 p.m. Friday in the town of Rochester. Macnary was released with a court appearance ticket. (4/14/13)

 

Letters

 

Dear Editor:

 

The removal of the remains of the Rainbow Diner is bogged down despite efforts by virtually everyone

with any say in state and local government, in spite of the obvious health hazards of the site –seemingly

stuck in the Department of Labor Asbestos Control Bureau. It will have its one year anniversary July 2nd, 2013.

 

Has anything happened recently to effectuate removal? It would seem that we need further action to

put pressure on the powers that be to start the wheels turning. Efforts by everyone up the feeding chain, starting with Supervisor Carl Chipman, Ulster County Legislative Clerk Fawn Tantillo, Legislature Chairman Terry Bernardo, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, Senator John Bonicic and Congressman Chris Gibson trying to get the New York Department of Labor Asbestos Control Bureau to move on this have been fruitless to date.

 

As a long-term Rochester resident, I am reluctantly entering the fray in hopes of resolving this issue which should have been done months ago. I think it is time for the bright light of publicity to shine on this problem in hopes that something can be done.

 

I am trying to get a dossier of information together with all the pertinent information to send out. I have been unable to get to your archives –would it be possible to send me whatever has appeared re: the Diner Fire in the past so I can include all the relevant info? I would appreciate it.

 

Marshall Berland

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

A Special THANK YOU to the Town of Rochester Highway Department.

On April 27, 2013 a group of canal enthusiasts, from The Canal Society of New York, visited the Towns of Rochester and Marbletown. They began their tour at the D & Canal Society property at High Falls and continued on to Alligerville to Lock 21. This lock, hidden for years by the undergrowth has now been uncovered for all to view. A request was submitted to the Town Board and Wayne Kelder. The Board graciously approved the work and Wayne, in very short order, had the site cleared.

Lock 21 is very unique in that it was the first lock on the newly constructed tangent (1850) to the Roebling Aqueduct taking the canal over the Rondout Creek.

To find out more, please visit the D & H Canal Museum at 23 Mohonk Road, High Falls, NY.

Thank You all for this work.

John C. Motzer Sr.

VP – D & H Canal Society

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 CommunityS cholarship will be awarded to graduating high school seniors from the Town of Rochester who demonstrate leadership and academic promise. 

 

The scholarships will be awarded under the auspices of a Scholarship 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

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Property Tax Assessment Grievance Day

The Town of Rochester's Board of Assessment Review will conduct its annual property tax Grievance Day on Tuesday, May 28th from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Town Hall. 

The Assessor's Office will maintain an appointment schedule for taxpayers' convenience, however, appointments are not required for the May 28th session of Grievance Day. 

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

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

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

It is not necessary for taxpayers to present their complaints in person.  Completed complaint forms may be mailed to the Assessors Office, Town of Rochester, PO Box 65, Accord, NY 12404, however, correctly completed complaint forms must be received by the Assessors Office prior to 8:30 p.m. on May 28, 2013. 

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

 

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Accord Artist Sara Harris’ work on exhibition

 "Interpreting the Landscape" Ethereal Hillsides & Color-Saturated Fractal Shapes . Oil paintings by Sara Harris at the Stone Ridge Library, Now through the end if April. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Stone Ridge building fund.

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Town of Rochester Earth Day Road Cleanup:

Town of Rochester residents are invited to join in a community effort to clean up their town for Earth Day. Take pride in the beauty of our town and join in the road cleanup effort Saturday April 20 or Saturday April 27, 2013. Pick a road, get a few folks together and make your neighborhood shine! Pizza and drinks will be offered at the Community Center, at 2:00 PM, on the April 27th cleanup day as a thank you to those who participate in either cleanup day.

It is very important that anyone wishing to participate in the road cleanup first contact Carol Dennin, at the Youth Commission office, to register their road. If your road is not registered, the highway department will not know to pick up the full bags after the cleanup. Heavy duty orange garbage bags will be available at the Town Hall and the Community Center in Accord for those who register. If the weather is poor on April 20, all cleanup efforts and pizza party will take place on April 27th. Call (845) 626-2115 or email youthcommission@hvc.rr.com to register your road and get more information about the Town of Rochester Earth Day Road Cleanup. 

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Town Government News

 The Town Board appointed a ten person committee to review changes to the Town’s zoning laws proposed by Planning Board chair Mike Baden and code enforcement officer Jerry Davis and zoning/planning board staff Rebecca Paddock Stange and Brenda Striano.  The members appointed are: Diana Puglisi-Cilenti, Gerry Fornino, Frnk Kortright, Martha Tardibuono, Len Bernardo, Troy Dunn, Steven Fornal, Floyd Lattin and Cliff Mallory.  The committee is chaired by David O’Halloran and has a three month deadline to make recommendations to the Town Board. 

At its April 4 meeting, the Town Board:

Received three bids for the clean up of the site of the former Rainbow Diner, but was informed that the Dept. of Labor determined that the bidding process was incorrect as only NYS licensed contractors may bid on the job.  No action was taken.  The owner of the site does not have insurance and the cost of the cleanup exceeds the value of the property.

The town is also seeking bids on the demolition of the Giles-Edwards house opposite A&M Hardware, however, that building also is presumed to have asbestos.

The Town board tabled a resolution supporting the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail in order to learn more about the status of the Catskill Mountain Railroad, which has a lease on the rail bed.

The Town Board adopted a resolution in support of Rosendale’s application for a shared services grant from NYS to support the conversion of the Rosendale Elementary School to use by town governments in Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester.

 

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Help Sought to Place Kerhonkson Synagogue on National Register of Historic Places

 

Members of the Kerhonkson synagogue are seeking help to place the synagogue on the National Register of Historic Places and in seeking grant funding to make renovations.  They are looking for information on the Synagogue’s history, including:

            When did Jews arrive in Kerhonkson?

            Where did they worship before they had the synagogue?

            Whose idea was it to build one?

            How was the construction funded?

            How was the site chosen and purchased?

            Who actually built it?

            Why and when was the community house built?

            What was it used for?

If anyone has any historical information that would help, or knows of anyone who might have this information, please contact Glenn Pomerantz at gapref@yahoo.com or the Kerhonkson Synagogue, PO Box 587, Kerhonkson, NY 12446 or 845-626-7260.

 

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Rondout Valley school board adopts 2013-14 Budget 

KYSERIKE, N.Y. — The Rondout Valley Board of Education has adopted a $58 million budget for 2013-14 that would increase the property tax levy by just sixth-tenths of a percent.

The budget is 2 percent larger than the school district’s 2012-13 spending plan and reflects an $807,000 increase in state aid.

The proposal goes before district voters on May 21.

The budget was adopted unanimously by the board on Tuesday after being revised slightly from the Budget Committee’s version to include a $19,000 part-time English academic instructional services position, according to committee Chairman David O’Halloran.

At the high school, the spending plan adds a geometry class and a math class known as “Success 101.” It also adds Advanced Placement chemistry and advanced computer graphics classes.

At the middle school, the budget adds full units of Spanish and French for seventh-graders and half units of technology and home and careers for sixth-graders.

District program expenses in the proposed budget increase from $43 million to $44 million, including hikes in legal fees, instructional expenses, transportation costs and employee benefits.

O’Halloran said he is pleased with the budget and the process of balancing educational needs with fiscal reality and that he supports the addition of the English position.

“Throughout the process, we allowed for participation,” he said. “There is a strong group of parents and employees who were engaged in the process.”

Reflecting on last year’s budget deliberations, which sometimes attracted crowds of nearly 500 residents and became heated over plans to close the Rosendale Elementary School, O’Halloran said: “We planned to make future years’ budgets less horrific, and we were successful in that.” 

School board President Chris Kelder offered: “Hats off to the Budget Committee for doing the heavy lifting, hard work and homework” necessary to finalize a budget that provides a “cost-effective and high-quality education for the students of the Rondout Valley district.”

 

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Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo denies using political clout to block VLT pla n

KINGSTON — Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo rejects claims by David O’Halloran that she and her husband, county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo, used their political clout to block O’Halloran’s plan to bring video lottery terminals to his business, the Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort. 

Rather, said Mrs. Bernardo, R-Accord, O’Halloran tried to pressure and intimidate her to support a resolution asking the state to allow video lottery terminals, or VLTs, at Pinegrove and the Hudson Valley Resort, both in Kerhonkson.

At the April 3 meeting of the Legislature’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee, Bernardo announced she was abstaining from the discussion on the VLT resolution and left the meeting room. The committee subsequently voted 3-2 in favor of the measure.

Bernardo said because of the personal and business relationships she had with O’Halloran, a fellow town of Rochester resident, she was ethically bound to remove herself from the legislative debate over a resolution asking the state to allow the game terminals at Pinegrove and the Hudson Valley Resort.

“I abstained because it would personally benefit Mr. O’Halloran, and I have a relationship with him,” she said on Friday.

Bernardo said O’Halloran, as chairman of the Rochester Republican Committee, raised money for her Legislature campaigns and, as chairman of the Industrial Development Agency, was in a position to reach a settlement in a dispute with the Bernardos’ business, Skate Time 209, over a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement with the agency.

“There were conflicts of interest all over the place,” Mrs. Bernardo. “I was staying out of it.”

On Wednesday, O’Halloran resigned from the Industrial Development Agency, saying it was “clear” the Bernardos would use their influence to reject anything with which he was involved out of spite over the PILOT dispute. 

But Mrs. Bernardo said it was O’Halloran who tried to coerce her into announcing her support for his VLT request and pushing it through the county Legislature.

In one email provided by Bernardo, O’Halloran wrote  he was “shocked” that she was abstaining and said her decision was causing “cracks” in GOP support for the plan. 

In another email, he asked the chairwoman to come to the Pinegrove so O’Halloran could buy her a cup of coffee and the two could discuss a strategy “to show our support for each other.”

Bernardo said that, in a phone call, O’Halloran told her he would “ruin” her and find someone to run against her in the fall 2013 election for her legislative seat.

“He continued to pressure me right up until the day of the vote,” she said, adding that, as the meeting date drew closer, his behavior toward her became more “alarming.”

O’Halloran stepped down as vice chairman of the county GOP Committee the day before the Legislature meeting in hopes of garnering Republican support for the VLT measure, but the resolution was pulled later that day when it became apparent it wouldn’t pass.

O’Halloran blamed the Bernardos for the lack of support, saying the two used their political clout to keep other Republican legislators from voting for it. Republicans hold a 12-11 majority in the Legislature.

“I didn’t call them, I don’t call them,” Len Bernardo said. “This is in his mind.”

Terry Bernardo said she never spoke about the VLT measure with other legislators, and she called it “curious” that, a week or two after being appointed vice chairman of the county GOP Committee, in charge of legislative campaign fundraising, O’Halloran called for the county to adopt the resolution “that would personally, financially benefit him.”

Mrs. Bernardo said she does support the possibility of video lottery terminals at up to three resorts in Ulster County that want them. But, she said, that support needs to come as part of a “concerted effort” to promote resorts in the towns of Lloyd, Rochester, Wawarsing, Saugerties and Shandaken. (Freeman 4/13/13)

 

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David O'Halloran resigns from Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, says Terry and Len Bernardo abuse power

KINGSTON, N.Y. — David O’Halloran resigned on Wednesday from the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, which he has chaired for three years, and accused county Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo and her husband, county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo, of using their political clout to curry favors, carry out vendettas and stifle economic development in the county.

O’Halloran, who heads the Republican Committee in the town of Rochester, where the Bernardos live, also said he is actively seeking candidates to run for the Legislature seat now held by Terry Bernardo.

“We’re not convinced at this time that the right candidate for the district is Terry Bernardo,” he said.

O’Halloran, who also recently resigned as vice chairman of the county Republican Committee,  said it became clear to him last week that the Bernardos were using their political influence to block his effort to get state approval for video lottery terminals at his resort, the Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort in Kerhonkson, as payback for action taken by the Industrial Development Agency against Skate Time 209, the Bernardos’ roller skating rink.

The agency recently canceled Skate Time’s tax breaks amid a dispute over employment levels at the rink.

O’Halloran and Hudson Valley Resort and Spa owner Eliot Spitzer (not the former New York governor) recently asked county lawmakers to adopt a resolution calling on the state to allow  video lottery terminals, or VLTs, at Pinegrove and at the Hudson Valley Resort. O’Halloran, however, asked that the measure be pulled after it became clear the Legislature’s Republican majority wouldn’t approve it.

“It was turned down for political reasons,” O’Halloran said, adding that he has to “accept the fact that there are more powerful influences” in the county.

In January, Bernardo, R-Accord, called on the Legislature to support VLTs at any three Ulster County resorts that wanted them.

O’Halloran said the GOP’s newfound opposition to VLTs was, in large part, due to the power that Len Bernardo carries as chairman of the county Independence Party.

“The chairman of that party, Mr. Len Bernardo, can pick winners and losers in each race, and the legislators and any other official looking for election in Ulster County has to keep that in mind when making decisions,” O’Halloran said. “Legislators who take a position contrary to ones supported by the Bernardos risk losing the Independence Party endorsement.”

O’Halloran laughed when asked if he had ever seen Len Bernardo wield that power, and said, “Mr. Bernardo picks each and every person that receives the (Independence line). He bases it on whether it be current or future votes he’s concerned about.

“There’s no way I could get it (the VLT plan) past that type of influence,” he said.

O’Halloran said the day after the Industrial Development Agency voted to terminate its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, deal with Skate Time 209 for noncompliance, the Bernardos also tried to muscle the county Republican Committee into forcing him off the executive board.

“My chairman called me and said the powers that be think maybe its not the best time for you to be vice chairman,” O’Halloran said. When asked to whom he thought Chairman Roger Rascoe was referring as “the powers that be,” O’Halloran said that, as chairwoman of the Legislature, Terry Bernardo is the highest-ranking elected Republican in the county.

O’Halloran said he resigned from the county GOP post on Monday in an effort to win legislative support for his VLT resolution, but, he said, the support didn’t materialize.

Len Bernardo did not return a reporter’s phone call Wednesday. 

Terry Bernardo declined to comment on O’Halloran’s allegations of her husband’s political influence, but she said she has been uninvolved in legislative action on the VLT issue.

“Not only have I abstained from voting, I’ve abstained from discussing it with my colleagues,” she said.

Legislature Majority Leader Ken Ronk rejected O’Halloran’s characterization of political influence over the GOP caucus.

“Terry had nothing to do with this and has, this entire time, stated both privately and publicly that because of the IDA issue, she has to abstain from this (VLT) discussion,” said Ronk, R-Wallkill. “The issue is it’s not time yet for this. If and when the state considers expanding video lottery terminals, I bet legislators will be lining up to support them in Ulster County.”

As a result of the controversy over the PILOT agreement between the Bernardos and the Industrial Development Agency, Legislature Democrats have introduced a resolution calling on the agency to establish a policy that would immediately cancel any PILOT deal  with any county legislator’s business if that company fails to meet job creation or reporting requirements.

The resolution also “reaffirms” that legislators with PILOT agreements must refrain from voting on appointments to the agency’s board.

Although the resolution didn’t specifically name the Bernardos, it referred to “an incumbent legislator” whose business “was one of those that did not deliver on its promised jobs.”

At a Democratic caucus Tuesday, lawmakers struck from the measure all language aimed at Terry Bernardo. Still, Ronk said it is unlikely Republicans will support the resolution. (Freeman 4/10/13)

 

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Rosendale will seek money from NY to convert former school into municipal offices for itself, Marbletown and Rochester

ROSENDALE, N.Y. — The Town Board has approved seeking $393,278 in state aid to carry out renovations that would be needed to turn the former Rosendale Elementary School into municipal offices.

Town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh said funding to covering 90 percent of the work will be sought through the state’s Local Government Efficiency program for shared services.

“We looked at it as a whole, what kind of improvements we thought needed to be made and the cost of running the building utilities for a year,” Walsh said.

Under the plan, space in the vacant school would be leased to the towns of Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester at a rate of $1 per year for eight years.

Walsh said the municipalities would split the cost of renovations evenly.

The Rondout Valley school district closed the building in June 2012, and Walsh said the district is “not charging us any money” to take it over.

“It’s just utilities and some of the cost of retrofitting some of the rooms to be more like offices,” she said of costs the municipalities would incur. “There’s no structural things to do, but there is (information technology) and phone, and there might be some security upgrades.”

Rosendale plans to house the offices of its supervisor, clerk, tax collector, assessor, Police Department, Building Department and planning and zoning departments in the school, as well as its Town Court.

Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said his town’s tentative plan is to house the Town Court, code enforcement office and planning and zoning departments in the school. Marbletown Supervisor Michael Warren said consideration is being given to moving the entire Town Hall operation and the Town Court to the school.

Officials in all three municipalities also have talked about using the school’s gym for town recreation programs.  (Freeman 3/16/13)

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Napanoch man accused of illegal burning

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued tickets to Ronald J. Martinez for illegal burning at 490 Mill Hook Road in Accord.

State officials said Martinez was burning debris on property owned by Beth Biranbaum.

“The material burned appeared to be from old outbuildings and a cabin,” agency spokeswoman Wendy Rosenbach said.

Martinez, who is scheduled to appear in Town Court Wednesday, declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday.

Rosenbach said the tickets are for failing to follow rules and regulations of a burn permit, carrying a fine of up to $250; leaving a fire unattended on forest land in a fire town, with a fine of up to $250; and burning materials other than clean wood in an open fire, a misdemeanor with a fine range of up to $15,000.

Martinez, of 459 Yeagerville Road, Napanoch, on Tuesday referred questions to his attorney Jeremiah Flaherty.

“We’re getting to a point in our society now where no one can do anything unless the bureaucracy says it’s okay,” Flaherty said.

“This stuff was blown down by (Superstorm) Sandy,” he said. “He was cleaning up afterwards.”

Rosenbach said the tickets were issued on Feb. 21 after being made “aware of previous burning incidents at the same location at which time the Accord Fire Department responded.”  (Freeman 3/13/13)

 

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Kerhonkson man admits to vehicular assault charge

KINGSTON, N.Y.  — A Kerhonkson man pleaded guilty in Ulster County Court Friday to vehicular assault, a felony, in connection with an alcohol-related accident last June that left two people injured, according to  Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

Thomas V. Croci, 45, faces a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison when he is sentenced June 15, District Attorney Hollwy Carnright said.

The accident happened at 6:15 p.m. June 28, 2012, as Croci, who was intoxicated, was driving his pickup truck in the northbound lane of Route 209 in Wawarsing. Croci’s truck collided with a car traveling in the southbound lane, leaving both occupants of the other vehicle injured, Carnright said.

A chemical analysis indicated that Croci’s blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit at the time of the accident, Carnright said.  (Freeman 4/6/13)

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Marbletown man arrested after leading deputies on car chase through Marbletown, Rochester, then striking tree

HURLEY, N.Y. - A 31-year-old Marbletown man has been arrested after leading sheriff’s deputies on a vehicular chase through Marbletown and Rochester that forced several off the road and ended with his vehicle striking a tree, police said.

Arrested following the chase was Adam E. Voss, of 2029 Lucas Ave., Marbletown, deputies said. Voss was charged with the felonies of assault and reckless endangerment, the misdemeanors of unlawfully fleeing a police officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration, and what was described as “numerous vehicle and traffic infractions,” according to a report issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they answered a call to 2029 Lucas Ave. at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday “to check on the welfare of Mr. Voss (who) … reportedly (was) acting out of the ordinary.”

Deputies found Voss sitting inside of a running vehicle on the shoulder of Lucas Avenue in front of his residence. Voss failed to respond to deputies and declined roll down the vehicle window, deputies said. Deputies obtained a key to the car and opened a door, but while deputies were speaking with Voss he allegedly put the car in gear and accelerated rapidly, striking an officer.

A chase ensued through Marbletown and Rochester and the cars of several oncoming motorists were forced off the road by Voss as deputies attempted to stop him, deputies said. Voss's vehicle stopped when it struck a tree on Stony Kill Road in Rochester, they said. Voss resisted arrest and injured an officer as officers attempted to remove him from the vehicle, deputies said.

Voss was subdued and taken into custody without injury to him, deputies said.

Both officers injured suffered minor injuries and were treated at Kingston Hospital and released.

Voss was arraigned in the town of Hurley court and taken to Ulster County Jail on $25,000 cash or $50,000 property bond. He is scheduled to appear in town of Marbletown court at a later date. (Freeman 3/15/13)

 

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Police Blotter

Shoplifting: Alan Macnary, 22, of Accord, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with misdemeanor petit larceny at 5:43 p.m. Friday in the town of Rochester. Macnary was released with a court appearance ticket. (Freeman 4/13/13)

Drugs: Jason Campbell, 44, of 277 Waterville Road, Norridgewock, Maine, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance by members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) at 5 p.m. Friday on Upper Granite Road in the town of Rochester. Police said Campbell was in possession of hashish, diverted pharmaceuticals, drug paraphernalia and marijuana. He also was charged with the violation of unlawful possession of marijuana and several traffic infractions. Campbell was released with court appearance tickets.  (Freeman 4/13/13)

 

DWI: Aaron S. Demorest, 25, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing on Rochester Centre Road at 3:27 a.m. Sunday and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 4/8/13)

Forgery: Lynn M. Williams, 25, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 3:55 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Route 209 and charged with forgery and possession of a forged instrument, both felonies, and obtaining a controlled substance fraudulently, a misdemeanor. Further information was not available. (Freeman 4/8/13)

DWI: Oscar G. Huerta, 36, of Stone Ridge, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with drunken driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, both misdemeanors, at 11:58 p.m. Friday on U.S. Route 209 in the town of Rochester. Huerta also was charged with the traffic infractions of driving too slowly, driving without a license and driving left of pavement markings. He was released with court appearance tickets.(Freeman 4/7/13)

 Child Support: David B. Reid, 45, of 147 Samsonville Road, lot 4, Kerhonkson, was arrested Wednesday on two active bench warrants issued by the Ulster County Family Court for alleged failure to pay child support in the amount of $24,818.49, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office. Reid was also wanted by the Town of Ulster Court for failure to appear in court stemming from a previous charge of non-support, a misdemeanor. Reid was sent to the Ulster County Jail on $5,000 cash bail and $7,500 bond for the Ulster warrant and $5,000 cash bail for the Family Court warrant. He appeared in the Family Court and town of Ulster Court on Thursday. (Freeman 4/5/13)

u  Larceny: Judith R. Vandermark, 29, of Kerhonkson was arrested Wednesday at 6812 State Route 209, town of Rochester, and charged with felony grand larceny and offfering a false instrument, a felony, according to State Police at Kingston. State Police made the arrest following an investigation of an alleged creime reported on Nov. 29, 2011, in Kingston. No further information was available. (Freeman 4/5/13)

u Endangering welfare of child: Thomas R. Spencer, 56, and Annette Spencer, 53, both of 39 Rock Mountain Estates were arrested Tuesday at 3:53 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Deputies said they responded to a 911 call reporting a toddler on the side of the road on Queens Highway in Accord. They said a passerby had found the child barefoot and wet, wearing only socks, jeans and a T-shirt, walking in the snow. Deputies said their investigation determined the child had been left in the care of relatives while his parents went shopping. They said the Spencers did not notice the child was missing for a while and, when they noticed the child was missing, failed to notify the police or call 911, endangering the child further. Deputies said the child was returned to its parents after a medical evaluation. Both Spencers were issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 3/21/13)

DWI: Charles E. Kelsey, 25, of Kerhonkson was arrested Sunday at 6:42 a.m. by state police at Wawarsing and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving, both first offenses. He was issued tickets to appear in R

 

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Town Government News

 

The Planning Board has proposed some changes to the Town’s zoning code.  The changes consist primarily of clean up language and clearer definitions such as those for “adaptive re-use, agricultural buildings, auction house or barn, commercial events facility, shared driveway vs. private road, fence vs. agricultural fence and many others.  The biggest change is that animal keeping will be considered an accessory use on certain sized parcels.  Poultry will be allowed on one-acre.  A substantial revision of the Telecommunications Facilities section is proposed to comply with new federal laws.

 

Town Justice Albert Babcock expressed concern about the possible relocation of the town’s court to the former Rosendal Elementary School.  The Town has acquired two used generators for town offices.  Supervisor Carl Chipman expressed concern about the cost of asbestos cleanup at the Rainbow Diner, estimated to be about $140,000 (property is assessed at $53,800).  Appledorn Farm has been added to the State Register of Historic Places.

 

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Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman says hydrofracking OK would amount to 'unfunded mandate' (video)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

By KYLE HUGHES
NYSNYS News

ALBANY, N.Y. — County and municipal leaders opposed to hydrofracking came here Wednesday to argue that state approval of the controversial gas drilling method  would be a costly unfunded mandate on rural communities.

The officials cited potential added costs for road construction and maintenance, water supply systems, and public safety and protection. They also cited the potential impact on schools, housing and other areas as a result of sudden population growth and the arrival of mining industry workers. Broader environmental and public health costs remain a question mark, the group’s leaders said at a press conference.

“We call on the state to analyze the cost before drilling starts,” said Martha Robertson, the Tompkins County Legislature chairwoman. “Counties need to know what we are getting into and how fracking will impact our budgets.”

Robertson said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office rejected a request for a meeting on the issue, even though the governor has met with lobbyists for the Independent Gas and Oil Association and the New York State Petroleum Council.

She said communications between her group, Elected Officials to Protect NY, and the Governor’s Office, the state Health Department and the state Department of Environmental Conservation “have been frustrating, with a level of secrecy that leaves us doubtful that our substantive concerns have been heard.

“As the elected partners of state government we would hope for better,” she said.

The group, which claims to have 602 elected officials as members, released a copy of an email received Jan. 25 from Cuomo’s office rejecting a request for a meeting with the governor, saying “he is unable to accept your gracious invitation at his time.” (Freeman 2/7/13)

 

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Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester towns may share former Rosendale Elementary School

Friday, March 8, 2013

By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
Correspondent

ROSENDALE, N.Y. – The Town Board has accepted the lead agency role in seeking grants to convert the  former Rosendale Elementary School into an office building that would be shared by three municipalities and the Rondout Valley School District.

Town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh said funding would be sought through the state’s Local Government Efficiency Program for shared services.

“This is an opportunity for us ... to avoid the expense of building a new Town Hall,” she said.

The amount of grant funding to be sought was not immediately available. The municipalities will use a $10,000 grant from the Dyson Foundation for a study of renovation needs.

Under the plan Rosendale Elementary School on Lucas Turnpike would be leased by the school district to the towns of Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester for $1 annually for 8 years and then sold for $1. The building’s driveway on Lucas Avenue Extension is 57 feet from the Marbletown town line and several minutes’ drive from Rochester.

Several people speaking at Wednesday’s Rosendale Town Board meeting noted that the school, which is 0.3 miles from Cottekill Road, is not near any population centers.

“I’ve always hoped that we would have a town hall within walking distance to Main Street,” Councilwoman Manna Jo Greene said. “Given economic conditions and the benefit of shared services, I’m ... in favor of it, but I’m looking at it as an experiment and I hope we don’t commit ourselves for a 99-year lease.”

Walsh noted that the town is currently leasing space for the town clerk, tax collector and supervisor on Main Street. She said the site lacks off-street parking and is disconnected from other town departments that also lease space.

“We have to have multiple locations in our town to service the community,” she said. “We are sitting in the Community Center having our Town Hall meeting because we don’t have a town hall to have a meeting in. ... It’s just an unrealistic way to do business in the town.”

Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said tentative plans include using the former school for house his town’s code enforcement, planning and zoning, and court offices. Marbletown Supervisor Michael Warren said consideration is being given to moving the Marbletown Town Hall and court offices there. (Freeman 3/8/13)

 

ACCORD, N.Y.  – An investigation by several law enforcement agencies led to the arrest of three Accord residents Wednesday on fraud-related charges, authorities said.

Ulster County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Qadeer H. Shah, 35, and Lori A. Shah, 39, both of 357 Mettacahonts Road, and Alsa P. Quent, 34, of 293 Mettachonts Road, at 1:30 p.m.

Each was charged with three felonies: misuse of food stamps in excess of $3,000, falsifying business records, and grand larceny, detectives said.

Detectives said they began an investigation in March 2011 over the use of electronic food stamp benefit cards to purchase non-food items at the Star Grocery at 357 Mettacahonts Road. The probe led to the execution of a search warrant and the seizure of property and records at the business on Wednesday.

The three suspects were arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released  with tickets to appear in court at a later date, according to detectives.

The Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation in conjunction with the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office and the Special Investigations Unit of the Ulster County Department of Social Services. (Freeman 2/7/13)

 

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Police Blotter

 

 

Failure to provide sustenance: Scott Wooten, 42, of Bakertown Road, Accord, was charged by Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday with failing to provide sustenance to an impounded animal, a misdemeanor, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office. On Monday, deputies  got a call that two Australian shepherd dogs at Wooten’s residence had been left outside without food and water from March 1, when Wooten left the residence, until Wednesday, when he returned, deputies said. Wooten was arraigned in Rochester Town Court and released without bail. He is due back in court on April 4. The dogs were seized by the Ulster County SPCA. (Freeman 3/8/13)

 

Stolen property: Michael J. Farrell, 19, of 59 Granite Road, Accord, was arrested by Ulster County Sheriff’s deputies at 1:30 a.m. Thursday and was charged with two counts of criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of petit larceny, all misdemeanors. Deputies said that on Feb. 25, they responded to the Hudson Valley Resort on Granite Road for a report of a larceny of two New York state license plates, which were found in Farrell’s possession. Farrell was released with court appearance tickets. (Freeman 3/2/13)

 

Probation violation: Spencer Santosky Jr., 33, of Wood Road, Accord, was sentenced Wednesday by Williams to one to three years in state prison on a charge of probation violation. Santosky was arrested Feb. 16, 2011 by the Ulster County Family Violence Unit and pleaded guilty May 17, 2011, to a charge of felony criminal contempt. He was sentenced on July 26, 2011, to six months in Ulster County Jail and five years post release supervision, but later violated probation. (Freeman 2/17/13)

 

Endangering welfare of a child: Eileen Farley, 50, of Accord, was charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child by state police in Wawarsing at 7:25 p.m. on Friday in the town of Rochester. Farley also was charged with the violation of harassment and released on appearance tickets. (Freeman 2/10/13)

 

 

 

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Tax exemption Filing Deadline Nears

March 1st is the deadline for filing all real property tax exemptions applications with the town Assessor.  This includes STAR, Enhanced Star, Senior Citizens (limited income), Veterans and Agricultural exemptions.  For more information, contact Assessor Cindy Stokes at 845-626-0920.

 

 

 

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High Falls Death of Margaret (Peggy) Hayes to be on Dr. Phil

Did He Kill His Wife?

Kelly says on August 2, 2011, he found his wife of more than five years, Margaret, dead in their bathtub. Police ruled her death an accidental drowning — but Margaret’s friends, Nancy and Christine, say they think she was murdered by Kelly, and they want the investigation into Margaret’s death reopened. Kelly admits his marriage wasn’t perfect but insists he did not murder his wife. What does he claim happened on the day Margaret died? Kelly says Nancy and Christine have been harassing him, and he believes they even hired someone to throw a caustic substance in his face. Sparks fly when the women face Kelly for the first time in nearly two years on Dr. Phil's stage. Do Nancy and Christine have any evidence that Margaret’s death was suspicious? And, hear from homicidal drowning investigator Andrea Zaferes, who was contacted by Margaret’s friends. Does she believe this was an accidental drowning or something more sinister? Plus, Kelly agrees to take a polygraph test. Don’t miss the results!  (Friday, Feb 8th at 3pm on CBS).

 

 

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KERHONKSON/ACCORD residents/musicians join talents to create

FUNKY LITTLE SWEET THING - SLOW DANCE FOR FAST TIMES

which has launched today

The video has been launched today

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVW0IcTyVb8

The single is available on CD Baby!

https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/roswellruddheathermassej

 

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Celebrating our Children, Food and Future

Classroom -- Cafeteria -- Community

RVGA and our fellow sponsors invite you to join national experts, parents, students and community members to School Food Summit 2013: to identify ways to serve more fresh, locally grown food in school meals, and begin to make it happen.

Friday, February 15th

Rondout Valley High School, 122 Kyserike Road, Accord

·           1:30-4:30 Kitchen Camp for food service staff, led by top local chefs

·           5:30-7:00 Local Food Fair: samplings from Kitchen Camp, and tables with farmers, students and organizations

·           7:00 Songs of Farms and Food with Creek Iverson and Lisa Mitten

·           7:30-9:00 "Local Food Goes to School"

Panel Discussion of national and local food experts including:

o            Keynote speaker: Chef Ann Cooper, "The Renegade Lunch Lady"

o          Chef Tim Cipriano, No Kid Hungry - Share Our Strength

o          Farmer Bruce Davenport, President of the RVGA

o          Todd Fowler, National Farm to School movement

o          Julie Holbrook, Director of Food Services, Keene Cemtral School

o          Janet Poppendieck, Free for All: Fixing School Food in America

o          Chris Van Damm, Director of Food Service, Rondout Valley Schools

Please save the date; watch for more details in our upcoming RVGA newsletter.

How you can help us make the School Food Summit 2013 a great success:

·            volunteer your time now or at Summit;

·           set up an info table for your farm or organization at the Local Food Fair;

·           farmers and growers, bring samples for RVGA table;

·           help us get the word out--post this on your website and Facebook;

·           post a flyer--click here for a 2-page flyer for posting; and

·           COME OUT with family and friends on Feb. 15th to the Summit!

This School Food Summit 2013 is the brainchild of our own regional school food advocate, Nicci Cagan, who has brought together an All-Star cast of top chefs and school food advocates. RVGA is thrilled to be collaborating on this exciting event.

 

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Accord Architect, Nancy Copley, dies at 85

ACCORD — Respected architect and artist Nancy Copley died peacefully Tuesday night with her husband, Russel Oliver, by her side at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

Copley, 85, was best known nationally for her home on Dug Road, which she designed and built by hand over a 37-year period.

A stone tower, which the slight but determined woman built herself, stood 44 feet tall and took seven years to build, using a crane and elevator system to haul the stones skyward.

Her love of organ music led Oliver, a pipe organ restorer, to design a pipe organ for the balcony of the house, which was named one of the country's top 20 houses in 2007 by Architectural Digest.

"As an art piece, it's important to recognize that this house is not an ordinary building and should be preserved, perhaps as (Frank Lloyd Wright's) Fallingwater has been," friend Paul Widerman said.

A retrospective of Copley's paintings and architecture designs was held last summer in Ellenville Regional Hospital's Healing Arts Gallery.

The show included film footage of Copley at work, taken over a 20-year period, which was to form the core of a documentary about her life.

In recent months, the Virginia native, who received her architecture degree in 1956 from Pratt Institute, let friends know she intended to buy an RV and travel to the Southwest to paint, but fatigue and ill health prevented her from realizing that goal.

A memorial, with a selection of works displayed from the retrospective show, is planned for a later date. (TH Record 1-18-13)

 

 

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Rochester town Supervisor Carl Chipman wants wireless Internet for 2013, but not landfill

By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE

Correspondent

ACCORD, N.Y. — Rochester town Supervisor Carl Chipman is hopeful that 2013 will be the year that the town connects to the rest of the world with wireless Internet service, but noted he’s changed his position on siting a countywide landfill in the town.

 

Chipman said last week that negotiations with Time Warner have also included demands for more cable service.

 

“We have been negotiating for almost two years,” he said. “We’re really trying to get cable spread across the town. We’re also part of a grant application with the town of Wawarsing that will hopefully help using a WiFi setup with repeaters on towers.”

 

Chipman considers Internet service critical in bringing new businesses to the town.

“It’s very, very important for economic development in our town as well as the quality of life,” he said. “All the kids now have to have Internet ... (because) if you can’t use Internet you can’t do a lot of your homework.”

 

Looking back, Chipman said work in 2012 included finding ways to trim the budget to meet a state property tax levy limit that was enacted at the same time state aid was being reduced.

 

“We learned how to do more with less, just like every other town has to,” Chipman said.

 

Rochester officials will be looking at changes in land-use regulations during 2013.

 

“Early in the year we’re going to be re-examining some changes to our zoning laws,” Chipman said. “It’s not really a complete overhaul because we just did that a few years ago, but when we did it we found some gaps and some places that we can improve and some uses that we never even thought of before that have come up.”

 

Chipman said town Planning Board applications should be easier to use and cut down the amount of time spent on preliminary discussions.

“We’ve been working on the forms and working on making it so that the person who is coming before the board is better prepared,” he said. “What happens is people don’t know what to expect, then they end up not doing what they need to do, they come to the Planning Board and then get sent back out. So it’s like starting all over again and we want to lead people through the process much better.”

 

Chipman added that among discussions not expected to take place is whether a countywide landfill should be sited in Rochester.

 

“Just don’t print that Chipman wants a landfill for next year,” he said.

 

The concern arose after Chipman in November 2012 said he would be willing to discuss a landfill in the town, but last week amended his position because it was considered as welcoming a landfill. Asked whether he wanted a landfill in 2013, he said, “No, I don’t.”  (Freeman 1/1/13)

 

 

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Does Bernardo Have Her Eyes On Mike Hein's Job?

By Terence P. Ward

KINGSTON – The sign on the door to Terry Bernardo's office says "Chairman," and the first woman to hold the post gave considerable thought to the title she would use.

"I've been chairman of many things," she said, "and I think it's a unisex term."

Small decisions like that have helped define Bernardo's role as head of the Ulster County Legislature, and give insight into what makes the chairman tick. Ultimately, she views herself as someone who is good at organizing systems and people, skills that she believes would allow her to excel at anything from county executive to housewife.

Bernardo says her first foray into politics came in the sixth grade when a new gym teacher planned on canceling a popular student-teacher softball game.

"I had looked forward to that game all my life and a teaching assistant suggested I start a petition," she recalled. "I did, we got to play the game, and they made me team captain."

After that, political action took a sideline for decades as she graduated college, obtained an MBA, and worked in the hotel industry around the country. The closest she came to politics during those years was when the Sheraton in New York City helped host the Democratic National Convention... which she found underwhelming.

"Employees in hotels don't know who these people are, and they don't care," she said.

Not until she met John Bonacic at Skate Time 209, the roller rink she owns with her husband Len, did politics come up again.

"I couldn't have told you I was registered as a Republican — when you're working in Manhattan, all you do is work — but he and Sue Cummings knew, and they asked me to run for county legislature," she recalled.

When she ran the first time, her husband was supportive, but not involved. Bernardo lost that race, in 2007, but succeeded in 2009.

"Len did not want to be involved in politics — that wasn't his thing," she said.

Since then, Len Bernardo took on Mike Hein for Ulster County Executive when that position was created, and became county chairman for the Independence Party, to which he has belonged since shortly after its formation.

Chairman Bernardo notes that she is known for working with people in different parties, most notably New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet; but she doesn't know if that's bipartisanship or simply cooperation. "One person's bipartisanship is another person's traitor," she said. "I think some people just get along better than others."

She decries the "hyperpartisan" behavior of some legislators, singling out minority leader David Donaldson in particular.

"He's all about politics, and he's nasty," she said. "The way to see if someone is bipartisan is in their rules. The New York State Senate shut down the minority for a long time, and the Assembly still does."

Ulster County gives its minority a voice in governing, Bernardo said.

While she isn't seeking the office of County Executive for herself, "A lot of people have that aspiration for me. I don't know if that's really what they want, though... the executive administers the county, but if he sees a problem, he has to ask the legislature to fix it. From here, I can do that."

However, Bernardo added that she does have concerns about how Mike Hein is handling the executive position's responsibilities.

"A lot of our community board members have come to me with frustrations," she said.

The community advisory board, which according to the charter should have input into the budget — particularly mental health — felt shut out by the process, which concerns her. Other boards have had people leave citing strained relations or overly burdensome ethics requirements.

If nothing else, Bernardo feels that she should have more experience before even considering the top county job. She has been a legislator for three years.

"I only ran for chairman because my opponent goaded me," she explained, noting how her fellow Rochester resident, and former councilwoman Manuela Mihailescu "said that if I won I would run for chairman, and she said it so many times that I decided, 'Fine, if I win I will run.'"

She calls the position, "a bigger tool in my tool box. From here, I can get things done."

Among the things she'd like to see are better alignment of town and county budgets.

"The towns have to have a preliminary budget by the last week of September, but we don't need one until the first week of October," Bernardo noted. "With the tax cap, that means that if we don't come through as expected, a town could be in violation of the cap."

To make things run more smoothly, she would like to see legislative terms that last four years, like town council members, rather than two. She'd also like to see the chairman get elected every term instead of every year.

"To have that election every year is such a distraction," she said.

Bernardo's first year involved massive staff turnover — the legislative clerk died, the deputy went on maternity leave, and another person was terminated. It was chaotic, but it also removed what she calls "we've-always-done-it-that-way" thinking. On the political side, she has instituted strict adherence to Robert's Rules of Order, including a protocol for use of her gavel.

"I was mocked for that, but it's made meetings run more smoothly," she said.

Bernardo admits that she doesn't easily escape politics at home.

"Some husbands and wives hunt together, or play tennis, but our hobby is politics," she explained. "Sometimes, though, I will ask someone to call my husband and tell him what happened in the meeting, just so I don't have to go over it again when I get home."  (Shawangunk Journal 1/31/13)

 

 

 

 

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Deal for use of former Rosendale Elementary School by towns of Rosendale, Marbletown and Rochester is closer to completion

By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE

Correspondent

 

ROSENDALE, N.Y. — Officials with the towns of Rosendale, Marbletown, and Rochester hope it is only a matter of months before they secure joint municipal use of the vacant former Rosendale Elementary School on Lucas Avenue Extension.

 

Supervisors for the towns during telephone interviews last week said they are nearing a completion of a deal with the Rondout Valley school district to let the local governments have free use of the building until district bonds expire and then turn it over for a dollar.

 

“If the district goes to sell it they aren’t going to get fair market value for it at all,” Rochester town Supervisor Carl Chipman said. “So this way we’re taking something that’s been bought and paid for by the taxpayers and still using it for the benefit of the same taxpayers.”

 

While the school, which closed in June 2012, is within the Rosendale municipal boundaries and a Marbletown town line sign is only 57 feet from the school’s driveway, getting to Rochester takes a few minutes along Lucas Avenue Extension.

“I think it’s about four miles from our boundary,” Chipman said.

 

“We do realize it would be a little farther for people to drive, but you have to realize that our community center is an old Agway warehouse,” he said. “It’s not an office space. It’s terrible to heat and terrible to cool in the summer time. So we’re looking to garner savings, but if it doesn’t garner savings we’re not going to do it in the first place.”

 

Chipman sees Rochester making less use of the building than Rosendale and Marbletown.

 

“If we do this, and it’s still an ‘if,’ we’d have to look and see what our needs are and if we’re really going to get cost savings on it,” he said.

 

“What would probably play out is to take what’s in our community center, which is code enforcement, planning and zoning, and move that to Rosendale, as well as move the courthouse. That would allow me to close to buildings that I have right now,” Chipman said. “The busiest departments that have the most traffic from people are the town Clerk’s Office, the Assessor’s office, and my office,” he said. “That wouldn’t move.”

 

Marbletown Supervisor Michael Warren said the current Marbletown Town Hall is out of space and budget limits preclude new construction for new offices.

“Of course there’s 4,500 square feet (in the school) which is too big for Marbletown and too big for Rosendale by itself,” he said. “There is also a critical need right now for a regional court system because none of our three courts meet the codes for the court system.”

 

The municipalities will use a $10,000 grant from the Dyson Foundation for a study of renovation needs of the school.

 

Rosendale town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh said most of the Rosendale town offices could be relocated to the new space.

 

“I’m hoping that in 2013 we will be moving in there,” she said.

 

“We would move Town Hall,” Walsh said. “We rent space for (the Building Department) and assessors and planning and zoning, so we would move those there. We would move police and we would move court.”

 

The supervisors also consider having a centrally located building with a gym as a possibility for intermunicipal recreation programs.

 

“We would be adding a cafeteria and a kitchen that I can’t come anywhere close to matching with what I have right now,” Chipman said. “We’re also getting a gym. All of us would be able to expand our programs for kids and for the seniors and by consolidating this way I think we can save a lot of money.” (Freeman 1/2/13)

 

 

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Ulster County town supervisors object to giving scrap metal revenue to county

 

By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE

Correspondent

Town supervisors in Ulster County oppose a proposal to shift revenues from the sale of scrap metal to the county, saying it would further strain their budgets.

 

Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley said the Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors will ask the county Legislature to rescind a request that the state Legislature include recyclables in regulations governing the flow of trash in Ulster County.

 

“These revenue sources, if this legislation were to be adopted, would shift from the town to the (Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency), but from the way it would be collected, the towns would continue to incur the cost to maintain the facility to collect them,” Quigley said.

 

Quigley said the town of Ulster’s scrap metal revenues amounted to $16,000 in 2011 and $6,000 in 2012;  Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said his town collected about $10,000 from the sale of scrap metal last year.

There are 20 towns, three villages and one city in Ulster County.

 

Quigley said his town’s transfer station has probably already seen a reduction in revenue because Millens Recycling, which pays the town for scrap metal, has moved closer to the transfer station.

 

“We have a piece of land where we tell people to bring in their scrap ... and about every day or two, we push it up into a pile and we call Millens, which bales it up and takes it away,” he said.

 

County lawmakers voted 17-5 in December to enact flow-control rules that require haulers to bring all solid waste collected in the county to the Resource Recovery Agency. The Legislature also voted, 13-8, to ask the state Legislature to change the law to allow recycling materials to be included in flow control regulations.

 

Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency Executive Director Tim Rose on Wednesday was unable to provide an estimate of revenue scrap metal sales  would bring to the agency. He noted that the agency is not equipped to handle scrap metal and would have to hire an outside company to dispose of it.  (Freeman 1/17/13)

What's Up?

 

 

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Rondout Valley Faces Student Crimes Again

By Terence P. Ward

ACCORD – The Rondout Valley Central School District began 2013 much as it did 2012: with stories about police investigating school-related crimes. Last year two incidents on school buses rose to the level of legal proceedings, heightening parental concerns about busing in a reconfigured district. More recently the district, which was already on heightened alert after the horrific shootings in Newtown, CT, received a threatening letter at one school while another building was the scene of a fight serious enough to warrant sheriff department involvement.

In the most recent violence, a sixteen-year-old male student was charged with several crimes as the result of a fight with another male, fifteen years old. The incident occurred on December 20, and the older youth was charged with third-degree assault, as well as second-degree aggravated harassment for making Facebook threats against the younger boy.

Last January, the year started with a male student being arrested for harassing a younger boy regarding his sexual orientation. In an unrelated incident, another student was charged with repeatedly exposing himself on a school bus. The incidents occurred even as plans for reconfiguring the district without Rosendale Elementary School were being formulated, and many parents spoke out against the idea of fourth graders sharing the bus with high school seniors.

Superintendent Rosario Agostaro spoke of rolling out a program called Peaceful School Buses, which works with drivers and passengers to eliminate bus incidents, but the funding for that effort has yet to materialize.

The receipt of threatening "anonymous correspondence" at Marbletown Elementary School during the holiday break came in the wake of schools across the country reacting to the shootings in Connecticut. According to a message from Agostaro on the district web site, the board of education met with administrators the evening of December 28 to plan a course of action.

"A short term plan was developed and a task force will be established to develop a long range plan for our district," says the message.

The short-term steps include having state troopers or sheriff's deputies in all school buildings, and returning personnel to the doors to screen visitors. The last remaining "greeter" positions were eliminated in the 2011-12 budget, and replaced with a variety of security measures including surveillance cameras and remote-release locks. Those cameras, as well as others throughout the district, will now be monitored closely by staff.

There will also be more lockdown and lockout drills in the coming months, preparing for worst-case scenarios.

Agostaro completes his message with, "Once again, please know that we will work diligently to keep our students and staff safe in the weeks to come."  (Shawangunk Journal 1/3/13)

 

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Rainbow's Refuse Refused Removal

Why Do Diner's Remains Remain So Long After Fire?

By Terence P. Ward

KERHONKSON –When the Rainbow Diner went up in flames back in July, it was devastating for owners George Haralabopoulos and his wife Carol, who watched their building get destroyed for want of a tanker truck to put out the flames. But that was only the beginning of the saga of the old diner, which is still a burned-out husk along Route 209 — a single table and two chairs with charred settings in place at their center —despite efforts to clean the mess up.

"George and Carol have no insurance," said Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman. "They got a friend who is a contractor to do the cleanup in return for whatever he could get for the scrap metal."

Haralabopoulos rented the front loader for the work from Taylor Rentals, and the contractor started the job. And quickly stopped.

Just an hour after the cleanup began an agent from the state Department of Labor showed up with a stop work order, citing the contractor for conducting an asbestos cleanup without a license.

"They almost showed up faster than the fire trucks," joked Deputy Ulster County Legislature Clerk Fawn Tantillo, who has been working to resolve the issues which were uncovered. "They wouldn't even let him turn off the equipment."

DOL rules require a licensed asbestos removal contractor to do the cleanup whenever there's a suspicion of asbestos being present, Tantillo learned.

"The DOL's first response to our request for information was to tell us that they would make a determination on our request — not give us the information, just make a determination — by March 13, 2013. We told them that was unacceptable," she said. "Then they told us they couldn't release the test results because it's an ongoing criminal investigation."

"I raised hell," Chipman recalled. "There are rats as big as dogs there, it's a safety hazard, and it's an eyesore at the gateway to our community."

Finally, Tantillo, who got involved when Chipman contacted Legislature Chair Terry Bernardo, got the test results from the samples the DOL sent out.

"There were fourteen samples and two to three of them showed evidence of asbestos," she noted.

That's sufficient to require an asbestos contractor to do the work, she discovered.

It's also enough to grind the process to a halt, according to Chipman.

"The property is assessed at $53,000, and that kind of cleanup is going to cost as much as $149,000," he said. "They don't have that kind of money. The town could condemn the building and do it, but then it would go onto their tax bill and what are the chances of them paying it?"

State officials have tried to get things moving. Assemblyman Clifford Crouch helped convince the DOL to release the test results, and Senator John Bonacic wrote to the governor asking for requirements to be waived. But no such accommodation has been reached.

"It's kind of ridiculous that we're hung up on a couple of rules while this thing is sitting there, possibly blowing asbestos around," said Crouch.

Bonacic's office released a statement, saying, "We have urged the Department of Labor to be more proactive. We have asked them to see what they can do to be more accommodating. This is a blight on the community..."

In addition to trying to wrest information from the DOL, Tantillo said that Bernardo has been working to find grants to pay for the cleanup.

Calls for comment to the Department of Labor were not returned in time for this story. (Shawangunk Journal 12/20/12)

 

 

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Police Blotter

 

Kerhonkson man hurt in Rochester car crash

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y.  — The driver of a car that struck a telephone pole on Cherrytown Road Sunday morning was taken to Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie for a minor head injury, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

 

Deputies said they responded to a one-car crash at 6:45 a.m. on Cherrytown Road. They said a car driven by Andrew Dougherty, 24, of Kerhonkson, failed to negotiate a turn on Cherrytown Road and struck the pole.

 

Dougherty was taken by the Kerhonkson-Accord Ambulance Squad to Vassar Brothers for evaluation. (Freeman 1/8/13)

 

Shoplifting: John E. Warren, 26, of Kerhonkson, was charged by Ulster town police with misdemeanor petit larceny at 4:45 a.m. Monday following a shoplifting complaint from Wal-Mart. Police said Wal-Mart reported that on four separate dates, Warren took merchandise valued in total at $101.54 from the store without paying for it. Warren was issued an appearance ticket for Ulster Town Court.  1/2/13)

 

 

Shoplifting: Tiffany K. Barringer, 18, of Kerhonkson, was arrested Tuesday at 3:56 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with misdemeanor petit larceny. Deputies said Walmart security personnel saw Barringer selecting assorted merchandise, valued at $69.45, concealing the items in a bag she was carrying, and leaving the store without paying. She was issued a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court.  (Freeman 1/10/13)

Drugs: Anibal Rodriguez, 50, of 6182 U.S. Route 209, Kerhonkson, was charged by members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, at 5:15 p.m. Friday at Spring and Hickory streets in the village. Police said Rodriguez was arrested after making a crack cocaine transaction. He was sent to the Ulster County Jail without bail. (Freeman 12/23/12)

 

Shoplifting: Joshua T. DeWoody, 22, of Kerhonkson was arrested Monday at 4:49 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with misdemeanor petit larceny. Deputies said he removed an IPad, valued at $499.99, from Target and left the store without paying for it. He was issued a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. (Freeman 12/20/12)

 

Assault: A 16-year-old Rosendale boy was arrested at 1:30 p.m. Friday on misdemeanor charges of assault and aggravated harassment. Ulster County sheriff’s deputies did not identify the teen because he is eligible for youthful offender status. Deputies said they went to Rondout Valley High School on Friday to investigate an assault of a 15-year-old male student that had occurred the day before. The victim did not require medical attention, deputies said. Deputies said the 16-year-old was arrested following an investigation. The aggravated harassment charge stemmed from the 16-year-old making threats against the victim on his Facebook page, deputies said. The suspect was released with tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 1/25/12)

 

 

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Letters

 

 

Shocked At Local Fitness Trail Costs

In reading the announcement of the new "fitness trail" being installed at the Rondout Valley school, I was shocked by the comment by Superintendent Agostaro, that the district has to raise "a couple thousand dollars" to complete this project.

Possibly "a couple thousand dollars" does not mean anything when dealing in the millions of dollars spent each year at Rondout, but "a couple thousand dollars" can mean the difference in paying your taxes or going to a doctor.

The district received this money from $25,000 in "bullet aid" obtained from the state. Whatever you call it, "bullet aid" grants or taxes, the taxpayers end up paying for it. Be it state, federal or local, the money to fund these projects does not fall out of the sky; it comes from taxpayers.

As a taxpayer, I would like to know exactly how much this silly project is costing us? A couple of thousand here and a couple of thousand there add up to millions.

Martha Tardibuono

High Falls

   

 

 

 

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