Phoenicia

Sen. Seward presents Phoenicia Library with $20K to help rebuild

By Jay Braman Jr.
The $800,000 effort to rebuild the Phoenicia Library got a little closer to full funding last Thursday when New York State Senator James Seward of Oneonta visited to present the library with $20,000 in “Bullet Aid.”
The Bullet Aid, unobligated state money that’s used to help school districts and libraries, will go toward the expansion and renovation of the Main Street building that was destroyed by fire in March 2011.


More filtration may be needed at Phoenicia Water District

By Jay Braman Jr.
A back up source for the Phoenicia Water District may need a filtration system in the future, causing officials to forge big plans for how to manage the upgrade.

Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley insisted Monday night that he does not want to put the tiny district into debt, but explained that the facility, known as the High Street Pump House, is not on a suitable piece of property to handle a filtration system.

Therefore, he said, he is looking into moving the system to “a higher location” but did not specify where that would be.


Cub stuck in dumpster bears watching

By Jay Braman Jr.
What a bear cub thought was going to be an evening of fine dining behind the Phoenicia Methodist Church turned into a night of terror for the cub after someone shut the lid on his festivities. Literally.

On Saturday, June 1 Shandaken Police received a 911 call about a bear whose head was stuck in the doorway of a metal “Bear-i-cade” Dumpster. Apparently the bear, only a little yearling, was inside the steel box when someone came by and threw some trash into it and closed the bear-proof top.


Renovations underway at historic Al's Restaurant

By Jay Braman Jr.
After being sold and closed down 15 months ago, the historic Al’s Restaurant in Phoenicia looks very different today.

The back portion of the building has been partially torn down by Mike Ricciardella, the local restaurateur who purchased the property shortly after previous owner Paul Pettinato ended its seven-decade stewardship of fine dining.

On Tuesday, Ric Ricciardella, a local realtor and the brother of the new owner, said that the famous structure is not being destroyed.


Phoenicia will lose Head Start program

By Jay Braman Jr.
The federally-funded Head Start program in Phoenicia has been given the axe.

A popular preschool program tailor made for low-income families, Head Start has for years been a staple in this hamlet, providing quality service for children from birth to age five by enhancing the child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as providing advocacy services to the families of those children.


Videotaped crook busted in Phoencia Legion heist

By Jay Braman Jr.
Thanks to recently installed video surveillance cameras, the man who allegedly broke into the American Legion Hall in Phoenicia on Saturday night is now behind bars in the Ulster County Jail.
New York State Police in Kingston have announced the arrest of Daniel P. Tuohy, 45, of Lagrangeville for third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer, DWI, and numerous traffic offenses.

On Saturday police responded to a burglary alarm at the American Legion Post 950, located at 1045 Old Route 28 in the Town of Shandaken.


Interim principal position will be filled in Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
After several weeks of being in charge at the Phoenicia Elementary School following the suspension of Principal Linda Sella, the district’s superintendant now says that an interim principal must hired to manage the Phoenicia school through to the end of the year.

Sella, principal of the Phoenicia Elementary School since 201, was placed on administrative leave in mid-February.


Judge upholds Phoenicia Library variance

By Jay Braman Jr.
An attempt by neighbors of the Phoenicia Library to stop expansion of the library building was unsuccessful in State Supreme Court, County of Ulster.

On March 4, Justice Richard Mott said in his motion that the Shandaken Zoning Board of Appeals acted according to law when it gave the library five separate variances last December.
Phoenicia Librarian Liz Potter was pleased upon hearing the news.


Planners stall work on Phoenicia Library

aBy Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Planning Board needs more information about fire and flood safety before deciding whether or not to allow expansion of the Phoenicia Library.

The delay came March 13 after a public hearing on the project where the son of an adjacent landowner warned that the proposed expansion not only put neighbors at higher risk of fire but also that the expansion, if allowed, would cause higher flooding on Main Street.

Lawsuit underway


Phoenicia Library and town officials blast neighbor's lawsuit

By Jay Braman Jr.
The attorneys representing the Town of Shandaken against a lawsuit filed over the expansion of the Phoenicia Library have fired back a scathing response to the allegations made by the neighbors of the property who want to stop the project.

At the same time, library officials have launched a pubic relations campaign designed to drum up support at a hearing this month for plans to expand the library building.


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