BBQ, Bourbon and Bingo to benefit Phoenicia Library

By Jay Braman Jr.
It seems that there’s no end to the creativity of those trying to raise funds for a worthy cause in the Catskills.
The most recent one to draw attention is a Bingo/Barbecue/ Bourbon mash up slated for Sunday, April 27 at the Peeka­moose Restaurant and Tap Room on Route 28 in Big Indian. A benefit for the Phoenicia Library, which burned a couple years back and is now being rebuilt, this shindig promises to be as fun as it is unique.

Shandaken considers moving town offices to Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
A new idea has pushed to the front of the line in the ongoing effort to decide how to spend $3 million that Shandaken has been given under the state’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program.
The money is supposed to be used to make towns more resilient to future flood events and provide economic benefits as well.
With that in mind, Town Supervisor Rob Stanley started to take a hard look at the decaying town hall, located in Allaben, that holds his office and the town’s highway garage next door. While neither got wet during the infamous flooding that came with Hurricane Irene in 2011, the government hub is actually located right in the floodway of the Esopus Creek and Stanley thinks the best way to spend the $3 million is to relocate everything.

Conservation is key to Phoenicia's water system in the extreme cold

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Phoenicia Water District is not getting the breaks it needs to be free of winter worries. Bone chilling temperatures continue to shorten the water supply for the small hamlet, and the winter’s influx of skiers in search of hot food and good cheer taxes the system even more.

Shandaken resolution in support of CMRR pulled to be reworded

By Jay Braman Jr.
A resolution that called for Ulster County to immediately end its legal assault on the Catskill Mountain Railroad has been pulled from to the Shandaken Town Board agenda due to concerns by two board members about the wording of the document.

Phoenicia water system freezes up in severe cold snap

By Jay Braman Jr.
Ulster County Heath Department officials have issued a boil water advisory to Phoenicia residents after recent frigid temperatures froze so much of the district’s water supply that the system had to be switched over to an impure backup supply.

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.

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