Shandaken balloting set for next Tuesday

By Jay Braman Jr.
People going to the polls Tuesday in Shandaken to choose the next American president will not have anything on the town level of government to think about in the voting booth, but one important proposed law for Ulster County does appears on the ballot.

Appearing on the second page of the ballot and identified as “Proposal Number One, Local Law No. 11,” this yes or no proposition, if passed, would take redistricting power out of the hands of the county legislature and give it to an independent body.

Law overview

Shandaken budget shows 2% hike

By Jay Braman Jr.
The election-year budget with a zero percent tax increase prepared last fall is a tough act to follow, but this year Shandaken Budget Officer/Supervisor Rob Stanley is following it up with one that only brings a little bit of pain to property owners.

Last year at this time Stanley produced a budget plan for 2012 that kept taxes the same as they were in 2011.

This month the supervisor, now in his second, two-year term following re-election last November, has put together a preliminary budget that carries only a two percent tax increase.

Shandaken building inspector charged with forcible touching

By Jay Braman Jr.
Shandaken Building Inspector Richard Stokes, 54, was arrested late last Tuesday, September 18 and charged with forcible touching.

The charges stem from an alleged incident that occurred in April at the opening night party for J Rocco’s, a then new steakhouse in town, and coincide with Rocco’s owner, Eric Risher making a public complaint against Stokes just 10 days prior to the arrest, claiming Stokes has been using the power of his position to harass Risher ever since the grand opening.

Valley residents mark anniversary of flood

By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
More than 70 residents of Oliverea and Big Indian gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate a beautiful day in the valley that was battered heavily by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year. And while the gathering was an indirect result of the disaster, the potluck event was more about triumph than tragedy.

Shandaken reviews bids for flood repairs

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Board received bids Monday on the first anniversary of the massive damage brought on by Tropical Storm Irene on two large stream restoration projects near Phoenicia, with both combined bringing a total of almost $4 million.

Both projects are necessary due to damage that occurred during that storm and its little brother, Lee, which hit only days afterwards.

Shandaken recovery to take years

By Jay Braman Jr.
In Shandaken, the community psyche is upbeat after the last year of turmoil, but the reality is that it is going to take years and years to rebuild.

That is according to Supervisor Rob Stanley, who says that post Irene issues continue to be the main business in his office every day.

Stanley pointed to the recent success of the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, which brought thousands of people to the hamlet for the first weekend of August, as being the bright light that really showed just how much healing has occurred.

Shandaken Landowners' Association loses legal battle

By Jay Braman Jr.
A seven-year-long tax squabble between 18 landowners and the Town of Shandaken ended last week when a jury ruled that the town had some “rational basis” for raising the assessments of parcels that had more than 20 acres of undeveloped land.

In a prepared statement, Town Supervisor Rob Stanley said the suit was originally commenced in 2006 to challenge the 2005 reassessment by several large landowners and named the town, the town board of assessors, the town supervisor, the town assessor and other members of the town board of assessors.

Shandaken going 3D

By Jay Braman Jr
With 3D film all the rage in Hollywood these days, its no wonder that the way-cool technology has found its way into theaters all over the world, but leave it to the Shandaken Theatrical Society (STS) to take it one step further with something not seen anywhere else, at least for a long-long time.
This Saturday, July 28 at 7 p.m., STS will present what film buffs say is the most famous 3D movie ever made.

Back in 1954, audiences were both awestruck and petrified by the monster horror film “The Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

Shandaken cell service expands

By Jay Braman Jr.
It took almost five years, but the cell tower at Glenbrook Park in Shandaken is now active.
Ellen Webner, a spokesperson for AT&T, said Tuesday that the communications company has expanded wireless coverage in the area.

“Today AT&T is proud to announce a new mobile Internet cell site is providing new coverage in the Catskills,” she said. “New areas of coverage include Allaben, Big Indian, Bushnellsville, and Shandaken and along Route 28 between Big Indian and Phoenicia and on Route 42 between Shandaken and West Kill.”

Shandaken supervisor balks at sewer project

By Jay Braman Jr.
If the Hamlet of Phoenicia ever builds a sewer system, it won’t be just cars and trucks crossing the major bridges in the locale.

Effluent from the hamlet’s toilets will be too. Every minute of every day.

And since the bridges in Phoenicia are in the habit of breaking during the more and more frequent floods, local officials are wondering what would happen if the sewer mains broke on the bridges and sent gallons of sewage into the Ashokan Reservoir downstream.

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