J Rocco's Steakhouse and Speakeasy open in Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
There’s a new restaurant in the Shandaken area where one of the most notorious criminals in American history, a former Public Enemy Number One, holds a place of distinction, not only on the wall but also in the heart of the eatery’s owner.

According to Erik Risher, who just opened J Rocco’s Steakhouse and Speakeasy, it was people like Public Enemy Number One, otherwise known as Depression era bank robber and bootlegger John Dillinger, that were some of the region’s first economic developers.

Farm stand law sprouts new ventures

By Jay Braman Jr
Along with the dandelions, two new businesses have sprouted up this spring in Shandaken, where just last month the town adopted a new law that cleared the way for larger farm stands.
Both are readying locations alongside Route 28 in Mount Tremper close by Hanover Farms, the business largely responsible for the new law, establishing that stretch of road as the breadbasket in town.

Hanover Farms sues Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
Al Higley, the owner of Hanover Farms in Mount Tremper, is suing the Town of Shandaken over a stop-work order the town’s code officer issued to his business two weeks ago.
The order, issued by Town Code Officer Richard Stokes on March 18, has been flagrantly ignored by Higley.

“We’re going to Supreme Court,” Higley said Monday.”We want the court to throw the stop work order out.”

Shandaken Ambulance chief calls for cell phone help

By Jay Braman Jr.
Cell phone service in the Town of Shandaken remains spotty but the head of the town’s ambulance service has a plan that he thinks will help solve the problem.

Well, at least for those tech savvy residents who are Verizon customers.
Shandaken Ambulance Squad Chief Richard Muellerleile spoke before the Shandaken Town Board Monday night, reminding all present that 2011 was indeed a busy one, not only for his department but for all of the emergency services.

New Shandaken Code Officer begins cleanup

By Jay Braman Jr.
“There’s a new code officer in town.”

That’s how Phoenicia resident Ritchie Stokes put it last week as backhoes and bulldozers began leveling a massive eyesore that has plagued the Oliverea Valley for two decades.

As the demolition project, on Deer Lane just a stone’s throw form the Cold Spring Lodge, moved forward, Stokes was straight faced and no nonsense when he said this was just the beginning.
“I’m taking care of Fox Hollow next,” he said, referring to the property at the entrance of that Shandaken hamlet.

OCS Board weighing tough money saving options

By Jay Braman Jr.
As parents in the Onteora School bombard the board of education with concerns over the impacts of school reconfiguration plans, the school board is working hard to show not only parents, but all that live in the district, that they are taking the matter seriously and proceeding with caution.

Following a recent school board meeting where over 75 people attended to hear details about plans, some of which include the closure of one of the three elementary schools, the school board drafted an open letter to the public.

Free Christmas dinner for Shandaken residents

Main Street, Phoenicia will open its doors on Christmas Day to welcome the citizens of Shandaken to a festive “Christmas Community Dinner.”

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Christmas Day (December 25), the Ricciardella family, owners of The Sportsman’s Cantina, and a staff of volunteers will prepare and serve a traditional holiday dinner free to all residents of Shandaken and the surrounding townships, who are needy or alone, are elderly or home-bound, have no where to go, or would just like to stop by and join their neighbors on Christmas Day.

Shandaken officer killed in Route 28 accident

By Jay Braman Jr.
The sudden death of a Shandaken Police Officer has shocked the community this week.

Today, Wednesday, Shokan resident Travis Nissen, who was only 27 years old, will be laid to rest in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the Shandaken hamlet of Mount Tremper, five days after he was killed in a car accident on Route 28 in Shokan.

Shandaken tables Scenic Byway Plan

By Jay Braman Jr.
Concerns over loss of Home Rule have made the Shandaken Town Board back away from adopting what is known as the Scenic Byway Plan.

After a public hearing on the matter, Shandaken Supervisor Robert Stanley pulled the resolution from town business Monday night with the unanimous consent of the town board.
“I’d like to give it more thought,” he said, as other board member members nodded their agreement.

Route 28 approach

Oliverea Road to open on Friday

By Jay Braman Jr.
There’s good news in Oliverea, where a temporary bridge is expected to open for traffic later this week, but the main bridge entrance to Phoenicia may never be reopened.

That’s according to Ulster County’s Deputy County Executive Robert Sudlow, who was asked about the fate of both the trouble spots, that appeared in late August after Tropical Storm Irene swept though the region.

Sudlow gave an update on the long-closed Oliverea Road, happily telling residents that they will be able to use the road again soon.

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