Community tree lighting has special meaning

By Pauline Liu
It wasn’t the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, but the lighting of Margaretville’s second Christmas tree last Saturday, generating some of the same wonder and excitement. For some members of the crowd, consisting of about 100 area residents, the lighting ceremony represented something more.

“It was a very sweet event and it was meant to be symbolic and show what we’ve been through,” said Jill Cline of the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild.

Attorney cites state, city for extent of flood damage

By Brian Sweeney
A Prattsville attorney has filed a Notice of Claim preserving the right to pursue legal action against the state and New York City for damages caused by the August 28 flood.

David Rikard filed Notice in state Supreme Court on behalf of “all citizens, residents or other entities of the communities or properties with the NYC ‘West of Hudson Watershed’ who suffered losses in the flood.”

Onteora District mulls closing elementary building

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Onteora Central School District is again facing the prospect of closing an elementary school as a cost-saving measure.

Speaking to small audience Monday at Shandaken Town Hall, the OCS superintendent said that tough fiscal times require that tough choices must be made as to how to develop a sustainable spending plan in a district with a current budget of over $50 million a year.

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.

Arkville water upgrade back on track

Staff report
The primary construction phase of the Arkville Water Project upgrade is wrapping up this week with the installation of new sidewalks along Route 28.

The Hubbell Inc. of Margaretville began work on the system upgrade in August. The project was put on hold for more than a month following the historic August 28 flood. A long stretch of the new main had to be replaced due to flood damage.

The gift of soap, suds and hope for flood victims

By Pauline Liu
During this holiday season, some area residents are giving thanks for acts of kindness. Arkville Laundry owner Uta Gundelach is thankful for one customer, whose kindness enabled her to continue her efforts to provide free washing and drying to those who were hardest hit by Tropical Storm Irene on August 28.

Local communities selected for more flood funding

Businesses in the Town of Middletown will be eligible for additional funding from the Upstate Storm and Recovery Task Force, it was announced Monday.

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy reported the additional $1.5 million in grants for small businesses at a meeting in Windham.

Second tree lighting in Margaretville this weekend

By Pauline Liu
It’s not enough for Margaretville to have one tree-lighting ceremony. Now a second one is being planned in as many weeks. On Sunday, one day after the village Christmas tree was officially lit with much fanfare, Andes resident Denise Norris has donated a 40-foot blue spruce from her property. The tree, which weighs almost a ton, has been erected in the Freshtown parking lot on the other side of Bridge Street. It was cut and trimmed by Jorge Jacinto and Norris estimates it now stands over 20-feet tall.

Deadline extended for flood applications


National Flood Insurance policyholders have been given an extension to file the Proof of Loss (POL) form with the insurance company handling their claim, officials with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have announced.

Because of the magnitude of affected states and the number of flood claims filed, extensions for deadlines for submitting the Proof of Loss forms in New York State are:
• For dates of loss between Aug. 12 and Aug. 26, 2011, the policyholder has 120 days from the date of loss to file the POL.

Peekamoose holiday meal supports flood-damaged farmers

By Jennifer Kabat
Thanksgiving this year at the Peekamoose restaurant in Big Indian was a big affair: 200 pounds of turkey, some 20 pounds of cranberries, another 20 pounds each of Brussels sprouts and rutabagas and 240 individuals pies (80 pumpkin, 80 apple and 80 chocolate bourbon pecan), and that’s not counting the potatoes or squash or beets or trout or pork.

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