Phoenicia Library rises triumphant from the ashes

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CUTTING THE RIBBON — Zara Dershowitz, 11, and her brother Mars, 9, got a kick out being the ribbon cutters to officially open the Marilyn Dershowitz Memorial Building, also known as the new Phoenicia Library, on Saturday. Their grandmother, Marilyn, a long time fan of the library, was killed in a bicycle accident in 2012, the year after the original library building burned. The new structure, which is located on the Main Street spot where the old one stood, was made possible by a sizeable donation made by the Dershowitz family in Marilyn’s name. Library Board President Bernard Handzel is at center, holding the ribbon. — Photo by Jay Braman, Jr.

Lawrence-Bauer rejoins News staff


Publisher Dick Sanford announced this week that Joan Lawrence-Bauer has returned to the staff of the Catskill Mountain News. Lawrence-Bauer will handle a variety of news reporting and business development work for the paper.

Jimmy McGrath will be Snowball honoree


By Jay Braman Jr.
James McGrath, a 34-year veteran of the Shandaken Police Department and the department’s longtime chief, has been chosen to be given the Spirit of the Catskills Award at the 29th Annual Snowball, set for January 24 at 6:30 p.m.
Jimmy McGrathJimmy McGrath

Stucki Embroidery in Boiceville cuts back


By Jay Braman Jr.
Murray Fenwick, the current owner of the Stucki Embroidery Company in Boiceville, is hoping that becoming a landlord will help keep his business afloat.
One of the region’s few manufacturing operations, Stucki, like many others in the textile industry, has seen a decline as cheap overseas labor continues to take work away.
This week, word spread that the company, which started in New Jersey in the 1920s and moved to Boiceville in the ’70s, was folding.

New Andes courthouse just the ticket for the town


By Cheryl Petersen
From obscurity to prominence, the Andes Town Court will soon be moving into its new home on county Route 1. “It’s a long time coming,” said Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly. “The official courthouse will be at the site of the Andes water treatment plant.”
“In the past, court was held at the home of Judge Joe Grieco,” said Donnelly. “After the new town hall on Route 28 was built, Judge Grieco was able to use the old town hall for court.”
The old town hall, at the end of Main Street, is a former gas station. The building is timeworn.

Hunter Mtn. skier dies after fall from chair lift


By Jay Braman Jr.
Investigators are not certain why a Brooklyn woman fell to her death from a chair lift at Hunter Mountain on Sunday.
According to a statement released by police, Olga Filkin, 44, of Brooklyn, fell out of a chairlift at the resort at about 2 p.m.
She was treated immediately at the scene by members of the Hunter Mountain Ski Patrol and was transported to the resort’s first aid room, where she was later pronounced dead.

NY Rising projects stalled in Shandaken


By Jay Braman Jr.
The year 2014 has come and gone without so much as a penny coming from the NY Rising fund to the Town of Shandaken, which, like most of the towns in the region, suffered greatly from the flooding that hit in 2011 when Hurricane Irene blew through.
On Monday, as he was pre­paring for the town’s transition to 2015, Shandaken Supervisor Robert Stanley lamented that after all of the highly publicized and well attending public meetings about how best to spend millions of state dollars to make the town better equipped to survive the next weather disaster, nothing has come to fruition.

Most local schools have graduation levels above state average


By Jay Braman Jr.
The Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch, and New York State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. released this month, the high school graduation rates for students who entered ninth grade in 2010.
Of the area school districts, all but one, Margaretville, scored above the state average.

Pine Hill "downtown" now all zoned commercial

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Board has voted unanimously this month to change the zoning of Pine Hill’s business district to make it all commercial.
Officials expect the change, which takes effect following approval by the state’s Attorney General, will give property owners more flexibility when it comes to the use of their properties.
The idea came up months ago when the town’s planning board noticed inconsistencies in the zoning of Main Street.

Bovina highway garage crack keeps growing

By Cheryl Petersen
Calling a special meeting on December 18, Supervisor Tina Molé reported to the Bovina Town Board, “More cracks have been found in the highway garage.”
In its few years of existence, the highway garage has become a sinking problem. The large two-bay garage, with offices on one side, sits along Route 6 in the Hamlet of Bovina Center and began settling not long after its construction.
GETTING WORSE — Bovina Supervisor Tina Molé points to a new crack in the highway garage December 18. — Photo by Cheryl PetersenGETTING WORSE — Bovina Supervisor Tina Molé points to a new crack in the highway garage December 18. — Photo by Cheryl Petersen

Area politicians split on state's fracking ban


By Joe Moskowitz
The prospect of drilling for natural gas by high volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it’s sometimes called, died in New York State last Wednesday when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that state Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reviews of the controversial drilling practice indicated that the risks far out­weighed the benefits.

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