For Pine Hill stormwater system, foresight is 20/20

By Jay Braman Jr.
While awaiting plans for a stormwater system that would serve Pine Hill, the Town of Shandaken wants to start now on plans for what the hamlet will become once that work is completed.
Volunteers are being sought to participate in what is being called the “Pine Hill 20/20 Visioning.” Participants, starting immediately, would work to create a vision of what they would like to see for the hamlet and help move ahead any outcomes of the several brainstorming session planned.


No challengers yet for area school board elections

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
School board elections in 2015 will be decidedly low key if current trends hold. With nominating petitions due Monday, April 20 in all local schools, most incumbents look to run for re-election and no challengers have yet appeared.


Chichester fire claims pets, leaves family homeless

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The aftermath of an Easter’s eve blaze that claimed two pups and the belongings of a local family shows that little is left of their Chichester home the following day. Read more in our front page story below. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.The aftermath of an Easter’s eve blaze that claimed two pups and the belongings of a local family shows that little is left of their Chichester home the following day. Read more in our front page story below. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.
By Jay Braman Jr.
Fire has taken its toll many times in the region this past winter season, and now with spring comes another disaster, this time in Chichester where flames engulfed an old home atop Sunshine Hill on Route 214 on Saturday night.


Area educators and parents have kids opting out of tests

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
A group of local people who believe that their children are over-tested will have their kids sit out next week when third- through eighth-graders across the state start taking annual exams in English language arts (ELA) and math.
And while there seems to be nearly universal agreement that test results are being used unfairly against teachers, some parents believe that the “opt out” movement is not the best way to fix that problem.
Jennifer Clark, a parent and substitute teacher, is among those who will refuse participation in the standardized tests.


Quick actions by dining patrons save woman from choking

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
A DEP Police Officer and a local caregiver came together last week to save the life of a Highmount woman who was choking on her food in an area restaurant.
Mabel West, 85, was enjoying a meal at the Crazy River Café in Margaretville when a piece of her sandwich became lodged in her throat. “I knew I was in trouble,” West said, recounting the incident this week. “But I was trying to be polite and ladylike and take care of it myself.”
GRATEFUL— Highmount resident Mabel West is flanked by Karen Barton and Bruce Mateer this week during a get-together at the Crazy River Cafe & Deli on Route 28, Margaretville. The patrons assisted Mrs. West last week after a piece of food became lodged in her throat. Mr. Mateer performed the Heimlich Maneuver to free the obstruction.
— Photo by Joan Lawrence-BauerGRATEFUL— Highmount resident Mabel West is flanked by Karen Barton and Bruce Mateer this week during a get-together at the Crazy River Cafe & Deli on Route 28, Margaretville. The patrons assisted Mrs. West last week after a piece of food became lodged in her throat. Mr. Mateer performed the Heimlich Maneuver to free the obstruction.
— Photo by Joan Lawrence-Bauer


Phoenicia water repairs on tap for Memorial Day

By Jay Braman Jr.
After limping along with a fire hose servicing a quarter of the water district users since Valentines’ Day, Phoenicia should be back to normal by Memorial Day.
On Monday, Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley said the town might use a different method of getting water across the Esopus Creek to those residents on the south side, thanks to some forward thinking by town officials back in the 1990s.


The Sap is Running — Finally!

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CITY MEETS COUNTRY — Two-and-a-half year old Teddy Sanford of Los Angeles, CA got his first taste of maple sap last Thursday while he was visiting family in Bloomville. Teddy, pictured with his grandfather, Dick Sanford, thought the sap tasted good but said he liked the finished product better. Area syrup producers, although off to a late start, are catching up with last season’s production. High sugar content sap and what should be a good sap run at the end of the week should make up for the unusually late start to the season. — Photo by Corey Sanford


Halcott gets broadband as part of MTC expansion project

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By Brian Sweeney
Residents of the Town of Halcott now have access to MTC Cable services thanks to an ongoing expansion into that community.
MTC General Manager Glen Faulkner explained that grant funding awarded by the 2012 Connect NY Broadband Office has facilitated the expansion into the Town of Halcott. The program secured matching funds to offset construction costs for broadband expansion projects to un-served residents within the Town of Halcott, as well as the Towns of Conesville, Gilboa, Middletown and Roxbury.


Roxbury man honored at Lincoln Center for journalism work

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By Brian Sweeney
Roxbury resident Kent Garrett was recently recognized for his pioneering work in journalism as part of a program hosted by the Film Society at Lincoln Center.
Mr. Garrett was honored during the film society’s two-week presentation of “Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986.” Among the featured pieces were two groundbreaking documentaries that Mr. Garrett produced, “The Black GI” and “The Black Cop,” during his work at Black Journal.
SIGNING IN — Kent Garrett of Roxbury stands next to a sign publicizing his appearance at a panel discussion as part of a program hosted by the Film Society at Lincoln Center. — Contributed photoSIGNING IN — Kent Garrett of Roxbury stands next to a sign publicizing his appearance at a panel discussion as part of a program hosted by the Film Society at Lincoln Center. — Contributed photo


Roxbury reval project aims to fix tax issues

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
It was good news and bad news for Roxbury taxpayers last week when impact statements on the town’s revaluation process hit mailboxes.
As the community nears the end of a long and laborious process to bring all properties to a 100 percent valuation on the tax rolls, some residents were able to celebrate significant drops in what they are expected to pay while others realized current values on their properties will necessitate increases.


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