Phoenicia will lose Head Start program

By Jay Braman Jr.
The federally-funded Head Start program in Phoenicia has been given the axe.

A popular preschool program tailor made for low-income families, Head Start has for years been a staple in this hamlet, providing quality service for children from birth to age five by enhancing the child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as providing advocacy services to the families of those children.

Videotaped crook busted in Phoencia Legion heist

By Jay Braman Jr.
Thanks to recently installed video surveillance cameras, the man who allegedly broke into the American Legion Hall in Phoenicia on Saturday night is now behind bars in the Ulster County Jail.
New York State Police in Kingston have announced the arrest of Daniel P. Tuohy, 45, of Lagrangeville for third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer, DWI, and numerous traffic offenses.

On Saturday police responded to a burglary alarm at the American Legion Post 950, located at 1045 Old Route 28 in the Town of Shandaken.

Interim principal position will be filled in Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
After several weeks of being in charge at the Phoenicia Elementary School following the suspension of Principal Linda Sella, the district’s superintendant now says that an interim principal must hired to manage the Phoenicia school through to the end of the year.

Sella, principal of the Phoenicia Elementary School since 201, was placed on administrative leave in mid-February.

Judge upholds Phoenicia Library variance

By Jay Braman Jr.
An attempt by neighbors of the Phoenicia Library to stop expansion of the library building was unsuccessful in State Supreme Court, County of Ulster.

On March 4, Justice Richard Mott said in his motion that the Shandaken Zoning Board of Appeals acted according to law when it gave the library five separate variances last December.
Phoenicia Librarian Liz Potter was pleased upon hearing the news.

Planners stall work on Phoenicia Library

aBy Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Planning Board needs more information about fire and flood safety before deciding whether or not to allow expansion of the Phoenicia Library.

The delay came March 13 after a public hearing on the project where the son of an adjacent landowner warned that the proposed expansion not only put neighbors at higher risk of fire but also that the expansion, if allowed, would cause higher flooding on Main Street.

Lawsuit underway

Phoenicia Library and town officials blast neighbor's lawsuit

By Jay Braman Jr.
The attorneys representing the Town of Shandaken against a lawsuit filed over the expansion of the Phoenicia Library have fired back a scathing response to the allegations made by the neighbors of the property who want to stop the project.

At the same time, library officials have launched a pubic relations campaign designed to drum up support at a hearing this month for plans to expand the library building.

Neighbors balk at Phoenicia Library expansion

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Main Street property owners on either side of the Phoenicia Library, which was destroyed in a March 2011 fire, have filed a lawsuit against the Town of Shandaken over the recent Zoning Board of Appeals decision to grant the library a variance to rebuild on a larger scale.

Coalition challenges CWC over Phoenicia sewer ruling

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Coalition of Watershed Towns has officially notified the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) that the CWC’s policy to not allow Phoenicia residents to participate in its popular septic maintenance program does not reflect the intent of the 1997 Memorandum of Agreement between New York City and the communities in its vast watershed.

Longstanding issues

Rain drenches Phoenicia, hamlet hit with 7+ inches

By Jay Braman Jr.
Last week Tuesday’s torrential downpour hit the entire region, but it was Phoenicia that got the lion’s share of rainfall with no less than seven and-a-half inches recorded.
A state of emergency was declared in the Town of Shandaken on September 18, where flooding did cause some damage.

One spot that got hurt badly was a place that, ironically, was scheduled for flood mitigation work last week.

Phoenicia Diner open for business

By Jay Braman Jr.
In the new Phoenicia Diner, it seems like old times.
The diner, which stands alone along side Route 28 in Phoenicia, had been closed for more than a year after husband and wife team Mike Cioffi and Helene Banks purchased it.

A retired scenery and set designer, Mike had been at work inside the place polishing the chrome and shining up the image of the 1960s classic structure.

When they unlocked the doors for the grand opening last Friday it was as if folks had been waiting all year for the chance to return, and each brought three friends.

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