Phoenicia water main repairs tabbed at $150,000

By Jay Braman Jr.
Shandaken officials say that it will take $150,000 they don’t have to repair the Phoenicia Water District water main that fell into the Esopus Creek.
But, after a month of supplying about a quarter of the small district with water unfit to drink unless boiled first, a plan has been made to make another fire hose rig across the bridge street bridge to where it can be connected to the water mains that serve the users on the south side of the creek.

Fleischmanns also fighting frozen pipes

By Brian Sweeney
Area residents continue to be hindered by frozen water lines that have created expensive and inconvenient problems.
Fleischmanns Mayor Todd Pascarella said this week that about a dozen village residents currently have frozen water lines. This number has been holding steadily.
“We haven’t had any more in over a week, so it hasn’t gotten any worse since a lot of people have started running their water,” the mayor commented.

Protesters want MCS to bounce "Donkey basketball" fundraiser


By Jay Braman Jr. and Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Margaretville Central School officials have come under fire this week from community members against plans to hold a school fundraiser that some say is cruel to animals. At issue is a game of Donkey Basketball slated to hit the court in a couple weeks, unless the district cancels the event.
After years of the MCS Honor Society holding the successful fundraiser, in which school community members play basketball while riding donkeys, some residents are saying enough is enough.

MCS re-opens its search for superintendent


By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
The Margaretville Central School Board of Education announced this week that it will re-open its search for a new superintendent.
Residents and taxpayers had an opportunity to meet and question three candidates last week but a statement to the News on Monday said, “after careful and extended deliberation, the decision has been made to reopen the search for a new superintendent.”

Full candidate slate in Fleischmanns Village election

By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Fleischmanns voters have many choices when they go to the polls for village elections next Wednesday. Incumbent Mayor Todd Pascarella will face off against Don Kearney.
Incumbent trustees Larry Reilly and Ben Fenton face challenges from Lew Grocholl and John Hoeko. The mayoral candidates run head to head for a two-year term, while the two-year trustee terms will go to the highest two vote-getters. Trus­tees elected will join Harriett Grossman and David Yates on the board as they each have one more year in their terms of office.

Ulster Co. planners weigh in with Belleayre Resort comments


By Jay Braman Jr.
The Ulster County Planning Board (UCPB) has weighed in on the plans submitted for the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park.
And while they strongly support the plans and recommend approval by the local planning boards currently reviewing them, the county planners have come up with quite a recommended list of changes to those plans.
In his report given to the Shandaken Planning Board in January, the county’s principal planner, Robert Leibowitz, wrote that the long review of the project has paid off.

Deep freeze problems persist


Frozen water lines continue to plague local homes and businesses. Especially vulnerable are water lines under pavement where insulating snow has been shoveled or plowed.

More flood money for Town of Shandaken's hamlets


By Jay Braman Jr.
The answer to how best to protect the hamlets of Phoenicia and Mount Tremper from future flooding has not been found yet, but another grant has been awarded to help those charged with figuring it out.
Last week Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County announced $339,116 in grants to support 12 stream management implementation projects in Ulster County’s New York City watershed towns.

Region's hemlocks in rapid decline


By Brian Sweeney
Hemlocks in the Catskills are in the midst of a rapid decline due to insect devastation, according to a recent report by the U.S. Forest Service.
The Arkville-based Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD) is among the agencies taking a leading role to help combat this problem.

Hilton Kelly, Catskill fiddle legend, passes away

Hilton Kelly, a lifelong resident of Red Kill outside of Fleischmanns, passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville. He was 89 and-a-half years old.
Hilton was born July 18, 1925, in the Red Kill Valley (also known as Bedell), to Edith Kittle Kelly and Carson Kelly.
Hilt and Stella celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last fall.Hilt and Stella celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last fall.

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