News

Commuter killed in Metro-North crash had local family in our region

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Catskill Mountain News readers in the Belleayre skiing community were shocked and saddened last week when they learned that a Metro-North train disaster in Valhalla had devastating results for a popular couple here. Eric Vandercar, the 53-year-old son-in-law of Big In­dian residents Allen and Judy Shiner, was among the six people killed when a commuter train on Metro-North’s Harlem line struck a car in Westchester County.
Eric Vandercar, pictured here with his wife Jill and children Jake and Sadie, perished last week in a train crash.Eric Vandercar, pictured here with his wife Jill and children Jake and Sadie, perished last week in a train crash.


City flood buyout programs complex; not "one size fits all"

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
It’s complicated! If there is one thing every municipal official in the New York City Watershed can agree on, it’s that preventing flood damage and responding effectively when disasters do occur is very complicated. Solutions involve consideration of the environment, economics, and existing conditions in watershed communities as diverse as Boiceville and Bovina, Denning, and Delhi. Finding a one-size-fits-all program that can help well-populated villages built along river banks as well as it helps mountain-top hamlets and sprawling farm spreads might just be impossible.
That was the state of affairs last week when officials from New York City and Delaware County responded to Margaret­ville officials who said new programs being developed won’t help.


Delhi woman dies in house fire

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At approximately 1 a.m. on Friday morning, February 6, members of Delhi, Andes and Bovina fire departments, along with Delaware County Sheriff Deputies, responded to a structure fire at 3150 Maggie Hoag Road, reported by a near­by neighbor. First arriving personnel found the residence to be fully engulfed by fire and were unable to locate the home’s owner.


OCS super to leave; Onteora splits playground funds

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By Jay Braman Jr.
The Onteora School Board has decided that more money should be spent on bettering the playground at the Woodstock Primary School rather than at the Phoenicia Primary School.
While some trustees felt that it wasn’t playing fair, a majority of the board decided at the January 28 meeting to carve a $320,000 playground improvement fund into a 60/40 split, with Woodstock getting $191,840 and Phoenicia ending up with only $128,159.


Kimble tapped as Shandaken Code Officer

By Jay Braman Jr.
After a month of “borrowing” Town of Middletown Building Inspector Pat Davis, the Town of Shandaken has hired its own full time man to handle the job.
Clark Kimble was appointed Municipal Code Officer at a February 3 town board session that was held a day late due to the February 2 weather cancellation. He is to be paid $15 per hour and work 25- to 30-hours per week.


Margaretville board rips DEP buyout plans

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
In a sharply worded letter to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Village of Margaretville officials went on record last week with strong opposition to two programs being proposed by the DEP.


John Bernhardt selected for Delaware League Coaches Hall of Fame

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By Brian Sweeney
Longtime area multi-sport coach John Bernhardt will be among the honorees inducted into the Delaware Leagues Coaches Hall of Fame on February 20th at the annual Crossover Championship games.
John took a decidedly untraditional path to his coaching career, frequently accepting team leadership duties at several schools simply because no one else was interested in making such commitments, and he wanted couldn’t stand the idea of young athletes missing out on an opportunity to participate.


Halcottville teen's quick reaction averts possible fire disaster

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By Brian Sweeney
Quick thinking by a Halcottsville teenager is credited with averting a potential tragedy in the hamlet last week.
When 16-year-old Mike Finch got home from school about 3:15 p.m. last Monday, he heard a smoke alarm sounding. His initial reaction was that the alarm was coming from his Main Street home.
When he entered his house, Mike realized that the alarms in there were silent. He went back outside and figured out that the alarms were coming from the vacant house next door. Upon opening the screen door, he discovered that the home was filled with smoke.


Adultery scandal at Zen Monestery leads to resignation of leader

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By Jay Braman Jr.
It appears that extramarital affairs don’t just take down presidential candidates these days. Last week, 61-year-old Ryushin Sensei, the leader of the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, resigned following an admission of adultery that not only ruined his marriage but also put the monas­tery’s reputation at stake.
In a prepared statement, Ryu­shin, also called an Abbot, let all know of the harm he brought to his wife, Hojin Osho, who also works at the monastery and of the decision of the monastery’s higher-level leadership to ask him to step down.


New maple grading system welcomed by producers

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By Cheryl Petersen
When it boils right down to it, a global uniform grading system for maple syrup makes sense. Spearheaded by the International Maple Syrup Institute, a consistent grading system is becoming a sweet reality, bringing clarity to what has confused customers in the past: different grading systems in different regions.
MAKING THE GRADE —Maple syrup producer Tom Kauffman near the International Maple Syrup Grading chart, holding new labels and a grading kit. — Photo by Cheryl PetersenMAKING THE GRADE —Maple syrup producer Tom Kauffman near the International Maple Syrup Grading chart, holding new labels and a grading kit. — Photo by Cheryl Petersen


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