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.

Andes overrides 2% cap; OKs fracking ban


By Pauline Liu
On the heels of Election Day, the Andes Town Board unanimously passed a tax-cap override, its 2012 budget, and a moratorium on heavy industry, following a series of often-contentious public hearings at town hall last Thursday.

As a result of the board’s vote to override the state mandated two-percent tax cap, property owners in the Town of Andes can expect to dig deeper. Town officials estimate that taxes on a $100,000 home will increase by $20 a year. “You’re going to price me out of my home,” grumbled Andes resident Fred Cubero.

Stanley is an easy winner; GOP takes over in Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
Republican incumbent Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley won another two-year term in voting last Tuesday, and Republican Councilman Vinnie Bernstein was also re-elected.

Both are joined by Republican newcomer Alfie Higley, giving the GOP a sweep and maintaining the current state of affairs in Shandaken politics.

Permits issued to Freshtown; CVS to be rebuilt

By Brian Sweeney
Work is progressing toward the reopening of the Freshtown Supermarket in Margaretville.
Dan Katz, vice president of PSK Supermarkets which operates Freshtown, said the permits have been granted for repairs to the flood-ravaged building on Bridge Street. To date, the roof and floor have been repaired and the parking has been repaved.

“We are working on this every day,” Mr. Katz commented. He did not provide a timetable for the store’s reopening.

Margaretville gearing up for holiday celebration

By Pauline Liu
It’s going to look a lot like Christmas in Margaretville, during Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of decking the halls, local organizations are teaming up with village business owners to deck out Main Street with all of the trappings of holiday cheer.

A tree lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa Claus and a gift making fair for children are among the activities on tap.

Hardenburgh supervisor's race outcome unknown

By Jay Braman Jr.
Folks in the tiny Town of Hardenburgh way up in the far western portion of Ulster County aren’t sure yet who will be their town supervisor come January.

Several weeks ago longtime Supervisor Jerry Fairbairn announced he would not run again after the town board voted to require that the supervisor and town clerk each begin paying a portion of their respective health insurance costs.

Online learning focus of event at area schools

By Pauline Liu
The region’s schools are trying something new. At Andes and Margaretville central schools, a new online learning program has debuted. Meanwhile, Roxbury Central School recently held a Career Fair. It was an event so successful, that organizers plan to make it an annual event.

CWC distributes more than $1 million to businesses

Margaretville — The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) has distributed more than $1 million in grants to businesses damaged in late summer flooding.

As of November 1, grants to 47 businesses totaled $1,024,614. Many more applications are pending and another batch of checks will be processed next week, according to CWC Economic Development Director Michael Triolo.

The aid, drawn from the $5 million Flood Recovery Grant Program, which was approved by the CWC Board of Directors on September 13, is helping owners of for-profit enterprises repair structural damage to their buildings.

Middletown budget shows slight increase

Staff Report
Restoring some earlier cuts, the Middletown Town Board passed a 2012 budget last Wednesday that reflects a 1.9 percent increase in the tax levy.

Town officials reported this week that because of the omission of a bond interest expenditure from the final budget, the document will be reconsidered at a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. at the town hall.

Roxbury budget lowered to 0% tax hike

By Pauline Liu
Roxbury residents who attended the public hearing to override the state’s two percent property tax cap last Thursday were in for a pleasant surprise.

Newly re-elected Town Supervisor Tom Hynes told the audience of about 30 people, that there was no longer a need to seek an override. He explained that with much hard work, the budget had been recently whittled down, to that there will be a zero-percent tax levy increase.

Roxbury votes counted

Tom Hynes was re-elected supervisor:

Thomas Hynes 543
Bill Walcutt 211

Top vote getters in the race for town council were Edward Raeder and Carol Murray:
Edward Raeder 377
Stephen Walker 352
Carol Murray 390
Joseph Aulino 350

Diane Pickett was unopposed and was re-elected town clerk with 634 votes.
Joan Moore was unopposed and was re-elected tax collector with 620 votes.
Stephen Schuman was unopposed and was re-elected superintendent of highways with 643 votes.

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