Rev. Dykstrya honored

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SPECIAL NIGHT — The Rev. Richard Dykstra of Roxbury, right, is all smiles after receiving the Margaretville Hospital Keene A. Roadman Citizen of the Year Award on Saturday evening at the Harvest Moon Ball. The event was sponsored by the Auxiliary of Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. Also pictured during the presentation are event Chair Karen Kolar and Hospital Board Member Tom O’Brien.— Photo by

Phoenicia on edge of second flood last week

By Jay Braman Jr.
It was the sound of emergency sirens, not school busses, that woke people up early last Wednesday morning in Phoenicia, where residents were informed that a repeat performance of last week’s flooding was on the way.

Heavy rain had returned to the region, causing the Onteora Central School District to close for what was supposed to be the first two days of school.

Flood victims recall frightening events; ponder move to higher ground

By Brian Sweeney
The August 28 flood will certainly go down in history as one of the worst disasters to ever strike the region. The News will continue to run stories detailing residents’ experiences — during and after the flood.

Tom Sitler has lived in a mobile home in Carlson’s Trailer Park in Arkville for about six years. He resides there with his mother and stepfather. All of them were caught off guard by the fury of the floodwaters.

Shandaken seeks state help in flood recovery

By Jay Braman Jr.
SOS is known worldwide as a distress call. Save Our Ship is how it originated, as a cry for help from any sea faring entity that ran the risk of being no more.
On Saturday morning, in a meeting hall in Shandaken, a group of land owners who were hard hit by tropical storm called Irene organized a grassroots effort to demand aide in the wake of that weather event.

They call themselves SOS, as for Save Our Shandaken. The circumstances for the people in this room varied, but all have suffered some degree of loss in the past couple of weeks.

Reopenings, relief efforts bring hope after Irene

By Pauline Liu
Margaretville Central School reopened Tuesday after a one-week delay. Even though the district lost a bus and three vans to flood damage, 408 children made it to their classes and appeared to be in good spirits. Most appeared oblivious to the members of a professional clean up crew, dressed in white biohazard suits, who continued to work on the flooded basement.

Halcottsville raises 9-11 tribute

By Brian Sweeney
The hamlet of Halcottsville marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks with the permanent placement of a sculpture made in response to the tragic day.

Sunday’s ceremony included the dedication of a small park along Main Street and the formal unveiling of a bronze sculpture donated by the artist Mark Pilato.

The eight-foot-tall dual columns are entitled “Ascent,” and were completed several years ago as Mark’s tribute to the phenomenal human spirit shown by American citizens following the attacks.

Gov. Cuomo helps with volunteer clean-up

By Pauline Liu 
Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Margaretville during Labor Day weekend to launch a volunteer program called, “Labor for Your Neighbor.” Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew CuomoOn Sunday, he and his girlfriend, Food Network Host Sandra Lee, joined about 100 volunteers, who spent several hours cleaning up the village’s streets, businesses and homes. They arrived by the busload from the Capital Region. Most of the volunteers were state workers and their families. “It’s neighbor helping neighbor,” said Cuomo. “That is the silver lining to this situation, to see the volunteerism that is really heartwarming.” It was the governor’s third visit to Margaretville, since Tropical Storm Irene devastated the region a week earlier.

Communities unite to rebuild communities

Community MindedCommunity Minded
From left, Rachel Mathiesen, Raeanne Bond, Kellsey Buerge, Ceceilia Galatioto, Tess Svoboda and Cora Bruno were among the Margaretville area teenagers who pitched in with a great effort in the flood cleanup. — Photo by Dick Sanford

By Jennifer Kabat
Hundreds of bottles of Snapple, Pelegrino and Coke. French butter, anchovy paste, cheese and balsamic vinegar and jugs of pickles. All had to be thrown away.

The liquids dumped into the gutter, bottles opened and lined in rows on the curb to spill out, then held upside down to get out the last drops. The yellow jackets loved it, swarming trash bags and sidewalks, flying around arms and sticky legs. And there doing the work? Kids, girls, Margaretville’s teenagers. All there of their own accord. Across the village they were out in force helping clean up.

Official flood recovery website

Margaretville — Efforts by three municipalities to recover from the August 28 flood are detailed on a new website:

The Town of Middletown and its two incorporated villages, Margaretville and Fleischmanns, are collaborating to bring the most current, accurate information possible to their constituents as the emergency evolves into one of recovery, repair and restoration.

MCS opening delayed until Sept. 13

Margaretville — Margaretville Central School (MCS) will delay the opening of school to students until Tuesday, September 13. Faculty is to report on Monday, September 12 at 8 a.m.

Due to recent weather-related safety concerns and the timeliness associated with the complete cleanup of the school basement, MCS has adjusted the starting date for students and faculty.
Although the main school building is prepared to accept faculty and students, the additional time will allow the professional restoration teams to complete the restoration process in the school basement.

Shandaken has flood fix-up shortfall

By Jay Braman Jr.
“I’ve got no money in my budget to handle this.”

That is the message that Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley delivered to state and federal officials Sunday, just prior to a meeting set up to determine how best to proceed with helping the Catskill Region in the aftermath of tropical storm Irene.

Exactly one week after the storm, Stanley was busy inside the command post set up in the MF Whitney Fire House on Route 214 in Phoenicia.

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