Belleayre, Plattekill ski areas open

By Jay Braman Jr.
It took awhile, and the conditions are not that great, but area ski centers are finally cranking up some chair lifts to begin the 2011/2012 ski season.

State-owned Belleayre opened Saturday with only the upper and lower Onteora Trail open along with the rail park.

On Tuesday Belleayre remained open, having taken advantage of good snowmaking weather, with those same trails, but no more.

Plattekill pleased
At nearby Plattekill in Roxbury, owner Lazlo Vajtay said he was thrilled to finally get going.

Building programs benefit homeowners and businesses

By Brian Sweeney
Numerous home and business renovations in the Town of Middletown are progressing as part of three grant programs funded through the MARK Project.

MARK, an Arkville-based community economic development organization, is overseeing the administration of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG for Middletown) and the Tri Town NY HOME Program (covering Middletown, Andes and Roxbury) and a Main Street Revitalization program for the Village of Fleischmanns.

Roxbury awaits FEMA funds to offset losses

By Pauline Liu
Nearly four months after Tropical Storm Irene caused more than $600,000 in flood damage in the Town of Roxbury, town officials have finally been contacted by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials.

At Monday night’s final regularly scheduled town board meeting of the year, officials met at town hall to discuss what progress has been made.

Andes officials at odds over highway budget


By Pauline Liu
Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly and Highway Superintendent Mike McAdams found themselves at odds over the town’s new leaner and meaner highway budget. Both men made their cases at the final regularly scheduled town board meeting of the year, which was held at town hall on Tuesday afternoon.

Businesses join for artful winter promo

By Pauline Liu
There may be an art to promoting tourism in the Catskills. The Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild appears to be proving that point. The artists’ group, which is based in Margaretville, is spearheading a tourism campaign to draw skiers and snowboarders from Belleayre Mountain to the Main Streets of surrounding communities.

Shandaken tables Scenic Byway Plan

By Jay Braman Jr.
Concerns over loss of Home Rule have made the Shandaken Town Board back away from adopting what is known as the Scenic Byway Plan.

After a public hearing on the matter, Shandaken Supervisor Robert Stanley pulled the resolution from town business Monday night with the unanimous consent of the town board.
“I’d like to give it more thought,” he said, as other board member members nodded their agreement.

Route 28 approach

Dorothy Maffei honored at ceremony

By Pauline Liu
The Shopmargaretville merchants’ group honored one of its own by asking her to perform the tree lighting in Margaretville last Saturday.

Dorothy Maffei of New Kingston has owned Home Goods of Margaretville for 15 years. She explained that she is embarrassed by all of the attention and praise she has been receiving, when all she wanted to do was help. After the village was flooded by Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, Maffei took on an additional full-time job, working strictly as a volunteer.

Community tree lighting has special meaning

By Pauline Liu
It wasn’t the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, but the lighting of Margaretville’s second Christmas tree last Saturday, generating some of the same wonder and excitement. For some members of the crowd, consisting of about 100 area residents, the lighting ceremony represented something more.

“It was a very sweet event and it was meant to be symbolic and show what we’ve been through,” said Jill Cline of the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild.

Attorney cites state, city for extent of flood damage

By Brian Sweeney
A Prattsville attorney has filed a Notice of Claim preserving the right to pursue legal action against the state and New York City for damages caused by the August 28 flood.

David Rikard filed Notice in state Supreme Court on behalf of “all citizens, residents or other entities of the communities or properties with the NYC ‘West of Hudson Watershed’ who suffered losses in the flood.”

Onteora District mulls closing elementary building

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Onteora Central School District is again facing the prospect of closing an elementary school as a cost-saving measure.

Speaking to small audience Monday at Shandaken Town Hall, the OCS superintendent said that tough fiscal times require that tough choices must be made as to how to develop a sustainable spending plan in a district with a current budget of over $50 million a year.

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