Tom Turkey goes a'courting

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The spring romance season is in full swing for turkeys and these Toms offered a brilliant display as they tried to impress the females. — Photo by Brian Sweeney

Shandaken mulls major cuts in 2009 town spending plan

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Board met in a special session last Monday to begin work on the 2009 budget. And from the sound of it, everything is on the table when it comes to possible spending cuts.
The informal session, which was sparsely attended, saw the board members seated at a table scrutinizing the current figures in the budget in an attempt to find places to save money.
Right off the bat there was disagreement over how brutal the cutting should be. Supervisor Peter DiSclafani, who recently favored no raises in 2009, said that all non-union salaries should increase four percent next year. He changed his mind, he said, because energy costs have risen so high that it’s going to be tough for workers to make ends meet.


DEC talks drilling to Delaware County supervisors

By Matthew J. Perry
Two members of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) appeared in Delhi on August 20 before the Delaware County Board of Supervisors to provide an overview of natural gas drilling and persuade those present that the DEC is ready to deal with a rush of speculation.
State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, also in attendance, was active in the discussion that followed the DEC presentation, explaining positions of state lawmakers and fielding questions from supervisors who expressed both curiosity and skepticism concerning Albany’s oversight of local issues.


Buck stops here: Family Dollar not coming to village quite yet

By Julia Green
Don’t pull out your dollars just yet: the Family Dollar chain store initially planned for the property adjacent to the Margaretville Post Office isn’t setting up shop in Margaretville quite yet.
“We as a company just elected not to build there,” said Tom Nash, senior vice president for real estate, in an interview. “We re-evaluated the market area and felt that that particular location did not meet our criteria.” Nash said that he doesn’t know if the company will be exploring options to build a retail location anywhere in the Delaware County area.


Drilling opposition group shows film to spark debate

By Matthew J. Perry
Despite the fact that drilling for natural gas is months away, if not years, debate is now concentrating on whether New Yorkers can get their gas—assuming the Marcellus Shale is indeed filled with it—at a cost the land can sustain. Meanwhile, disturbing reports from the west, where shale plays have been underway for several years, have stoked fears of wells on tightly-spaced units and the creation of an industrial zone in the Catskills.


Roxbury Planning Board awaiting turbine reviews

By Julia Green
Roxbury Planning Board Chairman Joe Farleigh said Wednesday he believes that things are “in pretty good shape at this point” in terms of the wind turbine application process during the town’s monthly planning board meeting, adding that he believes the public comments submitted during the SEQR process were “quite inclusive” and doesn’t suppose anything has been left out.
The comments received during the public hearing phase of the process in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) are still in the hands of LaBella Associates, the primary technical consultant being solicited by the planning board, as the planning board awaits feedback in order to proceed with the drafting of the Final Environmental Impact State-ment.


Coalition seeks more protection for hamlets in DEP land buying

By Jay Braman Jr.
At a time when regional planning is coming back into play locally in the form of efforts to coordinate economic development projects along the Route 28 corridor, there’s another layer of planning that’s beginning to take shape thanks to the Coalition of Watershed Towns. The current planning asks watershed communities to revisit some of the same questions that were asked back in the early 1990s when the historic watershed deal was reached between upstate and the City of New York.


Former President and Sen. Clinton were Emerson Resort & Spa guests

Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton spent part of their August vacation at the Emerson Resort and Spa on August 12 and took time out of their visit to meet local residents and hear concerns about a number of local issues. Meeting with Emerson partners Dean and Lynn Gitter, the Clintons were delighted to share stories about everything from foreign travel to Kentucky, a state the senator appreciated during spring presidential primaries.


New MCS superintendent takes reins

By Brian Sweeney
New Margaretville Central School Superintendent Anthony Albanese has been on the job since July 1 and is looking forward to the start of school. Mr. Albanese has been working with the board for more than a month and has met many staff members who are already at MCS preparing for a new year.


Chamber name proposal spurs member opposition

By Julia Green
An effort to change the name of the Greater Margaretville Chamber of Commerce to the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce hit a snag lat week when one of the chamber’s members questioned both the need and the process for the change.
“This decision is the result of more than one year of discussions with many businesses in our service area, both members and potential members,” Board President John Riedl wrote in a letter to chamber members dated July 14. He called the proposed name change “a more inclusive name,” and said that the decision was made by a unanimous vote of the chamber’s board of directors.


City wants ban on gas drilling

By Matthew J. Perry
After months of silence, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) made an opening demand last week for harsh restrictions on natural gas drilling in the city’s vast watershed. The agency is also seeking a central role in the review of leases near its holdings, and has called for public hearings to be held for every proposed drilling site.
DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd circulated a letter to state officials that spoke to grave concerns about the environmental impacts of gas drilling and the threat it poses to the water that fills upstate reservoirs.


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