Up in Smoke

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Part of the VW Parts Inc. complex at the intersection of Wagner Avenue and Main Street, Fleischmanns went up in flames late Tuesday afternoon. More photos in our front page story.— Photo by Brian Sweeney

ACS tackles challenge of declining enrollment

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By Matthew J. Perry
The Andes Central School Board of Education addressed the hard reality of declining enrollment Thursday, and also listened to calls for tax relief from members of the school district. Yet the board also gave a demonstration of the school’s new website, and somehow managed to inject optimism and can-do spirit into what might have been a grim opening to the administration’s school year.


Hundreds of supporters rally to "Save Belleayre"

By Jay Braman Jr.
Locals residents, business owners and employees of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center came out in droves Saturday morning to a rally put on by the Coalition to Save Belleayre, the organization that blew the whistle on what many consider to be life-threatening budget cuts proposed for the state-run facility.


Fall festival leaving Belleayre; will be hosted at Arkville's D&U

By Jay Braman Jr.
Following an announcement last week that the annual Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Fall Festival was being cancelled, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) quickly followed up with another announcement, saying that the popular event would instead be moved to Arkville.
The 29th annual Belleayre Fall Festival will be held Columbus Day weekend, but at a new location thanks to a partnership announced last week by the DEC and the Delaware and Ulster Railroad. The festival will take place on October 11-12 at the Delaware and Ulster Railroad on Route 28 in Arkville.


Officials debate gas drilling on Catskill Watershed lands

By Matthew J. Perry
A public hearing held last Wednesday in New York City provided a forum for renewed calls of opposition to gas drilling within the city’s watershed system and its filtration avoidance agreement.
“This is an industrial activity that is incompatible with the delicate watershed where nine million New Yorkers get their drinking water,” said City Councilman James Gennaro, a primary organizer of the hearing. He has requested that the state place a year-long moratorium on gas exploration within the watershed.


Supermarket renovations moved to January

By Brian Sweeney
The transformation of the Margaretville A&P into a Freshtown Supermarket has been pushed back to late January, the store owners announced last week. Daniel Katz, a partner in PSK Supermarkets which is planning the new store, said the work to convert the A&P into a Freshtown store is now scheduled to begin on January 22. This work was initially supposed to start this month.
“In order to create a smooth transition, we have agreed to a lease extension with A&P. This will hopefully ensure that the store closes for only a minimal period of time,” Mr. Katz told the News.


State to wield budget ax on Belleayre

By Jay Braman Jr.
State-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center might suffer the budget ax this year, experiencing severe cuts to its 2008-2009 ski season operations. Employees, skiers, local business owners and the leadership of the Coalition to Save Belleayre have been scrambling since Friday trying to find out how bad it will be for the mountain come winter.


Judge tosses out lawsuit by Crossroads resort foes

By Jay Braman Jr.
Crossroads Ventures officials announced this week that they were “elated” by the recent court ruling to dismiss a lawsuit that challenged the 2007 Agreement in Principle that is, in effect, the blueprint for the latest version of the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park.
But the people who filed that lawsuit said Saturday that they are not ready to give up.
State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly dismissed the suit Wednesday, noting an environmental review of the project still is under way and permits for the project have not been issued.


Margaretville Comprehensive Plan now available for public inspection

After months of work, committee meetings and community input, the Comprehensive Land Use and Action Plan is ready for public review before being submitted to the Margaretville Village Board for approval.
The Comprehensive Plan Committee, working with Ann Ruzow Holland, community plan advisor, and Delaware County Senior Planner Kent Manuel, has completed its outline, consisting of five chapters starting with a brief history of Margaretville. The plan then goes on to talk about the village’s economy and community amenities, land use and natural resources, transportation and public facilities, and next steps.


Delaware River Basin Comm. weighs in on gas drilling issue

By Matthew J. Perry
In one sense, the anticipated natural gas rush is yet another discussion of water rights. Hyrdrofracking, a recent technological advance that has helped to make the Marcellus and other shale formations into viable targets of exploration, requires millions of gallons of potable water.


Mt. Tremper man charged with illegal stream digging

By Jay Braman Jr.
A Mount Tremper man is free on $5,000 bail after being arrested for working in the Esopus Creek with a backhoe.
Algernon Reese was arrested last Wednesday after a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEP) Police Officer responded to a complaint that Reese was working in the stream with equipment and a crew of workers. He was charged with the misdemeanors of obstructing governmental administration, disturbing a protected stream and violating a general prohibition against pollution.


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